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24 November 2008 @ 08:51 pm
Off Route 17 ~ Part II  

Title: Off Route 17
Author: ClawofCat
Timing: Season 6, Post Flooded
Rating: R
Pairing: Buffy/Angel
Warnings: Sexual situations

Words: 8,325
Summary: “Something stable, something familiar. She needs that. She needs land and not water.” Or, Buffy and Angel’s off screen encounter shortly after her resurrection. Part I here.

*****

 

They drive half an hour until Angel veers onto a commercial strip and coasts down the main drag, eyes scanning the horizon for flashing fast food and hotel signs.

 

“Where are we?” Buffy asks, face pressed to the glass, watching a dancing Hooter’s owl hop around the parking lot off to their left, handing out flyers.

 

Oxnard.”

 

Of Xander’s “Fabulous Ladies Night Club” fame? Her eyebrows rise thoughtfully.

 

“Huh. Not what I was expecting.”

 

“What were you expecting?”

 

“Strippers or something.”

 

He gives her a confused look and pulls into an all-you-can-eat buffet’s driveway.

  

*****

 

Two plates, a shake, and a cup of rice pudding later, she waits patiently in the lobby while Angel gets a room for the night. What is it with hotel lobbies? They all look the same: potted plants, comfy chairs, maybe a sofa, those ashtray stand thingies, a mirror, and a breakfast bar for the more upscale places. She glances at the flyers stacked neatly on a low shelf announcing all the attractions within driving distance, most of them tourist trap activities in LA. There’s even a few for the Bay Area. Nothing mentions Sunnydale, though, demon capital of the western seaboard. She guesses it’s more a word of mouth, creepy hell vibe that attracts the seasonal influx of baddies to her town.

 

“You ready?” Angel asks. He hands her a keycard with a Domino’s advertisement on it and heads toward the elevator, looking over his shoulder at her with worry. They take the ride up in silence, both of them looking at her sole tired reflection in the mirrored panels of the car. He mutters that he’s used to it when they step out onto the carpeted hallway and trudge to room 3G.

 

It’s clean and kinda homey. She squeezes past him, poking her head into the bathroom, the closet. It’ll do.

 

“They didn’t have any with two beds,” Angel explains, scrutinizing the king at the center of the room skeptically, like he might just whip out a black light and start examining the sheets for cum stains. For a guy who lives in an old hotel, his prudence strikes her as strange.

 

She drops her bag onto the mattress with a bounce, unfazed. “It’s fine.”

 

Sacking out next to her stuff, Buffy’s eyes close. Belly full and thoughts somewhat quieted, she’s drifted into a listless state. There was conversation over dinner, about Sri Lanka, about school and jobs and change. It wasn’t all bad. Angel even had some good suggestions about paying off her bills and prioritizing repairs that were most pressing. He talked to her like she had a future, like there was something to strive toward. It was sweet, and she could pretend, if only for a little while. 

 

When her eyes open, Angel is still standing off to the side, edging around the bed nervously, like if he touches it he’ll burst into flames.

 

“You’re twitchy.” It hadn’t occurred to her until now what’s gotten him wound up. Souls going kaplooey from a little in and out seems so trivial in the face of everything else. “Is it us… here?” she hedges. He seems embarrassed.

 

“It’s nothing to worry about,” he says, as though she needs convincing. He keeps his cool, sits back against the headboard, but the looks he shoots her from beneath his lashes clue her in, in no uncertain terms, that it is on his mind, that under the protection and safety, he is unsafe and hungry. Something uncoils in her, interest piqued, and writhes low into her loins.

 

“Just relax, watch TV. If it’s okay, I’m going to take a bath.”

 

He watches her go after she’s toed off her shoes and handed him the remote.

 

On the other side of the bathroom door, she twists the taps on, and stares at the water foam and bubble from the dollop of bubble bath gel she found on the counter. If anything does happen with him, she’ll be safe as houses, she thinks, her legs falling open under the jet of water. There’s only one place she’s known perfect happiness and there’s no chance she can get back there anytime soon.

