Title: Crossdressing for Dummies [1/1]

Series: Falling Star, Part 5.

Author: Sonya

Email: sonyajeb@swbell.net

Timeline: Last half of Session 5

Spoilers: Ballad of Fallen Angels and Falling Star (my Bebop series, archived here at ff.net) parts 3 and 4.

Summary: Faye's thoughts while she's watching over the unconscious and wounded Spike until Jet comes to pick them up in the Bebop. Faye ponders the twists and turns her life's taken ever since she joined up with this troubled Space Cowboy and his crazy gang. (And don't forget the snarky insult-throwing match between SxF..... *smirks*)

POV: Faye Valentine

Archive: Regulars are welcome to it. Newbies must ask first. But no worries, because I almost always say yes.

Disclaimer: There was once a girl who wrote a story about some characters and places that weren't hers. But she added this little disclaimer to make it a tad less illegal. (i.e. Cowboy Bebop isn't mine and never will be. As if you hadn't already figured that out.)

Author's Note: This is the fifth in a series of missing scenes and tags for the entire series. Every episode (I hope) will get the special "Sonya treatment" before I'm done. The goal? To add to the richness that is Cowboy Bebop without destroying the cannon. Therefore, all of these stories will fit in with the already established storyline. They could be filmed and added to the episodes and everything would still make sense... I hope. (You'd tell me if it doesn't, right? *g*)

Also, I know the whole "Faye's POV of the battle in BoFA" thing has been done to death, but tough cookies because now you're getting my version. When I tried to think of a good missing scene or tag for this eppy, that was the first and only thing to come to mind! It just *had* to be done. :)

Feedback: Do I want feedback? Heh. Let me put it to you this way. Does the Bebop crew want bounties? (i.e. Yes! Yes! A million times YES!!!)


Spike Spiegel was the poster boy for reckless endangerment. I hadn't been part of this group for very long before I figured that one out. But the fact that he was reckless wasn't the problem, not really. It was the single-minded way he seemed to pursue things that most people would simply write off as glorified suicide attempts that bothered me. Take, for instance, his swan dive out of an exploding fourth story window, complete with requisite gunshot and stab wounds thanks to Vicious and his Syndicate buddies. Now, normal people - even those who were more than a little reckless at times - when offered the chance to leap from a Cathedral to almost certain death, would say, "Gee, thanks for the offer, but I think I'm gonna have to go with a 'no' this time." But not our boy Spike. No, he responds with "Wow, thanks, I think I'll give that one a try! I haven't met my near-death quota yet this week. And say, could I toss some grenades into the mix? That would make it much more fun!"

Which is why I found myself sitting on the steps in front of a hollowed-out Cathedral next to Spike's battered body, scared out of my wits but unable to bring myself to just leave him there.

I was a mess. Torn clothes, blood splattered across my face, soot and ash from the explosion in my hair, a pair of useless handcuffs dangling from one wrist. But that was nothing compared to him. I wasn't even sure if it was possible to survive after loosing that much blood. I'd done what I could for him. The hem of my dress was ripped in a long, jagged line from where I'd torn strips out of it that I pressed against the wound in his shoulder, trying to stop the flow of his blood onto the pavement. My hands were sticky from it. But aside from that, I didn't know what else to do. He needed a doctor, not some useless woman in a dirty dress.

"C'mon, Jet," I muttered, watching the agonizingly slow rise and fall of Spike's chest beneath my hands. "Where the hell are you?"

He looked like a rag doll, limp and lifeless. Broken. It was hard to believe this was the same man who delighted in tormenting me whenever he got the chance. He was like a shell, the outside looked like Spike but everything that made him who he was -- the fire in his eyes, the grace in his movements, that damned annoying smirk of his -- was missing.

