Author: KathainBowen PM
Short one shot following THE REAL FOLK BLUES. Jet has a little outburst, and his bonsai trees take the brunt of it. ONE SHOT!Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Angst - Faye V. & Jet B. - Words: 1,665 - Published: 11-13-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5509253
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
You're gonna carry that weight.
"I'm not going there to die... I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to do it, Faye."
Those were his last words, at least to Faye Valentine. She stood there, still trembling in the corridor of the Bebop, unable to hold back her tears. With her memory back, Faye finally understood and saw everything clearly. For the first time in these long years since she'd been unfrozen, Faye had a home, a family. Now, he was just walking away from it all, throwing his life away, and she couldn't do anything to stop him. What else could she have done? Shoot him? Even if Faye emptied the entire clip from her Glock 30 into him, that damned lunkhead would still crawl his way tooth and nail to meet with Vicious. Instead, she let him go, letting off shot after shot into the Bebop and standing there in rage... no.... sorrow. Faye couldn't tell anymore, couldn't feel anymore; she could only hear those last words, echoing in her mind.
Everyone was gone, or so it seemed. Ed. Ein. Spike. It was just her and Jet now left on the Bebop. Faye didn't notice it until she finally slumped in the yellow couch. The ship felt quiet, lonely, almost dead in a way without the others. Perhaps it was just because Jet was being so quiet. Or maybe it was this waiting, hoping for some word from Spike, praying that he would just walk back in.
Faye turned on the monitor, not really watching, and curled up on the couch, inhaling deeply and taking in the strange scents that lingered in the old thing. Sugared sweets had to be from Ed eating piyokos. Axle grease and smoke had to be Jet. And wet dog? It could have been Ein or Spike, when Faye got down to thinking about it. Just the thought brought a faint smile to her lips, not long enough to drown out her sorrows and keep a second burst of tears from escaping her tightly shut eyes.
The woman remained there, sobbing to herself and balled up like a child, until she fell asleep.
"Reports are just coming in..."
The news blared in her ears. Faye jumped awake, almost leaping off the couch. It startled her, the sudden sound, but not as much as the sight on the television. It was a smoldering, charred out wreck of a building. Twisted and jumbled girders knotted together as they reached for the heavens from what remained of the upper most floors. Smoke still poured from the remains in choking, rolling plumes. When she looked closely, Faye thought she could spy the red, cutting and angular shape of the Swordfish II not too far away.
"Early information speculated battle between rival crime syndicates...."
A sound caught her attention. Faye glanced up from the monitor, only to see Jet sitting across from her, watching the report as well. He had slid a plate with bell peppers and mushrooms across the table, along with a pair of chopsticks. However, the big man didn't say a word. His attention was focused on the images of the ruined skyscraper.
"However, more recent eyewitness accounts suggest that a singular man attacked the Red Dragon syndicate headquarters."
"You should eat something," the man finally commented before abruptly standing.
Jet just walked away as the news report continued to play on the monitor, showing different angles of the same, horrific image. Faye watching him as the man hobbled on his cane, favoring his injured leg. She turned in the couch as Jet went into the small room with his bonsai. Faye almost thought she could hear him taking out his tools to work with his beloved trees.
"The ISSP has announced that there were no survivors of whatever brutal battle occurred her in the early morning hours, leaving only fear and rumors of potential retaliation from allied organized crime factions, as well as uprising syndicates attempting to jockey for the position that the Red Dragons once held."
Faye jumped when Jet swore, loud and harsh. In a quick swipe of his metallic arm, the man swatted his bonsai trees off the table and into the hall. Their dishes and pots shattered in a spray of porcelain shards and dirt. There came a few loud, jarring crashes from the room. Then, nothing. Faye just stared, her mouth open in a slight, rounded "o." For a moment, there was silence. Then, Jet emerged, just walking away, carelessly crushing one of the miniature trees under his boots as he stumbled off. To where? Faye could only guess.
