>>“Fingers?” she yelped at him; I love those, goddammit. / He flicked his hand up in a quick wave, blood flinging from it, and shouted to her between their next hits, “Accounted for. Know you like them.”>>
this is adorable, but also, that's real, cuz yeah, but NOOOO, SAVE THE MAGIC FINGERS!!!!
so glad you didn't hurt them, that's a sin. The fact that in canon he lost both whole hands was just, like, WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE DOES WITH THOSE HANDS?!
>>edge of a slice across the back of his palm and a flash of one metacarpal showing through.>>
thank you for THAT image!
>>“S’just skin,” he said, leaning around to nuzzle at her ear. “You’re all sweaty,” he purred into it, and her stomach did the much more pleasing kind of skip-flip. / She shouldered him away gently. “First, we leave this city. Can you say worst vacation destination? Then, I shower. Then you can be all distracting purr-boy and make with the happying. And somewhere in there, we’d better put your skin back over your bones.” / He pouted out his bottom lip slightly, and she almost changed her mind in order to drag him into the nearest bushes. “I'll pout back,” she warned, then started issuing instructions to the others before he could call her on her threat coming out more like please take me.>>
there are reasons we are glad we are corporeal again it makes post battle life so much more fun Buffy omg get after it girl!!!
Well, bah; and now we're stuck with Peaches.
>>And… make sure he's not left alone with any of the girls.”>>
LOL, Angel stuck doing something as lowly as being Andrew's bodyguard cracks me up. Not that that accident-prone dope doesn't need one, he's so mindlessly capable of getting into scrapes. But still, i love it.
>>“You shouldn't have won that fight,” Angel said. “But… you have.” / “Yeah,” Spike grinned, and went to join her.>>
okay, ugh. Angel, you're dumb. You were so out of the running about ten thousand years before that fight, you completely stuck up asshat.
>>gave Andrew some kind of weird male fist-pump hand-thing that she didn't quite get but that made Andrew puff up with pride.>>
D'aww, that probably just made his whole life
>>By the time she skipped in a moment later he was ready to go wherever it was that they were excited to be going.>>
i just love him and his willingness to do whatever makes her happy omg
>>Rephrase that; the world belonged to Buffy again. And he'd given it.>>
and he's probably pleased as hell about that because if he could give his girl the world...
>>They should get a better place to stay, really; somewhere with sunny windows for her and a spare room for if Dawn visited.>>
ok but no because the garden!!!
>>A closet, so she could put the clothes in that she needed to buy. Bigger fridge, to hold more than blood. What else? She'd had so many things around before she lost it all, hairbrushes and posters and lamps and knick-knacks; all those bits and pieces he'd come to know while sneaking into her room to try and understand the obsession that had claimed him. Which ones did they need to purchase immediately? Christ, he didn't know how to do this. Never considered what was needed to build a future, a life, a tomorrow.>>
AWW he's so cute and worried and I LOVE YOU SPIKE!!!
>>“Think it’ll be okay?” he asked her suddenly. “It's going to be different, home.” / “It will be,” she said softly. “But that's okay. We'll adapt.” / She rested her head against his shoulder, and the flash of panic faded away as if it never was. / “Yeah. We will. We're good at that.”>>
WHY DO YOU KEEP MAKING ME CRY LIKE A LITTLE BABY OMG THIS STORY THO!!!
ok I stand by my original assessment. This makes the back of my throat ache and it stands as one of my favorite tales ever written.
>>sent her brain probing out along all these myriad paths of sensation.>>
she had no idea, this is just so brilliant
>>“I didn’t realise it would be so different,” she said a while later. “I mean, I thought I was fairly solid already. I'd forgotten…”>>
so much more than she had thought was there, because she thought she'd wrested so much of it back, but so much comes with having an actual physical form to inhabit.
>>Details of the way his skin yielded to her. The thrumming shift of blood in response to emotion.>>
so beautiful; and you thought of EVERYTHING
>>The heat radiating out from her side where slayer-healing was racing to knit things back together from that sword slicing through.>>
these things once familiar to her as breath, forgotten. you really are amazing.
>>Clawing in her belly; blood, she thought first, we're hungry - then her own blood racing to her cheeks as she mentally corrected herself - breakfast. People food.>>
I especially love this one. the aftereffects of being two beings in one, sharing a body, forever, till you lose your boundaries, forget what interpretation of signals mean. FANTASTIC.
everything about it; not knowing how to read her sensations well enough to know she had to pee, not knowing what food she liked, having to begin again on all of it, Spike smelling Revello and the hellmouth and Sunnydale on her (was that the previous chapter?) all of it is amazing
I love them offering Gunn a job, and Spike's hilarious offers of "names" for Angel; God I love his snark.
and yeah. They'll do what's right even if just because it's not what the Partners want and thus it's the RIGHT right thing to do, not even just because it's equivocally 'a good thing' to do for Angel's sake (because it's debatable what that knob deserves), and the summoning of him and facing Spike, and I LOVED Buffy's edge with "leftovers", THANK YOU for that, finally, GAWD it's about TIME!!!
i love everything about this story, omg
I LOVE penitent Giles. More of that please. Penitent Giles for the win, forever if possible. DAMMIT YES.
And, I'd forgotten how brilliant your explanation of the metaphysics of it all was, how incredibly worth the wait. So unutterably perfect. YES, it all makes so much sense!!! I can definitely see how the amulet was meant to work for Angel, how it did work for Spike, how they would've sent the flashy box to release Spike and set him loose on Angel to create chaos and spur Angel on because they never wanted HIM tied to the amulet, all of it. AND, perfectly, now it would work on Buffy as well. Beautifully reasoned, my little Ravenclaw self loves every ounce of it.
Adore a grateful Wesley dithering over them, forgetting over and over and trying to offer Buffy tea, and how they're now more comfortable with him and Fred than with their old friends, who don't really know them anymore as 'them'. And fantastic, the uncertainty of letting go of that connection, that umbilicus, "what am i, what would i be now, if i am not this?" and also, I feel her, why take back things like having to use the toilet and be hungry and sleep and get hurt when you have finally managed to get back the majority of the perks without the drawbacks, lol. But Spike... Spike will always argue for her independence, her unique identity, her personal freedom, he is her champion in more ways than one and he is so right, GOD I LOVE THAT MANPIRE.
and that moment where they have to Let Go of each other; agonizing, so well done... like when I had to let go of a strut of landing gear to jump out of an airplane when i went skydiving. I commanded my hands to Just Open Those Fingers... but my frontal lobe was absolutely not in charge of my body, my lizard brain was and my lizard brain, in charge of things like survival, was like, oh hell no fuck you we are thousands of feet in the air we are hanging onto this hard metal thing you madwoman, and frontal lobe was like, "I paid $150 for this experience let go hands!" and my hands were like, "I will absolutely fucking NOT!" and physically convincing my fingers to let go of that strut was a MONUMENTAL task. That is what this moment felt like to me and it is a VISCERAL moment in the fic, that overriding survival instinct with your thinking brain. One of the toughest things to do in the universe; like lifting a hundred-story building with your mind. AMAZINGLY written.
And then she feels pain and blood seeping and tastes something for the first time in however long and it is like... oh. yes. These Things. They are maybe even worth having to pee and stuff, lol.
did i mention i love this story? You are amazing.
There's just so much that's amazing in this chapter; especially that you used the (completely and utterly ignored and rendered useless) amazingness that is Fred's scientific/quantum specialty (the fact that the thing with her big re-corporealizing machine was just thrown away after one episode always pissed me off) and her general brilliance, and Wesley's openminded and broad knowledge-base to actually DO SOMETHING instead of just nodding at it and then throwing it in the toilet, like in canon, YES YES YES! (they make such a great team, the old and esoteric paired up with the new and forward-thinking; rather like Giles and Jenny)
Then, hooking them up with Andrew, who has so much willingness but nowhere to put it, Excellent. And Dawn; love her, so unwilling to out her loves, but willing to help if the situation calls for it. This chapter is an excellent bringing together of threads you almost had us thinking were dropped with the assumption that 'maybe it was fine, probably it was fine but this is not their story' and now you find out it is actually going to be a part of this one and integral and it's AWESOME!!![Report This]
The woman across the street or whatever was so very interesting (I definitely remembered her!!!), and omg, Buffy telling their story from her POV so Spike could actually HEAR her, finally, had me in TEARS. TEARS, i tell you.
