BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Sweet Sorrow - Part X
Sunday, April 15, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Mal sees sense ... The concluding part, but there are going to be repercussions! Let me know what you think, please?


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2069    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Inara made the announcement that she was buying Monty’s place on Lazarus just after dinner. For a long moment there was silence, then Hank spoke.

“Ain’t surprised,” he said. “It’s a nice place.”

“Sure is,” Kaylee added. “Pretty.”

“You’re buying it,” Simon said, his voice flat.

“I can afford it. I think it would be good for me.”

Kaylee looked around the table. “I think it sounds shiny.”

“And of course you can all come and stay, whenever Serenity is in the area.”

“Yeah, well, not sure when we’ll be back,” Mal said shortly.

“It’s not too far out of the way from anywhere,” Hank pointed out.

“Depends on work.”

The others exchanged glances, but only Inara spoke. “It’s something I decided a little while ago, but having seen the house, I think it’s going to be ideal.”

Zoe nodded. “I can understand that.”

There was a short silence until Freya spoke. “Well, I’m going to check on Ethan,” she said, kissing Mal on the mouth before standing up and running her hand through his hair, knowing Inara was observing every move.

He grabbed it and pressed his lips to her palm. “I’ll be along in a few minutes.” He watched her leave.

“And I think I need my beauty sleep,” Hank said, climbing to his feet, then groaning as the aches and pains from the earlier fight made themselves very obviously known.

I think you need a massage,” Zoe said, following him.

“Ooh, with that citrusy oil?”

“If you play your cards right.”

“I’m really good at that. Playing cards. Strip anything, now that’s really my forte.”

“Last time was just luck …”

Their voices vanished as they went down into their bunk.

“I think you should make it an early night too,” Simon said, lifting Bethany out of her chair. “I’ll look in on Jayne and River for a while, make sure they ate the food I took down, but I’ll try not to be too long.”

Kaylee smiled, then winced as the cut in her lip pulled. “That’s okay,” she said. “I understand. I’ll have one more cup of coffee, then I’ll be down.”

“You sure that won’t keep you awake?”

”Not sure I want to sleep that much, after today,” she said softly.

“No bad dreams, Momma,” Bethany said, smiling at her. “We’ll chase them away.”

“You will?”

“Me and Ethan. We’ll fight ‘em.”

“Good.” She nodded. “I’ll be down in a while. Tuck you in.”

“’Kay, Momma.”

Simon carried her out, just as she yawned hugely. “Cover your mouth, sweetie,” he said.

“Sorry, Daddy.”

“That’s okay. Just remember to do it.”

“Kay.”

Inara had watched the display of family affection with a smile, but there was a tug at her heart that made her wonder, just for a moment, whether she was doing the right thing. No, it was. For some time she’d felt like an extra, something just tacked on. She knew that wasn’t the case, but everyone else on board had formed a couple, and she felt as if she was missing something. If she’d got Colm, that might have been different, but as it was … She stood up. “Everyone seems to have the right idea.” She looked pointedly at Mal. “I’d like to talk to you some more about the arrangements for Lazarus.”

“Maybe tomorrow,” Mal promised vaguely.

“That can turn into months, Mal.”

“Tomorrow.”

She sighed, but nodded. “Very well.” Heading for the door she paused next to him. “I can’t wait forever. If you make this difficult for me, I’ll just leave at the next planetfall and make my own way back there.” She didn’t wait for him to reply, just walked elegantly out of the galley.

“Fine,” Mal muttered to himself.

Kaylee stood up and lifted the coffee pot. “Cap’n?” she asked.

“Mm?” He looked up. “Oh, no thanks. I’m fine.”

“I’ll just have another mouthful.” She poured then sat back down, this time taking the seat next to him. “Everyone seems to be good,” she said, nursing her mug.

“Seems that way.”

“Only I think people are just putting a brave face on things. I know I am.”

He looked at her. “You feeling bad about what happened?”

“Cap’n, I ain’t stupid. I know what …” She shuddered, her whole frame trembling.

“Ain’t gonna let it,” Mal said firmly. “I ain’t never gonna let anything happen to you.”

She smiled. “I know. But sometimes you ain’t around to stop it.”

“You feeling guilty now?”

“About going after Simon?” She shook her head. “No. There weren’t no way of knowing those men were around. And even if we’d checked the posted alerts … well, I did, before dinner. There weren’t nothin’ about kidnappers.”

“Kaylee, they were just muggers. All they wanted was your cash and any other valuables you might have had.”

She put her hand on his. “Like I said, I ain’t stupid. I saw that girl, and Hank ain’t the only one who reads the Cortex.”

