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CornishMaid commented on The Girl on November 26, 2020 12:50pm

Tried and failed to squeak this comment in under the wire. I didn't have time when I first read the chapter, so what a tragedy, it means I have to read it all over again to be able to comment on it. Honestly, life is so hard at times. (removes tongue from cheek).

Anyway - what a chapter, worth waiting for!

He could be a theatrical sort when necessary, but he did in fact know how to get in and out swiftly and silently if needs be.  And, of course, how to hide the bodies. So, so perfectly a Spike description. The theatrical Big Bad, but completely underestimated at the same time.

The description of Buffy chilled me - it's sickening to see someone drugged up to that level, whether you know them or not, and for Spike, who can feel the power she has left, who knows what a Slayer should be, who is letting his nurturing side surface... yeah. Surprised he didn't kill the lot of them.

She might, in fact, be The One.  /Are you The One?  The one I’ve been waiting for?/ oh Spike. In ways you've never imagined!

Well, the singularly unattractive scrubs he wore didn’t precisely have collars to speak of, but he supposed it would do to say he’d scruffed the bloke from the front. Loved this bit & Spike's little running mental commentry as he works his plan out. Don't know why this bit grabbed me, it just did. In fact, the whole Spike v orderly section is just hilarious, and worthy of a round of applause in itself for the simplicity of descriptive writing while creating the whole scene.

She blinked at him for a long second, as first the greeting, then the title, percolated through her addled gourd… Spike-speak at it's very best...

Cloudy though they were, they were some of the most interesting eyes he had ever seen; green, shot with gold, like a verdant glade in summer…  Or so he vaguely remembered, from his days seeing those, under the sun, and what the bloody hell was he thinking? And then there's that bit. Who's the sweet, little Romantic poet then!

“I can’t…” she whispered, and bloody fuck, she sounded terrified.  “They hurt me when I try to leave.”  There was raw fear in her gaze now, etched in her face, her hunched body, her shaking voice.  “I can’t go back to the quiet room." And then we're straight back into Buffy's nightmare alongside of Spike, as he starts to see the full depth of what they did and how they broke her.

There was something about this one that made him feel like he was meant to understand her.  Like he was meant to have been the one to find her.  After all, for one bloody thing, he understood batty.  He’d been molded for this job.  Probably the only one who could bring her back to herself. S1 Giles, trying to be the 'perfect' Watcher as per the Council of Wankers criteria wouldn't have, even if he didn't have his hands full (cough) with Cordelia. S3 Wesley would be a laugh (no matter how much I love who Wes later became). Angel - too concentrated on himself. I don't know if the writers of BtVS realised that they wrote a character who would be perfect for helping and supporting an instutionalised Buffy (and didn't utalise him if they did), so it's a good job the fans do.

That said, not sure if fanging out in front of her was utterly stupid or a stroke of sheer genius!

"I don’t want to have to take the time out to kill you in front of her.  It’ll set back negotiations.” Negotiations is one word for it... he pulled back and smacked her a good one right in the temple. Ahh - negotiations Spike style. Gotchya. 

Arse over teakettle. Perfect. As is vamping out in front of the staff. At least one of this lot will be checking themselves in to the clinic in the next 24 hours (money's on the orderly...).

Sometimes he wondered about his own sanity, when he did shit like this on impulse. And that's before he had to deal with the soon-to-be-ex when he brought home the not-quite-soulmate-yet. 

was that so bleeding wrong?  That he wanted to put himself first, just this once?  Dru always came first.  Always.  He should get the chance for something of his own. Just this one time. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Trying to justify his being 'selfish' - to himself. Spike's always been his own worse enemy, William's heart battling with the demon's soul.

And she hissed like a frustrated teakettle.  Another perfect description. And then she makes him burn the duvet. Well, duh.

Poor Buffy - waking up in another locked room ('but nice!') and thinking she's falling further down the rabbit hole..

Poor Dru - able to see exactly what's going to happen and powerless to stop it. 'No safe place' indeed. "Too soon for you to change your colors, my knight.  Your standards are wavering…” Ooh - nice play on words there!

Then Spike turns into the Biggest of Big Bads. Says boo to the homeless man (the horror!); is happy for him to take the blame for the break in cos he'll get a place to sleep for the night (the heartlessness!) and then one didn’t spend over a century caring for a woman without understanding the sorts of things chits needed to feel special. (the cruelty!) Maid's over in the corner laughing till it hurts.

Yeah - right up until the Spike'n'Dru show round two, which I don't have the words for - just sympathy for all of them. I'm watching a break up in slow motion, and it hurts. As does seeing Buffy's continued confusion - the drug weaning is working, but seeing her trying to work out what's going on with the few cues that she has is difficult. Though Spike could buy my toiletries any day of the week!

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Oddbird commented on Girl, Resumed on November 26, 2020 07:21am Liked

Aaaaa why are there always So Many Amazing Things to Think About in every chapter???

ok first, poor Spike. He is so sunk. It’s rewound interesting reading this dynamic, where he still is with Drusilla, and loves Drusilla, and is completely in denial about the fact that he’s falling for Buffy. I can’t imagine how he’s going to get his head around anything that comes next.

and poor Buffy!!! I’m glad she’s finally concluded he’s real, but what a lot to go through! This is so tricky though where obviously she is starting to trust and like Spike, and he has all the power and she has no idea he wants to kill her and feed her to his sire... 

two small things, that is such sun interesting point about the bamboo!! And yeah, the Pike/Spike thing always struck me as kind of funny.

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k1ngohats commented on Girl, Resumed on November 26, 2020 04:56am Liked

“Miss Edith isn’t pleased with you, my knight.  Wouldn’t be weak if you made sure there weren’t so many baubles all lit and bright on the string.”

Mmm, are the baubles on the string the activated Slayers?

he slapped down a railroad spike

The railroad spikes are so woefully under-used, like?? That's Spike's namesake! The utter brutality of the imagery! The instant recognizability of that calling card! And why didn't Spike use one more often as a weapon when he was so attached to it as a name?

She’s fucking mine now.

Hot.

“Are…  Are you Pike?"

YESSSS fuck I LOVE that you brought that up! What a freaking coincidence of names right?? And I don't think it's ever mentioned? But it makes even more sense to bring it up here, in this au, when Buffy is struggling with re-establishing her reality and as weird as it seems, mashing Pike and vampires together into a new invented individual seems completely realistic for a psychotic delusion. Honestly, I expected Buffy to struggle with believing in Spike more because of the naming coincidence. Had it been me, I would have.

“They’d never seen anything like you and they couldn’t explain it… which should tell you right there that we’re real; you, me, all of us!/

You ended this quotation with the wrong symbol!

“Can I trust you not to off yourself in there, Slayer?”

Yeah, I can totally understand Buffy's surprise at this question and belated realisation for why she wasn't given a proper razor. For one thing, she was drugged out of her mind, and for another (at least for my experience) if you're in a deep depressive state but you're not thinking about suicide, it's kind of surprising to be asked that kind of question. Like no, I wasn't thinking about using that for that, but thanks for your concern?

“You’d be surprised.  Alright, pet.  I’ll see what I can do.”  There came a mutter from the other side of the door.  She thought she caught, ‘Bloody picky chit’, shook her head.  It was like he was speaking another language.  “Do English people always talk like they’re not actually speaking English?  And, you know, why are you living here if you’re English, anyway?”

And you have Spike and Buffy speaking in the same paragraph here, woops?

Which meant that she finally had to come out and admit to being what she was,

Cordy didn't Xander watch you almost get eaten by a snake dude last week? As if having superpowers is a big deal at this point.

True to form, Giles got all huffy

Seriously though, what on earth is the point of secrecy in Sunnydale??

Cordelia felt something warm flood through her

Awww. Now I want to give Cordy a hug. It's this part that makes it obvious that right now, this is just a 16 year old girl in-over-her-head with terrible parents, because she just wants proof someone cares. And I'm really proud of Cordy for returning Willow's offer with honest sentiment. Fighting the hordes of the undead directly has really helped speed Cordy's development up.

Why on earth would she run away or whatever, from the guy who, vampire or no, had plucked her out of the nightmare of the hospital and, bizarrely and for reasons Buffy could not and would probably never comprehend, was treating her better than her own parents had after the fire? 

Eeeehhh sorry Buffy but you're showing shades of Stockholm Syndrome there, but also, man I do not blame you for it.

Who even saw leather dusters, anymore? 

Oh just you wait until the matrix comes out (Can you imagine Spike yelling at the tv something like, "Keanu stole that look from me, the berk"?)

He even managed to make it look good; not cowboy or anything

Wait, leather dusters are supposed to be a cowboy thing? Oh man, growing up in the 2000's really coloured my perception on what subculture wore those things.

he was a little bit of a stuck-in-the-past fashion-victim

It is so freaking ironic that 20 years later, Spike still looks fashionable, and the rest of the cast painfully fashion challenged. Punk doesn't age baby!

“I’m not crazy.”  The whisper escaped her lips almost without her cognizance, flavored with awe.

Buffy: having a existential revelation
Spike: probably wondering if she's still crazy because she touched the deadly vampire on the cheek

/They stole my life from me./

Now go burn down the watcher's council!!!

