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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. While the party continues, Simon gathers his troops ... Please let me know what you think!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1896 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
The sun had passed its zenith and was beginning to head down into the afternoon, while two great fires had been constructed and lit. The delicious smells of food cooking wafted across.
“Sit. Sit!” Bethany said, staring at her puppy. Fiddler just rolled over and waved his legs in the air.
“That ain't how you do it,” Joe Frye said. “You gotta show them what to do.”
Joe picked the dog up and planted his four feet in the dirt. “You push his bottom down and say ‘sit’ at the same time.”
“Show me?” She smiled at him.
“You ain't like any two year old I know of,” Joe laughed. “But I can sure see a hell of a lot of Kaylee in you.”
“Mustn’t swear,” Bethany said firmly. “That’s bad.”
“You know, I think you’re probably right.” Joe sat down on the ground next to her. “Come on. I’ll show you how to train this ball of fluff.”
“His name’s Fiddler.” She looked down proudly at her puppy, then covered her mouth with her hand as the little dog relieved himself, just leaning forward and letting it happen, the puddle growing ever bigger beneath him.
Joe laughed. “Somehow I don’t think Fiddler’s quite the right name.”
“You want more children,” Eleanor Frye said, coming up behind Freya where she sat at one of the tables, her footfalls soft on the dry, dusty earth.
Watching Bethany and the youngest Frye boy playing with the golden puppy, Freya nodded. “A girl.”
“For your husband to spoil.”
“Something like that.”
Ellie smiled and sat down next to her. “That’s how Eddie was. All those boys and he so wanted a girl. I think we’d have had hundreds if’n it meant getting a girl for him.”
Freya laughed. “Well, you’ve certainly got a good one in Kaylee.”
“And little Bethany.” She watched Joe lift her granddaughter into the air, making the little girl squeal with delight. “She’s a darling.”
“That she is.”
“Kaylee says … she tells me you’re psychic.”
Freya was surprised. “I didn’t … that’s not exactly common knowledge.”
“And it won’t go further. But we talk, write long letters, tell each other things that don’t get passed on. Like how she wants another child but Simon ain’t able to give it to her. Like how your friend Jethro died, only now River‘s got a good man to look after her. Like how you’re a Reader.”
There was a moment’s pause. “Mrs Frye, what I am …”
There was such a look of understanding on the older woman’s face, and suddenly it became clear. Of course Kaylee would tell her mother about Bethany. It wouldn’t … it couldn’t be any other way. And it was a natural extension that she’d tell her about … “You can’t tell anyone,” she said softly. “Not about me, that’s my business and none of anyone else’s. But Bethany … if certain people found out … if they got their hands on her –”
“She’s my granddaughter, Freya. You think I’m going to let anything happen to her?” Eleanor Frye’s eyes were calm, tranquil. “Like poor River?”
“You know about –”
“It wasn’t hard to figure there was something different about the girl. And when I asked Kaylee she told me. Some, at least.” Ellie shook her head. “How anyone could let their daughter go to a place like that, and then not listen to their son … well, it’s beyond me.”
“That’s because you’re a good mother,” Freya said softly.
“And Mrs Tam wasn’t?”
“I … I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt,” Freya admitted. “That they really didn’t know, and seriously thought her letters … that it was a game.”
“But they ignored Simon. How could they?”
“Mrs Frye, Ellie … Simon is happy now. He has Kaylee and Bethany. River’s getting better, and she has Jayne. None of this would have happened if …” She stopped.
“I understand.” Mrs Frye put her hand on Freya’s arm. “I do, honestly. And no-one’s ever gonna hear about little Bethie from us.”
Freya smiled. “Thanks.”
“Anyways, it came out that you’re teaching Bethie.”
“And about controlling what she can do.”
Freya sighed. “That’s even harder.”
“Can’t you look, see into the future? See if there’s more kids there for you?”
“I don’t have that gift. It’s not part of … not part of me.”
“Then why don’t I read the tea leaves for you?”
“Tea leaves. All the women in my family have had the power to see things in the leaves. Kaylee was never interested, but … if you like I could read yours.”
“Seeing the future in …”
Ellie patted her arm. “Now, don’t be so sceptical. You’re a Reader. Most folks wouldn’t believe in that either.”
“I suppose not.”
“Come on. There’s water on the boil, and I don’t doubt there’s some tea around somewhere.” She got to her feet.
“Are you afraid?”
Freya considered carefully. “Actually, I think maybe I am. I don’t want to know if there’s anything bad in my future. Or the future of my family.”
“I don’t tell things like that, Freya.” Ellie smiled. “Come on.”
Freya stood reluctantly. “Okay. But if you see the ‘verse ending tomorrow, I don’t want to know.”
