DISCLAIMER:I don't own Cowboy Bebop. I don't own its song entitled Flying Teapot. The mentioned series and song rightfully belong to their creators.

DEDICATION: This chapter is dedicated to Harumigirl, one of my avid readers of this fanfic. Thanks for all the support! This one's for you! :3


(Session 9: Flying Teapot)

"…excuse me?"

"Yes, you heard that right," Spike answered, "We are only allowing one MONO craft to enter the Bebop to fetch her."

"We are going to fetch her?" Ana snarled, her angry eyes matching her symbolic fiery red hair. Ana closed her eyes and tried to control her erupting temper, whereas Spike was still cool and all. Ana began to speak again through gritted teeth, her eyes giving Spike death glares through the monitor, "Let me remind you, Mr. Spiegel, just in case you forgot. You kidnapped her, and you expect us to fetch her?"

Spike shrugged his shoulders and replied with a wry smile on his face, "Well, yeah."

Ana facepalmed and sighed. Spike watched her through his monitor as she threw her hands up in the air and shook her head. She snickered bitterly before speaking to him, "At first I didn't want to believe Trish when she told me how much of an ass you were. I didn't want to believe that such idiots exist. I really hate to admit this, but please allow me to tell you this."

"Oh sure, go on ahead." Spike was rather having fun with irritating this noblewoman.

"YOU ARE ONE RARE PIECE OF A FUCKING IDIOT," Ana spoke, venom dripping at every word.

"Why, thank you. I get that a lot," Spike bowed mockingly at her, "but to hear it from the likes of you, I now feel more self-confident for being a rare piece of a fucking idiot. Not much in the universe quite like me, yes. I'm a very rare find." Spike couldn't help but match a goofy grin with what he had said.

Ana hissed, bringing her face closer to her webcam, "Suck it up, because I meant every word! You fucking kidnapped her, so why not bring her back here, where you got her, huh? We could make arrangements like granting you a privilege pass to enter our hyperspace gates. But you want us to fetch her?"

"Hey, who's the kidnapper here?" Spike tilted his head to the side, not failing to hide his amusement with poking fun at this ill-tempered woman. He pointed his unlit cigarette towards his direction and spoke, "I am. So I'm the one who has the goddamn right to set the conditions, no matter how fucking idiotic they are."

"Your current location is already near Titan!" Ana screeched, "You have any idea how goddamn far that is from Deimos?!"

"Of course I do," Spike lit the cigarette and took a long drag from it, "I'm a Martian, after all. You live in one of our moons. You should be a few hours nearer to Titan than Mars is. And what's the use of hyperspace gates? Isn't it to cut traveling time from lightyears into mere hours or days? Traveling at hyperspace gates is 240 times faster than usual travel, to be exact. You've got no right to complain, your royal highness."

(A/N: That info about the hyperspace gates is officially released by Cowboy Bebop in their Session 0.)

"Can't we meet halfway?!" Ana ranted, "Even if we traveled 240 times faster, your location is still far from Deimos."

"Hmm, okay then. Let's rendezvous near Ganymede. Halfway, yes? Jupiter is just in between Mars and Saturn. Considering you're in a moon of Mars, and we're near a moon of Saturn, meeting near a moon of Jupiter is fair, yes?"

"You have a deal." Ana sat down on her chair and massaged her temples, "What's in it for us?"

Spike took another long drag at his cigarette, watching the ember burn at the end of the stick before exhaling the smoke out of his nostrils. He looked serious as he contemplated on her question. He wet his lips and stared at his webcam, "We're not interested in your money. But as I've said, we're only allowing one MONO craft to dock here at the Bebop to fetch Faye. So, if she's that important to you, then I'm going to ask that it should be Apollo who should fetch her."

Ana gaped and her eyes widened at that.

Spike had his secret reasons. He didn't have his happy ever after with Julia, but he wanted Faye to have hers with Apollo. So, he wanted her to see Apollo immediately. He wanted to assess if the man was really someone he can't ever reach. Spike wanted to ensure Faye's happiness. Hey, she deserves it. After all the years of shit she's been through.