Bout time he knew.
and, getting her scent back; bet that was ORGASMIC for him, omg. I LOVE it, but how amazingly difficult that must have been for them, not to rubberband back to the safety of being one/inside him where it was safe... It's like striking out on your own in a... I mean, kind of almost like re-individuating, and that feeling when you have to accept that a child you've carried is their own person and they never quite, for years, accept that you're not a part of them, only not, because that's squicky in the above situation, but you know what i mean...
You conjure that odd ambivalence so beautifully. Just like with everything else, how do you DO that?!
Loved the garden, the symbolism of it (and Spike's underhanded way of making it happen, because Spike), and Dawn's visit forcing them to reenter the world, and the hints that Giles has finally taken responsibility, thank goodness, and, ouch, ouch, ouch, the thing at the end where Buffy just hasn't had the energy/agony/weariness/need to be bitchy, but Spike misses the edge between them, and it's like, what are we when we're different, do you still love me when I'm not who I was, does it mean I'm not who I am, etc...
so much to mine there.
Ah, the chapter I've been waiting for. which one is this? *looks* Ch.17, may it live forever in lonely glory. My goodness, that one stuck out in my mind FOREVER. I mean... GUH.
There's just something truly amazing about the way you executed it. Perfect isn't even enough of a word. Him holding back for so long because he didn't want to 'impose' his needs onto her as his occupant, trying to be a good 'host', her trying not to impose as a boarder, all voyeuristic and feeling like she can't give him any privacy in his own body, and then they finally land on, let's SHARE this, which... OMGUH.
Talk about making your readers sweat. That she can finally know how things feel for him is just... So. Damn. Sexy. My goodness. And how he goes from shy pleasure to confident sharing, and just... she's all desperate, because she doesn't have a body anymore, so now his is hers too, in a way, and just... The whole thing is amazing and I'm really not finding the correct words to really explain how I think this chapter is just absolutely this shining pinnacle somehow, but it really is (and not just because amazing smut). Because it shows some kind of... I dunno. Massive mutual acceptance, and sharing, and common ground, and comfort in each other, and... I have no words. I have to give up.
I know other stuff happened in this chapter, and I'm glad they have a place, and the NO area is an awesome setting for supernatural stuff because it lives so closely to so many people's lives there, at the top of the public consciousness and without being questioned, and the resources are everywhere, for better or worse when it comes to 'haunts'... makes one believe they might find a solution eventually, there... but in the meantime, man, have they ever come to a nice pausing place in their mutual existence!
Driving to and away from everything... I get it. Nothing to go to and nowhere to go and everything but none of it is enough or right anymore. You capture so much in these lines. Everything's inside but can't be touched and it's so unsettling that you want to flee but you can't because it's all you have... God.
LOL, Xander's probably like, "Oh, man, poor guy's lost his marbles, losing her... Not that I don't get it, and not like we haven't seen this from him before... but damn, man..." (hence the stun-gun, and nice touch btw)...
God this whole story is SO FRICKIN POIGNANT i can't even. do you know that?!
AHAHAHAAAAAA i forgot about this, that he's a ghost now, ROLFMAO!!! that is the best!!! poetic justice, and his people are scattering to the winds, or in the know, GET IT Gunn, btw, you're the lawyer!!! Find a way to get yourself out, find a loophole, you were never too into this whole be Angel's boy anyway!!!
HEE, this is great. Suffice it to say i bet Angel won't be convincing anyone to follow him into self-sacrificing madness to piss off the Partners as a traitorous ghost!
