Willow's fire
by Gabriele Schulz

EMAIL: gabi@gschulz.de
RATING: NC-17
DISTRIBUTION: Everyone who has my general permission. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: Season 4
FEEDBACK: Love it. Especially if you like the story ;-)
SUMMARY: When Willow overlooks an important part of a spell, Giles has to come to the rescue - with the help of Buffy. B/G
DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
NOTES: This is an answer to my theme of the week challenge "Fire". Please check out my site for the current theme of the week and other challenges:
http://www.buffygiles.com
DEDICATION: For Lily, cause she loved it and is such a fab beta :)
DATE: 04/17-22/2000


Buffy was tired and looking forward to just dropping down on her bed and falling asleep. When she opened the door to her dorm room, though, she jumped and was immediately wide awake.

In the middle of the room right between her and Willow's bed a column of fire stood easily 5 feet high.

"Oh God."

Buffy stared for a split second, before she moved to get her blanket to cover the fire. It was then that she had heard Willow's voice.

"Hi Buffy."

Buffy whirled around and stepped around the fire to see her friend sitting on her bed, grinning sheepishly.

"God, do you want to scare me to death?! Help me with the fire!"

"Uhm, Buffy..."

Buffy, who had turned to her bed again, looked at her friend, when suddenly understanding dawned.

"How exactly did this happen?"

"Uhm..."

"Will, not again. Haven't we told you time and again to look up the effects of a spell *before* you do them."

"I did! It just didn't work."

"This is great. What were you trying to do anyway? A handy lighter? You don't even smoke."

"No. The... the fire was supposed to be like that, I just thought I could get it out after... finishing."

"But you couldn't."

Willow shook her head.

Buffy gave her a look then sighed and went around the fire to sit on her bed. She was beginning to sweat. She reached out for the phone.

"What are you doing?!"

"Calling Giles!"

"You can't!"

"Why not?"

"He will..."

"Be mad? Will, you know he can't stay mad at you for long, besides this time you really deserved it. I can't believe you did something like this in our room."

"But..."

"What? If you don't want me to call Giles, tell me another way."

Willow looked dismayed and pouted slightly.

Buffy dialed Giles number.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Half an hour later Giles knocked on the door.

"Come in."

He did and immediately took a step back.

"Oh God."

"My exact reaction."

"What did you do, Willow?"

The redhead squirmed uncomfortably on her bed.

"Will, spill! I'm tired."

Willow mumbled something.

"What?"

"Ignis corporis voluptatium."

Giles' eyes widened.

"And that means for those not fluent in dead languages?"

"Fire of... uhm... lust."

"What?!"

Giles looked at Buffy to hush her, then turned to Willow.

"You know, that we will have to find someone who does the counterspell."

Willow nodded.

"I'm so sorry Giles, I thought I could do it myself."

"That doesn't work with the ignis corporis voluptatium."

"I figured that out by now."

"Perhaps we could ask your friend Tara."

Willow blushed.

"That's right! Tara. Call her!"

Giles stopped Buffy who just wanted to hand Willow the phone.

"Does Tara have a... is she in a relationship?"

"Yes."

Giles took a breath of relief.

"Good. Then I suppose it would be easiest to ask her to help us out."

"We can't."

"Will, this is not the time for covering up. I'm really tired and this thing is not getting any colder."

"I'm sorry and I would call her, but it wouldn't work."

"But when she i-, oh. Oh."

"Oh what? Okay, could someone explain this to the person in this room, who doesn't dabble in magic?"

"Ehm, Buffy, th-the spell is performed to... to heighten a sexual experience with someone you love. What Willow didn't know was that it can only be undone by someone the spell wasn't done for."

"Huh?"

"It won't work, if Willow does it or the person she cast it for."

"And Tara can't do it because... oh. Oh. Willow! You and Tara... And you never told me?! Why didn't you tell me? I had no idea. Are you happy at least?"

Willow could only nod.

Buffy jumped up from her bed ran around the fire to hug her friend.

"Uhm, not that I want to interrupt you, and congratulations Willow by the way. I am very happy for you, *but* we still have a little problem at hand."

Buffy jumped up.

"Sure, okay, why don't we just do this the old-fashioned way. I mean if we put something on it, cut off oxygen it has to go out, right?"

"Buffy, this isn't normal fire. It doesn't feed off oxygen. As you might have noticed it doesn't spread. It stays the same all the time and we can do nothing to stop this. We will have to find someone to do the counterspell or..."

