A very depressed Buffy trudged through the kitchen door of her home early one morning, causing Dawn sitting at the small table in this food-preparation area to stop reading the newspaper comics, put down her spoon into the nearly-finished bowl of breakfast cereal, and ask, "Any luck?"

There was a loud clatter, as Buffy reached into her leather jacket and pulled out several wooden stakes, carelessly dropping all of those weapons onto the kitchen counter, as the Slayer growled, "Does it look like it?"

Ignoring her sister's grouchy mood, Dawn persisted, "There wasn't anything different at all?"

"No!" snapped Buffy, glaring at her younger sibling, as the annoyed college student went on. "Things were the same like they've been for the last couple of weeks! The cemeteries, the abandoned warehouses, all the vamp and demon hangouts, every place I hit, there's nothing but vamp dust and puddles of demon goo!"

Her eyebrows rising in inquiry, Dawn tried, "And that's a bad thing, because…?"

"It is when I don't know why! It started to be strange and nice, then it became weird and scary, and now it's shifted to creepy and boring!"

"You just need to pound some bloodsucker into the ground, Buffy," consoled Dawn, as she dug her spoon into the last of the cereal and shoveled this into her mouth.

Leaning against the counter, the Slayer folded her arms across her chest, looking rueful as she did this, with that same emotion in her voice when Buffy grumblingly replied, "Yeah, well, I thought there'd be a chance of that tonight when I was passing through Cushinglee Park, and a vamp came out of the bushes, running right at me."

While encouragingly waving her spoon, Dawn mumbled through her mouthful of food, "Way to go, sis! You put the Slayer smackdown on him then, right?"

Still in her casual posture, Buffy's pouting expression changed to one of deep embarrassment, as she sheepishly answered, "Uh, kinda- Oh, all right! It's not like all of those fangy guys drop to their knees in front of me, wrap their arms around my legs, and then scream at the top of their lungs to help protect them from the mysterious monster killing their Sunnydale friends!"

There was absolute silence in the kitchen, until this was ended by the sound of the disbelieving gulp of Dawn swallowing, to now ask in absolute fascination, "So, what happened then?"

"Oh, after I made sure he didn't know anything besides that, I staked him in the middle of his begging. Gotta tell you, that's the first time I actually felt kinda bad about that, with the vamp being pretty pitiful and all."

After delivering that chagrined comment, Buffy then stomped over a kitchen cabinet, yanking out with a clatter a bowl for her own breakfast. Turning around while holding this dishware, Buffy halted in her tracks at what had just caught the Slayer's eye, to then groan, "Dawn, do you have to keep that thing on the kitchen table? It isn't hygienic!"

Reaching out to lay her hand on the soft fur of the small animal fast asleep on the top of this referred piece of furniture, Dawn glowered at her sibling, and she said in defense of her pet, "Hey, I gave him a bubble bath last night! He's cleaner than you after your patrol!"

Opening her mouth to snap back at her sister, Buffy abruptly closed her lips, as she realized that after their mother's recent death, the only thing that had happened to cheer up Dawn lately had been her bizarre new pet. So, Buffy swallowed her harsh words, to instead grumble as she pulled out a cereal box from another cabinet, "Why are you so sure that thing's a he, anyway? You have to admit, it's the goofiest-looking animal we've ever seen, and at least a dog or cat would do something like play with you, instead of what that brick with fur does, just eating and sleeping!"

The light of battle now in her eyes, Dawn ostentatiously ignored her sister, to stroke several times the head of her pet, as she crooned to it, "Don't listen to mean ol' Buffy, Mr. Cuddles. She doesn't love you like I do." Leaving her hand where it rested on top of this animal, a gleeful Dawn then turned to where Buffy was shaking cereal from the box into her bowl, and both Summers females now happily and noisily got into their newest family argument.

This meant that neither of the humans in the kitchen noticed the right eye of the small animal open a crack, with a very cold look currently directed through this slit towards a yelling woman, who had clearly no appreciation of any favors done for her. After all, several weeks ago, when Dr. Doofenshmirtz's latest mad-scientist invention had actually worked, creating a dimension vortex that had sucked Agent P into another reality, this dashing secret agent had maintained his cover identify as a family pet. During his investigations on how to return to his original dimension, he'd felt a growing affection for his current owner and decided to help clean up this young human's monster-infested hometown while he was at it. And if her older sister didn't like that, tough.

Closing his eye again as he attempted to return to his slumber after a hard night keeping ahead of the Slayer, Perry the Platypus finally managed to doze off, despite the continuous squabbling of Buffy Summers and Dawn Summers.