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The Valorous Vampire
By Gwyneth Rhys

Council of Watchers Journal
November 2002

The Valorous Vampire
An Examination of Souled Vampires, Fatal Attraction to the
Slayer, and Roles in the Fight of Good vs. Evil

By Lydia M. Sothesby
Fellow, Council of Watchers

In the entire cohort of Slayers from the pre-classical era to present times, only one has had consensual sexual relations with sanguisugent biologically nonviable desouled beings (SBNDBs, or Vampires): Buffy Summers of Sunnydale, California. In both cases, she has consorted with the only known vampires ever recorded to have souls. The first sexual (and, from all reports, limited) relationship with an SBNDB resulted in its loss of a previously regained soul; the second relationship resulted in the Vampire willingly enduring trials to regain his former soul. In this paper, I seek explanations for, and understanding of, these highly unconventional creatures. I take special care to examine Ms. Summers's relationship with William the Bloody, later Spike, as a companion piece to my upcoming presentation at the Council of Watchers Yearly Symposium regarding Spike's connection to a potential evil. His choice to willingly regain a soul is not only unprecedented in the recorded history of SBNDBs and Slayers, but may play a vital part in the currently developing situation in southern California.

However, initially I must delve into the history of the first sanguisugent being with romantic connections to Ms. Summers, Angelus, AKA Angel, in order to understand the extraordinary choices Spike has made. Angel is connected not only to Buffy, but also historically to Spike, and is believed either to be Spike's sire or directly involved in Spike's turning (Journal Entry of R. Giles, 1998). I then turn my examination to Buffy herself before making my conclusions. That this particular Slayer has inspired adoration from two SBNDBs who were also previously connected cannot be separated from the histories or motivations of either creature; she is the extraordinary fulcrum upon which both stories have pivoted.

The Soul as Curse

It is believed that Angelus, a particularly bloodthirsty SBNDB, was cursed by a Roma (Gypsy) tribe during the late 1800s, somewhere in western Europe, as an act of vengeance for the killing of the tribe's favored daughter (Enclyclopaedia Daemonica, 1938). As far as CoW histories have recorded, this is the first time a vampire was believed to have been endowed with a soul. The curse appears intended to secure Angelus's suffering for the seemingly endless litany of his crimes through severe guilt, remorse, and regret. Yet, even while Angelus was stricken with these emotions, he did not depart the group of SBNDBs he roamed with -- his sire, Darla; his victim and companion, Drusilla; and Drusilla's paramour, William the Bloody -- until much later. Because their paths crossed little with the territory of that period's chosen Slayer, little is known of their patterns, or precisely when or why they parted company. Our histories show only that after 1900, Angelus appears to have shed his communal living patterns and taken up a solitary existence.

He is not recorded again until approximately 1910, and subsequent sightings eventually put him the United States late in the Roaring Twenties era. It is believed he stayed in the U.S. until he achieved contact with Buffy Summers in 1997. In the more than one hundred years between his ensoulment and his initial contact with Buffy, it is believed he veered from a state of dissolution and despair to functional alienation. He is described consistently in all sightings, no matter what his state, as "brooding."

No real comparative study exists of how the ensoulment must have affected Angel, nor of the results of the mental and emotional effects over the long term of living under the yoke of a soul. Sadly, CoW studies focus primarily on demonic contact with Slayers; records exist of individual long-lived SBNDBs mostly as a method of tracking and coordinating data that may prove useful in organized efforts against evil forces, or in organized attacks on Slayers (Doctryne and Counsil of Wachers Manifesto, 1538).

However, indications by noted demonologist Gerard Dixon, as well as notes in the records of Rupert Giles, Ms. Summers's Watcher, are that in his worst state, Angel was contacted by a demon (species unverified) called Whistler and drafted into helping Buffy in her fight against the Master and his Order of Aurelius (of which, it should be noted, Angel's sire Darla descends from) at the Hellmouth of Sunnydale. It is not known what caused Angel to engage at this point or what incentives Whistler may have offered him, but Giles confirms Whistler does exist and in fact reappeared during the temporary unsoulling of 1998 (see Giles, with Jeffries, in the Council of Watchers Journal, for a fuller account of this tragic sequence of events, "On Becoming," 1999).

