BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

HERMITSREST

Reunions - Part One
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Monty Reynolds makes a detour to Deadwood and he finds a bit of Serenity’s lost property. Set about three months after the end of Be Careful What You Wish For. 11th fanfic featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Grateful thanks to BlueEyedBrigadier for the beta. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment. Part 1 of 2.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1203    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Bane was marched into the bar between two bottom-feeders called Ox and Eddie with a grim expression on her face, it had become immensely tiring for her to try to think up ways of losing them. Like Mal and Monty, she knew people would be interested in her for her munitions skills, and with that fact being broadcast all over the cortex at her trial, she had been a bit naïve to think she would be completely safe. As a result of this carelessness her friend, Jayne Cobb, had been left in an alley and was possibly dead – she did not know. She found it difficult to believe he could be, but she had plenty of time over the last four months to worry about it. “Over there, Pye,” said Ox, shoving her into the corner of the booth. He was not called Ox by birth, but by description and he was not gentle. They were getting ready to bid her over to someone else, otherwise she would have been locked in a room as normal as soon as they broke atmo. She had been passed on twice already, so she barely bothered to learn their names now. She just tried to keep an eye out for the chance to get away, or blow them up. “At least get me a farewell drink,” Bane said sarcastically. Ox nodded to Eddie across the table. Eddie sneered. “I don’t have to do anything that fong luh gai says.” Ox sighed, he was a little tired of hearing this line. “Then get me a ruttin’ drink as well. And do what I gorram tell you.” Eddie stomped off to the bar. “He’s gettin’ a bit unruly,” said Bane smirking. Ox leaned his weight against her, virtually nose to nose. “And I’m gettin’ a little tired of you baitin’ him.” He was a very large man, but Bane was not in the least bit afraid. In fact, she laughed. “Qu ni de, Ox. What exactly you gonna do about it? Sell me on to the next one? No, wait, you’re already doing that. Diu lay lo mo and the Mothership she came in on.” Ox slapped her hard across the mouth with the back of his hand. He had tried reigning the anger that had been brewing, ever since he had bought her off Fenway three weeks ago, but the woman had a filthy mouth, as well as being a real pain in the ass. But she was a talented pain in the ass. Bane had licked the blood away from the corner of her mouth by the time Eddie returned with the drinks. It was cheap but strong and Bane drank it in one gulp, wincing as it stung her new cut. “So when’s your contact coming?” she said, refreshed and ready to cause more trouble. Ox looked at his watch. “Soon. I’d like to be gone from this planet as soon as possible.” “Without you,” added Eddie. Bane looked at him and smiled evilly. “And I thought we were goin’ to get hitched an’ have idiot space monkeys for children-“ Eddie grabbed her by the throat. Bane punched him in the eye and grappled with him until across the table until Ox pulled them apart. “Knock it off. Ee-chi shung-hoo-shi. For Buddha’s sake, Eddie! The idea is to make her sellable. She’s done the job for us, now she’s someone else’s problem.” “Not sure if I want to buy me a problem,” said a voice. Ox turned around and his expression changed, it was their contact. He stood up and shook his hand vigorously. “Monty! Good to see you,” Ox was fawning. Hell yes, it was good to see him, thought Bane. She was never so glad to see someone in her life, but made sure none of it showed on her face. One glimpse that she knew him and this meeting would likely end a very different way. Monty Reynolds was flanked by Eric and, she blinked, Karl. He looked different, more wild and dangerous, having not shaved in a while. “So what’s this about a problem?” Monty came to the point, he was real glad to see Bane was okay – they had all been worried about her the more months that passed. She looked terrible though, like a sewer rat in every sense of the word, right down to the short spiky hair. The only clean bit about her was the whites of her eyes. “Don’t have much time, only happen’d to be in the neighbourhood.” Eddie got cheerfully enthusiastic. “She knows her munitions alright. Probl’y saw her plastered over the cortex,” said Eddie helpfully. “You can have her for three hundred,” added Ox hurriedly, before Bane could open her mouth. Monty leaned back and looked at Bane, weighing the options. Bane thought he did this pretending thing very well, probably why he was still in business after all these years. She reckoned she could get Ox to knock the price down a little. “You dint tell them that I’m slippry’er than an eel. Five escapes attempts with you an’ three each with the other two.” “Bi zui, bitch,” said Eddie, leaning over the table and Bane