Yeah... Spike's plenty critical of Buffy's demon education, but if I'm understanding the lore correctly, she wasn't under Merrick's wings long at all, and Merrick probably sped Buffy through training specifically geared towards vamps to give her the best chance against Lothos.

Also, I gotta say, Spike's really sounding like a mini-Watcher while talking to Buffy about training up. Oh Spike, you utter dingus.

He rolled his eyes strenuously at her.  “Hullo.  Vampire.”

snorts.

I love that Spike just couldn't resist jumping in early the moment he had a chance to fight her, even if it ended quickly. And I also just realised Buffy didn't even do any stretches before she started wailing on the bags? Damn that slayer constitution!

“Aren’t you worried about the stick-stuff?”

Yes!! Oh I love when Buffy's smart. What a brilliant question to ask, something I'd totally wonder about myself. What's the limits on what's lethal to vampires? Is it wood, or any plant matter? Is it specific wood? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

“I’ve been poked by a lot of things over the years, pet, and done my share of poking.” 

And that totally wasn't a double entendre.

Vivid green eyes bored into his, riveting him briefly into place.  “I trust you.”

And thus begins the true downfall of Spike.

And... wait a minute, did Spike ever explain to Buffy why he wants her? He got distracted by her ignorance of her calling and the dojo space, and then it just was forgotten about. So all Buffy knows about the future is 1. Spike wants to spar with her. 2. Spike wants to fight her. 3. He isn't planning on killing her... yet. But that was worded ambiguously enough that on its own Buffy doesn't need to automatically assume that Spike wants to fight her to the death. and then feed her to his sire

This should be interesting...

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zanthinegirl commented on The Girl on November 22, 2020 01:47am Liked

I love Dru and her mercurial whims and whispering pixies! I mean, I always adore Drusilla, but she's tricky to write well.  You're getting that balance right IMO!

Spike swimming in that Egyptian river is a hoot.  yes Spike, it's important to get your prisoner nice underpants and melon shampoo.

But poor Buffy!

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daria22 commented on The Girl on November 20, 2020 02:35pm Liked

You are amazing! I am lack of words these days but I want you to know that I am happy every time I see an update for your stories. This one is not an exception.

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magnus374 commented on The Girl on November 20, 2020 01:00pm

Spike of course have no problem killing anyone when getting to the Slayer but he is practical and hides the bodies. He do respect Slayers and therefor we could see his anger at how she had been treated. We can see his practical side again when he plan to take the medicine so he can slowly wane her of it. We had some really good descriptions of what is going on in Spike's mind. When he sees Buffy's reaction, he perfectly understands her reactions. 

It felt really awful to see Buffy being broken down by the hospital like this, good writing on that. I liked how Spike showed himself as a vampire to some of the personal there.

Dru may have basicly sent him after her but she isn't happy that he is bringing her home to them, all kinds of visions has been seen by here. I could really feel for Dru here. With Buffy we can think that she will be better again but Dru is broken.

I liked Spike "shopping " for Buffy. She was so happy that she got these things but she still isn't sure what is real or not.

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Green commented on The Girl on November 20, 2020 07:01am Liked

Oh, and she’d want knickers...finding ones that looked cute and would make her feel good, on top of her game. 😁 I don't think Spike is paddling around in his nice, personal little Egyptian rive: I think he's lucky he don't have to breathe or he'd be drowning. 

Jeez; the body was jasmine, and the shampoo was cucumber-melon. She was in heaven😔

I'm late to the game but I'm here 😊.

Wonderful 💚

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pfeifferpack commented on The Girl on November 20, 2020 12:40am Liked

This is just how I imagine Spike would have reacted to Buffy in the asylum. He would initially want to get her back to herself, to full fighting form and then challenge her. But (we all know our guy) while caring for her his emotions are bound to engage and there is no way he'll want her dead, especially by him. Yeah, Spike, we don't need Dru's gift to know how this is going to go LOL.

She might, in fact, be The One.  /Are you The One?  The one I’ve been waiting for?/ Makes me wonder what he's been waiting for really... someone to end him?  Dru knows Buffy is the one but her view is quite different for what that means.

An abrupt stepping off of that sort of thing could really fuck up a person, and he wanted her well sooner rather than later, not sweating through withdrawals for weeks on end, on top of every other bloody thing. Smart vampire. Yup, Buffy has already been through enough hell without adding withdrawal.

 learned helplessness.  He’d experienced his own share of it in his fledgling years, in a certain, canted way, and definitely seen it used against prey.  It was a mind-game; a mental war waged against a person, but once they’d accepted the conditioning, it took a hell of a bloody lot to break it.   Oh yes, poor Buffy. Spike has his work cut out for him. Good thing he has a century of training in how to cope thanks to dealing with Dru.  for one bloody thing, he understood batty.  He’d been molded for this job.   Exactly.

He's already empathetic and sad for her.

I can understand his urge to flash fang to the camera. Scare the crap out of enough of them though will be a start and no "proof" to rile the masses.

“Good evening, all,” he inserted jauntily, as if one just stepped up to their place of business every day with a young girl dangling over one’s shoulder.  “Nice night for an abduction, innit?” Just love picturing this!

Sometimes he wondered about his own sanity, when he did shit like this on impulse.  That's our Spike. Far, far from stupid but impulsive as hell. As often as it gets him in trouble it likely also saved his life. Unpredictable even to himself.

 “Know what they want me to do, nasty pixies, but I don’t want to, do I?”  My money is on Dru having been a Potential and those Pixies are the PTB that still talk to her better impulses. Nope, she doesn't like it because listening to them means losing her dark knight to Buffy. No daddy, no Spike... no one for poor princess.

Yup... we're on the same brainwave. “Made you for me, and now I find it was all a trick.  Didn’t make you for me at all.  And Daddy’s all wrapped up in the Evening.  No room for little Drusilla, anywhere, anymore.  Who will stay with Dru and Miss Edith, keep us safe and warm…”  She's feeling abandoned. It IS sad. She deserves to be loved too but she is so very broken and so tied to Angel! Wish she had someone, some consolation.  Love the hint that she was drawn to turn William just to make him available for Buffy a century or so later (I have head canoned that forever). 

Have to lock her up to keep her safe.  From herself, and from these pillocks.  But nice.  Not another sodding prison.  Can’t have her scared out of her bleeding mind again So considerate a caregiver.

 Poor twig.  Mess she was in could rend even the heart of a soddin’ monster like him. Yeah, she's already under his skin and worming her way towards his heart.

I love the sad, bittersweet, scenes between Dru and Spike. Insofar as she can, she does love him. She'd like to be able to be the right partner to Spike but she is too damaged. She knows her time is nearing an end with their life and resents it (who can blame her really?).  Her making a fledge in spite sounds about right. Spike destroying him before he rose also makes sense. He really doesn't have time to play that circus.

Poor Buffy is reduced to it taking so little to make her feel like she's in heaven. She's likely to fall in love with Spike first just for taking her away from there and giving her nice things, trying to make it okay for her!

I'm wondering if Spike is wanting to nab someone from the Council to help her get up to speed (and wondering if it might be Giles. You never said he was the Watcher in Sunnydale I think.)

I'm really enjoying this very believable storyline.

Excellent update.

Kathleen

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rana commented on The Girl on November 19, 2020 10:33pm Liked

Omg. Spike going on a shopping spree to pamper Buffy was just the best scene! I can't stop smiling. 

I also loved the following scene and description of the Change and Spike killing the pre-vamp! Just great visceral descriptions. 

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k1ngohats commented on The Girl on November 19, 2020 06:16pm Liked

She might, in fact, be The One.  /Are you The One?  The one I’ve been waiting for?/

Oh she's The One alright ;)

t was important to suss that out, since he’d either have to rob the place of a few doses of her current meds before absconding with her, or get her some of whatever the bloody hell it was off the street later.

Aw, it's a bit heartwarming that Spike's planning to get her meds to wean her off slow. He might say it's to make her get up to snuff faster, but the dude's a vamp. He could very easily just dump Buffy in a room with the minimum needed to keep her alive and just wait for her to sweat off the withdrawal while ignoring her- after all, he's immortal and currently the only vampire interested in killing slayers who knows about this slayer.

God, seeing the results of what the doctors have done to Buffy is horrible. This is what they wanted? A broken individual who can't even be sure what's outside her cell is real? Even had Buffy actually suffered a psychotic break, I'd hope no sane individual would think breaking them more would be the cure.

After all, for one bloody thing, he understood batty.  He’d been molded for this job.  

Called it!!

“You brought us the Sunshine as a toy surprise,” Dru murmured as he tossed the unconscious Slayer down on the bed.  She sounded a bit put out about it, actually.  “May I eat her, now?”

Geeze Spike, don't you know it's rude to put people you don't plan to fuck or eat in bed with your lover? smh.

Dru turned away from him, pouting.  “The bed smells of her.”

See!! Rude!!!

/Have to lock her up to keep her safe.  From herself, and from these pillocks.  But nice.  Not another sodding prison.  Can’t have her scared out of her bleeding mind again, when she comes to./  

Spike is such a nurturing person, even when it's for twisted means. People love to have human au Spike be some English professor or a writer, but honestly I see careers like preschool teacher or heath care aide fitting him much more. Also, it's funnier to imagine a surly punk dude with those jobs.

Aww she's his guest. I can't take how freaking sweet Spike is even at his evilest.

