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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Freya has a secret she can't keep, and Mal gets into hot water ... okay, I couldn't wait to upload this after the angst of PROGRAMMING, so let me know what you think! And thank you so much to my regular readers ... you make it worthwhile!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1864 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
“You are joking.”
“I'm not.” Simon held out the result sheet, somewhat amused by the totally uncharacteristic look of utter dumbfoundedness on her face.
“I can’t be.”
“Freya, there’s no mistake. You’re pregnant.”
“This is a joke.”
“See for yourself. About seven weeks.”
She stared open-mouthed at the read-out, then looked down towards the region of her stomach. “But I … we … I can’t get …”
“You were sick. That can interrupt any form of contraception. I told Mal –” Simon stopped, realising what he was about to divulge.
“Told him what?” Freya asked.
“Nothing,” Simon said, turning away.
Now Freya was really suspicious. “Simon. Told – Mal – what?” she repeated.
“I …” Simon swallowed then turned to face her. “I told him to … to use condoms until –”
“But we never –” Freya interrupted. “I mean, he didn’t –” She stopped. “Did you tell him how long we had to use extra protection for?”
She stared at him. “That lying, cheating, scheming tah mah duh hwoon dahn!” She got off the med bed.
“Where are you going?”
“To get my gun.” She strode out.
Simon smiled slightly. No matter that he got on a lot better with the captain now, it was good to see him get his comeuppance once in a while.
Mal opened the door to shuttle two and stepped inside into the darkness. “Frey?” he called. “You in here?”
“The doc said you were looking for me.“
Mal went to turn up the lights but she called quickly, “No. Don’t. If I decide to shoot you, I don’t want you to see it coming.”
“Shoot …what the hell are you talking about, Frey?”
She stepped forward into the light coming from the cargo bay. “How could you?” she asked, anger radiating off her like white heat. “I don’t believe you would do this!”
Mal swiftly went over all the things he’d done in the past few days that he might not want her to know about, but there was nothing major. Certainly nothing to warrant this. “Frey –”
“How could you even consider doing that, without even consulting me? Damn it, Mal, it’s my body!”
“What?” Mal was understandably confused.
She glared at him. “I’m pregnant, Mal. About seven weeks, according to Simon.”
His face lit up as delight spread through him, and his heart started to race. “That’s great!”
“No, it’s not.” She shook her head. “How could you do this?”
“But we talked about having kids.”
“At some time in the future!”
“Well, this is the future from then,” Mal pointed out, trying a smile to calm her down. It failed.
“But you did this to me – on purpose!” she said, taking another step towards him. “And after what Simon said!”
“It wasn’t like that!” Mal protested. “We were making love, and I … I just wondered what would happen if we didn’t … if I didn’t say anything.”
“You knocked me up to see what happened?” she asked, appalled and angry in more or less equal measure.
“Frey, honey, I have a notion this ain’t doing the baby any good,” Mal opined.
“Really. Really.” She stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at him. “You get me pregnant and that’s all you have to say.”
“Only a little bit.”
“A little …” She was speechless. Almost. “That’s like being a little bit dead. You wanna see what that feels like?”
“I’d rather not,” Mal said, glad she didn’t appear to be actually armed. “Frey, sweetheart, I want kids. And I want them with you. You’re gonna be a great mother.”
“But not right now!” She couldn’t breathe. Turning away she leaned on the wall, trying to pull air into her lungs.
“Don’t you touch me,” she said. “And don’t think you’re going to, ever again.”
Mal pulled back his hand and sat down instead, looking up as best he could into her face. “You wanna shoot me, go ahead. But that’s my kid in there, and you need to calm down.”
She glanced across at him then down at her belly. She touched herself. “I can’t …” She stopped, then seemed to deflate. She sat down next to him.
“That’s better,” he said, putting on his captain’s voice. “Now take a few slow breaths.”
She still glared at him, but at least she wasn’t actively hyperventilating anymore. “How could you?” she asked quietly.
“Don’t you want kids?” Mal asked. “Or is it just me you don’t want them with?”
“Mal, I do want your children.”
“But not like this! I wanted to be talked to, for us to actually make this decision together. Dammit, Mal, this is a big thing!”
“No, it ain’t.” Mal took her hand, and she didn’t actually pull it out of his grasp. A good sign, he considered. “By the time our child is born, Kaylee’ll already be carrying hers in a papoose. Things will have changed already.”
“That’s no excuse.”
“It’s the only one I got.” He squeezed her hand. “I’m sorry, Frey. All I can say is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. I didn’t think anything would come of it, truth be told. I mean, Simon’s always overreacting to things …”
“He was very specific. He told me.” She leaned back, pulling her hand away. “I need to think.”
“Alone.” She nodded towards the door. “Just leave me alone.”
