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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Serenity lands on Aberdeen, and everyone prepares for Zoe’s nuptials.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 662 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
River set Serenity down with a soft bump in the dusty soil of Aberdeen. “Won’t be any trouble this time,” she said softly in answer to Mal’s current train of thought.
“Good to know,” Mal said, choosing to ignore her blatant eavesdropping into his psyche.
“Wouldn’t have to be a Reader to know,” she answered. “The furrow in your brow is a dead giveaway.”
“How’s about we don’t use the word ‘dead’ right now?” Mal said, though his smile softened the words.
River laughed. “Perhaps you’re just nervous because Zoe’s getting married.”
“Why should I be nervous?” Mal asked. “Ain’t like she couldn’t snap Jim in two if need be. Even before he got injured.”
River sighed. “Won’t need to, you know. He loves her very much.”
“S’pose so,” Mal said, leaving the co-pilot’s chair to head to the cargo bay. “Reckon I’d best go make the arrangements with the local magistrate, assuming they’ve got one now.”
“Zoe’s not going to?” River asked.
“Didn’t seem right for her to have to do it, bein’ as how it would normally be Jim’s job. I told him I wouldn’t be averse to arranging things, if he wanted me to.” Mal looked slightly embarrassed at his sentimental turn.
River rose gracefully and leaned up on tiptoe to kiss her husband. “You’re a good man, Malcolm Reynolds,” she said solemnly.
“Wouldn’t go so far as to say that,” Mal answered, grinning as he headed out the door.
Kaylee looked through Daniel’s clothes critically. “What about this one?” she asked, holding up a little white shirt. “It’s plain, but at least it ain’t got stains on it.”
“Good point,” Simon said. “I think I could make him a little cummerbund out of one of my ties. Where’s the….?”
Kaylee pulled the little pair of black pants out of the bottom drawer with a flourish. “Good thing Adam outgrew these, or else Daniel’d be bare from the cummerbund down,” she said grinning.
Simon nodded, briefly wondering how it was that he had come to be on this ship with a wife and child, rummaging through hand-me-downs to find an appropriate outfit for a wedding. Somehow, back on Osiris, he had never imagined such a life, and never envisioned what joy he would find here. “What are you going to wear?” he asked Kaylee curiously.
“’Nara’s got somethin’ for me,” she said. “Real pretty fits too. A jade-colored sheath. Fits me like a second skin. Kinda’ slinky-like.”
“Mmmm,” Simon said, imagining his wife’s luscious curves in a clingy dress. “Sounds…lovely.”
Kaylee smiled, her whole face lit with happiness. “Wait ‘til you see what ‘Nara found for Zoe,” she said. “She’s gonna be such a beautiful bride.”
Simon smiled, though he couldn’t help but picture the way Zoe’s disease had worn away at her natural beauty. “I’m sure she will be,” he said quietly.
Daniel crawled to his father’s leg and stood up, holding onto Simon’s calf for support. “Dadda,” he said, holding his little arms up insistently.
Simon swung him up into his arms, smiling widely. “You ready to go to see Miss Zoe get married?” he asked.
Daniel nodded, sticking one finger into his mouth. “Weady,” he said.
“Well, we’ve still got to wait a little while,” Simon said, ruffling his son’s hair.
“That’s right, Daniel,” Kaylee said, smiling. “Everybody’s gotta get all prettied up.”
Daniel scowled in a close approximation of the Captain. “Evewybody?” he complained.
“Yes, everybody,” Kaylee said firmly. “And that includes my little man.” Reaching for the boy, she set about cleaning his face and peeling off his play clothes, which were the worst for wear at the moment.
Daniel squirmed under her vigorous scrubbing, thinking that maybe he really didn’t want to see Miss Zoe and Mr. Jim get married after all.
The magistrate of Aberdeen’s settlement tugged at his beard thoughtfully. “Highly irregular is what it is,” he said for the third time. “Alliance regulations say that the groom is to present his own documentation for a marriage to be registered legal-like. Now I know we ain’t exactly in the Core, but I try to maintain law and order in these parts just as if we were. See no need to be bending the rules for a ship as is just passing through on the way to parts unknown.”
Mal sighed inwardly, but smiled politely. “I can understand your concern,” he said winningly. “And looking at your fine settlement, I can see that you’ve made vast improvements since you’ve been magistrate here. But I can assure you that my crew means no disruption to the way you normally do things. It’s just that the groom had an unfortunate accident awhile back, and he isn’t able to come himself to handle the paperwork.”
“What kinda’ accident?” the magistrate asked suspiciously.
