Part Six

Several days went by. As far as Buffy and Xander were concerned, Willow and Giles were behaving as usual. Nothing was wrong or strange or disturbing. They didn't comment on the fact that Willow always called Giles by his first name now. They didn't seem to think it was odd that every time Willow and Giles got near each other, they had to be touching. Holding hands. Walking arm in arm. Leaning on each other.

Buffy thought it was kind of sweet if a bit old-fashioned. In fact, she was rather glad to see Giles distracted. When he concentrated on Willow, he wasn't after her to train more or read more or study more or patrol more. And since Faith had finally returned from wherever to share Slayer duties, she felt she could take a little easy.

Xander, if he thought of it at all, figured it made sense the two bookish people would get together. He thought their courting was taking forever. After all, he and Cordelia had been in the closet almost from the beginning but thought that Willow and Giles had barely gotten beyond shy little kisses. He thought this was due to Giles being "you know, old".

But neither Buffy nor Xander could keep in their heads any thought of Willow's and Giles' new relationship when not actually in their presence. And very few other people ever saw the new couple.

Faith had noticed that Giles seemed to hover around Willow the one time they were out hunting and fighting in a group, but since Willow had nearly been attacked the previous night by the very vamps they were hunting, she put it down to Giles' being over-protective. The only time she was in library while Willow was there, Faith was working out with Giles who had to focus strongly on not getting his butt kicked.

Oz thought it kind of strange that the couple of times he had lunch with the Scooby Gang, Giles was always there and sitting next to Willow. But Xander and Buffy didn't act like anything was different. Although, he could have sworn that Willow and Giles had been playing footsies once. But some fight broke out near by just about then and when he looked back, Giles was standing up to go over and break it up. And Willow seemed so calm and smiled at him sweetly. He didn't think she could have been so brazen anyway - Willow had always struck him as quite reserved. So, he dismissed it as one too many late nights playing at the Bronze.

Cordelia who may, or may not, have noticed some odd behavior on the part of the redhead and the Watcher, was too involved in the crisis of the week with the cheerleaders. Devina, one of the bottom anchors of the pyramid was out sick and her replacement, Nuria, wasn't strong enough to hold the weight. Xander became heartily sick of hearing the trials and tribulations that ensued in trying rearrange the pyramid.

Angel, well Angel still wasn't sure the others were comfortable around him, particularly Giles, so he was never around to see anything to give him pause.

- - - - -

Giles had been bewildered when he was called into Snyder's office and given a talk about appropriate behavior of a teacher with students. But as he was leaving, he noticed that another teacher was waiting to go in. So Giles decided that it was some bureaucratic rule that the school board wanted all the teachers to be aware of. Other than thinking it inefficient of Snyder to have this talk one at a time, he also thought it likely some teachers might misunderstand and think Snyder was talking to them specifically. That couldn't be true in his case, he thought, because he always behaved with perfect propriety. 'Better manners than most of these barbaric Americans,' he thought smugly as he entered the library and spotted Willow sitting on the couch by the library table, studying.

Giles went into his office briefly, to put down his things. As he came out, he heard Xander coming in crying, "Sanctuary. Sanctuary."

"What is it?" asked Willow sounding amused.

"If I have to hear one more time about who's going to be in the second tier and who's going to be in the first tier – I think I'd have to kill myself. I cannot believe that I, Xander Harris, am going to say this, but if I ever have to look at or more precisely hear another cheerleader again - it's gonna get postal."

Xander slumped into a chair at the library table and put his head in his hands. Giles smiled slightly and settled in next to Willow on the couch. He pulled her close to him. "What are you reading?" he asked.

"Rhinoceros," she replied.

Before Giles could comment, Xander looked up and said, "You're a little old for animal books, don't you think Willow?"

Willow and Giles both laughed. "What's so funny?" asked Buffy as she also came up to the library table. She dropped her weapons bag on the table and sat down next to Xander, with a sigh. No one noticed that this was the first time they had been in the library together near the table since the previous incident.

"Xander just asked what I was reading and when I said 'Rhinoceros' he thought it was a children's book. Sorry, Xander," Willow said, trying not to laugh some more. "We don't mean to laugh at you. It's just that this is an play by Eugene Ionesco."

"And," chimed in Giles, "anything less like a children's book - you would be hard to find. In fact, I'm rather impressed you're reading him." Giles looked at Willow approvingly.

"Oh, I love the absurdist movement. It's, um, so absurd." She and Giles shared another private laugh.

"O-kay," said Buffy, shrugging her shoulders at the two and turning to Xander, "and over here in my so-called life, can I tell you what a terrible day I've had?" Buffy launched into her monologue to Xander about her day. Xander gave in to his apparent fate of having beautiful women seek him out just to complain to him about their lives, and settled himself more comfortably in the chair.

- - - - - - -

On the couch, as their amusement faded companionably, Giles and Willow looked deeply into each other eyes. For them both, it was if the world simply faded away and all that remained was each other. Willow settled back more comfortably against Giles and closed her eyes.

Giles curled his left hand around Willow so that his hand was on her stomach. Using his right hand, he gently turned her head towards his and bent to butterfly a kiss across her lips. Small, little touches. First her lips, then her cheek, then her lips again. Her chin, her nose and back to her lips. Her lips curved in a small smile while her eyes remained closed. She tilted her head up a little more to his. Seeing that, Giles chuckled internally.

Willow adored all these sensations Giles was provoking in her. The feel of his hand against her middle; the softness of his lips on her skin; the heat of his chest against her back. She was glad that Giles was wearing the lightweight silk suit she had gently hinted and Buffy had nagged Giles into getting. But her thoughts went flying when she felt the vibration of his laugh reverberate through her slight frame.

Her lips parted a little, and Giles wasn't about to pass up that invitation. He brought his lips back to hers and flicked his tongue at the corner of her mouth. His right hand began making lazy circles on her stomach, which she felt through the fabric of her skirt. She wiggled slightly at the touch. This caused Giles to deepen the kiss. He lightly brushed his tongue against her lips, which parted to receive it. He made little, lightening touches to her tongue and the roof of her mouth, causing Willow to make a small sound. Giles pulled back a bit to allow Willow shyly reciprocate with her own tongue.

