Hey everyone! This was all written in one sitting – the idea kinda came out of nowhere, and I hope you can all understand it. It's fairly straightforward… I think.
Anyways, prepare for some semi Spike/Faye fluff! Semi fluff, semi angst, that is… oh well.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Faye watched Spike's shoulder blades; in the dark shadow of the carousel they were the only things keeping her from losing her way. She would never, ever admit it, but she was glad that Spike was there with her that night. Theme Parks weren't meant to have visitors after hours, so the place was a mansion of tall, irregular shapes and dark shadows.
And it was completely silent. The place was like a tomb. Faye shivered slightly, and quickened her step. Theme parks gave her the creeps. But of course, Spike the inscrutable wasn't giving any indication that he wasn't enjoying the experience; his pace even, his breath coming out in steady puffs of cold air.
A short crackle of static split through the hollow silence. Spike took out his radio with a grimace. Sound carried much further at night, and if their bounty was in the area he'd take of, and they'd lose the reward. God knew it'd happened before.
"What, Jet?" Spike hissed, drawing to a sudden halt and glaring into the little transmitter.
"Watch it Spike!" Faye pulled up sharply to avoid crashing into him. "Idiot!"
Spike turned around and redirected his harsh stare onto her general direction. "Me watch it?" He demanded in a low voice. "You're the one who's going to be attracting attention with all that noise your making."
Even though she was fairly sure he couldn't see her face, she sent him her most nasty glare, and put her hands on her hips. "And what about the fuss you'd make if I'd crashed into you, huh?" She demanded, equally matching his quietly furious tone. She sure wasn't mad yet, but it never took long with his stubborn-ass attitude.
"Faye, do you want the whole planet to know we're here? I don't want to lose another bountyhead because of your noise."
Okay, now she was mad. But before she got a chance to even look as pissed off as she felt, Spike had already turned his back on her and back to Jet.
"…grow up and listen already?" Jet finished, having spoken through their little argument. They both got the point.
"Make it fast, Jet. You could hear us a mile away." Spike retorted. Faye rolled her eyes at his obstinacy and considered putting a bullet between those shoulder blades. But her anger had drained away, like it usually did. They had work to do.
"Alright. Our guy should be showing up at roughly 2200 hours –"
"2200 hours." Spike repeated. He checked his watch. 2054. "Hey Jet, why are we out here over an hour early?" His voice was somewhere between anger and complete incredulity. "So we can have a play on the rides before nabbing this guy?"
Even Faye had to agree with him on this one.
But Jet didn't waver, and firmly replied, "I said roughly 2200 hours, not 2200 hours on the dot. Who knows when he'll show?"
"This is really accurate information you've got here." Spike muttered, running a hand over his face in exasperation. "Is there anything else you forgot to mention back on the ship?"
"Yeah, like why he had to come?" Faye interjected, pushing her face into the little screen so Jet could see her.
Even with the bad reception she couldn't mistake the frustration on Jet's face as he sighed. "I don't want to hear it." He growled. "I don't care how you do it, as long as you catch the bounty and find where he's hiding those drugs. Don't come back without them." And with that final demand, Jet switched off his communicator, throwing it on the table.
Ed looked up from her computer. "Is Faye-Faye and Spike-Person fighting again?" She asked in her sing-song voice.
Jet lowered himself onto the old sofa with a groan. "How did you guess?" he remarked dryly. Ed merely gave a chortle and adjusted her goggles.
"Ed knows," she informed him, arching her back so she could look at him upside-down. "Ed knoooows!"
And she went back to whatever it was she did on her Tomato, leaving Jet to scratch his balding head and decide he needed to trim his bonsai.
There was silence in the theme park once again. Faye heaved a long sigh and slumped against the wall of the "House of Mirrors" building that they were hiding behind.
She caught the gleam of Spike's teeth as he turned to her and remarked, "Aww, Faye. I think you put Jet in a bad mood." And he smirked.
She ignored him completely. Instead she walked past him and into the centre of the park. The mission was actually fairly simple; some guy dealing drugs with a fat bounty on his head. It wasn't hard to find out where he was hiding his stash, either. At the Theme Park. In the carousel, to be exact.
Now, all that was left was to catch the guy when he came to pick up some more drugs to distribute. The downside was that Faye had to wait. With Spike.
Faye supposed that in her time on Earth, there would have been the moon to give them some light. But here and now, there was just a big black blob which Faye assumed was the carousel, and other dark rectangles to each side which had to be the sideshow buildings. Faye gave another sigh. This was ridiculous.
