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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
This is a collection of short scenes in the family life of Master Adam Reynolds of Serenity. Okay, a tiny bit of angst makes its way into the fluff of this part, but not too much! (I think.)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 569 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
G—Games and Gates
Much to the consternation of Serenity’s adults, Adam Reynolds began to crawl at the age of six months. Only Simon expressed no surprise, remembering clearly the same reaction on the part of his own parents when River began to crawl by a similar age.
Serenity was ill-equipped for a crawling baby, filled as it was with dizzying drops from stairwells and an infinite number of places a baby could crawl into and never be found again. With the exception of Anya, who seemed delighted that her playmate was finally mobile, everyone on the crew had frightening visions of Adam’s imminent demise, and took to watching the child with eagle eyes.
So, it was surprising when, despite everyone’s diligence, Adam disappeared one morning somewhere in the cargo bay. Shoving crates aside frantically, Mal tried to breathe normally though cold bands of fear tightened around his chest. River fared no better, for though she was connected to the child, she was panicked enough that she could not focus through everyone’s anxiety clearly enough to ascertain where he was.
Anya was unsure as to why everyone seemed so out of sorts. Getting Zoe’s attention, she asked, “Why’s everybody so upset? Adam’s just playin’ hide-and-seek, prolly.”
“He’s too little to play hide-and-seek, Anya. And he could get hurt crawling around down here,” Zoe explained.
Anya thought on that concept for a moment. “I’m good at hide-and-seek. I’ll go find him, Mama.”
True to her word, Anya did indeed find Adam, dust-covered and thoroughly enjoying himself in one of the secret compartments in the cargo bay. Simon snatched him up instantly for an assessment, thereby dampening Adam’s good humor considerably.
“How’d you know where to look for him, blondie?” Mal asked, once Simon had pronounced Adam to be spectacularly healthy.
Anya rolled her eyes. “Easy peasy, Captain Mal. This is the best hiding place on Serenity.”
Jayne grunted. “Like as not, we’re gonna lose him in one of them smuggler holes, less’n we figure somethin’ pretty gorram quick.”
Mal couldn’t help but agree, considering his heart was still racing painfully from the stress of losing Adam in the first place. “Any suggestions?”
“Gates,” Inara said softly. At Mal’s puzzled look, she explained. “Baby gates, large enough to keep Adam in a certain place while allowing the adults freedom to move about.” She frowned for a moment. “Although the ones I’ve seen would not work on Serenity since they are configured for a standard door in a home.”
“Think maybe I could rig somethin’ up,” Kaylee offered. “If’n I could get Jayne’s help with the framing, that is.”
Jayne nodded in agreement, willing to do anything to prevent having ever again to spend his morning being scared spitless by the actions of a six month old.
Kaylee swung lazily in her hammock, Adam lying sprawled over her chest, boneless in sleep. She nuzzled her nose into his soft, downy hair and inhaled the pure, sweet scent of baby.
With the Captain, River, Zoe, and Jayne all off the ship on a particularly difficult job, and Inara entertaining a client, she and Simon had been left to play parents to Anya and Adam for the afternoon. As Simon was currently engaged in a fierce game of Chinese Checkers with Anya, Kaylee had taken the opportunity to steal a few quiet moments with the baby.
Kaylee loved babies, as full of innocence and promise as one could be in the ‘verse, and she often pretended, for just a few minutes, that Adam was her baby. As babies went, she found him to be absolutely the kind of baby she wanted to have on day, seemingly blessed by intelligence from those genius Tam genes, and yet somehow so very much like the best parts of his other parent as well.
She closed her eyes, the weight of the baby pleasant against her chest, and dreamed about the babies she and Simon would make one day. Though she knew Simon would never consent to more than just a couple, she wouldn’t mind having a regular passel of little ones scurrying about Serenity. Then again, she thought, she weren’t exactly sure what the Captain would have to say about that idea, seeing as how she and Simon weren’t the only ones currently sexin’ on Serenity.
Still, she expected that there would one day be more little Reynolds babies running about, and she very much wanted them to have little Tam cousins for company. She sighed at the thought, ruffling Adam’s fine hair and startling him awake.
