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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
eventual Rayne. When Jayne's ma dies, he discovers that while he's described as man ape gone wrong, by Simon his blood might just be bluer than either of the Tams. Who are Jayne's real parents? Why did they give him up? And why does River keep talking about a prodigal son? ALSO IN THIS CHAPTER...Lady Vera makes Mal an offer he can't refuse.
Thanks to my beta Annabella who talked me out of making a mistake involving rice paper *shakes head* what was I thinking?
Thanks to my beta Annabella who talked me out of making a mistake involving rice paper *shakes head* what was I thinking?
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 829 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
Mal pinched the bridge of his nose. He should have left as soon as he'd dropped off Jayne. He would have avoided getting soaked in the storm, for one. Not to mention, he might've come back in time to stop his slightly crazy pilot from playing musical bunks.
"What I want to know," he said to everyone sitting around the dinner table. "Is why didn't any of you stop her? I understand why River would do something feng le, but that don't explain why my very sane cook, mechanic and first mate didn't stop her. You all know she's crazy!"
River, who was sitting next to him, kicked him hard in the shin.
"Son of a—,"he rubbed his leg.
"River is never wrong when she... sees things. And she was pretty stubborn," Kaylee said.
"And you couldn't radio me to ask?" the captain asked.
"It was supposed to be a surprise." River admitted, still mad at him for calling her crazy. It was one thing to hear it from the mercenary all the time, but entirely different from the Captain.
"My Gorram Ship. 'My' being the important word here. 'Sides we didn't even come here with no passengers. Not that I plan to pick up any new ones. Last time that happened I got saddled with a fed, a mysterious preacher, a prissy doc, and a crazy little girl," he jumped back just in time to miss River's kick.
"You keep tryin' to kick me like a poutin' toddler, I'm sendin' you to your room," he said sarcastically.
"Which one?" River returned, sounding very much like the teenager that she was.
"Mal, River was only trying to help. And besides, Simon hardly uses his room anymore, and having River closer to him is better, not to mention safer. What happens if, God forbid, we have another stowaway like that bounty hunter? She'd be alone on the other side of the ship," Inara pointed out.
"She'd also be able to break him into tiny pieces. Besides, you're not that far from—"
"Sir, I don't particularly disagree with you being right about this since we didn't ask your permission—"
"See! Zoe agrees wi—"
"But the deed's already done. And the Doc'd be able to keep an eye on her better if she's closer to—"
"Nah mei guan-shee! She—"
"You have mail," River said suddenly looking at Mal. Then a beeping noise came from the cockpit.
"Now I'm going to go answer that wave, and while I do that you three need to—"
"Go to their rooms and think about what they've done?" Simon suggested.
Inara, Kaylee and Zoe snickered. Only River was still stoic and staring towards the cockpit.
"Qingwa cao de liumang!" Mal cursed and walked away.
They laughed out loud even harder. When they'd calmed down, Kaylee turned to Simon.
"You sure ya ain't mad? I mean, I did move you into my bunk without askin' you," Kaylee gave a half smile.
Simon took her hand in his and kissed it. "I'm just embarrassed that it was River who suggested it. I should have asked you months ago, bao bai."
Kaylee's eyes were brimming. "Oh Simon."
"I think I should go check on Mal. Who knows what sort of trouble he's stirring up by himself," Inara said.
Mal stomped into the cockpit. It wasn't the fact that they'd moved their bunks around that made him angry, it was the fact that Zoe hadn't even contacted him about River acting strange. She still did strange things and he made sure to keep a close eye on it in case she went feng le again.
He clicked a few buttons and Lady Vera's face appeared on Serenity's screens.
"Well now, you're the last person in the 'verse I'd expect to get a call from. Well you and the king of Londinium. What can I do for you?"
She gave him an indulgent smile, which didn't settle well in Mal's stomach. "Captain Reynolds, it's come to my attention that you captain a Firefly class ship."
