Actions

Work Header

Going, Going, Gone

Chapter Text

so what are you now, dead or alive ?

 

A question tugged at the pit of Faye's stomach, she watched Spike lay stiff on the makeshift bed Jet had set up. Jet had patched up his wounds, but he still hadn't moved. His eyes were closed, and it angered her, he had always been so watchful. He had always seen things before they happened like a sixth sense, even when he claimed all he could see was the past — bullshit! Faye spun and smacked the collection of medical supplies Jet had left scattered, sending them clattering to the floor. Her shoulders shook, their little team was torn at the seams.

 

Spike, in another world, Jet staring into space (literally) as they flew aimlessly wasting precious fuel. Ed had ran off in search of her father, Ein trailed behind. Faye's heart ached, she had pushed Ed to go. It might've been for the best though, she wouldn't have wanted the younger girl to see such tragedy.

 

She heard heavy footsteps, the violet haired female fixed herself. She squared her shoulders and narrowed her brows, her eyes were red and puffy. Jet poked his head in, eyes heavy and red all the same. "Anything?" He asked hoarsely and it send a knife to Faye's chest.

She shook her head despairingly, her shoulders shook her fingers trailing up the arm opposite to them, clutching her flesh. Her eyes squeezed shut as she hugged herself. Why did she have to care for this dumbass?

Jet stepped forward surveying his handy work, his gaze on Spike lasted a short moment. He sized up the heart monitor and the I.V. Faye knew he wanted to put the brain wave monitor on him too, but that'd be a last resort. She didn't want to think of what would happen if that was placed on Spike, would it just be ear piercing static, or memory fragments?

 

She stared at the floor inhaling the musky air, the metallic scent a calm storm that reminded her of why she had stayed the duration. Why she had laughed with them, fought with them, "Faye." Jet started softly. His voice was crackling, and she couldn't take it.

 

Spike always had to go out with a bang. It was wholeheartedly him, to have all the attention and the eyes, to flash a bit of teeth and a snarky one liner. She avoided Jet's painful gaze and her eyes darted to Spike. His eyes still closed, heart thumping softly, a faint sign of life in between the agony.

 

She was selfish to think how much she missed his eyes, the liquid fire they held. Always a plan in motion, ready to keep going till the ends of the earth. A deep playfulness and a heavy sorrow, go down further to his lips. They were missing the cigarettes or the whiskey, she wouldn't know.

 

This made her wonder about her family, she remembered the cracked fragments of the moon through the window. The echoing screams of horror, pitching her stomach into tight knots, had they been by my bedside weeping? Had they mourned? Is that was this feeling was, mourning? He's not dead though. She told herself over and over, but in any moment that could change. She trembled, the ghosts in the room playing with her ears, tweaking them to hear a flatline.

"Faye." He repeated again, her eyes shot to him. The last soul she had left, "Jet." Her voice wavered, clogged with tears and oh god — she couldn't. She felt like a child, unable to function. "What," She swallowed the lump down her throat, her eyes watered, crystal tears from emerald eyes. What a pair, what a fucking match, Faye shook her head. Her body shook harder, and Jet didn't seem like he was holding it together either.

"W-w-what are we g-g-gonna—" Faye couldn't speak, her voice clogged with sobs that wrecked her vocal chords.

Her legs shook and Jet caught her before she hit the floor, He trembled all the same. Faye wouldn't have imagined crying in front of him, or accepting some kind of embrace from this mess of a man. She didn't fight it though, they both cried harshly for their friend, who was one breath away from death.

 

"C'mon cowboy…" Jet whispered, Faye bit her lip. "I wonder if he figured it out…" She whispered her eyes glossed over, staring at Spike. Her mind miles away, but Jet brought her back, his hands steadying her forcing her to stand on her own. They should arm to arm, hunching over, inches from his bedside. Jet's fingers scratched at his scruff, his brows furrowed. "What are you saying…" he whispered to the air and Faye shook her head.

She stared at the floor counting the rusted rivets, "He told me." She started breathing deeply, "T-that he wasn't going there to die." Jet eyed her strangely and Faye sighed looking up to meet his gaze, his murky brown eyes were dull. Nothing like Spike's.

Jet still wasn't understanding, he was waiting for her to elaborate. Faye didn't want to, because it hurt to think about, how he had shared something personal, gotten in her face. He showed her his eyes, no fire left, just heaviness in pools of auburn murk. She hated him then, hated how he lost his fire. She wanted it back, and she couldn't describe why.

 

She never paid much mind to these heavy feelings before, so why now? Why was she torturing herself over a comatose man that might be too far gone, why, why was she —

"What did he say?" Jet called her from the distance, his hand on her tense shoulder. She looked to the pile of tools she had flung to the floor. "H-he told me, he was going there to see if he was still…" Her voice died, searching for her words once more. Faye closed her eyes, "Alive." She finished, her throat dry and screaming for water.

 

Jet scoffed, "The bastard." He choked out before spinning on his heel and storming out. The door slam echoed over the steady heart monitor beat, but the question still rang true.

 

"So what's it gonna be Spike," She whispered to his ghost, hands finding his painfully cold wrist. She stared down to the shell of a man she knew, "Are you dead or alive?" She choked out, her eyes squeezing shut against the onslaught of tears threatening to spill.

Her chest ached against the raging current in her mind and body, her fingers released his wrist and she turned on her heel facing the door. She didn't want another look.

 

She wanted to run away, though she would be banished to hell if she abandoned Jet now. She wouldn't live with herself if she went along with the impulse, so she left the room.

 

Letting the question echoe in her mind with the words Spike had left her, even so, even after all the time the group had spent together.

 

Spike was still the only one with the answers.

Chapter Text

↼ trip down memory lane ⇁

 

It was always cold in the mornings, now more than ever. Their ship was on standby until Spike got better, they were at a far out off post on earth. It was am empty town aside from run down fuel ports and side-of-the-road salesmen. Faye sat in her sleepware on the hood of the aircraft, her pajama shorts loose. The fabric whipped in the breeze, she brought her slender legs to her chest. Resting her head on the slope of her knees, her eyes scanned the rising horizon. The sun reawakening, it was a poetic injustice. Her fingers splayed across the expanse of her calfs, lightly drawing invisible patterns. She distracted her body whilist distracting her mind.

