BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

CHAZZER

JOB SATISFACTION - Chapter Six
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mal considers childproofing the ship when he discovers Simon and Jayne are gone. Regan makes some progress and Simon learns what it takes to buy a gun. As always, a little angsty, but not too much.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2635    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Job Satisfaction

A/N: Thanks for all comments, big thank you once more to Mavourneen my beta.

Chapter Five

To see translations, hover mouse over Chinese word.


Chapter Six - What It Takes To Buy a Gun

“Anything?” Regan asked fearfully, as the men disembarked their shuttle. The man in front shook his head.

“There’s no one there, Mrs Tam. But we did find signs of a ship being parked there a while, about the size of a Firefly. It was surrounded by footprints. Looks to have taken off about a day ago, give or take.”

“Great,” Regan said, turning back to the bridge of her private ship. “So we’ve missed them.”

The men exchanged glances. “Not necessarily. If they are choosing to hide here a while, they would have needed to stock up on food and supplies. They may have left for the nearest settlement.”

“Which is?” Regan asked. Her pilot pressed a few buttons on the screen before him, and the image of a picturesque village nestled next to a large lake appeared.

“A small hamlet, a holiday village,” the pilot read. “Holiday makers from the core come to enjoy the weather, and swim in the reservoir. It’s the only source of water the whole area.” He looked up sceptically. “I doubt they’d be able to afford supplies from here.”

“They’re thieves, aren’t they?” Regan retorted. “We’ll check it out. Someone’s bound to have seen a Firefly if it’s been anywhere near.”

* “This place really doesn’t look all that scary,” Wash commented, as he perused the information on the nearby holiday village on the cortex.

Mal sighed. “Well, something ain’t right. River’s obviously hiding from something.”

Book tapped his fingers together. “We could ask around the village, but I’m afraid Jayne didn’t make the best impression when we were there to pick up supplies yesterday.”

“The hamlet’s a mile away,” Zoe put in, eyebrows raised. “You really think they’ve got that far?”

“The time they’ve had they coulda gone three times as far,” Mal said. “Further, on the mule.”

There was a silence.

“I hope they’re together,” Wash said quietly.

“Don’t hold your breathe,” Mal told him.

Inara entered, and Mal sat up straighter.

“Come to offer some Companion-esque insight?” he asked. “They teach you about tracking at whore academy?”

Inara frowned at him. “I have some bad news,” she said evenly.

Ai ya, how much bad news can we take?” Mal snapped.

On closer inspection, Inara looked a little shaky. “The spare shuttle’s gone,” she said.

“Simon?” asked Zoe.

Inara inclined her head. “And by the looks of it, Jayne.”

“Jayne?” Wash said incredulously. “Why would Jayne go anywhere with Simon?”

“Why would Simon go anywhere with Jayne?” Mal countered.

Wash conceded with a nod, and grabbed the comm. “Jayne, come on up to the bridge.” They waited a moment. “Simon, you too,” continued Wash.

When no one appeared, the five remaining crew members exchanged glances.

“That’s it,” Mal said. “When they all get back, I’m putting child-locks on this boat.”

* “Ta very much.” Badger tipped his hat to the screen before severing the connection. Happily, he spun back to face the imposing man who had reluctantly allowed him to send a wave.

“Told you I’d get it done,” he said proudly. “I got connections all over. Comes in ‘andy when you’re searchin’ for someone as slippery as Malcolm Reynolds.”

Gabriel nodded to the screen. “And you trust that your …acquaintance… is being honest, do you?”

Badger nodded. “Jerry say’s he seen Serenity, then he’s seen Serenity.”

“Very well,” Gabriel sat down. “Where is he?”

Badger spun back to the screen. “On a tiny lil moon not far from here, Tasnim. A bout a mile out from one of the only settlements. Some holiday village for the rich, upper class.” He smirked jauntily at Gabriel, who didn’t respond. With a barely noticeable eye roll, Badger continued.

