The Scooby Gang, consisting of Buffy, Xander, Giles, and Willow, burst through the back entrance of the abandoned Sunnydale warehouse, to find what they were pretty much expecting. A truly ugly demon was holding ready in both taloned hands a gleaming knife engraved with mystic runes, as it stood before an altar, where a gagged and shackled Dawn was lying spread-eagled upon her back, making muffled sounds of relief at seeing her sibling and the others coming to the younger Summers sister's rescue. For, oh, at least the fifth time for this month alone.
"DAWN!" screamed Buffy, as she flipped her own throwing knife up in the air, catching it by the blade, as the Slayer then drew back her arm, just before she would have sent her weapon spinning through the air to plunge right into the demon's left bulging eye, as it stared at the approaching humans spreading out in a line in their rush.
This dash suddenly came to an abrupt halt, with every single member of that group named after a cartoon canine at that moment promptly freezing in place, including Buffy, who stopped at once her throwing arm's motion, as they all gaped in total astonishment at what happened next.
An ear-splitting shriek of utmost horror burst from the demon's fanged mouth, as it scrabbled backwards on its scaled legs from the altar, until it crashed into the warehouse wall, desperately pressing its entire shuddering body there, as if it was trying to force its way through that partition in a futile escape attempt. During all this, the demon had still held onto its knife, and it now looked down at this weapon. Right after that, the demon instantly twisted its wrists, until the tip of the knife was pointing straight at its throat. Where, in the next moment, the demon drove its weapon as hard as it could into that part of its body, ramming the knife into itself right up to the hilt.
With the entire Scooby Gang (including a wide-eyed Dawn on the altar) still immobile in sheer shock, they all watched the demon's features glaze over in death, as its hands feebly let go to drop away from the knife that had ended its life. In the next instant, the body of the now-deceased demon slowly fell forward, its velocity increasing as it finally landed face downwards onto the floor, with a distinct "WHUMP"!
For the next several moments, that was the only sound in the warehouse, until an incredulous male voice now uttered the disbelieving words of, "Oooookaayyyy….that's new."
After Xander's comment, every one of the rescuers shook themselves, and they all then warily advanced towards the altar, where a sheepish (and very bewildered) Dawn was waiting for them to free her. Once Buffy had taken off her sister's gag, the grateful young woman started babbling, "Why'd that happen? Why hasn't it happened before? Boy, you must have really scared him--"
Grunting as she pulled on the shackles to check their strength, a rather testy Buffy snapped, "I didn't do anything! It all happened too fast!" Over the sound of parting metal, the Slayer looked over at where the other three members of their group were now gathered around the demon's body, and eyeing it with bafflement, with the superhuman woman rising her voice to call over there, "Say, Wils, did you cast some kind of spell that made it panic?"
Still looking down at the body, with a dumbfounded expression on her face, the redheaded girl dazedly shook her head, and answered, "No, I just had the usual fireball spell ready, but it did the, uh, icky suicide thing, before I could even finish the incantation."
During Willow's reply, Xander had cautiously prodded the side of the demon's cooling corpse with the toe of his boot, and then the young man looked at the other male of their company, a light of hope in the Sunnydale native's eyes, as Xander inquired, "Hey, G-man, you got an explanation for this?"
"Don't call me that infernal nickname, Xander," grumbled the Englishman, as he pulled open his tweed jacket and groped with his right hand into an inside left pocket. After a few moments of impatient searching, a grunt of satisfaction was uttered by Rupert Giles, who then pulled out from his coat pocket a massive, aged tome the size and thickness of the Manhattan phone book. As he allowed the falling back of the left side of his jacket that had been enspelled by Willow last Christmas as her holiday gift to possess infinite-space pockets, Giles was already flipping through his demon identification volume.
