Title: Mail Call
Characters: Buffy, Dawn
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss and co.
Summary: Post Chosen: Buffy spend Valentine’s Day without a special someone, but still manages a revelation. 580 words. (I wrote this before our blizzard, by the way.)
“Mail call!” The door to Buffy’s office swung open and Dawn bustled in, her arms full of packages.
Buffy, who’d been reading the files Xander sent her on two new slayers, glanced up at her sister. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”
“You haven’t looked out the window today, have you?” Laying the bundles on the mostly clear desk, Dawn reached over to open the curtains behind Buffy. The Slayer swung around in her leather office chair, but saw nothing but a swirling wall of white. “Turns out even colleges have snow days, every now and then.”
“I love Chicago.” Shivering, Buffy turned back to the desk. “Now, who’s sending me packages?”
“Are you serious? Buffy, it’s Valentine’s Day!”
“It is?” She frowned, remembering the stacks of paper cards she used to get as a kid, and the way the boys fawned over her and her friends in high school. Well, in her first high school, anyway. Now that she thought about it, she realized she and her friends used to sort through both the cards and the boys, keeping the cute and popular ones and discarding the rest.
Now she sat at a desk, wearing comfy sweats, her hair in a bun.
Dawn picked up the first package, which was wrapped in elegant gold paper, and shook it vigorously. “Before I tell you who this is from, I should point out all of these passed through security, no problem.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow at her. “The Immortal?”
“It might be chocolates.”
With a hint of a pout and a well aimed flip, Dawn arced the package across the small room. It fell with a clunk directly into a trash can in the corner. “Two points!” She reached for the next package, looked at it with a raised eyebrow, then handed it and the one beneath it to her sister.
The first, a long, narrow box, was bent in the middle and crushed at one end. The other had scratches all along one side of the flat package, and had been repaired with copious amounts of Scotch tape.
With a sigh, Buffy noted they both bore an L.A. postmark. “Boys will be boys.”
“Think they met at the mailbox?”
“Undead minds think alike.”
“Yeah, but at least this time there were no tracking devices.”
The single red rose was accompanied by a short, rather halting note that contained little more than well wishes and a vague reference to cookie dough. The box of expensive chocolates came with a poem, and after reading it Buffy looked up. “Okay, college girl, what’s ‘effulgent’?
“I dunno, I’m only taking ancient history and mythology … which is wasted, because I spend the whole class trying not to correct the professor.”
“Hm.” The rose was nice -- only a little crushed -- and it was always fun to guess what was inside those boxed chocolates. There was a time when it was fun to have two guys battling over her, too, but not so much when it came to the intense relationships of adulthood. She sat back, blinded for a moment by memories and regrets, and let out a small sigh.
Her eyes focused on Dawn, who was giving her a speculative look. “You left the room for a second,” her sister told her. “Are you bothered because you don’t have a Valentine this year?”
Buffy shook her head. “I’m bothered because it doesn’t bother me.”
Dawn didn’t quite seem to understand, but she was only seventeen, after all.