"That's right," he was not liking where this conversation was heading.
"The ship in which I arrived has informed me that returning me to Persephone would delay their regular flight plan by three weeks. Now, normally they wouldn't bat their eyelashes to go out of their way for me, but when I discovered that you captain a Firefly, I became intrigued. I'd never flown in this particular ship and I've—"
"Lady, I suggest you speak plainly, cause I'm a plain speakin' type of man," Mal snapped. He definitely wasn't liking the where the conversation was heading.
"I need passage for myself and my attendant to Persephone. I'm prepared to pay whatever the price is for passengers," she explained politely.
"No. We don't take on tourists."
"Oh, I see. My attendant informed me that you border folk like to haggle, all right. I'll offer to pay the same amount I paid the Parthenon. One hundred credits for each week for each of us," she smiled as if it were a game.
"No." he answered stonily.
"Ah, I see you're not an easy mark, Captain. One-fifty."
"Five hundred," she said steadily. She was no longer smiling.
"No." he answered.
"Mal!" Inara exclaimed.
He whirled around. "Did I call you onto the bridge?"
"That's three thousand credits! How can you—"
"Will you give me a second? Seems I have a mutiny on my hands," he clicked the sound off.
"What are you doing? Are you crazy? She just offered you three thousand credits to take her to Persephone. That's more than one hundred times the usual price you charge passengers! Do you realize how much you're turning down?!" Inara yelled.
"I don't care if she offers me five thousand to cart them to Earth-That-Was, I ain't takin' those ke lian de he xin jie chu ren wu hou zi anywhere!"
"What's all the yellin' about?" Zoe entered the cockpit followed by Simon and Kaylee.
"He just turned down three thousand credits to take passengers to Persephone." Inara pointed her finger to Mal.
"Sir, are you insane?"
"That's more'n enough to pay for a brand new press regulator."
"See Mal, they agree. We should at least vote on this."
"Jien tah-duh guay! I think I've mentioned before that my ship is not a town hall. Now, all of you keep your trap shut." He ordered before turning the sound back on.
"Seems I've talked with my crew and while they were reluctant to give up that nice fee you've offered us, we ain't takin' you anywhere," he said pleasantly.
Lady Vera turned her eyes to someone off screen. She seemed to agree with whatever was communicated because she nodded. She turned back to Mal. "Very well Captain Reynolds. I see there's only one way to resolve this. I'll offer you five thousand credits for each of us for each week. That's my final offer. I'll let you discuss it with your crew. Contact me when you have an answer."
The screen went blank and no one said a word.
"Huh," was Mal's response. Then all hell broke loose.
"They're offering thirty thousand credits in total, Mal," Inara yelled.
"We could give Serenity a complete overhaul."
"The infirmary could be modernized with ten percent of that."
"Sir, that could keep us flyin' for more than three years comfortably without any jobs."
"You all don't realize that we would be transporting—"
"Lady Vera Colbert-Jiangyin, one of the most powerful people in the known 'verse." Simon offered.
"THE Lady Vera? The one who's family practically owns the Alliance? What is she doing out here?" Inara asked.
"Surprised you don't know her personally, being that she runs in your circle," Mal said nastily.
"The Colbert-Jiangyins are in their own circle. Only the members Guild High Council know them personally. I've seen them from afar at gatherings, but never been introduced to them. To transport her ladyship... it would be an immense honor," Inara said in awe.
Mal was fairly entertained, he'd never seen Inara babble this way. That woman had to be really important to impress the former Companion. "Which is even more of a reason to turn her down. If anything should happen to her while she's on my ship, it would mean disaster for us. Her fancy husband would probably send the whole Alliance fleet after us. We'd lose Serenity for sure."
"You won't," River said quietly. No one had noticed her enter. "Serenity will stay with you 'till the day you die."
"Somethin' I'm plannin' on little one," Mal said.
"But not if you turn Lady Vera's offer down. You'll lose her within the year. Too much weak tea, not enough coffee." She said cryptically.
