Concept, unfinished. Buffy Season 4

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I read a fanfic rewrite of “A New Man” in which instead of Ethan Rayne turning Giles into a Fyarl demon, he did a body swap between Giles & Spike. That fic didn’t really delve much into what it would mean for Spike to be residing in a human body, so I took the idea and ran with it. All the metaphysical stuff is entirely made up, but I think it fits pretty well with Buffyverse mythology.

This is just a collection of concept writings, not really even a cohesive draft. I didn’t really put much of a plot together, since I was just expanding on both the original episode and the fanfic I read. I’d give credit to that fic, but I don’t remember what it was, who it was by, or where I found it.

Important thing to remember is that Spike is in Giles’ body and vice versa. Yes, trying to picture that is a bit weird.

* * * * *

Willow found Spike in the kitchen, apparently waiting for the kettle on the stove to boil. He leaned against the counter, in what looked like a casual posture, but his body was taught with tension, and he kept turning the teacup in his hands, unable to remain entirely still.

“I think I figured out what might be causing your… um… issues.” She said quietly.

“Yeah? What might that be then?” She wished he would stop fidgeting with the delicate teacup. Eventually it was going to end up on the floor.

“It’s just a theory, but it makes sense with what we know about humans and vampires and what makes them different…”

He glared at her, and she realized she was babbling.

“Well, the prevailing theory is that human beings are made up of three parts. The body, obviously, and the soul, but also what you might call the spirit. The spirit is the mind or personality of a person, what makes them unique. Some people get the soul and spirit confused, or believe that they’re the same thing, but that’s not really accurate. A vampire is also made of three parts. The body, the demon, and the spirit. So what happened here is that obviously, your spirit was switched with Giles’. The soul and the spirit are very closely connected, so Giles’ soul was taken along for the ride. The joining of a human spirit to a demon isn’t really a natural joining. The demon overpowers the spirit and dominates it, but they’re only connected very superficially. So when your spirit was transferred to Giles’ body, your demon remained in your body. So Giles’ spirit and soul are now in your body, along with the demon. A four-part being isn’t a natural phenomenon, but it’s not impossible. Angel, for example, is a four-part being, having both a demon and a soul along with a spirit and body. But what IS impossible is a two-part being. At least when it comes to sentient beings like humans and the higher demons and animals. The spirit cannot survive alone inside a body. It needs either a soul or a demon to connect it to the body. So I think what happened is that your spirit realized it needed a third part, and like a chemical reaction, it drew in the most compatible part… a soul.”

“So, bottom line… I’ve got a soul?”

“Yeah. But what I’m not sure about is what soul it is. It could be a bit of Giles’ left behind, or a copy of Giles’? Or maybe some random soul that happened to be available, or…”

”It’s mine.” Spike stated flatly.

“Are you sure?”

Spike sighed. “Yeah. To be honest, I’m not surprised. At first, I thought like you did that a bit of Giles had been left behind. But there are certain things… it’s been a good long while, but I do remember what it was like to be him.”

“Him?”

“William sodding Pratt. Idiot I was before I was turned.”

“Oh.”

“So, when you switch us back… that goes away, right?”

“I don’t… I don’t really know.”

“You bloody well better figure it out. I don’t need this… thing… following me. It’s bad enough being a vampire with an anti-violence chip. Don’t fancy being a vampire with a soul too.”

“It works pretty well for Angel..” Willow began.

“Oh does it? Sure, he seems a right cheerful sod, doesn’t he? All that brooding and guilt… barrel of laughs that must be.”

“I’ll do some more research. There might be a way for me to be more specific with the reversal spell….”

“You do that.”

* * * * *

SEVERAL DAYS LATER:

“Red… can I speak with you a moment?”

“Yeah, sure. Like, privately?”

Spike raised an eyebrow, a very Spike-like expression on Giles’ face. Willow got the message.

“Right, yeah, let’s go outside.”

Once they were out in the courtyard, Spike began pacing. It made Willow nervous to see Giles looking so agitated, and when she reminded herself that it was Spike, she felt even more nervous. Spike may not be physically threatening in Giles body, but his words had always been one of his greatest weapons, and those were certainly still at his disposal.

“Listen, Spike… I’ve been researching the whole reversal thing, and I’ve gone pretty deep into the technical details of soul & spirit joining…”

“Changed my mind.” Spike muttered.

