Eddie!! I love Eddie! I was actually talking to my sister, wintersstorm, the other day about him, although I couldn't actually remember the story he was from (sorry). But I mentioned how he was a vamp kid and kinda became Spike and Buffy's adopted whatever, and I was sad cos I couldn't remember what fic he was from... But now I've found him! XD I'm very happy now[Report This]
<I>“She used a binding spell around your auras and -by extension- your bond, so she only actually had to move one of you through time, and the other would be dragged along without her having to worry about keeping you together.”</I> That actually sounds rather smart. I mean, okay, unfortunate side-effect, but still. Clever.
<I>“You tried that. And you were bored to tears.”</I> He's not wrong.
In theory, it's a smart idea. In practice, it's a lazy shortcut that would have worked just fine if she'd researched possible ramifications first. But then, that begs the question as to whether our 2003 Willow would have considered a developing chosen mate bond as even a remote possibility if she HAD researched possible side effects. There's really no telling.
No, he's not. But the most important aspect of that exchange is that they've reached a point where they can joke about it. Given their history, that's kind of huge.
I've been saving up chapters for the metaphorical rainy day, which has finally arrived (boo), so this is my pick-me-up. Pretty excited tbh :)
That summary is so wonderfully ominous *happy shivers*
“He's a...” Buffy wrinkled her nose. “He's kind of a conversation starter.”
“What? Like an art piece?”
Lol! The whole Eddie thing started off as a great gag and went somewhere I totally wasn't expecting. This is definitely going to be interesting. And poor Buffy, she just can't get away from people who insist on making her face her shit.
I was wondering why I hadn't seen you in the reviews lately! *sigh of relief* I thought I'd lost you!
Eddie, my poor little accidental minion... Even *I* had no idea where I was going with him until I got there. He wasn't planned. Not at all. I knew Spike and Buffy were finally going to turn the increasingly loud subtext into actual text regarding their connection to each other. And I decided to open the chapter with a patrol scene. By the time the first draft of the chapter was done, they had a funny little teenaged minion... and I had no idea how it had happened. The chapter went through two major rewrites after, but the rewrites focused on the middle (the claim stuff). The Eddie-focused parts didn't get more than minor edits. He showed up all on his own, and I not only kept him, I named the chapter for him. It was the Tree Trunks scenario all over again, but with a character who would be far more useful than a couple of framed photographs.
I really get it. I do. She needs to know that Spike is going to survive the battle with Glory. Especially if Joyce doesn't make it. Someone needs to be there for Dawn. But I worry that she is setting herself up to fail. She keeps harping on Spike making it. She knows what happened last time. Granted it isn't easy changing the past. The battle could go the same way. But it could also turn out better. She seems like she isn't taking that into account. Like she thinks she is going to die again. That this whole time travel plan was just to keep her in her grave and in heaven. Does she still have a death wish? Was that what all this was about? Yeah okay saving the world from the First Evil. But does she still miss heaven that much? Because she doesn't seem all that busy making plans for her survival.
No, she doesn't still have a death wish. But she's also only hanging on to shreds of hope at this point, because they still don't know if they've changed enough or will change enough to avoid her having to jump. Spike may bitch about the contingency planning, but at this point, it's still wise, still necessary. She has a couple of lines in chapters 22 and 23 that serve as pretty good summaries of her stance on this stuff. I'm fighting the urge to quote them to you here, as they really are the perfect responses to your concerns.
Oh Buffy I understand not wanting Spike to die when/if you do but really at this point you only have died the one time and you are there to prevent it. Everyone dies. I want my spouse to outlive me (or we go together) because I can't stand the idea of living with him gone....I get that! I just hope she cuts to the chase because right now they don't need to be distracted they need to get rid of the Glory problem. Besides Spike is a piece of wood away from dust on any day really...he's not invulnerable.
Love Eddie and hope he works out. He could be Spike's after all and he was so young when he was turned. I like him.
"This about me or the mission, love?"
