Ugh poor Buffy. That soul (SLAYER soul) and the demon, such hard cohabitation. It rather seems that Buffy would be an innately more evil and terrifying unsouled vamp than Spike.
Yeah, Buffy is finding it hard to integrate a slayer soul with being a vampire. I had a sequel planned (I even have a banner) where Buffy does eventually lose her soul, and things get complicated, but it died after 15,000 words. I might revamp it one day (as it were) and get back to it.
Spike did not... and he still didn’t like it. That seemed... almost sweet, at some strange level. -- Well, I have a soul, according to the show's mythology, and no demon, and I think the same thing about Spike. Though in my personal headcanon Spike only ever raped at the behest of Angelus, I can still kind of forgive him for it if he did outside of that. But that's a fantasy character so it doesn't really seem like my real morality. Unsouled/souled not being an actual thing and all.
Because Spike’s kisses could make the whole world disappear, let alone history and questions and all of the horrible, horrible truth. -- I can also totally get on board with this concept.
It was always made fairly clear in the shooting scripts that he did... though of course those are shootings scripts, not established canon. But that does mean that even though they always PGed it down, the writers, many of them, all had it in their minds that he (if not all vampires) did. Though they also established that Angel -- or Angellus at least -- was much more into it than Spike.
I explored most of this in Pet. It's barely glanced at here, since this is off-canon-compliance.
I've never read the shooting scripts. I always wondered why the writers seemed so determined that Spike was EVIL when what was shown on screen seemed to just humanize him more and more. It makes more sense if he was more evil in the shooting scripts and the writers rooms than was ever shown on screen.
Eeee! Madcoil! You're an Elfquest fan!
Also, I love the way you deal with consent. I've seen you do it a dozen different ways now, but it's always organic and natural and there. So much love for you!
I... am an ElfQuest fan. Though to be fair, the challenge requested a crossover, so I pulled in bits from a lot of different stories. ElfQuest was just one of them.
I address consent a lot, because Spuffy requires it with the way their relationship formed in canon. I'm glad it comes off well! Thank you.
One of the best elements I always like in your works is how you are able to delve with such honesty and intensity into the emotional foundations of your characters - excellent chapter.
Yeah, I dive deep and don't pull punches. Thank you.
“Feel that water, slayer,” he said. “There’s precious few good feelings in this hell hole. Take this one.” - It's for things like this that I love Spike. He seizes the moment, and find the beauty and advantage and feeling in it. Of course, as this chapter also explores, he's also a soulless demon, and that's OK. Because he never claims to be anything else. (the killing and raping etc is obviously not okay)
I have always wondered how much of a very different vampire Spike would have been if Angelus had never been in the picture. I think I'll write about it sometime. I know there are a few related stories out there that touch on the subject, too. Anyway, I digress.
Also, I'm getting serious concentration camp vibes, between the fire and the forced showers. How very... Nazi of them. Very appropriate and also nauseating.
Yeah, no, Spike's past is ugly and dark. But he is also who and what he is, darkness aside.
There's a lot of nazi echos in the initiative. There always was.
I love how they use parts from the demons they kill to forge weapons for later. Very wise. These two together are perfect partners.
The flamethrowers are frightening. One wrong move by anyone and Buffy and/or Spike would be dust.
Stupid Maggie not to give them blood though. If she really wants to test them she should feed them. Love how you show that Buffy has given up on anything like dainty behavior regarding blood needed. She'll even lick a bloody fang from a demon complete with slobber. This is a long way from a wine glass with pig blood.
Too bad they didn't drain Rat when they had the chance. Finally Slayer had ripped the annoying fledge’s head off, and that had ultimately put an end to his prattling. Waste of a blood source but it does show Buffy's demon has an annoyance level on par with Spike.
Yum...Spike in the shower. I can see him proud and gorgeous beneath the spray. No modesty but where does modesty have a place in this hell anyway? Love her loving his curls and her clever way to free a few when Spike tries to tame them. He's right about her needing to take advantage of getting cleaned off. There is a psychological need to be clean it seems and she's missing out by being prissy.
“Don’t matter,” he said into her ear. “Only you matter. It’s your body, dead or not. Own it.” There is SO much in that sentence! Not only does it apply there where they have control over so little but Spike's early years with Darla, Angel and Dru taught him that as well. Being a slave, a prisoner, or a new fledge is not too different ... someone else owns you. You can try to keep ownership of your mind and emotions and to as much a degree as possible your body. This is one way to claim yourself in their circumstance.
