Tsukiko sat crosslegged on her bed in her favorite see-through nightie, sucking on an expensive chocolate and squeezing her Xykon doll absent-mindedly. She had bought the open and half-devastated heart-shaped box sitting on the bed next to her for him (or so she told herself), but, after giving the matter some careful thought, she decided that spending Valentine's Day evening giving herself a little TLC would probably end better than anything involving offering romantic food to a lich with no sense of romance (or a stomach, for that matter).

An ear-splitting pounding on her bedroom door made her jump out of her skin and nearly fall off the bed.

"Sorry," a timid voice murmured from outside as Tsukiko put her hand over her heart and tried to catch her breath. Well, there was only one person in the world she knew of who knocked like that.

Getting up and throwing the door open so hard it nearly knocked that silly umbrella out of the thing's grasp (pity; she'd been secretly hoping to catch an "accidental" look at it) she demanded, "What do you want?"

"I need to give you your valentime," the creature responded shyly.

Tsukiko repressed a smile. Even when you're eating chocolates all by yourself while the object of your affections continues to give you the deathly cold shoulder on Valentine's Day, it's hard to get really mad at someone who says "valentime".

"You celebrate Valentine's Day?" Tsukiko asked.

"Yeah," said the monster, "What's wrong with that?" He sounded slightly guilty and apprehensive, as if he were afraid that there was some rule he didn't know about against handing out valentines and he might be about to get in trouble.

"Nothing," said Tsukiko with a shrug, "I just always thought that it was just humans who did. You got me a valentine?" Her tone was a little suspicious, as if the thing under the umbrella might be playing some sort of prank on her.

"No, I made it!" his voice declared proudly from within the darkness, "I used to make them for all my friends, but Xykon made fun of me and Redcloak said he didn't want anything to do with silly human holidays and Mr. Stiffly's got taken away because he's not allowed to keep things in his cell. Here's yours, at least."

So we're "friends" now, huh? Tsukiko thought as a red, pink, and indeed homemade-looking card slid out of the darkness, landing near her mismatched slippers. She picked it up carefully, trying to avoid getting any of the haphazard glue-glitter-and-sequin coating on the front on her fingers.

"I've heard girls like glitter," said the monster in the darkness, hopefully.

"It's very… sparkly," said Tsukiko carefully as she held the sequin-shedding creation at arms-length and gently pried it open. The interior had pink, red, and purple paper hearts (the type that were made by folding a paper in half and cutting out ice-cream cone shapes along the crease, she noted, although it was clear the scissors had gotten away from the poor thing more than once) glued in wherever they would go and "hapy valentimes day!!!" written in letters of varying size in what space was left. In crayon. Pink crayon. One of those special crayons with glitter worked into the wax, at that.

"Do you like it?" the thing under the umbrella asked her shyly.

It looked like it had been made by a four-year-old. Then again, it also looked like that four-year-old had worked really hard on it. Against her better judgment, Tsukiko's heart was melting.

"Yeah," she said, finally letting herself smile, "It's the nicest valentime—valentine I've ever gotten."

"Aw, gee…" said the thing in the shadows, somehow managing to give off the impression that he was blushing.

Feeling a little bashful herself, Tsukiko said, "Would you like some chocolates?" It looked like she wouldn’t have to spend this evening all by herself after all.

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