“Opened Pandora's Box again, haven't I?” Well, you opened someone's box again... Ayyy ;) ;) ;) sorry, sorry, dirty minded one, here...
And that ending... I kinda want to say 'poor Giles' but really, he deserves to be kept out of the loop...[Report This]
Ben's a lot more handsy than he was in canon. Creeped me out.
“Opened Pandora's Box again, haven't I?” Her name's BUFFY you eejit! I'm glad she's made things physical again. It's important.
Spike is still feeling a little in love with you, and is fully aware you aren't returning the sentiment. Okay, maybe it's me, but they all seem to have a very strict and specific and somewhat biased opinion on what "love" is. Love is fluid. She needs him, she wants him, she'd die for him, she can't do without him, she goes to him for comfort, she has no intention of dating anyone else... sounds like love to me. So she's muffled and on some version of an anti-depressant that's making her hormones a little dim. Doesn't mean she suddenly "doesn't love him anymore." Hm. This is bothering me...
Really great sex. The kind we haven't had since the first time around.” Yeah, because sex is more fun when it's not masturbation! Stupid claim.
You've never told me what happened that night. ...Well, all be damned, she never did. Which does explain a lot, Rupert. But damn! Talk about an oversight![Report This]
Buffy definitely should have told Giles the role Spike had in keeping him alive. Good call.
And, squee!!!, can't wait to see his reaction to the marriage.
Yeah, she should have mentioned that YEARS ago. It was kind of important.
“I've been scared a lot in my life, Tara. End Of The World scared, more than once. I can handle the kind of scared that comes from knowing I might lose a fight.” She shrugged. “That's the job. But what scares me the most is when I can't fight.”
Spot on. Ugh, that scene with Ben was so creepy, but it good to see the contrast in her thoughts between Ben and Spike.
'I haven't been this relieved to see Spike since the mutiny. What does that mean?'
Good question. I didn't think it was possible, but their relationship is getting even more tangled. I'm just completely fascinated. And then Giles comes back to mend fences but ends up pouring the disapproval again! Loving Lydia and her good intentions, but I wonder if she's just made things harder.
Lydia's good deed won't go to waste, I promise. :)
simply adored this chapter , especially the letter and Giles coming around :)
I like to play with the story-telling technique. I used journal entries, occasional exposure of inner thoughts, flashbacks, and layers of secrets to keep our perspectives constantly in motion, to frame various scenes and chapters in different ways.
But letters were my most wide-ranging tool. Scattered around in Echoes are multiple letters, each serving a slightly different purpose. The one we never read from canon remains so, though its echo becomes a recurring gag. The letter exchange with Travers was a method of telling an entire story arc without verbal interaction. Lydia's letter to Giles gives us a friendly outsider's opinion, while pushing his story arc back into motion. Buffy's letters to Spike (the one stuck in his crypt door in Heaven Sent and the one in his red book in Implied Promises) give us little peeks into her layered relationship with him, one friendly, one romantic. The three letters the readers have not yet seen each carry their own weight... One each from the perspectives of past, present, and future.
So many emotions in this chapter. I just don't have words to really express everything that happened in this chapter. I am glad that Tara is there though for all of them. LOVED the last scene. HA...
Unfought Demons is kind of a heavy chapter, emotionally. I think you'll find the next one less weighty, more relaxing.
This is Giles chance to prove to keep his mind open and give Spike a fair chance. Please don't blow it. Thank you Lydia for your efforts in "mending fences". Also, so glad he knows the story and it makes a difference hopefully a big enough one to go further than just an apology.
Lydia's letter might just be the perfect nudge to get our old slayer and watcher duo back on track, or at least begin to! Here's hoping!
