Title: Translation: Insanity [1/1]

Series: Falling Star, Part 7.

Author: Sonya

Email: sonyajeb@swbell.net

Timeline: Set in the middle of Heavy Metal Queen, when Jet's fixing the Swordfish and Redtail after Spike and Faye total them looking for Decker.

Spoilers: Sessions 1-7

Summary: The world as seen through the eyes of Jet Black... (SxF are around, as is Ein, but it's Jet's show this time, baby! And really, isn't it about time? *g*)

POV: Jet Black

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 seventh 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!!!)


What did I look like, their servant?

Man, sometimes they really burned me up, bursting in here and demanding that I drop everything just to see to *their* needs. But did they ever consider that I might have other things to do with my time aside from hauling their asses out of the fire over and over? Nope. Not a chance. They're too busy doing that immature, ass-backwards flirting routine of theirs, insulting and name calling and basically driving me nuts. Sometimes I wanted to tell the two of 'em to just go fuck each other senseless already so I could get some damn sleep again. Not that they'd actually bother to listen to me.

I was up to my neck in engine guts and cursing under my breath the entire time. How those two managed to total their ships so often was beyond me. The two of 'em were like a couple of train wrecks just waiting to happen. They couldn't even stake out one simple bounty without causing some damage. I'd always been convinced that there was no one alive who could be as much of a trouble magnet as my erstwhile partner, Spike Spiegel. But that was before I met his female counterpart, Miss Faye "Shrew Woman" Valentine, who, as it turned out, was just as bad at getting into trouble as he was. The fact that two such people even existed in this galaxy, not to mention that they were both making their home on *my* boat, just served to remind me that fate had quite a sick and twisted sense of humor sometimes. Especially in my case.

Sighing, I wiped at the sweat forming on my brow with an oil stained, old rag, most likely leaving a smear of dirt and oil in the perspiration’s place. Sliding out from under the Redtail, I stood up and gave it a critical once over, checking out my handiwork. Not bad. Faye was going to shit a brick when she saw its lack of weaponry, but that was to be expected. She'd throw a fit over anything, that one. Sometimes I think she just did it because she wanted the attention. I mean, nobody can really get that mad at some of the stupid little things she gets mad at, right? It's gotta be an act. Either that or she's insane, which I wouldn't put past her, come to think of it.

Okay, enough was enough, it was time for a break. I tossed the tools I'd been using last back into my toolbox and kicked the lid shut before heading out of the hangar and down the hallway towards the living area with every intention of kicking back on the couch and catching today's episode of Big Shot. Raised voices coming from the exact place I was going to caused me to pause. Spike and Faye. Damn it. They were in the middle of one of their daily squawking matches, which pretty much ruled out the chance of finding any peace and quiet on this boat. Big as it is, you'd be surprised how far raised voices could carry. Believe me, I'd learned from plenty of earsplitting experience.

Changing course, I headed for the kitchen, hoping to wait them out and then sneak in and claim a spot on the couch once the dust had settled. With a little luck, they'd be done before Big Shot was completely over and I could at least catch the end of the broadcast.

Once in the kitchen, I sat down at the rickety old table and amused myself with the little game I'd developed during the past few weeks. It was called "What Are Spike and Faye *really* Arguing About?" and it basically consisted of a running mental translation of their numerous shouting matches, complete with a tally of points scored and each competitor's chance of winning in the long run. Hell, it was just too bad that I couldn't wage bets on the outcomes, I was sure I could've made a tidy little profit off of them both. My partners were nothing if not predictable in their constant battles of will.

There was a loud thwack, followed by the thud of a body hitting the floor and a masculine grunt. "Ow! Hey, watch it!"

Spike. Sounded like the shrew had somehow managed to knock him off the couch. I raised one eyebrow. If Faye was resorting to physical violence then this particular battle must've been going on for a while now. I'd probably missed a lot of choice insults already.

"Serves you right," the woman in question huffed, her voice sounding smugly satisfied in that irritating way that only she was capable of.

