Don't Be Afraid
Prologue

"Don't be afraid your life will end. Be afraid it will never begin."
- Grace Hansen

The stars hung lazily in their existence while a small zip craft drifted weightlessly. Groaning at her ill-luck, Faye Valentine fanned herself with her loose fitting tank top. When she ran out of fuel, the crafts engine died and the whole system crashed. Now the heat poured into the tight cockpit relentlessly. Even worse was the fact that eventually she'd lose all power and the heat would turn to a bitter unsurvivable cold.

"Where the heck is Jet?" She grumbled, grabbing a bag of juice. Tearing a hole in the pouch with her nails, she quickly drained the fluid, relieving her parched throat. "We were supposed to meet up yesterday."

As if on cue the large ship known as The BeBop came into view. Relieved, Faye grabbed her radio to contact Jet.

"It's about time you got here! I've been waiting for two days!" She complained. Harsh static crackled from the unit and a quick look at her control panel told her the radio was busted too. 'Well damn,' she thought. 'I just hope he sees me. At the rate he's going it'll take forever for me to show up on his radar.'

It wasn't until several hours later that the former fishing ship was close enough for her to make out anything. It halted in space, obviously waiting for something; namely her. Faye called out in vain, knowing her voice could barely escape her craft, never mind through space. Fortunately though Jet figured things out quickly and she was soon being picked up.

Dripping with sweat, Faye climbed out into the docking bay shivering. She quickly ran through the ship to her room, speeding past Jet with a quick nod. She emerged a few minutes later with her robe around her and a set of clothes under her arm. She made her way back to where Jet was waiting and smiled.

"You owe me you know." She said snidely. "I was waiting for two days before you showed up. I expect my craft fixed for free for that."

"Since when do you pay me anyway?" Jet asked smiling. Faye sneered and turned away.

"I'm gonna go take a shower. We can talk afterwards."



The hot water felt good on her skin. She hated sweat and she scrubbed at her skin vigorously to remove any traces of it. She had hated that about him, too. The way he'd come down from training, dripping wet, leaning close to her purposely, just to see how she'd react. Shaking her head in the running water, Faye tried to clear her mind. Without thinking she put more force into her scrubbing and her arms soon became red from the friction.

She shut the water off, the faucet squeaking as it always did. Sniffling she wiped her nose as it began to run. "Stupid Jet." She grumbled out loud, pulling her robe around her. She hated being sick just as much as she hated being dirty. On her way down the corridor she wondered why she had suddenly though of Spike then. Sure, the whole purpose of her and Jet splitting up was so they could search for him more quickly, but she had pretty much given up hope and allowed him to slip from her mind.

Once she was dressed she headed back to the living quarters where the ships "captain" was waiting.

"So, did you find anything?" She asked, flopping down onto the couch. She felt her chest bounce as she did so, and saw that Jet had realized it as well. Staring him in the face, her eyes told him she was waiting for an answer.

"No, well nothing solid at least. One person thought they might have seen him, but they thought it could have been a woman so it wasn't really worth looking into."

Faye nodded. "Same story here. Couple of people recognized him but no one had seen him in a long time. Honestly I don't know why we're bothering anymore Jet."

"Because we haven't found him yet!"

Jet slammed his hand down on the table between them, anger and sorrow crossed his face. "No one ever found a body. No trace of him whatsoever. Everyone swears he went down that night, so why no body?! He's gotta be out there Faye! And I'm not givin' up on him, cause he wouldn't give up on me..."

Faye sat forward, a look of somber understanding on her face. She smiled weakly and gripped the older man's hand. "I know Jet, I know. And I don't want to give up either, but even if Spike is out there he obviously doesn't want us to find him. For whatever reason he's staying out of sight and as long as he's doing that we've got no chance. We've been looking for months now with no leads. It's time to take a break at least."

Jet sighed, letting his tense body relax. "Maybe you're right."


SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...