Two Sides of the Same Coin: An examination of possible relationships between Faith and Willow
Part One: Introductions
Who is Willow Rosenberg?
Willow is the only daughter, and, as far as we know, the only child, of Ira and Sheila Rosenberg. At present, she is about 21 to 22 years old; the exact date of her birthday is unknown. She stands about 5 feet 4 inches tall, is thin in nature, has expressive green eyes, pale skin and absolutely phenomenal red hair. She presents as being very shy and unsure of herself and her place in the world. Her self-image has a tendency to be poor, but only in certain aspects of her life. As an example, she is more than confident on her abilities to solve complex computer problems and to perform witchcraft; she's a genius and she knows it. However, when it comes to personal relationships, Willow is more apt to feel inadequate, unlovable and just plain unworthy. Such negative feelings are not limited to whoever she may be dating...it exists with both Buffy and Xander as well.
Willow started as a typical nerd...and ended up as one of the most powerful dark witches the world had ever seen. How dark? How strong? She killed two people in cold blood, beat up her friends and nearly destroyed the world.
Who is Faith?
Faith, who has no given last name, appeared at the beginning of Season Three and is about 1-2 years younger than the original Scoobies (Buffy, Willow, Xander and Cordilia). We know that she is from Boston and that her mother is deceased (Faith, Hope & Trick). There is no information on a father, if he exists or who he might be. She stands about 5' 4" to 5' 5" tall, has dark brown eyes and long dark brown hair. She presents as being strong and confident in her actions and decisions; one might even say that there is a swagger about her. On the other hand, there is much to suggest that all of it is an act, a front to cover up feelings or perceptions of being inadequate, being unloved and being unworthy.
Faith started as a laid-back good time party girl...and ended up in prison after confessing to several murders (from AtS, Sanctuary). At this present moment in time, it is quite safe to assume that Faith is serving time in some unidentified California prison.
To the Reader, it's quite easy to see a pattern developing. Both were, and I hate to be clichéd here, 'seduced by the dark'. There initial reasons may have been different, but, in the end, the results were the same. These two comparisons are brief for the following reasons. It is assumed that the Future Writer has already studied and learned a great deal about both characters...and have already drawn their own conclusions.
Part Two: Canon Relationships
The canon relationship between Faith and Willow is very adversarial. To understand why, one should remember that the cornerstone of Willow's identity and self image is her relationship with Buffy and Xander. Anything that assists with strengthening this triad (or, at the least, doesn't threaten it, i.e. 'Willow and Tara', 'Buffy and Angel', 'Buffy and Riley') is viewed as 'good' and is accepted. However, anything that interferes with Willow's relationship with Buffy or Xander ( to some extent, 'Buffy and Spike', 'Xander and Any Other Female On The Planet Except Buffy'), than that person is 'bad'.
In Willow's eyes, this was Faith's cardinal sin: Not only did Faith 'steal' Buffy from Willow (doing the "Slayer Thing", in Bad Girls ), she also deflowered and very nearly killed Xander (The Zeppo, Consequences). Add to the mix Faith's betrayal of the Scoobies and her attempt to seduce Angel (Enemies), one can easily see that why Willow was not Faith's biggest supporter. Of course, it is a sure bet that Faith threatening Willow with her life (Choices) didn't help things at all. One of Willow's more insulting descriptions of Faith comes in the episode This Year's Girl:
Willow: She's like this clevagey slut-bomb going around saying "Look at me, I'm wicked cool, I'm five by five..."
Tara: Five by five by what?
One thing to keep in mind: remember that Faith will be returning to BtVS and AtS in the spring of 2003. All of her relationships will be affected. This should be very interesting.
Part Three: Possible Relationships?
"Because Fan Fiction Makes Anything Possible" is the motto of the BtVS Writers' Guild and it's a good one. And yet, when writing Fan Fiction, be it a tale about relationships, genre or epics, it is always good to keep in mind that your story will flow much better if you stick close the canon relationships of the characters.
Does this mean that Willow and Faith can only be enemies? Goodness, no! But, sometimes, it's a good place to start. It's quite understandable that Willow would not initially trust Faith; in fact, she might still hate her guts. Remember, while Faith is still a Slayer, Willow has now become a very powerful witch...imagine the possibilities!
Could they be friends? Of course...why not? And yet, wouldn't such a friendship be hard won? How would it affect Willow's relationship with the other Scoobies? How would Faith's presence affect the Scoobies, especially Buffy and Xander? How about Dawn? After all, Dawn didn't appear until the beginning of Season Five (Buffy vs. Dracula) and, by that time, Faith was already in prison.
Could they be allies? Of course; remember: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". Against a really Big Bad, could Faith and Willow bury the hatchet long enough to save the world? On the other hand, what would happen if Dark Willow and Evil Faith teamed up?
Finally, could Faith and Willow be lovers? Hey, this is Fanfiction, so anything can happen, but remember that Willow's two sexual relationships (Daniel 'Oz' Osborne and Tara McClay) ended very badly, both times causing Willow to use magic to make things better (Something Blue and Villains). As far as Faith is concerned, there is much discussion as to her sexual orientation. True, she has known Xander and Riley (even if she was in Buffy's body for the act)...and it can be said that she lusted after Angel, too. But, if you watch Bad Girls, it could be easily said that Faith and Buffy were growing 'close'. The writer should use his or her imagination from that point.
Now, go bond with your Muse and start writing!