Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men...

More Buffy and Angel Recommendations.

It's all a matter of looking in the right places.

Older Buffy/Angel recs here, here, here, and here. Newer recs here.

New recs will always be added to the top of the page.

Page updated March 25, 2003 with five new recs.

Lynn: "Motorcycle Driveby" (vid)

The link takes you to the e-mail address for JKL.

Quite simply, the only Spike/Buffy vid out there that you absolutely *must*

I mean... I have absolutely no complaints. None. Everything was done
perfectly, from the choice of this song right down to the clips used
and the sequence they were used *in*.

In fact, this is that rare vid that makes the life of a fan *more* difficult,
because at this point? I can't even imagine watching any other
Spuffy vid. This says it all. This vid... I mean, I can't imagine a *point*
to further Spuffy vids.

What on earth are you people saying that hasn't been said here?

The angst, the fluff, the love, the doomed-ness...

I mean, I guess someone could make a purely fluffy Spuffy vid and
it could work, but... well, that's not what *I* want out of Spuffy, you

I seriously need to stop typing 'Spuffy.'

So I will.


crazygrrl: "Strange Disease" (vid)

This vid has the distinction of being the first thing that ever made me
think Angelus was sexy.

It's also the only B/A vid (at this point) that I'll watch without protesting.

I mean, it's fucking hilarious. A lesser vidder would've gone for the easy
joke and left it at that, but... no. This vid actually *says* something on
top of making me laugh (and quietly squidge).

Because there really was a method to Angelus' madness, wasn't there?

Something downright personal.

Great vid.


Minitrog: Spike 'n Angel (music)

Oh, this is just *dirty*.

What Trog has done is lift samples from various songs and also
from the shows themselves to create fucking fabulous tunes
that set a mood and tell a story all their own.

And *this* tune in particular... Christ, I don't even like Spike/Angel
and I suddenly want to write it.

Go, download, send feedback.

Then there's Surprise!

A different mood altogether, this one focuses on Oz. It's funny,
it rocks, and it makes me want to dance. Or see a vid of Oz being
Oz. It just really fucking sets a tone, you know?

Give it a listen.

Finally (for now) Xander 'n Spike

This one... even beyond the samples puts me in a Spike/Xander
place. A specific *kind* of S/X, like Anna's "Throwing Shapes,"
where the inherent goodness of the pairing is assumed, and
the bass line gives you both the humor *and* the heat. Just


Brighid: Storyteller

*siiiigh* Yes, yes, yes. Andrew and Xander and Spike and all the
similarities and differences and all the pain and pity and understanding.

Mmm. Lovely little thing, this was, if *perhaps* a bit too sweet in
places for my taste.

Still... happymaking. *g*


Halrloprillalar: Did You Ever Think As The Hearse Rolls By

Oh, man.

No, I *wasn't* thinking this during Salvage, but I just bet Wesley was.

This is one of those stories that say just about everything that needs
to be said. The relationship, the need, and the dark places within.



Benaresq: Cueless

Oh, *yeah*. She wrote this for me and she might've well have just
taken my fantasies right out of my *brain*. Hot, dark, and dirty, with
all the little twinges and badnesses you'd expect from this pairing.

Wonderfully done. Yum.


Kita: Five Things That Never Happened To Spike


This. Fucking. ROCKED.

Kita takes Spike's circumstances at various points during the course
of the show and twists them just a little. Just enough. Every last one
of these vignettes are gorgeous. Beautiful, in character, alternately hot,
creepy, and *warm*...

Just go read, man.


Minim Calibre: Closing Time

Oooh, yes. I love it when writers tackle the hash that used to be Wes/Gunn
and make something shiny, new, and redemptive out of it.

This has no short-cuts, and no easy answers.

This? Made me very happy indeed.

Go read.

kbk: Proxy

Oooh. Just...

This is a nasty little thing, a dark and tasty little punch to the gut. I'm not
sure why I like these so much, but I do.



Anna S.: The Other Half Lives

Mmmmm. God. Love.

A gorgeous episode of Buffy, all multiple-arced and conflicty, with a twist
in the tale to boot.


I love all the issues this raised, all the pain mingled in the heat and the

There were a couple places where I wanted to beat back the Xander/Spike
cliches with a stick, but YMMV.


