"I'm home," Dawn called, letting her bags slide to the floor and nudging the door shut with her foot. The house was silent around her, and she slumped back against the door. In this house, silent meant empty.
"Dawn! You're early. We missed you," Dawn exclaimed in a surprised falsetto. "Here, let me take your bags up for you, since I have totally unfair super-strength and you don't." She hoisted the bags back onto her shoulders and started lugging them up the stairs. If she got scoliosis from carrying her own luggage, she was never going to forgive Buffy.
She didn't have the breath to keep up her grumbling and carry her bags up two flights, so she fell silent except for the occasional huffing and the more than occasional cursing. The cursing was aimed at the architect who thought three floors was a brilliant idea, at Giles for buying the damned house, and at her yoga instructor, who had clearly not been giving her enough of a workout. By the time she got to her room, Dawn was out of breath and ready to collapse onto her bed. She was leaning in the doorway, gathering her energy to cross the room, when she heard a low moan from across the hall.
If there was one thing Dawn hated, it was walking in on a mini-Slayer making out with her stupid, oblivious boyfriend. When she'd been their age, Dawn had confined her make-out sessions to the back seats of cars and the top row of movie theaters, like a normal person. Of course, Buffy had threatened to damage Dawn's boyfriends if they laid a hand on her, but still.
The voice moaned again, and Dawn froze. She knew that moan, and it didn't belong to a Slayer or a stupid, oblivious boyfriend. That was totally Xander's sex moan, and the fact that she still remembered it clearly from the days when he and Anya would come out of the training room rumpled and sweaty probably said a lot about how much attention Dawn had squandered on Xander back then.
Dawn bit her lip to suppress a giggle. Xander had a girlfriend! That jerk hadn't even hinted that he'd met someone. She held her breath to listen more closely, and yeah. That was definitely Xander, and the whispering that went with the moaning meant that he wasn't just using the empty house for some extra loud private time. She slipped across the hall and over to Xander's door, pressing her ear to the crack and shamelessly eavesdropping. The noises weren't much louder than they'd been from her own room, though, and Dawn glared at the door for a moment before realizing why. Xander wasn't in his bedroom, he was in the bathroom.
When they'd moved into this house, the minis had thrown a hissy about Buffy and Xander getting the rooms on either side of the Jack-and-Jill bathroom, but Buffy had said she deserved it. She didn't get any other perks for saving their butts on a nightly basis, and she was damned if she was going to share a bathroom with six other women unless there was a demon possessing the toilet in one of the other bathrooms. Xander had smiled and said he was taking the other bathroom-adjacent bedroom even if one of the other toilets was possessed. The minis needed to get used to demons some time, he said.
What this meant for Dawn was that she could sneak into Buffy's room and listen at the door there. All was fair in scavenging gossip, after all, especially when Xander kept something this juicy to himself. Dawn crept into Buffy's room and over to the bathroom door, her eyes widening in triumph when she saw that it hadn't been shut all the way. Peeking was even better than eavesdropping.
Slowly, slowly, Dawn eased herself over to the door, pressing up against it to peer through the gap. Xander was almost directly opposite her, holding someone against the other door so that all she could see was Xander's back and the shoulders and top of the head of the other person. Dawn was wriggling with glee at the idea of catching Xander in the act when it struck her that she shouldn't be able to see shoulders. She didn't know a single woman, Slayer or otherwise, who was big enough that her head and shoulders would be visible when Xander had her shoved against a door.
Eyes huge, Dawn stared across the bathroom. It was a little steamy, but not steamy enough to disguise the very large, very male hand wrapping itself around Xander’s shoulder, nor the one that was reaching out to cup his ass. Dawn bit her lip to keep from exclaiming aloud. Xander was getting it on with a guy.
Xander ducked his head to kiss his way down the other guy’s throat. Dawn couldn’t see much of what Xander was doing with his mouth, but it sounded like the other guy was really into it. Xander thrust his hips, and it made the muscles in his back and ass flex. Dawn swallowed hard. Yeah, the time spent fantasizing about Xander when she was young had not been squandered. He was worth it.
Xander kept moving down the guy's throat and then tilted his head to bite at his collarbone. The movement gave Dawn her first chance to check out the guy’s face, and this time Dawn had to physically cover her mouth with her hands. Xander was getting it on with Riley.
Dawn made herself back away from the door. Her eyes felt huge in her head, like she couldn’t even blink. Xander and Riley. Riley and Xander. She’d heard that they’d been hanging out, but she’d thought that Riley just needed comfort after the divorce. The image of Riley’s face in the bathroom - eyes closed and lips parted - flashed through her mind, and Dawn had to admit that he seemed pretty comforted.
Did Buffy know? Dawn didn’t want to be the one to tell her. For one thing, she didn’t want to be responsible if finding out about Xander and Riley hurt Buffy’s feelings. And for another, Dawn didn‘t know what exactly she‘d witnessed (aside from hot door sex). If it was a relationship, then Xander would tell them when he was ready. If it was secret fooling around … then no one was ever intended to know, and Dawn didn’t want to cause a big ruckus.
In the Slayer house, ruckuses were usually destructive.
Dawn snuck back down the stairs and out the front door. It was early evening, but the neighborhood was well lit, and she had a stake, two daggers, and a small defensive spell. She figured it was safe to walk down the block to the Thai place that everybody liked. When she returned to the house, she was laden down with her favorite Pad Thai, Xander’s favorite green curry, and Riley’s favorite crab cakes. She also had an evil smile on her face.
She might have decided not to out Xander and Riley to everyone, but they didn’t know that.