Title: Woodland Nymph
Author: Elisabeth
Email: dragonydreams@yahoo.com
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Willow and Giles help to save Natural Magick, whether they want to or not.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Spoilers: beginning of Season 7
Distribution: Willow's Little Secret, Wacky Witch Willow, anyone else - please ask.


Woodland Nymph

Prologue

Under the light of a full moon, in a circular clearing in the woods, five figures came together with a great purpose. In the center of the clearing, Earth first took position at the Northern spot. Fire then moved into place opposite in the South. Water and Air took their respective places in the West and East. In the center waited the Spirit of Nature.

"The time is right," Spirit began. "Those whom we have waited for are ripe. Through their life experiences they have learned, both separately and together, to offer us the respect we deserve. Though they have each experienced incredible hardships from abusing our gifts, they have come out stronger for it.

The Man is already preparing to visit this spot. He can sense the importance of our meeting. Air, will you assist me in bringing the Woman? She does not yet know the location of this glen."

"Of course."

"Excellent. Just a little while longer... hope is on the horizon."


Chapter One

"I know it's here somewhere," Giles mumbled to himself. He had been hiking for several hours already. He was looking for a particular glen he came upon years ago. It was magickal. In this technological age very few people still believed in magick, and Rupert Giles was one of them. He knew this spot contained very old and powerful magicks the second he had stepped into it in his youth. All of the rest of the world had melted away and none of it mattered - not his calling as a Watcher, not his mistakes with Ethan, nothing.

Giles seemed to find himself being drawn back to this place more and more frequently as of late. The woods seemed to have cast some kind of spell over him that he was unable to resist, and didn't really want to.

Now here he was, once again hiking to his magickal retreat. This time was different though. He didn't quite know how, but Giles knew that today he would learn the source of his enchantment.

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

Willow found herself standing at the edge of a circular clearing in the woods. She didn't recognize the place, but the magickal energy felt old and familiar. She closed her eyes, basking in the serenity surrounding her.

As she opened her eyes she caught her breath at the sight before her. Across the glen, Giles emerged from the forest, looking relaxed, rumpled and incredibly sexy. He was casually dressed in a tee shirt, an unbuttoned flannel shirt, jeans and hiking boots.

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

He passed through a thick patch of trees and suddenly he was standing in a circular open area full of sunlight. Giles gasped at the beauty and peace before him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen standing on the opposite side of the glen.

Her long straight hair was the color of spun copper. Her skin was as pale as snow and her eyes were as green as the forest. Her sundress, pale green and covered with leaves, rippled as in a breeze, yet the air was still.

Giles was struck mute and immobile at the vision of this wood nymph, for what else could she be? He had never seen such a beautiful woman, except in his dreams. Even so, there was something oddly familiar about her. He had met this woman many times before in his dreams, but there seemed to be something more familiar than that. Giles was afraid to remove his eyes from her for fear that he was once again dreaming.

"Hello Rupert Giles, I have been waiting for you," the nymph greeted him. She raised her arm and beckoned him with her hand in a 'come here' motion. Slowly, as if in a trance, Giles walked towards her, dropping his backpack on the way.

When he reached her he realized who she reminded him of and finally found his tongue, asking, "Willow? What are you doing here? Where did you come from?"

"You may call me Willow if you wish although that is not who I truly am. I merely chose her form because she is the one whom your heart desires."

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

Willow heard the words leaving her mouth, but had no idea where they had come from. A chill ran down her spine as she realized that something was using her - that she was channeling some Spirit of Nature, older than time. After the first moment of realization she was surprised to find that she wasn't afraid. Whatever had brought her here was not evil and neither was its purpose. She relaxed and resigned herself to her task and the man before her.

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

"Willow," he repeated, loving the taste of her name on his tongue. "Why have you called me here?"

"This glen is one of the few sanctuaries left for us. Mankind has grown selfish and disrespectful of the harmony and magicks produced by Nature. This is one of the few places that we can still be visible to humans, as it is a source of a very old and powerful magicks."

