BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

HERMITSREST

Ich Liebe Dich - Part One
Monday, May 28, 2007

Badger sends Serenity on a job to pick up some luxury goods for the rich folk of Persephone. Fic follows on from Alliance vs Serenity, but can be read as standalone. 9th fanfic featuring the usual post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Grateful thanks to BluedEyedBrigadier for the beta. I need feedback like Serenity needs fuel. Part 1 of 2.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1386    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Serenity took off from Londinium and River effortlessly plotted a course back to Persephone, an enormous weight lifting from her shoulders the farther the ship moved away from the Core planet. She had thought that Bane would blame her for what she had to do, but Bane had barely thought about it. Now that she was free, nothing else mattered to her, and for that River was glad. It still did not take away the guilt, though it went a long way to making her feel better. Mal appeared in the cockpit and sat down in his chair. “All set?” he asked. “Should arrive back at the Eavesdown docks tomorrow evening.” “You gonna stop goin’ missin’ around the ship now she’s back?” River pretended to concentrate on flying the ship, but Mal was not fooled, knowing that River could do several tasks at once, more so than the average woman. “Reckon so,” she answered stiffly, and she could swear Mal chuckled, but when she whipped her head around he was checking out the switches above him. Zoe came into the cockpit, she was smiling – things were almost right with the ‘Verse again. “Where to next, Cap’n?” she asked. “Gotta drop off the Shepherd at Persephone. Might let Bane drop in on her relatives for a few hours. Trouble is I got no jobs lined up ‘cept Bane’s munitions with Monty.” “We could visit Badger, sir. See if he’s got anything lined up?” Mal was receptive to that idea, it had been a while since they had dealt with him. Bane was still on a high about being back on Serenity, being back in the Black, hell, just being back. She had promised to tell everyone what had happened at dinner, although she found out that they had watched most of the trial on the cortex. Kaylee had kindly tidied her quarters while she was away – her way of insisting that Bane was always going to come back. The dress she had borrowed for the wedding was folded neatly on the bed. She moved to her desk and immediately saw her journal was there. The last time she had seen it was the night the I.A.V. had come, the night she had kissed Karl down by the Med Bay. She wondered if they would be able to pick up where they left off, as that night, and the wedding the day before, seemed like a long forgotten dream now. Bane changed her clothing and could have thrown the overalls away, but they were hard wearing and they fitted her. Maybe she would get Kaylee to decorate them so they did not look so much like prison garb. She sat down not realising how tired she was, having forgotten how comfortable her bed was and fell almost instantly asleep. She saw white and heard voices, but gradually it faded to grey. She opened her eyes and saw bars, grey steel bars. “No, it can’t be true,” she whispered. She rubbed her eyes and the view was clearer. She sat up, breathing heavily and ran sluggishly to touch the bars. They felt so real. “It’s a dream. It’s a dream,” she kept repeating over and over. She started screaming and pulling at the bars. Until she heard the footsteps. She knew who it was before he appeared. Dedham. It did not make sense, he was supposed to be in prison or at least awaiting trial. Her hands were frozen to the bars. “Hello, Bane,” he said, touching her fingers. She could not pull away. Wake up, she told herself. “I won’t make a mistake this time,” he continued, reaching through and touching her face. “You will die, I can assure you.” Bane found her hand cuffed to the bars as the cell door swung open. She pulled on her wrist until it bled but it was no use. Dedham grabbed her hair tightly to bring her closer. Bane fought but she could not move. Dedham kissed her and she could not move. She was suffocating and fought for air. Bane came awake gasping for breath and shaking in fear. Still breathing heavily, she went to the sink and splashed her face with water. She looked at her hands and saw that they were still shaking, but dried her face and left her quarters, unwilling to return. In the galley, she started to prepare some dinner to take her mind off the awful dream. She also wanted to make sure that her first decent meal in near a month would not be protein-based. As soon as she picked up her