not_that_spike: (adorable)
[personal profile] not_that_spike
"Okay, check it out." He's never been big on the whole shut your eyes and don't open them until I say so thing. For one, it's annoying as hell and for another, who can stand it anyhow? But still, this was kind of worth a little bit of surprise.

In Beth's arms, Junior's eyes go wide and she lets out a perfect "ooh." As if in all her year and a half of wisdom, she remembers this place? He doubts it; they've been to a hell of a lot of places in her short lifetime and not all by choice. But this place is kind of cool: it's far enough outside Paris so not very many people just happen by but they can still be in the city in just under twenty minutes at a leisurely walking pace. One thing he's noticed on this trip is that it's the cities where people have congregated, and out of necessity. When half a planet's population just drops dead, it leaves a lot of empty space. Outskirts that used to be convenient when everyone drove are now considered too far out, a pain in the ass, dangerous. Even with bicycles, people want to be where other people are and he kind of can't blame them. There's safety in numbers: call it a tribal mentality or whatever, but the human population as a whole has reverted back to that in a lot of ways.

One bounty hunter displaced in time and space happens to think that's just about perfect: it means he's got fifteen or twenty minutes of space between him and most visitors and if he's here, he can take off that cloak and just be himself. Spend some quality time with his woman and their little aijou and not have to worry about someone knocking at the door to take a census or any of that shit. And this place... well, it's pretty cool. Like a lot of once-valuable (and now largely useless) properties outside Paris it's built of stone, which keeps it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It's all on one floor which means no stairs to navigate with a sleeping Junior, and almost all of the windows are still intact. The setup's cozy too: there's a working kitchen, two bedrooms right next to each other, living room or parlor or whatever the fuck the French call those salles, and a bathroom.

With a working toilet.

They passed by this place on their trek into Paris however long ago it was -- months now -- and he took notice of it then but never figured they'd be sticking around long-term enough to warrant a return trip. But now that it looks like they'll be here for a while, why the hell not? They have to live somewhere, and he'd just as soon it be a place where he can actually take off the damn cloak once in a while.

"I may just be a humble bounty hunter, ma'am, but I think I'm going in for a new career as a real estate agent." There's even a yard -- overgrown and its stone walls in need of a bunch of repair work -- where they could grow... uh... tobacco. Yeah, that's it. And fly off into the sunset in their personal spacecraft-built-for-three some day. "What do you think? Too far from the bright city lights?"

Shit, he could even smoke here... if he could get his hands on any cigs.

Date: 2008-07-25 04:02 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (so damn relieved)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Junior sounds impressed -- not that it takes a whole lot to impress her most of the time -- but Beth has to admit she actually is. She remembers this place. Spike mentioned it before.

As a joke. She hardly expected this.

"I can't believe no one's moved into this place."

It's not that far out of the city, and it's a really nice little place.

With pretty nice furniture left in it, too. Whoever owned this place once upon a time was doing pretty well for themselves.

Everything's dusty. The whole place'll need a cleaning, the locks -- particularly the one the front door, since they didn't even have to pick it themselves to get in -- will need to be replaced, and they'll have to do some rearranging and maybe even a little repairing.

But it's pretty fucking ideal, all things considered.

She flashes Spike a lopsided smile.

"I think you should stick to bounty hunting. It has a better ring to it." Junior wriggles in her arms, and she obliges by setting her down on partially steady feet. "But I do like your taste in real estate."

Date: 2008-07-25 07:58 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (and she's... she's pretty huh?)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"Who can resist hidden treasure?" She grins, her fingers hooking through Spike's. "Not me."

And from the looks of things, Junior'd be along for the ride even if they were walking straight into the path of a tornado. She gives Beth a big grin, her little fingers curled around Spike's rolled-up jacket sleeve.

Personally, she's tired. Inside and out. She's not quite at her thinnest since the plague, but she's pretty close. Her wrists are almost done healing after all the straining against the rope she did when Alter and friends tied them up, and Nat and Ciba left for Russia just two days ago.

Part of her thinks it's stupid that it feels so much like the end of an era, but... it does.

Their little fantastic four has split in two.

And Yorick. There's something sad and tired in his eyes that wasn't there when she first met him, and she's not so sure being reunited with Beth Deville has been the happy ending he was probably hoping for.

The thing about all this that she likes best -- aside from the fact that they all seem to have finally earned the ability to live without fear of any goddamn armies following them around -- is that she's been seeing a hell of a lot more of Spike lately.

As they walk toward the kitchen, she unlaces her fingers from his, but it's only so she can sling her arm around his waist. "Have I mentioned I like you better visible?"

Date: 2008-07-26 07:17 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
She smiles to herself and lets her side bump against Spike's. It always was a giant long-term game of peekaboo to Junior.

Now little Beth might be so used to it that she'll start wondering why they're playing less often.

At least she finds Spike so engaging she won't mind much.

Reaching over, she pushes a little brown curl out of Junior's face. "What money?" One corner of her mouth curls. "I could bet some cigarettes."

He'd probably like that. They've been using them a lot more for bartering than smoking since they've been out here, and it's had to have been even worse for him than it has been for her.

He always used to smoke like a fucking chimney.

There are times when she misses seeing a cigarette between his lips or dangling from his fingers. It was his natural state.

Date: 2008-07-27 01:30 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (well this is awkward)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
She freezes, startled, and her hand closes tightly around Spike's.

There's nothing -- short of a crazy soldier carrying off her baby, anyway -- that could budge her from right where she's standing, and she shows no signs of moving closer to the door or letting go of his hand.

It's been months and months, and she never could've expected this.

