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elisi's humble abode - As promised: Spuffy schmoop!
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As promised: Spuffy schmoop!
This fic is for jamalov29! You see it was inspired by a picture by mad_brilliant in this post (which will show up in the story, don’t worry)... At first it was supposed to be just a drabble, but that quickly went out of the window. Then I thought it’d be neat if I could make it 1000 words exactly, going with the saying that ‘a picture is a thousand words’. Well that didn’t quite work out either... (word count is approx 3100 words). Anyway, that’s where the bizarre title comes from.

Title: A Picture is a Thousand Words... (or you know, a lot more.)
Pairing: Spike/Buffy.
Setting & Summary: Spike shanshued post-NFA. It is now 2017 and his and Buffy’s 10th wedding anniversary.
Warnings: Excessive schmoop. Seriously - proceed at own risk! That said, I have tried to ground the story in reality, but what with it being a hopelessly romantic anniversary and written for this particular lady, I figured holding back would be pointless.
Rating: U.
Author’s Notes: I am a total geek. So I calculated Spike’s age. Setting his birthyear as 1853 would make him 27 when he was sired. Turning human again in 2004 would make him 40 come 2017. (Buffy is 36.) Also I’ve never really written shanshued!Spike before - I hope he comes across as suitably Spike-like. He’s hard to keep in character when human.
Beta: The ever-wonderful kathyh. (I kept editing. Any mistakes are mine!)
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, I just play with them.
Feedback: Please, please, please? *begs* It's been *forever* since I posted fic...
Dedication: Dear Caroline. I think you’ll like this, even with the total absence of smut. And you never know, I might just write some one day...



A picture is a thousand words...
(or you know, a lot more.)


The wind whips its fresh cold fingers through his hair, the sunshine sparks off every surface of the car and the woman at his side is looking utterly stunning and ever so slightly terrified.

"Can we please slow down now?" she asks after another few miles, and, being unable to resist that tiny quiver in her voice, he complies and lessens the speed. She takes a deep breath and looks around at the calm beauty of the landscape, a more solid smile on her face. But the peace is immediately broken by loud protests from the back seat. Spike grins to himself, because his boys know exactly what a sports car is for, even if their mother doesn't. She thinks it's pretty of course, but on the whole she finds it too expensive, too fast, too impractical and - most importantly - too dangerous. Which coming from a Slayer is kinda ironic. And recently she pointed out that if the boys grew just another inch they wouldn't actually fit in the back anymore, because it is so tiny.

"Well then - looks like you won't be having greens anymore!" he'd told them solemnly, and then she'd punched him.

Without turning he tells them to shut up, and lets the car slow down to a crawl as he reaches out and brushes a stray brown lock off Buffy's shoulder. She is eyeing herself critically in the mirror and he knows that she is soon going to tell him that the wind has ruined her hair - but he gets his shot in first and tells her that she is beautiful... just as beautiful as ten years ago. And then all the memories come flooding back and she forgets that she was going to be a little mad at him.

***


Of course ten years ago she was still a blonde - as was he. The wedding photos on the mantle still make him shake his head as he contemplates their white golden glory (she'd insisted he wear a white suit - he warned the guests they'd better bring sunglasses). Although before and after the big day they'd usually paired up the hair with black.

It's often said, he knows, that having children will give you grey hair, but so far it's just turned them both back into brunettes. He still recalls the evening when the twins had been around 2 months old and by some miracle had both been asleep at the same time. The two of them had collapsed on the sofa, and he'd dragged a tired hand across his face. "This sure as hell wasn't mentioned in the 'Happily Ever After' brochure," he said and she'd laughed a little, before getting up and studying herself in the mirror above the fireplace, making a tiny little whimpering sound at the back of her throat.

"I am a walking haystack! No - I am a crawling-on-hands-and-knees-haystack with sleep-deprivation. They never mentioned this part in the antenatal classes - produce children, become haystack. And look at those roots!"

She made a face and defeatedly slumped back down next to him. "None of the other mums look like haystacks! I am a failure. No goldstar for Buffy. I mean I can look good in an apocalypse..."

"Grow it out," he'd replied, somewhat illogically, and she'd turned her head with a frown. "The hair, love. Grow it out. I've never seen your natural colour. Well not on your head anyway!" He'd sent her a suggestive look and she'd giggled an actual proper giggle.

"And, did I ever tell you that I have a thing for haystacks? Especially ones as beautiful as you..."

"You’re insane! And you're too tired to see straight!" she replied, before curling up to him, lacing their fingers together. And then his chest had constricted and his heart started beating in that way that still made him acutely aware of the gift he'd been given.

***


Sensing the beginnings of another argument, he stares down the two most obstinate 5 year olds ever born in the mirror. "Please remember that this car has no roof! Anythin’ you throw out will be lost forever! And I'm not buyin' you new Nintendo's if you lose the ones you've got!"

A whiny chorus of "Daaaa-aaaad!" promptly starts up, and he narrows his eyes. "Do I have to remind you what I had to play with when I was a boy?"

