(Please refer to story entry for Drink and the Demon for all tags and disclaimers)
I am a huge fan of il_mio_capitano's absolutely perfect and hilarious fic, “A Night to Remember,” written for the 2010 Drunken!Giles Ficathon, in which Buffy and a Very!Drunk!Giles go after a Pink Elephant Demon which can only be seen by the totally inebriated.
As soon as I saw brutti_ma_buoni's prompt for Drunken!Giles 2011, I immediately thought of “A Night to Remember” and wanted to do a story in a similar vein with some of that same perfect mix of drama, danger, humor, and all-around Giles-heroworthiness.
After struggling to find my own angle on the “Drunk and In Danger” Giles, I finally came up with something I liked, and which also fit the “but it's all part of the plan” clause, and included tickling :-) . I hope you enjoyed it as well.
PS: If you haven't already guessed, I highly recommend “A Night to Remember” if you haven't already had the pleasure of reading it.
More Author's Notes:
I am always curious about why authors choose to write what they write, and so I always like to put in a little bit about why I did what I did in a certain story, in case there is any interest, and it lets me get it off my mind as well.
First of all, as some may know, I am an absolute, dyed-in-the-wool Giles fan. While I don't think of Giles as an alcoholic, I could certainly understand why he would begin drinking more heavily in Season 4. Add a lost job/purpose to an absent Slayer and mix in a bit of mid-life crisis, and its all very plausible. Giles needs to be needed.
That said, to me, Drunken!Giles, will still always be Giles. To me, that means he will be curious, incredibly intelligent and able to figure out difficult puzzles. He'll be willing to take risks in the cause of knowledge. Having made that choice, he will see it through with his trademark steadfast courage. That doesn't mean he won't scream in terror when he stumbles across the demon, but he'll stand his ground and see it through. He will also practice restraint, and be willing to listen, even when a seven-foot tall, razor-sharp wart-covered demon is demanding something from him in an unknown language. He's lived long enough to know that there's always something new to learn and experience. Especially if you take a risk. Giles is a warrior, a scholar, and a great human being with a huge heart, and I like to show all those qualities in him when he lands in my fic.
I can't remember how I came up with the idea for the demon in this story. The prompt stipulated an opponent who can addle any sober brain, and that just seemed more demon-y than vampire-y to me. Use of a demon allowed me to have a language barrier that they could struggle with, and that I could use to the story's advantage. With a demon as a concept, and knowing Giles was going to be inebriated and would not have Buffy or anyone else to protect him while he faced the danger parts of the story (prompt indicated Giles Gen, goes up against opponent, and I took that as suggested - no backup), I needed the demon to be something that that Giles could "defeat" (come to terms with in this case) while still being incapacitated and on his own.
In order to not "dumb down" the opponent, I needed to make it be something that could clearly slaughter Giles in all manner of unpleasant ways at the drop of a hat, but for some reason would choose not to - either because of its own nature, or because of how Giles deports himself in its presence, or a combination of both. That's what led me to the "questing demon" who had a reason to want the missing amulet, and ultimately to be a sort of demon kindred soul for Giles - a researcher and scholar, but also an impressive warrior when required, and someone with tragedy in his past. The demon had to share Giles' quality of being able to step back from the moment, analyze, and proceed based on reason and patience, not animal instinct or passion. Other parallel qualities followed on naturally, like compassion and eagerness in the pursuit of knowledge, and a tendency to glare at beings who are trying one's patience. It just seemed to want to work. That and the tickling, which somewhere along the line, I decided I couldn't live without. Obviously it's based off the scene of the Three Sisters accosting Giles' virtue in the "chick pit" in S5 "Buffy vs Dracula," but with a lot more "good squirm," albeit decidedly more PG/FRT.
I assume that everyone got that the title "Drink and the Demon" is a play on the old pirate song which goes, "Drink and the Devil have done for the re-est, yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!" Or scotch, in this case - several in fact.
You may know I have a thing for Giles and his, ahem, sword, so I let him use it a little in this story, and also as a plot device to have a reason for the the normally placid and bookish demon to attack him. I didn't let him do too much with his sword, though. After all, he was totally sloshed and got injured on the first exchange. Going for, um, realistic here, yeah. Also, it allows the demon a chance to give the sword back to him, indicating that it harbors no ill-will towards him personally (just those jerks in the 12th century, and yes, these demons are very long-lived). Nice demon. If you're curious about the weapon the Yrarbil was carrying, check out this picture on Wikipedia: Flanged Mace. Definitely would not want to see poor Giles get whacked with that, drunk or sober. It's designed to defeat metal armor. A leather coat and exposed head would be very, very nasty bad odds indeed.
Mid-Season 4 Giles needed a little kick in the butt to get him going out of his depression, which Ethan provided some of in canon with the Faryl demon incident in “A New Man.” Drink and the Demon can be seen as an AU for that story, with the additional modification of having previously been through the Buffy/Faith body switching story “Who Are You?” so I could use the stevedore comment.
In regard to Ethan's mischief, I suppose if Ethan were a D&D character, he would be Chaotic Evil. So there's still that odd bit of room for Ethan to care about Giles, even when he's potentially sending him to his death. I wanted Ethan in this story to be a little less Evil than in “A New Man” where to me it didn't seem that Giles had any hope of surviving on his own. It took Buffy forcing Ethan to undo the spell to save Giles' life. So with my slightly-less-Evil Ethan in Drink and the Demon, I just really liked the idea of having him take Buffy to task for leaving Giles alone. And I rewarded him with brownie points from Janus for his efforts. I think the Chaos God would approve.
While I don't care for how Buffy treated Giles in canon in Season 4, I think it fits with the overall progression of their relationship. Kids tend to tune our their “parents” at a certain age, and Giles had worked hard to make Buffy independent. So while he knows she has to grow up, he misses her terribly. Almost his entire life had been spent preparing to be her Watcher, and then actually being her Watcher. Then suddenly, she was essentially gone from his life. It was a seriously harsh blow for him, and he spun for a while. I play on this a little bit in the story in that when its Giles' POV, Buffy hasn't come to him in forever, but he still thinks of himself as “Watcher,” just underutilized. When its Buffy's POV, she thinks that she's visited him rather recently, and thinks of him as “ex-Watcher” until she's off on the rescue mission, worried about him and considering how he has always treated her with respect, then he's “Watcher” again in her mind.
Even so, episodes like “A New Man” and S5 “Buffy vs Dracula” show us that Buffy does always care for Giles, she just doesn't manage to show it a lot – she's distracted by lots of new shiny things and a tendency toward self-focus. When she gets reminded about him, she pays attention – like when she almost lost/killed him in “A New Man”, or I have slightly-less-Evil Ethan kick her conscience in this story. And Giles is so torn between his various roles for her, that he barely knows how to relate to her once she goes to college. Hence my little “everyone thinks I'm her father” comment near the end of Drink and the Demon. I'll leave it to you to decide how he really feels. For me, well, it'll always be primarily about the G/B! (Once she's legal, of course, and once she's grown up enough to manage her distractions and self-focus.)
As to the library and library science word Reader's Challenge . . .
I'll add the answers in here later after people have had a go at it, if there are any still missing (total of 5 unique answers, some are repeated multiple times). I'm guessing the audience for Drunken!Giles will be more than up to the challenge! Answers now posted below in comments!
Thanks for stopping by!
Drunken!Giles Ficathon 2011