The Hunt: Chapter 2
Monday, September 4, 2006

Kaylee wakes after Simon puts her to sleep with the safe word. Mal is uncertain what need to be done with his mechanic.


Title: The Hunt: Chapter 2 Author: Dani Fandom: Firefly Characters: Kaylee Prompt: 12. Bound Word Count:2386 Rating:PG-12? Author's Notes: You can read the first chapter HERE. The Hunt is a sequel to the 50 Darkfics story co written with spacemonkey43 The Question. You can view that story at the prompt table HERE. This story is not betaed. Sorry it took so long to write, other things were occupying my head and I didn't want to rush this. I hope you enjoy. On with the Killer! Kaylee.


Her vision was slower than usual coming into focus. Sleep had been heavy and laden with dreams of being trapped in a small box, unable to move. She blinked a few times, trying to clear the sleep out of her eyes. Something was wrong. Kaylee looked around the room trying to pinpoint it. Things were hazy, but there was a general feeling of something being out of place. Then it hit her, the walls…they weren’t white. Her body jolted forward as she tried to sit up in a panic, but something was holding her down. She gazed down at her body to see her wrists and ankles were tied down to a bed. Where was she?

“Kaylee?” Hearing her name being spoken aloud made her heart to pound up into her ears. She turned her head and saw a familiar looking man turn from the counter to face her. “Kaylee are you alright?” She blinked, her memory trying to recall him. It took a moment and then like a wave crashing down on her, everything came back. She knew exactly where she was.

“Simon?” she breathed out. He nodded. It was too much, she had dreamt of this day over and over and it was here, she was finally free. “Y-you came for me, you found me.” He gave her an uncertain look as his hand touched her shoulder, easing her back down some.

“Shh, calm down. First tell me how you are feeling,” he said slowly.

“I was so scared, I thought you’d never come,” she continued, shaking her head in disbelief. Her eyes watered and she fought the urge to cry out in joy.

Simon’s hand reached out and soothed her hair back away from her face. “I need you to tell me how you are feeling,” he said softly.

Kaylee paused for a moment. “I…I don’t know. Tired I guess,” she admitted. Her eyes took him in, wondering if maybe this really was just one of her dreams. She wanted to reach out and touch him, to know that this was real. Kaylee silently willed her restraints away but they remained, keeping her arms secured close to her body. “Is this real?” she whispered hoarsely.

“Is what real?” Simon asked, looking down at her. She closed her eyes for a moment and reopened them; half surprised he was still there.

“You. This. It isn’t a dream is it?” she asked. Simon reached out and pinched her arm causing Kaylee to jump some.

“You felt that. I guess it’s not a dream then,” he informed her.

“You can still hurt in dreams,” she told him, her voice cold and factual. The expression that crossed his face was unreadable, but it was gone after a moment.

“Do you remember anything about what happened, Kaylee?” Simon asked, reaching for her wrist so he could take her pulse. It was so foreign to hear someone using her name. After the questioning had stopped they hadn’t calling her anything except prisoner 81760.

“Did something happen?” she asked slowly.

“You came here…you were waiting for us when we landed and—“

“Is anyone hurt?” she interrupted, realization dawning in her eyes. “I didn’t kill no one did I?”

“Everyone is fine,” he assured though a worried look cross his face. Letting out a long breath Simon look towards the comm. and then back at her. “You attacked us, Kaylee.”

“I didn’t mean to,” she whispered. Her chest tightened as she spoke. “It wasn’t me. I can’t control it,” she tried to explain quickly. “Stuff happens and I wake up and I don’t remember. But they show me later, show me all the people I killed. I don’t like killin’ people.”

“You’re safe now,” Simon whispered, pushing her hair out of her face. “Do you know how it happens? What triggers it?” Simon asked. She shrugged as her head lulled to the side to face Simon as he pulled up a stool next to her.

“I dunno. Never did tell me.”

“I have…so many questions. I don’t even know where to begin,” Simon breathed out.

“You just check her vitals, doc, leave the questions to me,” Mal announced as he stepped into the infirmary, River right on his heels. Kaylee blinked when she saw his step into the room. It was all so surreal.

“Cap’n?” He moved to her side, resting his hand on her bound arm.

“I’m here mei mei,” he whispered. It was too much, she felt like she was going to explode from the inside the way her emotions were overloading her.

“Please untie me, cap’n,” she begged softly. She saw the hesitation in his eyes, the fear of letting her out. It was a look she would have never thought Mal would direct at her and it hurt. It was understandable, but it hurt.

“I promise I won’t harm no one if I can help it,” she pleaded. “I just…please don’t tie me down. Lock me up if you want, but please don’t keep me tied up.”

