BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

LEIGHKOHL

Runaway Part 5
Friday, November 3, 2006

Charlotte recieves some news that may shake things up for Mal and Co. Best to read from beginning. S/K, M/I.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3092    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me, just writing for fun! A/N: Okay so it has been a long while since I have posted anything on this story. So sorry, but I have been moving, switching positions in my job, going to school and visiting a lot of people, so real life has definitely gotten in the way! Here’s another installment! Hope you enjoy it, and comments are appreciated and welcomed! Thanks to Leiasky for the beta! Link: Runaway Part Four. All the other stories can be linked through here!

~~

Charlotte glanced down at the bag in her hands, pulling out the first frock. She shook her head as she took in the audacious pattern of the flowers that were splattered across the cheap fabric. Lifting it up to the light she held back a guffaw as she saw that the seams were loose and stretched threadbare. Sighing to herself, she took no further look as to what was in the bag and simply deposited it in the bottom drawer of the room's dresser, never to be thought of again. Catching a glance of herself in the small mirror above the dresser, Charlotte stared deeply into the features before her. A pang of guilt darkened the circles that had formed underneath her eyes from a restless night of sleep and her body boiled with the conflicting emotions that spread hotly through her veins. The faintest fluttering tickled the inside of her stomach, a phantom from months before, now it haunted her, stirring up the anger and resentment she desperately wished would fade away. Running her fingers across her lips for a second, she wondered to herself when she had become this person. Straightening her back, Charlotte raised her chin and turned from her image, not wanting to linger. Smoothing the wrinkles from the sari fabric, Charlotte slipped on the one pair of shoes she owned and made her way up from the passenger dorms to the lounge. The infirmary caught her eye, it's bright white light shining like a beacon against the shabby decor that littered the surrounding area. Leaning against the doorway, she didn't venture in but stared at the pristine environment before her. It was a signature of Simon's ways, something familiar and comfortable. Smiling to herself she was caught off guard by the small hand that grasped her shoulder.

~~

River ran her hand along the hull wall, fingers tracing the seam of the steel, the pads of her fingertips rubbing the rivets that held the structure together. She closed her eyes as she came closer to the engine room, the frustration and hurt of Kaylee's mind flooding her own. Her lip trembled with the intense emotions, her breath catching in her throat. She carefully avoided Kaylee catching sight of her, though she herself was wrapped up in her own train of thought. Turning the corner, River took the stairs to the passenger dorms, her feet treading lightly against the metal grates. Rounding the end of the steps, River stole a glance towards the infirmary, but Simon wasn't present. He was still wandering about his and Kaylee's bunk, shuffling through the guilt he felt at Charlotte’s snub, but having no idea of how to solve this particular conflict. “Always trying to fix everything.” River spied Charlotte's form drawn to the infirmary and made her way over to her cousin. Resting her hand gently against Charlotte's shoulder, Charlotte gave a little jump, lost in her own thoughts. "You startled me River!" "I'm sorry." Charlotte reached out and took River's hand, "I was just....", Charlotte squeezed River's hand as a lopsided smile graced her face as she swept aside thoughts of her home and the past, changing the subject quickly, "You know, I wanted to thank you for this morning. It’s been so long since...well, it was nice to have something of what once was.” River tilted her head and gazed questioningly at Charlotte, “Why did you stop?” “Stop what?” “Dancing.” A slight blush crept over her cheeks as she stammered out a response, “Oh, River...I never had...I mean, I was never going to be...You were the one with the talent.” River kept quiet as Charlotte let her mind find a suitable response. “I always hoped you would continue your training, you could have been...” Charlotte let her words trail off as she mentally kicked herself. “It’s fine,” River shrugged her shoulders slightly and then said with certainty, “ I would have.” The smile on River’s face eased her cousin’s conscience and Charlotte reached out, entwining her fingers with River’s. “Jiao ao xiao gui.” River laughed at the barb, knowing Charlotte meant it only as a term of endearment. She let the moment pass before moving on to what she had come to do. “Charlotte, she’s good.” Charlotte smiled at her, “Of course you are.” River shook her head, “No, not me. Kaylee. She’s good. Good for Simon.” Charlotte took a deep breath, “I...River, it’s just that she’s...she’s not one of us, you know? She isn’t part of our world.” River gazed penetratingly into Charlotte’s eyes, “Neither are we.” Charlotte turned from her cousin’s intense stare, not wanting to accept the truth. “We could be...again, that is. I have plenty for us all to start over with.” Charlotte turned back and reached out to tuck a stray hair behind River’s ear, “It wouldn’t be like back on Osiris, but we could all make a new home.” River shook her head despondently, “This is home. Kaylee is Simon’s home. Serenity is ours.” “There’s so much more though,” Charlotte sighed. River felt the pang of loss seep from Charlotte’s body, her love had left her, her child was taken from her, and all that she had known was lost to her forever. Charlotte quickly dropped her cousin’s hand and turned to venture up to the galley, her heels clicking loudly against the metal grates of the cargo bay, leaving River to watch despondently as her cousin drew deeper within herself.

