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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
The New Haven Series; Post BDM; M/I, S/K: A OneShot before the big addition to the saga. The Cat, The Bird, The Panda, The Dragon.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1176 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Just something to hold you over and flesh this out.
Simon had been working hard since landing on Shadow.
The town had been ravenged by Lilac Syndrome, a third of the population gone and over half infected. He had treated everyone first, then had sent waves to neighboring towns and counties. Collaborating with doctors in those areas, Simon took a group of people with the drugs via covered sled to those pockets of population, dispensing medication, supplies and hope to curb the epidemic. He had spent the last five days away from the homestead, away from his family as he took off clothing musty with sweat and fell into bed. Exhausted didn’t even begin to cover his lack of energy. It was late at night with a navy sky and silver snow out the window, he hadn’t eaten all day during the trip home, yet he didn’t care. He wanted sleep more than anything else in the world. Kaylee came in and slid in bed, snuggling up to him and filling the space that had cause restlessness the five nights away. He kissed her soft hair and sighed for it was good to be home.
“I thought you hadn’t eaten.” She questioned softly.
“Well, I could have, on the way home, however the last rations of food we were given in Plymouth County were homemade whiskey, buffalo jerky, biscuits, apple butter and canned salmon.” He explained half lucidly. “Not the store bought aluminum can salmon, but the homemade in a mason jar kind, which has a required taste might I add… that and I was afraid of the whiskey, I recall something about potential blindness and I know nothing of the people that made it.”
“Well I’ll whip you up a nice home made breakfast.” She kissed.
“Hmm… it’s a date.”
Simon groaned, trying to block it out.
The cat began to prowl up and down the hall, howling pitifully. Suddenly Meilin began to cry as the noise had upset her.
“Kaylee.” Mal’s voice began grouchily from the other side of the hall. “If you don’t corral that cat in the barn I’m gonna wo zhi huan yi dui de tuoxie.”
“He’s a hat if I get my hands on him.” Wren could be heard from the bunkroom, River’s room being used for their guests.
“We’re guests.” Pike admonished.
“Oohh.” She groaned, pulling away from Simon. “I forgot to put York in the barn…”
“Why does he sleep in the barn?” The doctor mumbled.
“Cause he cries all night, lookin’ around the house for River and Boston, poor thing. I wish I could make him feel bett…” As she sat up, she was gently pushed back down into the security of the flannel laiden bed. “Simon you just got home…”
“I need to handle this.” He grunted whilst rising up, muscles straining in protest. “I promised River I’d take care of him.” Padding over to the door un his undergarments and opening it, he saw the larger of the two cat brothers walking along the length of the hallway, crying piteously for his owner and brother. “York.”
York turned and saw Simon. Letting out a hopeful cry, he trotted over.
“That’s it.” Stooping down, he gathered the seal pointed ball of fluff up and scratched the pet’s neck. York pressed against Simon, purring to soothe himself. “No listen, River’s not here.”
“Yeow.” The cat gazed at him with wide blue eyes, desperately wanting River and Boston.
“No, she’s not here, you have to learn to live without her.” He rubbed the furry ears and shut their bedroom door. Once he felt York was calm, he set the cat down in their laundry basket, where it was warm and cozy. Heading back to bed he kissed Kaylee goodnight and slid under the covers.
Boston howled and jumped out of the basket, running over and climbing up onto the mattress and under the covers. He wedged himself between Kaylee and Simon’s feet, purring in contentment. The kitty always slept against River’s feet, it kept her warm and he felt safe.
Simon groaned. “Great.”
Jayne, had a vendetta to settle.
The living room window was open, his cigar was clamped betwixt his teeth, coffee in hand (coffee that had a little extra added to it of course), and his shotgun was next to his chair by said window.
Inara gazed at him suspiciously as she came down the stairs, Meilin in her arms and signaling she had an empty stomach. Meals had been a battle lately, as the baby wasn’t too keen with the new milk source. However Meilin was furiously hungry, and Inara hoped their latest secession would go better. What Jayne was doing had her nervous though, and she pulled the rocker close to the fire. “What are you doing?” She took the blanket on the back of the rocker and draped it over her chest and Meilin, partially for modesty as Jayne tended to watch, more so because the window was open and there was a nasty draft.
Jayne grunted, a grey whisp of cigar smoke floating off. “Shootin’.”
“And you can’t do that outside?” She untied her robe and eased Meilin’s mouth in.
He made the noise that sounded like a poked bear, and didn’t even glace at her to see if he could score a peek at her cleavage. The man was amazingly focused.
