You Talk a Little Trash

The damage was minimal, but there had never been this much blood on Bebop before. Well, never this much that hadn't been an accumulation of the blood from many separate grievous head wounds. Currently, though, it was only Spike's grievous head wound causing the fuss.

"Shit! Don't poke it!" he growled, swatting at Faye's hands, his eyes tired and spitting irritably at her.

The plum-haired girl clicked her tongue and held up her hands, taking a step away from Spike, a bored expression melting away her annoyance; the expression, cultivated from many months of learning how to deal with Spike.

"Whatever you say, doctor," she muttered, tossing the roll of gauze she'd had palmed toward the wounded bounty hunter, trying not to smirk as it bounced off of his chest, then to his knee, and finally to the ground, rolling beneath the sofa, leaving a trail of white fabric in its wake. "Just trying to bandage you up like Jet told me to. God, men are such babies."

"Babies!" Ed squealed, unfolding herself from in front of Tomato and rising up into a half-cartwheel/half-summersault and disappearing behind the sofa, grabbing a startled Ein on her way.

Spike rolled his eyes at their antics and turned back to Faye, leaning back on the sofa and tucking one leg up beneath him, head throbbing. "Yeah, well, excuse me for not ordering the lobotomy for dinner, okay?" he grumbled, finally raising a hand up to gingerly prod at the wound, brown eyes rolling up to catch a glance of the blackish-green hair falling across his brow, his entire body flinching as his fingertips finally found the edge of the cut.

Faye frowned and sat down hard in the armchair opposite Spike, the air between them like a mine field. One wrong step...

"That's not fair," she pouted, crossing her long legs and very nearly pouting. "Why do you get to touch it?"

"It's my brain!" Spike exploded, wincing slightly as the throb grew worse, his tone exasperated.

Faye frowned hard, glaring slightly, fingers tapping out a steady rhythm on the meat of her upper arm. "Well, don't poke too hard," she sneered, her foot tapping with annoyance. "You don't want to destroy that last, lonely brain cell..."

"Fuck you," Spike hissed through clenched teeth, her very presence suddenly making his head throb in new and interesting, yet very unwelcome ways.

"You couldn't afford it," she countered, in that same calm, bored tone that she knew drove him up the wall.

"Children!" came Jet's voice, booming out before him as he came walking into the sitting area from the kitchen, carrying a bowl of steaming hot water, with a towel draped over the shoulder of his cybernetic arm, a scowl on his face. "Keep it down. There's a real child present." He cocked his head toward Ed, who had, by this time, taken up the discarded gauze and wrapped Ein up like a mummy, the Data Dog sitting patiently as Ed giggled, carefully situating the gauze around Ein's ears.

Spike pulled a face, still unsure of what to make of the young, red-haired hacker, though she'd been with them for months, now. "Riiiiiight," he drawled, rolling his eyes and pulling blood-stained fingers away from his head and dipping them into his pocket, pulling out a crumpled pack of cigarettes. "Like she's even paying attention," he continued, shoving a slightly bent cigarette between his lips. "You know, ever."

"Aw, look, Spike," Faye simpered, standing up and sauntering over behind the couch and reaching down, snatching a cigarette from Spike's pack before he could stop her. "Ed's got Ein all dressed up in your usual get-up. How does it feel to be a trendsetter?"

Spike swiveled around, then groaned and reached up, slapping his palm across his temple, the cigarette falling from between his lips as his world spun and his vision blurred. Faye smirked and lit her cigarette, smoke curling from her nostrils, reminding Jet of the she-dragon she had a tendency to be. Spike blinked a few times, then leveled a glare at Faye, calmly picking up the cigarette and placing it between his lips, pulling his Zippo out from the folds of his rumpled blue coat and lighting it, speaking around the filter. "A lot like a bullet grazing across my skull," he growled, feeling a drop of moisture roll down the side of his head.

It could have been sweat, blood, or grey matter – Neither would have surprised him at this moment.

"And if you'd like," he continued, pulling the cigarette from his mouth and turning back around, staring at the chair she'd just deserted. "I can show you the latest style in me shooting out your kneecaps after dinner."

"Okay, that's enough," Jet said, holding up a hand to Faye, who looked like she was about to leap over the back of the sofa and mash Spike into pulp. She fumed and shoved the cigarette between her teeth, almost baring them at Jet as she inhaled hard, sneering to herself. Jet carefully set the bowl of water on the table, glancing over at Spike who was glowering like a petulant child, the cigarette smoldering between his lips.

"Faye," Jet continued, taking the towel from his shoulder and looking back to the angry woman, his eyebrows lifting slightly. "Take Ed and Ein and get out of here. I'd rather Spike didn't blow the rest of his skullcap all over my ship, what with you baiting him on."

