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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Part 7. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo, who said he didn't have time to write it, so would i do it for him. i said yes. we still hope you enjoy.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1036 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
The first thing that struck Mal on his initial sight of Zoë after six years was her fist.
"He took my baby!" she choked out as Mal spluttered in the dirt at her feet. "Where have you been? What have you been doing?!"
"Eating bao and cavorting with loose women!" Mal shot back, regaining his feet. "What d'you think I've been doing?" Zoë looked past him and saw Simon, Kaylee and River standing in the cargo bay, Jayne swaying on his feet not too far behind. Cleo was even standing nearby, a child on her hip and another holding her hand, every last one of them gaping at the scene.
"He took my baby," she gasped. "He took her and now I..."
"I know," Mal said, calmer now, but still wary. "We're here, we can handle this. All of us."
She allowed him to hold her and she finally wept against his shoulder. She could hear heavy footfalls and expected Jayne's rough voice to ask the important questions that needed to be asked.
She did not expect the bear hug that enveloped her or Simon's voice calling out to Jayne that it was okay, and he could go back inside, now, and to let the Captain and Zoë go.
"Zoë, I'm real sorry your little baby girl..." Jayne's voice cracked as he released them and stepped back suddenly. He coughed. "If I ever get my hands on that...I'm gonna...I'll..." At Zoë's look, Mal just shook his head.
"Where could he have her hidden?" he asked instead.
"He took her off-world this morning," she answered, grateful for a solid question she could answer. "Hired some man to take her to Sihnon - the Companion Training House. It's possible he went with, but I can't confirm it."
"Then we'll follow and take her back before they get there," Mal said, moving back towards Serenity. "It's over a week to get there and we've only a few hours lapse. We'll bring her back safe. Cleo can stay here and keep the place runnin' smooth, can't ya, Cleo?"
"Don't worry about a thing, Zo," the woman assured her. "I put together a bag for you already and put it on board. I knew you wouldn't want to waste time. Go get Kya and bring her back home!"
"Thank you," Zoë whispered gratefully as she allowed Mal to lead her to the ship.
"You knew I'd be here," Mal replied, gingerly touching the blossoming bruise. "I would never leave you to go it alone. If I'd known you were gonna flatten me, I might have come out armed, but I'll know for the next visit now."
"Sorry, Sir," Zoë replied, clutching her duster to her body to cover her shivering. "It's been a long time coming, though."
"Flattening me or the visit?"
"What happened to Jayne?" Zoë asked, eyeing the man carefully.
"I'll tell you once we're away," Mal promised. "River took Kaylee's old bunk, so if you want, you can have yours back." Zoë nodded as she collected the bag Cleo had packed for her as she continued through the bay. River had already made her way to the bridge and was warming up the engines as Kaylee hurried her oldest son on their way to the engine room, talking of the next adventure and what might happen. Briel waited by his father's side as Simon spoke in calming tones to Jayne. However, when Mal passed by, Briel ran to the Captain's side and held up his hand.
Zoë watched as Mal stopped and looked back to Simon, seeing the doctor was distracted with Jayne, before accepting the boy's hand and answering a question Zoë had not heard completely. The two continued walking hand in hand, questions and answers relaying back and forth between the two.
It was then Zoë realized she was truly on Serenity again.
"It don't make no sense," Kaylee said once they were all seated around the table and Zoë had explained all she knew.
"If he wanted your business," Simon agreed, "Then why would he personally take Kya across the 'verse to Sihnon?"
"Right now, we just get Kya back," Mal insisted. "We'll worry about the rest later. River, how far behind are we?"
"Assuming the most direct route is being taken," River replied slowly, "Within six hours we should be upon them."
"All right then," Mal nodded. "Now, they ain't expecting to be followed so soon, so we'll try knocking, first. See if we can't convince 'em we're trading long enough to open a door."
"And when that doesn't work?" Zoë asked quietly.
"There are other ways," Mal replied. "We'll be ready for those. Kaylee, I'm gonna need you to help me with --"
"Children," River interrupted.
"Them, too," Mal continued. "River will be on guard and pilot duty. Kaylee, I need you to be focused other parts. River, you keep those kids with you on the bridge if you have to, but no matter what, I do not need four and six year old bargaining chips if things go wrong. I'm hoping they let us in. If that's the case, Simon and I will go over." He didn't say aloud his concern that Kya might need medical attention. He didn't think Zoë needed to hear that.
"Mal, that's crazy, the doc can't barely cover you," Jayne's voice sounded from the end of the table. He was still having his emotional moments, and twitching slightly, but was working on becoming more frequently himself.
"Why does Da have to cover anyone?" Hoban asked from the doorway.
"Who's covered?" Briel asked the Captain directly, pushing past his brother.
"You two are supposed to be coloring in your room," Kaylee admonished, rising from her seat and hurrying them out of the room. Briel squirmed out of his mother's arms and ran to River's side.
