I absolutely adored Dru playing nice for once and it didn't even seem OOC the way you explained it. Whistler is an annoying little git as always :)
We all know Dru is slightly family obsessed, so it just made sense to me that she would have realized by now her family has turned white hat, and try to avoid the fate of round 1 Darla (1997) by kissing up a little. I'm glad that translated well. I was afraid of over-explaining it, so I didn't focus on the reasoning much.
“Only two people have ever been able to claim to come close: the psychopath who turned her in the first place, and the idiot who took care of her for over a century. The psychopath hasn't returned my calls, so I'm sending the idiot.”
Lol! Very apt descriptions.
“Buffy...” Giles rubbed his forehead. “What do you think Spike is going to say about this?”
“He'll have a fit. And that's why we aren't going to tell him.”
“And if he comes home to find you've been killed?”
“Bigger fit. Also, tons of Jack Daniels. Buy stock.”
There's my favorite gallows humour.
Drusilla brought her swing to an abrupt stop. She giggled. “Human mind, demon heart. So alike, light and shadow. Demon mind, human heart.”
love this so much. All ofof Dru's section tbh. The mention of Buffy and Spike's middle names, the hints of destiny, and that all important reassurance that Buffy won't have to jump (will she feel free to go ahead with the claim now I WONDER)
Spike sank down in his chair. “Never had a chance, did I? Powers had plans. Dru knew. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if even Peaches... Bloody hell.” He sat upright. “Whistler's the one brought Buffy to Angel's attention in the first place. If Angel hadn't been around when Dru and me came to Sunnyhell, everything would have gone differently. And things with me and Buffy, if they'd ever even started, wouldn't have been the same at all. ...That sneaky son of a bi--”
“We're being played. I don't know what that little weasel is up to, but he's definitely up to something. And it's big.”
yes! Back to the main arc, and in a way I really did not see coming. Both thumbs all the way up :D
Porcelain Translations was ridiculously fun to write. Between the not-so-pointless Dru babble, the Buffy and Giles interactions, and the realization that the 'dancing monkeys' have been dancing for a long freakin' time, the entire thing is just packed full of high points.
I wrote in that Spike's middle name was Henry way back around Christmas (in Echoes time), without any thought given to Dru's visit. But when I got here, it dawned on me that -as Hank is an old nickname for Henry- each of their middle names reflects the first name of one of the other's parents. It seemed like just the kind of obscure detail Dru would latch onto. That said, it isn't nearly as significant a parrallel as the demon/human mind/heart line. Yin and yang.
You know Dru might be an evil, soulless, cheating vampire ho. But she's damn funny!! It takes a few read throughs to understand her. But then again I always had to watch a few times before I got the jist of what she was saying so that's not new! So I'm guessing here but I think Dru told Buffy that if she claimed Spike and was claimed by him in return she wouldn't have to jump? If she accepted her place in the order she would live? Dru knew enough about Glory to want to keep away from the house for their chat. But then again she always knew more than people thought. She just couldn't express what she knew in a coherent way.
The psychopath and the idiot?!
I wonder if Spike, Buffy and Tara are going to try to figure out what Whistler and the PTB are up to?
I guess things are going a little off canon for Angel unless Dru was burned and no one noticed? Because at this time in LA Darla is back and vamped and Dru did it. Then Angel set them on fire. So that might be why he was to busy to call Buffy back.
Giles seems to be taking this mostly in stride. Okay he was wigged about Buffy going to see Dru without any weapons. But the marriage thing? He's taking it well. For him at least! LOL But now they have to let Lydia in on some secrets. And maybe the rest of the gang? They can say it is a back up plan for the battle with Glory. Although I don't know that Xander would freak too much now. But Willow might coven training or not. She is still a selfish girl. Knowing that Buffy got married without telling her and before she even went to England might just tick her off. Especially if she finds out Tara not only knew but was there for the ceremony?
Dru is saying the claim is coming soon and the jump isn't going to happen. Yes, she's implying those two thoughts are tied together, but is that implied connection suggestion or prophecy? We don't know. We also don't know if that connection is pruely through the imagery in Dru's head, or if it's an important point... or how much of what she said Buffy really *got*. There are still a lot of questions.
I had no idea the psychopath and the idiot line would be so well-received. It's especially fun when you consider that the psychopath had been showing his face a little bit in LA at that time, and that's why he wasn't returning phone calls. No, I didn't forget about the burns, or that Dru was coming from LA. In my head, I had her getting herself healed up a little better before she was seen in Sunnydale. There was a line to address that (indirectly, because I'm not really digging into Angel canon for Echoes), but I must have accidentally nixed it in editing, 'cause that bit isn't there now. Careless of me, really. My apologies.
