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22 April 2013 @ 10:16 am
Fic of the Week: Watchers Retreat by Rari Coss, Rating FRT/PG  
Happy Monday, everyone! Voting was close between two fics, but Watchers Retreat by Rari Coss (Rating FRT/PG-13) won by just one vote.

Summary: Giles gets invited to the Watchers Retreat, but once he's there, someone is killing off all the Watchers.
Setting: Spoilers for Season 6 up through Hells Bells, then AU from there.

Let's try to get some more discussion going in the comments, please. If I'm curious as to what you all think, then I know others are too. :) Thanks!
chevron17chevron17 on April 25th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)
I can sum up my love for this story very simply - Giles' Badassery.

Giles displays some of his most basasseryest badassery of his fanfic career in this story. Physical and mental strength and skill, endurance, intelligence, problem solving ability, leadership, courage, compassion - it's all here, and it's all about the Giles.

Do you like Giles single-handedly saving the day? Fiercely swinging his sword? Using his amazing intelligence, knowledge and experience to figure out what's going on when everyone else is clueless? Being acknowledged as the de facto leader and amazing person he is by people who previously would have been bad-mouthing him without ever knowing him? Leading others simply by the force of his awesomeness, yet still maintaining his famous innate modesty? Covered in blood, exhausted, but still hanging in there? Then this is the story for you!!

Great story, great plot, great supporting characters, and a Giles you can stand up and cheer for!

Go Giles!!!!

Edited at 2013-04-25 03:23 pm (UTC)
littleotter73littleotter73 on April 27th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Yes, Giles was a major BAMF in this fic. Totally believable, too.

I'm with Buffy, the hero worship from the remaining Watchers, though well deserved, bordered on sycophantic and I was a bit turned off by it. On the plus side, Giles could pretty much reshape the Council into what he wants without any of them questioning him. Which, if it were anyone else, would be disturbing. I get that Giles is the big HERO, but it got a bit creepy toward the end.

I liked how the author stood clear of not having Travers be the bad guy. That sort of gets old hat after a while. Travers was a total bureaucratic ass, but I can't see him really being an evil mastermind. But I do admit to having guilty pleasures when I read fic where he is the bad guy and gets his comeuppance. I just have a hard time buying into it from what I would guess would be my head canon about the guy.

There was definitely a lot to like about this fic. I thought Spike was true to form. Giving only enough information to suit his needs, "helping" Buffy in the only way he really knew how, though his twisted world view: Buffy hates Giles and does care, why should I be bothered? Of course he knew she would care in the end, but that didn't matter, as long as they were together in whatever capacity he could have her. And I think that despite Buffy stopping their sexual relationship, she still remained in his thrall. I think that's why she was in that haze for a year. If he had left, she would've woken up sooner (a la her slow awakening from Seeing Red to Grave in canon. He was able to control her and keep her in the dark by saying what she thought she needed to hear and feeling pain, since that was all she could feel or felt she should deserve to feel.

The demon's pet demons were sufficiently scary. I liked them. The traitor in the midst was interesting. I liked how no one could really focus on him unless he spoke or they tried really hard to notice him. That was a cool element. And I liked the fact that the pet demons didn't all fly the coup once their master was killed. The danger element just kept going.

I liked the character of the French doctor Celiane as exposition woman. I would've liked to have seen a little more of Xander leading the ragtag Watchers. We see him thinking about them and wondering how they would do on the Hellmouth and then coming to the conclusion that they would do make it because he did. I thought that was his cue to work with them and lead them, since he's been there, done that, and is now a veteran.

As for Buffy and Giles, the confrontation in the garden was good and angsty. I found it amusing how even the Watchers who were watching them out the window were all concerned that things didn't work out will in the first part. Though, again, mildly creepy. But in the end, we have a happy Watcher and Slayer embarking on a new relationship, having worked through their issues. :)