With the water of the fountain splashing behind her, Willow stared over at Xander. If he was running to form, he'd be telling Cordelia – and just what did he see in her anyway? 'Cause he'd hated her since forever and suddenly he was kissing her in the library? What was up with that? – that Oz was a werewolf in three … two … one …


Yep, guess he'd told her. Only Cordelia wasn't even looking at Xander. She was staring out towards the street where … Oh. Willow had heard there was a new girl but she hadn't expected anyone this glamourous. Willow was almost certain she'd seen the girl modeling in a magazine or something except she didn't really read that kind of magazine. Maybe Buffy had shown it to her? The girl's golden tan seemed to highlight her lavender eyes, but no, lavender was too pink … periwinkle, maybe they were periwinkle. No, that wasn't quite right either. Purple? No, too dark. Amethyst, that's it. The eyes were the color of amethysts, sparkling in the sunshine of her golden tan.

"Where did you get that dress? This is a one-of-a-kind Todd Oldham." Cordelia tried to grab the girl's arm but pulled her hand back fast, almost as if she'd been shocked. "Ow."

"Of course it's a one-of-a-kind." Wow, that girl's voice was so … so … Willow wasn't sure there was a word to describe such a pure vocalization. "When Toddie first saw me, he practically tripped over himself he was so excited to design the perfect dress for me. I'm sorry that knockoff looks so drab on you. I'm sure if you tried you could find an outfit that suits your sallow completion.

The girl continued up towards the school and Willow almost couldn't breathe as she walked past. Who was she?

"Xander." Wow, Willow'd never realized how harsh Cordelia's voice sounded.

"Yowza! Who was that girl?"



"What do you mean what? Pick your tongue up off the floor. You're with me, remember?"

"Am I?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"I tell you something wigsome …"

Cordelia waved that off. "So Oz is a werewolf. Big deal. I know to avoid him during the full moon. Can't you see I'm in a crisis here?"

"Crisis? Bigger than being a werewolf?"

"Much. Didn't you see that girl attack me?"

"Attack? What attack? If anything, you grabbed her."

"She tried to upstage me. Upstage me! I can't have that. I'm Queen C. I have an image to maintain."

"Well, I wish your image would include treating me with a bit of respect."

"Maybe you should respect me enough to value what's important to me."

"Oh, yeah, 'cause a stupid dress is so much more important than your boyfriend's feelings."

"See, that's exactly what I mean. You don't even understand why this is a big deal, not that I'd expect you to given what you generally wear. A Hawaiian shirt? Really? Did you pick it out of the garbage behind the Goodwill?"

"That's … that's … Hey!" he called after her. "We're not done here."

"Don't be an idiot. Of course we are. I've got damage control."

Xander watched Cordelia until she'd vanished into the school before joining Willow at the fountain. "Didn't your Mom pick that up at the Goodwill?"

"Yeah, but it was bought and paid for. I don't know what she was thinking, saying I'd picked it out of the trash."

"Xander, you've know Cordelia since kindergarten. What did you think dating her was gonna be like."

"Less ragging on me and a lot heavier with necking in the janitor's closet for one."

Willow rose to her feet. "Stop it right there, mister. I really don't want to know."