"But what can I do? I am just one man. How can my faith in magicks help when the vast majority of my kind no longer believes?"

"Help me to celebrate the joy of life and nature, here in this glen. Help me to keep this land fertile." Willow closed the remaining distance between them, her dress seeming to melt from her body as she did. As she reached Giles she placed her palm on his chest and kissed him, sliding her hand down to his groin. Giles' eyes flew open, realizing what she was suggesting. He pulled her closer to him, deepening his kiss, as his erection began to grow.

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

Willow could barely believe what was happening, and more precisely what was about to happen. If the Spirit was correct, then Giles was in love with her. She had imagined a million times what it would be like if he could return the love she felt for him, but never believed that it would happen. And now, when she finds out the truth, she has to share him with this Spirit. A part of her resented this fact, but the most of her was grateful that she would finally be able to love Giles as she has always dreamed.

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

Deep down he knew that this wasn't real, this wasn't really Willow in his arms. He also didn't know who, or more precisely what, this 'woman' was. In the end, he didn't care because he also knew that this was as close as he would ever get to making love to Willow.

When he pulled away for a desperately needed breath of air Giles noticed a large four-poster bed under an old oak tree, which provided a lovely canopy, surrounded by young Hawthorn trees. Willow took one of Giles' hands in hers and led him to the bed. He started to slide his shirt off but Willow stilled his hands and with a flick of her wrist his clothes were gone.

Once the shock fell from his face an incredibly sexy grin replaced it and Giles pulled Willow into a deep kiss. He lifted her lithe form and placed her on the bed, lying next to her, never breaking the kiss. His hands began to roam over her body, taking liberties he never imagined he'd be afforded.

His hands lightly ran the length of her sides before delicately tracing her breasts in ever decreasing circles until he had teased her nipples into pebbles. His mouth left Willow's and created a trail of fire down to her left breast. His lips retraced the path his fingers had recently taken, placing feather light kisses around her breast, stopping just before reaching her nipple, he switched to the other. Willow writhed under the blissful torture. When his mouth finally engulfed her breast she cried out her pleasure.

Willow pulled Giles back up to a passionate kiss. She ran her hands over his back and buttocks, feeling him shiver with need. She pushed on his hips until he lay on his back. One hand lovingly stroked his hardness as she fluidly straddled his waist, sheathing him in one motion. They both sighed at the sensation.

Slowly they began to move together. In a rhythm as old as time, in this place of magick, they loved each other as only two dreamers could. Willow ran her hands through the hair on Giles' chest while Giles held her hips, aiding her movements.

As she neared her climax Willow felt the Spirit begin leaving her body. She leaned forward and whispered in Giles' ear, "Giles, it's really me. I'm really here, and I love you." She sat back and stared into his eyes, willing him to believe her.

Giles paused his thumb's circling of her clit to look at her in wonder. Then his efforts took on a renewed enthusiasm as he sat up, sliding his free hand into Willow's hair and pulled her into a feverish kiss. It wasn't much longer before they both spiraled out of control, knowing they weren't the only one to do so.

"Thank you," they both heard, as they lay together exhausted.

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

Giles turned to look at Willow with eyes full of love and confusion. He could hardly believe that Willow was truly here and not something else wearing her face. He reached out, running his fingers over her face. He looked deeply into her eyes and asked, "Willow, is this really you?"

Willow placed her hand over his and brought it to rest over her heart. "Yes Giles, Rupert, it's really me. It was me the entire time. The Spirit was speaking through me, but I was completely aware of what was happening. This is something that I have wanted for a long while and if I ever see that Spirit again I am going to give it a big thanks."

"Oh Willow, I was so afraid that this was just another dream or a figment of my imagination. I didn't believe that you were really here - that the Spirit wore your face as a disguise because it knew how much I love you, how much I have wanted this. So I allowed it to delude me, even though it appears that it wasn't a delusion after all."

