Broken Wings: Chapter 7 (Repost)
Monday, November 12, 2007

Simon and Zoe remember the past while River makes a decision. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.


Chapter 7

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m just –“ Simon shook his head. “Nothing.”

Kaylee sat up, ignoring her nakedness. “Ain’t nothing.”

Simon sighed and smiled slightly at her lack of concern for her state of undress. He shouldn’t though, he was the only one in the room and he’d seen much more of her than he was seeing at this very moment.


He chuckled at her attempt to look mad.

“It’s just –“ he glanced toward the door. “I feel like I’m neglecting River.” He’d felt like that for a long while. Even years ago, when he was worried about her being away in school. He’d concentrated on his studies, on his work – and his girlfriend – far too much. He’d worried about his sister, but he’d kept it so internalized that no one knew he was worrying but him.

Kaylee scoffed and playfully swatted his chest. “Ain’t the way of it. She’s happy for us.”

Simon shook his head to clear the unpleasant memories. “I know. I just –“


Simon grinned wryly. He knew it was foolish. He knew River was happy for them. She was even getting better. There was no reason for him to worry so much. But he still did. It was his nature. And he was certain nothing would ever change it. “Yes.”

“It’s ok. It’s allowed.”

“You have a handbook somewhere that says what’s allowed and what isn’t?” He jokingly lifted the sheet.

She tapped her fingers on his chest and smiled playfully. Her eyes twinkled as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her body into his. “Yeah, wanna come find it?”

Simon flattened his hands along her back and kissed her, long and deep. Desire stirred in his groin and all guilt over his sister was wiped away with her skilled tongue and hands.

Simon’s eyes popped open and he stared at the dark ceiling for a long moment. He could hear Billy gurgling in his crib, but the boy hadn’t cried for attention or food yet. Simon knew, from experience, that he would soon. He sighed heavily and rolled closer toward the edge of the bed. He wanted to lie there for a little longer; he wanted to close his eyes and return to his dreams – where Kaylee was alive and well and lying in his arms teasing him about their perfectly healthy baby boy. He punched his pillow and squeezed his eyes shut in an effort to keep the sting of oncoming tears at bay.


Zoe raised an eyebrow when a string of obscenities rolled out of Mal’s mouth. She clutched her weapon tightly as they crouched behind a crumbled wall and waited for the volley to cease.

This fight was outwardly similar to the last time she found herself lying side by side on a battlefield with her friend and captain, but something subtle was different. There was more of a desperate determination to win this time. The first war had been to free themselves from the governing might of the Alliance. And while that was still true, now they were fighting for the same thing and more. The Miranda Broadwave acted like salt in a still open and bleeding wound.

The rallying cry behind this new call for support had been to outline the atrocities committed by the Alliance against their own people and the speculation of what might continue if they remained in power. It worked – on the Rim worlds. Even in the Core the Alliance had lost some of its unwavering support.

The Miranda broadwave had driven a very long, sharp nail into the Alliance’s side.

“Where is the bloody air support!” A nearby man growled, cowering like the rest of them behind anything large enough to provide protection from the neverending stream of projectiles being hurled in their direction.

“We’re outgunned and outmanned,” Zoe said truthfully.

Mal met her eyes. “Ain’t ever stopped us before.”

“Won’t stop us now.” Zoe tightened her fingers around her weapon. “Just stating fact.”

When the barrage of weapon fire stopped, Zoe breathed a sigh of relief.

The man who’d grumbled about the air support glanced up at the sky and whooped his gun into the air. “’Bout time intelligence was right about somethin’.”

“Sit your miserable pigu on the ground,” Mal hissed. He poked his head around the fallen wall he crouched behind. His eyes darted around the burned landscape, expecting to catch a glimpse of reflected metal or movement. “We don’t move until they radio it’s clear. Got it?”

“Don’t hear nothin’,” the newbie said with a frown.

