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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
PG-13. The crew lands on Persephone to meet with Badger and things do not go as planned - like always. Simon/Kaylee, hints of Mal/Inara.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1087 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Kaylee bounded into Inara’s shuttle, humming a tune to herself, one of her supernova smiles plastered on her face. “Hey there, ‘Nara,” she greeted the older woman as she plopped down onto her couch.
Regarding Kaylee’s smiling visage in her mirror, she laid her brush against her vanity and asked, “Good day, mei mei?”
Toying with her new necklace, she said demurely, “Oh it was all right.”
Chuckling softly at Kaylee’s playfulness, Inara turned to face her, finally noticing the glint of gold at the young woman’s neck. “A new piece of jewelry?”
Her eyes lighting with excitement, she sat forward expectantly as Inara moved to her side. She’d been dying to tell someone the story of how she’d gotten it and from whom. As her friend examined it, Kaylee confided, “It was a gift from Simon. Ain’t it shiny?”
Smiling, Inara could not help but feel immense happiness for the young mechanic. It was no secret to anyone on board how much she and Simon cared for one another. It was also no secret how physical their relationship was, but that was another matter for another day. All that truly mattered was that Simon and Kaylee had found one another and the love they shared not only lifted and raised their own fractured spirits, but helped to soothe the other broken souls on this boat; whether they admitted it or not.
“It’s beautiful, Kaylee,” Inara told her, squeezing her hand gently, before settling back to hear the tale. “And it appears to be very old.”
Nodding, Kaylee gazed down at it. She’d been gazing at it for most of the day, even getting caught daydreaming by the captain when they’d returned from the job. He needed her to take the ship to full burn, as he was worried they’d miss their meet with Badger and he’d been none too pleased to find her spacing out in his engine room. But with a mutter and a scowl, he’d simply left her be.
“It is,” Kaylee affirmed, resting into the plush sofa. Wrapping her legs up underneath her, she said, “It’s been in Simon’s family for generations.”
“That’s a very special gift, mei mei,” Inara said needlessly. It was obvious by the light twinkling in Kaylee’s eyes and the way her hand barely left the pendant that the young woman treasured it.
Nodding again, she asked her friend, “Did you see the symbol? You know what it means?”
Leaning in for another look, Inara said, “It means happiness, yes?”
Her smiling widening even further, Kaylee confided, “It does, but Simon says it reminds him o’ me.”
Brushing some of Kaylee’s hair off her shoulder, Inara said, “Well, it’s obvious that you make him very happy.”
With a contented sigh, Kaylee laid her head against the back of the couch, her eyes closing for a moment as she remembered her afternoon, lying in Simon’s arms. Her body still tingled a bit from their lovemaking and she knew that later tonight it would be tingling again, and it only served to make her happier.
“I never thought he’d notice me, ‘Nara,” she said softly, opening her eyes to find her friend reaching for her hair brush. Moving to Kaylee’s other side, she started to run the bristles through her thick hair as Kaylee continued. “I mean, I truly never thought he’d see me, ya know?” Inara remained silent, more than happy to listen to the joyful girl.
“But then he did an’ now I’m so happy.” Kaylee let out another contented sigh, closing her eyes against the gentle touch of Inara brushing her hair. It always relaxed her – maybe she could get Simon to brush her hair sometime …
“Have you told him you love him?” Inara knew it wasn’t a completely appropriate question and had it been anyone else she never would have asked. But she was curious, her conversation with Sheydra causing her to examine relationships in a different light. Inara knew how damaging it was to keep strong emotions hidden away; her own were threatening to destroy her.
“O’ course I have,” Kaylee admitted easily. “An’ he told me he loves me, too. Ain’t it shiny?”
Unable to suppress a smile, Inara pressed a kiss to the girl’s cheek and told her, “Yes, Kaylee, it’s very shiny.”
River brought the ship down to their appointed landing pad on Persephone under Mal’s watchful gaze. He had not spoken to her much on the trip back from New Dunsmir and while it bothered her, she knew pushing would only make it worse. He was still tweaked by their conversation over a week ago about families. He was still conflicted about her assertion that he was like a father to her and while River did regret mentioning it, she couldn’t take it back.
Rising, she headed for the cargo bay, guessing they might need help prepping the mule, when Mal’s hand around her wrist stopped her.
“Lil’ one, can I talk to ya for a minute?” His blue eyes, haunted by sins of the past and memories too gruesome to mention bored into her brown ones. Nodding once, River moved back to the pilot’s seat as Mal swiveled to face her.
Resting his elbows on his knees, he let out a deep sigh before he felt he could speak. Even then, he wasn’t sure that anything he had to say would make even the tiniest bit of sense, but he knew he needed to clear the air with the young woman, consequences be damned.
“Last week, when you were talkin’ ‘bout your pa,” he said slowly, refusing to meet her gaze. If he looked into those brown eyes, silently begging him to accept her, he knew he’d come undone. “Well, you said that I was like a pa to ya an’ I-“
“It’s okay,” she interrupted him softly. Pulling her knees into her chest, she wrapped her arms around them and met his gaze as he finally brought it to her face. “I was just being crazy, like always. You don’t have to worry about it.”
Frowning, Mal highly doubted that were true. River had seemed particularly lucid during their entire conversation. “Albatross,” he began, but stopped as she knelt before him.
“Didn’t mean to make you angry or scared,” she explained. “I know you’re not my daddy. My father’s on Osiris, very important man.” Holding his gaze in silence for another minute, she told him, “You’re my captain.”
Conflicted, although he had no idea why, Mal nodded resolutely and stood. This was how he had planned for this conversation to go, although he’d never thought River would beat him to it. “That’s right, I’m your captain.” Nodding once more and holding her gaze uncomfortably for just another moment, Mal strode away quickly, leaving River on the bridge.
He was bothered again and he couldn’t suss out why. He’d been ready to tell River that she shouldn’t look to him as a father; that he was her captain and while that meant that he was responsible for her, he wasn’t the man she should look to as a role model or seek advice from; that would just be plum foolish.
But she’d stolen the words from him and now Mal was bugged all over again. Heading out onto the catwalk lost in thought, he ran headlong into Inara, almost knocking her off her feet. Clutching her shoulders to keep her upright, Mal murmured, “Sorry,” lifting his eyes to her face.
She returned his gaze and Mal released his hold on her swiftly, feeling the familiar flip-flop in his gut at her closeness. This was the precise reason he’d been avoiding her, especially since New Dunsmir when she’d been gone overnight, probably taking a client. How that irked him.
Inara saw the annoyance flash across his face and pretending as if it didn’t rend her heart, she asked him coolly, “Everything all set for the meet with Badger?”
Nodding once, Mal told her, “Uh, yeah. All set.” Holding her gaze for a moment more, he finally forced his feet to pass her, heading for the cargo bay floor. “You got any appointments while we’re planet side?”
She did not miss the emphasis he placed on the word ‘appointments,’ choosing instead to ignore his implication completely. “No, I don’t. Kaylee and I are going to pick up the supplies.”
Glancing back up to her, Mal inhaled sharply. She was standing right under one of the overhead lamps, the light framing her figure like a gorram halo and making his stomach do full-on somersaults. Simultaneously cursing her beauty and reveling in it, he ordered, “Well, be careful. ‘Sephone ain’t so bad, but it can still be a might rough.”
“We’ll be fine,” she assured. She watched as his eyes lingered on her for just an extra moment and almost called him on it. But glancing past him, she saw Jayne and Zoe prepping the mule, knowing they were easily in earshot. The last thing she needed to do was annoy him; she seemed to do it so easily nowadays. “Be safe,” she said instead, watching as he shot her a half-smile that made her heart flutter before joining his team on the mule.
River emerged from the shadows to join them and in seconds they had revved the vehicle and were gone. With a heavy sigh, Inara stood there for only a minute more wondering why everything in the ‘verse had to be so unbelievably complicated.
“Sweetie, I gotta go,” Kaylee murmured unconvincingly as Simon continued to nibble at the flesh of her neck.
Tightening the arm he’d wrapped around her waist, he told her, “No you don’t.”
Sighing against his touch, Kaylee dropped her head back to his shoulder giving in. Lacing her fingers through his as they rested at her waist, her other hand ran up and around the back of his neck, guiding his mouth a bit lower on her skin and Simon easily obeyed the direction.
He smiled as she moaned softly, her fingers tightening their grip on his arm as he pressed her more firmly to him, letting her feel his hardening length as it brushed against her backside.
Trailing warm kisses back to her ear, he murmured, “Stay in bed with me. They won’t be back for hours.”
Unable to form words as Simon’s other hand had wandered down below her waist, teasing her through her clothes, she bit her lip and gasped slightly as he increased the pressure against her. Whirling swiftly in his arms, Kaylee fell back with him against the bunk, wiggling her fully clothed body on top of his fully naked one and smiling wide at the moan it elicited.
