Chapter 13. Darkness Be My Pillow
Be my pillow
Take my head
And let me sleep in the coolness of your shadow
In the silence of your deep
The Bebop was moored at Tharsis River and looked forlorn and battered next to the larger, modern cargo ships parked next to it. Spike pushed open the heavy metal port door, ducking his head as he went in. The common room was smaller than he remembered; his penthouse living room could fit ten of these.
He looked towards the galley where he expected to see Jet as in the old days, wearing an apron and hunched over the small stove in the kitchen, wok in hand. The galley was silent. As he wandered towards the hangar, the high peal of laughter wafted towards him. He didn't remember Ed having a laugh like that. That could only mean one thing. He swallowed his nervousness and headed out to the hanger.
Uh oh. Edward had just spotted him. Spike braced himself for impact as the willowy 15-year-old launched herself in his arms. She was taller, though still as thin as he remembered. She hugged him so tight that he could barely breathe.
"Hey, Ed," he said gently, returning her embrace.
"Ed is glad you decided to be alive," she whispered in his shirt.
He guessed he kind of missed her too. He looked over her carrot orange hair to the other side of the deck where Jet was grinning and Faye was, well, not smiling.
"Hey buddy," Jet greeted him. Jet had set up a hibachi on the deck and was grilling strips of beef and peppers. On cue, Spike's stomach grumbled at the smell of food.
"Hey old man," he said, a genuine smile gracing his features. "It's been a long time." It was good seeing his old friend. He could now understand the word homecoming. He should have guessed that Jet was arranging a complete reunion of the crew. Jet had left out that small detail.
He gently extricated himself from Edward.
"Aaww," she wailed. "Ed is not finished."
Spike patted her head. "Let me talk to Jet for a minute. More hugs later, okay?"
A mollified Ed nodded and zoomed away.
Spike walked over to his old friend. He leaned down and breathed in the smell. "So, what's cooking?"
"The usual. Bell peppers and beef."
"With actual beef, I see."
The two of laughed like it was the most hilarious joke in the solar system.
Spike glanced over at Faye.
"Yo." He figured he should say something else to her since it had been awhile since he saw her. "How are you, Faye?" Real smooth, Spike.
Faye did not crack a smile. "I'm fine, Spike. You?" She crossed her arms and turned to Jet, not waiting an answer.
He cringed, but the only visible reaction was a slowly broadening grin. So, this is how it's going to be. He resisted the urge to make a snarly comment. Her feathers were already ruffled as it was. Guess she wasn't happy to see him. He shrugged, his eyes on her back.
Hide my yearning
For the things I cannot be
Keep my mind from constant turning
Toward the things I cannot see now
Things I cannot see
What a way to spoil a homecoming.