~~ Simon sat at the edge of his and Kaylee’s bed, disappointed in how things had shaped up since they had awoken that morning. Kaylee had failed to return to their room after she’d gone to drop off her parcel of clothing for Charlotte. That could mean either two things, Charlotte and Kaylee were having a lovely discussion with one another, which in the best of possible worlds would be a comfort to Simon, or Kaylee was moping in the engine room. He slid his hands over his eyes and laid down, thinking to himself the second one was the most logical answer. Sliding his fingers to the bridge of his nose he contemplated on how he could possibly resolve Charlotte’s conflict with practically the whole crew. He knew she wouldn’t be comfortable with how things were on Serenity, he hadn’t been when he first came on board. He knew she was just adjusting, finding her bearings, he just hoped the growth process would come at a faster pace than his own did. He remembered how lost he had felt, everything so foreign, his sister’s fragile and broken state. The world had seemed to crash down before his feet, making him feel helpless to pick up the pieces. He of course had put up a staunch and stoic front, trying his best to keep those feelings hidden deep within himself, not even leaving a record of his misgivings in his own private journal for fear if the words were written down they would become more tangible and overwhelm him. Charlotte had loved her life, had reveled in its every nuance, and embraced the society which he had been a part of but had never truly encompassed. She lived and breathed her status, where as he had taken the comforts of that life for granted. He had been absorbed in his studies and work, she had been enthralled with what their families name and position could do for her. Now everything that was dear had been torn from her and although he knew that could not excuse her rude behavior, it was something he could pity her for. Leaning back farther into the pillow, Simon wondered just how he could broach the subject without alienating Charlotte.

~~

Charlotte was surprised to find the galley abuzz with commotion. Most of the crew had gathered around the table, eating what looked to be something like molded protein, but the color was a bright canary yellow, which off put Charlotte’s stomach. This caused her to just pour herself a cup of tea before seating herself next to Inara and as far away from Jayne as she could get. Mal didn’t even look up from his food as she nodded her salutation to the table. Turning to her left, she graced Inara with a small smile. “Good Morning, Inara.” Inara nodded at the other woman amiably, “Good Morning, Charlotte.” Inara quickly took a sip of her own tea, not wanting to snub Charlotte but having nothing more to say to the girl, at least not anything that would be deemed polite. Charlotte nodded to her with a little smile, taking this silence for what it was worth, not wanting to alienate the only person on the ship she had forged some little connection to, other than her family. Glancing across the table, she felt the weight of her actions and words weigh heavily against her chest. Zoe kept her attention focused firmly on her plate, but the glint in her eyes told Charlotte she would find no conversation from her. By the looks of Jayne, he had forgotten all about their little meeting the night before. His eyes roamed over her figure as he shoveled more of the offensive yellow protein in his mouth, the ability to close his mouth and chew his food properly escaping him at that moment. Charlotte glanced towards the hallway leading to the engine room, the incessant banging, ringing in her ears. Looking to find some sort of olive branch to offer these people, Charlotte turned to the racket and questioned aloud, "Won't Kaylee be joining us for breakfast?" Mal turned up his eyes to bore into Charlotte's, having heard what had transpired from Inara just earlier that morning. "She don't feel much like eatin'.” Charlotte gulped at the venom in his voice and quickly took another sip of tea, averting her eyes and hoping her cousins would enter soon. An uncomfortable silence descended over the room as they went about eating their breakfast. Zoe looked across the table and then promptly picked up her plate and cup, excusing herself and heading towards the cockpit. Jayne had just gone for a second helping when the com crackled to life, Zoe’s tinny voice washing over the room, “Sir, I think you should come see this and it might be best to bring Charlotte with ya.” Mal pushed his chair out from the table and eyed Charlotte as she looked over at him with concern. They both hurried from the table, the rest of the crew following behind only seconds later. Zoe and River were staring at the cortex vid screen where Charlotte’s face was displayed across it. The scroll underneath read that she was wanted for theft. Grand Larceny, in fact, and there was a generous reward offered for her return. Charlotte’s eyes were wide with surprise, her hand covering her gaping mouth.

