The Best Is Yet to Come by Takato's Dreamer

a/n: I was looking for song lyrics when I came upon this great song by Bryan Adams.... it just had so much to do with Julia and Spike, especially Julia's life. Takes place before & leading up to the episode that I recently saw, "The Real Folk Blues Part I". SO sad..........

disclaimer: Pioneer owns Cowboy Bebop, and Bryan Adams owns his song, "The Best is Yet to Come".

Lyrics are in these things// //.

Enjoy!

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//Just a small town girl in the city lights
The best was yet to come
Then lonely days turned to endless nights
The best was yet to come//

Julia sat down in her shadowy apartment, sighing as she traced the spidery cracks on the ceiling with her eyes. She then let her eyes wander to the window, the transparent barrier to the outside world.

"What outside world?" Julia scoffed as she watched the lost people wandering the streets, trying to find shelter from the gray, relentless rain.

Julia's shelter, this tiny hotel room, wasn't much of a home. She fingered a tiny slip of paper that she always kept close.... he had written it.

Spike.

The platinum -haired woman watched the rain form tiny trails of clear liquid on her window pane. Julia sighed as she saw two people entering a jazz restaurant across the street from her..... hand in hand. The couple walked under the flickering neon sign of "Shanghai Jazz" and disappeared from the rainy streets.

Entering her own reality again, Julia searched the bedroom with her forlorn eyes. The half-unmade bed and the simple brown wood desk had a dark familiarity about them, containing memories of the past three years. She could see herself laying on the bed, watching the ceiling like she always did....

And lighting a cigarette.

It seemed like every time she was alone, Julia puffed on a tiny stick of tobacco wrapped up in white and orange paper. The smoke that surrounded her in a gray cloud contained a memory in itself, shattering the dark monotony of her hotel room.

The smoke had tinges of light in it, silvery with memory.

"Every cloud does have its silver lining," Julia mused aloud in a bittersweet tone. The cloud above her head was like being with him again, her space cowboy. It also left her wanting Spike, craving his warmth and everything that was.

Julia returned to the room once more and hung her head exhaustedly as she breathed deeply the scent of monotony and the gray life.

The night was approaching, and the sky would be getting even darker but still just as overcast. Julia lay down on her bed, feeling the cold, flat white sheets beneath her.

//How were you to know
That you would be the lucky one
Ain't it funny how time flies
When the best is yet to come//

She began to remember.....

The pool table, the smoky atmosphere. Over three years ago, in an indiscernible dream, Julia could picture herself sitting in a bar.

She was slowly turning her finger in the cool glass of amber alcohol in front of her. Sighing, the young blonde woman stared into her bottomless cup and took a long drink.

Looking up, Julia saw a young man with a messy forest-green afro. He had a lopsided grin and an air of coolness about him, like he was always calm and collected.

He was wearing an oversized blue jacket and fairly tight blue pants, revealing a lean but athletic male figure. The man noticed Julia at this time, and he was captivated by her beauty.

In that frozen moment of time, the slow jazz music in the background of the bar seemed to be the only sound. The man approached her, sitting down at the bar table.

"So, what are you doing in a place like this?" he asked in a warm, deep voice. It would come to be the voice that she loved.

"It's the nighttime. I have nothing to do," Julia answered plainly, trying to keep her cool around the very attractive man next to her.

"Me either," he said with a low chuckled. Julia was captivated by his laugh, and he was also drawn to her flowing, smooth feminine voice.

"Maybe we can do something together then. This city is really boring without anyone," Julia murmured, becoming more sure of herself. She'd never felt so close to anyone before.

Except for Vicious, that is.

"Yeah, if you want. I'd like to see you again, ---" he began, not knowing her name.

"It's Julia," answered the blonde woman with a voice like the pattern of soft rain.

"Julia, huh? I'm Spike Spiegel," answered the man in his captivating drawl.

Julia knew that he was the one at that instant. Spike Spiegel.

However, the dark cloud of another man still hovered over her young mind....

Vicious.

Julia woke up suddenly, as if aroused by the turning of a doorknob. Vicious visited with her rarely; he was usually off wandering the streets or at a top-secret rendezvous in a local haunt.

Looking around with alert gray ((a/n: her eyes looked like light blue or something, but whatever)) eyes, Julia flipped her legs onto the side of the bed and climbed out of her dream. She went to the desk where Vicious had dumped various bullets, currency, and vials of red-eye.

She pulled out Spike's note and threw it into the pile of Vicious' paraphernalia. Her eyes picked out the worn white sheet very quickly.

Grinning sadly, Julia picked up Spike's paper from the mess and began to wonder.... why was she here in this hotel, with the white-haired man? Why?

//You can cry yourself to sleep at night
You can't change the things you've done
You had it there then it slipped away
Yeah you left the song unsung //



Julia didn't cry much, especially when Vicious was around. To him, Spike was in the past for him and Julia. She wasn't supposed to miss the spiky-headed bounty hunter.

Obviously, she did.

The blonde woman let one tear fall before the myriad silent ones followed. They stained her face with invisible crevices of pain and memory.... and absence.

