The story started 8 years ago, as I began to post on the Buffy Cross and Stake Spoiler Board. BtvS was in its 6th season and there was a shippers war, and it was just so fun. I had never been part of any fandom until then, and suddenly, a new virtual world opened before my eyes. A world in a foreign language! It was like a big game based on spoilers and specualtions, and discussions and arguments, and silliness too(the twister threads or the Daily Shipping News were not a serious place!) and it went in English. It took me some time to dare to post and play on the board because my English was so clumsy (still is, so imagine at the time!). A few people that are on my flist might remember it. Sadly most of them have been missing in action for a while. Where are you, old friends?
Fanfiction became part of the game; Spuffy fanfiction mostly because I found myself to be a Spike/Buffy 'shipper. Jane, if you read this, it was totally your fault, you had me read naughty fanfictions. Part of the appeal was that the stories in question were in English and I learnt a lot of pornographical vocabulary! Fanfiction was educational. My knowledge in the tongue of Shakespeare expanded.
Kantayra, nautibitz, herself, and all the big names of the time, have been my guides and teachers!
Reading fanfiction was also like being a little girl again and playing with dolls. It's an analogy I have often used and I still think it's relevant(and I guess that fanfiction writer play with dolls too). And I loved my Spike doll and my Buffy doll so much. I adored their epic, complicated, angsty and sexy romance. With the passing of time, my English improved; I came to enjoy the writing, to acknowledge the talent that certain fanfiction writers truly had, I even became picky...while still playing with my favourite dolls. I even joined a fanfiction club in which we gave marks! Later I found new authors thanks to LJ. Just check my flist!
I also found out that fanfiction helped to make up for what the show couldn't or hadn't put on screen. It filled up the holes (and not necessarily thanks to porny sessions); it went paths that open doors had only hinted at; some fictions tried to fix things sometimes, a bit like Willow using magic in season 6. Fanfiction was addictive. I stayed away from All Human fictions because I was attached to the show and my dolls had to remain a slayer and a vampire. I was rather a canon suppporter too. I remained faithful to my OTP (how funny that the acronym is so natural now!)concerning the characters of Buffy and Spike, but I indulged in reading Giles/Ethan fanfiction because the pairing was intriguing and sexy, and the show never made it obvious ––even though it's totally canon (Robin Sachs and Jane Espenson said so)! Spuffy was my passion and Githan was my péché mignon*. The thing is that I'm neither into nor against slash per se, but the Githan porn was simply magnificent. And we had so little of Ethan on screen that it was always a pleasure to meet him again in fanfiction. Dear Ethan...
It's funny because as much as I loved certain pairings in other tv shows––Helo and Athena on BSG, Desmond and Penny on Lost, Sam and Gene on Life on Mars, Pullo and Vorenus on Rome–– I have never been really compelled to read fanfictions about them (it may have happened once or twice concerning Helo and Sharon, out of curiousity), to carry on the story outside the tv show. I guess that it's because there was no frustrations to work on. Helo/Athena is a sort of Spuffy that overcame the obstacles in the show, a complete Spuffy on screen; Penny/Desmond is an obvious uber romantic pairing that endows Lost with an infinite grace; Sam/Gene or Pullo/Vorenus were perfect the way they described on screen, their love story––although non sexual and non romantic––was lovely and poignant; and above all, it was the core of the show so I didn't need them to have steamy sex in fanfiction (Vorenus/Mark Anthony that's another matter I could be tempted to explore!).
BtVs is still my favourite show, the best tv work I've seen so far, and I'm glad I own all the episodes on DVD so I can immerse myself again in the Buffyverse any time, but I don't play wih my dolls anymore. Perhaps I had read too many Spuffy fan fictions over the year and I ended up having an indigestion, I don't know. Besides, having spent years speculating on spoilers, parsing the episodes of Buffy and writing essays on boards, I hardly feel the need to join current discussions in the LJ fandom. LJ is for writing about my current interests/obsessions and for chatting with friends. It's great that there's new blood and enthousiasm about all things Buffy, but I don't want to repeat myself ad infinitum and ramble on as if I were in some sort of time loop and my matrix would experience a permanent déjà-vu bug. I guess that, when it comes to my reflections and contributions on Buffy, well, missa est.
So, I thought that fanfiction was history, that I had quit for good, that I was cured. That ship has sailed and stuff like that. But two days ago I read a fanfiction and I did enjoy it. It was a Caprica fanfic, filled with angst and sex, based on Joseph/Daniel pairing. I doubt that anything like that will ever happen between the characters on screen despite the chemistry, the bonding/antagonism and the (sexual) tension, and I don't even want it to happen on the show for I do love Amanda and Daniel together. I know that I could read again a Daniel/Joseph fic though. To a certain extent, Spuffy was a serious affair to me, hence my sticking to canon and avoiding the comics, but now, I understand that fanfiction can be a pure fantasy corner that leaves the "reality" untainted. Reading it is like putting the holoband on, or playing a game.
Also, if some talented person were to put online a very good Giles/Ethan fic (you know, like the onesTrekker used to write!)I might read it...
Maybe I am not cured after all.
*ETA: For stormwreath
and other English speakers, a "péché mignon" is a French expression meaning a weakness...a bit sinful, but not a capital or deadly sin, rather venial hence "mignon".