BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Christmas Perfect
Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mal/Freya series. Just a little ficlet to continue on from CHRISTMAS FUTURE as I like giving presents. Sorry if you don't like reading my stuff, but I am grateful to those who do, and I wish them all the most marvellous Christmas.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1865    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

River stepped down into the bunk, nervously fiddling with the small package she had in her hands. “Freya?” she asked. “Are you awake?”

The woman in the bed opened her eyes. “River,” she said, smiling, and sat up. “I wasn’t sleeping, just doing what your brother ordered me to.” River stared. “What is it?”

The girl gestured vaguely. “You’re …”

Freya glanced down and realised the sheet had fallen away from her body somewhat lower than she had expected. She lifted it to cover her breast. “Sorry,” she grinned. “I don’t actually own night wear.”

“I’m sure Mal doesn’t mind,” River said, coming a little closer.

“I thought you’d be here before now,” Freya said, pulling her knees up and hugging them. “Everyone else has been to see me already.”

“Congratulating you?”

Freya laughed. “And saying merry Christmas. It’s been … amazing.” She smiled. “So why haven’t you been before?”

River couldn’t look at her. “I couldn‘t. But I … I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

There was a surprised silence for a moment. “What for?”

“Nearly being the cause this didn’t happen.” River stared down at her hands.

“Honey, it wasn’t and could never be your fault,” Freya said firmly. “You didn’t hurt me because you wanted to.”

“I still did.” Two large salty drops splashed onto her wrist.

“Oh, River, don’t cry.” Freya moved forward in the bed. “Please.”

“I wish it hadn’t happened.”

“So do I, but …” Freya reached out her hand. “Mei-mei, I’m pregnant.”

River looked up and a smile flashed across her face. “I know.”

“I’m pregnant!” Freya repeated with such joy it would have melted even the hardest heart.

The young psychic’s grin widened. “I know!” she said excitedly, all her sorrow from a moment before forgotten. “Here,” she said, sitting down and holding out the parcel. “Merry Christmas.”

Freya chuckled. “Thank you. You didn’t have to, but thank you. Did Mal -”

“Yes, he did.” River lifted her left wrist to show the silver charm bracelet about it, the little silver Buddha, rocket and pony hanging together.

“Mal insisted on those particular ones, although I’ve no idea why,” Freya said, touching the spaceship.

“I love it, thank you.”

“You can add to it.”

“A baby would be good.”

Freya laughed. “I’ll see what we can do. And don’t annoy your brother like that,” she added. “Mal told me what you said.”

“But he’s so easy.”

“River …”

“Yes, momma.” She grinned and put her hand on Freya’s belly. “So small.”

“I know.”

“Do you want to know the sex?”

Freya looked into the young girl’s face. “I haven’t asked.”

“That’s not …” River paused, her eyes widening. “You know.”

“I -”

“You know already.”

Freya glanced down. “After Simon told me, lying here, I tried …” She nodded, looking up, her eyes shining brightly. “I do know.”

River hugged herself with excitement. “Oh …” she whispered.

“You mustn’t tell Mal,” Freya said quickly. “Not about any of this.”

“I wouldn’t. It will be our secret.”

“It may not mean anything,” Freya warned. “Just the hormones or something, or Grace, temporarily opening …” She stopped.

River nodded. “I won’t, not until you are sure.“ She glanced towards the upper deck. “He’s going to be such a good father. He already is.” She hitched closer. “Daddy wouldn’t have come for us on Jiangyin. Or Osiris. But Mal did.”

“So he’s the surrogate father?”

“As you’re the mother.”

Freya stared. “Is that …what you see me as?”

“I see you as many things. Just like Mal does.”

“But as a mother?”

“He does, as wife, lover, fighter, mother of his children ... So will you. Very soon.” River tapped the parcel still lying unopened. “You’ll see.”

Freya smiled and picked up the package, undoing the red ribbon that held it together. Peeling back the paper she found a small picture, lovingly rendered in pencil and coloured paint. “Oh, River …”

It was of Freya and Mal, only because it was River’s work, Freya was standing at the back, one hand on her gun, the other on Mal’s shoulder where he was sitting down holding a baby on his lap. There was just the suggestion of floral fabric around his knees …

“It’s lovely.” Freya laughed gently. “Perfect. When did you do this?”

“Seven weeks ago.”

“You knew.”

“Yes.”

“When?”

“The moment of conception.”

“And you didn’t say anything.”

“It wasn’t my secret.”

“Thank you.” Freya went back to studying the picture.

“I did one of you and Grace, too, but I haven’t framed that yet.”

“I’d like it.”

“I’ll bring it down.”

Freya smiled at her. “Thank you.”

“Frey, I have to … I was jealous,” River admitted.

“Of what, sweetie?”

“Grace. How close you were. So quickly.”

Freya looked up in surprise. “Is that why you were avoiding me?”

“Not avoiding. But I was jealous of your compassion for her. Your caring.”

“River, you never seemed to want it. You have Simon, Kaylee … everyone on board.”

“I needed you.” River edged closer. “So alike, you understand me. No matter how hard Simon tries, he can’t. And I don’t want Kaylee to even begin to.”