"Muuuuum! Make Daddy stop!" one of them complains, and he grins. Although one of these days he must get hold of some tin soldiers to show them that they really can be fun.

"You dad is right!" Buffy replies sternly.

Sullen silence greets this announcement, and seeing Buffy sigh Spike knows he has to think of something to keep them occupied before they begin trying to throw each other out.

"Right - who remembers what a T'lasha demon looks like?"

There’s a moment, then they slowly reply.

"They're small. Like... dog-sized."

"An' they've got 4 arms with nasty horrible claws!"

"An' - an' they're green, but with blue horns and when they're killed they go 'pop'!"

Giggles accompany the last line, but Spike just nods solemnly. "Good. Now T'lashas like to live in hedges, and usually hang out dead birds and the like around their homes to warn off other demons. Try an' see how many nests you can spot!"

Excitement greets this proposal, and a happy air of observation grips the back seat, occasionally broken by exclamations and vocal pointing.

Buffy turns to him and mouths a silent “How much of that is true?", and he shrugs. Doesn't matter, as long as it'll keep them quiet until they reach their destination - thank goodness for England's endless countryside hedges.

Taking his eyes off the road for a moment he drinks in the sight of his wife. She still makes him catch his breath - makes him wonder if this whole glorious life they have together is just a dream or a fantasy. Only he's fairly certain that fantasies never come quite this scary - just the word 'colic' can still send both of them into a cold sweat. Vampires, demons, hellgods - any and all of it they'd faced down together, but two tiny little fragile beings, terrifying them with the love they inspired and wrecking them by never ever sleeping for nigh on four months, had been something else altogether.

***


He vividly recalls the night Angel had come to visit, back when the twins had only been a few weeks old. Angel would have come sooner, but he and Faith (only friends! Honestly!) had been halfway around the world doing something brave and foolhardy, and had only just arrived back in old Blighty. Faith was injured and Angel had forced her to rest, or she would have come too.

There had been a knock at the door at half-past eleven at night, and Spike had put down the screaming bundle he was carrying and gone to answer it. Angel been very apologetic.

“Did I wake them?” he asked, his face looking worried at the wailing that greeted him.

Spike had just shaken his head, and then Buffy called out, asking who it was.

“It’s the man from the circus, love, come to negotiate a price!”

Buffy had appeared behind him, a protesting infant on her shoulder, and shot Angel a droll look.

“You can have them for free!”

Angel had brought with him many congratulations and presents, and then tried to demonstrate his fatherhood credentials by rocking one of the gruesome twosome for half an hour, with no result whatsoever.

"Connor never had colic..." he began, but whatever he would have said next died on his lips as he saw the look on Buffy's face.

When Angel left a few hours later, Spike was sure he detected a distinct look of relief on the other's face. Leaning against the door after saying goodbye, Spike had tried to recall what life had been like before - when his (un)life had consisted of drinking, fighting and killing things, and he'd been able to go where he wanted, when he wanted. When loving someone had meant dying for them, not being so exhausted that he could barely walk. What had happened to him? Was it this hard for all humans?

***


They're nearing their destination now, and Spike settles down more snugly in the comfy seat. He can tell that Buffy is getting a little cold - her little wraparound thing is pretty, but not very warm, and he’d offer her his jacket if they weren't so close to their destination. It’s a nice jacket, if he says so himself, and he’s just about become accustomed to it now - the duster having hung in the cupboard for many years. Dawn had said that the new jacket made him look like he had a midlife crisis, and he'd pointedly answered that what with being around 160 that was hardly surprising. Buffy however had remarked that it made him look not entirely unlike James Dean, and so the jacket had stayed. Today it is paired with blue jeans, black T-shirt and a black hoodie - not exactly the height of sophistication, but then Buffy’s dress is stunning enough for the both of them. And if he’d dressed up, she’d have worked out that something was up. So casual is the name of the game, even if he had eyed the duster wistfully when he got ready to go.

***


But the fact is that the duster is crammed too full of memories for today’s celebration - it is like a symbol of how far he’s travelled, how much he’s changed. And it is too firmly rooted in who he was to be comfortable now... Looking back, he remembers practically living in it after he'd first become human, trying to cling to what he'd known, what was familiar, when at first it seemed that what he'd lost was immeasurable. To be ordinary, with no powers or purpose... to have senses so blunt he felt deaf and blind and like someone had cut off his nose... No, he didn’t feel that the shanshu was so much a reward as some horrible prank. He'd understood Anya better than he'd ever thought possible, and fervently wished she'd still been alive.

Angel had tried reasoning with him (“You coped with being a ghost! And you beat me to the Cup of Torment! This is what you wanted, you moron!”), and then called Buffy who’d arrived and promptly scooped him up, the way she always did everything that ever came her way. It had however taken a long, long time before he had been able to accept her declarations of love as anything other than pity - how she'd put up with him he'd never understand.

Only time had done many things he could never have guessed - above all it had revealed the blessings that he'd first thought curses. Memory for one thing...

