The Goddess and the Slayer
An Examination of the Willow and Kennedy Relationship

By Susan L. Carr

Copyright © June 2003

Rating: G

Disclaimer: All non-original characters herein belong to persons such as Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, WB, etc, etc, etc, rather than me, myself and I. No compensation is received by me, only the pleasure I take in writing it.


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Pairing: Willow/Kennedy

Author’s Notes: This essay was written for Kaz at Near Her Always. Thanks for the inspiration, Kaz!

Summary: An essay on the Willow/Kennedy relationship.

After the brutal death of her lover and her own descent into darkness, it seemed nearly hopeless to believe Willow Rosenberg would ever find love again. But Joss Whedon promised fans at the beginning of Season 7 that Willow would meet someone who would shake her world.

That someone arrived in the form of Kennedy, potential slayer and certified spoiled brat who took one look at Willow and set herself on a course of conquest, not relenting until she achieved her goal. And it wasn't an easy task. Not only did she have to deal with Mourning Willow, but Witchy Willow as well. Added with Kennedy's courage and outspokenness, all of this proved to the fans that she was worthy of the attentions of our beloved redhead.

It was obvious from the moment Kennedy made her opening move, ("You better not hog the covers.") Willow—and the audience—knew that Kennedy was going to shake up Will's world. What surprised us was that Willow shook Kennedy up as well. First when she turned into the man she murdered and waving a gun in her face and then by using Kennedy as a mystical battery without her permission. Kennedy got a hard lesson in the reality of just what she was taking on, and if not for her inner courage—had her character been any less strong—then she would never have continued to pursue Willow.

As the series came to a close, Willow and Kennedy were officially a couple and in a first for television history, fans were allowed to bear witness to the consummation of their relationship. Their affection for one another was apparent, but the real question remains…will the relationship last or is it merely a transition for Willow to help her move on from Tara?

On their first "date" Willow wonders why Kennedy is after her. She's not feeling very attractive herself, so she can't understand why anyone would be interested in her.

Willow: I still can't figure it out. Why you... like me. You don't even know me.
Kennedy: Have you seen you?

Kennedy is totally smitten with Willow and obviously views Willow as her own Scarlett O'Hara who she's determined to sweep off her feet. But even though the physical attraction is foremost, Kennedy is willing to overlook their incompatibility.

Kennedy: And we like the same things. Italian. Skate punk. Robert Parker mysteries. Fighting evil.
Willow: I don't like any of those things. Except the fighting evil part. And even then I'd prefer a nice foot massage.
Kennedy: Okay...I dig the way you always turn off the Moulin Rouge DVD at chapter 32 so it has a happy ending. I like the way you speak. It's interesting. And your freckles. Lickable. I'm not so into the magic stuff. Seems like fairy tale crap to me. But it matters to you. You care about it. So it's cool.

As Andrew observed during Storyteller, it took a lot of effort on Kennedy's part after she realized that her pursuit of Willow would be a little bit harder than she probably was accustomed to.

Andrew: You see, Kennedy pursued the reluctant Willow and won her heart, only to find herself frightened when she glimpsed the darkness that still dwells within the witch's mind.

However, Kennedy was used to getting her own way and she admitted as much in the final episode when Willow told her that if she got out of control during the final battle, then Kennedy would have to kill her.

Kennedy: In fact this may have escaped your keen notice, but I'm kind of a brat. I've sort of always gotten my way. So you're gonna make it through this, no matter how dark it gets. Because now... you're my way.

While the writers made sure we know exactly how Kennedy feels towards Willow, we've gotten few glimpses of how Willow feels about Kennedy. However, it seemed that Willow could only relate to Kennedy on a physical level. Each new stage of their relationship involved magic, and for Willow, magic has always been related to sex…from the orgasmic conclusion of the journey to the Nether Realm to Anya's sexy demon locator spell.

So, it really didn't come as quite a surprise when Willow and Kennedy's first physical contact resulted in yet another expression of magic…this time in the initialization of Amy the Rat's curse. As a result, Willow was very much afraid of taking the relationship to the next level.

Willow: I'm scared if we... Then I'll... And then...
Kennedy: And then, isn't that the good part?
Willow: Yeah, good. Good feeling. But also...
Kennedy: Bad stuff like unrestrained moaning and screaming with joy?
Willow: Well, yeah. Sort of. Yeah, with the unrestrained of it. I've been in a place where I kinda should be restrained. I've been controlling myself and if I get out of control... if I let myself go, I could just... go.
Kennedy: You're worried you're going to turn into Big Bad Willow.
Willow: It's not stupid. When we kissed, I turned into ... Warren.

But, Kennedy reassured her and Willow took a chance…and obviously enjoyed the results.

Still, the question remains…is there more to their relationship then just a mutual—and satisfying—physical attraction? Probably not. Clichés aside, while opposites do attract, they rarely last. And Willow and Kennedy are undoubtedly opposites. Willow was a single child raised in a middle-class Jewish household. Kennedy, with one half-sister, was raised in affluent surroundings. Willow went to public school…Kennedy went to boarding schools.

On the other hand, Willow's been fighting demons since she was fifteen and Kennedy's been training to fight demons since she was eight. However, training to do something and actually doing the same thing are two different things. Willow's got way more experience than Kennedy. But it was only recently that Kennedy was able to put her training into practice.

On the personal side, Kennedy admitted she knew she was gay when she was just five years old and seems to have a lot of experience in chasing women. Willow never admitted she was a lesbian until she met Tara and even then she was so wrapped up in her lover she really never explored the gay lifestyle.

Willow: Hey! What do you think; you have some kind of, like, special lesbi-dar or something?
Kennedy: Okay, you know there's a better word for that, right? You really haven't been getting out there that much, have you?

This is not to say that their relationship won't be full of fun and mutual enjoyment and satisfaction. Fan fiction writers for a long time to come will have plenty to write about. Eventually however, there will come a time when Willow and Kennedy will part company, each to seek out new adventures and new faces. Willow has already experienced the love of her life…she knows the exquisite joys of sharing her life with a soul mate. Kennedy is a way for her to heal. To open herself again to the pleasures of life, to the wonderful pleasure two people can take in each other. But having known that joy before, she'll naturally want it again. She may never find it, but she'd be selling herself short if she didn't try. And that is one of the lessons Tara taught her, "Do what makes you happy."

For now, Kennedy makes her happy.

The End

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