"You lucky, lucky, thing you." Buffy shouted.
Tara froze. Kara crinkled her nose. Dancing boy stopped and stared.
Buffy continued, "See that gorgeous woman up there workin' it?" Buffy pointed to the DJ booth. "That's DJ Red, and she's taken a liking to you."
Frozen became panicked and Tara ducked her head. OH MY GOD, Tara's mind screamed. That's her! SHE'S DJ Red? She started to hyperventilate. DJ Red noticed me? She LIKES me? EEP!
Tara used all of her willpower to raise her ever-reddening face, but she didn't know what to say. She returned her eyes to conversation-level just in time to see Buffy drag the guy in the green sweatshirt away by the arm.
Willow felt all of the blood drain out of her torso leaving her cold with fear. "Uh, uh, uh," was all her mind could accomplish. Willow saw Buffy point in her direction. Instinct took over. Willow dropped to her knees and tried her best to climb up into the tiny space between the Auto DJ and the floor. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping she could squeeze out the whole room as well.
Willow knew she had to get up off the floor soon. The current mix in the system was due to expire momentarily. She just couldn't get her legs to allow her to resurface.
Willow slowly opened one eye to the sight of Buffy's sensible yet stylish boots. And next to those feet were a pair of... "Sneakers?" She blurted. Who in the world?...
She poked her head out from under the electronic fortress to see who Buffy had retrieved from the crowd. Willow had never seen this guy in her life. Her legs decided at that moment to allow movement, but they still wanted to dictate what kind of movement. It was difficult for her to simply rise and not bolt away.
"Who is that?" Again with the blurting.
"Very smooth Wills." Buffy tried to mutter to her suddenly stupefied best friend without being overheard by their guest. Putting on her best hostess face, Buffy addressed them both. "Willow, this is um, wait, what's your name?"
"Jack." The boy was alternating a wide smile and a look of cool detachment. He was obviously loving the attention.
Buffy nodded. "Willow, this is Jack. Jack, meet Willow."
Willow raised her and gave an obviously disinterested little wave. "Hello." Then turning to the perpetrator of this awkward situation. she said "Hey um, Buffy, can you give me a hand with that speaker over there? The one out of earshot." She spun on her heels and bolted over behind the farthest sound tower, not waiting for an answer.
A moment later, Buffy rounded the corner. "Again with the smoothness Will. What is wrong with you?"
"Who is that guy?" Willow frantically pointed in Jack's direction.
Buffy glared. "We've been over this. His name is Jack." She slapped a hand on her hip and shifted her weight.
Rolling her eyes, Willow clarified. "I know his name, I mean what is he doing in my booth?"
Buffy looked horrified "Isn't he the one you were staring at? Oh no, did I pick the wrong one? I'm so sorry Will, I can go trade him in if you want."
"Uh, yeah." Willow nodded emphatically. "I mean, NO! No. Um, I uh, YES! Yes, he's the one. He's the one alright. Of course he is. Who else would I have been staring at? Just look at him..." Willow turned a bit, throwing a hand up in a robotic gesture of recognition. Catching Jack's eyes, she immediately turned back to Buffy, forehead-a-crinkled. "He's a hunk alright. A big hunk of hunk in fact."
"What is wrong with you tonight? Just go back there and finish up your set. You've got about two minutes to go. I'm sure Jack will be glad to help you get this stuff put away and walk you home." Buffy waggled her eyebrows.
"Help is good. Walking is good. But, then what?"
Buffy's mouth fell open. "If I have to tell you, then you shouldn't be doing it."
A silent second passed, then Willow's brow crinkled. "Oh, gosh Buffy, are you suggesting I sleep with him? 'Cause if you are, then I think you need to reconsider best friend status, missy. I've hardly even gotten comfortable with the smoochie factor, and well, eeww."
"Eew? Willow, just go and talk to the boy before he runs away." With that, Buffy disappeared back into the crowd.
Tara and Kara still stood stock-still on the dance floor.
Well, that answers that question. Tara felt her stomach drop.
"Uh, what the hell just happened?" Kara wore a disgruntled frown as she spoke to her roommate.
"I think you w-were j-just replaced." She spoke to Kara while still watching the DJ booth. Tara's face slowly returned to its normal color.
"Who the hell does she think she is? All up there on her little stage, sending her minions out to do her bidding." Kara tried to pout. "I really liked him too. In fact I think I was falling in love with, um, what was his name again?"
Kara threw her head back and guffawed. Tara smiled widely and covered her face with her hand. Kara turned to her companion, sighing, "You ready to blow this joint?"
The shyer roomie nodded. Kara grabbed her hand, "We are just too cool for this school!" She smiled at Tara and led her out the door.
Willow returned to Jack's side and her set-up. Her eyes were immediately drawn back to the spot the mystery woman had previously occupied. Empty. Willow felt her stomach fall. She was still staring when she felt a tap on her shoulder. Oh yeah, forgot he was here, She thought as she turned around.
