BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART I: Chapter 13
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Takes place after "War Stories". Mal is having trouble sleeping after being tortured. A passenger aboard Serenity discovers an old friend - and makes a new one.-------CHAPTER 13: Mal and Alex both have insomnia again...but this time Mal's gonna get back to sleep whether he likes it or not!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1457    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimers: Everything belongs to Joss, except for one character of my creation.

**Mousing over the Chinese should reveal the English translations on most browsers. If not, translations follow the story. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mal may have had a good day, but that didn’t mean he was going to have a good night. It seemed no matter what happened during his day, when night fell, dreams of Niska and torture came calling. He had been hopeful that a decent job would help him get back to normal—but when he once again woke, sweating and heart pounding in the darkness, he realized that was not to be. As he had done so many nights before, he climbed unsteadily up the ladder out of his quarters and made his way down the corridor to the galley, bracing himself against the bulkhead in case his rubbery legs gave out. He was so exhausted he felt waves of nausea rolling over him. This could not go on. He guessed he might finally have to ask Simon for some help. But, for now, once again, it would be strong coffee and waiting alone for morning to come. Unless, of course, Alex showed up. Having her to talk to last time had been sort of nice. He felt badly that talk of the war and her husband had been upsetting to her. Still, it was good to converse with someone who’d had some of the experiences he’d had. And he’d actually slept after she went back to her room. That was something new. Truth be told, he found her somewhat intriguing—especially after today’s events. People surprised you. Every time you thought you had someone figured out... She was there, in the galley, heating up water for tea. “Hello,” she said softly at his approach. Standing in her nightclothes with rumpled hair and stocking feet she looked like the last person in the world who would grab a gun and take on three armed men by herself. Mal almost laughed out loud at the incongruity. Then again, he figured, he probably looked very little like a warrior in his own bare feet and sleep pants. “Hey,” he said, returning the sleepy greeting. He filled a mug with instant coffee and reached for the hot water. Alex poured her tea and chuckled. “You’d think we’d be all-in after the day we had. Yet, here we are again.” Mal smiled a little and crossed to the sofa. “Sometimes the brain won’t quit even when the body wants to.” He rubbed his eyes wearily. Alex moved toward the stairs. “Where’re you goin’?” he asked, surprised. “I thought I’d head back down. Figured you’d want your quiet time.” “No, please,” Mal said. “Sit.” Even as he said it, he wondered if it had come out a little too quickly. He felt briefly self-conscious; then decided he didn’t really give a shit. Company would be nice. Alex put her cup down on the sofa table. “So,” she said, settling in. “You successfully did the job today. So, still not sleeping?” Mal shrugged. “Ain’t got paid yet. Job’s not done ‘til we deliver the goods and get paid.” “True,” Alex agreed. “Still, after today, I have to think the worst is behind you, and the rest should be the easy part.” Mal snorted. “You’d be surprised.” He changed the subject. “You never did tell me how you learned to shoot like that.” Alex let out a small grunt of laughter. “Not shooting at three guys with guns, that’s for sure!” She sipped her tea and smiled, a little wistfully, Mal thought. “My daddy took me hunting with him a lot when I was a girl. I learned from the best—all the animals quaked in fear when my daddy took to the woods!” She laughed softly again as she remembered. “And I did some target practice before I left for the prison. Figured it might not hurt to brush up my skills, place like that.” “Well, I’d say the practice paid off,” Mal remarked. “Just...you know...” “I know, I know...don’t do it again!” Mal nodded with a smile of his own. Alex sipped her tea and then shifted the conversation back to him. “So, you never answered me. The job not being finished—is that why you’re still not sleeping?” He looked up at her, guardedly this time. She was staring back, unflinching. “I told you what’s been keeping me up,” she went on. “Now why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you. Is it the job? Or is it more than that?” Mal shifted restlessly. “Shoulda let you go back to your room,” he grumbled. “How are you feeling?” she persisted, gesturing toward his still-healing wounds. “Fine,” he said. Then, “Okay—still a little sore, but better. How’s your face?” Alex felt the scratch on her cheek. “It’s okay,” she said, and turned it back to him again. “So pain isn’t keeping you awake?” “No. I’ve hurt before. It’ll pass.” What is wrong with me that I can’t just tell her what the problem is? he thought. But he couldn’t. He felt short of breath, like something big was stuck and struggling to get up and out of him. As if she was reading his mind, Alex spoke. “Look, Captain,” she said, leaning forward to look him in the eye. “Your whole crew knows something’s wrong. It’s no secret—Jayne said it himself while you were planning the job. So, since you’re not hiding anything from anyone, and you have to know it, why don’t you just tell me what’s up? I’ll be off this ship in a few days, and you’ll never have to see me again. Anything you don’t want the others to know will get off this boat with me and never grace another ear. Meanwhile, you’ll get it off your chest. Dong ma? ” Mal said nothing. Alex waited a beat and then continued. “You can’t keep it in you forever. It’ll eat you from the inside out.” Her voice grew gentle. “I know you want to be strong for your crew, but you can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. It sounds cliche, but it’s absolutely true.” She reached out impulsively then and squeezed his hand. He flinched a little at her touch, but he did not pull away. She waited to see if he would speak, and, when he said nothing, she rose and walked back to the stove. She made another cup of tea and stirred it for a moment, waiting for it to brew. Then she sat down next to him on the sofa. She took the coffee from him and handed him the tea instead. “Please, have some,” she encouraged. “It really is soothing. Maybe it will help you relax.” Mal did not argue. He looked as though the fight had drained from him. In the dim light, sitting barefoot in drawstring pants and tousled hair, he looked very young, and a bit lost. Alex had the urge to hug him, but she repressed it. She just sat with him as they sipped their tea in silence. It was quite a while before either of them spoke again, and then Mal said, “You know, you may be right—I am starting to feel more relaxed.” He leaned back on the sofa with a sigh and rested the cup in his lap. The muscles in his face had visibly let down, and his shoulders did not look as tight anymore. He looked over at her with a hint of a smile on his face. Alex smiled back. Mal rested his head against the back of the sofa and his eyes began to droop. Alex watched him in silence. His eyes closed, and then opened suddenly again. He looked at her quizzically. “What—“ he began, looking sleepy and confused all at once. “Why am I— “ He tried to focus on her, but his eyes were drooping again. He was fighting to stay awake. “Did you put something in my tea?” he demanded incredulously, his voice slurring. He lifted his head with considerable effort and fought to look her in the eye. “What in the hell did you do to me, woman?” Then his head fell back. The hand holding the teacup relaxed, and Alex snatched the cup away before it could spill. His eyes closed as sleep overcame him. Alex arranged a throw pillow and pulled him over, letting his head drop onto it. After covering him with a blanket, she just sat for a while, watching him and listening to him breathe. She had gotten the sedatives from the infirmary, and felt devious using them, but she saw no other way to get him to sleep. He was an obstinate one. She figured he would be plenty mad in the morning when he realized what she had done, but at least he would be mad and well rested to finish the job. She decided taking one herself would not be a bad idea, so she swallowed one with her tea, and sat with him until she began to get drowsy. Then she took the cups to the sink, turned off the lights in the galley and lounge and went back to her room. She crawled into her bed and covered up. The bed was plenty comfortable—yet she found herself wishing she were back on the sofa with him. Best she not be around, though, when he woke. She couldn’t help but smile as she drifted off. What an interesting journey this was shaping up to be! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: Dong ma? = Understand? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 14.

