Chapter 1: You Turn the Screws

You kick the sand
You get the upper hand
Then you sell it to Japan
It's business like
You turn the screws
It's what you choose to do

Spike had been pissed off before. In fact, there were times in which he might even go as far to say he was livid. Livid. Now that is a word you don't throw around often. It takes a lot to make a person livid. But as Spike was staring into the empty box he had in the refrigerator, he found he was several steps beyond livid. He was down right murderous. He took a breath, trying to focus all of his energies into not destroying the next thing he happened to run into. After he was a bit composed, he grabbed the box and strode into the living area. "Ed?" he asked.

"Faye did it," she said shortly without looking up from her computer.

"Faye did what?" he asked, somewhat annoyed that he had just been brushed off by a 13-year-old.

"Does it matter?" she yawned. She then dangled her head limply from her neck so that she was looking at him upside down. She spotted the box. "Oooooh. Faye-Faye definitely did that."

Spike nodded in a way that suddenly made Ed pity poor Faye-Faye. She was gonna get it. "Thank you, Ed," he said flatly as he then proceeded to bang harshly on her cabin door.

"All right, all right," she whined as she flung the door open, green goop on her face and towel wrapped around her head.

Spike just lifted the empty box into plain view.

"Oh, that. So, I was hungry. Sue me."

He took another deep breath, and then in a very cold and methodical way, flipped the box over so that it revealed the lid. Written across the top on huge letters were the words, "Property of Spike. Do NOT eat. Trespassers will be shot."

Faye shrugged. "Food is fair game on this ship, Spike. You know that," she yawned as she went to slam the door in his face. He darted his arm out to stop it from closing and slammed it back open.

"First of all," he said so darkly, even Faye had to almost take him seriously. "Do not tell me the rules of this ship. This is not your ship. You are a barnacle stubbornly clinging to the hull. Second," he hissed. "We just hit a bounty. There were a bunch of food containers right next to this one. Third, what you so callously wolfed down your bloated throat happened to be egg rolls from the shop I lived over as a kid. They are the best egg rolls in the fucking universe. I have not had these egg rolls in ten years and will probably never have them again because the guy who made them is about two seconds away from a massive coronary. So basically, Faye, you just ruined my life and I hate you." He slammed the door. The last line was admittedly lacking dignity, but he was so pissed off it was either spit that out and leave or he thought he might actually strangle the life out of her. Couldn't he have just one simple pleasure on this ship? Just one? All he wanted was a damn egg roll.

"You are such a baby, you know that?" Faye opened her door and yelled after him.

"I'm the baby?" he screamed at her. "We never hit bounties this big, ever! We are never going to have that much food on the ship again and out of the fucking embarrassment of riches in that fridge, you ate the one thing I asked you not to for no reason other than to be a giant bitch!!! I've met serial killers with more compassion than you! You have no respect for anyone on this ship and I am sick of it!"

"Like you wouldn't have eaten my egg roll."

"In this case? I would not."

"Bull fucking shit."

Spike closed his eyes for a moment as he imagined how satisfying it would be to connect his fist to her made-up, guacamole dipped face.

"You know what?" Faye suddenly shrieked, peeling her mask off. "I'm leaving."

"Don't bother. I'm going out. And when I come back, you better be gone or hope I am real fucking drunk."




Spike was real fucking drunk. He just stared into the bottom of his glass thinking about his egg rolls. He should have eaten them all at once but they were so good. You don't rush those sorts of things. And they had just gone grocery shopping. The Bebop. Grocery shopping. It was a momentous occasion. Not only did they have a nice supply of food but they had beverages and snacks. He didn't see why a bunch of decent human beings couldn't let him have a few lousy egg rolls. To everyone else they were just egg rolls. But to him they were his boyhood wrapped up in a crispy shell. God, he was drunk.

"You Spike Spiegel?" someone asked from behind.

Dammit. He was too depressed to fight. And he had a good seat, right in front of the pretzel bowl. It would be a shame to give it up. "Yeah," he grumbled, stuffing his face full of pretzels on principle. "Who wants to know?"

"You know Faye Valentine?"

"What, you mean that free loading, ungrateful, egg roll sucking bitch?"

"I guess."

"Never heard of her."

The man obviously had no idea what to think. "Uh...ok. Well...I have this like, top secret document or something for her. I just heard that you were..."

"Oh, that Faye Valentine," Spike perked up and snatched the envelope from his hands.

"The guy said not to open it," the man implored, but Spike was already stumbling down the street, looking for suitable reading light. The note said she had a package waiting for her on Earth. She was popular lately. He tripped back into the living area of the Bebop to see Faye sprawled lazily on the couch, filing her nails.

"Hey, you're drunk," she observed flatly. "Must be my lucky day."

He crumpled up the note and tossed it at her so it hit her square in the forehead. He then plopped down on the floor about three inches from the television set. He couldn't see a thing, but he heard her make some curious little noises before she suddenly got up and bolted to her room. "What just happened, Ed?" he asked. She had seemingly not moved an inch since he left.

"Faye made weird faces and then went stomp-stomping to her room," she sighed. "What's up?"

"Don't know, don't care," he grumbled, crawling to the couch. "Where's Jet at?"

"Jet person says he's tired of Spike and Faye Persons squawking like deranged chickens," she paused to giggle a bit. "Deranged chickens," she repeated. "Jet went to cut baby trees. Said to get Jet when Spike and Faye-Faye killed each other."


Ed suddenly back handspring-ed over so she was on her hands and staring directly into Spike's face. "Spike drunk?"

"Little bit, yeah."

"Faye was sorry about egg rolls. Faye said Faye didn't know."

"Yeah, but she never bothered to ask, did she. And I doubt the words I'm sorry' ever escaped her lips."

Ed sighed and flipped back upright. "True, true. Ed just trying to stop squawking. People gotta sleep you know." And with that, Ed and Ein took off to sleep...whenever they slept. Spike put one foot on the floor to curb his spinning. As long as there was Faye, there would be squawking.



Back to The Agent Orange Collection

Back to Main