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19 December 2003 @ 04:28 pm
unlikely pairing #3  
Wes/Buffy: Well, that one seems impossible. I give up!

Um. Let's see. To do it during BtVS season three, they'd have had to completely change Wes's initial personality profile and his interactions with Buffy *and* overcome the whole Watcher/Slayer teacher/pupil hurdle, which was pretty entrenched if implicit. No dice. It might have happened in season four if Wes had decided to stick around and tough it out and if Buffy had been more mature and forgiving toward him over their differences.

So let's see....

He'd need a good reason to stay in Sunnydale after being fired. He'd either have to play the supplicant to Buffy, asking her to accept him in some supportive role, or he'd end up in a motel room a la Faith, drinking and brooding on his failure and getting started along his Dark Wes streak several years early. I like the second option. You could play with that--in fact, it's kind of interesting, because as peasant_ has said, and as I've said as well, Wes's forced growth from milksop to ronin can be a bit hard to swallow, as it's occurred in canon. So why not swallow it more quickly? Seriously--I think the transformation would actually have worked better if it had been faster. Because then Wes's brief, buffed-and-polished tenure as watcher elect would have been much more apparent as a facade. We'd have understood, if we'd seen his soufflé of ego collapse along with the high school, that he'd been desperately trying to fill his father's shoes and uphold centuries of tradition, and that there'd been a Wes inside Wesley all that time, just waiting to come out.

So, Through-a-Shot-Glass-Darkly Wes has stayed on in Sunnydale, and he's living out of his suitcase, council funds cut off, and he's drinking and he's stubbled. And he still believes he was right, and Buffy wrong, but feels guilty nonetheless. He's spent the summer isolated and berating himself for perceived faults--including cowardice--having been tongue lashed by his father into a deep funk. So he's been playing rogue demon hunter as penance for his failure, trying to build up experience, field knowledge. And as S4 opens, Buffy and gang run into him in a graveyard; they're surprised, because he's managed to avoid them all summer, and he tries to blow them off now, but Buffy won't let him. He's grim and dark and proud and not especially willing to bend toward her at first, but she feels bad as she's faced with the consequences of her actions, and realizes the effect they've had on his career and circumstances. (Buffy's not truly mean-spirited or hard-hearted about fellow white-hats.) So she makes some concessions and he in turn folds with relief and lets himself be drawn back into the fold; and of course all we need to do is imagine the S4 BtVS meeting between Buffy and Wes playing out as S1 A:tS played out between Angel and Wes.

Give Giles a different apartment or a reason to move and you could imagine him inviting Wes to take the spare room. Give the two of them some kind of project so they're not kicking around uselessly--like maybe the council comes around toward supporting them again because they're being made uneasy by the appearance of the Initiative commandos. Or simply because Travers, et al, can't accept loosening their reins on Sunnydale or the slayer. (Which actually makes much more sense than how they did.) Cut out the Parker arc and launch into Riley earlier; make him more of a bad boyfriend. Draw parallels between Wes and Riley over the first part of the season: make Professor Walsh a man, make him Riley's dad. Give Riley huge, honkin' daddy issues; he's following in dad's bootsteps, trying to live up to his mission. He looks like the perfect boyfriend to Buffy at first, because he represents strong family values; he's tight with his father, and Buffy is wistful and touched by their closeness. You can just imagine how she'd compare her circumstances to Riley's and wish that her own dad could know what she did, and be proud of her. (And I seem to have moved into drawing parallels between Buffy and Riley now instead of Wes and Riley, but hey, that can work too.)

But as Riley and Buffy grow closer, Wes is concerned. He sees a darker side to Riley, a ruthlessness and fanaticism below the clean-cut soldier-boy surface. When Riley starts to work with the Scooby gang, he and Wes start to clash; Riley doesn't take either of the ex-watchers very seriously. He mocks their Britishness (though he's careful not to offend Buffy too much on their behalf), and their cautious approach to research strikes him as effete. During this time, Wes starts to show more obvious signs of interest in Buffy; Buffy is oblivious, but Giles notices. (In fact, if you wanted to remove the Wes/Cordy stuff from S3, Wes might have already been showing foreshadowing signs of interest in Buffy then.) He tells Wes to get over it, says that it's bordering on inappropriate even though Wes is no longer her watcher; but he's also understanding.

