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Question Spuffy lovers: How and when did you fall in love with Spuffy?

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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I think that I truly fell in love with them in. S7. Before that, I was just deeply attracted to their physical chemistry. But they showed me that there was much more to it and I love them because of that.
Yes, I agree completely with you. I have conflicted feelings about their relationship though.

The possibility of a relationship was played for laughs in S5. His unhealthy and obsessive personality was played to show him as pathetic, ridiculous and gross, which I’m fine with, he’s a great comic relief. I still wanted to see them together to explore that possibility.

In S6, it’s pushed to another level. There’s no denying that their on-screen chemistry is amazing, but he’s still pathetic but now at a different level (doormat pathetic) and manipulative, while she’s trying to find a way out of her depression. And the writers finally decided to show how dangerous obsession can be in real life. With the AR scene, we’re reminded that Spike’s obsession is not cute nor funny.

I like that he gets his soul to be what she deserves and that he has to go through the redemption arc. But I think that Spike losses a lot of his initial appeal. I still love that he wants to be better for her and it’s a really cute relationship this season -- that I adore much more than their physical relationship in S6.

But my conflicted feelings come from the fact that we have to give up a lot of what Spike was for him to be deserving of her love and that Buffy has to be cut-off from her friends to be more accepting of that love. So, he loses a lot of his attractive personality (I loved him as evil and manipulative pre-S5) and they strip away her family (another element that made this show great pre-S7). I often wonder if it could have been written differently and still have them together at the end. But without his soul and redemption and without her being somehow open to accept his love, I don’t see how.

That’s why I say that I can’t see my love for them as completely rational. So, I have accepted that I love the fairytale (with dark and toxic undertones) that was present to us from S5-S7. And I can sympathize with those who prefer the other fairytale presented from S1-S3.
 
BuffyLover88
BuffyLover88
This is a pretty good summary and a great way to distinguish Bangel from Spuffy as two different stories.

Puppet

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Black Thorn
When I fell in love with the ship and when I started shipping it are two very different things, just thought I'd add that. So I guess I'll answer the only one I can, which is the second one.

Back porch scene at the end of Fool for Love.
 

Litheran

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Their limited partnership in Becoming pt. II blew me away and made me a believer that their chemistry was more palpatable. Though at the time it was heresy to speak of anything other than Bangel. The reveal of William and Spike comforting Buffy in FFL cemented them as my OTP. The rest of the season added to it but Spike's "Every Night I Save You" speech made me teary, not even the slightest bit ashamed to admit it. Their awkward/awesome conversation at Xander and Anya's big day was the last great pre-jumptheshark moment. Everything after Seeing Red is slightly tainted for me due to the writers/showrunners polluting their story in order to make a (bad) plot correction.
 

Priceless

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I guess this is a sort of non-answer, in that I can't now remember a time I didn't love Spuffy. I sort of forgot about the show for a while, but I never forgot how much I'd loved Spuffy.
 
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As others have stated, it's hard to pinpoint a defining moment for them since the beauty of their relationship resides in the development of their dynamic, and therefore in the ensemble of their scenes together.

There has been a gleam between them ever since the beginning. Bound by circumstances they find themselves having to work together, becoming a hilarious, yet effective team in both season 2 and season 4. Something Blue and Who Are You? address the chemistry between them, asking the first what if?

Then, of course, Out of My Mind brings about Spike's realisation and up till Intervention we get to see a conflicted Spike dealing with his unrequited feelings towards Buffy in the only way a person without a soul could: terribly wrong. To this point, it seems pretty clear that this could never be more than a completely selfish, one-sided love on Spike's part to which Buffy wouldn't be able to positively respond. And I definitely didn't want her to. The interesting moment that signals the presence of something special is what happens at the end of Intervention. Despite his lack of soul, Spike is capable of acting selflessly, being willing to sacrifice himself in order to protect Dawn. You can't say he did it to woo Buffy since getting yourself turned into dust isn't really the way to be with someone. Him remaining in Sunnydale to help out the Scoobies and to watch over Dawn after Buffy's death strengthens furthermore the argument that he somehow cared, and not only pretended to in order to win Buffy's affection since there was nothing left to win. This anomaly, this seed of unknown possibilities and depths captivated my attention and wonder. It made Spike's character even more fascinating and promising, but it didn't change the fact that they were wrong for each other in that moment.

Which is demonstrated over and over again in season 6. Yes, the attraction is there, and so is the deep understanding that they build, the kind of bond that can only be shared among two people who literally clawed their ways out of their graves and knew what real darkness was because they encountered it within themselves. The problem is, while she has to accept that part of her, Buffy isn't a creature of darkness, no matter how much Spike tries to convince her (and himself) of the contrary. In his attitude towards her he proves that, even though he is perhaps capable of selfless gestures, his love for her remains a selfish one. Spike takes advantage of Buffy's low point who in turn uses him to escape the numbness she experiences. This arc of destruction, pain, self-hatred, and confusion culminates with the ultimate act of harmful possesiveness that reminds us (and them) once and for all why this could never be anything but devastating for both of them. There's no healthy love without consciousness. Passion can't make up for the ability to empathize with the other person, to put their needs before your own, to tell right from wrong. And for that, one must have a soul.

In that finale scene of Grave, when Spike opens his eyes and screams in pain as his soul enters his body, I started to truly root for them. Now they had a proper chance. Spike made the choice that should have been impossible for a vampire and his willingness to put himself through hell in order to change, in order to be the kind of man who would never, represents the blossoming of that hope for the extraordinary that has been planted for the first time in Intervention.

Season 7 follows them slowly consolidating their trust in each other, navigating this strange, new space for them, and proving the flawed beauty of their ever-evolving connection. This is the season where I actually fell in love with them. Watching them support, believe, and comfort each other, I wasn't simply enjoying the idea of what they could be, but what they actually were.