And meanwhile, our kids are finally free to be out. RIDE THE WIND, MY CHILDREN![Report This]
Your grasp of how things were with Drusilla is exquisitely painful and absolutely perfect. Stunning. And then the way you segued from that to how it was with Buffy, the echoes there, for them both, made it very clear exactly how much Buffy was just as much one of Angel's works of art, whether he meant her to be or not, was perfect and exactly right and oh so painful, because of course only Spike could see it from his vantage as the one who ALWAYS lost out on the end of that, from loving the women Angel had done his best to destroy before he could get there, I HATE that for him. So SO grateful that Buffy was able to dig herself out of that eventually and realize what could be with him, even canonically, dear GOD it's awful the wreckage Angel left behind. And of course he never admits to it when it comes to Buffy, because he 'wasn't Angelus then'. Blah.
Staking's too good for him. But OMG Eve is such a bitch wtf.
I can't even right now. I'm trying to remember what happens and I'm only getting vague recollections of setting, and omg I'm dying. UGH!!!
Also trying to figure out what would've caused Angel to kill Lindsey in that moment. Interesting!
I'm really enjoying your characterization of Eve. I think the first time around I barely remembered her, because I hadn't rewatched that season since the first time, ages past, so I couldn't remember much about her (I've since, of course, rewatched it a few times in order to rewrite bits of it), so I can see how beautifully you've fleshed her out from a sort of two-dimensional creature to a thre-dimensional PERSON. Well done!
I love Love LOVE that Buffy with her last act as someone with some pull on this plane was able to get in touch with Willow and get help for Fred. LOVE it.
And using that song to get Lorne to read them...
MAN you're tugging at the heartstrings. And the double entendre of the last line, the way she's sort of mimicking Fred's arc, and Spike Wes' arc... UGH OMG.
You're killing me.
OH, YAY, i forgot you also got poor Fred and Wesley shagged! Dammit, I was so mad they hadn't even managed to get round to that before her unfortunate (and useless) demise, like c'mon, you two, at LEAST get your naughty on before they kill you, girl!!! WTH. Excellently done, beautifully in-character.
I know somehow before Buffy fades out completely she ends up inside Spike or whatever, that it'll be alright, but I'm still on tenterhooks right now, because this is so anxious-making, her fading out like this. OMG, the way you can conjure atmosphere and emotions with just a few words, wth!!!
Mr. Blordo, I'd forgotten about Mr. Blordo, so damn sweet...
DEFINITELY hadn't forgotten about the ghost-sex, omg... *fansself*
Some things are just not even a thing anymore after all this time. Seriously. They're just what you are and what you need and you Figure It Out!!!
I'd forgotten about the dream-sharing too, which... I'll admit, I'd be like, "Look. What happens in there? Most people really wouldn't like it. It's not a safe place." So I get it. I get it, Spike.
It can be a scary place in there!!!!
My goodness, I love this story.
Did they use the term "mentacide" in the show, or is that your invention?
God, it would be so incredibly frustrating to be tied to Angel in this way, and yet again, when you don't want it anymore, after having been so, you thought willingly, for so many damn years, and having finally worked your way mentally and emotionally free. To be BOUND like that, when all you want to do is pick up the pieces and find a way to live some kind of unlife AWAY from the bastard, with what was left of your partnership, with your love, SOMEWHERE ELSE.
but i'm so glad they've found out about his deal with the devil, and the ante he offered up (his friends' souls, totally against their will and without their consent, which is all just so completely... How do people consider him a hero, still? I just don't get it. He does this--and mind-rapes them all into the bargain--and they're all, but he did it for his son, that makes it alright. WTF?)
I love love love btw that you've managed to build something in with these two just BEING there that looks like it'll circumvent so much agony, just by having them available to sneak about and witness the not-rightness, the air of wrongness going around behind all the closed doors, so they can maybe save the unintentional sacrifices, the victims before they can be swallowed by all this. I mean... Wes would never have thrown himself on that pyre if Fred wasn't gone... and don't get me started on the uselessness of Fred's death. Just Don't Even Get Me Going. I mean, Illyria's a fascinating character, but the way they made her come about, the way they chose to go the Cordelia route all over again was just, like... WHAT? Did you people learn NOTHING? Are strong intelligent interesting female characters nothing but fodder to show male characters' emotions and to further their arcs, while they just lay there and birth massive things and then go into comas and die? WTF.
