Here are some of my favourite Angel The Series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer stories.
Click on the author's name for the link to where the stories can be found on the net.

Warning: Description of the stories may contain spoilers.
Stories marked with a      are highly recommended.

My preferred pairing in the Buffy/Angel universe is Xander/Spike
but I'll read anything as long as it's "good" (by my definitiion, of course <g>).
I also like stories with either Giles or Oz - two of my three favourite characters. 
And yes, the other one is Spike..

I'm happy to supply a copy of any story by email on request.
All stories are dated and the latest added to the site are marked  
These recs are sorted alphabetically by author name, then story title.


ABI Z: "Keepsakes."
38 kb
When Lindsay decides to leave LA and Wolfram and Hart behind, he meets an interesting young man called Oz along the road.

He drove like he was possessed, not crazily, but compulsively, unable to stop.  He passed cities and towns, crossed rivers, wound through mountains, and it was nearly a day later, in a national forest in Colorado, when finally his body made one last, insistent demand that he stop.  He pulled over at a rest stop which was, as far as he could determine, located just west of nowhere, and he went into the men's room and wet his hair and stared at his bloodshot eyes echoed under gray bathroom light in the mirror.

Just a nice, simple road story where Lindsay meets Oz and they fuck and maybe it's the start of something more.

ABI Z: "The Taste Of Bitter."
9 kb
Wesley is having a drink in an interspecies bar and Gunn finds him there. Wesley is given an ultimatum about making a decision about their relationship.

It's a demon bar, but not a hostile one, and the owner has picked up a lot of the traffic that normally would have gone to Caritas. Wesley wonders if Lorne will ever recover from the massacre in that place so many of them considered sacred. Funny that karaoke and pastel cocktails should be the accouterments of sanctity--but then this is L.A., and if morals are loosely defined, then religion has no rules at all.

Not much plot but beautifully written.

ANNAKOVSKY: "The Weary Word Rejoicing."
30 kb
Post-Glory Apocolyptic world in which Xander heads up struggling settlement of humans trying to survive. Buffy and Dawn are dead, Giles and Willow are missing but Anya and Spike are there with him as Christmas nears and Xander misses his friends.

Xander stands on the wall, looking out over the landscape below, trying to see. Still hasn't quite gotten used to how dark it is without civilization, how bright the stars are. The moon's a quarter full - waxing, he knows without having to think about it. He's more aware of the cycles of the moon and the position of the stars than he's ever been, even when they had Oz around to remind them.

It's the first day of December and she's not back yet. He knows that worrying doesn't do any good but he still spends way too much time on top of this wall watching for her, time he can't afford.

Straightforward after the world has ended story with a touch of bittersweet.

ANNA S: "Sidelines" and the sequel "The Other Half Lives."
245 kb
151 kb
Xander is thrown out of his parents basement when Spike's actions lead them to think he's gay.

Xander threw his duffel on the dull floorboards and looked around. He hadn't spoken more than a dozen words on the drive, and every one he'd spat out was a hard little thing, like a bitter olive pit. That didn't help right now. Didn't make him feel better when he couldn't even talk without betraying his parentage. Even disowned, he was the un-love child of the Harrises. Dad's hardness. Mom's bitterness. Except that when he'd left--no, wait, because he'd been tossed out on his ass, hadn't he--his dad had been yelling. His mom, crying. God. A scene from some crap movie off the Lifetime channel.

Neither story is sweet or romantic, for those who like happy endings, but it is Anna S. so the writing is fabulous.

ANNA S: "Throwing Shapes."
01/03/04 82 kb Xander/Spike.
Xander and Spike have lost their memories and wake to find themselves with a bag of money, on the wrong side of some very queer people, and Xander is an escapee from the nuthouse.

"I think we lost them," he said, and that was the first thing he remembered saying. He was remembering things even as they happened--entering the alley, lacing his fingers into the mesh fence, listening to the distant shouts fade and a siren rise. He became aware that he was chilled, and that it was night. Maybe he wasn't remembering at all, but waking up. Yeah, that was it. He felt like he was coming to. Surfacing from...something else. He shook his head, trying to clear it. Magic 8-Ball says reply hazy, try again.