I love the description of a corpse in the transition to vampirehood. The difference in smell, rigidity of the body, how the heart is key in the transformation and that the body doesn't yet dust like a fledge's would. The bits of world building you bring to the buffyverse vampires is possibly my favourite part of your stories, I just eat it all up.

“Look, pet.  I’m that sorry that you feel put out by all this,"

I think I spotted a typo here. "I'm that sorry that"?

Poor Dru... Her precognition tells her this relationship is soon to end, and she's mourning it already. I really feel for her here, even knowing Buffy is better for Spike in the end... It hurts to end a relationship, even when it's unhealthy. And unlike Spike, she doesn't have someone else to fall back on when this ends. And this is when I start the crack theory that Dru's true love is Faith so all our vamps and slayers can be happy together (except darla none for darla)

Ugh, and the way you describe Buffy's slow wade out of the drug haze, brilliant.

Is that outfit Spike got Buffy based on an outfit she wears on the show, by the way? Or just a generic cute halter and skirt combo?

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All4Spike commented on The Girl on November 19, 2020 06:14pm Liked

I love Spike's pragmatic, vampirey way of getting Buffy out, in the process, proving to several members of staff that vampires are REAL and therefore Buffy was not crazy!!

And of course, Dru wants to eat her now and is jealous because she can foresee the Spuffy relationship.

Spike knows what to get to help Buffy feel more real - and a clean bed, good food, and a bath and clean clothes come high on that list.

Looking forward to developments...

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spikedreamer commented on The Girl on November 19, 2020 03:40pm Liked

Bitte lass Buffy wieder NORMAL werden, mir reicht schon die bekloppte Drusilla

und was....Daddy kommt zurück, als Angelus? Nun die vorstellung wie Cordy sogar den seelenlosen um den

Finger wickelt wärfe mein Wunschtraum, aber ich fürchte das wird hier NICHT passieren.

blow_kiss spikedreamer

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rana commented on Prophetess on November 13, 2020 02:49pm Liked

Bum Bum bum.... Ah, eagerly awaiting next chapter. It's going to be a mountainous tasks to make Buffy bright again. Looking forward to that journey.

Your Cordy just cracks me up! Doesn't let Angel get away with anuthing hahaha. Hope that stays true.

Love Dru taking charge of writing this story! She's got to lead people down the path she wants.

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 02:00pm

Hehe, yeah, it will be; but perhaps not as mountainous as one might think, when there is a natural, ah, instinctive motivator around...  biggrin

I love writing Cordy and Angel in this iteration.  Haven't had nearly enough chances to write the two of them in the past, because either she's "dead" in one series, or I'm just barely getting to them in the other, but man it's fun the way she just whips him into shape!  So refreshing!

Poor Dru.  I fully intend to give her the justice and love--or at least, the peace--she deserves, in all my story universes, because she always gets the short end of the stick.  I hate that in this one I have to have her torn between two 'voices', two necessities... but that's the way the cookie crumbles for a while. sad2

Thank you so much!

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All4Spike commented on Prophetess on November 13, 2020 11:58am Liked

I love the way Dru came to the school and interrupted, taking Spike off to find the right slayer!

It ended well, though.  She (Cordelia) had Angel’s number.  He behaved pretty well once you cornered him and got him to fess up.  You just needed to be tough with him and get him to be straight up with you, and not let him wiggle out from under you on some kind of wishy-washy technicality. Shame Buffy never figured that out...

Spike follows the clues.... and I love how offended he is on Buffy's behalf!

Can't wait!

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 02:03pm

Hehe, yeah, at first I was like.... omg, what am I gonna do to stop this fight without Joyce in the mix! Can't have Spike kill Cordy, and she's too new; he'll off her in seconds if...
And then Dru was like, "Um, Hello! Right here, ready to interrupt this nonsense with more visions!"
Useful person, that Drusilla. Fully intend to find something to do with her that gives her some justice/ a little peace. Poor girl. Always gets the short end of the stick.

>>Shame Buffy never figured that out.>>

I love writing Cordy and Angel in this iteration. Haven't had nearly enough chances to write the two of them in the past, because either she's "dead" in one series, or I'm just barely getting to them in the other, but man it's fun the way she just whips Angel into shape! So refreshing!

Spike's respect for Slayers might just be his undoing in this; that and his bred-in need to care for the mentally damaged.  It's fun that though everyone can see precisely where this story is going, no one's sounding all that put off by that fact.  Hopefully I can live up to expectations!

Thank you so much once more for being here and for commenting!

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magnus374 commented on Prophetess on November 13, 2020 11:39am

This took an interesting turn. Dru turned up and basicly stopped the fight, Spike has learned to trust her visions. I liked the things she said to Angel and that she apparently will be needed by him in the future. With the new information Spike and Dru leaves. Cordelia was of course not happy to be ignored, her actions and thoughts are so very fitting.

Again we can see how well she handles Angel, she doesn't let him get away with not telling her everything. 

Good to see Spike working out things in LA and plans to get Buffy out. He do feel respect for Slayers.

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 01:56pm

Hehe, yeah, at first I was like.... omg, what am I gonna do to stop this fight without Joyce in the mix!  Can't have Spike kill Cordy, and she's too new;  he'll off her in seconds if...  
And then Dru was like, "Um, Hello!  Right here, ready to interrupt this nonsense with more visions!"  
Useful person, that Drusilla.  Fully intend to find something to do with her that gives her some justice.  Poor girl.  Always gets the short end of the stick.

I'm really enjoying writing Cordelia far more than I thought i would, and also her interactions with Angel.  I've wanted to write the two of them for a while, and never could because I'm always writing them later on, when shes "dead".  It's been fun doing this fic and Violent Delights, and finally getting the chance.

Spike's respect for Slayers, crossed with his tenderness for crazy people is really gonna help Buffy in this fic!
Thank you v much, as always

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CornishMaid commented on Prophetess on November 13, 2020 04:09am Liked

Though no Buffy yet, this was such an important chapter. Firstly, Aurelian relationships are... complicated. And so twisted.

Christ, it’d be nice to get his revenge on Angelus, heal Dru, get her respect and gratitude, and be rewarded for it by the master of his line, all in one. Those words got me straight away. It may have been an idle thought for Spike, something he's so used to that he just lives with, but shows that Dru - for a host of different reasons - has never been able to give him the full range of emotion and commitment he truly craves and gives. Love. Devotion. Respect. Loss of respect is a dreadful thing for a relationship, for Spike to be unsure how much he ever had from her must be just ... 

And see - Spike's planning! 3, maybe 4 birds with one stone. He's a poker player alright. He's read his marks, knows their tells, knows how to play it to win the hand and sweep the board (showing my vast poker knowledge there).

I know the actors didn't know about all the history & backstory to come when filming 'School Hard'- but you've really shown the suble interplays here of Angel trying to fool Spike (he never did respect Spike's brain, and there's that word again); and Spike, not fooled, but waiting to see where Angel's going with it. Playing the situation by ear.

And she stepped around him, over the unconscious boy on the floor. See - Cordy's growing. She didn't step on Xander!

Love Spike's lightbulb moment, then the way his priorities - shift - when Dru enters the scene. From fighter to protector in the blink of an eye. From the Slayer, from Angel. From herself. Oh his stunned joy when she willingly turns from Angel - as he said, Angel had left them, left him to pick up the pieces and hold Dru together. No wonder he feels like he's earned everything he has & is furious at the thought of Angel swanning in and taking everything back without even trying. For Dru to pick him here means the world to him at this point of his life.

I've got so many more thoughts of these two, three but best left for future chapters, or your other fics (which I will start reviewing).

Akk - must go to work. More later.. and now I'm back.

Next tonight: The Cordy Show: 

She had Angel’s number.  He behaved pretty well once you cornered him and got him to fess up.  You just needed to be tough with him and get him to be straight up with you, and not let him wiggle out from under you on some kind of wishy-washy technicality. Yes, yes, yes! Cordy is so straight and to the point herself, she refuses to take any of Angel's secretive shit, and sees right through all the 'mystery' that Buffy was entranced by. 

"I sure the hell wouldn’t want to be stuck dealing with a crazy parent as a teenager or whatever, because dad bailed…” So important because Angel's never seen it from Spike's perspective - or even Dru's. Unsouled was all about how clever and manipulative he had been, souled was all about how evil and manipulative he had been. Then Cordy thwaps him round the head with the reality that Spike'd had to deal with the trauma Angel had left behind. Yeah, no wonder he'd looked at her like he was amazed at her interpretation. Never big on the emotion intelligence our Angel (said in my driest voice possible).

Cordy's terms for Spike are great - but Fashion-Victim has to be my favourite. Seeing this whole scene through her eyes was a good contrast to the way the pieces started clicking into place for Spike & Angel. It covered her surprise that any vampire could sound so, like, worried, much less actually caring.  Well, any vamp but her souled-up… whatever-he-was.  /Is Angel wrong?  Do you have to have a soul to love?  Because this dude really does seem to love this other vamp.  Like woah./ Spike really throws the black and white certainty out of the window, lights it on fire, then scatters the ashes.

More wincing… but he came.  He knew better by now than to say no to Queen C. *gigglesnort* as we used to say.

