An Altered Perception - Chapter 2
Thursday, August 18, 2005

river and juliet get into fight...


Chapter 2 Mal, Zoë and Jayne follow Wash back up to the bridge. After being told the entire story, Wash looks somewhat skeptical. “You’ll get stabbed again, cap’n.” “Yeah, well, least this time, maybe I’ll see it comin’. Or I could just send a couple o’ you guys to do it for me, how’s that sound?” “Sure you don’t wanna git your tight pants out again? You know, I’m sure little miss how’d-she-know-I’m-the-pilot would like them.” Wash ducks the swipe from Mal effortlessly. “How did she know I’m the pilot anyway?” “‘Cause you were the one askin’ bout the destination? How should I know?” Mal folds his arms defensively. “Just ‘cause I’m the captain don’t mean I got all the answers.” “Still, li’l girlie stole from fancy pants,” Jayne grins, “my kinda woman.” “Jayne, mouth is talkin’.” Zoë snaps at him. “Sir, summin bout her just don’ add up right.” Mal sighs, conceding her point. “I know. That aside, she seems to be pretty trustworthy though.” Zoë isn’t satisfied. “In truth, maybe you should have stopped before trustworthy.” Mal glares at her. “That is NOT it, ok? I just think she seems decent, is all. At least as decent as a thief can be. Still.” Zoë looks, if possible, even less convinced. “Oh, come on Zo’! Everyone’s running from summat. Can’t we at least give her a chance?” “Long as I get rights to say I told you so any time it’s appropriate.” “Done.” In perfect unison, Jayne and Wash sigh loudly in disappointment.


Jayne, Mal and Zoë enter the dining area where Inara is sitting at the same time as Simon, Book and Kaylee are escorting Juliet in. River is standing in the middle of the floor, watching the doorway through which Juliet and her escorts are entering. Suddenly, as the two girls make eye contact, they both go into identical copies of the same defensive stance, fists raised, feet wide for support. At the exact same time, they attack, moving faster than would seem humanly possible, yet barely touching each other, appearing to know the place the other would land the next blow, dodging and blocking. Juliet spin kicks as River drops low, River lashes out at knee height as Juliet jumps up. No weapons are drawn, no words spoken. It takes only seconds for Mal to get a hold on River, Jayne a grasp on Juliet, but in that time the girls had exchanged a fight that would have taken any normal people at least ten times as long. Once pulled apart the girls drop limp as though nothing had ever happened. No one moves. Mal is staring at Juliet. “What the hell was that?” Juliet answers in a perfectly even voice. “She attacked me.” “You both attacked each other at the same time, an’ there’s summin right damn unsettlin’ bout that. Now what was it, really?” He is still holding River by the arms. Jayne looks somewhat scared of the girl in his arms. “Told you. She attacked me. There’s nothing more to it than that. She’s not functioning, not like a girl should. She hates that I do. And she doesn’t know why.” And then Juliet is screaming, hands over her head, falling to her knees as Jayne jumps back, letting her go. “I didn’t want to go! I had no choice! Stop it! Don’t make me remember!” Suddenly she slumps down, quiet for now. River falls unconscious into Mal’s arms.


