Fireflu - Part 3
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Third of Six - 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.


Mal had opted to skip the shower until they were safely away from the Rincewind's crew. He returned to the hold as the last of the boxes were handed to Jayne and Wash and bid his farewells to Desorna. Wash headed up to the bridge and did his part in making sure the farewells were not only for show. As soon as the ships were separated and away, Mal turned to help put the cargo into the little niches where they belonged. He noticed Jayne sweating. Then he noticed Jayne looking around at his surroundings with a strange look in his eye. "Jayne?" Mal called, not in the mood for more stomach contents to be shared with his ship's floor. "You all right?" "That's odd," Jayne said softly. "I thought I heard...Joker...?" "This ain't no joke, Jayne," Mal said, starting to get extremely annoyed. "If you ain't feelin' right, you go on to your bunk. I'll send the doc in to check on ya." "Why'd...I don't wanna be a rabid buffalo..." Jayne started to sway on his feet and blinked at Mal, uncomprehending. "Jayne," Zoë said, taking her cue from Mal, "I think we'd better get you to your bunk." "No," Jayne said, backing away from Zoë. "I'm can't just..." He blinked and saw Zoë, it seemed, for the first time. "That was unsettlin,'" he grunted. "No arguements here," Kaylee whispered. "Jayne," Mal said firmly, "Go to your bunk." Jayne blinked at him a few times before turning and stumbling as he walked out. Mal took a deep breath and held it as he counted to ten. Zoë and Kaylee continued putting the crates away, slightly unsettled themselves. "Sir," Zoë said casually, "If this is spreadin' as quickly as it seems, I think we might want to get this job done with quickly. So's we can all have a day or two to ourselves before Inara returns." "No use in gettin' her all confused about what's goin' on and vomity," Kaylee agreed. "I gave such simple orders," Mal whispered. He sighed heavily. "Zoë, you tell your husband to get us to Robards' man as quick as he can. Kaylee, you stay away from those who are sick. I ain't kiddin' when I say let the doctor do his job. He gets sick, we'll handle it, but so far, it hasn't gotten to that point yet and I would like to keep it that way. You, I need healthy and not hallucinatin' so we can keep flyin.' Zoë, same goes for you. I can't have everyone around me tryin' to run away from giant extinct monsters or tryin' to redecorate the floor with their stomach contents." "I'll go talk to Wash now," Zoë said quietly. Mal nodded and continued moving crates. "I'll clean up the mess," Kaylee offered. She went off in search of a mop, but stopped short as Simon came into view. "Simon, I think the cap'n wanted to tell you..." her voice trailed off as she realized he wasn't listening. "Cap'n?" she called over her shoulder, not moving her eyes from Simon's feverish face. "Yeah?" Mal responded, turning to see Simon hold his hands out to Kaylee with a smile. "Julia!" Simon said warmly. Kaylee, unnerved by the wrong name, turned to Mal again. "Cap?" she asked again. Mal was already on his way over. "You know how you said we'd handle it if Simon got sick?" "You should have seen Mexico," Simon was saying, "The sunsets...such prose waiting to be..." "Doctor," Mal said, taking Simon by the arm and turning him around. "I believe you are needed in your bunk." "Charlie?" Simon asked, foggily. "When did you shave?" Mal stopped cold and turned back to Kaylee. "Why is everyone convinced I just started shavin'?" "Ya got me, Cap'n," Kaylee said, thoroughly annoyed. "Since when did I look like a Julia?" "Captain," Simon's voice came out shakily. Mal looked at him impatiently. "Yes?" "I think the virus is spreading," he mumbled. "And I think..." "You think what?" Mal prompted. He had just enough time to turn Simon away from him before the doctor vomited all over his freshly cleaned boots. "Kaylee, we're gonna need some of that mess-cleanin' up here, too," he called casually. "I'll be back to help in a moment." "Great," Kaylee said, unenthusiastically. "I'll be moppin'." *** Wash assured Mal they were going as quickly as possible and that he still felt completely healthy. Zoë, too, assured Mal of her lack of feverish hallucinations and of no desire to empty her stomach on Mal's person. Kaylee was completely disobeying Mal's order to stay away from the sickies, since they were now including the doctor in those numbers, and Mal didn't have the heart to complain. He and Zoë were also disobeying the order, since it seemed every time they turned around, Jayne was trying to hunt down some camoflauged alien beast or Simon was trying to score touchdowns or even the Shepherd was asking if anyone had seen Rachel, since Ross was looking for her. Mal, Zoë and Kaylee were guiding the invalids back to their beds, cleaning up little spills and the bigger, smellier spills. No one was all that surprised when Kaylee looked at Zoë and asked a nonsensical question, calling Zoë by the name "Mrs. Szalinski." Mal was sleeping - rather uncomfortably, since he was still sitting in the dining room and his head was resting on the table - when Zoë shook him. "Whama who?" he said, trying to shake off the sleep. "Captain," Zoë said quietly. "I think things are going to get worse." "What do you mean?" Mal asked as Zoë sat down next to him. She put both hands on the table in front of her and stared at them. "There's more sick on this ship than healthy," she said more to her hands than him. "And this virus spreads quick, the first sign bein' a waking dream. We've kept Wash in the bridge, so that he can keep flyin' but, sir, I don't think he's going to stay very healthy for much longer." "What makes you say that?" Mal asked, suddenly very aware of how flushed Zoë's cheeks were. "Because not ten minutes ago," she said, still staring at her hands, "I could have sworn I was a goddess with thousands of people adoring me." "That sounds like a nicer dream than some of the bits we've heard," Mal said, standing. He helped Zoë to her feet. "I think from now on, we limit the amount of imagination Jayne can use." Zoë smiled, leaning more on Mal than she realized. He began leading her to the bunk she shared with Wash. "Just because he seemed to take on every foe possible don't make him--" she stopped walking as quickly as she stopped talking. "Zoë?" Mal prompted, trying to guide her forward again. "We've got to hold the dock," she said, her eyes unfocused. "Help, we have to hold, we need to...Dozer..." "Zoë," Mal said again, more firmly. Zoë blinked and looked at him. "I hope your dreams are nicer than mine, sir," she said as she collapsed against him. Mal sighed and picked her up. "I wish you more of the goddess dream," he murmured. "And less of that last one. Sounds too close to what we already lived through."


Tuesday, September 26, 2006 3:47 PM


You know, I just have to tell you I love the name of this fic!!

I do wonder why Kaylee didn't ask Simon who Julia was, but other than that, this was hysterical.

And if I hadn't JUST seen the episode of Friends that Ron Glass guest starred on, I would have been confused over the Ross and Rachel reference.

This is an excellently creative fic. Am looking forward to reading more!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 5:32 PM


Uh...stupid question. Was Adam Baldwin in any of the "Predator" films? Cuz I know he was in "Independence Day," but that alien nasty couldn't cloak like a Predator can....

Still...this is one crazy setup. Wonder what Mal's gonna hallucinate? Preacher dream #1 where he's trying to kill a petite blonde girl? Preacher dream #2 where he's got a female friend trying to fight off Dracula's advances? Or Preacher dream #3, where he's in a soap opera? Or will he hallucinate a cop dream with alien slugs?



Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:11 AM


Technically, Adam Baldwin *was* in "Predator 2."

i double-checked every cross-reference with, in case anyone starts questioning my knowledge.

thanks for the support, all, i was so worried people would just think this was a stupid idea...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 4:16 AM


What will Wash dream about, I wonder? Will he be a pirate, or a robot, or a medieval squire, or a gay drug dealer, or a gay German alcoholic in rehab, or...


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