AIB 25: "Love Lost and Love Gained"
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Angelle reflects back while thinkin on her decision to Mal's question all the while talkin with the crew.


Angelle is mine, the rest belongs to Joss.

------------------------------------------------- assumption of one's chances of success or failure in the world, confused a lot with Karma and can be believed to have better luck with an item such as a horseshoe, four leaf clover, or a rabbit's foot...though not quite sure how lucky it was for the rabbit. All in all, good or bad, luck seemed to surround every moment of my life, whether I wanted it to or not.

So, I thought long and hard about Mal's offer, the idea of spending the rest of my life being loved by a legend I knew more about than my right hand and the man that I had know only a few days was a very difficult one. Not because the girl in me wanted to scream 'yes' as soon as the words were muttered, no, it was the responsible adult, the one that knew it was an undertaking, something that could change not only my life, but the entire crew's as well, especially a certain Companion, who I had yet to speak to.

Out of the shower, I wrapped the large grey towel around my long light red hair, strands still dripping and leaving a trail as I headed with green bath robe covering me to the room I had been staying in. Closing the door, my hands reached under for the black duffel bag, unzipping to show off the fact I had so not packed a lot of clothes. Shaking out a pair of black jeans, holes evident of how many times I had worn them in the past two years I owned them, I slipped them on, making sure my foot found the right hole and not the one in the knee. Dancing a bit in place as the rough material met with my still damp skin, I buttoned and zipped them, before reaching for the dark green tank, one I think that had been Gunner's before I had stole it. Most of his clothes became mine, though the pants tended not to show off my body quite as well as they did his. He finally began to buy stuff for me as well, knowing that shopping was not a past time of mine, though for weapons, I could make an exception.

My fingers pushed through the rest of my clothes and the other stuff that had been tossed into the bag before I left headed for Whitefall, before I realized I'd be here on this ship. When I felt for the thin round beaded chain that usually held dog tags, I pulled up and there in my hand was what I had been looking for. On about eighteen inches of chain, sat two rings, made from black metal, the same metal the Alliance wanted to mine from the Bayou. One was far too large for my dainty fingers though I had tried once or twice to make it fit. Maybe that's what the minor scratches were. The other would fit me snug, but I couldn't never bring myself to put it on again.

They glistened in the low light and I slipped the chain over my head, bringing it down so it slipped either over my shirt or under depending on my movements. Its previous owner was probably the reason I still was thinking of Mal's offer. Not because I still loved the second of my three partners, but because Nick was no longer in the land of the living.

Nick had probably been the very closest I had ever come to loving someone more than the swamp. He was Gunner's older brother and by far, the best shot I had ever seen. Where Gunner wanted to be a pilot for the Alliance, Nick wanted to be part of the few still fighting. When his father refused to let him become an Independent and fight in the war, we became inseparable. In fact, there were moments in the years my father was gone that I wouldn't have made it without him. He was not only the man I loved, he was my best friend. Once the war was over, he wanted to ask my daddy for my hand. Both had a lot of love for each other.

Sadly, that day never came. Three weeks before the war was over, a rogue gator, a might smaller than Old Scar, attacked the village without so much as a warning. It tore into homes and killed about ten before we were able to get it contained. I wanted to save it and Nick tried his hardest to convince me that it would return no matter where we took it. It was better off dead, he had told me, but I was still young, foolish...a little girl missing her daddy and instead of being smart, I ran toward the monster, putting my body in between the barrel of the shotguns and it.

The gator tossed the ropes, freed himself, and went for me. Nick shoved me out of the way just as the large tooth filled jaws came down, severing the love of my life in half. Thankfully, even the doctor then told me that he hadn't felt anything and the gator was killed shortly after by the other men in the village. Still, it doesn't help with the nightmares though or the guilt. I placed my hand once more on the two rings and then grabbed my brush taking it through the few snarls that still remained after the high pressure shower. It was time to make an appearance and let the past be just that.


"Ni Hao, Angelle." Kaylee spoke, her fingers greasy as she dug into the Mule's engine. "Thanks again for the use of your purse last night. Simon and I...."

