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07 November 2012 @ 02:46 pm
Well, this is exciting!  
Guys, it's my IWRY day!! I always love when this happens!! Multiple series of exclamation points!!

Title: Hope Springs
Author: Fluff

Summary: "When will it be enough?” she asks, but there is no reply, and she stands alone amongst the stars." Half a decade after Chosen, Buffy risks everything to protect the thing she loves most.
Pairing: Buffy/Angel

Rating: PG
Word count: 14875
Spoilers: All of Buffy and Angel to be safe, but nothing particularly specific other than a couple of references to Chosen and Damage

A/N: This story is my frilled shark fic, so named because frilled sharks have been known to have gestational periods of three and a half years, which is how long it has taken for me to finish it (the first draft I have is from 2009 and Ren's name was Molly). So, many, many thanks to my midwives: Bean, who almost undoubtedly read the first two or three drafts of this back in high school; Kairos, who was so encouraging when I was trying to get my mojo going while I was away in Israel; and MoragLee, who betaed for me (AKA talked me down from the ledge) now that I'm in college.

Title from Alexander Pope and summary from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Few characters are mine.

(It would be unbelievably sweet and awesome of you to review this)

 
 
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( 4 comments — Make my day )
Avox in Arcadia: B/A: not death but loveperpetual on November 19th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Thought this might be the best place to leave my review - just because nobody else has so far and I don't like an empty LJ post. Sorry it took me so long! Always a distraction, where IWRY is concerned.

But believe me when I posted the link for this one and checked it out, I was so excited about which story it was. I saw Ren's name in the summary and my heart did a backflip. I was like, "She did it! She DID IT! And now I get to find out how it ends!"

I can't remember what I've already said about the first half, but this time around (of course I started reading from the beginning), I'm pretty sure I had all the same reactions, and just as strongly. First of all, I love it so much that Buffy decided to adopt a baby on her own, and I love the thought process bringing her there, with the guilt about making the new Slayers and the way she felt when she looked at Ren for the first time.

And she's a great mother, of course. It's very sad to see her so alone with her daughter, but the way they are together, it's obvious that Buffy would never regret any sacrifice she made for her. It's also sad to see the way she reacts to Angel when he shows up, but you made sure to show us that she does trust him with her most important thing even if she doesn't trust him with her business - I think that very accurately depicts their relationship as we saw it throughout the show.

Totally loved the scene where she comes to him for help and he gets Ren back for her. That's what it all boils down to: no matter how she feels about him, she can depend on him, and she knows it. Possibly my favorite part, and I think I thought the same the first time I read it, was Buffy looking at Connor's picture and seeing the resemblance in his protective stance. It's not just that it's Angel's #1 trait, it's not just that he passed it on to his son, it's that Buffy just gets it.

Speaking of that picture, Charlotte is a wonderful OC. A lot of writers don't seem to realize that truly good people can still have personality traits that make them distinctive and memorable. Even before Buffy trusts them, you can see the way the family is starting to gel, just because everyone is so right for each other.

Gah, the details. Like Salem. Basically everything is wonderful about this story, but, me being a longtime fan of your writing...I have been studying your movements. I know when something is different. So the thing that really impresses me is the plot. Not that you can't write a plot; obviously you've done that well before. But this one is long, and it's complicated, and there's a timeline and buried hints and a major conflict that I honestly didn't know how you were going to solve. I didn't consciously have any thoughts like, "Would Fluffy really let Ren die??", but I will easily confess to massive relief at the way it did end.

Of course it was rough in a lot of ways, too. I thought it was interesting that Angel essentially had to lie about everything to get it to happen as it should - it's the kind of thing that he's always accused of, but this particular case shows how stuck he is. It doesn't excuse him, and I'm not surprised that Buffy initially threw him out, but clearly he thought carefully and decided that Ren's safety was top priority even if it meant hurting Buffy.

I looked up Renata - very beautiful. And, Joy? Was that for me? :) What about Father Tom, was Father Tom for me? (Don't worry, I'll take credit either way. I can always say I lodged those names into your subconscious.)

All in all, a great read, and if you wanted to call this your masterpiece, nobody could stop you. I'm so inspired by the way you wrestled this for so long until you finally got it out. I hope I can do the same sooner or later. Congratulations, you!
fluffernutter8: Barely 3 AMfluffernutter8 on November 23rd, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
I will take reviews where and whenever you want to leave them and I am not not ashamed to say it. Bring them on!

