Tumblin' Down

Part Sixteen

"Willy's was a bust," Buffy announced as she and Xander entered Giles' apartment. "All the little weasel would say is that they're not here to hurt anyone. As if."

"Actually," Giles nervously disagreed, "they are benign."

"How would you know that?" The slayer asked, glaring menacingly at her watcher, taking a small degree of satisfaction in his backwards step.

"We, ah, we ran into them… a-at the construction site."

"They're healers," Willow added, leaning against Giles to offer him some moral support.

"What were they healing?" Xander asked. "And why at my site?"

Now Willow looked nervous too. She glanced up at Giles, wondering if they should say who was healed. "A vampire," she vaguely said. "They used the site because of the natural materials and the open space. I asked them to move any future rituals to the woods at the edge of town."

"Any vampire in particular," Buffy asked, knowing her friends were keeping something from her. They obviously knew who was healed, and why magick was needed to do it.

"Sure," Willow admitted. "One who had been captured and had a computer chip put in his brain so that he couldn't bite people anymore."

"What aren't you telling me?" the blonde asked, throwing her hands up in frustration. She spun to look at Willow, "They can do that? Make vampires not able to bite?"

"Yep," the hacker agreed, grinning widely. "I wish they'd saved the chip. I would have loved to study it."

"The vamp must have hated that. Not being able to feed." Xander grinned, having no issues with frustrating the vampire population.

"Yeah, that's why Spike called on the VHU to take it out." Willow slapped a hand over her mouth as she realized what she'd said.

"Spike?!" Buffy screeched. "It was Spike?"

Willow looked up at Giles, panic etched into her face. He took pity on her and confirmed, "Yes, Spike is the vampire who had been neutered."

Buffy and Xander broke out in a fit of laughter, as if they'd just been told the best joke in the world.

As she tried to catch her breath, Buffy panted, "Spike, William the Bloody, couldn't bite. Man, I wish I could have seen that."

When Xander put together the information about the healers and Spike he paled. "But it's gone now? He can bite again? With all kinds of anger and aggression to work out?"

"Uh-huh," Willow agreed.

They were all silent for a minute as they contemplated the dangers of Spike out for revenge against humanity.

"I guess it's time to finally dust the blond wonder once and for all," Buffy finally said.

"What about these healer vamps?" Xander asked. "Are they leaving now?"

"They said they would stay in town until they were certain their services were no longer needed," Giles said. "Spike may not have been the only vampire who was so incapacitated."

"They said they'd leave you alone if you do the same," Willow added.

"You mean I can't stake them?" Buffy pouted.

"Not unless provoked," Giles evenly said, a gleam in his eyes.

"Well, okay then," Buffy nodded, hoping to she'd be able to get them to provoke her.


Another week passed with no VHU sightings, at least by Buffy.

Willow had sought them out one evening to ask if they could tell her whether or not the strengthening spell was working. After much convincing, the leader agreed to read Willow's aura and determined that her hip was indeed knitting faster than it should be. Willow squealed in joy and ran home to make an appointment with her doctor with many thanks to the VHU.

Several days later Buffy drove Willow to the doctor's office. Willow insisted that she wanted her friend to drive her, despite Buffy's knuckle-whitening driving skills.

Willow sat nervously on the examination table, awaiting the doctor's return with her newest x-rays.

"This doesn't make any sense," Dr. Ashman muttered as he opened and closed the door to Willow's room.

Worry immediately flooded Willow's face. "Is something wrong with the x-rays?" she asked, wishing she'd asked Buffy to come in with her.

"What?" the doctor distracted asked. Realizing he'd spoken his thoughts aloud, he quickly apologized. "No, nothing to worry about. Quite the contrary." He put the x-ray on the backlit board. "See here, this is where the pins are. Usually at this stage we still see obvious fracture lines, but here you can see this area of calcification," the doctor trailed a finger over a more brightly lit area on the bone, "indicating there's been far more healing than we usually see at this stage, post-operatively. Remarkable," he muttered.

"That's a good thing, then?" Willow asked hopefully.

"Very good. How have you been feeling? Has the pain lessened?"

Willow enthusiastically nodded her head. "Yes, there's hardly any pain at all anymore. I'm still using my little cushion and the cane, because I'm still kinda stiff, but it doesn't really hurt." Willow paused to look down and blush. "I've even tried using the stairs in the apartment and I can almost do them normally."

"Willow, you shouldn't be pushing yourself like that," Dr. Ashman admonished.

"I know, but it wasn't hurting," Willow quickly tried to explain. "Besides, you had said that stairs would be a test of healing, so I was testing myself."

"And if you weren't going through this remarkably speedy recovery you could have seriously hampered your recovery." Dr. Ashman looked down at her.

"But since I am healing so quickly…" Willow prompted.

"You were lucky," he said succinctly.

"But can I… I mean am I ready… Is my body…" Willow struggled with the words she desperately wanted to ask her doctor. Finally she whispered, "When I can I have sex?"

Years of being in the medical profession had steeled Dr. Ashman for questions of this nature, no longer causing him to fidget nervously and/or blush. He could understand the desire for physical intimacy, especially when knowing you can't have it.

"Let's do a few more tests before I give you a green light on that," he offered.

"What kinds of tests?" Willow nervously asked.

"We'll meet with your physical therapist, and if I see with my own eyes that you appear to be in no discomfort then I will caution you to be careful, but to proceed."

"Thank you," Willow squealed, wanting to jump up and hug the doctor.

"Don't thank me yet. Let me call down to the training room and we'll see if we can schedule a time for later this week."

Willow's face fell. "We can't do it today?"

Dr. Ashman chuckled. "I have other appointments this afternoon, Willow. As I'm sure your PT does. You've waited this long, a few more days won't kill you."

