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Subtleties


MonkeyMan

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Hey everyone, MonkeyMan here. I usually don't log into the forums, as I'm more of a lurker, but I wanted to share with you this little vignette I whipped up the other day. I've seen quite a few people on the forums express their love for Cowboy Bebop, but I've never seen much sneeze-related writing or artwork for the series. So, I figured, why not go ahead and try it myself? :D

In case you don't know anything about Bebop (what are you doing, go watch it!), here's a bit of background info; a small group of interstellar bounty hunters travel the solar system in search for their next paycheck. Each character is an outcast in their own right with a past they struggle to forget or come to terms with. This little fic of mine focuses on the character of Fay Valentine written from her pov) and spike Speigel. I gave it the title of this little fic "Subleties", because that's how I see the relatioship between Spike and Faye- a tense but genuine friendship they express in subtle ways throughout the series.

Here's a visual aid, if needed.

Spike: http://images.wikia.com/cowboybebop/images/9/93/Spike4.jpg

Faye: http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/obje...boxart_160w.jpg

And the phrase "take care" is used in the form of a poile plessing in the episode Jupiter Jazz. It is said to Faye by a side character after she sneezes at a bar. :D

Well, enough of that, onto the fic! Hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you think! :winkkiss: (<--- no reason for this icon, i just thought it was hilarious for some reason, heheh)

-

I pulled another card from the top of the deck, and looked down at the others spread out before me on the small coffee table. A scowl crept over my face. Ugh, what a terrible line up. Solitaire had always been my kind of game, but today, damn, I was having no such luck. Which is kind of funny, since I always felt that I was better off playing a game meant for one. That was how my life went for the past few years, and I liked it that way.

And then I ended up on this ship.

Okay, life on the Bebop wasn’t all that bad. It’s pretty much almost the solitary existence I lead before. You can hardly call us friends, much less a team of any sort. We just drift along really, doing our own thing and only returning here to eat, sleep, or take down the next bounty together. Sure, we have our…moments, I guess. But we always end up right back where we started.

Things have been that way a lot, lately. I haven’t seen much of my odd roommates for the past three days. Jet landed this creaking tub on Earth to run after a small-fry bounty on his own and had been staying in a cheap hotel in the next city over. Ed, with Ein the corgi at her heels, had taken to exploring the rocky canyons not far from where the Bebop was stationed every day. And Spike…

I’d only seen glimpses of him really, as he left the bathroom or grabbed a cup of instant ramen from the galley. Strange, because that fluffy-haired weirdo spent most of his downtime dozing off on the couch while watching television in the main room. In fact, he slept on that old lumpy thing every night. And since we landed here, he’s spent most of his time holed up in his own room.

Hnf. He was probably just catching up on his gun maintenance while there were no worthwhile bounty heads to track down.

Yeah, this hand wasn’t working for me. I gathered the cards together and began to shuffle them. But I stopped as my ear pricked at a familiar noise- the sound of a starship landing in the hull of the Bebop. I grinned to myself, hoping it was Jet returning with good news and ready money. The fridge was empty today, and I was starving.

The door to the main room slid open loudly.

“Hey, Jet,” I called. “Hope you managed to bag that loser, cause there ain’t nothing in that that-”

I turned round in the chair to face him and stopped. It wasn’t Jet who had come back, it was Spike.

He stood at the door looking at me rather blankly, before softly replying “Sorry. Not who you’re looking for.”

Spike descended the small flight of stairs and listlessly shrugged off his trench coat, revealing the blue suit he always wore. Funny, without the coat, he seemed to slump forward a bit more than he usually did.

I shrugged it off and turned back to arranging my cards.

“Well, have you heard anything from him?” I asked as he trudged slowly past me. “He’s been gone for three days and I woke up to an empty fridge."

He gave me no answer. I glanced up quickly to see Spike plop his ass lazily on the couch. Typical lunkhead.

“’Ya know,” I continued plucking a cigarette from my pack, “We’re going to be starving tonight unless we send Ed out to catch toads for us… or something.”

Again, no answer. I took out my lighter, trying to light the cigarette unsuccessfully. I thumbed the flint repeatedly, and for a moment, just over the sparking of the flint, I heard Spike’s breathing falter.

“Hh…hehh…”

And I looked up just in time to see him double over with a sneeze.

“Heh’schehh!”

Well if that wasn’t unusual. Spike rubbed his long, narrow nose irritably with a congested-sounding sniffle. He opened his eyes blearily, and I realized then just how run-down he looked; he was still slumped forward, his shoulders sagging noticeably.

“What?”

I jerked from my thoughts. “Huh?”

“What are you looking at me like that for?”

“I’ve never seen you sneeze before.”

