View Full Version : Did Drusilla always cheat?

07-12-18, 10:02 PM
It’s a common fanon belief that Spike and Drusilla’s relationship was always marred by her flings with other men. Given that we do, in fact, see her cheating, I don’t think it’s malicious character assassination on the part of fans; however, I do think it’s the result of a superficial read of the text. “Lovers Walk” and “Fool for Love” both demonstrate that Spike is surprised and appalled by her indiscriminate serial cheating, which would make no sense if it had been an ongoing feature of their relationship for the past hundred and twenty years. The glaring exception is Angelus: “What’s My Line, Part 2″ shows that Spike is jealous of Angel(us) and Drusilla’s past intimacy (although it’s unclear whether or not said intimacy continued once she had created Spike),* yet Spike welcomes Angelus back with open arms in “Innocence,” despite the fact that this version is obviously much likelier to resume sexual relations with Dru. In fact, Spike seems willing to tolerate Angelus and Drusilla’s mutual attraction until Angelus makes clear that he intends to be push Spike out of her affections (his hijacking of Valentine’s Day in “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” constitutes shots fired).
Perhaps this is why people think that Spike put up with endless cheating throughout his and Dru’s relationship, but I think it demonstrates something else, something not applicable to most of her affairs: The significance that Spike places on the role of sire.

In “Crush,” Spike and Dru have been broken up for well over a year, and their relationship had been on the rocks for a couple of years before that. She’s cheated on Spike with a series of lovers (something I believe was atypical behavior for her, a matter I discuss below), berated him for his failures as a demon, and dumped him. Now that she’s returned, he offers to kill her to impress his new love interest, Buffy (who remains staunchly unimpressed, but whatever). Yet this is not an act of revenge or a declaration of Drusilla’s unimportance; instead, he frames his willingness to destroy his sire as the greatest proof of his new devotion that he can offer:

“Do you understand what this means? This is Drusilla! She was my sire, the face of my salvation. She delivered me from mediocrity, made me the man I am. In a hundred years she never stopped surprising me, never stopped taking me to new depths. I was a lucky bloke just to touch such a black beauty.”

This monologue is packed with meaningful phrases which show that Spike’s willingness to kill Dru results not from annoyance or boredom, but from the fact that their connection is the most important aspect of himself that he can reject on Buffy’s behalf. In addition to his romantic history, she represents the source of his power (”delivered me from mediocrity”), his darkest deeds (”new depths”), and most of his memories (”a hundred years”). In killing Drusilla, Spike would symbolically kill all the parts of himself that Buffy finds objectionable. Spike has already attempted to show his love for Buffy by refusing to feed from a troll’s victims (“Triangle”) and helping to fight a hellgod (”Blood Ties”), but killing his sire would prove more. Killing his sire, no matter what terms they are on, is an almost unimaginable sacrifice.

With all this in mind, it makes more sense that Spike would both fear Drusilla’s attachment to her own sire and accept that Angelus will play a significant, and intimate, role in her life in season 2. After all, his relationship with Dru is bound up in his appreciation for how she transformed and trained him. (This aspect of their relationship doesn’t appear in season 2, where he refers to Angel as his sire, but is made clear in season 5′s “Fool for Love” and “Crush.”)He has a deep respect for maternal figures in general (and, due to vampires’ asexual reproduction, there is no clear distinction between maternity and paternity among sires): See his relationships with his human mother and with Joyce Summers. Based on a) how much Spike knows about Angelus and Drusilla’s sexual history and b) how happy he still is when Angelus returns, I doubt that he expected or would have demanded exclusivity with regard to Drusilla’s sire, except for the fact that Angelus, post-Buffy, utterly fails to meet Spike’s expectations of a “mother.”