"Uh, so you're a DJ huh?" Jack bobbed his head as he spoke.
"Um, yeah." Willow sighed. "Good looks AND brains. God Buffy, way to pick'em," Willow mumbled. It was impossible to keep her thoughts silent. "This is going to be a loooong night."
Reaching their room, Kara blasted through the door and flopped onto her bed. Tara padded into the room and stood in front of her mirror starting the complicated process of remembering all the places her hair was concealing the full-card of bobbie pins. The two sat in silence for a few moments until Kara propped herself up onto her elbows. She watched Tara's hunt. "Well, that was fun, even if I did lose the love of my life. And you! You were a dancing fiend out there. You were really into it tonight."
Tara grinned , not taking her eyes off the mirror for fear of losing her place. "Yeah. The music was really good, wasn't it." Even though it had been fairly well-established in her mind that she wasn't exactly DJ Red's type, Tara couldn't quell her curiosity about the red-head. She absolutely craved more information. She hoped Kara could provide at least some of it. "SO that DJ, have we been to her shows before?"
"You mean the man-stealer?" Kara growled, then smiled again. "I've been to a bunch this semester, but I don't know if you've been with me. I'd never really noticed the person behind the music before though. She doesn't really strike me as the DJ type."
Removing the last pin and closing her dressing cabinet, Tara sat on her bed, relaxing fully for what felt like the first time all night. "No she doesn't. She does have amazing green eyes though." As soon as she said it, she regretted it.
"Really? I mean, how do you know? I could hardly see her whole head let alone her eyes."
"Um, I bumped into her in the bathroom." Tara's mind instantly transported her back to that moment; the way their eyes locked, the heat from the red-head's hand on top of hers, the way her heart pounded loudly in her chest. That feeling returned. Tara gasped for air as the thought receded and the present hazily returned. She shook herself into full-awareness of reality. "T-that w-was before she stole your soul-mate that is."
"Yeah, she's a bitch! Thanks so much for reminding me. And just when I thought I was finally able to move on with my life." Kara grabbed the pillow behind her and flung it at her roommate. A spirited pillow fight ensued.
PJ's on, teeth brushed, the two girls were tuckered out and tucked in. Just before turning out her bedside light, Tara questioned her friend, "Did you drink your Gatorade?"
Kara mocked, "Yes mother. No hangover for me tomorrow. Goodnight!" Kara rolled towards the wall and was asleep and snoring before Tara could respond.
She sighed as she turned out the light. Tara knew sleep would not visit her so easily tonight. Her mind was still reeling.
When the lights came on, the dance floor became the student union again, and DJ Red became Willow. She made short work of the tear-down, no thanks to Jack. Having quickly noted that his usefulness didn't even extend as far as his conversational skills, Willow had kindly asked him to just supervise and stay out of the way. Willow pushed the cart carrying the speakers and platform into the storage closet off the multi-use common room and locked it up tight. All she kept with her was her mixing board. It even had its own carrying case.
She was tired, very tired. All she wanted to do was take a nice hot shower and flop into bed. "All that stands between me and flannely-goodness is 575 steps and..." Her thoughts of dreamland were dashed.
"Uh, you want me to get that?" Jack rushed up next to her grabbing the case out of her hands.
Slapping his hand away, Willow frowned. "You can walk me home, but I've got this thanks." They walked in silence. Willow's mouth remained silent, but her mind babbled away. Was I really staring at a girl? Not A girl, THAT girl. She is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. Blonde hair all swept up except for those two curls dancing around shiny pools of blue. Her hands were soft and warm, hot even, in fact all of her was pretty hot, wait! What the heck am I thinking? "She's a girl!" She blurted.
The two stopped walking. Jack stared at her as if she had two heads. "Who's a girl?"
Willow shook her head and continued walking. Wow, and just when I thought this situation couldn't get anymore awkward!
Willow fumbled with her keys outside her dorm door. She finally got the door open and set the case inside, careful not to open the door all the way. She didn't want Jack to think she was inviting him in. She turned to her escort. "Well, thanks for walking me home." She said with finality.
Jack looked confused. "Aren't you going to ask me in?"
Before Willow could answer, Buffy ran down the hall and into their room, doubled over, hand over her mouth. The noises that immediately came from the bathroom defined the situation for them both.
"I don't think it's a very good time. Looks like I get to play pony-tail holder for a while." Willow breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yyyeeaahh, looks like you have your hands full here." Jack stood still a moment too long for Willow's liking. Just as he began to lean toward her, Willow shoved her hand out for a shake.
"It was very nice meeting you Jack. I gotta go." She didn't even wait for the handshake before disappearing into the room and slamming the door in his face. She made a bee-line for the open bathroom. Remembering not to breath through her nose, she kneeled down next to her roommate and gently pulled her hair back.
Between retches, Buffy managed a few words. "No lectures please. I know, Beer bad."
"Buffy dear," Willow smiled "I've never been so happy to see you this wasted."