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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
This is the fifth and final story in the William Alexander Chronicles I've been writing. This is not to say that there won't be more stories involving William and the crew, but this arc has come to a close. I hope you like it.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 739 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
For the last few days the Alexander estate had been a storm of activity with preparations for the wedding. Currently, Kaylee was in town with Inara and River getting fitted for dresses, so the men were left getting the house in order.
“You ready for the big day?” William asked Simon as they were setting the benches in place in the yard.
“I’m a bit nervous, but I couldn’t be happier.”
“Food better be good, that’s all I care about.” Jayne said as he came up to help.
“Nice to see you have your priorities, Jayne.” William joked. “And the food’s all being prepared by Kara, so it’ll be more than adequate for you.”
“Where’s she gotten off to anyway?” Jayne scanned the horizon. “I ain’t got to spend more’n a minute with her since we arrived.”
“She and Rya went to Amesbury to pick up Rya’s mother.” William and Simon finished placing the final bench. “She’s hoping to be back tonight sometime. By the way,” William added, “where’s Mal?”
“In town with Geoffrey, getting the food for the party.” Simon said as they made their way back the house. “They should be back within the hour.”
“Well then,” William said, opening the door, “other than our fittings tomorrow, we’re all but done.”
The three of them all took a few minutes to relax in the sitting room, Jayne pouring himself a drink. Things were going well, which worried William. He was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Things had settled down some now that most of the preparations were complete. William took the break in excitement to walk the grounds. The sun was just setting over the hills, and the strong scents of summer permeated the air.
He came to the stables and let himself in. The horses were intrigued by the presence of someone else, but soon lost interest. William walked up to the nearest horse and ran his hand through it’s main. The horse whinnied in approval and nuzzled up against William’s chest. He decided then that he’d go for a ride.
While he was securing the saddle on the horse, whom William came to know was named Shadow; his attention was pulled away by a voice at the door.
“There you are.” River said smiling. She came up and kissed William lightly. “Dinner’s just about ready.” She looked at the horse.
“Tell Kara to put some aside for me.” William kicked himself up onto the saddle. “Then again,” he smiled down at River, extending his hand, “you’re free to join me if you like.”
River smiled back, and, taking his hand, pulled herself easily into position behind him. “I’d love to.”
As they were heading out, Jayne came onto the porch, Kara close behind him. He noticed the horse before it disappeared into the night. “Where d’ya think they’re goin’?”
Kara came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. “It’s awfully crowded in the house, hon.” She smiled, kissing his neck playfully. “They probably went off to be alone.” She squeezed him lightly and turned to go back in the house. “Come on, we’ll put some food aside for ‘em.”
By the time William and River returned, most of the windows in the house were dark. He stopped at the front door and helped her dismount. “Go on inside, I’ll be right in.” She smiled and walked inside.
He returned Shadow to his stall and made sure to put some food and water out for him. He and River hadn’t ridden Shadow hard, but William wanted to make sure he was taken care of.
He came up to the back porch and was surprised to see Inara sitting outside alone. He approached her and bowed slightly. “Evening Inara.”
She looked up at him if only just noticing he’d arrived. “Oh, William, I didn’t see you.”
It was apparent to William that she had something serious on her mind. William sat down next to her. “Everything alright, Inara, you seem …” William struggled for a word, “… distant.”
She looked up at him, and then shook her head dismissively. “It’s nothing, really. Just thinking.” She smiled. “So how was your evening?”
William leaned back in his seat. “Peaceful.” He rubbed the back of his head. “I took River to a place in the hills my father took me as a child. With all the activity these past few days, I just wanted some time to relax.”
“I can understand that.” Inara agreed. “Even with all we’ve done there’s still so much to do.”
“But it’ll all be worth it.”
Inara smiled. “I’m so happy for Kaylee. Knowing the good Doctor, I’m surprised this day ever came.”
“What about you, Inara?” William looked at her. “You see wedding bells in your future?”
“My profession doesn’t exactly accommodate for marriage William.” She said dismissively.
“So quit.” William said, matter of fact.
“I can’t just quit, William. It’s my life.” A cool breeze blew over them, and Inara pulled her shawl around her. “There’d have to be a reason, a good one, for me to throw it away.”
“What if Mal asked you to?” William pressed.
“He never would.” She countered.
“Stranger things have happened, Inara.” William leaned forward. “Seriously though, what if?”
Inara shook her head. “I honestly don’t know.”