 

*****

 

Her hair is still damp when the nightly news comes on. She tries to remember when she was actually home to see the 10PM highlights and not out patrolling. Giving up, she leans her cheek against Angel’s shoulder, one hand playing with his fingers resting on her arm. It’s nice, domestic. She likes the quiet, and immerses herself in it, only surfacing when words like rape and double homicide flash on the screen. This is the world she has to fight for, a world worth saving, where humans do this to each other. She asks Angel to change the station, which he does. They settle on a historical movie on HBO. She’s not sure what it’s called, but it has Kate Winslet and Joaquin Phoenix in it.

 

“Marquis de Sade, huh? You ever meet that guy?” she asks Angel. “Somehow I don’t really see you in tailcoats.”

 

Angel’s eyes stay riveted to the screen, Winslet and Phoenix locked in a passionate kiss that fades to regret and recriminations. “I’ve read his work. It was decried and banned from publication for its indecency. Times in general were tense back then. The revolution in France was in full swing. Lots of mayhem.”

 

“Bet you must have been having a gay old time, then.”

 

Angel says nothing, his mouth a thin line. She thought so.

 

*****

 

The heroine has died, a tragic victim of circumstance. Young, virginal, in love, and loyal, she goes to her watery grave mutilated. Buffy trembles, watches the tragedy unfold, fighting off a long ago paralysis and the pain of the bite that soon followed. She still remembers the Master’s mocking red eyes, like goblins in the night.

 

Laid out on her funeral pyre, her distraught love interest grasps her hand, presses goodbye kisses to her knuckles, tears falling because he couldn’t save her. Buffy’s breath catches when his kiss revives her and he takes her, claims her, her thighs a cradle to his black robes now that she’s been recalled to life.  

 

“If only…” Buffy whispers. She looks at Angel sharply when he suddenly changes the channel. “What was that for?”

 

“I really don’t need anymore temptation.” He shifts his hips, his trousers tenting at his groin. She wants to laugh. It won’t happen that way, not for them, at least.

 

Drawing herself up, she deliberately pulls her top up and off. She doesn’t give him a choice and presses herself to him without comment, her hands running lightly into his hair, kneading his neck.

 

 “Buffy, we shouldn’t.” His hands hold her hips, stilling her movements.

 

“Why? Why not, if it feels good?” She’s sick of the dictating, sick of what’s right and wrong. What about her? Hasn’t she earned the right to be selfish, to take what little pleasure she can wring from her life? The lick of danger that Angel presents feels right in a world where nothing is safe. If hard and harsh is the only thing at her disposal, then she wants it on her terms, wants it all.

 

“And what if it doesn’t in the morning?” Angel points out, trying to spare her what he thinks can only lead to disaster.

 

She scoffs. “It couldn’t feel any worse than this.”

 

She presses his hand to her breast, so he can feel her heart, know that this is something she needs – someone to bring her to life. “Please,” she says softly, arching into the touch. “I want this.”

 

Solemnly, he kisses her, his fingers lightly plucking her nipple until its hard and rosy. She watches him do this, trying to lose herself, trying to let everything else go. “You’re still so beautiful,” he swears, looking at her sadly. She doesn’t want his pity.

 

“Come here,” he entreats. He folds her against his chest, strokes her hair, and coos quietly to her like a babe. She’s so frail, volatile. Is this what it will take for the fission inside her to split her apart, release the heat and hate and uncertainty that’s causing this overload? She keeps pulling at straws and coming up empty-handed. It pains him to think that this is what she believes will set her free. She was like this the summer she came back from her shanghai in LA, distant, angry, and different. She used her pain to lash out; she traded her sexuality for a well-placed slight. The simmering feeling of loss goads her onward; he doesn’t know how to pull her back, how to exorcise this from her. 

