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Chase

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Two soloists, such as the trumpet and sax, taking alternating 4-bar phrases (or 8, or 2). See Trading 4s.

 

(Jet)

There’s a lot Jet doesn’t know about Spike, and a lot he doesn’t care to. He suspects - given Spike’s antipathy toward police, welfare of citizens and anywhere that Spike does not deem ‘his’ - that Spike may have been a hitman of some variety. The way Spike eats - as if the food will vanish from his plate if he doesn’t get it in his stomach quickly enough - also reminds Jet of something.

Homeless kids in Ganymede. You caught them, prowling like feral dogs around the outskirts of the city, going through the trash. His first stint as a police officer, he’d offered one some food, and found out quick how nasty they were - while one ate heartily the noodle soup he offered, another pickpocketed him free of all his woolongs. Couldn’t even report the crime because homeless kids are faceless, nameless...worthless.

Yeah. Spike reminds Jet of that homeless kid, years ago, with huge starving eyes that went down to his heart.

Which may be why Jet is stingy with information - he doesn’t talk about how he lost his arm, or Elicia, or any of what went down on Ganymede because...because he can’t. Because he still doesn’t trust Spike not to run off with all his woolongs when his back is turned.

 

(Spike)

Jet gets all ‘captain-y’ on Spike sometimes, and in his gut, Spike hates it. Part of leaving the Syndicate, Spike promised himself, was that he wouldn’t have to put up with authority, of any sort.

Mao inviting him out to lunch, traditional Chinese yumcha; delicate, beautiful plates of food. Mao orders two of everything, and lets Spike eat what he wants, and pours Spike cup after cup of green tea. Spike eats his way through it all, feeling each different tang of spice and savoury tangle it’s way along his mouth.

“There’s a job I have for you.”

Spike pauses with a pan-fried dumpling half to his mouth. Slowly, he lowers it, delicately tastes it. The vinegar it’s been liberally sprinkled with hisses along his tongue.

“What sort of job?”

Mao smiles, genially and Spike, good soldier and son that he is, nods.

(But this is, of course, before - Julia…)

So Spike, it’s safe to say, has a problem with authority, so twists knives into Jet where he can, niggles at him, pokes at him.

It’s all a show - him trying to hide his soft spots from Jet, so that Jet can’t make him totter and dance and work like a puppet for him.

 

(Jet)

Every now and then, Spike let’s something drop - like that he’s Martian born, and his distaste for the planet is pretty clear. Laughing Bull’s name for Spike - like Laughing Bull’s name for everybody - is so perfect, as well. “Swimming Bird”. Once a kid stuck on Mars, now swimming in the stars.

Jet tries not to be too much of an imposition - he can tell when he’s getting on Spike’s nerves, because Spike starts to poke back, jamming sharp questions and harsh comments where he can. But Jet’s ex-cop; you don’t survive as a cop without learning how to work around people’s boundaries, and he soon learns what Spike will and will not tolerate, and tries to keep the ‘captain-y’ talk to a minimum, taking on only the work that he knows Spike finds dull.

 

(Spike)

When Spike realizes that Jet is working his way around his distaste of authority, Spike is at first gobsmacked - that just doesn’t happen . You either respect authority, or you get slapped. Authority doesn’t bend to you .

But here it has.

So Spike starts bending in return, like an elegant dance, or a jazz chase. Jet gives way on some of the captaincy authority, so Spike starts going easy on him - if he chastises Spike for something Spike knows full well is his fault, Spike yields.

And somewhere, staring at the stars, as they move through the black, Spike, assassin, ally to no one but the dead and missing, realizes he has a friend.

 

(Jet)

Spike stops being a pain; he gentles, starts joking with Jet, plays Shogi with him, consents to laugh at some of his jokes.

And one day, without thinking, Jet calls him “buddy”.

Somewhere in the cogs and wiring and machinery and coldness of the Bebop , Jet got himself a partner.

 

(coda)

The Bebop whispers the secrets to Radical Edward when she comes aboard. She crosses her fingers and promises never to tell.