punched him again, harder this time. Eddie was swearing all kinds of Chinese, his nose gushing blood. Monty watched on, amused, fully aware what Bane was up to. Karl had wondered with horror if Bane had not gone a little crazy, until he heard one of them lower the price and realised what she was doing. She looked like she had been rolling in the mud, but it was real good to see her again. “Okay, two hundred,” said Ox nervously. He pressed Bane against the back of the booth to keep her from moving and causing more trouble. “You’re done with her then?” said Monty. He was trying his very best not to laugh. “Think she broke my nose, boss,” said Eddie. Bane smirked, as he was helping her cause. She kicked him under the table for an added bonus. Ox was at the end of his tether with the woman. “Hundred an’ fifty. You take her now,” he said desperately. Monty shrugged a shoulder, feigning disinterest and turned around to Eric and Karl. “What do you reckon, boys? She looks like a ‘Verse o’ trouble to me.” With his back to the table, facing Eric and Karl, he could not keep the smile from forming. Eric folded his arms and smirked, “She’s kinda cute under all that dirt. Might be worth it. Been a powerful long time since we had female company.” Eddie, still holding his bleeding nose, spoke up. “Don’t be fooled by that one – she ain’t willin’ at –“ This time Ox kicked him. “I dunno,” said Bane, considering her options and looking at Eddie with complete contempt. “They’re prettier than you, ‘specially the blond one. Never had me a Viking before. I might be more accommodatin’.” Eddie went for Bane again. Ox threw up his hands in resignation. “Hundred. My last offer.” As much fun as this was, Monty decided to bring the matter to an end. “Seventy-five,” he said seriously. Ox considered for all of two seconds. “Done,” he said, sighing with relief. He got up and Bane allowed Eric and Karl to take her by the arms, giving very little by way of a struggle. Monty handed over the money and they left the bar quickly. As they had just turned the corner, Bane looked back and saw a couple of Ox’s other crew running into the bar. “We better hurry, I left a little present on his ship. Went off about ten minutes ago.” “Gu nian zhong de gu nia!” Monty laughed loudly and slapped her on the back, making her stagger. She looked at him, trying to hold back a wealth of emotions. “Thank you, Monty,” and she hugged him hard. Over his shoulder she saw Karl looking at her and grinning, and her eyes started to tear up. Monty held her briefly and patted her back, then let go of her like he had been burned. “Ye soo, Bane, you stink somethin’ awful.” Bane wrinkled her nose and took a smell of her own sleeve. She had got used to it. “Little thing I bin cultivatin’ called perfume-de-keep-away. I’ll be right glad to get a shower.” “I think we all will,” muttered Eric, stepping back a little. Karl was not deterred either by the smell or by appearances. He held Bane’s dirty bruised face in his hands and kissed her soundly. When her arms locked around his neck he lifted her up, stopping short of swinging her around. He put her down when he needed to take a breath. Monty now understood why Karl had stayed behind on Greenleaf. Shame, he thought to himself, she was a mighty attractive little package, when she did not stink like a gorram sewer. ~ * ~ Monty’s Buccaneer class vessel took off shortly afterwards. Bane was really grateful to be free again, for the second time. “Where’re we off to?” she asked, as Monty directed various people to their tasks, including Karl, who seemed to have been travelling with them for some time. “I was on my way to Regina for a drop. After that I reckon there’s a certain Firefly ship you two might want to get back to.” Bane could not stop grinning, she was feeling all sorts of emotions and the hard part was not letting them get the better of her until she had calmed down. “I’d like some food, if you got. I ain’t eaten since yesterday,” she asked. “Help yourself – after you’ve cleaned yourself up and we’ve burned those clothes.” Bane opened her mouth to protest, but Monty was firm, backed up with vigorous nods by his entire crew and Karl. “An’ tell me why you cut your lovely long hair?” “Lice,” said Bane, and they all took a wary step back. “I don’t have them anymore,” she added self consciously scratching her head. Monty just pointed towards the showers. There was plenty of soap and after an hour she was in danger of scrubbing herself to bleeding or staying permanently wrinkled. While she was in there she allowed herself a few tears of relief, now that she was back with people who knew her. It had been an awfully lonely four months of being constantly on her guard, and she was mentally as well as physically exhausted. When she emerged from the shower Karl was propped against the bathroom wall waiting for her. He was smiling lopsidedly, like he was real happy with the ‘Verse. Bane tucked the towel in more firmly and walked over to him. “How long have you been sailing with Monty?” she asked, reaching her hand up to trace the line of his moustache, which now had several months’ growth of beard for