Title: She's Buffy
Author: Sapphire
Summary: Riley contemplates his crush.
Spoilers: The Initiative
Rating: PG
Notes: For some reason, this character has captured me. Perhaps it's his Opie-esqueness that draws me to him, but I find myself rooting for him. And I used to be a rabid B/A shipper, in fact, I will never quite give that up. I don't find Riley anything like Angel unlike some people. He is a breath of fresh air, some new blood to get to know. I like what he brings. Time will tell what he brings to Buffy.. Let's hope I am investing my interest wisely.

(btw, I had a crush on Opie when I was a kid...how embarrassing..)

She's Buffy
by Sapphire

She's Buffy.

Yep, she sure is. The name doesn't come close to describing the person who bears it.


She thinks I am peculiar.

Like I told her, I can live with that.

Because I think she is peculiar too, and that turned out to be a good thing.

It's funny, I told Willow the truth. I am used to being good at things. Even women. But have you ever met a person of the opposite sex that completely destroyed all of your preconceptions of that sex? I hadn't until I met Buffy Summers.

I think that I thought her odd because when I look at her, I feel like somehow she is seeing into my soul, seeing how inept I feel around her. Considering the way we met, and practically ever other way me met outside of class, it is ironic that I feel that way. She is the one that appears clumsy and uncomfortable. Suddenly these roles are reversed, and I don't like it one bit.

My life was simple before; grade papers, help students, hunt demons, the normal stuff. Now, it's all Buffy. Her image invades my thoughts at the strangest times nowadays. Of course, the fact that I see her in class, on campus, and at night strolling around alone doesn't help any.

She is a girl of strange habits, dangerous habits, and part of me struggles with the desire to come out of hiding every time I see her courting death and shake some sense into her, tell her that she has no idea the risk she is taking with her life. It's almost like she is *asking* for a hostile to come along and dine on her. She's just the kind they would like, too. The protective instinct I have for this girl actually frightens me at times. Like I am no longer in control of my own thoughts and feelings.

Actually, this part of a potential relationship is new to me. I am unused to feeling out of control, out of sorts. She is the powerful one here and it disarms me completely. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something about her that is so *alive*, so in control of her world. When she stood up to Professor Walsh, I almost had a coronary. I thought Walsh would take her head off. It took some mammoth-size balls to stand up to Walsh like that. I felt like applauding. Yet this is the same girl I feel like I have to protect from everything. Pretty ironic that I could perceive her as being so strong and competent, yet so weak and defenseless at the same time. That's not really true, though, I don't think her weak. My need to protect her has nothing to do with her vulnerabilities, it has to do with me not wanting her to have to deal with those vulnerabilities. Me wanting to save her from them altogether.

My conversation with Willow told me one thing about Buffy. She has been hurt very badly, and not just by a bottom-feeder like Parker. I don't think that Buffy would have fallen for Parker if she hadn't been desperately trying to get over someone, or forget someone. There was a fierceness in Willow's eyes when she threatened my death by shovel if I hurt her. I believed her. I am in big trouble if I hurt this girl, I am clear on that. Which reinforces my belief that Buffy has been hurt; Willow has seen her hurt. *Really* hurt. An ass like Parker doesn't have the capability to hurt someone like Buffy so deeply with just a one night stand. There has to be some emotional turmoil inside her to have made her vulnerable to the weasel. Whatever it was, I see a difference in her now. She is more confident, more in control than she has been all year, and it isn't just that she is adjusting to college life. She's finally *in control* of her life. Perhaps that means I have a fighting chance. Perhaps I won't be the transitional man, or the rebound man if I take it slowly. I have to take it slowly..I have to know who she is and what she believes in and if she's trustworthy... that's the only way I could ever be with her. I need to know she can handle the truth about me. I couldn't lie to her about my life if we were involved, it would be too hard.

Sometimes secret identities are a bitch.

But I doubt she would understand that. She is who she is, able to live life without knowing the evil that lurks around at night. I envy that in a way, and it makes me want to protect her.

Geez, I am babbling now..I do sound Teutonic, just like Buffy said.

I am not stupid enough to think I am in love with her or anything, it's waaaaayyyy too soon for any of that. There's just this little spark when I see her that, I feel the need to smile, and be happy around her. I feel the need to make her happy too. I feel the need to make her forget whatever badness she has had to endure in the past. I don't believe in *love* at first sight, that isn't the case at all. It's just the knowledge of what *could* be there, the bizarre feeling that this is the woman that could actually understand who I am, and what I do. My subconscious screams at me to be careful with this one, to be sure of what I want before I act..but I know what I want. I want to know Buffy, because I am pretty sure that when I get to know her, I am going to love her. That should scare me, but it doesn't.

Because she's Buffy. Perhaps that's enough of a description after all.