BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GIRLFAN

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Thirteen
Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mal and Zoe discuss the job, and clothes. Canon pairings. This chapter is rated PG13, just in case, for swearing. Short piece.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1588    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Even Roses Have Thorns

Chapter Thirteen: Ratio et consilium propriae ducis artes (reason and deliberation are the proper skills of a general)

*** *** *** Chapters 1-10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 *** *** ***

As her brother passed by her, River looked up from the book she was reading to say, seriously, “All love is unrequited. Everyone loves their lover a little less for who they are and a little more for who they want them to be.”

Simon looked like he wanted to contradict her, but she had already returned her attention to her book.

Later, playing jacks with Kaylee, River paused for a moment, throwing her round. Kaylee looked up, and River met her eyes to say, “I am not a god. Don’t ask me to intervene. I shouldn’t have to and I won’t do it. And if that’s what it takes, it’s not really worth it, is it?” She handed the ball back to Kaylee.

***

When Mal found his first mate standing in the bridge, staring down at the console, checking their course, he nearly fell back down the steps. It had to be his first mate. It was her hair, her skin, her necklace, her boots, her gun. Just the bit in the middle seemed so very wrong. Still, it was definitely Zoë. ‘Better approach this with tact’, he thought to himself, before broaching the topic aloud. “What the hell are you wearing, Zoë?”

She turned, eyebrow raised, and spoke tersely. “A dress. Sir.”

“You always wear pants. Why aren’t you wearing pants?”

“Don’t fit.”

“Neither does that, Zo.”

“No, Sir. But at least I can breathe now.”

“Zo, I’m serious. Has anyone else seen you in that yet?”

“Passed Jayne on my way here. Mentioned somethin’ about slink.”

Mal smacked his hand on his forehead, and swore a little. “That’s cause you look like you’re wearin’ a night slip, Zoë. Want to borrow some of my things ‘til we hit dirt?” His hands went to his belt buckle immediately. Zoë’s eyes followed his hands, before returning to the captain’s face.

“Sir, you’re not suggesting that we swap clothes on the bridge, are ya?” She paused, eyes full of mirth. “Must a’ been something else you came up here for, Sir,” she reminded him.

“Huh? Ta ma de. Yes. Inara.”

“The talk in the shuttle?”

“Yes, wo de ma, the talk in the shuttle. Sit down Zoë.” She sat in the pilot’s chair. She would have been amused, but the topic had clearly flustered the captain. She didn’t like that.

“Sir?”

He flopped into the co-pilot’s chair. He cut to the chase. “A lawyer on Persephone, apparently representing Durran Haymer, has approached Inara to broker a deal with me for the Lassiter. She’s ascertained that the contact really is who he says he is, and she’s certain that Haymer really is the – buyer – if we can even use that word.”

“Sir… How’d they know to approach Inara?”

“Disturbing, ain’t it? That was all ‘Nara knows.”

“Sir… it’s gotta be Saffron’s doin’.”

“No. We are not getting dragged into anything more with that woman!”

“Sir, it’s gotta be. She would have to have been picked up by the authorities. Why wouldn’t she have given us away? And she knows who Inara is.” Mal swore loudly, a long string of Chinese. Zoë just pretended indignant maternal shock and pantomimed covering the unborn baby’s ears. Mal saw the gesture and stared.

“Ya’ll right, Zoë?”

“Just missin’ him a little more today, Sir. He’d a loved seein’ me in this dress.” She smiled. “And he’d a loved seein’ your face, Sir, seein’ me in this dress.”

Mal smiled too. “I think he would at that, Zoë.” He looked out at the black for a bit, until Zoë spoke again.

“We can’t ignore it, Sir. What ever reason he’s got, he’s approach Inara and not the Feds.”

“We don’t know that Zoë.”

“Ok. We don’t know that for certain. Why don’t we ask Inara to contact Haymer directly, Sir?”

“’Cause I don’t want ‘Nara involved, Zo.”

“Already is, Sir. No changing that now.”

“Ai ya. I know.”

“Want me to talk to Inara, Sir?”

“No! I want you to find some pants, Zoë. I’ll go talk to ‘Nara.” He rose.

She turned. “Yes, Sir.” She paused. “Sir?”

“Yeah, Zo?”

“Would you bring me up a couple pairs a Wash’s cargo pants from my bunk?”

“If that’s what it takes to get you outta that dress.”

“Sir?”

“And into some pants, Zoë. Not, you know, generally.”

“Yes, Sir. I’ll likely be in my dorm when you get back, Sir.”

He walked off. A moment later, he popped back in. “Wan’ a try my dress on for size?”

Zoë – barely – kept her face straight. “No, Sir. A little frou-frou for me. Wash’s pants will be fine. Thank you, Sir.” Mal walked off again. Zoë listened until his footsteps trailed away, and then allowed herself the luxury of a laugh. Maybe Wash’s old chair worked as a kind of talisman for her. She patted the console and the back of the chair gently before making her way to her room.

*** *** *** Chapters 14-15 *** *** ***

COMMENTS

Thursday, December 28, 2006 12:41 PM

GIRLFAN


I probably should have waited and posted 12 and 13 together.

My apologies to anyone that this confuses or annoys.

Thank you for reading, rating and commenting - I hope you continue to do so (and continue to enjoy).

Thursday, December 28, 2006 1:14 PM

MANICGIRAFFE


> ‘Better approach this with tact’, he thought to himself, before broaching the topic aloud. “What the hell are you wearing, Zoë?”

OK, that one made me snort popcorn out my mouth. Definitely a moment of tact from our stalwart captain.

River's sudden hands-off policy threw me a mite. Up 'til now, all she did was meddle: telling Simon what to do, or purposefully make Kaylee think Simon was punishing her. Is this more of a "OK, dumbasses, I got you talking. It's your show from here" type of thing? Although it certainly stands to reason that Kaylee would at least secretly hope River would work on her behalf.

I do like her advice to Simon, though. It took me several parsings in my head to get it, but I think it's what he needed to hear.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:20 PM

AVALONSMOMMY


A moment later, he popped back in. “Wan’ a try my dress on for size?”

I love that crack! That is purely Malcolm Reynolds! Love it as always!

Friday, December 29, 2006 11:29 AM

TAMSIBLING


Your Zoe/Mal interaction was absolutely perfect. I loved it!

Mal's whole reaction to the dress and the like was dead on.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 11:14 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Mal/Zoe moment on the bridge: brilliant piece of BFF-style dialogue between those two. Especially Mal's last line:D

River's remarks to Simon and Kaylee: gotta agree with ManicGiraffe in that the turnaround seems rather sudden and without even somewhat obvious reasoning. Still...River was at her cryptic best here;)

BEB


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