I might have feelings about it.
Also having feelings on the poignancy of Spike accepting now that she loves him, but not sure if half of it is just that she has only him to cling to, and wondering if she wants to be rid of him if she can, now he's corporeal, because he always underestimates his value to her, the idiot... not that he hasn't had reason, in the past, and put a lump in my throat why don't you, YOU'RE HER EVERYTHING, SPIKE JESUS GET THE MEMO, SHE JUST WANTS YOU SAFE.
Anyway, I might be enjoying this story about ten times more this time around. So glad I'm rereading it.
One wonders how it would've gone if she'd been with him. Would it have still only affected him, like it only does the one holding the box, or it had capacity for only one "amulet ghost"? (I think you answer this question later and I just can't remember rn.) But of course she wasn't so either way...
Love of course that you cover how FEELING finally feels to him. Spike is so incredibly touch-based as it is, but top that off with two years of being touch-starved (and we saw how hard it was for him to be touch-starved before he and Buffy got it on, when he was so desperate for touch that he banged Harmony, and resorted to underwear thievery because any sense whatsoever to fill the desperate need to feel close, and his main senses are touch, scent, taste, then hearing and sight after that, and he couldn't have her with the first three, didn't have anything really with the first three except food and booze...) And then she just turned it off on him and he had nothing, then he was in the basement and they had touch again eventually but it was all stilted, then he was a GHOST (I still can't get over the people who were all up in arms about him banging Harmony that one time, like dude, he had ZERO SENSES for Months, he was just lost in the fog of FEELINGTASTINGSMELLING again, it had squat to do with harmony, she was just convenient, as always (poor harmony), chill, people!) anyhoo, thank you for most excellently putting it out there that ANY feeling was welcome by then. Pain, pleasure, whatever, as long as it was a SENSATION for god's sake... and ouch, his guilt for enjoying food when Buffy couldn't have that... And her having come so far that she could vicariously enjoy his joy in his blood...
All of it. The entire bittersweet mess of it, this kickoff to the next step in this long, gorgeous journey.
You know, I really love your subtle descriptions; the way you manage to carry a lot of information and emotional weight in the small details. You did SO MUCH with so little when it came to Dawn (btw, I can't remember, is she gonna end up with Xander in this version? It seemed to be hinting in that direction, but extraneous details like that slipped my mind, I was mostly focused on Utterly Sinking Myself Into The Yummy Molten Warm Swirly Depths of Spuffy.)
You did it again in covering only what was needed of the AtS episodes (Eve was an interesting character, wasn't she? It was like they set things up for Lilah to come in as the chick working with WR&H to guide Angel... then she wasn't available or something? So they got this girl last-minute and she really fought to make it work even though she came from nowhere and had to start from scratch, and she still managed to work it and make herself feel... ambivalently malevolent if that makes sense? Anyway, you captured her well here in a few subtle strokes; you're so good at that.
And in the end, here, with Wes... GOD, all he was feeling after his robot-dad showed... And the way they embraced him, let him into their inner sanctum, showed him their 'ghost tricks'... So lovely, and so welcoming, which is a lot considering Buffy's past with him, but a HUGE acknowledgment of how much MORE he's become and how much he (with Fred) are really the only ones on their side in all this, in the whole building really, and the ones they need to retain while Angel sits behind his office door and spanks his petulance over and over again.
Excellently done, I dunno how you do this stuff with so few beats, it really is amazing.
So... did Angel not bang that one girl in this version?
>>“Why dost thou interrupt my morning mope,” said Neil snidely.>>
LMAO i like Neil.
>>God, Angel, would you give it up? I love him. Get over it. We're all stuck here for the foreseeable, so the sooner you put on your big girl panties and let us start working together, the better>>
Cheering so hard I almost cried, here.
Okay, I'm still emotional from the last chapter, but dammit, that was GOOD
>>Still, hoped the brooding lump hadn't upset her>>
Aw, poop; he didn't get to hear it.
you know, the one word that's from the commonwealth side of things that I've never got a handle on, usage-wise, is 'flash'. They used it in "Good Omens" when talking about Crowley, "that flash bastard"... It seems like more than how we'd use 'fancy'. Can't quite get a handle on it.
