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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Kaylee wondered if the Tam estate on Osirius might be just such a vision. Like an oasis, only with about as much place for her as a desert; outside, looking in. (Fallout)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 844 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
He had gotten onto the base with not much difficulty, and his request for transport to the Georgia system to rendezvous with the Ratched was approved and assigned in only a few moments. Confirming his itinerary with the pilot was equally brief. He was glad for the lack of scrutiny; it was to be expected, given his claims and their verification, but he preferred his anonymity. As such, he found the provided spartan cot more than welcome.
Now he had a few days to review his source material. The recording had been in his possession a number of months, more of a curiosity than anything else. A souvenir from his last mission, that had helped him come to terms with all that had happened. Snapshots of a life he might have lived, mistakes he might have made from the eyes of the man who had experienced them.
He wondered now if he had ever really believed in anything. He felt as though he had, and then had felt the loss of that belief. What he did, he told himself, he did for all humankind. Had it ever been more than indoctrination? He was sure it had been, but his actions and the orders he had followed spoke differently.
Since then he had learned morality knew no side but mercy, which had its own brutality. He studied how the man had infiltrated the ranks of military service, the careful balancing act he had maintained between the Alliance and his rebellious browncoat wearing contacts. Had seen the man set up by his own superiors with an impossible operation, supposedly meant to end a war before it began, but really intended to pour fuel on the fire.
The I.A.V. Alexander had burned, because the members of Parliament were desperate enough to hide the deaths of thirty million people with four thousand. He remembered his own time aboard a cruiser, and how that had turned out, and considered the package he had obtained. Perhaps the third time.
So he sat in the darkness of his quarters, surrounded itself by the black of space, and turned on the light.
- - - - -
From the very first, she knew Simon Tam to be a sweet young man, intelligent and mild-mannered, carrying himself with the dignity expected of his family. She had just been through some troubles of her own at the time, and had been easing herself into her client database again. He was exceedingly earnest in wanting to listen to her recount her ordeal, and she had thought him very gentlemanly for his concern. She had demurred, of course, but at his insistence she had mentioned perhaps a few things she remembered. In all honesty, her memory of the event was fuzzy, and she mostly recalled how frightened she had been.
Whatever she had said, it was sufficient for Simon, and she hadn't heard from him until nearly a year later, when by coincidence they were both visiting Persephone. He had contacted her, and had been very interested in hearing about her life and particularly her new living arrangements, which she described in glowing terms.
She hadn't expected to see him as a passenger on Serenity, and then a Federal Marshal tracking him had shot Kaylee, and everything had taken a turn for the worse. Mal had been against the boy from the start, and after that was about ready to throw the doctor and his newly revealed sister off the ship for any excuse he could.
After she docked the shuttle with Serenity's airlock, Inara swiveled in the pilot's chair to check on Simon. He was where she had left him when they'd taken off, seated on the floor, back to the bare metal bulkheads, almost as though he had slid down into the position. River was kneeling next to him, her arms around him, and Inara was concerned his anxiety might be upsetting the poor girl.
He looked up at and noticed her watching him. "I'm still waiting to see Mal's fist coming at my face." Even now, when everything might change, she felt the same compassion as she did before. "I hurt his mèi mèi, and in his twisted mind he'll think I've taken advantage of you."
She sat up in her chair, straight, with a posture not unlike a House Priestess correcting a student. "Mal is very loyal," she told him, "he wouldn't abandon you for something like this." Simon looked unconvinced, and she felt a further need to defend the man, partially aware of how she must sound. Her teachers would have thought she was delusional. "He's taken you back on before," she reminded him, "and in his own way, he's fond of River." The boy didn't look any more optimistic, and she began to understand. "But that's not what you're worried about."
He sighed, hung his head, and said one word. "Kaylee." He ran a hand through his dark hair. "She made me nervous at first, I didn't want anyone looking too closely and finding River. But I liked her," he admitted. "It was hard for me to show, as you're well aware. But I was flattered, really." He smiled at her weakly. "I gave up pretty much everything I'd known to get River out of that place. Finding you on Serenity was a relief, and I'm grateful, because thanks to you, it felt like my old life wasn't so far away. But Kaylee..." He looked thoughtful. "Kaylee helped me feel comfortable with where I am now. I've thought maybe I might be able to make a new life, out here."
