What a hopefully open ending! We can believe that Spike and Buffy ended up anywhere we want to think they did, them being together and at peace is all that matters. She missed so much, but her home is still there. It is different and scattered, but still existant. Beautiful. Buffy was not there to be shot at so Tara lived, brilliant. Spike waited until Dawn went off to college to meet his urge to hunt down his Slayer, and even then his bit had to push him into it. Oh, how loyal and wonderful our vampire is, always keeping his promises! Thank you so much for the good read, I really enjoyed it :)[Report This]
Oh no. What are you hiding, Spike? Has Buffy spent hundreds of years here and everyone she loves is dead? Can you guys not get home? What are you not telling her? This is such a cool idea, that Buffy is stuck in this place with nothing better to do than imagine that someone would come and find her. And then he came, and with brown hair! Oh I can not wait to read all of the secrets, and I am so worried. You really captured the helplessness and dispair of Buffy's situations before Spike got there, too.[Report This]
I ADORE this: “I guess one thing I've learned being here is that most of these demons, back in their home dimensions, they're not demons. They're just people. I mean, there are definitely still plenty of evil demons out there, and when I get home I'm prepared to go right back into the slaying. It's just, not everyone fits into the same neat boxes anymore.” So much. It’s amazing character growth and what’s more what I think Buffy would have done eventually even in Sunnydale if not influenced so much by those around her. Anyways I liked it.
“Five years. Five years three months and twenty-two days, to be precise. How long has it been for you?” Yup. That’s Spike.
“Nice to hear you say so, luv.” His voice was soft, choked. And she could tell that despite not believing her words, he really meant his.” Agreed. It would mean the world to him, even if he doesn’t let himself off the hook per se.
Spike updating her on the goings on of her friends while she was away sheds light on why she couldn’t get back. I love that point. That she was trying to get back to a life and people that don’t exist expect as memories as both life and people moved on while she was stuck here. I so like that they all never really gave up on finding her.
Her grasping his hand as they walk in the rain is nice and I really like that she didn’t think too hard before kissing him. Going on gut/instinct/etc. is a good look for Buffy.
I really liked the hopeful opening (I’m not calling it an ending as it really does feel like a stepping off point - but not in a pressure to write more way - in a this great to see them start their adventure together sort of way). But if you wrote more I would definitely read it!
Unique and satisfying story that I should have read months ago!
Thanks for sharing!![Report This]
Oh the mood in this fic is unique and intriguing. I enjoyed the mundane of her diner setting thrown in this pocket dimension. As someone who loves the rain, I also know how monotonous it can get.
The frozen yogurt machine does sound like a thorn in her side from the way she reacts to it. Loved that!
The attempts at leaving and their varying levels of success are quite interesting. And everybody stuck there feels the tension. “On these occasions, no one ever stopped her or asked any questions. They all knew. They’d all tried the same thing many times.”
I thought her reflections on a possible rescuer were great. Her feelings at her Angel and Riley fantasies felt very genuine.
- “But thinking about him had always left her feeling hollow and melancholy, and that fantasy had dried up over time.”
- “she couldn't quite imagine him coming for her and, worse, she was never entirely convinced that she wanted him to.”
I liked her imagining Dawn being happy wherever she was.
I thought it was neat how she had so many different scenarios of how Spike might act if he was the one to show up.
I like dill pickles and black olives but as frozen yogurt *shudders*. Absolutely perfect for a demon diner tucked away in the corner of reality.
I’m so glad Spike showed up while she was in the back as her entrance was quite cute. “Buffy's eyes met his and something intense and powerful flashed between them. Wow, Buffy thought. That is exactly the right shade of blue.” Yup, something damn special about those eyes!
What an awesome trip this story is and a great chapter![Report This]
Hello, my system of complicated procrastination is at the stage where I finish reading this story that I liked.
I love how present/immediate the mud is. The sensory imagery works great.
"She thought about how it would be really nice if a certain somewhat overrepresented weather phenomena would finally do something useful with its existence and take her back to her friends. How she would be just super accepting of that." Hee! :)
"Earth-ophile" Interesting to think about what that would be like.
“I guess one thing I've learned being here is that most of these demons, back in their home dimensions, they're not *demons*. They're just people." Yay! Good thing to learn (and I like this way of putting it).
"Five years three months and twenty-two days, to be precise." Oh my god, he's still counting.
I do love that everyone looked for Buffy. It's not just Spike who cares and gets things done.
Help, Spike's still blaming himself for not doing more D:
"Like I was putting on the Big Bad mask, but it didn't really fit anymore, you know?" *nods* Well, that's unsurprising (and good)
"and threats are useless since if you do anything to hurt them they’ll just transfer their consciousness to one of the bloody pod-people clones they've got stashed away. So I had to work for him." This is fascinating.