But your comment about things going off-canon for Angel gives an interpretative possibility to it I hadn't previously considered. If Dru was planning to come up to Sunnydale to see Buffy (Echoes), not to see Spike and recuperate (canon), what if SHE changed something in LA? Something as simple as bailing on Darla a little sooner, say, before Angel tried to set them on fire? Hmm... But seriously, recreating the lost line that addresses her healing up off screen is the simplest solution. Nice catch.
Nah, they don't really have to tell Lydia much. Obviously, she had to have asked Giles and Tara about that "wife" comment after Spike left. They would have been forced to verify that yes, slayer and vamp are married. But really, they don't need to tell her more, and she doesn't have the background of "Holy crap, didn't they just start dating in November?" in her head for them to work around. We'll be getting more into the "belated wedding announcement" stuff very soon... Soon enough that a "swearing Lydia to secrecy" scene wasn't even needed.
I really don't know if Giles would be handling any of this as well if it weren't for Spike going to see him privately at (literally) the first opportunity after Giles returned to the States. This could have gone very, very differently.
Loved the stuff with Dru. I've always liked her in pleasantly crazy mode. Thanks for the update.
It probably says something horrible about the state of my sanity that I found writing her far easier than expected... and that everything she said meant something. No filler. It all translated in my head as I wrote it, with no "clear" version written out as a guide.
It's possible I'm as nutty as she is.
Such an excellent chapter! I loved Drusilla's characterization - cryptic but with just enough sense-making, just like in the show. And wow the PTB are up to their eyeballs in it, aren't they? I can't wait to see what the long game is. I loved Spike's "Where's my wife?" line, and Buffy's "the psychopath that turned her or the idiot that followed her." Ha ha!
Dru was fun, wasn't she? As there is a full season rewrite tangled up in this story, I knew I'd eventually have to write *something* about Dru. I was slightly dreading it, as she's very easy to screw up. But when I got there, it came suprisingly easy. I'm not sure that says good things about my own mental health.
The PTB have been plotting and planning for a long time, cearly looking at multiple angles. And Whistler's honesty has now officially come into question. Not only for leaving in mid-conversation, but also for saying back in Unwilling Witness that the whole 'Buffy and Spike just happen to be two demons who chose each other and the bosses are making use of it' thing and giving away now that this situation was at least partially engineered years before. Hmm... What is he up to? What are his bosses up to?
"The psychopath hasn't returned my calls, so I'm sending the idiot.”
That line made me laugh hahaha.
i found the conversation with Dru a little hard to follow because of all the cryptic, but I'm sucker for anything even remotely resembling Buffy/Dru friendship, i just find them so funny together!
Hehe. Everyone loves the "the psychopath and the idiot" line. I didn't expect it to be such a huge hit.
Don't worry about the Dru conversation. It will all make sense... eventually. *evil grin*
This, THIS is my favorite chapter so far. I love when people are kinder to Dru. I always feel like the majority write her off as a complete nutter with little value other than as a foil, but she's always been a seer. It makes sense that she actually has more insight than everyone if even she can't always communicate it clearly. You balanced Dru's wickedness and precocious nature perfectly, and instead of making her another obstacle, turned her appearence into a pivotal moment for Buffy.
I absolutely loved it, and had to read it a few times because I plowed through so fast. Well done. I'm so excited to see how this monumental revelation will effect how Buffy proceeds now. SO excited!
Favorite chapter so far? Hmm. I guess I need to up my game. I'll see what I can come up with to bump this one down the list for you.
I'm seeing a lot of comments about people already doing rereads of this chapter. On one hand, that's a compliment. You enjoyed it that much, and I must have gotten some of the depth of Dru's tangled mind right. On the other hand, if you reread it too much, you might figure me out. I'd hate to have Dru ruin ALL the surprises.
Wow, I didn't know Dru could carry on a conversation. And what she revealed, I hope she's right!
Was Buffy's use of 'Angel' rather than 'Angelus' when talking about Acathala on purpose? It would be interesting to hear her take on that in this universe.
Some lovely comedic moments among Giles' reconciliation with Buffy as well.
As Spike said, this is Dru on a good day, nearly coherent. But she's still a mess.
Re 'Angel' vs 'Angelus': It's never addressed directly in Echoes, though there are one or two casual Buffy comments that add support to what she said here, conflating the two. The implication in those comments is that she sees how much of a dividing line there ISN'T between the two personas. Knowing Spike and seeing his journey are the likely causes. But it's just a stray implication in the background, never a focal point.
