"You said what?" the dark haired young man practically yelped from his position on Willow's sofa as the lithe redhead finished pouring drinks in her kitchenette.
"I second that emotion of surprise and disgust, mixed with a dash of 'what the hell were you thinking?' for good measure," added the petite blonde as she finished practicing her third Tae Kwon Do form and began stretching out in the area of Willow's living room that the young dancer kept specifically barren.
"Disgust?" Willow replied with a slight air of shock as she emerged to out of the kitchen and crossed over to where her male friend sat reclined. "Isn't that a bit harsh? I just told her that I liked her shirt and might want to borrow it."
"Yeah," he agreed, "except you said it in a way that suggests you intended on mounting her and ripping her clothes off."
"Again I ask, where is the bad here?" she retorted. "The girl is hot."
"Willow, how old are you?" asked the blonde, now approaching her side.
"Don't 'Buffy' me," she practically snapped, causing Willow to jump a little. "You came off like a pubescent boy in heat. What is wrong with you?"
"Why are you yelling at me?" she asked.
"Drop it, Will," the young man said, standing from his seat. "Drop this act you're playing. This 'I'm gonna pretend like I don't know what I did was wrong', thing. This isn't you. Not the Willow I grew up with in Syracuse."
Willow merely regarded her friends silently for a moment before finally forcing herself to speak. "I am such an asshole," she said, falling in a pathetic lump on the couch.
"Well done, Xander," stated Buffy, "Although for a second there I was afraid you were going to cart out the infamous 'yellow-crayon speech'."
"Don't speak its name!" Willow barked. "I hate that speech," she added grumbling. "Blah, blah, Xander broke his yellow crayon in kindergarten and Willow comforted him and thus a life-long friendship was born over crumbling wax writing utensils. Peh."
"Hey, I like that speech," sniffled Xander.
"We know," the two girls chorused blandly in unison.
"Willow," Buffy began again, sitting next to her friend on the soft sofa. "Please explain to me why you did what you did to that girl..." She drifted off, waiting for the redhead to fill in the blank.
"That girl Tara," she finished.
"I don't know!" Willow answered, clearly distressed. "I don't know what came over me."
"It's the same thing that came over you the last time and the time before that and the time before that and the... do I really need to go on here," Xander queried. "Face it, Will, you've established a reputation as a kind of... conquistador."
"I thought you said that after Gillian you were going to start looking for something more serious," said Buffy.
"Yeah, well she said the same thing after Nikki, and Rosa, and Amy, and Katie..."
"Thanks, Xander, we get the idea," Willow bitterly cut him off.
Buffy sent Xander a withering glare before returning her attention to her best friend seated next to her. The girl looked defeated and a little ashamed. Buffy had surmise a long time ago that for whatever reason Willow had issues with the long term. Not that the redhead embraced the 'live fast, die young' mentality, because she didn't. But when it came to relationships, Willow's only seemed to last a night or two. The blonde hoped that it was because her friend was just looking for something she hadn't found yet, but hoped to find in someone, someday. She just had a tendency to go about it the wrong way. Plus, she knew that Willow knew herself to be a very attractive woman and she used that fact to her gross advantage. After all, she was a dancer and highly attuned to her body and her body's needs and she regularly gave into them. Not so much that she was a slut, just enough that those who didn't know her as well as Buffy and Xander might consider her to be one.
"Will, tell me something," she asked gently. "What do you think of this girl?"
"What do you mean?"
"It's a pretty clear question."
"Um, I think she's pretty and she seems really nice?" Willow sounded like a fifth grader unsure of her test answer.
"Is she potential relationship material," Buffy clarified with a sigh. "Are you interested in her for more than just sex?"
"I don't know. I don't know her that well yet," Willow sheepishly replied.
"Would you like to get to know her?" Xander now inquired, deciding to rejoin the conversation.
The dancer nodded childishly.
"Okay then," said Buffy, "here's what you do: you ask her to coffee tomorrow."
Willow waited for her friend to continue, when she didn't she couldn't help but ask, "And...?"
The redhead sighed and leaned back into the cushions of her couch. "Great, it's nice to know I now have a cunning plan of attack. Roasted bean grounds in water."
"That's the spirit, Wills," Xander grinned, giving her a playful punch in the arm. Willow only glared at him.