Chapter 1: falling for the wrong guy
The Five Worst Things About Dating Andrew Wells
Number One: You're supposed to be going out with a brilliantly clever and sexy sports-star or something, not trying to tell a formerly-evil nerd that you have a crush on him.
Andrew looked up eagerly and demanded, "Did you know that they're making a Green Lantern movie? Live action, and everything."
He was sitting cross-legged on the couch, laptop in front of him, and he'd clearly been waiting for someone to walk through the door so that he could make the big announcement.
And it wouldn't actually matter who it was, either – Xander, Kennedy, pizza delivery guy – because he'd probably tell everyone, all week, until every single person he knew had heard the glorious news.
He was such a dork.
Dawn grinned – and then bit her lip.
No. No grinning. He was a dork, which was annoying, and bad, and shouldn't be nearly as cute as it actually was.
Oh crap. She was getting nervous again.
She sat down on one of the armchairs, pulling her feet up to the side. "So, when's it coming out?"
"A couple of years. No release date yet."
"Uh-huh. Any actors?"
"Not so far." He retreated back to the laptop. "They're trying to get Sam Raimi to direct it, though."
"Mm-hmm." Dawn rested her hands on the right arm-rest – nope, that looked too weird – in her lap – like a little kid – put them determinedly underneath her legs and tried to forget about them.
This was stupid. There was absolutely no reason for her to be worrying about sitting down, or how she looked, or any of it. No reason at all.
Andrew wasn't even looking at her, anyway. He was still happily lost in internetdom, hunting for more movie info.
Typical. He spent so much time distracting her with comic books, fun tv shows, and captioned cat pictures – usually interrupting her right in the middle of vital rune translations – and now, when she had something important to say, he wasn't listening.
She smiled and said "umm…" and he just went "mmm?" absentmindedly and kept page-scrolling.
He was either oblivious, or doing it deliberately. Which she wouldn't put past him. Either way, it was very annoying… and possibly evil.
Don't be ridiculous. You're psyching yourself out. Just talk to him… normally.
Sweaty palms. She actually had sweaty palms.
"How's your new squad going?"
"Good." He looked up. "They've mastered basic combat skills, although they haven't yet tested their mettle in full battle."
"I think it's important for them to truly become a team first – so that they can understand that the true battle is the battle of the soul."
Dawn smothered another grin. He really was fun to watch when he started on this stuff. He'd go all important, and start quoting inspiring movies and trying to sound like a cross between Mr Miyagi and Yoda. Give him long enough, he'd end up putting all the verbs at the end of sentences, without even realising.
"So… I was talking to Lauren yesterday." Dawn shot him a mischievous glance. "She told me she thinks you're cute."
Good. Nice and relaxed. Lead into it with cuteness in general, and then go from there.
"Uh-huh." Slight teasing smile.
"Huh." Andrew looked thoughtful. "You think I should ask her out?"
"Wh… uh– what? I– I'm not sure that– um… Are you– huh…"
A look of confusion from Andrew. Dawn took a deep breath, and started again.
"Well, I don't think it's exactly… she thinks you're cute, sure, but that doesn't mean… maybe it would be better for you to… um…" She trailed off.
"To… what? Dawn?"
"Are you feeling okay?"
"No! I mean, yeah, I'm fine."
'…to go out with ME instead.' Say that.
She smiled sheepishly – "I've forgotten what I was going to say." – and sat there internally beating herself over the head while Andrew happily started enthusing some more about Green Lantern and how epic the movie would be.
Maybe it was better this way. She'd just stay being friends with him, forget the temporary insanity of this week, and move on – to someone else, who was much more normal, way more sexy, and not so completely clueless about relationships that he didn't even realise that his best friend was trying to ineffectually ask him out.
"…really good CGI, for its time. And I hope they manage to work in the Blackest Night prophecy, because it really is essential to the whole mythos of…"
And she'd never have to ask him out. Ever. Because it was far too scary, and not at all a good idea, and plus it was still making her palms sweaty. As if she was twelve, or something! She was not supposed to be this nervous, not about something like this.
