September 19th, 2009

FaithGiles

Meme Responses Cont'd

Here are the last two responses to the unwritten fic meme. Previous post found here.

snickfic asked: Ooh, I want to hear about the Faith/Giles fic. You know the one - Cat o' Nine Tails, which I almost didn't read because I was sure it'd be BDSM but which instead had all that yummy hurty post-series h/c.

One problem that I had, among many, with S7 was that Whedon & Co. never utilized the history that Buffy had with the First from S3. The Bringers are what make her realize who she’s dealing with, but the First never appears as Jenny and, from what we gather, doesn’t try and approach Giles to probe him for weaknesses. In this fic I wanted to take the idea that Giles, as the authority and father figure to Buffy, was viewed as an excellent pawn for manipulation. The fresh doubt that the First as Jenny generates in Giles is a hard blow to his character and cripples the early stages of building the Council after the battle is over. The First may have been defeated, but it definitely left its mark. After his sabotage and unwitting compromise of Buffy’s safety, as well as the Potentials, his doubt in himself not only stymies their future, but the success of the group as the Scooby’s backpedal on their allegiance to him.

 

I chose Faith as the character to try to shore him up because of her unique history with Watchers. Her determination not to see him fail stemmed directly from her own failures with Wesley. As much as Buffy and Faith are alike, we never really see Buffy dedicate herself to Giles and really understand the choices he had to make as an adult. She’s his world, but he’s not hers, and I think Faith would be in a unique position to have a lot of empathy with him. She’s not always made good choices either, and that moral ambiguity has put them on a level playing field.

 

And I’m really glad you brought up the title. I like clever word plays and this one, of course, has connotations about BDSM, but the cat o’nine tails was also used as a weapon for severe physical punishment in the Royal Navy and Army. Giles’ own doubt is this multi-pronged attack on himself, one of self-loathing that we’ve never seen before. Penalties of hundreds of lashes were imposed for the gravest offenses, including sedition and mutiny, which Giles inadvertently commits. The weapon also inflicts parallel wounds, which was supposed to loosely be a metaphor for Giles and Faith’s parallel journey together of acceptance of self and reintegration to the mission they were born to do.

wes lilah

Last Meme Response

hello_spikey said: I adored the parallel descriptions that showcased the differences between the main characters in Elevator Down. Classic.

I think it’s no secret that I’m a big Lilah fan, so her odd disappearance from the S5 Angel landscape didn’t sit well with me and, honestly, didn’t make much sense. Eve was a poor replacement, someone who seemed like an unlikely choice as her successor, and I wanted to play with that idea. How did she get to fill those shoes as the liaison to the Senior Partners? I’ve wanted to expand into the lesser characters of AtS, so this fic was going to be that first experiment with Eve as the person who actually orchestrated Lilah’s downfall in S4 as part of Lindsey’s master plan. Angel is a show that has a large scope. The actions in later seasons are shown to have deep roots in seeds that were sewn earlier in the series. Just as Cordy was part of the big, good vs. evil power play, I thought it’d be really interesting to explore if Lilah had been one of those unfortunate casualties, too.  

 

A problem that I had writing this fic was how I wanted to deal with the structure of Eve and Lilah’s conversations. Ultimately, I had them all take place in the Wolfram & Hart elevator as a nod to the Holland Manners/Angel convo from S2. The idea that Wolfram & Hart is this massive, unending entity was great, and I liked including the small details of what was housed on each floor whenever Lilah and/or Eve stepped off.

 

I was originally going to have Gavin be a bigger player in the story. I thought it’d be hilarious if zombie!Gavin were the elevator operator and got to witness Lilah’s downfall by bits and degrees, but he eventually took a back seat in the fic, and I only included him in the conference room scene.