company. Karl, still drinking the sight of finally seeing her again, touched her cheek gently. “I stayed behind on Greenleaf after you were taken, Monty picked me up on Mal’s request near a week later.” He looked down at her. “It’s good to see you, tian shi.” Gorram it, Bane cursed as the tears came again. She wiped her eyes quickly and went into his embrace. “I’d say that was an understatement on my part,” she replied shakily. Karl laughed and held her close. He was glad she did not have that eye watering stench anymore, but the hair would take some getting used to. She was wet, warm and all kinds of mushy right now, and if they were not on a strange ship… “What’s this?” Bane pulled at the ribbon around his wrist. Karl pressed his lips together, but Bane already knew it was one of the ribbons she had been wearing the night she was taken. “I had no idea you were so sentimental.” Karl was embarrassed, but Bane was touched and stood up on her toes to kiss him. Karl caved – over the last four months this was all he had thought about doing. The only thing holding Bane’s towel up now was Karl’s embrace. A noise outside the bathroom brought them both back to reality. “I’ll be glad to get back to Serenity,” he said with some feeling. “Reckon we’ve some catching up to do.” Bane made a noise in agreement and then looked around. “Where are my clothes?” “Monty threw them out the airlock – he’s real paranoid ‘bout lice and stuff.” Karl pointed to the green piece of cloth hanging by the door. “He gave you this dress. Said it belonged to a devil woman an’ you could keep it.” Bane laughed, held on to her towel and went over to pick it up. “Underwear?” she queried. Karl shrugged and shook his head, smirking a little. “Better not bend over too much,” he said, leaving the bathroom to give her some privacy. Having been on Monty’s ship before, she found the galley without too much of a problem. The others were sat down in the middle of dinner. It was protein mush but since her kidnap she had got used to stomaching it again, as it had been the only thing going on most of the gé zhi wō ships she had been on recently. “All clean?” asked Rocky, another crew member, pushing an empty plate towards her. He sniffed in her general direction and seemed satisfied, she was a much more pleasing shade of tan now. “Scrubbed raw,” Bane confirmed. She took a long drink of the cider passed to her and licked her lips, it tasted really good. “So, Monty, how d’you find me?” Monty swallowed his mouthful of protein mush before speaking. His boys had started minding their manners all of a sudden. He allowed himself a quiet burp before answering. “If it’s munitions, sooner or later I get to hear about it,” he explained. “Heard that Ox was the one responsible for that factory job on Ita, but I know he don’t have the brains to pull off something like that. Made enquiries. Found out he’d got himself a pain-in-the-ass munitions genius that he was keen to off load now that the job was over.” “You don’t really think I’m a real pain in the ass, do you?” asked Bane innocently. Monty laughed. “Nah. You’re a fluffy bunny, bao bei. I took no notice at first, til the word ‘she’ came into the conversation. Figured it had to be you so I took a detour. We’ve all bin searchin’ for you for a while. Mal waves me near every week.” Bane needed to ask a question. “Is Jayne alright? When I was kidnapped he was beat up pretty bad and-“ Karl interrupted. “He’s fine – as are they all.” Bane was glad that he was okay. “It was all my fault – I was careless.” “Nonsense,” assured Monty. “When I picked up Karl from Greenleaf he said you’d been...” Monty went on to explain what had happened after Bane had been taken. Karl had stayed behind on Greenleaf to try and trace where Bane had been taken. Mal had taken the cargo – which turned out to be Thornberg’s daughter – to Boros. The Serenity had received word that Inara was in trouble and they had to go and rescue her. Bane ate greedily while he and the others talked. “When did you last see them?” she had missed them all, not realising until they were separated just how much. She had also worked out that she was probably an Aunt by now. Her brother must be worried sick. “Haven’t. Just been in wave contact. You can send your wave to them now, if you want – get them to meet us at the usual place.” “I will. I can’t thank you enough. I’m just glad to be among friends again. In the meantime, you just let me know if there’s any way I can work off that seventy-five credits you paid for me,” she grinned at the sniggering and added. “Munitions-wise.” “I’m sure I can think of something,” chuckled Monty. For the rest of dinner she told them everything that had happened to her since the kidnap. She was just grateful to be able to lower her guard again. During the time away from Serenity she had tried to block out thinking about them all too much, as it was too easy to get upset. Bane wanted to send the wave to Serenity straight away, but she was truly exhausted and in the end Karl persuaded her that another few hours would make no difference. She had slept very lightly in the last three months. The sleeping arrangements