The Joyce thing is coming and it's breaking my heart! I don't know if I will be able to take it. And I love that her friends are not completely oblivious. Xander just gained like 3000 points in my book because at least he wasn't insisting she chase after Riley this time, her obvious reluctance changed his outlook and that is wonderful.[Report This]
First I've heard of Spike having money. He sure seemed pretty desperate for it in the show! Has she managed to stay out of Riley's bed, because if she has, I have no idea why HE'S with her still, either.
She hasn't managed to avoid it entirely, but I downplayed it heavily. She *had* to expect that as part of the time travel gig, not completely avoidable, but we all know she's not really digging it.
Oh, that's harsh!
I like this chapter. I wondered about the Spike's soul and the time travel, and the thought of Giles makes sense. And I'm really curious about what Spike will choose to do. Regarding Buffy, it was obvious that sooner or later her friends would notice her different attitude, it was only a matter of time. All these changes are dangerous for the time line.[Report This]
Re-reading (and hopefully not spoiling). I forgot about this interesting plot twist with the question of what will happen to Spike's soul by the time that year rolls around. I have no idea if that's planned to be included in Echoes - but I would be very intrigued to see that developed!
That's sequel territory. I started laying groundwork early. At the time, I wanted to put the question on the table, to make Buffy have to voice her thoughts on the matter, and Spike, too. Echoes 1 wraps up before we get to that point in time, so this ends up being a question for the yet-untitled Echoes 2.
I just realized something. Every single outing to Riley is a mission. He doesn't see the big picture the long mission. Nightly patrols? They are the mission to him but not for Buffy. Defeating evil is the mission and it is just one long mission that lasts for eternity no matter who the slayer is. That is why he and Buffy were never going to work out. For him is a bunch of really cool missions back to back. Not a sacred calling to fight evil. And he will never understand the difference.
Ooh! Great point! I had him use the word "mission" to describe the job in Fair Trades because it sounded like him, but I never actually put any thought into his use of it. A simple patrol or "demon of the day" situation is the mission to him. Riley doesn't even HAVE a big picture. You're so right.
My take on it was always that Buffy was right in "Doomed," and should have followed her instincts to drop him right then. Of course, her reasoning was rather Angel-focused, I think. My reasoning is slayer focused. Riley didn't "get" the sacred calling, didn't understand who and what a slayer is. And he didn't even think he needed to learn. Doomed.
So I was in the ballpark of the same train of thought as you, but not exactly there.
Finally!!! About damned time she caught up with the rest of us and realized that Spike never needed to make that trip to Africa and go through all that bloody, literally, torture and pain! He never needed that soul to begin with, he was already a damned good, if at time's, confused man!
Oh how I love this story!!!!!
The question becomes, does Spike think the soul is necessary? Thanks for reviewing!
Aaah! How does he know Harmony won't kill Cordy in this changed 'verse?
Hmm, a Giles and Riley team-up to stop Spike?
*squee!!!* And Xander's noticing too! Excellent. THis is delightful.
<I>“Yea, good friends keep your secrets. Mine always interrogate me about them.”</I> Yes, but good friends know your secrets although Joyce did because she figured it out.
<I>“I said that if I'd wanted someone with superpowers, I'd be dating... you.” / Spike cringed on Riley's behalf. “And when he came back to town a year later...”</I> Bwah-ha-ha!
Hmm, possible soulless Spike. That's be interesting.
The superpowers Buffy/Riley conversation didn't happen in this new timeline, which makes total sense, because this Buffy wouldn't want to say that. But telling Spike about how it went the first time around was too fun to pass up. It also served a purpose: Spike seeing Riley's perspective on how everything happened, and feeling guilty about it, something that wouldn't/couldn't have happened the first time around.
There are definitely changes afoot with Xander. I think you'll like where it leads.
Thanks for reviewing!
I like that she recognizes that he doesn't need his soul. I'm really enjoying this story
Yea, it's kind of a huge step, but it needed to be taken, because accepting him as a vamp with a soul is a very different thing from accepting him as a vamp who chooses to have one. Thanks for reviewing!
