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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Unexpected complications arise after the crew of Serenity land on a war torn planet. Cannon pairings.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1315 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Chapter 3 can be found Here and has been edited a fair amount so you might want to go back and re-read before going on to the next chapter.
Thanks to Tamsibling and Mal4Prez for the beta.
Inara rounded the corner and stepped into the make-shift infirmary; slightly taken aback to find Mal looking at her sharply. “When’d you get back?” he demanded. “Kaylee ain’t –“
“No, she’s still sleeping. I took the mule back - I wanted to be of some assistance.” She looked around the room, saw River dozing in a corner with Madeline, and noticed Simon was nowhere in sight. “But it seems like everyone has been taken care of for now.”
“Yeah, I made Simon go lay down before he fell over.”
“He’s very dedicated to his work,” Inara agreed, looking at the bandaged patients lying all around the room.
“Ain’t never been a fault.”
“Then why are you so mad at him?”
Mal’s eyes narrowed and he shot her a blank look, but Inara wasn’t going to let him off so easy.
“Oh, don’t play this game with me, Malcolm Reynolds. Tell me the truth for once.”
He huffed in annoyance and looked away, as if he was trying to find something he needed to do right at that moment.
Her voice dropped a bit of its edge. “Mal?”
The captain sighed and glanced at her. “He’s dedicated to his work, ya just said. So how is it he can’t keep from knockin’ up my mechanic?”
Inara pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders as the early morning breeze cast a bit of a chill.
“You cannot possibly be so upset with him because he –“ She trailed off, noticing something, some masked look that he quickly hid. “You’re jealous.”
Mal snorted. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
The retort came far too quick for her to believe and Inara regarded him thoughtfully. Had she finally hit on the reason he was so upset with Simon? “Do you, the great Malcolm Reynolds, incapable of keeping the honorable attentions of a woman for more than a day, actually want what Simon and Kaylee have?”
“An illegitimate kid on a boat filled with criminals and fugitives?” Mal shot back, his temper clearly rising.
“They’re happy, Mal. Give them that.”
“A kid on my boat ain’t somethin’ –“ His voice trailed off and he stared at her like he was taken aback – he must have finally processed everything she’d just said. “An’ what are you talkin’ about ‘unable to keep the attentions of a woman?!’” he asked. Inara grinned smugly until he drew himself into her personal space. “You keep comin’ back, don’t ya?”
Inara felt her smile fade and she narrowed her eyes. She didn’t want to have this discussion right now. It would be on her own terms – of ever. “Yes. Clearly I need my head examined when Simon isn’t so preoccupied with his other duties.” She turned but Mal’s hand wrapping around her wrist delayed her escape.
She lifted her eyes to his, momentary taken aback by the tenderness she thought she saw in his gaze. But as she wasn’t ready to give him the satisfaction of victory; she replied with a curt, “I’ve got things to do, Mal. Kindly let me go.”
Their battle of wills was interrupted by a patient moaning for attention. Mal dropped his hand and Inara turned quickly, relieved for the momentary break from the captain’s unwavering gaze.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Kaylee woke suddenly, as had been usual in the last month or so, to her baby doing somersaults against her bladder. With a groan, she squeezed her eyes shut and pulled Simon’s pillow against her chest, wrapping her arms around it as if he were lying beside her.
But after a few moments, she couldn’t delay the inevitable, and she stood and hurried to the bathroom. When she’d finished, she decided to check on her girl, make sure everything was all right. Even though Serenity wasn’t in the air, she wanted to see that everything would be right and shiny when it was time to lift off again. Besides, tinkering always made her feel better.
Kaylee felt a small pang of longing as the baby kicked again, and she grinned at her belly. “You’re gonna be just like your aunt, ain’t ya? Gonna drive your daddy crazy.” Her expression turned thoughtful as she whispered, “Gonna be the best dancer the ‘verse has ever seen.”
As if in answer, the baby kicked so hard that Kaylee had to balance herself against the bulkhead and take a few long, deep breaths before continuing toward the engine room. “Ai ya, baby. Don’t knock me over. Ain’t time to meet ya yet.”
