Hit or Miss

Author: Bastard Snow <mamille5[at]vt.edu>

Rating: PG, I guess.

Disclaimer: I don't own ANYTHING in this fic. Not the characters, not the song, not the spaces between the words. Joss owns the characters and places, New Found Glory owns the song.

Summary: Takes place about a week and a half after Lover's Walk. Oz is a really, really good guy. Amends does not exist. Spoilers for… well sorta S3 I guess. Not much, though.

A/N: This li'l thing was just rollin around in my head for a while, so I let it out.

Pairings: W/X

Feedback: Pretty please with sugar on top?

Xander was standing on his lawn, surveying the work he had to do. He had been looking forward to this for almost a week. The weeds that had taken over the small garden area in front of his house were going to pay for the frustration he had been feeling. The noticeable change in the way his friends were treating him. The fact that he couldn't be with the girl he loved.

"You sons of bitches are mine," he said to himself. Xander slipped his work gloves on and started attacking the invading plants.

Grab. Rip. Grab. Rip. Grab. They all blamed him. Rip. They shunned him because he was, in their eyes, the guilty party. Grab. He hadn't spoken to her in three days. Rip. Only Angel treated him the same, but they had never gotten along. They had never been friends.

Xander sat back on his haunches, panting. In about ten minutes, he had decimated over half the weed population of the garden. He inspected his hands. Despite the gloves, some thorns had gotten to him, and his hands were bleeding. Not profusely, but they were bleeding. He shook his head. He really needed to talk to her. Somebody tapped his shoulder.

Xander turned around and was caught unawares by a fist connecting with his face, knocking him backwards into the garden. Xander looked up at his attacker and dropped his head.

"Oz," he said. "I'm surprised to see you."

"I'm surprised I'm here," Oz said, holding out a hand to help Xander up. Xander graciously accepted it and stood.

"You know you deserve that," Oz said.

"I know," Xander said, working a kink out of his neck. He stood there for a second, looking at the shorter man. "Is there some other reason you're here, or did you just want to punch me?"

"There's another reason, but I really wanted to punch you."

Xander nodded. "Lemonade?"

Oz nodded, and they went inside.

"So," Xander started awkwardly, "what's on your mind."

"Mostly Willow," Oz said. "And what happened."

Xander sighed. "I'm very sorry you and Cordy got hurt, Oz. I never meant for any of that to happen. Neither did Willow."

Oz nodded. "I know," he said. "But something keeps bugging me. This entire time, you and she have been apologizing for us getting hurt. Not once have you said you regretted what happened."

Xander's head dropped.

"You love her," Oz stated simply.

Xander nodded. "Of course I love her. She's Willow."

"But you're in love with her."

Xander sighed and nodded again. "Yeah," he said. "I am. But I'm gonna have to deal, she wants you back, and I just want her to be happy."

Oz stayed silent for a minute.

"She doesn't," he said finally.

"Doesn't what?"

"Want me back."

"Oz that's not true! She does, she loves you, she thinks the whole thing with me was just a big mistake."

"No," Oz said, "she doesn't."

"But she told Buffy—"

"I know what she told Buffy. And I gotta tell you, I'm tempted."

"Who wouldn't be?"

Oz smiled. "Can't, though."


"It's not me she wants."

Xander looked up into his eyes and saw nothing but sincerity.





"No, she can't."

"Too bad."

"How do you know?"

"I know."

"She can't!" Xander yelled. "It's not right! She'll just get hurt again, that's all I ever do. I hurt her. I… I don't deserve her."

"No," Oz said. "I don't think you do."

Xander glared at him.

"It's not up to me, though."

Xander's eyes softened. "Let's suppose for a minute that you're right. What does it mean?"

"Well, right now, Willow's too concerned about hurting me to think of almost anything else," Oz said. "And there's no way she'd go out with you if she thought it'd hurt me more."

"Okay," Xander said, wondering what Oz was leading up to.

"So something needs to happen to fix all of that. And I've got an idea."

