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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
The New Haven Series; Post BDM; M/I, S/K: River opens gifts, the auction house brings Mal a surprise, and Bailey makes a decision
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 991 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
You’re eighteen meimei, and I can hardly believe it. I can remember when you came home from the hospital in mother’s arms; small, cute, gazing up at me like you already knew I didn’t match your mental capacity. And the eighteen years you’ve been in this Universe you’ve grown into a beautiful, brilliant, occasionally silly young woman. I’m so proud of you and the steps you’ve taken the past weeks, they’ve been hard for both of us, but it’s for the best. Where you are is only going to help you grow and mature. And on top of wishing you a Happy Birthday, Merry Yuletide! We’re all disappointed you won’t be here for Yuletide, however I hope this care package is enough of a slice of home. Kaylee was determined to send you some homemade Yuletide in this box, I think if she could have packed an entire Yuletide tree and sent it she would have. Inside is something from everyone, we all enjoyed putting it together and thinking of what you would open.
Here on the farm things haven’t changed much. Zoe is recovering well, though she is less than enthused about her pulmonary rehabilitation. Meilin is growing, I assume everyone has probably written about this to you, however seeing as she is the first infant of our little clan we all marvel in every new moment she has. I must confess, since your absence she has become my substitution of sorts, I find myself helping Inara and enjoying Meilin’s view of our life. Since she’s begun to smile and explore, she also has developed a happy disposition, often jabbering and lighting up at familiar faces. And I must also confess that when I spend time with her I do have the desire to settle with Kaylee and have a few cheery little ones of our own. We both think we should wait a few years before starting a family, however I feel more and more driven to propose to her with each passing day. Though we may wait on children, I want to be with Kaylee for the rest of my days and have that symbol of everlasting love with her more soon than later. Regardless I want to save money to buy land and build a proper home before marrying her, I just can’t wait that long. So, don’t be surprised if the next package you receive comes with a wedding invitation.
Please keep us up to date on your training and general life, I long to see you meimei, but these letters suffice.
All My Love,
Simon parked the wagon in front of Colter’s store and stood up.
Kaylee, sipping a travel mug of hot cocoa, stood up as well. She had come with him to get away from her hard work in her shop. The doctor jumped down first, holding his hand up to help her down as well.
Bailey Tig watched from across the street.
Simon saw him through the saloon window, and felt his skin crawl.
“Everythin’ okay?” Kaylee saw him pause.
Zoe emerged from the back of the wagon, one hand toting a shotgun that could take down a rhinoceros. Regardless the cold scorched her lungs, she had been adamant about coming. Pryor wasn’t safe for both the Doctor and Mechanic. Turning, her dark eyes silently asked Simon if everything was ok.
“Of course.” He ushered her to the store, Zoe trailing behind as their body gaurd.
River smiled down at the last letter, Simon’s letter.
Carefully putting it to the side with the other letters that she had read, she dug through the straw and began to pile small wrapped gifts up on the mattress. Soon everything was out, and she cast the empty shell of cardboard aside and grabbed a gift that read ‘From Inara’.
“Wow, they sure like you.” Fiyero noted at the gift pile.
Pulling off the colorful tissue paper, River found a hair brush, some body oil and soap that smelt like mandarin oranges. “Love me.” She corrected, fingering, studying her gifts. Orange was her favorite scent, tangy and sweet, Inara knew her tastes well. Reaching out, she took another, and grinned at the inscription as there were three packages bundles together. They were all from Kaylee. “Kaylee likes you.” Pulling off the string that bound them, she handed him something wrapped in brown paper (that was scribbled on with bright markered designs) addressed to him. Another was addressed to Boston.
“And I like Kaylee.” He said, somewhat in awe he was remembered. Ripping the paper off, he found a tin, and in the tin was homemade toffee. “I stand corrected, you may have competition for my affections.”
River stared him down, and it was not known if she was kidding or serious.
“What? Toffee.” A finger pointed down at his gift.
Ignoring him, she opened Boston’s gift (the brown paper with pawprints drawn on it) and found a little toy mouse made out of what had been an old paisley bandanna. There was a small bell inside to boot.
Boston sniffed the mouse, batted it, and took it from River.