~ Kaylee threw her wrench across the engine room in frustration as she cradled her now bruised fingers. Letting out a grunt of frustration, Kaylee sunk down to the grated floor and leaned against the hull behind the engine. She had let Charlotte’s words crawl under her skin and fester, dredging up all the misgivings she had felt when Simon and her had finally consummated their long courtship. It had taken her so long to get Simon to actually even admit that he had feelings for her. Eight months of relentless flirting and breaking down of walls, that and a room full of Reavers finally forced the words to escape his lips. It had meant so much to Kaylee that when he mustered up enough nerve to actually kiss her, her heart had plummeted to the pit of her stomach, and the doubts had begun to rankle. It was supposed to have been a joyful moment, and it had been in a way, but it had been clouded with anxiety. He had always talked about his life on the Core and the conversations they had shared with one another enlightened her to how he had lived, and how his life now would never compare to that. She had always thought that her life had been a wonderful one, filled with experience and adventure, but the way Simon described his life on Osiris and her own encounter with Core-like society at the ball on Persephone had made her question just how wonderful it had been. It had taken awhile for those misgivings to dissipate, for her to feel comfortable with how Simon truly made her feel, and although they hadn’t said the words yet, she had finally admitted to herself that she was in love with him. But the resurgence of these feelings of inadequacy was pulling at her heart and she had no clue how to eradicate them once more. Standing to her feet, Kaylee had resolved to take a stab at letting Simon in, letting him know just exactly how she felt when Zoe’s crackling voice cam over the com.

~~ Simon rushed into the cockpit from his and Kaylee's bunk, still disheveled and unshaven. Charlotte's eyes flew over to Simon's as he entered, “I...I...” Kaylee had come right behind Simon, the com message interrupting her tinkering. The wanted poster that flashed across the vid screen caused both of them to suck in their breath. Charlotte fumbled for the words to escape her mouth but was interrupted by Jayne leaning over to Mal, “That’s a mighty fine reward there.” They all turned a scowl to Jayne, who shrugged at the exasperation that was being flung at him from the rest of the crew, “Hey! Just sayin’ that’s a lotta zeros.” Kaylee socked his arm, “You wouldn’t!” River mumbled under her breath, “Did once.” Simon had noticed the soft words and grasped his sister’s shoulder, silencing her as he looked to his cousin. She had gone terribly pale, her hands still covering her mouth as she realized that she was now truly dismissed. Her father had let Garros report her to the authorities, forgoing a private route for her return. She could never go back to Osiris, could never reclaim her old life now. She was branded a fugitive and that made her untouchable, a ghost to her family, her name would only whispered by the servants in the service halls of her home. All remnants of herself would be packed away or given to charity, effectively erasing her from their existence. “What is it with you Tams all turning out ta be fugies?” “Jayne!” Kaylee’s admonishment echoed off the hull walls. Charlotte’s lip trembled as she tried to keep the tears from slipping down her cheeks. Looking at the screen once more, she turned and fled the cockpit, her heels clicking against the metal grates.

~~

TBC....

COMMENTS

Friday, November 3, 2006 11:03 AM

TAMSIBLING


Aww ... why do I not feel ANY sadness for Charlotte? Oh of course, because she's a witch!

Well, being disowned couldn't have happened to a nicer girl.

I loved River's commments to her cousin about Kaylee being Simon's home ... but Simon, the boob, should have gotten off his pi gu and gone to see Kaylee in the engine room, instead of letting her stew!