Faye yanked the cigarette from her mouth, lower jaw dropping, appalled. "Hey! But –" she began, protesting, but Jet's hard look shut her up. She narrowed her eyes and growled, tossing the half-smoked cigarette on the floor, smashing it out with the toe of her boot. With a spiteful look to Spike, who ignored her as if she wasn't even in the room, she reached down and grabbed Ed by the back of her shirt and started down the hall, grunting softly, dragging the girl behind her. Ed was practically screaming with laughter, rolling over on her back, arms and legs flailing in the air.

"We'll watch the babies! Faye-Faye and Spike and babies!" she wailed, Ein trotting faithfully after her, gauze trailing from his body.

Jet stared after the disappearing trio then shook his head, taking a seat on the sofa next to Spike, who now wore a very small smirk on his lips. Jet rolled his eyes and pulled the bowl of water closer to him, folding the towel into a manageable size. "So, what got you so crabby?" he asked, wringing the excess water out of the wet cloth.

Spike laughed suddenly. "Crabby..." he repeated, his smirk turning into a full-fledged smile. "What can I say?" he continued with a brief shrug, tilting his head back and blowing a few smoke rings out. "I'm a Cancer."

"Yeah, and?" Jet replied, arching an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to know what that means?"

Spike rolled his eyes, bringing his head back up so he was facing Jet. "I'm moody... so gimmie a break. You've been with me this long and you haven't noticed yet?"

Jet took the towel and gestured toward the hallway Faye had dragged Ed down, giving Spike an incredulous look. "You know, you're just like her," he said, his voice dropping slightly in pitch. "Both of you, squabbling like you have sand in your panties. We're all getting damn tired of it."

Spike's brow darkened and he hunched his shoulders, crossing his free arm across his stomach, bringing the cigarette back to his lips. "She's a woman," he said quietly, words mumbled around the filter. "She's pre-disposed to acting like that. I'm a Cancer. For me, it's in the stars, buddy."

"Speaking of stars," Jet said, moving within arm's length of Spike. "Why in the name of whatever deity watches over us have you two not gotten down, yet, and saved us all from your constant arguing?" He dipped the towel into the water and reached over, grabbing Spike by the chin and tilting his head back slightly, carefully cleaning the blood from his forehead.

"Not the right time," Spike returned, reaching up to snag the cigarette out of his mouth, his tone completely casual, as if all of his anger had been a show just to wind Faye up. "I have a feeling she'd still just as soon shoot me as screw me. I'm patient, you know. Consider my time bided."

"Well," he said absently, eyes scanning the top of Spike's head as he gently worked the blood from his hair, cleaning the wound as best he could. "Do us all a favor and bide somewhere else. I'm running out of aspirin."

Spike hissed softly as Jet hit a particularly sensitive spot, his hand clenching into a fist, the cigarette burning the palm of his hand. "Ow! Shit!" he yelped, jumping up from the sofa and slapping frantically at the front of his suit, the burning ember of the finished cigarette falling to the floor.

Jet sighed and stuck out his foot, large boot making quick work of the tiny filter. He stared up at Spike who was now wearing a surly pout, staring indignantly at his hand. "I blame her," he grumbled, shooting a meaningful look at Jet before curling his fingers slowly, testing the pain of the burn against his palm.

"I know," Jet returned, dropping the towel into the bowel of water and leaning back against the sofa, setting one foot up on the table, hands folded across his stomach. "You hate her because you don't hate her. We've all been there..."

Spike lifted his other hand and waved away Jet's insinuation with a dismissive noise, scowling at the larger man. "No way! I blame her for screwing up the mission and leading that guy right to me! I had it all planned out, but no - You know how Faye is! Always needs to be in the spotlight. Always the glory-girl. It's all about her, her, her!"

Jet twisted his lips, trying to hide a smile, watching Spike's half-hearted rant as the boy moved around the sofa and headed toward the stairs, rambling about anything and everything he could think of, his steps heavy on the stairs as he made his way up slowly.

"Watch those stairs, Spike," Jet called out. "Don't want to take another tumble."

"Oh, shut it-" Spike griped, just in time to catch his toe on the last step and stumble into something soft and warm. He caught himself, grabbing hold of the railing, and then glanced down, eyes widening at the sight of Ed and Ein sitting up on the top landing, Ed grinning up at him, Ein letting out a small bark. Spike stared down at them, lips and jaw working as if he wanted to say something, but instead he just kicked the metal railing, yelping in pain.

"Ow! Goddamnit..." he hissed, stumbling past the two with a glare at Ed before disappearing back into the ship.

Ed looked down at Jet, a huge grin on her face as she sat on the top stair, Ein sitting patiently by her side, panting, staring down at Jet as well. The older man quirked an eyebrow and stared back for a moment before shrugging, running a hand over what little hair he had left.

"Hey, I dunno. I just work here," he muttered, turning and walking back down the hall toward the kitchen, mumbling to himself. "Damn, crabby lunkhead."

Ed giggled as soon as Jet was out of earshot and fell backwards, grabbing Ein and taking the dog down with her. Ein barked and snuggled up with the little girl, whining softly against her chest as Ed grinned up at the ceiling, nodding to herself.

"Baaaaaabies!" she squealed softly, wriggling her toes with a sigh.