This tore my heart out a little bit, but I also loved it. The chapter with human Spike was especially painful, but also made me think about the way that this relationship is so engaging because of the depth of the connection between Buffy and Spike. When Spike gives his riff about love and friendship in season 3, I see his perspective, but I also think that's very specific to his way of thinking then (it changes and grows, and that's part of why his character is so engaging) and the Buffy/Angel dynamic that he was talking about. Buffy and Angel were much more of an infatuation and almost playacting drama than love, so it makes sense that when they can't be a romantic couple, they really have nothing left to build a relationship on. Spike's idea of love in that speech also seems to apply more to that fantasy version of romance, which is something that wasn't the central narrative for Buffy and Spike. They have a much more substantial connection, so they could potentially be friends without being a couple. It would likely be hard because shifting the base dynamic of relationships like that is always hard, but losing part of what made them a good romantic pair doesn't necessarily remove everything that connects them. They still love each other, and, even though they can't love each other like they had before, they could share a friendship love, which I wouldn't dismiss.
Also, the little implied Buffy/Faith reference warms my queer heart because I like that dynamic, too, for reasons both similar and unrelated to my Spuffy appreciation, and completely based in the way Faith looks in leather pants and stompy boots. (rewatch season 3 and 4 and then try to tell me Faith wasn't totally in love with Buffy, and Buffy wasn't in buckets of denial. It's completely Killing Eve and I love that.)
I kept this for a while, because it was such a great comment! I was in a bit of a depression when I wrote this, and it came out in the writing. Poor Spike in the human Spike one. He really didn't expect that to make it all crumble, but it totally did. The thing about Spike and Buffy is that it works on all the levels, and if you take some of those levels away, then it doesn't work as well any more.
Also, I like to imply Buffy/Faith, even though I've never written it, because I don't think I could do it justice writing it. I don't Feel It personally, if that makes any sense, but I absolutely Believe It, which is why I always leave it as an implied background Fuffy. (The one time I really wrote Faith in as a real character, in Otherwise, I had some Fuffy implied there, too.)
Anyway, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading.
Great way to explore what a human Spike might have lived - I mostly always favor a scenario where Spike would not live well as a returned human vs vampire. To lose all his vampiric powers would be similar to a Highly skilled musician losing the abilities of create music - of course one can learn how to live with this loss and forced transformation but something vital is gone. With Spike, as depicted in the series - I don't think he would adjust well to being a normal human again. Great treatment on this theme.
Yeah, I didn't think Spike would take to being human very well. And I may have just hooked him up with a quiet version of me in this story -- and it still didn't work, because not Buffy. But Buffy wasn't working, either. Thanks for reading!
These Death Scenes are so powerful and emotionally realistic - very very hard to read especially right now with so much death rampant throughout the world. Extremely difficult theme to take on - with my husband being in such bad physical condition I find myself often thinking about how to deal with his death. I only hope that we both can feel acceptance or peace when either of us pass.
Yeah, I may have been depressed when I wrote this. Maybe just a little. I've been through the sudden death of a loved one, and my own goodman has numerous health issues, so all of that kind of pours out into this stuff....
This was beautiful.
I do not think it was very sad, I think it was just honest. It showed that Buffy and Spike are not really more doomed than everybody else.
No matter who and now matter how great their love and how big their lives, it will all end and there always is some sadness, some despair, some bad things, but also peace and hope.
I tried to be honest down to the core of what could have happened, and yeah... everyone is doomed. Doomed, I tell you! But not in a terrible way.
Glad you liked!
This was really really good! All the sad vignettes led up to that absolutely beautiful one of Spike going on with love when she’s old enough that she can’t use a spoon well. That and the last chapter were very hopeful to me and the last image of Old!Buffy was very peaceful. The closing with their new in-jokes was a great way to end it
Thank you! This was a sad one that I tried to end with hope for a future they don't know yet. Glad you liked it!
Spuffy never ends, they will always make their way back to each other, no matter what. They transcend. Thanks for this fic, and your great writing. I love your work.
Thank you so much for reading! Spuffy really is eternal, I feel.
This made me cry, and cry, and cry, and go and hug my suicidal husband (who is staying alive only because it would wreck me for him to leave me) and tell him I love him a hundred more times and cry some more. Beautifully written, as always, but each scenario is so vivid and real.
And god I love old people love stories. Love that stands the test of time and outlasts bodies and desire, as in Buffy's vision, is more powerful and beautiful to me than any 'Buffy is somehow ageless so they just keep on living together indefinitely' could ever be. Love that faces reality and embraces it rather than turning away from it.
I'm still crying. This was beautiful. I hope you're feeling more hopeful now than when you wrote it.
*offers up tissue* Yeah, I was in a pretty bad space when I wrote this, but I was actually coming out of it. Too bad a space, and I couldn't have written at all. This story often makes people cry.
I'm glad you liked the Buffy Aging scenario. That's how I like it, too, with Buffy real and human and ephemeral, not magically eternal, or brought back by the Powers That Be, or anything so flighty. Real, solid, warts-and-all love, which means growing old together, even if Spike grows old differently without outward changes. It's just not real love if you need magic to make it last forever. At least that's how I feel about it. And as I showed, the stories where it was supposed to last forever, by Buffy or Spike changing things to make it "different," well. Those endings weren't happy ever after, either. They couldn't be.