"Or?"

"Wait till Willow and Tara don't love each other any more, but that is nothing we can control, nor would we want to influence it in this direction, wouldn't we?"

Willow smiled at him.

"What about Michael, didn't you use to do magic with him?"

"He lives in New York."

Buffy plopped down on her bed.

"I just want to sleep."

"I'm sorry."

"Just be more careful next time and for God's sake ask Giles. Wait a minute. Giles! Why aren't you doing the counterspell."

"I-I... I'm afraid I can't."

"What are you talking about? You can do spells. You saved my life when Amy's Mom wanted to kill me!"

"But... in this case..."

"What?"

"He can't do the spell alone, Buffy."

"Oh. Well, then we'll find someone who can help. Does this have to be a witch?"

"No, but..."

"But what? Will, I really had a long day."

"He has to perform it with the person he loves."

"Oh. Hmm. So I guess... we need to call Olivia?"

"Uh, Giles?"

"I don't think that calling Olivia i-"

"Why not?! I know England is kind of far away, but doesn't she come to visit often? Couldn't she come now?"

"It's not that. I believe that if I explained and asked Olivia would fly over, *but* in any case I couldn't perform the spell with her."

"Why not?"

"It wouldn't work."

"Why not?"

"Buffy, I think he's trying to say, he doesn't love Olivia."

Buffy looked at him big-eyed.

"But... she's your girlfriend..."

"Olivia is... a friend. And I do love her in some way, but... what we have is merely an agreement that suits us both."

"Agreement?"

Giles didn't say anything.

"All right. So you can't do the spell with Olivia. If not Olivia, who *do* you love? Or are you out of love currently?"

Giles hesitated.

"Are you in love with someone?"

"I... am, but it won't be able to help us in our current situation."

"Why not?"

"I cannot ask her to help me."

"And why can't you?"

"She doesn't know I'm in love with her."

"Then tell her damnit!"

"Buffy!"

"I'm sorry, Will, but I had a really bad day. That prof was totally unfair to me, I had a fight with Riley and then there was this bunchful of vamps that obviously thought I needed a bit of exercise. I just want to sleep."

"Uhm, Giles, don't you know anyone who could help us?"

"Only Ethan, I'm afraid."

"Too bad that he isn't capable of loving someone other than himself."

Giles smiled in spite of himself.

"I'm sorry, Buffy."

"Giles, it's not your fault. I... this woman you love, it is a woman right?"

"Yes."

"She... she doesn't know that you love her?"

"Right."

"Why didn't you tell her?"

"I saw no reason to."

"You love her, isn't that reason enough?"

"I... saw no reason to tell her because I know she doesn't feel the same way about me."

"How can you know that if you never told her?"

"She is with someone else."

"Oh. I see. I'm sorry."

There was a silence before Buffy spoke again.

"You could still tell her."

"Why should I?"

"Because there is no other way of making this go away."

She pointed at the flame.

"Buffy, I don't think we can ask this from Giles."

"All right. So we just get used to this new room decoration and when someone comes in we just say 'We're doing campfire on campus, do you have marshmallows?'."

"We have to find another way."

"Is there another way?"

Giles looked at the fire.

"Tell her Giles. Please. Oh, wait! You don't even have to tell her. Can't you just ask her over for... uhm... I don't know some kind of new art show? You wouldn't have to tell her, right? Everything would be fine. You have your secret, she has seen something like never before and I can go to sleep."

"Uhm, Buffy, I'm afraid he would have to tell her."

"Why? Does this involve chanting 'I love you'?"

"Uh, no, but it involves, uh... S-E-X."

Buffy looked dumbfounded.

"You have to have sex?!"

"Uh, yes."

"This is really great. Anything else? Do we need the blood of a virgin? The teeth of a one-eyed man?"

"I'm sorry."

"No, Will, I... I didn't mean it that way. I'm just really tired and... you didn't know this would happen."

"Don't you know any other witches?"

"Only Tara."

They all were silent for a moment watching the flame dancing around.

"Giles, that woman... the woman you love... don't you think that maybe she would do this-"

"Buffy!"

"Wait. If we tried to explain. I mean Willow and I could help. And Tara, too, so that she understands that this really is an emergency and that you don't just want to... get in her pants."

"Buffy, I... I couldn't ask this of her."

