BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Commitment
Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Frye family want to find out why Kaylee hasn't said yes yet ... and if you want to know you'll have to keep reading! Oh, and feedback helps ...


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1825    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Freya stood in the doorway of the galley and watched Hank and Zoe on the bridge, being so polite to each other, and felt annoyance wash through her. “They’re no further on,” she said, shaking her head and coming back to the table.

“They’re going out today,” Kaylee said, jiggling Bethany over her shoulder.

“Yes, but with the rest of us.”

“No, they’re going out out.”

Out out? As in date out?”

“Well, I'm not sure about a date …”

Freya sat down. “And who told you?”

“Hank. He sort of wanted permission so he and Zoe could slip away. In case I got upset.” She smiled. “As if I would.” Bethany burped satisfactorily.

“Are you sure that’s Simon’s baby?” Freya asked. “Only she sounds a lot more like Jayne.”

Kaylee looked scandalised. “Are you suggesting –“

“No, no,” Freya said quickly. “I’ll hold off on that until she says her first word.”

“She is not gonna grow up cussing,” Kaylee said firmly. “Ain't gonna happen.”

“Right,” Freya said, nodding unconvincingly. “On this boat. With this crew. All so gentlemanly and ladylike that they never say a rude word.”

Inara giggled slightly. “Of course they don’t,” she agreed. “It’s all in Kaylee’s imagination.”

“And of course Kaylee never swears.”

“Never.”

Kaylee looked from one to the other then laughed. “You two oughtta be ashamed of yourselves.”

“Nope, that ain't gonna happen either,” Freya promised, smiling.

River glanced up towards the bridge. “He’s doing it again.”

“Doing what, honey?” Inara asked.

“Thinking about her. In bed. But he’s not saying anything.” She looked at the others who were staring at her. “Well, he’s so loud.”

“So he pussy-foots,” Freya said in disgust. “Doesn’t he know that’s the one thing she can’t abide?”

“He’s hoping so hard,” River replied, picking up a coloured pencil. “He wants it so badly but he’s scared.” She touched the picture gently. “And they did kiss last night.”

The women stared at her.

“They did what?” Freya asked, leaning on the table.

“They kissed. Or Zoe kissed Hank and he returned it.” River didn’t look up.

Inara and Freya glanced at each other, and Kaylee made a sound like a balloon loosing air.

“Zoe kissed Hank,” Inara said slowly.

“I believe I just said that.”

“And he never said …” Freya couldn’t believe it. “I’d’ve thought he’d be jumping for joy!”

“He’s afraid it might all melt away,” River said, her head on one side as she perused her drawing.

Freya looked up the corridor towards the bridge. Maybe the first mate was standing just a little closer to the pilot than she usually did. “Way to go, Zo,” she murmured. “Just so long as she doesn’t kill him.”

“I think it will work,” River said gravely, and held up her sketchbook.

Freya laughed out loud. “River, I think you’ve got the right idea.”

The other two women stared, and then couldn’t help it. They joined in.

“I like the hint of colour,” Inara said around her gaiety.

“Pretty,” Kaylee said, her hand in front of her mouth.

“Not sure you’ve got Hank’s physique quite right, though,” Freya added.

“He’s been working out,” River replied.

“Ah. Then I take it back.”

“Do you think we should do something with it?” Kaylee asked, biting her lips.

“Burn it,” Inara said firmly. “If they see this …”

“I'm keeping it,” River said, closing the pad on the picture of Zoe and Hank locked in each other’s arms, his chest bare, the merest suggestion of the shuttle behind them. “Maybe I’ll frame it as a wedding present.” ---

Down in the cargo bay, Mal looked around. “Where’s Zoe?” he asked. “I thought she wanted to meet Kaylee’s family.”

Freya stepped down the staircase. “She’s coming: she’s getting ready for her big date, Mal,” she said.

“What, with Hank?” Mal asked. “Does she need to get prepared for that?”

“No. Just wants to.” She crossed the bay floor and smiled at him. “If you don’t mind.”

He grinned at her. “No, not at all. You okay?”

“Shiny,” she said, lifting her chin enough so she could just touch her lips to his.

Hank ran down the steps. “Not late, am I?” he asked, pushing at his hair to try and get it to lie down, and failing miserably.

