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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
LAST CHAPTER: Pre-BDM, still pulling less than legal jobs, Mal adds an old friend as a new crewmember while someone else stows away. Someone River knows. Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee, Zoe/Wash
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 981 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Well I lied last time, there was only one more chapter. But, it's a Big Damn Chapter.
This is your last shot for comments on this fic. Come on ya'll tell me what was good and what needs to be improved! :)
Special thanks to everyone reading and everyone commenting as well....
Mal, was feeling mighty happy.
His whole crew was happy though after a job well done as they were nearing Haven that very morning. It had been a long week of travel with the horse and watching to make sure there was no Alliance news about the missing feds, however they were going to get paid, and he was going to spring the surprise about the extra cash they had acquired on the same day to boot. Even without knowing about the million he was going to split ten different ways, his crew was in a very good mood. Wash and Zoe were rather amorous, Jayne was a very happy mercenary who pumped iron by day and got drunk by night, Book was spending time with everyone while prepping to leave, Inara seemed content in her shuttle, and then there was the group he affectionately called ‘the Pups’ because they weren’t even in their thirties yet. It consisted of River, Kaylee, Simon, Ru and John. The five were getting to be good friends as River seemed to have a knack to bring them together.
“I win.” youngest of the group beamed as she took all of her winnings from Tall Card, and everyone else in their little group frowned for the third time that morning. It was early in the day the sun was rising as they neared their destination, and everyone was either sipping the strong coffee or some berry flavored tea. No one eating breakfast as they were supposed to touch down on Haven where the food would be better than the protein on board.
“Should we really be playin’ with a reader?” Ru grumbled, tossing her cards on the middle.
Kaylee playfully arched a brow at River. “Yeah, cause I think that’s cheatin. Right?”
Simon thrummed his fingers on the tabletop and glanced over to John, who he got along well with regardless of the fact that the blonde could be the silent type, but still hadn’t gathered up the courage to talk about the Academy with. Not since his attempt in the infirmary failed. “I know I’m tired of taking out the trash.” He smirked at his sister. “Annd, I think I know you can be enough of a brat to read our minds for the cards.”
“You reading what I’m thinking?” John asked her. He was still being called John as the hunt for a better name had been rather fruitless. Several had been attempted, but none captured him, so the blonde was still going by what was on the warrants.
River frowned at all of them. “I do not search your grey matter neural processors for the answers.” Looking to John she gave him a serious look “No.”
“You win every time.” Simon pointed out. “How do you…”
“Yun-qi wu pe-gu." John growled skeptically.
River stuck her tongue out at them.
Kaylee stuck her tongue out back.
“Nugghhhf.” She made a funny, yet obviously hostile noise towards them.
“Well Nugghhfff back to you.” The mechanic scowled playfully.
“Said it wrong.” River told her as she got up and left the table with much grace, glacing at her friends. “Make the dishes clean.” At the same moment she and Kaylee stuck their tongues out at one another.
Simon snickered, as did the other three. “Kaylee…”
“What?” she asked with a less than innocent giggle.
“Well ain’t you four jus’ the picture of maturity.” Malcolm teased them as he finally came into the kitchen. “Ya know what’s comical is the fact that she ain’t got chores to start off with, but in the end ya’ll end up with more.”
“She’s a cheater.” Ru grumbled.
“The human body can be broken easily in half give the right pressure and momentum.” River announced as she was ghosting towards the bridge. “Am not.”
They all gave her an odd look, yet stopped and shrugged it off as it was River.
“Well, ya’ll need to straighten up, git ready to leave the ship as we’ll be touchin’ dirt in an hour and I have somethin’ to tell the crew before that.” He told them all. “So, go.”
Ru was wearing what she always wore to Haven.
However she moaned as her back was against the wall of her bunkroom, and John was kissing her passionately. She had no idea how they had come to pass, however she was thankful as her hands were tangled in his mane and her skin was prickling. Ru, pulled back and gulped for air, eyes cloudy as they figured out how to focus again as the blonde’s kiss had turned her into putty. He began fiddling with her suspenders to get her undressed, and she raked her hands through his hair again and waited for what was coming to her. There was absolutely nothing romantic between them, it was just relieving one another’s tension. There was no love, just the sex.
