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04 February 2013 @ 08:09 am
Fic of the Week: Any-Were But Here, by Holly, Rating: FRM  
Welcome, everyone, to the kick off of the watcherjournals book club! rebelxxwaltz and I are thrilled to get started. Thanks to everyone for being patient while things were still getting set up! 

This week's fic by Holly is titled Any-were But Here, it is set sometime after a A New Man in Season 4 with Giles working at the Sunnydale Museum. I liked to buffygiles.net, but the fic can also be found on Of Demons and Destiny here, if you prefer that format.

Summary (from Holly): In response to a challenge a looooooooong time ago about Giles becoming a were-tiger. I apologize that I can't remember where the challenge came from, although I think it was Trich.

This is one of my faves for many reasons. I am looking forward to discussion both in the comments and later in the week in the chat (details on that later). Hope you all enjoy it too. :)

So, feel free to jump in with comments, be bold, review, tell us all your favorite parts, or maybe what didn't work exactly for you, but remember to be constructive. Thanks!
autumngirl17autumngirl17 on February 4th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
I love this community already!!
It's funny I've never read that fic before! :)))
littleotter73littleotter73 on February 5th, 2013 03:51 am (UTC)
Excellent! Glad I'm bring something "new". :)
kashira1786kashira1786 on February 4th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
Okay my review was actually written while I re-read the fic so it might seem to jump around a bit but it pretty much matches the rhythm of the story.

Ahh Ethan, how I love it when you show up. You always know just how to spice things up.

I’d like to go down on Giles in a parking lot.

Hmm I admit I don’t like when fics make Olivia out to be a bitch that hates Buffy for stealing Giles or whatever. (I get annoyed at any story that vilifies Ex-es in order to get a new couple together, so just be warned I’ll probably bring this up again in any fic that does it). I do get that the scene was to show Giles’ mood swings due to the curse but I think it could have easily been shown by Giles snapping at Spike instead of bringing Olivia back just to have a fight.

But anyway, moving on. Ahh, if only a conversation about the distance between Buffy and Giles had actually occurred before the whole mess with Adam.. *sigh* But then again we’d have missed on the glorious angst and drunk Giles so…

I’ll admit the whole tiger bit just brings me way back to Animorphs (and then I cry because that book series breaks my heart). I got to pet a tiger once, his fur was pretty rough, and it was an amazing experience. Also they don’t really purr like housecats do, I believe they only purr while exhaling? Unlike housecats that purr on both inhale and exhale (which is why they can be constant rumbling machines~)

I like how Giles still instinctively knows his Scoobies and won’t hurt them. (And Xander, Will and Anya being his cubs is too cute for words) Although I do wonder how no other college kids noticed and called animal control (then again this is Sunnydale, home of the happily oblivious)

I admit I’m not really sure how being temporarily turned into a tiger would humiliate/hurt Giles (unless he became an actual tiger with no control and memory of the Scoobies and hurt someone I guess?) But then again I don’t know what the point of turning Giles into a Fyarl demon was so I guess it fits Ethan’s random pattern.

I admit I find the image of tiger Giles shoving his nose into Buffy’s crotch to be absolutely hilarious (and I imagine Xander would tease Giles about it later when he’s cured)

The Willow/Riley seems a bit well odd since it’s not a ship I’ve ever seen before but it’s kinda cute in this context but then Taraaaaaa :(

And of course the natural thing to do when having a naked Giles in your bed is to ogle to your hearts content I wont even mention how many times I replayed the scene in Manchild where ASH walks around naked in just an apron. Ahh what a glorious butt. My reaction would be exactly the same as the girls. I’d be like “The right thing to do would be to wake him or cover him up….” And then keep ogling.

Also I cackled at Giles’ horse yell of “Jesus” when he woke up and found himself naked in front of all the Scoobies. Also hnng I wanna follow that blush of his... with my tongue.

I love Anya, Buffy and Willow working together to keep Giles as unclothed as possible. It’s definitely a good cause to work towards.

I like the fight with tiger Giles helping out with teeth and claws. And again I have Animorphs flashbacks.

