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This was such a great story! I love the way you perfectly captured both Cordy and Spike's personalities. The dialogue between them was so true to the show, it was as if I was actually watching this play out!
Oooh, what a good read. I love how Spike, after losing the Gem of Amara - again, is the very picture of easy calm and casual indifference, engaging in a quiet banter with Cordelia, all the while bent on revenge. He'd blown up back at the warehouse, had his angry temper-tantrum and gotten all that explosive emotion out of his system. He's reached a place beyond anger, beyond fury, and the calm he found on the other side seems far more dangerous than his usual emotionally charged state.
I also loved how you captured Cordelia's stubborn optimism which Spike skillfully bends toward despair. Their mutual loneliness and disappointment is palpable, as is Cordelia's fear; even though clever and sensible Cordelia never loses site of Spike's role as her dangerous, not to be trusted enemy and Spike is there pursuing his agenda of revenge, they both appear to genuinely desire the meager comfort of each other's company.
Lots of wonderful atmosphere and layered emotions in this story. Quite impressive. Thanks for sharing.