Shadowscast's Buffyverse Recs Page

This list is mostly for my own reference, but maybe it'll help you find something new and wonderful, too.

What'll you find here? I like slash, but not exclusively; I'm a sucker for the h/c dynamic; I love Spike beyond all reason. Spike/Xander is my favourite pairing, but I rec all sorts of different things, including gen! I tend to prefer long, plot-heavy stories; when I rec a shorter story it's probably because it taught me something new about a character.

Note that I largely don't bother with ratings or warnings here; if you're NC-17 avoidant or something, you should click carefully and look for the authors' own ratings or warnings before getting started.

Newest recs are nearest the top.

Lonely on the Mountain by Speaker-to-Customers.
January 2006, Xander is staying at a camp site on Zomba Plateau in Malawi, investigating the death of a Slayer. This story benefits immensely from Speaker's first-hand knowledge of the area.
(Rec #86)
Family Reunion by Shapinglight.
Shapinglight imagines an alternate history in which Darla didn't have to die to give birth to Connor. Five years later, she and Spike are living in an abandoned station in the London Underground, raising Connor with the help of a pack of minions and one terrified human nanny. Then Angel comes to visit.... This story is dark and rich and absolutely brilliant.
(Rec #85)
Stick Shift (Redux) by Stultioquentia.
Buffy and Spike have sex. That's about it. But it's really wonderfully, intelligently written, and when you're done reading (it's not very long), you absolutely have to read the DVD commentary track.
(Rec #84)
It's Not by Cordelianne.
Xander is living in Cleveland, and he's in one hell of a rut. Spike is visiting Cleveland on demon-hunting business. Slash ensues! Cordelianne wrote this story with a dry sense of humour and a nice attention to detail.
(Rec #83)
Or Forever Hold Your Peace by Savoytruffle.
Xander is engaged. Again. Spike shows up at the bachelor party (which up until then consisted of just Xander and a whole lot of booze). Savoytruffle's touch is deft with the snarky, the funny and the sexy.
(Rec #82)
The adventure of the displaced Watcher by Antennapedia.
While in London to beg the Council for info on Glory, circa season 5, Giles has a bit of a run-in with Ethan and is sent back in time to 1886. Being in rather a difficult spot, he turns to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson for help. The story is told alternately through Giles's and Watson's diaries; the style is lovely, the story is exciting, and watching Giles deal with 1886 London is just plain fun.
(Rec #81)
Payless by Metaphorgirl.
This novel-length story begins when Xander, having opted out of the Scooby lifestyle after "Chosen," runs into Spike, who's human, kinda broken, and working as a mechanic. Things evolve into the familiar Xander-takes-Spike-in h/c scenario, which is beautifully executed...and then the scope of the story widens to include most of the Buffyverse characters, a magic wand, and a lot of love, sex and heartbreak.
(Rec #80)
Mystic Egg Timer by Eyezrthewindows.
It's short; Spike's sorta-kinda magically stoned, and he's on a mission to get Xander to kiss him. It's about the chip. There's cuddling.
(Rec #79)
A Good Man by Ariana.
AU after "Grave." Spike went to Africa, and something happened there, but not quite the same something as happened in canon. Then he returned to Sunnydale to settle his affairs and make his apologies. He and Buffy do some difficult talking. I really like the nuanced way this story deals with the emotional fallout of the AR for both characters. There's also some good h/c involved.
(Rec #78)
Amnesia!Spike by mahaliem.
This story is sweet and hilarious. It made me smile and laugh and feel good. Perhaps it can do the same for you, too!
(Rec #77)
Keeper Of The Book by NWHepcat.
AU post-AtS S5 "Lineage." Wesley's on leave, trying to pull himself together, when Anne arrives on his doorstep with a problem: a crazy homeless man is lurking about the entrance to her shelter, scaring the kids. The man turns out to be Xander, and it's clear that something went very wrong somewhere in Africa. In trying to help Xander, Wesley makes some changes for the better in his own life. Spike, Willow and Faith get involved, too. This is an adventure story, though the adventure is mostly of the internal-struggle variety, and there's no particular pairing. However there is a sequel, which is Spike/Xander: Another Door.
