written by Fabrisse

Rating: FRT
Spoilers: Pre-Hush, Post Oz.
Summary: Giles/Willow discuss Magic etc.
Thanks: As always with thanks to Gileswench.
Dedication: To Andrea whose challenge this is. (Willow/Giles. Straight dialogue, no descriptive passages.")
Feedback Author: Fabrisse

"Giles, are you sure you want this to be my next book?"


"But it's about sex and..."

"Tantra literally means everything. How all things fit together. And as evidenced by the your most recent foray into ritual magic, you need to start seeing how things link together."

"Before I kill someone, you mean."

"Willow, I don't think that you're *intentionally* going to harm anyone. Quite frankly, as much as you've been exploring your power, I'm surprised that you've only done temporary harm so far. Most young witches with your level of power have done something irrevocable by now. Or been seduced to darkness. You've managed to avoid both of those. But you still have a lot to learn, and how the world links together is part of it."

"And this illustration is just showing how the *world* fits together."

"People fit together too. I'm sure you've discovered that. Yes, there is sex in tantra. There is sex in the world. But seeing how to link sex to a spell to make it stronger is a learned skill. There maybe times when as the caster, you may need to link with another person involved with the spell. That's what this is about. Finding links. And occasionally creating them.

You don't need to read any book I assign you, you know. Technically, you are no longer my student. And quite frankly, I'd hoped to leave this aspect of magic for much later in your education. But you're expanding your powers so rapidly..."

"I know. You're just trying to look out for me. It just *hurts* that Oz is gone. When I made that terrible mistake with Xander and Oz and I were apart he said that being without me was like losing an arm. We had so much more time and shared so much more and I feel that I've lost the best part of myself."

"Shhhhh, I know. Hush, now."

"You really do know. I sometimes forget about Ms. Calendar. Or worse, I'll think that I'll run into her and..."

"Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. ... Ice cream. I've learned to keep ice cream in my fridge thanks to you lot and your relationships. According to Buffy Fudge Brownie is necessary at the weepy stage and mint chip is for when you start to brighten up. Oh and there's also vanilla."

"A man who keeps Fudge Brownie ice cream in the house. No wonder Olivia comes over."

"Olivia and I rarely eat ice cream. Mostly chinese delivery. Though I've yet to find anywhere in Sunnydale that does fried seaweed."

"Fried seaweed. I'll stick to the fudge Brownie. I didn't mean to hurt you by talking about Ms. Calendar."

"You didn't. Quite frankly, it's the fact that no one ever talks about her or seems to remember her that hurts more."

"Ignore Buffy; we're really happy that you have Olivia."

"So am I. But Olivia and I have no real future together. Her words. The right now is good though, and as long as it lasts, I'm happy."

"I'm about to pry."

"Really. I was under the impression that you'd been prying for the last ten minutes or so."

"If you've been in love, and I think that you and...Jenni were. Is the kind of relationship you have with Olivia, is it enough?"

"That's not prying that's ripping the entire lid off. Tea?"

"Um, yes."

"How to put this. Willow, love is a myth."


"You're right. I put that badly. There are many different flavors of love. And as you go through life you realize that they're all good. All of them are - tasty, if you will. And sex can be part of many of them. But, to change analogies, there is no fairy princess to rescue and live with happily ever after."

"You mean you've never been in love."

"No, I mean that the first time I really fell in love I realized that there had been several people over the years that were might-have- beens and now there was this one perfect person. Oh not perfect in that he could do no wrong, but perfect for *me* and two years later I was informed that I'd been stifling him keeping him from his true self and, to use your terminology, dumped. But the miracle was that I recognized that even while we were involved there had still been might-have-beens. And maybe I should have left him for one of them. That's not important. And don't look at me like that, his sex isn't important either. What is important is realizing that there is too much love that we sometimes ignore. Because we're not ready right now. Because we or they are involved with someone else. And some of them will be people with whom you can fall in love and work out a lifetime relationship. That's rare. I know that I was blessed to find it twice. And after Jenni, I don't know that I'll ever be able to again. Because it's a risk, and I don't know whether I can risk another person anymore."

"What about Buffy and Xander and me? Don't you risk us?"

"Every day. My God, when we thought that you'd been turned... I never want to mourn like that again. So please, let's keep to nature and let me die first.

Intellectually, I know that one day, Buffy will lose. And I'll be bereft. I fear that before that day comes, you or Xander or Oz or Joyce will be lost too. And who knows who else we may choose to bring into our circle. I'll have a hard time mourning if Angel is staked. But I'll be there to pick up the pieces of Buffy if it happens. Cordelia is helping him and as much bad blood as there's been, I think you'll still mourn her if she goes. I will. And I think we both mourn those we lost at graduation."

"So should I wait for Oz to come back or should I just get on with it and see if there are any of these might-have-beens hanging around that I haven't been noticing."

"Take it as it comes. You might have fifty hanging around your door, but you won't see any of them until you're ready. Stop worrying."

"But Oz, I mean. I thought. It felt like something that was once in a lifetime."

"First love *is* once in a lifetime. But I wasn't ready for Jenni ten years ago. And when I was, loving her was just as unique as she was."

"Sorry, I shouldn't have asked."

"I'm perfectly capable of saying no if I don't want to answer."

"Then one more."

"I won't know until you've asked."

"Are we might-have-beens?"

"You and Xander, if he'd noticed you before Oz and Cordelia were involved. Maybe he will be again in the future. Sorry, I'm evading. Yes. I think we are. If you'd been a teacher rather than a student. Or if I hadn't been on the faculty. And perhaps, one day when you've stopped hurting and I've discovered exactly what an ex-Watcher is, we will be. But not now. Nor in the immediate future, sad to say. But I will say this: I love you."

"And that's always - tasty."


"So if I decide to practice some of this tantric stuff..."

"Get through your pain. And depending on where I am with Olivia, we can discuss it. Perhaps."

"I love you too, Giles."

"Yes, Willow. I know."