She made a few quick checks and then decided that she’d feel better if she ran a full diagnostic from the bridge, so she made her way up the steps. She was panting a bit by the time she sank into the pilot’s chair, and she closed her eyes for a moment of rest.
Sadness, as it often did, crept up on her at the oddest moments. Kaylee rubbed her belly lovingly as she remembered the various times she’d come to the bridge and overheard Wash and Zoe talking – sometimes about children, sometimes about another favorite pasttime of hers – and one that had gotten her into this pregnant predicament in the first place.
Kaylee relaxed and let the memories take her back to a much more simpler– well, for her – time.
“Ain’t gonna argue with you about this.” The annoyance in Zoe’s voice was palpable and Kaylee stopped her ascent to the bridge.
“Sweetcakes, I just don’t think now is the right time.”
“And when will it be the right time?”
Kaylee could hear the exasperation in Wash’s voice as he answered, “When we aren’t getting shot at every other day?”
That dream faded and another one took its place; this one far more painful, full of heartache and fear.
Kaylee walked around as if in a daze, disbelief etched into her cherubic face. It was destroyed. All of it. Bodies littered the ground, half charred corpses and men who’d had no time to even arm themselves.
The people of Haven hadn’t stood a chance; they’d had nothing with which to defend themselves from the attack. Where was the Shepherd? She couldn’t see him. Smoke plumed high into the air, clouding her vision.
She fell to her knees as she found the lifeless body of a boy she’d come to know well over the last few months. He would smile and play with her, run to her whenever they visited. And now he was dead. They were all dead.
Unconsciously, Kaylee rubbed her own swelling stomach, silently praying that one day she would not come home to find the body of her child lying face down in the sand.
An instant beeping drew Kaylee from her dreams and her eyes popped open when she recognized the sound.
“Proximity alert?” Kaylee’s eyes narrowed as she leaned forward, as best as her pregnant belly would allow, and flipped a few switches. “There ain’t no ships –“ Her voice trailed off as her eyes widened and her heart beat doubled.
She quickly flipped on the comm, praying that someone was awake to hear it.
“Simon? Cap’n? Jayne? Anyone?” She called into it as she sat frozen, watching the large ship loom closer and closer to their position. It was so large it blocked out the moon, and Kaylee felt a cold foreboding in the pit of her stomach as it inched closer. “Someone please answer!”
“What is it, lil’ Kaylee?” Mal’s exasperated, tired voice came across the comm and Kaylee breathed a sign of relief.
“Am up on the bridge – the prox – “she could barely push out the words, her brain working much faster than her mouth could process and spit out. “Alliance ship coming in fast, cap’n! Gotta get outta there!”
Kaylee could hear him scrambling around and she held her fingers over the controls that would bring Serenity to life. When he gave the order, she breathed a huge sigh of relief and flipped the switches, the ship shuddering beneath her feet as the engine came online.
A chill swept up her arms and through her body as her eyes darted from the screens at her fingertips, out the large window. She clutched her stomach as the baby kicked and briefly closed her eyes against the sudden pain.
“We’ll be okay, baby,” she rubbed her stomach soothingly, trying to get the life within to settle so she could continue her work. “I promise.”
“Up, Simon!” Mal kicked Simon awake and the younger man pushed himself to his feet immediately. “Get your sister and get back to the ship ma-shong!”
Simon blinked rapidly to get the sleep out of his eyes. “What? What’s going on?”
“Alliance, closing in fast. We need to get out a here! Go!” Mal pushed Simon in the direction of the make-shift infirmary and the younger man darted towards it, his eyes wide with fear.
Mal clicked on the comm. “Jayne, Zoe, come in?”
“Here, Sir,” Zoe said from behind him, holding her comm.
Mal nodded, appreciating that she was still nearby, and all but screamed into the unit in his hand when his mercenary didn’t answer immediately. “Jayne!”
