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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Angst is afoot: The job goes right, but the date goes wrong. Jayne offers some words of comfort. Canon pairings. This chapter is rated PG13, for adult themes. Positive feedback perfered.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1170 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Even Roses Have Thorns
Chapter Seventeen: Hinc illae lacrimae (hence these tears)
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Chapters 1-10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapters 14-15, Chapter 16
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“Simon Tam, you are the most insufferable man!” He’d seen the horror cross her face almost as quickly as she’d said. Not, of course, because of what she’d said – she’d said harsher things – but because of where she’d said it, and the volume at which she’d said it. That was her first mistake.
It was her second mistake that had been fatal. When the older gentleman approached what he’d rightly assumed was a lover’s tiff, it was probably just to make sure the offending young man knew better than to harm a lady. Kaylee had recognised him, and it unnerved her: the man looked like a story-book old sheriff; there wasn’t one on the Skyplex, but that only made things worse. She knew that he was most likely a retired Alliance officer. So, to diffuse the situation, to get him to go away quickly, Kaylee stepped up to the plate to let him know what he thought was happening wasn’t – “Oh, no, Sir. It’s nothing like that. I’m his sister.”
Simon didn’t miss the penny drop in the man’s eyes before he nodded and walked away, appearing satisfied. Apparently, Kaylee hadn’t either. “God, Simon, he’s gone to get the Feds. We gotta run.” She hastily whispered, pushing her chair back.
“No. You walk out of here, nice and quiet. Call Zoë, tell her what’s happened. Get to the shuttle. If I’m not right behind you, get back to Serenity. I’ll stay a minute, pay the bill, then leave. Go now. Like everything’s ok. Go.”
“Simon, I can’t leave ya!”
“At least one of us has to make it back to Serenity. Go. They’ll follow me. They’ll try to follow you, but they’ll be looking for the wrong girl.”
Kaylee still hesitated. Simon, silently cursing her delays, suddenly understood how Mal felt when what he needed was trust and timely obedience, and he was only getting arguments and questions. He didn’t let it show. He knew her delays meant only that it was more likely that this would be the last time he would ever speak to her. “Nice and quiet. Please, Kaylee. Go now.”
Finally, she nodded. She stood, and made her way to the door. Simon waited until she’d left before walking up to the register to pay his bill. As the cashier rang up the total, Simon said many prayers and made many cosmic promises. ‘Please let her make it back to the ship.’ ‘I’ll never question the Captain’s orders again if you just let her make it back to the ship.’ ‘If we make it back safe, I’ll never leave the ship unless it’s absolutely necessary.’ ‘Oh, my god, would you hurry up? Please make this guy hurry up.’
Simon was more than ready with his wallet when the cashier announced the amount, but it was too late. Feds burst into the little diner through every door. “Simon and River Tam, you are hereby bound by law!” Wallet still in his grasp, Simon raised both hands. He thought silently, as his wrist were roughly bound, ‘River, if you can hear this, please don’t do anything stupid, and don’t let Zoë risk the baby. I’ve been caught by the Feds. I think Kaylee’s gotten away, she should be on her way back to you.’
River didn’t need her brother’s warning, but it came through loud and clear, while she was already reaching for the comm. “Zoë, we’ve got trouble! Simon’s been snatched.” She tried to keep her voice calm, but Simon’s fear, though he tried to push it down, reached her, and she choked on it, like acrid smoke.
Zoë was already heading for the bridge. “I’ve got Kaylee on the comm. She’s heading for the shuttle, and then she’s heading toward us. Get Inara on the line. Where are they?”
“They’re on their way back.”
“Dammit, Zoë, the job was supposed to be the hard part!” Mal was still ducking out of the shuttle when he’d started yelling.
“Kaylee back yet?”
“What’s taking her?”
Zoë gave him an impassive look. “Sir. She’s flying the shuttle for the first time. She’s never actually docked with a ship before. Her lover has just been snatched by his worst nightmare. You want to yell, go ahead, Sir. Get it out of your system. Then get up to the bridge and talk her through the docking sequence.”
“Not the voice she wants to hear right now, Captain.”
