Dawn rolled over and snuggled down under the covers. She supposed that she should get up but she was way too comfortable to give that more that a fleeting consideration. A smile graced her face as she thought back to last night's date. They hadn't stayed too long at Satterfield's send-off party. She still hadn't found out the poor woman's name, not that it really mattered. It had been fun razzing Will about it later at dinner.
A few minutes later, her nose told her that it had to be later than she thought. The hints of oregano and garlic, plus the sweet smell of tomato told her that Buffy was already up and cooking. The mad cook was at it again and the scullery maid hadn't reported in yet. With a sigh, Dawn threw back the covers and made her way to the bathroom.
Five minutes later she followed the sound of clanging of pots and pans to the kitchen. As she entered the kitchen she could hear the sizzle of something frying.
Dawn filled her mug with the hot brew. She sniffed it before taking a sip.
“Hey, this is the good stuff.”
“I picked it up last night when I went shopping.” Buffy opened a near the stove and pulled out a large pan and the largest stock pot they owned.
“Daniel said he liked Italian and the leftovers will make cooking duties easy this week.”
Buffy began to fill the stock pot at the sink.
“So, do you want to spill about Jay?”
“Wouldn't you rather know about Daniel?”
“Daniel I'll meet tonight. Besides, I already know a few thing about him. He likes Italian food and he rates the good coffee. Mom thought he looked a bit like James Spader but you said he's bulked up a bit and is kind of scruffy . Heaven only knows when I'll meet Jay and let's face it, most of your boyfriends are, shall we say, ah, interesting.”
“Fine, what do you want to know?”
“How about how did you meet? What does he look like? Is he evil?”
“Is he evil?”
“Well, is he? Look at your track record. Angel, Riley, Spike, the Immortal. And lets not forget Jason and Parker. Seriously, except for Willow, all the Scoobies are drawn to a certain type. Xander's girls try to kill him. Giles falls for women in denial. Your boyfriends usually turn out to be evil.”
“First, you left out Pike. Second, Angel was not evil. Angelus doesn't count. Riley, not evil. Spike was only sort of evil. Jason and Parker were just losers. That only leaves one truly evil boyfriend.” Buffy place the stock pot on the stove and turned on the burner. “You on the other, your very first date was with a vamp. Just because you staked him doesn't give you a pass.”
“Hello, Sunnydale. Now what were the odds of that happening?”
“Well, this isn't Sunnydale. And no, Jay isn't evil. Can you grab the ricotta and mozzarella from the 'fridge? They're on the bottom shelf.”
“Did you meet him patrolling?” Dawn grabbed the cheese and placed the containers on the counter. “Eggs too?”
“No. Eggs yes.”
“So, where? How? When?”
“Just after we moved in. I met him at Borders while I was shopping for a present for Giles. He may be young but he knows a lot about classic rock, and I don't mean the eighties' stuff. Gave me a couple of suggestions. We had coffee.”
“You've been dating him since this summer?” Dawn squeaked. How did that escape her notice?
“Not exactly. Cadets don't get out much, especially their first year.”
“First year? I figured he was younger since he was a cadet but exactly how much younger is he?”
“Six ye..., wait a sec. You're dating an eighteen year old?” Dawn started giggling. “You really meant it when you gave up older men didn't you? Eighteen, that's priceless.”
“It's not that funny.”
“Are you kidding? You've gone from dating guys who've had bicentennials to one who's just barely shaving. He does shave doesn't he? Oh my god, does he even have chest hair?”
“And you wonder why I've haven't told you anything about him.” Buffy scowled. “Didn't ya think I might be protecting him from you?”
Dawn tried, but failed, to pull off the “who me” innocent look. She was too busy trying to stifle her giggles.
“I seem to recall you had a date yesterday. And I'm betting it wasn't a first date either. Now why have you been hiding him? What's wrong with him? Could it be that he's evil? A vamp? Maybe a demon?”
Dawn stopped giggling.
“Dawnie?” Buffy drained the frying pan and put the sausage into the sauce. “Is there something you'd like tell me?”
“He's a few years older than I am and look at the time, I've got to wash my hair.” Dawn darted out of the kitchen.
“Dawn Summers, get back in here.”
It was the no nonsense voice and Dawn crept back into the kitchen. After all, she was the smarter sister.
“Alright. Will's in the Air Force.”
“Enlisted or officer?”
“Captain. But he was just promoted.”
“And just how old is he?”
“Twenty seven.” Dawn tried to reassure her sister. “He's the same age as Riley was.”
“And that worked out so well.”
“What I am supposed to do? Follow your example and date thirteen year old?”
“Don't be a smart ass.” Buffy began mixing the eggs and cheese together. “Have you considered dating someone your age?”
“Will's a nice guy and we don't have a problem with the age difference. If he weren't dating me you'd probably like him. He's a lot like Xander.”
“As long its goofy Xander rather than sex machine Xander.”
“And with that lovely image, I'm going back upstairs to wash my hair.” She put her mug next to the sink and left the room.