Summary: Maggie Walsh (formerly involved with the Watcher's council in this reality) creates artificial Slayers with the science and technology that the Initiative has to offer. When Kendra died, since Buffy was still alive, Faith wasn't called. However, Walsh has found Faith, and a somewhat crazed, fresh out of hell, Angel.
Then Spike shows up in town, and well...things go downhill from there. But like, in an 'entertaining to watch' sort of way.
Oh yeah, and Mayor Wilkins does his thing, and the Initiative gets involved in that. Another train wreck, but again, entertaining to watch.
An exploration of the grey area of morality that the Initiative lives in, the possible backstory of Maggie Walsh, and...Spike and Buffy helping each other get over their exes with healthy coping strategies and friendship?
It's angsty especially at first but tries not to get too dark, and will get lighter in tone and content as it goes along. Hence the 'dramedy' genre.
Categories: Season 3, Between Seasons (any), Alternate Reality, Challenge Response
Characters: Buffy, Spike, Giles, Willow, Xander, Angel, Cordelia, Faith Lehane, Joyce, Maggie Walsh, Mayor Richard Wilkins III, Original Characters, Oz
Genres: Angst, Dramedy, HEA/HFN, Slow-Burn
Warnings: Adult Language, Mental Health Issues, Suicidal Ideation, Violence
Challenges: Walsh's Project Rebirth, The Initiative versus... (author's choice of title)
Completed: No Chapters: 4
Word count: 4,935 Hit Count: 586 ePub Downloads: 6
Published: May 09, 2023 Updated: June 13, 2023


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Story Notes: Challenge response to a challenge issued by inklesspen. I've changed up a few things from the challenge, with the permission of inklesspen. I've also changed up quite a bit from canon (Angel comes back from the dead a little earlier, Buffy comes back from LA a little earlier etc). No, I don't intend to kill Angel off, just explore explore what would happen if a vampire had a soul...but not a demon. Probably has no basis in canon whatsoever, but oh well.
I've introduced the original character of Dr. Clemency Wright to be a vessel to explore the grey morality of the Initiative. She won't be a huge character, but will be there for the whole story. Also, she'll be a romantic interest for Angel, so maybe he'll leave Buffy alone!
The Spike/Buffy romance is slow burn in this one! Really slow. I think for story purposes, the Angel/Clemency will probably progress a little faster than the Spike/Buffy, but fear not, for there will be Spike/Buffy. Eventually. Pacing, friends. I'm also having so much fun writing Angel/Clemency that you're going to see a lot of them.
Background pairings: Willow/Oz, Xander/Cordelia, Angel/Original female character (Dr. Clemency Wright) and probably Giles/Joyce (Band Candy does take place in season 3, after all...) and maybe a surprise evil villain pairing as well!
No beta so any typos are my own. Any blatant non-canon elements are totally intentional and definitely not me forgetting what is and what isn't canon.
The title of the fic, by the way, comes from the song "Home" by Deluka. I feel like the song fits the vibe that Spuffy (whether I go the platonic or romantic route) will have in this fic, as they help each other to heal and grow as people, and support each other.
And now for the disclaimer, you all know the drill, so say it with me: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

1. Chapter 1:Caught Me Cold, So They Could Cut by Harlow Turner - Likes: 6 Comments: 5 Word Count: 1,005 Hit Count: 196 Published: May 09, 2023

The chapter title comes from the MARINA song "Rootless", yes I know you all are probably starting to notice that I love MARINA.

 

2. Chapter 2:Weakened State, Strengthened State by Harlow Turner - Likes: 3 Comments: 3 Word Count: 1,134 Hit Count: 152 Published: May 15, 2023

Due to pacing and exposition reasons, Angel shows up a lot in this chapter, and Buffy not at all. Spike does make an appearance, however, with more to come.

3. Chapter 3: Drinking Shampain, to Forget Yesterday by Harlow Turner - Likes: 1 Comments: 2 Word Count: 1,697 Hit Count: 121 Published: May 28, 2023

Chapter title is from the MARINA song, "Shampain" (yes the misspelling of Champagne is intentional). This song always gives me Lover's Walk vibes.

Much dialogue from/paraphrased from the episode "Lover's Walk" (although things play out a bit differently in this AU).

Some discussion of Spike/Drusilla in this chapter (in the context of "Lover's Walk" so mostly their breakup.) Also some very brief discussions of Buffy/Angel (also in the context of their breakup.)

4. Chapter 4: You're Talking When You Shouldn't Be Living by Harlow Turner - Likes: 4 Comments: 4 Word Count: 1,099 Hit Count: 117 Published: June 13, 2023

Suicidal ideation warning added because of some (relatively brief-ish) suicidal thoughts/desire to die/lack of wanting to live from Angel in this chapter. Also mental health issues warning because honestly they all have mental health issues in this fic (especially Angel but Buffy and Spike and Faith aren't doing too hot either).

Chapter title is from the Flatsound song "My Heart Goes Bum Bum Bum".