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Why Buffy sided with Spike in S7

MarieVampSlayer

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Hi all,

So I was thinking about S7 and how most of us can agree that it was strange that Buffy sided more with Spike in S7 than with the scoobies. Or was it strange? When I think back at S6 you can see that Buffy isolated herself from her friend a lot and actually felt more comfortable with Spike than with them. AR aside, what if she still felt that way in S7?

The last time she saw Willow she was evil and she almost fought to the death with her. Giles let her all alone when she was depressed an out of money. She should have been closer to Xander thought because beside the fact he was pissed about her sleeping with Spike they did resolve this by the end of S6. So logically, her beeing a little estranged with the scoobies is not weird and they should have made it a bigger arc so that they all find a new way back together in the end. The closest Buffy should have been is with Dawn as she is the only one who actually had a real closer moment in the S6 finale.

I feel like S7 Buffy was still ashamed and felt uneased with her friends and her siding with a now soulled Spike is maybe not that strange.

What do you guys think?
 

Cheese Slices

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I'm not sure "siding" is the right word since, Giles aside, there is not conflict between Spike and the Scoobies.
I do agree with your arguments, and there is a lot more that could be said, but I'm feeling lazy :p All in all it makes all the sense in the world to me, given their history together and the feelings and connection they have with each other.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Buffy first told Spike the secret that she had been in heaven. She would seem ungrateful if the news got to the scoobies, but of course in "Once More with Feeling", it all came out. Buffy eventually told Willow she was OK with being back in the world in "Gone" which was also the episode where Willow for the last time ditched magic and found what she needed to know from her computer geekhood. Willow's descent into magic addiction and the emergence of Dark Willow separated her from everyone and Xander and Anya were concerned about the wedding that ultimately didn't happen. Giles was gone, Dawn was a klepto who required constant attention and everyone else in her life was part of a problem rather than part of a solution.

Spike never disagreed with her and never called her out for anything she was doing no matter how idiotic it was. They all had their own problems and only Spike was willing to drop everything else about his unlife and give Buffy his undivided attention. I don't see her as being ashamed in anything other than "As You Were" where she finally decided that Spike was not what she should be with but he was what she wanted and even after "Seeing Red" she did not kill him.
 

white avenger

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I think that Buffy being the first to accept the "new" Spike had a lot to do with her similar reaction to Angel when he returned in Season 3. She never had any problem seeing Angelus and Angel as two different people, so she could do nothing less for Spike. Season 7 Spike wasn't the killer who first arrived in Sunnydale in Season 2, and he wasn't the monster who nearly raped her in Season 6, despite the fact that he retained the memories of those, and probably thousands of other atrocities. The fact that she could see the difference, while others, particularly Giles and Wood, could not, simply made her more determined to take his side, and gave her the prospective to realize that the only reason that ensouled Spike would start killing again had to be some outside influence, rather than any residual evil of his own.

Besides which, she obviously loved the guy, even though she hadn't realized it yet.
 

thetopher

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Guilt is the most likely answer, given all of what we witness in S7; guilt for how Buffy treated Spike, guilt because he got a soul for her and is now suffering because of that soul. Guilt because he proclaims that he loves her over and over despite how she has treated him in the past.

So naturally Buffy blames herself, how could she not, we see it all with Holden, her regret at how she used Spike so horribly. This is the focus of her past trauma, not the AR (incredibly)

And this explains why she treats Spike the way she does in spite of all the dangers of the trigger throughout the season, then removing the chip (the last safe-guard0, and indeed siding with Spike in 'LMPTM' when he wants to be freed from his chains despite everyone objecting and now knowing that the trigger is still active, always has been active, and also that the First had revealed that it had specific plans for Spike.

Then in the end she turns on Giles, despite him saying in the past that he would- if necessary- kill Dawn to safeguard the world. Buffy could accept that possibility (although she obviously would've tried to stop Giles, she didn't condone but she understood) but not this? This (apparently) was too far, trying to eliminate an actual threat who refused to secure himself even though he was a real danger.

