Title: Gentle Guidance
Author: Vernon Bruce
E-Mail: Ai246@hwcn.org
Rating: 18
Sexuality: As an expression of love. Discussion of T being unfaithful.
Coupling: W/G
Violence: none
Summary: When two lonely hurting people meet and the gods love their children.
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of Joss Whendon Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Productions 18 Century Fox, WB Network, etc. The situation is mine, and I don't mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
Song by: Is by Real Magic distributed by A.C.E. Association for Consciousness Exploration 1643 Lee Rd., #9 Cleveland Hts., Oh 44118 1-800-446-4962. I can't for the life of me find the original box but I do not wish to infringe any copy wrights. Thus take it as given that it is copy written. P.S. Mr Bonewits I liked your book. should you happen to see this.
Notes: Feed back is greatly appreciated.
Dedication. To my wife, she'll never read it but because I feel like it.
Warning: Tara is one of the villains of this piece. If this upsets you, don't read it. Fair enough.

I am a Druid and seldom rue it, I am a Druid of high degree. It's when I'm drinking, the waters I'm thinking, how to gain the lady's sweet company.

Rupert held the photograph. It had been exactly three years since she'd died. Jenny's face smiled out at him. The grief was gone, faded into a dull ache, hardly noticed against the back drop of life, but the loneliness. He tried to think of a time he hadn't been lonely.

His mother, with her harsh words and mercurial temper had been no companion. His father, distant, demanding and inflexible, had been a thing to avoid. Ethan, even on the nights they'd held each other as he desperately fought to define himself the man had had his own agenda. No true friend, not even in the truest sense a lover, for there had been no love there. Only Ripper's confusion that Ethan had exploited for his own gratification.

A string of women had followed as he'd fought to reaffirm his masculinity. Ethan had left his self image in tatters. Olivia had come close to warming him, to breaking the wall that held others at bay, but then her career proved more important than he could ever be.

I am a Priestess, and not the leastess I am a witch, of high degree. It's when I'm chanting, I'm always wanting for to gain the horned one's sweet company.

Willow held Tara's photograph up to the candle. She was so tempted to add a bit of magic to the act but she didn't. She just let the fire consume the hateful thing.

“Will?” Buffy entered their dorm room.

“Buffy.” Willow seemed cold, distant.

“What happened?”

“I went to surprise her. I thought she'd be in class so I opened her door and. Buff she was tied down on her bed with this brunet doing her with a strap on. There was a camel whip on the bedpost. Now I know where those weird bruises on her came from.”

“Oh god, Will.”

“I couldn't move. The brunet looked at me and said ‘Well bitch, either close the door and join in or leave and close the door.'

“I just said ‘Tara'. The brunet looked at her and said ‘You speak and we're threw, bitch!'”

“Tara didn't say a word and I ran.”

“Oh Willow. It must hurt.” Buffy hugged her friend.

“I though a woman would be safe. After Oz cheated on me I wanted someone who'd be safe. I really thought Tara would be grateful. She didn't like herself, and I put up with her being clingy and whiney. I... Buff, if I can't even keep a Tara how am I ever going to keep anyone.”

“Willow, that is so twisted. You can't settle for less and think it's some kind of guarantee. And as to women. God, Will, think, Drucilla or Cordelia. Guys and girls can both be awful.”

“Buff, you know the weird part. I know you're right. I was scared and confused and. To be honest, Oz was better in bed; I think a lot of that was he's a guy.”

“You gona give him a call?”

“Too late. He's dating the drummer from his new band. I bumped into them at the movies. She seems nice.”

“So what's the plan.”

“I need to focus, to clear my head.” Willow picked up the crystal Tara had given her and passed it to Buffy. “If the slut drops by offer to shove this down he throat for me. Just make sure she takes it. I don't want anything of hers.”

“Sure thing, Will.”

Willow picked up the carry bag containing her ritual tools and left the room. The door closed behind her.

“Yes! Wimpy bitch, get out of our lives, useless scum we want you to die!” Buffy sang to the toon of Young Girl Get Out Of My Life as she danced around the room.

I took a walk out in the forest under the full moon's white beauty. I chanced to hear a sweet voice singing of the lady's great mystery.