There’s no sign that Spike is aware of Angelus’s role in driving Drusilla mad, nor did Angelus, as far as we know, torment Drusilla in front of Spike during Spike’s early years as a vampire. “School Hard” reveals that Angelus taught Spike combat tactics (”Always guard your perimeter”). “Fool for Love” shows a sort of grudging affection and respect between Angelus and Spike in the years soon after Spike’s creation. Although Angelus manhandles Spike and threatens to kill him (after Spike’s gleeful risk-taking has forced the whole group into hiding), he doesn’t follow through; indeed, considering that both Darla and Drusilla are witnesses, Spike probably never thinks he will. The official line on Angelus is that he never feels love without a soul, but that doesn’t mean that no one else could ever perceive him as loving. A hyper-aggressive, yet somewhat idealistic, young vampire like Spike may well have interpreted Angelus’s actions in the 19th century as nothing worse than “tough love.”**

Angelus probably (definitely, if you include spinoffs in your canon) had sexual relations with Drusilla after Spike was turned, and Spike probably knew about it. Spike’s relationship with Buffy shows that he doesn’t really care about exes, unless they’re likely to become something more. He laughs when Riley returns to town in “As You Were,” never mentions Parker after his fight with Buffy in “The Harsh Light of Day,” and doesn’t mention Angel as an obstacle to his relationship with Buffy until Buffy kisses Angel in “End of Days.” By contrast, he is intensely jealous of Angel/Angelus’s relationship with Drusilla, something first shown in “Lie to Me.” That his jealousy is sexual in nature becomes obvious when Angel tries to use it to goad Spike into killing him in “What’s My Line, Part 2″:

Spike: Never been much for the pre-show myself.

Angel: Too bad. As I recall, that’s what Drusilla likes best. She likes to be teased.

Since the soulless Angelus was surely the one who slept with Drusilla, why does Spike ignore his jealousy, and his flirtation with Dru, and accept him back into the gang in “Innocence”? It’s hardly as if Spike had a lack of minions, and he knows Angelus’s limits, which are really pretty narrow. Xander makes Angelus back down with a hospital orderly and a beat cop in “Killed By Death.”

Because sire, that’s why. For better and for worse, Spike is all about relationships, and he has tremendous respect for family bonds. While Spike is clearly not a fan of Dru’s escapades with Angelus, Angelus’s role as a consistent member of their “family” is more important than his occasional role as Dru’s sex partner. Spike can’t diminish Angelus’s role in Dru’s life without taking away her sire, and it only becomes acceptable to do that when Angelus tries to take away someone important— namely, Drusilla— from Spike.

While ensouled, Angel abandons the other members of the Fanged Four, falls in love with Buffy, and uses his past with Dru to antagonize Spike. However, Spike seems to expect that Angelus’s intentions toward them will revert to their previously-benign (from Spike’s point of view) nature, now that his soul is gone. That would include his relationship with Drusilla. I think Spike knows that Angelus will have sex with her; he doesn’t know that he’ll use that to draw her away from Spike.

There are a number of reasons why Angelus’s treatment of Spike, in their reignited ménage à trois, would affect Spike more badly this time around. First is the most obvious: Angelus really does have different goals in season 2. During the 1880s and 1890s, the Whirlwind was traveling the world, Angelus was brimming with confidence and had an ongoing and more equal relationship with Darla, and Spike was “new” and not much of a direct threat to Angelus. If anything, driving Spike and Drusilla apart would have interfered with Angelus’s pleasure-driven existence, since it would have put the burden of caring for her back on Angelus and Darla.

By contrast, when Angelus returns to the group, he’s spent a century feeling vulnerable to human feelings, something he considers a “violation,” based on “I Only Have Eyes for You.” With Spike stuck in a wheelchair, the group (and vampires generally do seem to dislike not living in groups) has limited mobility. Spike himself has grown strong enough to pose a viable threat to Angel, once his injuries from “What’s My Line, Part 2″ heal. Darla is no longer providing an endless string of sensual entertainments. Further, Angelus is motivated by revenge and hatred in a way that Spike, having been born long after the deaths of Liam’s family, has probably never seen. As Angelus grows increasingly frustrated by his inability to think up and carry out a suitably vile punishment for Buffy, he takes out his rage on those closest to his current persona.