The fact that they were keeping it all hidden, made it feel forbidden, and so much more sensuous.
Simon was antsy.
He checked and made sure he had enough credits before looking himself over once more, fiddling with the cuffs of his sweater, which he recalled was his date’s favorite. Inara was going to watch his little sister for a spell, so he could take Kaylee out for breakfast. It was their first official date, and he was all sorts of nervous, praying to a God that he rarely acknowledged to help him refrain from insulting Kaylee.
Kaylee was more excited than nervous.
She was indeed nervous, the butterflies in her stomach were fluttering at full force as she stood in her room, towel drying herself off from a quick bath to get the engine grease off of herself. However, she was more or less giddy towards the fact that she and Simon were finally sweeties, and they were going to go out on a date. Going over to her trunk of clothes, she frowned at the lack of casual dating selection. There was mainly coveralls, and shirts to go under coveralls. The only dress she had was the brightly colored old one she had brought from home, and it was ancient, obviously out of style, plus she had worn it on their alien/cow disaster of an outing. Pursing her lips, she told herself that she was going to have to get a new sundress as she pulled it out and slipped it on, tying the back, slipping on some flats and then brushing her hair out. Adding a necklace her ma had given her for her birthday, she dabbed on a touch of makeup, spritzed herself with some perfume Inara was letting her use that made her smell like blackberries and vanilla, slipped on a fitted denim jacket that had a bluebird patch sewn on it, and then looked herself over in her mirror.
She hoped nothing happened to Serenity and she ended up having to fix something.
Serenity landed with a slight jostle of her landing gear.
Mal came into the kitchen to see everyone seated ‘round the table with the exception of Wash who came in and sunk into a seat. He smirked at his crew and circled them slowly, holding a burlap sack that they had no clue what was inside. Without any explanation, he reached in, took a stack of pre-counted money out and set it in front of Wash and Zoe. “That’s your cut.” Glancing over to watch them gape he took another stack out and set it in front of Jayne, then one for Ru, and suddenly the room erupted with questions.
“Sir where’d you get this?” Zoe asked.
“Yeah, I thought we were broke?” He husband quipped.
Ru smiled a knowing smile while tucking her's in her jacket. “Thanks.”
“Mal?” Inara was just as puzzled as everyone as she was near Kaylee who was slack jawed by the sum she had in front of her.
“Hell what’s the difference, it’s money.” Jayne rumbled greedily, licking his thumb he flipped through his stack and went through the amount, doing some rough math to figure out how much booze and pleasurable company he could buy after sending some home to his family.
“I think there’s some explaining that needs to be done.” Book said warily.
“Picked ourselves up a bit of a side job.” Malcolm explained as he gave John, who had yet to be renamed, a smaller stack of cash. “When Ru was in the cortex at the bank, she found out there were two boxes, five-hundred thousand each, unmarked credits.”
“Cai bu shi.” Zoe muttered.
“Ain’t that….” Jayne stopped and tried to add the numbers.
“That’s a million, Jayne.” Wash helped him dryly.
“Hot damn, we’re rich!” The merc grinned.
“Just givin’ everyone their fair share.” He handed Simon a small cut as well, stunning the doctor that the generosity extended to him. “And you’re right, we got ourselves a tidy sum. Which is why we’re takin’ leave as soon as this job is over. Gonna settle on a nice rim planet, lay low, enjoy ourselves, get the ship in repair, maybe even have ourselves a shindig. Any questions?”
“Serenity gonna get some decent parts?” The mechanic probed hopefully.
“That’s what I reckon.”
Kaylee jumped up and hugged him fiercely, letting out a happy squeal with her face against his shirt.
Malcolm looked down at the mechanic attached to him and patted her back. “Only she’s allowed ta do this.”