"You can't go," Briel insisted. River looked at him curiously.
"Not my place," she replied. "Captain's orders are to stay here. Protect you."
"Is that why you cried? You wanna go with t'the other ship?" the child asked, thinking of the hallway. Before River could answer, Kaylee was picking him up and carrying him off.
"No, baby," Kaylee was murmuring, rubbing her son's back. "That was jus' something else. We'll talk about that later. Let's get back to coloring, yeah?"
"I cannot be having this now," Mal muttered, straightening away from the table.
"Focus is scattered," River said quietly. "Leaves on the wind."
"Let's hope not," Zoë responded, knowing where River had picked up that gem of a phrase. Mal looked at the two, trying to bring his own focus back as well.
"I want Simon with me," Mal said firmly. "Jayne, you'll be with Zoë. But only if you can do this. You start hugging people or try talking to lamps again, I will give permission to shoot you."
"I don't think that'll be a problem," Jayne sneered. Zoë raised her eyebrows slowly.
"Leg or arm, only," Jayne finally decided. At Zoë's assenting nod, Mal smiled.
"Let's get to knocking," he said.
"But Momma, she was crying," Briel insisted. "And she called me. I know she did!"
"I ain't saying she didn't," Kaylee said, not for the first time. "But it's all right. It...happens...sometimes to Aunt River. She has bad headaches, is all."
"Headaches in other people's heads?" Hoban muttered darkly. His mother looked to him suddenly.
"She's special," Kaylee finalized. "And that's why you have to do what she says. Just for a little while. You'll get to see the stars better up there. Won't that be fun?"
"How come I can't stay with you?" Hoban asked. "The engine room sounds fun. The bridge sounds boring."
"The bridge is not boring," Kaylee argued. "There are lots of fun things that happened up there."
"Name one," Hoban challenged.
"Well," Kaylee thought for a minute, trying to find something appropriate that would appeal to her sons. "There was this girl who -"
"A man was killed in there," River said from over Kaylee's shoulder. Kaylee whirled on her sister-in-law.
"River, that's not a story for young minds!" she hissed.
"Oh," River replied, watching Hoban and Briel look to her expectantly. "They seem interested."
"That's not the point," Kaylee tried again. "They--"
"Captain needs you in the bay," River interrupted. "The boys are to come up to the bridge."
"Do not tell them that story," Kaylee ordered. "No matter what! They're not old enough yet."
"When will they be old enough?" River asked, confused. Kaylee kissed her sons' foreheads quickly and ducked out of the room without answering. River shrugged and turned back to the boys.
"We have to go," she said, holding out her hands.
Kya glared at the pilot furiously as hot, angry tears spilled down her cheeks. He barely spoke to her except when he offered her food before the long journey required his attention. And he called her "Little Girl" or "Child," never by her name. She had been strapped to the chair quite securely - especially after she had tried to push buttons and levers on the console in an effort to turn the ship around and take her home. Momma had said her Daddy was a pilot - and a great one - but apparently none of his skills were genetic...not like in the stories she'd read where folk suddenly understood their purpose and could use skills they'd never learned before.
Still, she had one weapon. Momma always said her tongue could cut deeper than a knife.
"My Momma's gonna cut you up and hide the little pieces in her garden," she promised darkly. He turned to face her, a curious look upon his face at the words she spoke. "She'll let the worms eat through you and churn up nutrients in the soil and then next summer, we'll have great big salads on the menu and when the guests ask what Momma's secret is, she's just gonna smile and say it was an old dog needin' to be put down. You don't know my Momma. She can do it and she won't even blink while she does it."
"My dear child," the man smiled. "Your mother can take it up with the Training House. I am nothing more than a courier."
"My Momma fought Reavers an' lived to tell people not to tell me," Kya went on. "She's not afraid of anything and she'll take you down just for being in her way. She fought in the War, she flew t'everywhere in the 'verse and beyond and --"
A warning beep sounded from the console, taking the man's attention from her. She strained against the bindings uselessly, angry for being so interrupted. She saw his hands dart across the buttons, monitors and dials...and then he paused and sat up straight in his seat.
"It's not possible," she heard him whisper. Her own eyes widened. She'd been right? Momma was right behind her? He turned in his chair, narrowing his eyes as he focused on her.
"Who did you say your mother is?"
"Captain, your plan worked quite well," River called over the comm system. Mal paused, looking at Zoë. He had been helping her into one of the prepped suits as Kaylee was finishing the touches on a gadget she'd made to scramble an airlock's tumblers. Simon, closest to the comm in the bay, replied to River.
"You hailed the ship?" he asked.
"They are hailing us," River's voice echoed in the large chamber. "He sounds familiar. And he's smiling."
"Smiling?" Mal repeated softly. Zoë shook her head in confusion.
"Smiling," River confirmed.
Friday, February 13, 2009 7:08 AM
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