Remembering what Kaylee’s letter had said River Tam eagerly ripped off the paper and found a bag. She had mentioned in a prior letter the bags the monks carried, how they made them their selves and Kaylee had made one that looked perfect for the temple. It was green, a shade darker than their uniforms, and Kaylee had also found a large patch of a celestial dragon to sew on front. River had never told them about being a Long, so it was ironic and fitting. Opening the bag to find the lining fabric recycled from a very familiar Hawaiian shirt, she discovered a small tin of her own toffee as well as a small pouch, opening it, she pulled out a rather robust stack of contraceptives, and smiled up impishly at Fiyero.
“Wow.” He gawked. “She is thoughtful.”
Mal wanted to kill Cadoc.
Or kill the auctioneer, or the man in charge of the auction, or the man in charge of the slaves. Someone needed to die for the injustice his brain was forced to process. Women being ripped away from their children and husbands, babies a few days old sold off by themselves, an old man in shackles fainting of dehydration and being dragged off the stage like an expired horse, a young girl no older than River being given the title of a possible good surrogate for those that wanted to start a family without the physical pain involved. It was inhumane, vile, evil, and Mal fought every natural fiber in his being that told him to jump up, play out his hair brained plan and rescue the citizens of the galaxy that had lost their freedom.
He knew Cadoc was waiting for it.
The no good, silk lined piece of refuse was just waiting for him to do something, to fly off the handle. It wouldn’t be hard to guess he was against slavery. Mal set his jaw and contemplated what to do. He looked at the program, and pondered just getting up and leaving to head to a cattle auction, and when Cadoc followed and asked what was wrong, clocking him in the face.
“Next we have men from The Molehill.”
Mal’s neck snapped up to the stage as a rumble of low talk erupted from the buyers. The war came back to him in that instant.
“Why are you waiting?”
Bailey turned his head from the window to stare at the face of his brother, William. William was shorter, though more muscled and rigid in the cheekbones. “What?”
His kin spat tobacco juice on the floor. “Why you gonna wait for this shoot out? Just get it over with, kill ‘im right now.” He tossed his hand to the window.
“Won’t be legal.” Bailey growled, for he wanted to do just that. “I kill him now I’ll be stretched for murder, folks like the chou tongxinglian.”
“We won’t lett’em stretch ya Bailey.” Another sibling countered. “There’s four of us, all got plenty a guns, no one’ll touch ya. And since the law’s still healin’ from Lilac Syndrome, aint nothin’ it can do.”
Bailey took a sip of his ale and gazed out the window again.
Jayne’s gift was in newsprint, and appeared as if a pigeon footed cow had attempted to wrap the gift.
A bowie knife.
River pulled it out of the sheath and watched the firelight make the blade gleam.
“The gift that keeps on giving… and killing.” Fiyero quipped, munching on toffee. “I still like Kaylee’s though, it’s a pastime that I tend to enjoy more so than one that has me wielding a giant knife.”
“Molehill, the infamous POW Camp that held the rebel Independence finally closed its gates three weeks ago, as it had kept men that had been deemed too unfit for modern life.” The auctioneer read off the script. “Most of these black hearted boys were lethally discharged, however it seems a few had stayed in because of the disappearance of the essential paperwork, and in due to the adequate cost of their upkeep, our fair government has seen them to be sold off to pay for the mounting expenses.”
The captain twisted the program in his hands as his temple pounded.
Bailey finished his ale, slamming the stein on the table and getting up.
His siblings rose, grinning in malicious anticipation and following him.
A black and white picture of the entire family was from Meilin. The whole clan was in the living room, Jayne with a tough man’s pose seated on the arm of the couch, Simon and Kaylee smiling on the couch, Inara and Mal on the couch with Meilin in her mother’s arms all three with smiles as Mal had his arm around the ex-companion's shoulder. Zoe on the other arm of the couch with a smile, York on the back of the couch wide eyed and the dogs sitting in front of the couch. Everyone together, happy.
“Is it wrong that I still like Kaylee’s better?”
She promptly, playfully, smacked him.
The paper ripped in his fists as he was transfixed on the stage. One man was marched out, his rags the remenents of an old tan and red uniform. He had long hair and beard, filthy from lack of bath, thin, shoeless, wincing, looking near death. Yet he stood tall with a frame that showed that in his prime he was an oak of a body, and his blue eyes locked onto the crowd as he struggled to keep his shoulders from hunching. There was a scowling, defiant mouth covered by his unkept beard, silvering with grey as the rest of his hair was a darker, loosely curled brown. Whatever the government had been paying for his upkeep couldn’t have been much.