“No, now look, Freya –”
“Go away, Mal.”
He stared at her, but she was adamant. With a sigh he got up. “Okay. But I’ll be around when you need me.”
She didn’t answer, and he walked slowly out of the shuttle.
“What is it, Mal?” the Companion asked, turning from her vid screen. She was making a few appointments for her stay on Persephone, but pulled the hanging across at the sight of Mal’s face. “What is it?” she asked again, this time more concerned.
“I … I think I've done something stupid,” Mal admitted, sitting down on the red sofa.
“Really. That makes a change.” She came to join him. “And what would that be?”
“I … Freya’s pregnant,” he said quickly, as if the words had been crowding behind his teeth.
“Is she?” Inara asked innocently.
Mal stared at her, suspicions flooding his brain. “You knew? Did she –“ He glanced over his shoulder towards the door.
“No, Mal,” Inara interrupted. “But I’m a Companion. One of the things we’re taught is to pick up on signals. And I've been picking these particular ones up from Freya for a few days now.”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“It wasn’t up to me.” Inara smoothed her dress and smiled at him. “So, are you happy?”
“I am,” Mal said, with unexpected emphasis on the first word.
“Isn’t Freya? I mean, I’m presuming you were both trying for a …” She stumbled to a halt. “You were actually trying, weren’t you, Mal?” she asked slowly.
“So this was a mistake?”
“No!” he insisted. “Not at all. It just … I didn’t actually … she was sick, Inara! And Simon said we needed to use some other … and I figured that maybe if we didn’t …” His own voice trailed off.
“Do you mean you …” Inara couldn’t believe it.
“Kinda seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“I reckon I'm doing well if she don’t shoot me.”
“Don’t count your chickens too soon,” Inara said, holding her temper in check. “How could you do this, Mal?”
“I … I don’t suppose saying I’m ready for kids is a good enough reason?”
“Not at all. No wonder she’s mad at you – I would be.”
“I’d been sick!” he said, getting up and pacing the room. “Just beginning to feel better, we were in our bunk, and … hell, ‘Nara, you know how it is.”
“No, Mal, I don’t. I’ve never deliberately impregnated someone just to see if I could.”
“I want kids,” Mal insisted. “Seeing Kaylee so happy, knowing there’s gonna be …” He shook his head. “I don’t rightly know what came over me.”
“Does insanity usually run in your family?” Inara asked.
“Nope, but I'm beginning to wonder if it’s not starting to gallop about now.” He looked up at her from under his eyebrows. “Could you talk to her?”
“No!” Inara said firmly. “No, no and no! I am not getting involved in this. It’s your problem, you have to sort it out.”
“And if she shoots me?”
“Then I hope your Last Will and Testament is up to date.”
Freya was standing in the middle of their bunk, fuming. She couldn’t believe he could behave like this! It was her body, her choice, not his. Of course she wanted to have children with him, how could she not. But this was … She’d had so many things taken out of her hands, taken out of her control, but she thought this at least was one that she could keep command of. Instead he’d taken a unilateral decision and now …
Her stomach grumbled and she realised she hadn’t eaten today. Throwing up this morning hadn’t helped, which was why she’d gone to see Simon in the first place, and now she was pretty sure she’d missed lunch too. Couldn’t be doing that: wouldn’t be good for the baby to go without …
Gorram it. He’d done it to her, hadn’t he? Here she was thinking about what was bad for the child.
She heard the hatch open.
“Frey? You down there?” Mal called from the corridor above.
“And if I am?”
“Just wondered if you were intending to make good on your threat.”
“I'm still considering.”
“Can I come down?”
“It’s your boat.”
“That ain't something I'm too sure of anymore,” Mal muttered, stepping slowly down the ladder.
Freya was standing in the middle of the room, her arms crossed.
“Hi,” he said, smiling.
“Have you come to apologise?” she asked, her face blank.
“If you want me to. But I won’t mean it.” He leaned on the ladder. “Okay, I'm sorry.”
“It kinda negates it if you say first you don’t mean it,” she pointed out.
“Wanna be truthful here.” He sighed, standing upright. “You know, I ain’t never had a problem with getting people to do what I wanted, ‘til I bought this boat. Then my crew started talking back to me, complainin’, wanting to put their own opinions forward. But I took it all in my stride. Then you come along and it’s like I don’t own myself no more.” He was getting angry and he couldn’t figure out why. “I said I'm sorry, Freya, and I am. But only for the ‘not telling you’ bit. I ain't sorry that you’re carrying my child. And I never will be.”
“You’re mad at me?” Freya said, bristling with indignation.
“You’re making out like you don’t want my baby!”
“Run-tse duh fwo-tzoo, I do!”
There was silence for a moment.
“What?” Mal stepped forward. “You do?”
