Disclaimer: not mine.
Fandoms: Cowboy Bebop/Stargate: Atlantis
Pairings: Laura Cadman/Jet, implied Faye/Spike
Rating: PG13, violence, language, sexual inuendo
Notes: So. Um. I was reading the comments on one of A.j.'s recent posts, and she and Timjr were in an icon war, sort of, and he used a Jet icon about boobies and A.j. used a Cadman one with 'up to no good' on it, and my brain went kerspolooey. AND 1600 words later, there is fic. Sigh. ALL name misspellings are my own, as are my lousy grasp of CB's timeline and general plot.

Atom Bomb Blues
by ALC Punk!

Spike finds her in a bar, where she beats him at poker and suggests he give her a ride. After she slaps him for taking it the wrong way, he allows as he might know a ship that could, possibly, be going the way she needs it to go. Over-hearing, Jet almost tells him it ain't happenin', but then Cadman grins, and he can't help but let it go. Besides, she's only riding with them until she gets where she needs to be.

Not that Cadman ever says where exactly she's headed.

Two steps onto the Bebop, and Faye hates her guts. Jet figures it's a chick thing, something about the blonde's nice figure, or maybe the way Spike can't take his eyes off her behind. He'd probably be half-right.

Luckily for Cadman, her lack of interest in Spike is quite obvious.

So is the way she sometimes seems to be listening to something that isn't there. Or perhaps she's looking at memories of what was. None of them can get her to talk about her past, though the burns on her arms (not as serious as they once might have been, though they were mostly old, and current medical technology could have removed them completely) say she used to do things with explosives. Or fire.

Faye once jokes that she's an escaped fire-bug, trying to out-run her past. Cadman punches her, slams her against the wall and then laughs, low. Like she's got something on Faye no one else does.

"Maybe you're the one running, sweetheart."

Cadman's halfway around the curve of the ship before Faye pulls herself off the wall and tries to pretend it never happened.

Five days after her arrival, Ed gets a tip that Spike and Faye bicker over following up. They're so wrapped up in trying to best each other that Jet and Cadman slip right under their noses, delivering the conman to the right authorities and walking off with the entire bounty.

Jet gives her a third, saying she's at least earned some of it, but she's got to pay room and board.

With an odd look in her eyes, Cadman disappears into one of the less savory quarters of the spaceport. She returns early the next morning, smelling of stale beer and other things Jet doesn't want to think about.

For some reason, Faye doesn't mock her.

Two weeks on, and Jet finds her tinkering with the engine. Her explanation is complicated and filled with words he's not really sure he gets. But since the ship isn't blowing up, and the engine is almost purring, he lets it slide.

And thinks that, maybe, she might be earning her keep with more than just cash.

It takes him a month to come to the realization that her being there is a nice change from being subjected to Faye and Spike and Ed all on his own. Even Ein likes her, and Faye almost seems to like her, though he doesn't think Faye truly likes anyone but herself.

Cadman gets injured the next time they're all out together, and Jet doesn't even think twice about slinging her over his shoulder and making sure she gets back. Faye patches her up while Spike mocks her inability to duck properly, and Cadman fires back that she wouldn't have had to duck if Spike hadn't knocked her out of her cover. When Faye agrees with her, and throws a used bandage at Spike, Jet blinks.

Women. He's not sure he'll ever understand them.

A week later, Cadman is cranky and snappish, making even Ed a target for her wrath. Jet figures she's getting tired of being cooped up and drags her out shopping with him.

Halfway through the market she slips away from him, her feet headed unerringly for the worst bars she can find.

This time, Jet follows her.

She's crew, now. He's not following to protect her honor or some stupid shit like that. He's following to protect his investment. But when she fetches up in one of the worst bars ever, he joins her, silent and guarded.

Cadman doesn't care. Or if she does, she's hiding it behind the three shots she's already downed in quick succession.

"Don't drink alone," is all he says.

