Not really sorry he died. But at least it wasn't a stupid and pathetic death so, hurray for Lindsey! Anyway, gonna read the next one now! So I'd find out what happens next! Haha
Aw, poor Lindsey. Before this story, I was indifferent to him, but now I love the poor, sad guy after spending some time in his head. :) Thank you!
This is the most I've ever cared for Lindsey, including while watching "Angel".
I was pretty meh about Lindsey too, but I fell in love with him writing this story. Getting into his head helped (also, watching Christian Kane in 'Leverage' helped...). Thanks!
Hmmm... Did Lindsey really just sacrifice himself so the creepy old dudes (whose name I still can't remember) would leave Buffy alone? I still don't trust that weasel.
But he's trying *so* hard to redeem himself... :) Thanks!
Good chapter! I'm feel sorry for Angel and his loneliness, although I am convinced that, if he is in this situation, is his fault. Unlike Spike, he is a selfish and any decision made by Angel has always been dictated by his presumption to know what was better for everyone and everything - the same mistake that he has done with Buffy. I'm glad that Lindsey eventually did the right thing. I knew he wasn't so evil and, after a long time with Buffy, he couldn't not care for her.
In canon, Lindsey is supposed to be unredeemable, but Buffy's special power (besides the obvious) seems to be redeeming the unredeemable. Thank you!
Man I did NOT see that coming! It fits Lindsey's character though if he thought he'd "win" in some way over Angel he would kill himself. SO is HE the blood atonement? He seemed to think that he was as close to redemption as possible by his actions. That would make sense.
"You're not my nemesis, you retard. You're not even evil! Stupid, yes. Power hungry, yes. Evil? No." This was perfectly Angel in voice and also a rather decent description of Lindsey. His hand was evil (LOL) but he was not quite able to actually go full evil. He always had lines he wouldn't cross, bad deeds he wouldn't consider. Poor conflicted Lindsey. I have to hope he did win his redemption.
How typical of Angel (and I never thought about it until reading this chapter of your story) to make the BIG decision regarding how Conner was going to live his life FOR hin. Just as with Buffy he insisted Conner have a "normal" life even thought his abilities and very existence would NEVER be remotely normal. He also insisted they were better off with him out of the picture but at the same time...kept tabs on them, popped in from time to time and otherwise "marked his territory" often enough that neither Conner nor Buffy could be fully able to "move past" him. What a prig! Conner is no more built for a "normal" life than Buffy the Slayer is. When Angel had his shot at normal (and if that is what he really felt the "soulmate" and his only possible chld needed) he HATED not having that power. He had time turned back to undo his venture into "normal"! He no more asked Conner what he wanted and needed than he did Buffy...he just dictated and demanded. Jerk!
Excellent chapter. You really have character voices down pat.
Yes! Even if Angel got what he wanted, he didn't get it on his terms. Lindsey still 'won'.
Evil Hand was the best thing ever. Now I'm wondering if there is fic about it (I'm sure there is!).
Angel has his own way of seeing things, that's for sure.
Oh and I forgote to add - NYC sounds like both the best and the worst place in the world for Angel. He can make a fresh start, be anonymous, attend all the cultural events...but also be alone brooding way, way too much (the way he did for 100 years before Whistler picked him out of the gutter except with better hygiene this time.)
(It just now occured to me - Angel said they didn't have time to join Buffy "halfway around the world" - why not have Willow teleport? It worked for LA. that said, the chapter is probably better this way, I'm just curious now. Maybe too busy trying to put up a shield to keep the monks at bay?)
BTW, today I caught myself "writing" fanfic of your fanfic from Giles' POV in my head (only in my head, I swear to goodness!) and I wondered, how much of the way Giles and everyone responded to Buffy after she re-emerged in LA 2 years earlier was entirely natural and how much was affected by whatever spell Lindsey might have cast? An extension of the not being seen or being found spell so even when she is found there's extra barriers beyond the normal for the situation?
Sort of the opposite of being extra protective of Dawn in S5, they're extra wary. Not so much that it's out of character, but just enough that I found myself wondering throughout the story, gee, everyone's taking their time finding her, or finding out what's going on with her (2 whole years?) even Angel himself notes in this chapter how with Connor at his side, they achieve in days what he hadn't in years. Willow had to fight extra hard to not give up on Buffy. Xander almost doesn't remember to mention the monks and finally takes his time handing the card to Spike. etc etc Now it's starting to look like a pattern, not an accident.
Angel does that a lot. Tries to get involved, and then backs out and broods for the next 20 years (but only sometimes with rats and gutters).
I think your Willow question will be answered.
Haha, if you want to write an outtake, go ahead. I have no more Giles POVs, so you're welcome to 'remix' one.
Hmm, Lindsey's tattoos affecting everybody in a sort of 'don't look here' way? Maybe. For me, it's just a more natural timeline than when we don't have to solve everything by next Tues in "TV land". Their lives are scattered, their attentions and resources are scattered, etc. Buffy is important to them all, but in no immediate danger (unitl now) compared to other issues that were probably more pressing. But there could very well be an undercurrent of a magical effect. The idea doesn't contradict anything. And Giles might wonder about it. It would be a more comforting idea to him than 'I didn't try very hard'.
