"Sorry she wasn't there. We'll go back every day, ten times a day if necessary, until we find her again." Buffy couldn't tell if her best friend was upset or just tired. She knew Willow hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. On the walk back to campus from the café, Willow was quieter than usual, especially given her raging stream of hyper-babble that had accompanied the walk to their morning stop.
"Thanks Buff, I was just so excited about everything I guess I got myself a little too worked up." Willow continued sipping her second mocha as they found their way back onto campus. "I'm off to class, and then the studio. I'll see ya later?"
"Yup, I'll be around all day, no classes for me today. Will you be done recording before dinner?" Buffy inquired.
"Yeah, definitely. Meet you back at the room five-ish?" Willow started backing towards her class building.
"Sounds like a plan." Buffy smiled at her best friend. "Try to keep your mind on class Will." The smile turned to a smirk.
"I'm pretending I didn't hear that Buffy." Willow turned and headed towards the entrance.
I've GOT to find Tara for her. And I've got all day to do it.
Kara caught up with her stalkee as Willow was saying goodbye to her blonde companion but wasn't yet within earshot of the duo. Damn! Willow actually said something this time and I missed it. I need to follow a little closer I guess. Still with her sunglasses on for maximum concealage, Kara started walking faster to close the distance between herself and the redhead. As she reached the spot where the two girls had parted ways, her phone rang. She looked down as she rummaged through her purse. Having taken her eyes off her path, she smacked right into Buffy who was still watching Willow.
"Ah!" Kara jumped as they made contact. Her phone flew through the air just as she had pressed 'Accept'.
Buffy stumbled forward, then turned to see her assailant. "Whoa there!" A glimmer of recognition sparkled in Buffy's eyes. "Hey don't I know you?"
Trying to remain anonymous, Kara made herself as small as possible, hoping to completely fit behind her sunglasses. "Oh, um, no, I don't think so." She started to turn away.
"I swear we've met." Buffy had an odd feeling about this girl, but shrugged her shoulders and let her walk away.
Some people are very strange.
Willow stopped at the vending machine just inside the main entrance. Water would be a good thing. Maybe it will dilute the mochas in me and make me a little less spazzy during class. Yeah right self, like anything could accomplish that elephantine task. She rolled her eyes as she dropped $1.25 in quarters into the machine. Just as she pressed the button with the mini bottle of water on it, she felt a strange presence. Is someone staring at me? Willow was getting used to the heightened notoriety she was gaining with each DJ appearance, but most people didn't immediately recognize her. This time, however, she knew someone was looking, and looking hard. She spun around to try to find the culprit before he or she looked away. She spun a little too fast and found herself on the floor just in time to catch the bottle of water shooting out of the vending machine. See, not even water can help me. As she sat, more than a little embarrassed, she heard a loud giggle, followed by a quieter more muffled giggle. She looked up in enough time only to see a sunglassed figure retreating into the shadows, hands over mouth. "Hey! Who's there? Clumsiness is no laughing matter let me tell you. I mean, you try to make it through the day staying on these two feet." Willow pulled herself to a standing position and brushed off the seat of her pants.
She speaks! Kara was stunned by two things; 1. That she was caught, and 2. That Willow was actually speaking. I have a few choices here, Kara was trying to think fast. I can run away or just take advantage of the situation. She squeaked as she saw Willow starting to move towards her. No time to think, just act.. She spun around, nearly hitting the wall and falling to the floor herself, then dashed off towards the ladies' room.
Willow stood, water in hand, and stared. What was that about? Surely, it was one of the stranger things to happen to her in an academic building. She wished she had more time to follow the perp, but class was soon to begin. Shrugging, she slowly turned and headed for her classroom. As she moved, she twisted the top off of her plastic bottle of water and lifted it to her lips. She felt a trickle of cold down her chin and onto her chest. She closed her eyes. Definitely NOT funny.
