punch_kicker15: (W/G Shoulder)
[personal profile] punch_kicker15
Title: You Make My Heart Sing
Author: punch_kicker15
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Relationships: Giles/Willow
Summary: AU S4 (Cordelia's enrolled at Sunnydale University, and Tara is dating someone else) Where the Wild Things Are. Giles and Willow grapple with mutual attraction while trying to exorcise the ghosts at Lowell House.
Word count: 5469
Genre: Fluff
Notes: Some dialogue taken from Where the Wild Things are. One line from Behind Blue Eyes taken.


Chapter 1
Giles glanced at his watch, his annoyance mounting.

“Maybe we should tell everyone the meetings will start at 4:30, if we want them to show up at 5,” Willow said. She turned a page of her spell book, perused it for a moment, and whispered “oh, that’s nifty,” under her breath.

“What is?” he asked.

“Uh, did I say that out loud?” She pushed the spell book across the table to him. “This book Kesha lent me has a counter-spell for magic barriers. I know Adam’s probably not using magic barriers, but we never know when this might come in handy.”

The book was second edition of Barnes’ Guide to Magic. He scanned the counter-spell.  It didn’t look particularly dangerous for the casters or for the people in their vicinity. He cleared his throat. “It seems straightforward enough. I think that’s a good one to add to your repertoire.”

Willow beamed at him, and then started flipping through another spell book. “Also, I decided the Kepler Text deserved another look, and I--” she stopped as a scrap of paper fell out of the book. She picked up the paper, and then her normally expressive face froze into an unreadable mask.

He asked gently, “Is something wrong?”

“It’s just a note from Oz, from a while back.” She handed it to him.

Giles slowly deciphered Oz’s crabbed handwriting, If none of these work, remember, we still have the hummus plan in reserve.

Willow smiled. “I hadn’t realized it, but I hadn’t thought about him in weeks. Like I’ve been so busy learning spells with Tara and Kesha that I haven’t really felt the Oz-missage at all. And now I can see that, and I can remember him without feeling like my insides are being torn out.”

His heart started to pound. He ignored the flare of happiness in his chest, and tried to channel into the distant happiness that a friend and mentor would have. “That’s good to hear. I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks,” Willow replied. Her eyes sparkled as she shifted gears back into excitement over the spell. “So, anyway, what I was going to say is that the Kepler Text has a spell for creating artificial sunshine that we might wanna try.”

Giles turned the yellowed pages to find the spell. This one seemed a bit more worrisome; there was definite potential for the spell to backfire. He was about to suggest tabling it for later, when Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies arrived.

“Sorry I’m late,” Cordelia said. “One of Brad’s clients had an emergency and I had to drive him to the airport. You know what it’s like when your boyfriend has an important job.” She sneered at Anya. “I guess you wouldn’t.”

Before Anya or Xander could respond, Buffy jumped in. “I have some Hellmouthy news you need to hear right away.”

Giles listened with great interest to the news of an unholy alliance of demons and vampires, possibly brokered by Adam. Nothing like a Hellmouth crisis to take his mind off his own diminished role this year.

After a brief discussion of the possible ramifications, the conversation turned right back to the personal, with Riley inviting everyone to a party.

Giles cleared his throat. “Well, much as I, uh, long for a good kegger, I have other plans. The Espresso Pump.” He sat back, hoping that would be the end of it.

Buffy and Riley were clearly entranced with one another (and unaware of anyone else in the room.) Willow piped up, “What are you doing there?”

“I'm, um, uh, it's a, a meeting of, uh, grownups. It couldn't possibly be of any interest to you lot.” Good show, Giles. All that stammering and vague phrasing is guaranteed to generate more interest in your plans, not less.

There was an inquisitive gleam in her eye, so he asked, “What was that about artificial sunshine again?”

He settled in for some good-natured bickering about the feasibility of using the spell against vampires.

Chapter 2
Willow heard a shriek of laughter from one of the rooms. She looked inside; a group of students were playing Spin the Bottle. She’d always thought that college would be a place for philosophical and literary discussions, but this university seemed just as juvenile as Sunnydale High. Maybe even more juvenile.

