Disclaimer: Neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor Supernatural belong to me.
Author's Note: This story begins post-Season Seven of Buffy and during Supernatural Season One.
Riley Finn stood over his son’s crib and watched the baby sleep. He still couldn’t believe he’d had a hand in creating him. They’d named him Patrick, after Riley’s grandfather, and Sam said he looked just like Riley. Riley couldn’t see it, though. When he looked at Patrick, all he saw was Sam.
She slid into the room, now, and leaned up against him. Riley put his arm around her shoulders, and for a while they just stood there, together, watching their son sleep. Then Sam took hold of Riley’s arm, and dragged him out of the nursery.
Sam waited until they were in the living room to pounce. “So, what’s on your mind, Ri?”
He smiled. Sam could always tell when something was on his mind. “Is it that obvious?”
“It is to me,” Sam said. “Your birth parents?”
“I asked Willow to hack the adoption agency’s files for me,” Riley admitted. It had been kind of awkward, asking Willow for that kind of favor, but he didn’t know anyone else who could pull it off. She’d agreed, cheerfully, her voice betraying no sign that she resented him calling out of the blue to ask for a favor after years of nothing but the occasional e-mail.
“So you decided to find out?” Sam said.
“If you’ve already made the decision, why do you still look so unsure?”
“I just feel so guilty,” Riley said. “Mom and Dad—they were great parents. I shouldn’t need this. I shouldn’t need to look. I shouldn’t need to know. But ever since Patrick was born, I can’t stop thinking about it. I just can’t imagine giving Patrick to someone else to raise.”
“And everyone keeps talking about who he takes after. Riley, it’s only natural for that to make you wonder who you take after.” She laid a hand on his leg. “It doesn’t mean you love your parents any less.”
Riley pulled her close, and kissed her. “What would I ever do without you?”
“Probably go out in a blaze of glory,” Sam said.
Patrick picked that moment to start fussing. Riley started to get up, but Sam pushed him back down. “He’s probably hungry,” she said. “I’ll take care of it.”
She headed down the hall. Riley sank back into the couch and grabbed the TV remote. He was about to turn on the set when the front door burst open and a man strode into his house.
Riley stood up as fast as he could and moved to intercept the stranger. The guy was tall, almost as tall as Riley, with dark hair, and Riley figured him to be in his mid fifties. He was wearing a long black trench coat and holding a shotgun, but the gun wasn’t pointed at Riley. Riley was planning on tackling him, but the guy held out his hand in a stop gesture.
“Your family is in danger,” he said. “You need to get them out of here.”
Riley would have thought that the man standing in front of him was the danger to his family, except that was when he heard Sam scream. He ran down the hallway, not caring that the stranger was following him, and burst into the nursery.
Something was standing there, over Patrick’s crib. It was human-shaped, but the yellow glow of its eyes betrayed its demonic nature. Riley grabbed for it, but it melted away like a column of smoke. He looked frantically around the room. Patrick was still in his crib, crying now, but where was Sam? Only when the blood dripped down on him did Riley think to look up.
Sam was splayed spread-eagle on the ceiling, a bloody gash across her stomach. As Riley watched, fire engulfed her.
“Sam!” Riley screamed, trying to think of a way to reach her. The stranger grabbed Riley’s arm, and Riley, who had forgotten the man was there, whipped around to stare at him. The guy had Patrick in one arm, and he was pulling at Riley with the other.
“We’ve got to get out of here!”
Riley looked up at the ceiling, now completely aflame. He couldn’t leave Sam.
The man followed his gaze. He pulled at Riley again. “It’s too late,” he said. “You can’t save her. But you need to get your son out of here!”
Riley grabbed the boy out of the stranger’s arms, and carried him out of the house. The firefighters had already arrived. Riley stared in shock at his burning house, his mind still screaming Sam’s name. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the stranger leaving, and somehow that broke his paralysis. He chased after him.
He caught the guy as he was about to climb into his pickup, grabbing his arm and holding it fast. “Who are you?”
“That’s not important,” he said.
“The cops will think it is,” Riley countered.
He shook his head. “You won’t be telling the cops about this,” he said. “You can call me John.”
“Well, John,” Riley said, “how did you know that demon was in my house?”
John’s eyebrows lifted. “You knew it was a demon,” he said flatly. “How? It took me twenty-two years to figure that out.”
“It’s not the first demon I’ve ever seen,” Riley said.
A strange look crossed John’s face, an expression Riley might have called regret if that emotion would have made any sense as a response to Riley’s comment. “There are signs. Those signs led me here.”
“What are the signs?” Riley demanded.
“Don’t hunt this thing,” John said, low and pleading. “Take care of your son. You’re all he’s got now.”
John shrugged out of Riley’s grip and got into the truck before Riley could do anything to stop him. All he could do was hold Patrick close as he watched the truck drive away.