A really creepy feeling over the reactions from the crazy people. Also som creepy behavering from Ben. He's really pushing it and that's not a good way to get the girl. It makes me wonder if he was after some information for Glory. Buffy's anger and frustration seemed to bring more good feelings for Spike. It does make sense, strong emotions will highten feelings, even supressed ones. we also learned that it was Buffy who destroyed the pillows. Buffy's reaction to this with Ben make it clear that the bathroom incident is an issue she hasn't really delt with. Both she and Spike need to do that it seems. It was good that she could talk to Tara at least.
I liked the talk Buffy and Spike had about changing her name, and the rings, it felt sweet. Starting up a sexual relationship shouldn't really be a problem, but with all the issues from the past. Tara sees the problem and is telling Buffy, good. Buffy is planning to have the bot built it seems, well, it was useful.
Then Giles returned and had done a lot of thinking it seems. The letter from Lydia helped of course. That was a great letter, it told a lot and made Giles think. He seems ready to build a new form of relation with Buffy, and Spike. It was probably good timing that Buffy's new Social security card arrived. After what Giles said, he must act nice.
I tried not to go overboard with creepy, pushy Ben. I didn't want him to come off as a someone who would actually try to force himself on a girl, but I needed him pushy enough to kick Buffy into that train of thought. I also wanted there to be some repercussions for all that 'off-screen' flirting she did with him to dig for info back in November. It was a balancing act.
The implication with the pillows is that it was probably both of them. I had some fun with the fact that over the course of the story, every time the pillow thing comes up, the guilty party isn't named. Spike is just sort of assumed to be the one responsible. Unfought Demons is the *only* time it's flat out said (and even then, only in Buffy's head) she's directly involved in the pillow destruction. Hmm... That little slayer demon has some drive of her own...
I love the indirect conversation about the bot between Buffy and Tara. It's very vague and very brief, but serves not only as a tease to something that's going to have to be addressed later, but as an in-joke to the readers, who know *exactly* what that sleeveless pink top represents. So, so fun.
Giles has definitely had some time to think, and Lydia's letter really gave him a push. Buffy's line, "Spike is more than his leashes" really sums up the the change in his perspective. Unfortunately, any rebulding of the relationship between slayer and watcher will have to be done in steps. There's still a lot they haven't said to each other.
Loved this!!! Giles finally learns that Spike (sort of) saved his life during the Angelus mess, only to discover that Buffy has actually married Spike!!! Talk about whip-lash! I can't wait for more. Thanks for the updates, and for once again sharing your talent.
Yep! Whiplash is just the right word for it. Poor guy! His first step toward trying to mend fences turned out to be walking into a brand new surprise. Oops!
Dun dun dun!!!!!! I hope Giles isn't an ass about that revelation. I can't wait for the next update! ! :)
The wait is almost over! Next chapter going up in approximately 8 hours. Cue the countdown!
Knowning who Ben actually was I always thought of him as a self-centered ass. He knew what his 'sister' wanted to do. Knew exactly what would happen to the world. The Universe! And he did nothing proactive to stop her. Now? He's just a slimy self-centered ass!
Buffy is doing it again. She's using Spike as a crutch for her feelings or lack thereof. But the talk about the bathroom was hopeful. At some point she will make the bond permanent.
So Lydia spilled some secrets. That one thing was enough for Giles to want to try again? Unfortunately I don't think that good will is going to last now that he knows Buffy married Spike!! And saying its insurance to keep Dawn if Joyce and Buffy die probably isn't going to cut it!
Ha! Yeah, Ben came off pretty slimy in this chapter. I tried to not go too far with him, though. I only needed him to give us some repercussions for Buffy's heavy off-screen flirting with him back in the fall, and to trigger the first stage of finally dealing with the elephant in the room... er, the bathroom.
We'll see some good progress on Buffy's 'falling back into old habits' approach to sex with Spike in the next chapter. The key to understanding? Time to reflect.
I think time's been a factor with Giles, too. He's been gone for a month and a half, without so much as a phone call. He's had time to think. And Buffy's "Spike is more than his leashes" line really sums up what that letter represents to Giles: He never gave Spike a chance without considering the chip and/or soul in the equation. That's even true for 2003 Giles, though this 2001 Giles has only a vague idea of that. His response to the marriage will show you a lot of where his thoughts are.