At the feel of Willow's tongue in his mouth, Giles shifted her closer to him and probed more deeply in the honey-like cavity of Willow's mouth. While their mouths were engaged with exploring each other, Giles had moved his left hand slowly down the column of Willow's throat. Stroking, caressing, exploring this new, exciting country. Willow's hand sought his arm as his hand drifted down over her breast. She clutched at his sleeve and arched her back. Needing to breathe, she turned her head away, allowing Giles to explore her neck and ear with his lips and tongue.

- - - - - - -

Continuing in her complaints to the less-than enthralled Xander, Buffy opened up her bag and pulled out several of the bolts needed for her smallest crossbow. Xander picked one up and then the knife she pulled out next and began shaping the sharp end. He occasionally glanced at the couple on the couch, but his attention was as much on Buffy as on them. Buffy also began sharpening, paying no more attention to Giles and Willow's actions than she did to Xander's grimaces at her lamentation.

- - - - - - -

Giles wanted more. He brought his hand from her chest to her waist. Pulling out her shirt, he slipped his hand under the cloth and maneuvered back to her breast. He pushed her bra out of the way and cupped her breast fully with his hand.

Willow felt at once electrified and boneless. While she could, and did, continue to clutch his sleeve with one hand and her skirt with the other, she wasn't sure she could voluntarily move any other part of her body. Breathing was becoming an issue as short, sharp pants made their way out of her body. His touch, like a tuning fork, vibrated its lyrical tones through flesh and bone, stirring her blood. And when Giles began caressing, shaping, molding her feminine flesh, she couldn't stop the shudders that began flow through her body.

Giles thought that he had never felt a more perfectly formed breast. It was magnificent. And Willow was so responsive. At the barest brush of his fingertips over her nipple, it hardened into a little bud. He rolled it between his fingers and felt the moan Willow didn't have the ability to vocalize. He moved from left to right and back again, relishing her. And yet, still he wanted more.

Giles paused briefly to look at this amazing person in his arms. It was true that he had this ingrained image of her - as a determined yet whimsical child. But this was no child in his arms. This was a woman, quivering with sensual promise - calling to him with innocent enticement. He could not resist that call.

His left hand now sought the waistband of her skirt and slipped beneath it. He tracked his way down across the small, soft rise of her belly and pushed past the elastic of her panties. For a few brief moments, his hand paused, fingers willingly tangling in her small, damp curls.

Willow was far beyond rational thought and into that place of pure, primal, physical sensation. She could not tell where she left off and Giles began. And when his fingers found their way between her cleft, she bucked at the exquisite torture he was putting her to. Giles held her to him firmly, murmuring endearments in her ear. Her breath was nothing more than small hisses; she was unable to actually make a sound.

- - - - - - -

Buffy had slowly wound down in her monologue. She and Xander continued to companionably make weapons for her patrols. They both found their attention languidly drifting over to Willow and Giles. Buffy had no particular thoughts in her head, that she was later recall. Nor did Xander. They were neither captivated nor repelled by the scene in front of them. It was, as Xander was going to later say, just something to watch while they finished sharpening the bolts.

- - - - - - -

The heat and wetness of her bathed his fingers. He parted her inner lips and circled the nub of her sex. Willow twitched again. Her whole body was shaking uncontrollably. He whispered over and over again, "I've got you. It's all right. It's all right. Let go. Let go." He continued to massage and manipulate her clitoris and finally Willow came in an explosive orgasm. She shuddered and shook and finally stilled, her head lolling back on Giles' shoulder.

He took a deep breath and removed his fingers. He lifted them to his mouth and licked them clean. 'Ahh, what nectar,' he thought. He removed his hand from under her shirt and straightened her clothes. He cradled her into his lap, stroking her cheek with affection.

"It's all right, love," he said. "It's all right." He smiled with tenderness, exultant in her response to him. "What did become of my heart when I first saw thee," he quoted softly as Willow slowly regained consciousness. She slowly opened her eyes to a new world. And there was Giles, who had taken her into it. She didn't blush, or look shyly away. She smiled a radiant smile and lifted her to caress his cheek. "Thank you, Rupert," she said softly. He captured her hand in his and turned to press a kiss on her palm. She lay her head back upon his shoulder and settled in comfortably.

- - - - - -

Xander put his fifth bolt on the table, next to Buffy's sixteen and broke the peaceful silence. "Is anyone was planning to Bronze it tonight? I hear Sprung Monkey is on the bill."

"That sounds nice," said Buffy. "Maybe I can stop there for a bit before going out on patrol." This last was said hopefully to Giles. He lifted his head and gave Buffy a wry look.

"Yes, I suppose," he said. "But you AND Faith need to arrange the coverage. Perhaps she can go first round and then you the second. That should give you until 10, before you need to start."

"Ten?" whined the Slayer. "The band's first set doesn't even usually start until 9 or 9:30. I won't get to hear hardly anything."

"Now Buffy," started the Watcher, only to be interrupted by Willow. "Rupert, let me check the morgue site. If no new vamps are scheduled to pop-up, can't you let her off a little?"

"Yeah, Giles," interjected Xander. "Don't be such a party-pooper. How am I gonna get any dance floor time with the Buffster if you don't let her off the leash more often?"

Giles glared at Xander and Buffy muttered, "Don't help me, Xander."

The doors to the library swung open and Cordelia came in. "I should have know you'd be here. Didn't you say that after practice, you'd meet me...," Cordelia's words trailed off as she took in the sight of Giles sitting on the couch, with a slightly mussed looking Willow in his arms. The four of them over at her inquiringly.

"What? Did something happen? Is Willow okay? Are things trying to kill us again?" Cordelia questioned as she came up to the table.

"No," said Xander. "Everything's cool. Sorry about forgetting, hem, hem. Well, let's just say I'm sorry and leave it at that. Not sure why I forgot about, uh, well forgot. On the upside," he held up his sixth halfway-sharpened bolt, "we did get some stuff done."

"Yeah," chirped Buffy, pointing to her 16. "Some of us got more done that others."

"Can I help it if I don't have Sla..."

"Excuse me," said Cordelia sharply, "If you'd come out of the land of the handy for a minute, would you mind explaining that!" She pointed to Willow and Giles.

