BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Communication - Part III
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. More plot, a little angst. Freya and Mal get counselled, and Kaylee does some research of her own ... If you read and like or loathe it, please let me know! Also if you think this is working ... And thanks!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1770    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

“How was it?” Mal asked, getting to his feet as the door opened and Freya hobbled out.

“Fine,” she said.

“Really.” He looked into her eyes. “You wanna try that with a little more conviction? ‘Cause you’re as pale as a sheet right now.”

“It was … difficult,” she admitted, letting him help her to a chair and sit down. “I … things …” She stumbled to a halt.

“I understand, ai ren,” he said softly, squatting down next to her. “That’s why we’re here.”

“Mr Reynolds?” Dr Yi stood in the doorway. “If you’re ready?”

Mal got to his feet. “Always,” he said, smiling charmingly. He followed the diminutive doctor.

“Good luck,” Freya called, stretching her legs out as far as possible and putting her head back on the chair.

Don’t need luck, Mal thought to himself as he entered the office. Just a strong will. He looked around. And something to stop the feeling that he was out of his depth.

“Please, sit down,” Dr Yi said, indicating the chair opposite.

“Darn it, you mean I don’t get to lie on the couch?” he asked, tucking his thumbs into his suspenders.

“If you’d like to.”

He grinned. “No, just joshing with you, doc. This here’ll be fine.” He sat down in the chair and leaned back, lifting the front legs off the ground.

Dr Yi gazed at him. “Comfortable?” she asked.

“Surely am.”

“Mr Reynolds –“

“Captain. It’s Captain Reynolds. Got me a sweet little ride of a boat, just parked out near here. Little darlin’ she is too.”

“Captain. My apologies. And may I ask …” Dr Yi didn’t blink her violet eyes. “… are we going to be having this shit-kicker persona for the whole hour?”

Mal’s eyebrow went up. “Is that what I'm doing?”

“Mr … Captain Reynolds, I promise you, I am not going to hurt you.”

“I never considered the possibility that you were.”

“No?”

Mal reassessed the woman in front of him, and realised he had been mistaken. There was steel inside that small frame.

“Please accept my apologies,” he said, setting the chair back down. “It’s … it was Freya’s idea for me to come see you, and I guess –“

“You don’t think you need to?”

“Something like that.”

“Lots of people feel that way before seeing me.”

Mal’s lips twitched. “I’m sure they do.”

Dr Yi suddenly smiled. “Captain Reynolds, your wife thought it would help you to talk about things. Why would that be, do you think?”

“Frey’s … she takes care of me.”

“And specifically?”

“Doc, I’m pretty sure she’s told you what happened. Least, some of it.”

“Some.”

“But you ain't gonna tell me what.”

“Captain, there is a little matter of doctor/patient –“

“Yeah, I know all about that. But I'm here because it’ll help her. Not me. I don’t have the coin to go wasting on talking about things that are dead and buried.”

“An interesting phrase, Captain. Just who is dead and buried?”

Mal raised his head. He was going to have to be a lot more careful what he said around this woman. Small she may be, but she was tricky as hell.

---

Kaylee had been staring at the screen for a long while and her eyes felt like they were full of grit. It didn’t help that she was crying at the same time.

“Should you be sitting in the dark doing this?” Zoe asked, leaning on the bulkhead, her arms crossed.

The young mechanic wiped her face quickly. “What are you doing here?” she asked, sniffing hard.

“Hank said you might want to talk. Do you?”

“Seems like everybody’s talkin’ at the moment. Only some folks ain’t saying nothing.”

Zoe was surprised at the bitterness in her voice, and pushed off from the wall. Stepping onto the small bridge, she looked down at the young woman. “What is it, Kaylee? What aren’t people saying?”

Fresh tears ran down her cheeks as she tapped the screen with more force than was strictly necessary. “This,” she said.

Looking over her shoulder, Zoe realised Kaylee had logged onto a medical database. “What are you –“

“This is what Simon’s taking!”

Serenity’s first mate read the screen.

‘Hyprobetamoxomol. Used in the regeneration of the cardiac muscle. Has also been used with some success in the treatment of Kroll’s Disease, almost exclusively affecting settlers from the Georgia and Aberdeen cluster.’

“Kaylee –“

“I saw it. The label. That’s what he’s gone to get more of.” She sniffed hard.

Zoe scrolled the screen down to read on.

‘Kroll’s Disease, infectious only in it’s initial stages, and at a comparatively low diagnostic level, affects the spermatic ducts and the seminal vesicle, causing atrophy if left untreated. HBTM treatment is only effective in the first twelve months, as after this point there is a reduction curve indicating primary loss of …’

“Kaylee, I don’t understand this.”

“That ain't the important bit. This is.” She scrolled further.