"Looking for something?" Spike had walked up behind her and was looking into the darkness as well. Faye couldn't help but shiver when his cold breath tickled her shoulder. He was peering past her into that big empty space; looking but not seeing.
She hated that his voice could be so… so damn sensuous sometimes. Especially when it was low pitched like that, pitched so that only she could hear. And better still that he wasn't insulting her.
"There's not much to see," she replied softly, wanting to keep this moment - short as it was, on good terms. Or on neutral terms, at least.
He remained silent for a moment, before moving away and settling down on the cold ground, leaning against the wall and stretching his legs as far as he could reach. "I hate theme parks." He muttered, reaching into his jacket pocket.
Faye smiled. "So we finally agree on something," she dryly remarked, her eyes straining to see a darker shadow; to find his general location. She really wanted to sit down and relax, but settling down on top of him was hardly going to achieve that. But, and she admitted it freely, she didn't want to be far from him.
So she just shuffled over in the direction of his voice, and slid her back down the wall until she felt cold brick underneath her. There, she thought proudly. That wasn't so hard, now was it?
The silence that at first had seemed pleasant soon became oppressive and awkward. Spike eventually lit up a cigarette and offered the box to her. From the weak flame of the lighter, Faye saw that he really wasn't that far away after all.
"Thanks." She muttered. In just a few minutes what had been almost friendship between them had retreated back into almost complete strangers. Faye wanted to recapture that feeling, to experience it more than maybe once a day or a week. Otherwise what was the point of even trying?
She was sick of him; the way he acted. At least she knew where she stood with Jet and Ed. Jet would at least give her the respect to tell her what he felt; dislike, annoyance… pride even. And Ed… well she was the same to everyone: strange. So exactly what was she to Spike, anyway? Didn't she deserve to know that at least? Not be treated as an enemy one day, a comrade the next?
"Oh, Spike," she sighed, feeling angry but letting it melt away into resignation. Spike was a pile of rock: he didn't care about stuff like this.
She saw the embers of his cigarette move, and she knew he was looking at her.
She leaned her head against the wall and stared into the murky sky. "When I was a kid I used to love these places," she said, mostly to herself. "but it wasn't for the rides and the sideshows, it was for the fairytales. Old theme parks had stories behind them, you know. I used to love all of the old ones, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland…" And, noticing that Spike was still watching her, she added with dulled curiosity, "but I suppose you wouldn't know most of those, being from a different time and all."
"You're not so old," he replied straight away in his cryptic manner. Her curiosity stirred and she wondered what he meant.
She looked at the glow of his cigarette; the way it flared up when he inhaled, then receded and darkened again. He turned to face the sky, just as she had, and she again wondered about him. What was he thinking about? Faye knew that Spike didn't want to talk about himself, but there was no denying he thought about his past a lot. In her opinion, no one could lie around and do nothing for as long as he did, and not having something significant to contemplate. But why was it so hard for him to speak to her about it? About anything at all?
"Spike…" she began, and this time he didn't look at her.
She remained silent, working on her own cigarette.
Eventually he turned his head to look at her; and she could picture his mis-matched eyes glaring at her. What was she meaning to ask him again?
"…forget it." She muttered, folding her arms and resting them on her knees.
"Why are you doing this?" he eventually asked, in that quiet voice that made her shiver.
She shrugged. He seemed to understand the silent response, redirecting his gaze back to the sky once more.
Time passed in a strange stillness; Spike silent, but observing the woman beside him. Faye was restless, changing position every few moments, working through cigarette after cigarette. He was confused; he wasn't entirely sure what she wanted from him. Faye was usually good with emotional things: when she was happy, she'd act happy. When she was pissed off, she'd act pretty damn pissed off. Her heart was on her sleeve, so he often thought. But then there were moments like these, and then he realised that he'd misconceived her. Maybe there was more to her than what he saw? It was times like these when he wished that she really was like he thought: petty, vain and annoying. It kinda made it easier. That way he knew what she thought, and he knew what she wanted. He didn't want her to have a deeper character, to have more facets to her diamonds, so to speak, because that would mean that… he didn't know what that meant. Perhaps he didn't want her to be anything less than obnoxious because then he might actually like her.
He ran his hands over his face. He hated thinking about things like this. Getting involved with people meant feelings, and feelings got people hurt. It was a simple basic fact – and it had kept him alive so far.