The two sisters now came over from the altar to join the others watching Giles searching for some kind of answer to the rather peculiar events that had taken place just moments ago. Dawn was rubbing her wrists where the shackles had been pinching her, until her attention was attracted, as was all the others' notice, by the Watcher's satisfied "Ah-hah!" that was accompanied by the man pensively nodding to himself, as he tapped a finger onto where his book was opened to a specific page.
"Well?" "Whassup?" "Yeah?" "Dawn, you owe me a file for this nick in my nail I scratched on that shackle--" were all spoken simultaneously by Willow, Xander, Dawn, and Buffy, as Giles remained engrossed by whatever he was reading, with that man then uttering the words of doom:
As one, the younger members of the Scooby Gang whirled around to face the warehouse space stretching before them, with Buffy and Xander swiftly producing hand weapons from their clothes, Dawn stepping behind Buffy, and Willow raising her hands in preparation for casting her most powerful spells for defending and protecting their group.
Except, right at this moment, there was seemingly nothing in the empty building that seemed to require any kind of violent response from the jittery youths.
Instead, from where Giles was still reading, a contented voice spoke, "Of course! It really is rather amusing, don't you think-- Er, why are you all acting like that?"
Right after hearing this, the others' tense bodies slowly turned from their hair-trigger poses during examining the entire peaceful warehouse of any signs of trouble, to now begin glowering at the librarian standing in front of these stressed people, who was in turn regarding them all with bafflement, while Giles still held his open book in his hands.
Trying to adjust to the bucket of adrenaline that had just been dumped into his bloodstream, Xander snarled at the astonished adult, "You just said the big no-no words that meant the apocalypse was going to happen in the next two seconds!"
A puzzled Dawn pointed out, "Xan, that's 'Dear Lord….' followed by the trailing off of his utterance."
"No, it's not! It's what he said, 'Good Lord….'!" rudely yelled Xander at Dawn.
Glaring at her first crush, Dawn snapped, "Dear Lord….!"
"Good Lord….!" insisted Xander.
As the fascinated heads of Buffy and Willow swung back and forth, following the argument, Rupert Giles finally had enough.
"BELT UP, YOU WANKERS!"
As that undignified bellow resounded in the warehouse, sending echoes throughout the building, a shocked and silent quartet stared at where a truly brassed-off Briton was glaring at everyone. A pair of glittering eyes maintained their menacing gaze upon them, until Giles was at last satisfied his audience would once more behave, and a very cold upper-class voice now spoke.
"Do you want to know why that demon acted as it did, or don't you?"
In response to that chilly query, four people rapidly nodded their heads in shared apprehension. After one final frown at the other Scoobies, a simmering Giles now said gruffly, "It seems that this demon, along with others of its kind, has -- or for this specific individual, the past tense should be used-- Ahem. Well, in any case, this unearthly being possessed an overwhelming, irrational fear common to its entire species, and it reacted as might be expected once it learned it had placed itself right next to its worse nightmare, culminating in that demon taking its own life."
The Slayer proudly drew herself up, only to sheepishly deflate at her Watcher's exasperated look and scathing tone, "NOT you, Buffy! It was because of your sister's name you shouted right after we came in here."
Buffy, along with Willow and Xander, stared with total incomprehension at their older friend, until this trio slowly swung their heads to start eyeing suspiciously the last member of their group. Dawn took a nervous step back from this worrisome scrutiny, only to rally by indignantly saying, "Hey, all I know is that I got grabbed, a gag was shoved in my mouth, and I was dragged here! That demon didn't say a single word to me, and I couldn't talk to it!"
From where he was once more studying his book, Giles simply shrugged, and without looking up, the Englishman said offhandedly, "It didn't matter, considering that demon suffered from an extremely severe case of eosophobia."
In concert, the four Americans all nonchalantly took a single step backwards away from both the demon's corpse and also Rupert Giles standing next to the creature's body. His attention attracted by this, the Watcher glanced up, and realizing their pusillanimous reasons for this desertion, Giles' features turned a rather unflattering shade of purple, as he spluttered, "That word just means a morbid fear of dawn!"