Another possible factor is that Spike himself has changed. Angelus has been out of Drusilla’s picture for around a century. That’s a long time to get used to not sharing. For another, with his increased age, Spike may be a little more cynical upon viewing activities he would have dismissed before. This is not, of course, incompatible with the idea that Angelus really is crueler to Spike than he used to be.

There are limits to what Spike’s willing to tolerate Angelus doing with Drusilla, but they’re pretty wide. Everything except making Drusilla ignore Spike, as she begins to do with Angelus around, seems to be on the table.

It doesn’t follow that Spike extends the same tolerance to affairs with people who are not Drusilla’s sire, and in fact, we see abundant evidence that a) he hasn’t needed to and b) he won’t. In “Lovers Walk,” he specifically notes her cheating as why they broke up. In “Fool for Love,” he rants that Drusilla keeps “punishing me, carrying on with creatures like this.” It’s also notable that both Spike and Drusilla attribute her motivations to his failures in Sunnydale and her jealousy of Buffy. Had Dru’s affairs been a frequent aspect of their lives together for the past century, they would not have required a new explanation.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible that Drusilla ever had sex with anybody but Spike while Angel was ensouled: Think of her getting caught “in the moment” while posing as Jenny to Giles in “Becoming, Part 1.” It’s possible that her combination of visions and mood swings led her into previous amorous encounters. It’s possible that the guy in Brazil doesn’t even make the first time Spike’s caught her necking with a stranger on a park bench! But there’s a difference between a scenario where Drusilla maybe committed an indiscretion while under the sway of her ESP and what we see/hear about in “Lovers Walk” and “Fool for Love.” Those episodes depict Drusilla deliberately rejecting Spike as inadequate (”You can’t blame a girl, Spike. I have to find my pleasures. […] You taste of ashes.”) and selecting someone to serve as a replacement. IMO, this did not happen prior to the timeframe of the show.

*Yes, I’m aware that the Angel episode “Destiny” depicts Spike catching Angelus and Drusilla in the act, but trying to meld the two series, especially in the later seasons, together for a coherent analysis would only make my brain hurt.

**It may have been within Angelus’s character to be a brutal grandsire, but that doesn’t mean that he was. After all, Spike and Dru traveled with him for the better part of two decades (and Drusilla had been with him for a couple more), and there’s no hint that they ever attempted to run away once transformed.

08-12-18, 11:59 PM
It’s a common fanon belief that Spike and Drusilla’s relationship was always marred by her flings with other men.

Don't stop there. Other men, other women, and other demons are all canon.

We know Dru and Angelus continued their sexual relationship after Spike was turned, as did Darla and Drusilla. I doubt that she would consider much of that cheating on Willie, who is, after all, made to be her playmate. I'm not sure that vampire family relations have equivalents to human ones, and that includes the assumption of sexual fidelity. William was shocked by Angelus' dalliance with Dru, but he was still shaking off his human expectations at that point. (Another question is whether Spike ever completely succeeds in leaving his human desires behind him.) He is less shocked 15 years later when he hears about the Immortal/Darla/Drusilla, and more disappointed that it wasn't him in that sandwich. As you say, he doesn't really seem to mind the 'family that plays together" thing, unless he's being left out. :lol:

We don't really know what happened with Dru once Angel left the band behind in China, other than she is somehow injured or sickened by a mob in Prague at some point. One possibility is that this happened long before the pair came to Sunnydale, and Spike had become used to a Drusilla who did not stray — only because she was too weak to do so. (That's total fanon, but nothing rules it out.)

Overall, I agree with you about Spike not really being bothered by Angelus — at first — and that he seems surprised that Dru's other wanderings, post-Becoming led to a breakup. I do think there is more than one explanation for this, however, and that Dru wasn't a serial cheater is only one possibility, and not even the most likely one.

We do hear Angel tell Spike that Dru is "kind of fickle" which gets a rise out of him, as does the whole "foreplay/torture" scene, which indicates to me that it's a sore subject, even before Angelus reappears. Angel saying it is just hearsay, but Spike's reaction implies that he recognizes a fundamental truth to the words.

