My posting day at last. This piece comes in multiple parts. Hopefully, I’ll get all of them posted before midnight. It starts with Buffy, and will end with Spike.
So, on to the story:
Point of View, Part 1
Summary: One relationship from many angles. Set after Lies My Parents Told Me in S7.
Pairing: Spike and Buffy, of course
I can’t believe I’m getting myself into something like this again. Giles is probably right, I’m out of my mind.
Except, Giles is wrong — absolutely, unquestionably, like the guy in the FedEx commercial wrong. It’s not the Leaning Tower of Pizza, they’re not French benefits and you don’t win a war by killing the people on your own side.
Why does Giles have to be this wrong? He’s supposed to be right all the time. If he can mess up this bad, how can I trust him? I need to trust him.
What if he’s always been this wrong and I just never noticed before? What if everything he’s ever taught me is just waiting its moment to blow up in my face? Like there’s this timer going somewhere and it’s counting down, tick, tick, tick, to the moment when I think I’m about to win and then kaboom!
All these years he’s been telling me what’s right and what’s wrong, and all the time he was wrong about this blindingly obvious thing — don’t kill the guys on your side — and I didn’t know his morality engine was running on three cylinders.
Forget morality. It’s not about morality. It’s about common sense. If you kill your own people, who’s going to fight beside you? I don’t want to always be fighting alone. That’s not so selfish, is it? I mean, I’ve got a better chance of winning if there are people on my side, right? So, is it too much to ask that when somebody’s completely on my side that my mentor not set them up to get killed? Is that too much to ask? Huh?
Why can’t he see how Spike has changed? I can see it. I can’t look at him without seeing it. He changed. Vampires aren’t supposed to be able to change — according to Giles. But Spike changed — for me.
So, that’s another thing Giles was wrong about. Two things. Number one: Killing people who are on your side isn’t of the good. Number two: Vampires can change.
That’s kind of scary. I thought Giles knew everything there is to know about vampires. But he didn’t know they could change. How much of what Giles thinks he knows is wrong? And if what Giles knows is wrong, then what I know is wrong.
If vampires can change, is it right to be killing them on sight? I mean, what if the vamp I staked last night was on the brink of a conversion? What if he was about to decide that people were better to have around than to eat, and he was going to join us to fight the First? What if I’ve staked the guy who is going to make the difference and let us win?
Can’t think about that. Nothing I can do about it. If I think about that stuff too much, my head is going to explode.
Spike, that’s what I’ve got to think about. He watches my back. It’d be nice if my watcher would watch my back that way, but hey, I guess he’s too busy trying to kill the guy who’s watching my back.
Stop it. Gotta stop zigging back to that spot. Not getting anywhere.
Spike. OK, gotta think about what I’m going to do about Spike.
Nothing. I don’t have to do anything about Spike. I don’t have to worry about Spike. No happiness clause. He’s got a soul because he wanted a soul. It’s not a punishment.
Why would anyone want a soul? I mean, he could just be what he was and do what he did and never feel an itty-bitty molecule of bad about it. But he went and turned on the feel-bad faucet. No, the feel-bad fire hose. Why would anybody do that? I don’t think he realized just how bad it was going to feel. I mean, he’s not insane… OK, he was insane, but he’s not anymore, and he wasn’t then.
I don’t have to worry about Spike — but I do. What if it gets to be too much for him? What if he goes back to Africa and does a bunch of trials again so he can go back to being guilt-free? Nah, not Spike. He doesn’t give up. That’s the first thing I found out about him. Angel said it.
“Once he starts something he doesn’t stop until everything in his path is dead.”
Not the best imagery, actually. But Angel was mostly right. Spike is the Energizer Bunny. He keeps going and going… Stop it. Don’t think about that.
But how can I not think about that? It wasn’t his fault. I mean, it was all mine. I wanted… I wanted him. No, that’s not exactly right. I wanted to stop being me, and since someone like me would never want someone like him, I had to want him. And now, every time I look at him, I remember the things I did with him. The things I shouldn’t have ever wanted to do — that I wanted to do in the worst way.
