Yesterday was a successful writing day. Turning off the network was good. I now have 3000+ words of story that's moving in a direction I like. Gen, Giles/Xander friendship, set in season 2.
I've also returned to the Attic Giles/Xander series I worked on over the summer. Post-Chosen Xander-as-Watcher stories are always interesting to me because I get to examine Watcher-ness from a new angle. Xander's at the beginning of his career, and Giles is in the middle. Xander's only a little older than the Slayers he's been charged with. He's at the beginning of his skill acquisition. He's got his own learning to do. And then he's got skills Giles doesn't have, mostly interpersonal skills.
I'm also fascinated by the idea of powerful, skilled men choosing not to be the hero themselves, but to be the hero's support system. In "Checkpoint", it's clear that the Watchers expected the Slayer to be a puppet acting only the Watcher's commands, and equally clear that Giles and Buffy found that expectation stupid. "I taught her to win," Giles says. Buffy wins, and therefore he wins.
Slayer coerced into service to humanity; Watcher choosing to be in service to the Slayer, and thus to humanity. Though there are implications that it's non-voluntary for the Watcher as well, which offers the opportunity for inventing all kinds of fun Watcher mythology. (I've seized this opportunity several times and will no doubt do so again, because inventing stuff is fun.) Buffy has to decide to grab her destiny by the throat and master it (Prophecy Girl, one of my favorite eps) and so do the Watchers.
Xander's version of that choice is different from Giles's. He makes one decision in "The Harvest": "I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they're not good." Deciding to be a Watcher is a different thing. How does he do that?
The next story isn't about any of that directly. Setup is simple: Giles and Buffy have a conversation about murder and paternalism. Roles. Who kills whom and why. Right now it's a lot of circling around the issues that isn't quite circle-y enough. And the working title is one that seriously cannot turn into the real title. I wonder what happens if Xander walks into that conversation. That might be the disruption Giles and Buffy need.
And then I have something entirely prawny in progress in the same storyline. Oh, how I love fanfiction's stomping grounds.
Also, writercon 2009? I've only ever driven through the place my father always called Minne-ha-ha for reasons that were never clear to me. I might have to restrain my urge to toss a tam o'shanter into the air, though.