Hehe, relieved spell breaking hugs and then Giles realized he’s naked.

The sex scene reminds me of an Animorphs fic I read once.

There are a few plot holes though like Buffy not officially breaking up with Riley before sexing up Giles but I supposed there wasn’t really a place to put that in the fic. Also we don’t really know what happened to Chloe Farris either.

Overall I think its a decent and amusing fic. The challenge is met in a reasonably well done way, especially with such a prompt that could have easily become a senseless crack fic.

I can't wait to see what the rest of you think of it~

Edited at 2013-02-04 09:37 pm (UTC)
demonbrat_98 on February 5th, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
I think you're right about Ethan's plan being for Giles to turn into an actual tiger and hurt someone. When they catch up to Ethan, he says "Ripper the Tiger won't recognize me, nor give a toss about me." That says he was counting on the tiger not recognizing or caring about ANYONE, and probably especially Buffy. If he (Ethan) could get were-Giles to attack or hurt anyone, he (Giles) would at the very least be tranquilized or, worse, killed.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the "plan" was actually more about hurting Buffy and Giles was a means to an end. Imagine if Buffy killed the "tiger" only to have it turn into Giles after he died. Or worse, Giles just disappears because he was tranq'd or killed by animal control or tranq'd by the Initiative who then start experimenting on him once he changes back because they think he is an actual "were-tiger."
mamarsh18mamarsh18 on February 5th, 2013 04:21 am (UTC)
All in all I thought it was an interesting fic. I've passed it a couple of times on some Buffy/Giles websites, thinking it was some sort of crack fic. I've come to find out it isn't. I liked how Giles immediately recognized the Scoobies, and automatically calmed down.

demonbrat, just reading your post made me cringe, because I agree with you 100%. I do love when Ethan comes to play in any fan fiction. I'm not sure why, I also loved him in the show, and I wish he had been in more episodes. Anyway, I love when Ethan comes to wreck havoc. I do think that Ethan's plan backfired on him. I believe Ethan's plan was to turn Giles into a were-tiger and have him hurt an innocent. Possibly one of the Scoobies, or worse get killed himself.

I do also agree that there were some minor plot holes, but then again I don't write I just read. I'm sure it is easier reading and commenting than it is to write an actual fan fiction. With that being said, I wondered at the end of the story where Chloe Farris went. I know she took Giles' handkerchief, but what happened to her after that? Did she just disappear?

I'm just glad nothing happened to Giles, and everything turned out for the good. :]
Can't wait to see what others have to say.
littleotter73littleotter73 on February 5th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to re-read just yet, but I think that as accomplished a mage as Ethan is, the Hellmouth just has a way of making things go wonky, especially considering Ethan is a chaos mage. I am sure that Janus has a field day on the Hellmouth whenever someone invokes his name, and as such, Giles keeps his awareness of those close to him and doesn't become as wild as Oz does when he turns into the wolf. And, if you remember in season 4, Oz did have an awareness of Willow when he was saving her from Veruca. :)

Just my thoughts here. Oh, and in an interview or commentary (can't remember which), when something didn't quite make sense, Joss just blamed the Hellmouth. ;)
Sally Ann: Giles EyeRubharmony033 on February 10th, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
OMG I love your live-blogging comments. You capture the PERFECT reactions at each moment - I LOVED reading this! :) I too, thought of Animorphs and cringed. :P
will_conqueror1will_conqueror1 on February 5th, 2013 07:40 pm (UTC)
First I'll just say that this has always been one of my favorite fics, And Holly has always been one of my favorite authors.

I love Ethan, he's one of my favorite "villains", in the entire series. And it's because he does have a sense of humor, and he always seems to get caught. I also love how his desperate attempts at self preservation always backfire in a major way. In his own words, he needs to learn to just do the damage and get out of there. It's the staying and gloating that gets him every time.

As for Chloe Farris, I don't really wonder at all what happened to her. It was very clear she was only there to do the job, then she gets to leave. However, I do wonder what it is that got her in the situation in the first place. When she and Ethan had that argument she seemed rather desperate. So I'm only left wondering what Ethan had on her to begin with.