(Rec #76)
Les Cousins Dangereux by Annakovsky.
What if Angel's spell at the end of AtS season 4 had inserted Connor into the Summers family? In the post-"Chosen" summer, Dawn and Connor are mostly left to themselves as their older sister Buffy is busy dealing with the aftermath of the Slayer spell. But then as if losing his whole hometown weren't bad enough, Connor's starting to have weird flashes of "fake" memories of another, scarier life. The AU concept is well-executed, and Connor's voice is perfect. There's a sort-of incest warning, since Connor and Dawn are only sort-of siblings.
(Rec #75)
Vampire Winter by Shapinglight.
On the run from the Senior Partners after NFA, Angel and Spike show up on Buffy's doorstep in Rome, accompanied by a mystical blizzard. This story deals very satisfactorily with the unfinished business and tension amongst the three of them, as well as turning The Immortal into a really interesting character (despite the fact that he's barely in the story).
(Rec #74)
Not Noisy Or Excited by Savoytruffle.
In this AU, Spike never returns to Sunnydale after S6, but Xander runs into him years later in a bar in Ethiopia. This story is sort of dark, deftly drawn in sparse little scenes. I like it.
(Rec #73)
Hard Ground by NWHepcat.
A while after "Chosen," Xander comes back from Africa and Faith picks him up at the airport. She wants a chance to apologize for things long past between them. Her voice in this short fic is very much her. Reading it made me happy.
(Rec #72)
I'm Not Supposed To Be Like This by Spuffyduds.
It's the summer of 2001. Buffy's dead. A pregnant Darla wanders California, trying to figure out what the hell is happening to her. Eventually she winds up in Sunnydale. The story is told from Darla's perspective, and it's darkly hilarious. It's also very subtle and deftly constructed; definitely worth reading, even if Darla's not a character you'd normally be interested in!
(Rec #71)
Unspoken by Anaross.
Post-NFA, Buffy is living in Cleveland. One day someone anonymously gives her a beautiful garden. She becomes convinced that it's Spike—but that's impossible, since he's dust. Or, er, is he? Anyway, this story is amazingly good, and once Spike shows up (oh come on, you knew he would) it becomes a little mindblowing. He comes back ... different, in a way that I'm not going to give away here, and it makes for a very interesting and original story.
(Rec #70)
Bulletproof by Doyle.
In the Wishverse, Andrew is a White Hat. This story makes me cry.
(Rec #69)
Once in a Lullaby by Doyle.
"Normal Again" was real. Buffy is a psychiatric patient, and Sunnydale is a fantasy she built up from bits and pieces of reality. This is a short piece that works really well (and Holden's in it!).
(Rec #68)
Chain by irfikos.
What if Warren had figured out what Spike's chip was for? Well, nothing good would've happened, that's for sure. The story is AU from "Dead Things" (Warren kidnaps Spike while he's lying beaten in the alley) but it feels like a path canon could quite plausibly have taken. Be warned: it's very dark.
(Rec #67)
The Lord's Work by Shadowlass.
Caleb tells, in his own voice, the story of how he met the First. It's as creepy and horrifying as you'd expect, given the narrator, but what really impresses me is that Shadowlass takes Caleb and makes him believable; he makes sense to himself, after all.
(Rec #66)
Sign on the Door by Beanbeans.
Right after the breakup in "As You Were," an OC steps in to give Spike a little care and comfort. Not at all the Mary Sue I just made it sound like, it's really a short, tight, sweet piece, and I love the narrator's voice.
(Rec #65)
Brothers in Arms by Poshcat.
It's Christmas eve, the year Angel's running Wolfram & Hart. Xander stops by the empty offices, looking for a friendly face, and finds Spike. They talk for a bit, and then do interesting things on Angel's desk.
(Rec #64)
Dirty Little Secret by Poshcat.
Okay, this is a PWP, which is a genre I don't usually rec, but besides being very hot it's so damn clever and funny I can't help myself! See, it's S5, after Riley leaves but before Joyce dies. Thanks to a charmed ring, Buffy finds herself with the opportunity to do whatever she wants with Spike, repercussion-free.
