BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART II: Chapter 25
Wednesday, October 18, 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 25: It's the evening meal. Mal hits a low...Jayne almost gets hit...and then everything changes.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1398    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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tension was palpable at the evening meal. Everyone knew the test results had come back, and, although Simon didn’t say a word to the others about the outcome, one look at Mal told them all they needed to know. He came late to the table, wordlessly and with puffy eyes. Zoë, Wash and Kaylee exchanged furtive, worried glances at his appearance. Book regarded him silently, studying his face carefully as he sat down. To make matters worse, it was to be Inara’s final night on the ship. She had joined them for dinner, but was very quiet and looked as though she might cry at any moment. Mal finally broke the silence, directing his attention to Inara. “We should reach the training house mid-morning tomorrow.” His voice was subdued and husky. “Might wanna ‘wave your girls, let someone know to meet us at the dock.” Inara nodded, looking up at him only long enough to acknowledge that he had spoken. Kaylee reached over and squeezed her shoulder, and Inara smiled at her, a small, thin smile. “So,” Jayne said, in his own misguided attempt to ease the stress, “Do we get to meet your girls, ‘Nara—maybe...give ‘em a real-world lesson?” He grinned a hopeful, cockeyed grin. Inara smiled up at him patiently. “I’m sorry, I think your world is a little too real for them right now,” she said, trying her best to sound lighthearted and teasing. The others chuckled, grateful to have the tension broken even a little. “I’m afraid one look into Jayne’s world, and there’d be a mass career change underway there!” Wash threw in, and then the laughter was more genuine. “Ha ha ha! Go on, have a laugh at ol’ Jayne’s expense!” Jayne growled, but he didn’t sound angry. Then his expression brightened, as if he’d just remembered something. “Oh hey...I’ll be right back,” he said, pushing away from the table and heading toward his quarters. Kaylee looked after him, puzzled. “What’s he up to?” she murmured. Moments later he returned carrying a small box. He placed it in the center of the table and opened it with a flourish, looking pleased with himself. It was a box of cigars. “What’s this?” Zoë asked him uneasily. Jayne grinned. “They’re my best,” he announced proudly. “Since congratulations are in order.” He looked around the table and then nodded to Mal, pushing the box in his direction. Mal rose slowly to his feet, his swollen eyes fixed on Jayne. Wash and Kaylee involuntarily shrank back in their seats. “ Nee tzao se mah? ” he asked Jayne quietly. “Huh? Do you?” Jayne’s smile faded. “What?” “Close the box,” Mal commanded, his voice a hoarse whisper. “Mal—“ “CLOSE IT!” Jayne shut the box and jerked his hand back swiftly. Mal’s eyes were blazing. “Hey.” Jayne raised his hands defensively. “I just thought...ain’t ceegars what yer s’posed to bring out when someone’s havin’ a baby?” Mal pushed his chair out of the way and headed around the table. Zoë instinctively grabbed for his arm, and he shook her off. “Jayne,” Zoë said quietly. “You only break out cigars when someone has had a baby—and it’s healthy, and everybody’s happy.” She spoke slowly, as if explaining something to a small child. Mal reached Jayne, who suddenly looked fearful, even though he was the larger man. The rest of the crew had all moved away from the table and away from the two men, although Book and Zoë looked ready to intervene if necessary. Mal picked the cigar box up from the table and held it out to Jayne. “Take this,” he said, still in the same strange, hoarse voice. “Don’t ever let me see it again. I swear to you, if I do, you’ll be pickin’ pieces of these things out of parts you didn’t know you had for the rest of your natural life...which, mercifully for everyone, prob’ly won’t be all that long.” He shoved the box into Jayne’s hands. “Now get the hell out of my sight.” Jayne took the box and moved away, not taking his eyes off Mal until he was well out of reach. “Just tryin’ to lighten the mood,” he shot back as he headed off toward his bunk. Mal walked silently back and took his seat again, not looking at anyone. The others began hesitantly to sit back down. “Coming back,” River said. She had been silent up to then. Everyone instinctively looked into the corridor to the crew quarters, expecting to see Jayne returning. The corridor was empty. “He does and I’ll throw him down the ladder and lock him in,” Zoë muttered. “How ‘bout we just shoot him?” Wash suggested, shaking his head in disgust. Kaylee giggled nervously and Zoë couldn’t help but smile. “Coming back,” River said again. She was looking intently at Simon. “ Mei-mei —“ he began, and then an ear-splitting scream shattered the quiet. “What the—“ Wash exclaimed, just as another scream split the air. It was followed by a thud and a loud, metallic clatter. “JAYNE!” Zoe yelled, leaping up; but Simon was staring toward the stairs to the passenger quarters. “That came from the infirmary,” he said, half to himself. He threw his napkin down and ran for the steps. Mal jumped up so fast he upended his chair, and ran after Simon, taking the steps two at a time, the others close behind. Simon arrived at the infirmary entrance first, and held up a hand to stop the others. They could see through the window that the exam table was empty. Mal ran up and stopped just behind Simon, who was using his body to block the doorway. Mal craned to see around him. Alex was on the floor, huddled against the cabinets on the far side of the room in a tangle of tubes and cords where she had pulled her IV pole and setup down around her. She was very awake, her eyes huge and round like a frightened animal. She stared at them, terrified, breathing in short, ragged gasps. Mal turned to Book. “What did you say in there today?” he asked him, his eyes nearly as big as Alex’s. Book smiled, a small, serene smile. “Just a prayer, like always,” he replied. Mal stared at him an instant longer, then turned back toward the infirmary. Simon had stepped through the entrance. Alex lowered her