Author:  Meltha

Rating:  G

Feedback:  Yes, thank you. Melpomenethalia@aol.com

Spoilers:  For "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" in season 2.

Distribution: Fanfiction.net, the 500 Club, and the Bunny Warren.  If you're interested, please let me know.

Summary:  Spike finally finds the perfect gift for his princess.

Author's Note:  From a challenge at Challenge in a Can:  Spike, happy, jewelry http://www.dymphna.net/challenge/.  The story, from title to end, is exactly 500 words.

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy.  Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you.  Thank you.

Valentine's Day

For the first time in what felt like a century, Spike smiled.  So things weren't exactly perfect.  He was in a wheelchair, his girl was cheating on him with the new, more insane version of her sire, and two Slayers were bopping about on the globe.  At the moment he didn't care.

He had begun searching for the ideal gift weeks ago --not an easy task.  Since he wanted to keep the present a surprise, he couldn't trust any of the fledges with his errand.  That meant, as usual, if he wanted something done right, he had to do it himself.  Elluding Angelus, making his way about the virtually rampless Sunnydale, and having to actually buy something rather than kill for it since he wasn't in a position to hunt had been enormous challenges.

But he had licked them all.

He peered through the glass display case at Fabrizio's Jewel Box with a wide grin.  Nestled on a bed of ebony silk lay the necklace for his princess.  The gold glowed softly under the shop's lights, and the its stones flashed almost as brightly as her sparkling eyes.

"Is this the one?" asked the girl behind the counter as she gestured towards it.

"That'd be it, pet," he responded with a smile as he plopped a wad of cash, newly converted from 19th century English pounds, on the countertop. 

"She's a very lucky girl," she remarked as she counted the bills and handed him a receipt. 

"Nah, I'm the lucky one," he said with wistful expression on his face.  "Can you wrap that up for me?"

She nodded pleasantly and slipped the necklace into a black velvet case, then wrapped it in crimson paper, topping it with a white satin bow before passing it down to him. 

"It's been a pleasure doing business with you, sir.  Please, stop back again soon."

Spike gave her a wink and rolled out the door, making his way back home carefully so he wouldn't run into Angelus's minions or the Slayer.

A few minutes later, another customer walked into the shop.  The girl behind the counter looked up, startled at his arrival.

"We're just about to close up," she said nervously, looking at the tall, broad man with more than a twinge of fear.

"Couldn't you stay open just a little bit longer?  My friend was in here earlier.  Blond?  Short?  Wheelchair?  Have you seen him?" he said in a strange tone.  The words were friendly enough, but the way he said them was almost mocking.

"Yes, he was in to pick up a gift for his girlfriend."

The man smiled broadly, but the grin only made her alarm stronger.  "Really?  What'd he get her?"

"A necklace," she answered, her voice cracking slightly.  "Is there anything I can help you with?  I really do need to leave for the night."

"Yeah, I think you can help me," he smirked at her.  "I should pick up a little present for Drusilla myself."