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Buffy and Spike are attached at the hip throughout this issue. We already saw the previews (above) where Buffy was coming out of Spike's shower with a happy smile on her face. What else is going on between Buffy and Spike?
Well, while Spike is talking to Buffy about what's shaking, what she's done and what she needs to do, Buffy can't seem to stop visualizing this:
This is Buffy's fantasy and I'm loving the details here. Spike furiously gripping the bed with one hand (passion!) while tenderly caressing Buffy's cheek with his other hand (love!). And I gotta say, Buffy's expression? She looks very happy. Not Over The Top Bestest Day Ever happy, but more like Oh Dear God I'm In Ecstasy And I Never Want It To End happy.
I'm anticipating fandom flail about this. Either 1) Buffy's going to be called names for jumping from one spacefrakking with Angel to having sexual fantasies about her and Spike (and this means I'm going to have to slap down everyone calling her derogatory names) or 2) Buffy clearly only cares about Spike for the sex (except the quite intimacy of their dynamic as shown in the preview pages shoots this down for me). I think what it means is straightforward: Buffy clearly still cares about Spike a lot and what's more she hasn't miraculously gotten over him, so the way she initially greeted him in #36 was more her being defensive.
When the preview pages first came out, a lot of people felt there was nothing shippy about it. Apparently, Buffy feels differently about the lack of shippy vibes and threw in some hardcore fantasy to prove that she doesn't think of Spike as just a friend. ;-)
I'll be posting more thoughts soon! I plan on updating this post after rereading a few times and digesting the story a bit more. The Buffy fantasy scene was a doozy.