Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
The Crew decideds to help. River gets help from an unexpected source.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 621 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Archangel – Chapter Thirty-Four
Author owns no rights to Firefly, and no copyright infringement is intended. Fanfic only.
“I don’t like it.”
The crew had gathered in the dining room where they had eaten earlier, to hear what Mal had learned. Though it was Zoe who spoke, the others nodded in agreement.
“Ain’t none of us likes it, Zoe,” Jayne told her from his seat beside Kaylee. “Just ain’t no other way to doin’ it.”
“I absolutely refuse to allow River to be a part of this!” Simon almost yelled. “It’s not going to happen!”
“Yes, Simon, it is.” River’s calm voice carried well, and everyone looked at her.
“This is something I can do,” she told him. “Something I am capable of. And it will allow me, for once, to strike back at those who hurt me. I am going.”
“No! No, River. I won’t allow it!” Simon’s face was red.
“You cannot stop me,” River almost whispered. “And if you use the safe word, Jayne will hurt you,” she added, looking to Jayne for his support.
“If that’s what you want, little bit,” Jayne nodded. He looked at Simon.
“Doc, best let her be,” he ordered, though not threatening. “It’s what she wants. And I’d not let her go, I didn’t think she could handle it.” River’s head lifted at that, and her eyes glowed. Why couldn’t Simon have that confidence in her?
Kaylee squeezed Jayne’s hand tightly. She didn’t want either of them to go, but she had seen how Jayne’s support had stiffened River. She smiled at her friend, and River smiled back, slightly.
“River, you shouldn’t do this,” Simon tried again. “It’s too dangerous. It’s. . .”
“It’s what I’ve chosen,” River told him flatly. “And this discussion is closed.”
Simon deflated abruptly at the tone of finality in her voice. Jazz didn’t quite smirk at him, but it was difficult to resist.
“If we could get back on the point, here,” Mal interjected. “Zoe, Thomas is right about one thing. Monty and his bunch won’t never have a better chance than this. And he won’t budge less’n one o’ us goes to tell him.”
“After what happened, sir,” Zoe replied, “may not even listen to us.”
“May not,” Mal agreed. “But we got to try. Thomas made it fairly plain that he don’t think the. . .brothers, can defeat the reavers alone. All they can do is hold’em, whilst waitin’ for Monty and them. He don’t come, then it’s probably a lost cause. But he’s smart enough to see his chance, and take it, I’m thinkin’.”
“I’ll go with you, Zoe,” Inara said softly. “It may not do any good, but I think Mal’s right. We have to try.” Zoe looked at Inara for a moment, clearly bordering on refusal. She looked around the table, eyes resting finally on Jayne.
“This man, Thomas,” she spoke softly. “You trust him, Jayne?”
“I do,” Jayne nodded. “He is the most honorable man I’ve known, aside from the Shepherd. And Book trusted him like a brother.” That, more than anything, seemed to sway the stoic First Mate.
“I’ll go,” was all she said. “How do we get there?”
“You’ll take Serenity,” Mal said at once. “Kaylee will go with you, and Simon and Jazz can as well, if they want.”
“How will. . .what will you be doing?” Inara asked.
“I’m leading another strike, against Blue Sun,” said Mal, looking Inara in the eyes. “They’re the ones responsible for all this. And we’ll take whatever we can find there to help prove what’s been happening is directly linked to them and the Parliament.”
The table grew quiet for a moment, as everyone digested this information. Finally, Jayne stood up, and Kaylee stood with him.
“We’re goin’ ta bed,” he announced. “Figure this is the last time we’ll have for a while, and I ain’t wastin’ it, sittin’ here broodin’.”
“Good idea,” Mal nodded, also standing.
The crew broke apart then, as everyone headed to their various rooms. Everyone but River.
She remained seated, mind lost in thought. So lost that she didn’t hear the steps behind her.
“What troubles you, child?” Thomas asked kindly, taking a seat beside her.
River considered that for a moment.
“I don’t really know,” she admitted finally. “I. . .I have difficulty, sometimes, separating my thoughts from the thoughts of others. Because of. . . .”
“I know why,” Thomas said kindly. “I am so very sorry that we didn’t know what was happening, child. Had we known, I assure you, we would have moved the heavens and the worlds to stop it.”
“I know,” River nodded, her voice soft. “I just need to find a way to overcome the damage they’ve done, that’s all.”
“Perhaps I can help you, if that is what you seek,” Thomas smiled. “While your injuries are not the same as the conditions we face, it is possible that our methods may be of some benefit to you.”
“What methods?” River frowned. “I don’t care much for needles, or tests.”
“I suspect not,” the monk smiled kindly. “But have you ever heard of hypnosis?”
