Here's To Forever
by Venus Blue

"You ever think about getting married?"

It was a casual sentence, said in a casual tone. Oz watched, amused, as Xander blinked once, twice, third time's the charm before managing, "What?"

"Ever think about getting married?"

Xander stuffed the last piece of quesadilla into his mouth and rose to put his plate in the sink. Oz watched him go, waiting patiently.

"Sure, I've thought about it. I came damn near close with Anya, you know that."

"I meant now. You and me."

Xander was still staring. He seemed to be waiting for the punch line.

"Which one of us would wear the dress?"

"Well, I have the legs for it."

Xander rinsed his plate and set it in the dishwasher. Oz was used to this, distraction before response. He knew to wait.

"You serious?"


Leaning back against the sink, Xander tapped his foot nervously.

"Not much of a proposal, really."

"You want me on one knee, flowers and heart-shaped ring box?"

"I like the knees part."

Oz smiled and came around the table, pulling him by the belt loop and kissing him longingly. Xander wrapped an arm around his waist, stroking the small of his back and nibbling Oz's lower lip as he pulled the hair at the base of his neck.

Pulling away, Oz reached into his pocket and knelt in front of him.

"Xander, you wanna marry me?"

The deer-in-the-headlights look was enough to make anyone laugh, but Oz kept his face impassive as always.

"You really mean this?"

"Why wouldn't I?"

"Well, unless our fearless leader was impeached when I had my back turned, it's not legal."

"Doesn't have to be legal. Just has to be real. To us."

"You really want to put up with me forever?"

"I've put up with you for the last five years, and then before that. Think I can take forty or so more."

Xander stared at the simple gold band encased in black velvet, his mind racing with thoughts and fears at the ramification of its purpose. He'd lost the need to continuously talk all the time, a habit he'd had all his life, but he'd never been as speechless as he felt at that moment.

"Knee's getting kinda sore."

Taking a deep breath, Xander said, "But what will we name the children?"

Oz did laugh then, standing and grabbing him for another kiss.


"Think we should've eloped?"

Oz raised his arms as the tailor's tape measure came around.

"Might've been a good plan."

Willow pulled a book from the huge pile she'd been digging through and exclaimed, "Found it! Flowers! We need to discuss flowers!"

"Flowers?" Xander asked incredulously.

"For the ceremony! Oh, and catering for the reception! Oz, are you still allergic to shellfish?"


"And you want a chocolate cake, right? Did you want white or dark icing?"


"And I was thinking, since you're both wearing black tuxes, how about a white-"

"Willow," Xander said, wincing as the seamstress poked him with a pin. "Take a deep breath. Or ten."

Smiling, she said, "But this is so exciting! I totally arranged Buffy and Giles' wedding, and they loved it! And now I get to do yours and I really like this and I was thinking maybe I could-"

"Again, breathe, Will," Oz said, stepping down from the box and watching the tailor finish up Xander. "How soon are these going to be done?"

"End of the week. Monday tops."

"Great. We'll call."

The men helped Willow carry the books out her car ("How'd you manage to get all of these in there?"), and she asked, "You guys want to grab lunch?"

Xander and Oz exchanged looks, and Oz shrugged.

"Sure, why not?"

Over lunch at Xander's favorite fast food restaurant, Willow kept up a running chatter.

"So, are you two going to want this in a church?"

"We're inviting Spike and Angel."

"So, no church. No outdoors, unless...nighttime wedding?"

"Not wanting to face unexpected demons."

"True. Are you going to use a Justice of the Peace?"

"We hadn't thought that far."

"Have you thought of...anything?"

Xander smirked, taking a big bite of his hamburger, and Oz said, "Not so much."

"What about a best man? Or, um, men?"

"Uh...I guess I could ask Dev. Xander?"

"Will? Wanna be my best man? Again?"

Her grin widened, and she said, "Sure!" Then after a moment, "Can I pick the dress?"


Buffy and Giles flew into LAX two weeks before the wedding, and Buffy immediately pulled Xander to one side.

"You let Willow plan your wedding? Are you insane?"

"Starting to feel like it."

Hoisting her bag up on her shoulder, she walked towards the luggage claim, one arm through Xander's.