So true about Buffy's body and her issues. Spike has given her a gift with this new idea. But here Spike was saying it was hers. “Feel that water, slayer,” he said. “There’s precious few good feelings in this hell hole. Take this one.” It was a true blessing that brought Spike back to her at this time and especially in this place.
“So why does that mean a rape couldn’t do it?” ... “Well, it’s not like anyone enjoys rape,” Slayer snapped. ... “No, but your body doesn’t know that.” ... “Yeah it does!” Buffy makes the mistake SO many people make!!!!! Aside from the fact that rape is about power not sex many people think that an orgasm (or an erection in the case of a raped male) negates it as rape! Nerve endings don't know squat! If a motion causes physical pleasure it causes physical pleasure and that has nothing to do with consent. Rapists have gotten off because of a woman having an orgasm and thus, they say, she wanted it. Men being raped is often not considered possible if they had an erection because of the same. Utter ROT! Rape is a power move where the victim has not given consent to sexual behavior - period.
He’d call me over. Come on over, Willy. Let’s see what you can do with her. I knew I didn’t dare say no, ‘cause he’d do what he wanted with me if I didn’t.” Buffy needs this view of Angelus. How he really was without the soul. Spike with no soul is NOTHING like this and she knows it no matter how much weight she is placing on that soul being the difference.
He liked little blonde girls, around sixteen. He said they came the easiest. Indeed he did. Buffy one of them. Whatever you’re thinking of me, pet, you go ahead and think it, but don’t you stroll off with contempt for me and respect for that rape-happy bastard what killed you with your eyes shut, in cold blood. GOOD! She needed that right in her face. And it seems to have worked. Buffy suddenly felt like one of them. Just one more in a line of Angelus’s victims, caught in his webs. How in the hell had she let herself fall for him? How? Why? Why had she bared her throat? He couldn’t even show kindness to his own damn lineage. Painful but necessary.
“Boring?” Yes I can easily see this as Spike's attitude toward Torture.
He shrugged. “It takes so long, and it’ll go on for sodding ever if you’re doing it right. I hate it.” ... “But you’ll do it.” I like that he isn't trying to paint himself as some saint he is merely being honest. ”He shrugged. “When I’ve got to.
“To get information?” Oh another common misconception. The idea that torture ever really works as an interrogation means is so common. Too many movies and TV series I think.
He shook his head. “Doesn’t work real well for information, you tend to get a lot of lies.” YES. A person tortured will eventually say anything to make it stop. All the accurate and useful information we got from prisoners at Gitmo were BEFORE torture, when the FBI used the method of just talking to them and forming a bond of trust. All the info after we started "enhanced interrogation" (GOD I want a bath just saying those words) was inaccurate and useless.
“Well, why would you have to torture?” ... Spike’s head cocked, and he gave a small smile, which disturbed Slayer, as she couldn’t figure out if it was amused or some other emotion. “Dru liked it.” And there is the answer to everything about Spike as a vampire and a key to him as a human as well. He will be whatever most pleases the one he loves. You want him to stop drinking from people? Make him love you and ask. You want him to rape or torture? Same. He will be what he thinks you want if he has to turn himself inside out to do it. He truly is a fool for love.
Yes a certain amount of pain would appeal to a vampire. It's pretty much a given.
Spike shrugged. “Got sick of fights I knew I was going to win.” The exact reason why Spike sought out Slayers IMHO. He was bored with easy kills. Even early on he was taking on gangs of humans in fights instead of sneaking tricks like Angel or one on one like most vamps. I think he might have a bit of a death wish too. At least insofar as the element of question. Winning most fights is a given. A decent Slayer was a challenge though, one warrior at the top of the food chain against another. Winning those fights a badge of honor.
Great question about lying. Buffy even lies to herself. I think her explanation makes perfect sense and it's rather sad too. Oddly enough becoming a Slayer even reinforced the use of lies. She was discouraged from letting anyone know about who and what she was. Much of her life was founded on one lie or another. Spike was never a good liar though.
Yeah I can see him raping victims being a passing phase that he early on tired of. Part of his nature is the yearning for acceptance and a rape victim is not wanting him. I can see him wanting his sexual experiences to be with a partner who actually wants him. As for the power gratification a rapist gets ... not much challenge having power over a girl you are raping. It would lose its appeal pretty quickly to someone like Spike. Now a good fight where he might lose? That never loses its appeal.
