BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 18
Thursday, October 12, 2006

Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I". The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 18: Mal and Simon have a conversation with someone they didn't expect to be talking to...and Mal makes a decision he didn't expect to make.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1175    RATING: 9    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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was two a.m. on Haven, and Mal was dozing in a chair in the clinic recovery room. Simon had surgically removed the knife from Alex that afternoon, and it had been hard on her. She had needed another transfusion (Simon had collected from several generous villagers, so he had extra on hand now), and the anesthesia had caused her heart rate and breathing to drop to a level Simon was not comfortable with. He had put her on oxygen and left her on it to be on the safe side. He had also inserted a nasograstric feeding tube for nutrition, and had concocted a liquid protein supplement to feed her through it. He wanted someone with her round the clock. Mal had insisted on sitting with her all night, even though the crew thought it was a bad idea, since they knew he hadn’t been getting much sleep. They also knew him well enough to realize that arguing would be futile. So Simon had shown him how to monitor the equipment and how to administer the liquid through the feeding tube, and had gone off to bed, as had the rest. The clinic was silent except for the hiss of the oxygen and the soft, steady clicks the IV pump made as it measured out the fluids. They were hypnotic sounds, and Mal caught himself nodding off a couple times. He got up and stretched when that happened, setting a timer to alert him when something needed to be done. He wondered how conscious her mind was. Kaylee had asked Simon if he thought she could hear them if they talked to her. Simon said he doubted it, but it certainly couldn’t hurt, just in case. Around one a.m., after stepping outside for a breath of fresh air to wake himself, Mal pulled the chair close to her bedside and took one of her heavily bandaged hands in his. He looked into her face and began to speak. “Alex,” he said to her, feeling a little foolish, but pushing on nonetheless. “You need to wake up. I need you to wake up.” He watched her face closely for any response. “See, Alex, I don’t know what to do,” he told her still form. “I’m lost here. I don’t know where you need to go next. You got family, that much I know, but I ain’t sure how to find ‘em without your help. They gotta be worried to death by now. They depend on you a lot, that I know, ‘cause you told me that yourself.” He paused and looked down at her belly. “Fact is, you got a lot of people depending on you now.” He gripped her hand tighter. “And you have information I need, Alex. There’s something I need to know, and I need you to tell me. Okay? So you need to get better and wake up.” He squeezed her hand again, and then let go and rose to his feet. The room seemed suddenly smaller. The lightheaded feeling from earlier in the day hit him again. He strode quickly to the door and stepped outside again, gulping in the cool night air. He leaned against the side of the building and closed his eyes. When the spinning stopped, he went back inside. Still feeling shaky, he set the timer and slumped down in the chair, deciding that going to sleep for awhile probably wouldn’t be a bad thing. The way he was feeling, he figured he really needed the rest. What seemed like only an instant later he was awakened by Wash, who was standing in the doorway calling his name. “Wash?” he mumbled, confused. “What’s wrong?” Wash was in his nightclothes with hair mussed, barely awake. “Got a ‘wave comin’ in from a woman on Boros name of Norma Edson. Says she’s Alex’s mother.” Mal jerked upright. “How’d she—“ “Prison put her in touch. She’s been ‘wavin’ there for a week and finally got Logan. He bounced her to us. She’s waiting to talk to you now.” Mal jumped up and followed Wash out. They ran for the ship; and then Mal remembered someone needed to stay with Alex. “Watch her, will you?” he said to Wash as he dashed away. The ship was docked just over the rise. When he reached it he started for the bridge, then thought better of it and headed to the passenger dorm first. He knocked softly on Simon’s door. “Doc!” he hissed. When he got no response, he rapped louder. ”Doc!” There was movement inside, and the door cracked open. “Huh?” Simon regarded him with heavy eyes. “I need you on the bridge. Alex’s mother tracked us down.” “How—“ “Just come,” Mal said impatiently. “I think you should be the one to talk—“ “If she has medical questions I can’t answer, I want the doctor handy, ma shong! ” Simon grabbed a shirt and followed Mal, peppering him with questions all the way. “I ain’t sure and I don’t know,” Mal answered. “Just be awake.” They sat down at the console. A gray-haired woman with kindly, worried eyes was waiting on the monitor. “Mrs. Edson,” Mal greeted her. “I’m Captain Reynolds. How can I help you?” “Captain,” the woman replied. “I’m told you may have my daughter.” “If her name is Alexandra Morgan I do,” Mal said. The woman looked as though she might cry. “The officer at the prison said you came for her.” “Yes ma’am,” Mal told her. “We found her outside the prison, in the woods.” “Is she all right? May I speak to her?” Mal hesitated, but Simon was ready. “Mrs. Edson, Alex has been unconscious since we found her.” The woman looked stricken. She put a hand over her mouth. “She was injured trying to escape,” Simon continued. “I’m the ship’s doctor, and she’s under my care. We’re waiting for her to wake up.” The woman attempted to compose herself. “What happened to her?” she asked in a small voice. Simon mercifully spared her the most graphic