BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Other Lives
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another drabble, a companion piece to PRETENDING, and inspired by Amdobell and Katesfriend in particular for their comments on that piece, and for everyone else who has reviewed. Zoe-centric this time, set post-war, pre-series.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1809    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Zoe straightened up, her hand in the small of her back, rubbing at the ache. She knew she’d offered, and she also knew Mal was working just as hard, but sometimes, when she looked at the size of the cargo bay, she wondered if it was just too much for two people. At least he’d dealt with … whatever it was in the middle of the floor, but that was only a small mercy.

Every single surface was dirty. Or greasy. Or dirty and greasy. Or … if she’d taken an inventory of every square inch she’d shied away from touching, she’d have run out of paper a long time since. Not that she minded handling things that weren’t pristine – hell, couldn’t live through a war and be fussy, considering what had gone through her fingers in her time. But that was over. They didn’t win, and maybe some folks still acted like they were fighting, but the war was finished.

They weren't, though. Finished, that is. The Sergeant had bought this ship, paid good money for it, probably more than it was worth, but she’d finally seen a little of the man shine through that he used to be. He’d even chided her for saying what she thought, that it was a death trap.

Dropping her rag in the bucket by her feet, and ignoring the splashes it made up her leg, she shook her head. Trust him to go for a ship that was more than a little broken. That was why he hadn’t told her before he handed over the credits, she knew that. And it was also why she hadn’t argued too much.

He saw something in this Firefly, this old, somewhat decrepit boat, that mirrored his own soul, and maybe, if they could put her back together, make her fly again, maybe some of his cracks could be healed too.

She didn’t kid herself. She knew she was damaged, had been for a long while, but at least she hadn’t lost her faith. If anything, her faith had been in her Sergeant, and he’d kept them going when everyone else had abandoned them. And now it was her turn.

She leaned forward to regain the rag, maybe rinse it out, then paused. No, she needed fresh water. She’d made do with what she could, but she’d only be laying dirt on top of crud, and that wouldn’t do. Picking up the bucket and groaning, only allowing it to pass her lips because no-one else was listening, she was about to head for the galley when movement caught her eye.

“Zoe?” He stood in the bright light coming through the open bay doors, little more than a silhouette.

“Here, sir,” she said, coming slowly down the stairs towards him. No need to rush, not until she’d checked over the bolts holding the metal to the hull. They squealed a little too much for her liking when she walked on it.

“That room ready?”

She reached the floor and approached him. “Sir?”

“I got us a mechanic.” He was like a little boy, showing off his first bike, or perhaps a conjurer waiting for applause after a particularly difficult trick.

“A mechanic.”

“That he is. Name of Bester. He’ll be here ‘fore nightfall.”

“Is he any good?” she asked, joining him in the sunshine streaming through.

“Says he’s the best there is.”

“Says?” Her eyebrows raised in query.

“Zoe, come on.” He put his hand on her shoulder. “We need to get out into the black, and we ain’t gonna do that with half the engine in pieces. I don’t know what I'm doing, and neither do you, space-brat though you were.” He grinned. “’Sides, if he ain't no good, we’ll find another.”

“For the money we’re offering?”

“You never know.” He laughed, even though there was a flavour of sadness in it. “Come on,” he said, taking the bucket from her and tossing the soiled water out into the dust. “We can do this, Zo. Like we’ve always done things. Together.”

Stripping off his leather coat, he laid it carefully over a cleaned section of railing, pushing his shirt sleeves even further up his arms, the scars finally fading. He glanced at her and jerked his head towards the common area doorway, then strode off in that direction, expecting … knowing that she’d follow.

She smiled. Not her Sergeant anymore. Now he had a crew, and that made him her Captain. They might be flying in a death trap, named for a place she’d honestly rather forget, and it might take more time than the ‘verse had in store for ‘em, but her Sarge … her Captain had taken the first tentative step towards reclaiming that boy who’d joined up, before the war sucked it all away. And for her own self, she couldn’t wait to meet him again.

COMMENTS

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 2:55 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


AWESOME!! I actually like this almost better than the first. The last line was so perfect for both of them. Two wonderful pieces....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 3:46 AM

BYTEMITE


Agreed! Explains a lot why Zoe went along with everything despite all her misgivings. The ship, Bester, Wash (at first)...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 5:05 AM

SERENITYRIDDLE


Jane0904!! This is just, wow! Oh my. This is such a wonderful piece of insight on Zoe and Mal. I hope you continue to write more. I would love to see what makes everyone else tick. This is.. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:21 AM

ALIASSE


Of course! - she put her faith in him. She was a trained soldier so she put her faith in her leader; he was a volunteer and he couldn't be that practical. Don't know about everyone else, but that is an 'oh wow, that's IT' kind of revelation for me. A really delicate, really true insight.

And of course it would have been this unbelievable grind, just the two of them, getting Serenity ready to fly. I hadn't imagined that before. I love the detail you give.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:33 AM

SLUMMING


Loving the drabbles! As I said before, these little snippets are wonderfully insightful. Such beauty in such a small package! KUDOS!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:56 AM

CHARLIEBZ


Wonderful companion piece to the Mal story. These two have such an intriguing relationship. Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 1:24 PM

AMDOBELL


Oh Wow, I loved this. Zoe's viewpoint so beautifully crystalises the relationship between her and Mal. The friendship, the unshakable loyalty and bond they have with one another. I particularly love her glimpsing the boy he used to be coming back to life in his excitement over his new, if grubby, ship. This so rocks, *xie xie ni*. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 2:45 PM

KATESFRIEND


One of your best by far, Jane. Wow. Loved this to pieces and your insights are tremendous and so very truthful.

I read somewhere that Joss invented Zoe as a character to reflect the man that Mal used to be - that only a man worthy of Zoe's respect could hold on to Zoe's loyalty. And he was still in there somewhere, no matter how mean he thought he was. That is what makes Zoe so fascinating and Mal so respectable. We all want to be worthy of so much loyalty.

He saw something in this Firefly, this old, somewhat decrepit boat, that mirrored his own soul, and maybe, if they could put her back together, make her fly again, maybe some of his cracks could be healed too.

Loved this quote - it's so perfect. And thank you for honoring Amdobell and me for the inspiration!


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“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

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