Oh, I love the slow development of their conversation here!
I am also grateful, on Buffy's behalf, that she got to pee before Spike came into the convenience store and smelled blood. Because fighting to the death while you need to pee -- well. I'm sure her bladder is a super-hero's bladder, but it would still be unfair.
Awww...thank you! Road trips are ideal for pacing things out!
And yay! You're the only person that has said anything about the peeing...a quintessential part of roadtripping! And Spike hasn't had to worry about that for years until Buffy. I sorta even went back to make sure the timing was right so she could pee first. OMG...she would have been SO cranky if she would have been prevented from peeing. Poor demons would have never seen it coming! lol
This is just a fabulous fic. It might as well have been tailor-written to hit my Favorite Things buttons. I love road trip fics and the heart-to-heart conversations are everything I ever wish for Spuffy post-series. As someone who went to college in NOLA for a few years and has driven that very stretch of I-10 many a time (once fleeing a hurricane, though it was Andrew) your flavor and ambiance are perfect and it is making me all nostalgic. (For fleeing a hurricane and getting stranded by car trouble in Irish Bayou, which are not always nostalgia-making moments, but the memories are much better overlaid with Spuffy love.) You write really delightful post-series Spuffy in general; I love that you let them develop maturity and own their troubled past and insecurities from a cradle of deep love. Really beautiful.
Aww...thank you for the lovely review! You got all the things I was aiming for!
You went to college in NOLA?? Where? I was an intern and started a postdoc at LSUHSC. It was so fun to live there and I grew up going a lot with family. And oh! We evacuated for Andrew, too, where I was from. I was in high school, I think? We always tended to be safe and leave early if we could. I've been writing lots of fics in NOLA, and I remember you said you wanted to write one, too! *nudges* It'd be amazing! Join me on thenewbuzwuzz's map! Oh no! You got stranded in the bayou? So scary! Was it when you were evacuating?? Omg. How did you get out?
We evacuated about four times when I lived in New Orleans...it was a crazy busy storm year. And in one, my trunk was broken from someone rearending me (not during the evacuation), and it flew open on the bridge over the lake...the super long bridge and I was so so scared that the items I'd saved (photos, etc) were all going to blow away into the lake! lol And I had a slowly leaking tire, too. My friend was evacuating with me and my cat (driving behind me) and we ended up stopping in a random Louisiana town's Walmart to get my tire fixed. My friend tied my trunk closed with her bungee cords. I snuck my kitty in the Walmart so she wasn't stuck in the car while it was being repaired. lol There's a bit of nostalgia looking back, I think.
PS I'm reading Loud in the car by having my phone read it to me. It's funny because it randomly reads LOUD at the top of each page in Apple library. But I'm really enjoying it so far!
lol I went to University of New Orleans from 1990-1992. They had a brief period where they offered a full-tuition-room-board-book stipend scholarship to National Merit Finalists, and I could not turn it down. It wasn't in the end a good fit for me, but I made some fantastic friends and loved New Orleans. I am from Illinois so it was a huge cultural change for me. My New Orleans story is actually the sequel to Prisoners of Love, so I, um, have to finish that first, but it will happen!
The stranded in Irish Bayou story was, thankfully, not when fleeing from the hurricane, but in fact when I was heading with a carful of girls in formal dress to a party in Mississippi; also thankfully I mean the town, not the actual physical bayou, and so after an uncomfortable few hours at the gas-station-lounge-with-the-live-rooster, we got out by calling a large friend with a car. It is very funny in retrospect, but at the time it was Very Upsetting. Plus we missed the party, which I heard later was fantastic. (I hear there's a castle in Irish Bayou now?) I think something about driving in Louisiana just lends itself to wacky hijinks....
I kind of want to hear what Loud sounds like read aloud by a phone now... :D
Loved it 💖 The picture story was beautiful. 💚
Thank you so much! I wanted Buffy to make a grand gesture of sorts...well, as grand as she can given their circumstances!
Nicely done! That was very satisfying! They're both still a little screwed up, aren't they. Not that that's a bad thing!
Awww...thank you, darcygall! I totally agree! They are a little screwed up but we love them anyway!
As I've not read Small Boats yet, this is the perfect lead in. I love that they are being honest and open, and learning to communicate!
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story! They're feeling each other out for sure! And Small Boat takes place about a decade later. I love this verse so I may be drawn to continuing to write in it for a while. lol PS Thanks for sharing your adventures at Vampire Ball...it was so fun to hear about it! I'm so happy you got to experience it!
Will C/P what I said on LJ and add a bit too.
I really loved this one. It shows the transition from Angel and canon to the world you created in Small Boat.