knives her hands stopped shaking. Karl came into the galley shortly after she had started to cook. “Happy?” he said in response to her welcoming smile. “More than I could even have imagined,” she said, firmly putting the nightmare out of her head. Karl stood, tall as ever, opposite her over the counter, the look he gave her brought back all the memories of the last night she had been on Serenity. “Missed you some,” he said, wiggling his moustache a little. Bane kept eye contact until she felt a blush rising, so she started chopping vigorously. When she looked up again Karl leaned forward. “Bane,” said Simon coming into the galley. “I’ve been waiting for you to come down for a check up.” Karl blew the air out of his nose frustratingly. Bane spoke to Simon kindly, despite the annoyance of his interruption. “I told you, I’m fine.” Simon came up to her. “I don’t trust those luh suh Alliance doctors.” He folded his arms and looked at her. “I’m not going anywhere and I’ll only keep pestering you.” Bane gave Karl a quick exasperated look. “Okay,” she said, putting down the knives. As she stepped out from behind the counter to follow Simon, Karl touched her fingers as she passed him. She did not look back but smiled, maybe they could pick up from where they left off. As soon as Bane came into the Med Bay, Simon was ready with various implements and scanners. Realising that she had forgotten how bright the room’s lights were, Bane was forced to start squinting to keep the overwhelming brightness to a minimum. Simon, noticing this reaction, quickly snatched up the tool best suited to the job, before turning away the spot lamp to allow her eyes to dilate properly. “Mmmm,” he said. “There’s some retina damage ...” “The doc on the I.A.V. said that too when I was brought on board. He said it would get better.” “But it hasn’t,” Simon answered for her. “Not seemed to so far. Is it – is it bad?” Simon stood up and put the instrument down. “It’s too early to say, but you need to be careful not to make it worse. When we get to Persephone I’ll try and get you some glasses.” “Glasses! I’m not having trouble seeing things, doc – it jus’ hurts when the light’s too bright.” “Relax, Bane. I meant some akin to sunglasses, except the tinting would be less thick.” He continued to examine her elsewhere while they talked. “Oh,” she said. “Well if you think it’s really necessary.” “I do.” She kept silent while he continued. Simon did not keep her long and Bane returned quickly and hopefully to the galley. Karl had gone though, and Mal and Zoe were drinking at the table. She hid her disappointment, moved behind the counter again and went back to cooking. “You doin’ dinner, Bane? Thought you’d want to let someone else do that?” enquired Zoe. “I wanted somethin’ other than protein for my first meal out of the joint.” “Don’t want to rush you or anythin’,” said Mal. “But when do you reckon you can get Monty’s order finished?” asked Mal. Bane smirked, nothing like putting her back to work straight away. “Havin’ that little holiday in jail an’ all, while we were chasin’ round the ‘Verse looking for that bounty hunter.” Bane could see he was teasing her. She thought about it while she opened a couple of cans, Monty had ordered ten crates of EMP grenades and six crates of putty. Additionally, four standard EMP shotguns and two customised ones. “Monty won’t mind if there’s a delay on the shotguns. I reckon I could get the rest done without killing myself in about two to three weeks or so.” Mal nodded approvingly. “That’s if Mal don’t have you runnin’ about pulling heists,” said Jayne, coming into the room. “Well I can’t promise nothin’,” retorted Mal defensively. “It’s just good to be back. I really thought my lawyer had me humped.” “He was swai,” said Kaylee, entering from the direction of the engine room. “What was it he said to you after the trial? You jerked away from him.” Zoe was curious. “Oh, that,” said Bane, bending down briefly to get a pan. “He said I was scum.” Bane noticed their expressions must have been similar to the one she had when Evensis had spoken to her. “Why’d he defend you then?” said Kaylee, hastily amending her opinion of him. Bane looked at Mal. “He was Sheydra’s father. Said it was a debt he owed you, Cap’n, for saving his daughter’s life.” All of them were shocked and when the others came in Bane told them all again. Mal was probably the most shocked, and reckoned he owed Inara an apology, if he could work around waving her again – it had not ended well last time. Bane thought it was funny that, as soon as the smell of cooking was in the air, people were drawn to the galley. She was making a simple dish, sweet and sour, with rice, but plenty