Pairing: Buffy/Kennedy (with mentions of Buffy/Faith and Kennedy Willow)

Rating: R

Timeline: Post-Chosen

Summary: A bonding session between Buffy and Kennedy takes an unexpected turn.

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, nor do I make any profit from writing this.

Note: This is my first real departure from the Faith/Buffy pairing. No rotten eggs, please! :p

It was a difficult thing for Buffy, watching her friends suffer. Her entire life had been about protecting people and preventing as much harm as possible. She'd always done her job very well, but all of her years as a slayer didn't help in any way when it came to mending a broken heart.

When Willow broke up with Kennedy the first time, Buffy and Xander swarmed to her side and stayed with her for two days, helping her get over the post-breakup blues. They ate ice cream and pizza and reminisced about times past. Xander had even offered to be Willow's rebound guy which Willow said she would've happily went with . . . if she wasn't still strictly chickly.

It was hard for Willow and Kennedy to avoid one another though, and eventually they ended up back together. They were doing well, too . . . until they weren't. Willow just couldn't bring herself to love Kennedy the way she'd loved Tara, and Kennedy just couldn't settle for playing second fiddle to Willow's truest greatest love, as she put it.

Buffy knew Willow better than anybody, better than she knew herself even, and she knew that there was something she wasn't saying. She figured it out eventually, though, when Willow began babbling on a week later about one of the girls in the coven. She'd seen Willow crushing before, and this was definitely a serious case of Willow crushing.

It wasn't about Willow not being able to love Kennedy; it was about Willow wanting someone more like herself. So much for opposites attracting.

Willow began seeing Diana shortly thereafter, much to Buffy's chagrin. Kennedy was still around every day, doing her job in training the younger slayers and keeping up with the Council, and every day she had to see Willow playing happy with her new girlfriend. She tried to let on like it didn't bother her but Buffy saw that it did. She watched Kennedy looking at Willow and Diana across the room, shaking her head in dismay. Kennedy didn't look crushed; she just looked plain old disappointed.

Willow didn't need comfort. She'd found it in the arms of Diana. Buffy didn't like watching Kennedy suffer though, and as weird as it still was calling Kennedy her friend, she and Buffy had strangely struck up a friendship once they'd left Sunnydale behind.

So with grocery bags in hand, Buffy made her way down the familiar hall that led to Kennedy's new apartment and knocked loudly, ready to perform some much needed friend duty. It was an age-old tradition really. It couldn't be overlooked!

Kennedy answered the door in a pair of black sweats and a gray tank top, her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She raised an eyebrow, never having expected to see her ex's best friend standing there.

"I've got ice cream and chocolate milk and more candy than your body has room for," Buffy said, lifting up the bag she was holding in her right hand. When Kennedy didn't move and raised her other eyebrow, Buffy sighed and held up the other bag which was from Premier Wines and Liquor. Kennedy half-smirked and stepped back, giving Buffy enough room to walk in.

Buffy made her way into the small apartment – a far cry from the large suite-style apartment she'd shared with Willow – and unloaded the bags on the kitchen counter. She went about putting the cold stuff in the refrigerator and sorting the rest out before moving to throw out the empty bags in the garbage can. Just as she went to drop the bag into the can, she noticed several photos of Willow and Kennedy hastily thrown in there.

She picked one up and looked at it, using her fingertips to brush some crumbs away that had landed on it. She nearly snorted with laughter when she noticed that both of Willow's eyes had been mysteriously poked out. Holding it up, she turned to Kennedy who shrugged innocently.

"It got a little close to my dartboard."

Buffy turned further around and looked into the living room, finding a picture of Diana conveniently tacked to the dart board this time.

"That's mature," Buffy said, smiling to let Kennedy know that she was joking.

"Well excuse me for being just a tad bit bitter. It's still fresh."

"I know," Buffy said, her smile gentler now. "Breakups are never fun. I've had my fair share."

Kennedy regarded her for a moment before nodding. "Come on, let's go see who has better aim."

Buffy laughed and grabbed two spoons and a pint of Peanut Butter Brownie ice cream from the freezer before following Kennedy into the living room. There were still a few unpacked boxes around the room but it was basically habitable with a nice big couch, a flat screen television, and just about every gaming console you could find stashed in a glass-faced cabinet under the television.