“The ‘if you can help it’ part is the one that is worrying me, but I ain’t gonna keep you tied down.” She wished she could promise him that nothing bad was going to happen, but she couldn’t. Her eyes held him, silently waiting for him to undo the binds that held her down. Mal took a deep breath before finally reaching and undoing the leather straps. The minute the last strap was undone; she sat up, wrapping her arms around Mal in a heavy embrace. He slowly wrapped his own arms around her, drawing her closer. The physical contact broke any emotional dams she had left as her body began to shake with sobs. She wanted to speak, wanted to say how she never thought she would see any of them again but all that would come out were her muffled cries.

“I can’t hear,” a voice from the corner of the room whispered. Kaylee pulled back, wiping the tears from her eyes and looking at River who stood silently against the wall. Simon moved to his sister’s side, taking her hands into his and looking her over.

“Why can’t she hear, doctor?” Mal asked, concern washing over his face.

“I don’t know,” Simon said slowly. “River, look at me.” He took her chin and made her eyes meet his so she could read his lips, if not his thoughts. “Do you hear a ringing?”

“I can hear your voice, Simon,” River said, shaking her head and breaking off visual contact with him. Her eyes met Kaylee’s and held hers for a long moment. “Blocked. A wall in the way. It’s too quiet.” Kaylee’s stomach flip flop at the way River was watching her.

The doctor and Mal shared a look, neither knowing what to say or do. Kaylee felt ice run up her spine as River back away uncertainly. “Too quiet,” the young genius whispered before turning and leaving the room. Kaylee watched her go, emotions swirling inside of her.

“I have to leave,” the mechanic said quickly, sliding off the bed unsteadily. She couldn’t get River’s eyes out of her head. She had almost seemed…afraid of Kaylee. It wasn’t right, she had to leave.

“I haven’t finished examining you,” Simon shook his head, moving around to her side.

“Where you plannin’ on going?” Mal asked. “We’re in the black now, Kaylee. Ain’t no place to go just yet.”

“I don’t know where I’m going, I just know I have to go. I can’t be here…it’s dangerous,” she shook her head.

“We’ll protect you, we’ll make sure the Alliance doesn’t find you again,” Simon assured.

“Can’t protect me,” Kaylee whispered. “Ain’t no need for it either. You should protect yourself.”

“If something happens, something triggers you again, everyone knows the safe word. We ain’t just gonna dump you at some port, dong ma?” Mal said. Kaylee took him in; there was nothing that had changed about Malcolm Reynolds except maybe he was a bit harder. Even that Kaylee wasn’t so certain that hardness wasn’t always there. Mal might not have changed, but she had. More than they could know. More than even she knew.

“I don’t wanna hurt no one,” she said, taking a deep breath. “They made me hurt folks and I don’t wanna do that no more. I ‘specially don’t wanna hurt you or Simon or anyone else. It’d be easier if you just left me,” she tried to explain.

“You’re on my crew, Kaylee. Don’t leave my crew behind,” Mal said, resting a hand on her shoulder and looking her dead in the eye. She felt a small cry rise up in her throat. Deep down inside she knew she didn’t want to leave, couldn’t force the captain to make her leave.

“You left me ‘fore…you ought t’do it again. Cap’n…I don’t wanna hurt nobody,” she whispered.

“We never left you Kaylee. We always looked for you, never gave up. We ain’t gonna let anything happen to you or anyone else,” Mal replied just as softly. “Now I got somethin’ I wanna show you. Jayne’s outside and he’s gonna stay with you, make sure nothin’ happens to anyone.” Mal put his arm around her shoulder and slowly lead her to the infirmary door.

“I really should look at her first, Captain,” Simon protested.

“That can wait, Doc, don’t think this can,” Mal explained as he opened the door and stepped through, brining Kaylee along with him. Jayne rose from the couch looking between her and Mal. She’d almost forgotten how large the mercenary was.

“Jayne, remember what we talked about? Want you to stay with her and if she needs anything you help her. You know what to do.” Mal gently handed Kaylee off to the larger man. Jayne seemed grimmer than usual, but he gave Kaylee a short smile as he took her arm.

“Come on girl, got something for you to look at,” Jayne said, leading her off. Mal watched them walk before moving back into the infirmary.

“I really should have finished examining her,” Simon said quietly. Mal nodded, brushing the topic off for the time being, there were more pressing issues at hand.

“River didn’t get a read on her,” the captain said, rubbing his chin in worry. “They’ve done something to our girl, made it so River can’t hear what she’s thinkin’. Makes me think the attack yesterday wasn’t the only one the alliance planned. Kaylee is a plant; I don’t even think she realizes it.”

