Just Believe
Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mid-BDM. A take on what the crew was thinking during Mal's speech. My first ever Firefly fic, so please read and review!


“This report is maybe twelve years old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew.“

Inara wrapped her arms around herself as a shiver ran through her body, though she knew the gesture was futile in nature. The chill she felt at the moment had little to do with the temperature in the room, but in fact was a type of inner cold that filtered deep into her veins, tightening its grip and refusing to be shaken. It filled her with the unyielding truth that in one relentless moment, her entire world had been shattered. Her training as a Companion meant that Inara was a woman who exceeded many with her extraordinary levels of patience and tenacious composure, but wei da de ren ci de pu sa, right now it took every bit of her strength and self-control to stop herself from collapsing to the floor and sobbing her heart out.

Inara had grown up supporting unification simply because she had had faith that it would result in a better life for everyone. The Independents’ issues with Alliance control had never warranted cause for concern for her personally - she worried more about the state of peace, if any, that could be achieved, given the horrific impact of the war. But the Alliance had triumphed, and awarded her the civilised life that she’d always wanted and felt a part of; she saw a vast improvement in the quality of life available, and she had been proud. There had been no reason to distrust them - until now. Now her world was spinning and all Inara felt was betrayal, horror, and especially fear - fear that this was simply the beginning.


“And they were right to fear, cause there’s a universe of folk that are gonna know it too. They’re gonna see it.”

Never had Wash felt such a strong urge to crack the tension in the room with an inappropriately timed bad joke - apart from flying the ship like a wu mo ban de ying juan gu guai de jia shi de ji ji, it was kinda what he did. But even he could spot his limits (although sometimes he had to look harder than usual), and he didn’t quite fancy being at the receiving end of one of Zoë’s notorious death-glares - or staring Mal’s pistol in the face. He was fairly certain the Captain wouldn’t actually shoot him, but in situations like these, it was better not to test out the theory. Besides, if he was out of commission, then there was no telling what would happen to his little friends sitting atop the console in the bridge - information which had been gathered in a stealthy and secret-like way (and definitely not from hiding behind the kitchen door and eavesdropping), had told him that a certain Captain and first-mate were just itching to find the perfect excuse to get rid of the defenceless creatures. And Wash did not intend to let that happen, ’cause he still had a number of stories to tell and annoy the others with.

Briefly, he tried to remember if there was ever a point in his life where he hadn’t used humour as a general cover up for bad feelings and situations, but his mind returned a blank. He supposed not then. He just found it a lot easier dealing with the doom-y type circumstances when he didn’t think about them direct, because otherwise he was likely to get alot scared. Surprisingly though, not for himself, but for the warrior woman sitting in front of him. Wash was hardly ever in situations that warranted fear for his own safety, but his wife was overly familiar with the concept of danger, and the humour, no matter how badly chosen, was the only way he could handle the sitting-on-his-lu zi-and-waiting phase when she was out on a job. Right now though - the job wasn’t even in play and already Wash felt a nervousness filter through him. He knew that Zoë would choose to back up the Captain, as she so often did, but what she didn’t know was that this time he was going to be there to back her up, any way that he could. This job was going to be a fair sight bigger than just the two of them, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t try his damndest to do his (probably more important than anyone else’s) bit. --------------------

“Somebody has to speak for these people.”

Simon lifted his head without hesitation, a deep glint in his eyes as he listened intently to the Captain. He wanted him to know that he was ready to take on whatever role he had to in the upcoming confrontation, especially if it meant protecting his sister and more so if it had anything to do with the state of her well-being. River had been carrying the weight of the secret of Miranda for months, and for a fairly high cost - it had driven her insane. Simon thought it unfair that she have to deal with the matter of letting the rest of the ‘verse know too.

