utter brutality and perfect transition - great chapter and exploration of the "ways to get by after enormous tragic events of loss in ones life."
Yeah, buffy is swimming in the trauma of this turning. Spike touched a sore point.
The nice thing about rereading a story is that you notice all kinds of subtle details that you don't think much of the first time around. This time, I especially enjoyed the description of Buffy's cell, and the fact that "her mind dubbed [the see through wall] the front". I found it very elegant. It stood out to me because I think most authors would just have said that the plastic wall was at the front, and leave it at that. This is so much more accurate!
Lol, the "secret hoard of pirate treasure". Spike's funny. I love his and Buffy's banter, the snarkiness between them even in the situation they are in. They'll go down arguing and bantering, no doubt! Also, loved that Spike didn't know how Angel got his soul back... that right, he wouldn't know (unless Drusilla somehow knew and told him). When you watch a TV series sometimes it's hard to keep track of who knows what, or remember that a certain character was not there so they don't know what you do. I love your attention to details like that.
Oh, I love that Willow was the one to take charge of Buffy's turning and re-ensouling. Well you know me and my Willow-bias, but I truly think it fits her character. It's sort of what she did in s6 too... they needed Buffy to fight, they couldn't let her rest in peace.
Spike's anger at Angel is so on point... of course it's not all on Buffy's behalf. He was abandoned by Angel too, and it shows. Still, his observations are completely correct. I loved Buffy breaking down over it; not that I'm happy about it, of course, but I do think that she needs to realize Angel has done her wrong. Sure her inital coping mechanism is to say he's her great love and can do no wrong... I can see why, it's the only thing that helps her make sense of all that suffering. It was worth it, it was love. But in the long run, this is going to destroy much of her self esteem, so thank god she has Spike to challenge her now!
I'm on a road trip, so I'm finding it hard to respond to these with as much detail and alacrity as I'd like, but I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it is to randomly see these awesome reviews show up. I'm sick and they've really brightened my day.
The Spike/Buffy banter is, I think, the heart of their interaction, whether friendly or antagonistic. I can never get over that the wonderful "You're the one!" Speech was predicated on Spike getting pissed off by her pity ditty.
And the reason the dumb sod didn’t insist you do the damn procedure in a hospital to start with? - I think I was as taken aback as Buffy here. What a logical, reasonable solution... That of course Angel never suggested.
Poor Buffy, rid of her believed reason for dying, the last of her naive innocence shattered. But I love that about Spike. He never pulls punches, never lets her not face reality.
But, egad, captured by the Initiative. I'm very afraid for them
Yeah, I have NO patience with Angel's biting her the way it happened. Biting, taking too much. We know vampires can learn to not take it all, but Angel'd never had much self-control, and had none at all sick. Buffy was just stupid not to have thought of it, and as for Willow or any of the others, they should have thought of it, too. I get stress, but... yeah. Willow was smart enough. Poor Buffy, her delusions completely shattered....
As much as I dislike the thought of Spike and Buffy being taken by the Initiative, I'm guessing this conversation - with so much honesty - never would have realistically happened without being locked away, not able to look at each other.
I think you're probably right.
The Initiative base is so creepy. They totally have no idea what they are doing, kidnapping all kinds of demons - both benign and evil - and running crazy experiments. *shiver*
Ha! I figured out the whole Buffy-dies-to-save-Angel-and-he-turns-her. Having Willow encourage him was a twist I hadn't anticipated, though.
Poor Buffy. Now she and Spike need to put their heads together and get out of there!
Initiative and all of its people are evil. Watch how I do not separate Riley out from their ranks....
I like the start of the chapter. The Buffy lines are perfect. I can see myself in her head. I really like the concept of Buffy and Spike being captured by the Initiative and having time to talk. It really will help their friendship along.
I thought Buffy didn't know Sunday when Spike mentioned her in a prior chapter?
I really enjoyed your description of how Angel came to turn her. Having Willow be there an insist on it was not what I expected. I figured it would simply be that Buffy was dying and Angel turned her to keep her around. Angel's rationales typically have some holes in them. I can understand the not-wanting-to-lose-the-souls argument, except, he probably woudn't be perfectly happy since both are vampires with souls forced on them and are tortured. It always bothered me that Angel's "perfect happiness" was a happy with Buffy. Just never sat well with me.