Freya nodded. “I understand. I’m sorry if I haven’t … River?” The young girl had started to cry again, and Freya leaned forward, gathering her into her arms. “Oh, baby.” She stroked her hair, letting her sob out all the tension. After a long while, she calmed, laying quietly, and Freya picked up the picture again. “Did you … do one of …”

River reached into the pocket of her dress and removed a folded sheet, handing it over.

Freya carefully opened it out. “Alice?” she asked, a lump in her throat, looking at the wide blue eyes, the long brown hair, so much of Mal in her.

River nodded. “I knew you’d want it.”

“She would have been beautiful,” Freya said, tears of her own sliding down her cheek.

“And he will be handsome,” River said, laying a hand on Freya’s belly.

“Don’t tell Mal.”

“I won’t.” ---

Hank was staring at the stars, his leg hitched over the arm of the pilot’s chair. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for … maybe a single bright light to show him the right path. He smiled. Never did see himself as one of the wise men, particularly as there wasn’t much choice amongst the rest of the males of the crew if you took Mal out of the equation. Simon, now yes, there was a wise man, Mr Top Three Percent, no matter he didn’t act like it at times. But otherwise there was only Jayne, and by no stretch of the imagination could he … although maybe it wasn’t that much of a stretch. If you took wisdom as knowledge, then maybe Jayne was as wise as the rest of them. Not book learning maybe, but he sure had a lot of skills, some of them not even dubious.

Hank couldn’t help it - he chuckled.

“What’s so funny?” Zoe asked, stepping onto the bridge and joining him.

He turned to look at her and grinned. “Jayne as a Magi.”

Zoe’s lips twitched. “Kinda freezes the blood.”

“Quicker’n a space vacuum,” Hank agreed. “Couldn’t sleep?”

“Dreams.” She sat down in the co-pilot’s chair and picked up one of the dinosaurs.

“Wash?”

“Mmn.” It was the stegosaurus, the one her husband had always called Steve. “I decided to come and keep you company instead. If you want it.”

“I hope you’re talking to me and not that toy,” Hank said.

“I was.”

“Then I’d welcome your company. As always.”

She looked up at him and smiled, a tender, gentle smile that made him want to reach out and take her in his arms. “Been thinking,” she said, putting Steve back on the console.

“About what?”

“Putting these away.”

Hank shook his head. “You can’t do that, honey. They ain’t yours to hide. They belong to everyone, to Serenity.”

“But Wash is dead.” There. She’d managed to say it without the catch in her voice. “Maybe it’s time to move on.”

“Zoe, as much as I hate to say this, you don’t mean it. Not yet.” A light flashed on the board in front of him and he reached out, correcting something without really seeing it. “And I can understand. I’ll wait.” He laughed. “Waited long enough already.”

“Not as long as Freya.”

“No,” he agreed. “But she’s special.”

“That she is.” There was a long pause, then Zoe spoke again. “I just feel like I’m teasing you somehow.”

“Zoe, my sweet, this kind of teasing I can live with.” He grinned. “It don’t do my body much good, I’ll admit, but …” He sat forward so he was leaning towards her. “I know how much you loved Wash. Never met the man but I know. How much you still do. And like I said, and keep saying, I ain’t trying to take his place. But …” He licked his lips. He had to say it, today of all days he had to admit it to her. “I love you, Zoe.”

She didn’t scream, or hit him, or run away. She just looked at him, her dark face smooth. Then she smiled. “I know.”

“Good.”

“I can’t say it back,” she added quickly.

“I know.” He grinned just a little, pain still showing in his eyes. “But I ain’t lying here dead so that’s a good sign.”

She stood up, and he was suddenly afraid she was going to walk out on him, but instead she stepped closer, sitting into his lap and putting her arms around his neck. He slid his own around her waist. “You’re a strange man, Hank Mills,” she said wonderingly.

“That I am.” His embrace tightened. “And if you don’t find that incredibly off-putting, I’m gonna hang around until you either shoot me or take me into your bed. Whichever comes first.”

“You think I’m gonna shoot you?”

“Eventually.” He put a quick kiss on her lips. “Risa did.”

“Your wife shot you?”

“By accident, but she was threatening me at the time.”

“You’d pissed her off?”

“Royally.” He smiled at the memory of his wife. “Somehow I seemed to find it so easy to do.”

“I have to say you ain’t changed much.”

“But that’s the point. I know what it’s like to lose the one person you think is gonna be the only love of your life. Took me a long time to figure out she wouldn’t want me to waste it.”

“And you think I’m wasting mine?”

“Only in being nice to me.”

“You are definitely odd.” She leaned over and lifted his face, her hands under his chin and in his hair, fastening her mouth on his, and he moaned. “Am I too heavy for you?” she asked, breathing into him.

“I been working out.”

“I noticed.” She touched his tongue with hers. “Looking good.” She felt him smile.

“Oh, God, Zoe …” He pulled her closer, feeling her mould to him.

“I ain’t sleeping with you, Hank,” she said, his heat against her body.

“Okay,” he murmured. “But if it takes forever, I’ll wait.”