"Lost what?" said the man next to him. "What the bloody hell were those things?"

"Maybe it's Halloween." His own voice sounded low and thick and breathless. Frost puffed from his mouth. That is the sound of my voice, he thought. That is my breath.

"Yeahhhh," the man drawled dubiously. "Listen...er, what's your name again, mate?"

I love this story - it's a wonderfully funny ride with Xander and Spike on the run and making things up as they go.  Highly recommended.

BERRY, ANNA E: "A Is For Angel."   [No Link]
17 kb
Giles catches Angel lurking outside The Bronze on New Year's Eve for a glimpse of Buffy.

Angel shifted, and instantly regretted it as the stake tip drew blood. "Giles, you know I'm not him?"

"I know," the ex-Watcher said. "But you share a face with him, don't you? Or should I call it a mask?

This in an unusual pairing for the Buffy universe and it isn't a very romantic or sweet sort of story.  Giles is angry and hostile towards Angel, still carrying scars from what Angelus did to him, and their encounter is full of rage and twisted feelings.  However, the story is well written and worth a look.

BRAT QUEEN, THE: "Trust Me."
264 kb
Angel is living in snow-bound New England with Connor when a stranger called Wesley arrives one day with his baby daughter.

Angel pushed through the swinging doors into the kitchen. Once there he made busywork of tidying pots and pans, stacking plates and glasses into neater piles. Anything that would make some noise and sound like something normal.

In his head he pictured the man outside.

He hadn't meant to stare, not ever, but there were certain things that stood out to him - artist's eye aside - and remained stuck in his brain, demanding to be noticed.

Things like a stranger in town, when it sure as Hell wasn't tourist season.

Things like a stranger in town with a kid who couldn't be more than sixth months old.

Things like a stranger in town with a kid who, though the kid was bundled up properly for Gunn's alien weather, was himself wearing only a thin windbreaker for a coat, no hat, no scarf, no gloves, and a pair of pants that were clearly worn around the edges.

Just when you think this story is some funky gay-friendly idyllic AU where our guys can live out a "lets all be friends and family together" fantasy, the author springs a typical Angel universe whammy on the reader.  I enjoyed this story immensely.

CHAPIN, AC: "Alternative Lifestyle."
25 kb
AU.  In an alternate universe, Annie (Buffy) and her watcher are lovers - and the Angelus is killing off their friends one by one.  Finally, desperately, Annie uses a spell that takes her through to "our" universe to search for help.

Sunset -- time to kill things. By the time the sky's turned indigo, Ripper lands us at the edge of one of those dried-up towns where even the local vampire king lives in a silver trailer with a satellite dish out front. I trade riding gear for hunting gear and lock down the top on the sidecar while Ripper polishes bolts and practically gives head to the engine. That's my Watcher.

This is a very interesting story and well-written. The Annie and Ripper in the AU universe are Buffy and Giles - and yet they aren't. The darkness and horror of the alternate universe is there, but painted in broad strokes and not shoved right in the reader's face, for those who are (like me) squeamish about too many graphic details of the torture. My only complaint is that an AU like this would lend itself to a much longer story - this brief look is tantalising and made me want to read the whole story of how Annie and Ripper got where they were.

75 kb
Spike and Xander are lovers but Xander can't leave Sunnydale - and every now and then, Spike does.

"Come in." And just like that, he did, and I let him in. Yeah, literally and metaphorically, and anatomically, and permanently. I led him back to my room, and there was us, me being awkward and shy and twenty and male, and him being more tender, and less mocking, than I could ever have imagined, and it was good. Good. That's a laugh, but I'm not Baudelaire, though I've gotten a bit more wordy with advanced age. It was better than good. It was... well, it was Spike. It was there, in that moment,and I've never gone back, never regretted for an instant. Oh, everything else, I live for regret, but not Spike. Never Spike, never the paper-white skin, the silken cords of his muscles, the hair still soft after a century of bleaching, the rough throaty English voice in my ear, whispering into my mouth. Never that night or any of the ones after.

