Haha. I'm sure you've been getting TONS of complaints about their uncontrollable libidos.
This was hilarious:
“Oh, so I’m an employee now?” Xander demanded, sounding suspicious and irritated.
“Of course not, Xander,” the ex-demon answered, and patted him again. After which she returned to the exact same patronizing and faux-ebullient tones. “You’re a valued member of the team.”
“Oh God,” he groaned, and covered his face with one hand.
And this really caught me off-guard in a super weird, dark, hilariously off-color sort of way. I loved it:
“Braggy McBraggerson,” she grumbled, and resisted the reflexive urge to kick him away, since she kind of liked him there. It was probably slutty or something to admit that she wouldn’t mind detaching his hand and keeping it in her pants for, oh, say, the next year or so, right?[Report This]
YEY!! That is excellent, because your writing has been sustaining me for days!
As for The L Word; it was a moment-in-time thing (my humble opinion). VERY important to me as a baby queer, but it doesn't hold up well. I tried re-watching it a couple years ago and couldn't get through the pilot. Though I VERY much enjoyed the reboot, L Word: Generation Q.[Report This]
It was a bloody masterpiece. Well done.
Favorite exchange (among MANY MANY MANY contenders):
When he descended a few minutes later, his combed curls carefully tamed back into a damp helmet of drying mousse, Buffy planted her hands firmly on her hips and shook her head. “Just because it’s gone for now doesn’t mean I don’t get to play with it later. Fair warning.”
Stopping midway down the stairs, he assessed the sincerity in her gaze. Groaned. “Bloody hell.”
“I’m just saying. Mom got to play with it, but I…”
Heh. When Buffy gives in...
(Seriously, though... When Spike took over my fingers for that bit of confessional, I knew I'd lost control of this story, for good. After that, it was basically me just hanging on to the reins while they ran off with the fic at full speed for the rest of it, like, 'Alright, you two, can you at least TRY to remember how this started? For like maybe five seconds?')
Spuffy are literally the worst and self-control.
Anyhoo. All bets were off once this chapter happened.
Thank you so much! I hope you continue to enjoy/ have enjoyed the rest of the story, and thank you so much for all your lovely feedback! I treasure it!!!
Such insightful, hilarious, excellent writing throughout. Here are some lines that I specifically copied and pasted to study later when I inevitably forget how to write (happens at least once a week when I'm working on something.)
(Also, you had a line in here somewhere about 'fighting, fucking,' etc. and now I cannot get the goddamn L Word song out of my head. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
He had decided to totally make it look like it was what it looked like, and was all sprawled out on the bed, which he had apparently torn open while Buffy was busy opening the door. He was facing Wil now, grinning savagely with one eyebrow up, one hundred percent cocky charm like a giant dick, boots off, all bare feet and casual self-possession.
/And I should so not be thinking about this, much less dwelling on it./ She had very much learned to put it out of mind, the insistent yearning for the feeling, the siren-song magnetism of it, the heady, drug-like buzz that required some sort of action; now, anything, please, before she climbed out of her skin. Fight, strike, touch, kick, kill, do something, god!
“Oh.” Buffy grimaced. “I just… never thought about… I was, you know, made for vampires.” /What did I just… No!/ “I mean, made to fight them, so I just… figured it was part of the deal. You know, I have to be able to sense them, to find ‘em and fight ‘em, and…” All bitterness fled, Spike was smirking at her now and looking totes amused, the jerk. “I just never realized it was a thing I needed to bring up.” She lifted a hand and dropped it helplessly. “It just… is?”
My ex is always trying to get me to watch the L Word, but I just can't get into it. I'll maybe go listen to the song, though, after this.
You're so good to me. You've been making me smile for days, so thank you!
He snorted. “Bein’ civil. No reason us both bein’ uncomfortable. Think I can keep my mind off your charms, considerin’ the circumstances, long enough for you to get some soddin’ sleep. Your virtue’s safe, Slayer.” His voice held such an incredible gamut of emotion in it that it stunned her; bitterness, caustic pain, sarcasm, fierce belligerence, weariness, and a kind of… almost affectionate-sounding regret that she couldn’t place in any category at all.
