deird1: Willow and Tara looking amused, with text "Willow & Tara think you are nuts" (Willow Tara nuts)
[personal profile] deird1
I'm not much of a fan of WIPs. But part one of this story has been sitting on my computer for a couple of years now, and I have little hope of part two ever appearing. And, frankly, I rather like part one. So, I thought I'd post it anyway, and let it sit here for an eternity of WIP-ing.

This is an RPF of the Buffy writers, set in the middle of season 6. Each (theoretical) part from the perspective of a different writer.

(Because, really – season 6? Two shows, split by the networks! Rivalry! Forbidden Willow/Wes romance! The distractions of Firefly! The ridiculousness of the Trio and their real-life counterparts! Passion! Heartbreak! It's just glorious!)


Pistols At Noon – Part One

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, no, actually it wasn’t. But she still hadn’t written an opening scene, and it should have been dark and stormy to match the deep despair she was feeling. Or, ideally, bright and sunny to symbolise that this was a comic scene and the writer’s block was only going to last long enough for an amusing montage, after which all would be well.

Jane had very clear ideas on the subject of fictional weather.

Unfortunately, real life wasn’t nearly so helpful. It was currently cloudy, bleary, and altogether bland.
…just like her writing, in fact.

She hated this. Some episodes were easy to write, and she spent the whole time grinning, convinced she was going to win an Emmy – but every few months, without fail, she’d end up staring miserably at the computer screen, certain – certain – that she was a complete hack who was never going to write anything worth reading, ever again, and she still needed to somehow pay her rent this month.

It was just a state of mind. She’d be back to easy writing soon. She knew that. It just… didn’t really help.

Jane sighed, and looked at her notes.

B working at Burger King ← needs new name

job interview
employees are actually demons – conspiracy to fatten up the populace before eating them
Scoobies oblivious
Jonathan sent by Trio to stock up on supplies
Jonathan runs into B
conspiracy revealed
conspiracy stopped (employees slayed)
All Is Well

- funny joke about pickles?
- training video! (gross sounds)

It was good – wasn’t it? It would be workable, at least. Or… it had certainly seemed workable during yesterday’s Writer’s Meeting with Diego and Rebecca, huddling around the broken yoghurt dispenser on the third floor. It had all come together perfectly in her head, and the others had agreed it was brilliant, and she’d been able to picture just how it would look on-screen. But now…

The door to her office opened, startling her out of her thoughts.

It was Steven. “Hey Jane, we’re going to t.p. Minear’s car. Want to come?”

Apparently she’d teleported to another dimension where the world was perpetually stuck in high school.

“I think I’ll pass.” She grimaced. “Trying to be creative, here.”

“Got it.” Steven grinned. “Next time, then?”


He walked away – failing, once again, to shut the door behind him. Jane rolled her eyes slightly, and turned back to her desk.

Right. First things first. She opened her Ideas Book, flipped to a new page, and carefully wrote: “episode – W gets sucked into high school dimension. Lots of angst about former nerdiness and unpopularity. Maybe have Jonathan make an appearance as her guide?”

And then… back to the computer screen of doom.

She was never going to get this stupid thing written.

Once upon a time, she’d wanted to be a vet, and run a rescue shelter for stray animals. Of course, she’d realised within a week that fainting at the sight of blood and operating on things weren’t really compatible. But still – why couldn’t she have a nice simple job that involved puppies, or something, rather than tearing her hair out trying to create worthless stories that would be broadcast once and then forgotten? (And not even broadcast at all if someone famous died suddenly and the news asked for extra time.) Why did she keep doing this to herself?

An advanced case of masochism, probably.
Some people experimented with whips, and chains, and breaking bones; Jane went straight for trying to be simultaneously entertaining and deep, weekly, on command. She was hard-core.

She leant back in her chair, and let her gaze wander around the room, aimlessly searching for inspiration.

There was her bookshelf, enticing her to give up on the script writing and spend her afternoon reading. There was the lava lamp, languidly splooting orange bubbles upwards. There was the open doorway, with the sounds of David and Drew’s latest argument drifting down the corridor towards her. There was her computer, still stubbornly not having a finished script on it. There was the window – and Steven and Michael outside, a third of the way through wrapping Tim’s car.

