Echoes of Beljoxa by myrabeth
Chapter: Eternal Monkey

06/03/2015 02:35 am
I was almost surprised by how easily Willow gave in but remembered this is an earlier, less sure of herself Willow.  Really liking Althanea!
Yeah, this is pre- "I resurrected a slayer, so don't mess with me" and even pre- "I faced off against a Hellgod" Willow. Also, the focus is being put on Giles' history with magic, which Willow knows isn't exactly pretty.

05/24/2015 03:51 pm
That was a bit easier than I expected...  Other shoe?  I always suspect a whole deluge of shoes when Willow's involved.  I do like her, but I am very suspicious of her a lot of the time b/c her rape of Tara's mind and some of the other unethical things she does in canon really didn't get the consequences that she earned.  She came very close to destroying both Buffy and reality and I don't think she really ever 'owns' it in canon. 

Essentially, your story is forcing her to do so, and thankfully, before the fact.  Actually, it's unique in requiring her to face her issues, or very nearly so.  Of all the characters on the series, Willow and Xander get away with the most egregious wrongs.  Xander is often destroyed in fanfic for his, especially in Spuffy fic - a lot of spuffy writers appear to hate him (I don't).  Willow, seldom, if ever gets the same treatment.  (I do remember one story where she kills Tara inadvertently). 

I don't like character bashing - I have no use for any character bashing stories.  I'm talking about stories that explore the characters in a three dimensional way, the way you are.  It is rare.  You do it well.

This is one of the more thoughful stories I've seen about the nature of all the characters and their relationships.  Very well done, in case I haven't been clear on that!

Thanks, Blue! I agree, character-bashing is tiresome. But real relationships with three dimensional people? *That's* interesting.

What's really fun is seeing the divergence with  Xander and Willow. They started out in almost the same place as far as dealing with this suddenly changed Buffy and her relationship with Spike. But Xander started accepting the changes, observing and trying to edge closer to these strangers, attempting to close the gap. While Willow fell to sulking about the distance in the friendship and trying to forcibly restore the closeness in one big move. It's the tortoise and the hare, in some ways. And here we are, headed into chapter 15, and the old 'judgey Scooby twins,' a very well-known 2-for-the-price-of-one character set in the Spuffy fandom, aren't acting like a single unit at all.

It's amazing what can happen when you let characters think for themselves, rather than forcing them in a certain direction, or having them feed off each other's insecurities. Treat them like actual, individual people, with their own styles of communicating and reacting to events, and you don't have to turn friends into villains to keep things interesting.  Real, flawed relationships with real, flawed people is way more fun to explore than the simplistic 'Friend doesn't like my boyfriend. Screw you, friend! You're now the bad guy' refrain we all know so well.

05/24/2015 03:01 pm
Willow seems very open to the idea, can it be as easy as that?  I love how you've picked up on and used events like Buufy flatlining -- brilliant.
I always thought the fact that they never mentioned Buffy having another 'technically, I was dead' moment in canon as a dropped ball. Granted, there was a lot of other stuff going on, but *someone* could have mentioned it at some point. So I grabbed both of those facts: That it happened, and that no one bothered to talk about it. It gave me a few good lines, and also gave us an additional reminder of an important facet of the Spuffy relationship: There are still things they don't know about each other, still conversations they haven't had. Also, that Buffy has stopped viewing her deaths as something to freak out about. I guess, by the third time, you get a little jaded about it.

(As an aside, there's an unspoken implication in Buffy telling that story: Either season 7 Willow told her she flatlined or Buffy made a 30 second visit back to heaven. Those are the only circumstances under which Buffy would know what happened while she was on the operating table. Either Willow admitted to a second resurrection-ish act, or Buffy got yanked out of heaven again. Definitely an interesting thought to play with.)