BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GIRLFAN

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Sixteen
Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Short bridging piece to set up the coming action. Canon pairings. This chapter is rated PG, just in case.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1454    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

Even Roses Have Thorns

Chapter Sixteen: Ventis secundis, tenete cursum (the winds being favorable, hold the course)

*** *** *** Chapters 1-10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapters 14-15 *** *** ***

“Don’t much like this, ‘Nara.” The Captain didn’t bother to hide his annoyance.

The Companion answered with a shrug. “There isn’t anything I can do except relay information between the two of you.”

“He could just talk to me.”

“Like a man?” Inara’s voice wasn’t low enough to mimic a man’s well, but Mal took the hint.

“We talked before.” The voice came half-heartedly half defensive.

“When you were stealing his priceless antique!”

“Alright. That might dampen a man’s mood.”

“It might.”

“So what’s he saying now?”

“Three-quarters of a million, into your hand. You just have show up at his estate and make the exchange. You don’t even have to go. He’s willing to accept me as an alternate. He might even prefer it.”

“His estate’s on Belleraphon. It’s well guarded. This could be a trap, ‘Nara.”

“It could be. In which case, he – or the Alliance – will just keep coming after us. Anyway, I don’t think it is - at least not on Haymer’s part. I’m willing to go alone.”

“I’m not willin’ to let you!”

“I know.” She sighed.

“Why are you so sure?”

Inara decided to skip the reminder of her years of training, and go straight to the heart of the matter. “He says that he can’t – won’t go elsewhere because he won’t leave his wife. His sick wife.” Inara threw Mal a mock-significant glance.

“That woman will torment me to the end of my days!”

“Well, that is a traditional consequence of ‘til death do us part’.”

***

“Why, do ya think, it’s just Zoë?” Kaylee posed her question thoughtfully, curled tight next to Simon in his bed.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Kaylee.” Simon absentmindedly stroked her hair, but moved his hand when she turned to face him.

“I mean the Captain’s always Cap’n, or Sir, or I guess, Sarge, sometimes like with Tracey, but Zoë’s always just Zoë. Cap’n introduces Jayne as Jayne Cobb, but Zoë’s always just… Zoë. Even with Tracey. Called the Cap’n Sarge, Cap’n called him Tracey, Zoë called him Private, but he called Zoë… Zoë. Not corporal. What do ya think that’s about?”

Simon thought about it. “I don’t know, bao bei. Maybe it’s cause the Captain is more used to thinking of Zoë as Zoë Allenye rather than Washburn – it might just feel odd to use her married name.”

“Don’t explain why Tracey called her Zoë. Didn’t even know she was married.”

“That is kind of odd. Maybe it’s just one of those Mal-Zoë things.”

“I guess.” Kaylee ran her hand across Simon’s chest. “I think we should do some Simon-Kaylee things.”

“Like what?” Simon hid his slight wariness behind a warm smile.

“’Nara mentioned that there’s a play in the Skyplex off a Belleraphon. Doing a run a ‘classical fairy tales’”.

“I like classical fairy tales.”

“I know. They’re doing Cinderella, the day we’ll be there. Wanna go? It’s my favourite.”

“I am not surprised.”

“Why?” Her smile hadn’t faded but her eyes were going suspicious, like they did whenever she thought he might be making fun of her.

He pressed his finger to her forehead and spoke, “You are hard working,” to her her lips “loving,” to her heart “forgiving,” placed his hands on her hips “and like big full gowns.”

She giggled. Simon liked that sound more than he could bear admitting to himself. He spoke again, quietly, seriously. “I should warn you, I’m no prince charming.”

“That’s okay,” Kaylee said softly. “Don’t need glass slippers ta ‘take in’ a play.”

Simon kissed her softly on the cheek to hide the sadness in his eyes. “Sounds good.” He knew that they were trying too hard, but he didn’t trust either of them enough with each other’s hearts to let his guard down. ***

“But Cap’n, I already bought the tickets!” Kaylee’s voice was disappointed.

“Kaylee, I don’t think it’s safe.”

“’Nara thinks it is.”

Mal took a leaf from Zoë’s book. He was not doing to get mad. Just this once. It wouldn’t help. “I know. I don’t agree, Mei-mei, and it’s my job to protect my crew.”