This contact with Whistler, and perhaps other Powers That Be, is important regarding Angel's eventual connection to the Slayer, as well as to the after-effects of Spike's extraordinary choices. It is a key difference between the two SBNDBs: Angel was clearly guided in his final development toward a more "human" state, one that allowed him to move within human society easily and be viewed as attractive to the Slayer and her compatriots. In a sense, he was groomed for the role he has since fulfilled.

Spike, for various reasons, has had no similar assistance. In a comparison of the two SBNDBs and their mental health, Angel appears to have had more opportunity to achieve his current state precisely because none of the Sunnydale humans knew him prior to his ensoulment or had lengthy contact with him; Spike's behavior was well-known to the people who would have had the most contact with him after ensoulment. "He was kind of obsesso-boy about killing Buffy," the witch Willow Rosenberg said during a lengthy interview in 2002. "In some ways, you'd expect him to fall for her because he was just so fixated on the killing her thing, it seemed like the next logical step: kill me, kiss me."

Additionally, Angel was free of an extra impediment Spike has faced for the past few years: the Initiative's demon behavior-modification chip implanted in his brain. Because Spike is able to hurt only demons due to this chip, he has remained on the fringes of the Slayer's life, fighting with her on occasion because it is the only outlet for violence and rage that he is allowed (L.M. Sothesby, Initiative of Evil, presented at the Sanguisugent Symposium, Prague, 2001).

Spike has had more -- and longer -- contact with humans by choice than any other recorded vampire. Spike's extensive contact with the Slayer's friends and supporters (referred to as the Scooby Gang, after a popular television cartoon) have come as both enemy and ally. This history has consistently created roadblocks for his integration with the very society he now seeks to belong to; he also possesses a well-documented combative attitude and caustic outlook that have made such human/SBNDB alliances difficult at best (although many do find these characteristics sexually appealing, but that is another topic).

Spike has focused his anger primarily at the Initiative for hindering his ability to feed off humans (he "can't play with the other puppies anymore"), and tried on at least two unsuccessful occasions to force someone to remove the chip from his brain. But with the breakup of the Initiative, he no longer has an enemy to focus on and his attention, both positive and negative, has been primarily directed at the Slayer and her compatriots. His noted affections for her, and for her family, have left him feeling helpless and trapped; despite demon-hunting and vampire slaying, he "has fuck-all to do these days except hang about, saving the little Scooby arses." Unlike Angel, whose soul would motivate him to atone and to do good for the sake of doing good, Spike's normal needs and desires have been stifled. He was motivated to do good as a way to ingratiate himself with Ms. Summers and her family, or possibly to prove that he could change of his own free will -- this is difficult to ascertain due to his preference for melodrama and his vampiric, hypnotic speech quality.

The Siren Slayer

Initial reports of the romantic relationship between Buffy and Angel indicate that he was drawn to supporting Buffy's fight because he fell in love with her from afar, rather than having fallen in love with her after meeting. In Spike's situation, it is believed he fell in love with her after becoming her ally, although there is some dispute regarding this (cf. my thesis "Wild Thing: A Comprehensive Study of William the Bloody and Definitions of Sexual Potency in Vampires," 1998).