Back to Chapter 12.

COMMENTS

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 1:41 PM

KACIDILLA


wow...second woman to drug the Cap'! and...who wouldn't wish she were on the sofa with him?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 1:41 PM

KACIDILLA


wow...second woman to drug the Cap'! and...who wouldn't wish she were on the sofa with him?

POST MORE!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 3:14 PM

VAUGHN28


As I've said before, but I'll say it again...I am LOVING this story!

I love when people make up characters and Alex is a good one. Just enough mystery and just enough information to make us like her.

Very good chapter! I also am greatly enjoying how quikcly you are posting this story.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:12 PM

BORNTOFLY


Wowzer! his just get's better and better! A nice little chapter that didn't reveal too, much yet not near enough. I like it that it took a passenger to take a stand against Mal's problems.

Keep up the fast posting, this is a wonderful story!

Friday, September 15, 2006 12:36 PM

JETFLAIR


Liked this very much! This story is great :)

Friday, September 15, 2006 7:08 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh...Mal's gonna be so pissed when he wakes up;)

Though I hope he does realize it was for his own good. While one night's sleep won't make up for all the rest he lost...it will help:)

BEB

Saturday, September 16, 2006 12:06 AM

AMDOBELL


Excellent! Love how this is shaping up and hoping like crazy that Alex doesn't go through with her plan to get off at the prison. Think she fits in very well right where she is. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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