the bunny warren v. Faith

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What You Wish For

Author: Mikelesq
Concept: Oz goes on the road after finding out about Willow and Tara, but must return to Sunnydale.
Rating: PG-13.
Tone: Way too serious.
Quality: Probably stinks, written on a lark.
Feedback: Yeah, sure
Legal disclaimers: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" characters and situations are owned by Joss Whedon and the producers of the show. The story is entirely fiction. Distribute if you like.

Prologue


A broken guitar string can be embarrassing, even for a werewolf.

Oz had just finished the last verse of "A Pirate Looks at Forty" when he felt one of his strings give away under his pick. The last chord sounded horrible. He laughed, and shook his head. The crowd (if you can call twelve people a crowd) laughed with him.

"Well, I guess that's my last song," Oz said into the microphone. "I guess the Higher Powers are telling me to avoid the acoustic sets. Good night, everyone." He lifted a beer pitcher full of dollars and change into the air, and added:

"Tip well. It looks like I have to go shopping at the music store tomorrow."

The crowd laughed again, and applauded. Oz handed the pitcher down to a couple at a small table near the stage. The man reached into his wallet, threw a bill into the pitcher, and passed it along. Oz walked off the stage over to the table near the corner of the bar where he had left his guitar case.

As he was packing his guitar away, a man came up to the table. He was young. In fact, he looked too young to be in a bar. However, he held two beers in his hand. He said:

"That was a good set."

"Thanks," Oz responded, closing the latches on his guitar case. "The Buffett stuff isn't exactly my style, but this didn't look like the crowd for Velvet Underground." A waitress came by with the tip pitcher, and put it on the table. Oz took out the money, and did a quick count. Twenty-three dollars and some change. Not bad for an open mike night.

The man gestured toward Oz with the beer in his left hand and asked:

"Drink? It's on me."

"No thanks," Oz replied. "I'm on a...special...diet. Mostly herbs. Alcohol could...um...throw it off balance."

"Oh, come on! One beer can't hurt."

Oz considered this. He'd only lost control when he was around Willow. Willow was nowhere near. Oz said:

"Alright. One beer."

"O.K.," the man said. "My name's Benny."

"I'm Oz."

"Pleasure," Benny said. "Hey, do you mind if I ask you some questions. I'm taking guitar lessons, and I could use some pointers."

"No problem," Oz said.

Benny sat down. For about an hour, Benny and Oz talked chords, choruses, and keys. One beer turned into two. Then a third. Then a fourth. After the bar was empty, Benny asked:

"So, how did you end up in this little one-horse town?"

"I broke up with my girlfriend," Oz said, the slightest hint of a slur in his voice. "Actually, we'd already broke up. I...had some stuff to sort out, so I took a little road trip. I went back, but she was already...involved...with someone. So I went back on the road."

"Oh, that sucks, man. I bet you just wanted to beat the crap out of this new dude."

"Um...well...I did want to...I mean...it wasn't a dude, dude."

"Oh, man! You mean...?"

"Yeah," Oz said. "I mean."

"Man," Benny repeated. "That's harsh. I mean, when you left, was it for another chick?"

"No."

"So you came back, and she wouldn't even give you a chance?"

"Well, I wouldn't say...."

"Oh, come on, man! When you found out she was with some chick, you weren't ticked off?"

"Well, of course," Oz said. "But, I mean...well...yeah. It bothered me. I mean, I'm not like that. I don't judge people based on their...preference. But Willow. I mean...yeah...it bothered me."

"Man, don't you just wish her and that other chick would just, I don't know, get hit by a bus...or eaten by lions...or...."

"Nah," Oz said. "I could never wish anything bad on Willow."

"Well, what about this other chick? Couldn't you just...."

"I could have," Oz interrupted. "I had the chance. But it's not her fault. I mean, it did bother me that...it was a woman. I know it shouldn't."

"Oh, come on, man! You're only human!"

"Well, if I was only human, it would have simplified things," Oz said. "But...I don't know...I was prepared when I went back for the possibility that she might have met someone. But...."

"It would have been easier if it was a guy? Someone you could just haul off and hit?"

"Yeah," Oz said. "That would have been easier. I know that's wrong. I mean, it's not very...enlightened. But yeah, if it had to happen, I would have rather it have been a guy."

"Yeah, and some jerk, too! I mean, if it was some real jerk she was involved with, you wouldn't feel so bad. You know, if it was someone who didn't treat her right, you could have gotten her back, right?"

