Characters: Joyce, Buffy.
Spoilers: Anne, Becoming Part 2.
Summary: It’s such a relief to have Buffy home.
Written For: Challenge 317: Relief at fan_flashworks.
Disclaimer: I don’t own BtVS, or the characters; they belong to the great Joss Whedon.
A/N: Triple drabble and a half, 350 words.
Finding Buffy standing there on the doorstep is such a relief that for a moment Joyce thinks she might actually faint. He daughter looks just the same as the last time she saw her, except there’s something in her eyes, something that makes her seem older, as if she’s seen and done things a girl her age should never have to. Something worldly. She’s growing up so fast.
It’s clear that the last few months have been no easier on Buffy than they have been on her mother, but in different ways. Joyce wants to ask her daughter where she’s been, what she’s been doing, but at the same time she’s not sure she could stand having all her worries and fears confirmed. Maybe in this case ignorance is bliss.
Mostly she just wants to hug her little girl and never let her go, so she does, and Buffy hugs her just as tightly, needing the comfort as badly as Joyce does.
It almost doesn’t seem real. After months of not knowing where her daughter was, or if she was even still alive, to have her home safe is a dream come true, the answer to all Joyce’s prayers. She can’t even feel angry, although that might come later, along with an all-consuming desire to ground Buffy until she’s at least thirty. She deserves to be punished for running away like that, for worrying everyone, only…
‘I told her to go. I said if she left to not even think about coming back, so how can I punish her for doing what she was told? It’s my fault she left.’
“I’m sorry, mom. I just had to get away, I needed time to think.”
“I’m sorry too, honey. I didn’t mean what I said, I never wanted you to go, I was just angry and scared and confused.”
“I know. It’s okay, I don’t blame you.”
Those words bring a fresh surge of relief; Buffy doesn’t hate her.
“Everything’s going to be okay, honey, I promise. I’m just so glad you’re home.”
“Me too, mom. I really have missed you.”