"She's been wedding crazed ever since she and Riley moved in together! Don't you remember my wedding? The flowers, the hors d'oeuvres, the ice sculptures?"

"Ah, the giant ice replica of Mister Gordo. How could I forget?"

"And it was right next to the roasting pig! Whenever I even began to say something, she would shush me!"

"Well, it's too late now. We're in way over our heads."

"Where is she now?"

"Scouting out places for the wedding with Oz."

Buffy shook her head as they met up with Giles, who was surrounded by suitcases and struggling with another from the conveyor.

"A little help, dear?" he asked, winded.

"I'll get a luggage cart."

Xander eyed the bags and said, "Traveling light?"

"Only three of these are mine. One is entirely shoes."

Xander clapped the older man on the back and said, "Married life is great, huh?"

Giles chuckled and said, "Actually, it is. You're ready for your own?"

"Ready as I'll ever be. Not gonna screw up like last time."

Smiling sadly, Giles said, "I'm sure you won't."

Buffy returned, and they proceeded to pile up the luggage.


"Did you ask Giles?"

Xander ran a towel over his hair and said, "No, I thought you were going to."

Oz looked up from his guitar thoughtfully.

"Just figured it would be easier for you to ask him."

Pulling on a pair of sweatpants, Xander sat next to him on the bed, folding his legs Indian-style.

"Don't you think he'd rather hear it from you?"

Oz shrugged and set his guitar by the bedside table. Leaning forward, he combed his fingers through Xander's damp hair, pushing it away from his eyes. Xander leaned into the touch, covering Oz's hand with his own. Kissing him gently, he asked, "Scared?"

Oz smiled and said, "Maybe a little."

Kissing him more intently, Xander pushed him back onto the bed, holding the back of his head with one hand and gently scratching his lower belly with the other.

"Love you."

"Love you, Xan."

Unbuckling Oz's belt and sliding his pants down, Xander paused.

"Think we should wait until we're married?"

Oz lifted his head and cocked an eyebrow.


Xander and Buffy had gone to pick up the tuxes, and Giles was fixing himself some lunch when there was a knock at the hotel door. Opening it, he found Oz, hands tucked in his pockets, fidgeting slightly.

"Oz. What a pleasant surprise, com in."

They went into the kitchen, where Giles fixed Oz a cup of tea and offered him a sandwich.

"We don't have much. Buffy went with Willow a few days ago to get a few essentials."

"I'm good, thanks. Had a question for you, actually."

They sat at the small kitchen table, and Oz gripped the hot mug, admiring the 70's-esque tablecloth pattern.

"Xander and I were talking, and we were wondering if you'd mind performing the ceremony."

Giles looked startled for a moment, then said, "Well, I've no experience in that. I'm not a priest, or judge."

"Yeah, but it's not going to be a traditional legal ceremony. We just..."

He paused, and Giles cleared his throat.

"Xander knows?"

"About us?" Oz asked, looking up finally. "Yeah, he knows. He understands it was a long time ago. We both think it should be you who, you know. Officiates."

"I would be honored."

Oz smiled, and finally took a sip of his tea.

"Does Buffy know?"

"She does. She took it quite well, considering."

"And the two of you? How's marriage?"

"Better than I would've thought."

"Always knew you two would end up together."

Giles chuckled softly.

"I had my doubts."

They sat in comfortable silent for a few minutes before Giles asked, "And you? I never saw you as the marrying kind."

"Yeah, me neither, to be honest. Devon still thinks it's this big prank I'm playing on him."

"Should make for an interesting ceremony."

Oz laughed softly and ducked his head.

"Me and Xander...I don't know. It just...feels right. Like this was supposed to happen or something."

"Soul mates?"

"Wouldn't go that far. Like...kismet? Maybe?"


Oz glanced at his watch and said, "I'd better get going. I have to get some stuff for dinner tonight, and I want to at least have it started when Xander gets home."

Giles walked him to the door, and Oz shifted from foot to foot before sticking out his hand. Giles shook it firmly and said, "Well, I'll see you later, then."

"Yeah, me and Xander will be over to talk about the ceremony."

"Goodbye, Daniel."

"Bye, Giles."


"You're really going through with this."

