BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 23
Tuesday, October 17, 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 23: Mal has doubts and fears, Book has faith...and Simon has a very weighty piece of paper.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 698    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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mal sat in the infirmary, as he had done so much lately, just staring at Alex. He needed so many things to happen, but nothing was happening at all. He needed the test results to come back. He needed Alex’s limbo state to end. He needed to make things right—or at least better—with Inara before she disembarked, which was going to happen sooner than he cared to think about. He needed to make things right with his crew—which he couldn’t do before he figured out what to do about the rest. So he sat. When he wasn’t sitting, he paced the corridors. When he did that, he overheard what his crew was really thinking. As much as he hated to admit it, he wondered if maybe Jayne was right. Maybe he’d gone looking for trouble he didn’t need to own. Maybe he should have left well enough alone. It certainly would have saved him a world of worry and hurt. All that was required of him once he had Alex on board was to deliver her home. How to do that had been resolved when her mother ‘waved. If only Simon hadn’t dangled the damn test in front of him.... He had been thinking of Alex’s mother when he told Simon to go ahead with it. He wanted to have answers for her. But what sort of answers could he realistically give her? Even if it gave the baby’s father a face, it wouldn’t change the fact that what he’d had with her daughter amounted to a one-night stand. They had parted ways and never expected to see each other again. Certainly, they had felt something for each other, and Mal cared enough to want to help her when she got into trouble at the prison; but it wasn’t the kind of relationship that would put a mother’s mind at ease. And what about his own feelings? Did he really want to know about something that, from all indications, was not going to end well? Did he want to find out he was going to be a father, only to have that slip away if Alex didn’t make it? And what if she did make it? What then? What would his role be? If Mal had ever seriously considered the idea of having a family, it had been so long ago he couldn’t remember it. Since the war, his only objective had been to keep himself and his crew alive and flying. The day-to-day basics of getting and keeping jobs, getting paid, and trying—often futilely—to stay out of trouble consumed every waking moment. Mal had no more lofty goals than merely wanting to continue. The idea of continuing in any way other than the everyday had not occurred to him. Certainly the idea of continuing in this way never had. He gazed at Alex, connected to her tubes and wires, and let his eyes go to where they always wanted to go; to the small round bump that could be the continuation of him. He ran his fingers through his hair, the now-familiar tight feeling in his chest threatening to return once again. It seemed odd to him that he was actually getting accustomed to the lightheadedness and the racing heart he had first experienced on Haven. Now he knew to just wait it out and it would eventually pass. But this time it didn’t materialize. What came over him, instead, was a feeling of sadness so intense it sucked the breath from him. It caught him by surprise, and he instinctively lowered his head, as he had done during the dizzy spells, to see if that would help. “Captain.” It was Shepherd Book at the entrance to the infirmary, Bible in hand. Mal jerked upright. “Preacher.” “May I come in?” Book asked, already through the doorway. He was studying Mal’s face intently. Mal nodded. He glanced down at the Bible. “Come to talk to me ‘bout the error of my ways?” Book nodded toward Alex. “Actually, I thought I might say a few words over her.” Mal considered it for a moment. “That’d prob’ly be good.” Book walked to the head of Alex’s bed, and Mal rose to his feet, willing them to hold him. “You can stay, Captain,” Book said. Mal shook his head. “You do your thing, Preacher—I’ll wait outside.” He moved toward the door. “Captain.” Mal turned back. Book stepped closer. “Whatever happens here, you’ll do the right thing.” Mal sniffed. “And what’s that, Preacher?” “I don’t know,” Book said. “You’ll need to figure that out when the time comes. But you will.” He gave Mal a smile. “I have faith.” Mal attempted to smile back, but it felt more like a grimace. “Well, I’m glad, Preacher—someone has to.” He walked out and sat down on the steps to the bay. Through the infirmary window he could see Book, Bible open, standing at the head of the bed, saying words he could not hear. He turned the page, spoke some more, and placed his hand on Alex’s forehead. The gesture appeared somehow—final—to Mal. It echoed what was running through his mind. He felt a lump rising in his throat, and he struggled to fight it back. “ Jao gao ,” he muttered hoarsely. Footsteps behind him made him turn and look. It was Simon, holding a folded sheet of paper in his hand. “Captain.” Simon held the paper out to him. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: Jao gao = Alas, what a mess ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 24.

Back to Chapter 22.

COMMENTS

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 2:26 PM

ELOISA


.... There are better places to stop than that, you know.

Very nice stuff. I do tend to feel that your installments are a little short, though. Personally I'd prefer longer and less often, though I'm aware some fellow readers may not agree.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 3:28 AM

SHINYTRINKET


".... There are better places to stop than that, you know."

Mwahahahaha...!!! Mine is an evil laugh!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 5:52 AM

AMDOBELL


Yes, evil is about right. I actually think your posts are getting shorter which is worse than cruel. Please tell me the next part will be up soon, and hopefully before poor Mal works himself into a coronory. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 7:16 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Personally, I would split the difference and go medium length and fairly often;)

Still...you are evil for leaving it off there! Though I am mighty glad you're getting Mal thinking on what he "gave up" after the war and buying Serenity:)

BEB


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