Draco banged on Buffy's door impatiently, and when she opened, he brushed past her and immediately started pacing.
"Tell me it's not true."
Buffy was still staring out into the hallway, blinking. "Sure. Come on in." She closed the door and crossed her arms, watching Draco pace. "Details are nice little things you know."
"You can not have a date with Nott. He's not... well... you just can't, is all."
Draco sighed and folded his arms across his chest.
Of all the things she expected him to come ranting about, that was the last one. "What? I'm not allowed to go on a date? Because you said so?" Buffy narrowed her eyes at him. "Do you realize how patronizing that is?"
"You can go on a date. Just not with him."
Draco glared. He didn't trust Nott. Not a bit. There was something off about him. Always had been.
"Okay," she said with a nod. "Give me one good reason why I can't."
"He might be evil."
And when he said it out loud, Draco knew he sounded just a bit ridiculous.
"He... might be
evil?" she asked slowly. "Oh well, I'm so glad you told me. It's not like I haven't dated anyone who might be
"Not the fun kind of evil. The evil kind of evil. He's not right. He's never been right."
Now it was just downright amusing. He was digging himself a bigger whole, and Buffy was content to watch. "So he's not right. I've never dated a guy who was not right either. This is going to be a new experience."
"Gods dammit, I'm serious. It's not the amusing not right, either. It's that I keep dead animal parts
not right. It's the I could very easily be a serial killer
"Okay, now that part is
new. The serial part, not the killer part."
Buffy could see he was exasperated and frustrated, so she relented and walked over to him, putting her hands on his shoulders. "Are you sure this isn't jealousy? Theo's been nothing but a perfect gentleman, and he's good with the girls."
"I'm not sodding jealous! I'm worried about you! He's not normal!"
She started laughing. "That... is the funniest thing you've ever said to me."
Draco batted her hands off of his shoulders and grabbed her arms, shaking her slightly. "I'm serious. I've never killed anyone before, so don't make me start. I don't trust him. At all. Ever."
"Then it's a good thing you're not the one going out on a date with him." She shook her head with a grin, still amused that Draco proclaimed something not normal. "I can take care of myself."
"I know you can, but don't be so willing to listen to Willow's 'get out there and date' that you overlook obvious warning signs. Like what do you know about him outside of the infirmary? I'm betting nothing. And he's so pinched-looking. Surely you don't find that attractive, and I think he smells like rubbing alcohol."
She giggled again. "You really just need to stop talking." Buffy slowly moved her arms out of his grasp. "I'm going on this date so I can find out about him outside the infirmary. That's how normal people do things, Mr. Pointy-Face."
"My face is not pointy, and all right. You need to take someone with you, though. Like Willow. Take Willow with you."
"I am not taking Willow on my date. It is between Theo and myself. And you better not follow me or anything either."
"I'll just ask Tori to do it. You'll never know she's there. She's like a bloody ghost or a whiff of smoke. I don't like it. He's not suitable for you. He's not special enough. He doesn't deserve to date you. You're so much better than him."
Her outrage at him wanting to have her followed on the date was overshadowed by the cuteness that was him trying to be the overprotective big brother. On a whim, she gave him a hug. "It's sweet of you to say that, but I don't want Astoria following us and I don't want you to be upset about this. I'm going on this date, regardless on who is better than who."
"I could have Tori follow you. You would not know. I can't stand the thought of your being alone with that wanker."
"Considering we're going to be in a public place and he's bringing me right back to the council when we're done, we won't be alone." Buffy looked at him sternly. "I mean it when I say I don't want to be followed. Trust me, Draco."
"I don't trust him. He'll try something. You are just to go to dinner. Do not leave your food or drink alone with him. Do not let him kiss you goodnight."
Draco was going to speak to Astoria anyhow.
Buffy narrowed her eyes at him. "He can kiss me if he wants. Why don't you slap a chastity belt on me right now?"
Draco perked up. "Do you have one?"
She slapped him on the arm, not caring to hold back her strength. "That was sarcasm, you idiot. Don't you dare try it, either."
"What on earth would I do with a chastity belt? Do not sleep with him. He could kill you in your sleep."
Buffy's jaw dropped. "You think I'd sleep with him on the first date? I've only talked to him twice since he was hired. I'm not a slut!"
"Well, you should be extra not a slut and not kiss him either. What if he wears poisoned lip balm that he's built up an immunity to?"
If he kept this up, she was going to get a headache. Buffy sighed and rubbed her forehead. "Then I guess I'm screwed. You realize the more you tell me not to do it, the more I want to just because?"
Draco sighed. "You're driving me to drink again. He's not worthy of you, and he will end up hurting you, and then I'll have to kill him. Painfully."
