BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

KISPEXI2

The Wedjat Eye - Part 3
Friday, November 14, 2003

Mal wants to be SuperMal.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2592    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: The characters belong to Joss Whedon. I only play with them because I love them.

THE WEDJAT EYE: PT 3

“Hey, Cap'n!” Kaylee's cheery salutation made him crack his temple against the side of the engine.

“Wang da ban!” he muttered, pressing down on the developing bump. He stayed where he lay, under the turbine, with the ship's manual open at his side. If he didn't encourage her, perhaps she'd go away. Being alone with Kaylee just now made him agitated. He hoped the feeling would pass because he missed the easy affection they shared. But for the time being he didn't want to let her look into his eyes.

Kaylee crouched down beside him. “What'ya doin'?” she asked amiably, then a little sternly, “You ain't touched nothin', have you? 'Cos the engine's her heart, you know. Without that, you ain't got nothin'.”

“I ain't broken anythin', if that's what you're implying,” he replied grumpily. “Thought it was about time I learnt how to take care of Serenity.”

Silence. Then a small voice asking “Isn't that what I'm for? To take care of her?” Then, as she started putting two and two together, “Oh no! Is something wrong? Have I let her break down again?”

“No, no. It ain't nothin' like that. Just don't want to always have to be relyin' on you to keep my own boat flyin' is all.” He regretted the words almost the instant they passed his lips. Should have put it better.

There was a catch in Kaylee's voice as she mumbled “Are you mad at me? Have I done somethin'? You ain't thinkin' of gettin' rid of me are you?” When she was upset, she found it had to stop babbling. “Don't fire me. Please. I love Serenity. I love everyone here... Is it money? You don't have to pay me. I'll work for nothin'.....”

Reluctantly Mal slid out from his hiding place and stood up. Kaylee's lashes were wet with tears she was fighting to hold back. She shot him a pleading look but he averted his eyes quickly. He wanted to comfort her, but he didn't want her looking into his soul.

Gazing down at his boots, he folded his arms across his chest and leaned back against the engine housing. “I ain't gonna fire you Kaylee,” he said softly. “I just want to be better prepared for when things don't go smooth – which seems to be generally the way of things. That bounty hunter managed to take advantage of some weaknesses in our system and I wanna stop anybody else bein' able to.”

Kaylee's face flushed and then went white. “Weaknesses. Me, you mean. I'm sorry. I know I let everyone down, but I was so scared. ... he said he'd ... I shouldn't have let him frighten me into tellin' where River was...”

Instinctively Mal reached out to her and pulled her in close against him. “Don't,” he said simply. “Ain't none of it your fault.”

“Ain't your fault neither,” a disembodied voice told him, making him start for the second time in as many days. River had entered the engine room silently and was looking past his eyes and into his thoughts. “Not Kaylee. Not Serenity. Not Thursday neither.”

Despite herself, Kaylee couldn't help but smile at River's crazy way of putting thoughts together. “Well River, we don't really work by Earth-that-was days out here...” she began, but broke off as she felt an iron tension seize Mal's body. “Cap'n? You feelin' OK?”

He blinked hard and gave a bright, brittle smile. “Fine and dandy. You just carry on with ... whatever... Better try Badger again. See if he's got anythin' for us..” He'd taken just a few seconds to get himself back under control, but there was something about his manner that unsettled Kaylee. She watched his retreating back and turned to River, who was also gazing after him.

“He's afraid. Afraid of finding the missing piece,” she said, smiling sadly at Kaylee. As though that explained everything.

******************************

Going off to war had seemed such a glamourous, heroic thing to do at the time. The night before they all left, family, friends and neighbours threw them a big party. Biggest party Mal had ever been to. Hog roast, bonfire, dancing and drinking. Seemed like everyone he knew was there. Ma, the ranch hands, Zoe – and that sweet girl with honeyed brown hair and a smile to melt your heart that he sometimes saw in the store in town. He had developed a bit of a crush on her. Emboldened by the prospect of becoming a soldier and maybe a big damn hero, he asked her to dance. They spent all night dancing. By the end of the night, he could see himself falling in love with her some day. Promised himself he'd set about courting her just as soon as he returned victorious from battle.

Now he could scarcely remember her face.