for crew on Monty’s buccaneer were crude and communal, just like the Rosalyn, her brother’s ship. Luckily there was a spare bunk and she ended up sleeping for a full day. ~ * ~ “Incoming wave, Mal – it’s Monty!” came Zoe’s voice over the com. Mal stood up from the table, and so did everyone else. He stopped and looked around at his crew, drinking in the visible awareness that word from Monty meant word about Bane. He walked to the cockpit and the others followed him. When Bane was greeted with a screen full of faces she was quite speechless. No one spoke for several seconds. She reached out and touched the monitor, wishing she could touch them for real. “He found you then?” said Jayne with a large grin on his face. “Glad to see you’re okay, you big ape,” Bane did not try and wipe the tears away, and could not understand why she had become so weepy lately. Karl was standing next to her, hand on her shoulder, grinning away as well. She found her voice again. “Monty’s said we can be at Aberdeen in four days time. You willing to take on such a troublesome crew member again, Cap’n?” Mal did not look like he was considering too hard. “You’re part of the crew now, Bane, munitions an’ all.” Bane smiled. Kaylee barged round Mal’s shoulder – she wanted to do some talking. “What happened to your hair? It’s all short.” Bane self consciously touched her head again. “I got head lice from one of the luh suh ships I was on. None of them was a patch on Serenity, Kaylee,” she grinned. “Don’t let Monty hear you say that,” added Zoe. She gave them a brief recount of how Monty had found her, but wanted to leave most of the story telling for when they were all together again. “Looks like you’ve bin misbehavin’,” said Mal, referring to the bruises on her face. “Gave as good as I got. Besides, they deserved it,” said Bane cheerily. “Bet you were a real pain in the ass,” suggested Jayne, and Karl nodded vigorously behind her making them all laugh. “Yesterday I looked like I’d spent three months in a toilet, smelled like one too. Monty loaned me this dress on account of them havin’ to burn my clothes.” Mal turned to his crew. “Okay, people. We’ve got us a course change to make. River?” Bane couldn’t see River but heard her. “Already on it, Captain,” she replied brightly. ~ * ~ Monty had a list of tasks for Bane to do for the remainder of her time aboard his ship. Mostly electrical work and rigging up a few booby traps that he could use on jobs. She was glad to be doing something out of choice again, instead of at the threat of a gun or fist. Karl was one of those people who could get on with everyone and he had been travelling with them ever since he had picked him up on Greenleaf. Monty had taken a shine to Karl as well, being a useful person to have around since the blonde-haired man was sharp-witted and easy to humour. Monty, seeking out Bane, found the woman under his cockpit console. She had managed to borrow a pair of pants from one of his crew, but they had been rolled up considerably – probably Barstow’s, Monty thought. Bane sat up from what she was doing when he made himself comfortable one of the chairs. “All done, boss. You shouldn’t have any problem with that comlink to the shuttle now.” “Good to hear it,” he replied. “Somethin’ else I can do?” she enquired. “Move over here permanently?” Monty tested and then added. “Karl too.” Bane tilted her head questioningly. “You asked him?” Monty shook his head. “No – you’re the one I want to hire, but if you two come as a package deal, then I could use him as well. I could protect you better than Mal, people don’t like messin’ with me.” Bane smiled kindly at Monty. He was like a favourite uncle, as precious to her now as Uncle Lo. She let him down easily. “Serenity's my home now. I appreciate the offer, an’ if I was ever in a position to want to move ships, you’d be the first one I’d wave.” Monty frowned, but he was thinking and not angry. “What it is about that boat that makes everyone so loyal an’ keen to stay aboard?” Bane shrugged one shoulder. “Don’t really know what it is, Monty. You have to walk her corridors at night to truly understand. It’s more than a home, it’s a way of being.” Bane stood up. “I know things don’t last forever, but as long as she’s in the sky and I’ve a mind to, I wanna be on that ship.” Monty sighed, not really understanding. Bane leaned down and kissed his cheek before leaving the cockpit. “It’s just a ship,” he whispered after her. ~ * ~ When Monty’s ship landed, Serenity was already there, ramp down, crew on the ground. Before they broke atmo, Bane had been too excited to stand still for long and kept walking around the ship, looking for things to do. Monty asked Karl if she was always like this and he confirmed that she was. He then slapped him on the back and wished him all the luck in the ‘Verse with her. When they finally disembarked, Bane jogged down the ramp into the sun. The bright light shot stabbing pains into her eyes so she shaded them against the worst of the glare as she walked towards Serenity and her crew. It was Kaylee who made up most of the ground between them, to nearly bowl her over in welcome. “It’s so good to see you. I knew we’d find you,” she talked speedily, “You look real strange without long hair.” Bane giggled and looked at her squinting. “I’ve missed you too, Kaylee.” “Good to see you, Bane,” said Zoe, walking up with the others. “Glad to have you back. We were all worried about you,” said Simon, pushing past Zoe to hand Bane her sunglasses. Bane put them on quickly and the pain disappeared. She gave Mal a brief hug before he went off to talk to Monty with Zoe. Jayne handed her a hat. “Thought you might want this to keep your head warm for a while.” It was not his orange hat with ear flaps, but another knitted wool cap, probably sent by his mother. It was a dirty white colour and she put it on her head immediately. Bane hugged him warmly and held on, until Jayne got embarrassed enough to pull away. “Now I can get married,” stated Kaylee to Simon firmly, as she indulgently took in the scene. ~ * ~ Both Bane and Karl had a lot of news to catch up on and Kaylee made sure she was the one to tell it. The biggest news was that Zoe was going to have a baby, although no one went as far as to voice the father’s name out loud, but they had pretty much worked it out themselves. The only thing that Bane was not happy about was the news that they were going to Whittier, before heading to Kaylee’s home of Highgate, which was nearby. Although her cousins were there too, it was also the place where she had been jilted some years ago. The likelihood of bumping into him was remote and it quickly dropped from her mind, as there were so many things that needed to be done now that she was back. Kaylee wanted Bane to make her wedding dress, now that she was back and she also had a large order to fill for Monty. Mal had also informed her that Badger was likely to want to avail himself of her skills before long. Mal was finally easier with the ‘Verse again now he had his crew back. Thoughts of Inara kept knawing at him though and it was difficult to ignore – keeping busy and working was one way. Bane came into the cockpit. “Hiya, Cap’n,” she chirped, sounding a lot like Kaylee. “Is it alright if I wave my brother? I’ve a need to see what my niece or nephew looks like – do you know which it is?” Mal looked sheepish. “Yeh, about that. I’ve kinda bin ignoring your brother since you were kidnapped.” “He doesn’t know!” she said and Mal nodded. Bane could see the Captain’s logic, but only up to a point. “What if you’d bumped into him planetside?” Mal shrugged. “Would’ve told him you were doing a special job with Monty out on the Rim - like to take a coupla months.” Bane laughed incredulously. Mal vacated the chair so she could sit down and send a wave. Bane reached over and put on River’s pilot cap to hide her hair, still feeling a little naked and bald. She did not have long to wait before Stan’s face appeared. He looked disappointed and then beamed reassuringly. “Ain’t seen you for a spell, Bane. Interestin’ hat.” Bane looked across at Mal and rolled her eyes, she would keep up his lies for a while. Until her hair grew a bit at least, or until they bumped into each other, whichever came first. “Thanks. I’ve bin busy. Tony around?” “Hang on,” he said and disappeared. The screen flicked over to Tony’s quarters and Anna was there. She looked healthy and blooming, if a little tired around the eyes. “Baby keepin’ you awake?” she asked, before Anna could make a comment about her hat as well. Anna laughed and reached over, off screen. She brought back a bundle, fortunately asleep. “Bane, meet your niece, Rosalyn Shoo Pye. Rosie,” she said touching the baby’s chin lightly, “Meet your Auntie Bane.” She looked every inch a Pye from her darkening scalp to her almond shaped eyes. “Did everything go alright?” she asked. “Kind of. This little scrap was determined to be born in the Black just like her ancestors. She came a couple of weeks early, while we were en route to Persephone. I had me some interesting midwives, but everything went well. Now they all think they’re experts on the topic.” Bane laughed at the thought of Angel or Ragen, or even Stan, helping to deliver the baby. Bane told Anna that they were bound for Whittier and then Highgate, but was unsure where they would be after that. They talked for a while and Anna caught her up on the family gossip. Angel was leaving to settle planet-side soon on Haven with a girl. It meant that the Rosalyn had to hire on a new mechanic. “Corren not up to the task?” asked Bane, who had thought she would be. “Corren’s not on board anymore,” Anna’s expression changing to one of worry. “She went a bit wild and left us. I don’t like the idea of her being out there alone, specially as her parents trusted us to look after her.” “Where’d she get off?” “Three Hills. I think it had something to do with a man as well.” Anna’s face lit up as Tony came into their quarters. He took his baby daughter from his wife and settled in the chair. She could see the pride on his face and was proud herself that their family line would continue.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 12:29 AM

HERMITSREST


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