This is a remix which sticks close to the (excellent) original. So why give it an award in its own right? Because it's outstanding, simply. Because it's ambitious, hugely funny and authentically heartbreaking. Because it is told entirely through the eyes of two OCs, one apparently non-sentient - a recipe for disaster. Because we don't have much time with these characters, but I defy anyone to get to the inevitably tragic end without a tear in the eye. Because that's what good angst should be all about.
beer_good_foamy has created a beautifully poignant piece with Mission Accomplished. Giles’ last mission as Buffy’s Watcher, the agony of having to prepare her for burial, feels like a knife to your heart. Add in the snippets from a past teacher, and it takes this short story to an even higher level of breathtaking pain that will have you sobbing. A must read in my opinion.
Getting to see what Fred went through in Pylea, and how it affected her... it was heartbreaking. A brilliantly written piece with some wonderful imagery.
Ash_carpenter understands the dark and dirty underbelly of the fic world and what's more, she rubs your face in it and makes you beg for more. The Show is just one fic in a long list that makes her a credit to the dark side and it combines dark sex with poignant tears. A real dirty!bad!wrong treat!
There are a lot of things that from appearances only go against this fic - it's set thousands of years before Buffy is born, it's comprised basically entirely of OCs (since we know squat about the First Slayer from the show, I'd say she counts too), and it's gen. But the massive world-building and research put into this, the haunting moral choices, and Hiywan's struggle to find her place in a society with incredibly firm gender roles make this so, so compelling. stormwreath takes the barest of stories from the show and breathes a whole new colorful life into it, creating a cast of characters who we can't help but root for.
The lyrical poetry of this piece is absolutely stunning. I love how William's thoughts flow right from one thing to the next, making all these crazy connections so that there's no stop between one thought and the next. The different versions of the First mentally torturing him are heartbreaking, and utterly accurate.
This fic was wonderful! Such an original take on the plot, and so eerie! It left me feeling incredibly, wonderfully unsettled.
This is a very seductive and grim fairy tale, as all true fairy tales are. It lures you into its depths with pretty words and then, when it's too late, it sinks its glistening fangs into you. And you don't even mind. Lustrous and wonderful.
This fic simply blew me away. The characterization was absolutely phenomenal and I fell in love with it immediately. Great work!
This fic was exceptionally well written. It was the only one of the stories I judged that made me cry. The premise of Spike returning to Buffy as she's dying is nothing new, but this take on it was fresh and wonderful because it wasn't heavy handed. The author balanced the angst and joy perfectly, never falling into cliche's. Even though you know that there isn't hope for Buffy, that she's not going to survive this time, you are still left with that buoyant good feeling that her dying isn't in vain and that her spirit will live on with the people (and vampire) she loves.
This story immediately grabs the reader. Xander is running away from everything, yet trying to cling to the familiar by retaining his links with Giles et al. The introduction of Anya as a ghostly companion, at first makes the reader fearful that Xander will be forever in mourning, underlined further by his musing on the loss of his childhood haunts. His going to Rome doesn't seem in any way monumental, then BAM! What could have been a forced joining between Xander and his long-time unrequited love instead is the most natural - and ordinary - thing in the world. Perfect.
This is an absolutely extraordinary depiction of a Drusilla caught between tragic humanity and demonic cruelty. It swirls and shatters just as Drusilla's mind does and it captivates and enthralls the same way. Devastating.
Dark and thick and drenched in imagery, this piece had the surreal feeling of poetry juxtaposed against the stark reality of life as a Vampire Slayer. The detail is rich and vivid, the sorrow palpable, the sex as moving as it is hot. Just a snapshot, really, but Clawofcat still manages to paint a full back story with so few words. This one sticks in your throat.