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18 December 2003 @ 04:36 pm
unlikely pairing #2  
Buffy/Xander: I actually find this one strangely easy to accept in a theoretical way, in canon. I honestly feel like the show could have diverged into a B/X relationship at almost any time--even while Xander was with Anya--if they'd wanted to pull the classic plot rabbit of romance from a hat and have Buffy suddenly look at Xander in a new light. Because he of course would be all over her like in three seconds like white on rice. The question is, what would lay the groundwork for Buffy's side of things; what would make her look at him differently? The first thing I think of is the phenom where a guy starts to look shinier when a friend of yours--or a rival--develops a crush on him. But with a few exceptions Buffy tends to have a peerless indifference to other people's love interests. She didn't reconsider Xander as potential man-candy when Cordelia began dating him, for instance, and until Faith came along, Cordy was the closest thing Buffy had to a peer. And when Buffy finds out that *Faith* had sex with Xander, she pretty much writes him off as a "big joke" (a big joke to Faith, is what she actually says, but it doesn't indicate that her own opinion of Xander has been elevated by learning about their liaison).

So, ruling out the covet-thy-neighbor's-boyfriend scenario, the next one that occurs to me is hurt/comfort where Buffy's opinion of men has reached its nadir--she's hurt, she's been burned--and she turns to Xander as friend and confidante, for one of those cozy popcorn-on-the-couch talks, and she cries, and he holds her and doesn't even think to take advantage of the situation but instead says something so profoundly tender and selfless and gentle and Buffy-loving that she just stares at him in wonder; and here it's his obliviousness that saves him, because for dramatic purposes the tables have to be turned. Xander can't realize that she's finally reciprocating his feelings. Not right away. He has to be the object of her female gaze for a while, and I'm thinking that he'd have to be in a success zone, like the Alpha Xander of "The Replacement." Great job, great apartment, and maybe he's made some declaration of independence where he's like, "I've decided I can't just toddle around after you every night, getting in your way. I've got to do my own thing." And Joss et al would have to give him his own B-plot storylines for a while: Xander helps out some guy at work who's plagued by demons, Xander rescues a damsel in distress. And Buffy keeps getting these unanticipated testimonies from people as to Xander's manly, good-hearted competence, and she finally gears up and makes a move, and the scene plays like this: after some clumsy wooing and circumlocutions, she launches into this long speech where she says she knows he's always been there for her during her tragic romantic history and she's always thought of him like a brother and you of course don't want to date your brother, but he's not a brother, and she knows that, because when she looks at him now she sees a guy, a really amazing guy who's kind and funny and loyal, but not like a dog! (she says hastily), not at all dog or brother-like, and she knows it's probably too late, because she's turned him down in the past, and he's got his own life now, and some nice girl is interested in him and she doesn't even appear to be a demon--and Buffy's winding down into an unhappy ending to her speech because he's just looking at her gravely and saying nothing, and instead of convincing him to go out with her, she's turned it around and told him all the reasons why he wouldn't. "And you're not really interested, are you?" she ends on a resigned, rueful note, looking down and already starting to draw in on herself because she's made a fool of herself, and he says, "I'd have to be crazy, Buffy," and he steps closer, "to *ever* turn you down." And she's all pansy-eyed and uplifted and hopeful and they kiss and then it gets surprisingly sexy and all across America thousands of fanboys cheer and do that little Arsenio hand-pump.

But of course they'll only last a season or so before breaking up and settling back into friendship because the lesson behind all this is cookie dough is dangerous to your health. Sure, it tastes good, but there's raw egg in that, man. Bake it first for three years at 400 degrees. And then--enjoy!
laurashapiro on December 18th, 2003 04:43 pm (UTC)
He has to be the object of her female gaze for a while

I'm pretty sure I wrote this story.

Yes, I'm using your LJ for shameless self-pimpery. You wanna make something of it? (:
Anna S.eliade on December 18th, 2003 04:45 pm (UTC)
You are allowed! :>D
(no subject) - hesychasm on December 18th, 2003 04:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laurashapiro on December 18th, 2003 05:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xanphibian on December 18th, 2003 05:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laurashapiro on December 18th, 2003 10:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mgs on December 19th, 2003 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laurashapiro on December 19th, 2003 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on December 19th, 2003 03:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kassrachel on December 18th, 2003 04:45 pm (UTC)
Actually, in my head I have this whole scenario in which Buffy and Xander wind up together after the series finale. He's just lost Anya, she's just lost Spike, Sunnydale has been obliterated, everyone's alternating between exhausted and giddy. And they all wind up in some motel somewhere, and maybe Buffy can hear Faith and Robin going at it in the next room, and she's melancholy, and she goes down the hall and knocks on Xander's door. And then there's this whole thing where she makes a surprisingly inept pass at him, and he thinks it's some kind of weird pity fuck on account of the missing eye and he goes all prickly, and she kind of folds in on herself and admits that maybe she could actually use the pity fuck, because after everything that's gone down she's kind of a wreck, and that stops him short. And they wind up in bed, and it's actually really tender and really good.