This story could use a more stringent beta and purists will nitpick various flaws in characterisation etc but it's a good read if you don't take it too seriously.  It's one of those stories that I don't necessarily believe could happen, but it's one in which I can suspend my disbelief in order to enjoy an entertaining romp with some of my favourite characters.

DARGELOS: "In Dreams."
7 kb
HET. Giles' dead lovers visit him in his dreams and sometimes he sees Joyce, too.

Sometimes, in the morning, with the sun no longer in his eyes, he’d sit at his tiny kitchen table, drinking coffee, and he’d think about Joyce, and all the things he should have said, including “Would you like to have dinner with me?”  Because he saw now how right it would have been.

Dargelos is a wonderful writer and this evocative story  is typical of her work.  It's short but I love it.  Dargelos is not a writer for those readers who prefer uncomplicated happy endings but she writes wonderfully realistic, sharply charaterised gems.  

DIRA SUDIS: "At A Glance."   
8 kb
Spike and Xander, lovers over the years.

They're pretty much finished with the endlessly itinerant lifestyle now, back in California more or less full time, to the extent their collective attention span allows, and nobody on the West coast looks twice at two guys holding hands, or stealing kisses in the park. But Xander's twenties and thirties are behind them now, scattered across highways, squandered in hotels and rest stops and on strange dark streets and moonlit beaches.

He wouldn't trade a moment of it, not for anything in this world or any other, but it's gone now, irretrievable.

Lovely evocative, short story about two of my favourite characters.

FIREROSE: "Angels And Demons."
136 kb
CROSSOVER with Smallville. Lex hires Angel Inviestigations to look into the disappearance of 3 women in Smallville - and Clark.

At the kitchen table, Clark and Cordelia were engaged in a quick-fire game of anecdote trumps, in between mouthfuls of apple pie.

'We had this guy who froze his dates into human popsicles---'

'I dated a senior who tried to sacrifice me to a giant snake---'

'I kissed a girl who could change shape---'

'My boyfriend made the swim team, he nearly turned fish---'

'Our coach immolated himself in the locker-room---'

'Our principal got eaten by wild dogs. Rumour had it they were ex-students---'

Their chatter tailed off as soon as they saw him -- Wesley felt like a headmaster checking up on library period.

This is mostly gen, although there are overtones of slashy goodness with Lex and Clark. This story mostly concentrates on Wes and Cordelia (Angel and Lorne stay in LA and  Gunn is injured fairly early) and their interaction with Clark - and the investigation.  There's lots of funny dialogue between Clark and Cordelia and overall I found this story very entertaining.

FISHER, KITTY: "Mercury."
24 kb
CROSSOVER with Smallville.  Giles comes home to his English flat to find a strange boy on his doorstep.

"I'm not up to fucking you, if that's what you want."

Bald statement, not aggressive, merely factual. It left a deep, bitterly cold pit in Giles' stomach. "Fancy that."

Pause. Reassessment. Sudden embarrassment that at least brought a tinge of colour to his cheeks. "Sorry... I..."

"Stop. You're very fuckable I'm sure, but I don't really get turned on by boys who look like they need a hospital bed, thanks all the same."

"I said I'm sorry." Lex stood, looking at the floor. "My judgement is way off tonight."

"I'm sure normally you insult with much more skill." Giles took a deep breath, stared at his stray ruefully. "Look, go and shower. If you fall over call me, I'll try and pick you up without molesting you."

Tiny quirk of a smile. "If you're sure?"

"I am sitting here resonating with lust, but it is all under the strongest control." Wry, dry — at the last moment he wondered if the boy would understand irony. But he seemed to. The brittleness eased.

The boy turned, one hand holding the chair back. "Upstairs, first left?"

"You'll find it."

I like Kitty Fisher's fiction very much - although sometimes it's a little dark for me.  This story wasn't, though. It's quite an interesting and evocative 'slice of life' story and I felt that the characterisations of both Giles and a young Lex were excellent. And I loved the dry very Giles-like dialogue within this story.

HOSTILE SEVENTEEN: "You, Me And Shania Twain."
8 kb
Faith is dying and her life is flashing before her eyes.