I hate that I care that he died. He was right about Buffy able to bring the best out of people despite their plans and he set her free in some ways but in the end did he release her completely. Angel saw too he might be power hungry, but evil was something he never really was. He could have done so much good. He could have teamed up with Angel - okay not that but he could have done some additional good.
I am glad that Connor is back in Angel's life I hope they make a real go at being a team. And let this time one end with a long productive life.
If you care that he died, then I did my job. :)
Oh. You just gave me a way to fix something in the final chapter that's been bugging me. (It was a convoluted free-association process, but you started it.) Woo!
I LOVE THIS CHAPTER! just remind me not to read reviews BEFORE I check that there's been an update, ok?
"Nah. It doesn't work that way, Dad. You might have abandoned the city, and abandoned me, but there's still work to be done. What used to be your work."
So I'm probably the only reader here who's been getting a little antsy with the last couple of chapters and missing the brilliance of the earlier, more gen part of the book and it's kaleioscope of POV's - and THEN you drop this FANTASTIC chapter in my lap! THIS is the stuff!
It's not that the past few chapters weren't good or well-written btw, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the Summers sister-bonding but it felt like as Buffy slowly reclaimed her own narrative, the larger narrative of the story was ironically closing down and becoming more insular and limited to just "Buffy/Dawn/Spike"....and hitting some of the required tropes on the shippy checklist.
This chapter feels more in tune with the rest of the story. I don't know if it's the lack of shipping, the fact that you write Angel so well, or that there are elements of AtS that I don't know so there's unfamiliar territory there for me (as opposed to Spike POV angst) - whatever, this is working beautifully. I didn't know what was coming, what to expect, from moment to moment.
I half expected Connor to have been affected by Lindsey when he first showed up in the chapter - or just try to kill his old man for his own reasons. I half-expected Buffy to get on the phone line and plead with Lindsey. I didn't expect anything that actually happened here and that's one of the things I've loved best about this story - not knowing what to expect.
The Angel-Connor relationship mirror the Angel-Spike relationship but also the Buffy-Dawn one nicely, in terms of "Family" which is absolutely key to the Buffyverse. Chosen familiies, choosing to love; reaching out vs becoming insular and cut off from others. How love doesn't solve everything, how love doesn't necessarily = like.
And the sometime gap between action and intent, between meaning well and actually doing good for others.
Angel clearly needs people, needs others very badly, to keep him on track - and yet when he had a family around him, devoted to him and his mission, he fucked it all up. That's part of his tragedy. He's going to try it again - we'll see how it goes. He seems like he really is putting the wants/needs of others (Buffy, Connor) in front of his own personal preferences this time.
I have no trouble hearing everyone's voices from the dialogue here including characters I haven't actually watched (Connor and Lindsey.) Everyone's dialogue, including Giles', is very distinct here. The interactions are all fresh and riveting here; the dialogue snaps; and the action/interaction is balanced perfectly with Angel's internal dialogue.
I'm also glad to see the return, even briefly, of Lindsey to this story. Oddly enough I missed him - he fills the spaces that Spike might have once upon a time, a few seasons ago. He feels bad, guilty about her, he feels for her - but it's not the whole story either. It's more interesting at this point than Spike's angst in part because I don't really know what's going on in Lindsey's head, and because his motivations are both incredibly simple and yet complex at the same time.
"She cares about you. She believes in you. Even now, after you used her and abandoned her. While we're here posturing over who's got the bigger dick, Buffy's fighting for her life – because of something you did to her. So what's it going to be, Giles? Is her faith in you justified? Or am I going to have to torture you to get you to help her?"
One of my favorite passages in a chapter filled with favorite moments. You really do write Angel incredibly well, IMO. (And I hate to say that here on EF it's a relief to read after encountering so much Angel-bashing but there we are.)
I love how both Connor and Angel use names here to get their point across to the other person but also as insults or mockery: "Dad" / "Giles". The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
"Pip, pip, cheerio!" Lindsey added in an obnoxiously loud fake accent. Connor scowled at him and Lindsey grinned, unrepentant.
Incredibly vivid - I can see Lindsey's shit-eating grin. I wouldn't blame Connor for backhanding him (and I half expected him to.)
The entire Angel-Lindsey interaction is fantastic throughout this chapter.
Oh, you know. Children. You gotta set a good example for them. Dr. Spock frowns on the whole teaching-your-kid-how-to-make-a-man-beg-for-mercy thing.
BRILLIANT. My other favorite passage of dialogue.
"Who said anything about torture? I'm just really hungry."
And that sounds incredibly scary - he's oozing carefully controlled menace.
"Trying to laser off the tattoo turned out not to be the best of plans. Seems we've turned our girl into some sort of homing beacon for these Shamaya.
