THE FROZEN PARENTAL UNIT
By Niels van Eekelen
Willow didn't think she had ever felt so safe and so much at peace in her entire life. Vampires and demons might roam the streets outside, but she felt perfectly safe. She was sitting on the couch in the living room, comfortably snuggled up to Oz. He had an arm around her and Willow had laid her cheek on his shoulder. She felt that no creature of the night could harm her as long as she stayed like this. There was the whole vampires-can't-come-in-unless-you-invite-them thing, too, but that hardly seemed to matter.
Willow's parents were off for the weekend, and their daughter and her boyfriend had taken full advantage of that fact. Now, the late night movie was long over, but neither of the two had felt the inclination to get up. The witch frowned slightly. Well, she'd wanted to get up to turn off the TV for a moment when those dreadful infomercials had started, but not enough to abandon her position on the couch.
Oz turned his head to look at her--he'd noticed Willow's frown, as he always seemed to do--being careful not to move his shoulder under the girl's head. Willow smiled at him, indicating that she was fine. The werewolf returned his own, very unique smile. It raised only the tips of his mouth, but still made him glow with complete happiness.
Willow didn't really want to say anything--she'd discovered long ago that there was never such a thing as 'the awkward silence-thing' between her and Oz--but she remembered something she'd been meaning to ask her boyfriend, and as it usually did, her curiosity got the better of her.
"Oz?" she asked.
"I've been meaning to ask you something."
"What is it, baby?" was what Oz said. What he meant was: 'Anything at all, I'll get it, or do it for you.'
Willow decided to be blunt about it. "How come no one has ever seen your parents? I don't even know your last name. Is Oz short for something? OK, I'll stop with the questions now."
She felt Oz stiffen under her, and quickly--if disappointedly--added: "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
Oz looked away and shook his head. "No, I'll tell you, baby. No reason you shouldn't know. It's just . . . kinda embarrassing, y'know." Willow didn't know, but she was glad Oz was going to tell her anyway. The guitarist in question frowned. "I don't know--I don't know how to say this, actually."
"Why don't you begin with telling me why your father is never in town?" Willow urged him gently.
"Well, that one's simple, I guess. That's because he's frozen and in orbit around the planet."
Quite understandably, she thought, Willow was totally lost. "Huh?" she spoke intelligently.
Oz sighed. "It's because he tried to take over the world, but he couldn't, so he . . . It's complicated," he finished lamely.
"Why don't you start with your name instead?" Willow asked him.
"What?" Willow nearly jumped up, thinking that Oz meant some kind of evil demon was attacking.
"That's my name. Scott Osborn Evil."
"Oh!" Willow exclaimed. "But you're not. Evil, I mean. You're not evil."
Oz shrugged it off. "It doesn't mean anything--not even here on the hellmouth. The name came with the genes."
"Speaking of genes," Willow wondered, "where's your mother through all this?"
"I don't really know if I have one," Oz replied, "being artificially created in a lab and all."
Willow was beginning to understand why, some months before, Oz hadn't been shocked at all by discovering vampires were real and a lot of them lived in Sunnydale. Even his stoicism she saw under an entirely different light, now. Without it, he wouldn't survive under these conditions. Serious wiggins.
For a long while the two of them were quiet, thinking about what had been said.
"Oz?" Willow finally said.
"Let's just forget I asked, OK?"
"Anything for you, baby."
And they lived happily ever after
until the next story came along.
Story written by Niels van Eekelen. © Copyright 2004 Telltale Productions.
In a perfect world, I would own the series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. Alas, it is not, and I bow my head to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Ah, well. It's probably for the best, me not having a contract to put the show on the air and all.