Takes place in the Summer after The Collar
Wicked Vs. Evil
Buffy and Xander had raided her mother's liquor cabinet and were sitting around getting sloshed on Peach Schnapps.
"I don't get it, how can you love the bleached wonder and hate Angel so much?" Buffy asked, a serious frown now, not the normal 'I'm right and you're wrong' pout.
"I could list reasons and excuses and facts and figures, but really it comes down to wickedness versus evil." Xander said taking a sip of his illicitly gained booze.
He thought for a long time before continuing. "Spike is wicked. Yes he does bad things, but Angel, he was evil."
"You mean Angelus," she said with a tiny growl.
Xander ignored the growl and continued. "No I mean Angel. He's the same guy, Buffy. The soul doesn't change someone that much. Look at Spike. His soul didn't make him suddenly become some saint. Yes he feels a shit load of regret now, but he could feel that without the soul, it just amplified it somehow. Angel, or if you insist, Angelus, was always a self involved bastard, just like Spike. What makes him evil is the fact that he likes to spread the pain."
"Oh like Spike didn't enjoy his bouts of rape, pillage and murder?" Buffy asked skeptically.
"Well that just helps me make a point. Spike never raped. He enjoyed a good, well for a vampire, spot of violence, but he always preferred an opponent who could fight back."
"You just believe him, that he never raped anyone? Jeez, Xan, naive much?"
The look Xander gave her pinned her in place. When he finally spoke it was deceptively quiet, despite the rage in his eyes. "Angelus was the rapist in that little family, Buffy. It's kind of hard to get a taste for something like that when you know intimately what it feels like."
Her eyes shot up in shock and all she could say was a tiny "Oh" After a few moments he settled back into his seat.
"You want to know what I mean, lets just look at how the two of them dealt with you, shall we?"
"Oh yeah there is that. I guess lover-boy was just helping to keep me on my toes all those times he tried to kill me, right?"
"I never said he was a saint, Buffy, I said he was wicked. He didn't torture you for fun. He called you out, he gave you time to prepare, and he attacked you front on. He easily could have used me as bait on parents' night to force your hand, or even to get a little mental torture by gutting me and leaving me on your lawn, but he didn't. Cause it wouldn't be honorable, and say whatever the hell you like about Spike before the soul, he did have honor. Granted warped demented honor, but honor none the less. If that had been Angelus, you would have been getting gift wrapped pieces of me for all the special holidays."
Buffy looked slightly green at that comment, but didn't argue. "He was greedy and self involved, and Dru involved, but he never was about the 'make em all suffer horribly' plan. Everyone he went after, he did for a reason. He never tried to make anyone suffer more than was necessary, and he did everything he did to please Dru. Hell even the Judge was more Dru's doing than his, by then she was all better and he was in that fucking chair. Do you know the Judge nearly fried him, cause of the love he had for her?"
"Yup. Anyway, cut to Angelus. He's got all of Spike's self involvement, but he likes to spread the pain. Spike wanted to bag a slayer cause he knew you were a worthy opponent, Angelus wanted to break a slayer, cause he could. He would have been happy to have you be his next Dru. Broken, alone and devoted to his every whim, like some Buffy shaped trophy. Everything you were, everyone you knew, gone. Your mind in eternal torment, your body as his enforcer, if Slayer strength survived the turning that is. He wanted a new kitten, that fucking collar says it all, and he wanted to torment that kitten until it was an insane wild cat who would nuzzle up to the hand that tormented, and lash out at anyone who offered kindness. Rape would have been the nicest of the things he would have done to you, Buffy. Can you honestly say the same about Spike? He would have killed you, but you would still be yourself when he did it. You would have died without betraying yourself and everyone you knew. You would have died with honor, and been remembered, even by him, with respect."
Buffy couldn't find any words, so he just pulled her into a hug.
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