Your emotional literacy is quite stunning. And your freedom with language reminds me how I write naturally (although, I have to admit, not this successfully) and how stylistic choices can be so effective when the writer is smart enough to know all the rules before choosing to break them. I'm fascinated by the emotional journey you're taking us on here, and totally, horrifically, disgustedly fascinated with the hellions.
Ok, this is possibly one of the most gorgeous bits of feedback I've ever received. I might print it and hang it up somewhere.
Yeesh. That was intense. The only reason I got through that is because of your skill as a writer. Thank you for the big warning ahead of time; I'm glad I didn't read that right before bed.
You know, I was really, really mad about it, that I had to end up using sexual assault as the fulcrum of this story... but in the end it really informed a lot of important stuff not just in this story, but moreso in the sequel, so it turned out to be... well, a good thing isn't maybe the right phrasis, but a useful event for pushing some important subject matter in the long run. But damn if it wasn't awful to write, so I'm glad it came across... as well as it could, I guess.
yeah. so, um... it's all fun and games till it's not anymore. I always thought the Hellions could very easily be big bads. Just putting it out there.
YES!! I don't know if I ever had that precise thought, but in hindsight they were 100% the scariest beasties in the 'verse (alongside the Gentlemen).
Thank you so much for the support! I feel weird saying things like that, when they were obviously written to be just sort of 'fly by night, one-note villains', but they scared the tar out of me, so I'm glad I'm not the only one to think they were frightening as hell.
I loved this:
Giles’ head rose, and he narrowed his strangely naked eyes at her, staring at her in something that might have been amazement. “Keeping the undead demon chained in the bathtub is offending your sense of fair play?” he translated finally.
Probably only his years of familiarity with ‘understanding Buffy’ had allowed him to get even that much from her word soup, but dammit…
This reminds me not to make Buffy too eloquent. She really is all with the word soup. The woman hath many strengths, but...
It's really funny, because she's excellent with words and super-witty with puns and stuff like that; honestly brilliant... and she's damn clever with references that show she's no slouch in the intelligence department, and that she knows about some things that indicate a certain breadth of knowledge. That if she'd had a spare second to read and do school and not be up nights slaying, she'd be killer at school, etc; her comprehension and retention is obviously pretty good, when she wasn't falling asleep in class because she's up all night, or whatever. But she's also stressed and doing too much and trying to keep up an air of 'bubbly blonde, don't take me too seriously', just on the edge of airhead... I think mostly so Giles doesn't try to get her to do research, because she's got enough going on, and so everyone else underestimates her (it even worked on her best friend, Willow was stunned each time Buffy beat her on a test or an essay thing, even though she got a stupid-high SAT score, right?). And I just think the thing where sometimes she randomly mangles her words is this hilarious side-note to her character that is the B-side to her word-brilliance; like sometimes it comes out amazing and sometimes it comes out word-soup, and half of it is habit, messing with Giles' head so he won't take her seriously and make her do too much work, and half of it is that her brain's just literally doing too much half the time, and occasionally trips over itself.
That's my take, anyway.
Ooohhh. I am just discovering you! I keep grinning at your irreverent style--laid-back, devil-may-care, and smart as hell. I'm so excited to see where this long-ass journey takes us!
Well, gosh, you're flattering! Thank you so very much! I'm glad to have you here (I mean, of course I am, when you're being so kind!)!!!
Reading this during COVID (obvs) and your author's note at the beginning of the chapter had me like *double take holy shit*
And now that I look back at when this was last updated...you were clearly talking about the actual quarantine. What a strange world we live in now.
LOL, I went back after I read this comment and reread my chapter note and was like... huh. LOL... it is, indeed, a surreal kind of world right now, innit?
Thank you again! Hope you enjoyed this story to its fruition!
Ok, so I always thought that the whole Jesse thing, by itself, was a little lacking in explaining Xander's unshakable prejudice against demons. Thank you for reminding me about the hyena assault - can't believe I forgot about that?? - and having the characters confront that head on. One of the many, many, inexplicable things the show shoved under the rug, never to be heard of again.
