Disclaimer: Joss Owns 'em. I borrow them.

Author's note: Yet another of those " It never happened, but I wouldn't have minded if it did stories", a kinda sequel to " The Christmas Gift" and " A whole New Year"  set at… Ya, you got it, Valentine's Day.

So, our favorite blonde slayer, and her adorable red-headed friend shared a little kiss at New Years. No big, right? I mean, to quote our favorite slayer " Just a silly New Year's kiss….Won't happen again". So, of course, it meant nothing… right?

~~*~~*~~*~~

Hidden Hearts

~~*~~*~~*~~

Buffy lay sleeping. Actually, to be accurate, she was half awake. That state where you know the alarm is going to go off any minute, but you lay there, hoping the time never passes. Her eyes are closed, and she has a small smile on her face. She was having the most pleasant dream, and was still trying to keep the fragments of it from floating away. In it….

==BEEP==BEEP==BEEP==BEEP==BEEP== BEEP==BEEP==BEEP==BEEP==BEEP==

Damn!

Buffy swings her arm over, and hits the button on the alarm to shut it off. She sits up in bed, and stretches, giving out a little sigh. Another day at good ol' Sunnydale High. Geeze, graduate and you still can't get outta going. Such are the burdens of being a guidance counselor. She giggles. Me, counseling kids. Snyder woulda had a conniption.

Then she remembers what day it  is and her smile gets a little bigger. She reaches into her nightstand drawer, and pulls out a small box. She opens it, and inside is a little gold chain with a heart locket. She smiles. She turns it over, and on the back is a simple inscription: B followed by a heart with an arrow through it, and then W. God, Buffy, can ya get anymore cornball? But she doesn't really care. She is more interested in what Will thinks about it. She takes it out, and wraps it up in the little note she put in the box. There, done ! Now, all she had to decide was whether to ask Will out to dinner tonight, or just give it to her this morning? Sigh…that was the toughie.

Buffy was more than a little confused. Ever since that little kiss she and Willow had shared on New Years Eve, she had been in a dilemma. She knew it had been just the moment, and it meant nothing… I mean, heck, New Year's Eve, your supposed to kiss someone for good luck in the New Year, right? So why the heck couldn't she get that kiss off  her mind? She thought about it…and daydreamed about it, and dreamed about it…and thought more about it. She found herself at times licking her lips, trying to recapture the way Will's lips had tasted, and felt, on hers. This is stupid, she'd tell herself. Will is my best friend…for like forever. This kinda thing doesn't happen. This is the stuff cheap romance novels are made of. Grrr. Stop it , Buffy!

So, why couldn't she forget it? Or the way Will's hands had felt in hers. I mean…God, they had held hands before, but …this was different. And the way… Will had felt in her arms when they had been dancing. So warm. So soft. So…God, STOP IT Buffy! But she couldn't 'stop it' cause it just kept coming back to her. In the oddest moments. When she definitely should be thinking about other things. She looks at the clock. Like, getting to work would be good.

Buffy grabs her robe, and heads for the shower. She likes to get in before the potentials and others have used up all the hot water. Ah, great. No line. She ducked in the bathroom, and locked the door. She turned on the shower. Slipping out of her "yummy sushi" jammies, she quickly stepped into the shower and let the warm water splash over her. Mmmmm nice. Now if she could only sort out those dreams she'd been having. About her, and Will. And… how they made her blush when she thought of them. I mean, I'm not gay…am I? Nawwww… I like boy stuff. Sigh…but some of those dreams…wow!

She hopped out of the shower, dried off, and wrapped her hair in the towel. She donned her robe, and quickly brushed her teeth. She opened the door, and nearly ran into Vi coming in.  She was startled, and a bit flustered.

"You done?" Vi asked

"All done. All yours" Buffy said, picking up her pj's.

"Thanks" Vi said, hurrying in and closing the door.

Damn…this one bathroom to so many women just aint gonna cut it. Gotta talk to Xander. Maybe he knows how we can build a second…cheap. Real cheap. Money isn't flowing around here! It'll definitely become a small trickle if I don't get a move on.

