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[personal profile] snowpuppies
I chose Who Are You? for my episode. Although I have other episodes that are "favorites," a scene that has always been so powerful for me is the Buffy-Faith fight scene at the end where Faith-as-Buffy has Buffy-as-Faith pinned to the floor and is wailing on her, punching her in the face and telling her how disgusting she is. I've always just ached watching this and I wanted to explore Faith's mindset at this point in the series. To this end, I've written Who Am I? (the warm champagne remix) (Buffy, Faith, unrequited Faith/Buffy, Faith/Spike).

With all of the Buffy-Faith drama, I'd completely forgotten that this is the episode with the super-hot spell that Willow and Tara I've also created a W/T Picspam.

I hope you enjoy both - comments are loved and squeezed. Feel free to discuss the episode as well. :)
tiny_white_hats: (Phases Willow/Oz)
[personal profile] tiny_white_hats
Oz is my favourite of Whedon's characters, hands down. Not a popular choice, but I love Oz regardless. So, even though it's a somewhat heavy handed episode with rather weak costuming, I adore "Phases." When I chose "Phases," because Willow is fantastic in this episode and because this is the only Oz-centric episode that isn't heartbreaking, I planned to write Oz/Willow fic, because Oz/Willow is my absolute favourite pairing, but instead Oz + Buffy happened. I hate that Oz only ever seemed close to Willow, when I think he should've been friends with the others, so here's Oz + Buffy genfic, to make up for that a little.

