Hey! 'Tis I, Setryochi with another Bebop story! I know, I know, what am I thinking? I should be working on the other stories! Well, In The Middle of The Night II is just about finished. And I'm still really trying on Bebop High. Anyways, this is one of my better works. I think I did quite well and I hope I managed to get most of the typos and grammar mistakes out. I'm really sorry if I didn't. Anyways, enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Cowboy Bebop or any of the characters and I have no money. I also don't own the song "One Last Cigarette". That's Less Than Jake's (I love them ^^)
"One Last Cigarette"
"One Last Cigarette"
I check the time, it's 4:00 a.m.
And I just passed the west side buildings
All the broken glass
As I try to shake the cold away, but anyways,
It's late at night and I'm about to crack
And decide to just walk the tracks
That I just walked yesterday.
* * *
It had been a rough night. No change that, a rough week.
Hm, make that a week from hell! Making money wasn't easy for the infamous Faye
Valentine. Life hadn't been easy for the longest of times. This must have been the worst
yet, and still it seemed like it could be more of a drag.
The purple haired woman walked slowly, tired from working. She carried a small grocery bag filled with the necessities and a candy bar. It was all she could afford for the moment. Her coat didn't seem heavy enough because the cold still bit at her arms. Her legs unfortunately were bare because of the jean shorts she was wearing. That would teach her for not doing the laundry. Faye
passed by a grungy bar filled with drunkards and free-lanced whores trying to make a buck. She glanced inside and had to stop and take a second look.
'I could have sworn I seen him…' she thought, 'I'm just seeing things.' She breathed a sigh and kept her slow paced walk.
Normally walking through a place like this would have at least shaken her a little without her Glock 30, but she was used to it by now. She had sold her gun a long time ago to try and get by, it hadn't helped much but it kept her alive one more day. She had been living here for a little over six months now and the streets of Oasis were dangerous. It was a dark city on Mars. It got its name from being one of the few places on Mars with legal prostitution. It was a city most people passed through, grabbed a drink or a prostitute and left without much of a trace. Either that or criminals hid out a lot here. Either way, it was home now and Faye had accepted it.
She passed by more cathouses and buildings that looked as though they had been burned down or broken into. Her stomach growled loudly so she took the candy bar from the bag. She pealed the wrapper away and bit into the chocolate treat, or in her case dinner. She was so sore, it seemed like her job was definitely taking its toll on her.
She turned a corner and came to yet another broken down building, there didn't seem to be anything nice about this city. She climbed the three steps to the platform finishing off her candy bar and walked into the gray cinderblock building. The hallway on the inside had pealing wallpaper and the floorboards creaked and moaned from the weight of her as she stepped on them. The hall smelt of smoke from various drugs; spices from cooking; and other unmentionable smells of un-pleasantry. She headed up two flights of stairs until she was on the second story. She paced down the hall to the second door on the left and pulled out a single key. She slipped it into the locked doorknob and twisted, with a click the door unlocked and she pushed it open. She stepped in sighing and cracking her neck with a roll of her shoulders, she gently closed the door and locked the three different locks. She set the bag down in the scarcely decorated apartment and went straight to the bathroom.
She turned the rusted knob on the tub on and water poured into the white fiberglass tub. There was a yellow brown stain leading from the facet into the tub that melted into an orange ring on the perimeter of the tub. Faye stripped out of her clothes leaving them in a pile on the floor. She shivered uncomfortably, the heat didn't work for shit and it was freezing. She stepped into the lukewarm water and goose bumps ran up her legs. The water was leaning more along the lines of cold than anything. Even if it was cold she could deal with it for now, all she wanted was to relax. So she ignored the chills and sunk into the water with a chatter-y sigh.
Faye had finished her bath and was now getting a glass of water from the small sink of the extremely little kitchen. At least the landlord told her it was a kitchen; it was about the size of a little bathroom with a mini-fridge, a stove, and two cabinets over the sink. Apartments were getting tinier and tinier these days. With her glass of water she went to the bed, a mattress lain on the floor, and sat down on it. She looked around the dim apartment, white cracked walls; dirty wooden floor; a dead plant in a pot on the windowsill, yup, this was the life. She fell back on the bed remembering the puffy green hair she had seen through the window of the bar. Granted the window was dirty and distorted what she saw, she could have sworn it was Spike. It just had to be him, or she was just thinking too much… She sighed rolling to her side, her short robe fell open slightly to reveal her white tank top, now tattered from time, and her blue shorts which the elastic in the waist had been broken. Her stomach growled again reminding her of her empty refrigerator. She grumbled and wrapped the sheet over herself; if she were asleep she wouldn't have to think about it.
Faye awoke from an uneasy sleep. She was so cold, and no matter what she did her feet felt like ice. She was shivering and it seemed like the temperature would keep dropping. Hopping out of bed she ran around trying to find some warm clothes. Finding a pair of jeans that had yet to be washed she slipped off her shorts and put the pants on as quickly as possible. Next she threw the robe off and found a sweater on the floor in the makeshift closet. It was pink, orange, and purple; it looked like it had been knitted. Her stomach growled demandingly. Faye put her hand to her stomach with a frown, maybe if she went to work early she could get something to eat from one of the girls she worked with. Deciding that was the best plan she went into the bathroom to get ready.
