Amazing continued use of flashbacks to give us more tenderness between Buffy & Spike, and of course it twists the knife. Love that last line - Spike always knows how to give Buffy what she doesn't realize she needs (in this case, her worry over their current state of affairs and a way to help mend it).
"Give your boyfriend our best" - I love how far Angel & Buffy have progressed that this can be laughed and teased about.
And Buffy's teasing of Dawn "until a bunch of monks decided I hadn't suffered enough". Thank you for these light-hearted moments. These humourous moments are often my favourites.
Also I feel that Whistler only really started calling her "Pratt" instead of "Summers" after Spike died. If I'm remembering right, he's really not a nice guy.
I wonder if that midnight picnic ever happened. That flashback was right before the events of Porcelain Translations, probably the very morning before, given that dealing with Dru sounds like it's just about to happen. Between Dru's visit and the argument about the Buffybot, did a second date night happen? It's implied that it might have, from the way Tara talks about them scheduling dates to Willow in Right There, but the tension between Spike and Buffy during that argument kinda makes you think it didn't. It ultimately wasn't important, so I never clarified the matter, either way. But it's a fun question to play with. Did they make time to duck out of their schedules and routines again for each other? Or did they just talk about it? Is it more important that he wanted to put her at ease about them having another strangely disconnected fling than that he might have actually done it?
Dawn cracking "Angel the boyfriend" jokes is a little rude, a little insensitive, and exactly the sort of teasing between sisters you expect. Buffy's swat at her feels like a practiced response, like this isn't the first time she's heard that joke. I love that moment not just for the humor, but for the strength of the relationship between Dawn and Buffy it implies. Dawn's a close friend and confidante, but she's still a little sister. I don't often do so well at displaying that, so I'm rather proud of that exchange.
Yes, I was completely loving it for the guesture implied in planning a midnight picnic - although I did wonder if they got to it, I decided it didn't matter as much as the intention.
I'm so glad Angel is being such a decent guy a real good friend to Buffy. I wish the Sunnydale group luck and hope they get along, but mostly I hope Spike comes back.
Angel as a friend to Buffy is foreign territory. The two of them have never interacted without a bunch of angsty, love-dovey gabage getting in the way. The Spike-shaped buffer between them (as a chosen mate, a status that apparently still stands and will not go away) has changed the dynamic into something entirely new. And I love every minute of it. The Buffy and Angel phone calls are my favorite part of this section of the story. I love those scenes.
The splitting up of the Time Scoobies from the Slayer Scoobies in geography really gives both groups a chance to find their footing. They're no longer interconnected on anything but a personal level, and that is likely to be a permanent situation, even though the geographical distance isn't.
I hate to see Tara so hurt but I would be wrong if I said I didn't see it coming a mile away. For all of the things that Willow has learned she still needs to learn that she is not the center of the universe. She can't just expect people to be the same even if Tara was not from the future. Tara, Spike, Dawn and Buffy have their unit and even if they were trying/hoping to get Spike back, they need to grieve as a unit. I hate that Buffy is going through this and I don't know if Whistler would be able to help but at least the PTB will understand that Buffy is just not going to wait around for them.
Yeah, I didn't make any attempt to make the break up a surprise. We all needed to see it coming, to understand Tara's own lack of surprise. It's a difficult situation. You think you know someone, and they change. You think you love someone, but when personality changes and gaps in experience get too wide, are you still loving the same person? Do you actually still love them for who they are? Or for how you remember them being? For the short term, at least, a break up was necessary.
Love Giles' line about the profitable Folly not being in Lydia's thesis. The damage from being an outsider runs deep, but Willow's inability to appreciate or take any pride in Tara's increased abilities and role in the group is disturbing. As is Buffy drinking straight out of the bottle. If it's important enough for him to keep coming back, maybe someone needs to listen Whistler whether they act on what he tells them or not. On the other hand, since he can pop in and out at will, what game is he playing that he doesn't just blurt out whatever he wants to say in between punches?
We'll be seeing Whistler again soon. And this time, there's going to be a conversation.
A sweet memory from happier times at the beginning. They had the day and night skift, but they did have some time together and that of course make the memory better then the now.