Kara didn't stop until she was safely inside the bathroom. It was only after the door closed behind her that she really stopped to think about what just happened. God, what is wrong with me. I'm acting like the one with the crush. AGH! Hearing footsteps outside the door, she dove into a stall, hurriedly securing the latch. Continuing to panic, Kara jumped up onto the toilet seat, and crouched, balancing herself by placing one hand the walls on either side of her. The footsteps faded. Whew! I may not be the one with the crush, but I am in love with the idea of Tara finding someone special. I guess I just really want this for Tara. As she tried to relax and catch her breath, she heard a muffled sob coming from one the next stall. Ugh, some pathetic freshman probably flunked a test or something. Kara stepped down from the toilet seat and felt her sunglasses slide off her face. What, now I'm sweating? She bent over to retrieve the glasses and caught a glimpse of the shoes belonging to the stall's crying occupant. Hey, I know those shoes. Kara hopped back up onto the toilet seat and, throwing decorum and modesty to the wind, leaned over the top of the stall to verify. She immediately recognized the top of her best friend's head. Her heart sank and she felt a lump form in her throat. She never could handle seeing Tara upset.
"Oh God, Tara, what happened? Why aren't you in class?" Kara tried not to startle the girl, but it obviously didn't work.
The crying stopped. After a moment of orientation, Tara looked up, bewildered and speechless. What the...? Her sadness proving too great for even a scare to stave off for long, tears began to soundlessly flow from her eyes once again.
Kara scurried down from her perch and out of the stall. "Come on out here hon." As Tara emerged, face in hands, Kara threw her arms around her and held her tight in unconditional comfort. Here I am as a result of trying to make her happy, and just the opposite has happened. How?
"What happened?" Kara pushed Tara gently out in front of her so she could see her face. She wanted to know the truth and there was no way Tara could look her in the eyes and lie.
"It's stupid, I-I don't know w-why I even care." Tara was still sobbing, the words coming in short bursts alongside a few stray tears. She looked up at Kara hoping that was going to be enough. From the lack of action, she knew that it wasn't. "It's Willow."
"Willow?" Kara was confused for a moment, then her protective, defensive instincts took over. "What did she do Tara? If she hurt you I swear I'll..."
"N-no! No. She d-didn't do anything to m-me. She d-did something t-to Jack, or m-maybe he did something t-to her." With that last turn of phrase, the waterworks started again, but a little more quietly this time.
Kara just looked at Tara. "Honey, what are you talking about? Jack and Willow? What did they d... oh, OH!" Her face crinkled. "Really? No way! I mean, how do you know?" Kara was still a little confused.
"He's in my class. I h-heard him t-talking about her. And not in a very nice way." Tara suddenly angered. "If I was a, well, a different person I might have decked him the way he was talking about h-her."
"If you were me you mean," Kara consoled.
"God, I am such a freak!" Tara splashed cool water on her red, irritated eyes. "I have no right to be upset. She's not my girlfriend, she can sleep with whoever she wants." She had finally agreed to leave the bathroom and head back to the dorms to relax a bit before she had to be at work.
If she worked anywhere but the Café, Kara would have been concerned about her well-being. She took comfort in knowing that Lynn would be there to keep an eye on her.
It wasn't as if Tara was a fragile child that needed supervision. Both Kara and Lynn just knew that their friend was very sensitive, and that this was a virtue, not a flaw. Tara had been through so much pain and suffering in her life and Kara and Lynn knew she didn't deserve any of it, or anymore. Kara would do anything to protect her best friend from harm.
The two girls walked along the campus paths in silence. Just as their building came into sight, Kara's phone rang. She fumbled around in her purse and retrieved the vibrating object just before it went to voicemail.
"Yo, it's me. Any info yet?" It was Lynn. Subtlety was not one of Kara's strengths. She panicked at the idea of Tara finding out about their plan. Not that there was much left of the plan.
"Uh, um, nothing much going on here. " Kara was stiff in her reply.
Tara cocked an eyebrow and looked at her roommate. What the hell is she talking about? Who could she possibly be talking to?
They had reached the courtyard in front of the dorm. Kara reached out an arm to stop Tara as she quickly and awkwardly tried to end her phone conversation. As she snapped her cell shut, she pulled Tara in for a big hug. "You'll be alright?" Kara had originally planned on returning to their room with Tara, but her mission had changed. "I've got to go, um, I need to go get something from the library." She couldn't look Tara in the eye, her friend would know she was lying.
