BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

THEHAPPYTRADER

Secret Agent Tam? chapter 3
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: 2189    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

Chapter 3

40 Minutes later, Zoe and Kaylee parked the old four wheel mule outside of the 'Muddy Rudder.' Kaylee's worry quickly began to melt into confusion as she approached the establishment and heard curious chanting and cheering.

"Drink! Drink! Drink!"

"-Hold on, Doc need's more medicine!"

"Goh beh!"

"Dr. Pain! Dr. Pain!"

Kaylee paused and asked Zoe tentatively "Dr…. Pain?"

Zoe turned to face Kaylee and sighed "If they ain't in danger now, they're gonna be. Stay close, looks like this place can get a little rough, and I don't think many womenfolk come by here very often."

Before they could enter Mal staggered out of the bar. His black eye, split lip and slurred speech were not lost on the two as he hiccupped and greeted them, "Zoe! I swear darlin' I was gonna call-"

"Where's Simon?" Zoe interrupted him.

Mal responded by clutching his sides and convulsing with laughter.

"Don't see this as a laughing matter, Sir."

Mal regained control of himself, stood up a little straighter, and pointed inside. "You will," he said as he took a deep breath and let it out a contented sigh, "You will."

The three of them walked through the doorway, progressing three steps into the establishment before Kaylee and Zoe were frozen in confusion. Mal resumed his laughing as their minds raced to make sense of the bizarre scene in front of them. Kaylee was too stunned for words. Zoe could only manage a quiet "Son of a bitch" in disbelief.

A large capture of Simon hung on the wall amongst many smaller captures of much tougher looking men. Simon's picture did not need the size advantage it was afforded to stand amongst the others. His pale skin and nearly nonexistent shirt showed his wounds to be far more numerous and obvious than those of his contemporaries. His expression set him apart as well. While most of the men in the captures appeared enraged or triumphant, Simon looked like he would collapse any minute or die of confusion. Well, confusion and blunt force trauma. Below Simon's capture hung an oversized belt that featured a massive buckle engraved with the words 'Dr. Pain.'

When Zoe spoke again her voice was barely above a whisper. "This must be what going mad feels like."

Kaylee rushed forward as she spotted Simon stumbling in their direction, closing the distance in just enough time to prevent him from falling over. She called his name as she wrapped her arms around him and held him upright. The rest of his shirt was missing and several strips of white cloth were tied around him in makeshift bandages.

Simon smiled and slurred, "Hey there, Gorgeous" as he wrapped one arm around Kaylee's shoulders and reached down to grab her rump with the other.

Kaylee asked him, "Are you okay?" without reacting to his uninvited, though perhaps not unwelcome, touch.

Simon hiccupped and replied, "Shiney! I jus' took some medicine" as he hiccupped again. He seemed to feel the need to clarify and added, "It doesn't hurt so bad anymore."

Kaylee gently ran her hand down the swollen left side of Simon's face. "Honey, what happened to you? You look terrible!"

Simon hiccupped as he squeezed her rump once more in inebriated affection before replying, "You should see th'other guy!"

Kaylee looked around the room but did not see anyone who looked half as beaten as Simon, or even Mal. Her eyes narrowed as she spotted what she assumed to be three jien huo ogling over Simon. She pushed Simon back but held him firmly at arm's length. Mal and Zoe caught up with them as she was staring into Simon's open and unfocused eye and asking him, "Where's your shirt?"

"s'broken." Simon giggled.

Kaylee stared at Simon accusingly. "Whadda ya mean it's broken?"

"I made bandages." Simon responded with a Kaylee-esque smile.

Zoe commented, "Is it just me, or is Simon starting to sound like his little sister?"

Kaylee laughed, Simon remained oblivious and Mal appeared to be shocked into a measure of sobriety by Zoe's remark.

Zoe advised gravely "In all seriousness, Sir, I think we should go back to the ship. This may be a rim world, but I still don't think it's wise for our fugitive to draw attention to himself."

Simon slurred, "Give me some sugar Kaylee, Doctor's orders." as he stumbled forward to embrace her. Cheers erupted from the inebriated crowd.

"All right Dr. Tam!"

"-Doc must be dow ma tze!"

"-Dr. Pain! Dr. Pain!"

Mal said sarcastically, "Yeah, we best leave 'fore our cover gets blown."

Simon emptied the contents of his stomach over the back of the speeding hover mule. His head was spinning and his entire body felt like a massive contusion. He shivered as the wind rushed over his shirtless form and attempted to warm himself by focusing on Kaylee's comforting presence as she held his arm and rubbed his back while he emptied more 'medicine' over the side.

"Oh God! Why did I do this?"

"There, there" Kaylee soothed as she rubbed his back. "We've all been there 'afore."

Simon expelled more 'medicine', "I'm never going to drink again."

