A Lost Art - Part 6
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Post-BDM; A letter or two (or five) were sent out from Serenity's crew and suddenly, they seem to find themselves in danger. It's all Joss's characters and 'verse, i'm just borrowing it for a spell... The letters are starting to take on a different sort I hope it's still acceptable... As always, comments are so extremely welcome!!!


"What are you doing?" he asked, startling his wife. She crumpled the page in her hand as she looked up to meet his eyes. "Nothing," she smiled forcefully. "Sophia wrote. She feels that at her age, writing is easier than getting out and visiting. You know how she can go on and on..." He pried the paper from her hand as she spoke. He was not the man she had married so long ago, she reminded herself. After that dreadful scandal and its aftermath...after he had lost his standing among his peers, he had hardened against her. He blamed her. As if she had allowed it to happen! "Sophia?" he questioned, catching her in her lie. "Then why does it say--" "What does it matter now?" she pleaded. "Let them be...they're all but forgotten by everyone but you!" "As am I," he snapped. He read the letter again. "But this...this could bring us back! Don't you see? This baby could be our chance at the life we knew then! We can go back! Don't you want the parties and the dinners? People respected us!" "People were scared of us," she insisted. "They knew that if we wanted their lives, they could be the next to disappear!" "Fear is respect," he argued. "It keeps those weaker than us in line." "Don't you understand?" she tried. "We were next! That child is not a way out of a life, it is a lock on our prison door! Let them be, I beg you." "I've done enough begging," he decided, folding the letter and placing it into his pocket. "You should feel the same way by now." "I have made restitutions for my actions," she admitted. "This news was proof of that. This punishment, this exile...I would continue living here if I could look forward to more letters from her." "Take another pill, Regan," Gabriel sighed, turning on his heel. "You're so much more enjoyable company when you aren't playing the victim." Regan watched him go, her heart twisting as she realized she hadn't copied the contact information from the letter. She could only hope the executives would not see the child - her grandchild! - as her own husband did. She looked forlornly at the pill bottle that had become her only companion in recent years... She threw it furiously at the wall, and collapsed against the arm of the chair, wishing she could have seen what she would lose when she had allowed Gabriel to sign her children away...they hadn't been real to her. Only now could she see the consequences of the contract...and how desperately alone she felt. She wished she had known about Simon's infiltration of the "Academy." She wished she had known so that she could have helped him. She wished she had wanted to be a mother, not a vessel so focused on social standing and the life of satins and silks that she would ignore her own basic needs to watch her children grow into healthy and happy individuals... Now they hated her, too. River's writing confirmed it. Simon wanted nothing to do with her or he would have written his own letter, she was sure. They hated her...just as Gabriel despised her and her former friends distanced themselves from her...she was so...alone... Where were those pills? They made all this seem so far a dream she could turn off... She crawled to the place where the bottle had fallen. Just one little pill...better make it two, just to be sure... She could put them away forever...just not now...not yet...tomorrow, maybe... *** "They want my son?" Simon asked, his frustration pushed beyond its limit. "Why?" "I ain't interested in the why's exactly," Mal stated. "Only in the not letting it happen. Preferably, without losing any of my crew." They were assembled in the dining room; every one of them reminded of past meetings regarding the safety of the Tams. "How did they even find us?" Kaylee asked finally. "If my father still has his connections," Simon answered. "Then all it took was that letter..." "Your father would hand you over like that?" Kaylee's voice showed her shock. She blinked away the fury and reached for the child sitting in Zoë's arms. She needed to feel his weight on her lap, physcially reminding her of his present safety. "Tell me you ain't gonna keep that fatherly image in mind when raising Hobie." "I hadn't planned on it," Simon replied, hurt. "Trouble is," Mal went on, bringing the attention away from marriage concerns. "We need to dock and fuel. Supplies are runnin' low and, in case anyone missed it, we ain't exactly up to fending off more would-be kidnappers." He fidgeted within the confines of the sling as he said it and did not miss the fact that Jayne's hand moved to his own still-bandaged shoulder and Zoë's hand rested on the spot where her thigh was wrapped in tidy bandages, as well. "River ain't up to much - piloting or defending the ship in our absence," he continued. "But she can still read. Someone will need to stay here; someone willing to fly off at a moment's notice. No hesitation is allowed here. Kaylee and Simon, I'm gonna need you to stay on the ship. Ain't much use in flying off if the target is waving on the wrong side of the leavin'." "I understand," Simon nodded. "I'll make a list of what we'll need for Serenity to keep flyin'," Kaylee agreed, hugging her child close to her. He drooled on her arm, staring at his pink wiggly toes in deep thought. "That leaves the question of who goes shopping and who sits tight," Mal went on. "Zoë, I'd appreciate it if you'd see yourself to staying on with the ship. Jayne and I can handle the shopping and what all." "And Inara?" the first mate asked. "I want her to stay here with you," Mal explained. "She ain't up to walkin' about yet, no more'n River is and if trouble hits, I want her out of it." "Don't you think it's up to her?" Inara asked from the doorway. Mal straightened and turned to face her. "No," he answered flatly. "I don't. You aren't supposed to be up and about and you know it." "Mal, can we discuss this?" Inara asked as the rest of the crew stood to leave. "Sure," he shrugged with one shoulder. Kaylee and Simon crept along the room, Kaylee carrying her son, as Zoë and Jayne purposefully meandered to the crew's quarters. "Long as at the end of it, you see I'm right and you stay on the ship." "You and Jayne are going to go out and get all the supplies we need?" "Yes," Mal replied. "See? It ain't hard to agree with me." "You - you can't even lift your gun, let alone fire it - and Jayne, who can only carry Hobie in one arm for short periods of time, are going to get all the supplies we need." "It's amazing how well we can work together." Inara rolled her eyes impatiently as Mal turned away from her, convinced the discussion was over. "You'll be a target for everyone with crime on his mind," Inara insisted. "You can't possibly expect to get anything more than a fight if you go." "You'd rather I leave Jayne here with the ship?" Mal asked, his voice rising slightly as he turned back to face her. "Or are you suggesting that your presence will send all those criminals running for the hills?" "No, that's not what I'm saying at all," Inara tried. "Zoë can't walk as much as we'll need to," Mal pointed out. "And Jayne has a presence about him, you might say. You're not ready to be walking as much as you think and I'm not asking Kaylee to leave her little one just cause she's the most healthy of all of us." "Mal, just listen to me--" Inara began, taking a step forward and stumbling slightly. Mal reached her side and helped her to the nearest chair faster than she would have expected possible. He knelt beside her, searching her face as she refused to give in to the pain. "You can't even stand long enough to yell at me," he said harshly, trying to cover his fear with anger. "Don't ask me to let you come with. I can't be worryin' about you on this. We need to go, get and come back, quick as possible and the sooner it's done, the sooner we can be off again." "Mal, you need someone else with you," she insisted. "Take Zoë. I can take the Tams with me on a shuttle and wait for you here." "So if anything happens, you can walk right into a trap?" Mal asked, already shaking his head against the possibility. "No." "Do you really think they'll have tracked us here?" Inara queried. "And if they have, that they won't be able to get on Serenity again? They did it once already..." "We weren't expecting it," Mal reminded her. "We're ready now. Not for the final showdown, but enough to stall them a bit longer." "If they haven't tracked us yet, they're sure to find us from this stop," Inara insisted. "And then how prepared will we be?" "Better than last time," Mal stood as he said it. Inara looked up at him sadly. "This is not the only way to refuel, Mal," she maintained. "We can still--" "We're not giving them more time to regroup while we waste time out here," Mal cut her off. He turned and made it all the way to the door before addressing her again. "I never want to see you soaked in blood like that again," his words were almost inaudible. He left. *** My dear Zoë, You are sleeping right now, your arm curled under your pillow where I'm convinced you still hide that pistol, and you look every inch the Amazon goddess I fell in love with so long ago. Your mouth is curved in a smile, and in a moment, I'm going to risk this quiet moment by kissing you, but I wanted to take this moment to write down how much I love you. My head is still pounding from everything that happened today (and I just realized I never got to eat the Wife Soup!), but as I put together the pieces, I come to find that you amaze me even more now that I see what you live through. I don't know how you got to be that strong, but I love that strength in are the reason I'm not fetal and joining River in a race to complete insanity right now. I can only hope that I am your reason, too, on those days when No. I never want to think of you in a position like that. Never have a day like mine. I, as your husband, am ordering you to always find a way out, to smile and to always look this...beautiful...and peaceful in your sleep. I love you, baby...don't think I'll ever stop. I know I don't know how to go on without you. Oh, and keep the Captain safe if you have to. He needs all the help he can get. I'm going to kiss you now, so... Your dashing debonair husband, Wash