She sat down on the stairs and sighed. Maybe she was grumpy because she hated being the only partner-free Scooby. Everyone else was paired off: Buffy and Riley, Xander and Anya, Cordelia and Brad; Tara and Kesha.

A groan from down the hall interrupted her pity party. A dark-haired girl was touching the wall and pretty clearly having an orgasm.

Another student touched the wall and groaned as if it were the most erotic experience of his life. This party had suddenly changed from boring to wiggy.


A terrified shriek rang out from above. A few seconds later, Cordelia raced down the stairs. "I am never going to a frat party in this stupid town again. I am so sick of dealing with giant snakes and ritual sacrifices and now a ghost in the bathtub!”

“A ghost?” Willow asked. Suddenly her mind cast back to that late night in Sunnydale High when a vortex opened in the floor and swallowed her up. Giles had grabbed her and held on for dear life, until the vortex had let go, and the two of them had tumbled down the stairs together. So a ghost situation wasn’t something to fool around with.

As if to bolster her point, the Spin the Bottle bottle exploded, shards spraying everywhere. Xander and Anya raced to join them at the bottom of the stairs. “We need Buffy,” Xander said. They all went upstairs to Riley's room and pounded on the door, but some scary-looking vines with thorns started sprouting out of the door. No one answered the door.

Cordelia scoffed, “Typical Buffy. She's got to be the most self-absorbed person on the planet.”

“I can think of one other contender for that prize,” said Xander, and then the house started to shake. Willow felt goosebumps tingling on her scalp, which was definitely an oogy feeling.

Everyone started running out of the house. Books flew off the shelves; Willow ducked as a book grazed her shoulder. A nearly bald girl with a bloodied scalp begged Xander for help; he grabbed her arm and led her out the door.

They scrambled out onto the porch. Willow panted as she tried to catch her breath. At least the goosebumps were gone. Maybe whatever was going on in the house was confined to the house.

After a fight about whether to go back after Buffy, Xander huffed, “You wanna bail, fine. I'm going back in there, and I'm not coming out till I bring my friend with me.”

He ran back into the house, and was immediately knocked backwards by some invisible force. “Or it could be Watcher time.”

Willow said, “He said he was going to the Espresso Pump, because he needed some grown-up time.” That had kind of stung.
She’d given a vampire a soul and faced down a murderous renegade Slayer without a single spell. How much more did she have to do to prove she was an adult?


***
When they made their way inside The Espresso Pump. Willow scanned the room for Giles, and when she laid eyes on him, all she could do was gasp. Giles was onstage, singing.

No one knows what it’s like to feel these feelings

So she’d always had a thing for musicians, and she’d had a crush on Giles in high school. But something about the look, and the pure low voice echoing through the room sent a bolt of lust through her that went far beyond any reasonable explanation.
Her brain kept sending frantic incoherent signals black crewneck--earring--that voice! His voice pitched higher, and the higher notes were just as clear and powerful as the low notes.

All she could manage to say was, “Wow.”

Xander interrupted her brain’s loop, "Um, could we go back to the haunted house? ‘Cause this is creeping me out."

Willow smiled. "Now I remember why I used to have such a crush on him."

Cordelia snorted. “Was there anyone you didn't have a crush on in high school?”

Giles finally noticed them, and a look of discomfort crossed his face. Maybe he was embarrassed to have them at his grown-up time event.

Anya sighed. "His voice . . . is pleasant."

Xander looked horrified. "What?"

"Oh, come on, he is kinda sexy." Willow said.

Chapter 3
Giles looked up to see the new customers who had walked in mid-song. Oh Lord, it was the Scooby Gang. Willow stared at him, mouth agape, and his face flushed. What was he doing here? This gig was a foolish attempt to recapture his youth; nothing like being confronted with actual youth to make that painfully clear.

He didn’t see Buffy in the group. Genuine concern pushed aside his embarrassment he finished the song. What new crisis had brought them here?
***
At the college library, Giles listened to the group describe the chaos within the house. The disturbing thing was Buffy’s lack of response to the threat.

