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This story is No. 4 in the series "The Chronicles of the Wanderer". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Buffy's mom sets her up with the new salesman at the local Antiques shop. Buffy doesn't want to have anything to do with the dweeb.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: OtherWandererverseFR18219,119155,76610 Nov 0810 Nov 08Yes

Chapter One

Poster's Note: And we're back with more. As always, if you want to read more and don't want to wait for my lazy butt to post them here, go to and you will find all completed stories for this universe and the latest news on what we're doing next.

Author: Steve711 - Steve Pantovich

Title: The Chronicles of Wanderer - Training Blues Series - First Date Blues

Copyrighted: March 2000

Category: Crossover

Rating: PG-13 Some Foul Language

Spoilers: A few

Keywords: Highlander/Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Summary: This series deals with the training that the Scooby gang gets from Steve and his friends. This particular story deals with Steve's and Buffy's first date.

Highlander: All rights and properties owned by Rysher Entertainment.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: All rights and properties owned by Joss Whedon, Warner Bros. and Mutant Enemy, etc.

Any character whose names and descriptions are used are the property of their original owners, and no copy right infringement is intended or meant.

No money can be made from this story. It can be distributed freely so long as it is kept in its entirety, with all notices and copyright information intact.

The characters Wanderer/Steven St. Wolf, Frank Iverson, Brother Aaron, Fragnar, Smaug and Robert McCallister and this story are mine. Anyone wishing to use them, please contact the Wandererverse panel at the Wandererverse Revival Yahoo Group.

Comments and Criticisms are appreciated, please post to the above referenced E-mail.

Special Thanks to my Beta Readers: Rebekah Sandell and Jack Caynon

Author's Notes: Nothing right now, except for that words expressed with the < > are thoughts.


First Date Blues
(Just When You Thought It Was Safe In The Theater)
27 February 1998 - 07:30 AM

Buffy's alarm rings and wakes her from a peaceful sleep. As she gets up her mind goes over what happened last night. < I can't believe that I actually met the real Hercules and his sister Artemis. > Buffy grins, remembering the party that the Scooby gang had with Kevin and Ari as Artemis liked to be called. < Kevin had every guy jealous at the Bronze when he started to dance with her. Xander got some nasty looks from the football team when he and Cordelia started to dance and neck. God, I can't believe what's been happening since we met Steve. > At the thought of the Immortal demon hunter, Buffy blushes. < God, what a stud muffin. And he's such a sweetheart. >

She quickly showers and gets dressed in a black mini skirt, white blouse and her knee high boots. As she leaves her bedroom, Buffy grabs her dark blue gym bag. < Can't forget this. Steve promised to teach me how to use a sword tonight. > She quickly makes her way to the kitchen where her mother was waiting for her. Buffy grabs a glass of juice and wolfs down her eggs and bacon.

Joyce looks at how her daughter was eating and grins. < Thank God. She's got her appetite back. She's finally getting over that Angel boy. > "Buffy, are you doing anything after school today?" Joyce asks.

Buffy looks up from her breakfast. < What now? > "No Mom. Nothing special." < Just getting some alone time with a hottie. That's all. > "Why?"

Joyce grins. < I think, I'll surprise her. > "Good. I'll pick you up after school."

"What's going on?" Buffy asks.

"I need to do some shopping and I was hoping that you could join me." Joyce replies with a smile.

Buffy shrugs her shoulders. < At least I'll get to see Steve later. > "All right, Mom. I'll be done with class by 2:45. When will you pick me up?"

"At three o'clock. I'll meet you in front of the school." Joyce replies.

"Where are we going?"

"Shopping at the Mall. I need a few things and you need some new clothes."

"All right!" Buffy replies in glee, but suddenly sobers up. "What's going on Mom? You never offer to buy me clothes."

Joyce smiles mischievously. "I just want to spend time with my favorite daughter."

"I'm your only daughter." Buffy replies with a grin.

"I know that. But you're still my favorite." Joyce replies with a laugh as Buffy leaves for school.

Buffy looks over to Willow and passes her a note.

Willow takes the note and reads. ‘Mom wants me to go shopping with her after school. I'll meet you at Steve's by seven.' Willow crosses it out and adds. ‘What's she buying?'

Buffy reads the note and passes back. ‘I don't know. But she's buying me some new clothes.'

As Willow writes down her reply, Buffy stares up at the board and listens to the teacher describe the stock market crash of 1929. She looks down and grins at Willow's reply. ‘Can I join you?'

Buffy nods her head in agreement and Willow smiles back.

