Rating: NC-17, eventually
Pairing: Willow/Lindsey, Giles
Word Count: 954 this chapter
Summary: Willow makes an unexpected friend at the coven.
Timeline: Through "Beneath You" (beginning BtVS S7).
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Betas: velvetwhip & menomegirl
Willow was waiting for Giles in the sitting room when he returned to the house an hour later.
He poked his head into the room to say, "Willow, I'll be just another moment. Let me grab a shower and we can discuss today's lesson."
"Can we discuss your rudeness too?" Willow snapped.
"Pardon?" Giles asked, stepping fully into the room.
"You heard me," Willow said, looking back out the window from her perch on the window seat.
"Is this about the stable boy?" Giles asked, removing his glasses and cleaning them with his shirt.
"Don't play dumb with me, mister," Willow said, rising. "You couldn't get me away from him fast enough. Am I that toxic to other people?"
"No! No." Giles came closer to her. "Willow, it wasn't you I was trying to keep away from him."
Willow frowned at that. "So you were trying to keep him away from me?" Giles looked uncomfortable. "That's it, isn't it?"
"What's so bad about him? I mean, I sensed some dark taints on his soul, but who am I to talk? He's here, isn't he?"
"It's not that simple," Giles said. "Look, I rather desperately need a shower. While I'm doing that, I suggest you use that machine of yours to look up the law firm of Wolfram & Hart." He wrote down the spelling for her.
Willow looked confused, but nodded and took the piece of paper from him. "Wolfram & Hart. Gotcha. Well, sorta. Giles, why am I looking up a law firm?"
"I'll explain everything when I get back, but this will provide you with some basis of understanding for what I'm going to tell you."
"That sounds ominous," Willow said.
"It should. I'll be back shortly," Giles said, slipping away before Willow could ask any more questions he didn't want to answer.
Willow shook her head, but went to the desk where her laptop was set up and Googled Wolfram & Hart.
After looking at the public site, Willow found her way to the real site - the one for people in the know. What she saw sickened her. Evil lawyers helping evil demons (and some evil humans) be… evil.
By the time that Giles returned, hair still damp, Willow thought she had a better understanding of why he didn't want her talking to Lindsey.
"So," she opened, "is Lindsey hiding here because he pissed off Wolfram & Hart or because he worked there?"
"Both, I'd imagine," Giles answered. "He left after turning down a promotion."
Willow came around the desk to sit in one of the chairs by Giles. "So why does him leaving an evil law firm make him someone to stay away from? He's obviously trying to atone for that life if he left."
"It's not that simple," Giles protested.
"It never is," Willow agreed. "Come on, Giles. Who are we to cast stones at someone trying to make up for doing bad things?"
"I'm just not fully convinced by Lindsey's insistence that it's all behind him," Giles admitted. "Not after everything that Angel told me."
"Wait a minute. You've been talking to Angel? About Lindsey? Does Buffy know you've been talking to him?"
"No, Buffy does not know that we've spoken, and it's best that it stays that way. Understand?" He paused, waiting for Willow to nod. "After Lindsey came to the Coven, I was elected to make contact with Angel. It would appear that he and Lindsey have had numerous altercations, to put it mildly, since Angel moved to Los Angeles."
"So you went to Lindsey's enemy to get the lowdown on him?" Willow questioned, crossing her arms over her chest. "Seems like that's a good way to learn only the worst about a person."
"And why are you so quick to want to believe in him?" Giles asked. "You barely know the man. I doubt you could have learned much about each other in the time before I arrived."
"I don't know. Maybe I want to be able to make up my own mind about him without you shoving concerns down my throat. Everyone here knows about me and what I've done, Lindsey included, and he still wanted to talk to me, even after finding out who I was. Do you have any idea how nice it was to have someone here look at me without fear or pity in their eyes?"
Giles' expression softened. "Has it really been that difficult for you here?"
Willow sighed. "No. I know it would be a million times worse back home. But people here do still walk on eggshells around me. It was nice having someone that's not you treat me like a person and not a time bomb."
"And it has nothing to do with the fact that he's an attractive young man?" Giles pressed.
"Hello, gay now. Plus, I'm still in mourning. I can't imagine ever wanting to be with anyone ever again."
"I know that it's hard to believe, but one day you will be ready to share your heart again," Giles tried to assure her.
"Even if that were the case, which I don't see happening anytime soon, you don't want it to be with Lindsey," Willow said.
"Preferably," Giles agreed.
"You know, you can't really stop me from talking to him if I want to," Willow said, softly.
"I do realize that. I just hope that you will take what you've learned about him into consideration if you do decide to pursue a friendship with him," Giles said.
"Thanks, Giles." Willow rose and headed towards the door. Before leaving, she turned and said, "But you can't protect me from everything."
"Doesn't mean I have to stop trying," Giles murmured.
Continue to Chapter Three
For those of you reading this from a Lindsey community, I promise that he is in all of the remaining chapters.