"Bullshit!" came the aggrieved reply. "What the hell did I do to you to deserve this?"

Oh, Spike. Will you ever learn? Doesn't matter *what* you do. She's a woman. They don't operate on logic. So what's Faye's reason for beating up on you? Easy. She doesn't *need* a reason.

Faye sniffed. "You bothered to exist. That's reason enough."

See? Just like I said. No reason required.

Spike growled and I heard some shuffling around as he presumably pulled himself off the floor and stood up. "Aaaargh!" he howled. I could just picture him throwing his hands into the air in frustration. "Why must you make my life a living hell day in and day out???"

Translation: I can't stand the fact that I'm actually attracted to a manipulative bitch like you. I'm starting to think that either I'm a glutton for punishment or I was dropped on the head as a child.

"It's a gift," was her cheerful reply.

Translation: The fact that I've made you lose your supposedly unflappable cool turns me on, though, of course, I'd never actually admit it to anyone.

"It's not too late, maybe you can still return it." Spike had gotten himself under control and was back to his normal wry sarcasm. I heard the flick of a lighter as he presumably got out a cigarette. "I hope you kept the receipt."

"Ha! That's about as likely as you carrying collision insurance, Spike."

I pondered that one for a minute. Collision insurance? Hmmm.... Might come in handy when he went off on one of his monthly suicide runs. Not that any insurance company in their right mind would ever consider Spike as a candidate for coverage. I sighed. Damn. We were back to square one again.

Spike snorted. "Not that I'm not loving this little chat of ours, but did you even have a point or were you just here because of my unavoidable animal magnetism?"

Translation: If I manage to piss her off she'll start yelling and screaming again, which leads to angry pointing and gesturing, which does all kinds of interesting things to that yellow halter top and hot pants ensemble. Erm. Not that I care or anything.

Faye made this indignant little noise that was the combination of a gasp and a shriek. "Oooooh, like I'd ever be attracted to a freak like you!"

Translation: Where does he get off? It's not as if the fact that I'm currently imagining throwing the bastard against the wall and kissing that smug look of his face means that I'm in any way *attracted* to him. Hmph. Not even.

Spike was the epitome of unaffected nonchalance. "Hey, I just call 'em like I see 'em."

Translation: Because if I keep the focus on you, maybe nobody will pause to consider that I seem to do my damnedest to seek out these little arguments and start asking uncomfortable questions. Go me. Heh. The man with the plan.

A soft mutter, almost too soft to catch. "Lunkhead."

Translation: Lunkhead.

"Hey!" There was a thump, a whimper and the scurrying of paws. "Get outta my seat, mutt!"

Ein came running through the door to the kitchen, scrambling behind my chair in an obvious attempt to hide from Spike's nasty temper. I gave the little Welsh Corgi a sympathetic smile and scratched him behind the ears, which made his hind leg do that thump-thump-thump thing. "Don't worry about it," I told him wisely. "It's not you he's mad at."

Ein cocked his head to the side and gave me a look that seemed to speak of a shrewd intelligence. I blinked. Sometimes I wondered about that dog.

Faye's voice brought my thoughts back to the confrontation in the other room. "Hey, don't smack Ein around just because you're pissed off at me!"

Translation: I don't want the dog getting your attention; I'd much rather it were focused on yours truly.

Spike chuckled. "Yeah, right, like you haven't done worse to him."

He had a point. Faye could be downright evil to the dog when she wanted to be.

"That is *so* not the point, Spike, and you know it."

Translation: God, I hate it when he's right. The bastard.

"Then what *is* the point, Faye? I'm just dying to know."

Translation: Oh, how I love it when I'm right. Revenge, as they say, is sweet.

The soft clicking of Faye's boots on the metal plating that made up the ship's floor echoed through the Bebop. One, two, three steps. I could just picture her, leaning down over Spike on the couch and getting right in the lanky bounty hunter's face. "Well..." Her voice exuded sexuality. The damn woman was almost making me hot and I was all the way in here. "If I have to tell you that, then you're not nearly as smart as you think you are... Gaujo."

