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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Part 9. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo. we hope you enjoyed.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1386 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Drexler Hammin woke to a lovely morning. The sun was shining, his breakfast was filling and the Washburne land would be his by supper. He hadn't heard anything from Mrs. Washburne yet, but his reports came back that she hadn't returned from her little voyage off-world yet. It had been well over a week, now, and it didn't look as though she'd be coming back soon.
And the man he'd paid to take the brat to Sihnon was not known to play games. As soon as whatever broken down ship Zoë had paid to carry her to her daughter came within sight of the hired man, well... All anyone would ever find of them would be rubbish floating in zero-gravity. He smiled to himself.
The vineyard would then be put on the auction block where he could snatch it for a song.
He'd have to keep the name, of course, at least for a short while. Just until people grew accustomed to the new management. And then he could call the Soaring Souls Vineyard anything he wanted. Hell, in a few years, maybe he'd even be able to hire a fresh young Companion to visit the place.
That thought made him chuckle as he made his way to the stables. He wanted a fine stallion on which he could ride over to his new piece of property.
"Magistrate Drexler Hammin?" a clear voice rang out. He turned to see five men in uniform walk towards him.
"Yes," he answered. "And who might you be?"
"You are under arrest, sir, for indecent exposure, conspiracy to commit fraud, kidnapping, attempt to--"
"This is preposterous!" Hammin burst out as two of the uniformed police came forward to place him in irons. Several of his personal staff watched, perplexed. "I demand to know who ordered this!"
"My orders come from Parliament direct," the officer answered, nonplussed. "Would you do your station some credit, please, and come quietly? I have no need to list your crimes in front of your staff, but I do have the desire. Trash like you sickens me."
"I have committed no crime, you qiang bao hou zi de jackanape!"
"Shall I remind you of the civil tongue laws you, yourself, passed only three years ago?" the officer sighed. Seething, Hammin shut his mouth, promising himself he would have this officer stripped of all duties once he had this sorted out.
As they led him around the house, however, he saw he had larger issues than just his staff hearing of this. Crowds of news reporters thrust cameras, captures, microphones and questions upon questions in his face. The officers did little more than shuffle him along the way to their waiting transport, leaving him to fend off the pests as best he could.
"Mr. Hammin! Mr. Hammin! Is it true you have spent taxpayers' money in turning out a widow and her only surviving daughter from their home?" "Is it true you tried to sell the daughter to the Companions?" "Mr. Hammin, do you prefer little girls or little boys?" "Mr. Hammin, were you aware your stables are filled with stolen merchandise?" "How were you able to force your gardeners to grow the indecent hedgerows?" "Mr. Hammin, is it true you funded the illegal experiments performed on convicts in Moon Gate Prison?" "How many widows have you pushed to despair?" "Mr. Hammin!" "How often did you visit Moon Gate?" "Mr. Hammin!" "Mr. Hammin!" "Over here, can we get a clear shot?" "Mr. Hammin, how long do you believe you'll retain your position as magistrate?" "Mr. Hammin?" "Mr. Hammin!"
They finally arrived at the transport and he saw, through a gap in the reporters' mob, a familiar face kneeling with her daughter's tear-stained face - talking directly to a camera and sympathetic reporter.
"I offered everything I could to convince him to leave us in peace," he could almost hear what Zoë was saying. "But he kept coming back, demanding more. When he finally took my little girl, I didn't know what else to do..." She broke off her sentence and turned, clutching her daughter to her.
"YOU!" he screeched. The police were shoving at him, trying to move him into the transport as he screamed obscenities at the woman and her daughter and the newsfeed continued recording. It took all five of the officers to finally subdue the man and another twenty minutes before they could actually dislodge the hungry reporters from the vehicle and make a complete exit. By then, the reporters began looking for the poor, helpless widow and her daughter...but they had somehow managed to disappear in the commotion.
"I still can't believe it worked," Zoë grinned, refilling wine glasses around the table.
"I believe in the power of concerned citizens," Simon responded with a grin of his own. "And it helps when some are actually upstanding citizens, well-respected doctors visiting from nearby worlds with lots of connections."