--a blur of New Mexican desert and sky, and the smell of some kind of auto fluid, and gentle grinding noises as parts of the car unsettle and complain and a whistle of wind in my ears, and the engine stops screaming and makes a sound like whooompf!--

Part of the Dead Letters Home collection of stories. Nicely done.

HTH: "The Next Hero."
20 kb
CROSSOVER with Harry Potter.  After Buffy's death, Giles comes back to England and Hogwarts.

"Good Lord. Can one man be a Death Eater, an amateur Auror, and an American?"

"They hate you," Dumbledore pronounced, almost gleefully. "They hate you more than they hated the last two Defense teachers put together."

I like this story of Hth's very much, not least because it slashes my favourite Buffy character: Giles. I'm not a big fan of Dumbledore slash but this story made me like it.

HTH: "Lux Vivens 1: Gonzo Sunset."
38 kb
AU. First Story in the Lux Vivens trilogy.  After Cordelia's funeral, Giles comes across Oz in the cage - everyone has forgotten the full moon in all their grief.

"Gonzo." Both feet on the step.

Oz nodded seriously. "You know that feeling you get when you don’t know how you feel about something?"

Better than Oz realized. Giles nodded.

"At first it scares you. Then you get gonzo. You become Whatever. It’s like satori."


"Yeah. You know, a temporary experience of bliss. Nirvana on training wheels. Only instead of happening because you suddenly understand that life is an illusion, gonzo happens when you suddenly understand that you aren’t weird at all. You’re whatever, just like everyone is whatever. Then you get good at it, and you don’t care anymore that you’re the smallest kid in your class, or that you don’t have a mom who bakes cookies and a dad who plays basketball, or that you read too much and know the Eightfold Path and nobody picks you for kickball at recess, or that you’re bisexual and ten years ago you might have been all Velvet Goldmine cool, but now there’s AIDS, lucky you. You just know that we’re all really just one big whatever, and anyone who thinks they’re different from you, or that you should be different from you, is in for a lot of future pain, because they’re as much Gonzo as anybody else."

This is a nice, intelligent story - not to mention pairing two of my very favourite Buffy characters: Giles and Oz. There's not enough Giles slash out there, IMO.

HTH: "Lux Vivens 2: Moonlight And Van Helsing."
51 kb
AU. Second story in the Lux Vivens trilogy.  Oz leaves Giles' bed to play at the Bronze, refusing to risk Giles' reputation by staying with him at night.

He sat, proving Giles’ theory correct, and tossed blonde hair out of his slightly petulant-looking eyes before putting out his cigarette in the ashtray by Giles’ elbow. "You’re the Van Helsing, aren’t you?" he asked without any pleasantries in preface.

"Excuse me?"

"Look, I don’t care, okay? I mean, I’m not going to report you or anything. So you can tell me."

Of course – from the chaos surrounding Buffy’s ill-starred coming home party. The singer from Oz’s band. Giles’ eyes went immediately to the stage, as if thinking about Oz would put him there, but the other band was still playing. "I’m not sure I...follow your reference."

The language in these stories is beautiful and strange and evocative, and the Van Helsing thing really caught my attention.

HTH: "Lux Vivens 3: Buzzed."
29 kb
AU. Third story in the Lux Vivens trilogy.  Giles visits Oz's apartment that he shares with Devon and is appalled by the condition of the place.

"Oh, good Lord. You live here?"

"Well, ‘live’ is a pretty heavy word," Oz said from the depths of his closet. "I keep stuff here."

Giles moved uncertainly through the land mines of t-shirts and pizza boxes; if he could just make it to the window and get some air circulating, it might not smell so...sticky in here. "Well, it’s...it’s, ah...please tell me those are water stains on the baseboards."

"Yeah. Place leaks a little when it rains."

Light flooded in when Giles raised the blinds; Giles wasn’t sure whether it was better or worse, being able to see the room. Covertly, he kicked a brown apple core under the nearest bed; at least Oz was eating fruit. "This window won’t open."

"Oh. No. The lock’s rusted."

Giles was afraid even to look in the direction of the bathroom. "Do you like — like it here?"

I love Giles' reaction to Oz's room - the very fastidious Giles is rather appalled at the typical teenage garbage dump of a room.

