[Reviews - 423] LikedPrinter
Summary: There was no body to bury. There was no funeral. There was nothing but the three rules and the knowledge that a thousand years of torment was nothing compared to a world without her in it. Spike embarks on a journey through the Gates of Hell to rescue the one he loves, but in order to save her, he must risk losing himself.
Rated: NC-17
Categories: General NC-17 Fics Characters: None
Genres: Romance, Horror, Angst
Warnings: Violence, Adult Language, Sexual Situations
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 36 Completed: Yes
Word count: 140693 Read: 44311
Published: 10/06/2008 Updated: 06/06/2010

1. Chapter One by HollyDB [Reviews - 24] Liked (4044 words)
I first got the idea for this story a year ago while watching the first few episodes of Season 6. It grew from a short-fic to a series once I realized there was no way I could do it justice without focus and consideration. The outline grew as days went on, becoming more detailed and complicated, and I knew I couldn’t—I wouldn’t—start writing it until I had killed off at least one WIP. Earlier this year, I completed Tempesta di Amore, and would have started on this story immediately were it not for the fact that I had a seasonal_spuffy story to write—Southern Comfort—and then went months without a computer. I know I have readers who are waiting for Strawberry Fields, and for that I’m sorry. This story has been begging to be written for a long, long time, and while I am still devoted to Strawberry Fields, I have to go where my muse takes me, and my muse, right now, doesn’t want to move.

Therefore, to my Strawberry Fields readers: I’m sorry. I love that story and I will finish it…but to work on it right now when my muse is elsewhere wouldn’t be fair to me, the story, or even you in the end. The last time I forced myself to write something I hated the outcome, and SF is too important to me to force it. It’ll come when it comes.

About The Writing on the Wall: This story is incredibly important to me for reasons I can’t explain. My betas, just_sue, elizabuffy, megan_peta, dusty273, therealmccoy1, and spikeslovebite have been absolutely wonderful over the past few weeks, and I can’t thank them enough. A special thank you to elizabuffy, who cheered this story on from its conception, egging me on every now and then, asking when she could expect the first chapter. She was there when the idea originated and gave me the courage not to let it slip. Likewise, just_sue has been amazing in her criticism and suggestions. I really don’t know how I managed without her as a beta as long as I did.

2. Chapter Two by HollyDB [Reviews - 5] Liked (3282 words)
Thank you all so much for the amazing response to Chapter 1. I really can’t express how much it means to me, especially since this story has been on the backburner so long…it’s surreal seeing it come to life, and even more so to see it so well-received, but trust me, in the best way possible. You all fueled my muse enough to crank out another chapter in record time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And of course, thanks again to my irreplaceable betas: just_sue, megan_peta , elizabuffy, dusty273, spikeslovebite, and therealmccoy1. You guys are amazing.

3. Chapter Three by HollyDB [Reviews - 9] Liked (4724 words)
Again I must thank all my lovely readers for their wonderful support. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a happy muse…the past few months have been a little off-setting for my typical writing, and this has really helped me find my grove again. Thank you all for your comments, reviews, emails, etc. I can’t thank you enough.

Likewise, my betas—just_sue, megan_peta, elizabuffy, dusty273, spikeslovebite and therealmccoy1—can’t get enough praise. They’re wonderfully patient in their waiting and giving in both their compliments and criticism. I find their suggestions invaluable, and all writers should be so lucky to have such a wonderful, dedicated group of ladies poring over my work.

A brief editorial note: The Tale of Brychantus and the Demon King as well as all other mythology presented in this story is entirely my own.

4. Chapter Four by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (4172 words)
Again, thanks to everyone for their kind reviews and comments to the last chapter. You guys are amazing, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Likewise, thanks to my amazing betas.

5. Chapter Five by HollyDB [Reviews - 9] Liked (3647 words)
I’m completely overwhelmed! Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and review. You guys do wonders for my muse.

