It lives! If my writing style is a little different to previous, I apologise. It's been a while.

Disclaimer: Cowboy Bebop belongs to the owners… of it.

Rating: PG. Yeah, it's all rather clean.

Fairytale – All that Glitters (part A)

"It's not that you're no good, it's just…" Spike trailed off and gave a frustrated little sigh. The scrawny little man had scurried around to his side of the table again, adjusting his round spectacles and preparing to make his shot.

Spike watched in evaporating patience as the guy practically took a swing at the cue ball, sending it tumbling off into empty space. He felt a headache grinding its way through his skull. No wait, that was his jaw. Just grinding away, preventing him from going over there and trying to ram the cue stick as far as he could up this moron's ass.

The little man gave a self-conscious giggle, presenting the cue stick back to his opponent. He luckily missed the dangerous stare he got in return, as Spike forced himself to stay cool and not resort to violence.

He also forced himself to miss his next shot.

The guy tittered.

Spike wanted to kill himself. Instead, he just offered a nonchalant shrug as he returned the cue stick. "Not my day, I guess."

"I'll say it's not," came an amused voice from behind him.

Spike had already caught the scent of her particular brand of cigarettes while Faye had been at the bar, flirting her way towards free alcohol.

"Wow Spike, this must be really embarrassing for you," Faye continued, brushing past him to survey the table. "You're actually loosing to probably the worst pool player on Mars." She tilted her hips to settle herself on the corner of the table, and gave him a sly smirk. "Must be hard for someone with your ego."

Spike, through massive force of will, ignored her. He instead turned to his future-bounty, and remarked, "Don't mind her. She just comes by sometimes when she's drunk even though I reject her every time." He gave the bounty a knowing wink, confusing the poor guy even further.

"You have the weirdest delusions, Spike," Faye set her drink down, and pulled herself to her feet. "And now," she prowled over to where the bounty was standing, watching her in mute confusion. However, he didn't expect her to whip out a gun and firmly place it in the small of his back.

"Show's over, little boy," Faye purred with her mouth just above his ear. He squawked in complete fear, but didn't try to escape.

"Now wait a second." Spike interjected, gaining both their attention. "We were supposed to wait for the nerd's partner, remember?" he accused, one long finger pointing furiously at Faye, who looked even craftier than she had previously. Always a bad sign.

"Well Spike," Faye began to nudge the bounty towards the door. Spike followed but not before grabbing and finishing off the drink she'd left. "Me and this guy's partner have already become acquainted." She turned back specifically to make note of his reaction. "And he's already been turned in. Which means," she purred in complete satisfaction. "It means that you've been making a fool of yourself for nothing." Turning to push the bounty out onto the street, she added, "that in itself is worth any bounty."

Spike, in that moment, really hated his selfish bitch of a partner.

However to his surprise, she gave him share of the twin bounty, so he wasn't going to have to launch her out into space at the first opportunity.

As they both strolled down the ISSP Headquarters stairs, Faye remarked in a thoughtful voice, "You know, Spike, did you understand any of that babbling about his wife?"

Spike shrugged. "Curiosity killed the cat," he recited Jet's current pet phrase.

She shot him a sidelong glance. "Real helpful," she muttered sourly, but choosing not to pursue it. Judging by the malevolent glares she'd been receiving after her little prank, she figured she'd better back off a bit, else she found no hot water left, or her Redtail welded to the hold, or another nasty something back on the ship. Spike was immature; she didn't expect any better of him.

In almost companionable silence they headed towards where their ships were parked. To their surprise, there was a small figure waiting for them.

"Are you selling something?" Spike called out dryly, and added to Faye, "hasn't this day gone on long enough already?"

The figure was standing, arms folding, waiting for them to approach. To Faye's surprise, it was just a boy, probably in his mid-teens.

"Maybe he does want to sell something?" Faye murmured, letting Spike stride ahead and do his angry, dominant thing. She was weary and wanted a bath.

"What do you want, kid?" Spike sounded equally weary, although Faye was sure the kid interpreted it as more threatening. It's strange; she thought idly, I know you so well in stupid ways like how you talk. And yet she couldn't read him; get into his head and find out what went on in his stupid little brain.

"Do you know what you've done?!" The kid demanded, his high-pitched, furious voice breaking Faye from her thoughts.

Spike looked blank. "You better not have touched my ship," he grumbled, moving past the kid to give his beloved craft a quick check for damages. Finding none, he turned and gave the stranger an inquisitive look. "What do you want, exactly?

"That guy you just arrested? That was my father." The kid was almost shaking in righteous fury. "He didn't do anything. You put him in prison for nothing!"

Spike looked bland. "Well, take that up with the ISSP," he advised, inwardly smirking as the kids clenched his fists. "But you'd better tell them that I'm not giving back that reward."

"And neither am I." Faye interjected firmly, butting herself in to the conversation. "Now push off, kid, unless you've got a bounty for us to collect."

