harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote in spanderverse,
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After 314, Part 6 of 6

Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-

Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.

Notes: Story number One in the Spanderverse-universe. This is VERY Riley-centric. This story has 6 chapters.

Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.

People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline. Scene or POV switches are handled with a string of o’s.

Thanks to the authors of Fanfiction, wherever you may post. It’s probable that I’ve read at least one of your stories somewhere. I apologize for recycling concepts inadvertently from the plenitude of stories I’ve read.

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Spanderverse: After 314

Ch 6- Endings or Beginnings

POV: Riley Finn, civilian.

 

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Riley Finn stood in front of Buffy's front door, ready to usher in his new life as a civilian. He felt strange… somehow incomplete now that he wasn't wearing fatigues and holding a rank. He knew there was going to be a rough adjustment period ahead of him. Getting back in the habit of sleeping in, of not marching anywhere, and not ordering or being ordered was going to take some time. He wanted to believe that he'd made the right choice, the only choice. Buffy Summers was his world now. He wanted to be there, fighting the good fight at her side. He could see a real future with her and he didn't want that to slip away while he went globe trotting.

 

The former Initiative soldiers, of which, only Mason and Graham now existed were re-assigned as a tactical M.b.O.T team. Washington decided that Mason and Graham should remain on the same team and they had also accepted the recommendation that Specialist Jacqueline Alvarez be recruited into the same unit. Riley suspected that Mason might have more than a strictly professional interest in Jacquie, as she'd insisted he call her. The Meta-black Ops Teams had a far less strict policy about fraternization, considering how little time any of them would spend anywhere but with each other. He was twelve years her senior though, and he hoped Mase wasn't setting himself up for disappointment.

 

He had been offered the chance to command the new unit, whose first task was to fly to Australia for some sort of demon preying on the Aboriginal peoples. He’d politely and professionally turned down the offer. He tendered his resignation, which the people in Washington weren't happy about, but they accepted it. With the understanding that he was, of course, bound by the usual non-disclosure clauses. Riley had impressed upon them how important it was that the Hellmouth have a guardian. He'd been worried about what the government was going to do about the Slayer and her companions. He needn't have worried; the folks in the Pentagon were as impressed with the young woman as Riley himself was. They had made it clear to him that as long as Buffy Summers, Rupert Giles, Alexander Harris and Willow Rosenburg kept what they knew to themselves, the government would stay at arm's length from Sunnydale, California.

 

He had also made a push to have Graham promoted to his slot as the lead. Although the Pentagon valued his contributions, and promoted him to Captain, Graham was going to be second under a new colonel.

 

The post mission analysis and debriefing was handled in a rapid and smooth way. The decision was made to arrange a fire in what was left of the Initiative to burn away all of the evidence. The military was currently arranging to fly in napalm and smuggling explosives through the cave systems. As far as the city of Sunnydale was concerned, there were major underground methane gas leaks that had been detected beneath the local college. Accordingly, there would be government officials in and out, keeping a close eye on the situation. They'd decided to allow the students back into the dorm, saying there was no danger, after they had permanently sealed the elevator leading to the lab complex below.

 

Being Sunnydale, no one questioned this story.

 

Riley had made his good-byes to Mason and Graham. Graham had actually helped Riley pack up his things in the dorm they had used, till recent events, as a hide out. While Buffy was going back to school in the fall, he wasn't. His attending classes were part of his cover and since that wasn't necessary anymore; the government wasn't going to pay for his continued education. He didn't actually mind that, although what exactly he was going to do with his life once his pension ran out was another worry for another day. The government was willing to extend his pay for another twenty weeks, as they had put it, 'call it a cooling off period.' They still wanted him back and they were hopeful that after a short leave of absence, he'd come to his senses. Graham had taken a few half-hearted stabs at pointing out how often he would be able to get back to visit with Buffy, even if he stayed with the team. They both knew it was hopeless, but Riley pretended to consider it anyway. On his way out of the dorm room, Graham had suddenly grabbed him in a big hug and told him he'd miss him. It was all done in a very manly way, of course.

 

The bodies left behind when the team had pulled out, would be left in place. The chaplain had already been as close to the Initiative proper as the brass would allow to say a few non-denominational prayers. The families were being told that during routine training missions in the caves a minor earth tremor had dislodged rocks causing a major collapse. The bodies of their loved ones weren't able to be recovered. Because none of the parents lived near Sunnydale, California, their sons would be treated to a full military funeral and they'd be generously compensated for their losses, hopefully forestalling any desires by those families to ask any questions. As for the civilian contractors and the science personnel, those records were being altered. As far as anyone would know, they were on their way by military jet to an undisclosed location when it crashed, killing all aboard. That jet was being prepared right now for its fatal swan-dive into the deepest part of the Pacific. Loaded with tons of cement, it would sink to an unreachable depth in minutes, making any sort of Coast Guard search for survivors futile.

 

As for the Blood Bank, it did indeed contain a vampire nest. A far smaller one though; apparently the four barricaded themselves in the room and refused to share. According to Graham, by the time the unit could bust its way into the room, the vampires were so bloated they could barely rouse themselves to fight. It was all over very quickly with no muss, no fuss, and no injuries.

 

Riley had wandered the cave system for a few hours before he wound up exiting near Rugg's Field. He never found any sign of the vampires once they'd left the dirt covered floor of the cave and began trekking over hard rock. Adam's remains were never found either and he wasn't looking forward to telling Buffy that he was still out there, just waiting to be powered up again. The only consolation is that it had taken a uranium core to power him up before, and those weren't exactly at the local Home Depot.

 

He had called Forrest's and Kirk's families to break the news to them himself. He let them know that official military would be arriving soon to go over the details of their hero's burials. He listened to them as they cried on the other end of the line and gave heartfelt apologies for their losses. Finally he told each family he'd see them in person at the memorials. It was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do, but he felt it was necessary. He owed it to his friend's families not to hear it from a group of strangers. It helped that he'd met both families numerous times, even spending a few days sleeping over at Forrest's right after basic training, while waiting to ship out on their first assignment.

 

So, now he was standing before the door of the girl whose dreams he wanted to make come true. He'd have to get an apartment, and he wanted to have Buffy help him choose a place. If things went really well, on their first anniversary, he would ask Buffy to leave her mother's home and move in with him. He might even ask her to marry him, if she'd even consider such a proposal with their current lifestyle. Sometimes, it seemed to him, she seemed to shy away from doing normal life-type things. She always seemed to be obsessing over her role as guardian of the Hellmouth. But, maybe he would be the one to get her to look past the doom and gloom of her role and fully engage in life again.

 

That thought made him grin widely, and he knocked on the door with confidence. Buffy and he were going to be so happy together. He'd make sure no opportunity passed by that would allow him to convince her that there was more to her than being a Slayer.

 

When she opened the door and broke into a huge grin, he grabbed her in his arms and kissed her to take her breath away.

 

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End of ‘After 314’

 

Next Story in Spanderverse: ‘Spike’

 

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