Forgotten Conscience Chapter 75
The last stand of Captain Cardboard
I hope she's home, otherwise I'm gonna have to find SOMETHING to do till she gets here.
I start down the hall toward Buffy's dorm room.
It's oddly quiet for a college dorm at night. I guess all the wild parties must be some place else tonight.
I get a few doors down from her room.
It's probably better that way, B and I can get in some quality make out time without all the rattling of party goers around the dorm.
I walk up to her door and try and turn the knob. It's locked. I lean against the wall next to the door. I sigh.
I can't have any fun out here. Well I could but I wouldn't want a bunch of horny college boys gawking at me. Not that it wouldn't be fun I'd just rather Buffy be the one gawking.
I hear something moving in Buffy's dorm.
She must be home.
I move to knock but stop myself.
She's probably doing something important like... taking a shower. The imagery makes me stop and think for a second. Maybe it would be more fun if I just walk in on her unannounced.
I reach down and pull out my trusty pocket knife. I drop to my knees as I use my favorite blade to jimmy open the lock. After a few minutes of jimmying the lock comes loose and the door clicks open. I walk into her dorm room and stop a few steps in as I see who is inside.
"Speaking of horny college guys..."
Riley looks up.
"Faith, what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing."
"I'm not the one breaking into Buffy's room in the middle of the night, besides I asked you first."
"Ah, the good old I asked you first rule, how very school boy of you."
He glares at me with a not so convincing angry look.
I've seen angrier looks on dead bodies, actual dead bodies not undead ones.
"Fine, if you really wanna know I'm here to see Buffy. Now what are you doing here? I'm obviously not the only one breaking into Buffy's room at night."
"I have a key. Buffy gave it to me when we got closer. I suppose I should give it back, all things considered."
All things considered? There are things being considered?
"What do you mean all things considered?"
"Buffy broke up with me last night."
She broke up with him? I almost don't believe him.
She broke up with him.
"Yeah, she said she was going through stuff... and then she mentioned something about how she thought she was in love with someone."
She admitted it to someone?
I hold back my need to jump up and down like a giggly little school girl.
I wasn't sure she would ever admit it but she did.
"Faith, have you seen anyone?"
"I mean you've been living with her, has she shown any interest in any other guy?"
"Well actually I just recently moved out so we don't really spend that much time together."
Okay that sorta sounded like a lie. Not that I mind lying to soldier boy here. I'm still mad at him for the torturing me thing.
"Oh well, but you still go slaying with her right? Buffy talks a lot when she patrols. Has she mentioned any new guys in her life?"
"There's no new guy."
"But she said..."
"TRUST ME Riley, there is no guy."
I hold back the urge to break out laughing.
"Well you know her really well I mean you're both slayers right?"
"Uh yeah I guess."
"She obviously cares a lot about you I mean she freaked out when she found out what I wanted to..."
He stops in mid sentence and I look at him. He's looking at the floor and all of the sudden it's like something dawns on him. He looks up at me slowly.
"It's you, isn't it?"
He definitely knows. I'm not sure if I should admit it to him or not.
"It's you she's in love with isn't it?"
He gets up close.
"Is she in love with you?"
He looks back at me with this look of painful desperation. He grabs me and shakes me a bit.
Okay this is getting a little too violent for me not to fight back.
I push him away.
"So what if she is? What does it matter? It's like you said she broke up with you."
I shove him away again.
"What does it matter how she feels about anyone?"
"Are you... are you in love with her too?"
I step back a bit, a little shocked at the question.
Am I in love with her? Am I in love with Buffy? I know I care about her. I know I care about her more than I've ever cared about anyone, but love? I don't even know what the word means. I don't even know how it's supposed to feel. He's looking at me, I don't like it.
"Hey, my life is none of your god damn business. Why don't you just butt out Captain Cardboard?"
"You are, aren't you?"
"Shut the hell up."
"I should go, I-I-I have to go."
