Hey everyone! This is for Rashaka, who thought up this great idea for a fic set between episodes 3 and 4. I should mention that this will be semi-Faye/Spike. Or anti-loving Spike/Faye. Or something. Let's just not label it, ok?
So the story goes... Faye's just stolen that 30 million woolongs off Spike and Jet. And disappears, right?
Happy Faye? Yes. Happy Spike? Hell no.
Disclaimer: Hmm. Not mine. Yay. Okay.
Rating: PG. For now. (smut!alert for next chapter whee!)
She had money.
Well, she'd had money.
In a completely past tense sort of way. But, 8 days ago, she'd had in her possession 30 million woolongs, neatly packed into a steel suitcase. But seriously, what did anyone expect? She was on Mars, for God's sake. The planet of casinos. And so the first thing Faye Valentine did when she landed was to haul that case straight over to Kings and Queens. And over the following week, lost nearly every woolong on the slots, then the tables, and then over at the ponies.
But Faye wasn't downhearted from the parting with her money. Those 8 days had been blissful; a week of spending up, treating herself to first class hotels, spas, massages, and quality restaurants in between gambling away the rest of her investment.
After all, she wasn't wasting her money; she was enjoying it.
Which was why, those 8 days later, Faye was in a dim, smoky little bar, her hands curled around a drink as she watched the blurred patrons and thought about the strange circumstances that had brought her here.
Those two bounty hunters: that gaucho and the old guy with the plastic arm. She smirked as she recalled how smug they'd been when they saw the bounty Gordon put on her head. And how they'd underestimated her. She still treasured that look on the gaucho's face when her Redtail's clamps had neatly whisked the case out of his grasp.
Of course, she was never going to see those two again. They just joined the list of people that wanted a piece of her. And she sure wasn't going to have the 30 million to so kindly give back if they found her.
And the galaxy was a large place. Hell, Mars was a large place. There were thousands of bars. Still, she thought reflectively, they weren't completely hopeless. I can pick up some fuel in the morning and head off to Jupiter.
Even though the handcuffing to the toilet had been a spectacular failure on their part, Faye assumed that they wouldn't make the same mistake twice. Especially since she didn't exactly have their money anymore.
But that was if they wanted to pursue it. It didn't matter, anyway. She had more important things to think about.
Like her debt…
Taking a sip from her drink, she cast another lazy glance about the room; the beefy guys in the corner, the broads swaying near the speakers, the younger group hovering by the pool tables. She loved these places – they gave her complete anonymity without being completely isolated from society.
Isn't this still being alone?
Although she loved the complete independence she had from working solo, sometimes she wondered… what it would be like to have a partner. Or friends. Not to be alone in a room full of people.
Taking a larger swallow of her drink, letting the vodka burn a swift trail down her throat, she wondered if she'd been popular before her life was royally screwed over. And she became who she was now – a refugee.
God. I'm not drunk enough for all this.
Faye sighed soundlessly, her hand reaching into her pocket for cigarettes. Enough alcohol and nicotine into her, and she'd be well on her way to not thinking about anything.
Funny how her life fell into patterns. She was probably such an innocent, once.
Five cigarettes left. She'd be out by morning. She might just have enough woolongs to get her properly drunk, a room, and a new packet of smokes.
And then she'd start all over again.
The bartender wiped his hands on his murky apron, and refilled her glass at her nod. As her face briefly lit up from the flame of her lighter, he noticed that while she was extremely attractive, it was in a cloudy, dark sort of way. She belonged in shadowy places; the contrast of her pale skin and dark hair made her look sultry, sly, and dangerous. But perhaps that was because of the smoky haze she was under. Either way, he hoped she wouldn't cause any trouble.
They weren't low on cash.
Jet, always so prepared for disaster, had some emergency funds hidden away under the sink. The backup to all their backups. Which had all gone towards fixing the Bebop's hanger door, which the "infamous" Faye Valentine had decided to blow a hole through. And escape. With their 30 million woolong reward. Jet had spent at least 3 days cursing and vividly describing what he'd do to the shrew if they found her. And Spike agreed, mostly. 30 million woolongs didn't come by everyday. And all to be taken away by their prisoner. What a joke.
But he definitely had some admiration for the woman. Far from respect of course… but she'd managed to outsmart him and Jet, and that Gordon fellow with cunning and finesse. And you had to admire finesse.
She was probably half way to Europa by now, living it up on some luxury resort. She wouldn't be foolish enough to stick around; not when she was carrying that sort of cash around.
Don't suppose I'll ever see that one again.
