It was amazing, nearly blinding Tara's sight as she watched her girlfriend leaning against the front counter talking with Faith. The red of Willow's hair resembled flames dancing across her face as the wind drifted in from an open window. The blonde smiled to herself, taking a moment to simply enjoy her partner's stance and facial expressions.
Willow's eyebrows scrunched as if she were about to frown, but instead she turned her eyes toward the pair that were watching her. Offering a smile, the redhead winked and wiggled her fingers toward Tara as a brief greeting. With a lopsided grin, Tara blushed and returned the gesture as she floated back into her daydream.
The redhead felt tingling in her body and grinned, somewhat dazed, at the newspaper Faith was reading. The brunette's eyes flickered from Willow to Tara and focused back onto the paper with a smile. The soft rustling of pages turning, awakened Willow from her reverie.
"You know," she began while keeping a wondering eye on Tara, "if you're looking for a job Faith, you could always work here."
Faith glanced up from the classifieds as if weighing the offer. "Nah, there's something about working in restaurants that turn me off from food." Highlighting a section, she went on, "I mean, sure it's not a 'they die, we deep fry' tight of place, but I think I'll pass anyway." Faith shook her head, finishing with a polite smile.
"Well, if you change your mind," Willow shrugged, "the offer's there." They shared a smile before the manager excused herself to ring up a customer.
Anya practically bounced into the building, unable to retain her excitement when she found the small huddled group on break.
"The circus is coming," she gripped a pink flyer in her hands, "and ohh, they have monkeys and-." Her excited rant was cut short, partially bursting her joy.
"Wait a minute...," Willow took the flyer from Anya's hands.
"...the circus never comes to Sunnydale. Why start now?" The redhead read over the sheet of paper, a little unbelieving.
"They're probably looking for fresh talent," Anya snorted, giving Willow a meaningful look.
"Well, Anya," Buffy glanced over her best friend's shoulder, reading as well, "I guess this means you'll be getting a job after all. Ooh, flying monkeys, you should fit right in."
Both Willow and Anya looked bewilderedly at each other.
"No, mine is a different 'hey'," the redhead said, finally realizing what Anya had been implying before Buffy's comment.
"It actually sounds kind of fun," Tara slanted her head to see the pictures.
"I, for one, would definitely like to know how she does that," Xander pointed toward a photo of a contortionist and grinned childishly.
"Oh, it really isn't as hard as it looks." Tara blushed as all eyes turned to her. "I-I was a gymnast in high school," she shrugged. Willow suddenly looked very interested, as did the others.
"So you can do that, huh?" Xander seemed entirely too interested, causing a few eyes to roll, in the crowd of women.
"Tara's right, I'm sure it's not that hard. In fact, I can show you if you'd like." Xander nodded enthusiastically, his eyes lighting up at Anya's offer. "Although," she went on, "it might be a bit uncomfortable for you at first." Anya grinned when Xander's smile vanished from his face and he shifted from foot to foot.
"As much as we would all love to see you bend Xander into a pretzel, Anya, I'm kind of curious to know how she does it too," Faith's comment earned a squinted glare from her girlfriend. "In a totally non-Xander way, of course," she backpedaled.
"Sure, sure, pick on the only guy here," Xander held his hands up in mock defense, "but I wasn't the only one drooling. Right Will?"
The redhead's eyes had been glued to the photo and she managed to look surprised when she heard Xander's statement.
With wide eyes, her gaze darted around the group before focusing on a spot beyond Faith. "Ohh, look... a customer," Tara crossed her arms, "and he's coming in here...," the blonde raised an eyebrow, "...or not." Willow's voice faded out. Realizing that she was caught, she did the only thing that came to mind.
"Xander, you troll," she swatted him on the shoulder and forced an innocent smile when she faced her partner. "I was just admiring the fine printing," she smoothed her hand over the edges, "...is this Kinkos?" She looked around the room, but nobody was providing her a way out.
Tara flashed her 'sure you were' expression and gently retrieved the flyer from her girlfriend's hands. "It says here that after tonight's opening, they have a show every night this week," she finished reading and placed the sheet on the counter, where eager hands snatched it up.
"Tomorrow night?" Buffy asked.
"I'm in," Faith nodded as a chorus of agreement went around the circle of friends.
"This is going to be so great," Anya clapped, "I'm going to eat cotton candy and ride the Ferris wheel until I puke."
"They don't have a Ferris wheel at the circus. That's the fair," Willow cut in, matter-of-factly.
"It's the circus."
"Fa-. Tara?" A small whine escaped from Willow's mouth.
The blonde looked to the non-arguing members, who looked back amused. "Uh... ohh, look... customers," she pointed behind the group. Lucky for her, the group actually did enter the restaurant instead of walking away.
Breathing a sign of relief, the gang disbursed to various parts of the building, all of them knowing the argument was far from over.
Loud barking, which some might classify as laughter, boomed throughout the restaurant. Willow's eye squinted as she regarded the assembled group of guys at the corner booth.
"They've been at it for almost an hour," Tara whispered to her partner as she dropped her tips into the jar on the counter.
The group had arrived a short time ago and had ordered a large sub-sandwich, half of which remained untouched. But it wasn't that, which irked the redhead, it was only that the content of their conversation had driven many of the other customers away.
From the front counter, Faith cast an annoyed look toward the gang. Willow had asked them to quiet down, but the silence had only lasted long enough for one of the boys to utter another joke.
"Uh, excuse me," a little impatiently, one of the boys gestured to Tara while the others stifled their laughter.
"I can go," Willow told her girlfriend, but the blonde shook her head and went to assist the table.
The redhead kept a watchful eye on her partner as the bell chimed signaling a new arrival. The young man was ruggedly handsome, his eyes looking down at something before landing on the front register.
"Hi, how may I help you?" Willow returned the smile that the man gave her.
"Actually, I was looking for someone. Maybe you could help me," he stuffed what looked to be a letter, back into his jeans.
"Willow, I need-." Tara stopped in her tracks, forgetting what she was about to say as she saw the newcomer.