Author's Note: First complete Cowboy Bebop fanfiction. Takes placed directly after episode sixteen, "Black Dog Serenade."
Disclaimer: If I did happen to own Cowboy Bebop, you'd better believe episodes would end this way more often.
by Moonlit Aria
No questions. That was the way Jet Black liked things. It was his ship and he was not going to be questioned—his authority was not going to be questioned. It was just obnoxious.
Six hours out of Europa, the Hammerhead was docked in disarray aboard the Bebop and everything was relatively quiet—which in and of itself was surprising. He'd come back to find Spike passed out on the couch, Ed wired into the net, and Faye—Faye was off doing whatever it was Spoiled Princesses did that resulted in a quiet state of things.
Seven hours out of Europa, he had settled himself down in the upper main deck of the ship with a six pack to take the edge off his aching leg and head. And his left arm—the dull pain in which stemmed primarily from, finally, knowing the truth about the circumstances surrounding its loss. He'd patched himself up as best as he could with the medical kit he kept handy and considering the type of shit Spike got himself into, Jet figured he had enough drugs and supplies to amputate his own goddamn leg and fix himself an artificial metal one to match his arm.
"I'm glad you think it's funny," said a too cool voice from across the room. Apparently Spoiled Princesses snuck up on people unawares and caused them to spill their beers—which didn't particularly result in a quiet state of things, as Jet let out a surprised curse at both being snuck up on and the chill of ice cold brew slopping down his bare front.
And then he had to think about what to say. What could he say? He was two seconds away from kicking her Spoiled Princess ass off his ship, despite however much money she still owed, because it was impossible for a man to get a break with her around. He couldn't tend to his bonsai, he couldn't put off fixing the shower until he was damn good and ready to fix it, he couldn't sit around the bridge of his own goddamn ship drinking cold beer in just his boxer shorts—and what in the hell was she staring at? "What?" he demanded, grabbing up a wad of gauze from the still open medical kit and wiping up the spilled beer.
But Faye didn't answer. "Where did you go?" she asked instead, finally climbing the last step up to the main deck and leaning herself casually against the wall by the entrance. She was too casual. So casual that he could tell she was trying her best to be casual. And that was annoying. Especially when she had succeeded in pushing him to the very height of unease with her very presence.
"Out," he growled, tossing the beer soaked bandages that served as a towel into the pile of blood-soaked ones he'd already accumulated from patching up his leg. Didn't she have any respect for the injured? Didn't she have any respect for her host? He would have wondered if she had respect for her elders, as well, but the fact of the matter was that she was nearly forty years his senior—and that, coupled with the not-so-subtle curves her striking pose accentuated, boggled his mind.
"I saw your ship," she replied as if that would ensnare him in a lie somehow. As if, maybe, he'd just said he'd gone 'out for milk' or 'out for a walk' and the state of the Hammerhead was ultimate proof that he wasn't being wholly honest.
Goddamn it, she annoyed him. "You're on my ship, Faye. You keep forgetting that."
Her eyebrow twitched. He distinctly saw her eyebrow twitch. And, as far as he could imagine, that was almost the most rewarding expression he could elicit from her when she was wearing her cool-as-ice poker face. She straightened up from the wall, still pretending to be as casual as a person possibly could be, and crossed to where he had (up until two minutes earlier) been attempting to relax. She stopped so that the table which dominated the center of the room was between them and oh-so-coolly stepped herself sideways to lean her hip into the edge of it. Jet glared—or at least tried to glare—as she slid herself up onto the edge and crossed her long legs. "I was watching the news earlier," she said while looking over her shoulder at him. One of the Shougi game pieces piled at the end of the table from the last game played there was picked up and turned over with passing interest in her hand, "The ISSP tracked down that stolen prison transport at Europa. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"
He gulped down the remnants of the sweating beer can and crunched the aluminum container in his left hand, waiting not quite so patiently for another sort of edge to be taken off. Goddamn it, she really annoyed him. When no such buzz was felt from the first of six cans, Jet jerked the next one off the plastic grouping rings and cracked it open. "I don't know what you're talking about."
The game piece was dropped abruptly back into the messy pile of similar chips and Faye removed herself from the edge of the table opposite him, walking around it with a quick stride the thoroughly belied the casual demeanor she was attempting to feign—which she tried to recover once on the other side of the table, sliding into a similar pose, but stretching to lean back against hands splayed upon the tabletop behind her. "I don't understand you," Faye finally admitted, her poker face faltering into a frown. "You're supposed to be the sensible one."
Jet stared, first at her and then at her statement. And forced down a large gulp of beer before replying. "Since when?" was all he could think to say.
"Always," she replied at once, sitting up after apparently catching his attention and helping herself to one of the cans. Jet stared at her as she cracked the can open and chugged—somehow he had been expecting the Spoiled Princess to flip the can's tab with careful regard to the state of her fingernail polish and turn her nose up at the cheap booze he liked to drink. Somehow, even after living with her for longer than he liked to think about, Jet hadn't been expecting the burp which soon erupted from her throat.
Goddamn it, she annoyed him. "…you're so obnoxious," he said, settling back into his chair and resigning himself to whatever conversation she was forcing upon him. "And I'm not the sensible one—whatever the hell that means. You think Spike's the only idiot that can take off whenever he pleases and blow the hell out of things?"
"You just called yourself an idiot, Jet."
"I am an idiot—for putting up with him and his recklessness and you and your annoying—obnoxious—spoiled—" he stopped abruptly there, glaring up at her. Goddamn it she was annoying him! "Why the hell are you talking to me about this? So I was at Europa. So I blew some things up and killed a few escaped prisoners, what's it matter to you?"
Faye was silent, contemplating the question over her beer. Leaning forward, she propped her elbow onto the topmost knee of her crossed legs and leaned her head into her hand. "No reason," she finally said, donning her poker face once again—with the added twist of a very secretive little smile—and giving an oh-so-casual shrug of her shoulders. The can was raised for another drink.
And knocked forcefully out of her hand mere centimeters from her lips. It clunked wetly to the floor and the fizzy contents sizzled out, shaken up by the force of the action. The spewing from the can went unnoticed—Faye was too busy staring, shocked, at Jet and Jet was too busy glaring at her.
"I've had it with you," he growled, his annoyance boiling over, and he dropped his own can to the floor as he pulled himself up from the chair. "I told you before this is my ship—I don't need you questioning what I do!" And that was it. He couldn't stand her goddamn annoyances anymore, he couldn't stand the way she pretended to be casual, he couldn't stand one more minute of her just sitting there staring at the way he'd let his anger get the best of him.
Eight hours out of Europa, he had jerked her up off the table and her mock casual position and stifled whatever she was about to say—knowing Faye the way he did, it had probably been a question—with his lips against her own. Eights hours and two minutes out of Europa, a whole set of Shougi pieces was raked off the table and into the puddle of still fizzing beer on the floor.