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  • White Bread

    White Bread
    What if there was a darker side to Riley?



    "I don't understand. How could she have... I mean, how's it possible?"

    "Magic."

    He thinks, sighs. Audibly? Maybe not. Inside. "There was something. I should've picked up on it. I should've just..." What could he have possibly done? Trajectory. No other possible way forward. Caught in the momentum. Involved with a slayer, life isn't black and white anymore. He looks away.

    She's taken a moment too, to figure it out. "You slept with her."

    "I slept with you." This he says aloud. Silently he thinks I slept with her. Without thinking he says "Man, would I like to get my hands on her." A pause, a moment, a thought. Voiced. "Not in a sex way." And he can't help thinking 'or maybe in a sex way'.

    ***

    Life goes on. Sunnydale is a synonym for strange and he ignores it as best he can. Life, that is. Briefly he thinks he might be in love with Jonathan, but before long he forgets that he never really could remember who Jonathan was. Things with Buffy continue on their own trajectory. Physically, they're wrapped around each other, their worlds are one, the relationship is full of honey and moon and the little moments of not understanding, the little moments of jealousy, confusion, misunderstanding, anger are just that, moments, sometimes conversations. Explanations blow him away.

    "They were doing great? she was totally dealing with Oz being a werewolf, it wasn't even-"

    He's listening, alert- Willow had dated a werewolf- someone untamed, wild. His envy flared. Here he was- Buffy. Dating Buffy, all the while, thinking? if only I could get my hands on her. He has to say something, interrupt. His emotions are blowing him away. "Wait- Oz is a werewolf, and Willow was dating him?!" He tries to back pedal. Demonstrate a little logic. "I'm just saying it's a little weird to date someone who tries to eat you once a month." Make it about her, not him, twist words, upset her. Try to feel- something, anything. Wishing that he could just forget that the blonde he sees in front of him is not the blonde he wants to see in front of him, wishing the blonde he wants to see in front of him was actually blonde, or that he could at least remember what she really looked like.

    The feeling, later, that if he could kill Angel, he'd be doing her some kind of favour, some kind of twisted equaliser, that she had stolen Buffy's body, and he would dispose of the lover's. Twisted, he knew. Part of him knew that. But only part of him. The other part saw the contempt with which Angel looked at him, saw the pain in Buffy's eyes as she chose him over Angel, and the only reaction was the (now suppressed but not forgotten) desire to kill.

    Chips, no chips, he's a soldier, he fights, he wins, he always wins and playing captain cardboard is despair. Cards out on the table is not a choice and he needs to escape but he's still with Buffy and needs to leave, needs an out. Blaming her for her distance (she's doing her job, and doing it well) is the easiest way and he almost doesn't care that she's hurting. "It's the real deal" he tells Xander. Xander is his friend, almost, and he's with Anya, managed real and true to get over her. "Buffy doesn't love me," he voices it and it's almost real; she doesn't love the man he's become- whiny, self obsessed (not self obsessed), inferior.

    Looking after his girl is a chore. Why can't he possess her the way some other girl he's barely seen possesses him? Spike is an outlet, his taunts a refuge for the ugly. "What do you got, a piercing glance? Face it, white bread. Buffy's got a type, and you're not it. She likes us dangerous, rough ?sorry Charlie, you're just not dark enough.".

    Not dark enough. Not nearly. Not dark enough to hold on to her. Be more than a game.

    Enough with the games. The helicopter comes, and the game is over. He's out of there. Chasing demons can't be borne anymore. Not in Sunnydale. It's over. And, he thinks, surrounded by the balck noise of the chopper- Buffy will be fine. And somewhere, she is out there, and he'll find her.

    ***

    She squints through the glass. Recognition hits, and she takes a second look. Damn, but he's got a fine body. Damn, but if he wasn't the first to tell her he loved her. And mean it, that is. Damn. Screwed the boyfriend, now she's about to be screwed right back. She's pretty sure. Deep breath, she tells herself.

    He opens his mouth. A single word. "Faith."

    Her head on an angle, Faith's not sure what's going on. "Riley?"

    He's smiling, some cut between manic and warm. The kind of smile Faith's seen too many times. In these walls and out. "I found you. Buffy never would tell me where you were. Too afraid I might go looking for you, I guess."

    "Find me? Been sitting still again, Ri. What's up with B?"

    "B?" He smirks. If only he'd known, could have done so much there. He's looking at the girl who rocked his world, let loose his demons, tormented his girlfriend. Fascinated. Somewhere between sane and not. "Faith, I'm waiting for you. I've been waiting for you. All this time."

    Screwed she is, she realises. Understands. It's painfully obvious. The simplicity which is Angelus' evil is lacking. Riley is off the rails, overturned, tumbled over and lost. She can see the scars on his neck, tastes of darkness- which would have faded, had he been really turned. And B, B probably didn't even notice. She sighs. "What do you want, Riley? You want me, is that right? Want me to take you, like I did before? Make you feel what you felt before?" She hopes she can reach him, now he's staring at her like he's never seen a woman before.

    His smile is fading, somehow. "What I felt? You felt it too, right? I know you did, I can make you feel it, like you did before." Damn the glass between them, she's looking at him like he's crazy, and he wants to shake her, push her, touch her, make her scream. Like she did him, so long ago.

    Cocking her head again, this time the other way. "Riley. I don't know what you want. I don't know why they let you in to see me. But what ever you want, the answer is no. You had your fun, and you had your chance. Me, I hope one day I'm gonna have my chance, make up to Buffy all I took from her- you, Riley, coming to see me here, like this-" she pauses- "Riley, I'm the slayer. And you come near me again, glass or no glass, I'll kick your butt."

    ***

    Leaving the prison grounds, Riley's furious. Words come back to haunt him, as though from another life. "Face it, white bread ?She likes us dangerous, rough ?you're just not dark enough.". White bread indeed. He'll show ?em, just how dark white bread can be.

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