Zoe got up and grabbed Wash by the sleeve of his Hawaiian shirt, giving a rather feline smile. “May we skip this trip to deliver the goods and celebrate in our bunk. Sir?”
Wash gave a ‘pretty please’ look.
Malcolm waved them off. “Go on.”
As soon as they all left the ship, River was in love with Haven.
She let out a shriek and raced out into the tall grass as it was spring where they had landed, dancing in a sea of purple, white and yellow flowers. Her head tilted back towards the heavens and she grinned widely as the cool morning wind hit her face and the dew stuck to her dress.
It made Simon smile. She was doing so much better. He didn’t think it was the medication though, it had to be everyone around her as John barrled over to her, picked her up and tossed her in the air like a doll before catching her and squeezing Simon’s little sister in a tight bear hug. She squealed the entire time he did that, happily, and then ran away from him to hide in the grass that went up to her waist. The two victims of the academy seemed to have formed a bond within the week, something that was helping both of them relax a bit as River was the only person that seemed to be able to bring out the playful in John, and now Simon was realizing just how much of a big brother the blonde was turning into as he watched her. Crouching in the grass, she popped her head up a few times like a prairie dog, giggling all the while as she prowled through the greenery and played a game of chase with John. He faked being unable to find her, and she immediately jumped up behind him, swatted him on the back and declared a ‘found you!’ before racing off. She was absolutely giddy as Haven had nothing but good things to bring her mind. Everything was bright, warm and pretty as she jumped through the grass like a dancer, having a grand time as she felt free.
“Well ain’t she just the happiest critter in the ‘verse.” Kaylee smiled as she sidled up to Simon.
The doctor gave her a smile and laced his hand with hers. “You look swai.” He announced with some nervousness. Simon was terrified of saying the wrong thing, he knew he had the propensity to just screw up whatever moment they were in. Because, as River often said, he was a boob.
Kaylee giggled and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He was getting better at it, but he was so nervous. “Relax, you’re doin’ great.” Squeezing his hand she gave him some reassurance as they moseyed out with everyone.
“Ready for breakfast?”
River sped towards them, then slowed down to a bouncy skip. “Found you!” She tagged Kaylee and bolted back into her grass field in a trail of giggles.
Simon glanced to his official girlfriend and saw the look in her expressive eyes. He let go of her hand and gave her a nudge with a smile, and watched as she raced off to go tag River, who shrieked with glee that her buddy was going to play. Sighing, he smiled wider and watched the two play, adding the fact that Kaylee loved River to his growing list of why she was absolutely perfect.
“You look happy.”
John’s voice made him look to the side. The new crewmember had been borrowing clothes from anyone who had things to fit him until he was able to buy some garments. So, he was in a pair of Jayne’s pants and one of Simon’s one sweaters. They walked at the same pace, looking like ying and yang as Simon’s sweater was a light grey blue and John’s was a dark navy. “Do you think you could tell me about the Academy now?” Simon.
The aqua eyes searched his gaze for awhile. “I don’t think you’re ready for a lot of what I have to say. You might need to be sitting down.” He said huskily. “But, I can tell you two things right now.” Stopping he stood there, out in the middle of the dust runway as Kaylee chased River, Ru went over to watch them, Inara waited for River, and Mal, Jayne and Book had yet to emerge. He saw how Simon leaned in, ready to hear any type of information as he wet his lips and began. “First off, the reason why River was screaming on Liann Jiun is because the Academy does most of their conditioning and surgical procedures there. It’s raw planet, they can condition us to survive in the most hostile environments before moving us to a different facility for more psychological manipulation and behavioral modification. All of the environmental things they tout there with endangered species, it’s just a cover up.”
Simon’s mouth dropped open. “They held her there?! Why didn’t you tell me before?!”
“I didn’t tell you, because you weren’t ready.” He explained simply. “Your reaction would have been worse if I had told you while we were there. You would have gone off, searching for answers, and you would have gotten yourself killed because I wouldn’t have been able to back you up. And you’re no use to anyone dead.”
