EY: Signs of Life
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cat begins to see what being a human is all about while she realizes there is something on inside of her when she is near Mal.


based on the world of Firefly by Joss Whedon ---------------------------------------------

Cat flexed her long legs, rubbing the cramps that seemed to plague them. She had been on the roof of the bunker for almost four hours now, guarding as the rest slept, well, almost all of them. With her alert ears, she could hear Zoe and Mal talking under the rough opening, its lamplight casting enough to allow her eyes to make out the shadows.

"You kissed her, Sir." Zoe's voice carried more than Mal's as if she wanted Cat to hear.

"Glad you noticed, Zoe." He didn't sounded agitated, but something in his voice made Cat a bit more alert.

"You're getting too close to someone we know very little about. I mean two weeks ago she told you herself her mission was to kill you." She could hear the warrior woman tighten her fingers around the tin cup, nails screeching across the thin metal.

"So saving you and our men is just a way for her to what? Get on our good side before she betrays us?" The smell of fresh camp coffee caused Cat's mouth to water, something before she had never drank.

"Ain't been the first time someone went to great lengths to gain one's trust only to bash it."

"I don't think that's what Cat's got in mind. Way she moves, well, girl could have walked all over us."

"That's 'cause she ain't human, Sir. You saw that bullet go in her. Ten minutes later and no one could tell she'd been struck. You tell me who or what can heal like that."

"As far as we know...Cat." He took a deep breath before continuing. "I don't know what she is, Zo. Could wake up one morning and watch as she rips us all apart, but as of right now, she's protecting us as if we are hers and hers alone. We'd be dead without her or at least captured in some war camp. So, you want to tell her to get the hell out of our lives or should I?"

"Ain't what I said, Sir. I'm worried about you getting too close to her and I'm not meaning as a superior." Cat's heart skipped a beat when Zoe said that, an emotion flooding her that wasn't suppose to be there.

"So, it's okay for me to sleep with a whore in some bar like all the other men, but find an interest in someone we're not sure is all human is all of a sudden wrong. Besides, it was a kiss. Ain't like I've been with her."

"But you have thought about it."

"And so has every man here plus anyone else come in contact with her. She's gorgeous." His voice raised as Cat's arms tensed in response, a habit that had become second nature over the last few weeks. She knew Zoe was safe, but it still made her nervous the way they talked about her. By now, one would think they knew she could hear every word, even with the large fighter ships flying overhead every so often.

"Yes, but you are the only one that has been allowed to touch her without a growl or some other form of warning. Hell, she doesn't even like me too close."

"She's afraid she'll hurt you." It was whispered and even Cat strained to hear so it didn't surprise her when Zoe asked him to repeat himself. What shocked Cat though, was the fact Mal remained quiet, the pouring of hot liquid in another cup the only sound coming from him. "I'm gonna go check on her. She's been post going on four hours now."

"Be careful, Sir. Creature like that ain't meant to stay in one place too long."'

Cat could hear footsteps, but no more words came from Mal as he approached her once out of the safety of the bunker. Her ears opened and eyes watched around her, making sure it was safe as he moved toward her, a cup of steaming coffee in his hand.

"Figured this would warm you up." He handed her the metal, her fingers brushing his gently as she quickly took it from him, almost afraid of the warmth she felt there.

"Thank you." She took a sip contemplating her next words as they stood in silence for a few minutes staring at each other.

"You heard us, didn't you?" He whispered low, his blue eyes...the ones that had stopped her hand the day she should have pulled the trigger.

"Even if I didn't want to...but yes, I did."

"You're a strange one, Cat. Ain't sure what you are..."

"I was once a weapon ready to kill you for the satisfaction of a pat on the head." She moved toward him, barely a breath of air between them.

"And now..." he spoke. She could smell the coffee on his breath as well as the fish they had eaten earlier, gunpowder mixed with dirt. His eyes held a lack of sleep, but still were clear and pale, full of life.

Her mouth opened to respond to him, but stopped. "Honestly and not to sound too harsh, I have gone from one master to another."

His eyes widened and he raised his voice to her, something he rarely did with the dark creature before him. "I am not your master, Cat. You are your own woman. I'm not holding you here any more than anyone else should."

"As you and Zoe have so nicely put it, I am not human."

"And if you are not, you are still a woman. I know I'm not wrong there." His eyes sparkled and for the first time in her life, Cat felt her face blush.

"Yes, that I am." She moved away, the heat between them making way for the cold air of the night, a feeling Cat never figured would give her the chills or was it something else..."You need sleep."

"You're changing the subject."

"Actually, I am protecting you. Not good to anyone if you are sleep deprived."

"And what about you?"

"You should know by now that I don't need sleep like you do and an hour for me is equal to eight of yours."

"Eight hours sounds like heaven. Haven't had that in a long damn time."

"Then, prove to me that you trust me as you claim and go to sleep." She felt a smile spread across her lips and Cat caught herself almost laughing.

"You've told me that's a mistake to trust you." He moved to close the gap and she felt his warmth entwining with hers.

"We both know you don't listen very either of the voices telling you to beware."

"I know you're dangerous, Cat. Your whole being speaks it, but somewhere, I know there is something else, something better and something I have learned to enjoy being a part of. Maybe I have a soft spot for lost causes, but like Zoe also ain't once pushed me away."

Cat growled faintly, gently like a playful puppy does when playing. "I will if you don't get some sleep."

"Is that an order?" He looked at her, a roughness in his voice that reminded her of the hardened Sargent.

"Never." She stated, allowing the duty ridden Cat to climb back up, but then turned so she was inches from his face. "It's a warning because if you don't go now, I'll knock your ass out if I have to."

"Always liked a strong woman who ain't afraid of threatenin' me."

"What makes you think I threaten?" She smiled again unable to control it now. "" "Okay, but if you need someone to relieve you..."

"Mal, it's me." Her lips slipped to kiss his cheek lightly. "I'll see you in a few hours, Sir."

A smile lit his face as well as his eyes. He walked past her and back toward the bunker opening. "Thanks for taking care of us, Cat."

She licked her lips tasting the sweat and dirt from his skin as he disappeared."My pleasure, Malcolm Reynolds."


Sunday, September 20, 2009 9:57 PM


Oooh, you know how much I adore this series. Loved the interplay between first Zoe and Mal, then Cat and Mal. I like how you keep Zoe in character, her attempt to warn Mal away from getting too close to someone not quite human and so very deadly. Love how Mal handles that by going to see Cat when he takes her that coffee. Mal isn't the only one who can't resist getting too close and isn't that lovely? Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Monday, September 21, 2009 2:54 AM


A soft spot for lost causes ... only Mal knows, somewhere deep down, that Cat isn't lost, just ... mislaid. And maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel. Love this, and particularly Zoe knowing she can say what she really feels to Mal - that's the sign of a true and lasting friendship.


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