-SuN-: Calendar Scenes (site)

*sigh* She's done it again. Made a gorgeous, *useful* site that does what
other sites only wishes it could.

Technically, it's a recs archive for kinky (see site for subjective definition)
stories written in the Buffy and Angel fandoms. For me, it's yet another little
slice of heaven in this fandom.

Mmm. Hand-picked stories of dirty-wrongness. It's really hard to go wrong
with that.


James: Lantern's Light

*sigh* God, please, let Storyteller continue giving me stories like this.
Stories where people pay attention to who Andrew actually *is*, and could
be, and was -- for good or ill.

Yeah, I loved this. Puts it all in perspective, which is exactly what stories
are supposed to do.

Kyra Cullinan: Kyrie Eleison

Kyra is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. She has a way
of approaching each story, each *character* within each story as
people, full and whole and rife with thought and possibility.

I can honestly say I have *no* idea who her favorite character in
the ME-verse might be, and for a fanfic writer? That's an

For Kyrie Eleison, she turns her admirable focus on Angel, and
a side of him that doesn't often get explored -- or explored with
anything resembling depth.

I read this and thought 'yes, yes, of course!'

And wondered why no one *else* had gone there.


Corinna: Odi et Amo

Really, it's damned depressing how many people handle the various
Angel storylines better than the writers themselves. I had this one saved
for quite a while, and I'm glad I waited to read it.

There's just... I have a lot of issues with S3 Angel. *rueful smile*

But Corinna has a lovely, deft touch with the characters, a way of making
it all make sense that I both admire and resent. Really wonderfully done,
with a thoughtfulness I enjoyed.


Jennifer-Oksana: Kitchen

I'm tempted to rec this with one of those cryptic little one-liners designed
more to provoke than to tell you *anything* about the story itself.

"Fred's a million miles away" would do it, but you know, I'm just not that
kind of reccer. This story... well, it reminded me of some of my favorite
sci-fi, in that it's really several different stories, several different *questions*
all wrapped into one. A twisty, sharp, knotted little thing that is nonetheless
both gentle and warm.


Well worth multiple reads, to catch the nuances.


Stakebait: Occam's Razor


Kita found this one for me and... *GUH*.

Jane St Clair was the first to make me even *consider* this pairing,
and Stakebait just makes it all the better. The harsh realities of life
for a chipped -- but not souled -- vampire.

And Wesley, on his own downward spiral.




This one... *damned* atmospheric. In that good way, where you don't
notice how much effort has gone into building the world, you just notice
the *world*. Wonderfully done.

And its companion piece: Clean Hands

Ho-lee *shit*. This changes... everything.

Puts it all into perspective and... gah.



Makes it all make sense and *Eeek*. My God.

Just go read.

[Note: These will probably be revised, and possibly merged into a
single story. I like this version. A lot.]


Laura Shapiro: Third Time's The Charm

Laura does *not* write enough. But when she does? Holy *gee*, Batman.

Probably the single most consistent writer at getting me to love the het,
and this time's no different. She takes Kita's challenge and *runs* with it,
creating a stylish, funny, hot, sweet, and *real* beginning to a relationship
that I never wanted to happen.

Except for when I do.



Pares: Five Things: Dawn

What better character to study the many strands of possibility with than one
who is, herself, one human-shaped AU?

Pares kicks *ass* with this, bringing the angst and the funny and the sexy
and the eeek and the *human*, and all of it's just so *Dawn* that by the end
you're pretty much guaranteed to need to do a reset on your own brain.

God, I love this challenge.


Shrift: Spectacle

Wow. There's a particular sub-genre of fan-fiction out there that I'm always
going to be impressed with: the fic that takes sub-par character and plot
developments and makes them work within the context of the given
program's universe better than the *actual* writers can.

Shrift's target? "Showtime."

She hits her mark expertly, carrying us out of a questionable ep and into a
brilliant mood/character piece that sets us up for the next episode.

One or two moments that made me raise an eyebrow, but otherwise?


Jenny-O: Five Cities, Five Stories: Lilah

*Wow*. You know life is good when a challenge comes out that makes
people write *nothing* but brilliance.

This is yet another series of AU vignettes, and the focus this time is Lilah.

