Title: In the Name Of Family

Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Rating: PG or FRT

Season: This is set in season seven.

Pairing: None

Warnings: None

Summary: Willow asks Giles why he fought to saver her.

Spoilers: None really.

Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own Buffy, Giles (Heh! I wish!), Sunnydale, or anything

relating to the show. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might

want to talk to someone about that. Joss Whedon owns all things Buffy and has not given me permission to

use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not him.

Author's Notes: I have no idea why, but the image of Willow helping Giles on his first day at the school came to my head. I

loved the picture and it fanned out from there. We hope you like it. Thanks need to be given, and here

is where they go. Thanks to Joss for creating characters so fun to watch and to borrow for a bit. Thanks to

Tony Head for making Giles so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. To

Ann, who always helps with the details, listens to me ramble, and who never runs out of patience, I owe you

so big! Thank you just doesn't seem enough. To Laura the Brit, who took time out of her day and helped me,

thank you,. I couldn't do it without you. Thank you to Samuel who finally understands my passion and makes

me think I might not be crazy to hear the voices after all. Thank you for the support and the title, love. Thanks

to my amazing husband who not only doesn't get upset when my writing takes over, but who doesn't freak

about the men who live in my head. I love him so.

In The Name Of Family

The sun shone down soft and bright as Willow leaned back against a tree. The remains of a picnic lunch lay a few feet away and were now being packed up by Rupert Giles. He put the last container into the hamper and closed the lid, smiling up at Willow who looked for all the world to be sleeping; he knew better.

Giles stood and walked over to sit next to her under the tree. They sat in companionable silence for a while. Giles was relaxing, perhaps even starting to drift off when her voice broke into his thoughts.

"Why, Giles?"

He forced his eyes open to see her starting intently at him.

"Why what?"

"Why am I here? Why aren't I dead?" Her voice was quiet, just above a whisper and laced heavily with guilt.

"Oh Willow, please don't." He gently took her hand. "What happened, was most definitely your fault, but you were broken hearted, mad with grief. I understand to a point. You lost the person that you loved. But you are here, you want to change. That's a good thing."

"Why did you go through so much for me? I tried to kill you."

"Yes, but you didn't."

"And you're still helping me. Why?"

Why? How could he ever put that into words?

From his first day at Sunnydale High School, he knew Willow was different. She was the only student in the school who used the library and that alone impressed him. He'd come to depend on her, even before Buffy had gotten there. She'd taken pity on him on the third day of school when she'd walked in to find him swearing at the computer. He'd been trying to figure out the card catalog and had ended up in attendance records. She'd smiled shyly and had offered to help. In the end, he'd turned over all things computer to her.

He had come to Sunnydale before his Slayer to get set up. By the time she arrived he was supposed to be an established member of the faculty. At least, that was the plan. In reality, no one had noticed him one way or the other. He felt like a piece of furniture most of the time. Only when teachers assigned a research paper did anyone, student or faculty, notice there was a library, let alone a librarian. But she was there, every day, helping him and talking to him, making herself his one tie to human contact.

Buffy's appeal to be allowed into school had been put on hold while the school board reviewed her records from Hemery. Giles had taken it upon himself to patrol until she got there. He would go out at night with a crossbow and a crucifix. It led him to some interesting adventures and some unexplainable bruises. No one noticed though; no one but Willow. At first she commented. Then she worried. He could never dream of telling her the truth. He soothed her fears as best as he could.

She even noticed him as a person, at a time when he was beginning to doubt it himself. She talked with him as she opened webpages for him. No one else even knew he had an accent and she asked about his life in England. It was what he needed, when he needed it most.

And when Giles's Slayer had finally arrived, Willow proved herself worth all of his unsaid praise. Throughout the years he'd watched her fight and grow. She was always there when he needed her.

In the end, when he'd faced off with her in the Magic Box, she'd still been his Willow, his child, the daughter he never had, yet would die to save. He fought her, put his life in jeopardy to save the world, but also to salvage her, body and battered soul. It had been hard. It had been terrible. It had been worth every bruise.

And now, here they were, just as in the beginning. The two of them, together, helping each other through it all. This time he was the one to assist her as she brought her magic under control. He looked up at her again, smiling.

"Why?" He asked. "Because you are my family."

She looked at him for a minute as if she expected him to say more and then she smiled.

"And you're mine. Thank you."

She embraced him tightly, then leaned back against the tree. Giles took her hand again and squeezed it. Then he too leaned back and closed his eyes. It was a beautiful afternoon.

The End