It was a strange thought, touched with a hint of regret. She had this attitude; irritating and interesting at the same time. Although she was rude and obnoxious, it was still a step up from the hoards of jaded, dreary people he saw on the streets. He didn't have much faith in humanity these days.
Spike searched in his pockets. He had a few woolongs; enough for a few drinks and maybe a game of pool. Jet was still working on the hanger; his current bitch of a temper making the ex-cop bad company.
So Spike left the Bebop and casually strolled down the dark streets to his favourite grimy little bar.
Faye Valentine. The feisty gypsy woman. The romani.
The whole 'encounter' had been completely extraordinary; and she'd been the strangest of all. Very mysterious, and yet very emotive. Interesting.
And very hot.
Definitely a step up from Jet, anyway. He absently wondered what would've happened if they'd kept her on the Bebop, and quickly shook his head to rid himself of such thoughts.
His favourite bar, his regular haunt, was nearly full when he arrived. There was the regular group of kids hanging by the pool table; they nodded to him as he went past. Maybe later; first he wanted a drink.
There was one stool left at the bar, next to a woman who was hunched over her drink. Spike gave the scantily clad woman an amused one-over as he sat down, waving the bartender over.
"Vodka." He said, and the bartender nodded. The woman beside him went strangely still.
Spike looked at her. In those tiny little shorts and red wrap, the woman must be freezing. But then again, females often pranced around in almost nothing; he never understood it.
So he moved a little closer. "Aren't you cold?" he asked curiously, watching her raise her face to his and being shocked into recognition by a pair of bright green eyes.
But the shock quickly passed.
"Faye Valentine." Spike exclaimed in mock surprise, his lips turning up in an amused grin. "What a surprise."
The odds were a thousand to one. What were the chances that the gaucho would come to the same bar she was in? And sit next to her? Where was her luck, dammit?
She shot the gaucho a wary look and judged the distance between his hand and the gun she'd spotted peeking out of his jacket. Too close for comfort. This was bad, really bad. He'd want the money. She didn't have the money. People like debt collectors never believed her when she said she didn't have their money.
"If I'd known you were here, I would have brought my friend Jet." Spike leered at her. "He's very interested in seeing you again."
He took a liberal mouthful of his drink, his mischievous eyes not leaving hers.
His hair was ridiculous. His face was sexy but the hair was insane. Was it green? Could hair even be green?
Her hand was shaking slightly as she lit up another cigarette to calm her nerves. She needed to sober up, and fast.
He signalled the bartender, who refilled his drink and hers. "You're cold?"
He was an observant bastard. He had sharp eyes, which left her own to linger down her body. "Not leaving anything to the imagination. And yellow, too. Better than the casino uniform."
She knew her outfit liberally screamed take me now, and she cursed herself bitterly for wearing it then. Or maybe…
As she glared at him, furious and speechless, he took the opportunity to take one of her cigarettes. He used his own lighter, smoothly lighting up and avoiding her fists as she attempted to get it back.
"Get your own," she snarled, snatching the pack from the table and tucking it back in her pocket. "That's all I have."
"You owe me more than just a cigarette, don't you think?"
She stared at her empty glass. Why is he being so damn calm about this? People whom she owed money didn't usually act so flippant. She felt like a fish out of water; and she hated that feeling. She needed to regain control of this situation.
The bounty hunter was swirling the dregs of his drink around the bottom of his glass. He was completely relaxed, an even expression on his smooth face. He turned to her, amused at catching her staring. She signalled for another drink.
"I don't even know who you are," she informed him in her most unfriendly voice, keeping her eyes on the bartender. "and if you're going to sit there like an idiot gaucho then-"
The bounty hunter rolled his eyes. "Please." He cut her off, watching his glass being refilled. "I'm not interested in you. I want my money back. And then maybe, if you're nice, I won't turn you in to the Police." He smirked. "I'm sure someone's willing to pay to get you off the streets."
Drunk or not, Faye Valentine never took any shit from anyone. But before her hand found the gun resting at the small of her back, the bounty hunter already had a gun in his hand and pointing it at her under the table. He continued in a much colder voice, "Take it easy. I wouldn't want to shoot you in front of all these people."
She raised her hand; let it settle around her glass again. So walking out wasn't going to be an option. So she tried something else. Lifting the glass to her lips, she took a delicate sip with seductive flair. "Is that what you want to do to me, mister bounty hunter?"
The gun didn't waver from its threatening position. However, Spike gave her an almost cheeky smile and remarked, "There's plenty of things I want, Faye Valentine. But they all involve getting my money back."
Faye sighed in exasperation, abandoning the sultry act. "Look, we can work something out here, can't we?" she pleaded.
The bounty hunter looked slightly bemused. "Alright, here's the deal. You give me back those 20 million woolongs, and I'll pay for the drinks."