Okay, the pulling out their hearts like that? Clever AF, you're awesome. I LOVE it. And the meeting was fantastic, I LOVE it. Angel, suck it and deal.
and this? >>Besides,” she added, “he knows me.”>>
pardon me while I cry, AGAIN. because he so does and that's all that matters and that's possibly why they're both still there (like in the jacket moment)... because they KNOW each other... GAH, i can't even with that and the... god, if there wasn't a recorporealization and they were like this forever that would be all that would keep them here at all and this story is just omg.
Everything about the sunshine moments was absolutely amazing.
>>She was lovely in this light, gold tones of her skin and hair glowing bright and warm as she shuffled and fidgeted beside him.>>
>>When the first rays of the sun finally reached them she stilled at last, eyes melting into wondering affection as they stared back into his. Had he thought her lovely? Someone strike his mendacious tongue from his mouth; she was exquisite. The look in those green eyes made him want to duck his face bashfully - for why it should be directed at him made no sense - yet to do so would require turning away from it, and this he could not do. So he looked, and he probably had a stupid smile on his face but he didn’t care>>
I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING
>>and before he could tell her she said, you’re beautiful, Spike. And I love you. / And like the dope he was, he said, I know, and was too slow to catch the words before they fell out. / “Good,” she said, “because you can't get away.” / And oh, he hadn't meant to let her voice it true, and so much was wrong, but she was right. So he let it be.>>
THIS CRYING ISN'T WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
>>His eyes went… frightened, somehow, when she told him he couldn't leave her. Did he want to? Felt like they'd swapped roles in a way, she the one declaring love to have it denied, then refused, and now acknowledged without return.
>>Whatever words they put or ignored between each other, their feet were drawn into step.>>
OMG THEY ALWAYS ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE THAT'S JUST YOU, YOU IDIOTS!
>>Life might have become one crazy dream, but he was in it. Spike was sitting with her in the sunshine of a clear autumn day, and he was beautiful.>>
>>She had to keep looking at him, at the smooth panes of his face lit by natural daylight. He looked… softer, somehow. Cream-coated and tender. Somehow vulnerable in the light, exposed; it made her want to bundle him up in something equally soft and lick his vanilla skin>>
BUT SHE CAN'T BECAUSE YOU'RE EVIL AND I CANNOT COPE WITH THIS RIGHT NOW. SHE GETS TO SEE HIM IN THE SUN IN ALL HIS GLORY AND SHE CAN'T TOUCH HIM I HATE YOU. (I mean i love you but dammit)
>>She swivelled around to lay her back on the grass by his legs, and her legs up the side of the wall next to his back, and now they could watch each other and daydream.>>
omfg omg WAAAH
also the lost time thing was like omg whut, but then also I cracked up later because it seems like you're also kind of poking fun at the bizarre wtf-ness of the nonsensical timeline that was AtS's season, which i love you for that.
The thing where he thought she didn't want him to take the coat off because...
OMG you guys...
>>“You’re not going to forget what your coat feels like,” she said. “And if you do, I know every inch of it. But keep it on. You'll still be the best-looking man in the building.”>>
*FLAILS SOME MORE OMGOMG YOU TWO*
(you do know that I really cannot handle this story, right? It's pure dopamine.)
AND THEN THEY DANCE TO LAYLA BUT HE SINGS IT TO HER AS 'SLAY-ER' AND I HAVE DIED MORE THAN ONCE IN THIS CHAPTER BUT YOU'RE GONNA NEED TO DIG ME UP NOW.
ok, so that episode of Angel was haunting and freaked me the hell out, it was terrifying and I was so afraid for Spike--like, legit so worried--that I am gonna have to just not c&p sections of this to tell you what I loved so much as to just summarize that you properly used the aura of wtfomg of the episode to FREAK ME THE HELL OUT and make me pretty damn sure convinced of the possibility of immanent bodily harm for both of them and I DID NOT LIKE IT ONE BIT and while yes i am suitably impressed with the way you altered things by virtue of their fighting together the way they did so that they didn't even need Fred's fancy machine to make quick work of that tosser, I'm still shaken because i HATE that episode and ugh.
