The Violence and The Glory

Summary: It's about pain, not love, and even without a soul, Spike finds himself wishing it were the other way around. Spike reflects on his dysfunctional relationship with Buffy.

A/N: Spike's perspective from a second person POV, because that's always fun. Takes place sometime after Smashed but before As You Were.

Sometimes, you like to believe that your relationship with Buffy could be different. What you have now is so carnal, so desperate, and so much more about pain than love.

It's so different than everything you'd hoped it would be.

When you first started coming to terms with your feelings for her, you had often imagined what your first kiss would be like. In your fantasy, it was tentative and shy, but comfortable. In your fantasy, she wasn't giving into you because of some desperate need to feel: she was giving in because she loved you back.

That's not how it happens, though, not even close. The first time is almost certainly demon-induced, with your tattered hearts out in the open for everyone to hear in song. It's heaven and hell when she kisses you, sparking a traitorous longing within your chest. Her body feels like fire against yours, a fire that will consume you both from the inside out.

But then she pulls away from your grasp, gives a look of disgust that is probably meant more for herself than for you (as if that's any better), and leaves you without a word. She leaves you without even looking back.

The transition from hot to cold is so disorienting, you can't even get your bearings enough to go after her.

The second kiss begins differently. This time, she actually seeks you out. This kiss is less harsh and more inviting; it gives you hope. But when it ends, it leaves you feeling much the same as the first did: empty.

You tell yourself that it must mean something, that she keeps coming back for more. She must have some feelings for you, you're convinced of it. You pester her and argue, trying to force her to admit it.

She never does, though. She denies it a thousand times over, in every way imaginable.

She denies it even as you have sex for the first time, because though she lets you touch her, she never lets you close. Close to her heart, close to her soul. It's all off-limits.

As mind-blowing as the experience is, it isn't what you had wanted. You had also fantasized about this first time. In your mind, it would have been beautiful, slow, and gentle. You would have put love into each touch and warmth into each kiss, so that she would know, really know, that to you, she's a goddess. You wanted to be the one to heal her.

What happens instead is violent and chaotic. You're both fighting, punching without restraint, throwing each other down in anger. You're spewing words of venom, hoping to make her feel hatred for you, because at least that's better than nothing. At least that would mean she could feel some type of passion for you. She lashes out with stinging words to match your own, strikes with punches that damn near spin your head around, and finally, she shoves you against the wall.

She's bested you, and it should be over. It would be, too, if she didn't want to hang onto this feeling so badly. You see it in her eyes. She wants to be hurt. She's begging you for it, and who better than you to comply? Haven't you just proved you can do it, by telling her that she came back wrong? Hasn't that been enough?

Apparently not.

Buffy kisses you, hard and angry, and you return the sentiment.

She's using you to break her, to hurt, to feel. She's using you and you know it, and you can't bring yourself to care. After all, you're using her too. You're using her to pretend it's out of love that she kisses you. When she touches you, you can believe that she wants you. Needs you.

It's an easy enough lie to tell yourself.

So when she begins making a habit out of it, out of letting you in, out of violence turned to rough sex, you don't object. The part of you that loves her wants to say no, because you know it's killing her to need this. But the monster part of you lets lust and rage take over, lets you take every part of her for yourself.

With no soul to speak of, the monster always seems to win.

She only lets you touch her under her conditions, which is fine with you because you love to play the game. She never outlines the rules to you, but you learn by trial and error.

The first rule is that you never make love to each other, you simply fuck. You do it hard and you do it often, in between punches and blows and general abuse. You both lose yourselves in the violence and the glory of it; it's the only way she can stand to be with you.

The second rule is that you never say those three words while you're going at it. You tried once, to whisper it in her ear, but she shut down. She pushed you away, eyes blazing. "No," she said. You knew better than to argue, lest she walk out on you right in the middle of it. You apologized quickly and she pulled you down and owned you.

You learned your lesson well, and as a consequence, the words that escape you no longer hold love, but degradation. She craves it as much as you crave the other, and you let her win because otherwise she might take even this away from you.

Her replies to your forced cruelties are just as harsh, and every touch between you is violent in some way. Perceived gentleness receives glares, and then she pushes and punches and shoves until your instincts take over, making you fierce and feral.

It's horrific, what you have together.

And you know, even as you let it happen again and again, that there is danger lurking for the both of you. You know that you're letting her feed the beast within you, and you know that you're feeding the brokenness inside her.

You also know that it's only a matter of time before this consumes you, yet you can't bring yourself to stop.

Sometimes, you like to believe that your relationship with her could be different. If only she felt strong enough to accept love, you think, then maybe you could be more to each other. Maybe you could be gentle lovers, supportive, strong, and healthy together. Maybe then it could be different.

But even as that hope dashes into your mind, you remember the truth of the matter. If she had felt strong enough to accept love in the first place, she'd never have come to you, never have let you touch her, and it's this thought that shatters you every damn time.

A/N: You know, I've realized that the Buffy 'verse is probably the fandom that I write with the most sense of diversity. Angel/Buffy and Spike/Buffy...can't always decide but I sure like having options! Reviews are much appreciated!