Point of View, Part 3, Giles
Summary: One relationship from many angles. Set after Lies My Parents Told Me in S7.
Pairing: Spike and Buffy, of course
Let me say one thing first. I don’t like vampires.
Is that simple enough? Are there any concepts there that are beyond the comprehension of a 21-year-old Slayer? Heavens, you’d think she expected me to take him down to the pub to have a few pints and bond over some footie on the telly. Except there’s never any footie on the telly here, only that monstrous bastardization of rugby… but I digress. I’m not going to make friends with Spike. We’re not going to unite as fellow Englishmen. We’re never going to go out for a curry together or share our public school trauma stories.
I don’t like vampires.
How could I feel otherwise? I grew up knowing I was to be a Watcher. My father fought vampires and his father before him. I was raised by people who don’t like vampires. I went to university with people who don’t like vampires. And even if that were not the case, which it is, I would still not like vampires.
This is not an abstract concept. I have a lifetime of experience to draw upon when I say nothing good comes from the undead. I tolerated Angel, and what did it get me? My lover murdered, and me tortured – within an inch of my life, I’ll have you know. That’s what you get when you start treating vampires like they’re your friends.
Buffy thinks I’m just being paternal. She thinks the issue is that I don’t approve of her boyfriend. Well, I don’t. But that is entirely beside the point. He’s a vampire – an animated corpse. So, he obtained a soul – by means I have no knowledge of, I might add, so how am I to even trust that it is a real soul? It hardly matters. Angel had a soul, and look how much good that did.
Even if I allow that Spike has a soul, I still cannot in good conscience endorse his presence in this house. He’s not stable. It’s only been a matter of weeks since he was killing. Yes, I understand that he was under the power of the First. But if he could be compelled to kill a few weeks ago, what will stop him from being compelled to kill next week?
He says the trigger is gone. How does he bloody know? Maybe the First put two triggers in him. Maybe Spike only thinks this one is deactivated. Maybe it wasn’t the First at all – he was just acting in accordance to his nature.
Too many “what ifs” here. We can’t have it. We’ve got a house full of vulnerable young women here. What will Buffy say if he kills half of them one night because he’s feeling puckish?
Why does she gravitate to the worst possible men? I swore to myself years ago that I would not interfere in her romantic life – as much as seeing her make these horrible choices makes me want to. But there are limits. There have to be limits. She can’t keep falling in love with vampires – it’s her job to kill them.
So, here I am. She’s not speaking to me. She thinks I went along with Wood’s plan because I don’t approve of her choice of men. I don’t, but that’s not why I did it. We’re in a tight spot here. We’re going to need every resource at our disposal just to survive, and even then I’m not sure we have a fair chance. We can’t have our titular leader mooning over the vampire in the basement. Doesn’t she know the fate of the world is at stake?
I suppose I understand the attraction. He’s dark. He’s powerful. He’s the opposite of everything she’s supposed to want — and she’s always been rebellious. I would be dishonest if I said I didn’t understand the allure of the demon world. I had my wayward youth. But I learned my lesson. She should understand that I know what I’m talking about – from personal experience. She should take my word for it.
But, I suppose I wouldn’t have either, when I was her age.
She’s still a child. I know she’s over 21, but that doesn’t mean anything. She died and was brought back, and I think that stunted her emotional development somehow.
Though, I suppose, if I’m going to be honest with myself, it is paternalism. I remember what she was like when I first came to California. I was so proud to finally have a first-tier assignment. I was going to be in charge of a Slayer. Of course, as it worked out, it was more the reverse. But, never mind that, we found our way together. And for all her rebellious nature, her criminal abuse of the mother tongue, her tendency to act on instinct rather than logic – she was magnificent. I was so proud of her.
And in those days, there was a light that emanated from her. Her youth was all but palpable. She met each challenge as an unstoppable force.
I suppose I should take pride in the fact that my Slayer has survived longer than all but a very few. But I look at her today and wonder if she did survive. She died and was resurrected. The girl that returned from the grave is different. The power is still there, but there’s been something missing for a while.
It might not be a result of the resurrection. I think I saw the light begin to die when she buried her mother. I saw her step up and accept the responsibility for her sister. I saw her put her sister ahead of the world. She said she’d let the world die before she would let her sister die.
The world has always been her burden. How many times has she saved it? But I think the burden got too heavy somewhere along the way. I wish I knew a way to lighten that burden.
I want my little girl back.
But Spike? I’m to acquiesce to her relationship with that … thing?
I look at him and a black rage rises in my gut. Why is he here? Why is he clinging to my Slayer?
Nearly every friend and acquaintance of my adult life is dead now, all the classmates of my university years, all the co-workers of the years before I came to California. They’re all dead – killed by the First and his agents. Yet, Spike survives.
I wonder whether Buffy knows how it grates upon me that so many good Watchers fell to the First, yet Spike has had his encounter and walked away unscathed. How can that be in a universe where good and evil have meaning?
Even Quentin Travers – I know Buffy views him with distaste – but he was a good man. He got the Council through the Thatcher years – more or less intact. I didn’t always agree with his methods, or his adherence to ancient traditions, but I can’t fault his dedication to the organization.
What am I, now that the Council is gone? I’m a bit of flotsam washed up on a foreign shore. It’s no wonder that she doesn’t listen to me anymore. I’m lost. I think I’m almost more afraid that she’ll find a way to win than I am that we might lose. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself if we survive this. I’m a leftover from a dead era – the one dinosaur who didn’t have the good sense to sink in the tar pits.
Very well, if we’re to get through this, we have to pull together. So, I’ll tolerate Spike – for the moment. I’ll do what I have to do to gain her trust again. Then, if we all survived, I’ll wish her a happy life with her vampire swain, and I shall take my leave.
Who am I kidding? I’ll bite my tongue and have cream tea and biscuits with him, if it means she’ll let me stay in her life. I’m nothing without my Slayer. She’s all I have left.
I’ll do what I have to do.
But, I just want to make it clear: I don’t like vampires.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/80533.html