I love the part where Giles is sniffing Buffy's crotch and Anya says she's his mate. And Buffy is just like "I'm a cub too." the revelation she has is both funny and endearing. And I love how she seems to be noticing all these things about him for the first time. She's known him for years, but she didn't really see him until then. Because I do see Buffy as the type of person who sort of wears these blinders, and she doesn't take the time to notice things unless they're pointed out to her.

I love the part where they're on patrol and Giles rips the vampire's throat out and Buffy is defending him. But it's not really just that, but it seems like she's almost just realizing it herself, the lengths he'd go to for her, how much he really cares about all of them. Sort of reiterating the idea that she's the reason he's there.

Over all, a wonderful fic, not the first time I've read it and it certainly won't be the last.
littleotter73littleotter73 on February 6th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
I love Ethan too. What horrible news about Robin Sachs. :'(

Yeah, Ethan's main problem is he wants to be there to see it happen. He can't just lay the trap and leave.

I didn't really worry about Chloe Farris either. I figured she'd been paid to do her job and left. Ethan isn't the type to leave a loose end to gum up the works.

Hahahahah, yeah, that scene gets me every time. I have my own thoughts on her noticing him and I will be posting those shortly.

Yeah, I revisit this fic frequently. But there are a few loose ends that need to be tied up that just weren't.

littleotter73littleotter73 on February 6th, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC)
Ok, so since I rec'ed this fic, I am going to add my two cents in as to what made me do so and perhaps add my thoughts on some of the questions that were raised in the comments/discussions above mine.

I love this fic for many reasons, but I have to agree with kashira that having Olivia be the bad guy wasn't really necessary. At this point in canon, Olivia is out of the picture. I suppose she's just modus operandi to have a reason for Spike to plant seeds in Buffy's head about her place in Giles' life. Spike didn't need her. He's a master manipulator and calls a spade a spade.

As far as Giles becoming a tiger and yet being somewhat self aware, the author does provide a reason. The handkerchief is not an extremely personal item, therefore the strength of the curse is diminished. But, as I stated in a previous comment, I think Chaos and the Hellmouth don't mix. I think it would just make the spell go wonky enough to not have Giles be wild. If the Hellmouth excuse works for Joss, it can work for the rest of us. :)

As for the Willow/Riley subtext. I can see it at the beginning of Season 4. He seemed more flirty with Willow than he did with Buffy in the campus bookstore. In fact, Riley had more chemistry with Willow in that scene than he ever had with Buffy.

What I love about this fic is that it strips away the walls that Buffy and Giles have put up. I see Buffy as more unaware than clueless. Because of the walls, things just aren't on her radar. But Giles being a tiger strips him down to instinct and removes those walls. Animals show affection freely. And he does this with the gang. He herds them closer together when Riley his team arrive and protectively circles his body around them. Later he sniffs Tara and then brings her into the fold.

Buffy can be free with her affection too, because Giles isn't technically Giles. She rubs his ears, strokes his fur, and allows him to lay on her bed with his head in her lap. They are free to touch and connect while he is a tiger in a way they never would have had Giles not been cursed. And it is through touch that Buffy discovers her feelings for Giles. The more he is with her, the more she wants to be with him, tiger or not. Watching him sleeping nekkid aside, she really wants to skip class and work on research with the rest of the gang after Giles turns human again.

And I love the fact that while Giles is human, he isn't oblivious to Buffy's new attentions. He is 99% sure she's into him, so he gets nekkid, pulls on his Hef robe and goes back down to hang with the Buffy and the gang. Then when he's preparing to turn into a tiger again, he goes upstairs to metamorphose. That's hilarious. Giles you are so obvious! And I have to wonder how much of that is also tiger hormones and instinct playing through as he draws closer to sunset: the tiger displaying before his potential mate.