"Explain what?" asked Willow who looked at the couch and herself and Giles, trying to figure out what Cordelia was talking about.

"Yes, what's the problem?" added Giles. The other two looked at the couch and back at Cordelia with a questioning look.

"That, that! Willow is sitting in Giles' lap."

"Yeah?" said Xander with a bewildered look on his face.

"Is this another Hellmouth thing!?" cried Cordelia as she dropped her books onto the table, accompanied by the sound of the sharp cracks of the breaking bolts.

Once again, there was a small pause at the library table. Then suddenly Willow sat bolt upright and uttered a small "eep". She scrambled to the end of the couch and buried her face in her hands, head turned into the backrest. Small whimpers could be barely heard coming from her.

Giles sat there unable to move, both because he was stunned, to say the least, and because he still had an erection.

Xander and Buffy both leaped back from the table again. This time it was Xander who went tumbling back in the chair from which he scrabbled back as fast as he could until he fetched up against the walls of the cage. He covered his eyes with his hands and started moaning, "No, no, no. I did not see that. I did NOT see that."

Buffy was quivering in place, "Ngah, ngah," she took a deep breathe and was finally able to vocalize. "Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god."

Cordelia looked around at the four of them and said, "Okay then, it is some Hellmouthy thing. I thought so." She looked smug.

Part Seven

Bang! Bang! BANG!

"I'm coming. I'm coming," muttered Angel as he went to his door. The pounding just kept getting louder. He opened the door, and Buffy nearly fell in his arms. Angel got very concerned real fast. "Are you all right?" He looked out the door to see what danger lurked.

Buffy grabbed him and hugged him hard. "Mgm meks mmphp," she said into his chest. "What?" She lifted her head and stepped back.

"I'm fine. At least, I'm physically fine. I can't say everything's fine because everything is most definitely NOT fine, but it's not 'life or death' not fine." Buffy turned and walked into living room talking the whole time with Angel trailing behind her, bewildered. "I'm supposed to tell you what's been happening this last week, like THAT's an easy task, but then it's not like the others have it any easier, we all have to tell someone. Giles thinks we have to, not that HIS judgment is much to go by these days, but we have to go by something, and Giles may be all we have, and I KNOW that Willow is probably going to have the worst time of if, but it isn't going to be easy for me either, and I think I'm going to explode, and I just don't know where to start."

"Okay," Angel said tentatively. "Start at the beginning." Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and kept pacing.

"All right where to start, where to start?" As Angel opened his mouth, Buffy continued, "I know, start at the beginning, right, the beginning, like I even know what the beginning was, I can't tell any more what's normal and what's not. I mean, I know what happened today - NOT NORMAL - but some of the other stuff, well, it all gets jumbled in my mind and Giles said that we had to tell quickly in case we forget again and so we could get help - and you can tell how desperate this is because Giles sent me to YOU and you know he still has problems with you," Angel winced, "but we all had to tell someone, I got you; Xander had to tell Cordy but I think she already guessed some of it; Willow had to tell Oz - man I can guess what kind of a conversation THAT's gonna be; and Giles is, wow, I don't know who Giles is going to tell, can't be Faith, that's no good, she wouldn't help, she'd only make it worse - ha she'd probably urge him to do it - but he can't tell the Council, please God, not the Council," and swinging to face Angel at last, she pleaded, "It wouldn't be the Council, would it?"

"Buffy," said Angel, taking her by the arms and walking her to a chair. "Sit down and tell me what the hell you are talking about. I got that you are supposed to tell me something and that it's important but that's all. I've never heard you talk like this. You're scaring me." He sat her down in the chair and took her hands in his, "You can tell me. It's all right."

Buffy looked at him and sighed. "It isn't all right, really. But it's not a scary not all right. I think I understand why Willow just sort of rambles sometimes; it's because she's embarrassed." She took another deep breath and slowly removed her hands from his. "I have to tell you something, and it's hard for me to say. I don't think I can really look at you when I say it." She got up and paced more slowly. "Something strange has been going on. Xander says that's our school motto, you know."

"Sounds like him," interjected Angel. Buffy threw him a little smile over her shoulder.

"Okay, here goes." And Buffy began to tell Angel of the incidents with Giles and Willow. She rambled, she hesitated, she stammered and she blushed, but she got it all out. She spoke of the day Giles touched Willow's hair; the day Buffy caught them cuddling in the stacks; the times they walked hand in hand. She spoke of every incident she could remember, big and small, and she ended with what had happened that day.

- - - - -

"Okay, and the reason you're telling me all this yucky stuff again," asked Cordelia.

"So that you can help us," answered Xander resignedly. "We keep forgetting that it shouldn't be happening. You're here in school with us. You have to remind us."

"Like I did today when I pointed out how weird it was for Willow to be sitting in Giles' lap.

"Right, like today. When you..."

Cordelia interrupted, "You know, I still can't get over what you say they were doing before I walked in. That is just too twisted to be doing in front of other people. Although I must say, it's even more twisted that you watched." Cordelia eyed Xander speculatively.

"Giles thinks that's part of what's going on. Remember? It's not twisted if we're under some Hellmouth-type influence."

Cordelia just sat there for a minute looking at him. "What?" exclaimed Xander.

"I'm still having a hard time imaging Willow doing that."

"I wish I could be back to imaging that." At Cordelia's indignant look, he explained, "No I mean I wish I didn't have the actual image stuck in my brain. It may have been no big when I was watching it but remembering it is giving me the major wiggins. When I think of the times I walked into this library to find them kissing on the couch or snuggling in his office, and then today..." he shuddered. "I have seen things that my tender mind should not have to be deal with."

"Oh, don't worry. You'll probably forget it all by tomorrow."



"Don't comfort me."

- - - - -

"I don't know how much help I can be, Willow," said Oz. "We don’t have any classes together so I don’t see you that much. And I'm not sure I'm getting what the real problem is."

"I know. I know," Willow said in a small voice. She was seated in the back room of the Bronze with Oz while the band was on break. She had tried to tell him what was going on as Giles had suggested, but it was just too impossibly difficult to do. She could barely articulate to herself the sequence of events; how was she supposed to tell Oz - a boy! And a boy who she had turned down because of her feelings for Giles – even if she didn’t tell him that was the reason why?

"I know I'm not being very specific. This is really hard for me."

