BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE 'VERSE - PART I: Chapter 19
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Takes place after "War Stories". Mal is having trouble sleeping after being tortured. A passenger aboard Serenity discovers an old friend - and makes a new one.-------CHAPTER 19: The crew take some much-needed down time. Alex and Kaylee come to an understanding.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1736    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimers: Everything belongs to Joss, except for one character of my creation.

**Mousing over the Chinese should reveal the English translations on most browsers. If not, translations follow the story. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The captain had been right when he said recreational possibilities on Beylix would be limited. He was also correct about it being the junkyard of the ‘verse. The main economy of Beylix consisted of the many recycling and reclamation centers and salvage yards where trash from even the central planets was transported. That made it a place to find parts for anything a person could need parts for. That also made it a mighty smelly and unattractive place in the populated areas. But there were farms and expanses of rolling open land between the cities, and it was in some of that open space that the crew found a spot to put down and get some fresh air and sunshine. They came across a small lake in a secluded area that was surrounded by hills and forest—just the kind of spot they needed to rejuvenate body, mind and soul. Jayne and Book took the shuttle into the nearest town to get what they needed for the day while the remainder of the crew disembarked Serenity and commenced to unwind. Alex decided to take a walk by herself around the lake to enjoy the sunshine and gather her thoughts some. So much had happened to her so quickly that she needed to sort it out. Realizing she was on her old warship had been astounding enough; add in the situation with Captain Reynolds and her brain felt like it would explode. And now the thought of Zargon loomed, with its reality being only a couple days away. She let the warm sunshine bathe her face, knowing it would be the last she would feel for a while. Zargon was an ice moon, where it almost always snowed. She stopped and sat down near the shore to watch a turtle sun itself on a rock. She hadn’t realized what a welcome sight the simplicities of nature and animals would be after being on a ship in the black for days. Aside from short bits of off-planet travel during wartime, she had spent her entire life on Boros, her feet always on solid ground. Faint voices came from the woods behind her. She recognized Kaylee’s first, then Simon’s. She smiled. They must have found a chance to get away from the rest. Good for them. The voices got nearer, until Alex could make out what they were saying. “…not sure how I feel,” Kaylee was saying as they approached. “I mean, I’m glad he feels better—I wanted that—but what about Inara? How’s she gonna feel?” The underbrush began to crackle as they neared. Alex stayed still and listened. “What about Inara?” Simon responded. “Well, you know Cap’n’s sweet on her, he can’t hide it…” Alex cocked her head, suddenly very attuned to the conversation. “…an’ you know she feels the same ‘bout him.” “Well,” Simon said, “Maybe Inara will never have to know.” “She’ll know.” “And what if she does? They’re grownups—they can either get together or not. Denying and avoiding each other isn’t making either one of them any happier.” There was a pause, and then Kaylee said, “No, it ain’t. It never does.” Alex had all but forgotten the conversation she’d had with Kaylee about the captain and Inara. In the heat of last night’s passion, the thought had never occurred to her. Last night, he hadn’t seemed like a man who was thinking about anyone else. But now she had one more thing to add to the mess in her head that needed to be sorted out. She stood and brushed off the seat of her pants, intending to leave before Kaylee and Simon came upon her. But before she could move, the underbrush parted nearby and they emerged. “Alex!” Kaylee exclaimed, looking startled. “I didn’t know you was out here.” “I decided to take a walk. Clear my head,” Alex said. “Actually, I was just heading back.” Kaylee looked from Alex to Simon uncomfortably. “Um,” she began hesitantly, “Did you—“ Alex quickly decided there was no point in having the awkward moment they were about to have. “I heard what you said. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to listen in.” Kaylee dropped her eyes and toed the dirt in front of her. “It’s not...I like you, Alex. I do. And I was hopin’ you could help Cap’n feel better. It’s just— “ Simon interrupted at that point. “I’m, uh, gonna go over there.” He pointed down the lakeshore. “Let you two talk.” He squeezed Kaylee’s hand and walked away. “Kaylee,” Alex began, hoping the right thing would come out of her mouth, since she hadn’t thought it through. “When you and I talked my first night on the ship, when I said I might be able to help, I—believe me, I didn’t mean like this. What happened last night just...happened.” She paused a moment to gather her thoughts, then went on. “A lot of emotions just got let loose that needed somewhere to go. Captain and I, turns out, have a lot of similar history. And, yes, he did talk to me about the Niska thing, and I think he unburdened himself quite a bit. It was a good start, and I think he feels better. ” Kaylee started to speak, but Alex wasn’t finished. “About Inara...I’m glad.” She made herself look Kaylee in the eye when she said it. “Whatever happens with him and me ends when we get to Zargon.” She paused again. “I’m glad they care for each other, even if they can’t get it together yet. If they’re meant to be together, his little fling with me won’t stand in the way.” She stopped and smiled at Kaylee. “That’s all; end of speech.” Kaylee was quiet a moment, then she smiled back, and, to Alex’s surprise, hugged her. “I’m glad for you two,” she said. “Even if it’s just for a little while.” Alex hugged her back. “Take care of him after I’m gone?” Kaylee smiled. “You bet.” “Good,” Alex said. “Now, go be with him.” She nodded toward Simon.

