BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

THEHAPPYTRADER

Secret Agent Tam? chapter 1
Monday, August 2, 2010

Shortly after the BDM, a pair of strangers who find our BDH's 'uniquely qualified' for job, hired/blackmail them. Freedom in the 'verse may lie in Simon's prowess as an undercover operative. Wait a minute, Simon?!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1605    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

Ubiquitous Disclaimer: Not my 'verse, but I love it and want to see more of it!

Chapter 1

Zoe had always been a survivor. She survived serenity valley and the aftermath of Miranda. She roamed through Serenity most days with her face set in a mask of stone as she carried within an iron resolve to fulfill a promise she made to herself and her late husband. She would survive today and tomorrow until she could learn how to live again. As she entered the cargo bay via the galley, sweet laughter that could only belong to Kaylee entered her ears. She smiled sadly as she leaned over the catwalk's railing and took in the curious scene below her.

Simon and Kaylee casually lounged in the front two seats of the hovermule, holding a bowl of popcorn between them. Kaylee had temporarily 'upgraded' the mule to house a video projector which was currently projecting a movie featuring cowboys and robots onto a bed sheet hanging five feet in front of the couple. The film itself was largely irrelevant as Simon and Kaylee spent most of their time and attention on each other.

Kaylee snuggled closer to Simon and rested her head on his shoulder as she said, "I know this ain't no opera, but I wanted ya to take me on a date."

Simon laughed, unable to contain his smile if he wanted to and said, "Not that I'm complaining, but wouldn't that make it my responsibility to plan our evening?"

Kaylee sat up to face him and said, "Simon Tam, I have waited too long for this," as she playfully poked him in the chest. "You think I'd go 'n ruin it by placin' you in charge? Now pay attention Mr. Top Three Percent and learn how to treat a lady."

If he had not failed so spectacularly in the past, Simon might have been offended by that statement. Well, maybe if it came from someone other than Kaylee he amended in his thoughts. Simon responded in a mock serious tone "I'm trying Kaylee, I really am… it's just… the robots… they don't make any sense to me."

Kaylee rolled her eyes and said "Ya don't take a girl to a drive in to watch the movie! " When Simon began laughing her features instantly brightened."Wo bu shin wo dah yan jing! Simon! A joke! There may just be hope for you yet!"

Simon stifled his laughter and asked, "Are you sure the Captain won't mind what you've done to the hover mule?"

Kaylee answered with a Jayne impression "Cap'n said to fix the mule. He was nonspecific as to the how."

Captain Malcolm Reynolds walked through the galley, thinking about how empty Serenity seemed at the moment. He nearly jumped out of his skin when River appeared in front of him during a moment of inattention. He shouted, "Wuo duh tian ah Hey there lil' albatross," as he attempted to cover his surprise.

"The Mule has been modified. I thought you should know," River informed.

Mal walked around River to continue towards the cargo bay and said, "Uh, 'preciate that, but I already knew Kaylee was gonna fix it."

"Don't get mad," River said.

Mal stopped in his tracks, not looking the least bit amused. "There somethin' else I should know about?" he asked River.

An excited grin covered her face as she exclaimed "Simon's taking Kaylee on a date!"

"Is he now?" Mal said with a small smile, though still not appearing amused. "When's he planin' on askin' permission to leave my boat with my mule and mechanic?"

River looked at Mal as if she did not understand his question. "Date's already started."

A flash of annoyance crossed over Mal's face as he ran into the cargo bay, nearly colliding with Zoe who was still leaning over the railing.

Without flinching or even turning around, Zoe calmly asked, "Something the matter, Sir?"

"You're gorram right there is!-" Mal cut himself off as he saw Simon and Kaylee, who were now sharing one of the front seats of the hovermule and a bowl of popcorn. "-No. No problem at all," Mal finished as ne crept stealthily towards the hovermule .

Without warning, Mal jumped into the seat Kaylee had recently vacated in favor of Simon's, startling the young doctor and causing popcorn to fly in every direction.

