Rings and Things
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Joss owns the Buffyverse; Top Cow and Dark Horse Comics and other entities of whom I know not own Sara Pezzini, the Witchblade, and any other characters who may pop in.
"Um, Mom...so, who, exactly, sent you this box?"
Buffy was uncomfortable. Her 'spidey sense' was buzzing like a travel alarm, and it had no snooze button. All the agitation was centred around the surprisingly nondescript wrapped box that her mother was currently examining through the page magnifier she used to proof contracts.
"I told you, Buffy, the Herzog Gallery," was Joyce's distracted response.
Her daughter heaved an exasperated sigh. "You said that. But a museum isn't a who
, it's a what
," Buffy complained. "Isn't there a sender's name somewhere on there?" She bounced up from her chair and hurried to her mother's side. Despite herself, she was getting excited to see what was in the box o' mystery.
"Oh! Oh, of course, how stupid of me," Joyce murmured. "Look, right there...funny, it's barely readable...'E. Smith'? Who in the world...?"
Buffy chewed her bottom lip in thought. "I guess...maybe...you could open it?" she offered.
Joyce looked at her eldest with a raised eyebrow. "I thought you said that would be a bad idea?"
"Well...what if we called Giles? I'm getting seriously wiggy from being in the same room with this, whatever it is," suggested Buffy, pulling her cell phone out of her purse. She snapped it open and hit a number on the speed dial. "Hello?"
came a pleasant, English-accented baritone.
"Hey, Giles," Buffy chirped. "I was wondering if you had a minute to help out with something potentially Hellmouthy?"
About a half an hour later, Buffy, Joyce, and Giles were all gathered around the box in Joyce's office; Giles had made a stop by the magick shop to gather a few protective items, in case the whatever-it-was in the box was a 'potential threat'. Buffy had also tried to reach Xander and Willow, but Xander wasn't home, or so his mother had said; Willow was at a computer seminar at UC Sunnydale and wouldn't be back until that evening. So, it was just the Slayer, her Mom, and her Watcher against...a middling-sized cardboard box.
"Do you think it's something dangerous, Rupert?" Joyce murmured, not taking her eyes off him as she seated herself in her desk chair.
"Oh, no, no, I-I really don't think so, Joyce," he responded, casting a quick smile in her direction, before returning his attention to the box. "However, we may wish to proceed with caution nonetheless."
Buffy rolled her eyes, smothering a grin as she did so; they were so
obviously into one another...it was kinda sad, the way they didn't have the nerve to do anything about it. There was, of course, the mild squicky factor...after all, Giles was her *Watcher*, and old
, and British, and wore an awful lot of tweed... She shook her head a little to clear the side thoughts, and tried to concentrate on the matter at hand.
She reached over into Joyce's top drawer, retrieving the black-handled utility shears that her mother always kept there, and slowly approached the Box, as she'd begun to refer to it in her mind. Ever so gently, she opened the blades, tucked the bottom one under the string, and slowly began to separate the string...To be continued...