So Willow has to stay behind when they are leaving for Bath. She just come home from england and now she learns that her girlfriend are going there, but she is not allowed to follow. Well then it's nothing else to do but have a break up. Tara still want them to have a relationship, at this point I has to wonder why? Tara herself has changed a lot in many different ways and Willow do have trouble dealing with that. Willow hasn't really been given that much of a chance to acctually do sone dealing. She has been back for somthing like 20 days and during that time there has been several battles and 2 deaths. The possibility of some new bonding hasn't been that great. If there was any chance for the relationship to survive then they had to spend time together. Willow needed to know the new Tara but when things are calming downTara is moving away for months probably. This is a lowpoint for Willow, her best friend don't want her anymore and as far as she can tell, her girlfriend don't want her either. After the lies, the silence and the changes there's just memories left of the relationship they once had, an emty shell.
I really hope that Willow can be a friend to Faith, they both need it at this point.
Some good friendly talking between Buffy and Tara where they bothcan talk about losses in their relationship and about Buffy's plan. Tara is trying to prepair Buffy for the worst while still being supportive, not an easy thing to do. I was totally wrong about the dream people, but it does make sense for it to be them. The phonecall with Angel seems to be a daily thing. It's nice to see him being this good and supportive. We know that he can be that, he just offten isn't. Angel seems to be another thing to keep Buffy grounded and he is the closest thing to Spike that Buffy has.
We also got to see a good little moment with Xander. I acctually has hope for him and Anya now. Faith was seen to, she and Anya should be able to get along. A wellwritten moment with Buffy and Faith in the basement when they thought about another Oscar Wilde print. Buffy took one with her, could that be the one we haven't seen yet?
Then at the end we are at Williams folly, could it be the farm that Drusilla spoke of? It looks like Buffy is relaxing more her and allows herself to grief.
Neither Tara nor Willow is ready to give up on each other, but they're in a holding pattern for now.
The Angel and Buffy nightly phone calls are support, stability, and the fostering of a connection that means something totally different from what it used to, but might matter even more. Angel is her ex and Spike's family, the cross point of their histories, and reason they had their first-ever peaceful (ish) conversation. He's her connection to Spike.
Yep, the one Buffy took with her is the fifth one, the one we haven't yet seen. It's going to the Folly, to be placed in another bedroom.
And yes, the Folly is the farm Dru mentioned. Nice catch!
Well, you said that everything Dru said had a meaning and since the folly seemed to be an important place, it felt right.
I'm sorry I don't usually review, but I can only send 'likes' from my phone, and my laptop is usually connected to teh company network - not exactly the best medium to be reading Spuffy in. Anyway, I wanted to say that your fic is one of the best I've ever read!
That being said I'd like to just say that for someone who realized her main mission is containing Willow's magic abuse, Buffy is sure making a hash of things. In Willow's shoes I would have probably dumped Tara and felt more alienated than ever with the way things have turned out. If nothing changes Dark Willow will be all Buffy's fault.
Therefore unless Willow is the one to bring Spike back, I'm not sure how things could possibly get turned around.
My own personal theory is that that's exactly what Whistler is trying to tell Buffy, but is unable to due to her pig-headed hostility.
I'm glad you're enjoying it. Likes are definitely appreciated. Thanks!
So far, Willow's magic abuse hasn't been a problem, post-Devon. She's still a slightly untamed witch, but she's doing ok. The problems with Willow are mostly personal:
Both Buffy and Willow did crappy things to their friendship (Buffy through blatant neglect, Willow through lack of empathy and acceptance), in addition to the simple 'growing apart' young adulthood stuff the time travel isue made more extreme. There's so little left, they're barely even friends.
Tara's 'growing apart' from Willow has been even more extreme, making Tara feel like a stranger to Willow, someone with totally different priorities and attitudes. There might still be love there, but the relationship -if it is to be restarted at any point- would to have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
This chapter is leaving me wondering about Willow and Xander's Star Wars rewatch tradition. My sibs and I always did it as a summer thing. And I'm wondering who out of Willow and Xander twigged to the other way to see Star Wars first, where Obi-wan and Yoda are much more ambiguous characters. I remember the first time I realized Yoda could be just as evil as the Emperor. It was pretty shocking to a kid. In the abstract, I'd expect Willow who loves school and was good at studying to get that double vision Star Wars experience first. But in this story I feel like maybe she hasn't had it yet, or it hasn't sunk in yet. And I feel like Obi-wan's big speech about "from a different point of view" is really important to this chapter and to Willow's story.