“Okay.” Mal took a deep breath and walked quickly toward the bridge.
Inara waited another moment before she stepped out. She knew that her presence – any other presence – would disturb the Mal-Zoë dynamic. So she waited until Zoë looked directly at her. Inara spoke as she stepped forward. “Poor Kaylee.”
Zoë nodded. “Poor Simon, poor River, poor Mal. Got it out of your system?”
“Good. Go back in there and see if you can figure out where they’ll take Simon.” Inara nodded and moved to obey. Mal might sometimes disagree, but there were moments – and matters – where Inara absolutely was crew.
Zoë heard the second shuttle docking and made her way over to it. They might all have a right to fall to pieces, but the only person Zoë was willing to let do it now was Kaylee, and the girl all but fell out of the shuttle.
“Oh, God, Zoë, they must a took him. He said he’d be right behind me, or I was to take off.” She was still crying and shaking. “I should a’ waited longer. What if he was comin’?” Kaylee’s words, as her thoughts, were tumbling about, and Zoë didn’t bother to try to answer them.
“We’re going to get him back, Kaylee. Captain’s on the bridge right now.”
The girl was still shaking. Zoë laid a steadying hand on Kaylee’s shoulder. Kaylee spoke again, weakly, “We got a plan?”
“Captain will do, soon.” She studied the girl another moment. “Go throw some water on your face and get to the engine room. Ya might be needed.” Kaylee nodded and Zoë went back to the bridge.
There, she found Mal alone, in the co-pilot’s chair. He felt, rather than heard, her approach. “Relieved River. Got up here, she was crying as hard as Kaylee. Sent her to lie down.”
Zoë stood behind the pilot’s chair. “Yes, Sir.”
“She’s plenty shook up, but focused on the plan, Sir.”
Mal nodded and was quiet for a bit, before he spoke again. “This is my fault, Zoë. I knew something would go wrong. Honestly thought it would be the job. Shoulda known that boy’d be recognised.”
“Sir, we weren’t even sure if he was still wanted.”
“It was too much just to hope for.”
“Sir, the job go smooth?”
“Yea. Put the money in my hand. A little pissed about having to pay for his own stuff, but not too much. Glad to have his wife back. Knew we didn’t do it for him, but grateful for it all the same.”
“Not married anymore?”
“Never was. Haymer’s lawyer assured him that – Yolanda – being married to him, couldn’t contract any further legal marriages.”
“She married him first?”
“I don’t know. That one’s Haymer’s problem, and I’d say he’s more than capable of taking care of it. Coin’s good for that.”
“Yes, Sir. Might even help a little with our current predicament.”
“Well, I’m sanguine.”
Jayne found Kaylee in the engine room later. She was done crying by the look of it, just staring sadly at the ceiling from her hammock. “Did the right thing, Kaylee. Both of ya.”
“Shoulda stayed with him.”
“Shouldn’ta run. What was I thinkin’? Just like with Early, letting my fear rule me.”
Jayne’s voice was low, and uncharacteristically gentle. “Kaylee, you ain’t a coward. Doc ain’t a coward. But he’ll be a lot braver if he ain’t watchin’ ‘em cut on you. Your running lets him be brave.”
“It was my fault, Jayne.”
“It were.” She dragged herself out of her hammock to face him. “I yelled at him. Called him by his name.” Jayne winced. It was a mistake he’d made often enough. ‘Every heist he’s gotta start yellin’ my name.’ But he listened as Kaylee continued. “Some old Fed over heard and thought he was hassling me. Don’t think he even recognised the name straight away. So I told him everythin’ was fine, and… and that I was his sister. Guess that was the magic word for him. Name and crime, right there. I turned him in, Jayne.” That was an uncomfortable topic of conversation for Jayne, though Kaylee didn’t know. “They’re gonna beat on him, and cut him up, and it’s my fault.”
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Thursday, January 4, 2007 6:03 AM
Thursday, January 4, 2007 7:33 AM
Thursday, January 4, 2007 8:34 PM
Friday, January 5, 2007 1:27 AM
Saturday, January 6, 2007 8:16 PM
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