"Well," Oz said, "I never thought of it that way. But yeah, I think I would have had a pretty easy time getting her away from...oh, I don't know, maybe Spike." Oz laughed at the thought.

"Who's Spike?"

"He's...a really bad guy. Pure evil, actually."

"I bet if this guy Spike had been her new boyfriend, that would have taught her a lesson. Showed her that there are worse things than a guy who needs to take a little break."

"I suppose that I could have beat Spike out for her a lot easier than Tara," Oz agreed. "And, yeah, she'd certainly appreciate me more if she'd been putting up with Spike awhile."

"So, if she had to be dating someone, you'd wish it was this Spike guy?"

"Yeah," Oz said, and then laughed. The idea was amusing. God, I must really be drunk, Oz thought to himself. He looked into the bottom of his empty beer mug, and completed the thought, saying:

"I wish that Willow would dump Tara, and her and Spike would become an item, so I could go and get her back."

Oz looked up from his glass and saw Benny. Or what was Benny. Benny had suddenly developed a wrinkled, oily skin. His eyes were midnight black. For the first time, Oz noticed that he wore a pendant around his neck. It now glowed with a pale green light. In a harsh, deep voice, Benny said:

"Done."

Oz blinked, and Benny had disappeared into thin air.

Oz leaned back in his chair, and took a moment to recap the events in his head. They were talking...Oz said that he wished Willow and Spike would...and the amulet glowed...and Benny....

"Oh, brother," Oz said out loud, jumping to his feet, checking his pockets for the keys to his van, and mentally calculating the drive time to Sunnydale.


Part I.


Willow and Tara embraced outside the dorm. Willow was still getting used to the Public Displays of Affection with Tara. She considered a kiss, but...she wasn't ready. For that. In public. Yet.

"Have fun on your dig," Willow said.

"Yeah, I'll bring you back a brontosaurus bone," Tara replied.

"Yeah," Willow said. "I'll wear it in my hair like Wilma Flintstone."

"Actually, it's not that kind of dig," Tara explained. "We're going to a valley that a Native American tribe supposedly lived in. You know, arrowheads and stuff."

Willow recoiled. "Not Chumash Indians?"

"I don't think so," Tara responded. "Why, is that a problem?"

"Well, just don't go arousing any vengeful spirits."

"I'll try to avoid it," Tara promised. "But I wouldn't mind finding some shaman's totems. That's the whole reason I took the archeology course."

The driver of the car waiting on the curb honked his horn. The one of the other students in the back seat yelled: "C'mon, already!"

"I've got to go," Tara said. "I don't believe we're leaving this late at night."

"Well," Willow said "you'll miss all the traffic."

"I'll miss you," Tara said. "I love you."

Willow opened her mouth to reply, but, suddenly, a feeling she couldn't explain overcame her. She couldn't speak. She couldn't think. Sudden confusion occupied her every thought.

Tara stared at Willow. "Are you OK?"

"Uh, yeah. Yeah. I think so...."

"Well, s-s-s-see you in a w-w-w-w-eek," Tara said. Her stutter betrayed her disappointment, and confusion.

"Yeah," Willow said. "See you when you get back."

Tara paused for another moment, then lifted her bag, and walked to the car. She climbed in the front seat, and stared at Willow as the car pulled away.

Willow watched Tara leave. She sat on a bench by the sidewalk. Willow had planned to go back to her dorm room and get some sleep before her morning class.

Plans had changed.

She headed down the street toward the cemetery.

Back at the dorm, Buffy was enjoying a peaceful sleep. No dreams. No prehistoric slayers tackling her in the sand. No cheese. There was a blissful absence of cheese.

The telephone rang. Buffy awoke, and looked at the clock. It was one-thirty. She looked out the window at the darkness. Telephone calls in the wee hours of the morning were never good. The telephone rang a second time. She hopped out of bed, grabbed the receiver, and said:

"Giles?"

"No, Buffy" a voice said. "It's Oz."

"Oz? What's wrong? Where are you?"

"I'm...at a payphone. I just wanted to talk to Willow."

Buffy considered this. She looked over toward Willow's bed. It was empty. She then remembered Tara's field study. She said into the telephone:

"Um...Willow's...not here."

"Is she with Tara?"

This was getting weird. "Well, Oz, she might be. I mean, she...."

"No problem," Oz said. "I just need to talk to her. If you see her, tell her to wait for me. It's important."

"Oz, I don't think...."