"You have no idea what you're talking about." Ana shook her head.

"Of course I do," Spike smiled his usual mischievous one, "I'm asking the CEO of the Deimos Corp to fetch the damsel in distress here. If you can't agree with me on those terms, well, looks like Faye isn't as highly valued as she thought she is. Too bad. Well, we could use some extra muscle in here for bounty hunting. I guess she we can have her back—"

Ana interrupted with a frustrated groan and eyed Spike squarely, "FINE! IT'S A DEAL! Tsss. Fucking idiot."

Ana went offline immediately. Spike leaned back on the couch and made smoke circles as he closed his eyes. Faye will be released soon.

So how were they able to contact Ana? Well, Spike had activated Faye's cellphone and sent a text message to Ana to contact them. Then, he told Jet that he and Faye were already able to talk to each other and that they were cool, so he should let Ed give Ana a chance to contact the Bebop.

Spike stood up and walked his way towards Faye's room. He stared on the floor, his eyes falling upon the bloody pocket knife on the floor, then at the empty antiseptic bottle, before gazing at the pool of blood and antiseptic crusting on the metal surface.

Where was Faye? Well, she was now taking a bath. They decided that she should take a bath first before Spike cleans her wound on her temple and on her hand. So now was a good time clean this mess in her room. Spike crouched down and picked up the pocket knife and the small empty bottle, before standing right up and swiping the two empty beer bottles on the bedside dresser that he had left there the day before.


Faye sighed as she tried to stifle a groan to escape her throat as she cleaned the wound on her left hand while she lay in the tub full of water and soap. She watched as the blood mingled with the soapy liquid in the tub. She sighed as she continued to squeeze near the wound area to allow bleeding. A few minutes later, she pulled the tub plug and drained the water. She replaced the plug when all the water has drained out, before refilling the tub with water and soap. She tossed her head back as she lifted her bleeding hand over the rim of the tub to let the crimson liquid to drip on the floor, as she allowed herself to relax to the feel of warm water and the fragrance of the soap. She closed her eyes.

She was too drowned in her own senses as she failed to notice that she actually forgot to lock the bathroom door and now, somebody tiptoed its way inside. She snapped her eyes open when she heard and felt a splash in the tub. She screamed and almost felt as if her skin jumped off her bones as she saw a red head grinning at her.

Sometimes I think oh yes
I'd move to where all the shooting stars are gone
With all of our wishes

"Ed!" Faye screeched, as she covered her own body from the innocent child.

"Ed wants to join Faye-Faye for bath time!" Ed happily chirped.

It's not like Faye can do anything with it now, right? Ed had welcomed herself to intrude Faye's private time, so it's no use shooing the child away. Nevertheless, Ed is a girl, so no worries. And besides, according to Spike, it was Ed who had bathed Faye while she was asleep. What else was there to hide?

Faye sighed as she watched Ed enjoy make bubbles by blowing air through pouted lips while submerged in the water. Some part in Faye felt peace. After all, this was a child...well, Ed is probably 15 now, but she was still childlike. Some children give off an energy that makes an older person feel younger. Faye was, of course, older than her apparent age.

When she was at Ed's age, she could remember being a sweet, cheerful, friendly, and shy girl. How she wished that she could go back to those times, those times when problems were simple—what to wear on the next slumber party with Sally and the other girls? What movie to watch next? Should she tell her mom about that new guy in school whom she was crushing on? Can she ask her dad to treat her and her friends to an overseas vacation on her 16th birthday? Faye sighed once more. She wished that she could be a child again.

Ed noticed Faye that she had sighed twice, so she asked, "Is something wrong, Faye-Faye?"

Faye shook her head and gave a small smile to Ed.

"Then why does Faye-Faye have a bleeding hand?" Ed asked as she stared at the wound.

"Oh, this is nothing. Clumsy me." Faye faked a snicker. Ed seemed to have bought it. Of course. Ed was still naïve and gullible.

