Reader's DVD commentary for
Wild Geese
by yin_again

Fall's coming, and Spike doesn't care. The wild geese are calling in the clear, bright air over the lake, and Spike doesn't care. He doesn't care that they're back here, in the place of their greatest happiness. He doesn't care that the rug in front of the fieldstone fireplace is just as soft as the last time they were here. He doesn't care that the porch is shaded, that the swing is padded, that the Council has the place stocked with food and blood and DVDs and videogames. He doesn't care, because Xander's up there, in the wide, soft bed in the loft. The same one they loved in, slept in, whispered in. There's a lot of setting and set-up in this paragraph. And a lot of impotent, resentful anger.

Because Xander's not doing any of that. He's asleep, yes, but it's an unnatural sleep; drug- and magic-induced. They were brought here in a helicopter, straight from that triple-damned street in Salt Lake City. A hospital couldn't fix what was wrong, and Spike instinctively knew that this place was home to Xander, as much as any place was home to his nomad spirit. And the anger turns out to be grounded in fear and grief, which is exhausting.

Spike's seen too much. He's seen Xander's bones poking through his skin. He's seen Xander's precious blood running onto a snow-dusted sidewalk; he's seen the fear in Xander's eye. He's seen his worst nightmares come true in front of him in gleaming, glorious, obscene color. The freak storm had raged in and blanketed the city, and the same storm had brought them out, seeking a slayer like no other and finding her. And there's all you get to know about what happened.

Spike killed her. Made his Slayer hat trick and didn't care for a second. Killing her wasn't about being the Slayer of Slayers, was about defending what's his, was about punishing her for daring to hurt Xander. It hadn't been enough. That "was about (...), was about..." structure reads just like Spike's speech patterns, particularly when he's upset. Very nice.

Echoing the first paragraph: So Spike waits. He feels the crispness of the air (doesn't care) , smells the trees (doesn't care) , the fresh tang of the water (doesn't care) , the blood of his beloved (restating the middle three paragraphs). This is a really neat structure.

He hears footsteps on the stairs, and looks up to see Willow coming down. Her face is drawn, she looks exhausted. She comes to sit beside him, and they lean into each other, seeking solace. Spike's on his own, stuck in his head brooding up until this point.

"What do we do now?" Spike asks.

She wraps his fingers in hers and squeezes. "Now, we wait." Willow responds well to being needed - she always has (I suspect because it feeds into her control and power issues). This is so bare bones that it's impossible to know what the relationship between Spike & Willow is prior to Xander's injury – canonically, Spike has always respected her (after his fashion), and she has been sympathetic toward him when he's in extremis. This sort of shared experience, both worrying about and trying to help Xander, is what I assume brings them quite close, in this mutual support way.

I went back and forth on this story, between thinking I wouldn't have much to say, and thinking I had too much to say. There's a lot going on because this story is so cryptic. Wild Geese is a part of an unfinished sequel to a story called See America, which is itself unfinished. It's future-fic where the Angel series went a bit differently after Fred was killed by the God-King Ilyria. So Xander is back from Africa, at the Council's enclave in Cleveland, when Gunn, Spike, and Wes show up, seeking refuge from the destruction of Wolfram and Hart. It's a bit more complicated than that, of course. All three of them are damaged, shell-shocked (whoops. Pun. That doesn't really apply, but I think it's funny anyway.) Xander takes on the care of Spike, and things go from there. It gets roadtrippy, and the Xander in it is wonderful. He's managed to lose and find himself in his travels, and he's grown up and learned that things aren't so black and white. But he's still Xandery. Wry and funny, self-effacing and affectionately caustic. And Spike, living through a nightmare and going a little nuts (again), is himself again in flashes, fits and starts. And a wonderful silence that is about removing himself from the world, but actually highlights his perceptive characteristics.

So that's the background, sort of.

Each of the Lake House stories stand on their own, so this doesn't really apply to them, but I wanted to say the following:

Yin is the author of a couple of things that I classify in my head as the stories that taught me to be easy with the idea of an abandoned WIP (not to be presumptuous - I guess they aren't really abandoned until the author declares them as such. Works-in-limbo, rather?). See America, Aura, What You Leave Behind. I'm happy they exist, even in bits. It's fine by me if they are never completed (though I'd be overjoyed if she wrote more, too.) I get losing interest in a project, and I know it isn't not wanting to complete them (though it might be that too), it's not being able to, or not being able to do it right, or having other priorities. And I would rather read part than read none. I feel remarkably buddhistish (erm, in a very surface, hopefully non-offensive toward actual Buddhists manner) about it. Accepting. Peaceful. I think this is a good practice for me, as I am a bundle of short-temper and frustrated impatience, in the general scheme of things. Life lessons. There you go. Becoming a better person through fanfiction.

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