(Rec #63)
Morituri Te Salutamus by Annakovsky.
Remember Nancy? Well, it's understandable if you don't. In the Wishverse, she was the girl you'd never seen before who was fighting the losing battle alongside Giles, Larry and Oz. Anyway, here are her thoughts on being cannon fodder.
(Rec #62)
Bit Parts by Mint Witch.
Spike brought a date to Xander and Anya's non-wedding. We'd never seen her before, and we never saw her after. Who was that mysterious goth chick, and how did Spike convince her to come to the wedding with him? Mint Witch takes that question and runs with it, fleshing this character out into a very interesting person.
(Rec #61)
Awakenings by _beetle_.
After NFA, Spike woke up human and amnesiac. With no memory of his life or unlife, his personality reverted to that of Victorian William. William and Xander fell in love and spent six happy years together. But that's all in the past—this story starts at the moment that Spike comes back.
(Rec #60)
They Tell Me It Rained by Savoy Truffle (aka Camisha).
Years after NFA, Spike and Xander meet by chance in an airport. Xander goes back to Spike's place. It's beautiful and bittersweet.
(Rec #59)
There's Your Trouble by Savoy Truffle (aka Camisha).
Early in S4, Xander wakes up one morning and finds that he's in an alternate universe and has switched lives with his AU counterpart—a Xander who is relatively successful, knows nothing about demons, is gay, and picked up Spike at a bar last night. Meanwhile, the other Xander is equally disturbed and very confused to wake up back in his parents' basement, in bed with a woman. The story follows both Xanders in alternate chapters. This game of "what if?" is funny, sad and beautiful by turns, and ultimately completely satisfying. When you've finished reading it, go read the companion piece: Rupert's Angels.
(Rec #58)
Shame Bad, Sex Good by Miss Murchison.
Imagine that following NFA, Buffy, Spike and Angel manage to form a snarky but loving threesome. There's conflict, there's hotness, there's affection, there's lurid purple prose (courtesy of Spike). There's three parts, one from each POV. "Shame Bad, Sex Good" is Buffy's; there's also "Wear That and I'm Calling the Whole Thing Off" (Angel's POV) and "It was a Dark and Stormy Fight" (Spike's POV). The Spike installment has a nice dose of h/c.
(Rec #57)
Company in Hell by Shapinglight (aka deborahmm).
Written for a Halloween challenge, this story takes us back to the time when Spike was a ghost in W&H. Remember that medium who Pavayne killed while she was trying to contact Spike? What makes you think she went peacefully away after she died?
(Rec #56)
Reality Ends at the Checkpoint by Frimfram.
It's Halloween, and Spike offers to tell Fred a ghost story. See, back in 1912, Spike arrived in Cambridge with Drusilla at his side.... The story-within-a-story is wonderful, vivid and magical and fantastically creepy.
(Rec #55)
Convergence by st_salieri.
Post-NFA Spike and Buffy finally meet face-to-face ... in the high school library, circa season two. It's a time travel fic, and it's highly satisfying.
(Rec #54)
Rupert and the Fairy Spike by Speaker-to-Customers.
Speaker breaks the previous world record for strangest fic with this crossover between BtVS and Rupert the Bear. Written towards the end of the summer of the mysterious Fairy!Spike fad. With rhyming couplets and everything!
(Rec #53)
Nothing But I Told You So by Mireille.
A missing scene from "A New Man": Giles and Ethan leave the bar together. Giles lets his loneliness cloud his judgement. I love how seamlessly it fits into canon, and how poignantly Mireille portrays Giles's emotional state at that point in the series. Plus, Giles and Ethan are just fun to watch together.
(Rec #52)
Shadowlands by Lunabee34.
It's an AU version of AtS season 5, in which Xander heads for LA right after "Damage." It's a Spike/Xander fic, and lovely in that regard, but actually my favourite aspect of this fic is Xander's friendship with Andrew. Oh, and there's some satisfaction, too, in seeing S5 play out with everything going right this time.
(Rec #51)
The Last Champion by Sandy.
