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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Mal narration, snapshots of life post-BDM, raising his little girl, seeing what she has inherited from her parents. Read Namesake first or risk confusion. Two parts fluff, one part angst.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2538 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A.N. Because Namesake received such great response, I’ve written a few more snippets. Comment, please. I’m listening.
PART 4: HE WED
Mal peeked through the side door of the small chapel as it slowly filled. It had been a long while since he’d entered a church for honest purposes, but Mal knew his Ma would’ve killed him if he married any place else.
He could see his Ma by the back door, holding a squirming little Zoë, now two-and-a-half, all dolled up for the occasion and loathing it. It was way past her naptime, but he’d explained the plan for the ceremony to her and she had promised she’d do her best. He could hear her repeated babbling floating over the quiet conversations of the guests, even as his Ma covered her little mouth to shush her.
“Baba, Baba, Baba, Baba….” She called him Baba – daddy. Every time she said it, his heart soared. He had no part in creating her, but she didn’t care. She had never known any father but him.
The music for the processional began and Mal took his place at the front of the church, watching and waiting in nervous anticipation. He felt the tingling in his stomach spread through his whole body, seeing his Ma come up the aisle, beaming at him. Then the bridal party. On cue, little Zoë –the flower girl – was released. With a squeal that was almost a battle cry, she tore through the aisles, lobbing rose petals at the guests like they were hot grenades. She circled the altar, and started toward the back of the church getting ready for another go down the aisle. Mal suppressed a laugh and whistled sharply.
Obediently, little Zoë ran to his side and grabbed hold of his leg, breathless. Not quite the plan they had discussed, but since when did things ever go according to the gorram plan. Little Zoë met his eye encouragingly and he briefly wished it was her mother by his side witnessing the event.
His grief vanished as the music changed and his bride appeared through the door of the church. Feeling his knees go weak, little Zoë gripped his leg all the tighter, trying to hold him up. The world melted away – all he saw was his angel, all he felt was joy.
When Inara took his hand, he kissed it and pulled it to his heart. She was now his to hold forever. And while he wed, little Zoë stayed by his side, holding him steady. Just like her momma would’ve.
PART 5: HE SANG
The gorram Fed ripped little Zoë right out of his arms, hauling her away, threatening to throw her into the system. She kicked and shrieked, reaching for Mal, too young to understand anything more than they were taking her from her family. Already being restrained by two men, Mal tore forward, ready to have his arms ripped off before he let them disappear with his little girl. He would have shot them all had they not disarmed him already. As she vanished from view, he shouted her name, but no words came out. A gag on his mouth. A spell. A scream.
Mal awoke, covered with sweat, little Zoë standing at the foot of his bed, staring at him, wide-eyed and trembling. Had he woken her? Had he frightened her? Or had she just awoken from the same terrifying nightmare. Ever since it had happened, it plagued them both, and at some point in the night one of them would inevitably get out of bed and check to make sure the other was still there. Tonight, she had woken up first. She stared at him with her momma’s almond, tear-filled eyes, and her daddy’s thin, quivering lips. Somehow in the mix of Wash’s and Zoë’s features, she’d ended up with River’s nose. He pinched that little nose and she took that as an invitation to crawl into bed and snuggle up next to him. Her fingers tugged and tickled at the hairs on his arm like she was counting them. Her eyes stared intently at his arm, afraid to close lest the nightmare return.
“Baba, will you sing me a song?” she asked timidly. He stilled her fingers so they wouldn’t tickle his arm so and kissed the top of her head.
“No, Zobug, it’s Aunt Kaylee that does the singin’ on this boat.”
Zoë sighed sullenly, then resolutely pushed the covers aside and scooted to the edge of the bed. Mal grabbed her waist and pulled her back.
“You ain’t wakin’ Aunt Kaylee at this hour, darlin’.”
Little Zoë gave Mal that same stern look that her mother had often used against him, and he felt himself melt, enveloped by the memory. He would do anything to have his first mate back; but all he had was this sweet little girl asking him to sing. If he’d said no, she would have backed down. He could be a stern father when he needed to. But tonight there was no need for sternness. Not when they were both being plagued by the same nightmare. He racked his brain for a song he could sing without waking Inara – one little Zoë didn’t know yet. Finally the proper neurons connected and he began.