Kennedy was already plopped down on the couch by the time Buffy entered the room, busy twisting the cap off of a bottle of beer. She put it to her lips and took a long pull on it, nearly downing half the contents in one go. It was only a moment or two later that she let out a small belch and quickly covered her hand with her mouth, embarrassed.

Buffy plopped down on the couch next to her, seemingly unaffected.

"If you think that's bad, try rooming with Dawn and Faith. They have burping contests that literally shake the floor. I think I'm immune to the shock factor now."

Kennedy chuckled, relaxing back now that she knew Buffy wasn't going to make a big deal of it.

"Remind me again why you decided to room with them and not in that nice cushy apartment that they gave to Xander?"

Buffy shrugged, "Dawn's my sister. We have to stick together. I think it's some kind of law."

"Makes me happy I'm an only child."

"It has its perks. I can make her do chores. It's pretty handy, actually." She leaned forward and grabbed a beer bottle from the table, opening it easily.

"Dawn's like the second most stubborn person in the world. How the hell do you get her to do chores?"

"Have I mentioned that I have some great pictures I managed to salvage from when she was seven years old and refused to wear anything but a pair of cowboy boots for a week?" Buffy's grin was pure evil and Kennedy couldn't help but laugh aloud.

"Blackmail? Didn't think ya had it in ya, Buff." She held out her beer bottle and clinked it against Buffy's before they both took a drink. "So, mmm," she wiped the frothy beer from her lips, "what about Faith?"

"Faith?" Buffy asked. "Pretty sure I don't have any naked pictures of her. Though, she does like to walk around in the buff often enough that I could . . ."

"No," Kennedy interrupted, laughing again. "Not what I meant, but . . . yeah, we're gonna get back to that. I meant, why is Faith staying with you and Dawn?"

Buffy just shrugged, quickly taking another sip of her beer before answering.

"She came back and helped us out. Kind of thought it would be rude to make her stay on her own now, and besides . . . she and Dawn have become good friends. It's good for her, I think; having people close to her, I mean."

"Yeah, I get it," Kennedy said with a nod. She took a quick look around her mostly empty apartment and sighed. "Gonna take a while getting used to not having a roommate."

"I can lend you one of my roomies if it helps," Buffy said, a teasing smile on her face.

"Think I'll pass. Thanks for the offer though." Kennedy said, then leaned over the side of the couch to grab a small wooden case from the floor. She opened it up to reveal six darts, all shining silver with purple and black wings. "You ready to be whupped by a subordinate?"

Buffy looked up at the dartboard and the fresh picture of Diana on it and smiled wickedly.

"While I'm not one to condone nonsensical violence, I don't see what harm it could do." She held out her hand and Kennedy handed her three darts, keeping three for herself. Buffy held one dart in her right hand, aiming it carefully as she squinted at the dart board. "Your dart board looks like it's seen better days."

And really, it had. Most of the cork was all broken and chewed up, many darts having been embedded in it.

"Yeah, it keeps me in check though. Instead of taking up a beef with someone, I just toss up a picture and have at it. I like to call it Pokey Therapy."

Buffy laughed aloud, calming herself just enough to throw her first dart which landed right in the middle of Diana's chin. Her laughing suddenly died down as a realization hit home.

"You've had pictures of me up there, haven't you?" The small grin on Kennedy's face was answer enough. "That's okay; I guess I deserve it sometimes."

"Maybe only when you're being General Buffy. It's nothing personal, I just have a slight problem with authority. If it makes you feel any better, I actually think you're a pretty decent person when you're not trying to kick my head in to teach the younger girls a lesson in restraint."

"It does, thank you," Buffy said, sharing a friendly smile with Kennedy. She took that opportunity to send her last two darts flying at the board, again piercing Diana's chin and her bottom lip. "Hmm. Must be a bit rusty. I haven't played darts since the last time Giles sent Faith and I to fetch that no-show slayer in Boston."

Kennedy took her turn then, easily tossing one dart right after another into Diana's right eye, left eye, and finally her nose. Buffy looked at the dartboard and tilted her head to the side.

"Kind of looks like a smiley face, don't you think?"

Kennedy looked up at it and got up, quickly crossing the room to pull the darts from the board. She walked back to the couch and sat down, placing the darts on the table while she finished her beer.

"Course she's smiling. She's got Willow now."

The corners of Buffy's lips pulled up in the smallest of a sympathetic smile, her hand finding its way to Kennedy's bare shoulder.

