Author: Dark Star
Written for the B/A Rosebud challenge – Wild Side
Word count: 492
We never saw Angel and Dawn together, and this might have been one of the memories that the monks implanted.
“She’ll be ages yet, you know that, right?”
Angel looked up at the bedroom window, watching Buffy’s shadow as she prepared to go out.
“She said she wouldn’t be long…” he murmured hopefully.
Dawn snorted. “Yeah, right. And you believe her?”
Dawn patted the bench seat beside her and Angel looked back longingly at the bedroom window. Reluctantly he sat down on the edge of the bench.
“So, where are you off to tonight?”
“Uh…. Just walking….” He said awkwardly. Not sure how much Dawn knew about her sister’s sacred calling, he could hardly tell her they were going looking for vampires.
“Exciting,” Dawn said in a voice that oozed sarcasm. Further attempts to get Angel to talk descended into an uncomfortable silence, where Dawn tried to look sophisticated and Angel wished Buffy would hurry downstairs.
A rustle from the bushes provided a welcome distraction when a little rodent scurried out onto the lawn in front of them. Dawn tried very hard not to move suddenly and scare him, as he busily darted around, foraging in the grass for seeds and insects before hurrying back into the undergrowth. Seconds later, a slinky shape slipped from underneath the bench and followed the mouse into the bushes.
Dawn took a deep breath, and whispered, “Where did he come from?”
“He was under the bench when I arrived,” Angel responded quietly, wondering how on earth she hadn’t known the cat was there.
“It won’t eat the mouse, will it?” Dawn’s eyes were wide.
“Probably,” Angel started to say, but the girl’s eyes were starting to shine, and he fell silent. People were so squeamish these days; anything that hinted at nature’s tooth and claw made them feel very uncomfortable.
A commotion in the bushes made the girl jump to her feet. “Don’t let the cat kill him!”
Angel hesitated, unsure of what to do. The cat wasn’t going to kill the mouse yet, anyway. It would play with it first, and really, that was the best part…
Dawn glared at him. “I’ll tell Buffy!”
Knowing there was no escape, Angel went over to the bushes. The mouse sat motionlesss on the edge of the flowerbed, the cat poised and ready to spring. Launching itself, it landed on the rodent – or would have, if it had still been there – and looked around in puzzlement. Where was the mouse?
Angel stood up, the quivering mouse held delicately in his huge paw. He felt bad for the cat, and worried that he’d used too much speed and made Dawn curious about him. He needn’t have worried – she was so relieved the mouse was safe she had no eyes for anything else.
“What’s going on?” Buffy was frowning as she crossed the lawn toward them. Angel looked up guiltily, but before he could say anything Dawn burst out, “Angel saved a mouse!”
“He did?” Buffy smiled at Angel’s embarrassed expression. “That’s Angel for you. Always helping the helpless.”
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