BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

THEHAPPYTRADER

Secret Agent Tam? chapter 2
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: 1514    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

Chapter 2

Simon was halfway through saying, "You're welcome" before he fully comprehended the strangers words: Thank you Dr. Tam. They recognize me, River isn't safe! Simon panicked, bolting from the table and accidently running into the largest and meanest looking man in the bar, causing the Jayne sized ogre to spill his beverage all over Simon and himself.

Simon hastily tried to defuse the situation, stumbling over his words as usual, "I-I-I'm very sorry. P-please let-"

Simon's speech was interrupted as the larger man's fist caused the entire room to spin.

Simon caught himself against the wall and attempted to reorient himself. He was vaguely aware of Mal voicing his oft repeated, "Why can't things go smooth?" and sucker punching the somewhat less than jolly giant, saving Simon's face from further abuse.

The strangers left their seats and headed for the exit. They paused briefly near Mal to inform him, "We can't afford to draw attention to ourselves. We will meet you on your ship to discuss the job in detail."

Simon struggled to steady himself while making a mental note to visit the infirmary in case he had a concussion. As he regained focus he could here Mal saying, "We gotta get the hell outta here!" Simon was about to voice a sarcastic response when his eyes focused on what, or more accurately the whats, that were in their way. Simon abandoned sarcasm in favor of a stream of profanity that would have made Kaylee proud.

Inara had just docked her shuttle and was not surprised to find Kaylee waiting at her door.

The bubbly mechanic eagerly greeted her, "Hey, 'Nara."

"Hey, Kaylee, has Mal found a job yet?" Inara asked with a hint of worry.

"He 'n Simon are workin' on that right now. They're s'posed to be meetin' someone in town. Think the place is called the muddy rudder?"

"He took Simon?" Inara said, the relief evident in her voice, "That's good. Maybe Simon can keep Mal out of trouble."

Simon fell to the floor on his hands and knees as a barstool connected with his back and knocked the wind out of him. Mal retaliated on Simon's behalf by connecting another piece of furniture with the aggressor's face.

Mal shouted as he helped the young doctor to his feet, "I understand this may well be your first bar fight." Mal paused as he was fending off another brawler with the barstool. "But the object of this sport-" Mal feinted high with the stool and kicked low, sending a brawler to the floor with a wounded shin and continued, "Is for THEM to get hurt!" Mal tossed the stool in the air. A confused brawler caught the stool in front of him with a curious expression as Mal punched him square in the face and finished his senteance, "NOT US!"

Simon was swinging wildly, leaving holes in his defense that his opponent was mercilessly exploiting. Simon's luck improved when his opponent tripped over a bottle that, as luck would have it, sent the opponents face on a collision course with Simon's fist. Simon yelled, "Dammit Mal, I'm a doctor not a brawler!"

Kaylee and Inara were taking a stroll along the cargo bay catwalk as Kaylee recounted her 'date' with Simon. She was just getting to the part where Mal interrupted them when River ran down the stairs yelling, "Kaylee prep the mule!"

"Capt'n's got the mule, remember?" Kaylee said.

"Prep the old one then, the one with wheels."

Kaylee paused and contemplated her behavior. A bit of worry crept into her voice as she asked "What would ya be needin' the mule for?"

River looked to Inara and said, "Going to need iodine, gauss, bandages and maybe splints."

Kaylee rushed to prep the old four wheel mule while Inara hurried to the infirmary, cursing Mal's name in a decidedly uncompanion-like manner.

Mal fell backwards into the wall with a grunt. Two men lifted him up and held him against the wall. Mal did not have much fight left in him. He was sporting an impressive shiner, a split lip, and more than a few large bruises to be sure. Through the pain and exhaustion Mal was dimly aware of the fact that Simon's predicament was probably much worse than his own. One of the men that was holding Mal against the wall told him, "Stay still, it'll all be over soon."

Mal raged in fury and disbelief, "This just an honest brawl among men!" Mal spit out some blood and continued, "Ain't no one needs t' get kilt."

"He's not gonna kill him, you moron!"

The other brawler added hastily, "Well, not on purpose."

Confused, Mal turned his head and saw the patrons and brawlers (though mentioning both was mostly redundant) making a circular clearing. On one side of the open area stood the large man Simon had bumped into, who apparently answered to the name, 'Bronco.' On the other side there was Simon, mostly standing. His left eye had swollen shut, his lip was split, and blood ran down his face from a cut above his left eyebrow and he had several cuts and contusions covering most of his exposed body. His fancy shirt had been reduced to hanging rags, many of which had become red, as the flimsy material gave way under endless assaults and countless grabs.

Mal elegantly described their conundrum in one syllable, "Huh."

Zoe could smell the grease and feel the tension as she entered the cargo bay. Kaylee was hard at work on the old mule while Jayne stood on the catwalk in apparent contemplation, as if trying to decide what weapons to take somewhere. Zoe knew regardless of the situation that she did not want Jayne to think he was in charge. She walked up behind him, almost as silent as River, and asked "What's goin' on?"

Jayne attempted to cover his flinch with a snort. "'Lil' moonbrain thinks cap'n and the doc got themselves in a tussle."

