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Illyria Drabbles: To Rain in Hell & From Hell to Texas - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Illyria Drabbles: To Rain in Hell & From Hell to Texas
We can has heat! The new central heating unit has been installed. Not quite finished, they’re coming back this morning to lag pipes, seal holes, and take away the old one, (and give me the bill!), but we were warm last night and I was able to take a badly-needed shower.

My hypothesis about the requirements for a fic to be popular on ‘Twisting the Hellmouth’ has been upgraded to a Theory; my Super!Xander ficlet 'The Incredible Xander' is already rapidly climbing towards 1st place in my ‘hits per chapter’ stats there with over 1,000 in less than a day. Meanwhile ‘The Cloak of Mist’, the best thing I’ve ever done, is down in second-last place with 77. It doesn’t feature Xander.

The current challenge on TtH is for Angel: the Series fics. Quite a while ago I did an Illyria drabble that was meant to be the first of a series telling a coherent story. I got distracted, as I’m afraid often happens, and I never even put it into Memories; I can’t even find the drabble myself now.

On the 29th of January, however, deird1 posted a mind-blowingly superb Fred/Illyria post-NFA ficlet called Shell Game. It reminded me of what I’d meant to do and, after a little re-watching of ‘Angel’ episodes on the SF Channel, I’ve picked up where I left off with a 250-word second instalment. I’m reposting the first one too as the original LJ post is lost. The first part is 100 words, the second 250, rating PG, totally ignoring the comics 'canon'. These are very definitely NOT my humorous punning stuff. Part 3 will probably follow in a day or two.

To Rain in Hell

The rain lashed down. It washed the blood from the limp body of Charles Gunn. It swept away the dust of Angel the King and of Spike her Pet, turning it to mud, sending it into the gutters as no more than a discoloration of the water. Nothing was left of them. Nothing. Nothing.

Illyria raised her face to the rain and screamed out her pain and loss. She clenched her fists and looked around for something on which to vent her fury. There were no demons remaining. No dragon. No giant. Only their blood and ichor. And the rain.

From Hell to Texas

Fred sat sideways on the couch, her feet resting on the seat, her knees drawn up against her chest and her arms wrapped around them. Tears trickled down her cheeks.

“They’re all dead,” she said. “All of them. I’m the only one left.”

Her father laid his hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently. “Baby…”

Fred took her hands away from her legs, reached up, and placed a hand on his. “It hurts so much, Dad,” she said. “Why does it hurt so much?”

Trish fought to control the tremble in her lip. “They’re dead? Angel? Wesley? Charles?”

Fred nodded. “All of them. Wesley, Angel, Charles, Cordelia, Spike…”

“I knew it was dangerous but… but… they seemed so… good at what they did,” Trish said.

“They had that nice new office,” Roger said, “and a whole load of people working for them, and you had that lab.”

“It was a trap,” Fred said. “It sucked us in and it killed them. If we’d stayed in the Hyperion we… they… wouldn’t have died.”

“Oh, my poor girl,” Trish said.

“I liked Angel,” Roger said. “You’re sure he…?” He didn’t finish the question. The look on Fred’s face was answer enough.

“I couldn’t save them,” Fred lamented. “I fought with everything I had, and I made it through, but I couldn’t save them.”

“You mustn’t blame yourself, honey,” Trish said.

“I don’t,” Fred agreed. She brushed the tears from her cheeks, tilted her head, and clenched her fists. “I blame Rupert Giles.”

Continued in Body of Lies

Current Music: Big Country, "Alone"

43 comments or speak 2 me
jedibuttercup From: jedibuttercup Date: February 11th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
*gulp* This is not going to be pretty.

... And, yeah, I can see that. Why, oh why, didn't Whedon bother to give the Buffyverse folks any kind of plausible rationale for not being around when the Angel crew needed them?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 08:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I suppose 'I'm not going to help you because you're Evil' worked for Joss - but in this it's going to backfire on the BtVS people big time.
liliaeth From: liliaeth Date: February 11th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I honestly don't understand the popularity of Xander in crossovers. I think a big part of it is because he's easy to turn into a Gary Stu.

I mostly ignore Twisting the Hellmouth, cause it's so rare there to find a fic that does not have Xander, Willow or Dawn as the main character.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't understand it either - and I don't see the point of Gary Stu Xander, because what makes him an interesting character is his lack of super-powers. There are some extremely good writers who hang out mainly at TtH, however, e.g. Don Sample, Marcus Rowland aka ffutures, booster17, Mediankat, Vogonguard, and Lucinda.
mymatedave From: mymatedave Date: February 11th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Dun dun dun!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)
She wishes to do more violence...
mabus101 From: mabus101 Date: February 11th, 2009 09:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Illyria blames Giles? Uh-oh. This is not going to be good.

