, Season 1
, Season 2
, Season 3
, Season 4
, Season 5
, Season 6
, Season 7
, Alternate Reality
, HistoricalCharacters: Ensemble
I've seen variations of Human!Spike as a Watcher or sometimes a vamped Spike as a Watcher, but I would like to see a story that explores an actual Human!Spike Watcher transition to vampire Spike. Moreover, I'd like this fic to explore him being evil--and/or wrestling with his evil impulses--instead of automatically being good by virtue of his experiences as a Watcher. This could happen one of two ways:
1. Begins in 1880. William Pratt is a Watcher, but his path crosses with Drusilla and he is turned. Using his extensive knowledge of demons, vampires, and slayers, he becomes the Slayer of Slayers, possibly killing even more than the canonical two because he knows so much about them. The circumstances under which he meets Buffy are much the same (or could be; if you'd like, you can play with this a bit), but his S2 truce with her is further deepened by his insights as a former Watcher/Watcher-in-Training. His Watcher knowledge can come in handy in later seasons and even integrate him more fully into the Scoobies--but again, this shouldn't be a quick or easy transition. I imagine that Spike is torn on multiple levels between his old identity as William the Watcher and Bloody Awful Poet and his new one of Spike, Big Bad Slayer of Slayers. I imagine he would also have a further complicated relationship with Giles, as Giles would be intrigued by Spike's impressive knowledge of Watchers and Slayers and frustrated by his on-again, off-again reticence on the subject. Still, the two would understand each other in a way not present in the canon, and this would ultimately forge a strong bond between them.
2. William Pratt is Buffy's new Watcher--but is turned either immediately before or soon after Buffy's move to Sunnydale. In this version of events, he could be less evil (obviously he would not be the Slayer of Slayers), but he would still wrestle with himself and the tug-of-war between what he knows, logically, is right and what his new instincts are telling him to do. His character arc would be messy, with lots of missteps, trying and failing and trying again. He will do evil things. But over time he finds his balance and achieves redemption. This is also an opportunity for him and the Scoobies to struggle with what they "knew" about vampires and demons and what they discover to be the truth. His Watcher knowledge combined with his vampire strength, etc, would naturally enable him to train Buffy better once he reaches a place where he can/is working with the Scoobies again.
-A long arc that truly explores the messy road to redemption. Spike should not automatically become good. He should have done a lot of truly evil things. I don't want a sanitized version of Spike where everything he did in his past is somehow excusable. I want him to be complex because that's what makes him so interesting as a character and his redemption so meaningful. He has to work for it.
-Humor as well as drama. The show has lots of humor, even in its darkest moments.
-Characters that are allowed to be flawed--and also work to grow out of those flaws.
-Spuffy, naturally, but not before she's 17 at least, preferably older.
-A happy ending please
-Spike getting his soul, if that works for the story. I don't have a problem with the soul plotline in and of itself, and in fact I think if used right it can be a really meaningful addition. We all know he can love without a soul, that's not up for debate, but we also know that as a demon his ability to see the nuance in some situations is impaired, thus leading him to make (sometimes horrendous) mistakes because in the moment he can't see the details that tip something from good/normal to evil/abhorrent. A soul could help him see and understand those nuances, and honestly there's a lot of tension and growth to explore there that we never really got to see in the show. In all honesty, I love the fact that he *chose* to get his soul back, and that in and of itself is really powerful.
-Real, meaningful character development for characters that didn't really get much in the show (namely Xander).
MUST NOT HAVE:
-Buffy bashing. Buffy is human and flawed, and that makes her character complex and engaging. She was thrust into a world of responsibility at a very young age and told to just deal with it. Her initial resistance to Spike in the show made sense with the information that she had at the time and the experiences she had to inform her. Allow her to struggle with trusting Spike. There are a lot of reasons why she wouldn't trust Spike right off and a lot of reasons why it would take some time for her to warm to him, especially if you pick option 1 and he's the Slayer of Slayers and has attacked her and her friends (probably repeatedly).
-That being said, if you choose to follow major plotlines more or less as they unfolded in the show, I would really prefer if you avoided the outright physical abuse we see in S6. Buffy was dealing with a lot, but I feel like there were other ways she could have expressed that. Similarly, there are other ways/reasons why Spike might choose to reclaim his soul, if you chose to go that direction.
-Spike being right all the time. Spike is cunning, perceptive, and clever at turns, even patient when he wants to be, and definitely book smart (especially in this version of events), but he is also occasionally a big goober, and ornery, and melodramatic. He's a vampire without a fully-functioning conscience and makes wrong or bad choices. He has a lot more life experience than Buffy (especially in option 1), but that doesn't always translate to having the answers to everything or being consistently more emotionally mature (because chaining up your crush and declaring love, then getting mad when that isn't received well is not an emotionally mature act). Remember, William was not a ladies man--doesn't matter how smooth Spike became with women he wanted to seduce/didn't care about, with women he actually loves and has to work for (because he didn't necessarily have to work for Drusilla) he's still clumsy, confused, and torn between his nerdiness/Victorian sensibilities and his want, take, have attitude as a vampire.
Gah, that's a lot of stipulations! Obviously you may choose to bend some of these or use this challenge as loose inspiration, but *fingers crossed* I hope to see someone use their creativity to meet the criteria above. I would write it myself but *gestures around at the world* this is sadly killing my creativity and I don't have much stamina for writing anything that deals with dark and dramatic subject matter right now. Thanks in advance, if anyone's interested!