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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Friday, 2nd bite ... Does this make it clearer ... or stir up the mud? Let me know!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1607 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
That was it. Too many people, too much noise when she was used to the space of Serenity and the hum of the engine, and Freya was standing outside getting some fresh air and relief from the crush of bodies in the small house. She was considering that having a big family meant you had to be friendly, just as the door behind her opened and Edmundos Frye came out.
“Bit too much for you?” he asked.
“A little,” she admitted, looking back into the evening air. The lights were still on in the factories, indicating that when it was around, work was pretty much twentyfourseven.
“Well, folks want to meet the new arrival,” he explained. “Got people come from miles away, just to see Bethany.”
Freya smiled. “Worth the trip, don’t you think?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t disagree with you on that topic.” He pulled a small cigar from his pocket. “Do you mind?”
She shook her head. “No, please.”
Mr Frye lit up, puffing to get a good head going. “Your man Jayne gave me a couple, but I’ll save them for later.”
“He likes a good cigar,” she agreed.
“So what’s with the name?”
Freya grinned into the darkness. “I don’t know. I never got up the courage to ask.”
“I guess it explains why he looks the way he does.” Mr Frye inhaled. “Being called Jayne must make you wanna beat up on people.”
“I think it’s just a coincidence.”
“Could be.” There was a silence, then he went on, “Mrs Reynolds, when you came last time, you told me you’d look after Kaylee.”
“That I did.”
“And you have. So now I have to ask. Do you know why she ain't agreeing to marry the young doctor?”
Freya was surprised. “I ... I don’t know.”
“Have you asked her?”
“Well, no. I just figured she’d say yes when she was ready.”
“I don’t –“
“Kaylee wrote us, told us you’d lost a baby.”
Freya closed her eyes. “I … yes.”
“How’d that happen?”
She remembered falling, but not hitting. Just being in the air … “It was an accident. Nothing anyone could’ve done.”
“But you were going to marry the captain because you were pregnant.”
She looked at him. “I was going to marry Mal because he asked me. And I loved him. Still do.” She twisted the rings on her finger. Such a little box … “I got around to marrying him three months ago.”
“But he asked because –“
“Mr Frye, I don’t know why Kaylee won’t marry Simon.”
“It still pains you, I'm sorry.”
She looked towards the horizon. “I shouldn’t … it’s just that …” She paused. So many tears … “We should ... The nursery should be finished, waiting and I … buying those last few things.”
“It isn’t your fault.” She took a deep breath, pushing it away yet again. “So, Kaylee.”
“Mmn.” Mr Frye acknowledged the change of subject with a nod of his head. “I was wondering whether you could talk to her. Find out why she won’t say yes.”
“I'm sure she will. Eventually.”
“Well I ain’t. There’s something going on in Kaylee’s head, and she’s brewing up to something. I’ve seen the signs before, and it’s always been bad news.” He exhaled noisily. “Don’t happen often, just a few times when she was growing up, but you don’t wanna be around when it happens. Last time it was when she wanted to go on that boat of yours, be a mechanic. When I told her no.”
“And this time you think it’s to do with not marrying Simon?”
“I do.” He stuck his hands in his pants pockets, all stern and fatherly at the same time.
Freya couldn’t help but smile. “I’ll try.”
“Thanks.” He looked sincerely grateful. “Look, why don’t you go to Kaylee’s old workshop? It’s just a shed round back, but I ain't had the heart to clear it out. It’s all still full of her stuff, old tools and the like. I’ll send her to you.”
“No time like the present, eh?”
“None at all.”
Freya nodded. “Sure. Besides, maybe that shed’ll give me a better idea of what makes Kaylee tick.”
“The way that girl is, it’s probably clockwork.” Mr Frye walked back into the house.
Freya turned back to the night, but wasn't surprised by the voice reaching out to her.
“Is that why you’ve been prickly lately?” Mal asked, coming out of the darkness.
She looked at him. “Have I?”
“Yes.” He put his arms around her, just holding her lightly. “I hadn’t worked it out, maybe I didn’t want to, but … I guess it would be time.” He glanced down at her flat belly.
She swallowed. “Yes.” She leaned into him, not wanting to look into his eyes, to see the pain and concern still there.
“I'm sorry.” He tightened his grip on her as he felt her shudder. “I wish …”
They didn’t speak for a few minutes, just used the warmth of their bodies to comfort each other. After a while Freya pushed away, turning so he couldn’t see the tears on her face, the loss still eating at her. He felt the fabric of his shirt, and the dampness there.
“I … Mr Frye has asked me to talk to Kaylee, about Simon,” his wife said, not turning back. “I’ll … we can talk later.” She walked into the darkness.
He watched for a moment, then shook his head. “No, Frey,” he called, chasing her and catching her arm. “Not later. Now.”
She looked at him in surprise. “Mal?”
“I should have realised. And you could have told me,” he said, dropping his head a little so he could gaze directly into her dark eyes. “I ain’t such an ogre, am I?”
“I just … didn’t want people to feel sorry for me.”
“Pity? Is that what this is about?” She shrugged. Mal sighed, pulling her into him again. “Frey, honey, I wish you were giving birth right now. That we were holding Alice, looking forward to her first words, her first steps, her first … hell, even her first boyfriend. Though I draw the line at it being someone like Jayne.” He felt her laugh a little, and was grateful.
