Years after, Faye has a few words to share with a certain cowboy from her past. Because, sometimes, you've got to let go of the past and just move on.
So, I'm here; just like I promised myself, and now that I'm here I don't know what to say.
I mean, I guess I feel kind of stupid, talking to a piece of marble with a name and two dates on it. I don't even know if you're actually buried here or not. I'm sure that, wherever you are now, you're rolling your eyes at me, leaning back with that nonchalantly patronizing look of yours permanently plastered on your face, and thinking I'm an idiot. But, you know what? I never really cared what you thought of me. I'm not doing this for you, I'm doing this for me, so I can sleep a little better at night. I'm a selfish shrew, remember? So sit down and shut the fuck up, Spike Spiegel, because I've got a couple words to say.
So... right. Where do I begin?
Well, I guess, since we haven't seen each other in such a long time, that we could spend some time catching up, you know, like old friends. So, well, I've been doing pretty well with myself, thank you very much for asking. How 'bout you? All okay up there in the celestial spheres? Or down there burning in hell, wherever you are?
What have I been doing? Oh, you know, the usual. Gambling, bounty hunting, getting in all sorts of trouble, running away from the nasty people who want my money. Or their money, as they like to call it. Whatever.
Jet's been doing pretty well with himself, too. He doesn't go out bounty hunting that much anymore. He says, and I quote, "that shit only brings pain and sorrow. It's not worth it." I think that his heart just went out of it, after all that crap that went down. He's doing some repair jobs for money here and there, God knows that forsaken place needs it. Apparently it's more lucrative than bounty hunting - not that it takes much, at least for us.
So, yes, all in all I think we can say we're doing pretty well without you, Spike.
I still hang out on the Bebop, sometimes. Not as often as I used to, because sometimes if I stay there too long the memories become too much. But I always come back, every time, because it's the only thing I have, even if you're not here anymore. Sometimes it feels quiet, empty, but I always come back. I'm sure Jet feels lonely without me bitching around.
It's full of memories, but they're not always bad memories. I remember the time we spent together, and even though it's gone it feels good to remember. Yes, I know what you're thinking. "Yeah, catching 50 woolong bounties and eating dog food and one-year old rations. Great times, sure."
You're right, they weren't great times. We were miserable. But, you know, I've been miserable my whole new life, and we were miserable together. I said it once, and I meant it; belonging is the best thing there is. And I belonged on the Bebop. Perhaps I realized it too late. And, before I knew it, you were gone.
We all knew it would happen. You were a walking disaster. We knew it would happen; one day your nine lives would run out, and you'd walk off and cheerfully get yourself killed. We knew. Yet knowing didn't make it any easier.
I think that the worst part was the helplessness. Knowing that you were leaving, knowing that you wouldn't be coming back, and not being able to do a thing. You thought that we wouldn't have cared, huh? Maybe you thought that since we knew we were prepared for it? Or, most likely, you just didn't give a flying shit.
You just rushed off into every trouble you could find, never even stopping to think that there were people who worried, people who cared about whether you returned in one piece or not.
I did care. I cared so deeply and utterly, and I'd never thought that I could ever care so much about a single person. I cared so much it hurt. Perhaps you didn't realize. Perhaps you didn't give a damn.
Jet cared too. He told me that he was better off without you, that you were only walking trouble. And, you know, the ironic thing is that his words were completely true, and yet we both knew he didn't mean them. After you left, he spent hours just cleaning the ship from cockpit to engine room. I could tell he was just like the caring father who'd lost his prodigal son. But he's a strong guy, Jet. He misses you, but he can accept that you're gone. He won't even admit to me that he gets lonely, but we both know he does.
Ed cared for you too, you know. She's back on Earth somewhere now. We don't hear from her often; but sometimes she sends us a message along with some of her stupid smilies. She contacted us a few weeks after the whole thing, and she asked Jet how come Faye-Faye looked so sad. You should have seen the look on her face when he told her that Spike-person was dead. Dammit, you should have seen her! I really, really wish you'd been there to see that child's eyes pool up with tears, and perhaps then you might have understood the- the sheer enormity of what you did!
But perhaps getting you to understand is just a pipe dream. You hurt us, Spike. Maybe you didn't mean to, but you hurt us. I remember sitting on the couch when they called us to tell us you were dead, when all the news started flowing in; I'd though that I would cry, that I would feel sad, something! But I'd already cried all my tears when you'd left; I'd already known you weren't coming back this time. All I could do was sit on that couch you used to lie on so often. I felt so empty; all I could do was stare ahed into space and the only thought I could think was, "lunkhead".
At first I was angry at you. Really freaking angry. You'd turned your back to me. You were so cold.
I think I realize, now, that wasn't really you who turned his back to me. Not the Spike I knew. I remember looking into your mismatched eyes; I felt utterly terrified. The emptiness in your eyes. Something died inside you along with Julia, didn't it?
Sometimes I wonder if I was in love with you.
It would be nice to simply attach a label to my feelings. Yes, I loved Spike Spiegel, that's why I felt like shit when he died.
But, somehow, I don't think it's that easy. After you died, I went through some pretty bad emotional crap. I didn't really know what I was feeling. I thought that I'd loved you, because that way I could explain why I felt so bad.
