Hey all, what a surprise huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. I'm really rusty so please forgive me, this isn't anything special, but here's a chapter anyway. Enjoy.

Song: The Golden Age by Beck. I don't own this song or it's lyrics, but they fit nicely with this chapter.

One Last Cigarette

By Setryochi


It's a treacherous road
With a desolated view
There's distant lights
But here they're far and few
And the sun don't shine
Even when its day
You gotta drive all night
Just to feel like you're ok

These days I barely get by
I don't even try


Faye didn't want to leave the planet. She felt sick and shook a little, but tried very hard to hide her anxiety. It wasn't that she had some morbid attachment to the soul stealing planet, and it certainly wasn't cold feet about leaving. Even if she was still panicked about being found. It was a deep, dark fear.

Faye had remembered all to well her death.

She drew in a deep breath and held it hoping it would stop any and all shaking. It didn't.

"Are you alright?"

Faye shuddered at the deep voice rumbling behind her. She wanted nothing more than to get away from him while she felt like this. Wasn't see showing him enough weakness? Wasn't she practically crawling on the ground at all times around this man who made her feel like a lowly dog. She wondered how he made her feel that way. Spike was no god. He wasn't upper class or amazing in anyway.

He was a slouch.

He was a cheat.

And he was a man.

Perhaps it was all of the above. Faye realized she had "served" so many men who were way beneath her that she now felt lower than that kind of scum. She was the scum that serviced the scum, therefore she WAS truly the lowest, most despicable kind of scum to grace the slummy floors of the underworld.

"I'm fine," was her only rigid reply.

Spike had busied him self with turning on the engine as Faye had fallen into her somber thoughts. She was quickly jolted from them when she felt her stomach lift while her shoulders felt pressured. Her eyes widened and she gripped Spike's legs bruisingly. If Spike noticed he didn't say anything. She closed her eyes and whimpered, though over the roar of the engine it couldn't be heard, at least that's what she hoped.

With in just the few moments of lift off Faye's life flashed before her eyes and she knew immediately exactly what her death was like. She re-lived the moment for the second time. Vomit rose and she struggled to swallow it.

"You're OK," she repeated in her mind. "You've done this before." Her whole body was stiff, "I don't want to die."

Shock was a good word to describe her feeling.

A tiny voice, maybe a young girl's had just said, even with all the things wrong in her life, that she didn't want to die. Faye opened her eyes and gasped. The whole ship vibrated and sometimes, the most scary times, it sounded and felt like it might just stop working all together. She gulped again trying her damnedest to keep from vomiting.

"Faye? Are you really alright?" Spike had noticed her trembling and heard the whimper. How could he not? She was on his lap. Again she felt like nothing on him and he wondered if she wasn't almost dead.

Breathing deeply she shook her head, "I haven't flown in a while, I'm just adjusting." It wasn't a complete lie. She glanced around as the ground became further away. Soon they would leave the planet's atmosphere and she wondered if Quincy would follow.

Would she die again in space, or would Quincy take her life?

She contemplated what she should do. How had she changed like this? Become a scared little girl in a galaxy she used to run, or run around in more like it.

When her memories had first flooded back, it was mostly pieces. At first she didn't know what to do, then she adjusted. And the next thing she knew the memories resurfaced in a new light. She couldn't go out into space without wondering if her ship would crack open and allow her to die in the suction of space. Wondered if she had any family left, not that it would matter. She was dead to them, or they were dead to her. Even if she had family, cousins maybe, they'd never believe her.

Spike was quiet, like always. Just as she remembered him. He didn't talk much then and still didn't now. Though he was known to say something comical or sarcastic once or twice, but to generally start conversations wasn't in him.

While in thought Faye hadn't realized they had finally made it to space and that Spike had set coordinates and put the ship on auto pilot. Just like him, lazy.

He leaned back putting his hands behind his head and closed his eyes. Faye had leaned with him not realizing the amount of weight she had rested on him. Even if the situation seemed a bit awkward, she felt comfortable on him like this. She looked at everything but out the large re-enforced glass surrounding them. If she didn't see it it wasn't there.

"Hm..." Spike mused.

Faye wondered if it was because she was leaning against him like this. Like he was a life supporting crutch. "What is it," she sat up with her elbow on his chest and looked up at his chin. He didn't look down at her, just continued with his head leaned back facing the ceiling of glass.