(duh, it's not just a Xander and Willow thing. you know Buffy has sat in on at least one Star Wars marathon with them. I'm pretty sure Anya loves Leia as a character. And you know it was a part of Dawn's life, and Tara's.)
I'm not sure Willow and Tara's relationship is doomed here. Maybe it is. But right now Tara is a few steps ahead of Willow, in at least a couple aspects of their shared life. And we've spent the whole story reading about another couple where one partner has been a few steps ahead for years and years. And the author swears Buffy and Spike not doomed. So I have hope that Willow and Tara can find their own way to balance out their growing and changing. Because a relationship where neither person can grow or change can't last. One where you both can grow tho? Is awesome. And I am very sure Willow does not want to recreate Anakin's deathbed redemption scene.
"And we've spent the whole story reading about another couple where one partner has been a few steps ahead for years and years."
While we've been watching Buffy finally start to catch up in her relationship, we've been watching Willow fall behind in hers. The final days of the Glory fiasco really brought it home to both of them. Buffy has pretty much caught up (worst timing ever, freakin' canon Chosen all over again) and Willow has fallen so far behind, she's fallen out of it completely. But if there was hope for the disaster story of Buffy and Spike, there's hope for Willow and Tara.
Ginar has already said most of what I was going to say, and said it better.
Willow can still only see events from her own point of view and doesn't think anyone else's feelings are as important as her own. Massive blind spot. Hope she grows a bit while the others are away, and makes a real effort to help Faith, or she's going to be the Outsider forever.
I really hope that Buffy's right about Spike coming back at the Folly. (Love the name and the legend behind it!)
As always, eager for the next chapter...
We're about to get more of Willow's place in the Slayer Scoobies. Coming soon!
The story behind who named the Folly and why is one of those things that fell into place. It seemed fitting that Angelus would say something derisive about Spike investing in real estate, and Spike would thumb his nose at the commentary. Of course, I didn't think of that until Buffy said, "You should know where I'm going. You named the place." That's when I came up with the orchard story. And it fit naturally in with the money jokes.
Angelus didn't think ahead, just plowed through his life, enjoying his power without worrying about consequences (*cough* dead gypsy girl *cough*). As a result, we saw Cordelia Chase lecture him on his lack of investment portfolio in 1999. Spike, on the other hand, has always been a planner for the few things he classifies as important -such as killing slayers- and worried about the consequences on big stuff -such as resurrecting a dead slayer with magic. His impulsive, reckless streak has gotten him into a lot of trouble over the years, thwarted his own plans (*cough* showing up to kill his third slayer two days early *cough*), but not always. The result is that what Angelus sneered at in the 1890s was the first piece of a fortune. And we all know Angel isn't exactly rolling in dough in that rat trap hotel.
I really didn't have to go far out of canon character to create the "closet real estate tycoon" Spike, or to tie it into his history with Angel. It was almost as easy as pulling the "Treasure of Amara solves money troubles" Spuffy fanfic trope, and almost fits the characters better.
I knew they weren't going to make it. It isn't even the changes in Tara that caused it. It's Willow inability to see beyond what she wants. She doesn't get how upset Buffy is. The level of grief she is experiencing. She's still looking at it like "It's just Spike." So why would Buffy need Tara? Willow wants to be with Tara and yeah I get that they've been apart for months. But Buffy actually needs Tara. To focus on the changes in Tara instead of what happened on the tower is callous of Willow. I think Tara is seeing the real Willow. She is selfish and really doesn't understand the emotions of others. Or at the very least is unable to put them before herself. With Willow it's always been how things effect her that matter. Not what is actually going on. She is a very selfish child and Tara has grown. They aren't the same people anymore. I don't think her time with the coven has done much good afterall. Willow wants to be the center of Tara's world. No it's even more than that. She wants to be the only thing in Tara's world. She wants to control Tara's interactions with the rest of the world and Tara isn't playing by the rules any more. She's branched out even before Willow went to Bath and Willow doesn't like it one bit. Willow's offer to come with them is pretty much the same thing. She can't be useful to Buffy right now. The only way to be useful is to do what Buffy asked and welcome Faith. To become a team with Faith. She doesn't really want to go with to help comfort Buffy because I don't think she thinks Buffy needs it as much as Tara says. She wants to spend time with Tara. She's already shown just how she thinks Buffy's grieving should look. She wants everything like it was. Her as the BFF, Tara as the quiet, shy girlfriend. Who knows what Willow will do now. With Buffy, Tara and Giles gone there really isn't anyone to stop her magic use. And really the coven training? Didn't do all that much I think. It's going to be all about Willow's grief now over the breakup. And we all know what happens when Willow gets dumped.