Oz straightened his tie and said, "Yep."

"Dude, you're such a chick."

"Just put the suit on, Dev."

Willow came in then, eyes shining.

"Devon, why aren't you dressed? The ceremony starts in half an hour!"

"I got time."

Oz turned to Willow and asked, "Is Xander ready?"

"Yeah, Buffy's helping him right now. You look great!"

"Thanks. What about Giles?"

"He's talking to the photographer."

"Everything going smoothly?"

"Uh-huh," Willow said slowly. "Oz, are you nervous?"

Holding up one shaking hand, Oz shrugged and said, "Little bit."

Willow grabbed his hands in hers and squeezed them reassuringly.

"You're going to be fine, I promise. Not having second thoughts, are you?"

"Nah. Just...don't want to make a fool of myself."

"Xander's probably going through the same thing. Don't worry."


"Xander, give me the bottle."

"But I need it."

"No, you really don't. And you're going to get it on your tux."

Xander reluctantly handed over the chocolate syrup, and Buffy set it back on the mini fridge. Handing Xander a spoon, they both dug into the large bowl of chocolate ice cream. Buffy passed him a napkin and warned, "No dripping. Willow will slaughter me."


They clicked spoons and Buffy said, "How're your nerves?"

"The ice cream's helping. A little."

"Good. Not going to bolt out the door the second I turn my back, are you?"

Xander smiled and ducked his head.

"Nah. But any little old men with glowing orbs should be killed on the spot."

"You got it."

Giles stuck his head in and said, "Are you two almost ready?"

"Just getting in a last minute sugar rush."

Moving to his wife, Giles kissed her forehead softly and said, "You look beautiful."

"Thank you. Not too bad yourself."

Smoothing his tux, Giles said, "And of course, Xander, you look handsome, as well."

"What, no kiss for me?"

Giles cocked an eyebrow, and Xander and Buffy grinned.

"I do have to say thanks to you and Oz for the bridesmaids' dresses. Much, much better this time around."

"Well, I said it'd be convenient to use the same dresses, but Oz wanted the lavender."

"And it's appreciated," Willow said, appearing in the doorway. "Ceremony's in fifteen minutes. Everyone but Xander in the ballroom, please."

Buffy kissed Xander's cheek, and she and Giles filed out.

Willow grinned up at Xander and said, "You doing good?"

"Better than I expected."

Willow hugged him tightly and said, "Gonna actually do it this time?"

"Think so. If I don't pass out first."

They hugged for a minute, Willow rubbing his back, then she said, "Oz is going to meet you in the hall in five minutes. Walk out when the music starts, got it?"

"Got it."

One last squeeze and Willow walked out of the room. Xander looked at the clock, took a deep breath, and picked up the bowl of ice cream. There was a knock at the door, and Xander called, "Come in!"

Oz slipped in, and both men grinned at each other.

"Isn't it bad luck for the bride to see the groom before the wedding?" Xander asked, moving to him.

"Which one of us is the bride?"

"Traditionally, probably the person who's a bo-"

Pushing himself up, Oz kissed him, tangling his hand in his hair and squeezing his hip. Xander cupped Oz's face and pulled him close, stroking his cheek.

Pulling away, gasping for air, Oz said, "Didn't want to do that in front of everyone."

Resting his forehead against the shorter man's, Xander said, "You ready to get married?"

"As I'll ever be."

They left the hotel room and headed down the hall.

"About the reception..." Xander began.

"No frosting fight."


Squeezing his hand, Oz paused near the open double doors, waiting for their cue.


"A toast!"

The reception had been going for almost an hour when Willow tapped her champagne glass with her spoon.

"A toast to Xander and Oz, my two boys, whom I love so much. I hope you're both happy and healthy for the rest of your lives, and that I never lose touch with either of you. And please do not hold the psycho wedding planner bit against me."

Everyone laughed and raised their glasses in salute, and Xander and Oz walked over to her, hugging and kissing her in turn.

"So, did I do good?" Willow asked as the three of them moved to the buffet table.

"You did great, Will," Xander said, popping a strawberry in his mouth. "All the insanity was well worth it."

Willow looked immensely pleased with herself. Riley came up behind her, resting his chin on top of her head.