She’d fantasized a lot of really iffy things that she didn’t want to admit to anyone, including herself, let alone Spike. And that was all before she’d been turned. We all do. That doesn't mean we'd want most of them to actually happen.
Really a rich chapter in so many ways. Lots of learning about each other and about nature both human and vampire. New perspectives on Angel as well.
I am sorry it's taken me so long to do reviews. I read these as they posted but on the fly with no chance to comment and suddenly they all built up. The good side of that is I get the PURE JOY of rereading!
Oh, I'm so glad to see you get back to this one! Always a joy to see a Kathleen Review. (Seriously, we crow about them in chat.)
I think the flamethrowers are there for threat and intimidation as much as cleanup. They want these vampires to know exactly how much power they have over them. Same with the blood -- they're testing for high stress response, and hunger is a very useful tool for that.
You know, they might have taken some of Rat's blood. Either way, they had to kill him. But I also think they dropped Rat in early, and they didn't realize they really meant that Not Feeding Us thing. Their testing us, that means they're gonna feed us, right? Not so much, as it turned out....
Gotta love an image of a prancing, naked Spike in a smoke-filled carnage-laden room....
Buffy had no claim for her own body, particularly not as a vampire. It was very, very good to basically give it back to her like that, or show her she could TAKE it back, as it were.
It really is awesome to see you again, I'm very glad you got back to the stories. You don't, by the way, NEED to give me these epic, glorious, ohmygod reviews, if they get hard to write. Even an emoticon lets me know how you feel. (Not... that I'm complaining, mind you. I love these.)
Some of this conversation was a little kinkier than my preference, but it's understandable that since they're vampires, their moral lines have kind-of shifted/blurred. What's that extra-long acronym? YKINMYBYKIOT? Your kink is not my kink but your kink is okay too? LOL!
Indeed! And actually, some of it was a little much for Buffy, even, and even Spike doesn't like it much. But... they do have each other, after all... moral lines... blurry... uh... within reason, of course.
Okay, this conversation? This wasn't enjoyable at all. But I guess that goes without saying.
The whole thing is horrific and upsetting, but I guess it is kinda necessary to talk about.
It's also personal, and I hope no one's listening in and/or recording any of it.
All that said, I liked the bit at the end.
I don't think anyone listening is going to care... I actually don't think they're listening. What the beasts say isn't important, what they do is.
Wow. Another dark but beautiful chapter. I don't think that anyone could claim to knowing Buffy or Spike as well as the other does now. Well done.
They are both being very honest. In some ways, it's easier for Spike to be honest with This Buffy, because she is already a demon.
Wonderful chapter. Their conversation was very insightful and well written. I love how you portrayed the dark side of Spike. We also could see how Buffy learned something about herself that she never would have wanted to admit. Spike is gradually, inexorably introducing her to the grayscale world.
Grayscale, multicolored, subtly shaded, vibrantly hued....
They are doing what they can to survive, collecting weapons and try to keep being healthy and sane. This also gives them a lot of time to talk. Buffy doesn't really know that much about the curse it seems. Some research about it would have been good. Spike is pointing out that it shouldn't really be that easy to break the curse. Then we are going into dark places. What we learn about Spike here seems a lot like my own thoughts about him.
He is evil and if you don't have a problem with killing, you shouldn't have much problem with torture and rape either. Spike doesn't do much about that but for his own reasons. I can clearly see him getting bored with torture and his pride won't let him rape, he could also see it as cheating on Dru. Perfectly good reasons for an evil creature to not do those things, unless he have to.
Buffy also had to learn more about Angel. Her own knowledge of being a souled vampire should also let her see how much Angel was lying about.
Yeah, I was always a big believer that evil is evil, and it's not redemption if he wasn't evil to start with.
Oh, boy. A good fight and Buffy's vulnerability while naked lead right into naked, uncomfortable truths. Thinking that the soul curse precludes any sex at all gives them the opportunity to really get to know each other.
Of course, as we discovered in Ats S5, the soul isn't bothered by just ordinary happiness. It's perfect happiness that does the trick. Somehow, I can't see Buffy easily being perfectly happy as a vampire, even with Spike, in this hellhole. After they've escaped and dealt with the Initiative, of course, might be a different matter....
And teh battles are becoming progressively harder, particularly as they aren't being fed. What's next, I wonder?
Ah, yes, naked truths are particularly enticing.... Getting to know each other... same.
Buffy would have an awful lot of problems being perfectly happy in this situation. Sex is... well. Complicated. Darn celibacy clause... (or so they understand....)
