Runaway Part 3
Monday, August 7, 2006

Some of the crew have different reactions to the Tam's cousin being on board. S/K, M/I.


A/N: So here is the next installment to the Runaway series. I am going to try and post Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. My scheduele is very hectic with moving and school starting up in only a few weeks, as well as working six days a week, but I am doing my best to keep up the writing pace ( I have tomorrow's pretty much finished up and am working on Wed.s now!).I love the reactions to Charlotte, she's a fun character to like and to hate! Thanks to Leiasky for the beta! Links: Runaway:Part 2, Runaway:Part 1, Runaway: Teaser

Disclaimer: Not mine, just writing for fun.

~~ Mal scowled as he looked out into the Black before him. His brain was swimming with exasperation, not knowing just exactly how he had gone to this particular planet with a shipment and payment guaranteed, then ended up leaving with a pampered princess on the run. His nerves were nettled to the raw edges and his distraction was so great that he hadn’t even noticed Inara emerge from the cockpit’s entrance. He jumped when she snaked her arm around his waist and rested her head against his shoulder, knocking her chin off as his back stiffened. He turned quickly to grasp at her hand as she backed away. This embrace was a usually welcomed form of greeting but it had unnerved him some. Clasping her fingers, he sheepishly grinned at the awkward moment. “Sorry, ‘Nara.” She took in his rigid stance, the broad shoulders racked with tension, “It’s fine, Mal.” She gently ran a finger along the side of his cheek, her eyes lingering on the scar by the edge of his ear before nestling herself against his chest, “It’s been an eventful day.” Mal ran a hand along Inara’s soft curls, trailing down to her back. Pressing her more firmly against him, he let out a ragged sigh, “Yep.” Inara hugged him tighter, loving the way his arms engulfed her body, drawing warmth as they both stared out into the vacuum of space. “Have you spoken with Simon?” Mal rested his chin atop the crown of her head, running his hand down to rest on her waist. “Yeah.” Inara tilted her head up, jarring Mal’s chin so she could face him. “And?” He smiled at her insistence, “Well aren’t we just the little busybody? Never took you for one to gossip there, ‘Nara?” She scowled at his accusation, “It’s not gossip Mal....I’m just ...concerned. She pops out of nowhere and we have no idea if there are going to be repercussions for her being here.” “Could’ve said the same thing about River and Simon when they first boarded.“ Inara looked away from him, her eyes returning to the vast expanse of stars twinkling through the cockpit windows. She let the irony of her words wash over her. She had always supported Simon and River being on board, never once thinking that Mal should abandon them, but there was something different about their cousin. She was high handed and a bit too haughty for Inara’s taste. Not that she hadn’t had her share of hauteur where Mal was concerned. He kissed the top of her head and squeezed her lightly, garnering her attention away from the windows and back to him, “Let’s just cross that bridge when we get there. For now, we’ve got enough money to get us to Paquin and only one extra mouth to feed.” Inara leaned back in his embrace, a crooked smile pulling at the edges of her lips, “And just how did we forfeit our payment from the last job there, Captain?” Mal’s eyes squinted back at her as he remembered the pudgy little man that had tried to swindle them for thirty more percent before he was introduced to Vera. “Jayne got trigger happy and I ...uhh, well there were bullets flying about and then -” “You left it behind, didn’t you?” The satisfied look on Inara’s face rankled Mal, his lips forming a thin line before he spat back, “You know it’s kinda distractin’, people trying to kill ya. And since when did you become Serenity’s accountant?” She giggled at his irritation and snuggled back into his arms. “I prefer the title actuary.” ~~ Charlotte looked about the table as she watched the crew interact with one another, lightly picking at the gelatinous blobs of pink protein that littered her dinner plate. She hadn't eaten since the day before, and her stomach was beginning to burn with hunger, yet the fare before her held no interest. Her mind was cluttered enough to fill her belly. She pushed the food around for a few more minutes before gingerly taking a bite. The texture was less than desirable and the flavor even worse, but she needed something in her stomach so she pressed on with her meal. Her mind was reeling with all the days events when she felt hair brush softly against the exposed skin of her arm. “Tomorrow’s dinner will be better. Kaylee cooks.” Charlotte turned a warm grin to her cousin, who was herself not consuming much. She turned her eyes towards her other cousin, seated to the other side of her. Simon had been ever present since she had stepped foot on the ship, attending to her needs and making sure she was comfortable, but at the moment his attention was completely monopolized by the mechanic. She then glanced back at the other end of the table and caught the captain staring at her, his face an open book of disdain, mirroring her own. She gave him a quick, tight smile and promptly pushed her plate away from herself, quietly placing her chopsticks on the side of the plate. From across the table, Jayne leaned over, intent on the contents of her plate. “You gonna eat that?” Charlotte took a deep breath, “No.” Jayne stood up out of his chair and grabbed the plate with lightening speed. “More for me then.” She gave him another one of her patented tight lipped smiles before taking a long sip of water. The disgust at his atrocious eating habits was plainly etched in her features and she could take it no longer. She placed her hands on the table and addressed them. “Excuse me, but it has been a long day. I think I will retire.” Simon quickly shot out of his chair, pulling Charlotte’s out for her as she rose form the dining table, his cousin nodding her thanks at his impeccable manners. Simon held her elbow lightly, his eyes full of concern but before he could ask the question that was on the tip of his tongue, Charlotte patted his hand before extricating it from its grip. “I’m fine, Simon, just a tad weary. Nothing that a little rest won’t take care of.” Watching her head out of the galley and down the hallway, Simon turned back to the crew, pushing her chair back in and settling himself again next to Kaylee. While still shoveling food into his mouth, Jayne observed, “She sure is a quiet one. Eats like a bird, too.” Jayne took another huge bite of his “seconds” and announced with an approving nod, “ I like her.” Simon took a deep breath, almost an exact replica of the one Charlotte had taken just a few moments before and closed his eyes at the food smacking around in Jayne’s mouth. Kaylee snaked out a hand and wrapped it around Simon’s own, squeezing it comfortingly as she gave Jayne an exasperated look. Zoe rolled her eyes at Jayne, reaching out to grab the last cracker before Jayne could get his grubby hands on it. Breaking it in half over her plate, she nibbled on the edge of the stale cracker before setting it down. “Sir, not to cast a shadow on the family reunion and all, but won’t some one be missing her soon?” Mal cast an eye towards Simon, “Well, doc?” Simon looked to his sister, who had gladly handed her own plate over to Jayne and then faced his captain. “It’s not the same as when River and I were...wanted. I highly doubt my uncle would let it become public knowledge that his daughter ran away from her wedding by filing a report with the Feds. She hasn’t been on Osiris for awhile now, and if anything , my uncle would use a more discreet method of recovering Charlotte.” “Maybe a reward?” All eyes turned to glare at Jayne. “What?”