As they talked, which they did for a long time, reassuring each other of their love and desire, their hands roamed each other's bodies. Despite the passion which they had just shared, they now sought to memorize every detail of the other. This time they were sure of the other and needn't worry that they were being used.

Before long Giles became aroused again. Willow pulled him to her with a murmured, "Love me, Rupert. Love *me*."

"Always," was his whispered reply as he entered her. She captured his lips, echoing his body's movements with her mouth. They made love slowly, fueling each other's passions, prolonging their enjoyment. When they found release they knew perfect contentment. Giles collapsed next to Willow and as their limbs entwined they drifted off to sleep.

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

"It is done," the Spirit informed the Elements. "With my aide the Witch was fertile and ready for the Watcher's seed. Our salvation is near."


Chapter Two

Willow woke in her room feeling completely at peace. She'd had the most wonderful dream of making love to Giles. She didn't remember taking a nap. The last thing she recalled was practicing her meditation exercises - and then she was with Giles.

She sat up feeling disoriented. It had felt so real. Yet here she was, back in her room.

"That's it," she told herself. "No more deep meditation on an empty stomach."

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

"Willow," Giles mumbled as he drifted into consciousness. He blindly reached for her, startled when all her encountered was air. He opened his eyes, fumbled for his glasses, and looked around. He was alone in his glen.

"No," he cried out. "It couldn't have been a dream. It was real, she was here." He stood, frantically looking around, he called out, "Willow." He was alone - no bed, no Spirit, no Willow. He sunk to his knees, holding his head in his hands, and tried not to cry at the loss of what might have been.

When he had collected himself he gathered his belongings together and headed home. Home to Willow who was, alas, only his friend and not his lover.


Chapter Three

Giles entered his home, took a shuddering breath, and called out, "Willow, I'm back."

"In the kitchen," she called back. She knew that he would be tired after his hike so she had made them dinner. She had also changed into her new pale green sundress - the same one from her dream.

Giles stopped dead in his tracks in the kitchen doorway. "Good Lord," escaped from his lips as his jaw dropped.

Willow turned to see his wide-eyed, wide-mouthed expression and hurried over to him. She placed her hand on his chest and could feel his heart pounding. With worried eyes she looked up at him, "Are you all right? You look like you've seen a ghost."

"That dress," he stuttered. "Where did you get that dress?"

Her face brightened. "It's new. Do you like?" she asked, twirling to show off the full effect.

"You look like a dream," he dreamily replied.

Willow blushed, "I actually dreamed about this dress today. You were in my dream too."

"Really?" This was too much of a coincidence. "What was I doing?"

Willow's blush deepened after she couldn't meet his eyes. "You know... stuff. We were in this amazing circular glen in the woods. It was so peaceful."

With every word Giles' suspicions were being confirmed. At least he hoped they were and it wasn't wishful thinking.

"This may sound like an odd question, but you didn't happen to be possessed in the beginning of your dream?"

"How did you know?" Willow gasped.

"I believe that I had the same dream. Only... maybe it wasn't a dream?" He looked to her for confirmation or denial.

Her eyes lit up as the possibility sank in. "Were we naked in your dream?" she huskily asked, stepping up to him again.

"Yes," he breathed before he kissed her.


Chapter Four

The next several weeks flew by for the new lovers. Willow's room quickly became the study since she was no longer sleeping there.

Willow woke feeling a bit queasy exactly one month since the day in the glen. She lay in bed, snuggled close to Giles, once again marveling at their relationship. The queasiness soon turned into full blow nausea and she just made it to the bathroom.

The sudden movement and sound of the toilet flushing finally woke Giles. He pulled his robe on as he made his way to the bathroom to check on Willow.

"Is everything alright, love?" he queried.

"I certainly hope so," Willow answered, accepting the glass of water he offered. "I just woke up feeling like I needed to Ralph."

