BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

AMDOBELL

TEMPTATION SERIES: 8. "Timing"
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"The crew go down to rescue Mal and Zoe. After all the excitement is over Inara notices something the others seem to have missed."


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2675    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

TITLE: "TIMING" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: No specific pairing. RATING: G. STATUS: SEQUEL to "WAITING" ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: AlisonMDobell@aol.com WEBSITE: http://carlajane.50megs.com/Ali00.html

SUMMARY: "The crew go down to rescue Mal and Zoe. After all the excitement is over Inara notices something the others seem to have missed." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.

"TIMING"

"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

The leader of the bunch was a man named Briggs, he took pleasure watching his men disarm Mal and Zoe. Zoe looked sick. The Captain tried to reassure her with a look but she wasn't buying it. This was bad. The only good thing was that they hadn't been killed. Briggs stepped in close to the Captain, all smug assurance now. He nodded to one of his men, Cassidy, and gave a spiteful little smile. "Tie him up!"

Cassidy grinned and got some rope then began to tie the Captain's hands behind his back. Making sure the chord was tight enough to cut into his wrists. "What about her?"

Briggs let his eyes travel slowly up and down Zoe's body. Her look promised a very painful and torturous death. He seemed to get off on the fire in her. The Captain didn't like what he was seeing in the man's eyes. Or the way Briggs' thug Cassidy was running his hands through his own pockets, undoing buttons and checking that Mal had nothing hidden of value. "*Wei*! No need for hands on, we came to do a job, *dong ma*? If you don't need the job doin' then let us go, no need for unpleasantness."

The leader turned and spat at the Captain. His look ugly. "You'll get paid for comin' but not in coin."

Mal was really worried now. What the good gorram was Briggs going to pay them for and what did he mean by paying them in kind? They hadn't done the job was so it couldn't be that. Not that he was wanting anything to do with these men now. The mood was not good. If he didn't come up with something fast they looked likely to rape Zoe and no way in the 'verse would he allow them to lay a hand on her. Only problem was he was being trussed up like a turkey his own self. Cassidy had finished searching him and relieved the Captain of the little coin he had on him along with a knife and some spare ammo for his confiscated gun. Trying to come up with a plan he could not think of anything. Okay. No plan. Would have to go with desperation then. Briggs was circling Zoe now, the men watching and getting jazzed up knowing what was to come. Nobody was paying the Captain much attention.

Eyes wary, Zoe did not dare to make any overt move. Didn't want the whole gorram lot of them jumping her. Had seen what they did with Mal so no help to be expected from that quarter though she knew how that would burn him up. No help for it. Carefully she drew slow deep breaths into her lungs, getting plenty of oxygen into her system as she quietly flexed her muscles and got ready to act. Briggs looked as if he was laughing at her which just made her even madder. He stopped just out of reach of her hands and feet. "Strong woman." He paused, licked his lips and leered. "I like strong women."

"I can break you, little man." She said in a cold deadly voice.

One or two of the men shivered slightly not with fear but anticipation. Briggs just gloated, a look of wild glee in his eyes. "Looks like we got us a live one here, boys!"

The Captain was frantically wracking his brains trying to think of something, anything to even the odds. Didn't give a good gorram what happened to his own self so long as he could get Zoe clear. He glanced around, hoping to find inspiration when a hand gripped his hair yanking his head back round. It was Cassidy. "Thought we'd forgotten about you, did you?"

He wanted to spit at the man but forebore. The men had formed a circle around Zoe, Briggs saying something real low that he couldn't hear, then the man looked over towards them and gave Cassidy a nod. Cassidy pushed the Captain forward and the circle parted to let them through. Zoe frowned. What was this? Briggs held a hand out and Cassidy put the knife he had taken off the Captain into his boss's hand. For a moment Briggs danced a thumb along the bright shining edge. Zoe and Mal exchanged a glance, not sure what was going on.

"What game you playin', Briggs?"

Briggs brought the point of the blade to the Captain's throat so suddenly that Mal froze. A little pressure pricking the skin. Cassidy pulled the Captain's head back so that his throat was nice and taut.

"I don't play games, Cap'n, I get what I want."

Mal tried to keep his voice calm, to not project how much this turn of events was disturbing him. "What you wantin'?"

"I think you know."

The blade ran along the Captain's throat, a bright red scar forming along the cutting edge. Mal tried not to swallow. "an' that would be?"

Briggs leaned in close but kept his voice loud enough so that Zoe could hear. "I want her, hear me? I want her willin' an' fiesty an' ready to do anythin' the gorram I please."

Despite how desperate their situation was the Captain laughed. The knife bit deeper, ribbons of blood now trickling down onto his chest. He tried to control his mirth. "You gotta death wish? 'cause that's all that kind of talk'll buy you."

Briggs turned his head to look at Zoe. "That how it's gonna be, my beauty? You gonna fight me over this?" He drew swirls and circles with the knife edge, breaking more skin, letting the pattern of blood dull the shine of the blade as he watched her eyes darken with hatred. "The more you resist what I want," Said Briggs in a silky tone. "The more I cut on him. That what you want?" It took all of Zoe's control not to react. "You're gonna kill us anyway so why should I co-operate?"