“I’ve come to the same conclusion as well. They’ve trained her to kill, who knows what else they have trained her for,” Simon sighed. He set his medical equipment down on the table and looked at Mal. Both men were silent for a long moment, neither knowing what to do or say.

“Can’t just leave her. Not when we just got her back. Not likely the alliance just let her go neither. Ain’t no way to get a read on her from River which means there ain’t no way we can trust her,” Mal said, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Where did you have Jayne take her?” Simon asked with an arched eyebrow.


Kaylee felt her heart jump into her throat. It was intense; nothing thus far could have made her as happy or as upset as she was at that moment. Her fingers moved along the edge of the engine casing, Jayne and Jordan, the new mechanic watching her with uncertainty.

“You did a good job of keeping her up.” She gave Jordan a small, bittersweet smile, not sure how else to handle her emotions. He nodded, eyeing her cautiously. It reminded her of the defensive way she would look at anyone who slandered her ship. Her was protective of Serenity and she was glad for that. Serenity needed looking after.

“Mal thought it might make you feel better if you saw to the ship,” Jayne explained. Kaylee nodded wordlessly, not sure she could form a coherent sentence anyway. She’d been so long parted with her girl; the emotions that coursed through her veins were overwhelming.

“She’s runnin’ cooler than usual, how’d you get her not to burn so hot?” Kaylee asked, watching the engine spin around slowly.

“Some new coolant, makes the fuel cells last longer, cleans her out a bit too,” Jordan said, stepping forward. “Maybe later I can show you some of the improvements I was able to do on her. Ain’t nothing to what you already did with her, but I added my own little touch.”

“You did good,” she smiled weakly.

“Thanks,” he returned the smile. “If you’d like, thought there was something you might be able to help me with. Been trying to fix it for a spell now, but the combustion valve keeps breaking. Not sure what else I can do with it. Captain said you had a natural talent with engines though, thought maybe a fresh pair of eyes might help the situation.”

Kaylee’s smile grew as she moved over to the area Jordan had spoken about. She knelt down and looked in, watching the parts move together, keeping her girl up in the air. Her smile faltered. Serenity wasn’t really her girl anymore, was she? The though made her stomach flip, like she’d just been turned out of a home she had known forever. Rising she shook her head and backed away. Kaylee could see the way Jayne’s hand hovered over his weapon, waiting for something to set her off, for her to betray herself. Truth be told, she was waiting for the same thing.

“I can’t be here,” she shook her head.

“What’s the matter?” Jayne asked, his jaw clenched as he watched her wearily.

“It isn’t right…I don’t belong here anymore. I can’t…” her voice trailed off, her eyes gazing deep into the beating engine. She knew what she had to do, even if she didn’t want to do it. “Can’t stop it,” she breathed out, leaning against the wall. She stared at the engine; transfixed by the way it rhythmically turned.

“Can’t stop what?” Jayne asked. Kaylee didn’t respond.

“Is she okay?” Jordan asked quietly.

“No…she really ain’t,” Jayne shook his head, fisting the hilt of his gun and watching Serenity’s former mechanic stare blankly at the engine.


Monday, September 4, 2006 11:56 PM


Evil Kaylee? What have those *tamade hundan* Alliance done to her and will our crew find out in time before she unleashes mayhem on them all? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 1:57 AM


I normally don't comment unless everything I have to say is positive, but I'm going to make an exception here :) I don't care for the storyline - Riverized Kaylee just feels wrong in so many ways.

But I just have to compliment the writing. It's really good, and very compelling. The scenes with Mal and Kaylee as she wakes up were very touching, I loved them.

"The minute the last strap was undone; she sat up, wrapping her arms around Mal in a heavy embrace. He slowly wrapped his own arms around her, drawing her closer. The physical contact broke any emotional dams she had left as her body began to shake with sobs. She wanted to speak, wanted to say how she never thought she would see any of them again but all that would come out were her muffled cries."

This was really, really moving.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 2:34 AM


Well Kaylee is a little wrong. She had been taken and tortured by the alliance for the last two years (Check out my story 'The Question' for back story on that). She isn't supposed to be the bubbly Kaylee we all know and love, she has been messed with and screwed around with.

Now if you mean she doesn't sound right as crazy Kaylee, then that is understandable. Thanks for the review!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 2:59 AM


You know, your comment got partial cut off and I totally missed that it was the storyline you didn't like lol. Sorry. Yeah, I don't think this story will appeal to everyone, but then not every story is gonna appeal to everyone. Fluff stories bore me. A friend said for the 50 darkfics I should write a story where the alliance messes with Kaylee's head, and this is sort of what came out. Sorry the storyline isn't your thing, but thank you for the compliments on the writing.


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