Title: Babysitter Extraordinaire

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I think you know this stuff.

Spoilers/Timeline: Season three

Summary: The sort-of sequel to "Very, Very Helpful".  Giles gets stuck with Dawn-sitting duty…

Author's Notes: Okay, okay! I'll do a Dawn and Giles story, I promise! Please don't hurt me!!! Yeah, well, so many people requested a Dawn/Giles story (either that or a few people requested it incessantly—I can't remember and it's not really that important, is it?) that I figured I'd better comply. Actually, I have no idea for this story, except there will be more of Dawn imitating Giles. (Like in "Monkey See, Monkey Do.")

            This story takes place directly after the events of "Very, Very Helpful". You don't have to read "Very, Very Helpful" before you read this, but it may help. You could also read "Monkey See, Monkey Do".

Babysitter Extraordinaire

            Knock-knock-knock. Giles rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand, put his glasses on, and started off for the door. It's sad that a person could be up at midnight every single night. Or maybe not, he reconsidered, thinking of the crazy sleeping habits of today's people. Staying up until midnight simply made you another one of the crowd.

            "I'm coming!" Giles called out as the knocking sounded incessantly at his door. He pulled open the door without even bothering to check who it was first.

            "Here, you take her," Buffy said, shoving Dawn and a big black bag through the door of the apartment.

            "Wha—me?!"

            Dawn grinned. "Hey, Giles."

            "Hay is for horses," he muttered absently. "Better for cows."

            "People would eat it, but they don't know how," Dawn countered cheerily, dumping the bag on the ground and heading over for the couch.

            Giles was reluctant to turn his back on this potential problem, but turned and asked his Slayer anyway, "What is she doing out with you on patrol? It's very dangerous for a child."

            "Vampire repellant," Buffy said, much to Giles's confusion, swinging her arm. "Which, by the way, smells pretty good if you're looking for an air freshener.  I mean, you'd never think that nutmeg and hot pepper would smell nice together, but I think it's kind of like cran-peach juice. Y'know, how people go, 'Eww! Cranberry and peach?' but then decide it's the new drink of choice?"

            Giles nodded. Surprisingly, he did know what she was talking about.

            "Well, drink of choice for everyone except me. The stuff's nasty, but Willow insists it's good."

            "Buffy, I think your juice drinking habits are not relevant to the situation at hand."

            "Sure they are!" Buffy defended herself, "but in a kind of way where you're right and they really aren't relevant. You were saying?"

            Giles sighed. Buffy was obviously in what she and Willow referred to as 'Babble Mode', and when Buffy was in Babble Mode, there wasn't really a way to stop her. "Go patrol. I'll keep an eye on her."

            "Thanks a bunch!" she called, already on her way out. Giles closed the door and turned to Dawn.

            "What are we gonna do 'til she gets back?" Dawn asked.

            "You could sleep on the couch," Giles suggested. "It's after midnight."

            "Bor-ing!" Dawn booed, making her way over to Giles's book collection.

            "Dawn, do let the books alone."

            Dawn ignored him and cracked one open.

            "Dawn!"

            "Do keep your temper," she said, in what Giles guessed was her imitation of his accent. "It won't do good for you to shout."

            "Dawn, stop being so difficult."

            "Stop being so bloody bossy," she replied, putting down the first book.

            "I don't…you're being tiresome."

            "Jolly-O, chum. You'll find a way to bloody cope."

            "Dawn…"

            "Toodlepip!"

            Giles sighed. This would obviously get him nowhere. He said down on the sofa with the newspaper and his tea and gave in to defeat.

            Why is it that I can battle demons, but I can't seem to keep either one of the Summers girls in check?

            "Oh, cool!" Dawn said, sitting down on the couch next to him. Her British accent was gone. Giles waited for the explanation regarding her sudden happy outburst.

            "Did you know you have a book on reading tea leaves?" she asked him.

            "Yes," he answered dryly.

            "Be chipper," she commanded in the British voice, then switched back to her normal tone. "I'm gonna read your tea leaves," she declared. "I can change your life forever."

            "It's just a silly parlor trick, Dawn. Now—"

            "Nonsense!" Dawn the Brit proclaimed. "Just wait!"

            She set the book, open, on the table and grabbed Giles's half-drunk teacup from his hand. Thankfully, he used real tea and not the bags. "Finish this," she commanded, handing it back to him. Seeing no alternative, he complied and handed it back.

            Dawn turned the teacup upside down, rotated it three times, and then lifted the teacup to reveal a pile of brownish gunk.

            She rotated the saucer in all directions, trying to get the best perspective. At least this is a quick, simple activity, Giles thought gratefully. She'll decide what the tea leaves look like and it will all be over in three seconds.

            However, his hopes were dashed as Dawn, forehead wrinkled in concentration, shoved the saucer toward him and asked, "Does this look more like an acorn or a lizard to you?"

            Giles examined the saucer briefly, then decided quickly, "Lizard." Sooner I decide, the sooner I can read the paper in peace.

            Dawn looked in the book, then announced, "Treacherous friends."

            "I beg your pardon?"

            "'Treacherous friends'," Dawn repeated. "Ooh, I so don't wanna be you."

            "Lovely," Giles said, returning to the newspaper.

            "Hey!" Dawn said. "Did you know I'm double-jointed? Look what I can do with my fingers!"

            She proceeded to bend each finger, but only at the tips. "Is that gross or what?"

            Giles found himself sighing again. It was going to be a long night.

            Buffy opened the door and peered in at a sleeping Giles and a television-watching Dawn. "Giles!" Buffy called. He woke with a start. "Are you babysitting my sister or is she babysitting you?"

            "I read Giles's tea leaves!" Dawn informed her sister. "He has treacherous friends."

            "Well, thanks a lot," Buffy said. "Are you sure it didn't mean treacherous fiends? That seems more in tune with the whole Hellmouth thing."

            "Buffy," Giles said exhaustedly, "do go home."

            Buffy nodded and took Dawn by the hand and made her way out. But before he closed the door, Giles heard Dawn's goodbye: "Cheerio, old chap!"

            Good God, Giles thought. Glad that's over.

Oh well. Can you tell I wrote most of it when I was really tired?

See ya.

mistymidnight