One Day I'll Find You

Chapter Two

Buffy ran her fingers through her long blonde hair, making sure every strand was where she wanted it to be. She’d showered and spent almost twenty minutes trying to make a nice outfit out of what she’d taken to LA. Her options were few, but she knew she always looked good in jeans and halter-top. All that was left to do was ignore Dawn as she pestered her about where she was going and who with, and wait until the right moment to go downstairs to the lobby without looking too eager.

It wasn’t really a date after all. It was more like investigating. Buffy had to know more about Tru and her connection to Faith. She had to be sure that Faith wasn’t manipulating Tru somehow, or sending her to wreak havoc on her life the way Faith had done herself.

“Buffy, I need the bathroom, will you get out of there already?” Dawn yelled through the door.

“I’m not done, go use mom’s next door,” Buffy responded, wishing she knew all the magic stuff Willow did so she could make Dawn disappear.

She’d told her mom and sister that she was meeting with Cordelia. Joyce didn’t question her, but Dawn was full of pestering and whining about wanting to go. Buffy was grateful to be getting away from her for a few hours, even if she was a little sceptical about her own reasons.

But it wasn’t a date. Most definitely not. Buffy didn’t date girls.

When she heard Dawn slam the door to their room as she made her way next door, Buffy left the bathroom to check herself in the full length mirror. Smoothing her hands over her backside and making an approving noise, she kept repeating to herself that she was only going with Tru to get information. The beeping of her cell phone halted the mantra.

“Hey, Will,” Buffy said as she answered. “Sorry about earlier, didn’t mean to cut you off so quick.”

“Never mind that,” Willow said excitedly. “I want to know how you went from meeting Faith’s sister in some freaky fluke kinda thing, to going out on a date with her. That’s pretty quick work.”

“It’s not a date exactly,” Buffy assured, checking the light application of makeup she’d spent way too much time on. “It’s just. . .being inquisitive. I’m an inquisitive kinda gal and I need my fix for the week.”

“So read the Enquirer, Buffy,” Willow said with a nervous chuckle. “It would be less stress on your friends, meaning me. . .the one who’s stressing.”

Buffy picked her purse up from her bed and checked her watch. It was 9 o’clock already and time to make her way downstairs.

“There’s no need to stress,” Buffy said. “This is just part of the slaying job. I have to make sure she’s not all evil and planning to get revenge for Faith or something.”

“Revenge by dating? Seriously, Buffy. . .you need to get out more,” Willow told her, sounding more highly strung by the second. “Faith knows nothing about Tru. I checked and checked, and did some more checking, and they don’t know each other. So basically, you’re going out on a date with a girl who’s probably gonna expect you to like her like that, and probably hopes to get in some smoochies before the night’s through. And yunno, it’s Faith’s sister, so who knows what she’s expecting. I don’t think you’re prepared for that.”

Willow’s voice trailed off as Buffy made her way towards the elevator. She stood in front of the shiny reflective doors, her image warped like a comical mirror, the reality of what she was just about to do hitting her head on. She was going out with Tru to sate her curiosity, and possibly because she was a little nuts, but for Tru it was a date. She’d expect date-like happenings. She’d expect Buffy to expect her to. . .Buffy held her breath as the elevator doors whooshed open and invited her in. Now was not a good time to freak out, but freaking out was definitely on the agenda.

“Oh God,” Buffy said into her cell phone. “I’m going on a date with a girl.”

“That’s what I just said,” Willow stated. “And as much as I like the girly-loving myself, it’s a little weird knowing you’re going on a date with not only a girl, but a very Faith-like girl.”

“But it’s not Faith, and like you said. . .she knows nothing about her, right?” Buffy muttered as she stepped slowly into the elevator, smiling softly at the old couple already on their way down to the lobby.

“Nothing at all,” Willow reassured. “Which means you’ve got the whole evening with her to talk about anything but Faith, and to find a way to avoid wandering hands and possible smoochies.”

“Oh crap, I didn’t plan on being a lesbian tonight. I don’t even know if I’m dressed right. What if I’m really bad at it and she guesses, and then goes all ‘Faith’ on me and starts making me all uncomfortable with innuendoes I don’t get ‘cause I don’t have the gayness?” Buffy said in a small panicked voice.

A soft cough beside her reminded her she wasn’t alone and Buffy blushed suitably as she smiled apologetically. The old couple shuffled a little further away, and pretended not to notice.

“I’m sure you’ll be ok, Buffy,” Willow told her, obviously trying to halt the panic. “Just be yourself and. . .no wait, don’t be yourself ‘cause then she’ll get all attached and wanna see you again and that’s probably not of the good, unless you’re planning on changing teams and having some kinda creepy pseudo-relationship with Faith by being with Tru.”

