Spike didn't give it much thought until he regained his soul--and then his sanity. As a soulless vampire he eagerly had sex with anyone willing--and some not so willing, though that was never his preference. Dropping to his knees and sucking off Angelus aroused him as much as burrowing beneath Drusilla's skirts. He loved being buried in a hot quim as much as a tight ass.
Sex was fun, necessary, hot and wild. For well over a hundred years he filled his nights with seduction, drinking down orgasms as easily as blood, enjoying both males and females. Humans, demons, vampires, he wasn't picky.
He loved only one, though. Drusilla.
Until he loved another. Buffy.
He was never faithful to his dark princess--that was never necessary, as, vampiric relationships lent themselves to being open. After the first year during which he learned so much about sex and love, he never cared that Drusilla slept with other men and women. He cared when she loved Angelus more than him. And Drusilla only got pissy if he paid more attention to a paramour over her.
That never happened, until the Slayer.
He never slept with anyone else during his short, but intense relationship with Buffy. It wasn't until she dumped him that he banged Anya. And, shortly after that, he went off to prove his love to the Slayer and fought for his soul.
A few months after his sanity returned, living a celibate life, helping when she'd let him, loving her from afar, Spike finally remembers.
His life before the nights of blood and fucking, before the demon.
When he was William.
When he was attracted only to men.
Sitting in the cafe, sipping lukewarm tea, William flips through the newspaper, frowning at the ink stains on his fingers. He was late awakening that morning and didn't have time to peruse the news carefully ironed by his valet to prevent such stains. He has another hour or so before he needs to leave for his afternoon lecture. The morning meeting with his tutor to review his recent poems left him discontent and in need of tea and scones, but the tea cooled barely touched and the scones sat in crumbles from his fidgety fingers.
It's a bad habit--tearing his food to tiny pieces--and he only does it when he's unhappy or nervous.
His tutor had been harsh in his critiques and even suggested William try his hand at report writing or, Heaven forbid, journalism.
The reviews were even more disappointing because William admires his tutor so. Only a few years older than his own twenty-three, and a published poet already, whose work is well received not only at the university level but in society, he is a paragon, and William wants to be just like him.
But, he derided William's work and, to his dismay, even suggested he could make money off of writing non-fiction articles. As if money means anything to his poet's soul.
Sighing, he folds the newspaper and fastidiously wipes his fingers on a linen napkin, then drinks the rest of his tea with a grimace before beckoning over the server for a fresh cup.
As he waits for it, he takes out his notebook and pen and ink and begins to jot down ideas for poems stemming from his recent disappointment. After all, heartache and sorrow are the blood and bones of poetry. He's in the middle of a mournful sonnet about a child denied his favorite toy when a few young men enter the cafe. William has known them for years. George Pellew, youngest son of the Baron Exmouth, Trevor Liddell, and John Cavendish, a second cousin of the Duke of Devonshire. When they were children, William was a part of their circle, but when they reached adolescence and the other boys began sports and talking of horses, hunting and girls, William, whose father had just passed, spent more time reading with his mother who never wanted him involved in sporting activities, and kept him close.
Lifting his notebook in front of his face, he watches them--boisterous, happy young men, all very handsome. They sit near him, ordering loudly, laughing at a joke one makes and smiling at the female server. After she leaves he can hear their bawdy comments, and flushes.
He supposes the woman is pretty in a raw sort of way, but he has no need for that kind of thing. He is saving himself for marriage to a proper young lady. It's what he was raised to expect for his life.
William's tea arrives and he prepares a cup, finding himself continuing to listen to his old friends. He has seen them only from his periphery at soirees, musicales, and balls his mother insists he attend None of them attend the literary salons he prefers or the scientific lectures that expand his mind.
They are discussing young ladies of society, both this year's debutantes and those who are nearly on the shelf, and they are saying things no gentleman should say about a young lady of quality.
William blushes and gulps at his tea.
But he can't stop listening as Pellew goes on about the young daughter of the Viscount Monck, apparently an English Rose, and his plans on courting her. As he talks, William finds himself not listening so much as watching the animation on his face.
