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13 | the ship you love for the way they hurt each other



You think we're dancing?
That's all we've ever done.


So, in honor of this post, I have embarrassingly dug up some old meta I wrote some years ago about this ship. My opinions are pretty much the same as they were back then only less eloquent, so I guess I'll leave that there.

But I have to write SOMETHING here so here we are. For the sake of background, Buffy/Spike is basically a ~formative~ ship for me in that I grew up watching the show and it ~shaped me as a person~~~~ Much like Buffy/Angel! /trolololol. Only, even in my earnest teen days (which, tbf, weren't THAT long ago, lol), I still ~naturally gravitated towards the more overt dysfunction of Buffy/Spike. Although I'd say both are about equally toxic and dysfunctional the thing that always very perversely appealed to me about Buffy/Spike was how mutually destructive it was. (Season six of Buffy is just about the best-written showcase of mutual destruction the world of television has yet seen, tbqh. Ergo, my 15 year old self was all over it.) I feel like whereas Buffy/Angel was more straightforward with the Bad Boyfriend angle (i.e. Angel holds the emotional power from start to finish -- their relationship begins with Angel withholding information about himself from Buffy and it ends with him dumping her for L.A.), Buffy/Spike was distinct because it allowed the heroine to be a Bad Girlfriend. And that's not to downplay or excuse Spike's abuse at all or deny the fact that he's a centuries-old mass-murderer. Rather, the salient point is that the ship was important in exploring Buffy's ~dark side.

And that's something that's always stuck with me. That is, the Fallen Woman (TM). I'm into it. Buffy is a particularly good example because in S6 she has literally fallen from Heaven (or rather, been resurrected against her will) some time after heroically sacrificing herself to save the world. So, after reaching a virtually saintly pinnacle of goodness and then rudely thrown back on Earth and basically told that her duty (to save others -- again and again and again) still awaits... what better of way of coping is there than to start fornicating with your demonic mortal enemy? :~D

While she uses him as an outlet for her pain/rage/despair -- because it's the only real form of emotional power she can wield, because she can't express how she really feels to anyone else, because he allows her to do so -- he conversely uses her as a tie to humanity -- because he's isolated and depressed, because she's virtually the only real human connection in his life, because he secretly yearns to be worthy of her love but suspects he never will. And for all that is impure in this world, the way both characters' arcs are constructed around each other is a thing of unholy beauty and all other wrong!ships should bow.

And maybe my favorite thing about Buffy/Spike, oddly, is that in the end they resolve to be better than two people who are only good at tearing each other down. I don't just care about them hurting each other, I also care when they stop.

Date: 2013-02-27 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vergoldung.livejournal.com
I really shouldn't be here, in fact I am not here, I am doing origami with my brother and we're working hard at it. But I can't resist you, so just really quick :

And maybe my favorite thing about Buffy/Spike, oddly, is that in the end they resolve to be better than two people who are only good at tearing each other down. I don't just care about them hurting each other, I also care when they stop.
THIS. YES. THIS. Why I can't take my eyes off of them in season 7. I love that the way to each other (and not the way back to each other, tbh) is something that you put conscious work in. It doesn't just happen. It's not about being deserving/undeserving. You don't get a good relationship because you've been ~good, you aren't forbidden functionality because you've been ~bad. No. You work for it and that's what really matters.

Date: 2013-02-28 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
How are you folding paper and commenting on LJ simultaneously.

and not the way back to each other, tbh
Ooooooh, yes. The interesting thing about Buffy/Spike in S6 is how they start as tentative friends... but then quickly fuck that all up by descending into destructive sex. They never really gave themselves a chance to get truly close before the mutual destruction began. S7 is about them rectifying that.

Date: 2013-02-28 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vergoldung.livejournal.com
What is your icon I am at a loss.

ALSO. ARE YOU DOUBTING MY NINJA SKILLS OR? Of course I can fold paper and be on el jay at the same time, how dare you. (No but really, I was alternating between folding-to-explain and talking-to-explain and so the talking parts gave me a few minutes, which is already a miracle nowadays /woe)

PS - how are the files doing? :P

Date: 2013-03-01 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
It's "my hat has a cow." I refuse to provide context because you should know anyway.

Ugh, the download totally went splat the first time, so now I'm trying on a different computer. It's at 17% atm. : \

Date: 2013-03-01 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vergoldung.livejournal.com
Ohhhh, I see now :D But yo, I am most terrible with quotes. Most things I only watch once, so I'll remember quotes if people throw them at me (repeatedly) or if I read a lot of meta on the matter (and even then...).

Woe. I am crossing my fingers for you.

Date: 2013-02-27 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reginaspina.livejournal.com
I wish I could "like" this post one million times :D It's lovely!!

