As the pair made their way down a dark narrow street, with tall warehouse buildings on either side, Tara's nerves began to rise and she instinctively reached her right hand out to take Willow's for comfort.
"You ok?" Willow asked feeling the warm hand take hers in a light grip.
"Yeah, just a bit jumpy, you think Buffy may be able to help find out about me?"
"She has access to Tyrell HQ; if I'm going to do my research thing, I need her access to the building," Willow replied as she led Tara to a queue which was forming at the end of the street.
"This is it," Willow smiled in encouragement.
Tara could see the club's patrons were a mixture of all races and creeds. She heard Mandarin, Spanish and she thought the couple kissing in front of them were whispering some form of Nordic language in each other's ears. Looking up at the sign on the wall she could see it was in Japanese. "What does that say Willow?" Tara asked inquisitively.
"Oh that just says all weapons must be checked in at the security desk."
"This place isn't dangerous is it?" Tara looked at Willow worriedly.
"No the Hyperion's pretty safe actually, a lot of cops and private security personnel hang out here, so it keeps the unwanted elements out. Plus it helps the owner has Kishimoto-gumi Yakuza connections"
"So no insulting Harukichi Yamaguchi then," Tara smirked cheekily.
"Not if we want to keep our fingers," Willow whispered in Tara's ear.
Tara watched the two large Japanese doormen, smartly dressed in their all black suits, greeting the customers as they passed through the ornate metal double doors inside.
"konban wa" the nearest doorman greeted Willow with a short bow, as they got to the front of the queue.
"Evening Taro," Willow replied, "is Buffy here yet?" "iie"
"arigato, if you see her come though, can you tell her I'm in the usual spot."
"No problem Willow, ja mata ne," Taro smiled letting the pair pass inside.
Handing their coats to a pair of bustling young boys, in return for small data keys, Willow pointed in the direction of a long line of booths down one side of the large open area.
"We usually camp out in the corner booths," Willow pointed across the dance floor to the far corner.
As the two made their way along the edges of the room, Tara saw a few couples were dancing to the mellow sounds of the slow song playing in the background. The majority of people seemed to be content to drink and talk rather than dance this early in the evening.
Taking seats on opposite sides of the booth, the pair looked around taking in the well lit large open space.
"The Japanese prints on the walls are nice," Tara pointed to the traditional Japanese temple print which hung on the wall next to them "I like all the wood too,"
"That's why we like the place. It's clean and bright rather than the usual dark and dingy," Willow smiled.
Picking up a small electronic pad which was wired to the table Willow took out her wallet to swipe her money card through for drinks. "They do every drink around plus cocktails so any requests?"
"Mmm I don't fancy alcohol tonight," Tara mused. "Do they do Honeymoons?"
"One Honeymoon on the way," Willow tapped their order onto the pad. "Cherry or no cherry?"
"No cherry thanks," Tara beamed. "What about you?"
"Moscow mule for me," Willow replied putting the pad back in its holder in the table.
As the pair settled into a comfy silence, each contemplating their feelings as they waited for the drinks to arrive, Willow recognised a slow song starting. Putting on her best cheeky grin, she rose to her feet and plucked up the courage to ask Tara to dance.
"Dance with me," she implored.
"Willow it's a slow one," Tara coyly replied. Taking Tara's hand and gently trying to get her to rise, Willow smiled as reassuringly as she could. "Come on one song, you can duck out any time after that ok."
Letting herself be led to the dancefloor, Tara put a hand around Willow's waist, as she felt Willow's arm go to hers pulling her closer. Resting their heads against each others shoulders, the pair gently swayed and turned to the music they no longer seemed to hear.
"Mmm," Tara murmured into Willow's ear.
"One song, not enough," Willow whispered
And so they slowly spun forgetting the untouched drinks sitting on their unoccupied table.
"Damn I'm late as usual," Buffy puffed as she jogged along a dark alley that she knew was a short cut to the Hyperion.
Turning the corner into a busy street filled with market stalls she spotted a rickshaw dropping off a pair of passengers.
"Hey," she shouted over the throng of vendors shouting competing slogans at passers by. Seeing the rickshaw driver look in her direction, and putting up her hand up in recognition, she made her way though the throng to the waiting vehicle.
"Evening, can you get me to the Hyperion Japantown in 10 minutes without killing us?"
"No problem but if I'm going to go full out it's double ok," the tall blonde youth replied taking his bandana and retying it around his neck.
"Wouldn't have expected anything else, it's worth it to cut down on the ribbing," Buffy smiled.
Settling down in the leather seat behind the blonde she relaxed into the motion of the rickshaw's wheels as they picked up speed.
This guy's good she mused, he's got the glutes to prove it too.