“What?” Willow asked, bewildered. He shot her a pained look, obviously he’d been agonizing over this for some time.

“Don’t want to get rid of it anymore.” He said quietly.

“You want to keep the soul?” Willow asked, confused.

“It’s my soul.” He said, desperation creeping into his voice. “It’s part of me. I can’t just let it go. I can’t go back to what I was.”

“Okay…” Willow hesitated.

“You can do that, right? Make sure my soul goes with me?”

“I… umm… yeah I think so.”

Spike’s eyes flashed, and Willow had no trouble remembering who was inhabiting the watcher’s body. “Think so isn’t good enough, Red. I need to be sure. I need to know I won’t lose it.”

“I’ll do more research. I’ve been looking for ways to detach the soul from the spirit, so now I’ll just look for ways to bind it.”

“You gave Angel his soul back after that whole mess with Acathla.”

“Yeah.. I just copied the original gypsy curse…”

“If you have to…. if something goes wrong… can you do that for me?”

“Uhh, yeah. I’d want to rework it though. Now that I understand more about magic, I’m pretty sure I can remove the happiness clause. It’s kind of scary having that loophole, you know? Guess if I work it out I could try to patch up Angel’s…”

“Promise me, Red.”

:”What?”

“If something does go wrong, and I end up back in my own body without my soul, I’m going to try to convince you not to… promise me you’ll do it anyway.”

“Well yeah, it’s not like you could do anything to me… you’ll still be chipped.”

“Doesn’t matter. That demon’s gonna be pissed after living with Giles’ soul all this time, it’ll get ugly.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I dunno. Lock me up… tranquilize me. And you’re gonna have to have a surefire test to be sure the soul’s there. I’ll lie about it if it’s not.”

“Oh, right. No problem. I actually already did that once.”

“Huh?”

“Just to be sure I was right about the soul thing. I’ve got a little spell for revealing auras and stuff.”

“So you’ve seen it? You’ve seen my soul?”

“Yeah. It’s a very nice soul, Spike.”

“Coulda told you that, Red.” He said with a grin. “William was an idiot, but he was a decent sort.”

“Why do you talk about William as if he’s a different person? I mean, now that you’ve got your soul and spirit back together, aren’t you him?”

“Nah. Got 120 years of experiences behind me now. Not so innocent anymore.”

“So you’re William with 120 years of bloodshed and mayhem…”

“Not just the bloodshed and mayhem, pet. Did a lot of growing up in that time…”

* * * * *

A FEW WEEKS LATER:

“Willow asked me to stop by, I guess she’s been checking up on you? Something about after-effects from the reversal spell….”

“Nothin’ I can’t handle, pet. So where’s Red?”

“Uh, a little under the weather, she’s at home.” Buffy noticed the look of concern from Spike. It was a totally foreign expression to Buffy, and she realized he was worried about Willow. “Just a headache, too many late nights studying I guess.”

“Oh.”

Buffy studied Spike as he turned back to the book in his hand. He looked terrible. She hadn’t seen him in the weeks since the body swap, and looking at him now, she was fairly certain he must not have eaten much in all that time. His features were gaunt, his eyes looked sunken and dark, even his usually styled to perfection hair was unkempt, the dark roots beginning to show under a mass of unruly white curls. Even in his pathetically drunken state following his breakup with Drusilla he had never been so disheveled. And oddly enough, he didn’t seem drunk at all at the moment.

Her curiosity piqued, Buffy went to his refrigerator and pulled the stiff door open. Inside, she found pretty much nothing. She checked the cabinets beside it, where he usually stashed his liquor and some outrageously unhealthy snack foods. Again, nothing but a few empty bags and bottles.

“Spike?” She asked hesitantly. He looked up, seemingly surprised to find her still there.

“Where’s your blood?” She asked pointedly.

“Uhhh, haven’t got any at the moment.” He said vaguely.

“And how long has it been since you’ve had any?”

Spike looked at the fridge. “Awhile I guess.”

“That’s ridiculous. You look like hell. You’ve got to get out of whatever funk the bodyswap put you in.” She thought for a few seconds until the perfect solution dawned on her. “Tell you what, let’s go to Willy’s. We’ll rough some folks up, see if there’s any good gossip among the demon set, get you some blood & beer, and maybe dust a few vamps on the way back.”