Much of what we know of both Angel and Spike, and their relationships to the Slayer, derives from oral interviews with members of the Scooby Gang, Rupert Giles, and members of this Council who have had repeated contact with Ms. Summers. Where Angel is taciturn and less than forthcoming, Spike is a somewhat unreliable narrator of his own life; in my one brief but telling personal contact with him, he was prone to braggadocio, preening, and attempts at seductive behavior to elicit information. However, he did clearly indicate a closeness to Buffy that had not previously been shown and which I believed to be true, and much evidence exists to support my conviction. I also discovered evidence of a strange, asexual fondness for both Buffy's mother, Joyce Summers, and for her younger sister, Dawn Summers. Both of these relationships call into question the long-held belief that vampires are incapable of love or true affection and that not all physical contact with humans is derived solely from sexual desire (TJ Connors, "Romancing the Vampire: Can Biologically Nonviable Beings Truly Express Emotion?" Sanguisugent Symposium, Budapest, 1995). He also appears to have elicited warmth and affection from the two women; this is not surprising, though, in that his history indicates humans of both sexes are unusually attracted to him. In a future presentation I will elaborate on his uniquely enticing qualities, but that is not the focus of this paper.

A psychological profile of Buffy would suggest that she is attracted to SBNDBs and prefers some "monster in her man"; however, this does not address the question of why two Vampires would, regardless of souled status, have sexual relations and/or fall in love with her. Giles himself writes that Buffy is "extraordinary, not just in her longevity, but in her attitude, ability, and capability." He has never postulated in publicly available material, however, on precisely why he believes Buffy is such an unusual young woman, and what would motivate a Vampire to put himself in the most potentially vulnerable position he could be in with a Slayer simply to indulge in sexual pleasure. Giles indicates concern over her attraction to these Vampires, but does not, as usual, elaborate ("the details give me a headache and make me nauseated," he complained, referencing his distrust and dislike for both Vampires).

Clearly, though, she is capable of inspiring great love and devotion. Giles himself had been relieved of his Watcher duties, yet had remained with her in Sunnydale save for a brief hiatus; her friends have endured enormous peril to assist; and two Vampires, one evil, one good, have been willing to lay their "lives" on the line for her at various times. While she is obviously quite attractive in a fresh-faced, California-girl manner and possesses wit and charm, there is clearly something beyond the physical that exerts such power over all individuals connected to her.

Attractiveness, at least on a physical level if one were unaware of the nonviable status of the Vampire in question, is also obvious in regards to both Angel and Spike; all one must do is view currently available photos and drawings (Compleat Vampire and Daemon Encyclopaedic Reference, vol. 3). Various members of the Slayer's social circle have referred to both creatures as "hot," other often-used terms were smoking, sexy, and cool. I can personally attest to Spike's unusually striking looks, compact but muscular frame, intensely blue eyes, and deep, insinuating voice. His attractiveness is amplified by a punk-rock styling and louche attitude that apparently, while being in direct contrast to both Angel's appearance and that of Buffy's intermediary paramour, Riley Finn (a member of the aforementioned Initiative), have won over this Slayer. Enough, apparently, so she was willing to consent to having a lengthy sexual relationship even in his unsouled state, no doubt being drawn to his sexual potency and talents in her confused and emotionally bereft condition last year. Because her passionate encounter with Angel resulted in a large-scale tragedy and numerous deaths, little is written about the romantic nature of Buffy and Angel's relationship, but they were, by all accounts, "hot and heavy in the macking department" as well (Oral Interview with Xander Harris, 2002).

Most SBNDBs remain largely ignorant of the Slayer, and only those who are turned from their human state by an SBNDB who remains to "sire" them tend to be fully aware of the mythology of the Slayer. Few SBNDBs without sires, as we have seen time and again, live long enough to learn anything more than simple feeding and hiding. Even fewer have contact with the Slayer and live to tell the tale. Both Angel and Spike are peculiarly long-lived and successful Vampires (although there is considerable dispute as to Spike's exact age, particularly due to the confusion about his sirage). Spike may in fact owe this longevity to his contact with Angelus, and his lengthy relationship with Drusilla over this century, both of whom could provide significant wisdom and experience to a newly fledged Vampire (Spike has been heard to tell other demons that they "give vampires a bad name" when they are ignorant of typical vampire conventions).

It would be easy to hypothesize that the sexual attractiveness of both parties, coupled with constant contact with the Slayer, has resulted in attraction and bonding to her. After all, such ongoing contact would put an SBNDB in the unprecedented position of getting to know a slayer, to comprehend the appealing qualities found in any young girl of slaying age. However, I posit that these relationships are in fact a peculiar alchemy of circumstances, characteristics, and emotional needs that have led two Vampires to not only fall in love with the Slayer, but ally themselves with her -- and our -- cause. Proximity and sexual desire alone cannot cause love to bloom where there is none otherwise, and the level of devotion to the Slayer by both Angel and Spike is not to be ignored.

What's Love Got to Do With It?

In the annals of Slayers, Buffy Summers stands alone. She is the longest-lived, possesses the highest kill ratio, and has battled more vampires and greater varieties of demons (including a Hell God, a fight where she in fact was killed, only to be resurrected by one of her compatriots, the witch Willow Rosenberg) than any other Slayer since the lineage began (Journals of R. Giles, 1997-present). Her presence in Sunnydale, which lies above a Hellmouth, is partly credited for that, but Giles has related her unusual resources and inner strengths, a strong sense of humor, and deep connections to friends and family, all of which few Slayers have enjoyed.

In my one meeting with Ms. Summers, I was struck by her self-possession, commanding personality, and charm, though she does also appear brash, impulsive, and lacking any respect for authority in a typically American manner (however, it is this lack of respect to which Giles credits a great deal of her success). When these traits are viewed along with her status as Slayer, she would appear to possess an unusual edge and mysteriously forceful quality that many strong men would find powerfully attractive. An SBNDB, in particular, might find seducing a Slayer to be a more imperative and symbolic conquest than killing one (it should be noted here that Spike has in fact successfully killed two Slayers in the past century, and while not successful in killing Buffy in their first meeting, came very close on a number of occasions). To the right kind of Vampire, Buffy's attractiveness and strength would be seen as powerful aphrodisiacs.

Spike, I believe, is that kind of Vampire. While Angel may have been attracted to her goodness and her quest, Spike's fascination with power, violence, and sex, along with his extreme, unswerving adoration to anyone who can provide him with those things, may be at the root of his connection to Buffy. In the course of my studies of him, it has become apparent that his thinking patterns fall far outside the norm of any SBNDB we have ever studied, male or female. He has a peculiar tendency towards sentiment and attachment, which is especially evident in his nearly century-long relationship with Drusilla and the lengths to which he has gone to to maintain that relationship even when she strayed (her behavior being more typical of the indiscriminate nature of SBNDBs). Possibly because of his own extreme, overt sexuality, Spike is rumored to be rather gifted in the arena of pleasure, and may be insightful enough to realize that a Slayer could match his proclivities and physical prowess. However, further examination of this topic will have to wait for another paper.

Because Angelus was ensouled (against his will) when he first made contact with the Slayer, her status as defender and chosen one would make it more likely that he would find her attractive. He would have been searching at that time for something to alter his dissolute, miserable life. But why would an SBNDB such as Spike, who reveled in his evil nature, find an icon of good to be a desirable companion?

I believe his sentimentality (a potential holdover from his life as a human? No one knows, as we have yet to discover his identity when viable, and in fact, he remains remarkably closed-mouthed about it considering his normal tendency for storytelling and embellishment) plays a part here, as does his ability to think outside the box, as it were, particularly since being chipped by the Initiative two years ago. After departing from the Angelus/Darla coterie in the early part of the century and his subsequent killing of a second Slayer, Spike has consistently exhibited highly unusual behaviors for an SBNDB. After nearly being killed by a mob in Prague, his first effort was not to seek revenge (more the typical goal for a non-viable creature), but rather to find a cure for Drusilla's increasingly deteriorating condition by journeying to Sunnydale. Most SBNDBs would gladly desert any companion who could not feed and kill; crossing continents and oceans for ephemeral cures goes against the SBNDB's natural tendency to stay in one place and maintain a consistent food supply and safe hiding spot. Later, Spike allied himself to Buffy during the Acathla threat, helping her stop the annihilation of the world simply so he could maintain his relationship with Drusilla and because he "likes this world" (Journal Entry of R. Giles, 1999).

