S J Smith

Disclaimer: So very much the wrong sex to be Joss Whedon.

Rating: PG

A.N.: Thanks to Nus for pulling through on a last second beta. I owe you, little brother!

Faith stood in the doorway of the room, hip cocked, one arm bent over her head and resting on the door jamb. Her lips were the color of black cherries and sparkled as if the juice from the fruit coated them. "Well?" she asked. "You comin'?"

Only Faith could make a question like that sound dirty and delightful at the same time. Robin wagged his notebook at her. "I have a few more lines to write."

"Aw." Faith slumped lightly against the frame. "Can't it wait? We'll be late for the movie."

"Not the way you drive," Robin said, opening the book to the correct page. Giles wanted to make sure that his own impressions of the last battle of Sunnydale were saved for future Slayers. Everyone who had taken place in the battle had the same assignment. Some took to it better than others, obviously.

"Is that a slur on my driving skills?" She stalked into the room, a lioness, her dark hair a billowing mane around her shoulders.

"Not a slur," Robin said, watching her carefully from the corner of his eyes, "more of an observation, really." He met her eyes as she readied herself to pounce. She smiled, one shoulder hitching up, hands raising as if to prove she was no threat. Robin knew better than to believe that. "Besides, if we miss this one, there's another showing in fifteen minutes. Pirates of the Caribbean is the hot movie, right now."

"Johnny Depp is hot," Faith corrected him, sauntering around his room, a study in nonchalance. She shrugged, a roll of her shoulders that emphasized her breasts. "Orlando Bloom, too but I think he looks better blond."

"I'm not getting into that argument," Robin said. He remembered the so-called discussion Faith and Dawn had been involved in yesterday over the exact same subject matter. Willow was arguing the attributes of Kiera Knightly and Andrew hadn't been able to get a word in edgewise. Xander, on the other hand, popped corn and watched, a huge grin on his face.

"This is the stuff that the Scoobies are made of," he sighed when Robin asked him about it. "All we need is Oz and his monosyllables, Cordy with her cutting comments and Giles with his, 'yes wells' and it'd be like the old days in Sunnydale." He waved a fistful of popcorn. "Without the bloodshed."

"Bloodshed?" Robin had to ask, it was such an obvious opening.

Xander had shrugged. "Cordy and Will didn't like each other, Will didn't like Faith, Faith just liked Buffy and Angel," his face twisted just a bit at the vampire's name, "up until the time she went bad, then she didn't like anyone. So yeah, without the bloodshed."

"So." Faith leaned her hands on either side of him, bringing his attention back to the present. "Are we gonna hit that movie or what?" She shimmied a little in place. "C'mon," she said flirtatiously, "pirates, a curse, Johnny Depp, it's got something for everyone." Her smile broadened. "If we hurry, we might be able to get the make-out seats."

"You're incorrigible," Robin said, closing the notebook.

"Damn straight." Faith hauled him to his feet. Her gaze traveled lazily over his form and one of her eyebrows arched. "What about you?" she asked, straightening the collar of his shirt. "You incorrigible, too?"

He took her hands in his. "I thought you wanted to see the movie."

"Yeah, well, like you said." She smiled. "It'll start again in fifteen minutes."

"As if that got started, it'd be over in fifteen minutes." Robin started to lean in for a kiss.

"Can you keep the smoochies to yourself, please? Some of us are wanting to go to the movie." Dawn stood in the doorway, arms folded and foot tapping.

"You're coming with us?" Robin looked from her to Faith, who ducked her head, twisting like a kite in the wind.

"I told her she could. I mean, she's got this thing for Johnny."

"Like, who doesn't?" Dawn asked, shrugging when Robin turned his attention to her again. "But if you two want some make-out time, I'm sure I can sit here by myself." She rolled her eyes dramatically. "It isn't as if Andrew wouldn't take me. And talk through the whole thing, so I'd be forced to kill him."

Faith's expression brightened. "When you put it that way, Dawnie," she said, her enthusiasm rising, "doesn't sound like such a bad thing."

"Hey, you wouldn't have to sit next to his corpse." Dawn wagged a finger at the other brunette. "And who knows what happens to dead geek boys." She paused, a worried scowl forming. "What if he isn't killable? I mean, what if geek boys are like, you know, vampires? They have to be killed a certain way?"

"I think you've had far too much time to think on this," Robin interrupted. "If you want to come with us, Dawn, you're welcome to. As long as Buffy knows where you are."

Dawn nodded, just managing not to roll her eyes again. Despite being away from the Hellmouth, Buffy was still, as far as the younger of the sisters was concerned, far too protective. "'Kay," she said, sounding almost as if she was going to do as Robin asked.

He'd seen too many teenagers agree and do exactly the opposite in his stint as a principal to take her word on it. "Better idea. You and Faith go on out to the car, I'll tell everyone we're going."

"Sure thing. We'll be waiting. C'mon, kiddo." So saying, she released Robin to drape a companionable arm around Dawn's shoulders. He could hear them thunder down the staircase and wondered if his heart was really up to taking the pair of them to the theater. Dawn would probably behave. He had no doubt that Faith would take it upon herself to shout fighting directions at the screen. He'd made the mistake of watching a slasher movie - her choice - with her last week. She'd thrown popcorn and heckled the characters all the way through it. Not that they didn't deserve the heckling but it was the principle of the thing. Horror movies were all about getting some special time with your girl. With Faith, that wasn't really part of the plan.

