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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Various crewmembers have bad dreams, Kaylee gives Simon a surprise, Jayne and Mal have a chat.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1293 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Author's Note: Okay, I'm sorry!!!!! I know I haven't posted for like two months now, (please don't shoot me!!!) But it's not my fault. I swear. I crushed my right hand in an unfortunate boating accident, and really couldn't type... but I'll be updating regularly now. I promise. I wasn't going to, but I decided to be nice and put in a sweet bit of fluff between Simon and Kaylee. Who remembers that sexy dress she got way back when on Orion? Well, if you don't, you will soon...
Other Note: in case you've forgotten, dear readers, hear's a quick recap: a loony named Dillon Saunders wants to use River to kill a whole bunch of people. River has gone off to stop him, alone, leaving Serenity's crew shocked, scared and determined to find her and save the day. Inara and Mal have slept together once, but haven't talked about it and are gonna be a bit awkward.
He sat up, wincing as the wounds on his chest pulled and cracked. Everybody has ‘em. It’s just that he hadn’t had nightmares in a long while. Mal was used to sleep being a dead zone, the one place where nothing bothered him. Until now.
He’d had the most horrible dream… they’d been fighting soldiers. Bunch of soldiers. He was almost to the door. What was behind the door, he wasn’t sure, but he had to get through. And then, the scream.
“Mal!” It was Inara. He spun around, and everything moved sideways in slow motion. She was being grabbed by two men, and there were guns to her pretty head. Where did she come from? And then a voice from somewhere, calling,
“You should never have done it! You shouldn’t have kept her with you, selfish fool!” And, while Mal lunged for her, the guns fired and Inara’s head disappeared in a wash of pink mist. That’s when he woke up, lying ramrod straight, drenched in sweat. It had been two days since their… whatever it had been, and they’d decided not to share quarters. Didn’t want the crew focused on anything other than finding River, and that included he and ‘Nara. Not that he’d tell her, but he felt guilty. He should have waited until after to cart her down to his bunk like a caveman. O’course, she didn’t seem to mind… but that wasn’t the point. There was the nagging feeling of dread in Mal’s gut that told him he might not get another chance with her, and that made him feel guilty too. If he wasn’t gonna live through this, he shouldn’t have taken such a sudden and drastic step in their relationship. After what she’d told him about Sam dying, he felt like a royal ass for threatening to put her through that kind of mourning again.
Now, all that was added to by the stupid nightmare. The stupid voice had a stupid point, one that he didn’t want to think about and one that he knew Inara would go ballistic over. * It is selfish of me to keep her here when she ain’t safe. * He could just hear his lady’s steely response. * That’s ridiculous, Mal. I can take care of myself, and I’m not leaving you or the crew. * But keepin’ her here was like… aw, go se. Kaylee. He’d be damned if he let her get hurt like she did in the Reaver fight on Miranda. At least Inara could shoot a bow. Mal mentally kicked himself. He hadn’t even though about Kaylee. Or Simon. Simon, on second thought, could deal. The boy had a core of steel that Mal felt had extreme potential. But his little girl, his sweet mechanic? She couldn’t even fire a gun in practice, let alone at people. He couldn’t let her stay for the battle. And there would be a battle. No doubt about that.
Great, Mal thought grimly. No hope of sleep for the rest of tonight.
* * * *
Mal wasn’t the only one plagued by bad dreams. Inara lay awake as well, curled on her side like a cat. She had had a single frightening dream, and that had kept her up all night so far. She couldn’t even remember what said dream was, and that was the most irritating thing. But every time she closed her eyes, she got a sick feeling of fear in her stomach and knew that the dream would come back. So she just lay there, thinking.
She had agreed with Mal not to sleep together. Wasn’t exactly clear on the reasons, but had agreed for his sake. Something about crew morality or… something. But even as she lay in her shuttle, far from him, she could feel him. Growing colder. She was afraid he’d send her away. She knew it would be because he loved her and wanted to keep her safe, but couldn’t he understand that she was safer with him? If not her body, but her heart and mind and soul? No, he wouldn’t understand that. That had been part of the reason she’d not wanted to get involved with him. Mal’s fierce love for his ‘family’ was as strong as hers, when she allowed herself to love. So his need to keep her safe would clash with her need to be with him, with all of them. And she knew, too, who would win that fight when it came up.
“Oh, Mal,” Inara whispered to her empty room. “Loving you is killing me.” Half her brain thought that was definitely melodramatic. The other half thought it was a pretty good statement of what allowing herself to love Mal would do to her.
Why oh why did everything have to be so… complicated.
