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Paper Promise by Jess Marie starting on 11th October 2019

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  • Paper Promise by Jess Marie starting on 11th October 2019

    I am sorry I am a bit late to announce our new story but since it is a rather short story with a word count of just about 3k words I hope everyone will manage to read it before the discussion starts next Friday.

    I have only found it on Bloodshedverse which I find rather difficult to read on. If you have any links to other sites, please post them !

    Dear Jess Marie , if you have found your way to this thread, please be so kind as to read this:!

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

    ................................ Banner by buffylover

  • #2
    30k ish. The bloodshedverse was where I originally read this and I'm not aware of where else it might be I'm afraid, sorry. I started rereading it and am looking forward to hearing other's thoughts on it.


    • #3
      I have finished this story early and I am posting my thoughts behind spoiler brackets for now because I might not be able to post next Friday.

      This story starts out lovely and continues so until the very last chapter. Xander being the one who senses that there is something going on between Buffy and Spike was a nice change from so many fics where he is absolutely clueless. Him also drawing a connection to his own parents behaviour - though with reversed gender roles - was a nice move too. Willow also got to shine when she talked to Buffy. There is a nice monster-of-the-week plot during which we get rid of Warren. That`s a plus. The blank piece of paper which is the starting point for this fic touched me. I can totally see Spike doing something like that and it`s way more in character for him than other more elaborate gifts he sometimes gives Buffy for her birthday in season 6 fics. That he would think of getting a soul and ask Tara for help was also plausible to me. That the curse initially failed and then worked in another way felt a bit contrived. It was only needed for Spike to still be able to get "a happy" and not be emasculated (a word I learnt from reading this fic) like Angel, but I can live with it.

      And then came the very last chapter and of course Buffy and Spike get it on and suddenly Spike calls Buffy "little princess" and talks about "daddy`s chock" and I went "Ewwwwww…….." Sorry, that`s a no-go. You don`t bring daddy into the bedroom. You just don`t. It`s a red flag and sadly it completely ruined the fic for me.

      Last edited by flow; 11-10-19, 10:21 AM.
      ................................ Banner by buffylover


      • #4
        I've also finished my reread of this but I'm going to resist reading your post flow until the 11th as I'll be around and able to post then. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

        Pleased by my self control I'm going to potter off now.


        • #5
          Let the discussion start!

          ................................ Banner by buffylover


          • #6
            Read the first three chapters and am enjoying it. I like the idea of 'things Spike wouldn't do for Buffy', and that hurt Dawn was the first thing Buffy wrote. Jess Marie has everyone's voices spot on so far. I really enjoyed Dawn and Buffy's breakfast scenes, they were very well written.

            - - - Updated - - -

            Upto Chapter 7. Very clever to use Pete and Debbie as the Big Bads of the story. I don't think I've ever read that before. I do like how they've been written as their relationship, while both are evil, feels very believable. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story ends, and how Debbie and Pete are defeated.


            • #7
              Thoughts overall...

              I read this a few years ago and still enjoyed it despite the twists to Spike's character. I find the idea of writing him responding to the beating in Dead Things differently interesting. Using it combined with the plot of Debbie and Pete returning as an example of an abusive relationship that puts the negativity of their own into starker light, works fairly well too. But to have Spike be the one that views it as problematic and needing to change is a pretty big swing in characterisation and it unfortunately isn't earned by the story. It looks to just make the combination with the beating Spike's equivalent to how As You Were worked for Buffy I think. Yet the problem is that Spike never had any problems with the violence and abuse in the relationship really and perhaps even felt that it was a significant part of what distinguished how he was more suited for her. The writing just presents him as having better moral boundaries and as a replacement for the AR it doesn't work as nothing really makes him question his own ability to be what Buffy needs as he is but it focuses it more to her responses to him and the limitations she brings. So basically the writing gives him the capability to see the problematic side had to stop before Buffy got there. Without it being prompted by him failing to walk the line as he wants it suggests he could see the merit in being souled fixing Buffy's problems within their relationship and that takes the focus away from issues being about him being limited without one.

