You certainly know how to depict Dawn in her most nasty cruel mode - even if it comes from a place of emotional self-defense. Great job with Spike and the heart breaking reunion - after Dawn's ice cold cruel rejection he has to be feeling like his life has come down to a complete failure.[Report This]
Pain!!! I am feeling a lot of pain and I so feel for Spike. This is story is giving me a hell of a roller coaster ride when it came to the emotiona I feel. Amazing job at that by the way. Anyway, gonna go and read the next one now!
Aw, thank you! I guess that means I'm doing my job. :D
And now I feel bad for Spike too. You're beating on my feels, spuffy, and I know it's only going to get worse. I need an Andrew chapter to cheer me up. That said, I know your goal with this story was to experiment with all the different characters points of view, and I'm enjo the changes so far. I think you're capturing the voices well (the Angel chapter might as well have been written in a brooding font, I'm thinking Andrew's font would be Comic Sans).
Haha, I kind of like the idea of using different fonts *brain wanders off...*
It's all about the voices, so yay! Thanks!
God, I want to slap her; what about what he went through and he did inform your group that Buffy was back. And maybe Buffy is just waiting for her chance to escape. Teach you to think you have everything in control and don't need him.
I realized I forgot to mention her by name - I'm talking about Dawn. Hope that made more sense. Sorry I sometimes get so wrapped up in my thoughts I forget that were starting pretty far back and you might not recall exactly who I'm speaking of.
I'm reading this with great avidity, only I always have to re-read the whole thing when there are updates because I'm reading other fics in the interval and everything gets confused--not fair to such a great material. I'll tell you more about how much I like this story as soon as I can!
LOL, I can imagine the confusion. Thanks for letting me know you're reading and enjoying! :)
A bad situation for both Angel and Spike with Buffy's twisted knowledge of her history. Spike's thoughts about what he should do and if it is Buffy or not was done well. Andrew is always a joy to read. Poor Spike with Dawn's treatment of him, but this isn't easy for her either. After mourning both Buffy and Spike, she learned that they both are back. Buffy doesn't remember her and Spike hasn't told her he was back. The shock from all this and feeling betrayed by Spike make her act like this.
You nailed it with Dawn. Poor thing. I'm glad you're enjoying Andrew. I'm short on geek references, so I have to work extra hard to get in his head.
Chapter 8 soon, please please please? I enjoyed Chapter 7 tremendously. You always make me look up the meaning of your titles - "self". Of course. This story and especially this chapter reminds me thematically of beer good foamy's Building Character, and brings me back to the observation I made in chapter 3 that in order to find Buffy, they need Buffy. But who IS Buffy, now? What is it that makes Buffy "Buffy"? The Slayer here would give Quentin Travers' a hard-on : a killing machine, she's got a bit of Kendra and even Faith to her, Buffy's old fierceness without the mercy or grace.
This story could be subtitled "Deconstructing Buffy". I can think of precious few Spuffy authors who pay as much attention to her character as they do to Spike's, and I love you for that.
The glimpse of gentleness when she listens to Spike talk about Dawn and then meets Dawn gives me hope that whatever spell or drug is affecting her can be undone; that the really-real Buffy is locked inside this girl. (And she will NOT be pleased to have had her mind and memories fucked with - Lindsay better be prepared for a major ass kicking. Unless you're going to go open ended or sad on us, which I also am fully primed to expect.)
And i have a lot of sympathy for Dawn here; people forget that her abandoment issues and traumas are just as severe as Buffy's. This girl has endured a LOT in just two or three years; and she's completely in character here. She's not as forgiving as her sister; maybe it's her relative youth but she has no time for bullshit or excuses. That said,
Stupid to posture with this one, when she undid him so.
The simplicity and phrasing of that sentence and the emotion it contains undid me a little too.