Buffy stands outside the school waiting for her Mother with Willow. They both are discussing what happened to Cordelia, Jenny, Amy and herself in the last twenty four hours.

"I can't believe how I feel." Willow replies with a grin.

"I know." Buffy replies as she looks her friend up and down. The soft dress was gone. Willow was wearing a tight pair of black jeans with a dark red silk blouse that brought out her hair, eyes and skin. Instead of her usual sneakers, she was wearing a pair of light hiking boots. Her easy manner masked her new abilities, but it didn't hide the confidence that she now displayed. Buffy grins as several of the basketball players walk up to her and ask who she is. Willow shoots them down easily without hurting them.

As the disappointed basketball players walk off, Buffy's Mom pulls up in her dark green Cherokee Jeep and asks. "Are you ready?"

"Is it all right if Willow goes shopping with us?" Buffy asks as she opens the passenger side door and slides in.

"Sure." Joyce replies, glad to see Buffy's best friend. < God, Willow's certainly grown up since I last saw her. >

"Where is Xander?" Joyce asks. "He's usually with you two after school."

"He left with Cordelia." Buffy replies with a grin.

As both girls get in. Joyce turns to Buffy and asks. "So how was school today"

"It was good." Buffy replies, as she and Willow share an evil grin.

Joyce looks back and sees both girls' grin. "Did anything special happen?"

Buffy looks over to Willow, who's barely controlling her laughter. "Cordelia dumped her friends yesterday and she gave them a piece of her mind today." Buffy replies with an evil grin.

"Oh? What did she say to them?" Joyce asks as she pulls into a spot at the mall.

"Just called them sheep and said that she didn't want anything to do with them anymore." Willow replies with a soft laugh.

"And what did her ‘friends' do?" Joyce asks, remembering how cruel some girls could be.

"Nothing, they were all too shocked after yesterday." Buffy replies with a smile.

"What happened yesterday?"

"Cordelia kissed Xander in front of the whole school." Buffy replies with a smile as they walk into the GAP. "What are we shopping for?"

"Some new clothes for you." Joyce replies. "I've already got myself something earlier."

Buffy glares at her Mother. "What's going on Mom?"

"Just getting you some new clothes, that's all." Joyce replies with a smile.

Buffy stares at her and she quickly figures it out. "Who is he, Mom?" Buffy demands.

"How?" Joyce asks, shocked that Buffy was that sharp. Buffy taps her foot in agitation and Joyce breaks down. "All right, honey. I'm setting you up with Carol Lawrence's new salesman."

"And this guy is how dorky?" Buffy asks with a grin while mentally celebrating. < All right!! I get to see Steve as a boyfriend!! > She glares at Willow, who's holding her hand over her mouth, holding in her laughter.

"He's a sweetheart, honey." Joyce replies. "Carol likes him a lot and she thinks that you two would be a good match."

"My God, Mom!!" Buffy yells out, but quickly lowers her tone as everyone turns to look at her. "How can you do this to me? Mrs. Lawrence is old! How can she know if a guy is dating material?"

Joyce now glares back at Buffy. "Buffy." She begins, her voice a low level threat. "Carol is only three years older than I am." Buffy gulps, realizing that she'd overstepped herself. "I have met Steve St. Wolf and I also like him. He's courteous, sweet, always polite and I think that he would make an excellent boyfriend for you. Do you have a problem with this?"

"Yes I do." Buffy replies. "I'll go on one date with this ‘guy' and that's it. If I don't like him, I'm dumping him and you'll never set me up on another blind date. Is that understood?"

Joyce sighs. "All right honey. It's a deal. But I know you'll like this guy."

"Mom!" Buffy groans. < Of course I will, but you don't have to know that. >

Joyce glares at her. "Find yourself something nice to go to the movies with. I have a pair of tickets to Titanic."

Buffy looks up to the sky in supplication, but Joyce's glare moves her to pick out a beige blouse and a new pair of blue jeans. Buffy looks over to Willow, who's ready to fall over laughing and asks. "Willow grab up those other jeans and lets try them in the changing room."

"Sure Buffy." Willow replies with a smile as she helps her friend.

In the changing room, Buffy turns to her and whispers. "You almost lost it out there. What is your problem?"

Willow grins. "Just enjoying how much you're trying to hide the fact that you want the guy that your mother's choosing for you."

Buffy also grins. "Mom would have a heart attack if I told her that I already knew Steve." Buffy quietly replies. "After everything that I put her through the last six months, she deserves to think that she helped me find the *right* guy."

"I know. But I hope I don't lose it when she asks Steve to take you out." Willow replies with a chuckle.

