Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire
Character/Pairing: Willow/Kennedy, past Willow/Tara
Challenge/Prompt: sunnydalescribe DC 9: Forward
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death
Word Count: 926
Date Written: 2 December 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
It seemed strange, she thought, looking out the window, to be leaving everything behind. Sunnydale had been her home her entire life; she’d stayed right there with her friends through everything -- through all the headaches and trials of school, through learning the Supernatural was real and learning how to fight it, through losing friends and loved ones to Vampires and other evils, through the countless almost-apocalypses, through losing the first love of her life, learning she’s gay, and losing the second love of her life . . . She had stayed in Sunnydale through everything. Now not only was she leaving her hometown behind, but Sunnydale no longer even existed. It was gone, sucked down straight into Hell.
She couldn’t go back, Willow thought, no matter how much she wanted to at times. She couldn’t go back to when she, Xander, and Jesse had been innocent and naive. She couldn’t go back to before the Vampires started coming into her town and her life. She couldn’t go back to before she’d met Buffy -- and she really didn’t want to. Buffy was her best friend, and she knew she had helped to shape the brave, strong woman she’d become.
Still, that didn’t mean she didn’t sometimes think of her life before her and long for that innocent time. Most of all, she longed to be able to go back to a not quite so innocent time, back to when Tara was alive, before she’d been shot, before she’d lost her because she didn’t want to give magic up . . . She’d do it now, she realized. If she had a chance to do it all over again, she would gladly give up her magic to keep Tara. Or at least that’s what she liked to tell herself, but she knew, better than most, that people tended to think they’d do better when given a second, or a thousandth, chance.
The truth was that she didn’t know if she’d really do anything in her whole life differently, if she had the chance to do it again. It would be just as hard to give up magic, even harder if she didn’t know what had happened, and not simply because it was an addiction. The magic had made her feel powerful before Tara’s murder. It had made her feel as if she could do anything, including protect the ones she loved without a Slayer’s power. The bullet that had killed Tara, having come from a gun in a mortal’s hands, had proved how wrong she was, but without that knowledge, she didn’t know if she’d have the courage or strength to give up the one thing that had made her feel like she could keep Tara, and Dawn, and all the others she loved safe even without Buffy.
She had wanted so badly to keep all those she loved. She still did, but death was imminent. They’d all just escaped impossible odds. Spike had died, giving his life to save theirs and, she knew, most of all, Buffy’s. Anya had died, and others had fallen too, but they, for whatever reason, had survived. They had survived this battle, but that didn’t mean they would survive the next, or the one after that, or the one after that.
She looked down at the locket in her hand. She had worn it purposefully into battle tonight, wanting Tara to be as close as possible in the end. She’d been fingering it since she’d slid into this seat, and now she opened the small, gold locket and gazed at her former girlfriend’s smiling, beautiful face. She shut it with a quick snap, however, when she felt someone slide into the seat beside her.
“That was wild,” Kennedy commented, breathing heavily.
Willow looked up, almost shy again, as she dropped the locket back down her shirt.
“You were thinking of her,” Kennedy observed knowingly. She nodded her dark head in the direction of Willow’s neckline, down which the locket had just disappeared. “That’s okay. It’s to be expected. She was a big part of your life. Like Sunnydale was. I -- I’m sorry about your home.” Her big, brown eyes softened as she gazed into Willow’s green eyes which were swimming with an intense mixture of sadness and guilt.
“It -- It’s okay,” Willow said, clearing her throat and licking her lips. “We -- We made it. We saved the world. That’s what matters.”
“Yeah,” Kennedy agreed quietly, wrapping her arms around her and pulling her close. “But it doesn’t mean you won’t miss it. Always. Just like you miss her. And that’s okay.”
Willow smiled as she gazed into her current girlfriend’s eyes. “You are so good to me.”
Kennedy grinned. “I’m just so lucky to have you, Wills. I realize that, and I’m thankful for it and for you and for however long you want to keep me around.” She leaned closer.
“For a long, long, loooong time,” Willow whispered. She couldn’t go back; she could only go forward. She kissed Kennedy. That wasn’t altogether a bad thing. Everything that had happened, everything she’d lost and everything she’d gained too, had led her to becoming the woman she was now, and to this beautiful, dangerous, bold woman in her arms. Her life wasn’t over. Far from it, a new chapter was just beginning! Kennedy gently deepened their kiss, and Willow let herself flow into their passion with one last thought: She should totally add a picture to Kenn to the other side of the locket she wore, and which she wasn’t going to be taking off any time soon.