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Could Not, Would Not

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I'm back in your system now/and I've waited much too long
-Saliva

Spike doesn't think he could ever love Faye the way that Faye loves him. And it isn't that he doesn't love Faye, only that he loves Julia more, Julia has his heart. But if anyone could lay claim to everything else, body and spirit, it would be Faye.

Spike can hear Jett in his head. He speaks in that fatherly way that sometimes grates on Spike's last nerve, and sometimes warms his spirit. His eyes glaze over with unshed nostalgia, as they always are when something particularly wise is going to come out of his mouth.

"No two loves are ever the same, Spike."

But he doesn't think Jett knows that he and Faye share a bed when she's on the BeBop. He's not sure that Jett would care too much, as long as Spike doesn't let her get in the way of their priorities.

She's dozing now, a still lit cigarette dripping ash from between a pair of perfectly manicured fingertips, the graying bed sheet draped loosely over her golden hip. Spike wonders at her sometimes, how something can glow like she does in a place as dim as this. He knows, if not for the strength of her soul, she would wither and die in a place like this. And her soul is perhaps the only thing keeping him alive.

He pulls the cigarette from between her fingers and stubs it out on the metal bulkhead, dropping the dead butt on the floor. And she stirs a little, mumbling something that sounds sweet to his ears for some reason, even fully knowing that it probably isn't.

Faye rolls against him, nicotine stained fingers curled loosely on his bare chest, soft curves fitted awkwardly against his bony hip and shoulder. But not in a bad way. Spike cradles her body close and breathes in the smell of her.

It's something he can't identify but it comforts him nonetheless. She sighs, her breath rolling in a hot gust across his already overheated flesh and their skin is sticking together in the places where they are touching. Spike hates that, but he doesn't move. Because the closeness is important to him.

And because he knows she'll be gone in the morning, and he wants to hold on to her for as long as he can.

"Come back to me soon, this time, Romani." He whispers into her hair, almost too quiet to hear himself.

She murmurs in her sleep. She'll be back, she always comes back. Even her Romani heart can't wander too far away from Spike's without longing for its heat. There is a tickle in her ear that feels like I love you, but she bats it away absently with manicured fingers.

Faye doesn't have time for things like that. There is no such thing as love, only the pulse and flood of synapses in the brain. The ebb and flow of chemicals, but none of it means anything real.

Besides, she doesn't think she could ever love Spike the way he loves her.

~Fin