She could sympathize; sometimes, sipping a pink shaker while the others played pool, strolling around the edge of a celebration, or looking out over the cargo bay with a glass of engine wine, she even managed to forget for a while herself.
He tried to get up, River still holding on. "I have to go talk to her."
Inara felt a flash of alarm at his conviction. "Oh, Simon, no. She's with Mal at the Councilor's estate by now. You'll be caught."
The little psychic agreed, pulling him back down like an anchor. "Don't go," she muttered.
For a moment, she could see the struggle as his blue eyes lowered. Then he hugged his sister, nodding, ever the doting brother, and when he smiled, there wasn't any regret in his expression. "I'm right here. I've got you." He helped her to her shoeless feet, and Inara heard his unasked question when he glanced back over.
She smiled back. "I'll explain everything to Kaylee, don't worry," she assured him, and in a flurry of wild hair, suddenly found River wrapped around her waist. The girl was trembling, as if holding back some great torrent, and Inara thought she might be crying. "River?"
The girl held on for several long moments, somehow tighter, enough to nearly force the air from her lungs, and when she pulled away, almost reluctantly, Inara was glad to see her bright beaming face. "Don't be scared," River reassured her, and grabbed Simon's hand and dragged him out of the shuttle. Inara stared after the inscrutable genius for a few moments, confused, then sat at the console and transmitted her authorization code to port control.
- - - - -
Maybe the brute was escaped from the councilor woman's menagerie. Not her most impressive animal, he supposed, unless you had an admiration for that of the slow and ponderous in brains and size. And then there was the beast his mercenary was gaping at, whiskered jaw working in his confusion and heavy brows furrowed. "Bet I could drop it from here," he assessed, "them tusks gotta be worth something."
"Hard to miss an elephant, Jayne," Mal grunted, pulling another broken fence stone loose. His shoulder was starting to hurt. Again. "Ya'll gonna lend me a hand with this or what?" He tossed the rubble aside.
Zoë studied him, arms crossed, lean and leaning against the wall he was fixing. The shadows of the leaves shifting over her skin gave her the look of a jungle cat. "We talkin' that one or the one we're ignoring?" she asked, and, he noticed, didn't start helping. Even injured he didn't get any respect. "Sir," she added at his look.
He squinted over at their mule where Kaylee was hiding out, sulking at their lush surroundings. Hard to blame her, really. In his younger days, a formal garden was an orchard, almost wild. Grass up to his knees, warm morning sunlight before the afternoon storms, and boughs laden with blooms of apples and cherries later to swell into full, bittersweet red fruit. Here, there wasn't a branch, stone, or flower out of place, the air heavy with rose and something like chai.
Grateful as he was for the shade, the show of wealth made him uneasy. Reminded him of the elaborate grounds and incense filled halls of a temple training house, secluded above waterfalls and green tropical wilderness.
A shrug, and he swiped the back of his wrist across his brow. He was really glad he'd thought to stow his shirt. "Don't care to know," Mal answered, and picked up his shovel again, meaning to get back to work.
Didn't pay any mind to the growing hum as the shuttle arrived, a ladybug circling the Councilor's landing pad, a pirouette dipping into a curtsy. Not to the lady of the craft herself alighting from the ingress, nor the look over she gave them, searching.
He heard Jayne's uncompliments, and from long experience, knew Zoë was raising that eyebrow. All right, so part of him was curious. The part that didn't know any better. That wouldn't learn despite every conspired attempt of the 'verse at education. Any secret that involved the doctor and Inara, he had his own worries just what he might confirm. "They'll sort it out," he amended, jabbing the spade at another crack in the wall.
Inara's eyes lingered on him for an inexplicable moment before she moved off to find Kaylee.
The plan was that she was supposed to blend in, but he was pretty sure that was some kind of joke. The girls in attendance he'd seen flitting here and there with trays and party favours, he could tell they'd been selected for show, made up and garbed to distract the soldiers. Not any of it was right, not what they were offered up for, not how most of them were too young by far.
And she was dressed as they were. Some get-up in milky white, insubstantial as a cloud, her midrift invitingly bare. A swath of the thinnest fabric cradled her, swirling with crystalline patterns that hinted more than concealed, matching the beaded band of her skirt. There was a slit in the sarong running up the side of her leg, all the way to that tantalizing spangle low around her hips. Flimsy looking, like for the better to take a handful of any of it and tear it right off her.