head and squeezed her eyes shut, a small moan escaping her. “Alex,” Simon said quietly. She responded by putting one bandaged hand over her face. He tried again. “Alex.” This time she tentatively opened one eye and looked up at him. Simon walked as far as the exam table and knelt down. He continued to hold up a cautionary hand to the others, letting them know not to approach. “Do you know who I am?” he asked her softly. She studied him with her one open eye, still shrinking against the cabinet as though she expected to be attacked. Gradually her expression softened somewhat, and her look became one of concentration. She opened her other eye and faced him fully, letting her hand fall from her face. “I’m Simon,” he said finally, when she didn’t answer him. “Remember me? The doctor? On Serenity?” He spoke to her in the same gentle, patient manner he took with River when he was talking her down from one of her episodes. Alex dropped her eyes, confused but obviously trying to focus. “You remember Serenity, don’t you? You were a passenger? And you remembered she was your old ship? During the war?” Alex looked up, letting her eyes roam around the room, taking it in. She was blinking rapidly, the fear fading from her eyes as she began to recognize her surroundings. Then the fearful look returned as she looked down and saw her bandaged hands and the hospital gown she was wearing, and the feeding tube coming out of her nose. “It’s okay,” Simon said reassuringly. “It’s okay. You got hurt, but you’re safe now. You’re with friends.” “The prison,” Alex said in a voice so low it was hard to hear. She looked perplexed again as her brain labored to sort everything out. Simon nodded. “That’s right,” he said encouragingly. “You were at the prison. You got hurt there. But we got you. Everything’s okay now.” Alex was silent again, looking around in confusion as she struggled with the memories that appeared to be tumbling back into place. She shook her head, and pinched the bridge of her nose, concentrating. Suddenly her eyes flew open wide again. She drew back and looked down at herself and then looked anxiously at Simon. “I—I—“ she felt her stomach. “Was..I...?” Her voice trailed off as she searched Simon’s face. “Your baby’s alive,” he said. “Everything seems to be okay.” Alex exhaled sharply as her eyes traveled the room once more. Then she spotted Mal in the doorway; and it was apparent she recognized him immediately. “Captain,” she said softly, as she locked her eyes on his. Simon, satisfied that she was sufficiently calm, stood up slowly and moved aside. Mal stepped in and approached. He smiled gently at her. “Good to see you again,” she said in the same small voice. Mal knelt down in front of her. “You have no idea how good it is to see you.” He reached a hand out and placed it gently on her shoulder. “She’s back,” River said from the doorway. Alex frowned. “Where was I?” she asked. She looked around her, at the jumble of medical equipment. “Why am I on the floor?” She searched Mal’s face. “You’ve been unconscious for a long time,” Simon told her. She closed her eyes in concentration. “I was outside...in the woods,” she finally said. Mal nodded. “You got out of the prison. Jayne found you—you’d crawled into a hollow tree. It prob’ly saved your life.” Alex was silent for a long moment, trying to remember. She looked at her bandaged hands. “How did you find me?” “It’s a long story, and we’ll tell you everything, but we need to get you back on the table so I can check you over,” Simon said. He began picking up and sorting out the IV setup and lines and the oxygen line and feeding tube that were tangled in the midst of the rest. Alex tried to gather her feet under her, then let out a cry of pain. “ Bao bei don’t do that!” Mal cautioned, steadying her as she began to topple over. She clutched at his arms. “I can’t feel my leg,” she gasped. “And my hip...hurts like hell!” She pulled her gown aside to look at her hip and saw the large incision. “You got stabbed,” Simon told her. “I had to remove the blade.” Alex shook her head, trying to recall what had happened. “Don’t force it, it’ll come back,” Simon said. Mal gathered her up and she winced and groaned as she became aware of all the parts of her that hurt. He laid her gently on the exam table while Simon untangled her and got the equipment set up again. He took her temperature, her pulse and blood pressure, and put a monitor on to check her oxygen levels. “Everything looks pretty good,” he said, shaking his head wonderingly. “Normal, actually.” He pulled her gown aside and put the stethoscope on her abdomen to listen to the baby’s heart. Alex looked awkwardly at her belly, then up at Mal. “Mal,” she said. “This—“ she gestured at her belly, “—isn’t your problem. You’re not—responsible—for this.” Mal pursed his lips and dropped his eyes for a beat, then squeezed her hand. “We don’t need to talk about it right now.” “I just want you to know, it—“ “Not now, Alex. Right now you just rest.” He glanced at Simon, who caught his eye briefly and then looked quickly away. Alex relaxed back on the table as Simon finished his exam and pulled the blankets back up around her. She closed her eyes. “I hurt all over,” she murmured. Simon drew up a syringe of medicine. “I’ll give you a shot for pain, but I’ll let you know—I can’t give you anything too strong because of the baby, so it might not take it all away.” Alex nodded. It was apparent she had already exhausted what little strength she had. Simon gave her the injection and then turned to the rest of the crew, who had gradually made their way into the infirmary and were ringed around the room. “Someone will need to stay with her at all times,” he said. “I don’t want her getting—or falling—off the table again.” Heads bobbed in agreement. “We can take shifts.” Alex opened her eyes and looked around. “Sorry to be so much trouble,” she murmured sleepily as the medicine began to take hold. Mal took her hand and squeezed it. “Believe me, you’re a lot less trouble now,” he said quietly. He held her hand until she fell asleep. Then he sighed and stood up. “I’m gonna go make her mama’s night.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: Nee tzao se mah? = You wanna die? Mei-mei = Little sister Bao bei = Sweetheart ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 26.