Glad Rupert came with a white flag but the marriage may be too much for him..... Really good chapter. Thanks for the update!
The poor man just can't catch break. One minute, he's making overtures of peace, the next minute, he's being told there's a whole other layer to the secrets.
Well the cat, or more like the Saber Tooth Tiger, is out of the bag. Well, good. A shove in the right direction was needed. Though I'm probably in the minority, even including the characters in this story, but I understand why Buffy is hesitant with the full claiming. In her own way avoidy way, she is telling Spike she loves and values him, not just as a warrior but as someone important, and that she doesn't want to dust if (and I stress if...hint hint) she has to jump again.
Though I haven't been the best at reviewing every chapter, please know I'm enjoying this immensely. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.
Yeah, the marriage thing is a bit of a shove for Giles, when he came expecting baby steps. Things will still have to go in steps, but the first one is going to be -by necessity- a bigger step, owing to that shove.
Tara has a point... as always.
Gotta love Lydia.
Whoops. Lovely of Giles to visit after Lydia's revelations, but how is he going to react to this bombshell?
Tara is apparently code for "the voice of reason" in all time-traveling Spuffy craziness. They need her for a lot more than minty suppressant potions!
Oops! Cat's outta the bag now!!! Wonder how hard the fit is gonna hit the shan? It'll certainly see if Rupert will be able to continue with his warm, fluffy feelings now that things have her once again linked to Spike, this time officially.
I think he'll suprise you. He didn't come back to start a fight, but to start to rebuild with his slayer. Flawed as Giles may be, he does care for her, and he's not known for giving up. Lydia's letter was the first nudge he needed. His scene in Familiar Roads is the other.
Spike is the one who stopped it. Stopped himself. He backed up, gave me this horrified stare when he realized what was happening, and he left. Exactly! That is NOT the response of a rapist or near rapist. It is the response of someone who lost control after mixed messages (and Dawn having given him hope with the speech that sent him there). A rapist doen't pull back in horror after being pushed off. I've actually had this argument since the damned episode aired more than once. HE stopped it himself. Then he went off to kill himself one way or another (either losing the demon challenges or becoming someone completely different. That's what he had to expect with a soul since that's how Angel always said it was and Angel was the only point of reference. Heck Angel always made it sound like even the memories were mostly gone. Spike was looking at killing himself one way or another.
Giles MIGHT be on his way towards trying to rebuild a relationship. I hope he does because he was always a father figure for Buffy and you never stop needing/wanting that.
Ben! I'm surprised they don't just kill him at this point and get it over with. I'm on pins and needles wondering if Glory is going to get hold of Spike this time too (that might just shake Buffy's emotions up in a major way). You are torturing me here LOL.
Great update. Loved the lettr from Lydia and the talk from Tara (sensible girl).
KathleenAuthor's Response on June 18, 2015 11:48am
I'm SO, SO glad we read that infamous Seeing Red scene the same way. This is my first story that directly addresses it, and every time I reread Unfought Demons, I questioned whether I was coming off as an apologist, too easily excusing Spike's lowest moment. Obviously, it's common in this subset of the BtVS fandom to work around/ smooth over that scene, 'cause we love Spike. But I wanted to address it honestly and directly. Doing so a year and a half later (from the time-travelers' perspectives) gave it some distance. Making that version of Buffy be the one to talk to us about it felt right and fair. I was still nervous, though. Even here, in the safe presence of readers who had forgiven him themselves, I wasn't sure my take on it would be well-received.
