note(s): For the LJ BtVS Valentine Fic-a-thon. For NetgirlY2K, who asked for lipgloss and no angst. Takes place early Season 6.
date: 2/13/04

Lipstick Traces

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction
by cheebs!

It was a morning like any other since Buffy had returned from the grave. Tara had just finished fixing her hair and had begun on her makeup when she realized she couldn't find her favorite lip gloss.

I know I've seen it around somewhere, Tara thought.

First she searched the bathroom: makeup holder on the vanity first; medicine cabinet next.

When the bathroom proved fruitless, she returned to the room she shared with Willow and resumed her hunt, going from vanity to dresser, tops before drawers. She found mascara, a pearl hairclip she'd thought lost; even an old Valentine's Day card...but no lip gloss.

Tara's mild annoyance only served to make her more determined. She crossed the hall and knocked on Dawn's door, calling the teen. "Dawn?"

No reply.

Harder and louder she knocked, raising her voice as well. After a few raps the door was suddenly yanked open.

"What?" Dawn snapped, pulling her baby tee the rest of the way on.

The beginnings of a scowl flickered across Tara's face and disappeared just as quickly. Ignoring the younger girl's outburst, Tara responded, "I'm looking for my peach lip gloss. Have you seen it?"

Regret at being a bitch to the one person who least deserved it showed clearly on Dawn's face. "Um...sorry," she offered, adding, "No, I haven't. Maybe in the bathroom...?"

"Already looked there - no luck." Tara sighed. "Also checked my room. I'd ask Buffy, but I don't think she's big on the makeup just now."

Dawn nodded in agreement, her face etched with worry. "Do you think she'll be okay? I mean, is she okay? Is something wrong with her?" Her blue eyes rounded, pleading. The tip of her tongue flicked out and wet her lips.

Tara hesitated as the faint scent of peaches reached her nose. "I think..." she began, paused, and began again. "I think Buffy just knows that some things are more important than others." The corners of her mouth curled up in a knowing smile. "I'll just have to pick up a new one, I guess. I can use something else today." Still smiling, Tara returned to the bathroom to finish her makeup.

Blushing though there was no witness, Dawn closed her door. She walked over to her vanity, opened the small side drawer and pulled out a jar of lip gloss. Dipping one finger in, she rubbed the sweet balm across her lips, imagining they belonged to someone older, blonde and - in her mind - perfect. Her eyes slipped closed; the tip of her finger slipped between her lips. She moaned softly, tasting peaches and Tara.

A distorted voice floated up the stairs. "Dawn, you're going to be late!"

Startled, Dawn's eyes flew open and landed on the clock. Crap! Hastily she glanced into the mirror and, for an instant, her reflection became her fantasy. Giving her mirror twin a quick kiss, she grabbed her backpack and dashed out of the room.

On the silvered glass, a glossy kiss still shone.