Poor Buffy. I understand why she wants to attend the funeral but I side with her mother and Mark. I really love how Buffy is trying the church. This fic is such a slice of life piece and it's so attractive. It's original and very different from all the Spuffy fics I read.
Dawn is such a source of amusement. She reminds me of my younger sister, especially this line: I was overjoyed to see her, and she was overjoyed that she wasn’t the one having a baby.
I've appreciated the opportunity to have available to Buffy the things people naturally turn to in life, family, faith, therapist, changing jobs, locales, etc. that she didn't have on the show. She was very limited on the program, as far as life options. Here we see her with a much larger tool box, and going through situations that many of us can related to, even though we don't have the Slayer component.
Many people have things from their past they think they have outrun, only to find that some things we never truly leave behind. Many of us don't figure out who we are/want to be until we've gotten the degree, married someone etc, and then are wondering if we did the right thing. So this has been really interesting to write, because it's the characters we love, but in a world that feels more familiar to us.
I'm glad that you're enjoying the journey too! I've been happily surprised that no one has come in and knocked me upside the head (that's what they say in the area I live in) and said "Buffy would NEVER do that!!!"
I was very glad Buffy went with Dawn to L.A., it was good for her to spend time with her Dad and put those family connection first. Though she (well, it's ME) must be getting tired of Spike sort of randomly disappearing. It feels like it's time for them to figure out themselves and their relationship. She's not a kid anymore, especially not after the thing with Ovid.
I love that the sex is real in this story (it fits the fic). No magical at the same time every time orgasms (why does that drive me batty? I accept all kinds of craziness and *that's* the thing that make me roll my eyes?)
Amen sister on the sex! While I enjoy smut as much as the next Spuffy lover... I have a hard time suspending disbelief as they role through their tenth simultaneous orgasm. I like real people. I like the stupid, well meaning, confused, normal idiotic things they do. They fascinate me, that's why I write about them. So I like writing about their real, stupid, well meaning, sex lives too. They are more interesting to read and write, for me.
I got a kick out of poor Buffy being in the hospital. Her ending up on the floor is going to count as a fall for that unit, and extubation by phase shift probably isn't going to be easy to document...
I really felt for Buffy when she got home and Spike wasn't there. Even though it doesn't make sense to be angry over it that disappointment must have cut deep and I was hugely relieved when he showed back up, a little worse for wear, and she got to turn the tables and take care of him.
Xander choosing to go and live his own life was actually very nice. It felt very right.
I'm sorry I'm slow on reviewing but I'm really enjoying your very complicated tale and have no idea where you'll take it next :-)
No such thing as a slow or late review. It's nice to revisit the previous chapters a bit, since I've been mired in polishing them as I post. It's like being able to take a breather and look back on what's come before. It actually feels like a little gift!
I liked that she got to take care of him as well. Learning that we can love someone and be there for them is just as important as knowing we are loved. It's wonderful to read the comments of reviewers and see how often something I expected to get shoes thrown at me for felt right, just, or important to the readers. My main aim was to stay true to the story even when I was thinking "oh boy, people aren't going to like this..." and it's turned out ok!
And I love your nursing insight! I hadn't considered that someone was going to have to answer for the "seizure"....
Yup, yup, yup...Buffy + Spike certainly does make for a complicated tale and boy oh boy, are they going places!
as always, thanks for reading and reviewing!
And now things are falling apart. Buffy really tried making "normal" work, but in the end it didn't work. This has the potential to be very ugly. I hope things can be solved in a somewhat good way. I like like how Spike is telling things like they are, or at least how he sees them. No trying to hide what he is.
Yes, Spike doesn't do delusions. Hopefully between him and Joyce, another straight shooter, Buffy will see her way through this. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
The Buffy-Dawn relationship is very interesting and very true to a lot of sisters relationships. Dawn's "everybody is gay" phases was really funny. I think I went through that phases back in the early 2000s.
I am a "little sis" and I wish I'd been that bold and brashy when I was her age! It's bee fun to write an older Dawn who is very much her own woman and not just "the Slayer's little sister". I think everyone goes through the "are they gay?" phase. Yesterday, my daughter's best friend, announced that she is no longer asexual. She has a crush on a hot cosplayer....Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Damn, she had to have been cold. I thought about doing the math but then made that analytical part of my brain and just enjoy Spike showing back up and coming in and taking charge. I really like that part of him in this fic, and that he's not human and doesn't act like it.
I'm glad Xander was acknowledged for his roll here.
And I really liked Buffy sleeping in between Spike and her mom. (Though I got worried about her peeing- there's my nurse showing again...)
