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Interludes

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Review of chapter "Epilogue" from Spica
Review:
You seriously need to finish this, or at least properly tell where the other stories are that connect to it. Even better, mark them as being a series.
Leaving it with a cliffhanger that tells nothing about what happens and ending it? Pure and utter Evil.

And it´s the most "catching" story i´ve read in a fair while. And it´s not so much a "downer" as it has some wellwritten drama, definitely not something i see every day.

Finish the story and i´ll even put one of my far too few recommendations on it.
Comments from author:
Wow.
My pad goes 'Ping!' whenever an email arrives, so color me surprised when that happened just now, and I look in the inbox, and see a review for THIS story.
I've not looked at this in forever; it's one of the very first things I worked on, back in that first, outraged spate of writing that resulted from the finale of Season Three.
And yeah, I stopped working on it when I got to fifty thousand words and realized I was only halfway/two thirds of the way done.
I do like parts of this very much, though, even if I'd likely cringe at some of it now.
Putting it in a series, though--that's a good idea. Obviously the 'Super Happy Ending Bedtime Story' follows this, since Kira is there, and 'Of things that are not' spins off from this timeline too.
Hmmm. I'll have to give it a look, but yes, I'll do that after I post the chapter I'm working on at the moment.
As for reviving this long-slumbering story....
Maybe.
Not for a while, no matter what happens, but... I still recall where it was headed, and I might be able to wrap it up in a reasonable way, to lead into the later things.

Oh, and there's no need to wait, go, look at my other stories, and give me ALL of your Recs!
ALL OF DEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:-P
Review By [Spica] • Date [12 Apr 14] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Epilogue" from laoshi
Review:
It is hard not to feel cheated when a story this good breaks off halfway through. Of course I would love to know how Kira winds up living with Faith at the Beginning of Super Happy... almost as much as I want to know how Buffy came to be staying with her. But the story had reached a conclusion of sorts. I don't think of this as an especially dark story. If it were really that bad Kira would have died before telling Faith she was going to go with her. Kira is a wonderful creation, she gives Faith something good to cling to, support and friendship and love. I don't think it is as hopeless as all that. As long as Faith has Kira there is hope for her.
Comments from author:
Thanks, for the many(!) detailed reviews you wrote for this story.
It's immensely flattering when someone devotes that much thought to something I've written.
^_^

Did you ever read 'Of things that are not'?
It's almost/sort of a sequel to this... kind of.
o_O
(More fluffy and sappy, though, not as angsty and full of 'deep thoughts')
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Seventeen" from laoshi
Review:
Who is the demon who defeated Faith? Faith must have lost a fight with Kakistos and/or his minions for her watcher and her to be captured. But why not just call him a vampire or by name? The way Faith comes literally a hairs breath from victory but has it denied her was bloody brilliant. Kira has such a penetrating insight into what is wrong with Faith and how to help her get better. Faith is a scary person and she only gets scarier the more you know her, but why should that stop you being her friend? Buffy, began as Faith's saviour, then they worked together, but was she ever truly her friend in the way Kira is willing to be?
Comments from author:
Yes, the demon was Kakistos. As for not naming him... it's just one of the thousand and one decisions you make as you're writing a story. For the feel and rhythym of the passage, 'demon' seemed to read better. The specific one in question didn't really matter (and if it did, and if you're any kind of fan of the series, you already know which one it is).

Faith losing... yeah, well, she has it rough.
It's not that she CAN'T win these fights, it's just that she keeps suffering unforseeable reversals, bad luck, and generally the universe sort of craps on her.

Kira, much like Spike, seems to have a gift for seeing to the heart of certain things when everyone else fails.
I'd love to have the time to be working on stores later in the timeline, when Kira and Faith cross paths again. Hopefully I'll get around to it at some point.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen" from laoshi
Review:
If American movies are to be believed all bad guys are Brits, but not all Brits are bad guys. I'm struggling to remember if we ever saw anyone British in Buffy or Angel who wasn't a watcher, vampire or witch. Giles' old flame from Hush was British, wasn't she? I enjoyed Clarita's indecision over whether or not to administer the poison to Faith. But it is not the agonizing over a decision that matters, its the result of that decision. Why are all Faith's hardest struggles internal? I guess that's true of any character.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Fifteen" from laoshi
Review:
Something of a filler chapter, the only interesting insight is Clarita's belief that Faith is nothing human, which is just plain wrong. As Faith herself tells Buffy in that dream sequence, even after the mayor transformed himself into a giant snake he still thought like a human being. Whatever, else being the slayer does to a person they are still human. Humanity isn't something that can be taken from you, it has to be given up. Is someone burning her skin with cigarettes meant to be something that happened in the hospital or is it a reference to her childhood? Is there nothing this girl has not endured?
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [6 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Fourteen" from laoshi
Review:
The question Kira asks is one we have all asked at one time or another. How can someone who is so great be such a monster? It's a question that goes straight to the heart of the character of Faith. The answer of course is Faith's light and darkness have a common wellspring. If you tried to take away her rage, her passion you would destroy the very thing that is capable of making her great. I loved Faith's internal monologue constantly pushing back the time she is willing to wait for Kira to come back to her. No matter how many times she is rejected, neglected, or betrayed Faith always finds it within herself to open up to someone. Even if it is a dying girl no one cares about, especially if its a dying girl no one cares about. That' brave on a level I can barely conceive of.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Thirteen" from laoshi
Review:
You write violence, really, really well. I love the way the fight starts with James having all the advantages, the way Faith enjoys it even when she's losing, the way the fight just wakes her up. And how what she has awakened isn't nice in the slightest. The writing conveys a sense of Faith being swept away by her own desires, sex and death and more than a hint of the madness produced by both until the price, which must be paid. It was an inspired cruelty to contrast Kira at the beginning of the chapter believing totally in Faith's ability to make everything alright, with a blood-drenched Faith parroting those same words at a fleeing Kira at the climax of the chapter.
Comments from author:
I loves me a good fight scene.
^_^
That's probably a sad commentary on me, that I'll dive into a scene filled with blood and gore, but the warm and fuzzy bits, with affection and caring and all that stuff really give me trouble.

