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"We'll meet in the middle. There's a place..."
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Kean
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:03 pm    Post subject: "We'll meet in the middle. There's a place..." Reply with quote

A discussion got going over at BB about what happened during Buffy and Angel's meet-up in season 6. For me, this whole issue is very problematic because I find most theories OOC for Buffy and Angel for one reason or another.

I'll post what I said over there. Earlier in the thread I had said I like that we don't know what happened.

Quote:
This is one of the reasons I like not knowing because to me I feel like there is no way Angel wouldn't have known. If he thought she was anywhere but Paradise he would have done something about it. Even if that doesn't fly, I can't imagine Buffy not telling him. She's never been anything but completely honest with him. On the other hand I can't understand how, in knowing, Angel would let a deeply depressed Buffy just go back to Sunnydale and not be there for her.

I know the reason for all of this is down to business and not the story but, yeah...I don't like it.

So, I'm happy we didn't get the Giles treatment where he is suddenly doing the most selfish and callous things to Buffy just when she needs him most, not because it suits the story but because of an outside factor.


The more I think about the meeting the more I feel that the problem wasn't that Buffy and Angel were on different networks; it was that they were on different shows. I feel that the only true to character reactions required Buffy and Angel being in the same place.

How do you guys feel? Have you a theory that you find satisfying for the characters? Have you read a fic that you thought handled it well? Or are you like me and think that we are better off not knowing because the restrictions of the shows leave Buffy and Angel unable to react in an honest or true way?
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taaroko
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've written my own version of the offscreen meeting, though it comes at the end of a longer fic about Buffy's time in heaven. Most of the offscreen meeting fics I read before I wrote my own annoyed me because, in them, he didn't already know that she was in heaven. Like you, I think that if he believed she was in hell, he would do absolutely everything in his power to get her out. He's been to hell himself, and he's not going to leave the love of his life there. It fits the pattern of what we see of him in canon. Look at the lengths he goes to in his attempts to get Connor out of Quor'Toth, and compare that to how as soon as he learns that Cordy is on a higher plane and seemingly happy there, he backs down and doesn't try to get her out.

Based on his reaction to where Cordy is in early S4, I think that not only does he know Buffy was in heaven without having to be told, but that he and Buffy actually talk about her time in heaven during the offscreen meeting. He knows Buffy didn't want to come back, so he assumes the same is true of Cordy (even though she isn't in exactly the same place). Another thing that points to him already knowing where Buffy was is that he doesn't so much as blink when Skip says "No one comes back from Paradise--well, a Slayer did once, but--"

Then, there's what they say to the Scoobies and the AI team about the meeting, which is pretty much nothing. She describes it as "intense" but wants to keep it to herself, and he isn't telling either, wants ice cream, and is annoyed at the AI team for mocking his and Buffy's history. From that alone, it might be hard to figure out what happened, but we've also got the way they react to each other in "End of Days"/"Chosen". The Spuffies can think whatever makes them happy, but I doubt Buffy would be so keen to greet him with a kiss and to bask in his presence if the offscreen meeting was awkward or ended badly.

So, pretty much, I think they talked a lot about what she was going through and she opened up to him much more than she does with anyone in Sunnydale. It was intense and private, but also painful because they still can't be together, which was probably a much harsher reality for them at that point than at any other time, because she's struggling so much and he's so happy she's alive.

They probably kissed, and perhaps came close to losing control. After all, Buffy was still in the grips of her nearly suicidal depression then, so a part of her might have been hoping that Angelus would get out and kill her if she gave in to her feelings for Angel. But Angel wouldn't have let it go that far, though it still would have been difficult to stop. Even though he knew she was in heaven, he wouldn't have been able to help being happy that she's back, but he wouldn't want to risk his soul by getting carried away. After the danger passed, I imagine that she might have broken down and cried while he held her. She rarely lets herself cry in front of the Scoobies, but she never had a problem crying in front of Angel.

