freecat15: (got it done)
Between work, jumping through hoops for a broken-leg kid and delightfully spending hours in clinic waiting rooms again I finally found a little time to write the next of 55 days of BtVS. Took me long enough.


Day 10: Favorite male character


Spike. Always was, always will be.

My whole life I’ve been a sucker for bad boys with a soft side, and Spike fits this description perfectly from his first moments on the show. But it’s so much more than that.

Until he shows up, vampires are either evil and dumb or evil and annoying. Or soul-having and boring. Spike is different from the beginning, and it’s no coincidence that the show’s quality picks up notably from the moment he appears. He adds a dynamic to it that hasn’t been there before; he’s unpredictable – fun at one moment, threatening the next,



delightfully evil first, soft and tender immediately after.



It takes all of two scenes on screen for him to show that he’s not the stereotype vampire we knew until then, but a wonderfully layered character and a captivating new Big Bad at that.

But it doesn’t stop there. His character, already so much more interesting from the get go than most of the others, experiences the most changes and growth that I have seen in any show to date.  It’s not only marked by a beautiful and impressing redemption arc, but it turns out that this is only the last part of his many transformations.

As we see in Fool for Love, after 3 years of knowing him, he started out completely different than we always thought - as a shy and bullied-by-his-peers Victorian gentleman who cares deeply for his mother.



He then becomes a vampire that still cares and is capable of deep emotions such as love and devotion, reinvents himself to the evil Spike we get to know in all his bad-ass-ness,



only to fall victim to the one trait neither turning nor self-modeling could take away – his ability to love.

It’s what makes his redemption arc so special and the most beautiful I know of on screen – he again changes fundamentally, and this time knowingly, willingly, for love. It’s not the chip setting him on this path (though it certainly helps with the awareness); with the chip he’s still absolutely enjoying his work of destroying the bond of friendship surrounding the Slayer, and his evilness altogether. It’s the moment when realization hits him that he has fallen in love with her that changes everything. The moment he wakes up and knows it, he’s shocked to the core, because he knows instantly he will act on it, which means life as he knew it for the last century is over.



Watching him trying his hardest, making himself vulnerable, letting him being tortured rather than betraying his love’s sister, becoming a trusted ally, breaking down at Buffy’s death, then trying and failing to help her, and ultimately failing her and himself – that’s just incredibly heartbreaking or heartwarming and always utterly fascinating. Seeing him doing the unthinkable as the immediate consequence, getting his soul back and thus going the final, the crowning step of his redemption all by himself and as willingly as all the other steps is indescribable satisfying to me.



And he’s still not finished. He suffers from his past deeds, but instead of sinking into depression changes himself again, this time to the useful fighter he needs to be to support his love, finally finding a healthy balance in the end.

Well, before he dies, sacrificing his life for the world and thus fully redeeming himself.

I love that he not simply reverts to his old Victorian self with the soul, this guy that the vampire always hated and wanted to get rid of, but picks the best of each persona he ever presented.
Soulful Spike could’ve turned out as lame as Joan predicts, but he’s still so interesting.

James Marsters has a huge part in the fascination that is Spike. Without his incredible ability to act the hell out of his character from the start, I doubt he would have become a regular. He brings out each of the layers within with just a look, a tilt of his head, a smile so small that it can almost not be seen.



But it’s not only his good looks or even the acting; it’s the perfect symbiosis – I don’t even find JM that attractive, except when he plays Spike. Then he’s gorgeous. It’s both – the character and the one who brings him to life.

BtVS is a fantastic show with many fantastic characters played by brilliant actors, but apart from the core four, most of them are replaceable, more or less, without losing much. But there’s no doubt for me: Without James Marsters’ Spike, Buffy wouldn’t be the same.

(Well, duh!)
 
freecat15: (Default)
I finally wanted to work on 55 days yesterday, but instead I had the great joy to stand around in clinic corridors for 5 hours straight, comforting a really hurting kid, because my poor youngest son broke his leg on a half-pipe. Not with a bike or on a skate board, mind you. He just ran. (He's 11, not 3...)
And today I jumped through hoops the whole day...He's still shaky on his crotches, and boy, is a full-leg cast heavy!
But it's all good, he's home again and doesn't need surgery since he's luckily just young enough to heal with only a cast. Probably.

