Chapter Twenty-One: He’s Just Not That Into You
A/N: this takes place just before “Beauty and the Beasts”
Three months later:
Buffy swept her eyes around the Bronze, anxiously searching the crowd. She shifted her feet as she waited at the bar for her snack. Willow and Oz sauntered over and smiled. She returned their smile and went back to looking over the people in attendance.
“Are you meeting up with Scott tonight?” Willow asked.
“Huh? Oh….I think he said he would stop in.”
“I guess things are going well with you two then.”
Buffy kept scanning the crowd and answered, “Oh….uh, yeah….do you guys want anything?”
Willow and Oz shook their heads and wandered over to a set of couches. Cordelia and Xander met up with them and the two couples settled onto the plush lounges.
Buffy drummed her fingers on the counter, still waiting for her snack. She felt a tap on her shoulder and swung around to see – no one. She frowned and turned back to the counter to see Sam.
“Hey!” she said with an enthusiastic smile. She threw her arms around him in a friendly hug.
“It looks like you’ve adjusted back into your life pretty well.”
Buffy shrugged casually. “Well, there are still some wrinkles to iron out but I’ve got my friends back so I’m good.”
She stole a look over his shoulder.
“He went to go pick some supplies up. He’ll be here shortly.”
Buffy blushed and averted her eyes, “I uh- wasn’t asking.”
Sam chuckled, “No but you were wondering.”
Buffy spotted her order on the counter and swiped her coffee cup and muffin. She glanced over at the gang in the corner spread out over the couches. She folded herself onto a free couch and gestured for Sam to join her. She sipped her coffee and broke off a piece of her chocolate chip muffin. Her eyes drifted to the crowd once again.
Sam smiled, “With me or with Dean?”
She narrowed her eyes, “With you…..”
Sam chuckled, “Buffy, I’ve talked to you all summer and last night. Nothing new has happened in the past twenty-four hours.”
“Oh,” she replied as her cheeks flushed.
“You two are funny.”
“Why do you say that?”
Sam sat back, shook his head and grinned, “Oh, just that you ask me about him, he asks me about you but you never think to ask each other. If I had a dollar for every time one of you inquired about the other….”
Buffy glanced up to see Scott Hope.
“Hi Scott,” she replied with a smile.
“I’m sorry I’m late. I wasn’t sure if you said earlier if we were meeting here or if I was supposed to come get you.”
Scott regarded Sam.
“Oh, sorry, this is Sam. He’s an old friend of mine, in town for a visit. Sam, this is Scott.”
Sam gave a short wave and a polite smile.
“Do you want anything to eat or drink?” Scott asked.
He noticed Buffy picking at a muffin.
“Oh, you already took care of that….do you want to…dance?”
Buffy looked off and perked up.
“God, the music here still sucks.”
Xander broke his attention away from Cordelia and brightened when he saw Dean. The two exchanged a fraternity type handshake. Willow, Oz and Cordelia all gave him friendly waves.
“I’m getting a drink, anyone want anything?”
He looked around, briefly meeting Buffy’s eyes. He wandered back into the crowd. Buffy frowned.
“No hello, no wave, not even a handshake,” she muttered.
Sam overheard her and chuckled under his breath.
Buffy snapped her eyes to Scott.
“Maybe I should…go?”
She shot to her feet.
“Oh, no….sorry….let’s dance…yes…dance.”
She snatched his hand and tugged him over to the dance floor. A minute later, Dean returned to the group with a beer in his hand. He stretched back onto an empty lounge and browsed the crowd. Sam watched as his brother scanned the dance floor.
“You’re not even going to ask?”
Dean shot his eyes to his brother. “Ask what?”
“Who the boy dancing with Buffy is.”
“I didn’t notice.”
Willow broke away her attention from Oz.
“Where’d Buffy go?”
“She’s dancing with that boy Scott,” Sam replied.
“Oh, I’m glad he showed up. She seems to like him.”
Sam observed his brother’s interest. It seemed to be mild.
“Is he a vampire?” Dean asked.
“Is he a demon? Zombie?”
“No. He’s just your normal high school boy.”
“Oh….she finally moved onto the living, huh?”
