Tulip O'Hare was supposed to have been a boy. As far as her father Jake O'Hare was concerned, anyway. He even had a name picked out for his son - John William Grady O'Hare. They were going to play ball, and go hunting, and have the ideal father-son relationship. He had everything planned out.
He was disappointed when the baby turned out to be a girl. He was shocked when his wife died in childbirth. Without warning, he was a single father, with a little girl he had no idea how to handle. He wasn't even sure how to hold a baby girl. But as soon as he did.... He looked into his baby's face and thought, "So you're a girl. That needn't be so bad." He named her Tulip, because he knew that his wife had loved flower names.
He didn't try to make Tulip into a boy, but he raised her the same way he wouldhave raised a son. He read her war stories and taught her to shoot. By her account, he had her smoking before she was in elementary school. He taught her about the Constitution and war, and how America was the best country in the world. As he taught her, so did she teach him - about equality and about his preconceptions of the "roles" of women. When the school's principal tried to keep her off the baseball team, Jake argued that Tulip should be considered on the basis of her abilities - which were considerable - and not on her gender.
He came to realize that women had gotten a very poor deal during history, and he became determined to see that his daughter had every chance to be whoever she wanted. And Tulip loved him for it. He would be the model for the perfect man for the rest of her life. Which is why his death, due to a hunting accident, nearly shattered her.
Now an orphan, she became a ward of the state, and was put into boarding school. She quickly established herself as one of the smartest students in school, if one of the least personable. Still, she attracted the eye of the richest student in school, Amy Grinderbinder. Amy saw this lonely girl and figured her for a kindred spirit, and would be her friend whether Tulip wanted it or not. The two actually got along quite well, and Amy invited Tulip along to her house for Christmas. While they were there, Tulip got her first real experience with the rich and the powerful, and she was not impressed.
During a party, filled with the sons and daughters of judges and Senators, Amy nearly was gang-raped. She was saved by Tulip, who crashed Amy's truck through the wall and started firing away with a shotgun. Despite her hatred of guns, due to the manner of her father's death, she emptied the weapon into the room, nearly killing Amy's attackers. Fortunately for them and for her, no one died, but Amy was saved. Their friendship was cemented that night, and after Amy's father had died they decided to take a few years off and travel the country.
Born to Love
Tulip met Jesse Custer in Texas.
He was in there with another woman, but that didn't mean much to Tulip. She started the seduction process by shoving Custer's date's head into the toilet. Within a few hours, Tulip and Jesse were bound together forever, at least that was the plan.
Jesse joined Tulip and Amy's travels across the country, and the got themselves involved in crime, with grand theft auto being their particular specialty. They traveled the length and breadth of the Southwest, getting into trouble and dodging the law, and Tulip and Jesse fell more and more in love.
And then Jesse left her. One day in Phoenix, Jesse just disappeared, leaving her alone in a strange city. She was devastated. Broken-hearted, Tulip had to figure out how to live without the man she loved. She tried to get work, but she didn't care enough to hold on to any of them. She started drinking heavily as she made her way back across Texas, and nearly killed herself with alcohol. Finally, she borrowed money from a local club owner named MacAvoy to check into a clinic and clean up.
When she got out, she didn't have the money to pay him back, so she offered to work off the debt. He didn't have any waitress positions, and she wasn't willing to be a prostitute, so he offered her the only kind of work her had available - hits. And after he saw how good a shot she was, he gave her the job - kill a guy who was muscling in on his turf.
Unfortunately, she blew the hit. The man she was supposed to kill wasn't even touched, and she only managed to injure one of his bodyguards. She ran from the scene and tried to hijack a truck driven by a scruffy-looking Irishman. The driver wouldn't give up the car, but he was willing to give her a lift, and introduced himself as Cassidy.
The two of them traveled west, and while she thought it was a little strange that he covered himself up in the back during daytime, she had other things on her mind.
They stopped outside Annville, Texas when they saw a huge explosion in the distance. Tulip was curious, and drove to take a look at the wreckage. To her surprise, she found the man she'd loved - Jesse Custer. Custer asked Cassidy for a ride, and they drove off, doing their best to stay away from the police. When the police found them, Jesse revealed that he had a gift - a Voice of Command. He ordered the police to drop their guns, and they did. Just in time for the arrival of the Saint Of Killers. The cowboy Angel of Death strode out of the shadows, ready to kill anyone who got in his way. Tulip, Jesse and Cassidy ran.
