Author: M. Jade
Summary: Willow thinks about how her life may have been as she watches Giles sing
Feedback: I'd be ever so grateful
Spoilers: Say up to “All the Way”
Disclaimer: These characters are so not mine, period
Distribution: My site, Strange Brew, ff.n, Bite Me… Please?, Willow's Lil' Secret, the UCSL Archive, any one else please ask for permission
Notes: Takes place during S6, after Giles returns and before the musical
More Notes: Willow's POV
He's up there, now, beginning a new set. All British and sexy. The Expresso Pump has a good crowd tonight, and Giles doesn't know I'm here. He doesn't realize that any of us know he started singing here again after he came back. I'm not sure he'd want me here, but I needed to get out of the house tonight. Tara's at her study group, Dawn's staying at a friends house, and Buffy's out slaying, as usual, so I came here, and there's Giles, on the stage. I… I knew he would be. Tara and I came here one night, and the manager was so happy they'd gotten one of their more popular performers back. When he gushed about British accents and acoustic rock, we both knew who he was talking about. I couldn't blame him. Seeing Giles on stage … it's… it's like he belongs there, and his voice is so… well, all I can say is that it's very sexy. Oh, yeah. Not that I'd admit it in, oh, say, public… but it's true.
He's up there singing “Layla” now. I don't know when he started singing that one, but it's good. He's definitely got the sweet, mellow-y version down. I wonder if Giles would have tried to be a musician if he had not been a Watcher. I know he enjoys singing, you can see it in his face, and he's good. He probably could have been a musician if he wanted to. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm not grateful he became a Watcher, but I wonder about how different things could have been for all of us. I have to wonder about a lot of things.
I know he's angry and disappointed in me. After he came back… he was clearly pissed at what I'd done. He called me a rank amateur, and I know he meant it. Is this he of the level head I ask you? He was mad that I had brought Buffy back without his permission, but I had to damn it. I… I couldn't leave Buffy alone in some hell. I couldn't do that. I didn't tell Giles because… he would've stopped me. He would've sat me down, like some child, and slapped my hand and told me I was wrong, been all stern and parent-y, but I wasn't wrong. We have Buffy back, and I know he's happy to see his Slayer again, no matter how pissed he gets at me for doing it. But the look on Giles' face when he looks at me now… he doesn't want to say it, but he's still mad. At me. I can see it in his eyes. He has that ‘I told you so' look. He thinks I've made a horrible mistake, that I'm lucky I didn't screw it up and… I … I don't want to think of what could've happened, what may have gone wrong. I succeeded, damn it! He focuses on what may have happened, not on what did happen. We have Buffy back, our Slayer. Our friend. But he still gives me that look. That stern, judgmental, Giles-y, British look I thought he only reserved for Xander or Buffy when they really messed up. You know, like Valentine's Day love spell messed up, not we did what we had to do and didn't tell you messed up.
I had almost expected it. I knew Giles would be a little upset, I expected that, but I thought he'd get over it. He'd be all happy he has his Buffy back, la la la la la, and he'd forget being mad at me for doing the spell. I was wrong. The look… it's still there, and it still hurts as much now as it did when he walked into the Magic Box for the first time after getting back and glanced over at me. I knew it then. He was glad to see Buffy, and trying to get back into Watcher mode again, but when he looked at me… I could feel it. But I wasn't wrong to bring Buffy back. I did what I had to do, but Mr. I Know Everything About Magic sees it differently.
There was a time when Giles would never have looked at me that way. There was a time when things were very different between us. It seems like so long ago, but there was a time when I could have seen myself with him, like all romantic and couple-y. I used to sit in class a imagine what it'd be like to kiss the librarian… and more. You know, the kinda stuff that used to make me get blush-y and embarrassed. Sometimes I used to think that he may even feel the same way about me.
After Oz left Sunnydale the first time, I… I didn't know if I'd ever get over it. It was so hard seeing him go… but then I'd look into Giles' eyes, and I knew it was all right. He would be all concerned and protective, and it was flattering to think that he may be interested in me. Then we'd fight and I'd be so pissed at him, I didn't know if I wanted to slap him or kiss him or… possibly both. I'll never forget that Thanksgiving at Ft. Giles, and that intense fight we had. Looking back, it may have ended very differently. What if I had acted on my feelings? What if I hadn't been so scared and unsure of myself? What if I had just shut up and kissed the librarian? We could be together now, Giles and me.
I… I could be his girlfriend, or his lover… I used to daydream about what it would be like to make love to him. I'd imagine he'd be all slow, and gentle, and passionate. Of course, your fantasies always become exactly what you want at the time. No reality there. I'd imagine kissing him, and everything would be better. I'd forget about Oz and how he hurt me, I'd forget that I…I was mousy little Willow. God, I was so naïve. It's not it matters now, though. After I met Tara, I knew she was the one for me, and I love her, hello, gay now, and Giles was my friend, but sometimes I think about what may have been. So now I'm alone in a coffee shop, watching a man who used to be my friend and may once have been my boyfriend, and knowing that now he seems like neither. It's like the whole Xander, post clothes fluke thing. It's the wacky.
The weird thing is I think we could have made it work. It may not have been everything I had dreamed of, but I think it could have happened. If I hadn't met Tara, I could be with Giles now, moon-y eyes and all. I had my chance, and I could have taken it. But if I were with him… I couldn't keep secrets from him. It was so hard for me not to tell him about bringing Buffy back as his friend, if we … I don't think I would have kept it from him. Not then. And he would've done his best to convince me that I was wrong, and we would've have fought about it… and I don't know if I could have been strong enough to do it behind his back if that happened. If he would have known, even as my friend, I may have changed my mind. That's why I couldn't tell him. I couldn't do it if he had known about the spell to bring Buffy back and told me he was against it. He trusted me, and… I…I couldn't go back on that. Not with Giles.
Now everything is different. He stopped trusting me the moment he found out I had done it and he was sure it was real. I had done the one thing he thought I'd never do, and so know I get The Look. The disappointment, the anger, the sadness, the arrogant Britishiness. I'm not sure I ever thought he could look at me that way. I certainly never thought that it would hurt like this. It hurts to know he thinks I was wrong, and I don't know how to fix it. We were such good friends, and I want to be his friend, I… I want him to believe in me. I didn't know how much I needed him to just… believe in me. I want so badly to make it right, for him to be my friend again, but how can I? I can't take back what I've done, and I don't think I can ever convince him it was the right thing to do. British synonymous with stubborn here. Everything between us is ruin-y, and I…I don't know how to make it better.
Even tough I gave up any fantasy I may have had about being the librarian's girlfriend when I met Tara, I still want to have Giles in my life. He was my friend and he trusted me and I trusted him and I thought it would always be that way. He's almost done with his set now, and I don't think he's seen me yet… oh, wow. He looks great up there, and his voice… it's totally meltdown time. Okay, maybe I haven't given up… every fantasy. He ends the song as the room breaks into applause, and I can't help but smile and join in. Giles takes his bow and scans the crowd… and meets my eyes. His smile drops just slightly, but he quickly recovers and smiles back at me for the first time in a long time. After the applause dies down, he makes his way over to my table and joins me.
“Willow,” he greets me casually. “I didn't expect to see you here.” For a moment, he looks at me and it seems like old times. It's the first time he hasn't looked at me with The Look since he came back, and I smile. Maybe things can never be the same, but we may be able to come close.
“Just call me fan girl.” Giles gives a short laugh, and the lookage if finally becoming brighter, almost the same as it was before. Perhaps fan girl should show up more often.
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