"You should pay for that, you know."
Willow glanced up from the ancient looking book on her lap and sighed. "This is Scooby work. Scooby related research is free for any of us to do at any time, Giles said so."
Anya crinkled her nose, stomping over to the table the red head was seated before. Noticing the title on the book's spine, she crossed her arms and smirked. "No, that's not Scooby related. It's very, very, very not Scooby related, unless you want to make Xander fall in love with you, in which case I'll have to claw your eyes out with bits of bamboo and splintery things and pickle them in a jar and keep them for all of eternity."
"And besides, you've already got someone to love! Lesbian things with Tara must be fun or else you wouldn't be all into girls. So, go-" She took the book from Willow's lap,"shoo!"
"What's your deal? Anya, this is insane. Give me back the book or I'll make it rain bunnies."
Anya's left eye twitched, but she tried to cover it with a scoff. "I'd like to see you try."
The witch rose, heading behind the counter for ingredients, with Anya hot on her trail.
"It's not like I care, you know. What you're doing the spell for. I want your money." She cut Willow off before she could open a jar of ginger root. "My books aren't free. You have to pay."
Willow rolled her eyes.
"No, no! Don't roll your eyes at me. That's how America works, you're being very un-American right now!"
"So? America isn't exactly happy with me right now either!" Willow muscled her way past Anya's hand to the jar.
The blonde looked confused. "What do you mean?"
Willow started fumbling with her sleeves. "Tara and I are forever, but we can't get married like you and Xander can. America won't let us."
"I don't know." Willow looked to the floor, "We're two girls, and we're in love, but we're not allowed to be in love like you and Xander. On the outside. Not everyone can know."
"I don't know, Anya. I really, really, extra super really, really don't."
Anya stared for a minute. She wasn't telling her anything, and she was stealing her merchandise! "How is it different than Xander and I? I don't understand. It's all love, isn't it? It's all the same. The fluttery nausea and perpetual indigestion, rabid paranoia, the sex, the doing things together, the eventual stomping your heart into the ground, the snot and crying and more indigestion, the-"
"Yeah, it's all the same, but people don't see that because we're the same."
"...Are you on drugs? I've heard drugs do this to people. Makes humans incoherent. You should stop, Willow. Stop the drugs."
Willow opened and closed her mouth like a gasping fish. How was this woman human at some point?
"We're both girls. That's the difference. Our parts don't go together, so people think it's wrong."
She fought hard not to facepalm. "You know, what makes us girls... body-wise... and stuff..."
"Oh, you mean your vaginas?"
The redhead nodded, albeit not entirely without a degree of patronization.
Anya thought for a second, brow furrowed. "But they're just parts. They don't mean anything."
"I know that, but they don't."
"But its simple logic."
"Just shut up, Anya! Okay? I don't know how to explain this any further, so just leave it."
Anya crossed her arms and wandered back to the table, moodily plopping down in one of its wooden chairs. Willow was mouthing a list of ingredients and taking them out of various jars. Not long after Anya sat, Willow returned with an arm full of ingredients, along with a small marble bowl and a few candles.
A few minutes passed in silence as Anya stared at the table and Willow organized the items she'd just brought over. Just when Willow was about to start the spell, Anya inaudibly mumbled something. Willow saw her mouth move from the corner of her eye.
Anya looked up. "Take it."
Willow was confused, one arm raised with a vial of purple dust in her hand. "Take what?"
"Are you stupid? The book! Take it!"
Anya resumed her pouting while Willow started to gather the items before her, feeling badly about starting to bring Anya one of her greatest fears to her feet.
"I'll put it away. Just take the book and go."
Not wanting to annoy Anya any further, Willow grabbed her bag. She hesitated before taking the book, but ultimately decided to. Tara was so angry the night before, and Willow couldn't bear to lose her. One more fight could destroy everything.
Then a thought occurred to her. She had nowhere to hide the book. The trunk in the basement was full. Unless she took something else and disposed of it, she couldn't fit it in, and throwing anything away was as much an option as pulling a rabbit from her ass on the spot. Much as she hated to, she had to leave the book.
She glanced at the page number, and memorized it rapidly. "No, Anya, keep it. I have some stuff to do."
The familiar jingle of the door's bell rang through the room as Willow left.
Anya grumbled, arms folded "Stupid rich America."