Giles asked, “When you called to Buffy and Riley, they didn't cry out or, or respond in any way?’
Anya said, “No. They're probably dead.”

“Unless they're too busy doin' it to answer,” Xander added.

“Doing what?” Giles asked.

Cordelia jumped in. “Not everyone thinks about it 24/7 they way you do.” She turned to Giles. “He means sex!”

“I didn't think you meant ... In the midst of all that, do you really think they were keeping it up?” Giles regretted those words as soon as he said them; everyone stared at him. “Oh, for a different phrasing.”

Willow said, “Well, see, that's the thing. People all over the party were starting to act--weird.” She lowered her voice. “Sexually.”

“In what way?” Giles asked.

“You know.” She blushed. “Ways.” She looked away from him, and picked up a history book and looked through it with exaggerated interest.

He started thinking through the possibilities. “Well, it could be some form of, uh, succubi, or a satyr's prank.” Please, dear God, don’t let this be Ethan again. “It could even be energy coming from the, the lab underneath the Lowell fraternity.”

Willow piped up. “It wasn't always a fraternity, look!” She read, "Between 1949 and 1960, the Lowell Home for Children housed upwards of forty adolescents: runaways, juvenile delinquents, and emotionally disturbed teenagers from the Sunnydale area."

Giles got up and looked over her shoulder at the book. He caught the scent of her perfume--light, with subtle floral notes. A hint of plumeria, and some rose--stop standing so close to her, you idiot, or you’ll never be able to concentrate. He took a step back and focused on the crisis again. “If there were deaths, then, uh, perhaps we're dealing with a fairly--standard haunting.”

Willow said, “It doesn't say. It's mostly about the old house director, Genevieve Holt. ’Sunnydale Children's Aid. 30 years of community service. Giving disadvantaged kids the love and care they deserve.’"

Perhaps Mrs. Holt was haunting the house for some reason. “When did she die?” Giles asked.

Willow looked up from the book, “She didn't.”

“All right,” Giles said. “Xander, Anya, Cordelia, you’ll come with me to Mrs. Holt’s house. Willow, stay here and keep researching the history of the house. And see if you can get in touch with Tara.”

The plan made sense: Willow was the most scrupulous and determined researcher, and the one who knew Tara the best.
And if the plan got him some space away from Willow and his completely inappropriate attraction to her, that was just a bonus.

Chapter 4
Willow made a pile of the history texts--smallest books on top, largest on the bottom. She’d scoured all of them, but there wasn’t much about the house prior to the children’s home. On the magic front, Tara and Kesha were on their way back from a concert in San Francisco, and Tara had pointed her to a few spells for banishing spirits from a house.

She’d read over each spell three times, and now there was nothing to do but wait until everyone came back. Waiting was the hardest part, because there was nothing to distract from her hyperactive brain, which wouldn’t stop yammering about how hot Giles was.

Oh, no, what if he could tell how she felt? As much as she’d like to be cool and unreadable, somehow her heart all too frequently ended up on her sleeve.

If he knew, he’d never be unkind about it, but things could be awkward between them. And she hated the idea of him thinking of her as a kid with an adolescent crush. Why did her stupid feelings always make things so complicated?
***
The gang came back with news that there weren’t any actual ghosts, just a poltergeist of repressed lust and angst that Buffy and Riley had apparently set off with all of their--activities.

“Buffy’s such a drama queen,” Cordelia sighed. “She can’t even get laid without triggering supernatural disasters.”

That was so ridiculously unfair. Willow pushed aside her indignation. They needed to help Buffy; she could be annoyed by Cordy later.  “So the good news is that I found a spell to exorcise the poltergeist. And Tara and Kesha will be back in a few hours to help cast it.”

Giles cleared his throat. “I’m afraid a few hours might be too late. If the poltergeist completely drains their energy, they’ll die.”

“Ok,” Willow said. “Guess it’s up to you and me, then.”

They went back to Giles’s apartment and lit candles for the spell. Giles took her hands in his. This wasn’t the first time they’d performed a spell like this together, but it was the first time that she was hyper-aware of his hands--the warm, calloused skin, the way he held on with a firm yet gentle grip as they recited the incantation.