He looked at me and his lips formed lopsided grin. “Seems like pretty normal thing to me.”

“That wasn’t what I meant, you idiot.” I felt myself growing flustered and tried to think of something mean to spit back at him, when I saw Spike’s eyes flutter and his upper lip curling into a grimace. He quickly knuckled at his nose and gave the slightest of groans.

He must’ve noticed I was staring at him again. When he regained his composure, he chuckled and asked me “Faye, am I really that interesting that you have to stare at me like that?”

“Pfft.” I flicked my lighter once again. Finally, a flame got going, and I lit my cigarette with a long drag. “No.”

I went back to my game. After a few minutes I dared to steal another glance at him. Spike was leaning deep into the couch cushions with his eyes shut. He looked tired and uncomfortable- his nose was twitching and he sniffled quietly every few seconds. Suddenly he leaned forward and hung his head low to meet his hand as he lifted it up to his face. He pressed his fingers up under his nostrils and rubbed gently, holding his breath.

A moment later his breath hitched with a soft gasp. I watched as Spike wrinkled his nose and sniffled in protest, but it was a losing battle. His breath continued to catch, and all he managed to do was force his head from lifting as another sneeze overwhelmed him.

“Hhh…heh’schehh!

Shit, now I couldn’t avoid asking. “Are you all right? You seem…”

He narrowed his brown eyes and shot me a stern look.

“…off,” I finished.

“I’m fine, Faye.” His voice was rather hoarse, but it was clear Spike wasn’t interested in acknowledging the fact that he was obviously coming down with something.

I picked up another card and took another drag. Well, that explained why he had been hiding the past few days.

Spike shifted on the couch again and I pretended to pay him no notice as he fought off another oncoming sneeze. His eyes took on a dreamy, unfocused look as his eyelids fluttered again, lips parting and eye brows lifting. At his sides, his hands balled into frustrated fists, and he lifted one up to paw at his twitching nose furiously once more.

“Hh..hehh…Heh'eshu! Huh'TSCHHuh!! Nngg…” He had doubled over, hard, with the force of the last one. He let his head hang over his lap and sniffled wetly and miserably.

The words slipped from my mouth before I really knew what I was saying. “Take care.”

Spike sniffled again and looked at me. His eyes were shimmering with moisture and he ran a hand over one eye to clear it. “What?”

“Take care,” I repeated, smiling to myself at the memory. “When someone sneezes and nobody tells them ‘take care’, that person will turn into a fairy. At least, that’s how the saying goes.”

His questioning expression blanked, and he stared at me wordlessly.

“Faye, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” he said, cracking a grin and letting loose a hoarse laugh.

I found myself laughing along with him. “Yeah, I guess it is. I mean, you’re hardly the fairy type.”

“No, I’m not,” Spike chuckled. “It might work on Jet though, since he gets so soft sometiih…heh…”

His words faded as the amused look on his face contorted into a scowl. His nose quivered and his head fell back slightly. Spike raised a hand to cover his nose and mouth as he hung on the verge for a few tense moments before his torso was thrusted forward in a short but violent sneezing fit.

Huh’eshu! Hhh…Heh'eshu! TSCHHuh!! Huh'TSCHHuh!!

In the aftermath, Spike coughed painfully and wiped the moisture from his eyes, sniffling. To my surprise, he slowly lowered himself onto the couch cushions, where he lay on his side, back facing me. A discrete shiver ran down his spine.

My expression darkened with, I admit it, concern. I put my cigarette out against the table. “Take care…”

I heard him clear his throat before replying, weakly. “Thanks…”

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Wahhhhh this is adorably awesome! (Though I'm sure Spike would hit me if he knew I just said that :D ) Thanks for sharing! :D

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Spike :P:D Wahoo to you for doing us all this marvellous service, and triple wahoo for making it such an enjoyable tidbit! Thanks so much! :laugh:

ETA: it's really a lovely sentiment when you think about it, isn't it? "Take care". >:D And a lovely word too, in Japanese: oudaijini.

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Gahhh! This is fantastic!! Cowboy Bebop is by far my favorite fandom, and I've been dying to read a bebop sneezefic. You wrote Spike and Faye so true to character! Could a continuation possibly be in the works?

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wonderful!! i like, I LIKE, I REALLY LIKE! :D i bought only the dvd where faye sneezes :) but hey, THANK you soo much for sneezy spike! i also hope there is more ;)

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  • 4 years later...

Oooh, MonkeyMan, you've just made my day! :heart:

I was dying to watch Spike sneeze.

In the anime series we' ve got 8 sneezes and sadly, no one from Spike. :(

Thank you so much! :)

A beautiful and very subtle story. :) *instant fav*

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