While I love a good, rich, plotty story, I have absolutely no objections to PWP's and Unredeemed Smut, or rich plotty stories with anywhere from zero to copious amounts of plot-supportive smut. For myself, I like Buffy to be of legal age for these endeavors – for two reasons. First, I think Giles is smart enough and self-controlled enough to not take the risk – either legal or emotional (himself and/or Buffy) - before she had a bit more maturity on her. If he got thrown in the slammer for statutory rape, he wouldn't be able to be a very effective Watcher, and if she hated him for forever and a day, it wouldn't work out either. That said, I fully accept that there can be valid plot reasons for pre-legal encounters to occur. After all, in ancient demon times, Buffy would have already been married and had a couple of kids by the time we meet her in BtVS.
I freely admit I am an unrepentant Happy Ending Person. I adore UST, Whump and Hurt/Comfort, but at the end, when all is said and done, I like the suffering to be over, and the heroes to have a measure of comfort and hope. I have yet to write an unhappy ending story myself in any fandom. It's just me. BtVS and the Buffy/Giles relationship, of course, offer near endless opportunity for pain, suffering and angst (physical/emotional/psychological) but the series ends with hope, and my stories always do as well, if not with puppies and kittens and birthday cake (exaggeration – I have never actually written a story with puppies and kittens . . . hmmmm).
Another facet of Buffy and Giles which fascinates me is the concept of their individual and shared destinies, and how they each tried to avoid them in their own ways, but then ultimately accept their path and accept each other as they are. I am particularly enamored of the concept of the “Watcher-Slayer Bond” - hinted at in the series, and developed and fully realized through the wonders of fanfic. A standout example for me would be A. Manly Haight's “The Calling,” which I read early in my Buffy fandom career. In this story, Giles is driven to find Buffy after she runs away at the end of Season 2, experiencing physical and mental anguish until he finally manages to find her. I like to explore the W-S bond in my own stories, using it as both an established universe plot device and an expression of their closeness. When they are “on,” the W-S bond can help them with things from knowing what the other is thinking/feeling, right on up to one being able to physically locate the other in times of extreme peril. My stories “Swordsman,” and “Enjoined,” are example of these two uses. There are of course, many, many fine authors in B/G fandom who have written about the Buffy/Giles bond spectacularly, both with and without amazing sex. Buffy and Giles are just that good together.
I personally feel there is good and bad in each season, and I don't discount any season, but I do tend to do a little selective cherry-picking. Like many B/G fen, I tend to feel that Buffy as televised is inconsistent in her treatment of Giles, tending toward disrespect and excessive flippancy. After all, this is the guy who has sworn his life and his immortal soul to her education and defense. However, I find there is enough wonderful B/G to make up for his, and some of it can be fic'ed away in terms of teenage/growing up rebellion against authority – and hey, who better than Giles to understand that?
What I don't like to accept is disrespect and mistreatment of Giles from others who have absolutely no free pass or right to do so. My apologies to Riley fen, but I really don't like the whole Initiative track, not because of the storyline itself, but because Giles seemed to become comic relief for a while, and it seemed as if everyone were making fun of him, Buffy included. It especially irked me when Riley would do this (example at the end of “Buffy vs Dracula”), as I live near an Army base and I encounter a fair number of soldiers from day to day, and every one of them is “Yes, Sir, No, Maam” etc. The respect is drilled into them. If Riley were a real soldier, it would be extraordinarily unusual for him to disrespect or make fun of Giles – essentially his girlfriend's Father/Mentor/Teacher/Guardian, and a man of superior age, experience and learning to himself. Riley hadn't earned that kind of familiarity with the Watcher, and he never did.
In alignment to my card-carrying-status as a Happy Ending Person, I hold, despite Buffy previously shutting him out after the Spike Incident, that when Buffy told Giles she really did want his opinion on the eve of the battle with the First Evil at the end of the series, that she really meant it, and that they were reconciled at that point. So for me, all options are open for much B/G goodness after the series as well. (Unless, of course, someone should put a curse on Giles so that he can't know love with those he is closest to in life, and will suffer unending torture for all eternity in a hell dimension after death. But who would do something like that to dear, sweet Giles – and leave it unresolved for three years? :-) :-) :-) you know who you are – and pretty-please don't kill me! :-) :-) :-) )
So . . . there you have it . . . my vision of B/G, for what its worth. I very much look forward to meeting all of you here on WatcherJournals and sharing good times in reading and discussing the wonders of Buffy/Giles.
Thanks for reading!
01 Feb 2013