Chapter 24. Couldn’t Love You More

If you kissed the sun right out of the sky for me
If you told me all the lies I might deserve
I could not love you more.

 

There are three kinds of courage. There’s the kind you get from knowing that what you’re doing is right. There’s the kind you get from knowing it’s wrong, and just not giving a damn. And there’s the kind you get from knowing it’s hopeless, and doing it anyway.

Where did he fit on the scale? He wanted to do the right thing but what if the end result was that she walked out of his life?

He was surprised by how much it hurt to again yearn for something … someone … that he couldn’t … shouldn’t … have. He wasn’t good enough for her, had never been.

“I thought,” he mused, his voice almost too soft for her to hear, “I thought that she—my mother would hate me forever for not watching out for Sophie.”

He avoided her eyes and focused his attention on the ornate molding around the room. “I was prepared to leave on my own or get kicked out. Either was fine with me. I’d lived on the streets before. I thought it was what I deserved.” Belonging, after all, had always been just a dream that never had permanence in his life, starting from the time he was born, with his birth parents, Vicious, Julia, even Mao… .

He lowered his eyes and watched her as she walked towards him, the afghan around her shoulders trailing behind her. His eyes followed hers as she slowly stood in front of him, regarding him with an undecipherable look. Spike fidgeted under her silent gaze. In the past he’d faced the worst of the worst, with the Dragons and throughout his violent world, but this little Romany with the violet hair and luminous green eyes had him squirming, why, he wasn’t sure. Bullshit, he scoffed to himself, you know exactly why. For a moment he was surprised at the calmness with which he accepted the thought to come.

He forced himself to stare into her eyes levelly. “Hate is a running theme in my life,” he said. “Just like how I ended up hating Vicious after loving him like a brother, just like how you hated me back then in Tharsis, I figured that —my-she had to hate me. Because of me, she lost someone precious. I wanted her to hate me as much as I hated myself.”

He looked at her with a rueful smile.“But she didn’t.”

Faye sat down on the edge of the bed. “You were a kid,” she said. “How could she hate you?”

He looked at her. “What about you?” he asked softly. “Do you hate me?”

Faye looked away.

Spike continued, his voice a bit distant. “Anyway, I was with her for a few more years. When I turned twelve, Mao recruited me off the streets. Mom was sad to see me go, but I think she was relieved too. She no longer had to look into the face of the kid who killed her daughter.”

“She probably didn’t feel that way, Spike-”

“So, do you?” He slid a sideways look at her.

She turned and looked at him straight in the eyes. “If I hated you, I wouldn’t be here now.”

“I want – give me a heads up when you’re going to leave me.”

Faye quirked an eyebrow. “What?” She stared at him incredulously. “Leave? What are you talking about?” She looked towards the door. “Anyway, I promised Jet.”

Spike clenched his teeth. “The door’s right there,” he grumbled, glancing in that direction. “I won’t stop you from going if you really want to go.”

Faye regarded him with narrowed eyes for a moment. “Are you trying to pick a fight?”

Spike shot her a dark look. Who was she to think she knew him so well?

“You don’t want to talk about your mother and Sophie,” she said calmly. “Right?”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t tell you.”

She looked at him. “Then what? Are you afraid that I might really hate you?”

Spike was silent. He wished she would just yell at him; anger was an emotion he understood. It would be easier to crush his fist into a wall and immerse himself in the pain than to face this side of Faye. Her quiet calmness implied some sort of finality that unnerved him. He took a deep breath. “I wouldn’t blame you if did, Faye,” he murmured.

“I don’t hate you. But —trusting—that might take a while.” She lifted her face towards him and their eyes met for a second in complete honesty.

“Damn it, Faye.” He inhaled and exhaled deeply as he tried to search her face. “If it’s a lost cause…”

“I don’t know,” she said simply. “It may never happen. Are you okay with that?”

 

If you showed me all the ways you have to cry
I could not love you more.
If you wasted all of your time on me
Couldn’t love you more
– John Martyn

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