A/N: Heh...sorry, but I just HAD 2 correct these typos! They were driving me NUTS!!! . lol N-e-whoz, I'm actually proud of this story, so I hope that u like it! It's been lots of fun writing, & still IS, lol, so ENJOY! ^,~

It had been one year...one long, miserable year ever since 'his' disapperance. Ever since then Faye had absolutely refused to talk or even think about him, but that was nearly impossible. The smug, fuzzy-headed bounty hunter could never be forgotten, and it killed her to realize that she had fallen so deeply for a dead man.
The whole truth of the matter was that Spike had been a walking dead man to begin with, what with his 'devil-may-care' attitude and his constant experiences that pushed him back and forth between the thin dividend of life and death.
Faye hated him for it, but, at the same time, couldn't help but fall in love with that amazing sense of confidence that he so often managed to possess. He had always had a strength that she secretly admired and coveted, and now that he was gone, she found that she missed that about him the most.
After he left and it was almost certain that he would never return, Faye left the Bebop without looking back, not even saying a good-bye to her older comrade since she genuinely had not wanted to deal with the harsh lecture that she would most likely have to endure.
"Faye, he's NOT coming back," she could almost hear him say as he tenderly clipped his bonsai, "don't just run off like this with the hopes of finding him, cuz it ain't gonna happen."
Ah, indeed, Faye had dreamt of finding him.....quite often, in fact. Instead, however, she ended up finding a friend; Katy Brewer, to be exact.
The young woman was as clumsy and scatter-brained as they come, thus causing Faye to finally understand the degrading insult 'all thumbs'. The fiery redhead was not, however, discouraged by this obvious impediment. In fact, she took it upon herself to apply for a position at a local glassware factory, which Faye knew was a disaster just waiting to happen.
As suspected, poor Katy was fired within one week of employment, which, quite frankly, was a huge success story to the young woman since she had finally overcome her best employment record of one and a half days.
The odd duo had lived together in a rented apartment as roommates for approximately one month without a single conflict or discord, but now, as Faye's friend entered their small living room, she sensed that something was highly amiss.
"These," Katy began, shaking a stack of photographs about between her fingers, "what are they?"
Faye gasped, instantly recognizing the photos that her roommate was currently holding captive within her taut grip, her heart pounding in sheer consternation as she finally managed to squeak, "W-where did you get those?!"
"Your room," Katy replied shortly, tossing them down into her lap as she unceremoniously flopped down beside her onto the couch. "I wanted to borrow a necklace since I figured that you wouldn't mind, and whenever I opened up your jewelry box I found these, instead. What are they?"
A huge lump that Faye could not swallow began to form in her throat as she looked the photographs before her over in despair, the cynical grins of herself and her comrades grinning back at her as if in a manner of mockery as she immediately pushed them away, replying brusquely, "They are nothing but fragments of my past......take them out of my sight at once."
"But I....," Katy faltered, quirking an eyebrow as she desperately searched for something reassuring to say within the bowels of her cluttered mind, only to conclude lamely, "I-I thought that these photographs would cheer you up and I, uh....I wanted to know who the dog, the little boy, the big bald man, and the cute guy are."
Faye snorted. "That boy is a girl, and long gone with that mutt, the old man was like everyone's over-controlling father, and the last guy.....he.....well.....it doesn't really matter what he was and what happened to him. He made his decision, so therefore it's all over and done with."
"I see," Katy acknowledged softly, confusion clearly scrawled out across her dainty features as she briefly studied the photographs once more, then shrugged it off. "Oh, well, if you're not going to tell it to me straight, I guess that I'll just let this sleeping dog lie. I mean, if you can't even tell me, your closest friend, about whatever it is that's troubling you, I might as well not even bother."
Faye sighed, then looked up at her roommate with a sad, weary expression upon her face before replying feebly, "I'm sorry, Katy, but I can't.....I'm trying my best to will my past away, and, quite frankly, this really isn't helping."
"But why would you want to do that?!," she demanded, clenching and unclenching her fists by her sides in utter frustration as she snatched up the photographs from her roommate's lap in disgust. "Were these people really that bad?!"
"No," Faye admitted, laggardly rising up from the old suede couch, "but I'm afraid that that is all that I can tell you. Goodnight, Katy."
"Hmph....goodnight, yourself," Katy returned hotly, only to find herself glancing down once more at the photographs in her hand and resting her gaze upon the tall, lanky man that was standing beside her best friend.
"Who were you, and why do you have such a powerful hold on Faye?," she asked aloud once she knew for a fact that her roommate was now in her bedroom. "Were you friends, lovers, or enemies? Possibly a little of all three? Oh, hell, as if I'd ever find out! Faye's always so reclusive when it comes to her past, so why on earth did she hide these damned photos in such an obvious place?!"
