An Altered Perception - Chapter 8
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wash gets a rather unpleasent surprise and river goes a tad crazy.


{I did not steal the party idea from you, belona. i simply researched the best options for the plot, and that was it. stop complaining! p.s. all feedback is extra shiny with nobs on. he he} Chapter 8

The journey to the Heart of Gold will take them a couple of days, arriving a day before the scheduled time for the shindig. If only Wash can get Kaylee to respond on the com. “KAYLEE!” he shouts for about the fifth time through the ship com. “Will you answer!” Frustrated, he gets up and storms all the way through the ship to the engine room. The door is shut. “Kaylee! We need that gorram engine up and running now or the captain will have both our asses!” He punches in the lock override code, slides open the door and steps in. “Kaylee… Oh ai ya hwai lei!” Kaylee screams and Jayne yells. Juliet grabs wash from behind, hauling him out. “My eyes! My eyes!” He covers them with a hand, yelling through the open door, “Somewhere more private next time would be good!” Kaylee hurries out, looking very tousled and hastily dressed. “Wash! Wash I’m so sorry, I disabled the coms, I didn’t mean…” He just shakes his head. “Do you know what the captain will do if he finds out about this?” Jayne appears behind Kaylee, pulling his shirt down. “He already knows, and he’s accepted it.” “Well, I don’t know if he’s done that,” Juliet says, “but he isn’t stopping it, and that’s something.” “Oh now hey, that ain’t fair. Me ‘n’ Zoë got a hell of a lot more trouble’n that. How come you guys get to pair up without bein’ yelled at?” “’Cause they’re special.” Juliet pulls on his arm, drawing him away. “Lets leave them to it, shall we?” “Still need that engine up’n runnin’!” Wash yells back, slightly irritably.


Once in the air, Mal and Juliet stand in the cargo bay, trying to work out where to store the new speeder. “I think you were on to something back there, hanging it from the roof.” “Ya think?” Mal wanders around it, looking up. “S’pose so. Ain’t no other way I can see we’ll fit it in. Gorram thing’s pretty big.” “It would be physically impossible to store it out of the way at any other point in this ship.” She glances at his expression. “What you said.” “Ok, we’ll need Kaylee down here, then. And Wash, probably.” He goes over to the ship wide com. “I need Kaylee and Wash in the cargo bay.” “Given Kaylee her present yet?” Mal seems to just remember this, goes over to his bag and pulls out the sparkly box. “Not quite yet, but considering that I wouldn’t really have wanted to be giving it to her while that was going on, I think I’m ok on this one.” Kaylee and Wash enter the bay together, Wash seemingly a still a little bit irritated. He mutters something about favouritism before hurrying with Kaylee to stand by the new speeder. “Jen mei nai xing de fo zu, Mal this is so shiny!” She claps her hands and jumps in excitement. “Knew she’d like the machine better’n this,” Mal sighs, looking ruefully at the box. “Better’n what, cap’n?” Her eyes are still fixed on the speeder. “Got you some strawberries, is all, nothing on the new sp-“ He is cut off as Kaylee turns and almost throws herself at him. “Strawberries?! Gimmee!” Juliet and Wash hide smiles as Mal backs away slightly before handing over the box. “You are gettin’ just a few too many of that gorram mercenary’s manners.” She pulls off the lid and takes one out reverently, eyes going rather misty. She slowly places it on her tongue and bites down, allowing the fruity goodness to flow all through her mouth, sweet and sharp at the same time. Perfect. Her eyes flutter with pleasure and she goes slightly weak at the knees. Juliet moans. “Oh, man, do you like strawberries…” Wash and Mal watch them, slack jawed in astonishment.


Strawberry eating over, the four stand around the speeder, all looking up. To any outsider, they would have looked distinctly odd, given that there was nothing on the roof of the cargo bay to look at. Shepherd Book, this time, was the one to see them in that way. “May I enquire, what it is you are all so intent on on that ceiling?” he asks from the walkway. “Nice hover speeder, by the way.” “Thanks, we’re hangin’ it from the roof,” Mal answers, still staring at the ceiling. “I still don’t see any way this is gonna work. Gonna have to stick some ta ma de hun dan hooks up there to get it to stay. ‘Sides, how in the ‘verse would we gerrit down again?” “I could rig up a hydraulic liftin’ and lowerin’ system, you get me the parts. Be easy as lying to work too.” Kaylee is now lying on her back across the speeder, so as not to get a crick in her neck. “You really think so?” “I s’pose…” “Well, write out a list of parts and we’ll do our best to find ‘em, dong ma?” “Xiexie, cap’n!” “Right, you go do that, and do THAT, nothin’ else, and we will be tryin’ to find things to wear to the shindig.” “Tight pants again, cap’n?” Wash smirks at him. “Are you people NEVER gonna let that rest?” Kaylee and Wash look at each other and up at Book. They collectively shake their heads. Mal huffs in frustration and storms out. “Ok, what did I miss?” Juliet looks at them in open curiosity. Kaylee sits on a crate, the storyteller. “Well, there was this party…” ~*~*~

River sits with Simon on the bridge, looking out to the stars. The black beckons her. It is open, empty, has no feeling, thoughts, emotions to pile on to her. The crew don’t mean it, she knows, but nine people in a confined space gets crowded. The black doesn’t have expectations of her, doesn’t want her to be something she isn’t. Is never disappointed because she isn’t like it. She starts, realising she is listening in on Simon. She’d learned quickly that his mind isn’t the best place to be. Whenever he looks at her, he sees broken. Never whole. Never. She’d tried. Tried to be coherent. But it’s hard. Too hard. Nothing ever comes out right, as she means it. He never understands. Two by two. He isn’t her one. She is two, all alone. River the girl and River the weapon. Two as one. Two. Important number, prime number. One goes into the house of two two times but always comes out one. Faith fixes you. Can’t just dig into me, shove twenty needles in my eyes and ask me what I see.


“River!” Simon is shouting, trying to hold his sister, stop her screaming, but she won’t stop. “River! River!” Nothing seems to work. “Hey!” Mal shouts over her yelling. “Will you can it!” The rest of the crew is pouring onto the bridge, concerned, scared. Book enters last. River stops screaming. “I understand.” She’s looking directly at him. “I don’t comprehend.”


Thursday, September 1, 2005 6:42 AM


Shiny story. Is it bad that my favourite bit are River's words to Mal right at the end? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, September 1, 2005 9:37 AM


i was NOT complaining, it just looked a little...familiar is all *looks suspicious*
dammit, now i have NO idea where to go next woman!!!


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