fakia: (.hack// - Haseo)
[personal profile] fakia
Fandom: Cowboy Bebop
Prompt: linebyline's Transient Beauty, also Fandom100's Green.
Author's note: This may be the longest fanfic I've written yet. *sweatdrop* One day. One day I'll write more than this measly amount!! >_>
Word count: 687
Summary: It's days like this when Spike wonders whether it costs more to get the job done, or just forget it. Well, that's life on the Bebop for you.

Spike felt his eyebrow twitch as neon green paint obscured his vision. The Swordfish gave a rumble of protest too; some of the liquid had managed to drift through her exhaust filters.

"Oi, Jet..." Spike muttered over the radio frequency, kicking his ship into reverse. He was flying near blind now, but the Bebop wasn't far. He could just auto-pilot.

A loud boom sounded from his thrusters.

"Careful - Looks like that stuff's flammable!" Jet shouted back. "Better let the drift bring you back. Hold still and I'll reel you in!"

Spike cursed.

Or not.

Grunting noncommittally, he let up off the gas. He lit a cigarette, despite the warning, and gave a futile swipe at his windshield. "Tell me again how much these guys are worth?"

"30,000 Woolongs."

"Seriously?" An eyebrow twitched again. He wasn't sure this was worth it.

"Why does the ISSP even care about a bunch of grafiti punks?" Faye's voice cut in.

Spike was annoyed - she sounded more curious than anything - which meant that her ship hadn't been shot.

"They're serial hit and runs. Completely random," Jet explained. "They've been showing up all over the universe, so predicting where they strike next is next to impossible for the police."

Spike didn't really care. He hadn't wanted this lame bounty, really, except that it seemed like good money for an easy catch. Now he knew why.

A metallic thud interrupted their conversation as the ships connected. Spike lifted the hatch once he was docked, and begrudgingly hopped out to survey the damage.

"Apparently they think they're doing the universe a favor," Jet continued, scratching the back of his head as he approached the colorful racer. "A lack of art appreciation or something like that." He stopped and crossed his arms, looking thoughtful.

Spike just stared in disbelief. His ship was decorated in a messy tapestry of spraypaint, with seemingly no particular aim or message.

"Huh," Jet mused. The tone of in his voice was vaguely irritating. "Picasso?"

Faye's Red Tail opened and she peeked out too, dropping to the floor in confusion. "Huh? What's that?"

"Picasso! Picasso! A flying space taco!" Ed sang whimsically, dancing out from behind Jet. A paintbrush sat tucked behind her ear, and she held her thumbs and forefingers together, peering through them at the ship.

Spike wondered if kids tried to do things like this to mock him, or if it was just the universe at large. He sighed, running a hand through his tangled hair. "So? Can you clean it off?" There was no chasing after them now, until then.

"Not without paint thinner, no," Jet shrugged. "We'll stop and get some at the next gate."

"Just great," Spike muttered, walking back towards the interior of the ship. "C'mon." He snagged the back of Ed's shirt, pulling her along with him before she made it worse. "Someone wake me when we get there."

"I dunno..." Faye teased, running a finger over the zigzags and whorls that marred the Swordfish's previously red coat. She sounded suspiciously interested.

Spike looked over his shoulder, exchanged a glance with Jet. Here it comes.

"It's got a kinda transient beauty, don't you think?" Faye grinned, and Spike knew she was totally bullshitting them. "It'd be a shame to get rid of it so soon. Why, maybe you could even sell it as a work of art!"

"Art, my ass," he retorted, pushing the hacker child towards Faye's ship, plucking the brush from behind her ears, and setting it in her hand. "You just want my catch."

"Hey!" Faye protested, hands on her hips. "OUR catch! Half of that's mine!"

Ed took the brush happily, sizing up her canvas.

"Sure, alright." Spike puffed his cigarette, agreeing easily as he laced his fingers behind his head. "It'll take both halves to repaint our ships anyway." He turned, already continuing his journey to the couch.

"Our--" Faye sputtered behind him, and scrambled after their young Picasso. A large smiley already decorated both guns of the Red Tail.

Edward seemed quite proud of herself.


Jet could only shake his head and sigh.


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Fakir Knight

July 2008

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