Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
This is an AU story that won't let me go, so I'm sharing it with all of you! What if Command didn't pull out of Serenity Valley? What if the Independents fought on? What if the war is finally ending, ten years later? COMMUNICATION will be back up shortly, when I can get my muse out of my sick bed ...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1658 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
Colonel Malcolm Reynolds stood at the entrance to his tent and stroked the scar on his cheek. Below him, spread out row upon row in the early morning light, was the camp of the Independents, the men beginning to wake up and start work, and the scent of cooking wafted towards him, and the smell made his stomach rumble. In the distance he could see movement among the Alliance soldiers, their camp smaller, but going about pretty much the same duties.
He’d been woken by the dawn, birdsong filling the air as he’d never remembered it here, and he’d been unable to get back to sleep, despite the woman at his side. Too many thoughts running through his brain, of the men he’d lost, and those he’d managed to keep going through the hell that this had become.
It was fitting, somehow, that the war finally ended here. Serenity Valley. The actual fighting had been over some five months, but the agreement, the armistice that would finally bring peace, was going to be signed here. Today. At the site of the war’s turning point.
Ten years ago they were on the edge, when things could go either way. Ten years ago he was a mere Sergeant, waiting for air support. And ten years ago Command finally pulled its finger out of its ass and rained fire on those arrogant cods of the Alliance.
He breathed deeply of the clean air. The war had turned then. Men saw there was a possibility of winning, and their numbers had swelled. Whole planets who’d been sitting on the fence had come down on the side of the Browncoats, and the revolution gained momentum. And when the Companion Guild Houses were razed to the ground by Federal troops, claiming they were harbouring Independent traitors, even some of the Core planets began to take notice. Then Ariel fell, and there was a feeling of inevitability about it.
Mal glanced back at the woman in his bed, her dark hair spread in waves across the pillow, her back to him, smooth and unsullied now by the marks of the flogging she’d once endured. She’d been on a transport, one of the few survivors from the House at Madrassa, and he’d taken to her. Offered her a place as his woman. She was proud, somewhat haughty despite the treatment she’d received at the hands of the Alliance, but she’d accepted. It was well known what was happening to the remaining Companions, and to have such a man to protect her, the hero of Serenity Valley, was more than she could honestly hope for.
He didn’t love her. Even in the throes of passion, when she made his skin sing, he didn’t love her. That he reserved for the one he’d lost that night on the ridge above Dhu Khang.
He’d never told her, and now would never get the chance. One of the other soldiers had told him what happened. How she’d been picked up by the medship Galen, and interrogated. He said her screams could be heard from one end of the ship to the other. Not that she talked. Even when they operated on her without anaesthetic, sewing up the wounds in her back, she’d never given them any information. He’d tried to help her, this soldier, covering the weeping cuts in her tattoo with torn sheets, but it was too much. She’d died in his arms, saying a name on her last breath. “Mal.”
They’d jettisoned her body with the rest of the trash.
“Sir.” Lieutenant Zoe Alleyne had stepped silently up to him, her dark hair cropped short, not wanting to interrupt his reverie.
“Thought you’d like some coffee, sir,” she said, holding out a mug.
He smiled. “Thanks.” He sipped the hot liquid. “Good stuff.”
“The supply lines are solid,” she murmured, standing next to him and looking out over the camp. “I had some sent to the Alliance command.”
He glanced at her in surprise. “Now that’s just cruel,” he said, his blue eyes twinkling.
“Reminds them not to get any ideas, sir.”
“Oh, they’ve lost. There ain’t no doubt about that. They don’t have enough support to light a fire, let alone make a ruckus. Thank God.” He absently fingered the silver cross at his neck.
“Hard to believe in a few short hours it will all be over,” Zoe said.
“Hard,” he agreed.
“What will you do, sir?”
He shrugged. “Ain’t much thought on it. My home’s gone, so nothing to go back to. Not that ranching would make me feel right anyhow.” He looked up into the blue sky. “Maybe I’ll get me a ship. I feel like not touching the earth for a while.” He glanced over at her. “You?”
They’d not had this conversation before, although both knew the other had wondered. But it had seemed to be tempting fate somehow.
“I think I’ll settle down. Find me a man.”