Buffy glares back at her friend, but relents and grins, enjoying herself. She puts on the pink and khaki sweater twin set and a pair chocolate brown Levis and turns around. "Think Steve will like me dressed like this?"

Willow giggles. "He likes you dressed in everything." < And probably, not dressed at all. >

Buffy makes a face and looks at herself in the mirror, and likes what she sees. "Mom can't complain about this outfit. Could she?"

"No she can't." Willow replies, softly laughing behind her hand, enjoying Buffy's indecisiveness. Buffy glares at her and leaves the dressing room. Joyce is outside, waiting to inspect her.

Joyce nods her head. "That outfit is perfect for a first date. Do you want to wear it out of here?"

"Sure Mom." Buffy replies as they walk up to the register and pay for Buffy's clothes. After Joyce pays, the sales girl reaches behind the counter and grabs the tag remover and takes off the tag from the sweaters. She walks from behind the counter, reaching for the tag on Buffy's waist, but a hand stops her.

The girl looks up and sees the manager standing there with a smirk on his face and asks. "Mr. Jones, what can I help you with today?" < Oh Damn! He's going to do it again. Oh God. I hope he's watching. >

"Did this young lady pay for these pants?" Jones asks with a smirk on his acne riddled face.

"Of course she did." Joyce replies with a glare.

"I didn't ask you, Ma'am." Jones replies in a mocking voice. < I never liked uppity bitches. Now I'm going to have some fun. >

Jones gives her another smirk. "From what I see, your daughter is stealing those pants."

Joyce storms forward, her eyes glaring in Motherly wrath and demands. "Who the hell are you to talk to my daughter like that? And what right do you have to act this way towards your paying customers?"

"She's a thief and I'll treat her like one." Jones snickers.

Joyce makes to confront Jones, but Buffy stops her. "Mom, don't! This guy wants a reason to have you arrested."

Jones loses his grin for a second. < Damn, this bitch is smart. No other cunt has ever figured it out this quickly before. > "Miss Clark, please call Mall security and have these ‘people' arrested."

"I wouldn't recommend that." A hard male voice replies from the side. Jones turns and sees a tall man dressed in an expensive business suit. His light brown hair was cut conservatively and his face clearly showed his anger.

Buffy looks at Willow and she nods back, recognizing their knight in shining armor, Nick Raven. Buffy feels the approach of another Immortal and looks over to where Nick was standing and sees his Immortal wife, Katherine. "What is going on here?" Nick demands.

"Who the hell are you?" Jones demands, not liking this well dressed man and woman one bit.

Nick and Katherine both grin without a trace of humor showing. "We're the Ravens. David Xanatos just made us the heads of security for his west coast mall division. I want to know what is going on here." Nick demands as a half dozen security guards run up. The Sergeant in charge sees the Ravens and walks up to them and respectfully stands at attention, waiting for orders.

Jones doesn't like the turn of events, but presses forward, in a loud voice. "That girl is trying to steal those pants and her mother is helping her do it. I want them arrested for shop lifting." People on the concourse stop and stare at the scene unfolding.

Nick just shakes his head in disbelief. He looks over to the old Sergeant and sees that he and most of his officers also share his and Katherine's disgust at this man. < Bastard thinks that he's going to get away with it? Don't think so. > Nick turns to Joyce and asks. "Do you have a receipt for the pants?"

Joyce hands over her credit card receipt and the register tape to Nick. He looks them over and walks over to Buffy and checks the product codes and grunts in satisfaction. He walks over to Jones and loudly demands. "Why are you bothering these women? They paid for the pants. The register and credit card receipts are from less than ten minutes ago."

Jones glares at Nick and demands. "Who the hell are you to tell me how to run my business? I'm telling you that these women are trying to shoplift from my store. What are you going to do about it?"

Buffy and Willow look over to Katherine Raven and give her small grins. Katherine grins back and walks over. She leans in and quietly asks. "What happened to Willow?"

"Became an Amazon." Buffy whispers back, holding in her laughter at the shock registering on Katherine's face.

"How?" She whispers back, not believing what she just heard.

"Tell you later when we get done with this." Buffy nods to Jones, who was now pissing off Nick Raven. "Not a very bright man, is he?"

"No. Morons like that usually aren't." Katherine confirms as she watches Jones swing on her husband.

"To the ladies, nothing. But you are not going to be working in this mall anymore. After I file my report with my superiors, you won't be working in any of the malls owned by Xanatos Corp." Nick replies as he turns to the Sergeant. "Mike, this guy is to be kicked out of the mall and not allowed back in. I want his photo passed around to every guard and if he's found on mall property, he's to be arrested for criminal trespass. Any questions?"

