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For the Turnstiles

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DISCLAIMER: Not mine; never said they
            was.  All hail Sunrise.

TITLE:      For the Turnstiles
AUTHOR:     kel
FANDOM:     Cowboy Bebop
PAIRING:    Jet Black/Spike Spiegel

CATEGORY:   Vignettie muckabout thing for
            the Fabulae New Year, New Fandom challenge.
COMMENTS:   Never posted owt outside TB before.  Scary!
ARCHIVE:    Fabulae, if wanted.  Anywhere
            else, please ask.
FEEDBACK:   Please, if you think it’s worth it;


For the Turnstiles
by kel


Spike moves, silhouetted against the stars.  He
practises daily, in the bowels of the ship.
Sometimes he’s trying to forget, sometimes to
remember.  Other times he just wants space.

Behind him in the shadows, Jet leans quietly
against the door, careful to keep his cybernetic
arm from keening on the metal.  Same place every
day.  There are scratches where he rests his

Spike’s concentration is intense; body and soul
fused and carving lethal arcs through the air.
Maiming the invisible with a dancer’s grace.  He’s
never more beautiful than when he’s fighting.

His ravenwild hair takes on a blue tint in the false
light of the window sim.  Beyond is infinite
blackness, punctuated with slow-moving brilliant
flashes that could be anything — pursuit craft,
space junk, the next target.  He’s sweating lightly;
the sheen on his naked skin reflects the universe,
letting it dance over and delineate him in neon

Jet closes his eyes, centres himself, feels the
terrible constriction of the little he wears and the
distance between them.

Physical separation’s an inevitable result of the
strangely familial atmosphere evolving on the
Bebop.  It has to be, until they’re sure of the new
arrivals.  Especially Faye, who’s far too much like
them for comfort.  Greedier, perhaps — certainly
opportunist — and connected, when all’s said and
done.  Human weaknesses keep all of them fed
and watered, keep them in business.  Jet and
Spike agree they’ve space to spare for now.
They’re willing to share it.  Their vulnerabilities are
a different matter.

Sometimes Jet thinks it’d be safer to be honest,
just wear the whole damn thing on their sleeves
and be done with it.  But it’s a question of defence,
of survival.  The more people who think they can
walk away from each other, the better.

For now he watches, anticipating strikes and
parries, guards and hooks, as pleased when his
guesses are wrong as otherwise.  He delights in
Spike’s capacity to surprise him; draws strength
from it.  Life must have been safer, must have
made more sense without it, but he’s damned if he
can remember how.

The outer edges of Spike’s awareness know Jet’s
there, can feel the warmth of his body and breath
even metres away.  Neither needs to see to know
the shape the other makes in the world.  The light
caresses both, sneaks on past Spike to soften the
magnificent curves of his lover’s arm and the tiny,
ugly brace that holds his face together.

Jet’s beautiful, in his own way.  Solid as God and
more reliable.

Somewhere inside, beyond dreams, Spike’s
thinking of sweat and metal on his tongue — the
peculiar, exciting mix of flesh and sharp edges that
makes up Jet’s reinforced body.  Remembering it,
missing it, translating its essence into graceful,
deadly defence.  Curves and spikes, fire and ice.
It’s part of his armour too.

Their eyes meet briefly, the same light in each, the
same smile.  Jet relaxes, savours the silent
dialogue one more time.

Spike’s always said hunger’s the best spice.

=== © bessie 2002 ===