"It's not what you think," Oz said. "I just need to tell her something."

"OK," Buffy said. "I'll tell her. Anything else?"

"Yeah," Oz replied. "Do you have Giles' phone number?"


Part II.


Willow walked down the gravel path towards one of the larger mausoleums in the cemetery. She went up to the large, oaken door, and pushed it open. She walked into the darkness.

"I knew you'd come," a voice said.

Willow turned toward the sound of the voice. From a shadowy corner of the tomb, a cigarette tip glowed like tiny sun in the darkness.

"I couldn't stay away anymore," Willow said. "Suddenly, I just...couldn't."

"I know," the voice said. Footsteps came from the darkness, and then a shadow appeared. The shadow stepped into the moonlight, and faced Willow.

"I thought I'd go mad waiting for you," Spike said. He took Willow's face in his hands, and bent down to kiss her.

Willow felt the pressure of Spike's lips against hers. There was no warmth. It was like pressing her lips against glass, if glass could be soft, yielding....

"Oh, Spike!"

She returned his kiss. Her left hand went to Spike's neck, and then up, her fingers into his white hair. She moved her right hand up his chest, and slowly she began to unbutton his shirt.

Spike took his hands from Willow's face, and threw his arms around her, pressing her body against his. Willow's knees grew weak, and she collapsed in his arms. Spike gently lowered her to the floor.

"Spike," Willow gasped between kisses. "The door...."

Spike extended his leg and kicked the door of the mausoleum shut. The darkness enveloped their bodies.


Part III.


"What do you mean, a man like Anya? I honestly don't believe that there's a man, woman, child or beast like Anya anywhere on God's earth."

The question had caught Giles off guard. Of course, any question asked over a telephone at three o'clock in the morning is somewhat unsettling. Giles sat in his bathrobe at his desk.

"I don't mean like Anya's personality," Oz explained over the receiver. "Or lack thereof. I mean, could there be vengeance demons, only for men? Like, a male counterpart to what Anya was?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Um...a guy I met, he...described something that sounded like that." Oz didn't want the Scoobies to have any reason to lower their already low estimation of him. Especially if he could find some way to fix this himself.

"Well, let me see." Giles pulled a book from his shelf, and then returned to the telephone. The demonology tome had been book marked with yellow post-it notes on the pages that referenced vengeance demons. Giles had been caught off guard when Angel had reverted to his evil origins. He had learned from the experience, and was prepared if Anya should someday...have a relapse.

"Let's see," Giles said, glancing through the first page. "There is a reference to a demon called Calrutha. He seems to be a counterpart to Anya's former...employers. Apparently they are meant to balance each other out."

"How does it work?"

"Pretty much the same way," Giles said. "Calrutha selects a minion, changes him into a demon, gives him a special amulet which grants wishes, and the minion roams the earth looking for scorned men who desire revenge."

"And to undo what they did, you break the amulet, right?"

"Well, that's what Anya described," Giles responded. "I of course have no memory of the actual events."

"Because once the magic's undone, time moves backwards, right?"

"Well, let's see," Giles said, returning his eyes to the pages. "It says here that time will be altered if it is necessary to undo the results of the wish. Otherwise, the magical effect simply dissipates."

"OK. Thanks, man."

"Oz," Giles said. "Why do I feel that you're not being entirely honest with me?"

"It's nothing," Oz said. "Just...a friend of mine needs help. I can handle it."

"Oz, these demons are quite powerful. Are you sure you don't want me to...?"

"I can handle it," Oz repeated, and hung up the receiver.


Part VI.


Willow reclined in Spike's arms on the floor of the mausoleum. Spike stroked her red hair with his hands.

"We can't stay here," Willow said.

"I know," Spike replied. "No one here would understand."

"Where can we go?"

"Anywhere, babe," Spike said. "Anywhere. As long as I have a roof over my head between dawn and dusk, the world is ours."

"I don't want the world," Willow said. "I just want you."

"You've got me, luv," Spike said. "I'm all yours."

"I feel so safe here," Willow said.

"I know," Spike said. "That damned chip just keeps going like the Energizer Bloody Bunny."

"That's not what I mean," Willow said, giving Spike a playful slap on his chest. "I mean, I'm so clear on what I want. I've never had that. Everything's always been so confusing. Who I liked. Who I didn't like. Who liked me. It never made any sense. Now, everything is so simple."

"I could make everything even more simple, babe."