Giles as a father figure is a bigger deal than Buffy thinks. She needs that from him, and that need is his way to get his foot in the door to get back into her life, if he plays it right. As difficult as their recent relationship has been, I've tried to make it clear that they still care deeply for each other. The most obvious example was their talk at the Bronze in Dance Partners. It even ended with a hug. That talk left him with a glimmer of hope. Lydia's letter forced a shift in his perspective (Buffy's "Spike is more than his leashes" line summarizes that nicely). The combination was enough to bring him back, to try again to be a part of his slayer's life. If he can wrap his head around the marriage thing, he might find himself pushing the door open far wider.pfeifferpack Replied on June 18, 2015 05:43pm
I've never hidden my past but don't drag the old horse out for a beating without a reason. I am an "overcomer" of childhood molestation and teen rape. I know that does not make me the world's most foremost expert on anything but my own experiences BUT it (and tharapy, group and individual) have brought many an insight to the subject of rape and attempted rape. Rape is about power not sex or love. Spike was seeking love through sex and really Buffy was the Slayer (and he well knew it) thus she had the power. Yes she was injured but still she was not a powerless girl with a rapist taking away her power. That is not what was happening. When they refered to it as rape I was startled because in no way did the scene play that way to me at all.
Buffy had played games of saying one thing and demanding the opposite for months. Her no didn't get through to him because she rarely meant it, added to Dawn's rant that sent him to Buffy's that fateful night. Remember how Dawn made the point about how hurt and devastated Buffy was having seen him with Anya? To Spike that underlined what he thought was true, thay Buffy DID love and want him and only needed to be reminded of her feelings. It took her smacking him (like a slap to a hysterical person) to make him see she really meant no.
No matter what anyone says what I saw on that screen was no attempted rape. It was a c onfused, drunk, frustrated male and a hurt, depressed, conflicted woman at a really bad place.
Sorry for the long story but this really is an issue with me. Rape is a terrible thing to have happen, it changes your life. If we call everything rape without examining the details though it makes it much harder to recognize the real thing. A rapist is afer power and control. A rapist WILL NOT STOP HIMSELF in horror or otherwise. Spike did not try to rape Buffy.
I love Giles in the latest chapter (next one) saying that Spike is a good husband. I think he is stating to reevaluate. Spike recognizing that Buffy needs Giles in her life and wanting Giles to try for her sake (in spite of his own reasons to not care for Giles being around) speaks volumes about Spike putting Buffy's need over his own. Giles sees that.
Again...thanks for a wonderful story, you are telling it perfectly.
"...Like a slap to a hysterical person" is a very apt way of phrasing it. She knocked him back to his senses, made him realize what was going on. And to his credit, he freaked out and left as soon as he did.
I don't know exactly what to say to some of your post. Telling you I was horrified and angered on your behalf doesn't begin to express the emotions your story gave me. I will say this: That you've come through all of that without being emotionally damaged to the point of seeing the Seeing Red' scene for its worst possible interpretation is a testament to your strength of mind.
You're very right that there is a gap between a true attempt at rape and what we saw on screen. A scene that is difficult to watch and brings the question of willingness/consent in a sexual relationship to the fore may lend itself to easy (read: lazy) labeling, but there is more to it than that. The relationship in question was more complex than that label implies. That scene carried a lot more baggage than any simple label can imply. And *actual* attempted rape isn't about confused love messages and isn't likely to end with the aggressor being so disgusted with himself for even veering near that path he goes on a dangerous journey of penance/self-destruction immediately after.
In short, it's the difference between looking to dominate and looking to communicate. This was the latter. Yes, it was in a horrible way, but that's what it was. In Steps Behind (chapter 18) Spike refers to this incident as a time when he "broke the trust" with Buffy. That's not just the guilt talking. That's true. But that doesn't mean he ever meant to take her power. After all, as we well know, he values her as a powerful person.
Thank you again for your continued support of this story, Kathleen. <3
Exactly. Clearly we see this in much the same way.
/screaming in the distance
Sorry, just Giles finding out like that, I have no idea what to expect now but I know it'll be fantastic.
Hehe. Scoot back from the edge of your seat. It's dangerous out there.