Her whole body ached as if she had been shot, the shell still deep in her skin. The knife in her back, to the hilt. Bile rose up in her throat when she thought about all the blood they had found him in. That godforsaken church, so much for divine intervention. She rubbed at her tired eyes, the bags had grew. It had been four days since she ventured into Spike's makeshift room. She hated seeing him so helpless, Ed might've been the first when it came to liveliness but Spike was a strong second.

 

It hurt to think about, and she hated how this had made her grown soft. She never was squeamish, blood had no affect on her. It was his, his blood, that's why it hurt. Faye didn't like this, it was if she was starving for something she couldn't define. It was confusion and heartache rolled into pre-mourning. She was bracing for impact, the worst of the worst.

 

A jolt shook the plane making Faye almost tumble off the nose, she spun her head looking straight into the cockpit of sorts. It was large, more like a control room. Jet had his hand gunning the key. He was trying to get her attention, she wondered why. His face was grim, and blank. A cold sweat washed over her, her thoughts racing straight to Spike. She bit her lip and stepped off the top.

 

She let her feet stamp the burnt dirt, clouds bursting up making her eyes water. Faye came to the side door, with trembling legs.

 

 

Faye stood in the cockpit, her hip resting against the empty seat while Jet sat in the driver's. He was hunched over seeming defeated, "It's been four days Faye."

She bit the inside of her cheeks, mind reeling for a smoke. It had been four days since her last one, maybe five. It was funny, she dropped everything after she heard the news.

Jet had tapped into old police radio frequencies that were being used by syndicates. That's how they knew where to find Spike.

She ran a hand through her violet hair, it was mousy. She hadn't showered either, just smacked on some deodorant and drowned herself in perfume after she rolled off the couch at unheard of hours this morning.
She wanted to sit on the hood of the bebop and watch the stars. Spike mumbled something about them in his sleep, after he took another near death. That was way back now, she remembered singing to herself. He heard her song, then made a snide comment.

When he stared at her, it sifted her insides. He was a very distracted man, and she wasn't the type of woman to swoon, but him giving her a minute did mean something. Then the moment died that was all his fault but regardless, her mind just wanted to torture her.

"Are you even listening?" Jet mumbled running his metal hand over his face.

Faye shot back to the present, her hand gripping the chair trying to ground herself. "What, what are you saying…" She muttered tiredly.

He shot her a look, somewhere between annoyance and concern. "It's been four days." Jet repeated slowly almost like he was convincing himself.

Faye's jaw clenched, "I can count." She hissed. Jet's eyes shot up. "Don't give me that shit Faye, for all we know he could've been brain dead since we brought him here."

Faye didn't say anything, listening to the soft hum of the engine.

"We gotta go somewhere better, floating somewhere aimlessly on earth, I- I think we should go to a real doctor maybe they could—"

"We don't have the money Jet."

He slammed the dashboard and stood up at an alarming pace, "What do you suppose we do then, pace around aimlessly waiting for him to heal himself?! You've done nothing but laze around, I'm the only one trying to keep this place together!" He shouted in her face, and Faye was stunned.

Jet never was one to raise his voice, at least not in a way to intimidate her or anyone else on the bebop. Sure he swore up and down and threatened to throw them all out on their asses, but nothing like this.

"What do you want me to do?! You said you knew what you were doing when you patched him up, I'm not a doctor either, I don't know the first thing about first aid past chugging down whiskey to dull the pain!" Faye was breathless, the two of them in each other's faces. Her emerald eyes burned with anger, "You want to complain about me moping around? What about you, he wouldn't even be in that damn bed if you tried to stop him! He thinks I'm a skank, but you? You're his friend! You should've stopped him you should've—"

"Should've what Faye?!" He snarled,
"Told him he couldn't go avenge himself, couldn't go get what he desired? He made his decision, he never would've been content without this happening…. He was dead Faye, he's been dead for as long as I've known him." His voice softened at the end and Faye felt like she couldn't breath.

Jet slumped back into his chair clenching the arms. The two of them drifted into silence for a minute, hearts pounding not knowing a single thing.

"I miss the way things used to be…" Faye blurted out, and Jet turned his head to watch her. She kept her gaze to the floor. "I just want Ed to pop up and play with my hair, I want that damn dog back so I could just kick him, I— I had nothing before for so long, I- This was gonna be my place, this is our home, it was a home Jet…" She whispered hauntingly, fat tears rolled down her cheeks. Her eyes glistened when she looked up to her last friend in the world, and Jet watched her with a set jaw.

There was nothing they could do except sit and wait, but neither of them were used to that.

"You," Jet started picking his words carefully and Faye bit the inside of her cheek, "You really care…." He trailed off brows scrunched up in confusion.

Faye scoffed immediately offended, "I need a shower and a change of clothes." She muttered to herself while furiously wiping her eyes and trying to forget.

Jet nodded. "Go ahead, I'll try and clean up and think of something."

She nodded once before departing to her cabin, the door sliding closed and she rested her back against it.

Faye closed her eyes and remembered.

She remembered the cigarettes shared, and the strange glances he would send her. She thought about the back and forth blunders, that time she bumped into him after she regained her memories. The look of fear she had, and his look of worry.

She had her back turned to him, and now she was wishing she looked him in the eye before she went to shoot him.

Maybe things would've been different, maybe if he would've just asked for help, or if he could've let all his skeletons die with Julia.

Faye knew that wasn't him though, as much as it hurt to admit, if he was gone, if all this was just a hopeless mess. If its the only thing that's tying Faye and Jet together for another short amount of days was the fact that they shared a half dead acquaintance that haunted the halls without even being a ghost, then so be it.

Or maybe they all were wrong, what if he was already dead? Dead before he met Vicious for the last time, dead before Julia passed away, dead before he caught Faye and tried to turn her in for woolongs, dead before he met Jet.

Maybe Spike had died the day he was born, it just didn't make sense. He was so much more cat like then human, so Faye was praying; with her head against the door. She listened to Jet bang around, tossing shit just to hear something over his fear probably.

She was praying for his nine lives to lift him back up outve this, maybe then they could move forward.

After all, he was a prime example. You can't keep thinking about the past, after a while it sneaks up on you and before you even know it

 

y o u r e
d e a d

Chapter Text

↼ a slowburn in albas ⇀

 

Faye had forgotten the time, she had sat in her room for hours, not able to stand. It was funny. Jet got pissed, but he was calm about it. Saving his anger for when Faye was ready to fight, he found her curled up. Her hair still greasy, pajamas crumpled.

