FICLETS: two with Giles and Spike (FRT)

For fuzzyboo03 and writtenhistory, Giles/Spike with a side of Giles/Xander friendship, romance, established relationship, and a creative interpretation of the prompt "Giles finding something important but forgotten when packing up his belongings".

A Toast

Years later, when he attempted to tell the story to Xander, Giles could not find any explanation that seemed believable. But it had happened, and it had seemed natural at the time, that Spike should have been the one to carry Giles home after Buffy's funeral, and that Giles should have been the one to offer shelter to Spike. And that sometime during that grief-blurred summer, Giles found Spike in his bed, and forbore to stake him.

Xander shook his head. "But you hated each other."

"And we understood each other. We'd both lost our polestar. You and the others had lost a friend, but Spike and I had lost something more. Neither one of us was entirely sane at the time."

"Now you admit it! See?" Xander said, to the ceiling of Giles's little sitting room. "He admits he was insane."

Though that was not what Giles meant. The reason they were each damaged, the dependence on the fragile life of a single girl to give their lives meaning, that was the insanity. The sex had been sanity. It had been the survival instinct all creatures shared, even vampires, reasserting itself. It had felt good to be touched, good to touch in return, good to be given pleasure. Spike had been a skilled bedmate. Even now, Giles found himself stirring at the memory of Spike's hand on his hip, another man's body inside his, the weight on his back as they collapsed to the bed afterwards.

Xander got up and poured them each another splash of Scotch. A tot, to warm them on a cold winter night. "I was freaked the day I came over to help you pack, and realized he was asleep in your bed. Completely freaked."

Giles raised his glass to Xander. "You recovered."

"First adult moment in my life. No, I'm serious! I had my mouth open and I was about to ream you out, and then I thought, why? Why the hell should I give Giles shit for this? For anything? It was a sort of, oh, yeah, this is what they mean when they say life is short moment." Xander shook his head. "Though I sneer at your taste."

"He was a remarkably beautiful man," Giles said, wickedly. "Lovely cheekbones, muscled chest, perfect arse." He was rewarded by the sight of a deep blush spreading across Xander's face.

"Spare me the gay stuff, okay? I am so never going to get the appeal."

"As you wish," Giles murmured.

Xander set his glass down on the little table between them. "Do you miss him?"

"Miss him?" Giles tilted his head and had another sip of the single malt as he pondered. "No."

"He kinda made himself an asshole toward the end, I guess."

And Giles had participated in a plot to have him staked. But the disaffection had begun earlier. Xander's own report to Giles of Spike's attempted assault of Buffy had ensured the understanding between them had forever run dry. Giles, like Xander, had a solid sense of where his loyalties lay.

"Would you do it again, if you had it to do over?"

Giles had an answer ready for this question, which he'd contemplated many times in the years since. "Oh, yes, most definitely. Can't imagine how I'd have survived the summer without him. Completely disrupted my life and overturned it, which was what I needed. He emptied my closets and made me wear everything I'd shoved to the back. Reminded me who I'd been, once. Made me play my guitar. Made me remember I was a man, not only a Watcher, and could build a life for myself."

Xander leaned down and snagged his glass again. "Well, then. To the memory of Spike."

"To Spike."

Giles lifted his glass, and drank.

For daiseechain, who wanted genfic with Giles, Spike, snark, and adventure.

Gentleman's agreement
gen, Giles, Spike,

Giles went to one knee and waited to catch his breath. He was fit, but this battle-- well, it was the way all battles were. Hours of boring waiting, minutes of frenzied action, followed by moments like this. If one was lucky. And he was. A scratch on his arm where claws had caught him, and nothing worse.

Spike was at his side, standing and staring out of the crypt they'd sheltered in. He had no breath to catch. His duster had a rip down the back, but he was also uninjured as yet.

"Think there's four more out there."

Giles grunted. A question occurred to him. "Where did you learn to use a sword like that?"

Spike answered absently, "Varsity fencing club. Gentleman's sport, you know."

His accent was not his usual. Giles quirked a smile, unseen behind Spike's back. He'd always suspected Spike of disguising his background.

He drawled, as casually as he could. "Fencing is hardly serious sword work."