So, still no 55 days today.
But at least the last chapter of Melting Fire.
Here goes...


Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 19: After the Storm (Part II) )
freecat15: (Default)
I'm kinda slow with posting at the moment; RL is being very demanding right now.
But here is at least the next chapter. 18 posted, one to go...

Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 18: Awake my Soul )
freecat15: (Default)
Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.

Chapter 17: Behind Blue Eyes )
freecat15: (Default)
Day 9: Most horrible death


That’s a hard one. There are so many deaths of beloved characters, and they are all horrible. There’s Jenny, there’s Angel (temporary), there’s Joyce, and of course there’s Spike, and as far as horrible deaths are concerned, I have to count even Warren. But ultimately the one that got to me the most was probably Tara’s death.




I had known that Spike would sacrifice himself at the end of s7 before it happened, and I had known about him showing up at AtS. (Of course, I still bawled my eyes out, and still do every time I watch it.) But I had not the slightest clue that Tara would die. I had heard of Willow going dark, but had no idea what would bring this on, hadn’t thought about it too hard either.

I was still in the middle of a happy dance much like Dawn’s about the joy on my screen of Tara and Willow finally being together again when the shot happened. And it left me completely shocked.
If ever a character doesn’t deserve to die, it’s Tara. She is so purely good and, very rare in BtVS, almost flawless that she could come across as annoying and boring, but she never does. Her kindness toward everybody is always heartwarming to watch. She manages to tell the truth without being blunt or offending. She has a very healthy stance on magic and on life in general. She takes on the role of a parent for Dawn with so much love and warmth, and she continues to care for her even after moving out.

 I can’t imagine anyone not loving her for her reaction to Buffy’s meltdown in Dead Things, when she’s not only there for her, isn’t afraid to ask questions and listens to her, but gives support in a way that is unexpected - she’s understanding, encouraging even, instead of condemning when she thinks Buffy loves Spike, but also when she realizes that’s not the case, and offers Buffy the possibility to deal with what she did without feeling so guilty.



Her development from an overly shy girl to a self-assured young woman is beautiful. I admire her strength to leave Willow - the woman that had awakened the self-confidence in Tara - when it becomes necessary despite still loving her so much. I love how naturally she stands up for Willow in Older and Far Away, and how easily she puts Spike in his place in the same episode, being hilarious without hurting him. This all clearly shows that she really came into her own – she doesn’t need Willow for being self-confident.



That she still loves Willow, independent as she is then, is a huge part of why Willow finds the strength on her own to withstand the lure of magic – and it all falls apart with the shot that kills Tara. It’s not only Tara who gets killed there, but also the very thing that keeps Willow together.

What makes it even more shocking – in a show that is all about the supernatural as main source of evil that is constantly threatening to kill beloved characters, it’s a death that isn’t caused supernaturally;  she doesn’t die for the cause, in a fight where she knows she risks her life. It befalls her at home where she deems herself safe, it’s an ordinary murder by a human, and the bullet wasn’t even intended for her. With additionally it happening right at the moment she had wished for so long, when she is finally reunited with the woman she loves and happy, it’s the epitome of a tragic death, and ultimately almost destroys the world.

But while Willow’s pain and despair are hurtful to watch – it’s usually only when Dawn stays with Tara’s dead body because she doesn’t want her to be alone that I realize how horribly the death of the gentle witch really hits me.



It’s then that I always start to cry.
freecat15: (Default)
Hey, I created my very first icon that isn't just a part of a screencap! It's nothing special, but I did it myself! I'm completely new to this, I just downloaded GIMP (and I know that's not the best to work with, but it's good enough for me), and it took me almost three hours, since I had no idea how to do anything with it. I understand how it could become an addiction, though...


And here's the next chapter of Melting Fire.


Chapter 16: Ghosts that we knew )
freecat15: (Chosen)
The next chapter, finally. RL is terribly busy *sigh*...

Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 15: Twice removed )
freecat15: (Chosen)
Day 8: Favorite season 1 episode

That’s pretty easy again, and not only because there’s not that much to pick from - Prophecy Girl.



This is the first episode that is written and directed by Joss Whedon, and that shows. If you can ignore the still terrible music, it’s the only episode of season 1 (except maybe ‘Angel’) that could easily belong to a later season.

I love it because it is really the turning point for Buffy. Until now she did her job, struggling with the repercussions on her life, but still doing it out of reluctantly feeling responsible for the world. But right here in this episode she wholeheartedly accepts that it’s her fate to save the world and eventually die for the cause, that it’s the mission that counts, something that from now on will underlie everything she does, no matter her struggle not to let it rule her whole life. And what is it that after the initial refusal to sacrifice herself makes her change her mind? The love she feels for her friends and family - it’s her mother’s unwillingness to go away with her daughter and Willows anguish that in the end drive her to fulfill the prophecy.



It’s the very first episode that hits really hard emotionally, and Sarah Michelle Gellar knocks it out of the park. Her reaction when she overhears Giles and Angel talk about her prophesized death, her frantically trying to convince her mother to flee with her, her sad determination when she talks to a devastated Willow hurt to watch, as does seeing her scared for the first time when she is down in the caves to find the Master, but bravely goes on, and then hearing that it’s her blood that will set him free.

I love that her living differently than intended by the Watcher’s council, namely having friends, is not only the reason for her to accept her role, but also in a brilliant turn saves her! Beside the confidence boost after having proved the prophecy wrong, I always saw this as the main reason for coming out stronger than before and eventually defeat the Master.



This is the episode in season 1 with the most character growth, and not only for Buffy. Willow gets to stand up for herself, telling Xander off when he asks her to be his date after being rejected; and Giles really comes through for Buffy, ready to sacrifice himself to save her life (before he gets knocked out :) ). To me it marks the turning point in their relationship where Giles begins to become her surrogate father.

The symbolism used throughout the episode is also brilliant – rejecting the cross (the christian symbol of sacrifice) Angel gave her as a present in the first episode when she refuses the sacrifice, then picking it up again when she accepts it; her being led to the cave by a child, representing her childhood that she loses when the Master kills her; and of course the use of blood equaling life that gets picked up heavily in season 5.

It’s this episode that closes the book of Buffy childhood with a bang forever and sets her on the hard path of adolescence. I love it.
freecat15: (happy dance)
And again I have to put it behind a cut for length...

Day 7: Least favorite season )
freecat15: (Default)
Here is finally the next chapter of Melting Fire. Took me long enough. Blame it on the lousy internet...

Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 14: Sigh no more )
freecat15: (Default)
I'm back home, and here is the next day of 55 days!
It's longer than the others, and therefore under the cut.


Day 6: Favorite season )
freecat15: (Default)
I'm in Munich with my 11 year old son for a few days, the weather is fantastic, and we have a blast! Unfortunately I have lousy internet, though, so I'm only gonna post this until I get home again. Everything else will have to wait...
Here goes:


Favorite first scene of a character

Although Dawn’s entrance is a close second (“Mom!!!”), I’ll have to go with Spike.

I hadn’t really decided yet if I even liked BtVS (I look at you, s1, sharply!), when suddenly an old car barrelled into town and crashed against the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign, these black boots stomped onto my screen, perfectly underlined by punky guitar sounds that hadn’t been heard in this show until now, and this guy appeared. And I was lost.

His next scene followed, and I knew it would stay that way. The glee he was oozing, how joyfully he put the assembled vampires in their place – that was brilliant. With Drusilla entering the room and Spike changing, he showed, after not much more than a minute on screen, that he was not like all the other stupid vamps, but layered - a vampire so obviously capable of emotions he shouldn’t have, visibly devoted to a woman. His entrance left me sitting there with my mouth open.



After a season with the Master, Spike and Dru were such a delight to watch! Especially Spike had such an aura of power and charisma! Only the second scene with him was on, and already the show had gotten so much better!