Bookending with Spike digging for info about Buffy made me smile - being so impressed with how she fought, trying to work out the logistics of how two Slayers can exist, and then deciding to be furious at her treatment. Spike managed to kill two Slayers because he respected them (and there's this chapters theme again) -didn't underestimate them, didn't cheat, gave them a battle worthy of a Slayer, and accepted that he was risking his own unlife by doing so. The thought of a warrior who had taken out Lothos being locked up is anathema to him; the knowledge that she is being treated in a way he would never let anyone treat Dru is worse. Bless his little cottons!

And the Loose-skinned who feeding on Buffy's negative emotions to help keep her sane? - make me cry, why don't you.

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 03:00pm

>>Though no Buffy yet, this was such an important chapter. Firstly, Aurelian relationships are... complicated. And so twisted.>>

OMG yes.

>>Those words got me straight away. It may have been an idle thought for Spike, something he's so used to that he just lives with, but shows that Dru - for a host of different reasons - has never been able to give him the full range of emotion and commitment he truly craves and gives. Love. Devotion. Respect. Loss of respect is a dreadful thing for a relationship, for Spike to be unsure how much he ever had from her must be just ...>>

devastating.  YES.  nail on the head.  (I really LOVE that you got the subtle theme of the chapter, btw.  You're really an amazing reader, thank you thank you.) 

>>And see - Spike's planning! 3, maybe 4 birds with one stone. He's a poker player alright. He's read his marks, knows their tells, knows how to play it to win the hand and sweep the board (showing my vast poker knowledge there).>>

I loved that we can go back and rewatch these early episodes knowing what we know later on (like Why We Fight) and it still all fits, because there was so much weird tension in the way James plays this stuff with DB in this scene.  It really does make him look like the most consummate poker artist, doesn't it?

>>I know the actors didn't know about all the history & backstory to come when filming 'School Hard'- but you've really shown the suble interplays here of Angel trying to fool Spike (he never did respect Spike's brain, and there's that word again); and Spike, not fooled, but waiting to see where Angel's going with it. Playing the situation by ear.>>

precisely; it really can fit so much into it, all these little undercurrents!
And it all shows how much of a ponce Angel is, that he NEVER got Spike, never really looked at him, ignored him and only saw himself in the mirror of him.

>>See - Cordy's growing. She didn't step on Xander!>>

HAH!

>>Love Spike's lightbulb moment, then the way his priorities - shift - when Dru enters the scene. From fighter to protector in the blink of an eye. From the Slayer, from Angel. From herself.>>

I LOVE that scene in 'Lie To Me', where she's threatened and EVERYTHING STOPS.  It tells us all we need to know about Spike, right there.

>>Oh his stunned joy when she willingly turns from Angel - as he said, Angel had left them, left him to pick up the pieces and hold Dru together. No wonder he feels like he's earned everything he has & is furious at the thought of Angel swanning in and taking everything back without even trying. For Dru to pick him here means the world to him at this point of his life.>>

It was like a knife-twist, having him feel like Dru was choosing him, because it so doesn't mean what he thinks it does.  He was so glad and so amazed that she 'chose him'...  Gah, this poor guy; so devoted for so many decades... and just never gets what he deserves in return, because he's always throwing it at the wrong people...  
He deserves to be chosen first by someone, and he has no idea that it's all about something else right now.  His moment of triumph, buried in the midst of all this, isn't what he hopes...  *pats him*

>>I've got so many more thoughts of these two, three but best left for future chapters, or your other fics (which I will start reviewing).Akk - must go to work. More later.. and now I'm back.>>

I was happy with just that, and then you, you amazing human, came back with more!  I didn't even realize there WAS more till I came in here just now to answer you and saw all THIS!!!  I could kiss you!

>>Next tonight: The Cordy Show:>>

HAHA; you know I almost didn't put in this recap from CordyPOV, but she's too fun to avoid it, and it gave us some useful insights, so I kept it in.  Glad I did in the end, the way folks are responding.

>>Yes, yes, yes! Cordy is so straight and to the point herself, she refuses to take any of Angel's secretive shit, and sees right through all the 'mystery' that Buffy was entranced by.>> 

that 'mystery' made me nauseous.  
I love writing Cordy and Angel in this iteration. Haven't had nearly enough chances to write the two of them in the past, because either she's "dead" in one series, or I'm just barely getting to them in the other, but man it's fun the way she just whips him into shape! So refreshing! 
The best part about that relationship to me is not only that Cordy has no problem taking Angel over her knee and spanking him, but that he WANTS her too and LOVES it when she does it.  He thinks he's such a big giant Dom, but whenever she's around he turns into a complete puppy.  It's so obvious that he's been waiting for a toppy woman to take the place of a sire for him ever since he lost Darla, and only certain types can manage it.  Cordy COMPLETELY took him by surprise (he NEVER expected her to be the one), but she did and whammo.  He'll roll over and show his belly for her in a heartbeat.  (It's, IMO, the one way she makes his demon as well as his man happy.  Also, I believe, still further evidence that she's a latent Slayer, and his demon recognizes it.)

>>So important because Angel's never seen it from Spike's perspective - or even Dru's. Unsouled was all about how clever and manipulative he had been, souled was all about how evil and manipulative he had been. Then Cordy thwaps him round the head with the reality that Spike'd had to deal with the trauma Angel had left behind.>> 

It was fun to try to build some kind of family backstory for Cordy that would affect/reflect the above.  I could for sure see a pill-popping socialite mama, considering Cordy's clear priorities.  And I was dying for SOMEONE to get in Angel's face and give him what-for on all that, give him a new perspective.   

>>Never big on the emotion intelligence our Angel (said in my driest voice possible).>>

he's an idiot, but he's her idiot.  More power to her if she wants to take him on.  She's doing the world a massive favor.

>>Cordy's terms for Spike are great - but Fashion-Victim has to be my favourite. Seeing this whole scene through her eyes was a good contrast to the way the pieces started clicking into place for Spike & Angel.>> 

See?  Now I'm glad I kept it in!  Cheers!

>>Spike really throws the black and white certainty out of the window, lights it on fire, then scatters the ashes.>>

It's so depressing the way Buffy was incapable of seeing these things in canon, because to allow herself to do so would be to betray the other truth she had to cling to to stay sane, the pivotal 'truth' of her life; 'Angel loves me, it's his demon who doesn't, hence (blah blah yadda, demons can't love, two separate entities, yadda blah blah bullshit)'.
Le sigh.

>>*gigglesnort* as we used to say.>>

heh, I think I used that once recently in a chat.  old habits and that.

>>Bookending with Spike digging for info about Buffy made me smile - being so impressed with how she fought, trying to work out the logistics of how two Slayers can exist, and then deciding to be furious at her treatment. Spike managed to kill two Slayers because he respected them (and there's this chapters theme again) -didn't underestimate them, didn't cheat, gave them a battle worthy of a Slayer, and accepted that he was risking his own unlife by doing so. The thought of a warrior who had taken out Lothos being locked up is anathema to him; the knowledge that she is being treated in a way he would never let anyone treat Dru is worse. Bless his little cottons!>>

hee!  I was in the UK for half a year in Uni, but never heard that phrase.  I love it!  I might have to file that one away for future reference.  'Bless his little cottons'; that's gorgeous!  AHAHAHAAAA!!!
Spike's respect for Slayers might just be his undoing in this piece; that crossed with his tenderness for mental cases probably makes this story predictable, but it's fun that though everyone can see precisely where this plot is going, no one's sounding all that put off by that fact.  Hopefully I can live up to expectations!

>>And the Loose-skinned who feeding on Buffy's negative emotions to help keep her sane? - make me cry, why don't you.>>

threw that one in there last-minute, but I've decided to hang onto it, because it's become rather an interesting plot-point.  
heartsTY so much yet again, you're wonderful!!!!!  Hope you continue to enjoy!

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pfeifferpack commented on Prophetess on November 13, 2020 02:07am Liked

heal Dru, get her respect and gratitude Poor Spike doesn't really understand that if it hurts her daddy she won't be pleased even if it's in her interests. 

She wanted her vengeance on Daddy, sure… but she wouldn’t want him dusted without that moment.  God knew she deserved it, as well.  She’d waited long enough for it.  Best he didn’t dust the blighter before she had a go at him first, wasn’t it? Then again maybe THIS Dru is a bit different. She had those moments when she despised Angelus and wanted to avenge her family after all.

What a fucking farce. This is the same as the situation in the canon original. Angel ALWAYS thought he "knew" Spike but never did whereas Spike knew Angelus in and out (Angel too because he knew they weren't really different, Angel just had brakes thanks to the curse). Great point about Spike not being fooled thanks to the WWII meeting (of course that was not even considered when they wrote School Hard but I like him adding it all up here. He would have). do you think I’m still the fledge you left behind a hundred years ago?  Yes, yes he did.

as it always was when he fought a Slayer.  There was nothing else on Earth but the contest, and the blood rushing through him, ready for the sweet, hot taste of fresh Slayer, and the feeling of being so madly alive. Absolutely! Nothing like fighting the best and knowing you might not survive to get his fires going, make him feel human and mortal.

So Cordy will fight him but WITH Angel as a backup. Smart but not like Buffy in how she sees the challenge. Buffy is more like Spike, not wanting the unfair advantage.