details. “She received a stab wound, and she climbed a razor wire fence to escape. She suffered from exposure from being outside, also.” He paused. “She’s very brave. She went through quite an ordeal to save herself.” Mrs. Edson blew her nose and dabbed at her eyes. “How did you find her?” she asked. “How does she know you? How—“ “We transported Alex to the prison when she started work there,” Mal said. “She boarded on Persephone. When the riots broke out she tried to ‘wave us for rescue.” “Ma’am, are you aware of your daughter’s...condition?” Simon asked. Mal raised an eyebrow at him. Alex’s mother nodded and tried to smile. “My daughter ‘waved me with two pieces of news about a month ago,” she said. “The first was that she was working at that horrible place.” She let out a shuddering sigh. “The second was that she was...pregnant.” She dabbed at her eyes again, and then a sob escaped her. “She didn’t give me any details—said she would tell me everything once she got home. I talked to her every day after that.” She paused to blow her nose again. “About two weeks ago, she told me she was quitting and coming home. She was scheduled to leave on the next supply ship—said it would be about a month. Then the riot started...and that’s the last I heard from her.” She dissolved into sobs again. Mal and Simon waited for her to regain composure. “Did she—did she lose the baby?” she finally managed to ask. “Uh, no,” Simon said. “Remarkably, no.” Mrs. Edson teared up all over again. “I can’t believe it,” she whispered. “Thank you,” she choked as she looked up at them. “Thank you for rescuing her. She’s my baby, you know.” Mal himself could barely speak by this time. “Mrs. Edson, we’ll have her back to you soon as we can,” he promised. “We’re parked on Haven right now. It’s a little mining moon on the rim. We stopped for medical supplies. It’ll take us two weeks, give or take, to get to Boros. But we’ll get her there. Meantime, we’ll keep in touch every day. Anything changes, we’ll ‘wave you straightaway.” “Thank you,” Mrs. Edson said again. She hesitated for a moment, then looked back at them. “You wouldn’t...” she began, and then stopped, shaking her head. “Ma’am?” “I just...you wouldn’t have any idea who the father is...would you?” Mal felt his heart stop. He couldn’t look at her. Thankfully, Simon stepped up. “Alex hasn’t been awake to tell us anything,” he said. Mrs. Edson wiped her eyes again. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I know it’s an inappropriate question, and I didn’t think you’d know, but...” She started crying again. “She’s my daughter, and she’s unconscious, and I...” She stopped, either unwilling or unable to complete the thought. “We’ll keep in touch,” Mal assured her. “Doc’s doin’ everything he can. And she’s a fighter, she’s got that on her side.” He forced himself to smile as comfortingly as possible. “Try not to worry—we’ll get her home.” “Bless you...all of you.” “We’ll talk again tomorrow,” Mal said. “Goodnight, ma’am.” He cut the ‘wave and looked at Simon, who laid his head down on the console as if all the strength had drained out of him. “Wo de tian, a!” Mal breathed unhappily. Simon looked at him, shaken. “Why’d she have to be so nice?” he moaned. The two of them sat in dejected silence for a few moments, then Mal rose with a heavy sigh. “I’d better get back, let Wash go back to bed.” “Why don’t I go?” Simon suggested. “I’d like to check in on her anyway; let me take the rest of the night. You’ve gotta be exhausted.” Mal started to protest, then thought better of it. The doc was right; he was done for. Best he get some sleep, because they would need to leave for Boros in the morning. “All right,” he agreed, without further ado. “Thanks, Doc.” Simon left, and Mal headed for his quarters. He figured he would be asleep as soon as he hit the bed. But sleep wouldn’t come. Thoughts of Alex’s mother, worried and sobbing for her daughter, kept running through his head. What must it feel like to be in her position, a parent unsure if she was going to see her child alive? What indeed? Mal stared, unseeing, into the blackness of his room, his mind on a treadmill it could not get off. I’m living a gorramn soap opera, he thought wonderingly. He lay there with his mind racing for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, he could take it no more. He rose from his bed, dressed, and ascended out of his bunk. Leaving the ship, he strode resolutely back down the hill to the clinic. “Simon,” he said as he burst through the door. Simon looked up from taking Alex’s pulse. “I thought you were—“ “I want you to do the test.” Simon stared at him in surprise. “But you said---“ “I know what I said. But I want you to do it.” Mal walked over to Alex and stood looking down at her. “I keep seein’ her mama’s face,” he said quietly. “I keep hearin’ her voice. She don’t know if she’s ever gonna see her daughter alive again—and I ain’t in a position to say she will.” He swallowed hard and turned to face Simon. “She’s got so many questions. She’s got so much she needs to know, and I can’t help her.” He glanced back down at Alex. “If I gotta take her daughter home to her like this...or if she don’t make it, and I gotta take her home in a box...” He swallowed again, willing the lump in his throat to stay down so he could finish speaking. “If I gotta do that, then her mama deserves what answers I can give her. If I can help her at all...if I can give her any information at all that will help her...understand...anything about what her daughter went through...” Mal sighed deeply. “Then I owe her that much,” he finished simply. Simon was staring at him as if seeing him for the very first time. “Sit down,” he finally said, “And roll up your sleeve.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: ma shong! = now! Wo de tian, a! = Dear god in heaven! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 19.

