Fireflu - Part 4
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

4th of 6 - 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. ------------------------------------------ "No, Mal, leave me be!" Jayne shouted, his eyes wild and his face flush with fever. "I've got to beat this vampire and his kid!" "Jayne, I'm not sayin' ya can't beat 'em," Mal said, slowly walking towards the man in a pair of sleep shorts, waving a large knife in his hand. Mal raised his own empty hands, palms out, as he took another step closer. They were in the corridor leading to the bridge and Mal was still trying desperately to keep Wash, at least, from the illness until the job was finished. Jayne was trying to force his unseen opponents into the bridge, apparently. "Mal, I just..." Jayne stopped waving the knife for a moment and blinked at Mal uncertainly. "Since when do vampires have kids?" "I ain't exactly sure," Mal admitted, "But later, you and Zoƫ can discuss the possibilities." She, too, had asked Mal that question. Mal was beginning to wonder if the hallucinations weren't getting shared by bored crewmembers in their lucid moments. "I think he's gonna...I..." Jayne dropped the knife and Mal picked it up quickly. Jayne swayed on his bare feet and reached for the wall. "Jayne," Mal said, tiredly. "Back to your bunk. We're gonna be landin' soon and I need to know we ain't gonna be spreadin' this virus any further than we already have." "Yeah, okay," Jayne grunted, his body showing signs of fatigue. He started to climb back down to his bunk and turned to look at the captain with an outstretched hand. "I'll take the knife back." "I'm sure you'd like to," Mal sighed. "But until your vampire fightin' days have come to a halt, I think I'd feel better if you didn't have it." "Oh," Jayne said, the mere fact that he wasn't arguing a sign of how sick he was. "Makes sense. Sorta." He finished the climb down. Mal sat heavily on the floor of the corridor, too tired to think. "Uh, Mal?" Wash's voice came from the bridge. "Yeah, Wash?" Mal said, still sitting on the floor. "I have the coordinates from Robards' man," he offered. "We're gonna be landing soon." "That's good, Wash," Mal said, laying down on the floor. "That's real good." "Kavros," Wash said, knowing he was keeping up the conversation only because Mal wouldn't want to fall asleep on the floor. "What?" "Robards' man is Kavros," Wash said over his shoulder. "I think Desorna 'waved him about the little scene in the hold." "Can't blame him, exactly," Mal said from the floor. "Are they all plannin' to wear masks as they unload the cargo?" "Possibly," Wash answered. "Mal, you might wanna come in here soon. For appearance's sake." "I'd be bringin' in the worst possible virus to my only pilot if I did that," Mal replied. "It's not like I won't catch it soon, anyway," Wash grumbled. "My wife has it and has been in here a few times. Once, to ask where Bauer was. I don't even know a Bauer. Do you know a Bauer?" "Can't seem to recall one just now," Mal murmured. "She say where she knew the name?" "Mal, if you fall asleep on that floor, you're going to have grid-face," Wash tried. "And you know, I don't think Kavros is particularly fond of grid-faced captains." Mal sighed and pushed himself off the floor. He glared at Wash, who was looking hopefully at him in glances while he busied himself with landing. "Grid-face?" Mal asked, annoyed. "It happens," Wash answered, half-shrugging. Mal rolled his eyes and pushed himself to his feet. He just needed some sleep, but chasing the crew back into their bunks had proven more time-consuming than he had hoped. Why was it never simple? He heard Kaylee crying in her bunk and sighed. "Kaylee?" he called. "Oh, go away," she sniffled. "What's wrong?" "I think Eric loves Jaye and he's not gonna wanna--" her voice trailed off for a minute. "I think she's insane! Who talks to plastic?" "Kaylee?" Mal queried, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Do you know what she said to me on the phone?" "She's not real, Kaylee," Mal said, staring at the lights hung around Kaylee's door. He had noticed reality came back sooner if he kept repeating the hallucinator's name. He just had to keep insisting on calling them by the correct name. "She said he couldn't talk because he was" Mal waited. It seemed to be the second half of treatment: Step One - repeat name. Step Two - wait for reality to settle in. "Cap'n?" Kaylee's shaky voice carried up to his ears. "Yes?" "I think I need another blanket," she whimpered. "I'll get you one," he promised. "You just lie back and try to sleep, okay?" "Okay," she answered. Mal pushed himself from the wall and moved back to the bridge. There was a blanket in one of the lockers there, he knew, and it was a lot closer than the infirmary. He trudged to the bridge, forgetting his self-imposed exile from the bridge so that Wash's exposure to the virus would remain limited. Wash looked up as Mal pulled the blanket from the locker. "Mal, you might wanna sit down for a minute," Wash said, seeing Mal's face. "I hafta get this to Kaylee," Mal said, his exhaustion showing. "I'll sit soon." Wash, knowing the trouble he could get into for such a move, purposefully made Serenity drop faster than she needed to. Mal stumbled into the locker door, as Wash had planned. He innocently stared straight ahead, even as Mal cursed a blue streak while strapping into the copilot's chair. "You ever do that again to my ship and you'll know how a grid-face feels under my boot," Mal snapped. "Filthy mouths produce filthy lies," Wash said loftily. He glanced over and saw that Mal wasn't paying attention. His eyes were closed and his head was nodding already. Wash saw to it that the landing was as soft as possible after that. They had a few hours before Kavros came to collect his goods. Wash figured a little sleep would give Mal that boost he just might need to deal with more friendly criminal types. After checking the controls one last time, Wash stood and collected the blanket Mal had intended for Kaylee and left the bridge. He dropped it off in Kaylee's bunk on his way to the hold where he started moving the crates out of their various hiding places. *** Mal woke with a start and looked around at the empty bridge in confusion. He was sure just a moment ago he'd been in...Llanview? Why did that sound...right, but wrong...? Someone was coming into the room. He struggled to sit up. "Mal, Kavros is here and he doesn't look happy," the man in a Hawaiian shirt said quickly. He turned to go, stopped and turned back. "Mal?" "Just...what?" Mal swallowed thickly. Something was missing... "MAL!" Wash hissed. Everything clicked. Mal shook his head, trying to clear the lingering dream. It was a dream, wasn't it? "Wash," Mal nodded. "Let's go get this done. And fast." Wash watched Mal leave the bridge and noticed the fine sweat beginning to appear on the captain's forehead. Wash's shoulders slumped as he realized the truth. "Oh, chou ma niao," he said mournfully. *** Mal walked slowly to the man directing a crew of ten and offered his hand. "Kavros?" he asked, hoping he had remembered the name correctly. The thin, angular man with hook nose turned his sharp eyes to Mal with disdain. "You're Cap'n Reynolds?" he asked, dismissing the offered hand with a glance. "Have been for some time," Mal answered congenially, removing his offered hand to clasp the other behind his back. "You Kavros, or am I confusin' you with someone else?" "I'm Kavros," the man responded. "Where's your crew?" "I locked them in their bunks," Wash whispered to Mal quickly. "I didn't think you wanted another scene like with Desorna." The ground seemed to be suddenly unstable and Mal grasped Wash's shoulder to steady himself. Kavros arched an eyebrow. Mal waited for the ground to resume its previous balance and let go of his pilot. "We seem to have contracted a slight illness," he half-smiled. "It's nothin' t'worry about, really, but we felt it best to not share it with your able-bodied crew." "Is that s'posed to tell me where your gorram crew is?" Kavros demanded. Mal blinked at the man. He looked to Wash in his confusion and then returned his gaze to the tall, sour-faced man. "They're sick in their bunks," Wash said. "Unless you'd like them all out here regurgitating on your shoes." Mal's stomach turned at the mental image and looked away. "I don't want to waste more time here'n I'd planned," Kavros insisted. "Without your crew t'help move these crates, it's going to take my men more time. I ain't payin' ya full price." At that, Mal's head snapped around. "Now see here," Mal said, slightly dizzied by his action. "You can't withold payment cuzza sickness took my crew. You try that and I assure you, you will regret your action. Now my ship and my crew moved your...your..." He took a deep breath and tried to focus on not seeing Berg make inappropriate motions behind Kavros's head. "Silks," Wash hissed. Mal looked at him unsteadily. "What?" "Crates of silks and other organics," the blond man said quietly, covering his mouth with his hand. He was trying to help, Mal thought dully. If only he could remember what the question was. "Yeah," he said, still uncertain of what was going on. He turned to the other man, a snobbish sort of a guy, and wondered where Sharon had gone off to. Maybe Berg knew... "MAL!" Wash hissed, grabbing Mal's arm. Mal winced at the action and sudden clarity. "You'll pay us in full, or you won't receive your full shipment," Mal said curtly. He waited. Upon further reflection, much later, Wash was convinced it wouldn't have worked nearly as well if Mal hadn't lost the contents of his stomach all over Kavros's pristine boots. ----- chou ma niao = stinking horse urine