Knowing as always, Zoë intruded on his thoughts as they spiraled down into worser what ifs. She held out a field radio out to him, patiently, a match for the one still in his coat.
- - - - -
The gardens had been prettied up for the party with little twinkle lights and lantern orbs, like a courtly dance in bright jewel colours. Emerald and ruby, sapphire and gold, even some coral and pearl, with diamond dew-drops from the mist beaded on leaves. Elegant birds and glittery trimmed coattails of butterflies, dancing between perfumed blossoms like layered dresses.
Kaylee wondered if the Tam estate on Osirius might be just such a vision. Like an oasis, only with about as much place for her as a desert; outside, looking in.
Her lips thinned at the approach of soft-soled footsteps; not Zoe, and Simon would never let River near Alliance, not even to patch things up. She felt the companion pause by her side and refused to look.
"I'm sorry. It was one night, before Serenity." Couldn't even believe she was trying to cop a plea, and more incredible, she continued. "I should have said something."
Then Inara reached out to her, like she still had some claim to friendship. Kaylee shrugged her off, glaring over the dash. The woman hovered prettily, just like if she actually was sincere, but finally got her snub. She was a real reader, that one.
"I'm so sorry," she murmured. "I never meant to hurt you." She nearly collided with the captain as she turned away. A furtive exchange and something else passed between them, changed hands.
He climbed up next to her and rummaged around for his shirt, then Kaylee found him taking his ease against the console next to her. "Zoë and Jayne are gonna scope the perimeter. You want to go with them or you want to apprise me why I got an unhappy mechanic?"
She just didn't know what to say, what she could tell him. She'd seen the captain hurting once or twice and sometimes even though he was walking and talking, she wasn't sure if he was really okay. "You ever seen how sometimes two things seem like they should fit together, but then they don't?" she asked, hitching on the last word.
He looked uneasy. "This about engine parts?"
This was why she usually talked to Inara, Captain had a tendency to prude up like an old woman at church. She shook her head, she wasn't even thinking about the companion. "No, those fit fine," she answered, spiritless, remembered how it was. "More like having the wrong male-to-female adapter." She hurried on, insistent, before he could protest. "What I mean is, core and rim."
That was nice of him, he was trying not to look too relieved. "You an' Simon," he guessed, trying for consolation.
"You 'n 'Nara, too," she offered, awkwardly.
There was a flicker of something in his eyes, quickly buried. "What'd he do this time?" he prompted instead, not about to dwell on any other point.
She used to get so mad at him, dancing around the subject and not the fun kind either, but she let him dodge it this time. "You ever think maybe Simon 'n 'Nara might be a good match for each other?"
A long pause, like he was hesitating. "It's crossed my mind." He nodded slowly. "So, the two of them. Can't say I'm surprised, him in and out of her shuttle all the time."
So not just the once, then. Had everyone known? No, probably just him and his busy body ways, keeping secrets all the time. "But you never... Even when she was gone..." she stumbled, then forced it out. "You never said a word."
The captain sighed at her."Don't change anything." There was a bitterness in his face, in his voice. "You're fighting a losing battle with that one. Don't see but for what was left behind, and wasn't like you were helping any. You pushed away, lashed out, shacked up with someone else. That ain't any way to get attention, no incentive for someone to want you." Lower now, all inwards with guilt and anger. "You got no one to blame but yourself."
Oh God. He wasn't talking at her anymore, but what if Simon really had gone to Inara because of her? She wavered, she had to get away. "I - I think maybe I do wanna go with Zoë and Jayne," she told him.
For a while she wasn't sure if he'd even heard her, but eventually he nodded, more of a jerk. "Maybe find a circuit box in case we need to cut this soiree short." She watched him uncertainly. "And be careful out there. There's bad men about."
Yeah, she thought maybe she'd found two already. He settled in the driver seat, a radio piece perched above his ear, and she decided he wasn't any business of hers.
Friday, September 23, 2011 2:30 PM
Friday, September 23, 2011 3:54 PM
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:47 AM
Thursday, September 29, 2011 10:48 AM
Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:58 AM
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