The Miracle Worker
"You asked for something traditional."
"You asked for something festive."
They nodded again.
"You asked for something you could eat."
They scrunched up their noses, but nodded.
Jet slammed a hand against the table. "THEN STOP YOUR COMPLAINING!!" They winced when the platters jangled noisily. All except for the plate that /THING/ sat on.
"Why couldn't you go for something /good/ and traditional?" Faye asked, leaning back in her chair. "Like eggnog or something?"
"You can't /eat/ eggnog, Faye." The man growled in return.
Spike, ever daring, risked poking at the thing with a fork. "Does it have meat in it?"
"Why would there be meat," Jet said slowly and v e r y deliberately, "in a FRUITCAKE?"
"What else are these little chunky bits, then?"
Putting his heavy hand to his face, Jet said- his voice like the slow burn of a fuse leading to an alcove stuffed to the gills with explosives, "It is a fruitcake. A fruitcake is synonymous with the Christmas season. It is a part of the holiday and you will EAT it by the end of the year or so help me!" The very lights in the Bebop seemed to dim under the intimidating scowl of a towering and unhappy man whose voice boomed like bellows. "I will not cook for this ship AGAIN!"
The two sat there for a moment, uncertain as to how they should respond.
Jet frowned at them. "Remember, Faye's idea of cooking is to buy a bag of chips from the corner store."
"Conversely, Spike's idea of cooking is to use the blow torch."
"So," Jet tapped the table with a finger, "I'm sure we won't have any problems finishing this fruitcake, now will we?"
Both Faye and Spike made a face. And tried to decide if getting their stomachs pumped just this once was worth it.
The two had noticed a disturbing trend in each other's daily routines. Mainly the fact that they tried to stay far away from the dreaded fruitcake as possible. And for a time, Jet seemed to get increasingly angry with them.
Then, all of the sudden, Jet's dark glares and angry snarls just stopped.
Spike had actually gotten good at ignoring Jet's less than chipper disposition over the years and Faye- well, Faye just didn't care, so it took them some time to realize that they were no longer on Jet's actively pissed side. Though neither were willing to buckle (or admit it) they wished one of them would go and find out if something had actually happened to the fruitcake. Like, say, it mutating and walking off the ship and into deep space. There would've been no complaining if such a thing occurred, but it would be nice to be kept filled in on the mutant neigh indestructible objects that floated around in space.
And that wasn't the only odd bits around, either. But for the fact that, suddenly, things were /working/ properly. The light in the storage room stopped flickering. The doors stopped sticking. And drains stopped leaking all over the place!
And, to make things even /more/ suspicious……
Ed was not causing any trouble.
Under the cover of Jet doing whatever he did with those dwarf trees of his (Spike didn't understand plants, not even the ones that sprouted food because they never sprouted meat- and don't get him started on 'bean meat'), Spike and Faye had a conference.
"What do you think is going on?" Faye asked in a sotto voice.
"Dunno. But I'll bet it has something to do with that fruitcake."
"I say it carried some sort of alien parasite that attached itself to Jet's brain and ate the little brat."
There was a long span of silence.
"Well?" Faye asked.
"What, am I supposed to concur with that?" Spike shook his head. "I mean, aliens? C'mon!"
"And why not, smart guy?"
"So an alien places a parasite in our fruitcake, and yet we still see no signs of life other than our own. Brilliant deduction."
Faye made a face. "Well the aliens don't want to tangle with us."
"And why's that?"
"Because we have fruitcake, obviously."
Spike wanted to smack his head. "Yes. Because fruitcake is a dangerous weapon."
"Hey, if fruitcake /wasn't/ so dangerous, how come /you/ didn't eat any of it? Mr. Steel Stomach?"
"Just because I /can/ eat most anything doesn't mean that I /will/."
"BLARGH!" The two jumped three feet in the air and five feet back. Hanging upside down, legs hooked on the upper railing, was Ed. "Hi-yo!" She waved at them both.
"Wha-What are you doing here?" Faye stuttered, still trying to get back her composure.
"Ed just went to get shoes for Ein."
The adults looked at each other oddly. "Shoes for Ein?"
"Yup!" The girl fell to the floor in a pile of scrawny, awkward limbs. Finding some way to untangled herself, she staggered ungainly to the hall. "Ein doesn't like being short so Ed's gonna help him get tall!" Spike and Faye watched Ed hoot her way elsewhere, wondering if Ed even understood the things coming out of her mouth.
Over a week it's been since the dreaded fruitcake had crashed into their lives and their lives had taken a dramatic turn to the strange. Jet had spent more and more time in the kitchen, making more of the fruitcake demon. More things were working properly and Ed was still Ed, but now Spike and Faye knew it was Ed with an agenda and that creeped them out. And, on top of that, Ein was walking around on sometime that made very suspicious clonking noises with each step he took and he seemed to be getting taller with each day.
But Jet, for that matter, was happy. And when he was cooking something other than fruitcake, it tasted better than it usually did. But the taint of the fruitcake was still in the air, so Spike and Faye tried to keep away from the kitchen as much as possible. Especially when Jet would say things to them like "I knew you'd come around eventually."
It wasn't until, during a space-bound bounty-chase that Faye fired her grappling line at the bounty and wound up drilling a hole through the side of the ship with what they later recovered from the wreck to be a side of fruitcake. The authorities ignored the unorthodox weapon ("Just this one," they said) but Jet was angry.
"Abusing my fruitcake like that!" He yelled at them. "Why can't you be more responsible around here? Like Ed! She's been helping to make repairs to the Bebop while I've been busy with the holidays! Here I thought you actually tried something new, but you were just being childish!"
Spike and Faye, somehow, actually felt cowed by the rebuke. Until Ed came in and asked, "Can I have more fruitcake, Jet-type person?"
When Jet went off to get her a slice, Faye asked, "What are you going to do with that fruitcake, kid?"
Ed just beamed. "The one plugging up the water main is soggy already. And Ein's still short!"
"Here ya go, Ed." Jet said, plopping a large plate and slab of supposedly edible stuff in her grabbing hands. "Enjoy!"
"Yay!" That said, Ed bounded off.
"Now why can't you be more like that?" Jet asked the other two crewmembers. "/She/ likes my fruitcake."
They just sighed and figured that it really isn't worth it at all.