It really was super weird, but to me it also explained Buffy's reaction to Spike in SR, to me, since his motivation was not rape but connection (if horribly executed, because of their terrible history. What I saw with her was a sort of belated trauma rising to the surface, since she'd never dealt with it, and DAMN do I ever wish they'd said that out loud... also, Xander's reaction to that, his immediate interpretation of the situation without asking her what happened? All comes from that situation and his guilt and wanting to protect her from what he'd done, belatedly, IMO... but they never said anything about it and it drives me NUTS).
Anyway, yeah, the business with Xander never washed for me as just about Jesse. It had to be more personal than that, and if you mixed in guilt over the Hyena thing, and then threw the Angelus stuff over the top, you have a perfect storm for how he acts toward all demons in general, and toward vampires especially--and Spike in particular, since Spike gets close to Buffy and he can tell Buffy's attracted to Spike--for the rest of the show.
And... yeah. Long reply short, since this touched on a lot of tense subjects... thank you for reading and commenting on a tough story!
It’s not all about that lad Jesse, how much he hates us, Buffy, or it would only be vamps he hates. He doesn’t trust demons, because he doesn’t trust what the demon showed him about himself. He needs to blame demons for all of it, because if he believes it of himself, believes it was a part of who he was, too, what did that to you…”
This is something I've always thought as well, a lot of people cite jess for the reason that Xander has such extreme hatred for demon kind - but i always thought that this experience would colour his vision more. Willow's experience with herself as a demon was a lot less traumatic - and willow and giles have experiences with evil within themselves they can't blame on demons - while they can have their own problems in being overcontrolling as well i think this helps them be a bit more understanding. (I also just love will and giles so maybe it's my bias speaking)A
Also loved the fight scenes! A lot of fanfic writers avoid writing them to focus on romance which is great as well but it's super nice to read a well thought out fight! (It's been a while). So glad to see the hellions beat to a pulp, they were seriously some of the most hateable vilans I've read in a loong time. Can't wait to see what you have in store for the commandos! :O
I'm glad you also find Jesse not enough, if you will, for Xander's hate-on. I always thought putting that together with the Hyena thing created a perfect storm, especially after he witnessed the Angelus stuff. It makes more sense; and as you mention, what Wil and Giles went through might've made them more empathetic about their own journeys and others'... (though possibly less so Giles, because he was tortured, and lost Jenny... His road goes from open to hidebound on the show, sadly).
Glad the fight scenes came across well. It's fun to write them in a different sort of way. Hope you also enjoyed the stuff in the Initiative, since those were more about the moral high ground they never really explored in the show than about the fighting, per se (it always bugged me that the show never quite made the transition it hinted at in the beginning of S4, between High School monsters = High School struggles, to College = leaving behind what you're taught/ black and white dichotomies and learning about gray areas, etc. It looked like they were going that way, with Professor Whatserface and the Initiative and Buffy learning about Psychology, and the whole underground dark face nazi metaphor for the bright, all-American aboveground Riley thing... and then they completely dropped the ball on it and made it all stuff the group completely accepted as fine, because black and white interpretations, except for when it was Oz. Ugh.
Thank you again for all your lovely comments, and for reading this at times very difficult story!
Spike speech to buffy was just too sweet and Joyce being supportive in fics is always a big heart-warming plus for me. I wish we had gotten more Joyce / Spike interactions on the show they were always so cute!!!
Part of me always feels bad for Harmony, she was an ass in highschool but I've always had a soft spot for her as a vamp. She's just too cute with her unicorns and pep - especially when she transfered over to angel. But i understand why Spike and Buffy feel the way they do about her.
I'm glad you liked the speech. It all poured out when I started writing it... But then, Spike's like that for me. He just works like stream of consciousness. I have to wrench at myself to get Buffy's dialogue. Spike just falls out my fingers like breathing. He's just so 'heart on his sleeve'. Godluvim. And yeah; I honestly live for Spoyce interactions (which is why I packed the sequel chock full of 'em and haven't stopped yet).
Yeah, Harmony gets the short end of the stick in a lot of ways, poor girl. She's just trying to make it. *pats her and her unicorns*
Ahh and my wish from last chapter came true! Clem is a sweet angel and I'm glad Buffy got to meet him a lot earlier this time! He does a lot for humanizing demon kind and making them a lot more likeable in the show ^^
He does that. And, he's just the cutest.