‘While HBTM is effective in the majority of cases of Kroll’s Disease if prescribed sufficiently early, in the later stages the dosage required can have an adverse effect on the cardio-pulmonary system and the minor blood vessels in the parietal lobe. Symptoms of this can include nausea, parietal pain, increased tendency towards stroke …’

Zoe couldn’t read any more because Kaylee slammed her hand down onto the screen so hard she cracked the plexiglass. “He’s taking this?” she asked quietly.

Kaylee nodded. “To give me a baby.” She put her head down onto her arms and began to sob.

“I thought it was just … I mean, I know these things can take time.”

“No. He figured he caught this … this Kroll’s thing from one of the Reaver victims on Corvus. Thinks he’s the reason I ain't getting pregnant.” She lifted her tear-stained face to Zoe. “Why’s he doing this?”

“For you, mei-mei.”

“But this … I understand enough to know that it could kill him! Stroke, heart attack … and he can’t stop, not now!”

“Why not?”

Kaylee nodded towards the screen, but it had shorted out. “It says, in that, if he stops it can … the initial doses are so high that if he stops now, without tailing them off, he could … oh, Zoe.”

The older woman gathered her into her arms, rocking gently. “It’s okay, Kaylee. He wouldn’t do this if he thought it was dangerous.”

“But this says!” Kaylee pulled back, pointing at the dead screen. “It is dangerous.”

“And Simon’s a doctor. And he’s not so in love with you that he’d consider missing out on seeing Bethany grow up.”

Kaylee was shocked. “Yes he is.”

Zoe smiled a little. “All right, he is. But he’s not doing this lightly. He loves you, Kaylee, wants you to be happy.”

“I am happy!” She sniffed back tears.

“But he thinks you’d be happier with another baby.”

“Why didn’t he talk to me about this before he did it?” Kaylee wailed suddenly.

“Is that it?” Zoe asked. “He didn’t talk to you first?”

“No. I mean yes. I mean … he just went ahead and did it.”

“So you think he’d have gone into all this detail if he had? Told you what might happen?”

“Maybe.” Zoe didn’t respond, just looked at the younger woman. “Okay, probably not,” Kaylee finally conceded. “But he … he still should’ve told me what he was planning.”

“And I think you need to talk to him about it now. Tell him what you’ve found out.”

Kaylee nodded. “I guess.”

“And don’t shout at him.”

“I don’t!” She smiled, just a little. “Much.”

“You’re as noisy as you are when you’re making love sometimes,” Zoe said, her own lips twitching.

“Well, he riles me so.”

“And he’ll keep on doing it, too.”

“I hope so.” Kaylee got up. “Better get my tools, get this fixed before the Cap’n sees it and docks me to pay for it.”

“Probably a good idea.”

Kaylee wiped her face on her sleeve and started to leave. Then she turned back. “Zoe, I ain’t wanting a baby so much that I’m willing to lose Simon for it.”

“You won’t,” Zoe said, hoping she wasn’t lying.

---

Freya sat in the waiting room, trying not to listen. It wasn’t fair, she knew. All these things she wasn't able to tell him, but she could listen in, if she wanted, to the words he wasn't saying to Dr Yi. And she tried not to. She really tried.

She’d not told anyone about her abilities coming back. Mal knew, had to have done after the way she created the illusion for him the night before. But he’d been pretty sure before that. She’d picked up on River’s frantic mindwave from Corvus, and knowing their baby was a boy … even that Mal wanted to call him Ethan, for his father.

And now, all she needed to do was concentrate just a little harder …

It was mostly with him. She could pick up flashes of emotion, random thoughts if they were powerful enough, but it was with Mal that she felt at her strongest. Probably why she’d never inflicted her pain and anger on him when her emotions spiralled out of control. No matter what she had said or done, in the small part of her that stayed her she loved him. With all her heart. And when he found her, brought her back out into the light, she’d blossomed. But only truly with him.

It took real effort to pick up on anyone else, and that effort tended to bring up the memories she was trying so hard not to let control her. It had taken all her strength to read the doctor and make sure she wasn't likely to sell them out to the Alliance.

After that it was easier just to talk.

“I couldn’t stop them. I knew I was going to die in that room and I couldn’t stop them. They didn’t want to know anything so I couldn’t tell them, couldn’t make them stop hurting me.” She didn’t want to cry, was biting back on the emotion, but it spilled out with the words. “All I could do was scream, calling for Mal, knowing he was never going to … that he’d find me like that.”

No names, no indication who’d done it, but that didn’t matter.

“And you feel you were guilty? Some sort of compliance in the pain?”

“I couldn’t stop them.”

“Did you want to stop them?”

“Of course! They were hurting me …”

“Did you enjoy it?”

Her fists clenched. “No!”

“Then there’s no compliance. You didn’t give them permission to do this.”

“I walked out there knowing it was a trap.”

“Yes. To save your son.”

“But I –“

“Would you do it again?”

“What?”

“Would you, knowing what they did to you, knowing the pain that resulted, the terrible injuries, walk alone into that trap again to save your son?”

