Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.
eliade

reveals

I'm just going to keep posting. I know someone will talk back eventually. My friends list can't stay silent forever.

So in filming there's this camera shot called a reveal, where for instance we're focusing on a reporter as she delivers her report directly to the camera, and then we pull back and maybe pan to the side and reveal that she's standing in front of a courthouse. I've heard this term used in fiction to describe plot revelations, but then again maybe I just made it up. I don't remember. I like the word. It sounds vaguely writerly and cool.

All my slashy fantasies progress toward a reveal; it's not the climax of the story--my fantasies rarely have those, or else have dozens that connect the narrative like beads on a meander. I suppose it could be *a* climax. But specifically for me the reveal is the moment when one guy demonstrates his feelings for another guy in front of witnesses; it's usually for the first time, and *usually* the witnesses notice it--though there's also a foreplay-like pleasure in working towards a full reveal by degrees, where friends see signs of affection that they don't fully recongize or understand. (E.g., Willow sees Xander be nice to Spike and misreads it as pity when in fact Xander is secretly a smitten kitten.) It's a coming-out moment, though in BtVS sometimes it's not so much a disclosure having to do with gayness as with other transgressive relationships that have previously been kept secret--vampire/slayer, vampire/human.

So you have Spike in some vulnerable state and Xander falls for him, and they're all sitting around Giles's living room one night doing mission prep and Spike is trying to be helpful and Buffy snaps at him; Xander's jaw twitches a bit but he doesn't say anything too outrageous, maybe makes a small, curt comment. General discussion picks up again, but Xander shifts closer to Spike on the couch, and stretches out his arm so that his thumb *just* brushes the edge of Spike's shoulder, back and forth. No one sees it except perhaps Giles, who glances up as he's sipping tea and freezes just for a moment, but he remains silent about it then, and his own reaction goes unnoticed by anyone else.

That's a classic reveal for me, because I can triangulate: I think about Spike's pang of anger and humiliation, Xander's simmering protectiveness and affection, and then I filter the scene through Giles's point of view and imagine how he reacts. And I wallow and savor it all and replay it perhaps dozens of times until I wear a rut in it and all the zing is lost, because I am a big freak! Yep, yep.

This actually gets done in stories quite a lot, and badly--in badfic, Xander would not play it cool, but stand up and yell at Buffy for being a cruel, heartless bitch and then he'd proudly declare Spike his boyfriend and Buffy would insult Spike at length, and then *everyone* would rip Buffy a new one, Willow disclosing that she knew about their secret passion all along, Giles telling her she needs to realize how hard Spike is trying to change, Spike striking a hurt and martyred pose, blah blah cheesycakes blah, until Spike and Xander leave in a huff to move into their new apartment and never speak to Buffy again, armored against the slayer's viciousness by their Deep True Love, which can also be True Love in the Face of a Heartless World, or The Love that Doesn't Just Dare Speak Its Name, But Sneers It Rather Loudly Too.

But then thing is, I *do* also like more extreme reveals, almost to badfic levels of excess, like where everyone is sitting around the Hyperion family room in front of a crackling fire at Christmas time, Wes and Spike like a pair of sleek cats in blue jeans and elegant shirts, cozily curled up together on a couch, happy and supported by their friends--their *family*. And then the Sunnydale crew arrives in the lobby seeking sanctuary from some big threat, room at the inn, and everyone comes out to greet them, all is going swimmingly, until Xander spots Spike and says, "What the hell is that useless piece of garbage doing here?" At once, the A.I. gang closes ranks with a noticeable chill and Angel takes one step forward, folds his arms and defends Spike in terse, flat terms as he never would have a year earlier, finishing by looking at Xander and saying, "Next person who disrespects him, there's the door."

Because you know, it's not like *Joss* is above that kind of thing; he just does it well.

I am still tragically bored.
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