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Fanfic / Taaroko's Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Taaroko’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series consists of two fanfics, Season 8 and its sequel, Season 9, and is a continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Season 8 essentially starting where Season 7 of the TV show ended (albeit with an opening chapter that essentially serves as a ‘flashback’ depicting the activities of an important returning character). Season 8 is written in such a manner as to mostly correspond to the events of Angel Season 5 (making a couple of minor tweaks to make relations between the two groups better than they appeared in canon), while Season 9 is written after both shows had concluded. Season 8 focuses on the Scooby Gang making new lives for themselves in Cleveland after the destruction of the Sunnydale Hellmouth while facing a gathering army of zombie Slayers, while Season 9 relocates the group back to Los Angeles as they join forces with the now-human Angel and Gunn as Buffy and Angel get back together.

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This series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: The Slayers as a whole are obvious examples, but Dawn and Willow get their own shots as well
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Word of God explains that Spike's reaction to Buffy choosing Angel was in part due to a lot of bourbon and the crappy day he had been having, and had Drusilla not shown up, he would have pulled himself together and tried to patch things up with her.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In the penultimate chapter of Season 8, when the Scoobies face the First in the final battle, they defeat the First using the Enjoining Spell they used to defeat Adam in canon, but make Willow the 'vessel' for their combined powers rather than Buffy, allowing Willow to astral project to a level where she can fight the First while essentially wielding the Scythe, allowing her to draw on Buffy and Giles's experience of hand-to-hand combat where the First doesn't actually have any idea how to fight for itself.
  • Ascended Extra: Oz’s bandmates are all original characters, but Alex and Cole in particular become key core members of the group in Cleveland
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    • As Angel faces his final battle, Lorne, Connor and Oz all pool their resources to gather some of Angel’s old allies to help him against the Black Thorn, and a few more show up of their own accord.
  • Badass Normal: Xander is an obvious example, but there’s also Cole, a member of Oz’s new band; he starts out as the only pure human in the band, but he displays no hesitation when trying to help his girlfriend Alex in her first fight against vampires after Oz explains about the Slayer, and later starts training with Giles so that he can ‘officially’ act as Alex’s Watcher
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • As Angel faces his final battle against Wolfram & Hart, Dawn, Connor and Lorne use Dawn’s new ability to open portals to gather various allies to help Angel, and some of the people Angel has helped in the past also show up to aid him in his final stand.
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    • Subverted at the beginning of Season 9, as Andrew and Kennedy’s forces return to Cleveland to help in the battle against the First, only to realise when they arrive that the battle’s already ended in favour of the heroes.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: As well as the Scoobies as a whole, the complexity of Angel, Drusilla and Spike’s vampire ‘family’ is invoked, with Dru pondering what she should consider Connor, and making a comment that implies she also sees Angel’s sister Kathy as an aunt despite the girl having been dead for over a century before Drusilla was turned.
  • Birds of a Feather: Buffy muses that Willow and Oz’s relationship back in Sunnydale always reminded her of her relationship with Angel, save for it having a better chance of working out
  • Book-Ends: Comes up for the Buffy/Angel and Oz/Willow relationships, as Angel and Oz’s proposals to their partners mirror key moments at the beginning of their relationships; Angel proposes to Buffy on the steps of Hemery High where he first saw her, and Oz’s proposal to Willow uses almost the exact same words as when he originally asked her out.
  • Break the Cutie: Suggested for Livvy, an eight-year-old who was ‘activated’ as a Slayer after she witnessed both of her parents die, although to the credit of all characters they do their best to give her a chance at a more normal life even as she moves into the Hyperion.
  • Brought Down to Badass: At the end of Season 8, Angel becomes human, but he soon learns how to use his existing combat knowledge to continue holding his own in fights against demons, and later muses that he still had some superhuman strength early in his humanity that he attributes to him having drunk Buffy’s blood just before he became human again.
  • The Bus Came Back: The first chapter of the story depicts Oz’s activities since he left Sunnydale, relocating to Cleveland and joining a new band that comes to be known as ‘Illogical Stop Sign’
    • Briefly takes place during the final battle against Wolfram & Hart, as characters such as Kate, Groo, Gwen, Landok, Bethany, Justine, and the surviving members of Gunn’s old gang all join forces with Connor and Dawn to help Angel stand against the demon army.
    • Hank Summers tries to rejoin his daughters’ lives, although Buffy initially has very little interest in his efforts.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Cole and Alex are revealed to have known each other since they were little, to the point that Cole convinced Alex of his identity even when she was reverted to a five-year-old.