Rupert followed the trail. He was armed with stakes and holly water, but doubted he'd need them. This stretch of woods had welcomed him when he moved to Sunnydale. It had recognised him, and the enchantment of life was strong within it. A ley line parallelled the path he walked, and he could feel the flow and flux of its energies beneath his feet.

He paused and gazed at the full, silver moon. “Sweet mother, Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Lady of love and life. Please be with me this night. Too long have I walked this life alone. I love my charges, and I know they love me in return. I am father to them, but it is not enough. I have walked so far alone. If only for this night, grant me peace. As I am your child, please sweet mother, grant me peace.”

The moon shone down, seemingly oblivious to his prayer. A Owl hooted, the wind whispered in the leaves, and he continued on his weary way. A sound intruded on his solitude and he moved towards it. The trail opened onto a clearing, and he paused at its edge. She stood, proud, erect and sky clad. He felt like a voyeur, but he could not tear his eyes away. Her hair flamed in the light from the candles she had set on the tree-stump she used as an alter. Her small, perfect breasts were firm and upright in their majesty.

Oh I was canting all in my circle, of the lady's great mystery. I heard a trampling, outside the clearing, who would spy on my witcheries?

“Sweet father, Ra, Osiris, Khnemu, Cernunnos, Herne, Pan, Woden. Please head my plea. I know I rejected thy sons, but it was fear and despair. Please, great lord, be here with me this night. Grant me surcease from loneliness with they great company. Clear the clouds that have obscured mine eyes, and let me know my heart. Be welcome in my circle.”

There was the sound of a twig snapping. Willow spun around and stared into the darkness. She knew the circle would hold all mystical threats at bay, but there were other dangers.

“Who's there? What do you want? I... I'm a witch, I'll put a spell on you...”

Oh God, Willow! ‘I'll put a spell on you.' How lame is that, she thought after she said it.

I am no spy nor, am I church man, come to spoil your, most holly right. I am a Priest, Oh, of the old gods, come to worship them here in the night.

Step the then into the clearing, a fairer man I nar did see, and from his brow there sprang two antlers glowing with such nobility.

I left the shelter of the oak trees, left the rowan and holly, and on her fair brow there shone a crescent, glowing forth with bright majesty.

“Willow, it's quite all right. It is simply me. I... I was taking a walk trying to clear my head. Actually, seeking some guidance from her ladyship.” Glad that the night would hide his blush Rupert stumbled into the clearing.

“Giles, I...” Willow tried to cover herself with her hands then looked at Rupert again. “Ra's beak!” Willow gazed at her friend, her mentor, her secret fantasy, and saw them. Glowing with ethereal light a pair of antlers rose from his brow.

“Isis, Frey and Kerridwen!” Rupert saw the triple moon glowing on Willow's brow.

Do you chant your druid chantments and I shall sing of my witchery, worship together the lord and lady. Come good druid, abide with me.

“I... I should go,” said Rupert.

“Why... I mean. We've worked together before. Join me. I... A... Tara and I are finished and I don't want to be alone.”

“Willow,” Rupert stepped to the circle's edge. “I have no robe to enter the sacred ground.”

Willow blushed as she picked up her Athame and moved to stand facing him, only the thin barrier of energy separating them. ”If you don't mind, sky clad will do.” She blushed and he could see it in the candle light. She was the maiden, sweet and coy. He looked into her eyes and saw the age of her soul and knew she was the crone, wise and knowing.

Rupert smiled and began to strip as she cut the door with her Athame. He stepped naked into the circle, and she sealed it behind him as he knelt on the blanket she'd spread before the alter and payed homage to the gods. He soon felt her kneel beside him.

“Was it divination?” he asked.

“Of a sort. Rupert.”

He gazed into her eyes. The circle was time less, the candles cast their gentle light, and the warm breeze rustled the trees. Over head the moon and stars moved on in their endless cycles.

We lay together, all in that circle.

Our hearts and bodies, we did entwine.

Worshipped together, the lord and lady.

And in our loving became divine.

Rupert brought his lips to hers. There was no room for loneliness here. She was a fire to melt the ice in his soul.

Willow felt his lips touch hers. The masculine smell of him reached down and kindled fires too long banked. The sense of him. Here was one who would never hurt her. He would fight with her and love her, challenge her and be challenged by her, but he would never hurt her as the others had. The antlers glowed so bright with this realization, she knew they were not alone.