Despite her reputation as a good-time girl, Faith was a film-junkie, the worse the movie, the better. She announced to him that her favorite movie in the world was Tremors, followed closely by American Pie. She really preferred Tremors, though; if nothing else, she'd told him, she could watch Kevin Bacon's "fine ass" for hours. She screwed up her face at As You Like It, despite Keanu Reeves dressed in leather. "I can't understand what they're saying," she complained. Art house films left her equally bored. "I like fight scenes. Explosions. You know. Guy movies. These chick flicks don't do it for me."

It had been no surprise to Robin that, upon the first trailer showing up for The Pirates of the Caribbean, that Faith would be jonesing to see it. He just hoped he'd be able to last throughout the movie. With luck, Faith wouldn't get the three of them kicked out.

Walking down the stairs, Robin started a quick search for Buffy, finding her with Giles and Xander in the minuscule back yard. Xander was dressed in protective clothing and Buffy was using him basically as a human punching bag, with Giles calling her moves. She barely took her eyes off of Xander as she said, "Time for the movie?"

"Left punch," Giles said, "lower torso."

"Movie? There's a movie?" Xander asked then yelped as the punch came too close to something near and dear to him.

"Right left right combo," Giles said, "head and torso."

"Faith and Robin," Buffy said, working out a head-chest-stomach triple on Xander's body, "are going to see that pirate movie."

"Why wasn't I invited?" Xander whined.

"You're needed here," Giles said, not unkindly. "Leg sweep."

"And horning in on dates isn't nice," Buffy said, dropping to the ground, her leg cutting just over the grass and right in front of Xander's feet.

"By the way, Dawn is coming with us," Robin said.

Buffy fell onto her backside. "She what?"

"She wanted to come, Faith and I don't mind. Just thought you should know," Robin said then paused. "That is all right, isn't it?"

Buffy shook the hair that had escaped her ponytail from her face. "That little sneak. She told me that she wanted to see it with me, so we could do the drooly-girl sister thing." She pouted, her lower lip thrust out in emphasis. "I am so gonna yell at her."

"There is nothing so pure and evil as a child," Giles said, sounding as if he was quoting something that Robin couldn't quite place.

"Or, in this case, a kid sister," Xander said, offering Buffy a hand to help her back to her feet.

"Well, she and Faith are waiting for me in the car," Robin said. "If you want to go yell at her, be my guest but then Faith will get in on it and you know we'll miss the movie."

Buffy wrinkled her nose at the thought. "Yeah, there'll be hell to pay then." Sighing, she ran a hand over her hair. "All right. Dawn goes with you."

Robin tried to keep a grin of triumph off his face. "Thank you."

"Bring her back in one piece," Buffy said warningly.

"It's just a movie. What could happen?" Xander asked, spreading his hands. He blinked as Buffy and Giles turned to stare at him. "Um. Yeah. Robin, if Dawn has so much as a scrape, we're taking you apart with a spoon."

"Got it," Robin said, wondering how Dawn hadn't managed to kill all of them in their sleep. "We'll see you later. And we'll be good," he added as Buffy opened her mouth. "No overt P.D.A.'s."

Buffy's scowl deepened. "Pretend you're in high school and your principal is watching you," she said. "Hands where everyone can see them, bodies a foot apart."

Robin smirked. "Yes, Mom."

She pointed at him with the Finger of Death. Andrew had named it when he'd eaten the last of the Cherry Garcia ice cream before Buffy had a taste. It wasn't quite so funny when you knew that Buffy probably could kill with that one finger and not even sweat while she was doing it. And why was he thinking of Andrew right now when he had to take two lovely ladies, one of whom was currently sharing his life, to see a movie? Damn. Robin knew he was slipping.

"Just be good," Buffy said with an emphatic glare.

"We'll be very good," Robin said, backing away from Buffy, the way one might a wild animal.

"You know I'll hear about it if you're bad," she said pointedly.

"Don't I though. You have a good time, beating, uh." Robin smiled at Xander's horrified expression and ducked around the corner of the house, making his way quickly to the driveway and the car. Faith sat in the driver's seat of the Mustang convertible, tapping her fingers impatiently on the wheel, revving the engine when she noticed him. Taking the hint, Robin opened the passenger door and slid inside. "You're safe, Dawn," he said before the girl in the back seat could ask.

"Cool," she said, beaming at him.

"But we," Robin eyed Faith as she checked the rear view mirror and backed the car out of the drive in one perfect glide, "have to be good."

Halting the car in the road, Faith cocked an eyebrow. "Buffy good?" she asked, the corner of her mouth starting to curl up the way it did when trouble was in the offing.

"Oh, please," Dawn said, smacking the back of Faith's head.

"Hey, cut it out, kid, or I'll dump you here," Faith warned, "and you'll have to put up with Andrew."

"I'll be good. I'll be better than good," Dawn said fervently.

Faith and Robin exchanged grins. "Are we going to make that movie?" he asked.

"Just watch us," Faith said, throwing the stick into first gear and popping the Mustang's clutch. The tires squealed all the way to the end of the block.