A/N: Wow, can you believe it? My first one-shot! I'm actually really happy with how this turned out; I didn't think I could do it. I dedicate this to Veronica, b/c without her, this wouldn't be possible! We were thinking of ideas, and POOF! This came to be! So thanks!

Punch Drunk Love

Two empty bottles of Lao Chu laid at Spike's feet, his head cradled languidly within his hands as his muddled mind tried to make sense of everything that was going on.

Yes, he had stolen the last of Jet's liquor cabinet, and yes, he had swiped the last of Faye's secret stash from her bra drawer (that had been a shocker; he had never really thought of her as the bra-wearing type), yet he still felt a gaping hole within his withered shell of a body. If drinking and smoking away his blues no longer helped, what else could he do?

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he couldn't help but stiffen upon hearing the telltale squeaking of his ever "favorite" pair of gaudy white boots in the commons entryway. "I know you're there, Faye, so stop hiding," he revealed dryly, the gravelly undertones of his normally stable voice only further accentuating his inebriated state.

Cursing under her breath, the violet-haired seductress egressed the shadows that had concealed her amidst their black and dreary makeup, her jade eyes soft and curious as she approached the beat-up couch and tentatively touched the mossy-haired cowboy's shoulder. "Spike...?"

"Sit," he commanded, never once removing his sullen amber gaze from his large, shoe-clad feet, Faye considerably surprised by how eloquent he was despite the apparentness that he was terribly drunk.

Seating herself so that there was a sizable distance between them, the jade-eyed vixen suddenly felt the indelible urge to take Spike by the chin and demand to know why he constantly drank himself stupid, yet she sat on her hands and bit the inside of her cheek. There was absolutely no way in Hell that the ever-proud Faye Valentine would show any signs that she cared for another individual...ever.

To her utter astonishment, Spike suddenly broke out into a large and unexpected grin, his voice low and warm as he spoke fondly, "You know what made Julia such a wonderful woman, Faye? She was like an angel...a goddess. A flawless, untouchable work of art upon God's canvas in each and every single way..."

"Spike, I don't want to hear this," Faye insisted, her natural sense of her own inferiority to Julia only magnifying in its intensity with each little word that he happened to speak.

Spike, however, paid her plea little to no attention and chuckled to himself, continuing warmly, "Every morning she'd hum this beautiful tune from her music box that had been specially made for her...it made me weak in the knees with the longing to protect her from all that she feared. It was the very first time that I had ever let an infatuation go to my head...the first time that I had been blown away by the simple joys of life. I don't know if I loved her so much because she always dressed in a conservative fashion that left me longing to unravel the mystery beneath, or because she always held me at night and made me feel so indestructible."

Faye flinched at his words, suddenly feeling like a tramp as she slunk back against the couch and moved her arms so that they were now concealing her prominent cleavage. Normally she was very proud of her body, but now...what was the use?

Glancing over at her partner, Faye felt a pang of sudden disgust upon discovering that he was snoring softly, a thin trail of saliva dangling from the corner of his lips as he suddenly slumped over to the side and into her lap.

Blushing a thousand shades of scarlet due to the sudden contact, Faye gingerly lifted his head off of her thighs and set it back down onto the couch as she stood up, inwardly resolving that from there on out she would be a better person...

For Spike.

---------------------------------------10:23 AM the Next Day----------------------------------------

When Spike awoke the next morning, he felt as if one of those comical anvils had fallen upon his head and split his skull directly down the center. Groaning, he flipped over on the couch and noticed the two Lao Chu bottles on the floor, then nodded to himself; things suddenly started to make sense.

"Good morning, Spike."

He muttered something completely incoherent into his hand in response, then sat up in order to receive the shock of his life.

There, standing proudly before him was Faye, yet not the Faye that he had grown to love to hate. A lavender sweater adorned her slender frame, clinging flatteringly to her bust and accentuating the curves of her slim waist, no cleavage anywhere to be seen. A pair of delightful black stretch pants clung to her hips, butt and legs, showing everything without showing anything at all. To top it all off, Faye's trademark headband was nowhere to be seen; her short, silky hair was flowing freely about her radiant face and shoulders like a velvety-violet nimbus.

Feeling as if his mouth had gone completely dry from shock, Spike stood, only to immediately sit back down once Faye moved to dust the table in-between them, all the while humming an eerily beautiful song; her song.

Frowning upon this sudden realization, Spike lifted himself off of the couch and touched her wrist, ceasing her curious behavior in an instant. "Faye..."

She didn't move.

"Why are you doing this?"

Closing her eyes, Faye felt her shoulders slump forward, the feather duster that she had been using slipping from her grasp and falling upon the table with a subtle clatter. "You don't like having a clean living space?", she asked softly, completely straying from the true subject, altogether.

Spike smiled, yet it never quite reached his eyes. "You know what I mean."

Bowing her head, Faye fought back tears as she shrugged, recovering sheepishly, "I...I thought that maybe you would like me more if I was just like her. I want us to be friends so badly, Spike..."

Oh, damn. Had she just said that?

Out loud?

Preparing herself for the verbal onslaught that was sure to come after the mentioning of his precious angel, Faye was beyond shocked when nothing came. Odder still, she felt two strong arms encircle about her middle; awkwardly at first, then more resolute.

"But why would you want to change yourself for me?", Spike suddenly demanded, the warmth of his breath against the bare flesh of her neck causing her to shiver against his thin, muscular form. "There's only one of you, Faye, and even though you can be the biggest bitch in the universe and I sometimes find myself cursing your very existence, I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved the old Faye Valentine...the perfect one."

Smiling tearfully through closed lids, Faye suddenly whipped around and pulled the stunned cowboy in for a fierce embrace, his previous look of shock now turning to that of smug satisfaction.

"I love you, Spike," Faye whispered within the sanction of his neck, truly no longer fearing the rejection that she would undoubtedly receive.

Spike smiled, then lightly touched her cheek, inwardly realizing that even if he couldn't give Faye all of his love, the music box in his mind would forever play a new tune...

The whimsical, sassy music of Faye Valentine.


© June 6th, 2005

A/N: So how was that? Please let me know! I haven't been reviewed in FOREVER, and no, I'm NOT going for the pity factor, but if it's working, go ahead and review! tee-hee