snickfic: (Willow)
Title: Banked
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Willow/Kendra
Words / Rating: 1100 words / rated G
Spoilers: through 2.22 "Becoming II"
Summary: The apocalypse means Willow's magic is getting pretty good. It isn't the only thing that's changing.

A/N: Written for the apocalyptic round of [livejournal.com profile] femslash_minis for [livejournal.com profile] snogged, who asked for the Slayer handbook, the mall, and "Little Black Holes That Open Up, Destroy Things, and Disappear."

This is a weird one, y'all. I can't really explain what's going on in the background, other than that canon's been doing quite a bit of diverging. Also that the apocalypse is treating Willow pretty well, all things considered.

Willow waited in the double entry between the inner and outer doors, her palm hot with the banked fires of the unity orb Giles had helped her bind this morning.  )
snickfic: (Darla)
This is apparently the recs post of ficlets about people not Spuffy. I don't think Spike appears once in these fics. I ask you, what's the world coming to?

Much Buffyverse fic goodness this way! )
snickfic: (Spuffy deep)
Short short character study pieces here, some longer shippy angst, and something very silly.

Triplicate, by [livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni
A brief, chilling, sympathetic, entirely believable character study of Willow post-series. Not to be missed.

Reckless, by [livejournal.com profile] angearia
Another of Emmie's forays into Faith/Giles, this is the first one with explicitly shippy action in it, as well as a tour through Faith's head that'll just break your heart. A lovely piece.

Something, by [livejournal.com profile] gryfndor_godess
Absolutely gorgeous Spuffy suggestion of how things might have turned out post-S7 if Spike hadn't burned to death in "Chosen," but also very clever in subverting certain standard fannish expectations. Just excellently written. SEVERE ANGST WARNING.

Grauidus, by [livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42
Lauren wrote happy fluffy established-relationship Spuffy mpreg! Awww. With possibility of more! I may be a wee bit biased about this one, folks. But: characterization is sympathetic yet clear-eyed, as usual with Lauren, and explicit mpreg details are few, for those of you who shy away from such. This is in the same fic universe as Infinitas Infinitio Infinitus, which is also lovely, but you can read this just fine without reading that.

Morning is Broken, by [livejournal.com profile] beer_good_foamy
And now for the very silly. One morning in S7, Dawn discovers beer bear in the fridge (good thing Spike wasn't living with them yet, eh?). It gets worse from there. Sort of a Jasper Fforde crossover, if you squint.
snickfic: (Giles Xander fascinating)
[livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42 was talking about how much she hates Xander Harris, and it got me thinking about character bashing in fic. As I told her, I don’t hate Xander; he adds a nice flavor to the narrative soup. He provides comic relief (even when it isn’t funny). He asks stupid-yet-necessary questions. He’s useful.

And in individual terms, I mostly just don’t care about him. However, I see intellectually a lot of the problems other folks have with him. I can sympathize. You’ve got your mysogyny, your patronization of the girlfriend, etc.

Yet I *can’t* deal with character bashing of Xander. Can’t. )
snickfic: (Spike hostile 17)
Well, whaddya know. Fic! I wrote this over at the small fandom and rare pairing drabblethon. (For which, incidentally, [livejournal.com profile] slippery_fish wrote me a lovely, angsty Faith/Giles ficlet. You should all go read it.)

I was going to clean it up and make it, I dunno, deeper or something. But then I didn't. So here 'tis.

Title: Little Red and the Big Bad
Spoilers / Words: BtVS 4.7 "The Initiative" - 1400 words
Characters: Willow/Spike (ish)
Rating: PG

It’s a week after the fang disfunction that Willow sees Spike again, lurking behind a tree just five steps off the library-Stevenson shortcut. )
snickfic: (Willow)
Another [livejournal.com profile] still_grrr drabble, this time for the prompt black and/or anxious. I got both. And hey! S3!

Cured Skins of Dead Animals )
snickfic: (Willow)
Title: Paper Gowns and Hospital Crowns
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, pre-series and circa 7.19 "Empty Places"
Characters: Willow, Xander
Word Count/Rating: ~1100; PG
A/N: Written for the Willow round at [livejournal.com profile] genfic_minis for [livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip, who wanted Xander, old photos, and a hat. Turned out, she got more than one hat.

Beta'd by the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42. Honorable mention as a fannish resource goes to [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle, for her Tribute to Willow's Hats.

Disclaimer: None of these character are belong to me. They are belong to Whedon, Greenwalt, ME, and co.

The first time Willow ever visited Xander in the hospital, she followed his Uncle Rory down the tiled hallway, shivering in the air-conditioned chill and and clutching her wrapped package with determined unworry. )
snickfic: (OzWill)
And another drabble. Incidentally, I'm still accepting prompts, no strings attached.