"Cindy, do you anything to eat with you?" Faye asked her co-worker.
Cindy was a bubbly blonde, "I dunno, lemme check real quick," said the girl in an innocently sweet voice.
Cindy was one of the nicer girls Faye worked with. She was nice to everybody, even those who were mean to her. Faye guessed it was because the poor girl never knew when someone was rude to her. Faye also guessed that that was why she was in this line of work.
Cindy turned back to Faye after digging through her big duffle bag with a box of granola bars. She smiled and handed them to Faye, "Take as many as you want."
"Thanks, I owe you one," Faye grabbed the whole box and walked away to prepare for work. Cindy stared after her, blinked, smiled and continued with her preparations. Faye had another half hour before she actually had to work. It had taken her a while to get ready and be out of the door with in an hour. She had freshened up as best as possible and put on the standard amount of make-up she would need. The wasn't really any sort of "uniform" or "proper clothing" that she had to wear so she spent her 15 minutes of free time downing the whole box of nutritious bars. She couldn't work on an empty stomach after all. Three in the afternoon seemed a bit early for the house to be open. But you probably wouldn't believe how many customers came in at about nine in the morning. So it was open all the time, even on holidays.
Faye made her way to the room she was usually in and waited in a chair at a small table. This was one of the nicer houses. The women were clean and, well, lets just say the rooms were cleaner than most places. Naturally they received a lot of customers considering the location and the reputation. So it was only proper to have as many women to work at all hours of the day as possible. "The more the merrier" … Erm… "The more the more money" was a better saying.
After only a few moments Quincy had come in. "'Ey toots, I'm thinking' today will be a busy day, you're getting closer!" He smiled, his various gold teeth sticking out like a couple of hobos amongst a lunch-in for businessmen. Quincy was the owner of the establishment; he was nice, kind of reminded Faye of a rat with expensive teeth. He wore a suit and usually a crisp hat to cover his balding head. He wore a few gold rings and a gold chain with a gold charm on it. She never really paid too much attention to the details; she just knew the charm had something to do with a naked woman. Quincy, although nice, did have his darker sides, what they were Faye hadn't tested him to find out. "I've already got one for you, he'll be up in a minute, he's paying good money for some specifics, remember Faye-baby, the customer's always right." He winked and left the room.
Faye shuddered, disgusted with him. That was what he had always told her, "the customer was always right," no matter what he happened to be "right" about. Or, translated: whatever the customer wanted, if he could afford it, he got it. Faye waited for the customer wondering what his "specifics" were. She almost dreaded his arrival, but all too soon he was there. She hadn't had time to worry about it, as it was to start right away.
Faye felt like a robot, she was given orders and she followed them. She was mechanical in everything she did. It hadn't been this way at first though. It was repulsive, disgusting, unheard of! She wouldn't agree to any of it, she refused it! But it was only a matter of time before she accepted and did as told. Sometimes in life, you just had to do exactly what you never wanted to do…
Several customers and hours later Faye sat down at the small table again for her break. Deciding she needed some aspirin she stood and went to a dented, metal file cabinet in the corner of the room. She yanked open the panel to reveal a drawer with bottles of water, aspirin, and other necessities needed for the job. The aspirin wasn't something usually in stock but Faye kept them in there for a reason. It was these kinds of nights she wish she had some cheap liquor to gulp down with the aspirin instead of the room temperature water. She took the needed amount and placed the items back in the drawer. Sighing she shut the door and pulled open the next panel. This one was harder to open; it stuck stubbornly because of a small dent forcing the side to cave in on it. In the end it opened to reveal a small box she had filled with some bandages and make-up. She sat on the floor next to the cabinet and started to fiddle with the bandages. She pulled a small square package out and tore it open; she pulled the little alcohol pad out and opened the thin robe to show her bruised legs. Among the bruises were a few scratches and some of the bruises were broken and bleeding slightly, she grumbled as she cleaned the cuts, there was no sense in bandaging them just yet. She cursed at the stinging sensation burning her legs and a small spot she had found on her left hip. She grumbled and cursed more mumbling, "The customer is always right."
A knock at the door made her look up startled for a moment. She quickly put the supplies back in the box, closed it and shoved the panel of the cabinet back in. In popped Quincy as she had finished. Breaks up, I got another for you, I think after this one you can call it a night," he winked again and left. She stood and dusted herself off. While checking her appearance she hadn't noticed the figure that replaced Quincy in the doorway.
A cough from that direction alerted her and she looked up.
Gasping sharply she almost fell to the floor in utter disbelief. She stumbled before finally leaning back onto the cabinet, her robe closed tightly around her.
"Faye?" a shocked voice asked. The door closed.