"Oz, why are you doing this?"

"Why do you think?"

"I have no clue. I figure right now I should be your least favorite person in the world. So what's with the helpage?"

"I'm not doing this for you," Oz said.

Xander and Oz looked at each other for a minute. Xander nodded.

"Okay," he said. "What have you got?"


Three Days Later

"Buffy, I really don't want to be here," Willow complained. "I mean, Oz has made it clear he needs some space, and coming to the Bronze to watch the Dingoes is hardly giving him space."

"I know, Willow," Buffy said. "But you can't just stop living life. I know you feel bad that you hurt Oz, but you can't be expected to put your entire life on hold until he decides one way or the other."

"I should, though," Willow said. "It's no more than I deserve. I'm just gonna go home, Buffy. I shouldn't be here, I should be punishing myself. I should send myself to bed with no dinner. Just a glass of water."

Willow started walking away, arms clasped firmly in front of her chest. Buffy sighed, and decided to pull out the big guns.

"He wants you to be here," she said. "He called me this afternoon, and said he needed you to be here."

"What?" Willow asked. "He—he called you?"

Buffy nodded. "Said there was something important happening here tonight, and that you had to be present for it. He told me to try to get you here without telling you, but if I had to, I could."

Willow's face scrunched up in thought, then she sighed and followed Buffy into the Bronze.

Sunnydale's lone teen night club was as crowded as ever. The coffee bar was doing booming business and kids from high school had the dance floor packed. Devon, the lead singer of Dingoes Ate My Baby noticed Buffy and Willow entering the building and pointed them out to Oz, who nodded at him, and then off-stage.

Buffy and Willow sat at their normal table, and Willow couldn't help but feel a little saddened by the absence of the third member of their normal trio. 'Gotta remember, want Oz, not Xander,' she thought to herself. 'I owe it to Oz to be committed to him now. Only Oz.'

When the Dingoes finished playing their current song, Devon went over to talk to Oz for a second.

"You sure about this man?" he asked. "It's way big of you, but man… how can you?"

Oz nodded. "I'm sure."

Devon went back to his microphone. "Hello Sunnydale!" he yelled, grinning. Most of the crowd ignored him, but a few people up front cheered. "Okay, folks. I know our set's not over, but I'm taking a short break. We've got a special presentation for you tonight, though. The guys have decided they want a new lead singer for one song."

A few murmurs ran through the gathered students. Willow looked at Buffy inquisitively. Buffy just shrugged her ignorance.

"As for the identity of our mystery guest, well, you'll just have to be surprised. He'll be doing a song we stole from some guys we know." Devon walked off the stage.

"You ready for this man?" Devon asked.

"No," Xander said. "But I have to do it."

Devon nodded. "You're one lucky son-of-a-bitch, you know that?"

Xander nodded. "Yeah. You've got the light, right?"

"I've got it," said Devon.

The house lights went down and left the crowd in complete darkness. The band started to play and a spotlight shot out from backstage, centered on Willow. She looked shocked as the entire crowd turned to see her.

"The needle on my record player has been wearing thin," came the first verse, with the crowd still ignorant of the singer's identity.

"The sucker has been playin' since the day you went with him!
No more long rides home
No more of your station.
I didn't like it anyways."

Willow gasped as she recognized the voice, causing Buffy to watch her closely.

"Remember the time we wrote our names upon the wall? Remember the time we realized 'Thriller' was our favorite song?"

Willow's face was a mix of emotions, both joyous and worried. It was obvious to Buffy she was fighting a battle within herself of how to react.

The lights came up and everybody looked to the stage to see the owner of the voice.

"Have I waited too long?
Have I found that someone
Have I waited too long
To see you?"

The crowd was shocked to see the goof, Xander Harris, standing on the stage singing his heart out. He didn't sound half bad. Buffy was as surprised as anyone. The only person not surprised was Willow, but she stared right along with everyone else.