I do need to write my Seasonal Spuffy fic, though it won’t be long (a one-parter) and I have a few chapters of this on reserve in case I need to use them in the interim. My muse is a little cranky at being directed elsewhere, so I can’t promise wonders with the Seasonal Spuffy story, though hopefully it will be the lighthearted piece of fluff needed as a break from this one.

Thanks as always to my wonderful betas. *glomps*

Oh! The Writing on the Wall, Southern Comfort, and Sang et Ivoire have all been nominated at The Spuffy Awards! SQUEE! Thank you so much to whoever nominated me!!!!

Just a word: please refer to the warnings on this story for the next few chapters. They are not going to be pretty…but they are necessary for what happens next, so I really hope you bear with me.

6. Chapter Six by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (3295 words)
I’ve had a rough couple days, but I thought I’d end the weekend with a new chapter. Again, I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who is reading, sticking with me through the rougher chapters, and leaving reviews which fuel the muse. You guys do so much for me without realizing it, and I can’t thank you enough.

Likewise, thanks to my betas for their hard work and insight. You ladies are wonderful.

7. Chapter Seven by HollyDB [Reviews - 10] Liked (3618 words)
All right, this is the last chapter I’m posting until I get a new one written (I want to remain at least 3-4 chapters ahead of my posting) … but seeing as I got my Seasonal Spuffy fic written and ½ of my homework assignments complete, I’m banking on getting Chapter 12 done over the weekend. Here’s hoping.

Again, thanks so much to my wonderful readers. Your comments, reviews, emails, etc mean the world to me.

My betas rock the casbah. I love you all dearly.

I am going to take the time to remind you that this story has ratings and warnings for a reason. When reading this (and subsequent) chapters, please bear that in mind. So anyone who gets persnickety…well, I will mock you with my monkey pants. True story.

8. Chapter Eight by HollyDB [Reviews - 7] Liked (4023 words)
I finished Chapter 12. Wahoo! And, as promised, here’s Chapter 8.

I have a few school things to do this week, but overall hope to focus on writing, therefore with any luck there will be at least one more update before the week’s over. I hope.

Thank you all again so much for your kind reviews and support. I really, really appreciate it.

9. Chapter Nine by HollyDB [Reviews - 9] Liked (3899 words)
I really have to give a shout-out to Just Sue for her help in a segment of this chapter. Well, her help in this whole fic, honestly, but she really took a segment of this chapter and said what I wanted to say, only better. I then took what she had and applied my own changes to it to keep it mine, but the changes themselves were at her guidance, and I thank her. Of course, all my betas kick ass, but she really came through for me in a big way. Thanks, hon.

This story, along with Southern Comfort, Healing Crystals, and Elements, has been nominated at the Sunnydale Memorial Awards! Thank you SO MUCH to whoever nominated me!

Lastly, thank you, my readers, for continuing to hold on with me. Your response has been overwhelming, and I really, really can’t express how much that means to me.

I don’t have Chapter 13 done, so I’m gonna have to book-it since I’m caving and posting this now. Bear with me.

10. Chapter Ten by HollyDB [Reviews - 10] Liked (3824 words)
Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my last chapter. You guys are so generous. Thank you.

And, of course, thank you so much to my lovely betas.

11. Chapter Eleven by HollyDB [Reviews - 13] Liked (5340 words)
I know these last few chapters haven’t been pretty; I just wanted to express my thanks to all my readers who stuck it out. You guys are awesome, and you don’t get told that enough. Thank you so much for your reviews, comments, and support.

Likewise, and as always, thanks to my betas. You ladies are amazing.

To everyone: I promise, your patience will be rewarded.

12. Chapter Twelve by HollyDB [Reviews - 9] Liked (2723 words)
So sorry for the delay on this. Aside from the tons of schoolwork I had to wheedle through, it was my anniversary weekend with my honey, so I was a little preoccupied. *giggle* But here’s the next chapter.