Date: 2013-02-28 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
Aww, thanks! You are lovely.

Date: 2013-02-27 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devilscrayon.livejournal.com
So much agreement with everything here. Also, major kudos for the song reference in the title- I have always thought that song was perfect for S6 B/S.

Date: 2013-02-28 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
Oooh, great minds. A lot of Aimee Mann stuff is perfect for B/S lbr.

Date: 2013-02-28 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahblack.livejournal.com
They are amazing and I will always love them. Beautiful tragic ship. ♥

Date: 2013-02-28 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xx-pinkstar.livejournal.com
OMG S6 OF BUFFY, FAV SEASON EVAH (until the Xander/Anya wedding episode, after that I'm too distraught to care for the rest of the series.)

lmao at the fact I shipped Buffy/Spike when I was like 10 years old ~clearly troubled~

as usual I'm as incoherent and moronic as ever and therefore I give you a metaphorical thumbs up, a good job and a PREACH.

Date: 2013-02-28 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
YOU ALSO, FRIEND? \o/ (LOL BUT I LOVED THE XANDER/ANYA PAIN TOO. /o\ /o\ /o\)

lmao at the fact I shipped Buffy/Spike when I was like 10 years old ~clearly troubled~
i feel u

thank. for you:

Date: 2013-02-28 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xx-pinkstar.livejournal.com
I dunno man, for me the Xander/Anya pain isn't even fun!pain. I just take it really seriously and can never get over it and it distracts me the rest of the season to the point where I'm too distressed to care what else is happening. AND THEN SHE FUCKING DIES.

omg i have nevah received a fruit and cracker and cheese basket before.

thank.

Date: 2013-02-28 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyofthelog.livejournal.com
YES X 1000000000

Date: 2013-02-28 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angearia.livejournal.com
My FAVORITES. No one else can compare wait when are cesare and lucrezia going to be on this meme of yours? I NEED IT.

No ship is more gloriously symbolically wrought than this ship which breaks down buildings and burns itself up only to come back stronger than ever. Fire and hands and shadow selves tumbling into darkness and fighting back towards the light. There are ships that talk about being epic and then there's Buffy and Spike.

Here, even more than with Faith, is the realization of what I'd always hoped for Faith and Buffy. "You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens." THAT is Buffy/Spike. Spike's come to burn down all her walls, Buffy's there to help him recognize the need for armor, and together they stand, hand in hand, to beat back the dark.

They're the funniest, snarkiest assholes who live behind masks until they grow beyond the mask -- Buffy wearing her cheerleader perk to hide the ~killer within, Spike wearing the ~gives-no-fucks rebel yell killer~ mask to hide the sensitive poet. But they can't hide from each other; Spike knows the darkness within her, Buffy sees how he can love (she immediately knows his weakness in "Lie to Me" and all arguments to the contrary are a struggle to deny that he does possess a heart if not a soul).

They've ruined me for all other 'ships because their journey is too much of everything that matters to them both. Buffy's turning to stone and Spike's made himself a torch -- they become what the other needs, even at their worst, they become what the other needs. "Put it all on me." And for two people who feel so horribly alone, to be able to be alone together, to need to be alone together -- means finding a way back to solidarity and wholeness. No longer so strange, so wrong. There is goodness here, a restoration of faith, no matter how far you fall, you are not lost.

The most gloriously destructive hellship that transcends itself: Buffy and Spike.
Edited Date: 2013-02-28 06:46 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-02-28 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
wait when are cesare and lucrezia going to be on this meme of yours? I NEED IT.
SOON MOTHERFUCKER

There are ships that talk about being epic and then there's Buffy and Spike.
Quite right.

Here, even more than with Faith, is the realization of what I'd always hoped for Faith and Buffy. "You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens." THAT is Buffy/Spike.
This x298420. I can simply add nothing, your words are perf as is.

But they can't hide from each other; Spike knows the darkness within her, Buffy sees how he can love (she immediately knows his weakness in "Lie to Me" and all arguments to the contrary are a struggle to deny that he does possess a heart if not a soul).
WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. (SHE CAN FOOL GILES AND SHE CAN FOOL HER FRIENDS BUT SHE CAN'T FOOL HERSELF -- OR SPIKE FOR SOME REASON!!!!)

And for two people who feel so horribly alone, to be able to be alone together, to need to be alone together -- means finding a way back to solidarity and wholeness.
Literal puking on my rug.

Emmie, what is your comment.

Date: 2013-02-28 07:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angearia.livejournal.com
more like SOON BROTHERFUCKER

WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. (SHE CAN FOOL GILES AND SHE CAN FOOL HER FRIENDS BUT SHE CAN'T FOOL HERSELF -- OR SPIKE FOR SOME REASON!!!!)