~~ Charlotte wandered up to the galley later that night, desperate for a nice cup of tea. It was the middle of the night cycle, so she was positive not to run into any of the denizens of Serenity that she would want to avoid. She would have enjoyed a late night conversation with her cousin, but he had retired to bed with that lustful little hoyden who couldn’t keep her hands off him through out dinner. It sent a little shiver down her spine to think of how he would have felt if he had met that girl back on Osiris. She was certain he wouldn’t have given her the time of day but out here he was practically smitten. It confused her to no end, so she pushed the thought out of her mind. But her thoughts wouldn’t leave her family as her mind wandered into thoughts of her other cousin. River had been such a lovely child, sweet and a little shy, but with such tremendous talent. Charlotte had always thought of her as a darling little pet, that her Uncle Gabriel and Aunt Regan would show off to guests. She had loved to watch her dance and had been thoroughly disappointed when River had decided to got to this new Academy instead of the Ballet Academy. Charlotte herself had studied for years, but did not have the dedication, nor the natural talent that River possessed. Now, though, her cousin seemed so distanced from the world. She had always been quiet, if not a bit mischievous, especially where Simon was concerned, but this kind of distance seemed forced. She had been tampered with, and Charlotte mourned for the girl that was lost in the altering. Charlotte smiled to herself as she entered the silent galley, it’s lights dimmed and no crew in sight. She wouldn’t have minded the Companion’s company, in fact she hoped that she would see more of her about. Inara Serra was just the kind of woman Charlotte had been friends with on Osiris, and she had desperately missed female company since her imposed exile by her father. All the others on the boat held no interest or consequence to Charlotte. The captain was abrasive, his first mate pandered to his every whim, and the large smelly one was no better than a hog. She couldn’t believe that only eleven months ago she had just attended the High Court Council's Ball in Capital City and now here she was, pilfering through lockers, trying to find some decent tea in a rusty old bucket of bolts that looked as if it would fall apart at the seams at any moment. As she turned around to sit at the dining table Charlotte came face to face with the behemoth of a man that she had been introduced to as Jayne. He stood a good foot and a half above her, so she had to lift her head high as she plastered on a dismissive smile, “Excuse me.” Jayne moved out of her way, watching her take a seat as he leaned on the pillar that separated the kitchenette from the galley. He leered at her for a moment. She was still wearing her wedding gown, since she had no other clothes to speak of. The dress hugged every part of her body and Jayne was sure he liked what he saw. She had taken a seat that afforded her the opportunity to stare at the wall instead of him, which anyone with proper breeding would have known was a sign that she wanted to be left alone. She gave the man too much credit. Jayne sauntered over to the other side of the table, resting his weight in the top of the chair directly across from hers as he leaned over the table. “Real sorry about your wedding being ruined and all.” Charlotte nodded her insincere thanks at him and returned to staring at her tea. “I’m a...sure your husband woulda just loved ya in that little thing. Shame ya have ta miss out on your wedding night too.” Charlotte’s face dropped at the implication of Jayne’s words but she threw back on the plastered smile, “Tragic, I know.” Jayne leaned even more forward across the table, his face now mere inches from Charlotte’s, “Don’t haveta be.” Charlotte swallowed the bit of bile that had risen in her throat only to be caught off guard by a fit of giggles that erupted slowly from her mouth. It bubbled to her lips, sputtering out in short bursts. Her hand flew up to her mouth, unsuccessfully holding back the laughter as it came out in great peels, echoing off the walls. She contained herself enough to point at Jayne, the absurdity of his invitation evident in the one word that fell from her lips before she was seized by another fit of the giggles, “YOU?!” Charlotte got up from the table, her body still racked with laughter and exited the galley, leaving Jayne to ponder what was so damn funny.