Mal sighed, mentally damning that thing. “There’s no way of knowing, mei-mei. And I ain’t exactly about to go back and ask them.”

“Are they gonna do it to anyone else?” Her dark eyes fixed him, almost as surely as her sister-in-law’s did. He could almost believe she was reading the thoughts off the back of his brain.

He contemplated lying, then realised there was no point. Better she feel … “No, Kaylee. They ain’t gonna do that to anyone else.”

“Good.” She nodded, then lifted her mug with a hand that shook just a little. She took a mouthful of coffee, swirling it around her teeth before swallowing. “So Inara’s leaving.”

“I guess.”

“And you don’t like it.”

“Don’t think I said that,” Mal pointed out.

“Didn’t have to. In fact, I don’t think you said more’n a dozen words after she told us.”

“You were counting?”

“Do I have to?”

Xiao mei-mei, this is just some idea she’s got in her head about wanting some independence. She’ll get over it.”

“And you kissing ‘Nara. That’s just some idea Bethany got into her head?”

Mal stared. “I thought -”

“She was asleep?”

“It ain’t what you think,” he said quickly.

“No, I figured that. You ain’t never gonna cheat on Frey. ‘N’ I bet you told her already.”

Mal nodded. “Got that right. And amazingly got away with my skin in one piece.” He paused, then lifted one eyebrow. “What … um … what else did Bethie say?”

“That you were arguing. Kinda scared her.”

“I’m sorry.”

“She knew you didn’t mean it. ‘Parrently Inara said she loved you.”

“Kaylee -”

“And that was the reason she was leavin’.”

Mal sighed. “Something like that.”

“And you don’t want her to go.”

“Guess it’s plain I don’t. But not because I -”

“No, I kinda figured that. But there‘s good things can come of this too.” She leaned forward, squeezing his hand. “Cap’n, we need to have a base. Someplace we can always go back to. Like we used to with Haven –“

“Ain't gonna do that, little Kaylee.”

“I was born dirtside. So were you. All of us, bar Zoe. And I don’t want Bethany growin’ up not knowing what it’s like to have mud squelching up between her toes.”

Mal gave a start. He remembered saying those exact words to Ethan when he bathed him that first time, but unless Kaylee truly was catching the being-psychic thing from her sister-in-law, Freya must have … “Mei-mei, it ain't safe. We need to keep flyin’.”

“And we will.” She looked deep into his blue eyes. “But we need someplace to be once in a while.”

“We do land.”

“And leave soon as we can. You ain't happy ‘less we’re out in the black. But some of us need to see blue sky above us occasionally.”

“Are you telling me what to do?”

“Ain't no tellin’. ‘Nara’s leaving, and nothing you or me can say’ll make her stop. ‘N’ it’s right – she needs to move on, get on with her life.”

“I ain't driving her away.”

“Didn’t say you were. But this with her son, it’s … it’s made her think. And you knew it was coming, don’t act like you didn’t. Her leaving the Guild, going off on her own to find Colm, no matter how it turned out … you know she weren't gonna stay forever.”

“But she’s … damn it, it’s Inara!”

“’N’ that’s why it’ll work. She’s got her heart set on that place – somewhere she can be herself, not have to pretend no more.”

“What’s she pretending?”

“That she don’t love you.”

Mal glared at her, about to contradict, but saw the truth of it in her eyes. “I know, little one. Always have.” He sat back. “Just …”

Kaylee nodded, understanding. “You hoped it’d die.”

Mei-mei, I've got Freya. I've got a beautiful wife and a healthy son, and I couldn’t wish for more, but I …”

“You still love Inara?”

“Guess I do. But I ain't in love with her no more. Haven’t been for a long time. That’s between me and Frey now.”

“S’pose it’s like the way you love me and River and Zoe. ‘N’ Simon, Hank, Jayne –“

“Not Jayne. Nor Simon,” he added hurriedly. “Ain't that way inclined.”

“Notice you didn’t include Hank there,” Kaylee pointed out, her eyes sparkling with wicked amusement.

“No, well, him and me … you keep that under your hat,” Mal said with mock sternness.

Kaylee grinned, but got back to the matter in hand. “Cap’n, she needs to do this. And you need to let her.”

Mal sighed. “Guess I could do with my shuttle back.” Then he shook his head. “Still don’t like it. Suppose she needs us? If something happens, and she gets into trouble –“

“Then she’ll call. She ain't gonna die, Mal,” Kaylee said, using his given name so rarely that he raised his eyebrows in surprise. “’N’ it give us a home.”

“Serenity’s home.”