Human memory was, like everything else, something fuzzy and imprecise compared to the crystal clear recollection of vampires. But as time passed he had found that the blood on his hands slowly faded away... and as it did, the guilt lifted and he was able to see more clearly what it meant to be human - something he'd forgotten in the intervening century, something that the demon had obliterated.

***


And as he looks at his family on this glorious spring day, he feels more a part of this world than he had ever been able to as a vampire. He’s managed to connect to his old human self, to rediscover the dreams that once spurred him onwards. Because this is what he was raised be: A husband and father. He wistfully thinks how utterly delighted his mother would have been if she could have seen his beautiful family.

Shortly afterwards he smoothly pulls in by a halfway house, apparently in response to the twins' sudden loud shouts for food. Couldn't have timed it better if he'd bribed them. A little later they walk through an innocent looking door and the room on the other side explodes with joyous yells of 'Surprise!' and 'Happy Anniversary!'

Buffy's eyes glint dangerously as she turns to him. "You planned this all along!"

His only reply is a smug grin, and then there are people upon people ready to hug them and presents to unwrap and that killer right hook is going to have to wait until later... when it will magically have turned into something very different, hopefully incorporating the negligée he's bought her...

As Buffy ooohs and aaahs over the presents, Spike sidles away and catches the boys, dragging them into a corner and giving them his 'screw with me and you're dead!’ look that never failed when applied to minions, and works surprisingly well on his human offspring too.

"Right you two - here's how it is. This is a very, very special day for mummy and daddy, as you know. And if you in any way upset your mother - and I don't care who starts it - you're not going to stay with Uncle Xander tonight! Am I making myself clear?"

They both nod silently.

"Good."

He smiles - somewhat grimly - and keeps holding their attention. "Now I don't care if you eat nothin' except ice cream, or if you keep Xander up all night... but do not fight or even think about doin' anything naughty until the party is over, got it?"

They nod again, and his smile turns secretive. "That's my boys. And remember those new moves I taught you? I'm sure Xander would love you to show him tonight!"

Identical evil grins spread across their little faces, and his heart feels like it's going to explode. And since he's actually experienced that once, he knows what he's on about. Thankfully though, fatherly pride isn’t going to kill him.

"Good boys!" he says, ruffling their hair, and sends them off to Willow who always adores them for all of five minutes before she remembers just what little hellraisers they are.

Presents and chatter is followed by a long, leisurely dinner, and to Spike's great relief the boys appear to be behaving - the only one making a noise being Dawn's little Alice, but then at 6 months old that can't be helped.

When the plates have been removed, he takes a deep breath and slowly stands up. Odd how he sometimes still gets surprised by the reactions of his body - the heart speeding up, the slight perspiration. Buffy's watching him quizzically, and he sends her a tiny smile as he leans forward and taps his glass. Silence slowly spreads throughout the room and then every face is turned towards him. A waiter very helpfully brings an ancient microphone and he smiles gratefully - he has a horrible feeling that his voice will be closer to a whisper before he gets to the end.

As he reaches into his pocket for his new poem, he says a few words about how important this day is for him and Buffy, thanking them all for coming - funny how this is something that would have been near-identical back when he was first human. Then he slowly unfolds the paper, even though he knows the words by heart. He's spent months writing this, even though it isn't long - but then how is he supposed to ever be able to encapsulate what the woman at his side means to him?

There is an odd flutter in his stomach as he realises he's never recited any of his own poetry to a crowd since the day before the battle against the Black Thorn. He'd thought it'd a goodbye to life; a last, final visit to his roots before the end. Instead it had been a return to the beginning, a foreshadowing of where his life was heading. For a moment he stares ahead; unseeing, lost to the world. Because suddenly it comes to him that it has been very nearly 20 years since he first came to Sunnydale. A simple trip to the darkest place he knew... and instead he’d found light, brighter than he could have envisaged. A fire that had torn through him, re-making and changing him... burning, always burning, with a pain and joy he could never have imagined.



He closes his eyes, takes a breath. Focus. Focus. He looks at the paper, then takes another steadying breath before glancing at Buffy... and everything goes still. He reads slowly, carefully, never taking his eyes off her face - there’s him, and there’s her, and the rest of the world has stopped existing.

When he's finished she stands up, unable to speak, and just kisses him - deeply, slowly, and with that intense longing that never gets sated. She’s so soft, so warm and pliable in his arms, and as always he’s astonished at the heat between them. The life that pulses though them both, two hearts beating together. He’s discovered the truth in every sentimental love song, the fact that every romantic sonnet ever written speaks directly to him. To them.

Of course before long the boys start complaining, and they part, slowly turning to take in their offspring - one of whom is pretending to throw up and the other one trying to strangle himself, complete with rolling eyes and lolling tongue. Then they suddenly realise that there's actual applause starting, and Spike grins before turning back to his wife.

Can it really have been ten years already since their vows? Feels like less. Feels like more. Time is such a strange creature, one that is forever slipping through his fingers these days. And yet - being held hostage by time has enabled him to hold onto the people he loves. They are his, and he is theirs, and not even the Powers That Be can now take them from him.

