Somnambulism - Chapter Two
Thursday, August 4, 2005

Breakfast, Bad Dreams, Blameless.


The next morning on the ship Serenity, most of the crew was having breakfast. Kaylee was always up bright and early. She felt that ship's mechanics should be up early with the ship. And, since she viewed Serenity with the adoration that most people held in reserve for their own children, she was pretty dedicated to being up with her in the morning. Zoe, the first mate was also up. She operated on less hours of sleep than did her husband, Wash, the pilot. She was usually up early, checking on the workings of the ship. Simon, the ship's medic was also awake. He looked a little worse for wear, as though he wasn't sleeping well. Shepherd Book, one of Serenity's passengers was also there. Another early riser, most on the ship knew that the Shepherd didn't sleep that well. No one ever brought it up though. Missing from this breakfast picture was Jayne Cobb, who functioned as hired muscle for the ship from time to time, but that was nothing new. Jayne often slept in unless there was an active job for him. Wash, was sleeping in this morning, but he often worked late nights, enjoying the quiet of the cockpit while everyone else was sleeping. River Tam, Simon's younger sister was not there, and that was strange. When Simon was not in his quarters or in the infirmary, River was usually by his side. After her long captivity, she didn't like to have Simon too far gone, unless she did. She tended to confuse most on the ship in this way, alternately crying out for him, and forcing him away. While she kept him at arm's length, she also liked to make sure he wasn't too far away. Inara Serra, registered guild Companion, stayed in her shuttle this morning. She usually liked to have breakfast with Kaylee when she could. Her duties as a glorified geisha/prostitute (as the captain would normally describe it) didn't always allow for her to dine with her friends. As they had just left planetside Persephone, Inara must be truly tired if she wasn't here. Lastly, was Captain Malcolm Reynolds. Normally an early riser, it was strange indeed that he wasn't here for breakfast. Even when there wasn't a "caper" for the crew to pull. He liked to get up early, eat, if for no other reason than to gather his strength so that he could help Kaylee with whatever needed to be repaired on the ship. There was usually a laundry list as whenever Kaylee got something fixed, the job that the crew was on usually called for something to break. As soon as things were fixed, they were broken again. Since the captain, or the rest of the crew for that matter didn't have much money, she had to be inventive to fix things. If the Captain wasn't awake yet, there had to be a good reason. Even if he didn't sleep that well, he usually got up dutifully anyway. Mal was known for not sleeping well, too. No one brought that up either. As Simon entered the galley, Kaylee immediately brightened, bringing a smile to Zoe's and Book's faces. Kaylee's affections for Simon had been both loud and public. The young doctor, however, had yet to bring himself to Kaylee's arms. He had stated that he had plenty of feelings for her himself, but the opportunity had never presented itself in his mind. No one of the ship was quite sure what he was waiting for. Not River, not Kaylee...probably not even Simon himself. "Good mornin' Simon! Can I get you anything? Coffee, juice, water, protein, cereal? A sloppy kiss that would melt your brain?" She whispered this last. Zoe and Book looked at each other. If Simon had heard her, he didn't show it. "I can get myself some coffee, Kaylee, thanks." The doctor said with a tired smile. "Where's little River?" Zoe asked. She was being polite, but River had a tendency to do dangerous things when not immediately under everyone's eyeballs, and Zoe just wanted to be prepared. No one else on the crew would have probably thought of it. "She's still in her bunk. She didn't seem to want to wake up. Can't say that I blame her much, if her dreams where half as bad as mine." The other three at the galley table exchanged significant glances. Significant enough that Simon's tired mind didn't miss it. "What?" "We were just...we were all just saying that we all seemed to have bad dreams too." Kaylee said. "That's odd." Was all Simon could say. "Odd? Simon, that's near impossible!" Said Book. He was cutoff by an exclamation from Kaylee. "Good mornin' Cap'n!" chirped Kaylee in her usual sunny demeanor. Mal entered the galley, walked past everyone, and took the coffee pot away from Simon, who had forgotten to put it down. Simon gave it easily enough. When the Captain seemed to be in a bad mood, it made Simon, and the rest of the crew edgy. They were on edge a lot. "Problem, sir?" Asked Zoe. Mal had taken a cup proffered from Kaylee. "Nope. Just didn't sleep well." No one commented. This seemed to be the norm with the captain. "Cap'n," started Kaylee "we were all just talking about our dreams....Good mornin' Jayne!" Jayne was standing in the doorway silently. Zoe immediately dropped her hand to the holster on her belt, only to find that she had left her Mare's Leg carbine in her room. She guessed she was tired too. It wasn't like her to leave her weapon anywhere but on her leg. But, she had seen that look on Jayne's face before. Usually before he killed someone. The look on Jayne's face wasn't lost on Mal either. He paused in drinking his coffee. "Jayne?" Jayne's face contorted in rage as he stalked across the room. Mal tried to put his coffee cup down and draw his pistol, but he was far too slow. Jayne shoved him out of the way, no mean feat, as Mal was not a small man, and grabbed Simon by the neck. He lifted the doctor one handed. Simon's face immediately turned scarlet as his feet left the floor. Mal watched this from the floor. From behind Jayne, he could see angry red scratches, welled in blood just under the big man's hairline. "WHERE'S YOUR MOON BRAINED SISTER!" Jayne screamed in Simon's reddening face. "She's right here." came a serene voice behind them all. River was backlit, so that no one could see her face. The very look of her sent a chill down the collective spine of the crew. Even Simon, River's own brother, who was busy having the life choked out of him was taken aback. In the time it took Jayne to drop Simon, and start across the room, Mal and Zoe, two trained soldiers, were on him. They each grabbed an arm, and both had to bodily plant their heels to keep Jayne from dragging them along as he tried to reach River. The young girl didn't move a muscle. River had been known to intimidate Jayne in the past, but not now. If they hadn't stopped him, Mal wasn't sure what Jayne would have done to the girl. "Jayne! You will stop right now and tell us what's the good gorram's goin' on!" Mal yelled right in Jayne's ear. When these beserker rages seemed to set on Jayne, he took a lot of watching. And guarding. "Look what she did to my gorram neck, Mal! You can see my gorram eye, can't ya?" Mal hadn't seen it yet, in the rush of the morning's activities, but looking now, Mal could see that Jayne's left eye was swollen, and bruised. "What...What did she do, Jayne?" Mal said, shooting Simon a dirty look. Kaylee had been trying to tend to the doctor, but she quickly backed away from him. Simon coughed and looked at Mal cluelessly. "She...She..."Jayne paused, and Mal could swear he could hear Jayne thinking. "She kissed me!" Mal and Zoe immediately released Jayne. Jayne, perplexed himself by what he had just said, forgot to keep after River. River let loose a low chuckle, that frosted Mal's insides just as surely as if she had brandished a pistol at him. "And, her eyes...they were...all...crazy..." Jayne began to falter in his speech, as if he himself was unsure of what was happening. River stepped forward. Not before an actual full throated guffaw, though, and Zoe found herself looking for her gun again. River shot Zoe a sharp look, and Zoe froze in her tracks. They could all plainly see that besides being a little bloodshot, River's eyes looked normal to all of them...including Jayne. The big man blinked, looked around, blinked again, and suddenly slid to the floor. He sat there in disbelief. River laughed again. Mal and Zoe watched her inscrutibly. Simon stepped forward, waving away Kaylee's arms (who pouted for a second.) and checked on Jayne by snapping his fingers in front of his face. Jayne reached up and shoved Simon's hand away, but never took his eyes off River.


