blackfrancine: (BtVS: Spuffy Kiss-Something Blue)
[personal profile] blackfrancine
BUFFY: Your job is to kill the slayer. But all you can do is follow me around making moon eyes.
SPIKE: I'm in love with you.
BUFFY: (still advancing) You're in love with pain. Admit it. (Spike gets up) You like me ... because you enjoy getting beat down.

Two things about this:  

1)  A lot has been made of how Buffy is talking about herself when she's yelling at Spike during their fight.  But it's the "I'm lost? Look at you, you idiot.  Poor Spikey. Can't be a human, can't be a vampire.  Where the hell do you fit in?" part that I always see referenced.  

But she's also talking about herself here.  How she's supposed to be killing Spike.  But all she can do is follow him around making moon eyes.  

2) So, perhaps, when Spike says in Bring on the Night Never Leave Me, that Buffy needed the pain--this is what he was calling back.  Here, in Smashed, she's yelling at him [herself] that he's screwed up, that he's in love with pain.   

HA! I just had another thought: If she's indeed talking to herself when she says that she's "in love with pain," --and she's saying this about herself because she's drawn to Spike.  Because she knows that, like Angel, he will cause her pain.  Why will he cause her pain?  Because she's in love with him.  She's in love with Spike--and she all but admits it here.  In Smashed.  She's angry at herself because she can't break out of the pattern of falling for guys who are bad for her--ie Angel.  She knows Spike is like Angel in many tangible and significant ways.  So.  She's viewing her feelings for the two of them as interchangeable.

[ETA: I realize that previous paragraph is incoherent.  Welcome to my brain.  

What I meant to say is: Buffy is telling herself that she's in love with pain because she's drawn to Spike.  Why is that so dangerous?  Why is she so furious at herself?  Because she's not just talking metaphorically.  She's "in love with pain" doesn't just mean that she's attracted to Spike--though it does mean that too.  It literally means that Spike=pain, and she is falling in love with him.  Spike=pain in Buffy's mind because of her experience with Angel.  Falling for another vampire seems like it will be nothing but pain.  Again.  

There.  I hope that was more coherent.] 

But whatever.  That was all a digression.  Because the thing that I originally came here to mention was this:

3) (I know, I said two things--but that was before I had that thought jump in) Buffy seems hurt when she says "Admit it.  You like me ... because you enjoy getting beat down."  Let me repeat:  She seems hurt.  Like she wants Spike to love her for something other than her ability to beat him up.  She wants him to want her for herself.  

This plays, I think, a significant role in Wrecked--her visible pain and outrage at "I knew the only thing better than killing a Slayer would be..."--she doesn't want to be that to him.  She wants to be more.  She wants to believe that she is more.  And for a moment, until Spike sticks his giant foot in his mouth, it almost seems as if she's willing to believe it.  

Also, I'd add that this is part of why his speech in Touched is so effective.  It's exactly what she ALWAYS wanted to hear from him.  But he was always too guarded and buried in his role as a cocksure bad boy to say out loud that he loved Buffy, the woman--the one who tries, who is kind and cruel, and weak and strong.  Not just the Slayer.  She needed to hear that someone had seen her.  Someone knew her.  Someone understood.  Someone loved her.  HER.  

And she had wanted to hear that from Spike as early as Smashed.  

Someday, I'm going to write a manifesto on why I'm sure that Buffy loved Spike in season 6.  But not tonight. 
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