I do love this story. And I get Buffy's desperation, anger and need for Spike. Plus, I love that letter from Joyce. Unfortunately, I'm a bit confused about this Plan B. Maybe I'm not supposed to YET. But I will agree that the PTB better give her back Spike now before she explodes.
She's been pretty vague about this new Plan B. You're not getting the plan handed to you. It's building up in pieces. "Storm the castle" is the best summary she's offered so far.
"Word on the street is, you and your temper are drawing some attention with the bosses.”
Bad ass Buffy is awesome! I love that you've included Doyle in this story - totally fits in and great to give him life again, even fictionally.
I also love all of the additional "scoobies," particularly Faith. Tarnished heroes/heroines on the road to redemption played well ... really add a lot of depth. Loved Faith in Season Seven, love her here!
*whisper*: bring back Spike!
It's nice to see the widowed General still has some fire in her belly, isn't it? And I'm thrilled everyone is liking Faith and Doyle. I love the scenes with them.
So it was the Council they broke into, and they stole books, Buffy has come a long way. I can almost feel Giles worry about the situation, especially when Buffy talked about being an enemy of the Powers. He had a really good line there about not knowing which part of Buffy he was talking to. Buffy's plan B is starting to look like the thought I had about waging war on the Powers.
Whistler really don't like being a hostage and tries to make Buffy feel guilty. Well I suppose he has to try something. If the Powers really needed him back, they could probably send a team to get him though. It feels like they are playing a game and the forces of good can be just as dangerous as the forces of evil.
Buffy had a good talk with Faith. Just as I thought Anya and Faith gets along really well. Now we got to see Joyce's letter, that must have been hard for Buffy. Faith managed to lighten the mode a bit though.
We also got to see the last canvas. It really fits on "a farm where memories grow".
Buffy is getting really close to try for plan B, hopefully Doyle will be able to bring some good news. Also a nice interaction between him and Buffy.
Yeah, Giles is a little freaked out by a Buffy who robs the watcher academy and acts for all the world like she's gearing up for a fight against the PTB. Can't blame him, really. We're not in
Kansas Sunnydale anymore, and Buffy's no ordinary slayer. That's coming home to him, big time.
Whistler as an unfortunate history of being played by his bosses in order for things to go according to plan. Sometimes, HE'S a puppet, too. The fact that a single, half-hearted hostage negotiation attempt from Doyle is the closest his bosses have come to trying to rescue him from his possibly insane captor is rather telling, isn't it?
I LOVE the Faith and Buffy phone call. It's the highlight of the chapter for me, by far. Everything about that conversation just clicked into place.
The last Oscar Wilde quote: The Dru line you quoted explains why I revealed the text at the Folly. And -given that our main characters are time travelers- it's easy to understand why Buffy classified it as the most important one.
I love Buffy taking action to get Spike back and everything but...CONSEQUENCES. Magic has consequences was a patented Spike line but that could apply to life in general. She is basically trying to get back her future, the one she saw with the Twins. But if I remember correctly there was something off about it. Buffy pushing her son to get in the family business so that there was a bit of a distance between them and some sort of secret it looked like from that last bathroom scene in the flash forward. What if those things are the consequences of what Buffy is doing now? So while I love her taking action, this ain't no hell god you messing with Buffy. Her actions could drop a stone with far reaching ripples that could affect her, Spike and the Twins for a long time.
Also while they think Whistler is a liar and manipulator he has helped in his own way and they really need to listen to him just a little. That tirade about corrupting Tara and Dawn might have a little truth in it.
And since they know Spike is alive and well on a mission, maybe they should find out what it is first before pulling him out of it.
Love the story. Can't wait for the next chapter.
Consequences or causes? That is the question. Is that a matter of perspective? Simple word choice?
The thing about Whistler is that he's rarely totally straight-forward, but he also rarely actually lies. He's opinionated and looking out for his own interests (and/or his bosses' interests), but that doesn't make him wrong. Is Buffy going a little too wild and taking down Dawn and Tara with her? Very possibly.
But do they know what they're doing? Tara warned Dawn back in Sunnydale Buffy could be leading them down a very rough road, right or wrong. But both are in it, anyway, right by her side, willing to support the mission, Time Scoobies for life. For Dawn, it's feeling truly needed and included for the first time, and I think she's a little high on that feeling. What better cause than getting Spike back, anyway? For Tara, she will support her friend, her fellow traveler, hoping they get the other one back, and be there, a willing shoulder, if it doesn't work out. For Dawn's it's sort of an adventure. For Tara, it's loyalty.
And one other thing about Whistler: There's an established history of his bosses not telling him everything. He's a puppet in some ways, too. He's just closer to the top of the marionette strings.
"This break-in is nothing compared to what the next one will look like.”
Giles jerked his head up at her severe tone, his eyes drawn to the fierce look in hers. “Sometimes, I don't know who I'm talking to,” he whispered. “The widow, the general, or a slayer far too in touch with her inner demon.”