Yeah...the science of the thing..I have a scientific backround and I can get MAJORLY distracted when I am reading/writing. I go off to google something to fact check and 5 hours later emerge with no idea why I started the search in the first place. Please do not apply your nursing knowledge to this chapter...oh dear...Buffy would never have made it (nor would I ever have gotten it written) if I hadn't finally thrown my hands up in the air and said "Supernatural Slayer Healing to the rescue!"
Maybe she did pee...good thing she was wrapped in all those towels.
I like that Spike never treats Buffy like she's a stupid girl. He is take chargey, because he's been around and he knows how people and things are. So, if he can save her some time and trouble, he cuts through the BS and does what needs to be done. But when he realizes she needs to do it the hard way, because that's how it is sometimes, he lets her have that too. He's very much a man who knows what he wants, and even though he lives in vampire time, maybe because he lives in vampire time, he understands the value of time and when it's not worth wasting it.
Again, phew- this chapter could have been a fic in it's own right! The phasing was really well done and it felt disconcerting. Part of me wished Spike had been there as part of the crew to bring her home, but another (bigger) part is happy it was her mom she woke up to.
I was glad to see Xander play a part :-) Smart guy! And I hope the council know that she knows what they tried to do...
Ah, this review is a balm to me because I am much less comfortable writing the supernatural aspects than the character/emotional aspects of the story. I am never sure if it's going to come off as believable and/or interesting, or if it sounds like nonsense or bores people to tears.
As much as this story tells the love story of Buffy and Spike, it also tells the love story of a mother and daughter. It felt right that Joyce be the one she returns home to, that Joyce is her true North at this point. It's been a privilege to watch their relationship develop as I wrote.
Oh, and: life on the lam. It's less comfortable than life on the lamb (but waaaay easier on the lamb).
Thank you! I appreciate the correction! The only lamb Spike's living on is lamb's blood, but I won't pretend I was trying for a pun. Hugs.
We don't hate you, Buffy. You tried something that didn't work. You'll have to be hard in ways you don't like to end it. It'll be okay anyway.
And Spike's back!!!
She appreciates that. Many of us have been there one way or another. It is true that once you recognize the situation, you can get to work turning it around. She's on the right track now. And yeah...it sure is nice to have Spike back! Thanks for reading and reviewing.
I feel sorry for Buffy. But part of me wants to say what were you expecting? I'm glad to see she has a support system during all this.
What was Spike doing during the past 7 years? Okay vamp. But Spike needed some money. Was he still taking jobs for the Tribunal? Was he just unavailable if Willow asked about him?
She definitely needs a hug or three, but yeah, it was probably doomed to failure. Into every life a little Season 6 must fall...sigh. Thanks for the review and questions. Buffy will respond to them in the next update!
I know we are getting to where (hopefully) Buffy and Spike will finally be together. This makes me happy and a little sad because I know the story will be coming to an end. Thank you so much for this story.
I made this banner for your story. Please do not feel obligated to use it, if you don't want to use it for the story, that's fine. Enjoy!
I am touched beyond words. Literally, I have goosebumps. What a lovely gift and compliment that beautiful banner is! I will definitely use it. Thank you so much.
We still have several chapters to go! So we have a little more time to enjoy our "power couple".
When I went to load the banner, I noticed that they "y" was left out of cryptwarmer. I'm going to load the banner as is. If you get the opportunity to fix that, send me the new link. Thank you. This is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me!
Oh, I'm so sorry about the spelling. I made your name so small that I couldn't see that I spelled it wrong. Here is the new link with your name spelled right and a little bigger.
I'm so glad you liked the banner! I took me a while to come up with a banner that didn't have SMG and JM and worked for your story.
Thank you so much! I had been thinking that it would be nice to have a banner, but, like you, I wasn't sure how to approach it seeing as they aren't "as seen on tv" AND, I don't have the skills you do. I can only do the very simplest of things. This banner is a very special gift in so many ways. I love the color/mood of it as well. It's just wonderful.
Thank you for all the kind words.
I actually feel most for Mark, at this point.
We can see Buffy having "normal" mom feelings and a lot of issues from being the Slayer. She's acting so horrible wrong, it's like watching a train wreck. I can't blame Mark for thinking that she has mental problems. Letting him think that Wes had touched her because it's an easier explaination is a real lowpoint, well there are several of those here.
Yes, we are definitely seeing some S6 worthy Buffy behavior. Also, like you say, we need to feel for Mark. That is something we didn't have to think too much about on the show. Every week we handily moved on, but the real wreckage of human lives for the people involved with the Scoobies was something we didn't see much of. There was so much collateral damage, and people living with trauma they had no way of understanding.
To be fair to Buffy on one point, she DID deny to Mark that Giles and Wes abused her. Though she considered allowing the charge against Wes to stand, she recognized how sick that was and she did tell Mark that sexual no abuse had taken place. The fact that she even considered allowing that story does show us how crazy her thinking had become.
