Chapter 2: I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
wish it away
They hadn't worked. They hadn't even left the ship. And they hadn't even really acknowledged why. Somehow, losing Spike was more than simply losing a friend or partner or whatever the hell he was. It was like they lost a tiny bit of their reality.
Spike was dead. Spike wasn't someone who died. Spike was barely a person, when you got down to it. Spike was like a toy. You just sort of watched him. You'd wind him up and let him go, and you'd sit back with a goofy grin while he just was Spike. You rolled your eyes and you cussed him out, and you vowed to break whatever bones in his body that weren't broken by the time he came back. And then you fixed him up and let him go again.
And slowly, you found yourself getting this attachment to him. Like a stray cat you leave a bowl of milk out for. It never really belongs to you. But you feel like on some level, there has to be some kind of connection. The cat did choose your house out of all the others to come begging for milk, and it kept coming back when it surely could have gotten milk elsewhere. And then one day the cat stops showing.
And then what? Do you still leave the milk out? How long should you keep leaving it there? Will there be other cats? Do you even want another cat? Maybe you'd prefer a nice parakeet instead. Maybe you're just done with pets all together. Maybe the whole ordeal made you realize feeding cats just wasn't worth it if it ended like that. Think of all the milk you wasted. Maybe all you ever wanted was a glass of milk, and now there will be plenty for yourself.
Maybe you just miss the cat. And maybe you're pissed off cause you're quite certain the cat doesn't miss you.
"Do you believe in life after death?" Faye asked absently.
Jet almost jumped at the sound of her voice, since no one had spoken in what seemed like weeks, aside from the occasional "You're sitting on my smokes" or "Dinner's ready."
"Uh...never thought about it."
Faye looked up at her pseudo-partner incredulously. "Whadya mean, you never thought about it?"
"I mean I never thought about it."
"But you were a cop."
Faye just made a small huffing sound before biting a stray cuticle. "I dunno," she shrugged. "I just figured someone who's all in the face of death all the time would think about that stuff. I thought everyone thought about that stuff."
"Well...as someone who's in the face of death all the time, I guess I'm just more worried about not getting dead. Once you get dead, whatever happens, happens. Right? I mean, what's the point of worrying about it?" Jet reasoned.
Faye seemed to mull this over. "Well, I think about it. And I guess I've been thinking about it more lately. Which is kinda lame, huh? So someone I know dies. Let me sit around and ponder my own mortality," she said in an overly important sounding voice. "Kinda...predictable."
Jet smiled slightly. "I'd like to think Spike's OK," he said softly, as if he wasn't quite sure he should be saying this out loud. "You know. Somewhere."
"You mean like in heaven?"
"Do you think he'd make the list?"
Jet shook his head. "I dunno. I dunno how picky they are. I think he was a good guy. A huge pain in the ass, but a good guy. There ain't nothin' in the Bible about not being a pain in the ass."
"He was alright," Faye agreed, lamely summing up the thousand and one mixed and vivid emotions she actually felt for the stupid kid. "I guess...I guess I'm kinda worried about where all of this leaves me."
"That is very typical, Faye," Jet said flatly.
Faye didn't respond to that for awhile. Then finally, though she will never know why, she added, "I guess I just miss him."