Part Seventeen

Two days after her appointment with Dr. Ashman, Willow met him, and her PT for additional tests. She had waited to do her strengthening spell until an hour before her appointment to make sure she passed her tests with flying colors.

They had her do resistance tests, weight lifting tests, bending exercises, and finally the test of all tests, the Stairmaster. Willow patiently and diligently performed each new exercise, easily completing each task as desired.

When she returned from changing back into her street clothes, the doctor and physical therapist were deep in conversation. Cautiously, she approached them.

Dr. Ashman noticed Willow's approach and moved to speak privately with her.

"Well?" Willow asked, trying to keep the hope out of her voice.

"Well," Dr. Ashman slowly began, "For some reason that I can not fathom, your body seems to have healed itself in half of the time that I expected. I would caution you to continue to take things slowly, but I don't see any reason to delay intimate relations."

This time Willow impulsively wrapped her arms around the doctor, hugging him tightly for several seconds before regaining her composure. "Thank you so much, Dr. Ashman."

"I didn't do anything," he denied. "It's your body that worked overtime to heal itself. I don't know what you were doing at home, but keep it up."

"Oh, I will," Willow grinned.

Before she had a chance to leave, Dr. Ashman cautioned, "Willow, pardon me for saying this, but even though I said it should be okay for you to resume intimate relations, I need to caution you to be careful. Your hip, despite its apparent health, is still mending. You should try not to put undue pressure on it. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Willow was blushing furiously by now. "Yeah, I think so." She lowered her voice and leaned in closer to whisper in his ear. "You're suggesting I should be on top."

Dr. Ashman needed to clear his throat before he was able to nod his agreement. "Ah, yes."

"I think I can manage that," Willow quietly said.

She picked up her bag and would have skipped down the hallway if the doctor hadn't been watching her. Instead she settled for walking with a bounce in her step to meet Buffy. They had some serious planning to do.


In anticipation of a positive outcome of Willow's tests, Buffy had booked them an afternoon of pampering at the one and only spa in town. They got facials, manicures, pedicures, leg and bikini waxings, and massages.

They discussed the best possible ways to tell Giles what the doctor had said. Buffy, pretending that it wasn't her watcher they were talking about, suggested not telling him anything and simply jumping his bones when Willow walked in the door. As tempting as that sounded to the redhead, she thought something a bit more romantic was in order.

Despite all of the relaxing they were doing, Willow was internally a jangled bunch of nerves. Not only was there the lingering concern that she didn't want to do anything to damage her hip, but she was going to make love with Giles. It was something she had always fantasized about, even before she had a practical understanding of what sex involved. While she hoped his body ached for hers as much as hers did him, there was that girlish fear that when the time came he wouldn't want to. If that was the case, she'd just have to convince him, she thought, an impish grin spreading across her face.


Willow entered the apartment through the back door, alone. Buffy knew better than to attempt to come inside with the amount of sexual energy radiating off her best friend. As she neared the living room she could hear music. Her eyes opened wide when she saw Giles sitting on the couch, playing a guitar.

Giles was so absorbed in practicing his song, humming along softly to it, that he hadn't heard Willow enter the apartment. He knew her appointment with her doctor and physical therapist was today and he was dying to know how it had gone. He'd gone so far as to pull his old guitar from the back of a closet in order to calm his nerves.

He'd always found music to be a wonderful way to focus his nervous energy. Instead of fidgeting he plucked the strings, lovingly coaxing favorite songs out of the instrument. He'd been so busy in the last several months that he hadn't had time to practice, but today he strongly felt the need for some consolation from his old friend.

"That's beautiful," Willow said, interrupting his train of thought. "I didn't know you played."

Giles sheepishly looked up at Willow. "I'm really not very good," he said.

"Nonsense," Willow contradicted. She entered the room and sat down next to Giles on the couch. "You were playing wonderfully. The song sounded familiar, what was it?"

"Oh, um, David Bowie's As The World Falls Down*."

"The title doesn't ring any bells. Play it for me?" Willow sweetly asked.

Giles was nervous about playing for Willow as he usually only played alone, but she was looking at him with such love and trust that he found himself unable to deny her. "All right."

Willow sat back against the arm of the couch so that she could watch Giles as he played for her.


There's such a sad love
Deep in your eyes, a kind of pale jewel
Open and closed within your eyes
I'll place the sky within your eyes

There's such a fooled heart
Beating so fast in search of new dreams
A love that will last within your heart
I'll place the moon within your heart

As the pain sweeps through
Makes no sense for you
Every thrill has gone
Wasn't too much fun at all
But I'll be there for you-oo-oo
As the world falls down

(As the world) Falling down
Falling in love

Memories of watching Oz play flitted through Willow's mind. She had spent countless hours watching him practice with the other Dingoes or on stage at the Bronze. But she couldn't remember him ever sitting down to play for just her. Maybe it was because he was a guitarist and not the singer for the band. She wouldn't have cared if his voice had been terrible though, so long as it was directed at her.

But Giles, her Rupert, was singing for her and her alone. He was sharing with her his voice and his music, which she could see he liked to keep to himself. Heck, she had been living with him for two months and she'd had no idea he knew how to play the guitar, let alone so well or with such confidence.


I'll paint you mornings of gold
I'll spin you Valentine evenings
Though we're strangers till now
We're choosing the path between the stars
I'll leave my love between the stars

As the pain sweeps through
Makes no sense for you
Every thrill has gone
Wasn't too much fun at all
But I'll be there for you-oo-oo
As the world falls down

As the world falls down.
As the world falls down.
Falling in love
As the world falls down.
Falling in love
As the world falls down.
Makes no sense at all.
Makes no sense to fall.
As the world falls down.
Falling in love
As the world falls down.
Falling in love
As the world falls down.

