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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. Reavers have hit Corvus ... Thanks for all your comments so far; please keep them coming!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1630 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
“How about Daniel?” Freya suggested, watching Mal as he poured them a coffee each before coming to sit next to her. “I always liked that name.” She inhaled deeply of the smell before sipping carefully. They’d picked up a bag of the real thing on Lilac, Mal buying it for Freya because she’d seemed so wistful over it.
He put his head on one side and regarded the rapidly growing baby inside her. “Don’t seem to me to be a Daniel.” He pursed his lips. “How about Emanual?”
She raised her eyebrows in surprise. “If you can’t be serious …”
“I am being serious,” Mal insisted. “Knew a good man by that name once, and he saved my life. Wouldn’t mind remembering him that way.”
“If that’s going to be your reasoning, then I’d go with Matthias. He was the skipper on my first ship, taught me a lot.”
She nodded. “He was a good man, too.”
“Matthias Reynolds.” He rolled it around his tongue. “Not bad. Still like Emanual.”
“And he’d be called Manny, you know that,” she pointed out.
“Ah.” Mal nodded slowly. “Okay, maybe not.”
“Or what about Adam.”
Mal grimaced. “Nope. No way.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Too much … well, it smacks of religiosity.”
She smiled at him. “And Emanual doesn’t?”
“Look, I've already agreed that ain't the name to go with. Just be happy.”
Freya’s smiled turned to a grin and she sipped her drink again, sighing happily. “That is so good,” she said.
He drank himself and nodded. “Sure is. I could get used to having the good things in life.”
“I thought you did,” she teased. “Aren’t I a good thing?”
“The best,” he said, leaning forward to kiss her lightly. “Now, while you’re in a good mood, about this baby’s name …”
“What’s wrong with Jayne?” the big mercenary asked, clumping into the galley. “Kinda like the idea of a littl’un carrying on the tradition.”
Freya spoke quickly, seeing the look on Mal’s face that presaged a comment possibly ending in bloodshed, if not someone taking a long walk out of an open airlock. “Can’t do that, Jayne,” she said. “We wouldn’t know which one we were talking about.”
He didn’t take offence. “Good point.” He picked up the coffee pot.
“That ain’t yours,” Mal said. “Bought that for Frey, not for the likes of you.”
“Aw, Mal,” Jayne said, almost pleading. “Ain't had the real thing in a month of Sundays.”
“Well, you could’ve bought some for yourself.”
“Mal, come on …”
“It’s okay,” Freya said, smiling. “Just one won’t hurt.”
Jayne grinned at her and filled a mug. “Thanks, Frey. At least some of the people on this boat are civilised.” He walked to the table and sat down, putting his feet up on the well-worn planks.
“Jayne,” Mal warned.
“Okay, okay,” he muttered, slamming his chair down and his boots to the floor.
“Hey, I smell real coffee,” came a plaintive voice from along the corridor. Hank was leaning over in his chair and looking out of the bridge doorway. “Don’t I get some?”
Freya went to get up but Mal put his hand on her arm. “Oh, no, this one’s mine.”
“Mal, don’t do anything you’ll regret,” she warned, trying not to smile.
“Oh, I won’t regret it.” He stood and filled a tin mug before carrying it up the steps into the corridor.
Zoe was just coming up from the cargo bay. “”I don’t suppose that’s for me?” she asked, the scent making her nose twitch.
“Sorry. It’s for your boyfriend. As requested. Loudly.”
“I’ll take it to him.”
“Oh, no,” Mal said, pulling the mug away from her hand. “He asked me to bring it, and bring it I will. Course, I may end up pouring it all over him instead, but …”
Zoe’s lips lifted. “Don’t do that, sir. It’d be a waste of good coffee.”
Mal stifled a laugh and went on up to the bridge, his first mate at his heels.
“Oh, thanks,” Hank said, reaching for the mug.
“Before I give it to you, and I mean that in the worst possible sense, you do realise that I paid good coin for this? Not for you, but for Freya?”
Hank looked guilty. Only a little, but it made him look like a big puppy. “I didn’t know it wasn’t …” He shook his head. “Then I won’t. Not taking something away from someone else. Least of all Frey.”
“Just take it,” Freya said from the steps, laughing. “I’d rather we all enjoyed it than had tears before bedtime.”
Mal held out the mug. “Best do like the lady says before she gets really pissed at you.”
Hank took the battered tin reverentially, inhaling the aroma as if it were the finest wine. “Freya, me and my taste buds thank you,” he said sincerely, smiling at her, before the smile became concern. “Frey?”
Mal turned in time to see his wife’s face drain of colour. She collapsed against the wall, sliding down, and in an instant he was at her side, worry lines etched into his forehead.
“Honey?” He put one hand on her belly, checking for any muscular contractions in just the way Simon had taught him. “Is it –”
Freya shook her head, staring at him, her eyes wide. “Reavers.”
Hank jumped, narrowly avoiding spilling coffee onto the console as he turned back to his scanners. “Where?” he asked, seeing nothing on the screen.
Mal glanced up at Zoe. “You sure?” he asked his wife.
“I can hear River,” Freya said quietly, holding her arms tightly across herself. “She’s shouting.” She began to tremble. “Reavers.”
Mal was on his feet. “How long?” he asked Hank.
“Full burn, maybe fifteen hours.”
“But Mal -”
“Hank.” Zoe put her hand on his shoulder and he looked up at her, then nodded, inputting the code to turn them onto the right heading.
Even through the thickness of the walls they could hear the screams, the barbaric yells of creatures no longer human as well as those of people in agony, dying because they hadn’t got to a shelter in time or their hiding places had been found out. There were gunshots, but these became fewer even as the sound of the Reavers got closer.
The dozen or so people in the shelter crowded closer together, and muffled sobs were quickly stifled as something banged on the door.
“Run-tze duh fuo-tzoo …" Simon breathed, then jumped as River sprang to her feet, turning to stare at her brother.
“Simon! Knock me out!” she whispered urgently.
“What? River –”
“They can hear me!” she hissed.
“What are you –”
She didn’t wait for him, but grabbed his medbag, pulling a hypo from it and injecting it into her neck. Simon wasn’t fast enough to stop her, only able to catch her as she collapsed bonelessly to the floor, rapidly checking her vital signs.
“Simon?” Kaylee asked, her voice a ragged undertone, grasping Bethany to her, her face stained with tears and terror. “What did she mean?”
“I don’t know,” her husband admitted, staring at his sister. “Unless …”
“She’s gone,” Freya whispered, her face losing the colour she’d regained, huddled into the co-pilot’s chair, Mal standing close, his hand on her shoulder, anger radiating off him like heat.
“Gone?” Zoe got in first. “What do you mean?”
Freya looked at her. “She’s stopped shouting. It’s just … silence.”
to be continued
Saturday, January 20, 2007 3:02 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2007 5:27 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2007 6:54 AM
Sunday, January 21, 2007 7:38 PM
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