"I hope it's nothing serious." Giles placed his hand on her forehead, but it was cool to the touch. "Perhaps you should visit a doctor today, just to be on the safe side."

Reluctantly, Willow agreed and got up to take a shower. She'd try to get to the doctor after her session with the coven this morning.

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

As soon as she entered the meeting space Althenea came running over, obviously excited for Willow.

"Willow, why didn't you tell us?" she demanded.

Completely confused, Willow asked, "Tell you what? Did I do something?"

"You must have done something," Althenea winked. "Why didn't you tell us you were pregnant?"

"I'm not pregnant," Willow laughed. Suddenly her face whitened and she sank to the floor. "Goddess."

"Oh dear," Althenea said as she sat next to Willow, "you didn't know."

"How did you?"

"Your aura has silver sparkles in it today. It appears that you're about three months along, that's when the child's aura asserts itself. I can already sense the magick in the child. It will be very powerful. Funny, I thought you and Rupert only got together a month ago - how sneaky of you to keep such a secret."

Willow started trembling slightly as everything started to sink in. "We did just get together a month ago - one month ago today to be exact." She began to panic. "How can I be three months pregnant?! I have to go. I need to find Rupert," she asserted as she stood.

"Of course you do. I'll explain to the others." Willow smiled her thanks before leaving. "I pray that everything is all right."

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

Willow entered the house in a daze. She had moved past the panic and was now in the numb stage. Somehow she made her way to the study where Giles was reading and sat on the couch, staring into space.

"You're back early," Giles commented.

"Uh huh."

"Willow?" He looked at her blank face and rushed to her side. "Willow, love, what is it?"

"Silver sparkles," she said quietly, finally looking at him.

"I don't understand. Something has silver sparkles?"

"I do," she nodded. "Althenea saw silver sparkles in my aura today. She said that I'm three months pregnant." She looked at him expectantly.

"You're pregnant?" His voice was awe-filled.

Willow waited for the rest of what she said to sink in. She didn't have to wait long. One of the things she loved about Giles was his quick mind.

"Three months!" he practically shouted. "How is that possible? We've only been together for a month. Unless... unless I'm not...."

"No, it's yours," she quickly reassured him. "You're the only man I've been with in years. I was hoping you could explain the three months thing."

Giles removed his glasses and started to pace as he cleaned them with a handkerchief. He paced for several minutes trying to figure out the time difference. Eventually he stopped and crouched down in front of Willow, who by now was curled up on the couch, clutching a pillow to her chest.

"Did Althenea happen to say anything else about the baby?"

Willow thought about it for a moment. "Yes, she said that she could feel the magickal energy coming from the baby. You don't think..."

"The Spirit," Giles finished. "Do remember when it asked me to 'celebrate the joy of life and nature' before we made love for the first time? I was so surprised that you/it wanted me that I didn't really think about what it meant. I was just so excited that I would finally be able to love you the way that I had always wanted to." Giles reached out and cupped Willow's cheek, caressing her face.

Willow nuzzled into his hand and mimicked his actions. "I remember. And then, after, I heard it say 'Thank you' as I felt it leave my body. It knew that I would conceive that day. It set me up!" Giles could feel Willow's anger rising as she pushed past him to pace. "It brought me there to get me impregnated."

Giles looked crestfallen when she finally looked at him again. He quietly asked, "Do you regret it then?"

"What? No, never," Willow embraced him and passionately kissed him. "I love you, and I should be thanking the Spirit for bringing us together. I just don't appreciate being used like that. I love you, and I love this baby because it is a part of you. I just don't understand how it could be growing so quickly."

"I love you too. Although I don't know why... Perhaps, since we both possess a great deal of power, and because the Spirit was inhabiting your body at the time of conception, its growth process has been accelerated."

"Maybe. Does that mean that the baby's going to be born in three months instead of nine, assuming it keeps growing at the same rate?"