Being in the place where she met her children yeah that was the thing to make her cry. Because deep down she knows the plans could have changed and Spike might not come back. So those kids she met might not ever exsist. And she wanted them. So she realizes that she might have lost more than Spike up on that tower. And if Spike doesn't come back.... Well she really will need stock in Jack because if she doesn't keep drinking enough to supress the bond she will go crazy.
Exactly. Willow's offer to go with them to Bath is about spending time with Tara, not about helping Buffy. I think Tara spots that right away. "It's not your grief; it's ours" really sums it all up. Willow isn't grieving the loss of Spike. She isn't looking for a way to help Buffy. She's looking for a way to help herself. Treat the loss like a simple little break up, complete with ice cream, and try to go back to how things were, with Buffy her BFF again, and eaning on her for support. Treat Tara like the girlfriend who needs protecting, who relies on Willow to keep her in the Scoobies, and maybe she'll feel needed and important again, and not be someone who watches her gf punch PTB agents in the face, wondering who that girl is.
Everything changed... except Willow. She still wants to control the situation, to be needed and important. She can't change the situation, and her importance isn't where it used to be. Her importance is to Faith, to the Slayer Scoobies. Not to Buffy and Tara. They have each other.
The kitchen at the Folly brings it all up into Buffy's face. The future. The kids. Spike doing a crap job of not looking proud of his future demon-hunting daughter and marveling at his "reflection" in his son's appearance. Things that could have been, that might no longer be. And -with her first tears- we see the doubt Buffy's been trying so hard to hide.
WOW. So much happening. Don't know how it is going to go with Willow and Tara. Willow is so cavalier about Spike's death. Yeah, I know, she didn't have the same relationship and wasn't there to see it BUT she supposedly loves Buffy and at least intellectually know Buffy loved him. The casual wave of the hand! Tara was right to mark that response.
Went back to re-read the dream now that I realize it was Tara and Angel she saw and noticed the WILLOW TREE shifting in the wind (oh how appropriate THAT is) and how they surrounded Spike's gravestone. My guess is WIllow is going to play a part in his return after all but her shifting stance on things will need to be addressed first.
There is more (you are clever that way LOL) but for now that's what I've got.
No one is letting Whistler pass on any more cryptic anything LOL. They might want to hear what he has to say.
Giles is on board and this is how I think Giles might have been at this point in time had Buffy shown a desire to include Spike and insisted they treat him as one of them.
Buffy can't help but look at that yard and think of the twins playing there as they grow up. Has to hurt.
LOL a home on all the hellmouths ... VERY Spike. I see Santa Fe is one and I have to say that based on our legislature I'd say there are pleny of demons there now I know why LOL.
Excellent chapter with clues and resolutions (sorta) and loose ends to untangle. Nicely done.
The willow tree was a direct reference to a location. Spike's gravestone in the dream was standing in for Buffy's in the original timeline. Same spot. I had the 'curvy young woman' leaning against one of them as a hint to her identity (a physical connection to Willow). The tree was shifting in part because I wanted to create a question (if only for a moment) of whose gravestone Buffy was seeing in the dream. She only saw the year of death and surname at first. Spike's? Her own? Both? She doesn't see the left side of the stone until her friends are turning to face her, to help her.
I'm glad you like the choice of locations for the houses. Of *course* it would be Hellmouth towns. So I guess Santa Fe isn't one of the defunct ones? LOL I'll keep that in mind.
The waiting to know if he will come back its soo painful... I hope we don't have to wait 147-148 days for have him back IF he is coming back... I feel sad for Buffy =(
Nope. Not 147.