I need to move on let's move on shall we? Because the only good thing this one did aside from messing me up was make them agree to stick to each other and gave them contact and made them stop plotting with others behind each other's backs for their own good, and also how TERRIFYING was that, i almost forgot to mention, you evil person you, that they almost got their amulet smashed because they were all invisible and thank GOODNESS Wes and Fred had a chat and held off a bit, omgYOU.
Anyway. MOVING ON.
Yay, making noises! They can haunt the place properly now!
I liked the bit about the records room. That girl was a little spooky, but the thought that the records area was... for lack of a better term, spiritually magnetized is interesting indeed.
It was just like Angel to never tell Nina about Oz and his breakthroughs. I always thought that was stinky of him. In fact, everything about how Angel acts in here is right and oh so wrong. Avoiding/ignoring them and everything they (and Buffy) mean(s), not giving any credit to anyone else (especially them) if they are involved in helping anyone else, etc...
Love the way their ghostiness is starting to be of use. And I dearly love, (1) Spike staring morosely at beers he cannot drink, and (2) Buffy's absolute refusal to leave him to himself. This is a two-man ship that is dissolving underneath them, and she will sink or swim with him, dammit, and he knows how lucky he is but he hates Hates HATES that he might pull her down with him, thinks himself a dead weight... and can't help but pray that her very goodness might be buoyant enough to keep his head above water even though he feels he can never deserve it, and it's just...
I love this story, did I tell you that in the last ten minutes? ADORE it.
The idea for Spike that Angel literally OWNS him... his spiritual essence, on top of a whole unlifetime of being controlled by him by blood? UGH. I love this line:
>>Spike clapped his hands together-- soundlessly. “Get the chequebook out, Pops. I'm suddenly feeling very adoptable.”>>
so amazingly Spike-ish, and esp. after the business with Giles in S7, SO much underlying it.
And the idea that Angel would thrown a stapler at him in frustration, because he wants them gone as much as they want to be gone, if only because he can't cope with the idea that A, he's stuck with Spike rematerializing in his office over and over, B, he did the thing with the Amulet and it got BUFFY involved and that got Buffy killed, C, he has to watch them be THEM in front of him and he can't do one single goddamn thing about it, D, they share something he will NEVER be able to break or get between... and then he thought he got them away from him so he could pretend it away and they just... KEEP. COMING. BACK... and he can't be mad at Buffy so he blames Spike and its all just so very delicious.
Angel is just such a petulant child sometimes.
The moment with Dawn was... Just, thank you for that. I hated more than almost anything that they never got that moment, that closure, in canon, so that they had that moment's beginnings of reconciliation, had the time for it, in this, is wonderful. A foundation.
>>“Seem to recall you enjoy riding a corpse.” / “Oh, you pig,” she responded, automatically and heatlessly.>>
This exchange is priceless, amazing that they'd go there considering how touchy things were in S7, but also shows how A, on edge they are driven to be with all this, and B, how much closer they're drawn to be by this mutual struggle, and I would KILL to see Angel's reaction to that little bit of banter, omg.
Also, Angel's a dick if he thinks she'd go for something like that, At All, much less when it's only offered to her and leaves Spike alone in limbo, and the fact that he'd offer it to her face so cavalierly means A, he never knew her and B, never understood her and Spike, because he spent SO LONG early on trying to convince them that Spike was basically HIM, when his descriptions had more to do with himself than them... and she KNOWS Spike and he's just dumb, trying to take out his inferiority complex and century of frustration with Spike right now by trapping Buffy in her own need to be embodied, because she's FAIR TO A FAULT at base but also she will NEVER hate Spike the way he does and won't let him "win" by default because he ha a little power right now, and dammit, you gave up the amulet to her and SHE GAVE IT TO SPIKE, YOU DICK, SHE THINKS OF HIM AS A HERO, SHE HAS A NEW ONE AND SHE LOVES HIM, DEAL WITH IT ANGEL.
ok i'm done i think. But GAH. SO much to mine in that one little bit of a section.
also, tho we know what's going on really, the short but more and more periodic descents into 'hell' for Spike are agonizing and terrifying and you keep the tension even when we know exactly what's happening and that's just impressive.