  • Closest Thing We Got: A minor but positive example occurs early in Season 9, when Renee asks for Angel’s input on the sketches she’s creating for her and Xander’s new comic book ‘adaptation’ of the Scoobies’ earlier adventures; while Angel’s artistic experience lends itself more towards sketches of subjects in repose, he is still the most artistically-inclined person available who had any hand in the events Renee is trying to depict.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In a sense; Amy tries to attack Willow with a spell designed to draw on her insecurities and bring them out, but Willow’s magic is now so far beyond Amy’s that the spell essentially ‘bounces’ off Willow and causes Angel, Xander, Oz, Giles and Dawn to experience various moments of random chaos until the spell is undone by another Watcher, at which point Willow effortlessly banishes Amy away.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Oz’s bandmate Alex casually reveals that she and her mother fled Italy because her father was in the mob after they got the chance to fake their deaths, although it is later revealed that her father was actually forced to act as an enforcer due to a contract with Wolfram & Hart, and he returns to his daughter’s life after a brief misunderstanding where he tries to threaten Angel that ends when Gunn is able to find suitable loopholes in the contract.
    • On top of Angel’s history as Angelus, it is briefly referenced that his mother suffered various miscarriages before she gave birth to his sister Kathy, explaining the age gap between the two.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Acknowledged by the once-again-soulless Spike, as he muses that he can no longer feel the same sense of sorrow for Fred’s death that he felt with his soul, even if he still has enough affection for her memory to feel glad that others will mourn her.
  • Death by Adaptation: Andrew is killed during a battle in the Hyperion.
  • Demoted to Extra: For Gunn in particular; he stays in Los Angeles, but he gets comparatively less ‘screen time’ than other characters even though he officially lives at the Hyperion and is mentioned as having worked with Angel and Buffy on a few cases before the Scoobies officially relocated to L.A..
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Doubles as a ‘Fix Fic’ moment, as Willow is captured by the agents of the latest threat at the same time as Fred is infected by Illyria in Los Angeles and is therefore unable to help Angel save Fred for better reasons than the canon implication that Giles just couldn’t be bothered.
  • Eat Me: Referenced in the alternate timeline Xander witnesses during his It's a Wonderful Plot moment; in that world, when the time came for the Mayor’s Ascension, Faith killed the Mayor by letting him eat her so she could kill him from inside.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Nyx adopts this philosophy in Season 8 when she realises that the First is reanimating dead Slayers to use against Buffy’s army of Slayers, offering Buffy information about their current enemy because she recognises that it’s very likely that spell will be used to try and control her at some point.
    • Occurs again in Season 9, when Spike, Drusilla, Nyx, Sophia and Demetri come to the Hyperion to join forces with the Scoobies to stop the rise of the Old Ones, agreeing to help them stop the Old Ones and protect innocent humans caught in the crossfire, all the Slayers accepting that these vampires are on their side right now as the side that doesn’t want to destroy the world.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Buffy realises that she’s ready for a relationship with Angel while arguing with Spike about what it means to be a champion.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Basically applies to Angel in Season 9; Buffy helps him draw up the legal paperwork necessary for him to have a real name and identity under his original human name of 'Liam Gallagher', but despite the restoration of his birth name (to the point that Buffy now calls herself 'Buffy Gallagher' after their wedding), everyone still calls him Angel.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Nyx takes this role for the Slayers, as she was once a Slayer herself before being turned into a vampire during her Cruciamentum.
    • Arguably applies to Spike and Angel in Season 9; once both vampire champions with souls, after Angel becomes human, Spike has returned to being a traditional vampire.
  • Evil Is Petty: Amy returns to try and attack Willow again in Season 9.
  • Failed a Spot Check: It takes Willow 'recognising' one of the girls as Kennedy for Xander to realise that the thirty six-year-old girls running around Summers Academy in nothing but adult blouses are actually the de-aged Slayers, Giles explicitly noting that the correlation should have been obvious.
  • Fake Memories: One of the reasons Connor and Dawn bond is that their entire lives were essentially faked, albeit with Connor getting fake memories on top of his real ones whereas Dawn’s entire history prior to her appearing in Buffy’s room isn’t real.
  • Fallen Hero: Essentially applies to Spike, as he shows no sign that he is troubled about the fact that he’s lost his soul, although this can be attributed to him being psychologically incapable of doing so in this state.
  • Fix Fic:
    • In canon, Angel tried to get ahold of Willow to help cure Fred's infection by Illyria's essence, but Giles informs him that Willow is in the Himalayas on the astral plane, and flat-out refused to help them at all after confirming that Angel still works for Wolfram & Hart. Here, Willow is captured by the agents of the latest threat at the same time as Fred is infected by Illyria in Los Angeles and is therefore unable to help Angel save Fred either way; the writer thinks that Giles refusing to help Angel at all in the face of an Old One being resurrected was a major Out-of-Character Moment.
