Power - epilogue
Thursday, October 5, 2006

Rounding out the two part POWER, with more to come. Continuing the backstory to Mal and Freya. Apologies for the chinese if it's incorrect, and feedback would be most excellent.


“How is she?” Kaylee asked, looking into the infirmary.

Simon smiled tiredly at her. “She’s going to be fine.” He glanced at the readings behind him. “She’s asleep. So’s Mal, I hope. Almost had to threaten him with a sedative himself before he’d go back to his bunk.”

“He cares about her,” Kaylee said simply, stepping closer to the bed. “She looks awful pale.”

“She lost a lot of blood.” He put his arm around her waist, feeling the skin between her top and her dungarees, tied as usual around her middle. It gave him the sweet rush of blood to his brain as usual. “But, I promise, she’s going to be fine.”

She nodded, her lips lifting a little. “I felt so useless,” she said at last. “All the time I was with Jayne and Zoe, all I could think about was getting back to Serenity, fixing her. And when I did …” She bit her lip.

“It was Mal’s idea. Not letting anyone come back for them.”

“But why?” she asked. “We’re family. Family looks after each other.”

“And he didn’t want anyone getting hurt. That’s why Freya wanted to go down there alone in the first place – to keep anyone from getting hurt.”

“But she did.”

Simon sighed. “I doubt she had that planned.”

“No, I think you’re right. But it still ain’t right.”

She looked so unhappy that Simon took her arm, steering her out of the infirmary into the common area. “Come on.” He made her sit down in one of the easy chairs, pulling another over so he was next to her. “It isn’t your fault.”

“I didn’t say it was!” she insisted.

“No, but I know you. You want everyone to be happy, don’t you?” He put his hand on her thigh.

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, xin gan. So do I. But out here, if there’s one thing I’ve come to realise, it isn’t as easy as wishing.”

“I should have been able to fix that lockout easy as pie. But –“

“But Freya didn’t let you. That’s it, isn’t it?”

“What she did, how she did it, I couldn’t …” She shook her head. “And all the time you were out there, and I didn’t know what was happening to you or River. I was hai pa, Simon. Scared.”

“I know, Kaylee. And I wish I could have done something to help you, let you know, but …” He lifted a hand to the dressing on his neck.

“Oh, I know that,” Kaylee said hurriedly, but he went on.

“I was doing things, hurting people, and I couldn’t stop myself. And I had to watch it all happening …” He trembled slightly. “I was out of control. I was out of control, Kaylee. Do you have any idea how that feels?”

Kaylee held her breath. She knew what that meant to him to admit. He prided himself on knowing what he was doing, at least most of the time, even holding back on allowing their relationship for months, ignoring what he himself wanted to look after his sister. And she understood. “Yes,” she admitted in a small voice.

“You do?” he asked, surprised.

“When Jubal Early … when he got on board … when he …” She swallowed the lump that had risen in her throat.

“Bao-bei …” he said, angry at himself for reminding her.

“I couldn’t control it. He told me what … tied me up … and I couldn’t do anything to stop him.” A tear slid down her cheek. She still had nightmares, waking up with her hands outstretched, trying to make him stop, stop doing what he promised he would do if she made a ruckus …

“Kaylee, please.” Now Simon was upset, wiping the tear from her face with the pad of his thumb. “He’s dead. He can’t come after you.”

“I know. And it don’t help none.” She took a deep breath. “Just makes me so mad.”

“I'm sorry,” he said softly.

“Ain't you I’m angry at.”

“Freya and Mal?”

She nodded. “They went off, did their own thing, wouldn’t be sensible about this.” She looked into his eyes, her own wet with unshed tears. “Why ain’t they sensible?”

“Kaylee, honey, if I could figure that out, I’d be a very happy man,” Simon said, leaning forward to kiss her gently on the lips.

“That ain't gonna fix anything,” Kaylee protested, but her hands came up to his face, moving him closer, then slid down his neck. Her fingers encountered the dressing and she pulled back. “I’m sorry …” she said quickly.

“My beautiful Kaylee, if I can’t take a little discomfort for the pleasure of being with you, then I am not the man I thought I was,” he said softly.

“You’re that,” she agreed. “And more.” She kissed him back, and he could feel the curve of her lips as she smiled against his.

Inara sat on her bed, her legs drawn up, her arms around her knees. She was rocking slightly, backwards and forwards, her mind replaying the events, white suit and red blood on the yellow sand.

“It wasn't your fault,” River said quietly from the doorway.

Inara looked up in surprise. “What did you say, sweetie?”

“It isn’t your fault.” The young psychic stepped into the shuttle. “Everyone thinks it’s their fault, but it isn’t. He died.”


“The man whose fault it was.” River sat down on the edge of the bed.