"What happened to showering?" He inquired from the doorway, his wide frame taking up far too much space. Faye blinked a few times, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She felt delirious, floating in between daydreams.

Jet gritted his teeth, "I cannot believe you…" He grumbled before taking quick strides to her twin bed. He yanked her up by the collar of her shirt, Faye yelped as he brought her face to face with him.

"You gotta snap out of it Faye, I need you to work with me here, he's- he matters to me too alright?"

She searched his face for an answer she couldn't find. His eyes dull pools of murk, the lines in his forehead were scrunched up, his brows drawn up. He was pleading with her and it felt so outve character.

They had argued this morning, Jet didn't argue. He said was he said and went back to his plants.

She wanted to break something, but she simply shoved herself from Jet's grasp and fell backwards onto her bed. Faye averted her gaze, "What time is it?"

"Late. You sat in here all day while I cleaned," He crossed his arms and Faye flinched. He just had to add the last part didn't he; She huffed.
"Where are we headed?"

"Mars,"

Faye looked up at him with a quirk to her brow, "Don't look at me like that. We need supplies and Its real populated there, we could get help there." Jet mumbled.

Faye nodded, "Alright. get out, I gotta get cleaned up." She shoed him out and He shook his head softly. The ghost of his smile on his lips haunted Faye as she got her things and headed to the shower.

 

What the fuck are we doing ?

 

 

They arrived on mars, settling in Albas City. Jet parked the bebop on an abandoned pier. Spike was still lingering in the makeshift hospital room, Jet went in there to check on him now and then. She didn't want to look anymore, it felt like betrayal. Spike would've never let anyone see him like that if he could help it. He would be smoking on his death bed; flirting with the nurse for an extra pack, or trying to slip out of the room without anyone even knowing his name.

Jet gave her a list of items and his card with their last chunk of woolongs. In any other situation she would've blew it on alcohol and one terrible poker game. She wanted to play some cards, and win. Show off what she could do, shed her skin without really having to shed anything.

 

A gusty wind shot through the area, Faye's hair went swimming in it. Violet locks rippling, she bit her bottom lip. Faye stuffed the crumbled paper into her waistband, clutching the woolong card in the next hand. A matte black glock hidden in the inner pocket of her red overvoat.

It felt strange to be out in the real world, it hadn't been all that long but it still felt like an eternity of sorts.

She huffed out a sigh and went for the errands at a languid pace, She had her telecommunication device on her if Jet needed to contact her.

She watched the world pass her by, the streets filled to the brim. People selling goods on the side, kids rushing past with toys running faster than time itself, wind kissing their faces. They were free; all innocent no debt hanging over them. Faye didn't really care much for hers anymore, she knew she'd never pay it off before she died.

After all it was only a number, a very large one at that, but still, a number had no power. Nothing had power; unless you give up your own, but that makes you a loser.

Faye never loses, and by that; even if she did (which is unlikely) she'd never admit it knowingly. Stubborn as a mule, far too pretty to be compared to one.

She crossed her arms in front of her as another group of kids sped by her, laughing without a care in the world.

Faye weaved passed them, picking up the pace to get past the street venders and into the heart of the city. Her shoes clacked into the cement, sweat formed on her brow with the sun glaring down on her. The broken buildings gave way to tall sky scrapers and bustling people. They were business men and women, wandering around in a daze while people like her traveled in space. It was funny, how they had the galaxy at their figure tips and yet things still didn't work out.

Then again, cities were plagued with syndicates since the police had all but given up, that's the only reason her profession existed; if you could even call it a profession.

She continued past everyone, barely focusing; searching for a supply store. She caught sight of one, but before she hit it Faye froze in her tracks. Her breath caught in her throat at the flash of orange; a child no older than twelve sped by in a flash. Hair whipping in the wind, a shit eating grin. Green pilot goggles keeling out the dirt and dust.

Faye wanted to run after that damn bike, grab the kid and the dog. She couldn't. Faye told her to go, and what would their be for her to come back to? The ship was always a disaster, but now it was worse.

She pretended she didn't see the kid. Faye didn't even know for sure it was Edward, after all there was no sign of Ein. She shouldn't even be on Mars, she swore her father was on Venus; or maybe it could've been Mars?

Her head started to spin and she shook it off with a grunt, steeling herself and pushing forward to the supply store. She entered and rushed to get what she came for; filling up a basket with medical supplies, easy warm up meals, soap, and cigarettes.

The whole trip in itself was decently costly, she blew fifty woolongs on all the junk.

She grabbed the stuff and started her way back; not stopping herself from searching for a certain orange haired girl while the sun gave her a run for her money. A funny thought popped up as she fumbled through the bag for the pack of cigarettes;

Faye wondered if she could light one on the sun; she'd burn alive most likely if she even got close. It was scary, imagining your own skin being melted off.

She rolled her shoulders back, the cancer stick hanging from her lips as she blew out clouds of grey, the nicotine soothing her nerves.

Least she didn't blow the money on a sad trip to the casino.

Chapter Text

Arriving back on the bebop with the bag of supplies, Jet greeted her silently with the nod of his head. Faye leaned against the wall watching him tending to his bonsai. "I figured you'd of let them die by now," She said gesturing to the plants with the turn of her head.

Jet set down his branch cutters, wiping the crease from his brow tiredly. "It got quiet. I figured I'd go check on the last few living things." His voice was cold and Faye didn't like where this conversation was going.

She let out a puff of smoke, still balancing the ciggarete between her teeth; Faye tossed the bag of groceries.

"Thanks Faye," He said before she turned to leave. The phrase left her uncomfortable, she clicked her teeth; " I mean, I was out've cigarettes…"

He laughed, "You are such a hardass."

"Don't make me use your bonsai's as ash trays," Faye threatened with her arms crossed.

The two of them barely smiled.

"I'll make dinner in a few hours, go get some rest."

 

"Don't tell me what to do."

Chapter Text

⇀ radio silence ↼

 

 

Sleep was a strange thing, especially for Miss Valentine. It was somewhere she flowed; but she wasn't a fan of dreams, she liked the real things. She liked to taste and to touch, the burn of liquor, the warmth of the sun, the him of an engine. She couldn't remember if she dreamed as a child, Faye had known for a while now that she was the product of a medical miracle. Faye wondered what would it had felt like to die, and that shot her straight out of sleep.