LOVE that she is not insisting he keep the soul! Shw really sees him now, clearly.
I struggled throughout this story with improving their relationship in what felt like a natural, honest way, without losing sight of the fact that these are both flawed, baggage-laden people. It turned out to be a difficult balancing act, and this 'to keep or not to keep' conversation about the soul is the beginning of me putting myself on the tightrope. I hope it continues to be as well received. Thanks for the review, Kathleen!
whoa, did not see that bit about Spike losing his soul coming.
It's just a 'maybe,' and it's the not the biggest surprise coming down the line. What comes next might just knock your socks off! At least, I hope it will. Thanks for the review!
Ugh will Riley be gone soon? Like back to Iowa and his farm where there are actual girls that want a big strong man to protect them? Because I can't stand him. Never could, never will. For some reason he thinks he knows more about demons and good vs. evil than Buffy or her friends. He's been at this a year tops? He knows nothing. So Buffy doesn't need Spike to have a soul huh? Plus she's going to have the chip taken out? Holy Cow!
All that, and we're almost to the part where it starts getting fun. Hang on tight! Thanks for the review!
This story is epic already! I am falling in llove with Spike and Buffy all over again
That's a pretty grand compliment this early in the story. *takes a bow* I hope that opinion holds. Thanks for reviewing!
Uh oh, I have a bad feeling about Riley. Buffy is more take-charge than usual, and its only going to inflame his self-esteem and inferiority issues. Spike better watch his back. At least Xander was trying to be a good friend. Still sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, but his heart was in the right place. He just wants to see Buffy happy. It makes my heart happy to see Buffy's faith in Spike. Now if only he could get a little faith in himself. Great chapter.
'OMG, Xander's going to be a total asshat about this, isn't he?" seems to be a recurring theme in the commentary I've received. You're among the few who caught exactly what I was going for: He's genuinely trying to be a good friend... even if he's going about it in a rather inept way. As for Buffy's faith in Spike, it was building in Season 7. This is just what happens when there's time and space to let it play out. And that makes my heart happy, too. Thanks for the review!
Here we could see another problem if you go back in time. The fact that you have changed and don't understand how you thought that time. We can also see that people are noticing the small differences. Harmony has survived and Spike and Clem can be friends, all good. Buffy and Spike has some really good, calm and friendly interaction, they are comfortable together and are planning well. Buffy said some good things at the end. A chance for Spike to get rid of the soul, I can only hope.
I think you're the only reviewer who caught the significance of Buffy not understanding why she handled Harmony's invite the way she did the first time around. A lot of people are happy she's taking a different approach with Dawn (myself included, as I believe saving that sisterly relationship through more mature interactions is the shortest road to making Dawn a likeable character). But there's a big picture implication in the Fair Trades version of Real Me. I pointed out that Buffy's thought processes have changed over time because that's the reason the small differences ARE noticeable, for both travelers. Sure, they remember what happened the first time, and are capable of mimicking it, but they look at the world around them differently now, and hindsight is easily blurred by the way we see things from our current perspectives. It's unreasonble to expect Season 7, war-hardened, broken relationships suffering, General Buffy to treat people the same way Season 5, 'slaying is just a job, not who I am,' 'my friends and family will always be there, no matter what,' Buffy. She's a different person, and hiding it is a lot harder than it looks.
Thanks for the review!
Love how Buffy is more mature the "second" time round. Hoping for some Joyce bonding in the future maybe?
Yep, we'll be seeing some more Joyce stuff very soon. I freakin' loved writing those scenes. She's a joy to write, especially since we're long past the Becoming era mother-daughter problems, and she's gotten used to Buffy's slayer lifestyle. Also, she plays Scrabble with Spike. How fun is that? Thanks for reviewing!
This is a neat "back in time" re-do with intention story. It's a relief to see Buffy having matured over a few years and having become more emotionally intelligent. It's also interesting to see Spike's actions and reactions in the original timeline now that he's her trusted backup, and has a soul/conscience. i so hope they can make it through Glory without any of them dying this time.
