One of the things I love, love, love about "Counting the Days" (my god, I'm lame--I only *just* got that title), is the achingly sharp portrait of an unsouled Spike, shown to have so much potential for redemption even then. I've been a fan of both souled and unsouled arcs for him, but I still harbor a not-so-secret love for the idea that a demon can be redeemed in some way. Can thrash against its nature, can overcome it through sheer will, can regrow its lopped-off soul. In fact, one of the few things capable of making me irrational when it comes to debate is having people toss up this brick wall of inflexible BtVS metaphysics, interpreting everything on the show to argue that demon nature is immutable, in the very way that human nature is not. When we've seen again and again that things are not so simply reduced, and demon nature itself is so often metaphorically reflective of human nature. Yeah, it'd be peachy for our Scoobs if vamps were always two-dimensional monsters we could explode like blips on a video game, if good versus evil were a black and white equation. But clearly this is not the case. And I don't care *what* Buffy says to the potentials about "free will"--if you want to make Buffy, so fallible and willfully ignorant and undereducated in slayer lore, your expert on the laws of the Jossverse, and write off five seasons of unsouled Spike as a dramatic travesty--you go for it. I'll be over here, reading more interesting stories.
Um. Digression. Rant. Shutting that off now, with the vow not to engage in a debate on this subject which could well make me seethe.
Random quote from the story:
There, she'd smiled. Spike smiled faintly in echo, pleasantly aware of having not fucked up too much tonight.
Was also thinking that some of my criticisms of the story--which almost entirely centered on the ending--might be resolved by a sequel, which I've heard is in the offing. So, yay there. It's kind of noteworthy when my only real criticism of a story is: I wanted *more* of that. Well, okay, that and the very ouchy, unresolved Xander stuff which slapped me at the end and troubled me. But again...sequel. Is there any more beautiful word in the English language?
I love how Angel sends Spike off to fight the tentacled demon alone. And...the aftermath. Won't really try to describe that, as I'm likely to go blind and slump off my chair in a ball of goo if I typed the words. Zoning on the hand-job, too. My god. I don't know when I've ever seen an act that in so many other stories would be a PWP toss-off (er, literally) become so resonant with deep emotion.
The sense of betrayal when you realize that your body doesn't belong to you anymore, that some little blonde girl owns your dick even though she's never seen the damned thing, and now she's gone and there's just nothing to be done.
Spike with his head bowed, shuffling around in silk pajama bottoms, on autopilot with the habits of pleasing his sire even as he grieves.
Ooookay. Must go have some alone time now. And try not to harsh my buzz by dwelling on the agony of Tonio's death.
Man, I am such the little fangirl sometimes.