As You Were, Revisited
Summary: Riley comes back to town and finds Buffy with her new man. Sequel to 'With a Little Help From My Zeppo'.
Timeline: Season 6 – AU since Season 5'Into the Woods'; post-Clear and Present Danger but pre-Debt of Honor for Jack Ryan 'verse. Don't know how it happened, but they defeated Glory without Buffy's death, therefore no resurrection spell was necessary. Set during 'As You Were'.
Warning: Swearing and innuendo. …Okay, and some anti-Riley speaking.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Jack Ryan 'verse characters belong to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
A/N: Very AU. Since Buffy didn't die fighting Glory, there was no destructive Spuffy 'ship. He was only the Scoobies' occasional reluctant ally.
Riley swaggered up to the counter, only the slightest bit gleeful at seeing his ex in the humiliating uniform of Doublemeat Palace – or so he promised himself. He was much happier with Sam than he ever could be with Buffy so it was only a bonus that the mighty Slayer was reduced to slinging burgers while he and his beautiful wife got paid to save the world.
Unfortunately Buffy only seemed a little uncomfortable at the sight of him. He explained what he and his wife were in town for and she promised to keep her eyes and ears open for him. Then she just continued working…like it didn't bother her that he saw her like that.
Spike's Crypt, hours later
He knew it! Just because Spike had that chip in his head, didn't mean he was a good guy and his sources just confirmed it. He burst into Spike's crypt to confront him but the sight in front of him made his stomach lurch.
"Buffy! Don't tell me you're sleeping with this monster! Awfully hypocritical of you after what you said to me last year, don't you think?" he yelled.
Buffy – who was straddling Spike with her hand wrapped around his throat – shared a puzzled look with the bleach-blonde vampire before turning the look at her ex. "What are you talking about, Riley? I'm only beating information out of this piece of slime to find out more about those eggs you mentioned earlier," she answered.
"And just how often do you 'beat' him for information," he sneered, the innuendo dripping from his voice.
The now irritated Slayer crawled off the bloodsucker and glared at the soldier. "First…ewww! Second, you have a lot of nerve; coming to my town and passing judgment on anything I do after what you pulled last year! Does your perfect little wifey know that we broke up because you paid vamps to suck on you? Or did you put all the blame on me? …Typical!" she snarled when he refused to meet her eyes.
"There was no need to tell her because I wasn't doing that anymore," he defended himself.
Spike snorted from his position, "Oh please! You didn't say anything because you knew that she'd drop you like a pile of week-old shit if she knew."
"So you're trying to tell me that Spike hasn't been attempting to get you into bed?" he accused, hoping to change the subject.
"Sure he's tried; doesn't mean I'm desperate enough to fall for it though," Buffy replied with a roll of her eyes.
Before the conversation could go any further, they heard a noise from the back of the crypt. A young Hispanic man a few inches taller than Buffy made his way up from the lower half of the crypt. He brushed himself off before taking in the scene before him.
"Hey Buffy. Did you find out anything more from Spike about those eggs or who they were intended for?" he asked, stepping forward.
"Who's this? A new Scooby member?" Riley asked snidely, clearly not impressed with the new guy in the room.
The new guy just smirked as he studied the commando, also not impressed by what he saw. "Let me guess…this is Riley?" he ventured with a brief chuckle.
"Captain Cardboard himself," Spike readily agreed.
"That's enough, guys," Buffy admonished half-heartedly. "Riley's just here for the eggs and now that they've been destroyed…" she looked at the young man who nodded, "he can leave with his little Army group."
"We can't do that until we've confirmed it," Riley announced condescendingly.
"Hey!" the shorter man protested at the same time. "There's nothing wrong with the Army – just with idiots like those from the Initiative."
"I'm sorry, sweetie," she apologized as she made her way to his side for a kiss. "You know I didn't mean it that way."
Riley cleared his throat to remind them they weren't alone. Spike stood and leaned against the wall, preparing for a little entertainment.
"Oh, sorry Riley, I forgot. Riley Finn, this is Domingo Chavez, or 'Ding' for his friends and colleagues. Ding, this is Riley Finn, the leader of the group that came to contain the demon egg situation," she explained in a neutral tone.
"It's good to meet you," the ex-Ranger offered politely. If Buffy didn't want a scene – which she clearly didn't because of the way she introduced them – he wasn't about to cause one.
The same couldn't be said for the ex-boyfriend though. "So how did you two meet?" Riley asked in a barely controlled voice. He didn't expect her to be with anyone. And certainly not someone who looked like Xander could take down.