When he had first decided to do something about getting River out of the Academy, as opposed to his parents who were more worried about keeping up appearances in front of ke lian de he xin jie chu ren wu hou zi than the welfare of their only daughter, he had made a promise both to himself and to his unknowing sister. As long as he was able, he would look after her, and he would stop at nothing to ensure her safety - it didn’t matter how expensive it was, or if his career as a doctor was flushed down the nearest high-tech Core toilet, or if he near enough died in the process, so long as River was out of harm’s way, then it would be worth it. As far back as he could remember, even during their childhood days and numerous adventure games, Simon would assume the role of protector and rescuer, much to River’s annoyance. At the time he had placated her, telling her that it was up to him to save the day because he was her ge ge and the two only had each other. It was only when his father gave him an ultimatum after he got caught in the blackout zone that he realised he had been more right than he‘d ever wanted to be. If anything, that had made him more determined than ever to take care of his sister - even now, Simon was more than prepared to do whatever it took to help make the tragedy of Miranda public, for the eyes and ears of the entire ‘verse. It meant taking the burden off of River, and that was his priority.


“You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place.”

Those words couldn’t help but particularly catch Kaylee’s attention, and she in turn couldn’t help but look sideways at Simon to see if he’d noticed aswell, but his attention was fixed on the Cap’n. And rightly so, Kaylee thought, but it sure woulda been nice if he’d acknowledged her a smidgen, just to affirm that those feelings she’d been harbouring weren’t flying solo. Cap’n said they’d come to the same place, and even though he sure as hell didn’t mean in a romantically inclined way, she couldn’t help but dwell on her and Simon in that respect. They’d danced a merry jig round each other for’t past eight months but Kaylee still couldn’t be sure if the dance was likely to end the way she’d been hopin‘. And with the way they was headed right now, she wasn’t sure she’d get her chance to find out.

That distraction weren’t exactly a welcome one. When Kaylee let herself dwell on what’d happened to those poor folk on Miranda, she could feel the tears burning in her eyes as surely as Serenity’s engine oil did when it spat on her by mistake. It confuddled her to no end how the Alliance coulda done what they did, and not feel the guilt of it eating away at them after. Same for that Operative fella - only a certain kind of mo qing de yao guai could kill endlessly, no questions asked, without stoppin’ to consider the hurt he caused or what he was after in the first place. Kaylee stole a quick glance at River, poised at the head of the table, who looked for all the worlds like an innocent teenage girl, but who’d seen and been through more horror in a few years than the rest of ’em prolly would in their whole lives. She felt the shimmers of her anger grow. It weren’t fair - girls were supposed to grow up with experiences of giggle-fests with friends, and worries like if the boy they took a fancy to would like ’em back; not thinking on if at any minute, they’d flip and kill every unfort’nate soul in the room. Kaylee knew not a mite of her was to blame but she felt guilty for having the former, when River had been robbed. The Alliance had stolen her life, just like they’d done for every man, woman and child on Miranda - while those purplebellies wouldn’t shoulder the guilt willingly, Kaylee figured she would some, but then she’d play her part in makin‘ ‘em feel the burden.


“So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all.”

To an outside observer, it would be difficult to tell whether first-mate Zoë was in the right state of mind, and fully with the rest of the crew, stationed in Serenity’s kitchen, listening to Mal‘s speech. She sat in an almost trance-like state, still as a corpse, as if every word the Captain was saying casually passed her by without notice, but those who knew her would be able to tell straight-away that she was listening as keenly as anybody else in the room, probably even more so. One of the reasons that Zoë was so good at her job was because when her Captain talked, she listened. And she knew he almost always had something worth listening to; otherwise there was no way in hell she’d have followed him for all these years.

Her eyes flicked in his general direction at the last sentence. Mal chose not to acknowledge it but she knew he had seen it and that he would understand. The meaning of such a tiny gesture was something the rest of the crew would not, and could not, ever fully comprehend - not even Wash, her tian xin, although in any other normal circumstances he would make not-so-funny jokes about it and try his damndest to crack the implication, as if it was a game. Not this time. Zoë thought about the war and everything since, how the two of them had been stuck in the belly of the beast and still made it out alive, how Mal had constantly asked more of her with every new request through the years, and she had complied, how they’d literally dao de yu de shen du lu hang he, but were still going strong - or as strong as could be, anyway. It didn’t matter what Mal asked of her, whether it was “more” than the last appeal or not, because Zoë was prepared to follow this man into the heart of the Black, and he knew it. It was for those reasons that while Mal was still making the sales pitch to the rest of the crew, Zoë was already running through strategies in her head. After all, he’d had her at Serenity Valley.