Lines I like:
- "Tuned to vampire frequencies" This just made me laugh and was a good phrase.
- "All she knew was ow!" Sooo Buffy. Very in-character.
- “Who did you think it would be, Vanna White?” I can totally see this being said. It was a good one.
- "Good to know the size of the cliff she was standing on the edge of." This is the best line in the chapter, IMO. It's what stood out to me.
Plot points I like:
- I like that we see a demon like Clem here - maybe actually Clem? Benign demons being held captive by the Initiative isn't okay. I hope Buffy and Spike are able to work together to free everyone.
- The mention of Sunday's goon being in the Initiative. I'm picturing the same vamp that got caught by the commandos in The Freshman (or Living Conditions, can't remember which) after Buffy took down Sunday.
Characterizations I like:
- Slayer is developing such a unique characterization. It's awesome to see her so close to Buffy yet so far.
Overall things I like:
- The direction of the story. Vamp!Buffy is being extremely well done here. Her Slayer persona is so similar yet different enough in some key ways.
- Pacing. I like that they're still basically courteous enemies, and we're around 12k words into the story at this point. Despite the fact that Slayer can understand Spike better than Buffy ever could, they still don't just magically get alon better.
- The Faith plot. I like that it's mentioned here.
You know I like the story a lot; it's a really different, excellent story so far. Great job, Sig.
Excited to keep reading!
Buffy had seen Sunday, but she wasn't very important to her. "The kid at the grocery store?" kind of sentiment about her, so it slips her mind.
Angel's Perfect Happiness crap with Buffy doesn't sit well with almost anyone. The logic is flawed.
I don't know if that was Clem or not. If it was, he got out safe. Unlikely, for canon, now I think about it... And yep, Rat is the same goon he was in canon.
Angel had never said he was sorry.
I sort of think that is a pretty good way of summing up their relationship, and what happened with the whole poisoning bit.
I feel for Buffy in this chapter.
She always seems to be caged; her destiny, her romance with Angel. The initiative just made theirs a literal one.
I hope she and Spike get out soon!
Indeed. There's a lot of cage symbolism in this story.
Angel is a colossal asshole. The worst thing about that is that you stayed completely in character with your description of him, there is no bashing anything or anyone in this story. Gah, I don't understand Bangel shippers.
Yeah, I don't character bash... and yet I don't pull punches, either. (I don't get Bangel shippers myself....)
Welp I didn't like crossover genre and then you wrote Immortal. I don't usually go for Vamp!Buffy but now you write this and of course It's amazing. Your "Willow's bag-verse" is ingenious cause it's perfectly believable and in character for both Angel and Wiillow. Can't wait for more!
AWW! That's so sweet of you to say, about both this and Immortal. I love what you're calling it, by the by. "Willow's bag-verse." Lol.
Trapped like this, what can they do but talk? This will at least make them beginning to trust each other and know each other. Buffy told him the history of her turning. I have mixed feelings about Willow's involvement. She did condemn Buffy to her greatest fear, but the Mayor was a great danger and they needed all the power they had against him. Willow probably had some more personal reasons too, but every choice had big consequences. It is really hard to say what was right or wrong. It all depends on how you look at it. It was painful to hear about Buffy's reaction when she knew she would be souled.
My hatred for the soul is well known, but in this case it had to be done. They didn't have the time or resources to control her through the fledgling state. As soon as they decided that they needed vampire-Buffy the soul had to be used. In my mind, having a soul is harmful to a vampire but in Buffy's case I don't think that extra harm would be so high, being the Slayer already made her fight herself before. There are of course two big problems, they forced this on Buffy and it's a curse. This means that Willow has cursed two people, that could lead to some dark places.
Spike at once hit at the weak points in the story and pointed out that all this could easily have been avoided. That was hard for Buffy to hear but it was probably for the best.
Some hard choices was described here and sometimes there aren't any right ones.
Magnus, I'm gonna tell you a secret. Shh, come on over here. *Whispers* You are gonna LOVE this story.