And then there are the little things like Giles' purr acting as a vibrator, and of course his reaction to her getting turned on. The way Buffy can tell it's Giles by looking into his eyes, and later seeing the depth of his love in them. The scene when the girls admire his form is just hilarious. And I love how the author uses Anya in this fic, she's literal, but everything coming out of her mouth isn't about sex or going to have sex with Xander. I find that too many authors take that way too far and make her one dimensional. Anya was definitely multifaceted and I loved that about her.

I do have to say that at the end, it looks like Buffy has Willow break up with Riley for her or perhaps tells Willow to carpe Riley, I don't know. I don't like this as a resolution to her relationship with Riley. Perhaps if they weren't having sex before, I could accept that, but the author clearly states that Buffy and Riley were intimate. She should've tied that one up better. Or maybe we are supposed to be inferred that Buffy will break up with Riley properly the next morning. It's not clear to me and I would've liked to have seen that resolved more in character.

But still, it's one of my faves because it is sweet, funny, and sexy. :)
dracofidusdracofidus on February 6th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
A very clever fic. Everyones voices were really well captured, especially Willows Babble.
As for the plot, I loved how tiger-Giles was used to smash down the emotional walls between Buffy and Giles.
lynnylou: astoundinglynnylou on February 7th, 2013 12:49 pm (UTC)
I have read this multiple times, and I just love it because it's sweet story. Yes there are some plot holes but you just ignore them so you go along for the ride.

I love to see how Giles so protective of all of them, and how he thinks of Buffy as his mate and rest as his cubs. That is a real eye opener for Buffy to finally see Giles a man and not a textbook with arms. Plus it great to see the girls ogling over naked Giles knowing the should cover him up but they can't bring themselves to do it. Who can blame them? I definitely wouldn't want to stop the show either.

Plus anytime you can throw in Ethan to cause a little chaos is always fun to sit back and see what little dirty trick he can pull. It was so sad to hear about Robin Sachs passing. He was an excellent actor that will be missed.

Overall this was a great story to start with. I can't wait to read the next one!
littleotter73littleotter73 on February 7th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
That is true, when a story is compelling and well told, it's easy to overlook little things.

No, I'd be just as guilty as the girls. Cover that up? Not a chance in hades, sister!

Robin! :'( Sorely missed. Ethan is such a great character!

qivittoqqivittoq on February 7th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
Ah, I remember this one.
I seem to recall there was a lot of ill will towards Olivia back in the days, many of the early shippers saw her as an intruder on the Buffy-Giles relationship, so she was per definition evil, I think we may have called her the evil one in more than one chat session.

You can agree or not on her role in especially the older fics - and any fic referring to Solo in the distribution is OLD, she ran bgshipper.com before Gabi took over, and I can't remember if the current team took over from Gabi or if there was someone else in-between - but it was the general consensus of the vocal b/g shippers on the mail groups. The Giles fans were just glad he got something ;-)

Ethan Rayne - evil wannabe, mostly I just see him as a trickster with advanced tools in the toolkit. He's like a kid, feeling abandon by his friends and in stead of calling and have them meet him for a drink, he plays tricks on them to get them to notice him. He'd rather get beaten up than forgotten.

Yes, there are plot holes in the story, but really, those are everywhere, even in the big blockbusters ;-)

It was fun rereading it, if just for the memories it brought back.
littleotter73littleotter73 on February 7th, 2013 08:33 pm (UTC)
I think the different perspectives are cool. As someone coming to the fandom a good solid six years after the final episode aired, I didn't have any issues with Olivia. She rubbed me the wrong way, but I never really saw Giles have any sort of emotional attachment to her in that first scene with her. He seemed more interested in giving Buffy a hard time than making sure Olivia was comfortable with the situation. On the other hand, I have a seething hatred for Jenny, which I won't go into here except to say that she's a hypocrite and tat she just never ever came off as sincere to Giles.

Of course, that makes me curious as to how the community perceived Riley back then, if there was so much Olivia hate. He's mostly treated as a non-entity, an "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" kind of guy. There aren't a lot of "Riley is a bad guy" fics out there. A few, but not a whole lot. I personally don't like Riley at all, but he's there.