    • The fic also adjusts Andrew's comment in "Damage" that no one in the Scooby Gang trusts Angel anymore now that he works for Wolfram & Hart. When Spike points this out to Buffy in the penultimate episode of Season 8, Buffy replies that just because she doesn't trust Wolfram & Hart does not mean she doesn't trust Angel, and Andrew had no right to speak for her in the first place.
  • Foil: Angel and Spike continue to act as this to each other, to the point that Spike’s soul is taken from him by Drusilla after Angel becomes human, turning him back into a ‘normal’ vampire, because Spike can’t be bothered to keep trying to be a hero now that Buffy’s chosen Angel.
  • "Get out of Jail Free" Card: Wesley and Angel use Wolfram & Hart’s resources to set up a fake identity for Faith to ensure that she can stay out of prison.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: Season 8 explores how Buffy and Angel did their best to do this for Dawn and Connor, until the final battle against Wolfram & Hart’s forces is only successful because those two joined Angel’s forces to rally the troops and support his efforts, leaving Buffy and Angel to each accept that their sister and son belong with them.
  • Happily Adopted: Technically applies to Connor, considering that he has memories of a normal life with a new family, but he spends more time depicted with the rest of the Scooby Gang as he starts dating Dawn after they relocate to Los Angeles
  • Identity Amnesia: A literal example in Season 9 as a spell causes Angel to revert back to his original human identity of Liam, who’s initially such a chauvinistic flirt and layabout that Buffy wonders what Darla could have ever seen in him. Despite his early attitude, Buffy initially accepts his rejection of the offer to restore his memories because he doesn’t want to remember the horror of Angelus’s crimes, but Liam later redeems himself in her eyes when he asks to remember who he was so he can remember the people who were important to Angel after looking at various photographs.
  • Infant Immortality: Yes and no; Faith’s newborn son Nicky is protected from a demon attack that was meant to kill him, but the same attack causes Buffy to miscarry her and Angel’s unborn son.
  • Interspecies Romance: Initially represented by the obvious example of Buffy/s complex relationship with Angel and Spike, as well as (arguably) Willow getting back together with Oz, but also more represented by the relationship between Lorin and Sam, as Sam is human while Lorin comes from another dimension and is an unnamed species of humanoid ‘demon’ with wings from another dimension.
  • It Runs in the Family: Never explicitly stated, but hard to ignore considering that Connor’s romantic interest shifts from Cordelia (his father’s would-be lover) to Dawn (the sister of his father’s greatest love), with Dawn reciprocating Connor’s feelings even before they learn of their similarly unconventional origins.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Chapter 14 of Season 9 is this for Xander, as he feels useless and unappreciated, only to be sent by Jesse’s spirit into a world where he was never born. As a result, not only is there still only one Slayer at a time, but they all lasted barely a year in the role; Buffy died in her confrontation with the Master, Kendra was killed by Spike for killing Drusilla, Faith sacrificed herself to kill the Mayor, Kennedy was slaughtered by Adam, Rona was split by Toth and killed, Vi was killed by the slayer-turned-vampire Nyx, and current Slayer Renee (Xander’s girlfriend in the ‘real’ world at this time) is resigned to her inevitable death when he arrives. As for the rest of the Scooby Gang, Willow was turned by Spike- and is killed by Xander after she kills Renee- Cordelia was killed at the demonic frat party, Miss Calendar died in a car accident during the cursed candy incident, and Angel, Oz, and Giles are resigned to their bitter role as guardians of the Hellmouth (Jesse ‘inviting’ Xander to consider what Los Angeles must be like in this world as Angel never went there).
  • Love Makes You Evil: At the end of Season 8, after Buffy rejects him, Spike snaps and, under Drusilla's influence, sheds his soul and becomes evil again.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While wandering around London, Oz mentions that he keeps expecting to see the TARDIS, but Angel doesn’t hear him as he was distracted by the sight of a blue police box that subsequently disappeared…
    • The author has confirmed that the reference to Spike and Drusilla draining a brunette in a ‘backwoods town in Washington’ is a dig at the Twilight series.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Buffy has a moment of panic when she convinces herself that the army of undead Slayers is a side-effect of the spell that activated all living Potential Slayers, but Giles and Willow convince her that’s impossible due to the nature of the magic used being too pure to have such a terrible consequence.
    • A more serious example occurs in Season 9; after the gang interrupted a ritual intended to summon an Old One, they only learn later on that they interrupted the ritual at a point after it would wake the Old One but before the casters could identify which Old One should be awoken, with the result that every Old One trapped in the Deeper Well is unleashed on the world.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Acknowledged explicitly; when Oz and Nina meet for the first time, they instinctively react violently to each other the moment they make contact when shaking hands, Willow speculating that their different breeds of werewolf are natural enemies even if they each want to be friendly to each other in their human identities.
  • Pet the Dog: Even after shedding his soul and no longer being able to feel the same sense of sorrow for Fred’s death that he felt with his soul, the newly-soulless Spike still retains affection for her memory, and is glad that others still mourn her.
