Calluses And Scars
by KindKit

Every time, it hurts. But that's inevitable. Training leaves bruises, blistered skin, bleeding gashes. Eventually it leaves calluses and scars. Giles has training scars: a slash on his forehead from a misaimed fencing thrust, a knee that aches when it rains. His hands haven't been soft since he was ten years old. Now it's his heart's turn.

He practices diligently, learning to watch Oz and Willow without flinching while they touch, hold hands, laugh together. Even while she sits in his lap.

Every time, it's a little easier. Giles hasn't wept since Oz left him. Soon, he'll stop wanting to.