Finally! The old men who have a name which I can never seem to remember. They must have memory-altering tattoos too!
I was hoping that when Willow went to Tulsa to try and remove Lindsey's tattoos, that it would just be a blanket magic tattoo removal spell that would affect anyone in the area, and that Buffy would get hers removed.
It woud've been nice if that had worked. But then no more story? Thanks!
I hope Xander got more information then the fact that Linsey is being hunted. And another yay for willow's change of tune. I'm glad the old Willow is easing back. With the being of frienship.
Willow's seeing things clearly, but I'm sure it'll be two steps forward, one step back. Thanks!
I agree with Rebcake - Bronwyn of the Generous Bosom is a keeper. :D Also, you made an imelda Marcos and total recall references and I understand them both and man, does that make me feel old *lol*
And go you for being just about the only writer here who doesn't turn Willow into a villain, who makes her richly complicated and remembers all her good and bad qualities! In short, you write Willow beautifully.
Okay, irrational resentment becoming an issue, Rosenberg. Suck it up like a big Wicca.
Your Willow voice is spot-on perfect.
"How were things with Candice during your final term? And don't give me that 'fine' business. I need all the details, so I can decide whether to turn her into a skink or not…"
*lol* Some things never change. Who is Candice? I assumed someone Dawn was dating. (Yeah, I know canon gives us no reason to think she's anything but straight but in my headcanon Dawn is bisexual. Or at the very least, of the "yeah whatever, no big" generation like my younger sister and her friends, where the labels aren't such an issue.)
Kudos to Willow for trying so hard, btw. And what you make clear is that it IS hard to be Willow, hard to constantly second guess yourself, hard to try to please everyone else, difficult to be that "selfless", how much she's given up over the years but also what she's gained. All of it with so little guidance. The comics are still getting it wrong in that Willow labels herself a "magic addict" in S10, but your chapter is so much closer to the truth of the matter. You really get to the heart of Willow in this chapter, and also the heart of her relationship to Buffy.
Her calm broke, crumbling under the weight of her emotions, and the poor, abused plant went up in a puff of smoke. Buffy. The windows shivered in their frames, rain lashing the panes, mimicking the tears rolling down Willow's face. Her heart ached for her lost friend, for their lost friendship.
Oh. Oh. "Of course," Willow said. Very calmly. No judgment from her. No resentment that Buffy, even if she was not-Buffy, didn't want to see her, didn't miss her with a fierce ache that rivaled the hole left by Tara.
I had to single this entire section out because YES YES YES. That first passage, where her emotions break, is one of the best passages in this story, IMO. Because unlike nearly every other writer on EF (who claims that Spike was the ONLY person who cared about Buffy) you actually acknowledge the importance Buffy had to Willow, and the depth of their love and their friendship. That friendship was at the core of the 'verse, central to Willow's emerging sense of self; her life was altered far more than Xander's because of Buffy's presence. It was a rich, difficult, prickly, loving relationship. It was her love for Buffy that motivated her to resurrect Buffy because I believe she honestly thought she was rescuing Buffy from Hell.
Buffy being second only to Tara in terms of Willow's feelings and her grief sounds just right.
I'm sorry Willow didn't get to see Buffy or talk to her this chapter, but given where both Buffy and Willow are right now emotionally that's probably for the best.
I have to keep reminding myself that the reception that Buffy received - locked up and chained, regarded with suspicion, (the gang all but handled her with firetongs and flame retardent suits) has a lot to do with her skittishness. As someone said about Dead Man's Party, the gang has a history of trying to "help" Buffy in ways she neither wants nor needs, without asking her what she needs.
Willow desperately needed a mentor in canon amd Jenny died too early; Giles did not seem able to be that mentor nor direct her to one - which seems strange knowing that he had so many connections in the magical world; so she was pretty much left to her own devices, with Giles occasionally scolding her for abusing magics but not reallly doing anything about it. I was also disappointed that we never got to see any members of the coven in S7 - I thought that some scenes of Willow with them would have been awesome (and fit nicely with the themes of the series) but sadly that was not to be.
