Title: Sounding Brass
Author: Gabrielle
Pairing: Giles/Willow
Rating: 12
Sin: Pride
Summary: *Early Season Two* Pride goeth before destruction.
Word Count: 263
Feedback: Please.
Distribution: My LJ, Hairy Eyeball, and my site only.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. It all belongs to Joss and a bunch of other people who are not now and have never been me.
Author's Notes: This is Part Two of my Seven Deadly Ficathon and was written for oreadno1, who selected Willow/Giles and pride.

Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.

And he had been proud hadn't he? His training and experience…his whole life until now making him confident in his restraint and disinterest. No amount of blonde hair tossed back over barely-covered shoulders and lean, sun-bronzed limbs exposed beneath short, tight spandex had tempted him, after all.

But he has fallen – oh yes, he has. The victim of eyes as wide as the world and a mind too full and wise for one so innocent.

‘She's a child', he reminds himself, but the words ring hollow as sounding brass, and the echo that remains is what he imagines Willow's cries would sound like in his ears as he takes her at night – perhaps in the library, or maybe after luring her back to his flat on some pretext she'd pretend to believe to hide her own eagerness. That last, of course, is the biggest lie of all, oh haughty spirit. Because that large and worthy heart of hers doesn't belong to him, but to some callow, worthless boy who spurns it for reasons Giles can't begin to understand.

Every day he holds his pride close and nurses each new wound.

It might be just as well. For all that he barely listens, he knows the words are true and that she is a child; a child in whom he has no right to any interest save that of a father or an uncle or a mentor.

The knowledge doesn't help, however.

Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.

The End

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