“Follow these coordinates, an’ you’ll be on ‘im in a few hours,” he said firmly. “Now, I’d appreciate it if you lovely gentlemen could drop me off ‘ome.”

Gabriel smiled, and it chilled Badger to the bones.

“Of course,” Gabriel said politely, and turned. “Carlos, could you escort Mr. Badger to his cell?”

* “We’ve been on this shuttle less than an hour, an’ already I wanna toss you outta the door.”

Simon rolled his eyes. “Just fly the rutting shuttle, Jayne.”

Jayne shifted angrily. “I could fly us right back to Serenity, how’d ya like that? Bet Mal won’t be too happy next time he sees you.”

Simon looked sideways at Jayne. “I don’t expect he’ll be too thrilled with you either,” he argued, and Jayne grunted but didn’t reply.

“Mal is the least of my worries,” Simon continued, speaking mostly to himself. He did feel guilty, the captain had saved his neck too many times, not to mention taken he and River in at great cost to his own personal safety. Simon sighed. It couldn’t be helped. He had to do everything he could to save River and Kaylee, and if Mal couldn’t understand that, then it was his problem.

“You won’t be sayin’ that if’n he kicks you off the boat,” Jayne said. “Specially now you an’ Kaylee are ruttin’.”

“We’re not…” Simon began, before realising that it would be pointless to deny it, even if it wasn’t true. He sighed again. “You’re assuming Kaylee will speak to me, ever again.”

Jayne wrinkled his nose as he scanned the horizon. “Aw, doc, you know lil’ Kaylee can’t stay mad at anyone for very long.”

“You didn’t see her face,” Simon said quietly.

Jayne shifted again, looking uncomfortable at the mournful tone in Simon’s voice. “Jus’ do what the captain does when she’s mad,” he suggested.

“What’s that?”

“Buy her a frilly dress.”

Chuckling despite himself, Simon sat back, never once taking his eyes off the ground below them.

“Somehow I doubt that’ll work, but if it would, I’d buy her a frilly dress for every day of the week.”

“What ‘bout leap years?” Jayne asked.

Simon closed his eyes, trying not to smirk. “That wouldn’t make a difference, Jayne.”

“Oh,” said Jayne, “Well if’n it does work, you owe me for the suggestion.”

Simon nodded. “I’ll buy you a new gun,” he offered.

“Hell, little man, you don’t buy guns.”

“You don’t?” Simon asked, confused.

“No!” Jayne told him, looking shocked. “You steal ‘em. Commandeer ‘em. Off people you kill. Or, you know, maim.”

Simon lowered his eyes. “Then I might have to owe you for a good long while.”

With a shrug, Jayne shot him a quick look. “Nicked that gun off the fed on Ariel, didn’t you?”

Considering this, Simon allowed himself a small smile. “I did.”

“Of course, the thing was a pile o’ turd,” Jayne continued.

“I like to think it’s the thought that counts,” Simon informed him.

“Thoughts don’t do you much good in a fight.”

Suppressing a yawn, Simon sat up straighter, and didn’t answer. “So,” he said, “What’s the plan?”

Jayne glanced at him. “You’re the criminal mastermind.”

Simon pointed down at the reservoir they were currently gliding over. “Land by that,” he instructed. “There’s plenty of places to hide, and River likes water, it’s likely she’ll go there.”

“And what about Kaylee?” Jayne asked as he guided the craft lower.

“I don’t know,” Simon said, clenching his fists to stop them shaking. “But hopefully with River on board, we’ll have a better chance of finding Kaylee.”

* Regan took a sip from her glass and relaxed back in her chair, sighing happily. For a moment, she was forcing herself not to think about Simon and River, or Gabriel. The sun was beating down on her, and the reservoir was glistening nearby. If she squinted, she could just about convince herself she was on the Core.

“Mrs Tam?”

Or not. Regan closed her eyes for a moment, then sat up.

“What is it?”