She smiled. Somehow she doubted it was going to take that long.

Mal watched his first mate and his pilot sitting together, their bodies shaped against each other, and felt an odd sense of déjà vu. Shaking his head he stepped down the ladder into his bunk, then paused. He didn’t know what the opposite of déjà vu was, possibly some kind of premonition, but the sight in front of him made him smile.

Freya was lying back, her arms around River, both of them fast asleep. She had a smile on her face and he felt his love for her swell in his chest until he could barely breathe. That she was his, that she was carrying his child inside her, made him want to thank a deity he no longer believed in, but he figured anything out there already knew how he felt.

There was a small picture on the blanket and he picked it up. Now he couldn’t help but grin. The girl certainly had talent, although he’d never, to his recollection, worn a green floral dress. The colour just didn’t suit him. He stood it up against the bulkhead on the table and turned to look at the two women.

Not wanting to disturb them he tugged his boots off and carefully climbed up the end of the bed until he was behind Freya. He pressed his body against hers, feeling her lean back into him even though she didn’t wake, and he wrapped his arms around her. Small fingers entwined with his and he realised a sleeping River had taken his hand. He closed his eyes, the spirit of the season filling him with a sense of calm that had him asleep in moments.

COMMENTS

Sunday, December 24, 2006 1:15 PM

GIRLFAN


The whole thing was just sweetness, but the ending was perfection itself:

There was a small picture on the blanket and he picked it up. Now he couldn’t help but grin. The girl certainly had talent, although he’d never, to his recollection, worn a green floral dress. The colour just didn’t suit him. He stood it up against the bulkhead on the table and turned to look at the two women.

Not wanting to disturb them he tugged his boots off and carefully climbed up the end of the bed until he was behind Freya. He pressed his body against hers, feeling her lean back into him even though she didn’t wake, and he wrapped his arms around her. Small fingers entwined with his and he realised a sleeping River had taken his hand. He closed his eyes, the spirit of the season filling him with a sense of calm that had him asleep in moments.

And don't worry about whether others like your story. Write for yourself.

Sunday, December 24, 2006 1:15 PM

GIRLFAN


Oh! And Merry Christmas to you too.

Sunday, December 24, 2006 5:17 PM

WAFFENMAC


Beautiful truly wonderful ,I love your stories keep it up.

Sunday, December 24, 2006 5:17 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


I haven't commented yet, but I've read most of your stories so far. You are so good and the ending to this one almost made me cry.

Sunday, December 24, 2006 5:18 PM

WAFFENMAC


And Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006 7:39 PM

TAMSIBLING


This was astoundingly good and heartfelt. I loved River going to Freya and telling her that she really needs her help. I was hoping someone would figure that out.

And of course, I adore Mal at the end. Now, about Hank and Zoe ... when is she going to stop torturing that poor man? I loved him admiting his feelings to her. What a great Christmas present!

Have a great holiday!

Monday, December 25, 2006 5:10 AM

KATESFRIEND


I love your series - it is such a joy to read. Please keep up the good work!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 11:44 AM

AMDOBELL


Oh wow, I adored this! Everything just fit together beautifully, just don't let anything happen to the baby, *dong ma*? I want to meet that child. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, December 28, 2006 7:08 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


It's at times like this I can't help but get all confuzzled about how I can feel both admiration for how well you write the BDHs, Freya and Hank...and how jealous I get of the same reasons;)

Stilll...beautiful work here, Jane0904! I especially loved the Mal moment when he just watches his wife and surrogate daughter bonding with one another. Though I have to admit I don't quite know how to take Mal's comment about never wearing a green floral dress: honest humour at River's seemingly odd artistic projects or barely disguised grief at seeing what his daughter would have looked like? I know what I want it to be...just don't wanna be missing the point;)

BEB


POST YOUR COMMENTS

You must log in to post comments.

YOUR OPTIONS

OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“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.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[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
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

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


Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.


[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]


Monied Individual - Part XVI
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.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]



Monied Individual - Part XV
“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!]


Monied Individual - Part XIV
This wasn’t how an ex-companion did things. Perhaps she’d been hanging around a certain Firefly captain for too long. He listened at keyholes as if it were a competitive sport.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The crew go to the Spring Lights Procession, Mal gives some good news, and Sir Warwick puts in another cameo. Read, enjoy, review!]


Monied Individual - Part XIII
“It’s a family tradition, Mal.” Eugenia patted his hand. “No matter who marries into us, whatever their name, the moment they say ‘I do’ they become Rostovs. So you are Malcolm Rostov. It has a fine ring to it, don’t you think?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A chapter of Mal and Freya, and a small revelation from Eugenia Rostov. Read, enjoy, review!]


Monied Individual - Part XII
Hank had to shake his head. In this day and age, when the entire output of every quill, pen and two-fingered monkey thumping on a keyboard was available on the Cortex, this statement of wealth and power was way over the top. He loved the feel of paper himself, turning the pages to get to the next twist, scanning the print to try and guess the next turn, but even his collection wouldn’t fill more than a shelf here.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank thinks about Zoe, Zoe thinks about Hank, while Freya and Mal have lunch. Read, enjoy, review!]