Rated safe for most everyone. If you could watch the show enough to know who they are, this is certainly safe for you.
Main Characters: Riley Finn, Marilyn
Disclaimer: Riley Finn is the creation of Joss Whedon & his writers for the series BtVS. Marilyn is from ‘the Munsters’, and while I’m not sure who has the legal rights to her and the show, I know it isn’t me.
Distribution: Twisting, Mental Wanderings, or by request.
Notes: 20 minutes with Riley challenge ( #952). AU post Sunnydale Initiative, obviously.
Riley smiled as they walked down the path, Marilyn's hand held in his. He was happy now, in a way that he couldn't recall being in years. He was taking classes at the local college, he was free of the Initiative and the chaos, danger and nightmares of being under the command of someone who wanted to hunt demons and play God with their soldiers, and life was good, though not quite perfect. He'd met Marilyn in his history class, and... Well, they hadn't exactly hit things off immediately, he'd thought that she was rather quiet and a bit old fashioned, and she'd thought him to be a rather dumb jock hanging out trying to make a living on sports.
He was thankful for that project in his second quarter. They'd been paired up to work on it, and he'd gotten to know her better. And now...
"Thinking happy thoughts?" her voice was soft and as smooth ads the pearls on her necklace.
"Thinking about how we got together," Riley offered. "And life is good."
"My family wants to meet you. I think Uncle Herman's worried that you're trying to take advantage of me."
"Ah, but I've already taken advantage of your superior knowledge of the area to figure out the best places for ice cream," Riley tried to imitate a suave villain, and wiggled his eyebrows.
Giggling, Marilyn swatted at his arm. "Silly. They're just worried about me, that's all. I just seem to.... well, none of my boyfriends wanted to stick around very long."
"Rob said your family was strange, Carl said that your uncle is a giant, Andrew said that your cousin's pet tried to eat him. I would like to think I'm a bit braver than they are," Riley offered.
"We managed to pull Spot off before there was any permanent damage," Marilyn was blushing.
"Reassuring," Riley murmured, wondering just what sort of pet 'Spot' was anyhow. The name didn't really help.
"If we're going to keep dating, won't I have to meet your family eventually? I mean, it's not like I'd expect you to drop everyone that you've ever known and move away with me, never to see your family again. That would be foolish of me."
"You'd be surprised about some people," Marilyn muttered darkly.
"I've already had a few ugly surprises from life," Riley commented, remembering Sunnydale. Absently, he wondered how his life would have been if he'd stayed in the service after that, but let it go. He'd made his choice, and life would go on.
"Uncle Herman wanted to know if we could stop in tonight. Just sort of a quick hello at work, he wasn't trying to drag you over for dinner or anything."
"You said he works at a funeral parlor, right? I guess we could stop in for a few minutes," Riley said, wondering what sort of person her uncle would be. Probably tall, considering Rob, but would he be a nice guy, like Marilyn? "Am I going to get some variation of the you'd better treat my little girl right or else' speech?"
"Not from Uncle Herman," Marlin grinned, "that would be Grandpa."
Riley nodded as they reached the funeral parlor. He was starting to think that there was something that she wasn't telling him, some sort of little secret, and he hoped desperately that it wouldn't be a disaster, like the last girlfriend with a major secret. Please don't let Marilyn be like Buffy, please...
She opened the door, and tugged him inside. The cloying scent of too many flowers filled the air, and he could see several rooms with rows of uncomfortable seats and dark couches. It looked like they were in the middle of either setting up or taking down after a service.
"Uncle Herman?" Marilyn called,"We're here. You wanted to meet Riley?"
"Of course I did." The voice was a mild tenor, with a faint accent that Riley couldn't place. "You kept talking about him over breakfast."
Riley blinked at the silhouette filling the doorway. 'Giant' made a lot more sense now - the man had to be close to seven feet tall, with broad shoulders. Stepping into the light was...
He looked like a Boris Karloff Frankenstein monster. Or the low-tech version of ADAM.
Riley blinked, wondering if he really saw what he thought he saw... Yes, her uncle was still really tall, with stitches holding him together, and a pair of bolts in the side of his neck. Several places, his skin didn't quite match, though it was hard to be certain with the greenish cast. Riley breathed slowly, trying to remain calm.
He should have known that things seemed far too calm.
Trying to smile, he held out his hand. "Hello, sir. I've heard good things about you, I'm Riley Finn. I've been dating your niece."
Riley's hand was engulfed in a near-crushing grip, and the taller man beamed at him, showing yellowed teeth. "Good to meet you. You'll have to come over for dinner sometime, we've been curious about you."
Marilyn was hovering nearby, her hands twisting together with a small smile. She seemed to be worried about something, and shuffled her feet a little. "I hope Grandpa isn't trying to scare him away..."
Riley decided not to try to rub the feeling back in his hand, or ask if 'uncle Herman' had any connections to secret military projects. "It might be nice to meet Marilyn's family. I can tell how important you are to her, Mr. Munster."
The expression on her uncle's face, with the yellowed teeth and the square jaw could have been terrifying except that it was the largest sheepish grin that Riley had ever seen. "That's good to know. I'll have to talk to Lily and find out what would be a good night... Do you have classes Friday nights? That might work..."
Riley conceded that his life would never be normal again. Glancing at Marilyn, he decided that maybe normal was over-rated.
end A Normal Life.