She dresses, all the time thinking…this morning, or this evening? When do I give it to her? If I give it to her this morning, then maybe we can plan a "this evening?"… and if she rejects it, then I'm in a crappy mood all day. This evening? At dinner. Yeah, and if she rejects it, I gotta try to get through dinner in a public place. Sigh. This sucks. I'll just give it to her this morning, and hope…

She picks up the box, and quietly descends down the stairs. She is kinda hopin' on surprising Willow in the kitchen, sneak up on her before she can run or anything…

Unfortunately, it was she that was in for the surprise…. cause when she got close to the bottom of the stairs, where she could look into the kitchen, her heart sunk like a stone.

There's Willow. And Kennedy. Kissing.

!!CRAP!!

Before they realize she is there…she quietly sneaks back upstairs.

Why does she feel like someone just sucker punched her? She makes her way back to her bedroom, and sits on the edge of the bed. She sits there, trying to catch her breath, trying not to feel so crappy. Ah, man. Well. Late to the party again, right Buffy? Good one, slayer. Always right up on what's happening. News Flash: you missed that one.  Real stupid, Buffy. Well… I know how Willow feels now. Guess I'll just have to deal. CRAP!!! Ya know, if you'd  just spoken up a little sooner… Ah, c'mon Buffy, obviously that kiss meant nothing to Will. I was makin' something outta nothing here. Get a grip, go downstairs, and go to work.

And she kept telling herself that for the next 15 minutes.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Oh my god SHE'S KISSING ME.

Willow was panicking when Kennedy put the lip lock on her.

Ok, not bad…mmmmm…but….it's not…

Buffy

Willow's mind drifted for a second, and her thoughts went back to New Year's Eve. And the kiss. That sweet kiss. That sweet kiss that set her on all kinds of little fires. That kiss that she had thought of a million times since. Kiss. Oh god, kissing KENNEDY!!!

"Whoa…whoa" Willow says, as she breaks the kiss. Her face is flushed

"What? Will? What?" Kennedy says, a little confused.

"Ummm… a little sudden, maybe?" Willow says. "I mean, it was nice… but not sure I'm ready for this?" Or ever will be?

Kennedy puts on a little half grin " Sorry, Will. I thought you wanted a kiss…thought I saw that in your face"

Oh, no doubt. Willow wanted a kiss. A lot of kisses. Kisses 'til her lips were swollen kisses. But, not from Kennedy

From Buffy. Damn. From BUFFY. DAMN, DAMN, DOUBLE DAMN

What're you doin' here, Willow? I mean, here is this sexy little woman. She obviously likes you. That kiss was nice…very nice.

So, why aren't you like kissing her again? I mean… damn

She's not Buffy. No ones Buffy. Except Buffy. and that is probably the stupidest thing you ever thought.

Of course she's not Buffy. Buffy probably…no, make that definitely, doesn't feel that way about me.

She isn't into girls. She isn't into me. So, why am I being so stupid? I mean…Goddess. Falling for your best friend is something you see on daytime soaps(ok, I watch 'em … sometimes. Shoot me). It doesn't happen in real life. And… even if I felt that way( even if?) that really doesn't matter, cause Buffy doesn't feel that way. Does she? Nawwww. She couldn't. Could she? No way.

But that kiss… oh wow. I mean, I know it probably meant nothing to her, but I was like in … such a good place. And it seemed like she felt something too… but …oh hell, I had to make that cooties joke, didn't I? Grrr.. dumb Willow, dumb, dumb, dumb! No follow up smoochies, nothing after that. Guess I panicked a little. Wasn't ready.

"BUFFY SO READY NOW BUFFY MORE KISSES PLEASE BUFFY!!!!"

Crap… like that's gonna happen, Willow. But…oh, whatta kiss…and when we danced…in her arms… so warm, so soft… felt so safe, so right…..

"Hello? Earth to Willow? Hello?" Kennedy is waving her hand in front of Willow's face.

"Huh? Sorry… lost it a moment? Look, Kenny. You're really … sweet. But… not really ready for anything right now" Willow says, trying to politely fend her off.

"Not ready? Ok. Misread. Big misread" Kennedy says, but not convinced. " Look, if you get ready? Let me know. Definitely interested here"

Kennedy starts to exit the kitchen, turns, gives Willow a look like " You're not telling me something" then leaves.

