BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART I: Chapter 15
Saturday, September 16, 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 15: While the crew finishes the job, Alex discovers an old friend.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1355    RATING: 8    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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alex stared at the gun in her hand long after Captain Reynolds left. The man was certainly puzzling. She assumed he would be furious about the night before, so she opted to steer clear of him that morning. But not only did he not seem angry—no mention of the incident whatsoever—he handed her a loaded gun to boot. At least she assumed it was loaded. She checked; it was. So what was the point of this? To test her, see if she would obey his captain-y command? She wondered what would happen if she didn’t. Would he finally be angry enough to lock her in her room for the duration of the journey, and have Kaylee or the Shepard toss her some scraps occasionally? Or would he dump her on Three Hills and let her get her sorry ass to Zargon some other way? Although Alex was itching to stretch her legs planetside, she decided to do his bidding and stay on board. She decided even staying out of the common areas and away from the crew would be a good idea. But she was too restless to stay in her room, so she let herself quietly out, tucking the gun under her mattress before she went, and went to the infirmary. Simon was there. “Good morning,” she greeted him. He had been engrossed in some task with his back to her, and started as she spoke. “Didn’t mean to scare you,” she said. “Need help with anything?” He turned to face her, skipping the formalities. “Did you dope the captain last night?” He sounded incredulous, but Alex thought she saw a twinkle of approval in his eyes. She shrugged. “I made him a cup of my special tea.” A hint of a smile played at the corners of Simon’s mouth. “He looked like death,” Alex went on. “He needed something or he would’ve fallen down on the job.” Simon shook his head. “You’re fahn dahn , that’s for sure. You’ll be lucky if he doesn’t put you off here on Three Hills.” “You know, the funny thing is,” Alex said, grabbing some spray cleaner and a rag and beginning to scrub the countertop, “I saw him this morning and he didn’t seem mad at all—never said one word about it. He really is a mystery.” Simon snorted. “That’s one way of putting it.” “I suppose you were told to stay on the ship, too?” “Oh yeah. That’s standard procedure with River and me.” “I hear you have some Alliance trouble.” Simon hesitated. “You might say that, yes.” “Kaylee and Jayne filled me in a little.” Simon snorted again. “I bet Jayne had fun telling you stories about crazy River.” “A little,” Alex agreed. She smiled. “But would it be fair to assume that anything Jayne says should be taken with a grain of salt?” “Yeah, just a little,” Simon chuckled. “So, no luck getting the captain to tell you what’s bugging him?” Alex began wiping down the exam table. “So far, no. He’s a tough one.” As she wiped the table, she flashed back to the fear response from the captain during his exam, and had a thought. “I need to get him back in here.” “Huh?” “He seemed fearful of being in here that day you examined him. I need to get him back in here—maybe it’ll trigger something and I can get him talking.” Simon cocked an eyebrow at her. “Maybe you ought to leave it alone unless you wanna find yourself in the black without a suit on.” “Maybe,” Alex said. “Or maybe things just need to cool out a little first.” She finished scrubbing and grabbed the broom. She looked around the room as she swept. “It’s amazing how much this looks like my army med ship.” “Yeah, you mentioned that,” Simon said. “Did you decide this is the same model you worked on?” “Yeah, it’s the same,” she said. “The whole ship is so familiar—it’s funny, it feels kinda like going home...yet it was such a tumultuous time in my life; such a hard time. I have such mixed feelings, y’know?” She finished sweeping and put the broom away. There was a noise from the passenger dorm. “Excuse me, I need to check on River,” Simon said, and hurried out. Alex leaned against the table and looked thoughtfully around the infirmary. A lot of Fireflies had been converted into med ships for the war, and she guessed most were identical inside. Serenity’s infirmary was in good shape, considering the rest of the ship had seen better days. It was clean, shiny and well stocked, and Alex suspected that might be Simon’s doing. No matter, it brought back memories of things that Alex had long since put out of her mind. She ran her hands over the table again, thinking about all the men and women she helped treat in a room just like this one during the war. Some recovered and made it home. Some were not so lucky. She recalled something else from her wartime infirmary. There was a central exam table in the room and an auxiliary bed, more of a stretcher, really, that was hinged to the bulkhead and swung down to rest on a counter top. On the wall behind the stretcher, she remembered, had been a loose piece of panel that used to fall off whenever the bed was dropped. There was a hollow spot in the wall behind it. Alex never knew if it was simply a broken piece or one of the many nooks and hiding places that Firefly-class ships were famous for; but she made use of it. She often wrote cheat