The boy seemed to collect himself. "You don't even care, unless you're making a profit out of it, right?"

Faye smirked, reaching out an arm to pat the poor kid on the head. "You got that right. Look kid, life is hard, and money is hard to come by." She shrugged wisely, as if she were giving out divine wisdom.

Spike gave a tiny 'heh'. The boy was not so impressed.

"Fine. But sooner or later, the ISSP will find out that my father is innocent of murdering those people!" He declared firmly. "And then you'll have no choice but to pursue the real killer. So why don't you just take away the extra step?"

Faye and Spike exchanged bewildered glances. "What a stubborn little brat," Faye remarked under her breath.

Spike rubbed a spot above his ear and sighed. "Look, kid. I hate to destroy your delusions," -God knew it'd happened to him- "but your old man got a bounty put on him for a reason. He poisoned three people with the help of some other guy, the end."

"And besides," Faye interjected herself once again. "Who else could it have been, exactly?"

The boy looked directly at her, his bright blue eyes piercing with their honesty. "It was my mother."

Spike just groaned, glaring at Faye as if to say, now look what you've started.

But Faye was now officially curious. "Your mother?" She mused. "Is she rich?" she added, little woolong notes floating around her head at the thought of all the blackmailing she could get away with.

"You're hopeless." Spike declared sourly, ready to wash his hands of the entire deal, even half ready to give the damn kid his share of the bounty to just make him piss off.

"My mother is Miranda Yaluma. She owns the Yaluma recreational satellite."

Faye just about passed out in glee. There was only one satellite with its only function to entertain the rich and famous. It was a massive station, with levels for dining, gambling, all kinds of entertainment. And only for the ridiculously wealthy.

Spike could see the woolong signs in her eyes. "Faye." He said warningly, but she turned on him pleadingly.

"Oh come on, Spike!" she beseeched. "We can just take a look around, it doesn't even matter if the broad's not the killer." She lowered her voice. "I hear they have live horse races on there! Just admit that you're curious!"

Spike was. But he wasn't going to show that. Instead, he looked at the kid. "You want us to go after your mother, forgetting she doesn't even have a bounty on her."

"But there could be!" the kid argued fervently. "Talk to anyone who works on the station, they all know how she always sets up someone else to take the fall for her." At Spike's apparent lack of interest, he added, "I'll pay you."

"Yes. We're going." Faye glared at Spike, simply daring him to argue. He blandly met her gaze. "Spike, think of the money. Think of the casinos. Just think for a change."

God, he just didn't care. "Fine, whatever."

Faye actually squealed in excitement.

"You know where meddling in other people's business gets you?" Jet demanded, an almost fatherly look of disapproval on his weathered face. "An early death. There's nothing to gain by getting involved in some rich kid's personal problems except getting the rest of us in trouble with you." He scowled at Faye's complete lack of interest. "If you want to be selfish, take off and deal with it elsewhere. Not on this ship." He glared at her again, checking to see if she had actually absorbed some common sense this time. And, judging by her indignant slouch on the staircase of the Bebop, she hadn't.

Spike poked his head through the doorway. "Curiosity killed the cat, you know," he reminded her with an annoying smirk.

"Oh, as if you're not curious!" Faye spluttered, twisting her head to scowl at him.

"I'm not curious." Jet ground out.

Faye turned on him, folding her arms. "Oh yeah?" she snapped. "Where's the food, Jet? There isn't even any goddamn dog food. How are we supposed to survive without taking the extra step and getting some money? Or would you rather stay here where it's safe," she sneered. "and starve to death?" Rolling her eyes, she pushed past Spike and stomped off to her room.

Spike looked bemused, watching her door slam behind her. Turning back to a frustrated-looking Jet, he offered, "you know Jet, I could throw her in the airlock…"

Jet shook his head. "She's right, annoyingly enough. We don't even have food for Ein, with the last bounty payoff going towards damages."

Spike had the good grace to look sheepish. "Well, that wasn't exactly our-"

A loud cry from Ed interrupted him. "Yaluma satellite in range!" she trilled from her place behind her computer. "Permission to land, accepted."

Jet turned his attention to the young hacker. "Ed, I want to you find out all you can about this place."

Ed chirped happily, stretching her fingers and toes before setting to work on Tomato.

Spike slouched down the stairs and came to stand beside Jet. "You know, this is you letting Faye get her own way," he remarked with a hint of amusement. "Not to mention this isn't even a bounty we're going after…"

"I know that." Jet replied, sounding tired. Damn, they all sounded tired these days. "However. If there's a chance we can get paid and avoid a damage bill, I'm going to take it."

Spike rolled his eyes. "Like things ever work out like that, Jet." Switching the set on with his toe, hoping for a good bounty to come up and take their attention away from this weird case. The first report however, caused his eyes to widen in surprise.

Um. Because it's getting a little long, this chapter has been split into two parts. Part B will be out hopefully soon.

Anyway, Comment/criticize, that sort of thing.