Title: Deck the Walls
Timing: S3, shortly before “Amends”
Pairing: Faith & Oz
A/N: Written for rebcake, who asked for a Faith & Oz drabble. This ficlet is a mixture of what I originally wrote for your request in December and new material. Since I love canon tie-ins, references to events in “Lover’s Walk” and “Amends” abound.
Faith looked down at the two boxes of Christmas lights she held in each hand – same price, same length, same manufacturer. The question was: white or multi-colored? Which would make her shit hole look less like a dump?
White had a classic elegance. Rainbow was unapologetically funky. Too bad CVS didn’t have the sunglass and Santa hat donned tropical fish lights she used to string up around the house in Boston. They always made her Ma smile. It was a good holiday when she didn’t have any color coordinated Christmas bruises.
“I’d go with the colors. Points for variety,” Oz suggested from down the aisle, a box of hair dye and a toothbrush in hand. “Let the dream die if you’re hoping for a white Christmas though.” He poked at the fluffy spools of faux snow and ratty tinsel overflowing on the shelf next to her.
“Nah. The northeast can keep its cold winters. I’m temperate climate all the way,” Faith said and chucked the white lights back into the bargain bin. “You’re scaling back, Osbourne,” she noted, pointing toward the box of red hair dye. “Going for something more natural?”
“I was thinking festive, actually,” he shrugged. The gesture alone made it clear that Oz didn’t wear glum well. Stoicism, mystery, aloofness he emoted with flying colors, but the outward moping was out of place. Faith eyed him thoughtfully.
“Might try kicking that Christmas spirit into gear then,” she joked, nudging his shoulder. His silence sobered her. “Look…” she whispered, pulling him to the side. “I heard about what happened. About Willow,” she clarified. “That’s a tough break.”
He looked at her with some surprise, the upturn of his eyebrows the only indication that he found her insider knowledge out of the ordinary. “It’s been hard,” he admitted.
“I’d be all down for nursing that sour puss of yours, except I think you need some shaking up,” Faith said. “You doing anything right now, cause my calendar is looking pretty clear.”
“Just dropping some gear off at Devon’s. We've got a gig New Year’s Eve.”
Faith slapped him on the back and pulled him toward the check out counter. “What do you know?” she smiled. “I could use an extra pair of hands with these lights. The walls at my place have to be at least eight feet high.”
Oz turned, searching her face. When he realized she was serious, he laughed. “Got a chair? Being vertically challenged might be a drawback.”
“No chair, but I’ve got a pair of shoulders you can squat on if you’re feeling lucky.” Faith grinned. “Come on…” she sang. “Hammers, nails, scotch tape… that doesn’t get your motor running?”
It had been days since the cloud of disappointment and hurt that had followed him around since finding Willow and Xander had thinned. Faith’s plucky attempts at engagement were nothing short of amusing; it was hard to say no to her invitation of hodgepodge decorating.
“If you don’t mind riding in the van, the drum set and amps could use some company.”
He smiled when she arched an eyebrow at him, his car keys already in hand.