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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Finding Common Ground
**Accidental spoilers for movie**
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1515 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
**Spoilers** I accidently used a plot device from the movie, which I have not seen. I wrote this story long before I got spoiled, so I guess it was in the air. :)
Standard disclaimers apply. Firefly, Serenity, and the original characters are not mine. This was written for fun, not profit. Two new characters are mine, but Joss can have them if he wants because they really want to come out and play. Thanks to Ali D. for asking for Tom's perspective.
Archiving: Just let me know where.
Pairings: None explict
PENAL MOON DETENTION FACILTY
The cell is clean, well lit, and not too small. A largish window covered in a grid of laser beams looks out over a newly terraformed and fairly barren landscape. Tom Carlisle is sitting cross-legged on a bunk, which is chained to the wall. Tom is a tall, lanky man in his early 30s, with wavy brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a light tan. He’s dressed in a bright yellow prison jumpsuit, which is slightly too short, and sandals. He sits straight, with his back and head against the wall. His hands are folded in his lap; three fingers on his right hand are neatly splinted. His eyes are closed and there is a slight smile on his face, which is covered in bruises, some fading, and some fresh.
An official-looking man in a neat uniform (not Alliance) approaches the out side of the solid cell door, looks through the window at Tom, and hits a com button on his collar.
OFFICIAL: Open cell 28.
The door clicks and slides open just wide enough to admit the official. Tom doesn’t move a muscle except for an almost imperceptible twitch at the corner of his mouth. The official moves until he stands in front of Tom.
OFFICIAL: Good morning Mr. Carlisle. I hope you slept well. Your breakfast should be here soon, but I thought we could have a little chat first.
Tom opens his eyes slowly, but doesn’t move or speak.
OFFICIAL (cont.): You have had time to consider your options. Now, will you cooperate and be allowed to continue your illustrious career, with some necessary supervision, of course. Or will you face a trial you are most certain to lose and spend the rest of your life here? (Pause) Who is your source, Mr. Carlisle?
TOM: (Reciting almost mechanically, but with a trace of snarkiness) I am a licensed journalist. I am protected by universal code 18765.74b. I am not required to reveal my sources. You may sue for this information in a court of law under information act H43.097.
The official’s face contorts and it is obvious he is trying to maintain self-control.
OFFICIAL: Where is your wife, Mr. Carlisle? Surely you can answer that simple question, or has she abandoned you?
Tom slowly lifts his damaged right hand and “salutes” the official with his splinted middle finger.
The official loses control, grabs Tom’s hand and bends the finger back with his left hand as he punches him in the jaw with his right, slamming Tom's head back into the wall. The official lets go of Tom’s hand and stands back, panting.
OFFICIAL: (Cold and controlled) Mr. Journalist, I don’t care who you think you are. I don’t care about your crusade. You’re a hack, not a hero, and you have no idea what you are up against. This isn’t a petty obstruction charge. They’ll be here soon, and you will reveal your sources, and you will tell them where your wife is. You will.
Tom spits blood onto the bunk beside him, and slowly wipes his mouth on his sleeve. He looks up at the official, smiles, leans his head back against the wall and slowly closes his eyes.
Simon, Kaylee and Zoë are up earlier than everyone else, they are cooking, talking and laughing. Jayne walks in.
JAYNE: (Glaring at Simon) There’d better be coffee.
SIMON: Already brewing. Could you do me a favor and help Jenny up the stairs? River is helping her shower right now. She's okay on the flat, but I don't want her to slip on the stairs and tear the bonds.
JAYNE: No problem. (Looking quizzically at Simon) Jenny said you two worked together on some book or somethin’.
SIMON: (Sounding formal and wary) That's right. The seminar... the class I was in was assigned to research and write articles for a journal. Jenny chose me to work with her as the student editor.
KAYLEE: Crud, we're outta the dry TVP. I'm gonna go check the hold.
Kaylee kisses Simon on the cheek and exits, humming.
JAYNE: (Slightly menacing) Boy, I don't know what you got goin' on with Jen, but you hurt Kaylee...
SIMON: And you’ll kill me. I know.
Zoë silently watches the men, alert to immanent violence.
JAYNE: Don't know why the Cap'n's lettin' you get away with this.
SIMON: (Philosophically, but with a hint of smart mouth) Jayne, have you ever been in love. I mean truly in love with a woman, not just looking to get laid? Have you ever been close friends with a woman? A woman you weren’t trying to bed?
JAYNE: (Suspicious) Can't see that's any your business.
SIMON: And my relationship with Kaylee and my friendship with Jenny are really none of yours. If you haven't had these sorts of relationships, you won't understand where I’m coming from even if I try to explain.
JAYNE: Kaylee's special...
SIMON: I believe I am more aware of how special she is than you are, and I don't go out of my way to make crude and insulting remarks to or about her.
JAYNE: (Slightly shamed) Ah, hell, doc, that was a long time ago. She knew I didn’t mean it.
SIMON: I saw the look on her face and I believe she thought you did.
JAYNE: (Grudgingly) I guess Kaylee's my friend, like what you was sayin' ‘bout you 'n' Jenny.
SIMON: (Softening - he's been trying to make a point) Yes, otherwise you wouldn’t care if I hurt her or not. I think you care about Jenny too. Everyone on this ship cares about each other to some extent otherwise we wouldn’t survive.... We're about to do something really dangerous. Please help me take care of them.
JAYNE: (Quietly) “Us” and “them.”
Simon and Zoë just look at him, puzzled.
Kaylee walks back in with a crate full of cans and bags. Jayne steps forward to take the crate and carry it to the counter where he unloads in and begins handing ingredients to Zoë. Kaylee is slightly taken aback by this, and looks from Simon to Jayne to Zoë and back again. She steps behind the counter and begins helping Zoë. Jayne pours two cups of coffee and carefully adds powered creamer to one.
JAYNE: (Gesturing with the cups) For Jenny. I’ll go see if she's ready to come up. (He starts toward the door and stops and turns) What does River like to drink in the morning?
SIMON: (Looking up, smiling) Coffee, with lots of sugar and chocolate, the decaf…please.
Jayne return to the counter, pours a third cup from a different pot, adds powdered stuff, smiles and walks out.
KAYLEE: Duìbùqî? (She looks at Zoë) What happened while I was in the hold?
Zoë just raises her eyebrows and points at Simon.
SIMON: (Stops what he's doing, takes Kaylee in his arms and kisses her forehead) Just trying to reach an understanding.
Wash is in the pilot’s chair. Mal is behind him looking over his shoulder. We come in on a conversation in progress.
WASH: Won’t take us out of our way. Pretty much a backwater too, but they’ll have the basics.
MAL: Good. Don’t wanna get recognized in this corner of the ‘verse. Not today.
Kaylee and Zoë are putting the finishing touches on breakfast as Simon sets the table. Wash and Mal enter from the forward hall, as Jayne, River, and Jenny enter from the rear hall. Mal looks at the breakfast food and makes a face.
MAL: I realize we’re runnin’ low on food. We’re gonna stop on Hibernia and pick up supplies. We’re about an hour out. Make lists of everything you think you’ll need. We got plenty of money, and once we’ve paid our visit to the penal moon we may not be able to stop anywhere for a while. Simon, that goes for you especially. You, River, and Jenny are not to leave Serenity. Don’t even want you in the cargo bay. Let Wash know what you need that we can buy legal. Nothin’ fancy. Don’t want any unnecessary attention.
SOMETIME LATER IN THE MORNING
Everyone aboard, except Wash and Mal, is unloading supplies from the mule. There are a lot of crates, boxes and bags. Zoë is supervising storage. Everything is getting secured carefully. River holds up a box of assorted ammo and looks toward Zoë, who silently points to the gun locker.