“No,” Freya said, smiling. “And you look nice.”

“Nice?” Hank looked down at his white shirt and dark pants. “I was kinda going for sophisticated.”

“Then you almost succeeded.”

He stood with his hands on his hips, about to make a smart rejoinder, when Kaylee hurried out of the doorway to the common area, Bethany in her arms. “We ready?” she asked, her face flushed.

“Soon as we open the door.”

“Where’s Simon?”

“Here,” the young man said, joining her. “Still scared?” he asked.

“Scared?” Mal put in. “What’re you scared for, little Kaylee?”

“Ain't scared. Never said that,” Kaylee replied, sticking her chin forward. “It’s just … it’s the first time they get to meet Bethany. And all’a you. Could be a mite … overwhelming.”

Mal smiled. “Mei-mei, if it looks like they can’t take us all in one go, I’ll send Jayne off to find a whorehouse.”

The big man brightened. “Wouldn’t mind that, Cap’n,” he said quickly. “If’n it makes life easier, ‘n’ all.”

“There aren’t any,” Kaylee said firmly.

“What, none?”

“Maybe in town, but I ain't never heard of one.”

“What kind of self-respecting place don’t have a whorehouse?”

“Jayne, I think you just answered your own question,” Mal said. He smiled at the rest of his crew as Zoe walked down the stairs. “Ready?” he asked.

“Cap’n, you doing this on purpose?” Kaylee asked.

Mal grinned and opened the cargo bay doors.

Outside in the sunshine of the Phoros morning, a group of people were waiting.

“Kaylee!” squealed the older woman, rushing forward.

“Momma!” Kaylee hurried out of the ship, holding out one arm to embrace her mother, her brothers crowding around.

“Oh, it’s so good to see you,” Eleanor Frye cried, hugging her. “And is this …” She looked down at the bundle in her daughter’s arms.

“This is Bethany,” Kaylee said. “Your granddaughter.” She carefully placed the little baby into Mrs Frye’s arms and pulled back the blanket.

“Ooh.” There were tears in her mother’s eyes as she looked down at the sleeping child. “Bethany. Oh, Kaylee.”

“Wow,” one of her brothers said. “She looks like you.”

“Ain't so, Bobby,” another said, thumping him on the shoulder. “Kaylee’s prettier.”

“Don’t go hitting your brother, Joe,” his mother scolded. “And they’re both pretty.”

Kaylee’s older brother swatted them across the back of the head. “Behave,” he said.

“Aw, Bill!”

The oldest brother just stood and grinned.

“Don’t know what you’re laughing at, Pete,” Bobby said, still smarting. “You keep on the way you’ve been going with Lily, and you’d be the one presenting a kid.”

Pete didn’t say a word, but his eyes promised swift retribution later. Trouble was, Bobby couldn’t care less.

“Boys,” their mother said. “Ssh. You’ll wake the baby.”

Kaylee felt her own eyes misting up, and was glad when Simon stepped down behind her, putting his arm around her.

“Momma, this is Simon,” she said, breathing deeply to try and keep her heart from bursting from her chest.

Mrs Frye looked him up and down. “You look like you need a decent meal inside you,” she said, wiping her face with the sleeve of her dress. “But you seem okay.”

Simon smiled. “Thank you, Mrs Frye. And I'm doing my best to make Kaylee happy.”

“Well, see that you do.”

“Pa?” Kaylee said, looking at the man standing behind her brothers grouped around Bethany. “Ain't you gonna say hello?”

Edmundos Frye took a step forward, somewhat hesitantly. “You married yet, Kaylee girl?”

Kaylee sighed. “Not yet, Pa.”

“How come?”

“Pa …”

“He treating you right?” Mr Frye looked at Simon.

“I ain’t never been so happy, Pa.”

Mr Frye nodded slowly. “Then that’s something.” He glared at Simon. “You gonna marry my girl, Mr Tam?”

“As soon as she says yes,” Simon acknowledged.

“Then I reckon that’s okay.” A smile grew on his face, making him look a decade younger. “But I ain't too sure about being called a granddad so soon.”

“Eddie!” his wife admonished. “Why don’t you come see her before you make comments like that?”