All through Spike's breakup with Dru and its drunken aftermath, he says that he knows she's trying to hurt him with her dalliances, but also says that he thought they would make up, the implication being "make up like we always have in the past". If Dru is a serial wanderer, we know that Spike might not like it, but it's not a deal-breaker for him. He'll forgive until next time, and then forgive again. The thing that breaks them up isn't her cheating, it's her breaking things off.

In the absence of any solid evidence, I could buy any of a number of explanations:

1. Dru doesn't make a habit of "cheating" outside the bounds of the vampire family, so Spike is surprised when she does.
2. Dru used to cheat a lot, but her illness make it less frequent, and Spike adjusted to this as the "new normal" of fidelity, and so was surprised when she started up again after regaining her health.
3. Dru cheated a lot and it bothered Spike, but not enough to end things with her. He was surprised when this particular round of cheating led to a permanent break.

There's likely many other ways to look at the scant evidence we have.

There's a somewhat related bit of fanon that never made sense to me — that Drusilla (perhaps with Angelus' urging) never had sex with William/Spike until he had killed his first Slayer, thereby "earning" her favors.

It seemed pretty clear to me from their interplay in Lies My Parents Told Me flashbacks that they had a passionate sexual relationship even before he ever set eyes on Angelus. It's true we don't see them being sexually intimate again until after the Xin Rong killing, but it seems a bit of a stretch to assume that they hadn't had sex in the 20 intervening years. However, if someone wanted to make the argument, there's nothing to disprove it, I suppose. (Except for the "you never let us...concurrently" complaint in The Girl In Question, which implies that everybody has been getting some, but not in all possible combinations.) :p

09-12-18, 09:07 PM
Both excellent posts. I just want to throw in my own thoughts as follows:

Spike and Angel get on well in the flashbacks to the Whirlwind days. Angel happily welcomes him as another male in the group/family - something he has already longed for -, they have fun raiding wedding parties, they have fun playing silly games with the sunlight and so on. They are still on friendly terms in the forties on the submarine, even though Angel finally throws Spike off the sub.

I don`t find it surprising, that Spike welcomes Angel after the events of Innocence/Surprise. At first that is. There a two major factors, that will cause a shift within the dynamic of the group and Spike hasn`t taken that into consideration. Otherwise he would have been lees enthused on seeing Angel.

The first factor is, that Darla is out of the picture. Whereas they have been two couples before - although not strictly monogamous couples - there are now three and three`s a crowd.

What`s more - Spike is severly injured. He is almost helpless and a burden to both of the others. The former rivalry between him and Angelus doesn`t exist anymore, because he is pathetic, instead of being a threat or a rival.

There are two different tales about why Spike and Drusilla broke up (twice) after the events of Becoming Part 2. The first tells us the reason was her infidelity with a Chaos demon and a Funghus demon. The second tells us, that it is his "infidelity" with Buffy. Of course his infidelity is not about sleeping with Buffy. It is even worse. It is about falling in love with Buffy.

And that`s something, that has never happened in their 120 years long relationship, at least not as far as we know. None of them has ever fallen in love with someone else. Drusilla had a complicated, maybe unhealthy relationship with Angel, but she had that long before Spike was turned. Apart from this we never see one of them consider someone else as a possible romantic interest.

We don`t know, if there was cheating on Drusilla`s side before the Chaos demon and the Funghus demon and apart from Angel, Darla and the Immortal (by the way - what a silly name - blergh). The one thing that drastically changed, when Angel returned in season 2 was, that Drusilla became involved with him not only sexually but also on an emotional level. This is very clear in the Valentine`s day scene. Angel`s gift means something to her.

Whereas Spike might have been okay - not happy - that Dru shared her bed with someone else, he obviously wasn`t okay to share her love with someone else. That might have been the turning point for him.Just like his (yet to him unbeknownst) feelings for Buffy were the turning point for Drusilla.


