Okay, what is the real deal with Buffy? Is it magical amnesia or just your regular amnesia? Curiouser and curiouser and also when will the Spuffy of this fic happen? I am really hoping it will be soon. Well to the next chapter I shall go now!
Well, you already know the answer, but my lips are zipped. :) Thanks!
It kind of feels like season 6 all over again. Buffy hiding her feelings and pretending to be happy to placate the others. Less house smashing sex though.
Yessss. S6 (minus the Season Sex) was definitely my inspiration. Seems like how Buffy would deal, no matter what the circumstances. Thanks!
Everything is very hard for her. It was clever looking for the truth by an unknown vampire, because he had not interest to lie to her.
Roland might lie if he knew it was to his benefit, but he has no idea what's going on with Buffy so she's safe from any machinations. For now, at least. :) Thanks!
I feel like I should review chapters 8 and 9 together because they work best as a unit in some ways, ironically (just as the Spike and Angel chapters worked together to echo one another). I felt a little distant from Buffy in chapter 8 because, duh, she's a shell, distant from herself and everyone else; but her chapter took on more emotional weight after reading chapter 9 and we could see all the things implied or alluded to in 8 - the way she was flown to London in a cage and manacles (OUCH), the way she's tested and observed as if a specimen; the "protective" wards, etc.
This chapter feels very much like early Season 6 but as you mentioned in the reviews thread, she's not just going through the motions, she doesn't know what the motions should be beyond what Lindsay taught her. She's not struggling to match her memory of herself, she has no memory of herself.
And the Buffy at the bars who kills the first vampire and sits on Roland's lap and plays with her kills before staking them is very different to Buffy. She's the Buffy that so many Spuffy fans seem to imagine she was - coldhearted, at least at first, willing to lie and seduce and trick. There's something almost amoral about her here - imagine Buffy in S6 turning to other vamps for sexual thrills before killing them rather than turning to Spike for comfort. That's the feeling I get from this. When she comes back to the castle early in the morning, disheveled and covered in dust, your description could imply she killed Roland (I assume she did) along with other vamps - or even that she had sex with him before killing him. I don't think you intended that, but there's an ambiguity to the "morning after" return that's intriguing.
And yet she IS Buffy - even as she knows she doesn't remember these people, she wants to be what they want her to be; she doesn't want to hurt anyone, she wishes she were grateful and she's keeping secrets. In this instance her secret-keeping is entirely understandable of course. Poor Buffy, she's been as thoroughly betrayed as when Giles left her in S6.
Speaking of - his vow to "make things up to Buffy as soon as she returned" back in chapter 3 seems to have disappeared. He's snapping at her here and I just feel so badly for her - a handshake is the best that he can do for her? Oh Giles.
I love that Faith is straight with her; their relationship had started to evolve at the end of S7 and it's too bad Buffy doesnt remember; perhaps Slayer sister blood will somehow have some magic of it's own? I would think the Slayer spell with the scythe would have increased the mystical bond between Buffy and Faith; Lindsay's magic must be incredibly powerful to override that, her bond with Dawn, her love for her family and friends.
And how gross was it that they'd been talking about the way she smelled? Like she was a dinner entrée gone bad.
Vampires. Duh. She was dinner to them.
Funny and painful all at once - this really emphasizes her feelings vividly about how she is being treated and handled.
Oh yes, many of these chapters are sort of meant to be grouped together and taken as a unit. (But separate reviews are not at all discouraged!)
I often felt like I was rewriting S6 with Buffy for this story. In both cases, she's not who everybody else wants her to be. Or even who she wants herself to be.
Poor Giles. I think he has a lot of weight on his shoulders, and he's really not over losing Buffy again. Especially since he hasn't gotten her back, nor is he even sure it IS her... But we'll see more of him later...
Nobody is handling it well, unfortunately. They all have little pieces of the puzzle, and each piece is causing distrust to be amplified, not to mention Giles inherently distrusting Angel and anything Angel might send his way. Hopefully they'll take a cue from Faith.
Awesome chapter! Poor Buffy, feeling so empty :( I like how you're exploring vampire "morality" here (using that word really loosely haha). If you think about it, it does make sense that they'd refrain a bit from killing. If every vampire in the Buffyverse was killing even just one person a night, it would be super hard to believe that no one thought something fishy was going on. With that in mind, it makes sense that they congregate in Sunnydale where they can get away with it. Anyway, again, I really enjoyed this chapter. I like seeing Buffy get little snippets of her own history and then processing threm on a nearly blank slate, with the info contradicting the only things she thought she knew. It's a very intriguing concept. Her lack of feeling here sort of mirrors Season 6 to me a bit, but this is numbness from a lack of familiarity. Either way, I love what you're doing with it! Great chapter, I hope you update soon :)
I didn't mean to do it! Roland was *not* in the plans, he just showed up and insisted on staying! But I kinda like him. And you have to figure there'd be some out there who don't kill. Sort of like the suck house, but more high class. :)
Yes, I very much intended to mirror her state of mind in S6. Buffy doesn't easily take people into her heart, and she's already been fooled once. She's feeling very isolated right now. Thank you!