Don't you get it? Don't you see? You came back wrong –
He shut his eyes against the memory, the pain almost enough to send him to his knees. Angel was right. They weren't the ones to help Buffy. Christ, what he'd done to her the last time. The cockup he'd made of trying to give her what she needed.
Did I mention how much I love you?
I cannot count the number of fics that claim "Spike was only ever kind and gentle and loving to her and could have given her what she needed if only she'd allowed him to..." Bless you for pointing out the fact that his "love" was often fucked up and selfish; that he used her in his own ways as much as she used him. (yeah I said it.) Smashing her in the face and exploiting her worst fears was not loving behavior. It was the demon's way of love.
Of course I think Spike could do and is doing better now, but the soul is so new, he doesn't have much experience or confidence that he's truly wiser than he was then.
And points for the names Spike calls Angel, especially Mr Manpain *lol*, but then making it clear how complicated their relationship to one another is.
I'm really curious what Buffy thinks of all this, how she's internally reacting to the news that the man who rescued her isn't her watcher, that she has family and friends he never told her about. Again, back to "what makes Buffy Buffy?" and Spike is smart enough to know that it's her relationships, her loyalties, her love.
I had such a hard time naming this. And then I eventually stumbled on ipseity by playing around with different thematic words related to the story on thesaurus.com, and decided I'd found a winner. The quesion of Buffy's selfhood is in there (though nowhere near as elegantly explored as BGF's story), but also everybody else's. Who are they, without Buffy? Everybody's concept of self was defined in relation to Buffy for the past seven years (again with being the title character).
I know how much you love Buffy. Hopefully I'll do her justice. :) Heh, and no longer do readers automatically expect the happy ever after from me. I am pleased.
Dawn's abandonment issues have abandonment issues. I read this somewhere. Or maybe it's a phrase I used somewhere. Either way, it's so true.
Whenever I start to be swayed by Fic!Spike, I remind myself of him telling Buffy she Came Back Wrong. Trying to force himself on her was not the worst of his behavior, to my way of thinking. And the fact that he recognizes that means, yes, much better now. Sometimes the least selfish thing you can do is acknowledge that you can be of no help.
We get to Buffy next chapter. So many people are wondering how she's reacting to this. Hopefully y'all will be satisfied with my take on it.
Everybody's concept of self was defined in relation to Buffy for the past seven years (again with being the title character).
It's the burden of being the protagonist ("protagonist burden" isn't as nifty a catchphrase as "protagonist privlledge".)
Everybody's concept of self was defined in relation to Buffy for the past seven years (again with being the title character).
It's the burden of being the protagonist ("protagonist burden" isn't as nifty a catchphrase as "protagonist privlledge".) And it's interesting that you've crossed over into AtS with this story, which had it's own protagonist (Angel) but btvs was the wellspring, the "mother" of that series. And here we have a story in which Buffy is and is not the protagonist - truly a multi-protagonist fic, although the center problem is still "Who is Buffy and who are we in relation to her? Who are we because of her? Who are we when she's not there?" (A question I think Spike and Angel had to wrestle with a lot on AtS; but everyone wrestled with at the beginning of S3 and S6.)
Buffy is a presence even in her absence.
and no longer do readers automatically expect the happy ever after from me. I am pleased.
Sometimes the least selfish thing you can do is acknowledge that you can be of no help.
Or simply to say "I don't know." (This is one of Willow's failings in canon but to be fair, I understand this about her, because all her self-esteem is rooted in having the "right" answers, not in the process of figuring things out and learning. But that's pretty true of our culture generally I think - we reward the product not the process.)
Dawn's abandonment issues have abandonment issues.
Yep yep yep. HUGE amounts of trauma that girl endures and - so she's a little bitchy occasionally? If that's the worst we can say about her (but goodness knows, a female character being a bitch is far far worse in the eyes of most readers than a male character who rapes, murders, and commits all manner of offenses, so long as he is charming. I'm glad you didn't back off of any aspects of Dawn's character here: her courage, her anger and grief, her fierce loyalty, her girlishness. But that sounds an awful lot like Buffy when I describe her that way.)
