Return to Sodas and Snack Machines Chapter Two

Sodas and Snack Machines

Author: Onyxsundrops
Rating: PG-13 and up.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters, other characters are my own.

Repeatedly smoothing over her shirt, Tara nervously stared at the wooden door. The young blonde was roused from her sleep two hours ago, and spent the morning scowling at the clock, wishing time would pass. Her first seminar was at ten, and she had shown up forty-five minutes early in hopes of having breakfast with the captivating redhead she met yesterday.

Pulling down her shirt so that it grazed the top of her jeans, she ran a slightly twitching hand through blonde locks. The knock was gentle, betraying the jitterbugs crawling through her body as she waited. Slow seconds ticked by before the door opened revealing sparkling eyes and a matching smile.

"Hi," Tara returned the smile, suddenly feeling a lot less jumpy than before.

"Hey, come on in," Willow stepped back, allowing her neighbor to enter. Once Tara had stepped through, the redhead turned back, finally noticing the state of her hotel room.

Like Tara, Willow had awakened early and spent the morning sifting around in her suitcase. Although she had carried a small gym bag with her aboard the bus, a larger bag stored in the lower section of the vehicle, carried the majority of her clothing. Clothing, which was now scattered in various corners of her room and across her bed. Needless to say, when the redhead awoke with thoughts of Tara on her brain, the room felt the result of her panic.

"I'm not usually like this," she quickly got out, watching as Tara found a clean spot near the wall. After taking in the sight of the room, the pretty blonde smiled, amused and relieved by the display. She saw it as evidence that the redhead was probably as nervous as she was, and it comforted her.

"I'm really not this messy," Willow went on, "I mean, you should see my room at home. Spick-and-span," she fidgeted, "'Mr. Clean' has nothing on me." The young woman's breath caught when Tara laughed and her lips curved into a smile. It was a rarity in Willow's life when her mouth became immobile, but as she heard the lyrical sound escape Tara's lips, she froze.

The silence coming from the opposite side of the room, quickly deflated Tara's smile. Had she done something wrong? Sure she was only standing near the wall, and couldn't really do much of anything, but she had to have done something. Otherwise, why would Willow be staring at her?

Blue eyes shifted until landing on the floor in uncertainty. Willow frowned, missing the shine of Tara's gaze and realized she had been bordering on psycho status. She hadn't meant to make the blonde uncomfortable, but honestly she couldn't help it. There was something about the girl standing across from her that made Willow want to stare until her eyes dried up and fell out.

Swallowing hard, the redhead gathered her thoughts. "Are you hungry? We could go down and get some breakfast," she smiled, trying to lighten the atmosphere. "And if we hurry, we can get there before all of the vending machines are empty." Willow added, catching a hint of Tara's chuckle.

"Okay," Tara shyly replied, "b-but... do you really think we'll have to eat from the vending machine?" She frowned. Granted, she hadn't been to many hotels, but most establishments offered coffee and at least some bagels.

"Maybe," Willow shrugged, "I took a look around before going to bed, and I didn't see much that suggested a kitchen."

"Well, m-maybe they'll have some fruit... like bananas or something," Tara gave the redhead a hopeful, lopsided smile as they made their way toward the door.

"If not, get your quarters ready," Willow joked and got the response she was looking for. She caught Tara's eyes and blushed under the intensity as they walked down the hall.

The east lobby was nearly empty when the two girls made their way down after breakfast. Although Willow's quarters had come in handy, luckily there were some edible items that didn't require removing a wrapper.

"So, where are you from?" Willow asked as they took their seats, waiting for the others to join them.

"A small city about thirty minutes outside of L.A.," Tara blew on her café mocha before taking a sip. "How about you?"

"Sunnydale." Off Tara's look, Willow chuckled, "It's basically a speck in the middle of the desert." The blonde nodded, knowing what it was like to live in a small town that some people didn't even know existed.

They sat in silence until Tara finally spoke up, "A-Are you still in school?" She asked, also wondering about the redhead's age.

"I'll be a senior this year," Willow nodded excitedly. Smiling, Tara bit her lip to keep her grin at bay before it spilled from her lips in the form of a laugh. "Sorry, I'm just a little excited," Willow apologized, stating the obvious.

"It's okay, I understand," Tara smiled genuinely, "I was that way too," she finished as people began gathering around them.

"Are you going to college?" Willow asked, frowning slightly when she noticed that their private time was about to be cut short.

"Um, n-no. I-." Tara didn't have time to complete her sentence as voices rose around them. She flashed an apologetic smile toward the redhead, just as Anya began to talk.

"Okay folks," the coordinator hushed the crowd. "Shall we begin?" She grinned, holding several dark blindfolds in both of her hands.

Continue to Sodas and Snack Machines Chapter Four

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