The two of them sat there in silence for a few moments. William finally decided to break it. “Well, I’ll leave you to your thoughts. But,” he leaned in closer to her; “I’d like your help with something tomorrow morning, if you’d be so kind.”
Inara was curious. “Of course, William. What is it you need?”
William told her what he had in mind and she smiled.
It was about an hour after sunrise, and William and Inara were in town at the general store. Riverside was a small enough community that the general store wasn’t just a store; it was the bank and blacksmith as well.
They had left the house before any of the others, save Kara, had even stirred. Even in this early hour, there were a few patrons other than them in the store; a mother and her young daughter, a well-dressed gentleman, and Mitchell, who owned the local tavern.
“Now, you’re sure about this?” William asked Inara. “This was an appropriate choice?”
She smiled, waving her hand dismissively. “It’s perfect Will. Don’t worry so much.”
“This is the kind of thing to worry about Inara.” Hank, the store’s owner came back to the counter with a wrapped package. “I screw this up and it’s all over.”
When he turned, Hank handed him the package. “There you go Mister Alexander.”
“Thanks, Hank.” William tucked the package into his piocket. “Give my best to the family.”
As William and Inara were heading towards the door, four men came in and fanned out. One man, presumably the leader, stepped forward. “Everybody on the ground now!” As if on queue, the other men all pulled weapons out from under their jackets and leveled them on William and the other patrons. “If you all do as we say, no one gets hurt.” The man looked at William. “You look like a hero type. You a hero boy?”
William glared at the man. “No sir.”
“Good.” The man pushed William to the ground. “Heroes get people killed.” The man pulled out his revolver and pointed it at Hank. “The vault, sir. Open it.”
As Hank led the leader and one of the others to the vault, William scanned the area. The woman was on the ground, her daughter had apparently gotten away from her right before the men came in. She was leaning against a case near William. Mitchell wasn’t in William’s line of sight, but William was sure he’d be alright. The well-dressed man was on the ground behind one of the robbers and was starting to rise.
William tried to get his attention, tried to get him to stop this course of action, but the man was on his feet before William could do anything. William began to react before his brain even processed what was going on. The next five seconds seemed to go by in slow motion. The well-dressed man grappled the nearest robber and pulled him to the ground. When he hit, his pistol fired, right at the little girl. William threw himself in front of the little girl and cried out in pain as the round grazed his arm.
A graze. William’s mind raced as he hit the ground hard on his back. A graze means that I didn’t stop the bullet. If I didn’t stop the bullet …
William’s thoughts were cut short as a weight fell against his chest. He sat up and cradled the little girl in his arms. She looked up at him, her small eyes filled with fear. He brushed some of her hair from her face. “Shhhh, it’ll all be over soon.” Inara kneeled next to him. The girl died in his arms.
The other robber pulled the well-dressed man off his partner and threw him against a wall. The man whimpered and stayed down. The men were in a panic; this was obviously not a part of the plan. Even at this hour, the gunshot would attract attention. The leader came out of the vault. “What in the Hell is goin’ on out here …” He trailed off as he saw William holding the girl. “Time to go gentleman.”
As they passed William and Inara, the leader bent down and grabbed Inara by the arm. “Just in case they come after us.” He said as he pulled her to her feet. William made a move for his pistol, but Inara shot him a look that stayed his hand. He nodded at her; he’d get the others and come after her.
The men left the building, and the mother of the young girl came running over, tears streaming down her face. She looked at William imploringly, but all William could do was shake his head. The woman began to sob loudly and took her daughter from William’s arms and into her own.
William stood up, almost in a daze, and walked over to the well-dressed man who had just pulled himself to his feet. With a right hook, William put him back on the ground. “You stupid son-of-a-bitch.”
The man stood, anger seething from him, and got right in William’s face. “What the Hell was that for?”
“Had to be a hero, didn’t you?” William grabbed him by the shirt and slammed him, hard, against the wall. “You killed that little girl.” The man looked at William, the anger softening and turning more to fear. “As sure as if you pulled the trigger yourself. She’s dead because you didn’t listen.”
William let go and the man slid down the wall, his eyes turning to the body of the little girl.
“Mitchell.” William called out, and the man came forward. “I need you to go to my father’s place, find a man named Malcolm Reynolds and tell him what happened. Tell him to meet me here.”
Mitchell nodded ascent and Hank came over. “I’ll fetch the Sheriff.”
“Do that.” William agreed, and then added. “Tell him get with port authority and land lock all ships within fifty miles. Anything with a pulse beacon.” Hank nodded and left.