Ok and now I'm wondering if Summers' blood will come into this in some mystical or healing way. (Season 9 of the comics effed that opportunity up royally by having Dawn a damsel and Buffy not able to remember the events of the Gift - but Willow did? *grrr*)
Whenever I start to be swayed by Fic!Spike, I remind myself of him telling Buffy she Came Back Wrong. Trying to force himself on her was not the worst of his behavior,
Shh! The Spuffies might hear us! *lol* I have a hard time reading most fics here at EF because there is almost ALWAYS a sentence to the effect that Spike gave her everything unselfishly, was always there for her, AWAYS said the right things (that one drives me nuts) and would have loved her gently if she had allowed him to (that one drives me extra nuts with a side of sauce). Bollocks. He was capable of great tenderness - and of being a total shit. (I was looking at caps of Harsh Light of Day and he was a total shit to poor Harmony. This is pre-chip of course but that sort of proves the point.) He wasn't an innocent bystander at any point. The bad went both ways. I suspect she was also capable of more tenderness than she's given credit for.
So Buffy doesn't know about Dawn and still doesn't recognize her. I wonder how she'll react to the Scoobies and I'm curious to see how much Lindsey told her and how much he just didn't know. I'm also really looking forward to her meeting Real Giles. I really felt for Spike this chapter and for Dawn too. I can't blame her for lashing out at him honestly. I hope that Spike goes with them, even if they don't want him there. Wonderful chapter :)
I think Spike probably feels like he'll be more wanted (and useful) in LA, for now. Unfortunately. Maybe if Dawn hadn't reacted the way she did, but yeah. I don't blame her either.
I sort of wonder how Lindsey did know as much as he did. Maybe that Sirk guy really was a Watcher gone rogue. Huh. And now I'm wondering why Wesley's father never helped Giles with the Potentials and the First, since he obviously survived the First's attack. Maybe he did offscreen...
Yes, I'm very easily distracted. :) Thank you!
Poor Spike. Damn! He saved the world and the "good guys" act like this?????? Dawn needs a severe slapping and I'd like to volunteer. SHE has no excuse (yeah, they had fallen out after Xander's reveal in S6 but Spike was THERE for her when Buffy died. He deserves better from her.).
Really enjoying this story. Clever Lindsey. This situation would be right up his alley and exactly the weapon he'd use. Clearly he only knew some things about Spike and nothing about Spike and Buffy's relationship. Maybe that will help.
Yeah, that whole morals thing is a hard one for Lindsey. He'd definitely see it as an opportunity.
I wonder if the longer you deal with Good vs Evil, the harder it is to believe in Evil redeeming itself? Many of the 'formerly evil' characters ended up relapsing at some point (and then pulling out if it, but that doesn't change the feeling of betrayal or sense that you were foolish to trust). Now I'm going to have to spend some time mulling that one over.
Dawn, I'd chalk up to being a bereaved teen, though. I wouldn't be surprised if she regretted it even as she was saying it.
The heartbreak! Just when he was getting Buffy to listen, he loses both his girls! For now, right? *sniff* And poor Dawn! She hates not knowing things, but her anger just makes things worse for her. I'm not super-confident that Andrew has matters as well in hand as he thinks.
Oh well, Angel and Spike have a backup plan that might pay off. I'm getting even more nervous after this chapter, though. Lindsey really did a number Buffy, and it's going to be hard to shake his narrative. Poor severe, friendless Buffy!
I wouldn't be surprised if she has a very hard time shaking Lindsey's narrative. In a sense, he was there for her formative period. Her first new memories. What he's told her will stick, no matter what she learns hence. I have things teachers told me that I know now are *wrong*, but my first instinct is always to believe what I first learned from those I trusted. Poor Buffy, indeed. And poor Spike too. Thanks!