Legal: All characters are (c) Joss Whedon, Fox, Mutant Enemy and probably a whole mess of other people. No infringement of copyright is intended.

Archive: Only if you ask

Spoilers: Everything up to "The Crush"

Summary: Buffy ponders life's big issues. Kinda. ;-)

Rating: G (MPAA)

Buffy wiped herself with unbleached toilet paper, then stood, pressed the environmentally conscious 'half flush' button and walked to the bathroom sink to wash her hands. She scrubbed thoroughly with both pumice and soap, humming softly from the pleasure of taking a break from her usual nightly patrols.

She was just rubbing some of her mother's peach-scented hand lotion between her palms when Dawn banged on the bathroom door.

"How much longer are you going to be?" the younger girl demanded through the door, "Some of us are usually in bed before midnight, you know."

"I just need to brush my teeth." The Slayer replied, checking her face in the mirror for any blemishes. As usual, there were none.

"Oh great," there was a soft thud from the door as Dawn slumped her body against it, "the patented Buffy brush and floss. Call me when you're done. Try not to miss my Graduation." The younger girl's voice faded as she walked off down the corridor, "Why does she brush anyway? Slayer teeth probably don't get cavities . . . "

Buffy smirked in amusement and squeezed some paste onto her toothbrush. In keeping with the general trend of modern dental hygiene, the brush had been designed and manufactured by a select team of engineers, and possessed more computing power than the average 1980s home computer. It was also a pretty shade of pink, which was why Buffy had chosen it.

As she switched the brush on, she wondered idly if Dawn was right. It was true that her teeth were stronger than those of a normal human. They had to be, with the way vamps and other super-strong demons were always punching her in the face. She'd never even got so much as a chipped tooth.

"It wouldn't matter anyway." She advised her reflection through a mouthful of foam, "I'd have to brush to stop my breath getting all stinky." She spat the foam into the sink and rinsed her mouth, then reached for the floss. Stinky breath was definitely a bad thing, she decided, as she worked the floss back and forth. No one would want to kiss a Slayer with stinky breath.

She frowned. Of course, since Riley left it seemed that no one wanted to kiss her, anyway. Except Spike, and that was just plain wrong. With a sigh, she threw the floss into the small bin beside the sink. For a moment, she considered not bothering with the mouthwash.

Unbidden, Giles' voice came into her mind.

"A lack of vampiric activity is no excuse to cut back on your training, Buffy. Indeed, it is the optimum time to intensify your efforts."

She shook her head and grabbed the bottle, then splashed some of the green liquid into the cap. With a wry grin, she toasted herself in the mirror,

"Who would have thought that romance and slaying would have had anything more in common than the other person disappearing in a puff of dust after the event?"

And as Buffy Summers began to gargle, she knew one thing: whether her next encounter involved kisses or killings, she would be ready, minty fresh.