“I don’t like River going,” Simon said for at least the tenth time, as he and Jasmine lay side by side on their bed. Jazz sighed in frustration, and rose from the bed.
“Simon, I don’t think. . .I’m not sure things will work out between us,” she said. “I’d hoped I was wrong, because I really like you. I like what I see, and what I know about you. But your. . .obsession, with your sister, is a bit much.”
She gathered her things quietly, as he looked at her, lost.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“To the ship, I suppose,” she shrugged. “I’ll stay in my cabin on Serenity, or see if there’s an empty room on this hallway. I’m sorry, Simon, but. . . .” She didn’t finish, but instead walked to the door, and left softly, without another word.
“I don’t like us all being split up,” Inara commented as she and Mal got ready for bed.
“I don’t neither,” he agreed. “Just can’t see a way ‘round it is all.”
“You don’t think this will work, do you?” Inara asked.
“I think it can,” Mal replied. “I don’t know if it will. Lot depends on things we ain’t got no control over, ai ren.”
“It will take us three days to reach Idlewild,” Inara pointed out. “And that’s if nothing goes wrong.”
“I know,” Mal nodded. “Be right on the line, even in Monty agrees to go without no fuss. Which he likely won’t.”
“I don’t think much of Jayne and River’s chances, Mal,” Inara said.
“I don’t either,” Mal sighed. “But Jayne’s goin’, no matter what, and River is determined to go with him. And,” he added, “I’m pretty sure that if Simon uses that safe word, Jayne will hurt him.”
“So am I,” Inara nodded. “He actually treats River better than Simon does, in some ways.”
“She’s his friend,” Mal told her. “And Jayne ain’t got many friends. I don’t know what happened between’em, but Jayne. . .he’s not just protective of her. He really treats her like she’s his sister, now.”
“It’s not a bad thing, Mal,” Inara smiled.
“Not at all,” Mal nodded in agreement. “Just puzzlin’, that’s all.”
“Well, since this is the last night we’ll see each other for a while, how about we forget the puzzles,” Inara grinned.
“Sounds like a plan,” Mal smiled back.
“I wish you wasn’t goin’ off like that, Jayne,” Kaylee said softly. She was burrowed up against him, holding him as tightly as she could.
“Me too,” Jayne replied. “But we ain’t got much in the way o’ options, baby doll. This here is about all there is.”
“That don’t make me like it no better,” Kaylee shot back. “I’m so scared, Jayne. I don’t know what I’d do if somethin’ was ta happen to ya. I’d be like to cry my eyes out, and wither away and die.”
“Don’t you ever say that,” Jayne growled. “Not ever. You ain’t ta pin your life on me like that, Kaylee Frye. Not like this. This here, it’s got to be done. Ain’t no choice. But,” he added, lifting her head where he could see her eyes, “this here ain’t gonna last. It ain’t gonna be all the time.”
“When this is over, Kaylee,” he continued, “I want us to go back to Celeste, me and you. I want us to get married, and live a normal life. You can open a shop o’ your own, and work as you please. I’ll take that Marshall’s job in town, and we’ll live peaceable.”
“You done got it all worked out, have you?” Kaylee asked.
“I got the idea worked out,” Jayne nodded. “But until you say ‘yes’, that’s all it is. An idea. It’s what I want for us. But I won’t try and make you do it, and I won’t leave you, no matter what. You want to stay on Serenity, then we will. But I want better for you. For us.”
Kaylee looked at him for a moment, and then nodded her head.
“I want that too, Jayne,” she said softly. “I want it so much, bao bei. I’m so tired o’ living this way, o’ bein’ scared all the time, never knowin’ what’s gonna happen. Never knowin’ when ya might. . .when you may. . . .” She trailed off, finally, tears flowing, unable to finish. Jayne hugged her to him, and whispered softly in her ear, soothing her.
“It’ll be fine, ai ren,” she heard just as she drifted off to sleep. “I promise, it’ll be fine.”
River awoke suddenly, hearing the snap of Thomas’ fingers. She blinked rapidly, several times, and then focused on his face.
“How do you feel, River?” he asked.
River evaluated herself. She was alert, and oriented. She knew who she was, where she was. She remembered their conversation about her troubles. She had explained to him that. . . .
“It’s quiet,” she whispered in wonder. “I. . .I can’t hear. . .I can’t hear them!” She was almost alarmed at the absence of the feelings of others in her mind.
“Focus for a moment,” Thomas ordered gently. “Pick out one mind, and focus.”
River closed her eyes, selecting Zoe. She was the only one who wouldn’t likely be. . .busy. In seconds, River was inside Zoe’s mind, feeling her turmoil over the mission, her grief over Wash, her loneliness. River withdrew.