Likewise, if you’re enjoying this story, I’ll let you know that you can vote for it at the Sunnydale Memorial Awards. At any rate, you should head over and show your support for your favorite stories or authors…whether it be me and this fic or not. There are tons of excellent nominees.

Thanks to my betas and my wonderful readers.

13. Chapter Thirteen by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (3626 words)
My apologies for the brief delay; here’s the next chapter! Thank you so much to all my wonderful readers, and to the person who so kindly nominated this story for Best WIP and Best Angst at the Rogue Poet Awards! It means more than I can say; thank you, thank you so much!

Also, my endless thanks to my betas. I don’t know where I’d be without you ladies.

14. Chapter Fourteen by HollyDB [Reviews - 14] Liked (3493 words)
On the off-chance that I don’t get a chance to write more before Thanksgiving, I decided to go ahead and post this. It’s not as cliffhanger-y as the last few chapters have been.

Thanks so much for the nominations—this story has been nominated at Fang Fetish Awards, Rogue Poet Awards, Spuffy Awards, and The SunnyD Awards (where you can vote now... *nudge nudge*). That just blows my mind—I can’t thank you guys enough. Thank you!

If I don’t get another chance to update this week, have a great holiday (for those celebrating), and a great week for everyone else.

15. Chapter Fifteen by HollyDB [Reviews - 12] Liked (3803 words)
I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a good holiday. It’s getting to be that special time of year for me when my semester piles up and becomes hectic, so I think I’m going to have to commit to just a weekly update until I graduate (which is in two weeks, so I’m hoping afterward I can go back to the two or three chapters a week thing). I beg your patience.

However, I have to again thank my readers from the bottom of my heart for the amazing response I’ve received for this story. You guys are the best muse-fuel a girl could ask for. Thank you. :)

16. Chapter Sixteen by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (4158 words)
I know I’m a wee bit late, but at least I do have an update to offer this week. Thank you so much for the support you guys have offered, even with my admittedly strong tendency to end chapters in a cruel way. Bearing in mind the week I have ahead (graduation in one week!), I present yet another cliffhanger-free chapter. See? I can be nice sometimes.

Thank you guys so much!

Oh, and thanks so much to everyone for the birthday wishes! *glomps* You guys are so sweet.

17. Chapter Seventeen by HollyDB [Reviews - 13] Liked (6654 words)
I know it’s been a little longer than I planned since updating, and for that my apologies. Between birthday, graduation, a trip to Vegas, Christmas (six of them this year, three with my family and three with my boyfriend’s), my boyfriend moving in, and New Years, I’ve been fairly drained. I’m almost finished with Chapter Eighteen, though, so I figured there was no harm in updating with the chapter I’ve had in storage the past few weeks. Hopefully, you guys will forgive me.

This story, as well as others, have recently won awards at the SunnyD Awards and The Rogue Poet Awards. The Writing on the Wall won for Best Angst in Spike Pairings, Best Characterization for Spike, Best Drama, Best Original Character for Larry, Best Conventional Pairing and Best Plot for Spike Pairings. Southern Comfort also won for Best Romance and Best NC-17 for Spike Pairings. My Wesley/Faith story, Elements, won Best Unconventional Pairing, and my Willow stand-alone, Healing Crystals, won runner up for best Quickie Fic. Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and to the wonderfully kind person who nominated me. It really made for getting back into the writing spirit.

Likewise, The Writing on the Wall won Best WIP at The Rogue Poet Awards, and I won runner-up for Best Author. Thank you so much!

18. Chapter Eighteen by HollyDB [Reviews - 13] Liked (4416 words)
I’m working on the next chapter. Promise!

19. Chapter Nineteen by HollyDB [Reviews - 10] Liked (4010 words)
I've briefly talked about this on my LJ, but in lieu of the emails and other messages I've received concerning the status of this story, I thought I'd assert myself here. I have not stopped writing this. I know updates are becoming more spread apart, but believe me, I'm never giving up this story. I waited too long to write it and I want it finished as much as anyone. I might have to take breaks here and there to work on something light-hearted, but this story is my first priority. I just want to make sure when I work on it, I'm doing it justice and writing because I want to, not because I feel like I should. Likewise, I'm often drained when I get home from work…and working on this story can, at times, add insult to injury. But I love it—I really do. I just want to make sure the writing is good, not writing for the sake of writing.

