Title: Very, Very Helpful

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Do I even have to say it? It pains me to say it.

Spoilers/Timeline: Season three, just like it said in the summary. No specific spoilers.

Summary: Dawn follows Buffy out on patrol. (season three-ish)

Author's Notes: RBG (In case you don't remember, or you haven't read the A/N in "Beauty and the Beastess", RBG means "requested by gidgetgirl", seeing as I'm too lazy to write it out every time.

            A/N2: To Gorgon, who reviewed "Beauty and the Beastess": Where did the whole "12 years old" thing come from? (Please, please, please don't say it's because I write like a twelve-year-old…no offense to anyone who's twelve and reading this, I'm sure you're a fine writer, it's just that I thought that at my age I could write better than at a sixth or seventh grade level.)

Very, Very, Helpful

            Buffy sneaked through the cemetery, keeping a close watch on everything. It seemed to be a slow night so far. She—

            A twig cracked behind her, and she whirled around, finding herself face-to-face with…Dawn.

            "What do you think you're doing here?" Buffy demanded.

            "I'm helping you," Dawn whispered. Buffy noticed the gigantic cross she was wearing around her neck and the bag she was carrying.

            "There better not be weapons in there," Buffy said, eyeing the bag suspiciously. "You know you're not supposed to touch the weapons."

            "No weapons of the sharp, pointy kind," Dawn assured her, lifting the bag, which had Winnie the Pooh in various mid-dance positions printed on it. "Just some of the basics." She unzipped the bag and pulled out a bunch of crosses. "Crosses," she declared.

            "I see," Buffy remarked.

            Dawn reached further into the bag and pulled out what looked like half the contents of their mother's spice rack. "I wasn't sure which was garlic," she said, "so I brought anything that looked garlic-y."

            Buffy picked up one of the spice containers and sniffed it. "I'm sure the Sunnydale Cemetery Council will appreciate the fact that their patrons will smell like nutmeg before the night is over."

                Dawn ignored her sister and reached further into the bag and pulled out a squirt bottle. "Vampire repellant," she announced, spraying a little at Buffy. "It's holy water, and a whole bunch of spices. Again with the lack of garlic knowledge."

            Buffy leaned forward and examined the specks floating in the clear liquid. "What're those sparkly things?"

            "Glitter," Dawn said. "It makes it look prettier."

            "Oh. Okay."

            Dawn sighed and sat on a headstone. "Don't tell Mom I'm out here, okay?"

            "If you get yourself killed, I think she'll figure it out all on her own."

            "I'm not going to get myself killed," Dawn stated.

            "Think again," something growled from behind Buffy.

            "Vampire!" Buffy yelled. Dawn screamed and fell sideways off the headstone. Buffy made a swift roundhouse kick, which connected with the vampire's ear. Darn it, I was aiming for the jaw. Nevertheless, the vampire was stunned and staggered back a bit. Buffy moved forward and was interrupted by a mist of coolness.

            "Take that!" Dawn shouted, advancing forward with the Vampire Repellant held outward, working the handle of the bottle a mile a minute. The vampire howled in pain and ran off, leaving the smell of nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper lingering in the air.

            "He's got away!" Dawn cried frantically. "We'll never find him."

            "We'll probably be able to smell him," Buffy muttered sourly, grabbing Dawn's wrist and taking off after the vampire.

            "My feet hurt," Dawn complained. "And I'm tired."

            "You should've thought of that before you came," Buffy grumped. Truth be told, her feet hurt and she was tired, too, just like she was every night she had to patrol. In addition to all of that, her nose was running because of the constant odor of the cayenne pepper. What had Dawn done, rolled in the stuff?

            "Dawnie," she ventured, "why don't you go to Giles's while I finish up patrolling?"

            "Okay," Dawn agreed reluctantly, and they set off to leave Dawn with Giles, and give Buffy a (relatively) peaceful patrol.

Hey, guess what? For all those of you rooting for Dawn/Giles interaction,  I might make another story to be the sort-f sequel to this. Until then, feedback!