How could they bare oh no
To carry around the stupid human hopes
So I'm going to help, I will

"Ed was told by Jet-person and Spike-person to allow Faye-Faye's friend to contact Bebop. Is Faye-Faye going?" Ed looked at Faye with earnest eyes.

Faye smiled, "Yeah, I need to go home…back to Deimos."

"So Faye-Faye is not going back to Bebop anymore?" Ed pouted.

There was a tug at Faye's heart as she looked at Ed. She gulped before answering Ed, "I might not go back here anymore."

Ed had downcast eyes and could only say, "Oh." The teen submerged her head in the water, up until the bridge of her nose. She blew out bubbles again.

It's not like Faye was close to Ed, but she felt sorry for the child. Faye might be Ed's favorite Bebop crew, because…well, of course, because she's a girl, too. She wondered how Ed had fared in those two years, being left alone with two men in this old fishing ship. Faye wished she could've been closer to Ed. But there was one question she's been itching to ask Ed.

"Ed, how did you get back here at the Bebop?"

Ed immediately raised her head from the water and answered cheerfully, "Ed was able to detect Bebop on Earth two years ago! Ed found out where the Bebop was and returned with Ein!"

Faye smiled at Ed's happy demeanor. Like a child, indeed.

"…but Ed felt sad that Faye-Faye wasn't at the Bebop anymore when Ed got back." Ed pouted.

Give me a key to lock the door
To the secret paradise
There are so many queuing up
And I won't let them in

Faye sighed, "Did they explain to you why I left?"

"Jet-person only said that Faye-Faye was really sad and had to leave to find happiness." Ed replied, "You know, Jet-person and Spike-person really worked hard to find Faye-Faye. Jet-person told me that they were looking for Faye-Faye because Spike-person needs to talk to her. Spike-person would wash Faye-Faye's clothes at least every week, whenever there's no bounty. He also cleans Faye-Faye's room. Spike-person said that just in case Faye-Faye decides to stay. He said Faye-Faye might be grumpy to find her room in a mess and with no clean clothes to wear."

Faye's eyes widened at that, "Spike was cleaning my room and washing my clothes?!"

Ed nodded in delight. Faye couldn't believe it. Faye thought that if there could've been anyone so diligent enough to clean her room and wash her clothes, it might be Jet, and definitely NOT Spike! Besides, Spike didn't look like a tidy person anyway!

"Since when had he done it?"

Ed looked up as she thought, and then landed her golden eyes to stare at Faye, "…uhmm, Spike-person has been doing it probably even before Ed and Ein returned to the Bebop."

Faye can't really believe her ears.

"Ed will miss Faye-Faye." Ed said almost in a whisper, but Faye heard that. Ed's eyes looked sad and she had her lips pursed.

Probably the reason why Faye could have been Ed's favorite person is that the latter expresses herself more with the former. Ed doesn't open up or be as talkative when she's around Jet and Spike. Maybe, some part of Ed feels that Faye can understand. Faye doesn't know if some part of Ed understood her, but all she knows is that Ed does not want her to go, at least not yet…but Spike has already decided to release her, and Faye has a life waiting for her in Deimos, and she has the possibilities of being entered into a noble family. Wasn't this supposed to be right? Almost eight decades ago, a baby girl named Faye was born to a wealthy family in Earth, in a country formerly known as Singapore. Isn't it only right that she would eventually die as a noblewoman, even if she has to forget about her original nobility and bear another noble name?

Look at them
They are cheeky
They are never worthy
to be saved

"Bebop's no fun without Faye-Faye around." Ed continued.

Faye has to live her own way. She felt sorry that Ed has to feel this way…but Faye longed for a family, and a family was waiting for her in Deimos. Bebop is just a dysfunctional family that she formerly belonged to but she has to leave that all in the past. Maybe someday, when Ed grows up, she will eventually understand why Faye has to go.

Faye stretched her arms out and wrapped them around Ed. She cradled the young one's head in the crook of her neck and hugged her tight. Faye rested her chin on Ed's head and cooed, "I'm sorry, Ed. You'll understand one day. You'll be all right. Everything will be all right."


"So how did it go, buddy?" Jet asked as he poured Spike another serving of whiskey.