Idiot Alert! Idiot Alert! Hey , Will… there goes someone who's hot for you. And you're here mooning someone who doesn't know you're alive that way. What ARE YOU DOING?????????? Go after her!!!! Forget Buffy. That ship so isn't sailing.

Willow takes a step after Kennedy, then stops herself. No, that isn't fair to her. Cause I can't help how I feel… and how I feel includes this incredibly hot blond slayer smooching me and …oh so don't go there Willow…that so isn't gonna happen either.

Poop. Buffy Summers, you're a total poopy head poop.

Poop. Poop. Poop.

So why do I want you so badly???

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Buffy tromps down the stairs. She wants to make sure the smooching couple gets the idea someone is coming.

Ok, I can deal if I don't seem them in lip-lock again. Yeah, I can deal… got it.

Just keep telling yourself Buffy " It's good for her. She's happy. It's good for her. She's happy" got it? Good. Like it? No way. Grrr knew I didn't like that Kennedy for a reason. I so got it now. Play it cool, Buffy… fighting with Will's girlfriend is so not gonna help. Girlfriend(Buffy feels her tummy do a toss). So don't like that… not applied to Kennedy, at least. Grrr.

Ok, Buffy here's the plan. Breeze through the kitchen as fast as you can. Grab your coat, the car keys, and motor outta here. That way, ya don't have to deal. Then, you can toss that stupid present you bought at school, and no one the wiser. Pretend it never happened, pretend you don't feel this way. Pretend. Yeah, good plan. Pretend good, cry bad. I can be a good friend, I can support her in this. I'm such a big fat liar. No. she likes(loves…grrr) Kennedy. I have to accept that. I have to be her friend. It's in the Friend manual, somewhere. Right next to the chapter on " Don't be an idiot and fall for Best friend" sigh. Ok, lets just do this and get it over.

Buffy breezes into the kitchen, and sees Willow by herself. Looking lost in her thoughts. Yeah, probably having a daydream about Kennedy…she's been gone what? 5 minutes? Shoot. Stop it Buffy, Friend. Will friend. Friend good. I'm a good friend. I'm lying through my teeth.

"Heya Will" Buffy says

"Hey, Buffy" Willow replies, giving Buffy a strange look. Ok, what's that about? Buffy thinks?

" In a hurry, Will. Late. Need me to pick up anything after school today?" Buffy asks, trying to get out as fast as possible.

" We're low on milk…and soda…think you could get those?" Will asks. Why does Buffy seem to be wanting to run away as fast as possible, Will is thinking. She's not that late.

" Got it. No problem" Buffy says " See ya tonight… or not" She calls back as she's out the door. The door slams after her.

Huh? What was that about? Willow wonders…then realizes that Buffy forgot her lunch. She hears the car start up, then it pulling out the drive. She races to the fridge, pulls out her lunch, and races out the door

"Buffy! BUFFY!!! Your…." But it's too late, Buffy is gone.

Willow stands there, feeling confused.

Why was Buffy's butt burning to get outta here so fast? Geeze. I know she takes her new job seriously, but this is just nuts.

Willow looks at the lunch, and shrugs. Well, I'm not too busy today. I'll take it too her after my class. Sheesh.

Willow goes back inside, and closes the door after her.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Buffy is sitting at her desk, staring out into space.

Seems she can't get this morning's little scene out of her mind. Willow and Kennedy… Kennedy and Willow… kissing.

Well, Buffy…what? Do you expect Will to like stay single forever? Wait for you? Hell, like she would even KNOW you might be interested? That she might even be interested? I mean… Gee Buffy, self-centered much? Maybe it's time you stop acting like a 15 year old brat, and consider what she wants and needs? Maybe this is the best thing for her? Consider that Buffy? Ok, you don't like Kennedy. Fine, got that. But there must be something there, or Willow wouldn't be interested. Will is not a one – nighter Buffy. She's relationship girl. So, she obviously sees something in Kennedy you're blind to. Wouldn't be the first time, ya know. If you had a chance, that's so gone … ship has pulled anchor, left dock and sailed into the sunset.

