Prompt #09: School

It All Adds Up

Dawn is sitting at the kitchen table doing her homework and her frustration is apparent to everyone who happens through the room. Surprisingly, it isn’t Willow that offers to help, or even Andrew or Giles.

It’s Buffy, and even more surprisingly, she’s making sense of things that until ten minutes ago had been completely puzzling to Dawn.

“So right triangles have three sides: opposite, adjacent, and hypotenuse.”

“I know that much,” Dawn replies, rolling her eyes.

“Hey, if you want to do this on your own, be my guest,” Buffy replies and starts to get up from her chair. Dawn grabs her wrist and yanks her back down before she can get very far though.

“No wait, I’m sorry. I’m just frustrated and feeling like my math teacher is going to make me start taking the little bus to school every day if I can’t master basic trig. Faith will never let me live that one down if it happens.”

Buffy shakes off her momentary grumpiness and relaxes once again. “Well then we’ll just have to make sure that you either ace math or that the bus driver can pick you up a few houses down.”

“Where is Faith anyway?”

“Faith is right here,” Faith replies easily as she walks into the kitchen. She grabs an apple from the bowl beside the refrigerator and hops up onto the countertop behind the table so that she can watch what Buffy and Dawn are doing over their shoulders. Taking a big bite from the apple, she wipes the back of her hand over her mouth and asks with a full mouth, “What’re we doin’, kids?”

“I’m helping Dawn with her trigonometry homework,” Buffy replies and smiles up at Faith but then turns her attention back to Dawn. “Okay, back to math. What you need to define is sine, cosine, and tangent, and you do that using the three sides of the triangle. It’s easy.”

There’s a pregnant pause as she waits to see if Dawn understands and it’s Faith that speaks up first, asking, “Was all of that in English?”

“I’m still trying to figure that out,” Dawn answers, deflated.

“Here, look,” Buffy says. She grabs a pencil and writes three formulas on a sheet of paper. “Sine equals opposite over hypotenuse, Cosine equals adjacent over hypotenuse, Tangent equals opposite over adjacent. My old Trig professor taught us to try to come up with an acronym to remember it: O/H, A/H, O/A.”

Dawn looks completely puzzled again and Faith takes another huge bite of apple as she studies the paper from the counter. It takes her a second but when she swallows, she says, “Owen Had A Hit Of Acid. That works.”

“Or,” Buffy continues loudly, glaring back at Faith, “something like . . . Oscar Had A Heap Of Apples, which are much healthier and a lot less illegal and likely to kill you.”

Dawn studies the sheet for a minute and a huge smile spreads over her lips when it finally starts making sense to her.

“I think I get it now. Owen Had A Hit of Acid. Thanks Faith!” she beams, then snatches the paper closer to her and starts to work through some of the sample questions in her book.

“Hey, happy to lend my expertise,” Faith replies smugly.

She hops down from the counter and leans down to give Buffy a big kiss on her cheek with her apple-sticky lips. But Buffy quickly grabs Faith’s chin and stops her before she can make contact. Instead, she tilts her head so that she can meet the kiss head-on. When they pull back, Buffy’s the one who looks smug now.

“You stole my thunder, I stole that kiss. We’re even now.”

Faith leans in for another kiss and they smile against each other’s lips when they hear Dawn groan dramatically.

Who knew math could be so fun?

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