It's hard to get out anywhere without the paparazzi finding you when you're as big a star as Dakota and Kristen are but as the younger girl soon discovers, Kristen is stealthy like a ninja and has her own special tactics. She knows all the little underground places where people aren't amused with celebrities or are too stoned to care most of the time anyway. The two somehow manage to find the best, relatively unknown gay bar in L.A. with a cult following of its own, dimmed lights and good music.
They get in for the first time unnoticed it seems, in the early hours of the morning, Kristen with a beanie and shades. The people are fun and if they can tell who they are they don't act like it. They were both worried but it turns out to be a fun night and hell, Kristen likes to drink and Dakota likes to dance- perhaps not as provocatively as the people around her do- so it works for them.
Eventually it becomes a weekly activity.
The first time she gets hit on in JettSet by some rather tall and lanky figure with heavy eyeliner, multiple piercings and a black fauxhawk, the "Xena: Warrior Princess" theme song playing in the background, Dakota feels rather uncomfortable and out of her element. Her response is ready at her lips though the words feel strange on her tongue.
“Oh, my girlfriend’s just gone to get some drinks-“
Dakota’s never really had the opportunity to say something like this. She’s never had a…boyfriend…girlfriend…before.
As if on cue, said girlfriend arrives and Dakota watches her body language intently- the way she sizes up the girl as if she’s a potential competitor, the way her shoulders square and her jaw hardens, and she turns her full glare onto this other stranger.
“Kristen…” Dakota sighs softly, sending her a warning glance.
Kristen’s full glare is enough to terrify even the least fair-hearted but to her credit, Faux Hawk stands her ground. She’s not unattractive- her face is symmetrical and pretty no matter how much heavy make-up and piercings she covers it with and her dark hair, androgyny and lean but muscular frame are exactly what Dakota has found likes in a partner…
It’s just that it’s so hard to notice this girl- or anyone else for that matter- when Kristen is standing there, in all her gorgeous glory, green eyes blazing, pouting slightly with those Cupid's Bow lips.
“Who is this?” Kristen’s narrowed eyes never leave the girl and she moves very close to Dakota and wraps her arm around her waist. Dakota knows she should feel disappointed in herself and like a traitor to all women and femmes when her heart flutters and she has to control the urge to grin widely as Kristen does this.
“It’s okay” She settles for letting Kristen's actions slide for the moment and squeezing her arm to distract her. “I just met her, she seems very nice”
She flashes the girl, who had clearly been about to make some nasty remark at Kristen, her toothy, sunny smile and sees her visibly cool down, smiling back. Dakota cannot be mean and rude to anyone…it’s as if it’s been ingrained in her.
“Yeah…” Kristen says gruffly, nodding slightly towards her and completely ignoring Faux Hawk. “I think we should go dance now. This is a good song”
Dakota can hear some techno remix of t.A.T.u’s “Show Me Love” playing in the background. She raises an eyebrow at Kristen and laughs.
“You hate dancing!” She giggles, “Remember last time you tripped and-“
“-I didn’t trip!” Kristen insists loudly and Dakota watches, amused as a slight colour taints her cheeks when her new friend smirks at Kristen mockingly, “Don’t say that, you make me sound fucking pathetic!”
Dakota realizes why this is such a big deal, however ridiculous it seems to her…Kristen feels like her pride has been wounded- and in front of a potential "competitor" at that. The blonde sighs, deciding to do some damage control.
“It’s okay” Dakota reaches for her hand and holds it, holding back her laughter and smiling sweetly, “It’s okay”
“Alright” Kristen can’t seem to help smiling back and it’s the smile that always makes the younger girl get butterflies in her stomach. The dark-haired girl pokes her in the waist and she makes a startled sound.
Dakota is about to protest but before she can utter a word, Kristen grabs her hand and all but drags her onto the dance floor, laughing all the way. The blonde pouts.
“Hey! What are you-“
Suddenly Kristen has moved very close to her and she can feel her hot breath against her face. Her heartbeat quickens.
“I love you” She whispers in her ear.
Dakota stares at her with widened eyes and all but swoons on the spot. She opens her mouth in an attempt to make some kind of intelligent response but is rendered completely speechless, for once. She is positively twitterpated.
Kristen laughs at the expression on her face and leans down, pressing her lips to her forehead. She put a hand on her waist and takes her other hand into her own as a slower song comes on and sways lightly.
Dakota is momentarily stunned by this gesture but rests one hand on Kristen’s shoulder and allows her to lead the dance.
“You always say you hate dancing” She says, in disbelief. Is this really Kristen?
“Well yeah, I still kinda do” Kristen admits, shrugging her shoulders awkwardly with a nervous laugh, “But you know what…things change, people can grow up, get better at things, change their mind about stuff”
Dakota cannot believe her ears. This is coming from Kristen, who is dead set in her ways and always jokes that her attempts at dancing come out more like some kind of mating ritual. The blonde can never get her to dance when they go to parties or clubs- all the taller girl ever wants to do is drink and watch other people and look bored and miserable all night when she's not drinking.
