Next in line - how Cam met Riley. How did they come to discuss a petite blonde named Buffy Summers to the point Cam wanted to know if she was The
It had barely been weeks since Riley had left Sunnydale. Regret still oozed from every pore: regret for his vampire ‘whoring’; regret for not staying and making Buffy fall for him the way he had for her; regret just for leaving…
Until moments like this when the thrill of the hunt and the joy of knowing you had destroyed evil took over. That you didn’t need to have supernatural powers to do it. In Sunnydale, he had felt like dead weight. He was a commander, military, out of water in the spontaneous, sudden and illogical methods of the Scoobies. Buffy – and the others – were tactical geniuses. Only Xander and perhaps Giles had any grasp of the strategies that had been drilled into his head for so long.
Psychology could only take him so far. Both of them had been left with issues regarding the Initiative, their relationship, their fight… After time away, he was furious with himself for ignoring the fact that Buffy was coping with her mother’s illness, and caring for Dawn. Although he had sensed deeper problems beneath those, he was now incapable of believing himself to have done something so stupid.
But then, he had not taken to civilian life well. He needed something to occupy him, and he had had nothing. Nothing like what he wanted, anyway. He needed to feel useful, not ‘kitteny’.
They had both been going through a tough time. He realised now how deeply Buffy had loved Angel. Had their entire relationship been based on her need for a rebound? Had her fling with Parker left her even more vulnerable? Had he somehow taken advantage of that? He knew that his own life… He’d been on Walsh’s drugs. His heart had had problems, he’d been forced to flee a job he loved, where he thought he had been doing good… He had been deceived by his superiors.
He had helped
bring ADAM to life.
He shuddered at the thought once more.
“Cold, Finn?” A blue-eyed brunette man joked from another table.
His was not the only squad in the Amazon jungles. He wasn’t entirely sure what Mitchell’s squad was doing – Air Force always confused him – but they were good company.
“Just remembering.” Riley replied. “The outer world.”
“Ah, shudders galore.”
of the outside world, eh, Ri?” Graham grinned, trying to make his friend smile. “Despite the last few weeks, I’ve heard you moan her
name in your sleep.”
“You left a girl behind?” Mitchell enquired.
“Not exactly.” Riley winced. “We, ah, my leaving… Well, when I left, I made it clear she wasn’t my girl.”
“You have no idea.” Riley replied emphatically. “If I’m lucky, Buffy won’t decide to kill me when I next see her.”
“Buffy Summers.” Graham answered. “Blonde, petite, Californian…”
“Gorgeous.” Riley finished. “Her smile can just light up the room. Endlessly curious… And she could kick my ass without breaking a sweat.”
“Wow.” Mitchell gave Riley a once over. “Some kind of martial artist?”
“Among other things.”
“Tell me, did she know
“She introduced me to the truth about demons. Not the sanitised version we’ve been taught. Hell, she was friends with one or two of them.” Riley threw caution to the wind, somehow knowing Mitchell’s team were on a similar job to theirs.
“One or two. Ensouled vampire – her ex-boyfriend.” And if there was bitterness in Riley’s tone, no one commented on it. “They had another vampire they didn’t kill because he had a behavioural chip in his head preventing him from killing – humans, anyway. He could kill demons.”
“Interesting use.” Mitchell nodded. “So she was a demon-hunter?”
“Yep. Drove Forrest mad when she temporarily joined us.” Graham grinned. “But she had this oddly endearing quality. And solved the problem when our superiors’ project went SNAFU.”
“A group. ‘S’all magic. I didn’t like to ask.”
“Huh. So, any interesting stories?”
Riley thought for a moment, then grinned. “Well, it did turn out our fraternity house was cursed and we became semi-possessed by extremely
hormonal spirits bent on expressing those hormones…”
Majors Finn and Mitchell became friends for life shortly afterwards. In fact, Cameron introduced Finn to his wife, an Air Force scientist named Samantha Hammond.
So it was that a number of years later, he left the sub-terrestrials behind for Colorado Springs to take on extra-terrestrials. And on a trip to the shopping mall, he met a gorgeous, petite, blonde Californian with a smile that seemed to light up the whole room.
Well, perhaps ‘met’ was a little misleading. She walked into him.
He helped her up. After a little chat, he finally introduced himself.
“Cameron Mitchell, Lieutenant Colonel.” He held out a hand.
“Buffy Summers.” She shook it.
A slow grin spread across his face. “The