The doctor looked frustrated, yet understood as he heard his sister’s laughter of delight as she pranced around proudly because Kaylee had made her a daisy chain crown and Ru had given her a stem of lavender and they were calling her the queen of the flowers.
“You want to figure this out, and I want to help because you need a partner in this, and what I know is limited.” John continued, he held his hand out to make the deal that they were partners in it.
Simon gazed down, mulled it over, and then shook his hand. “What’s the second thing you can tell me?”
“The Academy’s real name is called the Spartan Project.”
Opening his mouth to say something, Simon as interrupted as River ran into him.
She laughed, her crown of daisies tilted to the side of her head. “Found you!”
“JOHN!” Malcolm called out from the cargo bay. “You wanna git some clothes ‘fore we do this, best you run off now ‘n come back in an hour.”
John nodded his head and walked off towards town, thinking about his name and lack of new one.
Ru and Malcolm took Book in the shuttle to his new town.
“You didn’t have to do this.” Book said as he carried his luggage into the small pastoral apartment attached to the church.
“Yes we did, gotta send you off all proper.” Mal huffed as he carried the last crate in.
“Yep, that and I wanted that copy of your sermon notes, so I can follow along on Sundays.” Ru told him kindly.
“Of course.” The Shepard rifled through a box and handed her the copy. “Wish I could stay longer and have some more discussions with you…”
“You gotta flock that needs tendin’ here.” She replied, folding the papers and carefully tucking them into a her breast pocket. Stepping in she gave him a hug. “Take care of yourself.”
“You too.” He let go with a kind smile and looked to Mal as Ru went to go warm up the shuttle.
“Well, looks to be farewell.” Malcolm sighed, digging into his pocket he took out a roll of bills and pressed them into the preacher’s hand.
“Somethin’ for your help on my boat, all you’ve done I figgur amounts to somethin’. Can use it for your church, new bibles… or whatever.” He said uncomfortably.
Book smiled. “If I didn’t know any better I’d say you’re tithing. Giving back to the Lord.”
“But you know better.” The captain responded. Pausing, he shook the preacher’s hand. “I’ll be missin’ ya on my boat.”
“I’ll miss you too, Son.”
They were seated at a diner.
It wasn’t very fancy, but they had menus, questionable silverware, and Kaylee’s smile was bright so that was all that mattered. The pair had stopped off a money transfer shop, where Kaylee wired most of her earnings back home, then ambled to the diner. While they walked, the mechanic spotted some sundresses in a store window, and made a comment that she would like a new one, but her family needed her wages because it had been a rough farming year. Simon naturally tucked that bit of information into the back of his head before they sat down at a creaky table for two and were served some decent coffee. His eyes were currently skimming the basic menu while he told himself to quit focusing on John’s information as the waitress came up.
“What can I getcha?” She drawled out.
“Can I have the flapjacks? Tall stack?” Kaylee ordered in an almost questioning tone. “Extra bit of bitter n’ syrup on the side.”
"Sure thing Darlin'"
Simon’s blue eyes skimmed up from his menu, slightly astonished at the fact that a girl, on a date, was actually ordering food.
“What about you Hun?” The waitress asked.
“Um… I guess I’ll have what she’s having.” He announced, handing the menu back, watching her leave he looked back and looked at Kaylee with the same expression.
“Oh… nothing.” He toyed with his paper napkin.
Kaylee smiled the type of smile to pry information. “Simon…”
“It’s just, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a girl to breakfast and she’s ever actually ordered food.” He said rather abashedly.
The mechanic made a face. “Don’t them core girls eat?”
“Occasionally I suppose, more into their figure….” He stopped and saw the sudden look of worry and slight hurt he was getting, naturally, his mouth fell open and he froze up. “Not that there’s anything wrong with your figure…” Simon blurted, wincing to his own words. “You’re… you’re perfect… I like you the way you are…. I don’t care for the really thin… I mean I’m not saying your….” Simon finally stopped, looking like he was ready for her to storm out. His shoulders dropped and he let out a deep breath, swearing under it to himself as his mouth turned down into a loose, defeated frown. “I’m so sorry… It’s uh…" He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck as his face was bright red with embarrasment "it’s nice to take someone out and actually have them eat with you.” He wondered how come it had taken him so long to just say that. Why couldn’t he have just skipped all of the other ill fated attempts and just gone with the last one? Now he was knee deep in stuttered out phrases that could be taken as insults.
