the cast | the story list
Oz stared at William's mother, a strange sense of fear building within his stomach as she narrowed her eyes at him thoughtfully. She was nothing like William, despite the similarity in looks. In fact, Oz half expected her to being listing all the things that were or were not allowed on their date.
Date. Oz still wasn't used to that word.
"So," Victoria Bradshaw said in a slow voice, "you're the one that's dating William."
Oz nodded, glancing over at the doorway leading to the hall and stairs, hoping to see William appear. Victoria sat down a cup of tea in front of him. Oz reached out and picked it up. Suddenly, his hand gave out and the cup flew up into the air and Oz watched, hypnotized, as it tumbled to the floor. Oz shot a wide-eyed look at William's mother.
"It's good to see you're as nervous as he is," Victoria smirked, before standing. She left the room only to return with a towel. She handed it to Oz, who quickly began soaking up the tea with it. Oz watched her warily as she walked through the doorway and stared up the stairs, yelling out, "Well, William, are you coming down or not? You don't want your boyfriend to spend your date with me, do you?"
"Mother!" A familiar voice hissed. Oz inwardly smiled and he cleaned up the last of his spill. Then he stood and walked to the front hallway, watching as William hurriedly made his way down stairs. He paused when he saw Oz, like a deer caught in the headlights.
He was dressed almost the way he normally was, in pressed slacks and a button up shirt. But they were nicer, giving William an almost model-esc air. Oz tugged nervously as the only plain t-shirt he owned, everything else sporting some sort of slogan. When William stepped up next to Oz, he felt like a crumbled up piece of paper next to a lamented certificate.
"I'll be home later, mother," William said. Victoria reached out to grab his arm before he could rush out the door.
"You'll be safe?" she demanded.
"Of course," William replied. Victoria gave a satisfied nod, shot Oz one last thoughtful look, before walking away.
They stepped outside and headed for the van in silence. Oz pulled out the keys, dropped them twice, and finally managed to get inside the van to start it up. It failed the first time, but roared to life at the second try.
"So," William started, darting nervous looks over at Oz, "where are we going?"
"I figured: movie equals safe bet," Oz stated. He cleared his throat and actually launched into what could be considered babbling, for him. "Do you want to see a regular movie or a foreign film? Because they finally opened that foreign theater and are showing subtitled French and Russian films right now and you like artsy kinds of things..."
"I do believe that's the most you've said at once that I can recall," William commented, before smiling. "I-I have been wanting to see Belle Toujours, which I think they're playing now."
"French movie it is," Oz nodded, turning on his turn signal.
At the movie theater, Oz nearly dropped the popcorn, but William snatched it up before it could fall to the floor. Then, Oz proceeded to attempt to watch a film in French. He was bored after about ten minutes and spent the rest of his time watching William watch the movie.
William had a look of rapt attention on his face, eyes wide behind his glasses as he watched the movie, quickly glancing down to read the subtitles. His lips moved as he read and Oz wanted nothing more than to lean over and kiss him. But he didn't want interrupt the movie for William. So he simply sat back and watched, enjoying the sight.
When the movie was over, Oz followed William out of the theater. They reached the van, but before Oz walked around to the driver's side, William touched his arm. Oz stopped all movement and looked up at him.
"I'm sorry I made you watch a boring film," William said, frowning slightly.
"I enjoyed it," Oz insisted, though he kept his tone soft.
"You weren't even watching it, Oz," William retorted in exasperation.
"Well, okay, no," Oz admitted, shifting from foot to foot. "I was watching you."
"Why?" William seemed truly baffled by the concept of Oz finding more joy in watching him than the riveting world of French filmmaking. Oz took a step closer to William, looking up into his confused face.
"Because you're cute when you think," Oz informed him. Then he leaned forward and lightly brushed his lips against William's, withdrawing before William could actually react.
"Oh." William gulped and Oz gave a small smile in return.