"Why not?"

"This is... would you do something like this? Have... sex, with someone you don't love?"

"If it meant that a poor tired slayer could go to sleep, yes."

He gave her a look.

"Giles, I... okay, I'll be honest, I probably would be really suspicious and think that it was like the *worst* come-on of all time, but then again this is so strange that nobody could be stupid enough to come up with it just to... you know. Besides Will and I can confirm that it's true. And this is not just like an ugly picture. I mean this is real fire."

She took a piece of paper from her nightstand and held it to flame, were it immediately caught fire. She dropped it into the flames.

"This is not a toy! I mean people could die if a curtain or a sheet or something caught fire. The whole dorm could burn down. Bring her here and show her the flame, if she doesn't believe you."

"Even *if* she believes me that doesn't mean that she would do it. It's an intimate act. Even if we wouldn't... have intercourse she would still have to... well, I would have to... how can I ask this of the woman I love, when I know that she finds it disgusting."

"Maybe she doesn't find it disgusting!"

"I know that she does."

"And how do you know? I mean you never told her that you loved her, so what? Did she just mention someday 'I really like that movie and by the way I think having sex with you would be really disgusting'?"

"Not like that of course. But she... made it fairly clear that she doesn't see me as a... sexual being."

"How can she not? You are a man. How can a man not be sexual being? Will, you know he is a sexual being, right?"

Willow nodded.

"See? Willow can see it, my *Mom* saw it and even *I* can see it? Is this woman blind?"

"You can see it?"

"No, Giles, I think your 'agreement' with Olivia consists of telling each other fairy tales. Of course I can see it!"

"Even if she does or could see me in a sexual light, that's not the same as actually *having* sex."

"I know. And I'm not saying that it will be easy. I just... I don't really see another way. And there could be worse things in the world than to have sex with you."

"You think so?"

"I'm very sure about that."

"Can I ask you something?"

"Of course."

"Would *you* do it, if you would have to have sex with me?"

She looked up at him for a long moment, before answering sincerely.

"Yes, I would."

She saw that he was beginning to weaken, but still not sure.

"Giles sit down here."

He sat down next to her on her bed.

She took his hands in hers.

"I don't know who this woman is that you love, but I know that she should be honored to be loved by a man, who is so gracious and smart and brave and handsome as you. Even if she isn't in love with you, if she knows you, she should love you in some way and this should be only a little sacrifice. You shouldn't be afraid to tell her. If she really laughs at you or hates you or doesn't ever want to see you again, then I can only say, she doesn't deserve your love."

She was sweet-talking, but at the same time she realized that she meant every word she had said. She wasn't sure if he would believe her.

She waited for him to give in or to tell her that she had overdone her speech. She didn't expect though what Giles finally said.

"I love you, Buffy."

Buffy just looked at him. She was still holding his hands and he watched her waiting for her reaction.

But she just sat still not able to move, let alone say anything.

"Uhm, I think... I think, I'll leave you alone. The stuff you need is on my nightstand and... uh, the spell book is here and... uhm... I'll stay over at Tara's tonight, so... take your time."

Willow opened the door and that shook Buffy out of her stupor. She looked at her friend.

"Eh... yes. Bye, Will."

Willow smiled at her then looked at Giles and smiled understandingly, before leaving them alone and locking the door behind her.

Buffy looked at Giles again.

"I... fire bad, Buffy speechless."

He smiled and she smiled back.

"I really don't know what to say, Giles. I had no idea."

"You weren't supposed to know."

"But still... How long... when did this happen?"

"I... I don't know for sure. When I read that you would die, I knew that I loved you. In some way at least and it developed from there. I can't tell you a single day. When Travers fired me because I loved you like a father, I knew. I loved you so very much, but it had nothing to do with a father's love."

"My birthday? That's over a year ago."

"I know."

There was a silence.

"Uh... I believe we should start with the spell, so that you can... sleep."

"Sleep, yes, sounds good. So what exactly... do we have to do."

He got up from the bed walking around nervously.

"It's quite simple if I remember correctly. We... I... and then I throw some ingredients into the flame while doing the incantation."

"After we..."

"After or while... it works both ways, but if I do it while I... it makes it more pleasurable."

"You did this before?"

"A long time ago."

He picked up the book from the desk and went over the lines of the spell. Then he put it down and, walking around the flame, picked up a few things off Willow's nightstand. He put them on Buffy's nightstand and then sat down next to Buffy again.