And I really, really wish I'd noticed that deird1 had posted that fic titled "Shell Game". Or maybe I did and forgot about it consciously.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
"The anger swells in my guts
And I won't feel these bruises and cuts...
No, it's not going to be good.

'Shell Game' is rather special, isn't it?
draconin From: draconin Date: February 11th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Why do I hear ominous theme music in the background I wonder? :-)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I wrote it with Snow Patrol's 'Open Your Eyes' and Big Country's 'Alone' alternating on FLVPlayer.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: February 11th, 2009 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, this isn't going to end well at all. Dead Scoobies coming right up...

And thanks for the rec for Shell Game - absolutely wonderful story.

Edited at 2009-02-11 10:55 am (UTC)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
It was hard to write because I could feel the grief and desolation turning into an icy rage and seeping into me as I wrote. A happy ending is fairly unlikely...

This was actually the second time I recced Shell Game - the first time was when I posted the Vetinari/Lady Margolotta ficlet 'Learn the Words'.
moscow_watcher From: moscow_watcher Date: February 11th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. Looks like Giles is in trouble. ;)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 11th, 2009 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Dear Lord! I do think you may have a point there.
From: ellaygee_09 Date: February 11th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eep! I don't see this ending well.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably not for Giles, anyway.
brunettepet From: brunettepet Date: February 11th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Illyria watching the blood and dust wash into the gutters is an arresting, heart breaking image and you built on her devastation in the second scene.

The Buffy crew have no idea that there's going to be a reckoning. I'm looking forward to it.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
From: averageshmoe Date: February 11th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
While things may seem grim for the Scoobies I'm not too worried. Obviously the battle will go badly at first with many minor characters getting killed. But when all seems lost Xander, that god-like being whose infinite wisdom, deep compassion and vast store of powers that were never once seen in the show, will arrive on his white horse. Illyria will instantly fall in love with him, as have every other female in the world and he will resurrect all of the Angel crew, except for Angel. Then the sun will shine and the people shall rejoice and . . .

Oh, this isn't for TtH, is it.

Boy, they're in trouble.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I've written Xander/Illyria fics before.

This will not be one of them.

I'm tempted to write the one you describe, although it would strain my powers of parody to the limit.
deird1 From: deird1 Date: February 11th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, nice...
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
pfeifferpack From: pfeifferpack Date: February 11th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
YAY heat (I was hoping you'd get taken care of quickly and fairly). Heat in winter is so wonderful but taken for granted until disaster strikes.

The Cloak of Mists IS a masterpiece and really should be read by everyone (more than once here).

Oooooooooooooooooo Giles is in TROUBLE!!!! From Hell to Texas: I can see Illyria retreating into Fred's life and personality in this way. I can also see the god-king seeking some terrible revenge. If anyone had the right it would be her after all. Given the way the Comics are going....I'd pay her way to Scotland!

To Rain In Hell: wonderfully descriptive and hit all the right emotional chords for the story told in so few but completely adequate words! Bravo!

Excellent! Nice going and will enjoy watching her wreck havock on the blind Watcher and his merry crew.


Edited at 2009-02-11 10:14 pm (UTC)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! The trick with 'The Cloak of Mist' is persuading people to read it in the first place - and, at TtH, not being able to put 'starring Super!Xander' in the summary rules out half the prospective audience immediately.

I'm not going to take any notice at all of the Comics-verse; it was trying to incorporate pieces from the comics, although modified so that they actually made some kind of sense, that cause me to have so many problems with 'Life, Resumed' that it's been stalled for a year.
ayinhara From: ayinhara Date: February 11th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I look forward to more in this verse.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! The next one is written, and I'll be posting it in two or three hours, but it's only 100 words.
desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: February 12th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I read the Dierd1 fic on your recommendation, and I agree--it's excellent and heartbreaking. So is this.

I'm surprised that Illyria would seek comfort in the bosom of Fred's family, but really, who else does she have? At least they knew her compatriots. I should comment on Dierd1 site. Thanks for the rec, and please, keep this coming.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 12th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Next drabble in the series goes up in a couple of hours from now.
rebcake From: rebcake Date: February 12th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Frighteningly good! I'm rushing over to TtH to check out that "Mist" thingy.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: February 13th, 2009 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
43 comments or speak 2 me