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Story Notes:
Originally posted December 3, 200
Rupert Giles left the comic book store and breathed a sigh of relief upon entering the warm afternoon air. He was carrying a bag that contained a limited edition comic with some large red being that was made of metal or perhaps it was fire? Regardless of the creature’s physical consistency, it was one of Xander’s favorite series and he had heard the boy remarking the other day about this particular edition.

He put a mental check mark in the small box beside Xander’s name in his mind as he made his way through the weekend crowd that were also doing their holiday shopping. He was buying gifts for the children he considered his family, several purchases all ready made during the rather exhausting day. Thankfully, he was nearly finished with only two more items to buy. When he reached a store that seemed to be boarded up, he knocked twice before whispering, “Ptoleme.”

The door opened and he entered the bookstore. Inhaling the soothing scent of books, he resisted the impulse to indulge himself by browsing the latest titles. Moving to the counter, he greeted the owner of the occult shop and waited patiently for his special order to be retrieved from the back. He had placed the order for Willow’s present last month after deciding that she would thoroughly enjoy reading one of his favorite books from his youth, Demon Culture: Fact and Fiction, a fascinating look into varying cultures and a great guide for determining whether a particular race of demons were a danger.

Once his purchase was made, he left the bookstore and headed towards the last stop on his shopping trip. He had all ready bought Buffy a necklace with a cross pendant, something simple that would keep her safe. He had been assured by the salesgirl that a young lady would find the design beautiful so he was content with that purchase. However, he also wanted to give his slayer something that was not a reminder of her chosen duty. That was what brought him to this store.

As he entered, he wondered if he should have asked Willow to assist him by purchasing this gift. The store smelled of some flowery potpourri and it appeared that he was the only man in the entire place. “Bloody hell,” he cursed softly as he made his way to a display of brightly colored shirts.

He knew nothing about style or trends, but this particular garment seemed like something Buffy would wear. He had no idea about her size, however. Holding up a small, he frowned, deciding it would be too tight. There was no way he was encouraging Buffy to wear clothing any more revealing than what she all ready wore. Finally choosing a medium shirt in a violet shade he had seen her wear before, he went to the counter and paid.

As he left that store, he decided that next year, he’d just give them all money.

The End.