Kalyee turned around in Simon's lap and greeted Mal with a smile made of sunshine. "Hey, Captain."

Mal stared daggers at a nervous looking Simon until his glare was interrupted by River's voice, which startled all of them as it sounded directly behind them. River chastised, "Didn't ask daddy's permission. Not Smart." No one heard River enter the seat directly behind Simon and Kaylee. Simon did not have to be a psychic to know River was silently calling him a 'boob.'

Mal ignored River for the moment and asked Kaylee, "My mule fixed?"

"Sure is, Cap'n," Kaylee cheerfully replied.

Mal motioned towards the front of the mule and asked, "What the hell's this?"

Simon answered meekly, "Dusty, the Moon Ranger?"

A smile slowly spread across Mal's face as he said, "I see." Simon did not appear the least bit comforted by Mal's apparent change in demeanor. Mal shouted behind them, "Zoe, ship is yours. And let Jayne know the good doctor just volunteered to cover his end of today's job." Mal started the hovermule's engine and told the girls, "Now run along you two. Simon and 'Daddy' have a lot of work to do."

After ten minutes worth of silent riding Simon attempted to start a conversation. "So uh, what is this job?" Simon asked.

"It's a meet" Mal said shortly.

"Ah, ok." Simon waited moment, hoping Mal would elaborate. After half a minute's wait, Simon spoke up again, "So, what should I be doing at this meet?"

"Whatever I gorram tell you." Mal replied harshly. He looked disdainfully over Simon's fancy clothing and added, "Let's start with you not gettin' kidnapped…again."

"Sir, yes sir!" Simon responded sarcastically. "Permission to ask-"

Mal stopped the mule so suddenly it almost caused Simon's head to collide with the dashboard.

Simon yelled, "Are you crazy?"

Mal was about to give Simon a piece of his mind when he realized he wasn't sure why is he was so gorram angry at the young doctor. That is, aside from Simon's budding relationship with his mechanic. Mal hated shipboard romances, they complicated things. A smug grin grew into Mal's expression as he figured out what he was going to say.

"I must be, Doc, thought you were man enough to handle an honest job."

"Honest?" Simon responded in disbelief.

"Well, uh… that's beside the point. I suppose a fancy prissified high falutin' gentleman like-"

"Can you at least be honest about what we're doing?"

"Sure" Mal said with a grin as he started the hovermule moving again. "Don't know yet. I 'spect our contact'll tell us what manner 'o job it is when we get there."

Simon's jaw dropped and hung open in disbelief.

"Best shut that 'less you wanna catch flies." Doc weren't expecting that Mal thought to himself feeling smug, perhaps a little ashamed, but mostly smug.

Jayne Cobb was bored out of his mind. He had just finished his primary form of entertainment and needed to leave his bunk and find something else to do, at least for an hour. He left his bunk and walked down the stairs, between the other crew bunks and the galley, and into the cargo bay. Upon entering he noted three points of potential interest: The hovermule was gone, River and Zoe were talking about something, and Kaylee was fiddling with a bed sheet. Jayne decided he was most interested in the story behind the bed sheet.

"What them bedsheets for lil' Kaylee?" Jayne said with a lecherous grin.

Kaylee rolled her eyes and said "It was for a movie."

"You made a movie?" Jayne's excitement was quite obvious, but then again, so are most things about Jayne.

River giggled and said, "Not for you."

Kaylee sighed, "And we didn't even finish."

Jayne chuckled, "I guess the doc ain't up the challenge." It became difficult for him to speak as he started to laugh even harder, saying, "You'da thunk Mr. 'top three percent' would've had a pill or somethin' for that."

Kaylee responded defensively, "It's not like that!" and then continued with a sigh, "Cap'n interrupted us."

Jayne had to grab the railing to support himself as he was laughing so hard.

Zoe rolled her eyes and said, "Jayne, do you really think they would do that in the cargo bay?"

"Why not? They did it in the engine room," River said with a hint of annoyance, momentarily shocking them all into silence.