"I'm here for you, babe."

Willow bowed her head even further and let her hair cover her face. "Giles and I have been getting," here she sighed and her voice sank further, "physical with one another."

Oz stiffened.

"But we don’t know why. We hold hands, we always sit next to each other, and stuff like that." Willow knew she was being a coward and probably making everything worse but she just COULD NOT get more detailed with Oz.

"Buffy and Xander see us but they don't care. I mean, they don't know that we're acting any different. Today, today I was, s-s-s-sitting in Giles' lap and none of us thought it was strange until Cordelia came in and yelled at us."

"Sitting in his lap?" Oz had relaxed slightly at the beginning of Willow's description of "physical" but got tense again at the mention of lap sitting.

"Yes, it seemed so natural. All of it seemed so natural," Willow said the last mostly to herself. "But when Cordelia made a loud noise, it snapped us out of it. We knew something was wrong, and we could remember all the other times when we had acted 'not normal'."

Oz nodded for Willow to go on but she didn't raise her head far enough to see it.

"Giles made us all leave and then sent us notes through Cordelia instructing us to tell the people we could trust what was going on. Both to help us figure it out and to help us make it not happen again. Oh, Oz," Willow looked up, very distressed. "Giles said that he realizes now that Snyder's talk to him about student/teacher relations WAS for him specifically - talking about how we're acting. He could get fired!"

"Yeah, I can see it. You two are a little more buddy-buddy in public than is kosher for a student and a teacher."

"Ozzzz!" Willow wailed. "I don’t want to get Giles fired. You have to help!"

"No problem. After the gig, I'll go see what Giles needs me to do."

"Thank you, Oz. You're the best," Willow looked up at him and smiled gratefully.

- - - - -

Knock. Knock.

"I'm coming," called Angel as he went to his door. He opened it to see Oz standing there.



"Giles send you?"


Angel stood back as Oz entered the mansion. They walked into the living room. Angel pointed to a stack of books.

"Can you help with these?"


Angel nodded and picked up a book to start looking for something that would explain what was going on.

Part Eight




"Hello. Angel?"

"No, Buffy. It’s Willow."

"Oh. Hi, Willow. Um, how are you doing?"

"Not so good. Oh, Buffy, this is all my fault," Willow wailed.

"Your fault? How can this be your fault? You didn’t do some sort of spell that backfired or something did you?"

"No. No spell. But it’s still... It's all... Why did I... oh I can’t talk about this! Never mind, I didn’t mean to call you..." Click.

Buffy stared at the phone. "Yeah, right. Like that’s gonna work." She grabbed her bag and headed out the door.

- - - - -

Willow heard a knock at her French windows. She had a feeling she knew who it was and ignoring the knock wouldn’t help.

"Willow," came a penetrating whisper. "I know you’re in there. Open up before I kick these doors in."

She sighed as her suspicion was borne out. ‘Buffy,’ she thought to herself as she went resignedly over to open the doors. ‘I knew I shouldn’t have made that call.’

Buffy slipped through before Willow had even got them partly open. "Parents?"

"Out of town."

"Right," Buffy plopped herself down on the end of Willow’s bed. "Spill. Why do you think you’re at fault here? If you didn’t do a spell or something, how can this be your fault?"

Willow bit her lip and clasped her hands together very tightly. "Buffy," she whispered. "I shouldn’t have called you, can’t you just drop it?"

"No," said Buffy. She looked at the frightened young girl in front of her. "Willow, you’ve listened to all my most intimate thoughts and fears. You’ve been my best friend. Let me be here for you. Please. I know you're embarrassed..."

"Embarrassed? After today? Oh, Buffy, I'm so far beyond embarrassed I can't see it any more. But this, it isn't embarrassing, it's just, ohhhh," Willow half-sobbed. "I can’t... I mean..." she took a deep breath. "I know you want to help me. I appreciate that. And, obviously, I want to talk, or I wouldn’t have called you. But I just don’t know." She took a quick glance at Buffy and then looked back down at her hands. "I just think you’re going to think I’m terrible or creepy or perverted."

"Willow," said Buffy gently, "I don’t think I could ever think that about you. I can’t promise to be Miss Reasonable, you know me too well not to know I shoot off my mouth before I think sometimes," she shot a wry look at Willow who smiled briefly, "but I’ll do my best. Sit down and tell me. Or pace and tell me. But just tell me."

Willow took another deep breath and walked over and sat down by the head of her bed. "All right." She paused to gather her thoughts. "I think, maybe I wished too hard."

"What?" asked Buffy.

"Okay, I know you’re going to find this eww, but I like Giles."

"I like Giles, too, Willow. Stuffy though he can be at times."

"No," said emphatically. "I *like* Giles. You know, like that," and she made a sort of sideways gesture with her head. Buffy looked at her quizzically and shook her head slightly. Willow’s shoulders slumped a little. She looked down at her hands, which had interlocked again, without her noticing and she said, very rapidly, "I like him the way he’s been these last weeks. I like him touching me. I like him kissing me. And what he did today - that's the best thing that every happened to me! Minus the you two watching part, of course. I like him like *that*. I’ve always liked him like that. I thought at first it was a crush on ‘the cute, older guy’ but it’s more than that. But I never figured he’d ever look at me as anything other than this kid so I hid it."

Buffy looked stunned at this spate of words. Once she realized what they meant, her eyes got very large and she started to recoil from Willow. But she clamped down on that reaction and tried very hard to look supportive and open without showing that inside she was, indeed, going ‘ewwww’.

Willow had continued speaking, "I know you thought I had this thing for Xander, and to a certain extent I did. He’d been my best friend for so long and he was the first boy I ever had girly feelings for, I admit that," she ducked her head even more, "But, I kind of used those feelings to hide what I felt for Giles. I even hid it from myself for a while, but I’ve known, really known, how I felt about Giles, since, since Ms. Callendar."

"Ms. Callendar?"

"Yeah. When I saw how happy he was with her – well, I was all mixed up inside. I was jealous. But at the same time, I felt all happy that *he* was happy. And when I finally realized that’s what I felt, I knew. I knew it had to be real. Because it was more important to me that he be happy, than that he be with me. You know?" Willow looked up with a soft, wondering look on her face.

