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Tarnished Silver

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Tarnished Silver". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Anthrax isn't the only dangerous thing in the mail these days.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Dresden Files, TheRamenthFR1885,62512113,4261 Aug 0925 Aug 10No

Beginning - 1/7

Disclaimer: Neither The Dresden Files nor Buffy belong to me.

“Hello? “Mom? I got the mail!” My voice echoed hollowly in the empty house. Ever since we’d moved to Sunnydale this had become a more and more regular thing.

“Guess you’re not home.” I sighed and dropped the mail on the kitchen table before glancing through the leftovers in the fridge and finally deciding on the spaghetti from earlier in the week. What? Don’t look at me like that. School was long. I was hungry. I set the microwave to warm up the pasta and turned back to the mail.

“Well well, what have we here?” I asked the top package. It was a small one, well wrapped in brown packing paper and addressed to the Summers family from a sender I didn’t recognize. Chances are it was another thing for the gallery; for some reason a lot of people ship to our house, rather than directly. But, then again, this was addressed to the Summers family. I could— BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

I jumped as the microwave beeped. Food now, package later. Somehow spaghetti always tastes better as leftovers. Mmm. Italian-y goodness. I turned back to the package as I happily munched on the spaghetti and took a closer look at it. It was too small to be the sort of thing Mom normally sold; you know, art and that sort of thing. Maybe it wasn’t for the gallery after all?

I set the bowl down on the sink and picked the package back up. It couldn’t hurt to open it, could it? I mean, it was addressed to the Summers family, not Mom, or the Gallery. I slipped a finger under the paper and pulled. Slayer Strength: 1, Over-Zealous US Postal Service Wrapping: 0. Unsurprisingly, under the paper was a box.

I opened that too; revealing packing peanuts that concealed… another box. Great. This was starting to feel like one of those Russian-doll things. You know, the ones with the other dolls in side them? After a few more layers I finally reached the actual package; a small black jewelry style box. At this point I was pretty sure that it was for the gallery, but after all this work I felt entitled to opening it and taking a peek.

Inside the box was a tarnished and rather battered looking silver coin. Not quite what I’d expected; Mom usually sells more… artistic things than coins. She runs a galley after all, not an antique shop. It looked like something Giles would have, really. It was old, the face was worn, but I doubted I would’ve recognized it anyway. Someone had carved something into it, a strange twisting sigil that was darker than the tarnish. I didn’t recognize the symbol, but that was more Willow or Giles thing anyway.

I had to admit it was pretty; it could work as a necklace or something like that. I was pretty sure I even had an outfit that matched… Hm. Well, it was addressed to us. I’m sure Mom won’t mind if I—

“Buffy, are you home?”

I snapped the box shut and spun around. “Yeah, Mom, I’m in the Kitchen!”

“You’re home early today,”

“Yeah, well, you know how it is. But look! Mail!” I pointed to the messy pile I’d left on the table.

“Anything interesting, Hun?”

“Just stuff for the Gallery.”

“Again? I’ve told them to stop sending it here. What is it this time?”

“Some coin.”

“Well, whatever. I’ll tell them again. Help me with the groceries?”

“Sure,” I followed Mom out into the fading afternoon sun, all thoughts of the coin forgotten.
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