I really like this story so far. The only thing that leaves me puzzled is Buffy calling Spike "Sparky." I'm a foreigner and to me it just sounds a bit off. Like a dog's name, really. I realize that it's a nod to his soul but am I missing something else since she keeps using it?[Report This]
“Buffy...” Spike's eyes met hers as a realization struck him. “'Tara is going to stand in. Let her.'”
*slapping myself again for missing it the first time*
"I would need a stronger power source, and if it's someone actively using it -like you, Buffy, or Willow- I'd probably leave that person noticeably weakened."
Hmm... Weakening Willow might not be such a bad thing, but, then her figuring out why she was weakened would be, I suppose. Shame that wouldn't have worked out. even after reading the latest chapter where she looks like she'll agree to go to the coven for training, I have a feeling that if/when the cat gets out of the bag and things go all to hell, she's going to be the one responsible for it.
I do like that Tara is becoming more actively involved in things, even if putting herself in the line of fire seems slightly ooc. I can reconcile the ooc-ness by remembering where she was previous to this - she knows both the risks involved and what the potential downside will entail better than anyone else, except of course Buffy. Still, I'm hoping she won't end up being a disposable decoy. I always liked her character and thought Willow was a lot more likable when she was around. (Just HATED Kennedy and the fiasco of a "relationship" that was shown in S7).
I'm beginning to wonder (in part because of your re-read reviews) if Echoes will be one of those stories that drives you nuts if you read it a chapter at time, and makes a lot more sense if you binge read it. The references and carry overs from chapter to chapter (sometimes quite a few chapters apart) are only just beginning. I made an effort to ease the readers into it. The first 'foreshadowing to major event' turn around was only a few chapters apart (though I haven't seen a single review that acknowledged the foreshadowing, even after the reveal, so I think it just went unnoticed). The first direct line carry over is probably 'Tara is going to stand in. Let her.' A joke in chapter 9 makes its first appearance as an occasionally recurring gag in chapter 15. And it goes on from there. In short, there are a lot of threads woven through this story, but you won't be reminded of them on a chapter to chapter basis. So it's likely Echoes will be better liked as a 'binge read' piece.
I loved having a chance to write a strong Tara. I felt like we never really got to know her in the series. She wasn't written as much more than Willow's shy, witchy arm candy. The few great Tara moments we got showed us someone who was kind, gentle, and an honest adviser, but with a well-hidden protective streak. (Remember her yelling at people to 'back off' when they were trying to pressure trying-to-be-on-the-wagon Willow into using magic?) But they were only tastes of what the character could be, and were never fully developed. Joss and co.'s under-utilization and under-development of Tara left us a lot of room to to play out here in the fanfic world. I took that opening, added in a little 'I bailed out of heaven for this' mission focus and associated confidence, and let her go. She ended up being in the running for my favorite character... even if she is a little love blind about Willow on occasion. ;)
And I'm right there with you on Kennedy. I still have yet to imagine a viable excuse for that character even existing. The closest I can come up with is 'Joss secretly hated the audience.'
Bring on the scythe! Poor Anya but glad Spike realized she might be in danger (and that Giles saw Spikr genuinely upset that Anya was hurt). Love this story.
Yup! Scythe-seeking is coming! Yea, it's nice that Spike thought things might go wrong for Anya, but it would have been nicer still if he'd thought of that before he put her in danger by changing something without thinking ahead. See what happens when you try to do something nice for Buffy? hehe. Glad you're still enjoying it, Kathleen. Given your previous commentary, I think you'll love chapter 12.
I'm getting excited. I agree about not sure I like Tara being bait in replacing Dawn as the key. Didn't want her to die either. I mean what will that do to Willow. But if they're successful and Tara doesn't die well a bit hip hooray and also the fact that the changing of history created consequences in the form of a wounded Anya. That was very well done didn't see that one coming at all. I had thought of similar changes like that if Glory didn't get the transmogrifer and Giles didn't sell it to her but I never thought of that scenario. Bravo.
I started this chapter (like many others) not knowing how I wanted it to play out. I thought of Spike calling in the Scoobies (great for all the personal relationships), and then considered Buffy being right, that Anya would kill Glory's Key-sniffing snake idea without even knowing it, because she was the one who knew about the ingredients for the transmogrification spell. But then I realized something: Anya's honest by default. She may have done a lot of sneaky stuff to get wishes when she was a demon, but those were always planned maneuvers, likely frequently reused ones. She's not practiced as an on-the-fly liar, especially as a human. In short, how would she -not knowing who she was dealing with, nor having a window on the future- pull off lying about the spell ingredients? She wouldn't. She'd get caught. And suddenly, Spike's 'trying to be the good boyfriend' moment gets crushed under the weight of almost getting Anya killed. Even I didn't see it coming until I stumbled onto it! Thanks for the kind review!
Love that Tara is a big part of the team ! Thanks for the update, love this story. SO glad you are incorporating Tara in such a major way. Thanks !
This is not the direction you are going but..... Could they use Dawn as a power source? As a carrier of power she might work, plus that power should 'feel' like the key ..... I can't remember if she knows she is the key yet I don't think so..... if she doesn't they need to tell her so she doesn't find out on her own and freak out again....... pay no attention to me this is just me la la laing off on my own tangent.