"Library?" Tara managed a smile. "Y-ou mean you actually kn-know where that is?" She giggled ever so slightly.
"Yes, I...HEY! Yes, I know where the library is. Go relax smartass." She gave Tara a final squeeze before spinning her around and pushing her towards the main entrance. She watched Tara disappear inside before heading on her way; the opposite direction of the library. I hope Jack thought to wear a cup today. He's going to regret it if not.
Kara stormed off with a vengeance.
Amazing how the mind can play tricks sometimes. Willow, never one to miss even a word of a class lecture, was daydreaming.
This was not an ordinary daydream. She was not transported to another place, she was not imagining fictional characters. She was staring straight ahead, training her attention on the Professor leading the class. Suddenly, the lecturer sprouted shoulder length blonde hair out of the top of his bald head. He seemed to shrink a few inches in height, but grow in other areas. His hips curved into sexy crescents on each side of a delectable waist. A slender, creamy neck pushed it's way into where the Professor's was disturbingly missing. Below the gleaming, sultry neck sloped perfect shoulders, and below those swelled two perfect, perfect, luscious breasts. Finally, the professor's thick glasses melted away to reveal two hypnotic blue eyes.
The newly transformed figure disregarded the academic purpose of the gathering and began to sway, then the swaying unleashed into the sultriest, most sensual dance Willow had ever seen. Strike that, she had seen it before, a few times; on the dance floor three days ago, and in her dreams each night since. Willow watched the girl move her way across the lecture hall, her heart pounding an inaudible rhythm for her to follow. Finally, the dancing goddess looked up, looked up to meet the green eyes fixed on her form. The connection was palpable. The energy that flowed between the two sets of eyes sent shivers down Willow's spine, then climbed back up in waves of heat. When the waves hit her chest, her breath quickened to a pant, her panting made her sweat. Just when she thought the moment couldn't possibly get any more intense, the dancing girl spoke. "Willow..." The panting, seated girl couldn't respond. "Willow...Willow, it's time...
"Miss Rosenberg, it's time to go. Class is over." Professor Roberts was standing at the front of the room, trying to catch Willow's attention. She snapped back to reality as the classroom door slammed behind the second to last student to leave. She looked around, she was the last one in the room. The mirage was gone, but she was still sweating, and still panting. The professor seemed to be satisfied that Willow was ok because he turned around to gathered his things before exiting himself.
Willow sighed heavily, almost groaning. "Wow."
Walking to the studio proved a little more difficult than usual.
Relaxing was out of the question. Tara had tried lying down, pacing, sitting, everything she could manage within the confines of their cramped dorm room. It was no use. I am never going to be able to survive work in this frame of mind. With that thought she picked up the phone.
"Yeah, hold on a sec Tar." Jules, the waitress who had answered the phone, went off in search of Lynn.
"Hey, Something new already?" Lynn hadn't even waited for a greeting from the caller.
"Um what?" Tara mumbled, perplexed.
"OH! Tara, I thought Jules said Kara was on the phone." Lynn attempted a casual giggle. She was clearly jumpy.
"What would be new with Kara?" Tara was starting to think that phone call weirdness was a city-wide epidemic.
"Oh, nothing, no, nothing new with anyone." Seeing as a cover-up didn't seem possible at this moment, Lynn just ignored the whole thing. "So, what's up babe?"
Tara shrugged. My friends are so weird. "Um, I'm not feeling so hot today. I think I need the night off. Will you be ok?" It was the first time Tara had ever called in sick to work there. She was hoping Lynn wouldn't be too mad.
"I totally understand. You definitely need some time to yourself. We'll manage here somehow without you." As soon as the words left her mouth, she knew she had said too much. Wincing, she tried to think of a good explanation.
Luckily for Lynn, Tara didn't notice her seemingly psychic understanding of the situation. The conversation ended as quickly as it had started with Tara hanging up without saying goodbye.
Willow knew exactly what she wanted to mix today.
Being a modest campus, Sunnydale didn't have a "real" recording studio. Luckily, the early afternoon was down-time at the campus radio station and the station manager was always happy to let DJ Red record there. There were four turntables and counter space enough for her to plug in her own mixing board. When she first started, DJ Red had tried to mix in her dorm room, but wound up with nothing but skips. The constant foot traffic and slamming doors of the older, less sturdy dorm buildings were hell on turntables.