“You never do until they put a slug in your chest.” Zoe followed Mal’s gaze and nodded. She rolled onto her stomach, flattened herself as far into the ground as she could and let off a single shot, which startled the green soldier sitting beside her. “Then its too late.”

Mal stared pointedly at the boy, who Zoe noticed couldn’t have been any older than River. “Air support never gets ‘em all.”

After another few cautious glances and shots from their only remaining sharpshooter, Mal raised his hand and stood. The rest of the company followed without comment or complaint as he led them toward the building where intelligence reported a large supply of munitions to be hidden.

Zoe kept eagle eyes ahead, starting at every sound, at every piece of burning debris that fell to the ground. When they reached the deserted compound, she shared a glance with Mal; one they didn’t want anyone else to see.

She went first, gun at the ready, and kicked in the already partially ajar door. She suspected, they both did, but not until she raised her flashlight and swiveled it around the empty room, was it confirmed.

Intelligence had been wrong. There was no collection of weapons stored here. Instead, there was a bright red wire embedded into multiple locations in the wall; blood red – the color that would spill from their bodies if they didn’t get out of the vicinity as fast as their legs could carry them.

The ship shook as Wash held the controls in white-knuckled hands. This escape was different than their last. This time, projectiles were being hurled in their direction, and if one of them punctured the ship, they were done for.

Zoe stared out the front viewscreen as the Reaver ship closed in on them. “Better be as good as his papers say he is,” she said to Mal while she eyed the man sitting in the pilot’s seat.

“Really, ain’t no cause to be so hostile.”

“That’s right!” Wash said as he banked the ship hard to one side, throwing the captain and first mate off balance and into the nearest wall. “I’m harmless.” He turned around and smiled geekily at Zoe. “Once you get to know me.”

Zoe could feel the tug of a smirk at the corner of her lips. The man had balls. She had to give him credit. “Ain’t gonna happen.”

Wash’s eyes slid down her chest before he reached over and flipped a switch that tilted the ship yet again and sent Mal and Zoe into the opposite bulkhead. “Don’t know what you’re missing.”

Mal scowled and this time Zoe allowed herself a small smile. She would never admit how entertaining it was to see Mal all riled over her. “How about you fly this ship and stop hittin’ on my first mate.”

Wash shrugged, which only made Zoe raise an amused eyebrow. “If we’re gonna die, I figure I don’t have anything to lose.”

“We ain’t dyin’. Not today anyway,” Mal growled and flipped on the comm. to the engine room. “Kaylee?”

Zoe watched Wash work, listened to him tell Kaylee what he needed from the engine, watched his fingers move effortlessly over the console. It was the first time she’d wondered how those fingers would feel ghosting over her skin.

Dimly, she heard her name. Somewhere in the back of her mind, her mouth formed the word, his name, but couldn’t voice it. Somehow she knew that if she did, he wouldn’t come; wouldn’t answer her. She pried her eyelids apart and squinted into the light shining down on her from above.

“Zoe? You ok?”

She grunted and glanced around at the demolished building. “We got out?”

She saw Mal nod and sat up, groaning as her bruised muscles protested, “Just in time, too. Hundan’s wired it.”

“Gathered as much.”

The newbie dropped beside them and scowled. “Guess intelligence ain’t right all the time, huh?”

Zoe just stared. Sometimes words weren’t necessary.


River and her instructor stood in the secluded garden, maintaining a graceful motion as they worked through the kata. She could sense the transmitter that would scramble their voices should anyone attempt to listen to their conversation. It was well hidden, but she knew where it was.

“You understand the importance of this request.”

River forced herself not to roll her eyes. “Yes.”

“If you’re caught, we will disavow any knowledge of your activities.”

“I won’t be.”

River could sense the man’s desire to believe her.

“Your instructions will be waiting for you once you reach your destination. You will have thirty seconds to read and disseminate the information before the message destroys itself.”

“I’ll only need fifteen.”

They moved again, gracefully, exhibiting amazing muscle control as they bent and twisted in the movements of their ancestors.

“Your overconfidence will be a weakness you can ill afford to have.”