William looked around him. Things had been going so well. It was amazing to him how quickly, and how completely, that had changed.
Mal and Jayne arrived within the hour. When they came into the store, William was talking with the Sheriff. William nodded to them, then turned his attention back to the Sheriff. When the Sheriff was done with him, William headed over to the others.
“What happened? You alright?” William noticed the concern in Mal’s face and voice. It took him a moment to realize he was still wearing his soiled shirt.
“I’m fine, the blood isn’t mine. Well, most of it anyway.” He grabbed a fresh shirt off one of the shelves. “I assume Mitchell told you what happened?”
Mal’s jaw set. “He did. Told me they took Inara.”
William looked down, unable to meet Mal’s eyes. It wasn’t his fault, but he still felt like he’d failed. “They did. There’s a tracker out trying to determine where they went.”
“Ain’t gonna do no good.” Jayne cut in. “Them guys that took her are probably half way to the next planet by now.”
“No,” William countered, “they’re still planet side. I had port authority land lock all ships within fifty miles. They ain’t flying unless the grew wings.”
Mal nodded, impressed. “That was quick thinkin’ Will.”
William walked towards the counter and threw some credits down on the counter to pay for the shirt, but Hank pushed it back. “Don’t worry about it Will, take whatever you need.”
William nodded his thanks, but Jayne ruined it by coming forward. “We’ll need weapons.”
William hit him in the arm. “Jayne, we’re not here to take advantage.”
“Advantage nothin’.” Jayne said, hitting William back. “If we’re going to rush out on a rescue mission, we’re going to need the guns to do it.”
“He’s right.” Mal came forward. “We’ll need a few things.”
Hank smiled. He turned and pulled down a tarp behind the counter. Behind it were racks filled with weapons of all kinds. Jayne smiled like a kid in a candy store. “After the war,” Hank started as he turned back to face them, “the Alliance had tried to establish a base here. After what they did to your father, there was no way we were having any of that. The Alliance decided it wasn’t worth the hassle, picked up and left.” He indicated the wall. “And they left some goodies behind. Help yourself.”
By the time William, Mal and Jayne were ready to head out, a mob had started to form outside the general store, and it was obvious to them that the crowd wanted blood.
“This could get ugly.” Mal said as he walked forward. “Listen up.” He called out over the din of the crowd. Slowly the talking died down as the crowd turned its attention to Mal. “I know you people are angry, you have every right to be.” This elicited a response from the crowd and it took Mal a moment to quiet them down enough to be heard. “But they have our friend. And if you go after them like this, she will die.”
“What about Isabella?” A man called out. “They will pay for what they did.”
William stepped forward. “It was an accident. It was not their intent to hurt anyone. If someone hadn’t decided to play hero, none of this would have happened.”
The crowd looked at one another in apparent disbelief.
“It’s true.” A man called out from the crowd and came forward. William noticed it was the well-dressed man. “I attacked one of the men and his weapon went off.” He looked at the ground, unable to meet anyone’s eyes.
Mal continued. “I know you people want justice, but getting our friend killed will not achieve that.” He looked back at William and Jayne, then back at the crowd. “Give us three hours. If we don’t have them by then, do whatever it is you need to do.”
They came upon the area the tracker indicated would be the most likely place the men would go. William looked through the binoculars he’d taken from the shop and scanned the area. A flash of movement caught William’s eye and he made positive identification. “There.” He said, pointing.
“I see ‘em.” Jayne acknowledged.
Mal scanned the area, trying to find how best to use the terrain to his advantage. “Jayne, I want you up on that ridge. You’ll be able to cover this whole area from there.” Without a word, Jayne went to get into position.
“William.” Mal turned to him and put his hand on William’s shoulder.
“I know Mal, I’ll get right on it.” William understood that the reason Mal was sending him in was the men would recognize him from the robbery and not immediately think he was an officer of the law. It was a smart move, though that didn’t make it any less dangerous.
Mal took the other rifle. “We’ll have you covered the whole time.” He then headed up the ridge opposite the one Jayne ascended. William waited for a minute or two, waiting until he was sure Mal and Jayne were in place before heading out. He was pretty sure he’d need all the cover they could give.
He walked up on the men with his gun drawn. William was relieved to see that there were still only four of them. That meant that if it came down to it, William would only have to worry about two.
They were all over Inara. She was fighting them, but it was obvious that she wasn’t going to be able to keep it up for long. They hadn’t even noticed William was there until he pulled the hammer back on his pistol. The men immediately went for their weapons, but William fired a warning shot at their feet. “Nobody move.” They didn’t.