"Right. Ok." Mal said. He turned to the Cortex and contacted Lady Vera. She answered.
"It's a mighty juicy piece of meat you're dangling in front of me, but I'll have to say no." Everyone groaned.
Lady Vera observed him quietly. Then she answered. "I know I said I'd given you my final offer, but I'm willing to give you one last chance. I've contacted the ship that transported me here. While she is a transport ship, she does have state-of-the-art tracking and stealth technology. She also has weapons. Being the powerful and rich being that I am, I can order them to make your life miserable for the rest of your time while they are paid handsomely. Now... Captain, I am offering you fifty thousand credits in total to transport us or prepare to have a miserable life. I do believe that's almost three times what Serenity is worth."
Mal's face went stony. "I don't take kindly to people threatenin' me."
"And I don't take kindly to people refusing my money and patronage for the simple fact that they are bigoted against me for being rich and connected to the Alliance. I..." she paused.
"I know what you and you're crew did... Miranda. I admire you greatly for doing such a courageous thing. I want you to know that my husband’s influence is the reason they've left the Tams alone... for now. He's ill and if he dies while I'm away, his influence will be null and the Alliance will come back for you. But if they know I am with you and you are protected by me, then you'll never be bothered by them again. I can make it so you'll never have to be inspected or tagged for 'routine' checks by any cruiser."
Mal swallowed. He was in the palm of this woman's hands, course he wasn't about to admit it. Truth was, she could have contacted a cruiser already and had them in custody, but she didn't. That said somethin' about her. And... she was wrong. Fifty thousand credits was more than three times what Serenity was worth.
This woman had somethin' up her sleeve he hadn't yet seen, and he didn't for one minute believe she was interested in the novelty of riding Serenity to Persephone just for kicks. Like she'd said, she was a powerful enough woman to order that other ship to take her to Persephone, their schedule be damned. But, it was better to keep an eye on someone that could truly make your life miserable than to turn your back on them.
"We'll be leaving in about a week or as soon as Jayne is ready to go. Whichever comes first."
"You've made the right choice, Captain."
"That remains to be seen. One other thing... we use mostly platinum out here on the rim, so I suggest you find a way to convert some 'a those credits into coin. Cause I'll be wanting half of your offer as soon as you board.." He cut off the Cortex. "I don't want to hear that it was the right thing to do or that this coin will make us rich or anythin'. Just prepare the ship."
"The guest quarters are already prep—"
"Then go double check the engine or clean the infirmary or whatever. Just get the hell off my bridge!" He whirled on them.
Kaylee and Simon shared a look and left. River gave Mal a look that he ignored before following her brother out of the cockpit. Inara and Zoe remained.
"You got wax stuck in your ears, Zoe? I gave you an order."
Zoe gave him a hard stare, but left without another word.
"You can't order me to leave," Inara said softly.
"Like hell, I can't. That whole stunt you pulled—"
"What stunt? You mean disagreeing with you in front of your crew? I had no idea I was disrespecting you, please forgive me," she said sarcastically.
"Ai-yah. Tyen-ah. Woman, you would test the patience of a saint!"
"If you believed in one," she hissed.
"Oh, I ain't gotta believe in one to know you would. That is the last time you try to order me around on my ship. I don't care if I turn down one hundred thousand credits, it ain't up to you whether we take on a job or not. Your job is to make sure the mess is kept clean and stocked with what I give you—"
"What you give me?! We've only eaten well recently because of Sheydra's generosity! We were practically—"
"Is that it? You miss the money that came with spreadin' your legs, you mean to get it any way you can? If you miss whorin' so much, I'm sure your friend Atherton Wing is still willin' to take you on!" He snapped.
She physically recoiled. Her lips trembled and she turned away to run. He caught her arm and pulled her into him. She struggled against him at first before relaxing and crying quietly into his shoulder.
