An exhausted Dawn plopped down in her favorite arm chair. The scullery maid had been reassigned as the maid of all work as Buffy had refused to put her newly found father's health at risk by having Dawn involved in the food preparation. She looked around the living room. Would it pass her sister's inspection?
Magazines sorted, stored, and in some cases tossed? Check.
Tables dusted and polished? Check.
Carpet vacuumed? Check.
Cushions plumped? Check.
Weapons out of sight but still easily accessible? Check.
Mystical texts moved upstairs to her room? Check.
Room aired? She sniffed and realized that there was still a hint of something that might just be mistaken for the smell of stale pot smoke. She didn't think it was too noticeable as the smells from the kitchen continued to strengthen through the house. What was noticeable was the smell coming from her. Oh well, she still had time to shower again as long she kept her hair dry.
She headed back upstairs.
Buffy smirked as she heard Dawn go up the stairs. She had intended to help clean the house but Dawn's response to finding out more about Jay put an end to that.
Does he have chest hair? Brat. Besides, she actually didn't know the answer to that. Yeah, her sex life sucked and Dawn had to pay for laughing about it like a hyena. Sticking her with the housework was only the start. Maybe she could arrange to run into her sister and Will. With a shovel. Or a sword.
She put the finishing touches on the salad and covered the bowl with plastic wrap. After placing the salad in the refrigerator, she finished cleaning up the kitchen. She should just have time for quick shower, unless Dawn used up all the hot water. She wouldn't. What was she thinking, of course she would.
Less than two miles away, Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell began unpacking. The apartment wasn't particularly large or even attractive but he didn't care. He didn't plan on spending much time at home. His new assignment promised plenty of travel. He would have been happy with being on any SG team but he wanted to be on the best, the flagship team. And he had gotten it. Starting on Monday, he was the newest member of SG-1.
Daniel double checked the address before pulling his car into Buffy's driveway. Technically, he wasn't supposed to be driving until Monday but what Doctor Brightman didn't know wouldn't hurt her, or him. The one good thing about being recalled to the SGC the previous Friday had been that he had managed to convince the good doctor that he was fit enough to go back to work a week early. He'd rather spend time with his new-found daughter but he didn't want to push for more contact that she might want. Since he was no longer part of SG-1 a half-healed foot wasn't much an impediment and it would give him something to do while she was in class. And now, his work wouldn't mean disappearing for days at a time. Sometimes, things did work out.
He parked the car as unknown young woman came out the front door to greet him. The first thing he noticed was she was quite a bit taller than Buffy and certainly more animated. The girl was practically bouncing as she made her way to his car.
“Dr. Jackson? I'm Dawn, Buffy's sister. Let me help you,” she opened the car door for him. “Buffy said you had a broken foot. Oh, god, I'm babbling aren't I.”
“Ah, yeah. Just a bit. And while I'm not ready to run a marathon, I think that I can probably make it to the house on my own.”
“Oh, sorry Dr. Jackson. I didn't think. It's just that I've been dying to meet you and I really haven't had time to quiz Buffy about you so...” Dawn groaned. “I've spent way to much time with Willow. She kinda rubs off on you and that probably makes no sense to you so please just forget my babbling.”
“Don't worry about. I've been told that I babble from time to time.” He got out of the car and headed towards the house. “And please, call me Daniel.”
Buffy exited the kitchen as the pair entered the house.
“Daniel, weren't you going to take a taxi?”
“I'm cleared to drive as of tomorrow but I won't tell the doctor if you don't.”
“Deal. I see you've met Dawn.”
“We're still trying to find the right dose of Ritalin.”
“Dawn, you practically ran out of the house when you heard his car pull in. And Daniel's looks a bit shell shocked so you've probably been doing your Willow impersonation again.”
Dawn's face flushed.
“Daniel, why don't you have seat while Dawn and I get the drinks. We've got iced tea, diet coke, and coffee.”
Daniel took a seat on the sofa as the two sisters headed into the kitchen.
The room was bright and cheery but he realized that while the room held several art objects, there were only a couple of pictures in the room. He got up to take a closer look at a picture on the end table near the window. He picked it up and he while couldn't be sure but he thought it might be a picture of Joyce.
Buffy came back in to the room and saw what had drawn his attention.
“It's the only good picture that we have of Mom.”
Daniel carefully placed the picture back on the table and went back to the sofa.
“I wasn't sure,” he began.
“It's been nearly twenty-five years and according to Mom's letter you were both kind of sloshed at the time.”
“I guess I was cheap date back then.”
Buffy giggled. “The shocker would have been if you weren't. At fifteen you're not supposed be drinking.”
“As if that's ever stopped a teen.”
“It stopped me. I waited until I was freshman in college before I got drunk.”
“Which still made you underage.”
Dawn returned carrying a tray with three oversized mugs of coffee, a creamer and a bowl of sugar.
“What's this about being underage?”
“Underage drinking. Something that you better not have any history with.”
“Please, after you went all cave girl? I've take the pledge.”
Daniel knew there had to be a good story there. He did feel just a bit guilty about egging Dawn on but he couldn't quite stop himself.
It was Buffy's turn to flush as Dawn elaborated.
“She used lipstick for wall paintings. And she sniffed Xander.”
“How?” Buffy asked.
“Xander told Anya. Anya told me.”
“Anya knew?” Left unspoken was the follow up, and I'm still breathing?
“She forgave you since you weren't really you at the time. She felt quite magnanimous about it too. And Xander got a big happy out of it for being a good boy.”
“I really should have vetted your sitters better.”
Daniel looked confused as the sisters retreated into shorthand. Not being able to follow the conversation, let alone contribute to it, he took a generous sip of his coffee. It was quite good.
The sisters suddenly stopped talking, realizing that they were ignoring their guest.
“I think that's enough about the mistakes I made raising Dawn.”
“Please, I was a teenage when you took over.”
“You're still a teenager.”
“So, Daniel. Can you tell us about the places you've traveled to?”
“Most of the traveling I've done for the Air Force is classified but I can tell you about some of the digs I went on as a student...”