Kaylee reached over and put her hand atop of hers. “I’ll let it slide, just quit bein’ stiff.”
He looked up at her face, saw one very cute smile and nodded his head slowly, feeling her smaller hand squeeze the top of his. “So um… let’s talk about something else.”
She smiled warmly, hoping it would give the poor doctor some confidence. “Like what?”
“Tell me all about you, where you grew up, your family… how you got to be such a genius mechanic…”
“Well you are.”
It was his turn to squeeze her hand.
Mal, Jayne and Ru all looked at John with some wonder.
He was walking back to the ship in his new clothes, which, were why they were studying him ever so curiously. Buckskin pants, leather belt, enormous knife strapped to his thigh along with something else strapped to the other thigh, a white button down shirt with a more oriental cut collar that he had ripped the sleeves off of and left the first few buttons unbuttoned, his hair in a ponytail, and to top it off he had a quiver of arrows on his back. As they looked further down, he had no shoes as he lugged a sack of things he had picked up over to the ship.
He stopped and narrowed his eyes at their judgment.
“Nice uh… outfit.” Malcolm stumbled as he thought that his new crew member looked like some injun from those stories the ranch hands told him when he was a boy.
“Why’d you buy some stupid bow ‘n arrow?” Jayne scoffed.
John walked past them. “Because I can shoot you with it faster than you can shoot me with that stupid gun.”
“That’s a pretty good reason.” Ru quipped.
They all waited a minute until he came back to walk towards the homestead of the man they had taken the job from. Jayne walked the horse with his big strides and his loose hand on his belt like to look tough, John walked to the side of him with a certain noble carriage that also hinted a hunter as his eyes constantly checked the surroundings, and Mal and Ru walked side by side in front.
“So are we to expect anythin' shady from this fella?” Ru probed as they came to the massive log gate that opened up to a long road which led to a huge state of the art ranch house and barn.
“Nah, Silas here runs mosta Haven, but he’s a decent man.” Mal nodded to the gatekeeper as they were let in. “One of those rare types that ain’t corrupted ‘n all, wants what’s best for the people, makes sure everyone’s got what the need and likes ta give back. He just gets a might techy apparently when someone steals one of his favorite horses.”
“Sounds like an honorable guy.”
“If there were more men like him, we’d have a better ‘verse.” They stopped in front of the ranch house, where the man called Silas came out. He appeared to be a well dressed cowboy, solid built body with a large brown moustache that pulled up as he grinned.
“Apache!” He went over to the horse and took the halter, patting the white muscled neck. “Did they treat you well boy?”
“Kept ‘im well fed. Hay, carrots and I reckon our women folk snuck him a few apples.” Malcolm explained.
“He looks healthy.” Sila turned to Mal and gave him a firm handshake as a stable hand went and took the equine. “Thank you for bringin’ my champion back.” After that he reached into his pocket and pulled out a rather decent sized leather pouch, handing it to the captain. “You and your crew are welcome ta come inside ‘n have breakfast. I have a bit of a transport job for ya we can speak about. It’s a few months down the road, but I reckon I could git ya booked fer it.”
“Well that sounds likea fine offer Silas.” Mal smiled as he saw a future in pulling jobs for the man. Which was a good thing, it meant when they were in a bind they could at least scratch some coin from his jobs.
“Come on in, my cook always makes plenty since all of our ranch hands break bread with us.” He waved them in and looked at the two new crewmembers. “I reckon I don’t know these two, Malcolm.”
Mal nodded his head. “They’re new, this here’s Ru,” He put his hand on her shoulder. “And that big blonde fella’s name is…” Mal paused as he was still working on a name for the new crewmember.
