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Life and Desperation

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Summary: Riley Finn's life took a wrong turn somewhere; is he about to make a course correction? Warnings - Slash (eventually)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Riley-CenteredDubiousFR181930,42614217,94218 Jun 0714 Jul 07Yes


Title: Life and Desperation: one
Author: Dubious
Rating: Maybe NC17 eventually
Characters: Riley Finn, Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester
Warnings: Slash eventually. Swearing (the f-word *gasp*)
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in either Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Supernatural. I am borrowing them for entertainpent purposes and no copyright infringement is intended
Author's Notes: Thanks to Neichan for the beta

The door swung open; the thick musty smell of the damp motel room hit his nostrils almost immediately. It reminded him of his Nana Edith, whose house had a basement in which he used to play as a child. That smelled the same, but it never used to put him off, as to a seven year old boy, it was full of mystery. It was home to many of Nana’s strange and seemingly mysterious belongings that would have become redundant were it not for sentimentality.

The only mystery in the motel room was the cause of the large brown stain on the faded and threadbare carpet. Riley flopped backwards onto the bed. He hated what his life had become. He could remember being happy; smiling and laughing and singing, but that life seemed so long ago.

He didn’t feel like singing now. He didn’t even feel like drinking although he could not help but think that he ought to; like it was somehow expected of him. He always seemed to do the unexpected though. His parents never expected he’d join the army. He never expected to fall in love with The Slayer. He never expected he’d leave her either. He never expected he’d marry so soon after, and neither he nor Sam expected that living and working together would prove to be too much to bear. They left each other, not on bitter terms, but not exactly friendly either.

Following the separation, he became largely indifferent about his life. He erred on the side of caution when on missions, which, it turned out was frowned upon by his superiors. They told him that it was his calculated risks that got results, and they did not want soldiers who would constantly play it safe. Demons did not play it safe, they had added, as if to further emphasize their disdain. So he and the US military parted for the second time, although it was much more amicable this time around.

That was nine months ago. In that time, he’d drifted from town to town, motel to motel. He did not want to go home; he didn’t care for the attention. When life takes a dive, everyone has an opinion and thinks they know best, and he did not wish to hear what that was. He was content to just be by himself.

His life had not been completely without purpose in those nine months; he’d continued ‘the good fight’. (Apparently, if it was just his own life he was risking, he was completely reckless. The psych major in him would have a field day with that little situation, if it was permitted a voice). He fought demons and vampires as he encountered them because he gained some satisfaction knowing that he was making the lives of others better, or at the very least, longer.

Now though, as he looked around the cheap motel room, he couldn’t help but feel that some satisfaction was not enough. His actions did not make his life any better or longer and he felt like it should, like doing some good should have a reward. He knew this line of thinking made him a little selfish, but he could count all of the times he put himself before others on three fingers, so he figured he’d be allowed to be selfish on this point.

He recalled when he did not live in a motel room, but in a dorm; spacious and clean, with running water that came in both hot and cold (but not slightly brown). He remembered heating, and windows that were not cracked, and curtains that not only matched his bedding but met in the middle. He had friends too; Graham, Forrest and the others at Lowell House. Then there was Xander and Willow, Dawn and of course Buffy. After that, there was Graham again, Orton and Maddox, and a host of other soldiers. And Sam.

Now? He knew the skinny guy at the motel reception was called Jamie. At least that is what it said on the badge he was wearing. And ‘Jamie’ always had a friendly smile and a ‘hello’ for him, but that hardly made him a friend. Part of him suspected that Jamie just wanted to fuck him, as he was pretty ignorant with the other customers. Riley was half tempted to let him too, but even then, it would not elevate the lad to the ranks of ‘friend’. It would barely make him a ‘fuck buddy’.

Riley slept that night with some effort. But he did sleep, resolved to change his life.

He woke to the slamming of the front door of the room next to him. One of the joys of living in a motel; you could often hear all that went on in the rooms around you own. Riley actually did not mind this. He liked, and he knew his mother would not approve, listening to what was going on. He liked the sounds of others living their own lives, maybe because it distracted him from the fact that he was only barely living his.

He listened now, trying to work out what was happening in the next room. He heard two deep voices belonging to, he guessed two guys. One voice was raised a little, and they were making a commotion; clattering of furniture, banging sounds, and the occasional moan. Riley smiled to one side of his mouth, imagining just what might be happening at the other side of the wall.

He was a little disappointed, if truth were known, when barely minutes later, all was silent once again. More awake than he cared to be given the time of night, he decided to patrol, hoping that the coupling of fresh air and physical exertion might tire him out again.

It was, much to Riley’s dismay, a slow night. He’d been walking aimlessly for forty minutes and not found even a lowly vampire. The biggest threat he’d come across was a particularly large, drunk woman, vomiting down the side of a laundrette. He had to smile; he’d been attracted the dim street lights reflecting off what turned out to be her sequined top that he guessed was several sizes to small. Nothing supernatural there, he’d mused, unless you count the possibility that she had to use magic to fit her abundant flesh into the skimpy garment.

He made his way back to the motel, a little pissed that he found no action. The last good thing in his life, his fighting evil, and even that had abandoned him tonight.

Riley was suddenly struck by something big as he came round the corner of the motel. His first thought: something or someone was waiting for him. His ‘ambush’, he noticed as he swiftly got to his feet, had dropped bandages and other medical supplies all over the concrete floor.

“Watch where you’re going,” said the angry voice of the shorter man with which he’d collided, as he quickly started to gather the bandages. Riley crouched to help.

“Sorry,” he said, choosing to ignore the fact that Riley was, at most, only half to blame. “Is everything okay?” he asked as he handed over the supplies.

“My brother’s injured. He…,” the man stopped, as if he’d said something he wasn’t supposed to, “I’ve gotta go.” He began to hurry away.

“I can help,” Riley stated flatly. The man stopped, but did not turn to face Riley. “I have medical training,” added Riley, referring to field medicine he learnt in the Army. The man nodded once after a brief pause, and started walking once again. Riley followed.

The man, to Riley’s surprise, went to the motel room next to his own; the one he’d been listening to earlier that evening. As they entered, Riley noticed the room was in a worse state than his own; furniture was everywhere, some of which was broken. The carpet was even more mysterious than the one in his room. On the bed lay a young man, with a crudely applied and blood soaked bandage across his chest. He was awake, and turned his head to look at Riley. He tried to smile

“Dean. You brought company?” he spoke, barely above a whisper; it was obviously an effort for him to even talk. “You should have told me, I’d have tidied the place up,” he joked despite his pain. Dean sat on the bed next to his brother, and gently laid his hand on the side of his face. Riley watched as his face softened instantly as he comforted his brother.

“Don’t try to speak, Sammy,” he said tenderly, sounding like a different man to the one that Riley had bumped into. “He’s here to help,” he added reassuringly.

Riley removed the bandage as carefully as he could, but it was obvious that the man was in a lot of pain. The wound, a large gash diagonally across his chest, was bleeding profusely. As Riley tended to the wound, the young man cried out in pain, and passed out. Riley was a little relieved at this as he was much more still when unconscious, making him easier to treat.

“What happened?” Riley asked as he worked. Dean said nothing, just paced the room. “He should be in a hospital,” he added, realising that he was not going to get an answer.

“No hospitals,” Dean stated bluntly as he continued pacing. Riley could see him in his peripheral vision; he was clearly worried about his brother Sammy, but he could sense that there was more going on that a simple, albeit deep chest wound. He’d been around secrets and deceit for much of his life, and recognised them with ease. He also recognised animal attacks, and had some idea as to what kind of animal caused such a wound.

“He needs stitches.”
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