Disclaimer

The characters of Buffy The Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon, et al. I'm broke and certainly not making money off this, so suing me is pointless. I'm just playing, and I'll give them back when I'm done.

Rating: This is PG - a couple of smootchies and some mildly naughty words. This is a Giles/Willow scene, something I wrote for the sheer silly fun of it. There may be a follow up - but I'm not so good at writing raunchy bits, so don't hold your breath. Feedback is appreciated, but please do not distribute without my permission - Johanna

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The fall afternoon was warm and the golden sunlight made Sunnydale seem like any other normal suburb. Willow, her bookbag over her shoulder and a slight frown upon her face, stood tentatively on the sidewalk near a familiar house and debated the wisdom of what she was doing.

She had convinced herself to come this far and, so far, nothing terrible had happened. But the most gut-wrenching (and potentially disastrous) events still lay in the future. The immediate future. She shook her head slightly and adopted her sternest inner tone. You can't turn back now. You'll only feel even worse if you chicken out. Besides, what will he think? The threat of that compounded shame convinced her to walk up to that nearby familiar house, and knock on the door.

Within seconds, the door opened.

"Hi, Giles!" Willow's voice was over-bright as she stood before him. "I saw the thing on the bulletin board about the Latin Club meeting being cancelled and I thought...." her voice trailed off as she noticed his expression. He had that being-tolerant-of-silly-behavior expression that he donned quite frequently in the presence of the "Slayerettes" but that wasn't what she was expecting.

"Um. You're not surprised." she said, quietly, brightness evaporating and her gaze sliding to the ground.

"No, I'm not." he said firmly. Willow glanced up at that. Is he mad? The idea worried her further. She bit her lip and then chided herself for retreating into diffidence. Be strong. She told herself. Even if you've just made an idiot of yourself. Be a strong idiot.

Giles sighed. "You'd better come in." he stepped aside. "I can't have you dying of embarassment on my doorstep."

"Does that really happen?" Willow blurted, reflexively. This is a Hellmouth. I bet it does and I'm about to become one of Sunnydale's bizarre statistics and...she realized that Giles was patiently waiting for her to step inside...and I guess I better go in.

Giles closed the door behind them. "It does, sometimes." he said dryly. "Look it up next time you're in the library."

"What?" Willow faced him, momentarily confused. She was having a difficult time keeping her thoughts focused. "Oh, yes. Embarrassing deaths, uh, I mean dying of embarassment..." she ran out of words again and stared at Giles' continuing-to-tolerate-nonsense expression.

"I was hoping to surprise you." she said in a tiny voice.

Giles sighed in exasperation, and waved at her to go sit in the living room. Surprised, but encouraged, Willow promptly curled up on his battered sofa. Giles sat in an adjacent chair.

It was then that Willow saw the letter on the coffee table before her. Her letter. The one written on stationary that it had taken three trips to the mall to choose, and countless drafts to write perfectly neatly. She tried not to stare at it, and failed miserably.

Giles noticed her gaze, her slightly miserable expression and sighed again. Now that they were indoors, his tone softened. "Willow. If you want to send an anonymous letter, you really shouldn't handwrite them."He smiled slightly. "It can be a bit of a giveaway, you know." he chided.

"Typing seemed so impersonal." Willow replied sadly. "Besides, I usually do everything on the computer, so I figured you wouldn't know it was me."

Giles smiled fully at that. "You forget that I'm a Watcher. I tend to notice a lot of things. Including handwriting."

I wonder what else he's noticed? Willow's heart raced for a moment and she curled up tighter as she tried to contain a moment of the shakes. She had been shaky all afternoon, ever since had stopped by the library to read the bulletin board.

Giles leaned back in his chair, sighing deeply and wondering what to say next.

"No, I wasn't surprised." he repeated. "Well, not entirely." he added.

"Oh?"

Taking note of her obvious tension, he picked his words with care. "What surprised me was the content of your little note." he replied."Where on earth did you learn to write like that?" he asked.

"The internet." she replied quickly. Another wry smile from Giles. Willow adored that expression and felt compelled to explain. "I decided to approach the whole thing logically, right? I wanted to present something that was intriguing and, um, personal," she had the grace to blush at that. She continued quickly, words tumbling out of her mouth. "But with a way for you to say no without either of us looking like idiots, right? So the I wrote the note, to make it personal, and the intrigue factor was covered by the anonymous thing and the whole 'say-no-politely' deal was covered by the freedom you had to ignore it. Get it?" She paused for breath and felt sheepish again. "And it seemed like a good idea at the time." she added wistfully.

"Willow, I'm sure that going over Niagra Falls in a barrel struck somebody as a good idea at the time." Giles replied gently.

Willow bridled at that and uncurled herself from the sofa. "Hey, this isn't some spur of the moment thing, alright?" She snapped. Giles started in surprise at her tone.

Oh god, now or never, I guess, she decided. "I've been thinking about it - you - for a long time, but I really didn't know what to do about it, because I figured you would just go all English and grown up on me and tell me this was just a phase and it isn't." Giles was surprised by Willow's vehemence. "I put a lot of thought into that darn letter and you say you knew it was me the whole time and if you're not interested, why did you put up the Latin Club notice like I asked?"

"Did I say I wasn't interested?" Giles replied quickly, watching her closely.