We'd have to see a lot of new facets to Wes during this stretch, as he overcomes the first impression he made during S3 and shows that in fact, under his starched exterior, he always had knowledge and skills--they just hadn't been fully exercised.

So things come to a head near the end of S4 and Buffy realizes that Riley has been playing her in some way, using her--major, major betrayal and angst as her first non-Angel relationship proves itself hollow. Like, imagine if Joss had come up with the idea of flatlining slayers before fan-fiction writers had; say Riley Senior & Son kidnap Buffy and intend to kill and revive her endlessly to build an army of slayers all their own. Because darn it, what's up with slayers being in British control anyway? This world and this fight should be run properly and professionally, by the U.S. of A.

Wes and the Scooby gang rescue Buffy; Wes in particular showing heroism and helping get her safely out of the Initiative when she's badly hurt, or something like that. And a battle between the forces of the council and the Initiative are waged and as we close off the season, we end on a romantic, upbeat note as Buffy finally starts to look at Wes in that way, with respect and appreciation and longing.

S5 would open with them still feeling their way into the relationship--they never took that next step over the summer because Buffy had been so hurt by Riley she couldn't leap into another romance. There'd need to be some external crisis to bring things to a head, to make Wes go for it, to make Buffy succumb. Or vice versa. But a nice crisis occurs and they smooch and yowza, fireworks! they're tumbling to the floor of a crypt! they're ripping off each other's clothes!

And they live happily ever after until Wes is killed in a tragic smelting accident. Or, you know, smashed to bits by Glory at the end of S5. Sniff.
Herself_nyc: Anniesj's Spike Slutherself_nyc on December 19th, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC)
:: sniff ::

Just beautiful.
(Deleted comment)
Anna S.eliade on December 19th, 2003 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, baby. :)
Minim Calibre: WesNewminim_calibre on December 19th, 2003 05:12 pm (UTC)

You know, this would work as a pairing essay on some freaking website run by some whack job crazy person. Who, you know, might be begging. Because she has no pride.

I have set them during S3, but I had to kill Giles to do it.

Sidenote, re: "You could play with that--in fact, it's kind of interesting, because as peasant_ has said, and as I've said as well, Wes's forced growth from milksop to ronin is a bit hard to swallow, as it's occurred in canon." His growth in canon continues to make perfect sense to me (as well as to TBQ), which may be the product of the amount of time she and I have spent studying the character. In S3, going beyond the comic relief, his instincts were usually correct, but his input was usually ignored, because it didn't mesh with the squishy and impractically humanistic side of the Scoobs. When he knew he was right, he did have a temper (petulant is the adjective I keep coming back to with Wesley, from S3 BtVS through to S5 AtS), and when he stopped fretting or overthinking (S1 AtS for examples) and trusted those instincts (ususally the result of a temper tantrum and/or torture), the bumbling went away.
Anna S.: cat_chickeneliade on December 19th, 2003 05:59 pm (UTC)
Hey, it's yours. Go for it! *g*

I have set them during S3, but I had to kill Giles to do it.

Ah well. Someone had to kill Giles. Better you than me.

(That made sense in my head.)

said, and as I've said as well, Wes's forced growth from milksop to ronin is a bit hard to swallow, as it's occurred in canon." His growth in canon continues to make perfect sense to me (as well as to TBQ), which may be the product of the amount of time she and I have spent studying the character.

Well, er...I imagine you've both thought about him far more than me, but I don't want to assume the same for Peasant or anyone else. What I mean is, I think it's possible that two people might muse on Wes for the same length of time and for one person, his character resolves into sense, and for another, it doesn't. You know? But maybe you didn't mean that quite like it sounded...um? ;>)
Eep! That did sound wrong. - minim_calibre on December 19th, 2003 06:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
witlingwitling on December 19th, 2003 05:21 pm (UTC)
Huh. Well...okay.

Now Riley/Giles.