“Huh?” Buffy responded as the doors opened to allow more passengers on as they made their way down to ground level. “Sumo-relationship? I didn’t think I’d put on that much weight. I mean, I know I’ve kinda been comfort eating lately but. . .”

“Pseudo, not sumo,” Willow corrected. “Being with Tru would almost be like being with Faith, but not. Not that it’s wrong if you like girls, but it’s just a little sudden, and I didn’t even know you liked Faith like that.”

Buffy used her free hand to rub at her brow as she tried to process the conversation. The old couple were glancing at her and muttering under their breaths, and the man now in front of her was taking up far too much space as he did his best to attempt the pretending-not-to-listen pose.

“I don’t like Faith. I don’t like girls,” Buffy whispered into the phone, her voice a little higher than usual. “I’m just. . .this is just. . .”

“Weirder than a whole crate of weird things at Wacky’s wonderful house of weirdness?” Willow interjected.

“Ok, so it’s new and I don’t exactly know what I’m doing right now,” Buffy confessed, “but I couldn’t just walk away. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t. Maybe it is about Faith. Maybe I need to go on one of those retreats Giles is always blabbing on about. Whatever it is. . .I’m sure I’ll get over it by the end of the night so I can come home and put Faith behind me once and for all.”

As Buffy said the final words the doors slid open and revealed the slight bustle of the lobby. The low light of the reception area and lounge created a pleasant mood, hushed tones of gentle music filtering through speakers littered around the walls in amongst the décor. Buffy quickly scanned the area ahead as she stepped out onto the dark red carpet. She watched as Tru moved towards her from behind a portly man in an ill-fitting suit. Her hair was flowing richly over her shoulders, every step causing the slight curls to bounce, her eyes resting gently on Buffy as telling dimples sneaked across her cheeks.

Buffy felt her stomach tighten into a knot. “God she’s beautiful,” Buffy murmured to herself.

“What?” Willow asked.

“Huh? Oh nothing, just. . .thinking out loud I guess, anyway I have to go so I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” Buffy told Willow, hastily ending the call before she could be questioned.

Tru strolled to a halt in front of Buffy, an amused look on her face as she greeted her with a husky hello.

“You’re on that a lot,” Tru pointed out with a chuckle, gesturing to the phone Buffy was busy tucking into her purse. “Over-eager girlfriend or boyfriend?” she asked.

“No,” Buffy replied, almost too quickly, “just a friend.”

“Good, ‘cause I don’t wanna be stepping on any toes.” Tru brushed her hand through her hair as they began walking towards the exit.

“Nope, no toes. Well obviously I have toes, but there’s no boyfriend. . .or girlfriend,” she added quietly, feeling her cheeks flush slightly at even the possibility.

She also felt a little ashamed at just remembering she hadn’t spoken to Riley since the day before. Buffy couldn’t think of Riley right then. Not when she had ‘work’ to do. Plus, she knew he was going to be upset and she didn’t want to linger on the reason she wasn’t particularly bothered.

“So, I thought we could grab something to eat if you haven’t already,” Tru suggested as Buffy tried to avoid glancing in her direction for too long, worried she would bump into something and make a fool of herself.

“I didn’t have dinner just in case,” Buffy confessed, “so that’s cool.”

Her eyes wandered to Tru’s denim encased backside as a large family pulling luggage behind them forced Buffy to drop back. She couldn’t help but look and she didn’t know why. It had been the same with Faith; something about her that made Buffy feel off center, a compulsion that could possibly be construed as being ‘kind of gay’. She knew she wasn’t gay, though. The idea alone was silly. Her thoughts and fantasies had only ever been filled with men. . .and only sometimes Faith. Buffy refused to accept the possibility she was attracted to either girl, even though she had to admit the odd stray thought.

“You like Italian?” Tru asked as she stepped aside for Buffy to enter the small space in the revolving door.

“They’re the ones that do pizza, right?” Buffy asked, brushing up against Tru as they shuffled forwards inside the confines of the slow moving door.

Tru chuckled and nodded, and Buffy didn’t instantly feel like leaping away from her or the point of contact between them.

“I know this great little place close to here that’s run by a family friend. It’s not fancy but the food is great,” Tru enthused, gesturing in almost the same passionate way Faith did as they stepped out onto the sidewalk.

“Sounds good,” Buffy responded, finding herself smiling openly at Tru as she relaxed.

It may not have been a date, but that didn’t mean she had to be grumpy or defensive. Buffy couldn’t help but instantly feel at ease with the other girl. It surprised her considering her past with Tru’s identical twin. She’d been ready to feel at least some animosity or niggling itchiness, but she didn’t feel either. And unlike with Faith, Buffy didn’t feel quite so threatened by Tru. Not in a fighting sense – Buffy had never felt less than able to take on Faith when it came to fighting – but in another way. A way she had kept hidden inside.

Buffy tried not to think too much about it as they walked towards their destination. Tru asked Buffy what she did in Sunnydale, genuinely seeming interested in her college courses and life in general. The sensation of being made to feel interesting for something other than her slaying temporarily made Buffy forget to enquire about Tru, and her plan to expose her possible collaboration with Faith. She was soaking up the attention as Tru listened to her, gentle eyes leaving Buffy feeling ever more drawn towards her.

They entered the small restaurant and were ushered to a table near the window. Buffy tried to ask herself what she was really doing there; it was one thing trying to convince Willow there was only one reason, but quite another trying to convince herself of the same. The pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit only one way, but she was forcing them apart and jamming them together in ways that left her irritated and confused. It was like revisiting the past, when Faith had swept into her life and reeled out the charm and the dimpled smile that always had Buffy looking away for fear of being caught gazing.

The waiter interrupted Buffy’s inner ramblings, asking them what they wanted from the menu he’d handed them.

“What would the beautiful companion of our beloved Tru wish to try tonight?” he asked, his haughty moustache jiggling on his lip.

Buffy beamed under the compliment as Tru smiled on in apparent agreement with his statement.

“Pizza would be good,” Buffy responded, trying to figure out what all the Italian sounding dishes were as she glanced over the menu.

“They do great pizza,” Tru assured, ordering one she told Buffy she’d love.

She also ordered wine, and though Buffy wasn’t a big drinker she didn’t object. Something to calm her nerves would probably help, then she could get on with the job at hand of exposing Tru. . .though not in a naked way, obviously.

Trying not to think about any kind of nakedness, Buffy looked around the restaurant. It wasn’t very busy, but the place looked suitably Italian and atmospheric. Small candles lit every table, the light flickering off the paintings on the walls. Rhythmic music mingled with the clattering cutlery and hushed conversations. It was kind of a romantic setting, and not one she could ever see Faith taking her to. Not that she’d want Faith taking her anywhere, but the striking difference between the two girls was hard to ignore. Tru was the same age as Faith yet she seemed more mature, more stable.

“So,” Buffy began, trying to get back on track, “you said you were rehearsing earlier; is it for a film?”

“No, a play. Haven’t quite broken into the whole film thing yet,” Tru answered. “Gotta get my feet wet first before I dive into movies; the auditions can be hell.”

“You must be pretty good though, if you’re in a play,” Buffy remarked, wondering if maybe Tru was only acting ‘nice’ in order to snare her in some way, though in what way exactly Buffy wasn’t sure yet.

“It’s only my second lead role, but it’s showing at a pretty big theatre so I guess I must be doing something right,” Tru said almost shyly, her big brown eyes sparkling at Buffy in the candlelight.

They talked some more about the play and Tru’s role, her enthusiasm for acting captivating Buffy. The pizzas came and went, and the second bottle of wine soon began to be emptied. Buffy had asked all the questions she could without coming off as some kind of stalker, and so far nothing really indicated that Tru was in any way out to ‘get her’ for Faith. It seemed clear Tru didn’t know of Faith at all, given the fact she hadn’t mentioned her when Buffy had asked about her family. Still, she had to be wary; it was in her nature to be wary, and Faith had never so easily backed down or accepted her fate without a fight.

“If you wanna go somewhere more lively there’s a club not far from here that has bands and stuff,” Tru said, finishing off the remains of the wine.

Buffy smiled over her glass, swimming in the slight buzz from the alcohol and atmosphere. She couldn’t help but feel like she was enjoying herself. Sure, she felt edgy when she dwelled on the reasons for being there, but she felt comfortable in Tru’s company. The two opposites made uneasy partners so Buffy decided to shut her brain up for once so she could just enjoy being out somewhere new, away from everyday worries.

Tru was nice, she was sweet, she made Buffy giggle in a way she hadn’t done since. . .well, since before all the bad stuff with Faith. Maybe it was the wine, but Buffy felt like letting go. She nodded eagerly and agreed they should move on to somewhere a little more upbeat. Thoughts about whether or not it was a date she was on flew out of her head at the prospect of getting to have some fun, without worrying about her friends or her boyfriend for once.