Being with Spike was somewhat comforting even if she felt inferior. He was someone she knew wouldn't take advantage of her, even if she had her doubts. Unfortunately, Faye would probably always feel like this, but she knew she would work around it. She had come this far and fallen so deep. The only way to go was up from here and she realized this in her deep, dark, dirty thoughts. Even just a little.

"Why'd you suddenly want to start paying things off?" His question seemed ordinary enough. But Faye felt her heart rate speed up and her lungs tighten. She faced away setting her back against him comfortably. She sighed allowing her lungs to loosen and her chest to open.

"Before you left..." She hoped things would stay calm like they were, it was hard enough to speak about it. "I had gotten my... my memories back." Spike raised an eyebrow, he had forgotten about that, her amnesia. "I'm not supposed to be here, Spike." He didn't say anything so she continued.

"When I was a little girl, I lived on the planet Earth, when it was still whole and prosperous."

"That's impossible, you're only 20 something!" Of course she was.

She sighed, "Just listen! If you want me to continue, don't say a word until I tell you to!"

Spike was quiet so she relaxed and began again. "When I was a little girl, I was different. I was a cheerleader, and happy, and smart and... and..." She almost couldn't continue, but Spike didn't speak a word. "And I just had to take that trip." Her words had darkened and Spike was on the edge of his seat, not literally though.

"I was in college at the time, I wanted to do a lot with my life ya know? When they had finished building the first space station and had begun work on the warp tunnels, they offered a contest for the first civilian trip into space on a new commercial space flight." She smiled fondly but grimaced. "I was excited, so I wrote the paper needed and I had won. I had won a seat on the first commercial flight into space to visit the space station. How lucky was I?" She closed her eyes, a sad smile on her face.

Spike wanted to ask what this had to do with paying off her debts but he assumed it would go somewhere. Women always tended to throw in unnecessary details to make the story longer. He didn't mind though, they had a lot of time to kill in the dead of space.

She sighed, "I must have been the luckiest of them all," she sounded upset over this. "Because when the accident happened, and the windows cracked... the whole ship seemed to just break into pieces... like cracking a plastic sheet several times in half." She sat up and leaned forward resting her chin in her hands propping her elbows on her knees. "We died that day, Spike." She turned to look at him, the eyes a small girl staring into his own. "I died that day, I remember how it felt to die." Spike couldn't help the gasp or the look on his face. As un-characteristic as it was for him.

Faye smiled, that broken smile. "I was so lucky that even after my death, I woke up, 54 years later." She watched Spike blink. "Of course, you know the rest. With Dr. Baccus, and Whitney Hagar Mastumoto." She sighed remembering how he had listened from the bathroom and told her her story was too long when he came out. That same day Whitney had been dragged in by Jet and Faye found out the truth behind what had happened. Faye's debt was only real because she had blindly trusted the three people she had woken up to. She still wasn't sure if Baccus was even a real doctor, he seemed crazy after all.

"You're story is still too long," he snorted. He remembered the story, but he also remembered not trusting her and believing it. It was a little easier to understand now though.

Faye's eyes narrowed, "Shut your fucking mouth."

He glared back but half heartedly since he noticed the old Faye starting to show.

"Anyways, as Faye Valentine I could run away from all of the debt. Unfortunately... I'm not just Faye Valentine anymore, and I can't just run." She looked down. "I'm..." But she knew she wouldn't finish. Spike was curious but he wouldn't say so. From what he could understand, Faye was no long JUST Faye. She had two consciences and was trying to compensate by paying off the debts to get away and be free from running. There was no way she'd pay it off, he was sure she knew it, too.

"You look tired," he stated. It wasn't that he was going to offer comforting words of getting sleep. It was more of a stop to any and all conversation, the green haired man planned to sleep the whole trip and he didn't need her yapping the whole time. Spike sighed and closed his eyes leaning back that much further.

Faye glanced around noticing for the first time in a long time how calm space was. She still felt sick, but her story was a long enough distraction. She did need some sleep. She cautiously leaned back, where else was she supposed to go? Faye sighed, "Where are be going?"

And as the ship floated in it's lazy course Spike's only reply was, "the Bebop."


Oy! I've updated! I'll try to write more later, and sorry if this isn't the same style as before, it's changed in two years . . . cough sorry.