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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Kaylee gets protective
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 621 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
“Zoe!” Kaylee rushed to her side and nearly slid on the slick remains of the picnic earlier. Simon was fast behind her. Jayne, in typical fashion, just looked mildly disgusted and chowed into the quickly cooling food. River stood aloof, but looked poised for action should the situation require it.
Zoe remained standing- for all that she was bent in two like a jackknife. She braced her hands on her thighs as Kaylee put a comforting arm around her shoulders and Simon pulled her chin up to shine a flashlight in her eyes.
“Hey, Doc, why do you guys always do that?” Zoe asked wryly. “Just because my lunch is lying on the floor doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with my eyes.”
“I’m just checking to see if your nausea caused any tearing.” Simon said, all business. “Do you feel like you need to throw up some more? Because, if so, we’d all probably appreciate you using something that’s a little easier to clean than the corrugated floor.”
Kaylee glared at him. “Simon, this ain’t funny. Zoe could be really sick.”
River leaned against the table, then floated over to the tableau. “Don’t worry. It’s nothing.”
“Mei-mei, you may be a reader, but I’m a doctor. Let me say if it’s nothing?”
River shook her head decidedly. “One of these days, you’ll realize I’m never wrong about these things. But I know you won’t be content until you examine her from hair to toenails, so get out your scary tools, bro.”
Simon nodded distractedly. “Normally I wouldn’t ask….”
Zoe looked up from under her hair and scoffed. “Might as well get it off your chest.”
“Do you need to be carried to the infirmary?”
Silence filled the kitchen and there was a distinct feeling of everyone cringing from the expected backlash. Jayne grinned in that special way that said he looked forward to the ensuing tussle. River just shook her head while Kaylee stood up straight.
“Simon, that does it. Zoe just threw up. She ain’t passed out like before, and unless both her legs are broke, she’d rather walk than be lugged over Jayne’s shoulder. You’re too much of a bèn zhuo nao dài to realize that she could kick your butt with her little finger…”
By this time Zoe was still bent over, but this time with internal laughter. She had never seen sweet little Kaylee so protective…it was like her xiao mao had discovered her claws after that Reaver attack. It was definitely worth being a little helpless to witness such an occurrence. She stood up, a little woozy from having her head over her knees, but she managed to make her way to the cold, sterile infirmary.
She sat on the edge of the examining table and sighed inwardly. She understood why this was necessary, but she knew that she was fine. More than fine. She was actually able to move on with her life. Sure, there was an emptiness from where Wash would normally be. She knew her mister would have been like a small, worried and protective shield. He would want to take care of her himself and make sure that she was alright. The memory of his desire to watch over her filled her with a longing sadness. Her emotions and the soreness from her muscles made her feel suddenly old and exhausted- all she wanted to do was curl up in her bunk and sleep. She bore Simon’s tests and checks patiently, but with an increasing longing to bend his stethoscope around his neck like a pretzel.
Finally, Simon motioned that she could go. “You look fine, Zoe. Probably just a bug that you caught or something. I’ll let you know if there’s anything unusual or unexpected in your results.” Zoe escaped to her bunk, grateful not to be given drugs or injections. Innocs HURT. She decided to bypass everyone in the kitchen and go through the cargo bay up towards the crew quarters. Outside the shuttle dock, she paused. There was a….thumping. What in the world? She wondered, and went to investigate. She stood outside Mal and Inara’s impromptu prison and realized the noise was coming from inside. “Cap’n! Stop banging your head against the walls! It hurts and it doesn’t do you any good!” She hollered merrily.
“Zoe! Damn it, let us out! It’s important!” Mal implored.
“Unless you done somethin’ stupid and cracked Inara’s skull, nobody’s goin’ in or out of that shuttle until I hear an actual conversation!”
“We already done had one! And it’s not a good thing!”
Zoe recognized that tone. It was the “shit, another Alliance cruiser” tone from the war. Instinctively, she straightened up as she said, calmly, without the teasing note. “What’s up, Sir?”
Mal relaxed on the other side of the sealed door and addressed Zoe as though it weren’t there- gestures included. “Inara has told me some mighty disturbing things.” He shot her a look, beseeching her with his eyes to tell Zoe the whole story. Inara shrugged, as if to say “what have I got to lose now?” and motioned him to continue.
“The short version is that one of Inara’s former, er, clients is a pretty important Alliance dude. And he’s the one that pushed her out here.”
