It's been three days since Spike took off, and Faye wants to hold on to what she has left.
Now she wished for Ed's inanity, or for Spike to bitch at her about swiping the pack of cigarettes he'd left on the coffee table, or even for the damn dog to whine at her for food. She could feel the emptiness stretching out around her; it was an itching at the back of her brain, or a running tally she wasn't trying to keep of ever sound that she failed to hear. One: no one ordering her to make enough to share when she got herself a pack of cup-noodles. Two: no one complaining about her choice of shows when she sat down to watch TV. Three: even the hum of the engine was silent since they'd crashed (And Spike had something to do with that one, she was /sure/. She didn't know how, and she didn't know when, but it was too damned convenient that the Bebop and Redtail had both been practically trashed and the Hammerhead only quickly fixed by some combination of a miracle and the ugly thing being built like a tank on the day the Spike had decided to ditch them for good.), though she'd never even really noticed the sound when they were running. On and on it went, every minute reminding her that she was almost alone.
Jet was in bed when she went to his room, finally letting his injured leg have some rest. "Move over," she said, kicking the side of his mattress. She couldn't stand being alone for another second, even if she wouldn't be surprised if her company turned out to be hopped up on pain meds.
Jet cracked open an eye, managing a glare without even opening it all the way. "Can't a man get privacy in his own room?" he grumbled, even as he shifted over until his side hit the wall of his room.
"You want privacy, lock your door." Faye slipped into the bed next to him as soon as there was room for her, before he could wake up enough to realize what he was allowing her to do and shove her away. But he didn't seem to really care that she was there, just closed his eyes again as she leaned in to tuck her head against his chest. "...It's been three days," she said, when the silence got to be too much for her again. "He's really not going to be coming back this time, is he?"
Though the ship was hot, and being pressed up against another person made it even hotter, Faye found herself shivering even as Jet went tense and still. "I've told you I don't want to talk about that idiot."
She couldn't elbow him in the position she was in, so instead she dug her nails into his side, not quite hard enough to really hurt. "Don't complain, you ass. You know you're worried too." When he only grunted in reply she sighed and closed her eyes. "I had all sorts of plans when I left her last time, you know that? I thought that not that long from now, you guys would get an invitation to come to a mansion in Singapore, and you'd show up ready to shoot someone at any second because you're paranoid bastards--"
"Hey, I'm not letting someone who runs away from the mailman call me paranoid," Jet cut in.
Faye pretend that she hadn't even heard him. "All of your eyes would practically bulge out of your heads when you saw me come out to greet you, and Spike would make some assholish comment about what I must have done to get an in there, but I would've been so happy that it wouldn't have bothered me. I'd let you in, stuff you so full of fancy food that you wouldn't complain about being hungry for a week, invite you to come back to eat whenever you were down to nothing but noodles, and shove what a kind and gracious hostess I could be down your throats/. Every time one of you made a comment about how I must have been switched by a body-double or anything like that, I'd just get sweeter because I'd be so happy that nothing you could say could upset me." She curled up into herself, the movement making her knees dig into his stomach but she didn't care; it wasn't like she was the one uncomfortable. "Instead I managed to completely ruin everything. If I hadn't passed on that message from Julia... if I'd shot that jerk in the kneecaps so he /couldn't leave..."
Jet finally seemed to decide not to keep lying there like a lump and draped his arm over her shoulders. The metal of it was surprisingly warm from his body heat, not the coldness she would have expected. "If you'd done that, he'd have just dragged himself off as soon as we turned our backs and left anyway; he'd just have had less of a fighting chance. You know as well as I do that that man's been looking for the right time to die since before we ever met him."
"/Bastard,/" she said sharply against his chest. Then, softly, "I should have enjoyed things the way they were here more when I could. I was always thinking I couldn't get settled anywhere because I needed to find where I belonged, and now that I've finally realized that this is it, you're the only person I have left."
"You don't have to sound so disappointed by that," Jet said, putting on his best hurt-tone.
Faye pushed herself onto her elbow, ignoring the way the movement made his arm slide down to her waist, and looked down at him. "I've already seen all your issues, right? You're never going to run off into an impossible fight because you've found the man who killed your pet kitten years ago, or disappear without a trace for days because you recognized some bounty-head as your long-lost-brother?"
"I haven't got any siblings, or murdered pets. And, in case you haven't noticed, history would suggest that I'm not the one who should be questioned about whether they'll be taking off."
She shook her head, as serious as she'd ever let him see her. "I told you this is where I belong now, Jet. I'm not going anywhere." Then her lips quirked upward suddenly. "Unless there are debt collectors around. But I'll come back once you've gotten rid of them."
"You better not be expecting me to do that by paying them off for you."
"Of course not! I make it a point not to owe money to people I'm close to."
He sputtered at the audacity of the statement. "You must not consider me a very close friend, then; if you ever paid back everything you owe me I'd have enough to--"
She leaned in and kissed him before he could finish the statement, though a kiss was hardly the term for it. She barely rested her lips on his, as soft as the breaths that trembled between them, but it was enough to shut him up in an instant. "This is how it's going to work," she said quietly when she pulled back just far enough to meet his eyes. "/You/ aren't going to pull any of that big tough cop keeping his little woman safe from every little thing that goes bump in the night crap, but I won't bitch if you slip up on that from time to time, as long as it doesn't happen often. You don't complain if I want to spend every cent of my share of a bounty gambling in some seedy casino, I won't make fun of you if you waste yours on a new bonsai or whatever it is you'd want. We take bounties as a team, but if there's one we want to go on solo for some reason we tell the other about it, and we don't get upset if whichever of us was supposed to stay behind shows up in time to pull our ass out of the fire, as long as it looks like they weren't going to interfere if things hadn't gone wrong." She leaned down again, to rest her forehead against his, closing her eyes and ignoring the sting of tears gathering behind them. "And, the most important rule, we never just take off without letting the other know where we're going. We don't ever wander off into what we know's going to be a deathtrap on our own. That's the only one that neither of us is allowed to break."
"When the hell did I agree to this?" Jet asked, sounding dazed even as he raised his hand to cup her cheek.
She smiled, though she knew he couldn't see her lips. "Just now, when you didn't shove me away." She ran her fingers up his fake arm, sliding them under his sleeve the where the metal met flesh. "Oh, and Jet? If you try claiming the painkillers kept you from thinking clearly tomorrow, I hope you know I'll kick your ass to Titan and back," was the last thing she said before leaning down to kiss him again.