They paid the bill after Buffy insisted they split the cost, and then made their way out into the warm night. Buffy could feel the cosy hum of alcohol seeping into her bloodstream, its slow pull wrapping around her. The slight breeze prickled at Buffy’s skin as she walked close to Tru, her arm occasionally brushing against the other girl in a way that didn’t feel as strange as it probably should. It was no longer an investigation, but beyond that Buffy didn’t dare to look. If she looked she was afraid she might leap anyway.

That’s how it had been with Faith: being aware that following her was the wrong choice, but doing it anyway because she couldn’t help herself. Buffy had been lucky enough to pull herself out of Faith’s snare when it all got too much, but if the fateful night that had changed their path hadn’t happened, Buffy wasn’t sure where she’d be. Maybe she would have come to terms with the way Faith made her feel, or maybe they’d just been destined to turn against each other. She didn’t know. She wasn’t as sure about anything from her past right now.

As they approached the bustle of the club doors Buffy couldn’t help but notice that most of the line was composed of girls. She looked towards Tru and received one of her achingly warm smiles, her dimples defining her face, full lips telling Buffy not to worry, and that they’ll get in without having to wait.

Tru obviously saw Buffy’s slight panic as an indication that she wasn’t happy about the prospect of waiting in line. That wasn’t what was worrying her, however.

“I know the bouncer, she’s kinda sweet on me so we’ll get right in,” Tru explained, sharing a trait with Faith at being able to charm her way into anything.

Buffy nodded and moved closer to Tru as they neared the queue. They got in without too much fuss, the bouncer spotting Tru right away and waving them inside. They were greeted by warm hellos from girls that were obviously known to Tru. Buffy guessed it must have been her local hangout spot. Kind of like the Bronze was for the Scoobs but far more. . .rainbow orientated. She felt compelled to stay as close to Tru as she could as they rounded a dark corridor into the heart of the club.

The music vibrated through Buffy as people brushed past them to filter onto the dance floor. There was a small stage in front of it occupied by a band thudding away on their guitars. The music was loud but melodic, and much more upbeat than what Buffy was used to at the Bronze. Though the room was small it held a few tables and stools closer to the bar; they mostly looked taken but Tru began to lead them that way.

Without thinking, Buffy reached out and slipped her arm through Tru’s as they stepped this way and that through the groups of chatting and dancing girls. Buffy wasn’t sure why she felt the need to suddenly cling to her, but it could have been the fact she felt somewhat out of her depth in such a place. It wasn’t everyday she got taken to a lesbian bar after all. Tru didn’t object, in fact she moved her hand down and took Buffy’s within it, holding her lightly as she cleared a path towards an empty table near the back.

Still gripping onto Tru as they shuffled around the table to the stools, Buffy took the opportunity to just look at her. She was wearing blue jeans that fit her backside perfectly, and a cute white blouse that showed just enough cleavage to look sexy, but not as much as a certain other brunette would flaunt. Tru was pretty stunning, yet in a different way to Faith. And as she realised that, Buffy also realised she had indeed thought of Faith as stunning. The thoughts had been there, the stirring feeling within her that told her she liked her. . .and not in a simple way that meant she didn’t have to hide the truth from herself.

It seemed obvious now. The reason it hurt so much. The reason Faith’s betrayal had cut so deep.

Buffy let go of Tru’s hand as they sat themselves down to claim their seats. She felt a bit shaky, like the floor had been whipped from under her feet and left her spinning on the spot. All the time she’d taken to stop herself from facing the truth, melting away to nothing under Tru’s touch. As she looked out towards the dance floor, seeing girls with their arms around each other, kissing, having fun, being with the people they wanted to be with, it dawned on her that she’d missed that opportunity. It surprised her to admit that she’d wanted that opportunity. Buffy had never allowed herself to let the knowledge slip into the mainstream of her brain, but now there was no stopping it.

“What do you want to drink?” Tru asked, leaning in close to Buffy’s ear so she could hear her.

A shudder ran through Buffy as Tru’s dark brown hair tickled over her bare shoulder. She tried to ignore how it made her feel, how Tru being so close she could smell her skin made her feel. It was pointless now. The cat was out of the bag. The idea was out there and Buffy couldn’t shove it back into place.

“Anything,” Buffy answered, finding a sudden squeak to her voice.

Tru raised her eyebrows, so like Faith, so complicatedly confusing for Buffy. She felt like she should get up and go, run from what Faith had stirred in her and what Tru was stirring again. There was a warmth about Tru that stopped her running, however. Whereas Faith had made her feel too scared to face what she felt, Tru was inspiring her to face it head on. There would be no running, not this time. She’d come far enough to just about accept there had been more to her feelings for Faith than mere friendship before it had all turned sour, so she couldn’t back down now. Buffy didn’t want to think of herself as a coward.