Thanks for reading and reviewing. I hope it's not a spoiler to say that things are going to start clearing up soon.
It's too late to tell the story. Years too late. He would never believe her. And it would actually be worse if he did. He'd snatch that kid and have her declared an unfit mother in a heartbeat. Joyce is right. Buffy needs a custody lawyer now. Pospartum depression is more common then people think. It's treatable and not the stigma it used to be. Unless it is seriously disabling it wouldn't effect custody. Having a few panic attacks and not wanting a child baptized isn't enough to lose custody. Buffy made a good point. Declaring in front of witness that you are dedicating a child to a specific religion is a big deal. I had both of my kids baptized. I don't believe. But I figured they might when they got older and if they did this one thing was already done for them no matter which religion they might choose.
Her entire marriage is one of my biggest pet peeves. You can't love someone or be loved by someone unless you know them. Mark didn't know Buffy. He knew a version of her. The version she was projecting. But he didn't know the truth. A huge part of some of the most important years of her life she left out. He can't understand her or her reactions because he didn't know about those years. It's a terrible idea to let him believe that she was molested as a teenager. That will only further his fight for custody if they get divorced.
I feel sorry for her. She wanted what most people want. Love, marriage, children, a decent life. But by keeping a big part of her life a secret she doomed it before it even started with this man.
I'm nodding right along with you. I guess she got so used to covering up that part of her life that she really thought she could get away with it and not only that, but that she was doing Mark a favor. But at this point she is just digging herself a deeper and deeper hole.
I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings. There is so much going on here, so much pain, frustration, good intentions and plain old human blindness. As usual, thank goodness for Joyce. I can't wait to share the next chapter. ***sits on hands***
This was a hard chapter to read. I hope things start to look up for Buffy and I hope she doesn't loose custody of Becky.
BTW...Have I mentioned that I love, love, love this story?
Hugs. Thank you so much for mentioning it! I know that many of us read fanfic as an entertaining escape, so knowing people are sticking with this through the painful times AND loving it is a huge compliment, and I appreciate so much your letting me know.
Great chapter with many insights into Buffy's mind. Dealing with PTSD (which you thought you had already dealt with) during a pregnancy. I can definitely relate to her feelings here. Rough days. Anxieties become prevalent or are further exacerbated. Fear of additional potential loss after trauma, loss and heartbreak. All you can ever really do is learn to cope with it in the best way possible. Not sure it ever goes away.
This was a hard chapter to write, but it ended up being one of my favorites because it does hit home the realities of PSTD, and I am glad that came across well. It's a subject that was (understandably) not much dealt with on the show, but certainly had to be a factor. I felt nervous about posting this, and the next two, chapters because we are very much dealing with human Buffy here, and she is going to feel and do some painful human things.
As readers, we sometimes find ourselves feeling with and for characters, and sometimes lose respect for them depending on our own life experiences and expectations. All I can do is tell the story and see what people think. Buffy is likewise, going to be dealing with her own judgments of her behavior and choices. I really appreciate reviews and feedback, because I do wonder what people think of Buffy's choices and situations. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to review.
Well, things are cooking for BUFFY... but where's that special unavailable vampire while Buff's off having a suburban family with a sprinkler on the lawn?
Where indeed? You don't have too much longer to wait! Sometimes life is so....ugh. Thanks for reading!
I get mixed feelings from this. It's great that Buffy is feeling happy, building her perfect life, but it's also feels like this perfect picture isn't that perfect for her, she saw the perfect picture and thought that "I want it exactly like that". She isn't the active Slayer anymore, but the way she is trying to bury that part of her life isn't good. It's a pig part of her life, it's why she is who she is, ognoring that part is creating a hole in her life and her sense of self. Since she won't tell Mark, the marridge will fail.
It's tragic too, because Mark is a good man, and Buffy truly thought that not telling him was the right way to handle things. She didn't mean to lie to him or try to make a fool of him. She believes it's their best shot at happiness. Do you think it's too late to tell him?
Thanks for reading and reviewing, this is a painful part of the story.
better late than never I suppose. From glimpses of the future it seems like she is with Spike and no mention of a daughter. The daughter could be there anyway, but the marridge clearly didn't work.
I think Buffy took the wrong message from that other slayer who got married and had kids. It can work. But really? Only with someone in the know. There is a 6 year chunk of time that Buffy can't adequately explain. Thoughts and feelings that she has that relate to that time period that she can never express to her husband. She saw what she considered "normal" in that other slayer and tried to grab on with both hands but didn't realize the reality of it with a civilian.
