Author: Ghost of Eternity
Tara awoke one morning to hear Willow, Xander, Buffy, Anya and Dawn getting ready to leave the cave. She could see the sun beginning to turn the sky a light pink, so she figured it was pretty close to dawn. They all spoke in hushed whispers; still thinking Tara was asleep.
Tara waited until she was sure that they were gone. She stood up and got dressed quickly. Xander had managed to procure some clothes for her so her other dress could be washed. She tied the back of her dress and hurried outside.
They were walking rather quickly, but Tara managed to keep them in seeing distance as she followed them: Xander and Willow in their tunic and breeches, and Anya, Dawn and Buffy in their dresses, pale colors that stood out in the brightening morning.
They finally reached a clearing and Tara ducked behind a tree. What are they all standing around for?
They all stood in a circle, looking towards the mountaintops where the sun was just beginning to rise. As the sun came up, the golden rays of morning hit the clearing dead on, lighting up in gold. And it was then Tara saw the changes in her new friends:
Xander had leant over, and Tara saw that he was becoming shorter. His hair spread from his head down his neck and onto his back, where it became... quills?! Xander was turning into a porcupine!
Anya had crouched down and Tara watched in shock as her brown hair turned black and became long with a white stripe. It covered her body as she shrunk and a tail grew from it as well. Anya had become a skunk.
Buffy was kneeling on her hands and knees as her face grew elongated and a snout with a black nose appeared. A glorious coat of orange-red hair had grown on her body, as she became a fox with a bushy tail to match.
Dawn became small as brown hair covered her. Small ears and a bushy tail completed her transformation into a squirrel. Tara stood there, not entirely sure what she was seeing when she finally caught sight of Willow's transformation.
The sun shone on Willow's red hair, making it scarlet as her legs and arms became long, and her hands and feet became hooves. Her body became white as her hair became a mane and tail. Her face elongated and Tara thought she was turning into a horse until she saw a pearly horn appear from her forehead! She reared up and whinnied loudly, coming back down as the magic was completed.
Tara gasped. Willow was the unicorn! The one she had followed into the woods!
She tried to back away only to trip over a rock and cry out. Willow the unicorn turned and Tara could swear she was looking surprised. The other animals turned as well, and Dawn the squirrel scampered to hide behind Buffy the fox. Xander the porcupine and Anya the skunk looked at each other, then back at Tara.
Tara stood up and gazed at her friends, "O-O-Oh m-my G-Goddess! Y-You... W-Why d-d-didn't y-y-ou... W-wait, y-you c-c-can't u-understand m-m-"
<Yes we can.> She heard Willow's voice and whirled around, wondering where her voice was coming from.
<I'm talking to you through your mind. It's called thought-speech.>
Willow walked forward until she and Tara were face to face, <We didn't tell you because we were afraid that you would go back to your village and tell everyone about us.>
"I believe that I can explain that."
<Giles!> Came a chorus of thoughts in Tara's mind. Tara turned and came face to face with a man who had graying hair and chiseled features wearing a tunic of gold fabric and silver-colored breeches. He also wore a cape of copper fabric and bronze colored boots. Tara noticed that he wore spectacles. She was a little afraid, for he looked like a powerful man. Then she saw he had kind eyes, and calmed down.
<Giles!> Came Dawn's voice and she scampered over to him. He picked her up and gently stroked her, "Hello Dawn."
Buffy came over and nudged him with her nose. Dawn scampered up to his shoulder and sat there as he kneeled down and scratched her sister between the ears. Anya ambled over and Tara could smell the stink slightly. Giles chuckled and placed his hand on her, "~Perfumio~" and the stink disappeared.
Xander waddled over, <Hey Giles, how ya doing?> He rolled over on his back and Giles rubbed his stomach, which had no quills, only soft fuzz.
Willow remained next to Tara as Giles stood up and walked over to them both. He held out his hand, "Hello Tara."
Tara still was apprehensive as she took Giles' hand. He brushed his lips over her knuckles, the let go of it and touched Willow on the nose.
"Willow, why don't you and the others go? I'll take Tara back to the cave and explain the whole story."
Willow nodded, and Dawn hopped off Giles' shoulder and onto Buffy's back. Xander started off, and Giles picked up Anya and put her on Willow's back. If the unicorn could do so, Tara thought Willow wrinkled her nose as she said, <Why're you putting her on my back?>
"Don't worry Willow, I made sure that the stink is gone."
Willow sighed, <Oh all right, but you better not scratch me with those claws Anya, or I'll throw you so far that by the time you come down your hair'll be white!>
Giles shook his head and chuckled again as the animals wandered off, "After all this time, you'd think they'd get along better."
Tara gave a small grin. Willow and Anya never really get along.
Giles held out his arm, "Shall we then?"
The blonde took it, and the two of them headed back to the cave.