Title: Halloween Hayride
Summary: Wacky Witch Willow Challenge Response: Write a Halloween fanfic. - Pairing: Willow/? - Include one of these: Alfred Hitchcock movie / an antique clock / a Pumpkin / a dark alley. - You should use two of these: remote control / hairbrush / too tight costume / a stolen or disappeared bowl of candy.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Spoilers/Timeline: Season 5, but no Tara
Distribution: Me, WLS, WWW, ODD, NHA, Spirit & Mind, anyone else - please ask.
Feedback: Yes please! I live for it - it keeps me happy and writing.
Thanks: To my wonderful Beta Leslie for all of your help.
"This is SO not what Halloween is about," Willow grumbled as she rummaged her hands around in the guts of the beast before her. "Samhain is a celebration of the year ending and a new one beginning. A time to look back fondly on those who have gone before us and gain insight into what lays ahead."
"And it's fun," Buffy insisted.
"What is so fun about plucking this thing from its patch, disemboweling it, carving it up and then eating its parts?"
"It's just a pumpkin, Will. Stop being so dramatic." Buffy turned her finished masterpiece around. "There, what do you think?"
Willow contemplated the jack-o-lantern before her for a moment – triangle eyes and nose with wide jagged teeth. "Very scary," she deadpanned.
"Well, let's see yours," Buffy countered. She walked around the table to look at the cat silhouette Willow had carved in her pumpkin. "Ooh, pretty."
The girls picked up their finished pumpkins and set them on the counter between the kitchen and the living room as Willow said, "It's not supposed to be 'pretty'. It's supposed to keep away malicious spirits." Willow placed tea lights inside the pumpkins and lit them. "Protect us well," she said quietly.
"Pumpkin seeds," Xander called out as he entered the room from the kitchen. "Pipin' hot pumpkin seeds. Come and get 'em."
"Gimme," the slayer instructed, grabbing a handful out of the bowl.
"Xander," Giles addressed the young man as he came down the stairs from the loft. "Have you seen the candy bowl for the Trick-or-Treaters? They should be arriving any time now."
"Have you forgotten last year? You didn't get any Trick-or-Treaters. So I figured I'd save you the trouble of having to sit around handing out candy by being your one-stop candy-taker."
"In other words, you took all of my candy."
"Well, if you want to be technical about it…" Xander bowed his head at the glare he received.
"Giles, did you see what we did," Buffy asked, dragging him over to inspect the pumpkins, like a 5 year old seeking praise.
"Very nicely done girls," he dutifully complimented. "That's a lovely cat, Willow."
"How'd you know that was mine," the redhead asked.
Giles paused, trying to think of a way to compliment Willow without insulting Buffy. "It… ah… just seems like something that you would do. You have quite the artistic eye."
"Well, thanks," she beamed, pleased that he liked her work. Maybe it wasn't such a stupid thing to do after all – if it drew a compliment from Giles.
"Okay," Buffy cut in, drawing all attention back to her. "Phase One: Pumpkins is complete. On to Phase Two."
"And what, dare I ask, is Phase Two?" Giles drawled.
"Caramel Apples, of course," Buffy grinned and dragged everyone into the kitchen.
"Is this really a good idea?" Willow quietly asked Giles as they headed towards the town square, following Buffy and Xander at a sedate pace.
"If it gets Buffy out of my bloody kitchen, then yes," Giles emphatically stated, causing Willow to giggle. "I think this could be quite enjoyable actually," he confided.
"Well, if you think it'll be fun…" Willow's eyes lit up with amusement.
Willow surveyed the horse drawn carts with a bit of apprehension, but she didn't want to show any weakness in front of Giles. She watched as Buffy and Xander piled into an already nearly-full cart and waved for Willow and Giles to hurry up. As they approached, the driver pulled away.
"Well, so much for our hayride," Willow commented.
Giles spotted a smaller cart nearby and excused himself from Willow for a moment to speak with the driver. After exchanging a few words (and dollars) Giles returned to Willow with a smile lighting his face.
Willow allowed herself a brief moment to admire the way Giles looked – happy and relaxed in his blue jeans and open flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up over a long-sleeved t-shirt. He looked positively yummy.
Giles allowed himself the same guilty pleasure as he approached Willow. She looked innocent and sexy at the same time in her soft, form-fitting orange sweater and black jeans. He wondered if she realized that as much as she had been protesting the celebration of Halloween that she had worn colors associated with the holiday.