 

Her kisses are needy and searching, but he receives her tongue kindly and pets her in long, soothing strokes as if she were an overwrought cat. Her slight trembling subsides, tiny muscle tremors that scream fatigue and insomnia. It occurs to him that she’s avoided sleeping.

 

“If you want to sleep, you can. I’ll be right here.”

 

She says nothing, just continues to kiss him. She doesn’t want anymore words. Words can’t help her.

 

“Do you have dreams?” Angel tries, fingers in her hair, his palm cupping her chin.

 

“Nightmares,” she corrects. “Sometimes I wake up and I can’t breathe. There’s dirt in my mouth and no air. I scream, but no one hears me. I claw my way out of my grave and when I touch my face it’s…” She bites her lip, bites hard enough to draw blood because that’s what vampires do.

 

“It’s just a dream.”

 

She stares at him incredulously. “I had to crawl out of my own coffin like some dead, evil thing, Angel. Like a vampire.” She spits it out, disgusted. They left her to rise like a common bit of pestilence, vomited forth from the earth, as though she really had escaped from one level of hell only to stumble onto the floor just above it.

 

“What am I?” she pleads, fire and anguish accenting her welling but unshed tears. Her words mimic Darla’s, and he wonders if the fear and confusion of resurrection is a common symptom that turns to mania and can only abate with time.  

 

“Don’t think about it now. Put it out of your mind. Just feel.” His acquiescence to her desire comes quickly, so quick that in an instant his mouth is on her breasts, roving between them with pulling sucks that cause a hot and needy flush to crawl up her body. There’s so much shattered debris that she has to wade through, everything feels dampened and soft. She needs more; she needs hard in order to thrust her past the wreckage of her life.  Open sea, open sea. He can row her there. He can.

 

“More,” she whines urgently. Flat on her back, she shimmies out of her sweatpants, pushing them down her thighs, spreading them wide. This isn’t me, she thinks. I don’t do this. She moves fast, like someone hit the chapter select button in search of the climax, detail and nuance be damned. Her hand is between her legs, dabbing lightly, just to be sure she’s awake. She is, she’s wet. It pleases her to know that something still responds, that she can still feel desire, still want. His knuckles are soon beside hers, slippery and dewy as he reacquaints himself with her, how she likes it, what will get a rewarding twitch. She lets loose long moans, just to try different sounds, test them out. Her groin warms when he pushes a finger in and then another. She bridges up to meet him, gasps, and he starts to skate them in and out of her with purpose. She likes that his eyes are wide and focused, serious about her pleasure, serious about delivering. Good. It’s not worth it if he doesn’t want to play, too.

 

It goes on like this for some minutes until she realizes, a dark corner of her mind sneering, that he’s keeping her suspended, but not pushing her over. She wants to fall. She wants to fall. Her fist clenches. She wants to punch through a wall.

 

“You won’t break me.”

 

He looks up at her, dazed, nostrils flared. He nods, his thumb falling to her clit, a third finger crowded next to the other two. She shudders, jerking, but it only takes the edge off.

 

Her hand is in his hair and she tugs him down, pushes his face to her. She can feel his nose against her, sniffling in all the smells he comes across, moving low and then higher, his tongue painting a slick line across her sex. He holds her thighs down, plastered flat to the bed, and lays her open with his fingers, so that she’s spread wide and he can look. She groans, presses her hips up, and flexes her muscles, causing the whole area to tighten and sigh. He works her hard, pounding evenly, tongue whirling in circles, stabbing into her between thrusts of his fingers. Light, hard, light, hard. She spins, around, around, around. Suddenly, his pace changes and he’s rooting into her like a pig, desperate and hungry, snarling and everywhere at once. He loses the rhythm, and gluttonously licks and nips, starved. When she feels something sharp, she cries out, and he abruptly pushes himself off her, his head turned. The telltale crunch is all she needs to know. He vamped.

