Standard disclaimers applied.

Author's Note: Ugh, and my formatting don't match. Why? (

Anyway, thank you. You! You know who you are. (

II. The Man who Dreams


You were my brother. My other half. A comrade whom I looked up to. Now, my fateful nemesis. We were once the unsurpassed duo of the syndicate. Now, one should die together with the other. You're living up to the meaning of your name—violent and cruel. The unbreakable bond we had become as brittle as an eggshell because of a woman…


I knew it was wrong. You were the rose among the multitude of syndicate thugs of the Red Dragon. You had this lustrous blonde, almost gold, wavy hair that shone the brightest every time you walked. The coolest and the calmest eyes with the hue of aqua. A real class of heroine out of classic novels. You knew what's worse? You caught the eyes of Vicious. And worst? Mine as well. You were his. I knew. I know. But, somewhere, somehow, I caught you glancing at me with eyes glittering with something akin to affection and desire. That—that gave me the cue. Though, you told me you were through, we started an affair behind Vicious' back. I knew it was wrong. But as we made love—heated and driven with desires—above the tangled sheets, and whispered sweet adorations, all was forgotten. The affair became a nightly routine. With this thing at hand, I prayed to whoever gods we had out there to not wake me up if this is only a dream. And if you and I were meant to be, nothing will break us apart.

However, change is indeed inevitable. You whispered my name. Yes! But never those three words I longed to hear, yet I unreservedly uttered. Hence, making me conclude that Vicious still held you if not by the neck but by your heart.

That's why; I decided to leave the Red Dragon Syndicate behind.

But when you died, everything seemed blurry and unreal. My life became meaningless and dull. And I… I started dreaming. Then I met…


The untouchable shrew. A cunning vixen. The Poker Alice. My…


You were a bounty. Unfortunately, I met you at your turf—the Casino. I've known for a long time you're cheating. Nonetheless, I let you—let you so that I could stare at your emotionless face wondering what other emotions I could evoke from you. Now, you entered and destroyed the once silent life of the Bebop members. I hate you. You're annoying, loud, and a tomboy. Most of all, you complained a lot—definitely a woman with an attitude.

However, you forced your way into me without any intended intention. In spite of not having a vivid past, you're strong and graceful. You need not someone to take care of you. You can kick asses and knew that life nowadays goes with the mantra, "Only the strong will live."

A survivor of the Earth gate crash accident. A product of cryogenics who just woke up three or four years ago. Now, my partner in crime. My buddy.

Forget what I said about you not needing someone to take care of you. You're not exactly a damsel in distress, yet I always end up cleaning the failed bounties you were in charge of. Always the savior. The rescuer.

Our relationship, per se, was the most complex I encountered. Never like Vicious' nor like Jet's. Most of all, never like Julia's. You always had taken care of me whenever I got injured despite the bitter and angry facade you built around me.

I remembered…

…remembered you singing—singing a tune I don't want to remember at all. It reminded me with memories, dreams… Not exactly dreams, nightmare rather. That's why; I decided to stop you by telling, "You sing off-key."

You seemed to like glancing at me whenever you thought I was not looking. I knew this kind of looks. Julia and I started this way. Even Jet or perhaps even Ed might speculate about the possibility that what you were giving me was not merely care or attention of a common comrade. What you're giving me runs between affection and longing. I told you. You annoyed me and I knew for sure the feeling was mutual. We were always at each other's throat. Despite the constant bickering we had, you never failed to nurse me back to good health every time I arrived home—bloody, tattered, soiled, and almost dead. You had me "mummified" just to keep me alive. This alone made me curious.

Wow. Funny how you realized all of these things now that you were off to a suicide mission.

I also remembered…

…opening up to you that moment. 'Look at my eyes, Faye. One of them is a fake cause I lost it in an accident. Since then, I've been seeing the past in one eye, and the present in the other. So I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture… I've felt like I've been watching a dream I'd never wake up from. Hmmf. Before I knew it, the dream is all over.'

I dunno what came to me—letting myself be opened up to someone other than Julia.

No, maybe I always knew how you felt about me. Perhaps, I also knew how I felt towards you—I was just too afraid to admit. I was afraid to open up. Too afraid—a coward for short. After bursting those heart-felt emotions to me, something deep inside of me was ignited.

'This is the only place I could go, and now you're leaving just like that. Why do you have to go? Where are you going? What are you going to do? Just throw your life like it was nothing?'

Your eyes—full of emotions—concern, fear, and… the most dominant emotion was… Well, perhaps, I was just reading too much. But really, I was too afraid looking at your eyes directly that moment. Frightened my resolve will weaken.

'I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to do it, Faye.'

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Now, all I wanted to say is…

… "I'm sorry."

Life is a dream after all.

Next Chapter: Fateful Reunion