Title: Mood Indigo [1/1]
Series: Falling Star, Part 6.
Timeline: Set after Sympathy for the Devil, but before Heavy Metal Queen
Spoilers: The first 5 installments of this fanfic series (all archived at ff.net) and sessions 1-6 of Cowboy Bebop.
Summary: After the mission finally reaches its conclusion, a lonely Space Cowboy meditates on things he has no control over... until a certain shrew woman decides to knock some sense into him. Rated PG13 for language.
POV: Spike Spiegel
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 sixth 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*)
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!!!)
She was in my seat.
I was tired, dirty, in a shitload of pain and not up for dealing with any crap. So, of course, fate would place that shrew woman on the couch where *I* always laid down and licked my wounds after a tough bounty. Fortune was a fickle friend, wasn't she? Damn wench. Why did all the women in my life have to be more trouble than they were worth, anyway? Well, all except one, but we weren't about to head anywhere near that particular batch of memories tonight.
I cleared my throat loudly to gain the shrew's attention. She was still in my seat.
Faye's left eyebrow twitched, the only sign that she'd even noticed my presence in the room.
I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at her.
She yawned, one hand rising to cover her mouth delicately, and rolled over on the couch, making herself more comfortable. My eyes narrowed. She was gonna mess up the perfectly Spike-shaped indention I'd spent so much time creating in the cushions.
Damn it. I huffed a bit, the glare growing in intensity.
She cracked open one eye and regarded me coolly for a moment. "What's eating you?"
I rolled my eyes as if the answer was obvious.
She'd opened both eyes now, awaiting my response. As if she didn't know.
"You're in my seat."
Now it was her turn to roll her eyes. "It's not like it has your name branded on the tacky, yellow cushions," she informed me with a wave of her hand. Her eyes slipped closed again, signaling that she thought the conversation was over.
I threw my hands up into the air, hissing in frustration as I stomped off. The fact that I heard her smug laughter follow me down the hallway just made me angrier.
How did she always manage to beat me?
I headed for the one place I knew she couldn't steal from me. My sanctuary. My punching bag was well worn from plenty of use and my cigarette stash was tucked behind the loose panel in the wall. Everything was as I'd left it earlier today. Nobody had touched a thing while I'd been gone, which was how I liked it.
Lighting up a cigarette, I took a long drag and stared out into the darkness of space beyond the observatory windows, trying to regain my inner calm. It had been a long night. I'd done some things on this mission that I'd never thought I'd do. Ever. I'd shot a child, aiming to kill, sending a bullet right between his eyes on two separate occasions. I know he wasn't *really* a child, but that didn't make me feel any better about all of this.
I sighed and took another drag, imagining that I could actually feel the nicotine coursing through my body each time I inhaled. Smoke drifted lazily up towards the ceiling from the burning tip of my cigarette, making strange, intricate patterns in the air.
I heard the clacking of boots in the hallway and sighed again, shoving the hand not holding the cigarette into my jacket pocket and adopting my customary slouching, I-don't-have-a-care-in-the-world pose as I waited for the inevitable.
"What's up with you? You're acting even more annoying and anti-social than usual... which is saying a lot." I could see the shrew roll her eyes in the reflection on the glass.
I shrugged, not turning around.
Faye sighed, her body language an interesting combination of concerned and annoyed. She walked over to stand beside me, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and placing one of the cancer sticks between her carefully painted red lips. Then she began searching her pockets, presumably for her lighter.
She jumped when a flame appeared right in front of her face, courtesy of my silver Zippo. She met my eyes over the dancing flame and leaned forward just far enough for the tip of her cigarette to touch the flame, never releasing my gaze the entire time. Straightening up, she raised one eyebrow at me, puffing contentedly on her now-lit cigarette, and nodded once in thanks.
I shrugged, the non-verbal equivalent of "Don't mention it."
I flipped the lighter closed and spun it through my fingers before tossing it into the air, nimbly catching it in my other hand and depositing it inside my jacket pocket.
She smirked at me. "Show off."
I found myself smiling back, which felt odd. But not necessarily bad.
We stood in silence for a long moment, twin trails of smoke rising from our lit cigarettes and pooling together into one cloud above our heads, waiting to see who would break first. I took a small bit of satisfaction in the fact that it wasn't me.
"So..." she trailed off, looking at me uncertainly from out of the corner of her eyes. When I didn't make any threatening moves, she must've assumed that it was safe to proceed. "...are you gonna tell me what happened?"
I smirked. "Since when did you become my shrink?"
She made a face, hands on hips, looking for all the world like a small child who was just told that Santa Claus isn't real. "Hey, we're supposed to be comrades, aren't we?" she exclaimed, sulking over the glowing ember of her cigarette.
"You're the one who decided on that," I informed her.
She huffed. "Well, yeah, but you guys agreed. That's the important part."
"I didn't sign anything," I remarked casually, secretly enjoying the fact that she was getting all worked up over this. "So you couldn't prove it by me."
"Aaaargh!" She stomped her foot and glared at me. "Why do you have to make everything so damn difficult?" she demanded.
I shrugged. "Just comes naturally, I guess."
She rolled her eyes. "You've got that right."
We both fell silent again, staring out into the blackness of space, each presumably lost in our own thoughts. I debated what to do next. Here I was, just wanting to lie down on my couch and get some much-deserved rest, and this minx decided she could waltz through my life and screw everything up. Now, instead of sleeping, I was brooding. And apparently I couldn't even do that uninterrupted!