Dawn as a power source is a really cool idea! I hadn't even considered that! Yes, she knows, as of Precious Gifts (chapter 7). I'm thrilled everyone is excited by Tara's role in this. I got the impression people were afraid I'd put her in as a traveler, but leave her sort of on the outs from the action. Nope. She's in the mix, right where she needs to be. :)
It's a good plan. Except for the digging. Lots and lots of digging and chipping away at rocks. Tara needs to be careful. She's sounding like she has a death wish.
You know, I hadn't actually considered 'Tara has a death wish,' but that's a fair interpretation. It does sort of come off that way, doesn't it? Mostly, I was trying to establish her motivation in a simple and clear way: She left heaven for this mission, to help the other travelers save the world and change Willow's path before it goes too 'dark.' The mission matters a lot to her. It isn't the only thing that matters, but one doesn't give up heaven just to play around on the edges. She's in it. All the way. Thanks for reviewing!
That was brilliant! I really like having Tara 'in the know' with Buffy and Spike. Also, she knows how to keep a cool.head and think objectively thereby seeing the bigger picture! Loved this chapter. Thank you for sharing your talent with the rest of us.
They need her more than they think they do. At the very least, she's a good referee! :P Thank you for the kind words!
It was nice of Spike, sending the Scoobies to help Buffy with the waiting. It also seemed to make them think better of him. Too bad for Anya that she got hurt. Giles talk about Anya and Spike at the magic box was a bit of a touchy subject for Buffy, so her feelings are there. She need to talk more about them with Spike, she hasn't been very clear about them. Having Tara as a decoy could be dangerous for her, but it's also a good plan. I'm a bit worried about them leaving Anya, Xander and Willow on the outside. I understand that it's easier to work with the people who knows, but it could lead to problems.
For the relationships, calling in the Scoobies for Buffy was a great play. For the mission, not so much. It changed who Glory dealt with at the Magic Box. As for the 'Spike and Anya at the Magic Box' baggage, that's definitely something that needs to be kicked in the ditch, but -typical Buffy- some things still get swept under the rug as much as they can be, until they come crawling out from under it and bite her ankles. Thanks for reviewing!
This continues to be such an amazing blend of good characterization AND story development. A little scared for Tara, but can't wait to see what happens next. And I love that Spike called the scoobies to the hospital for buffy. <3
Thank you! That's a wonderful compliment!
I hate the idea of using Tara as a decoy. As logical as it sounds, its terrifying. I don't want her to die. As much as I love this new team formation, I'm getting the feeling that excluding the core scoobies might end up being their downfall. Buffy's doing the exact same thing she did in the last time line only in reverse. Excluding a potential asset because of her negative feelings. Before it was Spike, now its the scoobs. It's going to bite her in the ass. Great update!
In season 7, Buffy had reality shoved in her face, repeatedly and clearly: Each Scooby relationship is two different relationships, rolled together. And the line between the work relationship and the friendship was blurry. How much she tries to clear up that blur -and how successful she is at it- is still in question, but having that knowledge, the experience with Scoobies who say 'I love you, Buff' (and mean it) but are willing to mutiny, puts the option of separate relationships on the table for her. We're starting to get into that more now, and chapter 12 digs into that some.
Adore the conversation with Xander in the hospital. So good to see the scoobies being supportive to Buffy, especially for this Buffy who's recently felt the sting of their betrayal in the future. This is their friendship at its best.
“Lock the door,” she whispered. “I can't make money like this.”
Aw, Anya. That line hit me really hard :(
Ugh, I LOVE the way you're painting Buffy in this. She's trying so hard, I can see her trying, but she just has so much on her mind she doesn't have the space she needs to really examine her feelings for spike and how she's treating him. And Spike is doing his best to figure things out but his own baggage gets in the way sometimes. They're together, and it's good for both of them, but there's still so much friction and unresolved tension - so so so realistic and I love it.
Yay Tara comes through and the dream makes sense. Mmmmmph, this is so goooood.
The 'trying, but distracted and conflicted' vibe extends over more than just one relationship. It's everywhere, and it's not going away anytime soon. I'm glad to know you appreciate the approach I'm taking, and hope you'll remain patient with it, as the various relationship evolutions unfold.
I loved the Xander and Buffy scene at the hospital, too. It was one of those scenes that felt 'real' to me, like it could have been plucked straight out of the series (specific content aside), complete with Buffy muddling secondhand advice. Xander's evolution in this story is one of my favorite arcs. I think you'll agree.
Chapter 12 is coming soon, and features another relationship making a shift. Happy reading!
I really enjoyed this chapter, and I enjoy the changes that are being made. Way to go Tara being so clever and brave!
I'm so glad everyone loves Tara stepping up. It felt like a bold move for me, as I pretty much erased the shy, quiet Tara from canon, and built her into something different. I prefer to make gradual progressions from canon with characters if I want to change them. This was abrupt, and I feared it would be ill-received, but I guess I'm not the only one who wanted more from 'Glinda.' Thanks for the review!
Oh, I do love the inclusion of Tara. Such a valuable character was so woefully underused on the show.
I agree. She frequently felt like she was written as 'Willow's arm candy' and not much more. I've really enjoyed writing her as her own person. Thanks for the review!
Neat chapter. I look forward to each one as its published. Along with everything else, I like the idea that having others — Joyce, Tara — aware of their relationship helps Spike and Buffy get out of the bad spirals they got themselves into by themselves.
They sort of need relationship babysitters, don't they? Thanks for reviewing!