"Kaylee, as much as I can imagine what happened to those strawberries, I'm just glad you and the good doc enjoyed them." I grinned as the rings chimed together, bending so that I could be heard in a whisper. "No details."

Her lips curled in that smile that could light even the darkest room and she nodded understandingly. "Well, just wanted to tell ya thanks. I think I can get the stains out as well. Serenity always gets my clothes dirty with grease and this stuff I made takes it out so here's hopin' it works on those, too."

"Trust me. It's not a big deal. As much as I use it, ain't gonna hurt the inside none to have red polka dots." I straightened my back, letting my hand use the side of the mule as support. The last few days without sleep had definitely taken its toll. My body was protesting the most simple movements, and for an assassin as well as just a girl of the swamp, a sore body was not a good thing.

I walked toward the infirmary and then inside, Simon and River busy in a conversation. I didn't really want to interrupt, knowing what siblings talk about sometimes is not for anyone else's ears, but their own. Still, one had to smile as I spotted my gator teeth necklace dangling from the little girl's neck. Brown hair covered some of it, but in a way, at that moment, looking at her brother like he was full of it, they reminded me of another time and place where two such as they sat talking about nothing and everything all at once.

"Dr. Tam, I don't mean to be a bother..." They both turned as I spoke, though River a might sooner like she could sense me coming or something. Simon smiled at me, not exactly like he meant it, but not as if he was mad at me, just seemed tired, an emotion I had sensed on not only him, but others in the crew as well...Mal especially.

"Angelle, you are no bother. How can I help you?" He approached me. "And call me Simon. My father is Dr. Tam." He said this with a hint of remorse, myself sensing there was something between his parents and he that wasn't particularly pleasant, but it was none of my business.

"Simon," I began adding a small grin of my own, "do you have anything for pain? Almost sure you don't have any walking root on you, but then I ain't ever heard of it outside of the Bayou."

"Actually," the doctor turned and reached inside a door grabbing a small bag from the shelf. Inside were small brown mangled looking twigs, still covered in the rich Bayou swamp mud, though now dried and more dirt like. "You can thank Mr. Needles."

"Damn that man is awesome." I laughed and fetched out a small portion walking over to rinse it with the sink that stood on one of the walls. "Most chew it, the juices in the root mix with the saliva in your mouth coating it as well as the throat. Hits the blood stream faster that way or at least that's what Needles will tell you." I grabbed a glass cup from one of the shelves and filled it with hot water, hot enough to scold anyone who dare stick their finger in. "I have always been fond of a tea myself. Works about the same, but add a tiny bit of sugar and it keeps from the upset stomach newbies tend to get. Ifn you decide on using it...."

"It's not something I'm use to using, but as I continue on this ship, things that I wouldn't normally think about are becoming necessary."

"Well, most of the herbs we use on the Bayou have been tested in very small doses first. Trust me, we have had our share of mistakes. Black India Flowers are as beautiful as they are deadly when eaten, but ground and mixed with a little lotion and there is nothing that removes the poison of bug bites or snake bites better. Jack of the Hills is the ugliest, smelliest plant you will ever come across, but brew its small rose color buds in a little goat's milk and it will keep the belly sickness away from pregnant women. My cousin and her friends swear by it and it helps with the baby's growth. Lost a lot of unborns before we discovered it almost by accident." I stopped realizing I was rambling. Taking a drink of the pale tan tea, I winced as it went down, the flavor of nuts and wood running over my tongue. "Just remember God made plants so that they could be used to our benefit. Not everything is out to get you, Simon."

River smiled at me and I raised my cup to her. She laughed, a merry little sound as she ran her fingers over her necklace and then looked at mine. "Memories."

"Yes. In Memory."

Lacing her index and thumb around one of the teeth, she nodded. "In memory."