And somehow that makes it all new. Because Lilah? Is Jenny's *girl*, and
she puts her through her paces here, smiling and fearful and powerful
and doomed, everything that makes Lilah the best villain A:TS has come
up with.


Wonderfully done, and bursting with the possible.


Minim Calibre: Fringe Benefits

Minim seems to be determined to restore my faith in Spike/Xander. Or
maybe she's just, you know, *good*.

This story was mostly dialogue, but was plenty descriptive enough to give
me a sense of place and tone. And that tone... *snerk*

Witty, funny, and with just enough of an edge to make you think.

Which is the way S/X should be, imo.


Jenny-O: A Possible Fairytale

Really, Jenny could have called this one 'everybody grows up, gets over
themselves, and copes,' but that has less poetry in it.

Still, the above has to be one of my favorite themes as applied to certain
characters, because really, I *want* them to be happy. And often? They
really can't be happy unless and until they grow the fuck up.


Funny, touching, sharp, and perfectly in character -- even working in my
favorite theory about the spin-off series.


Lar: Blood Sugar Sex Magic

Well, I avoided this one when I saw it on the Secret Slasha page because of the
title. Red Hot Chili Peppers? I had my doubts.

And then I saw it was Lar who wrote it... heh.

I had to at least give it a shot. Does that make me a bad fan? I refuse to feel
guilty. Mainly because I *also* would've given it a shot if I'd seen it was written
by a) someone I'd never heard of, or b) someone I knew (at least) occasionally
put out good fic.

Let's just say that my attempts to read the Secret Slasha stories blind had
gone... badly.

And leave it at that.

But anyway. This is good. *Really* good.

Not just literary and in character and plausible and wrenching, but *hot*. Which
is something that doesn't happen (imo) in f/f nearly enough.

And mmm. It's *so* totally a pairing I can see now.

pretty faith

Roseveare: Return

eeeeee. Faith/Wesley may very well be the MEverse het pairing of my
heart. Oy. This story is the very definition of cicatrix, of the kind of scars
that define you, for better but often worse, literally and figuratively, and
that, in hindsight, you'd do anything to keep.

No matter how much they break you down.

Beautifully done.


Christina Kamnikar: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern in Mazatlan

MMm. I've had this saved for a while, and no, I'm not entirely sure what
took me so long to read it. Lord knows there's a dearth of good geek
trio fic out there that isn't either so contemptuous you can smell the
writer's own self-loathing, or so blindly redemptionist (read: revisionist)
that it's downright terrifying.

This? Is neither.

This is, instead, a look at Jonathan post-Grave that could slip easily
into canon. Fear, regret, more fear, and a healthy dose of adulthood
that came just a little too late to do anyone any good.

But then, I'm an optimist of sorts. The destination is all well and good
(and well-beloved), but it's the journey that defines a person.

For good or ill.

And: Somewhere I Have Never Traveled

Oh, lovely. Lovely.

The author calls this merely a reaction to Passion, and that is all I
will say about it. Spoiling this would be a crime against nature, really.

What if?


Cynthia Liskow: The Self-Same Lore

Most of the time these days? I like Dawn. At worst? I don't mind Dawn.

She's a teenaged girl who also happens to be, like, *2*, and also happens
to have her world repeatedly torn apart around her while her hormones
go insane.

Really? She copes pretty well.

Still, I don't tend to read much Dawn-fic. Even the best authors seem to have
trouble with her, and it's gotten to be like my Spike/Xander thing. Sure, I love
the pairing, it presses all kinds of buttons, but... dude.

I have to be feeling extra strong before I go out looking for fic, peering
cautiously through the murk of the 'net, hoping not to get smacked in the face
with dreck.

That said? I would've read this story *anyway*, just because of the concept
around it. Dawn. Sex.

Two words that have caused normally quite rational people to lose their *shit*,
just as if Dawn wasn't the same age as the Scoobies were in S1, back
when everyone and their mama was hooking them up right, left, and center
in increasingly bizarre pairings, treblings, and then some.


On the one hand, it's understandable. Michelle Trachtenberg is an *actual*
teenager, unlike the other actors. To the point where we're watching her,
you know, grow breasts and get taller and stuff like that. Insert wig here.