Their reunion was difficult, and it didn't help that the two of them found themselves at the heart of a massive universal controversy - God had left His creation, and a creature called Genesis had nestled itself in Jesse's head. The Saint had been sent to hunt them down, but Jesse, with his Voice, was able to turn him away. Temporarily.
There was also the question of why Jesse had vanished in Phoenix. She tried to talk to him about it during their travels, but events got in the way. They were faced with a serial killer, and nearly got themselves either arrested or killed several times. Finally, they were kidnapped and held captive by Jesse's evil grandmother, Marie L'Angell. Over the course of the night, Tulip finally learned all the things about Jesse that he had never been able to tell her. The death of his father and his mother, the years of abuse at the hands of his grandmother and her henchmen, and the slow, methodical erosion of his pride and spirit. The reason he had left her in Phoenix was because it was the only way to keep her safe. Either he went back to his grandmother, or she'd be killed.
The reason he hadn't told her all this was that it was his greatest shame, the darkest part of his soul, which he never wanted anyone to see, much less the woman he loved. But, tied up and facing certain death, he told her everything, and she still loved him for it.
The sun rose, and Tulip was shot through the forehead by Jody, one of Marie L'Angelle's thugs. She was dead.
Her body was dragged into a bedroom and left there, where she was promptly resurrected by God.
God had a message for her - that He loved Jesse Custer, and all He wanted was for Jesse to love Him. To show His love, he not only brought Tulip back to life, but also lifted His protection from L'Angell and her people. Jesse's Voice would once again command them. All Jesse had to do was give up his quest to find God.
Tulip told God that she was pretty sure Jesse would tell Him to cut the shit.
Jesse's escape set the house on fire, and Tulip made her way back to him. In front of the raging inferno of Angelville, they were reunited.
They made their way west again, intending to meet Cassidy back in San Francisco. Unfortunately, due to his former girlfriend's drug connections, they ended up going to an orgy party at the mansion of Jesus DeSade, the self-proclaimed Lord of the Gomorrah People. At the party, she learned that there was an attack squad of The Grail, and that they were looking for Jesse Custer. She was singled out by the scarred leader of the Grail, Starr, who threatened her life unless she told him where he could find Jesse Custer. Her life was saved not by Custer, but by Cassidy, who pretended to be Custer. Starr fell for the ruse, and bundled the two of them into separate vans, with the intention of using her as leverage against "Custer."
She was saved by the real Jesse Custer, who managed to not only save her but capture Hoover and Featherstone, Starr's main assistants. Using the Voice, they learned about the Grail's history and motives, and worked out a plan to save Cassidy. Tulip and Jesse boarded a plane out to France with the intention of finding the Grail's headquarters, Masada. She was ready to go in with Jesse, guns blazing, but he had other ideas. During the night, he left the hotel. He left her money and a note, saying that he would meet her in New York, if only so she could kick his ass.
She was furious with him, furious at being left behind like a little girl. All of a sudden, she felt like she was back in school again, shunned by the boys for being a girl, and avoided by the girls for acting like a boy. In a rage, she headed back to New York City and waited for Jesse.
He came back eventually, with Cassidy in tow. She tricked Jesse into letting himself be tied up while she found Amy to talk things over. She and Amy talked about her disappointment and her anger at Jesse for trying to protect her. Amy understood her feelings, but told her under no uncertain terms that she and Jesse were meant to be together, that they were a perfect couple, and Tulip had better be absolutely sure before she did something so terrible as break up with him. Still uncertain, but slightly less enraged, she went back to Jesse. She knew that she loved him, but she still wasn't sure she wanted to be with him.
Trouble With Cassidy
Things got a lot more complex when Cassidy, after a few strong drinks, confessed that he might love her. This was a total shock to both of them, and they decided to put it behind them as an alcohol-induced blunder. Tulip reminded Cassidy that she was in love with Jesse, and that he was not to bring up the subject again. Out of respect for their friendship, however, she decided not to tell Jesse what he'd said.
