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03 May 2008 @ 12:28 am
In Dreams ~ Drabble (2/4)  

We continue on with part two of the series. This time William dreams...


Title: In Dreams (William)
Author: ClawofCat
Timing: Pre-Series
Rating: PG

William dreams of possession, a lover to put him first.
 
Like chess pieces he’s moved, circulated to each waiting hand, a high stakes poker chip to be won. Never a man, always a boy or a lad, he lives beneath their heels. They twist his devotion to make him their dog, a kicked mutt pleading for scraps. Angelus tears at his parchment to stifle the whispers of his heart. No soul, just a fuck, he shunts away any notions of love. He lays claim to nothing, bereft and forlorn, loyalty and devotion untouched. Forever is meaningless, devalued and mocked, so transience becomes his new god. To take what he can, where he can get what he wants, slaking an unfulfilled shore of need. His veneer is his shield, his only defense, the daring, impetuous cad. But love’s bitch, he is ruled, a subject yearning to please. Yet the shadow of Daddy looms large over him, which makes his girl fickle, hard to appease. 
 
William dreams of possession, a partner to put him first. Who’ll take him in hand and lay claim to his side, never to be swayed by a look. To learn of his moods and his spirit, to see the poet inside him, at last. His patience runs thin, an eternity of loneliness his one fear. He dreams of a lover to see him for him, a woman to invest all his care.
 
 
 
 
Sevensevendeadlyfun on May 3rd, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
This one is interesting, but I found it a bit muddled. Canon tells us that William gave way fairly quickly to Spike, most likely as a defense mechanism against Angelus' cruelties. In that respect I think Spike and Drusilla are a great deal alike and that you point it out is both poignant and wonderful. In a a twisted way, I get a better sense of why the family fell apart after Angelus got his soul. He really was the bizarrely twisted glue that bound them all together.

However, this seems very romanticized and more directed at the human William was rather than the demon he became. I'm definitely confused as to whom you're really writing about.As a demon Spike did love...but not in the manner he loved as a human or as souled vampire. His love was possessive and destructive and this seems more introspective and almost soft, compared to the demon he became a very short time after his turning.

Maybe the length is part of my issue. This is incredibly truncated and perhaps extending it would resolve some of my confusion. As it stands, I wonder if this is human William you're writing or some amalgam of William and Spike. That confusion makes it a bit difficult to read.
ClawofCatclawofcat on May 3rd, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
I envisioned this POV to be on the cusp of vamp William's transformation into Spike. I wanted to track his resolve to change and why he comes to his decision. I took a lot of the inspiration for this from the flashback scenes in "Destiny" and the first few days of William's existence in the family. He basically is mocked for his weakness and romantic fancies. He quickly learns that Drusilla, his "love," is anything but.

ANGELUS: There's no belonging or deserving anymore. You can take what you want, have what you want... but nothing is yours. Not even her.
WILLIAM You're wrong. We're forever, Drusilla and me.
DRUSILLA Are we?
ANGELUS Ah, still the poet now, aren't we, Willy?

We consistantly see that Spike is never an equal in his relationships. The devotion he feels for people is never reciprocated. And despite all the Big Badiness of him, he has an ernest desire to be wanted. And not only in a romantic way. I love that scene when Buffy is resurrected and he confronts Xander in her yard, exclaimingg that, "You didn't tell me! I fought by your side all summer and you didn't tell me!"

Perhaps it is a bit romantic and could use revision. And that dualism to Spike's character, what we know he became and what we know he retained, is a little wishy-washy here. But these thingies are just experiments and I don't spend a ton of time on them.

I have no idea what I want to write for Angelus, which is the next one (maybe I'll spend more time on that one), but my Darla one is my fave. I even tried a rhyming scheme. Haha... oh god, I'm no poet at all.

Thank you for the concrit! I never get it, so it's refreshing to hear what could be improved and tweaked. Especially since this stuff is not my usual style (eg I don't know what I'm doing) and I'm always looking to grow.
Sevensevendeadlyfun on May 3rd, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
After our discussion on the perils of concrit and how we don't do it, I've resolved to do it when I think its appropriate. Sometimes someone writes porn just to write porn and so they don't particularly care if I think the characterization is off. It's a fap fic and that's all. And I do love those, don't get me wrong.