The next chapter is complete; I've sent it off to my betas. I might take a break to work on something a little fluffier here and there to get the juices going; believe me, once I get my muse going, there ain't no mountain high enough.

Thank you much to all my readers and my wonderful betas for sticking through with me. I will not let you down.

20. Chapter Twenty by HollyDB [Reviews - 14] Liked (3694 words)
I know it’s been a few days, but my muse is making a come-back. Thank you all so much for your patience.

21. Chapter Twenty-one by HollyDB [Reviews - 15] Liked (5016 words)
Dedicating this chapter to dampersnspoons, who has kept me busy (and horny) at work. Thank you so much for sending me your stories.

Thanks so much to all my readers. You guys have been so wonderful and patient. I’ll have to think of a way to reward you…

And, as always, thanks to my wonderful betas.

22. Chapter Twenty-two by HollyDB [Reviews - 14] Liked (3312 words)
Thanks to Megan, Mari, and Tami for the incredibly quick turnaround. As promised, without FULL BETA APPROVAL, here is Chapter 22. I’ll make an announcement when a fully betaed chapter is available…until then, however, you’ll have to live with my mistakes.

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for this and my other stories at The Spuffy Awards. You guys are awesome!!!

23. Chapter Twenty-three by HollyDB [Reviews - 16] Liked (3328 words)
>: I know, it’s been ten years since I updated this story. I’m sorry! One of my betas had a computer crisis, and while I am still technically waiting for revisions, I’ve decided I can’t wait any longer…so there will be a better version of this available—I’ll let you all know via my personal LJ when it’s up.

I waited for-freaking-ever to write this chapter…I really hope it comes across as intended.

Thanks so much to all my extremely hard-working betas and all my wonderful readers who have stuck with me through this story. Also, thanks to whoever nominated this story at The Fang Fetish AwardsIt won for Best Dark/Angst in the Spuffy category.

Previously:

“Oh…God.”

Everything stopped.

“Who…” Buffy coughed again. The ground trembled beneath her. “I…where…is that…Spike?”

It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real. It wouldn’t last. She’d be gone again when he looked at her. Like the warehouse, like last night. Small visits, baby-steps. He just had to keep her here long enough to make an impact. Make a dent for when she was chased away again.

“I…I…what…what is happening?”

Christ, he couldn’t take it. He looked up.

Don’t run, don’t run. Don’t be another fucking ghost.

Their eyes clashed.

Oh my God.

Buffy was looking at him through her eyes.

24. Chapter Twenty-four by HollyDB [Reviews - 7] Liked (3514 words)
So it hasn’t been quite as long between updates. YAY! And I am going to get cracking on the next chapter—hope to get a bit done this afternoon before I go to the movies with my mum.

Just a note about this chapter: this is the only time I’m going to write from Buffy’s POV…and even still, it’s not entirely from her POV. I know a lot of people wanted to see inside her head, but I resolved a while ago not to leave Spike’s POV, and I’m going to stick by it. I only broke that for this chapter because I felt if she spoke the words it would lose its impact. I went for more of a “we’re inside the narrative” effect. Not sure if it works, but that is what I was aiming to accomplish.

ABUNDANT THANKS to my wonderful betas, who hauled ass to get this chapter back to me. You all rock so very hard.

25. Chapter Twenty-five by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (3461 words)
I really want to say something witty here, but I am too damn tired. Um. Thanks, betas. I love you, my readers. Vote at The Spuffy Awards where two of my fics are up for pretties... [/obnoxious]

Speaking of self-involved, I just got notification that Wicked was nominated at the Spark and Burn Awards. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO WHOEVER NOMINATED ME! YOU ARE AWESOME!

