All I have to say is...WOW. Heavy but therapeutic conversation they needed to have.
Yep, high time they broke that ice, filled in those gaps, and became human to each other again. Now they're real people... so they can go on and... uh... (Well, this is a Spuffy site, so you're expecting what they're eventually going to do.)
Every thing about those Angel scenes is so infuriating. If he wasn't a vampire, the characterizations of Angel are spot on of how he would be in the real world. So disgusting but so realistic tbh.
Angel is not a good guy in this. He just isn't. He doesn't hit Buffy. That's the only thing he does (or doesn't do?) that's not evil. Which is why it takes her so long to clue in that he's... well... this human kind of evil.
Haven't read a human story in a long while and the story line of this one makes this very intriguing. Also, we have an 30+ year old Buffy in this story, which makes even more intriguing since we don't see it much.
Though I know I'll be cringing and being upset at these scenes with Angel.
Thanks for giving it a look-in! The scenes with Angel are hard (Some of the Past!Spuffy scenes are hard, too) but I hope it will be worth it!
They never had time or opportunity in Season 7 to put their past affair and mutually misbegotten behaviours to rest; it had been too recent, then and too near the upcoming date with the First. But they had managed to salve the wounds, looked at each other closely and the most telling moment was when Buffy chose to spend what could have been her last living night, with Spike.
Here, they have a lapse of 18 years between their destructive affair and now. Two completely different people, both successful, confident and with a keen dose of self-respect and respect for life itself. They are able to talk about their past, enlighten each other and both Buffy and Spike find that something between them again, only this time the dark environment of their past is long, long gone.
You’d think sex would have been a monumentally bad idea so soon; at first touch Spike was a gonner all over again, Buffy was voracious and assertive - but this Buffy is passionate, and playful. There is no desperation, no victim present any more, just a clued-in, independent woman enjoying the man who, given the right circumstances all those years ago, could have been her soulmate.
And she stayed the night. Hallelujah!
Yeah, with "there's a soul now!" and various levels of trauma-bonding, season seven Spuffy managed to make something work, but this Spuffy are human and never had that kind of "convenience" to get past their mutually-abusive past. Time was what they needed, and this Spuffy, at least, gets to get it. Time and, as Spike kept telling Buffy, "We need to TALK!" Really important for them to finally do.
Sex probably was a bad idea -- Spike said it was a mistake, given he got so lost so fast. Spike had, to be fair, been musing on Buffy ever since. She's totally saturated in his psyche, so of course he fell again. But fortunately Buffy is in a much, much better space than she was, and is willing to take, with actual joy, what Spike is offering her.
Ahhhh... hearts eyes. We’ll find out what misery it took to get them here but that was lovely
Yep, the Past is still looming behind them, but... They're here now! And now is lovely!
I am so glad that you decided to write about this relationship in two different time frames and give us the possibility to explore these character in different stages of their life. I am totally for Adult!Buffy narratives, they feel closer to me now. It is so easy to relate to these emotions, that are flawed and realistic and beautiful. You are amazing, as usual.
The two timelines were badly needed. For one thing, if it was told sequentially, the heaviness of the Past storyline would be just too damn much for anyone to read. Second, we as readers don't get that 18 years of TIME which was needed to heal, so if I dropped the storyline into "And then they fell into bed together again" just after the trauma of how the Past relationship ended, everyone would be screaming, NO! As it is we get to soften and build up to how the past storyline develops knowing in advance that they've already largely healed. (And are helping each other to heal fully.)
I checked to see if this story was updated before sitting down for breakfast and ended up in bed with tears in my eyes. I swear I ran the gamut of human emotions reading this.
I love the point-of-view shift in this so we feel the shock along with Buffy learning the major thing she doesn't know and then Spike's disbelief and awe at what is happening.
I was also wondering when the title was going to come into this and then reading Spike's thoughts he didn't dare ask or look at her followed her actually daring him was so good.
Aw! I'm so glad it touched you!
Poor Spike, so bewildered, and oh, Buffy, you should have known that night would affect Spike as deeply as it affected you.