Simon stood and watched everyone milling about, finally seeing the man he wanted. He stepped round a group of Kaylee’s cousins and tapped him on the shoulder.
Serenity’s captain turned and grinned. “Having a good time?”
“Kaylee feeling better?”
“Much. She’s really enjoying herself.”
Simon paused for a moment, then said, “Mal, I need to get Freya into a hospital.” He realised what his words would suggest when the colour leached from the captain’s face.
“What? Why?” Mal’s eyes darted to where Freya was chatting to Mrs Frye.
“No, it’s not that. It’s just that the scans I’ve taken … the equipment here isn’t sensitive enough.”
“Enough for what?” Mal breathed again, but it was wary. “You got some idea what’s making her limp.”
“An idea. Something Kaylee’s uncles were talking about gave my brain a kick. But I can’t confirm anything yet.”
“What do you need?”
“I’ve been speaking to my father-in-law. Phoros has a hospital, not too far from here. They’ll have an imaging chamber.”
“Like the one you put your sis in?”
“Possibly not as sophisticated. This isn’t Ariel, but it should be adequate.”
“And you’re suggesting we get you and Frey inside … how?”
“Like I said, this isn’t the Core, Mal. Security won’t be anywhere near as tight. I’m hoping we can just walk in.”
“And if we can’t?”
“Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it, shall we?”
“Have you told Frey?”
“Um … no.”
“And why would that be?”
“Because you know how much she loathes hospitals.”
“So you expect me to.”
“You’re her husband. She’s less likely to shoot you.”
Freya stared at the cup in front of her.
Eleanor Frye smiled. “Okay, drink the tea, but leave about a mouthful of liquid in the bottom.”
“I'm really not too sure about –“
“Drink it. At the very least you’ll have had a refreshing drink.”
Her forehead furrowed, Freya did as she was told, the hot drink going down quite nicely, at least past the slight lump in her throat. “Now what?”
“Hold the cup in your right hand, and move it in a circle anti-clockwise, three times.” Ellie demonstrated. “Oh, and think about the question you want to ask.”
Freya felt something of a fool, but swirled the contents as directed. She tried to think of giving Mal a daughter, but somehow all she could see was the hillside on Prometheus.
“Now, turn it upside down on the saucer, quickly,” Ellie added.
The cup clattered on the saucer. “And?”
“Give it to me.” Ellie took it in her right hand, lifting it up carefully, staring at the patterns inside.
For all she truly believed that the future couldn’t be seen in a few teaspoons of reconstituted leaves, Freya leaned forward. “So?”
Ellie smiled. “There are children. Look.” She held out of the cup so Freya could see.
The older woman pointed to shapes near the rim. “At least one, probably more. And fairly soon.”
“That’s easy,” Freya said dismissively. “Zoe’s pregnant. In a few months there’s gonna be a small addition to the crew anyway.”
“No, she’s having a …” Ellie’s words suddenly made a different kind of sense. “There’s going to be a girl?” Freya stared, but it still just looked like sludge.
“It’s very clear.”
A spark of hope ignited, despite her logic telling her this was crazy. “There’s other women on board, Ellie. River, Kaylee … it might be one of them. Can you tell me this … this cup’s talking about me?”
Ellie shook her head. “No, I can’t.”
“Then maybe …”
“All I can tell you is what I see.” She put her hand over Freya’s. “Just believe.”
“Frey, need to speak to you.” Mal slid into the chair the other side from Ellie.
“And that’s my cue to leave,” the older woman said. She stood up. “Freya, the women in my family have all had the gift, and I think Kaylee’s gotten it too, ‘cept maybe it’s come out a different way with her. But you’re right – it’s only tea.” She smiled and walked off to join her husband.
“Tea?” Mal asked.
“Nothing.” Freya was still staring into the cup. “Mrs Frye was just … nothing.”
Mal dismissed it from his mind. “Frey, Simon’s got an idea. Something that’ll let him figure out what’s wrong with your hip.”
“I'm fine, Mal,” she said automatically.
He put his hand over the cup, pushing it down. “No, you ain’t. And I ain't having this any more.” There was a note of authority in his voice that he hardly ever used with her. “You’re coming with us to the hospital.”
Her head jerked up, her eyes meeting his in astonishment. “Hosp … No. No way, Mal.”
“I know you don’t like those places, but we’re going. It’ll only be for a while. Maybe an hour, tops.”
“There’s no discussion about this, Frey. Simon thinks that whatchamathing he used on River might give him some answers, so we’re going.”
“Mal, it’s an Alliance facility, yes?”
“What if we get pinched?”
“Well, I'm going to do my best that we don’t.”