That's a kind of weird investiture in what is something that- needless to say- is not as deep a connection and sisters. But Buffy's guilt- which has been shown to be incredibly damaging to her in the past- drives her thought processes in this, beyond anything rational. It isn't love, not remotely because Buffy can sacrifice in spite of love, we've witnessed it before.


But should anyone have been worried about the trigger anyway? I would think so but Buffy and Spike don't; Why? ultimately because Buffy has to believe in him and the fact that his soul matters- for her sake. What does she tell Giles' he can be a good man, I feel it.' That's the sum of her reasoning.

It's also a little part of the reason she smiles at the end of the series; Spike closed the Hellmouth, his soul mattered to the world, and help save it. It would be sweet and moving if it weren't so contrived.
 

white avenger

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Then in the end she turns on Giles, despite him saying in the past that he would- if necessary- kill Dawn to safeguard the world. Buffy could accept that possibility (although she obviously would've tried to stop Giles, she didn't condone but she understood) but not this?
I never got the idea that she accepted Giles' decision then, anymore than she did when he decided to conspire with Wood in trying to kill Spike. "The last thing that she ever sees will be me defending her," doesn't sound like she was prepared to accept sacrificing Dawn in any way, for any reason, and she obviously felt the same way about Spike in Season 7. Buffy's sense of loyalty doesn't come in half measures. Anyone who she decides is under her protection, like Dawn in Season 5, or Spike, in Season 7, is totally, absolutely, with no exceptions, safe from any and all harm, even up to and including sacrificing her own life to save theirs, as we saw in Season 5.

(And, just for the record, I think that, when Buffy told Giles in Season 7 that, under the same or similar circumstances, she would sacrifice Dawn in order to save the world, she would have done so only if Dawn, herself, acknowledged that it was the right thing to do, the same as Spike did in "Chosen." Otherwise, no way, no how.)
 

BuffyBot22

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She and Willow had been on rocky ground for quite a while, even before Willow turned evil and tried to destroy the earth.
That had to be hard for their friendship to come back from that. This should have been a huge focus in s7. It would have been interesting as well.

Buffy and Xander were never as close as Buffy and Willow, so I guess when Willow & Buffy fell out of sync, Xander was kind of like collateral damage in that. Willow was the glue that held the 3 friends so close together.

Giles. Well come on, he abandoned her in a time when she needed him the most. The fact she even let him back in her house made her a way bigger person than I could even hope to be.

Anya- Well Buffy and Anya were never actually friends.

So this basically alienates Buffy with noone except Dawn or Spike as choices.
I'm not sure why Buffy wasn't closer with Dawn, but their relationship was always odd to me. Dawn seemed like a very difficult person to be around lol. But, they should have been closer after everything they both went through together.

Anyways, for some reason Dawn & Buffy weren't that close so Buffy leaned on Spike as her support because he was basically all she felt like she had left at this point.
To Buffy, Spike was a completely different person now that he has a soul. I think she wanted to give him the same respect/chance as Angel/Angelus scenario. I think BUffy could separate souled Spike vs. unsoulled Spike and Angel vs. Angelus better than pretty much any other character on the show.
Still the AR should have been addressed. This also would have been interesting.

The show missed a lot of opportunities in s7.

But, basically my simple answer for Buffy siding with/leaning on Spike more this season was the fact she still felt isolated. (That's an in story reason)

The real reason is because the writers were willing to kill everything great about the show all in the name of Spuffy.
 
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I feel like seasons 6 and 7 could have been mapped out SO MUCH BETTER than they were. Like Joss & Co knew they had 44 episodes. And had it been done today, I think those 44 episodes would have been arced so much better but it’s like they dropped the ball because Joss was so into Firefly he didn’t care about his original show and then it was too late to tie things up when Sarah peaced out.

