Buffy's always had totally gross taste in guys. If Dawn had been asked to name all of Buffy's faults, that would have been at the top of a very long list.

First, there was Pike, and he was a total freak. Even Buffy could have done better than him. Just looking at him had made her skin crawl. Never mind she'd had nightmares about monsters for weeks after that more than slightly resembled him.

Then came Tyler, who she guessed was in the picture before and after Pike. He wasn't much better and she knew he didn't like her. Plus, he was the reason her parents were always fighting, because he kept Buffy out until one in the morning.

Ford was okay, she guesses, when she looks back, but he was always giving her looks that made her nervous. Plus, that one time when they were alone, she could have sworn she heard him arguing with himself about Buffy under his breath. She avoided him after that.

Angel was like all the weird things the other guys had plus more. He was way old, like 25, and Buffy was always crying over him. He only came over late at night and half the time when Buffy came home after seeing him, she looked like she was gonna die. Dawn was pretty sure he was on drugs because he was always acting like they did on those movies they showed in health class.

Scott was okay too, Dawn guesses. He was kinda geeky, but he was nice. He only came around a couple of times, and was always at Buffy's side, helping with stuff. He was nice, though. He didn't talk to Dawn like she was a nobody or stop talking when she entered the room. But he was always acting like Buffy was more of a pain than anything, and more than once she overheard her sister talking to a friend over the phone, saying that she wasn't sure she could date a 'normal' guy, whatever that meant.

She never met Parker, but she'd heard enough whispered comments to know he was totally mean. By then she knew about vampires, she thought Buffy should just knock him out and leave him for the vampires to find.

And now, Riley. He's nice and he's completely cool. He calls her 'kid', but still. He's as nice to her as Xander, and doesn't live in his parent's basement. Plus, he spends time with her. He was the one who took her places when her mom got sick, and didn't make her feel like he was doing it because he had to.

He asks her how she's doing, and offers to stay over when Buffy goes patrolling and Joyce is in the hospital. He sings show-tunes off-key to cheer her up when she's been crying, always knows what to say when she's worried about anything and takes her out for junk food when she's got a craving.

He cares about her for her, and that's more than she can say for most people; usually, it's Buffy this and Slayer that.

And it's because of this that Dawn kinda like likes him. And that's totally weird.

Which leads to the question: When did Buffy's tastes improve?