Little of his behavior is typical of any vampire on record. He exhibits a tendency to enjoy human food and to savor numerous human entertainments and pastimes. He frequently indulges in the aforementioned sexual proclivities, yet does not always kill his human "dates." His friendships with Joyce Summers (documented by activities as diverse as sharing cocoa with her and assisting in hanging new paintings at her art gallery) and Dawn Summers (for whom he was apparently willing to go to his death in the fight against Glorificus) are completely without precedent (Giles and Jeffries, "We Happy Few," Journal of the Council of Watchers, 2001). When one thinks of all the highly unusual aspects of Buffy Summers's character and her physical attractiveness, and takes into account these extremely rare personality traits in Spike, it does not seem at all unusual that he was romantically attracted to this particular Slayer. Any girl her age would be unlikely to ignore the startlingly high level of attractiveness and raw sexuality he possesses, even despite his punk-rock trappings (but this will be further developed in my next paper).

Rather than simply opposites attract, what may be at work here is that opposites with extremely similar characteristics attract. What other woman could match an SBNDB's sexual stamina, if it were attracted to a viable being? What human man could stand up to a Slayer's strength, or understand the unusual restraints put on her life, and not balk at the male/female role reversal? In fact, Buffy has faced such issues before, and has had great difficulty reconciling her desire for a "normal life" with her duties and how they impinge on her love life (Oral Interview with Willow Rosenberg, 2001). There would be enormous appeal on both sides for someone who could meet their specific and exceptional needs. Since both parties were thrown together in proximity, they would naturally, over time, come to notice these things in each other, even on a subconscious level.

A Spanner in the Works

By all accounts, Spike had an unrequited interest in Buffy for some time before she began a sexual relationship with him. The Council's position reflects great doubt as to an SDNBD's ability to feel love. However, I do believe this type of love is possible based on numerous studies of non-viable beings with extended partnerships, especially Spike. If the viable being, before becoming a demon, exhibited a tendency toward specific emotion, it has been shown that the demon inhabitant still maintains vestigial traces of those emotions (W.H. Jeffries, The Psychology of Demons, 1983). After considerable study of Spike, I have seen that he already had a tendency towards extreme romanticism and adoring behavior when happy and deep misery and melodrama when unhappy. Through "living under the bloody thumb of the Slayer" and his dependency on her once his ability to feed and take care of himself was removed by the chip, he may have had the chance to not only discover the mutualities of their characters, but also to find an object for his need to love.

The Slayer was not always willing, of course. "Buffy was really down, didn't know what she wanted to do, and felt desperate. And I think she was kinda mad at us too for bringing her back, so she spent a lot of time with Spike, because he didn't ask questions and he didn't mind her permanent bad mood," says Rosenberg. No real detail exists regarding their sexual relationship, but in an entry in the witch Tara Maclay's journal shortly before her death, it appears the consummation may have resulted in serious physical damage to both parties, as well as the destruction of a condemned building. Apparently, physical damage was a continuing motif of their encounters, which were by all accounts intense, passionate, raw, steamy, and fervidly uncontrolled.

This differs considerably from Buffy's sexual relationship with Angel, which appeared to develop in much the same way that any high school romance would have done. Typical teenage hormones and ideals of romance with a "hunky older guy" were more to blame for this relationship than any other factors. The Buffy-Spike relationship was constructed on a newly adult level, one that, while possibly dangerously misguided and potentially rife with disasters, provided what she seemed to need and what Spike was apparently willing to devote his life to giving to her. He can become astonishingly focused on a love object and pleasing him or her, as we've learned through extensive notes, and according to my interview with him, he rejects nothing to secure the happiness of his love object (whose "happiness" he has described in lurid, lewd detail). Further details on this will have to wait for my next paper.