“If that was who she wanted …” Freya pointed out, holding him tightly. “It just seems such a waste.”
“It is.” He kissed the top of her head. “It will always be that. And seeing Bethany can’t make it any easier.”
“No, no, Mal,” she insisted, looking into his face. “I’ve got past that, honestly. And she is so cute, so …” A tear rolled down her cheek and he kissed it away.
“Mmn.” Freya sniffed hard. “But we can’t change the past, can we?”
“Nope. Just look to the future.”
“Even if there are no children in it for us?”
Mal smiled. “Frey, the way Simon and Kaylee are still sexing each other up, there’ll be a little brother or sister for Bethany before too long, and I don’t doubt eventually we won’t be able to move on Serenity for kids.”
“And ours’ll be there too.”
“No, Frey.” He squeezed her to silence her. “Ours. One day.”
“You seem so sure.”
“Hell, I’m captain. I get to be sure.”
She smiled at him at last. “Okay, Captain.”
“Good. Now, you’d better get to talking with Kaylee. I'm kinda curious myself to find out why she won’t say yes.”
“I thought you didn’t approve of shipboard romances?” Freya asked, letting him go and straightening her clothes.
“That rule seems to have gone the way of all flesh, as they say. And now what with Hank and Zoe …” He shook his head, looking mighty sad. “Maybe I should just change the name of my ship to the Love Boat.”
Freya laughed. “Over my dead body.” She leaned in to kiss him lightly, before walking swiftly into the darkness.
He watched her leave, controlling the ache inside him, then Simon bustled out of the house.
“Mal, Jayne’s trying to … Mal?” The young doctor peered at him. “You okay?”
“What’s he doing now, doc?” the captain of Serenity asked, putting his armour back on.
“He’s … oh, you’d better come and stop him.”
Freya knew it was Kaylee’s old work room: it said so on the door, on a hand-painted sign with flowers around it. She smiled. The girl hadn’t changed so much. She stepped inside and pulled the string to turn on the light. No, not that much at all.
There was a workbench, gouged deeply here and there, but obscured with bits and pieces of machinery. Tools lined the walls, mostly old, some rusty, but all in their place. A layer of dust covered everything.
She picked up a piece of tubing, about the width of her forearm, wires sticking out of it haphazardly.
“Never did get to finish that,” Kaylee said from the doorway.
“What is it?” Freya asked, smiling.
“Just an idea I had for a recycler.” She took it from the older woman. “Guess it’ll never get done now.”
“I don’t know.” Freya grinned. “You could take it all back with to Serenity with you.”
“I don’t think the Cap’n would approve of me filling his engine room with junk! He ain't got over the last time the space monkeys got loose.” Kaylee smiled and dropped the recycler back onto the bench. “’Sides, I got me more than enough to keep busy.”
“That you do.” Freya turned to examine the tools more closely. “And where is Simon?”
“He’s trying to stop Jayne from making a really bad mistake.”
Freya looked over her shoulder in surprise. “What kind of mistake?”
“Oh, the kind where you end up with a shotgun in your back, saying ‘I do’.”
“Kaylee, explain yourself.”
The young mechanic grinned. “He’s making eyes at Juliette, my cousin. Only she’s … well, somewhat even-handed with the way she portions herself out.”
“Just Jayne’s type, I’d’a thought.”
“Only her daddy, my daddy’s brother, has been trying to catch one of ‘em at it, so he could marry her off. Get her off his hands, so to speak.”
“And he wouldn’t mind Jayne for a son-in-law?”
“If he’s male and breathing, that’s about all the qualifications he needs.”
“I think Jayne can manage those.” Freya smiled. “I'm surprised Mal isn’t encouraging him.”
Kaylee laughed. “Actually I think River’s dealing with her.”
“Now that wouldn’t surprise me.” She turned over a couple more bits of dead machinery. “So, what do you figure’s going on with those two?”
“Who, Jayne and River?” When Freya nodded, Kaylee shrugged. “I ain't entirely sure. Simon thinks Jayne’s getting too … attached to her, but I think it’s the other way around.”
“Simon is her brother.”
“That don’t mean he knows everything.”
“No, I guess it doesn’t.” Freya turned to look at Kaylee, the planes on her face sharp in the light from the small bulb. “Like why you won’t say yes.”
“That why my Pa said you wanted to see me out here?” Kaylee wasn't mad, so much as resigned.
“Something like that.” Freya took her arm. “You love Simon, yes?”
“And you’ve got a baby together.” She shook her head. “Don’t you think marriage is kind of the next step?”
“It is,” Kaylee agreed.
“Then what’s stopping you?” Freya leaned against the workbench. “I mean, even if you don’t want to get married yet, you can still say yes. Have a long engagement. A really long engagement.”
“It ain't that.” Kaylee looked down at her hands.
“Then what is it?”
“Well …” She took a deep breath, then glanced up at Freya. “I’m kinda engaged already.”
to be continued
Friday, December 1, 2006 7:50 AM
Friday, December 1, 2006 8:01 AM
Friday, December 1, 2006 8:45 AM
Friday, December 1, 2006 8:59 AM
Friday, December 1, 2006 12:17 PM
Saturday, March 1, 2008 9:26 AM
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