New Moon, New Year
by Tesla

Remix of glossolalia's Boxing Day.

New Year's Eve rolled around, as it always did. The management at the Bronze procrastinated, as they always did and didn't get a band booked in time. Enter the Dingoes, becoming something of the default house band. Devon celebrated by smoking up his stash and taking mellow into a whole new dimension, a place inhabited, Oz thought, by just one person at a time.

Oz was glad to have the gig. Willow was still giving him hopeful looks,and he still felt the same tense reluctance to touch her. It had nothing to do with forgiveness or holding grudges. She was doing things that startled him and made him wonder about himself, how he could misread her.

Told her he'd be playing all night, and Will seemed a little relieved, too. Taking a break from the push-me, pull-you, and the effort to stay leveled out for both of them. Not that it was a chore or a burden or he minded. He needed to not think, just play music. Not think about a lot of things, actually.

Like Boxing Day, and the kisses of a not-enemy. As he told Angel, Oz liked it. Liked the man, vampire, whatever. The kissing, and everything else. Odd thing was, he found himself wondering what Angel was doing, with a feeling of something had happened that mattered, something important. That he shouldn't leave Angel out there alone.

Kind of silly.

Good to get up and just stand in the hot lights and play, to the crowd all drinking and happy, everyone just moving together. Mellow. Devon's trip to an alternate existence left his voice a little rough, but it suited the night. Warmish out, the Christmas snow not even slush now. Oz felt good, felt satisfied, his fingers on the strings, head ducked, wrapping the tune around Devon's voice.

The set ended, and Oz put the guitar pick in his teeth as he swung the guitar off his shoulder and onto the stand. He stepped off the stage, and looked at the tall guy standing with his arms folded. The crowd was flowing around him, and he stood there like a basalt boulder in the stream.

"Hey," he said to Angel, and picked up a bottle of water from the edge of the stage.

"Hey," Angel said. He looked Oz straight in the eye, which was a good change. He uncrossed his arms, jammed his hands in his pockets.

Oz, deciding to cut to the chase, said, "Thought about coming by. Figured you were working on some guilt trip or another."

Angel looked a little startled, but didn't look away. "Kind of, but I thought about what you said. About saving it for something important."

"Good idea. It's all cool, man." Oz took a sip of water. Angel was pretty much as fine looking as he remembered, and it gave him a buzz, in a way, that he'd gotten it on with such a big, football- player type. He tipped his head towards him, and said, softly, "It's okay, Angel. It's all okay." Soothingly, like he needed something from Oz. Like there was something he wanted from Oz.

"Okay," Angel said, and finally, smiled.


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