Giles asked, “How will we know if it works?”

Willow said, “Tara just said, ‘You’ll know.’” Which was frustratingly imprecise when Buffy’s life was on the line.

Then a group of ghost-children flickered into view for a moment; their howls of fear and shame and anger vibrated through her chest.  Then they disappeared in a huge gust of wind that blew out the candles and knocked the table over.

She scrunched up her face in concentration. "I think it kinda worked, but we just weren’t strong enough to complete it."

Giles flipped the table back up. "Maybe we need to be closer to the center of the disturbance."

"I think I know where that is. The bathroom, where I saw the ghost in the bathtub." Cordelia said. “Oh, crap. That means I’m going back into that freak show house to lead you to it, right?”

“I hate to interrupt any plan that annoys Cordy, but how do you think you’ll get back in?” Xander asked. “The last time I tried, I didn’t exactly get the Welcome Wagon from the house.”

Giles turned to Willow. “I think it’s time to try that barrier counter-spell we discussed.”
* * *
The counter-spell worked like a charm, letting them waltz right into the house. Paranormal energies pulsed against Willow’s skin, in sync with the vines twisting around the walls.

As they climbed the stairs, Willow said, “I hope we find the center and finish the spell soon. This place is really wigging me out.”
They reached the bathroom a few doors down. "This is it, I think." Cordelia said.

The bathroom looked completely ordinary, a dingy space with black and white tiles, except for the climbing vines on the walls. They lit candles and placed them in the bathtub. Willow moved to the center of the room and held Giles’ hands. They started the incantations again. One of the vines reached out and encircled Willow's leg. She yelped as thorns cut into her leg, and the vine yanked her back towards the wall.

Giles grabbed her, his strong hands digging into her arms, and pulled her away until the vine broke; the momentum pushed her right into his arms.

Warmth spread through her chest. She had to remind herself to breathe. "Um, let's try it, the uh, spell?" They clasped hands started chanting again. They were still standing close together, and she tried to ground herself by looking in his eyes. They were such a pretty shade of light green, with a patch of light brown in the left eye.

His eyes never left hers, and the intensity of his gaze sent warm shivers through her.

They finished the spell and she couldn't fight it any more. She grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him down for a kiss.

Chapter 5
Somewhere in the back of his mind, as Giles ran his hand through her hair, the strands silky-soft under his fingertips, it occurred to him that the poltergeist must still be affecting them. "The, er, spell, we need--" and speech proved extraordinarily difficult.

Fortunately, Willow seemed to understand, and started chanting again. The words took an agonizingly long time to chant. When they were done, he found himself tilting her head up so that he could kiss her again.  Willow pulled back for a moment, and whispered, "We should--we need to--". She was right. They had to do the spell, or they'd be trapped together until they died, just like Buffy and Riley.

But instead, they just kept kissing. She tasted like mocha--sweet and rich, with a hint of bitterness underneath. His hands slid over the back of her jacket, feeling the texture of the embroidery as she kissed along his neck.

There was some movement out of the corner of his eye. Cordelia was walking out the door. He’d nearly forgotten she was still there. "Cordelia--you must get out while you still can---call Tara. Tell her the magic in the house is too strong for us, and she needs -- to help."

"Hello?" Cordelia said. "The spell worked the first time you did it here."

He kissed Willow twice more before Cordelia’s words cut through the haze of his mind. He pulled slightly away. "I'm sorry, what?"

"The ghost kids showed up for a second, and then the vines disappeared right after you did the spell the first time."

Willow backed away, blushing furiously. "I have this, um, thing. That I really need to go to. Because if I go to it, I will be there. To do the thing." She ran out.

Giles glowered at Cordelia. "Why on earth didn't you tell us that the spell had worked the first time?"

She shrugged. "I thought it was one of those spells that got a little stimulating, and you two were just enjoying yourselves."

He stared at her in mute disbelief.

"What? I occasionally remember stuff from research sessions. When it's interesting."