"It's not like I won't get over it cos I totally will," Kennedy continued. "Just kinda sucks cos, like . . . I've been the same person the whole time we were together. I mean, I guess I changed a bit to accommodate her, but . . . I was always Kennedy. And if she knew that she couldn't love me like Tara or that she wanted someone more like herself, why the hell would she keep me around?"

It was a difficult question to answer seeing as that Willow was really the only one who could do the answering. Still, Buffy took a big swig of her beer and tried to do the best that she could.

"I think that she did love you. I think part of her still does. She didn't want to give up because she knew she had feelings for you and didn't want to toss it all away for some niggling little doubt. That doubt must've grown though. We all know how it ends from there."

"Yeah," Kennedy said, her fingers idly picking at the label from her beer bottle. She shook her head a little and then quickly changed the subject. "So, what about you and Faith?"

"What about me and Faith?" Buffy asked incredulously, going along with Kennedy's change in subject despite the fact that she knew there was probably more Willow stuff she wanted to talk about.

"Well, you guys are probably doing it by now, right?"

"What??" Buffy asked, her voice unusually high pitched. "Why would you think that?"

Kennedy shrugged, a playful smile on her face.

"Cos I can practically cut the sexual tension in the room with a knife any time the two of you spar together. Just figured there's gotta be some off the radar under-the-sheets action going on that no one knows about."

Buffy laughed and shook her head, abandoning her beer for the now partially melted pint of ice cream on the table. She peeled back the lid and stuck her spoon in, feeding herself a huge mouthful before replying.

"There's nothing going on under or on top of any sheets. Not even in the vicinity of any sheets. Faith and I are . . ."

"Complicated? That's for damn sure," Kennedy offered, grabbing the other spoon from the table and stealing a bit of ice cream from the pint.

"I don't know if I'd say complicated. There's always been an undeniable tingle between us but it's a slayer thing. When we spar, we unleash our inner slayer. Of course we're drawn to each other then."

"And you don't think you're drawn to each other then cos you're both all kindsa hot and sweaty and rubbing all over each other?"

Buffy quickly clenched her mouth shut tightly, hoping the contents of her mouth didn't shoot out as she tried to suppress her laughter.

"We don't rub on each other," she finally managed to gasp out. "But like you said, it's complicated. It's not like I'm opposed to the idea. I'm an open-minded kind of girl. But we have a whole world of badness in our history, and besides, how are we supposed to know that we're even into each other if we can't tell our real feelings from something slayer-related? I mean, I've only ever dated men."

"Buffy, I'm going to share a little gem with you that I've learned over the years: most girls are straight . . . until they aren't."

Buffy laughed again, letting her spoon dance around in the ice cream container.

"Well, maybe I'll put that little gem to the test one day when an opportunity passes that isn't slayer-related. Not during sparring, not after slaying; just a moment where the slayer is at bay and I can trust my feelings to be my own."

"You do realize that you live at a Slayer school, right?" Kennedy asked, grinning.

Both girls laughed a little and went back to making small talk about the younger slayers and daily life at the school. It kept Kennedy's mind off of Willow which was definitely a good thing. She seemed to be doing okay; not depressed but maybe just a bit disappointed. Surely she'd get over it all soon; Buffy just needed to keep her distracted.

It was well after 2:00am when both girls passed out on the couch, surrounded by an array of empty candy wrappers, ice cream cartons, and even an empty cardboard box from the pizza they'd decided to order. They'd shared the six-pack of beer that Buffy brought over but had passed over the bottle of tequila that was in the same bag. Kennedy didn't feel the need to drink herself silly, especially with Buffy sharing entertaining stories of days in Sunnydale that Kennedy had never heard about.

Buffy was in the middle of a dream when she heard some kind of mumbling. She woke up to find Kennedy talking in her sleep, tears running out of the corners of her eyes. She shuffled over to the other side of the couch in the darkened room, empty candy wrappers crinkling under her as she moved, and placed her hand on Kennedy's shoulder, giving her a light shake.

"Ken? Kennedy? You're having a bad dream. Ken?"

Kennedy's eyes suddenly shot open and she inhaled a deep breath as she sat forward, wiping tears from her eyes. She immediately looked over at Buffy who was sitting right next to her now, concern written across her face.

"Are you okay?" Buffy whispered and Kennedy immediately nodded. "Are you sure?" Again, Kennedy nodded. "Do you want to talk about it?" This time Kennedy shook her head ‘no'. "Is there anything I can do?"

