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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
Regan plants the seed of doubt in Kaylee’s mind, while Jayne, Simon and River hatch a plan. A cunning hat and a girl with a gun? Yeah, this is gonna go great. Meanwhile, Mal rethinks his attitude to Simon.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1443 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: Sorry for the teeny hiatus…. I would have updated sooner but… turns out moving is stressfull. Right now, my bedroom is just covered in carrier bags with random things in, like socks, and coat hangers, and extension cables. And I can’t bring myself to put any of it away. So, that’s my crappy excuse.
Thanks for all comments so far, big thanks to Mavourneen as usual, and please comment!!!
To see translations, hover mouse over Chinese word.
Chapter Eight – Bad Parents
“No ruttin’ way!” Jayne yelled, clinging to the shuttle’s controls.
River tilted her head. “Need my help.”
“So tell me where to ruttin’ fly, you ain’t touchin’ this shuttle!”
Simon stepped forward and placed a hand on River’s shoulders. “River, maybe you should…”
Without warning, River pushed Jayne from the chair with surprising strength and settled in the pilot’s chair. “Took too long,” she murmured.
“Gorramn it!” Jayne grunted, clambering to his feet. “Get her off!”
“River…” Simon said worriedly, but stopped as the shuttle smoothly changed course. The rocking stopped.
Jayne steadied himself, looking puzzled. “How the hell…?”
Simon smiled, feeling wrong footed. “Well. She’s better at this than you, that’s for sure.”
Jayne shifted. “So long as she don’t get us killed.”
“Quiet,” River said placidly, and the men fell silent, exchanging confused looks of resignation as River turned the shuttle round with surprising ease.
“Look down,” she murmured as the glided over an impressive looking hotel.
“Go se,” Jayne muttered, as their eyes fell on a modest sized but sleek looking ship. “That don’t belong out in the black.”
“Can’t see woods for trees,” River said cryptically.
“You’re right, it doesn’t belong here,” Simon said with a sigh. “That’s our mother’s private ship.”
Jayne blinked. “Huh. So Crazy was right.”
“It appears so.”
“Always right, Simon,” River teased, as she guided the shuttle down.
“Wait, what are you…” Simon began, moving to her side. “She’ll see us!”
“Too late to hide,” River told him. “She has Kaylee.”
“How are you feeling today, Kaylee?” Regan asked as she placed a tray before the girl, who delved in hungrily.
“Okay,” she said, her voice small. “Just wishin’ you’d let me go.”
Regan sighed. “I don’t want to do this to you, Kaylee. But I want my children back.”
Kaylee didn’t answer; she shook her head sadly.
“You know I won’t hurt you, don’t you?” Regan asked carefully.
“Then what’s this?” Kaylee asked, indicating the bruise on her head.
Regan had the decency to look abashed. “I can’t apologise enough-”
“Don’t want your apologies,” Kaylee said. “Just wanna go home.”
Regan got to her feet. “Well, you know what to do, then, dear.”
Kaylee remained silent, unprovoked.
“What do you think will happen if Simon stays with you, Kaylee?” Regan pushed. “Are you going to get married? Start a family? Live happily ever after? Simon isn’t made for this life, dear. And if you tie yourself to him now, he’ll never leave.” She leaned closer. “Do you really want to be to blame for him being unhappy?”
Kaylee started a little at the word ‘blame.’ “Go away.”
Regan had almost reached the door when the girl spoke again.
“Cap’n’ll come for me,” Kaylee said, sounding resolute. “Sooner or later, he’ll come.”
Regan turned slowly, a measured expression on her beautiful face.
“Yes,” she agreed. “And if Simon is still the son I knew, he’ll come too.”
Kaylee blinked, her eyes welling up. Part of her wondered if this was true, after what Simon had said to her, but deep down Kaylee knew that Regan was right. The Simon they both knew would come for Kaylee.
“Either way, Kaylee,” Regan said, not unkindly, “You will lead me to him.”
As she was left alone, Kaylee slumped back against her bed, no longer feeling hungry. Closing her eyes as she rested her aching head in the soft pillows, she wondered if Simon would come because he wanted to, or because he felt he had to.
“She’s your gorramn mother!” Jayne protested “You go first.”
“For the last time,” Simon explained, as River rolled her eyes beside him, “they are looking for me and River. If they see us they’ll just drag us in there and fly off. You’re the only one who can draw them away.”