"Well, erm. I should, should be going as well.” To find Willow and apologize. Though perhaps he should give them both some time to cool down. As he hurried down the stairs, he decided on the plan: he would drink scotch tonight, and apologize to Willow in the morning.
***
Someone knocked on his door, each thump reverberating in his head. He groaned and rolled over on the floor, where he must have fallen asleep the night before. His mouth felt like someone had set a brushfire in it.

The knocking continued. He wanted, very badly, to ignore it. Surely if it were something urgent, Buffy and the others would just barge in like they usually did. But someone might be suffering from a temporary bout of politeness. It wouldn't do to make assumptions. He fumbled around for his glasses.

He stood up, walked to the door, his head pounding with every movement.

It was Cordelia. She said, "We need to talk about last night."

He cast about desperately for a way out, and remembered Xander's suggestion. He stared at her as if he’d spotted a demon sitting on her head. "It--it's just--your hair."

"Oh, for crying out loud. Everyone's tried that 'distract Cordelia with her hair' trick one too many times. My hair is fine. You're not getting rid of me that easily."

He said, “All right, fine.” He motioned towards the living room.  They sat down on the couch.

“About last night--I should have controlled myself. I’m the one with the decades of experience and training, and I let Willow down. I’m going to apologize.”

“I know.” She paused, probably for maximum dramatic effect, and then dropped the bombshell. "You left a voicemail for Willow last night."

Oh, dear God. He'd actually done that, not just thought about it somewhere between his eighth or ninth shot? Had he said something so inappropriate that Willow had enlisted Cordelia rather than confront him herself?

"You--you listened to Willow's voicemail?" He couldn't make eye contact.

"No. You dialed 0241 instead of 0214. I listened to my voicemail."

Well, at least Willow had been spared the embarrassment of the latest chapter of this debacle. He took off his glasses, intending to polish them, but he’d misplaced his handkerchief.

"You were drunk and left a twenty minute voicemail, Giles. You apologized to Willow like fifteen times and then you started going on about how you were the worst Watcher since some guy named Devil Fish."

"Alexander Devenish. He and his slayer were killed by a field mouse when--"

"Save it for Willow. She'd actually appreciate ancient history like that. Anyway, my roommate thought it was funny and wanted to forward it to everyone on campus, but I wouldn't let her. I bet you don't want the Watcher's Council business to become a campus-wide joke, so you owe me big time. You're going to listen to what I have to say, right?"

He nodded.

"You like Willow. I mean like like Willow."

"Excuse me, what?" His stupid alcohol-fuzzed brain couldn't think of a more convincing denial.

"And she likes you. She kept going on and on about how hot you were when you were singing last night. She looks at you like--well, I've seen that look before, and I know what it means. You should tell her how you feel."

He rubbed his forehead. Perhaps if he could convince Cordelia that Willow didn’t reciprocate his feelings, then she’d agree to delete the voicemail and never speak of this again. "But why--" he started.

She threw up her hands in exasperation. "How should I know? Maybe she was dropped on her head as a baby. The point is she does."

Finally his brain activated and seized on an explanation that made sense of all of this. "Cordelia, I realize that pranks are common in college, but this seems like a particularly ill-conceived one--"

"Paranoid much? It's not a prank!"

"Why on earth would you suddenly be concerned with my personal life?"

She crossed her arms over her chest. "Look, if you ever tell anyone about this, I will make your life miserable in ways you cannot possibly imagine. It’s just after the whole rebar through the stomach thing, when nobody was talking to me, you were decent to me. And Willow--she ran into me at April Fool's, and figured out my dad's money problems. Then a week later, I got this letter in the mail, with a bunch of information for really obscure scholarships I was eligible for. I wouldn't have been able to go to UC Sunnydale without it. And I know it was her, because no one else who knew about me would be that thorough."

He suddenly had a vision of Willow sorting through scholarship materials in that relentlessly focused manner of hers. It was just the sort of thing that she'd do, and he worried that the affection that he was feeling was showing on his face.

"So I kind of care about what happens to you guys. I'd hate to see you two miss out on a chance of being happy together because you're both idiots socially. So. Talk. To. Her."

He stared down at the coffee table. "It isn't that simple, Cordelia. I'm more than twice her age."