"I'm sorry," he said quietly. "Sometimes I let my mouth do the talkin' before consultin' with my head. I'm sure I give the good doctor a run for his money when it comes to the foot in mouth category."
She gave a watery chuckle. Sighing in relief, he caressed her soft hair. It felt like silk under his hands. The scent of incense and cooking spices wafted to his nose. He breathed in deep. His hands went south and caressed her up and down her back. She sighed deeply and arched towards his hands.
Finally not able to take it any longer, he pulled her chin up and looked into her tear filled eyes. His thumb grazed her bottom lip as he drowned in her dark eyes.
"Inara," he whispered and bent his head.
"Yes?" She asked softly.
"I think I'm gonna kiss ya. Just thought I'd let you know," he said a mere inch from her lips.
"Ok," she whispered.
"Is it all right if I get the IA-04 model instead—oh!"
Mal groaned and jerked his head back. "Ta ma de."
Kaylee smiled. "I'll uh just come back later."
"It's all right Kaylee—"
"No it ain't. Go away," Mal muttered. Inara sent him a scowl.
"I was just leaving. I have dinner to prepare," she gave Mal a lopsided smile and left.
"Real sorry about that, Cap'n. But you should really find a more private place for—"
"Didn't you have somethin' to ask me?"
"Oh yeah, I was just wonderin' if I could get the newer IA-04 model for the press regulator rather than a G3-67, they're usually rebuilt, since they don't make 'em anymore. The IA-04's just off the line and it's pretty much compatible with anything, even Reavers could use em, not that they would," she mumbled.
"Kaylee what does that mean?" Mal was already irritated he didn't need this.
"Well it means we won't have to replace the part for another ten or twenty years. And she'll be able to do a Burnin' Iris," Kaylee grinned.
"Really?" Mal looked more cheerful.
"Not like every day or it'll make the ship go boom, but if we need to get someone off our tail, like Reavers or somethin', it sure will come in handy," she tucked a stray hair behind her ear.
"Not to put a damper on it, but how much will it cost me?"
"Now don't get mad but... nine thousand platinum," she said weakly.
He chuckled and looked down at the ground. "I must be getting' old cause I thought you said nine thousand platinum."
"I did," she sighed.
"Qingwa cao de liumang! Kaylee, it look like I'm made 'a money?"
"Not yet, but you soon will be. I mean, ain't twenty-five thousand creds something like sixty thousand platinum? And that's just half of what we-re getting' not—"
"Just 'cause some feng le Core woman wants to pay us a small fortune to cart her to Persephone, don't mean we should spend it like there's no tomorrow, Kaylee. Can't you make do with a perfectly good second-hand press regulator?"
"You mean perfectly cheap and crappy? And if we do that, Lord knows how long it'll last. It's an investment, Cap'n. Not to mention that the Burnin' Iris maneuver will come in handy," she said in a sing song voice.
Mal sighed. He had to admit, being able to do the Burnin' Iris would be a plus. Especially since Serenity had no weapons to speak of. It was always something he'd regretted, not being able to outfit Serenity with any weapons less she'd attract too much attention. But the Burnin' Iris... it require no weapons and it was better than some of the weapons on the new fancy ships. And his and Serenity's pay cut would be forty percent; compared to everyone else's ten percent share - that was a lot.
"Fine. But you can't ask for anything else for the next... three years," he relented.
Kaylee hugged him tight and kissed him on the cheek.. "Thanks, Cap! Serenity and I really appreciate it."
She bounced out of the cockpit and Mal sighed. Well that still left him with quite a bit of platinum to use for Serenity. He groaned rememberin' the doc mentionin' modernizin' the infirmary and no doubt Inara will want a fancy freezer to keep fresh food around. There went another ten or fifteen thousand credits.
Thursday, June 07, 2007 2:15 PM
Friday, June 08, 2007 7:05 AM
Friday, June 08, 2007 9:23 AM
Saturday, June 09, 2007 12:37 PM
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