"So we got everything?"

"Yes. Well, I will need a hair of you, but that shouldn't be a problem."

"Oh. Okay."

She ran her hand through her hair a couple of times and when one hair was in her hand she put it on the nightstand.

He smiled.

"What's so funny? Or does it have to be... other hair?"

He blushed.

"No, no, that was perfectly all right, but I don't think I'll find it again, when I... do the incantation."

"Oh. Well, just ask and I'll give it to you."

"All right."

They sat in an awkward silence.

"Uhm, I think you should get out of your clothes. I mean, aren't you sweating in that?"

He still had on a jacket and a sweater beneath that.

"Eh, yes."

He got up from the bed and placed the jacket on a chair. Then after a few seconds of hesitation he got out of the sweater as well.

Underneath he was wearing a white T-shirt that was a little sweaty, not only because of the fire.

He stood like that not really sure how to go on.

"Why don't you come back here."

He sat down on the bed again, not able to look at her.

Buffy watched him for a while, then pulled off her sweater and threw it past the flame to the ground.

"Bu-buffy, you don't..."

"I don't?"

"You don't have to... it... it would be sufficient if you gave me a..."

"Blowjob?"

"H-h-h-hand... you c-c-could..."

"Jerk you off."

He simply nodded, still not looking at her.

"Okay."

She pulled her legs onto the bed and crept towards him until she knelt beside him sitting on her heels. When she reached out he recoiled.

She stopped and put her hand on his knee.

"Relax, Giles, God, you're tense."

She moved behind him and put her hands on his shoulders.

Then she started massaging him. After a few minutes and encouragement on her side, he relaxed a little.

"Better."

He nodded.

She snaked her hands around his waist and undid his pants. He tensed up again.

"Shh. Giles. It will be all right."

She moved to his side again and took his hand. She lifted it to her mouth and kissed it. He stroked her cheek and then she stuck her hand into his boxers.

He hissed.

She encircled his member and began to stroke him.

She felt him getting hard and began to press a little harder.

"Good, Giles. Are you okay?"

Once again he could only nod.

She kept working on him but as the minutes passed by she realized that after an initial progress he didn't become any harder. And he still was only half erect.

"Uh, Giles, maybe you can help me a little. Tell me how you like it."

He put his hand over hers and showed her a few moves and sensitive spots, but only to minimal effect. After another five endless minutes of this he pulled her hand away from his penis and burried his face in his hands.

"I'm sorry, Giles, I'm not very experienced at..."

Then she noticed that he was shaking.

She put a hand on his shoulder.

"Are you all right?"

He didn't nod this time, and then she realized that he was crying.

"No, Giles, please don't. It's not your fault. It's my fault. I just have no idea what I'm doing there. I... I'm so sorry. Please stop crying."

She moved her arm further around him and turned him to her to hold him in an embrace.

He snuck his arms around her waist and cried into her shoulder.

"Buffy, I... I don't know why... I wanted this for so long..."

She stroked his hair with one hand while the other soothingly ran up and down his back.

"No, Giles. You didn't want this. You wanted to make love to me, didn't you."

She felt him nod.

"Then make love to me."

He looked at her. The hand in his hair moved to cup his face and brush away some tears. Then she bent forward and kissed him gently on the mouth.

"Buffy, I can't ask this from you..."

"Yes, you can. You asked earlier if I would do this and I said I would. I meant it Giles. There are far, far, far more horrible things in the world. Especially with you. There are only few people I would rather do this with if I had to. Actually I can't think of a single one right now."

"But you don't want this."

"Yes, I do. I do want to stop this flame and I do want to do this for you."

"We don't have to, I'm sure with a little time I can..."

She stopped him with a kiss.

"Giles, make love to me. I want you to enjoy this."

"But-"

"No but. We tried it your way and it didn't work. Now will try it *our* way."

She got out of her tight undershirt and before he could protest kissed him again at the same time pushing his T-shirt up.

Then she stopped the kiss only to remove the shirt, before resuming her kiss.

She smiled slightly as he finally began to kiss her back. She took his glasses and scooted backwards on the bed, taking him with her. She put the glasses on her nightstand and lay down. He lay down next to her pushing off his shoes with his feet.

She began running her hand through the hair on his chest.

He moaned, and she slid her tongue inside his mouth eliciting another moan. His hand went to her back and undid her bra while her hands wandered downward.

