I am not a Spuffy shipper. There are many reasons for this. Some of them are personal, but more of them are character and story related.
On a personal level, Buffy’s relationship with Spike reminds me of some toxic romantic situations I’ve been in and it makes me uncomfortable that it’s something people could possibly aspire to (I’m aware not everyone who ships them does, but I know some do). However, I am not a slayer, nor were any of my love interests vampires… that I know of. So there are some extenuating circumstances. This reason is entirely personal, has nothing to do with anything but my own icky feelings this ship brings up.
However, on a story level, Spuffy has always bothered me because it always felt contrived and forced. Not due to chemistry or lack of between Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters – those two are great. The storyline itself felt forced to me. Season five felt like a culmination of something: the thing we’d been building to all along. And then Buffy was brought back in a way that completely undid her as a character, stripped her down to bare bones (literally) and built her back up into a new Buffy I, honestly, didn’t like as much as end-of-season-five Buffy. And her biggest story arc in season six was her relationship with Spike. It became the A plot instead of a B plot. It was the most major thing she had going on, and that was new for her. Even with Angel, as important as Bangel was, it was just part of a larger arc. I had a hard time buying into Spuffy at all, particularly as the thing that carried the season. Spike also had to undergo a bit of an overhaul, and in some ways it made sense – the chip and his frustration juggling what he wanted to do and what he was able to do. In some ways it felt rushed or contrived, like the fact that he always just happened to be around when Buffy was the most vulnerable. Even his assault on Buffy and his resulting quest for a soul felt a bit “wait, what?” So, I do have a lot of legitimate problems with the ship that have nothing to do with my personal feelings or the ship itself, and everything to do with the way it was presented and put together.
However to the however… Someone recently pointed out on my dash that whenever Buffy has implied that Spike was somehow beneath her or that he didn’t matter, she actually meant the opposite. Which I thought about for a moment, and it suddenly made sense. The example pointed out in the post in question is when she reveals to Spike she was in Heaven, not Hell, and that being back was her Hell. I always thought she revealed this to Spike simply because he happened to be there (conveniently) – literally a captive audience because of all the pesky sunlight keeping him there. And she had to tell SOMEONE who wouldn’t go spiraling into an existential crisis as a result of the news. The line highlighted “I can be alone with you here” and Spike’s sarcastic, possibly mildly offended retort “Thanks ever so” was something I always interpreted as a remnant of their once antagonistic relationship full of barbs and jabs (both physical and verbal). I never considered the possibility that Buffy meant she could be who she was, feel how she felt, in that moment with him present… because he wouldn’t judge her. We’ve seen everyone in her close circle judge her at least once in the series. Xander probably does it the most, particularly when it comes to her romantic relationships. Willow was the first person to confront her about her exit after killing Angel, and everyone else was quick to jump on the bandwagon, save Giles (who was busy trying to save the world from zombies). But, Giles and Oz boarded the judgment train when Angel returned from Hell and Buffy kept it a secret, Giles reminding her what Angel did to him and Jenny while Oz called her out for kissing Angel (I forget the actual line/context of that, but it definitely felt like he wasn’t really on Buffy’s side and he was the one with the least at stake in the room). Then you have Spike, who, when he has judged Buffy, has usually been impressed by or threatened by her. It’s a different kind of judgment. Yeah, the guy may have tried to kill her once or twice, but he never got all high and mighty with her (“How could you do that? How dare you?”). Tara also never did this, just to point it out and give her some kudos.
In a way, Buffy has always been able to be completely unfiltered with Spike, even if you look at their combat. He’s formidable, gives her a run for her money, and she’s scrappy and resourceful and does the same for him. That’s something that’s always been there under the surface in one form or another. Season six was a perfect storm of circumstances that allowed it to manifest into something else. Another moment that comes to mind is when Buffy learned her mother was sick and snuck out on the back porch alone to cry. Spike arrived, supposedly intent on killing her, but sat with her instead. Then, of course, there’s the moment when Buffy beats Spike to a bloody pulp calling him disgusting and some other colorful things. All of these are examples of Buffy revealing her innermost self to Spike because, for some reason, she feels safe doing so in a way she doesn’t – never has – with anyone else.
