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Christmas Cookies and Conversations

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Diego had been fighting crime on the streets all day, and he still felt awful. That left one place left to go. He stalked down the hallway, the portraits taken down months ago. Diego was glad they were gone, they had been nothing but a reminder of bad memories. The kitchen looked the same as always, which was a comfort he needed today, a reminder of what he had been able to save.

“Diego dear, you seem upset, would you like some cookies?” Diego’s mother, Grace extended a plate of freshly made sugar cookies with red frosting and green sprinkles.

“Thanks Mom, I’m doing fine, it’s just…” Diego trailed off, not wanting to continue, not wanting to vocalize that when he had seen that it was Christmas, it had hit him just how long Patch had been gone. He had gone to the kitchen to sulk and because he had just really needed his mom.

“Ben you were right, there are cookies!” Klaus waltzed in and grabbed two cookies off of the plate. “Diego! Why didn’t you tell us Mom was making cookies?”

“Boys, there’s no need to fight, there’s plenty of cookies to go around.”

“You’re right Mom, and by the way they're delicious.” Klaus said through a mouth full of cookie crumbs as he held out his second cookie to the air beside him.

“Klaus, Ben’s not corporeal.” Diego warned.

“What?” Klaus dropped the cookie on the ground and let out an amused snort, spraying crumbs everywhere, including Diego’s face.

“Nooo! The cookie! Oh the humanity!” Ben exclaimed in an excessively overly dramatic tone, briefly becoming corporeal before disappearing again. This left Klaus cackling, Diego softy chuckling, and even Grace beaming.

“Klaus dear, your powers are getting better everyday, your hands were hardly blue at all! And it’s always wonderful to see you Ben dear.” Grace looked toward where Ben had briefly appeared.

“Thanks Mom.” Klaus’s smile softened as he sat down to eat another cookie, placing a second one at the empty seating arrangement next to him, where Diego could almost see Ben sitting.

They sat like that for a while, in a sort of comfortable, sort of uncomfortable silence with Klaus exchanging glances with an invisible Ben until Klaus spoke.

“Fine, I’ll ask him.” Klaus sighed, then continued awkwardly. “What’s got you brooding?”

“Huh?”

“Well, being the amazing big brother that I am I noticed-” Klaus stopped to hiss at where Diego guessed Ben was. “Ugh, Ben and I noticed that you looked more ‘brooding, ‘I only work alone’ angsty vigilante’ than usual and we were wondering if something’s giving you the blues?”

“It’s nothing, I’m fine. It’s just that it hit me that she’s been…” Diego wiped a tear away with a shaky hand. “Been gone since April, eight whole months, and it still feels like if I walked into the station she’d be there and then… I remember that she won’t be there ever again and…” He couldn’t continue, instead biting into a cookie.

“I understand how you feel, sometimes I wake up and expect to be back in Vietnam, with Dave lying in a cot next to me.” Diego nodded as Klaus teared up.

They sat in silence again as the tears dried, a little more comfortable.