<I>“This morning I saw you padding around my mother's kitchen in your bare feet, making an omelet for my sister, and drinking from a mug with tulips stenciled on it. Yes, you're dangerous and scary.”</I> *laughs*
Poor little vamp got tamed, but his ego didn't. hehe
Excellent chapter again. Interested in how the information from Athenea will tweek their plans. So the PTBs have something beyond the obvious up their sleeves...not surprised. I suspect it will have to do with Spike and Buffy increasing that bond.
Giles finally got a glimpse of how bad it got from a source he does trust. Maybe he'll change enough to win Buffy's trust back.
Althenea may only be theorizing, but -as there's historical precendent- it definitely puts a spin on things.
You know, I never intended for Giles to get the big stories of seasons 6 and 7 in pieces, but I'm glad it shook out that way. Gradually, a little at a time, he's learning what events shaped these time traveling versions of Buffy and Spike. He's learning who these strangers are, and -while we don't see much of it- it's definitely making him think.
See! Xander is learning. Dare I hope they'll actually make it to the altar this time?
Shy little Willow has turned into a little shit-stirrer hasn't she? Tara better be cafeful or Willow is going to get jeolous of "Joan and Randy" and of this new relationship between her and Buffy. That's a trigger right there. Not to mention she's already jeolous of Spike. A green-eyed, shit-stirrer then.
I always knew Faith was good for something.
LOL @ 'green eyed shit stirrer.' Love it! And yes, Xander is learning. A lot of stuff, actually. I think you'll like where he's going as a character.
Faith Lehane, the current Chosen One, has proven her worth: She inspired Buffy to get her friends drunk. :P Come on, tempestt! She's got to be a little more useful than that!
Interesting to pull in Xander and Willow noticing the change in her. And so heart-rending that she misses all of them in her kitchen! Interested to see whether this helps bridge the gap, or whether she needs (and will choose) to do more to be close to Willow again.
How could they *not* notice the changes in her? She's still acting a lot like Year 2003 Buffy, plus there's the undead arm candy. She's not very much like Year 2000 Buffy, and she's not doing a great job of faking it. The fun part for us is seeing the reactions differ from one person to the next. Anya seems to be taking it all in stride. Xander seems to be trying to understand. Willow seems to be looking for the reset button.
Re crowded kitchen: That Buffy is homesick for her 'sorority house from hell' -complete with chaotic kitchen full of Scoobies and Potentials- is something I didn't plan, but it felt right when it showed up on the page. Our travelers basically walked away from their lives as they knew them, leaving behind their friends, their home, and even their morning routines. The lives they're living now are not entirely unfamiliar, but they aren't the same, either. This isn't 'home' in some ways. 2003 is. It's a hard pill to swallow, as Buffy acknowledges. She misses some parts of the life she knew, but -for the greater good- she can never have it back.
Thanks for reviewing!
Probably that's why this story keeps pulling me in - you continue to explore all the angles and all the possible responses to what's playing out! Looking forward to the next installment, as always :D
Definite some changes and not following the past which well thank God.
Sigh of relief time, already? I must not be doing my job properly. But that's ok. The roller coaster ride continues. Hang on tight! ;)
So, so good. And yeah, Buffy isn't very good at pretending to be 'young' Buffy. I love the beginning of this with Xander talking to Anya. It was beautiful. And sweet. Steps are being taken to try and bridge friendships. I'm happy to see that they managed to have a 'talk' and not a screaming fest. That was nice to see. Oh, drunken fun. Lol. :) Hope to read more soon!
Also, Joan and Randy. Haha.
Year 2003 Buffy apparently can't pull off a decent Year 2000 Buffy. She's not that good of an actor. Also, her taste in men is obviously different. :P
The Xander and Anya scene followed up on Lost Pupil's overheard training room Xander/Buffy conversation. The training room scene was basically an Echoes 'verse version of their Into the Woods conversation, so following it up with an Echoes 'verse version of Xander's declaration of love to Anya was the natural course, especially since I'd already done a little building up of changes to the X/A relationship. I utilized some of the dialogue from the original declaration, but in retrospect, I wish I hadn't. I never was happy with that scene, and I think the mixed authorship is the problem.
I think the main reason it was a talk and not a shouting match was that Buffy didn't get defensive, not really. She also didn't play the 'I'm the slayer, what I say goes' card. Could it be that she's learned something over the years? (Like, maybe, how to *not* get thrown out of her own house?) I can easily see pouty Willow turning into shouty Willow in the middle of the dinner scene, with just one 'get over it' type of comment from Buffy. Instead of pushing back, Buffy tried to draw her friend closer. It makes a big difference. Also, booze. :P
Re Joan and Randy: There's a lot of stuff that goes on behind our backs in Echoes, stuff we have to wait on the characters to talk about while we're in the room (because the story is told almost entirely through conversations). One of those things is that Tara *has* to be lying to Willow about her whereabouts when she's with Buffy and Spike. There's no way she isn't. Finding out what lie she's been peddling was fun. And Buffy choking on her water seemed like the perfect reaction.