Conversations with Werewolves )
Oz kept expecting people to scream and run when they saw him, kept looking for fur and claws in every pale reflection in windows and panes of glass. He still looked just like he had a day ago and a week ago and a month ago, and the idea that he could hide such a terrible, monstrous secret within him, the idea that nobody could see him for what he was, was almost as fearsome as the beast inside his chest.
From where he sat leaning against a sturdy oak tree, waiting for Willow, Oz could see Buffy, leaving the school without her best friend. Buffy looked at him differently now (so did Xander, but Xander hadn’t liked Oz much in the first place, even before the wolf). Even though she tried to hide it, Oz was fluent in wordless languages, could read Buffy’s pained silences and furtive looks and enthusiastic babbles as easily as a graphic novel. Buffy would make a great comic book superhero, but she’d be an awful spy. She was far too easy to read. Buffy wasn't comfortable with Oz anymore, and that was spelled out in their every interaction. As Oz studied her profile, thinking about what it was about him that made her uncomfortable, Buffy started towards him, much to Oz's surprise, waving cheerily with a plastic grin when she got close.
“Hey, Oz,” Buffy greeted, dropping to the grass beside Oz and pulling her legs beneath her to cross them. She gave him a warm, but rather weak, smile, before breaking eye contact and looking down to watch her fingers nimbly tie blades of grass into knots.
“Buffy,” he nodded and looked at her patiently. She was here for a reason, and it was no good pushing. She would talk when she was ready. Oz had never minded silence, never seen it as the uncomfortable elephant lurking in the edges of conversations in the way everyone else always had. Silence was comfortable and familiar to Oz, in the same way idle, meaningless conversation had always felt foreign and sour in his mouth.
“I wanted to apologize,” Buffy finally said, looking up to meet Oz’s gaze. She smiled a little bitterly, and for the first time since he’d learned what a Slayer was, Oz saw just how deeply being a Slayer was part of Buffy, and just how heavy a curse that was. Being a Slayer, having the terrible power and responsibility that she had, palpably hung across her shoulders like a death shroud, weighing Buffy down so heavily that Oz was amazed she could stand so tall. Her eyes, as they met his, were ancient and piercing, nothing like the average girl she pretended to be and everything like the tortured hero of the people she had never asked to become. She had something living inside of her, just like he had, something that set her apart from all the other billions of humans, and it was mysterious and primal and deadly, all at once. And for the first time, now that he had something pounding away within his chest, Oz understood what Buffy had spent so long running from, and he understood that she would never outrun it. They weren't so different, wolf and Slayer.
“I know I haven’t been awesome about the wolf thing.”
“Yeah?” Oz commented blandly, sill puzzling over Buffy’s inner killer.
“Yeah,” Buffy chuckled wryly. “Will really chewed me out over taking this long to talk to you, too.”
“She did?” Oz snapped back to focus, feeling a warm buzz of contentement at the thought of his girlfriend looking out for him like that.
“Mmhmm. Resolve Face and everything,” Buffy affirmed. “So, here I am, ready to apologize.”
“Have at it.”
“Sorry about the whole wanting you dead thing, because I don’t really. I don’t want you dead, I mean.”
“Glad to hear it.”
“And I’m sorry,” Buffy paused, taking a deep breath and audibly blowing it back out between her lips, like a plume of smoke. “Oz, I’m really sorry that this happened to you and that I couldn’t stop it. It’s my job to protect people from monsters, and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t save you.”
Oz didn’t respond, thinking quickly. There were a lot of things to say to that, endless tessellations of words and gestures, but only one of them was right, and it was an imperative that he created just the right arrangement. Words were important, critically, dangerously so, and they needed to be considered and counted and savored before they were thrown around in handfuls.
“Okay, so here’s how I see it,” Oz answered her after a careful, steady pause. Buffy had slowly grown tenser as his silence persisted but, as Oz began his slow and measured words, she froze in place, a sharply colored snapshot in place of the blurred film of her usual careless motions. She was worried, incredibly so, that he would reject her apology, that he would hold her responsible, that she had lost a new friend, and her furrowed brow and tense hands, clasping and unclasping around each other showed it. “I’m not thrilled about this werewolf thing or anything, and I wish things were different, but they’re not. So we’ve gotta go from here.
“And I don’t blame you for this. Things happen, Buffy. You do your best. All anybody could ask.”
“Maybe you should blame me,” Buffy answered plainly, voice matter of fact and devoid of self-pity, blue eyes level and steady when they met his. “I’m the Slayer, Oz. I’m supposed to kill the monsters, not create them.”
“Maybe I’m overstepping my bounds here,” Oz replied, “so feel free to shoot me down or whatever. But, is this a me thing or an Angel thing?”
Buffy winced as if stung, drawing a hissing breath between her teeth. "Nobody ever wants to talk about Angel," she said plainly, sounding more resigned than heartbroken. "Everybody avoids his name like the plague, like they think I'll completely break down every time I hear his name," Buffy smiled wanly, tired and worn like a much older woman. "I won't, you know. I'm not made of glass. I'm actually pretty tough.
"I mean, I'm not saying I'm not upset, but I can hear his name. I'm not totally pathetic."
