Rupert Giles lay in his bed thinking about what had happened the night before. It had come as a shock and a surprise, but in the end it had been one of the greatest nights of his life. He only wished he could say the same about this morning. It had started shortly after eight o'clock the previous evening, when he heard a knock at his door. He opened it to find a haggard and slightly disheveled looking Willow Rosenberg standing outside. “Willow,” he greeted her, “What's wrong?”
“Can I come in?” she asked softly. It looked like every last bit of energy and light had been stolen from her lovely face, and Giles' heart went out to her.
“Of course,” he said as he let her in and closed the door behind her. Willow walked in, made her way to the couch, and sat down. Giles joined her, wanting to see what had troubled her.
“What happened Willow,” Giles gently prodded after he sat down. She sniffled a little before she answered.
“Tara,” she admitted. “We had a huge fight tonight,” she explained. Giles gave Willow a curious look.
“What about?” he inquired. Willow's admission had piqued his interest, and he wanted to know what had hurt her so badly.
“She's been lying to me,” Willow declared. “This whole time she lied to me, about who she is,” she finished. “She's half demon, Giles, and she never bothered to tell me until tonight. Tara thought it would scare me to know that about her, but I dated a werewolf, for God's sake,” she cried and then began to sob.
“Oh, Willow,” Giles said soothingly as she placed her head on his shoulder. He soon began to stroke her fine red hair in an effort to comfort her. She continued to sob for a few more moments until she was able to calm herself.
“Why couldn't she tell me, Giles? Am I such a horrible person that she'd think I'd drop her over a thing like that?”
“Only Tara can answer that question, Willow,” Giles pointed out. “Perhaps she's never been in a relationship with a human before,” he suggested. Willow looked up at him.
“Don't try to defend her right now, Giles. I'm too upset to even think about why she did it.” Giles once again stroked her hair and she eased back into his embrace.
“Sorry,” he whispered. “I'm only trying to help.” She looked back up and gave him a wane smile.
“Why do you think I came to you in the first place,” she told him and turned back to where she had been before.
“Why did you come here, Willow?” he wondered aloud. “I would have thought you would go to Buffy or Xander,” he admitted. Willow shifter her weight a little before she answered.
“Because right now they're both too busy with their own lives to care. I couldn't say the same about you,” she finished. His heart soared at the simple sentiment. That Willow would turn to him at a moment like this meant more to him than he could ever have said. They sat together in silence for some time, just in a quiet reflection before Willow spoke again. “Why does this always happen to me? Can't there ever be any happy endings?”
“If I could give them to you Willow, you would always have the happiest of endings,” he whispered. For the first time that evening, Willow genuinely smiled. Giles was just glad he could give her some small amount of comfort.
“Thank you,” she said softly. “That means a lot to me.”
“It's the least I could do for you, Willow,” Giles told her. “I only wish I could do more.” She turned to face him with a serious look in her eyes.
“How much more?” she questioned. Giles was taken aback by it, but he still answered her.
“Whatever it takes,” he declared gently. She slowly leaned in and caught his mouth in a kiss. It startled him at first, but he soon found himself returning the kiss in kind. After they broke from the kiss, Willow reached up and removed the glasses from Giles' face and placed them on the table beside her, then reached over and placed her hand along his face. “Whatever it takes,” he repeated before Willow kissed him again.
He awoke the next morning to find Willow already up and getting dressed. As soon as he stirred, she turned her attention to him.
“Good morning,” she told him as she smiled and he smiled back.
“Indeed,” he told her. She walked over to the bed and sat down next to him. “Do you have to go so soon?” he asked her. Willow nodded as the look on her face changed.
“Tara's probably looking for me by now,” she explained with a touch of sadness. The look on Willow's face spoke volumes to Giles.
“You're going to go back to her, aren't you?” It was more a statement than a question, and Giles was sure he already knew the answer. He dreaded hearing her answer the inevitable, but he would be fooling himself to think that he didn't need to hear her say it.
“Yes,” she said quietly and Giles' heart fell. “I love her,” Willow explained gently as she placed her hand on his cheek, which he promptly brushed aside. “Giles…”
“You don't need to say another word, Willow,” he bit out harshly. “I think it's all very clear.” Giles cringed at the hurt look on her face, but he couldn't take back what he had said. She silently gathered the last of her things and headed for the stairs. Before she left, however, she turned to face him one more time, a single tear slowly falling down her face.
“Please believe me when I say that last night with you was something I had wanted for a long time. But I can't lie to myself and say that I don't love Tara. That wouldn't be fair to any of us. I never meant to hurt you.” With that Willow rushed out of the apartment, leaving Giles stunned. They had spent one night, one almost magical night, together, and it was almost as if it had never happened.
Giles was sure Willow hadn't meant to hurt him, and he knew that she had told him the truth as she left, but he was alone once again, and Willow would soon be with Tara. Giles was sure that whatever problems they had would soon be worked out and he would be little more than a dim memory for her. He also knew that it would not be the same for him. For the first time in some years, he felt like crying.
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