I reached out and gently brushed a clump of sweaty hair out of his eyes, my lips pursing into a small frown as my fingers lingered against his skin. I found myself recalling the feel of his arms wrapped around me while we'd been sandwiched together inside my zip craft. I could still feel the warmth of his breath against the back of my neck, sending shivers down my spine. And I could still hear his voice in my head, taunting me mercilessly the entire time. Just like he'd be doing now if he saw me fawning all over him like this.

I snatched my hand back like it'd been scalded.

Damn it, how did he have me worrying about him like this? It just wasn't right. I knew without a doubt that, had our situations been reversed, he wouldn't have lost any sleep over my fate. Hell, the only reason he'd saved my ass today was because he wanted to get to Vicious and settle some kind of score between them. I was just an afterthought at best.

I shivered at the thought of the demon in a man's guise who'd held me captive. That moment in the theatre box was the most scared I'd ever been in my entire life. At least what I could remember of it. The hand that wasn't holding the scrap of fabric from my dress to the bloody wound in Spike's chest reached down to touch the smooth metal of the gun that lay beside me. Spike's gun. It had fallen from the church window with him. Even though there were only a couple of shots left in it, just having it by my side made me feel better. Safer. If Vicious had survived that explosion and showed his face out here, I'd put a bullet through his head. Right between the eyes. There was no way in hell that I was letting him try and finish the job he'd started in the cathedral. On either of us.

Shit. I hated this. I was just crashing on their ship to escape the debt collectors for a while. I wasn't supposed to care about what happened to these guys. They were a means to an end, simple as that. I didn't need any comrades. Caring about other people only got you hurt.

A little voice in my head whispered smugly that it was far too late to be worried about whether or not to care about these rejects. Apparently, I'd crossed that line without even realizing it. So where did that leave me, exactly? I was living on a ship with people who barely tolerated me and might kick me out at any moment. And the worst of it was, if they *did* kick me out, it would matter. It wasn't supposed to matter! Not this soon!

I sighed, setting the gun in my lap and glancing up towards the heavens, hoping to see the familiar outline of the Bebop in the skies. Nothing.

There was movement from beside me and Spike let out a small moan. It surprised me so much that I very nearly jumped out of my own skin. Focusing on him, I saw his eyes flutter open. His mouth moved, but I couldn't make out the words.

"Don't try to talk," I told him quietly, covering his mouth with my hand to shush him. "You're weak. You've lost a lot of blood."

I felt his lips move against my hand and rolled my eyes. Stupid prick just didn't know when to give up. Removing my hand, I leaned forward so I could try and make out what he was saying. I caught a name. Vicious.

I shook my head quickly, my free hand tightening around the gun in my lap. "Don't worry about him. If he shows up, I'll take care of it." My voice trembled a bit at the thought of facing him again, but I ignored it. There wasn't any room for weakness here. Not now.

Spike held my gaze for a long, searching moment before he sighed and nodded, apparently deciding to take me at my word. He let his eyes slip closed finally, his hands twitching restlessly at his sides.

We stayed that way for a while, me fiddling with the gun in my lap and he just struggling to breath in and out regularly. I checked the skies again, wondering what was taking Jet so long to get here. Didn't he realize how badly his partner was hurt? When he'd called me back after that little hanging up incident, I'd told him to hurry. I'd told him it was bad. What if he hadn't believed me? Spike might just slip away while his partner was taking his sweet fucking time getting here and then... Well, I didn't want to think about that.

"Did he...?"

I started, Spike's voice surprising the hell out of me. I turned to look at him, our eyes meeting as I placed another hand to the fabric over his wound. I felt as if I was barely managing to hold him together and wished again that Jet would get here already.

"Did he what?" I asked softly, trying not to look as worried as I felt.

Spike's eyes fluttered closed for a moment and I thought that maybe he'd forgotten what he had been going to say. But then his mismatched eyes opened, looking more lucid than they had been up until now. I took that as a good sign.

"Did he hurt you?"

Spike Spiegel was concerned about me? One eyebrow... up.

