not_that_spike: (fatalistic with a smile)
[personal profile] not_that_spike
The sounds are different and the smells are different and the language is different. By now he's used to only hearing female voices; he doesn't really miss the sound of other men but that's mostly because he hasn't had the luxury to miss a hell of a lot of anything. This has been the most perilous part of their travel, getting across the damn ocean, and he's glad they told Hero. Otherwise, it might have been pretty damn impossible.

But they're here, all of them, and it's been walk and ride the train and walk and ride the train and camp out and hide and all the usual shit all the way from Saint-Nazaire to Paris, but for the first time he can see landmarks in the distance. Hell, even a skinny green-haired martial-arts-geek unpopular combative kid growing up on Mars knows what the damn Eiffel Tower looks like.

They're almost there, and all those things he hasn't been letting himself think about are going to have to be thought about sooner than later now... if Yorick's actually still in Paris. That information is months old now, but it was all they had to go on and he knows from long years of tracking bounties that you've got to go with the information you have. Doesn't make any damn sense to do things any other way, and some leads pan out and others don't.

What matters most to him, though, is that they made it this far together. Junior's had such milestones, and there's a word that never once entered his vocabulary before the baby came along. But she can crawl like a champ and sit up by herself, and she's had solid food and damn, he wouldn't have missed this for the world. He can only imagine how much poorer his life would be without this wealth of experience, even though he's had to do it cloaked and from a distance.

Still, he's been there for it.

Stepping down from the overlook, he makes sure they're alone; Hero's been pretty damn good at keeping Natalya and Ciba out of their way at night and he owes her for that. Once he's sure they're alone, he lets that cloak hood drop back and the front fall open: he can breathe again. Turning to Beth, he speaks in the quietest low whisper.

"Look at that. These French women really have their shit together. They have electricity going and everything."

That hasn't often been the case.

Date: 2007-08-06 05:23 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"It's been over three years, bounty hunter," she answers almost as quietly. "Somebody better have their shit together by now."

But she's seen that tower lit up in the distance, and she can't say she's not suitably impressed.

Maybe not as impressed as little Beth is, but that's all right.

She's glad Spike is, though, and there's a part of her that thinks it's a damn shame he didn't get a better tour of the states. They went through a lot of small towns when they could get away with it, used back roads where it made sense to, slept in places they were less likely to get discovered when it was at all possible. And the bon voyage party they got in New York was pretty fucking worrisome.

She'd hoped to keep him from ever getting even that close to amazons. It's small comfort, but now he knows exactly what she's disliked so intensely all this time. Now it has to make a little more sense to him.

But she still thinks it was Junior that initially attracted the attention. Vlad is old enough that as long as they didn't stick a sign around his neck that said It's A Boy! in big neon letters he wouldn't have aroused quite as much attention alone.

Here it feels like there's so much less suspicion, and she's not sure why. Sure, the kids draw glances and there's the occasional question to fend off, but it's all less of a concern.

They've got a little while. Ciba and Natalya think she's taking a little walk, and Hero's giving Junior some playtime before it's time to coax her to sleep.

She smiles over at Spike. "You know what I miss?"

It opens the door to a million answers, she knows.

Date: 2007-08-06 06:36 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (let she who has not sinned)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"The way you smell."

It's just one thing on a long, long list.

"Especially after a shower."

Her smile gets a little wider.

"Especially after a shower I took with you."

A laugh escapes her, and she shrugs unapologetically. It's a combination of so many of the things she misses all rolled up together: Spike smelling like soap and smoke and sex.

When he can curl up next to her to sleep, she can smell him. But it's mostly the cloak. And the cloak doesn't have much of a smell, but it seems to her that it always smells like... the outdoors. Like wherever they've been that day.

There's not usually a whole lot that's exciting about that.

"What do you think about France?" Turning her head toward the hand he put on her shoulder, she kisses the back of it. "This could be it, you know."

Something's going to give eventually. They'll find Yorick or they won't, Ciba and Natalya could finally decide to go on to Russia, they could discover the Israelis on their tail again.

"This could be where we stay."

The fact that she's the one talking about the future this time isn't lost on her.

Date: 2007-08-06 07:39 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (knowing smile)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"Venus is kind of infinitely preferable, isn't it?" Her arms curl loosely around his neck.

Anywhere Spike wouldn't be one of the only three living males she's seen on whole goddamn planet would be preferable. There's a hint of regret in her own smile for a second, but she doesn't let it show long.