William advanced a step. “Inara, you okay?”
“I’ll live.” She stood and came to stand behind William,. With cuffed hands, she took his other revolver and pointed it at the group. Now William only had to worry about one.
The leader of the group looked up at William. “What now?”
William leveled his weapon at him. “Well, the way I see it, we have two choices.” He lowered his weapon a little, figuring they would focus on his words more that way. “Either you can give me your weapons and come back to town …”
“Like Hell.” One of the men cut William off.
“ … and face charges for attempted robbery and kidnapping. Or my shooters on the hill can make quick work of you.” William continued as if the other man hadn’t interrupted him. “Your choice.”
One of the men, the one that shot the little girl, stood up, his hands raised above his head. “You didn’t mention murder.”
William looked at him. “That’s because you didn’t murder anyone. If that man in the store hadn’t attacked you, the gun wouldn’t have gone off. He admitted as much to the townsfolk.”
The men looked at one another. The one who had shot the little girl came forward, took off his pistol belt and threw it to the ground at William’s feet. The leader did the same.
The other two were not as quick to act and were arguing amongst themselves. Finally, one of them drew his gun, leveled it at William and fired. The next few second flashed by in a blur, when it was finished, William was surprised to find he was uninjured.
The leader of the group was on his stomach, hands behind his head. The man who had shot at William and the other one who was arguing were both on their backs. The blood spreading on their shirts a clear indication that Mal and Jayne had taken care of them. The fourth man, the one who had shot the little girl, was crumpled on the ground in front of William.
He knelt down and turned the man over onto his back. There was blood on his chest. William realized the man had taken the bullet for him. He was still alive, but it was apparent to William that he wasn’t going to make it.
The man looked up at him, tears in his eyes. “I never meant to hurt her. Never meant to hurt anyone.” He began to cough violently, and when it subsided there were traces of blood on his lips. “A life for a life.” And with that, he was gone.
William took out his cross and said a prayer for the man. He had probably done horrible things in his past, and was partly responsible for the death of the little girl, but in the end he had made the ultimate sacrifice to save a stranger. He hoped God would take that into consideration.
The leader stood up, making sure to keep his hands over his head. “Put your hands down.” William said, standing. “If they were going to shoot you they would have.” The man listened and put his hands down. William walked over to Inara and took the revolver from her. “Where are the keys for these cuffs?”
The man reached into his pocket, slowly, and tossed the keys to William. He took the cuffs off Inara and gave her back the revolver. He walked over and cuffed the man’s hands behind his back.
William waited for Mal and Jayne to come down from the hills before heading out. Jayne made it first. “Grab the guns Jayne.” William indicated the pistol belts and the scattered pistols. “Last thing I’d want is some kid to stumble across this and hurt themselves.”
As William expected, Jayne had no problem taking care of the weapons. He wouldn’t be surprised to see some or all of them end up in the man’s collection.
Mal arrived and went right to Inara. Once he was sure she was alight he turned to William. “You did good, Will.” William nodded his thanks. “Let’s get back to town.”
Due to the events of that day, the wedding was pushed back almost a week. Once things settled down enough at the house, William decided that before the wedding, he wanted to see the girl’s mother.
He arrived at the house, and hesitated before going to the door. He wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to say. Deciding it best not to linger, he secured Shadow’s bridle to the fence post and walked to the house. Before he knocked, the door opened. The woman from the general store was standing there and when she saw William tears came to her eyes. She stepped back, bidding William to enter.
He followed her into the sitting room, where two other people were already seated. She then left the room and headed further back in the house. The man stood and extended his hand to William. “John Palin, Isabella’s father.”
William took his hand and nodded. “William Alexander, sir.”
“Alexander? As in Cale Alexander?” The man looked surprised.
“He was my father.” John looked him over a minute before sitting down. William remained standing.
The man indicated the boy sitting next to him. “This is Michael, Isabella’s brother.” He was young, and though his eyes were clouded in sorrow, William saw something in his them, something that reminded him of River. William nodded to him in greeting.
The woman returned with a tray laden with teacups and a plate of sweetbread. “Irene, my wife.” The man offered.
“Ma’am.” William took a cup off the tray and sat down. Irene put the tray down on the table and sat across from her husband.
William looked into his cup, not exactly sure where to start. “I came here to speak to you about the man who shot Isabella.”
“What’s there to say?” Irene asked, anger in her voice. “The monster is dead.”