Her eyes shot to the clock on the side, it was ten o'clock at night. Jet didn't wake her up for dinner, and her stomach growled at the thought. Something else was gnawing at her gut as well, Faye wondered if death was all the same as sleeping.

She wondered if she had got the taste while in cryro, but then again; wouldn't she remember it? Faye wasn't much for mystical shit, even though she loved to talk about being Romani. She found gypsy women beautiful, conning men out of their money by revealing a little taste of what's to come. Men often looked at women like herself and thought they had no self respect, it was quite funny. Faye laughed at the fact that when a women laid down with the partner of her choice that they were giving it all away. A women could screw all day with someone and not reveal a single detail about herself, just because you got the physical doesn't mean you even have a glimpse what goes on beneath the surface.

Women like her are star ships; sexy with a shine, but underneath they leak motor oil and scream for life while fighting gravity with fire for lips and a cock pit of a smile.

Faye shoved her hair out of her face, it was soft from the washing she had done earlier.

She took pride in herself and her ideals, and she didn't give a damn about the other shit.
It didn't matter what a man thought of her, cause even if a man were to hate her; as long as she dressed up nice and arched her back pretty— he would buy her a drink.

That's all that mattered.

At least that's what she liked to think, Faye longed to be invincible. Feelings were for women and soft women were useless, they waited for everyone else; and the world would never care for them.

Faye knew she'd never be loved the way she was, she was filthy; but she didn't care about the men of the world.

She didn't want a single one of them, she never let anyone into her bed. She hated having to put out, she played coy and naive. Faye had been in some forceful situations, one's she'd never like to talk about or relive.

Having a man try to take advantage of you would always remind Faye how weak she was. It made her want to rip out hearts and teeth, she was lucky in a sad way.

Not all women were built like her, not every girl learned the hard way, not every women was ready for a fight every second of their lives.

 

Faye shoved off the covers, she wanted some air. She couldn't breath with all that thinking.

 

 

Air came in the form of Spike Spiegel. She stood in the doorway of the makeshift hospital, Faye wasn't going to stop. She planned on going for a smoke outside, but a small part of her couldn't keep herself away.

Jet hadn't mentioned anything about doing a brain scan just yet, they had the technology, but the both of them probably didn't want to know. It had been a week since they dragged him in half dead. His face was still bruised and his body still being kept alive by machines. The sight didn't hit her in the chest in the same way, maybe she had become accustomed.

Faye couldn't stop the stray tears slipping down her cheeks. Her eyes a wavering ocean, emerald and glowing in the dim lighting.

 

"Hey cowboy," She whispered while wiping her eyes. "I wonder if that thongs true, the one where people can hear when they are in coma's. I mean I was in cryro but I don't remember hearing anything— maybe I didn't want to. Do you?"

Faye swallowed hard, realizing she had taken strides and now stood at Spike's bedside. His hair had grown, the odd dark clumps covering his forehead. She brushed it away with shaky hands and a smile.

"Do you wanna hear me?" She asked trembling, but Faye knew full well he would've thought she had lost her mind. He would've cracked a smile while he pulled out a cigarette letting it balance between his teeth wrestling with the lighter before the warm huff of smoke was tangible.

She missed that smile, and she knew it was stupid. It was utterly pointless to care for a man like Spike, he was a reckless fool. Faye was no better but she knew when to quit, she was more narcissistic than she was suicidal.

Her face contorted in anger remembering Jet's promise of dinner. She didn't even know what time it was, "He forgot to call me to eat." She grumbled taking a step back, and just as she was about to turn she heard a rustle.

It was soft and barely alive just like him. She shook and stared. His hand had bunched the bedsheets for a singular second before they slipped from his slender fingertips. An uptick in the heart monitor could be heard before it settled back down. Faye didn't know if she should move in fear for Spike to lose the little grip on life he had.

A panic set inside her, and a scary thought popped into her mind as she slowly backed out've the room with held breath.

Maybe he was listening.

Chapter Text

⇀ cracked bulbs ↼

 

 

Faye had lost her grip, that's what that was; a lost grip. She hadn't seen a thing and even if she had, she needed to barge into Jet's room at an unnatural hour. She couldn't disturb him now, and that was the excuse she used as she breathlessly made it into the hallway.

Her nerves set her on fire; her heart doing summersaults against her rib cage. Her slender hand braced against the wall adjacent to the room Spike was in. He had pressed the airlock button sealing the room.

" He was still comatose, still comatose, still coma, still in a coma he was still, coma, coma, coma, C O M A , HE'S STILL IN A FUCKING COMA !"

Faye couldn't hold back, an unnatural tone left her throat. She screamed and pounded against the wall going against her original panicked idea to keep the secret from Jet. He would know now with all her pounding on the wall.

She was gasping for air as she sunk forward, the loose material of her pajama shirt slipped off her shoulder. Her forehead leaned against the crisp metal of the wall, fingers trembling making their own song for the rusted bolts to dance to.

Faye couldn't make any mental sense, but she knew she was starving. She swallowed down the next bought of rage that bubbled up. She had been told she made too much racket, but it was never to this degree. She never saw herself losing her grip. Faye never thought she'd shred her vocal chords for a selfish suicidal shithead, but he was more than that. Deep down she knew; behind those folded cigarettes was a warm smile, and pretty teeth. She just wanted to see that stupid face of his, she wanted to see the thrill in his eyes.

Her stomach convulsed; Faye knew she had to take better care of herself. She craved some bourbon and the burn of a cigarette, she wanted to choke on the smoke. Faye wanted to burn somewhere else, anywhere else other than her heart.

She banged her head forward against the wall, wincing as tears slid down her cheeks. Sweat forming on her skin, as she shuddered.

"Fuck you…." She spat to no one,
and then she leaned back letting her hands fall back from the wall. Her body landed backwards. She coughed as her back connected with the harsh floor of the hallway, her shirt rode up revealing soft skin. Her shorts bunched up as she raised her legs to the wall, stretching. The curve of her full thighs, she eyed her hips from this angle as she contorted herself for utterly no purpose other than her own personal distraction.

Faye heaved a sigh, her mouth itching for something. She put her lower lip between her teeth, and as she began to relax in this position accepting the turn of events. Laying between a half dead deadbeat and a bonsai loving fool. They were giving the Bermuda triangle a run for her money with all they couldn't seem to find.

