Fireflu: Part 1
Sunday, September 24, 2006

Post "The Message;" the crew picked up a virus on St Albans, when they dropped off Tracey's body with his family. But this isn't an ordinary virus...hallucinations ensue...


DISCLAIMER: All characters and whatnot belong to Joss Whedon, any bizarre reference belongs to other owners of other rights. It's just something stupid-i-hope-fun that i wrote...try to just laugh and enjoy.

"MAMMOTH!" River sat up in bed, eyes wide with terror, screaming it again and again. By the time Simon had gotten to her bed, she was pointing and crying, begging to be taken away before she had to look again. Simon looked around the small room, knowing he wouldn't see whatever it was she had dreamed, but curiosity had gotten the better of him. "Mei mei, no," he whispered, gently pushing her hair away from her face, "There's no...there's nothing here." "There was, there was," she cried, her tears coursing steadily down her cheeks. "And it killed him and we had to leave him! Why did we leave him?" "What's going on?" Kaylee asked from the doorway. She, Jayne and Shepherd Book looked considerably disturbed, crowded in the hallway. They had been drawn by the screams, as well, it appeared; Book and Jayne from their weights and Kaylee from fiddling with engine parts in the lounge. Simon shook his head in confusion. "I'm not exactly sure," he admitted. "She's upset over a dream, I think." "It ain't exactly a change a pace," Jayne muttered. "Don't know why we're all standin' here like it's somethin' new." "Jayne," Kaylee hissed even as Book turned to give a meaningful look at the man. "River," Simon asked, ignoring the trio in the doorway, "Do you feel all right?" "What's wrong?" Book asked quietly. Simon was feeling River's forehead and cheek. "She's warm to the touch," he murmured. "I think she has a fever." "Well, that's somethin' new," Jayne sighed. He looked at Book. "We gonna finish that set?" *** Mal and Wash were discussing what course to set when Zoë came on the bridge. "You find out what all the noise was about?" Mal asked, referring to the screaming heard only moments before. "It would appear that River caught something back on St Albans," Zoë explained. "The doc thinks it sparked some nasty dream or some such. Shouldn't be too much of a problem. We figure out how to get to and from again?" "Most likely," Wash answered. "We can get out to conduct some busy little crime and back to Boros in time to pick up Inara. Won't be too out of our way." "Just how I like it," Mal smiled. "River caught something, you said?" "She's being cared for," Zoë shrugged. "Simon thinks it'll clear up soon." "I can't have no colds travellin' round this crew," Mal said. "I'm gonna need every one of us active on this job. Y'all stay away from her till we get this job nice and done. Dong ma?" "Absolutely, sir," Zoë nodded. "I don't know," Wash said, a smile playing at his face. "I was thinking of contracting a good fever like back in the ole days before we had that new-fangled hygiene..." "I'm laughin," Mal said stonily. "Clearly. I'll go remind the others. No sickness, you hear me? None." He left the bridge to his pilot and first mate. Zoë smiled as she slid into her husband's arms. "Was that completely necessary?" she asked, grinning. "Were you planning on licking River's soup spoons, just to get out of the job?" Wash asked. "I don't know," Zoë smiled, running her finger along his jaw. "A few days in bed just might sound more appealing..." She laughed as her husband's eyes lit up and he clumsily stood, taking her hand with him. "Where are you going?" she asked. "To find some of River's soup spoons," he answered, trying to drag her with him. "I think there is some serious licking to do!" Zoë laughed harder. *** Mal had finished reminding everyone how important it was to leave River alone to recover, and was just sitting down to go over the finer details of the job. It was a simple smuggling job, and he was glad to have it. It had been pure luck that he had run into Robards just after Inara had left to keep her appointments. Well, keep the re-adjusted appointments. She had been gracious about the delay Tracey's funeral had caused and her client had happily rearranged his schedule. And then, just as the crew had been settling into a relaxing few days, Robards had run into Mal and offered him the job. Mal preferred to stay busy, especially when it put coin in his pockets. And the job would be quick, simple and relaxing in its own way. All they had to do was meet up mid-flight with another ship, transfer the goods and return to Robards' contact on the far side of Boros. They would be paid when the goods were delivered and be able to rendezvous with Inara just after giving Robards his cut. Simple. But that's usually where things went wrong, Mal reminded himself. He looked up to see the Shepherd enter the kitchen. "Oh, Captain," Book said, sounding suspiciously surprised. "I thought I would make some soup." "Soup?" Mal repeated. "Dinner was a few hours ago, Shepherd. You makin' it for tomorrow maybe?" "Actually, I thought I would make some for River," Book smiled. "My mother used to make soup when I felt ill as a child, and it always made me feel better." "Did it now?" Mal asked, leaning back in his chair. "And did your mother ever give strict orders to stay away from the other sick children?" "She may have," Book answered, continuing to pull ingredients from the little cubbies. "But, I prefer to tend to the sick, comfort them and offer what little peace I can." "The peace she needs is quiet alone time," Mal argued. "And I ain't up for games. You leave her to get better on her own. I won't have sickness spreadin' through this boat. There's work to be done." "Yes," Book nodded. "On that we agree." Before Mal could say anymore, River's voice was heard - distinctly - screaming about dancing and a man watching and time repeating itself again and again. "Poor child," Book murmured. Mal swallowed his arguments. "All right, one soup visit," Mal admitted. "But I'm not takin' the blame when you come down with the sniffles." "I'll be sure to remain aloof, lest I defy your orders," was the response. Mal looked up, wondering if the sarcasm was necessary. *** mei mei = little sister dong ma = understand?


Sunday, September 24, 2006 3:43 PM


>Mal looked up, wondering if the sarcasm was necessary.

Coming from Mal, I'd say that's an instance of the pot calling the kettle black ... sarcasm, necessary? Duh!

I like this ... Although River yelling and screaming isn't all that new, Jayne's right - but I'm dying to see what the rest of the crew hallucinates about once the flu spreads!

Sunday, September 24, 2006 4:48 PM


Oh...I really wanna know, cuz this could be like the series of drabbles where the crew admitted to dreams or weird relatives that were tied in to either Buffy or Angel (for Mal, Zoe, River, and Jayne) or other TV programs (Book, Simon and Kaylee);)

Who gets to have the cold next? Book? Oh...much fun is ahead:D


Sunday, September 24, 2006 5:15 PM


This is fun and well-written! Looking forward to more!

Sunday, September 24, 2006 11:26 PM


Really well written.

And I loved the mammoth in-joke.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:45 PM


>"Were you planning on licking River's soup spoons, just to get out of the job?" Wash asked.

Oh, such a great Wash line! And River's screaming about Mammoths. Bwahaa


You must log in to post comments.