A spark of the old mischief flared in Spike’s eye. “That your idea of a date, Slayer?”

“Um, an emphatic NO, Spike. It’s a friendly de-funking. With Xander, it’s usually pizza and pool. With Willow it’s ice cream and movies. Violence, booze and blood sounds like a recipe for a good Spike de-funking…” She stopped and sniffed. “probably ending with a shower… uh… for you… just you. You do have a shower around here somewhere, right?”

Spike quirked a small smile. “Yeah, got a whole bathroom set-up down below. Tapped the city water line… guess I ought to get a permit for it… and the electricity… do you think they’d give out utility permits for a crypt? Or maybe I should just figure out what I owe & just drop it off anonymously…” His voice dropped off leaving Buffy completely baffled.

* * * * *

AFTER A STOP AT WILLY’S, AND MORE THAN A LITTLE VIOLENCE…

“Spike… what the HELL was that all about?”

“Sorry, Slayer. ‘s why I haven’t been out. Knew it would be more trouble than it’s worth. Didn’t mean to drag you into it.”

“Into what? What’s going on? What did you do to piss off the entire demon population?”

“Broke one of the big taboos.”

“Demons have taboos?”

“’Course they do. Not necessarily any that a human would recognize, but still….”

“So what perverse thing did you do that seems to offended every big bad in Sunnydale?”

* * * * *

AFTER SPIKE CONFESSES ABOUT THE SOUL:

BUFFY: Why didn’t you say anything?

SPIKE: Didn’t want anyone to know.

BUFFY: Why not?:

SPIKE: Didn’t want you lot treating me any differently.

BUFFY: Generally, Spike, we look at a soul as a good thing. If anything, we’re likely to treat you better than before.

SPIKE: Exactly. None of you like me. Didn’t want you to feel like you had to be nice just cuz of the soul.

BUFFY: We didn’t like you because you were evil. Now you’re not, so give us a chance. We might just learn to not hate you.

SPIKE: Don’t want you to feel obligated, Slayer.

BUFFY: Oh we don’t feel obligated to like everyone with a soul. I’m pretty sure Cordelia has one, and none of us but Xander have ever liked her. Oh! Xander! Xander pretty miuch hates Angel, even though he’s got a soul.

SPIKE: Don’t want to be compared with Angel, pet.

BUFFY: Uh, that might be kind of inevitable, Spike. You and he are kind of two of a kind now. Although it’s kind of different since you weren’t cursed…

SPIKE: Depends on your perspective…

BUFFY: Wait, since it’s not a curse, there’s no weird loophole or anything, right? We don’t have to worry about your soul going AWOL, do we?

SPIKE: Nah.. Red made sure of that. Did a good binding before the reversal spell. It’s not goin’ anywhere.

BUFFY: Wait. Willow bound your soul to you before the reversal? So she knew then?

* * * * *

BUFFY CONFRONTS WILLOW:

BUFFY: You bound his soul before the reversal?

WILLOW: Yeah. He asked me to. He didn’t want to risk it getting lost in the process.

BUFFY: He wanted to keep his soul?

WILLOW: Of course. I mean, at first he really really didn’t. He, um, asked me to do some research to see if I could make sure his soul didn’t go back with him into his own body,

BUFFY: And you went along with that?

WILLOW: Well, he was still chipped, right? I mean, it would just be putting him back the way he was. And the soul was, you know, rough for him.

BUFFY: What changed his mind?

WILLOW: I guess just living with the soul for a few days. He started to adapt. He realized that it might be better in the long run.

* * * * *

BUFFY & SPIKE HAVE A CONVERSATION:

SPIKE: Well, at the start, it was uncomfortable, yeah? Having those feelings, thinking those thoughts… stuff I’d been rid of for 120 years, you know? The guilt… the uncertainty… feeling sorry for people… it’s much easier without all that.

SPIKE: Then I started thinkin’… my unlife’s been rubbish ever since I got the damned chip. Can’t be a proper vampire anymore. Can’t let the demon loose, not really. It’s like being caged. Working with you lot, I get to blow off some steam, do a little violence against demons, it’s kind of nice. But I don’t belong. I’m not a part of your little Scooby gang. I’m just a convenient demon-for-hire. Since I joined the white-hats though, I’m not as welcome in demon circles. They’re all afraid I’m gonna turn ‘em in to the Slayer. So I’ve got nowhere to go. Nowhere to belong. So I started thinkin’… if I kept the soul, maybe…

BUFFY: Maybe we’d accept you?