 

“Buffy, we can’t do this. It’s too dangerous.” His voice is strangled, torn. The rational part of her brain that should understand refuses to acknowledge him. Chin trembling, her legs slam shut, a hot shame filling her, anger seeping into her belly. He said he could make the pain go away, but it’s still here, strangling her, no amount of endorphins able to shoo it away. Her pussy aches, heavy and full, left buzzing on the brink.

 

He slinks off to one side of the bed, like a chastised dog. She wants to scream snap the fuck out of it, but that would be the pot calling the kettle black.

 

“I’m going to bed,” she announces instead, sweatpants back in place, disappointment barely suppressed. They don’t touch when she slides under the covers. They don’t look at each other. She thought they could get past this, the awkward hurt, the shame, but Angel made sure the repeating pattern stayed the same. When she closes her eyes, frustrated tears fall, lighting up her cheeks with fire.

 

*****

 

It’s 11AM when she finally wakes up. The numbers of the red digital clock on the night stand shimmer and jump as she focuses. He’s not in bed, but he’s there, reading the paper, coffee and blood on the table with a plate full of eggs, waffles, and yogurt.

 

He cranes his head back, the newspaper shuffling a little with the movement. “Sleep well?”

 

She blinks. “Actually, yeah. I didn’t dream anything.”

 

He nods. “Do you want to eat something? I can heat these up for you.” She watches him pop the plate into the microwave next to the small fridge.

 

They don’t say anything about the night before. She eats and watches The Price is Right; they trade off calling out the lowest retail prices. Angel’s better at it than her. Figures. 

 

She catches him staring at her more than once, a little sadly. She doesn’t know why, doesn’t know that he’s reminded of the day that never was, how he ate ice cream with her, and lolled in bed like two young lovers unconstrained by fate or destiny. He gave up his humanity in order to protect her. He thinks now that it was a foolish choice. No amount of bargaining would keep her safe. What would they be doing now, two years later? Would they have a home together? Would they sleep in the same bed just so they could eat ice cream and fuck the next morning? Or would he have buried her, mourned like men mourn, and moved on just the same? The thoughts rush past him, a treacherous Audubon of reflection, while she eats a waffle and he pretends to watch the news. He decides it never would have been enough.

 

*****

 

Game shows give way to soap operas as the afternoon wears on. She cashes in on her veg-time; they already decided he would drive her back come sundown. She’s surprised to find him just outside the bathroom door when she comes out. They look at each other, a question floating between them, conviction in Angel’s eyes. Pushing her gently against the wall, she can feel his erection nudge her, his back spooning hers. His hand is at her hip, and then it’s between her ass cheeks, rubbing her pussy through her sweatpants. She says nothing when he pulls them down, and his fingers steal between her thighs, dipping each finger into her in turn, prepping her. She wants him to take her like this, quickly and without thought. Fuck out every little bit of doubt and fear, put his love into all the rotted and decaying places inside her. She flattens her palms against the wall, bracing herself.

 

“I wish I had been able to save you.”

 

She looks at him over her shoulder. “It wasn’t your choice to make, Angel.”

 

He turns her around, words falling, unloading his guilt on her. There’s talking? Why is there talking? Why is he doing this? It’s not helping. He brushes her cheek, starts kissing her, but this isn’t it. This won’t work. Fight fire with fire. She moves away.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“Are you really that dense? You have a girl standing in front of you that wants to be made love to and you want to talk about regrets. It’s done, Angel. I died. Move on. I should head back anyway. They’ll be wondering about me. I saw a bus stop only a few blocks away.”

 

“Buffy… Don’t do this. Don’t throw up these walls.”

 

Her eyes flash a warning. “I’m tired of words. Shit or get off the pot,” she hisses. She thinks he’ll take a step back, but instead he grabs her arm and hauls her to him with enough force that it surprises them both. The kiss is bruising, a hard slap that splits her lip. She moans when his tongue licks at the wound, sucking the beads of blood up like condensation.

