Pretty obvious – early S7. Kennedy is trying to figure out Willow.
Not mine, don't sue me. I just play with Joss Whedon's wonderful creations.
Okay, so, I've been here like two whole days and all I can say is WOW. This is so much better than I thought it would be. I mean, come on, ten hours on a plane with a British guy and Molly and Vi? Per-lease, it sucked! But now, well. Things are definitely looking up. Buffy's pushing us pretty hard, but it's the good kind of pushing, ya know? Still, do you wanna know the best thing about this place? It's none other than a redheaded witch called Willow Rosenberg. She's, like… Perfect! She's into the magic stuff, which I don't really get, but everything else about her is just, wow. She's beautiful, sexy even, in ridiculous ways. She's super smart and she's really funny and for once, just, once, she is someone who doesn't look down on me. Which is why I must have her! You're probably thinking 'but Kennedy! She's probably straight!' Don't worry – that was never going to be an issue. She sent my sirens blaring the second I saw her, she's gay as a freaking maypole! There's something about her though, it kind of entrances me. It's like she has the huge thing, and I don't know what it is, but it hangs over her. Like guilt? Sadness? I know there's a lot of pain there. And I want to make it go away. All my life, when I see a girl I like, I want to bang her for a couple weeks then get the hell outa there, but Willow is different. With Willow… I want to be with her. I want to touch her hair and kiss her, I want to feel her breath on me and her hands on my back. It's so different, and in a way it scares me. I just really want to find out more about her.
"Anya?" Kennedy asked quietly. The dark haired woman was sitting cross-legged on the couch, reading a Cosmo.
"What Kennedy? I'm reading."
"I wanted to ask you… a-about Willow."
"Oh!" Anya visibly brightened. "Sad story that one, very depressing. As a former Vengeance demon, I like it very much."
"Will you tell it to me?" The Potential asked hopefully.
"No!" She laughed. "If I learned one thing in my time as a human, it's that some things are private, and Willow's story is one of those things. You want to hear it, you have to get her to tell you herself." Anya picked her magazine back up and disappeared behind it. Conversation over then.
So Willow had a sad, depressing story? Inexplicably, Kennedy was actually kind of worried. You knew you'd fallen hard when just the idea of someone in pain made you sad.
"Kennedy, will you grab a phonebook for me!" Willow yelled, "I need to call the…uh, coven."
"Sure Willow!" Kennedy went into the kitchen and opened one of the drawers. On the top was a phonebook, and beneath it a stack of papers and photos. It was quite obvious the phonebook was there to hide the contents of the drawer. Kennedy gave the drawer a curious glance, but removed the phonebook and hurriedly brought it upstairs to Willow. As soon as she could, she ran back down the stairs though, in a desperate hurry to see what Buffy – or maybe Willow, she lived there too after all – had hiding in that drawer. Kennedy slid it open again. On the top was a pile of pictures, each one taken at a different place, but all places recognisable as Sunnydale. The first photo was of a very pretty honey-blonde girl. She was lying, bikini-clad on the sand, the sunlight making her big blue eyes sparkle. She was laughing at whoever was holding the camera and her smile was cute and lopsided. The next photo was of Xander tackling the same girl at the same beach. This time they were playing volleyball. The one after that was the blonde girl standing on a wharf, backlit by a stunning sunset. She was giving a loving grin to the camera. Who was this girl and why were there so many pictures of her? The next photo was her and Dawn and Buffy, all eating ice-cream at the park with Anya and Xander on the swing in the background. All laughing happily. This girl, she was obviously really good friends with the scoobies… what happened? Kennedy wondered, flipping the picture over. It had been captioned in small, curly handwriting: Buffy, Tara, Dawn – we went to the park because Anya confided in us that she's never been on a swing. Tara said that we had to put that right, because it's just totally ridiculous that someone can be 1123 years old and not have been on a swing. So she packed us a picnic lunch and we went to the park. It was an amazing day.
Tears sprang to Kennedy's eyes, though she had no idea why. It was as if, in that tiny handwriting, there was so much more emotion than written down.
She grabbed the second pile of photos, intrigued now by the beautiful blonde. Each of these, once again, pictured Tara but also Willow. The first one they were standing next to each other, under the full moon. The second one, Tara had her arm around Willow's waist and was whispering in her ear with a wicked grin. Kennedy's stomach lurched, was Tara something more to Willow than just a friend? The third picture showed the two of them, hugging closely as they danced in the familiar setting of The Bronze. This one was captioned: Willow and me, my 20th birthday. I can't take my eyes off you 3
The second part of the caption was in the same tiny handwriting as before – Kennedy assumed Willow's – but the first was larger and loopier, obviously Tara's. The last picture solidified the Potential's first assumption about the two of them. It was exquisite, full of emotion. It was back at the beach and they were both standing, knee-deep in the surf. Their bodies were twined together, hands roaming and lips locked. It was divine, perfect, backlit by a glowing sun and undulating waves. It was captioned, in Willow's writing: The first time we kissed in front of everyone - and Xander, the perv, took a photo. It's beautiful though, Willow, you have to admit. Haha, hi sweetie and yes, any photo with you in it is beautiful.