HTH: "Say Of What You See."
11 kb
Angel and Wesley are lovers.

He gleams in the orange lamplight, and the tattoo and the shadows fold across his back, casting the image of tenebrous wings that rustle like silvery-grey sheets as he moves. On second thought, the sound probably is the rustling of Angel’s silvery-grey sheets under my back, but it doesn’t matter. The sound and smell of Angel so close above me, the look and touch of Angel ravishing me with ruthless immortal patience – all my senses blend together when we’re alone like this, and the feeling is even headier now that he’s chosen to discard his thin defenses, the half-open shirt, the leather pants loosened just enough to allow my hand inside.

Tonight I can see all of him, and just by stepping out of those rich-textured clothes and giving me his own skin and shape to touch, he’s released something consuming in my head, something that obsesses me. Angel – mine to hold – mine to devour with my eyes and my desire, which has only grown sharper and more searing in the past weeks, since the first time he kissed me, tentative and self-conscious.

This is pretty much a PWP - with first person Wesley POV as Wes marvels at the first time he has seen Angel completely naked.  I love the language of this story, as I love most of Hth's work, and this is definitely worth having a look at.

JODIE_H or rngrdead: "A Wooded Future."  
253 kb
Xander gets swallowed by a tree. (Yes, really!)

It was early autumn and a full moon. All he had done wrong was to lean against the liquid amber at the edge of the cemetery to wait for Spike. One minute Xander was standing by the tree, and the next he… was engulfed by it.

He desperately tried to call out, but a frond slid into his mouth, effectively gagging him. The next few minutes were spent in a fruitless struggle to free himself as more and more fibres bound him tight. He was slowly raised from the ground and his unwilling form stripped of its clothing. Finally he felt the sharp pain in his side and he registered a cold chill spreading through his being, he remained conscious for just long enough to watch in horror as the veins in his arms and legs stood up and slowly turned green.

The writing isn't all it could be but the plot had me fascinated, amused, intrigued, and I couldn't stop reading this story until I'd finished it.

JODIE_H or rngrdead: "After The Fall."  
545 kb
Xander and Spike survive a horrific future.

It was the backlash, the reaction to the final stand against Wolfram and Hart and the opening of the portal, the reality of the destruction of Sunnydale, the final realization that demons were real, that the other was here. The Initiative was reinstated, enhanced, empowered and enforced. A global movement like no other.

They were all rounded up, town After town, state After state, country After country. It began with simple registration. The criteria for the roundup was broad, slayers, witches, half breeds, harmless or man eaters, the more human you looked, the better your chances… First labeled then hounded, herded into areas, then forcibly removed to camps, then arbitrarily killed, downgraded to non human status. Those old enough remembered other times like this and it always started out the same… the ‘them and us’ taken to an extreme…. The Crusades, the Witch hunts of inquisition years, the Huganauts, the native Indians of the US, the aboriginals of Australia, the third Reich, the killing fields of Cambodia, the ethnic cleansing in the Slavic nations, the Rwandan Hutus wiping out the Tutsis, who really cared… anyone different, it was a human tradition in times of stress… and now it was their turn… anyone with a demon connection, but now it was driven by the ruling nations so no one was safe on any continent.

Hard to read at times but has a happy ending.

LAR: "Alignment."
17 kb
Angel won't wake up so Wesley visits Faith in prison in his place.

When the guard comes to escort her down the corridor that reeks of urine and anger, Faith is as close to happy as she gets in this place. She's got an anecdote in her head that she's rehearsing, about the big bull-dyke who tried to feel her up in the shower the other day. The stupid bitch took one look at Faith's comparatively small size and all but shouted "fresh meat!" before coming on like a water buffalo in heat. Faith snickers as she remembers the look on the girl's face and the way she sidestepped the charge, slapped the girl on the back and said, "Not my type, Bertha." Laughed and turned her back and walked away.

No fighting. No injuries. She is learning.

And that at least will earn her the look, and the verbal pat on the head that she needs so much. Because what she really wanted to do was grab the bitch in the shower, snap most of the bones in her arm, and then toss her to the tiled floor. She wanted the screams, wanted everyone who had been stealing glances to see her bang the big wet head on the floor until the bones crunched and the skin split and the tiles turned red. She wanted it so badly that when she got dressed there were smears of blood on her clothes, marks from the open wounds on her palm where she cut the skin open with her own nails. Hands clenched to keep them from hurting anyone else.

