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Pairing: Buffy Summers/Spike
Alternative name(s): Spuffy
Gender category: het
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Canonical?: yes
Prevalence: popular
Archives: The Spuffy Realm


Elysian Fields
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Buffy/Spike is the pairing of Buffy and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Canon Relationship

Spike was introduced as Season 2's Little Bad and was shown to have a certain fondness for Buffy as an opponent.[1] Indeed it was later revealed that Spike's interest in Buffy affected his relationship with Drusilla[2] Spike's return in Season 4 as a series regular led to more non-violent interaction between the two, though it was not until Season 5 that Spike "realised" he was in love with Buffy.

Spike's pursuit of Buffy in Season 5 was controversial, running the gamut from violent stalking to surprisingly selfless (for a vampire) acts such as withstanding Glory's torture to protect Dawn. However, this was nowhere near as controversial as their Season 6 relationship, which incited criticism from practically all sections of the fandom at one point or another. In the early episodes, some fans objected to Buffy taking Spike into her confidence and spending time with him at the expense of the Scoobies; as the season progressed, Spike and Buffy's violent affair was often described as an abusive relationship, but people argued at length over which of the two was the abusive partner (and which the victim); Spike's post-break-up, post-fling-with-Anya assault on Buffy in her bathroom was seen by some as an unforgivable rape-attempt, by others as an understandable extension of their greatly dysfunctional affair. Spike's quest for (and regaining of) his soul, the ultimate consequence of the Season 6 Buffy/Spike relationship, only brought more contention. Fan opinions of the Season 6 relationship, it should be said, were never (and have never become) either binary or linear between two opposing extremes. Barb Cummings, for example, wrote a review of the sixth season in which she discussed Buffy/Spike as "BtVS's real queer relationship."

((And people got stressed about S7 as well.))

Fandom & Fanon

People began shipping Buffy/Spike almost immediately after Spike's introduction in the second season.

For a time, Spuffy was a unpopular ship with the majority of the fandom prefering other ships for both characters, or believing this pairing was problematic. Several boards and forums were created to provide a space for fans who supported the ship. When Buffy and Spike's relationship became canon in the sixth season, some fans saw Buffy as exploiting and abusing Spike. Buffy's characterization in fanfic at this time varies widely. While a lot of Buffy-bashing fics did not pair her with Spike, there are many B/S works where Buffy is portrayed as abusive toward Spike before learning the error of her ways. Others felt that they could have a functional relationship, and wrote fic about that relationship.

With Spuffy rising in popularity and becoming canon, ship wars with established pairings were inevitable. See Bangel vs Spuffy for the details.

Seasonal Spuffy is a regular Spuffy challenge.


Spike's characterization in Spuffy fics is often influenced by the era in which the fic was set, or by the state of canon at the time of writing. Different Spike flavours/eras include:

  • Victorian-era human William often appears in fics. He may time-travel to Sunnydale, or Buffy may travel to Victorian England, or Spike may be under a spell that turns him back into William.
  • Evil-unchipped-Spike appears in pre-series (relatively rare) and S2 fics. There are also fics with Spike meeting Buffy outside Sunnydale between S2 & S3, as well as "Harsh Light of Day" AUs.
  • S4 evil-but-chipped-Spike eg "Something Blue" AUs.
  • S5/6 chipped-Spike often appears in Spuffy fics, especially alternative S6 fic where Buffy is more accepting of the relationship. "Tabula Rasa" AUs were also very common.
  • Souled Spike fics often going AU after the S6 finale and ignore S7 canon.
  • AtS S5 Spike, especially "The Girl in Question" AUs
  • Post-NFA Spike

Common Tropes & Storylines

  • Amnesia!Spike is most common but there are also works where Buffy or both Spike and Buffy have memory loss.
  • Human Spike fics are often set post-shanshu. These works can be dark or domestic, and sometimes overlap with pregnancy and baby fics.
  • All-human AUs
  • Vampire Buffy is often sired by Spike. In fics where a vampire other than Spike turns Buffy, she often abandons her Sire or kills him. Spike often takes on a Sire role, mentoring Buffy in what it means to be a vampire. In some works Buffy keeps her soul because of a spell, and in others the demon is tempered by the fact she is a slayer.
  • Time travel, frequently where white-hat or souled-Spike visits evil-Spike eras of canon, resulting in season AUs. There are also works where Buffy time travels to different times and encounters an unsouled Spike who doesn't know her yet.
  • Pregnancy fics can be as a result of magical intervention or via time travel, and while very rare mpreg does appear. (Check Mate by Xela)
  • Magic made 'em do it or ritual sex fics. In these works, sex may be required to fulfill a prophecy or in order to cast a spell. There are also works where a spell results in Buffy and Spike having sex, such as a lust spell or works set during "Something Blue"
  • Claiming (vampire form of mating for life) is a popular trope in Spuffy fics.
  • Body swap works sometimes overlap with "Harsh Light of Day" AUs. There are also fics where a spell, artifact or demon causes Buffy and Spike to swap bodies.
  • Missing scenes are most often set during the later seasons.
  • Post-Chosen Spuffy fics often ignore AtS S5 and the comics. These works often deal with Buffy's grief and Spike eventual resurrection.
  • Post-NFA works sometimes involve Buffy saving the day and then caring for an injured Spike. There are also works where Spike is human following the final battle. He rarely seeks out Buffy in these works, and instead the two often meet unexpectedly and reconnect.

Notable Fanworks

Influential Authors





Communities & Rec Sites


Ship Manifestos & Meta


  1. ^ For example, see What's My Line II (accessed 10 Aug 2009), when Spike responds to Buffy swapping in as his opponent (rather than Kendra) with "I'd rather be fighting you anyway."
  2. ^ In Fool for Love (accessed 10 Aug 2009) we are shown a flashback to 1998 when Drusilla confronts Spike with "Why can't you kill her? ... You're all covered with her. I look at you; all I see is the Slayer."