Antenna (antennapedia) wrote,

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"Planning Ahead" commentary (BG, FRT)

seldomifever asked for commentary on three short Giles/Buffy stories. Here's the first.

A B/G ficlet of comfort following knife-related incidents, for glimmergirl

Glim had an accident with a knife similar to Buffy's, though perhaps involving considerably fewer vampires. So I thought maybe I'd write something distracting. 600 words of fluffy h/c resulted. As did Glim's remix of this story: "Unplanned and Imperfect".

"Oh!" Buffy meeped in misery and annoyance. Giles made an indeterminate sound in response, a sort of muffled grunt. He was carrying her, so she supposed some amount of incoherence was okay. She leaned her head against his shoulder and made her little whimpery noise again.

Here is how you know I wrote it for Glimmergirl: the word "meep". It's a good word for those little noises Buffy makes when she's exaggerating a teeny bit.

"It had a knife! Giles, what was it doing with a knife? They're not supposed to have knives! It's, like, in the union charter. Slayers get stakes and impeccable taste. Vamps get fangs and yesterday's fashions."

Even short pieces like this have their thematic unities. With this one, it's all about the clothes. Buffy has fashion on her mind.

"Tomorrow you shall write a stern memo," said Giles. He negotiated the stairs down to his little patio with a few more of those grunts. Buffy was pretty sure she could walk now, but she wasn't about to tell him that. He had nice shoulders and his arms were warm where they were wrapped around her. He didn't even mention putting her down. It was a good thing he never, ever locked his door, because all he had to do was wiggle the knob, then kick the door shut behind him.

I think I might have started writing the story with that dialog exchange in mind. I like the idea of Buffy writing the memo, typing it out on the ancient Smith-Corona Giles kept to type up his reports to the Council. And she would pester him every five seconds for the right memo format, and eventually he'd explode into snitty remarks about how he can't be expected to know such things. Setting here is deliberately vague. I was probably thinking season 4, because I usually do, but you may feel free to set it any time Giles is living in his Oak Park apartment. Note also that Buffy is being a little flirty already.

He laid her down carefully on his sofa then vanished. He came back with his big first aid kit. Buffy had already kicked off her shoes and undone her jeans. Giles stuttered and stood looking away and probably blushing. This was no time for that.

"Giles, they're toast. Get over here and patch me up. Ow!" At her only-exaggerated-a-little wince, he was on his knees by the couch and helping her ease the jeans down and away from the icky spot. Buffy pulled them all the way off and held them up to look.

Buffy is already flirting with Giles a little bit. Or perhaps she starts out wanting to push his buttons. She's more comfortable with the partial nudity than he is, whatever her plans are.

"I liked these jeans," she said. They had flowers stitched on the pockets. And now they had a big hole in them, and bloodstains that probably weren't ever going to come out. The Slaying was murder on her wardrobe. Buffy let them drop to the floor.

Ha. Slaying's murder on her wardrobe. Can I take that sentence back? But the jeans, I think, are Glim's.

Giles was ignoring the jeans and swabbing the blood off the gash. It was deep. The knife had gone way into the muscle. It had hurt like, well, like that stuff always hurt, until the adrenaline from the fight hit. It had really pissed Buffy off, and had inspired her to throw that stake extra-hard. It wasn't bleeding much any more, though. All Giles had to do was make sure nothing got in the way of the Slayer healing.

Is this fanon? I think so. The idea that Buffy is injured in minor-to-Slayers ways all the time and routinely seeks help from Giles to get first aid to tide her over until the healing can do the work. I have my own theories about how it works, anyway.

The wound was way up, right up where her underwear began. And she was wearing French-cut panties today. Thank goodness they were nice. She hadn't thought that anybody would be seeing them when she put them on, but it always made her feel better to have something cute on. And this planning ahead worked out, because now Giles had seen that she had the impeccable taste she'd alluded to before. They were pale green, with lacy edges and little hearts, and they matched her tan line perfectly.

Buffy, I am certain, thinks this way. It's intimidating for me to write, because I am about as un-femme as women get and fairly horrible about clothes. I really don't care much about what I wear so long as the colors are something I like and baggy enough that I feel comfortable. So Buffy and I are not really sympatico here, and I always feel like I'm faking it. But I can definitely identify with the nice underwear vs stuff you're not entirely wanting other people to see thing. Plus, I probably hoped Glim enjoyed the view of Buffy's tan line.

And there was no way he was pretending he hadn't noticed. She saw his glance flicker once over her body, and again, and felt his hands shake, just a little, while he smoothed on the tape. He ran his fingers over the gauze, as if to make sure it was in place. His fingers rested lightly on Buffy's thigh. She looked at Giles' hand, then looked up at him. He met her gaze, and there was no pretending in his eyes, just heat edged with an anxious tremor.

Giles will never make the first move. I think if he did, the power issues would bug me. But here, he reacts to her closeness and her state of undress, exactly as she wants him to. And I like that he's not denying it. He's just holding back because he's worried she won't reciprocate.

Buffy smiled at him, and watched the heat rise.

But she does, and we end on a tease. The reader may feel free to speculate about what happens next. Or remix. Hee.
Tags: dvd commentary

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