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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Things come to a head between Jayne and Mal whilst Simon and Inara struggle to see what's right in front of them.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1024 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
The prospect of a job had seemed, to Mal at least, the best way to pull the crew back together and bring back the old and familiar dynamic he himself had grown to depend on. Yet as he sat around the table with Zoe and Jayne he couldn’t help but feel that something was souring the air. Jayne wasn’t his old self, the way his eyes were darting about the table as if he were expecting an attack seemed unnatural, especially as in times past he had done little but ask who he was shooting, when and how much he was being paid for it. His brain was working overtime, and that worried Mal more than how stupid he must have seen earlier in front of Wash and Zoe. He had never taken a job to be good news and nothing but, and never had he thanked Badger so heartily either. He was slipping, and that, coupled with how shifty Jayne looked, made him wonder what the gorram was going on around here. Yes, something had changed, and it weren’t the earlier arrival of Mr. Jubal Early, that was certain.
“It’s terrible risky sir for what it is. More people ‘board Serenity ain’t a good thing, we all know it.”
“Seems to me Badger don’t need to contract all of us for transportin’ people and their cattle” Jayne said, his eyes narrowing. Mal frowned and lent heavily on the table.
“Tyen shiao-duh Jayne! What the good gorram is wrong with you today?” Mal let out an exasperated sigh before returning to the matter at hand, looking again at the manifest in front of him.
“Some fancy footwork is all that’s needed Zoe, I don’t propose introducin’ these traders to the crew, in fact, I’m thinkin’ that we cut our crew compliment for a while.”
Jayne’s eyes boggled out of his head, slamming a heavy fist down.
“You ain’t cuttin’ me out Mal! You get that out of your head for damn sure!”
“Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la doo-tze!” Mal threw his hands up in the air before yanking Jayne’s seat out from under him, toppling the heavy man onto the floor with a loud thump. Footsteps were promptly heard thundering down from the cockpit, Wash and the Shepherd appearing at the door.
“You listen, and you listen good,” Mal began, noting Zoe slip round behind him, “you’d better get these downright odd ideas outta your head before we get to Persephone ‘cos I don’t need you goin’ stir crazy and ruinin’ this job for us, dong ma?”
Jayne was fuming; ending up on his ass in front of half the crew wasn’t how he envisioned the conversation going. Darcie had joined Book and Wash at the door, she was staring in on him, her face like his, looking like thunder. He weren’t going to take this sitting down. He scrambled to his feet and drew himself up to his full height.
“You ain’t been doin’ a good job of leadin’ this crew of late and I’m downright tired of it, you bein’ all secretive and…” he paused, words failing him as they so often did, “crap. You ain’t cuttin’ me out, you ain’t gonna get the chance, I’m gonna get straight to Badger and…” he paused again, this was the quickest he’d had to think in a long time, “set things straight!”
“Wash, stop the ship.”
“Mal if we stop we aren’t going to make…”
“Ma shong!” Mal barked, not taking his eyes off the mercenary. He didn’t expect Jayne to make a serious play for captain but there a bigger bug up his ass this morning then he had thought. The crew’s dynamic had changed and no amount of good news could seemingly fix it.
“You step away right now ‘n we’ll forget this whole thing, dong ma? You’re walkin’ awfully close to gettin’ little more than one square meal a day locked up in your bunk, you hear me? I’m not lookin’ for you to be thrownin’ a hissy fit to rival River’s, so you either step off now and cool your head or me and Zoe here will escort you back to your bunk!”
It was like being back to ordering soldiers about during the War, Mal’s heart had never beat so fast.
“Gentlemen, let’s all take a step back, shall we? I think we are all close to losing our heads over something that isn’t…”
“Bee-jway Preacher, I don’t need no advice.” Jayne pushed his way past Mal and Zoe and out the door, ignoring the look he got from Book and Wash as he did so. Darcie watched as Jayne stomped off, not back to his bunk but instead towards the cargo bay. The ship had stopped, at least for now; she’d have to move quickly if she were to stay so. Down the end of the corridor she knew that Kaylee had been listening in on all that had just happened, so quietly Darcie slipped past Mal and Zoe, who were hurriedly deciding what to do with Jayne, and towards the engine room.
