Title: My assignment for OBAFU
Disclaimer: BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and a whole bunch of other people who aren't me.
Summery: 1/1 Buffy/Riley. Takes place in early Season 5, and for precision's sake, let's say right after Buffy Vs. Dracula. Riley tells Buffy a story from his childhood.
Author's note: Everyone should be reading "The Official Buffy and Angel Fanfiction University" by Honor H. It's freaking awesome. And if you haven't seen it, but would like to give it a try, it's under favorite stories on my profile. As a "student" there I decided to complete one of the assignments. Given in chapter 11 it says,
"Your assignment is to write a short piece centered on your least favorite character. This person shouldn't be a villain, though they may function as an antagonist to the hero. It also must be a regular or recurring character rather than a one-shot. Other than that, you have both shows and all seasons to work with. You need not take the point of view of your chosen character--the piece can be told through someone else's POV--but it has to be sympathetic toward them."
No prizes for guessing who my least favorite character is. Never cared for Riley. But I think writing this fic increased my understanding and appreciation of him- if not my fondness. I hope you enjoy it.
"Tell me a story."
"I said, tell me a story."
"What kind of story?" asked Riley Finn, as he looked down at his beautiful girlfriend. Even in her current outfit of a tank top and sweatpants she still managed to take his breath away.
"I don't know. Any kind of story. Tell me about you as a little kid. In Iowa."
"'Cause I'm bored. And I want to know."
Riley laughed. He wrapped his arms a little tighter around Buffy as she snuggled deeper into his chest. It was Saturday and they'd just spent the whole day hanging out at Buffy's house, watching movies and eating take-out Chinese. Now it was 9 o'clock in the evening and they were snuggling on the couch. They couldn't do much more than snuggle with Buffy's mom due back any minute and her kid sister right upstairs- within hearing distance, but Riley didn't need more. Just getting to hold Buffy was nice.
He cleared his throat. "A story, huh? Okay. But you have to promise not to tell anyone else."
Buffy giggled and made a mock-serious face. "Why? Is it classified, Secret-Government-Agent Man?"
"No. It's not classified. It's just embarrassing. And that last thing Xander needs is more fodder."
"Well," she said hesitating as though she was giving this decision some serious weight. "I promise. Scout's honor," she said as she raised three fingers in salute.
Riley smiled at her. "Were you really a Girl Scout?"
"Um, for about a day. My mom was one so when I was seven she signed me up to be a brownie. But I wasn't to keen on the uniform or the meetings or the organized fun. And when I found out you had to go and sleep in the woods and cook your own food and tie knots and stuff I told her to forget it."
"Really?" asked Riley obviously surprised.
"Yeah. But my best friend at the time, Marissa, really got into it. She wore her uniform to school and she earned so many of those badge thingies that she started sewing them on to her backpack."
"Yeah, I know. Who needs a badge in basket weaving, anyway?"
"No," said Riley. "Not 'wow' about your friends numerous and varied skills, but wow, like I'm kinda surprised you weren't into the whole camping thing. You're a rough and tumble kind of girl so I assumed..."
"Now," said Buffy.
"Now what?" asked Riley
"That's the kind of person I am now. Five years of dismembering things will do that to you. But back then..." Buffy shook her head in amazement. "Completely different person. You wouldn't have recognized me."
"Well, then, why don't you tell me about this other you?"
"Nuh uh," Buffy said shaking her head in the negative. "Pre-Sunnydale me? Not a flattering picture. Besides, that girl- she's not who I am anymore."
Riley kissed the top of Buffy's head. "Then tell me a post-Sunnydale you story."
"Nah. All my post-Sunnydale stories involve me killing something. Oh, there was this one time with Willow- no, wait. I killed something then, too." Buffy looked up at Riley with comprehension dawning in her eyes. "Mr. Finn, you wouldn't be trying to distract me, would you? Getting me to talk so I'll forget all about the juicy piece of blackmail you're supposed to be telling me?"
"Why Miss Summers? Do you think I would do such a thing?"
"Without a doubt. Now, enough about me. Tell me the story."
"Alright," Riley acquiesced. "I told you about my grandparents farm in Huxley, right?" At Buffy's confirmation Riley continued. "My brothers and I spent every summer there. My sister too, but she didn't hang out with us. Anyway, we were all there one summer. I must of been about nine. Anyway, me and Jake and Brian were pretty bored. And I know you've never met those two, but they're even worse than me. I don't know how Mom managed with all of us without going insane."
"Anyway," Riley continued, "we were bored and stupid. Stupidity will be a major theme of this tale."
"But you said you were only nine?" questioned Buffy.