"I trained with saber as well. And later I met a fellow in Japan."

"Wouldn't have guessed you were a hearty."

"Naw, wasn't. That was all later. The great poof had a thing about obscure martial arts for a few years. Ate his way through the dojos."

Spike had recalled himself, and his speech had moved northward and down a few educational notches. Giles smiled again, then pushed himself to his feet. He inspected his blade. Notched. Bugger.

"Here they come," Spike said.

"Keep me in one piece," said Giles, "and I won't tell Buffy you're an Oxford man."

Spike let his sword-tip hit the floor. "Oh, no, Watcher, you wouldn't."

"Don't try me."

"You don't fight fair."

"Only way to survive."

They grinned at each other, then turned to the door to wait.
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I can totally buy that Spike and Giles would offer comfort to each other after Buffy's death.

And I love the second one, snarky Spike is always a treat.
Yay, snark!

And the first one is really interesting. I can't remember what my prompt was, but I really liked the ficlet!
I liked both of these, particularly the second one. I always kind of feel protective of William, and sometimes even Spike. So much of Spike's shell and general arse-ness was created to protect William and defend against the outside world (particularly Angel). That's not to say that it's what he's all about now (though there is an element of it, still), but it's definitely where it comes from. It's one of the many reasons that if I must choose a vamp with a soul, I'll take Spike over Angel any day.

(In my own personal canon--and don't confuse me with facts about the comics--Spike shanshued after NFA. I am undecided whether or not Angel was dusted.)
Fascinating, both of them, for different reasons. The first one is amazingly guh despite nothing happening other than two men drinking Scotch. The second was interesting because although we the viewers see some of Spike's backstory, I don't recall that any of the other characters (in canon) were aware of the facts (Spike lied like a rug when telling his history, if I'm remembering correctly).

Going on a bit of a tangent: Spike was the perfect example of a characterization that the series did, which I felt ambivalent about: having characters cross a very wide range of good and evil in their actions. Angel's experience I could buy into, because of the whole "got his soul and his conscience back" schtick. But Spike went from mass murder/torture (hence his name) to being one of the good-guy gang, demonstrating his attachment to at least some of the others, and going out of his way repeatedly to protect them etc -- all without benefit of soul.

Then upon regaining his soul -- it didn't seem to make a huge difference, actually; his character seemed to act much the same after as before. I can see how an immortal might hang around with interesting people because he's bored and finds them good entertainment, but Spike seemed to actually like folks; he didn't come across as completely cold-blooded and self-serving / out for the entertainment factor alone (although of course he has a strong sense of self interest).

There's other examples: Andrew going from sociopath trouble-maker to member of the group; Giles arranging to have Spike murdered; Willow's attempt to destroy the world; Faith going from neutral to outright evil to good. I faintly went with the Willow piece, due to the addict metaphor: addicted people do crazy things.

It's not that I think the world is divided into good vs bad people; but I do believe, based on my experience, that for people who are fundamentally ethical, there are lines they don't cross (one of those lines is attempting, with malice aforethought, to kill people that you previously defined as friends/allies, simply because they're obstructing you etc.). And for people who are chronically in messed up life situations (I won't say "evil" since IMO there's way more screwed-up-ness in the world that outright intentional evil) tend to keep doing things that lead to their lives getting screwed up. In other words, people's basic behavior patterns don't change, usually; the best predictor of someone's future behavior is their past behavior. And the series did have some huge swings in character's actions, and I couldn't buy into the rationales for all those various swings.

Yes, some people do change -- but shifts in overall behavior patterns usually need a major driver, some kind of transformational experience. Faith's body switch with Buffy worked as that transformative experience for her (it felt too pat/too quick for me, but it was *some* kind of transformative experience, at least). But for some of the other changes in character, perhaps I just missed the driving element, because some of the character changes just didn't work for me; they just seemed to rest on flimsy grounds.

Then again, it could be that watching the series only on DVD ruins the pacing and audience experience of the earlier show....perhaps some of the plot twists felt okay to audiences that had to wait a week in between new episodes.

You know, we should get together and have a fannish chat, rather than me blabbing on and on in your LJ.