He looked around with his wide blue eyes, face beginning to wrinkle with a cry until he focused on Kaylee’s green eyes, crinkling around the corners with a wide smile. Reassured as to where he was, Adam began to babble happily, saying nothing even resembling any words Kaylee had ever heard. But despite that fact, she looked at him for all the ‘verse as if she understood exactly what he was trying to say. Then, pulling him up further, she placed a soft kiss on his cheek, and received a sloppy glob of saliva in return. Chuckling, she dried off the spittle, and whispered in his ear, “Would you like some little cousins to play with, sweetie?”
Adam gurgled happily as his arms and legs began pumping with the sheer joy of movement. Slipping out of the hammock, Kaylee put him on her hip and headed to find her husband. Maybe I should let him play a little more with the baby, she thought. Might be just the thing.
I—Injections and Itches
Adam lay on the exam table, fretting in the bright light and cold air of the infirmary. Mal and River stood anxiously beside the table, watching Simon’s examination in worried silence.
Simon listened carefully to the baby’s lungs, discerning a slight rattle there. “Well,” he said, “there’s no doubt he’s got a virus of some sort. I’ll need to draw some blood for analysis.” Glancing up at River’s pale face, he suggested, “Mei mei, why don’t you just have a seat outside while I do this?”
“Not leaving him,” she said firmly. “He’ll be frightened.”
“All right,” Simon agreed, knowing it was useless to argue the point. “You stand over there,” he said, pointing to the other side of the table, “and Mal, I’ll need you to stay where you are and hold his arm steady so that I can get the samples I need.”
Mal nodded, and running the back of his fingers gently across Adam’s cheek, straightened out the tiny arm and held it immobile. Adam resisted, not liking even slightly being restrained in such a manner. As Mal felt the tiny muscles struggle against his grip, his mouth went dry, but he held the arm steady. When Simon inserted the needle and Adam started to scream and cry, Mal blinked back tears of his own. And though he had seen sights in his life to turn a man to stone, when he saw his son’s red blood flowing into the vials, he came embarrassingly close to fainting for a moment.
Mercifully, Simon was finished quickly, and Mal reached to pick Adam up to comfort him. But the baby reached out for River instead, not quite forgiving his father for his part in the recent unpleasantness. Mal knew the rejection was only temporary, but still, it cut him to the quick.
“You’ll have to put him back down, River. I need to get some measurements while you’re here,” Simon said.
“What all kind of measurements?” Mal asked, ready to object if it involved any more pain to the baby.
“Just standard stuff…height, weight, head circumference…” Simon said vaguely.
“Do it quickly, Simon,” River said, her voice tight. “He doesn’t like it.”
“So I gathered from the ear-piercing screams,” Simon said, as he quickly accomplished the job, and jotted down his findings on Adam’s chart.
River picked Adam up, cradling him gently to her breast, allowing her heartbeat and scent to soothe her son.
“I should have the results of the bloodwork in about an hour,” Simon said. “I’ll let you know when I have something definite.”
For the next hour, Mal paced the ship, tension hanging around him like a dense fog. Climbing down into their bunk with the intent of arriving before Simon, he saw River staring into the crib, open-mouthed. He ran to stand beside her and looked into the crib for himself. Adam sat, naked but for his diaper, covered from head-to-toe in tiny red bumps.
“What the di yu is that?” Mal asked. “They weren’t there an hour ago.”
River said, “Don’t know. Need Simon.”
When Mal found Simon, the doctor was already on his way to their bunk with the blood results. “As best as I can tell, Adam just has a little cold,” Simon said.
“Then what do you call this?” Mal said, stepping back to give Simon a clear view of the rash.
“I’d say it is an allergic reaction to latex,” Simon answered, quickly injecting another drug into his nephew’s thigh.
“You mean your gloves made him sick?” Mal asked darkly.
“Well, no,” Simon said. “He had the cold already. But essentially, I gave him the rash to go along with it.”
“Then fix it,” River said, her dark eyes glittering dangerously.
“I already have, with the injection. He’ll be fine, as long as we remember not to let him be exposed to latex,” Simon assured Adam’s worried parents. “The rash should be gone by morning.” Looking kindly at Mal and River, he added, “You two, on the other hand, just shaved about two years off your lifespan from stress. But, as I understand it, that comes with the territory.” He patted River gently on the arm and kissed the top of Adam’s head.
Mal and River breathed a sigh of relief and watched Simon’s legs ascend the ladder. Finally, hearing the clang of the hatch door closing, they embraced each other, both weak-kneed with the scare they had just endured.
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