Disclaimer- I don't own Cowboy Beebop.

Blood soars through the air, amid a miasma of bullets and smoke, below a field of scarlet.

It shouldn't have gone down this way.

This was supposed to be a straightforward deal, simple and clean.

Instead, it's a bloodbath.

And instead of anger at failure, he's elated... in rapture.

Because now he can kill.

There is no hesitation, no pause in his shots. It is as if he is not a man slaughtering his fellow man, but a child plucking flowers in a field, taking life without mercy.

On and on, he fires round after round, savoring each dying look, watching each enemy fall and add to the field of blood. Each life a flower, plucked away without pause.

But he is too caught up in this rapture, this harvest of souls.

"Spike!"

The warning comes almost too late as he ducks, avoiding the shot and whirling around, ready to kill the bastard who nearly got him.

Instead, he finds Vicious at his back, grinning at him in that twisted way that speaks of death and murder...

The way he himself smiles.

"I got him." The white haired man rasps. Those three words are said calmly, as if he wasn't talking about killing but about a mundane, every day topic.

Or perhaps, to these men, death is a mundane, every day topic.

"Thanks." Spike murmured, barely audible beneath the thunderous applause of gunfire.

Another word said too calmly. To thank a man for killing another man. Madness.

Back to back, the two men stand above a field of scarlet, each of them like children scattering crimson flowers, adding to the field of blood and smoke.

They are in perfect unison, each knowing the other's moves perfectly. When one is reloading, the other is keeping up a barrage of fire. When one shifts to the right, the other shifts to the left, keeping their backs covered.

They know each other, as if they held a connection, one that transcended words and thought. They are the same, each as ruthless and cunning and dangerous as the other. And when two beings are so synchronized, then a bond must form.

The bond of battle.

A bond forged in death and smoke and blood.

One bullet nicks Spike's forehead, but he doesn't notice, swept up in the bloodlust.

Nor does he or Vicious notice that the fields of scarlet have begun lapping at their feet.

All that matters is the thrill of battle, and the killing.

In this moment, this place, these men are not men.

They are monsters. Beasts.

And they are brothers, standing in a field of scarlet and smoke.

Author's Note

This sort of prose/introspection began on that one scene in Ballad Of Fallen Angels, where Spike and Vicious are fighting, back-to-back. Came out about as morbid as I was expecting it to be. Which is strange, because my one shots don't normally go the way I want.