The oven timer dinged, which in turn activated a transmitter it was rigged to. The transmitter was a comical looking piece of technology, pink duck tape and wires were what the outside casing mainly consisted of.
Kaylee jogged over from her shop as the transmitter had buzzed an ancient pager she had rewired, opening the door with a smile. A smile that faded when she saw Jayne’s current position. “What are you doin’?”
“What?” Putting on an apron and oven mitts, she opened the oven to be bombarded with a thick, heavenly, chocolaty aroma that swirled around and consumed the room. “Mmm, perfect.” She hummed.
Jayne forgot the question as his stomach suddenly seized control of his brain. Involuntarily, he stumbled to his feet and lumbered over. “What’s that?”
“Brownies.” Kaylee set the pan of confectionary goodness on the stovetop. As the merc moved in with a zombie-like trance and a sweet toothed gleam in his eye, she took off a mitt and swatted the chest massive chest. “Back.”
Inara giggled, regardless Meilin was fussing underneath the blanket, Kaylee sounded like she was scolding one of the dogs.
The mechanic’s finger pointed towards the living room. “Jayne, no, go back.”
His brows creased together, and his lower lip jutted out as he snorted. “Why can’t I have none?” He stepped forward, only to be smacked harder, which made him flinch. The petite mechanic was stronger than she looked.
“They’re for Simon.”
“Why does he get brownies?” He pouted childishly "Cause he sexes ya? Hell he can’t be that good.”
Kaylee gazed up at the brutish man smugly. “First of all Mr. Big Talker, if I was bakin’ him something for that he’d get a triple layer chocolate cake with butter cream frosting.” Jayne’s reaction made her giggle, she heard Inara’s too. “Secondly, it’s for all of his hard work.”
“Hell he don’t know his elbow from his ass when he does real men’s work.” Jayne spat.
“He’s worked extra hard curing everyone in town and helping all of the other counties out. They didn’t pay him much, the least I can do is spoil him some.” She explained. “Now go back to your yichun shao lie chu.”
York galloped down the stairs, yaowling as he smelled something from the kitchen.
“You’ve been spoiling him.” Inara mused. “Special breakfast, dinner, brownies?”
“He deserves it, works hard.” Kaylee emphasized to Jayne as she went over to the refrigerator and took a long necked bottle out. Taking the cap off, she bowed down and poured some fresh milk into the cat’s dish, who lapped it up gratefully. “Plus River’s been gone and he lost his appetite some. If he doesn’t eat well he’ll get sick, and I dunno what I’d do with a sick doctor…” She smiled jokingly. “They make the worst patients. When he gets ill or hurt he’s impossible, alwa…”
The shotgun blast rocketed through the house, making dinosaurs and other decor rattle, and the cat disappear. Inara’s heart pounded in her chest and she gripped Meilin, the baby wailed and Kaylee nearly ducked for cover.
Jayne lowered his smoking shotgun and grinned. “Hot damn, got ‘im.”
Meilin screeched, her cries making her cough.
“It’s ok Xiao Xiongmao.” Inara soothed, tying her robe and bundling her daughter in the blanket. Jayne shut the window and tromped out of the house as she soothed the baby. “It’s ok, that won’t happen again I promise. Shhh, it’s ok baby. Zhi bi buceng chu you yi wo yao sha na nao wu mi. I promise.”
Kaylee finally caught her breath as Jayne walked back in. “Jayne! Are you out of your mind?!”
He smiled, unhindered by their panic. “Look, I got that yumao hundan.” Large fingers held up a small pale plumed Shadow Mockingbird.
York, though still carrying a tail as bristly as a bottle brush, came forward at the site of the bird. Movements cautious and on the tips of his toes,
Inara stood up, Meilin the only thing keeping her from strangling Jayne. “A bird? You upset my daughter and jarred all of us to kill a little bird?”
“Gorram thing’s been attackin’ everyone and everything in site.” He explained, begrudgingly. “Cat wouldn’t git ridda ‘im on accounta the bird scares the stupid c… ow!” He looked down as York clawed his pant leg, the pain jerking his fingers and making the obliterated pile of feathers crumple to the ground.
York raced over, grabbed the mockingbird corpse with his mouth, and promptly galloped out the door with it whilst chattering happily.
Mal, Simon, Pike and Wren stormed to the door, guns drawn and fearing the worst. “What was that?” The captain blurted, his eyes fixating on Inara’s rattled and enraged face as Meilin cried in fear.