I think an outsider is needed to add some perspective, and Browyn fits the bill - she's a witch herself so she's "in the loop" enough that Willow doesn't need to explain certain things, but removed enough to be objective. And she's the reverse of Lindsey, who tapped into Buffy's negative qualities; Browyn taps into Willows strengths and her love.
She never gave up on me – never – no matter what I did."
Not even when she'd killed a man. Or tried to kill Dawn. Or almost ended the world.
Willow bolted upright, ramrod straight. "I'm not going to give up on her," she said, full of fire and determination. "It's Buffy."
YES. Very nicely written - Willow tapping into her reserves of love and using her powers for the good. seeing the difference between selfishness and selfishness. When she's got "resolve face" she's unstoppable.
That poor plant! But it's better than trying to destroying the world, right? Or downing a fifth of JackD? And hey, at least she didn't kill the goldfish *lo*
From the sounds of it, Xander is making something of a life for himself, or at least making himself useful. It doesn't sound happy or fulfilling, sort of an imitation of early S4 when he was adrift then too. Not sure what to make with the situation with Faith. I wish the girl well, but she's got serious demons she still needs to deal with, as does Xander; I'm not sure the two of them could ever make anything resembling a relationship work out.
I would think that now that Anya's gone, Xander would begin to realize what he had in her and how devoted she actually was to him. (they actually had one of healhiest and longest-lasting relationships in the Buffyverse. Or one of the most functional ones until Xander pulled a runner.)
Which reminds me how often other characters do the exact same things other people criticize Buffy for doing. Those poor kids.
And I agree with the reviewer who noted that in times when Buffy's been out of it, Xander sometimes steps up to the plate (I'm thinking of Beer Bad and Him, particularly). great characterization and on to the next chapter very SOON, please?
Now I'm curious how Spike and Buffy trying to coexist in the same apartment is working out. Tons of awkward, no doubt. (I imagine Buffy is feeling hurt by Lindsey's abandonment, and Spike's natural impulse is to want to comfort her but that's kind of difficult at the moment.)
Thank goodness this is set so many years ago. I get to use references I actually *know*. :)
It's too easy to make characters simple to serve the plot. But part of switching POVs was trying to *really* get into everybody's heads. Something I try to do always, but it's even more imortant to be true to character when you're in their POV. So glad it worked for you.
Heh, Candice is just a frenemy, but you can imagine her as more if you want. I'm not usually prone to seeing the characters' sexuality as other than how they were presented in canon. I agree that Dawn would be fairly blase about a little experimentation here and there, but she seems to be all about the boys in canon, and it always feels off to me when I read her as otherwise.
Willow, Xander, and Giles are the core for a reason. Of course they're not perfect, and neither are the friendships, but they're very real. Ignoring that does a disservice to the world you're playing in. Just like with Angel, YOU don't have to like them, but BUFFY does, and if you want to read/write a story about BUFFY, then it's not real without those people and honest representations of them. IMHO. :)
Fire tongs and flame retardant suits. Yes. Perfect. :) Willow recognizes that the way they treated Buffy didn't help, but then, they really didn't know who or what they were getting. If you've ever watched Supernatural, the gang did the equivalent of every character attacking Dean with holy water and silver knives and everything else because they good reason to believe it wasn't really *him*.
Brownyn is older and wiser, at the very least. She's definitely got the kind of stability Kennedy didn't have.
Hmm. You're the second person to say you don't see Xaith(?) happening. Interesting. Despite the fanon that Xander's so rigid in his prejudices and behavior, he's pretty go-with-the-flow with Anya. I see him as loose enough after Anya to be able to handle Faith's non-standard behavior, and forgiving enough to get past their past, and skittish enough about his own hang-ups to understand hers. I mean, no, it wouldn't be easy, but, I could see it happening - if Faith wanted it to. Xander's willing to get dragged along, I think.
What, you don't think Buffy will just fall right into Spike's arms? Come on. How will she resist him? :D
We got to see some parts of Willow's life, that's nice. Whenever I hear about Cardiff I always think about Torchwood and dr Who Willow wants to be understanding about the Buffy situation but we can see some bitterness. There should be bitterness, Willow is human after all and it would be extreamly hard not to think bad thoughts about Buffy. Bronwyn seems to be a good person for Willow, she knows how to handle Willow. Some news from Xander too, that's great.