of it. There was an extra one for dinner after all, he had come in quietly after all the others. “How did your lawyer find out your real name?” Bane shrugged, standing behind the counter cooking with everyone in front of her, it felt like she was performing on stage. “I really don’t know. But I think Major Wladek found out somehow an’ passed it on to him.” Everyone, but the Shepherd, missed the glance between Karl and Jayne, even though they had been trying not to look at each other. “I’m just glad that it came out at last. ‘Bout time you were recognised for your contribution,” said Mal. Bane dropped the pan, almost spilling the contents. She knew that she could trust them all, and the Shepherd had been standing right beside her when Wladek had told her. “What is it?” said Karl walking forward, concerned. “My mother and I were never enlisted. She ran all our jobs off her own back. She must have just picked the targets herself based on the information she was getting about the war. I never knew.” “Wladek made up the information?” asked Zoe, astonished. “He must have done. He told me that we hadn’t been on the lists before that last week of the trial. He wanted me to give him Intel on Dedham and in return I asked him to make sure I got a cell with a window. I didn’t expect my freedom.” “I don’t go trustin’ Purplebellies lightly, but I just might stand that one a drink if I see him,” said Mal generously. “Unless it’s U-Day,” added Zoe. “Unless it’s U-Day,” Mal repeated, laughing shortly. “He could just as easily have let you rot.” “I know,” said Bane, shuddering a little. ~ * ~ Mal and Zoe were in Badger’s familiarly decorated office. He was sporting his usual suit and tie without the shirt. In the years they had known him, he had not changed. “Mal, it’s bin too long, mate,” he said, pouring out some shots. Mal knew it had been a while, but had not realised it had been as long as last May when they had done the Beaumonde job. “Bin busy,” answered Mal. “I see,” said Badger, indicating the Cortex screen that was always on in the corner of the room. “You dint tell me you ‘ad a bomb expert on your payroll.” “Must’ve slipped my mind,” Mal countered evenly. “You got a job for us, or what?” “Ever bin to a planet called Deutschland?” “Can’t say I have, but came across a brigade of them during the war. Right difficult to communicate with – dint speak English or Chinese. That where the job is?” “Tis. Easy one. They’ve bin fillin’ up an order o’ mine. You collect an’ bring back ta me. Don’t get paid ‘til I ‘ave the goods.” “What’s the order?” asked Zoe. Badger looked them both in the eye. “Luxury goods. Stuff the rich folk of Persephone crave, ‘an I can make a packet on.” Mal stood up. “Have they already been paid?” he asked. Badger chuckled. “Gorram Deutschlanders charge a high price. They’ll wave me when you arrive to pick up the goods an’ I’m to transfer the money to an account they ‘ave ‘ere. Once they get confirmation of that, they’ll allow you to leave with the goods.” “Sounds simple enough,” said Mal. ~ * ~ “We can’t be gone from the ship long, Simon. Mal asked us to stay on board. I thought you’d got everythin’ you needed?” “I have, but I just wanted to take you out. Just the two of us. For a quick meal,” he added nervously. Kaylee linked with his arm. “Nothin’ too fancy then – I still have grease on my face from workin’ on the engine.” Simon smiled – just the way he like it. They reached the smartest diner in Eavesdown, which was probably only a few steps up from most of the food-poisoning joints in the area. He found a booth for them to sit in and Kaylee immediately started perusing the menu. It gave him the chance to compose himself. He was glad that most worlds did not follow the tradition buying an engagement ring as well as a wedding ring, otherwise he would be looking at some serious debt. He had not had the chance to get any ring yet. The waitress came to the table. “I’ll have the black bean stew,” said Kaylee decisively. Simon was not hungry, he was too nervous. “I’ll have the same,” he said and the waitress left. Kaylee leaned over the table and took his hands. “This is fun, isn’t it?” Simon would never tire of looking at Kaylee’s face, she found good in every situation and he could not imagine his life without her now. “I love you,” he said quietly. Kaylee blushed prettily, they had said it a thousand times to each other, but Simon rarely said it in public. She leaned further over and kissed him. Simon forgot appearances for once and responded. When they parted, he kept hold of her hands. “Kaylee, I know things have been a bit hectic on the ship lately.” “I know – isn’t it wonderful that Bane’s back?” “Yes, it is. But