Fighting the urge to just throttle the man, Mal replied evenly, “He was attacked by some men who were intent on abducting his fiancé. Just defending what was his.”
“Musta’ worked, if she’s here to marry him,” the magistrate said.
Not willing to go into more detail, Mal nodded. “So, if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to handle whatever legalities there are so they can get married as quickly as possible. We don’t intend to actually be here overnight, you see.”
“Why not?” the magistrate asked. “We got us a fine bed and breakfast right here in the center of town. A right romantical spot, if you like that sort of thing. Has a little chapel on the first floor, and fine accommodations for a honeymooning couple.”
“I’m sure that’s all well and good,” Mal said. “But we’re under a sort of time constraint. Got a ways to go and a short span of time.”
The magistrate frowned, thinking that he needed to check the Cortex for the newest warrants issued in his sector. “You ain’t on the run from the law, are ya’?”
“No, we are not,” Mal said emphatically. “Just a cargo ship that needs to get to our next port.” He paused, looking at the magistrate calmly. “Now about those papers…”
The magistrate stroked his beard again. “Go on and have a seat outside in the waiting area. I’ll get ‘em together and bring ‘em out.”
Mal nodded, knowing quite well that as soon as he walked through the door to the outer office, the magistrate would be checking for outstanding warrants. As far as he knew, there were none, so he was not unduly concerned. Sitting down in a rickety chair, he waited.
Simon carefully buttoned the crisp, white shirt and smiled at Jim. “Ready for the tie?” he asked.
Jim nodded slightly, not wanting to risk setting off a bout of nausea now that he was dressed for the most significant event of his life.
“I don’t think these pants will crease too badly,” Simon continued. “You should be able to sit all the way through the ceremony and still look fine.”
“N,..n…no,” Jim said firmly, setting his jaw.
“Jim, it will be nearly impossible for you to stand long enough to have the shortest of ceremonies,” Simon said. “Your center of balance is just not that good yet.”
“S’why I’m gonna be standin’ right beside him,” Jayne said from the infirmary doorway. When Simon started to protest, Jayne added, “You’re welcome to stand behind him, if you think it’s necessary, but I ‘spect me and Zoe can keep him upright long’s we need to.”
Jim smiled crookedly as Jayne grinned at him. Simon threw up his hands. “If you’re sure you want to expend your energy standing, far be it from me to stop you. But there are the vows to consider as well. How will you be able to concentrate on saying them if you have to focus on standing?”
“Already spoken to the magistrate about that,” Mal said, stepping into the rapidly-filling infirmary. Smiling at Jim, he said, “Man said if you can say “Yes” when he asks, he’ll let the vows sorta slip on by.”
Jim nodded, grateful for all the support of the three men in the room with him. Determining that he would speak those vows to Zoe privately as soon as he could string a sentence together, he pointed toward a comb. Simon immediately set about trying to comb Jim’s remaining hair into a reasonable style for public display. Wishing that the hair he’d had to shave from the side of Jim’s head had grown a little more than it had, Simon did the best he could.
Jim surveyed the results in the mirror Simon held up. Jayne said, “Good thing Zoe was in love with you already, ‘cause that hair ain’t doin’ you any favors.”
Mal turned to glare at his mercenary, but Jim managed a gesture that said everything that needed to be said in response. The three men looked at him in shock for a moment before Mal and Simon burst out laughing. “Well, I see there’s some things that still come natural,” Mal said, his eyes twinkling merrily.
Jayne groused, though he was secretly delighted to see a spark of the old Jim in the gesture. “That any way to treat the man who’s goona stand with you?” he asked.
Jim grinned, looking not the least bit repentant. Mal looked at the chronometer on the wall. “Best we be gettin’ everybody ready. Ain’t but an hour ‘til time.”
Anya knocked on Inara’s door tentatively.
“Ching jin,” Inara called out.
Stepping into the shuttle, Anya gasped as she saw Inara. “Oh, Miss Inara, that’s the prettiest dress I ever saw,” she said, her eyes wide with wonder at Inara’s finery.
“Wait ‘til you see your mother’s dress,” Inara said. “This one will look like a rag by comparison.”
Anya looked at the golden material of Inara’s dress, amazed by the delicate embroidery covering the tightly fitted bodice. The skirt flared at Inara’s hips, making her look like a princess in the well-worn book of fairy tales that the children often read. “What can I do for you?” Inara prompted, hoping to refocus Anya’s attention elsewhere.
“Oh,” Anya said, as if just then remembering why she had come. “Mama said you could probably tie a better bow in this than she can.” She turned around, showing Inara Zoe’s attempt at tying Anya’s sash into a bow.