Buffy and Scott returned to the group as a dark haired girl in a midnight blue halter top and snug fit jeans sashayed over to the group.
“Hey B…..I thought we were going to dust some…”
Faith stopped herself when she saw Scott, Sam and Dean.
“Some uh furniture tonight.”
“Um, furniture…..yes….we are….”
Buffy turned to Scott. “I forgot that Faith and I made plans tonight to…..dust the furniture in my mom’s house…..can we finish this another night?”
Scott eyed her curiously, “Uh…okay…you’re really stalwart about your chores…I’ll see you later.”
He left the group as Faith cautiously eyed Sam and Dean.
“It’s okay. These guys are old friends of mine. They know who I am.”
Buffy made introductions and then noticed the sparks in Faith’s eyes as she regarded Dean. He seemed to notice her, as his eyes raked over her low cut top and snug fitting jeans. Faith dropped down on the edge of the lounge and began chatting flirtatiously with him.
Buffy sat down next to Sam and tried not to observe the instant chemistry between the new Slayer and her lifelong friend. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat and finished her muffin and coffee.
“I’m going to….get some more coffee. Be right back.”
Faith glanced at her, “Oh, I’ll come with.”
As she strolled to the bar, Faith snuck a glance behind her.
“Your friend Dean is a hottie. Does he have a girl?”
Buffy bit her lip, “Uh, not that I know of.”
Faith bounced excitedly, “Oh yeah? And you guys are just friends right? There’s nothing going on?”
“Um, no….we’re just friends.”
“Cool…so you don’t care if he and I hooked up?”
Buffy leaned against the counter and stamped down the disapproving tone creeping up into her throat.
“Well, Dean isn’t exactly the relationship type.”
Faith scoffed, “I figured that…besides, I’m not looking to date him. I’m looking for some fun and he’s the kind of guy that I could have fun with for….days.”
She looked over at him.
Buffy huffed. “Well, actually, you’re not really his type…he likes uh…..prudish girls….yeah…he loves a challenge that boy.”
Faith studied her, “Oh, is that right?”
Buffy replied, “Yes.”
“I think I can swing him my way.”
Faith swayed back to the group and plopped down next to Dean. After a minute, he followed her over to the pool tables. Buffy picked up her second helping of coffee and settled back on the lounge next to Sam. She sipped in silence, Willow, Xander and Sam noticed Buffy’s look. They all stole looks at the pool table where Faith was throwing seductive glances at Dean as they played.
“Oh look, Faith and Dean…..they make a nice looking couple.”
Buffy shot a glare over to Willow. “No they don’t…they look….wrong.”
Faith managed to get Dean to show her a tricky shot. Buffy spied as he enclosed his arms around her and helped her aim.
“Uh….he actually fell for that?”
Sam erupted into laughter.
“This is the first time I’ve seen you jealous.”
Buffy frowned, “I’m not jealous, I’m….”
Her mind drew a blank. She sighed.
“Okay, maybe a little but….I told you how she was honing into every aspect of my life. She didn’t waste any time getting her hooks into my
She saw Sam grinning ear to ear and gulped.
“Uh, I didn’t mean my
Dean as in a possession kind of way, I meant….uh…”
Sam laughed, “It’s okay Buff, you don’t have to hide anything from me.”
Faith and Dean returned as she finished up a story ending with the word ‘nude’. Buffy masked her frown.
“So Buffy, if you want to hang here, it’s all good. D and I can go patrol.”
“You’re going to patrol without me?” she asked. Her eyes narrowed on Faith.
“Don’t want to break up the party.”
“You’re not….you want to patrol? Let’s patrol….come on Sam.”
Buffy sprung to her feet and yanked Sam toward the door. She shot a look behind her and saw Faith and Dean engaged in a discussion about weapons. When all four swept through the door, Dean stopped by his car.
“Damn D, sweet ride you got there.”
He smiled, “Thanks.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes as she felt the heat emanating between the two.
After making a pass through the cemetery, Buffy sulked as she watched Faith animatedly recount another demon killing story to Dean. She observed how relaxed he was around her, how he laughed at her flirtatious jokes and how he didn’t hide his interest.
Buffy scoffed, “I’m the only Slayer in his life until she comes along….look how quickly he laughs at her stupid jokes…come on…how many times does she have to bat her eyes like that?”