that’s not what I meant.” Kaylee was on another train of thought altogether. “I hope that she and Karl get together now. They seemed to be gettin’ real close at her brother’s wedding.” “Maybe we need to arrange another wedding to get them together,” he started. “Kaylee, I –“ he stopped, seeing her attention was on something else. “What is it?” “What’s River doing here?” she said. Simon let go of Kaylee’s hands and turned around to find River sitting in another booth across the diner, holding hands with the pilot from the Rosalyn. “Tah mah de!” said Simon, uncharacteristically swearing. Before Kaylee could stop him, Simon was walking over to their booth. River looked at Stan right before Simon reached their table. “Uh-oh.” “Uh-oh what? – Oh, Dr Tam – er, Simon. Um...” he trailed off nervously, letting go of River’s hands. “What are you doing here, River? You’re supposed to be on the ship.” River looked at him accusingly. “So are you.” She had him there. Stan kept glancing repeated at them both, unsure whether to get involved. “We both better get back then, before the Captain returns.” “Aw, Simon. Let them stay,” said Kaylee, catching up. “It’s really sweet. We’ll go back and cover for you, River.” River looked at her brother, torn between groaning in embarrassment at Kaylee’s words, and knowing that Simon had been about to ask her to marry him – he was really annoyed at being interrupted. And she was calculating the probability of surviving a jump out of the window, or possibly just kissing Stan in front of her brother. Stan did not know what to do, he still kept glancing between River and her brother like he expected something to kick off. Fortunately Kaylee pulled Simon away. ~ * ~ Mal and Zoe returned to Serenity at the same time as Karl and Jayne. He had asked them to take the Shepherd back to the Abbey, which had not proved any great task. It quickly became clear to them that no one else was onboard and Mal got angry. Karl and Jayne kept out of his way and, seeing as they were not going anywhere soon on account of both the mechanic and pilot being missing, they wandered over to the Rosalyn, docked in the berth next to them. They were doing a busy trade. “Jayne!” called out Maloranty Pye. They received similar shouts from the others. As honoured guests – considering they were almost family – they were given meals on the house. Anna Shoo Pye came over and hugged them warmly. She was presiding over the chaos while her husband and sister were visiting her mother. It had been a little over a month since the wedding and her belly seemed to have ballooned in size. “It’s good to see you both. We can’t thank you enough for what you did for Bane.” Jayne froze briefly and then realised she was talking about the bounty hunter, and not the fact that Jayne had given the Alliance her real name. “Like Bane, we’re just glad it’s all over,” answered Karl. The sat down at one of the many tables – although they both stood up again as Anna lowered herself onto a chair as well. Jayne could not keep his eyes off her belly. Anna smiled kindly at him. “Would you like to feel the baby kicking?” Jayne almost choked on his drink. She took his free hand anyway and pressed it to her belly. Jayne felt all kinds of movements against his fingers. His mouth opened in surprise. “It does that all the time. I reckon it’s gonna be a boy,” she said and gave him his hand back. “I don’t know,” said Jayne. “The girls in your family seem a mite feisty too.” Anna laughed with them. “You could be right there. Come to think of it, Jayne’s a nice name for either, don’t you think?” In response to Anna’s gentle teasing, Jayne Cobb probably blushed for the first time in his life. “Where are you off too next?” she asked. “Cap’n’s got us a job on Deutschland,” answered Karl, finishing the last mouthful of his food. Anna nodded. “Never been there myself, but this lot go there fairly regularly – not recently though.” “Are you staying on Persephone much longer?” “No, we only stayed to see Bane. We’re likely off to Haven next an’ somewhere else afterwards. We’ll be back here when the baby’s due – around the end of July, beginning of August time.” She patted her tummy affectionately before hoisting herself up again, and returned to supervise the Eatings. “There’s something really attractive ‘bout a woman what’s carryin’ a child,” said Jayne. Karl laughed. “You find any woman attractive, long as she dint look like a dog’s pi gu,” reasoned Karl. “Well, yeh – but I never – Hell, I don’t ruttin’ know. Just gave me a queer feelin’ when I felt that baby movin’ around.” “You ain’t gettin’ broody, are you?” Karl teased. Jayne did not answer but muttered something into his soup. “Hey there!” said