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Am I on a ship or a raft?

[personal profile] slaymesoftly  was talking about the variety of pairings that she's written, and she has written a cubic ton over the years, bless her.

So, since I'm supposed to be doing something else, I had a look through my (much smaller than hers) catalog, and I think I am the gen-est of shippers. I blame my slavish devotion to canon.

So far, the only romantic/sexual pairings I have written that deviate in any way from canon pairings and canon schedule are:

1. Mr. Gordo/Miss Edith
2. Wishverse vamp!Xander/Angel/Spike
3. D'Hoffryn/Skip
4. Spike/Illyria (sort of)
5. Spike/Other Male (It was 1958, he and Dru were at a masked ball...she was cool with it.)

There are a few canon pairings that I only address when one of the participants reminisces:

1. Joyce/Giles
2. Xander/Faith
3. Willow/Oz

Which leaves the only canon pairings I deal with as they are happening:

1. Spike/Dru
2. Spike/Buffy

Both of which I ship hard. AND, I haven't quite managed to get Spike and Buffy into the sack before Season 6. The only thing I've written about their "canon" sex life is a pr0ny set of Season 6 limericks. Everything else "romantic" as opposed to "pre-romantic" is pretty much post-Chosen.

I know that some people are sort of fed up with too much sex in their fic, which I completely understand, but perhaps it's possible to go too far in the opposite direction? *shrugs* I mean, is it a ship if the people involved merely drift past one another and think real hard? If it was my love life we were discussing, I'd say emphatically, "No". Nuh uh. Not hardly. But fic isn't life, or so I understand. So, am I a bad shipper? Or an excellent canon whore? Both? Neither? *sigh* Fandom is hard, yo.
This entry was originally posted at http://rebcake.dreamwidth.org/11726.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
Can I just say that I love that you love both of these ships without any cognitive dissonance? Because dear lord that pleases me. (Spike's orbit is such a natural OTPfest.)
Nov. 5th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
Well, I have Theories. And Opinions. None of which I've ever stated as beautifully as you have. Essentially, I think that if Spike had not gone through the difficult beauty of loving and serving Dru, he would not be ready to do the same for Buffy. Also, it makes sense to me that he finds he loves Buffy just as she is about to be hit with some real damage. He is wonderful with women who have problems: physical, emotional, and reality-based. (Mother, Dru, Dawn, Buffy, Anya, Illyria.)

Also there is a part of me that thinks that the "Mummy" in Dru always knew that she would only be able to rear him for a finite time. She saw the knight she would make of him, but also that he would be Champion to another someday. When the time came to let him leave the nest, she did what was necessary. You enjoy your children while you have them, and rejoice in their independence when it comes, if you are a good parent. It's not always easy, though, and sometimes you pop by for an unannounced visit and it's awkward...

Anyway, the earlier relationship informs the later. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Nov. 5th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh, I thoroughly agree. I mean, of course I do. In-text parallels all over. (Also why that one scene in EOD where he's all "I've never been close to anyone before!" is so gross to me. False. How else does he think he works.)

And regarding "Mummy", as I look at the ship, there's more and more evidence of her almost—preparing for him to leave. I got to talking about this and it keeps sneaking up on me: in "Damage" in AtS, for example, their dialogue: "we're forever"/"are we?" is just wrenchingly poignant to me with foresight, because it is this piece of foresight—she doesn't know what to do with it, but she knows it'll happen, so her actions inform it and end up bringing it about. It's how/why she leaves him.

I discover something new about this ship every day. Love, love, love. (And, I mean. I have been very fond of Spike and Buffy in the past, and I respect what they are in s7 even though as an actual ooh-let's-ship-this-with-flaily-feelings! ship it starts to leave me cold. They all work, though, because he always works, and the way the ships are wrought is literally part of him: who he is, what he becomes, what's there when everything external is stripped away, and so on and so forth. Perfect character.)
Nov. 5th, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
I also have Thoughts on the EOD speech as regards Dru. Of course Spike and Dru were close, no question. But I don't think they could ever quite have a perfect meeting of the minds, because her mind is always going to be impenetrable to others. He came closest to understanding her, and helping her to be understood by others, but I can't help but think that there must've been a tension in not really knowing what to expect from her. A pleasant tension, mostly — Over a hundred years and she never stopped surprising me — but sometimes a real disconnect. Of course, you can never know a person perfectly, but that is what Spike is seeking, in some ways. So, he is incorporating an awful lot — perhaps an impossible lot — in his understanding of "close". Clearly, he was wrong about his closeness with Buffy, even if he did have the momentary illusion that he'd finally reached Valhalla. Just my take.
Nov. 5th, 2010 05:38 am (UTC)
THOUGHTS. I have thoughts both textual and metatextual—and metatextually I am even more vitriolic, because that's the place where I can just be like Spike does not think that, would not say that, and the writers are sticking a goddamn ship war that never existed into the script. Also, it's really bad dialogue. OMG it's such poorly written dialogue. Grossssss.