And Spike hits Buffy with an unwelcome dose of truth and reality. And has the grace to apologise when he realises that she's upset.
I always knew Angel was a *&%$£*, but here, it sounds as though even though Angel didn't bother to control himself when feeding (as in canon) the main culprit for Buffy's situation here was Willow. I don't think I like this Willow.
Looking forward to developments...
Willow.... well, wasn't thinking. Mostly she was being the same as she was in season six, honestly.
As bad as I feel for Buffy I'm glad that illusion has been shattered. Angel destroys. It's what he does. Now maybe the two of them can work together and get out of there.
Angel is the destroyer. They really should have given that name to him, not his son.
Poor Buffy. What she told about her turning was painful to hear. And I loved Spike’s reaction about Angel's decisions. She was in denial but Spike has opened her eyes. It must have killed her -a third time- to know the truth.
Great chapter! I loved it.
Yeah, Buffy dies rather a lot, doesn't she? More than most, anyway....
Oh no... poor Buffy. I'm glad Spike didn't hold back, but that had to have killed to hear. Another great chapter, looking forward to more.
The truth needed out though. But yeah. It did kill her... well, literally. That was the point.
WOW great chapter here with lots and lots of food for thought (your stories are ALWAYS chock full of those).
“Bet you took out half the town in half the night, and took out your slayer successor to boot.” She would have that's for sure. Oddly enough she tried to take out Faith and that was before her turning! That's something they sweep under the rug in canon.
I love your quick thinking Spike. He observes and listens and somes to the right conclusions in quick order. This is often ignored in the interests of "comedy" on the show but it was clearly part of the character if one just watched.
“Maybe not golden angels,” Spike said, “but I sure as hell wouldn’t put them on the side of evil.” Exactly the thing they NEVER addressed on the show. Not all those demons in the labs were dangerous. On Angel they showed several demon species who were peaceful, some actively helpful. Anya mentioned that at one point in later seasons and then they showed us Clem. In S4 they were still holding with all demons are bad demons except Angel but that was nonsense. The fact they were torturing the demons made this evil. The fact that they were indiscriminate in the demons they grabbed was another evil.
Time to talk with nothing else to do and the true story comes out. YES as I thought...Angel and his inability to control his demon.
He was not at all surprised the Mayor would use his wicked charm to seduce an emotionally vulnerable slayer to his side. Faith WAS vulnerable. She needed to be part of something and none of them opened up to welcome her. The mayor offered her the family and acceptance she craved. It took so little to gain her loyalty (she was a lot like Spike in that way. I always thought part of why he stayed in LA was because Angel's team seemed to accept him at least more than anyone else ever had before).
I all but forced him to drink. No. She hit him 3 times I think it was. Compare that to the beat down (in canon) she gave to Spike in the alley!
He was speaking of that slayer she’d been, the girl filled with love and devotion, who had gone to such lengths. A eulogy for the fallen. Yes he does mourn Buffy (the girl he already loved but hadn't acknowledged his feeling for). Even with the soul she is still different and will NEVER be that Buffy again.
She was probably right.” That was the exact word Giles had used, when he’d heard the story. Because that is always good enough when it's Willow. Of course the horse was already out of the barn by then.
“She told Angel to turn me,” she went on. “We had to take out the mayor, a greater demon was about to rise, we couldn’t leave that apocalypse to happen. There is the real reason...right there! No Faith and now no Buffy and an apocalypse to stop. OH NO!!! We'll find a way to make sure Buffy is here to do HER job.
was Angel who said, “They lie. They’re just beasts, monsters, she’ll say anything to hurt us. Don’t listen. Because you are the gold standard Angel. He sees nothing but himself in everyone and every demon he encounters.
“He… wait a bloody minute, he left? He turned you and then left?” Because Spike wouldn't have done either.
“What the bloody hell does he expect? The two of you to live quietly celibate and pining forever after? Some kind of modern day, dumb as feck, bloody vampire version of Heloise and Abelard?” In hairshirts. Great reference of Heloise and Abelard...more appropriate than Romeo and Juliet. “Don’t buy it, slayer. He just doesn’t know what to do with anyone who loves him.” And still he has no problem finding people TO love him. The mind boggles.