So when she rounds the corner and takes her seat, she is so psyched to see Angel that she's grinning like a kid. She has the phone in her hand and the words, "Hey, Angel, man, how's it going?" are out before she realizes there's something wrong. Because the man sitting there isn't smiling back, and it's not Angel at all.

It's unusual for me to recommend a gen story but this one is so well-written and - I don't know, it just grabbed me and I love it.

LEIGH, D: "A Warm Body."
6 kb
CROSSOVER with the X-Files.
A sexual encounter between Drusilla, Spike and Alex Krycek exposes Krycek's insecurities with being homosexual.

When the man kisses his eyelids, Krycek knows this is different. This man is not ashamed to worship at the altar of beauty. Doesn't care about the label of "fag" so long as he has earned the label. Doesn't need a dark corner to get laid if he wants to know the roughness of a man. Doesn't have a coldly disapproving Russian father downstairs, drinking in the dark in front of a bright television. Even if the father is dead now of liver cancer, and he's only downstairs in Krycek's own mind. Doesn't make it any less real.

Excellently written little story with the little black dress of fandom (Alex Krycek).

NOMAD: Resistance Movement.   
11 kb
This is the way the world ends.

A vampire isn't a person at all. It may have the movements, the memories, even the personality of the person that it took over, but it's still a demon at the core; there is no halfway.

Lovely, melancholy story.

JENNIFER-OKSAMA: "A Possible Fairytale."   [No Link]
28 kb
Years after the end of the series, Wesley’s marriage to Lilah has ended and he’s left in suburbia in San Francisco. One day he runs into Gunn at his local coffee shop and the two ex-lovers immediate get back together.

All things considered, divorcing a lawyer wasn't nearly as traumatic as it could have been. Lilah hadn't sent a demon after him, or demanded the car, the house, and one of his balls, which was nice. In fact, they had parted on extraordinarily amicable terms, the kind he wouldn't have ever expected when he'd taken up with her eight years ago. She'd even asked him take Lisabeth with him to San Francisco, agreeing that one of those days or other, Wolfram and Hart would try something and she was safer with him.

"God knows I never think about morality when power or ambition's involved," she'd said a little fondly, touching the stubble on his cheek. "You're going to forget to shave, aren't you?"


RHIANNON: "Guises."   [No Link]
68 kb
CROSSOVER: Buffy/ The X-Files.
Alex Krycek arrives to demolish a Consortium site but finds that someone has beaten him to it.

The Consortium always ran to grandiose actions.  Overblown, theatrical passwords and tinted-window tanks masquerading as limos.  Bodyguards in sunglasses and muscle poses.  The old men went for visible power.  They liked to meet in smoke-filled, wood-paneled rooms in New York with the kind of square footage that announced ‘we have money and our snipers have clear lines of fire.’ A peacock in heat was less noticeable.

I like this story very much,  and not just because it has Oz (one of my favourite Buffy characters) paired with Alex, the "little black dress" of fandom <g>.  This story uses language in a way that pleases me and I love the characterisation of both Alex and Oz. The text is minimalist, in the sense that it doesn't force information or over-explanations on the reader, and there are plenty of movie references for film buffs.  Lovely.

ROZK: Bed Of Bones."
10 kb
The first slayer walks the earth and dreams.

She danced sharp-eyed death in the night at them from a distance, and they turned their backs on her; she dragged them to the white dead and tried to make them stay until night and they pulled away from her, with shrugs or blows.

She slept alone - some of the males and most of the females had tried to share her bed, but she needed the day for sleeping and did not feel easy with those who had stoned her. One younger female came by so often that she let her stay and hold her, tried to take her out into the night to watch with her, but when she saw what dead things came, she ran screaming into the night, and was stupid, and soft, and died.

More gen! This is a very interesting story and I like the way it deals with the time before speech.

SHRIFT: "Comfortable."
37 kb
Wesley and Gunn spend so much time together that they fail to realise that they've been essentially dating for a year.

