"And remember that on Monday, you'll have your first one-on-one tests - so don't forget to practice pronunciation over the weekend," Dawn said, leaning against the whiteboard, hopelessly smudging it and caring not at all. "Have a great one, guys."
She tried not to look too relieved when the Slayers finally started filing out, and instead concentrated on getting all of her papers together. She had so much to do over the weekend and she wasn't planning on doing a single bit of it tonight.
Her cell chimed as she was walking out the door and she smiled when she saw who was calling.
"I'm just walking out the door. You?"
"Ha! I'm already in the Bat Cave," Andrew said smugly, as if beating her home was a special event and not something that happened every single Friday night.
Dawn snorted, unwilling to give him even an inch. "No matter how many times you call it that, it's still just an apartment."
"It's a gloomy, underground apartment, which is an oddity," he pointed out for what had to be the ten-zillionth time. Really, it shouldn't be cute anymore. "Also, I feel that my attempts to make it more cave-y haven't been in vain."
"Right, now it smells weird," she said absently, glancing down the street and trying to remember where she'd parked today. "Which I'm not sure is a good."
"That's just incense." Andrew explained patiently.
"I know what incense smells like," Dawn replied, finally spotting her hybrid over by the Mitchelson's house. "And it usually doesn't smell moldy."
"It's… special incense," he said. After Dawn snorted again in disbelief, Andrew sighed heavily, the sound of a man who was making a great concession. "Okay, so it isn't the kind of incense that you buy in a store - but you can burn it and the guy I got it from said it was great for stuff. And he had the most amazing things in his bag. You would have loved it."
"Wait, what stuff? Why didn't you explain this earlier?" Dawn asked, getting into her car. Then she paused, realizing what she'd just said, but she was too late to stop the flood of information.
"He had a magical toy mouse that came alive on command, and there was a dinner bell that rang when the whole household was hungry," Andrew said. "And there was this adorable little plate that had kittens frolic-"
"That's not what I meant, 'drew," Dawn said, cutting him off in the nicest way possible. "What stuff is the moldy incense good for?"
"Oh. Well, it's supposed to make things more interesting," he completely non-explained.
"How? And what things?" Dawn asked, suppressing a sigh. Andrew was a great guy, but frustrating as hell in a… whatever they were.
"You know. Interesting," he said again. "And important things."
"Oh," Dawn said quietly. "You mean sex."
"When you just say it like that, it takes all the romance out of it," Andrew whined.
"We don't have a romance." Dawn pointed out. "We live together. We work together. You're my best friend. Sometimes we sleep together. That's not a romance."
"It was for Buffy and Xander," he said. "Okay, so it took them, like, twelve years to get together, but we've been friends for almost eight now. And we could be more. I like you more than friends. And I think that you like me more than friends, too."
Dawn felt her cheeks get a little warm and she just knew that she had a stupid, giddy smile on her face. "You… this is so not a phone conversation. I'm going to be there in ten minutes and don't you dare move." She pressed 'end' without waiting for him to answer.
She actually got home in seven minutes, which might have been her best time ever. She was parked and out of the car in record time, too. And the wait for the elevator seemed to last forever. But still… Andrew had said he'd wanted 'more', which was, like, this huge step forward and she wasn't glowing not at all.
Once she was finally at the door to their place, though, she hesitated. He was really in there, waiting for her.
Just when she'd finally gathered up her courage to reach for the doorknob, it opened. Naturally, this being a 'Dawn and Andrew moment', she ended up falling forward and Andrew almost caught her before she hit the floor. Instead of helping her up, Andrew laughed and sank down next to her on the floor.
"Here I am," Dawn offered, touching Andrew's shoulder lightly. "All ready to talk. Possibly ready to get up and move further into the apartment so that we can actually shut the door and have a private conversation."
"Do we have those?" Andrew asked. "I mean, are you sure that we know how?"
Dawn giggled and got up, holding down a hand. "We'll learn as we go."
Andrew smiled brightly, his face lighting up as he reached for her hand. "So you want to?"
"I do," she said as she helped him to his feet, her voice shaking slightly. "I've just never done the friends thing first. It's weird. Because I've kissed you and I've slept with you, but there's also been the talking and the knowing and the fighting together and I think that you've infected my vocal cords and that's why I can't stop talking."
"I've infected your vocal cords?" Andrew asked, wrinkling his nose. "I'm not a virus."
"I know, I just…" Dawn shrugged helplessly. "I'm normally better with words. I mean, my whole thing is words. But when it comes to this and to you, words aren't… enough. I don't get that. Why I can't find the right words. I mean, we have something. And it's a good something. But sometimes, a good something isn't enough of a something, you know?"
Andrew touched her cheek gently and she fell silent, shivering slightly at his touch. "Sometimes," he agreed softly, "You need something more."