SPIKE: Stupid. I know that now.

BUFFY: Why? I mean, now that you have a soul, you’ve got a chance, right? I mean, it helps, doesn’t it? You can choose to do the right thing, choose to be a better man…

SPIKE: I’m not a man, Buffy. When I was in Giles body, it was easier. I felt guilt, sure, and I thought the soul would help me be someone you could… respect, But now that I’m myself again…

BUFFY: What’s the difference? Why does it matter? You’ve got to know that I wouldn’t write you off just because you’re a vampire. Just the fact that you chose to keep your soul… I already respect you for that.

SPIKE: I can’t respect myself, Slayer. And neither should you. I’m still a vampire. Still got a demon inside. And now I know why that matters.

****

SPIKE: Bet Angel never told you. Yeah, he wouldn’t. He had to have known you’d never trust him, never look at him the same if you knew.

BUFFY: Knew what? I know about his past. Maybe not every sordid detail, but enough. I know about the guilt.

SPIKE: It’s not the past that matters, Slayer. I felt that guilt when I was in Giles body. Thought I could handle it. Didn’t realize…

BUFFY: What?

SPIKE: It’s the present. That’s what brings on the most guilt.

BUFFY: What do you mean?

SPIKE: I can forgive myself for what I did in the past. Didn’t have a soul, didn’t care about consequences, didn’t give a toss about human life. What I can’t forgive myself for is now.

BUFFY: Now? You can’t even punch someone in the nose with that chip.

SPIKE: Doesn’t mean I don’t want to…. Demon doesn’t care I’ve got a chip. Doesn’t care I’ve got a soul. The demon still wants to hunt and kill. Still wants the thrill, the power. Still craves the blood, the fear… I’m standing here, talking to you like a friend. Know hurting you would be wrong. Know my chip would fry my brain if I tried. Know I’d feel terrible about it. Know it would hurt your friends, destroy your mum and your watcher. Know how betrayed you would feel. But the demon in me? Still wants your blood. Wants to dominate you and suck the life from your body.

SPIKE: That’s what Angel didn’t want you to know. That’s what tears me up on the inside. The fact that I can stand here, look you in the eye and still be plotting ten ways to end your life…

BUFFY: But that’s not you… that’s the demon.

SPIKE: Can’t separate the two, pet.

BUFFY: Yes, I can. YOU can. I’m sure, with some time…

SPIKE: Time, right… How long did it take your precious Angel to learn to suppress his demon enough to be around human beings? Do you know? He was cursed in 1889. He came to Sunnydale in 1997. You do the math.

BUFFY: Spike, you can’t just lock yourself up in here. That’s not helping you or anyone else. And letting yourself starve? Probably just making your demon really angry. How are you supposed to learn to control your bloodlust if you’re starving?

SPIKE: Giving the demon any pleasure… it’s wrong, Buffy. Can’t you see that?

BUFFY: I know. But you need blood to live, to be strong, to be able to do any good at all. You can’t starve the demon out of you, if anything you’re giving it more power over you because it’s desperate and your body is weak.

SPIKE: Why do you care? You could just stake me and be done. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about me controlling my demon, or my chip failing or anything.

BUFFY: I was called to protect the innocent. To fight evil. Right now, you’ve got an innocent soul inside you, along with an evil demon. It’s kind of my job to make sure the demon doesn’t win.

SPIKE: If you stake me, the demon dies, and my soul is free. Fit’s the bill if you ask me.

BUFFY: I can’t do that, Spike. I’m too involved. I care too much.

SPIKE: What’s that?

BUFFY: Ugh… I hate admitting this. But I care about you, Spike. Not like we’re friends or anything, cuz honestly, I know next to nothing about who you really are. But I’ve always respected you as an opponent. And since you’ve been chipped, you’ve helped me a lot. I feel kind of protective of my allies, and you’ve proven yourself to be a decent ally when you choose to be. Now that you’ve got a soul, I kinda think you’re only gonna prove it more. There’s potential there, Spike. And I don’t give up on potential.

 

 

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