It was Willow's sigh of contentment that drew Giles' eyes to her face as he broke off the song. He hadn't allowed himself to watch her as he'd bared his soul, instead closing his eyes, concentrating on the notes and words.

Giles had to swallow around the sudden lump in his throat at the look on Willow's face. It was a radiant mixture of surprise, happiness, love and lust.

"You have a beautiful voice," she huskily whispered, licking her suddenly dry lips.

"Thank you. I don't get a chance to practice very often," he shyly admitted.

"No one's ever sung to me like that before," Willow said with a shy smile.

Giles looked surprised. "Not even Oz?"

Willow shook her head. "He always said that he was only good when playing with the others. He also said he couldn't sing, and what's the point of playing just the guitar parts without the words."

"Oz was a fool," Giles said.

"Lucky for you," Willow grinned, sliding next to her current boyfriend. "And me."

Giles set the guitar on the coffee table and welcomed Willow into his arms.

"Di-did you ever sing for Olivia?" Willow couldn't help asking.

"No," Giles softly said, running a hand through Willow's hair. "I haven't played for a woman since before I left England."

Willow grinned, unbelievably happy with that idea. It was selfish she knew, but this was her man and right now she didn't want to think about anyone else hearing his voice so full of love and music as she just had.

"I'm glad," she admitted. "Makes it more special. Just for us."

"Anything for you," Giles agreed.

Willow finally gave in to temptation and gently pressed her lips against Giles'. She slowly moved her lips against his, savoring the feel of them against her own. His mouth was soft and pliable, welcoming her teasing pressure.

Giles groaned into the sensual kiss. He wanted to pull Willow closer, take control and ravage her mouth, but he was enjoying this kiss way too much to change it. Even so, he managed to pull Willow onto his lap, wrapping his arms around her body.

Willow was surprised to realize she was now sitting on top of Giles instead of next to him when she pulled back so that they could take a couple of deep breaths, but she wasn't about to complain. When she kissed him again she allowed her tongue to tease his mouth open before finally sliding inside to mate with Giles'.

Giles' hands caressed every inch of Willow's back from her silky hair to her luscious bottom. On one upward trek he slipped his hands beneath her shirt, reveling in the feeling of heated flesh against his hands. Willow moaned into his mouth at the touch as well.

The next time they separated for air Giles panted, "What did the doctor say?"

"He said I should be on top." Willow wriggled on his lap, just in case he had any doubts as to what the doctor had meant.

Part Eighteen

Once the look of shock faded from Giles' face a slow, sexy grin took its place. His body relaxed as tension of a different kind overtook him. When he spoke, his accent was thickened with desire, "Did he now?"

"Well, not in so many words…" Willow trailed off with a blush, her hands stilling on his chest. Even though she knew she was about to have sex with Giles, she still felt embarrassed to talk about it with him. "He said that, for some strange reason, my hip seems to have healed in half the time it should have. He said that it should be fine to… resume intimate relations, but he cautioned me not to put undue pressure on it."

"Hence the you on top comment," Giles teased.

"Um, yeah," Willow ducked her head, a little embarrassed for her brazen comment.

Sensing Willow's embarrassment, and wanting to return her to her playful mood, Giles raised her face to meet his eyes. "I don't think that will be a problem," he told her, claiming her mouth with a passionate kiss.

Willow felt her reservations wash away under the intensity of the kiss. A small part of her still feared that now that they were able to make love that Giles wouldn't want to. Or that he would want to wait until he could be on top. The fact that he seemed even more turned on, if the bulge digging into her thigh was any indication, only fueled her ardor.

The next time they separated for air, Willow couldn't help saying, "If you don't want to do this now, we can wait."

"Do you want to wait?" Giles asked, disappointment entering his eyes before he could stop it, the idea never having entered his mind.

"Goddess, no; but I've had more time to get used to the idea. I didn't want to seem all demanding with a 'since we can, let's jump into bed now' behavior."

"Willow, it feels like I've been waiting years for this moment, no further delay is necessary." To emphasize his point, Giles slipped an arm under Willow's knees and stood. He swiftly headed towards Willow's bedroom, his guitar forgotten on the coffee table.

The second Willow was on her feet, she attacked Giles' shirt, inwardly cursing his choice of a button-down shirt today of all days. Giles chuckled at her enthusiasm, catching her hands in his before she pulled a button off in her haste. He brought their joined hands up to his lips, lightly kissing her knuckles in response to her glare.

"Not wanting to delay doesn't mean that we need to rush," he told her. "I don't want our first time making love to be a quick shag. Let me love you as you deserve to be."

Willow nodded her head, unable to find words as her mind filled with images of Giles slowly loving her. Her heartbeat quickened as she relaxed her posture, waiting to see what he had in mind.

Seeing her compliance, Giles returned Willow's hands to his shirt, whispering against her lips, "Slowly," just before lightly pressing his lips against hers. His lips were soft, gently teasing Willow's. She opened her mouth in invitation, but he ignored it, for now. Instead, he took her bottom lip between his, gently sucking and nibbling it with his teeth.

Willow moaned at the gentle assault that was quickly turning her knees to jelly. Instead of completing the unbuttoning of Giles shirt, her hands splayed against the bit of chest she'd already uncovered, leaning against him for support.

Giles' arms were wrapped securely around Willow, helping to keep her upright. He loved that she was virtually putty in his hands. He loved that he was able to turn this amazing, strong woman into a puddle of goo with a few words and gentle touches. As much as he wanted to take it slowly, his body's need to be inside Willow was quickly taking control, and he decided to move things along.