But what, in the end, would drive this unsouled being, one who by all accounts wished to return to his previously fully capable and evil status, to go much further than he ever has before and obtain a soul? What would drive him through the extreme trials required to get it? Sexual attraction and satisfaction could not possibly motivate any being, even one so devoted and chivalrous as Spike, to do it, nor could machismo or pride.

Documentation here is hazy, but there appeared to be a rift in the dalliance between Spike and Buffy early last spring. According to an oral interview with Xander Harris, Spike attempted to rape Buffy in order to make her admit her (non-existent, according to a vehement Harris) feelings for him. This would fit with much of what we know of Spike's history -- like most vampires, he possesses the emotional maturity of approximately a twelve-year-old, and what they can't immediately have, they usually take by force. However, a large hole exists in this story, and that is that Spike still possesses the Initiative's chip, and hurting a human physically results in "making with the howling and rolling around like a werewolf under a full moon." Harris is also known to have expressed feelings for Buffy in the past, and his hatred of both Angel and Spike is well-documented. He is also recorded as having reflected openly on Spike's considerable charms, which may indicate that he wished Spike's attention for himself due to a possible latent homosexuality. Spike has shown willingness to give and receive pleasure from nearly any type of being, regardless of sex, species, or viability, so this would not necessarily be an unreachable goal on Harris's part (V. Patel, "Blood and Roses: A History of Ambisexuality in Vampires," Sanguisugent Symposium, 2001).

Still, an attack may be the only explanation for such a drastic solution. If Buffy repelled his attack, and if she stressed an opinion that she could not feel for him because he did not have a soul (despite numerous instances of his work with the group and despite his history of "being part of the posse that's saved the world a couple times here and there," according to Rosenberg), this might be the motivation necessary to drive Spike to retrieve his soul. Although again, it is remarkable, considering his contempt for Angel's souled status was well-known; Spike and Angel/Angelus "hated each other's dead guts, even when they were both of the evil," according to Buffy.

A soul for an SBNDB, no matter how it is obtained, comes at a considerable price. We have no clear documentation of what it did to Angelus over the years before he met Whistler, and he is not forthcoming with the details of his suffering. Spike provides us with a glimpse, though: upon his return to Sunnydale in the past few months, he has suffered from borderline insanity; at his best he is highly dissociated from reality, unhealthily thin, and has exhibited signs of self-mutilation. His usual joie de vivre, sensuality, seductiveness, and charm are gone or at least hidden. If his intention was to be good enough to earn the love of the Slayer, to be worthy of her, he may have grossly miscalculated -- unsurprising, given his delightfully impetuous nature.

A Larger Purpose

Giles has postulated in multiple journal entries that he believes Spike may have been chipped, escaped the Initiative, and stayed in Sunnydale despite an offer from Drusilla to be under her care, because a higher power has plans for him. Current indications are that an enormous threat is brewing in Sunnydale, and it may be that all this effort has been directed by larger forces in order that Spike may take on the heroic role previously filled by Angel. Since Angel's departure, the need for a valorous vampire has developed on a number of occasions, and Spike has stepped in time and again to fill that role, even when he wasn't a willing participant. In at least two cases, he was bespelled when Ms. Rosenberg's amateur efforts went awry: "It wasn't my fault, but he bitched at me for months afterward, and I think if he could have killed me, he would have. Just because I made him want to kiss Buffy, which in the end, he wanted to do anyway!" she claims.

One frequently overlooked contribution to this Slayer's longevity is the access to the knowledge and strength possessed only by a creature of the underworld. Because no other Slayer has ever retained a vampire as an ally, Buffy's longevity and success may owe a debt to the valorous, courageous behavior of these two SBNDBs, which largely goes against the grain of their being. Angel may have been happy to be rid of his soul once it was lost; Spike became honorable of his own accord in order to be worthy of love and affection, or to be redeemed enough that he would fit in with the human world (Harris insists "he's just trying to get her to drop her britches." Again, his bias muddies the waters here in regards to his motivations.). For a battle as serious as this impending one, such support could potentially change the fate of the world.