First of all, the Spike has a soul storyline was so annoying. I liked the idea that the chip had trained him to be “good”. I mean minus the rape. But the aftermath of that made him want to get a soul. A DEMON WANTED TO GET A SOUL. This shows he had so much more depth than just a chip in his brain. The demon itself had changed. I would have liked more evolution in this than rehashing the vampire with a soul.

And with all of their interactions in season 5 & 6, i think Buffy understood there was more to him than just him having a soul. He did a horrible thing to her. And yet she’s able to forgive him because he went to get a soul for her. That is Huge!
 

thetopher

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I never got the idea that she accepted Giles' decision then, anymore than she did when he decided to conspire with Wood in trying to kill Spike. "The last thing that she ever sees will be me defending her," doesn't sound like she was prepared to accept sacrificing Dawn in any way
Of course Buffy wasn't willing to sacrifice Dawn for any reason, and would've defended her if necessary, but she listened to and accepted Giles decision, saw his pov. She didn't treat him like a monster. And this this was her completely innocent sister who she- at the time- said she felt closer to than anyone ever.
And we're supposed to believe that Spike now supersedes that closeness somehow, after all the awfulness that happened?

Maybe you're right and when Buffy puts someone under her protection then they are the priority, but its unfortunate that said character is a massive liability to the coming fight and has been recently responsible (even inadvertently) for so much death because of his trigger-blackouts.
Because if Buffy wanted to make sure Spike was safe then you would've thought a bigger priority was safeguarding all those around her without superpowers, and make sure they were safe. Y'know, those who she didn't consider 'her strongest warrior'.

But, like I said, guilt is not rational; she hurt Spike so she owes him; he said it, she believed it and so she acted accordingly.

And, just for the record, I think that, when Buffy told Giles in Season 7 that, under the same or similar circumstances, she would sacrifice Dawn in order to save the world, she would have done so only if Dawn, herself, acknowledged that it was the right thing to do, the same as Spike did in "Chosen." Otherwise, no way, no how.
Actually I think Buffy saying this is another reason why she is the way she is at the end of S7; she feels no guilt for surviving when others sacrificed, she doesn't blame herself, and then goes on to life her life never looking back. She lets go of the guilt and says 'its not actually my fault'; that's Buffy's arc, the lesson she learned from Spuffy.
 

Spanky

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@thetopher Yes, she protected Spike for guilt she felt over him. But it's not like she hadn't done that before. She did the same thing with Angel. And other characters.
It was a trait (or character defect) of hers. So it makes sense to me she would continue to do it.
 

white avenger

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Of course Buffy wasn't willing to sacrifice Dawn for any reason, and would've defended her if necessary, but she listened to and accepted Giles decision, saw his pov. She didn't treat him like a monster.
In Buffy's defense in that situation, as long as it was a pretty much hypothetical question, she was willing to go along with Giles' argument. Looking at it coldly and intellectually, Buffy could say that, yes, she would sacrifice Dawn, and by extension, anybody else, to save the world under the same situation. The mission is what counts. That's probably the title of Chapter One of that Slayer's Manual that she never got to read. Reality, however, is totally different than hypothesis, and many, many people become hypocrites when the actual situation presents itself. I have no doubt that if Giles had conspired with Xander, Willow, or even her beloved Angel to kill Dawn in Season 5, her reaction would have been as bad, if not worse, than how she handled the situation in Season 7.

And this this was her completely innocent sister who she- at the time- said she felt closer to than anyone ever.

And we're supposed to believe that Spike now supersedes that closeness somehow, after all the awfulness that happened?
Look at the situation in Season 7, and you'll see that Buffy quite likely did feel closer to Spike than anyone else there. She saw him as the one who was always there, supportive and sympathetic, sitting with there on those back steps, listening to her problems. Certainly, her friends all still loved her, but they were for the most part occupied with keeping the Potentials housed and fed, allowing Buffy to fulfill her Slayer duties. Spike wasn't a part of that process, so they naturally spent their time together. Plus, technically, as a totally new person, with a freshly restored soul, no longer the wanton killer that Spike(us) had been she might have seen Spike an being just as innocent as Dawn had been. Maybe she never said it, but I really think that the idea was probably there.