I buried my face in my hands. Shit. They were doing the Gypsy name-calling thing again. Never a good sign.

I could already imagine the look on Spike's face: all carefully composed calm, one eyebrow slowly raising until it almost disappeared under that fluffy mop he called hair. "Are you implying what I think you're implying... Romany?"

Translation: Two can play at this game, Faye. I'll make you back down or die trying.

There was a long silence and then Spike made what sounded like a strangled gasp. I felt my own eyebrows raising and couldn't resist moving to the door and taking a peek around the corner. And gods have mercy but the little minx had actually straddled Spike on the couch, her knees on either side of his thighs and her hands resting lightly on his chest.

"What the hell are you playing at, Faye?" Spike demanded, reaching up and grabbing both her hands in his and pulling them down to their sides. And did I detect a quaver in his usually unaffected voice? Other eyebrow... up.

"I'd like to know that myself," I muttered, looking back over at Ein in puzzlement. I'd never heard them be quite so blatantly obvious with the sexual innuendos before.

I could actually hear the smug smile in Faye's voice as she replied, "Just taking back what's mine."

Spike didn't seem to know what to say to that one, and I didn't blame him. He opened his mouth and no sound came out, his cigarette dangling precariously off his lower lip, its tip smoldering brightly.

Faye leaned forward until her forehead was almost touching his. She made a sharp twisting motion with her hands and managed to yank them free of his grip. They flew back to his chest and disappeared inside his jacket for a second.

"Hey!" Spike yelped.

Faye smirked and leapt off of him, an almost full pack of cigarettes clutched in her hand like a trophy. Shooting Spike a pointed look, she skipped over to another seat and plopped down, pulling a cigarette out of the pack and quickly lighting up. Between puffs, she informed him matter of factly, "That's what happens when you steal my cigarettes, Spike."

And finally the game started to make sense again.

Standing up, she whistled to herself, quite a feet with a cigarette still perched between her lips, as she walked past where Spike still sat on the couch, his mouth hanging open in shock. Smirking, she tapped his jaw closed with one finger as she passed. "Watch it, you might catch flies."

As she vanished down the hallway, her voice floated back over her shoulder, sounding extremely smug. "Let that be a lesson to you, Spike Spiegel. Never steal from me."

"Oh yeah?" he cried back, jumping up off the couch angrily. "I'll do whatever the hell I want!"

Translation: Maybe if I steal something else, she'll do more than just sit on my lap. Not that I want her to or anything, of course. No way. But still...

As he prepared to huff out of the living room, he spotted me standing in the doorway and his eyes narrowed. "You want something, Jet?" he demanded with a glare.

I shrugged, holding out my hands in a peace-making gesture. "Hey, I didn't say anything."

As if I was going to get in the middle of *that.* Yeah, right. I actually valued my life.

He nodded. "Good." Then he brushed past me and stomped off in the opposite direction of where Faye'd gone.

I looked over at the now-vacant couch and grinned. Whistling for Ein to follow me, I walked over and plopped down on it.

"At last, victory," I mumbled, reaching out to turn the TV on with my foot. The familiar melody of Big Shot's theme song soon filled the room, almost masking the occasional bangs and curses that came from Spike's end of the ship.

I smirked. Yep. Things were okay for now. Faye was being a bitch, Spike was punching things and I had the couch and control over the television. Even the fact that soon I'd have to get back to work on their ships couldn't bring me down just then.

Ein crawled up next to me on the couch and I scratched him behind the ears absently. "Yep, Ein. This is the good life."

He barked softly in reply and I could have sworn he'd just agreed with me. Man, sometimes I really did wonder about that dog.

Ah, well... Big Shot was back from commercial break. I'd worry about everything else later. For now, I was going to relax.

Yep. This was the life.


See You Space cowboy....

Coming Session: Well, folks, you guessed it. It's back to more familiar territory for me (i.e. Spike's POV) with a melancholy little tag to Waltz for Venus. Lovely angst with all the trimmings. Next episode... "Blind Lead the Blind." Be there or be a four sided, rectangular object.