And I'm not sure where they go from there. And I'm not clever enough to write Jossverse, so I'll never try.

I can't quite believe I'm about to post this sappy little synopsis here, actually.
Anna S.eliade on December 18th, 2003 04:50 pm (UTC)
It's so sweet! I was actually going to posit S7 as the other most likely season for B/X to occur. (But can you believe it took me *three* tries to type X/B because I typed "S/B" and "S/X" first? Heh. Of course you can.) S7 or, as you suggest, afterwards.

Though to be honest, I like B/X as the friendship it is and no more. Like G/X, I don't really see subtext or potential there, except for Xander's obvious unrequited lurve.
deaverdeaver on December 18th, 2003 04:51 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts, though now I am picturing Xander and Buffy in 'When Harry Met Sally'. And I'm sorry, but Xander as Billy Crystal?! Just, um, NO.
all work and no playhesychasm on December 18th, 2003 04:55 pm (UTC)
I wish it didn't have to be that Xander had to become more manly somehow, or I guess I mean I wish he didn't have to "grow up and be a man" to be worthy of Buffy. Which is probably a little extreme interpretation for what you were proposing, but I explain by saying that what I further mean is that I'd had brief B/X thoughts at certain points during S6 because I saw their friendship as being at its healthiest. Like, he'd already grown enough to be independent of her. He still would probably go for it in three seconds flat, yes, but the relationship was comfortable; they were on equal enough terms that I could see a love relationship growing naturally out of the friendship with just a nudge or two.

Of course, Buffy was also a little screwed up that season, and Xander was having commitment issues, so, I dunno...
all work and no playhesychasm on December 18th, 2003 05:02 pm (UTC)
The flipside of saying "I wish it didn't have to be that way" is that actually, I suspect you're right. Xander's been characterized for so long as not desirable (desireable?) to Buffy that it *would* probably take some change on his part for her to see him with new eyes. Either that or some tragedy or something wherein they go through a really harrowing experience together that none of her other love interests could possibly have a part of. (a la some fic by Yahtzee, I think)
(no subject) - eliade on December 18th, 2003 05:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on December 18th, 2003 05:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Minim Calibre: Buffyminim_calibre on December 18th, 2003 05:08 pm (UTC)
That's... strangely appealing.

All of my (strongly-held) objections to any sort of Buffy/Xander during the run of the show are related to the Xander-as-avatar-of-Joss factor, wherein no matter how well they could have done it, the authorial insertion would have had me throwing things at the screen.

And yet, this remains strangely appealing.

Bobpoisonapple73 on December 18th, 2003 05:17 pm (UTC)
*points* you, are EVIL. You made me like B/X!
I think I need to take some time....try to forget this ever happened...
rubywisp: riley hee by zyrerubywisp on December 18th, 2003 05:42 pm (UTC)
You are indescribably evil. I *want* that fic. Whimper.

But of course, I lurve you anyway. Great apartment and magically-derived twin not needed. *g*
xanphibian on December 18th, 2003 05:47 pm (UTC)
*cries because it is SO SO beautiful*

Oh MAN you made me tear up. It could have HAPPENED, dammit. Gah. *sniff*
executive fangirl: cowboycoiledsoul on December 18th, 2003 05:54 pm (UTC)
They did a thing on Alias...
with a story like this and something similar would probably work. Possible option #3:

