AIB 26: Shot and Shock
Friday, June 12, 2009

Angelle has to deal with her daddy's situation, but a moment in a bar might change her life forever....


Angelle is mine, but all the rest is Whedon's. ------------------------------------------- defined by the latest dictionary, a coming upon unexpected or catching one catch one with their pants down is another good one, though not sure that is in the local dictionary anywhere. For me, the news of my father made my heart beat and stop all at the same time. Sometimes, surprises were not a good thing.

"He's been what?" I spoke, but hardly heard myself. My arms were stiff at my side as Lou Lou clung to me, her tears smearing my shoulder with her black mascara. Jayne put a hand on my shoulder for only a second, completely out of character of the big bad merc. If I hadn't been still trying to pick my brain from the top of Serenity's catwalk, I probably would have uttered a voiceless thank you.

"Honey, he's stable. Needles was able to remove the bullet and it seemed to have only grazed a lung. You know your daddy is a strong sumabitch and ain't gonna let some little Alliance bullet..." Lou calmed down enough to speak, but at the word Alliance, I stopped her.

"Alliance?" It was spit more than spoke and I looked at her, my daddy's eye reflecting back.

"Scout that the gators didn't kill. Said that your daddy tried to pull him from the swamp and he shot him. Ain't like it doesn't happen, Angelle. Bayou folk got more odds and ends of lead in them than blood."

"Doesn't matter." I shook my head and walked away from her heading for the ramp out to the fresh air. "Did they at least kill the pbelly who did it?"

"Gunner said your daddy insisted they save him. Show the Alliance the Bayou's hospitality. You know how your daddy is." She almost laughed, almost and as I saw just the boots of Mal coming down the stairs I shook my head heading down.

"Ya, well, I plan on rectifying that mistake." I muttered and Lou gasped behind me. The last thing I heard from Serenity before the wind and crowd's noise made it impossible was Mal's voice.

"What happened?" He had stated and all I wanted to do was run into his arms and explain, but my anger kept my feet walking toward somewhere....anywhere that served a cold drink or warm, at this point in time I wasn't fussy.


"Want another?" The bartender spoke as he reached to pour me another of whatever it was I was drinking. It wasn't as strong as the stuff they made on the Bayou, or Kaylee's Serenity brew either, but it worked to soothe the temper. I nodded and he poured, his knuckles scarred from years of serving drinks, though one could even think that he had been a bouncer once, before age had made him slower than the men he was chasing.

"Xie Xie," I responded.

"One here, too." A voice next to me spoke and I almost turned to tell the man I wasn't interested in company, but something stopped me. Be it the pair of familiar blue eyes or the hand that found its way on my leg as I wrapped my fingers tightly around it...I could say for sure. The bartender nodded and grabbed a water spotted cup from the wood shelf behind him pouring Mal a drink. Tossing a couple paper bills on the bar, he smiled. "Paying for whatever she's drank as well."

"Shi." He took the money and replaced it with a few coins that Mal left on the bar as the barkeep nodded a thank you again, scooping them up and putting them in his apron pocket, leaving a bottle between us. It wasn't until he had gone to the other side of the bar that Mal finally spoke.

"Lou Lou filled me in on what happened. Ange, I'm sorry."

"Should have been there, Mal. Should have been the one taking that bullet." I pounded my fist on the wood, but with less force than before.

"And then it would be me here drinking with your daddy trying to calm me down." He smiled and I couldn't help, but smile back.

"Knowing you two, drinking wouldn't have helped. Probably would've ended with you and him slammin' fists into these good people." I stared around the bar for the first time since I had gotten here. It wasn't very big as far as bars go on Persephone. There was no pool table, no one armed bandits, and besides a half a dozen tables that lay sporadic on the hard cement floor, there wasn't much. In fact, the ten foot bar was the biggest structure in the entire place and it didn't even have the customary mirror behind it, which was kind of a staple as far as bars go.

"Not sure how good these particular people are, Ange." He smiled lifting the glass to his lips. "But, you are right about your daddy and I."

