EY: Of Wives' Tales and Darker Truths
Monday, July 6, 2009

Early Years: Fireside chat that becomes something more....


based on the world of Firefly by Joss Whedon -------------------------------------------- "Reavers are just ghost stories parents tell their kids to keep them from going into the black." One of the privates teased the others that sat around the fire, what were their names again? Oh, well, it really didn't matter. Most never made it past their first front line battle. Still, they were talking about something that perked her ears up and for Cat, those subjects were few and far between. Usually the troop's prattle was nothing more than puppies yapping to her, barking on and on about what they would so after the war was won. Foolishness, though helped along by an equally optimistic commanding officer.

In a way, she sincerely hoped the Independents won, but as a predator, her view was clouded by the facts, something Cat could see even in Zoe. The dark woman had become more set on just making sure Mal and she came out of the war alive, which was a good aim since it had basically become Cat's main goal as well. She defended the men mostly because that was asked of her.

"How do you know they don't exist. Awful lot of black we haven't discovered yet, and how you do explain some of the ships they've found...tore up and covered in blood." The conversation brought her back to reality and she growled a bit, something dark in her stirring at the subject they were speaking of.

"Everyone knows it's some Alliance conspiracy to keep prying noses away from experiments they are housing. I mean look at the woman Sarge...." The private cast a glance to Cat, her eyes shifting away, all the while her other senses keying in deeper to the noise coming from his mouth. "Well, you know what I mean."

"Cat saved our lives several times as of late and we are eating better than we have ever since the war started. Think I'd be more grateful, instead of critical." Tracey, she could remember his last name, approached the fire, tossing another log sending sparks in the air. He had defended her, which for Cat was something of a new thing. Mostly, anyone addressing her or at least her in general talked of her programming or orders, and if her good qualities were ever mentioned, it was how fast she could dispatch a squadron of soldiers without breaking a sweat.

"Everyone knows you got a crush on her. Want to see how it feels to ride a beast." Loudmouth, since Cat still didn't remember his name, retorted, a growl escaping Cat's upturned lip.

Tracey pounced on him before Cat had a moment to think, both men throwing punches as the other backed away from the line of fire. Dirt flew, but she stayed put, letting them get out frustrations and proclaim dominance. After all, it would teach them how to hold their own later in life. A shot fired in the air sent Cat on high alert, at least until the fire caught the shine on Mal's pistol. Tracey and Loudmouth stopped, standing to dust off the dirt and look sheepishly at the Sargent. "Which one of you started it?"

Each stood quiet, not wanting to be labeled the tattle tale, but still worried what Mal would do. Everyone knew he didn't like fighting in his ranks. After all, a family divided wasn't strong against the men trying to kill them.

"Cat?" He turned toward her and she tilted her head, not quite understanding why he smelled of anger. Puppies needed release every once and awhile and it wasn't like they had done any major damage, but then humans had a different outlook than she did.

"Yes, Sir." She answered as he inclined his head at the pair, who cast their eyes to her, Loudmouth knowing he was done for.

"You saw. Who started it?"

Cat let her eyes flow over both Mal, Tracey, and then Loudmouth before returning to Mal. She shook her, then stood up, walked over, and got within almost touching of her Sargent. Low enough so only the three of them could hear. she whispered. "I did."

"You did?" He spoke in disbelief, knowing full well she didn't. Tracey looked at her, eyes catching hers as she nodded ever so slightly. For her, the favor was returned. Loudmouth, though was completely taken aback. He knew it was his fault, though Tracey didn't need to hit him. Still, it was what he was aiming for.

"Yes. I did."

"Well, seeing as you were no where near either of them, it's hard to see how...."

"Does it matter how it happened?" She interrupted him for the first time. "You want someone to blame and I'm that someone."

Mal stood for a second shocked before gaining composure enough to speak. "Tracey,'re dismissed. I don't want to see you fighting again."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir." They both said in unison, Mal ever taking his eyes off Cat. "Cat, I want to see you private."

"Yes, Sir." She snapped and followed him as they walked over to a shallow piece of grassland away the fire, but still light enough to see.

"What the hell are you doing?" He turned to her, his body inches from hers, warmth from him causing the pit of her stomach to tighten.

"Accepting the blame." She replied back.

"Why? You didn't start that fight any more than me."

"There you are wrong. I was the subject so I was responsible."

"Not true. Tracey and Walters have been at each other's throats for as long as they have served under me. You were an excuse."

"Still, I take your punishments better than they do. I don't mind push ups, or being run. Don't mind extra shifts as look out either."

"You're defending them?" He asked her surprised by the change in her, but she wasn't. He had wanted her to make this her pack and now that she did, he wasn't sure how to handle it.

"Puppies play all the time. Makes them better fighters." She looked to the fire as Tracey and Walters sat opposite each other, squinting to see what their little blowout would cost her.

"They're not puppies, Cat. This is war. Don't need them killing each other. Need them focused."

"They are just kids. Can't expect them to blatantly follow you without blowing off steam once in awhile. Isn't that why you went to that bar?" She turned back, staring at him.

"There is a time and place for it. This isn't it." He looked at her sternly and Cat nodded.

"Understood, Sir." She said without any sign of emotion. "You're dismissed."

"And my punishment?"

"You didn't start the fight, but lie to me again even for the sake of those 'puppies' and you're gone." He whispered it. "I have to be able to trust you at your word."

"Trusting me is stupid." She muttered, but stared in surprise when his hands grabbed her shoulders making her face him, the scent of gun powder, musk, and smoke from the fire making her belly burn. "Then, I'm stupid. Ain't the first time and it won't be the last."

"One day you will be..." He kissed her, not letting her finish. It was gentle at first, but then increased in passion as she let herself go to him, but only for a moment. Pulling away, she backed up into the shadows so he could see the want on her face to continue. "It's almost time for my shift. I'll go relieve Zoe at little early."


"Good night, Sir." Walking away, she went off toward the hill passing by the two she had defended. Looking at Walters, Cat gave him a glimpse of her fangs as he jumped. What he didn't know was the wives' tales he thought were just that, held darker truths, ones that would eventually be exposed to the light. Those were what scared Cat the most.


Monday, July 6, 2009 10:32 AM


Oooh, Mal is getting pretty bold there, kissing Cat in sight of his men or were they in sight but out of hearing? Wonder how that will factor in with how the men treat her. And Tracey defending Cat? I can see that especially as we know he has an eye for the ladies. Great to see another chappy in the Early Years series. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 12:54 AM


The comparison of Cat and Reavers is interesting. She might not eat the people she kills, but she does it - or at least did it, before Mal came along - so easily. And of course they were both created.

I like the way it's spelled out that this platoon is now her pack, and Mal is the Alpha Male. Well, that goes without saying ...!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 3:19 AM


Gonna have to do some digging, and locate the rest of these stories. Wow.


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