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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Kaylee and Inara sit in Alliance custody while the crew decides what to do about it. K/S. Set post movie.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1439 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
You'll have to wait until next week for the next chapter, so enjoy this one . . .
Chapter 9 can be found Here
Thanks to Tamsibling and Mal4Prez for the beta.
“O zhe zhen shi ge kuai le de jin zhan,” Mal hissed once the transmission ended. He turned away from the console to pace a small path behind the pilot’s chair, his hands clenched in tight fists.
Curses erupted from Jayne and Zoe as well, but River and Simon simply stared at the single image, paralyzed by the distress on Kaylee’s face and the fear in little Madeline’s eyes.
“She’ll be okay,” River whispered, more to herself than to offer any consolation to her brother. But Simon heard the words and glanced down at his sister, hope clearly reflected in his blue eyes.
“River?” he asked.
Aaron tapped out a quick rhythm on the keypad in front of him, eyes quickly scanning the readouts. He knew his nervousness could be heard in his tone, and in the stilted words he used to express himself, but he didn’t care. “I can track it. Them. The signal.”
“If they picked up the shuttle, we know where they are,” Zoe offered, her voice cool and confident.
Aaron glanced up, eyes narrowed. “They know we’ll come for them.” He looked to Mal for confirmation. “We will go for them, right?”
Mal let out a heavy sigh. Everyone’s eyes focused on him, expectant. “We have to stick to the plan.”
Simon pushed himself into the captain’s space, eyes wide. “What!?”
Zoe carefully inserted herself between Mal and Simon, clearly hoping to head off a shouting, or worse, punching, match between the two men.
“You heard me,” Mal snapped at the younger man. “Continue on course,” he told River before he marched off the bridge, leaving everyone staring after him, silent in their horror.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“What do you want with us?” Inara asked. They sat around a small table in a cold, colorless interrogation room. “We have done nothing wrong.” Her indignant tone brought a smile to Maris Kim’s lips.
“You are registered crew on the transport Serenity. We are holding you for questioning.”
“There ain’t been much questioning,” Kaylee said stubbornly. Her hands were clasped protectively around her belly as if trying to shield the innocent life within.
Maris turned cold eyes on Kaylee. “I can arrange for more vigorous treatment if you would prefer.”
Inara reached forward and grasped one of Kaylee’s hands. She squeezed it in hopes it would temper the girl’s tongue. “That won’t be necessary. Kaylee is simply worried for her baby.”
Maris looked down her nose at the younger woman. “Yes, I can imagine.”
Kaylee ignored the disgusted look and asked, “Where’s Maddy? Is she okay?”
Maris’ eyes flashed at the use of her daughter’s nickname. “Madeline is perfectly fine.”
“She weren’t fine when you was pullin’ us in,” Kaylee barreled on, heedless of Inara’s pleading look. “She was callin’ for her daddy. All worried that you’d punish her. She was real scared.”
Maris stood and smiled satisfactorily when the two women tensed and leaned away, clearly expecting to be slapped. Instead, the older woman – her voice hard, her eyes narrow – simply said, “Madeline is my daughter. Her father kidnapped her –” Maris shook her head in an effort to stay focused and glanced back at the two way mirror for a moment before returning her attention to Inara.
“What was Serenity’s course heading when you disembarked?”
Inara sat straighter and stared straight ahead – at nothing. “I have no idea. I’m a civilian. I’m not permitted on the bridge.”
Maris turned to Kaylee. “Do you have anything to add?”
Kaylee shrugged, playing Inara’s game. “I’m only allowed on the bridge when somethin’ breaks.”
Maris set her jaw and motioned to the mirror. “Fine then. You wish to be difficult, we’ll be difficult.”
The door opened to reveal a rather portly but well-kept man with a happy smile. Behind him came an aide rolling a small cart filled with medical tools and vials of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Inara inhaled sharply and Kaylee placed both hands on her belly, eyes wide with fear.
“So –” The smiling man looked at the two woman and then to Maris. “ – with whom will we start?”
Everyone had gathered in the galley, a more spacious place to air their grievances and disapprovals with Mal’s plan, than the bridge. Zoe sat beside Mal; a buffer in case an increasingly irritated doctor decided to throw a punch in the captain’s direction. River sat beside her brother, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders, her eyes distant, her body trembling. Simon stood, hands balled into fists, arguing with Mal, clearly the most angry of the crew. Jayne paced the length of the room, huffing angrily, while Aaron simply sat and observed the growing agitation silently.