sheets for herself, so she would have information such as drug dosages and vital stats at her fingertips at all times. If she put the notes in her uniform pockets she would forget them in her quarters and not have them in a pinch. After discovering what she began calling her “hidey hole”, she kept her notes inside. That way, they were always in the infirmary when she needed them. When she was finally discharged from duty she had forgotten to retrieve those notes. She sometimes wondered if anyone had ever discovered them. She went to the spot that had been her cubby on the old ship. Maybe she could figure out if it was a deliberate design by seeing if Serenity had one in the same place. She let the stretcher down and looked along the wall behind it. She saw a small seam in the panel, although the wall at least held together here. She unfolded her pocketknife and pried at the seam, and a piece of the wall panel came away in her hand. I’ll be...It’s really a design, not just a broken piece. She peered into the small opening, which really amounted to little more than a slot where the small piece of panel had been. It was dark, and she instinctively reached her hand in, just as she had done when retrieving her stashed papers... And stopped short as her hand came upon something inside. She frowned and groped farther, feeling something slide beneath her fingers. She grasped and pulled—and out came a small pile of papers, discolored and brittle with age. Alex stared at the papers as her heart began to accelerate. ”Wong ba duhn!” she whispered. Her knees felt suddenly rubbery, and she leaned against the countertop for support. Simon picked that moment to return. “Sorry, didn’t mean to run out on you, I needed to— “ He stopped short as he saw Alex’s expression. “Are you all right? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Alex looked up at him. “I have.” She held the papers out to him. Simon took the pile and sifted through it. “Looks like medical notes,” he murmured. “Someone was keeping track of their work... where did you find these?” “They’re my notes,” Alex said. Simon looked at her blankly. “I don’t understand—“ Alex pointed to the cubby in the bulkhead. “I stashed them in here during the war.” He was still looking at her questioningly. “Simon, this is my ship!” She turned and ran her hand down the wall next to the cubby. Simon took another look at the papers, and finally got it. “Oh my God.” His eyes widened. “You were on this ship? Serenity?” “Well, she wasn’t Serenitythen,” Alex murmured, continuing to stroke the wall and the table. “My God, no wonder everything looks so familiar to me!” She laughed, marveling. “I always wondered what became of her.” “How did you figure this out?” Simon handed the papers back to her, and she spread them out on the tabletop to look them over. Alex told him the story as they looked through the notes. “You’re thorough,” he said. “I’m impressed.” “It used to get so crazy when wounded came in...I couldn’t remember anything when it got like that, so I wrote it all down.” She gathered the papers into a stack again with trembling hands. She put the piece back in the wall and strapped the stretcher back up. “Simon, will you excuse me, please?” she said. “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I think I’ll go to my room for a bit.” She walked out in a daze. She stopped short when she saw River standing in the common area, watching her. “Comes full circle,” River said. Alex couldn’t tell if she was speaking to her, or talking to herself. “Past meets present...present meets future...Don’t worry, Daddy has her now, everything’s going to be fine.” River smiled; vacantly, Alex thought, not so much at her as through her. Then River shook herself slightly, as if coming out of a trance, and the smile disappeared. She retreated into her room. Alex shivered a little and continued to her quarters. You’ve got that right, little girl, she thought as she closed the door behind her. Past certainly has met present. Not so sure about the future, though. At the dock on Persephone, when she was searching for transport, Alex thought working on Zargon would top the list of crazy experiences in her life, which had already seen many extremes. Now she realized the journey to get to the prison moon was already rivaling any experience she could imagine having there. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: fahn dahn = audacious Wong ba duhn! = Son of a bitch! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 16.

Back to Chapter 14.

COMMENTS

Saturday, September 16, 2006 8:43 AM

KACIDILLA


*gasp!* What happens NEXT?!

Saturday, September 16, 2006 8:49 AM

VAUGHN28


That was an interesting twist!

Keep going, I'm loving this, and wondering what Alex has in store for Mal!

Sunday, September 17, 2006 4:52 PM

HEWHOKICKSALOT


I had a feeling you might take it in that direction. Nicely done, though. Keep up the good writing...



"Eatin' people alive? Where's that get fun?

Rob O.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:03 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Gotta admit...something I would have loved to have seen filmed for an episode (or a whole season) dealing with Serenity's backstory, from the shipyard where she was built to the junkyard Mal found her in. Never got to see such a thing...but this is definitely a great alternative, ShinyTrinket:D

BEB


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