If you really love her, Buffy. If you really give a damn about her, you'll back off, let her have what she wants. Let her be happy. Don't make it bad for her by complicating things. Let her go. Be a real friend; be happy for her. I mean, really Buff. Think about it. With your track record in the romance department, you'd have her miserable in a month. Gone in two. So, how about you do the right thing and let her be happy?

Buffy pulls the little package she has for Willow, and opens it. She takes out the locket, and opens it, looking at the pictures she has inside. Her face is reflects a certain bittersweet poignancy. Much as her mind tells her she wants nothing but what is best for Will… much as her heart loves Will , and wants her happiness, she can't help feeling hollow. As if her own hesitancy has cost her something she really wanted, and needed. And as unselfish as she wants to be, she can't help wanting to be a little selfish. She wants to be happy too. Who doesn't, when it comes right down to it? She pulls out the note she wrote Will, before she knew Will's heart, and reads it. She starts to laugh, but it's a harsh laugh… laughing at her own foolishness. God, my self-importance is only exceeded by my brainlessness. What was I thinking? Really, really dumb, Buffy. Totally.

She crumples the note, and tosses it in the trash, followed by the locket. Just as well, anyway. I got too much on my mind , what with The First killing off the potentials, and trying to keep them safe. Trying to keep that household running on what I make. And Spike…and his problems with the soul, and chip. And all the rest. That's enough for me, right now anyway. Who needs this crap, anyway? Even if I wanted to, I couldn't give her the time and attention she deserves. Best all around, this way.

Yeah, Buffy. Keep believing that. I understand the tooth fairy is gonna be around any day now to put that million dollars under your pillow, too. I'm not in love, I don't believe in love, it's all bogus. I'm just lonely is all. Tough, deal. Get over it, and yourself. Ok? Ok.

"Woolgathering, Summers?" Robin Wood looks in on Buffy, catching her staring off into space.

"Huh? Oh…sorry" Buffy blushes, more than a little embarrassed. How long has he been standing there, anyway? " Guess I was… not exactly beating my door down today to talk" She smiles.

"Well… for once, that actually is a good thing. At least for me. I have some important documents I need to get over to the Superintendent. Problem is, I can't leave right now, and my staff is too busy to go. So, I was wondering?" Robin hates to ask her, but it's rather important.

"Oh… Errand girl?" Buffy says, mocking him just a little.  " Yeah, sure. Why not? Not like I'm saving the world here, or nothing"

Robin grins an apologetic grin. " I wouldn't ask, but it's rather important"

"S'ok,  Boss" She smiles. " Since it's deader than Restfield for me right now, be good to get out of the office for a few"

"Thanks, Buffy, I appreciate it."

"No problem. Give me a chance to get my lunch. I forgot it at home this morning. Too much of a hurry to get here to help all these misguided students" Buffy laughs a little.

"You always brown bag it, Buffy. Why not treat yourself to eating out for once?" Robin asks.

" Ah. It's called money, and not having it" She smiles. "Budgets don't work if you don't follow 'em. Damn, that sucks."

" I'd offer you a raise, you're doing great work here" Robin begins, but she cuts him off

"Yeah, what pot o' gold were you gonna pull that outta again?" She smiles. " I know money's tight here too. Look, let me get on taking that thing over before we really start getting depressed here". Robin hands her the file.

"Thanks again, Buffy" Robins says. He leaves her office.

'well, at least I'm good for something today' she grins ironically.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Willow looks around the high school, and is surprised at how similar it  is to the old High School.

"What? They have like 2 floor plans for these places, and we're using # 2 again?" she shakes her head. She is pretty sure if she goes to the library, she'll see the same stacks, in the same order. Maybe not the same books, as a lot of those were Giles…but still… couldn't they do something different? Sigh… like I should really care? At least the paint is fresher, and I'm sure the bathrooms are cleaner.

Anyway, where's the office? I know it's around here somewhere. Ahhh…there we are . Lunchtime , Buffy. Sandwichy goodness… heh.

Willow is about to open the Main Office door, when it's opened from the inside. She is facing Robin Wood.

"Hey"

"Hey, Willow. Decide to come back and visit the resurrected shell of your former school?" Robin smiles at her. He likes the red headed woman.

"Actually, I brought Buffy her lunch. I thought maybe I could take it to her?" Willow says.

