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Thread: Mortal Enemies by Laure Alexander starting on 5th April 2019

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    Default Mortal Enemies by Laure Alexander starting on 5th April 2019

    Our next discussion will start on Friday 5th April 2019 and we will be reading:


    Mortal Enemies by Laure Alexander aka ladyoneill.


    This fic is only available through Slayer Network Offline Ressources. I don`t know why that is. Laure Alexander has more than 150 Buffy fanfics on AO3 and is still an active writers (for other fandoms as well). But this one is not among her AO3 stories, which is - I think - a huge loss. You can find the story here:

    http://offline.buffy.de/outlink_en.p...s/l/mortal.htm

    It has two chapters and is a rather short fic. I don`t have a word count though. I do hope that due to it`s shortness there we will have some more avid fanfic readers who can manage to join the discussion!

    i have read this fic before and I am excited to re-read it. It is the earliest Spuffy fanfic I am aware of. It does not only pre-date Out Of my Mind but also Something Blue and thus was written long before Spuffy happened on the show.

    The story is set between season 2 and season 3. Buffy and Spike have both (seperately) left Sunnydale after the events of Becoming Part II and they happen to walk into each other one night ...

    Dear Laure Alexander, if you have found your way to this thread, please be so kind as to read this

    http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...re-you-proceed!

    before you proceed. Thank you for your consideration. Please feel welcome to join in the discussion. We would be delighted and honored.


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    Last edited by flow; 29-03-19 at 12:46 PM.
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    Oooo, if I can fit this in I will try. I read it a very long time ago. FYI my word count says that it is about 17,100.

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    It’s time to discuss this!

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    Huh. For a fic written before Spuffy was even happening or even had a hint of happening, their dynamic here has weirdly accurate moments.

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    I am really surprised that this fic was written before Something Blue. It just shows that there were plenty of fans (okay, a few) who wanted Spuffy to happen even before they saw it on screen.

    I really enjoyed the start of the fic. I thought the scene setting was really good, and Buffy's voice was spot on. It let itself down when Spike appeared and Buffy became a little overwrought. I understand that Spike was bringing Buffy back to life and trying to get her to face what happened, but I did think Buffy cried a bit too much.

    The sex scenes were interesting. I'd like to add 'his staff' to fanfic phrases I don't want to read again.

    Overall I enjoyed it. I liked the thought of Buffy running away to a trailer park in Kansas and becoming a vegetable picker, which really appealed to me. It's damn hard physical work, and I can imagine someone choosing to do that to punish themselves. I liked Buffy and Spike becoming friends and finding a appreciation of each other's personalities, and that they could separate at the end, but knowing they'd meet again.

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    Read this twice and enjoyed - though to be honest, I'd have read the side of a cereal box if it kept me away from The Guardian and the bloody debacle of UK politics. Very prescient - not just about the fact that Spuffy will happen but the way it'll happen. Liked the voices and the context.

    Priceless

    I'd like to add 'his staff' to fanfic phrases I don't want to read again.
    Agree - "staff", needs to be banned. The only thing in its favour is, in this case, it's a metaphor for something impressive, that does what it's designed to do and brings about a satisfactory ending - unlike the "staffs" in Westminster.

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    What love about this fic is that we see evil soulless Spike who is this bad-ass, punk-rock vampire but completely without the layers that later were added to his character in Fool For Love and later episodes as well. Don`t get me wrong. I love layered Spike. But it is interesting to see him through the eyes of someone who knew him before all those layers have been added.

    I feel like a paleoantropologist who has found a missing link

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    What love about this fic is that we see evil soulless Spike who is this bad-ass, punk-rock vampire but completely without the layers that later were added to his character in Fool For Love and later episodes as well.
    Humph...depends on how high...or low...you set the bar for evilness. Okay...he might have killed somebody but I don't care! He's still not as evil as 75% of UK politicians!