"I love you," she says, tears still in her eyes, before grasping his hand. And he holds onto her, as though the world were falling apart. "I know you do," he replies softly, the smallest of smiles on his face. "But thanks for saying it."

The End

Tags:
Current Mood: touched schmoopy

Comments
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powerofthebook From: powerofthebook Date: June 4th, 2007 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. That's like drinking cocoa on a cold day - every last sentence warms you up.

Absolutely beautiful.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. That's like drinking cocoa on a cold day - every last sentence warms you up.
That does sum it up pretty well. When I was editing it, I kept just wallowing.

Absolutely beautiful.
Thank you - and I do love giving them a happy ending. :)
spikereader From: spikereader Date: June 4th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
That was so beautiful (as is the inspirational picture *g*), and I think you kept your human Spike very Spike-like.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
That was so beautiful (as is the inspirational picture *g*)
Well it pretty much wrote itself (as you can see from my comments on Caroline's post), which was nice. :)

I think you kept your human Spike very Spike-like.
Thank you! Trying to cram 13 years worth of character development into such a short piece wasn't easy...
desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: June 4th, 2007 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is wonderful! You should write more fic. (I love Hedgerow!Fics. I want to see the little demon thingies.) "Do I have to remind you what I had to play with when I was a boy?" made me laugh aloud. You got the "voice" down just fine. Like a confection, there are so many great nuggets in this (which is not to say the overall fic isn't fabulous): why shouldn't Spike's sons be gagging, eye-rolling hellraisers? Makes perfect sense. The horror that is colic--how well I remember! I love him setting Xander up. Yes, it's slightly schmoopy, but not unduly, and I have to tell you I don't really ship Buffy and Spike together, but the end brought tears to my eyes. I hope you write more. Thanks.

I think I spotted one typo: shouldn't accostumed be accustomed?
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is wonderful! You should write more fic.
Squee! Thank you! (And I'm writing as much as I can - I'm around 14000 words into my next 'proper' fic, and have only just got past the beginning...)

I love Hedgerow!Fics. I want to see the little demon thingies.
Me too! We actually went to the beach on Saturday which entailed a long car journey, and I found myself wishing that my little demons were real... *g*

You got the "voice" down just fine.
Thank you - he was rather awkward!

Like a confection, there are so many great nuggets in this
I really enjoyed putting in all the little flash-backs, and all the other non-schmoopy details. And for some reason Spike and Buffy have twin sons in my head. :)

I have to tell you I don't really ship Buffy and Spike together, but the end brought tears to my eyes.
Aw, that's wonderful. I was hoping it'd work like that, but it's not easy.

I hope you write more. Thanks.
Thank you for reading - esp since this isn't your preferred pairing! And I might actually re-visit this 'verse - there are few snippets that are begging to be written...

I think I spotted one typo
Gah! Thank you! *runs off to fix*
ladycat713 From: ladycat713 Date: June 4th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
What wonderful schmoop to start the day!
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I think we all need a schmoopy fix now and again. :)
jamalov29 From: jamalov29 Date: June 4th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Elisabeth ! You couldn't have made me a better gift . This was thoroughly lovely , beautiful , and it inspired tears of joy.
This is such a thoughtful attention !


I do believe in happy future!Spuffy and you celebrated my dream in the most charming way.:)
*twirls you around*


There's so much loveliness here that I don't know where to start.


The first image of them put a bright smile on my face: But the peace is immediately broken by loud protests from the back seat. Spike grins to himself, because his boys know exactly what a sports car is for, even if their mother doesn't.
I bet Buffy would be scared of a sports car , far more dangerous than a pair of ugly demons. ;-)

I enjoyed all the little touches of humor lingering through the tale.
There 's definitely something exhausting and scary as being parents , especially of twins .:)
just the word 'colic' can still send both of them into a cold sweat. For an ex-vampire and a Slayer , this is hilarious.

Angel' s visiting . Made me giddy.
“It’s the man from the circus, love, come to negotiate a price!”

When Spike asks his sons :"Who remembers what a T'lasha demon looks like?" or when he whispers : "And remember those new moves I taught you? I'm sure Xander would love you to show him tonight!"</i>

I could so ‘hear’ Spike saying that ! . ::happy sigh::


What also touched me was the constant reminder of what it meant to Spike to be human. I liked that you mentioned how difficult it was to accept his humanity at first. I think Spike would have a hard time dealing with the radical changes.
To be ordinary, with no powers or purpose... to have senses so blunt he felt deaf and blind and like someone had cut off his nose...

Certainly it has taken time and wasn't regarded as a reward first.

But as time passed he had found that the blood on his hands slowly faded away... I loved that imagery.
And here : He’s managed to connect to his old human self, to rediscover the dreams that once spurred him onwards. Beautiful.

And what it meant to be with Buffy , as a married couple. What it meant learning to live with so much more than he ever expected.


Here : his chest had constricted and his heart started beating in that way that still made him acutely aware of the gift he'd been given.
And here : She still makes him catch his breath - makes him wonder if this whole glorious life they have together is just a dream or a fantasy.
Or here : He's spent months writing this, even though it isn't long - but then how is he supposed to ever be able to encapsulate what the woman at his side means to him?