Their relationship is a complex one, based on a profound sense of mutual understanding, trust, and unconditional love, all of which were acquired and developed in time, and not without a fair amount of pain on both sides. It's an epic, organic journey from Crush to Touched, from mortal enemies fighting to death in School Hard to a mature couple discussing their problems and fighting for each other in the 10th season of the comics. It's realistic, hard, honest, and powerful. And it is a hell of a story.
 
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Despite his lack of soul, Spike is capable of acting selflessly, being willing to sacrifice himself in order to protect Dawn. You can't say he did it to woo Buffy since getting yourself turned into dust isn't really the way to be with someone. Him remaining in Sunnydale to help out the Scoobies and to watch over Dawn after Buffy's death strengthens furthermore the argument that he somehow cared, and not only pretended to in order to win Buffy's affection since there was nothing left to win. This anomaly, this seed of unknown possibilities and depths captivated my attention and wonder. It made Spike's character even more fascinating and promising, but it didn't change the fact that they were wrong for each other in that moment.
I feel the need to clarify that I don't believe that Spike's actions were entirely selfless, not by a long shot. Not even close. Rather that there was some genuine care for the desires and happiness of another human being mixed with all the selfishness. While not unique to Spike, this ability is pretty rare among demons. It doesn't suddenly make him good because his decisions don't derive from a discernment between right and wrong. He ends up doing good simply because Buffy is a force of good. What if instead of Dawn's safety Buffy really cared about the protection of her exotic pet monster that needed a ritual sacrifice each morning? I doubt that Spike would have much of a problem with that, other than a slight annoyance for all the work to be done. As I said in the post, season 6 is a clear indication that at the end of the day he doesn't have a moral compass. But the fact that he cares about what she wants, even after she is gone, even when he couldn't possibly obtain anything from it is what I find interesting.

Spike made the choice that should have been impossible for a vampire and his willingness to put himself through hell in order to change, in order to be the kind of man who would never, represents the blossoming of that hope for the extraordinary that has been planted for the first time in Intervention.
Now his reasoning behind getting a soul is another whole thing that I won't get into here. What I'm saying is that a vampire willingly going out to retrieve his soul is unheard of, the only exception being him. No matter the reason, it's an extraordinary act and he has shown before that he is capable of such unusual deeds.
 
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Cheese Slices

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I feel the need to clarify that I don't believe that Spike's actions were entirely selfless, not by a long shot. Not even close. Rather that there was some genuine care for the desires and happiness of another human being mixed with all the selfishness. While not unique to Spike, this ability is pretty rare among demons. It doesn't suddenly make him good because his decisions don't derive from a discernment between right and wrong. He ends up doing good simply because Buffy is a force of good. What if instead of Dawn's safety Buffy really cared about the protection of her exotic pet monster that needed a ritual sacrifice each morning? I doubt that Spike would have much of a problem with that, other than a slight annoyance for all the work to be done. As I said in the post, season 6 is a clear indication that at the end of the day he doesn't have a moral compass. But the fact that he cares about what she wants, even after she is gone, even when he couldn't possibly obtain anything from it is what I find interesting.
I think a mix of his love for Buffy+ the chip eventually renders him slightly more confused about his morality (see Crush or Smashed), but I agree that he lacks the intern moral compass that the soul seems to provide.
My take on this is that he is capable of selflessness, but only when it comes to the people he loves or somewhat cares about. He does show abnegation when it comes to her and tends to put her needs (or what he thinks are her needs) above his own, although not consistently so (but then S6 is complicated).
So to oversimplify, the major difference between soulless and souled Spike is that souled Spike is capable of understanding right from wrong, and this on his own, and that it applies to everyone, not just Buffy (and Dawn).
 
EffulgentBitca
EffulgentBitca
I was just thinking about making a thread on if/how people think the chip and Buffy's influence changed Spike, who had also been described as stinking of humanity, so your answer has an uncanny timing. This is a really good take on the situation.

Cheese Slices

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That describes 90% of the people I know - including me.
Yeah I wasn't sure if I should mention this, but I think this is a case where you have to take into account the show's philosophy and moral boundaries, and not normal people's 🤣
That said, I do think there is something that soulless Spike lacks that does apply most people, which is that we do feel empathy for strangers suffering, if those strangers suffer right in front of your eyes, that is. (but then the show kind of mucks it up by having the Scoobies being often somewhat casual about it; for necessary purpose (we can't have them be depressed everytime a random person is hurt), but still).
I think that's what his scenes in Help were about, if anything.
 

TriBel

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That said, I do think there is something that soulless Spike lacks that does apply most people, which is that we do feel empathy for strangers suffering, if those strangers suffer right in front of your eyes
You have a point :) ...although I could offer real world situations where that isn't the case - and often this involves the stranger being "other" - Nazi Germany being the extreme position (and it's because of Nazi Germany that I'm extremely uncomfortable with the labeling of Spike as "dirty thing". When the Nazis labelled Jewish people "dirty vermin" they meant it). The other difficulty I have is empathy itself. Doesn't Giles over-endow Willow with empathy? So...too little is bad and too much is bad - where's the tipping point? Where do we draw the line? "Love thy neighbour as thyself" but don't worry too much about the person in the next street (that's not meant to be as facetious as it sounds. Giving shape to concepts helps me think ;))? There must be some sort of rationale for the cut-off point. I've always thought the soul involved a logical contradiction that was (perhaps) a contradiction within the story but not necessarily within the text.

And I've realised I'm digressing. :rolleyes: In answer to the OP, I watched it when it first aired - "shipping" hadn't been invented then!
 
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