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Merry Christmas Spike by dutchbuffy starting 13th December 2019

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  • Merry Christmas Spike by dutchbuffy starting 13th December 2019

    Our second Christmas story this year is a series by durchbuffy on AO3.

    There are five stories with 42k words. If you like to you can comment on each story at a time of you choosing. I‘d just ask you not to start before the discussion for Let Nothing You Dismay which will take place next Friday.

    Again, I have to rely on someone else to link the story

    Thank you and let‘s all have a wonderful Christmas time!

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

  • #2
    Here's a link


    • #3
      Just a quick reminder that the discussion for this series or at least for the first part of it starts next Friday.

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


      • #4
        I have thoroughly enjoyed the first story in this compilation. Spiking the Christmas Punch is funny, lighthearted and very true to Spike's character and voice. I van visualize him running to Buffy and telling her some random vampires plan to kidnap Santa and get punched in the nose for this.

        I was very touched by the glimpse into the future at the end of the story.

        The second story - Wolf Reindeer & Heart - captures Spike's loneliness and how lost he is in AtS 5 even better than the show did. The poker game is fun but I missed an explanation why he had forgotten the events of Christmas two years ago. It is very well written though. I remember dutchbuffy as an author of very dark fics, so these more lighthearted stories are a pleasant surprise.

        I am in the middle of the third one - Merry Christmas, Mr. Bloody -. Is anyone else reading this series?

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


        • #5
          I've read them. I think santa told Spike that he wouldn't be able to keep the memory in the first story at the time flow, but I'm not definite.

          I was really uncertain how I'd find this series as I've read this author before and really enjoyed one story and seriously disliked another. It was mixed for me, not a series I love to be honest, but the first and last were definitely my favourites. I wrote the notes below as I read the fics and didn't say anything about Spike going to Buffy with the tip off in the first story, but agree with you him doing that and Buffy's response were strong parts of the story. The plot of the first was good fun.

          The first story - I was pleased Spike didn't get to make Buffy love him through the wish, but found all the weeping around his visit to the future a bit over the top.

          The second story - captured the lost feeling Spike has for most of S5 on AtS pretty well I thought. A bit aimless and lacking in confidence. And whilst the characterisation was pretty good for that somewhat regressed version he presented then, which results in a heavier hint of his soulless persona often when his insecurities and defences up so high, I loathed the inclusion of the sex while the referees waited during the poker marathon. It was just so incredibly tacky and to me felt off to readily behave like that for that reason and in that context souled.

          The third story - includes something I dislike in stories, when Spike is dismissive of the soul "Didn't help me as much as I thought, but I've gotten used to it now". I totally buy Spike being melancholy and down about being souled when drunk/depressed, but generally speaking he doesn't think it didn't make much difference to him as this implies. I think his recent events have undoubtedly been traumatic and perhaps he could be relating all that he's been through in sacrificing himself twice to becoming souled, but that doesn't really connect well for me to saying it didn't help him as much as he'd thought. I found him quite angry and resentful in this story and then he too suddenly jumped away from that and decided to give in to his desire to be with Buffy. And that then very quickly jumped again to them getting physical straight away. The swings were too extreme and sudden for me.

          His view about being souled aside, his low state of mind I can put a lot to the trauma of the battle and losing the AtS gang. And his uncertainty about returning to Buffy is pretty much a continuation of what he was responding to in AtS 5. That he's still trying to show independence and figure out what being a hero means to him is clearest when he tries to flee the possibility of being rescued. I quite liked that uncertainty continuing. But his thought that the 'penitent, grovelling Spike is no more', that he's 'paid his dues' was really off-putting to be honest. Like with the thoughts on the soul the characterisation doesn't work for me, it's not how I think Spike views his worth and self in regards to Buffy. Perhaps it is just what the writer wishes he'd felt after S7 (or I'm forgetting something from canon when he showed such resentment).

          The scheming of the scoobies who didn't like the Immortal bringing Spike back with a wish was really quite silly, but Buffy's mix of hurt, anger and concern around him worked fairly well. Her lack of questioning about how and why he suddenly appeared felt odd though and, as I said before, I just found their quick jump back together jarring. I can reason that they didn't want to lose time when another chance had been given to them, but they were barely used to being around each other again and some time together to get a sense of building on where they had been was needed for me.

          On to the fourth story - The start of this was intriguing, I wondered where they were going to go with Riley but felt wary as I suspected a slayer/vamp child was going to be part of the story, which of course it was (I'd seen a risk of Riley bashing if he'd wanted to kidnap the baby or some such). But it wasn't an action plot that unfolded but what I think was supposed to just be a funny drama. It didn't really hit high notes for me though. Buffy and Spike's relationship was again mostly about sex but with a load of pet names thrown in now, presumably to show them as established and very comfortable together. But the result was that it felt a little like reading about an accepted soulless version of Spike to me. We aren't getting to see any of these developments, just like in the other stories. Also Buffy felt somewhat sidelined as the slayer in this too. I was pleased she got to kill the demon and, even if it was unknowingly, solve the mystery. But I just find it hard to believe she'd roll with everything seeming so off at the hotel and everyone blatantly covering just through being so distracted by getting married. It's almost insulting. And I really didn't love Riley and Dawn either.

