Priorities. By now she could recite Giles' definition of the dreaded word by heart. She could see him perfectly in her head, taking a deep breath as he took off his glasses and cleaned them for the hundredth time on his excessively tweed clothing. "Buffy, you have certain priorities that you need to take care of and have in order. Now I know you have…obligations to other things, but none of them have the precedence like slaying! You cannot ignore your calling!" This speech of Giles' was becoming more and more common now that the year was winding down and everyone seemed to be getting struck with a severe case of senioritis. But Buffy couldn't help it if she was the only slayer ever to have something remotely resembling a life. All previous slayers were just staking machines; all work and no play. No families, no friends, no school, nothing but stakes and vamps. At least Buffy was in school (no one said she ever had to be acing every class to be considered a student), and she had her mother and the best friends anyone could ask for and not to mention a relationship with a very tall, dark, and yummy undead guy. Well, Buffy figured that something must be working in her crazy, chaotic life because she had made it to eighteen after all. Whoopee.
At the moment Buffy was walking toward the library to talk to Giles about whatever he needed to so urgently talk about right after sixth period. Buffy honestly didn't know what he could possibly need to discuss; the undead activity was at an ultimate low, even for Sunnydale's standards. She just hoped that Giles wasn't going to keep her locked in the library for the rest of eternity. She just happened to have a date with Angel tonight that she was not going to miss for the world. They were taking advantage of the quiet to have a romantic break from all the killing and slaying. It wasn't like they didn't deserve it, Buffy had nearly been burned at the stake last week and had to fight an army of MOO. Not something that was on the extensive priority list that Giles lectured her on oh so often. She was in definite need of some Angel time. God, it had seemed like forever since they had –
"Buffy! There you are!" came a voice from behind Buffy.
Buffy was pulled out of her thoughts as Willow caught up with her. "What? Oh, hey Willow. What are you up to?"
Willow looked at her strangely. "To the library, where Giles told us like eight times today to meet him after sixth."
"Right, the library. To talk to Giles. God I hope he doesn't keep us here all night. They do know the whole point behind Friday's in England right?" Willow just laughed as they pushed open the doors to the library. Giles gave them each a stern look for being a few minutes late as a greeting and motioned for them to take their seats at the table, where Xander, Oz, and Cordelia were already seated.
"So G-Man, what calls for this little shindig-o-fun? I mean hasn't Buffy been saying things have been pretty quiet after dark?" Xander said, earning himself one of Giles' best British, I'm-cross-with-you glares.
"Well, that's just the thing. When there is little activity, it usually points to a…gathering of forces, if you will," Giles said, immediately going into Watcher-mode. He got up and crossed the library to pick up an old book and flipped to a bookmarked page. "Now tonight at precisely 3:34 in the morning, the Andromeda galaxy will directly align with the middle star of Orion's belt. Now, Grappar demons are known for their worship of both Andromeda and Orion, and I found a reference of this exact event happening 651 years ago in Albania and on that night an entire herd of cows was found dead in their pasture. Even though there hasn't been a Grappar sighting in nearly 400 years, the numbers 3, 34, and 651 directly correlate to their-"
"Giles! We get it. Ultimate impending doom for cows. Do you think it could wait a night? Give us the weekend off, or at least spare us teenagers a Friday night?" Buffy said. Giles opened his mouth to protest but Buffy cut him off again. "Things have been really quiet, and yeah it is a little strange, but can't we just enjoy the calm for once? Every little moment of peace doesn't mean that the Hellmouth is going to spit out something large and unruly at us." Xander just nodded in agreement and Oz just looked at Buffy with a somewhat amused look on his face.
Giles stared at the group for a moment before sighing, announcing his defeat. There was no way that he was going to win this argument against a bunch of second-semester seniors at the end of the day on a Friday. The group stood up quickly and made a dash for the door. "Now, now, before you hurry out of here, Buffy, I would like you to do a precautionary patrol, just to make sure things are as quiet as they seem," Giles said as Buffy turned around the face him.
"To see if your extinct demon is roaming around killing any cows?" Buffy said to him.
"Report back to me what you find," Giles said, giving her a look.
Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes. "Right. One patrol, coming right up."
As they walked to their last class of the unnaturally long day, Buffy and Willow chatted about the upcoming weekend. "I'm thinking some definite Bronzing this weekend. Is Oz playing?"
"Yup, the Dingoes will be in full force tomorrow night," Willow responded.
Buffy smiled and said, "Nice, I'll be there."
"So what about tonight? How 'bout an early patrol and a late night movie? Or we could do the early movie and a late sweep, or you have plans already…" Willow trailed off, glancing at the apologetic look Buffy had on her face.
"I'm sorry Will, Angel wanted to do dinner or something…" Buffy told her.
"Oh! Well, a date with Angel, that's always good, I mean you guys definitely deserve some-"
"Normalcy? Yes please, I would like a giant heaping plate of normal. But no, date night will consist of patrolling filled with non-slayage because every fricken vampire in southern California seems to have gone into hibernation."
"Maybe you guys can grab a late night burger or something after patrol? Well, you can at least, I don't really think that Burger Joint serves O-positive…right?"
Buffy gave a small laugh and smiled. "No, they don't. If we're out, which is not often by the way," Buffy said rolling her eyes, "Angel will usually eat something just to appear non vamp-like, but it won't really taste like anything to him."