"You were jealous of Ms. Callendar?" Buffy focused in on something she could handle. "You never acted jealous. You acted like you really liked her a lot."

"Well, I sort of overcompensated for the jealous stuff. I felt all guilty, like who was I to feel jealous of her? It wasn’t her fault that Giles wanted a beautiful, grown-up woman type and not skinny little-girl-like me."

Buffy reached out and patted Willow’s knee.

"Besides," she continued, "it would have been illegal anyway. You know, sometimes, when I thought he was being particularly sweet to me and then he’d get all distant, I’d actually tell myself that was because he remembered that it’d be illegal." She chuckled sourly. "It hurt less that way. It’s amazing what rationalizations the mind will come up with."

Buffy shook her head a little to clear it. "Okay, let me see if I have this right. You have girly feelings for Giles. I am, I admit, freaked beyond belief about this. I mean, Giles? Tweed-wearing, tea-drinking, duty-lecturing Giles?" Buffy made an expansive gesture with her hands. "But okay, you have the hots for my Watcher, I’ll deal. But why do you think this means you are the reason this weirdness has been happening?"

"Because I’ve been wishing it." Buffy gave her a look. "Well, it *is* the Hellmouth. Stuff happens here. For the last couple of months, now that he seems over Ms. Callendar, and you came back and things got back to normal – okay, normal for here - it's like every night before I go to bed, I make a little wish that he’d see me, you know really see me and think I’m pretty."

"Oh Willow," said Buffy, "you are pretty. You’re more than pretty; you’re beautiful."

"Buffy, that’s sweet. Irrelevant but sweet. You’re my best friend. You have to say that." Buffy opened her mouth to contest that statement but Willow continued, "And you’re a girl, not an adult male, so you don’t really know what appeals to guys. It’s not like anyone has been beating a path to my door. I know how I rate."

"What about Oz? Didn’t he ask you out?" Buffy asked reasonably.

"Yeah. One shy guy in four years of high school. Not a great track record."

"Hey, did you turn him down because of this thing about Giles?"

"Yeah, stupid, I know. But my feelings for Giles are really strong, and I didn't think it would be fair to Oz. And so, like I said, I’d wish it at night before I’d go to bed. I’d wake up in the morning and think, maybe today will be the day. When we were in the library together, I’d sort daydream about him." Willow blushed slightly. "That what I thought had happened that first day, you know? I thought I was daydreaming and then you all were looking at me like I had grown a second head or something. I was mortified. I thought I’d said something or done something without knowing."

"Willow," Buffy leaned forward and took Willow’s hands forcibly in hers. "I don’t care how Hellmouthy and strange this place is. Wishing for something doesn’t make it come true. If the force of our wishes worked like that," Buffy smiled wistfully, "Angel would be able to walk in the daylight and hold me in his arms."

She smiled little wickedly, "And these little episodes wouldn’t be taking place between you and Giles, believe me. They’d be me and Angel, and it wouldn’t be just kisses."

"Well, today wasn’t just kisses!" said Willow a little hotly and then blushed at what she said.

"Yeah, well," Buffy smirked. "Today was a little more like what I would have been doing all along. In fact, if wishes worked the way you think – the kama sutra would have nothing on me!" Willow giggled a little.

"No really, look," said Buffy. "What you feel for Giles is normal. Okay, not totally normal, he’s way older than you – yes I know, I’m not in a position to talk. But my boyfriend doesn’t *look* that much older than me. Than I. Than me. Whatever. I mean Giles is like my dad’s age. In fact, he’s very dad-ly with me. Oh wow, my best friend has a crush on my dad-like guy. How very Melrose," Buffy teased gently. "But back to my point, and I did have one, is that it’s normal to feel lusty for certain people, and it’s normal to really, really want to do things about it and wish that it would happen. But even on the Hellmouth, that doesn’t make it so."

"Buffy," Willow sighed. "Do you really think so?"

"I know so," said Buffy firmly. "It’s not your fault. You didn’t make this happen." Willow smiled. She felt like a large weight had been lifted from her shoulders. "You did seem to be enjoying it though."

"Bbbbuuuuffffyyyy!" wailed Willow. She threw a pillow at her best friend and tried not to blush.

"Hey, I thought you said you were beyond embarrassment."

"Well, okay, I'm working on it. After all, I did have my first," Willow took a deep breath, clenched her fists and tried not to blush, "orgasm in front of my two best friends. What could possibly be worse than that?"

Buffy *did* blush. "Don't jinx it, Will. I can actually think of a few things." Willow suddenly looked appalled.

Buffy tried to break the awkward silence she had created, "Hey, you got cocoa or something?"

"Sure." Willow shook the scary thoughts away. "You want those little marshmallows?" The two girls got off the bed headed out the bedroom door.

"Of course. So, Giles, hmmmm? What kind of wishes *have* you been having about my Watcher?"

"Buffy," said Willow firmly "I’m not telling you that."

"Why not? You’ve been showing me that."


"What, am I not entitled? Have I not dished deeply of the Angel dreams?"

"That’s different."

"How? I want details, girl, details. No wait, this is Giles. Okay then, not complete details – more like an outline maybe."

"Use your imagination."

"On Giles! Not!"

They continued to wrangle amiably as they headed for the kitchen. Willow was glad now that she had called her best friend.

Part Nine

"Silver bullet?"


"Um, silver sword?"


"Um, silver tipped arrow?"


"Hmmm, silver ---" Buffy looked into the air as if trying to pull the answer out of it.


"I hadn't answered yet."

"It's not silver anything."

"Oh." She paused.


"No - look did you study _any_ of this?" Giles asked in exasperation.

"Well, I tried, but I have other classes you know. Math, English, Biology. They require me to read and study too."

"And exactly which one were you working on last night?"

"Uh, Math?"

Giles just looked at her with *that* look again.

"Why am I having to learn this, again?"

"So that when you are confronted by a N'jak demon, you know what to do and don't get killed. You should have been studying this all along. You should have the different names and ways to kill all of these demons," and here Giles tapped a fairly thick book, "memorized by now."

"Why now? You've never worried about..." Buffy jumped when alarm sounded, and Giles knocked the book off the table. "What? Ohhh, fire alarm," said Buffy after a moment. "Gotta motor. We have to muster outside." She quickly headed for the door. Giles grabbed his coat and met her there.