Yess, Spike and Dawn's bond is really important, including for Spike's reasons not to do evil things. <3 More so in this AU where Buffy was gone longer.
"Legolas demon" *giggle*
"Is everyone OK?”
There was a long pause and when Spike spoke again his voice was low.
I like this
Re: Willow: shiiiiit.
"And Willow dug deep into some very dark magics. First to ease the pain and feel some kind of power again. Then because she liked it." Like getting addicted to painkillers, huh.
Yay, I'm glad Willow and Tara are doing better now. <3
"Anya came right out and asked if he was ever planning on actually marrying her. And Xander just looked at her and said he didn't think he could." I mean, that's nicer than canon. Which says something about canon.
Yay for less moping in Giles' life. ^^
"We couldn’t afford to keep it." THIS. YES! Moving out makes so much sense.
Eep, sweet rain kiss. <3
Lovely final lines. Much respect for stopping at the minimum of what you needed to say, v. elegant.
Hello, my system of complicated procrastination is at the stage where I finish reading this story that I liked. I also have a complex system of procrastination, which is why I am just now getting around to respond to your lovely review.
I do love that everyone looked for Buffy. It's not just Spike who cares and gets things done. Yeah, even though no Scoobies are actually present in the story, I wanted to make sure that they were presented in a rounded way and that I didn't give the impression that Spike's the only one who cares about her.
"and threats are useless since if you do anything to hurt them they’ll just transfer their consciousness to one of the bloody pod-people clones they've got stashed away. So I had to work for him." This is fascinating. Thanks! I enjoyed that little bit of worldbuilding. I think that in the follow-up stories I'm eventually going to write I might have some flashback scenes from the time that Buffy's gone, and one might be about Spike's stint under the Legros demon. Cause I wouldn't mind fleshing that stuff out a little more.
"And Willow dug deep into some very dark magics. First to ease the pain and feel some kind of power again. Then because she liked it." Like getting addicted to painkillers, huh. Pretty much. I wasn't a huge fan of the magic=drugs metaphor in s6, especially with how flatly it was often portrayed. But since that is cannon I thought I'd try my hand at doing a slightly different take on it.
I mean, that's nicer than canon. Which says something about canon. Yeah, cannon's pretty brutal in how they delt with the Xander/Anya relationship. I didn't necessarily think they were perfect for each other, but god "Hells Bells" was brutal.
And glad you liked the rain kiss and the ending of the story. Super flattered to hear that it felt elegant and minmalist, cause those things are not traditionally strong suits of my writing!
Thanks again for your incredibly detailed and thoughtful reviews! I super appreciate them!
Lovely story! The Rain was particularly well written. I loved the open ending, which is not always the case, so kudos for that.
I only wish you'd done something to the darn yogurt machine! ;)
Good point! Something probably should have happened to the yogurt machine! It basically ceased to exist in the 2nd chapter after being such a big part of the 1st. If there'd been a fight scene I could have had it get smashed, as it is, not sure what I could have done about it. Maybe Buffy should have cast it one last look of loathing before leaving it forever or something like that, lol. At this point I doubt I'll make any changes to the story, but I always appreciate that kind of feedback cause it gives me something to think about in future writing.
Thanks for the review, glad you like the way I wrote the rain (which was a particular challenge, having to come up with a bunch of different ways to describe the same theing) and that the ending worked for you. I know, ambiguous endings can feeling annoying or unsatisfying and I was a little anxious about that, but it also felt like the only way the story could end.
Whew, I think my phone finally stopped glitching long enough to post this review.
I love how odd the setting is. Getting such a kick out of all the details. You're great at casually weirding me out (I love it when authors do that).
"they just looked at her for a long moment, their saucer-sized vermilion eyes damp and shining in the gray light" this is excellent
"a thick splorch of something milky, yet acid green" oh god. D: (Yes.)
Fun how Buffy never realized Groo was talking about people she knows.
I loved Buffy's fantasies of people walking in the door. So vivid!
"Yeah, he’d seemed to love her, but how long would the love of a soulless demon really last while she wasn't in the picture for him to obsess over?" NOW WAIT JUST A SECOND, Buffy! That's my fave you're talking about. :D
"It would have been better if-f it had wiggled more" YES
YAYYY, SPIKE IS HEERE! <3
Thanks for the detailed review! Sorry to take so long in responding!
You're great at casually weirding me out (I love it when authors do that). You've made me so happy right now, you don't even know! I also love it when authors can do that, so I'm glad to know I was able to sucessfully pull it off!
