DISTRIBUTION: My site, LJ, still_grr, fanfiction.net, just email me if you are interested!

FEEDBACK: I welcome comments, but no flames!

SUMMARY: Some valentine hijinks at the Magic Box.

NOTES:  Set during S5, sometime after “Blood Ties”.  Written for the LJ community, still_grr, prompt 208, valentines.

CHARACTERS: Buffy, Giles (not B/G), Glory

DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.

DATE: 2/7/11

“So when did you decide to start selling valentines, Giles?”  Buffy stared at the vintage card in her hand.  “And why such...creepy ones?  Seriously?  Eggs?  How are eggs in a frying pan Valentine-y at all?”

Buffy placed the card back in the box full of old-style valentines.  Giles had brought out the box from the Magic Box storage room earlier that afternoon with a small note on the front: “Vintage Valentines $1 each.”  It had taken Buffy all of seventeen minutes to wait for Giles to explain.  When he did nothing but remove his glasses and turn to dust something, she pounced.

“I thought it might be...fun,” Giles replied, his back still to Buffy.  “I can be fun, you know.”

“I never said you weren’t!  It’s just, these cards, are way weird, Giles.  Look at this one, ‘I’m ‘plum’ crazy about you - Valentine!’ and ‘Wish you’d fall for my line’ - that dog is going to eat the fish, not date it!”  Buffy started spreading the small notes across the display case.  She leaned in close to examine the egg card again, and leaned hard on her elbows, not paying attention as a customer arrived behind her.

“Oh, these are fantastic!  Where in hell did you find these?”  Buffy jumped out of her skin at the sound of a voice not two inches from her ear.  She turned quickly, but it hardly threw off the customer behind her.  Buffy found herself facing Glory.  Instantly tensing, she froze, pinned between the crazy hell-god and the cash register.  She sensed Giles moving behind the counter, although she dared not look, for fear of drawing attention to him.

“Don’t try it, Watcher.  She’d be in twelve pieces before you could even throw a pencil at me,” Glory turned a smiling face at Giles, who was now equally frozen in place.  She picked up a valentine. 

“Aww, now look.  ‘This should cover everything -’,” Glory stopped reading the card as she took one step, closing the distance between Buffy and herself. “‘Be my valentine.  Maybe you should take its advice, sugar cheeks.  It’s better to be my valentine than...be dead!” 

Glory punctuated the last two words with a cheery smile and patronizing double slap to Buffy’s cheek.  Buffy said nothing.  Control the breathing, she thought.  Just like Giles and I practiced.  No weakness.  At least none she can see.  Breathe...slowly.

Giles was calculating in his mind.  Closest weapons, likelihood he could reach anything useful before Buffy or he would be dead, likelihood Glory would destroy yet another research table before she left, which spells might actually work through mind control only...he couldn’t think of anything useful before Glory suddenly straightened.

“Look, I just want my key.  Figured I’d see if you were going to play nice, with it being lovey-dovey season and all around here.  But since I see you don’t love me like you should...I’ll go.  For now.”  Glory slowly backed away from Buffy, never breaking eye contact.  “Good show, sweetie.  Next time, make sure you control the nostril flare as you control the breathing.”

Buffy’s eyes involuntarily widened.  Then she snapped out of it.  She was Buffy.  The Slayer.  Time to bring on the quips.

Just as Glory reached the front door, Buffy stopped her.  “Hey,” she started, sounding a bit hoarse.  Glory turned, eyebrow raised.  “You forgot your valentine.”  Buffy threw a card toward her, letting it slide right next to Glory’s three-inch Jimmy Choo pump. 

As she bent down, Glory chuckled.  “‘Let’s strike up a match’...be seeing you, Valentine.”  As she flicked it away, the valentine burst into a fireball and singed Glory’s hair and removed her eyebrows.  She stood in the doorway in shock, petting her forehead, searching for remnants of eyebrows.  “You...you...bitch!  You WILL pay for this!”  With that, Glory stomped out, muttering about eyebrow pencils and color tones.

Even as the bell on the door jingled shut, Buffy did not relax.  Giles placed a hand on her shoulder, causing her to jump at the touch.  She stared at him, speaking volumes through her panic-filled eyes.  Giles just smiled.  Realization hit her.

“Did you make the fireball?  Or do I have even more secret powers?”

Giles gave a small laugh and picked up the egg valentine card and waggled it in front of her face.  “Enchanted cards.  The intent and emotion one has towards the card recipient is enacted through the card’s image,” he explained.

Buffy frowned.  “That sounds like something Ethan Rayne would cook up, not you.”

Giles shrugged.  “It’s usually not so...intense.  Light bit of fun and silliness.  I was planning on telling people if they bought one!”  His voice raised indignantly as Buffy crossed her arms. 

Then she smiled, pointing at the card Giles still held.  “What do you think the egg card does?”

“I can only imagine either provide you with a nice breakfast, or literally give you egg on the face, depending.”

Shaking her head, Buffy burst out laughing, a huge relief to have the tension flow out of her.  Giles gave a hearty laugh, then said, “Aren’t you glad I ordered those ridiculous valentines now?”