I'm quoting that exchange here because I know a lot of readers are also following the review page discussions, and I think that line has been missed/forgotten by some people. Not you, exactly, but your review made me realize that the overall vibe of the reviews of Unwilling Witness is hedging on "OMG, Buffy! Get over it!"
Yes, it will be settled soon. But the decision will be made with an eye toward the mission, and what they know could be coming, just like the human marriage. Chapter 22 is coming soon!
Re Eddie: I'm so glad he's being well-received. He was an unplanned addition to my already "too big for my skill level as a writer" cast, and thus was a risk from that standpoint. I think I managed to pull it off, though. As for his actions and contributions to the mission, for good or ill... We'll soon see.
Oh absolutely. It is the mission (and more). If she has to jump she wants Spike alive to ensure no one brings her back for one thing and if they are fully bonded he'll die too.
I've found from my stories that the ones that pop situations or characters I didn't actually plan on turn out to be the best. Your skill set it just fine for any size cast.
She fell back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. “I couldn't have hooked up with nice, normal, human guy?”
Spike scoffed. “You tried that. And you were bored to tears.”
^LOL That line is fantastic
You're capturing them both so well! I love that even though they're together there's still tension and angst and they're not totally together which is such a testament to the show and a totally realistic progression of events.
I really am so excited to see what you have planned for the Glory/Dawn/Dead Buffy alternative. I have a feeling it's going to be totally magnificent.
Loving every word! Thanks for putting so much time into this lovely little gem. I'm having such a wonderful time following along.
I love the subtext I found in the "normal guy" exchange. He's not feeling a sting at those words, as he once would have. He knows she doesn't mean it, that she's commenting on the ridiculous complications and not-normal aspects of being with him in a joking way. So he responds in kind. In that moment, they're closer to accepting their life together for what it is than they've ever been before, close enough that it's safe to joke about it. It took a lot of years to get to those two lines.
It's never going to be perfect between them. There will always be some kind of tension or angst, even on that magical day they find the bottom of their old baggage (whenever that is). By the nature of their personalities, and the lives they lead, they'll always be creating new baggage as they go. But finally getting to the point of being able to exchange that particular joke -especially on what was a rather rough night for the relationship- is a huge sign of progress. She's learning to accept the weird in her life. He's half of the weird. :P More importantly, the relationship is solid and secure enough for them both to see the humor in it. FINALLY.
Thanks for the review, sassafrass! I hope you enjoy what follows!
Marvelous. The interplay with Eddie is great; it's nice to see the humor in their characters with so much seriousness going on.
I've tried to keep little threads of humor and light moments throughout this story, as it is frequently serious and/or dramatic, and needs something to ease us through. Also, it seems right for the characters to have that balance. Maybe I feel that way because Joss and co. always tangled a little comedy into the drama, so that's what I expect to "hear" from these characters. *shrug* I'm just glad you like it. Thanks!
I understand why she hesitates ut why can't she just set a date for after the Glory thing. That way she won't have to worry about taking Spike with her if it's repeated, and Spike won't feel rejected and they can work on it together. Like the new addition of a minion.
Some kind of decision has to be reached, as in now-ish. Suppressant or claim? We'll see how that plays out. And I'm glad you like Eddie. Thanks for reviewing!
Damn, Buffy! Time to get off that bloody fence! Talk about mixed signals....
Now, is Eddie going to be help or hindrance?
There's definitely some decision making to be had in the Buffy brain. She's waffling, but she has good reason. I got into my personal line of thinking on where both she and Spike are coming from on this issue in my response to ValidescopeWest's review of this chapter, if you feel like reading it. Of course, your interpretation of where she's coming from might be totally different. That's half the fun! ;)
My take is that Buffy understands the necessity, but the very fact that it's necessary, even inevitable, is what is making her dig her heels in. The fact that the PTB have decreed that it should happen is what she hates. She doesn't like being manipulated, she wants to be able to make the choice herself, dammit! And of course, she doesn't want Spike to die if she has to jump. What she doesn't realise is that if ends jumping, she might as well have killed him because he'll consider it's his fault (again) for having failed to save Dawn and herself. The whole reason they went back is to change things so she doesn't have to! Spike isn't considering the alternative, to prevent her resurrection if she jumps as a valid option.
