The Secret Ingredient
Buffy hesitantly sits down on the leather armchair across from the sofa that Dawn is sitting on. She’s tense and a bit nervous, but even more than that she’s embarrassed. It’s not every day that your baby sister walks in on you and your girlfriend in the throes of passion.
Then again, it’s also not every day that you have sex in the kitchen.
You’d like to think of it as a little lapse in judgment that can be easily forgotten but you have a strange feeling that Dawn is never going to let you live it down.
“Have you come to beg forgiveness?” Dawn asks evenly, not moving her gaze from the television.
“Not exactly, no,” Buffy says, shaking her head gently. “I’ve come to try to explain exactly what happened.”
Dawn suddenly sits up and swings her legs down so her feet are flat on the ground and she’s facing Buffy. The look on her face sets off a dozen silent alarms in Buffy’s head. This is going to be ugly.
“Explain? Have you suffered some kind of a massive head injury? What makes you think that I’d want to hear any part of that horribly grotesque tale?” Dawn asks in disbelief.
Buffy smiles morosely and looks down at her lap. “That’s not what I mean, exactly. It’s not like I was going to get into the ins and outs of how we ended up on the kitchen counter . . .”
“Ahhhh!” Dawn yells suddenly and leaps up to her feet, using both hands to cover her ears. Her eyes narrow at Buffy and she glares like she’s never glared before. “I don’t need reminders! The visuals from yesterday are already burned into my retinas forever and ever. My ears don’t need to suffer the tale too!”
“Alright, sorry. I’m sorry,” Buffy says, holding her hands up in surrender. “Let’s just agree to never talk or think about the events from yesterday ever again. And for the record, it won’t happen again in this lifetime.”
Dawn watches her cautiously for a moment and finally lets down her hands from her ears. It takes her a second to relax but she eventually sits back down, only the smallest hint of awkwardness lingering between them. They settle in and watch TV quietly until they’re interrupted by Faith who walks into the room with three plates balanced precariously in her hands. Dawn raises an eyebrow in question and Faith shrugs.
“Forgiveness pizza. Least I can do.”
“Yes it is, but it’s a start,” Dawn replies. She takes a plate and digs right into the slice of pizza; she hadn’t eaten all day due to her sudden kitchen phobia. “This is really good.”
“Family recipe,” Faith replies with her mouth full. “Made it from scratch, even the dough.”
Dawn stops chewing suddenly and her eyes widen.
“How exactly did you make the dough?” she asks warily.
“Some flour, yeast, salt, bunch of other top secret shit. Kneaded it on the counter for like a half hour to get it the perfect consistency. Paid off though, right?”
Buffy’s eyes widen too and she steals a glance up at Dawn who is looking a little bit green suddenly.
“You made this on the kitchen counter?” Dawn practically shrieks. When Faith nods, Dawn stands up and runs toward the bathroom, yelling and grumbling the whole way.
Faith watches her exit and then grabs the discarded slice of pizza. She tears into it and looks over at Buffy, then smiles.
“My special ingredient is love,” she says with a wink.
Oh yeah. A whole lot of love went into that pizza, for sure.
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