"Oh…sorry, Willow. But Buffy is running an errand for me. She's out of the office. I can take that for you if you want?" Robin replies.

"No… that's ok, I'll put it on her desk" Willow says. "Ummm… if you'll just point it out for me?" She looks at the myriad of cubicles in here. God, must be weird for Buffy working in this area…remembering how many times she had to visit here while going to school.

"She did mention she was going to get her lunch from home after the errand. I guess she was in a hurry this morning?"

"Really? Weird. She left so suddenly this morning, it was like she had to be early today or something. I tried to catch her, but she had already driven off"

"Well… no, she didn't have to get here early for any reason. Not that I know of, anyway" Robin said. Curiouser, and curiouser.

"I'll just leave it for her, with a note. So, where is her desk again?" Willow asks.

Will enters Buffy's work area, and puts her lunch on the desk. She looks around for a piece of paper to leave a note, but doesn't find any. Finally, in desperation , she looks in the trash. Maybe she can use the back of something else. She notices something shining in the trash, and retrieves it. It's a gold chain and locket. Hmmm…wonder why this is in here? Buffy must have lost it. Strange…I didn't know she had a gold heart locket…kinda pretty, actually. Willow smiles, and turns it over. She sees the inscription… B then a heart with an arrow through it and then a W. Wonder who the "W" is? William…that's Spikes real name…but…this is a girl's locket, not likely she's gonna give it to him. And the lettering is wrong for it to have come from him… never mind thoughtfulness is not his thing. So…exactly who is W? Maybe a picture inside? Should I? No…probably not… then her little devil whispers in her ear " Ah, c'mon Willow, what's one little peek gonna hurt?" She giggles, and opens the locket's  face. Her expression turns thoughtful as she sees the pictures inside. Two of them. One of her, and one of Buffy…both taken when they were sixteen. Oh, my god, look how young we were. And I got the braids. And a goofy grin…but Buffy still looks so young… and is fuller in face. Poor baby, so much has happened since those days. Wait a minute, what am I doing in a locket with Buffy? She turns it over again, and re reads the inscription…and it hits her…Oh. My. Goddess. She puts the locket on the desk, and digs through the trash. Maybe there's a note in here somewhere. She looks through every scrap of paper, but of course it's the very last scrap that she finds what she's looking for. It's a note. Addressed to her. She reads it.

Hi, Will,

Ok, took the cowards way out again. Wrote a note instead of just talking straight to you face to face. Sometimes I just lose my nerve is all. Heh. Think after taking out demons, vampires and the like, talking to one woman wouldn't faze me. Well… guess again.

Not that you scare me, Will. No, that's not it. It's what I'm feeling, or…think I'm feeling, that scares me. Boy, that's clear, huh? I mean, ever since New Year's Eve, when we had that kiss, I've been kind of confused. You know? I mean, I been having these thoughts about you… thoughts I don't understand. And feelings. And dreams. I daydream about you. I don't understand it. Do you? Maybe you can clue me in, cause I'm drawing a blank here. I mean, it was just a silly New Year's kiss, right? It didn't mean anything… did it? To you, I mean? That's just silly, right?

I think it meant something to me. I can't stop thinking about it. Or you. And I have feelings for you that scare me… they aren't the kind of feelings I normally have for other women. Silly, huh? I mean, it was just a kiss… nothing earth shattering? So how come I keep getting tingly when I think about it, Will? How come I get tingly when I think about you, Will? What does that mean? Geeze, you'd think I was 14 again, instead of nearly 23. I should be able to figure this out. I think I've figured it out, somewhere inside me. Just afraid of the truth… of what it means.

This isn't supposed to happen, is it? I mean… I don't know what I mean. What I think. All I know is I think I'm falling for you, Will. Hard. And I don't know if that's right or wrong, but it's happening. Shouldn't happen. Couldn't happen. But is happening, and it's kinda scaring me. Silly huh? I fight demons and hell gods, no big. I fall for my best friend. Big.

Of course, I'm like in this alone, right? I mean, you couldn't feel the same way, could you? Nawww. That's just wishful thinking on my part. No reason for you to be. I guess I just don't want to be alone in this. Feeling this way. Kinda sad, huh?