Lets say that for some reason at the end of season 7 when all the other scoobies/slayers/etc... decided to take off across the world to seek out others or start a new watcher's council or look for another hellmouth or whatever that Xander decides to settle down and not move on with them. Teary goodbyes are shared and Xander settles down in the midwest somewhere. Well a year or so passes and for some reason some new big bad has arisen and Buffy happens to be alone in the midwest when it happens. Everyone else is scattered around the globe and she calls Xander for backup to help her with the mission. He jumps at the chance and he and the Buffster meet up to kill it. Now the hooking up can happen in one of two ways - the night before when they are planning their attack as they are sitting on Xander's living room floor and sharing a pizza and a couple of beers and talking about old times (Xander asks her about her love life and she laughs and jokes about how she doesn't have time to even think about that part of herself anymore) when they both reach for the last piece of pizza or beer or a spellbook and their hands brush or something and things just sort of happen. Or (and this is probably the lamer of the 2 options) the same scene above happens but with no sex (but they've both kind of got the idea in their heads now) and after the big battle is over they kind of get caught up in the moment and decide to shag each other senseless. In either scenario though, it ends with them both realizing that they needed the comfort but not really each other and will look back on what happened as a special night between friends or something like that. When she leaves Buffy'll say something like, "You know we never really talked about what happened (when we shagged each other 2 nights ago)" and Xander will say "Yeah, but it's kinda cool that we didn't" then they'll hug and he'll go back to the construction sight and she'll go back to the headquarters in Europe or wherever.

And "Hi!" by the way. I'm kinda new around here but I've been reading your stories for awhile now and love your work. I'm just really bad about feedback.
Anna S.: trees_whiteskyeliade on December 20th, 2003 02:04 pm (UTC)
Re: They did a thing on Alias...
You've written a story! I like it. *bounce*

And hello to you. :>D Don't worry about being bad about feedback; I'm very bad about answering it.

I'm watching Alias now on DVD--I'm up to episode 7 or something like that. Season one. It's very good! I can see why people have been getting all fannish about it.
(Deleted comment)
Anna S.eliade on December 20th, 2003 02:02 pm (UTC)
Awww. You're a sweetie. Thanks! :>)
witlingwitling on December 18th, 2003 06:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. I almost approve. Of het. And of Buffy. In a romantic anything. With anyone.


do you want orcs? because this is how you get orcs: Risekita0610 on December 18th, 2003 07:25 pm (UTC)
Joss said they intended to do B/X originally, it just never happened.

I think it fits in VERY WELL with his whole notion of "normal is better" that Buffy herself as well as the entire verse is in love with. And I think it could have happened any time after Angel left, really. I saw some subtext as if they were gonna lead up to it, particularly in S5. "Puffy Xander", "he'll look and see the specialness of you", etc. Then they didn't Go There.

Personally, I think it woulda been dull as paint to WATCH but it does make a lot of canonical sense. He's always loved her.
drcdrc1 on December 19th, 2003 02:31 am (UTC)
AFAIK, ME never intended to do this. In fact, it was Nick Brendon who discussed this with SMG, and talked about it at a British(?) con some time last year. Besides, B/X would never have been an option (just like W/X), given the part these characters play(ed) on the show.

Doesn't mean, however, that I wouldn't want to read a well-done fic with this pairing.
Re: B/X - kita0610 on December 19th, 2003 08:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: B/X--Ack! - drc1 on December 19th, 2003 02:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
yonmei on December 18th, 2003 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah... someone (Xander fan) told me once (around season 4) that Xander was really "the male lead" on Buffy, and I blinked at her and said the obvious "The series doesn't have a male lead," and proved it to my satisfaction (if not to hers) by asking people for months "Who's the male lead on Buffy?" and they'd ask me "Which one? Which season? Could be Giles, could be Xander - could be Angel, till he got his own show..." but then I went back and looked at season 1, and I thought, yes.

If Joss Whedon had been a more boring writer, more inclined to fall into classic stereotypes where you can't have a man and a woman (well, a boy and a girl) who are "just friends", then clearly Xander would have ended up "the male lead" - he's the boy-on-the-spot, he's the obvious romantic partner for Buffy, her age, in love with her, cute and dorky and just ready to be transformed into Mister Hunk by the power of love...

But as clearly, he's not. Buffy states the situation right from the cheerleader episode - Xander is a friend, like Willow is a friend. I mean, I could see how it could happen, in your scenario, but - it would be kind of dull. It would make Xander happy. For a while.

But I guess I just don't care that much about Xander: I want Buffy to be happy, and I'm not convinced Xander could do it...
(Anonymous) on December 18th, 2003 11:37 pm (UTC)
I just love it when you do that!
flaming museflaming_muse on December 19th, 2003 03:41 am (UTC)
And that's why I love the thought of early s7 B/X. He's all stable and helping out, she's all semi-stable and enjoying him as a friend... then - bam! - something happens, and she *sees* him. He's hesitant to ruin their friendship, but about two seconds later he gives in, because he's always loved her, and...

Well, then, Spike comes back and throws everything in a tizzy.

*shakes fist at you for feeding the evil B/X plot bunny that has been menacing her for months*