Spike's long fingers wrapped around the small glass and downed the liquor in one go. He inhaled smoke from his cigarette and said while blowing it out, "Which one? Talking to Ana or talking to Faye?"

"Faye."

"Went well," Spike shrugged his shoulders as Jet downed his own serving of whiskey before pouring another serving for the both of them.

"And does she have plans of going back here?"

Spike shook his head as he swirled the liquor in his glass, "She was offered to be a part of the Volakis family by Apollo."

"What could that mean?" Jet asked as he exhaled smoke through his nostrils.

Spike emptied his glass and poured himself another shot of whiskey as he replied, "Well, the way I understood it, how else could a woman be entered into a family by a man?"

Jet's eyes widened, "…marriage?"

Sometimes I feel oh yes
I could do almost everything I wanted
And it makes me cry

Spike took a long drag from his cigarette and lazily blew out the smoke before answering, "She has a huge thing for that Apollo guy. That guy seems to like her, too. He helped her get into photography, he apparently had her enter that photo challenge last year, and after she won the challenge, he gave her a condo unit…and dig this, he paid for her hundreds of millions of debts. Now you tell me, with all the things that that guy has done for her, how could Faye say no to such proposal?"

"…so you mean, she hadn't answered him yet?" Jet asked as he brought the glass to his lips.

Spike shook his head, "Faye said she hesitated. She was still practically a stranger to him. She did not want to disclose her past and her former identity to him, in fear that he might be disgusted to know about it."

"But the guy has tons of money on him," Jet flicked his cigarette on the ashtray, "one way or another, he will know. He will find ways to know even if Faye won't tell him."

Spike shrugged again as he finished his cigarette and squished the butt on the ashtray, "Well, it's her life. She makes the call."

Jet watched Spike as he emptied his glass and refilled it. He asked, "So… did you also ask her about why she left the Bebop two years ago?"

"Nope, and it doesn't matter," Spike raised his glass to Jet, "the past no longer matters. She has a future, a bright one at that."

Spike smiled, reminiscent of when he said that to Faye.

Jet shook his head as he brought his glass up to Spike's and he spoke, "Cheers to Faye."

Spike replied, "Bottoms up."

They both finished their glasses. Jet finished his cigarette and put it out on the ashtray. He asked Spike, "You shouldn't be oblivious to the answer to that question, Spike."

Lay your heart
Lay your soul
Upon my magic carpet
Now we are flying
To Venus just to kill some time for tea OK

"To what question?" Spike pretended not to remember, hoping that the whiskey had taken some kind of effect to Jet's memory.

"Why Faye left the Bebop," Jet answered. He's still apparently very much sober.

Spike snickered, "You think I know the answer? Are you thinking I'm some kind of magic crystal ball or something? I don't know why she left. If you do, tell me about it."

The woman loves you, damn it. How insensitive of a bastard can you be? Yeah, that's what Jet had wanted to tell him, but he decided against it. This wasn't his game. He knows better than to meddle in people's businesses.

"Whatever, Spike," Jet stood up and told him, "the answer to me is pretty obvious, but you have to figure that out yourself. If you have, don't pretend like you're blind."

"So what do you expect me to do?" Spike looked up at the lighting on the ceiling.

"You can't lie to yourself either, buddy." Jet turned on his heel and walked towards the kitchen, "I'm cooking something special today so all of us can eat together for the last time. You should go clean Faye's wounds before we eat. Her 'date' could come anytime now to pick her up, too."

Spike rolled his eyes as he stood up and started walking, before playfully barking at Jet, "Yes, Dad."


Faye stood in her room in nothing but a towel wrapped tightly around her lithe frame. She found out that what Ed had told her earlier might've been true after all. As far as she remembers, she left this room with her blood mixed with the antiseptic on the floor. She was also sure that an empty antiseptic bottle and a bloody pocket knife were also on the floor. There were two empty beer bottles on her bedside dresser. But now, the floor and the dresser are spotless. And on her bed were the dress and the bolero she wore when she was 'abducted'.