"It helps that summa those connections are Registered Companions with direct contact to Sihnon," Kaylee pointed out. "I didn't think Sheydra would get the word out so fast."
"I think some credit does belong to Mr. Hammin his own self," Mal interjected. He raised his glass as he continued. "To Drexler Hammin. The man who pissed off enough folk that they were only too happy to collect evidence against him, reshape his gardens, call in news reporters from all over the 'verse and, most importantly, corroborate our story."
"Hear, hear!" Jayne chimed in. Glasses clinked and were drained as the chatter continued.
They were sitting in Zoë's kitchen, grateful for the opportunity to stave off returning to their respective lives for just a little longer. Upstairs, Kya was engaged in a game of dinosaurs with Hoban and Briel - and from the sounds of it, a glorious battle was ensuing against the wooden dolls. Most of Zoë's people had already contacted her, promising to return to work again - if she'd have them. She hadn't turned any of them away, assuring them the work would be waiting in the morning. Customers has started calling, booking rooms in the inn as they watched the newsfeed splash across the 'verse. Zoë had broken out some of her own wine stock in celebration of being free once more to live her own life with her daughter.
"Sure, we'll have to go and testify," she had said. "And it could be a long while before it's all completely over, but right now, we're here. And we're safe. And we're going to celebrate."
Another bottle had gone around before Kaylee suggested they drink the next one on Serenity - for old times' sake. Zoë rounded up the children and toys and another bottle or two and soon everyone was making their way to the Firefly, laughing and teasing and carrying on. The children set up their game in the passenger room that once housed a sword swallower, a fire-juggling unicyclist, a renegade doctor on the run from the law, and two little boys on an adventure through the blackest of space.
Soon old stories were remembered and traded, even though they all had lived through them and the toys were abandoned as the children crept into their parents' laps, listening to the adults argue their own perspective of the times when. Kya learned more about her father's sense of humor and of her mother's deep love for him. Hoban discovered his parents had not always been married and happy on a boring old rock of a planet. Gabriel was the first to fall asleep, nestled in his mother's arms and lulled by the atmosphere of peaceful contented familiarity. Kya, for all her insisting that she was not sleepy at all, went next, her head resting on Zoë's shoulder. Hoban nodded off in the midst of hearing a tale about Wash resisting the same woman who had conned the Captain - who was still protesting that the circumstances were very different between the two events and no one should compare the two.
It was agreed by all that moving the children all the way back to the house would only wake them and really, the passenger dorms were still just as made up as they'd been the previous nights, so one more night on Serenity was the best option. Mal helped Zoë get Kya to the bunk they were sharing and returned to hear Kaylee and Simon announce their intention to go to bed, as well, much to the amusement of the others - Old Dr. and Mrs. Tam had to toddle off to sleep while the young whippersnappers stayed up late. As it was, Jayne stayed up only long enough to stretch out in one of the large chairs in the dining room before he started snoring. River claimed she needed to rest soon after, leaving Mal and Zoë to talk.
They wandered to the dimmed cargo bay, Jayne's snoring finally driving them from the comfort of the galley, and talked of old acquaintances, heartache and plans for the future.
"I offered Jayne a job," Zoë admitted.
"So I heard," Mal nodded. "He gonna take it?"
"Said he'd left a farm to see what the 'verse could give him," she replied. "And he couldn't see any way to refuse such an offer from me. I do think he's still got some of that narcotic in him yet."
"Only if he cried while he said that," Mal chuckled. At Zoë's look, he laughed harder. The empty cargo bay swallowed their laughter, echoing back only ghosts of their voices.
"You gonna hand back Serenity, Sir? To the circus?" Zoë asked, after another drink and some quiet.
"Too big for just two of us," Mal shrugged. "And I'm gettin' old, Zo. Too set in my ways to hire another crew, and River...she's not known for her people skills."
"You could always retire," she said softly. "Give up the life. Find a quiet porch with a chair to rock in and such."
"Die slower?" Mal shook his head. "It's not for me, Zoë. Let me get out into the black and tell me...hell, I don't know. Say I won't come back. That's how I see me going."