"Cordelia's getting pretty good at that, Angel says."

"Oh, I don't disagree," Wesley said from Gunn's other side, not moving away.  "However, I do think I'll stay over here until she comes to terms with the lack of a Christmas bonus this year."

"Good plan," Gunn nodded.

"Oh, please," Cordelia said.  "If I wanted to kill you, I'd poison your tea with toe jam from a Mukluk demon, Wesley.  Or I'd tape Angel singing to Connor and lock you in a room with it on permanent replay."

"Hey," Angel said.  He looked up, holding his son in the crook of his arm.

Cordelia arched her eyebrow.  "Last night you sang, 'I Write the Songs.'  You owe us all."

This is a series of dialogue-heavy scenes in which Wes and Gunn are shown growing closer over time -  a very sweet, funny story.

SHRIFT: "Latency."
21 kb
Wesley makes a move on Gunn and Gunn disappears for two weeks.

Angel slid into the booth next to Cordelia.  "Hi.  Sorry I'm late."

"Wesley's a bisexual," she announced.

Angel blinked.  "Okay."

On the other side of the booth, Wesley groaned and hid his face in his hands.

Angel shifted after a moment and said, "We don't have to throw a party or anything, do we?"

I love the humour and sweetness in Shrift's stories.

SMITH, PERRI: "Hands To Heaven."
14 kb
Willow travels to Los Angeles to tell Angel of Buffy's death.

She stood slowly, and Cordelia was saying something and it didn't matter, because Angel knew. She saw the knowledge start in the depth of his eyes, saw it spread out to his face, through his entire body. There had been joy there, but it drained away, replaced with emptiness. He said the words, and she nodded. Yes. It's Buffy.

This is one of a series of death stories that were written from different character points of view after Buffy's death at the end of Season 5.   The complete set can be found at "The Darkest Dawn" page here .  I like this one the best of those I've read, although it's a little on the obvious side in the way it tells you about everybody's grief -- but then I prefer a minimalist approach to my fictional grief over every other sort when given the choice.

26 kb
Xander has an encounter with Angel on the roof of the Bronze.

Stops again. Listens hard. More nothing. It's like Sunnydale's gone dead. It's like he's all alone, the whole rest of the planet empty. End of the world shit. The sky is more like a black iron skillet than an open thing.

Bad bad bad. But tonight he wants it to be that way.

This is pretty much a PWP - a hot encounter between Xander and Angel - but it's definitely one of the better ones. I'm not sure I buy this scenario - at least not the guys I see in canon - but it's extremely well-written and I love the language. It did take me an embarassingly long time to get the point of the title - very shameful, that.

SPIKE, THE: "Stand Down."
22 kb
Sequel to "DMZ".  Xander can't stop thinking about Angel.

And gets a look at Angel's face.

Angel's eyes on him. Not on him. Looking past him to forever maybe and about a million years older than Xander ever wants to be...and for a second it's like all the clutter of should and shouldn't and what and why goes quiet and suddenly he gets this, this Angel-fucking thing, from Angel's side...

Angel who is... who is 240 years old and, yeah, a monster and Jesus how do you live even one day let alone forever when it's so fucking lonely in there...

I like this one perhaps even more than the original, even though it's sadder in some ways. It's not romantic but it's very poignant and the characterisation feels right to me in ways that the first one didn't, which is pretty odd really.  There's a third story in this series which can be found on The Spike's Angel/Buffy page here.

TE: "Strays."
58 kb
Oz calls for help and Xander is happy to answer.

Oz's hand on his chest, just resting there, warm and human. "Xander."

And the only thing to do was sit up, wrap his arms around Oz and pull him close. "I know. Just let me... *us* help you. It doesn't have to be this big Angel-style Angstical Mystery tour, man."

Oz snickered softly. "Can I still have the coat?"

"Get in line, pal."

Hot werewolf sex - what more could you want? This is the first in a series of stories, which can be found on Te's page here.

VICCY/RIMAU: "Cycles Of Change."   [No Link.]
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What would happen if one of the Scooby gang became a vampire?