"No Sir!" The Sergeant replies crisply. He looks over to Jones and tells him. "You heard Mr. Raven. Get your coat, you're leaving right now."

"Like Hell I am!" Jones shouts and swings on Nick. Nick ducks under the swing and kicks out, knocking Jones to the ground, where the six guards swarm all over him and handcuff Jones' hands behind his back. Jones grimaces at the pain and humiliation that the guards were causing and curses out Nick.

Nick just stands there and watches as the guards move to eject Jones from the store. He just shakes his head in disgust and turns to the sales girl. "Miss Clark." When she doesn't respond, Nick uses her first name. "Donna?" She turns her head to him. "Thank you for telling us about what he was doing. I'll make sure that all of the people arrested here for shoplifting have their records cleared."

"Thanks for listening to me, Mr. Raven." The girl replies evenly, wondering what's going to happen to her.

"I already contacted the regional manager and he's confirmed that you can be the new manager for this store." Donna grins. "Mike will have a guard escort you to and from your car until further notice."

"Thank you, Sir." Donna replies and goes back to the counter, picks up the de-tagging machine and removes the tag from Buffy's pants. As she removes the tag, she explains, "I'm sorry that this happened to you, but Mr. Jones has this prejudice against women who are rich."

"But we're not rich." Joyce replies.

"You dress well enough and look successful, that's all he needed." Donna replies.

"Thank you for your help." Joyce replies.

"Thank Mr. Raven." Donna replies. "He took the time to listen to me when I told him about Mr. Jones. The previous security chief wouldn't listen to anyone."

Joyce turns to Nick and thanks him. "Thank you for your help, Mr. Raven."

"Always a pleasure to help three beautiful women." Nick replies with a grin as he walks away with Katherine.

Joyce watches Nick walk away and smiles. < Why does he remind me of Steve? >

"Earth to Mom." Buffy comments with a grin. "Stop drooling Mom. He's married." < Nick has a great butt. I can see why Mom's watching it. >

Joyce sighs. "A woman can always dream." Then turns back to Buffy and Willow. "Buffy, if you want to cancel for tonight, I'll understand."

< Like Hell I will! I've been trying to get a date with Steve for two weeks now and Mom's giving me the excuse that I need. I'm not letting him chicken out. > "No. I'll go Mom. This way the tickets don't go to waste."

"All right then." Joyce replies as she gathers together their packages. "Let's go."

As they walk out the store, the older guard called Mike, walks up to them. He tips his hat as he explains. "Mr. Raven wanted me to have two of the boys escort you to your car, Mrs. Summers."


"In case that jerk tries something on Mall property. I have a pair of officers waiting to escort you to your car and to escort you home, if you want it."

"All right. We were leaving anyway." Joyce mutters as one of the guards takes her bags from her and two more guards walk next to them. They walk out of the Mall and escort them to Joyce's Cherokee. Joyce opens the back window and the guard with the packages puts them in and gently closes the window as Joyce turns on the motor. Joyce looks over to Buffy and asks. "Are you sure you want to do this honey? I can understand if you want to cancel."

Buffy smiles at her Mother. "No Mom. I want to get this over with." < Besides, if I can date Steve openly, I won't have to make up excuses to be with him. >

Joyce nods her head in acceptance. < All right, I hope this goes well. >

They quickly drive over to Lawrence Antiques and park in front, next to a motorcycle. As Joyce walks over to the front door, she looks over at the motorcycle, a 1974 Harley Soft Tail and grins. < Looks like Steve's here. >

Buffy and Willow exchange grins. < Looks like Steve's here. >

Joyce notices that Buffy and Willow are both admiring the motorcycle and grins. < Trust a motorcycle to pique a girl's interest. > "Let's go in." Joyce tells Buffy and Willow. Both of them turn with big grins on their faces. "If you're wondering, the motorcycle is Steve's."

Buffy gives her mother a grin and walks towards the open door. As they enter, Carol Lawrence walks out of the back and gives Joyce a hug. "I see you brought Buffy with you." Carol replies with a giggle. "I'll get Steve from the back."

In the back, Steve and Robert are lifting a desk to an upper rack and both men are sweating profusely. As they gently place the 18th century accountant's desk where they want it, both men grab a quick break. Robert sits down on a handy chair and breathes deeply as he looks over the warehouse. "Damn, but we got a lot of work done today."

Steve looks over the remaining two thirds of the warehouse to be sorted and put away. "We've got a good two, three more weeks of hard work here, Robert. Why don't we hire some laborers to help with it?"

"Would if I could." Robert replies. "But getting them to come to Sunnydale is impossible."