Stan, coming over to them. “I’d get back to your ship if I were you. I jus’ brought River back from our date an’ your Captain look’d ready to bust some heads.” “You took River on a date?” said Karl. “Yeh – she dint tell me she was playin’ hooky. Cap’n’s right steamed up about it.” They both stood up and Jayne drank the rest of his soup straight from the bowl. “See you around the ‘Verse, Stan,” and they called out to the others before leaving the ship. ~ * ~ “We should reach Deutschland in six days, Cap’n,” said River. She was using her completely professional and competent voice on account of being in Mal’s bad graces. Unfortunately the same tone would not work with her brother, but at least she could escape him up in the cockpit. Down in the cargo bay, Jayne and Karl were partnered with Bane and Zoe for a small game of hoops. Simon was watching them from the railing with Kaylee. Kaylee put his bad mood down to sister troubles, although she could not understand it herself. River was an adult now and she deserved to live an adult life, just as much as anyone else. Kaylee laughed as she saw Bane fatally yawning and missing a pass from Jayne, who shouted at her, annoyed. Karl intercepted the loose ball and threw a perfect hoop from six feet away. Jayne took up the ball and passed it to Bane, who was ready this time. Almost. Karl bounced it out of her hands and lifted it out of her reach for another shot. Bane played dirty – as they all did in this game – and shoved him hard. Karl almost lost his balance, but managed to flick it to Zoe. She dodged Jayne and tried for a hoop. It bounced a few times on the ring and then went in. “That’ll teach you,” taunted Karl. Bane was trying to catch her breath, so she did not answer, but grinned guiltily instead. She walked over to collect the dropped ball so they could carry on. Jayne was being marked heavily by Karl and Zoe was blocking her view. “Throw it,” yelled Jayne impatiently. Bane bounced it through Zoe’s legs and hoped for the best. Zoe recovered quickly and chased after it. Jayne got there first and quickly passed it back to Bane who was standing under the hoop. She jumped and tried to tip it into the hoop, but missed. Karl leapt and caught it before it hit the ground, throwing another perfect hoop. Bane had enough and sat down on the floor where she was. “Time out,” she managed to say, before flopping onto her back. It was probably not a good idea to do all this exercise considering she had not slept properly since coming back on board. She was too afraid to sleep again since the nightmare. She was intelligently aware that eventually she would be too exhausted to stay awake, but at least she could put off the inevitable as long as possible. “Not like you to quit so early, Bane,” said Zoe standing over her. “I need to keep some energy to start the munitions work. I haven’t even started stripping yet.” “Strip for us right now, if you want,” suggested Karl gleefully. They all laughed, including Bane. She was tempted to go for a much needed shower, but realised that she would just be covering herself in grease anyway. “I’ll help you with the stripping, Bane,” shouted Kaylee from above, grinning wickedly. “Hell, yeh,” imagined Jayne. Kaylee giggled. “Get us some water then, Kaylee, and I’ll get the tools,” said Bane, trying to be serious, but failing miserably when she saw that even Zoe was suppressing a smile. Zoe got up, announced she was going for a shower and Karl and Jayne moved over to the gym area. Kaylee chatted happily with Bane while they commenced the mammoth task of stripping all the machine parts down to their bare bones. They then had to be cleaned free of oil, and prints, in order for them to be ready to be made into EMP grenades. They did not spread out too much, aware that if they were boarded it would be needed to be packed away quickly. “You keep yawning like that, you’re gonna start me off,” observed Kaylee. Bane itched her cheek, leaving a dark greasy mark behind. “What’s all this I hear about River going on a date with Stan Togashi?” she answered, changing the subject. Kaylee gleefully launched into how she and Simon had come across them in the diner. “Simon took you out? Was it a special occasion?” Until then, it had not occurred to Kaylee that there had been anything special about it. “Wuo de ma! I hope it wasn’t our anniversary or anything.” She did some quick calculating in her head and then sighed with relief. “No, it isn’t.” “How long you bin seein’ each other now?” Bane asked. “Nigh on two years.” “He ain’t proposed or nothin’?” “Well, no. I never thought I was the marryin’ kind til I met Simon – just wanted to have fun.” “So you ain’t averse to