“That monster saved my life ma’am.” William said defensively. “He was the first one of his group to surrender, and when one of his associates fired at me, he ate the bullet.” William shook his head and put down his glass. “I know it probably doesn’t mean much now, but the man was sorry.” He got up to leave, then added. “One day, you might find it in your heart to forgive him. Thanks for the tea.”
William walked to the front door and was halfway out when Irene called after him. “William, wait.”
William stopped and turned as she came forward. “You were there with my daughter when she died. Because of you, she didn’t have to die alone. And for that, I am forever grateful.” She handed William a capture image of Isabella. “I want you to have this.”
William looked down at the image. It was a recent picture, taken, by William’s guess, this past spring. Isabella was wearing a white dress and was in a field of sunflowers. William found his eyes tearing up just looking at it. This girl, who was so full of life, would never get to experience it.
William wiped a tear from his eye and put the image in his breast pocket, right near his heart. “Thank you Irene. I’ll keep it with me, always.”
Irene came forward and hugged William, and he returned it. “Thank you for everything William.”
William broke the embrace and smiled. After a beat he turned and headed towards Shadow. When he got to the gate he turned and called to Irene, “You’ll be at the wedding right?”
Irene smiled. “The whole town’s going to be there, so of course.” She waved as William got on his horse and headed home.
The big day had finally arrived, and the house was a flurry of activity. William was trying, and failing, to tie his bow tie. There was a knock at the door and Mal came in. “William, we’re needed downstairs. You’re not ready?”
“Damn bow tie.” William threw up his hands in frustration. “I could never tie these damn things.”
“Come here.” Mal tied the bow tie and looked William over. “We look good. Now, let’s not keep the ladies waiting.”
William and Mal went downstairs into the kitchen; River and Inara were waiting for them. William stopped for a moment at the sight of River. She was absolutely breathtaking in her dress. At a loss for words, William walked up and kissed her lightly on the cheek, not wanting to mess up her makeup.
“What took you guys so long?” Inara asked, taking William’s arm. “They’re about to start.”
“Tie emergency.” Mal said nonchalantly as he took River’s arm. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.”
Just then the music started, indicating that it was time for them to make their way to the altar. As the Best Man and Maid of Honor, William and Inara led the way out of the house.
It was a beautiful day, not a single cloud in the sky and a light breeze playing over those assembled. As William and Inara approached the altar they separated and went to stand on either side. Simon was already standing there and William put his hand on his shoulder as he took his place behind him.
When Mal and River were in place, the music changed, and all heads turned to the house. Kaylee came out, arm in arm with her father, who had arrived a few days earlier. She was practically glowing as she came down the aisle. When she got to the altar, she kissed her father and waked up to Simon.
The preacher began the ceremony, but William could only think about how wrong it was that Shepherd Book wasn’t here to give the service. In what seemed like no time at all, the preacher announced them as man and wife, and a collective cheer came from those in attendance.
William was leaning against a tree, watching River dance a jig with the townsfolk. She was always so graceful, and William felt his heart swell as he watched her. He hadn’t even noticed Mal come up next to him.
“I never thanked you William, for saving Inara.” Mal handed him a glass of wine.
“You don’t have to.” William said, taking the glass. “I couldn’t have done it without you and Jayne.”
“Still,” Mal started, taking a drink from his own glass, “you handled this whole situation very well. You should be proud of yourself.”
William smiled. “Thanks, Captain. That means a lot.”
“We’re at a party Will, no reason to call me Captain.”
“Okay, Mal.” William looked down into his glass. “Mal?”
“You really want to thank me for rescuing Inara?” Mal didn’t answer, and William didn’t expect him to. He continued anyway. “Tell her how you feel.”
Without a word, Mal turned and walked away. William finished off the wine in his glass and looked into it. He may have crossed a line, but it was a line he felt needed to be crossed.
The music died down and River came over to where William was standing. “You okay William?”
He looked up at her and smiled. “Now that you’re here, love, I couldn’t be better.” He took her hand and pulled her into his arms.
She laughed and kissed him lightly. “Come dance with me.”
“In a minute,” he said, squeezing her lovingly, “I’m liking us here just fine.”
She leaned her head against his chest. “You never told me William, what you and Inara where doing in town that morning.”
William smiled. He couldn’t tell if she read his mind and was just being coy about it or if she didn’t know. “I needed Inara’s help with something, love.”
She looked up into his eyes. “Help with what?”
