BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

NEROLI

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 1
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Mal tries to figure out what happened to Simon and Jayne.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3645    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Characters do not belong to me, they are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and Fox. Feedback is always welcome. Takes place shortly after the series ended and about a month after the events in Delta Rain. Thanks to Cassie E for more beta and hand holding, plus awesome conspiracy theory discussions, and Tori for her evil plot bunnie flinging...some of which may creep in from time to time, or at least cast their nose wiggling shadows...one of which will get it's one story someday. Probably as a Delta Rain stand alone...~EG~ Chinese translations: Mei-mei: Sister; Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng: Frog-riding bastard; Hundan: Bastard; Tamade: Mother F*cker ******************************** Mal charged up the plank and into Serenity's cargo hold, he'd left Badger starin' at his backside after Inara's frantic call to get back to the ship. Only half aware of Zoë's calm voice tellin' Wash an' Kaylee to get back; and her unanswered call to Simon an' Jayne. Seein' Book standing by the entrance to Inara's shuttle he went up the stairs two at a time. He pushed past Book to take in the sight of Inara standin' at the foot of her bed, gazing down at the unconscious girl layin' there. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Simon realized he really did not like Atherton Wing. Really did not like him. He pressed his fingers to his aching side gingerly, checking for broken ribs. After assuring himself they were only bruised he crawled over to Jayne. The merc was a mess of cuts and bruises. He supposed he should not have been surprised by Jayne's rather forceful objections to being taken hostage. Once the man had recovered from being stunned he'd gone ballistic. Simon cringed as the merc groaned under his probing hands. But at least he was coming to, Simon thought with a mental sigh of relief. "Where am I?" Jayne asked groggily, looking around him dazed and bleary-eyed. "We appear to be in Mr. Wing's home." Simon told him, looking around at the opulent room critically. It matched what he'd seen of the rest of the house he and Jayne had been dragged through. He was no stranger to the upper class; but from what he could tell, Atherton Wing made his family look like paupers. He could almost hear his mother fawning over the luxuriousness around them. With a sharp pang Simon realized that at one time he would have done the same. He had an uneasy feeling that the reward Atherton had referred to was not of a monetary nature. "Well," he said, trying to sound calmer then he felt, "it appears that they didn't break any of your bones, despite your best efforts." "Aw Doc," Jayne smirked up at him, "never knew ya cared." "I care," he replied tersely, "because right now you are my best bet for getting out of here. And because any harm that comes to you; hurts my sister." Simon almost felt sorry for his words at Jayne's stricken look. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mal felt the familiar shake of the artificial gravity taking hold. He'd ordered Wash to take off as soon as he an' Kaylee had gotten back to the ship. Book an' Inara had explained 'bout River's sudden panic an' with Simon an' Jayne not responding to either Zoë or Inara they'd had to assume the two were taken...or worse. River had come to as they were takin' off but so far she'd remained silent, jus' looked at him all accusinglike. They had moved from Inara's shuttle to the common area off the mess, all except for Wash. Kaylee was sittin' quietly next to River, it was hard tellin' if the arm she had around the girl was for River's comfort or her own. The look on Kaylee's face broke his heart. Mal stopped his pacing as River finally spoke. "not dead...captured by the wing..." her hands twisted in the fabric of her dress nervously, "cowardly lion beaten by the great man.." He felt his gaze drawn to the purple bruise on her jaw; Book had given it to her when he'd knocked her out to stop her from runnin' out into the marketplace. "Did the Alliance snatch 'em?" Mal asked, trying to keep his voice calm. River was upset enough as it was. She shook her head no; the look she gave him plainly sayin' her meanin' should be all kinds of obvious. "black wing swooped down and took them away..." she muttered, peering up at him through her dark hair. "dark...pride is sinful..." "So, they on a ship?" he tried another tact. Part 'bout swoopin' down sure sounded like a ship had taken them. But she shook her head again. "wing has edges...sharp..." her voice quivered close to tears. "mists block out the sunlight...leaves darkness behind..." He'd been thinkin' he'd figured her out some but this weren't makin' no sense. Still, she seemed sure that it weren't the Alliance had 'em an' they were still on Persephone. Only, that weren't much help to them, they still needed to figure out who did have 'em an' why. He turned as Inara gasped behind him. "Sweetie," she moved over to River, her voice gettin' an urgent tone, "you are saying a wing took them?" River nodded up at her, her eyes glistening with tears. "Like, an Atherton Wing?" Inara asked gently. River's head bobbed up and down in assent. "Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng." Mal spat out in disgust, he should'a killed that hundan. Ok, now they knew the who. And the why. Just had to figure out what Ath planned on doin'. "He know who Simon is?" he asked River as he squatted down in front of her. "yes..." she said softly, her tiny hand reached out and grasped his shirt as she looked pleadingly at him, "need Jayne..." "Gonna get 'em back, mei-mei," he reassured her. "No," she shook her head firmly, "focus...need Jayne..." "I think I got this one, sir." Zoë said as she headed out of the mess, Mal looked after her blankly. "If she got this one why is she walkin' away?" he asked, hoping one of others was makin' sense of this. They all looked as puzzled as he felt. Fortunately, Zoë returned almost immediately. Without a word she handed over Jayne's hat and sweater, plus the blanket River had knit him. Mal watched in amazement as River visibly calmed as she pulled the sweater on. Her tiny hands tugged the hat on next, then she curled up under the blanket; lookin' for all the world like she was preppin' for some serious sane time. He could almost hear the "I told you so" as he looked up at Zoë. "All righty then, if'n this ever happens again first order of business is gettin' River some Jayne." he drawled. In one smooth motion Mal stood; keeping his gaze on River's face he said firmly, "We're gonna get 'em back." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jayne finished his third inspection of the room him an' Simon had been tossed in. Part of his mind tallyin' up the cost the baubles casually spread about while the rest of him searched for a way out of this pretty cage. He'd slipped a few smallish items in a pocket or two while he was lookin' about. Likely wouldn't get away with 'em but no harm in tryin'. Seemed they were pretty humped already. "Gorramit," he cursed, "ain't no ruttin' way out 'cept the door." "I would have thought the lack of windows would have been your first clue." he turned to glare at Simon. Doc was not bein' helpful. "Don't hurt ta look," he muttered irritably, "'sides, beats sittin' there like a lump." Damn doc had jus' sat there the whole time he was tryin' ta get them out of there. Lettin' him do the hard stuff, like usual. "You could try using that bond you have, to see if they know who has taken us and why." Simon was looking up at him calmly; ruttin' hell, he hated it when the Doc was right. There were all kinds of not right 'bout this; the fact that Atherton hadn't turned them over to the Fed's yet bein' chief among them. Man had a score ta settle an' he weren't actin' all predictable 'bout it neither. Should'a been enough ta turn him an' Simon over an' tell them what ship they'd been on. Fed's would'a had Serenity landlocked an' boarded in an instant. Mal would'a been humped for sure then. He remembered the smirk on that hundan's face as he'd walked over ta Simon in the shop, the way he'd said the Doc's name. Man like that wouldn't think twice 'bout turnin' them in, or usin' them as bait. Question was, was the bait for Mal or River...or both of 'em. He silently swore to himself that if Atherton Wing caused one tiny bit of harm ta come to his girl he was gonna rip him a new hole. With his bare hands. An' this line of thinkin' weren't helpin' him concentrate on feelin' River none. He settled himself as comfortably as he could an' tried thinkin' 'bout how River's thoughts had felt. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Mal," Inara placed a hand on his arm to stop his pacing, "there's something you need to know about Atherton." "Other then he's holdin' two of my crew hostage?" he asked her bitterly. "Yes," she hesitated before continuing, she had a very bad feeling about this, "Atherton's family are major stockholders in the Blue Sun Corporation. It's where he gets his money from." "Oh, this jus' keeps gettin' better an' better." he looked at her, the anger etched on his face deepening, "Still don't explain why he didn't get us landlocked." "Probably didn't occur to him you would leave them there." she said dryly. She understood why Mal had to get them off the planet. They couldn't risk River. He'd expected the Alliance to have them at the time he had ordered Wash to take off. It had been a bit of a shock when it had become clear that wasn't the case. Right now they were orbiting Persephone trying to figure out what to do next. There was a certain comfort to being off the planet, no worrying about a landlock and if any ships started heading their way they stood a chance of being able to make a run for it. On the docks they were little better then sitting ducks. "Startin' to think that was a mistake." he said softly, "Might be if we'd stayed we could'a gotten them out. Seems like Ath was lookin' more for me then them." "No Mal," it pained her seeing him doubt himself like this, "You had to leave, Atherton knows what ship you own. It seems certain he was having Serenity watched, even if it wasn't by the Alliance. More then likely he was expecting you to try a rescue, but that doesn't mean he has no intention of turning Simon and River in afterwards." "An' if I had given him what he expected then maybe he'd be dead by now." his expression hardened again. "it's too late..." River's soft voice drifted over to them, "he's sent for them...had the trap baited but the mice ran away..." "Great, now we're mice." Mal's sarcastic tone made everyone flinch. "Mal..." she started to try and calm him when River interrupted. "bait's still good as long as the mice run free..." she was looking up at Mal intently, "once the mice are caught the bait has no use..." "She has a point, Captain," Book spoke up from the corner, "As long as we keep you away from Mr. Wing; Simon and Jayne are relatively safe." "Still not helpful on the gettin' 'em back." Mal countered. Inara let herself go over everything they were sure of. She knew Atherton best, hopefully she knew him well enough to figure things out. He had taken Simon and Jayne, had not contacted them with any sort of ransom or threat yet; but then, they had learned he had them sooner then he could have anticipated. She doubted Atherton was part of the inner workings of the corporation, from what she knew of him he had little interest in working for his money. So she was fairly sure he would know little more then that Simon was wanted for kidnapping his sister and there was a substantial reward for her return. To him they would just seem like pawns in his little revenge game. On the other hand; one could assume that he had enough information to realize that Blue Sun was the one offering that reward. The warrants for Simon and River were cryptic, odd little details like why a kidnapped girl had a warrant at all would send up red flags for most people. And that whole business of it being her school offering the reward and not the parents. Atherton was an intelligent man; no doubt he'd be able to see that something was off there. "Cap'n," Wash's voice sounded over the intercom, "we're getting a wave." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Ain't no use Doc," Jayne sounded defeated. "I ain't no good at this, not like she is." "You can't sense anything from her?" he asked the merc worriedly. His one hope had been that they could communicate with River, and through her, Mal. "When it's happened 'fore it's been all naturallike, an' she was right there." Jayne's head was bowed; all the fire inside of him seemed to have gone out. It suddenly hit Simon that the big man had come to count on that subtle connection as much as River had. "Maybe if you explain to me how it works we can figure something out." he said gently. He reached over and laid a hand on Jayne's arm. "There has to be a way. If nothing else, she should be able to pick up that you are trying to reach her." "An' what if she's in no shape ta be pickin' anything up, Doc," Jayne looked up at him, his face anguished, "What if that's why I ain't gettin' through." "Do you really think that might be the case?" Simon pushed the edge of panic back, hoping Jayne was simply overreacting. The big man sighed heavily. "No, don't feel that way." he admitted, "Jus' sayin' I might not know...not like any of us really understand this thing, 'cept maybe River." "I think if anything happened to her, you would know." Simon was aware he was trying to reassure himself as much as he was Jayne. "So, what were you doing, thinking, when it happened before? Maybe trying to re-create that would help." Jayne gave him the familiar smirk, "Ya sure ya want ta know that Doc?" Simon closed his eyes for a moment, taking in a deep breath. "Just...please tell me you haven't slept together and I think I can handle it." he braced himself for the worst. "But we have slept together." Jayne grinned at him, enjoying his discomfort no doubt, "Ain't had sex yet, if that's what ya meant." "Can't you think of a less...crude...way of talking about my sister?" Simon felt his irritation getting the best of him, "She's not one of your whores, you know." he glared at Jayne defiantly. He caught a flicker of anger cross Jayne's face. "Hell Doc," Jayne spat out at him, "ya think I don't know that? Ya think I ain't all aware she ain't the kind'a woman a man like me can expect ta end up with?" Jayne heaved himself up and glared down at him. Simon watched in shocked silence as he started pacing the room again, the force of the merc's anger a little frightening. "Been a hell of'a long time since I been with a woman I ain't paid for it." Jayne was avoiding looking at him, but at least his anger seemed to have left. "Why ya think I don't kiss 'em on the mouth? Avoids all kind'a complications an' the whores don't like it none anyways, 'less they are tryin' ta give ya the goodnight kiss. Trust me boy, a whore wantin' to kiss ya is a sign of trouble." "Serenity's the longest job I ever held," he continued. Simon was glad of the distraction, and it was so rare for the big man let out anything about himself. At least, not anything he wanted to hear. "Most of 'em never even lasted six months. Much less goin' on two years. Not the kind'a life ya can bring a wife in on. An' a crude, uneducated merc with no future ain't any woman's idea of Prince Charmin'. Ain't like I was all rich an' fancy like yerself. So's it got ta be a habit, visitin' the whore houses when I had the time an' money. Made things seem a bit less lonely, ya know?" No, he didn't really know, but then he'd met Kaylee right off. He had landed on Serenity before he'd ever really tried to make it on his own. He'd never really understand what Jayne, or Mal and Zoë, had been through. Even Book, Inara and Wash had their share of searching for a home before they found it. Only Kaylee had found it the first place she looked. River and he had both gotten it on their second try, River had thought the school would be her place and he had thought the hospital was his. He was starting to see that for all that he had given up to save River; he had never given up anything really important. Just money and status, empty things. And he had found a home and a family. The two things he had never really had before. He glanced back up at Jayne. He was studying him, his face expressionless. "In'a lotta ways me an' River ain't that far 'part, experiencewise," he said softly, surprising Simon. "May have been with a lotta whore's, but I ain't never courted..." He cut off what ever he was going to say, looking hard at the door. For a moment Simon wondered what had distracted him; then he heard the faint screaming. His eyes met Jayne's, going wide with fear. They had both heard those screams before. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Ath, so good to see you again." Mal drawled at the face on the view screen. The man's smirk was makin' him tetchy already. The others had filed in behind him, but were being careful to stay out of Atherton's line of sight. Mal was still workin' out how to play this. Didn't want Ath to think he wanted his crew back too much, also didn't want to play it too cool. If Ath thought he couldn't care less then Simon and Jayne were dead men. "I believe I have something of yours, Captain," if anything Ath's smirk got even more vile. "I was very disappointed you left before we could meet to discuss a trade." "Well, you know," Mal said carefully, "places to go, people to stab...I'm a busy man." "Yes, I'm sure you are." Atherton replied coldly, a flash of anger wiping the smirk away. "I'm sure, since you are so busy, I can find others more interested in your crew. The Alliance seems rather eager to talk to your Doctor and a certain Magistrate Higgins has expressed some interest in Mr. Cobb." Tamade, needed to step light here. No letting Ath get him all riled up. Man had obviously done some homework on his crew. "Didn't say I wasn't interested in gettin' 'em back." Mal forced his voice to stay expressionless, "Jus' sayin' I don't have all the time in the 'verse. If you got a fast way of resolvin' this, I'm listenin'." "I was hoping we could discuss that in private." the smirk was back on Ath's face. "Seems private 'nough this way," Mal felt a sense of unease; if Ath wanted a trade he'd be face to face with him soon enough, why ask on a meetin' before hand. "You said somethin' 'bout a trade?" Ath stared back at him through the view screen, Mal started to worry that the man was goin' to insist on a meetin'. "Yes, a trade." Ath said softly, almost like he was thinkin' something through. "You for your crew. A bargain, two for the price of one." "Seems mighty strange you'd think I valued my crew more'n my own self." Mal studied Ath's reaction. He knew he'd be agreein' to this, but he wanted to know as much 'bout what he was gettin' into first. And that calculatin' look on Ath's face made him all sorts of uncomfortable. "Not so strange, Captain," his smug look made Mal long for this meetin'; so he could smash it off his face. "If you are willing to risk your life for a whore it stands to reason you would do no less for your crew." Mal let the rage show on his face as Ath turned from the screen to speak to someone. "I'll be right with you gentlemen..." Mal barely had time to wonder what that buzzing sound was before blood started trickling down Atherton's upper lip. He watched in horror as Ath started gagging and choking on his own blood. Dimly aware the others had moved closer to see what was happening. The noise ended as Atherton slid from view. A man he had never seen, and never wanted to see again, stepped into view and addressed him coldly. "My apologies, Captain," he said, his voice utterly void of human emotion. "It appears Mr. Wing has had to bow out of your negotiations."

