the pearl

Ten Things That Didn't Happen To Riley And/Or Faith

Buffy has two scars on the side of her neck and another along her stomach. Riley ignores the former and traces the latter. "What happened?" he asks.

She looks down. "Oh. Last year. Evil vampire slayer. Remember how I said that whole 'One girl in all the world' kinda has a loophole?"

"Mm-hmm. So she was the other one?"

"Yep. She was...well, she wasn't Miss Sanity 1999."

"What happened to her?"

"Oh, she died. Put her lot in with the Mayor and paid the price." She stretches and smiles up at him.

Riley smiles back. "What was her name?"



Whenever new recruits moved in, all geared up to fight hostiles, they always asked him where he was when the Mayor tried to become a demon. And he always had to tell the truth — in his room, writing a paper. He noticed the eclipse, and the loud explosion, but, well, he thought it could've been anything.

He doesn't tell them, however, that since that day, he's been a regular at the hospital's long-term ward, visiting the pretty brunette — the Mayor's daughter — that's been sleeping since that day. He comes in, holds her hand and waits for her to wake up.


He doesn't really like The Bronze, but there's nowhere else to go. It's filled with high school students and vampires and he just gets tired of having to rescue one and stake the other all the time.

But when he goes to rescue the brown-haired girl with the tight jeans and dark smile, he discovers that there's someone else out there who's having to do all the rescuing too. And when she grins, shoves him up against the wall, and unzips his khakis, he figures, maybe this whole thing might have its perks.

She shucks off her jeans. "I'm Faith."


Buffy refuses to speak to him because of what happened. So Willow doesn't speak to him and Xander doesn't speak to him and Giles can't even look at him.

He gives up after another aborted phone call and drives down to L.A. He fills out the forms, he waits patiently, and he's soon in front of a plastic screen with Faith on the other side.

She looks at him with surprise, and, when he picks up the phone, he can only think of one thing to say.

"You're beautiful."

She frowns.

He blushes.

She smiles and they begin to talk.


Sam spent most of her life preparing to be a vampire slayer, so when she wasn't chosen, she went into the Peace Corps, and then into the Army, and then into Riley's bed.

When it happened, when there were girls all over the world with newfound power, Riley and Sam were fighting demons and losing.

After she killed them all, rescued Riley, rescued the people they were supposed to be rescuing, and reported back to their C.O., Riley went straight to the remains of Sunnydale.

Faith was sitting on the edge, throwing rocks down, and, slowly, answered all his questions.


Maggie and Buffy not only worked out the optimal training program for recruits, and not only mapped the perfect syncretization of mysticism and science, and had not only designed the perfect hunter-killer, they planned Buffy and Riley's wedding, on the day Buffy also retired from slaying.

And since Riley was expected only to come home to his loving wife, he spent more and more time at a strip club on the outskirts of town, watching just one girl dance.

She was brunette and always smiled when he walked in. Her name was Faith, and he kept coming back for her.


"Tell me about her."

"What else is there to tell?"

"Was she the first?"

"She was the only."

"How, wait, I don't want to know."

"Why not, Riley? Why don't you want to know? You're the one asking these questions! Don't you want to know how she fucked me? Don't you want to know how she stuck her fingers inside me and how many times I came when she did that? Huh?"


"Isn't what this is all about? Knowing that I had sex with her, so that's it's okay that you did too? Because it isn't!"

"Buffy, please..."


The vending machine coffee is tepid, watery, and bitter, but he's still drinking it because there's nothing else to do.

It's been twelve hours since Joyce went into surgery. Dawn's sprawled asleep on two chairs, Buffy's nervously biting her lip, and he's drinking terrible coffee and waiting with her.

There are bootheels clumping on the floor, and Buffy looks up. There's a smile on her face, one he hasn't ever seen before, and when the girl hugs Buffy tightly, he's suddenly jealous.

"Riley? This is Faith."

Her arm is around Buffy's waist. "Hey."

The coffee sours in his stomach. "Hey."


Orpheus is a lyre. A sweet song. A hypnotic beautiful call that pulses through his ruined veins and decayed life. Orpheus Orpheus Orpheus that calls the vampires and calls him back. Oh, they love it when they share his nights with the vampire slayer.

He hears voices, but pays them no mind, because they sound human and no human will give him what he needs.

"Oh fuck," he hears a girl say. "Oh, fuck, Wes, it's Riley — it's Buffy's boyfriend..."

"Ignore that," a British voice says. There's a sudden pain in his arm. "What can you tell me about Angelus?"


They both have scars on the outside and scars on the inside. They both spend hours in cemeteries, carrying flowers to leave on a number of graves.

They don't talk much, not any more, because there's nothing to talk about. He has his scars, and she has hers, and they have mutual scars that trace up their hearts and across their chests.

They like to visit Buffy's grave together. They only do it once a year, and, afterwards, they always have sex, wrapped against each other as if to go "Look, see, we survived. You didn't, and we — we — survived."

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at