The Bronze was full of life as young people crowded into every corner of the building. The group of five made their way to the back and squeezed into one of the empty sofas. Buffy left the seat next to Tara empty, hoping that Willow would take the hint, but Anya snatched it up before the redhead had a chance. Willow and Buffy were left with the small, cornered love-seat while the others occupied the couch.
Not even a minute after being situated, a nice looking young man approached Tara, "Hi, I'm Christopher," he flashed a charming smile, "would you like to dance?"
Willow looked back and forth between the man and Tara, before finally settling on the stranger with a menacing glare. "Did you just growl?" Buffy whispered so only her friend could hear, but the redhead ignored her and continued to focus on the two individuals.
The blonde was at a loss for words as her mouth opened and closed several times. She shot a quick glance to Willow, whose features softened a little sadly, before answering. "Um... no, b-but thanks," she watched the man shrug and walk away.
The group sat in silence until Xander spoke up, "Drinks? Snacks?" He offered. "I have money, so you gals can get whatever you want," he smiled, puffing his chest out.
After they called out their orders, Xander and Buffy went off to the bar. The seat next to Anya was now empty and Willow contemplated on whether or not she should move. On one hand, she would be closer to Tara, but on the other, she'd have to put up with Anya more than she cared to. Deciding that her current position had an angled, yet better view of the blonde, Willow remained where she was.
Tara, who was wearing a simple peach wraparound skirt and white top, stopped to appreciate Willow's attire while the redhead appeared to be lost in her own thoughts. She was mesmerized by the way her boss' dark-blue jean skirt complimented her small frame and the loose curls in her shoulder length hair. She would've loved more time to savor the beauty, but she quickly dropped her eyes as soon as Willow caught her staring.
Tara, this isn't a fifth grade crush, the blonde told herself, just look at her. She glanced back up and her eyes once again connected with the redheads. See, that wasn't so hard, her eyes twinkled as she smiled under the dim light.
"So Tara, where are you from?" Anya's voice broke through the haze.
"Where are you from?" Anya repeated. She was bored, and tired of waiting around for Xander to get back. She thought that if she monopolized herself, time would go by much quicker.
Oh my god, Anya's actually trying to have a civil conversation, Willow frowned, And why didn't I ask her first?
"Los Angeles," Tara finally answered.
"What made you decide to come here, of all places," Anya turned her nose up a bit, "I mean, Sunnydale isn't exactly the crème de la crème of American cities."
"Then why are you still here?" Buffy retorted as she and Xander rejoined the group and began handing out drinks. Anya hadn't expected anyone to challenge her statement, and tried to think of a quick comeback to Buffy's question. Unsuccessful, she huffed, "C'mon Xander, let's go dance," she pulled the young man up, just as he was about to sit.
The departure of the couple, had left an open space next to Tara, which of course, Willow noticed. Buffy also noticed and jerked her head several times toward the empty section.
"Go," she urged with a hushed whisper. The redhead took the hint and slid onto the sofa as Tara looked out into the throng of people on the dance floor.
"Do you want to dance," Willow asked nervously and extended her hand. The blonde stared at the hand, and nodded as she grasped the soft digits.
The music flowed from the speakers and into the couple as they swayed to the bass and lyrical rhythm. Though their dancing could be best described as 'two stepping', the girls were too lost in their closeness, to care.
Buffy continued to watch her friends, until something... someone, in the far corner caught her eye. She briefly turned back to the dance floor, before going to investigate.
When the band wrapped up their last performance, the lights on the dance floor were turned down a notch and softer music began to play.
"We can sit down," Willow watched as a few people left the floor. Most of them, alone. "No," Tara gently pulled Willow's hand back when the redhead backed away. "Please," she rubbed her thumb against the other girl's skin. Willow swallowed hard and rested her other hand on Tara's hip. The movement pulled them closer, and Tara released the hand she held, to slowly close the gap. Their bodies pressed together, making their breasts touch and their lips, only inches away.
"Ha... how's that for your 'not a lesbian' theory," Anya asked her boyfriend as she gestured toward Willow and Tara. Xander grinned and continued to stare at the couple, until Anya's arms tightened around his neck.
"This is nice," Willow's words tickled Tara's lips. The heat radiating off of Tara's body, sent chills down her spine. "Mmmhmm," the blonde's eyes flickered back and forth from green eyes to thin lips, "really nice." She inched her face closer. Lips moved closer. Their breath mingled, and then...
"Okay folks, the band agreed to play another song for us," the announcement came over the intercom as the music was abruptly cut off. The people cheered, separating from their partners as the band took the stage.
The girls snapped apart, standing awkwardly in the middle of the dance floor as people began to dance around them. "We should...," Willow began.
"Yeah," Tara nervously pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. Her demeanor had completely changed from five minutes ago. They left the dance floor, meeting Xander and Anya on the way.
"Where's Buffy?" They searched around the room. As if on cue, Buffy walked into the lounge, smiling at the group. "Where'd you run off to?" Xander asked.
"Oh, I uh, I was just checking something out," she cleared her throat, "so are we ready," she turned to her roommate, "or do you guys wanna stay a little longer?"
"Let's go. The band's playing the same song they were playing when we got here," Anya whined. "Is that okay with you?" Buffy looked from Willow to Tara. The girls silently nodded.
Okay, two seconds ago, they were clinging together... and now they won't even look each other. Buffy frowned until an idea struck her. "You know what, I'm a little tired," she yawned, "Xander can you give me a ride home?"
Anya opened her mouth to ask why Willow couldn't, but quickly caught on when Buffy glared and looked at the two girls, who seemed oblivious to the conversation. "Sure Buffy," Xander took a few sips from his drink so it wouldn't go completely to waste.
Once the cool night air hit her, the clouds in Willow's head cleared a little. "Buffy, where are you going?" She asked as her friend walked the opposite way with Anya and Xander.
"I'm getting a ride with Xander, remember," Buffy called back. "Oh, right. Yeah," Willow nodded. Tara couldn't stop the awkwardness as Willow opened the door for her. But why? Less than ten minutes ago, she was more than ready to kiss the redhead. It was obvious that Willow felt some sort of attraction toward her...and she was definitely attracted to the young woman.
Willow walked around her car as Xander pulled around beside her. The car slowed down enough for Buffy to wave and give Willow two thumbs up, then drove away. Willow shook her head at her friend's silliness, before taking a deep breath and climbing into the car.
The ride to Tara's apartment was silent, and other than a few furtive glances, they didn't look at each other.
So what happens now? Willow's hands became clammy against the smooth material of the steering wheel. She almost kissed me in The Bronze, and now she won't even speak to me. What if it's me? What if I came on too strong. Too fast. What if she isn't attracted to me, and I pushed too hard when I asked her to dance. No, because then she wouldn't have accepted or tried to kiss me. Ugh, Willow frowned as she focused on the road.
Okay so I tried to kiss her... wanted to kiss her, Tara looked out the window, watching the trees zoom past. So why did I stop...and why didn't she try to kiss me back? Maybe she was just flirting and doesn't really want a relationship. Or maybe it's because we work together and she doesn't want to complicate our friendship. What if I read things wrong...what if it's me. She sighed softly as Willow pulled up outside her apartment complex.
"Thanks f-for inviting me out with you," Tara said once the car came to a complete stop.
"You're welcome," Willow smiled, "so I'll see you tomorrow? 7am?"
"Okay," Tara nodded, "goodnight," she moved to leave the car and paused, "Willow?"
"Yeah," Willow looked up into the blonde's eyes.
"Would you like to come inside?"