“Anything not too strong,” Buffy elaborated, moving just a little closer so she didn’t have to yell.

She could feel the warmth of Tru’s skin against hers and it far from made her feel scared. She was unsure, nervous about what it meant, but not scared. Maybe two years, or even one year beforehand, the fear would have been there, but she’d been through enough, seen enough, lived and died enough to know that fear got you nowhere. It certainly didn’t get you happiness. She couldn’t stop herself from looking at Tru with new eyes. Eyes that saw her beauty and saw her appeal, saw that she was the reason she was feeling flushed and excited.

“Cocktails are always a good choice. I’ll bring you back a surprise,” Tru said as she dismounted from her stool and gave Buffy a wink.

Buffy watched her leave, not taking her eyes from her for a second. She definitely liked Tru for who she was, but she couldn’t silence the small voice inside her that was telling her how much she wished it was Faith; that it was Faith being so sweet, gentle, and easy to be around. It wasn’t though, and Faith had torn through any hope they could one day get over the past.

She glanced back to the dance floor, watching the throng jump and sway to the music. The band were lifting the atmosphere as their performance grew ever louder. It looked like fun out there and she wondered if Tru would be interested in dancing once they’d finished their drinks. Dancing with Faith had always been fun. They’d been close then, letting the music take them. Letting themselves be swept up in each other. The sensation never lasted long, and when the music died Buffy would retreat from the obvious signs being given to her.

“Hi,” a voice filtered through the thumping music. “Yunno, you’re pretty damn hot and I noticed you sat here by yourself, you wanna dance? Maybe get a drink?”

Buffy turned towards the girl speaking to her. She was a pretty girl with short dark hair; her blue eyes looking hopeful as she smiled toothily at Buffy. At first she didn’t know how to react. It wasn’t as if she had much experience with girls coming onto her, except for Faith’s flirting, and now Tru’s.

“Don’t think a girl like you should be sat alone,” the girl continued, leaning towards Buffy, offering to be her saviour from loneliness.

Buffy felt far from alone, however. In fact she almost felt like she was out with both Tru and Faith, which was creepy and something she didn’t want to dwell on.

“I’m not alone,” Buffy assured, glancing back towards Tru who was busy paying for their drinks. “I’m with my girlfriend.”

Turning back, Buffy fought the flush to her cheeks that threatened to expose her little lie. She wasn’t embarrassed about the lie; it was just a funny feeling calling Tru her girlfriend.

“I’m sure she’s sweet, but I could show you a good time,” the girl continued, persisting in her advances. “My name’s Alice.”

She thrust her hand out towards Buffy so she could shake it. Buffy was beginning to feel a little irritated now and just wanted her to leave so she could continue coming to terms with what was going through her head concerning both Tru and Faith.

“And my girlfriend’s name is Tru,” Buffy said with a fixed smile, shaking the offered hand firmly as she made it clear she was taken.

Alice nodded in defeat and turned to leave, looking a little more deflated than when she’d arrived. Buffy soon lost sight of her in the crowd and sighed with relief. Almost instantly she felt Tru slide up beside her, nudging her with her shoulder as she placed the drinks down on the table.

“Hey, girlfriend,” Tru said with a smirk.

Buffy knew right away she’d been heard during the quiet break between songs.

“I’m sorry,” Buffy said coyly, “she was hitting on me and. . .well, I’m here with you so I didn’t wanna. . .”

“It’s cool, I woulda done the same,” Tru told her with another soft nudge. “It’s kinda flattering actually.”

Buffy turned more towards Tru on her stool, taking the drink before her in her hand and playing with the small umbrella sticking proudly out of the garish red of the liquid within. She took a sip not knowing what the drink was, but not particularly caring; all that mattered was that she’d caused Tru to move closer to her and smile her striking smile. As much as it made Buffy’s stomach do little nervous flips, it was also flipping for whole other reasons she was only just getting to grips with.

“Well, it’s kinda flattering being here with you. . .on a date,” Buffy told her, leaning to speak in her ear now the music had started bursting through the speakers once again.

She lingered close to Tru a little longer than necessary, just feeling her heat, catching the hint of her scent. She didn’t smell like Faith, but she still smelled good. Buffy almost felt like some kind of pervert for wanting to stay as close as she could, but then she realised that’s what it was normally like when you liked somebody; when you’re attracted to them.

Buffy had to take a steadying breath to stop herself from panicking about being attracted to another girl. When it had happened with Faith she’d firmly planted herself in the land of denial and ignored it, but it wasn’t much fun there and she was tired of pretending she hadn’t felt that way; the way she now also felt for Tru. Yep, it was clear to her. . .she was a raging homo when it came to this particular model of sexy brunette. The weakness ran deep, her mind trying to catch up with her body. Fortunately Tru didn’t seem to feel the need to pull away too soon either, as she practically brushed her lips over Buffy’s ear, her husky voice breaking through the noise around them.