"Wow, poor guy. He's really missing out on some quality onion rings," Willow said sadly. Buffy smiled at her best friend as they walked into their Calculus class.
Buffy breathed a sigh of relief as she opened the door to her house and stepped inside. Finally, the never-ending week was over and Buffy could relax for an hour or two before she had to head out for the pointless patrol. She flopped down on the couch and turned on the TV, searching for something to watch.
"Buffy? Oh good your home," Joyce Summers said, spying her daughter on the couch as she walked into the room. She sat down next to Buffy, who was just starting to doze off into a much needed nap and said, "Listen honey, I want you to be home early tonight, I'm having dinner with someone and he wants to come here after to meet you."
"Someone? As in a male someone? As in you're dating someone?" Buffy said, springing to life and staring at her mom incredulously.
Joyce just nodded at her daughter and said, "He really wants to meet you."
"Mom. Do I need to bring up evil-crazy-psychopath-robot that drugged us all and then tried to kill us?" Buffy said, shuddering at the thought of Ted.
"Buffy, Greg is nothing like Ted. He's completely normal and human," Joyce said, trying to reassure her daughter. Buffy sighed and kept her mouth shut, turning back to the TV. "Anyway, be home by ten, that's when we should be back from dinner," Joyce said standing up. Buffy just groaned and leaned her head back on the couch. So much for a quiet Friday night on the Hellmouth.
Later that evening, Buffy changed into a nice outfit that it was also possible to do some slaying in if the need arose and headed out to get a head start on patrol before meeting Angel for a late dinner date. She had called him earlier to let him know that Giles was in a no mercy mood and not giving her the night off. She had wanted him to side with her, telling her to just forget about sacred duty for one night and come over to his place, but no, he was typical Angel about the whole thing. Saying that he "understood" where Giles was coming from and that it was "probably a good idea" to do a little patrolling. Ugh. Why did he have to be so damn sensible?
"Vampires, come out, come out wherever you are…" Buffy said as she sat on a headstone in Restfield, alone. As she predicted, there was absolutely no activity here tonight. Suddenly, a pair of strong arms wrapped themselves around her waist and she felt a pair of cool lips lightly kiss her neck and then start to nibble on her ear. Buffy smiled and let out a small giggle as she turned to face her boyfriend. She pulled her legs up to sit cross-legged on the headstone and wrapped her arms around his neck, playing with the soft hair on the back of his neck. She rested her forehead against his and rubbed their noses together. "Hey, I got one," Buffy said with a smile as she brought her lips to his in a sweet kiss. She felt him smile against her lips and he pulled away to look her in the eyes.
"How's patrol going?" Angel asked her.
Buffy sighed and said, "Absolutely nothing. Nada." Angel smiled at his girlfriend's frustration and she continued saying, "God, I'm sorry about tonight Angel, I know how hard it is to find some quality 'us' time these days, and I would say that we could do something later tonight, but Giles wants me to check in with him, and I need to be home early to meet Mom's new boyfriend," Buffy said with a shudder. "Jeeze, I need to be in like five places at once tonight! I mean I am the slayer, but I'm no-"
Angel cut her off by brushing his lips over hers, successfully silencing her woes. "It's okay babe, we can always do something another night. I'm grateful for anytime I get to spend with you, it doesn't matter what we're doing, or…not doing."
Buffy smiled again and brought her mouth to his again. The wrapped her arms around his neck to deepen the kiss and felt his large hands spread out on her small back as he nursed her mouth with his own. She moved one hand to rest on his face, feeling his powerful jaw work to kiss her. Buffy was pretty close to losing whatever conscious thought she still had left when something suddenly vibrated in her pocket.
She jumped a little, breaking the kiss and gave a little noise of surprise as she sat there, momentarily stunned at what was happening. As she struggled to calm her breath and force the lust-fog to clear from her brain, her pocket vibrated again.
"Your cell phone," Angel said in a husky voice as he nodded to her pocket, keeping his eyes on Buffy
"Right, my cell phone," Buffy said as she nodded at Angel, her eyes still on his.
Angel furrowed his brows together as he asked, "Well, are you going to get it?"
Buffy jumped a little again as it vibrated a third time. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the mood killer. "Just a voicemail," she said to no one in particular. "Or three," she added, opening up the device. There were two from Giles, undoubtedly wondering if she came across any dead cows and wondering why she hadn't checked in yet, and one from her Mom, probably reminding her for the fifth time to be home early to meet the boyfriend. There were also a few missed calls from Xander, who was probably at the Bronze and wanted her to meet him and everyone else there. Buffy just groaned and closed the cell phone without checking the voicemails then leaned her head against Angel's toned chest. How was she supposed to keep her boyfriend, her mother, her friends, her Watcher, and most importantly, herself all happy? "It's not like I have superpowers or something," Buffy thought to herself as Angel rubbed his hands up and down in a soothing pattern on her back. "Wait, scratch that argument."
After a few moments of silence, Buffy just muttered "Damn priorities," into Angel's chest and felt it rumble in response as he chuckled. But she continued to sit on the headstone, and was not planning on moving anytime soon. Nope, the only priority for this little slayer tonight was to stay put right here.