Giles moved his kisses down to Willow's neck, finding that sensitive spot behind her ear. He felt her shudder in response and grinned against her skin. His hands found the hem of Willow's shirt and he lifted it up and over her head. When he lowered his head again, he began to cover her shoulders with kisses.

The cool air against her heated flesh did wonders for refocusing Willow's attention. She realized that Giles had succeeded in removing her top and she had yet to do the same to him. She returned to her task of sliding each button from its hole, in part to remove the offending garment, but also as a means to distract herself from Giles' wonderful mouth exploring her skin.

She finally opened all the buttons she could reach, and pulled the shirttails out of Giles' pants to reach the last couple of ones. Once free, she slid her blunt, newly manicured nails up his furry chest, from belt to shoulders in order to push the material down his arms.

Willow slid her hands back up his arms and around his back to grasp his shoulders from behind. She placed a kiss on his sternum before altering her course and taking one of his nipples into her mouth.

Giles hissed in pleasure at her warm mouth covering his nipple. His hands sought out the catch on Willow's bra, growing frustrated when he wasn't finding it by touch. Willow giggled against his chest as she reached up and opened the front clasp and shrugged out of her bra.

"There's no need to laugh," Giles pouted.

"Sorry," Willow apologized, clearly not. Running her hand along his waistband, she began to unbuckle his belt. "Let me make it up to you?"

"Hmm, not just yet." With greater speed than Willow could have predicted possible, Giles lifted her and set her on the bed, capturing one of her breasts in his mouth.

"Whenever," she sighed as she lost herself to the talent of his tongue.

Giles wanted to grin, but his lips were otherwise occupied, conforming to Willow's breast. His tongue alternately flicked its point against her pebbled nipple and lapped at the surrounding flesh. Willow's fingers wound into his hair, holding him close, encouraging his actions.

He only spent a couple of minutes worshiping this breast before switching to the other one, paying it equal homage.

As much as Willow loved the feeling of Giles' mouth on her breasts, it was a feeling she had experienced before. Having had hours to fantasize about this final joining, she was ready for him. While Giles was distracted nibbling a taught nipple, Willow slid her hands down his back, under the waistband of his pants, and around to the front where she resumed unbuckling his belt.

When Giles realized his fly was open he pulled back to look up at Willow. Taking advantage of his curiosity, Willow pushed him over onto his back and stood, reaching for the waistband of his pants. Giles kicked off his shoes when he realized what Willow was doing, then lifted his hips to make it easier for her to pull his pants and boxers down.

Once Giles was lying gloriously naked on the bed, Willow took two steps back and kicked off her sandals. She teasingly unbuttoned and unzipped her shorts, shimmying out of them. Her panties quickly followed.

The soon-to-be lovers spent a minute simply admiring the other.

Giles was on his back, propped up on his elbows, blatant hunger in his eyes. Willow's eyes pulled away from his, skimming over his firm chest, down to his bobbing erection. Even though she had seen and played with it before, knowing that it would soon be inside her as it was meant to be sent shivers of anticipation down her spine. Unconsciously, she stepped forward, hand outstretched, to feel the hard flesh again.

When Willow broke eye contact, Giles took the opportunity to lovingly admire the curves of the redhead's body he so loved. Her hair was slightly disheveled from their earlier play, her lips were full from their kisses, her breasts were full and tipped with puckered nipples. Traveling down her body, Giles admired her flat stomach and, hello, her manicured mound. 'So that's where she was after her appointment,' he silently mused, admiring the trimmed triangle of red hair above Willow's sex. He was so transfixed on her newly-styled thatch that he didn't notice Willow had moved closer until her warm hand wrapped around his cock.

Giles hissed in pleasure when Willow took him in her hand, stoking him lightly a couple of times. He knew he wouldn't last long, just the knowledge of finally making love to Willow having him hard and ready for her.

"Come here," he rasped. "I want to taste you."

Willow couldn't contain the blush his forward words raised. She loved when he licked her, but to have him ask for it was still shocking. Even though she was ready to simply climb on top of him and sink onto his cock, she also couldn't resist the call of Giles' mouth on her. She climbed onto the bed, straddling Giles face and grabbed a hold of the headboard for the support she knew she was going to need.

Giles ran his hands up Willow's smooth legs, following the crease where her thighs met her pelvis and around to rest on her bum. He pulled her down until he could run his tongue along her slit - one long lap along her outer lips before dipping underneath.

He moaned in pleasure at the wetness he found already waiting. He was relieved that it wouldn't take nearly as long to prepare her as he'd thought. Moving one hand back around, he easily slid first one and then two fingers inside her, his tongue attacking her clit.

Willow held herself as still as possible, not wanting to move too quickly. It was a difficult task when the feeling of Giles' fingers and mouth were rapidly driving her insane. She bit her lip to try to stave off her impending release, failing miserably just a couple of minutes later when she cried out, "Goddess, Giles," as her climax flooded Giles' face.

Giles lifted Willow so that she was now sitting dazedly next to him on the bed. It pleased him that she was so turned on already that he was able to bring her to climax so quickly. Taking advantage of her daze, Giles slipped off the bed to wipe his face and retrieve a small foil packet from the dresser.

Willow was vaguely aware that Giles had moved from the bed, but she was still high from the endorphins that were released during her orgasm to care yet. When she came back to herself, he was lying on his side, stroking her hair.

Seeing the focus come back to her eyes, Giles said, "There's my girl."

"Oh, I'm here," Willow responded. "You're amazing." She kissed him briefly. "Where'd you go?"

Giles held up the condom in answer. "Good thinking," she mumbled, not having thought that far ahead, and definitely not wanting to get pregnant.

"Well, thinking rather is my specialty, isn't it," Giles teased. "Are you certain you're ready for this?"

