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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. Will Simon consider staying on Corvus? And Kaylee has a sisterly talk with River. Feedback, please, and let me know whether you love or hate this.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1642 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
“Where’ve you been?” Kaylee asked as River dropped from the horse’s back.
“Out for a ride.”
“I kinda figured that,” the mechanic smiled. “Just wondered where.”
“To the hills.” She pointed to a purple smudge along the edge of the world. “We found a stream and I paddled.” She lifted one bare foot, covered in dirt.
“You’d better wash up before Simon sees you,” Kaylee suggested. “You know what he thinks about you not wearing shoes.”
“Too tight,” River said, leading her horse towards the barn. “I can’t feel the world in them. It’s like trying to fix Serenity wearing mittens.”
Kaylee laughed and followed her. “I don’t think I've ever tried that, but I know what you mean. Sometimes I just wanna take off all my clothes and run naked.”
“You should,” the girl said. “Simon would like it. And it does wonders.”
“Don’t tell me you …” Kaylee goggled.
“There was no-one there,” River said calmly, picking up a brush to start cleaning her mount. “No-one to tell me to stop.”
“Good job there wasn't anyone to watch you either.”
River sighed. “No.”
“And what was that for, mei-mei?” When River didn’t answer Kaylee went on, “That damn big noise you just made?”
“It wasn't big.”
“Big enough.” Kaylee put her head onto one side. “You missing Jayne?”
River just scratched at a patch of dried earth on the horse’s flank. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“I don’t know what your game is with him, but you gotta be careful.” Kaylee glanced out of the door to make sure her husband wasn't anywhere in sight. “Jayne’s older’n you, a lot, and bigger. Not sure you can handle all the feelings you’re turning on in that man.”
“He’s my friend.”
“Mine too, but …” Kaylee paused. “Simon’s worried. So’m I.”
“I know.” River turned to look at her, her great dark eyes like pools in the dim barn. “But Jayne doesn’t care for me that way.”
“And what about you? How do you feel about him?” Kaylee held her breath, not sure if she really wanted to know the answer.
River stopped, her hand still holding the brush against the short hair. “I know how I feel,” she said slowly. “But it isn’t time.”
“Time?” Kaylee shook her head. “Honey, I don’t understand.”
“It’s not time,” River repeated, starting to brush again.
Kaylee heaved a sigh herself. “You know, I don’t think I'm gonna be telling Simon about this conversation. It’d just confuse and distress him even more.”
“I'm not a child any more,” River said softly. “I don’t think I ever was. But now I'm a woman. In five months I’ll be twenty-one. And no-one seems to realise that.”
“You …” Kaylee was shocked. “I hadn’t thought … but I guess you will.”
“If I choose Jayne, it will be my choice, not Simon’s. Not yours. Not even Mal’s.”
“What about Jayne’s choice?”
“I know what I see. What Jayne is. And what others see. What Jayne isn’t.”
“Don’t you turn all cryptic on me, young lady,” Kaylee said, wagging her finger at the girl, then realising what she was doing and hiding it quickly behind her back. It was a shock to realise she was acting just like her mother. “If you make Jayne fall in love with you just ‘cause you can –“
“I won’t.” River dropped the brush onto the barn floor. “I can’t.” She suddenly grinned. “And if you treat Bethany like this, I'm sure she’ll grow up to be a rich and rewarding human being as well!” She laughed and ran back outside.
Kaylee stared after her, her mouth open. Sometimes she just couldn’t help agreeing with Jayne’s description of her best friend …
“They’re good people,” Simon said, watching Kaylee put Bethany into the bed, tucking the blanket around her chin.
“That they are. Shoulda seen them today, when I took her into the town. Folks couldn’t say enough nice things about her.” She grinned up at her husband. “Think she’s made something of a hit.”
He leaned forward and put his arms around her waist. “How couldn’t she? With such a beautiful mother.”
She turned in his embrace. “You always did know the right things to say, Dr Tam.”
His lips twitched. “I try.” He kissed her softly. “So where did River get to all day?” He was surprised to see his wife blush.
“She went for a ride. Into the hills.”
“On her own?”
“She’s not a child anymore, Simon,” Kaylee said.
“No, but –“
“She’s nearly twenty-one.” She looked into his blue eyes, noting the widening as he took that information on board. “My momma had half a family by that age.”
“I hope you’re not suggesting –“
She squeezed him. “Not at all. Just saying you can’t be looking out for her all the time. Not no more. Got family to do that anyway, and she’s needing it less every day.”
“But she’s –“
“Your sister. I know. But that don’t mean you get to choose what she does with her life.”
He stared down at her. “Are you trying to tell me something in that roundabout way of yours?”
“Since when have I been roundabout?” she countered. “If’n I got something to say to you, don’t I always come out and say it?”
“So what were you and Dr Brooks doing all today?” She stroked his face, feeling the start of his beard poking through the skin. “Seemed to be a continuation of your talking from last night.” She smiled. “At least until we went to bed.” Her smile grew wider, remembering the satin sheets and the effect it seemed to have on her husband.
“It wasn’t important. I just went with him on his rounds, seeing the people, what they have to do to survive here.”
“Seemed to me it was more’n that,” she said astutely.
He paused a moment then said, “Actually, maybe it was. He … he’s asked me to stay here.”
She froze. “What?”
“He wants me to take over from him.”
“And what did you say?”
“That I’d talk to you about it.”
“You didn’t say no.”
“Of course not. But I didn’t say yes either, if that’s what’s worrying you.”
Kaylee stepped back. “What’s worrying me is that you’re considering it.” She looked into his eyes. “You really are, ain’t you?”