“Gambit.” The blonde announced ashe was tired of everyone else trying to name him, therefore he had some up with his own. “My name is Gambit.”
After a hearty breakfast the crew returned back to Serenity, where Gambit and Ru dispersed and ended up gathering with River, Simon and Kaylee to enjoy the blue skies and dirt beneath their feet. After stowing the coin in a safe place, Malcolm went back out to see saw the younger five all hanging off of the fence posts that kept some wild horses in a large holding pasture, and Malcolm smirked at the sight of River perched up on the first rung of the fence with a crown of flowers on her head. Listening to them talk, he sidled up to Inara who he found just outside of the ship and let out a deep breath.
“Ain’t that somethin’?” He told her, hearing Kaylee talk about the ‘stangs’ in the pasture in front of them and hearing Ru tell everyone she was going to name her next ship ‘stang’ on account of how nice it rolled off the tongue and what it represented. “They’re all gettin’ to be as thick as… well thieves.”
“They do seem to get along.” Inara’s voice sounded defeated as she watched them all in her expensive silk gown. Her lovely mouth as pulled down in a relaxed frown as the feeling of being replaced was heavy on her bones. It was getting more and more obvious every day. As Kaylee spent less and less time with her.
“Even ‘lil River, laughin’ and havin’ a good time. I like that, girl’s been so broken since she got on board, don’t seem she gets ta have much fun ya know? And Gambit… all quiet and ominous them first couple of days, now he’s havin’ a decent time too.”
She arched a brow “Is Captain Reynolds being sentimental?”
His face sobered as his voice went from light to solemn. “I never said any of what you just heard.”
Rolling her eyes the companion let out a deep breath. “Too much emotion to show the world?”
“Can’t let anyone think I’m soft. Gotta ship ta run.” Shifting his weight from one foot to the next, he watched Simon’s arm wrap around Kaylee’s waist, and in turn his little mechanic rested her head on his shoulder.
“I’ve noticed you’ve been a bit more civil towards Simon.” She acknowledged.
“Yeah, well I figure he’s courtin’ Kaylee now… she thinks the ‘verse of him so I’ll try ta be nice.” Sounding uncomfortable.
“Yeah.” He exhaled. “But if he breaks her heart, I get ta break him, piece by piece.” Mal smirked at Inara as his voice sounded like a protective older brother. “Just don’t tell anyone that.”
“Oh no, heaven forbid anyone see the captain has a softer spot.” She toned sarcastically.
“Damn straight.” He cupped his hands over the sides of his mouth and barked at the group. “HEY! Whatrya doing moseying about! Git on the ship!”
They all turned around, confused.
“GIT ON THE SHIP!”
Inara rolled her eyes again to his macho tactics.
“Kaylee I ain’t payin ya to talk about horses!” He told her, watching her pick up the pace to a jog as he singled everyone out. “Doc you best git your sister in my boat and quit lollygagging! Ru git to the helm and run my ship since Wash is preoccupied! Gambit!”
Gambit gave Malcolm a look that could make a bear pee his fur.
“You jus… be nice…” He muttered softly as the facial expression was rattling. “I want Serenity ready to fly as soon as I’m on!” He told the girls, hearing a few ‘yes sirs’. Soon they were all on the firefly, and he smirked at the companion. “See? Got the pups on the ship, that’s respect right there.”
“That’s bossing people around.” She countered.
“That’s a captain’s job and I take it seriously.”
“Mal!” Wash hollered as he looked down from the top deck in his coveralls. “Wave’s come in for you.”
Malcolm shut the doors and furrowed his brows as he wasn’t expecting a wave. “Who?”
-TO BE CONTINUED-
*Yun-qi wu pe-gu.: Luck my ass
*Cai bu shi: No way
*Gambit: a calculated move
Tuesday, June 05, 2007 5:58 PM
Tuesday, June 05, 2007 7:32 PM
Wednesday, June 06, 2007 9:11 AM
Saturday, October 08, 2011 7:59 PM
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