He looks over at Buffy, and there's something that's just . . . missing. He has to swallow the lump in his throat, because it would never do to have a quiver in his voice when he speaks to her.
"Who is he?" he asks, as he pulls his socks on.
"Who is who?" she asks, blinking up at him. "What?"
"Never mind," he shakes his head, and ties his shoelaces. "I love you, you know."
"Yeah, I know." She smiles when she says it, but the smile doesn't reach her eyes.
They both get up, and he reaches for her, kisses her. Her eyes stay open. He lets her go, and swallows again. He almost feels like he should apologize. But she's already out the door. "Wait," he calls, looking around for his coat and not seeing it. She stops and turns. "Are we still on for patrol tonight?"
She hesitates. "Um . . . I promised Giles," she starts, but he waves her off.
"Never mind then. I'll see you after?"
"I guess," she frowns.
"What?" he asks, trying for a nonchalant grin.
"Stop smiling," she snaps. When she realizes what she's done, she softens, but only a little. "Sorry. Just . . . god, I hate that look on you."
"What look?" he asks, genuinely puzzled now.
"That look. That innocent puppy look."
"Oh. Okay," he blinks. "Um . . . sorry?"
She nods, accepting his apology, and it makes him feel like maybe he's done something worse, something truly offensive, but he can't think what. His stomach is roiling, waves of nerves and sadness crashing against each other, making him wish desperately for some Pepto.
"I'll see you tomorrow," she calls, and he realizes she's already down the hall.
Riley Finn turns to his closet and pulls out his standard issue duffel bag. He stares at it for a moment, then slowly begins to pack. It's time to move on.