Glad you're back posting!

Friday, November 3, 2006 11:17 AM

LEIGHKOHL


>Well, being disowned couldn't have happened to a nicer girl.<
Poor Charlotte, oh that's right you're the founder of the I HATE CHARLOTTE CLUB! LOL

>but Simon, the boob, should have gotten off his pi gu and gone to see Kaylee in the engine room, instead of letting her stew!<
The com message interrupted his musings, and I think Simon, knowing himself, would decide very precisely just what words he would use with Kaylee and Charlotte before venturing out to talk with either one of them.


Friday, November 3, 2006 12:10 PM

LEIASKY


Yeah, I don't like Charlotte. Stuck up little princess needs to have a face to metal meeting with one of Kaylee's wrenches.

And Simon better put dear old cousin in her place soon or Kaylee make take a wrench to his skull too! laugh

Friday, November 3, 2006 2:17 PM

MANICGIRAFFE


Whoa. Long time no see (err...read).

Seriously, WTF is wrong with Simon? He obviously noticed that the ladies were having a difference - hell, his CRAZY SISTER noticed, and she often is found staring at the gorram ceiling - but he didn't do a thing about it, other than sit around feeling guilty. I just don't get how he never has a learning curve in the woman department. In a way I feel sorry for him - being one with a rather slow curve myself - but after a while you just wanna beat him with the clue bat.

And I just love passive-aggressive Mal. He'll never say something directly, but you just keep wondering when he's going to up and shoot someone...

Oh, and sign me up for the "I Hate Charlotte" club. I would not be displeased if she suffered a small "accident". You know, one of those "that large chunk of engine just came out of nowhere!" type things.

Friday, November 3, 2006 4:34 PM

BLACKBEANIE


I don't like Charlotte, but I feel we should give her time to adjust to the situation before we condemn her completely.
Please don't kill me.

Friday, November 3, 2006 5:00 PM

TKID


Y'know, sooner or later Kaylee's going to spot-weld Charlotte to the floor, and it isn't like Charlotte won't have asked for it.

Friday, November 3, 2006 6:55 PM

BRERRABBIT


Not a Charlotte fan (surprise), but come on...how did Simon behave when he first showed up. Give the girl a chance to see what life in the black is like, and I'm sure she'll begin to adjust (not saying she won't be a witch). After all, she is a Tam.

Friday, November 3, 2006 7:10 PM

NUTLUCK


I am normally not a fan of OC's but this one is kinda interasting. Charlotte might not be "nice" to the crew but she is interasting and very curious where this goes. Hope we don't have to wait as long for the next chapter

Saturday, November 4, 2006 11:06 AM

LEIGHKOHL


OMG I love the Charlotte debate going here! Personally, I love Charlotte, but I also love Saffron so I guess it is in my nature to appreciate the not so nice girls.
>Y'know, sooner or later Kaylee's going to spot-weld Charlotte to the floor, and it isn't like Charlotte won't have asked for it.<
>tkid LOL! That image just made me burst in to giggles!
>Oh, and sign me up for the "I Hate Charlotte" club.<
>MG I am sure you are not alone!

thanks to all for the great responses! I hope to post more often now that my life has slowed down!

Saturday, November 4, 2006 8:37 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Probably tried to say this back during the comments for Chapter 3 (stupid fei hua computer systems...), but Charlotte's someone who's just learned the true nature of the society she once flourished in.

I mean, Simon was stoic and reserved, but it was mainly out of a protective measure for himself and others. Charlotte is haugthy, arrogant, shallow and HUMAN! Plus, let's not forget the one time she tries to do what she wants, her father interferes and drives off her boyfriend before forcing Charlotte to put her baby up for adoption.

Really, I am a tad bit more forgiving of Charlotte. I definitely would have loved to see flashbacks of Inara and Simon to their lives shortly before their individual arrivals on Serenity. Bet we would moan and lash out at them for being all kinds of uptight;)

BEB

Monday, November 6, 2006 3:28 AM

RIVERISMYGODDESS


I am glad to see another chapter of this great story, I was afraid that you wouldn't finish it, though I know how real life gets in the way sometimes.

I am glad that it is finally sinking in to Charlotte's head that she can no longer have the high-society life she was used to.


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