Enter Dru and now we know a bit more about the light meant for Spike. So Cordy has to live. Looks like Dru is being a conduit of sorts from the Powers actually. I always thought she was a Potential Slayer too and her "pixies" were often the Powers still talking to her.

With Dru there, Spike is doubly handicapped. Facing both Cordy AND Angel is enough to make it an unfair fight but now his attention will all be focused on keeping Dru safe. Better leave quickly.

"I’ll tell you.  I don’t like how we’re being played with, like little toys, but I know when it is time to go.”  Her voice was harsh.  “Take me to our carriage, my knight.  Mine, still, for a little while.”  Can't blame her. Yes, they are being played. 

The Master is going to be livid with them leaving like that. 

So Cordy is possessive of Angel LOL. Someone touched her toy even if she's not let Angel in on it yet.

So Angel is going to be tempted by Buffy too (makes sense. She's his physical type, a lot like Darla.) Interesting that Dru is promising to be there for him. Wonder what that means?

The worry about losing Dru to her daddy is enough to make Spike take her out of Sunnydale. 

She had Angel’s number.  He behaved pretty well once you cornered him and got him to fess up.  You just needed to be tough with him and get him to be straight up with you, and not let him wiggle out from under you on some kind of wishy-washy technicality. God yes! Cordy was the ONLY one who knew how to manage Angel. That is why she is the right match for him. No one else ever knew how to deal with him successfully.

 I sure the hell wouldn’t want to be stuck dealing with a crazy parent as a teenager or whatever, because dad bailed YAY! Yup, he is in the wrong. Angel with the soul could easily have demanded that Dru stop killing and Spike would have done whatever his Dru told him to do. Thus Angel could have prevented a slew of deaths. That one soul (curse) could have contained three vampires if he hadn't shirked his responsibility.

Is Angel wrong?  Do you have to have a soul to love?  Because this dude really does seem to love this other vamp.  Like woah Good for seeing it quickly Cordy. I always thought that Buffy fully saw and understood until Angel lost his soul. Then she went into deliberate denial because it just sucked that Angel didn't care about her with the soul yet Spike clearly DID love Dru without one. 

Good Cordy POV on the entire encounter. Yeah, Angel's got some 'splainin' to do and he won't puppy eyes his way out of it.

a chit so new as that, with only her wits and her instincts and jack shit for training did him? Oh, yeah, Buffy just became his Holy Grail! THE Slayer. One worthy of a fight to the death against the Slayer of Slayers! He'll focus now and it'll be "Cordy who?"

Love that Buffy "died" in the fire and was resuscitated in an echo of her drowning in canon. That works perfectly and could easily have happened.

Loose-Skinned who works nights as a janitor in a mental hospital up in Canoga Park.  He says he’s convinced she’s up there in the state ward.  Says he’s snacked on her a ton of times, trying to help her stay sane Wonder if that's Clem? It would be like him to try to help her out (and get decent meals too at the same time).

I love Spike's outrage on Buffy's behalf. Yes, she is a warrior and deserves more respect. As Spike sees it they all do to one degree or another. HE is more respectful of them than their Council ever was. (true in canon as well as here). He'll want to get her up to speed before challenging her and by then it'll be too late because he'll have fallen. We know our guy. It'll be interesting to see what Buffy's attitude toward the Council is by now. 

Perfect setup for an interesting dynamic. Buffy is about to be taken from that place and the games will begin. I imagine even Dru will be trying to help her since she clearly knows that Spike belongs to Buffy and her position with him was transitional from his human life to the one with Buffy. 

Excellent update.

Kathleen

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 02:44pm

>>Poor Spike doesn't really understand that if it hurts her daddy she won't be pleased even if it's in her interests. 
Then again maybe THIS Dru is a bit different. She had those moments when she despised Angelus and wanted to avenge her family after all.>>

I always thought it was so telling, the way Dru went after Angel in those torture scenes.  Like she realized once he had a soul she could get him to recognize and feel her pain and loss and agony.  I think it was specifically telling in that it must have triggered some recognition in some part of her that wasn't the demon, or she'd not have had that need to strike back, you know what I mean?  Because the demon part of her loved his demon, her sire, and just wanted him to torture-fuck her the way they always did.  
It just adds fuel to the fire of my interpretation of Dru (and possibly all vamps, or at least the Aurelian ones) as multipartite beings.

>>This is the same as the situation in the canon original. Angel ALWAYS thought he "knew" Spike but never did whereas Spike knew Angelus in and out (Angel too because he knew they weren't really different, Angel just had brakes thanks to the curse). Great point about Spike not being fooled thanks to the WWII meeting (of course that was not even considered when they wrote School Hard but I like him adding it all up here. He would have).>>

It really is cool how that stuff stands up even after they added all that stuff in later on.  And it really ends up kind of just making Spike look like even better a poker player, you know?

>>Yes, yes he did.>>

And shows how much of a ponce Angel is, that he NEVER got Spike, never really looked at him, ignored him and only saw himself in the mirror of him.

>>Absolutely! Nothing like fighting the best and knowing you might not survive to get his fires going, make him feel human and mortal.>>

yet another neat thing about Spike's character, that immortal all he wanted was to feel mortal again; like a guy addicted to rollercoasters and skydiving and bungee-jumping, because he never took a single risk as a human.  God, he's interesting.

>>So Cordy will fight him but WITH Angel as a backup. Smart but not like Buffy in how she sees the challenge. Buffy is more like Spike, not wanting the unfair advantage.>>

"Do we really need weapons for this?"
GUH.

>>Enter Dru and now we know a bit more about the light meant for Spike. So Cordy has to live. Looks like Dru is being a conduit of sorts from the Powers actually. I always thought she was a Potential Slayer too and her "pixies" were often the Powers still talking to her.
Can't blame her. Yes, they are being played.>>

Poor Dru. I fully intend to give her the justice and love--or at least, the peace--she deserves, in all my story universes, because she always gets the short end of the stick. I hate that in this one I have to have her torn between two 'voices', two necessities... but that's the way the cookie crumbles for a while in this one.  (LOL, at first I was like.... omg, what am I gonna do to stop this fight without Joyce in the mix! Can't have Spike kill Cordy, and she's too new; he'll off her in seconds if...  
And then Dru was like, "Um, Hello! Right here, ready to interrupt this nonsense with more visions!") 
Useful person, that Drusilla. She really deserves so much more than she ever got.

>>With Dru there, Spike is doubly handicapped. Facing both Cordy AND Angel is enough to make it an unfair fight but now his attention will all be focused on keeping Dru safe. Better leave quickly.>>

I LOVE that scene in 'Lie To Me', where she's threatened and EVERYTHING STOPS.  It tells us all we need to know about Spike, right there.

>>The Master is going to be livid with them leaving like that.>>

yeah, it'll have interesting repercussions. 

>>So Cordy is possessive of Angel LOL. Someone touched her toy even if she's not let Angel in on it yet.>>

they are, interestingly, behaving in far more complex ways than I expected of them in this fic.

>>So Angel is going to be tempted by Buffy too (makes sense. She's his physical type, a lot like Darla.) Interesting that Dru is promising to be there for him. Wonder what that means?>>
not talking.  innocent

>>The worry about losing Dru to her daddy is enough to make Spike take her out of Sunnydale.>>

He will, of course, always put Dru (and later, Buffy) first. 
It was like a knife-twist, having him feel like Dru was choosing him, because it so doesn't mean what he thinks it does.  He was so glad and so amazed that she 'chose him'...  Gah, this poor guy; so devoted for so many decades... and just never gets what he deserves in return, because he's always throwing it at the wrong people...  
He deserves to be chosen first by someone, and he has no idea that it's all about something else right now.  His moment of triumph, buried in the midst of all this, isn't what he hopes...  *pats him* 

>>God yes! Cordy was the ONLY one who knew how to manage Angel. That is why she is the right match for him. No one else ever knew how to deal with him successfully.>>

I love writing Cordy and Angel in this iteration. Haven't had nearly enough chances to write the two of them in the past, because either she's "dead" in one series, or I'm just barely getting to them in the other, but man it's fun the way she just whips him into shape! So refreshing! 

I'm really enjoying experimenting with what it changes with these relationships/psyches if we just skipped the mistakes and started with the correct configurations right from the get-go, before a bunch of trauma and stupidity.  For one, I'd think Cordelia would handle some events a lot differently than Buffy did, for about seventy reasons.  For another, ensuring that Buffy didn't echo the whole Dru/Angel/Spike trauma-wheel?  What a relief!!!  Not that I'm the first to try to circumvent THAT insanity, but yeah.  It'll be fun to see what changes occur for the characters as well as to the plot-fallout.

>>YAY! Yup, he is in the wrong. Angel with the soul could easily have demanded that Dru stop killing and Spike would have done whatever his Dru told him to do. Thus Angel could have prevented a slew of deaths. That one soul (curse) could have contained three vampires if he hadn't shirked his responsibility.>>

It was fun to try to build some kind of family backstory for Cordy that would affect/reflect the above.  I could for sure see a pill-popping socialite mama, considering Cordy's clear priorities.  And I was dying for SOMEONE to get in Angel's face and give him what-for on all that, give him a new perspective.  Because you're right... Angel was as much to blame for their swath of bodies as they EVER were; and not only because he made them, but because he could have stopped them.  