Nice to hear my random demon OCs get some love. Those damp vermillion eyes and ""It would have been better if-f it had wiggled more" were actually two of my favorite random side-character/worldbuilding details, so I'm glad you picked up on them!
And of course, Buffy's daydreaming was just super fun to write.
fascinating idea. is this it or will there be more?
There will (hopefully) be more. I've got the rough ideas for at least two short follow-ups, though I don't know what kind of timeframe they'll be out on.
"She closed her eyes and tilted her head back, letting the rain fall on her face. Buffy wasn't sure how long she stood like that, but, slowly, the rain stopped.
Buffy smiled and opened her eyes."
Glad the ending worked for you! I was a bit worried that people would be angry at me for ending there!
Dill pickle and black olive frozen yogurt. Swirled. Now that is a very demony treat.
Very! And Buffy's the only one who think's it's gross. I think being around demons all the time would start to make you think you were the weird one!
Wow, five and a half years is a long time. At least there was none of the misery of S6 and 7 to deal with for Buffy.
Wonder how the Scoobies treated Spike. Glad he had Dawn and that she loved him (and accepted that he did love Buffy). He was blaming himself as in canon. I doubt Buffy telling him he was not at fault will change that even now.
He went through a lot to try to get to her, even a slight chance such as picking this pocket dimension. He still loves her and I hope Buffy realizes that. She had admitted to herself that he probably did love her when she was imagining him coming so she might be wise enough to accept it.
There is a feeling almost like poetry in the ending of this. Buffy has had to let go of a lot by this point. That was what was holding her there. She has learned to judge demons by what they do and that's good. She was still holding out to a return to things as she remembered them and that wasn't possible. Now she is willing to face whatever the future holds for her, forge something new...even a new relationship with Spike that could lead to love and she is okay with that. Now that she is looking forward the rains can end and she can move on.
Really loved this short tale. Wouldn't mind a revisit to see the reunions but it is wonderful as is and quite complete.
Yeah, I definitely plan on getting more into Spike's relationship with the Scoobies in follow-ups. There's definitely more to explore there, but I had to really rein myself back to keep the story from geting mired in the detail of everything that's happened in the past five years.
I agree that Spike probably never will entirely believe that Buffy jumping wasn't his fault, no matter how many time's he's told. And I think Buffy does realize that Spike loves her after seeing everything he's gone through. Actions are speaking way louder than words ever could. It's only what she'll do with that knowledge that's uncertain. As you said though, hopefully one of the effects of letting go of the past of her pre-concieved notions of the future is that she will be more open to the possibilty of something new and unexpected with Spike!
I love that you thought the ending was poetic! That makes me feel like I've done a good job. :)
And again, thank you for leaving such detailed and ensightful reviews! It's very helpful and has given me a few ideas for things I might want to touch on in the follow-up stories!
What a bleak place of hopelessness! Buffy is in company with demons but there is a "we're trapped together" kind of comradery between them. The constant rain would also be depressing after a while.
Poor Buffy is homesick in a big way. This isn't what she expected at all.
Lots of good shows in 1973 besides Star Trek reruns though. Probably Buffy was drawn to those with Xander in mind. I can see Buffy liking Mary Tyler-Moore show, the Six Million Dollar Man or Kung-Fu at least. Glad she has something beyond work and despair in this dimension.
Schraz had some kind of transmutation ability, the power to create virtually anything out of the primordial mud of this place. That is a handy thing to be able to do. Buffy needs to keep him as a friend!
Sad how she's imagined everyone good and bad, known and acquaintances, coming to fetch her.
Her imagining Angel was tinged with sadness and Riley indifference. Her subconscious clearly has moved past them both.
I fear it's not going to be nearly as easy as Buffy thinks.
Excellent start of an intriguing story.
Thank you for the super detailed review! I liked how you put it about her imagining of Angel being tinged with sadness and Riley indifference. Very susinct and accurate. Yes, she's at least subconciously past the two of them, though at this point she's not sure what moving on would look like.
As far as the TV shows, you're right, there were some good ones in the 70s! Probably my own millenial bias was coming into play there. I like your list of shows Buffy might like! I could definitely see her watching any of those. I guess mostly was trying to draw the connection back to Xander and how much Buffy misses him and the other Scoobies, but maybe in a future installment Buffy can surprise Spike by referencing one of those shows!
Five years! Wasn't expecting that.
And naturally, since Buffy was the glue that kept them all together, without her... yeah. Things were different.
Oh, I hope you're planning a sequel..............
Thank you! And yes, I do have at least a rough idea for a sequal bouncing around in my head.
Excellent! I'll keep my eye out for that. Thank you.
