After a quick stop at the restroom, the couple hurried to catch up with the rest of the gang. Tara snuck another furtive glance toward her partner as a tiny grin crossed her face. She was buzzed from the Ferris wheel and although she hadn't been able to return the attention yet, it was still fresh on her mind.
"Happy thoughts?" The redhead asked when she noticed the smile playing across Tara's features.
"Mm-hmm," Tara grinned as they entered the tent that housed the circus' furry performers. It was a small tent, meant to allow some of the guests to view and perhaps pet the animals before they went out.
"Aw, they're all caged," Willow frowned, "why are they caged?" Only the smallest animals were present as she watched several people in brown outfits tend to the creatures' needs.
"Oh, that's to stop them from running around biting people," Anya said as a matter-of-fact. "Ooh, the monkeys." She clapped, stepping closer to the small, metal cage.
"Do you think they get treated badly?" Willow's frown deepened.
"No, I don't think so," Tara tried to reassure her partner, "I think they have people who make sure they're taken care of." Her words satisfied the twinge of pity in the redhead's belly. A curious monkey had climbed the railing, looking intently at the group. Its eyes flickered from each face as small, dark hands gripped the bars.
"Does anyone else have the sudden urge to free them?" Willow pouted, only half serious.
"Yes, and then we can all stand around until they eat us," Anya scoffed, completely serious.
"Uh, Willow, you're not planning on doing anything...oh say, crazy, are you? 'Cause being eaten is bad. Very, very bad," Xander rambled, inching behind Faith and Buffy.
"No," Willow rolled her eyes, although not denying that the thought crossed her mind.
"You know, I hear that monkeys are very affectionate beings," Anya began, "that means they like to warm up to you before they bite your head off." She received a groan or two from the group as she watched her boyfriend pale.
"Anya, that's really not helping," Buffy backed up, not wanting the young man to lose his dinner on her shoes. "And beside, I seriously doubt that little thing," she pointed to the animal behind Anya's shoulder, "could possibly chew through your head."
"Yeah," Willow threw in almost childishly.
"Says the person who thinks her arms are listed as horse delicacies," Anya's lips drew up into a smirk. She saw the contemplative look on Tara's face and jumped to her own conclusion.
"Oh, you didn't know that Willow has horse-phobia?" Anya asked, cheeky. "My guess is that with the red hair, they'll think she's one big carrot plus or minus an arm." She snorted, laughing solely at her own joke.
Willow ignored the comment also noticing that Tara wasn't paying much attention to Anya's words. The blonde's mind wandered and as she began concentrating on the slowly drying wetness between her thighs, her thoughts rewound to Willow's touch. A silly grin crossed Tara's lips as she shifted, unconsciously shivering when her jeans brushed against her sensitive center.
"Hey," Willow nudged her girlfriend with her hip, "Wanna make a run for it?" She smiled, motioning toward the exit that she'd seen Tara eyeing several times.
Drifting out of her lovely daydream, Tara noticed that she and Willow were being left behind as the rest of the gang walked around. "What about the show?" Curious blue eyes twinkled as she regarded her partner.
"Well, if you really want-." Willow's response was cut short when Tara practically dragged her through the exit doors.
They had walked around the fairgrounds for twenty minutes and other than the casual kisses they'd managed to sneak in, the couple found themselves unable to find any privacy. They could've gotten on one of the rides, but Tara had insisted on wanting more than ten minutes to get her 'revenge'. So instead they opted to check out some of the other attractions.
"Ooh, let's go see the fortune teller," Tara excitedly pointed at the dark tent.
"Don't tell me that you actually believe in that stuff," Willow responded, incredulously, but smiled at girlfriends' behavior.
"You don't?" Tara frowned then grinned mischievously, a thought popping into her mind. "Let me see your hand."
"Why?" Her red-haired partner asked curiously and decided to keep her hands to herself. "You're not going to try anything funny, are you?" Willow joked and nervously regarded the blonde's waiting hand.
"C'mon, let me see it," Tara giggled as a timid hand stretched out palm upward. Running a single finger down the patterns as she observed the creases and lines on Willow's hand, Tara hummed.
"Hmm what?" Willow asked, stopping herself from quivering under the blonde's tickling caress.
"Nothing," Tara shook her head, raising a teasing eyebrow to accompany her half-smile. She cast another brief look at her partner's swirling lines and tugged on the redhead's hand. "C'mon." Willow followed as the blonde led her beyond the dark velvet curtain covering the entrance.
The inside of the tent resembled a typical 'gypsy shop' that the girls usually saw portrayed on television. Incense burned and various items lay across the table and spread throughout the small space.
A woman sat behind a short, wooden table hidden by a dark purple cloth. Her dark hair shined under the dim light created by numerous lit candles. As Willow and Tara stepped further into the tent, the woman looked up from her book, smiling with a hint of interest. She wasn't heavily made up like most fortune tellers and wore a pair of small earrings and a barely visible necklace around her neck.
"Please... sit." Obsidian eyes flickered from Willow and settled on Tara.
"H-How much?" Tara sat, feeling a little uncomfortable under the stranger's gaze. The woman tapped the jar beside her.
Tara placed two crumbled bills into the jar and waited as the woman removed a deck of cards from within her robe sleeve. The blonde glanced up at Willow, watching her girlfriend skeptically roll her eyes. The same eyes quickly looked downward when she found her gaze met by the fortune teller.
Silently, the woman lay five cards onto the table facing down in the form of a T. Two of the cards overlapped in the middle while the others rested on the sides and the bottom. Tara nervously tapped her foot against the ground, waiting for the woman to finish. Honestly, she'd thought that she would at least get to ask a question, but the teller remained quiet, concentrating on her work.
Willow, who had been leaning against Tara's chair, stepped forward as the woman began turning the cards.
Along with pictures, words appeared at the bottom of each card. 'Gaia' was printed on the first flipped card and 'Gibbous Moon' followed, laying on top. From the sides, the words 'Sleeper' and 'Visitor' appeared, and finally, 'Door' was revealed on the last card.
Willow frowned, staring over the collection of cards and looked from Tara to the fortune teller. She nodded to herself, waiting for the silence to end and noticed the slight tremble in Tara's hands. The fortune teller's face remained unreadable and neither girl was able to tell if she was simply concentrating or waiting. Tara briefly looked to her partner before turning back to the dark eyes.
"What does it m-mean?"