"So, what," her little sister's voice issued brightly from the Bluetooth earbud, "do you think he meant, like, as a date? Or is it more a work thing? Or just one of those, 'we just survived a week in meeting hell together, let's let down our hair a little' type of things?"
Buffy snorted, frowning at the mirror as she held up the least-wrinkled thing in her suitcase. "I don't know. I mean, it's kind of a nice restaurant? But it is like a block from the hotel, so it could just be convenient. And he does that smoldering gravely-voiced thing pretty much twenty-four seven these days, so I can't even be sure he meant the invitation the way it sounded." She sighed irritably, frowning at the way the dress' neckline draped across her chest. "God, who would have ever thought back in Sunnydale that I'd be nervous about dressing up for him?"
"Certainly not me, considering I wasn't really even there to think it," Dawn replied, smartly. "Or Cordy; she'd have faced you down with a rusty nail-file for him, nerd though he was."
Not. Helpful. "Seriously, Dawn. How am I supposed to know what to wear?" she asked, plaintively.
She could almost hear Dawn rolling her eyes over the airwaves. "You already know what you're going to wear. The question is, what are you going to wear under it?" She snickered. "C'mon, tell me. Which ones did you bring?"
"Starting from the top?" Buffy glanced down at her suitcase. "A normal one, that beige one that minimizes without flattening, the black satin padded one, and the lacy one that lifts and emphasizes?"
"Hmm. You're right, those'll have some drastically different effects on your bustline," Dawn said, adopting a faux-authoritative tone as she finally settled down to the question. "I'm guessing you're not planning any Slayage, so the minimizer would just be pathetic, and unless you're planning to wear a sweater over it the padded one's a no-go, too. Otherwise, they'll look like water balloons and it'll be all kinds of awkward when they deflate. Which, duh, you already know. So what you're really asking is, do I think he wants to take you home and unwrap you? But since when are you nervous about that? I thought you said you'd buried the hatchet and everything. You've certainly been mooning after him enough on the phone."
"Since it's a human guy I actually like doing the asking," Buffy lamented. "The Immortal was a lot easier to read, and so was Spike. And Angel, for that matter. It's been, I don't know. Since Riley? What if he's just been all buddy-buddy because I'm the only one here he knows besides his demon-y ex?"
"Whispering off-color translations in your ear of what the other attendees are saying counts as buddy-buddy?" Dawn snarked. "And what if time ran backwards tonight and you woke up drooling on the library table at Sunnydale High instead of in bed with a seriously hot magical P.I. at the Interspecies Interdimensional Nonaggression Conference? Come on. Live a little. Wear those four-inch spike-heeled sandals you know I saw you sneaking into the suitcase, and leave the panty-hose off. And the panties. Trust me, you'll make Wes' year."
"Not his century? Or even his decade?" she joked, as she sighed and put down the dress to change into the bra in question. It did make her look almost like she had respectable cleavage, she had to admit, and when she slid the dress on over it created a nicely inviting landscape to show off her protective amulet slash necklace. "And how would you know, anyway?"
"Spike gossips," Dawn replied airily; and Buffy sighed, knowing she'd get nothing more out of her little sister on the subject. Once she and Spike had repaired their friendship-- after she and Buffy had both finished yelling at him for not letting them know he was alive again-- they'd gone right back to being thick as thieves, bossy younger sister and disreputable older brother. She vigilantly kept his secrets, even if they were just everyday gripings about his fellow returned-from-the-grave British co-worker and their blue-tinted third partner in the investigative business.
"So it is a date, miss 'what do you think he meant'," she mused chidingly.
"Go find out," Dawn said, "and then call me and spill all the gory details, kay? I'm not getting any either while Xand's off helping Faith and Robin train the new batch in Cleveland."
A shudder wracked Buffy's frame as she clipped enameled silver and black hoops into place. "Eugh. What did I tell you about making me picture Xander naked?"
"That I'm evil? Well, duh, I was made from you, doofus."
"I hate you," Buffy said petulantly, and hung up over the sound of her sister's giggles.