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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
A Flashback into Cat and Mal's past...a story that kind of has been playing around in my head. Is short, I know, but I hope you enjoy. More Cat soon as I get over the flu. ;) (thanks Ali and Jane for the well wishes. You both rock.)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 924 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Three weeks after joining the 57th.....
Mal hated death, especially when it happened to someone as young as Private Conners. He had been no more than eighteen, if that, most of the kids had lied to get in, especially those who had no one to mourn them when they died. Conners was one of those. Mom and Dad were killed when they refused to pay some Gang Lord's tax, something that should have been stopped by the Alliance, but as always they had somewhere better to be, more important. It was always the little guy that suffered.
He cradled the boy's bloodied head in his lap, a tear staining the jacket on his uniform as the Sargent just stared at the hole in the young kid's chest, Mal's hand wrapped tight around Conner's dog tags, saddened that no one would be there to collect them.
A shadow cast itself over the dead body as he looked up from tear stained cheeks at his newest recruit, the strange woman who called herself Cat. She had made for a great addition to his unit, training the younger ones to fight and even showing the veterans a new trick or two. She hadn't won over Zoe yet, his second still a bit wary of the red haired devil, but as far as Mal was concerned, she hadn't killed him so there had to be some good in her.
"You're mourning his loss, why?" She looked at him with those piercing green eyes and then to Conner's dead form.
"He was too young."
"But, did he not fight bravely and do what needed to be done? Isn't that what you ask of these, of us?"
"Yes, but even a great leader mourns the fallen that served him." Mal looked at her, the moonlight reflected in her eyes. "Besides, if I don't, no one else will."
"So he is like me." Her voice softened as she leaned over to tentatively touch the boy's cold face and blond curls. "What happened to his family?"
"Someone thought they didn't deserve to live and the gorram purple bellies didn't think it important enough to give it the time of day." Mal growled the last bit as his fingers held tighter to the dog tags. Cat, her fingers soft on his skin, removed them from his hand and laced them around her neck. She refused to wear any, citing that she would never need to be identified. Mal figured it was because she was from some organization that didn't give a hill of beans if she was returned or not. Well, he had been wrong before.
"I'll make sure his death was not in vain." She replied, touching Conner's face one last time before standing up. "When you bury him, as I know you will, say something for me. Isn't that what you do over the dead?"
"Sometimes." He looked at him. "Where are you going?"
"To make this boy's death important." She grinned and for some odd reason, Mal was reminded of some story about a little girl and a cat who grinned before disappearing. It had been something his mother forced him to read for school. Like that cat, his seemed to disappear within the shadows.
"Zoe, you seen Cat?" Mal, dusting the dirt of his boots and tan jeans tossed a look to his second, who merely pointed to the fire where the woman in question was rubbing something off her shoe. "She disappeared on me earlier. The boys are gonna want some grub after digging graves and we need to see where that unit is from here so they don't sneak up on us while we're sleepin'."
"They're gone, Sir." Zoe whispered, a harsh sound unlike her, one that spoke almost of fear as she continued to stare at the woman by the fire.
"I know. We tried to protect them. If you need to mourn, I understand." It was completely out of character for Zoe to mourn openly, mostly rather waiting until the unit was asleep before exposing her soft side. Mal had learned to accept it.
"No, not our people. The purple bellies." She looked at him, her brown eyes reflecting something he had not seen before in his second.
"Packed up and left? Needed somewhere else. Hell knows they'll be more to replace them. Means a good night sleep for once."
"No. I mean they're all dead, Sir." She glanced over at Cat, who caught their eyes before reaching to take a cooked rabbit from the stake.
"Dead? How? No other friendly unit is suppose to be on this side. They told us no other men could be spared."
"It wasn't one of ours, Sir, or at least, not really." She looked at him again, the fire casting shadows across her face. "I have never in my life and service to this cause seen blood like that. It was everywhere. Pools of it gathered like rivers over flowing into the lakes that seemed endless. Bane and me counted 75 men, Sir, all lookin' like some monster came in and ripped them to pieces."
"It had to been something else. This place is known for its dangerous animals. Hell, might even be some savages in these mountains. Ain't no way it's her." Mal watched as Cat shared the food with his men as she grabbed another rabbit, skinned and ready to cook and placed it on the fire.
"We found these." Zoe handed him a set of dog tags and he didn't even need to look to know whose they were. "Hanging from a hunting knife that was embedded in the Sarge's head. He was tied up on the head of a long pole that stood in the center of their camp. It was the first thing we saw when we approached."
"She wanted them to know." Mal spoke softly as he ran his fingers over the chain of the tags.
"Know what, Sir?" Zoe asked, her eyes never leaving the beautiful woman who seemed so caring of their men as she tended to their dinner.
"That someone thought he was important." He placed a hand on her shoulder before walking over to the fire and sitting next to Cat as she smiled and gave him part of the meat she had kept for herself. Zoe stood for a minute and then joined them.
And to all those that have had loved ones that have fallen in war protecting that which matter most, my sympathies and realize you are important.
Friday, March 27, 2009 10:10 AM
Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:03 AM
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