Sam chuckled, “Gee, this sounds familiar.”
Buffy glared at Sam, “Thanks for your support.”
Sam chuckled again, “You know I’ll always support you but seriously…he’s not blind to other girls…you can’t expect him to just shut himself down until he finds the courage to hook up with you.”
Her frown dissolved into a scowl. “Well, did he have to be attracted to Faith? I mean, what does he see in her besides the fact that she can kick demon butt and wears skimpy outfits and likes shiny weapons and….okay so she plays to his likes…..but…..she’s not….”
“You,” Sam finished.
Buffy heaved a sigh as she spied on Faith and Dean. They had paused in the clearing to talk. Faith leaned closer to him, her eyes locked with his. Buffy cringed as Faith looked like she was about to go in for a kiss.
“Demon!” Buffy shouted.
Startled, Faith whipped around and raised her stake, ready to strike. She frowned when she didn’t see anything. She eyed Buffy.
“Whoops, my bad…it was a – shadow.”
Sam bit back his laughter as Buffy strolled over and wedged herself between Faith and Dean.
“Hmm. I guess having two Slayers in town has the demon population in hiding….at least tonight…oh well…come on guys, let’s go see what my mom saved us for dinner.”
“We haven’t hit the docks,” Faith replied. “We should make a pass through the park as well.”
“Um…why don’t you go? Sam and Dean just got in, I’m sure they want to just relax, take a load off.”
Dean shrugged, “I’m always up for kicking some demon ass. You two can take off, I’ll meet you back at the house.”
Buffy swallowed her frustration as he caught up to Faith.
“Sam, do something.”
“Buffy, I can’t force him to do anything. Just tell him how you feel.”
“I’ve tried,” she whined.
Buffy pouted and skipped after the two.
He paused and twisted around.
“Can I – uh, talk to you for a second?”
“Uh, can’t it wait?”
She shook her head. Faith eyed Buffy,
“No big, I’ll take a quick pass through the park and meet you back here.”
Faith took off, leaving Buffy alone with Dean. He regarded her expectantly.
“So what’s so important?”
Buffy searched her mind for the right words but failed horribly. Dean drew out an impatient breath.
“Are you….um…..are you…”
“Spit it out Summers, I’ve got demons to hunt.”
Buffy shifted her eyes away from the irritated expression on his face.
“Are you going home with Faith tonight?”
She felt the heaviness of his stare as he analyzed her.
“What business is that of yours?”
“If this was me, you’d be making it your business.”
He scoffed, “I’m not a girl acting on her naïve teenage fantasies.”
She crossed her arms and met his eyes.
“No, you’re acting on your own fantasies….I thought you weren’t into high school girls.”
He regarded her for a long minute. “Is this your way of getting back at me for trying to protect you? Faith isn’t a vampire looking to end the world…..”
“No but she…can be a little….she seems…wild.”
“Nothing wrong with that….are we done here?”
Buffy sighed, “You can’t go out with her.”
“And why can’t I?”
“Because……Sam…wants to date her,” she blurted out.
Dean didn’t know what to think of that. He turned toward his brother.
“Sam, get over here.”
In three quick steps, Sam joined them.
“What’s up?” Sam asked.
“Did I steal Faith away from you?”
Buffy shot Sam a conspiratorial look.
Dean eyed his brother, struggling to swallow his answer.
“Oh,” he said.
He smacked Sam on the back.
“Well too bad.”
He stepped off the curb.
“Dean, that’s rude,” Buffy replied. “Can’t you give Sam a chance?”
He gave a small smile and shook his head, “Look Sammy, I’m doing you a favor. Faith would tear you apart…..you couldn’t handle her....”
“Hey D! You coming?”
Dean looked back at Faith, waiting a few blocks down the street.
“I thought we were friends,” Buffy replied.
“Then why didn’t you even say hi to me when you showed up at the Bronze? Why didn’t you hang out with me instead of Faith?
“You were on a date. I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Well that’s a first,” she said. “I was looking forward to a night with my friends. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that mom isn’t mad at John anymore….I was really bummed at the thought of never seeing you guys again….”