River hesitated for a split second and stared at him. His faith was his weakness, just as it had been for another. It didn’t matter in what he placed it; in God, in the government. “My only weakness is no where near me.”

At this admission, a dark eyebrow raised far into the man’s wrinkled forehead. “Something you have omitted from us?”

“Nothing important.”

“If there is something, or someone, who could stop you –“

“My family is gone. Spread far and wide across the ‘verse. I am alone. I will complete my mission, and the next one that you give me, and the next. I will not fail.”

“Everyone fails at one time or another.”

River smirked but said nothing. He wouldn’t believe her if she explained it to him with carefully detailed drawings and diagrams. She was an Alliance made weapon. And that weapon would be their downfall.


------------- Reviews before the hack. -------------- mrscatman Monday, September 10, 2007 - 05:16

this is too good of a story for you to keep us hanging like this. More chapters please! --------------

epm0001 Monday, September 10, 2007 - 06:35

Wonderful like always. I can't wait for the next chapter..I'm on the edge of my seat. ----------------

Hoperules Monday, September 10, 2007 - 07:05

This Chapter is very exciting. I like this tale because stuff is actually happening. The characters reveal themselves though their actions and are not just wallowing in their emotions. ------------

TamSibling Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:59

It's official - you must promise to post all of this before you go on your world tour! It's so great and each of the stories just weaves more tension and angst and heartache. I love it! ------------

MerryK Monday, September 10, 2007 - 16:03

The brilliance of this story is beyond my powers of language. Your Tam siblings, especially, never once make me think of anything but Joss' characters...and I'm awfully picky about them.


Desertgirl Monday, September 10, 2007 - 17:08

Everyday when I see that you've posted I get so excited. I am just itchin' to know what is going to happen next.

I really liked how you wove the characters memories into this chapter. Kepp em' coming!!!!!!!


blackbeanie Monday, September 10, 2007 - 17:56

Grr, I have to know what River's up to, guessing at not knowing is drving me crazy!

The flashbacks were heartbreaking, please update soon. ------------

BigBadJayne Monday, September 10, 2007 - 20:09

God you made me realize just how much I miss Wash... and like blackbeanie I'm entranced to know what River is up to...wonderful. "Please, Leiasky, I want some more..."


KiMbEr Monday, September 10, 2007 - 20:55

Beware ppl...Leiasky angst strikes again!! Whoa, this really is a bumpy ride:)

Keep flying ;) -----------------

AMDOBELL Monday, September 10, 2007 - 22:49

Okay, I am fed up posting comments that just disappear. Hope this one stays at least! Really love this, so very sad with Simon and Zoe having flashbacks to when Kaylee and Wash were still alive. I miss them too. I am intrigued by River and can't wait to see what happens next!



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Simon and Kaylee discuss other - avenues, as they lay in bed. Oddly, this is a pretty PG story.

Simon and kaylee disturb the ship with their nocturnal activities. Post BDM. Part of a challenge table. Rated NC-17 for adult content.

Broken Wings: Conclusion (Repost)
The crew take Kaylee home to be buried and the reason for Simon's secrecy is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 18 (Repost)
Simon, Mal and Jayne have a moment with Kaylee. Inara and River are reunited with the rest of the crew. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 17 (Repost)
Simon has a conversation with Zoe, Mal and Jayne - separately. Sequel to 'On the Edge.' Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 16 (Repost)
The crew is reunited - mostly, as Simon arrives to treat the wounded. River rushes to Inara's aid before her deception is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 15 (Repost)
Simon's escape is halted by his father. But River comes to the rescue. Jayne - sees the light - far too up close and personal for his safety. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 14 (Repost)
Simon and Inara's deception is discovered. Mal, Jayne and Zoe continue to fight what looks to be a losing battle. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 13 (Repost)
Simon has some unexpected help with his fussy son and River receives another assignment. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 12 (Repost)
Inara and Simon continue their work while a message gets out to those on the front lines. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.