Luckily he didn’t disappoint later either. In only one episode he proved to be a fascinating complex character; he was ruthless, smart, tender, averse to tradition, impatient and funny. His first scene didn’t tell us all that, but with its standing out from everything we had seen so far on the show, it held the promise of the arrival of someone special. The episode most enjoyably kept this promise.
 
freecat15: (Default)
Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 13: Of Monsters and Men )
freecat15: (Default)
I won't be at home for a few days, and since my netbook kinda broke down today, I don't know if it'll work to post anything during that time. We'll see.
Here goes:

Day 4: Least favorite female character

Since I have already done Veruca, I have to pick Amy this time.

Not for the obvious reason though. Of course it’s not very nice to take Willow to Rack and thus seal her fate to eventually get addicted; to later try to get her back on the magic when she fights with withdrawel anyway; or to play the Warren trick on her in s7. But that’s not why I picked her. It’s more for the lack of importance regarding how much screen time she ultimately got, the inconsistency the writers put her through and for the reason she returned at all.

Amy was a sweet girl in the beginning and, as the most meaningful aspect of her existence, introduced us to magic in the Buffy verse. In s2 and s3, I found it already a bit OOC that she had turned to magic after what she’d experienced being a victim of it. I still could chalk it up as a reaction to exactly this event, and although clearly dipping into darker magic, she was still kind of a nice girl who had decided to use magic to her advantage. Not a good trait, morally more on the grey side, but not really bad either, because she didn’t hurt anyone with it but herself (turning herself into a rat in ‘Gingerbread’).



When she was turned back into a human girl, it quickly became obvious that she’d been brought back for the sole reason to provide the magic buddy for Willow that was needed to help in getting her addicted. I found the turn Amy took in only a few days very unbelievable. How could she have been addicted to magic so fast? She wasn’t a girl for more than a week again! And how the hell could she have known of Rack anyway? She’d been a rat for years! We never got any plausible explanation, and thus are left with a character that feels like a plot device. It doesn't help that this is, to me anyway, the only questionable plotline in s6, and it's based on shaky ground with not much credibility.

Her return in s7 was even more of a MacGuffin. Not that her character development was that impossible or even unlikely. It was just not at all meaningful or even interesting, because again we were presented with next to no background on it apart from what little information we got shoved down our throats at the end of the episode. It was handled heavy handed and didn’t make for an even remotely compelling appearance. I feel like I know more about Cassie, who appeared in only one episode (not counting her cameo as The First)!

It’s not that I don’t like the character or the actress; she could’ve been an interesting addition, but as it was, she wasn’t by far fleshed out enough, so that in the end she annoyed the hell out of me. All things considered - after ‘Witch’ I could’ve done without her.
 
freecat15: (Default)
For those who are reading [livejournal.com profile] the_moonmoth’s 55 Days – I started reading hers, but stopped as soon as I realized I’d like to do this, too, and she already had two out of the first three days picked the same as I would have. I haven’t read her Day 3 yet, nor have I checked out any of the other days. If there are any more consistencies in choice, it just means we love (or don't like) similar things about the show…though after each posted day I head over to look what she chose :)

Favorite female character

A hard question, since I already had Buffy, and I love them all. It may have something to do with my protective streak that I ended up picking her, but probably I just love her most – Dawn.
Yes, I know she’s a little annoying sometimes (not to me, but I get that others see her that way  at times). She’s a teenager, she’s supposed to be! And – she’s a lot more than that.

For one she’s incredibly brave. I have no idea how I would have reacted had someone told me at the age of 14 that I hadn’t been real until just a few weeks ago, but I think it wouldn’t have been pretty. But Dawn, after a very brief and shocking test of her being real, sucks it up and goes on. It’s on her mind, never really lets her go as can be seen throughout the show, but she lives with it.
I admire her strength and resilience, her sharp mind and her ability to think on her feet despite being scared as hell, like shown in ‘Blood Ties’, when she pumps Glory for information about herself, but also later in s7 in ‘Potential’ (which btw is the episode where her beauty really knocks me off my feet!).

