Canon vs. Fanon

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Xander's Friends

Xander's friends have a habit, in fanfic, of becoming the bad guy(s) in a Spike/Xander storyline. They ignore/mistreat Xander, and thus open the way for Spike to either take advantage of, or comfort him. Or they find out about our boys having a relationship, and react with degrees of unpleasantness which range from simply shunning them both, to coming after one or both with real violence.

Buffy is a particular favorite for this sort of thing, but to a lesser extent, the entire Scooby Gang is often portrayed as cold, unsympathetic, or even vicious. Or an author may choose her favourite Scoobs to be the 'good guys' and assist the boys, while the rest play the bad-guy role. Favourite sympathetic people are Giles and Oz, vs. Buffy and Willow as the evil baddies, or everybody on the good side, vs. evil, horrible Buffy.

The Real Deal - The Original Scoobies

WillowWillow Rosenberg
Willow has been Xander's best friend since they were very young -- at least kindergarten, when he remembers her breaking the yellow crayon and crying because she was afraid to tell anyone. Probably even earlier. Xander's parents presumably know Willow's parents, since they were at her Bat Mitzvah (a Jewish coming of age ceremony for young girls, at approximately age 13) where, predictably, they got drunk and made a fuss. (more...)

BuffyBuffy Summers
Xander met Buffy in the middle (January-ish) of his sophomore year of high school; they were both already sixteen. His first words to her were "Can I have you? Uh, can I help you?" That seems to be his modus operandi with her, ever since. Because (as she told him in "Prophecy Girl") he can't have her (she just doesn't feel that way about him at that time, much as he just doesn't feel that way about Willow), Xander ends up devoting most of his free time to helping her. (more...)

GilesRupert Giles
Giles is first and foremost Buffy's Watcher, and his relationship with her is probably the closest one he has among the Scoobies. It's not a matter of Dad playing favourites, if Giles notices Buffy's problems while Xander (or Willow, or Riley, etc) is floundering -- it's what he's there to do. He has an emotional bond with Buffy, a unique one. Sometimes that bond can blind him to things that are going on with his other friends -- but he does consider her friends his own. (more...)

Then Now
Season 1 cast Season 6 cast


Images from Much Ado About BtVS and Buffyworld.

This may be more a rant for the essay page -- in fact there are several there that address various aspects of this issue -- but in the show, Xander's friends aren't mean to him, nor close-minded about same-sex relationships. Xander does feel ignored sometimes, but when push comes to shove, his friends are there for him. One or more may act like a bitch for a while, but by the end of the episode or season, s/he is back to acting like a friend.

Willow isn't a cruel vindictive witch on the show, prior to the end of Season 6. She may have questionable ethics, but she means well -- and prior to S6, even her ethics were mostly in the right place. When she finally does go freaky, it's out of grief and rage that her lover has just been murdered. She's not actively trying to hurt her friends -- she's just reached a point where she doesn't care if she hurts them, because they're in her way. She's willing to fight them -- she's even willing to enjoy it -- but it's not what she's after. And, most tellingly, it's her love for Xander and his for her, that finally talks her down from destroying the world, or hurting him beyond repair.

Buffy isn't a slut -- she's slept with four guys -- and Spike has called her "Slutty the Vampire Slayer" once. While taunting Angel. He's never said it to her face, and it's not his nickname for her, no matter how many fanfiction writers seem to have become taken with the phrase. Buffy doesn't make a habit of hurting Spike (prior to their twisted Season 6 relationship) or threatening to kill him when he hasn't provoked her by making nasty comments designed to piss her off. Nor -- obviously -- has Buffy ever gone through on any of those threats; the only times she's tried to kill him were when he was trying to kill her. Even then, she has a habit of letting him go, and not following up on it. In "Crush" when he chained her to a pillar and threatened to let Drusilla eat her, Buffy still let him go, when she had every reason to feel murderous towards him. In "Seeing Red"... She let him walk away. Now granted, after "Seeing Red," she wouldn't be happy about Xander seeing him. But she's still not murderous towards Spike. If anything, it's Xander who seems to feel that way.

Nor has Buffy ever tried to stop any of her friends from engaging in any relationship they wanted to. Oz, werewolf, uncontrollable at the full moon? Buffy's fully supportive of Willow. Olivia, actual human person having sex with Giles, who in Buffy's eyes does not know what sex is? She's flabbergasted, but she just makes a few jokes about it and goes on with her life. Buffy -- and everyone else -- might have opinions on Anya. Everybody has opinions on their friend's gf/bf -- but she never tried to break up the relationship. Ditto Cordelia. She's not likely to decide Spike is worthy of killing because he's dating Xander, when he wasn't on the kill list before -- and why on earth would she take out after Xander for dating Spike, if the reason she's mad at Spike is for potentially hurting her friend? Historically, it's actually been Xander who has been most judgemental about who Buffy dated, not vice versa.

What this means in situations new to a story (ie, the scenario never happened on the show), is up to the author. Xander's friends may become like this in your story, but canonically, they aren't -- and if you want to write a convincing story where Buffy tries to kill both Xander and Spike, or Willow is the secret villain who's been manipulating things from the beginning, you'll need to show us how they got that way.


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