Title: Date

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Say it with me: Joss owns all.

Timeline/Spoilers: Season three

Summary: Buffy and Angel attempt to spend a quiet evening at Buffy's house, but they weren't counting on a certain Dawn Summers…

Author's Notes: Requested by Gigi13, here it is: Buffy and Angel's frequently interrupted date.

Dedication: To Erica, who challenged me to use our former English teacher's name in my story. And also to Mrs. Murningham, the best teacher anyone could ask for! (Not to mention the funniest!) Happy Retirement!

Date

            Buffy Summers stood in front of the mirror, putting the final touches on her ponytail. She hoped it looked nice, but casual. She didn't want to look desperate. This is Angel! She told herself. Since when do you worry about looking desperate to him?

            Maybe it was the fact that she was staying at home. She had kept her family and her boyfriend separate as much as possible; Dawn and Mom belonged at home, and Angel belonged wherever it was that vampires belonged.

            Even though Mom had promised to keep Dawn out of the way, Buffy had her doubts. There weren't many ways to keep Dawn under control.

            Buffy glanced out the window at the darkness falling. Angel should be there any minute. She made one last check of her hair and headed downstairs.

            Dawn came running up nearly the minute Buffy came downstairs. "Guess what guess what guess what?!"

            "What?" Buffy asked, almost afraid to ask.

            "Y'know Mrs. Murningham across the street?"

            "Yeah."

            Dawn hopped with excitement. "She fell down and Mom is taking her to the emergency room."

            Hmm, apparently darkness isn't the only thing falling outside.

            "Why does that make you so happy?" Buffy asked. "I thought you liked Mrs. Murningham."

            Dawn nodded her head up and down. "I do like her, but know I get to stay home with you!"

            Buffy didn't waste any time. "MOM!!!"

            Mrs. Summers came dashing out of the kitchen where she had been calling the ambulance. "Sorry, hon, but Mrs. Murningham really needs to get to the hospital. I laid down the rules. Dawnie?"

            Dawn sighed. "There are TV dinners in the freezer. I'm not allowed in the living room. I have to go to bed at nine. I can't disturb Buffy's date."

            "Good girl," Mrs. Summers said to Dawn, kissing her on the top of her head. "I'm not sure when I'll be back. It depends on if anything's broken, I suppose."

            She opened the front door and nearly ran into Angel. "Oh, hello, Angel," she greeted him on her way out.

            "Hey," Buffy said to Angel, kissing him. Dawn made a gagging sound.

            "Dawn," Buffy said. "What were the rules you just recited to Mom?"

            Dawn sighed. "Bye," she mumbled, spinning on her heel and retreating back to the kitchen.

            Buffy sighed. "Sorry," she apologized, stretching up to kiss Angel again. She was interrupted from the kitchen: "Buffy, where should I cook the TV dinner, in the microwave or the—?"

            "Cook it in the microwave," Buffy yelled exasperatedly. She gave Angel a look that clearly said, 'See what I have to go through?'

            "I had a sister once," he told her. "I know what it's like. Except we never argued over microwaves."

            "We weren't arguing," Buffy defended herself, taking his hand and leading him into the other room. "I was instructing forcefully."

            "I don't care what you call it," he teased her. "It's the same thing."

            "Whatever," she laughed, giving him a playful smack on the arm.

            She started the movie and snuggled next to him on the couch, ignoring the sounds of the microwave beeping in the kitchen. For a while there was peaceful silence, then…

            "Buffy?" Dawn's head poked into the living room. "The dishwasher's full."

            Buffy groaned and twisted to face her sister. "And?"

            Angel paused the movie and turned to watch Buffy and Dawn.

            "I don't know how to work the dishwasher," Dawn said.

            Buffy sighed again. "Just leave it, Dawn. I'll take care of it."

            "No!" Dawn was nearly shouting. "We have to do it now, or the ants will come again."

