"Hey Spike." He sat down next to her on the sofa. Not too close. Not too far.
"Sooo...get a valentine from the principal?" he teased. "Buffy and Robin four eva? That moniker does have quite the superhero ring to it, doesn't it?" he mused, leaning back into the cushions.
"You're hilarious," she dead panned.
"It's a gift."
"Uh huh. Well, in answer to your oh so subtle inquiry, no, I did not. Neither the giving nor the receiving of the hallmark sentiments took place . Nothing, nada, zilch. No valentines for Buffy. Well, except for that one Andrew gave me."
"Yeah, I got one from him too. But hey, chin up, Slayer. There's still time."
"It's 11:45 p.m. I'd say my time has run out. And I should have put that another way."
"No death knell on the valentines yet, slayer. "He reached behind the sofa and produced a long rectangular box tied with a large red bow. "As they say, ta da."
"Oh no, I couldn't. Really..."
"Look, don't read too much into this. I just didn't want you to go without a valentine, alright? It's no big deal. Please take it."
"I don't think I should...."
"Take it, Buffy, or I swear I'll stake myself. Or, perhaps, cry."
"Oh God no, give it to me!" She grabbed the box out of his hands and stared at it for a moment with childlike excitement. "I do love presents. Is it roses? It looks like roses."
"Not exactly." His face fell. "Bloody hell," he muttered, "I should have gotten roses."
She undid the bow and slid the top off the box, a frown creasing her brow. "It's a stake."
"It's, um, chocolate. A chocolate stake."
A slow smile spread across her face. "Chocolate? Yum. And it looks so real."
"Yeah, they looked at me kind of funny at the confectionery, but I think they did a pretty good job of it. See the woodgrain?"
"Yes," she agreed. "Very authentic."
"The card seems to have fallen off. Oh, well."
"Let me guess....some sentimental Victorian poetry, perhaps?"
"Yeah, right. It said: Dear Buffy, You slay me! Love, Spike."
"Hardy, har, har."
"Well," he said, dipping his head shyly, "you do. And there wasn't a card, actually, because I didn't know what to say."
"I...well...I didn't exactly, um...."
"It's alright, I didn't expect you to get me anything."
"But I did! Wait right here! And, uh, close your eyes!"
He closed his eyes and listened as she rummaged around in the kitchen, then ran back into the room. "Ta da!"
He opened his eyes. "It's blood."
"Yes! Yes it is. It's red! See, red, for Valentine's day. And hearts! Hearts pump blood. And that's not very romantic, is it? I could heat it up," she offered apologetically.
He smiled and took the blood bag from her. "No thanks. It's great, really."
She sat down and put her head in her hands. "No it's not! I am so lame!"
"No you're not," he said, setting the bag on the table. "You're adorable. When you're not barking orders or giving incredibly boring lectures."
They sat in silence for a moment.
"You're staring at the chocolate."
"No I'm not."
"You *want* the chocolate."
She grabbed the chocolate and took a bite out of the end. "Oh my God," she moaned, "this is incredible." She looked down. "And rather phallic."
"Oh yeah," he said, staring at the stake gripped tightly in her hand. He shook his head. "Sorry. I really should have gotten the roses."
"No way!" she said through a mouthful of chocolate. Swallowing and licking her lips, she asked "what kind is this?"
"Belgian. Only the best for you, Summers."
She broke off a piece and held it out to him. "Want some?" He nodded, and instead of placing it in his hand, she put it directly in his mouth, pushing it in slowly with her index finger. "Good?" she asked. He simply nodded, glad that his mouth was otherwise occupied, because he was currently unable to speak.
The clock chimed midnight. "Look at that," she said, "another not so terrible Valentine's day is over." She put the chocolate back in the box and stood, taking it with her. "I really should get some sleep."
He nodded again, and swallowed. "Right. Sweet dreams, Buffy."
She smiled and leaned down, kissing him on the cheek. He could still hear the words she had whispered in his ear even as she ran up the stairs.
"You're the one who's sweet. Good night, Valentine."