Monday, August 7, 2006 7:17 AM


Now, now, Charlotte, let's not be hasty. Jayne was hired for public relations, after all. He's just being...hospitable. ;)

Monday, August 7, 2006 7:17 AM


I keep swinging from liking to hating to liking Charlotte. She's so snobbish I want to hate her but her reaction to Jayne's 'invitation' was just too funny for words.

And Inara as Serenity's accountant. . . bwahaha. That exchange ith Mal was great.

Monday, August 7, 2006 9:45 AM


>And Inara as Serenity's accountant. . . bwahaha. That exchange with Mal was great.<

I always thought she would make a really good accountant.

>He's just being...hospitable. ;)<

Jayne's hospitality is not something that Charlotte would be accepting of...but who knows where she will end up...oh right, I do!

Monday, August 7, 2006 12:20 PM


I am fairly certain I am a member of the "I Hate Charlotte" fan club ... she is definitely a product of her environment (Think a young Regan Tam), but considering all she's been through you'd think she might just be grateful to not be ruttin' some pig of a man who she called disgusting!

That said, I love watching the dynamic of Simon trying to temper her rudeness with the rest of the crew. Just wait until she insults Kaylee - then what is our amazingly swai, but insanely boob-ish doctor going to do?

Posting once a day sounds like a shiny plan!

Monday, August 7, 2006 12:21 PM


Tell me again why they bothered to rescue Charlotte? If you ask me her husband to be got away from a fate worse than death. Love the Mal and Inara exchange and think Charlotee was way too hard on Jayne. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, August 7, 2006 12:36 PM


How much do I love this fic?

Um - I'd say a lot.

I was skeptical at first because I usually hate OC, especially one that ends up being the long-lost lover or family member of a member of the crew... BUT. That said. I adore Charlotte. She's like the perfect cross between Inara and Simon when they were first on the ship. Snotty, high-society.... and yet. How can you not feel sorry for her? Plus, she has very genuine affection for Simon and River.

And also, that little moment between Mal and Inara on the bridge made me most happy. Thank you.

Monday, August 7, 2006 9:48 PM


>Tell me again why they bothered to rescue Charlotte?<
She did keep them from getting nabbed by security and she did show them a way out of the hotel...
> Charlotee was way too hard on Jayne<
The kind of girl Charlotte is, she would never have much to do with the likes of Jayne, and his proposition would be completely absurd to her, plus Jayne's timing is not very good. I mean she just ran away from her life, she may not be in the "mood".:)
> I adore Charlotte<
Thanks, Goldy! I do too! She is fun to write and yes she does have a genuine affection for her family, even though she abandoned them, they haven't abandoned her, there may be hope for her yet...but I wouldn't hold my breath!:)
>I am fairly certain I am a member of the "I Hate Charlotte" fan club ... <
LOL! I love that I may have created a club of haters of Charlotte! I love her but she is a bit of a paradox and definitely a product of her upbringing!

Thanks to all those who have read this and commented!

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 3:54 AM


and she had desperately missed female company since her imposed exile by her father
~Sounds to me like Charlotte might swing both ways, which would certainly make Mal more'n a little upset

Charlotte's laughter at Jayne's proposition was incredible funny. I like her as a character, and I am glad you have written this story that includes her.

More, please?

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 6:40 PM



Good luck Jayne


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Runaway Part 5
Charlotte recieves some news that may shake things up for Mal and Co. Best to read from beginning. S/K, M/I.

Runaway Part 4
Charlotte and River reconnect. Continuation of Runaway: Teaser-Part3. Best to read from beginnig or this will not make sense! S/K, M/I

Runaway Part 3
Some of the crew have different reactions to the Tam's cousin being on board. S/K, M/I.

Runaway Part 2
There's a new passenger on Serenity, but she may be more trouble than she's worth.

Runaway Part 1
Mal and Simon bump into someone from Simon's past while on the run.

A job goes south, security is hot on Mal and Simon's heels and then, of course, things get even more complicated.

Kaylee fawns over injured Simon and then Jayne says something usual! Continuation of Wrong. S/K

Kaylee fixes up Simon after their fall, Mal and Inara have words. S/K, M/I. Continuation of Threesome, Proposition, and Cuddle.

Kaylee wakes up in Simon's arms, but of course, nothing ever goes right on Serenity! S/K

Simon helps Kaylee to her bunk after a night of drinkning. Continuation of Threesome.