BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

AZLENNA

Masquerade
Monday, May 21, 2007

Post BDM, Mal/River, Simon/Kaylee, after All the 'Verse is a Dance, the Beaumonde job, part 1.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2650    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss is the Boss and he owns all.

My apologies for the long absence, I haven't had much time to get on lately. Here is the next chapter, I hope everyone enjoys it.

***

~~~Previously~~~ River and Mal accepted the mutual feelings they had for each other. Inara discovers this and is infuriated. Mal confronts Inara only to tell her he's staying with River, because "Love is a leap, Inara, and you have to jump without takin' time to look." River tells Simon, Simon gets angry. River explains that she's her own person and can make her own decisions. Mal goes to Simon to explain and take a few punches. Simon realizes he can't control everything River does and accepts this. The crew gets a job from Badger.~~~

***

The woman didn't reply. Instead, she drew her gun and pointed it at Mal. "No thank you, Mr. Ramsey." she said, "I think I'll just skip right to dessert."

Bang! The air was filled with shrieks and gunsmoke.

---One Week Ago---

Day 1

Mal stood in the cargo hold, tapping his foot impatiently. Women. They were never ready when you needed them to be and always ready when you didn't want them to be.

He glanced over at Simon, who gave him the same look. Women.

They had been getting along pretty well these past couple of weeks. As well as they had been before anyway. Simon never brought up River, and Mal didn't push it. Simon would come to grips with it in his own time, all Mal could do was let him.

Mal sighed and stepped over to the comms device. "Kaylee! River!" he shouted into the device, "If you ain't down here in thirty seconds-"

"Quit yer yellin'." Kaylee said, appearring in a doorway to the catwalk, River right behind her.

Mal and Simon just stared at the two women. They were absolutely gorgeous in the evening gowns Badger had supplied them with. Kaylee's was pink with white lace, while River's was silver with a black flowered design running up one side.

Mal came back to his senses, "About time!" he replied, "Been waitin' fer fifteen minutes."

"We ain't late yet." Kaylee said.

"Will be, if'n you don't get a move on." he said, leading the way to the spare shuttle. Kaylee just rolled her eyes at his back and followed.

Once everyone was inside, Mal spoke again. "Ok, everybody knows the plan, right?" he asked, but without waiting for an answer, "That was a rhetorical question. You better be ready, or you best start sayin' your goodbyes now."

He looked around at the other three, "What are your names?" he asked them.

"Harold Ramsey." Simon said.

"Maria Andren." was Kaylee's reply.

River said, "Claudia Andren."

"Good, and I'm Jonathan Andren. What's yer act?"

"Butler."

"Your sister."

"Wife." Simon's expression darkened slightly at this.

"That's right. I'm a wealthy stockholder." he smiled. "Seems to be in order." He then launched the shuttle toward Beaumonde.

They arrived on one of the many airborne villas. There was a small welcoming party for them.

They disembarked the shuttle to find a older gentleman, a woman in her late thirties, and a young lady.

"Welcome!" the man said cheerily, offering his hand to Mal who took it. "I'm Alfred Sinclair," he looked at the dark haired woman next to him, "This is my wife Valerie," he drew his arm around the blonde young lady, "And this is our daughter, Cassidy. You must be the Andrens."

"Yes sir, that would be us." Mal replied. "I'm Jonathan, this is my sister, Maria," he said, looking at Kaylee, "My wife, Claudia," he wrapped his arm around River, "And this is our Butler, Harold Ramsey." he said, glancing at Simon.

Mal thought it very fortunate to be greeted by their marks.

Alfred smiled at them, and patted Valerie on the back. The woman stepped forward, "We've prepared a welcome meal for you inside." she said. Mal could only assume that by 'we,' she meant her servants.

"That's very kind of you." Mal said. "Do you usually go to all this trouble for people you hardly know?"

"It's tradition to make friends with new neighbors, here on Beaumonde. We just got to you first." Alfred said with a chuckle. "Early bird gets the worm, eh?" he said, "I can already tell that we'll be fast friends."

