The story moves a little fast, and Spike's characterization is a *bit* more wish-fulfillment than pure canon at times, but I'm still utterly charmed. And so much is dead-bang on target it's breathtaking. Gunn, Wes, Fred, Angel--all their voices and characterizations are uncompromising and pitch-perfect. (I miss canon Cordy's voice all the more after reading this.) In less deft hands, a writer would make their attitudes to Spike--all but Fred's, I mean--come off as pure character bashing used to prop up Spike's model behavior and Fred's defense of him. But here it's *exactly* like they'd behave. They cut him no slack, and Angel is ready to go back on his extension of credit at the first sign of trouble, but none of it is overwrought. Man, it's good.
(And as a sign of the writerly talent, watch for the scene where Fred gets cleaned up and everyone sees her for the first time, and just for a moment you think, oh no, Mary Sue, and then you get that very Jossian descent in tone that ties the bow on the scene. Sweet.)
And *Fred*, by the way. I love this Fred. And I love the divergence in backstory; fascinatingly different, and yet it rings rich and true.
Branches off from canon at the end of season five BtVS and...er, whatever the parallel A:tS season is.
And now, sleepily, to bed....