Jayne fingered his gun uneasily. “You really think every guard on that ship is gonna come after me and leave the door open for you to trot in?”
“No,” Simon said with a shake of his head. “But the more ruckus you cause, the more guards you’ll draw away.” Only his skill at keeping his hands steady during surgery stopped his hand from trembling as he pulled the pistol from his waistband. “Guess I might be needing this after all.”
Jayne nodded roughly. “I’ll try to lose them round back and catch up with you quick as I can.”
“I’d appreciate that,” Simon said, eyes still on the gun.
River held out her hand towards Jayne, who looked down at it, perplexed. “What?”
“I want one,” River said calmly.
Jayne and Simon realized what she meant at the same time, and the shuttle echoed with their protests.
“No ruttin’ way!”
“River, no,” Simon said, “You just hide in the shuttle. We’ll be back with Kaylee soon.”
River looked at Simon sadly. “Better at it than you.”
River turned to gaze through the window at the nearby ship. “Clearing the woods.”
Simon shook his head. “Not happening, River.”
“I dunno, doc,” Jayne said, scratching his head, “Kaylee did say she took out them three men that time.”
“There isn’t time for this!” Simon said, frustrated. “Kaylee could be hurt…”
“She is,” River said, taking a gun deftly from Jayne. “Might not need it. Just to be careful.”
Simon took a deep breath, not knowing what to say.
River nodded to the shuttle door. “Jayne. It’s time.”
Jayne glanced at Simon in question. Not knowing what else to do, Simon nodded.
“Someone approaching the ship,” the guard said, gazing at the security feed screen. “Jacobs, go open up. Make sure you’re armed, this guy doesn’t look too friendly.”
With a nod, Jacobs got to his feet and left the cockpit of Regan’s ship, wondering why he always got doorbell-answering-duty. Quickening his pace as a heavy knocking sound rang through the corridor, he reached the door and peered through the window. Cringing at the sight of the man, who looked menacing despite wearing a ridiculous hat, he opened the door warily.
“I’m sorry sir, this ship is a private-”
“Yeah, I done know that,” Jayne said, trying and failing not to sound like himself. “I, er, was just lookin’ to help.”
“Help?” Jacobs asked.
Jayne scratched his head. This acting thing was hard. “Yeah, erm, I was just passin’ an’ I noticed there’s somethin’ caught up in your engine. Looks to be an animal of some sort, I can show yer.”
Jacobs peered at the man for a long moment, frowning as he considered this. Then, shutting the door firmly behind him, he nodded.
“Lead the way.”
“What does he think he’s doing?” Simon asked for the sixth time. “That’s the fourth man he’s taken round there. Do you think he’s forgotten the signal?”
“He hasn’t forgotten,” River said, without looking up from her drawing.
“You’re not even watching,” Simon said dismissively, and then winced as she threw a crayon at him.
He turned back to watch as Jayne once more approached the door. “Do you think he’s piling bodies up back there?” he mused with some unease.
“Isn’t killing.” River said, and Simon took her word for it with a sigh.
“Well, they’re not stupid. They’re going to wonder where all the men are dis-”
He broke off as he saw the door open, two men jumping out, guns ready.
“Looks like his game’s up,” Simon said, concern in his voice. “Get ready, okay?”
River nodded sedately.
Jayne had knocked out both men with the butt of his gun, but now more were pouring from the door. Shooting with ease, Jayne shuffled backwards, drawing the men away while yelling with glee.
Simon closed his eyes for a moment. “That man needs to find himself a hobby that doesn’t involve maiming people.”
He opened his eyes and watched Jayne swiping off his hat and letting it fall to the floor as he darted further away from the ship. With a clatter of guns and footsteps, the men followed.
“There’s the signal,” Simon said, “Are you…?”
He broke off as he turned and saw River, standing ready and waiting by the shuttle door.
“Ready,” she said with a smile.
“I’m not going to ask again. I’m not a patient man, Captain Reynolds. Where are my children?”
Ignoring Gabriel completely, Mal turned with some difficulty to Zoe, who was trussed up beside him.
“You know, I’m gaining a whole lotta respect for the doc. Startin’ to think I’m a mite harsh on him.”
“That so, sir?”
“Pretty hard to turn out decent with a bao jun for a father.”
“True to say, sir.”