"If he hurts me, I'll kill himself." She tried to give him a reassuring grin. "Seriously, Draco. Don't let this consume you. Go play overprotective hero for Pevensie."
"Oh Gods, Blaise thinks the little werewolf boy likes her. He'd too old for her, and he has a wallet with a chain on it. I don't like that."
Buffy took that tidbit of information and ran with it--ran far away from her own dating issues. "Aw, I think Rowan is sweet, and Faith was always right when she said slaying makes you hungry and horny. Do they fight a lot?"
Draco turned and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?"
"To hex his face off," Draco snapped.
Buffy rushed in front of him and placed her body in the doorway so he couldn't get past her. Maybe that hadn't been such a good idea. "Draco, Draco
, stop! You can't hex him or do anything to him. I was winding you up. Pevensie's only 15. She's not thinking like that yet."
"You don't know that. Have you seen her dressed up? She doesn't look fifteen, and he's some werewolf thug who likes to get into fights. She'll get distracted, and she'll get hurt. I can't have that, so he needs a warning. A damaging one."
She rolled her eyes and refused to let him pass. "You really think she'll take well to you hexing on her behalf. I'm telling you this as a slayer. I've been there. Don't
try to be noble and do something on her behalf. She can take care of herself."
"She's mine," Draco said fiercely. "I take care of what's mine."
"So do I," Buffy replied with just as much passion. "You think I'd be joking if someone wanted to take advantage of my girls? Hell no. I'd drop kick their ass out of here."
"He's here because Oz trusts him, and Oz is my mate and all, but that does not mean I have to trust any wolf pups with my girl."
"I'm not an idiot. I heard that you interrupted them once already. That was the one threat you got to give."
Draco glared. "And I plan to keep the treats fresh in his mind. Nott has seen what I do when someone mess with my things. I trust he remembers."
Draco threw tantrums a lot at Hogwarts. He'd only been truly angry once. He'd scared most of his housemates that time. Angry on him tended to go hand in hand with crazy.
Buffy glowered. While she wasn't happy that the conversation had gone to her making sure Draco didn't fly off the handle and hex the help, she wasn't too keen on going back to her own date.
"So I'm your... thing?" she asked slowly.
"One of my people, yes," Draco said in a tone that suggested it should have been obvious to her.
She didn't want to tell him that he'd saved himself an ass kicking by rephrasing it. "And I don't get any say whether or not I want to be your possession like some sort of toy?"
Draco sighed in exasperation. He was ever so tired of explaining this. "Its not like that. You don't understand."
Buffy crossed her arms with a glare. "Then you better start explaining it."
"I don't want to," Draco protested. "It suggests I have feelings."
Her glare lessened and she tried to control the grin. He'd whined a bit when he said that. It was almost cute. "You just rushed off to defend your slayer's honor. You have feelings. Deal with it."
"Well, she's mine. I can't have people thinking they can mess with my things."
"There's the things again!" she snapped. "Are we just toys you bring out to play with?"
"No!" Draco started pacing. "The word things with me encompasses a plethoraic combination of people, places and actual things, all right. Bloody hell. All offend by a word choice."
She made a face. "Well I don't normally take well to being defined as a thing. Sue me."
"You just don't understand how I work, that's all. Perhaps you should have Willow explain it to you. She's been in my head."
It was not the most pleasant thing ever, but Willow could beat is Occlumency.
"That doesn't make sense. You've been in my head but I still have to explain things I say to you." Buffy grinned in triumph.
"No, I haven't. I've skimmed your surface. When I first met her, Willow was unstable. She had an episode when I happened to be there. She went too deep. I couldn't stop her."
"That still doesn't give me a reason why you won't explain it to me. Are you worried about those pesky emotions again?"
"I don't make friends easily, not real ones. I tend to guard the ones I do make rather carefully. If you mess with one of mine, you mess with me."
He turned away. He didn't do good with feelings.
Buffy came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his middle, giving him a hug. "Was that so hard?"
"Yes. It's better not to admit you care about things. Those things can be used against you. Those things can be used to hurt you."
He turned around and looked down at her.
"Do you have to go out with Theo Nott?"
"Do I have to? No." She grinned when he looked relieved. "But I want to, so I am going to."
"Why do you want to? He'd not very attractive and he's boring. You'd have a better date watching paint dry, trust me."
Buffy's eyebrow arched. "Oh so you know this from personal experience? You've been on a date with Theo?"
"I lived with him for six years. He and I and Blaise plus two others shared a dorm room. Blaise can tell you plenty about him too. We've known him since we were toddlers."
"Well I haven't, and I want to get to know him without bias." Buffy shook her head. "I'm getting more trouble from you about this date than I did when I dated Angel when he came back after I sent him to hell after he went on a murdering spree and tried to end the world."
