Inventive, unique, a little heartbreaking, and some wonderful Scoobie interplay that manages to keep them so true to character without having any of them be so type-cast as to be caricatures of themselves. Spike is, per usual, in it for love and managers, even in a dreamscape, to be exactly what Buffy needs. It is refreshing to see that she has come to terms with that. I read all three stories straight through...could not leave off until I read the last word. Then sighed when I say the last post date as two things came to mind.
1. How the hell did I miss these?
2. I needed to pray that RL got shook like a bone in the mouth of a pitbull in order to straighten everything out so you could finish this story.
I have no answer for the first and have already asked for divine intervention for the second.
In either case, let me give you my sincere thank you for the hours of pleasure you work has given me.
I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I just read your stories and I absolutely love them! Especially this one - such an exciting plot and I can't wait to see what they come up with to appease Rhamnousia! I thoroughly enjoy your interpretation of Spike - his words and his thoughts are just so....Spike! Do you plan on finishing this story? I sure hope so...[Report This]
This was a fun turn of events. I think it was time to leave the dream world, although it would be interesting if it comes back into play later. I loved the way you did it - Spike summoned by witches and casually joining a tour group was very Pratchett-esque.
Hee hee! Thanks!
"Either way, you’re screwed, which is familiar, so you have that going for you."
This should not be so amusing...
"Americans would make a national park out of an odd-shaped puddle if they could"
Hershey's Kiss Spike is quite the image
"They reached the turn for the I-10 and headed for Tucson. Traffic went from none to light, and Spike figured he’d have to give Will a kiss for sending help like this."
I thought there was something a little "off" about how Masako was talking
Oh, Andrew being the barnacle is so adorable
The little moment of concern from Giles is lovely.
ow my feels halp
Glad you liked the park joke. I got that attitude from Britain from something Frye said on QI.
Hershey's Kiss Spike with the creamy yummy center.
Glad Masako was sending off the weird vibes. I wanted it to build a little.
I love QI
It was pretty well balanced I thought something wasn't quite right, but at the same time I was still surprised when it turned out to be Rhamnousia (which I may have misspelled...) herself! So, nice job!
Spike's back! I'm really loving this story and I am so glad you didn't leave him in the dream place.
One teeny little thing that I noticed in this chapter - not huge but it did make me laugh - when Spike swears the correct spelling is Bollocks. Bullocks are male cows...
Argh! Damn you, spellcheck!
Thanks for the heads up!
A good thing that Spike managed to surprise the cult. They must have had a lot of power, finding out about Spike and ripping him out of the dream must have been difficult.
I liked how Rhamnousia collected Spike and after some talk send him to Buffy. By acting like this she got Spike to speak his honest opinion. I do think he made a good impression. It was also a great ending to the chapter.
Rhamnousia's the sly one. ;-)
I'll be talking about power and dreams in the next bit.
Oh he's back in the real world now. Along with everything else he's brought to the table he can now add fists and fangs when needed. I wonder if that ritual was a happy chance or if Rhamnousia orchestrated it having chosen him to give her reply?
Love the image of power in how quickly and efficiently he took out the witches and warlock from the cult of Ishtar. Yes Rhamnousia is right, Spike IS unique (take that Angel with his years of "uniqueness" because of his curse....er...soul. Spike is unique for so many reasons not even counting that soul he has that isn't a curse.). Dark Warrior of Love indeed.
I love how he had sense enough to grab the fire blanket. What a perfect thing for a vampire in need of protection from the sun. He needs to keep that or get another...maybe make a suit out of that material for day fighting LOL.
I am beyond thrilled at how welcomed he is. He is part of the team, part of the inner circle at that. This is how it should have been. Even Giles and Wood seem on board. Buffy still has her man and all the comfort he can bring. Maybe they can't conjour up the neat settings but they have each other and that is enough.
So 2 days to figure a way to restore balance. Well I suppose they could work on magic to make the girls Potentials again instead of full Slayers. Maybe that would be acceptable. I know some like Kennedy would balk and then some but it would set things back to where they were before that battle with the FE. I think what Spike said to Rhamnousia helped.
Slayer didn’t raise up an army to make herself look good or challenge the gods... Addressed the motive and the actual lack of hubris of the empowering.
... having all the slayerettes run around at the same time tipped the balance of power, and that’s got to be redressed, but there’s no reason for Buffy to have to pay for it, or her little slayer sisters. They didn’t ask for what the world decided to make ‘em. Wasn’t hubris. Was desperation. I think he made a good case. Him not knowing he was talking directly to Rhamnousia lends weight to his words.
