snickfic: (Anya final stand)
I'm rewatching some S7 for [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy purposes, and my main reactions are:

Aw, Andrew.

AW, ANYA. How much do I love thee? Very many ways. Anya trying to get the pizza stain out of Buffy's shirt, and Anya freaking about Xander's date, and Anya saying, "Well, also I'm going to pee, so you should probably go." And I love her hair this season. And just... yeah. I <3 Anya.

In other news, what one earth is Buffy wearing on her date with Wood? It looks like she has a mantilla wrapped around her waist.
snickfic: (Default)
It's that time again. Rather than writing more on the [livejournal.com profile] winter_of_faith thing (which I'm gonna do here any minute now, because it's due tomorrow), I recorded another session of the 30 days of Buffy. I don't know how [livejournal.com profile] quinara manages to answer five questions in one go, because it took me fifteen minutes on two questions this time. Sigh.

Day 2 (Favorite Song) and Day 2 (Favorite Female Character - Anya, Buffy, Dawn)
15:23 minutes
snickfic: (Tara)
Yanno, the costumers really glammed up a few people in S5. Most notable is Tara, who goes from S4 frumpiness to the one here in my icon - makeup, actual hairdressing, and clothes of a hippy-cool flavor to complement Willow's funky-cool. She's gorgeous, basically.

But Buffy's a lot more glamorous in S5, too. Partly it's the longer hair, which is now always styled in those big loose curls. It's the makeup, too, especially the darker shades of lipstick. I'm not convinced this new look makes her more mature so much as just harder. The big angst is only just starting (housemate and I watched "Shadow" tonight), but already Buffy's nearing that edge.

And, I'd forgotten just how adorable a character Anya is in S5. Like here:

[To suave!Xander] You can't make it any different. I'm going to get old and you can't promise you'll be with me when I'm wrinkly and my teeth are artificial and stuck into my wrinkly mouth with an adhesive.

(5.5 "No Place Like Home")

What kind of demon is she? There's a lot of different kinds, some are very very evil, some have been considered to be useful members of society...

(5.6 "Family")

GILES: All that aside, I should think you'd be pleased to avoid the confrontation [when Riley blew up the vamp crypt by himself].
ANYA: That's what I've been saying. I mean, I, for one, wasn't looking forward to
starting my day with a slaughter. (thoughtfully, pleased with herself) Which, really, just goes to show how much I've grown.

(5.8 "Shadow")

Aww. And pretty soon we'll be to her speech in "The Body," which gets my vote for THE Anya moment and all by itself is enough to justify Anya's entire existence as a character.
snickfic: (anya bunnies)
This wee, belated Xander/Anya drabble is for [livejournal.com profile] amory_vain in the Fall Fandom Free-For-All. Beware the angst. Angst and woe!

Also, Happy Thanksgiving! :)

The Game of Life
Anya, post-"Hell's Bells"

In a jewelry box on her dresser Anya keeps a small blue plastic geometric person. Blue: the person to ride next to her in the small plastic car, to make small pink and blue geometric babies with, to retire at Millionaire Estates with (or to Countryside Acres, because better there with Xander than anywhere else alone, even with money).

The blue person always gets in the car, she notes. Never jumps out again, either. That's why the game isn't actually life, whatever the name.

She returns the plastic person to the rings and clutter, fingers D’Hoffryn’s token, and begins to chant.
snickfic: (Spike Dawn friendless)
For icon text winner [livejournal.com profile] angearia, who requested Anya and Spike bonding, with optional bonus Dawn. Hope you like, hon, though it ended up with less bonding and more angst than I meant.

Toppings
“Vamp in charge here,” argued Spike. “I’ll order.” Because if pizza mattered, then something mattered, even when...

“I have a concussion,” said Anya, “and I’m bruised in many uncomfortable places. I should get to choose.”

“I’m the one taking care of you lot,” said Spike. While the others grieved by killing things. “It's babysitter’s prerogative.”

“You don’t even need to eat.”

“Technicality,” said Spike. “Besides, I’ve got seniority. Barbeque.”

“I’m over eleven hundred years old. Sicilian chicken.”

“I'm as old as the world,” whispered Dawn from the couch. They were the first words she’d spoken since breakfast.