Thursday, August 4, 2005 9:06 PM


I am awake. It's late or early, not sure which. And now I'm all crepped out by no sleep for me. Well done, Pez.

Saturday, August 6, 2005 7:31 AM


always a treat! and so true to the characters.

Monday, November 14, 2005 9:15 PM


You've got a great style to you, mwp. I like #2 and it's got me glad again that there are more parts to this, as well as brand new un-read mwp fics in my future.

Fave line: "There was usually a laundry list as whenever Kaylee got something fixed, the job that the crew was on usually called for something to break." LOL. So true.

You've gotten all their voices down so well it's scary. Well, the FIC is scary, in the best kinda Hitchcockian suspense way.

I'm reading you and I'm hooked. You happy? Now go read my Jaylee fic like you promised. You can start with "The Measure of a Jayne."


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Somnambulism - Chapter Fourteen
It's back...well, this is actually a reposting of a lost chapter. Hey! I just refound it myself!

Somnambulism - Chapter Thirteen
Trap. Hunt. Enemy. Trap

Somnambulism - Chapter Twelve
The Plan, Negotiation, Landing, Hunt

Somnambulism - Chapter Eleven
Wash's Orders, Mal's Revelation, The Other, Captiulation

Somnambulism - Chapter Ten
Mal's Dream. Walt's Problem. River's Regain.

Somnambulism - Chapter Nine
Safety. Recollection. Explanation.

Somnambulism - Chapter Eight
Simon's Dream, Mal's Choice, River's Verdict

Somnambulism - Chapter Seven
Memory, Atavism, Hera

Somnambulism - Chapter Six
History, Discovery, Purpose

Somnambulism - Chapter Five
Malice, Theory, Opportunity