Safe in My Own Skin by Niamh

Reviews (6)Rating: NC-17

Summary: Two broken souls, searching for peace and a safe haven. William returns to the one place he swore he'd never return to find someone in more need of peace than him.

Author's Notes: he genesis for this story was actually twofold. Quite a while back, I saw a challenge/request posted on Darker Spike (livejournal community) for a Spangel fic wherein Angel was Spike’s basketball coach and he was a HS student (basically student/teacher kink). Well, I got to thinking about it and basically I decided first of all, Spike/William wouldn’t ever play basketball, and so I had to alter that aspect. Which got me altering far more of it. I couldn’t wrap my head around writing Spangel with hearts and flowers, or anything resembling love, so instead I focused on the non-con aspects of a student/teacher relationship. Thus was borne the initial idea. However, all that being said, this story is not Spangel in it’s focus. It is however, very dark and not all so happy. So if you can’t handle angst or dark subjects, click the button and leave this story now. Believe me, I won’t be insulted. If you choose to stay, be warned, this is not going to be pretty. This story contains non-consensual sex, sexual abuse of minors, talk of suicide, murder and just about all the other dark stuff you can think of and maybe don’t want to read. Again, I won’t be insulted if you can’t deal with it; however, if you think you can and then decide to flame me for the emotions and/or other visions this story invokes, be advised, I warned you, and therefore on your head be it. My thanks to Spikeslovebite for her stellar beta skills and to Addie Logan for the handholding and support while I wrote this. And, for telling me to go ahead and post it. Titles and quotes are as attributed. And the title, which also generated some of the plot ideas, comes from the Honestly OK, by Dido. Disclaimers in full force and effect, much like all other fanfiction. I own nothing but the plot. And the pain.


This story is complete.

First
Added: 05-24-07 • Reviews (0)

Second
Added: 06-20-07 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes:

Despite the warnings, and the mentions of Spangel -- this is a Spuffy fic.

I’m going to repeat this until I’m blue in the face and then repeat it again. This is not an easy story. Not an easy one to write and I’m sure not an easy one to read. That being said, if you can’t handle it, I won’t be insulted if you go. Just remember, flames will not be tolerated. And yes, there will be male/male sex, though it is non-consensual. There’s also hetero-sex. Some of that will be non-consensual and some will be consensual. Title and quotes are as attributed, well actually, the quote is mine. A poem I wrote a long time ago, the title of which is Desecrated Angel. I suppose it fits. Disclaimers in full force and effect.

Third
Added: 07-24-07 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes: This chapter may contain mention of murder, child-abuse, sexual assault and other assorted not so nice things. If you can’t read it, or deal with it, I’ll understand, just don’t you dare blast me for not mentioning it – or even for writing it. This is not easy for me – for a variety of reasons, so don’t think for one instant that I’m okay with any of this. Many a page, a paragraph, sentence or even a word, has made me break down and have to stop, so keep the criticisms about how this isn’t possible or whatever to yourself. This is a highly personal subject for me. And yeah, these notes are harsh – but so is the subject matter. Quote is from Anne Sexton, “Locked Doors”. Disclaimers in full force and effect. I own nothing – except for the story.

Fourth
Added: 08-13-07 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes: I owe everyone an apology of sorts. My author’s notes for this story have been kind of harsh – and I’m sorry if I come off sound mean and evil. I don’t intend for that tone. That being said, someone recently asked me if I’m writing this from experience. And I have to say I am; not that every occurrence in the stories mirrors mine, nor is this story autobiographical (though I did have my own “Spike” rescue me - of sorts). Anyway, this chapter is rougher than the others, so bear that in mind. Unlike my other stories, I don’t have this mapped out quite as much. I sort of just write what I’m feeling, which isn’t always pretty. Fair warning, this chapter contains explicit mention of m/m sex, and child abuse. Quote is song lyrics from Alice in Chains (lyrics by Layne Staley and music by Jerry Cantrell, quite possibly one of the best non mainstream bands to have ever recorded. Don’t believe me? Go listen, they’re more than worth the time you take. Disclaimers in full force and effect.

