"I must have fallen asleep. Sorry," he said with a smile.
"I guess so," she said and laughed lightly.
"I wasnít sure youíd come over."
"Well, I got done sooner than I thought."
"Yeah," she said with a smile and sat on the edge of his bed. It was a little weird sitting that close to him when he had just been sleeping. It seemed so intimate, private, things she had shared only with Angel until now. "I can come back tomorrow if youíre tired."
"No," he said, propping himself up on an elbow. Their eyes met and Buffy had to shift her gaze to the poster on the wall above his bed. This was just too weird. He was looking at her so intensely. "Stay, Buffy, please. You said there was something you wanted to talk to me about."
"Well," she paused not sure what to say. It would be nice to talk to someone who had a psych background about her dreams. Psychology people studied dreams; at least she thought they did. She could not talk to him about her dreams, though, or what she had heard him say a minute ago. He might think that she was making it up or just flat out crazy. "I really didnít have anything specific I wanted to talk about."
"Really? I mean, I sort of hoped that was all it was. Iíd like to get to know you."
"Me, too." It no longer felt weird to be sitting on his bed. Dorm rooms were not houses so there were not many choices when it came to sitting. She just wished she knew what to say to him without sounding stupid. The sting from Angel leaving and then Parker were still fresh. "That was some lecture today."
"You didnít come here to talk to me about class, did you?"
"No, I just," she shrugged. "Now that Iím here I guess Iím not sure what to say."
He sat up and Buffy stood from the bed to give him room. "Well, who says we have to say anything?"
Buffy was surprised at his boldness. He did not strike her as being so forward. One of the things she liked about him was his politeness. Was he just another Parker after all? Were all guys Parkerís? The only guy she had spent time with over the past two years was Angel so she really did not know anymore what guys were like. "Well, Iím sure we can come up with something to say."
She sidestepped him quickly when he walked forward before realizing he was going to his cube-sized refrigerator. "Do you want a beer? A pop?"
"Diet if you have it, if not regular is fine." Her three million B.C. Buffy experience was still fresh in her mind so beer was not an option. The only good to have come out of that whole experience was being able to club Parker over the head. He deserved it. He was such a player, though it still stung even though she accepted that.
"I donít but hold on Iíll get you one."
"No, regular is fine."
"Are you sure? Itís no trouble." He took a beer and a Dr. Pepper out of the refrigerator, handing the Dr. Pepper to her.
"Iím sure," she said opening the can of Dr. Pepper as he popped the top on his beer.
He took a sip before setting it on the desk beside him. "Iíll work on getting some diet. If youíre going to be coming around." She watched his eyes dart around the room as he cracked his knuckles. She could not help but smile. It was kind of sweet actually. "Do you want to play some hoops?"
He grabbed a Nerf basketball and gestured to the basketball hoop on the back of his door. "Basketball?"
"Um," she said. She had never been big with sports even in gym class. She tended to forget about being stronger than everyone else and mess up in a big way. It usually ended up in her being embarrassed.
"I take that as a no," he said and tossed the ball onto his desk where it bounced off the desk behind the lamp. It came close to knocking over his beer, but he picked the can up before the ball could hit it and took a sip.
She was relieved that he was apparently no more comfortable than she was. Whatever it was they were doing. Things with Angel just sort of happened. She had been attracted to him the first time she saw him no question. But moving from "gloom and doom" prophesier to being her honey just wove its way into her life naturally.
Scott Hope was a transition guy. Buffy dated him knowing she had to put Angel where he belonged, in the past forever. So, really, Buffy had not been datey girl while she was the slayer. Back in LA she had been like Cordelia, a new boy waiting in the wings for when she broke up with her latest crush. She could hardly believe she was the same girl anymore so much had happened to her.
When she first came to Sunnydale Buffy would have given anything to be that girl in LA, especially the night she overheard Giles and Angel talking about her dying. She no longer felt that way. Sure the slaying got to be a drag and put a damper on her social life. The kids in high school seemed to understand there were weird things going on, even if they did not know they were. There were people from all over the country on campus, most probably had no idea what was here. Someone like Riley sure would not have a clue.
No, she would not trade it for anything but it left her lacking in social skills. Willow seemed right at home here on campus. She was busy going to parties, wicca groups, and doing other fun things. Buffy was stuck having weird dreams and slaying vampires when she could be at frat parties or football games.
"Iím just not much of a basketball person."
"I donít have much to offer you. I donít get company too often. Well, girls anyway. Forrest and Graham, theyíre always good for a game of horse."
She smiled with a nod. He seemed truly shy. She was not so sure she was a very good judge of character anymore. She trusted too easily, which led to her getting hurt. That really was not the best logic because she had not trusted Angel right away either and she still ended up hurting.
"How about a movie? I could make some popcorn."
"Sure," she said. She glanced at his desk, spotted the Nerf basketball behind the lamp and realized he probably had studying to do. He had obviously been doing something earlier. "If you have papers to grade or something, though, I can go."
"No, I got everything done earlier. Just in case you made it."
He really had been counting on her coming by. She was not really sure she would come until she actually walked up the sidewalk leading to his dorm instead of hers. Had Xander really pushed wanting to spend time with her, she might have gone with him instead of coming up here. She liked Riley, he seemed nice, but she was not sure she was ready to alter her daily plans for him.
"Oh. Well, then, sure, a movie sounds fine."
"Iím sensing youíre not really sure you want to be here. I can open the door a little if youíre worried about what people will say."
