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Move Along

Title: Tales of a Would-be Hostage
Chapter: 16/16
Author: thefalloficarus @ LJ.com
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters (except Marisol); I just like to play with them. Joss is Boss though, and don't you forget it! ;)
Rating: PG
Pairing: Mal/River, Simon/Kaylee
Spoilers/Warnings: Completely Alternate Universe. River never went to the Academy, certain characters have WAY different backgrounds.

Note: It's done!! Yay me and sorry for the wait all! Also… sorry about the cheese in this chapter.. it's a tad more on the corny side then I like, but it's done in sort of the way I'd hoped for, so yay me! Also, Scroll over the words in Chinese for their definition (Thank you so much to luxuria_oceanus for teaching me that trick.) And as always Comments are Shiny and make me happy (and let me know people are actually reading and enjoying. Lol)

Chapter List:
Prologue: The younger years - Chapter 2: Reunion - Chapter 3: Destiny in the Making - Chapter 4 A Man on the Edge: - Chapter 5: Realizations - Chapter 6: The dangerous one - Chapter 7: Trouble on the Horizon - Chapter 8: The Point of Danger - Chapter 9: Sudden Yet Inevitable Betrayal - Chapter 10: Out of Gas - Chapter 11: 9/10ths of the Law - Chapter 12: A Little Bit of Girl Talk - Chapter 13: Hell Hath no Fury - Chapter 14: Big Damn Chapter - Chapter 15: Moonbrained Star Girl - Epilogue: A Would-be Hostage and a Sometimes Theif
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Mal awoke, his head pounding a rumbling beating tone. He sat up, took in his surroundings and found himself on the couch in the rec room. His mouth felt like it was filled with cotton, and his stomach heaved slightly. "Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze. How much did I drink last night?" He grumbled, holding a hand to his head. The pounding seemed to shift into a rumble and it was then he realized that not all the noise was from the pounding in his head.

"Aiya! Wash!" He hollered, biting back the pain it caused and then raced up to the bridge. "Wash, what in the hell? We're leaving?! I don't remember giving the order to leave!" He continued to call, only to be stopped by Zoe in the hall before the bridge.

"Sir." She said curtly.

"Zoe?" Mal asked, feeling all sorts of unpleasant. "What's going on, why're we leavin' so soon?"

Zoe quirked a brow. "Well sir, the mission was complete and Wash got a wave about a job."

"A job?" Mal asked, still confused. "But... why'd we.. I mean we didn't say... "

"Goodbye, Sir?" She offered, a hint of a smile on her typically stoic face.

"Well... somethin' like that."

Zoe nodded and pulled something from her pocket. "Indeed. Everyone seems to have drank a little more than they'd intended," She said, giving Mal a pointed look. "So they weren't all too keen on formal goodbyes. The Tam girl did however leave this for ya." She added, handing over the folded paper she'd retrieved.

Mal took it and looked it over without opening it. "This it?" He asked, hoping for more.

"That's it sir." Zoe watched his face fall slightly and shook her head. "It's for the best. Like you always said, 'shipboard romances never end well'." She quoted, and turned to go. When she had reached the door to the bridge, she turned again. "And there's coffee in the galley if you want something to help you with that headache."

"I ain't got a..."

"Whatever you say sir." And with the last word, she was gone.

Mal sighed and turned, heading for the Galley. He poured himself a cup of coffee and settled into a chair at the table. He stared at the letter for a moment and rubbed his temples, blowing out a deep breath before opening it. There in a tight, neat script were the last words he'd ever hear from River Tam. That thought choked him more than he would ever admit, and part of him didn't even want to go through the pain of reading it. It was because that part even existed that he pushed himself on, and read:

My dearest Mal,

I came to see you last night, I'm not sure why exactly, but I had to. I couldn't let that moment in the desert be our last. I had not however, expected that you would be in your bunk, and I suppose that you are indeed a man of your (very crude) word. While I cannot quite explain the feelings this realization caused, I can honestly say this: it is for the best. The understanding that you could move on only helped solidify a very hard decision that I have been in the process of making over the last few days.

I want to thank you Mal, you have touched my life so very deeply. In my life, I have been many things: a child prodigy, a onetime Alliance golden girl, a would-be hostage, a sometimes wanted criminal, and now finally, someone who has known (and learned to) love. Please don't misunderstand me, I would die for Simon, he and I are two halves of the same circle, we complete each other: but that's not enough. Meeting you made me face that.

I thought that my life would be fulfilling if I just worked hard, made the 'verse better. I thought that if I were a good person, that would be good enough, but as you so aptly put it, 'life isn't about right or wrong.'

