"I can't help but notice that I'm not supposed to come to this talent show, but you have no problem with me making your costumes," Joyce observed mildly.
Buffy looked down at her mother from the stool she was perched on as Joyce pinned the pieces of the costume around her.
"Here, let me see that, honey."
Buffy handed her mother the pieces and stepped down. "I can't believe Principal Snyder is making us do this," she grumbled, flinging herself into a nearby chair. "Stupid little man, making us participate in school activities."
"Well, I think it's nice that the three of you have decided to join the talent show," Joyce said.
"Decide? There was no free will involved," Buffy pouted.
Dawn smirked. "Well yeah, it's not like you have any talent anyway. What are you going to do, burn down the school onstage?"
"Shut up," Buffy retorted, throwing her sister an evil look.
Dawn shrieked, crossing the room to stand by her mother. "Mom!"
Joyce answered without looking up from the pieces of the costume in her hands. "Buffy, don't tell your sister to shut up. And Dawn, I'm sure your sister will be wonderful. A dramatic scene is such a nice idea.
"And it was very nice of Mr. Giles to help you with it," she added.
"He's the one who wrote this stupid scene," Buffy grumbled, climbing back onto the stool as Joyce started pinning the altered pieces around her.
The doorbell rang and Dawn ran out of the room into the hall, "I bet that's Xander!"
"Hey, Dawnie, how's it hanging?" Xander's voice carried as he entered the house, Willow following right behind him. "Wow, Mrs. Summers, that looks great."
"It's just some old bed sheets I put together," she replied modestly.
"If she doesn't want it, can I have it?" Dawn asked, bouncing back into the room with a plate of cookies, which she offered to Xander and Willow.
"What are you going to do with it? Play dress up with the other kids?" Buffy countered, stretching out for a cookie and failing as Dawn swooped them out of reach.
"Shut up!" Dawn shrieked, "I'm not a kid!"
Through a mouthful of pins, Joyce calmly said, "Dawn, don't tell your sister to shut up. And I'll make you a costume if there's any material left."
Dawn stuck out her tongue, flounced out of the room, and returned the cookies to the kitchen counter. After a moment of silence, Willow nervously interjected, "I'm still not sure about this. I mean, do you remember when I had to be in the Christmas pageant? It was a disaster. A horrible disaster with, with all the people looking at me and the manger and the angel wings and–"
Xander grinned at Willow, "Ah yes, with the vomit. But hey, that was in second grade. Maybe now that you're a well adjusted adolescent, there won't be any vomit?" he finished hopefully.
Returning from the kitchen, Dawn grimaced, "Ew," she asked, "You really vomited?"
Willow blushed and looked down. "Er, well…"
"Anyway," Joyce said, changing the subject, "what is this play about?"
Xander looked up from his cookie, "Ummm, well there's this guy…Oedipus…"
"And he slays a sphinx," Buffy added.
"Yep," Xander agreed, "A sphinx."
Willow eyed the other two and turned to Joyce, "Well, there's a bit more to it than that."
Dawn giggled and said to Buffy, "Don't you have to know what it's about. Isn't that, like, the point?"
Buffy glared. "Sure I know. It's about fate and, uh, prophecy and gods. Um, and irony and…oh! Incest. It's definitely about incest."
"What's incest?" Dawn asked.
While the others blushed, Joyce shot Buffy a look and responded, "Nothing you need to be concerned with."
Willow cringed. "Ok, so you listened to Giles. Sorta. But really, it's about the futility of attempting to escaping destiny and the importance of taking responsibility for your own actions." She paused, "and well, yeah, incest."
Xander, finished with his cookie, said only, "Oh."
"See," Buffy said pointedly to Dawn, "Prophecies. And escaping gods. Just what I said. Now go away."
"Gods and prophecies," Dawn huffed and flounced off again, muttering to herself, "how lame is that?"