    Seriously, I found him layered - that's what I found interesting about him. I really liked him. I also liked Buffy (which is a bit of a rarity for me). I think I'd have liked more story and slightly less sex - although the sex was well-written. I thought he might have been the campsite owner (he wasn't was he? I'm really distracted at the moment). Sigh...I might read it again.

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    I think the most interesting thing to me is when the story was written. Don't get me wrong, I always loved Buffy and Spike mesmerized me from the moment he appeared but I can't claim to have known where things were headed.
    I think the author did an incredible job of anticipating the direction of the characters. It's hard to remember after multiple rewatches but I was shocked and amazed at the way the story evolved yet laurel Alexander was like a fortune teller in character development.
    Last edited by GoSpuffy; 06-04-19 at 10:05 PM.


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    Buffy having travelled as far away as she could manage and taking on manual work, trying to fill her time and avoid thinking, works well generally as a close variation to her post S2 escape to LA. I like the aspect of acknowledging need/context affects why people start relationships right at the start of the fic, companionship and survival the examples vs love, it sets up the story well.

    I wasn't keen though on Buffy pretty readily breaking down/crying when hit (physically which triggered her inability to deal emotionally being released) at the start. But I can take the shock of Spike suddenly being there and the memories of why she was running being forced on her as extreme enough to cause it. Well, I can if I'm trying to reason it out at least. It does feel a choice to move a step away from canon characterisation to me. Hardly a crime for a fanfic I know (), it just isn't a character weakening that I like to read lots of and it is a fairly repeated feature of this story as Buffy curls up and is cradled weeping or gets carried around like a child. This negative goes somewhat alongside the point where Spike has to be the reasonable, calm one that pushes the need to talk, that figures out fully what Buffy was running from and sees their mutual need to face their pain/losses. So how he is shifted for the purposes of the fic makes it a lessening of Buffy and a strengthening of Spike a bit to me. That's really not unusual to see in fanfics that want to push them together without a great deal of build up to it. So we see at the start Buffy crumble and Spike switch from fury to pestering her quite randomly, not taking the choice to just kill her and then her leap to escapism with him starting the ball rolling on their mutual therapy. But the writer does have him questioning himself about why he didn't kill her, and also her reaction to having slept with him later too is seen, albeit briefly. So we do get some angst in both their responses as they use the other to deal with their own issues and loss. The inclusion of angst somewhat helps to look past the less believable steps in the story between them.

    Buffy trying to remain numb, accepting the loss of happiness if she gets to close off from the pain too, works fine for a continuation from S2. Something has to break through to get her to engage again and obviously in this story it's Spike and the passion they release in each other. The intent in suddenly sleeping with him is of course negative and self-destructive and as much as I don't think Buffy was that broken down when she was in the LA phase that she would have done this, it isn't something so far removed from canon characterisation and where it goes in later seasons, apparently way after this was written, to be completely implausible. But this fic gets there pretty much instantly and without any restriction on his ability to kill woven in. As it's also pretty short it often feels a little 'porn with just a bit more plot than you sometimes get' in nature, ha.

    I liked that we also got some insight into why Spike was trailing across country too and the break up with Dru was an alternative version of the kind of split that was written to have occurred between them that worked well enough too. It worked for him falling to want comfort as well after all that he'd put up with Angel/Dru (although there is no way Angel pretended as if nothing was happening! He delighted in mocking Spike over it) and more so with the later addition of the vicious rejection/break up that Dru inflicted. But again it was him opening up and stomping around, figuring it out. We didn't have Buffy really drawing it from him or him crumpled/weak like it was for her. Which is fine for variety, it is just the weakening of Buffy against brushing past Spike's faults thang. Buffy also still putting aside his soullessness and the issues with that/him killing to have a last fling before they parted needed shrugging at.