Her in-class daydreams had provided her with a subconscious, but very urgent, need. She would use music to squash the feelings that had bubbled up inside various parts of her. Not that she necessarily wanted them to be squashed, released was more like it.
It used to bother Willow that the front wall of the radio station was glass and overlooked the largest common area of the student union. After a few sessions, and more experience with a real live crowd, she began to feel at home and was easily able to ignore passers-by.
Without much thought, she pulled out two records. The first, her favorite set of house beats she had acquired in NYC a few months back, and the second, another old favorite. Headphones secured to her head, levels set appropriately, she listened as the song began.
it doesn't mean much
Swallowed by the sound, Willow began swaying. The image of Tara dancing that had permeated her vision just an hour ago returned to her mind. The lyrics seemed to be coming from somewhere else instead of the electronic gadgets before her. The sound was coming from Tara. The lyrics, the rhythm, the driving guitar, they all emanated from the beautiful dancing woman's soul and poured forth from her body filling Willow.
A nice cup of tea might help calm me down. Tara crossed the room after pondering her brief conversation with Lynn. She opened the cupboard and removed the box of tea bags from the shelf. Empty. URGH! Kara! This did not help her mood any. Her mind set on a cup of chamomile, she grabbed her purse and a book and headed for the snack bar in the student union.
Tara had a tendency to keep her head lowered as she crossed through the center of the Student Union Common area. Today was not exception. Being at the school nearly four years gave her the ability to navigate most of the campus without effort, or even conscious thought. Tara was thinking though, about Willow. Her thoughts were possessed by questions as she walked. No matter how hard she tried to quiet the internal Q&A, her mind refused to stop racing. Does Willow sleep with every guy she meets? No of course not, she's not that kind of person, I could see it in her eyes. Does this mean she's positively straight? She could be bi.
As she crossed the open floor, she felt an overwhelming need to look up, like someone was calling her emotionally. She stopped and turned. Raising her head, she found herself staring into the radio station studio. Her face, among other things, warmed at what she saw.
you take me in
Completely taken over by her imagination, Willow could not have stopped her hands from moving even if she wanted to, and she definitely didn't want to anyway. The dancing form approached her, closing the gap between them with smooth, graceful, and immeasurably sensuous movements. Both women gasped as they made contact. Willow's own, real hands mimicked the motion of the form in her mind. Her hands dropped to her waist and began a slow trace of her silhouette, moving to the front of her body just under her breasts. With torturously slow progress, the hands slid over her breasts, over her nipples, stopping for just a moment before continuing on up the sides of her neck. She could feel her pulse quickening as her hands climbed higher. Her heartbeat became louder than the base layer she was listening to. Her hands stopped moving as her imaginary dancer cupped her face and slowly, excruciatingly slowly, closed the distance between their lips.
Bang, Bang, Bang!
Willow crashed back to reality with such a shock that she nearly fell over. It took her a moment to remember where she was and what she was doing. Her eyes focused and she stood motionless, hands still in place on her neck, and she saw exactly where she was and what she was doing.
Tara wasn't the only one who had noticed the show unfolding behind the soundproof glass of the studio booth. A crowd began to form around her as Tara watched the object of her growing affection, and now with this display, lust in awe. Tara did not notice. She was drawn into the closed room with Willow, imagining her body moving alongside Willow's, their breath mixing as they danced. The dumbstruck voyeur felt beads of sweat forming on her upper lip and brow as Willow's hands climbed up the most beautiful body Tara had ever seen. She wished they were her hands, tickling, teasing, cupping and grazing her flesh...
Bang, Bang, Bang!
The noise caused Tara to drop her things and gasp. A security guard had happened upon the crowd and wanting to disperse it, knocked loudly on the outside of the studio window. When the show stopped, the crowd began to applaud raucously. As badly as she wanted a moment, if only a millisecond, for their eyes to meet, Tara became very, very aware of her surroundings and scrambled to gather her books and flee.
Willow focused on one spectator in particular who turned and ran. Tara!