“We’ve asked around. Locals said they saw a young girl with dark hair riding a mule. They also said it was the same mule used yesterday by the crew members of a Firefly.”

Regan smiled. “Well, that does sound promising. Serenity is near by?”

The investigator nodded. “About a mile out.”

“Very well,” Regan said. “Send some men to disable it. And bring my daughter to me.”

“At once, ma’am.”

Taking another sip of wine, Regan settled back in her chair. Finally, things were going her way.

* “Here, Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!” Jayne called, beating aside a bush with a large stick he had insisted on carrying.

Simon rolled his eyes. “Jayne.”

“Stop hidin’ so we can lock you in the shuttle!” Jayne continued, ignoring Simon.

“Right. That’s bound to convince her,” Simon muttered snappily.

“Hey,” Jayne said, “No one made me come out here to help you find your strays. I can yell what the hell I want.”

They continued walking, the sun beating down on Simon’s shoulders. Sweltering, he considered that he hadn’t exactly dressed appropriately for this.

“Why did you come?” he asked after a moment.

“’Cos when we find your sis, I’m gonna drown you both so things can go back to being semi-peaceful.”

“I see. Clever of you, to tell me. Now you’ll really catch me off guard.”

Jayne snorted in reluctant laughter. “Tell the truth, I figured the only thing worse than comin’ out here with you was lettin’ you go on your own.”

“You could have just knocked me out and locked me in my bunk,” Simon offered.

“I’ll remember that next time. Now quit whingin’.”

“I just don’t understand why you’re helping me,” Simon said quietly

Jayne stopped and turned, surveying him.

“Not that I’m not grateful,” Simon added quickly. “Just… I don’t understand why.”

Jayne shrugged. “You’ve helped me enough times. Now shut up.”

Smiling slightly to himself, Simon obliged.

* There was a high pitched scream, quickly muffled by the bag they covered the girl’s head with.

“Shut her up,” one man yelled.

The second man kicked her, and she fell to the ground.

“We’re not supposed to hurt her,” the first man rebuked, as they struggled to cover her writhing form in a sheet.

“Screw that,” said the second man. “I don’t care what her mother says, there’s a warrant saying she’s dangerous.”

There was another yelp, and the first man swore.

“Sedate her,” he snapped. “And remember, her mother is the one paying your wage.”

He stood up, and the second man followed suit, scooping up the bundled girl

“Okay, let’s go.”

*

“Moonbrain!” Jayne yelled, beating a small sapling particularly viciously.

Gratitude can only get you so far, Simon had decided, as he wrinkled his nose in annoyance. Jayne’s nicknames were really starting to grate his nerves.

“Could you try using her name?” he asked, as politely as he could.

“No,” Jayne replied shortly.

“Why, would it hurt your tough guy image?” Simon taunted. “You use everyone else’s name.”

“Don’t use yours.”

Simon paused. “No one uses my name,” he grumbled.

Jayne didn’t reply, but continued wreaking havoc on the undergrowth.

“I mean,” Simon persisted. “How would you feel if I called you ‘Mercenary,” and Wash ‘Pilot’ and Kaylee…” he trailed off guiltily as his thoughts returned to her.

Jayne spat at the ground. “Seems I remember tellin’ you to quit jabberin’.”

There was no real malice in his voice, which emboldened Simon to continue. “I’m wondering where you got the authority to tell me what to do?”

Jayne raised his stick high. “See this?”

Simon nodded. “Let me guess. The stick of command?”

“Ha ha,” Jayne sneered. “The stick of authority. As in, I’ll beat you with this stick if you don’t accept my authority.”

He straightened up and continued down the path. “Moonbrain!” he yelled, with more force this time. “Moon-”

“Wait!” Simon said suddenly. Jayne froze.

Sure enough, there came a rustling from a bush to their side. Looking at each other wordlessly, they tensed as the movement came nearer and nearer. Swallowing hard, Simon brushed his fingers over the gun in his pocket. Jayne steadied himself, and raised his stick once more ….

