BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

The Bequest - Part III
Friday, June 15, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Mal gets left something in Reilly's will, and it's likely to cause all sorts of problems! Please comment - getting from here to the end of the story is becoming problematical.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1929    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Mal walked towards Serenity, his mind buzzing, not just with the hangover, but with the contents of the will. The thought uppermost in his mind was that, if Reilly hadn’t already been dead, he’d have killed him.

“Sir,” Zoe began. “Is this a good idea?”

“You got a better one?”

“We could always get them rooms in the town.”

“What with? We didn’t have the coin to keep them where they were.”

“But on board?”

“I'm open to suggestions.”

“I’ll try to think of some, sir.”

The Firefly came into view, and they continued in silence for a moment.

“Zoe, are you laughing?”

“No, sir.”

“’Cause if you’re laughing I ain’t above making a pregnant woman clean out the septic vat for a month.”

“I think my doctor might disapprove, sir.”

“It ain’t funny!”

“Actually, sir, I'm just imagining Freya’s face.”

“I don’t think you’re going to have to imagine for that long,” Mal said, sighing heavily.

“I wondered when you’d be getting back,” Freya smiled, standing on the middle catwalk as Mal and Zoe stepped into the cargo bay. “I thought we might …” She stopped as six young women filed in behind them. “Mal, I think you’re being followed.”

“Mmn?” He looked up at her, then glanced over his shoulder. “Oh, yeah.”

“Passengers?”

“Not exactly.”

“Oh?” She started slowly down the stairs. “So, what, you came over all insane and hired six new members of the crew? All girls?”

“Ain't crew neither.”

Freya gazed at him critically, reaching the bay floor. “So what are they?”

“They kinda … belong to me.”

His wife’s eyes opened a little wider, glancing at Zoe then back to her husband. “Would you mind running that by me again?”

“They belong to me. They’re Reilly’s … bequest.”

“His …” Freya stared at the girls, not one of them older than Kaylee. “You mean he owned them?”

“No, no,” Mal said quickly. “They’re his daughters.”

“They’re what?!”

“Please, Frey, don’t shout.” Mal squeezed the bridge of his nose.

“What the hell have you agreed to, Mal?”

“Nothing.” He sighed. “Well, not … much.”

Freya glared at him, then realised the girls were all watching her. “Well, I … where are they going to sleep?”

“They can use the guest rooms. Double up. I figure they’re used to that.” He tried to smile, but it hurt too much.

“Then … we’d better get them settled in.”

“I’ll do that,” Zoe said quickly. “If you’d like to follow me …”

In silence the six girls picked up their bags and did as they were told.

Freya waited until they were out of earshot. “Mal, what the hell is going on?”

He sat down heavily on a crate. “Frey, you’re not going to believe it.”

“Try me.”

“Well, this guy turned up at the hall, saying he was Reilly’s lawyer …”

“Mr Malcolm Reynolds?” The man who had spoken was waiting in the reception area. Tall, very thin, he had a line of white hair around the back of his head, while his bald dome shone in the morning light.

Captain Reynolds.” Mal stood as straight as he could.

“Of the Firefly Serenity?”

“That’s me.”

“Do you have any kind of proof that’s who you are?”

Hil Dywer, Pickett and Monty all stepped forward. “We can all vouch that’s who he is,” Monty said.

“And he’s my cousin,” Harry added from behind them.

“I'm not sure –“

“I haven’t exactly got any ID on me, but if you’d like to come to my ship –“ Mal began.

The man held up a hand. “No. I don’t think that’s necessary.” He switched on a professional smile. “My name’s Isaiah Kilbrook. I am … was Mr Reilly’s lawyer.”

“He had a lawyer?” Hil laughed. “What, he get himself pinched a lot?”

“No. I don’t do that sort of law.” Kilbrook looked back at Mal. “Is there somewhere we can talk privately?”

“Looks like there’s a room here,” Zoe said, nodding towards an open door.

“Mr Kilburn.” Mal indicated he should go first.

“Thank you.” He walked inside.

Mal gave Zoe a look and they followed, closing the door to keep the others out. At least it seemed he was probably who he said he was. Anyone else wouldn’t have gone first into a room they didn’t know.

Inside was a small table and two chairs. Kilburn sat down in one and removed a sheaf of papers from the case in his hand. “Please, sit.”

“I’d rather stand.”

“Of course.”

“Zoe said this was to do with Reilly’s will?”

Kilburn smiled. He liked people who were straight to the point. “You are named executor of it, Mr … Captain Reynolds.”

“Executor?”

“And main beneficiary. In fact, sole beneficiary.”

Mal’s eyebrow raised as he glanced at Zoe. “Reilly had a fortune after all?”

“Uh, not quite.”

“Not sure I like the sound of that. He ain't trying to saddle me with his debts, is he?”

“Not at all. In fact, Mr Reilly settled all of that before he died. Although there is no money, he has left you something else.”

“And that would be?”

“He’s made you guardian of his daughters.”

Mal’s jaw fell. “His what?”

“His daughters.” Kilbrook looked down at his papers. “Honoria, Valentia, Phoebe, Letitia, Rosemary and Hermione.”

Mal lowered himself slowly into the seat. “What the hell was Reilly doing with ... what was that, five girls?”

