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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
The crew struggle to escape the downed ship. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 756 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Mal grunted as he lifted pieces of twisted metal off of his first mate. All he could see of her was an unmoving, dark-skinned arm and he knew he needed to get her free to assess her injuries. His head throbbed and his muscles burned, but he kept working, determination and adrenaline fueling his tired body. If he was alive, then the others had to be as well.
He coughed, sending tendrils of pain down his limbs, and stopped for a moment to regain his breath. He briefly looked around to see if he could find something to wrap around his chest to secure his bruised ribs, but there was nothing, and so he continued working. With each hiss of metal against metal, he could feel yet another stake being driven into his chest. Serenity was down. His ship. His girl. His home. And he held no illusions that it would take a miracle to get her back into the air again. But he had people down too. His friends. His family. He needed to get to the one closest to him first. He’d mourn the loss of his ship later, when they were safe. He grunted and brushed the sweat out of his eyes with the back of his hand.
He knew if Simon were here, he’d insist on wrapping his ribs. Mal let his mind drift to the doctor for a brief moment as he worked, and exhaled sharply through his nose, when he found himself wishing the younger man was beside him. After spending so many months at each other’s throats, it was an odd, yet not unwelcome, feeling. He remembered the look on River’s face as she left to find her brother, but pushed down the feeling of dread that pooled in the pit of his stomach at the thought and just continued to pull charred and twisted bits of metal from atop his first mate.
When he finally slid the unconscious Zoe out from beneath the fallen bulkhead that had trapped her, he leaned down and listened to her chest, relieved to find her still breathing. His eyes skimmed over her body as his hands did the same, searching for any injuries, hidden or visible.
“Zoe?,” Mal said sternly, fighting to keep the desperation from his voice. He gently tapped her cheeks and rolled her head, satisfied when he noticed her eyelids flutter.
“Now don’t make any sudden movements. Have to see how bad your injuries are.”
“Bad enough,” Zoe said, her eyes still closed.
“Where does it hurt?”
One eye popped open and when her eyebrow creased in annoyance, a wry smile tugged at the corner of Mal’s mouth.
“What doesn’t hurt would be a far shorter list, sir.” She tried to move, to push herself into a sitting or reclined position, but Mal’s strong hand on her shoulder prevented further movement.
“Not until we figure out how much –“
“Dislocated shoulder, bruised ribs, concussion . . .”
Mal stared as she coolly listed off all the injuries she had sustained.
“Have to get out of here, sir. They’ll be coming for us.”
Mal glanced up and out what used to be the front window. Shattered glass hung from the frame and littered the bridge; sharp, jagged pieces were embedded into surface and skin. River had landed them in a shaded area. Broken branches and snapped tree limbs dangled in through the window. “Supposin’ they don’t bother –“
Zoe stared at him through one eye and Mal coughed back a chuckle. “Yeah, we aren’t like to be so lucky.” He glanced out the window again. “Hope ‘Nara got out in time.”
“Heard the shuttle disengage,” Zoe said, her voice solid with forced conviction.
Mal began to rummage through what used to be small lockers bolted to the back wall, hoping to find something to bind their injuries. After grunting and tugging for what seemed like hours, he finally found a blanket which he promptly tore into strips. Then he had to lay back to rest from the exertion.
“River?” Zoe asked as she lifted her head to look around.
“Went to find Kaylee and Simon.”
Zoe nodded, then glanced toward where the co-pilot’s station – or, rather, where it used to be. “Aaron? Jayne?”
Mal followed her eyes and sighed. “Haven’t seen or heard ‘em. Got out with ‘Nara maybe?”
Zoe’s gaze drifted around the crushed bridge. “Hope so.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
River reached her brother first; he was trapped beneath a piece of metal that would have crushed him had it not been leveraged by another thicker piece jutting up from beneath. Tears stung her eyes. She knew he was hurt badly, and that she should stop and help him, wake him up, get him to safety. Save first the ones who can be saved and go back for the rest later. But the overwhelming pain and whimpering coming from a few small feet away tugged at her heart and she knew her brother would approve of her decision to leave him be – for now.
She crawled to Kaylee, digging away the charred pieces of metal and wiring to reach the pregnant mechanic. River blinked away fresh tears as her eyes fell on Kaylee’s face, the pain etched there nearly too much for the younger girl to bear.
“The baby,” Kaylee whispered, a blood-covered hand protectively cradling her abdomen.