I have a lot of thoughts on Ethan, but not one of them say "big bad." I think he's hurt and angry, and I think it amuses him to cause trouble. Obviously something happened beyond Randall's death that caused the rift between him and Giles, and he shows up to punish Giles periodically for it.

That is true. It certainly wasn't a showstopper for me. :)

I hope for than just that. ;)
darkgreenfangirl: GilesBuffydarkgreenotaku on February 8th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
Interesting choice! I have never read this fanifc before. I let you later what I think~ Oh this group is going to be so much fun
darkgreenfangirl: GilesBuffydarkgreenotaku on February 9th, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)
Review of Any-where But Here
Things I liked:
-The girls checking Giles out.
-How the girls tried to keep Giles naked. A goal I can support.
- Giles blush.
- Just all the Giles sexiness. Cause damn. The boy is sexy, and deserves more attention. So I liked that the girls saw how sexy Giles is
-Ethan. Love him as a villain
-That the author did not make Riley into a abusive boyfriend or villain, to get rid of him. Cause I hate when fanfic writers do that.
-Were-tiger!Giles. I specially like the scene where he rips off vampire heads
-Love how all the scoobies love Giles. Cause that is how it should be
-I'm happy that Tara was there. Though I am sad that she barely had a part in the story

Parts I didn't like:
-I didn't like how Buffy didn't break things off with Riley before doing the sex with Giles
-If it is one thing I hate in real life and fanfics is cheating
-I get the feeling that Buffy's "Tell Riley, hi" was her letting him go
-But this is stuff you need to say word for word
- I know that their was probably not enough time in fic for Buffy to have a break up scene with Riley
-But a line saying that she left him a note or called him would have been good
-I also didn't like the Olivia hate
-Another fanfic trope I hate is the hate on exs.
-To be honest, if the author was going to have Giles get mad at someone, have him get mad at spike
-Sorry, I just really hate the Olivia hate in fandom
-The sex scene. So no protection...or lube? Ow and Buffy is going to get pregnant
-Though I assume thanks to a line by Buffy that she is planning to 'do' something for protection. So that's good
-I like the second sex scene better
-Mainly because it has my favorite Giles/Buffy position...Buffy on top, riding Giles

In conclusion:
Any-where but here was a decent well written fanfic. I enjoyed it. I liked how the author stayed true to Giles character and gave him some time in the sexy spot light. I also liked how the author did not demean Riley (Who I like but everyone hates). To be honest, I would have liked this fanfic better if Buffy had broken up with Riley in fic, because the whole sex scene feels like a cheating scene. Which is the quickest way to get me dropping a fic. All in all, a decent fic.
3 out of five stars
kashira1786kashira1786 on February 9th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Review of Any-where But Here
Yeah, you brought up a lot of points I like and agree with too. Especially the dislike of Ex hate (I will be right alongside you defending Olivia and Riley in fics), and cheating, and how a lot of authors sometimes forget basic things like protection. (And Buffy riding Giles is also my favorite position for them too)

And yesss I love when all the Scoobies show love and appreciation for Giles. Fics in which they thank him or at least acknowledge everything he's done for them in the past are the quickest ways to my heart.
Mierkemierke on February 9th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
What I liked:
- Buffy instantly recognizing Giles
- Giles' protective streak. I love it when his love is shown through how much he's willing to do for her.
- Giles herding his cubs. That was without a doubt the best scene for me.

What I didn't like:
- The girls ogling Giles. I know it seems to be a lot of fun for most, but it's a bit too skeevy and sexual assault-y for me.
- Nit-picking, but stories that use ".." instead of "..." annoy the hell out of me.
kashira1786kashira1786 on February 9th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
Hm, I didn't originally interpret the ogling scene as being skeevy but wow you have a point considering he had no awareness and wouldn't have consented to be stared at like a piece of meat. And really if it had been the other way around (3 men staring at one naked woman) that scene would have screamed sexual assault. But just because Giles is a man and not a woman doesn't make it any less uncomfortable and wrong. Thanks for the really insightful comment, made me think again about the scene and how I originally interpreted it.