Then, when it came time to leave, he probably told her to call him if she needed anything. In the end, she went back to Sunnydale, he went back to L.A., and she never called him. Maybe she would have if it hadn't been for Spike, but after that self-destructive mess started, she was probably too ashamed to, or too afraid of what Angel's reaction might have been if he found out about it.
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a fic I think could be dead-on. It's by our own Jo.

Or, to summarize my own feelings on it, he did know she was in heaven and did want to help with her depression, but the complications in their relationship had been intensified by her death. Neither could trust themselves to be strong enough to say no to temptation, when she needed him so much and he wanted to comfort her so badly, so they had to separate to keep from caving in.

What bothers me more is how there were so many AtS3 episodes in which Angel starts acting all happy-go-lucky and falls for Cordelia like he's never been in love before. Connor's birth can't explain everything.
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LoveKatieholmes90
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always wondered about this...I think they needed each other so badly during their encounter. Buffy knew he was, like her now, sent to a different dimension (in Angel's case it was hell) and brought back so that's one of the reasons she wanted to talk to him..but come on, he's her fixed point...the one freaky thing in her freaky life that makes sense to her. Loving him always made sense to Buffy and in a certain rational way it didn't.

I think as someone pointed above, they both wanted each other and a full support (especially Buffy)..how easy to fall in the same circle all over again...they knew they couldn't be together or even allow themselves to be together in that way. I think something like Forever happened...with many tears...I imagine it intense as Buffy said.
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Ares
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taaroko said -

Quote:
Another thing that points to him already knowing where Buffy was is that he doesn't so much as blink when Skip says "No one comes back from Paradise--well, a Slayer did once, but--"


I agree. Whether he knew that when he met up with Buffy is another thing though. When Skip said that to him in AtS4 it was Season 7 for Buffy. She had moved on by then (from Spike). However, this does point to the fact that Buffy must have told Angel that she had been in heaven. Or maybe someone else had, Willow, perhaps? But my bet is Buffy.

I don't think it even entered his head that Buffy had gone to a Hell dimension, because as was said, he'd have moved heaven and earth to get her back. Slayer equates with going to heaven when they die.

I have read some very good stories of "that" meeting, some dire, and some great, and many food for thought. I like to leave it to my imagination of what was said and done.
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Dark Star
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The important thing to me is the bit before that meeting – and I love this exchange right at the end of Flooded.

(Thanks to Buffyworld for the transcript excerpt)

Quote:
Buffy returns, walking quickly and purposefully toward the front.
GILES: Buffy, what is it?
She turns back to face them, pauses for a moment before speaking.
BUFFY: Angel.
GILES: Is he in trouble?
BUFFY: He knows that I'm ... (trails off. Shot of Dawn watching with concern) He, he needs to see me. I have to see him.
GILES: Yes, of course. You'll leave for L.A. tomorrow.
BUFFY: (shakes her head) Not L.A. And not here. Somewhere in the middle. There's a, a place.
GILES: I see. Well, we should get all these ... bills and things out of the way before-
BUFFY: I gotta go now.



I love this - she couldn’t get to him fast enough! She had Giles and all her friends around her, she had her sister – but what does she need? Angel, it seems. I also like the way she dropped in ‘There’s a place’. Clearly, both she and Angel know about this place – maybe they’ve met there before?
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taaroko
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark Star wrote:
I love this - she couldn’t get to him fast enough! She had Giles and all her friends around her, she had her sister – but what does she need? Angel, it seems. I also like the way she dropped in ‘There’s a place’. Clearly, both she and Angel know about this place – maybe they’ve met there before?


I think it's the same place they went in "Forever" for the twenty-four hours that Buffy was inexplicably not in Sunnydale.
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sybil
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t think that Buffy would have to say a word about being in heaven--where else could she go, not to mention, how else could she have such suffering in her eyes than to have known the very ecstasy Angel himself felt when he lost his soul? THAT is what also "brought it home" that they were together yet damned by THIS world to be apart.