“Are you feng le?” Jayne stopped and stared at Mal, annoyance written across his face. “We gotta go after ‘em!”
“We need to keep clear heads,” Mal raised his hands in an effort to quell the rising voices and tempers.
Simon stared gratefully at Jayne. It was a rare day they shared an opinion about anything. “And I’m not willing to leave Kaylee and my baby in Alliance custody. Just give them those plans and –”
“That’d be signing our death warrant and you know it,” Zoe said sternly, eyes boring into Simon’s until the younger man had to look away.
Simon shook his head, but Zoe continued before he could voice another objection.
“Don’t let your heart overrule your common sense, Doc. Once they get what they want, they ain’t gonna just let us fly away.”
“Ain’t nothin’ that easy,” Jayne muttered with a sigh.
Simon tried again; he couldn’t just give up. “The Alliance –“
“They won’t let us go once they have us,” Aaron offered with a sympathetic look toward Simon.
“We can’t go get our people. Not right now. All we can do is deliver those plans.” Mal rubbed his face.
“Maybe they’ll be so grateful to us, they’ll offer help gettin’ our girls back?” Jayne asked, ignoring the annoyed look that flashed in Simon’s eyes.
Aaron watched quietly while the crew argued back and forth about what to do, keeping silent until he could figure out what to do himself.
“There’re other things to consider here, Doc,” Zoe said, her face a mask of grim acceptance. “These plans make it into Alliance hands and they’ll have the ability to crush anyone who so much as breathes the word Independence.”
“Can’t go for them. Not yet,” River said. Her sad eyes fell on her brother. “Have to get the plans into Independent hands. Then we can go back for them.”
Simon’s eyes widened; he knew she was right. The needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few – as much as he loathed it. But his fear for Kaylee and the baby’s safety was foremost in his mind, and he found it difficult to be objective.
“There’s this little matter of us carryin’ wanted fugies,” Jayne grumbled, stopping to stared down at where Simon and River sat. “We walk in to deliver these plans, you know they’ll search the ship. Ain’t no where they can hide.”
“Then what are we going to –“
“Everyone just pipe down and give me time to think,” Mal said, his voice booming over everyone. They fell silent instantly, but they didn’t need to speak for Mal to see the anger writ all over their faces.
“I have another copy,” Aaron said quietly, his voice piercing the sudden silence.
“What?” Mal asked, his expression one of shock mixed with a bit of annoyance that the man had not spoken up until now.
Jayne stopped his pacing. Simon snapped his mouth shut. River smiled and Zoe’s head slowly swiveled to take in Aaron Kim’s patient expression.
“I made two copies of the data when I left the Core.” He reached into a hidden pocket and retrieved the cylinder. “I have another copy.”
“Tian xiao de! Why didn’t you tell us?” Mal reached out and snapped it out of Aaron’s hands, his jaw set, eyes hard.
“I was hoping I’d never need to use it.”
“You knew your wife would come after you,” Simon said, everything finally clicking in his brain.
“And you knew she’d go after your daughter,” Zoe added, understanding. “Both to get her back and use her as a bargaining chip to get the plans
“Maris knows I’d die before I let her have these plans back. But she also knows that I would never leave Madeline in her custody.”
“Oh, I don’t like this,” Jayne shook his head and wrapped his fingers around his favorite knife.
“There ain’t much you do like, Jayne,” Zoe said without taking her gaze from Aaron’s face.
“Fine, we have this second set of plans. We exchange it for our people.”
“After we deliver the first set to the Independents,” River said, her small voice cutting through the deep, irritated ones of the rest of the crew.
“Level the playing field,” Zoe nodded her approval.
“And leave Kaylee, Inara and Maddy in their hands? We need to get them first!” Simon cried, irritated that anyone would even think to keep the rendezvous with the Independent contact at a time like this.
“Alliance has better facilities for manufacturing the weapon detailed in these plans. They’d crush anyone so much as trying to put them to use.”
“Atthis point we’re closer to them than we are to the Alliance.” Mal said, directing his sternest voice at Simon.
“I can devise a virus to transmit when we answer the broadwave.” Everyone glanced at Aaron, who allowed a small smile to spread across his face. “It will sit dormant until the plans are inserted into any terminal.”
“You’re taking a big chance that your wife will want to look at the plans on board, instead of a private screen.”
“That’s why when we answer the broadwave, we direct it to her personal ident.” Aaron said, his smug smile growing.
“There’s still a chance whatever terminal she opens will not have received this virus,” Simon offered, his tone cool and thoughtful as he worked out the odds of this plan actually succeeding.