< With two hundred plus vampires in this small town? No wonder. > Steve thinks to himself as he drinks from his bottle of water. < Hopefully we'll be able to change that soon. > "I noticed that. The guy who does my landscaping won't come around after dark. I wonder why that is?"

"Don't know." Robert replies. < The vampires are the real reason, but should I share it with Steve? > Robert thinks to himself. < No, the lad doesn't need to hear that the old wives tales were true. > Robert looks over to where his wife was walking towards them and asks. "Who's in the front of the store?"

"Joyce Summers is here." Carol replies with an open grin.

Robert looks at his wife and asks. "Is she alone?"

"No, her daughter, Buffy is here as well."

Robert looks at his wife of twelve years and gruffly asks. "Carol, what have I told you about matchmaking?"

Carol snorts back her laugh. "Like Joyce and I would listen to you."

"Joyce is involved in this?" Robert asks, shaking his head in disbelief as he turns back to Steve. "Steve, lad, I suggest you sneak out the back of the store and run as fast and as far as you can."

"Why Robert? Is Joyce's daughter that much of a hag?" Steve asks with a grin. < If Buffy hears that I'm a dead man. >

Robert chuckles evilly. "It's not that she's a hag Steve. Quite the opposite in fact, but she's always getting into fights."

"Fights?" Steve asks, curious. < I just bet that she is. >

"I once saw her fighting this boy in the park and when he ran, she chased him."

< I can believe it. I'm going to have to tell Buffy to watch her patrols. > "You're kidding. Why did she do that?"

"The boy had attacked a girl and Buffy was defending her." Carol replies. "Robert called the police and they sent the girl to the hospital. Buffy never came back."

Steve just shakes his head in disbelief. He quickly picks up his shirt and walks to the door. Robert, seeing where he was going, calls out. "Steve take my advice."

Steve turns back. "I've never run away from anything, least of all a blind date." < Especially when I've already seen the date in question. >

Robert looks at his wife and softly chuckles. "Onward, onward, the Light Brigade rode." Carol smacks him across the back of his head and Robert sputters while trying to hide a grin. "What was that for?"

"For being a man." Carol replies coldly as she walks out of the warehouse, leaving Robert sitting there, watching her strut away.

< Damn, but she still looks great. Especially from this angle. > Robert laughs softly, gets up and heads to the front of the shop. "Might as well watch the poor lad go down in flames."

Buffy nervously bites her lip as she waits for Steve to enter the front. She looks over to Willow, who's just barely holding in her laughter.

Joyce watches Buffy nervously bite her lip and grins. < Good. Maybe Steve has a chance with her. > She looks to the back of the shop and grins as Steve walks into her line of sight. Joyce sighs as she watches Steve calmly walk into the room, his dress shirt flung over one shoulder, while the tank top showed off his muscles. Joyce looks down at his narrow waist and likes the way the pants were hanging. < My goodness. > She thinks to herself as she looks at Buffy and Willow's jaws drop. Joyce elbows Buffy and tells her. "Buffy, close your mouth, honey. It's not nice to drool in front of your date."

Buffy quickly closes her mouth and gives her mother a weak grin, not giving an inch. Willow, under no such limits, whistles lowly as she mutters. "Hubba, hubba. That's some piece of beef cake."

Joyce chuckles softly as she hears what Willow said. "Now, dear, allow me to introduce you to Steve St. Wolf." Joyce replies as Steve walks forward. He looks over to Joyce with a raised eyebrow and Joyce continues. "Steve, this is my daughter, Buffy and her friend, Willow."

Steve leans forward and takes Buffy's hand. "Charmed to meet you." Buffy raises her free hand to her mouth and giggles. Steve just smiles and gives her a wink. Buffy ‘gently' squeezes Steve's hand and he almost cries out in pain. He gives her a quick glare and turns back to Willow. "Nice meeting you as well, Willow." Willow covers her face as she begins to softly laugh. Steve turns back to Joyce. "So Joyce, what can I do for three such lovely ladies?"

"Remember when you first moved here I promised that I would ask my daughter if she would show you around town?"

"I remember, but Robert and I have been so busy for the last three weeks, that I've barely had time for anything but work, some food shopping and sleep."

< God, Steve can lie. > Willow thinks to herself.

"Well, Carol and I have decided that you needed a night off and Buffy has volunteered to show you around town."

Steve stares at Buffy, who's staring at the ground with a mischievous smile tugging at her lips. < I just bet she ‘volunteered'. I'd bet good money that she came here screaming and kicking. > "Joyce, I don't need someone to show me around town." Steve replies evenly. Buffy looks up in shock and glares daggers at him. Willow barely holds in her laughter as Steve continues. "I'm sure that Buffy has more important things to do than show me around."