Juliet and River are soon transferred to the infirmary and Simon begins to look them over. Kaylee’s confused expression mirrors what they are all feeling. “I don’t get it cap’n. River was all kinds of friendly when Juliet was out – how come she got all…” she waves her hands around to describe what she couldn’t put into words. “I don’t know mei-mei,” Mal replies absentmindedly, eyes on Juliet. “Seems there’s a lot of things I’m not entirely in the know about.” Jayne shrugs, snorting loudly in apparent boredom. “Both moon brain wackos. She ever picks up a butchers knife, I’m out the gorram room.” “You know sir,” Zoë says, cutting off Jayne. “He does have a point.” “What, butchers knives?” Mal frowns at her. “No sir, the similarity. Girl ain’t quite right. Seemed fine, but at the end,” Zoë steps forward to stand beside him, “she sounded like River.” Mal is silent, watching Juliet. “Sir?” She gets no response. “Sir?” “I know,” he says finally. “But ain’t nothin’ we’ll learn while they’re out. Doc? How they doin’?” Simon sets down his instruments. “Confusing,” he says. “What’s that s’pose t’mean?” “Well, there appears to be nothing physically wrong with them. However, now I know what to look for, I took the liberty of acting upon your and Zoë’s suspicions, and checked for similar scars or markings on Juliet.” He sighs. “Obviously, I can’t be as thorough as with River, since I don’t have access to a neural imager, however I checked for any outward signs on her actual scalp.” Mal looks expectantly at him. “And?” “Zoë’s right. They’re there. Exactly the same.” Jayne stands at the head of Juliet’s bed. “You’re sayin’ she came from that same place as your crazy li’l sister?” “Looks very much like it.” Book coughs to get their attention. “May I just say, if that were to be true, wouldn’t the alliance be looking for her? Like you and river, shouldn’t there be some sort of search warrant out?” Zoë looks up at Mal. “What if there is?” He sighs, turning toward her. “Then we’ll work it out. Little girl could make us a boatload of cash and we wouldn’t need to turn anyone in. And we already got two fugitives, what difference would it actually make?” “None at all, captain.” They all jump visibly when they realize Juliet is the one speaking. “They’re not looking for me. I didn’t escape, nobody broke me out.” Her eyes are open and looking up at Mal. “I think I was thrown out for some reason.” “You think?” he asks. “Well, I don’t know. Can’t remember anything about it. As yet, haven’t ever wanted to. It wasn’t good, I know that much. And whatever they did to me, it made me able to do things.” “Kind’s of things?” Jayne asks. He pulls himself up to sit on the bench beside her as she herself sits up, looking at Mal. “Being able to know things I shouldn’t, things I couldn’t.” “You mean like mind reading?” Zoë asks, glancing at River. “That’s one way of putting it, I suppose. The mind isn’t a book; you don’t just open it at the index and look up what you want. Strong emotions, loud thoughts and prominent memories are the easiest. I can see things that are happening within a large radius of myself, unhindered by walls and other traditional barriers. And I can fight better than any human I’ve ever met. ‘Cept her.” She nods at River. “I’m sorry if I upset her or anything, I don’t mean-” “Not upsetting.” They all turn to look at River. “Didn’t like it. Being functional. Had to. Overload of emotion, eating inside. Let go, out in the open. She stays.” “Well then,” says Mal, turning back to Juliet. “Welcome to Serenity!” Juliet smiles, jumping down to stand beside him. The top of her head just reaches his chin. “Where do I sleep?”


Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:24 PM


KIZZIE!!! what is it with you?!? you're churnin' 'em out faster'n i can write 'em!!! SLOW DOWN!!! you're makin' me look bad :o(


You must log in to post comments.



Diamonds are forever (but engines are for now)
A strange idea that got into my head while i was working. A con job on persephone goes slightly off the rails when Badger arrives. Post BDM with lots of fun River/Jayne patronisation.

Feel Good Formula
Inara has something to make everyone smile, post BDM stand alone. i had a weird idea and had to write it...

playing b*****d, the non-nekkid version
SILLY TIME!!!! partly inspired by our wonderfull hogmanay party, partly inspired by the half asleep card games after it... (post BDM)

Our Only Light
A little song fic bout Zoë and Wash after the movie. WARNING: MAJOR MOVIE SPOILERS!!!!!!!

An Altered Perception - Chapter 12
yay! finaly! i'm lazy, i know. anyway - river has an episode and juliet explains what a rabbit is.

An Altered Perception - Chapter 11
Simon's view on the Jaylee situation.

An Altered Perception - Chapter 10
what i forgot to put in the last chapter. it's very short but it has to be this length, so soz.

An Altered Perception - Chapter 9
A big bit of backstory on Book... ooooooh...

An Altered Perception - Chapter 8
Wash gets a rather unpleasent surprise and river goes a tad crazy.

An Altered Perception - Chapter 7
A spot of shopping and an invitation. (sorry for the huge delay, i had serenity on the mind and real life in the way)