>>Good for seeing it quickly Cordy. I always thought that Buffy fully saw and understood until Angel lost his soul. Then she went into deliberate denial because it just sucked that Angel didn't care about her with the soul yet Spike clearly DID love Dru without one.>>

100%.
And the DAMAGE that wilful blindness did for everyone in question...  God. 

>>Good Cordy POV on the entire encounter. Yeah, Angel's got some 'splainin' to do and he won't puppy eyes his way out of it.>>

best part about that relationship to me is not only that Cordy has no problem taking Angel over her knee and spanking him, but that he WANTS her too and LOVES it when she does it.  He thinks he's such a big giant dom, but whenever she's around he turns into a complete puppy.  It's so obvious that he's been waiting for a toppy woman to take the place of a sire for him ever since he lost Darla, and only certain types can manage it.  Cordy COMPLETELY took him by surprise (he NEVER expected her to be the one), but she did and whammo.  He'll roll over and show his belly for her in a heartbeat.  (It's, IMO, the one way she makes his demon as well as his man happy.  Also, I believe, still further evidence that she's a latent Slayer, and his demon recognizes it.)

>>Oh, yeah, Buffy just became his Holy Grail! THE Slayer. One worthy of a fight to the death against the Slayer of Slayers! He'll focus now and it'll be "Cordy who?">>

hehe, that obvious, is it?
biggrin

>>Love that Buffy "died" in the fire and was resuscitated in an echo of her drowning in canon. That works perfectly and could easily have happened.>>

hearts yeah I figure all that needed to happen is another quick dodge inside to throw in a vamp, grab out a person, check on something, whatever, she gets grabbed, has to wrestle with a vamp, whatever, and lights out.

>>Wonder if that's Clem? It would be like him to try to help her out (and get decent meals too at the same time).>>

Not Clem, but definitely related.  IMO they're probably all family in that area!

>>I love Spike's outrage on Buffy's behalf. Yes, she is a warrior and deserves more respect. As Spike sees it they all do to one degree or another. HE is more respectful of them than their Council ever was. (true in canon as well as here). He'll want to get her up to speed before challenging her and by then it'll be too late because he'll have fallen. We know our guy.>>

Spike's respect for Slayers might just be his undoing in this; that crossed with his tenderness for crazy people probably makes this story predictable, but it's fun that though everyone can see precisely where this plot is going, no one's sounding all that put off by that fact.  Hopefully I can live up to expectations!

>>It'll be interesting to see what Buffy's attitude toward the Council is by now.>>

LOL, I'm willing to bet considering she had, what?  Less than a week of time with Merrick? that she knows jack about things like the existence of the Council, or even about other demons aside from vamps.  Per the comics he had dummies for her to stake and told her she was a Slayer, he was a Watcher, she was chosen... oh, and BTW, a vampire named Lothos was coming for her.  Better get in shape, fast!  Also, she was way not taking this seriously enough (btw, backhanded British compliment, I kind of like you.  Whoops, sorry, must kill myself before I can be sired and used against you, Ta!).   
Poor girl's coming at this knowing so little I think Spike's gonna be like this goldmine of 411.  He could tell her anything right now and she'd have to believe him.  Good thing he respects Slayers and wants her to be prepared, or he could do what the Council obviously does to all these girls and brainwash the shit out of her.  Instead she'll probably end up being the most freaking prepared and informed Slayer in history, because she didn't have time to get filled up with bullshit and lies.

>>Perfect setup for an interesting dynamic. Buffy is about to be taken from that place and the games will begin. I imagine even Dru will be trying to help her since she clearly knows that Spike belongs to Buffy and her position with him was transitional from his human life to the one with Buffy.>>

hehe, well... as to Dru, poor girl's being pulled in two different directions at once, so we'll see which one wins out at any given moment.  She's a bit resentful of the ways in which she's being used, and tires of always losing out no matter which way the coin flips.  She wants to get something out of the bargain for a damned change, instead of just being ever run ragged as just the bloody messenger.

*hugs Dru*

Thank you so much!!!

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k1ngohats commented on Prophetess on November 12, 2020 05:34pm Liked

Oh poor Spike, he's feeling so victorious over Dru choosing him over Angel, but we know it's not to last. :(

I love that because of Cordy's background, she can empathise with Spike and rightfully points out Angel fucked up way back then. And that she knows what shagging is from Austin Powers, I'm dying with laughter!

It's brilliant that because of how you've set things up, Spike is in perfect position to sympathize with Buffy. Spike already is intimately familiar with caring for someone mentally ill, and that combined with his immense respect for Slayers has me thinking Spike's gonna be the one to get Buffy back in shape (whether she really wants to or not!).

This verse is just so good because it puts Buffy and Cordy with their guys p much from the get-go, and at least for Cordy, we can already see how much better it is for Angel's personal development.

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 01:52pm

I know, right?  It was like a knife-twist, writing that line, because it so doesn't mean what he thinks it does.  Gah, this poor guy; so devoted for so many decades... and just never gets what he deserves in return, because he's always throwing it at the wrong people...

It was fun to try to build some kind of family backstory for Cordy.  I could for sure see a pill-popping socialite mama, considering Cordy's clear priorities.  And I was dying for SOMEONE to get in Angel's face and give him what-for on all that, give him a new perspective!

Hehe, yeah, good ol' Austin Powers came in just at the right time to be useful to me instead of anachronistic (I get so mad when movie /song references I wanna use are not out yet when I wanna reference 'em, argh!)

>>It's brilliant that because of how you've set things up, Spike is in perfect position to sympathize with Buffy. Spike already is intimately familiar with caring for someone mentally ill, and that combined with his immense respect for Slayers has me thinking Spike's gonna be the one to get Buffy back in shape (whether she really wants to or not!).>>

Precisely.  Ah, well.  If the upcoming plot is predictable, hopefully it'll still be fun to read, lol.
Yeah, I really wanted to experiment with what would happen with these two and the guys if we just skipped the mistakes and started with the correct configurations right, as you say, from the get-go, before a bunch of trauma and stupidity.  For one, I'd think Cordelia would handle some things a lot differently than Buffy did, for about seventy reasons.  For another, ensuring that Buffy didn't echo the whole Dru/Angel/Spike trauma-wheel?  what a relief!!!  Not that I'm the first to try to circumvent THAT insanity, but yeah.  It'll be fun to see what it does not just to the girls but to the boys!  (And figuring out what the bloody hell to do with Dru, of course; there's THAT whole wrinkle!)

Thank you so much, hope you're doing well!!!

k1ngohats Replied on November 19, 2020 08:23pm

Spuffy really are so similar in this (and other) ways... Both giving their love to the wrong people again and again.

I don't think predictable is bad! Honestly, I think that's the problem with media these days. Everyone's so concentrated on making sure the next twist can't be predicted, they forget that ultimately, it's about the journey to get there. I may have called Spike's actions next chapter, but there's also the rush of satisfaction I and anyone else who guessed it will get seeing we were right!

and lemme just slide the concept of dru/faith right in here too because why not

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Lou commented on Prophecies on November 12, 2020 05:09am Liked

Dru is being very perceptive but it's still a puzzle to Spike, and the last thing he wants to hear is how he'll be moving on!

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 01:46pm

Yeah, he's not ready at all yet, but we'll see what an impact actually meeting Sunshine will have on him!
biggrinhearts

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Lou commented on Never... on November 11, 2020 05:18pm Liked

Interesting how both Buffy and Cordelia have become isolated, though Buffy's is far more cruel.

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 01:45pm

Yeah, i really enjoyed finding subtle parallels in this fic (and continue to do so)... it'll be interesting to see how that works for them when they eventually dovetail together.
Thanks again!

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Lou commented on Normal? on November 11, 2020 09:26am Liked

Good to see slayer Cordelia is as self-obsessed as ever, nice contrast with the hellish psych ward poor Buffy is enduring.

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 01:44pm

Hehe, yeah, she has a long road to go down to get to where she ended up in AtS, but we all know she can do it!

Thank you so much for your insights and for reading!

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Oddbird commented on Normal? on November 11, 2020 06:05am

I LOVE “bright blonde shooting star of Different Than Anybody He Had Ever Met”. That is absolutely what happened to Spike! He was helpless before her!

Author's Response on November 19, 2020 01:43pm

HEHE, is it any wonder he risked burning up?
Poor guy needs the Gem just to survive!

(I just wish there was a canonical version of it that allowed for some scratchy-bitey, lol.  Sometimes being invulnerable isn't as fun as advertised.)

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pfeifferpack commented on Prophecies on November 10, 2020 04:24am Liked

I never thought Spike would have wanted anything to do with Nest. He would have annoyed him completely and would have seen immediately that the old vampire was mad as a hatter. Duh, his whole scheme was insane, worse even than Angelus' with Acathla. Bring back the Old Ones was nutty. The world the Master created in the Wishverse was insane too.

Can’t always stay with mummy, forever…” ...  The words hit him hard in the chest; like a physical blow.  She sounded like…   ... Like Mother.  Like the demon who’d worn Mother’s face when…   Yes, that's immediately what I thought when I read those words... it would remind him of his mum. Being unwanted and fobbed off.