But other times (as here) the author clearly states they're looking for feedback. The whole "U rok!1! Rite moar!!eleventy!" is nice but not necessarily helpful. So far (in my concrit experiment) I haven't gotten negative responses, which is interesting. I think it helps that I point out what I like as well and it's not a "OMG U SUK" thing... Which for the record I don't think you suck. I almost always enjoy your writing and I agree that Spike has a deep longing for acceptance.

But I think your point about his behavior with Xander after Buffy's resurrection is more true to his character than the longing for a perfect lover. Spike wants to be seen and desired, but I think more, he wants to be accepted and admired which is different altogether. When he tries to one-up Angel or impress Buffy, I'm not sure that it's sexual or romantic interest he's seeking so much as peer approval. Spike's development arrested at about 15, I think... :)

ClawofCat: pondersclawofcat on May 3rd, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
After our discussion on the perils of concrit and how we don't do it, I've resolved to do it when I think its appropriate.
Good plan. Snowy asked me a few weeks ago to concrit her Faith/Connor fic, and i felt a little weird doing it since it was on her LJ that we had the discussion. But she assured me it was all good and actually went back to revise because of my comments. In those instances you feel good about being able to help out.

eleventy!
LMAO. Eleventy? My dad sometimes uses that in jest when he tries to come up with a large number. Like, eleventy billion. Has someone actually ever said eleventy in comments before? Cause that would be hilarious and sad.

Hrmm. Ok. I agree with your assessment in your last paragraph. I guess the challenge of these drabbles is that it's not simply exploring the characters, but their notions of "possession." In my mind, peer approval and acceptance don't exactly jive with that concept. I dunno. Der... What do you think? Possession, Spike - what might he desire if not someone to be his romantic equal?

If I wasn't working within the context of Fanged Four, I probably would have jumped on Spike's thoughts about Dru during "Lover's Walk." Talk about possessive demon love. He wanted to torture her so she would change her mind.
Sevensevendeadlyfun on May 3rd, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
what might he desire if not someone to be his romantic equal?

See, that's what I'm not sure of...that he desires an equal. In his romantic relationships (with Buffy and Drusilla), he is in some form or another playing the knight-errant. His deeds are done in their name, thus the power in that relationship belongs to them. He always seemed to me to be willing to subordinate himself to a greater (EDIT: a greater whole), indeed not just willing but eager. His behavior in the flashback scenes in "Destiny" show him as willing to fall in line in order to be accepted. Perhaps Spike's desire for possession is romantic, but also platonic? He wants to possess the admiration of those around him, Angelus and Darla as well as Drusilla?

I mean, I love Spike but he is a puffed-up little prick sometimes. Very strutting and preening and cock of the walk, while at the same time he's also incredibly fragile...I'm not sure a relationship of equals is something he could handle. Maybe post-NFA? After the soul has given him time to grow...

Edited at 2008-05-03 08:01 pm (UTC)
eowyn_315eowyn_315 on May 3rd, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Just chiming in to say that I think this is a spot-on analysis of Spike. Just because he's never had a relationship of equals doesn't mean it something he necessarily longs for. I think he's in so many "knight-errant" type relationships because he likes to feel needed. So maybe what he desires is not someone to put him first, but someone who lets him put her first without abusing it? Or appreciates the role Spike plays for them?

Or maybe Spike doesn't have a desire to possess anything... his desire is to be possessed?

ETA: Der... hit post before I was finished.

Edited at 2008-05-03 10:41 pm (UTC)
Stephanie: sexy!Spikeginnyrules2 on May 3rd, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
I like it. William was obviously on the brink of becoming Spike. I think you managed to say a lot in just a few words. I like also how you pointed out, no matter how much Spike loves Dru, Angel(us) comes between them. I think its pretty good.
ClawofCat: family funclawofcat on May 4th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It's tough mushing a bunch of character insight into 225 words. Hence, the experiment part of this. But I'm glad that you thought it worked. I think there are a lot of parallels to draw between Spike and Dru, and their relationship with Angelus. I actually hadn't been quite as aware of them before writing this.
Zoe: Williamzoesmith on May 3rd, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
Oh I can definitely see this happening early, when William was first turned and Angelus "taught" him how to be a badass vampire.
And then Spike was born!