"Why don't you let Willow decide what she wants? I mean, you're willing to trust her to get it right when it's about an apocalypse, but not this? I'm really glad I risked my life last night so that you could exorcise poltergeists with someone who's too much of a baby to decide who she wants to date."

His shoulders tensed. “I just don’t want her to regret wasting her youth by tying herself to an older man.”

“But it’s not like you have to pick out china patterns together right away. You could just talk to her about how you feel and see where you guys go from there.” She grinned at him. “Or I could play her the voicemail.”

His heart clenched at the prospect of Willow listening to his drunken ramblings. “Go ahead,” he said. “If she hears me at my most pathetic, she’ll realize that she deserves better.”

Cordelia looked disappointed for a moment at the failure of her attempted blackmail. Then she cocked her head, and said, “Deserves is an interesting word. A couple months ago, when Willow blinded you and turned me into a harpy, you said it happened because her magic got mixed up with her feelings. Doesn’t Willow deserve to know if she’s doing magic with someone who has some major repressed feelings for her?”

She smiled triumphantly at him, because of course she was right.

Chapter 6
Willow leaned against the doorframe as she waited outside Tara’s dorm room. It felt sort of disloyal to Buffy to ask someone else for personal advice. But it was kind of magic advice, too, so maybe that was reason enough.

Tara opened the door. “Hey, how’d the spell go last night? Is everyone ok?”

Willow walked inside and closed the door. “Yeah, we’re all ok. For certain values of ‘ok’. The spell was--well, the important thing is that we got Buffy and Riley out.”

Tara asked gently, “But the spell didn’t work exactly as you hoped?”

Willow sat down on the floor and curled her knees up to her chest. “So you know how some spells can get kind of . . . sexy? Has that ever happened to you?”

Tara suddenly became very interested in the crystal hanging from the wall. “Um . . .yes. With Kesha.”

Willow stared down at the dull beige carpet. “Is there a book of rules for that, or even unwritten rules? Like I know if someone does something bad when they’re possessed, we all just pretend it didn’t happen. I kissed someone in the middle of a spell-”

Tara asked, “Was it a vampire?”

“No, human! Totally a human.”

“Was he married?”

“No.” Trust Tara to give her some much-needed perspective. At least there were no boyfriends or girlfriends in this mess of unexpected smoochies.

Tara’s face got a little frowny, “It’s hard for me to answer when I don’t know exactly what happened.”

Willow tugged at her hair, wishing it were still long enough to hide behind. “Giles and I tried the banishment spell, and it didn’t work, so we went back in the house. I don’t know if it was the poltergeist or the spell or seeing him sing, but I kissed him, and then he kissed me, and things got a little handsy before we realized the spell had already worked. And I just want to know what the rules are so we can move on from this.”

Tara asked, “Do you have feelings for him? Because lust fades pretty quickly, but real feelings can be a lingering problem when you’re doing spells together.”

Willow looked at Tara’s face, but she didn’t see any judgment there. She could say what she felt without freak-outs or disgust. Still, she struggled to get the words out. “I had a crush on him in high school. He was so handsome and smart and kind. But it might as well have been a crush on a movie star, because nothing was ever going to happen. Even if he’d been attracted--he wouldn’t--not with a high school student. So I locked those feelings away, and then I fell in love with Oz. And then when I saw Giles sing, it was like I realized those feelings never went away, they just got kind of buried.”

Tara listened patiently, and then said, “I think you should tell him how you feel.”

“He doesn’t feel the same way. Things could be awkward.”

“I know putting yourself out there like that is scary. When I was about to ask Kesha out, I was so nervous, I thought I was going to throw up, which really would have killed the mood. And my stutter came back. But she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. None of us know how much time we have left. Don’t throw away your chance for a relationship because you’re scared of rejection.”

Willow smiled. “You know, Buffy said the same thing to me when we first met.”

“And how’d that work out?”

“Short term? I walked off with a vampire and nearly died.” She pondered for a minute, thinking of all the risks she’d taken in the last four years--learning magic, finding out how to stand up for herself, staying in Sunnydale for college--that had led to a much richer and meaningful life than her boring little fifteen-year-old self could have ever imagined.