“Kaylee are you alright?” Simon went over to her as she appeared shaken and furious.
Pike briskly peeled towards the stairs to check on Zoe.
“What the hell happened?!” Mal wondered out loud as his bristling gaze locked onto who he assumed was the guilty party.
“Nothin.” Jayne shrugged.
“You shot a bird out of the living room window with a shotgun.” Inara’s voice held a low, deadly edge as she protectively held her wee one.
Simon glared at Jayne, approaching the much larger man and glowering up at his face. “You did what?! You…. ao tu zhiguanjie tuo…. Even I thought you were brighter than that!”
“Wow.” Wren scoffed. “You really are an upright dunderheaded monkey.”
Mal’s eyes caught Inara’s mother bear expression as he glanced at her sideways, and he felt that if he didn’t address it, there was a chance Jayne might be skinned alive and turned to the mountain lions. Folding his arms across his chest, his face was dark and foreboding. “You shot a bird out of the window?”
“You know the one, the little one that swoops and pecks at us…”
“You fired a gun out of the window, while the womenfolk and my babe were right nearby?” He raised his voice.
Jayne pulled his face into a scowl. “Hell I did a service to everyone!”
“You should be shoveling snow in your unmentionables for this.” He threatened. “Or sleeping in the barn…”
“I live out on the outpost, can’t work if I sleep here.” He shot back.
“THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
“Then go be unfriendly Jayne.” He announced. “You know what? You, me and Wren, we’re goin’ back out to the outpost, and we’re fixing your punishment for the next month.” Walking over, he took the shotgun, made sure it was unloaded, and set it by the mantle, taking a much smaller gun and walking it over to Jayne.
Jayne made a face at the gun. “What’s that fer?”
“Your guns are going to be locked up for a month, only thing you get to use is this.” Mal handed him the gun.
His face wore disgust. “This is a BB gun.”
“What if somethin’ big attacks me like a mountain cat?”
“Best get creative.”
Inara had started nursing but a week ago, and had gotten the hang of it. The downside was that her more fitted dresses didn’t fit in the chest area as her size had increased with her milk coming in, but she was unperturbed by such a thought. The welfare of her baby was what mattered, and it only allowed their bond to strengthen. Meilin hadn’t been ecstatic over the loss of her bottle at first, for she had to work harder for her meals. However the milk tasted better, it was given immediately on demand with no prep time, there was an unlimited supply (they only gave her so much in a bottle) and she was given time skin time with Inara, so she grew to enjoy it. Gradually, Inara hoped to reintroduce bottles to Meilin’s schedule, via a breast pump to express the milk. She was well aware of Mal’s subtle disappointment of being left out of the feeding process, yet had decided to wait as to get Meilin well adjusted.
Meilin had finished her meal and had been burped as mother and daughter were engaging in some more bonding time. The rest of the kin were doing their own business as Inara had spread a blanket out on the living room floor and sat on it with Meilin. The baby was lying on her stomach, flexing her arms and trying to figure out in earnest how to move about. Inara talked to her, encouraged her, rubbed her back as her daughter talked back in garbled infant dialect. Zoe was resting on the couch with an IV pole not too far away, as the recovery from Lilac Syndrome was long due to the severity of her case. Nonetheless, she enjoyed watching mother and daughter.
“She’s gonna get it.” Zoe smiled down, glad to be included in Meilin’s floor time. Inara had been giving the little one more and more floor time to get her exercising her body, and Meilin loved it. Floor time with Inara was only trumped by floor time with Mal when he came in after work. She loved when he played with her, silly voices and all.
“I know. You’re almost there Xiao Xiongmao.” Inara encouraged, as Meilin had been determined for the past week to roll herself over. And the baby had managed a few days before, but didn’t seem to recall how to.
Meilin pushed on her arms, grunting. Finally, with enough momentum she rolled over on her back and startled herself.
“There it is.” Zoe chuckled as Meilin gazed up at her. “Hey Meilin.” She gave a little wave.
Inara grinned at her daughter’s surprised expression. “Good job.” She sang proudly, tickling Meilin’s belly, leaning in and giving her a handful of kisses. “That’s my baby, yejiushi wu nuhai.”
The mother, surprised at what she thought she saw, pulled back.
Zoe quirked a brow.
The baby stopped smiling. Clasping her small hands clumsily together and tucking her legs against her body as toes curled and flexed. Her face furrowed, as if displeased with the lack of affection, and she brought her hands up to her mouth. Sucking on stubby fingers and placating herself.