They had pepperoni.
snickfic: (anya bunnies)
So I'm signed up to write "fluff about Anya challenging the patriarchy, and Xander being amused" for the Fall Fandom Free-For-All, and I'm coming up blank. Prompt me, please? The 'challenging the patriarchy' bit doesn't actually need to be explicit; I just need, yanno, Anya being all under-socialized and awesome and such, as she usually is.
snickfic: (anya bunnies)
Apparently, [livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42, when I said I had a 'short piece' about Anya, what I really meant was that I had a drabble. Anyway, here 'tis.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the characterization here; it's definitely not my last word on this facet of Anya's character.

Title stolen from Pixar. Icon not actually appropriate to subject matter.

Up
Anya, circa S4
PG-13 for adult concepts

Up )
snickfic: (anya bunnies)
I know, I'm just a postin' fool, but it suddenly occurred to me how much Anya's slow awkward reconnection with humanity could have benefited from a friendship with Joyce. She'd be font of wisdom on all those topics that Xander couldn't address - like, say, Xander.

Save Buffy and Dawn, everyone in the Buffyverse is so woefully unparented. Poor confused chicklets.
snickfic: (anya bunnies)
I come bearing recs! Losing DSL will severely limit my fic reading, so this'll probably be the last recs post for quite a while.

Gunpowder Tea, by [livejournal.com profile] antennapedia
Spoilers through 3.9 "The Wish" (sort of)
After a new Slayer is called, Wesley goes to Cleveland to put the old one to rest--except she's less dead than he expected. I have a bit of a yen for Buffy/Wesley, although I'm not quite sure why; I'd blame it on Minim Calibre's "Absolution" except that there the ship was neither long-term nor particularly functional, which is what I usually like in my ships. Regardless, this is a lovely, more hopeful look at the possibilities, nominally set in the Wishverse although it could as easily be in a cracky world of the author's own devising (and considering Buffy's end in "The Wish," I think I prefer the latter option).

Roses, by [livejournal.com profile] antennapedia
Spoilers through 6.17 "Hell's Bells"
And another one by this author that I'd heard of but never managed to actually read much of before. She writes wonderfully smooth, evocative prose and describes just enough explicit emotion. I suspect I'll be reading a bunch more of her stuff, but for now I'll just recommend what I have read. This is Giles/Anya in a sweet and very plausible what-if scenario just after the Wedding that Wasn't.

Baby Blue, by anaross
post-NFA
Just when Spike and Buffy finally start working things out, Illyria brings Spike a baby and tells him it's his. I gather that anaross is one of the 'classic' Spuffy authors, and rightly so: this is wonderfully written, with lots of little touches of characterization and plenty of empathy. It also harks back to classical mythology with one of the neatest bits of Buffyverse worldbuilding I've seen in a while, and a particular passage in it now has me wishing for some good Spike/Illyria fic.

Sideways, by [livejournal.com profile] goldenusagi - WIP
Spoilers for, um, characters? *scratches head*
This regularly updated WIP falls somewhere between a canon AU, where the story diverges from some identifiable point in canon, and a "fantasy" (or all-human) AU, where there just so happen to be characters that bear some physical resemblance to the vampires and Slayer we know and love. All the canon mythology and most of the characters are here, in flamboyant new combinations. This is Spike/Buffy first and foremost, so smoothly written and with such confident remixing of the elements that I don't really mind its rather more traditional than canon approach to its good-girl/bad-boy romance.

Man's Best Friend, by [livejournal.com profile] tkp - WIP
Angel post-NFA
After it's over, the survivors (Angel, Spike, Illyria, and Nina) pick up the pieces. Also, Angel gets a dog. This fic uses the titular canine to spark a long character study of Angel and the Angel-Spike relationship. By turns hilarious and poignant in its pitch-perfect characterization of all parties. On long hiatus and possibly abandoned, but it hardly matters: this is journey-not-destination fic.

drabbles by [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds
You know how last time I recced everything [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds had ever written? I completely failed to realize that she'd written drabbles! Lots and lots of drabbles, and in her hands a drabble is like a chocolate-covered espresso bean: crunchy, sweet and sharp by turns, and packing a lot more punch than you'd expect in something so small. A few to get you started: Changed (which makes an S5 connection I'd always wondered about), In Season Six, Buffy Breaks... (what it says on the tin), and We Could Call It Clem! Or Maybe Not (a post-NFA thing which has nothing whatsoever to do with Clem).

