Title: Riley's Girl
Author: Robyn the Snowshoe Hare
Part: 1/1
Disclaimer: The lyrics belong to Rick Springfield's song, "Jesse's Girl"

Author's Notes: Another Graham/Buffy-ish story.


They say that it's always the quiet ones, and I guess that they're right.

//Jesse is a friend//
//Yeah, I know he's been a good friend of mine//

Riley is my best friend. I hate saying that, because it sounds like I'm exaggerating our friendship. But he is. We went through special ops training together, we came to Sunnydale together. Before he got promoted, he and I were roommates. We played basketball together, we went to bars together. Sometimes we even double-dated. Riley tended to be closer to Forrest, but I can understand that. I'm not exactly the most talkative of guys.

//But lately something's changed//
//It ain't hard to define//

But in all those years we knew each other, I'd never fallen for one of Riley's girlfriends before.

//Jesse's got himself a girl//
//And I wanna make her mine//

I really have no idea how it happened, either. After Riley's last girlfriend ended up having an affair with one of the delivery boys at their favorite pizza place, he stayed out of the dating scene for a while. There were nights when we'd be the only guys in Lowell House, and we'd have nothing better to do than watch Saturday Night Live and make bets on how far Forrest got with his latest date.

Then the new semester started, and all Riley could talk about was this 'peculiar' freshman in one of the classes he was TAing for Walsh. It was pretty obvious to everyone that he had a thing for her. It took bashing in Parker Abrahms' face for him to realize that he liked the girl. After that, we got to see him attempt to 'court' her.

The first time I saw her was at the Lowell House bash that night. She was dancing, and it looked pretty good. Okay, okay, I'll be honest. She looked incredibly hot out there, but the scary thing was that she was just dancing for fun. Not attempting to be sexy or anything. Just enjoying the music.

//You know, I wish that I had Jesse's girl//
//I wish that I had Jesse's girl//
//Where can I find a woman like that?//

Riley attempted to track her down for some interesting and charming conversation. The foundation for future bliss. Unfortunately for him, there were roughly twenty other guys trying to do the exact same thing. Or just drooling in her soda. She ended up leaving with another guy just as Riley was making his second attempt at some form of contact.

Forrest was cheerfully poking fun at Riley, but I was mostly watching Buffy leave. I told myself that all I was doing was checking her out to see if she was good enough for my friend.

Ever notice how easy it can be to lie to yourself sometimes?

On the way down to the lab, I encouraged Riley, telling him that I liked her, and that I was on his side. On patrol that night, we ran into her again. Riley went out to try and get her to go home, but she wasn't going to be treated like some little girl. I nearly dropped my binoculars when I saw her get right in his face when he tried to pull the John Wayne routine on her. Just the fact that there's at least a foot height difference between them made that damn impressive.

After that, Riley started making headway. Well, kinda. Every other day he would come home and just flop on the couch, completely confused by this girl. I got a good laugh out of the time she tricked him into thinking she was engaged to some guy named Spike.

//I play along with the charade//
//There doesn't seem to be a reason to change//

I listened to his stories, and I'd grin, thinking that Riley was getting a run for his money with this girl. They spent at least a month just going places and talking, but never actually kissed. I'd never gone more than two dates without getting at least a good-night kiss, and neither had Riley. With no girlfriend of my own at the time, I was pretty much living vicariously through him. Even after Riley gave me the full run-down on how each of his dates with Buffy went, I'd still be wondering what else had happened.

//You know I feel so dirty//
//When they start talking cute//

I got the first hint that this wasn't just friendly curiosity the night he kissed her. No one in the town could speak, but he came back from patrol with a huge grin on his face. It was almost a smirk. Turned out that while breaking up fights downtown, he had run into Buffy. With no babble option left for either of them, they kissed. Forrest rolled his eyes that it took them so long, but I went to bed and found myself wishing that I'd been the one kissing Buffy.

It was a scary realization. Somehow I'd developed a crush on my best friend's girl, even though I'd only seen her a handful of times.

//'Cause she's watching him with those eyes//
//And she's loving him with that body//
//I just know it//

I tried to take my mind off of it. I suddenly devoted so much attention to my studies that my marks jumped a full letter grade. I tried to date other girls, but I never got past a third date. All I could really think about was a tiny blonde frosh.

Then it was revealed that Buffy was 'The Slayer'. Basically, that meant that she could kick serious ass. During a demonstration of her ass-kicking skills, a full team of operatives was sent to track and neutralize her. It took us forty-five minutes to find her, and then she took us down.

That night, I noticed a huge bruise from where she had punched me in the mid-section. It's a sign of just how crazy I am that all I could think of was, 'she touched me'.

A few days later, Forrest and I were walking over to Riley's room to see if he wanted to go put in a few hours of Playstation before bed. His door was locked, and a few muffled sounds told us exactly what he was up to. No pun intended.

//And he's holding her in his arms//
//Late, late at night//

Then, all things went to Hell in a handbasket. Walsh died, Riley started disobeying orders, Forrest was changing, and Adam was loose.

Everything is a blur right up until that night when everything just culminated. The demons got loose and started tearing the Initiative apart. We'd lost almost half the men, and there was no doubt that everyone else was going to die. Then the calvary arrived, and saved everyone.

I'd lost my gun, and was facing a demon of the horny, scaly, and slimy variety. All I had was a knife. Then she was there, and within five seconds the demon was nothing but a smear of green goop on the floor.

I said it then. I looked her straight in the eye, and said, "I love you." She thought it was the stress of the situation talking, of course. In the rescuing business, she must have people say all sorts of crazy shit to her. But she didn't know that those three words were six months in the making. It didn't really matter, though. She gestured to me to come with her, but she didn't have to. I would've followed her anywhere.

//I wanna tell her that I love her//
//But the point is probably moot//

After everything died down, I went looking for her. When I found her, though, she was checking a bandage on Riley's chest. The way they were looking into each other's eyes..... well, let's just say that I'm pretty damn jealous.

I'm told that on a regular basis I fall into the 'inscrutable' category, but apparently I'm losing my edge. One of Buffy's friends, the dark-haired guy that she left the party with all those months ago, looked over at me, and gave me an ironic grin. Just something in his eyes made it seem that he's been in my position before. So I guess that my own personal hell has been occupied by others before me.

It still sucks, though, because I wish that I had Riley's girl.

//You know, I wish that I had Jesse's girl//
//I wish that I had Jesse's girl//
//Where can I find a woman like that?//