The Siring Issue By Tania
Note: This question was first addressed at Blood Screaming and is re-addressed by me with permission.
It's a time honored debate, just what did happen in that London alleyway in 1880. Did Drusilla really sire William, or was Angelus the one who did the deed? I admit my slashy bias would have Angel doing the deed, but alas, the evidence to the contrary is too much to deny. This does not mean that Spike's claims of Angel being his Sire are without merit, it just requires a slightly broader interpretation of the text. In the beginning when we heard the word `Sire' we assumed it meant the vampire who exchanged blood with a human, thus turning them into a vampire, but as time goes by it becomes clearer that in the BtVS/Angel universe siring can also mean others of the same vampire ancestry or those who help train the newly turned human in the ways of the vampire.
So back to 1880, Young William was crying on a hay bale, which my farmer husband assures me did exist in 1880, he is confronted by Drusilla. This much we know, we've seen it in Canon, that incredibly fickle device that the Whedon uses to control the universe. It was a flashback in "Fool for Love" that gave us this scene:
DRUSILLA: And I wonder... what possible catastrophe came crashing down from heaven and brought this dashing stranger to tears?
SPIKE: Nothing. I wish to be alone.
DRUSILLA: Oh, I see you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength, his vision, his glory. That and burning baby fish swimming all around your head.
SPIKE: That's quite close enough. I've heard tales of London pickpockets. You'll not be getting my purse, I tell you.
DRUSILLA: Don't need a purse.
She points to his heart and head.
DRUSILLA: Your wealth lies here... and here. In the spirit and... imagination. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine.
SPIKE: Oh, yes! I mean, no. I mean... mother's expecting me.
Drusilla opens the collar of his shirt.
DRUSILLA: I see what you want. Something glowing and glistening. Something... effulgent.
Spike is beside himself. Finally someone who understands him.
DRUSILLA: Do you want it?
SPIKE: Oh, yes! (touches her chest) God, yes.
Drusilla looks down for a moment as her face changes and her fangs descend. Spike reacts, more confused than afraid. She pulls back his shirt collar and buries her fangs in his neck. Spike cries out in pain but his cries quickly turn to moans of pleasure as Drusilla ends his human existence.
Soon after he rose William visited his mother's home with Drusilla in tow, the encounter was long, but a few lines make it clear that both Drusilla and Spike consider Drusilla his creator.
MOTHER: Where have you been? I've been beside myself for days.
WILLIAM: You needn't have worried, mother. You'll never have to worry about anything again. Something has happened. I've changed.
MOTHER: I-I don't- Who's this woman?
DRUSILLA: I'm the other that gave birth to your son.
MOTHER: I beg your pardon?
WILLIAM: It's true, mother. (holds out his hand to Drusilla, she takes his hand and walks forward) Drusilla-she...she has made me what I am. I am no longer bound to this mortal coil. I have become a creature of the night. A vampire.
When William first meets Angelus the pair hit it off, Angelus longing for male companionship, William not sure what to think. Angelus makes it clear that he was not involved in the actual siring of William.
ANGELUS: So, instead of just feeding off of this William you went and turned him into one of us? Another rooster in the hen house."
DRUSILLA: "You're not cross with me, are you?"
ANGELUS: "Cross?" He quickly dashes forward and grabs William's arm, pulling his hand into the sunlight streaming through the window. "Do you have any idea what it's like having nothing but women as travel companions night in and night out?"
WILLIAM: Pulling his hand away. "Touch me again."
ANGELUS: Ignoring William's comment. "Don't mistake me, I do love the ladies, it's just lately I've been wondering," He holds his own hand into the sunlight watching it sizzle. "what it'd be like to share the slaughter of innocents with another man. Don't think that makes me some kind of a deviant," He pulls his hand back into the shade and sniffs at the burning flesh. "do ya?"
William reaches his hand back into the light, Angelus laughs and then claps his hand around William's neck and shoulder and rubs it.
ANGELUS: "Ah, I like this one. You and me, we're going to be the best of friends." They both laugh.
The next several flashbacks that we see, William and Angelus fighting over Dru, Spike and Angelus in the mine shaft, Spike and Angelus in Rumania and then China, all show that over the course of twenty years they became more rivals than friends, and yet when they meet again in 1997 this exchange takes place:
SPIKE: Yeah. Time was you would've taken her out in a heartbeat. Now look at you. I bet this, uh, tortured thing is an act, right? You're not... housebroken?
ANGEL: I saw her kill the Master. Hey, you think you can take her alone? Be my guest. I'll just feed and run. (roars and bends to Xander's neck)
SPIKE: (holds up his hand) Don't be silly! We're all friends. We'll do it together. Let's drink to it.
They both slowly lean in to Xander's neck. At the last moment Spike punches Angel in the face, making him stagger back.
SPIKE: You think you can fool me?! You were my sire, man! You were my... Yoda!
ANGEL: Things change.
SPIKE: Not us! Not demons! Man, I can't believe this. You Uncle Tom!
This sentiment is again echoed in "In the Dark" when Spike has Angel tortured:
SPIKE: "Yeah? Personally I prefer his older funnier symphonies myself. - LOOK I WANT MY RING BACK! (kicks a box, the breaks a wooden handle and aims the resulting stake at Angel's chest) If I don't get it pretty soon, I'm going to stake me old Sire right here and now!"
It is clear from these exchanges that even though Angelus was not the one to actually feed William on the night of his turning Spike considers Angel his Sire. This statement is further clarified in 2003 when Spike and Angel are once again battling, this time in a brutal fight for their destiny:
SPIKE: "Come on hero, tell me more. Teach me what it means, and I'll tell you why you can't stand the bloody sight of me." They keep punching each other.
ANGEL: "Tell it to your therapist."
SPIKE: "Cause every time you look at me you see all the dirty little things I've done, all the lives I've taken. Drusilla sired me, but you, you made me a monster."
ANGEL: "I didn't make you Spike, I just opened up the door and let the real you out."
SPIKE: "You never knew the real me." He tosses the cross to the floor. "Too busy trying to see your own reflection, praying there was someone as disgusting as you in the world, so you could stand to live with yourself. Take a long look hero. I'm nothing like you."
Spike for his part seems to believe that despite being turned into a demon by Drusilla he had the capacity to retain some of his human decency, but that Angelus corrupted him. It was only after Angelus regained his soul and Drusilla abandoned him that Spike was able to reclaim enough of his humanity to fight to regain his own soul, and eventually find the strength to stand up to Angel. Where their tenuous peace will lead is still anyone's guess, but at least one issue is clear, like an adoptive parent Angelus formed and molded William into Spike as surely as if he had been the one to drain him in that London alley one hundred and twenty three years ago.
Copyright 2003 Tania
Violators will be beaten to death with a shovel
(A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend)