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BRIGLAD

Tales of the Rangers - Chapter 14
Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back in the present, the crew has a little downtime. Relationships are strengthened and after a teenaged tantrum, Jessie finds herself (and Inara ) in a situation


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1422    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Maxine and the rest of my OC's. they're mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.

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Continuing on the storyline I started with “New Blood ” and “Guardians” Read those first so you will know who is who and what has happened in the 'Verse.

Warning: This storyline includes 'gasp' fem slash. It won't be graphic but I know some are offended by any depiction of homosexuality. If you don't like this kind of thing... stop reading right now. Same goes for my depiction of a Polyamory relationship.

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AN: Takes place both in the future and post Guardians.

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Tales of the Rangers

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Chapter Fourteen

-

With a cry, Wash awoke. His body drenched in sweat. Eyes darting around the darkened bunk, he tried to control his breathing.

“Wash?” said a sleepy voice in the bed next to him.

Wash shook his head, trying to clear it. Slowly the images began to fade from his minds eye, “Sorry. Had a nightmare.”

“Niska again?”

“Yeah...”

“That's the third night this week.”

“I know. Sorry if I woke you, Max...”

The redhead turned on the dim light on the nightstand and smiled, “It's okay. I wasn't sleeping well myself.”

“Why not?”

“Because, Silly. Zoë isn't here.”

Wash nodded and understood. He was just getting used to sleeping with his wife again. And Maxine. Years in prison had gotten him used to sleeping alone. He had to admit, he liked having someone in his bed. Even if it wasn't just Zoë.

Maxine noticed how quiet Wash had become, “You okay?”

Wash nodded, “I'll be okay.”

“Sure?”

“Yes, gorramit!”

Max frowned, “Right...”

Wash's angry expression faded into an apologetic one, “I'm sorry Max... I... I've...”

Max cut him off, “Wash, you've been through more go-se in the last three years than anyone should have to go through. Tortured, kidnapped, thrown in prison, thinking Zoë abandoned you...”

“Never thought that...”

“It still hurt you though,” Max replied as she scooted closer to Wash. Putting her arm around his shoulders.

Wash sighed. Suddenly noticing how close Maxine was to him. His body reacted immediately to her close presence. Even though his mind tried to deny it.

Maxine noticed, “Relax, Wash.”

“Trying...”

Max gently pushed Wash down on the bed, “I can relax you.”

“We shouldn't...”

Max moved quickly and straddled the startled pilot, “Zoë and I already discussed this.”

“Discussed what?” Wash replied, his voice breaking with a squeak.

“The possibility that... I might... want to make love to you...”

Wash's eyes bugged out, “Shenme?”

“Wash,” Max began as she leaned down into his face, her hand caressing the side of his face, “I've been with two men in my life. The other night didn't count since Zoë was here and we didn't...”

“You just helped out,” Wash whispered.

“Yes,” Max replied. Her voice just a whisper, “Of those two men... well a man and a boy. The first was when I was fifteen. Neither one of us knew what to do. The second time I wasn't a willing participant.”

“Zoë told me about that...”

“Not that I want to give up girls, mind. Well one girl in particular anyway. I just want to know... what it's like to be with a man. A real man. I see how you are with Zoë. I love her, and I think I see why she fell in love with you. I know I can see the love she has for both of us. How about we make it a full circle of love?”

“Are you sure?” Wash asked. Gazing into Maxine's green eyes.

“I'm sure.”

All resistance left Wash. He licked his lips once and then lifted his head, bringing his lips close to Maxine's. Max leaned forward and their lips met. The kiss deepened. Increasing in passion. In moments, the two people who loved Zoë combined that love into a greater whole. A whole that would hopefully, last a lifetime.

Next door, River sighed contentedly at the loving emotions she was feeling from Max and Wash. She and Jayne had returned to Serenity for a break from standing vigil over Bobbie. Zoë having taken their place beside Mia.

“Healing...” River's voice whispered in the darkness as she snuggled closer to a slightly snoring Jayne.

XXXXXXXXXX

Inara woke in Mal's arms. She had cried herself to sleep the night before. The fears of the what's and maybe's having wound her nearly into a frenzy. Guilt over what had happened to Roberta was at the forefront as well.

Mal felt her stir, “Darlin?” he asked sleepily.

“I'm okay, Mal,” Inara replied as she slowly sat up in the large bed they shared.

“It's okay to feel...”

“I know, Mal,” she said, cutting him off.

“Ain't never been so scared, Boa-bei,” Mal said as he gently touched the side of Inara's face with the back of a finger.

“I didn't have the opportunity to be scared... until after.”

“I know,” Mal said as he began to caress her neck. Noting sadly the absence of Inara's long mane of dark curls.

Almost as if she read his mind, Inara turned abruptly, “He ruined me...”

“Ain't nothin but hair, Darlin.”

“You loved my hair...” Inara replied, a slight sniffle evident.

“I love you, Ai-ren,” Mal replied as tenderly as he could, “Long hair, short hair... No hair. Make no matter to me.”

Inara giggled slightly at his choice of words, “No hair?”

“No hair,” Mal grinned.

“I don't think I'll go that far.”

Mal let out a relived 'Thank you' internally and kept his confident smile in place on the outside, “Whatever you decide.”

Inara looked across the room to her full length mirror. She saw how ragged her hair looked after Niska had severed her long braid with a knife, “I need to get it evened out.”

“I hear tell, there's a bunch o' beauty shops here in the city,” Mal suggested.

“And you think I need more beauty?” Inara smiled back at Mal.

“Aw hell no,” Mal grinned, “Gotta beat the competition off as it is...”

Inara turned and kissed him, “Tell me how beautiful you think I am...”

Mal pulled her close, “I'll do more than that... I'll show ya.”

XXXXXXXXXX

Bobbie had been in a medically induced coma for three days. It gave her time to heal somewhat before awaking. The stump where her lower left leg had been, was healing well. As were her broken fingers and ribs.

Surgeons had gone in and repaired the damage to Bobbie's right knee and additional surgery had been done to the torn ligaments in her shoulders.

A plastic surgeon had grafted in a layer of artificial skin to close the horrific cuts across her torso and chest. With luck, the scarring would be minimal.

All through this time, Mia almost never left her bedside. And someone from Serenity's crew was nearby. Making sure Mia got some sleep. And food.

Simon, of course was there every day. His status as a surgeon and as a Ranger employee essentially placed him in charge of Bobbie's treatment.

“Simon?” Mia asked as she stepped back into Bobbie's room. Zoë a few steps behind. The First mate had dragged Mia off for Breakfast an hour previous.

Simon looked up from the electronic chart in his hands, “Good morning.”

“How is she?” Mia asked.

Simon smiled slightly, “Much better this morning. They weaned her off the sedatives overnight. Bobbie should awake sometime today.”

“That's wonderful,” Mia replied. Her voice steady.

Simon nodded, “It is. Now, how are you fairing?”

“I'm fine...”

A glance at Zoë told the doctor the whole story. Zoë had shaken her head slightly, “Want to try that again? Remember who you are talking to...”

Mia suddenly began to sob. Letting out the emotion she had been holding back for nearly a week. Simon quickly wrapped Mia in his arms. Letting her soak his shirt with her tears.

Leaning against the door frame, Zoë wanted to be able to resurrect Niska so she could kill him.

“Whats... all the... blubbering about?” said Bobbie's weak voice.

Mia suddenly stiffened and looked over to the bed where where Bobbie lay. Her brown eyes open and clear.

“Bobbie?”

“Hey, you,” Bobbie smiled slightly.

“Hey yourself,” Mia replied, and she sniffled back the tears.

Simon looked over at Zoë and smiled slightly. Zoë returned it. He then turned his attention back to Roberta, “How do you feel, Bobbie?”

“Like I went eight rounds with a Reaver.”

Simon smiled slightly, “I would imagine so. Anything in particular giving you a problem?”

“My left foot itches really bad...”

XXXXXXXXXX

With Bobbie awake and Simon keeping an eye on Mia. Zoë returned to Serenity. It was late morning and everyone was up and moving around. Except for the pilot and cook.

“Where's Wash and Max?” Zoë asked Kaylee as she entered the galley.

“Ain't seen em' all morning,” Kaylee replied as she poured out a cup of coffee.

“She didn't make breakfast?”

“My turn,” Kaylee replied. Max had two morning's off from the cooking rotation for breakfast and one dinner.

“I forgot.”

“How's Bobbie?” Kaylee asked, trying to keep upbeat.

Zoë smiled, “She woke up bout an hour ago.”

Kaylee let out a whoop that nearly deafened Zoë, “Easy Mei-mei,” Zoë chuckled.

“I gotta go tell everyone!”

“You go do that,” Zoë replied, “I gotta go find my Husband and Fiance.”

Zoë opened the hatch to her bunk and climbed down. The nightstand light was still on and in it's glow,she could see Wash and Maxine tangled up in the sheets. Fast asleep.

The room smelled of sex. That coupled with Wash and Max's state of undress told Zoë the tale.

A very small part of her wanted to scream. But she forced that down. She truly did want Max and Wash to be together. Mostly when she was there but they both needed the time to truly become intimate without her there.

It looked like that had happened last night.

Max mumbled something and rolled over. The sheet sliding down and exposing her chest.

Wash, feeling Max move, woke up. Blinking his eyes open he spotted his wife, standing at the foot of the bed with her hands on her hips.

Wash's eyes got as wide as saucers and his already pale complexion turned pasty white, “Ummm. Morning, Lambytoes.”

Zoë glared at Wash. He started to check if Zoë had her hand near her gun.

“What do you have to say for yourself,” Zoë inquired.

“I... uhh...”

“She ain't mad,” Max's sleepy voice croaked out, “If she was. The gunshot would've woke me up.”

“Woke you up? What if she shot you?”

“She'd shoot you first. Then me, if she was actually pissed.”

“You sure?” Wash asked the naked woman in the bed with him.

“Yep,” Max replied.

Wash looked up at his wife who was now grinning, “You're not mad?” he asked.

Wash's answer was for Zoë to drop her gun belt to the floor and begin to unbutton her shirt.

“Told ya,” Max grinned as the now naked Zoë slid into bed with them, “She ain't mad.”

XXXXXXXXXX

The news that Bobbie had awakened ran like wildfire through the crew. The first person, Bobbie wanted to see after Mia was Inara. The former Marine wanted to make sure the former Companion was okay.

To keep busy, Kaylee had the junior members of the crew helping her with a major round of maintenance on Serenity.

Jess was usually relegated to handing tools to either Kaylee or Xue. Scott, Kaylee was happy to note had a fine mechanical mind from growing up on a farm. He was soaking up information like a sponge from Kaylee. The mechanic thought it was mostly a way Scott could show off for Xue.

Jess seemed to grow more and more morose as the days passed. The typical enthusiasm for life she had before had faded.

Things came to a head two weeks after Bobbie and Inara had been taken.

“Jessie! Get your pi-gu back on this ship!” Mal bellowed as the teenager nearly ran down the ramp.

“Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng!” Jess replied as she stormed off into the crowds of the spaceport

“Suo-yo duh doh dhr-dang,” Mal muttered as he set out to chase the girl down.

“Malcolm Reynolds!” Inara's voice called down from the catwalk, “Don't you even think of going after Jessie. I'll go get her!”

“Nara...”

Inara descended the stairs quickly. Mal was happy to see her back in her Ranger garb, despite his anger at Jessie.

“Jessie is feeling guilty about what happened to Bobbie and myself. She's letting that cloud her judgment and turning it into anger.”

“What she needs is a swat on her backside,” Mal replied.

“She's fifteen, Mal. And a reader.”

Mal's angry countenance softened somewhat. He could almost forget Jessie's abilities most of the time. She wasn't like River.

“She still needs to listen to the Captain...” Mal trailed off.

“I'll see that she does,” Inara replied, “And I'll go catch up. Jessie has been almost confined to the ship. She needs some time away.”

“You sure you can get her... straightened out?”

Inara nearly rolled her eyes, “I was an instructor at the training house. Dealing with moody teenage girls is a specialty.”

Mal sighed, “Okay then. Just be back soon.”

Inara ran her hand through her now slightly evened out hair. Kaylee had trimmed it that morning. Making it look a little less like someone had hacked it off with a knife.

“I'll take her with me to the salon. Girls day out.”

Mal nodded, “Fine. Go on then. She moves quick.”

Inara stood on her tiptoes and kissed Mal before heading down the ramp.

“Keep a com handy!” he called out just as Inara disappeared into the crowds.

XXXXXXXXXX

Jessie was blocks away from Serenity, still fuming, mostly at herself as she walked. She thought it was all her fault. If she hadn't stopped to talk to that boy, she might have been able to keep Inara and Bobbie from being kidnapped. And Bobbie being hurt.

Plus she had a headache. As upset as she was, it was hard to maintain her mental walls. The masses of people around her creating a constant and loud white noise in her head.

“Jessie!” called out a voice behind her.

With a sigh. Jess stopped walking and waited for Inara to catch up.

“Did the Captain send you?” Jessie asked when Inara reached her side.

“He was coming himself before I stopped him,” Inara replied, slightly out of breath from running to catch up.

“Probably sling me over his shoulder if he had,” Jess replied.

“Probably,” Inara smiled.

“I'm not a little kid.”

“No,” Inara replied, “but you are a teenaged minor and Mal is responsible for you.”

Jessie sighed, “He's a lot like my Daddy was.”

“I'm sure he is,” Inara smiled as she placed an arm around Jess' shoulder.

“I gotta go back to the ship?”

“Not right now,” Inara smiled, “First. We're going to the salon. I need my hair restyled and you could use a little girl type pampering.”

Once again, Jess felt guilty about what had happened. Inara saw it on Jessie's face, “Not your fault. If you had been with us, you would have been taken too. Niska wouldn't have hesitated in hurting you in order to get back at the Captain. I'm glad you stopped to talk to that boy.”

Jess let out a shuddering sigh, “Thanks, Nara...”

“Come on then. Let's go.”

“Okay.”

They hadn't gone more than a few dozen yards when Jessie suddenly stopped, “What's wrong, sweetie?” Inara asked.

Jess got the same far away look in her eyes that River did when she was concentrating on her reading, “Someone's in trouble,” Jess said after a moment.

“Where?”

“A girl.... scared... someone is hurting her...” Jess said while still concentrating, “This way!”

“Jessie!” Inara called out as the girl darted down an alley. Inara saw that Jess had pulled out her gun. A curse on her own lips, Inara drew her own pistol and made sure her badge was visible.

The alley took several twists and turns. Jess came to a stop near a corner and waited. Inara came up beside her. A scream came from around the corner.

Jess's face hardened and she gripped her gun tighter. Inara knew she was going to go in no matter what. Gun at the ready, Inara stepped around the corner, Jess on the opposite side. Having read Inara's intentions from her mind.

Three large men were crowded around a young dark haired woman. The largest of the men had her pinned against a wall with one massive forearm, a wicked knife held menacingly in her face with his free hand.

“Now screamin ain't nice girly,” the thug growled, “Makes me all kinda jumpy. When I get jumpy, my hand might slip, dong-ma?”

The terrified woman just nodded. The big man's compatriots just laughed.

“Now, we're just gonna have a little fun now. Right fine filly like you can probably figure out the kinda fun we want, right?”

The woman just whimpered as tears ran down her face, “My... husband... he'll...”

“Commonwealth Rangers! Drop you weapons and get on the ground!” Inara called out. Her gun pointed at the leader.

Still holding the woman, the leader turned his head and laughed, “Little things like you gonna stop us?”

The two other men shared a grin and stepped towards Inara and Jess, “I'm warning you...” Inara said.

One of the men approaching began to reach for the gun on his hip. Jessie and Inara fired at the same time.

The two men dropped to the ground screaming. Jessie and Inara's shots shattering their kneecaps.

The big man, with a roar threw the woman in his grip to the ground and pulled his own gun. It had hardly cleared his holster when two more shots rang out.

He dropped to the ground, dead before he even fell as far as his knees. One bullet in his head and another, center mass in his chest.

Inara shifted her aim to the groaning men on the ground, “Jess, get their guns. Then check on the woman.”

“Got it, Nara” Jess replied as she quickly retrieved the men's weapons. Then she made her way over to the shaken woman, “Are you okay?”

The woman nodded, I... I am now.”

“Good,” Jess replied, “We'll make sure you get home safe.”

“Thank you.”

While still covering the bleeding men, Inara pulled out her com, “Mal is going to be furious...”

-

TBC

COMMENTS

Sunday, September 5, 2010 6:51 AM

JANE0904


I'm so glad you went back to this point in time - we need to see Bobbie's recovery, and as much as Zoe is trying to accept Wash and Max - and for good reason since she loves them both - I'd like to see a convo between her and Max, just smoothing things out. And now another waif and stray ... just who is this going to turn out to be? Great stuff!

Sunday, September 5, 2010 6:51 AM

JANE0904


I'm so glad you went back to this point in time - we need to see Bobbie's recovery, and as much as Zoe is trying to accept Wash and Max - and for good reason since she loves them both - I'd like to see a convo between her and Max, just smoothing things out. And now another waif and stray ... just who is this going to turn out to be? Great stuff!

Sunday, September 5, 2010 6:53 AM

JANE0904


Oops - double post! Sorry about that. I still love this story though.

Monday, September 6, 2010 1:10 PM

ANGELLEMARCS


last line made this one....I agree with Jane though. Well done.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 2:27 AM

MAINEAXE


Jesse coming into her own, or wanting to... Max and Wash and Zoe.. The perfect menage a trois... Mia and Bobbie... I like the dynamic of not leaving Mia by herself... Need some Rayne.. ;)..

Yes Please!!! May we have Lots more Rangers???


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