Lovely to see them talk, really talk. They desperately needed to learn that trick and stick with it (I'm all for it with any couple for that matter. Not argue...talk, reason, explain, LISTEN).
My favorite chapter was 6. he drew back and studied the gift with a smile of such genuine joy that she wished she could pause the moment and roll around in it.was a beautiful way to put how that made her feel. The pure joy of having given joy shows through. Beautiful to behold.
I love her present to him and more than that what it represented on several layers. She was entrusting TO him probably the biggest treasure she has now. It was her mom's and the only thing of importance she saved from SD and she gave it to him! No way do you do that if there is even a hint you don't plan on a forever. The meaning was perfect too. Home is where those you love are no matter where that is. A cardboard box under a freeway or a palace...it's the ones you love that make it home. He is her home just as she is his. This is a perfect gift on every level.
*snicker* Her only sweater! I heard it in Kendra's accent when I read it! Love those bits to pieces.
Oh yeah, we have Whataburger. I am a major fan of their patty melts (and the not always on the menu mushroom and swiss). Spike would love their onion rings too. Damn...now I'm hungry and haven't been to one in a few months! We still have 2 Waffle House's too.
I10 is a lovely ride but lots of nothing for stretches.
Love how you leave this with the situation in New Orleans and how it notches perfectly into Small Boat.
Excellent stand-alone or as part of the series. So lovely watching them finally bond and build.
Now to add to it:
I love the nuances of the story. You pull together canon from NFA and Small Boat perfectly and give a great background on what led them to NOLA.
I love that you don't sugarcoat the fact they have a LOT of baggage that they are still sorting through. Spike is starting the process with the honest recounting of his character as William. He's dropped his guard, his armor completely. He is showing his "weak" underbelly and trusting that she will treat him with love and respect.
Buffy shows good sense in knowing how easily she could slide back into not even trying to use words. She's grown up nicely.
They clearly love one another but are both still so fragile. This feels so right for this time period. The time on the road has given them a chance to sort through enough to at least reach a good beginning.
Excellent, just lovely.
I'm so behind and wanted to say thank you SO much for the wonderful comments! They've been so special because my last two weeks have been crazy and I've been exhausted. It really brightened my day!
Yay! I'm so glad it feels right as a fic to go with Small Boat. It definitely takes place well ahead of Small Boat and my thought is that they don't stay in New Orleans at this point. I have a feeling they don't settle there until after Katrina.
And I really wanted the road trip to be a nice long chance to talk with one another. They needed it so badly...to get out of the chaos of LA and away from Angel to be with each other. No one else. Even the Scoobies are well away. So totally agree with you about their need to conversate!
Omgosh...it was hard to think of a gift and then it just hit me. What would make Spike really believe? It's not her telling everyone or more words but something symbolic for her that means a lot. Yay! So glad it worked for you, too.
YAY...you got my Kendra reference!
And ooo...I have not had their onion rings! Maybe Spike will have to eat them in another fic.
Lots of nothing and perfect for talking!
It's definitely a first step for them both. They do have a lot to sort out and hopefully some of that will come from them living their lives together. They have so much baggage but fit together well because of what baggage they do have.
And yay! SO glad it feels right for when and where they are...nudging them along is fun! Speaking of nudging...I'm so psyched to see your new chapter! I downloaded for reading...
Thank you so much again for reading!
I loved it! After enjoying ‘small boat’ this was a lovely way to understand how they ended up in New Orleans. I’ve just returned to the UK from my first Texas road trip so I loved the Whataburger / waffle and interstate references! Thanks so much for sharing. a86;a039;
Thank you so much! Awww...I'm glad you enjoyed it as a prelude to Small Boat! And ooo...how was your trip? I hope you had a lovely time!
I did! Thank you! Texans are such friendly people, and made us feel so welcome. It made our holiday, and we can’t wait to return!
Oh yay! I'm glad you had a great time and that people treated you well! Most people here are friendly for sure! Did you have BBQ and Cajun food?
Oh gosh - the food! It was sooooo good! We tried anything and everything and were never disappointed! My mouths watering just thinking of the steaks! Yum!
But ya didn't mention the next best thing about Waffle House, "scattered, smothered, covered", etc! Hash Brown P'taters (said in the best Billy-Bob Thornton voice)!!! Enjoyed it! Actually, think I'd've liked to have read more of this if you had continued this adventure.
Oh gosh...YUM!!! I didn't. Buffy wasn't paying much attention and just ordered something fast. But I love their hash browns! And that's a huge compliment that you'd read more! My thought is that they don't settle in New Orleans yet and may do some more traveling first. So maybe? Thank you so much for reading!