Squee! Throw a monster at Spuffy, and you're giving them weapons! :D
Spike knows that something doesn't add up about Buffy's description of the curse! Yaay!
The curse *is* very handy in a way, because it makes them do other things to pass the time, like talk and get to know each other. :)) (Not to mention, all that lovely UST.)
I love that Spike asked why Buffy lies and there was an actual answer.
That curse always seemed a little iffy, and it does to him too. But... UST is wonderful stuff! You can just SMELL it now.
It's so thick you could cut it, within reason.
Within reason, of course.
This conversation cleared the air between them, somewhat, I think, though honestly, it'd be difficult to not get into the nitty gritty of it all, considering they're both starkers.:)
Soike has always been different, for a vampire anyways, in cannon.Perhaps his alter ego was older...more ancient, or else, not as blood thirsty as his counterparts.For whatever reason for Spikes' character, it's nice to see Buffy coming to the realization of Angel's inherent evilness, and to finally wake up, to the facts of Angel's many faults, and tendency to run towards evil actions/ manipulations, even with his soul intact.....Good to have Buffy and Spike able to comfort one another, and.....good show on them, gathering weapons from the remains of their opponents. Very clever! Here's hoping they'll be able to utilize them against their captors to escape! Great update!
Indeed, while naked is the BEST time to have this conversation... I don't know about the demon which possessed him being older. I always figured it was like a baby, and a baby grows based on its bloodline and environment. I just figured William was a highly passionate and humanitarian individual, and it echoed in the demon he became, until he brought down his own soul and fused with both beings. That's the way I write it, anyway. Thanks!
Best chapter yet. You very bravely waded into very dangerous water, but managed to keep the dialogue well paced. Did not excuse Spikes horrific acts but put them into context. Of course you have waded darker still with Pet which is, in my opinion, the very best piece of spuffy fiction out there. But in that case, Buffy and Spike were in very different places. Buffy was able to forgive Spike in Pet, in part, because of the man she knows he will be. Here Buffy can actually as a vamp herself understand a bit better just how far Spike has come on his own. Makes sense
*Squee* I feel Pet to be awesome myself! It's my favorite piece of anything I've written, ever, and yeah... dark territory. But... *squee!* Thanks!
This one is a little more difficult, and a little less direct. They don't have time or circumstance to deconstruct. But she is a demon... and she's starting to understand. And yeah, one of the big things about Spike only works with, "IF Angel is okay, then...." Angel... is NOT okay. But with the original caveat that Angel is okay, then Spike has to be even better.
I really like this part, it was never addressed in the series: “Why do you lie so much?” What?
“Why do you lie? You lie to yourself, you lie to me, you lie to your friends, and your mum, and the newborns, and Angel, and probably your watcher, why do you do it?”
It's funny because Buffy considered herself a good person and yet she did lie continuously.
Enjoying the story so far.
Constantly! So did Angel. All the bloody time! But then, so did Xander and Giles and even occasionally Willow. Even Tara did, over the demon thing for a long time. Anya did not, I don't think. But she did prevaricate a bit over the troll.
A smart idea to make tools out of the leftovers of their victory. I hope it comes in handy with the initiative later. They will need all the help they can get!
I sort off feel like Spike is helping Buffy discover herself. I meant that in a non sexual way, though I am sure he will have no problems helping her discover that side of herself either.
The conversation they had was difficult and horrifying in some aspects, but I hopethe raw honesty may have helped Buffy embrace who she is, the good, the bad, the slayer and the vampire.
Another great chapter. Thanks!!
Raw honesty is a really good way to put Spike. Totally raw, unfiltered, unashamed honesty.
Spike IS helping her figure herself out, her body, her nature, her self. And yes... the sex part is... oh, come on, you KNOW it's gonna come later. *Stops being coy*
I was afraid this conversation might actually be a bit too bare for some people, but... it felt needed.
Wow just wow....
You know this make think how difficult could be loving someone like spike because is hard to be with someone so honest with himself, owning his nature, his freedom just slap you in the face.
That question about why Buffy lie so much, again wow just wow. I'm loving this so far.
Honesty is pretty hard to understand for those who don't live that way. I love this review!
She opening up little by little. Spike is shimmying his way into her heart. I do wonder how long Walsh plans to keep it up without feeding them. Love it.
I don't think she knows how much they need to eat. Or maybe she's seeing what that kind of adversity will do to them...