Time for Dru. I was really worried for how that will go, put it went perfect. I loved the line " I'm leaving your daughter for an older woman", another great one, "the pshycophat hasn't returned my call, so I'm sending the idiot". It was also nice to see that Spike is sure about Buffy's feelings, as we could see in his talk with Tara. Giles and Buffy also had a good talk, they are slowly building up a new kind of relationship.
Then this wonderful meeting between Buffy and Dru. Her cryptic talk seems to have a lot of meanings. It seems like, according to Dru that the claim will be part of the reason why Buffy doesn't have to jump. It also seems like after the claim Buffy won't be the light's champion anymore, she will be a champion for grey (balance). It also indicates the possibilities of kids, and after a long time, a return to heaven.
Dru's talk is cryptic and I'm probably over think some parts, but I had to make some guesses.
Spike was so scared when he knew that Buffy had met with Dru, but when he understood that Dru had, in a way helped Buffy, he treated her with some nice tenderness.
In the end a good talk between Spike and Tara, then Whistler and Buffy arrives. We got to learn how big net the Powers have created of all their lifes. I don't trust the Powers, the great good can be just as bad as the great evil. Speaking of the powers, are there acctually said somewhere that they are a power for good? From the show it seems like they were, but wasn't Whistler introduced as a "balance demon"? Then he shouldn't just work for the forces of good.
So many things to think about, and so many things I don't remember. This story really makes me think.
Unfortunately, I can't say much about what Dru's "gibberish" actually meant. I can only promise it will all make sense in retrospect. I will clarify one thing, though: Dru is definitely supporting the claim, and is sure it will be soon, but -as the Spike and Giles scene in Familiar Roads recently reminded us- 'soon' is a relative term. Is Buffy going to change her tune on putting off the claim until after the Glory thing is over? Maybe. Is Dru's phrasing -implying those two situations are connected- prophecy or suggestion? Either is possible. So if Buffy does or doesn't jump, and whether or not the claim plays any role in that, is still up in the air.
One of the things I love about how Porcelain Translations worked out is that there is very, very little direct Spike and Buffy conversation. There's a tiny bit with Giles at the beginning, a tiny bit with Dru in the middle, and a little with Whistler and Tara at the end. Zero one-on-one, and not much else, besides. But we still got something valuable stated about their relationship: Both of them expressed confidence and certainty about the relationship, one to Tara, and one to Giles. In the face of Dru's visit, neither of them flinched. Even if they haven't claimed each other yet, and are still under the suppressant, on an intellectual level, there is certainty. That they are effectively engaged in the 'demon marriage that lasts forever' sense is apparently starting to sink in.
Thanks again for another wonderful review, magnus!
Your Drusilla voice is outstanding. I love her here.
And I think Whistler revealed more than he intended...
I'm so glad everyone liked my Dru. (Yay!)
Yeah, Whistler's definitely talking too much. And in this chapter, he gave away that he's not being 100% honest, besides. Uh-oh.
I love how you've written Drusilla. Her coming to Buffy and talking with her was amazing. I was so hoping she would pop up..yea!
Who knows what the long game is now...thinking about all the plots, plans and predestined situations sends whirly birdies around my head.
ETA AFTER READING A SECOND TIME:
I loved when Spike cam in asking where his wife was...now Lydia will have to be told...something.
It was interesting that Buffy said "the psychopath who made her etc".. it reminded my that at this time in Angel-land they were in Pylea right? To save Cody or is it too early for that? But she did call him to try and get Angel to wrangle Dru. I like it better that Dru came to see and reassure Buffy. I'm not too worried she'd tell Angel because she knew well enough that they couldn't stay around the house or Glory might think she knew who the Key was...and I'm sure Dru knows that too.
They talk with Giles and Buffy seemed good. His understanding seems to be coming along at a slow steady rate, which is good. His slight annoyance at inside, time travel jokes is funny.
It's cute how Tara is mother henning. And I LOVED how Spike went to Joyce and was like Mum I'll be gone a day or too, cracking slight jokes. And when he told Dawn gimme a hug I'm leaving..... these little bits of family love and care moments make my heart swoon
I didn't originally expect to track Spike's walk through the house as he said goodbye to each member of the family. I was going to have the conversation with Tara, (possibly) show him saying goodbye to Buffy, and be done with it. But when he left Tara's room, it only made sense to keep walking with him, and it turned into a series of good family moments.
Yay for Buffy and Giles progress! It's such a joy to finally be posting the chapters with them in "repair" mode. They need it. WE need it. He's a good man to have around... most of the time.
