A Lost Art - Part 10 (Conclusion)
Saturday, June 9, 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... Final Chapter! You made it!!! As always, comments are so extremely welcome!!!


"It was really the very least I could do," Regan insisted as she walked with Kaylee through the tall grass. It had been four days since the scene in the infirmary. Kaylee frowned and shook her head. "You coulda let him kill us," the mechanic argued. "That woulda been less." "I still have so much to make up for," Regan sighed. "And I don't know how to begin." "You made a good step in the right direction," Kaylee prompted. "And one step can always lead to another one. And b'sides, I think you're forgettin' how many good steps you made already." "Oh, let's see," Regan ticked them off her fingers as she listed them. "I allowed my husband to sign my daughter up for experimentation, I surrounded myself with air-headed ninnies who only thought of fashion and gossip for years, I watched my son grow to despise us and finally cut us out of his life entirely--" "Not entirely," Kaylee interrupted. "Just for a spell." "Then I effectively handed over the means to hunt and nearly kill my only two children and kidnap my only grandchild, sitting idly by in a drugged stupor as my husband shows no remorse for the lives taken until I am physically dragged into the events, where I overhear a name, sell the only thing I have that keeps me from breaking down in exchange for a ship's name, a gun and ammunition and nearly get everyone killed when I can't keep my part of the bargain by shooting my own husband." "You did just fine," Kaylee offered comfortingly. "I know I couldn't have killed my husband." Regan rolled her eyes heavenward and shook her head. "As much as a comfort as that is, dear one," she laughed. "It still does nothing to ease my conscience." They stopped at the edge of the canyon and looked down at the sight below them: Serenity's bay door open as Jayne spun Hobie in circles - the child's happy squeals bubbling across the open space, warming the hearts of the women. Nearby, Mal sat with one arm around Inara's shoulder, the other back in the sling as he called out a warning of how recently the baby ate. Zoë and River lounged in chairs brought out from the common room, laughing when Jayne stopped spinning and stumbled a few steps, dizzy from his own game. And there was Simon, rushing forward to catch his laughing son before the large man fell on top of him. "B'sides," Kaylee grinned. "River insisted Simon put the tray in his shirt. She saw something made her nervous enough for that, so all's well. There was never no real worry that everyone would get killed." "Still," Regan mused. "It might have helped had I known that before shots were fired." "You're not alone in that," Kaylee sighed, remembering the earful Mal had given her once everything had been explained. It wasn't like he'd explained Hobie had been strapped to his back using Zoë's old armor as a precaution against anything unplanned. She'd given him an earful right back...but it hadn't been nearly as effective, since he'd just stood there, holding Inara close to him and ignoring Kaylee's attempt to yell at him. It might have worked better if she hadn't been kissing Hobie and Simon in turn while trying to chastise the Captain. She shrugged the thought away. "Come on," she chirped, taking Regan's hand. "Dinner won't cook itself!" Regan held back, still watching the scene below them. It was difficult to leave this ease of conversation... While Kaylee had seemed to forgive her mother-in-law (Kaylee had insisted everyone deserved a second chance, especially those who had risked so much for Hobie's life), Simon still didn't trust her. She couldn't blame him...he had years to use as examples of second chances, third chances and so on. However, he seemed to want to make his wife happy and Kaylee wanted to offer her the chance... He went along with it, but still made comments on occasion when Kaylee wasn't around. River ran hot and cold with her, but that didn't seem very different from the way she treated the rest of the crew. Everyone else seemed wary, but given their experiences of the past few weeks, she couldn't blame them. She felt the Captain and Inara knew she was still taking a few pills here and there, but they hadn't said anything yet...maybe because they knew she wasn't going to leave Kerry quite yet. She watched as Kaylee made her way down the steep pathway, waving and calling out to the crew and smiled sadly. She hated to disrupt everyone's moment of calm by entering into it...but as Kaylee reached her own husband and baby, kissing them each on the forehead, she turned back to Regan and smiled. Regan sighed. Dinner wouldn't cook itself...and she could use all the help learning that task as possible. She walked down the path carefully, glad she could spend even these tense moments with her children...perhaps they would learn to love her again...someday... *** They spent another two weeks resting before bidding their fond farewells to Regan. She had decided to stay on Kerry for the remainder of the year. She didn't have anyone waiting for her to return and Wardy had been working his way up to offering her a position in his dealings. That thought didn't warm the cockles of Simon's heart, but River found it amusing. Zoë was getting stronger with every day and River seemed glad to have company in her recovery room. At the rate they were healing, he was sure they'd be ready for the next job by the time it came around. As he watched the sky melt into the familiar black of space, Mal could smell Inara's perfume waft onto the bridge as she gracefully made her way to his side. "Do you think she'll be all right?" Inara asked softly, her question in regards to the woman they left behind. Mal looked to her, felt her hand rest on his shoulder, and smiled at her concern. "She might," he answered. "It's really up to her. Hell, maybe she'll turn to crime her own self, selling contraband wares and smokin' a pipe worse than Wardy's." "You know she's convinced herself she needs those pills," Inara murmured, watching Mal carefully. "That's up to her to leave on her own," he answered. "Tain't up to us to solve her problems for her." "But you talked to Wardy about it," Inara accused. Mal looked at her innocently. "Wardy knew," he replied. "She sold her pills to him for help. He's the one selling 'em back to her - should she produce the coin. Those pills cost quite the coin, though..." Probably more now that Simon had suggested to the merchant that his mother would be more savvy if she could think more clearly. Wardy had smiled and rolled a cigarette, understanding finally why Mal had introduced him to the doctor on the day of departure. "Kaylee said Regan promised to keep in touch," Inara went on, massaging Mal's neck contentedly. "Will we be allowed to continue writing letters after this?" Mal watched the lights on the consul flicker as his ship responded to the settings. He thought about the stack of letters Wardy had given him earlier that day, now sitting on the dining room table, waiting to be opened by various crew members. He knew there were letters from Kaylee's family, Jayne's mother and Inara's various friends and former clients. In his pocket was a letter for Zoë he had planned on bringing to her personally from her father. The fact that this last letter had come at all eased some of his worries about the man's least he hadn't shown up in person. Yet. He shrugged, still favoring his right arm. That it might happen was a distant possibility. He looked up at Inara's waiting face. The immediate possibilities were much more pleasant to ponder. "They say it's a lost art," he mused. Inara rewarded him with a kiss that lingered, offering pleasant possibilities, distracting him from his duties... *** Momma, Every day I write to you, I feel I write the same things again and again. I miss you and the ranch. Things here are difficult, but I manage. You are always in my prayers, as I know I am in yours. The people I meet are good people, people I'm proud to know and fight by their sides. I want this letter to be different, if for no other reason than to prove to you I am capable of writing original sentences. I've decided that when this is over and I come home, I want to find myself a wife and take on more responsibility at the ranch. To breathe clean, fresh air with a woman who loves me - and who I love in return - and raise enough children you won't know what to do with all them grandkids. I want to just live... I want to live free and to tell my children I fought for their that they could live lives of their own making and choosing. I want them to grow up proud to carry my name - as proud as I am. I never want to kill a man again. I want to be able to put down this firearm and walk away in peace. I want to scrub clean my dreams, so no matter where I am and no matter what I do, I will rest with a comfort that I can rely on at the end of each day. I want to take you on one of them luxury cruises and show you other worlds. I want to see your smile again, and see you happy and relaxed. But most of all, I want to make you proud of me. Proud of all I am and all I can be. Pray for me, that I can achieve these goals. I'll never make it without your prayers. Your loving son, Malcolm