"Oh, I don't think you're at all pathetic," Oz smiled slightly, "I think you're pretty impressive."
"Thanks," Buffy blushed, looking down for a second, before meeting Oz's gaze again. "And maybe you're right, but not completely. I feel guilty about Angelus and how that happened, and that eats me up every single day, but this is a you thing, too.
"I'm just sorry you're going to be stuck as a werewolf for the rest of your life. It's supposed to be my job to keep things like this from happening."
"What could you have done? Stopped me from babysitting my cousin?" Oz asked reasonably, eyebrows raised a hair.
"I don't know," the Slayer sighed, "But, I should've done something."
"You kept me from killing Willow, or hurting anybody else. That's something."
"I guess..."
"I don't blame you. You shouldn't either.
"World's a big place. You can't save us all, Buffy. You had to figure it out sometime, might as well use me as your object lesson."
"I guess," Buffy sighed, not looking especially like she believed Oz. "We'll chalk this one up as a big 'screw you' to the powers that be and move on. But I still think you're too laid back about this."
"I'm a fairly laissez-faire kind of guy," Oz shrugged, thinking of how spectacularly ironic it was that he was the one talking Buffy down when he'd been on the verge of panicking all morning. Maybe it wasn't ironic so much as indicative, that even when he was in turmoil, he looked completely calm; he'd never been emotionally available, but he was reaching new heights of being closed off and emotionally internalized. Maybe it wasn't a good thing.
"No kidding," Buffy chucked warmly, "But it's good. It's what makes you good for Willow."
"Yeah. You two balance each other, I guess. She needs someone like you."
"I think maybe I needed someone like her, too."
Buffy smiled blindingly at him, giving him the sappy, chick-flick grin of someone watching their best friend fall in love for the first time. "I'm glad. I've been rooting for you two," she said sincerely, before her smile turned predatory. "But if you hurt her, if you do anything to hurt her, I'll reach down your throat to rip out your small intestine and I'll hang you with it."
"That's fair," Oz nodded and shuddered, a little taken aback by the imagery, as much as he appreciated the sentiment.
"Okay," Buffy laughed brightly, sounding absurdly light, as if putting voice to her problems had made them heavy as air. "And, sorry for unloading on you like that, Oz. You hardly know me and here I am, throwing all my issues at you at once."
"It's cool," Oz nodded, "I'm told I'm a good listener."
"You are," Buffy smiled gratefully, bumping her shoulder into his. "Though I'm not sure where you find the time to listen with all the talking you do."
"It's part of my charm," Oz smirked.
"I'm sure." Buffy rose to her feet, standing in one graceful motion, shaking her joints and muscles out like a cat. "I've gotta run, Giles duty, so I'll hand you off. There's an adorable redhead who's crazy about you headed our way."
"So there is," Oz remarked quietly, happily smiling in his girlfriend's direction. "Good talk, Buffy."
"It really was. Thanks again, Oz."
"Anytime." As Buffy began to walk away, Oz called out to her, while she was still just a few paces from the tree, "Thank you, Buffy."
"What for?" she asked, turning around in bafflement.
"For not treating me like a monster."
"Oz, you're not a monster," Buffy insisted. "You're just Oz."
"Three nights a month, most experts would disagree."
"Yeah, okay, you've got a furry problem. So what? That doesn't make you a monster. Are you going to lock yourself up in the cage next full moon?" Buffy asked imperiously, staring him down with hands on her hips. Oz nodded and Buffy grinned, "And that's why you're not a monster. You're choosing not to be.
"See you later, Oz."
"Sure," Oz nodded easily, turning her words over and over in his mind. It had never occurred to him that being a monster was as simple as choosing to be one, hadn't considered for a second that he would every be anything but a monster. Buffy had certainly given him a lot to think about. But soon Willow arrived, and gave Oz something entirely different to focus on.
‚Äč“Hi,” Willow announced her presence a little nervously, coming to stand beside Oz under a wide oak on the school’s front lawn. Oz could faintly smell her on the afternoon air, fresh and sharp and sweet, like strawberries and cinnamon and rainwater mixed with lightening. He'd never smelled anything sweeter. "What are you doing, Oz?"
"Just thinking."
"Oh. Mind if I joint you?" Willow asked with a blush, looking nervous and excited and love struck all at once. She was beautiful, Oz mused fondly, and she didn't think he was a monster either. Willow was intelligent and smart and kind and funny and the fact that she wanted to be near him, much less the fact that she had kissed him yesterday after school, still blew him away. He didn't deserve her, but he was too much in love to leave her now.
"I'd be crushed if you didn't," Oz smiled, grabbing her hand to tug her down beside him. He pressed a quick kiss to her lips once she'd settled in, and took a moment to appreciate the perfect flush that spread across her cheeks. "Stay for a while?"
"As long as you'll let me," Willow grinned dizzyingly, and Oz idly imagined that if he hadn't been sitting down, her smile would have knocked him off his feet.
"I'd like that," Oz murmured and gave Willow a rare grin, because now that she was here, he was starting to believe that he wasn't a monster at all.
green: zoe and mal from firefly with the caption 'sanity is relative' (firefly: sanity is relative)
[personal profile] green
I wanted to do meta (but I looked up some old awesome meta and I could never beat some of that), or maybe a picspammy flaily post (I haven't done one of those in awhile!), but I ended up making icons instead (because that's what I do, apparently!). I hope you like them!