Willow let her eyes travel over his body one more time and despite her recent orgasm, her body surged with desire. "Absolutely," she breathed.

Giles quickly opened the packet and rolled the condom over his straining erection. Then he took Willow's hands and guided her over his body. With one hand on her hip and the other holding the base of his cock, Giles helped ease himself inside of Willow.

Willow balanced herself on with one hand on Giles' chest and the other holding onto his arm that was bracing her (uninjured) hip. Slowly, she lowered herself, inch by inch, until he was fully inside her. They both sighed when Willow rested against Giles' thighs.

After a moment of adjustment, Giles began to lift Willow, setting a comfortable pace. She caught onto his rhythm and took over the movement of her body so that Giles could concentrate on lifting his hips to meet her halfway. Their eyes locked, light green focusing on dark, lust matching desire, love matching love.

Giles sat up, capturing Willow's mouth in a fiery kiss. His tongue thrust into her mouth in time with his hips' frantic thrusts up into Willow.

Willow held onto Giles tightly, wanting to say something, but having no words for the incredible pleasure she was feeling. She eagerly returned his kiss, expressing herself through her body what she couldn't say aloud.

When he pulled back for air, Giles panted, "Are you all right? Is there any pain?"

"Pain? Never heard of it," Willow grinned, nipping at his earlobe. "All I feel is like I'm gonna cum again."

"That's good, as I'm rather close myself," Giles admitted. With one more brief, yet passionate kiss, Giles lay back down in order to get better leverage of their bodies.

Willow also slightly altered her movements so that her clit was now rubbing against him with every thrust. Her hands were once again resting against Giles' chest, her nails pulling at the hairs covering his skin. She began to pant as she felt herself nearing the edge again.

Giles tried to keep his grip on her hips light. He could feel his sac tightening as his movements became more disjointed. Finally with a several short jerks, he roared, "Jeez… Willow."

She didn't hear him as she was caught in her own cries of release, her muscles clamping down on Giles, squeezing him as if she were never going to release him. Her head fell down to rest on the sweaty chest beneath her as the last ripples of her orgasm ran through her.

Giles wanted to lift his hand to stroke the head that was suddenly on his chest, but found that it wouldn't listen to him. Instead, it remained a dead weight on Willow's hip. When he realized he was beginning to soften, Giles reluctantly urged Willow off of him in order to dispose of the condom.

Willow didn't want to move… ever. She was sated and in the arms of, okay, on top of, the man she loved. She groaned in disappointment when she felt Giles' hands lifting her up again, but she helped him nevertheless. With a pout she sat up until Giles slipped from her body, then rolled onto her side.

Giles reluctantly got up to tie off and toss the condom before turning to rejoin Willow on the bed. The sight of her lying sweaty, sated, and waiting for him, filled him with a contentment he had never known before.

Giles slid into bed behind Willow, who had her eyes closed. He pulled a blanket up over them before making himself comfortable, slipping one of his legs between hers and wrapping an arm around her waist.

Kissing her shoulder, he asked, "Are you asleep?"

"Mm-hmm," came the sleepy reply. "Thank you, that was perfect."

"You're perfect," he corrected. "I love you Willow, more than I ever thought possible."

Willow tiredly lifted the hand that was around her waist to her mouth. She kissed it before putting it back. "Love you too. Go sleepy now."

"An excellent idea," Giles sighed. He snuggled in closer to his lover, a smile gracing his face at how appropriate the word now was.

Part Nineteen

Giles woke several hours later, wrapped around Willow, who was still sound asleep. A small smile of wonder crossed his face as the events of the afternoon replayed themselves in his head.

He and Willow had made love… and it had been perfect. Willow had been playful and nervous and incredibly sexy.

Giles had to suppress a chuckle, remembering her declaration that she should be on top. As if he would pass up the opportunity to watch Willow's beautiful, lithe body ride him, watching as her pert breasts danced before his eyes, begging for attention…

He had also been relieved that she hadn't balked when he'd produced the condom. Despite having lived a life of sexual inhibition in his "reckless youth," Giles knew better than to take such risks anymore. He cared for Willow far too much to risk getting her pregnant. Her body was in no state to carry a child. Although, for the first time in his life, Giles could imagine starting a family of his own - with the woman in his arms.

The pressure on his bladder, and the slight rumble from his stomach finally convinced Giles to pull himself from the body intertwined with his. He pulled the pillow from beneath his head and slipped it between Willow's legs as he removed his. He paused as Willow shifted, but didn't wake, before rolling out of bed. He grabbed his robe off the hook on the back of the door before heading to the bathroom.

In the kitchen, Giles debated making a lavish meal, knowing Willow would wake just as hungry as he had. Not knowing how long she would sleep, he opted for making a couple of sandwiches. He ate his quickly in the kitchen, famished as he was. Then he carried a plate with Willow's sandwich, along with a glass of milk, back to Willow's room.

Willow was still asleep, bless her heart. Although she was now wearing a slight frown, as if she knew he was no longer next to her.

Giles set the food on the night table and stole a look at the dresser. With a foolish grin and a shake of his head he crossed to the dresser and removed the box of condoms hidden inside.

He knew it was presumptuous to think that Willow would want to make love again so soon. Her body may be too exhausted, or sore, to go again just yet. A man could hope though.

Giles set the condoms next to the food and slipped off his robe, hanging it back up before crawling back into bed with his love. Sliding behind Willow, he resumed the position he had woken in; replacing his leg between Willow's legs, removing the pillow, his arm wrapping around Willow, his hand lightly cupping one of her breasts.

Willow's eyes slowly drifted open and a wide, satisfied smile spread across her face. She could feel Giles pressed against her back, his thumb was lightly caressing her breast, the hairs on his thigh were tickling hers, and she could feel his half-formed erection against her butt. She turned her head to find him watching her.