Ah, yes. Dare. The title came to me during this scene, actually. I wrote a lot these early scenes in a black out on a pre-charged ipad, and it had no title for several chapters. Until... suddenly there it was.
They have spent some time together and bonded a bit but this moment at the diner feels like the big moment, when they really opened up and talked about the ghosts of the past. We can see more of the mirroring of the show in what was said and what wasn't said. Naturally the conversation was somewhat awkward but hopeful. They did have other things than the past to talk about.
In the second part the attraction and passion got out in the hot scene in his room. The fact that Buffy wanted to spend the night makes it very hopeful indeed. They can get to know each other as free adults. That ending line was great.
There are many questions about the past still there and one if the biggest is what happened to Angel, is he out there?
Yeah, this is where Present!Spuffy finally come together, and their story can properly start. Before this it was just awkward getting-to-know-each-other-again. Now... they know. They both know. And where do they land when they both know? Well.. in bed, of course. It's Spuffy!
I owe you a couple reviews.
the chapter where they spoke about Buffy’s mothers passing, her failed relationship with the normal guy, the way Spikes marriage ended with Dru. You have such a soft way or describing things, you make us feel like we’re right there. I was so excited to read about what had happened in the in between. I love how you are effortlessly weaving them back together after all of these years.
the chapter about the past, how their intimate relationship begins with a secret from angel and their magnetic connection drawing Buffy to him— through guilt, her own curiosity, and seldom acknowledged attraction. I really loved this chapter because it was so human. Doing something you’re not supposed to be doing. Wanting to stop but something within you pulling you to continue. Spike really giving her so much more with so little than Angel ever has. Terrible and lovely.
and then there’s this chapter. Wow. What a revelation. Every detail. So real. So human. I felt every word. From their after work chat about Cordelia to their late dinner where they really broach their past for the first time. Spikes AA pin. Buffy’s insistence on the soup. You have a way of writing that really just totally envelops us in a scene.
And then the ride to his place, all of us hoping and praying she’d go up with him— and she does!! Relearning that doesn’t require much doing at all, realizing their the same and different, the laughing, the joy, the fumbling— all of it was so well done. It actually evolved their relationship in more ways than physically. It gives me so much pleasure to read scenes where reality isn’t discarded. Using the restroom after sex, getting rid of the condom, her squeezing him afterward feeing good and also painful— 😂 all of the realities of sex that never get mentioned in romance because they’re less than romantic but it ads a layer of humanness to it all that I so appreciate.
as always, hanging on your every word. Can’t wait for the next update. You’re an incredible writer and I love that you freely give us these amazing stories about these characters we love so dearly. Grateful for you!
Ooh! Excellent! (Reviews are never "owed" by the way, but it's awesome that you're offering them. They make writers so happy.)
Spuffy suddenly finding they wanted to open up to each other, fill in the gaps between them, was really important to them moving forward. (Also, as readers it gives us a good basis for where they are now.)
They sort of trauma-bonded over the way Buffy had accidentally abused Spike so horribly. I'm glad it came off as very human, because that's what I was trying for. Human flaws human failings turning into something they never intended, but ended up more powerful than either of them individually.
And then the diner. All the normal, co-worker stuff had to get settled before they could have THIS conversation, which is one they'd both been longing to have from the second they saw each other again. (Probably from the second they parted in the past.)
And Buffy goes with him! Because she's really been wanting to. Don't tell me she just bought those condoms on a "whim." This was a "I'm totally not doing this, nope, no, I'm not," plan. I tried to make the sex in this story very real, very human, very un-fantasy (or as least as much as possible writing an erotica) because they are human here, and sex doesn't go according to how porn usually portrays it. Most porn is trying to capture the feeling of the power of sex, and thus tends to run to fantasy, and this story is trying to be real about it.
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you're reading and that anyone at all likes this story. I've been very nervous about it. (Given I've been sitting on it for more than a year should tell you that.)
