This story is on my very select "best of" Spuffy list and I come back and read it repeatedly. One of the best "Spike returns with soul" stories, with beautiful characterisation of all the cast, giving them all their due and actually dealing with all their shit from the previous season. It's a struggle to pick one character you do best because they are all great. No, maybe I'll choose Spike and Xander as the ones that moved me most. Poor Xander... you rightly dig into all his pain to make it clear why he's been such an ass. Thanks so much for this. Stories such as this last and last.
I’m wondering what Anya’s five step plan consisted of?
“Billious yellow” is an excellent description of Cliff’s Notes.
Some 21 year old men make good marriages. My husband was 21.
So I gather that Giles got the flowers to calm the demon waters so to speak and she missed everything that he said.
Buffy certainly has foot in mouth disease…. So stubborn.
So Anya has the Magic Shop and Giles has a book store? Makes perfect sense.
I Giles had stayed previusly, that probably would have been another can of worms. His reasons are very valid even if Buffy cannot see them.
I absolutely love Anya’s logic here!! Xander is like a very stubborn overgrown child.
Now I want to know what Spike has figured out.[Report This]
Why would Spike think of Dawn as his and Buffy's child? Sounds like a plot from another fanfic.
Excellent delineation between "passion and fire" versus "dreams and silences"! That is such an accurate description of Bangel.
Oh no! Is Spike going to starve? That is a really dark spell there.[Report This]
I think he'd have a better chance in the downstairs of his crypt versus Casa Summers due to the tunnel exits.
Really like the analogy of Drusilla in an orphanage. Accurate and sad at the same time.
Hee hee re polishing the table!
It makes sense that Anya would think about hair color since her hair color changed nearly as often as Oz's did in canon.
Hey vamps should be able to see in the dark![Report This]
"Your problem isn't magic, it's never been magic! You can't stop manipulating people, that's your problem! That's why you couldn't leave magic alone, because it helped make people do what you wanted, and now that you're staying away from magic you're jerking us around in other ways!"
I really enjoyed this tale. Very good insights into the psychological states of the characters, their weaknesses and motivations. Crafty plot to have two perps, acting independently and at cross-purposes. I also like that Buffy seems to have grown up enough to start asserting her right to make her own choices, something canon Buffy never seemed to be able to do until the devastating S7 episode where they all - except for Spike - betrayed her.
Seems like the over-arching theme of the whole story is how no one really understands anyone else because they're all so caught up in their own needs and blinded by their own interpretations of reality. Sort of like real life sometimes.[Report This]
Poor Anya, never quite getting the how-to-be-a-human, never quite learning how to read the subtle cues, always slightly out of phase. And Giles, just the same.
And then we are given Spike and Buffy, going over the same old ground again, appearing to be about to tear each other apart again, when Spike finally says the right things to her:
"Because someone who really loves you will do whatever it takes to be with you."
And Buffy is not pushing him away this time. We have some movement in a positive direction for these two, at last![Report This]
"He'd been failing them for years."
Yes, so much tragedy attached to Giles' failings. He should have been better able to guide them all; he appeared to have all the right stuff to be a great father figure and mentor to this group of mostly parentless young people: the education, the experience both as Ripper and a proper English gentleman, the good intentions, the compassion and love...and yet, he failed. How can the older generation help the younger, what is their wisdom worth? He took the wrong path, every time. In spite of all the glasses-polishing, he could never really see the truth of the situations. He's doing it again in this story, by misinterpreting Anya's actions. This is such a good story!
I love this chapter - it's like a Shakespeare comedy, only this is tragic, with everyone pining after someone who is pining after someone else and misunderstanding all the signals. And just when you think you know, you're...wrong.[Report This]
In this story (not just this chapter, although it is one of the main Xander-centric ones), the exposition of Xander's world view, his pain, his insecurity, his way of trying to deal with being a young adult who has never had a good role model, is very sympathetic; it makes us understand his motivations for his noble and less than noble actions in canon and in this story. I really liked how she handles the inner thoughts of all the characters, but she does a particularly fine job with Xander and Anya (poor Anya).
Love this bit:
"He was brave and loyal and simple. He took everything like a body blow; he didn't have it in him to shrug anything off. A person had to be elastic to do that, and he wasn't. Everything was personal. Everything mattered."
I read this on AO3 first, not realizing that Shadowlass had an account here. This is an incredibly well written story, great plot & characterizations, wonderful psychological explorations of the characters, and misdirection, misdirection, misdirection. Fooled me until almost the end. Really good job![Report This]
This is such a nifty story. Creepy but yet sweet in how it's all about healing damaged relationships and accepting guilt and responsibility. Clues are breadcrumbed out so that we keep thinking we what's going on, wishing the characters would figure it out, only to discover what's really happening when the characters do. I was engaged, throughout, as I read.[Report This]
"photogenic, deeply felt lolling about"
"But the vampire was looking at Dawn with intense concentration, like she couldn't just be there for milk, and he could divine her true intentions with a good heavy stare."
^ just a couple of lines that made me chuckle.
Snuggly Spuffy is adorable
You nailed Willow - her problem was always that she wanted control. I like that you made it in character, but not a curse, and that they were able to reconcile.
Good story[Report This]
"She was pretty sure she could live with it."
Awww, in-love Buffy is so adorable.
Even more intrigued, now! Love the note Spike left for Xander... oddly formal handwriting on the back of a liquor store receipt is so Spike
"If he could he'd disappear inside her skin."
this strikes me as such a Spike-ish sentiment,