Barefoot Cowgirl: The Cycle of Death and Rebirth

Session 1: Mood Indigo

Disclaimer: This is work of fan fiction, not for profit, and not intended to infringe upon the owner's copyright. Cowboy Bebop © 1998 Sunrise, Inc.


"You're leaving."

Jet leaned against the steel door frame at the rear of the hangar and watched Faye load the last of her belongings into her zipcraft.

"Just like that," he said matter-of-factly. "No heads up, and no goodbye." He folded his arms over his chest and tried to mask his hurt with sarcasm. "It figures. 'Faye's famous disappearing act.' You women are all the same. At least Edward had the decency to leave a note."

Faye's back stiffened and her head dipped slightly, but she continued her task without acknowledging Jet.

"Well, it's about time! You overstayed your welcome a long time ago!"

"I know," she uttered softly, her voice almost too weak and distant to be heard. "I was better off as a solo act, anyway. It's best for everyone if I leave."

"Who's everyone?" He pushed away from the door frame and his body went rigid. "In case you haven't noticed, Ed and Ein are gone, and Spike is out doing whatever it is he─"

"Spike is dead."

His chest deflated as if the wind had been knocked out of him. "...Y-You don't know that."

Faye spun around and her voice took on a biting edge as her green eyes connected with Jet's icy gaze for the first time. "Oh yeah? Then where is he, Jet? Tell me! You can't, can you?"

He only stared back, at a loss for words. It was a question he had asked himself many times.

In the three weeks since Spike's disappearance, Jet had constantly monitored the radio spectrum and tapped every last one of his contacts, but there wasn't a single shred of information to be had regarding his partner's whereabouts. Even so, he found it difficult to let go of the idea that Spike might be out there somewhere.

"Oh, I get it," Faye cooed. "You still think he's coming back, don't you? Any day now, he'll call in, alive and well. You'll open the hangar for the Swordfish, Spike will make some snide remark while he lights up a cigarette, and we'll all celebrate with a big meal of bell peppers and beef! Is that it?" She scowled angrily before climbing into the single-person cockpit of the Red Tail. She stretched a pair of leather gloves over her hands and inserted the key into the ignition. "You're living in the past, old man. Not me! I'm moving on to bigger and better things. I suggest you do the same."

She yanked the cockpit door shut and the glass darkened, concealing her within. When the engines came roaring to life, Jet stepped back and allowed the heavy steel door to slide shut in front of him before the bay was opened to the vacuum of space. He watched through a tiny porthole window as Faye piloted the Red Tail onto the flight deck and launched away from the Bebop, until she was nothing more than a speck of light fading into a sea of glimmering stars against the backdrop of an endless black void.

With a vacant expression and a heavy heart, Jet lumbered through the corridors until he reached the living area. Unsure of what to do next, he simply stood there and surveyed the room. Nothing had changed, yet it was all different somehow... colder, and very still.

Ein's dog food dish sat abandoned in the corner, Faye's forgotten nail file lay on the yellow chair seat, and Spike's book was still open, pages face down on the table. Nothing remained of Edward's except the echo of her childish voice in Jet's mind, which only seemed to amplify the silence around him.

Suddenly eager to drown it all out, he reached for the whisky bottle that Spike kept hidden behind the refrigerator. He started to twist off the cap, but then he stopped and held his hand in place, as if contemplating a chess move that once made could never be taken back. He stared through the half-empty bottle for a long time before he finally set it down without taking a drink.

"Maybe she's right... maybe I am living in the past." He slumped onto the couch and stared down at the stark metal floor between his feet. "Bah. What am I saying? It's not like we had any real camaraderie anyway. They all just come and go as they please. Eat up all the food, use up all the fuel, and expect me to repair their rusty starships after every scuffle. No regard for anyone but themselves!"

He reclined into the yellow cushions, lit a cigarette and took a long drag, releasing the vapors through a forced sigh.

"Nothing but trouble. Good riddance to the whole lot of them."

Before the words even left his mouth, he knew he was lying to himself, and that made the sharp sting of loneliness all the more painful.


To be continued...

Thank you for reading. Reviews appreciated but never expected.

A/N: Welcome to my first Cowboy Bebop fanfic! This will be a multi-chapter story, and each chapter, or session, will be titled after a song. I'll include song info here in my author's notes, and you can listen to the song on my Tumblr (assuming all of my song choices exist on YouTube).

I'm tagging all of my Tumblr posts related to this story with #BarefootCowgirl so they'll be easier to find. When you get to my page, just enter that tag in the search field.

My hope is that this will be the first in a series of stories with Edward as the main character. We'll see if I have enough patience to stick with it after this one is complete.

Session 1 Title Song

Mood Indigo is a jazz standard. It was originally recorded in 1930 as an instrumental song called Dreamy Blues, performed by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. After it became popular, lyrics were added and the song was renamed Mood Indigo. It's been covered by a number of jazz artists over the decades.

This song is dedicated to Jet, after Faye has departed from the Bebop and he's left to sit and ponder his loneliness.

Partial lyrics:

I always get that mood indigo,
Since my baby said goodbye.
And in the evenin' when the lights are low,
I'm so lonely I could cry.
'Cause there's nobody who cares about me,
I'm just a poor fool that's bluer than blue can be.

Listen to the song and view the full lyrics on my Tumblr (username Drealyn22, #BarefootCowgirl), or find the song on YouTube.

Thanks again for reading!