Nodding back at her, I walked out, cup in hand drawing another sip to my lips. I decided to hit the couch in the common room, still not really ready to find Mal and still not ready to really deal with anyone. I wanted the Root tea to help with the pain in my body and maybe to figure out just what I wanted to say to Mal. My everything wanted to be with him, but I also wanted to know that the proposal wasn't brought on by the activities before. One thing I didn't want was to be hitched to someone who later down the road found that neither of us had been ready to take the plunge. Believe me, with a daddy like mine and the fact of how much he loved Mal, divorce would be completely out of the question as was shooting him. Not that I would mind you...just making it clear that even in the Bayou, killing your hubby wasn't smiled upon. Depending on the situation and where the bullet went in, though, laughing was tolerated.

“I haven't thanked you, yet.” A voice much like a beautiful songbird crept to my ears and I turned to see Inara standing on the stairs. She was dressed as though going to a party, makeup soft, but not like it had been at the ball. Her black ringlets fell over her face as she used her perfect hands to brush it away.

“You don't have to. Think Mal might be the one you need to thank.” I took another drink, maybe a little bit too much because it burnt going down and not in a good way.

“Mal and I already talked.” She stated and the burn went from my throat to the pit of my stomach. I couldn't help, but being just a wee bit jealous. Maybe she was the other reason that made me want to be sure this feeling Mal and I shared was real. Though the way he had talked last night, I was a bit more his type.

“Well, that's good. A ship this small isn't good to have hard feelings gumming up the works.” I relaxed against the tan cloth and ran my fingers over the hole in my knee. You could say I was feeling a bit under dressed around the Companion even though a wise man once told me that 'Dress don't make a man. It only tells you where he has been.' Well, take a good look at my jeans and one could see where they had been. In every mud pit and bar in the Outer rings and probably a few that aren't on the map...from the blood stains that were hidden by the faded black dye to the small tears from jumping over barbwire fences and dodging gator teeth, me and the jeans have seen it all...oh, and if you are an English major...these jeans and I....*smile*

"You don't know him like I do. He likes to attach himself to people who can hurt him. Trusts them when he shouldn't."

"We talkin' the Captain here or you?" I looked at her. "I ain't tryin' to take anything from you, 'Nara, and I sure ain't competing with you. Honestly, I got on this ship because I needed a ride to Whitefall. Nothing more..."

"Yet, you seem to know Mal well enough."

"My daddy and him serve in the war together. It was our pastime gather round the fire and tell ghost stories...war stories if you will. My daddy always said that you don't know a person well until you've been in a foxhole next to them trading gunfire with some good for nuttin' hun dan."

In the low light, I swore I saw her just ever so slightly smile. "You even sound like Mal."

"I take that as a compliment, Milady." I bowed my head and then stood, the root having worked its magic once again. "Now, if you excuse me, I think I hear my aunt and Jayne walkin' up the ramp."

I walked past her, but not before resting a hand on her soft shoulder. It was maybe a peace offering or just a girl's way of sayin' I understand...either way, it made me feel a little better. That is until I saw Lou and her tears. Stomping toward them, hands held in anger, I looked at the man beside her. "Jayne Cobb, I swear if you hurt my aunt...."

Jayne raised his hands in mock surrender as Lou grabbed me around the arms and drew me in a tight embrace. "Angelle, my darling, your daddy's been shot."


Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:22 AM


Hmm, it worries me that Angelle has to think real hard as to what to say to Mal's proposal. Either she loves him so much she can't live without him or she doesn't. Inara should not even come into that equation unless she is looking to talk herself out of marrying him. If she is feeling this uncertain then marriage is out, they may need more time to be certain of her decision one way or another. I hope her daddy is okay, don't like the sound of him being shot or what it might mean as to who pulled the trigger. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 12, 2009 5:37 AM


In a way I agree with Ali. If Angelle has to think this hard, there's a lot more going on than we know about. We've had an inkling of a previous love, and maybe she's afraid she'll lose Mal too, but ... what did she say to him? She obviously said she needed to think about it, but what was Mal's reaction? I can't see him waiting for that long, not for an answer he must be increasingly concerned about. And the truth is, Angelle can say yes, and if necessary change her mind later. But she needs to tell Mal the truth, whatever it is.


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