Kennedy ran her fingers over Willow and Tara's written conversation and instantly felt a tug behind her navel. Everything went black and suddenly she was in… Willow's room. It looked different to now though, more personal and there were different clothes and knick-knacks. Way to go Willow, Kennedy though. Enchanted photos …
"Hey baby," Tara hooked her arms around Willow's waist and Kennedy's eyes widened as the scene played out in front of her. They were so in love!
"Hi sweetie, I'm captioning photos." Tara giggled and read her lover's captions. She took the marker and added to the beach photo, then Willow snatched it playfully and wrote back. Tara blushed deeply, and pulled Willow in, kissing her passionately.
"You're perfect, Willow. I love you so much."
"I love you too, Tara."
Okay… no more, Kennedy wanted out… she didn't like this flashback to the past. Who was Tara? Was she still with Willow? Surely Kennedy would have realised if Willow had a girlfriend. Another lurch and Kennedy was standing in a dimly lit college dorm room, with dark walls and fairy lights. A younger Willow and Tara than those from the previous scene were sitting cross-legged on the bed, playing with a kitten.
"Say it again," Willow urged, scooting closer to Tara. Defensively, Kennedy crossed her arms over her torso.
"I love you," Tara replied with a blush. Obviously the phrase was still new to them.
"And I love you. Forever and ever." Willow leaned in and kissed her deeply. "Nothing can keep you and I apart, nothing. I swear."
"I know," Tara whispered and leaned in again, kissing Willow chastely, before gently biting her bottom lip. Hurriedly, Willow shooed the cat away and pulled Tara down on top of her, already reaching for her buttons. Another lurch. Willow and Tara dancing at the Bronze, twined together like vines. Lurch. Willow and Tara, covered in pancake batter and chasing Dawn around the kitchen. Lurch. A kiss. Lurch. "I love you." Lurch. "Yours." Lurch. Tara, sitting cross legged in pyjamas, her hand bandaged and eyes vacant. Willow was holding a spoon to her mouth. "Oh baby, c'mon, please eat for me. Please." And Tara screamed. Was this what had happened, Tara had gone…crazy? Lurch. "She's my girl." Lurch. Tara, in the same pyjamas, wrapped in Willow's arms. "I got so lost!"
"I found you… I will always find you." Lurch. "Willow, you're using too much magic." The flashes were coming so fast now Kennedy barely got to see anything, just hear their words, flashes of red hair, blue eyes… Lurch. "Are you saying you're gonna leave me?" So they broke up? Lurch. Tara, standing in front of Willow's bed, a nervous glint in her beautiful eyes. "C-can we just, skip it? C-can you just be kissing me now?" And Willow flew into Tara's arms, giving her the most tender, loving kiss Kennedy had ever seen. Lurch. "Your shirt."
And suddenly Kennedy was back, standing in front of the drawer, photos in hand. She looked down into the drawer one more time, breathing hard, head still dizzy and saw a tiny booklet. On the cover was the picture of Tara at the wharf, and it had her name, Tara Maclay, in big print above it. Beneath the photo Kennedy realised with a pang, were the words "In Remembrance, October 16 1980 – May 7 2002".
Tara died. That's Willow's story? The love of her life died… and Kennedy let the tears fall down her cheeks. She turned at the sound of footsteps, putting down the booklet and trying to wipe away her tears. It was Willow, standing in the doorway, a sad, teary smile on her face.
"Wasn't she beautiful?" Willow asked, coming forward and taking the photos from Kennedy. "Tara and I, we're… kind of private. One day I want to tell you about her Kennedy."
Her throat felt full and tight. In just a few minutes of flying through Willow and Tara's relationship, she felt like Tara was a part of her… she wanted to just drop everything in her hands and run. Oh God, poor Willow.
"Willow?" Kennedy asked softly, turning to her.
The redhead gave a soft smile.
"Do you understand now?" Willow whispered, putting a hand on Kennedy's cheek. "Do you understand why I'm struggling so much with the flirting a-and the advances?"
"She was beautiful," Kennedy agreed, handing over the first photo that had triggered the time-warp.
"I know." Willow's eyes were filled with tears and her lips were quivering, but she was smiling. Smiling a massive, radiant smile. "She was perfect. And she was mine." Pressing the photos to her chest, Willow turned to walk away, but Kennedy called after her.
"I understand, Willow. Just know, when you're ready, I'll be waiting."
Willow just didn't have the heart to tell the oh-so-young Potential that someone else had already made that offer…that she'd never take him, nor Kennedy up on it.