ZOE: (Quietly aside) Simon, you gonna be okay holdin’ down Serenity? We don’t expect trouble, but all that target practice you’ve been getting might come in handy. River’s gotta stay in the cockpit in case we need to get away quickly. I want Kaylee armed too, but we ain’t countin’ on her to shoot anyone.
Simon nods and looks toward Kaylee, who is loading Jayne down with supplies to take to the dining room.
SIMON: I wish Book was here.
ZOE: Me too, Doc, me too.
MAL: (Over the com) Need everyone on the bridge.
The crew assembles quietly, looking to Mal for instruction. River is already at the controls going over last minute instructions from Wash.
MAL: We are two hours from the penal colony. I want every weapon we got out, loaded, and ready. You know your assignments. Simon, you and River are not to get off this ship under any circumstances less I call for you. I don’t care if someone’s dyin’. We’ll haul ‘em back for you. (Simon nods) I don’t want these folks gettin’ a bonus. (He looks at River) We get in trouble you take off, dong ma? (River nods and smiles).
WASH: (Very calm and serious) As soon as we’re in range we’ll launch the shuttles. I’ve programmed the rendezvous point into both shuttles and Serenity. We have to finish this while the sun in high in the sky. It's our cover If we’re delayed I’ll call to abort.
MAL: Go. Do your jobs.
CATWALK BETWEEN SHUTTLES
Zoë is headed toward Inara’s shuttle. She is dressed in an elegant, slinky dress. Her hair is piled high and she’s wearing makeup. Wash and Jayne emerge from Shuttle 2. They both let out low whistles. Wash elbows Jayne in the ribs. Zoë makes her “I can hurt you” face at Jayne and smiles at Wash.
WASH: The warden won’t know what hit him.
ZOE: Literally, I hope.
JAYNE: Won’t he be a little suspicious there bein’ two a you?
ZOE: Fortunately for us he has a penchant for threesomes, so no surprises.
WASH: (Reaching out to touch Zoë’s arm) That húndàn lays a hand on you…
ZOE: Things go right, he won’t. Things go wrong (she lifts the hem of her skirt to reveal a very long knife strapped to her thigh) and he won’t have hands to lay on anyone.
Inara emerges from her shuttle and stops dead. She runs an appraising eye up and down Zoë.
INARA: Nice job. I’d mistake you for a companion if I didn’t know better. I just got his wav. And we need to reply and let him know we’re on our way.
The two women enter Inara’s shuttle. Jayne looks after them wearing his “I’ll be in my bunk” face. Wash jabs him in the ribs again and the two men go back to work.
Simon and River are alone, engulfed in a warm hug. Simon pulls away and puts his hands on either side of her face.
SIMON: Are you going to be okay, mei mei? You don’t need anything?
RIVER: (She frowns) Brother, hero, doctor, friend. He knows he can’t turn back time. I’ll never be “okay.” Not “okay” as it is defined by polite society or the medical texts. Don’t have to be okay. Have to be me. Need a purpose, a mission. (She smiles beatifically) Got one. Need it. Need it all. See things I shouldn’t. Feel things I shouldn’t. Flying drowns out the noise. Concentrate and the pain goes away.
Simon is looking at River with pained, brotherly love as Kaylee steps through the door. She stops and turns quietly to leave, but both Simon and River extend an arm toward her. She walks into their hug and in engulfed, but she looks scared.
RIVER: Mechanic, friend, believer, sister. She’s got to be brave. Hold down the fort ‘til daddy comes home and brings the King back to the Queen…makes them happy again like the Prince and Princess. All in pairs, two by two. (She gives them each a kiss on the cheek.) It’ll be the way it’s meant to be.
KAYLEE: (Tentatively) You mean no one’s gonna get hurt?
RIVER: (Looking sad and far away) Didn’t say that. Yelling, and blood, and pain. Lost and found and lost again. (She looks at Simon) Bought all the right stuff today. Going to have a full house.
Monday, June 6, 2005 4:38 PM
Monday, June 6, 2005 9:01 PM
Tuesday, June 7, 2005 1:37 AM
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