“Begging your pardon, Cap, but that don’t sound especially ominous.”
Mal rolled his eyes. Trust Zoe to pick at him now! He turned to address Inara. “I’m gonna tell her what Mister Possessive does, dong ma?”
“Zoe, that guy is the head of the Secret Security Forces, and he’s hell bent on chasing Inara until she has no choice but to run to him. And now he knows she’s on our boat and that we’re carrying an ex-fugy. And the “ex” part ain’t gonna stop him from snaggin’ River if he catches us.”
Zoe blanched. “Hell. We gotta get off this moon!”
Mal sagged with relief as he heard the slap of Zoe’s boots trail off towards the bridge with haste.
“Mal?” He turned. “I think it’s your turn now. And try not to use the “w” word, ok?”
Mal ran his hand over his face. He didn’t know his own self why he pushed her away to the same extent he wanted to pull her close. He just knew one thing: he was bad news. Everyone he had ever known and loved had left him in some way, shape, or form. Except Zoe…but one was not enough for him to open up and trust everyone to stick around.
“Inara….” He tried to begin. “I got bad luck.”
She gave him a look of incredulity. “What does that have to do with uh-you and I?”
Mal realized she had nearly used the word “us” and smiled a bit. “People have a funny way of letting you down just when you start believing that you know everything about ‘em. I don’t trust people easy, now. And it seems to me that it would be awful stupid to trust a person who don’t seem to have real relationships.”
Inara was peeved. “I don’t have real relationships? What about with Kaylee? She’s a great friend…”
Mal held a hand up. “Mayhaps so. But to me, you should be attracted to a person, establish a connection before ya jump into bed with them. You cut all that out of the equation. It’s all about the money, the fact that they’re paying you. ‘Cause I’m certain you wouldn’t be sleepin’ with all these guys if you wasn’t gettin’ paid for it. Them’s the sort of relationships I’m talkin’ bout.”
“Companioning runs in my blood, Mal. It was…well, for lack of a better term, expected of me. But my mom was never married to my dad, nor claimed any feelings for him. I’ve seen people “in love” on every planet I’ve visited, and it seems like those relationships end up causing more hurt than pleasure. I provide the pleasure in a relationship…without all the emotional attachments.”
Mal nodded. “I get that. But I got to have the emotional attachments, and heaven knows, if you and I was to have a relationship like that, I know I’d follow in Geoffrey’s footsteps somewhat, ‘cause I sure as heck wouldn’t want you sleepin’ with nobody but me.”
“And that’s why Companions are discouraged from getting involved emotionally. But…” And here Inara fiddled with her shawl. “All I know is that when Saffron was on board, I was tetchy. And after you slept with Nandi, I knew I had some feelings for you since I WAS upset.”
Mal was shocked. He couldn’t believe it. He decided to ask the question. “Inara, DID you kiss Saffron?”
She mutely shook her head. He couldn’t speak.
“River!” Zoe called out. “Get Serenity ready! We gotta get out of here.”
River was already initializing the take-off. “I got Mal’s distress from here. He’s concerned about me, yes, but he’s more worried about Inara and this no-good scum winning.”
“Where can we go?” Zoe wondered aloud. She was bent over the nav board. River wasn’t paying attention and had already set in coordinates. “What in Buddha’s name are you up to?”
River gave a one-sided smile. “We’re going to our destiny. I promise nothing TOO bad will happen to us.”
Kaylee popped her head in the entrance. “There a reason we’re leaving’? I thought we were gonna give Inara a choice.”
Zoe looked over her shoulder at the girl. “We are, honey. We just gotta leave for now because we’re bein’ chased and we don’t want any harm to come to the Companions here.” Kaylee immediately ran for the engine room, knowing that running meant they would need full burn.
“So where’d ya point us to, Ms. Smarty-pants?” Zoe drawled.
“Wotan.” River said, steering around space debris. “It’s a red planet, like Mars-that-was, and has a similar connotation.”
Zoe looked at her skeptically. “What, aliens? You think I’m a back-birth?”
“Not aliens. Life. Before terraforming- but that’s not what I’m talking about either. Mars was a god of war for the ancient Greeks. Wotan is the German god of vengeance. Anger. Payback.”
“Well, I sure as hell hope not be experiencing any vengeance or anger.” Jayne piped up from the hallway. “I got enough people looking ta bind me or kill me that it’s a fair possibility of either. As far as payback goes…as long as there’s coin involved, I’m all in!”
