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Although the rest of the apartment was cool enough, the bathroom was sweltering. Cordelia sneezed as the cloud of vapor enveloped her, and she had to wave her hand in front of her nose to clear in some breathing space. "Dennis!" she yelled over the noise of splattering water as she marched toward the shower and stuck her hand inside, turning the knob off.

In the new silence, there was no change Cordelia could point out, but her last years in Sunnydale had taught her to trust her instincts when, despite the evidence, her gut told her that she wasn't alone.

"You cannot let the hot water run when I'm not home, Dennis," she told the sullen presence, almost kindly in comparison to the tongue-lashing the repeating offense deserved. But then, unlike the living, Dennis could not flee the apartment if Cordelia's temper snapped. "It's not only that it's the middle of summer and your little obsession for hot water is freakier than the fact you're a ghost, but Dennis, you don't have a body to keep warm."

A shelf rattled.

"Yes, it's your apartment too... roomie. But until you start paying your half, especially once my bill skyrockets after your little steamy afternoons, you're listening to me, all right?"

There was a moment of silence. Then the remaining steam cleared as if, well, by magic.

"Thank you, buddy," Cordelia said.

The soft brush against her arm answered her.

Cordelia smiled. There might be a few kinks in their arrangement, but nothing could beat the fact that Dennis needed very little of her attention. He did the dishes, found her keys, and disconnected the phone when she needed extra sleep. All she had to do in return was to bring him a few things from the outside world and break the monotony of his afterlife with her stories (more like rants over the jobs Angel found - or, in all honesty, the jobs that found Angel, but beggars couldn't be choosers). He was friend, cleaning service, and companion at once.

If he ever wanted to cross into the beyond, Cordelia had promised to help him; but in the meanwhile...

Best. Roommate. Ever.


The End