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Crisis of Faith

Title: Crisis of Faith
Rating: PG
Words ~800
Character/Pairing: Riley, Riley/Buffy
Setting: BTVS S4/S5


Riley tugged at his tie, noticing how tight it felt around his neck, how heavy the fabric of his Sunday best weighed down on his skin, how humid and muggy the air in the church felt. He’d never had a hard time reading the printed words in front of him, always read the bible, never just seen the words and had them pass through his mind unnoticed. Nothing like that had ever happened to him.

“Hey look at you. You’re all dressy.” Buffy smiled as she pushed open the door. “Is it a special day or something?”

“It’s Sunday.” Riley said, as he adjusted his tie in the mirror.

Buffy leaned against the wall as she gazed at him. For all she was reacting he might as well have said ‘you are blonde’. A fact, no implication to be taken from it.

“Church.” He clarified.

Realization flickered in Buffy’s eyes. “Ah. That’s right. I forgot you’re mister Good Christian Boy, aren’t you?”

He laughed softly to himself. “You know, you’d figure I could remember how to tie these things by now… it’s only been more than two decades.”

“Here,” she said with a soft smile, “Let me,” her hands were softer than the silk of the tie as she set about getting it in order. “So Church… I guess I never really understood religion. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do Christmas and Easter but…” she shrugged.

“You should come with me.” He said with a smile.

Buffy paused, fingers stroking the fabric of the tie. “I don’t think so…”

“Why not? It’ll be fun, and I’m sure that it will touch your heart just as it touched mine…”

“It just doesn’t make sense to me.”


Riley casts his gaze around the church. He recalls himself at five years old, staring with wide eyes, wide ears, and wider heart at the priest, as the words would fill him and his soul. He wonders where the words have gone and what the rushing silence is that fills him now. Every Sunday of his life had been spend in good company in God’s house, so why now after all these years was he so alone among all these people?

“It’s not about making sense, Buffy. It just is. It’s about hope, and faith, and being good.” Riley said, adjusting the tie to fit perfectly in the center, after Buffy had tied it.

She sat down on his bed. “You don’t need a several thousand year old book to tell you how to be good, Riley. Besides, it isn’t right about everything. I mean…” she waved her hands, beckoning examples towards her. “Oh! Witches and gays. Kinda describes my best friend. And she’s not bad. In fact her magic is helpful, but the bible is all- kill the witches!”

“So it’s a little out of date.” He said, voice cracking with defense. “But God… he makes everyone and loves them all.”

“And hey, what about demons and other dimensions and curses and weird apocalypse demon things. What about those? Don’t really fit in with Christianity- the things we deal with on a daily basis. The things we kill on a daily basis.” Her eyes rolled towards the ceiling, “Wow, I’m channeling Giles.”


His eyes floated down the row of people sitting at the pew at a blonde haired boy. He looked towards the priest with blue eyes shimmering. It was the look of a boy being told his favorite story, about to come to the very best part. Eager, filled with anticipation. And more than any of that, he looked with trust.

Trust that he would not be lied to, and in exchange would give his heart over unquestioningly.

Riley shook his head.

“You can’t just go around insulting people’s beliefs, Buffy!” He said, anger rising. “You know, some view points are valid besides yours.”

“And what about your viewpoint on the Initiative. You were so sure they were good, and look what happened!” Buffy rose to her feet. “It’s just like this church thing, all dogmatic and… Maggie was playing God. I mean she even called her creation Adam! I just wish you’d think a little bit more about things for once. I’m not Christian… but I’m a good person.”

Riley shifted his weight, waiting for a come back to hit him. Instead, he settled for the storm out. “I’m late.”

Riley absently thanked the priest as he left the building. “Thank you, Father… it’s been an eye opening day.” As he loosened the tie around his neck he reminded himself to ask Buffy to the movies next Sunday morning.

Comments

beer_good_foamy
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Lehane is an Irish (or possibly Scottish) name, as far as I know, and I'm told Boston is full of people whose great-grandfather grew potatoes somewhere outside Galway. Not that I think Faith was ever a very GOOD catholic, but... :-)
rayruz
Sep. 29th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
Fascinating. (*didn't realize that at all*)