Gabriel nodded slightly to the man called Carlos, and there was a resounding thud as Mal’s head was slammed for the sixth time against the metal grating. All the watching crew cringed, except Zoe, who simply blinked and turned to look at her captain.
“Thinkin’ you’ll start treatin’ him a lil’ better, sir?”
Mal spat out a little blood before grinning. “I’m a firm believer in tough love.”
“Fair enough, sir.”
There was another thud, and this time Mal couldn’t help but groan at little as he waited for the room to stop spinning. When it did, Gabriel Tam was once more in his sight line.
“Where are my children?”
Mal glanced over at Book, who was managing to remain dignified despite his bindings.
“Hey Shepherd,” he called, “Is there a special hell reserved for bad parents?”
Simon knew his way around the ship, although he’d only been onboard a handful of times as a teenager. He was surprised to find their progress down the first corridor was unhindered, but the noise of someone approaching caused his heart to stop before River grabbed him and pulled him behind a shiny medical trolley that stood outside the door to the infirmary.
He turned to smile at her in gratitude and noticed she was stuffing Jayne’s orange hat down her cleavage.
“What are you…?” he whispered.
River shot him a look. “Would hate to lose it, made with a mother’s love.”
“Is it really necessary for you to store it… there?” Simon asked, pursing his lips.
She pressed a finger to her lips. “No pockets,” she mouthed, before turned her attention away from him. Two more guards ran past.
“I hope Jayne’s okay,” Simon whispered, feeling slightly guilty that the man was facing so many armed guards alone on their behalf.
“He is,” River said. “He’ll be here soon. Come on.”
They moved forward, creeping closer to the passenger dorms they had slept in themselves on a few occasions. Feeling slightly unnerved that his plan was working so well, Simon tensed when he heard the sounds of someone approaching from behind, but River stood, turning with a smile on her face.
“That was fun,” Jayne told them, wiping sweat from his face, “Where do-”
He froze in shock as he noticed River pulling out his hat.
“Did you… just…?” His stunned expression turned into a lewd smirk. Turning to Simon, he winked obnoxiously.
Sighing with frustration, River stuffed it into his hands before Simon could react.
“This way,” Simon motioned, nodding to a stairwell. Jayne nodded and followed.
“No,” River breathed, and darting towards them she grabbed Simon’s shoulder to pull him back.
But it was too late.
Regan Tam stood at the bottom of the stairway, holding an empty tea tray, and looking up at the son and daughter she hadn’t seen in over a year.
“Hello,” she said.
There was a deafening silence as they stood there, Jayne fidgeting awkwardly with his hat. His hand inched towards his gun, but stilled when he felt the familiar sensation of a pistol pressed to his back. They were surrounded.
Simon finally found his voice. “Where’s Kaylee?” he demanded, trying to imagine it was just some random villain and not his own mother.
Regan nodded to the guards beside her. “Don’t let anyone down here,” she said, before ascending the staircase, towards Simon.
“Simon, where are your manners?” she asked. “It’s been over a year and that’s how you speak to your own mother?”
Jayne bristled, his suspicions confirmed, and on instinct pulled River a little further from her mother’s reach.
“I’m not playing your games,” Simon told Regan firmly. “Let Kaylee go.”
Regan sighed. “I’m not sure I should let you anywhere near her, Simon, since you appear to have broken her heart.”
Simon paused, caught of guard. “She said that?”
“She didn’t have to,” Regan said. “Should we move this conversation somewhere more comfortable? And aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” She nodded at Jayne, who snorted.
“River?” Regan continued. “Aren’t you even going to say hello?”
River was silent, but stepped back further towards Jayne, feeling comfort in his large presence.
“River?” Regan continued, puzzled.
Simon reached behind him and closed his hand around his sister’s, before turning back to his mother.
“We’re not staying,” he said firmly. “Let Kaylee go.”
“Don’t do this, Simon,” Regan murmured, emotion straying into her voice as she stepped closer to her son. He flinched, and she felt her eyes well at his reaction. “Simon? Please, don’t force my hand.”
Simon gazed at her, wondering why his mind was so clear, why he felt so unmoved by his mother’s pleas. “I’m not forcing you to do anything. We can’t come with you, if that’s what you’re expecting. We’re taking Kaylee, and we’re leaving.”
“No,” she said, her voice weak. “Simon, I’m giving you the chance to have your life back!”
“My life is on Serenity,” Simon said firmly. “As is River’s.”
Regan’s hands trembled as she reached out. “River?”