I'm not sure what I should call this, "calm despair" is something that got stuck in my mind. It's such a bad situation and we got another reminder of how awful Angel is, selling his brothers painkillers. The situation between Buffy and Spike is both intimate and bleak. It's hard for me to put word into this, it's sort of a mood.
I love this comment, it's one of those little treasurey ones. Intimate and bleak is exactly where past!Spuffy are in this story.
I would love to know more about spike’s feelings and thoughts here. Why isn’t he flinching from Buffy? Why isn’t he afraid? Is he afraid? Or, the obvious question in domestic violence - why doesn’t he leave? I’ve been in a similar situation, and I know there are many reasons why people don’t leave, but I’d love to know what’s going on in his head.
You’d hope that nowadays a hospital wouldn’t discharge someone who was pretty clearly a victim of domestic violence quite so quickly: and that social services would be involved.
Spike does answer most of those questions, as the story continues. The relationship never cleans up, not in the past time line. Buffy needs therapy, Spike needs to quit drinking and think things out. It's all very complicated for poor Spike, and for Buffy, too.
The past scenes are somewhere around the 90's, and frequently they still allow male victims of abuse to just shrug it off. It's a shame.
Whew. There’s just a whole lotta whole lot here. Ah Angel you eternal douchewad. And the two of them... Disfunctional, check. Masochistic, check. Forbidden, check. Hot, check. Sounds like spuffy!
There's a lot to unpack in this relationship. Angel's influence on them, Spike's masochism, Buffy's power-hunger, just... a lot. And yep! I did my best to make it as Spuffy as possible!
Honestly I’m very impressed. All human AU generally does absolutely nothing for me, but this is well written and somehow remains remarkably true to character (and does result in deeper flaws, which, interesting).
I think a lot of people try to "fix it" with fic, whereas I tend to make it worse in some way or another. The goal with this one was actually to say, "If season six had happened with real people, how would it get better without magic and souls and missions and trauma-bonding to get through it?" The first answer was "time" which meant two storylines. The second answer was "self-improvement" which both of them had to go through on their own. So I took pieces from the show, rearranged them, did squiggles, and tried my best to see what happened if I reinvented it from all those pieces. I don't read romance, so what came out wasn't very romantic, (at least a first) but ended up very Spuffy regardless of the loss of magic.
“I don't read romance, so what came out wasn't very romantic, (at least a first) but ended up very Spuffy regardless of the loss of magic.”
Thank god for THAT. I like erotica as much as the next fanfic junky, but I’m a sucker for complicated/doomed ships. Straight up romance isn’t terribly interesting, and it certainly isn’t particularly in character for spuffy. After all, honestly, that’s why I’m here or in any fandom, compelling characters and storylines. Sweetness is delicious but more than a dollop or a seasoning and it’s quickly saccharine. I’m enjoying the gritty realism in Dare, the characters feel familiar and genuine.
Also, did I mention my deep admiration for how you portrayed Dru? Absolutely brilliant, and true to character AND Spike’s role with her. Perfect.
Dru is always a joy to add anywhere. Making her human just makes her adorable. (I still think she was abused when she was younger, too, though I never get into that, this not really being Dru's story in any way.)
She put him in a wheelchair again?! I was shocked and had to go back and read chapter 5. I wondered how they were going to have a weird unbalanced relationship when both are human but you pulled it off.
Yep, she put him right down. I didn't make life easy for either of them.
Hot. I really had no idea what was going to bring these two together. Really interesting development. Awful about Angel and the pain killers.
Angel is an absolute human monster in this story.
Broken the ice? More like jumped in the deep end! Trademark intensity from Spuffy though, I love it! Three things I’m wondering: why does Buffy still have to deal with Angel, what happened with her reproduction (a little scared to find out the answer to this one), will she ever admit to being a tad jealous?
Yeah, they did jump in, both feet, didn't they? They do nothing by halves. As for 3 things, you'll just have to see. They all do get addressed.
I love the dialogue. How it flows from awkward to really deep and personal.
If only they'd talked like this before.
They've both been through so much.
They really should have been talking more before.