Thanks for reviewing!
I am completely in lvoe with this fic. Every single chapter gets better and better. Love Buffy finally unlloading against giles, she needed that and calling xander on the anya/demon thing . I really loved the whole bar scene and intruducing the scoubies to some non evil demons, cant wait for the next chapter.
Echoes wasn't a planned/outlined story. Most scenes started without any idea how they'd end. I just let the characters drive and tried to work with what they gave me. *I* didn't realize Spike and Buffy had become semi-regulars at Willy's until Spike and Willy were having that 'I already know your order' exchange. I let that play out, and the next thing I knew, they had a well-established running gag about Spike flirting with a waitress, and Buffy's worried about a demon who lost his bicycle. I didn't *plan* for it to be a 'look at the not evil demons' scene. It just sort of happened.
More soon! Thanks for reviewing!
I love getting emails telling me a new chapter is up but I really wish is was finished so I could read it all at once. That's how much I enjoy this story.
It's coming, a piece at a time. Hopefully, the end product will be good enough to make you want to read it all at once the second time around. Thanks for the review!
I don't have much to say this time beyond yesssssssss! and squeeeeeeeee! heh heh. Lovely chapter, and much needed, not quite heading off all their problems at the pass but at the very least getting in the damage control. Buffy was very calculated in her actions, which is definitely S7 IC, but also a little sad. I'm hoping for a 'fake it until you make it ' scenario, whereby she will eventually, bit by bit, become comfortable with her friends again.
Xander took a sip of his drink. “I think I'm going to need more liquor to process this night. My brain is already sending me mixed signals about fear, sympathy, and the hilarious mental image of that big, nightmare-looking dude riding a bicycle. And we're barely into the first round.”
I think that sums it up for all the scoobies :)
Exactly! Calculated damage control. But not coldly calculated. Buffy wants to fix these relationships, with Willow specifically. (Xander already looks like he'll be ok, and he's showing it more and more. Tara knows what's up. Anya doesn't seem bothered to begin with.) But she really doesn't know how. She's not the person Willow wants/expects her to be, and her instinctive response has been to just ignore the problem (and the suffering friendship), something even Joyce has noticed. This outing was Buffy's first attempt to *not* ignore it, and 'fake it until you make it,' to a certain degree. Hopefully, she'll keep at it, given that the results from this weren't horrible. :)
I love it when I find my name! My names Chandra. Lol how's it pronounced here? I'm Shh andra. Also I absolutely love this story! I love how it's progressing and it's awesome how much you update! ;)
I think we have the same pronunciation in mind. I'm glad you're enjoying it. A lot of people have commented about the speed of the updates. Echoes was finished (short of some editing work in later chapters) before I began posting. I've set myself on a (roughly) 48 hour posting routine, which seems to be a good pace to allow readers to stay caught up and review, as well as buying me time to finish edits and get a better handle on the sequel planning before posting completes. I've already written some scenes and scribbled out some notes for a follow up, but I'm not totally sold on the story as a whole quite yet.
Thanks for the review, Chandra!
I hope that Willow isn't going to simply fall in liine. I love Tara's use of "Joan" and "Randy." I'm not sure I understand why they aren't willing to simply come clean. I may have missed that explanation. I love the use of "boyfriend" and how coupley they are together.
Looking forward to more! Count me in that club that never wants this story to end!
Put yourself in their place. If you tell them, you'll get a bunch of different reactions- People trying to use you as an oracle, expecting you to know every answer and anticipate everything. The odds of you saying too much and accidentally making situations worse skyrocket. People blaming you when anything goes wrong, or you didn't prevent something that needed to happen, but they felt you should have prevented.
People (*cough* Willow *cough*) might start digging around, find out they are powerful enough to do crazy things like send people back in time. Or decide to try to undo it, to get their 'right' friend back. Willow knowing is kind of a big deal. Giles knows, but he knows to keep his mouth shut. If you tell even borderline-outsider Anya, she tells Xander, and he tells Willow, all either on accident or intentionally. Then you've got an untrained witch on your hands who suddenly finds out she's more powerful than she thought. *shudder* That won't go well. This gets touched on in chapter 14.
Besides, secret keeping, and the things implied/left unsaid are major themes for Buffy and Spike. They have been for a long time. This fits right into that.