I wasn't actually certain if he'd really kill me or not, but by the look in his eyes, I knew that he at least considered it seriously.

That period lasted for a long time.

As months went by, Xander and I got into a routine. He would insult me and I would make a sarcastic remark. He wouldn't try to kill me and I wouldn't sneak up behind him, approach him in dark alleys, or do anything to unnerve him. And I wouldn't touch him.

This is an interesting take on what it means to be a vampire and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The Xander/Angel relationship is sweet, although I don't think the characterisation is strictly canonical. This story is rather light-hearted, in my view, despite the angsty subject matter and I enjoyed it very much.

WALKER, JESSICA: "Controlled Circumstances."
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Wesley is injured and full of despair, and Angel brings him home.

As if in response, my fingers weaken and betray me and the key clatters to the doorstep.

It is in his hand before I know it, glittering dimly in the glow of streetlights.  He always moves like that: a ghost, a wild animal, full of grace and silence.  Watching him move has always made me catch my breath.

He says nothing, knowing that anything he says can only make me feel more worthless and incompetent than I already do, and reaches past me to unlock the door, pushing it open with one hand.  I stumble through, breathless, a mass of aches, while he lingers on the doorstep.

This is stupid. Utterly stupid.  I don't know why he's here. He should go. I'll be fine.  It's just a broken arm, some burns, a few bruised ribs, a slight concussion. I don't know why he insisted on walking me home.

This is a melancholy but beautifully written piece of angst.  It won't be to everybody's taste but I loved the language and the emotional intensity of this one. There is an alternate version here that involves sex between the two but I didn't like that one nearly as much.

WALKSWITHWIND, JAMES: "Sandy Places In The Skin."
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Xander makes it out of his house just in time.

He was late. He ran, anyhow, the last few yards to his house. Slipping through the half-clipped bushes of Mr. Forster's yard, he headed for the front door. It wouldn't be locked, the fun of making  Xander sleep on the porch had dimmed, recently, paled in comparison  to the new game.

Waiting. Letting him in.

Xander opened the door without any hesitation. Not because he knew what was coming, not because fighting off other-worldly horrors gave him strength. It did, but not the kind he needed. He entered quickly because he knew his father would have seen him approach, and skulking outside only made things worse.
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This story is the first in a long and yet unfinished saga of stories set in this universe. The stories at this point consist of:
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Sandy Places in the Skin.
Sandy Places in the Heart.
Sandy Places on the Ground.
Sandy Places in the Soul.
Sandy Places Overseas.
Sandy Places in the Shadows.
Sandy Places Among the Angels.

"Sandy Places In The Skin" can be read in isolation, but you'd need to read the rest in order if you wanted to follow the whole thing. These stories are a good read and, although there is a slight tendency to make Xander into a combination punching bag and martyr at times, I think this is a wonderful AU series of stories. I like the bits with Spike the best because these have a very nice emotional intensity to them. I haven't read past "Sandy Places Overseas" - this one pretty much defeated me because Xander's reaction to Giles' relatives was a little too OTT for me, and I decided not to read any further until the series was complete. I like this first story the best - along with parts of the second and third stories. I'll be interested to see how the last stories turn out but it's been quite a while since the last update.

WESLEYGIRL: All The Sky You Need.   
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Angel/Spike; Mal/Simon.
Crossover with Firefly.
Angel and Spike are searching for Drusilla and they hitch a ride on Firefly.

"They aren't right," a voice says, wispy and ethereal. The voice, Angel discovers, belongs to a girl who's peering at them around a pile of crates, the one eye that Angel can see wide and worried.

Spike steps away from Angel, toward the girl. "What's your name, pet?"

It's too late to stop the conversation from happening, so Angel doesn't try. "River," the girl says. Her hair is a long dark tangle. If she weren't so innocent, she'd look like Drusilla. Come to think of it, Dru was innocent once, too.

"You aren't right," River continues. "You don't belong here."

"Don't belong anywhere," Spike says. Angel is painfully aware of Mal Reynold's attention on them. "What about you, then? You belong here?"

River shakes her head, her fingers curled gently around the edge of a crate. "I don't belong anywhere either," she says.

I like this story as it's an interesting melding of the two universes.