Puck had spent the better part of his day scouring the shops of Cleveland, looking for the perfect gift for his Nana’s birthday. This was sadly the first time, he was buying something for her himself and it had to be absolutely perfect. Which is why he had opted for Cleveland rather than Columbus because his Nana had told him about a shop she’d helped put together in Cleveland.
The Magic Book? The Magic Rabbit? The Magic Box? Something magic… But so far he hadn’t been able to find it. He was tired and hungry from the hours of shopping, so he dropped onto a nearby bench to look around for some fuel. Had he mentioned he was hungry?
‘Xander, honestly? “The Magic Box”? You couldn’t have picked a different name?’ an exasperated British voiced asked, not far from where Puck was sitting, massaging his sore foot.
‘Come on, Giles. It’s nostalgic,’ a younger voice countered, with no small amount of excited pride.
Puck looked up to find the younger man hugging who he guessed was the British man from behind; his chin resting on his shoulder. He idly wondered what he and Kurt would look like if they did that, and then tried to shake the thought from his head. He didn’t need to be thinking about Kurt like that here, or at all.
‘Thank you, Xander, I love it,’ the older man sighed, as he turned his head for a chaste kiss. Puck half expected some jackass to ruin the moment but no one did.
Xander pulled away from his partner even as he slide his hand into his, ‘come inside, you have to see it. I set it up with the help of Nana Puckerman because you took forever to get here.’
He chuckled, but let Xander tug him into the store that Puck was positive he’d walked by about half a dozen times, in the last hour alone, without noticing it. There was even a little “open” sign on the door.
With a groan he gathered up his bags, because even though he’d been looking specifically for his Nana’s birthday, he’d found things for his friends and little sister’ including a beautiful small hand-crafted faerie for his mother.
Pushing the door open, Puck was hit by that Jasmine-y herbal smell that reminded him of his Nana, and to a lesser extent, Finn’s mother.
‘Wow,’ Puck blurted, floored by all the sheer amount of stuff in the store. He knew what most of it was but some of it was completely new to him.
‘Oh, hello,’ Giles blurted, as he pulled away from Xander in surprise, he hadn’t expected to actually get any customers.
‘Puck?’ Xander blurted as he studied him with his one good eye. Puck desperately wanted to ask how that had happened, but decided to hold his tongue, just this once.
‘Yeah?’ Puck replied, a little nervous that this man knew him. He shouldn’t have been, since he was really pretty sure they’d been talking about his Nana. He would forever deny the squawk he let out when Xander pulled him into a bone-crushing hug.
‘Nana talks about you all the time. I feel like you’re my little brother, or would that be younger cousin I haven’t seen since that one super festive holiday that we don’t mention anymore.’ He grinned, reminding Puck of an over excited puppy, or Finn.
‘Xander, let the poor child go. You’re scaring him,’ Giles reprimanded gently, mildly amused.
‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ he pulled away, slightly embarrassed, but not at all apologetic. ‘I’m Xander, this is my partner Giles. He’s finally just moved here from jolly ol’ England,’ he introduced, putting on a horrid accent that made both Puck and Giles cringe.
‘Please don’t ever do that again,’ Giles practically begged, even as Xander looked mildly put out.
Puck gave a laugh at the pair, and Xander draped an arm over his shoulders as he pulled the bags from one of Puck’s hands.
‘Leave your bags here,’ he stated as he dropped the bags behind the counter. Then he pulled an empty handed Puck around the store, pointing out all the various knickknacks and doodads that littered the shelves; like an excited child at a toy store pointing out all the things he wanted.
‘But this!’ he trailed off, finally let go of Puck as he headed to the back room, leaving Puck to explore the store on his own.
Xander was still rambling on about something or other, but Puck had stopped listening as he let something pull him. He’d listen to his Nana and her lady friends ramble on about magic often enough that he knew that fighting it would be useless.
Then he found it.
The small glass statue of tiger that was no bigger than the palm of his hand.
It was sort of glowing, but not really. The bright pinks, purples and blues, swirled around inside it. Or that’s what it looked like as Puck cautiously picked it up to study.
So focused on the colours inside that he didn’t notice them flare out and surround him.
A moment later the tiger clunked the carpeted floor.
‘She’s been eyeing these earrings since they got… oh, I missed it!’ Xander gave an indignant huff as he emerged from the store room when Giles picked up the glass tiger. The colours had muted some but they stilled swirled lazily around their glass cage.
‘Well, I’ll add this to his packages,’ Giles offered as Xander headed to the phone.
‘Better call, Nana, let her know what happened,’ he explained as he picked up the phone.
Giles wrapped the tiger and the earrings up while Xander chatted amiably with Nana Puckerman.
About 20 minutes later, Giles had not only wrapped both packages and set them in two large boxes along with all of Puck’s bags, he had also set about making tea as he half listened to Xander’s conversation while idly watching people walk by the store. Only a few people even gave the new store a glance.
‘Hey, Giles, what does Puck look like?’ he called out, unable to see his lover, who had wondered over to the door and flipped the sign over.
‘About 6 foot, with dark hair in a dreadful Mohawk,’ he replied as he began to flip through a catalogue as Xander repeated his description to Nana.
‘As a cat!’ Xander suddenly blurted in irritation, attempting, and failing, to throw packing popcorn at him.
‘I don’t know,’ Giles shrugged, not looked up from the catalogue he was making notes in.
‘What do you mean you don’t know?’ Xander hissed covering the mouth piece.
‘I mean, Puck wasn’t around. Because he wasn’t there, so I didn’t see him, therefore I don’t know what he looks like,’ he replied finally looking up at Xander.
‘You’re all full of helpfulness aren’t you?’ Xander gave his version of the Disappointed Buffy look, before turning back to the phone and Nana.
‘He’s just the – what? No! We didn’t lose… He’s probably just hiding… I didn’t… he… he was?! Oh, okay then, I don’t feel so bad then. It’s okay Giles, he wasn’t supposed to stay.’
Giles simply hummed in response, vaguely listening to the conversation that Xander carried on with Nana. He rolled his eyes, but sent a prayer that whatever happened to the young boy would work in his favour.