So what was I supposed to do with this baffling creature beside me, huh? I could always tell her off, but then she'd get that look on her face where she's hurt on the inside but acting like she doesn't give a shit on the outside to hide it from everybody. I hated that look. It reminded me of me in some ways. I could just leave, but she'd most likely follow me. The woman was stubborn as hell. I could tease her, get a rise out of her, and eventually make her so mad that she'd leave in a huff. Seemed like the safest option, by far, but somehow I just wasn't in the mood for more witty banter. It would just be more of the same old shit, more of the status quo, and I could have that any day. So, if I wasn't going to tease her, leave her or tell her off, then what was left to do?
Well, it was rather obvious - if a bit unconventional considering our history - when I put it that way, wasn't it?
When I finally began to speak, I think I almost gave her a heart attack from the shock.
"I killed him." One long, tapered finger reached up and tapped her on the forehead, right between the eyes. "One bullet, right there."
She frowned. "And that's a bad thing how?"
I shrugged helplessly. "He was a kid, Faye. I killed a child."
"No, he wasn't," she replied, without even a moment's hesitation. "He was a killer. Plain and simple. What he looked like doesn't matter."
I nodded slowly. "I know, it's just..." I trailed off, gesturing vaguely with one hand. "I can't stop thinking about it."
I reached into my pocket, my fingers wrapping around cool metal, and pulled out a silver harmonica. Faye's eyes widened slightly, recognizing it instantly, and she snatched it out of my hand. "Why the hell did you keep this?" she demanded, waving it in my face.
I took a step back to avoid being hit by the flailing harmonica. I reached up and wrapped my fingers around her wrist, halting her motions. "Why not?" I responded defensively. "It's not as if he was gonna need it back or anything."
She tugged at her hand, but found herself unable to break my grip, so she gave up. Focusing on me, she said in a voice that seemed much too gentle for her spitfire nature, "You shouldn't hold onto things like that. It's past, over. Nothing good can come from obsessing over it." Her face held a look of sorrow on it that I didn't know what to make of. She spoke as if from experience.
"What do you know about it?" I countered, tugging her a step closer in my anger. "Just because you don't give a rat's ass about anything doesn't mean that I should act the same way. Some of us care about our pasts, Faye. I know the concept's a little foreign to you, but it's true."
She seemed to visibly wilt right before my eyes, turning her head to avoid my gaze. "You don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about," she whispered softly. "You don't know the first thing about me, Spike Spiegel. So don't you dare pretend that you do."
I frowned, my anger fading in light of her bewildering actions. I hadn't really been trying to hurt her. I'd just lashed out in anger, like I always seem to do where she's concerned. But normally she fought back, tooth and nail, giving just as good as she got. This new act of hers was a bit disconcerting.
I looked down at her wrist, which I still held captive down at our sides. It was so tiny, almost fragile. I could feel her pulse beating double time under my fingertips.
Releasing her without saying anything else, I took a step back. She raised her head to look at me, her eyes wide, reminding me of a child's eyes. Which just reminded me of Wen.
I turned back to the window and stared out it, dropping the stub of my cigarette on the floor and crushing it with the heel of my boot. I could feel Faye's presence beside me. Even without saying a word, she was still somehow too loud, rendering me unable to concentrate on anything else. I looked over at her through the corner of my eye. She stood there, exactly where I'd left her, arms wrapped around her slight frame, the harmonica clutched in one white knuckled grasp.
"Faye..." I began.
"Don't bother, cowboy," she said, a forced calm in her voice. "There's nothing else to be said."
She turned on her heel and strode out the door, pausing only long enough to toss the harmonica back to me. I caught it easily. "I'd get rid of that if I were you. It'll only dredge up bad memories."
Then she was gone, headed back the way she'd come. I frowned, staring down at the innocent looking piece of metal and plastic in my hand. Then I reached down and pried back the loose panel behind which I hid my extra cigarettes. After a long moment of deliberation, I placed the harmonica inside and slid the panel back over it.
Standing up, I walked down the hall and back into the main living area. Faye was there, perched on the stairs, a nail file in hand. She gave me a pointed look.
My couch was empty.
I grinned and plopped down on the couch, stretching my legs out and crossing my arms underneath my head. I closed my eyes with a contended sigh, finally able to relax.
Faye's voice broke through the peaceful calm of the room. "Big Shot'll be on in a few minutes. When it is, you're gonna have to move your skinny ass over and share the couch."
I heard Jet puttering around in the kitchen, a happy bark signaling that Ein was in there with him as well.
Finally, things were as they were supposed to be. Faye was being snarky, Jet was being domestic, Ein was being... well, Ein. And me? I was finally comfortable on my couch.
My grin grew wider. At last, all was right with the world.
See You Space cowboy....
Coming Session: A missing scene from Heavy Metal Queen which marks my first attempt at writing in Jet's POV. *shocked gasps all around* Yes, you read it here first, kiddies! It'll be Jet Black unplugged. Next episode... "Translation: Insanity." *nervous laughter* Let's just all pray that it doesn't suck, shall we? *Spike makes choking noises in the background* *THWAP!* *a muttered "Ow, that hurt!" can be heard, followed by Spike's retreating footsteps* Heh. Yeah. Anyways. No pressure or anything, right?