The Kitchen Thing Again
The Kitchen Thing Again
Buffy slowly descended the stairs and went into the living room where everyone was waiting.
“She’s finally asleep,” Buffy told them. “I doubled up on the sleeping tablets.”
“Anya and Xander and Spike left right after you took Dawn upstairs,” Willow said. “Anya said she’d had enough excitement for one night, and Xander didn’t want her walking alone after dark. And then Spike said he’d go with them just to make sure they’d be okay.”
Buffy gave Willow a weak smile and nodded.
“Buffy, I am SO sorry about all this,” Piper said. “I should have been more vigilant. It was stupid of me not to expect something like this to happen.”
“No, don’t worry about it. It’s not like it’s the first time we’ve been attacked in our own home.”
“Even so . . . .”
“How did they know everyone would be here?” Willow asked.
“They probably detected Paige and me when we orbed in,” Leo explained. “If only one of us had orbed they might not have been able to follow the trail, but with two of us, it was easier to find us.”
Then Buffy asked, “So what about Mom?”
“Well, the good news is that her spirit is still intact. That can never be killed,” Piper told her. “What you saw, and felt, was just a manifestation of her original body. But the link that connects her to the mortal world has been severely damaged. Just how much, I don’t know. And I don’t know if we can ever call her again. Maybe in time, but certainly not any time soon.”
Piper looked to Leo for confirmation, and got it.
“The connection between the mortal and spiritual planes is tenuous at best, and it doesn’t take much to damage it. The link can eventually repair itself, but as Piper said, not soon.”
“Not soon in like, how long?”
“It’s hard to say – possibly years.”
Buffy nodded, disappointed. Then put on a brave smile.
“But we did have a good visit, and everyone was happy, for awhile.”
“Yes we did. And it was wonderful.” Willow agreed. “I just hope Dawny . . . .”
“She’ll be okay. She’s tough, tougher than we expect her to be, I hope,” Buffy said. “It’ll be hard for her for a while, for me too, but we still have each other.”
“I can whip up a potion to help her – to keep her from being too depressed.” Paige volunteered.
“That might not be such a bad idea. But not too strong.”
“Of course not. It’ll be just right for her. Willow, shall we try the kitchen thing again?”
“Yeah, maybe we can get it right this time. Just don’t piss me off again, okay?”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
And the two witches left the room together smiling, arm in arm.
“Well,” Phoebe said, “It looks like our work here is done. So, Leo, if you’ll orb me back to P3, I’ll see what kind of damage control I can work on poor Roger. I told him I didn’t think I’d be too long, so maybe he’s still waiting for me.”
“Thanks for coming.” Buffy told her. “Maybe we can have a real visit with all of you sometime.”
“Yeah, I’d like that.”
Phoebe gave Piper a quick hug and then yelled her goodbyes toward the kitchen to Paige and Willow.
Piper kissed Leo, then he and Phoebe orbed back to San Francisco.
An hour later, the potion made, Piper and Paige decided despite the late hour, well after eleven, to drive back home rather than spend the night. Piper said she would drive halfway and Paige the rest of the way.
Hugs were given, promises of future visits were made, and the two Charmed witches left.
Buffy started to clean up the dining room when Willow told her she could fix it as she had done the kitchen at the manor, but Buffy said she needed to do something to keep busy for a while. Willow, understanding, pitched in to help her.
After the dining room was back the way it had been, they went into the kitchen to clean it up.
Neither spoke the whole time, and there was an uneasy silence between them.
Then on impulse, Willow put her arms around Buffy, who found herself suddenly crying on her best friend’s shoulder.
As Buffy sobbed, a few tears ran down Willow’s cheeks.
And then it was over. Buffy gave Willow an appreciative smile, sniffed a couple of times, then said goodnight.
Willow watched her leave the kitchen, did some last minute tidying up, turned out the lights, then climbed the stairs to her empty, lonely bedroom.