There's nothing they can do about it. Nothing she can do about it.

There's little hope of the normal life with him and the baby that she kept finding herself craving despite her best efforts during her pregnancy, but they'll carry on. It's kind of all she knows how to do.

At least eventually -- maybe a few weeks from now, maybe months -- they can have something slightly more normal than this constant travel.

"Before the plague, Paris was one considered by a lot of people to be one of the most romantic destinations in the world. It's no New France, but we can give it a try anyway."

Date: 2007-08-06 09:51 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (the jezebel who stole Yorick for a night)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Maybe it's time to replace the silly little Venus fantasy and the increasingly unlikely dream of getting back to their House of Arch suite with ideas that are a bit more probable.

Like... finding a nice little place in the French countryside. If Yorick's doctor friend -- or anybody else -- can make progress with doing something about what's left of the male population, Spike could be as visible as he'd want to be. Her French could use some work, but they'd manage. They're really fucking good at that.

But having a taste of the end of the universe and how good they had it there -- especially at the House of Arch -- has made it even more difficult to readjust to life out here.

She rises on the balls of her feet and gently pushes her forehead against his.

"After we find a place to stay in Paris, I'm getting Junior something I can push her around the city in."

When they first got the baby backpack, she had room to grow into it. Now she's starting to outgrow it.

She is going to be a year old pretty soon, and that's as hard to believe as anything.

Date: 2007-08-06 11:50 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (any port in a storm)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"Oh, really?"

She has to smile when he kisses her.

"Well, when this is over, we'll just have to come back this way and convince anyone in it that it's perfect for the three of us."

One of her hands curls around the back of his neck, and she almost can't remember the last time they were allowed even this much intimacy.

"Spike. If we do actually find Yorick somewhere in Paris and he's interested in being a part of Junior's life, I'm not going to tell him he can't do it." She thinks he realizes this, but she wants to get it out in the open. "Don't think for a moment that it changes anything."

He doesn't get to say a word yet: in a flash, her fingertip is resting against his lips just in case.

"But I'll be understanding if you feel weird about it. I mean... you know I have no expectations for the poor guy, but don't think it hasn't crossed my mind that if he's here and really does want to take some responsibility and has already found Beth Singular, she could become another mother figure in my daughter's life."

Her daughter. Hers and Yorick's and practically Spike's.

Her smile's a little rueful, and yeah, it's all petty and she knows that. Junior deserves all the love she can get.

But she's still her baby.

Date: 2007-08-07 02:27 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (you deserve a kiss)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Again, she kind of has to smile at him.

"We love you." Despite the fact that he's almost gone and made her laugh after the fact, she has to get it in before the subject changes completely. "You don't get shut out."

Not even a little bit, and as if to seal the deal, she tilts her face up to his and pushes her mouth against his in a kiss that's hardly fooling around.

What's funny is that she actually thinks Spike and Yorick would have quite a few things to talk about if they ever did get a chance to meet. And what she said to Spike was the absolute truth: she's pinning no expectation on Yorick. He doesn't even know he has a daughter, and while she thinks he deserves to know, there are no consequences for it that she's going to throw at him.

It was her decision, and she's never regretted it.

Besides, she has Spike.

Date: 2007-08-07 04:38 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
It's been a long time since he gave her an impromptu story like that, and she rests her hands on each of his shoulders.

"This guy sounds like a hell of a romantic. Maybe Paris is right up his alley after all."

Letting her hands move up from his shoulders to rest on either side of his neck, she has to lift her chin for one more kiss. She is feeling better for having said the things she has, and she didn't even really think she had anything to get off her chest.

"We should go back soon."

But she could stand to stay out a little longer.

She could stand to stay out a lot fucking longer, but she'll take what she can get. Once they get to Paris, she might manage to grab a little more time alone with him from time to time.

Or... alone with him and Junior, and she'd be good with that.

Date: 2007-08-07 06:20 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (let she who has not sinned)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
She does roll her eyes affectionately, but she can't help grinning. And when she feels his hand, she lets her own close around it.

"I love you, too."

She hadn't said it yet -- she's always slower to say it -- but it's no less true now than it's ever been.

Her hand doesn't let go of his until they get much closer to joining the group again, and when she steps back inside to discover a barely sleepy baby still awake and playing with an indulgent Auntie Hero, she smiles all over again to see Junior's arms held out for her almost immediately.

It's pretty fucking great to feel wanted.


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