I just checked, and the first time I sent you this story was almost two years ago. Therefore I'm fairly impressed myself that I finished this at all (there was a significant period of time where I didn't think I would) and that you remember it from lo so many years ago.

I love the thought process bringing her there, with the guilt about making the new Slayers
I was afraid that this guilty backstory got lost because the main part of the story followed so quickly afterward. So I'm glad that you picked up on that.

I think that very accurately depicts their relationship as we saw it throughout the show.
You know I love when I'm accurate!

it's that Buffy just gets it.
I think that a lot of this fic is based around on the idea that no matter how much time has passed, they will still know each other on a basic level.

Also that piece came from the fact that Connor looks nothing like Angel at all, but I think that they do share a protective violence.

Oh, Charlotte! I wanted more for her. In the middle drafts (slash outlines, because let's not pretend that I did more writing than I actually did) she was going to play a larger role as some sort of babysitter/godmother/mentor to Ren, but I couldn't quite make it happen. Still, fun fact about her: secret slayer. I imagine plenty of future conversations between them about guilt and the choice Buffy made, as well as the weirdness of Buffy being her mother-in-law.

Okay, we can all admit that this is probably my longest, plottiest fic. And I don't know how people do this all the time! It's crazy! Going back and inserting hints and references...so much effort!

I honestly didn't know how you were going to solve. I didn't consciously have any thoughts like, "Would Fluffy really let Ren die??"
This was really the biggest road block in my writing. I was stuck on this for literally over a year. I rarely outline, and this story in particular was not fully formed until about September-ish. Beyond deciding exactly what was endangering Ren, I couldn't figure out how to make her survive. I was very close to her dying and then Buffy magically forgetting her or having to deal with that, but I pushed through and changed the problem with her until she could survive it. Of course I couldn't let her die!

I spoke with my beta about Angel's characterization for a long time. I felt that he was so aloof and I was so bothered by that, but in the end she reminded me about the way he was in the beginning of the series: he has the ability to be that mysterious guy who clearly connected with Buffy but still held himself back. This is like the reprise of that, but they've been through so much that they know each other better and there's more on the line this time.

Ren's safety was top priority even if it meant hurting Buffy.
I saw this is a slightly different way. Because he knew that Ren would be saved, it wasn't a question of Ren over Buffy. But he knew that Buffy might not forgive him for what he did. I felt that it was such an Angel thing to risk that in order to guide Buffy through the whole thing.

I vividly remember looking for an Italian name that meant hope or happiness and I found Renata and I felt that it really reflected the way Buffy thought of her life with Ren. Joy was a continuation of that idea and a tribute to Joyce, But Father Tom was absolutely, blatantly and consciously for you. :)

I think that I've written 20+ fics in the time since I first started writing, so I'm not ashamed of saying that I'm really proud of this fic. It was a lengthy and difficult process and I learned a lot about plotting and persevering and not being afraid of rewriting. But knowing your writing, I have no doubt that you can do the same.

I'm just not sure how to deal now that I won't have this to play with when I don't have anything else in the works. I guess I'll have to start something new!

Thank you as usual for a fantastic (and lengthy) review! :D
Avox in Arcadia: Luna Lovegood: sparkleperpetual on November 23rd, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought it had been about that long. That's why I was so excited! I hope you do start a new epic. To answer your question - most of us who do long stories can manage it because they're not as polished as this. :p

Charlotte's a Slayer?! Oh, well done, you. Suddenly she has a whole new layer of depth that I didn't even guess at.

I like Angel aloof. He's always got his reasons for it. Didn't he also run the risk of disrupting the process of Buffy saving Ren, though, because she couldn't get into her state of despair if she knew everything was going to be okay? That's how I read it - that Angel was keeping that secret so he wouldn't change the future.

YAY FOR MY SHOUT OUT! And you and I aren't the only who's come up with that name for Buffy's daughter, for those reasons, which I like just as much as a shout out. :)
fluffernutter8: Sparkly fangirlfluffernutter8 on November 29th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
Didn't he also run the risk of disrupting the process of Buffy saving Ren, though, because she couldn't get into her state of despair if she knew everything was going to be okay? That's how I read it - that Angel was keeping that secret so he wouldn't change the future.
That's also an important element. Thank you for taking the time to analyze.

God, why can I not code correctly?! Half of my response is in italics, goddamn it.
( 4 comments — Make my day )