Rhamnousia clearly knows Spike and his history. I think she has some admiration for him. She was impressed that he didn't even consider being the right hand to Ishtar preferring to be at Buffy's side, serving her instead as just a foot soldier. They had though Xander the proper channel as a symbol of humility but Rhamnousia saw her own humble servant for communication and it was Spike.
I'm glad Rhamnousia is willing to work with them, give them time to come up with a reason for her not to punish them. That's encouraging.
I can't help but think that Dru is going to figure into the seer situation.
While I might miss the dream world I'm glad he's back in the real one. Like the song says, "Ain't nothin like the real thing baby".
Ahhhh, more lovely Kathleen feedback.
The image of Spike in a shiny suit of fire tent is quite lovely.
Yeah, I really had originally intended to leave him a dream creature, but once I figured out some other things it just didn't work anymore.
He's back!!! And somehow I am not surprised! Knew that place wasn't meant to be forever, even though it was a really neat place to be or have, but hey! At least they all got Spike back! Anyway, excited to see what happens next and how they plan to restore the balance. Great chapter again and hope you update soin! Good luck!
I actually had intended to end the series with him still in there, but the damn vampire just wouldn't let me. Besides, Ishtar is a greedy bitch. Glad you liked the update!
Giles is learning. He really should have brought up the redemption thing again to Spike later. The one time on the show was too soon, Spike hadn't started to change and being chipped wasn't good for him. Giles is really starting to see all the good things Spike has to offer.
It seems like the dream itself is in danger now. It's been harder to get into it and this cliffhanger seems to indicate more problems.
why hadn’t he wondered about that before when Spike so casually mentioned he could speak Fyarl? I've always wondered that as well. They ignored Spike's obvious intelligence and education (and gee even just the fact he had been around for a century) and the same with Anya in spite of her comments about other dimensions and demons. Both were valuable first hand resources that were not only ignored but actually told to shut up (literally) on most occasions when they tried to volunteer a thought. I can excuse the Scoobies and Buffy but Giles was negligent in his calling and just plain stupid to do this. It went beyond his blindness where Willow's magic was concerned.
He clearly remembered that day he’d gone to Spike’s crypt to suggest the chip had been part of a plan to redeem the vampire, to put him on the path to some mission for the greater good. Giles brought it up too soon. Spike hadn't had time to make changes himself or even want to. He should have brought it up again the next year.
Giles is learning. A bit too late but he is learning.
Not good with it getting harder to go into the dream realm and Spike popping out like that wasn't good either.
Thank you! It actually bothered me more that they ignored Anya, considering she was a Scooby.
Shit! I've had this nagging feeling that their vengeance god was behind Spike's wonder world afterlife. I'm probably wrong but if not... Did she want to see what he would do? What he would wish for?
The next update answers all this...sort of.
Looks like all the Scoobies popping in and out disrupted Spike's special dream world. Now what? Does Spike forfeit his reward because all of the others wanted to see what Buffy went when she dreamed? Really not fair if Spike loses his reward over that. He was honestly trying to help all of them, with nothing really in it for him. No wonder Spike referred to the PTB as The Powers Who Like to Screw With You! I can't wait for the next update!
All will be (eventually) revealed. Hopefully. If my muse is OK with it.
I am lacking in intelligent commentary today, except that I LOVE seeing examination of the Giles/Spike dynamic, and of Spike being more than he seems, and CLIFFHANGER DAMN YOU *shakes fist*
Sorry. I'm not usually a cliffhanger gal, but...
Wow, wow, wow! I read the first two fics in this series and thought they were sweet and interesting. Choose Me is neither sweet nor interesting - its EPiC. An absolutely original plot, detailed and full of intrigue and drama, peopled by primo versions of our favorite Scoobies (who have finally reflected on their character flaws and poor judgments and practiced a little self improvement) and a smattering of baddies - physical and mythical (including Kennedy - too easy but who can resist!) and chock full of fantastic, meaty, insightful dialogue. Oh, and am I overlooking something - too right I am! The spine-tingling, heart-fluttering Spuffy love and of course the brain-melting, knee-trembling hawt, hawt sex. OMG - have we died and gone to heaven! Thank you Grace - I read this through in one session and just loved it. Eagerly awaiting your next update.
It's epic in length, all right. I thought this was going to be a another little story when this started, and instead I'm hip-deep in it. Stupid muse.