Picturing him reading poetry , all soulful gaze and heart wildly beating , blending the present and the past together ? Perfect. :)

He'd thought it'd a goodbye to life; a last, final visit to his roots before the end. Instead it had been a return to the beginning, a foreshadowing of where his life was heading.
Must feel quite overwhelming ..

You've outlined the beauty of their relationship as I see it evolving throughout the years.


That ending melted me on the spot. :)

I so loved the way this has been unfolding . A great mix of romance , emotions, humour.
You illustrated mad_brilliant's gorgeous picture , and captured so exquisitely a moment which is never going to be forgotten.

Thank you very much, dear Elisabeth.I'm so thrilled that you dedicated that fic to me.
::hugs you::
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
You couldn't have made me a better gift .
Well you have paid me back with the longest, most comprehensive feedback *ever*! Thank you!

This was thoroughly lovely , beautiful , and it inspired tears of joy.
This is such a thoughtful attention !

Aw, see now you're making me all speechless and stuff. And truly it was my pleasure - I've had an idea for a different shanshued!Spike fic for ages, but this is so much better. So thank you for helping me find a better story!

I do believe in happy future!Spuffy and you celebrated my dream in the most charming way.:)
*twirls you around*

::is a little dizzy:: But yes, I think we all believe in this dream. At least we should!

I bet Buffy would be scared of a sports car , far more dangerous than a pair of ugly demons. ;-)
Buffy and cars are un-mixy things!

Angel' s visiting . Made me giddy.
Actually there might be more stories from this 'verse, since Angel got rather short-changed. There is a lot more to his and Spike's interactions, but they would have detracted from the mood, so that story will have to wait.

I could so ‘hear’ Spike saying that ! . ::happy sigh::
Oh good! At first he wasn't behaving...

What also touched me was the constant reminder of what it meant to Spike to be human.
I think it would be a huge, huge change and something that he really would take years to come to terms with. I think he fought for the shanshu without ever stopping to consider if he actually *wanted* it.

And what it meant to be with Buffy , as a married couple. What it meant learning to live with so much more than he ever expected.
See this is where it is so important that he was once a bad poet, but a good man.

Picturing him reading poetry , all soulful gaze and heart wildly beating , blending the present and the past together ? Perfect. :)
Well that's where the whole idea came from... I'm still not sure I did that moment justice, but I'm very pleased that it made you happy. :)

You've outlined the beauty of their relationship as I see it evolving throughout the years.
I'm so glad! And if he was human I really can't see it happening any other way (apocalypses etc not taken into account of course).

That ending melted me on the spot. :)
::grins proudly:: (Also - see icon!)

Thank you very much, dear Elisabeth.I'm so thrilled that you dedicated that fic to me.
Thank you for your wonderful, deeply felt feedback and for your wonderful, romantic heart that just brightens anyone who meets you! *hugs*
camkin From: camkin Date: June 4th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
i loved it.
i couldn't help but smile as i read this.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! :) And this was all about making people smile, I'm so glad I succeeded!

(Even if I can't spell...)
petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: June 4th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
his boys know exactly what a sports car is for, even if their mother doesn't. She thinks it's pretty of course, but on the whole she finds it too expensive, too fast, too impractical and - most importantly - too dangerous.
"chuckle" Nice to know Buffy is still automotively challenged. And the "car game" is beyond hilarious.
the duster is crammed too full of memories for today’s celebration - it is like a symbol of how far he’s travelled, how much he’s changed. And it is too firmly rooted in who he was to be comfortable now... Looking back, he remembers practically living in it after he'd first become human, trying to cling to what he'd known, what was familiar, when at first it seemed that what he'd lost was immeasurable.
Yes, a very Spike way of looking at things IMO, just like how he wrapped it around himself in AtS Season Five.
Because suddenly it comes to him that it has been very nearly 20 years since he first came to Sunnydale. A simple trip to the darkest place he knew... and instead he’d found light, brighter than he could have envisaged. A fire that had torn through him, re-making and changing him... burning, always burning, with a pain and joy he could never have imagined.
Yes, yes, yes - beautifully put.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice to know Buffy is still automotively challenged. And the "car game" is beyond hilarious.
I had a lot of fun with those parts. :)

Yes, a very Spike way of looking at things IMO, just like how he wrapped it around himself in AtS Season Five.
Yes, exactly! And I think that although he liked the *idea* of the shanshu, the reality might be something very different...

Yes, yes, yes - beautifully put.
Aw, thanks. It's such a wonderful journey. *happy sigh*
rahirah From: rahirah Date: June 4th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw.

(You know, that would make an interesting ficathon - post, say, five different photos and every entrant has to write a story about one of them.)
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw.
:)

You know, that would make an interesting ficathon - post, say, five different photos and every entrant has to write a story about one of them.
They did one with story banners about a year ago I think... it's a fascinating premise.
charmingkarla From: charmingkarla Date: June 4th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
awwwwww, what a beautiful story, so sweet, you wrote it in an amazing way, I even felt tears in my eyes, maybe because I have been married for almost 10 years , hehehe.