At my journal, here!
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[personal profile] red_satin_doll

  ETA screencaps 3/20/13

RUNNER-UP: Best Meta (Not Fade Away) category of the Wicked Awards Round 10
banner by 
[ profile] angelus2hot 

Warning and Disclaimer : I have thoughts - and a lot of feelings - about "Ted".  This is quite serious, and more than a little personal; some very triggery subjects will be discussed. I’m not kidding. If this isn't your thing, by all means feel free to hit the back button right now, and no hard feelings.  If you chose to continue otherwise, considered yourself welcome as well as forewarned. But please leave your weapons at the threshhold before you come in. Then wipe your feet on the mat, and help yourself to cookies.  (Or hot cocoa with extra marshmallows.) And I apologize for the formatting issues (esp re: the messed-up cut tags) but DW is being a pain in the ass.  (AKA, I still don't know what the hell I'm doing.) 

And then there's the simple truth that when you engage in violence, accidents happen. We aren't robots. We can't turn off and turn on with the flip of a switch--and if we could, then we'd be okay with murdering people to gain our own ends. That fact that Buffy's violence is motivated by love is essential; it is both dark and light--she dances on the razor edge and she only has her instincts to guide her.  -[ profile] angearia

Read more... )
The disclaimer? Take it seriously, and procede... )

In 1958 Lana Turner’s 14 year-old daughter Cheryl Crane stabs her mother’s boyfriend to death, allegedly in an effort to protect her mother.  (The man, Johnny Stompanato, had gang connections and a history of violence behind him.)  The court rules it justifiable homicide.
The disclaimer? Take it seriously, and procede... )


Thirty years later another teenage girl, oldest of four siblings, reads about Cheryl Crane, admires Crane’s courage, and wonders if she would be able to do the same, if the need arose. Her (second) stepfather is a large and powerful man; her mom is barely 5’3”.  Would a baseball bat be sufficient?  A kitchen knife? She decides on a rusty WW1-era bayonet and hides it by her bed. Her mom finds it and removes it without a word.  
In the end, it’s unnecessary anyway; her mom divorces her husband and her daughter can breathe again, a little, and home becomes a safe place to be for the first time in years. The disclaimer? Take it seriously, and procede... )
In 2012 the same girl, now a woman, finally watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time.  She enjoys the cleverness and subversion of the “high school is hell” metaphors, the genre tropes and subversions.The disclaimer? Take it seriously, and procede... )
And then the woman watches “Ted” and for a few moments, she is terrified - for Buffy, and for the girl who hid a bayonet by her bed all those years ago. Memories she’s (thought she’s made) made peace with and packed away tumble out unbidden, like an overstuffed dresser drawer.  She knows that her experience is not identical to Buffy’s, after all, and there’s a relief in that; the girl she once was couldn’t fight back, couldn’t protect her herself much less her family, and never even dared to protest or sass back; Buffy can, and does. She has resources that girl of long ago, and most abused children, can never dream of - confidence, physical strength, strength of character and will, resourcefulness, as well as devoted friends who come to her aid.
But she’s just a girl, after all, a 16 year old girl operating on instinct. She’s been given a “license to kill” (demons) and almost zero guidance in how to use it.  The Watchers’ Council cares nothing for her welfare, or for the countless girls who have preceded her; what matters is that the Slayer does her job properly and follows the arcane rules imposed upon her, traditions handed down through the centuries. 

Ted Buchanan, as it turns out, would make an ideal Watcher by the WC’s standards, barring his use of physical violence, and even that’s not a sure thing. After all, the original Shadowmen chained a girl and forced the power of the demon upon her; the WC may be more “civilized” on the surface, but they uphold a terrible tradition. The Slayer is used, discarded and replaced when she rebels or no longer suits the councils needs. Surely more personal abuse and violations of Slayers by individual Watchers is not beyond the pale.

Likewise Ted demands obedience from a string of women, discarding and destroying them when they disobey him or are no longer useful. How many Slayers throughout time have come before Buffy (later Kendra and Faith)? How many other people has Ted hurt or killed, women who wouldn’t follow the program, in addition to the four wives in his closet?  The Watcher’s Council and Ted both operate within closed systems; they may allow minor changes and adjustments so long as the original paradigm is preserved.
Of course Buffy defeats Ted, motivated not just by her Slayer instincts but the instincts of a daughter and friend to protect the people she loves. She’s the Hero, after all. And yet she suffers for her actions; social ostracization, guilt, and shame. Heros may not end up in court charged with justifiable homicide but there are still consequences to bear. (There are always consequences.)

