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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
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.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1062 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimers: Everything belongs to Joss, except for one character of my creation.
“Next stop—Boros,” Wash said as he brought Serenity down on the Persephone dock. “But we ain’t gonna make it there if we don’t refuel here.”
The airlock opened to the dusty chaos that was Eavesdown Docks. Alex peered out.
“This is where it started for me,” she murmured, taking in the scene.
Kaylee glanced at her. “Bring back memories?”
Alex nodded and smiled. “It was all your fault—you lured me in!”
She was up and around some. Simon had declared her well enough to be off IV fluids, and she had moved into the room she had occupied previously in the passenger dorm. Kaylee had found her an old pair of crutches in the cargo hold, and she had been tentatively walking. Her right leg was not cooperating much at all, and her hands and arms were so cut up it was hard for her to hold the grips on the crutches for long. But she was trying, and as they docked on Persephone she was in the bay watching the crew prepare to disembark for fuel and supplies.
“Wish I could go with you,” she said to Kaylee wistfully.
Kaylee patted her hand. “You’ll be off soon enough. Boros ain’t but a two-day ride from here.”
Mal spotted her as he entered the bay, and frowned. “You s’posed to be up here?”
She shrugged. “You tell me—it’s your ship.”
“Well, just don’t be grabbin’ a gun and shootin’ at nobody,” he said as he passed her. “I know what a temptation that is!”
“Don’t get involved in any botched jobs and I won’t have to!” she shot back.
Kaylee smiled. “You and the captain’re gettin’ along better now.”
“Yeah,” Alex agreed. “We talked about stuff—we’re doin’ okay.”
“What’d you decide—if you don’t mind me askin’?”
Alex sighed. “To take it one day at a time.”
“C’mon Kaylee,” Zoë called as she and Wash descended from the bridge.
Kaylee rose and dusted off the seat of her pants. “Gotta go.”
“Bring me a prize,” Alex called to her as she climbed aboard the mule with Wash and Zoë. Wash started the mule, and it reluctantly shuddered and sputtered down the ramp and onto the dirt road below.
“Piece’a crap,” Jayne remarked as they drove away. He unfolded a lawn chair at the base of the ramp and settled in.
“Why you hangin’ ‘round here?” Mal asked him curiously. “You usually got a red hot poker up your ass to be off the ship.”
Jayne shrugged and closed his eyes against the sun. “Just enjoyin’ the fresh air.”
Mal raised an eyebrow at Book, who had taken a seat on the crate beside Alex. Book shrugged in return.
“Aren’t you gettin’ off?” Alex asked Mal.
“No need; Zoë, Wash and Kaylee are takin’ care of stuff.”
“Still, I’d think you’d wanna stretch your legs.”
Mal snorted softly and sat down. “My legs are fine. Every time I disembark on this planet I seem to find trouble. I’d just as soon stay here.”
No sooner had he spoken then they heard the sound of voices and then footfalls on the ramp. Several men appeared, led by a slight man wearing a black derby and a rather worn pinstriped jacket. Mal registered their appearance with a frown, then exhaled in a deep sigh. “And sometimes the trouble finds me.”
He rose to face the oncoming group.
“Hello, Badger,” he said. “To what do I owe the pleasure of you darkening my airlock?”
Badger stepped forward and grinned, holding a box out before him. He removed his hat politely.
“Heard you was in the area,” he said with a nod to the others. “Thought I’d come say ‘ello.”
“Hello,” Mal said woodenly. “Now why ya here?”
“Got a shiny job for ya,” Badger replied, opening the box. “But first...’ave a cigar.”
Mal eyed the box warily and shook his head.
“I don’t smoke.”
Badger held the box out to Book, who caught a look from Mal and quickly declined. Badger shrugged and closed the lid.
“Ah, well, thought they’d be in order...guess I was wrong.” He eyed Alex. “This must be the young lady I ‘eard about. ‘Ello, love.”
Badger held out a hand. Picking up on Mal’s signals, Alex shook his hand, but cautiously. Badger scrutinized her.
“’Eard you went through quite the ordeal,” he said to her. “Lucky to be alive an’ all.” He turned back to Mal. “Now, about that job...”
