An exercise in exquisite futility: Fifty fragments of Spike and Julia. Written for 1sentence on LJ.
1. Walking - Their friendship begins in dilapidated walks at twilight, the both of them smelling of gunpowder and damp leather.
2. Waltz - At first it was a simple waltz, a closed one-two-three among three Syndicate guns; Spike and Julia miss those days the most.
3. Wishes - Spike's a closet realist; all his wishes are specific tangibles (a stain-resistant trench coat, a red racer), and only one is unattainable.
4. Wonder - He sees in her the subtle resilience of cop wives, of single mothers, of lonely shopgirls, and wonders if she was ever any of the above.
5. Worry - They caulked themselves against worry - Spike with his gangly fearlessness, Julia with her Brahmic indifference.
6. Whimsy - Odd/, he thinks, standing amidst cantaloupe-colored walls and curvy chairs, how goddamn /cheery the dÃ©cor is for a Syndicate moll.
7. Waste - Vicious sees wastefulness when Julia cooks for three, rather than two; Spike sees hope.
8. Whiskey and Rum - Eleven past eleven and he's already itching for his old whiskey-fuel standby, but he keeps on drinking the rose tea, even though it's like chugging perfume.
9. War - While Spike has the requisite loyalty and on-command brutality, Julia cannot imagine him as a soldier; he's got too much style.
10. Wedding - Normally, Spike fucking hates these capo weddings - too much bullshit, too little booze - but then he spies her amidst the array of frontless and backless dresses, and he forgets he's supposed to be miserable.
11. Birthday - On his birthday, Spike opens his door to find Julia rain-wet, shirt open (/from Vicious/, the collar reads); stomach wrenching, he gives her a coat and sends her home.
12. Blessing - At the drop-off, Spike and Julia hunker down in the pews, under the stained-glass light; "Merry Christmas," she murmurs into his shoulder, and for that moment, he really is - indefatiguably, unbearably merry.
13. Bias - Objectively, Faye's lips-legs-back-front should ignite him like all the rest, but he only looks at her and thinks, /eyes not sad enough/.
14. Burning - Two hours into the movie, Spike's eyes start burning (shitty old seats in an old shitty theater), but Julia's enrapt and he kind of wants to know what's in the briefcase, too.
15. Breathing - Like any Syndicate made man, Spike counts life in breaths, and ascribes monetary value to them, too: one woolong for a drag of cigarette, 10 woolongs for an oh-shit gasp, and 100,000,000 woolongs for the soft, uncertain inhalation Julia makes before pulling her catsuit zipper all the way down.
16. Breaking - With the back of her hand, Julia wipes the bloody spittle from Spike's face, and his purposeful uncaring cracks at her touch.
17. Belief - It's a pity that neither of them believe in a deserving afterlife; no forever, only never.
18. Balloon - Roses would be inappropriate for a friend, so he gets her a bouquet of red balloons instead.
19. Balcony - Spike's standing expectant underneath her balcony, like forgotten literature; /Wherefore art thou/, she thinks and unthinks, because Spike is Spike, and this wistful drama is entirely their own.
20. Bane - Julia's spun-gold hair and narrow features are right out of a locket - it's what draws Vicious, then Spike, then disaster.
21. Quiet - It's silent in the dusky streets when Spike backs Julia into a warehouse wall and looks at her, no response needed, no words necessary.
22. Quirks - "Vicious knows the dark everything of me, but you know the fun incidentals," she says (and that's why I).
23. Question - He tells her flat-out, ask him anything and six times out of ten he'll give the truth - a pretty decent ratio, by Syndicate standards.
24. Quarrel - The one time they fight is when he makes a snide remark about Vicious' performance, and her fierce sideways loyalty baffles him.
25. Quitting - At the age of 24, he hasn't enough teenage nihilism or adult ambition to stay in the game.
26. Jump - Spike jumps up in the Syndicate ranks - less time for late-night triple features and idle diner chats between missions - and Julia tries to feel proud.
27. Jester - With his slapdash kinetic talent and hair like a wildfire, Spike is more jester than king - but really, she never wanted to be queen.
28. Jousting - "We could duel for her," Vicious sneers, but Spike cares too much to surrender her to tradition.
29. Jewel - The ground glass shimmers like gemstones in his palm; "hold still," Julia whispers, and presses a kiss to his good hand for every shard she plucks out.
30. Just - Just two blood brothers on a hotel bed, Spike tells himself, and wills his heartbeat to cease when Julia moans in her sleep.
31. Smirk - Spike's crisp smirks are somewhat of a trademark, but when he smiles, really smiles, Julia's heart keens like a foolish, trapped creature.
32. Sorrow - Like the majority of Syndicate women, Julia had her tear ducts fixed years ago; her loss of Spike was a dry agony.
33. Stupidity - Her shoulder-blades along his palms feel like freedom, like incipient wings, even though they know it's just folly.
34. Serenade - "Just like that... sing for me," so Julia hums the same dusty lullaby into his ear, then his lips.
35. Sarcasm - Naturally, being with Vicious has honed her sense of sarcasm to surgical sharpness; with Spike, though, it's always meant to tease, never to tear.
36. Sordid - During lunch, Spike looks at her neck strangely, almost bitterly, and Julia flushes as she touches the bruised "V" above her collarbone.
37. Soliloquy - She talks herself through the betrayal, rambling hushed justifications as she pulps the paper in her hands and lets the wind take away the last chance they have.
38. Sojourn - Even eye-shot and porous with lead, his body tramps its way to Julia's doorstep, feet magnetic, heart electric.
39. Share - Electra is just about the right mix of brittle and mournful; in the shattered light of the prison, it's easy to talk about Julia, reopen the wound like a present.
40. Solitary - It's strange being whittled down from three to two to one, Julia thinks as she wanders from planet to planet, with only her regrets for company.
41. Nowhere - The anonymity of the cemetery is soothing; he traces his name on a gravestone, waiting.
42. Neutral - In the absence of her, Spike experiences a slow de-volving, a steady deceleration of caring until he's cruising, just like before.
43. Nuance - Vicious finds them out during a stop by the drugstore, when Julia chooses a lighter with the colors of Spike's mismatched eyes.
44. Near - These standing-room-only assignations aren't anything near what he wanted, but it is what it is.
45. Natural - It would behoove her, a marked woman, to search out old doctor contacts, render her face safely unrecognizable, but then Spike wouldn't be able to find her.
46. Horizon - Julia's used to living in increments; the idea of a future, a languorous horizon with this man is too terrible and wonderful to contemplate.
47. Valiant - Stumbling down the stairs into whiteness, he's not imagining cowboys or knights or any of that legendary shit; all he thinks is /Coming home, Jules/.
48. Virtuous - On the run, Julia trades in gauzy identities and synthetic promises, missing the company of honest killers.
49. Victory - What could: The bullet nicks Julia's thigh, and she crumples; as Spike carries her out, she tells him for the first time, /Yes I do love you/.
50. Defeat - What does: The bullet nicks Julia's heart, and she crumples; even dying, she doesn't have the bravery to say it, so she leaves Spike with nothing but the smell of gunpowder and damp leather.