Five
Added: 11-13-07 • Reviews (1)
Chapter Notes: A story like this is just as hard to read as it is to write. So to all of you who are braving my harsh notes and harsher story, I give you my utmost thanks. You are the best for putting up with my defensive nastiness (and gods know how sorry I am about that) and the subject matter. I know that last chapter was hard. Believe me, I had a hard time writing it. Unfortunately, I can’t make any promises about this chapter. I write what the muse is feeling. . . Quotes are as attributed. Disclaimers in full force and effect. I own nothing.

Six
Added: 02-21-08 • Reviews (1)
Chapter Notes: I must be in a mood, because I think everything I’m writing at the moment sucks lemons.  Without tequila or salt.  Or anything to make it better.  I find myself forcing the words, which means it’s all shit and nothing I’d be proud of admitting was mine. *sighs*  So why am I writing at all?  Because I have to, because the . . . emotions have to come out somehow and writing prose is a helluva lot easier for me than poetry. . . which is harder than you’d think – even free verse.  I so suck at this.  I really, really do. *sighs*   Warnings for this chapter are the usual, although as I write this note, I have no idea how angsty or violent this chapter is going to be.  I’m sorry if it manages to offend anyone.  Quotes are as attributed (this time it’s an HIM song, Heartache Every Moment, off the album Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights, 2002) and nothing belongs to me but the idea for this story.  Spike, Buffy and the other supporting characters all belong to someone far richer than I am.

Chapter 7
Added: 02-29-08 • Reviews (1)
Chapter Notes: [A/N: Sometimes I know exactly how long (more or less) a story might be, given the plot particulars. Er, I should actually confess and say maybe and not sometimes. Truth is, I have no idea how long this story is going to be, because I’m not sure how much is going to be revealed in each chapter. Because of the feel I’m going for – film-noirish – I’m leaving it up to the flow to determine how long this story is going to be. My thanks to everyone that’s been with me this far, and to all of you who are leaving reviews. I cannot express how much it means to me to have all your support. And if you doubt that, take a look at the reviews – because I’ve responded to each and every one of them. Er, except for the one at Nocturnal Light, but only because I'm not quite sure how to respond at that site. Quote is as attributed (as always). The reason I picked this particular tune is because for the last three (maybe even four?) chapters this is the song that keeps echoing in my head and well, quite obviously the muse feels the need to include it. And therefore, so it is. From the first non-eponymous album recorded by Peter Gabriel, from way back in the 80's (and yes, it’s that album that made him an international superstar) – rightfully so. The disclaimers still in full force and effect prove that I own nothing. Except the ideas.]

Eight
Added: 05-26-08 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes: Sometimes I think I can’t face the thought of this story and then wham! I get a scene, which leads to another and so on. The first scene in this chapter has been in my head for days, so I suppose I should just get to it. Ah, yeah, I’m not sure how harsh the warnings need to be for this chapter – but you’ve already been warned, so anymore would be superfluous. Quote is a song written by Phil Stewart and this particular version is sung by Christie Moore (love that man!) The title is Away Ye Broken Heart. The disclaimers are, as always, in effect. I own nothing. Not even the roof over my head.

Nine
Added: 09-28-08 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes: This might be winding down toward a finish; it’s just a matter of getting the rest of their story told. It has been a hard thing, but, in the end, I believe well worth the effort. Thank you all, for the support and wonderful reviews this story has generated. Each one has truly touched me. Part of this chapter was written after my grandmother passed away and she proved a bit of the inspiration for it. Her birthday is this week and though I don’t think she’d have been happy with the rating and/or subject matter, she would have been proud of the execution. At least I hope so. Title and quotes are as attributed. Song is The Path by HIM from the album (CD) Love Metal. Disclaimers in full force and effect.