Mal was surprised. “Zoe Alleyne? An old married lady?”
“Not so old, sir.” Her dark eyes flashed. “And I want children. Before I get so’s I can’t.”
“Hell, Zoe, you only had to ask.” He laughed a little.
“Thank you, sir, for the offer. But I’m not joking. I want a husband. A family. Now more than ever.”
“Then I hope you get it. You deserve it, Zoe.”
He heard stirrings in his tent, and looked back over his shoulder. “Inara’s awake.”
“What will you do with her, sir?” Zoe asked.
“Not rightly sure,” Mal admitted. “Maybe set her up somewhere. Nice house …”
“She’s a whore.”
“She’s a Companion.”
“Only they don’t exist anymore, sir.”
Mal sighed. “Then maybe she’ll come with me into the black.” He shrugged. “Have to ask her.”
“She’ll say yes.”
“Sir, she’s been in love with you from the moment you saved her life.” Zoe’s eyes were sympathetic, almost pitying.
“Really?” His lips twitched. “I thought that was you.”
“Colonel, sometimes …”
He grinned, then his face saddened again. “Can’t love anyone, Zoe. Not no more.”
“She wouldn’t want you to do this,” Zoe said softly. “To be this empty.”
“Ain’t empty. Got a whole lot of happiness filling me up from the prospect of this damn war finally being over.”
“Of course.” The irony in her voice wasn’t lost on him.
“Gorramit, Zoe, stay outta my brain! I can’t help loving her. Always will. ‘Til the last breath leaves my body.”
“You couldn’t save her, sir.”
There was a long silence between them as the noise from the two camps grew, the sounds of soldiers preparing for the big day.
“Well, I’d best get back, sir. Make sure no-one’s going to do anything foolish.”
“War’s ending, Zoe. What kind of foolishness anyone want to be starting now?” He turned to go back inside, but a small figure slid around the side of the tent, a blade flashing in an upraised hand.
“Mal!” Zoe shouted.
Mal stepped back, the blade slicing down his forearm instead of into his chest. He clasped his hand to the wound, staggering a little, as Zoe drew her own knife, stepped cleanly up and cut the assailant’s throat. Blood arced from the severed arteries and the figure slipped to the ground.
“What … who …” Mal was trying to form a complete sentence as he watched his lieutenant kneel down and take the hood off the figure. Long dark hair spilled out.
“It’s a girl,” she said, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice. “An Alliance assassin.”
The young woman’s mouth was moving, but no sounds came out above the bubbling of blood. Then she lay still, her dark eyes on his face.
“I thought we’d got all of those,” Mal said, letting Inara bandage the cut on his arm with a hastily torn sheet.
“Seems not, sir.”
“Inara, it’s okay. That’s enough.” He looked into her eyes. “I’ll get the doc to deal with it.”
She nodded, not saying a word. She hadn’t, not since he’d found her, too traumatised by what she’d seen to be able to speak. Maybe that’s why he kept her. Not able to argue with him.
He stepped outside, away from the growing blood pool.
“Do you think it was meant for today, sir?” Zoe asked, following him.
“I ain’t high enough up for it to make any difference,” he said, a low ache beginning in his arm. “I figure she was probably let loose some time back, and only just now got close enough.” His hand hurt, and he squeezed and opened his fingers a few times. “After all, killing me ain’t gonna stop the -” He felt a wash of vertigo sweep through him.
“Sir? Sir!” Zoe was at his side, supporting him.
His legs gave, and even with her strong arms around him he sat down on the hard-packed earth. “Zoe …” he managed to say.
“Medic!” she shouted. “I need a medic! Now!”
Pain was radiating across his chest, making it hard to breathe. “Guess … guess she had a … a back-up plan,” he ground out.
“Hold on, sir. Just hold on.” She could see men hurrying towards them.
“Too late,” Mal said, smiling through the agony coursing through his veins from the poison on her blade. “Least I … I get to see her again … Frey … ” He spasmed in her grasp, his back contorting as blood forced from his lips, and he lay still.
Zoe held him as the doctor came, too late, holding her friend while they fussed about, holding him as his eyes stared sightlessly into the sky over Serenity Valley …
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 4:16 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 7:28 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:22 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 7:01 PM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.