Inara’s mind flashed to the image of Freya leaning on the sword that had impaled Maice to his chair, her back to the Companion, darker blood on the red running down her back from the thrust she had given her. ‘You lose’, she’d said. But they’d all nearly lost. “River –“

“I couldn’t stop Simon,” the girl admitted. “So close, so close to him that I couldn’t stop the orders in his brain. I was looking out, but my hands weren't mine.” She looked down at her fingers, noting idly that she had dirt under one nail. “Your homicidal maniac couldn’t help you. Blood on the sand.”

“You couldn’t help it, mei-mei. But I wasn’t being controlled, I wasn’t –“

River looked back into her face. “She played you.”

“She shouldn’t have been able to.” Inara let go of her knees and sat cross-legged, pulling her pillow into her lap. “I'm a Companion, River. The whole point of that is being able to read signals, signs … yet I believed her.”

“You wanted to,” River said simply.

“I …” Inara stared at the girl, her dark eyes almost pure in their intensity. “You don’t know what … why should I want to believe her?”

“Dreams.” River smiled, but it was an odd, knowing smile that made Inara feel more than a little uncomfortable.

“Honey, I don’t understand.”

“Because it didn’t happen.” She picked up a cushion, admiring the texture, the skill that went into the creation of the thousand tiny stitches in the fabric with one part of her mind, while she concentrated on Inara with another. “You love Mal.”

Inara was taken aback. “River, that’s not –“

“She knows you do. And you still want him, but he wants her now. That isn’t going to change back.” River looked up sadly. “You have to accept they have each other, and neither will be yours.”

“I know!” Inara said sharply, then was instantly apologetic. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to –“

River put her hand on Inara’s knee. “Nothing to apologise for. She made you fight her, with language so harsh and shrill that it flowed like razor blades.” Her eyes widened at her words, as if they hadn’t come out quite the way she had intended. “Bad day,” she said quickly, and smiled suddenly, her face lighting up. “But it still wasn't your fault.”

“Thanks, mei-mei, but –“

“It doesn’t help, does it?” River asked, her smile switched off like a candle blown out. “Only words.”

Mal wasn't sleeping, despite the doctor’s instructions. Every time he closed his eyes he saw Freya lying on the sand, Inara kneeling in her blood. He knew what Freya had done, how she’d done it, but … he was angry, a fury that stopped him from drifting into rest. At himself.

He’d not thought about things right from the beginning, just reacted. Freya was going down to that moon, so he went too. He knew his crew would come after them, so he told Freya to stop them. He should have known Maice would be ready for them …

This wasn’t like him. He normally planned things, knowing what everyone was going to do, what he was going to do. Admittedly, when it didn’t he pretty much had to make things up as he went along, but that wasn't how it was supposed to go. But ever since Freya came on board, into his bed …

He was with Freya against his better judgement. Relationships caused problems, split loyalties. And people got hurt because of them. People died. Good people who should still be annoying him, questioning his every move, making him stop and think …

But, run-tse duh fwo-tzoo, he wanted her. Every day and every minute of that day. Maybe he always had, from the moment he first saw her in that bar, when she’d saved his life for the first time. She’d smiled at him, and he’d felt something move inside him. Something he’d pushed away for so long, believing with all his heart that they were just friends, trusting her attachment to him was just an extension of that friendship. After all, he loved Zoe, Kaylee, his ship, but he wasn't about to sleep with any of them. And Inara.

He wouldn’t hurt Inara, at least would try not to, any more than he already had. But when she gave him permission, told him it was okay, that she understood …gave her blessing … he’d done what he knew was the right thing. Been a man.

He rolled onto his side, pummelling the pillow into submission, trying to get the rolling thoughts out of his brain, to relax enough to let the bone-weariness he felt take him.

And because of him Freya was lying in the infirmary, hooked up to Simon’s machines, unknown substances dripping into her veins, keeping her going while she healed. If he hadn’t been so selfish as to take her, want her so badly that he could taste it …

He threw the pillow across the room in irritation, saw it knock a capture from the desk so it clittered to the floor, and sat up. He was really not going to get any sleep tonight, he realised, swinging his legs over the edge of the bunk. Might as well get dressed and go sit with Freya. Make sure she was okay. Just … to make sure.


Thursday, October 5, 2006 3:59 AM


Yay! You added in some S/K goodness! :o)

That makes me happy on a Thursday morning. I really like Inara's feelings of guilt River's attempt to ease her mind - we knew it wouldn't work, but it was a valiant attempt. And poor Mal - the man just cannot catch a break!

But still I can't wait to see more of the fall-out from this as Freya continues to heal. Something tells me Inara will be forced to make a decision soon - stay on board or go for good.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 8:14 AM


Wow...this was some deeply powerful stuff here, Jane! Especially the scene in Inara's shuttle between her and River. where the previous roles of person in pain and person offering comfort have been reversed:D

Got to admit though...getting a niggling feeling that you're up to something big and emotionally affecting with Inara's stymied desires for Mal and Freya, and Mal's guilt over what happened. Can't wait to see if I am right;)



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[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

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"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

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Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

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“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

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[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
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[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

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He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

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“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]