Maybe you're right and when Buffy puts someone under her protection then they are the priority, but its unfortunate that said character is a massive liability to the coming fight and has been recently responsible (even inadvertently) for so much death because of his trigger-blackouts
It would be easy to say, "But he wasn't a massive liability, and he did wind up playing a major part in the success of their mission," but, of course, Buffy couldn't possibly have known that at that particular moment. I can say only that Buffy trusted and believed in Spike, the same way that she did Angel when he first returned from hell in Season 3. Maybe it wasn't the best of decisions, but it was hers, and she stayed true to it throughout the Season.


Because if Buffy wanted to make sure Spike was safe then you would've thought a bigger priority was safeguarding all those around her without superpowers, and make sure they were safe. Y'know, those who she didn't consider 'her strongest warrior'.
But, wouldn't she believe in this situation, the same as she did in Season 3, that "Besides me, Spike is the only one who stands a chance of defending (the Potentials) against (the First Evil)?" Remember, in Season 3, even when Spike had no soul, and, once again, over Giles' objections, Buffy still trusted him to have her back when the action started. Once again, this isn't my logic, I can agree that Spike still proposed a potential threat, but, what it all comes down to is the simple fact that Buffy trusted Spike, and felt that she could depend on him. Plus, she possibly believed that, if worse came to worst, she, and she alone, would make the final decision as to dusting him. She almost certainly saw what Giles and Wood tried to do as a clear betrayal of that trust.
 
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thetopher

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@thetopher Yes, she protected Spike for guilt she felt over him. But it's not like she hadn't done that before. She did the same thing with Angel. And other characters.
It was a trait (or character defect) of hers. So it makes sense to me she would continue to do it.
I agree with this; that's the whole point of the theory, its consistent with her past self- taken to its logical conclusion.

The only real difference is that the person she'd been protecting had never been a puppet of the Big Bad before. I mean, Riley had a chip but at least he tore the damn thing out himself before Adam said 'Riley-bot, attack!' or something.
Spike's just lazy, watching for an over-the-hill shopkeeper to jet around the world to get a cure and doesn't even give a 'cheers, mate!' in return when he gets to have free will again.


In Buffy's defense in that situation, as long as it was a pretty much hypothetical question, she was willing to go along with Giles' argument. Looking at it coldly and intellectually, Buffy could say that, yes, she would sacrifice Dawn, and by extension, anybody else, to save the world under the same situation. The mission is what counts. That's probably the title of Chapter One of that Slayer's Manual that she never got to read. Reality, however, is totally different than hypothesis, and many, many people become hypocrites when the actual situation presents itself.
I agree with this; Buffy's 'the mission is what matters so bury your petty crap' (like basically what she said to Wood) falls by the wayside when its HER who has to put aside her own ill feelings when the mission matters. In fact it costs her dearly not trusting Giles or Faith.

Look at the situation in Season 7, and you'll see that Buffy quite likely did feel closer to Spike than anyone else there. She saw him as the one who was always there, supportive and sympathetic, sitting with there on those back steps, listening to her problems. Certainly, her friends all still loved her, but they were for the most part occupied with keeping the Potentials housed and fed, allowing Buffy to fulfill her Slayer duties. Spike wasn't a part of that process, so they naturally spent their time together. Plus, technically, as a totally new person,
If Spike is a shiny new, innocent person then he doesn't get credit for being there for her all those times, or even getting a soul for (since that was the demon). So why the hell is Buffy being so chill with this crazy guy who blacks out and kills people every so often?

And if he isn't a shiny new person? Okay, sure but more caution and the whole crazy-killer thing is still an issue.

The thing is I wouldn't HAVE a problem with Buffy and Spike's co-dependent thing if the trigger didn't exist because then it wouldn't matter; but we have to have a 'nobody but Buffy trusts Spike' and so because of her poor judgement/feels we can have a 'nobody believes in Buffy except for Spike' payoff.