Crushed Spaiku, by [livejournal.com profile] mere_ubu
Spoilers through 5.14 "Crush"
"Crush," in haiku. No, seriously. And they're good haiku. How is it that even in seventeen-syllable bites, Spike still manages to break my heart? Mere has also written a bunch of other Spike-centric haiku, including a great sum-up of the apology scene in "Triangle."

The Spikeid, by [livejournal.com profile] quinara
post-NFA
Epic poetry in Spike-voice. What's not to love? I think the first stanza might be the best.

Breaking Dawn, by [livejournal.com profile] joe_sweden
post-NFA (vaguely)
Now for some fluff: In a rosy Spuffy future, Spike and Dawn talk Twilight.
snickfic: (Default)
Themeless
Stuff that didn't fit anywhere else, but didn't deserve to be shunted down to the bottom

After the Fall, by ElenaB
1. Two Ravens - Xander
2. Les Noyades - Spike
3. Book of Days - Anya
4. Mea Maxima Culpa - Giles
5. Little Mouse Sounds - Tara
6. Case #9323 - Dawn
7. Ingression - Willow
Spoilers through the end of S5
Ensemble fics dealing with the aftermath of "The Gift" are a dime a dozen, and I tend to read a lot of them because I like ensemble fics (and fics that pry Spike away from Buffy, even for just a little while). For my money, this is the best of the lot. They're are not only written really well, they're a prime example of the the amazing things that can happen when you play with POV - ElenaB gets more and more experimental as she goes. The character voices are right-on, the emotion understated yet nearly overwhelming, the dialogue slantwise and indirect and realistic.

The Xander, Spike, and Dawn pieces are my favorites (though beware the heavy pre-slash overtones), but the Giles piece is also an interesting take, and I wish the show had done something with Tara a little more like what her piece here does. This is some of the best fic I've read in the fandom, full stop.

Five in One, by [livejournal.com profile] selenak
Spoilers through Angel S5 "Why We Fight," kind of
Selena gives us Spike from some new perspectives and reminds us that he is not a fluffy bunny. IMO, everyone who writes Spike needs to read this or something like it once in a while.

And while you're reading this, you might as well read everything else Selena has written in the Buffyverse, even if the description doesn't sound like something you'd be interested in, because it's all good. Try Five Things That Never Happened to Warren, for example (and then read the DVD commentary that goes with it). Or try First Sights, Last Sights, a heartbreaking summary of Buffy/Spike from the perspective of a nonshipper. Read the Darla fics I'm reccing below. And then, when you're done with those, go wander her blog and find the fantastic essays, like this, which is the best deconstruction of "Restless" I've ever seen.

Absolution, Part I, Part II, by Minim Calibre
AU post Buffy late S6, Angel late S3
A one night stand. A baby. Fifteen years later, a Slayer. This is one of those oddball pieces that I might not have liked as well as I did except it was so far away from anything else I'd seen. But I did like it, so there. In particular, I very much like the idea of AU Willow growing up to be a Watcher. Also of interest is Anchored, which is an alternate POV of (mostly) the same events, though with an alternate ending.

Perfect World, by cousinjean
AU post S6
Halfrek, ever-helpful vengeance demon, tricks drunken Spike into making a wish - and you thought Cordy's wish-world was bad... I complain a lot about sappy Buffy/Spike stories, but this isn't one of them. Cousinjean skillfully balances plottiness and emotional depth. Her premises are creative, her writing smooth, and she integrates canon material in clever and unexpected ways. This is the best of her pieces, IMO, and also one of my favorite "Spike comes back with his soul" stories.

Nothing to Say, by WesleysGirl
Spoilers through S5 "The Gift"
Spike and Giles on the road, with no place to go. I mentioned before that I had a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stuff. This ficlet is a quiet, desolate piece.

Only Game in Town, by [livejournal.com profile] doyle_sb4
Ats post-series
Another post-apoc ficlet: after the end of the world, Spike plays cards. Also desolate, and with a last line that gut punches you with the irony.

Bit Players, by [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds
Spoilers through S2 "Halloween"
Even though Harmony went to Ethan's shop looking for a "high class hooker" costume, this is really more about the extreme geekitude than it is about the (R-rated) sex. Look, a Jonathan!

