Faith of a Man
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mal/River Book told Mal to believe and so he did.


HUGE HONKIN' SPOLERS FOR THE BDM... Pairing: Mal/River/Serenity Summary: Capt. Mal Reynold’s introspective piece. Disclaimer: We all know I am not working for the networks because, like the rest of you I’m not stupid enough to cancel something as fan supported as Firefly. I’m not Joss Whedon either so I am using his creation respectfully and with much praise for the creator.

Author’s Note: I have written this using a sort of countrified language that we hear traces of on Firefly, so… Yes, I know some of the spelling is off.

Beta’d by: gwenfrewi72


War it does funny things to men. One man might find hisself in battle, but not have the heart for it. He looks at the blood on the ground around him, but sees the faces of them it belonged to and he fires his weapon and sees his brother at the other end of the barrel. That man feels each report of his riffle deep in his own soul and a peace of him dies with each crimson drop he spills. A man that feels that deep don’t last long either he sits down to wait for death or he ends it all to the sound of guilty recriminations from all those he imagines he’s killed.

Some say that’s a cowards way, but there ain’t no shame in that, a man bein’ peaceful at heart tain’t no cause for shame.

While another, well he might find hisself in battle and he might not like it, but he knows what has ta be done, the bloody and hard things not just the flowery words and speeches that send men off to war, but the killin’, the fightin’, an’ the dyin’. His faith is why he’s doin’ it all an' it carries ‘im, enough to stand his ground and just do it... the hard thing.

Now, that second man he believes in some thin’ and that there’s a thing that can keep a man standin’, when others they just lay down like the dead. If a man has somethin’ to stand for, that there’s a thing a man can fight for an’ have faith in and just maybe he’s willing ta die for it, too.

Freedom it don’t come cheap, but the price when ya stack it up next to the payment that subjugation demands, suddenly the cost don’t look so high anymore.

Even so, a man he can lose a lot in war, he might lose his innocence; his happiness, his freedom, his ability to feel; his mind or even his life. The worst he can lose is ‘is faith. I know a fair bit about losin’ faith. It takes a powerful hurt to destroy a man’s faith and an even the most powerful medicine known can’t set it right again.

I saw me a powerful lot of death during the war and I’d seen men hurt, some real bad and some that weren’t more than scratched. I seen a man with his leg blow’d clean off live and a man with nothin’ more ‘en a shoulder wound curl up an’ die. At a time like that a man needs to have a powerful will to live.

You take a man’s belief away and he might not die physical, but somethin’ inside deep where his faith is it shrivels up and there ain't a medicine in the 'verse can heal a wound like that.

Once a man loses faith it takes more ‘en time, more 'en medicine to heal. A man can lose freedom and he can survive it, work to have it again, but if'n he loses faith, too, well that man won’t never be free. No matter how much he tells hisself he is. He ain’t! His only help is findin’ somethin to have faith in again.

That’s what Serenity is...was to me...




A place that housed my belief until I could find it again, because a man's faith is a fragile and precious thing, and it needs protecting.

She might not seem too fragile to those gorram bastards that experimented on her, cuttin' into her brain to see what kind of weapon they could make of her. Not fragile to the poor slobs at the Maidenhead or Jayne, after they got their asses handed to 'em by a little girl, maybe not to the gorram feds that found her amidst the carnage on Mr. Universes moon, but fragile to me.

My hands trace down her sweat slicked arms and I feel her muscles tense and quiver. She is coming down now and her body is shaking. Her mind is clear as our eyes meet and I can see it there in her eyes. My belief is shining through them, and I stroke her sweat drenched hair from her face and over her shoulder before sliding my hands once again down her arms, and want to take a better look at it, at her.

My fingers gently twine with hers as I take first the sword and then the ax and toss them away and enfold her in my arms. She wraps her arms around me and it hurts, but I don't have the heart to make her let go, because I've finally found my belief and I can't, no, I won't lose this, too. We are the only ones still standing the others are all wounded in some form or another, except Inara. She seemed fine when I found them, but she wasn't standing.

When those blast doors opened and there she was standing tall after one hell of a battle, and I Knew, I just knew that we were one and the same. We'd never back down; never lay down, and never give up until death took us. Her eyes met mine and her soul sang within me and I couldn't breath.

When the wall disappeared behind her, my heart stopped and her eyes closed. I could see the sadness cross her face but when our eyes met again I could see her determination there and I wanted to go to her. I wanted to protect her, ask her to stop. I even opened my mouth to beg her to give up, but I couldn't because that isn't us. That’s not who we are.

The others, even Zoë, had laid down arms, but not her and not me...Not us! We'd had enough and this was gonna end here and now. In the end it was them that backed down and I felt my heart beating again.

When our eyes met again I found everything I'd ever lost and everything I never hoped to have again, right there waiting for me in that slip of a girl. So, I claimed it and here we stand oblivious to the chaos that is swirling around us.

I feel a strong hand grasp my shoulder and try to move me from her, but as weak as I am he can't move me, because she is holding me and I believe she is stronger.

That is what River is to me...




and LOVE

She pulls away to look at me and her eyes are dancing and I know she's read my mind. With a small knowing smile she hugs me close again and whispers, "Soon I want to hear you say it, but not now, not here.” I’ll tell her when we get home to Serenity.

There in the strength of a woman he found his faith.


Saturday, February 11, 2006 1:30 PM





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