* “I’m afraid we had to sedate her, but she is unhurt,” the man said apologetically.

Regan nodded. “Surely a small girl should be no match for two fully grown men,” she sniped.

“It’s wasn’t that, she was, er, making quite a noise,” he stammered.

“Very well,” Regan conceded. She stood. “Take me to her.”

“Right this way,” he responded, before opening the door and gesturing her through it.

“I trust you’ve made her comfortable,” Regan said, her voice icy.

“Of course, ma’am,” he said. “She’s sleeping soundly.”

*

A figure stepped became visible through the undergrowth, remaining in the shadow. Jayne lowered his stick an inch or so.

“River?” Simon said, hesitantly.

The figure took a step towards them.

Simon blinked in the sunlight, trying to make out who it was. He took a step forward, and Jayne grabbed his shoulder to pull him back.

“River?” Simon asked again.

The figure came nearer.

It was a girl.

*

“She’s just through here, ma’am.”

Regan nodded, and watched as the officer unlocked the door.

“I’ll go in alone,” she said, as he fumbled with his keys. “I don’t wish to disturb her.”

“Of course.” He swung the door open quietly, and Regan stepped through.

There was a silence.

A girl lay on the bed, sleeping fitfully, her sweat-dampened hair strewn across her face. She was moaning softly as she shifted continually, her body clearly fighting against the sedatives holding her captive. A bruise adorned her face, blossoming around a painful but apparently superficial gash which stretched from her temple to the centre of her forehead. As Regan watched, the girl’s hand moved to the cut, cupping it protectively even as she winced at the contact. Regan’s face hardened as she searched for words.

“Officer,” Regan said, eerily calm. “This is not my daughter.”


Please comment : )

Chapter Seven

COMMENTS

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:21 AM

FUDGEBOY


oooh.....

Do they have Kaylee! NOOO!!!!

I hope Simon gets to save the day. And Regan seems mean ;p

Can't wait to see what happens.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:25 AM

LEIASKY


Ohh, So Kaylee got caught by mama Tam and Simon/Jayne found River . . .

Bring on the angst!

Looking forward to the next part! Post today... please....I'm on my way to jury duty hell and will need something good to read when I get back! LOL!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:20 AM

TUJIAOZUO


They grabbed the wrong mei-mei!

fabulous chapter :D

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:38 AM

TAMSIBLING


Okay, the image of Jayne calling after River like a puppy and calling her crazy makes me laugh out loud! That was priceless and completely in character for the big lug!

And I don't think River's been found yet - I get the impression she's not the girl Jayne and Simon found - which does not bode well for our resident reader!

Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:57 AM

BLACKBEANIE


Oh crap.
Oh crap, crap, crap, crappidy crap.
This cannot end well for Kaylee.

Getting over that shock, another fantastic chapter. I loved “The stick of authority. LMAO.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 2:25 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Gotta agree with TamSibling here...Regan's goon squad snatched Kaylee and River's still at large, since Chazzer's turn of phrase concerning the appearance of the young woman near Jayne and Simon? Not something I would expect for describing the arrival of someone familar to either man;)

And I seriously hope Regan comforts Kaylee. Would do wonders to get to know her future daughter-in-law and see what a catch she is ;)

BEB


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JOB SATISFACTION - Chapter Ten
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JOB SATISFACTION - Chapter Eight
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Kaylee is in Regan Tam’s clutches, but all is not as it seems. River decides to clean up Simon’s mess. Mal clutches at straws, and Jayne clutches his big stick. Serenity has some visitors…and then she has some more.

JOB SATISFACTION - Chapter Six
Mal considers childproofing the ship when he discovers Simon and Jayne are gone. Regan makes some progress and Simon learns what it takes to buy a gun. As always, a little angsty, but not too much.

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When Simon has made his mind up on something, there’s no swaying him. And right now, he’s decided to be an idiot. Big Damn Angst, as the crew try to find the missing River.

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