"…say Hal Jordan was the best, but personally I preferred Abin Sur, because his character arc…"
Yep. She just wouldn't tell him. Ever. Way better. Uh-huh.
You're a grown woman! You've had sex and everything!
This was ridiculous.
Dawn closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and plunged right in. "So… when it comes out, do you want to go see it?"
"Well, yeah! Of course! It's Green Lantern!"
"I sort of meant… um… with me."
Andrew paused, and looked at her, a slightly confused expression creeping onto his face.
Any moment now, he was going to say "of course" again and she was going to have to spend the next half hour trying to explain that, actually, she'd meant something romantic rather than just seeing it as friends. And Andrew was going to be completely baffled, because really, why on earth would you want to be romantic when you could be watching Green Lantern instead, and the conversation was going to get lengthy, and confusing, and why had she decided to do this, again?
Because she was falling for him, that's why.
But if he was going to continually hang around being dorkishly cute, what did he expect? In fact, it was kind of all his fault. Evil guy.
Dawn smiled tentatively, and waited to see what he'd say.
Chapter 2: everyone else's reactions
Number Two: Everyone else thinks you're completely crazy. (And come to think of it, so do you.)
"Hey, he's not that bad," Dawn protested, feeling herself begin to blush again.
"I s'pose. And you guys are best friends and everything…" Willow said thoughtfully. "I guess I just thought you'd end up with someone better. Or, um, different, anyway."
Yeah, so did I.
He was going to laugh in her face.
Or actually, no, he'd be puzzled and (hopefully) happy about it – everyone else was going to laugh at her. Dawn Summers, Watcher Extraordinaire, girlfriend of suave Italians and the occasional sexy demon fighter, going out with Andrew? She'd never live it down.
He was just so nice and Andrewish, and ever since two days ago when she'd noticed how cute the back of his neck was, she'd been increasingly obsessed and blushy – and suddenly the idea of going out with him was really appealing, constant Star Trek references notwithstanding.
"I don't really want different. I… I want Andrew."
There was a short pause, and then Willow smiled at her in an understanding sort of way. "I've been there."
"…you've liked Andrew?"
"Ack! No! Eww! – well, not 'eww', because that'd be… I mean he's nice, and I'm sure you'll… um… but no, I mean I've liked the people who aren't the people you'd expect to be liking."
"Like Kennedy." Willow nodded. "And hey, that's working out okay, even if she sometimes–"
"Or like Tara?"
"Tara?" She looked confused for a second, but then– "Yeah. Yeah, like Tara."
"The thing is…" Dawn looked at her hands, and tried to decide how to put it. "The thing is, I don't think he's my type. He's not. But he's… fun, and nice, and completely obsessed with action figures, and a total pain sometimes, and not tall enough, and I don't care if he's not my type, because he's… well, him."
She looked up. Willow was watching her with a rueful smile.
"So… yeah. I like him."
"Are you going to ask him out?"
Maybe. Probably. Yes. Or– Well, no, because that would– Except that– Definitely. She had to. Or maybe, anyway.
Dawn sighed. She really should figure out what she actually thought about all this.
"I'm not sure."
Either she'd end up going out with him, and ruin her chances of ever being in a normal relationship again, or he'd turn her down and she'd end up pining after him for months on end while he dated someone else, or they'd have a great time for a few weeks, and then break up over something stupid and stop talking, and either way Buffy was going to have so much fun laughing at her, which was fair enough really, given how much she'd made fun of Buffy's rotating list of ambiguously-evil boyfriends, and what if she asked him out and then realised that actually she didn't like him, and felt obligated to go out with him anyway?
Screw it. She'd become a nun. That'd work.
"Getting all nervous and edgy?"
"Uh-huh." Dawn shot her a quick smile, and shrugged. "I want to… but it'd be much easier if I knew he was going to say yes, first."
Willow shot her a look that either meant "You do realise he's been in love with you for two years, right?" or "You know you haven't got a chance, right?".
But all she said was, "You won't know until you ask."