Spies Like Us
Disclaimer: Do not own a single Mutant Enemy character in this story. Not a one. So if you insist on suing me, I must warn you I have few possessions worth an hour of your lawyer's time.
Spoilers: Everything up to Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and not much else.
Beta: someone random. Big thanks All mistakes from here on out are mine.
It shouldn't have felt this safe being in Riley's dorm room, lying on his bed, but it did feel safe and Xander burrowed. Riley's room was very masculine. No, utilitarian. Xander was sure there were girls who liked their space as Spartan as this one, so maybe masculine wasn't the right way to describe the room. Xander thought the space could use some sprucing. Maybe a Batman poster on that wall, some commemorative plates on that dresser, perhaps even a life-sized cutout of Keanu Reeves in the corner over there. But Xander figured his and Riley's relationship was too new for him to be suggesting radically redecorating Riley's personal space. Although… two or three weeks from now might be the perfect time to re-educate Riley and his somewhat retarded sense of décor.
Riley was gone for the moment. Xander wasn't supposed to know where to, but of course he did. He wasn't supposed to leave the room either, which he had no desire to do. Riley never came out and stated Xander was a prisoner in the frat house whenever he stayed overnight, Riley just made it seem as if his frat brothers were uncomfortable with their "relationship", and it was better if they didn't flaunt their gayness. Xander didn't complain. He wasn't even hurt when his boyfriend lied to him. It was easy to take Riley's dishonesty in stride mainly due to the fact he wasn't being mister candor guy himself. He was, in fact, fibbing his ass off ninety percent of the time when he was with Riley.
And you know what? The lying wouldn't make him feel so bad if he wasn't in… something with Riley. Xander was starting to get the same feeling he got after he began cheating on Cordy with Willow. Except without the wonderful thrill of making out with Willow, which at the time was so good it made Xander forget he was heading straight for disaster. He tried telling the gang he wanted out, but they were all counting on him to get the skinny on Riley and the Initiative.
You'd think they'd show a little more sympathy since he was sleeping with Riley. That mayhap Xander was developing some feelings for the guy and the spying should cease and desist. Of course they might have understood Xander's position—if they had any idea he was "fraternizing" with the enemy.
Giles never would have let Xander volunteer for the spy gig if he'd known there was a chance this circumstance could come about. Buffy and Angel proved personal issues—sex—can only complicate a mission—especially one as sensitive as spying on a military group like the Initiative. Truth was Buffy or Willow should have tried getting close to Riley Finn. They were students in the class where he was the student teacher. And since he was friendly with both Willow and Buffy it seemed natural one of them did the infiltrating. Maybe that would have been better in the long run.
At first no one thought of Xander when the idea to infiltrate the Initiative germinated. No, why ask the guy with the soldier memories? The guy who would recognize any military goings-on if he saw them? No, that might make sense! Okay, so it didn't occurred to Xander he might be the better man for the job either, but Giles should have been the first one to think of making Xander their mole. Oz had to mention Xander's qualifications; actually, Oz probably thought Willow's life would be in danger and was somewhat less concerned about Xander's welfare. Still, Xander chose to take Oz's nomination as flattery. Better than thinking the guy wanted him dead.
So Xander took the job. It turned out to be a near-Herculean effort to get close to Riley. Riley didn't party at any of the townie spots in Sunnydale. Xander stalked — er, watched him for two weeks, noting that as Riley haunted the campus he was either grading papers or hanging around the frat house. Xander knew now that Riley got out of the frat through some hidden exit to do his commando duty, but for the longest time he'd believed Buffy only thought she'd heard Riley's voice giving out orders to a half dozen men in fatigues. So Riley's life consisted of three activities: teaching, hanging with his frat brothersand doing the Initiative thing. None of Riley's usual activities allowed Xander to insinuate himself into Riley's life. Then a miracle happened Xander got himself a plan.
After two weeks of long boring stakeouts, Xander was about to call it quits when he happened to notice Riley giving one of his frat brothers 'The Look'. Oh, Xander knew all about that look. The Look was his special skill back in high school. He took it to new levels after gym class in the showers. Ordinarily (and Larry confirmed this when they, well, dated), one never stares in the showers or in the locker room. The fear of being found out keeps your eyes forward no matter how sculpted the chest, or how defined the abs. Even a perfect tight ass won't make your gaze drop below a guy's chin. But there was always that one guy, the guy with a body so unbelievably gorgeous you had to take a gander. Thus, The Look was born.