"Hey," she greeted her lover, her hand reaching to caress his cheek.

"Hello, yourself." Giles turned his head slightly to kiss her palm. "How are you feeling?"

"Wonderful," Willow sighed. "How long was I out for?"

"A few hours," Giles smiled. "I only woke a short while ago myself."

"You tuckered me out," Willow sexily grinned.

"We tuckered each other out," Giles countered with a smirk.

Wiggling against him, Willow observed, "Seems like someone's up for round two."

"Only if you are," Giles seriously said. "I never want to make you feel pressured. It's not my fault you keep me in a constant state of arousal," he teased.

Some more strategic wriggling caused Giles to become even harder, and gasp.

"Oh, I'm ready," Willow huskily told him, pulling his head down to kiss her.

When they separated, Giles panted, "Well, in that case…" He turned and grabbed a condom off the bedside table.

"Plan ahead did we?" Willow giggled, happy to see Giles so excited to be with her again.

"Always," Giles playfully growled.

Willow started to pull away to move onto her knees, but Giles' hand on her hip stayed her.

"No," he softly said, "as we woke up."

"But, my hip…" Willow began.

Giles silenced her with a hungry kiss, trailing his hand down her abdomen and between her thighs to dip his fingers beneath her folds. He lightly stroked her clit, sliding two fingers inside her. Breaking the kiss, Giles continued to stimulate her.

"Is there any pressure on your hip right now?" he asked.

"No," Willow moaned, thrusting her hips back against him. She was always amazed at how quickly he could arouse her.

"Then like this?" Giles asked against her ear.

"Yes," Willow said, the word nearly lost in the hitch of her breath. She whimpered at the loss of Giles' hand when he withdrew it, but she could feel him moving around behind her, fitting himself with a condom. She was really going to have to get back on the pill soon so he could stop fiddling with those things. She made a mental note to call her gynecologist first thing in the morning.

All further thought was promptly put on hold when Giles lifted her leg a bit more as he scooted down the bed a bit and positioned himself at her entrance. Willow took a deep breath as Giles slowly rocked his hips against hers. With each roll of his hips he slipped a little farther into her body. Willow released the breath she was holding on a hiss when Giles was fully embedded inside her warmth.

Giles lowered his head to kiss Willow's shoulder, keeping his hips still, needing a moment to regain control of his body. Willow was just as tight as she had been earlier; perhaps more so due to their current position.

Willow pressed her hips back into Giles, eager to get on with it. Her hand slipped back to run over his hip and ass. She felt the cheek clench as Giles began to move again. Turning her head back to Giles', Willow recaptured his mouth in a slow, sensuous kiss.

Their movements were slow, almost languid. The desperation of their earlier lovemaking was completely absent now. Instead, they slowly teased each other's bodies towards climax. Everything, every movement - from their deep kisses, to their wandering hands, to rocking hips - was a gentle stoking of the fire between them. Giles' hand eventually found its way back between Willow's thighs, his fingers stroking and pinching her clit at the same, slow pace as the rest of their lovemaking.

Willow felt the pressure building inside of her. Giles had done a wonderful job of teasing her body to readiness, and ready she was. Each gentle touch, each stroke of his tongue against hers, each brush of his fingers against her clit, made her body tremble with need. She wanted to push away from him as the stimulation became almost too much; she wanted to pull him closer, press back against him harder, in order to push her body over the edge. She began to whimper into Giles' mouth at the sheer need she felt.

Giles chased Willow's tongue back into her mouth as she whimpered again. He knew her whimpers had nothing to do with pain, and everything to do with their joint need to find release. He felt it as well and groaned into her mouth. He sped up his rocking, just barely, putting greater force behind each forward movement.

The pressure finally became too much when Giles began to thrust into her with more determined strokes. Willow pulled out of the kiss in order to gasp when her body suddenly tensed. Her entire body became rigid as the dam finally burst from the delicious pressure Giles had built. Then, from her center on outward the flood was loosed, and Willow cried out, "Oh, Goddess, Rupert," her nails digging into his flesh.

Giles nearly yelped at the vice-like grip of Willow's body as she climaxed. He tried not to wince at the incredible pressure on his aching cock, instead watching Willow as her body tensed and relaxed as she found release. She was truly magnificent. The sight caused him to join her, no longer needing to hold back.

Giles rested his head against Willow's shoulder, his moist breath mingling with her sweat. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had an orgasm that intense. If his brain were working he would attribute it to the woman who seemed to be having as difficult time regaining the use of her body as he was.

It was the embarrassingly loud growl coming from Willow's stomach that finally caused the lovers to disentangle their bodies and Giles to take care of the necessities.

"Sorry," Willow groggily mumbled. "Guess I worked up an appetite."

Giles chuckled, "I woke up hungry as well. In fact," he said, sitting up and reaching for Willow's sandwich and milk, "I brought you something."

"You made me dinner?" Willow grinned, pulling herself into a sitting position as well.

"It's just a sandwich," Giles admitted, offering her the food. Willow took the milk first, taking a long drink before finally reaching for the sandwich. "I wasn't sure how long you would sleep," Giles continued. "I wanted to make you a grand meal, but I was afraid that if you were to sleep for a while that it would get cold."

"That's okay," Willow said after a couple of bites. "This is gonna hit the spot. A big meal might just make me more sleepy."

"Are you tired now?" Giles virtually purred.

"Mm-hmm," Willow grinned. "That was intense."

"That it was," Giles agreed, running his hands over Willow's body, unable to resist touching her after such an intense sexual experience. "You… are… amazing."

Willow blushed, "You're weren't so bad yourself. Pretty mind-blowing actually." Ducking her head, Willow continued to eat her sandwich self-consciously as Giles watched her.