“I know,” River said. Her eyes fell on the sharp piece of metal jutting from the mechanic’s shoulder and effectively pinning her in place. “I can’t move you – but –“
“It’s coming,” Kaylee moaned, her body shaking from blood loss and pain. She lifted blood-shot eyes to River and mouthed, when a contraction drew away her breath, “Simon?”
River shook her head, wanting to force Kaylee to concentrate. “He’s fine. Just unconscious.” She clutched the mechanic’s hands and forced the older woman to meet her eyes. “We need to deliver the baby, Kaylee. You and me. We can do it.”
Kaylee shook her head, whimpering. “Can’t. Need S–“ Tears leaked from the corner of her eyes, giving her face an almost childlike cherubic look.
“I know what to do. I helped deliver a baby once.” River said the words with such conviction that she could see Kaylee begin to believe. She needed hope. She needed to believe that everything would be all right. “Besides, my brother is a doctor. He’s taught me a lot.”
“Need him,” Kaylee breathed as another contraction raced through her battered body.
“Baby’s coming. Need to deliver first. Then I can get Simon.” River pushed away more debris and pulled Kaylee’s coveralls down her legs. Bunching them beneath the woman, she fought to control the nausea that welled in her chest. At least one of Kaylee’s legs appeared broken, and she could feel, rather than see, the internal injuries that fought to end the mechanic’s life.
With a grimace, River knelt between Kaylee’s legs and counted, wanting to be sure, needing to make sure she did this right. “When I tell you to push, you need to push,” River instructed, but she could see Kaylee begin to fight to even remain conscious.
“Can’t, Riv –“ Kaylee breathed. She squeezed her eyes shut as another contraction shook her body. As she tried to breathe through it, she coughed, and drew in a ragged breath.
River looked down quickly, tears wetting her eyes as the blood appeared at the corner of Kaylee’s mouth. She knew what she had to do, but it didn’t make the reality of that knowledge any easier. In the strongest, sturdiest tone she could muster, River steeled herself and looked up. “You need to do this, Kaylee, or your baby is going to die.”
Metal scraped against metal when the ship settled once again. Sparks flew behind them as remnants were dislodged and live wires touched. Kaylee cried out as River instructed her with her limited knowledge of childbirth, neither of them noticing the hand that reached out beside them until it touched Kaylee’s shoulder.
Simon looked up at his sister, his eyes full of pain. Blood flowed from a gash at his temple, and his hands were bruised and bloodied. Grateful for his help, but wishing he didn’t have to see this, River simply looked at him, her eyes telling him more than words possibly could.
Kaylee’s pained voice broke the sibling’s locked gazes and Simon crawled to Kaylee’s side, grimacing as broken bones and bruised muscles protested each small movement. River knew he was torn – torn between wanting to hold the mother of his child while she struggled to deliver their child, and actually be the one to deliver the baby. But he wasn’t up to it, he was far too wounded to stay conscious long enough to catch the baby as it slid out of the birth canal, much less do what needed to be done to keep it alive once it had been born. River could see a checklist in his head; it’d been there a while and she’d peeked at it so many times she’d memorized it, just in case something like this happened. She could do this.
“You have to push, Kaylee,” Simon said softly, reaching a hand up to touch her cheek. Losing strength, he lay his head down next to hers and whispered a pained “please” into her ear.
River’s bottom lip trembled as she watched bruised and broken fingers close around Kaylee’s, allowing the young mother to squeeze them. There wasn’t much strength in the grasp because all her energy went to following River’s instructions to push with each contraction.
Kaylee whimpered and gasped, breath catching with each sharp inhalation. She struggled to breathe, broken ribs pushing hard against fluid-filled lungs as she tried desperately to give birth to her child. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, tilting her head to brush her lips against Simon’s dark hair.
“Don’t talk,” Simon answered slowly, burying his face in her shoulder so she would not see his tears. “Save your strength.”
“I can see the head, Kaylee,” River exclaimed, hoping to get another push out of the exhausted woman before she finally succumbed to her injuries. “You need to push again. Hard.”
“One more push, Kaylee,” Simon echoed softly, his voice rough with emotion. “Please. Just one.”
River could see him grimace as Kaylee obeyed his whispered instruction. Her hand squeezed his and she screamed loudly, her cries echoing those of the baby as it slid into River’s waiting hands.
Kaylee’s body sagged against the bulkhead and her head lolled against Simon’s, as she heard her baby cry for the first time. With no strength left to even look up, her eyes slid shut and a small, weak smile passed across her lips.
River met her brother’s eyes as he squinted down at her. “It’s a boy.”
“Lots of blood, but no sign of him.”
