Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Buffy, Joyce
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike 30in30 Day 9: Grave, Remember, Change
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death
Word Count: 489
Date Written: 12 May 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
"What's this?" Buffy asks, stopping so abruptly inside her kitchen that Dawn almost collides with her back. She peers around her big sister to see what's happening and is just in time to see Spike snatching off an apron.
"What's it look like, pet?" he asks nonchalantly. "Hot cocoa and brownies. Figured you might like a Winter treat after being gone all night."
"But you didn't come with us."
"I had things to do." He shrugs as the Summers sisters walk deeper into the kitchen. Buffy inhales the sweet aroma even as Dawn, unthinking, grabs a hot brownie and starts nibbling. Buffy's nose, however, has caught the familiarity of the odor.
"Hey!" Dawn exclaims between mouth fulls of chocolate. "These tastes just like the ones Mom used to make!"
Buffy stares at Spike. They're halfway around the word, and it's been years since mother's death. But on nights like tonight, when it's the evening following the anniversary of the afternoon she found her mother's still body on their couch, it seems like just yesterday. She had originally intended to fly home to California today, not that she could reach her mother's grave after Sunnydale got sucked into a crater, but the day's and night's battles had kept her from being able to even really consider a flight. They had kept her almost too busy to think, too busy to remember, but now the pain comes tearing at her fresh and brings tears to her green eyes once more. She carefully keeps her back to Dawn as she whispers, one lone tear escaping her careful control, "You remembered."
Nobody else has said anything about her mother all day, nobody but she and Dawn. Willow called earlier, but she didn't mention her mother. Not even Giles checked to see how she was doing today, but of course he's a kid now -- and the kid probably doesn't even remember her mother.
Spike's smile isn't boasting. It's calm and sweet, almost reassuring. With a quick glance at Dawn to make certain she's paying the brownies more attention than she is them, he reaches out and catches Buffy's tear. "Of course I remembered, luv," he whispers, pulling her into a hug.
Dawn's hot chocolate goes down a little too fast as she sees them hugging. "Hey, what's going on?" She stands.
"They taste as good as Mom's, Dawnie," Buffy says quietly, "because it's her recipe. She taught Spike how to cook."
Spike glances at Buffy. He could tell her he already knew how to cook, that Joyce simply taught him her recipes, but she taught him a great deal more than simply how to cook. So he holds his tongue, holds his woman in his arms, and when their little sister joins their embrace, he hugs her tightly too. Joyce would be proud of them, but he'll tell them that at another time, a time when there aren't so many tears being released, his own included.