You walked right into a specific point that comes into play later, so I really can't respond much. I'm only replying so you won't think I ignored your POV on the matter.
It's sort of impossible to not like Eddie. He's like a pet Andrew. It was wonderful to have him as the "unwilling witness". When hecwondered if he was scouted for something, Buffy calling him a conversation starter and Whistlers, like an art piece, so many good things. Speaking of Whistler, he had a lot to say to Buffy here. That wasn't an easy conversation to have. Just like Spike said when he wondered what was going on in her head. I can understand Buffys worry for Spike since he went with her to make things right if she had to die, and therefore she can't have him die. For Spike this must feel a lot like how they had it in the original timeline, with mixed signals and rejections though.
Now they have a minion. I liked that and the talk about the master and mistress of the Hellmouth. The two ending lines was perfect too.
Yay! My first reviewer to talk about Eddie! He was so fun to introduce. In the first draft of Unwilling Witness, I started with the goal of having "the talk" about the bond and possible claim, but there wasn't a plan for the details. I opened with a vamp fight, and just let it flow from there. The talk itself went through 2 massive rewrites later on, shifting the focus from Spike's POV to Buffy's, then into a more in-depth Buffy/Whistler conversation. But Eddie, the unplanned character, appeared in the first draft and stayed, with only minor edits. He showed up and I just rolled with it. By the time his introduction chapter had been written (back in the first draft), he was already useful, serving a larger purpose than as a piece of the chapter 21 scenery.
So much of Echoes evolved without planning, you probably wouldn't believe me. I literally mined my own canon as I went, letting the story built itself and flesh itself out.
I'd previously touched on Spike's problems interacting with the demon world due to the soul (chapters 3, 5, and 16). When Eddie showed up, he gave me a way for the characters to DO something about that fact, rather than just accepting it. I mentioned the work on creating the bunker (chapters 7 and 9), and introduced it later (chapter 18), but it wasn't until Eddie was untied from his chair that I even considered giving it a caretaker. Eddie's appearance also created a follow up to "Spike's the master in town and not acting like it" (chapter 18), as well as shining a light on two points worth mentioning: (1) That Buffy's made her peace with Spike's past, and (2) the "moral compass burden" thoughts Spike has had (again, chapter 18) exist in Buffy, too.
Literally NONE of that existed in my head until Unwilling Witness was an Untitled document in progress on my laptop. There are a lot of other chapters and individual scenes throughout this story that came about the same way. Eddie's not the first unplanned accident to name an entire chapter (Tree Trunks springs to mind), and he won't be the last.
I love Buffy. I do but she is really dragging this bond thing to death because she doesn't want to kill Spike. She is hurting him more than she realizes I think. I know she wants to make sure Dawn is taken care of but really, Spike will still be dead inside if she dies and he is left behind. She already asked Faith to come take care of the Hellmouth, should probably get her to take care of Dawn too. Just because she thinks she will keep him alive by not bonding with him, it doesn't mean he can't die another way and still leave Dawn alone. Some things should be about the heart and let the rest of it fall into place.
Love it. You write them so well.
Spike's right. It should be about them, nothing else. But she's right, too. They can't disconnect themselves from the mission, with any action. They learned that lesson when one small, sweet gesture nearly cost Anya her life. He wants to forget it about it, because it was a painful mistake and remembering it distracts him from his goal of having Buffy as his mate. She refuses to forget it, because she's still General Buffy, who buried her dead soldiers in her own backyard, and she won't allow herself to play along with his daydream that she's definitely not going to have to jump this time. He's being a sensitive romantic. She's being a stubborn realist. Neither of them is wrong, and neither of them is exactly right. They suck at finding the middle ground on things (as we all well know from canon, as well as Echoes), so of course this situation is a struggle.