CAN'T BREATHE. AND NOW I NEED TO WATCH EFFULGENT-GIRL'S "EFFIGY" VID AGAIN BECAUSE MASKS. also i just did some reading for school about women artists using masks as a means of reclaiming their identity as women and artists while also negotiating for control of their self-image with society...

and like... the fact that spike/buffy let the masks fall kills me. that they rip off each other's masks? that spike gets so angry at buffy for pretending (we're both outsiders, goddammit! we don't need masks when we're together! /he screams and then seduces her till she gives it up) to the point that he loses sight of her true face in s6 /o\ /o\/o\/o\/o\/o\ these fuckers exist to hurt me endlessly. this is why "touched" is overdone in the speech, "I see exactly what you are," because we already know this. but then, buffy needs to hear it, needs to know that she's seen and accepted and loved without him asking for anything in return, not even asking her to save him -- it removes the weight of the world. can we rest now? yes. finally. lay down arms, lay down in each other's arms. no armor, no masks, just an unflinching gaze giving way to eyes closing in sleep.

Emmie, what is your comment.

idek i walk through life without these feelings much of late and then they come back to torture me like a death fever. i'm here infecting everyone. share the disease.

also fuck the title of this entry okay. fuck you very much. buffy's stone and spike's fire and together they're a motherfucking volcano.

Edited Date: 2013-02-28 07:27 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-02-28 08:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
more like SOON BROTHERFUCKER
this is why we are friends.

why is your schoolwork so interesting.

that they rip off each other's masks? that spike gets so angry at buffy for pretending (we're both outsiders, goddammit! we don't need masks when we're together! /he screams and then seduces her till she gives it up)
yes yessssssssssss. it's why their relationship almost HAS to be so destructive, because the whole experience of exposing and being exposed is so painful and to have intimate knowledge of another person is A WEAPON. s6 is about them wielding it against one another in their desperation and s7 is about getting to be at peace with being known. apparently this is an unpopular opinion but i actually kind of love Spike's speech in "Touched"? precisely BECAUSE Buffy needs to hear it, and her reaction ("i don't want to be the one"!!!!!) gets to me more than his words do. and yeah, their gazing at each other is everything.

buffy's stone and spike's fire and together they're a motherfucking volcano.
just be quiet. just be quiet.

Date: 2013-02-28 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosaxx50.livejournal.com
This reminds me, I need to rewatch s6 of BtVS soon.

That is, the Fallen Woman (TM). I'm into it. Buffy is a particularly good example because in S6 she has literally fallen from Heaven (or rather, been resurrected against her will) some time after heroically sacrificing herself to save the world. So, after reaching a virtually saintly pinnacle of goodness and then rudely thrown back on Earth and basically told that her duty (to save others -- again and again and again) still awaits... what better of way of coping is there than to start fornicating with your demonic mortal enemy? :~D

YES THIS.

While she uses him as an outlet for her pain/rage/despair -- because it's the only real form of emotional power she can wield, because she can't express how she really feels to anyone else, because he allows her to do so

Because she can be so angry at him without the overwhelming guilt if she were snapping at Dawn or Willow or Xander.

Your thoughts are all the correct thoughts, I bow down to them.

Date: 2013-02-28 07:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ever-neutral.livejournal.com
Yes, rewatch and report feels.

We are quite simpatico. You may stay.

Date: 2013-02-28 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angearia.livejournal.com
Because she can be so angry at him without the overwhelming guilt if she were snapping at Dawn or Willow or Xander.

/crying about it

and realizing the parallels of Buffy in When She Was Bad smashing the Master's bones and Buffy in Dead Things smashing Spike's face, all because she doesn't want to be here, she hates this life, she's so enraged, and only through the violent expression of that rage can she turn the corner and start to let it go (DT is when Buffy finally releases that hate and allows herself to be comforted despite begging to not be forgiven as she cries in Tara's lap).

Date: 2013-02-28 07:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosaxx50.livejournal.com
and realizing the parallels of Buffy in When She Was Bad smashing the Master's bones and Buffy in Dead Things smashing Spike's face, all because she doesn't want to be here, she hates this life, she's so enraged, and only through the violent expression of that rage can she turn the corner and start to let it go (DT is when Buffy finally releases that hate and allows herself to be comforted despite begging to not be forgiven as she cries in Tara's lap).

YES. (I so, so need to rewatch s6.) Except it's even more violent in s6 because in Prophecy Girl, she didn't want to die. In The Gift, she'd accepted it, come back from heaven after she thought she'd finally get away from the grief and loss in s5. Spike is this strange middle ground between her traditional vampire foe, and someone who is possibly maybe just a little bit part of the gang, and therefore the perfect outlet.

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