Whether his current dissociative behavior can be dealt with, however, remains to be seen. There are indications that the Scooby Gang is helping Spike (which also occludes the picture of the attempted rape and whether it is factually true, because it seems unlikely that the Slayer would befriend anyone who had attacked her in such a manner). He could, like Angel, overcome the attendant mental problems of ensoulment and achieve his true potential. Even if he was capable of hurting humans, he would avoid doing so unless provoked, because it would cause him great remorse and emotional pain. "Basically, I'm buggered any way you look at it," Spike has said of his situation (when coherent). Spike is brash and impulsive in the extreme, even for a Vampire, and he undertook the return of his soul without seeking advice or direction from his sire (E-mail Interview with Former Watcher Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, 2002). If he had asked for advice, would it have changed his course? The intensity of his ardor and his passionate nature may have pushed him forward, regardless. With Spike, it is impossible to say, no matter how well I believe I understand him after years of painstaking, close, fascinated study.

In the past, the Council has consistently refused to ask for aid from, or to ally with, SBNDBs, even when doing so could conceivably secure victory. Despite those unpleasant rumors of such activities as enslavement of and experiments upon demons, the CoW as we know it has contact only with a very few SBNDBs, and only for the most dangerous of rituals. Deep suspicion within the Council was attached to the Slayer's alliance with Angel, and both Giles and Buffy were censured repeatedly for their involvement, personally and professionally, with him.

It may be that this unique opportunity is presenting itself in order to change the insular and self-protective manner of the CoW, and that by recognizing this highly unusual situation and assisting Spike in his attempts to overcome the mental problems associated with acquisition of a soul, we can better fight the evil that is apparently growing in Sunnydale. The Slayer has seen fit to overlook a brutal and difficult past with previously unsouled Spike; perhaps this is a sign that the CoW should also mine the opportunities arising from association with this singular Vampire. Given the depth and breadth of my research on this topic, and possessed as I am of a unique, intimate knowledge and understanding of Spike's past and of his character, I would of course be pleased to bridge that gap and initiate contact with him if the Council so chooses.

If we chalk it up merely to sexual attraction and "hotness" of either the Vampire or the Slayer, or we ignore the unprecedented choices made by such an extraordinary SBNDB and his special attachment to the current Slayer, we risk our own ability to fight successfully. Love is a powerful motivator, and the love of the Slayer could be an even more powerful tool in this battle than anything previously considered by the Council. Consistently, true love has proven to be the one thing evil cannot destroy; if evil is motivated by love to do good, then what potential could such a force wield? If a Vampire is so motivated by love that he regains his soul, despite terrible torment, to stand by the Slayer's side and earn her love, then what else could he bring to the fight against a larger evil? We've seen in the past that one valorous Vampire, when allied with a Slayer, can have a significant effect on the course of events.

Until we can personally interview Spike and gain his trust, we will never really understand just what drove him to such an auspicious deed. He is not capable of being interviewed at this time, Buffy states, as he "frequently talks to people who aren't there and has weird conversations with himself or maybe someone from the planet Napthor; we don't know, and he's not telling." However, I believe the Council can change this. At the very least, Spike would be a lively subject of study, interacts easily with humans, possesses a delightful sense of humor and an ingratiating charm, and has many fascinating stories to share. No interview with such a fascinating creature could be a waste of time so long as he is marginally coherent, and again, I humbly offer my expertise. Perhaps then we will have the chance to find out what another valorous Vampire, one who was deeply motivated to become so, can do.



Author's blatherings: If you made it this far, you might be wondering who the "author" is -- if you remember the episode Checkpoint, Lydia is the Watcher who interviews Spike from the end of a crossbow, and wrote her thesis on him, which seemed to me code for her fascination with him. She also appeared just before the CoW was blown up this season.