Inara put on another smile and petted Meilin’s tummy. “Ni yuchun Xiao Xiongmao ni.”
Meilin beamed, taking her hands out of her mouth and cooing happily.
“Well will ya look at that.” Zoe laughed.
The mother turned and gave a grin of excitement to the couch bound Zoe. Normally she wouldn’t be so obviously ridiculously happy, nonetheless this warranted grinning like a fool. “Did you see that?”
“If I didn’t know any better I’d say she’s got your smile.” Zoe noted. “If you get her ta do that when the Captain gets home, he’s gonna turn into a puddle.”
“That he will, I fear she’s already got him wrapped around her finger. This will only further employ her arsenal of what Mal likes to call ‘whiles’.” She gazed back down at her daughter to witness another sunshine of a smile. “Look at you.” Inara couldn’t contain her joy. Her daughter was growing by leaps and bounds, first rolling over, then smiling, all in the span of a few days. “Oh Meilin woshi er de de ni.” Leaning in, she put her face next to her baby’s and kissed her and nuzzled her.
“What are we proud of?” Mal’s voice called for attention at the front door as he walked in. Looking down at Inara and Meilin, he saw the baby’s smile and his heart skipped a beat.
“She’s learned a few new things.” Zoe explained as his beloved grinned up at him.
“She has.” Inara straightened her seated position and kept tickling Meilin, who cooed, wiggled and smiled with delight.
The baby saw her father and reached for him.
Mal took off his coat and boots, taking a seat on the floor. “Well look at this, seems you’ve figured out a few motions.” He wriggled his fingers at her before picking her up. It was clear to his lover and first mate he was a helpless softy with his daughter’s smiling face. “Now Xiao Xiongmao are you sure you’re happy to see me or do you just have a bout of gas?”
Meilin cooed, grabbing his fingers and trying to play with them.
“Well I’m glad you’re happy.”
Xiao Xiongmao had him with her whiles.
'I think Grand Master needs to see River Tam.' Emma announced mentally as her students stood out in a practice field. It was lush and green, with a line of stones dividing it and them down the center. The days that had passed had been filled with getting the students accustomed to the new order of life, and they had reached one of the final stepping stones before beginning their rigorous training.
They were going to be evaluated.
'I will be the judge of that.' A monk of high order, distinguished so by his orange hued clothes, responded. He was a sharp monk, young for his post with pale skin and dark hair. 'Let us first see if they even live up to your praise. It’s good you’ve taught them to block, but what they need transcends that.'
River watched them with keen eyes, she knew what was going to happen, as she had been told that morning between her rolling out of her bunk when the cock had crowed and they had dressed and filed in for breakfast. She was to spar someone, and be evaluated on inner style and technique, which in turn would determine with classes she took. As she turned to Fiyero, who knew but was feeling somewhat nude because he didn’t have his staff (or silly stick, as River liked to tease him), they both caught something out of the corner of their eye.
From the advanced training lawns came two young men, as old as they or possibly older. One was tall, broad shouldered and solid built. With dark hair, olive skin and grey eyes. The other was near her height, spindly of muscle, pale, with a mass of hair as red as iron oxide and eyes as blue as sapphires. They wore green tunics, the larger with his off the shoulder like Fiyero’s and the latter a full tunic like River's. The faces of the two held no emotion, a tactical measure as they got in place. The enormous lad built like a brick house standing on Fiyero’s side of the lawn, and the smaller one standing on River’s.
'Sparring battles between Fiyero and Dellacriox, River and Samson.'
The opponents stood in the middle of their respective fields and bowed to the older monks, then bowed at one another.
Fiyero formed his hands into what was called the hou zhua, his stance low and unpredictable as his weight shifted continuously.
His opponent, Dellacriox, let out a traditional war call that rattled his opponent’s ribs as he jumped and slammed his feet into the grass, fists ready as his stance was as solid as an oak.
Samson gave a readied stance that had him balancing on the soles of his feet, one hand up high whilst the other was low.
River just stood, without any form nor finesse.
Dellacriox came at Fiyero like a raging bull. Startled by the amount of sheer presence, the newer monk had to tumble backward, then springboard to his feet, dancing, tumbling around the other young man who eventually caught an arm and twisted it, sending him spiraling into the ground. Kicking his foot out, he caught the much larger fighter’s ankle and knocked his feet out from under him. Rolling away, he jumped up, faked a strike, then spun and kicked him in the face. Then whirled and struck him in the neck before ducking and crouching low to avoid an attack.