Willow was snapped out her revelry when she felt Giles lift her hand to his mouth. He placed a gentle kiss on her knuckles and moved so that she could see the empty hayride. With his free hand he gestured, "Your chariot awaits."
"You mean we still have to, get to, go?" Willow nervously asked.
Giles' face fell. "If you'd rather not…"
Hating to have been the cause of his disappointment, Willow quickly interrupted him. "No, no, I want to go. It's just… are you sure it's safe?"
"Of course it is." Giles assured her. "Don't worry, I'll be right here should anything go amiss." Although what could go wrong, he had no idea.
Willow sighed with relief. "Okay then."
Giles looped her arm through his and they made their way back to the empty bed of hay. Giles helped Willow onto the cart then climbed in after her. When they pulled away a minute later Willow turned wide eyes to Giles. "It's just us?"
"Yes. I thought it might be more enjoyable for you if there weren't a bunch of strangers crowded in here with us, seeing as how you seemed apprehensive about going for the ride."
"Um, yeah, you pick up on that huh?" Willow blushed.
"Well, I am a Watcher after all," Giles chided. "If you don't mind my asking, what are you so nervous about?"
'Being alone with you and not being able to control myself,' Willow thought. To Giles she said, "I never told you about my fear of horses, did I?"
"Well, no, you didn't. But you're not riding the horse," he pointed out.
"I know. But horses are unpredictable. What if it gets scared and starts to run away, pulling us with him. Or what if the cart gets flipped over and we get thrown to the ground. Or what if…"
Giles gave in to temptation and silenced her with a fleeting kiss. She was so unbelievably adorable when she babbled. Their lips barely brushed against each other's, but the shock that ran through their systems was undeniable.
"What was that?" Willow asked dreamily. "Did… did the horse jostle the cart and you happened to land on my lips?"
"Is that what you would like to have happened?" Giles nervously asked. As much as he wanted to admit to her that he had kissed her on purpose, however briefly, he would allow her this chance to rebuke him tactfully.
"No," she whispered, afraid to admit that she wanted him to have meant to kiss her.
Shocked delight lit Giles' face. "Do you mean that?" he asked, lifting her chin to meet her eyes.
"Yes," Willow resolutely stated, looking straight into his eyes.
"Thank heavens," Giles breathed, letting out the breath he had unconsciously been holding.
This time when he lowered his head to hers it was slowly and with anticipation. Willow's tongue darted out to wet her lips moments before they were covered by Giles'. They both moaned quietly at the sensation of finally kissing the other. Soft lips caressed, teased and tasted. Tongues gently explored – savoring, learning, expressing their lust. Hands lightly explored over clothing, over faces, through hair.
When the horse did jostle the cart, rolling over a branch, the occupants barely noticed. Willow looked up at Giles from her new position on her back as Giles leaned over her, both breathing heavily. Giles chuckled and Willow giggled briefly before returning to the more enjoyable activity of kissing.
The driver discretely announced when they were nearing the town square again, and the end of the ride. Giles thanked him and pulled Willow back into a sitting position, holding her against him, his arms wrapped around her.
Buffy and Xander came bounding over as the horse and cart came to a stop. Giles climbed down first, then helped Willow, relishing this last bit of intimate contact in front of the others.
"Look at you guys with your own private hayride," Xander commented. "How'd you swing that?"
"I have my ways," Giles cryptically said, beginning to herd the group back towards his place.
"Willow," Buffy gasped. "What happened to you?"
"What?" Willow asked, spinning around. "What's wrong?"
"You're covered in hay! What did you do, roll around in it?"
Willow blushed and Giles coughed.
"And who could blame her?" Xander asked. "If we'd had all that room you know there would have been a massive hay fight… or at least some star gazing."
"Come on, Xander. Can you picture Giles in a hay fight?"
"Well, no," he admitted.
Giles discreetly helped Willow brush the hay from her back and bum, his hands lingering a bit longer than necessary, but not long enough for the others to become suspicious.
Willow knew that she and Giles needed to talk about what had just happened. She turned to her friends and suggested, "Why don't you guys go on to the haunted house okay? I'm gonna go back to Giles' and try to make myself less hay-y. I think I've had enough excitement for one evening."
"Are you sure Wills?" Xander asked, having barely spent any time with his friend.
After a quick, shy, glance at Giles she nodded her head. "Yeah, I'm sure. You guys go on and I'll catch up with you later."
"Promise you're not just trying to get out of Halloween celebrations," Buffy insisted.
"I promise. I'm actually starting to like this… holiday," Willow admitted.