Saturday, June 9, 2007 6:07 AM


That was beautiful!!! I realy liked the letter from Mal to his Mama. Brought tears to my eyes. All in all, a job well done. I'll miss this series!

Saturday, June 9, 2007 6:24 AM


Great job in this whole series, but I loved your conclusion. Loved the Mal - Kaylee argument - just like a real family to act that way. But my favorite part was Mal's letter home before the war broke him. Just a little glimpse of the real man underneath his scars.

Saturday, June 9, 2007 6:49 AM


This was a great wrap-up to the series, although I would have loved to see have Kaylee and Simon's reunion with Hobie. I also loved Mal's letter to his mama, it is so poignant, especially because I consider it was written during the war, and we see how much Mal's dreams have been shattered and repaired. Really great story!

Saturday, June 9, 2007 11:54 AM


Aaaw, what a great ending! I loved the picture you painted of the crew relaxing after their ordeal, it made me feel fuzzy. Glad everyone managed to survive, and Mal's letter was bittersweet, but a lovely touch to the end.

Wonderful series, so well written and generally a really fun read! Loved it, I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with next :-)

Saturday, June 9, 2007 12:41 PM


Lovely series, terrific conclusion. It was nice to feel a sense of peace from everyone at the end, a kind of relaxation from all the stress. And bless Kaylee for so easily forgiving Regan albeit it is likely to take much longer for Simon and River to make that leap. Nice to see Inara and Mal so at ease with each other as well. Bravo, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, June 9, 2007 7:12 PM


Loved this story! So glad Simon wasn't hurt, cause that last chapter had me thinking he was in trouble. I loved Mal's letter to his mother, great insight into his character.

Saturday, June 9, 2007 7:19 PM


Definitely a wonderful ending you got here, kacidilla...wraps up the series nicely and allows for future looks at Regan's progress with rebuilding her life and repairing the wounds between herself and her children:D

Have to say the concluding letter from Mal to his momma before the end of the war (and presumably, the decimation of Shadow) was all kinds of heart-breaking but fitting. It gives us a look at Mal when he was still full of idealism and fire to do what's right, and it allows us to look at how he's coming back to that POV but with experience and emotional scarring.


Sunday, June 10, 2007 4:45 PM


The letters scattered throughout the story were well done and well placed.

I missed seeing a reunion with Simon, Kaylee and their son, but otherwise, very nice end to a very entertaining story.

Monday, June 11, 2007 6:07 PM


I just loved this entire story. The letters were great, what a neat idea. I love how they added to the complexity of each individual character, it was a great insight into their minds. The plot was curvy and the characters true. Great work - Desert Girl

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 6:39 AM


Like others here have said, I'll also say that I really enjoyed the letters scattered through this story. This last one from Mal to his Mama, and so obviously written when he was still at the beginning of the War, was a heartbreaker. So much hope, and you've given us a glimpse that maybe Inara can give some of that hope back to him. Ah, it's sweet in a really good way.



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