'Neat' right now. 'Interesting' soon. 'Complicated' later. Brace yourself: Craziness is coming. On the plus side, as the plot and the relationships get more weighty and complex, there are also more funny moments. I want you to ENJOY the ride, not ENDURE it. Hopefully, you'll be interested in staying with it after we've passed the 'neat' stage. :P Thanks for reviewing!
I rather like the 'us against them' thing that Buffy and Spike have going on. They always made a good team when Buffy wasn't being too self-righteous and denying that she needed him.
Xander being his usual judgemental 'I know what's best for Buffy and have every right to do all I can to make sure she does things the way I think she should' self. I honestly don't know how Buffy managed to stop herself punching him on his intrusive nose!
It's good that Buffy is being more tolerant of Dawn and showing how much she cares *before* the Glory thing.
Looking forward to Riley dumpage, and wondering whether somone is going to be Tothed and split in half...
The 'Spike and Buffy as a working team' thing continues to develop as the story moves along, almost independently of other aspects of their relationship. A big reason for the General/Lieutenant nicknames is so they can verbally put each other into 'work' mode, function as a team, not a couple. Of course there's overlap between the two relationships, but they're on a long term job, which forces them to juggle the two situations.
As for Xander, much like the adjustments to some other relationships, it's going to be a bit of a process. But I think you'll like the way the arc plays out for him.
Dawn was probably the only ruined relationship that could be saved, rather than repaired, because they jumped back in time to before it was ever broken. It's a clean slate.
I skipped over the Toth thing entirely, after much internal debate about episode coverage. I finally decided it didn't matter. Did it play out exactly as it did in canon? Slightly differently? Or did Buffy slay the SOB before Xander got split in two? In the long run, it doesn't really effect the story. Three things came out of The Replacement: 1. Xander got an apartment. (I acknowledged that with a single line about putting up curtains. Base covered.) 2. Xander noticed things weren't quite right between Buffy and Riley. (I put in that he'd had the opportunity to observe them on double dates. Base covered.) 3. Xander started showing a little more practical and emotional maturity. (He was getting there, anyway. The 'jump start' from the not-evil twin wasn't essential.) So whether the Toth thing happened or not -and whether or not Xan and Riley had that Buffy conversation when they were packing up Xander's basement- is really up to the reader. Choose your own head canon. :P
Thanks for the review!
I am truly enjoying this more adult relationship between these two. It was starting to get there in season 7 but your story is taking the friendship to such a wonderful place. Cheers!
Every time I see a review that touches on this, I get excited that my ideas are translating to the page well. That's what I was going for: The relationship they were developing in late season 7 plus time to work with it. Things were finally starting to get better between them, and looked like it could get into some really territory, and then BOOM. Joss went all 'redemptive character arc' on us in the finale, and gave us a Spuffy variant of the 'Tara and Willow get back together just in time for a death scene' thing. Evil genius at its best/worst. Thanks for the review!
*really good territory
Yay for missing the important words. Would you believe my hobby is writing? *headdesk*
Knightowl, you're spoiling me. I've already gotten in the habit of looking for your happy dance whenever I go through my unanswered reviews. I'll be heartbroken if you stop leaving them for me. :P
Mmmph, I love this. Time travel stories are like my kryptonite - whenever I see one I have to stop whatever I'm doing immediately and read it! - and this is shaping up very nicely. I love where Buffy and Spike are in their relationship - emotionally and physically close, but not quite there yet - and I love how you portray it. I also love the little hints from the text about upcoming themes, esp the repairing of Spike and Dawn's relationship. Great job, can't wait for the next part :)
The best part about the Dawn relationship (for both travelers) is that they came back to a time before any of the damage was done. There's a little light, 'big sister thinks I'm a dumb kid' stuff between Buffy and Dawn, which is easily overcome, and that's really it. Remember the advice Spike gave Buffy about her in chapter one. If they both take that advice, we're looking at a very different scenario. As for being 'not quite there yet,' that's exactly what I was going for. I'm gratified to know that's translating well from my head to the (virtual) page. Thanks for reviewing!