"Well, good for you. Whatever you did to help change her mind, keep it up," Buffy said to Giles. She turned to Xander, "Race ya to the Haunted House."
"Hey, no fair using superpowers," Xander called after her, sprinting to catch up to the long gone slayer.
Once she was sure they were alone, Willow tentatively took Giles' hand and resumed the walk to his home. The silence wasn't uncomfortable, as it could have been, each being lost in their own thoughts as to how to proceed from here.
Giles gave her hand a final squeeze as they reached his apartment door and he had to release her to open the lock. He allowed Willow to enter first, then closed the door behind him.
"Wait here a moment," Giles requested as he dashed up the stairs to his bedroom. He returned moments later and ushered Willow to the couch. He sat her facing away from him.
"What're you…" she started to ask, trying to turn to face him.
"Just trust me," he insisted, holding her shoulders, preventing her from facing him.
Willow sighed, "Fine."
Giles simply smiled as he raised the hairbrush to her hay-strewn locks. Giles tenderly ran the brush through her hair, careful not to pull it as he studiously removed all traces of their romp in the hay from her fiery mane.
"Mmm." This time when Willow sighed it was out of contentment, rather than exasperation. She hadn't had her hair brushed so lovingly since she was a small child sitting at her mother's feet. Willow gave herself a mental shake – this was nothing like having her hair brushed by her mother.
Giles' tender movements through her hair were almost sensual in nature. His free hand followed the brush's path, caressing the unrestricted silky strands. His fingertips grazed against her neck, sending shivers down her spine.
When he finished, Giles leaned forward until his mouth was next to her ear. "That wasn't so bad now, was it?"
Willow leaned back against his chest. "Mm, no. Not bad at all." She turned her head so that she was able to meet Giles' lips. As the kiss grew in intensity Willow's position became awkward. Sensing this, Giles placed his hands on her hips and pulled her onto his lap.
"Much better," Willow mumbled as they briefly parted for some much needed oxygen.
Giles' caressing of her back effectively removed any stray piece of hay that might have remained from their earlier activities. He trailed his lips down her creamy neck, finding the sensitive spot at the base of her throat. Willow mewled in pleasure and shifted on his lap, feeling the very prominent evidence of his pleasure.
Giles froze when he felt Willow rub against him. Realization of what was happening and whom he was kissing suddenly dawned on him. He reluctantly pulled away from Willow, leaning against the back of the couch.
Sensing his change in attitude, Willow questioned, "What's wrong? Why'd you stop? Did I do something wrong?"
"Of course not Willow," he tried to reassure her, making certain to use her name to remind him of exactly who was on his lap.
"Then why…" she whimpered.
Giles raised a hand to her face, angry with himself for causing her to question herself.
"I'm sorry. It's just that things seemed to be progressing rather quickly there."
"And what's so wrong with that?" Willow purred, running her hand down his chest. Giles caught her hand before it could run too low.
"There is something wrong," Willow confirmed.
"Call me old fashioned, but I don't want to rush anything."
"That's not old fashioned," Willow told him, caressing his face. "That's sweet, if a little frustrating."
Giles chuckled, he couldn't help himself, which brought a smile to Willow's face as well.
"I guess this is as good a time as any for that talk I knew was coming," Willow said, sliding off Giles' lap to sit beside him, leaving a hand on his arm.
"And what talk was that?" Giles laughingly asked.
"You know which talk," she lightly slapped his arm, blushing as she continued. "The one where I say that I've wanted to kiss you for a very long time and then you say you've wanted me too, but thought I was too young for you. And even though it will be difficult to be together, and Buffy's probably going to freak, it'll be worth it if we can make each other happy, which I really think we can."
"Given this some thought I see?"
"Haven't you?" she countered.
"Yes, I have," he answered her seriously. "And you made some valid points there. There is our age difference to consider, as well as the reactions of your friends. And I have longed to kiss you for an indecently long time," he sheepishly admitted, dipping his head to do so again.
"So what happens now?" Willow asked him. "Can we make this work?"
"There's only one way to find out." Giles resolutely stated. He lifted one of Willow's hands in his and somberly asked her, "My dear Willow, would you do me the honor of accompanying me out on a date?"
"Of course I will," she squealed, wrapping him in a hug. Just as quickly she pulled away and tried to school her face to say, "It would be my pleasure."
"Happy Halloween, Willow," he murmured no longer able to resist the pull of her lips.
"Yes it is," she confirmed, seconds before losing herself in Giles again.
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Copyright© October 2003