TITLE: Contentment
AUTHOR: Goddess Isa
EMAIL: goddessisa@aol.com
SUMMARY: Buffy and Oz share moments, but it's not what you think g
SPOILER: General third season mentions, slight ANGEL spoiler
DISTRIBUTION: Crystal's site, if she wants it - My site - http://planetslaythis.homestead.com - Anyone else - sure, just email me & lmk where it's going - I like seeing my name in print =)
FEEDBACK: Please, I'd hate to have to Slay for it. =P
RATING: TV-PG
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, Joss Whedon does. If he ever decides to give them to me, that would be nice. =)


Oz and I have never done the research bit together before. Alone, I mean. We've spent tons of nights with the whole gang, sharing pizzas and sneaking naps up in the stacks. We've lived as a group in this library for years, but he and I have never been alone with the books.

Until tonight. I knew something was different from the start. When I went on patrol, there was no one out. No demons, no humans, nothing. And when we got here, Giles was at ease. Giles is *never* at ease. He took Willow and some books back to his place to do "research". We're not stupid though. Once they were gone, Cordy slammed her book shut and said, "The only thing they're going to be researching is each other."

No one argued, of course. We all knew it was true. Sometimes the passion between the two of them was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

After they left, Willow and Xander went home, claiming to be tired. Will said they'd try to come back early in the morning, but I knew they wouldn't and didn't expect them. Cordy left when Doyle came to pick her up, I think that was around two. Now it's three-twenty and it's just us. Oz and I.

The two singles of our group. He once joked that we were destined to date because he'd tried his hand with all the other women in our group and it was only fair. I couldn't look at him when he said it, and he probably thought it was because I was disgusted. The truth was, I wanted to try it, the dating thing, and I was too nervous to admit it.

"You know Buffy," he brought another book out from Giles' office and sat with me. "I don't bite. I mean, on this night of the month. If you wanna talk--"

"Talk?" I know I looked startled, and I didn't mean to, but it just happened.

"Yeah, you know, about Angel, or whatever. I'm here. I mean, I've been through the bad breakup thing twice this summer."

I gave him a weak smile. Willow had broken his heart, but Cordelia had literally stomped on it. She was rebounding from Angel not taking her as his rebound relationship and didn't much care if she hurt Oz in the whole getting even process. Cordy bounced right out of Oz's life and into Doyle's. Talk about a strange couple. And if she tells me that he's a hundred years younger than Angel one more time...

"Buffy?" Oz smiles. "You look a million miles away."

"Hellmouth thoughts," I lied.

"Boyfriend thoughts."

"How did you--"

"I just knew. You're missing Angel."

"I wanna get past him." I stood up and walked around. "I need to. Moping around all the time over my demon ex-lover isn't going to make the transition into college any easier."

"You've got two days to figure it out."

I sighed and sat back down, pouting. Hugging my knees to my chest, I wondered if everything would ever be all right again. If I would ever feel all right again. If I could kiss Oz and make things perfect, even for ten seconds.

"Can I play you a song?" he asked, pulling his guitar out of its case.

"Sure." I was surprised he had it with him. He always came by after practice, but he usually left it in his van.

I listened to the soft words, the gentle tune he played. When he finished, he said, "Well? Horrid?"

"Beautiful."

"It's called Patrol. You know, because."

I nodded. "I like it a lot."

"Can I kiss you?" he asked. "'Cause there are times when I think I should, and I know I want to, and maybe if we just did it, you know, then I'd know."

I closed my eyes, let him kiss me and drifted off.

In my mind, I was with Angel. We were strolling down some busy street in Los Angeles in the daytime. I pointed out some sort of sign, an ad that had an outfit I liked, and he promised to buy it for me. I told him I didn't need it as long as I had him, I was complete.

Then the kiss ended and we pulled away, afraid to look at each other.

"Okay, so that was a kiss." he said after awhile.

"So it was."

"I saw Willow." he said at the same time I blurted out, "I saw Angel."

We laughed and sank onto the steps together in a mass of giggles.

"Guess we shouldn't be kissing." he assumed.

"Guess not."

"But we can still hang, right?"

"Definitely."

"Good. You're the first person in history not to hate my music."

I threw a book at him. "Is that all I'm good for?"

"I dunno," he stood up. "I'll ask Angel."

I chased him through the stacks, acting like a kid for the first time in years. And even though everything wasn't all right, I had gotten more than ten seconds, and for now, I'm content.