I shrugged, trying to act like the fact that he might actually give a damn over my fate wasn't so shocking that you could've knocked me over with a feather. I gave him my patented Faye Valentine smile, albeit a little less polished than normal, but hey, under the circumstances...

"Don't worry about it, flyboy. I can handle myself."

He didn't reply, just kept watching me with that intense stare of his, the one that unnerved me so much. It was almost as if he could see straight through all of my B.S. and knew the truth underneath. It was damn annoying, that was for sure. I huffed softly and concentrated on keeping up the pressure on his wound.

Finally, after a long moment of silence, I growled under my breath and met his unwavering gaze again. "Fine, he scared the shit out of me, you happy?" I snapped, my eyes flashing. "But to answer your question, no, he didn't hurt me." I rolled my eyes and muttered darkly, "Just my pride."

A small smile appeared on Spike's face, making the corners of his mouth curl up slightly, and he nodded. "Good," he said, letting his eyes slip closed once more.

Just when I thought he'd lost consciousness again, he smirked and added, "You have more than enough pride to spare."

My eyes shot daggers at him, even though he couldn't see them. Oooooh, the bastard had some nerve! Insulting me when I was busting my ass trying to save his sorry hide! I pressed down harder on his wound in retaliation, which made him curse under his breath in pain. Smirking, I said in my sweetest and most innocent sounding voice, "Sorry, but I have to keep you from bleeding to death."

His eyes opened and he glared at me. "Thanks for your concern," he gritted out from between clenched teeth, sarcasm practically dripping from his tongue.

"Don't worry about it." My voice was a study in casual disinterest.

We fell silent again, both lost in our own thoughts. Of course, this was assuming that the lunkhead ever actually *thought* about anything.

I stared down at the gun resting on my lap, my thoughts inadvertently going to the fight that I'd just been an unwilling witness to. And I found myself wondering, not for the first time, exactly what this Vicious guy could have done to make Spike hate him so. I didn't bother thinking about what Spike could have done to anger Vicious. The idiot lying next to me was a genius at pissing people off, me especially, so it was only logical that he'd made some enemies in high places. But I was curious about why Spike wanted Vicious dead, even at the expense of his own life. He'd always seemed so easy going before. Only during that one moment in the Bebop's toilet, when I'd been held prisoner and Spike was demanding for me to give him my lock pick, had I ever seen even the smallest hint that there could be this magnitude of anger lurking inside him. An anger that I would probably never get close enough to him to learn where it came from and why. "You are a strange one, Spike Spiegel," I murmured to myself, shaking my head in defeat.

"So people tell me," was his soft reply, startling me out of my thoughts. I felt a blush creeping up my cheeks at the realization that he'd heard my remark. I'd thought he was long gone, headed toward the Land of Nod.

Taking a deep breath, I plunged onward, determined to discover something about what made this insane - yet somehow, god help me, terribly interesting - man act the way he did. "Why is that, do you think?"

He shrugged, wincing a little bit when the motion pulled at the wound in his shoulder. "Just the way I am, I guess."

I let out a breath that I hadn't even realized I'd been holding while I'd been waiting for his response. Frowning at him, I replied, "Well, as far as answers go, that one pretty much sucked."

He sighed. "I know."

I waited, but nothing else seemed to be forthcoming.

Deciding to take the initiative, I said, "Well, if you're not going to tell me, then I suppose I'll just have to start guessing. Nothing else to do until Jet gets here."

He made a face. "Must you?"

I grinned, enjoying the possibility of annoying him since it didn't look like I'd be getting any real answers any time soon. "Yep. So you can just deal with it."

He sighed, apparently resigning himself to his fate.

"Okay..." I began, thinking for a moment before I began. "You're in the witness protection program after double crossing a highly feared terrorist group and Vicious is the group's leader who has to find and kill you because you're the eyewitness to a murder that he committed that would let the ISSP finally lock him up for good."

Spike sighed again, more loudly this time. I took that for a no.

"Okay, then how about this one?" A rhetorical question at this point. He didn't respond with anything more than a glare.