"Congratulations, guys."

"Thanks, man," Oz said, shaking his hand. "When are you two going to join the ranks?"

Willow blushed prettily, and Riley said, "Soon as she pops the question. I'm expecting a huge diamond."

"Does that mean your parents pay?" Willow asked sweetly.

"Obviously, we need to discuss this further."

They moved away, and Xander turned to Oz.

"Are we that cute?"

"We're cuter."

"Good to know," Xander said, touching his forehead to Oz's and kissing his nose.

"Alright, alright, none of that mushy shit," Devon announced, draping his arms over both men's shoulders.

"Has Willow seen you yet?" Oz asked, smiling over at Xander. "'Cause you know she's out for blood."

"She'll get over it."

Xander looked down at Devon's purple Converse and gold cummerbund.

"You do stand out in the crowd a little."

"Man, I wore this to stand in my cousin's wedding!"

"That was a Mardi Gras wedding, Dev. In New Orleans. On a float in the middle of a parade."

"Hey, a wedding's a wedding."


Devon turned and, spotting Willow coming his way, chirped, "Gotta go!" and ran for the exit, grabbing two glasses of champagne as he went. Willow scowled and asked, "You guys ready to cut the cake?"

"Is everyone done eating?" Oz asked curiously.

"No, but at least the cake will be ready for when they are."

The men looked at each other, and Xander shrugged.

"Let's do it."

They walked to the elevated platform where the three-tiered wedding cake was situated. Picking up the sterling silver cake server, Xander asked, "Ready?"

Covering his hand, Oz said, "Yeah."

Willow called for everyone's attention, and the sudden light of a hundred flashbulbs blinded them both temporarily.

"I hope you can still see," Oz muttered to Xander.

"Right eye's seeing spots, but my left eye is perfectly unaffected."

Oz chuckled softly and stroked his cheek.

"Benefits of having a glass eye, huh?"

"Okay, lovebirds, cut the cake already!" Spike yelled, earning him a thwap to the back of the head from Angel.

They cut into the cake finally, both bowing their heads to avoid the next wave of camera flashes. Extracting the slice, they each took a piece and looked each other.

Xander pouted for a half a second before lifting the piece to Oz's mouth, holding his hand underneath to catch the crumbs. Oz smiled softly and pushed his hand down, raising his slice and tapping it against Xander's lips. He opened, and Oz smeared it across his mouth, ending with a dab of frosting to the tip of his nose.

Xander looked positively frozen for a moment, then, grinning, he returned the favor, cupping Oz's cheek afterwards with his frosting-covered hand and licking a bit of frosting off his chin.

The crowd laughed loudly, and applauded, and Oz wiped at his mouth.

"Now, if that doesn't prove how much I love you..."

"It does," Xander laughed, handing him a napkin. "It does."

A server came up to begin cutting the cake for the guests, and Willow waved them down off the platform.

"It's time for the first dance!" she said, wiping a smear of cake off Oz's neck.

Xander groaned.

"Do I have to?"

"Come on! I only had to threaten death to get you two to pick a song. It won't kill you to white-boy dance for three minutes."

Grabbing his hand, Oz nodded towards the dance floor and said, "Come on, Xan. It won't kill us."

As the slow, soft country song that they'd finally settled on started, Xander and Oz stared at each other a moment before Oz wrapped his arms around Xander's waist, and he wrapped his arms around Oz's shoulders. They moved jerkily, and Xander said quietly, "This feels weird."

"You're thinking about it too much."

"This feels like a high school dance. From hell. Where everyone is watching, waiting for you to trip."

"So close your eyes."

"Then I really will trip."

"Close your eyes," Oz said again, softly. "Just pretend we're at home, in our living room. And we're extremely drunk, so we felt like dancing."

Xander smirked, then sighed loudly, closing his eyes. He felt Oz lean his head against his chest, his hands moving slowly up and down his back. Resting his cheek on Oz's forehead, he counted to ten in his head to try to ease the being-watched anxiety.

Loosening his arms to release the tension, he pulled Oz closer, massaging his shoulder softly with one hand and moving them both in a slow, lazy circle.

"Am I leading?" he murmured.

