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AMDOBELL

HOPE SERIES: 10. "No Good Deed"
Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Even when he knew it was a set-up a cry for help was still a cry for help."


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2056    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

TITLE: "NO GOOD DEED" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Simon/Kaylee. RATING: PG-13. STATUS: Sequel to "CLOUDS". ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: AlisonMDobell@aol.com WEBSITE: None. All Firefly stories archived at Fireflyfans.net

SUMMARY: "Even when he knew it was a set-up a cry for help was still a cry for help." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.

"NO GOOD DEED"

"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

When the call came it was not what Captain Malcolm Reynolds expected. For a moment it threw him off-kilter.

"Paul?"

The face on the other end of the cortex screen didn't smile. Was far too solemn for a social call and all kinds of alarms were going off in Mal's head. Fortunately, River's words from two weeks ago were firmly fixed in his mind, not that he let any of that show upon his face.

"I have a job for you, Cap'n."

"Really? An' what job would that be?"

His reservations about dropping Paul and Natalie off on Whitefall came flooding back. It took all his control not to start quizzing the boy in earnest. River had said not to trust his eyes and ears, just family. Well. Paul and Natalie weren't family, were they? Had been getting that way but then they left. And why was that? Paul looked awkward, as if he really wasn't used to doing this sort of thing but had no choice. Mal could not have said how he knew that but gut instinct had kept him and his alive this long. Wasn't about to ignore it now.

"Need somethin' transportin', can you do it?"

Can not will. Hmm. Interesting choice of words for someone trying to broker a deal. "I can do a lot of things. What's the cargo an' where?"

Paul seemed to need an extra moment to keep his composure. "Natalie. She's on White Sands."

For a moment the two just stared at each other. He could not help wondering why Paul and Natalie had stayed on Whitefall all these years and now she was on White Sands. It struck a wrong note in his head. The Captain's voice softened just a touch. Anyone who didn't know him real well would not have noticed. The goodbye in his eyes touched with sadness for just a moment then it was gone. "Would like to help but you know how it is." The Captain was already reaching out to cut the connection. Panic bloomed across Paul's face.

"Wait! If you don't go she'll kill her!"

Mal froze, his eyes hardening as his voice flattened. "*Shei*, Paul?"

"Patience."

That one word sent a little chill through the Captain but it wasn't fear. It was true he hated working with that woman, had been mighty happy when circumstances had forced him to take the shot that put her down only she hadn't had she? Yet he had seen the light go out of her eyes. That vagueness that comes as the life bleeds out of you, then the Big Nothing.

"Cap'n, Mal! Please, I'm beggin' you. We need your help. *I* need your help."

"You left, wanted to live your own lives as I recall. You ain't crew any more. Why should I put me an' mine in danger for you?"

He watched as Paul closed his eyes and took a deep shuddering breath, the man barely seemed to be holding himself together. When he opened his eyes and stared across the link Mal could not have looked away if he tried. "She's pregnant, Mal."

* * * * *

Simon was a bit puzzled but Kaylee was ecstatic, her face split into a beaming smile bright enough to outshine any sun. The Captain's news had been so unexpected that for the moment Simon Tam Frye couldn't speak. Not so his overly happy and ebullient wife. With a squeal of joy, Kaylee flung herself at the Captain. Mal caught her instinctively and found himself chuckling as she hugged him, words spilling happily from her smiling mouth. "I love my Cap'n!"

Still not quite understanding the why and the wherefore, Simon took a step closer. "What about me?"

Laughing, Kaylee dropped a kiss on the Captain's cheek then reached out for her husband. "*Wo ai ni, xin gan*!"

Simon smiled. How anyone with a pulse could resist Kaylee was beyond him. Tugging her into his own embrace he gave her a kiss. "*Wo ai ni ye*."

The sound of the Captain clearing his throat made them both look up. Flustered, Simon straightened but Kaylee wouldn't pull back, her arms wrapping round her husband and keeping him close. After all, they were married. If the Captain was too prudish to put up with their displays of affection that was his problem, though she didn't want to rub his face in it - *this* time. After all, a couple of weeks visiting her folks was not to be sniffed at even if it did come out of the blue.

