"We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified." -- Aesop, Fables
"Um, you're Oz, right?" the new kid asked Oz as he tried to step away from the wall.
"Yeah, that'd be me," Oz replied, once again trying to sidestep the new guy.
"I'm Andy," the boy replied, holding out a hand. Oz shook it briefly then pushed past him. "I heard you were in a band," Andy commented, causing Oz to stop and turn to him. "I need a band."
"Really?" Oz asked, wary of a Hellmouth trick.
"Yeah, my, um, my little brother is having a birthday party, and we need a band," he explained.
"Look, Andy, the Dingoes aren't a birthday-kinda...." Oz trailed off as his eyes were suddenly locked on the opposite end of the hallway. Andy followed his gaze and found the redheaded girl that Oz found fascinating, and he saw how her eyes lit up when she caught sight of him. Andy looked over at Oz and saw the same light reflected there but only for a brief moment before being replaced by coldness.
"Hey, Oz," the girl offered, giving them a weak smile as she reached them.
"Willow," Oz nodded coldly.
"Um, do you want to talk?" she asked softly, meeting his eyes briefly then looking away.
"No, Willow. Just give me space." With that he turned and walked away. Andy watched as Willow sighed loudly and walked the other way. His eyes glowed gold briefly as he smiled.
"This should be quite interesting," he commented before following Oz down the
"So, this girl, she dump ya?" Andy asked finally catching Oz alone.
"What?" he asked, surprised that Andy was still hanging around.
"Willow. She dump you? Cheat on you?" Andy asked again, pulling a chair and setting down at the small table in the lounge.
"Why do you care?" Oz asked, starting to stand up from the table. This Andy was creeping out his werewolf senses.
"Hey!" Andy spread his hands and smiled. "Just concerned, man," he replied.
"Well, I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me alone," Oz responded, walking away, but he only got a few steps before stopping short. Andy stood up to get a better look. That Willow girl was standing by the soda machine with an oafish looking guy. The guy placed a hand on Willow's shoulder, and Andy saw Oz visibly tense. "You know what I wish?" Oz asked, his voice suddenly quiet.
"What?" Andy replied, anticipation sailing through his body.
"I wish Willow Rosenberg had never met Xander Harris."
"Done," Andy growled, and Oz turned to face the boy as they were both engulfed in a blinding white light. The light finally receded, and Oz found himself standing in the lounge much as he had been only Andy was now missing in action.
"Weird," Oz muttered looking around for Willow and Xander, but not finding them anywhere. Then he saw the tell-tale flash of red hair and he turned to stare down the hallway to see Willow striding his way with her head held high and surrounded by a gaggle of Cordelia's old friends.
"Oz! There you are!" Willow called out, leading Harmony and her friends over to him. "I want you to tell Devon something for me."
"Willow?" Oz asked in surprise, his eyes taking in the outfit his Willow wouldn't be caught dead in.
"Tell him that I don't care. Tell him I never want to see him again, and tell him if he ever comes near me again, I'll...I'll do something he'll regret," she hissed.
"Willow?" Oz asked again; the redhead rolled her eyes in exasperation.
"Duh! That _is_ her name, retard," Harmony chimed in. "God, band members," she sighed, and the rest of the group nodded in sympathy. <Something weird is going on,> he thought to himself.
"Hey, Willow," he called out as the redhead walked away.
"What!?" she ground out as she whirled around.
"Do you know where Buffy is?"
"The looney who tried to impale me with a stick two years ago?" Willow laughed then. "God, Oz, having you been hitting the drugs again? Buffy's been dead for two years." With that, the group of girls turned back around headed in the opposite direction, giggling and whispering to each other.
Oz slumped back into a chair and sighed, "Oh, God."
"GILES!" Oz shouted as he burst into the library; the doors slammed back with a loud bang, rousing a dark-haired girl from sleep.
"God, Wolfie, don't you have any manners?" Faith asked, stretching her hands high above her head.
"Where's Giles?" he asked, staring at the Slayer.
"Right here," Giles' voice answered from behind him. Oz whirled around to face the librarian. Scars crisscrossed Giles' previously unmarred face. "What's wrong, Oz?" he asked, taking note of the werewolf's tearstained eyes.
"I think I did something wrong," he finally sighed.
"Woah, Mr. Perfect actually broke a rule?" Faith grinned, leaning forward. "Can't wait to hear this."
