35 was such a beautiful, beautiful chapter.
and it was just so— precise, maybe? the precision of the fight scenes, the ebb and flow of high emotions, energy, the story and the writing (and the callbacks, always the callbacks: the railroad, the playground, buffy managing quips and tv references under duress, spike not managing to quip and getting flustered, fights as 'waltzes,' (and so many more callbacks that i for sure missed)... reading it through a second and third time, the fraught and high-stakes (no pun intended) narrative is still so clearly and incisively expressed and i'm rambling, but this was so great.
and the physicality! of their mental and corporeal exhaustion, injuries, bleeding-hearts emotional states, the waves of renewed momentum, second winds and walls... sigyn, ah! what a great chapter.
Spike paused and picked up her fallen stake, setting it gingerly back in her bib pocket. “A slayer must always keep her weapon handy.”
“I’ve got a few,” Buffy said, leaning against his shoulder. “Who would have thought you’d be defeated with words?”
"Words always had power."
just, augh, so tender.
but! tender in a visceral, 'the wounds are tender-to-touch' way as well as an 'aww, soft' sort of way. (and, more callbacks!)
I can't respond adequately to this comment, it's beautiful in itself, giving the chapter back to me so perfectly. I love that imagery, tender as in "tender to the touch" as well as "soft" way. Thank you so much!
A chapter full of twists, love, thrills, hardship, romance and me squeaking because of it. You're an awesome writer
Squeak! I love squeaks! thank you so much! It means the world, it really does.
This was so very intense, the build up, the actual fighting and their thoughts, good job with all of it. We can see that Spike's thoughts are that Buffy wants to be killed and he is the one who has to do that. This is also mixed in with his own death wish and not wanting to give up what they have.
Words are important, suddenly they are talking, Buffy admitting to love him was a shock but let out his own feelings. It is a strange situation so I'm not sure how to feel about this. Buffy asking him to behave was another very intense moment.
They are actively trying to work this out and of course another complication comes.
Thanks! It took them until they couldn't do anything else before they started talking, but they did GET there.
Perfect Spuffy. Fighting to a totally exhausted standstill, and then declaring their mutual love.
“You’re a fantastic slayer. You can make a vampire not want to kill.” A masterful encapsulation of the entire Spuffy relationship.
Oh, bugger. Travers.
Yep! Fight until they can't anymore, and then there they are, together at the end.
And... yeah. Travers.
Oh thank GOD (and well-timed trains), they finally had a breather and began to think. Even better they started to talk.
Now Spike knows she does NOT want to have him kill her and no doubt he's vastly relieved. Gravy on top is that she's admitted she loves him!
She is accepting his vow of love too instead of stupidly thinking he isn't capable. She knows better.
I love the trust that she has in knowing that his promise not to kill for the love of her is something he can and will do (and how sweet that he offered to have them put another geas on him if she needed that assurance).
They are both in bad condition physically and instead of getting the chance to rest and heal they get invaded by the absolute worst ...
Travers and his team of thugs. I really hope that Giles and Wes stand up for the two of them and that they run the bastards out of Sunnydale and out of their lives.
Great update (sorry for the short comment... just plain exhausted. One of our senior dogs has developed dementia and this past week has started sundowning so neither Jim nor I are getting much sleep. He's healthy every other way but... anyway my brain is fried).
Wonderful chapter fast-paced and very vivid fight scenes.
Love the raw emotion of their confessions. Just perfect for this pair in this world.
Yes, they so needed to talk! Really, Spike should have talked before... but he didn't dare, I think, more because he didn't trust himself than because he was scared of what Buffy would say/do. And what they did was admit they're in love! Poor bastards.
Yeah, I actually think another geas would be good for Spike, but... you know. You do what you do. And this Buffy does what she does. He is capable of making that decision, I'm just not sure he's not going to try and push the envelope.
And now another cliffhanger as Travers breaks into their idyll.
First off, this wasn't a short comment, it was excellent, and secondly, you never have to apologize. We're all under tremendous strain right now. Even a "still reading, looks great!" is enough to make a wriggle of happiness, so...
You get sleep. You deserve it.
Wow. Where to start?
You seem to always push the envelope in your fics (I admire your ambition!) This has got to be the most extreme Spuffy death-match I have read, and all fuelled by love on Spike's side. It's really consistent with your ideas about love and death being inexplicably linked for vampires, as well as packing an emotional punch. Thank goodness they finally started communicating - although not until they were incapable of doing anything else! And then to finish with yet another twist ratcheting up the tension. More please!
I do keep trying to stretch myself. I think for fear I'll get bored more than anything else, really. As for the Spuffy death match, YES I really wanted them a hair's breadth from killing each other, and just worn down to the point of not being able to do anything other than talk. They are creatures of action, not communication (curse them!) and I didn't think either of them would listen until they had no choice in the matter.
That was a beautiful not-quite-death match.
I don't suppose the douche council is going to let Spike get a word in?
I think expecting the council to do anything reasonable with Spike is a bit beyond their abilities.
Aww man. With the cliff hangers in this one! Although it was a great way to confess their love now I am scared they will be torn apart again! Love this story so much I'm already dreading that it'll likely be over soon.