Anyway, now you can tell me I'm nuts. Off base. Way out in the twilight zone or something. That I'm reading too much into this. I'll get over it, it isn't happening. Is it Will?

You're smarter than me, Will. You know the answers, right? Help me here. Tell me this isn't happening, ok? Then we can go back to being friends. Right? Sound good? God, this is turning out so different from what I wanted to say. Maybe … I'll just throw this away. Sorry. Can't really think straight right now.

Love you

Buffy

Ps. Why do I want to kiss you 'til my lips hurt? … B

Pps. Why do I want to do things with you that make me blush? … B

Ppps.  Why am I even writing this, anyway, and not just telling you? … B

Willow stares at the letter… then at the locket, and then back at the letter. Her mind is reeling. She can't decide whether to jump up and down and holler, or sit and cry. It's just too much to take in. Everything she hoped for is right here, in this letter. She should be dancing… but it's just like she read Buffy's diary… it's kinda too private. God, it was addressed to me. She musta meant for me to read it. But why is it in the trash? With the locket?…Then it hits her. Oh, god! She saw it. This morning, when Kenny kissed me. She…thought…thinks…oh…no.no.no.no. I gotta fix this. So gotta fix this. How? What do I do?

She needs to think. But not here. Gotta go before Buffy comes back, finds me out.

She puts the lunch on Buffy's desk, and attaches a note. She then palms the note, and the locket, cleans up the rest of the trash, and leaves.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Buffy comes back to her 'office', disgruntled.

She had to wait an hour for the Superintendent, only to find he is out until late this afternoon. I had to hand off the file to some flunky. Now, couldn't they have done that a little earlier? And not make me wait an hour? Jerks.

Then I get home, find my lunch is gone. Someone ate it, I guess. Shoot. Was hungry too, but already too late to fool around. Came back here. Oh, well … I guess missing lunch isn't gonna kill me.

She sees the bag on the desk. HEY! My lunch. Someone brought it to me. Well, musta been Dawn or Will. Don't think anyone else would care. And a note. Ah, cool. Mystery solved.

Looks at the note. It's brief, and to the point.

Buffy,

You were in such a rush this morning, you forgot your lunch. I brought it to you after my class. Can't have my favorite slayer starving, now can I? (Buffy grins…she's so sweet)

I need to talk to you. It's important. So, make sure to be home by 7 pm, ok? Important, don't miss. Got it? Good .

Will.

What's that about? Must be about the First. Ah well, at least we can share that. Slayer and Witch, off to battle the Big Bad.

She opens her lunch, and starts to eat her sandwich. After a few bites, she realizes she really isn't that hungry. She wraps it back up, and puts it aside. Her mind wanders back to this morning, Willow kissing Kennedy. She sighs.

Damn. Wish this would just go away.

Damn.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

It's 4pm. Schools out. Buffy doesn't want to go home.

Right now, that house just makes her want to run away. Tired of having so many people around. Tired of dealing with all the stuff I have to deal with . Tired to death of Kennedy. Period.

Yup. You got it. Buffy's feeling sorry for herself. She's transition from " Willow should be happy, and me happy for her" to "Why the hell her? Why not me?" Don't like her. So don't want her around. Feel like taking her out and kicking her potential ass. Will, I must say. If she's your taste in women, you really got crappy taste. I mean…I can't believe you pick something like her, not after Tara. Tara I like. Tara I loved, like a sister. She was sweet, kind, and loved everyone. No one she wouldn't help, even if they gave her grief or the wiggins. But Kennedy? What're you thinking? She's rude, smart-alecky, always getting in my face, Whiney, my god is she whiney. And she hogs the hot water. Damn. If she didn't show some real potential, I would throw her butt out in a second.

Buffy sighs. No, she wouldn't. Even though she can't stomach her for more than 5 minutes at a time, no way she would expose her to those Bringer dudes. Or the First. So, that's not gonna happen.

But Will, c'mon. Even … though you don't want me, there must be better than THAT out there. Why do you have to pick her? Grrr. Not only do I have to watch you with her, I have to play nice. That's just not fair. It's so not fair.

