Angelle in Brown Part 3
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chow on board and a familiar face, though not a welcome one....thanks to all reading!!


Angelle is mine and the rest is Joss's. ----------------------------------------

Chow....or dinner, the time where you eat, drink, and be merry or at least do two of the three, depending on how your day went thus far and since mine had gone pretty well, I was indulging in all three. We had quite a spread before us, one last meal on land before we took to the stars and I had contributed some swamp berries; a cross between a strawberry, raspberry, and choke cherry. It's an odd duck, but after living with them all your life, you get use to their weird taste, texture, and look. The best way is to say; they resemble a man's testicle in freezing cold water, fuzzy, shriveled, and lacking in any real recognizable shape. Laugh as long and as hard as you like, that is what they looked like and about the way they felt. Like I said before, an acquired taste.

Kaylee had been the first brave one, touching the small fruit then proceeded to drop it in her mouth. Her first reaction was like a little baby with its first taste of something sour, lips puckered and eyes squeezed shut and then the sweet juice began to out weigh the tang and her face slacked back to normal. "It's got a kick." She mumbled before reaching for another.

After that, everyone tried one with about the same reaction, though River, now sporting a necklace full of 'animal' teeth, which she did eventually bring back to me (her brother Simon all but drug her) and then I told her to keep them. I rather like my shark's teeth better and I still have those rat tail earrings. I kid you not, they truly are rat tails. Mal did respond with a few choice words in Chinese along with Jayne as to the feel of the berry in their mouths and the way it burst when they bit into it. I stifled a bit of a giggle at the response before working my way through a salad filled with tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and some cheese. The berries were definitely great, but my father thought they were cure alls and fed them to me religiously whenever I got as much as a sniffle. He also used to tease me and say they were the balls of an old Alliance Sargent. Talk about scarring a kid.

Sitting around that table almost felt like it did when my family was alive. Mal, Inara, and Zoe were talking about where they needed to go next for Inara's business as well as where their next non-sexual job would be. Oh, come on, everyone knows that all Companion outings turn sexual eventually. Kaylee and Simon seemed wrapped up in themselves, snickering a bit at something the other said. Jayne sat staring at me as River seemed fascinated with her 'teeth' and the berries. Yup, all the comforts of home, 'sides the smell of gas and the fear of a Gator walking in on ya.

"Malcolm Reynolds!" A metallic voice boomed across the mess hall's intercom, interrupting the peaceful meal and making me almost regret what I had just thought.

"Sounds like Badger." Jayne growled reaching for the pistol he had positioned near his plate. I had heard of a badger, mean with a nasty disposition and did I mention not something you want to run into when you're alone in a swamp. They tended to be a bit strong with sharp claws, teeth, and foul breath. Don't ask why I know about the last part. Strange story with which you can ask my dad...he doesn't seem afraid to share.

"Let us handle this." Mal spoke reaching for his coat and motioning for Zoe to join. I stood and went to follow, but he put his hand up. "You stay here. Something happened to you, your father would..." "Spare me the hero speech. My father knows I'm completely capable of taking care of myself and would firmly blame anything that happened to me on, well, me." My hand fell to the beautiful revolver that clung to my waist. Mal nodded, but still held that look my pa always did when his men went out to fight. It was a haunted look, one that hoped all would end peaceably and without injury, but burned with the desire to use force if need be. "Suit yourself."

It was a short walk back to the cargo bay, a trunk of mine backed up in the corner filled with clothes, weapons, and a few more surprises in case they were needed. Other things also littered the spacious floor. Mal had said they had a delivery for Patience, an old timer that also made her resident on Whitefall and an ex of my dad's. You could sure as shooting, meeting her was on my things to do list. Hopefully, I would be long gone before that meeting occurred.

Mal walked to the cargo doors and punched the button as it dropped, gears grinding like the teeth on a mad toddler, who couldn't have just one more piece of candy. It opened slowly, each step an anticipation as to what would lay beyond those doors. Mostly, it was the hustle and bustle of the shipping yards, a few merchants barking out their wares as an occasion street rat begged for coin. Standing in front of it all though, was a small roach of a man with a faded black bowler hat and a few armed men.

Bowler hat, who I assumed was Badger since he seemed to lead this hired goon parade walked up the ramp without even really thinking of asking for an invite. I could tell right then, Mal had a bit more patience than my dad, but only a slight bit more as he barked a firm....”That's far enough.”

“Mal, I thoughts we all were pals by now.” he spoke with a voice like a roach except maybe this one from the Old country because he had an accent dripping in the stuff.

“And just how many times have you burned me?” Mal spoke, a different voice than what he had addressed me with and even that of his crew. “What do you want?” “I've gots a proposition for ya.” He smiled and right then, I instinctively wanted to shoot him, not sure why I did, but damn it, I did.