“Mal, I don’t –“
“Frey. Listen to me.” He took her face in his hands. “I want you well. Simon thinks this’ll work. We’re going.”
She didn’t need to read his mind to tell he was deadly serious. “I’m gonna hold this against you,” she said softly.
“Long as you do it without a limp.”
“So you and the big guy really an item?” Bill Frye asked.
River nodded, sucking a pink drink rather noisily through a straw. “We are.”
“How come? He’s so old.”
“No he isn’t.”
“Must be almost as old as my Pa, if not older.”
River fixed him with a stern eye. “Age doesn’t count. It is irrelevant. He is young in spirit.”
Bill looked unconvinced.
Jayne, the other side of the fire, watched as Kaylee’s brother chatted to River. So much more her age. He felt a stab of jealousy hit him in the belly.
Don’t, came River’s voice in his mind. I am yours.
Jayne grinned. Can’t help it, darlin’, he thought back. Don’t think I’ll ever be able to.
Good. She glanced across and smiled, just for him.
“Jayne, we … you okay, big feller?” Hank asked, seeing the slightly – for want of a better word – moonbrained expression on his face.
“You wanna get thumped?”
“Oh, yes, you’re fine.” Hank waved at River, who waggled her fingers back at him. “Mal wants us to help him with something.”
“With what?” Jayne wasn't really concentrating.
“Just meet him at the front of the house, dong mah?”
“What? Why?” The big mercenary turned to stare at the pilot, but he’d headed off again, towards where Zoe was standing by the food table.
Just go, came River’s thought. They need you.
Don’t you go nowhere, Jayne directed towards her. I find out you’ve been canoodling with –
Her laughter echoed through his mind. Canoodling?
Jayne glared at her and stomped off towards the house.
“Honey, can you keep Kaylee occupied?”
Zoe turned to stare at the father of her child. “Why would I need to keep her occupied?” She looked past him to where Jayne was just going through the back door. “What are you boys up to?”
Hank glanced around. “We’re taking Freya to the hospital.”
She straightened. “Why? What’s happened?”
“Nothing. Honestly. It’s just … Simon wants to use some piece of equipment to see why she’s still limping.”
“That’s the doohickey.”
“Because we’re here.” At her look he added quickly, “Zoe, I'm not sure.”
“I’d better –“
“No. You’re staying here. Mal’s orders. We’ll be back before you know it. Just make sure Kaylee has fun.”
Zoe was getting annoyed. “Mal’s orders? He told you to tell me this?”
“Yes, I did.” The captain was suddenly at her elbow. “You’re pregnant, Zoe. They might notice.”
“Who, sir? And since when did being pregnant mean I don’t go on jobs?”
“Since never. But right now I’d rather have you stay put and keep Kaylee company.”
“Why’re you still arguing?”
“Because it’s insane. Sir.”
“Duly noted.” Mal nodded at Hank, who scurried gratefully away to join Jayne.
“How come they get to go?”
“Because Jayne’s uniform still fits him, and Hank can just about get into Wash’s. And you won’t be able to get into yours.”
“You planning on going through the front door again?”
“Well, no. I was kinda talked out of that notion. But there’s gonna be a back way in. We’ll take the shuttle, land a ways off and walk.”
“Then at least let me pilot –“
“I got Hank for that, Zoe.”
“A patient. I can be –“
“Got one of those too. And a bona fide doctor.” He put his hand on her arm. “I know you think I’m sidelining you. That ain't the case.”
“It sure feels like it.”
“I need you and River to stay here. In case the unthinkable happens and you have to mount a daring rescue.”
“You considering getting pinched?”
“I wasn’t planning on it, but sometimes things just don’t go smooth.”
“I’d still rather go with you.”
“Honestly, Zo, so would I. But right now I’m goin’ in with more people’n I feel comfy with as it is.”
“Then why –“
Mal shrugged. “Simon wants Hank and Jayne along. Not sure why.”
“He’s not thinking of knocking over the medvault again, is he?”
“Maybe. You know, for a straight-laced doctor, that boy has a decent criminal mind.”
“I've heard it said before.”
“Yeah. I think I said it.” He grinned. “Zoe, just play nice and don’t let Kaylee figure out we’ve gone. She’d only worry.”
Zoe didn’t quite sigh, but it was there, in her voice. “Yes sir.” She stepped a little closer. “Freya … is she okay?”
“Apart from threatening to shoot me for taking her into one of those places …” He knew what she meant. “That’s what we’re gonna find out.” He squeezed her arm then walked away to join the others.
“They’ll be fine,” River said from behind her. “And if they’re not, Jayne will tell me.”
Zoe didn’t answer.
to be continued
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 6:04 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 8:35 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 10:08 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 11:28 AM
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 9:31 PM
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