Ooh, and a new player enters... Wonder who?? Kinda have an idea, just going to keep it to myself though, always love the unexpected and doesn't see the need to possibly publicly ruining anything for everyone else!!
So didn't see the old Tara's memories making an appearance!! Brilliant surprise!!!
OK, has to read more!!!
Still seriously loving this story!!!!
Hehe. I love your enthusiasm!
hmmmm. I wonder who that is. (PS I know I enjoyed the argument! )
That makes you exactly the third person to say so... and I include myself in that count. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was beginning to think my idea of fun and funny was completely freakish. :P
LOVE this chapter. Can't wait to see what is happening behind the scenes.
I'm glad it is Tara from heaven. She has another chance without having her life cut short.
"enough power in this room to bring down this entire plane of existence, and none of those people are your allies. You should leave.” GREAT line!
Can I tell you a secret? I didn't want to write Tara stuttering. Really, that's what triggered it. All that you've seen of her so far- and all that you will see of this 'back from the dead and time traveling' Tara- all started with the thought, 'I don't want her to stutter.' I didn't know why, and I didn't have an in-universe reason, but I just could not make myself write in the stutter in the early drafts of Time's Colors. I was giving her clear, strong speech, without any solid reason for it. When I was coming up on "Family" in the timeline, and was about to have Tara call in Spike's IOU, I had a light bulb moment, as the idea of her as a resurrected traveler was born. I think I actually said out loud, "Oh! *that's* why she doesn't stutter!"
The 'entire plane of existence' line was another one of those first draft lines that I tried to rewrite more than once, and ended up going back to the original, time and time again. I have a lot of failings as a writer, but my saving grace is that when I hit a great line, I usually know it, even if I try to talk myself out of it. Thanks for reviewing!
Loved this chapter. What is up with the PTB? They say S&B are changing too much but then they go and change it MORE by bringing Tara back? (And BTW, yay! Tara!) I liked the banter during their sparring session and I'm curious about what the PTB are up to now...
Well, for starters, Whistler is inconsistent, in addition to being annoying. If you aren't rooting for Buffy to deck him yet, you will be soon. For the PTB, it's all about the mission, all about the long game. What other interest would they have? They think Tara will be useful for that. Everything else is extraneous. Where the travelers see a chance to correct their entire lives, from that era on, the PTB sees a simple, defined mission.
Thanks for reviewing!
Whistler didn't like that they had changed some things, but did he really think they wouldn't? So Tara was sent back, in a different way, but still sent back. I didn't think about it before, but she was a lot less shy than usual. She didn't have her memories, but she had something. It reminds me of the story "Pandora's boxers" when Spike was sent back, without memories but he kept his character development. I can see Tara's situation a bit like that. Now that she has her memories things could get a bit awkward with Willow.
Spike and Buffy has left the argument behind them and are back to a teasing, flirty friendship. Joyce has seen the changes between Buffy and Spike. From her point of view (and everyone else without the knowledge), this has happened during a short time. So it makes perfect sense that she got worried, she didn't know that what she said would be such a touchy subject though. I like how Buffy at once worried that Joyce had staked Spike after seeing her sweeping the floor and wanting to tell Buffy something about Spike. Buffy said some good things to Joyce here. For Spike this was two touchy subjects, Angel (as we also could see in the argument in the former chapter) and hurting Buffy.
Buffy wanted him to just snap out of it, just like she wanted in season 7. Thanks to Tara he got to work it out himself, and he did. I did like Buffy's note though. This chapter also pointed out that everyone is noticing that something is different about Buffy and Spike. It also seems like the Guardian wasn't impressed with the Powers and Whistlers work. I wonder what she will do?
I've been playing Tara more confident from her first scene, as hint that she wasn't the Tara we knew. But the first hints I dropped about her being a fellow traveler were actually prior to her first scene. Fortunately for Tara, her reputation for being shy and quiet makes hiding from non-travelers a little easier than it does for the formerly chatty Buffy. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Joyce is observant. She saw a lot in Buffy's face when Buffy's mind put "we need to talk about Spike" and 'mom is holding a broom' together in her head. As for the conversation immediately before, you can't help but feel a little sorry for Joyce. She meant well, but had no idea there were landmines underfoot. Buffy's commentary about a friendship between her and Spike was one of those things I kept trying to edit for clarity, and kept coming back to the original version. It's not super clear what she means. That there's a stable friendship? That there's a friendship behind something more? What exactly is the stability between them? I stopped trying to 'fix' that paragraph when I realized the reason I kept going back to the original version was that it sounded like Buffy: not totally clear, but still revealing, and not perfect in her word choices. (Come on! 'Stable'? Really? She obviously didn't think that speech through ahead of time.)
When all of this came about right on the heels of Tara's memory restoration, *I* breathed a sigh of relief Buffy had Tara around as a sounding board. She needed someone sensible to tell her to back off. Of course, she couldn't leave it *completely* alone, hence the note. It was her compromise between dragging him home and leaving him alone. For once, she seemed to strike the right balance.
Thanks for reviewing, Magnus! I appreciate it!
Oooooh, a new mystery is unraveling! How very exciting!!!
What? That last scene? Pfft! What makes you think that's of any importance? But I'm glad I'm still keeping your interest, Blacklily. More soon!
