AIB 28: "Family Discussions and Fightin' Sisters"
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mal tells the crew, who has their own doubts and Angelle gets closer to someone who shares a love for her father....


Angelle's mine. Joss has rest. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Uncomfortable....the act of feeling like you don't belong, that awkward moment between laying back relaxed and fidgeting with the gun at your side ready to shoot. It's definitely not a place I like to be, especially outside on a set of stairs listening to my fate. "Captain, you know I respect you as a man who makes his own decisions, sometimes as foolish as they might be, but are you sure this is the right idea?" Simon was the first to speak after Mal speeched on how I was now his intended, my feet tapping and my head in my hands. I had decided it was smartest to let him to tell on his own. Reactions are always different when the other party ain't present, besides wasn't crew quite yet.

"Ya, Mal, ain't known her that long. Hell you known 'Nara for longer than that and you two never..."

"Jayne, that's enough." Mal stopped him, I could hear the hardness in his voice, but also a tinge of sympathy, maybe for Inara or maybe for himself and a fork in the road never traveled.

"I like Angelle. She's real sweet." A pause from Kaylee and I could almost bet she was looking over at the Companion. Even in the few days I had been with them, I knew they shared a special bond. "But, it ain't like you to trust so quickly."

"She's Sam's daughter and believes what he does. Man was a Browncoat, still is and fought in the war with me and Zo. I trust him with my life as well as her."

"Ya, so was that Tracy fella and look where that landed us." Jayne eased back in his chair, I could hear the creaking of it.

“She considers you all her friends. You realize that.”

“And she's ours as well, but we're talkin' a permanent addition. Not just a passenger.” Simon added.

"Zo, care to add anything?" Mal went to his second, the one who always had his back. My father was the same way.

"Sam's daughter. Enough said." There was never many words with her, especially when in the midst of an argument. I could see it even when we were together. Unlike Mal and the rest of the crew, Zoe took her job more than seriously. It was every part of her. She was a calculator, a listener...making sure that guns stayed in holsters and knives in sheaths. Every bit of the conversation would be listened to, analyzed, and then she would know who to trust, though here in this one, there was a slight difference.

"Mal should do whatever makes him happy." Inara broke the short bit of silence, and took a deep breath before continuing. "After all, is that not what you came to tell us, not ask us?''

"Ain't like that and you know it." He was now on the defensive and for some reason, it was beginning to piss me off. I understood their concerns, but I also wanted nothing more than to be his wife.

"She should stay." A voice soft and childlike interrupted everything as I could just see River sitting with her hands wrapped around the teeth of that gator necklace. "Good for this boat. Good for you." I couldn't see who she meant by you, though I would hope it was Mal. "Balance is needed since Wash is gone. Angelle brings balance... "Rather poetic, though I could never consider myself very balanced. It was nice to be stuck up for, though what she ended her speech with even brought a smile to my face"...and more gator teeth."

"So I take it we're divided. Zo, Albatross, and I are for it. Kaylee, well, ain't sure and Simon, Jayne, and 'Nara, well, you're against it."

"Ain't that I don't like her, Mal. She's good to have around, nice to look at especially when she does those stretches in the cargo..." He stopped probably receiving a rather nasty look from Mal. "Sorry. You're just talkin' life here and it was hard 'nough with Zo and Wash."

"What do you mean?" Zoe spoke up.

"Wash and you had your problems. We all knew that. Him and his jealousy over the all never had a lot of time together. Anyone with eyes could see it was hard."

"True, it was, but it didn't fail and we were stronger 'cause of it." I could hear her chair moving and felt the vibrations of her feet headed toward where I was sitting. Not even bothering to stand, I watched as she came out. Looking down at me, she took the stair down from mine and sat.

"Guess it sucks hearing what they got to say about you. You know they like you. Just been stabbed once too many times in the back." She placed a hand on my leg and I smiled.

"Ain't like it will be any different swamp side. Everyone has their opinion and on a ship like this, should get to voice it." I ran a hand in my hair and smiled. "Wanna go get a drink somewhere? Gettin' a might heavy in here and I could really use the fresh air."

"Sounds like a plan. Think we'll need our guns?" She smiled then, white teeth contrasting with her dark skin.

"We ain't bringing Mal so hopefully not." I grinned and then laughed as she did the same. "Besides, always carry at least a knife on me, in case of emergency."

"And one under your pillow in case when you have a surprise inspection and your bunk mates have tied you down for fun. Always loved your dad."

"Taught that to you, too."