“You like your drink? It’s a strawberry Daiquiri,” Tru pointed out. “You look like a strawberry kinda girl.”

Buffy felt a delicate whisper of Tru’s lips against her ear and closed her eyes, doing her best to keep in control of her faculties. It was a little hard when Tru was stripping away her inhibitions and her resolve.

“How do I look like a strawberry kind of girl?” Buffy asked, intrigued as she sipped more of the fruity drink.

“’Cause you’re all kindsa sweet and. . .” Tru grinned a little slyly but looked somewhat shy as she glanced away from Buffy’s gaze. “I’d better not finish that sentence; I don’t wanna freak you out or make a huge fool of myself if you’re not interested.”

Tru took a long drink of her cocktail, eventually looking back in to Buffy’s eyes. The thing was, Buffy was interested. More than she should have been considering it was Faith’s identical twin she was interested in. It was silly to lie, however. Silly and also repetitive. Buffy had done enough avoiding in the past, and she’d been feeling the need to break out of old habits, stretch herself from the limits she’d imposed, grab onto life and live it rather than just exist.

Buffy accepted the enticing buzz of alcohol running through her veins, her mind letting go of some of her fears.

“I am interested,” Buffy said quietly, feeling butterflies tumbling in her stomach, hoping Tru could hear her over the music so she didn’t have to repeat herself. “Tell me what you were going to say.”

Tru licked her full lips and placed her drink down on the table. She moved her face closer to Buffy’s, her mouth close to her cheek as she spoke so only Buffy could hear.

“You look sweet and good enough to eat,” she said slowly and huskily, sending a jolt of excitement through Buffy. “And when I bite into a strawberry I like the juice to spill over my bottom lip and down my chin.”

Tru’s hot breath blowing over Buffy, the soft scent of her, the closeness. . .it almost had Buffy turning to kiss her. But she didn’t, and she shocked herself a little with how powerful her reaction was. It didn’t sober her, but it was clear that she wasn’t ready for that. Tru’s words had definitely piqued her curiosity and charged her body up in a way nobody had done since being close to Faith, but this was still uncharted territory. Buffy was still all kinds of unsteady and unsure.

She leaned back away from Tru, making sure not to make it seem like she was at all disturbed by the thought of being intimate with her. Keeping her eyes locked on Tru’s, feeling herself practically drowning in their dark brown depths and warmth, Buffy smiled enticingly as she placed her straw between her lips and sucked up the rest of her drink. She was hot and needed to cool down.

Tru obviously didn’t take the lack of kissing or comment as a rebuff; her cute grin letting Buffy know she wasn’t about to get mad if she wasn’t ready to jump her right then and there. Buffy wasn’t sure how she could tell Tru would be the kind of girl to give her time to ease into what she wanted; she just sensed it. It made her feel comfortable yet almost giddy at the prospect of slowly wading into the sea of sensation awaiting her. The thought train carrying images of new intimacy and sensual touches rumbled through Buffy’s mind, and it wasn’t unpleasant. It was far from unpleasant.

As they both finished off their drinks they shared little smiles and glances that said more than either of them probably realised. Buffy felt excitement snaking its way around her; the idea of stepping into the unknown, taking the risk she hadn’t dared to before, causing her to release herself into the sensation.

When Tru emptied her glass she stepped down from her stool and stood in front of Buffy, offering her hand as she asked if she wanted to dance. Buffy nodded enthusiastically and took Tru’s hand. She followed her out onto the dance floor, enjoying the soft, warm hand in hers. She felt a little nervous, but the energy of those around them and the cocktail she’d just finished off helped to persuade her body to step into the music.

They danced for the rest of the night, only stopping to quench their thirsts or visit the bathroom. Buffy couldn’t recall when she’d had so much fun without worrying what other people thought, or how she was going to be able to slay the bad guys on slightly unsteady legs. With Tru twirling her and spinning her, making her feel high on life, Buffy couldn’t think about consequences or worry about what it all meant. She was enjoying being with Tru. She liked feeling the occasional brush of her body against her, the light grip of her hand when she spun her, the whispering tickle of her hair when she’d lean in to speak in her ear. Buffy didn’t want the night to end.

It wasn’t like being with Faith, and certainly nothing like dancing with her. With Faith it had always been charged with an underlying tension that made each touch and look mean more than Buffy was prepared to understand. It was prickly and charged, full of something unresolved and a little scary. Buffy didn’t feel that with Tru; it was different and welcoming instead of feeling dangerous and consuming.