"No," she said with a light laugh. She was not going to have sex again unless she was sure the guy was not going to turn evil afterward. Since she was not sure there was such a guarantee she imagined she would lead a very quiet life. She really was not concerned about what his friends and people on his floor thought. They would think whatever they wanted anyway, door open or closed. "Iím not worried about it."
"Okay then," he said offering her a smile. He had a way of looking at her so deeply that she wondered if he was able to see right through her. His eyes were nice, soft, not harsh or judgmental. It was nice to look into the face of someone who knew nothing about the monsters and did not know she made with the death night after night. She considered him a potential date like she told Xander but she did not want to seem too eager. Coming to his dorm room this late probably was not the thing to do.
"Iíve got Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and," he said walking to his TV/VCR combo unit, "Airplane."
"Youíre a comedy fan I take it."
"Yeah, I mean, isnít everybody? Who doesnít like a good laugh?"
"Nobody," she said unable to disagree with him there. He had a point. Maybe that was Buffyís problem, she did not laugh enough. "You pick," she said, setting the Dr. Pepper on his desk before she sat on the foot of his bed.
"I have a few non-comedies, but theyíre war movies and westerns. Iím not sure youíd go for those. The Magnificent Seven? Apocalypse Now? Platoon?"
She scrunched her nose and shook her head with a light laugh. "Comedy is good." Charlie Sheen was in Platoon she thought and he was cute, but it was a little too intense for her mood.
"Okay," he said taking the movie out of its sleeve and sliding it into the VCR. He turned the TV on and walked to the microwave which was next to the bed. It was kind of intimidating looking up at him, he was a big guy. She really never paid attention to it until now when he was standing over her. "I prefer to be comfortable when Iím watching a movie. So, we can either move to where the pillows are or move the pillows here and lay on our stomachs. I donít have any chairs to offer you, sorry."
"Thatís okay I can sit here with you, Riley." She was tempted to tell him she trusted him, because she did for reasons she could not understand. But she was not willing to be so open and giving with her heart this time around. She was still healing from Angel leaving. Parker had ripped off the bandage on the healing wound that was her heart, but the bandage had not really been doing its job to begin with.
"Okay, good," he said and put the bag of popcorn into the microwave. Once the popcorn was done he used the remote control to start the movie. Buffy settled back on the pillows with him, not getting too close to him even though that was hard to accomplish. It turned out he had chosen Caddyshack.
It was after ten when Buffy first looked at the bedside alarm clock. She should be out patrolling, but she had to admit it was kind of nice just to sit here. They had watched Caddyshack and had finished off two bags of popcorn. Now, though, it seemed like it was time to go. She was not sure what else they had to do with the movie over.
She was so not having sex with him, though he had not made one gesture that said he wanted to have sex with her. Maybe he really was just a nice guy and having sex with her had not crossed his mind.
Patrolling, she reminded herself as the credits kept rolling. "Riley." He did not respond. She looked closer at him and realized he had fallen asleep. He was obviously tired when she got there in the first place. He must have really wanted to spend time with her if he gave up sleeping. She reached over him to grab the remote control from the shelf behind his head.
It took her a minute to realize that he was touching her. His fingers were light against her forearm, caressing up along the length of her arm. "You made it," he whispered, his voice husky and rough from sleep.
"I did not think you were going to get away tonight."
"I," she paused. "Daniel?"
"Who else were you expecting to be in my bedchamber then?"
She pulled away quickly, hoping in a way that her sudden movement would wake him up. It did not seem to. "Riley," she whispered not at all wanting to believe this was happening. What in the hell did this mean? Yes, she had shared dreams with Angel but he had always been Angel. She had never really been in his dreams either. She had been an outsider looking in, not part of the actual events.
His arm slid around her waist and he drew her to him. "Iíve been waiting for you," he whispered kissing her ear. "Your side of the bed is too cold when youíre not here."
"Okay, that does it," Buffy whispered. She broke his hold on her easily and slid off the bed, glad that he was sleeping. He would not remember how easy it had been for her to get out of his arms. She was beginning to wonder if this was some type of spell, though why Riley would be involved with it if it was she did not know.
Maybe Giles had been the wrong person to see tonight for information. Willow was not taking Ozís leaving very well, not that Buffy could blame her. Buffy had no idea what spells her best friend had been experimenting with lately. Buffy did know that Willowís spells did not always go the way she wanted them to.
She stood by the edge of the bed, watching Riley as he slept. He looked so happy in a devilish sort of way. She wondered what he was thinking about that he had that look on his face. She probably did not want to know. She shut the TV and his desk lamp off and threw the empty popcorn bags and cans into the garbage before leaving.
She tried not to think about it, but walking back to her dorm she had nothing but time to dwell on what had happened with Riley. She had a nice time with him. He had been a perfect gentleman. The thing that frightened her was that for the briefest of moments she was tempted to stay in his arms and let him hold her. It made her wonder just what she lacked in her life that she was so starved for affection from anyone.
She thought she had a decent relationship with her parents. Her father had drifted away from Buffy, but that was not too unexpected with the drive between LA and Sunnydale being over an hour. Her mother had adjusted fairly well to Buffy being the slayer, though there were times Buffy still thought her mom just did not get the fact that Buffyís life was in danger every night.
Maybe it was the freshness of Angelís leaving and how easily she had let herself get played by Parker that made her that way. The important thing, though, was that she had not done it. She had left and she had passed enough of his friends in the hallway on her way out that she did not need to worry about what anyone would think of her in the morning.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com