As Cordy was thinking about her dream team I immediately thought of Willow and Xander LOL. They are naturals and actually do have helpful skills they can bring to the table (or donuts in Xander's case). Yes, the Slayer should have a team assigned and trained. The Watcher and some magic-user, maybe a weapons expert and the like. The whole system is stupid and has a built-in bunch of disadvantages for the Slayer in it.

He rather had the inkling that the poor chits were called up wherever there was a Master worthy of their skills setting up shop. And this makes perfect sense.

 Do, or dust.  Nothing else, in that moment.  Never felt so alive.  Not when feeding, not when fucking; never.  Never once, except when fighting one of them. Which makes perfect sense. Feeling mortal by virtue of fighting the one girl most likely to kill you would make you feel other than dead. I can see the allure. Of course, I always thought Spike had a death wish too, not just the Slayers.

Your Dru is very good. What she says makes perfect sense to the reader yet is vague enough that one couldn't expect Spike or anyone else to understand clearly. She really is a gifted seer.

Excellent update.

Kathleen

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 04:05pm

>>I never thought Spike would have wanted anything to do with Nest. He would have annoyed him completely and would have seen immediately that the old vampire was mad as a hatter. Duh, his whole scheme was insane, worse even than Angelus' with Acathla. Bring back the Old Ones was nutty. The world the Master created in the Wishverse was insane too.>>

I wonder sometimes if the more ancient they get and the more their demony side takes over to help withe the longevity thing, the more it addles the human side and the more out of touch they get with living in this plane, and it comes out as some kind of psychosis; an inability to recognize that things are not really workable within the rules of this not-demony plane?  A sort of vampirical senescence (I also posit, clearly, a pendulum-swing back toward lower sun-tolerance, the more they surrender to the demonside, seem more monstery and more like the ancestral Turok-Han, who couldn't even put their hands out in the sun for a split second...)

>>Yes, that's immediately what I thought when I read those words... it would remind him of his mum. Being unwanted and fobbed off.>>

So excited that the parallel was caught and noted immediately!  I feel like it should have felt that way for him, emotionally-speaking, when she tossed him out even in canon, if subtly, so he'd not notice it except subconsciously; an "I cared for you, gave you everything, gave you my all, my entire life, for this long, and then you toss me out, say I'm not enough for you, that my wanting to be with you is wrong, try to push me at someone else, try to say my thinking is wrong..."  
The scars run deep.  Poor Spike; his life is full of uncanny and painful parallels.

>>As Cordy was thinking about her dream team I immediately thought of Willow and Xander LOL. They are naturals and actually do have helpful skills they can bring to the table (or donuts in Xander's case). Yes, the Slayer should have a team assigned and trained. The Watcher and some magic-user, maybe a weapons expert and the like. The whole system is stupid and has a built-in bunch of disadvantages for the Slayer in it.>>

absolutely!  I wanted her to start as Buffy did in LA; with no one to rely on but a Watcher and very occasionally some sort of indeterminate person who may or may not be helpful depending on the moment, and with all her so-called friends bailing on her because they're superficial brats.  That way when she gets a team, they'll be appreciated; and in the meantime, Cordy has the opportunity to grow, learn about self-sacrifice, get that rite de passage.  She takes longer to get them, of course, because she spent longer being shallow, but that's life. 
100% agree about how the Council shoots their Slayers in the foot; their life expectancies are like gnats, they're so isolated.

>>And this makes perfect sense.>>

honestly the way the school officials acted toward Giles, he doesn't seem a transplant from last week either, like he was sent there a week before Buffy moved there.  My hc is he was sent there at the beginning of the year and was watching Cordy, the native Potential, sent there because they knew it was a hellmouth with an ancient Master on it (and no doubt they knew about the Mayor as well), and they figured one way or the other the girl and maybe the problematic watcher would be killed in the battle; kill two birds, get a new girl, or move her to another hotspot later.  And then Buffy was moved there instead, and they figured the same... but somehow instead they ended up with two!  WTF...

>>Which makes perfect sense. Feeling mortal by virtue of fighting the one girl most likely to kill you would make you feel other than dead. I can see the allure. Of course, I always thought Spike had a death wish too, not just the Slayers.>>

I think he was definitely tired, in his own way.  And needing to feel alive.  In many ways his life was a sort of endless rota, and he knew he wasn't truly loved, and... yeah.  

>>Your Dru is very good. What she says makes perfect sense to the reader yet is vague enough that one couldn't expect Spike or anyone else to understand clearly. She really is a gifted seer.>>

Thank you so very much for the kind words about Dru!  She's so fun to write; I at first worried a lot about writing the Sprusilla bit, but maybe I've gotten away with it.  Writing her lines, though... that's fun.  Exciting to locate that central theme, slap some metaphorical / poetic language on it, build around it...  No wonder Spike always figured out WTH she was on about, since he understands that kind of language!

Thank you so much!

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zanthinegirl commented on Prophecies on November 09, 2020 04:15pm

I do love Slayer!Cordelia.  This story is so much fun!

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:23pm

Thank you for this too!  So glad you're enjoying Cordy's turn as the Slayer!!!

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daria22 commented on Prophecies on November 05, 2020 10:21pm Liked

If Spike see Buffy in asylum... he will burn in the sunshine a lot sooner, definitely! To see happy meals with legs treating the ultimate warrior like that. I am afraid to imagine what Spike can do.

"He was still seeking the finest high.  Still felt that there was some ultimate, shining pinnacle to be found in that contest... He had been seeking it since he had taken his first Slayer, in China.  Something higher, better, stronger, more…" 

What can I say? Be careful what you wish for devil

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:24pm

>>To see happy meals with legs treating the ultimate warrior like that. I am afraid to imagine what Spike can do.>>

THIS.  Precisely THIS.

hehe, be careful what you wish for indeed.

You appear to see exactly where this story is going, lol.

Thank you!

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CornishMaid commented on Prophecies on November 05, 2020 07:00pm Liked

Just because Cordy mentioned them: this chapter comment is dedicated to Sean Connery. 

Also... Spike. (basks in the bliss for a moment).

Is it a compliment to say that you write Dru's fractured visions and explanations really well? From one side they sound confusing and incomprehensible, from the other, you can really see what she means behind the imagery and broken narrative threads.

Spike's gradual realisation of what she was talking about and fitting the pieces together really shows that he's had decades of practice, and that he trusts her to be right about what she sees, even if those pieces come jumbled up and gradually, in no set pattern.

I think what made me fall for the character, was his treatment of someone as damaged as Dru. 

Loving someone who is as unstable as Dru is hard on the mind and emotions, even when you do love them so much and understand exactly why they are in that state, what is in their background and how much they are fighting themselves. A 'souless vampire' who has been doing that for over 100 years - that added so much depth to the character & to the rules of the show that I was hooked. I'd watched the first ep just to see what someone called Charisma looked like, became a bit-more-than-casual viewer, but not avid through season 1 & beginning of 2. I missed School Hard first time round, so caught Spike first in the Halloween ep & it was definitely Spike & Spike'n'Dru that was my game changer. 

Having since had first hand experience of what he handled every single day, even if my relationship just scratched the surface of Dru's trauma, just makes the admiration grow. So I really appreciate the glimpse of how he listens to her here - especially as we know that he is building the tools he'll need to help Buffy find herself again. (And I didn't expect to go down that road when I was planning on what to comment about!) 

Laughed Spike looking at the whole situation in Sunnydale, thinking 'fuck this' and planning to set his own agenda, get Dru well and then the hell out of Dodge & away from Nest's creepy set up.  His "you'll do" to Cordy will never stop being hysterical, along with her reaction. Spike's back baby!

Cordy planning on getting her own Scoo  scantily clad peons is so Cordelia of this time, but she's still picking people for reasons, and it'll be interesting to see what you do with Xander & Willow in this twist of canon.

What was it with this place?  Did it have a sign?  Some kind of supernatural, neon one that glowed and blinked and had a big arrow pointing down at it that said, ‘come here!  Yummy students!’ or something? Uh Cordelia, it's called a Hellmouth... never mind, we'll get to that.

Giles frowned, looking irritated.  “Our job would be markedly easier if he simply told us all he knew,” he pointed out. Yes Angel, more information is always better than just snippets. Looking back at the early seasons, you realise just how much Angel was hiding.

So to sum up, Spike & Dru have arrived, Spike has a plan, and Dru is dropping hints about two slayers. Cordy is tipping from one version of herself into another. Buffy has been notible by her abscence in this chapter, which is making me all kinds of worried, especially with the huge, scary warning you gave at the start. Bracing myself for what lies ahead, while reminding myself that this will be a Spuffy fic. Eventually. Right?!  (whimper)

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:52pm

>>Just because Cordy mentioned them: this chapter comment is dedicated to Sean Connery.>>

right?  That was a total accident, too.  I brought it up just minding my own business, tapping away, and then just when I was ready to post... boom. 
"It tells me that Gestapo morons like yourself should try READING books instead of BURRRRNING them!" 
*me, in love with that burr since infancy* 

>>Also... Spike. (basks in the bliss for a moment).>>

for some reason that's a widespread reaction, lol

>>Is it a compliment to say that you write Dru's fractured visions and explanations really well? From one side they sound confusing and incomprehensible, from the other, you can really see what she means behind the imagery and broken narrative threads.>>

I really appreciate that, and yes, it is a compliment!  