Buffy's reaction to Wesley's intimation that Spike only has a limited time before hell eats him, so why not just get it over quick?
no one really knows her. She'll fuck up the world to save him, especially after all he's done, so they all better look out!!!
Okay, about time I did right by you in this amazing piece.
>>What had seemed like a terrifyingly certain way to lose him suddenly became the only phrase she knew how to think; and how could she shy away from voicing what her eyes must have been shouting loud and clear already?>>
EXACTLY this; fear of losing him was what had held her back for so long... but when you're losing someone anyway...
People who don't get that about this moment are just... HUH?
>>It felt like a slap in the face, and she almost returned it in that fashion. But with another shudder of the ground beneath her feet she caught on: he'd destroy himself in her eyes before he'd watch her love and lose someone again. And they were fast running out of time in this little hellmouth tableau.>>
EXACTLY again, that's the only why I believe, you and I are on the exact same page on this, dammit, I once more don't understand any other interpretation, he knows her SO well... and also your wordage in this is to die for.
>>Four heartbeats thumped in the room of seven people, and his ears were swallowed by the silence of the one missing. Can we return to the screaming now, please? It had, at least, filled the void.>>
This is so incredibly stark and horrifying, esp from his POV because the thought, for him, of Buffy without a heartbeat is just...
>>“I feel compelled to offer you tea,” he said, “but I don't think that would be quite the thing today.”>>
you know, he drove me nuts in BtVS, but I really came to love Wes in AtS, and this is excellent.
>>tight little smiles pinned in place like badly taxidermied butterflies>>
I can't even with some of your brilliant lines
>>She frowned and turned back down the hall. “We don't need two rooms anyway.” / “Yeah, we do,” he said, and turned his back on her to stomp (silently) into his own. Then realised he couldn't close the door, let alone slam it>>
omg spike you doof
>>But oh no, he had to go and glimpse his distorted reflection in her eyes and think that it could really be him. Should never have asked for her help back in the basement; girl's too damn soft-hearted for her own good and he'd taken advantage. What the bloody hell gave him the right?>>
*headdesk headdesk headdesk* but also this is amazing, distorted reflection in her eyes? OOOPH
>>Don't love me, Buffy>>
Damn, damn it, Spike get over yourself (I mean, i get he's in freefall right now and also not good at not touching things and probably has a lot of his worth when it comes to her tied up in being ABLE to touch her but chill, jeez. SHE'S A GHOST TOO AND IT WASN'T LIKE IT WAS YOUR FAULT YOU DOPE.
Spike, she wouldn't've stayed for Angel, think of that.
i honestly can't with this story. It's like hot caramel and silk sheets.
I wasn’t aware that I wanted ghost!buffy until I read this fic! The angst was balanced well with some sweet I’ll-never-leave-you reassurance from Spike. Loved those bits. Fun read!
Aww, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it 💙
this was absolutely splendid. your ability to create entire new ways of dealing with inspirations from ats s5, i mean it was just really spectacular. i’m so shit at constructive comment writing, sorry, all i can ever really think to say is “wow fantastic” but this time i truly mean it. WOW, FANTASTIC! off to read your other works now!
Squee! Thank you so much 💙
I'm shit at answering comments lol, I always flail around illiterately trying to put across how much I appreciate them. So, just know that I do, very much, and thank you 💙
Just read this whole story this weekend! Loved the creative concept and the way their relationship grew through this all. Off to read through the rest of your works!
Aww, thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you find something else to enjoy in my stuff :D
Thank you 💜
I have to say at some point I was afraid illyria would possess Fred and make Buffy corporeal again on a whim, but I like the way you did it a lot more.
I like this more too lol. There's more than enough pain without losing Fred on top of it, I thought ;)