The way Faith gets swept up in the rush of a fight, and the emotional damage that makes it impossible to seperate sex and violence, is something she struggles with in most of my Faith stories. Trying to decide whether or not that behavior makes her genuinely evil, or just sick (and whether or not there's a real difference) is something I love to watch her, and the people around her do.

And yeah, I'm a sucker for bookending chapters and stories with images like that.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Eleven" from laoshi
Review:
Faith forgets for a few moments about just how soon Kira is going to die and Kira resorts to brutal honesty to remind her. I think I was in danger of feeling too warm and fuzzy towards Faith and then she goes and gloats about killing a bunch of policemen. It's a fine line between giving Faith enough laudable qualities that we can empathize with her and remaining true to her character; but you succeed admirably in this chapter. The same Faith who wants to kill Becca just for badmouthing the mayor doesn't want to let Kira down. Nice reveal of the Twisted Man, making him a pedeatrician was a stroke of genius. I'd also like to take this opportunity to express my love for the word babeilicious. It makes a great Faithism.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Twelve" from laoshi
Review:
Using dehumanising names like the Beta is a great way to distance yourself from someone you're going to sacrifice, its nice to see Clarita doesn't allow herself that particular luxury. You're doing a great job of making the Watcher's into the bad guys: taking the tendencies we saw in the series: self-righteousness, ruthlessness, contempt for the lives of others and magnifying them. But then when your hero is more of an anti-hero you need some pretty evil villains for her to go up against. Faith's reasoning for taking Kira along with her is very believable and true to her character: she is all about living in the moment.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [29 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Ten" from laoshi
Review:
It really cuts to the marrow of who Faith is not to be able to break a simple kitchen door. She has always identified herself with the Slayer strength and to have that taken from her, to go back to being the person she was before she became the slayer is perhaps her worst nightmare. The only people who have shown interest in her were because she was the Slayer. Even the Mayor wouldn't have cared about her if she wasn't. In her mind she would be just another worthless street kid that no one gives a damn about. This theme is continued later in the chapter when we hear about Faith's life on the streets. (Just what is it about women in the Whedonverse and cheese?) We also get Kira's version of the same pathology, "The older girl would think that she was a baby if she started to cry, and then she wouldn't want to be Kira's friend anymore. She wouldn't let that happen, no matter what."
Review By [laoshi] • Date [28 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Nine" from laoshi
Review:
It's true that Faith is ultimately responsible for her own actions, but it is also true that this nurse is just the latest in a long line of people who have failed Faith through neglect. I don't have a lot to say about this chapter other than I liked the way Kira's jagged emotional vulnerability shines through and the way Faith reacts to it. Faith is more alone, more helpless than she has ever been but to steal a Firefly line having a six year old in your corner ain't much, but it's not nothing.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [28 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Eight" from laoshi
Review:
Clarita's reaction to her guilt over Faith's fate felt very human, she just tries to ignore it. I loved the interaction between Kira and Faith. Kira trying to comfort Faith because everyone she loves is gone is a wonderful little moment. The continued references to Buffy scaring Faith gives a startlingly fresh perspective on the series. After what Buffy has done to her Buffy should quite literally be a spectre that haunts Faith's nightmares. I don't know what's worse Kira's isolation because of something completely outside of her control or Faith's isolation over what she perceives as faults within herself. Kira's calm acceptance is as difficult to take as Faith's belief that if she shows even a piece of her true self to anyone else they will recoil. But Faith has always been her own greatest detractor even when she does something as amazing as simple as allowing Kira to touch her. That one act of human kindness speaks volumes about her supposedly monstrous true self.
Comments from author:
I like Kira a lot; especially the way she tries to offer comfort to someone, even though no one was especially concerned about comforting HER.
Buffy being Faith's boogieman--That's absolutely true. Faith's self-image has never been great; she's been called loser, trash, slut, stupid, etc, all her life. And even though she denies it loudly, and kicks ass all over the place... deep down, how can she NOT believe it's all true? Then, coming to Sunnydale, she gets the last bits of self-worth knocked out of her.
Because the one thing Faith had, was that she was tough. Even though she'd failed her watcher, and run for her life, she was still alive, still the strongest, most dangerous girl in the world... except for Buffy. Once Kakistos was gone, she didn't have to be afraid of anyone, because no one could take her... except for Buffy. And that would have been okay, if only B had been someone she could relate to, and fit into her world (and it looked like that would be true, for awhile).