"It might. Let's try to relax tonight and tomorrow we can meet with the coven's midwives and see what they say. Now, how would you like a bubble bath?"

"I'd like." Willow kissed him before following Giles into the bathroom.


Chapter Five

The next morning Willow sat in the passenger side of the car with her eyes closed. It usually only took her ten minutes to drive to the coven's meeting place, so she when she opened her eyes after it had been fifteen minutes she was surprised that they weren't there yet. She looked out the window, but didn't recognize the road they were on.

She turned questioning eyes to Giles, "Where are we? This isn't the way to meet the coven."

"Slight change of plans," was all he offered at first. When Willow started to protest he continued, "It occurred to me that we might be able to get better answers from the source - from the horse's mouth, so to speak." When Willow still didn't understand, he added, "We're returning to the glen."

"Oh, okay. Good idea. I wonder why I didn't think of that."

"Well, you do have a few other things on your mind," Giles smiled.

"That's no excuse. It makes complete sense to return to the scene of the crime to look for clues." Realizing what she said she rushed on, "Not that I think that what happened was a crime, because it SO wasn't. Just that that's where this all started so naturally we should go back there to try to figure out how this happened. I mean I know *how* it happened..." Giles pulled the car over to the side of the road and turned in his seat to watch Willow's babble with an amused grin on his face. Willow hazarded a glance at him and paused mid-babble, "Why did we stop?"

Giles let a chuckle escape as he leaned over to kiss her. "Because you are so adorable when you needlessly start to babble that I had to pull over before I ran us off the road." Willow frowned at his apparent lack of interest in the content of her babble. "I knew what you meant, therefore the babble was unnecessary," Giles clarified.

"Fine," she pouted.

Giles rolled his eyes, once again marveling at the fickleness of youth's emotions. He took a deep breath before reaching to brush his hand along Willow's folded arms. When he reached her elbow he was able to disentangle the arm nearest him and brought her hand to his lips. He kissed her knuckles and apologetically entreated, "Forgive me for calling your babble unnecessary." He turned her hand over and kissed her palm. "It wasn't my intention to belittle your words," he kissed her wrist, "or to make you feel bad for saying them." He kissed the inside of her elbow, earning him a giggle. "Can you ever forgive me?" He whispered into her neck.

His breath sent a shiver along her spine. Willow turned to face him, a mischievous grin in place, "Perhaps, with some convincing."

Both were smiling as their lips met. Before long they were both panting from the intensity of the kiss. Willow clawed at Giles' shirt, pulling it out of his pants, desperate for the feel of his skin. Giles slid his hands under Willow's top to rub her already hard nipples through her bra. When Willow started opening his belt and pants reality suddenly hit Giles as to where they were.

With great difficulty he pulled away from temptation. Panting harshly, he pleaded, "Willow, we have to stop."

"Why?" she inquired, rubbing the evidence that he really didn't want to.

"Look at where we are?"

Willow looked around the car, then at the deserted road they were on. "So? All I see is two people on the side of a deserted road in a car with foggy windows. Don't you want to?"

"Lord yes, but..." his breath caught as Willow leaned forward, her head inches from his groin as she reached under his seat to slide it all the way back from the steering wheel. He released his breath as she straightened, then groaned as she straddled him.

Once settled Willow finished releasing Giles' now very hard erection, pleased that there were no more objections. She kissed Giles, guiding his hand under her skirt to show him just how ready she was. She bit his lip as one finger slowly entered her.

With a wicked glint in his eyes Giles pulled back from the kiss to ask, "What happened to your underwear young lady? I distinctly remember watching you put them on this morning."

Willow nodded her head to her seat, "Took them off while your eyes were closed."

Giles risked a glance at her seat to see the small wadded up piece of cloth. He couldn't suppress the moan from Willow's light touch on his erection. He caught her gaze as he withdrew his finger and helped Willow guide himself inside her.