It’s hard to see him every day. Living right here under my roof. This is my life. This is my house. The roof leaks, the faucet in the kitchen drips (note to self: tell Xander about the faucet in the kitchen that drips), and there’s a vampire in the basement. Not to mention a whole bunch of girls, half of whose names I can’t remember, living with me. Messy. That’s my life.
So, I’m not the paragon Spike thinks I am. How can he think I’m a beacon of good? He was there when we… Never mind that. My life: Killing vampires, teaching teenage girls to kill vampires and how to stay alive, teaching my little sister not to get killed by vampires, and living with the vampire that tried to… Stop it. I’m not going to bring that up ever again. Not even going to think about it. He’s paid — a hundred times over. It wasn’t a big deal anyway. I’m stronger than him. He couldn’t really do anything unless he snuck up on me and knocked me out first. And Spike wouldn’t ever do that. Not even when he’s drunk, desperate and evil. Even the time he did knock me out, he waited for me to wake up before he told me what he wanted.
Isn’t that a laugh? He had me chained up, and Drusilla would have killed me for him in a second. But did he let her?
He was always a little unclear on the concept of evil. Oh, I’m not fooling myself. He did plenty of bad things. I’m sure there was stuff bad enough that I hope I never hear about it.
But through it all, there was this weird sense of fair play. He’d have his old girlfriend knock me out and chain me up, but he wouldn’t do anything until I could wake up and say it was OK. He wanted me to say it was OK.
And after he’d hurt me he went and got himself a soul. So, sometimes, late at night, I try to figure out why he did it. I mean, really… Did he do it to punish himself? Or did he think that when he had a soul I wouldn’t be able to tell him from Angel, and I’d fall into his arms? Yeah, right… Can’t he see that he’s better than Angel? Angel has a soul because he pissed off someone who could force it on him. And he got it back because I had a friend who was powerful enough to force it on him.
But Spike got his because … I don’t really know. I don’t think he knows. He’ll try to say it was a cockup. He didn’t know what he was doing. He only did it because he wanted to get me back. But I don’t think even he believes that anymore.
I have this suspicion that he did it because it was always part of him to want to be better. He wanted to be the worst vampire ever, but that never really worked out for him. There was something in him that kept reaching up. That’s probably why he wanted me. I was a symbol for everything that was good. That’s not what I really am — I mean like a thousand times not. Like the power of a U2 concert not. I’m just not. But that’s what I looked like to him.
Sometimes I wonder if I’d have done what he did if the places were reversed. Am I even as good as he is? I have to do what I do. It was dumped on me, I didn’t choose it. But he chose to get a soul. Would I do that if I was in his place?
Whatever. The point is, what am I going to do about him? Not in a “kill him or not kill him” way. I’m not going to kill him. If I was going to, I would have done it a long time ago — before I knew him. I could never kill him now. Why didn’t I do it then? Scratch that, thank goodness I didn’t do it then.
No, I’ve got to make up my mind what I’m going to DO about him. He’ll never make the first move — not after … what happened. It’s going to be up to me — just like it always was.
So, what am I going to do? Keep on with him watching my back, being my friend, being the one I lean on when it all gets too heavy? Or … I can’t even think about it. But I want to think about it.
I want the rest: the cuddling, the wild monkey sex, the holding hands in the theater when we’re watching a schmoopy movie. But do I want it with him? He’s a vampire. Everything that made a future with Angel unlikely is still on the menu. He doesn’t get old and I will. He can’t father children. He gets hungry for things he’d so better not ever go for again.
I’d be out of my mind to commit to a future with him.
But… would it be so bad? What else do I have to look forward to? Like I’m ever going to have kids anyway. Like I’m going to get old — hello, expiration date already well past.
I’ve got to stop thinking about it. I’ve got to put it back in the box for now. The end of the world is coming, and I’ve got to stop it. Story of my life. Will I ever hit an apocalypse break where I can stop and think about me for a while?
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/79998.html