Re 'the psychopath hasn't returned my calls': This isn't long after Epiphany in the AtS timeline, when Angel's been off the rails and out of the office for a while. Dru comes up to Sunnydale pretty much as soon as the burns have healed (from when Angel tried to set her and Darla on fire). You aren't too far off on the Pylea timing, though. That's in May, :)
Writing Dru was incredibly fun and incredibly useful. In addition to all the interesting things she said, we also got to see Buffy settling into this aspect of what the claim will mean. For one thing, Drusilla the Mad is going to think of her as sort of a daughter in law and sort of a blood relative. *gulp* That thought is kind of big and scary, all by itself. But Buffy handled being forced to face such details really well. And am I the only one tho is getting some fun friend chemistry from those two? I wish I could have them hang out more. It's kind of a shame Dru's a bad guy.
Re "Rupert... Where's my wife?": Part of me wanted to elaborate on that line, describe the tension in the hall, show the realization when Spike put together the two thoughts of "Dru's in town" and "Buffy's not here." detail the tone he used when he spoke, etc. But I left it alone. Most likely, the readers heard and saw the same things I did. And those who didn't likely heard and saw an equally valid interpretation of what I provided. The simplicity of the question, the answer, and the exit make it clear he realizes the two women are together... and neither Giles nor Spike think it will go any way but badly. Everything I didn't say can easily be flexed around that at the reader's will, left to their interpretation. As an aside, I'd like to add that the way that moment plays out in *my* head has Spike's voice so low and dread-filled, it's slightly chilling.
Pre-destined situations? Maybe a little. Plots and plans? Bunches. The PTB clearly likes to set things up with an eye to the big picture, looking at long term effects of various actions. Does that make them engineers of destiny/fate or just god-like, super-powered manipulators? Probably something in between.
More soon! Thanks for the lovely review!
I always wondered if Dru was really a Bad Guy. She was literally driven mad by Angelus before she was turned. And probably sired/trained to Angelus (and some of Darla's) needs and wants. Couldn't the addition of the Aurelian Slayer (I love that title) help her a bit...mommy do we have to send Dru away? Like you mentioned her and Buffy friendship was gold. Couldn't we get her on lambs blood with a side of human virgin blood every once in a while lol? Send her to hang out with Eddie and find her a boyfriend? That big, scary looking peaceful demon with the claws, can't remember his name, would probably be good. Buffy already likes him. I know you've probably already written her out but maybe next story you write? Wouldn't it be great to have a seer for Buffy?
Ok, that entire comment was adorable, especially the "mommy do we have to send Dru away?" bit. And the thought of Dru as Eddie's roommate and Rudy's girlfriend is hilarious!
Really loved Buffy and Dru playing in the park and sharing secrets. Glad Buffy's solution was to send her far away.
YAY Giles, he's coming around. Before long he'll be an asset to Buffy again (not to mention a father figure). This time I don't think he'd suggest sacrificing Dawn.
Yup, a much more complex plan is afoot. You know...this makes sense (Duh, of course you'd think so since you wrote it LOL).
Lovely update ... I've reread the Buffy/Dru part a few times and enjoyed it each time.
I couldn't bear to have Dru staked. I just couldn't do it. She's too fun. Even if she does have a dead slayer and a freakin' TON of other bodies to her name, I can't hate her. Telling her to keep her distance and keep a low profile was by far the better option. Also, I think -if she has to go- Spike should probably be the one to do it. I'd like to think Buffy sees it the same way.
It feels so good to finally be posting the "Giles and Buffy in repair mode" stuff. Spike was definitely right about her needing Giles for personal reasons (the fatherly relationship). But -as we've seen time and time again- the dividing line between the personal and the professional (slayage stuff) relationships is usually a little unclear in Buffy's world. Present, but blurry. So it seems likely the father figure will also become an ally again... Even if his role as watcher/advisor is unlikely to be restored.
We can't trust those PTB guys, can we? They bring into question what is fate and what is deliberate manipulation. And their long game is anyone's guess.
Hmmmm, Dru was a bit nuttier and harder for me to decipher but still enjoyed her appearance. Glad it was a nice visit. Love the joke on spike afterall she had to have some evil fun. But the discovery of how so many things been pre-ordained to lead to...not just Spuffy but a big part of it is. Can't wait for more to be revieled.
Dru's speech will make perfect sense after you finish reading the entire story. That's mostly because *I'm* evil, not because she is. Although that "hey, check out the still body of your woman across the park" bit was pretty evil.
Pre-ordained? Maybe? Pre-arranged? Definitely. The Powers seem to ride the line between "determining your fate" and "setting up situations with an eye to the long term," leaning a little more heavily toward the latter.
In Buffy's words, "Dance, monkey! Dance!"