"Don't ask me why," Faye remarked dryly, trying not to roll her eyes at this obnoxious idiot. "but I think I'm getting the butt end of the deal here."
He smiled at her again. "It suits me just fine."
"Alright, fine." Faye snorted. Damn, he was annoying. "I lost the money at the casino. Satisfied?"
"Yeah. Right, Faye."
"I'm not joking around, you know!" Faye retorted in indignation. "It was on the horses!"
"And I'm really gonna believe that one."
Faye huffed and folded her arms. "Believe what you want. Being a stupid gaucho, I guess I shouldn't expect any more from you."
Spike gave her a halfhearted glare, as if he couldn't quite be bothered to make a smart comeback. "Charming." He said instead, his sarcastic tone more effective than any retort he could think of.
In reply, Faye tossed back her drink; slammed the empty glass back onto the counter. The bartender had long since left the bottle between the pair; sensing the conflict and potential danger they held. So Faye poured the drinks and held the bounty hunter's sceptical eye until he thought he believed her.
"You lost 20 million woolongs…" his face dropped into an almost comical expression of complete disbelief. "No, you're joking, right?"
Faye sipped her drink and smiled. "Maybe I am, gaucho." Since he seemed so unwilling to move she may as well enjoy it. Playing wits at a bar was rare.
He glared at her, alcohol rushing through his bloodstream and making him want to knock her unconscious and take her back to the Bebop. "Cut the crap, Faye." Before I get violent or something worse, he silently added, redirecting his glare to his half filled glass. "And stop stalling. I haven't got all night to argue with you."
"I guess it's time to get down to business, then." Faye replied in a suddenly professional voice. However, she was frantically trying to think of a way out. Escape. It was time to get out of this bar. However, the gun pointed at her beneath the table was going to make that difficult.
Spike drummed his fingers on the bench. "No hurry," he remarked sourly, over the raucous laughter from the drunks further down the bar.
"Take it easy," Faye snapped, crossing her arms over her chest while her eyes darted to the side of him. "I'm trying to think up a suitable lie, since you haven't believed anything else I've said."
He clearly found it beneath himself to reply, eyes flicking over to where one of the drunks had fallen off his chair.
Diversion. She'd need a diversion.
The bounty hunter watched the bartender signal to the bouncers at the entrance of the bar. The two idiots down the end were going to get a beating if they didn't make a quick exit.
And she'd found one.
She'd noticed the gaucho's attention on the strange pair down the end; being 'escorted' from the bar. So as they were walked past her, laughingly protesting at their treatment, she did the only thing she could think of. She stuck out her foot.
The drunk with the shock of blonde hair tumbled right over Faye's boot, and only Spike's reflexes kept him from being flattened. Instead, the blonde landed face first onto the bar, but with versatility only the drunk possess, he bounced right back up. Grabbing Spike by the arms, he loudly proclaimed the taller man's amazing reflexes.
His dark haired friend took the opportunity to add to the drama and attempted to plead his innocence to the bouncers.
With growing irritation Spike tried to pry the drunk off him, the commotion around him blurring his vision and making it impossible to focus… on Faye.
The blonde ceased struggling and gave Spike a surprisingly sober look. "Your beautiful friend got away." He exclaimed cheerfully.
As Spike's eyes darted towards the exit, he caught Faye's final backwards glance before she vanished out the door. She'd winked at him. She'd looked smug. And she definitely thought she'd won.
With a growl, he threw the drunk off him and sprinted after her. The pair's mirthful laughter spurred him on as he heard them both crash to the floor.
So yes. Chapter one. I reckon one more chapter will finish this baby off. And maybe an epilogue. Or something. And oh my god was that a bizarre cameo from another anime. Well, yes.
And sorry for the editing. Damn spacing. Why doesn't ffnet have that anymore? Sigh.
Oh yeah, because you're all so special, here's a preview of part two.
She thought he was sleeping. From the dim light in the bathroom, she could see his closed eyelids; see the steady rise and fall of his bare chest. Caught in a moment of contemplation, Faye noticed that his nose was slightly turned up. A pixie-nose. And he came across so tough, too. Tough guys didn't look so… cute when they slept.
She gently ran her fingers across his forehead, letting them lightly tangle in his unruly hair. Nothing. He was dead to the world; good for her because she didn't have anything to drug him with, and knocking him unconscious would attract attention in the morning. It was definitely time for her getaway.
She hadn't planned on paying for the room anyway. It was a little problem she'd planned to leave for the bounty hunter to deal with. Rolling silently off the bed, she knelt over his jacket. He was sure to have a money card on his clothes somewhere.
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