I'm so glad this story touched you. Thank you for telling me, it means a lot to hear.
I lied. I mean, after all, I had to have breakfast, right? And I can't work while I'm eating. But I can read, so really, it only made sense to finish the story. :)
This was really lovely. Heart wrenching (as I suspected it would be), but with a beautiful ending that left me with a happy lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. A wonderful way to start the day. Thank you.
Well, of course! Wonderful excuse for not getting to work just yet. Not just yet. Just another chapter...
I'm glad it was a good start to the day, despite the heart-rendingness of every single bad end. Thank you for your excellent review! It was really funny, and really great to hear.
Ok, so here's the situation... I'm just sitting here chillin', have my first mug of tea, cruising my email(s)and FB and somebody says something about Ch. 5 of this story and I follow the link thinking I'm going to peek at that chapter..... But I started at the first chapter, and it's now 10 a.m. and I have actual paid work to do with a deadline of today (not to mention all the dog show crap that I need to straighten out today). None of the people who need these things want to hear that I've been sucked into a fanfic that makes me want to just keep going until I've finished it. None of them, do you hear me? None of them! Ok my bosses might understand about finding something really good to read, but they aren't going to pay me for reading this instead of what they sent me. So, I'm closing this window and going away for awhile. I am. Any minute.....
Oh, dear! I've eaten someone's day. (By the way, this is an awesome little blurb to read. Day in the life of Slaymesoftly)
Ok, I didn't want to leave a gushing review, but you leave me no choice, dammit! I've just spent most of the afternoon weeping into my hankie. I have read fics by other writers based on some of the scenarios you worked through in this story, but none have affected me so much. Not to take anything away from those other writers, but you add a psychological acuity and an emotional depth and realism which raise your writing to another level. I love it that you take BtVS and Spuffy seriously enough to really work through the implications of the material presented by the show (I'm now talking about your collected works, not just this one). One thing I have often thought about in relation to other writers is the idea that Spike might not end up in the same place as Buffy. I know that Joss is not religious, and the show throws bits of various spiritual traditions into the pot (along with some which are made up to make various plots work), and the show could never be accused of consistency, but I've always felt that if "there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just men" (sorry about the non-inclusive language), they'd be breaking out the good stuff for Spike.
Sorry, I promise I'm coming to the end of this rambling mess. Just wanted to add that I love your take on Spuffy, it works brilliantly, even if some of their sexual choices squick me a little - it's not a criticism, you actually present them in a way which helps me understand their validity.
Lastly, I''m sorry that you're finding hope hard to write. Not sure when you completed the fic (I missed that bit at the top) but I hope real life has improved for you by now. You make things just a little bit better for your readers.
And after your wonderful review, it takes me forever to respond. I'm sorry!
I put a lot of myself and my own experiences into the writing that I portray through the show canon, and the grief and pain and depression and horror that the characters experience. It can be a little heavy to some, but for those whom it resonates with, I know it can be a real boon. People feel strongly about these characters, and they feel strongly about their own lives, and it's important to create a world they can enter and live with and resonate with in a way that really makes it real to them, and validates their own feelings. At least... that's what I try to do. I don't know if I always succeed.
I think heaven would be breaking out the good stuff for Spike, too.
The sexual proclivities of the characters... I don't go for all of them myself, personally (and... well, might not admit to if I did, since I show some pretty far-out stuff) but I try to show both the humanity and the inhumanity of the characters with them. You're right, I'm trying to understand the validity of such desires.
I do find it hard to write, and keep breathing in and out, some days, because depression is a bitch, but I'm surviving. Thank you for your kind wishes, it really matters.
Oh goodness, this was a tear jerker. I don’t think I’ve ever cried while reading fan fiction before. This was raw & really beautifully written.
Really? Making people cry is something I've done... a lot, apparently. Thank you so much! I'm glad it touched you.
Ok, better, but yeah, still pretty sad (I'm not great with the sad fics). Tbh, in my head canon, slayer healing means that cells heal so completely that there's no or, at worst, extremely slow aging after reaching full adult development (maybe like 25-30 when the brain is finally fully developed?). So slayers, if nothing killed them, would either be immortal or be able to live hundreds, maybe thousands of years. That's how my Spuffy couple are staying together. 😁
Yeah, this is just a sad fic through and through. See, though, I'm a chronic depressive for one, and I'm also a widow for another, so I spend a lot of time thinking about mortality, and the sadness and beauty of it. I'm okay with slayers not being immortal. In fact I think that's one of the tragedies of the vampire, is that they don't grow and change and eventually die. And of course (whether I believe in this or not) within the Buffy universe there's a very well delineated heaven, and to have that taken away for Buffy and Spike because they're immortal seems sad to me. Spike got his soul, which means specifically that they could gain heaven together if they could manage it. So that's what I was trying for here. Buffy gets to go back to heaven, and Spike can choose to go with her.