I'm so glad that my slightly older versions of the characters work for you! Doing post-series is always challenging because the characters have to have learned something from the big series finale, but they still have to be, well, them.
Spuffy sex must always be hawt. I want that on a T-shirt.
This was one great talk they had. They both told each others about their ex and also a needed conversation about the relationship they did have. It's good that they realises that they had both acted wrong towards echoes other.
I know I've already said it somewhere, but when I watch those last episodes of Buffy, I just want to scream, "Why don't you people talk to each other???!!" Among the very few real conversations are Buffy and Spike, and look at what they say! It's so great! (Other good, rare conversations include Anya and Andrew & Anya and Xander.) Frankly, I would have watched a whole season of just much-needed conversations after "Chosen."
"She smiled at the memory now, and it was odd how he was relieved she was smiling instead of feeling jealous of the memory. She’d damned well earned that smile."
I have nothing intelligent to say about this line, I just really like it.
You've put the nail in why I can't even like early-Riley. As well as the whole borderline-Nazi actions of the Initiative, he didn't love who Buffy was, he loved who he wanted her to be, and when she didn't fit into that he did incredibly stupid things and then acted like it was her fault. Ugh. Don't even get me started.
"Incredulous to be allowed…no, to be welcomed, so welcomed inside."
“Because it was still you, learning how to love me.”
but in a good way!
edit: oh, and I meant to say I LOVED Buffy telling him in detail why she loves him. Ahhh. One of my favourite things is people telling Spike (well Buffy, too, tbh, but that's not so relevant here) that he's worth something. One of my favourite moments on AtS S5 is Fred telling Spike he's worth saving. He's so sort of taken aback and wondering that she could think that, and she's just so honest and sincere and Fred about it. Gah. So yeah. Loved that bit hardcore
Whee! flootzavut feedback!
(Where'd that name come from, anyway?)
The Initiative is a perfect example of good intentions poorly thought out.
You know what I love? Fanfic that has Buffy dealing with more good demons (something I intend to have fun with myself). There's this one story I don't feel like hunting down, where Maggie throws Buffy into a cell and sends in some tentacled demons who see her, shriek in terror, and beg her not to kill her while they thrash their tentacles around. And Buffy's all, "Shut up. I'm not going to kill you. Yeesh." And there's another where They kill a bad demon and Spike whistles and these little demons come out and collect it for food. hee hee
I play the flute, and a French friend of mine complained that when he saw my username he kept thinking it meant recorder (flûte à bec) rather than flûte traversière, so he called me "Floot" (my username was myname-flute); I speak Russian, and zavut is part of the way you introduce yourself - l4;kl5;n3; k9;l6;k4;m1;m0; menya zavut [name]. The literal meaning is "they call me..." So flootzavut essentially means "they call me floot"
I don't think I've read either of those, I'll have to keep an eye out. Best Initiative story I've read so far is Gort's "Dreamer", which I highly recommend. Spike, the Ring of Amara, Buffy gets caught by the Initiative, hair porn ... I've read it twice, enjoyed it both times
Ha! I played the flute in school waaaaay back when. Never got any good at it. I applaud you!
Hm. I love Gort's stuff. Don't remember "Dreamer." I'll go look it up.
Oh yeah, I remember that one now. Good one!
I love this story. But Spike & his demon don't have to REALLY foreswear handcuffs forever, do they? I mean, this is a very solid, grounded Buffy. She'd be honest if asked. ;)
::evil snicker:: evil plans....
I love how Buffy doesn't just ask from him but offers first. She lays out her history, opens her heart for him to look deeply. Then she asks him to open his heart to look for answers from his time with Dru. Beautiful and quite loving and mature of her.
he was just a footnote in ‘The Buffy Summers’ Attempt at Normal.’ Riley to a tee at least the aspect of him as Buffy's love interest. He was not normal of course but he was her attempt at it. He was the rebound guy and also a human version of Angel in many ways (even physically). He and Angel had a LOT in common.
Oh the Angel "love" that messed her up SOOOOOOOO badly in oh so many ways! Yeah Spike didn't want to even think of them together but he loves her enough that his heart breaks for the young girl so hurt by that experience. I always thought he would feel that way. Spike closed his eyes on the wet burn of his grief for her. For the loss of her youth in that moment. She did lose her youth and also all confidence in her ability to be safe and wise when deciding on who she could love. Never again did she make a choice and stand by it without first seeing that her friends and Giles approved. She didn't trust her judgement ever again when it came to her heart.
