Nightingale's Song
Friday, May 9, 2008

Part twenty.....thanks to all of the normal people, or at least the ones that I usually thank, after all we are not NORMAL :).... Cat meets the Canary...


Nightingale's Song ------------------------------------------ based on the World of Firefly by Joss Whedon

Cat had been down the halls of the north wing only once, but she had found her way through the air vents several times escaping her captives and just being a normal teenager girl. She had been one once, though her memory of those times was vague. If it wasn't meant to assist in the hunt, it was either pushed to the back of her mind or forgotten altogether. She remembered though something here had made her happy for awhile, but it had been too long ago. Besides now, she was here for an entirely different reason, she was searching for the one they had missed...the Companion, Inara. Her group had fallen to 'Ski, Mal, and Simon. The first two didn't surprise her at their want to come, but River's brother had caught her completely off guard. He wanted answers and some of the questions he asked even she didn't know. Strangely, she wished he had gone with Zoe and Jayne back to the ship. Mal and 'Ski were apt at the weapons they carried, but this doctor they called him seemed as unfamiliar with a gun as she was with human contact.

"Why do you think they'd take her here?" 'Ski whispered, Cat's unsettling nature evident in the way she walked.

"My creators had little use for a Companion, but there has been cases where they have gone to the Academy a season. Think maybe this Inara might have gone here." She almost growled the woman's name. "She's one of his crew, Babe." He tried to calm her, but dealing with jealousy was new to his partner and she was not doing well with this new development.

"Don't try to make me feel better, Husband. We both know you suck at it." Her voice carried only to 'Ski's ears as Mal came up beside the two.

"You sure we're still in the same place?” The Captain's eyes roamed the beautifully decor that hung on the walls and the live plants that stood in every corner.

"Oh, ya." Cat muttered, a shiver of something crawling over her back causing her eyes to reflect the darkness she seemed to hide. "Your Inara should be right up here."

"How ya figure?" Mal replied and she turned to him, a shadow almost covering her face. "I can smell her. Jasmine and wormwood with a mix of the chloroform. I can hear her, softly sobbing, but also praying to her sweet Buddha that you and the crew are still alive. I can see her, the only heat source in the vicinity as of right now, but worst of all, I can taste her, the flavor of copper from a cut near her head, the blood mixed with her perfume and oils deprived of oxygen and headed for the heart when it dried." She watched his eyes as her voice played over the lodge of her senses. Had she meant to be as blunt, there was no telling. What Cat really wanted was to be free of this place and all its memories.

"Good to know." Mal nodded, a whisper that seemed to linger between them for an eternity. What Cat was had always seemed to stump him, and the war hadn't really answered any of the millions of questions he had for her. Now, she seemed to have a shadow following her and the addition of a mysterious partner, who the captain wasn't sure he could trust.

Cat's hand fell to the handle of the door to their left. Several more littered the white hallway, but no one was about to question why she had chosen it. " 'Ski, need your magic."

Her partner, his talent for picking locks legendary knelt to pull his kit from a brown combat boot. "Love it when you say that."

'Ski's hands worked fast, the small rods and oddly shaped picks making short work of the highly secured lock. It gave a last almost painful click before the door popped open. Replacing the kit. 'Ski winked at his partner before motioning her to enter. Cat sneered at his as she pushed through the opening, only to catch a vase being thrown at her. “Inara,” Mal called walking around Cat, and caught a scared and worried woman in his arms. “Oh, Mal, I was so worried.” Her long wavy black hair fell around them both so neither saw the look Cat gave 'Ski, a look he had only seen one other time before. His partner, instead of saying a word, walked around the embracing twosome and into the heart of the room.

She had been in the staff quarters before, long ago and as far as Cat could tell they hadn't changed. Each had a nice size bed, comfy enough for two with a night stand on either side complete with alarm clock and side table lamp. Near the one wall was a dresser and walk in closet and on the other, two chairs and a small round table. As normal, a small bathroom door stood half open in the corner, where a sink, toilet and shower resided. Normal room except for one small detail.

“It's an air vent.” Simon had entered after the stranfe woman and had also been taking in the sights. What had surprised him was the large square vent nestled in the ceiling in the right hand corner.

“Huh?” Inara asked as she let go of Mal and stared at the point where Simon had spoke. “It's the only room in this whole facility that has it. I stayed here for about seven months as an exchange program while I was still in training. They converted this room so I would have a place to stay.”