"I hope so, because I'm not," Oz said, squeezing him softly. Xander felt him peck softly at his cheek, and he turned his head, capturing his lips for a kiss.

"Guess what?" he whispered, pulling away.


"We're married."

Oz chuckled.


"That means I get half of your guitar if we get divorced."

"I get half of your Twinkie stock."

Xander laughed, leaning his head down and resting it on Oz's shoulder.

"I love you," Oz said into his ear.

"Love you, too."

The song ended, and everyone clapped again.

"I love this crowd," Xander said when the applause died down. "Feels like I'm winning an award, or I'm a celebrity."

He was rewarded with more flashbulbs.

The reception eventually died down around 8:00 that night. Everyone came up to either shake hands with or hug Xander and Oz before leaving, and Willow was tyrannical about assuring they'd signed the guest book.

Xander and Oz were sitting at one of the tables, ties loosened and jackets off, when Willow came up to them.

"Looks like the party's dying. I'm going to hang around, make sure the cleanup crew gets here. You guys go ahead to your room."

"You sure?" Oz asked, removing his foot from Xander's lap and sliding his shoe back on. "Because we can stay..."

"No, it's fine. Buffy and Giles are going to wait with me. You guys enjoy your night."

Xander stood, taking Oz's hand to help him up, and moved to hug Willow again.

"You did a great job," he said into her ear. "This was wonderful, and I love you."

"Love you, too, Xan."

She moved to Oz and hugged him as well.

"We really appreciated this, Will," he said, smiling at Xander over her shoulder. "But when you and Riley get married? It's our turn."

She looked horrified, and Buffy laughed as she walked up. Reaching out, she hugged each man in turn, and said, "What are you two still doing down here? Get out of here. This is the boring part."

"Where's Giles?" Xander asked.

"He's helping the DJ bring his equipment down to his van. I offered to help, but he insisted on doing it himself. He said to say goodnight to both of you, and congratulations."

Oz took Xander's hand, and they left the ballroom, heading to the elevator.

"It was a nice ceremony, wasn't it?" Xander asked as Oz leaned back into him, resting his head on Xander's shoulder.

"Very nice. And the reception was great. Good food."

"Probably shouldn't have listened to Spike when he insisted we open his present then and there."

"I thought Angel was going to kill him on the spot."

"There's a couple destined for the altar if ever I saw one."

Oz laughed and rubbed Xander's thigh.

"I don't know, I think you'll look pretty good in leather pants."

Xander suckled on his earlobe and said, "I thought they were for you."

"We can share," Oz said, turning around to kiss him.

The doors opened on their floor, and they walked to the hotel room they'd picked out. Entering, they kicked off their shoes and threw their tuxedo jackets on the sitting chairs. Oz walked to Xander and put his hands in his belt loops, tugging him close.

"I know you want to, so go ahead."

Xander grinned and, after a running start, dived onto the bed, doing a few knee bounces before standing and full-out jumping on the king-size mattress. Oz shook his head, unbuttoning his shirt and removing his cummerbund.

Landing on his butt with his knees straight in front of him, Xander caught his breath and smiled impishly at Oz.

"Had to get that out of the way."

Oz walked to the dresser drawers, and looked at the card on the bucket of champagne that was resting on top of it.

"From the owner of the hotel. That's nice."

"Wonder how much it cost Willow?" Xander asked, still slightly out of breath. Oz poured them each a glass and set them on the bedside table.

Crawling up the foot of the bed, Oz pushed Xander back onto the pillows, kissing him hard and running his hands up his arms, holding his wrists lightly against the pillow.

"How's the bed?" he asked, pulling away and taking a breath.

"Firm," Xander said, eyes shining. "Very firm, in fact."

"Good to know," he murmured, licking up the side of his neck.

Xander dug his fingers into Oz's hair, pulling his face up to look him in the eye.

"Be gentle. This is my wedding night."

Oz started laughing then, falling on top of him and resting his face in his shoulder.

"I love you, Xander."

"I love you, too, Oz."

Taking the two glasses, Oz handed Xander one, and asked, "Should we toast?"

"Probably good luck. What to?"

Oz shrugged.

"How about to forever?"

Xander smiled and clinked his glass to his husband's.

"Here's to forever."


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