BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

OBSIDIANAGIRL

Fractured
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mal/River Fic...Sometimes it is hard to be the one in charge.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2427    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Title: Fractured Author: Obsidiana Girl Rating: E Pairing: River/Mal/Serenity Summary: A series of companion pieces that predate, ‘Flight of the Albatross’. Disclaimer: I don’t own them and I am simply an out of work Chef with too much time on my hands. So, suing me would get you a series of empty Pepsi cans and a few flavorful curses from me. Joss Whedon is the brain child behind all the SHINY characters on Firefly/Serenity.

Author’s Notes: I was inspired first by the movie to write, ‘Flight of the Albatross’, and a few scenes of Mal that touched my heart gave birth to these companion pieces. I utilized the deleted scenes, which having not become canon were fair game. I then twisted them a bit to suit my shippy notions and went from there. I hope you enjoy!

FRACTURED

“Sir,” Zoë could tell that Mal was hurtin’ but she didn’t know how to help him.

“Just tell me when we’re close.” He ordered as he headed down the stairs to the upper level of the cargo bay. At the foot of the stairs he grasped the railing as though he could change the things that had been done to them he called friend.

Book was dead and there weren’t nothin’ he could do to bring him back. The man had become a cornerstone for Mal and a safe harbor for the rest of his crew. Sliding his hand along the rail he headed for one of the shuttles. He’d held his emotions in check from the first sight of Haven as they flew overhead, but he was feeling the walls crumbling down around him with each passing moment.

Pushing his hand roughly through his hair he thought of the look on his crew’s faces when he’d marked the line in the sand. Some had never seen that side of him. Hell, even Zoë’d looked flummoxed by the tasks he’d laid out before them. Never had she questioned him so openly before. That was an added burden knowing he’d pushed the bounds of trust between them.

Wash looked at him differently now, and Kaylee couldn’t get that frightened look from her eyes when ever she met his gaze either. They were the ones that made him regret his hardness the most. They’d seen the real Malcolm Reynold’s today and he frightened them. The peaceful and caringest of his crew had seen the darkness in him and they’d been tainted by it.

Vaguely he wondered if Inara recognized this as his battle face. The new thing he’d promised her she’d see if he ever went to war. He wondered if she’d wish she hadn’t gotten a look at it before the day was out.

Leaning backward against the shuttle wall he realized he was holding his breath and for a moment couldn’t remember how to draw air into his lungs. With a small gasp he finally got past the paralyzing knot and began breathing again, rapid breaths hardly deep enough to fill his lungs.

Letting his head fall back onto the metal bulkhead he took another burning lungful of air in and fought the urge to let the grief out. He could feel his defenses fracture and he tried to shore up the crumbling façade of unsympathetic ship’s captain. Tried to be the man of iron with a heart of stone, but the cracks were getting deeper. Soon the man would lay in sharply broken shards on the ground at his feet.

“Captain,” the quietly spoken words from his right pulled him away from the wall. Taking a moment to gather his tattered emotions back under control he glanced over at the girl sitting on the bunk with her knees drawn to her chest.

“Didn’t see you there, little one,” He finally said as he lifted his eyes to hers.

“It’s the usual state of my existence.” She murmured.

“Yeah, I reckon it is.” Mal said as he moved to sit beside her stiffly. “Shouldn’t you be in your room tryin’ to get some sleep?”

“Do you honestly think anyone is going to sleep tonight, Captain?” she asked as she looked at him as though he were the crazy one. He guessed he just might be at that. Especially in light of this new course he’d set in motion.

“I guess not.” He murmured as he looked about the shuttle.

“Simon is portioning out overdoses of morphine. Just in case,” She said as she turned her head so she could see his profile.

“Cheerful fellow your brother,” He said turning to her with a small grin.

“Not particularly.” River’s eyes searched his for a moment.

She could feel his grief and anger. She could see the broken bits that Serenity had started to heal fracturing before her eyes. She knew that Miranda was going to put unbearable stress on the cracks in his soul and that Serenity might not be able to help him recover this time. He would need something to believe in.

“So, little albatross, do you know what we’re goin’ to find on this planet?” She was looking at him with such intensity he was sure she saw more than his mind. She saw his soul, all the tiny cracks that were forming threatening to come crashing in.

“I don’t, but I know…” she stopped and turned toward him climbing to her knees at his side to gently touch his arm. Gently she stroked his arm like Simon always stroked hers when she was breaking. Trying to sooth him.

“What?” he asked quietly. “What do you know?”

“I know you don’t want to see what you know we’ll find.” She said and settled against his side. “I know that you’re afraid it will break those that you care for.”

“That’s for fact and certain.” He pushed his fingers through his hair and she settled more closely to his chest. At first he wasn’t sure what to do with his arm, but finally just let it drop over her slender shoulders. Neither of them spoke for a while. They just sat in silence listening to Serenity as she made her way through the black toward the darkness that lay beyond.

After a while River whispered. “I don’t know what we’ll find other than death.” Her quietly spoken words disturbed their solitude and pulled him from the comfortable sound of Serenity. She watched as he stood up. Then she followed him and placed a gentle hand on his arm. “But I know you’ll look even though you don’t want to. You’ll see and you’ll make it right.”

“That’s a pretty big endorsement, darlin’.” Mal said as he covered her stroking fingers on his arm.

“You’re a big man, Malcolm Reynolds.” Slightly uncomfortable with her words Mal pushed his fingers through his hair and then turned toward the shuttle door. He couldn’t allow her to distract him from the job ahead and it seemed that she was quite capable of doin’ just that.

“Wanna go with me to the bridge so I can check on the crew and see how the inevitable mutiny is coming along?” He asked as he turned back to face her. He seemed reluctant to leave her comfort behind. Even though it was beginning to frighten him almost as much as flyin’ through Reaver Space he found he couldn’t back away from it.

She nodded her eyes far away.

“We’re getting close…” she said as she followed him from the shuttle to join the others. Looking at him again she could see that the cracks that’d started in his soul were indeed many, but they wouldn’t break him. The more stress, heat and pressure applied the stronger Malcolm Reynolds would become.

“That’s for fact and certain.” She murmured feeling oddly settled by this revelation.

COMMENTS

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 11:53 PM

AMDOBELL


Absolutely brilliant! I *adore* the way you write Mal and River, and this is so beautifully done. Kudos and thank you for the gift. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 5:23 AM

OBSIDIANAGIRL


Thanks I love getting shiny feedback...

I think I will start reading your Genius series as it seems that should be a River centered fic and there is no real pairing according to the header.

But I hope it doesn't make my eyes bleed with Mal and Inara getting it on or anything...LOL

Thanks again for sending the SHINY!

SID

Saturday, February 11, 2006 8:38 AM

BELLONA


this was originally mal and inara, wasn't it? i think it works better with river and mal, especially the way you write them.

b


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