So, yeah, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
belongs to me and I own the rights to all the characters and concepts I use in this story. That’s why I’m posting it for free, online, and live in a small dorm room. Seriously, no, this all belongs to Joss Whedon.
Kennedy was outside trying to center herself, after Willow’s devastating revelation in their bedroom. No, there wasn’t time to fall apart, goddammit. Willow was in trouble. There was something wrong with Willow. It needed to be stopped. Whatever it was. Pummeled. Annihilated. Beaten into submission. Just aim her at a demon, hand her a short sword. She’d take it down, destroy it utterly. But what if it’s not a demon?
A nasty voice in Kennedy’s mind told her. What if you just don’t matter that much? You obviously haven’t made that much of an impression on Willow if she can’t even remember you
Internally, she argued back against the voice, she’s forgotten EVERYTHING, not just me. It’s just some kind of attack. It’ll end. It’ll end. We’ll fix it.
It has to be fixed. It has to be.
No matter how much she tried to crush it, though, that nasty voice, the voice of her deepest set insecurities, wouldn’t go away. It never would. It had whispered to her constantly, consistently, for the last six years of her life. Ever since Dr. Moore had died.
Kennedy had made a point of ignoring it, suppressing it, pushing it to the back of her mind, assuring herself it was just the First Evil, trying to screw with her, when it had first appeared. She wasn’t vulnerable, dammit. She had the potential. Her family was – but no. Her pointed ignoring of her own doubts, her own insecurities, had led to ignoring her own common sense, too. And that had killed Chloe.
Even as she suppressed that, suppressed everything surrounding it, and aggressively pursued the only other lesbian in the group in Sunnydale, she had made a point of ignoring them. She knew, she had just known, that they would go away when the First did. Once it was gone, everything would be fine.
It was after Sunnydale sank that she realized it wasn’t the First. It was herself. It had taken six months afterward, suppressing it, using the mask of Queen Bitch of the Universe (as Xander had, much later, described it; only later had she discovered he had stolen it from some video game) before she drove Willow away the first time. And that was when she had fallen apart.
But that was neither here nor there. Here and now, Willow was in trouble. There was something wrong with her, and she couldn’t remember Kennedy. This was bad. And why the hell did it have to happen on their anniversary? It had to be a curse of some kind. That it would come on this day, of all days.
Kennedy carefully tried to keep all her flying emotions tightly sealed. It would help no one to have any sort of outburst now. She had to take charge and – crap. No. She couldn’t do that. That’s falling into the same thinking that – that –
Kennedy almost screamed in frustration. What the hell was she supposed to do? There hadn’t been much activity recently. A few vampires here and there. Nothing big. How could something like this happen to Willow without warning? How was she supposed to deal with this? Sure, she could be in charge of a group of slayers while they were slaying, but Willow dealt with all the other crap that came up.
Wherever her thoughts were planning on going next, they were interrupted when the sound of the door opening made Kennedy turn, quickly relaxing and turning back to the wall on confirming that it was just Anna. Anna closed the door, and came over toward Kennedy, looking the other way.
“I can tell you a few things.”
There was silence for a few seconds, before Kennedy forced the words from her mouth, “What is it?”
“Her memory goes as far as around the start of the War in Afghanistan. Late 2001. So, she forgot the entire Bush Administration. I guess that’s good news,” Anna said, a slight glint in her tone.
Kennedy snorted slightly, in a half-second of laughter. One of Willow’s mannerisms that had rubbed off on her. “You know, I actually voted for him.”
“I figured you had.”
Kennedy turned to Anna with a questioning glance, before Anna elaborated,
“’Republicans for Obama’ sign? Dead giveaway. There’s no way a Jewish California lesbian with a name like ‘Willow’ is a Republican.”
Kennedy snorted again, “True.”
There were a few seconds of silence before Anna continued, “I don’t know much of what happened around that time, so I can’t figure out exactly what information is missing. Could you-“
“Neither do I,” Kennedy interrupted. “She never talks about that time of her life, really. It was right before – right before –“
There was another full minute before Anna continued, “You need to call someone.”
Kennedy turned to her, “What?”
“You need to call someone who can deal with the issues that Willow usually does. She’s in no condition to do that.”
“Right,” Kennedy said, trying to focus. But, you know, it’s really hard to deny there’s anything wrong, when you have to deal with what’s going wrong. And the careful mask of indifference her face held was slipping.
“And, well, it’s best if you can find a familiar face from around then. Is there anyone nearby who was in Willow’s life then?”
“Dawn,” Kennedy said. To Anna’s questioning glance, “Dawn Summers – Buffy’s little sister. She’s known Willow since the ‘90s. She just moved back to the States a few weeks ago. She’s down at Penn, now.”
“Could she do the,” Anna trailed off, searching for the words, when Kennedy interrupted,
“Yeah, she could probably do,” her voice began cracking as her eyes teared up, “do those-“
At this point, Kennedy’s mask broke entirely, and tears began rolling down her cheeks freely, “Oh, God, Anna, I can’t – I can’t deal with this. I mean Willow – she’s – the love of-“ her voice broke as she began to cry in earnest.
“There, Kennedy, it’s alright.” Anna had come over, and was hugging Kennedy, “It’ll be alright. I’ll make the call. You don’t have to deal with this, right now. I’ll get Dawn to come up here. Do you have her number?”
Kennedy sniffed, “Um – in the address book, next to the phone in Willow’s office. Should have Dawn’s cell in it.”
Anna kept patting her back, “Is there anyone else I should call? Not for Willow – anyone I should call for you?”
Kennedy sniffed again, trying to hold back the tears enough to think, “No, I’m alr- no, I’m-I shou-“. Her incoherence cleared into a few seconds of silent crying, before she finally decided, “Call Faith.”
“Faith?” Anna questioned, quietly.
Kennedy was silent a few moments, before she nodded.
“Alright. I’ll make the calls, Kennedy. It’ll be alright. You’ll be fine. You and Willow will be fine,”
Kennedy continued to cry as Anna, carefully, left her, and headed down the stairs.