Unfortunately, the problem wasn't resolved with this. Cassidy kept pressing, kept dropping hints. In New Orleans, Tulip learned from an old acquaintance of Cassidy's, Xavier, that Cassidy had a habit of destroying the people he loved. He wasn't necessarily evil, just had no sense of consequence.
Cassidy had seduced the woman Xavier loved, and even after that, Xavier couldn't bring himself to hate Cassidy. That was how deeply he had insinuated himself, and he warned Tulip that Jesse was in the same danger. As to why he didn't just tell Jesse.... He knew that, most likely, Jesse just wouldn't listen.
Tulip's suspicion of Cassidy grew wherever they went. He would promise to leave her alone, and almost in the same breath try to win her love. She suspected him of manipulating Jesse just so he could stay close to her. And to her horror, during their escape from a nuclear holocaust in Monument Valley, it was Jesse who fell to his death in the inferno, not Cassidy.
They escaped from the tragedy of Monument Valley and The Grail, but they remained on the run. Once again, Tulip was separated from Jesse, and this time she believed it was forever. As before, she tried to find solace in alcohol and drugs, and Cassidy found them for her. He robbed pharmacies and liquor stores for her so that she could stay numb. To his credit, he did not at first take advantage of her to get her in bed, but, as was so often the way with Cassidy, only a matter of time. Eventually he gave in, and went to her.
That was their life for months - always on the run, hiding in cheap motel rooms and hanging out with Cassidy's low-life friends. To cope with the pain, Tulip retreated into her drugs and her alcohol and tried to ignore what her life had become. Until the day when she finally had enough. She left Cassidy, although not before shooting him through the door when he tried to stop her, and headed to New York. Amy was her lifeline now, the only person she could talk to, and that was the only place she would feel safe. Jesse was dead, and there was nothing she could do about that.
Except that he wasn't. No sooner did she arrive at Amy's apartment than Jesse rang the bell. He hadn't died, but had been away for about six months, acting as sheriff in the small town of Salvation, Texas. He had seen Cassidy kissing Tulip, and needed time to figure out what to do with what he'd discovered. He thought that they had given up on him, and found comfort in each other, but wasn't quite sure how to deal with it. So he left. And once he'd gotten himself together, he came looking for Tulip, figuring that Amy would know where she was.
Till the End of the World
Reunited again, Tulip told him everything that had happened, everything about Cassidy. As hard as it was to believe, Jesse trusted her. He spent a few days looking for information about Cassidy, and when the man finally showed up at Amy's door, Jesse knew everything about his long, abusive past. He kept Cassidy away from Tulip, and told him to meet him in San Antonio in two months. At that point, Jesse might be able to talk to him.
Tulip and Jesse took their time getting there. Tulip wasn't sure what was going to happen, but she knew that it wouldn't end well. The Saint was involved, and she knew the Grail hadn't stopped looking for them, and between those two forces, there was little chance of getting out unharmed.
She reminded Jesse of the time he left her in Paris while he went off to rescue Cassidy, and she reminded him of how much it hurt her. He had promised then, and she made him promise again, not to leave her behind again. She had enough weapons to equip a small army, and she was willing to use all of it to protect him. He told her he loved her, and would always love her. And then he drugged her.
When she awoke, and glanced at the note he'd left, she strapped on all her weapons and went out hunting Jesse. She was going to save his life, and then she was going to kill him.
Unfortunately, she never got she chance. By the time she killed her way through the Grail's forces, and shot Starr through the head, Jesse was already dead.
He was revived a little later, much as she had been back in Angelville, healed of all wounds, but without the Voice of command. He admitted, as he had in the note, that he had lied to her, that he had broken his word to her. But he couldn't stand to see her get hurt, much less to die. He gave her the money that he'd saved from their life of crime and let her go.
She was caught in a traffic jam and found a note in her purse from Cassidy, saying that, though his behavior towards her was inexcusable he was truly sorry. At the same time, Jesse appeared, on a horse. He asked for her forgiveness one more time, and it was only his tears - tears from a man who thought he would never cry again - that convinced her. She rode off with him into the sunset.