As Simon again kissed her, drawing her shirt down over her shoulder to lave the newly exposed skin, Kaylee pressed her lips to his neck, and told him, “I promised ‘Nara I’d go shoppin’ with her. She can’t go alone.”
Simon continued to kiss her for just a few more moments, having guessed that he would not win this argument. He knew that Kaylee had wanted to spend some quality time with her friend for a while now and while he had hoped that the prospect of making love with him on an empty boat might sway things to his favor, he knew he couldn’t very well begrudge her some much needed “girl time.”
Reaching out and cradling her face in his hands, he held her green-eyed gaze, reading her conflict; she didn’t want to go, but she’d made a promise. Drawing her lips to his, he told her, “I’ll remember this next time you want me to stay in bed all day.”
Slapping playfully at his arm, Kaylee asked teasingly, “Are you threatenin’ me, Simon Tam?”
Moving his lips to hers, he murmured, “Maybe,” before he kissed her deeply, feeling her sigh against him and loving the sound. Their lips parting, Kaylee rested her forehead against his and murmured, “I really don’t wanna go.” Shooting him a mock pout, she said, “You are damn sexy.”
Smiling at her, Simon chuckled even as he sat up, helping her stand. Pulling his pants on, he rose and kissed her again, this time chastely as he moved to the sink in the corner of the bunk. “Good, that’ll give you something to think about while you’re gone.”
Lustfully gazing at him for a second, Kaylee moved behind him and pinched his backside, before depositing a quick kiss to his shoulder. “I’m always thinkin’ ‘bout you sweetie,” she whispered hotly in his ear. “Be here when I get back?” she asked, her hands running around his waist and tracing the muscles of his stomach.
Glancing to her, he said, “Definitely,” before giving her one of his most swai grins, making her knees knock. Pulling herself away with difficulty, she muttered as she headed for the door, “Gorram work.”
Suppressing a chuckle, Simon watched her go, his eyes lingering on her backside as he called, “Have fun,” smiling even wider when she shot him a sultry look over her shoulder.
Once she was gone, Simon fell back on his bunk with a contented sigh. He had never been so happy in his entire life. He had honestly never thought he could be this happy. He just had never believed it. His sister was safe, he had a job, albeit a shady one, but a job all the same. But it was really Kaylee. She was what made his life complete. Simon had never prescribed to the theory of soul mates; it had always seemed just a little too incredible for his rational mind. But after all he’d seen, all he’d experienced, he knew that Kaylee was his. She was the other half of his soul and the knowledge that not only had he found her, but that she loved him, made his heart sing.
Releasing another sigh, he luxuriated for a few more moments, enjoying the quiet and then moved to get dressed. He needed to do something until Kaylee got back.
“Sir, Reynolds and his crew are on their way.”
Smiling, Badger glanced to his man and nodded once. “’Bout gorram time. I don’t think Reynolds knows anythin’ ‘bout punctuality.” Sitting in his high backed chair, the smallish man adjusted his bowler and leaned back in his seat.
Clasping his hands in front of him, he asked his goon, “Anythin’ of note come ‘cross the Cortex today?” This was his morning ritual, and while Badger had been willing to alter it for Mal, the man’s tardiness, annoying though it may be, allowed his to keep to his normal schedule.
Glancing to a data reader in his hand, the tall brute of a bodyguard handed it forward. “Just a couple of arrest warrants, recently renewed. An’ some news about a missing transport ship on its way to Hera.”
Studying the offered data, the small-time crime lord eagerly scanned the “Wanted” notices. Sorting them so the ones with the highest rewards fell to the top, he scanned them quickly, cross-referencing last known locations with members of his organization. Thumbing through the first few, one in particular caught his eye.
Squinting at the image, small as it was, he felt a jolt of recognition. Clucking his tongue with satisfaction, he skimmed the report for the necessary details, his beady eyes lighting up when he caught sight of the hefty reward.
“Well, ‘allo luv.”
Simon hurried from one store to the next. He wasn’t sure what he was searching for and he was even less certain that he would find it at the limited number of shops surrounding the Eavesdown Docks. But he had to hope.
He’d been preparing to inventory the infirmary while the Captain completed the job when a sudden thought had struck him. Without knowing exactly why, he’d rushed to the bridge, flipping on the Cortex and looking for the latest news feed. As the date and time of the nearest planetary systems crawled by, Simon let out a vicious curse and then bolted off the ship.
Entering another gift shop which he prayed would have more than rag dolls and wooden ducks, his eyes scanned the shelves for the perfect gift for his sister. Her eighteenth birthday was only three weeks away, and he’d almost forgotten. Simon didn’t even want to think of the razzing he’d be in for from both River and Kaylee if he’d forgotten.