“Long-term worked out better, though. I should probably talk to Giles after my classes today.” She sighed. “Or go hide under my bed until Adam attacks and we all forget about last night.”

Chapter 7
Buffy said that Willow had left early that morning for class, and wouldn’t be back until the late afternoon.

Giles spent a long day trying to translate Maldonado’s journal about exploring the Boca de Infierno in 1681. He wasn’t sure if his lack of progress stemmed from his hangover, his anxiety about the Willow situation, or Maldonado simply being a verbose bore.
At long last, the clock read 4:30, so Giles headed over to Buffy and Willow’s dorm room.

Willow let him in and closed the door behind him. For a moment, neither one of them spoke. She tugged on the sleeves of her blindingly bright yellow shirt.

He said, “I need to tell you something.”

She stood up a little straighter and said, “And I have something I need to tell you too.”

“You go first.” It was only fair to let her express whatever was on her mind before he brought up the awkward subject of his feelings.
She took a deep breath. “Giles, there’s something I have to tell you. I think part of the reason for the--weirdness last night might have been me. I find you really attractive. I always have. I know you probably don’t feel the same way, but I just had to get it out in the open.”

His pulse quickened, and his heart pounded as heard her say everything that he ached to hear. He marveled at her capacity for vulnerability. Only months after a devastating heartbreak, she was brave enough to risk being hurt again. It also spoke to her resilience. And in that moment, he felt with sudden certainty that she was tough enough to handle whatever life threw at her. And that they could work through whatever problems a relationship might present.

He took his hand in hers. “Willow,” he breathed, “I do feel the same way. That’s what I came here to tell you.”

A brilliant smile crossed over her face. He found himself grinning like an idiot back at her. Then, after a moment of staring into each other’s eyes, she asked, “Ok, now what?”

Best to start slow. “Would you like to go out to dinner with me?”

“Yes, I’d love to. Is now ok?”

He smiled. “Now is perfect.”

Willow grabbed a dark purple jacket from her closet and they were on their way.

Just as they reached the parking lot, they ran into Cordelia, who was carrying a basket of laundry.

“Hey, Cordy,” Willow said, “We’re going out to dinner. But I’ll see you in Contemporary Literature tomorrow, right?”

“Sure.” Cordelia turned to Giles. “I take it I can delete the voicemail now?”

“Y-yes,” he managed to stammer. “I think that would be wise.”

Willow looked at Cordelia with friendly curiosity. “What’s that about?”

“Oh, nothing. Just some idiot who drunk-dialed a long message about supernatural stuff. Have fun at dinner.” She winked at Giles and walked up the stairs to the dorm.
 

on 2016-07-24 12:57 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] snogged.livejournal.com
Awww!
This was so sweet. I love seeing new Giles/Willow fic from you.

on 2016-07-24 05:39 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] punch-kicker15.livejournal.com
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!

on 2016-07-25 01:40 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sonneta.livejournal.com
Cute fic. It made me smile when Cordelia had to tell them that they'd already broken the spell.

on 2016-07-26 02:44 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] punch-kicker15.livejournal.com
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. Cute was definitely what I was aiming for here.

on 2016-08-24 10:09 pm (UTC)
double_dutchess: (Cordelia)
Posted by [personal profile] double_dutchess
Very enjoyable! I loved Cordelia palying matchmaker in her own unique way :-)

on 2016-08-26 04:45 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] punch-kicker15.livejournal.com
Very enjoyable! I loved Cordelia palying matchmaker in her own unique way :-)

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! Cordelia was a lot of fun to write. :)

Nomination

on 2017-01-08 12:06 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] gilescandy.livejournal.com
Congrats!
Your Story, You Make My Heart Sing, has been nominated for The Twosome of Cuteness Award in the 2017 Headline Awards, celebrating Anthony Head and all of his work. Judging and voting will begin on Jan. 21st, and winners will be announced on Feb. 20th. Please let us know if you would rather not participate. Good luck! Find us at Headlineawards on Tumblr or tonyhead_awards on LJ.

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