Amanda sat across from Dawn at a table in the school library. (Which was, Amanda has to admit, and as had been repeatedly pointed out by Mr. Giles, surprisingly free of actual books.) Ostensibly Amanda was working on history homework (while Dawn worked on her math), but she was more interested in watching her new--well, friend, Amanda hoped, but--how does one describe one's relationship to the younger sister of one's high school counselor who is actually the one with the strength and skill to kill the vampires and is linked in some kind of strange mystical sisterhood with onseself and makes one train after school in all sorts of strange ways? As far as Amanda knew, there was no word for that--and she read the whole Webster's Collegiate when she was twelve, so she would know--so she really hoped she and Dawn were friends now, because that was a whole lot easier to say. And think.

Dawn glanced over at a nearby table whose occupants were a bunch of teenaged boys who had been staring rather intently at Dawn and her, snickering--and who immediately cast down their gazes at their books the moment eye contact with Dawn became immanent. Dawn was good at that sort of thing, threatening eye contact and everything. Amanda wasn't really big on the eye contact thing.

Dawn snorted. "There's a rumor going around school that we're girlfriends. Like the lesbian type."

Amanda smiled nervously. "I know. I mean, we didn't even really know each other, and now all of a sudden I'm spending all my spare time over your house now. I think my parents even think we're dating." She looked away--again, the eye contact thing, not her strength. "And you know, I'm in swing choir. There were a considerable number of people who held doubts as to my heterosexuality even before I began spending all my time with you and your sister."

Amanda didn't mention the fact she herself numbered among the unconvinced.

Kit walked over and sat down with them. "Not interrupting anything, I hope?"

"Amanda and I were just declaring our undying love for each other," Dawn answered dryly. Amanda could feel her cheeks burn as the blood raced to her face.

Kit smiled sympathetically. "Yeah, I heard those rumors. You can't pout too much store in them, though. Who cares what people think, right?"

"Motto of my life," Amanda agreed, not quite cheered up. "Especially now that 'oh my God the world is going to end' takes up so much of my worrying anymore. Also 'my guidance counselor likes to lock me and other girls my age in mausoleums--mausolea?--with the bloodsucking undead.'"

"You can say mausolea," Dawn confirmed. "It's Latin. Second declension neuter. From the Greek."

Kit stared at Dawn unbelieving, for a moment, then shook her head. "And I'm flunking Spanish."

"I thought Carlos was supposed to be helping you with that?" Dawn asked. Kit blushed and looked away.

As if summoned by the invocation of his name, Carlos appeared and sat down next to Amanda, across from Kit. "So what's up."

Dawn looked to Kit meaningfully. "Dawn and Amanda were complaining about those rumors that were going around."

"Oh, yeah," Carlos said. "You two aren't lesbians, right? Cause if you are--"

Dawn pulled out a Summers death stare--Amanda had seen Buffy do it too. They both really were quite good at the eye contact thing. "Think before you finish that sentence," she suggested. "And remember that two-thirds of the women at this table have been trained to fight creatures stronger and faster than yourself. Smarter, too, I think sometimes."

Carlos smiled his most charming smile--not very. When neither Dawn nor Amanda smiled back, he gulped.

The boys at the nearby table were already back to staring. Dawn sighed. "Well, if they're going to be making up stories about us, we might as well have the fun of them being true." And then, before Amanda has time to process what she said--for some reason her ability to process ad suddenly been render uncharacteristically slow--Dawn got up, walked around, and kissed Amanda.

It was a quick kiss--they were at school, and no one wanted to be slammed with detention for a PDA--but it was a real one, open mouth and everything. One of the boys at the other table fell out of his chair. Carlos just sat with a vacant expression on his face.

Kit sighed and, paralleling Dawn's movements in a lovely example of radial symmetry, kissed Carlos. When she finished, the vacant look was very much gone as he smiled widely. "This is the best day ever."

Kit looked from Carlos to Dawn and Amanda. "So, how do you guys feel about cutting class?"