On the other hand, most writers go out of their way to talk about the difference
between actor and character, fiction and non, etc., world without end, insert
flamewar about RPF here. Kinda smacks of hypocrisy, don't you think?

I don't begrudge anyone their squicks. Lord knows there are some things that
make me act downright prudish. I just prefer people to own up to it when
something plain rubs thems the wrong way, instead of bending over backward
to rationalize it in.... increasingly bizarre ways.

So I have no issue with writers who can't deal with the topic of Dawn having
sex because the actor who plays her is a bona fide minor, nor do I have issues
with readers who don't want to see the fic because of same.

However. I do have an issue with those fans who pile moralization upon
rationalization upon condemnation and demand that no one *ever* 'ships
Dawn, because it's Wrong.

Because, you know? Glass. Houses.

And wow, this turned into a rant.

Er... I like the story. A lot. It's an honest-to-god realistic view of teenaged
sexuality -- the good, the bad, the ugly, and the neurotic. It's also a wonderful
look at season six through the eyes of someone other than Buffy, which doesn't
seem nearly as special as it truly is until you actually come across a piece
of fan-fiction that digs really *deep* beneath the surface.

It's hot, it's sad, it's funny, it's *true*, and *damn* if it didn't remind of some of
the other reasons I'm glad I waited so (relatively) long to have sex.

Who knew?


Minim Calibre: Xander On Top

Well, we *knew* it was going to happen, didn't we? The secondary
explosion of Spike/Xander fic, that is.

Thing is... things seem to be going a little differently just lately.

Maybe we're all (the writers, that is) a little fucked up and burnt out after
the last two Seasons Of Pain, or maybe it's just that there's an entirely
new crop of writers tackling the pairing this time around.

Either way?

This is not your mama's Spike/Xander.

And that's all I'm saying.

Spoilers up through Conversations With Dead People.


Mad Poetess: Bachelor Pad

Well, *fuck*.

Another *good* Spike/Xander. For those of you keeping track at home?
That's two in one night.

I'm gobsmacked.

Xander, and the dank, dark, inside of his head as he tries to live with his
new houseguest. And, well... damn.

MP manages to write out Xander's angst without lapsing into the usual
weepy pussified sturm und drang *this* little black duck has come to know
and loathe. And the Spike at the other end of those thoughts is nothing
but himself.

Just two men, surviving.

If not necessarily living.


Victoria P.: Useful

All this *and* a story that, while it doesn't make me like or respect Fred in
the slightest, *does* make appreciate her existence... if only in the way that
it allows good writers to shine with the Wesleyfic. *g*

Wonderful little character study, here.


Wiseacress: Modus Vivendi

Oh, *man*. ANOTHER brilliant Spike/Xander story, and this one? Comes
complete with an OFC that makes me have faith for OFCs everywhere.

Funny, sexy, bleak, painful, dead-on characterization, and just impossible
to put down. I remember the Spike was trying to get me to read this while
it was still a WiP, but I'm glad I waited -- people could've gotten hurt,


Wonderfully done.

loooove the lilah

Jennifer-Oksana: Desire

Oh. Wow.

Wesley and Lilah, post Ground State.

Have your cigarettes ready.



Teanna: Whereas the Body

I think I have some kind of sick kink for dead Tara fic. Specifically,
stylish, strange, *creepy* dead Tara fic.

This was all of the above, and also quite lovely. Reading it was
something like white water rafting, and something like being
a ghost, blown by the wind, blown all through by the wind.


James Walkswithwind: Phantasms

*purr* Definitely the best crazy!Spike vignette I've seen thus far,
handling the man's state of mind with a kind of affectionately
gently subtlety that worked perfectly.

No, really. *g*


Northlight: Snapshots: Giles

Oh, bravo. Northlight takes Giles in and out of canon to create these
lovely images and scenes of a man with little choice, but perhaps
more hope and love and *humanity* than even he would imagine.

And it's all pure Giles.

Wonderfully done.


Silvia Kundera: Layers

*shiver* Oh, how I wish Angel had done more with the absolute
wondrousness that was Drusilla and Darla. Luckily, we have
writers like Silvia Kundera to fill that need -- and it is a need.

What does Darla become, born again, and again? Dead again,
and again?

Where do the meanings come from?