"Nine is old enough to know when you're doing something wrong. Besides, if I was nine, then Brian would have been eleven and Jake, fourteen. We were definitely aware of the mayhem we caused."
"So, Jake had these fireworks left over from the Fourth of July. And these were not the nice 'safe and sane' fireworks you have here in California. These were basically small sticks of dynamite. Nana and Pop Pop had this mangy barn cat named Toby. It lived outside and hunted mice and birds. Jake and Brian thought it'd be hilarious to scare the hell out of Toby by lighting the fireworks and throwing them at him."
"Yep. My brothers: the comic geniuses. So, everything was going fine, um, for everyone except Toby. We'd sneak up behind him, light the fuse, toss it a couple feet from him, and when it exploded, watch Toby run like a bat out of hell. We did this four or five times. Hell, it's not like we thought we could hurt Toby. He was already pretty messed up. His fur was all patchy and knotted. And he was missing one of his eyes."
"Awe. You guys didn't hurt the kitty, did you?" Buffy whimpered.
"No, but Jake threw last firecracker a little to close and it got caught in Toby's fur. Toby takes off- right into the grain silo. A second later- the cat comes flying back out, but by then he'd managed to shake the firecracker. It went off inside the silo."
"I'm guessing that's bad," said Buffy.
"Yup. Real bad. If it had been any other building- minimal damage. But silos are naturally combustible environments with all that dust. I had never seen an explosion that large-before or since. Everyone came running. Pop Pop was out in the field and Joann and Nana were in the kitchen working on supper. Once Pop Pop made sure that we were okay he took all three of us over his knee. That summer, I'd never worked so hard in my life. Jake Brian and I had chores from sunup to sundown, six days a week. And on Sunday, Nana signed us up as volunteers to help with church. Pop Pop didn't care that the whole thing was Jake's idea and that Bri and I were just going along. Equal guilt as far as he was concerned. I'd never seen Joann so happy."
"Your sister? Why?"
"You're kidding right? Oh, you don't have brothers. Well, Joann had one older brother and two younger ones and let me tell you, making her life a living hell was our favorite extracurricular activity. We did it all. From reading her diary to putting bugs in her bed. That five weeks of watching us work outside while she got to go swimming and learn to crochet. It was like heaven for her."
Buffy laughed. "I can imagine. So do all your stories end with some sort of property damage?"
Riley thought for a moment. "Most of them. This one time, Brian dared me to take Pop Pop's tractor for a spin and I ended up dumping a $75,000 John Deere into an irrigation ditch."
"We weren't bad kids. We were just boys."
"Naturally destructive and imbecilic," commented Buffy.
"Something like that. But when my parents came to pick us up after that summer, they sat the three of us down and told us something that chilled us to the bone. In fact, It still haunts me to this day. They said that someday we were going to grow up and get married and have kids of our own. And when we did, they were going to be just like us."
Buffy started laughing uncontrollably. Riley looked at her. "You may think this is funny-"
"Oh, I do," said Buffy through the gales of laughter. "I really do."
"You know what I want most when I think about my future: daughters." That started Buffy up again. When it looked like the Slayer had calmed down, Riley said, "I'm glad you're so amused."
"So am I."
"So why don't we hear one about your sordid past?"
"Nope," said Buffy. "I think we've had enough true confessions for tonight. Besides, I'm sure I can think of something way more fun to do." With catlike grace Buffy crawled from Riley's side until she was sitting on his lap facing him. She straddled his legs as he sat on the couch. Buffy leaned over and kissed him softly. Riley broke the kiss and looked up at her. He said, "You were right. This is more fun."
"Told you so." Buffy studied Riley's outfit to find the best way of getting him out of it. He was wearing a dark green, short-sleeved, button down shirt over a white, cotton, undershirt. Further down, he had on blue jeans, a black belt, and work boots. Buffy decided to start at the top and work her way down. She leaned over and kissed Riley again as her nimble finger went to work on the top button. Riley's hands reached around and started caressing up and down her back as she moved onto the second button. Buffy had almost gotten it when she heard-"
"EEWWW!" Buffy and Riley broke the kiss and looked up to see Dawn. The girl was staring down at them in disgust. "Other people live in this house too, you know. And I don't want to see your gross displays of affection every time I come down for a snack. Can't you two get a room?"
Buffy looked at Riley, a wicked glint in her eyes. "Get a room. What a fabulous idea." Buffy leaped off of Riley and made a dash for the stairs. "First one there wins!" she cried. Buffy took the stairs two at a time with Riley close on her heels. Dawn heard the door of Buffy's room slam.
"Eww," said Dawn one more time. She set her snack on the coffee table and settled down on the couch. "Well, at least now I get the TV." Dawn grabbed the remote and prepared herself to catch up with the cast of The Real World.