Joyce, noticing Buffy's glare, grins. "Of course she does. If you don't want to go out with her, I can't force you."

Buffy turns to her mother with a quizzical look. "Mom! I promised that I would go out with him. Now you're telling me that you don't want me to go?"

Willow, not being able to hold in her laughter anymore, finally begins to giggle uncontrollably. Everyone stares at her as she coughs out. "Oh, Goddess. But this is funny."

Steve just shakes his head and asks. "All right laughing girl. What's so funny?"

"You two." Willow replies as she gets her giggles under control. "It's obvious to a blind man that you two belong together. So quit fighting it and take Buffy out."

Steve and Buffy stare at their friend and Buffy hisses out. "Willow!? Whatever happened to the nice, shy, quiet girl that *WAS* my best friend?"

"I'm still here Buffy, but I don't want you wasting your time with some moron from Sunnydale High, when you can have a hunk like that in your life."

Buffy turns back to Steve and asks. "So, you still want to go out with me?"

Steve looks over to Joyce and asks. "Joyce, aren't I a little old to be dating your daughter?"

Joyce and Carol both grin. "No you're not." Joyce replies. "Carol speaks highly of you and I've gotten to know you from all of the times that I've come in here. I think you're perfect for my daughter. Besides, you're only seven years older and much more mature than the boys she normally sees." < Especially that psychotic boy who called himself Angel. >

Steve relents and asks Buffy. "Buffy," Buffy turns to face him. "Would you do me the honor of going out with me tonight?"

"And another single man bites the dust." Robert murmurs from the side as he watches Steve and Buffy stand together. Carol, hearing his remark, smacks him. "What was that for?" He asks.

"For being a horse's ass. Now get cleaned up. You're taking me out to dinner tonight." Carol orders.

Eyes downcast, but his step lively, Robert hurries off. < Well I hope Steve can open up for us tomorrow. > Robert thinks to himself as he glances back to his wife. < Carol's in one of her moods. >

Joyce grins to herself as she watches Buffy and Steve together. < Good. She deserves a good man in her life. > "Before you two leave, take these." Joyce tells them as she hands over the tickets to Titanic.

Steve looks at them and just shakes his head in amusement. "Trying to stack the deck, Joyce?"

"Don't go there Steve. You'll never win." Buffy tells him as she grabs his arm and drags him out of the store.

Joyce watches as Buffy gets on Steve's motorcycle and the two quickly leave. She turns to Willow and asks. "Do you want a ride home?"

"Sure, Mrs. Summers." Willow replies with a laugh as she watches Buffy put on Steve's extra helmet.

Reggie Jones watches from his dark blue Ford Taurus as the daughter gets on a motorcycle with some guy and leaves with him. < Damn! The little cunt's leaving. Now I'm only going to get her mother and the red head. > He watches as Joyce and Willow get back into the Jeep and he follows the pair, his sedan unnoticed by the pair. He watches as the woman drops off the young woman by a house and boy with red hair grabs her up in a hug. Reggie silently curses to himself as he passes Willow's house. < The little red haired bitch has a boyfriend. I'll get them later. > He follows Joyce to her house and grins. < Good! The bitch doesn't have a man at home. > He watches her get out of the car and take her packages inside. < I think that I'm going to enjoy myself before I kill them both. Then, I'll get the red head. >

Buffy leans in and wraps her hands around Steve's waist. < God, I can't believe that I'm actually dating Steve with Mom's permission. > She tightens her grip around his waist as he makes a quick turn. A few blocks down the road, Steve stops the bike in front of a strip mall. Buffy lets go of him and sits back on the bike.

Steve turns around and asks. "What just happened back there?"

Buffy giggles. "My Mom just set us up."

"May I ask why?"

"Because she thinks of you as a nice guy who would treat me right."

Steve looks up in resignation. "So I take it that you really want to go out on a date tonight?" Buffy smiles up at him and Steve realizes that he's caught. "What about patrol tonight?"

"Willow, Oz, Xander and Cordy are taking patrol duty tonight." Buffy replies with a grin.

Steve sighs as he leans down and kisses her. "So do you want dinner first or the movie?" Steve asks after their lips break apart.

"Uh." Buffy replies, her eyes distant and dazed. Steve grins and kisses her again. She regains a measure of her composure and checks the tickets. "We have time for some dinner first. The movie doesn't start for at least an hour."

"Good. Got a place in mind?" Steve asks as he turns around and starts the motorcycle.