I can see the damn strings that the writers are pulling and it hacks me off. It's lazy and makes Buffy look like an idiot. The guilt thing? That actually fits with Buffy's character and makes her actions in S7 100% more sympathetic because she's always been like this to a lesser extent.

So, that's why I believe it, not really because I dislike Spuffy exactly (although I do) but more that I want to still love Buffy for the person she is; a consistant character with those strengths and flaws that I've seen before.

It would be easy to say, "But he wasn't a massive liability, and he did wind up playing a major part in the success of their mission,"
The trigger is the key here; Buffy had seen that Spike had no control when he murdered people, tried to kill Andrew, attacked her and rage-smashed Dawn with a camp-bed. Buffy wasn't with Spike for large stretches of time ('First Date' 'Get It Done', etc) and she had no inclination to find a cure to Spike's condition.
Now neither did Spike but its actually down to her at this point- she is responsible for him since she refused to kill him when he asked (and he does anything she says); but who does all the work? Giles; Giles find the cure/catalyst/whatever that kick-starts the process of finding out how the trigger works.
Staggeringly nobody- not Buffy- ever acknowledges this.

But, wouldn't she believe in this situation, the same as she did in Season 3, that "Besides me, Spike is the only one who stands a chance of defending (the Potentials) against (the First Evil)?" Remember, in Season 3, even when Spike had no soul, and, once again, over Giles' objections, Buffy still trusted him to have her back when the action started.
Season 5 I presume? I had no issue with Buffy trusted Spike then because he wasn't capable of hurting anyone good and he he was shown to be in control of himself 100% of the time (also Xander was more vocal grouching about Spike's presence than Giles was)
Now if Glory could control Spike at a key moment? Then why the hell would Buffy trust him to protect Dawn? That's the kind of equivalency we're talking about here.
 

white avenger

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Buffy had seen that Spike had no control when he murdered people, tried to kill Andrew, attacked her and rage-smashed Dawn with a camp-bed
But Buffy had also seen Spike NOT attack her when she was being held by two other vampires (okay, granted, they were Spike's "children," thanks to the First Evil). She didn't fight, she didn't even struggle at that point. She even flinched when she thought that he was about to bite her. He took a slight taste of her blood, and then backed off.

Was that some kind of test? She escaped quite easily a second later, so maybe it was. If so, Spike must have passed it to her satisfaction, because, as you say, she didn't stake him, even when he practically begged her to.

As I have said before, I totally agree that Buffy's actions, not just in Season 7, but throughout the entire series, are governed by her gut feelings, rather than any real logic or dispassionate consideration (maybe there's such a thing as "Slayer instinct," similar to "Slayer dreams," but they just never bothered to tell us) Buffy took a lot of chances, both with her own and others' lives, and her luck was truly phenomenal. That's obviously poor, or at least lazy, writing, and Whedon's staff depends on it as much as Burroughs depended on coincidence in all of his books, but she almost always got away with it.
Season 5 I presume?
 

thetopher

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But Buffy had also seen Spike NOT attack her when she was being held by two other vampires (okay, granted, they were Spike's "children," thanks to the First Evil). She didn't fight, she didn't even struggle at that point. She even flinched when she thought that he was about to bite her. He took a slight taste of her blood, and then backed off.
Well, I always thought she was being held in place by multiple vamps...but even if its true Spike was shown AFTER that event still being violent and in thrall of the First's trigger song.
Remember that after the basement Buffy brought him into her house where he later attacked her and Hulk-smashed through a wall to get to Andrew.
So Spike might not want to hurt Buffy, might even be capable of momentarily stopping himself (although this is conjecture) but will still hurt others if commanded and its a miracle that he didn't.

As for the rest, yes Buffy has used her gut/emotions to make tough calls, but she has never been quite this irrational before when it came to trusted somebody with a provable track record of having not much in the way of free will.
Bottom line; you can't trust somebody if they have no free will, not matter how much you care for them/feel beholen to them.
 

white avenger

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I always thought she was being held in place by multiple vamps
Buffy was being held immobile by multiple vampires, Spike had the perfect opportunity to tear her throat out, and he didn't. We can either believe that the First Evil stopped him because it had plans for Buffy later, or Spike was able to resist and overcome the desire to feed. Buffy, apparently, chose the latter.