The Look is a quick, clever animal. If you'd mastered it like Xander had then you can not only get your gander, you can memorize for further enjoyment later, and never get caught. Riley was good at using The Look, but his timing was off a little. He let his gaze linger too long. He had no restraint. Yes, Graham's body could make you cry for its sheer beauty, but discipline was called for when you're using The Look. Otherwise you might as well go up to the guy and offer to blow him. All it took was one person to catch you peeking to give away your sexual preference.
The day he caught Riley eyeballing Graham, Xander was watching from under an ancient, but sturdy oak tree that provided him and several UC Sunnydale students with cool shade. Some of the students were reading books—Xander was pretending to read an old frayed paperback himself—and a few did schoolwork on neat-looking laptops. Everyone else just enjoyed the view the frat boys gave him or her. A couple of girls even had a blanket spread out just for the occasion.
Riley and Graham along with eight other frat boys gathered on a flat grassy area in the quad to play flag football. Thinking back on that day Xander was convinced he'd been falling for Riley before they actually met. Half the guys playing the game stripped off their shirts and Xander didn't notice them his concentration was fixed squarely on Riley—and Riley was playing on the shirts team. And these frat guys were hot—every one. Incredibly hot, and they were sweating for God's sake!
Graham was on the skins team and had just thrown a winning touchdown. After everyone whooped and hollered about it the teams huddled separately to plan their next play. Riley's team was not taking the last touchdown well and argued at each other over which play they should make. Riley was standing silently as he listened to the self-appointed team captain lay out a plan of attack while gesticulating wildly. Riley slicked back his sweat-soaked hair over his scalp but he was breathing pretty evenly for someone playing a physically demanding game. Actually most of the frat bothers seemed awfully not tired.
One of the guys on the skins shouted "Get ready to get your ass kicked!" Several of the shirts flipped the loudmouth the bird without breaking their huddle. Riley didn't do anything except use The Look. Xander couldn't believe his eyes. He quickly followed Riley's gaze and saw why Riley used it. Graham was stretching, his fingers interlocked as he raised his arms above his head, the sun's rays touching his palms.
"Goddamn," Xander whispered, caught in the same spell that made Riley mangle The Look. All the muscles in Graham's torso pulled tight, elongated and rippled. His sweat acted like baby oil and accentuated every ridge and valley his muscles formed. Graham was begging to get licked posing like that. The game continued and Graham stopped putting a show.
After Xander willed his erection tame, his mind began processing what he just learned about Riley Finn. If Xander read Riley correctly then the covert agent had more than a passing interest in males. That was good it meant Xander had an in. Now Xander wasn't conceited enough to think he was a prime catch, but he was confident he was attractive to a fair amount of menWhy shouldn't Riley be one of them? Yeah… yeah, that's what he'd do: he'd come on to Riley and if that didn't pan out then at least Xander would have made contact. He could always build from that if romance wasn't in the cards then striking up a cordial relationship might do the job. Sunnydale was a small town after all, and people bump into each other all the time. It wasn't the best plan, but it would have to do.
Two days later Xander put his plan into action.
Don't ask don't tell. Xander was not politically savvy; he could not care less about the military's mandate on gays since he had no intention of joining the armed forces, like, ever. Being Soldier guy on Halloween was fun and all, but making a lifetime career out of it? Not so much. It took him flirting with Riley for the better part of a week and Riley's constant flightiness before Xander remembered the man was working for a paramilitary group and was not going to be tomcatting just because the urge hit him.
It was frustrating because Xander could tell Riley was totally into him, which was awesome. Xander wasn't having the best luck with guys since Larry went off to San Francisco—officially to find himself, but Xander had a sneaking suspicion Larry was there finding a bunch of men to find himself with. Not that Xander was jealous he truly wasn't, him and Larry were pretty much friends with benefits, not a real couple. Still, Xander hated that he was missing regular sexing, especially after almost a year of constant hot, sweaty man-sex. If he could get Riley to overcome his hesitance, Xander was more than willing to whore himself for the cause.
But first Xander had to get Riley to take the bait.
Xander snuck onto the UC Sunnydale campus again for the hundredth time, but this time it was different because it was after dark. Buffy had to walk with him to protect him from demons and for a cover in case campus security decided to do their job. Willow told Xander Riley was going to be grading papers in the classroom that night and he'd be alone. It was the perfect opportunity to corner Riley and put the moves on secret agent man.
