Author: Beer Good PM
PostChosen. 'Tis the night before a plane leaves for Brazil, and Willow sort of gets to make a wish. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Willow R. & Kennedy - Words: 1,575 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 14 - Published: 11-05-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2647968
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
note: Like my other story "Birthday Girl", this is based on the idea
of a character getting to make one life-changing wish. This particular story
involves Willow, Kennedy, Tara and a wish... well, sort of.
When she found the hotel room dark and empty, Kennedy was worried for just a second. Not that she didn't think her girlfriend could take care of herself, but... then she saw the shadow sitting out on the dark balcony and relaxed. She slid the door open and put her hand on Willow's shoulder.
"Oh, hey." Willow responded, but seemed a million miles away. "How was patrol?"
"Same ol', same ol'. Andrew dusted a vamp. Of course, he passed out immediately afterwards, but still." No reaction. She wasn't sure if that was a good sign; normally even a mention of Andrew seemed to make Willow feel uneasy. She'd never say anything, she knew he was part of the group, but there were still too many bad memories. Kennedy sat down and rested her head on Willow's shoulder. "So, whatcha doing? Meditating?"
"No, just... y'know, stargazing. I figured, once we get to Rio there'll be a whole new bunch of stars to look at, and I just wanted to say goodbye to some of the ones I know."
Kennedy hadn't noticed until now, what with slaying and all, but the Denver sky was completely cloudless and all the stars were out. Up here on the tenth floor at 2AM and with the mountain air perfectly still, she could almost reach out and touch them. "You know I grew up in New York, and the only stars I ever saw there were at my parents' cocktail parties... but that's the big dipper, right?"
Willow leaned in so they shared a line of sight. "Yep. And that's Cassiopeia, see, the one that looks like a big W? And that's Ursa Minor..." Kennedy felt her tense up and take a deep breath. "The... Moose Getting a Spongebath... Little Pile O'Crackers..."
"OK, you made at least one of those up."
"Actually, I didn't. I mean, they're made up, but... not by me."
Kennedy knew what that tone in Willow's voice meant. "Tara." Over the last six months they hadn't exactly been avoiding the subject, but rather dealing with it in very tiny steps. Kennedy knew some part of Willow was still hurting, and probably always would be. With Sunnydale wiped from the map in an instant, there was literally nothing left of her years with Tara; she wouldn't even have had a picture of her if Dawn hadn't kept one in her wallet. There was no grave to visit, just the night sky, and tomorrow even that would change.
"She used to say the stars' real names made no sense to her", Willow nodded. "Of course they're not real either, I mean, some guy made them all up. But I dunno... I used to think some of them made too much sense. You know who Cassiopeia was?"
"Some Greek goddess?"
"Close enough. She was a queen, and she was so arrogant the Gods decided to punish her by summoning forth a monster that killed a bunch of people. And the only way the monster could be appeased was by having Cassiopeia sacrifice Andromeda, the person who meant the most to her... And then they put them both in the sky, named a constellation after Cassiopeia and a whole other galaxy, lightyears away, after Andromeda so they could never meet again." Willow sighed. "That's the fate of the big ol' W."
Kennedy had never been much for deep thoughts, but the subtext was pretty obvious. "Honey... I know how much she meant to you, and I don't expect you to give that up. But you've gotta stop beating yourself up about it. It wasn't your fault."
"That's what I'm getting at. When she died, I blamed everyone, literally everyone, including myself... but never her." Willow's voice was shaky by now, but she wanted to get this out. She kept her eyes fixed at the sky, and Kennedy realised she still hadn't so much as looked at her since she sat down. "For a while after I first met her, I tried to keep her away from Buffy and the others... not just because of the gay thing, but y'know, slaying is kinda life and death and blood and grrr all the time and I didn't want her anywhere near that. She'd had such a crappy life, and I wanted to protect her."
"Nothing wrong with that." Kennedy put her arm around Willow.
"Maybe not. But over these last few months I've realized something. When she came back, those last two days... she knew. She knew that taking up with me again meant putting her life on the line – if it hadn't been Warren, it would have been something else. She was strong enough to walk away, and it would have been best for both of us if she had, but she chose to come back. Because she loved me. I think somewhere inside, I've been blaming both of us for that. Hating us both for it. And I don't want to do that anymore."
"Can't blame a girl for having good taste."
That got a smile from Willow, but she still didn't move. They sat in silence for a while. Suddenly the night sky came to life, as a bright line was drawn across the stars... then another... and within seconds, dozens. Kennedy jumped up. "Holy fuck, what's that?"
"Just a meteor shower. Shooting stars. Except they're not really stars, just... space junk. Rocks and bits of old TV satellites burning up in the atmosphere."
"Oh. Cool." Kennedy settled back down, a little embarrassed. "So, I think you're supposed to make wishes on those, right? You up for it?"
"Nuh-uh. I don't make wishes anymore. It's kinda pointless nowadays. And dangerous. If there's anything I really want, I pretty much just have to blink my eyes and poof, it's done. And that way lies madness."
"But if you did make a wish, just hypothetically speaking, would you... um..." Kennedy was trying to sound casual, and knew she was failing miserably. "Would you want her to be here?"
Willow finally met her eyes and then leaned in and kissed her, softly. When she broke off, Kennedy saw that she'd been crying, but there was something else too. The Willow she knew – and loved – had always had a sad streak, but she couldn't remember ever seeing her this... peaceful.
"It's... complicated. I mean... obviously, I would have wanted her to not get shot. And there was a long time when I would have given anything to bring her back. But now...?" Willow seemed to have to think about it, then slowly shook her head.
"It's that simple?"
"Yes... and no. I've seen people come back from death, Kennedy – heck, I've brought one or two back myself – and it's no walk in the park. I'll always miss Tara, but I know that she's in a better place, and to bring her back now wouldn't be fair to anyone of us. What's done is done, she's gone and you're here. I just hope you..." Willow paused. "I just hope you know how much that means to me. I don't want you to feel like I'm comparing you to her."
Kennedy smiled and kissed her back. "Oh, you know me – I'm way too full of myself for that." Again, they sat for a while, cuddling up to escape the chill of the night. "So what about that hypothetical wish?"
Willow looked back up at the sky and sighed. "I guess... I'd just wish for her to know that I'm OK. That she'll always be with me, but that I won't spend my life in mourning. That I've fallen for a beautiful woman who has already saved my life a couple of times and will probably turn me into a fat pig if she doesn't stop ordering pizza with extra cheese for her non-slayer-metabolism-equipped girlfriend..."
"I don't recall you exactly complaining..."
"And also... that I get it now. There are no easy fixes, no wishes or spells that can make everything right in an instant and have them stay like that forever. Life is a long and important process, and you can't really skip back or forward or hit pause... just live it while it lasts." They sat for a little while longer. Then Willow stood up, smiled and took Kennedy's hand. "Come on, let's get to bed. We've got an early flight to catch, tomorrow about this time I plan to get you wasted on caipirinhas and take advantage of you, and for someone my age that doesn't work without a coupla hours of sleep."
As they walked inside, Willow cast one last look at the Northern night sky. And if one of the stars seemed to blink back at her, it was probably just a trick of the light.