Inara laughed lightly. “I think I can, at that,” she said, quickly tying a perfect, crisp bow in Anya’s pretty blue dress. “This color looks very becoming on you,” she added kindly.
“Hope so,” Anya said. “S’the only dress I got, anyways. Not much use for a dress in the Black.”
“I suppose you’re right about that,” Inara said, thinking of how very different Anya’s life was than the one she had led as a child. “Still, it’s nice to have pretty things now and then.”
Anya nodded, her mind already on another topic. “When Mama marries Uncle Jim,” she said, knowing instinctively that Inara was the one to ask. “That’ll kinda’ make him my Daddy, right?”
Inara thought carefully. “Yes,” she said after a moment. “In a way.”
“Will he be expectin’ me to call him Daddy?” Anya asked. “I mean, I’m kinda’ used to callin’ him Uncle Jim, and well….” She bit her lip, pondering her dilemma. “It isn’t that I don’t love him. It’s just that…..I had a Daddy already.”
How she tugs at my heart, Inara thought, pulling the young girl to her chest and wrapping her arms around her, heedless of the crushing of her own dress. “I’m sure he’ll be delighted with anything you feel comfortable calling him, Anya,” she said soothingly. “He loves you very much, and he knows quite well that you loved your Daddy very much, as did he.”
Anya rested for a moment in the warmth of Inara’s embrace. “Had another Mama before Mama too,” she said softly. “But I still want to call her Mama. Feels right.”
Inara nodded, “And you should do exactly what feels right with regard to your uncle as well. It is what they would both want.”
Anya nodded and pulled away from Inara’s arms. “Thanks, Miss Inara,” she said softly. “Guess I’d best go see if I can help Mama get ready.”
“Tell her I’m ready to help her get dressed if she’d like to come now,” Inara called out, watching the young girl head to Zoe’s bunk.
Mal fidgeted with his tie, thinking that ties must have been an invention of a man with a real hatred for air flow. River batted his hands away, straightening the tie for the third time. “It looks wonderful, ai ren,” she said, half scoldingly.
“It looks uncomfortable,” Mal replied, taking a last look in the mirror.
“Well, you won’t have to wear it for long,” River replied, tying a neat bow in Hannah’s hair.
Mal turned to look at her and was struck anew with how very lucky he was. “Now you on the other hand,” he said huskily. “You look like the queen of Londinium, come to bestow her bounty on the commoners.”
River laughed, twirling slightly in her dress. “I’ll admit I’m surprised I could still wear it, after two children,” she said.
“And you look even more lovely than you did that day in the dress shop on Greenleaf,” Mal replied, thinking about how much she had been through since that day so long ago when he had bought her the dress as a present to surprise her with when he proposed to her.
River smiled radiantly. “And you look just as handsome as you did when you took Kaylee to the ball on Persephone in that outfit.”
Mal snorted. “Pants are a little tighter, though I’da’ not thought it possible. Hope to heaven I ain’t gotta bend down at any time during this shindig.”
They laughed together at the mental image Mal’s words invoked. “What’s so funny?” Adam asked, slipping down into their bunk carefully so as not to scuff his shined shoes.
“Nothin’,” Mal replied, giving River a mock warning look. “Just discussin’ the pretty fits.”
Adam smoothed down his own neatly pressed shirt. “They are pretty, ain’t they?” he said.
“Aren’t,” his mother corrected automatically, reaching out to smooth his unruly hair.
Adam rolled his eyes. “Aren’t,” he repeated dutifully.
“Yes, they are,” Mal said, thinking with pride that his family was indeed a handsome one. “D’you check to see if everybody’s in the cargo bay?”
Adam nodded eagerly. “Everybody ‘cept Miss Zoe. She said it weren’t right for Mr. Jim to see her ‘fore they get to the magis….the magi..”
“The magistrate’s office,” Mal finished for him.
“Yeah, that,” Adam said, grinning.
“Well, in that case, best you all be gettin’ along then,” Mal said, shooing them toward the cargo bay. “Me and Zoe’ll be along in a few minutes. It’ll give Jim time enough to get situated, what with the standin’ and all.”
River put Hannah on her hip and took Adam’s hand. “We’ll be waiting,” she said, smiling at him one last time before climbing the ladder to join the others.
Mal watched her leave, and stood for a moment contemplating what the afternoon would hold. Scrubbing his hand through his hair distractedly, he tugged at his tie one more time and went to find Zoe.
To be continued
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 5:29 AM
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 6:45 AM
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:43 AM
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 11:30 AM
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 3:15 PM
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:37 PM
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