His pants had slid down slightly when they had moved to this position and she pushed them further down along with his boxers. He helped her and got out of them then immediately began to fondle her naked breasts.

There were still kissing passionately, their tongues fighting for domination heatedly. She opened her own pants and got out of them and her panties and threw them across the room away from the fire along with her shoes and socks.

Giles had gotten her totally out of her bra and when it was gone and she was finally naked she moved closer to him, wrapping one leg around him.

She could feel his arousal on her stomach. He was harder now than he had been from over 20 minutes of her earlier ministrations.

She ran her foot along his calf, down until she realized he was still wearing his socks.

She tried to push them off with her feet until he finally reached down and removed them.

"Better?"

Before she could answer he had captured her mouth in another kiss.

She began to rub her wet sex along his hard shaft, faster and faster until he stopped her by grabbing her mound.

She moaned.

He stopped their kissing, panting.

"Buffy *pant* do you have *pant*..."

Before he went on, Buffy reached around, opened the top drawer of her nightstand and pulled out a condom.

"Oh God."

He kissed her neck and whispered into her ear.

"Buffy, I don't deserve this."

She cupped his face and forced him to look at her.

"No. I don't deserve *you*."

Then she gave him a short hard kiss, before moving further down the bed.

She took his by now rock-hard penis in her hand and stroked it.

"Much, much better."

Then she put the condom on and lay on top of him rubbing the latex against her wet folds.

She kissed him again and then whispered into his ear.

"And now make love to me."

With that she moved onto her back and looked at him expectantly.

He looked at her for a long moment, reveling in her beauty and the fact that she was ready for him.

"Giles... hurry."

He moved on top of her and entered her in one thrust.

"Goooooooood."

She wrapped her legs around him and he pushed even deeper inside.

"Oh God, Giles this is..."

They looked at each other for a moment, before hungrily kissing again. When she began to thrust slightly upward he pulled out of her and pushed back in slowly. His rhythm soon sped up, when she started to thrust faster and urged him on between their kissing.

He slid in and out of her hot wet channel, loving her tightness around him. He angled her until he could penetrate her even deeper, which earned him even more moans. One of her hands was in his hair, at first stroking him, but now just holding him tightly. Her other hand moved from his back to his butt, where she suddenly cupped him firmly.

He thrust even harder into her, pounding as fast as he could, while she kept up with him all the time thrusting back every time he pushed into her. He seemed to get deeper with every thrust and then she couldn't hold back any longer and convulsed violently, tearing her mouth from his to scream.

"Giiiiiiiiiiles!"

He hastily gathered the ingredients from the nightstand and still pounding into her threw them into the fire chanting in Latin while he did so. The fire shot up with every new item and then he ran his hands through her hair and kissed her again.

He shouted the last verse and with one last deep thrust he threw her hair into the flame and came inside her. With every spurt of his seed that he shot inside her, the flame receded a bit until he pulled out once more and pushed in as deep as he could. The flame shot up to it's full height once more and when Buffy felt the power of his thrust and his last vigorous shudder, she came again. Then the flame was out and they lay tangled together shaking with the force of their orgasms.

When they were a little under control, Giles slid out of her and got up to remove the condom and throw it away. When he came back he looked at where the flame had been. You couldn't see anything but a few ashes from the paper Buffy had thrown in earlier.

He sat down on the bed. Then he reached for his underwear, when he felt her hand on his arm.

He looked at her.

"No."

He didn't understand her.

"Don't leave. Stay the night. I want to... I want to wake up next to you."

He watched her for a long moment, then moved to crawl next to her. They got under the blanket and Buffy snuggled up to him.

"Good night, Giles."

"Good night, Buffy."

He kissed her on the forehead and they both were silent trying to sleep.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

Willow carefully opened the door to their room the next morning. The fire was out. She opened the door further and could see clothes sprawled on the floor, then she saw Buffy and Giles snuggled together on Buffy's bed.

Willow quietly tiptoed to her desk to get her books for class.

She couldn't help the smile when she saw how peaceful Buffy looked in Giles' arms. It seemed the ignis corporis voluptatium had set something else afire as well.

She quietly walked out and locked the door behind her.

When Giles heard the door, he slowly awoke.

He looked down only to see that the lovely bundle in his arms was Buffy.

She was lying half on top of him, her arms around him, her head on his chest close to his neck.