She understood now why Edward laid around on the floor all day. It gave Faye a greater understanding, even if it made her look stupid. And she did look stupid; her purple hair fell around in short strands, her clothes awkward on her frame, but the cold floor calmed her.

 

A woosh down the hall coming in Jet's direction stopped her thoughts. He poked his head out at her, eyebrowz raised; "You done giving yourself a concussion?" He had his bulky arms crossed over his chest favoring his left side.

Faye scoffed raising her legs higher and rotating her ankles, "If I was out've commission who'd run this place?"

Jet returned the noise tenfold, "what have you been doing exactly? I mean really; you stole all our money for the damn casino's, you barely pulled your own weight and you didn't even try to watch out for Ed…" He mumbled eyes averted and for a second Faye wondered if her behavior was actually something that could upset someone, let alone Jet.

"The past is in the past."

He laughed dryly, "That was a little less then a month ago Faye."

That stung, and reminded her that everything was closer than it seemed. Maybe when things were painful, it made time go slower.

"I had something to tell you." She grumbled, puffing out air to move the hair from her face.

"You sure you didn't give yourself brain damage?" He countered childishly in a tired voice.

"I'm gonna give you brain damage ." Faye growled, pushing herself into a normal position the moment of playfulness left the room as quickly as it came.

She adjusted her clothes trying to get her head on straight, it ached a little. Maybe Jet was right…..

 

"What is it Faye?" He asked quietly and the panic rose back up.

She eyed Spike's new door, "He moved." She said easily.

Jet jolted, rushing forward; "He what ?!"
He rushed into the hallway, going right passed Faye as he jammed the airlock to enter the room.

She stayed rooted outside on the floor, not wanting to look anymore. She heard Jet fiddling about in there and Faye figured it was a good time to leave. After all, this was his area of expertise, and she really didn't want to be here anymore.

She pushed herself up off the floor and started off down the hall to the kitchen.

 

 

 

She found the keys to the Redtail on her way past her bedroom, she decided to get dressed too. Her signature yellow suit, minus the heeled white shoes. She walked in her nude thigh-high stockings. She yanked open the fridge, holding it with her slender hip. She yanked out the bottle of bourbon and whatever was left of the stale orange juice. She mixed it together in the tallest glass they had, stuffing her key in her waistband. She fumbled for a pack in the drawer with the dishes, and she set one between her lips.

Inhaling sharply when it met the kiss of the lighter; She puffed sideways, going to the hangar deck. Jet had parked the bebop back on the dock and as she left she hears Jet calling her name from where she left him.

She didn't want to hear it, Faye wanted to be herself again. She wanted to feel numb and reckless again.

She took her silly drink with her chasing it down with smoke as she situated herself in the Redtail. It revved to life and she sighed in relief at the sound, She tossed her empty glass out the closing cockpit watching it shatter along with her inhibitions.

Her communicator in the ship rang but she let it go off, she was no where near drunk and she couldn't handle a conversation without more liquor. Faye didn't want to drink in the dingy ship filled with hollow memories of what will never amount to anything.

Even if Spike wakes up soon, nothing would amount to what she pined for. She couldn't even think of committing either, they were too different. She hit the controls and yanked back the handles sending her hurtling forward, and for a moment she saw the appeal that Spike did.

Shriveled cigarettes and a burning feeling in your gut telling you to run faster then the shadows, and right now; that was the bebop.

A shadow she couldn't figure out how to light up again, it wasn't the same, and maybe it would be better off that way.

Who was she fooling, she missed it.
They had all belonged there, even if it was a fleeting moment, She rolled her eyes letting smoke filling the surrounding area, hiting the filters to help alleviate the mess. She punched in coordinates to Callisto, thinking back to the man who was beautiful and different that other night she ran away when she felt too comfortable. He wasn't gonna be there.

Faye winced at the memory and fired the engine harder. She wanted out of mars this fucking second.

Chapter Text

⇀ responsible adult ↼

 

Callisto was alot dimmer then she remembered, or maybe it was the fact that it was too early. The sun still hadn't come up, the midnight sky still painted the atmosphere. Jet had kept ringining her communicator, she simply clipped it to her shorts and let it buzz against her legs.

Faye stood on the sidewalk, walking with her hands shoved in her pockets. Her posture was lower than normal, shoulders bent. She felt drained, utterly drained.

She walked the same streets that she did when she first came here, she didn't need a jacket this time around though. Faye grumbled at the heat, her stockings itching her skin.

She puffed smoke outve the space in her lips, balancing the cigarette with expertise. Her eyes scanned the empty streets, in between the alleyways people laughed. Everyone caught up in their own midnight liaisons, there was little travel in the main roads; everything seemed to be behind the scenes.

Faye regretted ignoring Jet for a moment as she kept moving, her eyes searching for the little alcove on this planet. Blue Crow, it was a small city of sorts on the more broken side of the city.

Faye moved forward putting space between the Redtail and herself. Her key jumped in the thin pockets of her banana colored shorts. Two drunken men whistled at her, calling her baby. She chortled and ignored them focusing on the violet lights drawing her in.

It was hypnotizing to see lights so beautiful, and she realized she had made it back to where she wanted too. It was some kind of therapy to be back here, she wondered who'd be playing music tonight.

The Rester House; the sign flickered in the night and she watched it for a few moments. The people inside looked so comfortable, drinks laid about, and legs up. She watched one booth, two strange males one bigger than the other laughing over who could out drink the other. She watched the other two booth members a small child and a pretty blonde with bright green eyes that sparkled. The blonde was sneering something that Faye couldn't catch through the glass.

Her hands shook, raising to touch the glass almost like she was a child at an animal exhibit; wishing she could pet the lions. Her face fell, hair spilling out blocking her vision. She stared into her hair wondering if this is what they looked like in moments of peace, if they were some semblance of a family. They were dysfunctional by all means, but was there love? Was there something of substance? Jet had risked so much to pull Spike from the ruined building, and Faye had swooped in on the side.

She recounted the times they had looked after each other, how they searched for her VHS machine so she could get her memories. There was a hint of selfishness stitched in too though; Spike was definetly a nosy bastard, but they had cared. They had cared even if it was the smallest amount possible, and Edward sat by her while she rewinded it over and over. She really didn't comprehend what Faye was feeling, but her presence was something that she had appreciated.

She never admitted it though; now the kid was gone, Faye never told Spike the truth either; all she did was point her gun at him and accuse him for abandoning them. He did abandon them, they were….. something to each other at the very least and he put the final nail in the coffin. She hated it.