“First on the block is Soldier Hershel Reynolds.”
Mal’s mouth opened slightly, and he leaned into his seat.
“Doc, Kaylee, Zoe.” Colter greeted. “Didn’t expect you to be here before the five days.”
“I need some ammunition.” Simon pulled out a bullet casing and set it on the counter. “Used them all up on practice I’m afraid.”
“Hitting the target?” The store keep hoped as he turned and went to another counter, taking a key and opening it to access his ammunition.
A necklace form Zoe, brown gloves with the fingertips cut off, and one of Wash’s T-Rexes.
The necklace was a strap of brown leather, with a wood pendant that had ‘Serenity’ carved in calligraphy on it. The whittled piece of jewelry made River tear up. And Fiyero took it, pushed her hair back, and put it on the slender neck of the reader. He kissed her ear and rubbed her shoulder.
River sniffled and leaned against him whilst clutching the dinosaur, for she missed her family and Serenity so.
”It’s Regiment Colonel Hershel Reynolds.” The older corrected in a commanding voice that was at the same time weary. His shoulders finally slouched, and his head bowed as he struggled to stand as exhaustion was inevitable. “Apparently none of you knob headed eggplants can get it right.” He snarled, an old tiger giving it’s last bit of bite.
The auctioneer ignored him. “Four hundred platinum for the soldier. Do I hear four hundred?”
Mal raised his paddle.
“He’s gettin’ pretty good actually.” Kaylee piped as Colter sifted through the various boxes of bullets.
“Believe it or not he’s a natural.” Zoe completed, glancing over her shoulder out the window. “Dare say the Good Doctor could become one of the best pistol skinners in the county, he’s been developin’ his talent all this time and didn’t even know it.”
Simon gazed at her sideways, taken back. “Really?”
Zoe smiled encouragingly at him. “You got talent, just don’t let it get to your head.”
Kaylee slapped Simon on the shoulder with a little more strength than she knew she had, though it was affectionately intended. “I keep ‘im grounded.”
Simon smiled at her.
“So does this mean you’ll be wearing a holster to your check ups?” Finding the right box, he stood up, and kept stalk still as he could see the Tig boys crossing the icy street. The dark determination on Bailey’s features. “Lashi.”
The others turned to see what he was staring at.
The present from Mal was wrapped carefully in brown paper.
Shao Long tore it off, adding to the pile of wrapping paper they were going to fuel the fire with.
Seeing what it was, she grinned.
There were several parts to the gift. First off, was a thick book entitled ‘Firefly Cargo Transports: The Definitive Guide’. Atop that a red pen, and a small cardboard box that held a capture camera. Attached to that was a note.
‘Take Some Captures & Send Them, Miss Seeing Your Silly Face’
The Auctioneer pointed to the other side of the room.
He grew frantic that someone was bidding against him. In a daze, as soon as the auctioneer said four fifty he raised the paddle.
“Five hundred? Five fifty? Six hundred? Six fifty I have six fifty from the man on the right, do I have seven hundred?”
Mal strained to see who was betting, yet couldn’t as his wrist flicked the paddle back up.
“Seven hundred! Seven fifty? Seven fifty! Eight hundred do I have eight hundred in platinum? Eight hundred!”
“Kaylee, go to the back of the store.” Simon told her slowly as he reached for the box of bullets and opened it. Quickly, he took out the magazine and reloaded it as efficiently as his fumbling hands could.
“Simon what are you gonna do?” She asked, eyes brimming with worry.
“Not entirely sure.” He breathed, finishing putting the last of the bullets in before sliding the magazine in. “But I don’t want you in the fray of it.” Racking a bullet into the chamber he slid the gun into this holster and pulled his coat forward to hide it.
“You ain’t goin’ out with those boys alone.” Colter announced, his apron off as he fastened the buckle to his own old drop holster.
“Three’s better than one.” Zoe announced, pumping the shotgun to prepare for action.
‘To Meimei, From Simon’.
River slowly opened it, as it was the last one.
“Eight fifty? Nine? Nine hundred do I have nine fifty? Nine hundred going once, going twice, SOLD!” The gavel slammed down “Sold to gentleman in the back.”
Mal took a deep breath of relief and looked to Cadoc. “Well now, guess that wasn’t too bad after all.” Without even waiting to see the Companion’s reaction, he got up and headed over to the sign in the back that told him to head down the hall to claim his purchase.