"Just off into the black?" Zoë repeated. Mal looked at her, an old familiar gleam in his eyes.
"Just off into the black," he smirked.
"Can't argue with that, then," she laughed. She stood up, slowly, looking around her at the space she once called home. "Sometimes, I think the same thing."
"Do ya?" Mal asked, keeping his seat. Zoë nodded, still not looking at him.
"I do," she sighed. She closed her eyes, breathing in the air and holding it before she let it out once more. She looked to the Captain, lounging on the step contentedly. "I'm going to bed, Sir."
"Can't argue with that," he nodded. She chuckled as she made her way past him.
"Zoë," Mal asked suddenly. She turned back in the doorway, waiting. "You ever miss it?"
"Not always," she answered honestly. "But I do miss it. I miss this ship. I miss...all of it. Just sometimes."
"Even the memories?" He wasn't looking at her. Her eyes lifted to where he was looking.
"Especially the memories," she whispered. She left then, aware he was standing and climbing the stairway to the shuttle. She never saw him enter the shuttle and she never heard the conversation he had with the ghost within.
But she knew he finally had peace again.
The next morning, Kya woke and dressed quietly so she wouldn't wake her mother. She would have succeeded, except she bumped her head on the ladder and let loose a word her mother never taught her. After the ensuing lecture, the two made their way to the kitchen where the smell of pancakes and sausages enticed them to sit down with the Tams and Jayne. Hoban and Briel were chattering with River about their plans as circus performers as Kaylee and Simon worked to keep Hoban from drowning his food in syrup as Jayne watched the proceedings with fascination. He looked up when the Washburnes entered the room.
"Zoë, was it part of the plan to have those newsfolk swarming your house?" Jayne asked, grinning maliciously.
"I think that was an unavoidable side effect," Simon answered before Zoë could offer her opinion.
"They prob'ly think you're still in there," Kaylee offered hopefully. "We walked over here last night."
"Cleo says all is fine," Mal said, coming in with a mug in his hand. He went to the counter to refill it before noticing everyone was assembled. "They see a woman wandering around inside, they still think it's Zo."
"She doesn't mind?" Zoë asked, concerned for her friend. Mal looked up to shake his head.
"Says we'd do better to stay away a while longer," he admitted. "She suggested we take others home first, take our time about it, maybe pick up Iona from wherever she is, and see how things stand when we return. I'm sure she wouldn't mind hearing from you, though."
"I'll bounce a wave once breakfast is done," Zoë promised, the smell of food too good to pass up.
"Can I go, too, Momma?" Kya asked. "I wanna tell Cleo I'm all right."
"We'll go together, baby," Zoë promised.
"Well, this is awful nice," Kaylee grinned, looking around at the table. "All us here again."
"Kaylee, we were here last night," Mal pointed out. "And for a week before."
"Yeah, but, job's done," Kaylee explained. "We're all here and plannin' our next trip on Serenity. Feels just like the old days. Right after a job."
"All we need is bandages showin' we won and it's damn near close to an echo," Jayne added.
"Damn near," Briel repeated, mimicking Jayne's gruff voice. This earned Jayne a solid kick from Zoë, three admonishing looks from Kaylee, Simon and Mal and laughter from River, Briel, Kya and Hoban.
"I say Jayne does dishes," River said, grinning. Every hand shot up in agreement.
"Aw, hell," Jayne muttered, earning another kick to his shin.
Soon they were on their way, leaving Zoë's home once more as River rocked them past atmo and into the expanse of diamond-studded skies. Mal smiled as River's hands played their concerto of switches, levers and dials on the console.
"You miss your ship?" he asked her, thinking of what the circus might have done to the Anathema in their absence.
"I did," River replied. "But now we're back together again. I have no need to miss her now."
Mal thought this over before nodding.
"Me, too," he agreed.
Soon there was nothing but the stars and Serenity making her way past them on the path to a new adventure. And, like her crew, she was happy to be home again.
Sunday, February 15, 2009 4:49 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009 7:18 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009 8:00 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009 10:34 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:46 PM
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