I get the exploring. Going from job to job, religion to religion. There are things she did miss out on while being the slayer. But she was the slayer. Nothing will ever change that. To try to ignore that fact and basically pretend she is/was a normal girl isn't going to work. So yeah go out explore the world you fought night after night for 6 years to protect. You earned it. But always remember who you were and be proud of it and don't try to hide it.
I think you really hit it. She is treating her Slayer years as something to overcome, like she can beat it into submission the way she did with the demons etc. She fails to realize that none of us ever leave who we were behind, we build on it and grow. Thanks for reading and reviewing.
I hated this, I love the story and maybe Buffy needs other relationships for character development but I guess I want her with Spike now.
(Ok now that I've stopped complaining I've gotta say that although I hate that she marries Mark I really love the story and I hope you can update soon)
I know how you feel. Hugs. Just hang in there. Should be another update by Saturday. Thanks for reading!
Really nice chapter. The dynamic of sisters, and the competitiveness with love. This dawn is much more interesting.
Buffy still trying to figure her life out, and then to hear about the other slayers, how heart breaking. Survivor's guilt for sure. Then the hints of spike gone missing. And the knowledge that now they appear to be living together, but to what degree and for how long have they been together I wonder. Love that mystery and love reading each chapter until the mystery is unraveled and solved, bit by bit.
Thanks for this lovely and heart wrenching story.
As they say...more will be revealed. I'm glad you are enjoying the journey. These next few chapters are some of my favorites as Buffy knits together a life, and we find out if/how/when Spike becomes part of it. But, as you have noted, they ARE together. Incentive for us, as well as Buffy, to push on! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing.
It was a good chapter. Through this we could see Buffy dealing with life. After being a Slayer she must now desl with "normal" life and it takes time to get used to. This, as so much else has this "real" feeling I offten talk about in my reviews. Buffy's thoughts, reactions and everything seems real.
I'm glad you liked this one. It's fun watching Buffy come into her own. I'm very glad to hear the story is staying true to itself and keeping it real. Thank you for reading and reviewing!
It's interesting to see the dynamic between Buffy and Spike switch. A bit refreshing. Also, love the answer to the Riley and Ryan question.
I'm glad to hear the Q&A hasn't disappointed. It's been really fun to get questions and explore more deeply. Tuck that dynamic between Buffy and Spike, into a pocket in your mind. Buffy forgets about it for awhile, and needs to be reminded. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
I like the switch in their relationship because this time Buffy is the one to seek out Spike whereas they are on his home turf. It balances their relationship.
“Hello Cutie…” He said. His voice sent shivers down my spine. “Come give us a kiss. (...)“Was going to but I heard you were….happy.” Spike is not as confident as he wants Buffy to believe. His first line is pure swagger but then the insecurity shines through. He is not certain if he has a place in Buffy's life. Overall their reunion is awkward but cute and Spike opens up more when he tells Buffy his real name.
So how many Slayers did William kill and were they active Slayers or retired?
Interesting that he stayed away because he heard she was "happy". Begs the question of what he wants for her and what he thinks he can give her. Also he sees that she can find happiness without him. Like he knows they have something, but isn't sure if it is enough. Sigh, this was bittersweet to write, because it's not a fairy tale, so I can't just have them be everything perfect for each other and have them breeze off into happily ever after. I'm glad that came across in the story.
Buffy shared some of the story of Spike's previous history with Slayers, she'll see if she can't get some more information out of him and fill in some blanks for you in the next update! Thanks for the review and the question!
AWWW. I was so darned happy to read about Spike being so blatantly happy to see her! AWWWW.
I loved when he asked if it was really really her. sigh. And she thought he might not be happy to see her...silly, silly, Buffy. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
I liked Buffy's thoughts on how traveling would be good for her and how her time in england was. Meeting Spike, or rather William was intense, but then it always is. As i offten say, they do have a special relationship, there's a flow over it that I enjoy and it has it's own interesting complications.
It was nice to see them interact on HIS territory for a change wasn't it! I wonder how HE thought she would react to the fact that he is William the Bloody. Too bad we weren't inside his head for that one. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
The differences between Riley and Ryan are interesting.
We dated for nearly one year and had a lot of fun. Fortunately Ryan was fun to be around, something that didn't shine through in the relationship with Riley. Buffy is still growing up and finding herself and I think the new relationship gave her perspective. However she clearly isn't over Spike when she uses Spike for inspiration in sexual fantasies.
I think you really hit the nail on the head, perspective is really what she needs. I guess we all have certain things we look to as reference points and with her's being so mixed up with the supernatural the more opportunities for normal that she gets in her life, the better.
Buffy and her wacky Spike fantasies...she's got a lot of company in both the supernatural AND natural worlds with that one, I'll wager. I think it's fair to assume she will never get over Spike. sigh...she probably had a lot of company there too. If I got my hands on him I wouldn't let him go!
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I love to hear your thoughts.