it?” “Hell, no. But I’m not sure what difference it’ll make.” “Probl’y very little, but it’s the commitment that counts,” explained Bane. Kaylee looked at her intently. “You ever find time for gettin’ hitched in between blowing things up?” Bane laughed, but answered carefully. “Was engaged three years ago.” Kaylee’s eyes widened. “What happened?” “He took one look at the scars on my back an’ said I was used goods.” Kaylee was horrified, but Bane had assumed that Simon had told her, since that was the only person on board Serenity who had known. “You mean you two dint have sex before you got married?” Kaylee found that thought completely alien to all her values. “’Course we did,” Bane explained quietly. “I jus’ made sure it was always dark. Trying to hide it was the wrong thing to do, I guess. Since then I’ve not cared to go through that with anyone else.” “You ain’t had sex in three years!” exclaimed Kaylee. Bane’s mouth opened in mortified dismay. She whipped her head around to where Karl and Jayne were lifting weights. She could have believed they had not heard Kaylee’s vocal exclamation, since Karl was innocently concentrating on supporting Jayne’s weights. Jayne, however, had lifted his head up from the bench and was staring at her in astonishment. Kaylee realised she had spoken a bit loudly. “Sorry,” she said, a lot more quietly. Bane bent her head and became engrossed in the task at hand, cheeks flaming red each time she thought about what had just been said very loudly. Kaylee kept saying sorry repeatedly until she could not take the awkward silence anymore. She made an excuse about it being her turn to make dinner and left to clean up. Bane was hideously embarrassed, but that was one of the problems of being on a ship in space; there was nowhere to hide. Karl and Jayne had hit the showers after their gym session. Karl was the first one to speak. “Thought you’d be the first one to make a comment in there.” Jayne shrugged. “Guess nothin’ came to mind. Reckon it’s true?” “Doesn’t really matter if it is. We all had different lives and issues before coming to Serenity. ‘Sides she was on a ship full of close relatives for most of that time. Don’t ‘spect there was much opportunity for sexin’ it up.” “Explains a lot, though,” mused Jayne. “What do you mean?” retorted Karl. Jayne checked the wind before answering Karl. “You remember that speechifyin’ I did with Bane – before you told me to keep my nose out.” “Yes,” Karl said, carefully. He remembered how Jayne had called Bane a whore very well. Jayne tried to recall his exact words. “I suggested that it must have been maybe two or three years since she had bedded a man. Said it musta bin easy to play to a mark when she couldn’t remember what it was like to be on the receivin’ end. By the look on her face at the time I knew I’d hit the spot.” “Surprised she dint knock you flat.” Karl was not angry at Jayne, as they had already had that ‘stop interfering’ conversation. “That’s just it – I expected her to fight back and she dint. She just walked away.” Karl finished towelling himself dry. “Guess neither of us can expect to understand women, least of all someone like Bane.” “Guess not,” agreed Jayne. “She might feel better after a hand at cards though.” Karl laughed, incredulous at Jayne’s simplistic solution. But then could not think of anything better, the three of them had always talked many things out over cards in the past. “I’ll get the cards, you get the chips.” ~ * ~ “Can’t pretend you dint hear, cuz I know you did,” she said as the first hand was dealt. The two of them had returned to the cargo bay, setting up the card table near where Bane and Kaylee had laid out parts a little while ago. In fact, the chips were being wagered on top of one of the closed crates. Bane had washed her hands, but the oil and grease still caked the rest of her. “We ain’t pretendin’, we’re just waitin’ for you to tell us,” said Jayne, placing his first bet. “What if I don’t want to tell you?” “Then don’t,” said Karl easily. Bane placed her bet and looked up at them both. They were right, she did not have to tell them. But despite her growing feelings for Karl, both of them were her friends and, apart from family, she had precious few of those in her life. “A couple of years after I was rescued from Niska, I met someone on Whittier. Looking back at it now, I reckon I was looking for an excuse to hide away from the ‘Verse. He was a good man and we got on well. Kinda had a whirlwind romance an’ when he asked me to get hitch’d I dint hesitate. I dint tell him about my scars, or how I’d come by them. The night before the wedding he saw them and went fong luh.” Bane showed her cards with Karl as Jayne had