"I can't compete with that. My worst is a girl that set a bed on fire. Literally. With me in it."
Buffy snorted. "No wonder you're so obsessed with setting things on fire."
"Blaise likes to play with knives and shop. We all have our things. Which reminds me, I need to take you shopping."
She grinned widely. "On that front, I will not put up a fight one bit."
"We should take Blaise and Pansy too. They make a sport of it. I think you'd have a good time. Blaise has a knack for dressing a woman. Undressing them too, for that matter. I do well with underthings and shoes. Pansy excels at scaring the salespeople."
"It's a date, only not really because the sparks between us never sparked."
"Almost makes me sad, but then I think about how little you see the other blokes you used to date, and I'd rather be your annoying and overprotective friend who gets to see you every day."
Buffy made a face. "It's not my fault they leave, and just because you're an annoying and overprotective friend doesn't mean you'll be around to be annoying and overprotective."
"I did mention that I have known Blaise since I was in diapers, yeah? The same goes with most of my close friends - Pansy and Tori, especially. They're both ex girlfriends. It's rather difficult to get rid of me."
"Keep trying to ban me from potential boyfriends and I will take that as a challenge."
"You'd get bored without me. I'm vastly entertaining. Buffy, I pushed Tori over the edge. She ended up in St. Mungos', and she still likes me."
She'd done the whole insane thing, and that didn't work out too well. "Yeah, well I'm not a psycho. Not in this dimension at least."
Draco frowned. "You aren't a psycho anyhow. Unlike other certain people you are determined to have dates with."
"You know what? I don't care if this date is excellent or crappy. He's earned a second one just because it pisses you off. I see why Pevensie likes to make your eye twitch."
"Gods dammit, Buffy. He's not good. It doesn't deserve your inner light, all right. You're better than dates with him."
She shook her head. "I like my men with a bit of darkness in them. Thank you for having such a nice vision of me, but I don't think I could stand a perfect, snow white guy."
"Well, sweet Circe, who could?" Draco said, making a face. "But you don't want to date the closet cannibal either."
Buffy blinked. "Are you forgetting that two of the guys I was with did
technically eat people?"
"That's different. They're vampires. And Pevensie had better not follow your dating example there."
"Angel and Spike are different. They have souls. Well," she added, "Spike got his after a few years, but he had a chip in his head so he couldn't hurt people. I don't think you have to worry about Pevensie."
"Are you kidding? It's always the ones no one thinks needs to be worried about that need to be worried about the most. Willow is the perfect example of that."
She sighed. "Willow had help getting to where she was, and we all should have stopped it earlier. I know you want to protect Pevensie, but she needs to make mistakes on her own. You can't protect her from the world forever."
"Is that a challenge?"
Draco knew he couldn't, but it was a problem with him. It always had been. He would go to great lengths to protect those he cared for. His stint as a Death Eater was more than proof of that.
"No, it's a warning. Let her live her life, Draco, the good and bad parts. She'll never grow up and she'll always look to you to protect. What happens when you're not around?"
"I'll just... always be around and live forever," he snapped.
Buffy smiled at him. "It's nice to know you care so much about her, but if you really cared, you'd let her grow up."
"I grew up, you know. It isn't all that great."
"I grew up too," she replied with a chuckle. "There are good moments in there."
"You are entirely too optimistic for me right now. The only meaning to my life is keeping that girl alive. Everything else is... disappointing."
Buffy poked him. "Seriously, get rid of the boo hoo attitude. Life sucks, but you move on. You're allowed to have fun."
Draco made a face at her. Her really didn't recall fun, and every time he let his guard down to be happy, something came a long a ruined it. Best not to expect happiness.
"What's with the face? You have fun, right? You don't just slave away here? Your friends come by, you go do stuff with them... right?"
Draco shrugged. Really the only time he went out was when someone made him. He stayed here. He went to the library, he worked and he slept. It was rather pathetic now that he thought about it.
What she wouldn't do to have a Bronze here by the Council. True, most of her times at the club were spent killing things, but it was still a nice, relaxing place.
"Seriously? You're turning into Giles. No wait, I take that back. Even Giles was cool and went out and did stuff."
"I tend to get into trouble. Things tend to end badly. I think perhaps I have experienced plenty of life thus far. And it mostly sucks."
Buffy shook her head. "I refuse to believe it. We're all going to go out and have fun sometime. I don't suppose there are any clubs or coffee houses nearby?"
"We can go anywhere you want," Draco said. "Wizard, here. Hello."
"I am going to make you have fun. You will have it, and you will relax. I'll work it out when a group of us can go out. Sound good?"
"I can't relax. That's when the bad happens."
Buffy patted his chest and kissed his cheek. "We won't go on a Tuesday or my birthday. You'll be fine."