"Yeah. How about the Mickey D's on Main Street?" Buffy asks.

Steve shrugs his shoulders and replies over the sound of the 800 cc engine. "Sure, why not?"

Buffy grins. < Wait until everyone sees the hunk that I'm dating. >

They quickly make it over to the McDonald's and Buffy slides off the back of the motorcycle. When Steve gets off, she wraps her arm around his waist and they walk in.

Harmony watches as the motorcycle pulls into the parking lot and looks over to her friend Ambrosia, who's also staring in open lust. "I must be dreaming." Harmony mutters.

"Why?" Francesca asks, her back to Steve.

"Because the guy from my dreams is walking towards us." Harmony replies, but then she sees Buffy wrap her arm around Steve's waist. "Ewww. Isn't that Buffy? What's she doing with my dream guy?"

"Dating him?" Ambrosia replies stupidly.

Harmony turns on her. "Get away from me you stupid cow. How dare you tell me something like that?"

Buffy smiles as she passes Harmony and her two friends. Harmony glares back, but backs down as Buffy glares at her. "Why does she always get the hunks? First that dark haired hunk, now this one."

Buffy and Steve quietly stand in line and look up at the board. "So, what do you want to eat?" Steve asks as they near the register.

"A Big Mac meal." Buffy replies with a smile.

Steve grins as he begins. "I always liked a woman who. . ."

Before he can complete the sentence the man in front of them screams out. "Everybody down!! This is a hold up!!" As he makes his turn to threaten the patrons, Steve and Buffy quickly separate and the gunman swivels his head to follow them both. Before he can point his gun at either of them, Steve kicks it out of his hand as Buffy moves in and kicks him in the gut, which she quickly follows up with an elbow smash to the side of his head. The gunman goes down for the count.

Buffy and Steve look at each other and just grin at each other as the patrons begin to clap. "Ever wonder if the Gods want us together?" Steve asks.

Buffy steps over the fallen gunman and gives Steve a hug as she quietly mutters. "Never say that honey. You never know who'll be listening."

Steve sighs and looks over to the girl behind the counter. "Can you please call the police to pick up this moron?" The girl numbly nods her head and quickly goes to the manager's office. Steve looks at the girl at the next register. "Could you get us two Big Mac meals, please?"

"What kind of sodas?"

"Diet Cokes." Steve replies as the girl rushes away and quickly gathers up the food and brings it back on a single tray. Steve drops a ten dollar bill on the counter and picks up the tray and they walk over to a nearby table.

As they sit down, a pair of Sunnydale police officers rush into the store and cover the unconscious gunman. They look stupidly around, not believing what they see. The older officer walks up to the manager and he asks. "What happened?" The manager points to Buffy and Steve and the cashier tells them. "This guy shoves a gun in my face and tells me to empty out my cash drawer. Well, I'm doing it and he turns around to point the gun at everyone here and that guy and girl take him down like they were Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Lee. It was, like, he didn't stand a chance."

The older officer just shakes his head in disbelief and walks over to Steve and Buffy's table. He looks down at the young couple and demands. "Do you two realize how close you came to dying over there? I should have you two arrested for endangering the lives of everyone in here."

Steve and Buffy look at each other and just shake their heads in disgust. Steve looks back at the officer and quietly tells him. "Officer, if you don't want to do your job, feel free to let him go. I'm sure that the next person that he robs will be more giving and a lot less willing to defend themselves. And as far as my lady and I are concerned, we have no problem with what we did. If you have a problem with it, arrest us and my attorneys will ream the Sunnydale PD a completely new series of assholes."

The officer glares at Steve and Buffy. "Wait right here. I'm calling my supervisor."

"Feel free." Steve replies as he takes a bite of his sandwich.

As the officer walks away, Buffy asks. "Why are you taking such a hard line with the cops?"

"I hate dealing with morons." Steve murmurs angrily. "And the Sunnydale police are some of the worst that I've ever dealt with."

"Especially Detective Stein." Buffy shoots back with a grin.

"Especially him." Steve agrees, remembering his first meeting with Stein almost three weeks before as a shadow falls across their table. Buffy and Steve look up from their meal and both lose their appetites.

"I should have known it was you two." Detective Stein mutters under his breath. "Do you have anything to say before I arrest you?"

Steve grins. "I'll tell you what, Stein. How about you do that and I use my phone call to call my lawyer, who will call our friends Mulder and Scully and my old friend Jack Ryan. My lawyer will sue you personally, the Sunnydale PD and the city. Mulder, Scully and Jack will move in and start investigating everyone on the police force, the city officials and anyone else they can get their hands on."