She didn't have the power to wreck anything, but Spike did; he still had all the power.

"Uh Excuse me—" A low voice called from the left and Faye shot up realizing how strange she looked. Her emerald eyes raised slowly, making it look like her breakdown was something else.

The voice belonged to a tall woman. Faye found her pretty; warm honey eyes and long curling braids that framed her face while the rest sat in an intricate bun on her head.

"We are open for business you know," She smiled softy almost like she knew Faye was having a hard time. The purple haired woman pushed off the glass, "Are you now?" She replied tilting her head and the woman flushed. Her dark skin warmed, "Y-yes."

Faye grinned deciding she liked the girl, she was cute. "Thank you for the invitation," Faye paused to get the woman's name.

"Winnie." She replied almost outve breath.

Faye laughed softly; "Winnie…" She added airily, and Faye entered while Winnie held the door open for her. She wasn't attracted to women; not past knowing when one was pretty, but she was bored and Winnie seemed to be a great distraction. She knew it was unfair, but she was an equal opportunist; she was done thinking about a specific man anyway.

She could use a female friend right now, even if she seemed to swing for the same team. Faye wasn't one for discrimination.

Winnie followed behind her leading Faye to the expanse of the bar. She climbed up the high top and put out her cigarette when Winnie set an ashtray in front of her.

She watched her move, pushing her braids outve her face looking down preparing to fix Faye a drink.

"What'll it be?" She smiled softly and Faye laughed.

"Surprise me, "

 

 

It had gone by in a blur; the clock ticking on the wall while Winnie traveled throughout the bar, but always coming to refill Faye's glass. They talked and laughed together, while Winnie took her breaks she leaned over the bar and got to know Faye while the purple haired women lent an ear. It was something special, sharing secrets with someone on a similar caliber.

They talked about the past; Winnie talked about how her ex girlfriend tried to frame her for muder, and Faye said her past affair was with a good for nothing lawyer that wracked up her debt and broke her heart. They shared stories and their quirks. It was unbelievably comfortable for someone she had only just met, but Winnie was definitely something special.

They talked about the present too, as Faye slipped further, and further into a drunken stupor. She stared humming out her words like they were a song and she knew Winnie was taken aback. The girls midnight eyes sparkled with interest, her single dimpled cheek on display. She smiled crookedly, and it made Faye happy.

She shared things about Spike; never revealing names, or too many details. Winnie nodded and listened with her chin resting on her bend hand. Faye had slumped over at this point and the sun was rising outside. She felt the need to pass out but the topic kept her startlingly awake.

"He sounds like an utter disaster," Winnie added. She adjusted her black dress, the neckline dipped to show a little cleavage, cinched at the waist. Faye noticed how she twirled her braids while she listened, "You focus kinda funny…" The paler woman laughed softly with her cheek against the counter, she was dazed.

Winnie shook her head in embarrassment, "Stop giving me mixed feelings Valentine, I know you got a man at home…" She teased and Faye closed her eyes, "He's not mine."

She heard Winnie sigh; "That's too bad, you deserve the stars love and if he's not gonna give them to you them why not just lea-"

"It's not like that." Faye interrupted realizing that she was making it sound like what she had for him was a silly crush. It wasn't, it was pain laced with something that made her stomach hurt.

She lifted her head up too quick and her surroundings spun; "Woah, woah, alright yeah—" Winnie said her hands outstretched to Faye's shoulders keeping her from collapsing to the floor.

The bar was completely empty and panic began to come back in Faye's system. How long had she'd been away, what happened with Jet? These questions made her mind spin faster, but she could only lay down again with a sigh.

She was too fucking drunk to deal with the universe right now; "I— its the only place I got, the only place we all had and now.…" She was mumbling against the countertop, her mouth felt dry.

She watched Winnie watch her, "Well why don't you just go home then? Tell this man how you feel, "

Faye shrugged, "I'm scared."

Winnie laughed, "Of what? You're beautiful…"

"It's not about looks, it's, — he's complicated."

"So is every other person out there, Faye look, I barely know you or this guy, but if you already share a living space there must be some sort of friendship going, you could make it into something if you give it a shot."

"He's in love with someone else, or he was,I don't know, but I met her once and she, that woman…" Faye paused squinting seeing a blur of red darting out from the curtain behind the bar. Faye assumed that was the kitchen or something, and Winnie looked over.

She could barely keep her eyes open, but she heard Winnie talking, "Kid what did I say about staying in the kitchen? I told you, you can only work here if you stay back there and clean, I know it's boring but that's life and I work on my feet all night I can't be doing the dishes too, c'mo—"

"Edward has finished the dishes!" The tiny kid shouted with a bounce that shattered Faye's world. Her body jumped up off the counter, emerald eyes sparkling drunkenly.

She focused on the girl that had left only a short time ago, it was her. Her hair was the same only a little longer, she was missing her green goggles and the damn dog but it was her. Edward was too preoccupied explaining to Winnie the tasks she had finished, but Faye couldn't believe her eyes.

It was like some sick joke, but it made her happy, it was selfish to want things to go back to the way they were, it was the comfortable middle between the chaos. It was an untouchable memory the four of them had shared, they fought, smoked, and threw things at each other, but they were there. They were there for one another not in the physical sense, or emotionally either. It was just the presence of another human being; Jet with his failed attempts at dinner, Spike with his terrible sense of humor and stupid silences, Edward with her zany intelligence and Faye with her bitching gambling addiction.

 

She stood up off the chair. It fell behind her; while she stared at the child she thought had disappeared into the stars to map the galaxy with her lackluster father.

"E-Ed," Faye said shakily watching the little girl with wonder. She turned her head and her honey eyes lit up with excitement, "Faye-Faye!" She screeched before launching herself over the counter and wrapping her lanky arms around Faye. Ed spun them in a circle and Faye cackled freely acting like a child but she didn't care.

They still had hope, even when her knees buckle and she felt bile rise up in her throat from all the alcohol. She kept her eyes on Ed as she went on to explain her short lived adventure with strange hand motions and nicknames for real things she couldn't figure out the meaning to. Faye didn't care that she couldn't comprehend a thing, it brought a small smile to her tired face.

Winnie laughed softly in the background, "So this is the purple haired lady you always talk about…"

Edward nodded too many times and spun in a circle; "Faye-Faye, Jet, Ein, and Spike-person!"