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”
“Baba,” little Zoë interrupted, turning to face him. “Stars ain’t little.”
“No, they’re huge.” She picked up his hands and made a motion. “The song is wrong.”
“Maybe I should change the words then,” he suggested and cleared his throat. “How about this: Twinkle, twinkle great big star, How I wonder what you are.”
“But Baba, we know what stars are.”
Mal sighed, starting to wish he’d picked ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’, as he wasn’t in the mood for an astronomy lesson at 4am.
“What are they, little one?”
“Hyja-gin,” he repeated with a smile. Damn precocious child had been hanging around Simon and River too long. “Sounds like a moonshine liquor. No wonder they burn so bright. Are you gonna keep interrupting me or are you going to let me sing?”
“Both,” she answered tersely, squirming as he tickled her tummy. “You just sing, Baba. You just sing.”
PART 6: HE PRAYED
Mal was having an out of body experience – watching his forlorn self as he watched her. The evening was quiet, the only motion being the steady blink of the monitors in the Infirmary, back-dropped by the thunderous roar of the engines as Serenity made a hard burn for a world with a decent hospital.
Inara stood next to the bed, holding Little Zoë’s hand, stroking her hair while she slept. His wife’s eyes were rimmed with the dark circles of sleeplessness and worry. Every time he remembered to breathe, the chill, stale air entered his lungs like illegal immigrants rushing the border.
He blamed himself. Why had he not noticed? How easily she became winded, how tired she seemed. A cancer. Treatable, Simon assured, but she needed proper care. A hospital. Something Mal had never provided her, though he’d tried to give her everything.
Mal steeled himself for the journey, waiting for something to go wrong – for an unexpected delay that would leave his little girl dead before they reached help. Little Zoë had assured him, with her mother’s strength and her father’s good humor, that she’d be fine. But as he watched her shallow breathing and the way her mouth contorted in pain while she slept, he wasn’t so sure. He couldn’t help but fear that she’d die in the same cold, infirmary bed as her mother.
When it was just his life and death, he didn’t believe in God. When it was his crew, he figured they could make their own peace. But now that it was his little Zoë, it was worth a plea.
“God,” he choked tentatively. Not remembering how to pray, he decided to just speak plainly.
“I don’t think you’re real and even if you answer this, I can’t promise I’ll change my mind. But God, please be real. Please. Please look at her.”
He was back there again. Serenity Valley. His angels flying away, abandoning him. This was crazy! He hated God for the war. If he’d still believed in God, he’d hate him for taking away his best friend. So why was he willing to crawl back to prayer on behalf of little Zoë? Mal took to pacing, the motion in his legs loosening his tongue. He wasn’t crazy. He was just having a conversation with an invisible, imaginary being. Just trying to work things out.
His eyes fixed on Little Zoë, his legs still moving, he spoke again. “Can you see my little one? She’s so tired and so scared. It’s not something I can protect her from. Not something I can hold a gun to… God, please don’t take her from me. If you’re thirsty for blood, take my life, not hers. Not hers, God, please. Please let her live.”
Mal’s heart and flesh collided again as Inara exited the Infirmary and took his hand. She was exhausted. They both were. He cleared his throat and hugged her close, knowing she’d spent the last hour praying to her own god. Perhaps between the two of them, someone would hear and help. Hope against hope. For as long as she still breathed. He watched his little girl and he prayed again.
POST-A.N.: By your requests, even more snapshots in: Terse
Thursday, April 5, 2007 5:51 PM
Thursday, April 5, 2007 5:57 PM
Thursday, April 5, 2007 7:04 PM
Thursday, April 5, 2007 9:42 PM
Thursday, April 5, 2007 9:58 PM
Thursday, April 5, 2007 11:22 PM
Friday, April 6, 2007 4:00 AM
Friday, April 6, 2007 11:45 AM
Friday, April 6, 2007 1:37 PM
Friday, April 6, 2007 3:55 PM
Friday, April 6, 2007 4:20 PM
Sunday, April 8, 2007 4:32 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 5:51 AM
Thursday, April 12, 2007 2:18 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 2:35 AM
Sunday, October 26, 2008 7:56 AM
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