TinySprite: (staring intently at mailbox through the window)

Scarlett: (munching on chocolates) You know, just staring at it isn't going to make it fill with valentines.

Tiny: (says nothing, but makes a shushing gesture)

Jynx: (glancing up from reading a valentine's card) I've got the disclaimer.

Disclaimer: TinySprite owns nothing of GI Joe, which is copyright of Hasbro. Only the original characters are hers and the plot was inspired by the holiday.

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February fourteenth, a day that was loved by many women and a reason of panic for many men. For women, it meant romantic walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and meaningful time spent with a significant other. For men, it meant careful planning done weeks in advance to ensure a night that was indeed special or panic at realizing the holiday had essentially snuck up on them, leading to frantic last minute shopping.

It was a day both loved and feared, or even scorned by some, and that held true here in the Pit. While they weren't given the day itself off, there was still an air of relaxation throughout the building, with an undertone of anticipation that was growing by the hour. In honor of the day though, Hawk had allowed the kitchen to set up a type of buffet in the mess hall, so in addition to their regular menu, there were a few tables set aside against one wall and loaded with various Valentine's Day themed treats, mainly cookies and cupcakes.

It was easy to pick out the couples here in the mess hall and there were plenty of rumors about who was going out with who. Although those were getting to the point that basically if one was seen standing just a little closer than normal to someone else while talking, then they were a 'couple'. Understandably, that had led to some pretty outrageous pairings and a few fistfights. Flint and BeachHead were not having an easy day of it, that was for sure.

Squeak held back a sigh as she spotted yet another female greenshirt basically cuddling up to a male greenshirt. Their couple status was confirmed when the blonde teasingly feed her companion part of a cookie and he returned the favor. The cook tried not to feel too jealous, but couldn't help it. Like a lot of the other girls here, she'd broken up with her last boyfriend not long after joining the military. In their case, as a civilian, he simply wasn't able to respect the demands that came with being in the military and ended up leaving her for a relationship that was easier to manage.

Though it could have been worse. Poor Ratchet from the motor pool had been engaged back when the mechanic had been in the regular Army, but her fiancé had left her to go back to his ex-girlfriend. Soft sniffling got her attention, making Squeak look up from her near-robotic routine of serving the lasagna. Kate, a greenshirt sniper from the newest batch, gave her an apologetic smile as she held out her tray for a serving. It was very obvious she'd been crying recently and very hard at that.

While giving her a portion of lasagna, Squeak motioned with her head at their usual table, making a quick gesture to let the other know her break was in a few minutes. Kate nodded and moved on, clearly trying not to cry anymore. Even though Kate was more Candy's friend than hers, Squeak still wanted to help her out. So when her break came around and she was able to change out with another greenshirt cook, the reddish-brunette grabbed a sandwich and a bottle of water to eat before heading over to see what was wrong with the other girl.

Ten minutes after that, the cook was back in the kitchen, feeling useless in her rage. She'd already known that Kate and her boyfriend had joined up together and that both were snipers. However, he'd been content with his scores and didn't actively work to improve himself, while Kate had. That difference was what had gotten her into GI Joe. Despite that, he'd apparently taken it personal that Kate was better than him and in turn had taken it out on her instead of trying to improve.

They'd finally broken up this morning and she'd taken it hard, a given since they'd been together nearly five years. When lunch was over and it was time to clean up, Squeak set to it with a vengeance. Many of the others stayed out of her way, probably assuming she was irritated about the holiday. By the time she was done, her parts of the kitchen were practically sparkling and her arms and shoulders hurt from the intense scrubbing she'd been doing. At least she felt somewhat better now, though that good mood was effectively murdered by all the happy couples she passed by in the hallway while on her way to talk to Candy.

She ran into Mercury on the way, who stopped her, "If you're looking for Candy, she's uh, occupied at the moment. On that note, I'd stay away from that little closet in that side hall near the motor pool, just saying."

Going from his embarrassed expression and today's date, it was easy to figure out what was occupying her friend's time. Sighing, Squeak made to say something only to find a bright red envelope being shoved into her hands. Mercury explained quickly, "It's from Napoleon, who's off doing something and I got roped into being a delivery boy, somehow. I didn't even think he knew this many people in the base."

Her fellow greenshirt gestured to the large bag he was holding, which surprised her as well. It was filled with red envelopes and something told her it was probably another of Napoleon's plans. Seeming to remember something, Mercury reached into the bag again and dug around briefly before handing her a second envelope, this one a light green, "This, though, is from me. Happy Valentine's Day."

The chemist left before she could say anything, though Squeak could feel her face heating up. Feeling guilty that she hadn't thought of getting them anything, the cook made a mental note to see if she couldn't sneak them some extra dessert later. Figuring she had a few minutes to spare to put them up, Squeak turned and made her way towards the greenshirt barracks. While on her way there, Squeak took a look at the cards. The envelopes were unsealed and while both were generic cards, it still made her feel good to receive them.

Upon arriving at the female barracks, she slipped over to her door and paused for a minute to take the time to knock. After a moment of waiting and not hearing any suspicious sounds, Squeak deemed it safe to enter. Letting out a relieved sigh that she hadn't interrupted her roommate in anything, she stepped inside, not bothering to shut the door since this shouldn't take long. Glancing at her bed, the cook was surprised to see her pillow at an odd angle, as if something was stuffed under it.

Feeling suspicious, she put the cards down on her bed before cautiously moving her pillow. It turned out to be a small gift bag, on its side and crammed against the wall in a near childish attempt to keep it hidden. A smile tugged at her face as she gently picked the bag up and put the pillow back down in its rightful place. The bag turned out to hold an adorable fuzzy teddy bear, just big enough to cuddle with if she wanted to. A velvet bag that was between its small paws turned out to hold a little velvet box, which in turn had a pair of pretty silver earrings inside.

Knowing she'd have to send both home, Squeak couldn't help but smile. A card inside the bag simply stated she had a secret admirer. Shaking her head, she put everything back in the bag, her other cards included and put it all into her locker. Shutting the door behind her as she left to tend to her other duties, Squeak mentally debated if she should tell Napoleon he needed to disguise his handwriting better.

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Tiny: (still staring at mailbox) For those who don't know, Kate is an acronym for a type of ammo. Feedback is very much appreciated!