"Maybe it's for the best
Maybe it's not for anything
It wouldn't be so bad to take this right from me
No more long rides home
No more of your station
I didn't like it anyway."

People all over the club started murmuring. The spotlight was still focused on Willow, though it wasn't as apparent right now as it had been moments before. The quicker of the students turned to see her reaction.

"Remember the time we wrote our names upon the wall?"

Yes, they had written their names on the wall of Willow's house in crayon when they were younger, and had gotten in LOADS of trouble for it. That was a memory she wouldn't soon forget. As she thought about it, she remembered what it looked like. WILLOW + XANDER written in big red crayon. A smile formed on her face.

"Remember the time we realized 'Thriller' was our favorite song?"

Okay, so the song wasn't exactly right. She and Xander had never seen eye to eye on their favorite song. But the emotion he was putting in his voice, the amount of effort he was expending, and the spotlight that made it obvious who he was singing to, it filled Willow's heart with warmth.

"Have I waited too long
Have I found that someone
Have I waited too long
To see you?"

Willow thought about the words of the song. Was it too late for them? Willow found herself hoping it wasn't. She happened to glance to the left, and saw Oz watching her. Her face suddenly clouded. What would Oz think of all this? How could she be thinking of Xander when she had just hurt Oz so much?

"How many times I've tried
It's simple to you, so simple to lie
How many times I've tried
Blatant mistakes of your design"

Oz smiled warmly at her and nodded his head toward Xander. Willow raised a questioning eyebrow at him, to which he just smiled some more and nodded at her once, very slowly. Willow's eyes took on a sympathetic look. She searched inside her for the truth of her feelings. Yes, she loved Oz. Of that she was sure. But Xander? She had always loved Xander. Slowly, a grin started forming on her face.

"Have I waited too long
Have I found that someone
Have I wanted too long
To see you?"

Buffy watched as her best friend smiled a 1000 megawatt smile, and this in turn brought a smile to her face. She turned her head to look at Oz, who had obviously been the instigator of this whole thing. Xander would never be so bold as to try to take Willow away from him, nor would he ever suggest singing for Oz's band. She caught Oz's eye and mouthed a silent 'Thank You.' She really did like Oz, and felt genuinely bad for him. But Willow and Xander together? It just made sense.

"I've had so many chances
Turn my back and I ran away
I've had so many chances
To see you."

As the music faded out, the lights went back down again. The spotlight remained on Willow. Xander jumped down off the stage and made his way into the spotlight slowly. Very tentatively, he reached out and took her hand. She looked down at their hands together.

"Willow?" he asked, softly. "I don't deserve you, but I can't help myself. I'm in love with you, Willow. How could I ever have been so blind? I'm a fool."

Willow slowly lifted her head to look him in the eyes.

"Willow?" he asked. "Have I waited too long?"

Tears ran down Willows cheeks as she smiled, her cheeks red. Willow shook her head. "No," she said. "No, Xander, you could never wait too long."

Xander grinned. "Can I kiss you?"

Speechless, Willow nodded emphatically, and Xander moved in quickly for a very passionate kiss. Cheering erupted from the crowd, causing them to break their kiss. They both ducked their heads, finally realizing they were in a public area, and both a little embarrassed. They both had stupid grins on their faces as they made their way to the exit, the crowd parting for them as they ran.

Silently and unseen, Buffy had made her way to the stage and was standing next to Oz as the club began cheering the two young lovebirds.

"You're a good man, Oz," she said.

He nodded. "They're right together, aren't they?"

"Yeah," Buffy said. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay," he said. "I knew it would happen eventually." He sighed.

"Come on, Oz," Buffy said, patting him on the back as the band packed up their gear. "Once you get your stuff put away, we can go kill some vampires. Sound good?"

Oz smiled at her and shook his head. "Nah," he said. "I'm just going to go home."

"Are you going to be okay?" Buffy asked.

Oz looked up and out at the crowd. "Do you think she'll be happy?" he asked.

"I really do," Buffy said.

Oz nodded. "Then I'll be okay."