She’s really smart (translating from ancient languages? People her age have difficulties with living languages!), but also warmhearted and empathetic. I will forever love her for her sensitive behavior when, and especially after, she finds Buffy on the tower and for her telling the Scoobies off, realizing they were crowding her. Also, it’s no coincidence that she’s the only one seeing the deeper feelings Spike has for Buffy (which of course is because she’s the only one not seeing Spike as a nuisance, but that’s just one more plus point on my I-love-Dawn list  :) )

With everything she’s been through, I don’t know how she doesn’t end up in a psych ward. Instead she fights back as well as she can, is understanding of everyone (her reaction to Buffy after realizing what Buffy had been up to with Spike?  ‘I know it must hurt. To feel like you have to hide, to keep secrets from everybody?’  Man, she’s 15 by then and already so insightful!) and is even a friend for Tara when she could’ve felt abandoned instead.

When she stays with Tara’s dead body – this is one of the rare scenes that, after a gazillion rewatches, still drive me to tears every. single. time.
And her giddy joy when she sees Tara’s back is just contagious:



‘No! No, no, no! Uh-uh! I’m totally not here. You guys you do whatever you want. Um. I’ll go watch TV, downstairs, really loud, in the basement, where I can’t hear anything. ‘ (Squeal of delight) ‘Oh my god! Oh my god!’ (dashes off, comes back) ‘I love you guys! ‘

I don’t know how I could not love her. I agree with Xander: She’s extraordinary.
freecat15: (Default)
Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.



Chapter 12: Silent Lucidity )
freecat15: (Default)
Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 11: Findings )
freecat15: (Default)
Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 10: Go on living )
freecat15: (Default)
Title: Melting Fire
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: NC17
Length: >100,000 words
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Only the plot, one demon and the veil are.
Setting: Right after 'Dead Things'
Summary: The night after, all he wants is talk.
The night after, there’s nothing she wants less than talking.
And suddenly they find themselves in another dimension; one that Buffy can’t leave. There’s only one way to get her out. A way with consequences.


Chapter 9: The pain that you feel )
freecat15: (Default)
Day 2: Least favorite character

Veruca. Without any doubt.

Even if it feels a bit wrong to pick someone who appears in only one episode (plus two appearances with her band) – I can’t ignore her. And since the part she plays in Oz’s leaving is so important, and she brings up a subject that is important to the show, I feel like I’m allowed to do this. She’s the one and only character that I absolutely dislike, and not in a good she-plays-her-so-good- it gives-me-shudders way.
I don’t know how much of it is the actress; I’ve never seen her anywhere else. But I couldn’t stand her the first moment she was on screen. I don’t even like the way she sings.

Not to stay on the shallow side, though, I mostly don’t like how she behaves character wise. She’s supposed to tear Oz over to the wild side, I get that; but her whole attitude bugs me, her way of not caring the slightest what happens to people around her. She’s hurting and killing and doesn’t care. And she excuses it with her being a werewolf, when Oz so clearly shows that it doesn’t have to be that way at all.

She claims to be more alive than as a human, and free. What she means is free of the annoying conscience. She doesn’t struggle and apparently never did. That raises the question why she feels so different about it than Oz does. Is it ‘the ties to the world’ again? Having friends, a girlfriend? Maybe. But with everything I ever heard about being in a band, these are mostly close relationships. To me it’s pretty clear that she’s not without those bonds, so it must be in her personality, a personality that most likely (if Oz' development after being bitten is any clue) was the same before the bite. And a personality that perceives it as freedom to be able to hurt and kill without having to care just is loathsome to me. It’s like your random vampire, only after turning. And at the same time a not so random vampire slowly begins his journey of beginning to care for the consequences of his doings despite not being equipped with a conscience.

It fills me with great satisfaction that the only thing she accomplishes with her rousing speech is the exact opposite from what she wanted – Oz is horrified and wants nothing less than to become like her. It leads to him leaving, which is a shame, but hey, it gave us Tara!

Maybe Veruca shows the way how it's supposed to go. Oz and Spike show there is a better way, if there is the will to choose it.
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