Title: Chocolatey Goodness
Author: The Mad Poetess
Link: Chocolaty Goodness
Status: WIP MP is taking a hiatus of indeterminate length in writing this, but what's there is so worth it. Series.
Length: Novel Length (currently somewhere in the range of 400 pages)
This is one of the few fics that manages to be, very effectively, both heart-wrenchingly sad and sublimely silly. For me, the laugh out loud moments outnumber the, "I'm about to cry." moments, but only just barely. It's AU to us now. It begins in the summer between Season 4 of Buffy (S1 Angel) and Season 5 of Buffy (S2 Angel). It assumes canon prior to that, but bears not the slightest resemblance after that point. It also brings together characters from both series. This is the story that brought me to Spike/Xander, still my favorite pairing. It's got good characterization and an unusually complex relationship based plot. There are a number of nicely created original characters who are mostly peripheral to the plot. While Xander and Spike are the focus, my favorites are Tara and Giles, and Cordelia manages to come pretty close. They are perfectly in character but just more, somehow. They're vibrant and alive, and I love them.
A story could have been made of nothing more than Spike's difficult and supremely dysfunctional relationship with Angel, but its better this way, interwoven with his new, sweeter, and only slightly less dysfunctional relationship with Xander. Willow is trying hard to restore her friendship with Xander to what it once was, and having some real issues with the idea that they've both changed. Tara is a calm, secure voice of reason. She's perceptive and sensitive, and I adore her. Giles is sarcastic and often grumpy, but his love for Buffy and her friends is always evident to one who cares to look. Angel is constantly struggling with the impulses of the demon while denying to the world that they exist. Cordelia is brash and often shallow, but she cares about her friends and the world at large. They are all just perfect.
I sincerely hope that one day this will be finished, but even if it never is, I won't regret it. It's been too much fun to regret. I also urge you to check out the rest of her Buffyverse fic. It's fabulous stuff.