I’ve been re-watching Buffy as a way to pass the time until classes start on Wednesday. Watching the early seasons is...interesting, since the fashion and technology changed so much in the years between the first and final seasons. A lot of stuff seems really dated now, but I still love the show. I didn’t get into BtVS about a year after the series ended; I happened to catch ‘Once More with Feeling’ and was immediately hooked, which is interesting in retrospect since Season 6 is probably my least favourite.
Anyway, in the course of re-watching the series, I started thinking about an idea for an AU that I had back during my first viewing of Season 5: Buffy should have killed Dawn in order to prevent the apocalypse. Since the existence of Seasons 6 and 7 negated Buffy’s sacrifice in ‘The Gift’, why not change the whole thing so that the dimensional rift never opened in the first place? Then, the more I thought about it (obviously, I was investing a great deal of effort in my undergraduate degree at this point), the more I realized that Buffy wouldn’t be the one to kill Dawn, because she believed that Dawn was her sister. They had a history, albeit an artificial one. Obviously, none of the Scoobies could do it, since that just didn’t fit in with anyone’s characterization (although I can see Anya suggesting it in private). And I’ve always found Spike a waste of time and Buffy’s attachment to him incomprehensible, I didn’t want to give him credit for doing something useful. So obviously, that left me with Giles, who actually suggested the idea of killing Dawn, although this was of course shot down by Buffy.
Based on what we had seen of Giles, including his deliberate killing of Ben in ‘The Gift’, I could definitely see him putting his duty to the world over his affection for Dawn. I know that Giles loosened up after his firing, but I think he was much too lenient with regards to Buffy’s “If anyone touches Dawn I will kill them” approach to things. I realized that most of this whole character arc was for the purposes of drawing out a more dramatic finale, but I just can’t see either of them deciding to keep Dawn alive after finding out about her true supernatural nature. I mean, Buffy killed Angel because if she hadn’t the world would have ended. What stopped her from doing the same in this case? What stopped Giles from doing anything? We know that Giles is willing to go behind Buffy’s back in order to do what he considers necessary, so why not in this case?
Anyway, this was an idea that I wanted to explore. What would happen if Giles killed Dawn? How would it affect his relationship with Buffy and everyone else? How does Buffy cope with the loss of both her mother and her sister, and the eventual disintegration of her relationship with her Watcher? We’ve seen how Buffy reacted to the solitude of being the Slayer at the end of Season 2, but how would an older and wiser Buffy react? I’m probably one of the few people who liked the hard-assedness of Season 7 Buffy (although I could have done without the whole “OMG we need to keep Spike around in spite of the fact that he could kill us at any moment!” thing). I think a lot of that hard-ass attitude comes from bitterness and exhaustion. I think that when Buffy threw herself off the tower in ‘The Gift’ she was exhausted and that her sacrifice wasn’t just about saving Dawn but about ending her own suffering.
So, rambling on as I tend to do, allow me to get to the point. While I’m sure I’ll be plenty busy between my courses and my TA position, I’m trying to get myself back into writing for fun (I had eight months of doing nothing in which to do this, but of course I have to attempt everything at once). So, I’m going to commit half an hour a day to writing this ridiculous BtVS AU.