She brought her dress up to her face and smelled it. It smelled like it was washed. She held the dress draped over her left forearm and she walked to her cabinet. She opened it and picked out one of her skimpy yellow outfits. She smelled it and they have indeed smelled fresh. She held out her black dress and hugged it. She let out a sigh and fought against the tears that were threatening to fall.

Remember
Surrender
There's nothing you can do
Cause love's such a joke
Like a little jack in a box you know
A little jack in a box

This was a side of Spike she never knew and never imagined he had. She wouldn't have known if Ed didn't tell her about it. Just to know this was enough for Faye. Faye still loved Spike, even after two years. He was a memory she had both wanted and despised. It was an unrequited love. So this gesture from Spike could've been a brotherly act towards her. She knows that he would never see her the way he saw Julia. No. Most definitely not. He only had eyes that could see Julia. He only had a heart that beats for Julia. As much as Faye had loved Spike even after two years, it's not impossible that he would still be pining for Julia after all these times. Because the fact that he faced Vicious two years ago was enough proof that he loved Julia, no matter what. And for Faye, she had accepted defeat. She met Julia. She was nothing compared to Julia. Nevertheless, all these realizations had come for Faye to make her decision.

Faye let the towel around her pool at her feet as she got dressed up. There was no time to spare, if she could make things right, she will today. She opened her second drawer in her bedside dresser and got out a pen and a paper. She started writing down something quickly. If she left without a note last time, this time would be different. Yes, she will return to Deimos and it is possible that she won't be coming back to the Bebop anymore, but at least she had the last laugh. She will make sure that she will not regret anything after this. There was nothing to regret. Nothing. She finished what she wrote, kept the pen back in her drawer, and went back to her cabinet. She slipped the folded note in one of the pockets of one of her red jackets.

As if on cue, she heard a knock on the door. She picked up her towel on the floor and carefully closed her cabinet.

"Faye?"

Lay your heart
Lay your soul
Upon my magic carpet
Now we are flying
To Venus just to kill some time for tea OK

She tapped the switch by her door and the door slid open. Spike welcomed himself in her room and she gave him a questioning stare.

"Let's take a look at those wounds," Spike told her as he grabbed a chair and placed it near her bed. He opened the first drawer in her bedside dresser and got the first aid kit out. Faye blinked. Spike looked unbelievably calm today. Very calm. It scared her.

Faye walked towards her bed and sat down. She fought a blush when Spike leaned closer to her face to inspect the healing wound on her temple. She could feel his breath on her cheek, it smelled of liquor and smoke, but it didn't stink. It was just musty. So much like him. He always smelled that way, and it was calming. He smirked and told her as he opened the first aid kit and uncapped a new bottle of antiseptic, "That wound on your head is getting better."

"Were you able to contact Ana?" Faye asked as he watched Spike's hand make contact on the wound on her forehead and applied antiseptic.

"Yeah," Spike replied as he brought his arm down and reached for an ointment and began applying it on her wound, "Apollo will pick you up later."

"Apollo?" Faye asked, surprised, "Why him?"

Spike finished applying the ointment and sat back, "Because I told her that it should be Apollo who should fetch you. If you are as important as you think you are to them, then they should allow their most prized family member to fetch you."

Faye sighed, "You have no idea what you're asking of him. You're a jerk, you know that?"

"Amusing how you and Ana have the same sentiments towards me, only yours is a bit more polite-sounding." Spike gave her a sly smile, "Now let's see that bad cut on your hand."

Lay your heart
Lay your soul
Upon my magic carpet
Now we are flying
To Venus just to kill some time for tea OK

Faye reached out her left palm to Spike and he gently wrapped his hand around her wrist and brought it closer to his eyes for inspection. With that, he spoke, "That's a deep wound. We need to stitch it."

It's not like Spike doesn't know how to stitch a wound. Faye learned two years ago that both he and Jet know how to treat gunshot wounds (and extract bullets from those wounds, especially when they're too far away from their friend Doctor), temporarily splint broken bones, stitch wounds, and mostly other wounds acquired after getting into a fight with bounties. Faye thought that they might've learned it from their friend Doctor… Doctor… uhh, well, he wasn't really introduced to her. She just knows that they have a friend 'Doctor'. The doctor might've been really irritated with the two men because of their frequent visits, so he just taught them how to treat their wounds themselves. It's also possible that the two men just learned how themselves. After all, they were graduates from the 'school of life'.

"Uhm, well, I haven't been stitched," Faye nervously told Spike.

"Really?" Spike asked, "So how were you treated with your wounds from that Gate accident? …And you told me that you cut yourself before, so how do you expect your wounds to close?"

"I presume that my wounds healed by themselves for the entire duration of the cold sleep," Faye answered, "That, or my wounds were treated through laser…like how my wounds were treated whenever I cut myself before. And I'll prefer to be treated with laser since recovery is quick, painless, and it leaves no scars."

"Tsk. Rich kid. We don't have a medical mending laser here to sear your wounds closed, and you know that. That goddamn equipment is expensive, even just the portable one." Spike told her, "I'll apply a local anesthetic. You won't feel a thing."

Faye's breath hitched and she stared at him suspiciously.

"I know how to do this, and I bet you know that already." Spike answered her questioning glare, "So, stitch or no stitch?"

Remember
Surrender
There's nothing you can do
Cause love's such a joke
Like a little jack in a box you know

"I'll be going home later anyway, so no stitch." Faye told him, "I'll just explain to Apollo and Ana that you guys have nothing to do with these wounds."

Spike shrugged, "Okay. You say so. I'll just clean this, then."

Spike began to apply antiseptic on the wound. Faye would flinch every now and then. Faye stared at Spike, the way he was focused on this task, how he held her wrist securely but gently, and how his free hand would delicately work on her wound. Faye's heart made a little jump. She wanted this moment to last, where she truly feels that Spike cares for her. She was happy to find out that he would bother so much as to clean her room often and even wash the clothes that weren't even his, and ownerless for two years. See, Spike was a lazy ass of a man and was often an insensitive bastard who would say curses for all eternity, but here he was, totally the opposite of what he is. Faye felt extremely privileged to experience this for herself.

Spike put a splint on her hand so she won't move it around and allow the wound to, hopefully, clot. He also bandaged her entire hand.

"Done!" Spike told her as he placed the first aid kit on her bedside dresser.

Like a little jack in a box you know…

Faye would miss this side of Spike, definitely. Too bad it ended too soon. She will let this moment burn in her memory.

"Thanks," she told him sincerely, "for everything."

Spike didn't know what to say, so he decided to stand up and tell her, "Let's go. Jet said he prepared something special for us to eat today." Then, Spike started walking away from her and exited her room.

Faye followed him soon after.


"Open the hatch." Ana appeared on Ed's Tomato in the common room.

Spike approached the monitor and told her, "I thought I said—"

"Yes, so open the goddamn hatch," Ana interrupted, "Apollo is about to dock in the Bebop."

"Can we confirm that, Ed?" Spike asked Ed who was working on another computer on the floor.

"Uhmm…" She looked back at Spike and told him, "If that's the ship that Ana Banana is talking about."

"What did that child call me?!" Ana screeched.

Ed grinned widely and had a sing-song voice, "Ana, Anana, banana nanana! Ana Banana! Copa Cabana, Ana Anana, bababa banana! Ana Banana! Weeee!"

Ana growled at Ed's singing.

"Geez, chill. She's just a kid—err, uhm—childlike." Spike rolled his eyes at Ana, remembering Ed's actual age. He was now looking at the map on Ed's monitor. Wait, did he see that right? That blinking labeled dot that was approaching the Bebop.

"I'm on a ship that's located near the hyperspace gate at Callisto." Ana informed Spike, "We confirmed that Apollo is about to commence docking sequence. So open the fucking hatch."

The map showed a blinking labeled dot, a MONO craft approaching the Bebop on a steady speed.

It was the Red Tail.

"The Red Tail?" Spike said that rather bluntly, defeating its purpose as a question.

"Yes, stop gaping. That is the Red Tail, Trish's MONO craft. She and I kept it somewhere in Deimos, and I restored the tracker she has for the Bebop which she smashed two years ago. We chose for Apollo to fly this thing because it would detect where the Bebop is with ease." Ana explained.

"Jet! Open the hatch!" Spike hollered.

Jet made his way to the bridge to switch the hatch door open. The caution gate closed and he floated as the Bebop's gravity was switched off to allow the docking of the MONO craft.

"What the…" Jet gaped as he saw the familiar craft dock in the hangar, "Red Tail?"

The hatch was closed and gravity was switched back on in Bebop. The Red Tail's engine switched off and the cockpit opened. A man stepped down from the Red Tail. He was wearing a pair of black leather shoes, a pair of black pants, and had a black formal jacket on his sky blue dress shirt.

Jet made his way to meet the pilot at the hangar. The pilot noticed the bulky man's presence and he walked his way to where Jet was.

He smiled and reached out a hand, "Hello. I'm Apollo Volakis. I come in peace. I'm here to fetch Patricia Stein, as you have instructed."

Jet shook hands with the man who had just about the same height as Spike and told him, "The name's Jet. Would you like to wait here or—"

"Actually, if I may be so kindly permitted," Apollo asked earnestly, "I would like to have a word with the abductor of Lady Stein. Please don't worry. I would just like to speak with him. I mean no harm."

Jet looked at the man as if he grew another head. Apollo just had a still smile on his face—like it was pasted there or something. Jet sighed and said, "Please mark your word because if you make a fuss, I have no idea what that man can do to you. He doesn't exactly have the best-kept temper."

Apollo placed a hand over his heart and nodded, bowing once and he really still had that smile on his handsome face. He said, "I, Apollo Volakis, always mean what I say. I am always a man of my word. Trust me on that. Why else would I go out of my way to come all the way here to fetch Lady Stein when I can hire plenty other men to do it? Or perhaps just send my cousin Ana to do it for me? Isn't this enough proof that I abide by your conditions? All I'm asking is to talk to Lady Stein's abductor. Am I not granted that privilege?"

Though Apollo had a warm demeanor that surrounds him and the way he talks was curt, Jet could only feel intimidated. This is probably why he's filthy rich, he told himself. Jet started walking and told Apollo, "Well then, follow me."

"Ahh, thank you very much for your kindness, Mr. Jet." Apollo relaxed his shoulders and followed Jet until they reached the common room, where Spike and Faye were seated on the couch. Spike was smoking while Faye had her hands on her lap, waiting for Apollo.

"Hey Spike, this guy wants to talk to 'ya." Jet called out.

"Apollo!" Faye stood up and walked towards Apollo and bowed curtly to him.

Jet walked away and told Apollo, "I'll leave you to it."

Apollo's face was tainted with worry as he looked at Faye. He brushed the hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. He gently took her left hand and inspected it. He only said in a low tone, "Goodness, Lady Stein! What happened to you? What did they—"

"No, they didn't do anything to me, Apollo. I swear." Faye withdrew her hand from him and smiled sweetly at him.

"Are you sure?"

Faye nodded and told him, "Thank you for your kindness. I apologize that they have to bother you to fetch me."

Apollo finally regained his smile and told her, "Darling of a woman, aren't you? I would let no one harm my family. I already consider you one, even if it's not yet official." Apollo cupped Faye's face and she leaned into it.

Spike feigned a cough and caught their attention, "Sorry to bother your sweet little reunion there. You wanted to talk to me?" Spike asked as he stood up and squished the cigarette butt underneath his shoe.

Apollo kept his hands at his sides and told Spike, "I apologize. I must have been overwhelmed to see Lady Stein. Yes, I wish to speak with you. May we do so privately?"

Spike lit another cigarette and exhaled the smoke through his nostrils before answering, "Sure, I know a place. Follow me."

"I'm very grateful." Apollo smiled and then turned to Faye, "Please stay here. I'll be right back."

"Wait, what is this for?" Faye asked as Apollo started following Spike.

"Just a talk. Stay there." Apollo reminded her, "Do not follow us. I will be just fine. I can fully take care of myself."

Faye just stood in the middle of the common room, agape as she watched the two men walk away from her.

Spike had lead Apollo into the bridge. Spike flicked the lights open.

"What a view!" Apollo spoke in awe as he stared at the large window panels in the room. There were endless stars at sight, along with the darkness of space, with Jupiter into view, along with Ganymede and its fellow moons of the colossal planet. He could also see the different hyperspace gates here and there, the vast asteroid belt that separated the first four planets from the latter four giant planets of the solar system, and the different space crafts that travel to and fro.

"We haven't been formally introduced," Spike spoke while his cigarette hung on his lips. He stretched out his right arm while he kept the left in his back's waistband, checking if he kept his Jericho there. Spike continued as he looked into the eyes of Apollo, "My name is—"

"Spike Spiegel," Apollo interrupted as he took Spike's hand and shook it.

Spike's eyes widened a bit and wondered why Apollo kept smiling and never let go of his hand. Spike's left hand touched his gun's cold metal just in case this man had something up his sleeves. Spike replied coolly, "Well, I didn't know you knew me, Mr. Apollo Volakis."

Apollo's smile was warm and friendly, but his eyes looked like it held some sort of… evil? Spike's eyebrows furrows when Apollo's grip tightened on his hand.

"It's been a long time since we've seen each other, Spike." Apollo's face turned serious.

"What do you mean?" Spike has no fucking idea where the hell he'd seen Apollo, but there was indeed an air of familiarity around him.

Apollo loosened his grip and he pulled out a picture from the inside pocket of his jacket. He showed this to Spike, whose eyes narrowed at the sight of the picture. His cigarette dropped to the floor while he quickly drew out his gun out and pointed it at Apollo.

"Who the hell are you?" Spike asked with all his defenses up. This guy had a picture of him and Vicious when they were still part of the Red Dragon Syndicate.

"Of course, it's been years since you've seen me… maybe nine or ten years ago?" Apollo snickered as he eyed the picture and kept it in his jacket, "I kept an eye on you ever since you left. You were able to fool the syndicate when you 'faked your death'. You wanted to leave the syndicate badly. But my father and I had always kept our silence to ourselves—we've always known you were alive. We knew you would bring Vicious down for us. And you did. It was also vengeance for my father, who died in the hands of Vicious. It's enough for me to know that my father's death was not in vain for you killed Vicious and his cronies, eradicating the Red Dragons forever."

Spike tightened his grip on his gun now, "I said, who the fuck are you?"

Apollo wrapped his long fingers around Spike's gun and forced it downwards, "No need for hostility, young one. I come in peace. You never changed at all! Your temper is still as delicate as when my father introduced me to you."

"And who the hell is your father?" Spike's heart was racing, he could hear it. He swears to God (if he believed in one), this man was familiar but he doesn't know who he is. All he knows is that this guy is connected with the syndicates.

"You loved my father. You loved him as if he was your father, too." Apollo smiled, "And in return, you became my father's favorite student slash syndicate. He completely trusted in you, more than he could trust his other student, Vicious."

Spike's eyes widened. His arms finally dropped to his sides. He mumbled, "You mean you're…Tai Yang…?"

"I'm glad you remembered, Spike! It's almost flattering!" Apollo said in delight, "That's right! I'm Tai Yang! Or at least I was Tai Yang Yenrai, the son of Mao Yenrai, your beloved Capo in the Red Dragon Syndicate. Isn't this a nice little reunion?"

(To be continued…)


Confrontation. Revelation. Confession. Goodbye, adieu. But this is not yet the end. Truth, love, hurt, moving on. There's always more than what meets the eye.

Session 10: Adieu

"You have some secrets that she doesn't know, Tai Yang… and she has some secrets that you don't know."

Spike Spiegel

See you space cowboy!


A/N: Sorry wasn't able to update for more than a month. Well, all I can say is that this fic is about to end. So how is it going to end? You have to stay tuned to find out! ;]

Leave a review before you go! ;]

+Releina Artemis+