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If Only By The Night

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Trouble: A cause of distress, annoyance or inconvenience. That sounded just about right, Spike Spiegel was undoubtedly experiencing trouble. Not the kind of trouble one might find themselves in with the law, or the type that people run into with money, though funds were always tight. No, his trouble was of a different kind. It was complex, perplexing and down right odd.

It was early in the morning, probably too damn early to be awake, though Spike didn’t bother to even look at the clock. Nagging thoughts bounced around in his skull like a ping pong ball. Going back to sleep was not a likely option at this point.

Laying sprawled out on his bed, clad only in his boxer shorts, a half smoked cigarette balanced between his fingers, Spike let his mind dwell on his trouble.

The day before had been much like any other. The only current bounties had been the smallest of the small. Faye had taken up all the hot water with her shower, most likely on purpose. Spike had dropped the sandwich he had made himself for lunch, and Ein had scarfed it down before he could even think of trying to pick it up. Ed had been checked out of the real world in favor of cyber space. Jet had spent hours with his little potted army of bonsais. Nothing to out of ordinary.

There had been a nap, a few beers, half a pack of cigarettes smoked, and a small petty fight started with Faye over her earlier shower, out of sheer boredom. It had been a regular run of the mill day for Spike. Even as night fell and everyone, himself included, had retired to bed, nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. It wasn’t until the middle of the night that his new found trouble had began.


 

Waking in the middle of the night to something warm pressed against his back, was when Spike fell victim to this special variety of trouble. He didn’t even need to roll over to decipher what the source of warmth was. It was a familiar feeling from a makeshift camping weekend about a few months ago.

Faye was currently laying back to back with him. Despite the familiarity of the situation, it was still a bit unsettling that she was in his bed, he knew she had most definitely not been there when he had fallen asleep.

Slowly and cautiously Spike rolled over, and propped himself up on his elbow, his eyes studying Faye’s sleeping form. Her hair had fallen in her face, hiding her features from him. Eyes scanning down her body, he watched her side move slowly with each rhythmic breath.

Rolling back to his side, facing the wall, Spike contemplated waking Faye to ask her exactly what the hell she thought she was doing. Yet the odd comfort of a warm body beside him, and the sudden overwhelming need for sleep won him over. The questioning could wait until morning.

Unfortunately once morning came, Spike had found himself alone, and wondering if perhaps it had been some sort of strange dream, which in itself disturbed him slightly. However the fact that the other pillow on his bed smelled distinctly like Faye told him otherwise, she had been there.

Having played last nights events through his head once more, Spike studied the stumpy remains of cigarette number three still between his fingers. Staring at the dull orange glow and thin wispy smoke he sighed, crushing it out. Who the hell sneaks into someone’s room at night to sleep next to them and then leaves before the morning. Apparently Faye does. What the hell is her deal?

The grumbling protests of hunger forced Spike to sit up. It was probably time to get up and get some breakfast, and more importantly confront Faye about her odd behavior from last night. Pulling on a pair of pants and a t-shirt, Spike trudged in a zombie-like state toward kitchen in search of food.


 

Entering the kitchen, Spike stopped dead in his tracks. His current trouble forgotten for the moment at the sight of coffee, bacon, eggs, and toast all set out on table. Jet sat drinking a cup of coffee and Faye was staring at the news paper as if it were the most interesting thing she had ever seen. Ed sat under the table, sharing her breakfast with Ein. Ah, domestic tranquility. “When the hell did we get bacon?”

Faye looked up at Spike from the paper, then quickly adverted her glance back to it, she looked slightly unnerved. Jet took a drink of coffee and looked up from the section of the paper he was glancing at. “I was feeling generous. Now get a plate and eat up before its gone.”

Spike did as he was told, and relished the fact that he was eating a decent breakfast for the first time in weeks. As he ate, he studied Faye as she continued to read the paper. Part of him just wanted to blurt out the burning question, but Ed and Jet were both in the room. The last thing he wanted to do was make things more awkward, or embarrass Faye. Truth be told there would have been a time when embarrassing her in front of everyone would have made his day, but in almost year since he had returned to the Bebop he and Faye had begun to grow into closer friends.

He chuckled inwardly, as much as he might not want to admit to himself, he was slowly changing. Without a past to haunt him, the anger with in him had started to fade, giving way to a much more carefree attitude. Sure memories from the past would always be there, but it was settled, over and done with, simply a reminder to not dwell on things that should be left alone, as painful as that could be at times.

Shoving a piece of bacon in his mouth, Spike looked from Jet to Faye, both engrossed in different sections of the paper. Ed and Ein had scampered off, and the silence in the room, except for the turning of paper, sipping of coffee, or the sound of his own chewing in his ears, had suddenly become irritating. “So Faye, sleep good last night?”

Faye froze mid page turn, then continued flipping through the paper without looking up. “Sure.”

Taking a long drink from his coffee, draining the rest of the contents, Spike got up, putting his plate in the sink. Yeah I bet you did. Icy bitch. Though her current indifference was particularly aggravating, Spike had to admit to himself that he had actually slept very well. “Well….then guys, I’m off to shower.”

Jet nodded, and returned to the paper. Faye continued to all but ignore him.

Heading down the hall, Spike rubbed his temples. He could feel a headache coming on. Where the hell does she get off sneaking into my room, and then ignoring me. I’ve got to figure this shit out. Spike could feel irritation and confusion meshing inside him. He knew Jet was just being usual morning time Jet, but usually by this time he had Faye had exchanged a barb or two, or had teamed up on Jet. For a brief fleeting moment Spike thought maybe he was still sleeping, or better yet maybe he was a ghost. Pinching his arm slightly, he shook his head at such a silly notion. Maybe a shower would help clear his mind, if not he was apt to end up going crazy.