relatively harmless, nothing worse than the series or comics.
main characters: Oz, Rachel Summers
disclaimer: Oz was created by Joss, Rachel (Phoenix) was created by Marvel Comics.
distribution: Twisting & Mental Wanderings, Luba if she wants it.
notes: Twisting's FfA pairing # 933. Post s4's Wild at heart, using the Rachel from the first Excalibur series - Rachel Summers, Phoenix from the future.
Oz settled against the tree, thinking about the past week. His efforts to find an expert on werewolves had failed. He hadn't even been able to find a Watcher, though he was certain that there had to be some in the area. If Giles could be as far away as California, there had to be a lot of them bouncing around the British Isles.
Closing his eyes, Oz tried to relax. He couldn't let this stress him out too much, a few of the old books that he'd been able to look through in Sunnydale had suggested that strong emotions could make him change at other times, regardless of the moon. Last thing that he needed was to stress so much about not finding anyone to help him with the werewolf thing that he turned into one right here in the park. Maybe if he just listened to the kids playing games, it would help.
He wasn't certain how long he'd sat there, eyes closed as he half meditated, but it was the scent that caught his attentions. The woman smelled like fire.
Opening his eyes, he blinked, recognizing the redhead that stood maybe ten feet from him. Her hair was short, as was the red leather dress that she was wrapped in. Knee high boots with high heels made her look even taller, and there was something familiar about her... The scent of fire without smoke finally let him connect the clues instead of just staring at long legs and mind numbing curves.
This was the woman who'd fallen on him. The one who had surrounded herself in fire, completely changed her outfit and flown off.
"See something interesting?" Her voice had the almost flatness of someone trying to keep their emotions in line.
"Yeah." Oz hoped that he wasn't about to be scorched. Maybe it would be best to offer a bit of an explanation, in an effort to head off great pain? "You bumped into me last week, but I didn't catch your name."
"I what?" She turned, and for a moment, fire seemed to flicker in her eyes. Frowning, she looked over him, trying to see if he was at all familiar. "Oh, I landed on you, didn't, I?"
He simply nodded, uncertain if there would be any safe words.
"And you aren't backing away?" She had a small smile, as if she contemplated something fascinating. "There's something different about you..."
Oz could feel himself smiling, certain that she didn't know the half of what was different about him. "American?"
"Yes. I grew up in New England. You're more... hmm, West Coast I think." She took a few steps towards him, and frowned.
"California." Oz felt something, like a little tickle at the base of his skull. Puzzled, he reached back, hoping that nothing had crawled into his hair, though some scraps of bark would be tolerable. "You flew away."
"I'm a mutant." Her arms crossed, as if she was daring him to make an issue of it.
Oz shrugged, having certainly seen a lot worse than flying gorgeous redheads in tight leather. "I'm a guitarist."
She blinked, as if that was completely unlike any response that she'd been prepared for. "A Californian guitarist?"
"My name's Oz." He smiled, wondering if she was actually getting flustered.
"I'm Rachel." The words slipped out, as if from habit.
For a few minutes, there was silence. She stood there, looking at him in puzzlement, and he leaned against the tree, watching her watch him. It wasn't that bad of a situation to find himself in, certainly better than some.
"Would you like to go with me for some dinner?" She offered, smiling hesitantly.
"That sounds good. Know anywhere good?" Oz stood up, brushing at the bits of grass and leaves on his pants.
"Actually, I do know a few good places." She tilted her head, and held out her hand. "Come with me, and I'll show you around a little."
He probably wasn't supposed to hear the soft words that she murmured. "It's not like I need to be afraid, and life can be too short not to live a little."
He wondered if Rachel believed in werewolves.
end Standing Redheads.