 

Soon he’s inside her, full up, big and load bearing. It’s a wide stretch and her thighs flower open to accommodate him. He has the small of her back pressed flat to the bathroom door, legs draped over forearms, sustaining her, bearing her up with each resounding thrust. She rocks along with the pleasure; it bursts hot and loud, steaming liquid pouring over her, making her loose and easy. He palms her ass, one finger working between her cheeks, pressing into her, so that she’s crying out, piercing and unapologetically, uncaring who can hear them next door or in the hallway. He growls low when her nails leave raw crescents in his shoulders like downturned smiles. 

 

They finish on the floor, her wrists pressed firmly into the carpet by his meaty hands.

 

*****

 

She resurfaces hours later, hair tangled and back shining with sweat. They murmur to each other, his hand wedged between their bodies, absently rubbing the tissues of her sex back and forth.

 

“Drive you back?”

 

“Yeah,” she sighs. She presses a bruise on his cheek, a cut on his arm. She thinks she sees teeth marks. “Are you okay?”

 

“Fine.” He doesn’t seem bothered by it. She gets up to dress.  

 

On the car ride back, she thinks about what they did, how his heart wasn’t in it. It reminds her of Riley, how her heart hadn’t been in it, how she had to dial it back so she wouldn’t hurt him. After the first time against the wall and then the floor, he reeled her in, bringing her back to a place less wild, less liberating on each succeeding bout.

 

“Be here with me,” he’d said, slowing her down, reestablishing eye contact that was hard for her to hold. She slowly ceded control to him without even knowing it, he was so subtle. Something in her resented him for not letting her go, for not coming with her.  

 

They’re close to home. She starts to recognize streets and landmarks.

 

“Can you stop here?” she asks, pointing to a local chicken joint with a garish yellow awning. “I want to run in and pick up some dinner for Dawnie.”

 

“Sure.” He turns in and shuts the engine off as soon as she’s out of the car.

 

She orders a bucket of drumsticks before asking where their restroom is. The establishment only has one and it smells like piss. The urinal cake sure isn’t doing its job. A glance down reveals how sticky the floor is. Fixing her stare on the scratched mirror, the tears come quickly, the sharp, pungent smell of the restroom chasing them from their cache behind her eyes. She’s back, she’s here, and it’s only a little better. Life has arrived to swallow her back up, its salivating maw just inches behind her. Angel couldn’t make it go away, couldn’t beat it back for her. Alone again, alone at last, it’s her battle to fight. She can only rely on herself. White knights don’t exist for her; she doesn’t have the luxury of a “get out of jail free” card. This is it. This is what she has to face.

 

Her hands are warm from holding the chicken by the time she returns to the car. The radio drones some ’80s ballad that Angel bobs his head to. He turns to her and lets the car idle when they reach the front curb by her house.

 

“I’m only a phone call away,” Angel reminds her, pulling lightly on her looped pigtails. She smiles a little when he tickles her cheek with the loose strands.

 

“Thank you, for the distraction. For everything.” She says it weakly, but it’s heartfelt. Her hand cups his cheek when she kisses him goodbye.

 

“If you need me…”

 

“I know. Phone.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

They reluctantly inch away from each other, the knowledge of what they did squeezing between them like jabs of an elbow. They’re waiting for her inside.

 

“I’ll check in soon,” Angel calls when she’s on the porch. She watches him slowly pull away, his black car disappearing down a street and into the night. It makes her wonder if they bore her body away in a hearse. She shudders and pushes the morbid thought away.

 

With a deep breath, she leaves her bag on the porch, grasps the deep fried chicken, and opens the door with a smile.

 

 


 

 
 
 
shawty got flava like a peach lifesaver: btvs: bangel looking downonly_passenger on November 25th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
“Oh, it gets better. There’s always the peanut gallery to chime in on my financial woes, too. Cue the hair-brained suggestions. I mean, who charges innocent people for saving their lives?”