“All of the above, Giles. One and the same. Just like my husband, my lieutenant, and my chosen mate.” Oh is she on mission now. Giles knows Buffy well enough to know she is not crazy or all threats. He takes her VERY seriously. AND, more to the point and yay for it....he is in her corner. The Giles who betrayed her, who left her, if not this man. This is the one she knew and loved for the early years. She may have lost the bond with Willow but she has gained a deeper one with Giles, Xander, Faith, Tara and even Dawn...fair trade.
“As for being rooked, do you really think well-paid humans who work with demons would risk embezzling? There's a big difference between 'I could go to jail' and 'I could end up on a snack tray.'” This was SO Buffy and so very funny.
“You think I'm nuts, don't you?”
“Right now, I have an agent of the PTB tied to a chair in my kitchen. I'm holding him hostage.”
“Whoa! ...Maybe more than a little.” I ADORED the entire conversation between Faith and Buffy. Every. Single. Word.
The letter from Joyce was sweet and a good reminder to Buffy to cherish the love, to not forget the Buffy in the General. Really lovely touch.
"Sometime very soon, I'm going to cross a line I can't uncross. I'm going to kill this man. And then I'm going to storm the castle.” I completely believe her. *cackles in glee* I just KNEW she was planning on storming the gates and taking back her man! She's taken on the FE for a lot of people, many she didn't even know and lots who betrayed and hurt her. Why wouldn't she take on the FG (it just sounded right even though the jury is out on if the PTB are the first good or even good at all) for the man she loves and the life she was tempted to expect.
“You know,” he said gently. “Changing the situation from a looming threat to a more pressing one... It might bite you in the ass, Firecracker. You're messing with the big boys, here.”
She shook her head. “I don't care. Tell them to send Sparky home, or they're going to have a mightily brassed off slayer on their doorstep. I'm going to Plan B.” Oh yeah....defcon 2 at least and zeroing in on 1. http://www.wikihow.com/Understand-the-Defcon-Scale whatever they have Spike working on is going to pale in significance if she blows.
"increased the threat level from 'scary rage slayer' to 'impatient scary rage slayer.'” Just like her other half....not really patient. LOL I think Spike would actually be shocked at how intent she is on forcing his return. It would certainly wipe out any doubt about how she feels (it should to all of them).
Oh yay! Doyle is helping AND he is going to be part of that lovely future with the kids as well. I heartily approve. I think he'd be a much better agent for handling Buffy and Spike....let Whistler continue to handle Angel!
Well worth coming home to read and savor. Great update. I can feel the anticipation.
Feels good to get the General back in action, doesn't it? She's on the mission, and ready to kick some ass. *happy dance* And Spike-ish impatience? Icing on the cake.
And Giles is finally not only someone she would trust to walk behind her Lieutenant, but someone she trusts to help get him back. Giles, for his part, keeps getting surprised by her, in various ways, but he's hanging on for the ride, not turning away from her. Her stalwart watcher has become her stalwart friend and ally, just like he should have as she outgrew his tutelage in canon. It's been a hard road, but they managed to bring the relationship to its natural destination.
You're right about Buffy's friendships and bone-deep connections to people. No doubt, her own blase attitude about her friendship with Willow is part of the reason it collapsed, but all her other relationships are richer and stronger than ever. Giles, of course. Tara, the third time traveler who is a part of a rock solid best bud trio with the other two (early years B/X/W redone with a more complex, more mature dynamic).
Xander, who isn't in the Time Scoobies, but is a dear friend to Buffy and Spike, and not afraid to show it. Anya isn't the resident ex-demon annoyance, she's a friend.
Faith is coming into her own, and already proving she's the right woman to replace Buffy in the Slayer Scoobies, not even considering the superpowers angle. Buffy's faith (unfortunate pun) in her is well-founded, but it's a cycle- She wouldn't be able to prove herself worthy of it if it weren't there in the first place. And the side effect is Faith with a Scooby team and Buffy with a new-old friend.
Dawn -despite missing Spike- is in clover. She's a real Scooby now, something she's wanted for a while. She's a Time Scooby, which isn't what she originally expected, but still 'in the club.' She's getting combat training, she's in on the action, and she's being treated like a grown up. From her perspective, there's a lot of awesome to be found here. And she's living up to it, as best she can. Buffy stopped treating Dawn like a kid and found out her little sister is a willing friend and ally. Their relationship is now closer to friends than the old big sis-little sis dynamic. Meanwhile, the "close, sisterly bond" you might have expected to form between them has formed between Dawn and Tara. They're all tightly tied together, and they like it.
Angel is doing his pouting quietly, out of sight ('cause you KNOW old broody pants is, I don't even have to say it in the text), and trying his best to live up to his role as a friend and clan elder. He's lost Buffy in the romantic sense, no question, no turning back. Being forced to accept that puts him in a position to explore a different relationship with her, to really be friends for the first time. ...And that's going to come with a side order of "getting along with Spike," at least a little.