The car echoed their mutual groan of contentment. The short forceful movements the limited amount of space afforded heightened their arousal. Once Giles lightly began to rub her clit it didn't take long for Willow to come. The contrast of his delicate touch with the force of his thrusts thrilled her and she cried out his name moments before he did the same.

After several long moments Willow pulled back to sit on his knees.

"That was intense," she breathed.

"Agreed."

Willow slipped back into her seat and wriggled back into her panties as Giles straightened his own clothes.

"On to the glen?" he grinned.

"On to the glen," Willow agreed, squeezing his thigh.


Chapter Six

The drive to the woods took roughly forty minutes once they got back on the road. Then it was another hour's trek to the glen. Both were apprehensive about what they would find in the glen. Unconsciously their hands sought the other's as they stepped into the sunshine.

"Oh Rupert," Willow sighed. "It's as beautiful as I remembered."

"That it is," he agreed, watching Willow's joy. He slid his arm around her shoulder and kissed the top of her head.

Slowly they made their way towards the center of the circle.

Willow looked up at Giles, "Now what?"

"I'm not really sure. I suppose that we should call on the Spirit."

"Hello," Willow yelled, causing Giles to pull back from her for a moment. "Is anyone here? Spirit?"

"A little warning next time perhaps?" Giles suggested, squeezing Willow's shoulder.

"Sorry."

"And not so loud next time," came a voice from behind them. "This is my home, I am always here."

They both spun around at the voice, eager and nervous to see their matchmaker.

"Greetings Spirit," Giles began. "Thank you for speaking with us."

"Yeah, thanks," Willow added.

Willow wasn't sure what she expected to see, since the last time she was here the Spirit was inside her. The translucent woman that stood/floated before her was breathtaking, with a timeless beauty. She glanced at Giles and he was as awed as her.

"I suppose you are looking for answers," the Spirit prompted.

"Yes, we are," Giles confirmed. "If you don't mind our asking, we do have some questions... regarding the baby."

A smile spread over the Spirit's face. "Then you did conceive."

"Yes I 'conceived'," was Willow's sarcastic response. "You knew that we would conceive, so don't act like you didn't know."

Giles tried to pacify Willow's anger but the Spirit stopped him.

"It's all right Rupert. She has every right to be angry, as do you. I hope that you can forgive me once you've heard my story. Please, make yourselves comfortable." The Spirit gestured to a blanket spread beneath an apple tree.

Giles sat leaning against the trunk of the tree and Willow sat leaning against him. Silently they agreed to hear the Spirit out before asking any more questions.

"What I told Rupert last month is true," the Spirit opened. "Fewer and fewer people still practice white magicks. There are covens here and there, and a sprinkling of individual practitioners. Unfortunately many of them do not have much power and will not pass it on to the future generations, especially as they mate with people with no magickal abilities. We, the spirits of nature and the elements, have been fading over time. With less people to reciprocate the natural energies we produce, the weaker we become. Much like a plant in a vacuum - with nothing to breathe in the oxygen produced, and nothing producing the life sustaining carbon dioxide, it will die.

"You may be asking yourselves, 'Why us? We have both been seduced by the dark side of magick.' The answer lies within the question. You are both very powerful. Granted, you have made mistakes, but you have also learned from them. You, better than anyone, know what it takes to properly use magick, and will be able to pass these lessons along to your children."

"Children?" Willow squeaked.

"Yes, children," the Spirit continued. "I see you having several children together, although I won't have a hand in the conception of any others, I promise." Willow blushed and Giles kissed her head.

"What about this child?" Giles ventured. "A member of the coven told Willow that she was three months along. How is that possible when we were here but a month ago? Is it going to continue to grow at this alarming rate?"

"The speed of the child's growth is my fault. My presence in Willow's body at the moment of conception altered the newly created life. You can wipe the worried looks off your faces; the child is and will be healthy. With all of our energies combining in that instance, something was bound to happen. Your child is going to be very powerful, perhaps even more so than you Willow."

