So, on to fandom stuff...
Beware, it gets a tad rambly.
I have a *really* hard time reading het B/S/A. I just do. It frustrates me more than anything else. And it's not the het, I read and enjoy both B/A and S/B. And those are het all the way, baby. But the thing is that neither of those negate A/S*. And het B/S/A does just that.
*And I'm fully aware that there are B/A and S/B fics that make a point of negating A/S. Which makes me cranky and then makes me laugh, because whenever Angel and/or Spike pause to give the readers the I'm-Not-Gay-And-Even-If-I-Were-I-Wouldn't-T
It's not just the, *poof*, A/S doesn't exist nature of het B/S/A that bothers me, but the inevitability of Buffy having too much power as the apex. Pillow-Queen Buffy. Oh do me do me do me do Buffy. We know through canon that all three of them have a jealous nature. They're not perfect. And post-Chosen and post-NFA, they're *still* not perfect. They're just alive and make mistakes and get their hopes up and have their feelings hurt and yeah, like that.
Buffy may fantasize about wrestling and oil, but what's her reaction when that fantasy is realized? When she sees a fucked-up but *established* relationship between Angel and Spike? It's not going to be all happyhappyjoyjoy. That's not the way she operates. She'll get off the pillow and be *active*, *participate*. Because, please, would she really just lie there and take it? And that's what I like to see. The tumbling triangle with no fixed apex, equilateral, struggling, and strong.
I once said, and I'll say it again: Buffy, Angel and Spike don't go riding off into the sunset, they roll into it, fists clenched in each other's hair.
Oh, and if you can get Faith in there? So that it's B/S/A/F? So much the better. Just as fist-clenchy. B/F would so be a match for A/S. I read a lot of B/F, can you tell? I can just imagine post-NFA Angel and Spike, showing up at Buffy's with their hey-we-decided-to-share-and-how-could-yo
And Faith is more than just a foil. Who else has been inside Angel's head and Buffy's body? She's just as full of longing, hope, jealousy, doubt and the need for redemption as the others are. Buffy's not terribly secure around her. Angel's seen something in her worth saving. Spike bummed a cigarette off her and those cigarettes weren't the only ones smouldering in that basement. Throw Faith in the mix and you might have a real Balance of Power.
Did I mention that I'd love you forever? *bats eyelashes over big blue animé eyes*
B/A rec: Go read chrisleeoctaves's new WIP, Fallen From Grace. She's up to part 5 now so pull up a chair, might take a while. If you don't have the time, just go to her site and read any of her B/A. Sososososo good. Promise. She has an understated style that really packs a wallop.
S/B rec: herself_nyc has A Terrible Thing up. Be prepared to pull up a chair for this one also. Novelette/Novella length. And be prepared to think.
A/S rec: Of Kings and Common Men by sangpassionne. She creates a wonderful, eerie future here.
B/F rec: Spring Haze by idyll. Her Faith voice is so spot on.
A/F rec: Echoes by kita0610. Post-The Gift and Pre-Orpheus so not terribly sail-off shippy, but deliciously angsty all the same.
S/F rec: His voice is like a Mars-bar by db2305. Another lengthy one. But I think you need build-up for this relationship, otherwise it's too easy to go to PWP-land.
B/A/F rec: For Love or Monster by theantijoss. This is dark with a capital D. Sorta beware what you want, you just might get it kinda deal.
B/A/S rec: Old Ghosts by chrisleeoctaves is still one of my favorites.
B/A/S/F rec: Till The Next Time The World Ends by netweight. Shortest rec of the bunch. But there's just not a lot of B/A/S/F around. And this is, by far, the best.