“Nightingale?” Cat spoke quietly as Inara turned to her quickly.

“What did you call me?”

“I use to crawl through that vent and come visit a girl every night while she was staying here. She hated the others because they treated her like she was stupid. They were smart and gifted, but she was only going to grow up to be a....” Cat stopped before she repeated the word.

“A girl use to come visit me. An odd one, who was pale and had the most extraordinary green eyes. She never called me anything horrible the way the others did and I could talk to her about anything and she never told a soul. I called her my Canary,” Inara stated as she just stare at Cat waiting for some kind of reaction. Cat didn't even blinked, or say a word at first as the whole group stood completely phased by the new development. Only one seemed to take it in stride and with his odd sense of humor, spoke to break the ice. “Funny, I think the Cat swallowed your Canary.” 'Ski piped up, but received a glare from his partner. “And I called her Nightingale.” Cat didn't quite know how to react. On the one hand, everything in her told her this Inara was the enemy, the creature set to steal her Mal away, but then again, this was Nightingale, her confidante for over seven months and the reason she still had some humanity left in her. “Are you there, my little friend?” Inara spoke softly as she moved toward Cat.

“Not today, Nightingale. Today I must fight and little, I cannot be.” She caught the woman's gentle eyes for a second, before walking around the group and out the door. Her partner was the last to see her leave as he noticed her green eyes glistening from tears that were not allowed purchase. One more person to betray her, one more person she could no longer trust.


The group moved fast toward the ship as Cat took point keeping to herself. She was losing control of the monster and the more her emotions, whether good or bad, played havoc, the harder it was becoming. Mal went to join her as 'Ski kept to the rear as a lookout. She almost wished it were the other way around.

“You okay?” His rich baritone threatening to cause her to come undone.

“I could be better.” She growled, letting her senses proceed her down the hall.

“I know what happen between me and 'Nara stirred you up a bit.”

“She's a credit to her title, no faulting her there. Can understand why you are attracted to her.” Her eyes never turned from their straight heading, but she had let her legs slow a bit.

“Didn't plan on you returning.” He reached for her, but she let his hand slide from her shoulder. Human contact with anyone was the last thing she needed right now. To get her charges out safety she needed no distractions and Mal was definitely that, especially when he touched her.

“I came back because I left things unfinished. Maybe I felt I was finally safe to be around, that I had a handle on what I was.” She looked down at her long fingers and the dried blood beneath the nails. “Now, I'm not so sure.”

“You seem to know this 'Ski rather well, almost too well for my taste.”

“Could say the same about your Inara.” Cat spoke, but the statement fell a bit short as they came around the corner and entered the Crossroads. “Dr. Green.” Cat sneered as her eyes fell on the ringleader of the whole Academy, his gray hair neat and glasses reflecting the men that were slowly surrounding them. A rough count had yielded at the very least fifty with more piling in. The doctor spoke as chills ran down Cat's spine. “Hello, Cat 1313. So good of you to come home...”


Friday, May 9, 2008 4:58 AM


My only issue as that you post longer chapters. That' it. Otherwise, I love the way it's proceeding and what seems to come. I love this series.


Friday, May 9, 2008 4:59 AM


I mean for you to post longer chapters. I'll wait for them if it takes a little longer, seriously.


Friday, May 9, 2008 5:57 AM


Brilliant and really get very tense at the end there. Can't wait for the shiny next part. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, May 9, 2008 6:06 AM


Ooh, lots of sexual tension here. Can I put in my two cents request for Mal to end up with Cat? Even a little bit? Somehow, she seems a lot more on his level. Inara just needs someone to look after her occasionally - Cat actually needs Mal. Oh, and I'm liking 'Ski more and more!

Friday, May 9, 2008 11:48 AM


Very nice chapter! Looks like some violence will now ensue! Also like the touch that Inara and Cat know each other. Waiting for more as always!

Saturday, May 10, 2008 2:18 AM



What a revelation about Cat and Inara, though. You do right well keeping us surprised! Cat creeped me out a bit describing Inara's presence, though I have a feeling we're about to experience more than just creep-out in the next chapter. One industrial-sized can of whoop-ass comin' right up!

Saturday, May 10, 2008 2:20 AM


Yeek! I forgot to say thank you for commenting on the prologue to GoY. Mite shiny of you to drop in and help keep it in the air. ;)


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