Willow frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I can't hurt people," Spike explained. "But I wouldn't be hurting you. I'd just be...changing you. I'd bite you. You'd drink from me. You'd be like me. You'd live forever. We'd live forever. Together."

Willow sat up. "Spike, I could never...."

"I just can't imagine being without you," Spike continued. "After it took so long for us to find each other. I can't think of you growing old. Withering. Dying. Leaving me. I don't know any other way for us to always have each other."

The simplicity of the moment suddenly became much more complicated. Willow trembled. She said:

"I have to think about it."

"Take your time, luv," Spike said.

"Listen, Spike," Willow said, wanting to change the subject. "We've got to get out of here."

"I'll get a car."

"OK. I'll have to get some clothes."

"Do you want to risk waking up Slaygirl?"

"No," Willow said. "I've got some stuff at Tara's. I have her key."

Willow could feel Spike's muscles tense.

"I'm just going to get some things," Willow said. "Tara and I are over. It's you and me now."

Willow kissed Spike deeply. Spike returned the kiss, and ran his hand down her leg.

"I...," Willow gasped, "I...can get my things...later....."


Part V.


Oz parked his van outside Buffy and Willow's dorm. He ran toward the entrance. The front door was locked. He slammed his open palm against the door in frustration. Then he heard footsteps behind him. He turned. A couple was walking toward the door.

"Hey, pal," the guy said. "You want in?"

"I'm looking for someone," Oz replied. "Her name's Willow. Willow Rosenberg."

"Alright," the guy said, looking for his keys.

"Wait," Oz said. There was no way he could go to Willow's room and avoid Buffy. "Do you know a girl named Tara?"

"Oh, yeah," the girl said. "She's in a couple of my classes."

"Where's her room?"


Part VI.


Willow took her bag off of Tara's desk. She took out the books. She wouldn't be needing them anymore. She went over to the drawer that Tara had given her to use, and started taking out the spare clothes she kept there. She stuffed them in the bag, and then began looking for the jacket that Tara had borrowed.

"Willow!"

Willow turned, and saw Oz in the doorway.

"Oz? What are you...?"

"Willow, have you seen Spike?"

"Oz," Willow said, "I have something to tell you."

"Oh, dammit! You've seen him, haven't you?"

"Oz, listen...."

"No, you listen," Oz said, grabbing Willow's arms. He took a moment to assess his...feelings. They seemed to be in check. The wolf inside him was apparently dormant. "I know about you and Spike."

Willow looked at Oz. She sniffed the air.

"Oz, have you been drinking?"

"Yeah, and I did something while I was drunk that I'm not proud of," Oz replied. "I made a wish, and a demon granted it. I wished for you and Spike to get together."

"What? What kind of a wish is that? You wish for ponies. You wish for world peace. You don't wish for...."

"Sweetheart," a voice called from the hallway. "I got the car."

Oz turned to face Spike and shouted:

"Stay away from her!"

"Oh, great," Spike said, rolling his eyes. "Doberman Boy is back."

"Spike," Oz said. "I'm warning you...."

"Oh, yeah?" Spike took a step toward the door, but at the door frame he ran into an invisible wall.

"Honey," Spike called from the hallway, "be a doll and invite me in."

"I don't think I can," Willow said. "Technically, I don't live here. It's not my invitation to give."

"Well, you're shagging her, aren't you? I'd think you have privileges!"

Willow recoiled.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh, come on! I just meant that...."

"If you can't accept my past, just say so!"

"I didn't mean that! I just meant that...."

"OK you two," Oz said, struggling for a solution. "Willow, Spike still has that chip, right?"

"Yep."

"OK, Spike, I'll come out into the hallway, but you have to listen to me."

Spike considered this, and then stepped away from the doorway, and gestured for Oz to follow.

Oz exited the room. As soon as he was outside, Spike lunged for him, but immediately cried out in pain, grasping the side of his head, and fell to the floor.

"Damn," Spike mumbled. "I was hoping your werewolf thing would be a loophole. Listen, mate, would you mind sporting that fur of yours for a few minutes. You're a bit too human for me to break your neck."

"Nobody's breaking anyone's neck," Willow said. "Oz, what do you mean, you wished for this?"

"I wished that you and Spike were a couple," Oz explained. "I don't exactly know why. I just did. It seemed to make sense. I was drunk. I was talking about getting you back, and...."

Willow interrupted:

"You were still thinking of me?"

Oz looked into Willow's eyes. He said:

"I never stopped. I don't think I ever could stop."