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Spike Spiegel sharply inhaled the sweet cancer of his cigarette in order to rid himself of some built-up tension, his deep, two-toned irises resting desolately upon a small picture showcased within a mahogany frame ontop of his bedtable as a single name elicited forth from his lips. "Julia..."
How long ago had it been since her untimely death? Months? Years? What difference did it really make, anyway?
Every moment without her felt like another nail was being added to his coffin, so he found that he no longer cared about futurely matters such as time and money.
Spike had always felt as if he saw the world in shades of gray, but now that his love was no longer by his side he realized that this was, indeed, very true. Julia had been his only source of color upon his caliginous palette, but that fateful moment when she breathed her last breath the color was immediately blotted up, thus leaving him in a dull, somber world with small patches of reality.
So there he was, lying comfortably upon a sofa in his apartment in the Red Dragon headquarters, completely alone and ungrateful to his savior, Davis Holland, who had taken it upon himself to call an ambulance as soon as the syndicate's soon-to-be-leader collapsed like a deadweight onto the headquarter steps.
If it weren't for that man Spike would be dead, and the way he saw it, the mere notion of it was pure bliss. He never truly felt alive, anyway; everything just seemed like a dream to him. A long, agonizing dream that he would never wake up from.
Shuffling about within his apartment like a stoned zombie, Spike barely made a reaction when there came a sudden knock at the door.
"Come in," he replied gruffly.
Immediately obliging to his order, the door swung open and in stepped Davis Holland, himself, wearing a ridiculous grin upon his freckly face as he announced cheerfully, "Good news, Mr. Spiegel....we finally found her! It seems that she was here on Mars right under our noses the entire time!"
Spike smirked. "Is that right?"
"Yeah," Davis acknowledged, still breathless with europhia, "and we can go and get her right now, if you'd like."
Spike suddenly frowned. Faye was a woman, and most women were very emotional. What if their reuniting 'non-agressively' were to backfire? Would she forgive him? Would she even understand why he had gone and decided not to return?
"She'll have to," he decided inwardly, "I won't give her any other option."
Finally turning his attention back towards his extremely undignified lackey, Spike returned curtly, "Yeah, I suppose that we should......it is, after all, about time that I paid my dear shew of a comrade a little visit."
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Knock! Knock! Knock!
Katy groaned, immediately removing the bridal magazine that she had been reading from her face as she realized that, to her utter dismay, there was someone at the door and, since she had fallen asleep on the couch, her hair probably looked a fright.
Grumbling to herself due to the uncomfortable stiffness of her neck thanks entirely to the position that she had been sleeping in, Katy unceremoniously stalked over to the door and threw it open, only to let out a sharp gasp of astonishment.
"Good evening," the man greeted politely, "my name is Davis Holland and with me, here, is an old friend of Faye's. Do you mind if we speak to her for a while?"
Katy gave both men a dazed look, finding the one friend to be strangely familiar as she conceded with slight uncertainty, "Oh, yes, of couse......come in, won't you? Just make yourselves at home while I go and wake up 'Sleeping Beauty'."
"Thank you," Davis acknowledged, grinning from ear-to-ear as soon as he and Spike followed the young woman into the tiny apartment, his transfixed gaze never leaving her perfect, rotund bottom as he gave a slight nod of appreciation.
"Don't be foolish," Spike growled into his ear as soon as the young woman had disappeared into what was supposedly Faye's bedroom. "We're here on the account of business...not on the account of women and how babies are made!"
Davis let out an uneasy laugh, replying defensively, "What're ya talkin' about? I was just....uh...."
"Mr. Holland?"
Both men turned around.
"Faye's ready to see you two now," Katy announced, sounding very much like a professional secretary. "If either of you harm her, however, I'm kickin' both of your asses to the curb!"
Spike chuckled, giving her a subtle nod of the head as he gibed with amusement, "What a charming young woman you are."
Katy glared at him, clearly not won over by his insensitivity. Instead of hooking him across the jaw like her expression so clearly revealed that she wanted to do, she turned her back to him and took the hand of a fragile-looking young woman who was hiding inside of her room, gently coaxing her out and into the living room until she was there for all eyes to see.
Spike smiled, yet it never reached his eyes. It was Faye, alright, but there was something about her that bothered him. It was almost as if she were.....weaker.
Finally lifting her gaze up from the tackily carpeted floor, Faye cried out in astonishment, instantly choking on unshed tears as she managed to gasp in utter disbelief, "Spike....y-you're.....alive!"
He smirked in return. "Yo."

A/N: Well, wuz that any better???? lol heh -.-' +PLEASE R&R!!!!!!!+

3 Kendra Luehr =^-^= ~*~HUGZNKISSES~*~