"You're the heir to a huge fortune left to you by your late father. Vicious is your brother who was left out of the will after he betrayed your family and he has a hard-on for revenge against you because he feels that you stole his half of the estate."

My only answer was an eye roll. "No, huh? Okay..." I was really on a roll now. Heh, poor Spike. I grinned at him mercilessly before continuing on with my half-baked theories. "You're the result of a botched sex-change operation, hence the disaster zone that is your hair, and Vicious was your boyfriend back when you were still a woman. He's pissed because he's no longer getting laid. Not to mention his own homophobia coming out, if you'll pardon the pun, to rear its ugly head. Hence the carnage and bloodshed."

Spike almost gagged, his eyes growing so wide that it was practically comical, and I had to stifle a snicker at his expense.

"Well, that last one *must* be it, since it got such a big reaction out of you," I informed him sweetly. "So, thanks for clearing that up for me. I'll be sure to let Jet know all the details, just in case you ever start to show any signs of your... ahem... changes."

Spike growled at me. "No, you will *not* be telling Jet that I had a sex-change operation!" he cried, his eyes narrowed in a glare that would have scared me, had he not been practically an invalid at the moment.

"Oh," I replied softly, nodding my head in pretend understanding. "So you want to keep it a secret for now, huh?" I smiled knowingly. "Don't worry, until you're ready to confess all, I won't say a word about this to anybody." I patted his non-injured shoulder in a conspiratorial fashion. "Your secret's safe with me, Spike."

Spike ground his teeth together in frustration. "But I don't have a secret!"

Adopting the tone of voice one uses to talk to a particularly dense child, I responded, "Spike, it's okay. Really. You can trust me. If you don't want Jet to know that you used to be a woman, then he definitely won't hear it from me."

The wounded bounty hunter shot me a glare. "Faye, for the last time, I did not have a sex change operation and Vicious is not my ex-boyfriend!" he almost shouted. Then he made a face. "And now you've sent me to a very scary mental place, thank you very much."

I chuckled. "My pleasure."

He came close to pouting at me, which made me laugh even harder. "Yeah, I'm sure it is." He paused and then added belligerently, "Wench."

I shrugged. "Lunkhead."

He rolled his eyes. "Minx."







And was it my imagination, or were we both smiling just a little bit?

The roaring of approaching engines cut our insult-flinging match short as the Bebop became visible in the late afternoon sky.

"Jet's here," I remarked, pointing out the obvious.

Spike nodded, fighting off a grimace of pain. "So it would seem."

I looked down at him and grinned. "So, just so we have our stories straight, you were never a woman and Vicious was never your lover." I studied the nails on my free hand intently, controlling my laughter through sheer force of will and schooling my face into an expression of total and complete innocence. "I wouldn't want to accidentally tell Jet the wrong thing, after all."

I looked back at him, one eyebrow arching in amusement, and was just in time to see his answering grin, which he quickly smothered with an exaggerated sigh of annoyance. "Faye..." he warned, dragging my name out, his mouth frowning even while his eyes were alight with suppressed mirth.

Just then the Bebop landed nearby and Jet emerged from the hangar, hurrying over to us, his face pale with worry. "How is he?" he asked me, kneeling beside Spike's prone form.

"He's hurt pretty badly," I replied, looking down at all the blood on his clothes and my hands. Spike's eyes had slipped closed again, his pain getting to be too much for him.

Jet nodded and pulled out the first aid kit, getting some real bandages out and setting to work immediately, trying to get Spike to a point where it would be safe to move him. I helped where I could, which earned me a small smile of gratitude in return. And for the first time since setting foot aboard their hunk of junk spaceship, I felt like I belonged.

Even though all three of us were now covered in blood and Spike was badly wounded and verging on unconsciousness again, I still wouldn't have traded this moment for anything. Well... at least not anything worth less than a hundred million woolongs, at any rate. After all, a girl had to have priorities, didn't she?


See You Space cowboy....