Fandom: BtVS Rating: FRAO eventually Pairing: Willow/Giles of course! with a very brief mention of Willow/Kennedy (the skanky bitch) Setting: AU Post-'Chosen' Summary: Life after the destruction of Sunnydale. If you couldn't tell, I suck at summaries. Spoilers: None Status: WIP Feedback: Pretty please. Constructive criticism is always welcome and appreciated. If you want to flame me, well okay; I have cattle prods. And chainsaws. Disclaimer: I don't own these characters (if I did Willow would be with Giles where she belongs!); I just hijack them and take them out for a joyride every now and then. Also, I have no beta, so any and all mistakes are solely mine. Author's Notes: Italics indicate dreams. Also, Treadwell's is a large shop in London that deals in books and supplies for Wiccans and pagans.
Tara stood smiling before her in her pretty blue sweater. A bloody hole appeared over her heart. As she fell, there stood Warren, laughing.
"I killed the bitch,"he cackled with glee, "And you know why? Because she deserved it!"
Willow reached for him, hands covered in black veins. The scene shifted and she was in the Magic Box. She could smell the burning electrical wiring; she could see Anya on the floor before her. Giles appeared before her.
"I'm here for you," he said, "I can help you."
"Don't need your help," she heard herself saying, "I just need a little pick-me-up."
As she put her hand to his chest to drain his magic from him, Warren again loomed in front of her.
"Go ahead," Warren egged her on, "Drain him. Kill him. Finish him off."
Willow looked down at a bruised and bloody Giles sinking to the floor under her touch and his soft green eyes opened.
"I love you, Willow," he painfully whispered, "I'll always love you."
She snatched her hand back...
...and awakened with a start. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Trembling, she made her way to the bathroom to splash cool water on her face. Afraid the nightmares would return she left her room and padded silently to the kitchen. She fixed herself some tea, imagining the horror on Giles' face if he saw her heating the water in the microwave. She curled up on the sofa, sipping her tea, still shaking from her dream. She hadn't had the nightmares with Tara for a while, but Warren was another story. She'd never told anyone, but the First had appeared to her several times, always wearing Warren's face. It seemed to be trying to push her back into the place where she'd gone all vein-y and scary, as if it looked on Dark Willow as an ally. Tears still slipped down her cheeks as she set her cup down and stood to look, unseeing, out of the windows. She returned to the sofa and pulled a pillow into her arms, clutching it tightly to her chest. She stayed that way until she heard Giles coming in the room.
Giles saw her before she knew it. He could see the tell-tale puffiness around her eyes, the faint tear tracks on her cheeks, the dejected posture, and went immediately to her side.
"Willow?" he asked gently, "Are you all right?"
The concern in his eyes was her undoing, and she burst into fresh tears.
"Oh, Giles," she wept, "I was so horrible! I hurt you so much! How can you forgive me for what I did?"
Giles took her in his arms and murmured soothing words, as she told the story of her nightmare, broken often by sobs. When her slender shoulders slowed their shaking, he drew back to lok in her eyes.
"Willow," he began, "I can't deny what happened hurt me physically, but what hurt most was that you were in pain and I couldn't help you. The magicks were in control, not you, and wouldn't let me near enough your heart to help. And I can forgive you because it was the dark magicks, not you, that hurt me. The Willow that I know and lo...am friends with would never deliberately hurt me."
He pulled her back into a comforting embrace and she clung to him until her crying dwindled to sniffles. He wiped a few errant tears from her face.
"Why don't you go wash your face while I fix us some breakfast?" he suggested.
"Okay," she whispered.
After breakfast, they set out to do their shopping. He took her to Oxford Street, and she marveled at all the stores that lined it. She took hold of his hand, afraid to lose him in the crush of people. Giles was surprised to find that shopping with Willow wasn't as onerous a chore as he'd feared. She had a childlike enthusiasm that was contagious, yet he often had to encourage her to buy things, as she seemed afraid to spend any money. After a few hours, they took a break, found a small cafe and had tea. As a treat, Giles steered their course to Charing Cross Road and was rewarded by the sparkle in Willow's eyes at the sight of all the bookstores that lined the street. After roaming through them, he took her to Treadwell's. On entering the store she seemed nervous, but he squeezed her hand, and reminded her that she could control her magick now. She wandered through the store with a look of awe and delight.. She bought some herbs and crystals, and other ritual supplies to bless and ward the apartment. As they took a taxi home, Willow leaned her head against Giles' shoulder and smiled.
"Thank you for such a nice day," she mumbled sleepily.
When they returned to their apartment, Giles fixed tea, and they sat together on the sofa discussing their shopping expedition. After a while, Willow became quiet and Giles was startled when he felt her weight against his side as she snuggled up to him in her sleep. Not wanting to disturb her after her poor night's sleep, he leaned back against the cushions and allowed his eyes to drift shut.