"Oh, Oz," Willow said. She placed a finger on Oz's chin. Oz took her hand, and leaned forward. He kissed her, and she leaned forward into his arms to return the kiss.

"Bloody Hell," Spike said, massaging the side of his aching head.

Oz leaned back. He looked into Willow's eyes. He saw the love Willow felt for him. He'd dreamed of seeing that look in her eyes every night since he'd left.

Then he looked again. There was something else in her eyes. A hazy, far-away look that he couldn't quite place. It seemed as though Willow was sleeping with her eyes open.

Then he thought about his wish. All of his wish.

"I wish that Willow would dump Tara, and her and Spike would become an item, so I could go and get her back."

This was his wish, the final part of his wish, that was now coming true. The look in Willow's eyes was love. But it wasn't real.

"Willow," Oz said. "I love you. And I want with all my heart for you to love me. But not like this."

Willow's face fell.

"What do you mean?"

"Yes, what do you mean?" The voice came from behind Willow. "What the hell do you mean? Are you like, crazy, dude?"

Oz looked over Willow's shoulder. Bennie was standing there.

"Listen, Bennie," Oz said. "I didn't really mean it. I want you to undo this."

Bennie laughed, and said:

"Undo it? Are you nuts? This is awesome! A witch boinks a vampire. A werewolf kills the vampire. This is perfect! It's a vengeance demon's dream!"

"Bennie," Oz said, trying to stay calm, "undo it."

"Or what?"

Bennie held up his clawed hands to accentuate the threat.

Oz considered this. Human, he was no match for Bennie. His wolf form was uncontrollable. That left one option.

"Hey, Spike," Oz said. "I wished that I could take Willow away from you. This guy's making it happen. This DEMON is making it happen."

"Oh, yeah," Spike said, arising from the ground. "We'll see about that."

Spike's face morphed into it's vampire form. He lunged at Bennie.

Bennie caught Spike's arms with his claws. He threw Spike against the wall. Bennie threw a punch, missing Spike and going through the plaster. While Bennie's arm was caught, Spike threw a punch across his jaw, then tackled him to the floor.

Spike had one hand around Bennie's neck, and another on his face. Bennie clawed at Spike's arms.

Oz reached down and yanked the amulet from around Bennie's neck. "I'll take that," Oz said. He dropped the amulet to the ground, and raised his foot in the air.

"Don't," Bennie said, as strongly as he could with Spike choking him. "This is your last chance with her."

"I don't think so," Oz said. "But if it is...it is."

Oz slammed the heel of his shoe against the amulet. It burst into pure light, and then was gone.

"Arrrrgh!"

Oz turned to look at Spike, who was screaming in pain. Spike released Bennie, who stood up, quite human, gasping for air.

"My powers," Bennie wheezed. "I've lost my powers! I'll...I'll..."

"You'll get out of here," Oz said. Oz held up his hand, which then started to grow long black nails and dirty grey fur. "Or do you want to settle this now?"

Bennie took a breath, and then ran for the exit.

Oz concentrated, and forced his hand to return to human form. He turned to face Spike, who was still recovering from the pain. Spike said:

"If you're going to turn someone human, at least tell me so I can stop choking him. My head damn near exploded."

"I'm all broken up," Oz said.

"Well, I no longer seem to be enamored of Red," Spike said, "so I'll be going. By the way," Spike said, turning toward Willow, "it was fun. Let me know if you get bored of the whole alternative lifestyle thing. Bye."

Spike strutted down the hall.

Oz turned to face Willow. "Are you OK?"

Willow paused, then slapped Oz across the face.

Oz took a breath. "OK, I deserved that."

"Go," Willow said.

"Willow, I...."

"Go! Just go! Damn you! Do you know what you did to me? What he did to me? What you made me do to.....Dammit, just go." Willow dropped her hands into her face, and sobbed.

Oz wanted to comfort her, but he knew that he couldn't. He walked down the hall, and disappeared into the stairwell.

Willow went into Tara's room, shut the door, and collapsed face first onto the bed. She could smell Tara in the bedding. All the chaos returned to her now free mind. She couldn't stop thinking about Tara. She couldn't stop thinking about Oz.

And, dammit all, she couldn't stop thinking about Spike.

Willow rolled over, stared at the ceiling, and said out loud:

"I wish I had Brad Pitt!"

Willow sat up, and looked around the room. Nothing. She said:

"Never a demon around when you need one."

THE END


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