Title: Sunshine in the Morning
Author: Elisabeth
Email: dragonydreams@yahoo.com
Rating: PG
Summary: Sequel to 'In the Late Hours of the Night' - the morning after.
Dedication: Thanks for all your help and support Andrea.


Sunshine in the Morning


Light was filtering through a crack in the curtains and insistently landed on Willow's closed eyes. She felt the light through her closed eyelids and sighed, regretting the arrival of morning. For the first time in months she felt rested upon waking. She didn't feel the oppressive weight of her actions keeping her rooted to her bed. For once she hadn't had nightmares reliving what she had done to Warren, and to Giles.

Willow smiled and sighed a happy sigh again. Giles was in her dream last night, but this time he wasn't fighting her. This time he held her close and loved her. She had often dreamed of making love to Giles, even while she was with Tara. She felt guilty for dreaming of him that way when she was in love with a woman, but she had no control over what her subconscious did when it was in control.

Last night's dream had felt so real. She could almost still feel his arm around her and smell his musky manly smell. Willow rolled onto her back and slowly opened her eyes.

"Oh Goddess," she whispered, stilling any further movement. It hadn't been a dream. Giles was lying on his stomach next to her with an arm casually draped across her waist. Her first instinct was to panic. As she lay there memories of the previous night come flooding back. Giles had heard her crying and came in to comfort her. At first he had just held her and offered soothing words. Until she'd asked for more.

Willow sat up and leaned against the headboard at that realization - she had kissed him, then deepened the kisses of comfort. She had asked him to make love to her. Feelings of confusion circled through her head. Not just circled, they were doing figure eights, back and forth. She had always turned to Giles for comfort, but she was gay, but she loved him. But she loved him? No, she was in love with Tara. But Tara is dead and Giles is alive and warm and next to her, and she has always loved him. Yes but as a role model, a teacher, a friend. Okay, so she used to have a crush on him but that was over, right?

Willow's abrupt movement of sitting up woke Giles from pleasant dreams of making love to Willow. He, though, knew upon waking that he had actually performed the act the night before. He was also aware that Willow might have some regrets, even though he had none. He had wanted to make love to Willow for too many years and he could not be happier that he had lived his dream, even if it could only be that one time, for he doubted that Willow would want to do it again. He knew, as painful as it was to admit, that Willow had only wanted comforting, to feel loved. How much she was loved she would probably never know.

Giles decided it was time to stop feigning sleep and face the music. Slowly he rolled onto his back and sat up. Willow's head was leaning back against the headboard and her eyes were closed. She looked so beautiful. He started to reach out to caress her cheek, but thought better of it. He didn't want to shock her. Instead he softly said, "Good Morning."

"Morning," Willow smiled, opening her eyes to meet his. She studied his face, looking for regret. When she found none she leaned forward and softly kissed his lips.

Giles gave in to temptation and brought his hand up to caress her cheek. When she pulled back a short time later he cocked his head to the side and asked, "Willow?"

"I was just checking on something," she shrugged. "Look. I know we have to talk about last night. You have questions, and so do I. For now let's get up, shower, get dressed and we can talk over breakfast. Okay?"

"Okay."

Willow slid back down to retrieve her nightshirt from the floor. Once it was on she got up and handed Giles his robe, averting her eyes as he donned it and got out of her bed. As he headed to the door he said, "Right then, I'll see you shortly, at breakfast."

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

By the time Willow made it downstairs Giles had finished preparing breakfast. He had been puttering around the kitchen dreading the upcoming conversation. When he saw Willow sit at the table he said as calmly as possible, "I was starting to think you weren't coming."

"Sorry. I was trying to figure out what to say," she admitted.

"Oh, and did you?"

"No." She finally looked up at him at attempted to smile. "Can you please sit down? You're making me nervous."

"Right. Sorry." He sat. "Better?"

Awkward silence once again filled the room until they both spoke at once, "Willow..." "Giles..."

"I'm sorry," Giles finished.

"I'm not."

"You're not? I was afraid you would think me a right churl for taking advantage of you in your weakened state."

"You didn't take advantage of me. Maybe I was weak, but not in the way that you think."

Giles' face was a mixture of confusion and hope. "Please explain that."

"Well," Willow shifted uncomfortably in her seat, "last night was something that I have wanted for a long time. From before, and even after, I met Tara. And having you hold me last night, I just let the fantasy take over. So, in a way, I kinda took advantage of you."

"In that case it was mutually advantageous. I am embarrassed to admit that I have wanted last night for a very long time. I never let myself hope that it might happen, especially after you became involved with Tara. I... I love you Willow. I'm in love with you. And I don't expect you to return my feelings. I thought that you deserved to know that last night I was making love with you, not just having sex. And..."

"I love you too," Willow interrupted. "I'm not entirely sure what that means right now. For a while is was a crush, and then a deep trusting friendship. I know that I need you in my life and before today I never let myself think that you could be more than just a friend. I know that it will take some time, but I'm willing to see where this is going to go, if you'll just be patient with me."

"Oh Willow," Giles took hold of one of her hands, "take as much time as you need. I understand that you are still in mourning. Just know that I will help you through it in any way that I can, and I will be here waiting for you when you are ready."

"Promise?"

"Promise." Giles moved around the table to seal the promise with a kiss. He knelt next to Willow and took her face in his hands, gently drawing their lips together. The kiss was gentle, full of hope and good intentions for the future. Slowly Willow deepened the kiss, sliding her tongue past his lips, making her own promises.

"You know," Willow said after she caught her breath, giving him a mischievous look, "I haven't made my bed yet. Want to see if we can make it messier?"

The look in Giles' eyes matched Willow's. "What do you think?"

"Race ya." After a quick peck on the lips she ran out of the room. Moments later Giles was chasing after her. Their laughter could be heard throughout the house.

 

The End

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Copyrightę January 2003