Kennedy paused for a moment before nodding her head yes.

Before Buffy had a chance to ask what, Kennedy had slid forward and kissed her, their bodies already dangerously close together. Though Buffy wasn't sure why, she felt herself yield to the kiss, her lips moving just as desperately as Kennedy's. There was an undeniable hum in her body but it had nothing to do with being slayer; it had to do with the fact that she'd never quite experienced anything like this kiss before.

And holy cow did Kennedy have her tongue pierced!

It was all a little bit wrong; she was kissing her best friend's recent ex who she only recently began getting along with, but something about it felt oh so right. She slid her hands down from Kennedy's shoulders to her biceps, loving the way her muscles rippled under her soft skin.

"I need this, Buffy," Kennedy whispered, her lips kissing over her jaw and to her throat. "I'm not opposed to being your training wheels."

Buffy tossed her head back, giving Kennedy more room to keep kissing her neck.

"But . . . what about . . .?" Buffy began, wondering about Willow and a certain dark-haired slayer that kept running through her mind.

Kennedy's hands slipped up Buffy's stomach and over her breasts, one coming to rest right over Buffy's heart.

"I'm not asking for this, Buffy," indicating Buffy's heart. "I'm asking for this." One of her hands slid sensually down Buffy's torso and over her cotton pants, cupping her right over her crotch.

Buffy groaned involuntarily, her body suddenly aching for something she never knew she wanted. It wasn't love, she knew that for sure. It was something completely different and she knew that she couldn't fight it even if she'd wanted to, and with Kennedy's lips persistent on her neck, she knew that she didn't want to.

Never one to be a passive lover, Buffy's fingers sought out the bottom of Kennedy's tank top, her fingers tickling over her stomach as she lifted it up and over Kennedy's head. Kennedy followed suit, removing Buffy's shirt before lowering her head to suck on her breasts over her satin bra. Arching into her mouth, Buffy reached behind her back and unclasped her own bra, smiling as she heard Kennedy whistle appreciatively.

While her rack wasn't as plentiful as some other girls, it sure was nice to look at, and Buffy knew that much for sure.

It didn't take them long to strip down completely. Buffy felt nervous but Kennedy was trying to make her feel anything but. When the girl had finally laid Buffy back, she spent what felt like an eternity kissing and sucking every inch of flesh that she could. Buffy had never felt so beautiful, so completely worshipped. No one had ever taken the time with her like that. And it didn't matter that Faith's face kept flashing behind her eyelids every time she had them closed.

After all, Buffy was pretty sure that it wasn't her face Kennedy was seeing every time she looked up at her either.

Buffy suddenly felt her thighs being gently nudged apart and she was happy that the room was mostly dark; there was no way she could explain away the blush on her face at what was about to happen.

She felt a tentative tongue against her hot flesh and her mind went blank as said tongue began to move in the most delicious rhythm ever. Kennedy looked up at her with dark eyes that weren't quite dark enough, making sure that everything was okay before she really got to business.

And had she mentioned that Kennedy had her tongue pierced?

It wasn't long before Buffy was coming, biting hard on her lower lip to keep from calling out into the room. Private apartments were great but it didn't change the fact that they still lived in a building with a hundred girls with enhanced slayer hearing. Her fingers gripped tightly on the fabric of the couch.

Kennedy brought her down slowly, a few soft kisses and licks right where she needed them the most but could barely stand them without squirming. It was a few minutes before Buffy could speak, her skin flushed and sweaty.

"So, these training wheels," she began, her abdominal muscles jumping where Kennedy was lightly caressing her bare stomach, "do they work both ways?"

Kennedy let out a throaty chuckle, her voice thick with desire.

"Remember when you promoted me to squad captain? You said that you did it because I gave great instructions. I'm thinking I might be able to guide you out of the forest."

Buffy smiled and let her eyes travel down Kennedy's body to the juncture between her thighs, then raised an eyebrow.

"Doesn't look like much of a forest to me, captain," she said, slowing switching their position so that she was the one sliding down between Kennedy's thighs now.

And she could tell by Kennedy's moans and groans that she was right in promoting her to squad captain; the girl really did give some awesome instructions.

It was late morning by the time Buffy woke up again to find Kennedy sitting on the floor playing a video game so that she had room to sprawl out on the couch. She stretched her tired limbs and purred happily, making Kennedy look back at her.