When it got late enough for Buffy to start thinking about heading back to the hotel, she felt sad that she’d be leaving in the morning. She also felt worried that maybe Tru didn’t feel the same, but that was just an irrational and unfounded idea; Tru seemed far from eager to leave Buffy’s side.

They eventually strolled into the hotel lobby, their clothes a little sticky from the heat of the club, their giggles not quite befitting the austere atmosphere.

“Thanks for walking me home, well. . .not home, but here,” Buffy said with a little hiccup.

“No problem, Buffy. Couldn’t have you losing your way,” Tru responded as they entered the elevator, “I planned on seeing you again but not on the back of a milk carton.”

Buffy chuckled at the thought but then realised it probably wasn’t a chuckling matter. She was glad Tru had taken the time to walk her to the hotel, but now she was worried about Tru getting home herself.

“Oh God, I don’t want that either. . .seeing you on a milk carton I mean,” Buffy pointed out. “Of course I want to see you again, but not with breakfast. Unless yunno, it was because you were with me after we. . .yunno. . .not that we’re going to but. . .”

Buffy tripped over her words, unable to fully deal with the thought of taking the dating thing with Tru a few steps further. It wasn’t that it turned her off. . .it was quite the opposite, and that wasn’t so easy to keep calm about.

Tru stopped Buffy’s ramble by placing her hand on her shoulder. “I get what you mean,” she said, trying to hold in a giggle but failing. “And I’d definitely like to. . .though obviously not here, with your sister in the same room.”

Buffy’s eyes went wide at the horrific thought and Tru just kept on laughing. Her giggles were infectious and they both stumbled out of the elevator, clinging to each as they tried to calm themselves.

As they made their way towards Buffy’s room she felt like slowing down. She didn’t want it to be over already. The night had been too much fun. She felt relaxed and at ease, the tension she’d been feeling lately lifting from her shoulders in Tru’s company.

“I’ve had a really nice night,” Buffy said as she stopped near her door and turned towards Tru.

“Me too,” Tru replied. “And I really would like to see you again, if you’d want to.”

Buffy watched as Tru glanced down at her feet, the shy act so different from how she’d imagine Faith being in the same situation. Her face, her body, the way she held Buffy’s gaze with her eyes. . .it was all the same, but there were big differences in the way she was with Buffy.

“I want to,” Buffy confirmed, not thinking about the implications or the possible complications. “Lemme get your number,” she added, taking out her cell phone from her purse.

Tru gave Buffy her number and Buffy promised to call. She knew she would. She knew she wouldn’t be able to stop herself, no matter how much she tried to talk herself out of it once she was sober and back at home. Back at home where her boyfriend was, and her friends that would think she was crazy. None of that mattered when she looked back up into deep dark eyes that were practically stripping her naked. She guessed it was the part of the night that they either kissed, or said goodbye awkwardly.

“Be careful on the way home,” Buffy said softly, the buzz from the alcohol retreating to leave her feeling exposed.

“I will. I only live two blocks down so I’ll be ok,” Tru assured.

She glanced towards the shiny elevator doors, then back to Buffy. It seemed like she wanted to end the night in the traditional way, but something was stopping her. Buffy supposed it was probably because she hadn’t made a move forwards, to show it was ok. There was too much distance between them. Buffy didn’t want the night to end awkwardly so she stepped closer, her mind flashed a big red warning sign but she ignored it and leaned forwards to kiss Tru on the cheek.

Buffy felt Tru smile and her lips lingered on her soft skin over an adorable dimple. She didn’t move away when a hand slid up her arm to her shoulder, and Tru turned her head so their lips were almost touching.

There was a pounding in Buffy’s ear, her heart racing ahead of her as she allowed Tru to lean in and kiss her softly. Buffy didn’t resist, closing her eyes as she let herself sink in to the sensation of the sensual caress. Her hands moved instinctively to Tru’s hips, her mouth moving slowly against the kiss that was quickly heating her up. Tru nudged her lips open with her kisses and Buffy complied, tasting more, feeling more. A quiet moan broke the silence as she felt Tru’s tongue flick over her own. She hadn’t meant to moan. She hadn’t even meant to go as far as actually embarking on the whole smooching thing.

It wasn’t as if she could stop now, however. She was enjoying it too much. Her mind wandered to thoughts of Faith, to thoughts of Faith’s lips and tongue as Tru kissed her deeper. Another soft moan, but this time from Tru, as Buffy pressed up against her, the heat between them growing. Buffy took Tru’s tongue into her mouth, slowly sliding over it with her own as she gave in to what she so obviously wanted.

