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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Shindig is one of my favorite episodes, though I do like them all. So much happens in Shindig for each of the characters even though it’s largely a Mal/Inara centric episode. I decided to fill in some plot gaps to that episode, but also elaborate on each of the characters’ thoughts.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1102 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer: All of Firefly belongs to Joss Whedon
“Ante up, gentlemen,” Simon says casually. He gives a brief glance to his pile of “chips” below, which were really just tattered bits of paper with chores written on them. He peruses them momentarily then tosses one in. “Dishes.”
Shepherd Book gives him a look, an intense one albeit, since they are indeed playing for the duties roster. The last time they played, Book had been stuck with septic vac duties thanks to Jayne, and it seemed to Simon that Book had been looking to repay that kindness.
“Dishes,” the shepherd antes, “Could do with less of those.”
Jayne has a similar look, but his meaning is to get out of as many duties as possible, “Garbage.”
With that Simon deals the hand, five cards to a player, the beat of metal cards sliding across the worn surface of the mess table echoes through the room. Once dealt, he places his hand on the stack of round cards. “Tall card,” he begins officiously, then draws and places that card with a neat snap, “Plum. Plums are tall.”
Simon looks at his dealt hand and tries not to cringe. It’ bad, and he’s not looking forward to the impending list of chores.
Book is the first to go. “I’ll take two,” he say’s calculatingly and Simon snaps two cards from the deck to Book.
Jayne next. He gives a skeptical look to his hand then a neutral game face to Simon, “Speakin’ of garbage, I’ll take three.”
Simon deals accordingly, “Three,” then looks at the tall card, ”and dealer forced to claim the tall.” He sighs, “I’d’ve cleared the flower side if it wasn’t for this.”
He lets himself to his seat, contemplating a move. Since Simon had first come to Serenity he had been continually surprised on how much life differed out here in the black from life in the core worlds. The fighting, the rim-worlds, the overall ruthlessness of most folk.
But there was one thing that surprised him above all these, and it wasn’t a difference between the core worlds and the rest of the ’verse. It was a similarity.
It was Tall Card.
Jayne had first extended the invitation of a game of tall card not long after that whole incident on Whitefall. Simon was nearly floored by the invitation. After leaving Osiris, Simon had expected to never hear of something as trivial as a card game he played on the core world again. Jayne had probably been looking for an easy mark when he offered, and he was so very dismayed when he lost to Simon that first time, badly.
Simon had learned to play Tall Card from one of the best: his father. His father would take him to this social outing and that, and a friendly game of tall card had naturally been the game of choice. Simon was never allowed to play, it was “unbecoming of a young boy to gamble” or so his father said, so he watched, or more accurately observed, for he never really just watched something. He was always thinking, always calculating. He watched the intricacies of the game, the exchange of cards, the anteing, and the chancy strategies that involved the tall card. He had even made paper versions of the deck so he could practice at home.
When he was thirteen, he finally gathered the courage to ask his father if he could play. His father probably figured it was time for him to join the club, or some elitist thinking like that, and let him join a game he and his friends had been playing. Within an hour, Simon had cleared his father and his father’s friends out. He used the money to buy a microscope.
Simon’s skills at a trivial card game were the only things that truly helped him adjust to life on the rim. Those skills were the only things he could thank his father for now.
Except those skills were not availing him at the moment. He heard Jayne say he folded.
“Me too. This tall card’s round my neck like a weight.”
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