We know Angel believes her to be an instrument of God and therefore her soul is pure light, even if her heart, her most human of hearts is his guiding light—why forgiveness means so much from such a heart because this heart not only knows love, light, compassion, selflessness, and joy, but also knows doubts, suffering, anger, and fear he himself struggles to keep from drowning in. Buffy is Angel’s home just as he is hers—as stated in season 8.

Further, I believe her shock that her sacrifice left the world like some hell dimension, not only shocked her, but made her doubt her gift of all she was was “not enough.” I think that her shock as full on depression DID NOT occur until AFTER that off screen meeting--look at the timing--when she fully realized she would never have the comfort of her “heaven on earth” with Angel; and they BOTH knew it in the agony of having to say “no” to each other at the very moment of greatest and the most unbelievable and miraculous joy to be returned to the other.

It is exactly why the writers thought they could have Angel push Buffy down so deep and so hard that his libido self would take anything in a skirt—his usual balm to prop up his self esteem that only served to prove the size of the hole in his existence—note the “druggy” misdirections in all the plots thereafter until HOME—as in Buffy. He hoped to WALK AWAY (which he should have done in season 5 and was properly “adjudicated” in ATF) stand with her, to die honorably for the world, as well as provide the safety for Connor’s existence—no differently than Buffy did for the world and for Dawn.

JOY became the enemy and all they would ever get is ashes. THAT is when she jumped on Spike—everything she hated about being a slayer, a woman who couldn’t have love and joy in sex, but could use sex to punish ‘the vampire’ –her own slayer—eating her up in the hate for herself for not changing the world, not changing her life, and especially to be damned for loving the one creature on the planet she could not have—especially when EVERYTHING around her conspired to tell her she shouldn’t want. No joy, refuge, comfort, beauty, because she, somehow, didn’t deserve to have these things from the enemy she is destined to kill.

So she picked the complete embodiment of everything despicable about all of the above in the one creature she would work to keep alive, who would take the full bile of her hate for the world, for herself and even for Angel’s very existence and damned condition (because he knew the difference in her) as pure torment for her own capacity to need him, to love him, even as both knew they would give up “heaven on earth” because they understood the need each had to be in a world where NO ONE would have to be asked for such self sacrifice. And they loved each other for knowing that, too, that also made “someday” the promise of forgiveness Buffy DIDN”T believe would arrive. That last parting “made her a believer” her life would be that of the vampire: dead, uncaring, endless.

Buffy picked the one creature on earth who would represent everything pathetic, awful and ugly and “in your face” to the universe’s damnation of her for a life WITHOUT Angel: Spike.


Last edited by sybil on Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kean
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

taaroko wrote:
Dark Star wrote:
I love this - she couldn’t get to him fast enough! She had Giles and all her friends around her, she had her sister – but what does she need? Angel, it seems. I also like the way she dropped in ‘There’s a place’. Clearly, both she and Angel know about this place – maybe they’ve met there before?


I think it's the same place they went in "Forever" for the twenty-four hours that Buffy was inexplicably not in Sunnydale.


Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't "Forever" the cemetery where her mother was buried?
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taaroko
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean after that. We don't see Buffy again until well into the next night, close to twenty-four hours after we last saw her with Angel in the cemetery.
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Kean
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

taaroko wrote:
I mean after that. We don't see Buffy again until well into the next night, close to twenty-four hours after we last saw her with Angel in the cemetery.


I never got the impression that Buffy and Angel went anywhere after that. In fact I thought it was implied that Angel went back to L.A. and Buffy went home. Or I assume she went home.
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Kairos
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kean wrote:
taaroko wrote:
I mean after that. We don't see Buffy again until well into the next night, close to twenty-four hours after we last saw her with Angel in the cemetery.


I never got the impression that Buffy and Angel went anywhere after that. In fact I thought it was implied that Angel went back to L.A. and Buffy went home. Or I assume she went home.