“Well, I was going to wait until tomorrow, but now’s as good a time as any I guess.” William took the package he had picked up at the general store out of his pocket. It was a small wooden box, and William held it out for River to take.
She took the box and opened it, a small gasp escaping her lips. “I love you, River.” He took the ring out of the box and put it on her finger. “And I want you to be my wife.”
She didn’t say anything at first, just looking at the ring in disbelief. A smile started to cross her lips and she wrapped William in a loving embrace. “There’s nothing I’d like more.”
Across the grounds, Mal was walking along a horse trail with nothing but his thoughts for company. The sound of the music almost lost in the distance. He bent over to pick up a stone and threw it into the brush.
“I hope I’m not disturbing you.” Mal turned to see Inara coming up the path behind him.
“Not at all.” Mal picked up a few more stones, absently tossing them into the field beyond.
She walked up to stand beside him, but didn’t say anything at first. After a few moments she turned to him. “I haven’t had a chance to thank you Mal, for coming to get me. If it weren’t for you, well, I don’t even want to think what would have happened.”
“No need to thank me Inara. You’re part of my crew, I couldn’t just leave you.” Mal threw another stone.
“Is that the only reason?” She asked absently.
“Would there be another?” Mal’s voice was absent of emotion.
“I guess not.” She crossed her arms across her chest.
Inara sounded hurt, which prompted a response from Mal. “That obviously wasn’t the right answer, mind giving me a hint?”
“Why can't you say it Mal?” The frustration was apparent in her voice. “What is so wrong with me that you can't be honest?
“What do you want me to say Inara? That I love you?” Mal asked, anger and pain in his voice. “You are a Companion. You hear men say they want, need and love you all the time. Why would I be so different? What would make you believe me over any of them?"
“Because I want you, Mal. Because I love you.” She turned her back to him. “But you don't want a whore, you’ve made that quite clear." She started walking away from Mal, tears streaming down her face.
Mal clenched his teeth as he threw another rock. "You are not a whore." Inara stopped, turning slightly. "You never were a whore Inara, never in my eyes.” He walked a few paces toward her. “But it hurts to want you, Inara. Sometimes too much."
Inara turned to face him. “Couldn’t we just try?”
"Not if you are a Companion.” Mal shook his head. “I don't share Inara, that much should have been proof when I came to get you. I don't share what's mine."
She smiled. “Then I’ll quit.”
“Quit?” Mal looked at her in disbelief. “You’d give up being a Companion for me?”
“Not for you, Mal.” She came forward, putting her hands around Mal’s waist. “For us.”
Mal put his hand lightly on her cheek, and, smiling, Inara leaned forward and kissed him.
Mal had decided, at the urging of Kara and Geoffrey, to stay on Titan for another week so that Kaylee and Simon could have some time to themselves. The morning after the wedding they had left for Lincolnshire. According to Kara there was a retreat there that they would enjoy.
The crew had responded well to the announcement of William and River’s engagement. They had responded better to Inara’s announcement that she was renouncing her title as a Companion. It would be harder for them to get onto some planets, to be sure, but it was time for she and Mal to have what they wanted.
They finished loading up the ship and were getting ready to depart. Rya and Geoffrey were in the loading bay saying their goodbyes and congratulating Kaylee and Simon again on their union. Kara was not with them, and Jayne seemed disappointed. He had hoped to get to say goodbye.
William had just finished preparations and came back to say goodbye when Kara came onboard with a bag over her shoulder. She tossed the pack to William and then turned to Jayne. “There’s more at the bottom of the ramp.”
William and Jayne looked at one another, then at Mal, then back at Kara. “What, Mal didn’t tell you?”
“Tell us what?” Jayne asked, still not following.
Mal came over. “Kara’s going to be joining us. Figure this ship needs a decent cook.”
“After Rya came to live with father and I, I’ve had a lot of spare time. Time I feel I could be better used with you.” She winked at Jayne.
“Why do I think things are going to get very interesting around here?” William asked, tossing Kara’s bag to Jayne and heading back up to the bridge.
Jayne was still just looking at Kara in disbelief. She came forward and kissed him on the cheek. “Why do I think that William is right?”
Once everything was secure, William took Serenity out of atmo. Three weeks on land had been good, but William was glad to be back home. He had missed Serenity more than he thought.
So many things had happened, so many things had changed, in such a short period of time. William was sure nothing was going to be the same here ever again. But change wasn’t always something to fear, and William welcomed whatever his future held with open arms.
Sunday, March 4, 2007 9:43 AM
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