Freya stared at her. “I …”

“Please. Answer truthfully.”

She licked dry lips. “I … yes. I would. To save Ethan.”

“And your husband?”

“Yes.”

“Then you are quite possibly stupid, but not complicitous.” Dr Yi tempered her words with a slight smile. “Mrs Reynolds, what you are feeling is natural. To survive sometimes is harder than to give in. Dying can seem to be the easier option. Doesn’t it?”

Freya nodded. “Sometimes,” she admitted in a small voice.

“But I think it is the loss of control that is more disturbing to you. Is there some incident –“ A chime sounded from her desk. “But our time is up.” The smile became wider, warmer. “I think we have made some progress. But I would like to see you again. Tomorrow?”

“Um, yes. I … yes, that will be fine.”

“Good.”

And now she was waiting for Mal. And all she needed to do was concentrate just a little harder …

“… and I killed him.” Mal was matter of fact about it. “Ended the man who did that to Frey.”

“I see.” Dr Yi sat back, studying him. “How?”

“I shot him.” He crossed his arms. “Between the eyes. Dead.”

“I see.”

“Do yah?” Mal almost laughed. “’Cause sometimes I don’t.”

“What don’t you see?”

“How this is helping.” He was intentionally blunt but she didn’t rise to the bait.

“What did you want to do to him, Captain Reynolds?”

“Did what I wanted. Killed him.”

“Why are you so defensive, Captain?”

Mal glared at her, suddenly intensely annoyed at her calmness, her composure, and he wanted to shake her. “You want to know what I wanted to do? To the man that left my wife on a God-forsaken hunk of rock, wrapped in a tarpaulin, almost every damn bone in her body broken?” He leaned forward. “You want to know? Doc, I wanted to take hold of him in my bare hands, tear him open and reach into his chest and rip out his heart. I wanted to be elbow deep in his blood, doctor. I wanted to gouge out his eyeballs so he’d never look on anything ever again. And even then it wouldn’t have been enough. Never enough for what he did.” He sat back, sweating slightly. “Puttin’ a bullet in his brainpan was easy. Too easy a way for him to die.”

“Why didn’t you do that to him?”

“Because that ain't the man Frey married. Maybe before, after ... after the war, maybe I could have. Took a lot of folks that way, after what they’d seen. But no matter how empty I became, still am, God knows, that ain't me no more. And I’d never let her down like that. Not and still expect her to keep loving me.”

Outside, in the warm sunlight streaming in through the windows, Freya couldn’t stop the tears from running down her cheeks.

to be continued

COMMENTS

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 11:12 PM

TAMSIBLING


Oh captain, my captain ... Mal, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways ...

Mal is so noble, at times it almost seems like a fault, but then we remember it's why we love him.

I'm glad Kaylee found out more information, but man is Simon in for an earful when he gets back ... I'm a bit worried about them and him in particular ... Hopefully, he didn't ignore some important facts just because he's so in love with Kaylee - although that is pretty much noble as a grape.

And what about poor Jethro? We didn't see him in this little snippet - I'm sure River will tell him she doesn't need anything fancy or special, just him.

Can't wait for more!

Thursday, March 8, 2007 2:33 AM

AMDOBELL


Adored this. I love that we finally got to hear the conversation Freya had with Dr Yi and I loved how Mal explained why he gave the piece of *goushi buru hundan* that hurt Freya a quick death with a bullet between the eyes rather than what he would once have done. Love how much they love each other and I'm thinking these sessions with Dr Yi will help them in ways nothing else could. I also am really pleased that Kaylee can now see beyond her blinkered obssession with having more children that Simon is doing what he is doing because he honestly thinks its' the one thing that will make her truly happy. Having more kids isn't the be-all and end-all of everything, tons of folks can't have even one child and being in a loving relationship is another blessing no amount of coin can buy you. I think this lesson has sunk in now and look forward to Kaylee and Simon talking it out and hopefully weaning Simon off this very scary treatment. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, March 8, 2007 10:34 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


I can only feel pure and unaltered love for what you're doing here, Jane0904! Between getting a glimpse at Freya's emotional dams breaking while talking about what Wing's men did to her, and Mal's admission of wanting to expound righteous fury on the scrofulous pricks who dared touch his wife...I was awed at the brilliance and perfection of all the voices involved:D

But I can't leave the Kaylee/Zoe moment alone either. It takes amazing skill to write Kaylee as being furious. Not offended or upset or irritated...pure fury at both Simon for seemingly putting his health in jeopardy to grant Kaylee a wish that might never come true and her own self for pushing Simon to make such a decision without properly consulting with her. It's especially telling that Kaylee would actually damage a piece of important equipment in her ire....

BEB

Thursday, March 8, 2007 3:53 PM

KATESFRIEND


Wonderful piece of writing in this one! Loved Mal's honesty and bluntness - so true to character.


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