BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

In His Cups - REPOST
Monday, November 26, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. A little one shot where Hank is having way too much to drink and conversing with someone.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1716    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

“Have you seen her?” Hank asked, putting his mug back down on the bar. “You should. I mean, that’s a woman to make the heart beat faster.”

He tapped his nose. “You know, it’s not like I hadn’t had offers. I had. In the last few years women have been falling over themselves to sleep with me.” He draped his arm around the other’s shoulders. “Good looking man like me, ain't really surprising, is it? But it seems they was only the hors d’oevres, as you might say. And boy, was the main course worth waiting for!”

He hooted with laughter, then swiftly covered his mouth in case anyone heard, but he couldn’t keep it inside.

“Main course and sweet, sweet dessert, all rolled up into one package.”

Serenity’s pilot was more than a little drunk, and he didn’t care. He had money in his pocket, and a need to talk to someone, and he’d found just the right bar. Now he was feeling loquacious.

He grinned lopsidedly. “You know when I first saw her?” He put a finger to his lips. “Don’t tell anyone, but it was when Mal interviewed me. Heard about him, a’course. The whole damn ‘verse saw what he did, saw the mess on Miranda, but not many know it was him. I did. She told me.” He winked very carefully. “Can’t say who, but it was a little bird.” He frowned. “Where was I? Oh, yeah.” He lifted his head. “Bar keep, another round for me and my friend!” he called and laughed.

The barman poured, picking up a coin from the pile in front of him. “That it?” he asked. Hank nodded.

He waited until the barman had gone to serve someone else before he leaned forward again. “That’s when I saw her. First time. Standing next to Mal. She looked me up and down like I was a side of meat she was considering buying. Man, she could have bought me thirty times over!” He paused and took a large mouthful of beer. “Like some kind of exotic flower. And right then and there I wanted to make her blossom.” He glanced about. “Always knew if she gave me the chance I could make her bloom.”

He sighed, his good mood replaced in a moment by sadness. “Only it took her so long to even look at me. Well, I mean, of course she did, but it was like I was something she’d scraped off her boot.” He hunched his shoulders. “I know it was cause she was still grieving. I understood that. I mean, I did. Grieve, I mean. After Risa … Couldn’t look at another woman for … I mean, like I said, I'm a healthy specimen. Ask anyone. And it was a long time since I was with anyone, truth be told, and then it wasn‘t anyone I cared about.” He looked as if he were about to cry. “And right now there’s so much love on board, with all the kids, the babies … I just hadta get out for a while, first planet we stopped at.” He took another drink, attempting to swallow the lump that had mysteriously appeared in his throat.

Then, just as quickly, his good mood returned. “But that –” He stopped for a moment. “Ssh,” he whispered loudly. “Barkeep’s giving me a funny look.” He smiled hugely and waited until the offending person had turned away. “Better be quieter,” he said warningly. Then his face softened. “Oh, but that she is swai. Someone I can look up to. Literally!” He chuckled at his own joke. “And she makes me feel special.”

He sighed. “You know, I couldn’t’ve been all that sorry in her eyes,” he said thoughtfully. “First time she saved my life, on that job. Pushed me down, out of the way of trouble. I could feel her body all along mine …” His eyes unfocused. “It was hard, lying there, her on top of me …” He realised what he’d said and giggled. “I don’t mean hard … well, I do … sure she felt something … but all she did was wait for the shooting to stop and then pull me to my feet. I said thanks, tried to make her see I was real grateful, but she just walked away.” He sighed again. “Only now she’s mine, and we got the baby, all I have to wait to do is see what she decides on for a wedding.“ He stopped and thought about that sentence, then shrugged. “Just took me a hell of a long time to make her see what an amazing thing I had to offer her – me!”

He collapsed onto the bar top, almost hysterical, just as the woman herself walked into the bar, looking around.

He saw her first and tried to pull himself together, saying, “Ssh! Don’t let her know we’ve been talking about her!”

Zoe glanced around the room and finally saw Hank at the end of the bar, his arm draped around the shoulders of a marble statue of a naked woman, his face more than a little flushed, looking as if he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. She crossed the floor in long, easy strides.

“Hank, Mal’s been looking for you. He’s had word of a job – needs to get us off this rock before the hour’s out.” She leaned forward and caught a whiff of Hank’s beer-laden breath. “Oh my,” she said, waving a hand in front of her face. “Not sure it’d be safe to let you pilot a dog cart, let alone a spaceship.”

“I am fine,” Hank said with exaggerated care.

“Just don’t go breathing on Ben. I don’t want him drunk before his first birthday.”

“As if I would!” He sounded affronted.

“No?”

He stood upright. Almost. “Me and my friend were just having an interesting conversation.” He patted the statue on the arm.

“That must have been worth hearing,” Zoe said, shaking her head.

“Damn good listener.” He grinned lopsidedly.

“Come on,” Zoe said firmly. “Let’s get you home. Looks like River’s gonna have to do your job ‘til you sober up.”

“Madam, I am as sober as a judge!” Hank insisted, stepping forward. He spoiled the effect by nearly falling, which he would have done if Zoe hadn’t caught him.

“Yeah, as long as that judge was three sheets to the wind.” She shook her head again, but couldn’t help the slight smile that creased her lips. “Come on. Time to get you home.”

“For you, anything,” Hank said, aiming a kiss at her cheek and missing by a mile.

“You know, I figured that out a long time back.“ She got her shoulders under his arm and supported him as they went to the door.

“Wait!” he cried suddenly, half-turning. “Barman, buy my friend whatever he wants!” he proclaimed, tossing a coin onto the bar. “Damn good listener. Damn good,” he repeated as Zoe manoeuvred him outside.

The barman looked at the end of the bar, seeing nothing but the statue he’d taken off some other drunken idiot in lieu of payment in a moment of misplaced sympathy, and shook his head. Just another fool in the depths of drink, he thought, pocketing the coin and going back to drying glasses.

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