This is a big deal, and it’s a thing I never noticed until I really sat down and thought about it. Even the toxic stuff, the ugly stuff, the icky stuff, it’s Buffy’s truth at that moment. If she’s hurting herself and him, it’s because that’s where she’s really at inside – she’s trying to feel, to punish herself, whatever it is she’s doing – and, yes, it’s toxic and it makes me feel icky. But, when put in its true, full context, is it really an abusive relationship? An unhealthy one? Or is it simply what it is at the time? What would this relationship look like when the two of them were in different, more healthy headspaces? These are all things I’m genuinely curious about.
In conclusion… Alright, Spuffy shippers. I get it now. I buy it. I amend my previous “I just don’t see it” comments on this ship. Kudos to @spuffy, @buffytags, and @spikesjojo who blogged/reblogged/commented on that post I saw that blew my mind. For some reason I can’t seem to link it (is there a way to embed links of gifset posts? If someone tells me I will link it here. It is the last thing I replogged before this post, for those who want to see it).
I will take any Spuffy fic recs if you have ‘em. I’m partial to fics that are kind of deep and explore character headspaces and what if scenarios. But, if there’s a bit of smut in there it’s not a dealbreaker, and if it’s fluff or silliness, or what have you, that’s not a dealbreaker either. Long or short, canon or AU, I’ll read it all. However, if there’s smut in it, particularly smut that’s a bit violent or what have you, give me a warning. As I said, icky personal feelings do occur for me and I may be in a wrong headspace to read it at certain times. I also may be reading on my lunch break at work and I’d rather not have a coworker go to ask me an innocent question and happen to glance at some smut I’m reading.
1. It’s been a while since I’ve watched all of Buffy so I’m going off memory and wiki refreshers.
2. I’d recommend watching all of Buffy. It’s one of the formative works of TV genre fiction, and we wouldn’t have countless other shows (BSG, new Doctor Who, Supernatural, LOST, etc) without the trails it blazed. If you understandably don’t want to sit through 144 hours of TV, though, then…
are you gonna start a new series once you finished ?
Like when I finish rewatching New Who? I’ll probably start rewatching the classic 😂
But Doctor Who isn’t the only TV-show I watch. I have a schedule, I watch something new every weekday. Currently I have Sens8 season two, Orphan Black season five, Buffy the Vampire Slayer season three, Torchwood (also a rewatch) season two and I also wanna rewatch House MD again. Plus I have two days for movies and documentaries.
And the series isn’t the only DW thing I enjoy. I read the books, I listen to Big Finish audios, I watch the spinoffs and I also wanna start reading the comicbooks. I mean, it’s my special interest after all.
"Well, if this guy wants to fight with weapons, I've got it covered from A to Z — from 'axe' to... 'zee other axe'."
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. I didn't see the sign."
"But I have their money. Who cares what kind of day they have?"
"Out... for... a... walk... bitch."
"And... and I never really liked you anyway. And... and you have stupid hair."
"Well, this earns you a big favor. There could be outfits."
"I for one didn't want to start my day with a slaughter... Which really just goes to show how much I've grown!"
"Great! Thank you very much for those nightmares."
"Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space... I did not just say that."
"I've given you everything I have. My heart, my body and soul... and if that isn't enough for you then we really have a problem"
"I have finesse coming out of my bottom!"
"Yeah, I could do that, but I'm paralyzed with not caring very much."
"The usual, big square building filled with boredom and despair."
"A d-Please! A date? You are completely off your bird! I mean... do you want it to be?"
"Well, we listened to aggressively cheerful music sung by people chosen for their ability to dance, and we ate cookie dough and talked about boys."
"We can be strong. Like an amazon."
"Whatever you choose, you've got my support. Just think of me as... as your... You know, I'm searching for supportive things and I'm coming up all bras. So, something slightly more manly, think of me as that."
"I'd do it. Right person, person I loved, I'd do it."
"I've driven tricycles with more power than this."
"I'm crazy? Honey, I'm the original one-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind, 'cause at least I admit the world makes me nuts."
"I don't understand. I don't know how to live in this world, if these are the choices, if everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point."
"I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man. And that's..."
"The hardest thing in this world-is to live in it."