"I don't believe I've ever heard the alarm go off before," said Giles.

"Yea, me neither. At my last school, some of the kids would pull it when they were bored." Buffy gave Giles an amused glance. "I guess there's usually enough excitement around here.

They joined the stream of students heading out the nearest doors onto the quad.

- - - - -

"Hey, Willow. Have you ever heard..." Xander looked down at his friend, who was not there. He started to look around in agitation. "Cordy!" he cried.

"What? Geez, I'm right here," said Cordelia snidely.

"Yea, well, Willow's not." Cordelia craned to see around Xander and then also started looking around. "She was with us when we left the classroom. Man, we can't lose her. We have to keep her away from," here Xander lowered his voice, "Giles."

"Well, duh. I know that. It's just this crowd. She's probably only a little was behind us or ahead - AHA!" cried Cordelia loud enough to draw the attention of several fellow students. She pointed ahead of them at the doors. "There she is."

And following to where her finger pointed, Xander could indeed see Willow just going out the doors holding onto Oz.

Xander made a whoofing noise. "Whew, for a minute there I thought she got away from us, and it had all started again."

Cordelia and Xander also made it through the doors and outside. Standing off to the side, out of the general rush of people were Willow and Oz. Xander made his way over to them. "You guys okay?"

"Yeah," said Willow, "I almost got swept away in the tide of people, but Oz rescued me."

"Happy to do it."

"Can anybody see Giles and Buffy?" asked Willow. "We need to make sure we don't all end up near each other. They should have been in the library, so they'll probably come out of the far doors over there." Willow pointed in the direction she meant.

Three of them craned around looking for Giles and Buffy, while Cordelia repaired the ravages she felt her hair had undergone in the rapid exit of the building.

As they looked, Xander asked, "So Oz, you having any luck with what's going on?"

"Not much. I've been helping Angel look through some of his books, and he's being hitting the streets trying to get some info. How about you?"

"I've been going over books with Giles. We've not nada so far. The most difficult thing is coordinating everybody so none of the four of us are together in the library at the same time. Giles is sure the library table is the trigger."

"Got 'em!" yelped Willow. "There they are, all the way across the quad." Everyone looked that direction.

- - - - -

"Okay Buffy, let's make sure that we don't come out near the others."

"No probs. It should be cool; their class is across on the other side of the school."

They came out into the sunshine. Buffy continued, "Do you see them? I can't see anything except people's backs. Man, there are times being my size sucks. Well, anything?"

"Buffy, give me a moment, please. I'm looking. Ahh, I see Xander and there are the..." Giles trailed off. At that moment, he had caught Willow's eyes.

Everything seemed to slow down for a moment and then all the worry and anxiety Giles had felt these last two days just disappeared. He smiled and gave a small sigh. He was happy again. He continued, "...the others. Everything's fine. They're safe." He had seen his Willow - Life was good.

Buffy was happy again. She'd been upset, but that was inside. Now she was outside, in the sun and was that a cute guy checking her out? What was there to be upset about? Life was good.

- - - - -

Willow locked eyes with Giles and felt the dark cloud that had been hovering over her lift. She hadn't seen him for two days. And now she had. And Willow was happy again. Life was good.

"So, everything's cool, right?" asked Cordelia. "It's okay?"

"Yes," said Willow. "Everything's fine."

"Right," seconded Xander. "We're cool."

Cordelia, content, went back to checking all the other girls' clothes and Oz was checking to make sure that the currents and eddies of all these people didn't push them any closer to Buffy and Giles. So they both missed the look and the smile that passed between Willow and Giles.

Xander was happy again. He was out of class. He'd been worried, probably about the essays they had to read, but for now, they were outside and out of class and he wasn't planning to go back in any time soon.

Life was good.

- - - - -

"Life is good," thought the lurker as he watched the scene play out in the crystal. He chuckled some more and settled himself in for an interesting afternoon, "I wonder how long it will take."

Part Ten

"I'm going to practice now. You guys are cool, right?" asked Cordelia. Both Xander and Willow looked up from where they were sitting in the lounge. "Sure, Cordy," said Xander. "Everything's fine."

"Great. You know, I don't have time to baby-sit you guys all the time. I have a real life you know!"

As she left, Willow and Xander exchanged amused glances. "I still don't understand what you see in her," said Willow. Xander got a sly grin on his face, "You're a girl - it's not something you're supposed to understand."

After a few moments, Willow looked up from her book to see Xander staring into space. "Aren't you supposed to be studying for the chem test tomorrow?"

"Yeah, but I'm bored. Let's take a break."

"Xander, we've only been studying for, like, ten minutes."

"Ten whole minutes! A new record! Must celebrate - must get snacks. Come with?"

"Naw, you go get 'em." Willow gathered up her books. "I'm going to the library; it's easier to study there."

"Yeah, right," said Xander with a smirk. "You're just suffering from GWS."

"GWS?" asked Willow chuckling.

"Giles-Withdrawal-Syndrome! It's been, what, two whole days since you were last in the library. No smoochies for the Willow." Xander caroled out, disregarding the other students sitting in the lounge.

"Xan-der. I do go to the library to do stuff besides that. I read and I research and I help," here Willow did lower her voice, "Buffy with the slaying stuff. It's not all smoochies."

"Yeah, but admit it. It's the smoochies you miss."

She shoved at Xander. "Leave me alone and go get snacks!" Grinning, Xander headed towards the vending machines and Willow went to the library.

- - - - -

Whap! Giles hit the floor with an 'oof'. Buffy looked guilty. "Oops, sorry." She reached down to help him up but he waved her off and just lay there, panting. "You used to be able to block that move."

"Hey," said Willow as she walked in the door. She hurried up when she saw that Giles was on the floor. "Are you all right?" she asked, concerned.

Giles finally got his breath, "Fine. Really." He did accept Willow's hand up. "The whole point of sparring, Buffy," he said to her, "is for you to get better. And, as my ribs can attest, you *are* getting better."

"Can't you go a little easy on him," asked Willow. But before Buffy could defend herself, Giles took Willow by the shoulders and turned her towards him. "She has to be at her best; she can't 'go easy' - I won't let her." Willow smoothed her hands along his chest.

