Little Marshmallows

by Saber ShadowKitten

I don't feel bad that you're dead. Death is just another part of life. You're born, you grow up, you die. If you're lucky, you die without pain. If I'm lucky, you beg. But that can't happen anymore, and I'm not here to whine about poor ol' Spike who can't kill humans. I'm here because I feel... odd. And I'm not talking about the fact that I'm standing in a graveyard having a conversation with a headstone. No, it's just... I knew you. Not like Buffy and Dawn knew you, or like Rupert, or the other scrogs. But I still knew you. You were... nice.

Sorry 'bout the shudder. Never thought I'd call someone nice and appreciate it. But you were, you know. Nice. Even to me, before everyone decided my having feelings for your daughter was akin to my having the Black Plague. You listened to me ramble on about Timmy and Tabitha and the plotlines of Passions like I was explaining how to cure the common cold. You didn't seem to mind me coming around for a cuppa, pre-plague, and me with the flimsiest of excuses in order to learn more about Buffy. I don't know if you were just ignorant or lonely, but you always had those little marshmallows in your cupboard.

I don't feel bad that you're dead, Joyce. I'm not sad that another human kicked it. I don't feel happy, either, but since you weren't my enemy that makes sense. What's odd is that I don't feel ambivalent. I shouldn't care one way or the other that you're dead. I shouldn't feel anything about your passing, at all. But, I do. I feel... awkward. I don't like it. For once, I wish a human hadn't died.

Um, I'm gonna go now, before the Slayer arrives and stakes me for daring to come near your grave. This here's for you. I know, you're dead, and I don't think coffins come equipped to make instant hot cocoa, but... you always had those little marshmallows on hand.