Ten
Added: 11-22-08 • Reviews (1)
Chapter Notes: I know, I know. There’s been a huge break in updating, but for the longest time the muse was silent on this story. But apparently taking a bit of a break from it worked, and here is the next update. Hopefully the following chapter won’t be so long in coming. Ah, if you thought it was hard going before, be warned, this is about to get a bit more difficult. Quote is, as usual with me, song lyrics. This time it’s Natalie Merchant, My Skin from the album Ophelia, released in 1998. My eternal thanks to my beta, Spikeslovebite, who is the most awesome, wonderful, smartest, bestest beta in the world. I couldn’t have done any of this without her. None. It’s all due to her influence that this story is as far along as it is. I never would have had the courage to write it without her input. Thank you. Always. Disclaimers in full force and effect. I own nothing.

Eleven
Added: 01-27-09 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes: I hope you’re all still with me on this, despite the delays in posting. This is such a hard story for me to write, and I know it’s difficult to read, but I hope you’ll think it’s worth the angst and pain. We’re heading toward something of an ending, though how quickly that will come about, I’m not entirely certain of. The song is from Kelly Clarkson, and yes, it is autobiographical. She wrote the song way back when she was sixteen, and refined it later, after she’d won that stupid show, with some help from David Hodges and Ben Moody of Evanescence. And truthfully, I believe the lyrics totally fit this story. Anyway. . . the disclaimers prove I own nothing.

Twelve
Added: 01-02-10 • Reviews (0)
Chapter Notes: I do believe this chapter brings this story close to an end. There isn’t much left. While I know some of you might think there’s more to be told, I’m not so sure. It feels like an ending, and so, while the timing is right, I believe I shall finish this story. Part of the inspiration for this story comes from my own life (actually much of it) and some comes from various outside sources. There are a couple of things I’d like to mention – in light of the subject matter, and hopefully I won’t get too preachy. Child abuse in any form is heinous. It is vile and despicable. It preys on the smallest and weakest. It should not be tolerated. Not in any shape or form. No child should have to suffer this. We are an enlightened people, or so we like to tell ourselves, to convince ourselves; And yet well allow atrocities like child abuse to exist. It is not an American problem, not a British problem. It is a problem of any society. So this story is dedicated to the memory of those who did not survive; those small little babies who died at the hands of people who were supposed to care for and protect them. This is for them. For Mary Ellen Wilson, Lisa Steinberg, Michael and Tyler Smith, Victoria Climbie, Nixmary Brown, Elisabeth Fritzl (and her children) and mostly, for the little baby boy known only as baby Peter, who died at the hands of his mother. Something has to be done. Politicians have to be made to understand this will no longer be tolerated. Social services and child welfare agencies have to be strengthened and fully manned. Change has to start with us. We have to speak for those who can no longer be heard. Okay. I’m done now. My thanks to all of you who’ve stuck with me and read this. Quote is a song – Dream Gone By – by Peter Murphy (he of Bauhaus fame) written by Mr. Murphy and Paul Statham, from the CD Holy Smoke (released in 1992) and the disclaimers are always in full force and effect.

Epilogue
Added: 01-02-10 • Reviews (2)
Chapter Notes: I hadn’t really intended to write an epilogue for this story, but really, I suppose it makes perfect sense. Because really, the story isn’t all dark, and throughout there were glimmers of hope, brief shining moments when all didn’t bode ill. I am truly grateful to those of you with the courage to continue with this story, to read despite the harsh reality it represented. The truth is, and I’ve said it before, this was difficult for me to write. Parts of it hurt physically. Most of it left me in tears as I wrote. It remains the most intensely personal – despite my use of Spike and Buffy as the main characters – piece I’ve ever written, aside from a few poems. And while I didn’t suffer nearly the way either of the characters did, I did suffer. It is possible to survive what happened. It isn’t always pretty, and it isn’t always easy, but it is possible. I only wish that no one else had to learn how to survive. That no one else has to . . . Because I think it’s fitting, in a way, to end this story as it began, the song quote is the same as the first chapter (Dido). One small other note, since I’m not sure anyone but those readers in England will get this reference – WAG is a British tabloid term for Wives And Girlfriends (usually in connection with the male celebrities from footie stars to actors). Disclaimers are in full force and effect. I own nothing.