You know, I've never been attracted to you. Okay, so you weren't all that bad to look at, I'll admit, though I didn't really go for the whole "mop-head" style, myself. But how could I be attracted to you? I mean, you were Spike. I just couldn't. Maybe that's why I liked being around you - even though I realize now I wouldn't admit it even to myself; because with you I could be me. I wasn't interested in you, and you weren't interested in me. No need to raise any defenses.
But you were like a scab, Spike. You grew on me. I should have known better than to let myself get attached to someone whose life expectation did not reach thirty, but I couldn't help it. You grew on people, slyly and quietly, and before I realized it, I was so used to having you around getting on my nerves that the mere thought of being without you seemed unbearable. It was that night when you left us- left me, that I realized it. I can't even begin to explain what I felt there and then. It was overwhelming, an utter and devastating feeling of helplessness and frustration. I wanted to throw you against the wall and kiss you, I wanted to slam you to the floor and kick you and pummel you till I drew blood, and yet I could do nothing but stand there and watch you leave. When I pointed that gun at you, I really wanted to shoot you. I really, really did.
And after you died, I missed you, in such a strong, physical sense that I'd never felt before. I wanted to touch you, to feel you breathe beneath that stupid crumpled suit you were always wearing. Sometimes I'd lie on my bed trying to sleep and just remember how you smelled like, that mixture of cheap cigarettes and blood and soap. Once, I dreamed I was kissing you, tongue and all. It felt so blissfully real I woke up all sweaty and sobbing. I didn't know what I was feeling.
You know, sometimes I envy Julia. I envy her the look in your eyes when you heard her name, because I know full well you would never look at me like that. I tried resenting her, but I really can't. We hit it off quite well, that small while we spent together. I can understand what you saw in her; though I can't quite understand what she saw in you. Hell, I don't know what I saw in you.
Maybe I didn't really see anything. Maybe you were just someone I could be angry at, or laugh with, just be myself. I don't know. All I know is that I cared deeply about you, and that when you died, I'd never felt so bad. Not when I woke up in a strange and scary world, not when I suddenly remembered who I was only to find that there wasn't anything left for me to find, not when I thought Whitney was dead.
You know, sometimes I wish you'd just turn up one day with a couple hundred extra pounds and reveal that all you'd ever done was lie to me and that you never were the person I'd thought you were, so I won't have to feel bad about losing you anymore. You really could do with a few extra pounds, you know that?
I guess I'll never know whether I loved you or not. I guess it doesn't really matter, in the end.
All I know is that you're the only man I ever shed tears for - and if you ever mention this to anyone, I'll be sure to bash your head in.
So, I guess that's where that leaves us. You're gone, and we're still around. Time passes, wounds heal. I miss you, you know. I doubt you give a damn, but I miss you. I hardly never consciously think about you anymore, but there's still that tiny thought in the back of my mind telling me that if Spike were here, he'd be laughing at me. Sometimes, with the corner of my eye, I glimpse a tall, lanky man with a mop of green hair turning around; sometimes a glance at the yellow sofa and half expect you to be there lying like a lizard in the sun. I don't really feel bad about it anymore.
I like to think that you did care for us. That you cared for me. If not, why did you come back that one last time? One of the things I remember the most was those times we spent just sharing a smoke, in silence. Okay, so it was probably less of a companionable silence and more of a we're-not-talking-because-otherwise-one-of-us-will-end-up-hitting-the-other kind of silence, but the effect was the same. But I still like to think that you saw us as more than just roommates. And don't you bother open your mouth and tell me otherwise. Just let me keep believing it.
I went through some deep emotional shit after you died. I was afraid to open up, to care for anyone in fear of being abandoned again. That was why I tried to leave you guys on Callisto, you know? But I'm over it now. Life has thrown me some pretty bad things before, and sometimes you just have to leave the past and what you lost and face the things you have. That's why I didn't stay on Earth in my rubble of a mansion. Because sometimes you just have to let go of the past and realize what you've got, and I have Jet, I have the Bebop, and I have Ed and Ein. That's something you never understood, Spike.
I was angry at you for a while. I'm not angry anymore. I realize now that perhaps you had your reasons for doing what you did, even if I'll never understand them. Jet understood, I think, that's why he let you go, even if it broke his heart. I don't understand why you did what you did, but it was your choice. And you made your decision, a stupid, selfish decision, but it was your choice.
I hope you're happy now. I hope you got what you wanted.
... I know I sound sarcastic and bitter when I say that, but I mean it. I really do hope, wherever you are now, Spike, that you are happy. That you found what you were looking for, whatever that was. Even if you don't deserve it.
So, I guess that's it. That's all I wanted to say, and I've said it. You can draw a breath of relief.
Ah, I almost forgot. I brought you something. It's not a bouquet of flowers, because honestly I doubt you'd care very much about that sort of stuff. So I brought you a pack of cigarettes. Cheapest pack I could find. I'm sure you're dying for a smoke, wherever you are now. So don't say I never did anything for you.
Here you go. To the most infuriating, lazy, reckless, fuzzy-haired lunkhead I ever met.
I miss you. I won't spend my life looking back at the past and regretting you've gone. But I still miss you.