A thousand comebacks were at the tip of Dawn’s tongue, but she decided to use the most powerful weapon of all. Silence.
Buffy stared back, her face morphing into that somewhat bored, sort of pissed-off, long-suffering expression that she often wore when slaying the more stupid vampires who made the mistake of getting in her way.
Finally, Dawn couldn’t take it anymore. “What? I can’t talk to my friends?”
“Do it with the door open,” Buffy said, firmly, giving Captain Jack a meaningful look that he missed, because he was trying to ignore the exchange by examining Dawn’s homework.
“Oh, for crying out loud ---“
“We have rules, Dawn. When I was your age –“
“When you were my age, you were sneaking off to the cemetery to see your two-hundred year-old vampire boyfriend.”
“This isn’t about me.”
Dawn sighed loudly. “Don’t go all lecture-y on me. Jack and I were just talking. See? Clothes still on. Hickey-free and everything.”
“Keep it that way.” Buffy tapped Captain Jack on the shoulder. “The door stays open. Got it?”
The wounded look he gave Buffy was worthy of an Academy Award. “She’s young enough to be my daughter. Can’t believe ye’d imply something that icky.”
It took everything Dawn had to keep a straight face.
Buffy made a small, frustrated sound, turned on her heel and left.
“Ye got the answer to this problem wrong,” Captain Jack said, pointing to her homework. “This is an isosceles triangle, love, not a right triangle.”
“So what’s the answer?”
“Try it again and find out. I’m not doin’ yer homework for ye.”
“Some help you are.”
He grinned at her. “Ye’ll thank me when ye solve it on yer own.”
“I’d thank you more if you did it for me,” she tried, hopefully.
“But then ye wouldn’t know the difference between yer triangles and who knows how that might affect the balance between good an’ evil.” His brown eyes sparkled at her and he ruffled her hair, affectionately. “Speakin’ of which, pet, I want to talk to ye about this champion business.”
“What about it?”
Captain Jack drew a deep breath and his expression grew serious. “What does it mean, exactly, that I’m to be yer champion?”
“It means…” Dawn paused, trying to find the right words. She took his hand in hers. “You’re special.”
“I already knew that.” He squeezed her hand gently. “This champion business sounds like a lot of responsibility.”
“Uh-huh. And it’s dangerous.”
“Dangerous, eh? So what’s in it for me?”
“You’ll thank me when you find out the answer on your own.”