“Actually…”


i laughed so hard at this. pitch perfect.

i feel like i'll not be able to write any kind of worthy feedback for this. it's amazing. it fits so well into canon. it has so much grief in it.

i really liked angel and buffy talking in the skating rink. i dug the price is right reference. (cuz, of course, he's financially smarter than she is.)

reading this feels a little like putting a face to a name, since we've discussed so much of it. i love how you did it. you pulled everything off.

and, okay. i just have to say. even though you know i have mad love for bangel (the angst! the suffering!), i otp spuffy (at least most of the time), and my favorite thing about this story, this idea, is that is answers this big buffyverse question--why would buffy go there with spike in s6? i mean, sure, we all know, but this feels like such important background when it comes to informing the spuffy relationship. i'm not even sure how to explain how perfectly it fits for me. like, l, i don't think i've ever read a fic before and just adopted it as canon, but my head does that with this, without even trying.

i feel brainless and dumb and awed and i want to use all the pretty words in the world to tell you how impressed i am, and how much your hard work paid off on this one, and how i never nom stories but will nom this one, and how the construction...the construction is so sparkling, it's such a well-crafted piece of work, your word choices, your descriptions, everything paced perfectly, just damn.

and all i can do is write a gushy nonsensical run-on sentence. well.

i'm so excited about this. thank you so much for writing it.

xoxo
s/
shawty got flava like a peach lifesaver: btvs: angel fed up animatedonly_passenger on November 25th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
oh, one more thing i forgot to say! i discovered a new pass-kink reading this story, one i totally didn't know i had, but you wrote, and now i know.

it's angel describing sex--to himself in thought or out loud--with the word fuck.

oh fucking god. *melts*
(no subject) - clawofcat on November 25th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clawofcat on November 25th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - snickfic on March 22nd, 2009 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clawofcat on April 5th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Elenamoscow_watcher on November 25th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
I love your story. I have a question: the mention of The Price is Right was intended as a reference to the events of Intervention it's just a coincidence?
ClawofCat: Spuffy feel from insideclawofcat on November 25th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you do. I put a lot of work into this particular fic. So many things could have happened between Buffy and Angel, but I wrote this with a very Spuffy aim in mind. I tried to piece together a scenario that showed how she could have been driven into the arms of an enemy turned ally, into Spike's.

As for The Price is Right reference, that was completely coincidental. I don't think Buffy was present for that exchange between Spike and Glory. I put it in mostly because that's what's on in my timezone at 11AM on a weekday, and it tied in nicely to their previous conversation about finances (and Buffy's poor handeling of them).
(no subject) - moscow_watcher on November 25th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
louise39: Buffy off black no smilelouise39 on November 25th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
The simmering feeling of loss goads her onward; he doesn’t know how to pull her back, how to exorcise this from her.
A perfect season 6 Buffy - lost, resentful, damaged and selfish all mixed together. Angel, the past love of her life, can't help her through this. The textbook reason she will turn to Spike; so he can try.

"I had to crawl out of my own coffin like some dead, evil thing, Angel. Like a vampire.”
Even I felt sorry for Angel after this remark.

Excellent story fitting into the pain and confusion of that time for Buffy.


loved this phrase,thoughts rush past him, a treacherous Audubon of reflection
ClawofCat: stake spikeclawofcat on November 26th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
A perfect season 6 Buffy - lost, resentful, damaged and selfish all mixed together.
That's interesting that you found her so negative. Compared to how I usually write S6 Buffy (that is to say depressed, destructive and miserable), I thought that this Buffy was much more balanced. She's funny and quippy, trying so hard to be okay. She loves Angel and they share affection, even if it later becomes tense and uneasy. I imagine this Buffy as straddling a fence - she hasn't been pushed over into the darkness yet, but it's looming closer. She has the building blocks of what she'll become, but she's trying to hold onto the relationship and innocence she had with Angel. It's a slippery slope, for sure.

