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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Firefly/Andromeda crossover. Harper from Andromeda stows away on Serenity. It should be perfectly readable as a Firefly fic alone, even if you don't watch Andromeda though.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 885 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Mal led the small group up to the table by the kitchen and looked around wearily as they all sat down. Kaylee was unusually withdrawn and quiet, still hovering close to Mal. Simon, you idiot. Kaylee was no innocent, and she’d seen a lot of wrong in the ‘verse. But she had a soft heart and a sensitive nature, and Mal tried to protect that. Like, by not lettin’ on that bastard killed me. Between that bombshell and the sight of the mangled stowaway in the infirmary, Mal was surprised she wasn’t in tears yet.
Couldn’t say the same for his pilot. Wash’s eyes were closed and moist with tears, his head low. “Wash?” asked Mal. “You did a good job in there, ya’ know.”
Wash nodded, looking at Mal with a haunted expression. “I still have nightmares,” he said, his voice cracking slightly. Zoe walked up and rubbed his shoulders, and Wash reached up and took her hand. “Zoe knows. That poor kid is – Mal, he’s-“
“I know, Wash,” said Mal. “It’s an ugly thing, and we’ll do what we can for him. But at this very moment we need to have words about what’s to be done with him. Down there in the hold, he went for my gun. Understandable enough, but we need to consider that he’s a danger to us. I want no undue chances taken.”
“Mal,” said Wash. “He’s not a threat, he’s a terrified and very small kid. What are you proposing, chaining him up in the cargo bay for the duration perhaps?” he asked sarcastically.
Mal winced. “Already did that once. And if you all could refrain from the dirty looks, tempting as they might be, I already feel sufficiently rotten about it. If we do confine him we’ll do it humanely. I’m just not altogether convinced he ain’t a threat.”
“He’s not going to hurt us,” said Kaylee. “He’s afraid of us. He’s afraid of you, cap’n,” she said, giving Mal a slightly accusing glare.
“Kaylee, what’d I say ‘bout dirty looks?” chided Mal. “That’s just the thing. He is afraid of us, and that fear is about as strong as it can get. Gonna take him a bit to feel safe, and until that happens he’ll do whatever he thinks it takes to survive. And just for reference, people hurt people they're afraid of. For all he knows we’re gonna sell him to the first slaver we can find for a quick buck, or get cranky and space him. He strikes me as a brainy sort, and I wouldn’t put it past him to try an’ take over this ship, way he tried for my gun.”
Zoe nodded. “I’d sleep better knowing he wasn’t prowling about, sir. Not to sound heartless-“
Wash looked up at her uncomfortably, interrupting. “Baby, it is heartless. He was a slave. He’s been locked up and tortured. Can you think of anything worse to do to him than lock him up again?”
“I can,” said Mal sharply. “He’s survived far worse than being locked up safely on our ship. It ain’t our job to put ‘im in therapy. He’ll cope with it, Wash.”
“He’s right, baby,” said Zoe.
Mal addressed the doctor. “Simon. Any reason we can’t keep him sedated pretty heavy at night?”
“Now you want me to use drugs to imprison your stowaway?” asked Simon, his hackles raising almost visibly.
“No, I want you to use ‘em to make sure he gets a good night’s sleep instead of fretting and plotting and such. Locked up asleep be a lot nicer than locked up scared.”
Simon relaxed and nodded. “I can sedate him, give him some more pain and anti-anxiety meds. Probably make him a very tired and relaxed boy.”
Mal smiled. “Sounds good.” He stood. “Few folks still need getting up to speed on this situation,” he said, calling the rest of the crew in.
He filled them in smoothly, taking in their expressions of shock and concern while appearing to ignore them. Mal wasn’t terribly inclined to repeat the conversation he’d just had with Wash and Kaylee with every member of the crew; the matter stung him enough without hearing folks tell him just what they thought of him for it.
Inara opened her mouth to interrupt, indignation written across her face, but Mal held up a hand and continued firmly. "An’ if you’re gonna tell me I’m an insensitive monster, you’ll have to take a number an’ come back when I need my feelings beat on a little more. Already discussed that, already made my decision.”
Inara shut her mouth and glared at him, while Shepherd Book listened quietly, clearly reserving judgment. He’d learned that as cold as Mal could be at times, his actions were dictated by compassion more often than most people would guess.
“What we need to be considering is how all this is gonna play out, and what to do with one very scared young man. Boy’s a mess, in a physical sense and an emotional one," said Mal.
“You – think he’s like the guy – with the reavers?” asked Kaylee. “You think he’s gonna-“
“I think he’s sane,” Mal interrupted gently. “But sometimes sanity makes a man suffer all the more when he has trauma like this to try’n recover from. Be a couple weeks before we hit Greenleaf, and that’s not much time for a kid like him to get ready to face the world. He’s got nothing but scars to his name and an entire life to rebuild from scratch.”
“Am I missing where this is our problem?” asked Jayne. “He hitches a free ride on your boat, and instead of throwing him out the airlock –“
Every head at the table turned in Jayne’s direction, staring at him in revulsion. River stood gracefully and started to walk towards the exit, turning fluidly when she passed behind Jayne’s seat. “Whips and chains,” she whispered softly in his ear. “If you don’t feel them, you will.”
Jayne craned his head around and looked at her with a distinctly frightened look on his face, while River simply stood looking back at him with a calm smile. Jayne looked at Mal pleadingly, but the Captain’s face was hard and unsympathetic.
“Good idea,” said Mal with an evil gleam in his eyes. “She is a genius, after all. I’m having a bad day, wouldn’t mind taking it out on some random mercenary. You might wanna remember that I happen to own both chains and a whip.” Jayne stood and walked out, almost fleeing the room, while River returned to her seat with a satisfied smile.
“I think you’re my hero,” said Wash, looking at River speculatively. “Can I take classes in that? Because creepy intimidation really isn’t my specialty, but I’m thinking I want lessons. ”
Zoe snorted. “Husband, you, creepy, and intimidation are words that just don’t go together.”
“Unless – unless I’m the one being intimidated,” said Wash.
Mal had a wide grin on his face that sobered as he addressed his crew again. “I got a mind to do what we can for him, and we ain’t got much time to do it. Not even sure what we can do, aside from caring him as best we’re able, showing him a home while he’s here.”
Everyone nodded quietly, and Mal returned to the business at hand. “Zoe, how ‘bout you find Jayne, have him help you clear all the junk out of one of the passenger cabins. Kaylee, I’ll have you take a good look at the lock, make sure it’s secure. Simon, how about you get to putting together your – doctor stuff.”
Zoe and Kaylee nodded, and Mal continued. “I don’t want anyone going in with him alone that can’t or won’t take him down if he makes a move, dong ma? Everyone nodded soberly. “Not gonna help his health any if I have to shoot him for messing with my crew.” Mal’s words were cold, but his tone was affectionate.
Everyone quietly left to their assigned tasks, the others wandering after them. The dining area felt suddenly abandoned, and Mal was grateful that Wash had decided to stay. Harper had seemed to accept the non-threatening pilot, and Mal reckoned his presence would make things easier on the young man.
They sat in silence until a much cleaner and somehow even younger-looking stowaway emerged from the shower, dressed in Wash’s oversized tropical shirt and fresh pants that Simon had contributed to the cause. He walked up to the table where Mal and Wash sat, looking refreshed but still deeply exhausted and wary.
Friday, October 06, 2006 11:45 PM
Saturday, October 07, 2006 9:41 AM
Monday, October 09, 2006 10:26 AM
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