Mal folded his arms and nodded toward Alex. “If you know about her, then you know she’s bein’ delivered home to Boros for medical care. Ain’t got time to be foolin’ with you and yours.”
Badger waved a dismissive hand. “Ah, but with an extra mouth to feed, I know you can’t be turnin’ down work now, can ya?”
Mal stared at him unwaveringly.
“In case you didn’t hear me, the young lady’s gettin’ off at Boros, so no extra mouth needs to be fed.”
Badger fixed him with a sly smile.
“That ain’t what I’m talkin’ about, Malcolm.” He looked Alex up and down again, then looked back at Mal. “I gotta say, y’sly dog, I didn’t know ya had it in ya...sure you don’t want one?” He held the cigar box out again.
A vein had begun to slowly pulse in Mal’s forehead, but he held his composure. His gaze fell on Jayne, who was still sitting serenely outside, watching the passing crowd and contentedly puffing on one of Badger’s cigars.
“Well, good news travels fast in this part of the ‘verse, don’t it?” he mumbled. He turned back to Badger. “Every time you come to me with a job, it ends with me gettin’ a bad case of the almost-deads. So, you’ll understand why I’m not jumpin’ for joy.”
“Aw, this one’s a piece’a cake,” Badger replied. “An’, coincidently, it’s on yer way—goods need to go to Boros. So you can deliver the girl—no pun intended...sorry—“ He grinned at Alex, “—an’ then you can deliver the goods!”
Mal sighed, and hesitated before responding.
“Captain—“ Book began, but Mal shook his head.
“Tell me about it,” he said to Badger. “Then I’ll decide. I ain’t puttin’ me or mine in danger. Know that goin’ in.”
Badger grinned again and turned to address Alex once more.
“It’s been a pleasure, love.” He bowed forward in a dramatic gesture. Alex regarded him dispassionately. He nodded toward Mal. “I’ll keep ‘im safe. Promise.”
He put a hand on Mal’s shoulder and steered him away from the others.
“Word of advice, my friend;” he said as the two of them walked away. “Watch out for the hormones—they can be killer.”
Mal glanced back. “Yeah, so I hear.”
Alex turned to Book. “Why does this smell like a bad idea?”
Book sighed and his eyes followed the two men down the ramp. “Because it is a bad idea.”
Badger’s entourage straggled out after them and Alex watched them go. It struck her that they looked like they could have come off Zargon, straight out of the prison as scraggly and rough-edged as they were. One in particular, a beefy man with a shaved head, tattoos and a sleeveless shirt triggered something—a recall, not quite a thought, more of a feeling...Alex shook her head, watching him walk away. He looked back once, and the face wasn’t familiar...but the body, and the hands, the large hands...
An involuntary shiver ran through her. Those hands, they looked like they could...She frowned. What? Hold someone down, maybe—pin someone, maybe hold their arms so they couldn’t—
It hit her then, the flash, hard, like a punch to the gut. Hands, big hands holding her wrists, pinning her, the large body above her—
And it was gone out of her mind as quickly as it had entered. She realized Book was staring at her, and he looked alarmed.
Her mouth had gone dry and she felt woozy.
“Alex? Are you all right?”
She started to tell him yes, she was all right—and then it hit her again. The big hands, gripping her, holding her down...and there was laughing, and then voices talking over each other, and more laughing—
—and a hand covering her mouth—
—and someone yanking her pants down, the cold air hitting her bare skin—
“Simon? Doctor, we need you up here!—“
—and then something striking her, hard, in the face, and pain exploding in her nose and eyes—
“Alex? Alex? It’s Simon. Are you—“
—and someone kicking her knees apart, and then the weight on her—
“Alex? Can you hear me? What’s wrong—“
—and the feeling that she was being smothered—
—and then the stab of pain—
“Help me get her to the infirmary—“
Alex heard voices on top of voices, and then screaming—and then nothing at all.
Go to Chapter 32.
Back to Chapter 30.
Monday, October 23, 2006 5:23 PM
Monday, October 23, 2006 6:31 PM
Monday, October 23, 2006 11:48 PM
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:11 PM
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