Or at least there are if the Hero is a teenage girl. Violence from men is so common as to be unremarkable; violent acts committed by women are still considered shocking. (It’s no accident that at the end of the episode Buffy and Joyce agree to a rewatch of Thelma and Louise, a movie that disturbed and polarize audiences because two female protagonists commit violent acts against male characters onscreen; the same violence by male protagonists is a commonplace in movies, and a guarantee of box office sales.)
So Buffy succeeds but at a cost.  Her mother is safe but heartbroken and terribly lonely, unable to even look her daughter in the eye. Whatever her personal animosity towards Ted, much of it justifiable in light of his behavior, the last thing on earth Buffy ever wanted to do was to hurt her mother. The bond between them, one that suffered fissures long before “Ted Buchanan” came into their lives, is further damaged.  And yet they love one another, deeply, no one questions that, and there’s the rub.  The anger and love are warped and woven into one another so tightly that what poisons their bond also strengthens it. 
And so it is with her best friends, with her mentor, with everyone who comes within her circle. Violence begets violence. It stains and spoils everything it touches; it cannot be put back into a tidy little box, locked up and tossed away.  We can atone for it but we cannot undo it.
But this a fictional story and in fiction, unlike real life, there must be some catharsis for the viewer, a chance to release the anxieties the story has provoked, to relax and breathe again. And so it is for the characters themselves, or at least it seems at the moment.  The episode ends happily, one might say conventionally, enough. More dramatically than the story of girl with the bayonet, perhaps (real life has no resolutions, remember); but Buffy and her mother come to an uneasy, unspoken peace on the back porch, their home (women’s space) reclaimed, and they can breathe again, for a time. Rupert Giles and Jenny Calender share a passionate kiss for the first time, Xander and Cordelia giggle while Buffy averts her eyes. It’s an ending worthy of Shakespearean comedy: All’s well that ends well.  

Except, of course, that we've seen the entire series, and we know too much. The moments that made us smile and cheer when we first watched are painful now. (Not as painful as the memory of that bayonet and all that it represented, but certainly poignant.) The characters onscreen have the luxury of perpetual innocence; they can’t know yet that Buffy will hesitate to kill her lover and it will cost Jenny her life, and Giles his only chance at love; that Buffy will eventually run a sword through her lover’s heart. The disclaimer? Take it seriously, and procede... )
And Ted’s fingerprints (do robots have fingerprints?) can be found in the final hours of Buffy’s story when Giles and “General Buffy” and their friends represent the last vestigal traces of the WC, haunted by ghosts and locked into a closed and destructive paradigm. Violence begets violence.
In 2012, Buffy became my Hero - by which I mean my fictional hero, my avatar, as opposed to real life heros such as my mother.  (Make no mistake - in her capacity to love and endure, I consider my mother heroic.) My brothers grew up with Spiderman and Batman and Hans Solo; with countless tales of soldiers and kings throughout the ages. I had to wait until I was in my 40’s to find her. 
Was it worth it the wait? Yes, it most certainly was. Yet I can’t help feel a little wistful that Buffy Summers wasn’t around in the 1970's or 1980’s; I certainly would have loved her then as I do now, if perhaps for different reasons. I can hope that in the years since that at least one other girl or boy, etched with anger and violence, haunted by dreams of murder that are so common as to be unremarkable, has felt just a little less frightened and alone because of her.
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[personal profile] bruttimabuoni
I took a last-minute date here. I wanted to write fic (duh), but also explore the alpha-beta-omega trope. Partly for another challenge, but also because it didn't really take off in Buffyverse but has become *really* popular elsewhere. Which is intriguing.

I also wanted to do something for Touched, which is this week's BtVS ep at fantas_magoria. And Lo! It is full of two-person encounters that allow the trope to be looked at from many angles. So: a twisted semi-canon sort of fic happened! Read the ficlets and/or the notes and see what you think...

Alpha-beta-omega dynamics come in many versions, some of them very graphic body modifications. These do underlie this fic, but it's not very explicit. G-rated a/b/o if you will.

Read more here!
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[personal profile] kaymickbee

Follow the links to my livejournal posts:

(all work safe, FRT at highest. I am a Giles fan, but these are non-ship)

Picspam: Top 10 Favorite Aspects of The Yoko Factor

3 Drabbles: Anya & Tara / Riley & Xander / Willow & Giles

Fic: But It's My Destiny To Be The King of Pain (Giles & Angel)


Thanks to the mods for all the big, damn love! Hope you enjoy!

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