    But I enjoyed the little we saw of their night out together and I could see them letting each other live after sharing getting past their losses and making this connection. And I liked that the fic gave the potential set up, with a 'watch this space' sense towards when they'd inevitably meet again at the end. The addition of the friends she had was a nice touch too and I enjoyed the scripting around those scenes. I wish writers wouldn't use the 'denial is not just a river' line though. It's soooo overused. Overall the setting and 'away from SD' nature of the fic works well and how the characters were feeling in the wake of S2. I tend to always like fics where they meet elsewhere or go on road trips etc. Sure the character responses/choices were a bit unearned and hard to believe here and there, but it is a quick and easy read and the angst in it all too keeps it entertaining enough.

    I have to say the line 'he could prolong this for hours, but, as a very experienced man, he recognised that it had been a long time for her' really made me roll my eyes. I know that Buffy is low in this but making her that little bit weaker still by his power to satisfy her desperate neediness is a bit much for me. And I'm always greatly amused by fics where there is so much drama around the sex scenes with much whimpering, trembling, panting, head thrashing, arching, flinging, crying out, slamming and exploding.

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    As I said, I didn't mind the sex scenes in themselves, I just thought the balance was wrong. That said, I'm far less critical of fan-fic than most. I either enjoy it enough to finish it or I don't enjoy it so I stop. On the strength of @flow's revelation about the author's pseudonym, I read this last night: Past Their Expiration Dates, ladyoneill https://archiveofourown.org/works/5703166

    I'm even more depressed than I was before.

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    Faith, Buffy and Spike is a reciepe for absolute disaster unless one or all of them have a personality transplant

    Did you read it, was is good?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    As I said, I didn't mind the sex scenes in themselves, I just thought the balance was wrong. That said, I'm far less critical of fan-fic than most. I either enjoy it enough to finish it or I don't enjoy it so I stop.
    I often end up being more critical than I felt when reading it just through the process of considering what I read and writing what I thought down. I tend to look at them against canon then, through considering what was done with/to the characters, and canon always wins. But I still appreciate them and read many, so I do enjoy seeing the ideas people come up with. It's generally interesting and then it is just a bonus when they are well written. I rarely stop reading, I have to drastically hate it to not even skim through to the end, but I also don't often reread them. This is one I find entertaining despite its issues and I have read it more than once and probably will again.

    Whatever the Expiration Dates fic is I'm going to avoid it, I don't need to start my weekend depressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Faith, Buffy and Spike is a reciepe for absolute disaster unless one or all of them have a personality transplant

    Did you read it, was is good?
    Read it...it only takes 5 minutes. I'm too busy searching the house for anti-depressants to answer you.

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    No!Don‘t read it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    No!Don‘t read it!

    flow
    That's made my day!

    Priceless:

    Did you read it, was is good?
    Define good. It's very well-written and nobody dies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    No!Don‘t read it!

    flow
    Why not? Now I really want to read it!

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    I think I must have read this fic before, but that must have been almost 10 years ago. I didn't remember much of it, and it was fun to read it again. It though it was a pretty good story. I agree with GoSpuffy and seekingoutfriday that considering how early on this was written, it's remarkable how well the characters' future dynamics were captured here. The main thing that made the story feel a teensy bit outdated was the writing style of the sex scenes. (I'm not sure if it was the staff or the exploding, or something else.) They were still enjoyable enough, though.

    One thing I really liked about the story is that this is not one of those Spuffy fics set in early seasons where Buffy is just so attracted to Spike that she doesn't even think about the fact that he's actively killing people, or where Spike immediately stops killing people for Buffy's sake (and it's easy for him because he really was a "noble vampire" all along...). I think it's great that they both acknowledge that they are NOT going to work out as a couple, and each go their separate ways. For now, anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    On the strength of @flow's revelation about the author's pseudonym, I read this last night: Past Their Expiration Dates, ladyoneill https://archiveofourown.org/works/5703166

    I'm even more depressed than I was before.
    Thanks for the link. That was fairly bleak but not hopeless, I thought.

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