“One we’re going to have to take.”
“We do what we can. The rest is up to fate,” Mal nodded at Aaron, giving his permission as he glanced around the table at the rest of his crew.
“I still don’t like this.”
Mal scowled at Jayne. “The day you approve of anythin’ I do, is the day I retire from our bountiful life of crime.”
“We can’t meet you any sooner, Captain,” the Independent commander sighed. “The plans you carry are instrumental to us launching a successful attack against Alliance forces. We have to be cautious in their retrieval.”
“Yeah, well I got people were taken because a these plans. I need them off my ship fast-like so I can get my people back.”
Sympathy crossed the commander’s face. “I’m sorry for your loss. We appreciate all you’re doing for –“
“They ain’t dead. Leastways not yet. I’m gettin’ ‘em back. Now you just get to me so I can turn my boat around and get back to ‘em.”
“We’ll meet you as soon as possible.”
When the connection ended, Mal ran his hand through his hair and took a deep, irritated breath.
“You’re doing the right thing,” Zoe said, resting a strong hand on his shoulder.
He sighed deeply and stared out into the black. “Nothin’ feels right about this, Zoe.”
She lowered her hand and took a step back. “Beating yourself up over your decision to put them off in the first place isn’t going to get them back.”
Mal’s eyes narrowed and his head swiveled to take in his first mate’s stoic and un-intimidated stance.
“No need to tell me somethin’ I already know.”
Zoe stood her ground. “Just pointin’ out the obvious, Sir.”
He couldn’t keep the irritation out of his voice and he snapped, a bit too harshly, “We got Jayne for that.”
A grin tugged at the corner of her mouth and she reached up and squeezed his arm. She didn’t need to say anything else. He knew what she was thinking.
He would pray for the first time in years if it would ensure his girls made it back to him in one piece.
“It will be okay.”
Simon didn’t bother to look up from the journal he’d been studying. River knew he didn’t want to be comforted. He wanted to be left to wallow in the intense feeling of helplessness that had filled his body the moment they’d found out the shuttle had fallen into Alliance hands.
“You don’t know that, mei mei,” Simon finally said with a heavy sigh.
River tried to look hurt that he didn’t trust her intuition, but the frown fell off her face when she stepped beside him and glanced down at his hands.
He was reading notes he’d written on Kaylee and the baby’s progress. A pang of regret and fear snaked it way through her heart and she blinked away the tears those thoughts pricked at the corners of her eyes.
“She was so furious with me for making her go.” He still didn’t look up. “I thought it would be safer. I really believed –“
“You can’t be right all the time.” She slid her hand between the clenched fist that lay on the counter.
“And if I was so wrong about this that it costs Kaylee her life? Or our baby’s?” He lifted such sad eyes to his sister’s face that she recoiled suddenly from the look. “I can’t live with that, mei mei.”
River shook her head, tears coming unbidden to her eyes at the pain written in her brother’s. “You won’t have to.” She embraced him tightly. “You won’t. We’ll get them all back.”
“Can you promise me that?” His voice was muffled but she could detect the slightest bit of hope buried in the question.
River clutched him tighter as a single tear made its way down her smooth cheek. “Yes.”
“Oh ‘Nara,” Kaylee hurried to her friend’s side when she was returned to their shared cell. Her eyes swept down the Companion’s body and narrowed in concern when she noticed the older woman’s sensitivity to being touched. “What’d they do to you?”
“Better me than you, mei mei,” Inara whispered as an answer.
Kaylee wrapped her arms around her friend and led her to the room’s one small cot. As Kaylee searched in the low light for injuries, Inara weakly brushed her hands away.
“They didn’t believe that I had no information.” She closed her eyes and took a deep, shaky breath.
Kaylee’s mouth fell open and her eyes widened in disbelief. “So they tortured you?”
Kaylee could see Inara struggle to keep her face impassive. “Just asked me some questions.”
Kaylee raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Then why are ya shakin’ so bad?”
“They used drugs… to get me to talk.”
Kaylee trembled despite herself, rested one hand atop her belly and slowly, carefully, lay down on the bed. As she curled her body around Inara’s, she whispered. “Do you think they’ll come for us?”
“I hope they don’t,” Inara answered and Kaylee understood completely.
If they came, they’d be caught and tortured worse than Inara. And that was a guilt Kaylee would not be able to live with.
Her bottom lip trembled as she agreed. “Yeah, me too.”
Feng le – crazy
O zhe zhen shi ge kuai le de jin zhan - oh this is a happy development
Tian xiao de - in the name of all that's sacred
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