Disclaimer: The characters are not mine, I'm just playing in someone else's backyard.
Riley has a secret. It’s dark and it’s brutal but she thinks John will understand. She’s back from summer camp, her parents never let her say Slayer camp, and she’s had a tough time keeping her strength in check.
Riley has a secret. And because she’s had to keep hers for almost a year now she’s gotten good at telling who else is keeping secrets. Maybe that’s why she likes John so much. He’s like her, desperately trying to pretend he’s like everyone else, only he knows it’s not true.
Riley has a secret. She understands that secrets often don’t belong to just one person, like hers doesn’t, so she will never ask John about his. He’ll tell her one day. Or he won’t. She sneaks into his room at night and holds his hand. His breath is warm against her neck and it’s a little easier to pretend then.
Riley has a secret. This is why she slips away when John falls asleep. She’s got darkness inside, singing love songs to the moon and she needs to feed the beast or it will destroy all pretence.
She meets her sister Slayers in the yellow night of LA and they revel and rejoice in their dance of blood and bone.
She heard John and his mother fighting and she wonders what he will choose, to be who he wants to be or to be whom he needs to be. She understands the dilemma. It’s hers too.
But she knows that her decision is a little bit made. She cannot walk away from being a slayer. Faith says, embrace the darkness and control it, otherwise it will control you. And Riley embraces it like a lover. The night is her comfort, the hunt is her pleasure. The demon sings inside, and all the songs are of the hunt and of the beauty of death.
And then Riley climbs back into John’s bed and her heart, the part of her that’s girl and not slayer, beats a little bit faster when she slides her hand into his.
Riley has a secret. She thinks John would understand but she doesn’t tell him, because sometimes the sharing of a secret is just selfishness, a laying on of burdens. She kisses his forehead and watches him dream.
She wonders if she will do the noble thing and leave him first.
John has a secret. It’s how he sees himself. John and his secret. It’s forever on his mind, every moment of everyday. But not when he’s with Riley. Everything fades away then. He knows it’s dangerous. He cannot afford to be careless. No one has to remind him that the future of mankind rests with him. Oh, but how he wants to! It would be exhilarating just to be able to explode with rage and frustration and to shout at the world to keep at bay. Isn’t he allowed a little happiness? A little pleasure?
But he knows the answer, and the answer is no. So he won’t shout. He’ll hold on to Riley and inhale her hair spread all over his pillow and desperately wish that this could last.
John has a secret. He’s a light sleeper and every time Riley sneaks out of bed in the middle of the night, he lays a cautious hand in the warm hollows her body makes in the bed as if to remind him that she was there. When she comes back, she climbs the roof like a cat, and crawls into bed and he stays very still until she settles against him. Even as she tries to fall asleep he can always feel the wild energy vibrating through her.
John has a secret. He knows Riley has one too, otherwise she wouldn’t be sneaking in and out in the middle of night, or getting cryptic phone calls from someone named Faith and sometimes Vi. But he wont ask what her secret is because sometimes a secret belongs to more than one person. She’ll tell him one day. Or she won’t.
John has a secret. This is why he won’t fight about Riley with his mother, won’t listen either even if he knows what she’s saying is right. But John still has a wild hope for some kind of happiness and he knows Riley is it. John loves Riley and he doubts very much that he will tell her no matter how much it kills him not to.
John has a secret. Sometimes he wishes he would tell his to Riley and then he doesn’t, because he’s afraid that in the end the secret would be the only thing to hold them together.
He wonders if he will do the right thing and leave her first.