"What? Do I have mayo on my face or something?" she finally asked.

"No. I just like looking at you," Giles said, tearing his eyes from Willow's face. "I've never seen you more beautiful."

"But I'm all sweaty and naked, and my hair's probably a mess," Willow insisted.

"Exactly," Giles leaned over to kiss her quickly. "You look like you've been thoroughly loved."

"I have," Willow agreed. She set the empty plate on her bedside table so that she could re-capture Giles' mouth in a passionate kiss.

Part Twenty

It was days before Willow heard a peep from her friends again. She assumed that Buffy had told Xander about the doctor's green light and they were giving her and Rupert some privacy. The new lovers were content to stay wrapped in each other's arms and bodies, feeling as if time itself had stopped to show its support of this new stage in the their relationship. Willow and Giles only left her bed to visit the bathroom and/or kitchen.

After three days of luxury they convinced themselves that they should get dressed and try to get back to working on Giles' notes. This time, however, they made no pretenses that they needed to keep their distance. They knew well enough that they were still way too physically dependant upon the other to deny themselves the other's touch. Not that they wanted to anyway. As they had learned from experience, denying themselves permission to be near one another only drew them together.

They were deep into deciphering Giles' notes when there was a hesitant knock on the door. If they hadn't been sitting near the door they might not have heard it. After exchanging a startled look, they grinned and said, "Buffy."

Willow moved to answer the door, a big grin lighting her face, knowing her best friend would be dying for answers. She was surprised to see Xander standing outside the door next to Buffy, looking equally nervous.

"Hey guys, what brings you here?" Willow asked, standing back to allow them to enter.

"Hey, Wills," Xander greeted her.

Peering around her, Buffy asked in a not-so-subtle whisper, "We're not interrupting anything are we?"

The look on Xander's face at what he thought he could be interrupting only made her want to tease him. She called back over her shoulder, "Rupert, Buffy and Xander are here; you might want to put some clothes on."

As hoped, her friends visibly paled until Giles joined her at the door, fully dressed. "Did you need something, dear?" he asked, wrapping Willow in his arms.

"That was just mean," Xander pouted.

"Yeah, but you should have seen the looks on your faces."

"If you're coming in, come on in," Giles invited, moving back to his seat.

"Well if you weren't in the middle of… what were you doing?" Xander asked.

Willow closed the door behind her friends and resumed her place beside Giles at the table. "We were working," she answered, gesturing at the books and papers surrounding her laptop.

"Is there some big bad coming that I need to worry about?" Buffy asked, perching herself on the back of the couch. "Do you have a new prophecy?"

"None that occur in this century," Giles said. When met with Buffy's questioning eyes that seemed to say, 'Then what are you bothering looking at it for?' Giles turned to meet Willow's eyes. She silently told him that whatever he chose to tell the others she would support.

Clearing his throat, Giles admitted, "Willow has been helping me with a project during the time that she has been living here."

"Yeah, we know," Xander mumbled.

"Not that," Willow denied with a blush.

"I am writing a book," Giles announced in hopes of distracting the conversation from returning to his love life.

It worked.

"A book?" "Don't you have enough here, why add to them?" "Is it about me?"

Answering the last question first, Giles said, "No, Buffy, it's not about you."

Buffy sighed with relief. It was bad enough being one of the oldest living slayers. But she didn't need the pressure of having her triumphs and failures, not that there were many, laid out for the world to criticize.

"Then what's it about?" she asked.

"Well, you know all those prophecies we've uncovered over the years that didn't seem to take place for many years, and sometimes centuries, to come?" Giles paused for them to nod their heads in acknowledgement. "Willow has been helping me to compile them into a book."

"You mean you saved them?" Xander asked in astonishment.

"Of course, I did." Giles said. "What would you have me do with them? Forget about them so that in fifty years when a certain prophecy is coming to pass the watcher for that slayer can scramble to find out what is happening? No, I saved all of my notes and notations with the hope that some day they could prove useful to someone."

"I caught him going over some of his notes one day after I started staying here and he told me about his idea for the book and I kinda encouraged him to actually do it." Willow looked affectionately at Giles.

"With Willow's generous offer to type up my notes on her computer, I couldn't find any reason to delay at least organizing my notes."

"So that's what you guys have been doing every time we stopped by when you weren't making with the smoochies." Xander stated.

"Yes," Giles agreed, choosing to ignore Xander's teasing comments.

"How's it coming?" Buffy asked, glad that Giles had found something to do with his time. Now she didn't need to feel so guilty about not calling round very often.

"Remarkably well," Giles said. "Willow's skills with that machine have been wonderful in reorganizing my notes."

"See," Willow teased him, "computers do have their uses."

"Yes, dear," Giles responded affectionately, kissing the top of her head.

Xander made gagging noises. "Enough with the sickly-sweet lovey-dovey stuff."

"We're in love, so there," Willow stuck her tongue out at her oldest friend.

"Please, don't remind us," he playfully whined before waggling his eyebrows and leering at his best friend. "So, I hear the doc gave you a clean bill of health."

"Xander!" Buffy chided him, slapping his arm. "You weren't supposed to say anything."

"First, ow. Second, why not? It's not like we don't know they'd make with the nasty as soon as they got the chance."

Still blushing, Willow said, "Yes, Xander, the doctor gave me a clean enough bill of health, and yes, we took advantage, and that's all I'm gonna say."

"Well, good for you." Xander said and let the subject drop.

Giles cleared his throat, relieved at the apparent acceptance of the new stage in his relationship with Willow by their friends. "Might I ask what brings you two by today?"

"We hadn't seen you for a few days and wanted to make sure you were still alive in here," Buffy answered with a shrug. She left unsaid that they purposely stayed away to give them some 'alone time.'