“Did you hear all the ruckus up there?” Inara questioned, watching Simon inject River with some cocktail of drugs he’d concocted. She sat with her hands clasped on her lap, looking paler than her usual radiant self. In truth she’d spent the past hour wondering how she was going to break her departure to the crew, but Jayne’s mutiny had provided a distraction, at least for a while. She was glad of it; secretly she hoped that this saga would continue just so she could prolong her time aboard Serenity. It was ludicrous indeed.
“It seems that every silver lining has a cloud,” Simon said, brow furrowed in concentration. “That’s odd, River’s blood pressure is unusually elevated…her vitals are all slightly elevated, actually.”
“What does that mean?” Inara passed over to where Simon stood bent over his sister, who was watching her carefully for any signs of distress.
“She had another episode earlier, not uncommon I know, but I’ve not seen her body reflect that level of stress before. She normally calms down immediately after but this is…odd.” Simon rubbed his neck and slouched against a cabinet, glancing up at Inara as he did so. “Sorry, I can’t be making much sense, just it’s…”
“Odd?” Inara said with a smile. “I have to admit that I’ve noticed her mood change drastically when,” she stopped, rolling her eyes to the ceiling, “now I sound paranoid!”
“No, go on” Simon said, motioning Inara to the door. The two stepped out of the Infirmary; he closed the door behind him and sat beside the Companion on the couch.
“Darcie and River haven’t gelled very well is all, I just,” Inara frowned, avoiding eye contact with Simon, “I don’t remember those two ever getting on, or ever even talking much.”
Simon stared blankly at the doors, he knew that he was grasping for something but he wasn’t sure what. There was a connection missing somewhere and it was frustrating him.
“Simon?” Inara said with a slight laugh, touching his arm. “You are going to have to help me here, I have no wish to soon like a fool!”
“No, no,” Simon said with a smile, “you don’t, just,” he sighed. “Now I’m going to sound like the fool!”
Inara looked at him seriously, she felt as if she were bursting with a secret she was desperate to share with someone. She looked up as the Infirmary doors slid open; River was standing quietly at the entrance.
“Mei mei, I gave you something to help you sleep, you shouldn’t be up already!” Simon said, standing as she moved over to him.
“A puzzle piece that doesn’t belong,” River said with difficulty, her eyes wilder than usual. The drugs were obviously still in her system yet she was still standing. “You aren’t thinking clearly, you think it’s me but it’s you who have lost your sight, you look with your eyes but you don’t see.” She staggered over to the passenger bedrooms, and slid open the door to Darcie’s bedroom. “See Simon, see.”
“We don’t need to look in Darcie’s room, River, why would we need to do that?” Simon snapped, then looked shocked at his tone. Inara stood up, and moved over to where River was standing. On looking in at Darcie’s room she furrowed her brow and looked confused.
“Simon, come over here.”
The doctor shook his head a couple of times, but followed Inara and stepped into Darcie’s room.
It was empty. The bed was bare, the covers sat folded and uncreased, stored in a cabinet next to the wall. Inara ran her finger across the top of it, lifting it to show Simon and River.
“It’s dusty, untouched.” She said slowly, moving over to sit on the bed. Simon stared at the empty room; all that occupied it was a crate which looked as if it were as old as the ship itself. No one lives here, he thought to himself.
“No one lives here,” he repeated aloud. Some connection was forming, something so painfully obvious that it was screaming at him. River was right, he just wasn’t seeing.
“It doesn’t make sense.” Inara said, a level of distress in her voice. Her eyes darted up to Simon’s. “What…should we talk to Mal?”
“I just…” Simon sat on the bed next to Inara. “It’s like, some impediment that I just can’t…” He looked over to her and laughed. “Now I know I’m the fool.”
“You all are” River interrupted. She turned around and slid open the door to her own room, lying down on her bed. Simon and Inara followed her, watching her as her eyes closed. “No more drugs, I have to stay broken for a while, just need to stay awake…” she said as she drifted back off to sleep. The same cold fear Simon had felt earlier at the breakfast table reappeared and stuck in his throat.
“We have to go and talk to the Captain.”
Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:10 PM
Monday, January 16, 2006 4:50 AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 12:48 PM
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