Hoping he found something in time to beat the others back to the ship, Simon continued his searching.
“Sir, we’ve received a tip on the Tam kidnapping.”
Looking up with disinterest, Captain Myers of the Eavesdown Docks defense force shrugged. “So?”
Frowning at his superior’s lack of commitment, the lieutenant stepped forward, brandishing the latest bulletin. “He’s been wanted for some time and the family is offering quite a hefty reward to whoever apprehends him and brings in both he and the girl unharmed.”
His eyes widening at the amount of platinum displayed on the small screen, Myers adjusted his gun against his hip and asked, “Well then, what the hell we waitin’ for?”
“Badger, how are you on this fine day?” Mal asked, his tone a cross between sarcasm and annoyance. It was his typical tone when dealing with the weasel who sat smiling smugly before him now.
“Reynolds, I must say, seein’ you in the flesh, it warms the heart.” Rising, the man circled his desk and said, “’Course, seein’ you with my money would make me down right giddy.”
Smiling tightly, Mal flicked his eyes to the man’s obscene hat, the same one from all those months ago if the smell was any indication, before cocking his head in Jayne’s direction. “Jayne,” he ordered, the mercenary moving forward with the bag of cash and depositing it onto Badger’s desk.
“It’s all there,” Mal told him, watching as Badger’s eyes lit with an unholy light as he pawed through the take. “So if you’ll take your thirty percent, we’ll just take the seventy an’ be on our merry.”
Eyeing him for a moment, Badger thought about haggling him again on the price and then decided it wasn’t worth it. As soon as they’d entered the room and Badger had again laid eyes on that pretty bit of a thing, he knew he was sitting in a right shiny place to be collecting a nice reward. It would make his part of this job look like small potatoes.
As his eyes again drifted to her pale, willowy form, River’s eyes snapped to his face. Badger’s thoughts were dirty and disgusting and in an effort to keep herself from crawling out of her skin, River had closed her mind the minute he was close. But now, as she felt his eyes on her, she knew that had been a mistake. He was planning something, something bad and she worried she might be too late.
Tensing beside Zoe, the imposing woman leaned towards her and whispered, “You all right?”
Shaking her head once, River’s brown eyes followed Badger’s every movement as he ordered his men to take their cut. “We need to go,” she murmured.
Her stance even more rigid than only seconds before, Zoe stepped towards Mal and whispered to him, “Lil’ one says we gotta move.”
Shooting a glance back to River, Mal could read the fear on her features and his gut immediately clenched uncomfortably. Looking back to Badger, he asked, “Mind if we move this along? I gotta a schedule to keep.”
Giving the man a withering gaze, Badger retorted, “Maybe you should o’ thought o’ that ‘fore you made me wait.”
Mal glared hard at the little man, but kept his mouth shut. He really wanted to hit him, but he knew the odds were severely against them; they did not have the upper hand, not when they were standing on Badger’s turf.
Moving to River, Mal took her by the shoulders and waited until she’d lifted her eyes to his face. Her gaze, which moments before had been full of fear, was now laced with pain and regret and it struck at Mal’s heart like nothing else.
“River, I wan’ you an’ Zo to head back to the ship, dong ma?” Searching her face for understanding, she swallowed hard and then nodded once. Releasing her, he told her, “Good girl. You get the ship ready for launch, all right?” Glancing to Zoe, she nodded her assent and then headed for the door, gripping River at the elbow.
Pausing on her way out, she turned back to Mal and murmured, “Father,” before she let Zoe lead her from the room. With a sigh, Mal dismissed the comment, guessing he and the Albatross would need to have another discussion about family and paternal responsibilities when he got back on board.
Looking back to Badger as the man basically made love with his latest cut, he shot a disgusted look to Jayne and asked, “He done yet?”
Simon headed back for the ship, his sister’s gift wrapped and tucked securely under his arm. He knew she would love it and he was thrilled he’d actually been able to find something so perfect on Persephone. He’d even managed to find a little something for Kaylee. He had already promised himself that he would wait and give it to her on her birthday, but already he knew that resolve was failing. His desire to see her in the nightgown he’d purchased would far outweigh his desire to wait.
Grinning foolishly and not caring, Simon’s mind again wandered to thoughts of the beautiful young woman when he felt rough hands grab at his arms, the muzzle of a gun pointing sharply into his back. His heart immediately racing, he looked to either side, catching the hard glares of the local authorities and demanded, “What is the meaning of this?”