09-12-18, 09:48 PM
Personally I think Dru would probably have always put Angel first and loved him as her sire/creator. So I really doubt that was a new turning point. Spike was very much made as someone to give her attention when Angel would ignore her for Darla, that was the impetus at the time and why it was suggested to her she made a playmate. I think Spike was accepting of the dynamic with Dru/Angel in his early years because he had to be. It was clearly not what he wanted and made him angry when he first encountered it. But he was young, wanted to be accepted and just learned to put aside his wishes for keeping what he was being offered. After decades without Angel around though when Dru still turned back to him so readily despite the century of being dedicated to her as just a pair, I think Spike just found he was far less tolerant of the insult/taunts.

Although we don't know if Dru ever strayed often or how widely beyond the lesson which Spike was given straight away in Destiny, the Immortal, post Becoming and after he returns to her again after Lovers Walk, it obviously was something she didn't have too many qualms about if she felt inclined/justified. I'd also agree that he obviously felt there was some line drawn that made those occasions stand out or that made them distinct from the norm. Spike's comments about what he used to do to young girls implied sexual assault/rape, so it is possible that infidelity with 'food' was looked at differently and it is the occasions it was outside what was accepted as part of their relationship dynamic (as he was shown Angel would be whether he liked it or not) that he/she saw as distinct as flow says, as Dru felt Spike's interest in Buffy was. Good point too flow that the return of Angel was different to what he might have anticipated also because of Spike's physical incapacity at the time. However, if he felt that was the only issue and didn't care generally about returning to the previous dynamic and didn't mind that Dru would likely want to stick with Angel too when Spike recovered, he could have just revealed his strength had returned. But he didn't do that as he wasn't sure Dru would choose him or be happy with just him again imo and he was no longer accepting of that. I think his lack of tolerance for sharing Dru's affection was what changed, not her feelings for Angel. He wanted her away from Angel full stop. So overall I wouldn't be shocked to find out if Dru cheating was common whenever/if they argued or indeed to find out that in addition to the regular/ongoing affair with Angel the only other times were the ones we know about that he would have counted it as a distinct betrayal. :noidea:

11-12-18, 09:43 PM
All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

* It's greatly implied that Drusilla was still 'with' Angel from that flashback in "Destiny" (A 5.08) to 1898 A.D. Drusilla at some point also had sex with Darla, although it's only implied in the 1896 A.D. flashback.

There's around zero indication that Drusilla wasn't 'loyal' to Spike from 1898 A.D. to 1998 A.D. after Spike and Dru leave Sunnydale. It's effectively canon by now that Drusilla didn't have sex with Angel in 1998 C.E.

Drusilla was 'cheating' on Spike after "Becoming Part II" (B 2.22) because Buffy was 'floating all around him', he 'tasted like ashes', and she 'had to find her pleasure' somewhere.

* It's implied that Spike from the beginning after Drusilla brings him to see Angel and Darla was cheating on Dru. Spike in "Dead Things" (B 6.13) implies he's had many lovers since being with Dru. It's implied in BtVS S2 that he was cheating on Dru. "I was hungry." [looks to Spike's crotch area] "And you were out."

Finally, obviously, Spike within days sires his mother thus already 'cheating' on Dru. It's telling that Dru decides to bring Spike to see Angel and Darla AFTER knowing Spike sired his mother.

* It's ambiguous whether Dru would have ever returned to Angel and Darla if Spike hadn't wanted to sire his mother.

* In the beginning when back with Angel and Darla, we don't know if Dru still preferred Angel. We do know she seemed fine still not having sex with Angel.

* After seeing Drusilla's having sex with Angel, it's implied that Spike left the 'Fanged 3' at some point. Previous to that, it seems Spike was also having sex with Darla. Angel though still considers Darla and Drusilla 'Angel's women'.

* By 1896 A.D., Angel/Darla and Spike/Drusilla are 'paired up'. Angel still has sex with Dru and Spike still has sex with Darla.

* Until post-"Becoming Part II" (B 2.22), it seems Angel, Spike, and The Immortal are the only 3 beings Drusilla ever had sex with. After that, we had the Chaos Demon, a fungus demon, and, if canon, that guy in IDW'S Spike . So, 6 sexual partners in around 170 years?