Riley was alone, hunched over a desk in front of a dozen ascending rows of seats. The lights were off, but Riley used a small desk lamp to grade papers by. Xander watched him for a minute and a half. Riley was very cute concentrating so hard on his work. It occurred to Xander Riley looked like an adult sitting behind Professor Walsh's desk. It also occurred to Xander that if he started something with him it was going to be a grown up relationship. They wouldn't be "butt buddies"; they wouldn't be giving each other head in the boiler room under the school and they wouldn't be renting rooms in seedy motels to have sex. Xander also realized it'd all, in the end, be a lie.
Xander wanted to walk away. Even worse, he wanted to go ahead and be with Riley. Xander didn't have to spy on him, he could tell the gang whatever he wanted, how would they know the difference? Xander knew doing that would be wrong, but damn it, it wasn't like Sunnydale was the Homo capital of the world! Guys weren't lining up to date him, the exemplary specimen of manhood that he was, and the small taste of gay life Xander received after Larry was enough to convince him it'd be a real feat to have a hot and seemingly nice guy like Riley in his life, however briefly.
Xander didn't walk away. It'd be wrong to say Xander gave two figs about Spike getting de-chipped—a vampire unable to maim and kill? Boo-freaking-hoo—but Giles and Buffy were concerned about the Initiative's recent actions. The demon community was up in arms. Once it got out the paramilitary group held "Sub-T's" in cells and experimented on them, it was like some unspoken balance was disturbed. As a result a few low-level demons started putting out the call for higher-level demons to deal with the Initiative. There was even talk about The Order of Taraka getting in on the beat down. It was Xander's theory that demons could deal with being slain by a five-foot-three one hundred pound girl, but drew the line at getting un-fun anal probes and dissected.
Whatever his feelings, Xander needed to find out all that he could about Riley and his associates. What he learned could be what stopped a bunch of people from indiscriminate slaughter. Xander was a little vague on exactly how the info was going to do that, but certainly Giles and Buffy had something up their sleeves.
"Howdy there, pah-nah," Xander said as he entered the classroom.
Riley looked up and at Xander, the pen in his hand stopping in mid-motion. Xander was pleased to see instant recognition on Riley's face. His stomach did flip-flops when Riley smiled.
"Xander. You're here," Riley replied, looking Xander down and up real slow so there was nothing subtle about it.
"For your viewing pleasure."
Riley blushed, because, apparently, he could eye-fuck like crazy but a little innuendo made him flush pretty. Xander walked over to the front row of chairs and sat in one right across from the desk. Riley watched him with some interest as Xander rubbed his butt on the chair to warm the seat. It wasn't a flirtation thing Xander wore slacks the material wasn't very thick and the coldness of the plastic stabbed right through them. When he was sufficiently comfortable Xander said, "So I was thinking you, me, we should go on a date."
"You are so bold, sir," Riley drawled in a pretty passable Southern accent.
"Thinking it's time to take charge."
"Is that right?"
"Yep. Especially with a big tease like you."
"I am not a tease!"
"Sure you are. Batting your lashes, laughing at all my jokes, and those coy little smiles… I'm surprised you haven't licked your lips at me yet."
"Maybe you shouldn't come on so strong. Maybe I like to be romanced first."
Xander got up from the chair and walked around the desk and stood next to Riley. Riley stared up at Xander and he was blinking a lot—he was nervous. He was so unbearably cute. Xander leaned over and kissed him softly on the lips. Riley's lips tasted cool wetand clean and Xander wanted more of that so he went in for more than a gentle kiss.
Riley sighed hard, sitting up straighter in his chair to kiss Xander as deeply as Xander kissed him. Xander caressed Riley's neck with his hands, loving the feel of the tensed muscles under his fingers. Riley stood without breaking their kiss and Xander found himself having to crane his head up instead of down to do the same. Riley tentatively put his hands on Xander's hips, but Xander wasn't having any more of Riley's skittishness. He took Riley's wrists in his hands and maneuvered Riley's arms around his waist, then placed his arms over Riley's shoulders.
God, have I missed this, Xander thought when Riley's arms tightened. Their lips drifted apart but the kissing didn't stop. Xander's lips glided against Riley's chin, just below his lower lip, kissing a little here and little there.
"Now would someone who's playing hard to get kiss like that?"
"Truthfully? Yeah," Xander replied.
"Who have you been kissing?"
"Yeah, liked to get me worked up with the smooches, then it's all like, 'Put that thing away!'"
"So you just whipped it out on them, huh?"
Xander nuzzled his nose into Riley's neck. He smelled very good. Like bar soap and the fabric softener from his shirt. "I was illustrating my point," Xander said. "Get your mind out of the gutter, Frat Boy."
"I was making a suggestion, Townie."