The group was led inside, and then into a large dining room. The feast laid out before them was awe inspiring, though they tried to pretend it was normal to them.

The Sinclairs sat down, and the 'Andrens' followed suit. "Please sit." Mal said to Simon.

"Butlers don't generally eat at the dining room table." Valerie commented with a hint of disdain.

"Generally, ours don't either." Mal said with a little smile. "But Harold has been with us for a very long time, he's part of the family."

"That's a healthy attitude." Alfred said, taking a glass of wine from a servant girl and then waving her away without a backward glance, "I always say, a man is how he treats those that serve him."

"That's how we feel about Harold." Mal said, with a grin.

"When were you married?" Valerie asked, her uppity tones were already getting on Mal's nerves.

"About a month ago." he replied.

"She's awfully young, isn't she? How did the two of you come together?" the woman pressed. Now she was just making Mal angry.

River, however, saved him from saying something stupid. "It was an arranged marriage. My father and Jonathan thought it best. Both would benefit greatly from our family's alliance."

"It was the same way with Val and I." Alfred interjected in his cheery tone. He glanced at Valerie.

"I wasn't nearly as young as this girl is." she replied snidely.

"And I wasn't nearly as young as this man is." Alfred replied, his cheery tone starting to wane. Valerie seemed to sense that she was in dangerous waters and held her tongue. "Congratulations, I hope yours is a happy marriage." he said, turning back to Mal, his cheeriness was back.

"Oh, it's been plenty happy so far." Mal said, laying his hand on River's. Simon feigned a cough and covered his mouth with his napkin to hide his scowl.

Cassidy still had not said a word, but Kaylee kept catching her staring at Simon. Needless to say, this did not make Kaylee very happy. This was, perhaps, why she was startled when Alfred started speaking to her.

"Are you married, m'dear?" he asked her.

Kaylee was confused for a moment, then, "Oh, no sir." she said in her cute little voice. "I ai- I'm not married." she said, catching herself before she said 'ain't.'

"Maria was betrothed to a strapping young lad on Persephone, but he got himself killed in a duel." Mal supplied.

"I see." Alfred said thoughtfully, stroking his grey beard. "That's a terribly sad story, m'dear." he said finally. "I had a cousin who was killed in a duel four years ago-"

"Oh, not this story again. You wouldn't want to frighten the ladies with the details of this tale, dear." Valerie said.

Alfred looked offended and then gave a chuckle, "Perhaps you're right. That was rather insensitive of me." he said, and Valerie nodded. "Anyway, I was just thinking, I've got a son that's a little older than your sister here, sir. Maybe if the two were to meet...?"

"That sounds like a wonderful idea." Mal said, Kaylee looked at him with despair. He simply nodded at her. "Yes, let the two young folks meet and see what happens from there." He glared discreetly at Kaylee.

Kaylee sighed and pretended to look happy. "I'd be honored to meet your son." she said, then added, "Sir."

"Splendid, splendid." Alfred said, taking a drink of his wine. Then, moving onto the next topic, "And what is it you do sir?"

"I'm a stockholder." Mal replied. "Got stocks in several companies. Canton mud, some Blue Sun. That sort of thing."

"How interesting." Valerie said.

Mal smiled, "No, not really ma'am." he said with a chuckle. Alfred laughed as well.

"Well, we all know how that is." he said. "I buy and trade livestock myself. Sounds about as interesting as your stockholding."

Mal chuckled again. "Sounds like we'll get along fine, sir."

"Alfred, please, call me Alfred." he said, waving the respectful sir away like it was a pesky fly. "May I presume to call you Jonathon? Or do you prefer Jon?"

"Actually, I prefer Jack, and I'd be delighted." Mal said.

"Dear." Valerie said suddenly and sharply, then her tone took on a more sweet feel, though still snobby, "I think it's time we left our new friends to enjoy the rest of the night in their new villa."

"Now, now dear, let's not be hasty." he said, somewhat disgruntled.

"Don't you think we've intruded enough on them for one night?" she asked sharply and semisweet. She seemed to be trying to make it less like a command while ordering Alfred to obey her.