She’d have to start using a different parking lot, in case the others retaliated. This feud really was getting out of hand.

There were her photos of the Grand Canyon, quietly reminding her that she needed to take another vacation. There was her litter basket, filled to overflowing with disposable coffee cups. There was… Michelle. Standing there waiting to talk to her.

She swivelled her chair to face the door. Michelle smiled, cheerfully.

“Hi, Jane!”

“Hi, Michelle. How are you going?”

“Great! How are you?”

“I’m fine, thanks. Did… you want to ask me something?”

“No, not really.”

Uh-huh. Jane began a mental countdown.

“So…” Michelle stood there, hands in pockets, for a moment, before asking, “Whatcha doing?”

“I’m writing. Well – trying to.” …which you already knew, Jane added mentally.

“Oh. Cool.”

“Shouldn’t you be downstairs, shooting?” Jane asked. After all, she was certainly in costume.

“Yeah, but nothing much is happening – just lots and lots of waiting until they find Aly again. It got kinda boring.” She shrugged. “So… you’re writing one of the episodes coming up, right?”

Ah. She’d thought so.

“Yes, I am. Episode twelve.”

“Have you written the Dawn parts yet?” Michelle was clearly trying to seem disinterested. It wasn’t working very well.

“Not yet.”

Any moment now…

“Uh-huh.” She nodded, and continued offhandedly, “Because I thought maybe Dawn could be going to a party at Janice’s house, or something. And she could, you know, wear a really nice top. And heels.”

Yes! There it was! Forty-three seconds. A new record in the ongoing let-Dawn-wear-heels campaign, being run by an increasingly frustrated teenager.

“I’m not sure that will fit into my storyline, Michelle.”

“Really? Because I thought, maybe-”

“Coffee, Jane?” Rebecca stuck her head around the doorway, and Jane sighed with relief. She didn’t think she could take another half hour session of Actor’s Plot Suggestions right now.

“Sounds great! And Michelle, you should probably head back down again. I’m sure they’ve found Alyson by now.”

Michelle nodded glumly and headed off, and Rebecca raised an eyebrow. “Shall we?”


They started towards the break room, Rebecca explaining, “We’d better stock up on caffeine while we can. My- uh-” she dropped her voice “my spy in the enemy camp says they’re planning to steal the coffee machine any time now.”

Wonderful. The feud continued. You wouldn’t have thought a change in networks could cause so much fuss.

“You have a spy?”

Rebecca nodded. “Very hush-hush. I get advanced warning on all raiding parties as long as I keep it to myself. And I do the same back the other way.”

“Who is it?”

“Sorry, Jane. I can’t tell you her name.” She smiled, significantly.

Ah. So it was Mere.

They turned in to the break room, where Drew was loudly proclaiming the virtues of Captain America to David and Rick.

Tune in next time for inter-show spy rings, sabotaged vending machines, Joss Whedon singing country-and-western, Marti Noxon tearing her hair out, and more in the campaign for high heels!

Date: 2013-03-31 11:24 pm (UTC)
eilowyn1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eilowyn1
You know what's best about this? It's not mocking in any way. It's loving. And of course Jane is the protagonist.

Date: 2013-04-01 12:02 am (UTC)
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beer_good_foamy
Awwww, this is brilliant. Jane just trying to do lead a normal life, but the forces of not-exactly-dark-but-kind-of-distracting-ness keep interfering... It's a hard life, being the chosen writer.

...It needs more Jonathan, though.

Date: 2013-04-01 04:09 am (UTC)
fenchurch: (Spiffy!)
From: [personal profile] fenchurch
You know, I'm not normally big on RPF, but I'm loving this! Can't wait to see what happens next!

Date: 2014-01-20 06:54 am (UTC)
frayadjacent: Buffy laughing, text says "LOL" (!Hee)
From: [personal profile] frayadjacent
Ha! This is fabulous. Poor Jane. And the interaction with Michelle is great. Also, love the subtle dig at Angel for only having one woman writer.


deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

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