‘A Tai Shing Pek Kwar student.’ A monk noted in telepathy to Emma. 'A rather advanced Tai Shing Pek Kwar student.'
‘Exclusively.’ She projected back. ‘His former profession used to involve acrobatics, he took to the teachings quickly a year ago and has grasped all six variations. He’s not very gifted in the way of clairvoyance, he can block mental probing however he is only able to glean from lesser beings, animals mainly.’
‘Few are naturally strong…’ Someone stopped short as they began to watch River.
River blocked, swiftly and effectively she moved. Samson was a whirl of spinning kicks and strikes, yet her mind employed math. He was predictable, and she honed her mind to his algorythm and moved in rythym. Finding an opening, she struck with an open palm, then took a step in and grabbed his wrist, twisting and sending him to his knees. In an instant he bowed to the move, yet grabbed her and brought her down with him. She tumbled, jumped to her feet and made sure the top of her foot clipped Samson’s chin in the process.
Fiyero’s ankle was caught, he twisted out of the hold like a wiley cat, however before he could get away fast enough, he took a blow to the head. Out of the massive opponent’s grip, the young man stumbled, the world spinning and tilting around him. He was hit again, but still remained concious as he attempted to shake it off.
River kicked, moving in aggressively as her enemy hastily blocked.
Fiyero sustained a spinning high kick to the scalp, he collapsed into the grass, out for the count.
River jumped, switching feet in mid air and bringing an ax kick down to her opponent’s head. The red head crumpled to the ground, unable to continue.
The monks watching were wide eyed as they could feel her neural wake and see her form. The monk in the dark cloak projected to Emma. Fetch the Grand Master.
‘I’m already here.’ The group turned to see the leader of their temple. He was old, with a dark wrinkled hide, white beard and shaved head. Regardless he appeared to be a relic his shape was fit, though his back hunched at the shoulder’s and he leaned on a gnarled staff. His uniform was a navy blue that had faded over the years, he wore a knitted cap that hugged his hairless scull, keeping his head warm. With wise, dark eyes surrounded by scores of wrinkles, he focused on River Tam. ‘I’ve watched her since she first tread our soil.’ He explained, spindly fingers holding onto the staff he leaned against, though his right hand was twined with a rope of green prayer beads. Turning to Emma, he gave a kind, earthy smile. ‘You know much my daughter, may praise go to you for finding such a rare gift of this universe. A Long.’
Hearing the word, the other monks stood in reverie.
River, not knowing what was happening, stooped next to Fiyero and gathered him by the waist, pulling his front half up into her lap. Worried, she patted his cheek. “Fiyero, Fiyero….”
“Uhhhhhhnnngghh.” Was the response, clumsily he reached out "I... asked for rare..... this is well done."
River, who hadn’t a heard voice other than Fiyero’s speak in over a week, gazed up at who she knew was the Grand Master. The wrinkled leader of the temple.
He smiled down at her, proudly. “You my dear, are rather extraordinary, even for someone gifted.”
“And pretty.” Fiyero, lacked common sense as his mind rebooted.
River ignored him, bottomless brown eyes full of question and longing for understanding towards the Grand Master. The rumor was he was so powerful he could unlock her mind, and cure her.
The Grand Master extending his hand to help her to her feet. “Come, River Tam, our Shao Long. There is much to learn and we begin now.”
wo zhi huan yi dui de tuoxie: turn it into a pair of slippers
yichun shao lie chu: Silly little hunting spot
Xiao Xiongmao: Little Panda
Zhi bi buceng chu you yi wo yao sha na nao wu mi: It will never happen again because I am going to kill that brainless moose
yumao hundan: Feathery bastard
ao tu zhiguanjie tuo: hollow headed knuckle dragging
yejiushi wu nuhai: that's my girl
Ni yuchun Xiao Xiongmao ni: You silly little panda you
woshi er de de ni: I'm so proud of you
hou zhua: monkey claw; a loosely held fist
Tai Shing Pek Kwar: More known as Monkey Kung Fu, Tai Shing Pek Kwar employs more acrobatics as it imitates apes fighting. Fighting often includes fake attacks, falling, tumbling, lunging, jumping and moving at great speeds to confuse the opponent. The primary weapon of Tai Shing Pek Kwar warriors is the staff as they use it for attack, defense and even climbing up it to gain height in battle.
Shao Long: Young Dragon
****As always, the writer appreciates all comments whether they be positive, negative, or suggestions.**
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 10:33 PM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 2:24 AM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 5:16 AM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 11:33 AM
Thursday, July 3, 2008 2:40 AM
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