Hee, Torchwood was very on my mind when I wrote Bronwyn. I needed to hear those voices to get hers.
Yep, Willow's definitely conflicted, and exactly, it makes sense for her to be.
Another piece of the puzzle! Woo! Thanks!
Great chapter! And thanks for the little shout out at the top; glad to have been of help. Read Bronwyn's dialogue out loud with a Welsh accent, and the cadence felt just right. :-) It's great how you're slowly pulling the threads of the story one at a time so that you can sort of glimpse the tapestry that is the end result, just not quite yet.
But of course! Thanks again for helping! Hopefully it didn't spoil things too much for you, but as you said, it's a very slow weave. Someday I'll learn to write nail-biting action. Maybe. :) Thanks!
AHA the monks! The plot gets plottier!
Actually all the characters were rather focused on themselves not just Buffy LOL. If you look at decisions made (no it wasn't their age...Giles was that way too after season 3). They weren't horrible people just a wee bit too self absorbed.
LOVE Bronwyn (and her pretty Welsh name). Sounds a bit like Tara and Willow desperately needs just that to anchor her power. Come to think of it...Tara was the only one not self absorbed at least not after finding out she wasn't a demon. Yeah, Willow might be having a second chance at a good thing...YAY!
Looks like the crew are okay with Spike and his interest in Buffy at least and that's good.
Dawn is understandably excited but she needs to tame it down lest Buffy pull a runner. "gentle coaxing of the frightened wild animal routine," is the way to go.
Xander doesn't seem to have really pulled out of his grief over Anya to me. I can see he and Faith hooking up for a physical relationship but can't really see them as a couple in full. I'm one of those who actually got on board of the Xander/Dawn pairing in the comic. I think that could work actually but I digress....back to your wonderful story.
Laughed at Willow's oopsie with the plant (poor plant!) At least she's only murdering folliage now when she goes all dark Willow.
Love the idea that Slayers just are terrible drivers. It would be a funny trade off...super fighting and healing powers but lack of driving skills LOL.
No doubt Xander has finally, FINALLY, learned to appreciate some demons and not automatically slip into , "see demon, kill demon" mode. He's grown up and can see the grey areas. I think he'd be great and useful working a bar like Willies (I wonder if it is owned by Lorne thinking about that non-violence spell. It would explain why the monks are there asking about Lindsey.
Yay plot! :)
I'm glad you approve of Bronwyn. Though I can't promise she's quite as 'good' a person as Tara. I don't think she would've cared had Willow chosen to let go of Buffy completely. Then again, I don't know her very well. It's hard to say.
I suspect there's been a lot of off-screen learning to get along with Spike and the others during that time he was waiting around in London for Dawn to finish up her school term. Now, if they see him pursuing a relationship with Buffy, who knows how they'd react...
I can't remember why I decided all Slayers had to be terrible drivers. I swear there was some reason for it!
Interesting idea about Lorne owning the bar. Maybe, maybe... :)
And we have an epiphany for Willow. Excellent.
And now Xander has a Big Clue! Go, Xander!
I think we all need that epiphany at some point with some person in our lives. Helping has nothing to do with being appreciated for it, but it's human to want to be appreciated and thanked.
Yay Xander! Thanks!
I was getting a little ticked at Bronwyn, but then her dastardly plan was revealed to be all healthy and helpful! You may stay, Bronwyn of the generous bosom. Willow will be a better person with you in the mix.
¡Yay! Xander is putting the clues together. Sometimes he does that, I notice. Not as often as Buffy, but when Buffy's not-so-with-it, Xander often steps up, as he's doing here. So, go you with the consistent characterization!
I feel that progress is being made. Do you feel that way, too?
Heh heh. Though I can't promise Bronwyn would've minded had Willow chosen to 'get over' Buffy completely. So long as Willow made a choice and let go one way or another...
They all get their moments. I do so like everybody getting to be a superhero in their own way.
Heh. Very slow progress. Someday I'll manage nail-biting action... :) Thanks!