Author's Note: This story is sort of a response to an "Ask John" column on animenation. The question posed was: "Even though you are left to decide what happens to Spike at the end of Cowboy Bebop, I always thought he had a thing for Faye. Did Spike really fall in love with Faye? Did Faye fall in love with Spike? Does that mean Spike has a reason to live?" John's response (which you can find in the archives on animenation) was, basically, "You're on crack. No way."

Personally....I disagree.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these people! I'm only using them to vent my ire!

Two Ships Passing in the Night
by Maia Serrelinda

******

Oh yeah.

She had it bad.

For a lanky, sarcastic bounty hunter who made it clear he didn't see her that way.

Not that she'd ever let him know it.

She didn't think anyone knew it. Oh, probably Ed suspected, but Ed was so deep in her own little world of data that she'd never tell.

She'd gotten really good at camoflauging it, too. No one saw her follow his movements with her eyes. No one noticed the way she traced the contours of his body with her gaze.

The only witness to her occasional lapses was the man himself, and even then he'd been unconscious. Even then, she only gave in when she was positive they were alone on the ship. Then, she took her time bandaging him, smoothing her palms over the lean planes of his chest, over the sinewy strength of his arms. Once, she'd pressed a kiss to one of his wounds. She'd never done it again - for days afterwards she had had to fight a stubborn urge to blush whenever he looked at her. That was too close for comfort. Now, she constrained her attentions to hands only. Not that this was without its own problems, of course - she sometimes found herself almost wishing he'd get himself into trouble so she could patch him up again.

She flopped down onto her bed with a sigh. He'd gone running off after a rumor of Julia again. She was torn - he'd almost certainly need medical attention afterwards, but he was running off after Julia, again. He loved that woman with a fierce intensity. She knew she'd never be able to compete, so she kept her own feelings tightly bound, deep inside. Covering it with sarcasm to match his own and a propensity towards trouble, she managed to keep a safe distance.

She often lay awake at nights, thinking of him, wondering what could have been. Yeah, right - could have been, if she hadn't been frozen way back when, if he'd never met Julia....

Yeah. It never could have been.

She sighed and rolled over, punching her pillow and wadding it up slightly. Resting her chin on the offending object, she kicked her legs idly, letting them drop back to the bed. Tonight she had no grouchy, irascible neighbor to tell her she was keeping him awake with her fidgeting.

Frustrated, she wondered if someone would ever love her the way he loved Julia. As much as she wished it would be him, she knew that even if somehow a miracle occurred and he turned his attention to her, they'd kill each other within a month. They were too similar in temperament and personality. Besides, they'd be living in a pigsty without Jet to look after them.

Discarding the idle fantasy, she wondered what he was doing at that moment. Probably getting shot, she thought disgustedly. That, or drinking himself silly.

******

She'd been attracted to him from the start. He was just her type - obnoxious but not cruel, indifferent but not uncaring. He'd grown on her like Ebola. He quickly figured out her hot buttons and gleefully mashed them with childlike enthusiasm. Provoking her seemed to be his raison d'etre.

In a way, she was glad. Glad because the outward irritation helped her mask her feelings. Glad because the constant arguing allowed her to hide behind the mask. Her female friends, if she had had any, would have said The lady doth protest too much. But the closest thing she had to a female friend was Ed. Ed, who squealed out "Faye-Faye!" whenever she returned and glomped her happily. Not exactly promising material for girl-talk. Unfortunately, girl-talk was what she needed. Instead, she made do with the constant internal dialogue.

Idiot! You've seen him wrapped in a towel post-shower a million times! Don't you dare blush!

Oooh, that man! After everything I did, he has the nerve to insult my musical abilities? Careful with your aim, though....

She'd tried to live without him a few times. Never did it last more than a couple of days. She couldn't stay away that long, away from him, away from her makeshift family onboard the Bebop. She always told herself it was because Ed needed a female influence in her life, but deep down she knew she couldn't tear herself away from him.

She wondered idly what he'd look like when he got old, then dismissed the thought. The way he lived, it was extremely likely that he wouldn't live that long. He seemed not to care about his own life, as evidenced by his seemingly endless attempts to throw it away.

Not that she had excellent chances of living a long life, either. Yet another reason for her to keep her one-sided love to herself.

At that thought, she gave up the struggle to keep sleep away and gave in, burrowing under the blankets with a soft sigh as she felt her eyelids droop.

He'd be back soon, and he'd probably need her to patch him up. She'd take what she could get.

******

Author's Notes... again: I feel better now. This has been festering in my mind since I read the Ask John column I mentioned in the beginning note. In case it isn't obvious....I personally believe that there *is* something between Faye and Spike. However, in my opinion it's one-sided. I do agree with John that Spike is wholly wrapped up with Julia, however.