Ok now that's a nifty idea - and it explains why the monks were attacking at the end of the last chapter! BTW - I like that you didn't segueway directly from one event to the other. Again, this chapter is more like the earlier ones, where there are jumps in time back and forth as you shift perspective. But it's also a great instance of show rather than tell storytelling.
You've given me enough that I don't need to see every battle; and you've given me enough that I can imagine the reaction back at chez Summers: desperation in battle turning into hope that the spell works, turning into frustration on everyone's part that Buffy is sitll sans memory. Especially Dawn and Willow - and I can imagine Buffy: angry at Lindsey but also still grieving his betrayal (and then his death, despite everything.) I can imagine Willow and Dawn hovering around her, asking if she's got her memory back, full of hope, then their faces falling, and Buffy actually apologizing to them for disappointing them.
And also, really really pissed at the monks for wrecking her and Dawn's apartment, never mind trying to kill her.
Some chanting, a few herbs, and it was over? After years of frustration and pain on Buffy's part? Too easy, Angel thought. Way too easy.
Another great passage, it says so much in so few words. And is all sorts of foreshadowy of what's to come. And again, yay Angel for priorizing Buffy's pain here and not his own.
"Maybe I can't kill you. But I won." The smirk returned. "I took what mattered to you, and you're never getting her back."
He's taken a page from D'Hoffryn's book: why go for the kill when you can go for the pain. And then he kills himself. Oh SHIT. I mean, DAMN, woman, that ending is WICKED.
And yet he seems to be giving Angel the answer for returning Buffy's memory, albeit heavy with the cryptic. So when he says he's taken Buffy from him - but then seems to be offering the key for her return - or is he? I'm on edge here.
He seems to be offering himself as the atonement - I believe him on some level when he says he doesn't want to disappoint Buffy. (She has more power than she knows - even though canon Buffy comes to see herself as fundamentally unloveable, she inspires such strange, almost twisted love and "devotion" in so many people, who adore her and resent her for it at the same time. Again, there's a lot of Spike here in Lindsey, but enough differences and mystery to keep it fresh.)
Lindsey reached up and tapped the back of Angel's head, just above the hollow at the nape of his neck. "You'll know what to do."
Confirming my suspicions about all the times Buffy's felt tightness in her neck that something's going on there, and it's not the after-effects of a bad fall. Whether Angel will know what to do or not, I only know the story is winding down, not that anyone will guess rightly. (It could go as haywire as trying to laser away the tattoo, although I don't think you're that evil. Maybe.)
The only thing I don't like about the chapter: Ejobee's dialect brings back bad memories of Jar-Jar Binks and old stereotypes white people used to have about "negro" dialect. If the character is from AtS however, I'll forgive you and blame Whedon and Fury. (And George Lucas.)
Whoa. Check out the review. :)
Angel's POV is not easy for me, so it makes me happy to hear it works. Lindsey was also hard - until I realized he really is echoes of Spike. He's a cocky little sh*t out to prove himself and cause trouble for Angel along the way. And just as grey. But entirely different motivations.
I was worried about jumping away from the central POV and giving the first glimpses of what Buffy's facing with her entirely off-screen. It really is a big jump. I'm glad one person liked it, at least. I don't get the impression it was an overall hit. Bring on the Spuffy, etc.
RIP, Lindsey. I will miss you. :) But at least he got a more interesting (and somewhat redeemed) ending. Hopefully. Buffy does have that effect. It's sort of an interesting twist on the girl who's so beautiful but doesn't realize it, and everybody knows it but her. I mean, Buffy *is* pretty, but that's not what draws people to her, and not what makes people try harder. Much better this way.
Lalala, I'm still not answering anything about Buffy's neck/head.
Heh. I live in an area where not only is broken English common, it's the preferred method of communication, even among the educated. There's nothing derogatory about Pidgin, and to me it makes more sense than all demons speaking perfect English (or English at all). JarJar's crime was being a buffoon, not having a funny dialect. Although, any dialect gets annyoing for extended periods, no matter how accurate. You ever read a story full of phoenetic dialect? No. Unless it's 'Da Jesus Book'. That one is fine. (Click the link. Yes, it's real. Yes, this is how people really talk here. No, it's not a joke, or derogatory. It's a real translation.)
Connor! Excellent! I had wondered where he was.
Oh, now I hadn't expected Lyndsey to do that.
He'll know what to do? What?
Connor was just off-screen, waiting on his cue... :)
I don't know! Let's hope Angel figures it out. Thanks!
This was a wellwritten Angel. We could see him as the somewhat tragic character he is. How Buffy woke not only his will to fight the good fight, but also the need for companions was made well. We can see how he miss Cordelia and his team, his dead friends. He even miss Spike.
Poor Angel, leaving for their own good didn't geT the result he wanted. Neither Buffy nor Connor will have a "normal" life.
We could see the conflicting feelings in Lindsey, how he did care about Buffy. I wonder if the blood atonement will bring Buffy's memories back.
I have such a hard time with Angel, so I'm glad to hear it worked for you.