Fifty years after Spike gets the Shanshu, Angel comes to present him with a choice. This story really looks hard at the logical conclusion of turning human, and how much it could suck.
(Rec #50)
Wanderlust by Nasty Shrew.
It's very short, so it doesn't have much time to develop the themes introduced, but it's nice nonetheless, with an angsty vision of Xander's three years in Africa and a lovely shmoopy reunion with Spike.
(Rec #49)
Loserville by shrift.
In S4, what if Spike hadn't moved out of Xander's basement quite so quickly? What if everyone else was busy having a life, and Xander ended up hanging out with Spike by default, and realizing that he liked it? And that he was maybe kinda gay? The voices in this story are wonderful, funny and snarky and sharp like little knives.
(Rec #48)
The Birds and the...Birds by Dancetomato.
It's a short, sweet fic bound to make you smile. The concept is: Xander and Oz are dating. Buffy can't figure out what two boys would do in bed together. She asks Giles. The beauty of it is in Buffy's and Giles' voices; they're absolutely perfect. And of course it's hilarious.
(Rec #47)
Waking Up by Camisha (aka Savoytruffle).
In this S4 AU, Xander comes back from Oxnard only to find himself inexplicably transformed into a large purple demon. Unfortunately for him, this occurs at the height of the Initiative's operations in Sunnydale; soon Xander's waking up in an underground cell next to Spike. The story is funny and sweet and perfect.
(Rec #46)
Oh, Little Breath of Oblivion by Dead Soul.
This is a period piece: Spike and Drusilla in New York, 1925. It's absolutely delicious.
(Rec #45)
Five Things The Chip Was Never Marketed For by Sangpassione.
As you might guess from the title, this is a series of vignettes exploring things that might have happened to Spike had the Initiative recaptured him. The author warns that they're a little depressing, which is sort of like saying the Pacific Ocean is a little wet, but if you don't mind that I highly recommend it; the vignettes are well-written and very original.
(Rec #44)
Silence, Sounds Of by Whichwitch.
A study of Willow in England at some moment in time between "Grave" and "Lessons." It's short and sweet, and rather sad. I admire the author's rendering of sound.
(Rec #43)
Sadder and Wiser Girls by Zandra X.
Post-NFA, in an AU where Anya is alive and well and operating a chain of magic stores, she goes to a party in Cleveland and meets Illyria, and proceeds to take her under her wing. It's one of those great meetings that never happened.
Written as part of Estephia's Friendship Ficathon.
(Rec #42)
Annunciation by Hepcat.
Not long after "Chosen," the Sunnydale refugees take in an afternoon in the Galleria del Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Faith and Willow have a really surprisingly meaningful conversation about art. (Scroll down through the comments to find links to the art they see.)
Written as part of Estephia's Friendship Ficathon.
(Rec #41)
Do-Gooders by babies stole my dingo (agilebrit).
Spike and Gunn meet accidentally in a library and do stuff together. It's really cool.
Written as part of Estephia's Friendship Ficathon.
(Rec #40)
I Spy by Estephia.
Sometime post-NFA, Spike finds Ethan in a pub in London. I love the language in this story; it's full of unexpected yet perfect imagery.
(Rec #39)
The Geek Series by Rachel Anton.
Spike and Willow have more in common than you might think. "Two power junkies," the author's summary calls them. This series is set during and after S6, first while Willow's dealing with the magic addiction and then later in England, post-Grave. Two terribly flawed and hurt individuals help each other cope.
(Rec #38)
Once, I Dreamt You Were A Vampire by Flurblewig.
Return to the Normal Again 'verse: what if Buffy 'recovered' at the end of that episode? She gets out of the institution, goes back to living with her parents, and starts to pick up the pieces of her life in L.A. Everything is going fine until she sees her new blue-eyed martial arts instructor. Then we wait to see if it's a Spike/Buffy story...what's reality, and what's the delusion?
(Rec #37)
Deja Vu by DeborahMM.
It's an all-human AU with a bit of a twist: Liam is a psychotherapist, and his (disturbingly familiar) new client, William, thinks he's a vampire. Deborah's writing is deliciously dark. Read the warnings at the top of the page.