Karla
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
awwwwww, what a beautiful story, so sweet, you wrote it in an amazing way, I even felt tears in my eyes
Aw, thank you! (That was of course what I was trying to achieve, but I'm thrilled that it worked!)

maybe because I have been married for almost 10 years , hehehe.
Same here... just 2 more months until our anniversary!

Thank you so much for reading - and the feedback of course! :)
prophecygirrl From: prophecygirrl Date: June 4th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved every schmoopy bit to pieces. Nicely done!
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's like chocolate, isn't it? Except there's no calories, so indulging is guilt-free! :) Oh and thank you!
beloved4always From: beloved4always Date: June 4th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
aww, man, totally the most awesome schmoop ever! and the last paragraph - doesnt' get much better than that *grins*. thanks so much for posting this.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 4th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
aww, man, totally the most awesome schmoop ever!
*grins proudly*

and the last paragraph - doesnt' get much better than that *grins*.
Well it just sorta wrote itself... at least that's my excuse! ;)

thanks so much for posting this.
Thank you for reading.
debris4spike From: debris4spike Date: June 4th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Got this link to this story from jamalov29 ... and have just printed it out to read while I have my tea!

I love Spike ... and Spuffy ... and have friended you (hope you don't mind) as when I read your profile I saw that you put, as I have, "I am a Christian". So hope you don't mind another on your list!

Thanks for writing
debris4spike From: debris4spike Date: June 4th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks - a lovely story. - Really enjoyed it
spikealicious From: spikealicious Date: June 4th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

...

I really loved this. It was schmoopy, but in a really lovely way. Very nicely done. I loved the kids trying to spot the demons in the hedges. Only in Buffy & Spike's world would spot-the-little-demons become the license plate game. LOL Anyway, just lovely!
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: ...

I really loved this. It was schmoopy, but in a really lovely way.
Thank you! It's hard not to give people sugar-poisoning...

I loved the kids trying to spot the demons in the hedges. Only in Buffy & Spike's world would spot-the-little-demons become the license plate game. LOL
Sometimes I really, really wish I lived in their world! :)

So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your feedback!
untitleddemo From: untitleddemo Date: June 4th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww! A perfect glimpse into the future. What a gorgeous piece of work, you've made me all warm inside!

P.S. Love your new layout! Very pretty. :D
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww! A perfect glimpse into the future. What a gorgeous piece of work, you've made me all warm inside!
Yay! It worked! Nothing beats a happy ending. ;)

And my layout had been Spangelly for so long, that I needed something cosy... Thanks for reading.
samifidler From: samifidler Date: June 4th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was always one of those folks who thought shanshu would be a curse rather than a blessing for Spike.
You may just have changed my mind.


**And as he looks at his family on this glorious spring day, he feels more a part of this world than he had ever been able to as a vampire. He’s managed to connect to his old human self, to rediscover the dreams that once spurred him onwards. Because this is what he was raised be: A husband and father.**


*Can it really have been ten years already since their vows? Feels like less. Feels like more. Time is such a strange creature, one that is forever slipping through his fingers these days. And yet - being held hostage by time has enabled him to hold onto the people he loves. They are his, and he is theirs, and not even the Powers That Be can now take them from him.**

Just beautiful
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I was always one of those folks who thought shanshu would be a curse rather than a blessing for Spike.
You may just have changed my mind.

Really? ::is very proud:: I'm not sure Angel would ever cope with it well (as we saw in IWRY. And Angel has that overriding *need* to be the hero), but Spike, because of who he was before he died, would probably learn to appreciate it. Although it would take time... (not that Spike isn't heroic, but look at 'Touched' f.ex.)

Just beautiful
Thank you! :) (And this is the thing - if he *doesn't* shanshu he'll lose Buffy, and that is very sad.)
gillo From: gillo Date: June 4th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gorgeous, gorgeous schmoop - and I love Spike's handling of his children - just right if you think of his relationship with Dawn in late S5. And the Spike version of "Pub Cricket" is priceless. Only someone who has had to take children on long drives could have written that!

I think I spotted a tiny typo:tiny little whipering sound - should there be an "m" in there?
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Gorgeous, gorgeous schmoop
Thank you! *beams*

and I love Spike's handling of his children - just right if you think of his relationship with Dawn in late S5.
Ahh, now that's a thought. I guess it influenced me subconsciously.

And the Spike version of "Pub Cricket" is priceless. Only someone who has had to take children on long drives could have written that!
Heh. I only wish I could it for real!

(And it has now been proven that I should never keep editing until the last minute. I obviously can't spell. *headdesk*)
diachrony From: diachrony Date: June 4th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that was some satisfying schmoop. Only we didn't get to read Spike's poem! What was this mysteriously effulgent bit of poetry? I'm just itching to know! ;~)

'Nother leetle typo: where Spike says to the boys in the backseat ""Plese remember that this car has no roof!" ... it should be Please, of course.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that was some satisfying schmoop.
I did warn ya! ;)

Only we didn't get to read Spike's poem! What was this mysteriously effulgent bit of poetry? I'm just itching to know! ;~)
You think I'd dare to attempt to write it? Not in a million years! Thank you so much for reading.