How very original! I've seen a few 'Buffy ends up somewhere else when she jumps' stories, but nothing like this.
Yes, this is a very different somewhere else, that's for sure! Glad it worked for you!
Where did she want to go?
You know, that's a really good question. It's somewhat open to interpretation. My thoughts were that she still wants to get back to her friends ultimately, but at the moment she's open to going wherever the rains take her and figuring it out from there. The journey not the destination and all that.
Thanks for your ensightful question!
“And I did. I made a promise to you and I wasn’t going to break it. But when Dawn went off to college…”
“Wait! Wait! What? How long have I been gone?” Wow long time gone and so many changes.
Buffy smiled and opened her eyes.... Beautiful ....but would still like to read more lol
Glad you liked it! There probably will be a sequel at some point. :)
Well, the first try to get home didn't work but that gave them some time to talk. This makes them notice differences in each other. Buffy has been living with demons and that make her of coure see the differently. I like those we can see in this story. In a way, it's the same with Spike, he has been living with humans for years now.
It has Bern 5 years, her friends and Sunnydale isn't the same anymore. It was interesting to hear about what happened to the Scoobies. They had to go through a troublesome time but bad times don't last forever.
It seemed like the news sort of freed Buffy. She isn't desperate to return, She's ready to travel through dimensions with Spike.
I really liked how this ended.
I forgot to mention the banner, I liked how we sort f saw them through the rain.
That's a good point, I hadn't conciously thought about the fact that they've both gone through a similar experience, but in reverse. Buffy hanging out amoung demons and becoming more tolerant, Spike hanging out amoung humans and becoming more, well, human.
You're right, I think in this case the truth did set Buffy free.
And yes, OffYourBird did a great job with the banner, she really captured the ambience I was going for.
Thank you so much for the detailed comment, it was interesting to hear your thoughts on the story!
This was an interesting place where Buffy had to make a home, good description of the place and how it works. This whole chapter was filled with melancholy. I liked how Buffy thought while she watched the rain. The rain almost felt like an entity here. Buffy has been trapped here and she had to make the best out of it. It make perfect sense that she would think about all those people that could come after her. Spike has filled so many different roles so Buffy would of course imagine him in different ways. And here he is, I wonder how long time it has been?
I also do wonder if Groo got away and managed to find Cordelia?
Yeah, I was trying to write the rain almost like a semi-conscious entity, glad you picked up on that!
Your first question is answered in the next chapter, but as to your second, we may never know. I intentionally left some uncertainty there, but I'd like to think he did. Then again, Cordy was dead by this point in canon. :( But I hated that plotline and may or may not consider it cannonical to the reality of this story if I ever write a follow up that addresses that point.
I wasn't sure how much time had past when I read this chapter, so it could have been before Groo turned up in Angel again. Well, we never know how much has changed in L.A.
NO, I WANT MORE T_T It ends perfectly, and yet, I want more. I don't know how it would even continue. It's just so good that I want more. You ended this so well.
Thank you so much! The fact that you want more is definitely a very flattering thing to hear as an author. I do think that this story is complete and self-contained. However, I am playing with the idea of writing a follow up or two. I definitely think there's some potential both in thier possible dimension hopping adventures and in the ramifications of finally getting home and seeing everyone after all this time.
I must have completely missed your chapter titles last time because "This Must Be the Place" is one of my absolute favorite songs! And I love that you used it here - a perfect tempo and ambiance for the story.
This was just as delightful on re-read, and I especially love this little trade. It's so *them*:
Spike grinned slyly, taking another puff at his cigarette.
“Yeah, but they don’t always turn out to be so bad, do they? Mortal enemies?”
Buffy couldn't help giving him a small smile back.
“Yeah, I guess they don't.”
You didn't miss them, I actually had different titles at first. But they were basically just placeholders. I've been listening to Talking Heads a lot, and those lines just resonated with my vision for this story (I agree by the way, it is a fantastic song).
I'm super flattered that you thought my story was worth returning to so soon and enjoyed it on both read-throughs! And thanks again for the banner. It's beautiful and helps me to feel like I'm more fully a part of the EF community!
Glad you liked the "mortal enemies" exchange! It was one of my favorite parts to write, all the more so because I didn't plan it, it just sort of slipped in.
Also, you might be interested to know, I took some very mild inspiration from you in this story. Specifically the idea of Dawn getting a "hack doctor" to take the chip out was inspired by the scene in "A Different Kind of Hell" when Charles and Buffy have to get a butcher to literally hack the chip out of his head.
Oh, I didn't realize you'd read any of my work, how delightful to have inspired that! And I'm so glad you've starting posting here - EF really is a lovely place and we're so happy to have you