Okay, I guess my ~feelings~ exist metatextually, but SERIOUSLY, IT IS SUCH BAD DIALOGUE. Everyone deserves better at that point. Did it escape the show that they had some talented damn actors working for them? Can do better, kids.

POINT BEING—textually, on the other hand, yeah, pretty much. I think it's an evenness thing. I mean, he's intrinsically close to Dru or any one of the muses he chooses because he shapes himself around them—meaning, all close, all fundamentally in the same way. William's shaped around Mum, Spike around Dru, ensouled Spike around Buffy; his arc finally gets catharsis when he's remade autonomously on Angel and is given the shaper epiphany by a girl who functions as a vessel for his past sins, thus created by him. Finally gets selfhood. 'Sgreat. My point is, the line is so very look-at-Spuffy-the-special-snowflake-romance, so very pat (and trite), in a way that a) is not deserved and b) actually robs the romance of a healthy bit of depth. Spike and Buffy are predicated on the patterns of Spike, which are the patterns of Spike and Dru. In the text. Parallels everywhere. First salvation and second salvation. To have him pop up and be like THIS IS SO NOVEL is really, really disingenuous and does a disservice to his character development.

To say nothing of "the best night of [his] life]", which. Like, I get from a character perspective postsouling, because I'm sure his memories lose a bit of their savor looking back with a conscience, but at the same time I think the script uses it as a face value statement, which: come on. Spike is such a character predicated on joie de vivre—he loved the world way more than he hated it, even when ostensibly villainous, and he gets his own back in the end when he rebuilds himself with soul (O how I love his "I want to see what comes next" in the finale, and there's not much I love in the finale)—that he says that and I'm just like LOL NO, you've done better.
Nov. 5th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
Just jumping in randomly, hope you don't mind? But this struck me:

To say nothing of "the best night of [his] life]", which.
I always saw that as a direct reference to his and Buffy's talk in FFL, where he said that when he killed his first Slayer was 'the best night of his life', the show using that line as a clear indicator of just how far he's come. I never saw it in any way as something putting down his relationship with Dru, which is something quite separate, and not really comparable I don't think.
Nov. 5th, 2010 10:43 am (UTC)
My reaction to that line wasn't a specifically Dru-oriented feeling; it seemed off, because, again, he's always been a character extremely awash in good feeling. But hey, textual parallel, that I can appreciate, so thank you for pointing that out. Still got feelings, but now that's one line in which the writers now seem slightly less lazy.
Nov. 5th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
I also think that EOD segment echoes the bit from Destiny when he's rhapsodizing about how he and Dru are forever, only to be slapped down minutes later by finding his beloved in a clinch with Angel. He does have joie de vivre, no question, but he also lives a bit in the moment, putting so much stock in his lady, and is always disappointed. Maybe the actual line could have been better, but the "first he's up (it's the best thing evar), now he's down" is consistent for his character and the rhythm of his life. *pets him*

Edited at 2010-11-05 03:08 pm (UTC)
Nov. 5th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
*g* I looked at Slaymesoftly's original and thought 'shall I play?' And then I counted the first fifteen pairings I've written and... nu-uh. But to be fair, some of your non-canon pairings are the most radical in fandom (Skoffryn ftw!).

I think you said it yourself: you like canon. Why mess with canon with one of those summaries that says "Spike fell in love with Xander during School Hard and got his soul and this is an alternative season three where he is working for the Mayor as a secret Scooby spy". (I mean, I might read that, but many wouldn't!)
Nov. 5th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Hee! You definitely are in the hall of fame for "widest variety of pairings"! Me, I would categorize even my non-canon pairings as "canon-compliant". I mean, maybe Mr. Gordo was firmly on Buffy's bed through the last bit of Season 2, but who's to say he didn't go walkabout?

I think my main bit of trouble at the moment is not being able to "close the deal" with my Spike/Buffy fic. I mean, I'm convinced that they love each other, but I have soooo much trouble actually getting them together. Stubborn so-and-soes. Just kiss already!
Nov. 15th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
Well, I like sexy fics, so maybe that makes me a bad 'shipper. *shrugs*
Nov. 15th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
I think most people like sexy fics, and when you read them it's clear that here is a ship under full sail. There are people who complain that the sex isn't always "earned" in fic, by which they mean that the hard work of getting the characters believably to that point is skipped, and I absolutely understand that complaint. The shipper problem with some of my fic is that there may be plenty of stuff about the journey of getting to that point, but they rarely "arrive", as it were. So, in that case, is it really a ship? I thought it was, but sometimes I have doubts.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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