Who do you tell? How much do you tell them? How long do you keep things hidden? What changes if you tell Person A? Person B? For good or ill? There's a lot more depth to explore this way, as opposed to those (admittedly fun) pure 'fix it' fics where the traveler reveals him/herself as such on arrival and goes down a checklist of stuff to fix, often preventing nearly every major event from canon, until all you're left with is fluffy, happy goodness.I took a more serious approach. There are repercussions to every action, every change, even if it isn't noticeable right away. And telling people is one of the actions in question. Would Buffy and Giles have had their falling out in Lost Pupil if he didn't know? If she blew up at him, anyway, how different would his reaction be? Would that joke Buffy made about him in Time's Colors about a 'time traveler exorcism' have become a potential reality?
It's messy and complicated, but it gives us a world much closer to the one our characters inhabit than we'd get if I was playing the 'Foreknowledge as a God Power' angle and fixing everything with the magic 'I stopped it before it started' wand. Joss ruined me. I don't expect to see these characters on smooth roads. They have to deal with gravel patches and potholes to feel real to me. Sure, some of that gravel is of their own making, but some of the smooth patches are, too.
Thanks for another kind review, ladypeyton!
Good, they are starting to reconnect the Scoobies. They needed to have this talk, to bring up the issues and the fact that Spike and Buffy are different now. It's just like Spike said at the end, he and Buffy are strangers here. Willow doesn't seem to notice that Tara is different though. This chapter points out well how confusing these changes are for Willow and Xander. It's good to see how Xander is trying to be better for Anya and how he is nice with Spike. Some of the things that were said was really good to read. I enjoyed the interaction they had with Trixie for example. we can, like Willow and Xander see what Buffy and Spike has been up to, how they have lived their life, beeing at willy's, the take out and knowing other people.
I'm glad *someone* caught on that Willow hasn't noticed the differences in Tara. Thank you! Right now, Willow is so caught up in feeling sorry for herself about 'losing' Buffy as a close friend, and trying to 'fix' that situation (via 'correcting' Buffy's choice of men, apparently), she's not even seeing what's changed under her own nose. She's not nearly as observant as Xander, especially when she's stuck on something like she is right now.
Trixie was created as a character in a story that takes place in a sister universe to this one. (It needs MAJOR work to the early chapters before I even consider finishing it, so don't look for that one anytime soon) Her job and her flirty relationship with Spike were borrowed from that story, but the established-offscreen running gag about Buffy calling her husband, and Trix even having a presence in this story were totally unplanned. I realized after they'd arrived at Willy's that Buffy and Spike were semi-regulars, and let the scene develop from there. Very soon, Trix and Rudy (from the same unfinished work) were there, warming up the old dive for us, making it feel like a hang out instead of a backdrop, and giving the Scoobies a fun little peek at what Spike and Buffy are up to when they aren't around.
I don't know that the little get together will be enough to stop Willow from trying to ensoul Spike. Hopefully the coven will explain to Willow that what she way trying to do was wrong and she'll understand it. She has to stop using her power to 'fix things' the way she thinks they should be. She is just as guilty as Buffy is about doing things without talking to her 'best friend' first. She sat there complaining about the changes Buffy has made without talking to any of them. But she was going to stuff a soul into Spike without talking to Buffy first. She didn't even tell Giles beforehand. Only after when it didn't work. So really pot, kettle.
Xander seems to have taken Buffy's talking to in the right way. Being asked to move in must make Anya feel better, she knows how he feels about Buffy. Like she said in the last chapter Buffy having a romantic relationship with someone is better for her. But that is also sad too. Hopefully Xander will realize just what a great person Anya is in her own right and get over his Buffy fixation and treat her how she should be treated. Not as a second choice.
The 'pot, meet kettle' angle is a really good point. I hadn't even caught that layer to it, but you're exactly right. Of course, if anyone were to point that out to Willow, I'm sure she'd claim she was only reacting to Buffy's distance, not that they were mutually guilty of not tending to the friendship.
Xander's viewpoint is going through some shifts, and it has noticeable impacts over time. While his and Anya's relationship continues to stay in the background, you'll gradually see what's going on with them, mostly through his behavior. I can't say more just yet, but I'm sure you'll eventually see what I'm not saying. :)
I just have to say how Excitems and Thrilled I am every time I see this updated!!! Okay done, lol! Amazing chapter and job as usual, LOVED it! :) Can't wait for more! :D
I hope you like where it goes! More soon! <3
Wonderful chapter. I completely love every word. Clem in the mix is icing on the cake. Willow and Giles still worry me but I think Xander is coming around. I am glad Buffy called for backup already where Willow is concerned.
Thanks, Kathleen! Glad you're still enjoying it so much! <3