She often awoke when Vicious slept by her side, and gently walked to the window. Watching the world, she'd cry. Julia mourned for the years that could have been, and the love that was scraped from her heart.

It wasn't really her fault that Spike had to leave..... it was her and Spikes' hearts to blame. Their personas and hearts had matched perfectly, but Vicious was in the way. He didn't want anyone stealing his golden-haired angel, the light of his life.

And so Spike ran away, facing certain death at the hands of the white-haired, fatally jealous man known as Vicious.

And yet, Julia blamed herself for all of it. She was the one whom they both loved; she caused Spike to be forced away. She controlled the bounty hunter's destiny by staying with Vicious or facing certain death for Spike or herself.

Julia's tears flowed unstoppable , like the rain, as she sat in her cold hotel room. The tears told of these regrets and what could have been.

//Even through your tears
I never saw you come undone
What's so good about good-bye
When the best was yet to come //

It was an eternal blessing that Vicious never saw her crying. He would have fired that cold metal gun that he once held to Julia's head, when he threatened to end it all....

So Julia kept a straight face. She never expressed any emotion any more, just a quiet and stagnant loneliness in this apartment. She would sometimes drive by herself in her red convertible to escape it all, but even at these times her freedom was stifled.

Would the golden-haired woman ever let the tiny slip of paper fall to the floor?

Never.

Even though the murky echoes of good-bye dragged down Julia's mindset every day, she still kept holding onto that paper. It was, in a way, a key to the distant door of the days to come....

Maybe the best would come, but most likely days of bliss would not return. If only Julia could obey that little letter and meet Spike in the graveyard in a gray, rainy day like today......

Like today.

Julia shoved the paper into the pocket of her tan pants and lowered her eyes as she dreamed of the distant days of promise, the unrealistic mirror to the past.....

But Vicious wouldn't let her escape.

//I find myself thinkin' about yesterday
When you were livin' in a dream
In the moment that it takes
You find you made your first mistake
Like the setting sun...
You turn around it's gone //


Yesterday.

The word was still a dream, just like Spike and the pool hall.

Maybe falling in love was a mistake, Julia pondered as she felt the encompassing darkness in the room orbiting her golden head.

Maybe destiny was a bad liar who made a mistake in Spike and Julia's meeting.

It definitely seemed so.

Because of everything..... Vicious, her ties with him, her loyalty.... and Spike's own life. Vicious hated the man, and he would have killed him if he hadn't run away and "died".

All of these factors lead to the good-bye, the final moments at gun-point and finally, the handing of the slip of paper from Spike Spiegel to Julia.

After that, the sun had set.

Vicious was a man who got what he wanted and tried to control the destinies and emotions of others. He followed Julia like a rain cloud, forcing her under the dreary drops of suppressed dreams and lost love.

With the white-haired man, Julia would never be free.

//Just a small town girl who had it made
Or so the story goes
She had it there then it slipped
Oh - how was she to know//

Julia would like to look back to the girl that she was over three years ago.... the girl in love with a man named Vicious who met the true soulmate for herself, the girl who so foolishly let herself fall in love...

She once had it made.

After she entered the lights and eternal blur of the city, Julia had lost Spike. The unbridled jealousy of her partner Vicious drove the two apart...... and brought Julia from supposed dream to shattered quasi-existence.

This rain was getting too long for Julia, and she was impatient for the sunlight.........

The white paper was still a possible ticket, but everything could end because of that sheet.

How was she to know as an ambitious young heart that she would be swept away, fatally and eternally, by Spike Spiegel?

How was she to know that it was never made to be?

//Even through her tears
I never saw her come undone
Ain't it funny how time flies
When the best is yet to come
What's so good about good-bye
When the best was yet to come//

And now the woman with the hair colored by sunlight had to make a decision. Would she leave this room, this post-dream , this moving cloud of rain and grayness?

Or would she once again pursue the sunshine, stretching out her hungry arms for the embrace of freedom.....

In the arms of Spike Spiegel?

Running her hand once more along the worn, smooth paper, Julia left the hotel and put the scrap in her pocket. Donning sunglasses, Julia looked at the dark city for a final time as she sped away in her red convertible, heading towards the misty horizon of tomorrow.

Maybe destiny would fatally complete this chapter, maybe the best was to yet to come.

Whatever destiny had in store, Julia was driving head-first into the murky future of meetings in a graveyard.....

And Freedom.



THE END.







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end notes: Hmm, how was it? I personally love the song by Bryan Adams and I liked writing this little look into Julia's life and struggle with good-bye. In a way, the title is ironic: "The best is yet to come". Because....



(Spoiler Warning for New Fans)



Spike and Julia did meet after that initial world-shattering good-bye, but it wasn't the 'best'. Destiny had the exact opposite in store... their final meeting.

If this was non-canon or out of character in any way, then tell me. I thought that I did a better job than on other Bebop fics I've written dealing w/ Faye, but whatever.



Tell me if you liked, hated, if it could be longer, and if i made good use of the song and didn't frickin' conform the entire story to it!

And tell me about the song itself: was it really relevant or what?!



p.s. Shanghai Jazz is a real jazz restaurant/bar (with live jazz) in Madison, New Jersey.