Ain't Afraid to Die

Author Note: So, we're going to try this again because it is my belief someone decided to be a smart$#& and be stupid and get all up my butt about my notes. So I'm going to send this out again, alas without all the remarks after each chapter. Heaven forbid the idiot come back in a fit of jealous rage and try to get the story booted again. God, whoever you are…get a LIFE.

Anyways, this is for you guys, unfortunately we're going to have to go from the beginning once more so forgive the lack of updates but thanks are in order to you guys who always send emails to let me know you guys are rooting still but most assuredly to Kat for being on my butt to continue, and to Vetta for having given me my ONLY complete copy of Ain't Afraid to Die. To you, dear, I owe the world!

Rating:BetweenT and M I guess,for much violence and angry cuss words. Gotta love that Bebop language!

Disclaimers: Cowboy Bebop does not belong to me nor do the characters or the songs used therein. The song Ain't Afraid to Die is a beautiful and slow song by Dir en Grey, a traditionally Japanese rawk band. I firmly believe you can love the song without being a fan of Kyo's voice or a fan of music in a different language. But I can't imagine the song any other way. Take it as you will.

Once more, though I will no longer voice how much the reviews mean/meant to me, know that I appreciated each and every one of them, before and now. Hope you guys enjoy it the second time around!

Glimpse of Red:

Kimi to futari de aruita ano goro no michi wa naku te

soredemo zutto aruita, itsuka kimi to aeru no kana…

- - -

The way that I used to walk with you is gone

But still, I always walked with you,

I wonder if I'll ever be able to meet you…

- Ain't Afraid to Die – Dir En Grey

- - -

"We shouldn't even be taking her along. She shouldn't be there. She'll get in the way-"

"She's the only one who can get us in the way. We need to have her connect directly to their system. And besides, the bounty will-"

"Screw the bounty! It won't be worth it if she won't be around to find us more of them. Or are you too big an ass to understand that?"

"Screw you, Faye."

- - -

She had called it, of course. What was the point bringing in Ed if she would just get in the way? Radical Edward she was, not Gun-Toting, Gung-Ho Edward. Her place was on the Bebop and they should have left her there.

Faye Valentine kept her hand firmly across Ed's mouth, the younger girl pressed to her side, the both of them cowering against a cold steel wall, her weapon in the hand closest to the edge of the wall. All around red lights were blinking and the siren had been set off. Intruders. Of course they were intruders. It figured something like this would happen. When they were after a bounty as large as they were, when would something like this not happen? She inhaled deeply, closing her eyes for a moment and breathing to three. At four another gunshot rent the air, chipping into the wall where she stood with the hacker. She glanced down at Ed and the girl looked up at her with large eyes. And she didn't look the least bit scared, her expression one of wonder. She clutched Tomato against her chest, her goggles hitched on her head of wild red hair and Faye looked away once more, cursing yet again.

Would bounty hunting ever get easier?

She craned her neck a bit from her position in the hallway. It had intersected with another hallway and Spike had already made it passed, from their hallway down the twenty feet to the right turn the intersecting hallway took. As she hesitated he appeared again, crouched down that far right turn, shooting off three shots before hiding back once more.

"Faye!" he shouted from around the corner.

"What?" she demanded, yelling right back. Damn him for this. Damn him for a lot of things.

"You need to move now! I took down two of them but they're regrouping, come on!" he replied, his voice echoing throughout the cold hallways.

"Ok, ok, ok," Faye chanted quietly and she swallowed. She peeked around the corner and down that long hallway were more of the gunmen, coming from all different intersecting hallways. She cursed as a bullet struck the wall inches from her face, chipping off pieces of metal, and she pulled back into her own hallway. "Shit, Spike, are you covering me or what?" she cried out and she looked down at Ed once more, not bothering to wait for his answer even as he flung it toward her.

"I've been covering your ass for hours now, damn it, let's go!"

"Ok, Ed, I'm going first," Faye said to the girl and the hacker looked at her silently as the bounty hunter bent to speak to her. "I'm going to go out into the hallway and I want you to run toward Spike. And for heaven's sake, use that damn computer as a shield if you have to," she growled. She stared at the girl. "Do you understand?"

"Hai! Faye-Faye!" Ed sang, her arms embracing Tomato even more dearly.

"Faye-Faye," Faye grumbled and she straightened once more, her hand lifting the weapon against her shoulder as she breathed once more. "Ok, on the count of three…"

Ed huddled closer to her, her slender form ready.


Another bullet cut into the wall beside her face, making her stiffen and from ahead of them Spike rose once more, his jaw clenched, his eyes narrowed as he shot off three more bullets. Perfect precision, cold-hearted resolve.


The gunshots slowed for a moment as Spike ducked back around the corner, out of sight. And she heard him reloading, her breath catching in her throat. Inhaling through the ball there she began to move, already shoving Ed.

"Three!" And she flung herself out into the hallway, blocking it with her entire frame, legs opening into a stance. She immediately took down two of them and behind her she heard Spike curse before he also opened fire alongside her. There were more of them and she quickly turned to glance over her shoulder in time to see Spike wind one arm around Ed's nimble waist and lift her out of the way, tossing her around the corner almost absentmindedly. Then he was rising to his full height, shooting off shot after shot, eyes darting around the connecting hallways. Ducking her head she turned and darted, keeping hunched but shooting off blind shots as she ran.

Ahead of her Spike growled and she lifted her head in time to see a bullet graze his face, leaving behind a small line of blood. One eye shut, he shot off even more bullets, littering the hallway, and the return fire was chipping off pieces of metal, roaring in the sterile corridors. A second bullet caught him in the left shoulder and flung him backwards against the wall, his face registering pain for a moment.


And then she felt it, a sudden explosion of pain, burning agony, along her own left shoulder and she felt it all slow down. Time, the sirens, the ensuing gunfire. Even her breathing and her thoughts. It all just slowed. A second later a second burst of pain came through and she blindly stared, numb, as the bullet broke through her chest, shattering bone and spraying her blood as it went. And in the red flickering lights it seemed almost natural, like water splashing, that faint glimpse of red. But so much darker.

Spike lifted his head, wincing, and he shouted to her, eyes widening angrily but she didn't hear him over the sirens, over the rushing of her blood. Her lips parted, a small sound escaping her, and she fell in the middle of the hallway, her vision blackening, the sirens echoing about her, and Spike's voice ringing in her ears.