“Heard ya, Mal, we’re on the way!” Jayne sounded out of breath and Mal shook his head.
“We?” If that man was in the middle of getting himself some trim, they were going to have words.
“Yeah, Aaron an’ me. Saw the ship. We’re comin’.”
Mal briefly closed his eyes, remembering his previous thought. It would be funny if the Alliance weren’t closing in on them. If they got out of this alive, Mal would be certain to mention it. Even just to rile Jayne. “Head for Serenity. We’ll take the mule an’ meet you there.”
He flipped off the comm and turned to his first mate. “Zoe, get the mule, I’ll fetch Simon an’ River.”
“Already on the ship.” Mal hurried to Simon’s makeshift clinic and darted inside, eyes frantically searching the dark space.
Simon appeared out of the shadows with River, carrying his medical bag. “Captain, we can’t leave all these people –“
Mal wanted to hear none of it. They didn’t have time. “We stay, we’re dead. Now get to the mule.”
“You didn’t want to come in the first place, now all you want to do is stay?” Simon had no answer for that so Mal pushed him out of the room. River followed, looking sadly around at the injured they would have to leave behind.
Inara appeared like a ghost out of the darkness, brows knitted together in confusion. “Mal, what’s –“
He didn’t waste time, simply wrapped his fingers around her arm and dragged her along with him. Words would be wasted at the moment, considering how they’d parted last. He didn’t have time to argue with her.
Just as they reached the mule, little Madeline came running after them. “Doctor Simon! Where are you going? Where’s my dad?”
Mal turned to lift River into the vehicle when she twisted out of his hands and reached for Madeline. “Come! Daddy is with us on our ship.”
“He is?” The little girl’s voice betrayed the awe that she’d be allowed to go where no one else from the camp had been able to go – the doctor’s ship.
Mal scowled at that - he didn’t need more passengers, and certainly not one so young. “River –“
The pilot turned narrowed eyes at her captain and Mal found himself swallowing thickly. The girl wouldn’t turn on him, but the look in her eyes showed him exactly what she felt about the thoughts he should have kept quiet – or not had at all. She wouldn’t leave the little girl behind, not when her father was with a member of Serenity’s crew.
“I’m going with you?” Madeline’s big hazel eyes widened as she reached toward Simon.
“Simon –“ River turned away from Mal, ignoring his defeated look, as she helped the younger girl into the mule. Inara was already there, grasping the girl’s hand and pulling her quickly into the seat. “Come on, Simon. Don’t want to be late.”
Simon turned around at the people running toward them wanting to be taken to their ship. “All of these people –“
Mal took one look at the people advancing quickly upon their position and leaned over the side of the mule. “Get in now, Simon, or we’re leavin’ you behind!”
“Can’t go without Doctor Simon!” Madeline squealed and reached a small hand out in hopes he would take it.
Simon pursed his lips and pulled himself into the vehicle, frowning as Zoe kicked the gears before he had a chance to actually sit and strap himself in. Madeline pulled away from River and pressed herself against Simon’s side as they sped back to the ship as fast as the vehicle could go, which wasn’t all that fast. They’d crammed it full of six passengers, and the overworked engine whined as it worked to carry the load.
River’s soft voice intruded on Mal’s thoughts and he turned to her with a questioning look. “It’s a good thing Madeline and I only count as one,” she said.
Mal glanced at the little girl wrapped around Simon. He’d given in when he’d taken her along, something he wouldn’t have done if the events on Lilac weren’t resonating in his gut. That – and he liked the girl. Reminded him of someone he once knew on Shadow – or something he could one day have of his own.
Still, helpless regret flitted through his thoughts as the mule sped away from the people crying out for help behind them.
Madeline cluing to Simon and asked, “What’s happening?”
Simon exhaled deeply, the little girl’s big, curious eyes reminding him of River at that age. “I’m not quite sure, little one.” He brushed his hand through her long, dark hair and then looked straight ahead, at the lights from Serenity looming on the horizon. “I’m not quite sure.”
Ma-shong – Now!
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