News of her death reached him just after the surrender when he and Zoe and the few men left from his squadron were waiting for processing in the Alliance prisoner of war camp. Seemed Shadow had been overrun by Alliance troops not a month after he and most of the other able-bodied men had left for the fighting. On Harvest Thursday, the ranch and all the surrounding homesteads had been burnt to the ground. All the cattle and men slaughtered. Most of the women raped and killed.

And where had he been? Away at the front, playing the hero. Making a grand gesture tryin' to maintain freedom throughout the 'verse when he should have been concentrating on looking after his own. ************************************

Simon knew Mal was in the infirmary before he went in. He'd seen him through the glass panel in the door and for a moment had wondered if he didn't have a really good reason for being somewhere else. Then he noticed that Mal was rifling through the drawers, taking things out to examine them and then stuffing them back, heedless of their proper place. His curiosity got the better of him and he pushed the door open.

“Are you looking for something in particular, Captain?” he asked warily. Even now he was never entirely at ease around Mal. He respected him – admired him, even – but was always anxious that some little thing he said or did might, in Mal's opinion, justify a punch to the jaw.

Mal spun around and fixed Simon with an expression that seemed to accuse him of trespass. Then it was replaced by a forced, polite smile.“You got some kind of system at work here, Doc?”

“Ofcourse,” Simon replied, marvelling at the extent of Mal's ignorance in matters medical. “Not much point having equipment for treating a patient if you can't find it in an emergency.” There was a sharp edge to his tone as he began rearranging the drawers Mal had been looking through.

“Good,” Mal responded. “Need you to show me it.”

Simon looked at him in bewilderment. This was exactly why Mal made him so jumpy. You could never quite predict what he would say or do next.

“Certainly,” he said slowly. “But may I ask why?”

Some kind of negative response was forming on Mal's lips when Jayne burst into the room. He looked at Mal suspiciously. “You checkin' up on me?”

“Well, I wa'n't. But now I am. What are you doing here.”

“Ain't that an invasion of patient privacy?” Jayne grunted, looking to Simon for support.

“He's here for an injection, Mal,” Simon explained. “Treatment for a personal problem.”

Jayne was looking all kinds of embarassed by now and Mal's eyes began to twinkle with amusement. “Personal, you say? What kind of personal?”

“Go away,” Jayne snapped. “This is private.”

“Can't do that, Jayne. I'm here to learn doctorin'”.

Simon's confusion increased. “I think Jayne would be happier if you...” - he fluttered his hands in the direction of the door -”left,” he suggested, bracing himself for an angry response.

But Mal was guffawing with laughter. “It's rod rot, ain't it? Thought I saw you scratching at your rain stick! Come on now, Jayne. No need for modesty here. Just drop your pants and let the Doc do his stuff,” he said, tears trickling down his cheeks. “Surely it ain't the first time?!”

Jayne eyes blazed and Simon, fearing a brawl was only a moment away, put himself between them. “I inject the vaccine into his arm, Captain.”

“You sure that's what he prefers? Maybe he'd like the feel of your lily white hands.” Mal could hardly speak for laughing. “Besides, I gotta stay. I have to learn this stuff.”

Simon took a deep breath and from somewhere dredged up the authoritative tone that had come so easily when he was a brilliant young trauma surgeon on a Core planet. “I'm teaching you nothing until your bedside manner improves. Now get out of here and let me see to my patient.”

COMMENTS

Friday, November 14, 2003 2:35 AM

AMDOBELL


Hmm, think our dear Captain may be working his crew up to a mutiny at this rate. Good story, I'm off to read the last part. No notion in the 'verse what your story title means though. Ali D :~)
You can't keep the sky from me

Friday, November 14, 2003 3:13 AM

KISPEXI2


The Wedjat Eye is the eye you seen in Ancient Egyptian art. Horus was killed and chopped into pieces by some God or other and was pieced back together by his lover. The eye was the last piece. It represents finding that which was lost.

Thanks for your nice comments. We got ourselves a mutual appreciation society goin' here!

Friday, September 16, 2005 10:17 AM

BELLONA


is it a bird? is it a plane? no! it's...mal being a complete prat. as usual

v. good, i like the whole eye thing

b


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