“I really want to go. We haven’t done anything in ages.” It was the sadness in her voice, the absence of anger, that really pulled at Mal’s heartstrings. Like they’d all let her down, and she knew her sunshine little girl magic didn’t work so well on them anymore.

“Kaylee, it might be a trap. The Lassiter ain’t a wobbly-headed geisha doll.”

“We don’t have to set foot on Belleraphon. You can drop us going in, and pick us up on the way out.” She wasn’t even looking at him anymore. She was just staring at her toes. Mal knew what it was like to gaze down at his boot as if they were the most interesting thing in the whole gorram ‘verse. He didn’t want Kaylee feeling like that.

“Not happenin’ Kaylee.”

The girl just gave up and nodded. She promised herself that she wouldn’t cry until she got back to her bunk. It was a waste of good coin. She’d know better – known to ask before buying them. She just really, really wanted to go. “Yes Cap’n. I better get back ta work.”

“No, Kaylee, that’s not what I meant. You want to go see this play, you can, but you gotta be sensible about it. You and Simon take the shuttle. You think you’re up to flying it?”

“Yea! Zoë and River showed us lots. ‘Nara’s been teaching me too.”

“Ok. You take the shuttle, and be careful. Neither of you are to drink anything. Have any problems with the shuttle, ‘fess up and I’ll have Zoë or ‘Nara come and fly it back. Dong ma?”

“Yes, Cap’n. Xei-Xei!” Her face had exploded into happy light.

“Ok. Take a comm and stay in touch with Zoë and River on Serenity.” He gave her a little smile. “Go ask ‘Nara if she’ll run through the atmo sequences with you again, and I’ll get Zoë to show Simon in the other shuttle, just to make sure.”

If he were honest, he would have to admit that he was almost completely certain that it would be safe, and it was so unfair to deny her such a little treat, over some niggling worries, wasn’t it? The non-com in him knew better, but he’d never had to deal with such a cheerful soldier before.

*** *** *** Chapter 17 *** *** ***

COMMENTS

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 5:32 AM

GIRLFAN


Thank you to all readers, and especially to those who have left such positive and helpful comments.

Just a piece of shortish somewhat fluff, before the angst storm. Yes, I will be giving in to my baser urges (and those of MG and Leiasky) and [...] Simon.

I hope you continue to read and enjoy.

And comment.

But only if you enjoy.

So, I guess that's me saying, enjoying it, gorramit, and then comment.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 6:45 AM

MANICGIRAFFE


Is it OK that I hereby apologize to Simon in advance? I know it's mean, but it usually works.

Mal thinks it's a trap, knows Saffron's in on it, and Inara could do it instead - and he still wants to go. I think I'm seeing a reason why it never "goes smooth"...

I never thought of the whole "why is Zoe 'Zoe'" thing - do you have an explanation, or is Kaylee simply musing to keep the conversation going?

And for Simon: if you're so sad and worried that Kaylee's getting the wrong idea here - stop letting her into bed! It only encourages you both to gloss over the problem and pretend. Can I go back and vote for the "Jayne holding them at gunpoint" thing again?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 7:40 AM

UNCOMPREHENDING


I love your ending!
Please, sir, I'd like some more.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 9:18 AM

GIRLFAN


"And for Simon: if you're so sad and worried that Kaylee's getting the wrong idea here - stop letting her into bed! It only encourages you both to gloss over the problem and pretend. Can I go back and vote for the "Jayne holding them at gunpoint" thing again?"

Simon doesn't know that's an option. If he did, he might perfer it. (Especially if he knew what the alternative in store for him is).

Plus Jayne would never hold a gun on Kaylee! She might cry. He could hold a gun on Simon, but that never seems to work well, and might end up with him going on a one way out the airlock.

Thursday, January 4, 2007 8:12 PM

TAMSIBLING


Very interesting build ... of course, Simon and Kaylee taking in a show is not going to go well - but then again, if it did, this wouldn't be Firefly!

I too am concerned about Simon and Kaylee's relationship. The hopeless romantic in me really wants to see them work through it, instead of hiding it, so they can be together for the long run. At this rate, they are simply setting themselves up for a crash and burn disaster.

Friday, January 5, 2007 6:54 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh boy...neither scenario is filling me full of warm and fuzzy feelings. I get the feeling that: a) Saffron's played Durran once again with his offer to buy back the Lassiter; and b) that even if Simon and Kaylee's attendance of the play is safe...there's gonna be some conflict:(

BEB


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