Fifth Sense
For [livejournal.com profile] angearia: Oz/Willow

He could smell it on her: the magic. The wolf probably read the whole scent like a fragrant guitar riff, but he couldn’t remember that. Human, all he smelled was the Willow-smell, apples and incense and organic fibers. But in the seconds-long dusk between, he caught the tang of other things, rich and deep, and it was no wonder to him how she could love them. He could distrust that tang, but he couldn’t hate it. What he hated was how it seeped into the Willow-smell until, in the last wolfish moment before dark, he couldn’t find her at all.
snickfic: (OzWill)
1. I noticed this with S4, but it's become even more obvious to me here: I prefer the serious eps the first time around, but I enjoy the happy/fluffy eps more in the rewatch. So, here, "Reptile Boy" and "Some Assembly Required" and "Inca Mummy Girl" are all good fun, whereas I found them horribly cheesy before.

2. Okay, this quote? This quote is ironic and way creepy when you take Darla into consideration:
ANGEL
I hated the girls back then.
Especially the noblewomen.

BUFFY
You did?

ANGEL
They were just incredibly dull.
Simpering morons, the lot of them.
I always wished I could meet someone...
exciting. Interesting.

See? Buffy's really not even in the picture here. It's all about Darla.

3. You know, "Lie to Me" is a just a great episode. It introduces bigger, more morally gray questions than we'd ever seen before, the Spike/Dru scenes are fantastic, the plot with Billy Fordham is interesting (even if the actor wasn't all that great), and that last scene with Buffy and Giles is perfect.

4. Willow. Oh, Willow. How much she changed in just two seasons. You'd think her transition from awkward nerd to quirky alterna-girl would be a positive thing, but it's pretty clear from her comments throughout S4 (especially in "Restless") that she didn't so much grow out of her nerdiness as learn to hide it better. The longer I look at her arc over the course of the series, the more I marvel at how consistent it is, for the most part, and how depressing. She never accepted who she was, she just kept trying to compensate for it, via her guitarist boyfriend (not that I'm saying that's why she was with him, but she definitely liked the cachet), progressively funkier clothes, and of course magic. Magic became a key element in her perception of herself.

In S2, she's still a total dork, but she's a sweet dork, a genuine, sincere person. By early S4, she's ceased to be a person I can relate to or would choose to be close friends with (although I have a serious crush on her hair). I'm curious now to see just when this transition happens; I remember that ep in S3 when she gets kidnapped being a major turning point, but I'll need to see it again to compare.

5. And, riffing on #4 - who could have predicted in S2 that the three characters in the season who'd change the most over the course of the series would be Cordelia, Willow, and Spike? And by 'change' I mean experience permanent development, not just a temporary post-resurrection depression or post-coital soullessness. (I'd imagine some people would put Buffy in this list, too - have I mentioned today that I still can't quite see Buffy?. However, it seems to me that most of her character growth is at least glimpsed by the end of S2, and that the next five seasons then riff on that growth.)
snickfic: (Default)
A general note on recs: since I’ve been in the fandom less than a year, I regularly discover old fic that I want to squee about. So, there’s no guarantee of anything here being new, just good.

Culture Vultures, by Yahtzee
post-Chosen
Oz, Willow, Faith, and an OFC go to a museum, and craziness ensues. I've read stuff by Yahtzee before and even recced some of it, and I've always found it thoughtful and smoothly told, but this is the story of hers I've fallen in love with. Much as I warmed up to Tara there at the end, if I had an OTP, it'd be Oz/Willow. Here they are, sort of, maybe picking up the threads of old romance while Willow tries to figure out who she dares to be. Plus: Faith!

The Scourge Does Titipu, by [livejournal.com profile] rebcake
pre-series
Pretty much what it says on the tin: post-play, the Fanged Four quote Gilbert&Sullivan (some of which is, as Rebcake points out, remarkably Jossian in tone and subject matter). Rebcake has been writing elegant little historical ficlets for a while now, but this is my favorite for the clever use of the referenced material, the perfect voices and the fun character interaction on an evening when all four vamps are in equitable moods.

Dawning, by [livejournal.com profile] goldenusagi
Spoilers through 4.8 "Pangs"
You guys know I'm a sucker for Spike and Dawn together, right? This series of ficlets chronicles their encounters up through mid-S4, and is on my very short list of "fics that might as well be canon." Brief, sparingly told, with exactly the right amounts of skepticism and covert curiosity on both sides.

The Last Hurrah of the Golden... Handshake? by [livejournal.com profile] speakr2customrs
Spoilers through Angel NFA
This drabble is for irate copyeditors everywhere, and is possibly also my favorite AU ending to "Not Fade Away." And did I mention it’s funny?

Many Happy Returns, by [livejournal.com profile] erimthar
post-Chosen
A ficlet that illustrates the Xander and Buffy friendship more clearly than almost anything else I've seen in fic. Brief, quiet, poignant, darkly humorous, and with brilliant Xander-voice.