          The fifth and final story - Ugh to Riley and Dawn still, but again I liked the opening of the story and the quirkiness of Theo. I don't think the time travel necessarily makes sense through the story, by standard time travel theories, but I don't really care about the perceived correctness of that personally so I happily just rolled with how the story wanted to use it. Spike bemoaning missing out on blood and afterbirth from Buffy having the babies in hospital was gross. But ignoring that, and Diley (or Rawn ), the timeline story with Theo was interesting and I liked Dawn realising that Buffy and Spike were in trouble. I thought Dawn activating the portal and Riley struggling a little with that were nice inclusions for their characters. I found the oldest Theo coming to see them one last time a lovely touch that was spoilt somewhat by Buffy being shielded from the truth by Spike and Riley. She really hasn't been the hero of this series that she should be for me. Again I felt like a lot of the story happened off screen, but this was probably one of my favourites of the series. This and the first one.

          I have to say this hasn't been a collection of stories I've loved. Spike's characterisation often didn't feel right to me, was more to his AtS 5 persona than S7 (not relevant for the first two stories for obvious reasons) and Buffy was barely noticeable in most of them. I did quite enjoy the little cameos that Santa had throughout though.


          • #6
            Spiking the Christmas Punch - sweet story, though a bit thin. Liked the voicing. My favourite part was Spike writing his message on Dawn's cast and his happiness at seeing how close it was to Buffy's name and the 'love'. That's the sort of thing that becomes important when you are suffering from unrequited love.

            - - - Updated - - -

            Wolf Reindeer & Heart - some really cringey sexual jokes that I thought were a bit ewww and stopped me reading this fic a while ago, but I thought I'd push on this time. I didn't like the way Harmony was written in this fic. She has her faults, but she's a good receptionist with a great work ethic, and she's written as though she's really not good at her job and I felt a little offended for her. This story was a bit dull for me and I skip read most of it. I didn't enjoy the story or this Spike.


            • #7
              The third story was kinda weird or maybe I had too much red wine.

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


              • #8
                Originally posted by flow View Post
                The third story was kinda weird or maybe I had too much red wine.

                I thought it was an odd start, as though Spike were dreaming it all. Really Spike was only there because the scoobies had wished it, so I think that's what gave it an odd dream like quality to begin with. It became more 'real' as it went on and finished as a very sweet story. I enjoyed it a lot. It had more Spuffy than the previous two stories.


                • #9
                  The first story was my favorite of the 5. I'm with Stoney, ugh to riley and dawn. Was the old man at the end Spike? Or a theo?

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


                  • #10
                    I think it was Theo, knowing he wouldn't make another Christmas going to see his mother one last time before he himself died. I really don't think that should have been shielded from Buffy and that it was the two guys, Spike and Riley, was just insulting.


                    • #11
                      Hot Springs Eternal Really enjoyed this one. I love cute coupley Spuffy, and they were very cute together. The story was sweet, with a tiny bit of demon hunting thrown in to good measure. Riley and Dawn didn't bother me at all, and I liked this grown up Dawn.


                      • #12
                        I gave up on story no. 4 and no. 5. They were too weird for my liking.

                        So ... it's a wrap for 2019, folks. This was our last fanfic for this year. I really enjoyed our discussions throughout the year and hope to see you all striving and eager to read some new fics in 2020.

                        If you come across any fanfics you like or find interesting, please don't forget to name them in the suggestion thread.

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


                        • #13
                          I'm very late to the discussion here, sorry! I did (re)read the whole Merry Christmas Spike series well before 13 December, but then I didn't have time to post about it.

                          I'm a big Dutchbuffy fan, and had read these stories at least twice before, but I happily read them again and enjoyed them all over again. Personally I really love the fun and weirdness of Dutchbuffy's stories, but (with some effort) I can see why these stories might not be everyone's cup of tea.

                          Spiking the Christmas Punch was short, fun and sweet; I thought the glimpse of the future was quite touching. The end reads like Santa only didn't let Spike keep the memory of this glimpse, but as the next story shows, he actually wiped Spike's memory of the whole encounter. I really like Dutchbuffy's characterization of Spike as snarky and sensitive (and sentimental) at the same time. I love her Spike voice and also fun little details like Spike and Santa both being Homefront fans. (Me too, guys!)

                          Wolf, Reindeer & Heart has Spike not at his best, but I think it fits with how low he felt at this point in time. I loved the description of the different demons at the poker tournament and the rising feeling of dread as Spike discovered he was being set up as the winner. In the end nothing really comes of that though; the resolution is not strong at all. The ending with the phone call makes up for it though.

                          Merry Christmas, Mr. Bloody is has some drama but it's mostly a lot of fun, from Spike being dumped under Buffy's Christmas tree, the Scoobies' not-so-subtle attempts at getting them together, to Spike's stubbornness in orchestrating his own escape, and too many other things to mention. The running gag of Spike encountering cousins of Clem is also something that makes me smile each time.

                          Hot Springs Eternal was another fun romp, meant to be enjoyed without taking it too seriously (a bit like The Girl in Question or the previous story in the series). I agree the characterization of Buffy was totally unrealistic but I'm happy to go along with the explanation of hormones making her incredibly oblivious of anything going on around her -- but she still kicked ass even then. I love all the silly stuff like the ice bed monster, Dawn bossing Riley around, and his soldiers going out of their comfort zone to pretend to be hotel staff.

                          Dead Man's Chest is another one that has a mix of fun and drama. I didn't have so much time to reread this one, so I just skimmed it a bit to remind myself of the parts I enjoyed, like the Dawn and Riley relationship, the time traveling Theos but also the sad and moving parts (the grave!). I know it's a weird mix, but I love it.