The "title meme:"
Pick five, or ten, or more, of your fic titles. List them in your journal and explain how you came up with each one. Post this prompt as well, so that the meme spreads.
My first Buffyverse fic and to be bluntly honest, I didn't start with the purest of motives. I had been picking at various FanFics and I ran into a spate of Demon!Xander or Superpowered!Xander fics that drove me utterly up the wall. Invariably, Xander in these stories seemed to either welcome it or take to the situation like a duck to water. Somehow, I just thought that canonXander would be, ummm, really, really upset if everything he thought he knew about himself was wrong, especially since he seemed to place such a high priority on 1) humanity (specifically his); and 2) having a soul. Considering that Xander has off-and-on (mostly off) had confidence in himself, his humanity was probably the only thing he always had confidence in. What happens when that turns out not to be true? Worse, what if someone he trusted knew all along that he wasn't quite right? Hence the title. And my motive? To see if I could do a Demon!Xander fic where Xander was still Xander.
The inspiration for the title was simple. Around the end of August, Mars really was the closest it had been to earth in approximately 60,000 years. At the time, I remember walking at night and just staring at this red planet. Right at the height, even light pollution couldn't wash out what I thought were details on the planet's surface. And yes, Mercury really was retrograde at the same time. So I just got to thinking, what would Xander, who had arguably survived the worst year of his life, be thinking at a time like this? And since it happened only a couple of months after 'Chosen,' it should be no surprise that he'd be especially bitter and confused.
The inspiration for the fic actually came from a B/X list I occassionally nose into. Someone in the middle of S7 desperately needed a fluff fic, and for some reason, this one-sided conversation popped into my head. Then I wanted to see if I could write it. The two words in question might be familiar to anyone who saw 'Prophecy Girl' and still holds on to hope that Buffy and Xander would get together someday.
Into the Desert
I have no idea where this title came from, especially since I sat down to write one story and it came out completely different. If you're interested to know, it was originally called The Intramural Street Hockey League and Goomba Society and it was supposed to be about Xander and Willow trying to flee their Sunnydale past and become normal. They eventually (this is honestly what I planned) would land in Chicago and discover that they couldn't really walk away. The League & Society was supposed to be the ragtag group of people they wind up pulling into orbit around them. Don't ask me how they ended up dead. I honestly don't know. But I've kept the League & Society for use in Where Fools Go.
Another one that didn't start with the purest of motives. Again, this was me nosing around some fanfic corners and getting a snootful of Victim!Xander and Abused!Xander. The prevailing theme was (so it seemed) violent physical abuse and sexual abuse. *shiver* While canon wasn't exactly clear on how "bad" the "bad" was in the Harris household, somehow I don't think it was as bad as some fanon sections present it (although I think it was bad enough). Canon itself wasn't really clear and I've half wondered, as far as the early seasons were concerned, if some of that "bad Harris household" vibe didn't come from NB's acting. We had no hint that his parents were alcoholics until mid-S3, we had no hint that he actively disliked his family prior to mid-S3, and the only active drunk we knew about in the Harris tree was Uncle Rory in S1 and S2. The only thing that seemed to be consistent was that the Harris family might be on the poorer side of Sunnydale, to judge by some throw-away comments in BBB. So, I just wanted to write an Abused!Xander fic where he wasn't the victim, topped by the scene I wanted to see at some point near the end of S6 or during S7. It was also helped by the recent pedophile scandals in the Catholic Church. Whisper was just because that's how you transmit secrets or force someone to keep a secret, and this fic had a lot of secrets that wound up coming out in the end.
Land of the Blind
A one-eyed Xander. It was a natural. Especially since Xander believes that everyone around him has a blind spot when it comes to him and it turns out that he's the one that was blind.
This was a follow-up story to another writer (Wicked Raygun, King of the Unfinished WiPs) who wrote a story called Disbelief from Buffy's PoV. I was trying to work a theme here. Needless to say, the B/X list for which it was written did not respond happily. Although, strangely enough, I come across more posts asking if anyone remembers this one because the querrent wants to find it more than anything else I've writen. Yeah, I don't get it either.
Where Fools Go
The title actually comes from a song by 12 Rounds. For some reason, it just seemed to fit a series of stories where Revelations Xander and Faith are roadtripping their way into trouble. The lyrics just fit the mood. Lyics, if you're curious:
Singing sprightly/living brightly/God we do it oh so well/Come and join the party with me/Come and in pleasant hell/And how high they rise/Where fools go I don't think so/Ssssh/And all was dull and dark that night/I lost my wholesome appetite/If only I could get it right/And feel good this day of the night/And how high they rise/Where fools go I don't think so
This was a clear-cut case of a hijack on my part. Someone had issued a story challenge that, shall we say, had some definite bash-y elements aimed directly at everyone who wasn't Xander. (You can see the original challenge in the first chapter of this story on FF.net). Since there seemed to be a lot of Buffy-bashing going on post-'Chosen' from all sides, I think this was a case of "Enough is enough!" for me. So, I sabotaged it. Originally it was going to be a Pratchett-esque romp of Future!Scoobs meeting Present!Day!Scoobs. Unfortunately, the challenge requirements for it taking place within months after 'Chosen' immediately pointed out the problem of doing a laff-a-minute story. Plus, I'm not Pratchett. The title was pretty straightforward: One of those double-meaning things that I couldn't resist.