Pairing: Buffy Summers/Spike
Fic Title: What She Deserves and Lovingkindness
Author: Herself (herself_nyc_fic)
Link: What She Deserves and Lovingkindness
Warning(s): Deals with the aftermath of sexual violence. BDSM. Also contains slash.
Genre: Angst, Romance
Why This Must Be Read: I wrote up three different blurbs for this recommendation talking about the gorgeous prose that often reads like poetry, the complicated manner in which Buffy and Spike come together, and the way in which Herself deals with both the events of Grave and the rest of season six. But, in the end, I think what draws me most to What She Deserves and Lovingkindness is the search for unattainable atonement throughout the stories by all of the characters. Although the story is about Buffy and Spike, the rest of the Scoobies are not neglected and some, like Willow, shine. Everyone in this story has made mistakes, and the story is about how they accept the fact that those mistakes can never be atoned.
This story is dark, make no mistakes. But it is beautiful and complex with a wonderful original character who serves as an appropriate foil for the obsessions that surround Buffy and Spike. This is a story that will haunt you after you are done. I highly recommend it, perhaps even to those who do not typically support this ship.