“I was intending to do just that,” he said, pushing one of his sons out of the way and looking down at the child in his wife’s arms. “So this is Bethany.”

“That she is,” Kaylee said. “My daughter.”

“Sounds kinda odd.”

“I think it sounds perfect,” Simon said.

“Yeah. I guess maybe it does,” Mr Frye admitted.

Mal and the others hung back. Out of all of them, only Freya had ever met the Fryes, and it was somewhat odd to see Kaylee surrounded by a family other than theirs.

Edmundos Frye sighed, then looked at the other group. “Nice to see you again, Ms Nordstrom,” he said, smiling a little at Freya.

“It’s Reynolds now,” she said, holding out her hand.

He took it, pressing it between both of his for a moment before releasing. “Yeah, so I heard. At least someone got married.”

Freya laughed. “And this is my husband. Captain Malcolm Reynolds.”

Mal stepped forward. “Mr Frye.”

“Never did get a chance to meet when you took my little’un off-world,” Kaylee’s father said gruffly. “Hope she’s been keeping herself outta mischief.”

Mal smiled. “I don’t know I can rightly say that, sir,” he admitted. “But she’s closest I’ll ever get to having a sister.”

Freya glanced at him. Always something new to learn about this man, she thought.

“Then that’s about all a father can ask,” Mr Frye said. “So you’ve gone and gotten yourself hitched.”

“All but three months ago,” Mal said, pulling Freya into his embrace.

“Still on honeymoon?”

“Always,” Mal replied, smiling.

Mr Frye regarded them both, then nodded. “Yeah. Sometimes you can see when it’s gonna work. And I pretty much think you’re gonna be fine.”

“Thank you.”

“And who are the rest of these fine people?”

“My crew, Mr Frye.” Mal released Freya so he could turn and make the introductions. “This is Zoe, my first mate, Hank, my pilot … and that’s Inara.”

The Companion inclined her head gracefully, and Mr Frye nodded back.

“And that’s Jayne.”

The mercenary and the father studied each other, sizing the other up. “Yeah, I figured it probably was,” Mr Frye said eventually. “And this must be River.” He smiled at the young girl.

“Are we related?” she asked, slipping her hand into his.

He was surprised. “I don’t think so.”

“But Kaylee’s your daughter, and Simon’s my brother, so we must be, through Bethany.”

“I ain't sure that’s how it works.”

“But that makes Kaylee my sister,” River insisted.

Mal went to take the young psychic’s arm, but Mr Frye shook his head.

“Maybe you’re right,” he said slowly. “And I know she’s always wanted one. All those brothers, and not a sister amongst ‘em.”

River glanced across at them, and smiled. “No,” she agreed.

“Well, better not keep everyone out here,” Mr Frye said, disentangling his arm from this rather worrisome child. “There’s food and other refreshments at the house. I think it’s time for a party.”

Jayne grinned. “Sounds good to me.” He stepped forward and clapped the older man on the back. “You like cigars?” he asked. ---

“I don’t know about this,” Hank said, his forehead creased with anxiety. “It’s a mighty fancy place. Too fancy for the likes of me.”

Zoe looked at him. “If you’re worried about the money –“

“No! No, it ain’t that!” he said quickly, although just a glance at the menu outside the restaurant had him thinking he could probably just about afford a glass of water.

“You once said you’d spend every penny you had on me,” Zoe pointed out.

“And I will. Just … does it have to be all in one go?”

Zoe’s lips twitched. “Then we’ll find somewhere else.”

“But you wanted to go here.”

“Not really,” she admitted, walking off, Hank hurrying to keep up. “It looked quite nice.”

“There’s that word again. Nice.”

“Do you have a problem with nice?”

“No.” He paused. “Well, not really. It’s just … it’s something people say when they don’t want to be too committal.”

“So if I say you’re nice, you’ll take offence.”

“Well, it wouldn’t …” He stopped in his tracks. “You think I'm nice?”

“I thought I was being non-committal.” She turned to look at him, his face all eager, his sea-green eyes shining hopefully.

“Zoe …”

She sighed. “Hank, I have just one question for you.”

“Yes,” he said firmly. “Whatever it is, the answer is yes.”

“You don’t know what it is yet.”

“I don’t care. Whatever you want, yes.”