Kaylee's face had turned a shade of red that they were more accustomed to seeing on Simon and she avoided making eye contact with River.

River spoke again, "I'm worried about my brother."

"So uh, where is the doc anyhow?" Jayne asked.

Zoe informed him, "Mal volunteered the doctor into coverin' your part of the job."

"What the hell was he thinking?"

Zoe answered with a weary sigh, "Don't believe he was."

Kaylee mused out loud, "I think it's sweet, the cap'n' being all protective like." She smiled and said, "Sides, Simon should oughta have to work hard to get me anyways."

"Still worried," River said again.

Soothingly, Zoe said, "Now now, I'm sure the captain won't do anything reckless."

River gave Zoe a look usually reserved for informing Simon of how much he is a 'boob.'

"Right, I guess I shouldn't try and lie to a psychic."

River leaned over, placed her chin on the railing, and sighed, "Not worried about Mal."

It was becoming dark on Beylix as Mal and Simon walked into the bar. It held more than a few rough looking customers prompting Mal to lean backwards and whisper to Simon, "Stay close," then continuing almost as an afterthought ,"but not close enough to make 'em think we're sly."

Simon responded quietly but angrily, "I can take care of myself."

Mal let out a hearty chuckle before walking up to the bar and ordering two beers. He then led them to a table where he could lean against the wall while keeping an eye on the door.

Simon sat down and took a sip of his drink, his face contorting as the foul beverage assaulted his refined pallet, "This is really bad."

Mal took a drink, his face betraying nothing, and responded, "Good. Should keep us sober enough to do business."

"So… finding adventure in a tavern. Doesn't anyone else find that a bit cliché?"

"Suppose so. But how many places you know of where it's socially acceptable to engage complete strangers in all manner of activities," Mal smirked, took another drink and continued in a stuffy core accent, "Such as stimulating conversation."

Simon took a large gulp before speaking. Mal fought the urge to laugh as the good doctor struggled to hold down his beverage. "So, Captain… why exactly did you want me here?"

"You think I enjoy Jayne's company?"

"You don't seem to enjoy mine."

Mal thought about that as he took another drink. Why did he bring Simon? He didn't think much about his decision at the time. He just knew he wanted to teach the boy a lesson. River's voice sounded inside his mind, Didn't ask daddy's permission. Not Smart. Mal began speaking again, "Well Son, things have been rough since Miranda, and I'm sure you noticed, the crew's a mite smaller than it once was." Mal stared forlornly into his drink and continued, "You're a damn good doctor, but time may come we need more than that."

"I… I see." Simon took another large gulp, probably to cover his reaction.

Mal leaned back and continued with a smile, "But with the crew stayin' healthy like and you're little sister's been kind enough to stay within an acceptable level of crazy," Mal's smile dropped without warning as he leaned closer and continued with a stern expression, "I need something else for you to do. Something besides my mechanic."

Before the stunned doctor could form a retort two strangers sat down at their table. Simon tried to cover his nervous reaction with another sip of his drink, but found himself looking down at an empty glass. The other three looked at him with curious expressions. "Uh, I'll be right back," He said as he stood up and headed towards the bar.

The two newcomers' features were mostly obscured by their hats and dusters. One of them faced Mal and asked, "Captain Hartbatkin?"

Mal leaned back and nonchalantly responded, "Depends on if I'm gettin' a job or bein' arrested."

The other man asked, "Captain Reynolds?"

Mal sat up and leaned forward, "Just what the hell do you want and how much do you know?"

"Relax," the first man said, "you are not under arrest. We have a job for which we believe that your crew is uniquely qualified."

Simon returned to the table with four drinks. Mal was glad the boy could think on his feet, but didn't believe for a moment that he was fooling anyone. Mal relaxed a little thinking; if these two know about me and mine then maybe I won't have to worry about Simon's acting. Things might actually go smooth.

As if in response to Mal's train of thought, the second stranger said four words that changed everything:

"Thank you, Dr. Tam."

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