Stylish and *real*, somehow.

Anna S.: Throwing Shapes

You know, when I grow up? I'm going to be able to fuck around just like this.

I mean, she swears up and down that it's just fluff. She titles the file a truncated
"frivolity." She half-apologizes for the use of "every cliche in the book."

You know what?

I neither noticed nor cared.

It was a fucking fabulous way to get Spike and Xander together and still deal
with a reality or three *while* having a wonderful time. Yes. That phrase. This
story will make you believe in Spike and Xander writing snarky postcards
from Carnivale and Octoberfest and Pride Week in Sydney and everywhere

This story will make you absolutely convinced that it's nothing but the truth.

Even while it's making you laugh, lust, and sigh.

Have a quote:

"Where do you get blood, I wonder?" Xander got dressed as well, thinking
aloud. "Maybe a butcher shop?"

"Right," Spike snarked in a not-unfriendly way. "And there's sure to be an
all-night butcher's right around the corner."

Funnily enough, there was. More funnily, they didn't seem at all surprised
when Spike asked to buy a few pints of pig's blood. In fact, they had handy
plastic containers of it handy in the fridge, and the man in the stained apron
bagged four of them, along with a stack of napkins.

"Okay, that was...odd," Xander said as they walked away, the implications
of their shopping trip taking unpleasant shape in his mind.

Ignoring him, Spike drew out a container of blood and peeled back the lid.
He raised it like a ballpark beer cup.

"Whoa!" Xander stopped in his tracks, freaking out. "What are you doing?
You can't just drink that on the street!"

Spike lowered the container. "Why not?" he asked in a too reasonable

"I don't know, maybe because it's blood? Besides, don't you want some
time to get used to the idea?"

For the first time since Xander had met him, Spike's expression lost
some of its gloss and turned honest, even rueful. He took a breath,
exhaled hard. "If I think about it, I'm liable to lose my nerve." He held the
container in front of him, gazing a moment into its depths, then drank.

Sickened but unable to tear his eyes away, Xander watched as he
swallowed with increasing greed. When he lowered the container, there
was a smeared trace of red at the corner of his mouth. Spike licked it
clean and grimaced pensively.

"How was it?" Xander asked, feeling his stomach turn over.

"Terrible." He paused. "Hits the spot, though." The contradiction seemed
to piss him off, and Xander couldn't blame him. Having to drink blood to
keep your grave-cold body animated struck him as a grossly unnatural
fate--worse than death in the most literal sense. Except that here was
Spike, walking and talking and smoking cigarettes, having sex and
bacon and really not all the worse for wear.


You have no excuse for not running off to read this immediately.


Bluebell: What The Scarecrow Saw


I continue my hunt for good horror reads and find... this.

Oh, *yeah*.

Bluebell takes the yawnfest that was "Family" and makes something
utterly fabulous and chilling. What happens to the girl who had to go back
home, hmm?


Pete Meilinger: Call Waiting: Oz

Falstaff found this one for me. Let's take a moment to love all over him,
shall we?

That's enough, we don't want Dyce getting mean. *g*

This was...

Okay, no, I'm not going to spoil a single word. Just realize that Oz is the
Crossover King, and that there are, indeed, other missions.




Two Ladies of Quality: Career Change

A story in three parts -- though God knows, I hope they write more --
about just what sort of vampire Giles would make. Fascinating, chilling,
and just exactly as dark as it needs to be.

Because really... at base, Giles is a pragmatist.

Wonderfully done.

Note: The first two parts could really be read as stand-alones, but upon
further reflection, I've decided that part three really does need a sequel
to make it feel complete. Caveat lector.

The Spike: Armed

A day when I have a new Spike story to read is a *good* day. And if you
chance to read this, I think you'll feel the same.

No one writes a drabble the way she does. I want to point people to her
drabbles and say "yes! Here! This is how you do it!"

It's a story, and a poem, and an epic, all in one hundred words.

More than that?

It's Wes.

And like she says... Wes is good with choices.


Kyra Cullinan: Come the Day

An absolutely fabulous look at Anya, a necessary trip through her mind
with just the right touches of humor, love, and bewildered pathos.

Who she is, all that she is, was, and will be... and you know, time has a
way of catching up with the best of us.

Recs Index