Chapter 1: How I Love That Christmas Feeling
I love that Christmas feeling
Jet was trying to remember for the life of him what Christmas felt like. He kept hearing people say that. It feels like Christmas. What the hell did a day feel like? Certain weekdays have a feel but that was more of a rhythm than a feeling, really. And all days felt the same since he left the Force.
He remembered saying things like that, once upon a time, but now it seemed like such a ridiculous idea. "Yo, Spike."
"What the hell does Christmas feel like?"
Spike raised an eyebrow, as the question was both slightly out of character and apropos to nothing that he could see. "I dunno," he ran his hand through his unruly mop. "Warm and squishy?"
Jet had assumed as much. "Does it feel like Christmas?" he asked.
Spike took a lazy glance around the bar they were sitting in before his focus drifted back to the fly that had just landed on the rim of his Collins glass. He watched it dance precariously around the edge before it decided to investigate the contents a little more closely. It buzzed down to the alcohol, got it's wings wet and plopped with a sickening little sploosh in the middle of Spike's drink, kicking frantically for awhile before stopping altogether. It was either drunk or dead. With the shit Spike was drinking, it would be hard to tell the difference. The bounty hunter sighed as he dumped out what was left of his beverage in the ashtray, making a lovely whiskey, butt and dead bug soup. "Uh...no," he said flatly.
"Yeah," Jet sighed. "I didn't think so."
They both shifted their attention to a scuffle that had broken out on the other side of the room. It was a real doozy. Bottles being broken and what not. Spike narrowed his eyes a bit at the spectacle in front of him. "Dammit," he muttered. "That big guy is our man, isn't he?" His apprehension was not so much over the size of the opponent as it was over physical exertion. He was kind of drunk and truthfully still a bit hung over from the previous night. He really was not in the mood for effort.
Jet squinted in a similar fashion, about as eager to break a sweat as his partner, and then checked the comm. "Yep, that's him. Well," he shrugged. "Guess you better go get him."
Spike looked mildly offended. "Why do I have to get him?"
"Because," Jet said matter of factly. "You're the brawn."
Spike quickly sized up his own appearance in comparison to his roommate's and decided that he was not going to simply accept that lot in life. Not if it meant he had to leave his seat. "So what does that make you?" He lit another cigarette to show he was getting comfortable.
"The brains," Jet replied, downing the last of his Scotch.
"Ed's the brains," Spike said quite seriously. "She is definitely the brains."
"No. She's the tech." "Same difference." "No, it's not!" Jet jumped at the sound of his own voice, as he had not meant to whine at such a pitch. He cleared his throat and continued. "I am the brains. I'm the strategist. The sleuth. Ed deals with the hardware. Two totally different roles."
"Whoa, whoa," Spike was fully engaged now. There was no way Jet was going to weasel out of this on semantics. "You can't have subdivisions. Ed is the brains. Faye is the mouth. We can't both be the brawn." Spike eyed up the growing conflict in the corner as he was making his case. There was furniture being hurled now. He hated it when people started using chairs. It was so Hollywood.
"Ok." Jet admitted inwardly that he might have had a point on the subdivision thing. But now he was getting nervous. If he wasn't the brain and he wasn't the brawn, what was there left to be? "So what are you?" he asked, seeing what Spike could come up with.
Spike seemed thrown by the question for a second and then a goofy grin spread across his face. "I am the sex appeal."
"Aw, Christ," Jet groaned and rolled his eyes.
Spike laughed at his own stupidity before finally suggesting, "Shoot for it."
"Best of three."
After the third battle came to a close, Spike found himself on the receiving end of Jet's well-timed paper. Frankly, Spike never quite understood how paper beat rock. All right, so the rock was covered. But the rock could quite easily cover the paper and then what? Crumpled paper, that's what. The whole thing was ass backwards. But it wasn't really the time or the place to get into it. They had already met their stupid argument quota. So he just sighed heavily as he made his way over to the ruckus.
Jet leaned back in his seat as he watched his partner leap kamikaze style into the fray. No, it didn't feel much like Christmas at all, he thought as a thug yanked some garland off the wall and used it to strangle Spike. He wondered briefly where the hell it did feel like Christmas. He scooted slightly to the left to avoid being slammed by his partner's wayward body. Spike hit the table and rolled backwards into the booth. "How ya' doin?" Jet asked his feet, which were currently sticking up over the table at odd angles.
"Peachy," Spike muttered before he shot to a standing position and returned swinging. Spike, reeling from the embarrassment of a near Death By Tinsel, only took about five more minutes to bring the guy in. The bounty wasn't huge but it was something. Enough to pay some spare bills and possibly feed them for a few days. It was like their Christmas bonus.
The two gentlemen sauntered tiredly back onto the Bebop, Spike sporting a nasty black eye he sort of dug. He thought it made him look those old school boxers with the missing teeth who'd kill ya if you looked at them cock-eyed. Plus, it took away most of his already questionable sex appeal, which secured his position as the brawn. He was really more comfortable with that role anyway. Let Jet be the sexy bitch.
"So?" Faye asked casually as they dragged themselves into the lounge. She, Ed and the dog were draped over the couch, an ample spread of saltine crackers and peanut butter laid out before them. "Did you bring us anything good?"
Ed meant to ask, but her mouth was sealed shut with about five tablespoons of Jif.
"Us," Jet grumbled. "We. I love how you throw those plural pronouns around as if they have any relevance. Spike and I got the bounty, therefore the money belongs to Spike and I. You don't factor into us."
Faye seemed unimpressed. "Fine," she yawned. "Be that way." But she did make it a point to whistle You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch quite loudly on her way to the shower.