Even I felt sorry for Angel after this remark.
Heh. I love reader interpretation. I actually hadn't intended that comment to be a slight against Angel. I was trying to tie it back into the "Came back wrong" idea that's brought up later in the season. But, after you pointed it out, I can certainly see how that's got to sting Angel.

loved this phrase,thoughts rush past him, a treacherous Audubon of reflection
Ooh, me too. Good line.

Thanks for reading, hun! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! :D
hello_spikeyhello_spikey on November 26th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
So much to love.

It's heart-wrenching, of course, and I see what you mean about this being a subversive sort of Spuffy - I mean, Spike isn't even mentioned, but the audience knows where she will find the release she isn't getting...

Oh, and I had to just love Buffy's reaction to the mundanity of Oxnard. heeeeee. "Strippers or something".
ClawofCat: coc spuffy kissclawofcat on November 30th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks, M. Glad you enjoyed. I'm very fond of this fic, even if it was difficult to write.

I mean, Spike isn't even mentioned, but the audience knows where she will find the release she isn't getting...
Presence while being absent. It's totally a kink of mine. Do you have that? Non sex kinks, like style kinks or genre or element kinks? Yeah... I love having brain sex with authors.

Oh, and I had to just love Buffy's reaction to the mundanity of Oxnard.
Heh, that was Eowyn's great idea. We were speculating where Angel and Buffy go after the rink and she suggested Oxnard, since it was a canon reference.
(no subject) - hello_spikey on November 30th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clawofcat on November 30th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Serendipityxxi: Victoryserendipityxxi on November 27th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
I love this in SO many different ways from the ice rink to Oxnard (heee!) to how Buffy is so very very broken that not even Angel can fix her, Angel's comparison of her return to Darla's and Buffy's comparison of her return to Angel's and the talk of how they left her in her grave to claw her way out like a common vamp, the mention of what he gave up for her in IWRY and how it was stupid, and how she just wants to FEEL and he makes her look at him and draws her back into the moment I could HEAR him murmuring "Be here with me" whereas Spike who doesn't know her as well or perhaps I should say who knows her in a different way lets her get lost in what they're doing. I loved the bit about how she wants him to bring her back to life (the direct line I will admit made me turn on the Evanescence song LOL) and it's just so very very THEM, the actions, the emotions, the dialogue! I've been waiting for a post-ep fic like this for a very long time! Well done :)
ClawofCat: Bangel hurtclawofcat on November 30th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thanks so much for your in-depth review. It's always great to hear which details resonated a lot with my readers. I'm a canon whore, so I love bringing in references that are familiar and locations we recognize.

I loved the bit about how she wants him to bring her back to life (the direct line I will admit made me turn on the Evanescence song LOL)
Oh, I hadn't even thought of the song! That entire set-up was really driven by the content of the movie they were watching, which is called Quills. It's one of my favs. Winslet's character is killed (as I described) and her love interest (who's a priest) visits her body and when he kisses her and she revives. They then consumate their relationship, but we later find out it's all a dream sequence. I thought the entire circumstance would really resonate with Buffy because of the parallels. Definately check it out if you can. It has a fabulous cast with Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade and Michael Cane as the villain.
(no subject) - serendipityxxi on December 1st, 2008 12:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
helygen: BA_shiphelygen on December 3rd, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
There's just so much to love about this. The language, the imagery, the gorgeous depth of feeling between them (and in each of them, separately) that you describe so eloquently - it's exquisite.
ClawofCat: buffy pensiveclawofcat on December 4th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading. I love many of the metaphors and turns of phrase I was able to think up for this piece. Water imagery goes a heck of a long way, I tell ya :)

As for the emotion between them, I'm very happy to hear it was spot on. This is my first Bangel piece. I'm not exactly in the habit of writing them together, but despite my pairing preferences, I really wanted to capture how they were as accurately as I could.
(no subject) - helygen on December 4th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clawofcat on December 4th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - helygen on December 5th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Katherine Joy Summers: Starsstars_inthe_sky on December 4th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
This is sincerely one of the best fics of this premise I've ever read. It was a perfectly appropriate combination of genuine sadness and the darkness that creeps up so quickly later on, and I loved the inclusion of the ice skating rink. Buffy in particular seemed so in character, and I appreciated the couple lines about Willow thinking she knows best. You also set up her torrid affair with Spike neatly, I found.

