*note* This chapter has been rewritten, since comedy is not my forte.*

Cowboy Bebop
Session #29: Edward On My Mind

The three members of the BeBop sat in a triangle on the two couches that made up the living area. Their eyes shifted around at each other, then down at the table between them.

"Well?" Faye asked, leaning back. A small bead of sweat formed on Jet's brow. "I'll… two, no three… or maybe…" He brumbled, looking at the cards in his hand. "I'll take two." He finally decided, pushing his discarded cards forward. Faye smiled and pushed the new ones over, then turned slightly right.

"What about you Spike?"

"I don't need a thing." He told her cockily. She raised a brow. "Are you sure about that?"

"Sure as I am that all you've got is a pair." Widening her eyes she looked down, knowing he was right.

"How did you-?"

He smiled again, tossing his cards down to reveal a flush. "Simple, I jus-"

Before he was finished, Spike was cut off by a beeping on the screen next to him. Flipping the vid screen on he accepted the communication.

"Hello there bounty hunter or hunters." A recorded voice greeted. "According to our records you have caught a bounty within the past six months and therefore were placed on our call back list. We are pleased to report the premiere of an all new bounty hunters show. From the director of Big Shot, Bounty Base will bring you the latest on the bounty heads in the galaxy. Airing each hour on Channel ZZX, you'll love our new hos-."

Spike closed the message, not caring to hear the rest, then changed the channel to ZZX where a commercial for an air freight service was running. The three sat silently, neither one truly paying attention to the commercial.Fayes eyes flicked over to Spike, just quicky enough for him not to notice. He hadn't said a single thing to her beyond casual conversation since his return. Would things remain the same way they had been before? In a matter of hours she had felt so many things change, both within herself and between them, but he seemed oblivious of that; or he was ignoring it.

She had considered approaching him about it, apologizing for how she had acted and explaining how she felt, but what if he already knew. Spike was smart enough to be able to figure out the kind of effect his leaving had had on her, and if he was ignoring her feelings, it could mean he didn't return them. And if she pushed the subject, it could wind up bringing pain to both of them, ruining the relationship they currently shared.

"Man oh man he's a tough one." One of the shows hosts exclaimed, cutting into Faye's thoughts. "Well, here's the lowdown for all you hunters!"

The screen changed to show a burly man with short brown hair and a gruff expression. Three pairs of eyes all went in one direction.

"18 million, huh?" Jet read aloud, glancing at the others.

"Yeah." Faye replied. "David Klass, 32 years old. 5' 9", 243 pounds.Wanting for kidnapping kids? Well that's different."

"I don't think we should take it." Spike complained. "How are we supposed to find a kidnapper when I'm the only one here younger than thirty."

"What are you talking about?" Faye asked harshly. "You know I'm younger than that."

"Right, right. Y'know there are soooo many things I could say right now but I gotta respect my elders, y'know Old Lady?"

Faye's eyes went wide and she leapt at Spike, swinging her arms wildly. He laughed as he dodged her attacks and Jet continued looking at the screen, trying to ignore them. Spike's smile widened as Faye thudded onto the couch laughing. She had been so somber lately that it was nice to see her enjoying herself. Jet cleared his throat loudly and their play immediately stopped; their focus returned to the TV.

"We really could use the money…"

"We could buy some actual meat…"

"I miss shopping…"

"We need a kid…"

They all focused on the table between them, lips pursed, then Jet looked up.

"Edward."

==

A rainbow rat
A checkered cat
Go tail in tail around the road
The mouse is pleased
The moon is cheese
The sun is shining hot and cold

==

"Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

A trail of dust flew up into the air as Radical Edward, renowned hacker and former Bebop crew member slid down the side of a recently made crater. Her father Appledelhi followed leasurely behind her along with his assistant.

"Man, that sure was a big one, eh Macintingle?"

"Macintire sir, and yeah, what do you figure 2500 meters?"

Appledehli pursed his lips and looked around. "Yeah, I'd say that's about right. Françoise, get ready to map it."

"Yes sir!" The small girl replied. "Edward can do it!"

Grumbling about how girls shouldn't have boy names he watched Macintire set up the equipment. They were about to scan the ground when a cry rang out.

"Bebop! Bebop! Bebop is looking for Edward!"

Ed jumped up and ran to where her father was standing, running around him on all fours. She looked up with a huge grin. "Ed is going to leave now, okay?"

"What?" Her father looked confused. "But father and daughter are finally together again. Without you I don't know what I- " His serious expression broke and he started laughing. "Who am I kidding? Ha ha hah. Have fun kid." He ruffled her hair and smiled, then nudged her away. She immediately took off for the top of the crater, Tomato in tow, to where Ein was waiting.

"Are you sure you should let her go like that Sir? She's just a kid."

"She'll be fine Nickeltire." Glancing up he added somewhat pensively. "Did okay on her own up till now anyway."

==

So I'm going to help I will
Give a key to lock the door
To the secret paradise

==

They didn't question how she'd gotten there, or what she'd done since leaving. Bottom line was that the crew was all back, ready to work on a major bounty. They quickly went over all the information and began to formulate a plan.

"So, once we know where he'll be, we set Ed up for him to grab." Jet began. "Then it's just a matter of catching him. We let him go for a little bit, till he drops his guard, then we nab him. Should be easy."

"Okay." Faye agreed. "So where is he gonna be?"

Silence. Then rapid clacking. Finally, an answer.