“I …” She uncrossed her arms and put her hands on her hips instead, looking down at the deck plating. “I want to stay angry at you,” she admitted in a quiet voice.
He hid a smile. “Because. You think that’s a good enough answer.”
“It’s about the only one you’re gonna get.”
He moved closer. “Frey, I am sorry. I mean it. I know control is important to you, and I did take that away from you. But I’m happy. In fact, I'm so happy I’m …” He searched for the right word and only came up with the wrong one. “I’m giddy.”
She looked up into his face. He was only a few inches from her, and she could smell his maleness, his own personal scent that always made her weak at the knees. She resolved to be stronger than that. “Giddy?”
“Frey, I love you. I want you beside me, with me. Even if I have to put up with your mood swings and violent temper tantrums.” He smiled at the scandalised look on her face and went on quickly. “And I want this child.”
For a long moment she glared at him, then her face softened. “Me too,” she whispered, and he gathered her into his arms.
He held her for what seemed an eternity, her hands on his back, pulling him closer, just being together. Then he looked down into her face and kissed her gently.
“I’m sorry. I really am,” he said into her lips.
“Don’t,” she advised. “I could still get pissed.”
“Should’ve figured you were pregnant. Looks to me like your hormones are already going a bit wild. Threatening to shoot me, and all.”
“You riled me.”
“Might be best to take your gun away from you now.”
“Try it and you’ll see how hormonal I can get.”
He looked down to the region of her belly. “Boy or girl?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t … it never occurred to me to ask.” She smiled.
“Then don’t. It should be a surprise. But we’ll have to get things organised. Use the spare bunk, make it into a nursery. We’ll have to cut through the bulkhead – I’ll get Jayne on that, he’s good with a torch –“
“Mal, Mal.” She put a finger to his lips. “We have plenty of time for that. Nearly seven months.”
“Is that all ‘til I meet him? Or her?” He laughed, then pushed her back enough so he could look down her body. He put a hand on her still flat belly. “Hey, little one. I'm your daddy.” He grinned at her, and her stomach flipped over. “I like that. Want to tell the others?”
“I guess. But not today. I’d like it to be our secret for a few hours.” She thought for a moment, then amended, “Apart from Simon, that is. And River, of course – she’ll know anyway. And I think Inara might have … Oh, hell, we’d better tell ‘em now.”
“You know you can’t keep a secret on this boat,” Mal pointed out. “Now, you coming? There may not be much food left if we don’t get there soon.”
“You mean I ain’t missed lunch?”
“Only if you don’t get a move on.”
Everyone was already eating when they arrived, and it was only Mal’s glare that had Jayne pulling his hand back from taking the last of the food.
“Is everything okay?” Inara asked quietly, looking at them both.
“Shiny,” Freya said.
“Hey, is there something going on here?” Kaylee asked, having caught the smile that passed between them.
“Nope,” Mal said, grabbing two hunks of bread and putting one on his plate, the other on Freya’s. “'Less you count the fact that Frey’s gonna have my baby.”
Kaylee sat with her mouth open.
“Sweetheart, that’s undignified,” Simon said softly, nudging her in the ribs.
“You knew about this?” she asked, turning to him.
“Of course. I'm the doctor.”
“And you didn’t tell me?” she said accusingly.
“I couldn’t,” he asserted. “That would have broken the sacred bond between doctor and patient.” He leaned forward. “I really couldn’t, Kaylee.”
“You’re pregnant?” Hank asked, staring at Freya. “For sure?”
“For sure.” Freya looked at Kaylee. “Must be catching,” she said, laughing.
“There’s gonna be another kid running around?” Jayne asked sceptically.
“Yes,” Mal said. “And that means making doubly sure your guns are locked up.”
“I always –“
“There have been a couple of occasions when they haven’t been as secure as they might have been,” Mal pointed out.
“Might have to rethink my position here,” Jayne grumbled.
“Afraid you might have to babysit?” Hank asked, deliberately baiting the big man. “I think Kaylee’s already got you down as working Wednesdays and Fridays. I’d suggest Sundays and Mondays for –“
“How about I schedule you for a fight right now?”
“It’ll be a while yet,” Freya said quickly. “Seven months, or thereabouts, and that’s just until it’s born. And Kaylee’s will be first.”
The girl in question patted the mound at her waist and grinned.
“Do you want to know the sex?” Simon asked. “I can tell you.”
“No,” Mal said firmly. “We’ll wait until we meet him or her.” He looked at River. “And I don’t want you telling us either.”
River smiled slightly. “I like babies, whatever sex they are.”
“Well, let’s just keep it that way.”