“If that's a job...” Jayne whispered harshly to Mal and I smiled. Big words were not his strong suit, I could tell that.

“Let's hear it.” I immediately felt eyes on me as Badger motioned his hand my way. He faced me, still having his feet planted in the spot Mal told him, but the roach might as well be breathing down my neck for all the good a few feet did. I felt naked under his stare and a bit violated, especially when his tongue ran across his upper lip.

“Who's the new lass?”

“No one you need knowin' about. Now, job, Badger or get the hell off my boat.”

“Relax, Reynolds, I'm getting to it, just admiring the view.” He continued to stare as I felt my finger pulling back the hammer on my gun. Thankfully, Mal had my back or his, not sure how that one would work.

“I haven't got all day.”

“Heard you were headed to Whitefall and I've some cargo needin' delivery. Pay you half it's worth once I have confirmation it's delivered.”

“What sort of cargo?” Zoe spoke as Badger smiled at her. “The needing delivered kind. You got my word it ain't live and it doesn't shit like those cattle.”

“But, would the Feds understand if they caught us?”

“When has the bloody Alliance scared you?”

“They don't, but it would be nice to note, in case we have a run in.” Mal commented.

“Well, they could ask questions, if that's your drift.” Badger took a glance at me, but this time, I raised an eyebrow motioning back to the conversation at hand.

“And how much is this half?” Jayne grumbled, his hand never once leaving the pistol at his side. “Enough to keep you and this boat fed for awhile.”

“Well, I eat...A LOT.” The merc accented the last two words as I stifled a snicker.

“I'm not insuring your cargo this time.” Mal tossed out the statement and I figured they had dealt with him in the past and it had not always gone so smooth.

“Be why I ain't payin' you 'til it's delivered. Besides, I'm sure we can work out sumting if things go sour.” Again he looked at me and it was all I could do from shooting him. Let me tell you this, Gators are far cry easier... though, it would have been a riot to see River dancing around with a Badger teeth necklace. Oh, yes, I would!

“Your cargo will be safe, but I better get paid.”

“Mal, how can you treat me like that? After all we've been through.”

“That'd be exactly why.. Jayne, help them find a place for whatever Badger's got planned.” Mal motioned to the merc, who reluctantly let go of the pistol at his side, much like a squirrel would release the perfect nut to save his life and followed Badger down the ramp. Mal, a hand running through his slightly ruffled hair walked toward me and placed a hand on my shoulder. The warmth and smell of him was a welcome reminder of just whose boat I was on.

“You okay?” he spoke to me and I looked at him nodding my head.

“Been awhile since I've had the pleasure of helping guard a crew. Humans are a bit different than swamp pests. People have a hard time if you shoot them without good reason.”

“Badger is a worthless piece of go-se, but he does keep us workin' most of the time.”

“Always act like he owns your boat?”

Mal nodded. “Unless I say otherwise. Man has all the manners of a rabid dog. He'll bite you and then lick the open wound after if you'll give him a treat.”

“Sounds like a great guy to bring home to Dad.” I teased, but Mal only shook his head.

“Seems to me like Sam wanted his son in law to bleed Brown.”

Red once again found me face as I shook my head and cussed about under my breath. “Told you that as well, did he?”

“Man all but tried to convince me to come home and meet ya, but with the Alliance on our tails, it was too dangerous.” He let his blue eyes fall to mine and I knew mine betrayed the thoughts I was having at that moment. “So was he right about me?”

“I could ask you the same question.” I smiled, trying not to let the heat that was radiating off my face influence anything I would say here. Believe me, if my father had been next to me, I would have choked him. Thankfully and I do mean this, Badger and Jayne came strolling back, interrupting our little talk (THANK GOD!!).

“Finish this later.” He smiled as he walked away and I drew in the deepest breath I could.

“Completely looking forward to it,” I muttered to no one in particular, though when I waved my father later tonight, he was going to get a serious tongue lashing, which he would laugh off or drink off before waving back and telling Mal not to let me get away. God, I loved my dad.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008 11:55 AM


Sounds like some crime might be afoot shortly... can't wait.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 1:26 PM


Oh how I wish Angelle had shot Badger. Just for the sheer unmitigated fun of it! And I am a bit disturbed Mal didn't demand Badger put up half the money up front. Waiting on delivery to get paid is risky to say the least with that rat. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 6:42 PM


Looks like you're setting up something interesting here. Can't wait to see how the plan goes south, because it always does.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 10:40 PM


So Patience is an ex of Angelle's father? And a necklace of Badger teeth for River? Something to look forward to. I love the idea that Angelle's dad had been matchmaking ... although perhaps Mal is taking this all a little too lightly. Just have to wait and see!


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