Then it all fell apart, and look, the only person who could stand to be around Faith is (literally) an inhuman monster (wannabee). When Faith lost that fight on the roof, it really left her with pretty much nothing. Where do you go, after that? How can she think anyone at all will ever care about her, given that?
Review By [laoshi] • Date [28 Mar 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Seven" from laoshi
Review:
Faith's um... interlude in the shower reminded me a lot of her Lady Macbeth moment (Out,out damn spot) when Buffy confronts here at the end of Bad Girls. I'm continually impressed by how well thought out the consequences of Faith's prolonged recovery would be. Months without an adequate diet especially with the way a Slayer's metabolism would burn through calories to feed itself would leave her malnourished and lying on a bed for months on end would leave more than a little dirty. I enjoyed the odd note of wry humour you managed to mix into this chapter with Faith's succumbing to the lure of lather, rinse and repeat. Kira's acceptance of the inevitability of the progress of her disease is nicely juxtaposed with her fear of the twisted man. Even if we have come to terms with death we all prefer to choose the manner of our passing and having pure evil shoved into you isn't a pleasant way to go. Faith and Kira's first meeting was a rather inauspicious beginning to what I hope will prove to be a great friendship. Kira fits Faith into her fantasy in the way you set up earlier. Kira being jolted by the wards to Faith's room must mean she has magic potential, although I'm assuming she not a Potential Slayer. Having her run out when Faith wakes up really was the perfect response. Faith's dreaming of Kira really feels like it's something that will be referred back to in a sequel a long way down the line. Assuming of course it was a prophetic dream and not a delusion produced by Faith's unconscious mind. But this is Sunnydale the mundane explanation is always wrong.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [28 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Six" from laoshi
Review:
Well if this chapter doesn't pull on your heartstrings you're just empty inside. The opening with Janice and Dr. Laidlow confirms my suspicions that whatever else they may do right the Watchers still look on all the slayers as a means to an end. The doctor is clearly having second thoughts and it will be interesting to see exactly how much she is willing to do to protect Faith. I liked the little moment of Janice staring at Faith. Her reaction to faith's spiritual beauty is deeply disturbing: the impulse to put it in a cage. It's nice to see Kira again her feelings were conveyed very nicely. i especially liked the line about Kira trying to make herself believe in the excuses her father makes. Her dejection at the seeming loss of her father's love is as heart wrenching as it is sincere. I liked the way she feels she has learnt a lot from playing RPG's. I'm assuming this will lead into her view of Faith as a hero from myth. The reference back to the Kindestod was a particularly nice touch.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [19 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Five" from laoshi
Review:
I like the direction you're taking with Clarita Laidlow. I do have to ask is her name a play on words? Will she be laid low at some point? Anyway, introducing a new Council faction is an exciting development. An area the show never explored was internal divisions within the Council. From what we've seen the Council was an organisation with a truly global reach. Watchers like Merrick and Giles may have been mavericks, but they didn't come out of nowhere. In any organisation like that there is always a degree of dissension. In many ways this new grouping want most of the things Buffy and Faith wanted from the Watchers. But they still have that alarming disregard for Faith's life they have already discounted her.
My only medical knowledge comes from old episodes of ER and House, but the medical terminology in this chapter seems very realistic. It's a nice twist that in trying to help her they actually make Faith's recovery more difficult, which could serve as a metaphor for most of Faith's life. The consequences of her injury are very well worked out, especially Faith overtiring her body by trying to heal too fast. I liked the deliberate ambiguity of Faith's thinking she'll have to do something about Buffy, which could be taken in many different ways.
Comments from author:
--I like the direction you're taking with Clarita Laidlow. I do have to ask is her name a play on words?--

No, it was basically just me trying to find a name that sounded 'British' enough, without being, um, too 'evil' sounding?
As usual, the truth behind these little details is never as cool, smart, or interesting as you imagined it would be.
^_^

--Watchers like Merrick and Giles may have been mavericks, but they didn't come out of nowhere. In any organisation like that there is always a degree of dissension.--

I see the council as a group that has, largely, lost their way. In their final days of aimless bickering and general moral decay, they spend most of their time with the infighting and petty politics, and mostly (as we saw in the series) ignore their duty as a support structure for the Slayer(s).


--My only medical knowledge comes from old episodes of ER and House, but the medical terminology in this chapter seems very realistic.--

Thanks. Those two sources were my starting point, too.
^_^
Some poking around online, to try and find the right terms, and then my beta reader/editor going over it too (she dated a doctor for many years, and picked up a lot).
Review By [laoshi] • Date [17 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
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