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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
River’s dragons finally stop roaring.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1466 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: Night Visitors
Author: Ana Sedai
Character(s): Mal, River
Prompt: 062 - Sound
Word Count: 1,115
A/N: 18/100 for Mal/River Joss100. This is longer than 1,000 words, but I couldn’t bring myself to cut any more than I already did. I hope the Prompt Gods will forgive me. Oh, and this takes place before "Stability". I screwed up with the ordering again. Sorry! :(
Oh, and as always, feedback is craved and needed. Thank you.
Summary: River’s dragons finally stop roaring.
The scrape of his bunk hatch opening was what startled Mal out of sleep this time. For a second, he lay still, listening. All he heard was a soft rustling. Quietly, slowly, he reached for the light switch and his gun, only to feel a small hand close around his, stopping him.
“No light, no sound, just darkness and silence. Too quiet for them to roar.”
To say that he was shocked would have been something of an understatement.
“River! What in the specter of hell are you doin’ down here?”
He couldn’t see her; only feel her move as she slid into the empty space next to him. He was still too surprised to stop her as she curled up at his side. He did sit up, though, but he refrained from turning on the light.
“Stopped hearing them during the day, but they come back at night. More vicious, louder.” She clutched his hand more tightly. “Thought being with you could stop them.”
Her dragons again. Damn it. And here he’d thought they’d all but left. Now here she was in his bed, looking to him to make it better. What was he supposed to do? They didn’t cover situations like this in space captain school.
He felt yet another headache start to set up camp right in the middle of his forehead. Using the hand that wasn’t trapped in hers, he massaged the bridge of his nose. Okay, how to defuse this without raising holy hell?
“Darlin’, I want to help flush out them gorram hundans’ voices. You know that. But you can’t go sneakin’ into people’s bunks in the middle of the night. Especially ones as have loaded firearms within reach.”
As if she could see the scowl on his face (hell, she probably could), River’s fingers moved lightly over his brow, trying to smooth away the wrinkles.
“I’m sorry. It’s rude, I know. But they’re so loud tonight…” She burrowed into his chest like a kitten nuzzling its face into its owner’s hand. “They’re afraid of you. Run far and fast when you’re close. Can’t breath fire when they run.”
Mal did his best to ignore her warmth and how well she fit into his side, and started wracking his brain for some solution to this newest, er, predicament. He couldn’t just send her back to her own bunk (though the logical part of his brain was screaming that was exactly what he should do). He’d allowed her to become his responsibility, and he couldn’t shove her away because things got a mite awkward. He could go get Simon…
“Not Simon. Leave him alone with Kaylee. Don’t want him to know, he’ll just worry.”
Mal grimaced down at her voice. “You can’t stay, little albatross. Your brother finds you down here; he’ll do a helluva lot more than just worry.”
“Please, just for tonight. They’ll leave for good, I know they will. Need them to be gone.” He could hear the tears of frustration she was trying to keep in.
Silently cursing the ‘verse in general, and himself in particular, Mal gave up and gave in. River never begged for anything, and he’d feel as low as pond scum if he refused her now. Weren’t like it was much of a hardship, anyway. It was one night, how much trouble could she cause?
He continued to ignore the logical part of his brain, which had now started screaming that all he was doing was rationalizing.
“Alright, alright, you can stay. Just so long as you don’t snore or anything. I gotta sleep too, y’know,” he grumped.
He heard the smile in her answer. “I promise, Captain. No snoring.”
“Shiny.” He reached down and pulled the spare blanket at the foot of his bed over her. “Warm enough?”
He felt her nod against his chest. His free arm had been pinned between them when she’d gotten in beside him, and it was starting to go numb. Pulling it free, he shook it around for a moment to get some feeling back, and since there was nowhere else to put it, he hesitantly placed it around her shoulders. Felt more comfortable there, anyway. She was still holding onto his other hand.
“You okay sittin’ up, honey?” He hoped so. He drew the line at actually lying down with her. This was surreal enough.
She nodded again and shifted so her head nestled in the crook of his shoulder. “You’re an adequate pillow.”
He chuckled at that, then yawned. “Thanks, I think. Sleep tight, darlin’. Sure hope those dragons a’ yours are gone by morning.”
The last thing he heard before drifting back off was a soft, “They will be.”
When he opened his eyes again, it was to the soft buzzing of his alarm and the resultant lights. Yawning and blinking, he started to stretch, when an unfamiliar weight pulled one of his arms back. The cobwebs cleared instantly, and he looked down to see River still asleep on his shoulder. The whimsical thought, she looks like an angel, he attributed solely to his still-waking-up state.
His motions jostled her, and her eyes slowly opened and turned up to his.
“Mornin’, little one. Sleep well?” He certainly had. In fact, he couldn’t recall if he’d even dreamed, which was rare indeed.
Her smile was answer enough. “No fighting, no roaring, no fire. They’re gone. They’re really gone.”
Mal felt a little grin work its way across his own face at her happy tone. “Good to hear. They gonna stay gone this time?” He stamped down firmly on the fleeting thought that he wouldn’t mind doing this again if they didn’t.
Her smile got wider. “Think so. Helped scare them off.”
He glanced away, a bit nonplussed at the look in her eyes. Right. Back to business now, Reynolds. “Shiny. No problem. Now, how’s about you scoot back to your own bed, ‘fore your brother gets it into his head that you ain’t in it?”
With a confounding mix of dejection and acceptance in her expression, she nodded and headed for the ladder. Swell, he’d stuck his foot in it again. He couldn’t let her leave with that look on her face, or he’d be giving pond scum a good name.
She turned around and waited expectantly.
“I slept well enough, too. Been awhile since that happened.”
This time, her smile lit up his whole bunk. “You’re welcome, Captain.” And she all but floated up through the hatch.
Mal sat down hard on his bed. He scrubbed his face with his hands, and then rested his forehead in them. To no one in particular, he groaned, “Gorram it all to hell.”
Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:56 AM
Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:09 AM
Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:00 AM
Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:24 PM
Saturday, July 01, 2006 9:24 PM
Sunday, July 09, 2006 11:32 AM
Monday, July 24, 2006 2:15 AM
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