Giles squeezed Willow's hand, satisfied that their assumption was being confirmed. Still, Willow interrupted, "But what about its growth? How long will it be before I give birth? And if it is growing so fast inside me, is it going to keep growing fast after birth?"

"While the child is inside you it will continue to grow at an accelerated rate. I am a spirit of nature - of growth and nourishment. There are residual magickal energies that were left in your womb from when we shared your body. These energies are being absorbed by the child and will leave your body at the time of birth - which will be in approximately two more months."

Willow and Giles nervously glanced at each other at the time frame.

Tentatively, Willow raised her hand. "Am I going to balloon up overnight?"

"You could say that," the Spirit laughed. "Your body will need to change to accommodate the life growing inside you."

"Boy or girl," Giles soberly asked.

"Do you really want to know?" They both nodded. "You will have a son."

"A son," Giles whispered, placing his hand over Willow's belly. She placed her hand on top of his.

"Is there anything else that we need to know?" she inquired, ready to be alone with the father of her child.

"Not at this time. I do have a favor to ask of you though." They looked back up at the Spirit. "Please return to this glen often, both before the birth and after."

"That I can definitely do," Willow sighed.

"Why, may I ask?" Giles couldn't help asking, ever the skeptic.

"This glen is a haven. As both of you have felt, there are strong magicks here. This is the perfect environment to nurture your child... son's magick, as well as your own. I know that you are still relearning to work with your magick Willow. This is a safe environment to practice. Besides," she winked, "I would like to be able to watch the boy grow, along with his siblings."


Chapter Seven

"So how do we tell Buffy and Xander?" Willow asked when they got home. "I mean, we haven't even told them about us, and now we're having a baby!"

"I doubt they'll be thrilled, on either count." Giles frowned.

"I wish I could tell them in person. This is too big to say over the phone."

"Per-perhaps," Giles stuttered. "We could fly them out here, for the wedding?"

"Isn't that going to be expens... Wedding?" She looked into his eyes.

"Our wedding," he clarified. "If you'll have me?" He removed a small velvet box from the desk drawer.

Before he could open the box Willow was in his arms, kissing him fiercely. "Of course I'll marry you," she declared when she finally released him.

Giles removed the ring and placed it on Willow's left ring finger, then kissed her hand. "Thank you."

The next several minutes were spent in a happy silence, just holding and kissing each other.

Eventually Willow broke the mood by asking, "So when are we getting married? I mean, it should be before the baby is born and I'm gonna get really fat really fast."

"Let me talk with Buffy. If the Hellmouth can spare her, how does next week sound?"

"It sounds wonderful," Willow sighed. "Call her now. I've got a lot of planning to do if we're going to have guests next week and plan a wedding," she practically bounced.

"All right," he smiled, pleased beyond imagination at her excitement. He reached for the phone and dialed the Summers residence in Sunnydale, California.

"Hello?"

"Dawn?"

"Giles," she squealed. He could hear her call into the house, "Buffy, Giles is on the phone."

"How are you Dawn?"

"Oh, you know, fine. Same old, same old. How's Willow?"

Before he can answer, Buffy takes the phone from her sister, "Giles, what's wrong?"

"Hello to you too Buffy. Nothing is wrong. Why does something have to be wrong?"

"Because you only call when bad things happen," she complained.

"Everything is wonderful. In fact, I was calling to see how things are going on the Hellmouth. Do you think you, Dawn and Xander could get away next week?"

"Actually, yeah, we could. We were pretty busy last week, but it's calm right now. Dawn has school, but if it's important I suppose I could write her a note. Xander's been working on a big project at the high school, but he could probably get away. Why, what's up?"

"It's a surprise. For Willow. Willow has been doing so well in her magick training that I thought it might be nice to surprise her with a visit from her friends."

Willow covered her mouth with her hands to keep from laughing. Giles was lying to Buffy, but this was better than the truth.