* * *
River’s dreams were loud and hurtful. She was asleep in the shuttle, waiting for her moment. Her eyes opened blankly, mouth gaping as she writhed in terror.
“No… no… no…”
Grey skies. Roiling clouds, moving fast across a burning sun. Blood and smoke, the air smells like. Blood and smoke.
“Play with fire, you’ll get burned.” Blue eyes, brown coat, swish.
“Too late, mockingbird!” Girl, Interrupted. Earth-that-Was, paperback novel. Burning books. Bonfires.
“No… no… no…”
“Me or you, darlin’. Me or you.” Disaster zone! Get out! Have a nice day!
“Not fair. You shouldn’t have to jump!” Mary Mary quite contrary save me from the blue canary!
* * *
“G’morning, baby,” Kaylee whispered to Simon. He murmured something, some bit of sleeptalk, and rolled over. His arm folded across her waist, snuggling her in close. She buried her face in the hollow of his throat, smelling his scent of cleanliness and medicine and, fainter now, sex. After her crying jag in the engine room, she’d worked until the sweat ran down her face like rain. Anything to get her mind off the pain. And then she and Simon had found another diversion.
It was clear that he didn’t want to wake up. She didn’t blame him: she knew he’d be weighted down with it as soon as sleep lifted. With guilt. She knew her man, and she knew he blamed himself for River’s departure. Wasn’t right. Wasn’t fair. But it was so, and the only thing Kaylee could do was hold him.
“It’s okay, Simon, you don’t have to wake up just yet,” she breathed into his skin. She was rewarded with another low rumble of sound, and he pressed an unconscious kiss into the top of her head. It made Kaylee unbelievably happy when he did things like that. She knew that she loved him, and that he loved her, but she couldn’t help but feel that she didn’t deserve him. So when he showed his affection, even in sleep, it sent happy tingles down her spine.
“Sweetheart?” He was awake now, and still morning-bleary.
“Hey, you,” she said, tilting her chin up to look at him. His eyes were dark and fathomless, but still warm. Forever warm.
“Hello,” he said, unfailingly proper before he became fully aware.
“It’s early yet,” she said, stretching against him. Kaylee was like a cat in the mornings, wanting contact and slow, hot good-mornings. She didn’t want to leave their snug bed, because the floor would be cold and the memories, which she couldn’t really escape but she could certainly hide from, would be colder. True life, where River was gone and Mal was afraid. It never boded well when Mal was afraid. So she stretched against her lover and smiled. Feline. “We don’t have to get up for another hour or so.”
“That so,” he drawled, sounding more like the Captain than the doctor. She’d noticed that: he was loosening up. Talking easier, picking up the grace that comes from always being on your toes. She was glad of it. Kaylee leaned up and licked his chin, smiling when he sucked in a quick breath.
“Oh,” she said suddenly, remembering. Kaylee slid out of the bed, moving fast so that the spell wasn’t broken. “I’ve got somethin’ to show you. Can’t believe I’ve forgot for this long, but I guess with all the other things been going on, it just got lost in my head.” As she talked, she pulled out a large box that had been leaning against the wall behind a small bookshelf. “Close your eyes,” Kaylee said, wondering if she should do this now. Hell, she thought, why not? We could both use some cheer. Simon obediently closed his eyes.
He heard the lid of the box be tossed aside, and heard something rustling. Sounded like cloth. The definite sounds of Kaylee’s nightdress sliding off and piling on the floor (he’d gotten very good at recognizing those sounds). A curse or two, rapid and low in Chinese. Then, that dear, sweet voice, telling him to open his eyes.
Kaylee stood before him, an absolute vision in hot pink. The dress fit her curves to perfection, covering nearly everything, but leaving just enough bare to make him want to drag her to the bed. It was something he hadn’t seen before, but Simon couldn’t possibly care less about where she’d gotten it. It was all he could do not to drool, at the moment.
She turned, modeling for him.
“Inara got it for me, when we went shopping on Orion. You remember.” He nodded dumbly, still feasting his eyes. Kaylee looked at him anxiously from over her shoulder, hands smoothing down the sides of the dress. “Is it okay? It fits right, doesn’t it? The lady measured it out an’ she said it was perfect, but I never did see the back of it.” She tried to crane her neck around to look at the back, which was facing Simon, but couldn’t. Simon stood and went to her, wrapping his arms around her waist and lacing his fingers through hers over her stomach. He pulled her back flush against his chest, nuzzling her neck.
“It’s beautiful, Kaylee,” he said simply. “You’re beautiful.” She turned her head, baring her neck to his ministrations.
