Cicatrices: Oz
Spoilers: Cicatrix


Daddy793: I will now begin soothing myself with thoughts of
Xander and Oz.
debitchan: Yessss.  I love the bit about always wanting to be

And maybe he spends a little time meditating on it. Deconstructing
touch here and there, trying to figure out what it all means:

The feel of his mother's breast against his cheek, blouse damp from
his tears, after his cousin Sam had gotten hit by that car.

The first time someone had ever shaken his hand instead of ruffling
his hair, and the way his scalp had somehow *missed* it, in a
strangely light and tingling kind of way. As though his head could
simply go floating off now, with no one to pat it safely back down.

And -- he can do this -- the ticklish brush of Willow's fingertips
against his own, the smooth, hard curve of her unpainted nail. The
connection had been less electric than simply right. The just-so fit
of key to lock and palm to palm.

The way he'd felt profoundly wise, as though the discovery that
destiny could be quiet was something vast and new.

He didn't know this woman, this Willow. He'd never gotten an
opportunity to know the other, either, and yet this ignorance is
different.  Deeper, somehow. And he knows that a part of it -- perhaps
a large part of it -- is just his own human way of curling away from
the pain. The Willow who hurt him wasn't the Willow he'd asked to
save him, and so the line is drawn between the Willow he cherished
and the Willow he... reviles.

The word is harsh enough to make him reflexively try to back away
from it, draw another line of ambiguities to protect him from
anything resembling true feeling.

But there is no denying the literal rise of his hackles when he sees
her, the too-slow lessening of ball-crawling fear. Even the sight of
her -- fiercely scrubbed scarecrow with shame and horror in her eyes --
does nothing to lessen the response. *This* woman had hurt him.

Twisted his bones, mixed and matched his souls.

And it isn't entirely the wolf that curls *around* that instead of
away, and it's nothing but the human who may not ever admit that she
had done nothing he wouldn't have asked for, given the chance.