Buffy decides to go the Espresso Pump. Get some mochas. Drown her troubles in sugary goodness. If she weren't driving, and if tomorrow wasn't a school day, she'd probably go the Bronze, and get stupid drunk. Now, she'll have to settle for stupid hyper.

Buffy sighs. This sucks.

This so sucks.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Buffy parks in the driveway, but doesn't get out of the car right away.

So not wanting to go in there. She sighs. But Will asked me to be here. Wants to talk to me. Well, get it over, then get to bed. Make today go away fast as possible.

She gets out of the car, and walks up to porch. Odd. Usually, this place is lit up like a Christmas tree. Looks dark inside. Now what? She braces for the worst. Putting her key in the lock, she opens the door.

Damn, it's dark in here… and quiet… this isn't good. Oh, god. What if the first sent bringers? What if the girls have been taken. Oh god, what am I gonna do?  She goes into fighting mode, and starts to look around. There's light in the dining room. She moves quietly towards it … and gets a shock.

The dining room table is fully decked out. China, candles, the works. There are two place settings. One has a small gift box by it. She hears soft music. Her heart sinks. Oh, god, I walked in on something. Probably Will and Kennedy planned an intimate dinner . It's Valentines Day, right? So, why did Will ask me to be here? Like it was urgent? Maybe she forgot? Oh, well…I'll make a hasty retreat and ….

"Buffy? Is that you?" Willow calls out from the kitchen

"Yeah. It's me, Will. Hey… I didn't know you had something planned for tonight. Look, why don't we talk about whatever it was you wanted to talk about tomorrow? I'll just head upstairs and go to bed. You and Kennedy won't even know I'm here" Buffy says, heading for the stairs.

"Me and Kennedy? Ummm… No, Buffy, this isn't for Kennedy" Willow calls out. "Please sit down"

"No? I don't get it Will. I saw you two this morning, and you looked pretty…friendly." Buffy says, now starting to get confused. Again.

"Yeah… I kinda figured that. Problem is, Buffy, you didn't see the rest of it. As in, me telling her I wasn't ready for a relationship with her."

"Huh?"
 " I told her I wasn't ready for a relationship with her. And I wasn't. And I don't think I ever will. Now." Will says, as she enters the room.

Thank you, God. I know there is a God, cause She just answered my prayers. At least, I don't have to play nice with Kenny, now. I don't care who she loves, as long as it's not her. Ok, lie. But I can accept someone decent.

Wait a minute. Now? What did she mean… now?

Then Buffy notes how Willow is dressed, and almost does a double take.

Willow is dressed to the nines. She has gone all out. Her dress is a green that almost matches her eyes. The skirt is short, for Willow anyway, ending a few inches above the knee… and has a slit up one side to her hip. It ties at the top behind her neck. She has done her hair, and her makeup, while demure, is perfect. In short, Buffy is totally stunned.

Willow puts the food she has been preparing on the table, and sits down. She smiles up at Buffy.

"Aren't you going to join me?" Willow says, her voice low…and sultry? Willow? Sultry? What's going on here?

"Ummm… Will…what's going on here?" Buffy asks, feeling a bit nervous now.

"Having dinner with you… kinda obvious, don't you think?"

"But all this?" Buffy sweeps her hand over the room, taking in the whole atmosphere…and Will.

"I wanted to do something special. It's Valentine's Day, after all" Willow almost whispers it out.

"I… I … I … don't understand?" Buffy is more and more confused. Or, is she?

" Buffy? Why don't you open your present?" Willow asks.

Buffy picks up the box, and unwraps it. Inside is a gold locket, heart shaped. Underneath is a note… her note. She blushes red. She takes out the note, and sees one line has been added at the bottom:

" Pppps: I love you too, Buffy…. Willow"

Buffy sits stunned, then looks up. Willow is standing before her. She sees for the first time, she is wearing the gold locket that Buffy bought her.

" Here, baby, let me help you with that." Willow says, going behind Buffy. Buffy feels Willow holding her hair up, and working the clasp. Her fingers send little chills down Buffy's spine.

Then Willow is leaning over her shoulder, whispering in her ear.

"Happy Valentines Day, baby" She whispers, just before she captures Buffy's lips with her own in a soft , passionate kiss.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

 Fin.

Hope you enjoyed our little fic. Read and review, if you will   =)