Willow leaned back in her seat, her back cracking from the nape of her neck all the way down to her waist. It sounded like pop rocks and echoed so clearly that she looked around to make sure no one had heard. She sighed with a contentedness that bordered on dream-like. It was late, her fries were getting cold, and she was turning twenty-three in a few days, and between Angelus and the sudden appearance of Kennedy it looked like the universe was out to wrestle her happiness away from her again but it all just snap-crackle-popped away for the moment. She loved Faith. And Faith loved her. And that was…wow. That was a world of wow. She twirled her french-fry through her ketchup, smirking as she painted little spirals and signs on her plate. When it was well dunked and the plate looked like a bad finger painting she popped the fry in her mouth and started over again.
The bell over the door chimed. A cold, wet wind swept in. Willow looked up, her eyes scrunched up in discomfort. Kennedy.
Nope, nope, nope.No Kennedy! What happened to waiting for the ‘let’s be friends’ talk? She had wanted to wait for a reason. A darn tootin’ good reason! Not that she could remember it super clearly right now. The happy-dreamy feeling spiraled down the drain in a hurry and all that was left was an angry, awkward mush. Willow placed her hands in her lap and lowered her gaze as Kennedy slid into the opposite end of the booth.
I’m not early, am I?
Willow shot Kennedy her best glare. This was so her. It was just so like her to do something like this. ‘Oh sure I’ll see you on the 7th. Just kidding! Let’s talk now!’ She flexed her hands and cleared her throat, “Well it’s nice to know you still like having your way with everything.” She shoved a fry into her mouth, chewing as angrily as she could. Seeing that new follower message on her dashboard had been strange but this made it look like a pleasant surprise.
So, fancy meeting you here.
And thus begins the charm. That pouty-faced, innocent-looking Kennedy charm that won her over at the bronze, that she had looked forward to coming home to after a day of back-to-back lectures. Her mouth twitched into a half-smile against her will. It really was some spectacular charm, even if her heart wasn’t fluttering over it anymore. “Fancy indeed,” she tried. “You’re uh—you’re doing good, right? With your life and everything?”
Kennedy was expecting angry from Willow, but hey, it wasn’t like she purposefully came here looking for her. It was a chance happening, and in all her years, Kennedy had found that not acting on chance happenings never led to anything good. So she’d ride it out, whether that meant her and Willow worked things out, or Willow just yelled at her the whole time; it didn’t matter to her, she was just glad to see her again after such a long time. Kennedy shrugged at Willow’s off-handed statement and decided to brush it off. “Hey, I’m spoiled, what can I say?” she replied coyly, as Willow fidgeted with her own fingers in her lap. It was a habit Kennedy was all too familiar with and Kennedy felt a smile curl onto her lips. She had missed her, if only for her presence. Sure, Kennedy had a lot in life, but friends weren’t one of them; all her friends back home were her friends for her money. Buffy, Faith and the other potentials and slayers had been her friends because they were forced to be. Willow wasn’t. The girl had been reluctant at first, but after prodding from Kennedy, (and her pointing a gun in her face) she had caved and given in to Kennedy’s charm. On her own accord.
Willow was Kennedy’s first true friend. Kennedy smiled back at Willow. “I’m not here to cause trouble. Look, I was just out doing a little slaying and decided pie sounded great, and you happened to be here,” she said, putting her hands up in defense. “If you want me to leave, I’ll happily get my pie to go,” she offered. But she didn’t want to. She wanted to talk to Willow, to stay and catch up and just talk. No advances, no arguing, no upsetting speeches. Just talk. Was that even possible at this moment? It wasn’t a sure thing, but Kennedy hoped it was, or at least would be at some point soon. Needless to say, the in-between Slayer wanted back in to the Scooby life, and Willow was her life line. Willow stopped fidgeting long enough to look up at Kennedy, and Kennedy could feel some of the anxiety lifting off of Willow’s shoulders— she flashed her another smile.
“Me?” She was surprised at the switch of subject to how she was doing. An off-handed shrug was her main response. “I’m okay, yeah. Stayed at home for a bit, then came here. Figured I can do more help on a Hellmouth than in a mansion, so, yeah,” she explained, fiddling with the ketchup art plate. “I see you’re embracing your more artistic side,” she commented, motioning to the plate with both a nod of her chin and a twirl of her finger.
Willow was being quiet, and Kennedy knew she wanted to say something. They had grown close enough for Kennedy to know that, but they were trying to be friends, so she decided to slip it in more casually. “Look, if you don’t wanna do this now, I can leave, and we can totally pretend this never happened. Promise,” she said, patting her chest to let Willow know that she was being earnest and she just wanted what was best for the both of them right now.