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Keeping Her Company

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Dawn feels stupid about it but ever since that bug demon came out of the pipes and formed itself into a human-ish thing right there in the middle of the bathroom Dawn has had a fear of being alone in the bathroom. It was completely stupid, especially since nothing had happened to her.

The morning that the demon bug assassin had come to kill Buffy, Dawn had been in the bathroom, getting ready for school. Specifically, she had been showering. Dawn had glimpsed the bug-made assassin taking shape through the clearer bits of the shower curtain and, without even waiting to see what the humming blob had turned into, she had abandoned shower. Dawn had snatched a towel off of the rack as she sprinted out of the bathroom, screaming for Buffy.

The slippery trail of water that she had left in her wake (and nearly tripped down the stairs on) had saved her life. When the demon had lunged at her, it had slipped on the water and careened into the wall instead. Dawn was lucky not to fall down the stairs, head first.

Her sister the Slayer had come pounding up the stairs just then, caught Dawn by the forearm with one hand, and punched the recovered demon with her other. Buffy had slain the invader, making the bathroom once again safe for showers.

Dawn had made Buffy stay and guard her shower time anyway.

“Buffy!” Dawn shouted as she carefully inspected the drains in the shower, sink, and toilet, one by one, for rogue demons.

“Still here!” Buffy shouted from outside the bathroom door.

“Do you feel anything demony?”

“No!”

“You didn’t even stop to think about it!”

There was a long, sarcastic silence from the other side of the bathroom door.

“No! No demons here!”

And, nearly two weeks later, Dawn was still scared of bathrooms, especially the ones at home. At school, she insisted on going to the girls’ room in a pack. (Her chances of surviving a rogue bathroom demon were way higher if there were people that she could outrun.) And, at home, Dawn had Buffy.

But, even knowing that the Slayer, the one girl in all the world mystically charged with murdering bathroom-invading baddies, was standing on the other side of the bathroom door, Dawn still had trouble relaxing enough to use the toilet.

“Buffy!” Dawn shouted, outraged. “Use your spide-sense for real!”

“Just hurry up and pee already! I’m getting bored out here!”

Horrified – what if Buffy left? – Dawn yanked at her clothes, sat down, and tried to relax.

“Buffy! Are you listening?”

“Yes!”

“Don’t listen to me pee!”

“Fine!”

“Don’t ignore me! What if something comes out of the pipes?”

“Dawnie! Just go already! I am right here!”

Dawn relaxed. And peed.

After washing her hands, Dawn opened the bathroom door and said, “I want to take a shower.”

“So take a shower.”

“Bbbuuufffffffyyyy…” Dawn whined as piteously as she knew how and watched, victorious, as her sister rolled her eyes and sighed.

“Fine, but at least let me go get a magazine first.”

So, while Buffy drooled over clothes and weaponry with equal fervor, Dawn first showered and then brushed her teeth. It was weird and probably annoying for Buffy, but Buffy stayed the whole time anyway. Because that was what big sisters were for.