“Are ya sure? I mean, I liked it, and I thought you would like it, but-” He stopped her with his mouth, kissing her firmly.
“I could go on forever about how incredibly amazing you are, bao bei, but I’m not too good with words. I’d mess it up and say something stupid.” In between every couple of words, he kissed her softly. Kaylee melted.
“I think you’re real swell with words, Simon,” she whispered.
“So believe me when I say that dress looks stunning on you.” He turned her in his arms, giving her one last look up and down. “But I think it would look even better draped across that chair.” She mock-frowned.
“Are you sayin’ the chair is prettier than me?”
“Well, I don’t know, do I? I haven’t seen the dress on the chair. We should… test it out,” he said, reaching around to undo the back. “Make it a fair competition.”
“Wouldn’t want to be unfair,” Kaylee agreed, hands sliding across his bare chest.
“Wouldn’t want that at all.”
* * *
Mal was sitting at the table, nursing a mug of something hot. Jayne walked in, silent and unforgiving. His presence filled the room, though he said nothing. Finally, Mal looked up. Jayne was standing to the side of the table, watching him.
“Speak your piece, if you got one,” Mal said flatly. He didn’t want to deal with Jayne and his moods, Jayne and his stupidity, Jayne and his constant battle for dominance. He knew that some of that battle was gone now, but Mal was no fool. He also knew that it wasn’t Jayne’s fault. He was what he was, and nobody could blame him for that. Didn’t mean he had to like it, though.
Still, Jayne wouldn’t speak. Mal sighed.
“I got less than zero time for games, Jayne. I’m thinking, here. You’re interrupting. So speak your gorram piece.” The mercenary’s eyes narrowed speculatively.
“You gonna get her back,” he said. It wasn’t a question. Mal frowned.
“Said so, didn’t I? I’m not leaving her to die because of something has nothin’ to do with her.” Jayne nodded.
“Had a bad dream last night,” he confided.
“Who didn’t,” Mal muttered grimly. He couldn’t help but think that, if Inara had been in his bed, he wouldn’t have had the nightmares. Jayne continued. He got like this sometimes, spilling his guts to Mal, and all Mal could do was listen.
“I dreamt that Ri- that the moonbrain, she got hurt.” Mal cocked his head at Jayne’s slip. He never called River by her name.
“And this is suddenly a problem with you? I thought you hated the girl,” Mal said, deliberately. He knew perfectly well that Jayne had long since stopped hating River. He wasn’t sure he was happy with the way the merc had started looking at her lately, in fact. Jayne looked uncomfortable.
“Just didn’t sit right, is all. What with her bein’ the… the pilot, an’ her brother, an’… aw, hell, Mal,” he said, giving in, “I’m worried ‘bout her.” So. The crux of the matter. Mal wasn’t sure whether he should be mad or glad that Jayne was admitting to the fact that he cared about River.
“Yeah. I…” Jayne pulled up a chair and sat down hard. “Been a long time since I done cared for anybody. People have a bad habit of dyin’ on me,” he said, quiet now.
“Shit happens,” Mal said agreeably. Understanding.
“That it does. But…” Again, Jayne trailed off. He made a pointless gesture with his large, strong hands, wanting Mal to hear what he didn’t know how to say. “So I don’t want her to die,” he said at last, loud and defiant. Mal bent his head in acceptance.
“We don’t none of us want that girl dead,” he told his mercenary. There was a long pause before Mal spoke again. “Jayne,” he said.
“I’m here, Mal,” the other man replied, knowing what Mal needed to hear.
“When we go in there. To get her back. There’s gonna be money. Saunders, he has money. Lots of it. He’s gotta, to be able to pull of what he has. He’ll be willing to part with large amounts of that money, if it meant he’d get his way.” Another pause. Jayne watched his captain, intent.
“What exactly are you sayin’, Mal? Spell it out for me.” He knew what Mal was saying, but he needed it put plain so he could respond to it. Mal didn’t give an inch. His eyes were steely gray-blue, determined and commanding.
“I’m saying that I need to know if you’re gonna be with me on this. I need to know you won’t give me up, give her up, if the money’s good enough.” Jayne liked the way Mal put this. Calm. Direct. They were performing a very special play, he knew. He could feel the tension in the air. But Mal respected him enough to put it plain, over all that tension. So Jayne would do the same.
“I’m going in there with you,” he said firmly, steady-eyed. “An’ I’m not coming out until we have her back again.”
“Good enough,” Mal said. The tension fell again.
The Captain and his Mercenary sat in silence, contemplating rescue.
TBC: Next: Inara and Mal talk, other stuff happens
Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:08 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:59 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:32 PM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:12 PM
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