-----------------

Jayne and Book arrived back at the lake with fresh food and wine for the picnic lunch, and the crew gathered for the meal. The air was fresh, the sun was warm, the food was good, and tensions melted away. Zoë and Wash headed off into the woods hand in hand for a little alone time. Simon, River and Kaylee splashed in the lake. Jayne, Book and Mal cracked open a bottle of wine and set up a game of horseshoes on the shore. Alex lay on a blanket in the grass and soaked up the sun like a solar panel, taking in as much as she possibly could while it was available. Of all the things she did not look forward to on Zargon, the inhospitable weather was right up near the top of the list. The closer she got, the more trepidation she felt about going there. She was starting to agree with Mal that she must be kuang zhe de to have entertained the thought in the first place. But, she had family depending on her for help. When you had family that needed you, you just did what had to be done. Alex got up and poured herself a cup of wine to try and push back the nerves that were threatening the joy of her day. She watched the men throw horseshoes, their laughing getting louder and their aim getting worse with each cup of wine. After awhile they tired of playing, and Mal grabbed the wine bottle and sat down on the blanket with her. “How ya doin’, you havin’ fun?” he asked her, topping off both of their cups. “Yeah, this is great.” She tipped her head up toward the sky and closed her eyes. “I’m getting as much sun as I can now, ‘cause I probably won’t see it again for awhile.” “Zargon?” “Yeah—it’s an ice moon. Snows all the time, sun hardly ever shines.” She shaded her eyes and looked at him. “I can tell you that I am absolutely not looking forward to that part of being there.” “Hmm,” Mal said thoughtfully. “Makes sense, since it’s one of St. Alban’s moons. Snows all the time there.” He leaned back to soak up some sun of his own. Alex studied him while his eyes were closed. He looked and acted like a completely different person than he did on board the ship. Out here, in the sunshine and fresh air, with friends around him, he allowed himself to lighten up. He laughed, he joked, he played games. He appeared as if a great weight had been lifted off him. Alex thought he even looked younger. “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” she said to him. He looked at her and nodded his agreement. “We all needed this.” He chuckled a little. “I guess I have you to thank, huh?” “I’m sorry if I embarrassed you this morning—what I said to Jayne.” Mal laughed again. “You do have a mouth on you...but you were absolutely right. Everybody knew. Besides,” he reassured her, “Any time someone can get one-up on Jayne, I’m okay with it.” He stretched back on the blanket then, and shaded his eyes with his arm. Alex lay back with him, and the two of them spent the rest of the afternoon there, dozing and soaking up the sun. Eventually, the rest of the crew straggled back, growing tired and hungry. They built a fire on the shore, and Book, who everyone agreed was the best cook, prepared his second meal of the day. As the sun faded and the air cooled, sweaters and blankets came out, but no one made a move to leave. No one was ready for this break to end. The fire crackled, sparks floating up and disappearing into the night sky. Planets, moons and stars became visible. Mutually and completely wordlessly they all decided to spend this one night under those heavenly bodies instead of among them. Alex soaked in the beauty of the night sky much as she had the sun earlier in the day. Eventually, as the sun and the wine caught up with her, she reclined back and began to drift toward sleep. She woke once, briefly, to the feeling of something settling around and over her. She opened a sleepy eye to see Mal kneeling, tucking a blanket in around her. She smiled at the sweetness of the act as she burrowed down into the warmth. This was not to be a night of passion like the night before, but it was very pleasant in its own way. She pushed away thoughts of prisons and cold moons, and fell into a deep sleep. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHINESE: kuang zhe de = crazy ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 20.

Back to Chapter 18.

COMMENTS

Thursday, September 21, 2006 10:14 AM

HEWHOKICKSALOT


Interesting change of pace. We rarely got to see the crew relaxing, unless it was in some dingy bar or cow fetus display...


"Jayne, you're still transmittin', 'cause I'm not feeling particularly girlish or dirty right now."

Rob O.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 11:40 PM

BORNTOFLY


Wow, that was brilliant. I can really imagine the crew being like that when they get a decent break from the black, you captured it perfectly, so kudos to you.

Friday, September 22, 2006 3:36 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


I gots me a stupid thought about this whole situation after Kaylee's point was raised: Inara never finds out about Mal's little "treatment" session with Alex, does she? Cuz I assume that would have altered how her seeing Mal come out of Nandi's room in "Heart of Gold" would have affected if she was away of Mal's dalliance here. Though knowing the guy you want to make sweet love to just finished getting sensuously freaky with your BFF...it's a tad disturbing:(

BEB

Friday, September 22, 2006 3:37 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


P.S. I loved this chapter! The BDHs definitely need the occasional moment to decompress;D


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