"Yeah, I'm thinking that's a good idea."
He moves past me and out the door.
Good riddance you stupid moron. She could never love anyone like you.
I move over toward the bed.
Now all I gotta do is wait for her to come home and then the fun can begin.
After a second I hear something going on outside.
Probably just Riley hating himself.
"What the hell do you want?"
Course you usually don't talk to people when you hate yourself.
"What are you doing?"
Maybe it's Buffy, maybe I should get involved.
I turn and look at the door.
No, I'm not gonna get involved in all that. I'll just wait for Buffy.
I hear a fight followed by a punch and Riley goes flying across the doorway down the hall. A couple of vamps run across the doorway toward Riley.
Maybe I should get involved, that's definitely not Buffy.
I go toward the door but a vamp sees me and closes the door.
I get to the door and grab the doorknob, pulling on it to get it open but it doesn't.
Where the hell is that weird extra strength I had earlier?
Riley yells out.
What ever they're doing I've got to stop it, for Buffy. She'd hate me if I didn't do everything I could to save him.
I pull as hard as I can on the knob and it breaks off.
Oh good job. Gotta do this the hard way then.
I step back long enough to ram my shoulder into the door. After a few thrusts I finally break the door in. I rush through the door to see Riley, about 10 feet away, being held up by a couple other vamps to some flunky vamp. I run at them but I'm too late, they stab him. They stab him several times before I can get to them. I throw each of them off Riley, sending him crashing to the ground.
"What the... what the hell is wrong with you people?"
I look down at Riley's convulsing body, the knife still in him.
"Come on boys, we're out of here."
Out of here?
"You're not going anywhere."
"So you're gonna kill us all and find time to save army man?"
I look down at Riley for a second and up at the little vamp gang I can only assume are part of the cult, and then back at Riley.
He's right, I can't do both... what do I do? Do I slay the bad guy or save the victim? Ah screw it.
I drop to my knees beside Riley as the bad guys get away.
What do I do? He's bleeding all over the place.
I look up to see the cult vamps turning.
"I'm gonna hunt you down and kill you for this. Come on Riley, you gotta stay with me."
I frantically start to check for a pulse.
It's weak and getting weaker. He's looking up at me, struggling to breath.
"Come on Riley, I can't have you dying on me. Buffy would never forgive me if I can't save you."
I've got to... I've got to stop the, the bleeding.
I grab the knife to pull it out.
Wait, if I remove the knife he'll bleed to death quicker. Okay, gotta stop the bleeding.
I put my hands against his wounds to stop the bleeding as much as possible but it doesn't help.
I have to do something to stop the bleeding or B'll never forgive me.
I feel for his pulse again and it's even weaker.
"Come on Riley don't leave me, you have to pull through this."
He stops gasping for air and I think he's stopped breathing.
What do I do? C.P.R... it's supposed to save lives. But I've never done it before, what do I do?
I put my palms on his chest between his ribs.
This is how you do it right? I've never tried to save someone this far gone.
I thrust against his chest every few seconds to get him breathing again.
Come on Riley breathe, breathe Riley breathe.
I check for a pulse.
I think his heart stopped.
I start thrusting harder and harder against his chest but I don't think it's working.
"Sir... sir, she's coming."
I look up at a vamp standing over me with his teeth out ready to take a bite out of me.
I didn't hear him coming.
"She's coming sir, we have to go."
They run off.
She? I don't have time to worry about that.
I pound on Riley's chest to get him going but it's not working. I feel for a pulse and it's not there.
Damn it, he's gone.
I look down at my hands, covered in blood.
He's dead, he's dead cause I couldn't save him. I should've saved him. If Buffy were here, she would've saved him. She could've saved him, but I couldn't and now his blood is on my hands. Another life destroyed because of me.
I feel myself start to cry.
I wish Buffy was here.
Oh god that voice.
I look up from Riley's body, my hands covered in blood.
End of Chapter 75