Rupert pulled a little away. The triple moon on her brow blazed. She was beauty and love. All the goddess he had ever known smiled in her eyes.

“Rupert,” Willow breathed.

“Tomorrow,” warned Rupert.

“We can face it together. If you're willing,” she countered.

“I... Not just for a night, or a week, Willow. My heart could not bear that. I have loved you too long.”

“Not just for a night, or a week, or a moon, or a dozen moons, or a year and a day, my love.”

Rupert smiled and kissed her. His hands played over her firm, young body, caressing, loving.

She touched him. The firmness of his chest, the muscles of his arms, the tautness of his buttocks.

He gently kissed his way down her neck. Her skin was clean and sweet, with a hint of salt. A warm, spicy smell rose off her and mixed with the floral scent of her shampoo.

Willow touched Rupert's hardness. It felt right in her hand and smooth. Laying on the blanket she guided him to her. He slipped past her outer lips.

She gazed into his eyes. Her Gods smiled back. In his arms she felt like a Goddess, worshipped, revered, but she also knew she held her equal. Nothing could change that, he was her balance.

Rupert gazed down at her. She lay beneath him, but in no way was subordinate. He saw his match, a mind that could challenge his own, a will that was steal tempered with compassion. His loneliness vanished with the warmth of her touch. The cuffings and abuses of his mother, the cold harshness of his father, became distant echoes bereft of power. He held her and loved her.

Their orgasms occurred at the same moment, coursing through them both. It spiralled up along the Chakral column, exploding through them, a wave of energy washing away all cruel and heavy things in its path. Then the wave subsided and they lay holding each other. Rupert smiled at the young beauty in his arms. Willow smiled at the sophisticated man who held her, and both were fulfilled.

I am a Druid and Seldom rue it.

I am a witch of high degree.

Within each other, sister and brother, we have both found our sweet company.

Rupert held Willow's hand as he walked her to her dorm room.

“Will,” called Buffy.

“Hi Buff,” replied the redhead.

“I was worried you didn't make it back last night. Oh, Hi Giles.”

“Willow smiled. No, I didn't make it back. Buff, I'm sorry I worried you, but... Maybe you can expect to have the room to yourself once in a while from now on.”

“What?” Buffy looked half panicked. “You and Tara aren't ---?”

“GODDESS NO! Never again! It was a mistake! I. Buff, some times what you want is under your nose all the time and you just don't see it.” Willow stared up at Rupert and smiled.

Buffy took in the clasped hands and the warmth in her Ex-watcher's expression.

“Holy god! You two?”

“Well, yes... um...” began Giles.

“Wow. Like, Will, first a werewolf, then a girl, now an old... Um... aaa... Older gentleman.”

Giles couldn't help but chuckle at the distressed look on Buffy's face.

“It took me a while but I think I have it right this time,” said Willow.

“W, w, w, Willow stuttered an unwelcome voice.”

Willow turned, still holding Rupert's hand. “Tara.”

“W,w,w,we sh,sh,sh,should t,t,t, talk.”

“No, Tara, we shouldn't. We both wanted things the other wasn't willing to give. Mine was fidelity. Yours, someone who would treat you with cruelty and a lack of respect. I found some one that truly suits me. I hope you do the same. Buffy do you still have it.”

Buffy puled the crystal out of her pocket and passed it to Willow. Willow dropped it into Tara's hand. “Good luck. I hope you find someone who treats you as badly as you think you deserve.”

Rupert put his arm over Willow's shoulder and pulled her lovingly into his side. “I love you,” he spoke into her ear.

“I know. That's what makes it right, despite everything, because I love you too.”

Buffy smiled at them. “Oh wow. One of these days I'll finally adjust to your relationship choices, Will.”

“Three is a magic number Buffy. I think your adjustment days are over,” said Willow.

“Agreed.” Rupert gazed into the redhead's emerald eyes and saw it berried deep. The maid was the form she wore, the Crone the wisdom she carried within, and there, a potential he knew he would help her realise, rested the mother. He kissed her and together they were ageless.

We worshipped gladly the lord and lady and in our loving became divine.

The beginning.


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