His former friend is quite handsome--they all are. Skin healthy from the sun, bodies lean and limber and well dressed. Pellew has a small, dark mustache which is very attractive on his face.
How might that feel brushing against his own skin?
William licks his suddenly dry lips and jerks his eyes back to his notebook. Taking a shaky breath, he picks up his pen and resumes writing, driving away the inappropriate thoughts.
Later that night, in the darkness of his bed, William squeezes his eyes shut and reaches beneath his nightshirt. The erection is an embarrassment he knows he should resist, but all evening, as his mother talked about her day of cards with her friends and embroidered while he played the piano for her, all he could think about was that distracting mustache on a young man he has nothing in common with outside the beneficial circumstances of their births.
He tried to fall right to sleep, but the thoughts kept intruding. Finally, resigned to the sin of masturbation, he draws on the image of a young lady from the past weekend's ball, whose dress rose too high as she danced, revealing a silk clad ankle.
His member softens and he starts to release it in relief, only to have another image intrude, this one of Pellew, but not one from memory. The man is shirtless, fists bloodied from boxing, sweat glistening on his muscles.
Biting his lip, William pulls on his member.
Pellew smiles at him, laughs, reaches out to touch William...
With a sad sigh, William ejaculates and quickly drives away all thought of any man as he fastidiously wipes his hand and stomach. Closing his eyes he prays for quick and dreamless sleep.
He refuses to think of why he finds pleasure only thinking of men.
Come to think of it, he killed Pellew and that Monck girl. He slaughtered most of his old, so-called friends. Spike doesn't recall any desire to fuck the man first, but then he doesn't recall any desire to fuck him when he'd been human either. His desires had been so unformed back then, mostly coming out in fantasies of naked chests and simple touches, perhaps a brief kiss. William had been...so incredibly virginal. He had no clue that men even had sex together, let alone how. Until Drusilla pushed him down and climbed on top of him, he had no clue that men and women could have sex in any way other than both in nightshirts, in the dark beneath blankets, the man on top and the woman resigned to the whole thing.
Shaking his head in amusement, Spike takes a drink of whisky and leans back against a tombstone in a quiet corner of the oldest cemetery in Sunnydale. He does feel pity for his old self. That young man was so hopeless, so confused.
Spike wishes he could go back in time and tell William that there's nothing wrong in lusting after a man, kissing and fucking and even loving a man.
Pellew was a dick, but out there somewhere there might have been another poetic soul to match William's.
He knows, though, that the man he'd been back then would have struggled to take a male lover. The way he was raised, the society and legal condemnation of homosexuals, his own religious beliefs, would have held sway over him. He might never have allowed himself to do more than jerk off feeling guilty over any attraction to a man. If he hadn't run into Drusilla, he probably would have spent his life alone. He might have believed he loved that Cecily girl, but she was a fantasy he'd believed he should pursue. The marriage he'd felt he should seek would probably have never happened.
William would have been better off sticking with the literary salons. Spike knows now that there were always gay men in society. Some were in deep denial. Some were married. Others fit the stereotypes of artists and writers and were quiet, solitary men. But William wasn't alone and there were places gay men met.
At the salons William might have met someone or learned of the secret clubs where gay men met, danced, and loved.
Even under Victoria's straight-laced rule, there were options, but William hadn't even known to look for them.
His confusion over what and who he wanted led him to Drusilla as much as Cecily's rejection had.
Spike can't regret any of that, but he does regret how confused he was over his sexuality. It was such a waste.
Within a year of that encounter with Pellew--who haunted his dreams for many months, although he never really realized what he wanted from the man--he was a vampire and knew that gender meant nothing. He loved Drusilla. He lusted after Angelus. He fucked his way through Europe, the Far East and finally America, taking lovers for a variety of reasons regardless of gender.
And now he loves a Slayer.
Life is funny that way, he supposes.
Unless something ends him, he'll outlive her. Maybe some day the prick and him will finally get over themselves and finally do more than fuck and fight. Or maybe there'll be a cute boy who smiles at him just right.
Or a girl.
He's okay with either.