Freya sat at the dinner table, feeling awfully small at this particular moment in time. Everyone else was asleep, including Mal, who had merely muttered something and rolled over when she got out of their bunk. Now she sat wrapped in her brocade shawl, her pants and shirt hastily pulled on, as she contemplated the change to her future.
Well, most people were out for the count.
“Couldn’t sleep?” Zoe asked, coming into the dining room.
Freya looked up at her. “No. Guess I've got too much on my mind. You?”
“Thinking about Wash.” She headed for the cupboard and took out a mug, filling it with tea from the pot.
“Not your fault. If anything, it’s his.”
“Yes.” Zoe came and sat opposite her. “He kept saying it was the wrong time, that he didn’t want to bring a child into this world, not like it is. He wouldn’t listen to me.”
“You would have made great parents.”
“I know it. Wash would … he could have …” Zoe was about as awkward as she ever got. Then she smiled. “But you two will be good. You have to know that.”
“I don’t. That’s one of the things that’s absolutely terrifying me. Mal … well, he’ll be good. He already has a family to look after – this’ll just be a stretch for him. Me … I don’t know how to look after a child. I wouldn’t even know where to start!”
“You think?” Zoe sipped her tea. “Freya, you are as much a part of this family as he is. And no-one is going to let you do anything by yourself. Think they’re gonna let you have all the fun?” She smiled again, this time with more warmth. “Even Jayne. And he’s going to have some experience of babies before yours is born. Who knows, it might mellow him a little.”
“No. That I can’t agree with. Nothing will ever mellow Jayne.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“Uncle Jayne …” Freya rolled the words around her mouth. “Not sure it has the right ring to it.”
“Freya, I have the feeling he’ll be great,” Zoe said, her smile broadening. “You know he has a special place for you –“
“Yeah, down in the hold among the other crap!”
Zoe laughed. “He likes you – a lot. And this baby is going to be something pretty unique.”
“I know. Might even have your abilities – well, the ones you had before.”
Freya considered. “You know, I hadn’t thought about that. In a way, I hope he doesn’t. If the Alliance got hold of him, he’d be in the same position as River.” She shuddered a little.
“You wouldn’t let it happen,” Zoe said firmly. “And ‘he’? I thought you didn’t want to know the sex.”
“I don’t,” Freya laughed. “I can just feel it’s going to get awkward saying ‘he or she’ all the time.”
“Seven months …” Zoe looked down into her tea, as if she could see the future in it. “It’ll go past sooner than you think.”
“I know.” Freya put her hand on her friend’s arm. “And despite how … what he … I can’t wait. I know I feel … well, terrified is probably putting it mildly … but I want this baby. Mal’s baby.”
“Sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it?”
“It surely does.”
“Can I interrupt or is this just for girls?” Mal asked, stepping down into the galley, wearing only a pair of pants. “Every time I look around lately you two are having a heart to heart. Makes me feel left out.”
“I'm sure Freya can lend you another dress, sir, if that’s what’s bothering you,” Zoe said, getting up. “I'm going to bed. Goodnight.”
“Night,” Freya said, smiling. “And I'm not lending Mal any more of my dresses, not considering what he did to the last one.”
Zoe grinned and went back to her bunk.
“Scared?” Mal asked, moving to stand behind Freya.
“A little,” she admitted. “Okay, a lot.”
“We’ve got time to get ready, Frey,” he said, leaning down to nuzzle at her neck. “As you keep telling me, seven months. Twenty-eight weeks. One hundred and ninety-six days.”
She half turned so she could look into his face. “Did you just work that out?” she asked, smiling.
“I went down to the hours, minutes and seconds if you want to hear.”
“No, not really,” she said quickly. “Seven months sounds fine. But one hundred and … what was it?”
“One hundred and ninety-six days makes it sound like it’s right around the corner.”
“I wish it were, Frey,” he whispered, nuzzling her earlobe. “And I checked with Simon – we can make love almost right up until the time you give birth.”
Her stomach rolled a little. “Give birth … that sounds so …”
“Wonderful,” he finished, licking the curve of her shoulder.
“That wasn’t quite the word I’d have – can you stop doing that?” she asked. “I can’t concentrate.”
“That’s the idea.” He put his hands on her arms. “Come back to bed and I’ll show you how pleased I am.”
“I’m not sure I've forgiven you yet.”
“’Course you have.” He let go for a moment. “And just to prove I know you have, I've got something for you.” He reached into the pocket of his pants. There was a moment’s pause then something cold touched her skin.
She looked down. The little silver Firefly hung on its chain, moving slightly as he fastened it behind her neck.
“Oh, Mal,” she breathed.
“I had it fixed. And I’ll keep it that way,” he said, putting his arms around her to hold her close.
Friday, October 20, 2006 6:22 AM
Friday, October 20, 2006 9:58 AM
Sunday, October 22, 2006 2:08 PM
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