He's Fightin' The War Right Now
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Post-BDM; Reg Crew; OCs; Inara/Mal, Simon/Kaylee,: Set in the middle of the short Four, and 1 of 4 shorts to answer the question of how Inara came to adopt Hannah and Lila.


*set between the second and third sections of Four*

Times were tough. Well, tougher than tough, like trying to find drinkable water in the middle of an ocean, really. But that sentence, three little words kept ringing through Mal’s head as he stood there and just stared.

Times were tough.

He wasn’t sure if he was aghast, or furious or guilty. Probably all three and then some he reckoned. What lie before him blurred, it stopped being people, bodies, sickly faces, refuse and horror all neatly packaged in a cargo container and just looked like abstract shapes.

Simon yelling for a stretcher was a distant cry as he reached out and braced himself on the now open door. Zoe blew past him, Jayne and the others, but he couldn’t will himself to move. Legs were like lead weights that were, and his chest constricting like a vice around all of his vitals.

Times were tough.


No money, no food, barely enough fuel.


Any job would do.


Just a quick pick up, fly from the moon to the capital, easy peasy.


Never curious about the cargo, don’t ask don’t tell.


Zoe’s face came into focus, and the world around him stopped being a tunnel. In the present the smell of dead, dying and decaying hit him hard, all it needed was the bite of gunpowder and it woulda smelled like war. He felt her strong hand grip his arm, twisting it to get his attention as cries and moans of their cargo echoed in the damp container.

“Sir,” her face was strong and resilient, wanting him to come back to the situation “Sir, are you here?”

His throat felt like he had swallowed a mouthful of sand, making his reply hoarse. “A’course Zoe.” Standing up straight, he peeled his bleary eyes away from her and surveyed the mistake, his mistake.

“Sir, this wasn’t your fault.” She told him. “None’a us knew, Doc says they got something in their systems, made them hush.”

“You just keep telling yourself that.” He used a low tone, fury building as Serenity gently touched down with a jostle of the interior. Mal wet his lips and swallowed hard.

Jayne looked up, a limp, grey form in his arms. “We’re supposed ta drop the cargo off now, whadder we gonna do?”

“We can’t do it.” Kaylee was a mess’a tears and as useful as a wet tissue. She hovered by the door, her eyes as big as saucers and as watery as New Melbourne. “We gotta save ‘em.”

“Slavers don’t take too kindly to people stealin’ their product.” The merc told her with a snort.

“I know I’m not down there or anything.” The meek voice of their pilot came through the com system. “But is there a plan, forming, maybe? Because Keller’s group is coming our way and he’s right in front. I mean, I’m going to keep the engines running, just FYI.... but... someone want to tell me a plan? Please?”

A baby let out a weak cry.

“Kaylee,” Mal turned and walked away from the container “get back in the engine room, prep us for full burn.”

She wordlessly nodded her head and trotted off.

Stalking over to the com, Zoe hot on his heels, he grabbed the box and pressed the button. “Josie, you wait for when Zoe tells you to go. I want you to take off as hot as Serenity allows, dongma?”

“Running. Yay.” Josephine piped half heartedly. "I'm on it."

“Sir,” Zoe stepped into his line of sight, clearly thinking whatever was going to take place in the next few minutes was going to be foolhardy.

Thrusting the comm into her hands, he stared at her long and hard, the storm in his eyes. “Just let me do this.”

Understanding graced her features, and letting out a solemn nod she stepped out of his way. “On your mark, Sir.” The first mate watched him walked towards the bay doors, grabbing a shotgun hidden for such moments along the way.

Jayne, hands free, looked to Zoe, worried. “Nài miánhua cháoxiàng shă guā! He’s gonna get us all killed.”

“No he ain’t.” She said somberly, never straying off of Mal as his fist slammed down on the bay door button and he racked the shot gun whilst getting in place. “He’s fightin’ the war right now.”

“He’s gonna fight the gorram war on six men? Weren’t that the ratio ‘tween your boys and the ‘Lliance?” He sneered back.

As Mal’s first gunshot rang out, Zoe nodded briskly, worriedly as she held her position “Go pick lackeys off.”

Pulling out his gun, Jayne racked it. “Don’t have to tell me twice.”


Nài miánhua cháoxiàng shă guā!: That cotton headed fool!

A/N: Be honest, I appreciate it.


Thursday, January 21, 2010 4:38 AM


powerful--thank you!


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