I remember it as being a little unclear how much time had passed between the scene with Angel and Buffy's arrival at her own house. Here, you two work on it and give me the answer. Smile
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taaroko
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kean wrote:
taaroko wrote:
I mean after that. We don't see Buffy again until well into the next night, close to twenty-four hours after we last saw her with Angel in the cemetery.


I never got the impression that Buffy and Angel went anywhere after that. In fact I thought it was implied that Angel went back to L.A. and Buffy went home. Or I assume she went home.


Buffy walks into the house just in time to catch Dawn in the middle of her attempted resurrection spell on Joyce. The last time we saw her, she was sitting with Angel in the cemetery near the end of the previous night. We don't know anything about Angel's side of this visit; it isn't mentioned at all on his show, but considering the fact that we didn't actually see him and Buffy part, they had plenty of time to go somewhere and spend a few more hours together, which would explain why we didn't see her for such a large portion of the episode as well as the existence of an already familiar in-between place for the off-screen meeting.
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Kean
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

taaroko wrote:
Kean wrote:
taaroko wrote:
I mean after that. We don't see Buffy again until well into the next night, close to twenty-four hours after we last saw her with Angel in the cemetery.


I never got the impression that Buffy and Angel went anywhere after that. In fact I thought it was implied that Angel went back to L.A. and Buffy went home. Or I assume she went home.


Buffy walks into the house just in time to catch Dawn in the middle of her attempted resurrection spell on Joyce. The last time we saw her, she was sitting with Angel in the cemetery near the end of the previous night. We don't know anything about Angel's side of this visit; it isn't mentioned at all on his show, but considering the fact that we didn't actually see him and Buffy part, they had plenty of time to go somewhere and spend a few more hours together, which would explain why we didn't see her for such a large portion of the episode as well as the existence of an already familiar in-between place for the off-screen meeting.


I dunno, I thought they were fairly explicit in showing that Angel was leaving town that night.

Quote:
ANGEL: I can stay in town as long as you want me.
BUFFY: How's forever? Does forever work for you?

She turns her head to look at Angel, sighs and sits up to look him in the face.

BUFFY: (apologetically) That's a bad idea. I'm seriously needy right now.
ANGEL: Let me worry about the neediness. I can handle it.

They look at each other, then Buffy leans in and kisses him. They kiss softly for a moment. Then it gets a little more heated and they pull away, both breathing harder.

BUFFY: (looks down) I told you. (Angel sighs) You better go.
ANGEL: (another sigh) I'm sorry.
BUFFY: (firmly) No. I'm so grateful that you came, Angel. I didn't think I was gonna be able to make it through the night.
ANGEL: (looks up at the sky) Well, we still have a few more minutes until I have to go.
BUFFY: Good.

She puts her head on his chest and leans against him. He puts his arm around her shoulders.
BUFFY: Good.


Of course, there is nothing to say they didn't go somewhere together. But I have always got the impression that Angel went back to LA and Buffy returned home to her house.
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taaroko
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kean wrote:
I dunno, I thought they were fairly explicit in showing that Angel was leaving town that night.

Of course, there is nothing to say they didn't go somewhere together. But I have always got the impression that Angel went back to LA and Buffy returned home to her house.


There's no definite proof either way. All we know is that we can't account for Buffy's whereabouts from the end of that scene to when she walked into her house the next night. We can't account for Angel's whereabouts either, because there's not a rigid timeline for when the corresponding Angel episodes take place, so we don't know how much time off he had between the events of those episodes, but it could easily have been longer than a day.

The other thing we know is that by the end of S5/S2, they have a meeting place between Sunnydale and L.A. that nobody else knows about. We know this because there wasn't time for them to decide on a place to meet in the ten second phone conversation they had at the end of "Flooded", which means that they must have known about this place beforehand (i.e., before S6/S3). Buffy's unexplained offscreen time in "Forever" seems like the most likely candidate for when they could have established that meeting place.

On the whole, it's enough evidence for me to believe they spent that day together. I think that after that scene in the cemetery ended, she asked him to take her somewhere for a little while, and he agreed.
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