Faye's smile faded then realizing her mistake of this meeting; she couldn't bring the kid back, not now. It would be selfish and stupid.

Winnie must've noticed the change in expression; "Watch out Ed she might be sick,"

"Faye-Faye doesn't get sick!" The lanky girl scolded with a grin her arms raised up in the air as she wiggled around.

Faye shook her head; "Jet's gonna skin me alive."

Chapter Text

Things became more complicated as Winnie helped Edward lift Faye off the bar floor. She was back in the same spinning stool, her hands were clasped under her chin and Edward was bouncing up on her toes.
"Edward is so happy to see faye-faye!" She exclaimed and Winnie giggled from behind the counter, her slender hand pressed against her pillowy lips.

She caught Faye's strained look, "What's wrong Valentine ?" The violet haired woman shook her head, "Does she live with you?"
Winnie nodded, "Up above this is a small room, we share— is everything okay?"

Faye let out a breath of relief, Edward probably wouldn't expect to go back to the bebop if she was already settled which made things easier. She didn't want the kid to see Spike dying, or recovering — she didn't know at this point.

Her eyes drifted to the window seeing the streets lit up with sunlight, a few groups of people walked past, some young and some old. It was like any old city.

"I'm gonna go, " She muttered and Winnie came around the bar quickly, "Oh no you aren't! You're far too gone to get home safe, where are you coming from anyway?"

Faye closed her eyes, "I've been worse."

Winnie prodded again and Faye grumbled, "I'm staying on Mars."

"Alrightie, I've flown a few crafts in my life I can drive you there,"

Faye laughed, "and how do you expect to get back here? No one on that ship has it in them to give favors."

 

Winnie frowned realizing she was losing her argument, "I don't think its a good idea…"

Faye shook her head gracing her with a final smile. "You don't know me all that well, don't miss me too much." She gently squeezed Winnie's arm with endearment and pushed up on her long legs to walk out to the door.

Faye was still pretty incoherent and her eyes were tired. "Faye-Faye," Ed called from the middle of the empty bar and Faye turned to watch her. She looked sad, and it was something that she never saw on her before.

"Can Edward go with you?"

Faye grimaced, "Ed you— you left to find your dad, you belong somewhere I can't—"

Winnie frowned but stayed out've the conversation and Edward rushed forward.

 

"Faye-Faye," She whimpered tugging on the ends of her banana colored shorts. Faye sighed and looked away, "Things aren't the same Ed I can't —"

The younger girl looked heart broken, "Edward can help, Edward promises!" she tugged again and this time Faye leaned over and took Ed's tiny hands in her own.

 

Jade eyes against warm caramel, a pleading gaze against a unsure one. Faye gave her a gentle smile; "I'll bring you; but if Jet asks im gonna lie and say you followed, got it?"

Edward nodded enthusiastically, yanking her hands from Faye doing an awkward little dance around her and Winnie.

She rushed into the back of the store to grab her things and Faye locked eyes with the bartender one last time, "Sorry for stealing her."

Winnie laughed, "It's not stealing if she's going home."

Faye nodded. It was strange, a place so full of despair. Yet the pieces were falling back into place again. The only thing missing was the incapacitated man she couldn't seem to get her mind off of.

 

Edward came storming forward, launching herself onto Faye with a hearty cry.

"Take Edward to bebop!" A low yelp sounded at her feet and Faye looked down to see Ein.

She shook her head feeling tears bubbling up, "That damn dog."

Edward ignored her mumbles her legs wrapped around Faye's torso as the older woman carried her.

They waved goodbye to Winnie as she wiped the counter, and she smiled greatly.

"Fly safe cow girl."

Faye laughed, her head tilted back as she headed out into the world again, the afternoon sun beating down onto her.

Chapter Text

⇁three months later ↼

 

Maybe on another planet in a different time, it would've felt like winter. if they weren't floating in the atmosphere, maybe they could've touched down to watch snowfall somewhere.

Edward was dancing around the ship in a sweatshirt she had haphazardly knitted and Jet was cooking in the kitchen.

Faye was secluded in her room, because Spike had been out've bed for sometime now and she couldn't handle it.

She hadnt looked him in the eye nor spoken to him, and unresolved feelings were drilling a hole in her chest. Her stomach was growling in spite of that though, she hadn't eaten since yesterday morning because she caught a glimpse of his lanky frame coming her way and she tossed everything out and darted to the bathroom before she could even meet his eyes.

She was terrified. Her slender fingers clutched the loose fabric of her yellow top. Her hair grew a little longer, and it fluffed out over her face. She wanted to cut it back below her ears, but she felt too lazy.

She forced herself up outve bed, brushing the strands aside. Faye made it to her doorway and peered out. She didn't see Spike anywhere, her hopes soared.

Slowly she made it to the kitchen only to stop in her tracks. He was seated at the kitchen table; Iet was working the stove too preoccupied to noticed Faye.

Spike noticed though, his eyes traced her for a short moment before darting back to his glass plate. He didn't look the same, he looked better, nicer maybe ? Faye knew Jet was watching Spike's diet carefully. She remembered getting an earful of am argument over whether Spike could smoke or not.

Jet refused all poisons even liquor. It almost made her chuckle. His dark green hair grew out to be even more unruly, falling across his forehead. The tips of the strands resting just above his eyebrows. He sat in front of a tall glass of fruit juice, and she noticed crumbs in his dish so he probably just finished eating.

"You avoid me and then you wanna come and stare, make up your mind romani." He mumbled, reaching for his glass of juice. Faye tensed her eyes narrowing, "Sorry I don't feel the need to talk to a man who abandoned us."

"You talked plenty when i was comatose."

Faye looked at the floor, her fists were balled. "I hate you." She snarled, her head shot up and she darted forward with tears tickling her eyes. Spike looked shocked, so much so the glass slipped outve his hand and shattered. The juice splashed over their legs and Faye felt glass go into her feet painfully so.

Jet scoffed, "Lemme know when you two are done with your soap opera." He turned off the stove and left in a hurry.

Spike's eyes followed the back of Jet's head and he looked away, "You always have to start a fight huh?" He said looking up at Faye and she swallowed looking down at him.

"And you always have to finish it."