"Have there been any transmissions by the authorities? Any evidence they are or soon will be arrested?"

"Nothin'. Maybe crazy got it wrong this ti-."

"Not wrong." River interrupted as she entered the cargo bay from the infirmary and walked towards Kaylee and the older mule. She stopped before completing the distance and amended her statement, "Not sure."

Zoe began to feel very uneasy. She walked down the stairs towards River and asked, "Not sure about the fighting?"

River shook her head and repeated, "Not sure."

Kaylee threw one of her tools down in frustration and complained, "I can't get the gorram thing to work! We'll need to use a shuttle."

Zoe responded firmly, "Captain said we're not to use the shuttles near town. There's a city ordinance and it attracts too much attention." The look in Kaylee's eyes made Zoe's heart ache, but Zoe resolutely stood her ground. She knew this was best for the crew.

Jayne said "Leave em be, it's just some honest brawling. You're just worried your pretty lil' boy toy's face'll get all messed up."

Simon labored for breath and struggled to remain standing. The only eye he could keep open was locked on the blurry and intimidating figure before him. Simon said incredulously, "If this is what a meet is like, it's no wonder my infirmary has been so busy in the past."

Bronco looked at Simon, clearly confused and asked,"Uh, is you threat'nin me, little man?" Bronco took a step closer. "I dunno how you knocked me ova there, but now we's gonna finnish this now!"

"Knocked you over?...I…" Simon paused in confusion. He remembered Mal sucker punching the big man at the beginning of the fight. Then he must think… but should I really tell him it was the captain…

Simon spotted the Mal and heard him say,"Get the hell outta there, doc, tell 'em it was me. I need my doctor patchin' up my crew, not the other way around!" Under less stressful and painful circumstances Simon would have wondered how Mal said all of that without opening his mouth.

Simon shouted to Mal, "I think you're right." The crowd got a little quieter as many of the patrons were wondering what the pale and mostly shirtless man was talking about.

Mal found his voice and spoke up, "Uh, thanks!" and continued after a pause. "What am I right about again?"

"What you just said."

A couple of seconds later someone in the crowd shouted "He ain't said a gorram thing! You're stallin'!"

Simon turned to look to stare at Mal in befuddlement, realizing belatedly that his swollen left eye would not alert him to any advances from Bronco's direction.

Bronco took full advantage of this opening and charged Simon's blindside and bringing his fist down like a hammer in a strike likely end the fight, and possibly Simon's life.

In Serenity's cargo bay, River screamed Simon's name and fell to the floor.

"Inara, prep the shuttle," Zoe commanded without hesitation and thought,Captain's orders be damned, I am not gonna risk losing another member of my family. As Inara ran to her shuttle Zoe turned her attention back to River, cradling her head and trying her best to sooth the frightened girl. A few moments later, River stopped screaming, sat up, and said,"Too late."Her expression was unreadable as she looked into Zoe's eyes and said, "There won't be a rescue."

Zoe stared at the child as if she could somehow read into her and make sense of all of this, "You sure about that honey?"

Adrenaline surged through Simon's body as time slowed and the bar became eerily quiet. Simon could see himself and Bronco as though he was looking at them both from Mal's perspective. He could see every one of Bronco's muscles contracting, from his quadriceps through his abdomen and into his forearms, as he committed his entire body to that one attack. Simon watched his own body deftly pivot approximately 210 degrees on his left foot to slide just out of the way as Bronco overshot him and tumbled hopelessly overbalanced to the floor. Simon briefly wondered if his dance-like movements were similar to that of a toreador, a Spanish bullfighter from earth-that-was. His musing was interrupted by a mental image of Mal smashing a barstool over the back of the big man's cranium intruded upon his consciousness.

Time returned to its normal pace, the entire world became much louder, and Simon found himself standing on shaky legs while looking out of one eye at the remains of a broken barstool griped firmly in his hands. Several patrons slapped Simon on the back, saying things that his mind was too disoriented to process. His mind was painfully brought back into focus when Mal grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him in an attempt to grab his attention.

"Ya know, you can put down that barstool. He ain't getting back up," Mal said.

"Ow! What?" Simon asked as another patron gave him a congratulatory slap on the back. He looked down at his hands, embarrassed, and dropped what was left of the bar stool.

"You okay, Doc? Look like you just seen a ghost?" Mal asked.

"I… I don't know." Simon winced and attempted to stand up straight. "Do you and Jayne really do this kind of thing for fun?"

"You're supposed to get drunk first," Mal said with a smirk, "Hurts less that way."

As if in response to Mal's comment, one of the patrons offered Simon a drink, shouting "Come over here, doc, and get yer medicine!"

Simon limped towards the bar noting with curiosity and amusement that the bartender brought a new stool out, just for him. Simon began, "You say it hurts less-"

Mal interrupted him, "Go ahead, doc. When they find out what happened they're gonna think we're damned fools anyway. Way I see it; we owe it to ourselves to drink 'till we are stupid as they're bound to perceive us."

"This may be mild traumatic brain injury talking, but that doesn't sound like a bad idea."

"Yes" River declared back in Serenity's cargo bay as a smile came to her face. "They won't need a rescue, not unless it's from us."

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