In League With Serpents and http://www.dark-solace.org/elysian/viewstory.php?sid=300, by WeyrWolfen
Vague spoilers through 6.17 "Hell's Bells"
Spike wins a smalled winged serpent in a poker game, and she proceeds to turn his life upside down. WeyrWolfen is fast becoming one of my favorite authors of plotty, sweet, romantic Spike/Buffy adventure stories. She confidently builds stories around the new supernatural elements she introduces to the Buffyverse milieu and manages the trick of making those new elements intriguing in their own right, while also peppering her fics with sparkling bits of character insight and nice turns of phrase. Plus, I love her Spike, who's struggling and befuddled and well-intentioned despite his best efforts. This story and sequel are my favorites so far, but Cycle of Rebirths, about Buffy and Spike's link to a long-dead Japanese Slayer and her husband, is also fun, plus it has the fabulous, completely Spike- and Buffy-free sort-of sequel Wash Cycle, which has one of the best, funniest original demon characters I've ever read. Also recommended is To Ride a Pale Horse, the mid-Ats S5 zombie apocalypse WIP, which she’s writing with AtheneWolfe.
snickfic: (Default)
No categories this time, just good fic all over.

  • Daemons Luminati, by Kalima
    Spoilers through S6 "As You Were"
    Brilliant. In my top five best Buffyfics ever. How can I even say how many ways I love this fic? It drips characterization. It's beautifully and lyrically written. It's painful and broken like everything in S6 was, and yet it gives me a hopeful Spike/Buffy that I can believe in. It's not perfect - it's not always clear what's happened or even whether or not I'm supposed to know yet, and after reading it three times (because it's worth it!) I'm still not quite sure I get the metaphysics. Still, if I could write imperfection like this...

  • Alternative Lifestyle, by A.C. Chapin
    Spoilers though sometime mid-S3
    This fic is cracked out in so many directions at once, I don't even know how to describe it. Suffice to say that this is Ripper/Annie in a harsher, sharper-edged Buffyverse, it's beautifully written, and it's not nearly long enough.

  • You Think She’s an Open Book (but you don’t know which page to turn to), by [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds
    Angel post-NFA
    Lorne is an administrator in Hell, sort of, greeting a group of refugees from the home dimension - including one little girl who sings a familiar song. I don't want to give away any more, but oh so sad. I gather that this is somehow related to the Angel: After the Fall comics, but I haven't read them and I had no trouble with it.

    And, like [livejournal.com profile] selenak last time, you might as well go read everything else [livejournal.com profile] spuffyduds has written, because it all rocks. I already recced "Bit Players" and "I'm Not Supposed to Be Like This," but there's lots of other good stuff. And I Will Therefore Fix It is a really fantastic revisit of Willow's "Restless," mid-"Bargaining," full of allusions and S6 foreshadowing. Blood Calls to Blood is a totally canon-friendly 'tween-seasons BtVS/Ats crossover in which Wesley and Connor go to crazy!Spike looking for help in finding Angel. If you haven't had your S6 Spuffy heartbreak yet this week, check out the last segment (NC-17) of Five Ways Buffy Summers Didn't Die (the other segments are good, too). Mostly gen, none terribly long, all full of wonderful characterization and tidbits of spot-on humor. Go forth and read!

  • Corpus et Sanguis, by Trekker
    Spoilers through S5 "The Gift"; NC-17
    This would be the "Ethan Rayne knocks up Giles" Giles/Willow fic. That is, it's the one with really excellent characterization, the one that handles it premise seriously and with aplomb, the one that made me wonder why Giles/Willow never seemed an obvious pairing before, the one that managed to win me over despite Willow cheating on Tara. Seriously, if the premise doesn't totally squick you out, give this a try.

  • Alas, Poor William. I Knew Him Well, by [livejournal.com profile] ruuger
    No spoilers
    Relatively harmless, absolutely hilarious pre-series Spike/Dru hijinks. "It's a watermelon," Spike said, as if putting it into words might change the fact. It didn't. "A watermelon," he repeated, just in case.

  • Gay Me Up, by Caia
    Spoilers through S7 "First Date"
    "Spike takes Xander at his word." Starts out hilarious and turns thoughtful. As the author says, "No homosexuals were harmed in the making of this fic."

    And hey, this is another of those authors prone to bite-sized fics with awesome characterization (apparently the buzzword of this post). Caia has a definite Spike/Buffy bent (see The Unmasking for possibly my favorite completed Ats S5 Spuffy reunion fic; or Tekubi for maybe my favorite such WIP, in which Spike's arms aren't returned to him post-"Damage") but it's by no means always a happy bent - see La Meilleure Revanche for next week's bit of S6 Spuffy heartbreak. Good stuff all around.
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.

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