"We need a theme song." The announcement was sudden, but considering it was from Anya, Buffy nor Faith were that much surprised as they cleaned the front part of the restaurant.
"You know, like in those movies where everyone's cleaning and the cheery, pop music starts to play in the background," Anya looked from woman to woman, but neither of her friend's spoke.
Buffy and Faith looked at each other, the brunette smirking more so than her girlfriend.
Noticing she wasn't getting any positive feedback on her suggestion, the 'unofficial' employee, with a giddy grin, started to hum.
Buffy frowned, "That's Rocky."
Pausing, Anya bit her lip and found a different tune to hum as she recounted the money from the cash register.
Faith chuckled, "That's The Simpsons."
Anya huffed before a sly smile formed on lips.
"That's... wait, what is that?" Buffy asked while the blonde mumbled the unfamiliar words.
Anya merely grinned, widely, and continued humming her made-up theme song. Closing the cash machine, the blonde tapped a single button to reopen it, and hummed with the almost musical click of register. She repeated the action several times, unaware of the stares she was getting.
A knock at the glass window of the restaurant distracted Faith's attention from her girlfriend, who was currently bending underneath the counter as she searched the back compartment. Unlocking the bolt and pulling the door open, the brunette waitress stepped back to let Xander enter.
The young man looked around, his eyes immediately searching, "Where's Anya? She said she'd be helping out today."
"Oh, found it." Buffy rose, resembling a deer in the headlights of an enormous monster-truck when she saw Xander. She fiddled with the roll of duct tape within her hands and looked over to her partner.
All sets of eyes focused on the kitchen door as it swung open. "Hey, you said there were extra granola bars back there. There were no granola bars," Anya stomped her foot, ignoring her boyfriend, "I've been sitting in that chair for over ten minutes. I want my granola bar."
Seeing that their plan was shot to hell, literally, considering the way Anya's cheeks colored red with annoyance, the couple's shoulders slouched.
"Here," Buffy moped, reaching into her pocket for the crunchy bait. The other blonde's eyes lit up as she rapidly began tearing the wrapper like a starving rat. Scraps of paper fell to the ground next to Faith who watched each plastic piece fall, littering the floor that she had just swept.
"Am I missing something?" Xander asked, confused as he observed the scene.
Faith shared another glance with Buffy before they both shook their heads "no." The young man shrugged as he settled into one of the counter stools. The two employees migrated toward the stools as well; Buffy setting the unused tape on the wooden counter.
"Mm wha- mmm," Anya began with her mouth full, "What was the tape for?"
Willow used her foot to prop open the main door to Tara's apartment building. The redhead waited as her girlfriend, fully stocked with bags, stumbled through the entranceway as if her possession's weight enabled her to walk straight.
"You know," Tara grunted, "when I asked you not to touch the bags, I didn't mean it literally."
The blonde continuously blew at a strand of hair near the corner of her lip where it stuck stubbornly. Willow smiled, "You told me not to peek. If I had helped with the bags, I would've peeked." The redhead grinned at her lazy logic while Tara rolled her eyes.
"I hope you know that you're losing major snuggle points," arching an eyebrow, the blonde challenged her girlfriend's reasoning.
Willow looked thoughtful before holding out her hands, "Give me," she pouted when Tara handed her two bags, "big meanie," she muttered with a smile.
"Are we name-calling?" Another arched eyebrow, and although it was clear that the blonde was teasing her partner, she added, "Hmm, mentally docking two points." A broad smile lit her face.
Willow chuckled inwardly. Yes, vengeance would be sweet. With her lips sealed, the young woman smirked at her lover and began strolling toward the familiar apartment.
"And no peeking," Tara called after her lover, noting the way the redhead strained her eyeballs, stretching them downward as if to peek through a small opening. The blonde shook her head, knowing that she would be paying for it later, and that made her teasing all the more enjoyable for her.
Lugging the remainder of her bags up the stairs, Tara smiled when saw Willow leaning against the door, tightly clutching the bags together.
They had decided to stop at a plaza outside of town to browse and maybe pick up little items, but it turned into a mini-shopping spree. The bags that the blonde held were items she had selected while her partner was in the restroom. And the bags that Willow held were full of knickknacks, nothing important or secretive; Tara just enjoyed watching her girlfriend squirm with curiosity.
Breaking out of her daydream, the blonde jogged up the rest of the steps.