I... I did, I left a lot of cliffhangers. Like a lot of them toward the end here. I did.
And if it helps, I discovered I'd double-labeled chapter 36, so there are actually 38 chapters instead of 37. So one extra chapter for you!
oh god, sigyn. don't do us like that!! until next week...
(hope your ear infection is healed.)
I did it. I'm quietly evil. (And yes, I'm almost all better. Still fluid in my right ear, but that only bugs me when I chew a lot, like if I eat jerky.)
you are evil but yay for mostly-healed ear!
Oh DAMN!! Whew that was a helluva ride there, and ending in the utter FILTH that is Travers. Thinky thoughts aren’t working but again, DAMN. Thank you! Perfect bridge
Another cliffhanger, I know. I'm so evil.
Sigyn you had me crying at how beautiful the spuffy confession was after all that build up, because they were finally on the same page and happy and ready to go rest and cuddle aND THEN YOU SHOOT ME IN THE HEART WITH TRAVERS
Aren't they adorable? Fight, fight, I'm too tired to fight, damn, I can't do it, I love you, and there they are! But nope, life isn't done with them yet.
I feel for both of them. Both so desperately injured, the pain of this next step so intense for both (Buffy assuming straight up betrayal, Spike assuming he MUST fulfill this as a duty to her). My heart breaks most for Spike though...
“He couldn’t not do it. And he couldn’t wait, either. The idea of waiting and then turning on her turned his own stomach”
“Vampire and slayer. Vampire kills slayer, sucks her dry, and breaks her bones to lick out the marrow. That was what was supposed to happen. He could do that. He must do that. Or he wouldn’t be what Buffy wanted him to be. And he would become whatever Buffy wanted him to be.
Stop thinking so hard, he reminded himself. If you think too much you’ll just start to cry again, and then what use would you be to her?”
You’re killing me with this Spike, so distressed and burdened with his responsibility to her. Aaaah! And of course the tension drawn out is awesome. Be FREE Spike! I can see this ending with her death, or perhaps a brief death like in canon season 1, that allows for a new slayer to take over and leaves Buffy free as well. Or not! Onward to the next chapter, I’ve still got too many complex feels to sort this one out entirely! Brilliant!
Spike is really out of his depth. I think someone else commented that he'd both over and under thought this situation, and yeah... he's totally confused. It occurred to me as I was posting (story already finished, of course) that Buffy should have used her safeword somewhere in this middle of this battle, but I don't think the thought would have occurred to her. She only got it that afternoon, of course, and it's never been tested. And it would have sucked if it then got violated because after all, Battle to the Death is not the same as scene. I love your comments Be FREE Spike! Yes! Fly! Break the demon! You don't need to kill her! <3
Such a sweet way for them to finally get it. Loved the love confessions ending the fight.
Now please, don’t let Travers kill either of them. Just put him out of his misery...Spike is hungry, there’s an easy, if unpleasant, meal right there.
Can’t wait to see what happens now
You may have a very clear vision, my friend. Shh!!!
Why’d she have to be so ingenious and clever and beautiful and brilliant and perfect and fucking hard to kill?
That is a perfect Spike line. I am so, so curious about how they will resolve this fight.
I may have been evil, letting it linger for yet another chapter...
If you're evil, it's a very Spike-ish, lovable evil.
Oh, what a wonderful chapter. So grim and so hard, and what a humdinger of an ending. Though I don't believe for a second Spike's gonna kill her (though that would also be a humdinger...)
Yeah, this was me going full out military tactics. Still small scale, but you know... gotta have Buffy be on point.
Spike has thinky thoughts going on.
Is Spike doing this because he thinks he has to? Or because in making himself Buffy’s he is compelled to follow her wishes?
He's not compelled in any magical, slave-bound, non-consensual sense. He just thinks this is the best way to do what has to be done.
Oh, bloody hell. Spike! Don’t you see? Don’t you get it? It’s lifted, yeah, but was it really an unbearable restraint? Had Buffy been hellishly wrapped around you like a strait-jacket, or had her singularly, impassioned embrace of you in fact been the key to a better unlife? It’s not kill, it’s kiss!
The fight is won - and immediately another fight begins: Spike versus Buffy. The immediacy of this physical brutality towards each other even as they are both already wounded, reveals a relentlessly cold and stupefying counter to their recent closeness in bed and in mutual support against the others. Together in the fight, just now in opposite corners of the ring. Even now, though, Buffy lures Spike away from the potential, dangerous intervention .......Brilliant!
Yeah, Spike's not thinking very clearly. To be fair, he's pretty injured. And Buffy should be thinking more clearly, too, and she's not.
I'm not responding to this adequately. This is such a great comment, I could just cuddle it.
Spike is operating on a somewhat twisted logic. All the issues and complications combined do make it a fitting scenario. So many different things at play, like Spike having no hope for the relationship and want it to end with a bang for example. They also always "played " at killing each other.
The fighting and the thoughts of both our characters are done really well, both of their minds us a complicated mess.
A good scene with Buffy getting help by some "good " people, but of course she had to leave in order to defend them.
Spike’s a little lost. He needs to slow down and think, but no. Not right now.