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Happy Birthday spike_1790 & desoto_hia873

Do I need an excuse for more fic recs, all wrapped in shiny birthday wishes? Oh of course I do...there's that vacuum cleaner in the corner that is calling my name and THAT JUST WON'T DO. So, without further ado:

spike_1790 : Master fic list here. Mostly m/m slash especially Spike/Xander and Spike/Angel but also Spike/Andrew, Spike/Jonathan and even one Spike/Riley. (Why aren't there more fics about that pairing circa S5? Riley making secret trips to Spike's crypt for a little - "guy talk"? About Buffy. Riiiiiight. And I can offer you zero % financing and low monthly payments on this gorgeous bridge in Brooklyn....) "Daises", a character study of Dawn between The Gift and Bargaining won Best Drabble in the 2013 Absence of Light Awards: "Only one thing made her feel guilt. A single theft amongst many."
"Drowning, Not Waving" (Willow, Spike, Buffy, Dawn) spins silk from the sow's ear "Wrecked" and Willow's magic addiction plotline via five drabbles from various perspectives: "Of course she hadn’t intended it to be this way- just a thrill, right? Just a little bit of danger in a boring life. Something to make the pain go away. She hadn’t counted on feeling this connection, this… electricity."
"Dust You Are And to Dust You Shall Return" was originally intended as Spike/Xander and ended with no named characters, which probably increases it's power as an original work: "Our lives may have depended on it. Someone's probably did. We couldn't hear."

desoto_hia873's "All Set Down" is an AU-variation on The Gift, which is one of my fandom drugs. I rec'd it back in February, but it rewards re-discovery and re-reading; it also breaks one of my "rules" when it comes to fanfic: Don't "cut and paste" slabs of dialogue from the show/movie/etc and basically reproduce the scene that already exists...unless you're doing what desoto does: weaving scenes from the show with original scenes, changing each canon sequence slightly until the changes build into something entirely new and I'm glued to my seat trying to guess what will happen next. Then still glued in place even after I know how it's going to unfold.

Told from Giles' POV, it highlights the pragmatism he wears like a mask to hide his emotions, at terrible cost: "There will be no well-wishers meeting him there, no fond farewells from the children he grew to love and failed to protect. They can no more bear to see him than he can to look at himself." There's no way to read this, or to watch The Gift, and not recall Passion: the way the broken bodies of the two people he's loved most, Jenny and Buffy, are both laid out before him. And it's hard for me to read this and not be aware of the fact that one of Buffy's most important relationships is relatively underexplored in fics compared to "shippy" fics. There's far more Buffy/Giles, as far as I can see, than Buffy & GIles.

It also shines a light on Dawn''s courage; as bone_dry1013 once said to me in reference to her, "Summers blood must be the blood of champions." Forget the silly deus ex machina; "All Set Down" emphasizes the true importance of "Summers' blood". "She straightens, lifts her chin, squares her shoulders, and rivets him in place with her stare.....there is no waver in her voice."

Desoto's master fic list here, various drabbles here.
Thanks for the recs. I have checked out the All set down one and I agree it was fabulous.
Indeed. And just today I was reading 's AU rewrite of Tabula Rasa, "Holding On" (tagged Buffy/Giles but works as Buffy, Giles as well) and it makes a great companion piece to All Set down.
You know, I don't think I've read "All set down". I clearly need to remedy that!