The way Buffy is written here, greatly done. Without her memories, without her history, the people around her are strangers she doesn't know if she can trust. The frustration she feel because she doesn't know who she is. She spent time with Lindsey and built memories from that, so of course she would miss him. Interesting that she was looking for answers from vampires and felt some attraction there. I liked what we saw of Roland, it would be nice if he survived. I can see Buffy seeking him out again to talk if she left him alive. The Buffy is smelling of thing has probbly something to do with what Lindsay did to hide her, only those who knew her smell before would notice the difference.
I sort of feel like Lindsey is her parental figure, in a sense. Her 'first' memories are with him, and we inherently trust our parental figures, even when we *know* they're wrong. It's hard to shake. So far, vampires have been the only ones to provide a tangible clue to what's wrong with her (her scent), so I think she's subconsciously hoping one of them will have the answers she's looking for. I'm glad you liked Roland. He came out of nowhere and refused to leave!
Okay, I'm really hoping Buffy didn't kill Roland. He's too much fun to kill right away! I couldn't tell if she was in a mood to be merciful, though.
Great chapter! Poor, well, everybody! Nodoby really knows what's going on, and it so confusing on all sides. Good for Faith for being straight about things, though. Those silly Scoobies and their secrets...will they ever learn?
Roland completely snuck up on me. He was nowhere in the plans for this story. I'm glad you liked him!
Poor everybody indeed. It's interesting how the characters with the more... fluid... moral systems tend to be the ones who'll tell it like it is. Hmmm. Now I'm wondering if this is an in-universe thing, or a reflection of real life. *wanders off lost in thought*
Well, there was a recent study that seemed to show that people who swear a lot are more honest than those who don't. And I'd say that many of them *cough*WillowGilesAndrew* have fluid moral systems. Some of them just put up a more convincing front than others.
Heh, yes, let's amend that to the ones who are honest and open about their fluid morals. Which - okay. That answers it right there. They're already the more open ones.
Interesting about the study. I'd say it's the complete opposite within our combined families.
So sorry we're 8 chapters in and I haven't reviewed yet! My only excuse it that I've been sick, so 4 chapters were just read tonight. So - First, I love the title. I'll admit I had to look up the word, but it definitely fits. Not only because Buffy and everyone else is questioning who she is, but also with each chapter coming from a different character's perspective. So clever! I was very shocked when it turned out "Giles" was not Giles. Oh, and Dawn's chapter was so heartbreaking. Poor Dawnie. Spike should have gone with them, whether she was being a beeotch or not. She needs him, especially with Buffy being, well, not quite Buffy. This last chapter from Buffy was really great. Is she that black-and-white viewpoint girl, or is she the girl that everyone loves? Pure Slayer or fully formed Buffy? It's the same question she dealt with through much of the series, so the memory loss and the way Lindsay brainwashed her is a great way to explore that. Can't wait to find out what kind of magic caused all the changes to her "smell" and why she doesn't show up in locator spells. Also looking forward to some more Spike! OK, longest review I've ever written, so I'll end by saying great job!
Yay! Hopefully you're feeling better now.
I certainly didn't know the meaning of ipseity before I discovered it (thank you, thesaurus.com), so don't feel bad. :) But I do think it fits well, and yup, I meant for it to tie in to all the different POVs too. Buffy has indeed always struggled with who she is, and now it's a little less metaphorical, and a little more literal. We'll see what she comes up with! Spike's had a few turns already, so he's going to have to wait awhile and let others say their bit. But he'll be back!
Thank you! :)
I hope some of that dust was not Roland. I LIKE him!
Buffy needs Spike there helping (after he gets a piece of Lindsey in the process). I can see how hard it would be for everyone. Lindsey really messed her up. She DOES know what she is even if not who. I hope she taps into her personality and bypasses the memory issues for a bit. She can find herself, Buffy is in there. She is more than her memories.
Feel bead for everyone, so happy to have her back yet not having her back at all. Poor Dawnie especially.
I'm so glad you liked Roland. I have NO idea where he came from. I started writing that scene, and then suddenly there he was, and he wanted to be *real*.
It's an awkward situation all around, and I don't suspect there'll be a quick fix. Hopefully they can find some peace in the meantime. Thanks!