Katsuko sat at her desk and worked on her strawberry laptop. She was alone in her world. Then she heard the door close. The girl looked up. Kawa stood in front of the closed door. “Oh,” she said. “It’s you.” “Am I interrupting anything?” Kawa asked. “Iie.” the kid mistress said. “All right.” the ghost-chan said. Kawa walked closer. Katsuko stopped typing. Something kept bothering her.

    “Kawa-kun,” she said. The ghost-chan looked up. “Hai Katsu-chan?” he replied. “What happened… to you…. Last night?” his “sister” asked. Kawa paused. “I’m not sure,” he said. “I don’t remember.” Katsuko turned to him. “Nothing at all?” she asked. “Hai,” Kawa said. “Except for her singing.” Katsu looked. “Her singing?” asked she. “Who’s?” “I don’t know,” Kawa said. “It was her…. and she was singing to me…” Katsuko eyed him. “Her…. Singing?” she thought. “Interesting.

    Then the door opened again. Kawa and Katsuko turned. The pink neko girl stood in the door. “Mistress,” she said. “Spiegel-san wants to see you.” Katsu turned her chair. “Bring him in.” she said. “All right.” the neko girl said. She walked out to the front door.

    Spike rushed into the study. His face red with anger. The little girl watched him. “Can I help you?” she asked. “HAI!” Spike yelled. He rushed forward and handed her the message chip. “*Points to her laptop* Plug that chip into that so I can talk on it!” the cowboy yelled. “Why certainly.” Katsuko said. Then she took the chip and plugged it into her laptop. “Whom do you wish to speak to?” asked she as she set up her microphone. “A RUNAWAY ASSHOLE!!!” Spike yelled.

    Sakura sat on the floor at the Bebop. She was alone. The others went off on their own. Her hands were to her blue Chinese silk covered chest. The tenshi-chi looked ready to cry. “Why does my heart always hurt?” Sakura thought. She shut her lovely amber eyes.

    “It hurts,” Kaze-san answered. “Because Spike’s not here.” Sakura looked up. “Because Spike’s not here?” she repeated. Kaze-san gave off a soft smile. “Hai.” she said. “But why?” the tenshi-chi asked. Kaze-san’s smile deepened. She really wanted to tell Sakura right now! But what if….

    “Kaze-san.” Sakura spoke up. The ghost looked down. “What is love?” the tenshi-chi asked. Kaze-san froze. She would have to tell her sooner or later. It would easier to tell Sakura now. But how to do it?

    Kaze-san lightly touched Sakura’s face. “My child,” she said. “You will know what love really is when you find it.” Sakura was befuddled. “How do I do that?” she asked. Kaze-san smiled. “Love will come to you in any form,” the ghost said. “But the right one will come and stay with you forever.” Then Kaze-san kissed Sakura on the forehead. The tenshi-chi felt at ease now.

    Spike waited on the line. His temper was dissolving away. “Come on!” the cowboy growled. “Pick up the phone damnit!” He waited patiently.

    Finally, Jet answered the phone. He was dressed in a black and gold samurai kimono. His surroundings were of a courtesan’s room in ancient Japan.

    “Moshi-Moshi.” Jet answered cheerfully. “JET!!!” Spike yelled. “WHERE IN HELL ARE YOU?!?” Jet smirked. “In heaven.” answered he. Spike’s face grew redder. “WITH A MARRIED WOMAN?!?” he yelled. The old dog looked sarcastically hurt. “I’m just a knight saving a damsel in distress.” he said. “But she’s married!” the cowboy shot back. “Against her will.” Jet said.

    That threw Spike completely off! Against her will? “Oro?” he asked. “What do you mean?” Jet’s eyes lowered. “It’s going to be a long story.” He said. “Well,” Spike said. “Go on.”

    “Her marriage was a nightmare from the start,” Jet began. “She was tricked into marrying Isamu-san. This whole mess started when Ume was eighteen. She was friends with one of Isamu-san’s sisters-in-law. Ume didn’t know who she was and the girl didn’t tell her. They were close friends. Then, he showed up!

    “They were walking home when his limo pulled up. The girls looked and Isamu-san stepped out. He had lusted after Ume for two years. The bastard grabbed her, shoved her in the limo, and drove off. As it turned out, Isamu-san used his sister-in-law to get Ume without her knowledge. As a result they were married. Ume didn’t want to, but in fear for her life, she agreed to it.

    “Things grew worse from there. That fat asshole was abusive and unfaithful. He had twenty-six mistresses while they were married. Ume was so depressed, she considered suicide.”

    Spike sat still. Sad, but… “But you…” he began. “I’m getting there!” Jet snapped. “Five weeks ago, I met Ume-chan in the park. I thought nothing of the whole thing as she sat alone on her swing, so I kept walking. But then, I saw her again in the same place. Feeling pity for Ume, I walked to and began talking to her. Ume-chan told me her story. We began dating in secret and now we’re here.” “But why elope?” Spike asked. “In order to save her,” the old dog explained. “I need to get Ume as far away from that bastard as I can.”

    A pause came and went. “Jet.” Spike spoke up. The ex-cop looked up. “Hai?” he asked. “How long are you going to be gone?” the cowboy asked. “We’re staying here until Ume agrees to marry me.” Jet answered. *Spike falls down* Katsuko looked up. “Spiegel-san?” she asked. No response. “Hm.” Katsuko said.

    “Jet,” Spike said when he got back up. “Hai Spike?” the kuro inu asked. “Be careful.” the cowboy said weakly. Jet smiled. “Sure will,” he said. “Sure will.” Then the ex-cop heard the door open. He looked up and saw Ume. Jet turned to the phone and said: “Got to go, Ume looks hot!” Then he hung up the phone quickly. Spike hung his head in shame.

    “Jet?” Ume asked. “Who was that on the phone?” “Oh, just Spike.” the old dog said. As he saw her face, he noticed something. “Ume-chan,” Jet said. “Why are you crying?” The sensei had tears streaming down her face. “Oh Jet!” Ume wailed. “This is the first time anyone has done anything nice for me! My husband abused me and everyone else just avoided me and… *sob* Oh Jet-kun! I love you!” Ume felt to her knees and sobbed hard. Jet held her tight. “There, there.” he said. Then he lightly shoved her onto the futon. “What is the one thing I want you to be now?” Jet asked. Ume had a dreamlike look in her eyes. He always took her breath away. The sensei clutched his robes. “Happy.” she murmured. “Good, sensei gets an A.” Jet replied. “Now for some extra credit!”

    “Marry her!” Mandy exclaimed on the Bebop. “Hai.” Spike said. “How could she?!? How could she?!?” the girl cried. Then she stormed off in a sorrowful anger. Spike eyed the boys. They were quiet. But the cowboy knew they were bitter. “Well,” he said. “That’s it.” Then Spike just walked off. “So now what?” Daisuke asked. “What else,” Bemmer said. “Wait until they get back.” “Oh.” Dai said. The boys all sighed. This was now going to be a long summer!

See You in Space Cowboy