"I can hurt him bad." Said Briggs, digging the tip in deep enough to get a grunt of pain out of the Captain. Not as loud as he would have liked but it was something he could enjoy working on if the woman got too difficult.

"I can see you don't believe in God."

He drew back his lips in a sneer. "Don't believe in *tiangtan* either."

Zoe began to nod as if agreeing with him, the movement enough to hide her flex of pumped up muscle as she moved. Grace so deadly and efficient her feet left the ground, fists whipping out to either side as she turned taking out the two men nearest to her. Momentum drove her forward not back, a foot lashing out and catching Briggs a glancing blow on his forehead. Instead of knocking him away from the Captain, the blow just seemed to madden the man. Several of the men were drawing their guns now. A few more moments and it would be over. Zoe kept moving, the air becoming a staccato of gunfire around her. Miraculously none of the rounds hit her and by the time the dust had settled the only ones standing were her and the Captain.

She blinked back perspiration along with a rush of confusion. What the *diyu*? Before she could do more than take a few steps towards her friend, Shepherd Book hurried towards her. Jayne ran over to the Captain, relieved to find his wounds were mostly superficial then got to work untying him. The Captain looked at Jayne as he rubbed some circulation back into his hands. "What took you so long?"

Before Jayne could answer a small hand closed over the Captain's and he was surprised to see River staring up at him, her head tilting to one side as she considered him. A look in her eyes he had never seen before. Wasn't quite sure what it meant. "Needed to get armed, land without being seen."

He was all kinds of disturbed to see those guns in her hands. Relieved when Jayne held out a massive paw and took them from her. "You could'a been killed River."

She smiled, raised herself up on her tip-toes and gently kissed Mal's cheek. "You aren't bullet proof."

He huffed at that. "No one was shootin' at me, River."

"Not knife proof either." She added.

The Captain frowned at the sound of someone retching. Turning he saw Zoe straighten and wipe her sleeve across her mouth. "You sick?"

Her look was hard, bitter. "On'y of this place."

He nodded, accepting the handkerchief the Shepherd gave him to staunch the blood running down his neck. "Let's go home."

* * * * *

Once back on Serenity, Simon fussed a little around the Captain until he was satisfied there was nothing more serious for him to be concerned about. River smiled at the Captain's irritation. Kaylee shook her head, more bemused than anything. She gave Simon a sweet smile and squeezed his hand. It felt good to have everyone back on board and Inara was docking her shuttle. Wash put his arms around Zoe's waist and drew her close, the couple taking comfort in being together again. When Inara joined them she paused and gave them a look. "What went wrong?"

The Captain immeditately went on the defensive. "*Wei*, what makes you think anythin' went *cuode*?"

"Mal, how long have we known each other?"

Jayne chuckled then hid it behind a cough when the Captain glared at him. It was Zoe who explained, the smile on Inara's face dimming at the implication that the men had wanted to rape the second in command. Suddenly she didn't want to tease the Captain any more. Kaylee put everything back on a normal footing. "So did you have great sex?"

The Captain stared at his mechanic in mock shock and disgust. "Kaylee! That is in no way a question to be askin' at the dinner table."

Something glittered in Zoe's eyes. She got up and dragged Wash up with her, a nod to the Captain then they were off heading towards their bunk. Kaylee decided with the pilot off seeing to his wife they would not be going anywhere for a while so grabbed Simon's hand and gave it a tug. "Come on, Simon."

His eyes widened in shock as he realised what she was meaning. "But Kaylee, it's the middle of the day!"

Blushing as everyone laughed, he let his wife drag him off to their bunk. The Captain chuckled and nodded his thanks as Book passed him a mug of tea. Then Inara took a mug and sat at the table, Jayne and River sitting either side of the Captain. A warm comforting hush fell over them as they quietly exchanged details of their day. Inara said something funny and the Captain chuckled spilling hot tea over his hand. He gave a little yelp but before he could get up and pour water on it River had taken his hand and wiped the hot tea off with her tongue. Mal stared at her. Jayne and Book looked at each other in grave astonishment. Inara looked amused at the Captain's reaction then looked hard at River. Noticing not for the first time that River was no longer a girl. A child. But a woman. And unless her Companion training was very much awry the woman had already set her cap.

Unwilling to put her fledgeling suspicions into words Inara changed the subject and the normal light banter resumed. Half an hour later she excused herself, noticing with a little smile that River had not let go of the Captain's hand. She wondered how long it would take Mal to realise that a very determined little lady had settled herself in for the long haul.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*wei* = hey! *dong ma* = understand *tiangtan* = heaven *diyu* = hell *cuode* = wrong

COMMENTS

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 11:17 AM

ARTSHIPS


Ah, you DO have more story! Very enjoyable!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 7:16 AM

CLIOMUSE


Ooops,wasn't logged on. The above comment was from me, Cliomuse.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 12:27 AM

KISPEXI2


The whole range of everything that's perfect about Firefly here. Dark, scary, seemingly hopeless scene of being trapped, followed by the triumph of the crew pulling together.

Then the funny, sweet, promising ending. Adored Simon's flustered "But, Kaylee,it's the middle of the day!" and everyone finding that funny.

And poor clueless Mal. ;-)


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