Writing Dru is a trip; you have to sort of choose a central theme around which she is working, build the symbolic language you intend to use for her visions surrounding that theme, and then stay within that rubric for the entirety of that set of visions, or you lose coherency.  Because when you get down to it, she's really very coherent within the poetic language she uses to describe said visions, once you can unravel wtf she means by the main concept.

 

>>Spike's gradual realisation of what she was talking about and fitting the pieces together really shows that he's had decades of practice, and that he trusts her to be right about what she sees, even if those pieces come jumbled up and gradually, in no set pattern.>>

I think the reason Spike always got her so well was because he's also a past-master at poetic language and metaphor.  But yes; he has also had a lot of practice, and as you say, trusts that her visions are true!

>>I think what made me fall for the character, was his treatment of someone as damaged as Dru. Loving someone who is as unstable as Dru is hard on the mind and emotions, even when you do love them so much and understand exactly why they are in that state, what is in their background and how much they are fighting themselves. A 'souless vampire' who has been doing that for over 100 years - that added so much depth to the character & to the rules of the show that I was hooked.>>

100%  
He/they are so fascinating, and he as a character has so much depth, and that shows RIGHT from the START, in the way they interact.  I still cannot fathom the people who didn't like him, after seeing even just that.  

>>I'd watched the first ep just to see what someone called Charisma looked like, became a bit-more-than-casual viewer, but not avid through season 1 & beginning of 2. I missed School Hard first time round, so caught Spike first in the Halloween ep & it was definitely Spike & Spike'n'Dru that was my game changer.>>

hehe, I think he/they were a lot of people's game changer.  I came at it totally backward (I saw him in Beneath You first and was like, WHO is THAT?!  ermahgerd I MUST know! and my friends were like, what, you haven't seen Buffy?!!!  You are an infidel!  And I was like, I've seen parts of eps here and there, and they were like, YOU MUST WATCH ALL OF IT. and I was set down before a tv from the start... and HAAATED Bangel and was bored by much of the early stuff, but when Spike made his appearance I was like, ALRIGHT, see, NOW it's getting INTERESTING.

>>Having since had first hand experience of what he handled every single day, even if my relationship just scratched the surface of Dru's trauma, just makes the admiration grow. So I really appreciate the glimpse of how he listens to her here - especially as we know that he is building the tools he'll need to help Buffy find herself again. (And I didn't expect to go down that road when I was planning on what to comment about!)>>

hehe, see, here you are getting exactly where I'm going with this story, look at you!!! 
biggrindevil 

>>Laughed Spike looking at the whole situation in Sunnydale, thinking 'fuck this' and planning to set his own agenda, get Dru well and then the hell out of Dodge & away from Nest's creepy set up.  His "you'll do" to Cordy will never stop being hysterical, along with her reaction. Spike's back baby!>>

Glad you liked that!  He is a consummate poker-player, for one, no matter how impulsive he looks from the outside, so it was fun to get into his head during that early bit.  He showed it in his interactions with The Annoying One.  And yes... if I had to give away his first scenes with the Slayer to Cordy, I had to have him be a little underwhelmed...  Technically Cordy's more his official type (tall, leggy brunette), but when you think of it, Buffy fell into his life like this bright blonde tiny powerhouse meteor, shining like the sun, and exploded into his world and took him over, like nothing else he'd ever seen, he wasn't prepared for her... anything else WOULD be underwhelming, so he'd be cynical as ever; ye standard girl, etc.  I wanted that difference.  So happy you found it amusing!

>>Cordy planning on getting her own Scoo  scantily clad peons is so Cordelia of this time, but she's still picking people for reasons, and it'll be interesting to see what you do with Xander & Willow in this twist of canon.>>

Cordy's really where Buffy was in LA; no real team, just a watcher and one backer here and there occasionally (near the end, for Buffy), of indeterminate motivation.  She's learning the ropes and deciding her level of self-sacrifice based on that, without assistance of any real merit.  When she does get a team it'll MEAN something.

>>Uh Cordelia, it's called a Hellmouth... never mind, we'll get to that.>>

hehe, yeah.  That.
I can only surmise, based on the way they acted, that the Council sent Giles (and Buffy) there wholly unprepared, since they will have known about hellmouths.  Bastards.

>>Yes Angel, more information is always better than just snippets. Looking back at the early seasons, you realise just how much Angel was hiding.>>

it really is incredible, isn't it?  Very self-saving.  Him eating rats early on is highly metaphorical, he's such a survivalist.

>>So to sum up, Spike & Dru have arrived, Spike has a plan, and Dru is dropping hints about two slayers.>>

like ya do when the pixies are overwhelming you with "this is not right!" messages...

>>Cordy is tipping from one version of herself into another.>>

excited that this is so visible.  I feel Cordy and Angel always did make each other better (a feature that Bangel never managed, IMO)

>>Buffy has been notible by her abscence in this chapter, which is making me all kinds of worried, especially with the huge, scary warning you gave at the start.>>

yeah, you are one of only a couple of people to remark on that absence.  *nodnod*

>>Bracing myself for what lies ahead, while reminding myself that this will be a Spuffy fic. Eventually. Right?!  (whimper)>>

yup...  once Spike uses that understanding and skillset you very astutely mentioned earlier in your comment...

Thank you so very much for being an amazing feedbacker; you should get an award or something.

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zanthinegirl commented on Prophecies on November 05, 2020 05:12pm Liked

Of course Spike has a different relationship w Cordelia than w Buffy.  It’s fun to see how their personalities change the drama.  I do find myself wondering when Buffy is going to show up.  And how differently the main plot season two plot will work out with Cordelia & Angel.  Somehow I don’t visualize things shaking out quite the same way!  And the Master is still around!  I’m sure something is going to go down there!

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:22pm

It's funny, because technically she's more his official type (brunette, tall, leggy, etc), but Buffy was like a meteor in Spike's life; bright, blonde, sharp, cutting, explosive, world-changing, different in every way.

Buffy... is out of the picture for a while for... reasons.

Season two is different for many reasons, among them, an active Master.  Which is ugh to write, but that's what happens when you don't wanna let Cordy kill the Master the way Buffy did, lol.  (Also, that whole thing where the prophecy caused itself to work was too much for me to resist!)

Thank you!  Hope you continue to enjoy!

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rana commented on Prophecies on November 05, 2020 03:22pm Liked

Aw yeah! Enter Spike! So curious to see how the Master still being around changes vamp dynamics.

Also, love what you are doing with Dry here. I hope she gets a bigger role and a seat at the table. Justice for Dru. I always feel bad for her.

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:19pm

hehe, that's the consensus (YAY!  SPIKE!)  
Of course I didn't want Cordy to be as cool as Buffy and do away with Nest right off the bat, but that leaves me with having to deal with him warping the plot for a while, which is a hassle, lol.
Thank you for your compliment re Dru!  I too always felt for her; she's always left out.  Justice For Dru!!!
I try to give her that in all my other series; we'll see what I can conjure in this fic.

Thank you!

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daria22 commented on Never... on November 05, 2020 02:44pm Liked

I love Cordy's voice here. You make her sound great.

We are not the same with different people. I like that you've made Angel acting differently with Cordy because she is tottaly not Buffy. Angel could be a better person. Good to see he has a chance in this story. Maybe thinking

If course, my heart is aching for our Slayer weep

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:17pm

Thank you so much for the compliment!  
You're very right; we are who we are with different people; Cordy and Angel were definitely their best selves with each other, and I insist they remain together to push each other to better themselves.  IMO Angel and Buffy did not better each other.  
Thank you again!

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RleFay commented on Prophecies on November 05, 2020 01:29pm Liked

Will Spike figure out the Drusilla’s talking about the Sunshine is the LA slayer who is still alive? Your version makes more sense why the Council wouldn’t help Buffy escape the Nuthouse, because they thought she died. So in your version Buffy probably did briefly die, and maybe Pike saved her? Which causes Cordy to become the Slayer, so that is why there’s two in this universe?

Author's Response on November 10, 2020 03:16pm

I think Spike's starting to pick up what Dru is putting down, yes biggrin
I do think, however, that both in this version and in Canon, the Council in no way thought Buffy was dead / didn't know she was in the psych ward.  I firmly believe they just left her in there, in both versions, because she was a liability and they didn't like to deal with Slayers who hadn't been groomed to the job.  I think they didn't like Buffy because she was with her family, hadn't been indoctrinated to be like Kendra, and they wanted to figure out a way to maybe get rid of her, and in canon they eventually got her out and sent her up to Sunnydale because they thought the Master/Mayor/Hellmouth trifecta would do her in, especially when they had what they considered a terrible, purposely underprepared Watcher on site.  That Buffy persevered and survived to become the longest-lived Slayer horrifies them, especially when she somehow lived when the Line moved on to another (both in this version and in canon), because that was unheard of.  TWO SLAYERS?!  So they tried to kill her in the Cruciamentum, etc.  

In this version, I'm leaving it up to your imagination if Pike dragged her out and gave her mouth to mouth or she was revived by EMS workers or what, but yes, a brief death caused Cordy to be Called, just like what happened with Faith, though Cordy was called in Sd because she was near a Master (I think Giles was already on-site in Sd because he was meant to watch Cordy, who was the native Potential, but she was never called because Buffy was brought on site, and then Faith got called at another hotspot).  

Thank you so much for commenting!!!

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