I'm not sure about the rounds of sex at the end--Angel has resisted temptation of that variety (including with Buffy) plenty of times in the past, and his mindset--selfless hero, celibate, thinking he knows what's best for Buffy--would seem to block that kind of thing from happening. I can completely see her wanting it, and those results resulting, but I don't know if he'd give in, ultimately. Not with the risks or her horrible circumstances--I think he has her on enough of a pedestal still to want to "make love" and not just fuck.
ClawofCat: angel tearsclawofcat on December 4th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
This is sincerely one of the best fics of this premise I've ever read.
Thank you so much for your detailed, thoughtful review. This is my first Bangel fic. I only started reading the pairing recently. When I was planning what I would write for the ficathon, I had a feeling this was probably a frequently explored premise, but I hadn't read any myself. Very nice to hear that it stands up against the stories that came before!

I'm not sure about the rounds of sex at the end
Mmm, understandable. This off-screen encounter, in my mind, could have gone in inumerable directions. It's as easy for me to see him not having sex with her as it is for me to see him going for it. I juggeled how I wanted to approach that and ultimately I went there because I felt it was important to lay the groundwork for how it is she ends up with Spike. Of course she would want happiness with the one she loves, but her hopes are dashed when she can't even have that.

As for Angel's characterization, I agree and disagree with some of what you said. The risks of soullessness tied to sex, in my mind, are pretty inconsequential at that point in their relationship. Angel has had sex with Darla and didn't lose his soul. He also later has it with Eve and Nina (He's anything but celibate). It's not the sex itself, and under the circumstances they find themselves in here, there's really no risk of perfect happiness. He does resist Buffy's advances for much of the fic, of course, which falls into the "knowing what's best for Buffy" category. But I also disagree that he's selfless. Angel makes decisions that he believes will be for the greater good (which usually have devestating consequences - Buffy, Connor, Fred to name a few), but they're motivated by desires he has, like acting in one's best interests when he really may not be. What ultimately drives Angel to go there with Buffy (while never giving up control and working to bring her back and calm her) is selfishness. He reailzes that the erased day was senseless, that he denied himself something amazing and he regrets the decision. He wants to have that physical experience with her, but not on her terms. So he capitulates and then steers the experience into the mold he wants and that he think is better for Buffy.

I hope that explains some of my thinking when I was considering characterization. Of course, that's just my take ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Con-crit is always welcome and appreciated.
(no subject) - stars_inthe_sky on December 4th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Trepkostrepkos on February 8th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)
This was great - Buffy's characterisation spot on.
ClawofCat: buffy smileclawofcat on February 10th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I put a lot of work into this fic and how I wanted to depict this Buffy. I'm glad it worked for you.
annegables on February 9th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
I have been waiting for this and it was worth it. This is really quite a believable scenerio and I could see Angel giving in and sleeping with her because he knows she needs it and that there will be no perfect happiness. Looking forward to more B/A fic from you!
ClawofCat: Bangel shelterclawofcat on February 10th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I have been waiting for this and it was worth it.
I'm glad I didn't disappoint! I tried being very careful how I built up this day they spend together, so the fact that you found it believable is a relief.

I have no B/A fic planned at the moment, but I definately wouldn't rule out writing them again in the future. Thanks for reading!
AWALawaal on September 13th, 2014 11:00 am (UTC)
The greatest compliment I can give as a B/A shipper is that this fic makes me appreciate Spuffy

Its gut wrenching and heartbreaking how Angel is completely inadequate.

This was committed to memory as cannon long ago.

Upon re-reading it is as lovely as ever.