"Faith, please," Giles silenced her with a raised hand. "Well?" he asked him. Oz glanced from Giles to Faith and back again.
"Shouldn't we wait for the others?" he asked, gulping in air afraid of what Giles was going to say.
"What others?" Faith replied.
"Oh, God," Oz whispered.
"Start from the beginning," Giles barked, sitting down in a chair across from Oz.
"Um, Willow and I broke up," he began.
"Willow? Queen Bitch? You and her..." Faith started, but her words were cut off when Oz grabbed her throat.
"Take. That. Back," he ground out; with a growl Faith grabbed his arm, twisted it, and forced Oz face down onto the table.
"Don't ever touch me, Wolf. You won't like I'd do," she growled.
"Faith!" Giles shouted. "Release him!" he ordered roughly. She shrugged, but let him up. "Continue," he gestured to Oz.
"There's was this guy, Andy, and I sorta made a wish--"
"'I wish Willow Rosenberg had never met Xander Harris,'" Oz repeated.
"Xander Harris? Wasn't he the guy--"
"Yes," Giles interrupted and waited for Oz to continue.
"Next thing I know, I'm here, Buffy's dead, and Willow's Cordelia," he finished.
"It's possible that there was some sort of temporal fold," Giles began, heading for the stacks. "I've heard of some demons that can...." Giles' voice faded as he headed deeper into the stacks.
Oz turned to Faith and asked, "What happened?"
"To Xander? To Buffy? To Cordelia? To the world?" the questions flowed out of him as he slumped down into a chair.
"Well, Xander was apparently killed in some kind of Harvest ritual, I don't know the details. It was before my time, and G-man won't talk about it. As for Buffy, she drowned in the Master's lair--"
"Xander was supposed to save her," Oz muttered.
"Pardon?" Faith questioned.
"Where I come from, Xander saved her; he revived her with mouth-to-mouth,"
"Oh, anyway, Kendra, Buff's replacement, met up with Spike. He killed her, and here I am," she shrugged. The library doors suddenly opened, and the dark-haired boy Oz knew as Andy walked in.
"You," the werewolf growled.
"You know him," Faith asked.
"That's Andy." Faith nodded in acknowledgement. "Send me back," Oz ordered.
"What's wrong, Oz? Don't like the world you created?" the boy taunted.
"No," he responded.
"C'mon, it's a good world if you think about it; better than some I've done," he smiled.
"I want to go back."
"Sorry, Oz. No exchanges, no refunds." Oz stood up and stalked up to the boy. The two faced each other, Oz with anger boiling through his body, and Andy with a patronizing smile on his face. "You'll never get back," Andy laughed, and his movement cause a flash of silver to catch Oz's eye. Oz's hand snaked forward and pulled the necklace off roughly.
"This your power source?" he asked, holding up the small silver charm. Andy's eyes widened. "One thing I've learned hanging around with a Slayer, when all else fails, destroy something." With that Oz tossed the necklace to Faith, and the Slayer caught it easily with one hand. "Break it!" he shouted just as Andy grabbed Oz's throat and slowly began to squeeze.
Oz's world clouded and began to go black, but even as he began to black out from lack of air, he saw Faith toss the necklace down and bring her foot down hard on it.
"NO!" Andy shouted as a white light covered them both and Oz surrendered to unconsciousness. _____________________
"Oz?" He felt his face being roughly slapped. "Oz?" a sweet voice asked again as another slap connected with his cheek. "Oz?" He opened his eyes before another slap came and met Willow's concern filled eyes.
"Hey," he whispered, raising a hand and touching her arm.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Surprisingly, yeah," he smiled. "Hey, Willow?" he asked, and she looked down at him. "Where's Buffy?" He saw Willow slump forward in disappointment.
"In the library. Why?" she asked, and he could hear the tears on her voice.
"No reason," he shrugged and intertwined his hand in her hair; he pulled her down to him until their lips met gently. Willow pulled away and looked down at him in confusion.
"Are we okay?" she asked.
"We've still got some stuff to talk about, but yeah," She smiled at him suddenly. "We're gonna be okay." She pulled him up and into her arms in a happy hug.
"I missed you, Oz," she whispered. He stroked her hair.
"I've missed you, too. More than you'll know."
Well, what did you think? Send me feedback!
Oh, and the Patron Saint of Scorned Men was Anteros, punisher of those who scorn love.