Wednesday, September 27, 2006 1:15 PM


Hah! Good nod to Wonderfalls there for Kaylee. I haven't been able to pick them out for all the characters as I don't know all of the show's they've been in. But the ones I've recognized have been well done.

This is just really cute. Poor Wash, the only one not sick. . .

Lovely installment. Looking forward to the rest.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:55 PM


"One Life to Live" for Mal? I wonder if I was the only one (besides Nathan Appreciators) that got that one.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 4:15 PM


And was the Adam reference from his vampire film with Mercedes McNab and Tom Lenk? Cuz my Adam filmography is a short list;)

Still...mighty hilarious storyline so far, kacidilla! Gotta wonder Wash immune?


Wednesday, September 27, 2006 4:22 PM


umm...didn't...see that movie...

Adam Baldwin was in the final season and, more importantly, final episode of "Angel." that's how i first saw Adam...he ends up fighting Angel and Connor...i knew i wanted to use that from the first moment this idea popped in my head...

i'm so glad people are laughing...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 7:20 PM


Dangit, I wanted to see Wash start talking all pirate-y. Or threaten to fong people. Or something.

Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:30 AM


Wash is next, I suppose, unless you're going to be mean and deprive us of his hallucinations. Still curious exactly what Mal's hallucinations will turn out like.


Friday, September 29, 2006 10:49 AM


Come on! Jayne needs a "The Inside" flashback!

But I'll totally forgive for the "servicing me" flashback.


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