Ash scowled as he punched at the tiny little keyboard with his larger fingers, and entertained the thought of just punching the keyboard period. Stupid little buttons drove him nuts, especially with one metal hand, cause it meant half the time he hit the wrong thing and had to go back and fix it. It also made him decide prejudicially that while there were some advantages to having come back over twenty years too late- one of which was curled up with her head in his lap asleep at that exact moment- the worst part was how tiny they kept makin’ things. Letting out an audible growl when he hit the wrong number yet again, he corrected it with a slightly harder than necessary bash to the keypad- and was rewarded by a little beep in his ear that startled him somewhat. Apparently he’d done something to turn on the gizmo- bucktooth? Bluemouth? Bluetie?- that was hooked there, and now the phone screen was blinking at him strangely.
“What the heck?” he grumbled quietly, trying to hit the back arrow on the keypad, but all he got for his trouble was a whirring noise, a second beep in his ear, and then a smooth computer voice.
“We’re sorry, that is not a valid command. Please repeat your command.”
“Command?” Ash’s nose wrinkled as he stared at the phone, which was still blinking, text scrolling across the screen slowly, saying something about ‘-ice control activated.’ “I didn’t give no command, what’re you talking about?”
The thing whirred, beeped for a third time, and told him, “We’re sorry, that is not a valid command. Please repeat your command.”
“What’d’ya mean, ‘repeat your command?’ I didn’t give a command!” His voice rose in irritation despite himself, and he winced when, on his lap, Buffy shifted in her sleep and made a soft sound. Crap, he was gonna wake her up if he wasn’t careful, and after the long night she’d had slaying last night, he didn’t wanna disturb her. He glared at the phone, as if it was all its fault, and whispered, “All I’m tryin’ to do is call the restaurant to make reservations!”
Another whir, followed by a beep, and Ash scowled, ready to rip the stupid thing out of his ear and stomp on it, when it said “Call Red.” Then, there was a sequence of ten beeps like it was dialing.
“Oh. Okay then.” He scratched his head, confused, but hey, if it was gonna call the restaurant for him, he wasn’t gonna argue. Too bad it wasn’t quite that simple.
“If this isn’t an emergency, Ash, I’m turning you into a toad.”
Holy- “Willow?” Who’d- been up just as long as Buffy had last night. And who was gonna roast him for waking her up. Think fast, Ash. “Oh- hey, I, uh- I wasn’t tryin’ to call you, really. Didn’t mean to wake ya up, so uh-”
“Toad, Ash. Tick-tock.”
“So the phone did it, and I’m just gonna hang up. Bye.” And where the heck was the off button? The sleeping slayer on his lap wiggled closer as he stabbed at the keypad with his finger, trying hurriedly to end the call- it was the button with a phone on it, wasn’t it? Except there were two buttons like that! He hit the green one first, squashing a couple other numbers in the process and causing the phone to squawk, but he could still hear the witch on the other end- and there was a suspicious noise coming from her. It sounded suspiciously like-
“The red one,” she offered, sounding a lot less annoyed, and more like she was trying not to laugh.
“Thanks,” he muttered, and quickly mashed the red phone button before his pride could be wounded any further. Thankfully, a beep sounded in seeming finality, signaling the end of the call, and Ash glared at the stupid thing in his hand. No piece of stinkin’ technology was going to get the best of him. “All I want is to call the freakin’ restaurant,” he groused to himself. Of course, he should’ve expected the whir and beep that followed the complaint.
“Oh no ya don’t!” Red button! And an even deeper glared at the phone was followed by Ash grabbing at the lousy earpiece he’d been wearing and throwing it across the room. The thunk it made when it hit the opposite wall was satisfying, if kind of loud and destructive, and he instinctively looked down at Buffy’s sleeping form to make sure he hadn’t woken her up by accident. And that was when she realized she was shaking.
His first thought was that she was having nightmares, and worried, he tried to turn her over, brown eyes a little wide. When she didn’t move, clinging to him and shaking a little more, completely silent, a thrill of fear rushed through him. Was she havin’ some kind of Slayer dream? Why was she holdin’ so tight to him? And why couldn’t he turn her over?
“Baby? Buffy, baby, you okay?” Her shoulders shook a little more, completely silent, then-
Suddenly, there was laughter. And suddenly, he wasn’t nearly so worried.
“I- I love you.” It was gasped out between laughs, the wide awake blonde obviously trying very hard not to laugh and just as obviously failing desperately. “I’m sorry, I just- oh god, Ash, we need to get you a different phone.”
“Yeah, laugh it up, huh,” Ash growled, jutting his jaw out in a defiant pout as his girlfriend sat up from his lap. “Just you wait, ain’t no phone gonna outwit me. You’ll see. Gimme time, and you’ll see.”
“I’m sure,” she answered, gaining control over her laughter, although it didn’t diminish the grin that graced her face even as she leaned over to give him an apologetic kiss on the cheek. “Love you anyway, no matter how many times the phone wins.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll show you.” And there was the promise. Next time, he was gonna win against the darn thing. After all, the Promised One never backed down from a promise.