He tried to take in everything of this moment. The smell of her hair, the slight smile on her face. He wouldn't ever wake up like this again.

He tightened his arms around Buffy, which caused her to stir.

He was afraid that she would jerk away the moment she realized that it was him she was snuggling into.

But when Buffy opened her eyes and saw him, her smile widened. She lifted her head to look better at him.

"Good morning."

"Good morning, Buffy."

She looked at him for a moment.

"Whenever I wake up with Riley, we are on opposite sides of the bed facing the wall instead of each other. Why do I wake up in your arms?"

"I... I don't know."

She laid her head back on his chest.

"Last night was wonderful."

He could only nod.

"Did you enjoy it, too?"

"Buffy, it was... beyond anything I ever imagined."

The way he said it suggested that he had imagined quite much. She smiled, but he couldn't see it. He also couldn't see when her face got serious.

She moved her hand from his chest to his shoulder to the nape of his neck.

"Will it always be like this?"

He tensed. He couldn't have heard right.

"B-buffy..."

Before he could say anything more, she pushed his head sideways and lifted her face up to him and kissed him. He returned the kiss hesitantly.

She ran her hand through his hair and started to lick his lips. He opened up for her and her tongue plunged into his cavern.

His hands started to move on her back, stroking her and moving further down to her butt. She pulled her hand away from his hair down his body, lightly scraping his nipples (which earned her a moan) then onto his hard penis.

She spread her legs a little and straddled one of his thighs. She started to rub herself on him and he lifted his leg a little to increase the friction. Buffy began moaning into his mouth and suddenly she let go off his erection and blindly reached for the nightstand. He cupped the breast that hung invitingly above him.

Buffy stopped the kiss to groan.

He looked up at her smiling and started kneading the breast.

Buffy tore her gaze from him to open the drawer and get out another condom.

She slid a little further down his leg (moaning as she did so) and fumbled to open the packet with her shaking hands. Finally, he helped her get it out and put it on and she immediately lifted the leg between his and straddled his hip, slowly lowering herself on his rock hard shaft.

They held each other's gaze until he was fully inside her and Buffy threw back her head and closed her eyes in sheer pleasure.

After a second she looked down at him, then bent forward to kiss him. The kiss deepened and then without stopping the intense kiss, she moved upward, letting him slide almost all the way out before pushing down again taking his full hard length inside her tight body. She repeated this until he started to thrust in time with her at which point their rhythm sped up rapidly.

She was riding him frantically and when she knew she was close, she reached behind her and started fondling his balls. He was so startled that he missed one thrust, but then he pushed into her even more violently until after a few more thrusts he shuddered and came explosively taking her with him.

She slid off of him and dropped flat on her back totally exhausted.

"God, Giles, you are unbelievable."

He couldn't speak yet, just turned his face to look at her.

She took his hand and they lay like that for a minute calming down.

Then she got up and removed the condom and threw it away.

When she came back she snuggled into him again.

"Buffy... what...?"

"What did we do? Make love."

"But... Riley..."

"Riley. Yes. You remember yesterday, when I told you, I couldn't think of anyone else I would rather have sex with? Yesterday, I meant except Riley. Now I mean it without exception."

"Buffy, I am... flattered that you enjoyed it so much, but thi-"

She began to laugh.

"What?"

"You don't think I just want this because of the great sex, do you?"

He just looked at her.

"Giles, the sex was... more than I could put into words right now, but it wasn't so much the sex, it was what I felt while we did it and even more it was what I thought when I lay in your arms afterwards. I never would have believed that I could be so turned on by you. That was so new, but it was also okay. And it made me think what you mean to me. Well, not while we had sex, because I couldn't really think then." She smiled. "But when you held me, I realized that I had never felt so safe and so loved all my life. And I just knew that I wanted it again, that I always want to feel like that."

"Buffy, I'm not sure if this is..."

"Love? I love you, Giles. I've loved you for a long time. I just didn't know how. I still don't know. But I know that there's more to it than you being my Watcher, or friend, and sometimes even father-figure. And I want to learn more about that other side of my feelings for you. I can't promise you anything, but do you think you could give us a chance so that I can find out how I love you?"

He looked at her for a long moment, then smiled gently and nodded.

She snuggled closer to him and held him tightly.

"Thank you."

There was a pleasant silence.

"I love you, Buffy."

"I know."

END