I love you Malcolm: in a way that I never thought possible. These past few weeks have changed my life and I'll never forget them.


Mal stared at the letter, feeling a horrible sensation in his belly that had nothing to do with his hang over. "She'd come to say goodbye." he moaned, thinking back on the night's events. He had walked Inara to her shuttle, and she'd kissed him good and deep. He'd been tempted, he remembered that, but then he'd done the most despicable of deeds. As she pulled him close and whispered his name, he whispered River's in return. He hadn't moved on, probably would never fully move on, and when life saw fit to give him a second chance, somehow he'd bungled it by passing out in the rec room instead of his bunk.

He stood abruptly from the table, knocking over his half empty cup of coffee spilling it. He starred at it hatefully and left it, marching out of the room and down into his bunk, slamming the door shut behind him. Into the silence of his room he poured out a ragged, painful, rage filled scream. He hit the wall hard and then clutched his hand as pain shot through it.

"You are such a drama queen." Came a voice from behind him, and when he spun around he couldn't believe his eyes.

"You know you've probably broken something, right?" She asked, slipping off his bed and walking over to him.

"You... but... you..." Mal stuttered holding up her now crumpled letter.

River nodded.

"I.. I didn't sleep with her!" Mal said quickly, "I didn't. I passed out below. Didn't want to be up here without you. Not while you were so near. It didn't seem right."

River held up a small piece of paper then. "I know. I came back to drop the letter off and I found you. I tore off the goodbye." She smiled then. "You snore very loudly when you're drunk."

"How'd you miss me the first time?!" Mal asked incredulously, now upset that he'd gone through all that grief.

River shrugged. "The reason I still gave it to you is because it's still true. I didn't realize until last night that losing you would be like cutting out a piece of my heart."

Mal smiled then, "Well now who's the drama queen."

River laughed and slapped him lightly, and in return he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her deeply. The kiss was long and passionate: completely free of worries or inhibitions. It was only when River hissed in pain that they parted. Mal looked at her shocked and she laughed, cradling her already sling-wrapped arm. "You re-broke my collar bone you big lug, remember?"

"We'd best let your brother look at that." He said, concern filling his face, only to be replaced by surprise and realization. "We're flying." He stated.

"That happens on a space ship." River replied patronizingly.

"But..." A smile broke out on his face unlike any she'd seen before. "You're coming with me?" He asked, scooping her up gently, hands around her waist and kissing her once more.

River laughed, "I told you, you're not being here helped me make a decisions, fish gotta swim, bird's gotta fly." She said extending her hand, mimicking a wing with her good arm.

"You left Simon, and Kaylee... for me?" He asked her.

"No." She said, her smile fading. "Mal... Zoe and I discussed it, and... well... we fired Bester."

"What?" Mal asked, growing more than a little tired with all the confusing surprisesthe morning had brought.

"Well, he's not that good of a mechanic, and frankly mine was better."

"Yours?"

"Kaylee..." River smiled. "Honestly Mal, you're the one who said you could use us sticking around. Do you mean to tell me you can't find use for a mechanic, a doctor and a brilliant pilot? Especially now that we've sort of left behind the old one." She pulled a face at that statement.

Mal laughed then, "Well, see I already have a brilliant pilot."

River nodded solemnly then. "I understand I'll go." She said, turning towards the ladder.

"Hey, hey now." Mal said, spinning her around again. "I ain't never said I couldn't use a co-pilot. And let's face it, your skills will come in mighty handy on some jobs... that is if you're willing to pull jobs." He added.

River merely smiled. "We'll see Mal..." She paused then. "What is your last name?"

"Reynolds." Mal said, smiling down on River, tucking a stray hair behind her ear gently.

"Reynolds." River repeated nodding, mulling the word over, her face looking puzzled.

"Don't worry." Mal said, leaning in to kiss her. "When the times comes I won't be too insulted if you hyphenate." And with that last comment the two embraced once more, all pains and wounds forgotten, if only for a moment.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
gwenfrewi72
May. 26th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
I waited until this story was complete before reading it.

Enjoyed how you managed to tie in aspects from the series and movie into this story. Really well done of you.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 7th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
awww ^^
*fuzzy feelings* this is almost enough to make me want to turn into a River/Mal shipper, I absolutely love it!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 11th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
The Whole Gorram Thing
I stumbled across this while giving myself another Firefly/Serenity fix and I want to thank you for the pleasure this has given me. Shiny! Right Shiny!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

A Moment of Imaginary Grace

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