That stopped Willow short. His direct stare was disconcerting and she looked at him for a moment. Worry and hope fought upon her face. "Oh..." she breathed, as tentative hope won out. "I guess not."

"But I do have a few questions about this...." he indicated the letter between them, "proposition of yours" Giles' brisk tone brought Willow back to earth with a thud. "And I thought I should ask -" he glanced at Willow, and noticed she was gnawing at her lower lip again. "Damn." he muttered. He rubbed his eyes for a second. "Sorry." he apologized.

"It's alright." Willow replied, returning to meekness and withdrawing into herself. Giles glared at her.

"If you're going to turn into a ball on my furniture again, I'll..." he searched for an adequate penalty.

"You'll what?" Willow retorted, a gleam in her eye and a hint of a smile on her lips.

Minx, Giles thought darkly. "I'll throw you out."he threatened.

Willow quickly put both of her feet on the ground and sat up straight. "How's this?" she offered.

"Much better."

"So what about these questions?" she asked, relaxing back down upon the sofa, but not curling up.

Giles blinked. Her temprament was changing almost too quickly for him to keep up. Fortunately, his association with an occasionally tempramental Slayer held him in good stead.

"Firstly, would you like something to drink?" now it was Willow's turn to look nonplussed. That certainly wasn't a question she expected.

"Uh, sure." she replied. "What have you got?" Giles had moved into the kitchen.

There was a moment's silence, punctuated by the opening of a refrigerator door and muffled mutterings. "Not a lot, really." Giles admitted. "Water...tea... coffee...wine...petrified orange juice..."

Willow was seized by a moment of recklessness. "A glass of wine would be nice." she called out.

There was a momentary silence in the kitchen. Willow sensed it was borne of surprise. "Alright, then." Giles' reply sounded oddly determined, and Willow didn't hear his further comment of "I suppose legality isn't really an issue just now." This was followed by the predictable noises of a bottle being uncorked and two glasses poured.

Giles returned, handed Willow a glass of white wine and sat back down on the chair he had occupied a few moments ago. Willow was a little dissapointed by that, but reminded herself that this was a situation of 'so far, so good'. She took a sip of the wine and liked the light flavor of it.

"Just a table wine." Giles half-apologized. "I wasn't anticipating guests when I last went shopping."

"That's alright. My mom always says that most people can't tell wine from old grape juice without looking at the label. But then, she's kind of a snob about that. Wine, I mean, and people-" Internally, Willow recognized the babbling for what it was, but couldn't help herself.

"Willow." Giles interrupted quietly. "Hush." Willow hushed, grateful for the interruption. "You're nervous - at least, I bloody hope you are - but it's a little late to try to talk around things now." he told her.

"I guess so." Willow admitted. "So, ask those questions, then." she urged.

He nodded. "Fine. Why me?" he asked simply. It was something he needed to know.

Willow was surprised by the question at first, thinking that the answer must be obvious, and then realized that it might not be obvious to him. And maybe he wanted a direct confirmation. She nodded slowly, as she prepared to answer. Ruefully, she thought that this was much easier via the written medium. Willow initially crafted a list of Giles' positive qualities, some of which she had dwelt on rather intimately in her letter. One look at his honestly curious face erased that list.

"Because I trust you. A lot." she let that sink in for a moment. Trust could be a rare commodity sometimes, especially on the Hellmouth. "And,' she added impishly. "because I want you for some sweaty reason that I really don't want to analyze, in case I destroy it.".

Giles put his half empty glass down beside him and regarded Willow carefully. "What about Oz?" he asked, bluntly. "You two are an item."

Willow looked a little awkward. "Well, Oz is the perfect gentleman and he thinks we should wait-"

"And you don't want to heed that?" Giles' voice was sharp, and he mentally cursed it as Willow winced.

"No, I mean, yes. I mean..." she started over. "I'm willing to wait for Oz...but I've thought about you for a long time. Before I knew Oz. And when I think about you - us - it's...different. I mean, I don't care if Oz and I never have sex. But if I'm never with you...It matters. I just want you so much." she tried to shrug off the effort this admission was costing her. "So I had to ask. If I didn't, I'd hate myself for a coward. So I asked. And you haven't told me no, yet." she added, defiantly. There! The ball's back in your court.

Giles nodded slowly. "Indeed." was his only comment.

Inwardly, he was glad that Willow had managed to explain herself to him. He, too, understood the false bravado that the written word could give. Once he had overcome his initial surprise - and pleasure, he had to admit that much - at Willow's letter, he knew the importance of trying to talk with this girl, first. Her honesty surprised and pleased him, and he could see how much it was costing her to cast her usual reticence aside. Then again, he reminded himself, she certainly manage to be quite forthright in her writing. He smiled at that for a moment.

Willow noticed that smile and wondered, what now? She decided that this was no time to be a shy mouse again. She had gone too far. She moved to the edge of the sofa, leaned across the small coffee table towards Giles and asked him the question she had just asked herself.

"What now?" She wondered if she could see her shivering with nervousness and not a little repressed desire.

Giles' half smile returned, causing Willow a moment of wild elation. "I think you can guess." he replied gently, taking her chin in hand and kissing her gently. "After all, you wrote an awful lot..."

 

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