“Cause as sure as I know anything, I know this: they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clear.”

That didn’t sit right with him. None of it did - the fight in the Maidenhead (not least because his own two boys had been in serious trouble), what had happened to Book and all them other nice folk on Haven, the destruction of their other safe ports, Miranda, hell, even crazy girl, especially after everything she‘d been put through. Jayne rather’d eat his own bullet ‘fore he handed her back to the Alliance’s man who was after her. Well, in truth, he didn’t think he’d ever take a bullet for ‘nother person - ‘cept maybe his Ma but that was ‘cause there wasn’t a thing in the worlds he wouldn’t do for her and more important, she wasn‘t as gorram annoying as the psychic crazy. But the point bein‘, Moonbrain was safe for the meantime, ‘cause s’far as he was concerned now, there weren’t a person in the ‘verse he’d willingly give over to the kind of xie wu de qing wa ning jin de huai dan what could giddily murder children and Shepherds. Except maybe Badger. And that Niska jing shen fen xi.

Jayne knew he wasn’t what folk would call a “good” man. Courtesy of his Pa, he’d lived his whole life with a direct viewpoint of how to survive out in the Black - what benefited Jayne Cobb’s own self was worth taking - and he wasn’t ‘xactly known for his upstanding moral fibre. But being on Serenity, and being with these people had changed him for the better (though he‘d ne‘er admit to it). It cut at him something fierce that the folk of Miranda were forced to lay down and accept their inevitable deaths, that his own friend had been ruthlessly shot down when rightfully, he shoulda lived his last years in peace and died in his sleep, like old folk tended to do. Jayne knew with the life he had chosen he could expect to go at any given time, but that was ok with him ’cause least when it happened, he’d know t’was coming and it’d be the way he wanted. But what the Alliance did, and coulda been planning to do again - it weren’t right, and he swore to doin’ something ‘bout it. If not for anyone or anything else, then for the fallen Shepherd.


“A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people…better.”

River caught the Captain’s eyes at the last word, but the intensity of his stare was so blinding that she turned her head and gazed forlornly at the kitchen table, allowing herself to sink into the safe shades of browns, and waiting for them to keep her grounded to her saner state of mind. Usually it was Mal, and sometimes Zoë, who provided such an anchor, but his colours were conflicted at the moment, and despite her recent breakthrough, River felt like she was in danger of losing herself in the palette. The brown was there, as always, but it was barely visible compared to the mass pulse of reds and oranges that threatened to overflow and smother her. Closing her eyes momentarily, she wondered if she should jump into the growing hollow of the black, the infinite abyss that would swallow her whole but would still offer a temporary escape from the turbulent feelings exuding from her Captain, and the melee of pictures in her mind.

’Not mine, not mine, not mine, not mine’ thundered continuously through her brain like an unforgettable mantra, forcing River dangerously close to the edge. She swayed there for seconds that seemed to stretch impossibly into minutes, and was on the verge of tumbling over when another fierce wave of emotion washed over her, pushing her back. It took her a stunned second to realise that Simon had reacted to the Captain’s words aswell, his mind staunchly and immediately declaring that his mei mei had been perfect the way she was. River felt a rush of love in response, and slowly calmed down, the fog in her mind clearing out. With a newfound lucidity, she realised Mal’s thoughts were not directed at her, but at the people who had done this to her, who were to blame for Miranda. Reaching out tentatively, she also grasped a fair understanding of the rest of the crew’s feelings - there was fear, grief, love, but most of all, a quiet determination to do the job. River let the sensations guide her, knowing that whatever happened next, she could handle because of the people and place around her - ta yan dan, ta de jia ting, ta de jia.


“And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.”