Rearview, by [livejournal.com profile] etothey
Crossover with Bones; Spoilers through all of Angel
Remember I was looking for Bones/Angel crossovers a while back? This is the best of them. [livejournal.com profile] etothey is one of those folks that was already a writer before she tried her hand at fanfic, and I'd adore everything she's written if we didn't have such divergent tastes - she's a mostly Angel, mostly Angel kind of gal. If that's your thing, you should try the rest of her stuff. I did quite enjoy her post-NFA MarySuefic, Hell is Other People's Dishes.


Riley
I love Spike as a character, but for a stable, longterm relationship I always thought Riley was Buffy's best bet (before the writers threw him to some vamps and then stuck him on a helicopter, I mean). Yet it's darned difficult to find fic about him. Here's some.

Another Quiet War, by Marina Frants
Spoilers through S4
After "Restless," Riley goes home to Iowa to get his head straight, but you know what they say about going home again. Frants is the only fic author I've found who only writes Riley, and she does it really well. This piece is my favorite, but see also her fascinating take on the history between Riley and Maggie Walsh, Hazy Shade of Winter, as well as a bit of fluff about Riley and Buffy on an actual happy date (except for the flat tires and the mud) called Some Enchanted Evening.

Home From the Great Escape, by Cynthia Liskow
Spoilers through early S6 "Gone"; Jossed by "As You Were"
Clean, Riley comes back to Sunnydale to take care of unfinished business, which almost finishes him. Better than I've made it sound, honest. The Spike portrayal is appropriate and rather terrifying, if you're a Spike fan.

One Last Call, by ?
A ficlet. Long after, Spike and Riley are friends.

And heck, while I'm talking about Riley:
The Quality of Mercy, by Yahtzee
Spoilers through Buffy S5 "Crush," Angel S2 "Epiphany"
"Just as Angel's putting his life back together, Riley shows up, falling apart."


Darla
I loathed her in Buffy and then I saw her in Angel and... didn't hate her anymore. In fact, all three of my completed Buffyfics are about Darla. Here are some others, all of the non-shippy variety.

The Haunting, Hunted Kind, by [livejournal.com profile] selenak
Spoilers through Angel S4
At odd moments Darla keeps getting visits from a ghost of the future. This is the single-best thing I've seen from Darla's POV. Poignant, even though I don't like Connor and haven't seen S4.

Her Fault, by [livejournal.com profile] selenak
Spoilers through Angel S2
So the crew has just gotten back from Pylea when Cordelia gets a vision to go rescue... Darla. No way she's going to bother Angel with this, so she troops off alone, and gets into difficulties, of course. And maybe realizes some things. Have I mentioned I love unlikely allies stories? And enemies-who-have-to-talk-to-each-other-stories?

Plus a few more Darla pieces: Melymbrosia's ficlet Maternity is just a brief meditation by Darla, on the titular topic. Christina Kamnikar's Expectations is a longer piece on the same theme. Finally, [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds's I'm Not Supposed To Be Like This has Darla, in desperation, going to Spike for help.


Buffy, in Any Other Form
Marina Frants' The Geekado explains how S4 was really written. Doubtless I'd appreciate this more if I were actually familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan, but it's pretty funny anyway.

In [livejournal.com profile] londonkds's The Tragedy of Buffy, Slayer of Sunnydale, the Trio has summoned a demon that has everyone talking in iambic pentameter (except for the clown, of course).

Linda R. Barlow's A Midsummer's Nightmare is even more explicit about its Shakespearean roots. It's unfinished, but the first scene is the best, anyway. If she weren't trying to fit it into early S7 chronology, I'd have said Darla would have been the perfect Titania...


WIP
I hate it when people rec works in progress and then don't say they're works in progress. Well, these are works in progress and all but one of them will probably remain so forever, and for one reason or another they're each so good that I'm recommending them to you anyway.

Base Elements, by limber
AU post-S6
Two years after Spike leaves, Dawn spots him in NH and eventually drags him back across the country to Sunnydale via road trip. There's more - this was meant to be a large-scale Buffy/Spike story - but those first twelve chapters practically stand alone and they're the best part, anyway. Then again, I'm a total sucker for Spike+Dawn+(road trip).

