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Socks and Peter Gabriel

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By the end of the month, Buffy has five piles of dirty laundry - towels, sheets, blood-and-dirt stained clothing, whites, and everything else. It takes her all day so she puts in a movie or two and does her mending or catches up on e-mail while waiting for the buzzer.

It's her time to think. Her time as everyone knows to be out of the house. Otherwise, they were put to work with a bottle of Shout. Sometimes Buffy wanted to write long love letters to the people at Shout. Laundry day is Buffy day. Everyone knows this.

Except her newest housemate who stands in a towel talking on his cell phone. For guy who almost died due to gut-related injuries, Gunn looks really hot shirtless.

Buffy sits cross-legged on the couch, scrubbing her favorite pink top and waiting. "Get dressed," she says as soon as Gunn hangs up. "You really should've gotten up this morning and gone to the mall with Dawn and Faith."

Gunn's confused. He hasn't been here for laundry day yet. In fact, he's been doing his own laundry. Buffy rather likes that considering that Xander threw her bras in the dryer and Andrew left her to uncurl his stinky socks.

Plus, Buffy really needs to stop staring at his chest. "Don't forget to bring your dirty towel," she shouts as she hears his bedroom door close. She goes back to attacking the shirt and continues to watch the Grey's Anatomy DVDs that Willow brought her the last time she visited.

"Laundry, huh." Gunn comes out in jeans and a t-shirt. Buffy doesn't think that anyone has looked so good in jeans before. She really needs to concentrate on the damn stain and listening for the buzzer to put her sheets in the dryer.

Buffy hands him a thing of Shout. She can never keep too many on hand. "If you're here on laundry day, you help out."

"So that's why Dawn ran out before Regis."

"He's not just the same thing without Kathy Lee," Buffy says. She likes how Gunn just picks up a pair of pants and starts scrubbing. Grabbing the remote, Buffy skips the theme song. She loves DVDs.

They watch TV and fold laundry all day. Buffy makes a big stack of socks to sort later as she goes about folding towels and Gunn goes into the kitchen to grab them sodas. Buffy can never go through the socks without the support of a carbonated drink. The navy blue socks always look like the black ones and the white ones get mangled so they're all the same size. It makes her long for holidays when Dawn wears ones with little candy corn or Santas, because those are easy to match.

Gunn opens his Coke and grabs the pile of whites. The whites. No one ever wants to sort the white socks. Buffy and Dawn once played a rousing game of "not it" and made Andrew fold the mound. But here was Gunn, sitting on her couch, watching a show declared by Faith to be too girly, and folding the whites. Perfect. All he needs is a boombox and a copy of "In Your Eyes."

"Buffy?"

"Yes." Buffy folds two fuzzy hot pink socks together.

"You're staring."

"Socks are hard to match."

"Not at the socks."

"Oh." Buffy blushes and focuses on her hands. Hands which are very safe to watch.

"It's okay." Gunn's smiling when she looks up at him again. "I don't mind the staring." He places his hand on the side of her face and leans in to kiss her. The kiss makes her all swoon-y and weak-kneed.

Buffy grins back him. "I think I could get used to this."

"Not too shabby."

"Definitely not." Buffy kisses him again. She could get used to this kissing and to having someone help her fold the socks and wash the towels.