* * * * *

They were only a day out from Carousel and for some reason this was the first time Zoe had been able to get the Captain alone. They were up on the bridge, River being in Inara's shuttle having her hair washed and combed. The little ritual had turned into a regular treat and Inara enjoyed doing the small everyday things with River that others took for granted, things that helped her feel like a 'normal girl'. So for now the Captain was piloting his ship his own self and Zoe finally had him cornered. No way could he just get up and walk out on her if he didn't like what she had to say. Or ask.

"It's barely been six months since we were last on Carousel, sir."

He nodded and pretended to be absorbed in plotting their course. "That it is."

"There a reason we're returnin' so soon?"

The Captain flicked a switch or two then looked up to meet her eyes. "There gotta be?"

Her solemn expression gave nothing away but her eyes were sharp, her instincts honed on many a field of battle just like his own. The fact that they had shared most of them together and knew the inside outs of each other's minds would have been scary had they not also been as close as blood kin. "*Wo xian shi zheiyang*."

Mal held back a sigh. "Fact is," he said as casually as he could "I was thinkin' you an' Hope might wanna take a few days on Carousel too."

Her eyebrows rose, a look on her face that was far too sharp and alert for his liking. Turning back to the pilot's console the Captain fiddled with a couple of switches so he wouldn't have to meet the suspicion in her eyes. "Might be good for Hope to spend some time with kids her age not to mention we can pick up some fresh produce an' such before we leave."

Something marginally eased inside her. "We're *all* goin'?" If that was so it changed the landscape completely. A nice rest without anyone firing at them would be mighty welcome.

"Not as such." The Captain paused then rushed on when he saw the expression change on Zoe's face reflected in the windscreen. "Got a job - nothin' much, a milk run. Be out an' back before you know it."

Zoe had known Malcolm Reynolds a long time and now every instinct was screaming at her that this was wrong, wrong, wrong. Her back stiffening, she got ready to read her Captain and oldest friend the riot act. "What job an' why am I just hearin' about this now - sir?"

The honorific was tagged on after a slight pause, almost sarcastic and scathing and just a touch away from insubordinate but the Captain ignored the subtle admonishment waiting to brain him over the head. When Zoe was right she was right but that didn't mean he had to own up to it. "Not nothin' for you to be worryin' about, *dong ma*? Now. Best you go an' let Hope know."

"Do I have any say in this?"

He held a breath. Wanted so badly to tell her but didn't want her to worry and he knew she would. If she found out nothing this side of an early grave would make her leave his side which meant Hope wouldn't go anywhere either. He had to keep his people safe, especially the young uns, and Zoe had already lost a loving husband because of his determination to stick his nose where maybehaps he shouldn't. Not that he regretted letting the 'verse know about Miranda, it was the cost to his crew that haunted him. Mal was not going to let anything happen to Wash and Zoe's daughter even if it damned him in her eyes forever when she eventually found out. Naturally, he hoped that wouldn't happen. That the favour to Paul would go smooth but both his gut and his memory were telling him not to hold his ruttin' breath.

"*Bu qu." His reply was soft, an almost-apology in his eyes which quickly vanished as his voice took on its' normal Captain-y tone. "Who's turn is it to cook?"

She stared at him. A thousand warring memories going through her mind, wondering if she should push him. Drag him out of Wash's chair and shake him until his teeth rattled up out of his brain pan to get to whatever it was he was hiding from her. But she was tired. If he wanted her to know he would tell her. "Kaylee."

"It is? Well, now," the Captain gave his first true smile "at least we should have somethin' halfway decent to eat."

With a curt nod she bit her tongue, turned and left. Let him have his secret for now but if things turned sour and he didn't come back in one piece she was going to tear a strip off him that would make him wish he hadn't come back at all. Losing Wash and the Shepherd had been bad enough, she had no intention of losing her closest friend as well.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*pofu* = bitch *shei* = who *wo ai ni* = I love you *xin gan* = sweetheart *wo ai ni ye* = I love you too *wo xian shi zheiyang* = I think so *dong ma* = understand? *bu qu* = no (lit. no go)

COMMENTS

Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:49 AM

JANE0904


Mal, Mal, Mal ... don't you know by now that when you go into something without Zoe at your back, it always ends up going wrong? Can't wait for more!

Sunday, September 20, 2009 11:38 AM

ANGELLEMARCS


I love the way Mal protects his people, not letting Zoe go because of Hope. So good!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 2:45 PM

SLUMMING


Protecting Hope=good. Going into a dangerous situation without Zoe=bad. Comparing these two equations, I'd say we're apt to come up with a fraction...of Mal's hide. Yikes!


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