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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Shepherd Book muses on Simon and Kaylee's conversation. Companion to 'Comparisons,' but stands well enough on its own. (Post-"The Message.")
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 781 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Not mine. Wish they were.
This is for NewOldBrowncoat, who wanted a look at Book's thoughts. I hope this pleases. :)
He woke to the sound of voices. Soft, hushed voices chattering about something in the dead of night.
The shepherd had seen the look in the boy’s eyes as he’d passed to go into bed. Serious, deep blue orbs brimming with guilt and sadness. What could the young man have to blame himself for this time? he wondered.
Bits of rumor had floated among the ship—Simon had managed to stick his feet in his mouth again during the post-jaunt with Kaylee. Book shook his head a little at the number of times that poor soul had tried to show the girl just how special to him she was, only to find it blowing up somehow in his face.
Lord, give that young man the strength to continue on this path, and the courage to overcome his obstacles—no matter how trivial they might seem.
The voices grew more hushed, and Book thought he could hear a sigh escaping the young doctor’s chest. He did so much of that before—before Ariel, before the job that nearly landed not only he and his sister but everyone else in jail. The shepherd remembered that wistful sadness the sighs usually brought about, and marveled.
I could have turned him in, Book thought. In my younger years, I wouldn’t have considered anything less. So much has the ways of the abbey and the Lord taught me.
It amused the man to no end when he would see the crew react to a suggestion of his—particularly when it involved him waxing poetical on some aspect of crime. It amused him more when people such as Jayne or the captain himself gave him that little look—the how in the gorram hell do you know that?! look. A smile crept over his face as he recalled such an occasion.
“One of these days you’re gonna explain to us how a shepherd knows so damn much about crime,” Jayne had said, seconds after Book had explained the concept of a net.
Perhaps someday, Jayne, Book thought. But not today.
The voices continued. Book stretched his limits of hearing to try and eavesdrop without being caught—it would do no good for them to stop talking now, when both Simon and Kaylee needed to work this out on their own.
And then there was River. Years before, the man called Book would have cheerfully sent that poor girl back to her prison; would have condemned the child to a lifetime of torture and virtual, if not practical, government slavery. It made the shepherd glad to see her smile; to see her play with the ship’s mechanic in the halls of the cargo bay and spook the living daylights out of her older brother and several other members of the crew while laughing at her own joke.
The system I once adhered to destroyed that girl as sure as I draw breath, Book thought decisively. Even if I were to go back to those old learnings, I don’t think I would have the heart to sell those children out to those that would surely kill them.
Simon’s story after River’s discovery had certainly opened his eyes. Thereafter, it amazed him to see how well the two Tams were getting along on the ship, miles and leagues from anything they had known or experienced before. He remembered River’s joy in going on that impromptu ‘spacewalk’ to avoid being caught; he chuckled a bit as he recalled Simon’s birthday celebration, where the young man was both truly surprised and appreciative to even receive a birthday cake. The girl had some spooky abilities, to be sure, but whether they were government side-effects or just a part of River that had always been was not for Book to decide.
The voices had stopped.
Feeling the need for a glass of water, Book pulled on his slippers and made his way out towards the passenger lounge, finding a very red Simon and Kaylee suddenly straightening up on the battered sofa.
“Good night—or rather, good morning.”
The embarrassment in Simon’s eyes was obvious. “Good night, Shepherd.”
Book smiled to himself as he heard Kaylee climbing the stairs towards her bunk. Young love or no, there’s no need to be condemning them to the ‘special hell’ yet, he thought. Perhaps in time, however, my services might be called upon for them both—and what a wonderful day that will be, indeed…
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 11:25 AM
Wednesday, August 05, 2009 3:25 PM
Thursday, August 06, 2009 3:51 AM
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