“Simon Tam, you are under arrest for the abduction of the minor River Tam,” Captain Myers informed him, moving to stand in front of the young kidnapper as his men bound his hands in cuffs.
“I didn’t kidnap her. I rescued her,” Simon told them uselessly. He knew they’d never believe him. His mind racing as he tried to think of a way out of this, he said, “I demand to speak with an attorney.”
“All in good time, son,” Myers told him. Taking another step into his face, he asked, “But first you need to tell us where the girl is.”
Simon pressed his lips together, refusing to give his sister up. He knew that these men did not work directly for the Alliance, but he could only guess that he would somehow wind up in the custody of the Blue Hands or worse. And that was not a fate he would consign his sister to again.
Simon’s eyes widened with horror as he caught sight of River standing just over the captain’s shoulder. Her eyes were wide as well, but she was smiling, and he knew she was trying to reassure him. “River, run!”
Shaking her head once, River stepped towards him, even as the men moved to apprehend her. “It’s okay, Simon,” she whispered, leaning in and pressing a kiss to his cheek. “Father wants to see us, father and mother. Once they know we’re all right, we’ll be free.”
Highly doubting that were true, Simon didn’t have the heart to disagree with her. Turning pained blue eyes to her face, he whispered, “I’m sorry, mei mei.”
“It’s okay,” she told him again, knowing her words had no effect. “We’ll be okay.”
Myers watched the interplay between the two. He’d handled plenty of kidnapping cases before and had seen more than one young woman grow overly attached to her captor, but this was on a level that Myers could not hope to understand.
Turning knowing brown eyes to the man, River stepped towards him and said, “Not captor, brother. Not victim, sister.”
Eyeing her for a moment more, the captain lowered his voice and said, “That may be true, miss, but he still broke the law. So we gotta take you in. Do you understand?”
Nodding once, River said, “We won’t be harmed.”
Returning the nod, the man told her, “No, miss. The warrant was very specific. You’re both to be treated with the best care until we get you back to Osiris. Back to your family.”
Holding his gaze for a moment more, River could read the man’s sincerity. He was lazy and not all that good at his job, but he was honorable, and he would keep his word. Looking back to her brother, she could still feel his fear as it radiated from him. He was afraid for so many reasons, not the least of which was his concern that River would once again be taken to that place or that he might never see Kaylee again. It was this latter concern that broke River’s heart. She was uncertain of their fate, and she knew the separation would be devastating for both her brother and the young mechanic. But she also knew that if they didn’t face their parents one more time and truly clear the air, Simon and Kaylee would never have a chance at a future; and neither would she.
Deciding they’d lingered in the open long enough as they had started to draw a crowd, Myers took River by the arm, not roughly, but firmly enough and guided her away, the other officers following with Simon. “Let’s go.”
Zoe finally made it to the ship, huffing and puffing from her run, just a little annoyed. As soon as they had left Badger’s place, River had taken off at a sprint, yelling something about a race to the older woman, and while the ex-soldier was in good shape, the girl was a bit of a thing and faster than the devil apparently.
Rounding the corner to regard Serenity, her brow furrowed at the crowd of folks milling about. Moving forward, she began to question a few of them, recognizing one or two crewmen from some of the nearby boats, who quickly gave her a full account of what had just transpired. Cursing violently, she wrenched her hand held off her belt and thumbed it on. “Captain, we’ve got a problem.”
Osiris – Capital City – Tam Estate
“Mister Tam, sir.”
Gabriel grunted awake, his mind having a difficult time pulling itself from its sleep state. “Yes, what?”
“Sir, you have a wave coming in. From some local authorities on Persephone.” His man, Jong-Li, stepped back a respectable distance as Gabriel threw his covers off, trying not to rouse Regan. Holding up his robe, Gabriel stepped into it, turning back to the man and asked, “Persepho-what?”
Not responding to the obviously rhetorical question, Jong followed in silence as Gabriel strode out of the room, heading down the hall to his study. Flipping on the screen, he entered his clearance code to receive the transmission and barked, “This is Gabriel Tam.”
“Mister Tam, sir, my name is Captain Myers. I’m with the Eavesdown Docks Defense Force on Persephone.”
“Yes?” Gabriel questioned harshly. He was not a joy when awakened during a deep sleep.
Swallowing thickly, the man told him, “Sir, we’ve found your children.”
Tuesday, January 8, 2008 10:55 PM
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 2:07 AM
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 7:04 AM
Wednesday, January 9, 2008 7:18 AM
Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:09 AM
Saturday, January 26, 2008 10:58 AM
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