Simon held her firmly away as River spoke for the first time. “Can’t come home.”
Clearly panicking now, Regan whipped out a comm. and barked an order into it for the pilot. “Take off, now!”
“Ma’am, we’re not all accounted for…”
“Leave them behind,” Regan ordered. “Get off this planet, now!”
Swearing inwardly, Jayne turned quickly and knocked the guard that had been holding him to the ground. The guard beside Regan lifted his gun, but as he pulled the trigger River’s foot knocked the gun from his hand, and the bullet harmlessly pierced the wall. Regan screamed as her daughter kicked the guard again, knocking him to the ground, but Simon didn’t react as he leapt over the guard, sprinting to the first passenger room and whipping the door open. It was empty, as were the next two rooms, but the fourth door rattled. Locked.
Simon spun, and saw Regan standing watching him, tears streaming down her face.
“Give me the keys,” Simon demanded, his voice cracking at the sight of his mother in so much distress.
“Not unless you agree to stay,” she whispered, shaky but firm.
Simon kicked the door in frustration, and heard a familiar yelp from inside. “Give me the keys!” he yelled.
“No,” Regan said, shaking her head.
“Mom,” Simon gasped, dropping his defences, “Mom, please, I know you think you’re helping, but you have no idea how much danger you’re putting us in. Putting us all in.”
“Nonsense,” Regan said, stepping hesitantly towards him. “I will keep you safe. You’re my children. It’s my job.”
Simon couldn’t help think back to the speech he had given to Kaylee’s nephew, and shook his head. “No, mom. I look after River now, that’s my job. You and dad…”
“Simon, I’ve left your father,” Regan said, crying steadily now. “He wanted … he wanted to find you, to turn you in. So I left, to find you first. I have to keep you safe.”
Simon shook his head. “You can’t. But there are people who can.”
“Captain Reynolds,” Regan said, and Simon nodded, wondering how much Kaylee had told her.
“He can’t help you the way I can,” Regan whispered, and she was standing less than a meter away. “He can’t love you the way I can.”
Simon leaned against the door, feeling like his legs were about to give way. Not knowing what to say, he was saved trying by a tiny voice at the other side of the door.
He spun, his strength returned to him instantly. “Kaylee?”
“What are you doing here?” came the anguished reply. She sounded weak, and Simon shot Regan an angry look.
“Let me see her!”
Regan closed her eyes for a moment, then nodded. “This doesn’t change anything,” she said, sliding the keys in to the door.
But Simon forgot about the fact that they were rapidly flying further and further away from Serenity when he saw Kaylee, crouched on the floor, her face pale and bruised.
“Simon,” she gasped when she saw him.
He fell to her side, pulling her tightly into an embrace as she began to sob.
“It’s okay baobei,” he murmured into her hair, rocking her gently. “I’m here.”
He turned to look at Regan, who was watching them with an odd look on her face.
“What have you done to her?” he spat angrily.
Regan didn’t answer, but Kaylee pulled away just enough to turn her face to his. “It’s okay, Simon, she ain’t hurt me.”
Simon ran a finger lightly over the bruises on her face. “Then what…?”
“My men,” Regan said quietly. “I told them to bring her in unharmed, but apparently she was making rather a lot of noise.”
“People tend to do that when they’re being abducted,” Simon snapped.
“Well, the people responsible have been dealt with,” Regan said. There was a pause. “They thought she was River,” she admitted quietly, after a moment.
“I figured as much,” Simon said. “Could you leave us alone? We need to talk…”
His voice trailed off as he noticed Kaylee had wriggled out of his arms.
“I don’t wanna talk, Simon,” she said sadly.
He stared at her, frozen in horror, as footsteps announced someone’s approach.
Regan didn’t move her gaze from her son. “Yes?”
“Your daughter and the man have been secured, ma’am.”
“And our scout just radioed. Your husband has taken the Firefly, Serenity.”
Regan didn’t even blink. “Thank you. Tell the pilot to take us as far away from this moon as possible.”
Gabriel straightened, and wiped Mal’s blood from his hands on a clean white handkerchief. “What is it?”
“Your wife’s ship has been traced. It just took off, heading for deep space.”
Gabriel spun. “Took off from where?”
Carlos swallowed. “Here, sir.”
Swearing, Gabriel turned to look at Wash, who blanched.
“Get this rust heap in the air!”
Go on, comment, you know you want to ;)
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