  • Posthumous Character: A brief example; when the First tries to put Willow off-guard by appearing to her as Tara and taunting her about having ‘moved on’ with Oz, Willow hears Tara’s voice assure her that she would want Willow to be happy after her death.
    • In a more traditional example, while Buffy and Angel are on their honeymoon, they go to Ireland to visit the graves of Angel’s family, with Buffy paying the graves a private visit so that she can tell the grave of Angel’s father that he would be proud of the man his son has become.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The San Francisco branch of Wolfram & Hart are still ruthless and evil, but unlike the Los Angeles branch, they don’t fixate on specific targets, abandoning their attempt to capture and control Dawn/the Key as her initial escape proves that they can’t keep her contained.
  • Put On The Bus: Faith promptly leaves Cleveland to seek out other new Slayers with Wood, reasoning that she and Buffy have too tense a history to work together long-term, and Andrew is also indirectly ‘encouraged’ to do the same.
    • Kennedy soon follows Andrew as she recognises that her relationship with Willow is falling apart.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They get along well with each other, but a band known as Illogical Stop Sign with an other-dimensional winged being as their lead singer, a werewolf as the guitar player, a Slayer on the drums and an aspiring Watcher playing the bass is certainly an unusual blend.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Connor’s better relationship with Angel is made clear throughout the fic, to the point of accepting Angel’s assurances that he will always be Angel’s son when Angel learns that Buffy is pregnant.
  • Secret Test of Character: Despite believing that he signed his Shanshu away, Angel is assured by his ‘guardian angel’- his sister Kathy- that not only is it impossible to sign away a destiny, but just believing he was giving it up actually made him more worthy, as it proved he wasn’t fighting the good fight for a reward.
  • Shipper on Deck: All major characters depicted are in favour of Buffy and Willow getting back together with Angel and Oz (albeit with some reluctance on Xander’s part where Angel is concerned).
  • Shipping Torpedo: Willow’s relationship with Kennedy swiftly falls apart when they’re no longer faced with the stress of stopping the First and Oz is back in her life.
    • After Buffy learns that Spike is alive, she is disgusted when he protests that he did everything for her rather than because any of it was the right thing to do, having come to recognise that the important thing when acting as a champion is to do the right thing because it’s right, rather than because you might get a reward out of it.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In a loose sense; Kathy assures Angel that Fred’s soul is undamaged despite reports that it would have been destroyed when Illyria was resurrected.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In Chapter 14 of Season 8, Buffy, Angel, Willow and Oz all compare their temporally-displaced future children to younger versions of the relevant parent.
  • Talk About That Thing: When Hank Summers visits the Hyperion, Willow claims that she has just remembered that she has ‘a not here thing’ so she can leave the upcoming talk.
  • Team Dad: Giles explicitly states that he views Buffy and Dawn as his own daughters in his first confrontation with Hank Summers,
  • Took a Level in Badass: Quite a few characters get these
    • Dawn learns that her nature as the Key means that she can open portals to other dimensions of her own free will (although she chooses not to try and open a portal to Heaven so that she can let Joyce rest in peace).
    • Initially the only pure human in Illogical Stop Sign, Cole soon starts training with Giles so that he can be officially classified as Alex’s Watcher.
    • In the final battle in Cleveland, Buffy, Xander and Giles re-cast the Spell of Enjoining they used against Adam to make Willow the focus, allowing her to astral project herself to a plane where she can battle the First while wielding the Scythe and drawing on Buffy’s combat knowledge.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Used when the gang infiltrate another dimension to rescue Lorin, one of Oz’s band mates, from his people; the author explicitly notes that the characters’ plans in the show only worked when they never revealed what they were doing until it was over.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: In a sense; Kennedy is quick to assume that anything non-human is a threat, even speculating that Oz might be responsible for a brutal murder when Alex can assure all concerned parties that Oz would never do anything like that.
  • Wham Line: The revelation that Nyx, the first vampire to have killed one of the new gang of Slayers since the battle against the First, used to be a Slayer herself.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Scoobies have this moment when they realise that new foe Nyx is a former Slayer who was turned into a vampire on her Cruciamentum; the original gang are all amazed that the Watchers would continue to perform the ritual on later Slayers after it went that badly.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Connor and Dawn are each in this position, as technically Dawn is only four and Connor is three based on when Dawn started to exist and Connor was born before he was trapped in Quor’Toth.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: In a sense; it took a lot of effort to get Willow to a point where she could fight the First directly, but once in a plane where she can make physical contact with the First while Willow wields a manifestation of the Scythe, it is swiftly clear that the entity has virtually no experience of hand-to-hand combat and only lasts as long as it did by distracting Willow with Tara’s appearance.
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