“Kaylee, I want more children. And I don’t want Bethany growing up learning to swear like Jayne and fighting like Mal.”
“Me neither, and Mal ain’t gonna let his kid do that either, and Jayne ain't that bad, but that ain’t –”
“This is a good place, Kaylee. Good people. And they need a doctor.”
“They’ve got one.”
“Andrew’s … he’s old. He’s said, there are times he can’t get out to the most distant parts because he can’t ride that far any more. He needs a younger man to help him, and take over in the end.”
“And he wants that man to be you.”
“He trusts me.”
Kaylee stared at him. “You sound like you’ve made up your mind already.”
“No, I haven’t. I just want us to talk about it, to really consider settling down here. Somewhere safer.”
“’N’ you think Serenity ain’t safe?”
“Kaylee, bao-bei, with everything we’ve been through in the past few months … don’t you want Bethany to grow up somewhere secure?”
Her face darkened. “That’s low, Simon. You know I want Bethany to have the best. But I think that’s on board Serenity.” She glared at him. “She’s my boat. I keep her in the sky, ‘n’ the Cap’n’s grateful for it.”
“How do you think you could come here, knowing I’d want to be out there in the black?”
“I changed my life for River. Gave everything up to keep her safe. Don’t you think I’d do it again for you and Bethany?”
“So I should?”
“At least we should talk about it.”
“Why? You’ve made up your mind. The great Dr Tam is going to leave the home he’s made and come to a border moon to set up shop. Fine.” Kaylee was working herself up. “That’s just dandy. Just don’t expect me and Bethany to come with you. Our home’s on Serenity. No matter what you say!” She stormed out.
Simon watched her go, his mouth open. Couldn’t she see he was doing this for her? To keep them all safe?
River appeared in the doorway. “I won’t leave Serenity,” she said to him. “And I know how Kaylee feels. You may have the urge to hang a shingle on a white picket fence, but she doesn’t. Do you think she could just become a doctor’s wife?”
“She is,” Simon said in despair. “I just want -”
“I know what you want. So does Kaylee. And she might have agreed with you, if you’d done it the right way.”
“You’re saying I didn’t?”
“I’m saying you’re a boob.”
Simon stared at her, then his face fell. “You’re right. I am. I handled that really badly.” He managed a small smile. “Seems to be a habit of mine.”
“She’s by the corral. Go and talk to her. I’ll watch Bethany.” She gazed at him for a moment, then said, “Go!”
Simon ran out after his wife.
Kaylee was crying, letting the tears fall down her cheeks. One of the horses came up, nuzzled at her, and she absently stroked his nose.
She didn’t turn. “Go away.”
“No. I won’t. I’m never going to leave you, you know that.” He put his hand on her shoulder but she shrugged it off. “Kaylee, please don’t be mad at me.”
She whirled, glaring at him, her face wet. “You do this and you think I’m just gonna say yes?”
“I haven’t done anything,” he insisted, reaching up to wipe the tears from her skin, but she batted his hand away. “Kaylee, please.”
“You’ve decided to uproot us from our home, Simon.”
“I haven’t decided anything.” He hated it when she was sad, and it tore at him to see it. “Kaylee, all I wanted was for us to consider it.”
“I don’t want to!” She stepped towards him. “I got a home, Simon. And it’s a Firefly. That’s all I want. For us to go home.”
“Kaylee, please can’t we just talk about this?”
“Just for you to talk me into it, that’s what you mean, ain’t it?” She was really mad at him now. “So you can persuade me. Well, it ain’t gonna happen.”
She half turned away, and looked beyond him. He saw her eyes go wide and he turned.
River was running towards them, her face white, Bethany in her arms. “Simon! Kaylee!”
“Mei-mei, what is it?”
“Reavers!” She pointed into the cloudless blue sky.
“Where?” Simon asked, taking his daughter from her.
“Breaking atmo.” She was staring up, and now they could see a flare high above them.
“Tah muh duh.” Simon grabbed Kaylee’s arm. “Get to the emergency com,” he told his sister. “Broadcast an emergency signal. Get everyone inside. Then follow us.”
“But they can’t hide –” Kaylee began.
“There’s shelters in most homes,” Simon said quickly as River ran back towards the house, already moving towards the surgery building. “If we can get people inside …” They were running now.
He glanced at her, saw she was staring up at the black dot rapidly getting bigger above them. “Kaylee, please.”
The shelter was well hidden behind a wall in the back of the surgery’s underground storeroom, and it was only when Andrew pulled the hidden lever and the area of shelving slid to one side did it become apparent.
“Get inside,” he said, motioning quickly to the people who had been caught out in the open near his home.
“Kaylee, in,” Simon said, pushing her.
She didn’t need urging, hurrying inside with Bethany tight in her arms. “Simon,” she said, white-faced.
“River!” her husband called. “Come down, now!”
“They’ve landed the other side of town,” River said, sliding down the stairs. “But they’re coming this way. I can hear them.”
“Did everyone get into the shelters?” he asked, trying to keep his voice low.
She shook her head, her pale face colourless.
His lips tightened as he followed her inside and Andrew slammed the door, hearing the bolts shoot home.
“How long can we stay inside here?” Simon asked, looking around at the people huddled in the shelter.
“I don’t know,” the older man said. “Until the air runs out.”
“Eleven hours and twenty three minutes,” River said. “Then we die, one way or the other.”
to be continued
Saturday, January 20, 2007 4:11 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007 4:59 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007 5:39 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007 5:49 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007 5:56 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007 8:33 AM
Sunday, January 21, 2007 7:26 PM
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