              There's certainly some other idealising in the characterisation of Spike. The idea he would actually put Dawn before his relationship with Buffy really doesn't fit to what we've seen before. I also find the notion that he would have tried to be cursed really dubious. I just can't see him choosing that when he might well believe that sex could break it. Or even that it could limit being happy when that is exactly what he is wanting them to get to, instead of what they are currently managing. Although the mutually negative way they hurt each other is in there, and we definitely see Spike being verbally cruel, the leaning is very much on emphasising Buffy's abusiveness and his response to that. Alongside that there's also a look to create an increasing realisation/appreciation from her of what Spike does for her. And the story very much aligns him repeatedly to the abused partner with Debbie and more bluntly in reference to Xander's mum. He isn't written as being totally perfect at least, as we also see his misinterpretation of Buffy's response to his gift alongside occasional verbal attacks, but that still draws on his disbelief in her softening attitude against how he has been treated before. Buffy is positioned far more as the one at fault I think.

              I think this fic is unusual for writing Spike to be more aware and have increased moral capacity soulless, but also in still writing him becoming souled. Even if I think it messes about with the characterisation of soulless Spike on the way there, I appreciate that it keeps the soul and it impacting him regardless. I wish the author had given us some of the year post him becoming souled to really see the change in him and its affect on their dynamic though. But there is very little gleaned in the final chapter before they are pushing it aside to get to the bedroom scene. And the jump to the very playful vibe after they had the whole "don't leave/I love you" showdown was a bit jarring. The snippets of the year between were greatly reduced to a couple of recollections of when they wanted to jump each other's bones. So it all felt a bit rushed. I could definitely have lived without a good deal of the sex scene too (particularly the daddy bit, blerg to that). Although I liked that there was thought to how it had changed and also how it hadn't (and I wasn't surprised to read at the end in the author's note that happy redemptive Spuffy sex was the true goal), I'd still have liked to have gotten a better glimpse of how they'd changed outside of the bedroom instead.

              That seems like an awful lot of negatives and I honestly don't feel that negatively about it and I enjoyed reading it again well enough. I just think it simply changes Spike and runs with a scenario off an alternate version of him that's simply dropped in instead of canon characterisation. As I've said before, talking about the stories makes me consider them more critically and this aspect really stands out to me. But, that aside, I liked that the writer gave some general focus and consideration towards the negativity of abusive relationships. I liked that she still had Spike become souled and it matter to their relationship. I actually also really liked the twice-left-blank-note idea at the start, I thought it was really very sweet, and I liked the idea that it would be something Buffy would be affected by and want to keep. I also quite enjoy the inclusion of The Trio. Particularly the idea of Andrew having piggybacked negative events in the past for how that works with how unnoticed he was during high school. So I'm a bit mixed towards this fic. I don't think it works great as a tangent off canon because it has meaningful characterisation shifts from the start that it doesn't earn and pushes blame for the negativity in the relationship too much at Buffy for me (as many Spuffy fics set in S6 or 7 do sadly). Despite that, the lack of follow-up to the soul which I was disappointed by and those 'urk' daddy issues, my feelings overall still land on it being an enjoyable enough read.


              • #8
                Finished. By the end, this fic felt like two or three fics in one. We had the Buffy/Spike relationship, which of course is a major part of any Spuffy fic, but the paper marked with 'what Spike wouldn't do . . .' felt like a set up for a bigger story that never happened. We also had the Trio and the Pete/Debbie relationship. I think Jess Marie wrote the Trio really well, their dialogue could have come from the show, but they were unnecessary for the story, as Pete and Debbie were so good.

                I agree with flow, the use of 'daddy' was a bit of a turn off. It made me wonder when this fic was written, because in Season 6 Warren is called out for using the same sort of language and I'm surprised a Spuffy writer would put those words into Spikes mouth.

                The dialogue was excellent, even if the story was a bit muddled. I was pleased that Xander and Willow were written very positively. Overall I enjoyed this fic.


                • #9
                  Over all I liked the story and think the voicing was really good up until the squick factor daddy issues surfaced. It was more than just general yuck, spike fell out of character and spoke to Buffy as if she was Dru. As far as I can remember he only called her Princess. I don't think he ever called Buffy princess.

                  I did like how the author looped all the abuse together (Xander's parents, Debbie/Pete, Spike/Buffy) it was an interesting take on it.

                  Some lines were perfect:
                  “Know a thing or two about punishment, darling.” Spike’s last word fell hard as Debbie managed a fierce kick to his gut. “And I definitely know,” he took another swipe at her, “a glutton when I see one.”

                  The paper was sweet, as was Buffy adding "hurt dawn". All in all an enjoyable read.

                  “I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”


                  • #10
                    I liked the alley scene outside the Magic Box. Very hot and twisted, you know, in a season 6 style. It could easily fit in the show. But that's about all I liked. I didn't like the last chapter, too much talking.
                    I agree with Priceless, it feels like three different fics in one.