Kaylee giggled and continued soothingly, "We've all said that 'afore too."

"That boy yackin' again?" Mal asked with more than a hint of annoyance.

Zoe glanced in the rearview mirror before turning her attention back to driving. "Don't think they cover gettin' beat into a pulp and holdin' your liquor in the Osiris Med Schools."

Mal retorted "Yeah? Well then they should at least cover not being a gorram idiot and pissing off the largest brute in a local bar."

"Sir, what exactly happened in there?"

"We sat down, we met our contacts – one of which knew Simon's name – and Simon panicked and ran into Jayne's long lost evil…er… twin brother."

"That explains the condition we found you in. Can you explain why the hell his picture is on that wall?"

"I surely wish I could." After a moment Mal continued. "He knocked out the toughest brawler there and became the tavern champion."

After a few moments of silence, Zoe asked, "Would you care to elaborate, Sir?"

"It was strange, Zoe. He spent the entire fight getting his ass kicked and I thought big guy was about to kill 'im. Then at the last moment, Simon spun out of the way like a gorram ballerina and smashed a barstool over the big guy's head."

"That big guy gonna be a problem, Sir?"

"Naw, when he woke up he bought us drinks."

"Must be some kind'a local sport. I guess that explains why the authorities were never called in. Does this mean we have to look for another job?"

"Our contacts said they would meet us at our ship. Said they'd prefer not to draw attention to 'emselves."

"And they're still coming to see us?"

Mal laughed and continued. "They seem to believe my crew is 'uniquely qualified' for something, they recognized Simon on sight, and I'd say there's more 'en a fair chance they know 'bout our lil' albatross."

"What do you think we should do, Sir?"

"We still need a job. We'll keep our guard up and be prepared to go full burn at the first sign of trouble."

Inara was interrupted from her worried musings by Jayne's impatient rambling.

"What the hell's taken 'em so long?"

River spoke to him as if he were a child "Don't worry. They'll be fine."

"I ain't worried. I just wanna see how badly Mal and your brother got their asses kicked."

Inara spoke up, "What makes you so certain they lost?"

"I seen Mal in a fight. As for the doc," Jayne laughed and then continued, "Only thing the doc doesn't fail miserably at is… uh… being a… doc…"

River sighed, "He takes so much looking after."

Inara stood up and started walking down the stairs as she noticed the hover mule approaching. Curiously, it stopped just outside the cargo bay doors. She saw Zoe at the wheel in the front seat with a bruised and irritated Mal beside her. Inara's heart caught int her throat when she saw Simon's condition as Kaylee held him over the back of the mule. Inara marched furiously towards Mal.

"What the did you do, Mal?" Inara asked him angrily. It took every ounce of her self control not to slap him.

"What did I do?" Mal stared at her incredulously and pointed to Simon who was still leaning over the back of the mule. "He started it!"

Simon wailed, "Oh God make it stop!" as Kaylee continued to rub his back and make soothing noises.

Inara balled her hands into tight fist as she attempted to control her anger, "Really, Mal? You're blaming Simon? Just what did he start? And where is his shirt?"

"I'm too tried for this ri shao gou shi bing! I'm captain of this ship and I'm delegatin' responsibilities! Zoe, fill anyone in needs to know. Jayne, you've been assigned guard duty for the next four hours till Zoe relieves you. We're expecting visitors at some point and can't be sure they'll be friendlylike. Kaylee, if my boat breaks on account of you're too busy nursin' my doctor to keep us flyin' I'm gonna be very irate!" Mal ordered before storming off towards his bunk in angry silence.

Not surprisingly, Jayne was the first one to break the silence. "Hey, how come I don't get a nurse when I lose a bar fight?"

Zoe said, "Boy didn't lose."

River giggled.

"Boy looks like that," Jayne paused as he pointed at Simon's pitiful form," And HE'S the winner?" Jayne asked, "Is the other feller dead?"

Simon had finally started limping into the cargo bay with Kaylee and River's assistance. Each step appeared to be agonizing. Kaylee turned to Zoe and said, "I'll be right back to take care of the mule. I promise."

Zoe said, "Don't worry dear, I'll get it. You just make sure his cuts don't get infected."

River said, "Nurse Kaylee, this man needs a sponge bath, his wounds cleaned, 1000 milligrams of Acetaminophen, fluids, and bed rest." River stopped to stare accusingly at Kaylee. "And he has to be sleeping."

Simon spoke up, "Don't I get a say in any-"

"NO!" Kaylee, River, and Zoe interrupt him in unison.

Inara watched it all play out in silent confusion. Was I wrong about Mal? The man was infuriatingly unpredictable. She turned to face Zoe and asked, "Zoe, could you please tell me what happened?"

Zoe sighed and began recounting the tale. "I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't seen the evidence. It all started when…"

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