This concept inspired by the 'Pros Fanfic as a Five-Star Thai Menu' version
and found here (used with the author's permission).
Note: I did not write this, I found it and asked the author for permission to alter it slightly to fit The Spander world.
The author has kindly allowed me to present this version.
Fanfic Angst Viewed As a Five-Star Thai Menu
The Five Levels of Angst in Fan Fiction
Bland. Mild anxiety over whether Spike will like the gift Xander has bought for him. Occasionally aspires to angst by introducing some slightly greater anxiety over whether Spike will bite Xander during sex, and will Buffy notice the bite mark. Turns out Buffy doesn't mind (if she even notices). More mild anxiety over whether Spike is using enough lube. Possibly some mild pain, which Xander may express a certain amount of mild anguish over, which will pass quickly. The reader's teeth are more likely to clench over the vague depiction of orgasm ("he reached completion and fell into a boneless sprawl") than the level of angst. Can you say "Christmas story"?
Tastier, but not spicy enough. Xander will punch Spike, but Spike will quickly forgive him while Xander will immediately feel great pangs of guilt. One or two brief "he stormed out of the flat" scenes, which do not result in ten-year separations, since the stormer will immediately be chased down by the stormee, to be reconciled stormily with make-up sex and maybe some biting. Xander gets to do Spike this time, and nobody cares if it hurts a little.
The perfect level of spiciness. Moderate-to-Deep misunderstandings lead to much emotional gut-wrenching on both sides. Six month-to-two-year separations allowed. Much getting together, fighting, and running off to give birds another whack before jealously getting back together again. Hurt/comfort of the "almost died" variety, with great pangs of guilt at the hospital bed, and declarations of the "can't live without you" variety. Occasional rape of the "forced to do it under influence of a spell" variety. Xander won't let Spike f**k him because of child abuse memories, but they work it out.
Over-spiced. Requires lots of wine to get down. Everybody punches everybody, ten-year separations are common, and when someone gets hurt and nearly dies, the other one avoids the hospital and often runs away to Africa. Partner rape, without mitigating evil spells. Drug use, prostitution, imprisonment, psychotic breakdowns. Vile manipulations by Angel and/or Buffy to tear the boys asunder, which actually succeed. Unhappy endings galore, and so many misunderstandings in the bedroom that they'd be better off f**king at a shrink's office.
Impossible to swallow. Everybody hates everybody else. Nobody has sex without complete and utter torment. After being rejected by Angel and having been violently kicked out of Xander's flat, Spike goes to the nearest gay bar and hauls half a dozen guys into the bathroom, screws them all, and then gets plastered, drives his car off a road, is found by slave-ring demons, kidnapped, tortured, raped, put up for auction and sold to an evil-smelling perpetually horny demon, found by Angel, taken to a remote cabin for sexual healing by same, is riddled with self-disgust and loathing, tries to kill himself but accidentally kills Angel instead, goes back to Xander's flat, finds Xander with Oz, and ties them both up and bonks them both senseless before hightailing it for Africa to get a soul.
And then everybody in the story dies.
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