You know, if Riley had met Clem back then, he would have zapped him, stuck him in a cell, and let Maggie do God knows what to him. How many harmless demons do you think they rounded up in those Initiative cells, chopping off parts to make Adam or earlier versions of Adam? Yup. No doubt Riley would STILL grab Clem. He never did stop thinking that all demons needed killing or worse.
I think it was more about how he could admire himself because someone as strong as I was needed him. And then, when I didn’t need him enough, off he was getting his blood sucked out by vamp hos. Perfect insight!
“I was wrong not to love him more, but he was wrong not to love what I really am.” Actually the wrong was that she ever let Willow convince her that he was the guy for her in the first place or that she didn't end it pretty quickly when it was clear he was not. It is amazingly fair of her to feel this way but not accurate. She didn't love him and there was no wrong in that. You can't cough up love on demand.
Buffy's declaration of why she loves Spike is a thing of beauty that I will not quote here because I would not change or leave out a single word. Utter perfection and accurate IMHO. This is one of my favorite paragraphs in any Spuffy fic ever I think. I love Spike's reaction though and his feeling that there was a compulsion to respond with making love to her LOL.
AHA Dru being a seer is important (and I suspect will continue to be a factor). I can understand why Buffy wondered if she herself was one and like that she is not. Her Slayer dreams are sent to her by the PTB's not from some seer ability of her own. I suspect they will be needing to hunt down Dru before too much longer if only to try to get some answers from her. Spike might have to meet her in the dreamworld too to interpret.
“I will burn in Hell for my crimes,” he mouthed silently into her hair. “And the flames will not touch me for the memory of the heat you give me.” Love this line! Poor guy already in a place of reward yet still thinking he deserves hell. Awwwww.
Really loved the whole chapter. Excellent in every way with some not to be forgotten passages!
Yummy feedback goodness! You know, one of the main reason this story has completely taken over my life is that you guys so wonderfully feed my feedback addiction. I keep thinking about how I need to take a break from this and get back to stuff that pays, and then I read the feedback and the cycle begins anew! It's a conspiracy, and I love it.
The Angel storyline was a perfect metaphor for having something so horrible for your first attempt at true love that you get screwed up over it for years. I didn't like much that they stayed "in love" over the show, even at the end there. Nothing about him was ever any good for her, IMO, souled or not.
>>Actually the wrong was that she ever let Willow convince her that he was the guy for her in the first place or that she didn't end it pretty quickly when it was clear he was not. It is amazingly fair of her to feel this way but not accurate. She didn't love him and there was no wrong in that. You can't cough up love on demand.
I see what you're saying, but I think she did love Riley some or she wouldn't have kept sleeping with him. She just really controlled her love, limited it, and then he didn't have a clue how to get her to open up, and so it all turned sour. Frankly, I love that Riley found himself a perfect love after Buffy with Sam, who's exactly what Riley needs to be a good guy. Buffy was as bad for Riley, if not worse, than he was for her.
>>Buffy's declaration of why she loves Spike is a thing of beauty that I will not quote here because I would not change or leave out a single word.
This fic truly makes me want to cry far too many times! whether it is caused by pain or happiness, I don't care! I get teary eyed every chapter! You are truly an amazing writer! I love your talent soo much! I can't get enough of this fic! Thank you for sharing this story and I cannot wait for the next chapter! Good luck and see you again until then!
I'm sooo glad you're enjoying it. Spike is such a great character to play with. He's so many believable extremes all rolled into one.
It was nice to see Spike and Dawn acting friendly, it's good to see that they have found the friendship again. We could see how good Spike are at reading people and situations.
I like how this is going with the threat of divine retribution.
Thanks so much! Got another chapter ready to go now.
Kennedy? Remorseful? Supplicant? The world is doomed. Her ego knows no bounds and I wouldn't be surprised if she isn't behind the rest of the slayers who are behaving badly. The only reason she is a slayer is because of Willow's spell in the hellmouth. She was too damn old to ever be chosen. Buffy and Faith weren't going to kick it any time soon and that would put Kennedy out of the running. Maybe that could be a solution. Take the slayer strength away from the ones who would have never been chosen because of how old they are. The next girl in line to take over after Faith would probably be around 12 or so. So any slayer made in the hellmouth spell over 18 is unnecessary and throws off the balance. It could also be seen as hubris.
Yeah, I confess I never liked Kennedy, and Willow is far too good for her. But she's not evil or anything. She's actually kind of hard to write.
