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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
In the future, Mal tends to a ranch and three girls. One is a woman, one is a hellraiser, and one is afraid of storms. This is a story concerning the one who is afraid of storms.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 784 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: Classy Ladies Aren't Scared
Originally posted in lj community 31nights
Prompt: 46. "Kids"
Fandom: Firefly / Malcolm Reynolds
Notes: This is just a cute story of Mal being a daddy. Not much more to say about it.
“Wes!” The name rang through the fields of the Reynolds ranch and probably through the fields of every other ranch on Shadow. “I’m gonna shove this down your throat!” Then giggles erupted. Mal shook his head amused as he stalked through the muck of children to the porch.
“Caitie-girl, what’re you doin’ to your cousin?” He stood in the center of a triangle of whippersnappers. His own Caitie had both her hands fill with mud as the dark sky poured down sheets of rain. Ami Washburne was trying to hide her own mitts that were also filled with ooey-gooey farm soil. Meanwhile, Wes Frye, the single boy out of the mess, kept himself squared off with Mal’s leg. He was planning something. Probably just out of their view Wes had concocted some mud flinging machine. They kids would be coated in the go-se for weeks.
“Jus’ playin’, Daddy,” she beamed, and the others nodded an agreement. “You wanna join?”
Mal smirked, and he knew Inara would have called it his “crinkly-eyed” smile. It sounded terrible, but ever since the disaster of Miranda, he had been smiling more. Despite their terrible loses, settling on Shadow had done so much good. First, it had allowed them a place to bury their own. The Reynolds plot would have to be expanded eventually. Mal thought the idea of that would have made him miserable, but it actually meant that he had a family and that was worth even the hardest parts. Beyond respect for Wash and Book, Shadow had given a place for the children to grow. Izzy, despite her illness, was growing like a weed. Simon took good care of her. Zoe’s little boy, not more than a sprout, grew up hearing all about how his father had been a good man and not a single story told was a lie. Mal’s own mother had passed the same year that the crew had settled, but even that hadn’t fazed Mal too badly. She had given him more than he could have ever asked for, and he was gracious. The Alliance still worried him, but they were weakened and the Guild picked up much of the slack. Occasionally, he would think of Nandi. She would have been proud of how the Guild had changed. Yes, despite it all, Inara was seeing much more that that crinkly-eyed smile.
“Gotta tend to your Mama,” Mal smiled again. Oh, there would be tending. So much tending that the children had better be able to keep themselves occupied for a few hours. Mal would make sure to set up the lanterns on the porch, and let everyone know that he and Inara would be engaged for a bit.
“Kay!” Caitie didn’t take half a second to burst past Mal and throw a handful of mud at Wes who yelled and took off running to the other side of the house.
“Be careful, girls.” Mal yelled after them. “Never know what’s ‘round the corner.” The pair didn’t even slow down. So much for listening.
On the porch, Mal stripped out of his coat and left it hanging on one of the nails. The rain was coming straight down. He figured it would be safe. He dropped his boots off just beneath it and padded into the kitchen. Looking inappropriately morose, Inara sat at the table.
“What’s the matter, darlin’?” He wrapped his arms around her shoulders causing her to jump.
“Izzy is petrified.” Inara titled her head back to look at Mal. “The rain. The thunder. All of it is making her miserable.” Mal knit his brows together. A slight line came between Inara’s eyes. It was the line that told Mal that he was looking like he did before they had settled. While Mal had learned to recognize that line, one he had dubbed the Worry Line, he didn’t know what it meant inside Inara’s head.
“You talked to her?”
“She doesn’t want to talk to me. She told me I wouldn’t understand.” Inara dipped her head back down. “She said a classy lady would never be afraid of storms.” She turned in the chair to stare at Mal. “Go talk to her.”
