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it wasn't till I looked into the mirror (denial)

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It’s not a thing. They are not a thing. Not in a million years.

So, they make out a bit. But that’s nothing. Willow’s kissed a lot of people before. There was Xander in their first year. Tara in the fourth. That one time in third year when the whole house was playing spin the bottle and she ended up having to kiss Spike. See, plenty of people.

Kissing Faith… well, it wasn’t like kissing Tara, absolutely not. Her and Tara were in love. No, it was… It was totally like kissing Spike. Joyless and kinda uncomfortable. Right.

There was no reason to repeat the experience. She didn’t want to, anyway.

She does.

At first they just do it in alcoves and library corners. A little kiss here, a little touch there. Light touches whenever they pass each other in the hallway. Slowly it grows into meeting in abandoned classrooms and at the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

Soon, they’re studying together by the lake and Faith pops into Willow’s private Head Girl quarters from time to time and they exist in what almost seems like a gentle, comfortable silence.

But they’re not a thing. They’re not even friends. Faith is Buffy’s friend and Willow is Buffy’s friend they’re friend-of-a-friends at best. They’re absolutely not a thing.

Faith is explosive. Pure adrenaline. She makes Willow feel like she’s of a bumpy roller coaster ride. But, Willow reasons, who would want to spend all their time on a roller coaster?

And really, who’s to say Faith even wants that when Willow is her polar oposite?

They’re not a thing.

Still, when Willow needs her, Faith is somehow always there. And Willow can’t really describe why she feels so drawn.

So, ok, yeah, maybe they’re a thing. She can live with that.