And now we've got Doyle coming into the mix, with an attitude of "I mean to help, not play games with you," followed by "It looks like I'm a family friend in the future, so I'm going to roll with that, and be a friend now." Typical Doyle. Easy going, straight forward, a little flirty, and willing to give what he can to the mission.
Thanks for the update. Good chapter, I liked the Buffy and Faith talk a lot and I always like Doyle.
The Faith phone call is the highlight of this chapter for me. I love it. So much ground is covered, and you really get a feel for Faith as a person, as someone who could become Buffy's friend, not just "the other slayer."
OK, you did it. You broke me. "Spike always comes home."
Thanks for the bit of hope at the end there!
If I took this long to get you teary-eyed, you're tougher than most. Actually, you're tougher than me. Buffy's screaming at Whistler at the base of the tower is my personal breaking point.
I'm not much of a crier, even when I really want to. Maybe it's b/c my eyes are naturally very dry... lol!
I liked Doyle in the show, and missed him when he 'died'; having Doyle be their new case agent would be a great idea. No reminders of old times with Angel for either Buffy or Spike, which I consider to be a bonus. Also, just the way Buffy responds to Doyle is way more positive than Buffy ever was to Whistler. That relationship was strained from the beginning. It also helps that Doyle really seems to be on Buffy's side, while Whistler always struck me as snide and condescending. Maybe that's just me, but even in the show, it never seemed like Whistler cared much for Buffy. In any case, great job! I really love this story!! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with the rest of us.
I tried to develop Whistler in line with the brief exposure we had to him in canon. His "just doing a job" attitude is a vibe I got from Becoming, and I worked with that quite a bit. I also heavily used the bad first impression of him Buffy got to develop his relationships with the travelers. Buffy has never liked him, and (right or wrong) blames him for causing all the Angel trouble, Acathla specifically. Spike adopted a similar atittude, with less venom, in part because Buffy hates Whistler, and in part from finding Whistler to be a drain on his patience. Tara was open and friendly with him for as long as she could stand it. But when he brought his shrugged-shoulders, "just the job" attitude to a death scene, she'd had all she could take.
Doyle didn't show up smug, but apologetic. He's working on finding a way to help, not playing cryptic games. He's also very relatable. He died a hero, saving humanity. He's "a friend of the family," someone they have some connection to. Where Whistler reveled in knowing more than his cases and hid behind his bosses when challenged, Doyle knows far less, but is willing to break rules and piss off the bosses to help someone he isn't even assigned to (except maybe as a hostage negotiator). Total opposites.
I so love how this is developing....
I always think of "the 40s" (the chapters we're in right now) as almost a separate story, because everything changes after the tower. When you look back, you can see the threads connecting them, can see the roots of the 40s throughout the story. But without Spike, with Buffy not being her usual self, after the formalization of the split between the teams (complete with replacement slayer and a split in geography), and the focus shifted to a new mission, it's drastically different from the earlier chapters.
I had been wondering what happened to Joyce's letter!
*stares at it trying to decide if it's a clue or not*
*stares at the building pile of shoes, trying to decide if they're about to topple over on our heads*
See, I didn't forget Joyce's letter! I originally had it on the list of story threads that would carry over into the sequel. Faith's phone call would remind us of it, and relocate it to Buffy's nightstand drawer, and it would be read early in the sequel. But it didn't feel like something that should wait, should carry over. It needed to be seen in the first 'book,' to strengthen both Buffy's resolve and the relationship between her and Faith. It was a very personal letter, Buffy's last words from her mother, and Faith became a part of that experience, bringing them closer together.
The only real clue in the letter was personal stuff, not mission stuff. The letter was written between the time Joyce was told they were travelers and when she let it slip that she'd figured out she was likely to die. The letter hints that she'd figured it out pretty quickly. The fact that she hid it in the weapons chest is both a reference to the ring she'd found there less than two weeks before, and a nod to the fact that she didn't plan on letting it slip that she knew her death was coming. She wanted the letter to be found later, not right away. (I doubt she expected it to be read by Glory's minions, resealed, and later read by Faith over the phone to Buffy the Young Widow, who was in a farmhouse in Bath, trying to figure out how to start a bigger war. Things went a little sideways from everybody's expectations.)
Well that's a big reversal from canon season 6!! Buffy thought Spike was the bad influence then and now it her!!! Taking Dawn on a B&E of the Council!! I'm surprised Giles hasn't called the council to get Buffy some treatment or restrained by now! So she is on the right track although I hope Doyle pulls those strings soon or she will go nuclear. Faith seems to be doing great. She really has grown since Buffy visited her in jail. Loved the letter from Joyce.
Buffy's a terrible influence, alright. My, how things have changed!
Giles is trusting her, but the poor man is being put through the ringer for it. She's not making it easy.
I'm so thrilled everyone is loving the Doyle and Faith stuff. Expanding the cast this late in a story was risky, but I really felt it was necessary. Sunnydale and the Slayer Scoobies need Faith. The Folly and the Time Scoobies need Doyle.