"So nothing on the slayage front that we need worry about?" Willow asked, glad to have the attention drawn away from her sex life.

"Not really," Buffy sighed. "The frat-vamps seem to have closed up shop and moved on, and so has Spike. There was one thing… but I don't think it's demony."

"Let's hear it and I'll be the judge," Giles suggested.

"Well, when I was out on patrol, I crossed paths with these guys dressed all in black carrying guns. I saw them back around Halloween, but I thought they were just in costume."

"Do you think they might be the commandos that chipped Spike," Willow asked.

"Could be," Buffy agreed. "I'm just not sure if they're anything we need to worry about though. I mean, if they're capturing vampires and making them all non-bitey, they can't be bad, right?"

"I'm with the Buffster," Xander said. "Anyone looking to do damage to the demon population has gotta be on the side of good."

Willow and Giles shared a doubtful look.

"While the idea sounds wonderful, the ethics of it are rather shady," Willow hesitantly suggested.

"What ethics?" Xander rebutted. "They're demons, Will. Ethics don't apply."

"So you're saying that if a group of demons captured you and made it so that you couldn't eat your favorite foods anymore, that would be okay because to them you are something to be toyed with?" Giles proposed.

"No, that's not…" Xander started to say. "I'd end up starving."

"Exactly," Willow agreed. "Isn't that what these commandos did to Spike? Make him unable to feed himself, regardless of the fact that his favorite food happens to be people?"

"Yeah, staking them is much better," Buffy agreed.

"Buffy, the next time you notice these soldiers, I want you to try to follow them, see where their base of operations is. You too Xander, keep an eye out. Willow, can you see what you can find out on the net about them?"

"Sure, but what about our project?" Willow gestured to the papers strewn about the desk.

"We can work on both of them, darling," Giles said, wrapping an arm around Willow.

Willow pouted. Leaning closer, she whispered in his ear, "But what about… you know. Our new pastime?"

"Oh, I don't think we'll have trouble finding time for that," Giles purred in her ear, capturing the lobe between his teeth, giving it a playful tug.

"Gah, stop it you two," Xander exclaimed, covering his eyes. "I don't know what you're saying, but get those looks off your faces."

"If you have a problem with our behavior in our home, you don't have to stay to watch," Giles pointed out.

With an insistent tug on Xander's sleeve, Buffy said, "C'mon Xan. I guess three days wasn't enough time."

Not looking away from Giles, Willow said, "Sorry guys, but you know how it is…"

"It's okay, Will. You two kids have fun, and don't do anything too strenuous," Buffy winked.

"We'll try to keep the acrobatics to a minimum," Giles grinned.

"On that scary note… Let's get outta here," Xander said with a shudder.

"Bye guys," Willow called to the closing door.

"Thank goodness they're gone," Giles said. Unable to resist kissing Willow any longer, he closed the small distance between them and did just that. Willow eagerly wrapped her arms around Giles and returned the kiss hungrily.

"So, you up for something different?" Willow panted when they broke the kiss.

"Darling, I'm up for anything you have in mind," Giles moved her hand to rest on his growing erection. "What are you planning?"

With an impish smile and a quick kiss, Willow stood and offered her hand to Giles. "You'll see."

Giles was on his feet in a flash, placing his hand in Willow's, eager to see what she had up her sleeve. Expecting her to lead him towards her bedroom, Giles was surprised when Willow turned towards the staircase.

As she slowly started to climb the stairs, Giles remained rooted at the bottom. Willow turned back to look at him when she realized he wasn't following her.

"Something wrong?" she asked, taking in his surprised expression.

"Are you certain? It's just, you've never been to my room before." Giles tried to explain.

"I know. I really want us to be about us, not just me and my recovery." Willow moved back down the stairs until she was eye level with Giles. "You've been amazing, spending every night for months in the guest room with me. But this is your home, and you haven't spent a single night in your bed, with your girlfriend, in two months. Well, you will no longer be a guest in your own home mister."

Giles' heart swelled at Willow's words. A small part of him still feared that she was with him because he was convenient and would no longer want to be with him when their lives returned to what went for 'normal'. Their entire courtship, for lack of a better word, had taken place on the main level of his home, Willow's bedroom their sanctuary – a place out of time and reality. Now that they once again had slayer-related research to perform and Willow was walking around virtually pain-free, instead of her pushing him away, she was leading him to his bedroom.

Giles hadn't minded that the loft was more like his closet than his boudoir for the past couple of months. He would much prefer to spend his nights asleep beside his beautiful Willow than in his cold bed. Granted, it was slightly inconvenient for when he needed to get dressed in the morning, but something that he was happy to live with.

"I-is this just for now, to do something different? Or will you be moving upstairs with me, permanently?" Giles hesitantly asked.

Willow's eyes widened slightly. "Permanently?"

"I, uh, well, yes," Giles stuttered. "I can't imagine living here without you. I want to fall asleep with you in my arms every night and wake with you still there every morning. I don't want you to leave now that you don't need me anymore."

"I do need you," Willow insisted, wrapping her arms around Giles and kissing him. "It never even occurred to me that I could move out now that I'm better. I don't want to sleep without you either. I love you, Rupert. I'm not going anywhere."

"Except upstairs," Giles corrected her, a wicked gleam in his eyes. Leaning down, Giles swept Willow into his arms and began carrying her up to the loft.

"I can walk you know," Willow giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"Humor me. You can walk up next time."

"I like the sound of that," Willow sighed, resting her head against his shoulder.

"Me too," Giles agreed.

The End


*Additional Disclaimer: The song As The World Falls Down is from the movie Labyrinth and belongs to David Bowie, no copyright infringement is intended.

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