Yeah. I gotta do this before I drop.

26. Chapter Twenty-six by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (3727 words)
I truly apologize for the delay between chapters, but rest assured, it wasn’t for lack of desire to write. Believe me, I’ve been writing up a storm. This chapter is really a two-parter, and Chapter 27 will be on its way shortly.

Thank you SO MUCH to all my loyal readers.

27. Chapter Twenty-seven by HollyDB [Reviews - 8] Liked (3732 words)
I believe we can all say, “Finally!”

28. Chapter Twenty-eight by HollyDB [Reviews - 7] Liked (3106 words)
Sorry about the delay. The past few weeks have been a little crazy.

As many of you may already know, I recently transformed my short story Because into an original piece of fiction, and have since signed a publishing deal with Loose Id. Due to this, I have had to remove Because from all archives. However, the story will be available in an original format (with a new epilogue!) in November for the list price (which I believe is $4.99).

For updates on publication news, I’d recommend subscribing to my live journal.

In the meantime, I am still writing, but I am going to start working on original stories as well. This story remains my first priority, even if I have lengthy breaks between updates. I hope everyone continues to be patient with me.

Thank you so much to my loyal readers. I value you more than I can say.

29. Chapter Twenty-nine by HollyDB [Reviews - 10] Liked (2842 words)

30. Chapter Thirty by HollyDB [Reviews - 17] Liked (3342 words)
I really don’t have anything to say here that I haven’t said on my LJ. The past few months have been terrible for me in terms of writing. I’d open TWotW and just stare at the cursor, and it'd blink at me until I gave up with a sick feeling in my tummy.

It wasn’t limited to TWotW; inspiration was in extremely short supply. I do apologize to my loyal readers who have been waiting for an update. I don’t want to jinx myself and say I’m out of the woods, but I do have a good start on the next chapter. Right now all seems well—just send me good vibes.

And for the two people left on the Internets who haven’t heard…I’ve been published! My novella, Firsts is available through Loose Id.

31. Chapter Thirty-one by HollyDB [Reviews - 18] Liked (3349 words)
I’m immensely pleased with how quickly this came to me, all things considered, and I’m aiming for another chapter before Christmas, but that might be a bit optimistic. I’m also toying with Christmas fic ideas…though I’m beginning to think it’s a bit late to try. I’d really like something fluffy, to counter the angst, and something…all-humany. Don’t have any solid ideas yet (though a lot of really good suggestions!) so that may or may not come to pass.

Thanks so much to my betas for their quick turnaround, and MASSIVE thanks for the amazing response to the last chapter. I was very grateful to see that this story still had readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

32. Chapter Thirty-two by HollyDB [Reviews - 15] Liked (3999 words)
I want to start off by saying I simply couldn't wait for my betas to send me their revisions. I edited this chapter this morning, so I'm the only pair of eyes that's reviewed it. Any mistakes are mine and mine alone. Once I receive revisions, I will make the necessary changes.


I really hope everyone remembers this story. I know it’s been a really long time since I updated…like four months. I promise, it’s not for lack of interest, or even lack of trying. I just, for the longest time, couldn’t write. When I did write, I couldn’t stand what came out. It was forced and awkward and I felt I had lost all knack for writing naturally. It didn’t matter what I attempted my hand at…this story, another WIP, or even my original writing. Nothing came out right.


I’m not feeling 100% better, but I am encouraged by the fact that I was able to get this chapter done. I’m on vacation from work this next week and most of that time will be spent in New York City, but I am going to kick off the next chapter before I leave. I pray for your patience and understanding. Not being able to write is the worst disease I’ve ever had, and while I am optimistic, I’m going to take things one step at a time.


In the meantime, thank you all so much for your patience and support.


I feel like I’m obligated, as well, to mention my publications. My apologies for shameless self-promotion.


