Title: Plus One

Author: badly-knitted

Characters: Willow, Oz, Buffy, Xander.

Rating: G

Spoilers: Surprise.

Summary: Willow likes Oz, a lot, and she'd really like to go out with him, but the proposed date clashes with Buffy's surprise party. Maybe she could find a way to do both…

Word Count: 764

Written For: Challenge 193: Plus at beattheblackdog.

Disclaimer: I don't own BtVS, or the characters.

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OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

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Willow could scarcely believe her own daring. She liked Oz, quite a bit; he was the first, no, the only, boy she'd really liked that way other than Xander. There'd been a few minor crushes, and her online boyfriend Malcolm, who hadn't really been a boy at all, the demon Moloch in a robot body. Oh, and before him there'd been that boy a few months back who'd turned out to be a vampire. He'd only asked her to go for ice cream because he'd wanted a snack to take home for his Master, the snack being her, not the ice cream, and wow, she'd known dating boys was a scary business, but she'd never dreamed it could be scary like that…

Anyway, all of that was beside the point. She'd never been good with boys, aside from Xander because he was different and they'd been best buds since kindergarten, so he kinda didn't count. But with Buffy's encouragement she'd actually gotten up the nerve to talk to Oz, like just the two of them. She'd thought it might be awkward, and it was a little, at first, but then it seemed he liked her too. Liked her because she was different from the other girls, because she was unpredictable. The way he said it, he made it a good thing, like being hard to figure out was something to be proud of.

He'd told her he was going to ask her to go out with him. On a date. Said he was nervous about asking her, and as she'd looked at him her stomach had done that weird butterfly thing, nerves and excitement setting her insides fluttering. She'd wanted him to ask, had already known what her answer was going to be.

"Well, if it helps at all, I'm gonna say yes." Willow hardly knew where that had come from; the words were out of her mouth almost before she knew she was going to speak.

And Oz had smiled up at her, told her it did help, and then he'd asked… and the bottom had dropped out of Willow's stomach as she'd realised she'd have to turn him down, tomorrow night being the night of Buffy's surprise party. It was all arranged, she couldn't let her best friend down, but a surge of disappointment went through her; she really did want to go out with Oz…

That was where the whole 'unpredictable' thing had come in.

She scrambled to explain about the party, and Oz was cool about it because Oz was always cool, that was one of the things Willow had noticed and liked about him. But then an idea hit her, and it was just perfect; she could do both, go to Buffy's party and go on a date with Oz at the same time! It was that simple!

"But you could come. If you want to. You could be m... my date." No one had said anything about bringing a plus one to the party, but Cordy would probably be there with Xander, Giles had Ms Calendar, and Willow was sure Angel would show, he'd promised he would, so everyone else would have dates. This way, Willow wouldn't be the odd one out. All she needed was for Oz to say yes, and she screwed all her hopes up, hardly able to stand still, waiting for his answer.

"All right. I'm in."

Willow really liked Oz's smile; it made her smile back, giddy and maybe a touch goofy, but that was okay. He'd said yes!

"I said 'date'," she murmured as she headed for class, wondering when she'd gotten so much self-confidence. Must be something to do with hanging out with Buffy, helping to battle demons and vampires, saving the world. An unexpected but not unwelcome side effect.

This could be the start of something, her first real boyfriend! Plus he was in a band, which automatically added to his coolness factor. Maybe a little of that might rub off on her and then the other kids would stop looking down on her… She shrugged; that didn't matter. It would be nice, but she was used to being thought of as a computer nerd, and when it came right down to it, she'd take her computer skills over being thought of as one of the cool kids. Being a whiz with computers would be more useful when she grew up.

Still, she had a date to Buffy's party, and that was beyond amazing! Tomorrow night couldn't come soon enough. Now she just had to figure out what to wear…

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The End