valyssia: (Willow shy)
[personal profile] valyssia
Summary: Ten drabbles. One story. See title.
Rating: FRC: General Audience: Content Suitable For All Ages.
Word Count: 1,000.
Commas Brought to You By: Howard Russell.
Prompts:  #313: Strange Fruit at Taming the Muse
 #07 Television of the 1960’s: A Charlie Brown Christmas from the Pop Culture Prompt Table at Kind Gay.
Disclaimer: Another day, another…they don’t pay me anything at all. I just do this to amuse myself and you. That’s what allows me and mine to slip under the radar while playing with characters created by those more fortunate than us.

How Not to Say No: The Passive Person's Guide to Flubbing
the Spurning of Unwanted and Unexpected Sexual Advances

It’s happening again. The way Kennedy’s eyeballing me makes me feel like I—like I’m—

All I can do to protest the attention is return it. I tried ignoring her.

That went well.

So, I look. More like glower. I hate glowering, but I have to look grumpy otherwise my look has no effect. Or worse: the wrong effect. Smiling is bad.

The look I deflect is closer to ogling. Kennedy doesn’t understand subtle. She’s been sniffing around me since she got here. Doggies are adorable—mostly, until they start humping your leg.

Like we don’t have enough problems without…

Who knew I’d play the doormat so literally? Practice makes perfect. I might get a decent night’s sleep sometime after the apocalypse. Until then I’ve got a nice comfy carpet to curl up on.

Being nice stinks!

I could sleep in my bed—the bed I gave up because I’m too darned nice—if I wanted to—

I don’t.

It’s not that she’s unattractive. She is. Very.

And pushy.

What I want to know is how she knows I’m—uh…not interested, ’cause I’m not—but the sort of a sort who could be interested if she wasn’t so—


Kennedy stares at me expectantly.

I’ve been dreading this so much you’d think I’d have a plan.

Some plan. I fib, “Kennedy, you’re nice and all.” Ad lib. “And pretty.” Play glib. “Believe me, I’m flattered, but I’m—” Vacant. Flustered. Scrambling. “—with someone.”

Buffy picks the moment I spring my whopper to slip past us in the hallway. I implore her with my eyes.

“I thought she had the hots for the gutter punk in the basement.”

I’m missing something. ‘Gutter punk’?

Oh. Spike.

Like some oversized parrot, I burble, “She was, but that’s over.”

Huh? I—


Kennedy regards me from her perch above me on the bed. She looks comfy.

I’m really not. The falsehood I perpetuated sits like an icy stone in my belly. I can’t help it. I’m not ready for this. I may never be ready for every shared decision to mean strife and concession.

“Why don’t you go be with her?” she says, her expression filled with sympathy. “I get why you wouldn’t want them to know. Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me.”

“I shouldn’t,” I reply. Does my desperation show? “Buffy looked exhausted.”

“So?” Kennedy says decisively. “You should go.”

See? This is why I hate fibbing. I didn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t. I was stuck. If the girls had seen me…

And I didn’t want to bother—

I sip. Oww. Coffee scalds my tongue.

I considered the roof. Snoopy had the right idea: much better on the doghouse than in it.

Why I’m even in—

Well, I s’pose there was the fibbing, which I really didn’t do because…

Was what I did do really all that bad?

Hope Buffy won’t think I’m acting strangely—with the stick-to-it-iveness and the— Strange. Fruit Loops for lunch? Really?

I’m not strange.

Kennedy strolls into the kitchen. “Sleep well?” she asks, her performance pregnant with winks and nudges.

Oh boy.

Buffy glances up from her bowl of colorful sugar-saturate. Her consequent ‘yes’ is just as leading as Kennedy’s question.

I sip at my cup, trying for nonchalant, but achieving chalant—as chalant as I get without spewing coffee.

I could shake my head. Slash my throat with a forefinger. I could—

No. I can’t.

Kennedy lingers in eye-corner view. Various girls mill around, adding to the complication.

Or maybe they’re subtracting? Maybe Kennedy’s waiting—?

I’m so, so skewed.

I lie, wallowing in the snugness of Buffy’s bed, wondering if I’m the reason she isn’t here.

I lie, wondering how I got away with this. Kennedy believed me.

I used the truth to insinuate myself here. The floor was hard.

I should’ve said ‘no,’ but I’m too much of a wuss for that.

I used the truth to support my lie. Buffy felt sympathy.

I lie, worrying I might be the reason she isn’t here. Am I really all that awful?

I lie, wallowing in the guilt relief brings, wondering how I could possibly feel better. I am awful.

I sit on the back stoop bathed in sunlight. It’s hard to believe that things are as bad as they seem. There’s no sign of it now. Birds sing. Everything’s beautiful, lush and green.

The door opens. Boards creak under gawky feet. My alone time’s over.

“What’s with you and Kennedy?” Dawn asks, settling beside me. She searches my face. “I thought maybe you’d—”


“You know,” she says with adolescent entendre.