Dean pivoted toward Faith. “Look, I’ll swing by in about an hour…we’ll all chew the fat later if that’s what you want.”
Buffy huffed as Faith and Dean walked toward downtown.
Back at the house, Buffy kept eyeing the clock as her mom engaged John and Giles in conversation. After an hour, Buffy shifted in her seat at the dining table, tuning out the adult discussion. When she finally heard the doorbell ring, she gripped the edge of her seat as her mother crossed into the foyer.
Dean followed Joyce into the dining room. He eyed the spread on the table.
“We’ve all eaten so help yourself.”
Joyce handed him a plate.
“Did you and Faith have any luck?” Joyce asked.
Dean cracked a smile, “Yeah, we did.”
Buffy slumped in her chair. The oven timer went off.
“Oh, that’s dessert. Excuse me,” Joyce replied.
“I’ll help,” Buffy said.
Buffy flew out of the dining room. John and Sam settled into the living room. Dean filled his plate and took a seat next to Giles.
“Hey Giles, I’ve been meaning to ask you about this whole altar of Orcus thing. Why did Angel need my blood to open the door? I thought he needed a pure soul….I don’t exactly live like a monk if you know what I mean.”
Giles adjusted his glasses, “Yes, I….understand what you mean. The general interpretation of a pure soul is often defined as a person of…physical purity but the Etruscan theory translates into the purity of the heart…..a righteous man.”
“A righteous man?”
“In this case, yes.”
“I wouldn’t exactly peg myself with that gig either.”
“Until recently, no dark force has ever been able to corrupt the altar because of the common misconception about the blood. Most of those who follow the Etruscan theories regarding Orcus believed that the chosen one was or will follow a righteous path. A man with a grand destiny.”
Dean frowned, “Well someone upstairs got it wrong.”
“But your blood did corrupt the altar, yes?”
“Uh….I guess…that doesn’t mean I’ve got this great big destiny thing happening.”
Giles studied him. “Um, yes, I suppose it could have just been….luck.”
“Bad luck…I almost unleashed eternal suffering on earth…I shouldn’t have been there.”
“Angel would have found another way to end the world,” Giles gauged, “You couldn’t have known it was your blood. None of us did.”
Buffy cut a pan of brownies into squares as Joyce retrieved a platter. She noticed the annoyed look on her daughter’s face. Joyce followed Buffy’s eyes into the dining room.
“What’s wrong honey?”
“Nothing,” she muttered, dropping brownies on the platter.
“Oh, it has nothing to do with a certain young guy in the dining room?”
Buffy pouted, “No.”
“Buffy honey, do you want me to have a stern talk with Dean? Did he hurt you? Break your heart? I….I don’t want to know the details….but if he used you for….and you thought there was more…”
Buffy frowned, “Ew mom, we are not having ‘the talk’ right now….and no, Dean and I never did anything….trust me, he’s got no interest in doing anything with me….”
Joyce studied her, “And that bothers you?”
Buffy sighed, “I really don’t want to talk about this.”
She walked back into the dining room. Joyce followed carrying the tray of brownies.
“Can I interest anyone in a cup of coffee? Oh, Giles…can I make you some tea?”
“No, thank you. I really should be going. I’ve got some reading to catch up on. Thank you for the lovely meal.”
John walked Giles out as Joyce took a couple of brownies over to Sam in the living room. Buffy and Dean were alone in the dining room. He caught her gaze.
“Take a picture, it’ll last longer.”
Buffy looked away from him. He heaved a sigh and sat back in his chair.
“Alright, what the hell is it you’re pissed at me about?”
“Nothing,” she said softly, “I’m going to watch TV – alone.”
She charged up the stairs and shut her door. John crossed into the kitchen to help Joyce clean up. Dean ambled into the living room and stretched out onto the couch. Sam was perusing a collegiate magazine while sprawled out in the armchair.
“What’s wrong with her?”
Sam sighed. Dean shot him a look.
“You got an opinion? Share. God knows you will at some point.”
Sam peered over his magazine and glanced at his brother’s clueless expression.
“No opinion……forget it.”
That's it for now....MORE TO COME soon - did anything really happen between Dean and Faith? Sam and Buffy are off to college and Buffy lays her heart out for Dean, what will he do?