He nodded, "You know I- I didnt mean for it to happen like this, -"

"Save it Spike," She grumbled with a softer tone and dropped lower to start cleaning up the glass. Faye made sure to be very careful with her fingers, and Spike grumbled. She looked up with a questionable expression, "If you have a problem why don't you clean it ?" She tried to bicker but Spike silently handed her a small dustpan and handbroom. Faye shut her mouth and took it, pursing her lips she swept up the glass and went to wipe the rest of the liquid left behind.

Faye knew he was watching her, she felt it when she walked over to the waste bin to toss in the wet paper towels. She lingered not wanting to turn around and meet his gaze.

"So that's it huh, " She said softly, before turning her head to watch his reaction. He looked perplexed; eyebrows curved up. "What are you saying, Faye?" He said her name like it was something soft, his voice was low but not harsh. She felt almost soothed.

"I just, after all that's happened we are just gonna go back to the way it was…"

"Isn't that what you wanted?" She watched him, before looking, "I just wanted you to survive."

"I wasn't dead to begin with," He said with a funny expression and Faye glared at him. "You're a suicidal maniac, and Ill never forgive you."

He stood up with a grimace, his body still in wrappings and bruised, "I didn't do it for you, and if you're gonna keep being selfish I'm gonna leave."

She took another step to him, glaring up at him, rage filling up her chest, "I'm selfish?! I'm the one whose selfish? You tried to throw away your whole life for a woman who only loved you back when it was too late, for a stupid grudge, and for a failed revenge plot that Jet and I had to haul ass into to save your worthless hide!" She roared in his face, her fists balled and Spike took a step back in surprise.

She didn't stop there, she kept listing all the things she despised about him, how much she hated how he left. How she felt guilty for days, about their last words, how she regretted pointing that gun at his back, how she wishes she shot him in the legs.

Faye didn't stop until he grabbed her by the shoulders, "What are you trying to accomplish ?! Make me feel sorry for you, You want me to fucking apologize Faye? You want a kiss for your booboos?" He snarled his hands squeezed her shoulders and rattled her for a moment, she shoved back hard on his chest to get him off.

"You're a child, its not my fault you didn't get a chance to grow up, its not my fault you spent half your life in a damn tube and because you're lonely I'm the only one who can fill in the gaps! I can't be with you, even if I wanted to, don't you get it?!" He screamed in her face and she was trembling. Spike was too, she could see the pain in his eyes and she was scared again. Scared she was gonna loose him when she just got him back. Maybe she was selfish, but wasn't everybody? Was it so bad to want the things you care about close by?

"There's nothing worth chasing, so if that's what you did all this waiting around for, you should leave now, cause once im healed I'm going away and —"

Faye grabbed him, and she didn't care it was desperate. She didn't care if the tears will spilling down her cheeks, she wanted him to know he was hurting her. She wanted him to stop. Her hands wrapped around his wrists and she walked forcely into him. He stumbled back until his lower back hit the kitchen table, his eyes were narrowed and she was swallowing hard trying to keep all the other feelings down.

"Why can't you see that this is home, Edward had nowhere before this and when she went out to find her place she found a cheap replacement and the second she saw me she came running, begging to come back. — "

"What does that got to do with any—"

 

"Jet kept you alive, He kept cooking and taking care of his stupid trees, I paced up and down doing stupid jobs to try and fill up the void that you left, and as much as I wanted too I knew there was no where else for me, I had no one left but that's not the only reason I stayed. I stayed because I cared, I cared about you, about this ship, about Jet, about Ed and that stupid fucking rat dog." She interrupted him and she rolled forward her head bowed as if she was begging for forgiveness.

"And you wanna know something?" She whispered, her forehead almost touching his chest.

Her grip on his wrists loosened and her hands dropped to her sides. She waited with baited breath for his answer, "Not really..." He murmured and she laughed sadly. Her hands trailed up to the sides of his face and he tensed up at her touch. Her eyes glared up into his softly and he watched her, she saw him gripping the kitchen table with his hands, like he didn't know what to do with himself.

"I still do." She exhaled, watching him and he froze, Faye did too.

The both of them lost and wretched, in a clunky ship with a crazy genius kid, a dog and a single father upstairs who tends to his trees like he would to a wife. If this was a house it would be a dysfunctional mess, but regardless they had tough luck.

All they had was each other, all the other parties had stopped bidding.

It was almost like a fleeting moment in time, when the fly ball pops over the heads of the baseball players, their feelings soaring higher and higher.

The safety net of hiding their feelings was gone, nothing was stopping them and the seconds to pull away was leaving them in milliseconds. Moments slipping away to never get back, and Spike's hands found their way to Faye's spine. She never thought she'd want him to hug her, but now that he was she never wanted him to stop.

There were no apologies, no more harsh words, just a soft silence, and a loose embrace that could stop at any moment with a wrong exchange of words. Faye didn't want this to be broken anymore, she didn't want to have to fight with him anymore. She didn't want to watch him fight death again, but her worries trailed away when he tightened his grip as she did with hers. His head rested on the crown of hers, purple hairs tickling his chin.

 

She pressed herself into his yellow shirt, the plastic buttons grazed her cheek. Her ear pressed against his chest, counting his heart beats.

She knew this was a defining moment for the future, whatever came next was up to them. They would still bicker and throw things, she knew that for sure, but she just wanted him to hug her after. She just wanted him to care all the time, like she had for such a long time. Maybe he was feeling the same way, he just didn't know how to express it.

That was then though, back when he thought he needed to die, back when Faye couldn't remember where she was born, back when Ed didn't know who her father was, back when Jet still couldn't let go of that pocket watch.

Those awkward nights and fights, those missions and running rampad, fingers hovering over triggers.

They were leaving her, and new moments were bound to follow. She felt hope when she pulled away, she knew things were going to be alright. When Spike averted her gaze and let his hands fall away slyly, She shook her head and backed up.

They were moving forward and that's all there was to it.

Never would she sit by his bed again, counting the minutes until he was going, going, g o n e

 

He was here, he was alive, and Faye watched him stare at the floor and she let out a noise of contentment.

"Where to next cowboy?"

"The convince store,"

She furrowed her brows, and he looked her in the eyes.

"I need a cigarette."

She rolled her eyes, "I don't see a bounty on any of those."

"Yeah well, sometimes we gotta go on our own missions."

She moved to stand next to him and his eyes followed her, she leaned against his shoulder.

"Not by ourselves we don't." Her eyes fluttered shut as she settled against him, and he relaxed into her letting the tension of the past roll off them in waves, never to drown on again.

 

. F I N .