No one was confused or in the dark, and they’d been clear with everyone. Well, she’d made it clear with the people she cared about. - That right there is the BEST example of how far Spuffy has come together
“You can’t leave anything behind. Not anymore.” - Oh, this just made my heart ache, and I both love and hate that you were able to capture that feeling so well (since it means you had to go through it! ). When most of my things were lost in my family's house fire (I was at college, so I had the basics of my things still), I found - and still find - myself so often thinking of something I own, just remember it's no longer there. Does that happen to you too?
she didn’t have much in the way of income – still. (Giles was working on it.) - *sigh* Poor Buffy.
The gas station/convenience store was named “Home Sweet Home,” which amused Spike - awww, what a PERFECT little nod to his first arrival on screen in Sunnydale
after she’d cleaned up in the demon-filled gas station and made love to Spike on one of the rocking chairs, which had had some unique challenges but was crazily enough perfect. - I mean.... PRIORITIES!! Also, the idea of them on a rocking chair sounds like it would've been full of happy Spuffy amusement
I don’t love you because you’re some hero that saved the world. I love you for who you are. - This is SUCH an important thing for Buffy to say, and Spike's never ever had that. He's always tried to fulfill the functions of someone that can be loved, but to be loved just for himself.... that's so special
Spike held her hand on the way to the restaurant, his swagger softened with her - I think we both share a deep love of Spuffy handholding
He smirked as he picked up his menu, keeping his blue eyes on hers. “If I sit next to you, love, no telling what might happen. And I thought you wanted to eat.” “I can do both,” she insisted. - OMG IS THIS A DARKLING REFERENCE? Even if not intentional, I'm over here giggling wildly at it
maybe even this Cecily woman even though she was probably long dead - LOL. Wait until Buffy learns about THAT
“I think you have reason to not trust me around him.” She could own that. She needed to own that. - Watching Buffy grow up is just so gratifying and heart-warming. I'm so happy she's gotten to this healthier emotional place
“Even though it’s in my job description?” “A job description written by a bunch of sodding cowardly men in the dark ages? Fuck that.” - AMEN
I love so much how this is a "How Buffy and Spike Came to NOLA" story!! This was absolutely wonderful, Sandy!!!
YES!!!!!!! It's a Darkling reference! YAY! You found it... They needed talking though in this story.
And yep, she is afraid to leave things behind. And that totally makes sense that you would think of something and realize it's not there. Yes! I have a similar experience but less so now. Still...I try not to think about what was lost because I feel sad, especially things like jewelry that my parents bought me when I was growing up. This ring I loved and would look at it every time we went to the mall...in the window and it disappeared. And I was bummed and then my parents got it for me for Christmas. It was my favorite. Stolen. Pictures.
Giles figures money out by Small Boat!
Yay...glad you liked the Home Sweet Home!
And of course, priorities! Peeing and crazy rocking chair sex!
Spike has never been loved for him...except by his mom. And I really think Buffy does by the end.
I do love the hand holding...
Buffy's really trying to make things better with Spike this time around! She's growing her myelin and frontal lobe and also healing. I think so much is about the healing for her.
Haha...of course Spike gets her need to subvert authority and expectations because he does it too!
They did make it to New Orleans...but they don't stay this time around. More adventures first before settling down! lol
Thank you so much for your sweet comments and for reading!
It does make perfect sense that Buffy wouldn't want to leave things (and people) behind. She doesn't want to lose what little memory things there is.
It was nice to hear how they met again and now is a couple. A road trip is a good thing and it makes them talk. They are in a good place emotionally but they do need to talk. It was really good to see them sharing stories and getting to know each other. They still have issues to deal with but if they talk they can solve them.
They are on their way to New Orleans and they will clearly like it there since they will make a home there. I recognised the moving Hellmouth. It does make sense that with all the new Slayers powers to fight them would wake up ("the wave corrects itself").
I did of course recognise the porcupine demons, and of course a Waffle house had to be mentioned.
Thank you so much for the very kind comments, Magnus! They need to talk so much! They still have issues for sure but this road trip got them on a good path, I hope! They are eventually going to love it and settle there for sure!
I absolutely love that idea, Magnus. The wave does correct itself! I have never thought about that but it is something that is happening as I write Skipping the Stone, too, as you'll see!
And yay for porcupine demons from the other stories! And a Waffle House was so needed in the story...little concrete threads to tie it together!
Sweet bonding road-trip tale. When you're driving long-distance, there's not much else you can do but Talk. Something that Buffy & Spike don't tend to do as much of as they should.
Thank you so much! You're so right...a road trip is perfect for talking and they needed to!