The Waiting Season and Waking the Dead (NC-17), by Annie Sewell-Jennings
AU post-S6
"The Waiting Season" is finished and Waking the Dead is not, and together they are the single best attempt I've seen to deal realistically with all the broken relationships at the end of season 6. The bits with Willow and with Anya are especially strong.

Seven Years in a Desert, by Caro ([livejournal.com profile] spikewriter)
AU post-S6 (I'm noticing a trend here...)
I'm having trouble articulating just what it is about this author's approach that I like so much. For one thing, although Seven Years in a Desert is unabashedly Buffy/Spike, it comes the closest to anything I've seen of developing Spike into his own person, separate from Buffy. For another, Caro takes a much warmer, more humane (for lack of a better word) approach to the characters; in her fic, the Buffyverse is simply not quite so dire a place as Joss Whedon thinks it is, even though it retains all the Sturm und Drang he put there. Her perspective reminds me, oh so vaguely, of the feeling I get from reading Bujold.

The story switches between 2003, when souled Spike is tentatively renewing his relationship with Buffy, and 2009, when Buffy is about to get married to some other guy and Spike is in London working for the Watchers' Council. Unfortunately, the finished chapters haven't quite reached the big blowups that are obviously coming in both timelines; fortunately, this is the one WIP that I think might actually get finished. Caro has posted an additional five chapters to her LJ, the most recent less than a year ago, so there is hope! And while you're visiting her LJ you should check out all her other bits and pieces - there's a lot of humor in the ficlets that didn't make it into the novel.

snickfic: (Default)
The Lilac City, by [livejournal.com profile] nwhepcat
Spoilers for all of BtvS
Well written, plotty, novel-length fic about Xander's slow healing process five years post-"Chosen." The narrative voice is sure-handed with no fluff, and the character interactions and voices are spot-on. Plus, Faith! I love the regional detail - it's set near my childhood stomping grounds, and it fills me with all kind of squee to think of Xander Harris wandering through them.

Shadow Though It Be, by [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26
Spoilers for all of BtvS
30-chapter fic in which a young itinerant ex-academic from our universe stumbles into season 5 of Buffy. The author calls her a Mary Sue character, but if more Mary Sues were so articulate, so witty, and so humanly flawed there'd be far fewer objections to them. Everyone else is wonderfully written, too - I think this author has ruined me for flat Giles depictions. Plus, fun meta and lots of literary humor!

She's written plenty more in the same universe here as well as some neat standalone pieces such as "Shoe Money Tonight", in which the core four play some poker post-"Chosen."

"All Wrong", by Herself
AU post-"Smashed"; NC-17
I said I didn't read smut, but if I were to admit to reading it, this is what I'd point to (although I'd also, if pressed, admit to skipping the smutty parts). "All Wrong" is the first piece in an ongoing story over several hundred thousand words and thirty years. Beautifully written, this is for you if you have any hope at all for Buffy/soulless-Spike.

"The Valorous Vampire: An Examination of Souled Vampires, Fatal Attraction to the Slayer, and Roles in the Fight of Good vs. Evil, By Lydia M. Sothesby," by Gwyneth Rhys
Spoilers through early S7
The Watcher who wrote her dissertation on William the Bloody has written another paper. This is half a fannish summation of the whole vampires-and-souls issue, half the squeeing of an academic with perhaps a more than professional interest in her subject.

"'Ships that Pass into Type", by HonorH
No spoilers
The Buffy crew reads fanfic. Yay, meta!

"In The Same Boat, by Mad Poetess
No spoilers; Firefly crossover.
After Spike's rescued by Serenity as salvage, of course it's River who's not afraid of him. Great voices all around, and sort of sweet.

"THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE CRACKING MOSH TOAD (fragor beelzebufo), by A.C.E. Jenkins" (yes, really) by [livejournal.com profile] lordshiva
Crossover with Dr. Who (10th Doctor), spoilers through the end of the second season; spoilers for Buffy through late season 6.
As described by the author: "Anya has a business plan. The Doctor executes a hostile takeover." Perfect, yes, perfect voices. Bittersweet yet funny, as it should be.

"Splinter", by Yahtzee and Rheanna
Angel fic with spoilers through the end of season 2.
On their way back from Pylea, Team Angel hits a snag. A more pitiable and nuanced exploration of the "Angel goes bad" idea than was ever explored in the show.

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