He turned to see a man younger than Simon catching up to him, Cadoc skulking behind (Partially stunned because he had no prior knowledge a man named Reynolds would be on the roster). The young man was a touch shorter, young and slim, sandy brown hair, greyer eyes, and in slacks, shirt and a vest that her too big for him in the width. Mal didn’t break his stride.
“Sir I was the other man biddin’ against you…” He kept Mal’s pace, his face fraught.
“Ain’t sellin’.” Mal replied bluntly.
“Mister I’ll pay you double.” He took out a wad of bills. “I got eight hundred and seventy three right here, just give me sometime and I’ll pay you the rest. Please, hear me out.”
Mal stopped and faced the younger man, studying him, studying his structure, his eyes, his lilt. “What is he to you?”
“That’s… that’s my dad.” He muttered out, as if fearing the buyer knew he would exploit the situation. “Listen, I flew all the way from Three Hills to buy ‘im. Take it as a kindness if you’d accept my offer.” He held out the wad of cash, eyes on fire with anger and desperation.
Mal never looked at the money, he just stared at what he knew was his kin.
His little brother.
Simon, Zoe and Colter left the store and walked out into the street.
“What do you want Bailey?” He asked, heart pounding yet his voice strong.
“Nothin’.” The enemy stopped in front of Simon Tam, his brothers standing behind him. “Just wanted to tell you hello, Happy Holidays.”
“Best turn your tail and leave.” Zoe hissed, catching one of the brothers’ sliding his hand towards his gun, she aimed at him. “NOW.”
“I don’t want to see you until the day of the shootout.” Simon responded. “Just leave me alone.”
“Look at you Colter.” William sneered. “What are you doin’ out here with these two? Used to be somethin’ Pops talks about your good ol’ days, Shadow pride, tough ol’ cowboy, loyal to the true town folk. What made you wear an apron and play friends with some inbred core dung and some shipmate woman? Motely crewa folk just drop anchor one day and move in like they got the right.”
“Cause we do.” Zoe rumbled. “Everyone’s gotta right to settle, and you’re just graspin’ at straws cause you don’t got mucha reason ta hate us. Just general stupidity.”
“Heard you’re a buncha sad ass pirates can’t steal worth a shit. That true, ni...”
Colter drew his gun and shot Willam in the knee. His brothers drew their guns as he yelped and fell. “You say that word to her I’ll make your chest into a window and I won’t apologize to you Pa, you shagua xiao shenjingbing! Now run off! All of you I’m gorram sick of this!”
Bailey began to put his gun away. However just as he looked to be he thrust it out and muzzled it at Simon.
Simon grabbed his gun and skinned it as fast as he could.
The sketch journal was leather bound, brown hide sheltering the creamy parchment with a clasp with a lock and key to keep everything private. With it came a set of drawing pencils of various graphite and hardness, along with an eraser, box of charcoal sticks and a small box of three conte crayons. Opening the journal, the first page was inscribed by her brother’s impeccable penmanship.
Mal opened his mouth and looked towards the claim room. “Listen, I don’t want your money. I uh…” He faltered between what to say. “I know your pa, met him in the war, saw him here by chance and figured to buy him, spring him.” He put his hand out. “Malcolm.”
“Pacey, Pace Reynolds.”
“Never knew he had a son.” Mal continued to walk down the hall.
“Well, one of the only two still alive.”
He turned his head, his brows lifted. “More than one?”
“Four of us at one point. My two brothers came home wrapped in the flag and in their pine boxes.” Pace explained, a flash of sadness in his eyes. “Never went off to fight myself, I was one of the youngest so I stayed back to take care of the ranch.”
Chou tongxinglian: Lousy faggot
shagua xiao shenjingbing: Retarded little lunatic
*A/N: Casting List
Hershel Reynolds: after much thought the honored title goes to Tom Selleck (more Quigley Down Under/Crossfire Trail than Las Vegas)
Pacey ‘Pace’ Reynolds: Gregory Smith
Second Living Reynolds Brother Eventually Revealed But Not Right Now: James McAvoy
Zaira Sabah Serra: Not entirely sure, but for some strange reason I always seem to think of Linda Carter (Particularly when she was on Law and Order SVU as the borderline Sociopathic mother) But whoever you want is fine with me.
****As always, the writer appreciates all comments whether they be positive, negative, or suggestions.**
Monday, July 28, 2008 2:25 AM
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