Separate but Equal: Writing Willow/Giles
The relationship between Willow and Giles has a rich history in which to draw. In Welcome to the Hellmouth it is discovered that Willow knew the new librarian Giles before school started and she thought he was really cool and knew everything. Willow and Giles’ relationship is fluid enough that you can use canon and still travel along the ‘what if’ roads not traveled of a romantic relationship.
Their lives took a similar if divergent path. They are both highly intelligent, have inquisitive minds and are quietly introspective and soft-spoken. They also have a dark side to their personalities. Giles’ dark side was first revealed as Ripper while Willow’s potential was revealed in her Vampself in Doppelgangerland.
Willow and Giles both turned to the magicks at a young age and they both were consumed by its power with tragic consequences. In Giles’ case it was the death of a friend by the demon he summoned and for Willow, it was hurting and almost killing her friends while possessed by the power of dark magick.
Because of these instances Giles and Willow can understand the pain and the need for redemption.
There is also a lot of subtext that you can draw on when writing the Willow/Giles ‘ship.
Giles and Willow always protecting the other when there is danger. Whether it’s Giles putting Willow behind him when they’re attacked or Willow distracting and even jumping on a vampire that is attacking Giles.
Willow having a picture of Giles in her locker.
Giles checking on Willow as she substitute teaches Computer Science after Jenny’s death. He has hardly any basic computer skills yet he seeks her out and asks if she needs help.
Giles obvious delight that Willow isn’t dead when her Vampself comes to Sunnydale.
Willow being very hurt when Giles calls her a rank arrogant amateur in Flooded. Willow is so hurt by this comment that she brings it up again in her vengeance spree.
Giles returning to Sunnydale when Willow does her vengeance thing and then taking Willow with him for rehabilitation when he returns to England.
And of course the “Bloody Hell” line when Willow reveals that Tara is her girlfriend.
Willow’s sexuality need not be a hindrance when writing this ‘ship. Willow, herself, reveals that she had a crush on Giles when the gang catches him singing at the Espresso Pump.
Giles’ affection for Willow was subtly acknowledged in the episode Restless when in Giles’ dream sequence Willow is the only one that calls him by his first name, Rupert. The rest of the people in Giles’ dream call him Giles.
Willow and Giles’ relationship is as multi-faceted as the characters themselves. The joy of writing this ‘ship is in the exploration of the various twists and turns their relationship has taken or could take.