Likely Connections: On Writing Spike and Fred

by Jennifer-Oksana

He's a dead souled vampire, she's commanding her very own multi-million-dollar (evil) laboratory. Add in Mr. Roper and a catchy theme song, and Spike/Fred writes itself. Yes?

Not so much yes. For those of us who cheered when Spike! Finally! Died!, the idea of bringing him back the way Mutant Enemy will in Angel S5 and shipping him with Fred is perhaps a little counterintuitive to begin with. Spike's dead! He's been deeply annoying! And doesn't he already have his one obsession, namely one Buffy Summers? Or hey, what about that century of true love with Drusilla? Why on earth would Spike be interested in Fred?

And likewise, Fred? Probably a little wary of dating, seeing as all the men she knows have burnt her pretty hard in the past year. The smart one (Wesley) ended up telling her rather obliquely that she knew nothing of love and went off to make big angsty eyes at Angel Investigations' worst enemy. Gunn broke up with her and obliquely tried to tell her she was a user. Angel already broke her heart the first time, then went and had kyerumption with Cordelia, except then he ran off to his first true love Buffy. In short, all the men in Fred's world suck the might suck in terms of relationships. Why would she want to be involved with yet another vampire obsessed with Buffy?

Ah, so why bother? No. Wait. What I've told you are simply the reasons why Fred and Spike aren't going to lay eyes on each other and immediately start planning their wedding. But some of the greatest couples are the ones which aren't immediately obvious. Also, I think Fred and Spike have strong long-term potential once you get past their initial difficulties.

First off, Fred bears personality similarities with two women Spike is very fond of — Drusilla and Dawn. The crazy side of Fred and the crazy side of Dru bear strong similarities, to say nothing of the physical similarities. Meanwhile, like Dawn, Fred needs someone who's willing to be emotionally (and sometimes physically) protective of her. Spike gets a warm glow from protecting a certain type of girl, and Fred does fit the mold of girl that Spike likes protecting.

To continue, Spike also gets a warm fuzzy from women who appear weak and somewhat crazy to the outside world, but who are actually very strong and dominating in their private spheres. Drusilla ran Spike's undead life...and he loved it. Buffy was in charge...and Spike begged for more. When Fred's pushy side comes out to play, Spike would be a personality less likely to protest the manipulation. In fact, he'll enjoy it as long as he gets *some* affection in the deal. Fred would probably have that affection, especially if Spike treats her with that aura of protective love that marks so many of his relationships with women from his mother to Dru to Dawn to Buffy.

So at least there, Spike and Fred offer each other attractive emotional and psychological benefits. Protection, affection, and sops to their (somewhat unhealthy) relationship tics. In fact, one of the nice things about Fred/Spike is the potential for the fic to go from anywhere to cute friendship-type bonding (Fred and Spike bond over their love of Bloomin' Onions!) to dark and screwed-up using (Spike screws Fred because he can't have Buffy; Fred screws Spike because there's something heady about having a champion attend her every need) and a large field in-between.

To finish up, a few bulleted points about the Spike/Fred relationship to think about as you contemplate ficcing these characters:

So there you are. Fred and Spike. Likely to connect, but how is up to you.