River turned her head to give him a “you’re such a dimwit” look.
“River…” Zoe hazarded. “River!”
“What, Zoe?” River looked to her now.
“You do see that rather large ship through the window?”
“Of course. It’s the Alliance cruiser Resolute.”
“And why aren’t you going away from it?”
“Because they’re waiting for us. We might as well face the music.”
River steered the ship towards the increasingly large planet below. “Atmo’s good, Zoe. We might as well sit tight.” She grinned. “The admiral has a BIG surprise coming his way.”
It seemed that instantly, Serenity received a communication. “Firefly class Serenity. You are under land-lock. Our commanding officer will be boarding you. Do not resist and we shall be lenient. The fugitive known as River Tam should be brought to the airlock as well as the Companion Inara Serra.”
River looked gleeful.
“I often go on bitter nights
To Wotan's oak in the quiet glade
With dark powers to weave a union -
The runic letter the moon makes with its magic spell
And all who are full of impudence during the day
Are made small by the magic formula!
They draw shining steel—but instead of going into combat
They solidify into stalagmites.
So the false ones part from the real ones—
I reach into a nest of words
And then give to the good and just
With my formula blessings and prosperity.”
She quoted, while the others looked blankly at her. Sighing, she headed towards the cargo bay. “Are you coming?”
“Never do understand what that moon brain is muttering about.” Jayne complained.
“Jayne, you got a discreet weapon? Somethin’ they won’t notice at first?”
“Sorry, my girls are all for gettin’ attention.”
“Oh well. Here’s hoping our little psychic isn’t going psycho again.”
The crew lined up- Simon comforting Kaylee with a hand around her waist. Zoe activated the airlock and then withdrew to stand with everyone else. A score of Alliance troops came through the door and checked the bay for people and weapons.
“Sir! This area appears to be clear. Do you wish us to search the rest of the vessel?”
“That probably won’t be necessary.” His voice floated over the ears like melted chocolate. Stepping into the light, the crew saw the Admiral for the first time. He was tall, with a slim athletic build. Black shoulder length hair was slicked away from his face in a ponytail at the base of his neck. Scrutinizing eyes the color of dark coffee swept the faces of the people in front of him. “Where is Ms. Serra? I know she’s here.”
“She’s….indisposed right now.” Something about this man made Zoe bristle. “Who are you, please?”
“My name is Admiral G. Mainsbleu.” An evil grin came over his face. “And you all are bound by law for harboring a fugitive.”
“Liar.” His face turned toward River. “That’s not why you’re taking us. It’s because you’re a du zi si fen who can’t have what he want. Little boy, throwing a tantrum about the candy.”
“You’re coming with me, Ms. Tam. We are most…anxious to add you to our program.”
Zoe stepped forward. “Why don’t we just take things one step at a time? I’ll take you to Inara if you leave River alone for now.” She offered.
“I will be taking her on board the Resolute. And whoever she’s…entertaining…as well.”
Zoe grinned. “Deal.”
She removed the lock from the shuttle and motioned the soldiers into its small interior. They soon pulled Inara and Mal after them with no interference from Zoe. On the way past, she winked at Mal. He nodded slightly. Message received. She made her way back to the cargo bay where everyone else waited.
The Admiral turned as he left. “I will notify you when I will be ready to obtain the fugitive.”
“Like hell.” Simon muttered, low enough not to be overheard. His watch beeped. “Time for me to check your test results, Zoe.”
She nodded distractedly. Everyone else began to wonder back to respective positions, feeling like a weight was hanging over their heads. The silence inside Serenity, normally so comforting, now seemed oppressive. River’s head suddenly popped up and she smiled conspiringly at Zoe as Simon came barreling through the door.
“Zoe, can I talk to you for a second?” The doctor seemed a bit breathless.
“What, Simon? Am I finally mutating and growing a third arm?” Zoe bantered gently, but seeing the look on Simon’s face, decided to humor him. She went over to him. “What’s wrong?”
“Look, I don’t know how to say this delicately….Zoe, you’re pregnant.” Her eyes widened and her hand instinctively covered her belly. River grinned, almost moronically. “See! I told ya it was good!”
bèn zhuo nao dài- stupid head
xiao mao- kitten
du zi si fen- jealous selfish gelded pig
The poem River recites was written by Hitler in 1915 and can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esoteric_Hitlerist
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