"All right," she said, "but let's get these pads off, I want to see your ribs."

Buffy started stripping off her gear. "Yeah, that's not all you want to see," she teased. Willow rolled her eyes. "What is it with you guys? First Xander and then you. I don't think exclusively of Rupert, you know."

"You don't?" asked Giles, mock-hurt. He stood still, enjoying the sensation of Willow tenderly removing his protective gear. "Another illusion shattered." Willow looked up at him and gently smiled. "You were the one who told me I had to keep my grades up. To do that, I have to, occasionally, think of school work."

"Well, if that's the only other thing occupying your thoughts, I guess I have to be satisfied. He leant down and lightly kissed her on the lips.

"Ah-ha!" crowed Xander, as he entered the library, juggling several bags and sodas. "I told you - smoochies!" As one of the bags almost slipped out of his hands, he continued, "Buffster, help me out here."

Willow shook her head and sighed. "Everybody is picking on me today."

"That's cuz you're easy to pick on," said Buffy, 'helping' Xander by taking one can and one bag of chips. Xander gave her a look like 'that's it?' but she smiled saucily and plopped down in chair near the library table. "You always react. See, we try it on Giles and he just gives us that look and doesn't say anything."

"What look?" asked Willow as she started removing Giles shirt.

Giles raised an eyebrow at Buffy, who pointed and said, "That look - there."

Xander nodded, "Yea, that 'Spock' look. Besides, I owe you." He dropped everything on the table and plucked out a soda, as he sat down in the chair next to Buffy.

"Owe me?" asked Willow. Giles winced as she started probing his rib cage. "Sorry," she said looking up at him.

"Yeah," said Xander. "You give me such grief over Cordy - I gotta pay you back."

Willow pointed to Buffy, "What? Buffy doesn't tease you about Cordelia too?"

"Yeah, but she'll whoop my butt if I try it on her."

Buffy nodded firmly, her mouth full of chips.

Willow sighed. "Well," she said to Giles, "Nothing seems to be broken, but I think you're going to have a beauty of a bruise." She rested her hand on his chest. He smiled down at her. "Come on." She took her hand in his and walked him to his office. "Let's see what you have in the first aid kit."

"Oh, is that what the kids are calling it these days?" called out Buffy as they disappeared into his office. Giles popped his head back and raised his eyebrow at her again. Buffy and Xander started laughing.

- - - - -

"Here. Sit," Willow pointed to Giles' desk, where he sat on the edge. "Stay." She gestured at him while she continued on over to the cabinet with the first aid kit. When she turned back to him, with the kit in hand, he was looking at *her* with an eyebrow raised.

"Come on, _old dog_," she said with emphasis. She put the kit down next to him and opened it up. "Take off your undershirt."

"I just love it when you give me orders," Giles said slyly but then he winced as he pulled the shirt over his head. He pressed his hand to his side. Willow pulled out some rubbing alcohol and splashed it on her hands. "Here," she said, starting to work it onto his ribs, "this should help." She moved his hand out of the way and continued rubbing.

Giles leaned back a little and Willow moved in, between his legs, to continue the massage. "So, alcohol will help my ribs?" he asked. "No," she said candidly, suddenly looking up at him impudently, "it just gives me an excuse to touch you."

He put his hands over hers, "Why do you think you need an excuse?" She grinned and leaned up for a kiss. Giles cheerfully obliged. It was a soft kiss and just as Giles was starting to deepen it, Willow broke away. "Oh, I have it," she said, with an arch look. "I know what will make your ribs feel better." Giles, a bit startled to have the mood broken, asked curiously, "What?"

Willow leaned over slightly and placed a small kiss right below his left nipple, where the beginning of a bruise was starting to appear. She gave him a glance beneath her eyelashes. "My mother always used to do this when I got hurt." She placed another kiss, just to the right of the first one. Giles took in a sharp breath, and his nipples tightened. "Your mother is a very wise woman," he said huskily. "You should listen to her."

Willow placed another kiss on his ribs, a bit further down. "Oh, I do," she assured him. "I do." She continued placing little kisses all over the area where he'd been hit. Giles braced himself on the desk and felt a tightening in his groin as she drifted closer to his waist. "You know, ahem," he had to clear his throat to speak clearly, "that's not the only place that hurts." Willow flicked her tongue in his navel, causing him to make a small squeak. "Really?" she questioned sexily. Her hands began to untie the strings of his workout pants. "I wonder where else you could be hurting." She looked at him with big, innocent-looking eyes as she finished with the knots and started to pull the pants down.

Then she stopped and looked up at him. "Did you hurt your shoulder?" she asked mockingly. "Perhaps your arms? Maybe your back. I could check there." She smiled at him wickedly. "Willow," he ground out, pulling her close to him and kissing her deeply. Willow wound her hands around his neck and pulled herself to him, trying to get as close as possible. She opened her mouth to him, drawing his tongue into her mouth. They tangled together, tongues, hands, legs. His hands moved from her arms to her waist to her hips, pressing her close to him and a heat rose from there, tingling outward to her skin.

She broke the kiss, panting slightly. His eyes were glazed with passion, and he started to reach for her again. She shook her head no and pushed herself back a bit. "That's not where it hurts," she said trailing her hands downward across his chest. "I think I can make you feel all better," she said with a blazing look of sensuality. It caused Giles to take a deep breath, and clutch the edges of the desk as if his life depended on it. She continued downwards with her hands, pushing both his pants and his boxers out of the way.

As he sprang free from the confines of his clothes, Willow knelt before him. Giles knew that his most secret desire was to come true. It was all he could think of, the way her hands tentatively caressed him and drew him close to her, the way her fingers trailed along and all over his cock and sack as if to learn the shape of them. He didn't know if she'd learned to do this, or if she was figuring it out as she went along, and he didn't care. The sensations were too wonderful.

And then, there were her lips as well, the way they hovered over his member, not quite touching, small little breaths on the tip, which was closer to any torture he had ever felt. And then bliss, or perhaps further torture, for she took him into her mouth, just a little way a first.

- - - - -

Buffy and Xander had been kidding around, talking about school and TV and nothing much in particular. But then a small argument had arisen over a tv show they'd watched the week before. So Xander decided to ask Willow to settle the argument. He leaned back in the chair, and all he could see was Giles' fist clutching the edge of his desk. So he plopped down the chair and headed for the office. Buffy trailed along behind.