Xander pulled his face away from Riley's neck to look into his eyes. Xander was definitely going to comment, but Riley's lips lay in wait and ensnared his in another kiss. Xander was beginning to think he was making some headway in his plan to seduce Riley Finn.
It worked, Xander got his man and kept getting him every chance he got. But the luster of his accomplishment was starting wear away; his guilt was the acid tarnishing his love-buzz. It never made the sex bad, because despite Riley's long-repressed attitude towards sex with men he really put himself into their lovemaking. He was willing to try anything Xander suggested. There was a great feeling of power in that, Xander thought, being the one with all the experience. Riley may have been the old man in their couplet, being a full three years older than him, but Xander was the wise man where the bedroom was concerned.
What Xander really liked about being in bed with Riley, almost as much as the sex was that Mr. Finn, all six feet three inches of him, loved snuggling. In fact he insisted on it, which Xander found strange at first; but he got used to it fast. Larry wasn't a big snugger, he was a real "Wham bam thanks dude" and rollover type. Xander didn't mind it so much at the time because the sex really hit the spot, so to speak, and that was pretty much all Xander was looking for out of sex. Until Riley pulled out of him and wrapped him up in his trembling arms Xander had no idea what he was missing. It was a nice feeling and he reciprocated, relearning his post-coital behavior after that first night.
"Honey, I'm home," Riley announced as he entered the room. He was carrying a hefty-sized gym bag in his right hand. His hair was wet to drying, like he got out of the shower ten minutes ago, or just finished a serious workout. Yet, his clothes were bone dry.
Xander considered taking the pillow from under his head and throwing it at Riley for spewing such a cliché. Nah, too comfy, he thought, as he was reluctant to give up the fluffiness. Instead he opted to join in on the corny-copia.
"Dinner's in the oven, sweetheart. Now, where's your paycheck? I got shit to do."
"Hardy-har-har." Riley put the gym bag down on the floor, his gaze firmly placed on Xander. "Are you precognitive? Because I was recently imagining you laid out on my bed just like that."
"A coincidence. I have no intention of satisfying your filthy carnal desires," Xander said snarling his lips in mock revulsion.
"I'll lick you in that place you like."
"Um… Top or bottom?"
Riley laughed and leapt onto the bed next to Xander, pressing his front against Xander's side then swung one of his legs over Xander's hips, the meaty part of his thigh resting firmly on Xander's crotch while his hands searched out other naughty parts. "I'm going tell my Mom she was wrong about a man's stomach being the way to his heart. Obviously it's his perineum," he said.
Xander turned on his side so they faced each other, Riley's long leg still wrapped around his waist. He slid his hand over Riley's leg all the up to his ass and gave it a friendly squeeze as he said, "No, she's right food is definitely the superhighway to my heart What you're talking about is the way into my pants."
"I've had ample opportunity to notice that."
Shower, Xander concluded once he and Riley began kissing. He could smell the soap residue on Riley's skin, and he could smell his water-damp hair. Either the Initiative has showers on site, or Riley used a fraternity brother's shower before showing up.
Xander wanted to ask Riley what gave him and his people so much trouble, and if he was okay.
Usually Riley didn't shower after patrols unless there was combat in the field, which was alarming since the Initiative was locking up demons left and right. The demons they didn't catch were keeping their heads down. Even Buffy had a hard time meeting her quota because the pickings were so slim.
Knowing Riley was running around Sunnydale tussling with creepy crawlies and not being able to help was driving Xander crazy. It was a hundred times worse than when he had to accept there were times Buffy had to do the Slayer thing by herself. But at least she had super powers and Giles. Buffy was Superman and Giles was Oracle, the perfect blend of brawn and brains. Stir in a little sidekick action on Willow and Oz and Xander's part and you had an unbeatable team.
The Initiative didn't have a clue about life on the Hellmouth. Sure, Riley and his commandos had their guns and fancy toys, but as long as they remained ignorant about the true nature of the Hellmouth then sooner or later something bad was going to happen. Xander tried discussing magic with Riley once to test the commando's knowledge of the arcane and fucking strange. The guy didn't even consider the possibility of magic existing for more than ten seconds before dismissing it flat-out. It was that kind of close mindedness from his boyfriend that scared the hell out of Xander and made him want to tell Riley the truth about his spying and the Hellmouth.
Riley rolled them over so Xander was on top. Riley was hard inside his jeans, and Xander was fast getting there. Clothes flew. Fruity Booty was applied and so was the rubber, then Xander was inside Riley. And it was perfect. The joy of it just washed all thoughts of confession from Xander's head. He could never risk losing this man. He'll keep dancing on the precipice until there's nothing else to do but fall.