“I don’t,” I reply. She believes I should move on. “I’m not.”

“I think she’s nice,” Dawn informs me. “A little intense, but who here isn’t?”

“You can stop.”

“Huh?” I look up from my laptop at Anya.

“She knows.”

Who knows? “What?”

“Kennedy knows you’re single,” Anya explains. “Nice one, by the way: using Buffy as an excuse. That reminds me of the time—”

I butt in, “She knows?” A ‘yes’ forms on Anya’s lips. I keep butting. “How do you know she knows?”

“Well, because I do,” Anya says. “I think you hurt her feelings.”

“Oh.” Some explanation. Guess she thinks it’s obvious. “Does Buffy know?”

“I’m not sure. She’s kinda self-involved. There’s a big bad evil thing that wants us all dead.”

Rona lunges. Kennedy evades, sending her sprawling flat on her back. Rona giggles. Soon both girls are laughing.

It’s good to see them having fun.

Xander asks, “You doing alright?” startling me as I turn from the window.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

His expression softens. He knows I’m fibbing.

That’s been a problem lately.

I’m not fine. I worry that I made a mistake. I may’ve I judged Kennedy too harshly. I wonder whether she’ll forgive me.

I worry about what Buffy knows. She’s grown more distant. I wonder whether that’s my fault.

Mostly I worry none of this will matter.

Date: 2012-07-18 05:33 pm (UTC)
dragonyphoenix: Blackadder looking at scraps of paper, saying "It could use a beta" (Default)
From: [personal profile] dragonyphoenix
That's great. It reminds me of a time when I had this housemate who would only get that I wasn't interested while I was actively hating him. If I decided he was an OK guy and must have gotten the message, he would decide that slip-up in actively displaying open hatred must mean I was interested.

That was a real annoying situation.

Date: 2012-07-18 09:40 pm (UTC)
slaymesoftly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] slaymesoftly
Nicely done. Good Willow voice.

Date: 2012-07-19 12:04 am (UTC)
pickamix: (Willow upset)
From: [personal profile] pickamix
This was excellent!!! You write Willow so well!!!! I like that the story was done in a series of broke up the pieces nicely!!!

*hugs and love*

Date: 2012-07-22 11:23 pm (UTC)
ladycallie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladycallie
I hesitated when I saw the synopsis. Despite it being over a decade, I still can hardly tolerate Kennedy. But because this is one of your stories, I braved it. And I'm glad I did. You illustrate Willow's anxiety, loneliness, and doubt perfectly.

Oh season seven, you could have been so much more.

March 2014



Little About a Girl
The Latest Nonsense
My Chorus




Fiction Master List
Monthly Fiction Recap
Archive History




FRTCharlatan’s Web
FRTFleeting Moments
FRCHow Not to Say No
FRCSomething Glue
FRTA Study in Chartreuse


Short Stories


FRAOAnd Wouldn’t You Be Bored?
FRMAnother Side of Faith
FRTAnswer Me These Questions Three
FRAOIn the Mourning
FRAOOne Kiss, Two Kiss…
FRTOne of Five
FRTOne Teensy Little Problem
FRMThese and Other Differences
FRMWalk About


Side Stories


Table of Contents
FRTNew Blood
FRTNow and Then


Novellas & Novels


FRAO-GVBloodletting (the Final Cut)





Table of Contents
FRTCrossed Wires
FRTCross Words
FRTCross Purposes
FRTWhere Dreams Cross
FRTCross Section
FRTPaths Crossed
FRTLines Crossed
FRTCrossing the Rubicon
FRTIn the Crosshairs
FRTCross Examine


A.T.S. (2009 – present)


Table of Contents
FRTThe Outsider
FRMThe Noose


A.T.S. Fragments


FRAO-GVCrimes: Dream Sequence
FRAOCrimes: The Second Time
FRAOCrimes: It’s Just Sex
FRMCrimes: Fresh Linens




Empty Spaces


Table of Contents
FRTA Single Step
FRCThe Paragon of Monsters
FRTCrossed Wires
FRTIt’s a Glamorous Job…
FRTOwen Who?
FRTAbsolute Zero
FRCKinda Pretty
FRTFishwife Blues
FRCGlass Heart
FRTAnother One Closes
FRTIn the Time of Wolves


The River’s Daughter


Table of Contents
FRTIn Blue Moon’s Light
FRMCapture Theory
FRAOAn Effigy to Aphelion
FRAOA Keyhole in the Sun
FRAOHesperus in Retrograde
FRTThe Two-Body Problem


S.O.R. Fragments


FRMA Prelude to Schism
FRTBalance (an Interlude)
FRTTherapy and Waffles
FRCSoft Spot
FRMUse of Force


Thirteen Steps (2007)


Table of Contents
FRMThe Outsider
FRMThe Noose
FRMWeak and Powerless
FRAOThe Package
FRAOFor Marie
FRAO-GVA Stranger






FRTOn Writing Series
FRMA Selective Meme
FRTFanFiction Writing Meme