            "The ants won't attack, Dawnie. They'll run and tell all their little ant buddies there's a dishwasher full of food at the Summers' house. By the time they get here, the dishwasher will be on, I promise you."

            Dawn frowned some more. "The kitchen will smell icky."

            Buffy sighed, got off the couch, stomped to the kitchen, and filled the dishwasher with detergent. She pressed the "Normal Wash" button and stomped back into the living room.

            Angel turned the movie back on.

            Dawn retreated to the kitchen to get some ice cream.

            There was silence once again.

            Then it hit her.

            Buffy sat straight up on the couch. "What's the matter?" Angel asked.

            "DAWN!!!" Buffy shouted, ignoring him and getting off the couch. "Dawn, did you put the TV dinner tray in the dishwasher?"

            "You mean you're not supposed to?"

            Buffy dashed into the kitchen with Angel right behind her. Dawn was poking at the bowl of ice cream that she had fixed herself for dessert. Buffy pulled open the dishwasher. Dawn watched curiously.

            After sifting through dirty dishes for a few minutes, Buffy pulled the plastic tray from the dishwasher and dropped it in the trash barrel.

            "Put in some more detergent and start it up again," Buffy instructed. "Just press 'normal wash'."

            "Okay," Dawn sulked, stirring her ice cream slowly. "Sorry."

            Buffy and Angel went back to the living room, where they sat and watched the movie for almost half and hour before they heard from the kitchen, "Uh-oh."

            "Uh-oh what?" Buffy asked nervously.

            "I think I put in the wrong soap," Dawn replied, a little panicked.

            Buffy ran to the kitchen to find the dishwasher oozing bubbles. "What did you do, Dawnie?" she screamed.

            "I think I put in the wrong soap," Dawn repeated.

            Yanking open the dishwasher for the second time that night, Buffy stared at the wall of bubbles.

            "Dawn," she said, "get a mug from the cabinet and scoop the bubbles into the sink."

            "I don't want to," Dawn pouted.

            "Well, tough luck," Buffy sniped. "You're going to. Now."

            Dawn pouted some more, but got the mug anyway.

            "Good girl," Buffy said unenthusiastically, returning to the movie.

            She and Angel were almost finished with the movie when Buffy heard Dawn moan in the kitchen, "Buffy…I don't feel good."

            "Excuse me," Buffy said to Angel, getting off the couch again. She walked toward the kitchen. "What is it now, Dawn?"

            Dawn was holding her stomach. The kitchen was clean, but Dawn didn't look half as great as the sparkling floors and counter tops. She almost looked…green.

            "Dawnie, do you feel like you're gonna throw up?" Buffy asked.

            "Mm-hmm."

            "When do you—"

            Dawn jumped up, clapped a hand over her mouth and ran for the bathroom. Buffy tried to shut out the noise.

            Angel walked up next to her. "She's sick?"

            Buffy nodded, close to tears. This was supposed to be the perfect date: quiet, peaceful, romantic. Instead she'd spent it cleaning up after her eleven-year-old sister.

            Dawn came out of the bathroom, crying. "I feel icky," she wailed. "My tummy hurts and I want my mommy."

            "Mom isn't here right now," Buffy said, trying to be patient.

            "I—want—mommy!" Dawn howled.

            "Dawn, why don't you go upstairs," Buffy said, trying to sound soothing while she really felt like strangling her little sister. "I'll bring the throw-up bowl."

            "I hate the throw-up bowl!" Dawn complained.

            "You can throw up in that or I can bring you a plastic bag, your choice."

            Dawn mumbled, "Throw-up bowl," and disappeared up the stairs.

            Buffy turned to Angel. "I'm wicked sorry. You can go home, if you want."

            To her surprise, he shook his head. "Nah, I'll stay. You look like you could use a little company. And moral support."

            Buffy smiled a little. "I'll be right back."

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Well, there it is! I hope you enjoyed it!

*mistymidnight*