(Rec #36)
Hellbound by Sangpassionne.
This is a series of 13 drabbles exploring Spike's experience at the start of AtS S5. Each drabble (chapter?) references a different moment in canon, and I find them terribly sad and beautiful.
(Rec #35)
The Cloak Of Mist by Speaker-to-Customers.
This Watcher's Diaries story blew me away. A Slayer is called on the Isle of Mann, A.D. 1014. Speaker weaves Buffyverse mythology and actual Manx mythology together into a fantastic, well-constructed adventure story with original characters worth loving.
(Rec #34)
Deid Canny by Speaker-to-Customers.
Set in the Baltic States in 1613, and starring a very original vampire. It's dark and funny, and includes some fantastic northern-English dialect.
(Rec #33)
Propugnatrix Pollia by Quinara.
Another Watcher's Diaries entry: this one happens in Rome during the actual Roman Empire. It's rather dark, but beautifully executed. The Roman empire is declining, corruption abounds, and the new Slayer ignores her Watcher. How will the Watcher cope?
(Rec #32)
And I Feel Fine by Glossing.
The night of the L.A. apocalypse. Devon/Oz and Lorne, and a grumpy Siamese cat. Frankly, I was sucked in by the title (I'm an REM fan) and the oddness of the character combo; I read the whole thing because it was wonderful. The POV is Devon's, and Glossing's obviously put a lot of love into figuring that guy out. It's the end of the world as we know it....
(Rec #31)
Angel: No Limits
"No Limits" is a virtual season meant to fill the void after the cancellation of Angel: The Series. It lives up to the name in every way. It's a collaborative effort by a dedicated and brilliant group of people, not unlike the real series, and the season consists of 22 complete episodes. They're written in prose format, and they really do feel like episodes of the series (only, in many cases, even better!). In my head, this is Angel, Season 6.
(Rec #30)
Cuckoo In The Nest by Liz Marcs.
Xander's life, as seen by Xander's dad. Reading it will make you feel dirty. Um, that's a good thing, I swear.
(Rec #29)
Second Hand by Kita.
Spike and Connor, post-"Not Fade Away." It's poetic, beautiful and terrible and haunting, and there's a dragon. You know, THE dragon.
(Rec #28)
WIP:I Was Made For Loving You Baby by Speaker-to-Customers.
An AU in which the Buffybot becomes sentient not long before "Bargaining," told from her point of view. Speaker's Buffybot voice is so fantastic, I think the Buffybot is my new favourite character in the entire Buffyverse. The story is written in more or less self-contained chapters, following the drift of Season 6. It includes an AU "Once More, With Feeling" which actually works, which I think is reason enough to read it even without all the other great stuff! Oh, and the Buffybot's love for Spike is equally as tragic as Spike's love for Buffy. Whatever will happen to those crazy kids?
(Rec #27)
And Glory Shone Around by Speaker-to-Customers.
It's Christmas time, season 5, and Glory decides to declare a truce and invite all our beloved characters to a friendly soccer game (Giles: "football!"). It's a feel-good holiday story to warm your heart, and the soccer game is actually quite exciting!
(Rec #26)
It's Got To Be Perfect by Speaker-to-Customers.
In this S6 AU, Halfrek gives Buffy the chance to change Spike with a wish. Buffy tries to make Spike into a perfect (human) boyfriend for herself. That couldn't possibly go wrong, could it? Pairing is Spike/Buffy...maybe.
(Rec #25)
Never Fall In Love With The Good Guys by HonorH.
A short, perfect post-NFA meeting between Lorne and Anya (who's stuck on this plane as a ghost since no one in the afterlife knows what to do with her). I was drawn in by the novelty of seeing those two together, and I loved Lorne's voice.
(Rec #24)
Theory of a Girl by Jintian.
This is the story of Faith, in her own voice, after she goes to jail. It goes AU after "The Gift." I love Jintian's insight into what makes Faith tick; this story is beautiful and hard-edged and agonizing, just like canon Faith. There's a sequel, Theurgy, which is also wonderful. That one's Faith/Buffy. (Since normally I can be counted on for the Spike love, I feel I should warn that Spike comes across as kind of a jerk in these stories—but it makes sense in context, seen from Faith's POV.)
