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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Book continues his stay at the Southdown Abbey. Continuation of "God Indeed" and "Something Unworldly". For the prompt challenge "old age".
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 542 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I'm not making any money off this, just playing with the toys.
The mood in the Abbey was sombre. Everyone felt the concern and worry over Brother Mielo and last night’s turn for the worse had most of the Brothers on edge. The doctor had said that organs were shutting down and it was just a matter of time. That had been three months ago. Brother David smiled in spite of the situation. Mielo was too stubborn to die quickly. Book wondered why they didn’t just kill the man and get it over with. Couldn’t abide suffering when it was unnecessary.
Book watched the men come and go through the line in the servery of the small cafeteria. After two days of sitting around, he felt the need to do something and slopping food into bowls fit well enough. It allowed him to observe the Abbey and the men that had chosen this life.
He dished another spoonful of rice onto the plate, his eyes focussing intently on the crowded table near the back. He watched the men sit hunched over, obviously in prayer, for what Book only assume was for Mielo. Few of the men were willing to open up to him, except David and Chu-li.
“Uh, Derrial?” a voice called, bringing him back to the food. “I think that I would appreciate the Lord’s gift of food today a little more if it were actually on my plate.”
Book eyed the tray and saw the rice spilled all over it, with little on the plate. He hefted another spoon of rice, his aim accurate this time. Getting soft,, he chastised to himself. Don’t ever let your guard drop. He smiled his apologies and readied the spoon for the next Brother.
The lunch finished and Book took his place at the sink to wash the dishes. A couple of other Brothers were there, but they said nothing to him. He could almost feel their eyes boring into him, suspicion and conjecture running wild in their minds, mixed with a large dose of fear. Book huffed quietly; it was a look he was long accustomed to.
“Book!” David called into the kitchen. “We need to speak.”
The men strode through the corridors of the Abbey in much the same way they had a month ago when Book first arrived. Shelter from the storm had turned into something more and Book wasn’t sure he wanted it to end just yet.
“It’s Brother Mielo,” David said. “The doctor says he won’t live the night.” His voice faltered a little. “He was the one who first helped me. Did I tell you that?”
Book shook his head.
David’s eyes looked back to a time long ago. “He’d been so robust then. Probably the biggest Brother any abbey had ever seen. The man could have lifted you up off your feet with just a finger.” He smiled. “There wasn’t anyone who didn’t do what he asked. But he didn’t abuse his strength. Didn’t use it to intimidate people. No, he was far too intelligent for that.”
The men were now stopped in front the of small hospice door. “Book. Derrial, Mielo’s asked to see you.”
Book cast an unbelieving glance at David. “Why me?”
David shrugged then opened the door. He laid a hand on Book’s shoulder and smiled before leaving.
Stepping inside, Book could see the Brother looking very small in the bed. Tubes injected fluids and electrodes monitored. Cloudy eyes looked to Book.
“Come,” the hoarse voice called.
Book obeyed, pulling up the only seat in the room.
A frail hand pointed at him. “I know what you are.”
“I’m not stupid. Just old.” He shut his eyes a moment then opened them. “Come.”
Book leaned forward.
“I think you made the right choice. Just promise me.”
“Promise you what?”
“Live to die of old age.” A wry grin spread across the man’s face, but his eyes were serious. “Go on now.”
Taking his leave, Book met David outside. “Tell me. What did Mielo do before he was a Shepherd?”
David looked a little surprised. “Oh, uh. Well, we’re not sure exactly, but there are some theories.”
“Such as?” Book’s eyes narrowed.
“Bodyguard. Security. That sort of thing. Some even speculate he was a hired assassin for the Alliance.”
“Why would you think that?”
David smiled. “How many men of God know how to dismantle and re-assemble a Callahan full-block semi-automatic in under two minutes?”
A/N: ya know, hamsters is nice. So is comments.
Friday, July 28, 2006 8:46 PM
Sunday, July 30, 2006 8:46 PM
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