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The woman of my dreams: a Riley ficlet

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  • The woman of my dreams: a Riley ficlet

    Riley drifted uncomfortably in and out of sleep. He was lying on a mat in a tent barely big enough for his body, never mind his kit. "Travel light, run fast" was the squad's (unofficial) motto. But it was the heat that was getting to him most. Sticky, close ? like he was being suffocated by a warm towel in a sauna. But little by little, his exhausted muscles relaxed, and his mind drifted further and further into the dark.

    "Riley!" came a sing-song voice. He looked up, trying to locate it. He wasn't in a jungle any more, but a woodland glade. A woman was walking slowly towards him, wearing white robes like something out of a greek myth. A woman who didn't look exactly like, but he knew was...


    She laughed, pointing at him. Her arm was bare and he could see her muscles ripple under the surface of the skin. It was mesmerising, but not erotic. More like watching water than flesh.

    Looking away from her, he glanced down at himself, realising that he was wearing olde worlde armour, chain mail of some kind, and had a sword in his hand.

    "That is SO teutonic," she gigled.

    Riley dropped the sword. "I don't want to fight you," he said.

    "Less teutonic," said Buffy, coming closer. "Perhaps I was wrong about you?"

    Her hands were on his face, he couldn't bring himself to look at her. She was shining now, too bright. Hurt. There was pain in his face as well as his eyes as her fingers started to dig into his cheeks. Now it wasn't Buffy, and the white robes weren't robes at all, they were a lab coat, and he was looking into the dead eyes of Maggie Walsh.

    He pulled away and began to run in among the trees. Maggie called to him, "Here boy! Here boy! Don't you want your medals?"

    The ground was writhing with snakes as he ran. No, not snakes. They weren't organic. Sinuous metal tentacles, grabbing at his ankles, catching him. He fell, and kept on falling.

    Now through the dark.

    Now through a white empty space.

    He didn't land, exactly, but he was on a flat surface again. It was a court room, and he was standing in front of a jury, all of whom looked like Graham.

    "You're your own worst enemy," said one of the Grahams.

    "We sentence you to exile."

    "But I don't deserve that," said Riley. "What did I do wrong?"

    "You got lost," said a Graham. "You lost the mission, bro."

    "But I found it again," Riley began.

    The jury of Grahams shook their heads. The sound of a judge's gavel echoed through the wooden chamber, again and again, like it was banging in a nail.

    He was lying in a tight coffin, too small for him. He couldn't move, finding his legs and arms wedged in. He stared up in panic. A face appeared over him, seeming huge. It was Buffy again, blown up like a giantess. She smiled down at him. "Isn't this what you want? You wanted me to make you stay, didn't you? And now you can never leave."

    With one enormous hand, Buffy lifted the lid of the coffin and placed it over him. He hammered on the lid, but he felt himself grow weaker and weaker...

    He woke in his hot little tent to find his shirt wrapped over his face. Riley turned over and pushed it away.

    Easy, soldier, he thought. Time to wake up.

    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --