Disclaimer: Cowboy Bebop isn't mine.

NOTE: I know all that my stories are depressing. I am so sorry if you get depressed reading this but writing helps me feel better after a good cry or outburst of anger. I feel for Faye because Spike left, and geeze I think I am starting way too many Cowboy Bebop stories!!!!

SECOND NOTE~ Alright I did this at a real late hour so there is proabaly tons of mistakes. I'll go over it tomarrow but enjoy it for now!
~VT~


Set six months after Spike's *Death*


Chapter One

She stopped crying a long time ago for what he should have had but didn't, what he could have been but wasn't. He was gone, and of course she dealt with death and violence everyday, and.....she hadn't even really liked him anyway. As soon as the thought registered in her mind she felt guilty. She felt ashamed that she couldn't admit even to herself that she really missed him deep inside.

Faye Valentine had found the past she had always been looking for six months back, but when the past turned out to be nothing but bones without skin there really wasn't a reason to go back to it. So, as anyone would have done, she had looked to her future- Spike, Ed, Jet, Ein, and the Cowboy Bebop. Five elements that made living meaningful.

Spike had been the heart of the group.

But Spike had had other plans besides the future with the ones that loved him most, who needed him most. Who wanted nothing but the best for him. Who tried to make him see beyond his past that held him chained somehow. Who prayed for him to look at their eyes and not leave what he would never come back to.

Obviously his friends had not been important enough. Obviously he hadn't cared all that much about how selfish he was being by taking away the only thing some of them ever wanted.

Friendship. Truth. Loyalty.


Spike had died and ended his dream, ended the fantasy he thought was nothing without his dreamer, his Julia, with him. He'd gone and left Faye standing in the hall way shooting her gun with wrenched sobs, sobs that still tore at her in memory with tears that scarred her heart and would never fully heal through time.

Even though he had been a pain in the ass, Faye had felt connected with him and Jet. With the Cowboy Bebop and the life she had there. She felt like she had had a home to go back to at night when her feet were weary and her soul tired. Then when he left things just were too painful, too memory filled to be around anymore.

Faye kicked a can with her black boot and sent it screeching down one of the dark corners of the street of the planet Jupiter. She had since changed her attire to be more grim, to fit her mood. She wore black leather pants, a black leather coat and a gray stretch shirt. Her hair was pulled up in a pony tail with a black hair clip, and the purple ends were a bit bluer than usual. She was a whole lot bluer than usual.

She dressed to be like Spike's Julia. And in truth she wanted to be Julia. She wanted to be that cold, exotic goddess. That woman who had had the audacity to steal Faye's future, her only reality of a home. Spike had been the part that held her future; Jet, the Bebop, and herself, together. Without him, her future, her home, had no warmth, no fire to heat the hearth. Without that warmth a home was nothing but a hollow cave that held listless memories and aching thoughts everywhere like scattered leaves on the ground. Her home became as dead as the trees in fall without him.

And now she was left homeless.

Funny, she thought at times, that you never really know how much a person means to you until they walk out of your life. When he had left her standing in the hallway of the Bebop she had stood by and done nothing, couldn't do anything, and for the first time she felt useless. It had all been almost too much to bear let alone think about.

She wanted things back the way they were, even with Spike and Jet always chastising her about what she did, where she went, what she wore. At least by their snide remarks she knew they cared enough about her to at least talk to her.

Now she had no one, and for some reason she felt incredibly sad and happy at the same time. No one was there to walk out on her while at the same time no one was there to love her, make her feel special, make her happy when she was sad.

Faye wanted to stop feeling all together, she wanted to stop caring because caring meant pain. She didn't want anymore pain in her life. She just wanted to feel empty and cold, and lifeless. No sadness, no anger, no happiness, just a nothing that could heal her old wounds and bare barriers against any on coming ones. She wanted to be controlled so she didn't have to turn and see faces who counted on her too much, and she didn't want to have to make choices that would hurt another. She wanted someone else to make those choices for her, to move her like a doll so all she had to do was live the rest of her life as a puppet. She didn't care, at least she'd being doing something with her life instead of sitting around wishing it away like a vegetable.

She wasn't going to die while doing nothing, she was going to die doing something like wasting her life. There wasn't anything else to do, she had nothing left.

She turned a corner and opened one of the doors of the nearest bars. She needed a good drink, one that took her whole problems away like a tsunami. She needed to stop for a second, say good-bye to her humanity before she walked through the doors of the Red Dragon and sold her soul. She was planning on joining the Syndicate that was apparently still a crime and terrorist group, feared greatly by many. Ah, to be feared...

She wondered who the new leader was now that Vicious was gone, that Spike was gone. She wondered what it was going to be like there. Was it going to be painful or chillingly thoughtless?

For all it was worth, she didn't care more than thought. She looked around the dim lit bar and coughed at the sudden inhalation of the smoke that was in the room. People of all sorts sat around in tables, talking softly, and secretively. She walked to the bar and ordered her favorite drink, taking a seat on the nearest stool. Her whole body felt light as she sighed heavily. She looked up at the bulletin board scanning the latest bounties, looking for anything interesting to occupy her mind with. The bar tender came around and gave her her drink. "Looking at the bounties?" He asked as if he didn't already know.

Faye turned her body away from him. "Maybe, maybe not. What's it to you?" she said as she sipped her drink. The bartender huffed.

"One is right down there, at the end of the bar," he said pointing to a red head punk in a black and white hockey jersey. Faye glanced at the board and saw the name Hei Tsuki, 500 wong. He wasn't worth her trouble but she knew she could use the extra pocket change. Besides it looked like easy money and easy money was hard to come by these days.

She drank the rest of her drink and smiled. A charming smile that made the bar tender sweat. Then she was off and making her way to the red head punk. She barely noticed the man in the trench coat and black cowboy hat also planning on paying Red Head a visit as well. She reached him first though, and she used her body to her advantage. "Hello," she said so shyly she was getting sick inside.

Red Head looked up and smiled. "Hey, babe. Looking for some trouble?" His voice was sly, definite jerk material.

Faye knitted her eyebrows. "Trouble? Oh no, I don't want any trouble." She put on her best innocent look, putting her forefinger to her lips that were pouting something terrible. She knew his type, he liked to hear his women scream and cry. She made sure her ass was sticking way out in his view and her cleavage was in his full range as she leaned down on the bar beside him. She made her body look very inviting. She rested her chin on her one hand.

His smile widened. "Well, I ain't any trouble, babe." He put his arm around her waist and breathed in her face. Mmmm...yuck, she thought trying not to gag.

"That's what I thought," she said childishly. "All these men look so, so, so angry," she said looking around before staring him in the eyes. She knew her aqua eyes were wide, naive.

"Well, don't worry about it with me," he said as he leaned foreword to give her a kiss.

"Oh, don't worry," she began innocently, before she kneed him in the groin. "I won't," her voice was rough and cold as she said that.

Red Head fell to the floor in a heap of agony. The bar was suddenly silent except for the groans of the man before her, lying on the floor, clutching both hands between his legs.

Then she felt a hand on her shoulder and she turned smiling sweetly. A man with biker style clothes on stared at her with anger. His fat face red with rage. "Hei never done nothing to you, bitch," he said angrily.

Faye could feel her eyes heat with rage. She didn't like to be called a bitch. "Nah, he just pinched my ass too hard," she replied so coldly she could actually feel the change in the air. Two men stood behind the biker and came towards her. Damn, she thought. She stole a glance at the bar tender who was smiling arrogantly. Obviously he knew this was going to happen, and she made a mental note to kick his ass pretty hard before she left. Assuming she left alive.

"I think you need to be taught a lesson." The biker moved towards her.

The man in the trench coat moved next to her. "I think my mom taught me enough lessons when I was kid," she said angrily not noticing the man beside her. "She taught me never to talk to strangers, especially ugly ones with brains the size of peas," she said angrily. The biker didn't like that.

"I think you're mom was a bitch just like you!" he charged her.

Before she could think the man in the trench coat had knocked the biker down with one swift movement. The biker's friends stared at their new opponent angrily as they took out their knives and guns. The bar turned into a riot as tables turned over and people began running to the exits.

Faye left Mr. Trench coat to deal with the Biker gang as she went after the bartender. Oh, he was going to get more than a piece of her mind. She jumped on the nearest table and looked around. Then she saw his sorry form emptying the cash register hurriedly. In one easy bound she was squatting on top of the bar, in front of his face, her aqua eyes angry as hell. "Hello," she hissed. She grabbed his collar and pulled him up to her as she stood, she was a strong bitch and she knew it. "Thought you could pull one on me?" she asked, her lips brushing his cheek. She could smell his fear. He was shaking, the same fear she breathed in was reflected in his eyes. She smiled and took out her gun she had concealed in her pocket. She licked his cheek, her ruthless behavior disturbing even her own heart. "I'm going to kill you now," she said softly. She was feeling reckless, and she was pissed. Not a good combination for her prey's sake.

"No, no, please," he begged. He wept and the tears that fell down his face had no effect on her withered heart.

She licked the end of her gun. "I bet if I had begged for you to help me while those boys were roughing me up you wouldn't have even lifted an eyelash." She smiled as she pressed the gun under his chin. She felt cold, compassionless. "Good-bye," she kissed him on the lips, stifling his cries as she pulled the trigger. She felt blood on her lips as the shot faded into the dying air. What had she done? She was sick at the thought of what she just did, so she brushed it away as if it didn't happen. Forget. If you forget you didn't do it. At least not in your mind, and that's all that counts.

She threw the body to the ground as she jumped from up top the bar and turned to face whoever was left. The man in the trench coat had his back to her but the two who had drawn knives and guns stared at her in horror. She pointed her gun in their direction, and in a flash they were gone as was everyone else in the bar, including her bounty.

"Damn," she muttered as she wiped the blood from her lips and face. Her shirt was splattered with it but she didn't care all that much. It wasn't there, it wasn't there. as long as she kept telling herself that she was fine. The man in the trench coat turned around, the hat covering his eyes. He wasn't scared of her, she could feel that certainty in the air. "What do you want?" she asked as she sat down on the stool and rested her arms on the bar. She knew she looked like some crazy creature from a horror movie but she could have cared less. She wished she could have cared less.

The figure moved towards her, his lanky movements so familiar. Faye could feel her head begin to ache. She looked up sharply. No, it couldn't be...! "Who are you?!" She asked as she got up quickly. He was the same height as... as....

She pulled the hat off his head and stared at the multi colored eyes. Fuzzy green hair, long nose, smoothed tanned skin. "Spike, you- you...!" Her voice was excited. Then she grew terribly angry and slapped him hard across the face. He held no smile and only looked pained when his gaze met hers once more. His eyes so innocent yet so knowing and mature. Just like she remembered. "You asshole!" she screamed.

He smiled. "Glad to see you too, Faye." He brushed his long fingers through his wild hair. He rubbed his cheek gently and stared down at her blood stained shirt. "Don't even tell me what you did to that poor guy," he said softly. He looked around the bar and sighed. "I actually wanted to get a bounty too, and would have except for your dumbass."

Faye was opened mouth. Spike was alive! he was there! She wanted to run up and hug him, kiss him, feel that he was real and she wasn't hallucinating. But then she gained full composure. Remember what he did to you. What he put you through. How insignificant he made you feel when he chose death over you. Faye shrugged. "Yeah, well first come first serve." She lit a cigarette. "And I'm not a dumbass, you're the shit head in this family," she said through the smoke.

"I didn't know we had a family. I mean, Faye, c'mon, us in a family? It's a comedy show all in all," he said expecting her to smile. But she just turned away, she refused to feel for him again. He betrayed her once, and never again was that going to happen.

"Yeah it's shit loads of laughter." She walked out of the bar into the cool air. The smell of blood was all over her and the nauseating reality of what she did, how she murdered, began to sink in her stomach. Spike followed her and sighed.

"Faye, I-" he began.

"Shut up, Spike. I don't know where your 'friends' are prioritized in your life now, but I remember quite clearly you chose a happy-go-lucky death over us then. I didn't want to believe it back then but pain bring people back to reality. I'm joining the Red Dragons, leaving you and Jet and the Bebop behind," she said coldly. Suddenly she felt how childish that choice really made her seem.

Spike stared at her with amusement. "I'll guess we'll be seeing alot of each other then."

She turned to him utterly cold, and he shivered inwardly. "What do you mean?"

"I'm the leader of the Red Dragons, now." He looked at her softly.

Look at us. We've both changed so much in the last six months. Faye felt so cold, and so alone. She sighed.

"Well, in that case maybe I'll just keep pursuing my bounty hunter life." She puffed at the shrinking cigarette.

"Yeah, looked like it was going great back there," Spike said sarcasticly while pointing back at the bar with his thumb.

She was angry with him for mocking her life when his was just as lousy. "I got by for six months on my bounty hunting." She said as if trying to prove something. She scolded herself for acting like the old Faye, the one Spike could catch in the net of teasing remarks and reel her in like a fish. She started walking away to the hotel she was staying at. Shouldn't she have been happy things were like the old days?

"Faye, wait up!" Spike called after her. She didn't stop but he quickly caught up to her. "Faye, I need to talk to you," he said as he reached her and paced his steps with her feet. "Jet's missing," he said as he grabbed her arm and stopped her.

She stared up at him with aqua green eyes. "Jet's missing?" she sounded worried, but she really wasn't inside. She was a great actress when it came down to it. Jet was a big boy, he could take of himself.

"You don't understand, Faye. He just vanished, and I have this feeling something bad happened to him." Spike was all serious now. His eyes were so intense, just like the day he left...

"Ok, Spike. I'll just pack my things and go off with you after six long months and pretend you never seemed really dead in my mind and life. I'll just pretend that those six months didn't happen," she said sarcastically. "Get a life, fro man." She turned from him taking her arm with her. "Does Jet even know your alive?"

There was a pause. "Jet was the one who stood by my bed the whole time I lay in coma," he said softly.

Faye stopped and turned. She felt guilt hit her for having not been there for him. She wanted to ask how he'd gotten out, what exactly happened, what was he thinking? But she pushed everything out of her mind. No feeling and no pain, was her main thought.

"You've changed, Faye," Spike said disdainfully.

"We both have."

"You've changed the most."

"I never intended to. Shit happens. You should know that better than anyone."

"I'm sorry," he offered lightly.

"That's not good enough."

"What is?"

She thought a moment. "I don't have anything to say to you anymore. I want to just live all by myself. Waste my life and die without pain and regrets. " Her voice was so monotone.

"Faye,.."

"I can't talk to you anymore tonight," she started and began to walk.

"Just because you want to change doesn't mean you will."

She paused a moment. What he said was true. She wanted to change more than she was changing, and every change she put herself through was making her sick.

"Meet me here tomorrow around eight and get your ass ready to leave this planet. You and I are going to be looking for Jet." He regained that authoritative smart ass attitude he had always had. The attitude that angered her so much it made her hot inside, made her burn with a firery rage. When she turned around to retort a rude and snide remark he was gone.

She turned around and cursed to herself.

Spike was back, but where was Faye? The woman who walked alone now wasn't Faye Valentine, but a stranger unrecognized by the reflection in the mirror longing to be something differnent then who she was inside.