A/n: Because I had writers block and couldn't continue with my bigger fic til this got out of the way. Just a oneshot cranked out in a few minutes, nothing polished.

It's not often that Willow delved into some self-analysis. Yes, there was quite a bit of that during her tenure with the Devon coven, and yes, she had done some even before that.

She usually didn't like what she found.

It was her friends' fault, really. Well, her friends and her girlfriend's. It was yet another attempt at hanging out, rife with awkward moments and stumbling over words, her girlfriend not fitting in and her dearest friends giving her the same look they did whenever her lover was around.

The one that said, "Why the hell are you dating HER, of all people?"

Except for Dawn. Dawn actually vocalized the question, right before stomping out of the room, leaving Willow to rub her girlfriend's shoulder comfortingly while the Scoobies tried not to agree with their youngest and deny that they actually did.

But it made her think.

Why was she dating her?

She pored over all sorts of reasons, 'I love her' being the first to pop up and quite honestly, farthest from the truth. 'Convenience' was another. 'I just got out of an extremely close relationship that lasted for several years but hey, you're here and I really need someone to help me get over my previous lover' was probably closest.

If her Tara, dead but still oh-so very much beloved, were still alive she'd have been so ashamed of the way Willow used Kennedy.

Nevermind that if her Tara were still alive she wouldn't have even batted an eye in Kennedy's direction, and that years of her law-shark father cheating on her mother had instilled a fear of being a home wrecker herself in the Latina, who automatically considered women who were already taken hideous.

Hey, as annoying as the brat was, there was a sense of honor there.

Damn. Now she was doing it, too.

The truth was, when her Tara died, a large part of her died alongside her.

Sadly, it was mostly her sane side.

She had given into her berserker rage. She lost part of her soul as well as her lover that day, and one could argue that both were one and the same. In the absence of that Tara-soul, darkness grew. Not metaphorical darkness, either. Actual darkness that seeped into her hair and eyes and blood, making her veins stand out.

That was several years ago, and she got better as far as magic went. But the demon world does not forget, and it still bore the scars of her anguish. She had carved a bloody swathe through existence, signing their names, never to be forgotten. Generations of demons would continue to call the almost absolute destruction of the universe as the 'Rosenberg-Maclay Incident'.

Was it bad that she felt a little proud of that? Even now, when she was supposed to be goodly, saintly, help run the Slayer squads Willow? Proud that, when she couldn't join their names in marriage, she joined them in blood and moving earth and torn flesh?

Yes it was definitely bad, and she honestly couldn't afford to love another like she loved her Tara.

Sometimes she hated the universe.

Well, perhaps this was the universe's doing. Perhaps, after being threatened by Willow once already after the loss of her lover, it was trying to prevent another such occurrence from happening. Preventing it by giving her someone else, a girl so selfish and stupid she could never bring herself to truly love her.

Was she fond of Kennedy? Yes. Did she feel affection for her? Yes. But to say she genuinely enjoyed her company, or her for that matter, was something else entirely. Too brash, too loud, too cocky, like Faith but without the skills or street smarts.

Too unlike Tara.

But then again, maybe it was safer for the universe that way.