A/N: Decided to give myself a late birthday present of a Cowboy Bebop one-shot! So, I've noticed that I'm, so far, the only writer I've found whoever did Jet & Elektra stories. I'm just shocked no one else has done that. But that's cool. I like obscure pairings. But the thing is... they're not that obscure. I think they work. But that's just me. Anyway, enjoy!
The Soldier's Beat
'That was a weird one,' Jet thought. He needed a little peace and quiet after all of that mess with Cherious Medical, nanites, and the crazy guy, Vincent, Spike and Faye dealt with. Still, it was just another bounty and the job was done. The air around the Bebop seemed a bit different, though. Something about this case hit home for Spike, possibly even Faye, and Jet couldn't pinpoint how. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to. For now, he decided to give his mind a rest and let himself relax.
He was in Tharsis while the rest of the crew was off doing whatever. In a quiet section of the city, Jet walked into the Jazz Escape bar, finding it nearly completely empty. He walked up to the bar, sat down, and ordered a Scotch. He looked around and saw Elektra sitting a couple of seats away from him, drinking a beer.
"Elektra?" Jet asked.
She looked up and turned toward him, "Oh! Hi. Jet, right?"
"Yeah. What are you doing here?"
"Just needed some place to drink, quietly. And think."
"I've been coming here for years," Jet replied. "It's a good place for both."
"Seems like it," Elektra said.
"I can leave alone if you want."
"No, it's fine." She sighed. "Look, you don't really know me but… would you mind some company?"
Jet gave her a small, warm smile, "Not at all."
Returning the smile, Elektra moved over and sat in the chair right next to Jet.
"How'd you find this bar?" Elektra asked.
"Not long after I started bounty hunting," Jet explained, "I remembered catching a guy not too far from here. Noticed the bar was a bit out of the way. Checked it out and found it was quiet. I like the quiet."
"Quiet is fantastic. I've always enjoyed it."
"I used to have it. Until all those knuckleheads joined my ship."
Elektra laughed, softly. "Yeah. But… they come through when it counts."
"I hate that you're right." Jet exhaled. "So. You're this far from Alba. I'm guessing you quit Cherious, eh?"
Elektra took a sip of beer. "I had to. Saw too much. They threatened me but I had amazing level of apathy and I think I scared them. So. They made me a deal. A severance and I keep my mouth shut. Signed a NDA. They let me go."
"You're better off. You have a moral compass. You can't survive in a world like that with one of those."
"It's depressing how much I agree with you." Elektra sighed. "I guess I'll find something else to do. This isn't the first time I've lost my way."
"You could always be a bounty hunter," Jet shrugged.
Elektra smiled a bit. "Maybe I will." She looked at him, "Any room on your ship?"
Jet chuckled. "I'd have to throw someone off. So, yeah. Come aboard."
Elektra laughed. She stopped. "Wow."
"I… I haven't laughed in God knows how long."
Jet smiled. "I have that effect on women."
"Nope. Getting them to laugh at me."
Elektra scoffed. "Yeah, right." She took another drink.
"You haven't met my ex," Jet took a drink.
"Bet she was stupid."
"I don't know. Maybe we both were. Maybe that's why I do this job now. Because I'm an idiot."
Elektra studied him for a moment. "Is that the real reason?"
"No." Jet sighed. "I was a cop once. But… too much corruption killed it for me. I didn't see any point in what I was doing anymore."
Elektra took a deep breath. "Wow. Do I understand that. In hindsight, I can't believe I stayed at Cherious as long as I did."
"It happens. Sometimes… you just get numb to it all."
"Numb. Damn. That's a great word."
"I've found it applies to me a lot," Jet admitted.
"Me, too, now that you mention it," Elektra added.
They in silence for a while.
Elektra let another long exhale. "So. Here we are. Two exhausted soldiers."
"Yup," Jet agreed.
She looked at him. "So, what happens next?"
He looked at her and shrugged, "The next day."
She chuckled, quietly. "It's that simple, huh?"
"Nope. One of the hardest things in the world." He nodded at her, "But… that's why the toughest can do it."
She sat up a bit straighter. She let that dwell in her mind for a bit. She slowly smiled and nodded at him.
He gave a small smile.
"Thanks, Jet," Elektra said.
"No problem," Jet replied.
"Well, I don't know about being a bounty hunter. Yet. Right now, I just need to work on getting a new place to live. But… if I do go that route, I'll be sure to seek you out."
"I won't be too hard to find. Just look for the irritated guy with an annoying crew."
"They still come through when it counts," Elektra stood up.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Jet agreed, begrudgingly.
"So, I guess…" Elektra shrugged. "…I'll see you around, Jet."
Jet nodded and held up his glass.
"Oh." She pulled some cash from her pocket and laid it on the bar. "Tonight's on me."
"You don't have to do that."
Elektra smiled. "How 'bout you get the next one?"
Jet stared at her and nodded, "Deal."
"See you around, Elektra."
Jet stared at Elektra as she walked away. He looked down and saw, underneath the money she left, was a slip of paper.
With a number on it.
Jet just chuckled to himself. And put the paper in his pocket.