An intriguing end to this chapter, with the sense that conflicting forces (or at least alternative opinions) are in play, unbeknownst to the characters. I like that not even the readers fully know. Meanwhile, the last couple of chapters have given a varied view of character interactions as they all settle into the new dynamic. Buffy and Spike have maturity and equilibrium, but it's not perfect. It reflects the time they came from where they were trusted partners but not lovers and had not gone through all stages of forgiveness. It's also interesting to see how this new dynamic between them is seen by people who have all the expectations, history, and prejudices of the characters in the timeline where Buffy and Spike arrived. It's interesting that Whistler instructs Buffy/Spike to avoid changing the timeline, but Tara's ability to change certain things is granted as a boon. Cool.
Whistler is so annoying. His visit in Heaven Sent comes down to basically, "Stop changing so much! Now here's someone to help you change things." What does he expect them to do with *that*? Don't you just want to slap him? We'll be getting more deeply into the shifted relationships in some upcoming chapters, but first, we're going to have a little fun. Look at where we are on the calender / episode history. Is it Fool for Love time already? :D Thanks for the review!
I enjoyed how you handled Tara's birthday confrontation with her family. I also liked the peek Xander had at the two sparring friends. Hopefully the little things will help him see better than big confrontation might.
Thank you for another update. I like your tale and the little snippets of more things to come that you tease with the last bit.
I didn't want to drastically change the Tara vs. her dad moment, because it was pretty cool to start with. I just gave it a little extra boost of tougher (slightly older, slightly wiser, back from the dead) Tara and threw in less playful and more staunch support from Buffy. Sure the 'she's a hair puller' exchange with Dawn was cute, but Buffy threatening Mr. Maclay in a fairly straightforward way fits this time traveling version of Buffy better. Xander is definitely piecing things together, even Whistler has acknowledged that. Like most of the other Scooby relationships, change is afoot. Thanks for the review!
Who is the elderly woman at the end?? I seriously doubt that she's a 'white hat', from the way she spoke. I'm glad that Tara is 'in the loop'; maybe she can calm the waters with the rest of the Scoobies. Thanks for the update!
Just having Tara around to calm the waters between the other travelers is wonderful. *Someone* needed to tell Buffy to back off and let Spike have a little breathing room. Thanks for continuing to review!
Oh, tara too ! Yippeee!
Oh, now this is an intriguing development.... is the tall elderly woman perchance the Guardian?
Please tell me you saw the Tara twist coming. I'm so desperate for someone to notice the foreshadowing of her as a traveler, I've started dropping hints. hehe. Thanks for continuing to review! I appreciate it!
I was doing the happy dance. All excited, because I love Tara! She has learned some life lessons as well, and I love this more confident side of her. You kept Joyce's voice from the show true, annoying, but true. I really love how Buffy and Spike's relationship is coming along and how she expained she was never friends with Angel, like she is with Spike. So I was pretty freakin' happy, then you had to go and drop in that last scene, and now I'm worried. Freakin' PTB! They are always up to badness. I hope it all turns out well. Thanks for sharing.
Like a lot of Echoes, I didn't plan the 'Joyce pisses off Spike' moment so much as it just happened, and I figured out what to do with it after. In retrospect, Joyce, Spike, and Buffy all needed that to happen, for their characters. Sure, Joyce has a good friendship with Spike. That doesn't mean she'll never piss him off, especially since she doesn't have much of an understanding of where the sensitive ground is. The relationship needs that touch of realism, of imperfection. Spike may be coming along pretty well with the aftermath of the soul/First Evil mind-jacking stuff, but he's still a little off-kilter sometimes, and some pressure points that may have gotten nothing more than snark and a growl pre- season 7 (like Angel stuff) are going to cause different reactions now. And Buffy needed to find some middle ground between forcing Spike come home and leaving him to his own devices, hence the note after 3 days of absence. Of course, Buffy was the one who needed help controlling her reaction. (Thank you, Tara!) So yea, Joyce screwed up, and she was a little annoying, but it wasn't malice. It was motherly concern mixed with ignorance of things she couldn't possibly know. And it was something that turned out to be good for our heroes. Thanks for reviewing!
Tara needed that boost. She always sold herself short. In my opinion she was a better witch than Willow. Willow used her power to make things how she wanted them. Tara at least seemed to understand and respect the laws of nature better. Except when she helped to bring Buffy back in the original timeline. But a confident Tara? She will be a force to be reckoned with.
I've been trying to show an unusual level of confidence in Tara up to this point: no stutter, moments of strong speech, going to Giles solo, etc. I wanted to hint that she was different from the Tara we knew in Season 5, just a little bit of foreshadowing worked into the character's overall presentation. (Although the first 2 bits of foreshadowing of Tara the Fellow Time Traveler were before her first scene). Now that she knows who she is and what the future history looks like, she's definitely going to be stronger. I think you'll love her. And the fact that she doesn't know all the details of what happened after the shooting, an entire year that was so pivotal to the Spike and Buffy relationship, will keep the dynamic between her and the other travelers interesting and fun. As for your opinion of Willow, you're not the only one, not by a long shot. Thanks for the review!
Spike slipped into her bedroom early the following morning. He crouched beside her bed. “Buffy?” he whispered. “I'm home, love.”
I just love this line, and actually the whole section about Spike working through his stuff. Nicely written.
The end is intriguing. Was that a guardian? Hmmmm....
There are usually a few lines per chapter that define that chapter in my head. For Heaven Sent, 'I'm home, love' is one of them. There's so much in those three words (in context): the comfortable, casual acknowledgment of where home is, the need to tell her he was back the second he was, the subtle statement (by the timing) that her note nudged him home, etc. Sometimes the simplest lines are the ones that reasonate the most, both in fiction and reality. What people say is often far less than what we hear (or should hear). Thank you so much for the kind review!