"Ooh bouncy," Willow chuckled and received a playful swat on her arm.
"I've been thinking," Tara began as she unlocked the door. The redhead behind her rested a hand on Tara's hips and gently pushed forward as they entered the apartment. "How about we cancel movie night with the others and have a night out? I know we've had the whole weekend to ourselves, but I'm going to be selfish and ask for tonight too."
"You? Selfish?" Willow grinned, "Never!"
"Are you being funny?" Tara flashed a lopsided smile, "Or are you just trying to get your snuggle points back?"
"Um, both." The redhead innocently answered.
Tara hummed as she thought about it, "Half a point... you're not getting off that easy." Willow seemed satisfied with her gain and set her bags down beside the kitchen table.
"Are you up for it? We can stop at the restaurant to make sure Buffy and Faith haven't killed Anya yet, but I think Xander would've called us if that had happened, so we don't even have to stop there if you don't want to. We can leave after we shower and get changed. Oh, and there's this new place that I've been hearing about lately... okay, well I heard it on the radio once, but-. What?" The blonde asked when she caught Willow quietly laughing.
"I have always said that my babble was contagious," she dodged a dishcloth, continuing to laugh. Seeing that another cloth weapon was headed her way, Willow held up her hands, surrendering. "I'm sorry," she released a final giggle, "you're just so cute when you get excited about something."
Tara pouted while Willow stepped toward her, wrapping her arms around her waist and pulling the blonde into her body. "I'll call and cancel," she spoke into the crook of Tara's neck.
"Half a point," the blonde woman muttered against Willow's hair before kissing above her ear.
They pulled apart but stayed within a loose embrace. Willow smiled, "Don't you worry, I'll work my way back up... or down, if you prefer" she grinned, suggestively.
"Willow!" In mock reproach, Tara blushed deeply.
"What?" With as much innocence as she could muster, the redhead shrugged.
"Mm-hmm," Tara gave her girlfriend her 'you're not fooling anyone' look. "Let me go put these bags away, and maybe I'll consider giving you another point."
"Goodie," clapping her hands in a child-like manner, Willow practically bounced. Tara simply watched her girlfriend's reaction, smiling despite herself. The redhead thought about doing a little dance, but figured she'd save it for later. After another shake of her head and beaming smile, Tara headed toward her bedroom.
The remarkably large, single-leveled downtown building that the couple had entered was split into three sections, each having a specific mood. The portion that Willow and Tara had entered was what the redhead called "yoga-esque".
Music played in the background while people crowded the bar, laughing and chatting amongst each other.
"Well?" Tara asked, hoping she hadn't disappointed Willow with her choice of destination. Her girlfriend, curiously, looked around. "You don't like it?" The blonde tried to look less crestfallen.
"No, I do," Willow reached over to take her partner's hand, "honestly, honey I like it. I'm just so used to loud music and everything being in the same room, but I like it. It's different."
"We can look around if you want. I think the loud music's coming from the Blue Room," Tara pointed at a sign to her left, noting that it was where the faint, louder music was coming from.
Nodding, Willow continued looking around as Tara led her toward the other section of the club. The structure of the walls had to have been incredibly soundproof considering the heavy blast of music that vibrated the girls' ears once they stepped through the door.
"What?" Willow asked, having missed what Tara said. The blonde leaned into her and whispered into her ear.
"Should we dance, or find a seat?"
The redhead scanned the area, spotting more than a dozen empty seats. Most of the people within the room were either dancing or standing as they conversed.
"Let's get a drink first," Willow responded and clasped her hand within her girlfriend's as they moved toward the circular bar. "Two strawberry margaritas, please," she glanced toward Tara, making sure her selection was okay.
The bartender assumed that the girls were of age and made their drinks.
The icy liquid burned its way down their throats as they sipped and searched for a place to sit. Luckily the drinks weren't too strong, which allowed both girls to enjoy the fruity and slightly bitter taste.
Twenty-minutes later, when both drinks were half finished, Willow rose to her feet, "You want to dance?" She held out her hand, which Tara gratefully accepted.
Feeling as if her skin was melting from Willow's touch, Tara felt a drop of sweat bead on her forehead. When had it gotten so hot? The musical words were bizarre yet almost poetic as they swirled around the thickness of the heated room.
Willow glanced over her shoulder at to her partner several times while leading the way toward the polished, dance floor. Smiling, the redhead prepared to began the first phase of her payback.