Firsts
Possession
Ripples Through Time


And coming soon


Moving Target



Previous chapters of The Writing on the Wall can be found here.






Previously:


“I felt it. I felt it because of you.”


“Felt what?”


A tremor rumbled through the ground before the Slayer had a chance to answer. Spike whirled around…and immediately wished he hadn’t. The eyes that clashed with his made his skin ache.


“Hope,” Larry responded. “That’s what we call hope.”


“Oh my God,” Buffy gasped, her voice painted with revulsion. Spike didn’t blame her; it had only been a few days, but he’d somehow managed to forget what a disgustingly ugly beast Larry was.


Still, he found the strength to swallow his loathing. There were greater issues at hand.


“Hope?” he asked.


“Son of a gun, you found the one thing that can’t survive in Hell.” The guardian smiled nastily and took another thunderous step forward. “And, gotta say, man…I really didn’t think you had it in you.”


“To give the girl hope?”


“Who the hell is this?” Buffy demanded.


Spike tilted his chin. “The bloody prison ward, ducks.”


“That’s right,” the demon agreed.


“Don’t suppose you’re gonna just let us by?”


“You know, you really think I would. With all the pain and suffering you two lovebirds have endured and…well, wait. That’s right; I live for pain and suffering.” Larry closed another step between them. “Rules schmools, that’s what I always say.”


“I got her out,” Spike snarled. “Gig’s up, mate.”


“Not all the way out.” The demon’s eyes turned black. “And I’m here to see that you won’t.”


33. Chapter Thirty-three by HollyDB [Reviews - 11] Liked (2653 words)
Another chapter in less than four months. Go me!


Thank you so much to my loyal readers for not giving up on me. I’ll do my best not to let you down. Also thanks to my betas. I couldn’t do it without you.


I do have more than half of the next chapter complete, and while I plan on getting it done over the next few days, I seem to have come down with a rather nasty stomach bug. I ask your patience. Thank you.

34. Chapter Thirty-four by HollyDB [Reviews - 12] Liked (4505 words)
I don’t thank my betas enough, and I really should. They’re a wonderful bunch, and I can’t manage without them. So thank you—Megan, Beth, Mari, Deanna, Kimmie, and Sue. Thank you so much.



Only two chapters after this. I really can’t believe we’re this close to the end.

35. Chapter Thirty-five by HollyDB [Reviews - 7] Liked (4252 words)
This is the second-to-last chapter. I officially I finished this story yesterday.



It’s been an emotional 24 hours. This story has been with me for so long. I outlined it a full year before I committed any words to paper, and I worried the closer I became to starting it that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Furthermore, this story has been with me during the most revolutionary time of my life. When I started it, I was in college, living in my parents’ home, single, and working a part-time job. Now I’m a graduate, a published author, a full-time employee and two and a half years into a wonderful relationship. It’s been quite the ride.



Thank you so much to my readers. You are wonderful, patient, giving, and kind. Thank you for sticking with me. It means the world.



And, of course, thanks to my betas: Megan, Sue, Mari, Deanna, Beth, EB, and Kimmie. Some of you have been with me from the beginning, others I’ve lost or gained along the way. Each of you has helped me so much in your own way. I really don’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you. Thank you so much.



Last chapter coming soon.

36. Chapter Thirty-six by HollyDB [Reviews - 19] Liked (6110 words)
Well, here it is. The final chapter.


Thank you so much to everyone who has kept with me the past two years during the long breaks, the writer’s block stint, my personal upheavals, and my affinity for cliffhangers. I’ve had a fantastic time with this and as hard as it is to say goodbye, I have my Seasonal Spuffy story to keep me company.


Thank you to my betas: megan_peta, just_sue, dampersnspoons, dusty273, okdeanna, spikeslovebite, therealmccoy1, and elizabuffy. You all have been fantastic. Thank you for sticking with me.


So here it is. Enjoy!