I love Spike and Dawn reconnecting at any time but this just feels so special between them. It's something they might have done that summer when Buffy was dead and they only had one another.
could sell underwear to dolphins ROFL (and he doesn't even wear any LOL).
“I get it, Niblet,” he said, but his voice was sad. Yeah he sees she is trying to reach for that special bond they once had back before it got ugly.
Loved his short WWII story. I can see him being subversive enough to do just that. I agree with Dawn it would have been no loss to have had most of the SS and higher Nazi command spread out as a buffet for vamps.
Faith snapped up off the platform, strode over to Kennedy, and punched her in the face. ... “I’m not going to be killed because you can’t keep your mouth shut!” I am in love with Faith right about now! If Rhamnousia wants to wipe out hubris she need look no further than Kennedy. She embodies it.
“Pull!” Vi shouted, throwing one of the armored guys in the air so Xander got a clean shot at his unprotected ass. Gotta love Vi! Wry sense of humor AND effective.
So Council of Watchers blows up and still can wreck havok! Sounds about right. Hated Weatherby, he was a sick bully and a zealot so I'm not surprised to find him heading this failed A-Team episode.
“There are more heroes in this world than just you, the Scoobies, and your super-squad. It’s their right to join in the fight if they want to, and God knows we could use a few older types around here to help with all the half-cocked teenagers. And can I point out that not letting people help you is another way of being arrogant?” Well said Spike and ever so true on all points. His insights are really valuable in every so many ways. Not only his ability to scope out a room and note things like Marigold and her minion but also poke holes in arrogance in the good guys as well.
Loved that Spike keeps showing his knowledge to Giles and Giles always gets surprised. Bet he's had a lot of time thinking about how very badly he underestimated and undervalued Spike. Spike was obsessed with Slayers, naturally he'd have learned all he could about the Council. He is also intelligent and that code would have been only a challenge to him. Loved that scene.
I just don't see Kennedy even pretending to be humble not for any reason or for any person.
Hum...wonder if all the mentions of Dru might lead to her being a part of this in time. SHe might know about this seers vault.
Another excellent chapter.
Ah! A flood of lovely feedback!
Yeah, I figure during that summer they went for ice cream whenever Dawn wanted.
The WWII story came from a video I saw of Marsters talking about how when he was a teenager he and a friend would pretend to be gay so they could get into fights. Honestly, I really think the guy was something of a thug at one point. ::sigh:: Bad boy hotness.
>>Hated Weatherby, he was a sick bully and a zealot so I'm not surprised to find him heading this failed A-Team episode.
I might steal that.
I sometimes think I'm going overboard on Spike's education and smarts, and then I check, and no, he is smart and educated on the show, and it just sort of comes out, like, "What's with the Dadaism?" and "I happen to speak Fyarel." (I didn't look up the spelling for the demon. Sue me.)
>>Hum...wonder if all the mentions of Dru might lead to her being a part of this in time. SHe might know about this seers vault.
Now now. No spoilers.
AHA River Song! Yes, no spoilers.
Feel free to steal.
Yes James...his stories often change a bit (like any good storyteller he gauges his audience LOL). He was a theater geek. I don't doubt he had his bad boy moments but for the most part he was all about the theater even in high school. I think he was a big Star Trek (Spock) fan as well. Even now he's into video games and sci/fi. I don't think he was a thug except in his own mind LOL.
"She’d never say it to his face, but he was really very pretty, even more than Orlando Bloom."
One of my little guilty pleasures is imagining Spike's reaction to being called pretty
And Spike/Dawn family bonding time is loooove.
"the face that could sell underwear to dolphins"
Oh, Kennedy. Shut your face, you silly cow.
Vi yelling "pull!" and flinging one of the ninjas in the air is such a great image. Vi was one of my favourite potentials ("And I have learned a valuable lesson of some kind, sir.")
“Don’t you ever feel bad about that, now. You were protecting your sis. I was right pleased with you, if you want to know the truth.”
Spike knowing more about the Council of Wankers than Giles does would so not surprise me... (and was very amusing...)
Oh, things are gettin' serious...
>>One of my little guilty pleasures is imagining Spike's reaction to being called pretty.
I'm so glad the thing with Vi worked. It made me laugh, but you don't always know what other people are going to find fun.
What can I say? It'd be hilarious "Pretty? Pretty?" *head explodes*
I am really enjoying this. Interesting plot. I do however enjoy the Spuffy interactions so I was happy that " the Slayer needs time with her consort". Thank you for writing and sharing.
Lots of Spuffy in the next bit. I had some plot to get through this time.