Back to Chapter 17.

COMMENTS

Thursday, October 12, 2006 5:48 PM

HEWHOKICKSALOT


Very touching. I like where you're taking this, making Mal stand up and take responsibility for what might be his doing. Keep up the beautiful writing...


"Can't... sentence... properly."

Rob O.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 8:35 PM

AMDOBELL


This was excellent, no easy fixes or miraculous cures just very much real in the way you portray the long road back to recovery that Alex is facing, her and the baby both. I liked how you showed that Mal is essentially a good man, a noble one even, though circumstances and the things he has faced in his life have hardened and embittered him he still cares for his crew and for Alex and nice to see that showing through. I also liked your Simon and Alex's mum made me want to hug her. How she'll feel about ship and crew if Mal turns out to be the baby's father only time will tell. Can't wait for the next part! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, October 12, 2006 9:29 PM

ELOISA


' “Why’d she have to be so nice?” '

So poignant in its place. This was a very good chapter.

Friday, October 13, 2006 4:31 AM

BORNTOFLY


Blockbusting. Thats what this is, it's Blockbusting. Its a Blockbuster. And yes, it deserves a capital letter.

I have no words. I am once again without speech, except to say...Blockbusting.

Friday, October 13, 2006 12:39 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Wow...the amount of enlightenment and character growth here is just unbelievable, ShinyTrinket! Especially when you allowed what could have come off as a selfish decision of Mal's to know the truth about Alex's baby being covered up by a faux-humble speech into something a lot more powerful to witness:D

Definitely think had this been able to have been made into an episode, you and Nathan would have racked up a few awards;)

BEB


POST YOUR COMMENTS

You must log in to post comments.

YOUR OPTIONS

OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR

How The BE Grinch Tried To Steal Flan!
"How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is property of that Dr. Suess guy. I'm just borrowing the style. I'm not profiting, so please don't sue me...I don't have any money left, anyway.

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 35 - Final Chapter of Part II
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 35: Alex is finally home, Mal makes a promise, and Zoë has something to say.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 34
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 34: Alex is almost home, and she asks Kaylee a question.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 33
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 33: Alex remembers, Simon puts his foot in his mouth, and Mal has a heart.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 32
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 32: River sings a song, Alex goes to work, and the job - what else? - doesn't go smooth!


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 31
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 31: The crew stops on Persephone to refuel, and trouble comes calling.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 30
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 30: Book comes to the rescue, Alex tells a story, and the definition of "family" is explored.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 29
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 29: Mal and Alex have a talk...and hilarity does NOT ensue.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 28
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 28: Alex finds out Inara is gone, and worries about her possible role, while River tries to make her see the mistake she's about to make.


NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 27
Takes place after the events of the series and before the BDM, and a few months after "Nothin' In The 'Verse Part I".
The return of a former passenger to Serenity causes conflict among the crew - and creates a problem for Mal that he is unprepared to deal with.-------CHAPTER 27: Inara says her goodbyes.