COMMENTS

Friday, April 16, 2004 2:22 AM

MILORADELL


Good gorram girl! Are you channeling these guys??? BTW - love how you're bringing in Blue Sun! WOW!!!

Friday, April 16, 2004 4:40 AM

AMDOBELL


Now I didn't expect that little twist! Good story, can't wait to see what happens next. Damn if those little wands ain't the scariest things next to Reavers... Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, April 17, 2004 12:06 PM

BRITCHICK


Excellent writing and a great twist. I especially liked the line:

"Well, you know," Mal said carefully, "places to go, people to stab...I'm a busy man."

Looking forward to the next installment

Friday, April 23, 2004 12:33 PM

INSIGHT SPINNER


WOW WOW WOW! Thank you Neroli...gotta get onto the 2nd chapter!

Saturday, August 27, 2005 11:57 AM

BELLONA


aaw, jayne gettin' all worried but river bein' corpsified...sweet!


POST YOUR COMMENTS

You must log in to post comments.

YOUR OPTIONS

OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 5
The crew starts making plans to rescue Simon and Jayne.

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 4
Serenity reaches Whitefall while Jayne and Simon continue to be at the Blue Hands "mercy".

Ballet And Bullets chapter 2
River and Jayne reflect on their meeting, and Inara goes to the ballet.

Tarnished Gift
An AU...just a little "what if" scenario I couldn't shake.

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 3
A brief interlude as Serenety and crew make their way to Whitefall.

Ballet And Bullets chapter 1
A River and Jayne (of course) centered AU, River went to a ballet academy instead of The Academy.

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 2
Things go from bad to worse. Don't they always?

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 1
Mal tries to figure out what happened to Simon and Jayne.

Delta Rain - Torrents prologue
The sequel to Delta Rain begins. A little shopping expedition goes awry.

Delta Rain part 3
The conclusion to Delta Rain.