Did you know you can make an emergency fire from Funyuns? (Things you learn from survival classes, that I think demons like Clem might also know, and thus would always keep them around; for both snack food and because if you ever get cold in your low-class demon-squat...)
Hm. Maybe I'll find a way to work that into a fic sometime as a way to further 'humanize' demons like him.
Love the spike-buffy banter and willow just constantly being confused as heck. Also love geeky spike watching star trek in his spare time heh. Looks like things are getting interesting in sunnydale - can't wait to see where that goes :o
Ps. Yay Clem! One of my favorite minor characters, hope he gets to meet buffy :))
Clem is the cutest thing ever. Seriously. I always look for ways to squeeze him into all my fics. He's the best.
Poor Willow is getting more and more suspicious... for all the wrong reasons.
Ahhh there is so much to say about this chapter but I'm on mobile as i almost always am, and i know i suck at writing on mobile so I'll keep it short-ish.
Thank you, thank you thank you, for acknowledging the AR in this show that the writers seem to just conveniently brush off. The pack is one of the few episodes I refuse to rewatch because it gets me so angry and triggered. Xander gets off without having to feel guilty for any of the actions it was clear were at least partially his decision. The one time it gets brought up that he might actually remember it all it's played for laughs by buffy instead of some big reveal like it should have been.
There's several other times AR or other similar traumatic events are just brushed under the rug, because it's more convenient for the plot, and instead the show wants to focus on other trauma (a lot of the other trauma buffy and friends experience is valid, death and loss and mental illness are very hard topics to deal with in the real world but this doesn't atone for the fact that btvs is awful at handling srxually traumatic situations). However, the way btvs uses trauma as a plot device never to be addressed except for the case of SR really has always rubbed me the wrong way and i am in love with the way you are handling it in this fic - spikes outrage towards what has happened to buffy is something that was needed in the actual show. (SR has always bothered me as well, because although it was an awful and traumatic event i don't see it as AR because that was not what spike was attempting to do - unlike the other instances on this show. There relationship at that point had been rife with violence, buffy refusing only to then say yes, and no safe words lmao - it was awful but not AR)
Also i love how you are beggening to fill in some of the plot holes in the show here, make sense of the demon world and what it means to be a vampire. I've always liked world building and felt like buffy... Lacked a bit of it. It's my favourite show of all time but... There are lots of inconsistencies in what being a demon means and i love how you are building that into this story!
This was a lot more of a ramble than i meant it to be but great chapter!
Ok, this is one of my favorite comments of all time, and not just because you're with me on the Xander thing (too many people seem to blow off his Hyena moment, and it makes me ENRAGED, when I think it informs so much about not only his future behavior, but honestly how Buffy reacts to SR)... but because of this bit here:
>>(SR has always bothered me as well, because although it was an awful and traumatic event i don't see it as AR because that was not what spike was attempting to do - unlike the other instances on this show. There relationship at that point had been rife with violence, buffy refusing only to then say yes, and no safe words lmao - it was awful but not AR)>>
I HATE HATE HATE when people label that damn thing as attempted rape, thank you SO MUCH for that qualification. Spike's goals were the ABSOLUTE DAMNED OPPOSITE of the goals of rape, and it makes me INSANE that that's what people call what happened there. Rape is about dehumanization and control, and what Spike was trying to get out of the situation was connection, the only way she had ever allowed it with them, so, YES, THANK YOU.
I'm also glad you like some of the worldbuilding I'm doing here, since it's one of my favorite things to do, to try to fill in the (occasionally contradictory) blanks in this show. Which I get they'd have since half the time it's a mixture of allegory and real stuff (which happens when you go from 'vampires &c are stand-ins for the stresses of high school' to 'this is a real family with real dynamics and the 'soul' / 'demon' that does or does not inhabit them is _____' (fill in the blank with whatever works this week)--which drives me bonkers, btw, that they never seemed to decide from one week to the next and from one show to the other, what those things were in any definitive way, but I digress). So, yeah. Thank you so much and I'm glad you enjoyed!