“Six.”

“Six. Right.”

“I wouldn’t like to say.”

“What about … where’re their mothers?”

“I don’t have that information, Captain Reynolds.”

“Six …” Mal glanced up at Zoe, who was looking as inscrutable as ever. Except for just a twitch at the corner of her mouth. He pulled himself together. “Look, I conjure Reilly liked a joke as much as the next man, but this is crazy.”

“Please, take my word for it. It’s very real.” Kilbrook nodded towards the door. “They’re waiting outside.”

“They’re …” Mal was on his feet and hurrying outside, past the small group of his friends. Sticking his head out of the door he saw the lawyer had been right. Six girls. Only not the babes in arms he’d been expecting. He walked back into the room.

“And what am I supposed to do with them?” he asked.

Kilbrook stood up, pushing the papers back into his case. “I have no idea, Captain. But they are here, and they are your responsibility.”

“Hold hard there, mister,” Mal said, Zoe stepping in front of the lawyer as he headed for the door. “Six girls … how the hell am I supposed to pay for ‘em? And how come they ain't at home?”

“They have no home, Captain. Mr Reilly paid for their accommodation up to and including this date. As of twenty minutes ago, they’re homeless. And destitute, if you don’t take them on.” Kilbrook nodded once. “Captain.” He slid round Zoe and left.

“That qingwa cao de liumang …” Mal muttered.

“Any idea how you’re going to explain this to Freya, sir?” Zoe asked, and had to hide a smile as she saw him turn pale.

“Maybe I can think up something on the way back,” Mal admitted. “What, I have no idea.”

“… and here they are,” Mal finished.

“Was Reilly insane?” Freya asked. At some point during the tale she’d sat down next to him, and now she leaned into him.

“I gotta say he has to have been.”

“He really thinks … thought … you’d take on his daughters?”

“We were Independents together. I guess he thought he could trust me.”

Freya shook her head and exhaled noisily. “But don’t the girls know where their mothers are?”

He shrugged. “’Parently not. Seems Reilly got real good at getting himself hitched, but not so hot at keeping ‘em.” There was a look of honest bafflement about him. “Not that he ever got divorced from them so technically I guess most of ‘em are …” He didn’t finish.

Freya understood though. “And the girls? What about them?”

“When their mothers left, Reilly said he’d bring ‘em up. Least that’s what Honoria said.”

“Honoria?”

“The oldest. The redhead.”

“The one that looks a little too much like Saffron for my taste?”

“Yeah, that’s her.”

“How old is she?”

“Just had her seventeenth birthday, apparently.” Mal held up his hands. “And no, I didn’t know. Reilly never talked about his home life, and I didn’t even know he was married, let alone had kids, when he got attached to the platoon.”

“But Mal, they’re spaced out over some time. And the youngest is, what, twelve?”

“About that.” Mal sighed. “He must’ve been romancing their mothers during the war, at least the middle ones. Honoria says they’d come to Mead, take one look at the place they were supposed to live, and hightail it back out.”

“So all six mothers abandoned them?”

“Only four. The middle four are two sets of twins. And the last died in childbirth.”

Freya couldn’t take it in. “And he left them to you?”

“To look after. Find them someplace to live, I guess, or … I don’t know.”

“You don’t … didn’t he leave any kind of instructions?”

“Not that anyone can find. Just the last will and testament, and that just said I was to take ‘em in. Or they’d starve.”

“I thought you said Reilly had money.”

“Well, if’n he did, no-one’s been able to lay their hands on it.” He sighed. “Ain't rightly sure what I'm supposed to do next, Frey.”

“For once, I don’t have a clue either, Mal.”

They sat in the cargo bay, just holding hands, staring into nothing.

to be continued

COMMENTS

Friday, June 15, 2007 1:28 AM

KATESFRIEND


Well, they did want more children, and didn't Mrs Freye's teas leaves said there would be more girls? Doesn't Inara want to start a finishing school? Still wondering about the mine shaft... You like doing this on weekends, don't you?

Friday, June 15, 2007 4:06 AM

SLUMMING


Well now, I didn't see that one coming! As always, your writing is brilliant. Remind me not to let Mrs. Frye read any tea leaves for me! hehe

Friday, June 15, 2007 6:13 AM

AMDOBELL


Okay, never in a month of Sundays would I have come up with something this bizzare though that seems to be an apt description of that rogue Reilly. I am thinking the best person to be able to find somewhere for them to live and be brought up would be Inara, but would she be willing to help? Poor Mal, he never gets a break. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 15, 2007 8:00 AM

TAMSIBLING


Looks like Inara is going to be getting some company ... I think that'd be shiny - she'd have six girls to raise and help make into ladies. Although Mal would probably be worried she'd try to make them Companions. But still, this is funny! I can only imagine what Kaylee and the rest of the crew will say!

Friday, June 15, 2007 8:52 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


ROFL! I could just see Joss doing this to poor Mal. I agree, Inara's is the best place for them.

Monday, June 18, 2007 2:11 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh ho...if Reilly is still alive somewhere, Mal is definitely gonna kill him good! I just hope Inara has the space and willingness to help Mal out;)

Brilliant plot twist here, Jane0904...utterly brilliant! This is Joss-level story shininess:D

BEB


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