(Rec #23)
Fulfilling a Fantasy by Camisha (aka Savoy Truffle).
It's Spike/Xander, it's sub/dom, and Xander is the dom. It's very hot, and just when you're thinking "sure, it's hot, but it's not really in character," everything twists topsy turvy and makes sudden, brilliant, perfect sense.
(Rec #22)
Impossibly Delightful Flesh by Sadbhyl.
This novel-length tale starts with an accident involving Buffy, Spike, Tara, Xander, Anya—and a gender-switching demon. The girls become boys and the boys become girls, leading to all sorts of very intelligent and in-character exploration of gender and sexual identity. It's set in S5 after "Family" but before "Fool for Love."
(Rec #21)
A Day In The Life Of Someone Just Like You by Nihilistbear.
Get ready to like Harmony. Or at least to understand her a little better and develop some sympathy for her. At least, that's why happened to me when I read this story.
(Rec #20)
Changes by Tabaqui.
What if instead of being Normal Boy, Xander had kept a little of the hyena and the soldier in him? What if instead of leaving, Oz had stayed with Spike and Xander? Tabaqui builds a long, richly detailed, sensual alternate universe from these changes (Part One is complete, and covers S5). You must immerse yourself in this universe to understand it.
Link goes to author's fiction index page
(Rec #19)
Sidelines by Anna S. (known as Eliade on LJ).
This was actually the first Buffy fic I ever read, and it may well be the reason that I turned into a Spike/Xander shipper. It starts with Xander getting kicked out of the basement because his father catches Spike in the house and jumps to the erroneous conclusion that he's Xander's boyfriend (silly man; any reasonable person would naturally realize that Spike is Xander's vampire prisoner!) There follows an AU S4 in which, in Anna's words, "Xander goes through the big gay change instead of Willow."
(Rec #18)
Hazy Shade of Winter by Marina Frants.
Have you ever wondered what made Maggie Walsh tick? How did she get involved with the Initiative, what's her history with Riley, what was she like before everything went to hell? If so, then you should read this gorgeous fic. If not, then you should still read this fic, because after you do you'll realize you should have wondered these things.
(Rec #17)
The Furnitureverse by Shapingling (aka Deborahmm).
It's kinky. Oh my, is it ever kinky. Also fantastically well-written, and of epic length. It's an odd duck; the characterizations are a bit tilted from canon, but I find the differences endearing. It contains hardcore bdsm, and is seriously NC-17. It's an AU in which Angel somehow ends up with custody of Spike after "The Initiative," and to punish him for that whole hot pokers thing, Angel makes Spike Yeah. Did I mention it's really, really kinky? And Wesley's involved too, and Cordelia to some extent. Pairings are Spike/Angel and Spike/Wesley, with Spike/Cordelia implied.
(Rec #16)
WIP: Bogle Scat Verse by Witling (Wiseacress)
If you have a kink for Xander taking care of mysteriously-ill Spike (as I do), let me introduce you to your new favourite story! It's beautifully written, the characterization is lovely, the coming-together is agonizingly slow and believable. My only regret is it looks like the author has abandoned this project. Pairing is Spike/Xander.
(Rec #15)
WIP: As The Romans Do by Meghan O'Hara.
Set post-Not Fade Away, this story is shaping up to have everyone in it—and I do mean everyone. Prophecies and events are creatively reinterpreted, memories are shared, and the Spike/Buffy angst is palpable. I will warn you that the author seems to have abandoned the story, so the mysteries that have been set up may never be resolved. If you can live with that, the existing part is definitely worth reading, for sheer scope of imagination alone.
(Rec #14)
The Butterfly Effect by cousinjean.
A tight, beautifully constructed time-travel fic; post-Chosen Buffy returns to S2 Sunnydale to prevent a disaster. Pairing is Spike/Buffy.
As far as I can tell, this story is no longer available online. Sorry!
(Rec #13)
Time and Place by Flurblewig.