"Hey," Kennedy said with a smile.

"Morning," Buffy mumbled mid-stretch. "Coffee?"

"In the kitchen."

Buffy got up and threw on her previously discarded clothes, smirking when she caught Kennedy watching her out of the corner of her eyes. She made her way into the kitchen and got a ceramic mug from the cabinet before pouring it full of deliciously hot and rich coffee. She brought it up to her lips and blew quickly on it, taking a little sip and sighing happily.

It was good.

There was a knock on the door and she made her way over, peeking through the peephole to find Faith standing on the other side of the door. Kennedy was about to get up but Buffy looked back at her, motioning for her to stay there.

Taking a deep breath, Buffy opened the door and smiled brightly. Faith's brow furrowed for just a minute, surprised to find Buffy there, but smiled too after just a second.

"Hey," Faith said. "Was actually looking for you. You didn't come in last night and I – I mean Dawnie and me – we got worried."

"Sorry, I was just doing the friend thing with Kennedy. You know, broken heart, broken diet. Lotsa food and talking. Sacred friend duty and all that."

"Ahh, gotcha," Faith said.

"You know, speaking of food and talking, I was kind of thinking . . . did you want to go out later?" Buffy asked, her eyes hopeful.

"What, you mean like go and hang out? Yeah, sure."

"No, I mean like out out. A date, even."

Faith tilted her head to the side a little then, studying Buffy's face before smiling, surprised.

"Umm, yeah, we can do that."

"Great," Buffy replied. "We can figure it out in a few. I'm just gonna make sure Kennedy's good and I'll be headed back to ours."

"Okay," Faith said, still more than a little shocked.

Buffy gave her a big smile and then waved, closing the door gingerly. She turned around and faced Kennedy who was just smiling up at her now.

"Bout time," Kennedy said, turning her attention back to her game.

Buffy made her way back into the room, stopping when she noticed that Diana's picture had been taken down from the dart board. All of the pictures of Willow and Diana, in fact, were missing from the small stack they were in on the television stand. She looked over to the garbage can and saw all of the pictures tossed in there, covered in melted ice cream.

Maybe what they'd shared together was really what Kennedy had needed to start the moving on process. Whatever it was, Buffy was glad that it had happened. The earth didn't move and the walls didn't tremble, but then again, neither of them had ever planned for it to.

Kennedy stood up and helped Buffy clean up their mess and then walked the girl to the door when she was ready to leave.

"So . . ." Buffy began.

"Nuh-uh, no starting with the awkward shit. We're good, Buffy. I'll be happy to put a big gold star on your lesbian report card when you're all loved up with Faith and living happily ever after."

Buffy laughed and reached out her hand to touch the side of Kennedy's face.

"And you? Are you gonna be okay?"

Kennedy smiled, a soft and gentle smile that Buffy had never seen from her before.

"Feeling better already."

She leaned forward and gave Buffy a chaste kiss on her cheek before holding the door open for her. Buffy gave her one last smile before walking out and down the hall, a little extra spring in her step.

Kennedy watched her leave until she disappeared around the corner, lost in a sea of semi-naughty thoughts until she heard someone clearing their throat. She looked over and found Willow standing there, a guilty half-smile on her face.

"Uh, hi Kenny," she began, her voice a little too high.

Kennedy put on her mask of indifference and crossed her arms over her chest, relaxing back against the door frame in just her tank top and boyshorts. She raised an eyebrow, waiting for Willow to continue.

"Oh, well, I was just, ah . . . actually, I was looking through my, umm, our old apartment, and well, I can't seem to find, um, a stack of pictures that I had set aside, and I was wondering . . ." her voice trailed off as Kennedy disappeared into the apartment. She peeked around the door just as Kennedy approached it carrying the garbage can.

Willow was about to ask why she had the garbage can but, as the door closed and the can was left in the hall with her, she knew exactly why it was there. She reached down into the can and pulled out the icky pile of photos. Gooey Peanut Butter Brownie ice cream covered both her hands and the photos. There was no way they were salvageable! They . . .

. . . hey, wasn't that Buffy's favorite ice cream? And why was Kennedy standing around in her underwear? Willow's eyes widened.

On the other side of the door, Kennedy stood with her back against it and her arms crossed over her chest, a wide grin on her face. She'd come face to face with Willow and hadn't groveled. She felt stronger than she ever had

It was time to get rid of her training wheels and take off on her own.

The End.

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