I've always found fanfiction to be such a wonderful way to explore trauma, it can be talked about so much more openly than is done in most media and so far you are handling it beautifully.
I really appreciate that. A friend of mine and I call fanfic "narrative therapy", lol. I'm glad it's coming across well. It wasn't my first choice for how to deliver the story at all, but it ended up working out alright in the long run, and serving the characters well in the sequel as well when it came to bringing up important topics, so I guess I'll say I'm glad it went the way it did in the long run, but I sure waffled about it in the beginning!
Looks like things are about to get messy :o
I always found the hellions kinda terrifying, I'm both excited and scared to see how you use them in this fic!
I'm always glad to find I'm not the only one to have found the Hellions terrifying. They really frightened me, for a number of reasons. I guess because they seemed less... I dunno... cartoony, more real-world scary in a way.
I know this is going to get angsty and dark soon but i was laughing in my bed just as much as buffy was reading giles and spikes bickering. It was just so cute and funny, i wish we had gotten more of it in the series! I hope there will be some more light in the dark; you have a really good knack for writing witty dialogue and your character voices are on point!
Bit late in responding to these, and I'm so very sorry about that; holidays and my kid being home from school really backed me up in replying to everyone's comments. I wanted to thank you so very much for reading this and commenting!!!
Yeah, I had a lot of fun writing 'odd-couple' Spike and Giles. They'd have done well with their own show, lol.
Thank you so much for your very kind words! I very much appreciate it!
Fantastic story!! Really wonderful writing and a whole new view of the story and characters. Can’t wait to read more of your writing. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for reading, and for such a lovely comment, I really appreciate it! So glad to have you along for the ride! Hope to see you in the sequel! Thanks again!!!
I love your logical destruction of all the plot holes in canon demon lore. So many things they contradicted--not to mention treating demons as one dimensional beings without real culture or social structure. I get that the demons were mostly used as metaphors for the trials of adolescence and young adulthood but still... I love your writing style!!
I really appreciate that! Yeah, it always drove me crazy, and I'm a big fan of worldbuilding, so even though I know they were technically metaphors, that never flew with me after a while. You can't date a metaphor, and metaphors don't have feelings, so once all that started happening... the metaphor thing was right out for me. It got real really quick, and I had to find a way to make it all work in my head. Once it did... the inconsistencies started driving me insane, lol.
Thank you for the comment!
I know the dark stuff is coming, but I think this is perhaps one of the funniest interchanges between Spike and Giles I have ever read. So beautifully British.
Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun writing that chapter. I appreciate the comment, and your risking picking up the story, hope you get past the tough part and end up enjoying it.
My grammar is bad because I’m Swedish but I have to tell you that this story for me is so vivid, raw and takes you on a journey that is scary but beautiful at the same time. And it’s perfect!
I really had a hard time with the rape even if I’ve read about the subject in other stories and thought about it for the longest time why I was uncomfortable and realized it’s because you captured the emotional response, the shame/guilt and how a person has to rebuild themselves to the ground up.
thank you for writing this.
I always check for updates after work because this story is wonderful. Thank you !
>>My grammar is bad because I’m Swedish but I have to tell you that this story for me is so vivid, raw and takes you on a journey that is scary but beautiful at the same time. And it’s perfect!>>
I think your grammar is excellent in English, and I am grateful for your lovely comment!
>>I really had a hard time with the rape even if I’ve read about the subject in other stories and thought about it for the longest time why I was uncomfortable and realized it’s because you captured the emotional response, the shame/guilt and how a person has to rebuild themselves to the ground up.>>
I appreciate the honesty of this comment. I did my best to try to focus on the emotional and the aftermath and less on a 'blow-by-blow' type of thing where it would look like I was 'celebrating' the event itself, because I didn't want to do that at all. I wanted to focus only on what the people in question were going through, but in a way I guess that could make it almost more raw. I am grateful you continued anyway.
>>thank you for writing this.>>
Thank you for reading it!!!
>>I always check for updates after work because this story is wonderful. Thank you !>>
I hope you will continue into the sequel. There will be a little bit of dealing with aftermath-stuff, but mostly it's more its own story.
Thank you so very much for such wonderful feedback, and thank you again for giving this story a chance despite the very difficult subject matter!