(Buffy) has never been quite this irrational before when it came to trusted somebody with a provable track record of having not much in the way of free will.
It could be argued that the chip took away Spike's free will when it came to killing, or otherwise harming humans, but it in no way prohibited him simply standing back and letting others do so, and yet Buffy trusted him to actually protect Dawn against Glory.

Buffy has a blind spot by that time wherever Spike is concerned. Illogical, probably. Dangerous, under certain circumstances, possibly, but still consistant. Buffy is going with her heart instead of her brain.
 

thetopher

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It could be argued that the chip took away Spike's free will when it came to killing, or otherwise harming humans, but it in no way prohibited him simply standing back and letting others do so, and yet Buffy trusted him to actually protect Dawn against Glory.
Season was all about Spike either standing back and letting others do what they want, or actively assisting Big Bad's, which is why Buffy spent a good portion of S5 punching him in the face.
That changed after Intervention, when Spike proved- to Buffy at least- that his feelings were real.

In S7 she doesn't know anything like that, she doesn't know what causes Spike's trigger and she doesn't have a clue how to stop it.

Buffy has a blind spot by that time wherever Spike is concerned. Illogical, probably. Dangerous, under certain circumstances, possibly, but still consistant. Buffy is going with her heart instead of her brain.
I agree. But I think in this case it was Buffy's Tell-tale heart. ;)
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

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What do you guys think?
At this point, in S7, Spike and Buffy had become closer than most fans realize (or are willing to admit) I think. He'd become her confidant and she trusted him completely. I think a part of her still felt that the Scoobies were judging her, but Spike never did. He just supported her and was there for her unconditionally.

I'm not sure at this point Buffy still felt ashamed (for sleeping with Spike, right?) but I think she did feel disconnected from her friends.
 

Cheese Slices

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At this point, in S7, Spike and Buffy had become closer than most fans realize (or are willing to admit) I think. He'd become her confidant and she trusted him completely. I think a part of her still felt that the Scoobies were judging her, but Spike never did. He just supported her and was there for her unconditionally.

I'm not sure at this point Buffy still felt ashamed (for sleeping with Spike, right?) but I think she did feel disconnected from her friends.
Yup. The Scoobies were already falling apart starting in S4 or at least were not as close as they were in HS, which is pretty natural in the first place. They were still close in S5 but everything Buffy went through disconnected her little by little from them, because she was starting to explore a part of her that they could/would never understand. And then you have the major break of bringing Buffy back and making her live (almost) literal hell. It is hard to really come back from that with your friendship intact. In S7, they're still friends, but something's gone that's never going to come back; that's life.

Spike was the one who understood that part of herself and helped her (for best or worst) explore it. He saw the best and the worst of her and it didn't alter his love for her. They've reached a level of intimacy and mutual knowledge and understanding that was quite unlike anything she'd been through with her friends, so of course she's going to want to spend time with him.
Plus, ya know, she loved the guy.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

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Yup. The Scoobies were already falling apart starting in S4 or at least were not as close as they were in HS, which is pretty natural in the first place. They were still close in S5 but everything Buffy went through disconnected her little by little from them, because she was starting to explore a part of her that they could/would never understand. And then you have the major break of bringing Buffy back and making her live (almost) literal hell. It is hard to really come back from that with your friendship intact. In S7, they're still friends, but something's gone that's never going to come back; that's life.

Spike was the one who understood that part of herself and helped her (for best or worst) explore it. He saw the best and the worst of her and it didn't alter his love for her. They've reached a level of intimacy and mutual knowledge and understanding that was quite unlike anything she'd been through with her friends, so of course she's going to want to spend time with him.
Plus, ya know, she loved the guy.
Love this post ;)
 
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