"What exactly do you want from me?" Spike's question broke through Faye's thoughts, and she glanced his way in surprise.
"You heard me." His voice softened slightly, his eyes searching for hers in the dark.
Faye paused for a moment, then heaved a long, heartfelt sigh. "I don't know, Spike." She said simply. "Something… something about you? So you aren't just another stranger in my life, maybe." She shrugged in defeat. "Tell me a story. Any story." Anything to stop this miserable silence, she silently added, and Spike somehow understood that silent appeal.
He gave a dry chuckle. "Once upon a time…" he said, toying with his cigarette. "There was a boy."
"No way." Faye remarked, her voice laced with sarcasm.
"Don't ruin the story," Spike reminded, and she acquiesced with a smile he couldn't see. "Anyway, this boy was called Peter Pan."
"I thought you hadn't heard this before?" She interrupted, accusingly jabbing her cigarette in his direction.
"I never said that." Spike reminded in an almost gentle voice. As she quietened again, his voice became distant. "Peter lived in… Neverland with some… people he knew. People that he trusted with his life."
"Like…" Spike rubbed his chin, remembering the story. "He had the Indian tribe. The Chief helped him out whenever he was in a rough spot. And there was a lost child. She was strange, but he liked having her around because she was so full of life that it made his own life seem less empty. And then… there was Tiger Lily. They didn't always get along, but he liked to think that… that when it all came down to it, they could rely on each other, and that they were partners."
Faye remained completely silent as Spike drew in a slow breath, his voice becoming so soft she could barely hear. "And then… there was Wendy. Peter was… very happy when Wendy came into his world."
Faye stared at him as his voice died away. He had never, ever talked to her like this. She knew who Wendy was in Spike's little world; the blonde haired beauty known as Julia. Dead in the real world, but alive forever inside Spike's heart. She felt a tear stinging in the corner of her eye and furiously brushed it away. Faye could not mourn for someone she could only consider as a rival. And Julia was her rival; in a battle she was never meant to win. Julia would always win; she would always be first place in Spike's heart. Faye wasn't going to fight a ghost: she wouldn't and she couldn't.
"Spike… Wendy is dead." Faye uttered brokenly, her hand reaching out to take his and then pulling away as if the very idea had burned her.
Spike became very still for a moment, and Faye cringed, thinking he was furious with her. But, he relaxed, and with a regretful voice, he said, "let me finish my story."
Faye could almost picture the sad smile he would have on his face. "I'm sorry. Please… please keep going."
He nodded, and still with the regret in his voice, he continued. "But Wendy didn't want to leave the real world behind. It was her world… not Peter's." He sighed cheerlessly. "Anyway. Peter stays lost in Neverland with the lost child and the Indians. Tiger Lily wanted to help Peter, but he pushed her away. She was different from Wendy; from a different place and time."
Faye interrupted again. "Is that a good different or a bad different, Spike?" she accused, smiling.
The embers turned her way again. "Don't flatter yourself, Faye," Spike cautioned in the same light-hearted tone.
She smirked. She felt stronger now the conversation was back on firmer ground. "You know Peter wanted Tiger Lily. Otherwise he'd have never come back."
Spike snorted. "Pity there were no doctors to treat Tiger Lily's hallucinations," he retorted. "Tiger Lily was a lost cause, even though she tried to be normal like the others."
"Dream on, cowboy," Faye yawned and stretched her arms, settling into a more comfortable position. "You're hardly normal."
Spike smiled; a genuine gesture of gratitude, ironic as it was. He was glad Faye couldn't see him, or else he'd never live it down.
"Maybe…" Faye began quietly. "Maybe Peter Pan wants to stay lost… with Tiger Lily."
There was a moment of silence as Faye tensely awaited a response.
Eventually Spike said with a crooked smile, "Maybe he does, Faye. Maybe…" he trailed off, sensing her satisfaction with a trace of it in himself.
As they settled into a more companionable silence; Spike thought he heard a shuffle, a scrape against the brick. He checked his watch – 2232. He made a note to point that detail out to Jet when they returned to the Bebop.
He quickly got to his feet and Faye silently followed. "Come on," he whispered against her. "Showtime."
Faye nodded, swiftly taking out her Glock. It wasn't exactly a fairytale ending, but it was close enough for her.
I hope I didn't get anyone too OOC… this was meant to be a short one-shot, and it kinda expanded into something much bigger!
R&R is greatly appreciated! I can only improve with advice.