Fandoms: Torchwood, Cowboy Bebop
Characters: Captain Jack Harkness/Spike
Disclaimer: Not mine, no claims, all property of the BBC and Sunrise/Sony.
Notes: Written in answer to a "first kiss" challenge from wijsgeer, who asked that I write about Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood and Spike of Cowboy Bebop, long enough ago that she may have forgotten about the challenge by now. Cross-posted to my LJ, crossoverfic, and vintagemilitary. With heartfelt thanks to my beta-readers, gem225, mmegaera, and silverwhistle.
It had been a hell of a day.
First, the bounty Spike was after, a killer named Cole the Cleaner, had disappeared off the face of the planet. Looked as if someone else had snatched him. Someone as good as Spike. The thought was enough to turn his drink sour.
Second, he had twenty-nine cred left in his pocket and the drink he was nursing would cost twenty-five creds when it was time to pay the pretty waitress. Third, drinks anywhere else on this nouveau-riche planet cost thirty-five creds and to find a place he could afford to drink, he had to come to this dive that was, he wanted to think, far below his usual standards.
Except he couldn't afford standards. Not without an arrest. He couldn't even afford to get properly drunk. All he could afford was a drink in this club with its plastic purple tablecloths and muted lighting and, he had to admit, damn good music.
That was an unexpected bonus. If he could relax in the lure of its rhythms, enjoy the booze, and stop worrying about cash -
A man came over to his table, who might have stood out because of his good looks and his stylish greatcoat, if it hadn't been for something even more remarkable: he was carrying someone over his shoulder, male, unconscious, butt forward. Spike looked at the scuffed heels of the boots hanging at his eye level, and raised his eyes to the stranger's face. The standing man smiled. "Cowboy Bebop? Spike Spiegel?"
Spike frowned. The scuffed boots on the guy who was out for the count looked familiar. Of course they did: he'd seen them in pictures. He'd been tracking them halfway to hell and back. Well... trying to.
"I have a delivery for you," said the stranger, as if silence was confirmation of identity. He shifted the body on his shoulder, and dropped it into one of the chairs at Spike's table. "Cole the Cleaner."
So it was. Nasty old Cole, with a bruised face and a faint snore. Drugged? Slugged?
"Why?" asked Spike, looking again at the stranger, whose smile was stunning. He sat across from Spike without invitation. "Captain Jack Harkness." He held out his hand, to shake. The smile was infectious.
Spike stopped fighting it, and shook the hand. "Take a seat," he said, knowing full well the Captain would hear the irony in his tone. "Sorry, I can't buy you a drink."
"No, no, I'll buy." The Captain waved down the waitress with a casual hand. Service never came so fast for Spike. Was it the smile? The coat? Or maybe she feared old Cole was dead, and she had a dangerous hit man on the premises. "I'll have whatever he's having, and bring my friend another one," he said to her, and watched appreciatively as she walked away.
"Thanks," said Spike, still suspicious.
"My pleasure, but you can afford all you want now, you know. You'll have Cole's bounty."
"Let me get this straight. You took down Cole the Cleaner."
The Captain smiled again. "Alien tech."
"No mean feat. You capture Cole, and you give him to me, so I get the bounty."
A gift. "Why?"
"I don't need the money. If you don't either, pass it on to your favourite charity."
Repairs to the Bebop were Spike's favourite charity. Filling up the pantry shelves. Paying off a few debts due to impatient people. "Why?" he said again.
"I saw your vidpic. Liked the look of you."
"You're gorgeous, Spike. You must know it." The Captain's smile was disarming, almost apologetic.
Spike growled through gritted teeth: "I am not for sale at any price."
"And I'm not buying, at any price!" The Captain held up his hands in a decisive gesture of innocence, then turned to smile at the waitress who had come to put their drinks on the table. When she had left, he added, "Don't insult my intelligence. What, no one's ever given you an unconditional gift before?"
"A stranger? No."
"Think of it as a story to tell your grandchildren one day."
Was he being churlish? Spike looked the man over: short, dark hair; relaxed, fit body; a manner suggesting he might be a soldier, or had been one in the past. A freelancer? A cop? No. Something else. "Are you a bounty hunter, Captain?"
"Call me Jack. No, I told you, I don't do this for money. I was working on other business and Cole cropped up. Take him off my hands and you're doing me a favour."
"What do you do then?"
"I'm a traveller."
Cole had fallen forward till his head hit the table, making him just like some other customers here. "Don't worry about him," said Jack. "He'll sleep till morning, and he'll have forgotten the past forty-eight hours. He won't remember who captured him, or how."
"Not exactly. Depends on the time and place.... I like to stay under the radar."
Spike laughed, enjoying himself now. He could appreciate this guy. Quasi-legal, depending who was watching. Brains. Style. Good coat. Even better smile.
This was a smooth one.
"Me too," said Spike dryly, which made Jack laugh again.
They drank in companionable silence. Cole snored. Jack smacked him on the back of the head, and he stopped.
The music changed.
"You dance?" asked Jack.
"Yeah. Yeah, I do." The truth was, Spike loved to dance. Hardly ever got the chance.
"Care to join me, then?" Jack stood, slipping his coat off, putting it over Cole's shoulders in such a way that no one could see the cuffs on his wrists. Then he looked at Spike, and held out a hand in invitation. Spike hesitated, but couldn't resist. He didn't even want to resist.
So he took Jack's hand and went with him onto the dance floor. It was a fast dance, an easy dance, the kind of dance where you lose yourself in the rhythms and let the beat take over. It was a chance to watch Jack move, to look at Jack and really see him: unselfconscious, flexible, motion and flesh come together in space.
Looking at Captain Jack shouldn't be such a pleasure. He shouldn't be so much fun to dance with. Spike shouldn't be smiling for no reason - just because he was enjoying himself for the first time in - how long?
He didn't need a complication like Jack Harkness in his life. But Jack grinned at him and he grinned back, because, oh hell, dimples. Jack was zoning right in on his weaknesses without even trying.
So... was there a law against enjoying himself?
Was he so uptight these days he'd forgotten how to relax and smile?
The next dance was slow, the song romantic. Spike stepped into Jack's arms without a pause, enjoying the feel of strong arms and a firm body as much as he'd been enjoying the sight of it. He felt as if he was on the edge of an adventure, as if something good was about to happen - the discordance of life settling into something like the rhythm of the dance. The sense that something was happening, or about to happen - not fear, but anticipation.
Spike pulled Jack a little closer. Jack didn't resist. He felt the warmth of Jack's body, letting his cheek rest against Jack's cheek. This close, Jack smelled as good as he felt. Spike moved his head, just a little, to lick Jack's ear. The taste and texture put a shiver down his spine, echoed by the faint sound Jack made, a low rasp in his throat.
So what was bad about touching, and enjoying it? What was bad about dancing? What was wrong with pleasurable sexiness with an attractive stranger, no motive but lust and immemorial urges?
Spike stopped nibbling Jack's ear and went for his lips. Jack's lips responded - sensuous, intoxicating. Spike groaned. No one could hear but Jack, with the music and the motion around them. He closed his eyes, moving one hand to cup Jack's face. He could feel Jack's smile against his mouth. They settled just a little tighter together. Spike felt light-headed, reckless.
It was almost like being happy.
"Jack?" he said. "Wanna go somewhere private?"
"Yes. But I have to leave in the morning. This can't lead anywhere lasting. Just so you know."
"There's still a few hours," said Spike, "between now and morning. Let's use 'em well. This can lead lots of places in a few hours."
Jack's smile was all invitation. "Till then, I'm yours," he promised.
- End -