Giles still loves Ethan so much it hurts, and it doesn't change anything, because Ethan could never love him enough. And not half as much as Ethan loves chaos.
Oz loves Willow, and he won't ever stop, because he's never loved anything as much as he loves her, and he doesn't even know if he could stop if he tried.
There's a difference between Ethan and Willow. And right now they can't see it. Because Willow is going, she's slipping so fast, cracking into beautiful jagged pieces that won't ever fit back together again.
Giles can feel it.
He might've left magic behind, but it didn't leave him, and now he feels the energy... the magic which is Willow turning harder, it glitters and sparks and pushes. Somewhere in the back of his head, he feels Ethan's swirl of colours specked with blood. It's excited.
In a strange way it's reassuring. If the presence in the back of his head, his soul, changes, he knows something is happening. Building. Means he has at least a tiny chance of stopping the world from ending because they let their powers flow too freely and lost control. Ethan and Willow are far more powerful than he is, but they feel too much. They feel it all, and they don't know how to BE without magic.
Ethan tried to explain what it felt like, not to use magic, when all his instincts told him to. Giles didn't understand, because it didn't... doesn't... feel much of anything to him. Magic, to him, is a tool to be used, or not. Ethan said it was a physical pain. He could feel it burning inside him, whispering flames which increased the longer he went without magic, until it burned so much he couldn't hold it in any longer.
And then it explodes into being, and Ethan's not really in charge of it anymore.
The fire blazes through everything, and when it dies down...
There are only ashes left.
Because Giles is horrified and terrified, and when he looks at Ethan, he sees a stranger.
His heart hurts so much he can't bear to think about it.
He knows Oz loves Willow with his entire being, and because of this, Giles cannot let Willow shatter. He loves her like a daughter, but he goes back to Sunnydale for Oz. So that Oz will never have the frightened hurt inside him, eating away at the love he still feels. Can't help but feel.
So Giles goes.
And it ends.
The wildfire does not spread. Does not go out of control and scorch the world. It burns itself out.
In the back of his head, blood glistens and colours swirl.
It's not over.
He leaves Willow.
He doesn't realise his mistake until his face is burried in Oz's neck, and the swirl of colours increases and bursts.
The world splinters and goes black.
You think you know what love is?
Ethan touches him gently.
Ah, but you haven't seen the best part yet.
I have slept so long.
Willow opens her eyes.
I think I just woke up.
Ethan and Willow dance. Whirls and swirls and hurricanes. Blood and sunlight wash by. Quickly, now, quickly! They laugh, and dance. Things grow, things die. It's all dead and gone and alive and bright.
They are two, and they are one. And they are everyone. The stars shine for them alone, there are no one else in the world but them, and there is so much power flowing through them.
They change time.
Because they can.
Willow destroys the world.
Ethan recreates it.
They are destruction and chaos.
Everything must die before it can live again, and all life originates in chaos.
They are Janus, and their joy have changed the world.
Oz holds Giles, and says, slowly, "Remember that time when I wasn't with you?"
And they remember.
They lace their fingers together.
Time changes things. All the time. The before isn't any longer.
It never was.
Giles does not remember a time when Oz wasn't with him.