Buffy looked apprehensively at her boyfriend, unsure of how to explain it. The supernatural part was ironically the easy part for once. It was the other side of the story that was the problem. It involved national security and she didn't want to cause trouble for the guys.
The CIA agent took pity on his sweetheart and explained vaguely for her, "Me and a buddy came to town to check out some weird things we had heard about. As I'm sure you can guess, they led us to Buffy and her friends." He paused to give her a loving smile. "They helped us out and by the time we left, I had to ask for her number so we could go out. Now whenever I'm in the area, we try to get together."
"And those visits are getting pretty constant these days," Spike interjected, half despondently and half cheerfully. He was still hung up on the Slayer, but he saw what this was doing to the ex over there and that made it worth it…almost.
"How else am I supposed to convince her that I love her if I don't stop in a lot," he shot back with a grin. He knew the chipped vampire had a thing for Buffy, but wasn't concerned about it as long as she wasn't.
Buffy rolled her eyes at him. "Like I really need convincing!"
"I don't know; if he really loved you, wouldn't he stay here?" Riley quipped nastily.
Spike grunted in amusement. Oh, Captain Cardboard just stepped in it now! What an utter ponce! Maybe if he was lucky, the Slayer would draw blood and he'd get a taste of the good stuff instead of pigs' blood for once.
But all she did was arch an eyebrow at him, choosing not to point out the stupidity of that comment. "He can't stay here; his job requires him to go other places to fix problems."
"Oh really? For who?" Riley inquired, not willing to back down.
As if in answer to the question, the crypt door swung open again, revealing a man in his 50's. At first glance, he was unremarkable. But if you managed to look in his eyes long enough – which many weren't able to – you saw one of the scariest men on the planet. Even scarier than some demons.
"Hey Ding! You and Buffy take care of the egg problem?" he called out.
"Yeah Mr C, just finishing up now. We were just briefing the team leader about the situation," Ding answered, his body language indicating clear respect for the man.
He nodded. "Good. I wanted to let Buffy know that we've finished up at the Palace now. So that means she doesn't have to worry about going back again," he said with a smile at the young, pretty blonde that captured his partner's heart.
"Thank goodness! It's going to take a week to get all that grease out of my hair!" she exclaimed with a pout.
"Would a week at the beach be good enough?" the older man inquired. "It's the least we can do for your help in breaking up that laundering operation."
Riley again felt out of the loop; so she wasn't really working there? He coughed again to get their attention.
"You really should get that looked at, man," Ding said with a straight face, which quickly turned to a grimace when Buffy elbowed him in the ribs.
"He was just reminding us that we didn't introduce your co-worker. Riley Finn, this is John Clark, Ding's partner. John, this is Riley Finn, formerly of the Initiative."
The subtle change in her wording wasn't lost on Ding; she was sending a private message to Mr. C about the young man in front of them. To his credit, the former Seal didn't let his emotions show as he shook hands – a little bit too forcefully – with Finn.
"Good to meet you, Mr. Finn," he offered stoically.
"It's actually Captain*, sir," Riley replied to which the older man nodded noncommittally.
"So are you two ready to go?" he asked the lovebirds.
"Yep," Buffy chirped. She turned to Spike and warned, "Pull another stunt like this and I won't care that you can't hit humans – you will fit into an ashtray. Got it?"
"You bet, Slayer. I'm a bad demon for doing evil things," he replied airily before lighting a cigarette and striding out of the crypt with his coat billowing behind him.
"The remains of the eggs are downstairs," Ding informed the commando as he reached for Buffy's hand.
"Bye Riley," she called before turning to Clark, "So do we get a choice as to which beach it is?" she asked him as they walked into the night, "'Cause I was thinking Hawaii would be really nice."
Ding chuckled at Clark's expression; he still wasn't used to the bubbly blonde at his side after all this time. It was fun to watch, that was for sure. He could just imagine the effect she'd have on Ryan if they ever met.
A/N: *I don't know what Riley's rank was, but 'Captain' sounded plausible.
A/N2: Okay. I was just planning on the one sequel, but someone has requested a better girlfriend for Xander. Now, one of the ways I could go with this is to further combine these two worlds and introduce the future Doctor Patty Clark to Xander. The only problem I see with that is Clark wouldn't like her living in constant danger on the Hellmouth. What do you all think of the Scoobies moving when the new Slayer is called? (Faith died in a prison riot, shucks!) This would also let me take Ding and Buffy deeper into their 'ship.