The booze and the dancing, the fun and the laughter, motivated Buffy to want more, her body beginning to prickle and burn. She wanted her hands to explore and her skin to feel. She had a vision of pushing Tru up against the wall behind her, kissing her soft and deep, hard and long until she was moaning her name. Until she was gasping and clinging to Buffy with need. But when the vision shifted and replaced Tru with Faith, Buffy leaned back.

Trying to catch her breath she looked up at Tru, noticing that she seemed as flushed as Buffy felt. They didn’t speak; obvious lust tainting the atmosphere and stripping away the confidence to communicate beyond looks and touches. Her hands were still on Tru’s hips as Tru licked her lips and stole Buffy’s fears with her eyes. Without waiting for any warning signs this time, Buffy threw prudence out of the window and closed the distance once again, kissing Tru fully; their mouths open and hungry, stifled sighs breaking into the quiet of the corridor. Buffy became lost in the grip of quickening hearts and embracing arms, fighting not to think about Faith as she tasted the swell of Tru’s lips and enjoyed the dance of their tongues together.

Buffy didn’t think she’d ever lost herself to a kiss in quite the same way before. It was like she couldn’t get enough. There was so much to feel, so much to like. They nipped and sucked, and pushed close, squeezing out the air between them. Tru’s hands swept over Buffy’s back and she sighed into her mouth, the wonder of having Tru’s breasts pressing into her own making her dizzy with new sensations. She was getting incredibly turned on; unable to find sense in the haze of desire causing her to want to devour Tru.

As it became clear they should either part or find somewhere more private to be, Buffy pulled her lips from Tru’s, kissing over her dimple, resting against her as they stole breaths from the heated air.

“Wow,” Buffy said, trying to compose herself as she rubbed their noses together, just basking in being so close.

“I’m gonna have to agree,” Tru said with a little chuckle before placing another quick kiss on Buffy’s lips.

Buffy wanted to untangle herself from Tru but she didn’t seem to be able to move. She was soft and inviting, her scent filing Buffy’s nostrils and making her dizzy. It was new and exciting, and most definitely something she could get used to. It was too soon to jump into something intimate, however. For one thing it wasn’t as if Buffy was single, and for another it wasn’t as if Buffy had any clue what she would do. The idea of being somewhere alone with Tru for more kissing and whatever followed undeniably had Buffy’s stomach quivering in anticipation, but it wouldn’t be now.

“I don’t wanna seem like a tease,” Buffy said slowly, forcing herself not to brush her lips over Tru’s once again, “but I should go in. I’m sorry.”

Tru nudged at Buffy’s nose with her own - her lips so close and so tempting - as she nodded and released her hold. Almost instantly Buffy felt colder, the heat between them dissipating as they reluctantly parted.

“No need to be sorry, Buffy. I wouldn’t expect you to leap into bed with me,” Tru responded, smiling gently. “We only just met.”

“I know, and I’m really not usually so ready for the smooching and the almost groping, but I guess it kinda feels like I’ve known you longer,” Buffy confessed, unable to wipe Faith from her mind. “But I really should go in because you just standing there is making me want to. . .”

Buffy looked Tru up and down, thinking of all the possibilities despite her complete lack of experience.

“Ok, you looking at me like that isn’t helping me leave,” Tru laughed.

“I’m sorry,” Buffy said coyly, looking up through her eyelashes as Tru swept a calming hand through her dark hair. “I guess I drank a little too much, and maybe got hit on the head, but mostly I think it’s ‘cause you’re gorgeous and hot and making me think about joining the gay parade.”

“You’re crazy,” Tru said, laughing openly, her smile lighting up the dim corridor, “but you’re also adorable and I’m so gonna have to insist we go out again soon.”

Buffy couldn’t help but reply to Tru’s smile with one of her own, as she nodded and agreed. “I think that’s a definite yes to the seeing each other again.”

They went quiet again as Buffy picked up her dropped purse and fished out the card to her room. She gave Tru one last look over before turning to open her door.

“Night then,” Buffy said quietly now the door was open. “I’ll call you,” she added, glancing back before entering the dark of the room.

Tru smiled and waved goodnight and turned towards the elevator. Buffy couldn’t help but watch as she walked away, taking time to note the soft swagger that reminded her of Faith. It wasn’t Faith she was looking forward to seeing again, however. It was Tru. No matter the similarities, it was Tru who’d made her night feel like a fresh start; like a new chapter that would lead to something she’d never quite had before.

Closing the door and leaning against it, Buffy bit her lower lip and grinned to herself. She felt alive, despite how complicated her life had now just become.



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