“What?” His brows furrowed further. Inara and Izzy had always been conjoined at the hip. Izzy emulated her mother to the letter. It made sense though. Izzy had inherited Inara’s grace, charm, and degenerative nervous system disease. While Simon kept Izzy in line, everyone was always gentle with her. She seemed to enjoy a more refined life though. While Caitie was out destroying small moons, Izzy was learning how to perform tea rituals. “Why won’t she talk to you?”
“Because she’s scared and ashamed. Now go.” Her words were harsh. It was like a memory of when he and Inara didn’t speak but rather constantly fought.
Mal shut his eyes and conceded. “Fine.” He had told her no so much in the past, he just couldn’t do it anymore.
Stalking up the stairs in his bare feet, Mal scowled. This was not the kind of preoccupied he was looking forward to, but then again, once a man reproduced and stuck with his offspring, he should be prepared for this sort of disappointment. He ran a hand through his still damp hair and wondered if it was really a disappointment. In the end he would still be spending the night with one of his girls.
He rapped gently at Izzy’s door. There was no response just like he expected. “Izzy,” he called her name as he pushed the door open gently by the tips of his fingers. There was a small form huddled on the bed under a quilt that his mama had made when Mal was small. “How’re you? Mama said the rain is scaring you.”
There was a petite grunt for the bed. “She wasn’t supposed to tell. Classy ladies don’t get scared.”
“Aw, that ain’t true.” Mal sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed a hand over the lump in the quilts. “Mama’s been scared lots.”
“No she hasn’t.” Izzy retorted quickly. “Mama has never been scared.”
Mal smiled and moved closer to the lump. He laid an arm over it and reached for the lip of the quilt to pull it back. He nestled his fingers through the silky hair of his child. She was a beauty just like her mother. “Sure she has. Like when you and your sister were born. She was terrified.”
“Why?” Dark eyes poked out from the quilt.
“She was afraid she wouldn’t be a good mama.” Mal chuckled deep in his chest. “But I think she was more afraid that I’d be a terrible father.”
“Not true.” Izzy shook her head. “She had to be lying to make you feel better.”
Mal raised up his eyebrows. Perceptive little one she was. “She was scared on Miranda.”
“No she wasn’t.” There was a pout forming on those lips. “She was brave.”
“Okay,” Mal nodded slowly. This wasn’t working out as well as he had planned. “So, if you fancy yourself a classy lady-”
“I am a classy lady.”
“What are you afraid of then, sweetheart? Ain’t nothin’ but loud noisy and water.” Izzy pressed herself down into the bed further. Mal winced. That was probably the wrong thing to say. He quickly covered himself. Having lived with Kaylee, he had learned how to do that. “And since you’re a classy lady, you can’t be afraid of that. So let’s make the storm unscary, okay?”
Izzy kept her face smashed into the pillow.
“Storms ain’t scary.” Mal rubbed her back through the quilt more. “Storms are just rain, and rain,” he trailed off and looked to the ceiling. Where was he going with this? Then, like a strong punch in the gut, he thought of his mother. Mal had never been afraid of storms, because ever since he was smaller than Izzy, his mama had told him that God was in the rain and there was nothing to be afraid of. He shut his eyes. Could he tell Izzy that? Thunder clapped, and Izzy pushed herself up against Mal. He realized it wasn’t his choice. He gathered the little body in his arms and petted her hair. “My mama always told me that God was in the rain. You ain’t got no reason to fear God, so there ain’t no reason to fear storms.” The room was illuminated with a bolt of lightening. Izzy just whimpered. The front door smacked back and forth as the older children screamed in. Mal just kept a solid grip on Izzy and continued petting her. “Ain’t nothin’ to be afraid of, sweetie. You said so yourself, your mama and me aren’t afraid of nothin’ so we’ll protect you.”
Izzy tipped her head backwards just like her mama had, “I never said you weren’t afraid of anything.” There was a moment where Mal had to process the words and then he began to laugh. As he did, Izzy joined him. They stayed like that until the rain stopped.
Friday, August 18, 2006 9:11 PM
Saturday, August 19, 2006 1:30 AM
Saturday, August 19, 2006 6:34 AM
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