“It’s not so much what I want, as what you can do.” She looked at him, her face carefully impassive.

A whole stream of images flashed through his mind, but he pushed them all away. “Then ask already.”

“Can you juggle?”

That almost floored him. “What?”

“Can you juggle? Balls, sticks, geese?”

“Geese?” Now he was really confused.

“Just answer the question.”

He stared at her, then slowly shook his head. “Um, no. Never had the co-ordination. Not a good thing, being a pilot and all, but I've never …” He paused. “Do you want me to learn?”

“No.”

“Then –“

“Hank.” Zoe stepped closer, her voice soft. “Believe it or not, that was the right answer.”

“Great!” He cheered up immediately. “Not sure how, but great!”

She smiled. “Come on. Let’s find something a bit more within our price range.” ---

It was hot inside the house, and more people were arriving all the time. Kaylee was taking a few minutes to be on her own, sitting on the stoop outside.

Edmondos Frye opened the door and looked down at his daughter, shaking his head. “How come you’re not saying yes?” he asked.

Kaylee hugged her knees. “No reason. Just ain’t the right time.”

“Little Winnie, you’ve got a baby. Don’t you think that’s making it the right time?”

She smiled at the use of his old pet name for her. “Pa, it ain’t like that.”

“So tell me what it’s like.” He lowered himself to the stoop next to her. “You tell me.”

Kaylee bit her lip. “Pa, I know I got a baby. And I wouldn’t have it no other way. And I love Simon. That ain’t something I ever expected, someone like him wanting me. And we spent so long not being together that I … well, maybe I’m scared.”

“You?” her father asked, chuckling a little. “I didn’t think my little girl was scared of anything.”

“I just don’t want him marryin’ me ‘cause of the baby.”

“You think he’d do that?” Kaylee shrugged. “Winnie, maybe I thought he should, when you came and told us you was pregnant, but now I’ve met the man, and … Kaylee, he loves you. Anyone seeing you has to know that. And if you’re waiting for me to give my blessing, you got it.”

Kaylee leaned over and put her arms around her father. “Thank you. You don’t know how much that means.”

He patted her hand. “Only it ain’t just that, is it?”

“Why would it be anything else, Pa?”

“’Cause I know you.” He sighed. “But I also know you ain't gonna tell me if you don’t want to.”

“It’s shiny. Honest.” She smiled at him. “And I will marry Simon. When I’m good and ready.”

“Good.” It wasn’t the best of answers, but he knew his daughter enough not to push. “Come on. Your aunt and uncle have arrived, and they want to see what a fine young lady you’ve grown into.”

“Ain't grown into that, Pa,” Kaylee protested, grinning happily.

“Well, I told ‘em that, but they want to see for themselves.”

Kaylee punched him on the arm, then allowed him to lead her back inside.

to be continued

COMMENTS

Friday, December 1, 2006 4:18 AM

WAFFENMAC


as always fantastic keep it up

Friday, December 1, 2006 5:02 AM

TAMSIBLING


I loved it - it was a great introduction to the Fryes and I really liked everyone's reactions to Simon and the crew.

One question though ... what IS it that Kaylee's so hesitant about? I'm really hoping that now that she's home and maybe feeling a bit more comfortable, she'll tell Simon the truth. He should know something's up, because she took time to sit by herself, she doesn't ever do that ... I'm intrigued ... update soon!

Friday, December 1, 2006 8:31 AM

AMDOBELL


The most incredible bit about this is that Kaylee hasn't said YES yet! We know she's head over heels in love with Simon, has been since she first set eyes on him, so what is causing this reluctance? Love what we've seen so far of Kaylee's family and I especially loved River tell her father that she was family now too because Kaylee was her sister. Now the poor man knows how Simon feels. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, December 1, 2006 12:02 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Personally, I would lay cashy money on some variation on the whole "Core-Rim" cultural difference or a worry Simon wants to haul up stakes back to the Core for his old kind of job. That or I suspect some promise to an old flame Kaylee's upholding after several years...maybe a previous wedding proposal to a sweetie who went MIA during the War?

BEB

Saturday, December 2, 2006 11:49 PM

LONDINIUMSSHINYHAT


Very nice.

Love the hint of Kaylee's dad and Jayne hitting it off :)


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