Characters: Buffy, Spike
Genres: Drama, Romance
Completed: Yes Chapters: 20
Word count: 66,174 Hit Count: 54,490 ePub Downloads: 471
Published: November 19, 2006 Updated: November 19, 2006
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It's no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with Season 6 of Buffy. On the one hand, it spurred me to both seek out and write fanfic, so that's good. On the other hand, it made me genuinely dislike—if not hate—characters I had loved. In any case, the inspiration for this story came from several conversations with jen_nsync_landl, talesofspike, spikereader, and Jennifer Crusie's essay in Seven Seasons of Buffy. Because her interpretation of that last scene in Smashed is so crucial to the story, I've reproduced it below. Again, without permission, so please don't sue.
"In what was evidently one of the great botched metaphors in the history of storytelling, Buffy and Spike consummate their relationship and demolish a derelict mansion in their throes. Houses are a common symbol for people in stories...and this one seems to clearly represent Buffy's once rich but now derelict past life. She has died in one life and been resurrected into a new one, but she's clinging to the past, living in the decaying shell of her former existence, an old life that must be rejected before she can live fully in the new world. When she embraces Spike, she embraces the dark side of her destiny, an adult rejection of the simplistic good/evil universe of her childhood, freeing herself to move into the future...Their consummation takes them to the deepest levels, both symbolically and literally as they fall into the basement, and leaves Buffy standing in a shaft of light in the morning, reborn. As metaphoric scenes go, it's one of the most powerful in the history of the series. Except that's evidently not what the writers had in mind, since they insisted in interviews that the wreck symbolized the relationship as a bad choice." ~Jennifer Crusie, "Dating Death," excerpted from Seven Seasons of Buffy
So that's my question. What if Crusie's interpretation was right? What if that marked the beginning of something good? And, because I'm a therapist by training I'll ask, what if that was just the kind of release Buffy needed to be able to move forward, at least a little bit at a time?
I liked some of the themes the writers were trying to explore in S6. I still want to look at growing up, being an adult, dealing with the daily stuff that can kill you slowly. I also want to take a new look at what it means to desire control badly enough that you'll take it, what it means to love somebody enough to spend your life with them, and how friendship can get you through the worst times of your life.
And it's about hope, because we wouldn't have a prayer of surviving this world without it.