"Please. Learned first hand. Three day of training and your dad felt pity on me cutting me loose. Handed me this knife." She brought out a five inch pocket knife, its outside made from a dark red colored wood, though made even darker from years of use. "Told me to keep it on me always. Don't think I've ever gone without it."

I withdrew a matching one from mine. "I was ten, though had used many a knife before, but my brother and his friends tied me to a tree. They thought they were being funny. Forgot later they had done it and when my dad came and found me several hours later, well, he gave me the knife. Told me the same thing he told you. And he tests you."

"Oh, I remember. Especially once we were all with Mal, though not sure if he's got one." She stood and helped me up with an offered hand.

"These are only reserved for his girls." I smiled, remembering when he had them made, a pair. He had kept one and said they would be what linked us, no matter where we were. Strangely, I was kind of glad he shared the other with Zo.

Walking down the stairs, we began to talk shop, and then more about my father. By the time we were at the bar, I had my maid of honor as well as many stories to tell my children.


“What the hell happened?” Mal called as I helped Zoe limp up the ramp, a knife wound in her leg bleeding on the deck.

“It's nothing serious, Sir.” She smiled, a bit drunk from the berry wine and a bit loopy from a loss of blood. “Just put a bandage on it and send me to bed.”

I smiled and shook my head as Mal took her other arm. “We went for a drink. Man insulted me, Zo insulted man, and well, here we are.”

“Ain't understandin' why you two aren't in jail?” He looked over at me and I shrugged, not quite ready to share that end of it.

“Zoe, what happened?” Kaylee came running down and Mal just motioned for her to turn around.

“Go run and get your doctoring boyfriend out of bed.” The engineer glanced at me and then swung heading back the way she came.

“Sir, you need to marry her.” Zoe smiled, though as we reached the infirmary, she grimaced as we sat her down. “Angelle I mean, not Kaylee.”

“I planned on it.” He spoke, but she shook her head.

“No. You don't understand, Sir. She convinced the sheriff to let us go, free and clear like. Never seen it before.”

“Wasn't that hard.” I smiled using my knife to cut the torn fabric from her leg. The wound was just barely below the surface, but it had bled like it was more than that. Still had neither of us consumed three bottles of wine, we probably would have come away from the fight clean and clear.

“What's the...Oh.” Simon yawned and then saw Zo heading for the alcohol. Kaylee followed grabbing hold of Zoe's hand and humming a soft song.

“Ain't but a little bug bite, Zo.” Mal spoke touching her shoulder as I went to walk away, knowing my sister would be in good hands and there was something more pressing that needed to be donw.

As I entered my room, I let the jacket I'd been wearing slide off slowly to reveal a deep gash on my upper left arm. It was slightly more than what Zo had gotten, but then hers was a knife, mine was a glass bottle. Still, we always were taught that you took care of your comrades first then you, unless of course, you couldn't stand or walk. Might hard to help then. The gash to my arm had been what had saved us, though. Convincing the sheriff, it was self defense had been pretty easy, especially since they had made the first move. Just wished it wasn't such a painful one. Still, good for nothing men that were in trouble with the law all the time verses pretty young women just looking for a drink....women always won hands down.

Grabbing the black kit from my duffel, l went over and ran some water on the wound to clean it, making sure that what glass had remained was out. When I found a two inch long shard still embedded in the gash, I was glad I had checked. Walking back over to my bed, I swabbed it with some whiskey my father had packed me. It wasn't for drinking he had said and now I understood why, though I did take a swig just to dull the pain of what I had to do next.

Threading a needle with some pig gut string, )I know it sounds horrible, but trust me, there were things my daddy did to his wounds that were just a might more unsettling) I moved so I could see my reflection in the full length mirror. Preparing myself for the pain, I took the first stitch, digging the needle in and then pulling it through. It hurt, oh damn, it hurt, but Simon was busy and I'd been fixing my own self for longer than I could remember.

“You know I have a doctor for that.” Mal stood in the doorway, I completely forgetting to close it. He walked over and sat on the bed next to me, taking the needle from my hand. “Haven't done this in about six years.”

“Think you remember?” I smiled, and he looked at me, blue eyes almost cold, not towards me, but as if lost in a memory.

“Some things, Bao bei, you never forget. No matter how hard you try.” Kissing my shoulder, he continued, making small uniform stitches like he had been doin' it forever.


A.N. More about fight next chapter as well as the crew's reaction to Angelle getting' involved in the discussion of her life with Mal. Thanks for riding!


Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:38 AM


This series is getting better and better with each chapter.

Love it!


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