I really like your writing honey, very beautiful.
ClawofCat: angelus smokesclawofcat on May 4th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's been interesting for me to try and work through each of these characters, especially because I don't write any of them a ton. I've been a bit stuck on Angelus. He's all about possession, so to pinpoint any one thing or person has been somewhat difficult.
eowyn_315: Spike smokingeowyn_315 on May 3rd, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
You know, I read this and I liked it, but there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on, which I think sevendeadlyfun has pretty much addressed.

But I think, even if it could use a little tweaking, there's still some really nice observations here. Forever is meaningless, devalued and mocked, so transience becomes his new god...His veneer is his shield, his only defense, the daring, impetuous cad. - this is a fitting description of him becoming Spike. I think some people see Spike as rash and impetuous by nature, but in a way it's as much of an act as the cocky swagger routine. The devil-may-care attitude was never who he was as a human, and really didn't come through until he started going by Spike. (He also seems to lose it a bit once he's in love with Buffy.)

an eternity of loneliness his one fear

I agree, he's terribly afraid of being alone - but I don't think it stops at romantic relationships. It's that same fear that makes him throw in with the Scoobies once he's chipped, and the reason he sticks around with Angel and his crew.
hello_spikeyhello_spikey on May 4th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
aaaaaws. *snuggles the William*

Poor guy.

I liked this. I think you hit some very good points - he does fear loneliness, we see that clearly, poor thing, and he does always end up unequal in his relationships.
ClawofCat: angelus smokesclawofcat on May 6th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Trying to hit on key characterization points in 250 words or less is quite challenging! But I've been enjoying the exercise. I'm a wee bit stuck on Angelus' though. What to focus on when that evil bastard lives and breathes possession?
louise39: Spike  DO I LOOK LIKE I CARElouise39 on May 5th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
His veneer is his shield, his only defense, the daring, impetuous cad.

I assume this is set during the first decade after Spike was turned by mad Drusilla. He already knows that he will never be truly 'needed' by any of his family except as a vehicle of pain.

Spike dreams [a throwback to human days] of someone he can so please that she/he/they will accept him and his idea of himself.

Is this seeking for a possession? Or an love idol?
ClawofCatclawofcat on May 6th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
I assume this is set during the first decade after Spike was turned by mad Drusilla. He already knows that he will never be truly 'needed' by any of his family except as a vehicle of pain.
Yup, I was thinking this POV took place just prior to William's transformation into Spike, so maybe a year or less after his turning? And isn't it so tragic that Spike gives so much, but no one ever wants him in return? Poor baby. She just wants to be loved!

Is this seeking for a possession? Or an love idol?
There was some discussion of that point at the top of this thread. Give it a read through. sevendeadlyfun had some insightful points. But yes, I think we've agreed that Spike actually wants to be possessed, wants someone so devoted to him that he becomes there one and only. Spike is very bent on the idea of service and pleasing others. He just hasn't found someone that will accept that service and love him for it.
of_too_minds: nametagof_too_minds on May 5th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
I like this. I didn't find it too muddled or romanticized. William quickly became Spike as we saw on the show, but I suspect the Big Bad was a thin veneer at that point, much thinner than it would become over time. Spike could turn on a dime from being hard and brash to soft soft and romantic (as we saw in School Hard) so clearly there was much of William still in him.

As Darla said, who they were as humans informs who they are as vampires and William and Spike both clearly dreamed of a love he could devote himself too. All he wanted was to belong. He really ought to have been born during the Middle Ages, when he could devote himself to a noble lady love and write sonnets to her beauty and go into battle with her token on his lance. (And I'll stop babbling now...)
ClawofCat: spikedru dancingclawofcat on May 6th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks for contributing your thoughts. It's been interesting reading the reactions to these drabbles. To my surprise, they've inspired a lot of discussion around characterization, which is wonderful. I do love some good character analysis :) And, as you mentioned, the duality of Spike's character is something we've been able to observe and track through the shows canon.

William and Spike both clearly dreamed of a love he could devote himself to
Absolutely. Spike does go by halves. He goes all the way.

He really ought to have been born during the Middle Ages, when he could devote himself to a noble lady love
Hm, I think he would have been incredibly well-suited for that role. Human AU, anyone? As William (or even as Spike) I bet he was wild for literature on courtly love and Arthurian legends.

basilio_the_cat on May 5th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
Lovely! :)
ClawofCat: spikesmilesclawofcat on May 6th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you!