samsom: (good bye life)
[personal profile] samsom

Well, this isn't subjective at all, is it?

What I'm trying to say is, it depends on the chemistry you notice.

There's the kind that is your basic lab explosion, sparks and smoke and the occasional fire that burns no matter what kind of water you throw on it. Like Spuffy.

Spike and Buffy sparked from their first scene together. They made death threats sound sexy. They even compliment each other in looks, small and blonde never went so well together as when Spike and Buffy faced each other. "I'd rather be fighting you anyway" and "mutual" were declarations of intent that it was going to be a long, hard ride in all the best ways and Spike and Buffy delivered. They grew from the narrative, so nothing between them ever felt forced. They were antagonistic, which, when done right, is incredibly hot and very watchable. And then they were the two people who trusted each other the most, even when they had no reason to. I loved that Spike always had Buffy's back. He spoke for her in Touched when she couldn't defend herself and he shamed her friends and family when they needed to be told off. And then he had her back literally, taking the beta position to her alpha without any qualms, enthusiastically, and with total loyalty.

Cordelia and Angel also sparked from their first scene together on BtVS. But C/A had a different kind of chemistry, one that was more grown up. Well, less fighty, anyway. They were never antagonistic and if they hurt each other, it was a bad thing, never something to find hot.

From the first, they spoke to each other as if they already knew and liked each other. They were like kindred spirits, taking the time out of their own individual arcs (such as they were on BtVS) to sit together and laugh and share a story along with their coffee. Angel seemed to forget his role as broody vampire and Cordelia put aside the artificial flirty girl and seemed to be genuinely 'in the moment' with him.

On AtS, Angel used to look at Cordelia like he both wanted to tickle her so she'd laugh and eat her up at the same time - very admiring and playful and protective, but slightly predatory too. Whatever shit was going on with him, he never wanted her to get dirty from it. And I noticed, during the first season especially, how much he seemed to touch her. A hand on her arm, on the small of her back, under her neck.

And the thing about Cordelia is her approach to Angel was NOT to treat him as though he were some otherworldly, exotic thing - to either desire or be fascinated by. She wasn't impressed by him and she wasn't afraid of him. I think that was completely NOT the usual reaction to Angel and I think he liked that. She treated him as though he had a responsibility to be in her life, to be aware of the mundane, everyday things she thought about. Make the coffee, Angel, pay the bills. Try not to have sex and lose your soul, Angel. Matter-of-fact. It was a lot harder for Angel to hurt Cordelia because she didn't hang her romantic feelings on him, she saw him as he was rather than what she loved, if that makes sense. So when she did love him, by way of being his friend first, rather than a romantic candidtate, it was more real, and thus deeper and more lasting. Because she loved the real him, she didn't turn away from the ugly that came with him, and she would always be there to pull him back from his own darkness.

As Angel said, she saw the good, and the not so good, and she was still there, never anything less than his dearest friend.

Well, that was more rambly than I liked, but those are my two examples of the couples with the best chemistry. One was an iconic love/hate connection and the other was more about the real, everyday love you find with your best friend. I love one just a little bit more than the other but I thought both were shining examples of their type of love story and I loved watching both unfold. It was like having the best of both worlds.

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February 2012

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