And now here she was, dancing with her properly with a smile on her face even and doing it so well too.
“Wow” She breathes, still at a loss for words.
Kristen looks pleased by her reaction.
“I haven’t even tripped yet” She laughs.
Dakota is silent for a long time, still trying to process all this. Eventually Kristen starts to look worried.
“Are you alright?” She asks, “Did I shock you that badly?”
“I love you too” Dakota chokes out, in a small voice. It feels like her lip is trembling a little when it shouldn't be.
Kristen takes one look at her and swoops down, kissing her, hard, tangling her fingers into her hair. Dakota closes her eyes, her hand on Kristen’s jaw, passionately returning the kiss.
When they finally pull apart, they’re both breathless. Kristen kisses her jaw once before whispering in her ear.
“And I also wanted to actually learn to dance so I could be a good girlfriend to you” She sounds nervous, “Cause I want that, ya know. I want you to have everything I can give you”
Dakota feels like she’s on a cloud of happiness. “You’re perfect” She breathes but then corrects herself, “But you always were”
Only she knows that the truth is that Kristen has matured during their relationship. She’s really making an effort to improve on certain things…and to be honest Dakota would love her regardless and fell in love with her regardless but it makes her feel even happier that Kristen is doing this. She definitely appreciates it.
Kristen is the perfect girlfriend…for her at least. Dakota really likes everything about Kristen. She makes her laugh with her goofy expressions and innapropriate comments and awkwardness. She loves how genuine she is- how she’ll see Kristen in an old pair of Converse and a ratty t-shirt when everyone else in Hollywood is dolled up. Kristen is also a very nice person despite what the press would have you believe…and she’s an intellectual. She thinks outside the box and Dakota finds that incredibly attractive...she makes sacrifices for her, she gives her romance when she wants romance…and of course, she’s sexy.
“I know that it isn’t exactly easy...being with me” Kristen admits with a sigh.
Dakota opens her mouth to deny it but stops herself. She knows- they both know- that this is true. All the same, Dakota thinks Kristen is just right for her somehow. She can’t explain it- they’ve got a strange sort of chemistry together that people usually develop after being friends for decades. They just get each other.
“Do your mom and dad still hate me?” Kristen asks softly with a nervous laugh. They both know that Kristen’s parents don’t give a damn really. Jules and her husband are total hippy types every sense. When Kristen came out, they told her they always knew she was gay from the time she was six and kept stripping her Barbies naked and making them kiss each other.
“I think they um…” Dakota speaks slowly, looking for the right words, “They liked you a lot more before they found out about us being- um- together…”
“I knew it” Kristen hangs her head, biting her lip, “They fucking hate me so much, right?”
“No!” The blonde insists quickly, putting her hands on Kristen’s face, making her look into her eyes. “No…they like you- even with the smoking thing- they still like you- it’s just the whole gay thing they have a problem with”
Kristen pulls away, a slight quiver to her lip and the most dejected look on her face and Dakota feels her own throat get dry and her heart just about break when she sees that expression.
“I’m sorry” Her voice sounds choked. “Look, I’m so fucking sorry…I’ve ruined everything for you, your parents, everyone…”
“It’s okay, I understand” She wears a forced smile that doesn’t reach her eyes, “I never wanted to be a selfish person”
“Kristen!” Dakota gets in front of her and wraps her arms around her, burying her face in her chest.
“I do love my parents…” She admits, “But I am in love with you…and you’re everything I could ask for in a person”
Kristen looks sceptical. "Seriously? Even with though I smoke like a chimney, curse like a sailor and was practically incapable of a monogamous relationship before we got together?"
Dakota shakes her head. "No...even though all of that is true...you're so much more than that. And you're the right one for me...I just know that somehow"
She wraps her around around the brunette and rests her head against her chest. She feels her stiffen up a little before relaxing and wrapping her arms around her in return.“Okay…so just…stay with me.”
"Okay..." Kristen breathes into her hair, holding her more tightly. She sounds a little choked up and she's breathing hard.
"What's wrong?" Dakota asks, looking up at her with concern and touching her cheek gently. Kristen avoids her eyes and Dakota notices that her own eyes look a bit glassy and she's blinking a lot and clenching her jaw.
"Nothing..." Kristen says, still attempting to avoid her eyes, "It's nothing...it's just...I feel happy, ya know?"
"It's okay to get emotional sometimes" She giggles, kissing her on the cheek.
Kristen doesn't respond but tucks Dakota's head under her chin and holds her so tightly that it almost hurts. "I know...I know...I just really...love you"
Dakota smiles, feeling like everything is right with the world, standing in the middle of a crowded dance floor, surrounded by Kristen's warmth and her smokey scent.