The woman turned off the monitor. No survivors. She had the same dark thought in her mind. No survivors meant no Spike. No amount of waiting and praying would bring him back. Nothing. Jet knew it as well as she did. Faye bit her lower lip, not sure whether to scream and lash out in violence as Jet had or to cry more. For a moment, she just sat there, her knees drawn up under her chin.
Then, the woman rose. She stepped quietly and lightly to the door frame of Jet's garden. The trees that had suffered his wrath were in a pitiful state, and the room looked in shambles. Jet had really gone to town on it. And several of the trees, Faye didn't know if there was any hope for. She gently picked up one by the narrow, twisting and turning trunk, only to have two branches fall right off and a third barely hang on by the slimmest thread of bark.
Faye cried again, in spite of a both valiant and desperate attempt to fight those tears.
Jet spent the following days in the bowels of the ship, trying to repair and get things back online. The Redtail was still in pieces, as was most of the main engines. The man wondered how many years it would take to get the Bebop sky worthy again. And over those few days, he felt the dawning realization that Spike truly was never coming back.
Who knew with Faye? She had found herself a cozy little hole on the ship to curl up and die herself. At night, the man thought he could hear her crying. But, as soon as he drew near enough to truly hear, whatever sound it was stopped, leaving the Bebop lonely and silent. She still lived there, as evident by the sandwiches and simple foods she left for him in the hanger for meals. Jet avoided her like the plague for as long as he could, not ready to answer the questions or face the pain he knew the memories of Spike might bring to either of them.
It was in the middle of the next week that Jet found it. He had been coming up to tell Faye that the Bebop was operational for at least a low altitude test and to be ready to lift off the next morning. However, Faye was nowhere to be found in the common room. Instead, sitting on the small table, was a tiny bonsai tree, one of Jet's. It had been tenderly wrapped at the splits and lovingly repotted in an old, leaky wok. And, surprisingly, it looked like it would survive Jet's sudden fit of rage those days ago.
She'd left it for him, along with a note.
"I'm still here, and so are you."
She rolled over in her makeshift bed, staring up at the ceiling. Her tears had dried long ago, but Faye still absently rubbed her cheeks just in case. The woman wouldn't have Jet seeing her in such a state again. She straightened her hair and her jacket before rising slowly. Faye leaned against the door frame before easing it open and revealing Jet.
The big man held out the fragile, injured little tree in his seemingly giant hands. "I..." Jet stopped, heaving his shoulders in a tired sigh as he tried to gather his thoughts. "I'm not sure if this is the right thing to say."
Faye folded her arms across her chest. "So spill it."
"Right." Jet gave a curt nod. "I'm... I'm sorry, Faye."
The woman flicked an imaginary bit of lint from her red jacket, pretending to be non-chalant as she mulled over the words. "Yeah, so all men say eventually."
Jet let out a heavy breath. "No, Faye." He rubbed his head dolefully. "I really mean it." The big man shrugged a the broken but healing plant he cradled in one hand. "And.... thank you."
"I don't even know if the stupid thing'll live. All the other ones died," Faye replied flatly, giving a half-hearted wave at a trash can packed with the withered and browned remains of the other bonsai trees that had not survived her care. "That one'll probably kick the bucket in no time, too."
The man laughed. "No. Not about that." Jet smiled meekly. "Spike... he never was one for hanging around. And with Ed and Ein gone.... Just, thanks for staying."
That last comment caught Faye off guard, making the woman freeze. Out of everyone, Jet was the last person she ever expected to thank her for staying, perhaps only second to Spike himself. She stood, staring at him with wide eyes for a moment. Then, Faye nodded slowly.
"Thanks for having me, for however long that'll be for."
"Well, you can always stay if you want." Jet held out a hand for Faye to shake. "Partner?"
Faye smiled sweetly. "Alright, partner."
Author's Notes : Old one shot I found lying around my laptop while I was procrastinating another chapter for Caliber and Feast of the Samhain. Hope you enjoyed!