Back to Chapter 24.

COMMENTS

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 6:17 PM

BORNTOFLY


YESSS!!!! Alex FINALLY wakes up! It was so cool to see Simon take charge there, I though Mal would have completely ignored him.

Great chapter...brilliant actually. Chapter 24 rocked the socks too.

Can't wait to see the conversation between Mal and Alex about the baby...damn you're good with tension.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 8:23 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Huzzah! Alex is awake and not suffering from anything worse than the pains of her injuries and the memories of what happened to her. So expecting a "Alex gets amnesia" plot twist. Glad you took the harder path, ShinyTrinket:D

Personally? I wanna see a conversation between Inara and Alex. After the conversation between Mal and Alex about the baby...but I want to see these two woman have a nice frank talk about things. Cuz Inara needs to know some things about what went on while she was off on a job:(

BEB

Thursday, October 19, 2006 1:05 AM

AMDOBELL


Hooray, I can keep reading this story because you DIDN'T KILL ALEX! That would have been so mean it would have redefined the word. Doing a little happy dance now. Glad too that the baby is still alive, I was fearing with all the mama's trauma the little one would be the first casualty but now things are looking up a bit and about time too. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, October 19, 2006 3:32 AM

VAUGHN28


Excellent chapter. Wow we get the whole range of emotions on this one, especially with Mal, rage one minute, touching concern the next. Wonderful job!

vaughn


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.