“Would have worked, right? An IV of donor blood in one arm, and his fangs in the other? Take it out, put it in, and you both walk away unscathed.” And in 2 seconds Spike had thought of a way where she could have saved Angel and lived. Poor Buffy's tissue of lies that made it all something that couldn't have been helped are all gone now. Spike's mirror of truth has just made all those thoughts that wanted to haunt her come out full force. No denying the truth of what Spike has said.
After several long, heavy minutes, she heard his voice, loud enough to carry, but very soft in tone. ... “I’m sorry, Buffy.” ... She wanted to dismiss it. But as she heard it, she realized.... Angel had said they’d had to do it. He’d said he wouldn’t have if she hadn’t forced his hand. He had said he wished things had gone differently. ... Angel had never said he was sorry. Oh so telling! I'm glad she made the distinction and glad she understands what Spike means. I would think any left over feelings for Angel should be gone now.
Yeah, I do lots of terrible thinky thoughts. They won't let me go... it's a communication disorder, I swear.
The "Killing Faith" thing swept under the rug is addressed here, pretty heavily, actually, toward the end of the story. It was a truly evil act, and an unnecessary one, and while Faith is not an innocent, it doesn't even fit the rules as established for right and wrong within their own world. It's very strange.
Yeah, Buffy didn't force Angel to drink. He was wonky, but if any of them had sat down to THINK the solution would have come to them. Hell, "He needs a blood transfusion" is a perfectly normal human medical procedure, really. And usually people don't think in terms of, "Oh, so someone must die!" *rolls eyes*
He's been mourning Buffy, without realizing it, from the second he saw Slayer in the undead flesh. This moment just hit him harder that's all.
But poor Buffy, of course, has been sailing on "There was no other way" from the second Angel got hurt. Part of it (Joss says, and I agree it shows up in what we've seen in canon) is that some part of Buffy always WANTED Angel to devour her. She put herself there, maybe thinking he'd stay with her if she did this. But it's done now. She knows that what happened didn't HAVE to happen, in any way, shape, or form. And no, that means it wasn't an accident, or something that was unavoidable. She was murdered. And she didn't have to be.
Unfortunately, none of Buffy's feelings for Angel were EVER logical.
Dear Sigyn, when I saw the introduction of the Initiative, my heart kind of said, "Oh, shit". I'm assuming that this is going to get ugly real fast. Angel is a useless excuse for a sub-human, species type creature, and boy,turning Buffy and leaving her high and dry, and Willow!! Words fail me....so it's probably a good thing that you're writing this and not me! :)............. Would I smile from ear to ear if Mr. High Hair himself, ended up in the bowels of the Initiative getting himself a brand, spanking, new behavioral modification chip. Now that, would be snicker worthy.............Maybe he could be Riley's special project,(Ha!) that is, if Angel even cares to come look, for Buffy, when it's noticed that she's missing.......hopefully, someone, notices that Buffy's missing......So...a new story! Brilliant, as always. I do love reading Spike and Buffy overcoming initial distrust of each other and then teaming up to overcome a common enemy, that, and time travel fiction is my favourite.I'm excited to see where you're going to take the dynamic duo!:-)
The initiative does have potential for truly ugly ugly. Angel is a bastard in every sense apart from the literal one (I suspect his parents were married.) Willow... yeah, Willow is being Willow. Riley does make some appearances here.... Angel, he's mostly only seen from afar, so we needn't deal with him, not even to get him tortured by the scientists, aas much fun as that sort of seems. This is probably "Locked in a room" trope, this story.
Wow.. that's some poop..how you gonna leave her after you turned her.. damn idiot.. and leave it to spike to be the voice of truth.. but she needed to hear it.. thank you for the update.. looking forward to more
She did need to have the truth shoved in her face.
Well, you certainly know how to pack an emotional punch. I'm miserable just thinking about that tiny girl all curled up in that sterile cage. Brilliant plan and daring escape please. Only this time don't throw your accomplice to the wolves, Spike :-)
I don't know why I love this review so much, but I've read it like twelve times and smiled every time... thanks!