Next she focused on Jayne. Once again, in mere seconds, she was inside his mind, feeling the distant, red tinged rage that was always lurking inside him. She could feel Kaylee’s presence near him, taste her fear and apprehension. She withdrew again, and looked at Thomas, eyes wide.
“What did you do?” she asked in wonder.
“The mind is a remarkable instrument, River Tam,” Thomas told her. “It has great power, even damaged. And your mind is more remarkable than most.”
“Through hypnosis, I have enabled your mind to ignore the thoughts of others, as if they simply weren’t there. At the same time, you can now focus your mind more clearly, thus concentrating only on what you want to see, or hear, as you put it.”
“Will it last?” she asked, fearful of the answer.
“For some time,” he assured her. “And when you feel it weakening, all you need do is return here, and I will reset the hypnosis for you. Should I fall, or pass, I will leave instructions that you be given every possible courtesy. Such an order will grant you access to our grounds, and you will be provided with the help you need.”
“Can you stop the triggers that are programmed into my mind?” River asked hesitantly.
“Probably,” Thomas nodded. “I’d have to know what they are, in order to do it, however.”
River hastily scribbled on a slip of paper, and passed it to the monk.
“This is a safe word, used to render me unconscious,” River told him. Thomas looked at the word.
“Etta koo. . .” Thomas began, but River’s hand shot out to cover his mouth.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “Stupid of me. This looks. . .it looks like Russian, sort of. Maybe a derivative.”
“I do not know,” River admitted. “I know only that it renders me helpless.”
“Well, relax for a few minutes,” Thomas ordered. “And we’ll see what we can do.”
Simon lay in bed, looking at the ceiling.
He couldn’t understand why everyone took such offense to his trying to keep River safe. Didn’t they realize what she’d been through? How badly she’d been harmed?
He had thought Jazz was different. He and Kaylee had argued over River more than once, but he’d thought Jazz was more understanding.
And what, exactly, was wrong with him being worried? He had simply been voicing his fears. In fact, he had probably been looking for reassurance on some subconscious level. Assurance that River could take care of herself, and that Jayne wouldn’t let anything happen to her.
Jazz hadn’t taken it that way, though. Instead, she’d just left. He sighed in frustration.
He didn’t know what to do, and had no one to turn to. He didn’t have someone like Jayne to look out for him. Someone like Mal to talk to. Someone like Inara and Kaylee always waiting to help him when he needed answers.
All he had was himself. He didn’t feel sorry for himself. It wasn’t that he envied River what she had. He just wished that people might be a bit more understanding of him, as well. Allow him his fears and concerns. And maybe, once in a while, offer him some comfort, even if it was just false hope, that everything would be fine.
Turning onto his side, Simon wondered if perhaps it wasn’t time to try and reclaim some of his life. Somewhere. It was clear that River didn’t actually need him under foot. She was more than capable of taking care of herself, and when she wasn’t, she had a ship full of people who would.
When this is over, he told himself, drifting toward sleep. When this is over, and done with, I’ll think about it. Maybe I can go back to Osiris. If the reavers leave anything.
Jazz wandered the hallways around the old church, struggling to understand things.
She really liked Simon Tam. Really liked him. She was honest enough to admit that. He was handsome, and kind. Well mannered. And undoubtedly brave, considering what he’d been through.
If he could just focus on something other than River once in a while, he’d be a good catch, as her grand-mother would have said. A good man.
I wonder if that’s what broke him and Kaylee Frye apart? The thought ran through her mind. Whatever had happened between them, it was clear that Kaylee was deliriously happy with Cobb. And equally clear that Cobb almost worshiped the ground Kaylee tread upon.
I wonder what it’s like to have someone love you that much? she mused. To have someone so completely in love with you that you are the center of their existence? She wanted to love someone like that. And be loved like that in return. To be wrapped in that cocoon of warmth and contentment that could only be found in the arms of someone who loved you unconditionally, and that you loved that way in return.
She had begun to think she might find that with Simon. True, she’d known him only a short time. But he was a fascinating man. Maybe he wasn’t an armor and sword wielding superman. But he had strength of his own.
I really wanted to find out, too, she thought bitterly. She still could, of course. Things might get better. She’d have to see what happened tomorrow.
“Would you like me to try the safe word?” Thomas asked, once River had recovered. She looked at him thoughtfully for a moment.
“Yes,” she nodded finally. “I would like to know if it has been successful. What will happen if it works?” she asked.
“Well, your hypnosis has been set to make you smile when you hear the phrase,” Thomas replied. “I thought if anyone used it on you maliciously, then a smile might come as a rude awakening for them,” he grinned.
“I like it,” River grinned in return.
“Etta koorum nas mecht!” Thomas said suddenly, without warning.
River’s smile bloomed across her face, and Thomas’ mirrored it.
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.