In the silence that ensued, Mal surveyed his crew, his features set in a grim expression. He had never been the sort for speechifying, but following the unfortunate discovery on that bu xing de gui hun hang xing, his chest had felt heavy with a weight he’d had a burning desire to unload. The truth had to get out - that he truly believed. He knew the ramifications of what he was asking though, and so he knew it wasn’t impossible any one of his crew would cry off his intentions - were that the case, then he’d make his peace. He had an inkling the peace bit would come after he’d fought the urge to shoot someone, but figured that’d just be ‘cause of the disappointment. They mighta been Malcolm Reynold’s crew, but it was more’n likely that even they had their limits.

“Shepherd Book used to tell me - can’t do something smart…do something right.”

But then again, maybe not. Jayne took a big ol’ swig from his bottle, as if to emphasise his point, before sliding it over to Simon who accepted it without a grimace or a second glance - Mal took into account that he had just spoken for the entire crew, and not a-one of them seemed inclined to disagree. An ardent feeling of captain-y pride filled him from head to toe, that single sentence and following actions (or lack thereof) meaning more than he could have ever hoped to express. And he knew he wouldn’t have to. Before getting knee deep into the grit of the planning, he spared a quick thought towards his fallen friend: ’Looks like you got your last wish after all, Shepherd.’

“I don’t care what you believe - just believe it.”



wei da de ren ci de pu sa - great merciful Buddha wu mo ban de ying juan gu guai de jia shi de ji ji - devilishly handsome, yet quirky piloting wonder lu zi - ass ke lian de he xin jie chu ren wu hou zi - pathetic Core elitist monkeys ge ge - big brother mo qing de yao guai - heartless monster tian xin - sweetheart dao de yu de shen du lu hang he - travelled to the depths of hell and back xie wu de qing wa ning jin de huai dan - evil frog-humping bastard jing shen fen xi - psycho ta yan dan, ta de jia ting, ta de jia - her rocks, her family, her home bu xing de gui hun hang xing - luckless ghost planet


Thursday, January 18, 2007 4:33 AM


This whole thing was absolutely perfect.

I have to add, thought that this:
>But then again, maybe not. Jayne took a big ol’ swig from his bottle, as if to emphasise his point, before sliding it over to Simon who accepted it without a grimace or a second glance - Mal took into account that he had just spoken for the entire crew, and not a-one of them seemed inclined to disagree.

was my favourite part. That simple gesture between Jayne and Simon is so telling (and I saw the movie before the series). It has always stood out. I think it's my favourite moment in the movie, and perhaps my second favourite in the whole of Firefly.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 6:04 AM


Very nicely done for a first fic.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 9:42 AM


Lovely job and it was seamless. I particularly liked the peek into different minds and how by the end of Mal's Captain-y speech his crew and friends were one hundred per cent behind him. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:03 AM


Excellent stuff. The device of changing point of view, showing what's in each character's mind, with them just sitting listening, is a strong choice.
No technical errors, bad spelling, bad punctuation, none of the stuff even experienced fan fic writers do.
Nothin' to find fault with.

Welcome to the party, glad you decided to come out and share your toys. Keep it up.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:39 AM


Oh...this was all kinds of beautiful, Wynter! If this is your first fanfic...I can't wait to see what your turn out in the future;D

I especially loved the plot device of having each BDH think on Mal's speech up to that point and their own feelings about what was gonna happen...what they were signing themselves up for...what they were assuming they would die for eventually:)


Tuesday, March 6, 2007 2:05 PM


This is all lovely, great job keeping everybody in character. I especially enjoyed Mal's bit, " ...he had an inkling the peace bit would come after he’d fought the urge to shoot someone, but figured that’d just be ‘cause of the disappointment". Quite evocative,and even heart-warming in places. Nice!

Friday, May 11, 2007 4:55 AM


"He was fairly certain the Captain wouldnt actually shoot him..." LOL I found that extremly funny.. Good fic! *applaudes*


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From The Inside - Part 1
Post BDM. The crew is suffering from nightmares, and River finds that she might be able to help ease their worries.

Just Believe
Mid-BDM. A take on what the crew was thinking during Mal's speech. My first ever Firefly fic, so please read and review!