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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
"Mal wonders what the good gorram he has got himself into. Meanwhile, Hope is not very happy with River."
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2002 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
TITLE: "KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE"
AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL
STATUS: Sequel to "CHOSEN PATH".
ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where.
WEBSITE: None. All Firefly stories archived at Fireflyfans.net
SUMMARY: "Mal wonders what the good gorram he has got
himself into. Meanwhile, Hope is not very happy with River."
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.
"KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE"
Written by Alison M. DOBELL
* * * * *
"Gorramit Patience, you got more money than God! You could buy your own ruttin' transport ship."
The Captain gave her a shocked looked. "*Shenme*? Serenity ain't for sale."
"No, but you are."
Something in Malcolm Reynolds' eyes darkened. "Not sure I like your meanin'."
The old witch paused, looking so weary that a flash of concern crossed the Captain's face before he could hide it.
"What ain't you tellin' me?"
"Thing is Mal even when we don't see eye to eye there's always one thing I can count on. You get the job done."
He took that in without breaking eye contact, aware that there was more to her words than a throw away compliment. "I do the job, get paid."
Patience nodded. Her tone now matching his. "Keep flyin'."
For a moment neither spoke. Patience gave a jerk of her head and her men put their safeties back on then holstered their weapons. The Captain felt more confused than ever. "What's this really about?"
"Let's take a walk, Mal."
His eyebrows rose as he looked around at an ocean of sandy nothing. "We're in a gorram desert."
The dry chuckle brought his attention back to Patience's weather beaten face. The old witch's spirits seemed revived by his reaction. Her wry grin was almost affectionate. "Yeah, but it's my desert Mal."
"I should be out there!"
River calmly continued to play with the dinosaurs on Serenity's pilot console while her young charge paced angrily back and forth, impatience rolling off her shoulders in waves. "Not yet."
Hope huffed and gave River an accusing look. "You told me to be ready. I even lied to mama so she wouldn't notice I'd sneaked back onto the ship an' now you tell me 'not yet'? What's goin' on Aunt River?"
"What you think you see isn't always what's happening. It's what you can't see that causes the problems."
It was all Hope could do not to stomp her foot and yell at her. With an effort she calmed herself down. There were times when she could cheerfully strangle her much loved and totally screwed up Aunt. River turned and gave her a brilliant grin.
"Not screwed up." River put the dinosaur down and tapped her head. "Too much information. Sometimes it leaks out, sometimes it nearly drowns me. Have to slow it down, untangle the images and voices until they make sense."
Hope stopped pacing, a curious feeling of dread creeping into her belly. Her mama was going to throw a fit when she found out she wasn't on Carousel any more but it was nothing to how devastated she would be if this whole ruse had been for nothing. Everything she had done had been to be ready for this moment. The extra lessons handling and firing her gun, throwing knives with Jayne and letting River teach her self defence moves that would be banned in most training clubs. What was it for if all they were going to do was sit on Serenity and wait? *Diyu* she could have done that on Carousel and had a good time.
Never in a million light years would Hope ever admit to being in a sulk. "What?"
"There's an old saying from Earth-that-Was about the Straw That Broke The Camel's Back."
Her eyes narrowed. "You callin' me a camel?"
"No. You're the straw."
Hope opened her mouth to argue when she saw River stiffen. With a sweep of one hand River knocked the dinosaurs to the floor, her hands flying over the ship's controls.
River didn't have time to explain. When the *goushi* hit the fan timing was everything. "We have to go - NOW!"
Kaylee Frye was stuffed six ways from Sunday but it didn't stop her cramming one more morsal into her mouth. The smile of pleasure turned into a long groan as her belly protested. She hadn't been this stretched since she had carried the twins. Beside her Simon chuckled, more relaxed that she could remember seeing him in a long time. He was cradling Sam, her mama carrying Daniel up against her shoulder as if the babe was glued there. It amused Kaylee that Daniel was fast asleep and dribbling down her mama's shoulder. Sam was less content but Simon was learning and pretty soon both of the babies were quiet. One fast asleep the other too tired to complain any more. Simon gave her a triumphant smile that made Kaylee's heart melt with love for him.
"Knew you'd get the hang of it in the end, *bao bei*."
His smile widened into fatherly pride. "You look..." Simon fought for the right words.
"I ate too much."
Mrs Frye laughed and patted her daughter affectionately on the shoulder, carefully missing her belly. "Everybody ate too much."
Kaylee frowned. "Then how come I'm the one as can't move?"
They laughed. Huh. Not one little peep of sympathy but she couldn't pretend to be mad at them. Everything was just so gorram perfect. Shiny. Pity the Captain, Jayne and River couldn't stay but she understood. Without a job they wouldn't be able to make enough to keep Serenity fueled and flying. It was a sobering thought.
Out in the yard, Zoe stood with her hands on her hips. Eyes narrowed. Where was that child of hers? Not that there weren't kids a-plenty but none of them hers. Seeing a couple of Kaylee's cousins skip off towards a big old barn she smiled and set out to follow them. It was one of the few places she hadn't yet looked.
CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)
*shenme* = what *diyu* = hell *shenme shi* = what's the matter? *goushi* = crap/dog shit
*bao bei* = precious/treasure
Sunday, October 11, 2009 6:35 AM
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