Anna S.: lex_scotcheliade on December 19th, 2003 05:52 pm (UTC)
You shouldn't poke me like that. I will probably write it. Heh heh...ow. Maybe I should get liquored up first for that one.
Ha! - drc1 on December 19th, 2003 06:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - witling on December 19th, 2003 07:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - drc1 on December 20th, 2003 05:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - _divya_ on December 19th, 2003 10:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - drc1 on December 20th, 2003 05:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - _divya_ on December 21st, 2003 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - drc1 on December 23rd, 2003 05:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ha! - _divya_ on December 24th, 2003 02:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sue Donym: issheheaven by frillybunnysue_donym on December 19th, 2003 05:22 pm (UTC)
This does my sekrit Buffy/Wesley-lovin' heart glad. *happy sigh*

I am fickle. Yesterday, I was all, "Buffy/Xander! Awww... snuggly!"

Anna S.: seals_otpeliade on December 19th, 2003 05:51 pm (UTC)
What's your next favorite pairing? *g*
(no subject) - sue_donym on December 19th, 2003 09:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Killa: buffy spike alwayskillabeez on December 19th, 2003 05:25 pm (UTC)
What about current timeline Wes/Buffy if Angel is killed? *ducks things thrown at her head by sockkpuppett and sisabet*
Divya: penguin smokes_divya_ on December 19th, 2003 05:40 pm (UTC)
I like this, except for the killing Wesley part. Though the smelting accident could have some humorous high points, I'd consider it a personal favor if you didn't kill him, please. How about they break up and he goes to work for, oh, I don't know..... Angel? Maybe down in L.A.? Or something crazy like that.
Anna S.eliade on December 19th, 2003 05:50 pm (UTC)
Now that I think more about it, another tragedy of that magnitude would be dramatically wrong for Buffy--most likely it'd still have to be Buffy who died at the end of S5, so there you go. *g* I think Wes would stick around for S6, though. In fact, it seems like he'd replace Spike during all of this. Poor Spike. Bye, Spike! Spike can go join Angel in L.A. I'm seeing no bad there. Especially if there was hot vamp sex. Even lukewarm vamp sex.
(no subject) - minim_calibre on December 19th, 2003 05:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on December 19th, 2003 06:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - minim_calibre on December 19th, 2003 06:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on December 19th, 2003 06:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - minim_calibre on December 19th, 2003 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _divya_ on December 19th, 2003 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _divya_ on December 20th, 2003 01:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
resonant8 on December 19th, 2003 06:39 pm (UTC)
You know, I was cut off from the whole Buffy phenomenon by lack of cable, so I've never watched it, and I rarely read it ... and yet I'm fascinated by this project of yours. It's like reading a whole series of little relationship-focused AUs, only without the huge wordcount explosion that would probably be required to make actual viewers believe it could really happen that way.
rachelrachelmap on December 20th, 2003 01:00 am (UTC)
It seems to me you could also take the start of this situation in a different direction and wind up with Wes getting together with Xander or Willow. Wes/Xander... now there's an unlikely pairing. In that case I don't think any of the Riley stuff would have to be changed at all.
Anna S.: xandereliade on December 20th, 2003 02:01 pm (UTC)
Wes/Xander is odd. I had this little Wes/Spike/Xander menage a trois going on in my head for a while, but it took some time to achieve it, as every time Wes and Xander got within three feet of each other, all the electricity went out. But eventually it worked, with the application of a little Stevie Ray Vaughn. *g*
(Anonymous) on December 20th, 2003 07:50 am (UTC)
'Through-a-Shot-Glass-Darkly' is going to be said this week, even if I have to make up a reason to say it. Very cool.

Carriecbking on December 20th, 2003 07:07 pm (UTC)
You are so incredibly good at these! I just worship at the feet of your plotting ability. Truly amazing.
Dio: smg1 (highasakite)diachrony on December 21st, 2003 11:53 am (UTC)
Oh my!

I've gotten into the Buffy/Wes idea recently, but I have been seeing it as a future AU ... ronin!Wes as he is now would be a perfect mate for Buffy, I think. Although I haven't figured out what to do with Spike in this case. I see Buffy coming to L.A. after her Europe jaunt and then things progress. Once I can figure out what to do with Spike that'll make him happy. Or ... if Spike had not "come back" after his sacrifice at the end of BtVS ... that would make things much easier on the Buffy/Wesley front and I wouldn't need to hurt my brain over it.

It's all mere self-indulgent fantasy for me, anyway. Although I must now hunt for Buffy/Wesley fic ...