Starting at his feet she looked at him for the second time. Un-shined, black boots; faded blue pants; blue suit… jacket… Lanky… NO! Wasn't happening. It wasn't real! This was just the aspirin, it was just making her vision a bit funny. That was a perfectly good explanation… Only, aspirin didn't have such an affect on her. She drooped, this was some sort of cruel joke, right? …Right?
He's just a regular customer she resolved. She composed herself quickly, just another customer. She stood up right averting her gaze and began to walk forward. "So what'll it be?"
Out of all of the people, he hadn't expected to see her here. Well, in this situation he could see her, but here, at this particular place, why him? 'Damnit, you can't do this kind of thing with someone you used to live with!' He cursed in his mind, 'wait…' He studied her for a moment she looked like a wreck. The moment she saw him she seemed to relapse into a panicked state and then, like nothing had happened she stood and started walking towards him, "So what'll it be," she asked in a completely calm voice. He decided it wasn't going to be anything.
"Who would have thought," he said aloud.
She glanced up anger passing her face, "Yeah, who would have thought the great Spike Spiegel would be in need of some 'service'." She smirked.
"I'm here on business, what's you're reason for being here?" he said cockily. It was obviously a lie but anything was better than admitting to this.
Almost growling she said, "The same."
"That's interesting, I didn't think you were still doing the whole bounty hunter thing, seems as though you've found a new job." By this time Faye was standing just in front of him. And without any warning her open hand smashed into his cheek mercilessly.
"You dick! How dare you!" She yelled.
"Hey I didn't do anything!" He defended himself rubbing his hot cheek.
"Bullshit! I should kill you, you bastard…" Her voice suddenly dropped, eerily calm as she finished her sentence. "You left, you just left. Like we didn't exist." She was shaking with fury.
He shrugged, he was Spike after all. A slap on the face was only that, it didn't hurt much anyways. And so what if he left, not like he ever proclaimed his love for her or something crazy like that. His thoughts were broken when he felt something smash into his shoulders and than weight crash into his chest. Faye had lunged at him, she'd kill him! Taken by surprise he fell backwards with her landing on him still banging her fists as hard as she could into his shoulders and chest, and wherever she could hit. As her fist nearly done his nose in a swift hand grabbed it and held it tightly. Her other hand was stopped just as quickly. She was straddled over him, her hair a wild mess shielding her stormy eyes from him. She still struggled trying to free herself to continue her attack but he wouldn't let go. He was way stronger than her, obviously a little more in shape at the moment as well. Rolling over easily he trapped her beneath him. And as soon as she stopped trashing at him he decided to try and talk to her.
"What the hell Faye, have you gone psycho or something?"
She didn't answer, she just averted her gaze again.
He studied her for a moment; maybe it was the lighting, or perhaps a shadow from her hair hanging in her face. He looked closer and moved the lock of her from her cheek. But before he got a clear look her head snapped to look at him her eyes still glaring at him. "Let me go!" She had been yelling that a lot before but now he choose to obey. He let go and quickly stood up to back away from her. He watched her sit up and fix her navy blue robe discreetly. He didn't know why she was doing it though, the robe didn't seem to hide anything, it was small and so thin that if anything were to snag it it'd rip right off of her. He shrugged and like a gentlemen turned his back to her so she could fix it.
"So where have you been all this time?" She asked standing up.
He shrugged again turning slightly, "Here and there."
"Oh," was all she said as she stood up and made her way to the bed to sit on the edge of it.
"Did you ever go back to the Bebop?"
"I meet up with him every now and then. Jet said you left about two weeks after I did." He grabbed the chair from the small table and sat down across from her.
Faye shrugged, "Didn't like that crappy, old ship much."
"And you like this more?"
"It's only temporary. After my depts. are paid off I'm gone." She looked around the room.
Spike raises an eyebrow, "Paying depts. off?"
"Yes!" She shouted indignantly. "I'm working on it at this very moment."
"Ah, so I was of some help." He grinned.
She shook her head, "no."
"I paid good money, I should get a refund. This was the worst I've ever had. Sheesh, I didn't get anything but hit."
"Well some guys like it that way," she snapped.
"I can see, so how long have those been there?" he asked pointing to her shoulder which had been uncovered when she had shrugged.
Gazing down she pulled her robe up quickly to hide the small bruises. "Only when He comes in."
"You should take care of yourself…" Spike said getting up and heading to the door.
"Where are you going?" She said this a little more desperately than she wanted to have sounded.
"Time flies when you're fighting." He walked out the door waving over his shoulder.
Faye stared at the door dejectedly. He got the last word again. He always came out looking better for some reason… Maybe it was just her current position. She glanced over to the chair he had been sitting in. A little orange and white stick sat in his place. It seemed to be beckoning with her to set it on fire and suck on the sweet nicotine filled smoke. She bit her lip, six months ago she had to quit no longer having the money for it…
But what harm was one last cigarette going to do?
* * *
More chapters to come! Don't go! Wait! Leave a review first! ^^