Also, I can't spell. This should be obvious by now! Gah!
kathyh From: kathyh Date: June 4th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! You posted it. I really like the changes and I still love Spike's methods of keeping his kids quiet *g*.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like the changes
Of course they also meant that the thing became littered with typos! See what I mean about you being invaluable? (Of course that doesn't just go for the spelling!)

Thank you again! *hugs*
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: June 4th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahh... Clearly the world needs moreSpuffy Schmoop! That was darling!
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh... Clearly the world needs moreSpuffy Schmoop!
I figured it was just the thing after the recent upheavals!

That was darling!
Thank you! :)
madam_rptr From: madam_rptr Date: June 4th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I haven't had a good cuppa Spuffy Schmoop in such a long while. Thanks for pouring it, sweetie!
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I haven't had a good cuppa Spuffy Schmoop in such a long while. Thanks for pouring it, sweetie!
My pleasure! So glad you liked it - and of course the best thing is that schmoop contains no calories! *g*
lilred26x From: lilred26x Date: June 4th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was absolutely wonderful! (And perfect for the very rainy day here.) :) I thought you did a great job of writing a human Spike. He had changed, but it all felt right. If you do get the urge to write more of this verse, I'd be very happy. Thanks for sharing this with us!
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
This was absolutely wonderful! (And perfect for the very rainy day here.) :)
Yay! We've had lots of sunshine, but I have a feeling this is more of a rainy-day fic. Thank you so much for reading. :)

I thought you did a great job of writing a human Spike. He had changed, but it all felt right.
Thanks - it was rather tricky, and some bits were re-written quite a lot, but apparently I got it right. *is happy*

If you do get the urge to write more of this verse, I'd be very happy. Thanks for sharing this with us!
Oh there are a couple of very persistent little plotbunnies nibbling at my ankles. :)
stormwreath From: stormwreath Date: June 4th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was nice warm fluffy fun. :) I thought you had the voices just right - even Buffy, who's notoriously hard to do; and your one-line snippet on Willow's likely reaction to twin five-year-olds seemed spot-on. Plus the detail of them both being brunet(te) now was the sort of little detail that makes a story really believable and grounded.

And the ending was perfect, of course.

One thing that did catch me out was Buffy's attitude to driving fast and to sports cars; I'm afraid it seemed OOC to me. Remember this from 'Inca Mummy Girl':
BUFFY: Come on! Can't you put your foot down?
GILES: It is down.
BUFFY: One of these days you're gonna have to get a grownup car.
Or 'Real Me', when she certainly doesn't seem negative now Giles has a new grown-up car. Well OK, she calls it a "little two-door tramp", but that's just playing off his straight line. :) I certainly don't see Buffy as a car enthusiast, or the sort of person to get her kicks from driving as fast as possible (unlike, say, Faith); but I also think she's more likely to complain about too slow rather than too fast. Unless motherhood has made her far more cautious than she ever was before...

The other thing - the descriptions of Spike and Buffy shattered and exhausted by bringing up twin babies were cute and funny. But as a Slayer Buffy has unlimited quantities of superhuman stamina, and from the way we saw her spending each night patrolling graveyards before going to school/college/work the next day, she seems be able to get by on a couple of hours' sleep a night and still be as fresh as a daisy the next morning. So looking after a baby ought to be a doddle; she's superhuman, after all. :)
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
That was nice warm fluffy fun. :)
Chocolate in fic-form! :)

I thought you had the voices just right - even Buffy, who's notoriously hard to do
Thank you! I adore Buffy, but agonise every time I have to write her.

and your one-line snippet on Willow's likely reaction to twin five-year-olds seemed spot-on.
Heh.

Plus the detail of them both being brunet(te) now was the sort of little detail that makes a story really believable and grounded.
I'm so glad it worked. They're both fairly high-maintenence (although they'd never admit it), and it's just one of those things that tends to fall by the wayside when children show up...

And the ending was perfect, of course.
The ending was hopelessly sappy and obvious, but - what can you do? *g*

One thing that did catch me out was Buffy's attitude to driving fast and to sports cars; I'm afraid it seemed OOC to me.
Oooh, I've been waiting for someone to mention that. I mostly based her attitude on this conversation:

Buffy: Actually, no-wheeling is more my specialty. I'm an avid pedestrian.
Riley: You're kidding, right? I mean, you know how to drive..
Buffy: Well, I took the class.. Cars and Buffy are, like .. un-mixy things.


And in 'Spiral' she goes for the Winnebago... We never see her drive except for 'Band Candy', even though she must have inherited Joyce's car. Add to that the fact that she's *very* protective of her family, and doesn't trust dangers she can't control - and I thinks she'd find fast cars offputting.

