the pearl

Can't See (Useless)

Giles watched the students dance, enjoying this night for all that it was worth. And why shouldn't they? he thought to himself. It's their senior prom, the last fling before they enter the real world.

He caught a glimpse of Larry and Xander dancing and chuckled to himself. Never in a million years would he have guessed it... And, judging from the looks the young couple got, neither did anyone else.

The music changed, and a soft longing guitar began playing. "We were both cast forth by the same pale hands...."

Giles continued watching the students. He stopped momentarily on the Louise Brooks lookalike all in black, clutching at her dance partner with a near desperation, whispering the lyrics into his ear. She must have felt his stare, because she looked up at him, her eyes filled with unshed tears and longing.

Giles looked away. His eyes scanned the room again, and fell upon Willow, her arms around Oz.

He had decided to sign up for chaperoning once he had discovered she was going, which was, as it was with most of what happened to these teenagers, at the last minute. He should have realized that she was going, though. Oz was a senior...and him.

Giles watched Willow. Her red hair flowed down, shimmering softly in the low light. It looked like rare silk, imported from a faraway land and Giles knew that if he held it in his hands and brought it to his face, he would smell rare herbs and spices while feeling the softness next to his cheek.

Her dress was a rich forest green, complimenting her hair and features perfectly. Giles followed the clean, elegant lines of the dress over her body, tracing every seam, every tuck. He stopped when he caught himself staring at the underswell of her breasts, the fabric taut against them. He blushed slightly and looked away.

He knew it was wrong to be thinking this way about her. She was just a girl. A beautiful young girl, who would grow to be a beautiful, elegant, amazing woman.

Giles knew exactly when he had stopped seeing her as just a child and instead as a blossoming woman. It had been only a few weeks after Jenny's death. He had walked into the computer room and saw her there. For the first time since his lover's death, he hadn't expected her to be there. Instead of expecting a raven-haired woman to turn around and smile at him with her brown eyes twinkling, he expected Willow. And, much to him surprise, he found himself wanting to see her. To see her eyes sparkle when he spoke to her about ancient demons and curses, to see the craving for knowledge that he himself still felt after all these years.

Giles' eyes turned back to Willow. Oz had apparently said something amusing, because her mouth was smiling gently, a smile reserved only for someone who held her heart.

"And I tried to find you, but it's useless....and I tried to speak, but it's useless..."

How many times had Giles almost found himself saying something? How many times had he forced himself to back away, to find another little fact in a dusty book. Hell, how many times was he actually glad that Xander had made one of his jokes?

He knew that whatever he would say would never be enough. He wanted to love her, to teach her, to see her smile at him the way she was smiling at Oz.

"And I realize that it's useless...and I want to fight, but it's useless...and I know you're there, but it's useless...and you're everywhere but it's useless..."

It could never happen. He would never be given the chance.

She would never love him.

Giles' eyes misted over slightly. Oh, Willow, he thought. If only...If only things had been different.

"And I realize that it's useless....and I can't in front of my face..."

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at