"Mal, about your proposal?"

"Relax. No need to answer me now. I completely understand with all that happened with your daddy that you...."

"My answer's yes." I interrupted him, figuring it not right of me to let him ramble on and on about how my daddy's predicament was by any way curbing the thoughts that had been flowing around in my head. My fingers absentmindedly played with the two rings on my neck and I waited to see his reaction.

"Yes?" he asked a bit surprised, though I had to admit when one has one line of thought and another slams head first into it, moments to recover must be given as well as repeats of an answer you have just given.

I smiled and nodded at him. "But, you are gonna have to be the one to tell my daddy his little girl is gonna be marrying a Browncoat."

"Bao bei, when we were back on your beloved swamp, the last thing I did was ask for your hand. Big Sam told me it was about damn time." He leaned over and kissed me, my turn to be a little shocked. One because my father never mentioned it, though I do recall a funny look on his face when I told him goodbye and two because at that moment, despite hearing about my father and knowing that I would be going home to deal with it, I felt happy and content.

I kissed him and would have continued had not the bar keep cleared his throat. "Not to interrupt your moment, but wanted to know if you needed anything else."

"Ya, you got anything better than this. My lady here just agreed to marry me and I think some celebrating is in order." Mal grinned at me and I leaned to the barkeep, speaking loud enough for the dear captain to hear me.

"Truth of the matter is, he needs to be a bit hammered when he goes back to tell his crew that he just added a crazy swamp brat to his pack, one who likes to wrestle gators, drink moonshine by the gallon, and shoot down purple belly scout ships for fun in a machine that looks like what would happen if Earth mover and a monster truck got drunk and went at it."

"Sounds like a good woman to me." The bartender smiled and reached under his counter, digging in the far back of the cabinet. I could see his long arm almost completely disappear before he removed a very old and very dark bottle. Its curves lent nothing to the light, which seemed to merely roll off it and the dust that remained after he moved it showed where his fingers had touched the black glass. "This here is something my uncle brewed in his backyard about ten years back. It's made from blackberries, strawberries, concord grapes, and one or two ingredients he still won't tell me. I sell it for about ten bars a glass, but seeing as this is a celebratory occasion, well, the first one's on me."

He unscrewed the cork and the rich smell of wine flowed out. I could sense the deep scent of the blackberry as well as the grape, but it would take a real nose to find the strawberry. I bet I knew a cheeky engineer that could. It poured into the cup, a dark burgundy color that seemed to slid into the glass like it was made to be there. No fizz or bubbles, just a blood like liquid, not as thick, but if I didn't know any better, I would swear someone just gutted a gator.

Mal raised his cup to me and I did likewise, as they clinked together. Using my hand, I swirled the wine around and took attentive sip, the bouquet almost reminding me of heaven. It was like a marriage of berries had just kissed me full on the mouth dipping their seeded tongue between my lips as the fire of the fermented alcohol warmed my gut. All in all, it was damn good wine.

"Damn it, Barkeep. Your uncle knows how to brew his berries." Mal exclaimed, equally as impressed, though by his look, I could tell my future husband was more of a beer or hard liquor kind of guy. More like my father than I cared to admit, but then they say that is who most girls tend to marry. Truthfully, I was happy I had said yes and as I took another drink of the sweet wine, I couldn't help but smile, even though my daddy's condition and its resolution still weighed heavily on my mind.


Friday, June 12, 2009 7:05 AM


Yea for Angelle! And I loved your description of the wine kissing her on the mouth, dipping their seeded tongue ... and all that! Mal should have been maybe a bit more enthusiastic (maybe when they get outside he'll grab her and whirl her around in his arms), but if they can get past their other problems, there's a swamp wedding to look forward to!

Friday, June 12, 2009 8:25 AM


I had to smile at you getting all poetical when describing the wine! I hope Sam isn't badly hurt and am glad that Angelle said 'yes', anything else would have just been heartbreak. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"


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