So she doesn't, and neither does he. Even pacing himself, she's gone and half-falling off her stool by the time the night's half over. And Jet is pretty sure he might be drunk, but he's faking sober pretty good.

With his help, Cadman can actually stand, and they stagger out of the bar before the bartender can bilk more cash from them. Cash that Jet's pretty sure was probably meant for something other than alcohol consumption; for the life of him, he can't fucking figure out what.

They're halfway back to the ship (at least, it's the direction Jet thinks the ship is in) when Cadman shoves him up against a wall and kisses him.

She's not the first woman he's ever had, but she's drunk and not thinking, so he breaks the kiss, "Hey--"

"No--" She shakes her head at him, and in the light from the overheads, her eyes are clear for an instant, "I'm not as drunk as you think. I'm an ex-marine, Jet. I learned early how to slam 'em and deal." She leans in again, brushes her mouth against his. "But if you don't--"

If he doesn't? Christ. Jet thinks, for an instant, that's it's all he's been able to do to keep his hands off of her since she walked onto the damned ship.

Which is stretching it, but then, she wasn't Faye, Spike or Ed, and she was hot naked.

Not that he'd deliberately walked in on her showering that one time or anything.

"This doesn't--" he starts, not that he's really sure what he's about to say.

She cuts him off with her mouth.

Later, he'll remember bricks at his back while she wrapped her legs around his waist. He'll still feel her skin under his fingers for days and wake disoriented, half-hearing her muffled cries as she buried her mouth in his neck, trying not to make a sound.

It's still early when they get back to the ship, but Faye and Spike have disappeared. Ein gives them an odd look, but since dogs can't talk, Jet can't tell him to shut up.

Things go back to normal, or as normal as they can be, on the Bebop. Cadman and Faye go out drinking after jobs, though. And Cadman's careful to always come back mostly sober, dragging Faye, who curses about her general lack of sex until she spots Spike.

Jet never wants to know what goes on after that, and he's pretty sure he never will, because Cadman drags him off to a deserted part of the ship. Sometimes, they just talk, which scares the fuck out of him, because he's never talked to a woman so god-damned much. And sometimes, he listens to the things she remembers, the things that can't possibly be true, and wonders if she's as sane as she appears.

The sex is good. The sex is more than good, and sometimes, he thinks maybe that's how she's paying her room and board.

But she's not quite that crass, and she pulls her own weight. She even walks the fucking dog when he whines, even if it's just a run around the rings. She laughed once and told Jet that she missed running on Atlantis, how the corridors could go on forever, and sometimes you could get lost without half-trying. For an instant, her eyes were alight with something before her words caught up with her brain and she shut down again.

Jet wishes he could tell her she should go back.

He's not sure she even knows how, though, so he keeps his mouth shut.

It's scary, though, because sometimes, Ed, Faye and Cadman all seem to be talking a language that he can't decipher, one that leads to them being scarily good at ambushes and backing each other up.

The three of them together are better bounty hunters than Spike and he alone, and he thinks about that, about whether maybe they're a threat in some way, then decides he's ok with it. They need the revenue the women are pulling in, and Spike and Faye need the distractions to keep away from each others' throats. Although Cadman tells him it has nothing to do with hating each other.

He really doesn't want to know about that, though.

He'd much rather hear her talk about explosives and engines, swimming and her days at the academy. He's not exactly sure what academy could've turned out such a bright-eyed young woman, but he figures it might not be from anywhere around here.

One day, out of the blue (ten months after she first appeared and five weeks after Faye officially declared herself bored and ran off for two days and then returned drunk and dragged Spike into a closet), she stops him in the hallway, and half-smiles, "It's Laura, by the way."

He stares after her, mind half-caught between surprise, and the nice image she presents in her fatigues as she continues on.

Laura, huh?

That could take some getting used to. He'd been fond of Cadman. But then, he's pretty sure he'd rather whisper "Laura" into her hair when she's in the mood to cuddle.

Which probably makes him a freakin' sap.

-f-