Human Rituals

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: big, red Valentines to Joss Whedon, to whom these characters belong. Consolation chocolates to me, to whom none do.

Summary: 300-word Drabble. Wes, Illyria, and one of the lesser human holidays.

At some point in their discussions of human custom, Wesley must have decided not to waste time addressing the lesser human holidays.

The flaw in this decision became apparent the day after Saint Valentine's celebration.

…when Illyria dropped a demon heart (Wesley hoped that it was a demon heart) on top of his desk.

"You do not like it?" Illyria asked, while Wesley was at a loss for words.

Admittedly, Wesley had had little time to tutor the god-king in human rituals, as of late. Leaving Illyria to run to Spike - the only other creature she actually "talked" to - with her questions of why human males "shower their female companions, on this occasion, with gifts of chocolate and decaying flora"…and why human females "seek the attention of their male counterparts by distributing missives festooned with inaccurate illustrations of the bodily organ they are meant to represent."

But at least half of the blame had to lie with Spike himself. Who Wesley had overheard responding to Illyria's laments of Wesley's neglect of her, and to her ponderings of the application of the Valentine card, with: "For crying out loud, Blue. Just give the boy a bloody Valentine already, and be done with it."

Wesley stared at the still warm organ lying on the stack of proprietary documents sitting in front of him, staining his ink blotter black-red, and planned vengeance for the soulled vampire.

"Is this Valentine not bloody enough?" Illyria asked, disappointment creeping into her quiet monotone. "Or does the Valentine token only hold meaning on the day of the celebration?"

Wesley assured her that, yes, her Valentine was indeed bloody enough. He deliberated. And then he proceeded to lecture her on the proper methods of celebrating St. Patrick's Day, Fat Tuesday, and April 1st…

Just in case.