A short, poignant glimpse of Spike and Anya during the summer after "The Gift." I love Flurblewig's Anya-voice.
(Rec #12)
Another Peaceful War by Marina Frants.
Before I read this story, I never realized I could be so interested in Riley. It's set in the summer after S4; it's about his struggle to deal with his experiences with the Initiative, which were pretty horrific if you think about it. No pairing, just good storytelling.
(Rec #11)
The End of the Beginning by Marina Frants.
This is a BtVS/Harry Potter crossover; Giles and Ethan run into some Potterverse folks in London in 1981, and end up getting mixed up in the war against Voldemort. It's set more in the Potterverse than the Buffyverse, so I think you'd have to have read the Harry Potter books to really appreciate it; but if you have, then I insist you go read this now! Marina takes the two different conceptions of magic in the two 'verses and builds an exciting, plausible story around the reaction of the Potterverse folks to Giles and Ethan's "Muggle Magic."
(Rec #10)
Foreign Devils by Indri.
The tale of the Chinese Slayer.
(Rec #9)
It's Just a Jump to the Left by Kimberly.
This is a brilliant and complete Xander/Spike story, in which Xander's caught in a time loop very different from Buffy's mummy hand incident. The time-loop plot is interesting and comes to a satisfying resolution, and the gradual changes in Xander's feelings about Spike are a wonder to behold.
(Rec #8)
Old Blood by Nan Dibble.
Spike/Buffy, Spike&Dawn. There's a lot of focus on the Spike&Dawn friendship, which is cool since that particular dynamic kinda got lost in the real S7. This is a slightly AU S7, picking up after "Get It Done." The plot centres on Spike's efforts to dust the fledges he created under the First's influence. The writing is beautiful. Oh, and the SITs are ever so much more individual, faceted and likeable here than in canon, even though they're still just minor characters! There are several sequels, which I haven't read yet.
Nan Dibble passed away on March 7, 2006. Friends and fellow fans share their memories of her here.
(Rec #7)
Umad Learns Sumerian by Annakovsky.
This is a brilliant and poignant short piece about Dawn, set in the summer between S6 and S7. The author is apparently an actual Ph.D. student in Assyriology, by the way.
(Rec #6)
Back Before Dawn by Annakovsky.
It's a really interesting premise: what if BtVS S5, S6 & S7 were actually a wishverse, and the original timeline was something different entirely? It takes a good hard look at the darkness of S6 and S7, and ultimately provides a lovely escapist fantasy. Nicely executed, with some really good character voices (parts are narrated by all the major characters and a few minor ones). No particular pairings are focused on; this is an adventure, not a romance.
(Rec #5)
Involuntary Bodies by Anna S (known as Eliade on LJ).
Anna S. is one of my favourite Spike/Xander authors (heck, one of my favourite authors, period), so imagine my delight when I discovered she'd posted a new story over the summer! This one explores the possibility of an AU summer after Buffy S5, in which Buffy, Willow, Giles and Angel are all gone, and Xander's left in Sunnydale with orphaned Dawn, crazy Tara and souled Spike. Anna's writing is indescribably brilliant; if you haven't read it, you must.
(Rec #4)
In Fair Sunnydale by Veggiebelle.
I just stumbled across this on someone else's rec page. Um, remember that episode of Star Trek:TNG where Q stuck all the main characters in a holodeck and made them play out the Robin Hood story? This is like that, only with Buffyverse characters, and Romeo and Juliet instead of Robin Hood, and no actual framing narrative. OK, it's just Romeo and Juliet (in script form) with Buffyverse characters, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It stays very close to Shakespeare's text, yet all the characters make sense as themselves.
(Rec #3)
A Day in the Life of PuppetAngel by Michael Weaver.
You know how funny the episode "Smile Time" is? This is just as funny, if not more so. If you wish Mutant Enemy had played longer with Puppet!Angel (and who doesn't?), go read this. Oh, and no worries, it's PG.
(Rec #2)
Knocking on Heaven's Door by Estepheia.
Spike and Andrew, the day they're trapped at the mission. Gorgeous, sexy, believable, in-character Spike/Andrew.
(Rec #1)

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