Tuesday, June 5, 2007 2:00 PM


Aaaw, Wash's letter broke my heart! So very Wash and really sweet. Great touch.

I liked Mal's no-nonsense tone and attitude when he was talking to Inara, I can easily picture him being like that in such a situation. I just hope he's right, and that the crew will be ok. The fact that everyone is so banged up is really worrying because it'll only take a little bit to overpower them and the ship...eek!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 4:48 PM


I really loved Wash's letter as well. I'm wondering about the Tams and the details you've built for them in this. It's very interesting.

And Mal and Inara's conversation was absolutely perfect! Loved it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 6:24 PM


Well now...much as it pains to say this right now, but I agree with Mal. When Kaylee's the crew member with the best physical condition, some hard decisions need to be made about who stays aboard and who goes out. And Mal's confrontation with Inara was brilliantly handled, since we get Mal slipping into this command presence while still trying to be compassionate to her condition.

Another thing I have to note is my mixed-bag feelings for Regan Tam as she is portrayed here. I want to be sympathetic towards her...but her need for medication to cope with her pain and guilt, coupled with her inability to stand up to her husband fully? Kind of taints the desire to cheer for her. I just hope you have Regan pull out of her mental funk so the BDHs can properly defend themeslves.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007 10:14 PM


I second BEB's reservations about Regan. I kept wanting her to grow a backbone and find a way to either get the letter back and contact Serenity to warn her children or stop him in his evil tracks. Turning to medical oblivion is not a solution to the problem, just another problem. Loved Mal's talk with Inara, taking the firm approach because he has to, because he can't lose her now. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 5:15 AM


I feel rather sorry for Regan. Hopefully, she can get over the addiction to pills and actually do something to help her children.

I can't help but think everyone has been wounded so badly, it'd almost be unbelievable if they make it out of another skirmish without someone dying.

Wash' letter was a very nice touch as well.

Monday, September 17, 2007 6:52 AM


Wa! That letter from Wash is so sweet...and just SO like him. You didn't even need to tell us that Zoe was probably feeling a bit nostalgic and needed to read a few letters she has saved. It's just pictured in my head as I read Wash's letter to her.



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