"Happy Land!"

Ed fell onto her back smiling, most proud of herself for figuring it out.

"Happy Land?" Spike asked, as the all walked over to look down at her.

She nodded enthusiastically. "It opens tommorrow and lots of kids will be there."

"Is that the only reason you think he'll be there?" Spike asked skeptically. The young hacker shook her head 'no'. "So why then?"

"It looks fun!"

Groaning they all returned to their seats.

"She does have a point I guess. Really crowded place with his choice of kids…" Sighing Jet stood. "Guess it's worth a shot. We'll go."

Ed gave a shout of joy and grabbed Ein, swinging him around while leaving the room as three pairs of eyes watched her with interest and a feeling of nostalgia, though it hadn't been that long since she'd left.

==

Like a child who sees
The time pass like a funny
It's always you
It's always me

==

The three bounty hunters stood in the middle of the large theme park, scanning the crowds for their bounty head. It had been over two hours and everyones patience was wearing thin.

"Please let Edward go on the rides." Ed begged, pulling on Jets arm. He looked down with a frown. "Not till we're done. Then you can ride all you want."

"Okay!"

"There he is!'

Faye pointed towards a food stand. "That's Klass, right there."

Wordlessly they separated to preplanned positions and Ed walked over. Stopping right in front of the big man she smiled. "Hungry! Hungry! Buy something for Ed!" His eyebrows raised and he bent down.

"And just who is Ed?"

"Ed is Ed!"

Sighing Klass straightened up and tried to ignore the kid in front of him. "Hey!" Ed shouted, grabbing his leg. "Ed won't leave until you get food. Ed will follow you aaaaaall over aaaaaall day."

Seeing an opportunity he pulled her from his leg. He quickly told her "okay" and picked her up, walking away from the stand.

"Now now!" The girl shouted, hanging over his shoulder. "Big bad bounty man has Edward! Come and get him!"

Faye growled and left the food stand line she had joined and grabbed her comm unit. "Guys! Ed blew it! We gotta grab him now!"

Very aware of the angry woman running towards him, Klass took off as fast as he could towards the park exit, but was cut off by Jet who came straight for him. Turning in another direction he hopped over the barrier blocking an unopened section of the park.

He quickly became aware of a third person chasing him, a lanky man who seemed a bit faster than the other two. He also became aware of the gun in the bounty hunters hand when a shot connected with the wall to his right. Desperate to get away he headed towards a nearby roller coaster, but he didn't make it very far. Ed, thinking it was taking much too long for this to finish so she could go on some rides, bit into the mans arm, slowing him down long enough for Spike to swing around him, cuffs in hand.

"Alright Klass" he taunted. "It's just you and me, let's have some fun"

"Hey, we don't have to get violent" Klass stammered, hoping for an opening to escape. "See, I'll let the kid go." He set Ed down on the ground and watched her run to join Faye and Jet who stood to the side, waiting to see what would happen.

Spike smirked and shifted his stance, raising his arms and throwing a few shadow punches. "Nah, I really want this." He told his bounty. "So let's do it."

His feet scraping against the gravel, Spike advanced with a flurry of punches and kicks. Klass backed away, holding his arms up to protect his face and head. "Please!" he begged. "I don't want to fight you!"

"Too bad!" Spikes smile grew as he pressed harder, wearing down Klass's already weak defense. With a sweeping kick he knocked Klass to the side and watched his tumble on the ground. Spike leaned over Klass, breathing heavily and smiling as he cuffed him. After being cooped up for so long it felt good to run all out like that, although he wasn't sure if the man could have actually gotten away if it wasn't for Ed earlier. He had gotten a little out of shape, he realized, and the wound in his side still hadn't healed; any more and he might have torn it open.

Jet and Faye walked up and yanked Klass to his feet. "You're being taken in on an 18 million woolong bounty for kidnapping, David Klass."

A few of the amusement parks patrons began to gather around, wondering what all the fuss was about. Jet glanced around, then turned to the others. "We should get going before we attract too much attention." Spike and Faye nodded.

"But Edward wants to ride!"

Scratching his ear, Spike nodded towards a group of rides. "She knows her way home right? We can leave her here." Jet shrugged and Ed took off happily while they began to head towards the exit.

"This felt good, huh?" Jet commented. "We haven't worked like this together in a while. I miss it... But enough of that. Let's just bring this guy in and celebrate."

==

This world can really be too much
I can't take another day
I guess that I've just had enough
My minds slipping far away
I'm falling out of touch
Could someone please explain?

==

"Hey, word is some hunters caught that David Klass guy."

"Seriously? That's one lucky guy who caught him. I sure could use that money."

"Yeah, thing is they only brought him in, not the kids. Apparently he was taking them to an abandoned house and they all had so much fun they just never left. A bunch of the parents are changing their stories now too. Say they had hired him to watch their kids. When he confessed, Klass said he just nabbed the other ones to keep the first bunch happy."

"So what's the mean for us?"

"Means it wasn't really kidnapping, for the most part at least, and they dropped the bounty to only one million."

"Oh well, so much for catching the big one. See you later hunters!"


IT'S ALL THE SAME…

Coming Session:

Jet: Now that everyone's here it's back to bounty work for everyone on the Bebop but I don't know how we're gonna pull this next one off. No one even knows who the real bounty is, but that hasn't stopped up before.

Next Session: Farewell, My Lovely