by Gypsy Gray
"Riley, help me get her on the couch."
When Spike carried Xander's unconscious body from the room Wesley took charge. He sent Oz off to fetch the items he needed from the magical supplies they'd brought with them. Doyle was tending a near catatonic Cordelia, Angel was helping Giles rouse Willow, and Riley was holding Buffy. The young man had a lost look on his face. It was one Wesley was familiar with. Something had just drastically altered the younger man's world view, and not in a good way.
"The couch Riley. Put her on the couch." The former watcher spoke gently this time. Riley Finn was not going to have an easy time of it from here on. Wesley was too familiar with the ex-soldiers current situation to feel pity, but he did feel empathy for him. He'd walked the road the younger man was just getting a clear view of.
Oz came back with the herbs and a small amulet. Wesley used all the tricks Xander had taught him. The extract of one root to speed up her own natural healing. A paste made of crushed leaves and horn to repair the damage done to her skeletal system. The root and the paste were mixed together and the brunette Englishman placed a small amount into the Slayer's mouth. Laying the amulet on her chest he chanted a short phrase in a language so old there was no name for it. When he lifted his hand it was clear that the amulet had attached itself to Buffy's skin.
"The power in the amulet will distribute the potion through her system, more will need to be added everytime the stone turns red. When it goes from brown to silver it's ready to be removed, just put your hand over it and press down gently. It will crumple like a dried leaf. No scars, no mess, no dead Slayer."
"No thanks to you!"
Willow was glaring down at Wesley. She loomed over him while he was kneeling next to the couch, but when he stood up she seemed impossibly small. The Englishman calmly removed his glasses and handed them to Oz. The werewolf tugged Riley out of the way by his sleeve, and then leaned against the arm of the couch to watch the show.
"Right. I have had all I'm going to take from you."
"From me?! This is probably all your fault. Admit it you screwed up some spell and that's what's making everyone act like this."
"No one is acting like anything but themselves. Giles is a tired man who lost the only person he ever valued to their own hunger for power, Buffy is a spoiled judgmental bitch who should do the world a favor and just bloody die already, Angel is a vampire with a soul and a guilty conscious and all the neurosis that go along with that, Doyle is a resurrected prophetic halfling who's more concerned with Angel's ass then service to a higher power, Cordelia is a penniless princess with next to no concern for anyone but herself and she still manages to be less of a twat then Buffy, Riley is in the first stages of a nervous breakdown, Spike is a fully functioning and seriously pissed off vampire, Xander is a warlock with a short temper, Oz is a werewolf and my mate, you are a greedy grasping nasty little slag, and I AM FUCKING SICK OF THIS!!!"
Wesley used a controlled blast of magic to knock Willow out cold. It flowed out of his left hand in a stream of green light, fed by his anger and worry for his family it slammed the red head backward and deposited her on the other side of the room. Those few remaining individuals who were conscious and/or having a nervous breakdown left her there.
"Will Xander be alright?"
The Englishman put his classes back on before looking at Riley. He was pale and shaking, and he hadn't looked at Buffy once. Wesley guided him from the livingroom to Spike and Xander's bedroom. Opening the door a little he allowed the younger man to see Xander resting safely in Spike's arms. Leading Riley back to the room he and Oz shared, he heard his lover close the door behind them.
It was easy to strip off Finn's shoes and socks. The belt was a little harder and Wes was glad the man was wearing loose slacks instead of jeans. Oz pushed Riley to the bed and removed his shirt. Then the werewolf settled the ex-soldier on his side and spooned up behind him. Wesley climbed in from the other side, and he wasn't surprised at all when Riley buried his face in his chest. He simply put his arm around the blonde and held on. It was more then anyone but his family had ever done for him...it was the only thing he could do for Riley.
"Bitch. Bitch. Bitch."
Wesley woke to the sound of Riley chanting and pounding the mattress at the end of the bed. Oz moved to stop him, but
Wes stilled his lover. Motioning toward the door he watched Oz pull on a t-shirt and leave the room before turning his
attention back to the blonde. Riley was still hitting the mattress, only instead of chanting he was crying. Silent sobs
shook his whole body, while the force of his fists shook the bed.
The older man slipped from the bed and pulled his own discarded shirt on. Moving back to the bed he put his hands on the
shaking man's shoulders and rubbed softly up and down his back. Riley turned and wrapped his arms around Wesley. Burying his
face in the brunette's abdomen, Riley began to cry even harder. Wes hugged him close and gently brushed the tangled hair
away from a sweaty forehead.
Xander and Spike came in followed by Spike. A warm lavender glow surrounded the hand Xander ran across Riley's forehead.
The ex-commando's tears stopped and he rose to his feet. Facing Xander he stared deep into the younger man's eyes. The
warlock smiled softly and hugged the blonde. Riley wrapped his arms around the smaller man and buried his face in Xander's
"I'm sorry." Riley pulled away and squared his shoulders. Taking a deep breath he faced Oz. "I'm sorry. I have no
excuse. What I did to you was wrong and I'm sorry."
"I know. Wes is an empath. He's also my mate. He knows you're sorry, I know you're sorry."
"Thank you Oz. Wes..."
"It's quite alright Mr. Finn. We all make mistakes."
Riley was shaking when he turned to face Spike. The vampire stared at him with icy blue eyes. His expression gave away
nothing, but when Xander touched his arm his whole body changed. Softening his gaze, he pushed tussled bangs off the
"I know you're sorry. Forget it. You be ready when we leave, we'll get you sorted out once we're home."
Riley was crying again. This time Spike was holding him. Xander stroked his forehead, his hand once again glowing. The
blonde was asleep in moments. Spike laid an emotionally exhausted Riley on the bed and led his lover from the room. When he
turned back to shut the door, he saw Wes and Oz on the bed with Riley between them. Nodding in satisfaction he walked back
to the room he and his mate shared.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah Kitten. I thought we'd be taking someone home with us, didn't think it would be him though."
"He won't stay with us long. His place isn't with us."
"You've seen it?"
"No, just a feeling. Wes seems very protective of him."
"They have a misery or two in common, makes for fast friendships."
"Come to bed Spike, I need you to hold me."
"Til my arms fall off Kitten."