Alfred was silent with a somber look on his face a moment, then he came back to reality, "Yes, dear, I suppose you're right."

He stood, Valerie and Cassidy followed his example. "Well, goodnight." Alfred said, though he still had that somber, confused look on his face.

"Goodnight." Valerie said.

"Goodbye." Cassidy said in a small, sweet voice. She was looking at Simon when she said it, but quickly looked away.

"Goodnight Alfred. Valerie, Cassidy." Mal said, nodding at each of them in turn.

As soon as they were gone, Kaylee said angrily, "Thanks for betrothin' me to a guy I hardly know or want Mal!"

"Shhhhh..." Mal said, glancing toward the kitchen door. "Wouldn't want the help to catch on that we ain't who we say we are." he said in a low tone. "And you ain't betrothed. I figure it'd be a good idea to spend some time gettin' to know his son, to get close to them and know how they work. If we're gonna hit this family, we gotta know more about them."

Kaylee sighed, "I guess yer right." she said, leaning back and crossing her arms.

"There's a good girl." he said. "So, what'd everyone make of them?"

"I make that that silly blonde was ogling Simon the whole time." Kaylee replied.

Simon half-laughed, half-frowned.

"Is that all you noticed?" Mal asked her incredulously.

"'Twas perty distractin'." she said.

Mal sighed, shaking his head. "I couldn't tell who was in charge. Once or twice I thought it was Alfred, but then there were other times when I thought it was Valerie."

"Valerie seemed to be use her power of dominance more." Simon said, "Alfred just seemed easygoing about it."

"Valerie is hiding something." River said suddenly.

"Plenty o' things she could be hiding; woman of her status..." Mal said.

"I can't tell what." she said. "Maybe if she wasn't so guarded."

"That's your job, then." Mal said. "You get close to this Valerie. Find out what she's hiding. Maybe you can relate to her through the marriage thing." He turned to Kaylee, "You've got the son." He turned to Simon,

"Let me guess, I get Cassidy."

"Yep. She seems to have an eye for you, means she could get us in." Mal replied.

Kaylee looked upset at the recent developments, but kept her mouth shut.

"Now I suggest we 'retire' and get a good night's sleep. Plenty o' work to be done tomorrow." Mal said.

No one needed telling twice.

---

A few moments later, the master bedroom

Mal took one look at the bed and proceeded to collapse on it. It was the softest, most comfortable bed he'd ever laid on.

River giggled at him and fell down next to him, nestling close.

"Well, darlin'," he said, "Looks like this'll be home for a week or so."

"I don't mind." she said. "Reminds me of Osiris." she lightly touched his nose, "And I've got you to make it home."

He smiled and kissed her forehead. Catching his hair before he could withdraw, she drew his lips to hers. "Best be gettin' ready for bed." he said, suddenly sitting up, rubbing his forehead.

He turned and smiled at her and she smiled back, then both got ready for bed. Crawling into bed, they fell asleep in each other's arms.

---

The same time, in the hallway outside of Kaylee's new room

Once they had reached the door to Kaylee's room, Simon glanced around to make sure no one was watching, then drew Kaylee into a passionate kiss.

When he withdrew, they were both breathing hard. "You're much prettier than Cassidy." he said smiling, stroking the side of her face.

"Thank you." Kaylee said. "Simon..." she said tentatively, "I think it best if we don't... don't sleep in the same room..."

"Shhh..." he replied, "I understand. Appearances." He lightly kissed her lips and was off down the corridor.

Kaylee smiled and went into her own room.

---

To be continued...

COMMENTS

Monday, May 21, 2007 5:07 PM

TAMSIBLING


Very interesting start. I'm just a tad worried by that beginning - what with the gun shot an' all. Can't wait to see how our intrepid heroes got into (and out of) that mess.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:10 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


And I have to wonder why the woman doing the shooting - Valerie? Cassidy? Kaylee?! - identified Mal as Simon's character in this con. Definitely intrigues me quitely extensively;D

BEB

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 5:32 PM

AZLENNA


it'll all come together and make sense when it gets there ;) In the meantime, you can only guess :P


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