“Could be mine.” Zoe leaned heavily against some debris, eyes narrowed, searching for signs of life beneath the rubble. She glanced out what used to be the window and squinted, desperately hoping to see something.
The blocked doorway gave precious little information when her gaze swept over the inside of the ship. “Need to get out to the engine room. Get Kaylee, Simon, River and get off the ship. It’s too unstable in here.” As if the inanimate objects heard and understood, the deck beneath them settled, tilting them off balance. “The quicker, the better.”
Zoe’s eyes followed Mal’s as glanced back toward where River had. “Ain’t gettin’ out that way.”
“Too small,” Zoe concurred, her voice taking on an edge he hadn’t heard in a long time. “Need to re-group. Find out who made it out on the shuttle - who didn’t.”
Mal groaned as he pushed himself to his feet, swaying as the ship settled and tilted beneath him again. “Out the window then?” he suggested with an unsteady wave of his hand.
“Only way out,” Zoe agreed with a grunt as she leaned against the twisted console. “After you, sir.”
Mal scowled at her.
“Ain’t always the captain needs to leave his boat last.”
“I’m sorry, Simon,” Kaylee whimpered, her hand clutching his, her body trembling from bloodloss and pain.
“Nothing is your fault,” he answered, focusing all of his attention on Kaylee. He knew River could take care of the baby. He needed to focus on the dying woman in front of him. “Except maybe for loving me.”
“Don’t regret none of that, Simon,” Kaylee breathed, tears slipping out the corner of her eyes.
Simon wanted to tell her he did – he regretted all of it; bringing River onto Serenity, falling in love with Kaylee. It had damned them all. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t let the last words she ever heard out of his mouth be ones of regret. “Me either, bao bei.” He pressed his lips to her cheek, tasting her tears, when River appeared beside him, the baby wrapped in her discarded skirt.
“Need to hold him. Peaceful. Quiet.”
Kaylee lifted concerned eyes to River, but as the younger girl bent down to lay the baby against Kaylee’s chest, she whispered, “He’s just sleeping. He’s strong and healthy.” River forced a sad smile to her lips.
Simon pressed himself against her side so that he could balance the baby between them. Kaylee didn’t have the strength to hold him, but when River put the new mother’s arm around the sleeping boy, and then Simon’s on top, he dropped his head to her unpinned shoulder.
“Can’t get to the infirmary,” River said, glancing back at the debris that blocked the path.
“I know,” Simon whispered, squeezing his eyes shut and tightening his arm around Kaylee and the baby.
“Love you,” Kaylee breathed, coughing as her lungs filled with a fluid he knew she could not expel.
Simon lifted teary eyes to hers and when she saw his face, her own choked sobs echoed through the suddenly silent room. “Sorry, Simon.” It was that small gurgle of regret that forced the first sob from his lips.
“No. No.” He leaned forward, grimacing as his bruised body protested the movement, and pressed his lips to her cheek. He had to assure her that she should apologize for nothing. His tears dropped onto her bruised and dirty cheek, creating a clean path through the muck. “Never be sorry. Never. I love you.”
Kaylee smiled; a small, weak, exhausted thing that pierced Simon’s heart the moment her eyes fluttered shut and her body sagged against the cold metal floor.
River closed her eyes at the same time as Simon so she didn’t have to watch his reaction to the death of a woman she knew he never believed he could love so deeply. River could already feel the anguish in his heart, so deep and so overwhelming that she had to struggle to even breathe.
Comments before the hack.
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 05:22
Holy s***, did you just kill Kaylee?
I'm not panicking (completly) yet, that can be held off until the next chapter. I hope.
I wish I could comment on something else but I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that, maybe, YOU JUST KILLED KAYLEE!!
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 06:05
tense! - and double tense!
ooh you're gonna get a reaction to this!
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 06:14
Oh wow, I've got tears in my eyes - please, please don't do this! Give us some hope!
Well done on the chapter - post a follow-up soon, please!
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 06:19
Here are my reactions:
Anxiety. Relief. Relief. Eeek! Awww! Sniffle. Sob.
Sniffle, write more please, Anxiety
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 06:26
Did I not tell you the Leiasky Angst Train had left the station? Oh yes, dear friends, she just killed Kaylee.
But it was beautifully written and wonderfully told as I knew it would be. The entire struggle of the birth and Simon pleading with her to give birth to their child, knowing she's going to die is almost too much. Heartbreaking in all the right ways. And I really love River here - you've got her cogent, but not too cogent, which is not an easy balance to strike.
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 08:47
OK, Southpark moment....
You killed Kaylee!!!