That said, the hardcore Spike fan in me DOES want to smack her. :P
What would happen though, if for whatever reason, Spike died before her or instead of her? I would love to see them have a vision or dream of an alternate reality of that and how they both react to it. Is she also denying that demon aspect of herself?
It feels like Spike is in a constant state of rejection and she doesnt want the guilt of killing him. Which I understand but if that is what she is doing than she might as well tell him she is never going to be his mate and drink suppressant til she dies because unless it's the big one, she'll always be in danger of dying in the next apocalypse. And resentment is going to start to boil up between them. And yes Spike is a romantic but I think he's lived long enough to know you have to get the love and happy times in when you can because life isn't promised to you forever. I feel he is more balanced than she is in that way. She just wants to try and make it all right. You can't fix everything by sacrificing yourself and your life.
And I hate to say this because I love Anya but she got hurt. Ok, it happens in their line of life. She can leave but she chooses to stay with Xander and live in the Slayers world. Do they really think they will get out of this without someone else getting hurt on some level? They might not die but someone else is going to get hurt or possibly die and I am scared it will be Tara as she is willingly playing decoy. That isn't going to go over well with Willow especially if she thinks she could have been there to save her.
I can't wait to see where this goes. It does look like they won't have a choice but to mate and then she will resent being pushed into it. Spike will feel it and it will hurt him. This just seems like all kinds of bad :(
I think you'll be a little less worried after you get chapter 22. Of course, no matter how this particular decision goes, there are still no quick fixes for the things that aren't quite clear between them. It's going to take some time. I wrote more, but deleted it. I'm skirting spoiler territory, so I'll just have to not reply to some of what you said.
Yeah, Anya getting hurt is a part of the nature of the Scooby business. And she is operating a magic shop in Sunnydale, besides. Canon's very clear on what that means: short life expectancy. It's not as big a deal from her perspective as it is from the time travelers' perspectives. She doesn't know the travelers caused it. But they do. The weight of the attack on Anya is in that Spike changed something that made it happen, and Buffy supported the action with blind optimism. Neither of them put much thought into the change, stupidly focusing on the sweetness of the gesture, and they could have cost Anya her life. It isn't a question. It isn't vague. The travelers screwed up and directly caused an attack that didn't happen the first time. And they know it.
Sure, people are going to be in the line of fire with Glory. Scooby injuries are likely. Scooby deaths are possible. No one is denying that. But the travelers are hoping to not make any more stupid moves that directly cause more chaos and pain than they prevent. The goal is to save the world (preferably without another portal swan dive). The last time they took their eyes off that prize, opting to focus exclusively on each other, it didn't go well. The Spuffy relationship is going through a lot of changes, and they definitely need to be allowed to progress, but it would be rather reckless to do so without considering the ramifications to the main mission.
Again, I've had to delete a lot of what I wrote. More soon. ;)
Ah! This chapter got me really excited for what's to come. I hope you've written a bit of romance for our heros. Maybe a hot scene? Oh, and I just can't imagine what Angel will do when they finally make the claim. The future looks to be interesting, indeed.
I think I'm going to manage to surprise you. This is a golden opportunity to dig further into the Spuffy relationship, and I won't let it pass us by. The roller coaster ride continures. :)
Should I be worried? lol
Fanfic of a Joss show. Worrying is a sign of genre wisdom.
...OK, I shouldn't have said that. Now you're probably thinking the world is going to end and everyone is going to die. I only promise to continue doing what I've been doing all along: make the characters work for the progress in their relationship, make them open up about what they're thinking with both big pushes and small ones.
Buffy and Spike are so difficult sometimes, but good to see them try to work things out rationally and maturely.
The original version of Unwilling Witness focused much more on Spike's perspective, and went through two massive rewrites (in addition to dozens of small edits) to end up where it is, focused on Buffy's. In the final version, we really get into the stuff swirling around in her head, stuff we needed to know... and so did he. She's a tough nut to crack, and no opportunity to take a whack at it should be allowed to pass us by.