“Then a home away from home. Where Bethany and Ethan can run riot.”

“They do that anyway. Well, Bethany does. And she’s gonna lead my son into bad ways, I hope you know that.”

Kaylee knew he’d seen sense. “And when you have the next, Frey can give birth there.”

“What about you, little Kaylee?”

“I ain't leavin’.” She deliberately misunderstood.

“Don’t you be pretending to me. More kids. Is it gonna happen?”

The good humour dropped away. “No.” She forced a smile. “But I got Bethany. And Ethan feels like he’s half mine, you being so big-brotherly ‘n’ all.”

“I ain't no-one’s big brother.”

“Yes you are. Otherwise why’d you call me your mei-mei?”

He had no answer for that. “Well, I ain't Jayne’s big brother and that’s a fact.”

“No,” Kaylee conceded. “But if him and River do end up together you could be his pa-in-law, seeing as you treat her like a daughter.”

Mal stood up. “This is getting too surreal. And I've got captainy things to do before I turn in.”

“But you’re gonna let Inara go?”

“Don’t have a call to stop her.” Mal tempered his words with a smile. “Still, I reckon maybe it’d be nice to have some place to go sometimes. Where no-one’s trying to kill me.”

“I'm sure Inara would oblige if you miss it that much.”

“I'm sure she would.” Mal smiled and stood up, heading out of the galley.

“I love my captain,” Kaylee called.

“Just make sure you keep on doing it,” Mal replied loudly.

---

“My client is not going to be very pleased. This is more than somewhat … annoying.” The man dabbed at his top lip with his linen handkerchief, then folded it carefully and put it back in his pocket.

“I can assure you we will be looking for those responsible.” The officer glanced towards his colleagues, some distance away. “At least, I will.”

“Good.” He passed over a full credit chip. “Something on account. To keep you on track.”

The officer tucked it inside his uniform. “We have some leads already, including some DNA trace. Which, I have to admit, doesn’t make sense. It appears to belong to a man who has been dead some years -”

“Do you have the profile? It is possible we might be able to find out more.”

Glancing about him, the officer slowly took a wafer from his pocket and passed it over. “Like I said, it doesn’t make sense.”

The man stowed it in his top pocket. “It doesn’t have to. You’re not being paid for it to make sense.”

“Guess not. Still, we’ll keep looking into it.”

“Let me know. As I say, my client is anxious to … repay the debt.”

“And your … shipment?”

The man shrugged, his elegant suit settling easily around his shoulders. “Easily replaced. Not quite so the suppliers. They did a good job, but evidently got sloppy.” He dismissed them without a further thought. “But young women are readily available anywhere. So many young pretties who just never get missed …”

... .. .

AN: In case any of you didn't get it, the title is from Romeo and Juliet ...

Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

And, as they say, this ain't over until the fat lady sings ...

COMMENTS

Monday, April 16, 2007 2:47 AM

AMDOBELL


Kaylee has the right of it. Inara needs to do this, to move on, and Mal has to let her which he will. I want to see more Mal and Freya goodness now and hope our shrinking crew stays sharp what with those Alliance *tamade hundan* looking for them. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, April 16, 2007 3:49 AM

SLUMMING


Great work, as always. Do you never tire of being brilliant?

Monday, April 16, 2007 9:16 AM

TAMSIBLING


I think this was a nice wrap-up to this bit, although it's obviously open ended for a variety of reasons. Something tells me Mal and Co. are going to come up against this Monster character again - and I do hope someone ends him.

I really loved Mal and Kaylee's convo - it's good to see someone else beside Freya talking sense into him. Kaylee knows Inara better than anyone on that boat, I'd wager and I think Mal would only really listen to her opinion on the subject.

And somehow, I just hope and pray that Simon and Kaylee can have another baby ... please?!?!?

Can't wait for me - and where is my Rayne?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 8:35 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Gotta say...it's all kind of surreal to see Kaylee having a long, drawn-out debate with Mal over Inara's plans. Not that I think Kaylee isn't astute and capable...it's just that it has been Zoe, Book, Inara and Freya offering these kinds of moments to Mal. Kaylee's been more of a driving force or cheerleader. Still...it shows Kaylee as having grown:D

Really hoped for a Freya/Inara moment about Inara's behaviour..but maybe it's better that Inara and her part with amicability so that Inara can get on with her life until the Monster shows up.

Oh..,and nice little moment with the cop noting there was foreign DNA on the bodies - sensible when Simon beat the ever loving shit out of the two hundans - and that the DNA source has been officially listed as dead for a while. Guess Simon is gonna find a reason to feel guilty once again, huh?

BEB


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