"Whoa," he pulled up a little short at the sight of Willow kneeling before the now naked librarian. "I didn't know Willow could do that."

"What?" asked Buffy as she came up next to Xander. "Ooohhh. I didn't either. But she seems to be doing okay. Giles certainly looks like his enjoying himself."

"Who wouldn't?" said Xander with a speculative look in his eye as he leaned against the door jamb.

- - - - -

He tasted differently than she expected. All her reading had said, salty and bitter, but this wasn't bitter - it was just different. She snaked out her tongue and licked the length of him. Giles groaned. Willow smiled internally. She admitted to herself that she'd always wondered what this was like. She thought it was just something girls did because boys liked it so, but now that she was doing it herself, she could see where the pleasure lay. Being in control, knowing that every little move of your tongue and mouth was driving this mature controlled man absolutely insane. She could see it in his face, when she'd look up every once in a while.

It took her a bit to understand the rhythm of what she was supposed to be doing, but she finally got it. She used her tongue and her fingers. In and out. In and out. She squeezed his sack slightly and gently, oh so gently, scraped her teeth along the length of him. Giles gave a loud cry and came in her mouth with no warning at all. She pulled back, startled and then tried hard to keep up with him. She hadn't thought "swallow, not swallow" but found herself doing it, swallowing hard and fast, so as not to gag.

- - - - -

Buffy and Xander continued to watch and were just as startled as Willow when Giles reached his limit and cried out.

"Geez," said Buffy with a jump. She watched Giles' curiously. She'd only seen one man do this before, and she wondered if it looked the same.

Xander nodded with approval when he saw that Willow was staying with Giles rather than pulling away. "Look at that," he pointed. Buffy turned her attention to Willow and made a face. "Ugh," she said. "Why do guys like that?"

"I could not say. I'm all excited just watching it, but having it done? Don't know."

"Wow, really? I thought you and Cordy..." she trailed off.

"Naw, I wish, but naw. Barely second base. I don't think I could even ask her to try this." He looked wistful for a moment. "But I sure wish I could."

Buffy just shook her head. Men were weird.

- - - - -

Giles thought he had died. When she first put his cock in her mouth, he could barely stand up and when she had started sucking him, he did feel his knees buckle. But then all rational thought left his mind. He was nothing but the fire in his loins and the wet heat of her mouth. It had all come together so quickly that he had no control when he came. He thrust and thrust and amazingly, she took it all in. When it was over and his breathing started to be under his conscious control again, he looked down. He was amazed that this innocent girl could drive him so far from himself.

Willow pulled away and licked her lips. He found himself getting hard again. She grinned at the sight of him all flushed and sweaty and partially erect. She dusted her hands and said, "All better." Then she leaned forward and pulled up his shorts and pants.

"Well, finally," came Buffy's voice behind them. Willow half-turned to see Buffy coming through the door with Xander standing a little behind her. Giles took over his pants ties and made himself a little more presentable. "That took long enough. Geez. We have a question about the X-Files last week, did ya watch it?"

Giles ran his fingers through his sweat-dampened hair and wished those two didn't always have to be around when things got interesting with Willow. He had rather hoped to get in a little more in the way of touching, but with Buffy dragging Willow out the door and Xander standing there, looking at him, he could tell it wasn't gonna happen. At least not now. "What?" Giles asked as he dragged a clean shirt on. "Why are you looking at me like that."

"You are one lucky man," said Xander. His eyes now followed Willow's retreating form. "I wish..."

"Stop the thought right there, Xander Harris. No wishing about my Willow." Giles glared at the younger man, jealousy rising up in him, hard and fierce.

Xander didn't notice, "Naw, I mean Cordy - I wish Cordy would do that for me." He turned to face the Watcher, missing the savage look, which had faded at the mention of Cordelia's name. "Um," he said tentatively, looking up at Giles from underneath his lashes, "is it, ahhh, really great?"

"You've never...?" Giles trailed off.

"I've never anything. Cordelia is all for kissing and there's some touching, but definitely nothing below the waist. I've heard that's the best. Is it?"

"Oh no," Giles got a reminiscent smile on his face. "It's good, there is no denying that. But that's not the best." Giles walked forward until he was able to see Willow talking to Buffy. She glanced up at him and gave him a secret smile and wink. "I have great hopes for the best coming up soon." He and Xander headed back into the main portion of the library.

"Aha," exclaimed Buffy. "I knew it. Willow says it was too the Smoking Man."

Xander started to argue but then noticed the clock. "Is that the time? Uh-oh, I promised Cordy I'd meet her after practice in front of the school." He grabbed his bag and headed for the door. "Willow, you want a lift home?"

"No," said Buffy before Willow could answer. "She's coming home with me." She turned to Willow with a pleading look in her eyes. "I've got that darn French test tomorrow and you promised you'd help. Ppplleease?"

Willow threw a despairing look at Giles and shrugged. "I did promise. But my folks are actually in town tonight and mom said we were going to have a quote family dinner unquote tonight. So I absolutely have to be home by six."

"Right, great, no problem. We'll study; I'll walk you home, swing an early patrol, eat dinner and hit the streets again. Thanks."

Willow went to Giles who held open his arms. They embraced and then kissed deeply. "Come on," said Buffy impatiently "I've only got so much time with you. Don't waste it."

Giles lifted his head and said, "I don't consider this wasting time."

"Yeah, yeah," Buffy jiggled from foot to foot.

"Oh, I better go before she explodes," said Willow.

"You better go before *I* explode," whispered Giles in her ear. She giggled, kissed him lightly again and then left with Buffy. Giles sighed. He lifted his hands to his face; he could still smell her on his hands. He wandered slowly back into his office.

- - - - -

Cordy pulled up in front of the school and Xander got into the car. "Hey Cord"

"Hey. Where's Willow," asked Cordelia suspiciously.

"Right there," Xander pointed to the sidewalk ahead of them where Buffy and Willow were walking. "She's going to study at Buffy house tonight, so we don't need to give her a lift home. It's just the two of us," he waggled his eyebrows at her and scooted a little closer.

Cordelia gave him a small smile and drove off.




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