Chapter 11: Friends

Had a friend, she once told me:
"You got love, you ain't lonely,"
Now she's gone and left me only
Looking for what I knew.
So anytime somebody needs you
Don't let them down, although it grieves you,
Some day you'll need someone like they do
Looking for what you knew

Spike and Faye were stretched out on the roof of the animal hospital waiting for Ein, pondering life, the universe and everything. Faye in particular was gazing at the little billows of smoke she and her comrade produced and imagining little shapes in them. At one point, she dragged her cigarette through the air in an attempt to write her name. It sort of worked. She decided to try Spike's name.

"Hey," he grumbled. "Keep to your own name."

Faye blushed a bit, though no one could tell in the dark. "I didn't think you could tell what I was doing."

"I got nothing else to stare at," he sighed, but not before writing "shrew" in the night sky, which Faye quickly followed up with "lunkhead," though the word was admittedly a little long to be writing with smoke.

"How much is this gonna cost us?" Faye asked suddenly.

Spike made a sort of groaning sound as he stretched his body out further on the pavement. "A lot," he said. "Vets are expensive."

Faye huffed. "Over a dog," she mused.

"He's a good dog," Spike said in his defense, though his voice didn't sound the least bit defensive.

"Yeah...I guess a dog who can answer the phone fits into the category of good dog," she admitted. "It's just kinda weird, I guess. All of us hanging out, waiting to pick our pet up from the doctor. It's so...domestic."

"Yeah. I'm freaked by that too," Spike said in a rare moment of candor. "This whole bounty has kinda freaked me out."

"Yeah, I've noticed," Faye smiled before suddenly rolling on her side. "You guys are the only family I've got," she said softly.

"Faye, don't start," Spike closed his eyes.

"Shut up a second," she snapped. "I'm serious. Before I met you guys my life was nothing. And now it's...well. It's still nothing."

Spike chuckled softly.

"But I guess being nothing in good company is better than being nothing by yourself," she added. Spike finally rolled over so they were facing each other. "Faye, why are you saying this stuff all of a sudden? Are you dying or something?"

"No," she said indignantly. "I just...well. You shouldn't have to wait till you're dying to tell someone you like having them around," she said shortly and then rolled over so she was gazing at the stars again. She didn't really care if Spike was receptive or not. She just felt like she wanted to say it. Have one moment of sincerity in their entire fucking relationship before one of them ran off and got themselves killed. It was exhausting to be so guarded all the time, and it had been a long week. She suddenly noticed that Spike hadn't stopped staring at her. He was still on his side, long face propped up on his huge hand. "What?" she asked, only her eyes rolling sideways to meet his gaze.

Spike just smirked and then flipped over on his own back. They stared at the stars a little more, each immersed in their own thoughts. Then Faye noticed Spike was writing again with his cigarette. She squinted at it until she could make out the word.


That's what he wrote. Faye, maintaining true to the nature of their friendship in spite of this momentary lapse, pretended she didn't see it. And Spike behaved as if he didn't write it to begin with. He just shifted over lazily and yawned, "What time is it?"

"I dunno. I'm thinking it's gotta be after 2."

Spike stubbed out the last of his butt before dragging himself to a standing position. "We should check on the others."

"Yeah, we wouldn't want to be late for curfew," she said mockingly.

"Suck it, Faye."

"In your dreams, cowboy."



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