Maybe she was right way back when it occurred to her that there was no way she'd be able to stay out in space with Spike because she didn't belong there. Maybe this would've happened there the same way it's happening here: an open door to periodically steer them back.

Maybe there's no fucking rhyme or reason to it.

All she knows is they're not going anywhere. She liked living at the bar, and she's more than thankful that she found the place through the doorway at St. Bernadette's when she did. And she'd be thrilled to go back, sure, but she's done with living in a state of uncertainty and not knowing if they'll even be let out once they're let in.

Now that they've found Yorick, she can't just disappear with Beth Junior.

Date: 2008-07-27 06:11 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (the jezebel who stole Yorick for a night)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
It's instinctive for her to smile when Junior keys in on just the right words to parrot back at them, but she's... well, she's relieved that Spike's not suggesting they see what happens with the bar. But beyond that, there's just something about the situation that isn't quite sitting right with her and won't be dismissed as easily as the door was closed.

Even so, she hasn't changed her mind about how great this house is. They can keep that door in the closet barricaded as long as they want to, if the opening to the bar even stays there.

And it's going to have to prove it can do just that before she's willing to take Junior and go back for a visit.

"I've still got an unopened pack stashed away just for you." She snatches the little hand Junior reaches out, but her eyes linger on Spike. "And we'll think about that door later if we need to."

She's pretty damn sure she's entitled to her skepticism.

Date: 2008-07-28 08:35 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (and she's... she's pretty huh?)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
She's grinning when he kisses her -- sometimes Beth Junior's such a literal little thing -- and she certainly doesn't close her own eyes when he gets close enough to kiss her.

Absolutely not. She wants to see him.

"Lucky for me." She always was a sucker for those significant looks he tends to give her. "A cigarette break and then time to head back?"

It's times like this that she misses having a good cell phone plan with the coverage to match. She'd give Hero a call, tell her exactly when they could be expected back at the apartment.

As soon as they get this place cleaned up a little, checking in with her will be something to do because they want to and not because it's necessary. She finds herself simultaneously looking forward to more time to herself and hoping Hero doesn't plan to wander too far off now that the hunt of Yorick's over.

They've been traveling together so long that anything else feels kind of odd now.

"I'll get the diaper bag."

It's where the secret pack of cigarettes is hidden away, and she set it down in the living room when they started their tour.

Date: 2008-07-29 02:35 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (the jezebel who stole Yorick for a night)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
In the middle of fishing the cigarettes out of her bag, she pauses and turns back toward him long enough to give him a very pointed look.

Not lacking in affection, but it gets her opinion across.

"I certainly wouldn't."

In twenty minutes, she can walk to within a few blocks of the apartment building they've been living in since they got to Paris. She'll be walking a lot, but she'd be walking no matter where they lived and she's beyond used to it by this point.

They're convenient to the city without being right in the heart of things. There's privacy out here. Spike's guaranteed to attract attention anywhere -- just like Yorick -- but since the Israeli chicks have cleared out, nobody else seems to have stepped up to take their place.

In fact, the women of Paris, for the most part, seem to be pretty damn accepting of Yorick.

They'll manage here.

Pulling out the pack of cigarettes, she smiles at him. "It'll be the nicest place I've ever had."

Except for maybe their home at the House of Arch, but that's kind of in a class of its own.

Date: 2008-08-03 06:43 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (you're muttering in Russian again Nat)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"Hi, sweetheart." She can't help but smile when Junior's little arms wrap around her neck hold on tight. Wrapping her hands around her daughter's sides, she tickles until the hold on her neck loosens and then raises her up into the air until she giggles and swings her back down, holding her less than a foot off the ground.

(It's definitely time to get a haircut.)

Little Beth would get a kick out of riding with her hotshot pilot of a surrogate father, no question in her mind about it.

The two of them are practically cheek-to-cheek when she turns to Spike, watching him smoke by the open window with no small amount of appreciation in her eyes.

He's probably even leaner than he was when they first met at the bar, but there's still nothing she'd like more than to tug him toward her by the goddamn skinny tie he hasn't worn regularly since he got stuck out here with her and spend a couple of good hours cataloging every minute physical difference she can notice about him.

It'd be practically therapeutic.

But until she gets the chance, she... kind of loves him more than ever, and she knows it.

"Is it as good as you'd imagined?"

She can almost live vicariously just by watching him.


Date: 2008-08-04 12:14 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
That's the guy she fell for in the first place, all subtle smiles and idle smoke rings and casual come-ons and that easy willingness to share his cigarettes with her.

"I don't think I could turn down an offer like that."

With one arm safely wrapped around Beth Junior, she reaches for the cigarette, and her fingers aren't too shy to linger against his longer than they need to.

It's just a quick lungful of smoke and a longer, almost luxurious exhale -- soke! is the word on little Beth's lips while she watches -- aimed away from the little girl holding on to her so tightly.

She walks right up to the window beside him before she gives the cigarette back, and when she does, she takes a cue from him. Just as he did to her once upon a time when he had broken ribs, she raises her hand to her cheek and taps her index finger against it in open invitation.

Date: 2008-08-08 05:48 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (and she's... she's pretty huh?)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
She smiles as Junior leans against her sleepily. "It's tougher than that to get rid of a good bounty hunter, sweetheart."

Maybe there is a little bit of pride in her voice. She can't help it. As far as she's been concerned, it's never really been her place to be proud of Spike.

But she is anyway.

"It's okay," she directs to where Spike disappeared, slinging the straps of the diaper bag over her shoulder and letting little Beth nestle her head in the crook of her neck. "I don't mind pushing the carriage. But if we ever want people to think this house is haunted, I'm leaving the work to you."


not_that_spike: (Default)

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