Title: Souffle
Author: Dreamiflame
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy still own all the characters.
Pairing: Andrew/Dawn
Notes: Again, written for my friend. Also written because a few people asked and the bunnies were cooperative. Not exactly a sequel to 'Friends" but can be read as one.

Andrew peeked into the oven, then very, very gently, shut the door. He tiptoed over to the counter and carefully arranged himself on a chair, doing his best not to fidget and not to move too much.

The back door slammed and the Potentials tromped in. Andrew dropped his head into his hands and considered crying.

Silence, after the noise of chattering, clomping girls moved upstairs, but Andrew didn't lift his head. He heard light footsteps come in, then the oven door opened and closed. A warm hand rubbed his back. "Sorry about your souffle," Dawn said, and rested her head on his shoulder.

"None of them care that I'm trying to help them eat well." Andrew draped himself onto the counter, feeling Dawn move with him. He rested his chin in his hands and sighed. "If it's cookies, they eat them all before I get even one. The souffle, they stomp around, even though I asked them nicely not to." He blew out a frustrated breath and shifted his back. Dawn moved off of him and handed over the pot-holders. "Thanks." Steeling himself, Andrew opened the oven and drew out the ruin of his souffle.

He could feel tears pricking at his eyelids. "Well," Dawn said, coming over with the trash can and a big spoon, "you were saying how you weren't sure it was going to work since you had to substitute all that stuff, right? So next time, we'll go shopping first, make sure you have everything, then lock all the doors and make sure the girls are off somewhere." Patiently, she dug out the mixture and threw it away.

"The pan is burned my hands," Andrew realized out loud, and dropped it. Dawn jumped back before anything could touch her, but Andrew still clapped his hands over his mouth. "Oops. I'm so sorry, Dawn."

Dawn waved a hand and tugged the pot holders away from him. "Not to worry. I can move fast." She picked the pot up and set it in the sink, then went back to digging the souffle out of it. Andrew regretfully untied his apron and hung it up.

"Thanks for finding me that apron," he remembered to say. Dawn nodded, smiling brightly.

"Not a problem. Buffy never liked it cause it had ruffles." She turned the hot water on and stuck the pan under it, adding soap. "I think you should let that soak for a bit before you try washing it." Andrew nodded miserably. "Hey, no sad faces. Wanna help me with my math?"

Andrew brightened immediately and nodded. "What are you having troubles with?" Dawn laughed and led him up to her room, telling him all about her math woes along the way.

It worked neatly to distract him from the ruined souffle.