"That's a great idea. We all really miss you guys. I'll call Xander and get back to you."

"Wonderful. I'll start making the arrangements."

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

Five days later Willow was nervously wandering around the house, taking care of any last minute tidying. Giles was due back from the airport with the gang any minute now. They had decided that it would be best if Willow was sitting behind her desk when their guests arrived. Not only was the visit supposed to be a surprise for Willow, but she was definitely showing now.

When she heard the car pull up she took her place at her desk, feigning studying.

Giles opened the door, having already cautioned the other to be quiet. Playing his part he called out, "Willow? Are you here?"

"I'm in the study," she called back.

Giles led the gang to the study where they burst through the door, "Surprise!"

"Buffy, Xander, Dawn," she squealed, standing. "Surprise."

Three jaws dropped. Giles made his way over to Willow, but kept his distance, for now.

"Wha... Willow, you're preg..." Xander spluttered.

"How? Who?" Buffy demanded. "When?"

"Wow," was all Dawn could manage.

Willow blushed but kept her composure. She knew all of these questions were coming. "I know this is a shock, but if you'll all sit on the couch I'll explain."

She tried not to laugh as her dearest friends moved as in a trance to the couch, mouths agape. She took a deep breath and began.

"I guess I'll start with who since how is pretty self-explanatory and when is kinda complicated." She reached her hand out to Giles who nervously stepped up to her. He slid an arm around her waist as she did the same to him. He anxiously smiled at their friends.

"Who is it?" Buffy demanded.

"Who knocked up my Willow?" Xander continued.

"Actually," Giles corrected. "She's my Willow."

Silence. No yelling, no accusations, no congratulations. At least for a few minutes, then the floodgates opened.

"No way!" "Giles?" "How could you?" "He's so old!" "How long has this been going on?" "You're not even married."

"Enough," Giles roared. Once the questions stopped he continued. "Please, allow us to try to answer your questions."

"First," Willow began, "I want you to know that we love each other."

"Very much," Giles interrupted.

"We got together a little over a month ago." She held up her hand when Buffy was going to interrupt. "I know Buffy, I'm more than a month pregnant, and I'll get to that. I will say straight off that Rupert is the father. Okay, now this won't make a lot of sense, but here's what happened." She continued to relate the story of what had happened with the Spirit, leaving out a couple of the more intimate details.

"So you're gonna be a mom in less than two months?" Dawn summed up.

"Yes," Willow smiled.

"That also brings us to why you all are here," Giles broke in. "We wanted those closest to us to be here for the wedding."

"Wedding?" three voices squealed.

"We're getting married," Willow held out her left had, showing off the ring. "In two days."

"Isn't that awfully fast?" Xander cautioned.

"Not really," Giles replied. "I have been in love with Willow for years. And there's the baby on the way..."

"Yeah," Willow added. "I'm getting bigger every day and I want to be married when our son is born. I love Rupert, and I don't want to spend one minute more than I have to not being his wife."

The three friends could feel the love between Willow and Giles - it was palatable.

"I just have one more question," Xander admitted with a quirky grin. "What am I going to call my nephew?"

Both Willow and Giles breathed a sigh of relief.

"We've spent a great deal of time discussing this," Giles started.

"In Judaism," Willow continued. "It is customary to name your first born after a deceased loved one, using the same first letter of their name. If it's alright with you," she looked at Dawn and Buffy, "we'd like to name him Jason, after your mom. She was more of a mom to me than mine is anyway. This also in memory of Jenny."

Giles squeezed her and continued, "Jason also means 'healer' in Greek. We thought it especially fitting as he was conceived to help heal magick."

"That brings us to his middle name," Willow picked up. "Timothy means 'honoring god' in Greek. We will be raising him in the practice of witchcraft and magick, honoring the Spirit's request."

"And after Tara," Dawn guessed.

"Yeah," Willow confirmed.

"Jason Timothy Giles," Buffy put together. "I can't wait."


The End

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