So looking after a baby ought to be a doddle; she's superhuman, after all. :)
Clearly you do not have children! You see it's not the physical work as such, it's far more. There's a difference between getting by on 4 hours' (uninterrupted!) sleep and being woken every 15 minutes by a crying baby. The latter can drive you insane. Trust me. Also it is mentally and emotionally draining - there is this tiny, tiny little person that you love more than you thought possible, and no matter what you do (s)he just. keeps. crying. The fact that Buffy didn't cry her eyes out when they finally got a break goes to show how strong she is! :)
moscow_watcher From: moscow_watcher Date: June 4th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent story, smartly concieved and beautifully written. I think you succeeded with human Spike: he sounds just the way I imagine shanshued Spike. And Buffy also sounds true and authentic. And, of course, their children are as irreverent as their parents!

Small voice: there are two "them", one after another, in the phrase "Good boys!" he says, ruffling their hair, and sends them off to Willow who always adores them them for all of five minutes before she remembers just what little hellraisers they are.
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent story, smartly concieved and beautifully written.
Squee! Thank you! :)

I think you succeeded with human Spike: he sounds just the way I imagine shanshued Spike. And Buffy also sounds true and authentic.
It wasn't easy, but I'm so glad I suceeded! They're tricky people...

And, of course, their children are as irreverent as their parents!
Of course! :)

And thank you for pointing out the typo - I really, really shouldn't keep editing until the last minute. I clearly can't spell! *facepalm*
garfpooky From: garfpooky Date: June 4th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
*squee!* I LOVED this! I <3 Spuffy schmoop...you should definitely write more! :D The idea of Spike and Buffy married with kids and still madly in love with each other makes me smile. :) The ending is so perfect. *content sigh*
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
*squee!* I LOVED this! I <3 Spuffy schmoop
Awww, thank you! :)

you should definitely write more! :D
Give it time...

The idea of Spike and Buffy married with kids and still madly in love with each other makes me smile. :)
See if he shanshues that's how it *has* to go! ::loves Spuffy::

The ending is so perfect. *content sigh*
I was actually going to use that ending in a different story, but it fits *much* better here. Thank you so much for reading! :)
spikechris From: spikechris Date: June 4th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Elisi for telling me about this. I loved every minute of this, especially the boys. I think you've captured the offspring of Spike and Buffy perfectly. Fun and love wrapped up in a perfect package.

Chrissie
elisi From: elisi Date: June 5th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Elisi for telling me about this.
My pleasure! And I *do* remember you now! Thanks again for writing!

I loved every minute of this, especially the boys. I think you've captured the offspring of Spike and Buffy perfectly. Fun and love wrapped up in a perfect package.
Aw, thank you! Writing this was (not surprisingly) hugely self-indulgent. But... why not?

So glad you liked it! :)
118 came in and had a chat or The door is open if you want to talk
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my thoughts echoed


About The Wedding of River Song:
"Eleven, in the very episode that's about killing off the Lonely God once and for all, meets River when she is Waters of Mars Ten. He's just decided to lay this part of himself to rest, and there's the Timelord Victorious standing right in front of him--and he doesn't run away, or shove her in a cupboard, or try to kill her, or "give her a choice" to make himself feel better about killing her... he marries her. He loves her and accepts her and that's how he gets her to stop."
10littlebullets

"If someone is there for you, is asking nothing of you and has loved you faithfully and unconditionally for all those years and if that person is the one that you turn to for comfort and support when you are at your most vulnerable, and if they give you that comfort and support unconditionally asking nothing in return, then whether you acknowledge it or not, that is love, so yes Buffy loved Spike."
(Jane Espenson?)

The Doctor (to River): "Please. Help me."

About Chosen:
"Even if we hadn’t seen Buffy’s face shining in the most perfect, absolute expression of love in that final scene – didn’t everything that Buffy and Spike were to each other already tell us very, very clearly that they loved each other? And if you don’t see that – didn’t already see that, long before this scene – then, goodness, we’re not watching the same show."
the_royal_anna

Mr Lux: "And who is the Doctor?"
River: "The only story you'll ever tell - if you survive him."
'Forest of the Dead'

“The Angel and Spike relationship has this mythic feel... David and James know how to play everything like they hate each other, but there is this weird underlying love, and I can't write that... I just love Spike so much and think he is the best character ever. He is just a writer's dream. Spike is the outsider there to deconstruct all the heroes because he doesn't play along, yet he is one, but he would never admit it. I think we are proud he became part of the AtS universe without acting like he was part of it.”
Drew Goddard

"Season six [of Buffy] remains the highlight. You won't find a more skilled extended exploration of existential turmoil on the big or small screen. And I'm not talking "woe is me" teenage angst, but a genuine search for what it means to be human. It's Bergman for the masses."
Tim Porter, Paste Magazine

Ianto: "I – know you get lonely."
Jack: "Going home wouldn't fix that. Being here, I've seen things I never dreamt I'd see. Loved people I never would have known if I'd just stayed where I was... And I wouldn't change that for the world."
'To The Last Man'

The Seventh Doctor: "I can hear the sound of empires toppling."
'The Happiness Patrol'

Messenger: "There is a woman who wants to meet you."
Doctor: That's nice, but I'm married."
The prequel to 'Asylum of the Daleks'