called them. Karl won the hand. Bane collected them up, shuffled and dealt. She viewed her cards again before speaking. “Said he dint want another man’s trash.” “So you swore off men altogether?” asked Jayne. Bane glanced upwards at Karl from the cards in his hands. She only got up as far as his moustache before she looked down again. “No,” she answered. “I jus’ dint go lookin’ anymore. It was just easier that way.” After she spoke she braved a look at Karl. She was greeted with a warm smile and a little bit of her tension was released. “Hell, I couldn’t go that long without a woman – my pecker’d drop off.” Bane giggled. Leave it Jayne to bring the mood up again. Buddha bless him, she said silently. “Did anythin’ drop off while you were in the joint, Karl?” Bane asked cheekily. Karl chuckled. “Not so’s I noticed. Last girl I was with dint complain.” “They always ask fer more with ol’ Jayne,” Jayne said confidently. And the conversation grew cruder as they continued to play cards. Bane’s sides hurt with laughter as the two of them played each other off – each coming up with a better prowess story. She had really missed them. By the end of the next day, Bane was souped up on so much caffeine that she was driving everyone crazy. As her captain, Mal had tried to order her to sleep, but even he could not force her, short of tying her to her bed. She sat in the cargo bay stripping parts, her head drooping every couple of minutes. Then she would try and go do something else which would last all of ten minutes, until she started nodding off again. Mal refused to let her do any piloting until she behaved like a sensible woman and got some sleep. Even Zoe had tried talking to her, forcefully. On the fourth day, Karl had hit on Jayne getting out his guitar and them singing the same song they had at the Pye wedding, which had sent her to sleep. Neither of them could remember which one it was. It did not end up mattering though, for within five minutes of Jayne strumming the first cord, her head hit the table with a thump ... halfway through her dinner. Karl carried her over to the seating area and Kaylee covered her with a blanket from her bed. And they just left her, still covered in grease and oil, as it would have been too awkward to try and carry down to her bunk without her waking up. She was still asleep when they came within range of Deutschland, a little ahead of schedule. Mal had just arrived in the cockpit as the com started beeping. River flipped it so they could listen. “Willkommen nach Deutschland. Kennzeichnen sie sich bitte. Andernfalls werden sie festgehalten.” It was a recorded message. Mal looked to River for a translation, but she just shrugged. “Never studied German.” “Some genius you are,” Mal retorted. “Guess we’ll have to sort it out when we get there.” Serenity landed smoothly and, leaving Bane to her sleep, they all walked down the ramp. Guns cocked and the crew found themselves surrounded and outgunned before they could even think about drawing theirs. “Sie sind unter anhalten,” said one of them, and the crew raised their hands very slowly. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Author’s Note: Translations at the end of Part 2.

COMMENTS

Monday, May 28, 2007 9:25 PM

HERMITSREST


Please please post your thoughts as (good or bad) it inspires me to keep writing.
For a quick synopsis of crew members Bane Pye and Karl Jacobsson, see my log.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 4:05 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Absolutely positively fabulous work here, hermitsrest! Definitely a brilliant - and hilarious! - cliffie to end on:D

Forgot to mention this in my message back to you when I sent you the beta'd story, but I find it kinda surprising River doesn't already know German. She picks it up rapidly, but I have always gotten the impression River knows or is familiar with pretty much every language where a fragrment or text still exists. Guess it's the whole "child prodigy with an immeasurable IQ" character trait;)

BEB

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 8:57 PM

HERMITSREST


Thanks for the comments, BEB. It did cross my mind about River knowing German but I felt that a) it's important not to have River as omnipotent and all-knowing, and b) the Deutschlanders are an enclosed society and fought against the Alliance, therefore the Alliance has no interest in a language other than Chinese or English. That was my brief reasoning, anyway.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 6:32 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


And it's perfectly reasonable logic, hermitsrest;)


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