Stein tries to out bluff Steve. "St. Wolf, I don't give a crap about your friends Mulder and Scully. I did some checking and those two and they are not exactly popular with their superiors. As to this Jack Ryan guy, I could care less who the fuck he is." Steve grins as he pulls out his wallet. He pulls out a business card and hands it over to Stein. Stein looks down at it and he chokes back a gasp. < It couldn't be. What the fuck is St. Wolf doing with a card from an Assistant Director of the CIA? > He looks back at St. Wolf and sees only a grim line where his smile was before.

"Feel free to give Jack a call and tell him hi from me." Steve replies without a trace of humor. "Then tell him that you arrested one of his best friends and his girlfriend while they were having dinner in a McDonald's, after they took down some moron trying to hold up the place."

Stein just stares at Steve and bites back the smart reply that comes to his lips and he just turns around and leaves the restaurant, taking the other police officers and the gunman with him. The manager of the McDonald's walks over and politely asks. "Is there anything else you two need?"

Steve puts down his napkin, looks over to Buffy and sees the same look of disgust. He quietly sighs and turns to the manager. "No thank you. Detective Stein ruined our appetites."

The manager nods and takes their tray and as Buffy and Steve get up to leave, the manager quietly tells them. "Come back when you feel like eating and I'll treat you both to dinner. The cops might not appreciate what you did, but the staff and I do. That bastard's robbed us three times this year and the cops didn't give a damn."

Buffy and Steve both nod their heads and leave.

Outside, Harmony watches them leave. She turns to her two friends, muttering. "That ho must be putting out. No wonder the guys are going for her." Both of her friends nod their heads in agreement and watch, wondering what a guy like that was like.

Buffy and Steve walk to his motorcycle, as they stand next to it, Steve asks. "Do you want to go home or go to the movie?"

"Let's go to the movie. Mom, put a lot of effort into getting us together. So let's not blow it over Stein."

Steve gives her a hug. "Okay." And he gets on his motorcycle and Buffy climbs on behind him.

Three hours later, Buffy and Steve walk out of the theater, each hugging the other. As they walk to the motorcycle, Steve wryly comments. "I've never seen such a load of bullshit in my entire life."

Buffy smacks him. "It was a beautiful love story."

Steve snorts. "Yeah, right. I've heard the story of the Titanic from several Immortals who actually were on it. And from their descriptions, the story is quite different."

"And how was it different?" Buffy demands, her foot, tapping the ground, showing how pissed she was that Steve was ruining the romantic atmosphere.

Steve grins and grabs her up and kisses her. "Nothing to worry about my lady, just take it on faith that history's been re-written by Hollywood, yet again."

Buffy laughs and breaks away, getting on the motorcycle. "Let's go. Mom's probably worried about me."

"Aren't we going to patrol?" Steve asks as he gets on his bike.

"Xander, Cordy, Willow and Oz are patrolling. We have the night off, remember?" Buffy replies as she puts on her helmet.

"All right. I guess that I can survive one night of being your boyfriend."

"Goody!" Buffy exclaims. "Mom will be happy to have you over for coffee."

Steve laughs lightly and they ride off to Revello Drive.

Outside of the Summer's house, Reggie Jones moves to the back door and looks through the window and grins to himself as he fondles a machete. < Good! The bitch is still alone. Now I'll get even with her. > He stares at Joyce through the door and as she turns her back to him, he rushes forward and crashes through the door.

Joyce looks back to where the noise comes from and screams. "What are you doing here!? Get Out of My House!!"

Jones gives here a maniacal grin as he grabs her arm. "I'm here to get even with you two bitches for firing me. I'm going to tie you up and wait for your little slut to come and then we'll have a party."

Joyce tries to fight him, but Jones slams the flat of the machete blade against the side of her head and she goes down in a dazed heap. Jones then grabs her arms and drags her to the dining room and ties her to a chair with the phone cord..

Joyce's head clears and she sees the former Gap manager standing in front of her, playing with a large knife. She looks in his eyes and sees only madness. She silently prays. < Please stay out late with Steve, honey. I don't want you to come home to this animal. >

Jones continues to grin as he plans. < If that guy comes home with the slut, I'll kill him with my knife. I'll cut his throat before he knows what hit him. >

Steve and Buffy pull up to Buffy's house and walk up the steps together. As they walk up to the door, Buffy gives Steve a hug and a kiss. As she opens the door, Buffy asks. "Do you want to come in? I'm sure that Mom has some coffee in the kitchen."

Steve sighs. "You know, you're taking this way too seriously."

Buffy just grins as she unlocks the door. She walks into the room, looking back over her shoulder.
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