LOL! OK - I can crack a joke because I read this weeks ago, and I've had time to get over the shock. My heart has regrown. Mostly. *sob*
>If you like the story, that’s her fault. If you don’t, its mine.
Woo-hoo! I like this system! ;)
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 11:08
There are no words cos.....YOU KILLED KAYLEE!!!! So far this is too sad, how is a person supposed to cope? Here's hoping for something to make us smile soon and not having to wait too long for it, please?
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 13:42
And another round of therapy for me!!!
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 14:02
Holy crap, you had to kill Kaylee didn't you? I still can't believe you did that. This is going to be one extremely angst ridden train you are riding off the rails. Just hope my poor little heart can take what else you have to come. Poor little motherless baby... Ali D
You can't take the sky from me
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 15:29
The birth, the baby boy...I knew it, you've got me bawling already.
Kaylee, umm...interesting choice. That does change the landscape a bit.
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 17:46
What the fuck?
It was nice. Short, but nice. I give it an eight out of ten. I would've liked to see more, it seemed a little rushed too - obviously it was a taste of what's to come, but you took a big risk by killing of Kaylee, a risk that more than payed off. Is she really dead? Don't fuck us around on that point, it gets really old, really fast.
Then there's the baby. A nice move, if I must say so myself. Although if you go down a TamSibling route and make the child a mind reader (Why the hell does everyone refer to them as readers? That was, like, ONE reference!) at any point in your story, I will hurt you. Seriously. No problems with TamSibling, I absolutely adored her early stuff, but the new stuff is just the same old plotlines - ie. baby is special, kidnap of simon/kaylee, Simon's mother/father pure evil, ect. It's just so repetitive.
On another note, you posted this yesterday, and you have ten (now eleven 0_0) comments already! You must be some internet celebrity or something.
Maybe I should write more stuff...
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 18:25
okay..BrainSpecialist...lil' harsh maybe?
I really can't believe what has just happened. Kaylee..gone. Painfully, beautifully, tragically gone. Now I know why you said bring the tissues..but damn you..
Wonderfully well written, and honestly one of the most moving deaths I've read on these boards. It totally stands out. Heartbreaking, but wonderful.
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 19:32
Wow. Haven't been flamed too bad yet for killing Kaylee. I did expect it:)
If this chapter got an emotional reaction out of you, I'm glad, and I did my job at least somewhat well.
There are 19 chapters to this. Half of them are beta'd but the whole story is written.
I will put those who are 'hopeful' that Kaylee is still alive to rest. She is quite dead. But that doesn't mean she won't be in the fic at all. Ponder that until I post the next chapter :)
Megg - you'll get to see how some cope over the next few chapters.
For those wondering why I HAD to kill Kaylee, well, hopefully that question will be answered by the time you reach the end of the story. Some things just wouldn't have been possible had she lived.
BrainSpecialist, What would you have liked to see more of? I could only put so much in a chapter:) I will put your mind at ease right now, none of what you don't want to happen, does. So you have nothing to worry on that score:)
I'm hoping this story as a whole resonates on a different level than my other stuff. I've certainly worked harder on it, and it goes in a direction that I think is at least somewhat original.
But the readers will be the judge of that. Thanks to everyone who commented!
Friday, August 24, 2007 - 22:34
Leiasky, it's your story, and very well told. It always takes a great deal of courage to kill one of the BDH, particularly in a long story. Somehow, short standalones are okay, but to do it in a longer tale takes guts, mainly because you (as in all of us writers) worry that you will lose readers because of what you/we've done.
That said, I can tell this is going to go very dark places. And I will follow!
Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 08:28
I applaude you, for you have the.... ahem... to kill off poor Kaylee. I'm crying like a fool, but it was so well done. And I don't think I've ever read a FF fic that has gone to that dark place in the black. Hate to love a death, but I do, and it's bittersweet that she barely got to see her son before dying. Yet at least Simon has a little part of her left.
Sniffles..... Ash wants more...
Monday, August 27, 2007 - 05:56
I think I could have coped with anyone dying but Kaylee.
But, I can't say you didn't give fair warning.
The story is amazing. I just really wish that hadn't happened.
Of course, I'm still gonna read, cos you are an amzing writer.
Oh, my heart hurts now.
Ten all the way.
Monday, August 27, 2007 - 19:13
Jesus, I go away for a few months and come back and you done this to Kaylee! What THE HELL!!!
Well at least its not Simon, sorry I love her but I love Simon more! This was...man you sure have some talent I wish I could suck out of you. Great job and please before I curse some more update AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!
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