Master of Ceremonies AAC 2007 (jugglesgeese) wrote in fireflyfans,
Master of Ceremonies AAC 2007
jugglesgeese
fireflyfans

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Title: Bad Trading (Part One of ?)
Characters: Whole cast
Setting: Pre-Serenity, moving into post Serenity later on
Rating: R and moves to NC-17 in later chapters
Summary: No job ever goes good, relationships finally start to blossom. Trouble always seems to find our favorite crew.

**I'm sorry for any typo's. I betta'd this as best I could and I'm really nervous about posting it ^^;; Comment and enjoy, or comment if it sucks..either way.



No job was ever simple for the crew of Serenity. It was probably the most common known fact of the verse.

Here was Mal, held up once again just in front of his ship, Zoe and Jayne not to far off, keeping watch to make sure he didn't get himself shot...again.

"Makin' a big mistake folks. This property don't belong to you to begin with-"

"And it dun belong to you neither. So we'll be taken it back off your hands Captain Reynolds.." Mal rolled his eyes and reached into his coat, grabbing the key to the crates. Jayne growled, loading his gun faster, Zoe glaring at him. Those hun dun's out there heard them and the cover would be blown.

Wash was watching from the bridge, leaning on his hand and waiting for the call to take off. This is what he did; master of the waiting game.

There were a number of people around the ship and the take off would knock them all back like rag dolls. What bother Wash the most about this whole situation was their number of ships against Serenity. The weapons on the outside trumped any of their hand guns. After all, the Firefly was a transport not a war ship.

"The key don't work. Don't mess with us Reynolds! Give us the gorram keys!"

"You got what you wanted. Ain't my fault if it dun work.." Just then, the skys lit up with police lights and sirens. Mal cussed and looked back to the men. There goes the bounty.. The other men, didn't seem to pleased either.

"You called the feds. Ai ya ta ma de!" He gave a wave, his men opening fire on Mal. Mal ducked inside the ship, hitting the button to close the door. They still had the crates, which tumbled into the bay. The gun fire outside continued against the hull of the ship. Zoe ran to the comm, slamming the button down.

"Wash! Get us out of here!"

The response wasn't releiving at all. All static, the sound of bullets hitting against glass. And then, the whole ship shook. "They fire missles at us?!" Alarms started sounding, the sound of Kaylee yelling, echoing through the ship.

"Captain! Fire on the bridge!" Zoe bolted, Mal hot on her heels. They all ignored the Alliance sirens getting closer. It didn't matter if they got pinched now. There was trouble brewing. They reached the hall leading to the bridge, the smoke filling the hallway. Zoe pushed through, but the heat was intense. She ran back to the end of the hall, pressing a few buttons, releasing the extingusers. "Have you seen Wash?!" She called to Kaylee, who shook her head.

Mal took off, when the heat died down. The hall was still smoldering and he covered his face with his sleeve. Where the hell was his pilot? Waving his free arm about he disappeared onto the bridge for a few moments. Zoe made it to the stairs, when Mal appeared again, dragging his pilot behind. He got him to the top of the stairs, kneeling down. "GET THE DOC!" Zoe took the steps two at a time, kneeling on the other side of him.

"Wash?!" His face was burned and laserated, shards of glass, sticking out of him. But the worse was his collarbone protruding from his chest.

"Force of the explosion must have sent him into the controls." Mal spoke and ripped the shirt away from the wounds, getting him ready for Simon to examine. Zoe just scanned him with her eyes, taking in the damage. Kaylee returned in no time, Simon close behind her. Zoe moved aside, still saying nothing and watched him give a quick scan of her husband.

"We can't move him far..I would say your bunk, but getting him down the ladder..."

"We can do it. Kaylee get Jayne. Gonna need his muscle for this one."

"Faster would be better, he's bleeding out quickly. Zoe, strip your bed for now, make for less mess later. I need towels, tools and plenty of warm water.." She just nodded, running off to get what Simon needed. She wouldn't be any help sitting here doing nothing. Better to keep moving and stay focused. Simon went back to work, assessing the situation.

"He gonna make it Doc..?" Mal stared Simon down. He wasn't one for beating around the bush. Simon stuttered and looked back at Mal.

"Only if I start working now." Jayne appeared around the corner running up to meet them.

"Then lets get moving. Jayne grab his shoulders. Simon, get to their room, we got him. Lift on three.." They got him off the floor and before Simon had his equipment laid out, they had him down the ladder and resting in Mal's arms, long enough for Jayne to jump down and help him onto the bed. Simon pulled on some gloves and set to work, removing the glass from Wash's chest and face. The blood only ran faster and the Doctor cursed. "I need more towels and..hand me that blue vile please!" Jayne stepped aside, letting Mal hand him what he needed. Zoe returned, towels and water on hand.

Wash groaned, shifting, and Simon attempted holding him down. "Wash..you have to stay still. He can't be moving. Not with these wounds, he'll only bleed faster." Zoe walked around the bed, sitting beside him and taking his hand. "Shhh..you're all right now. Just relax.." This gave Simon time to give him the medicine in the vile, which started to work immediately. Wash slowed down and started to fall asleep. The blood became less as well. He wasn't knocked out, but he wasn't to far from being dopped either. Simon continued to work, not sure which wound to stitch up first, but he did know he needed to push his shoulder bone back into his body.

He sat up more next to wash, grabbing another towel and pressing it gently against the wound. "If he wasn't awake before..Zoe hold his hand, try and keep him steady. More then likely he's going to pass out which would make this a lot easier then its going to be.."

"Mal..Alliance is knocking at the door!" Kaylee called down the shaft.

"Wo de ma.." He left, not wanting too, but he knew his crew was in good hands.

"Wash..look at me." He barely opened his eyes, but could manage a smile for her.

"Favorite thing to do.." She smiled back at him, anger growing inside her for those bastards that did this to him. Simon didn't give a count down. He had to just get on with it. Pressing down roughly, the bone slid back inside him. His hand clenched Zoe's, yelling echoing through the hall.

Kaylee, shuttered, walking closer to Mal and fighting back the urge to cry. Mal couldn't comfort her now. He had to deal with the mess those crooks had left him to clean up. Weren't even his fault this time. They'd knocked them out of the air, trying to steal their somewhat legal goods. Not that any Alliance man would believe a word he said. More then likely arrest them all, find River and Simon and really have a reason to arrest them. Turning out to be an awful shiny day...

And wasn't it his surprise to see Inara, talking to the officers. His pace slowed down and he wipped his bloody hands on his pants.

"So..those men attacked you in the sky. Confronted you and.."

"Fired upon us sir. I was being dropped off for a client. Nothing illegal about that is there? Of course now, my plans have been canceled due to the harm done to my Captain's crew.."

"We understand Ms. Serra. We'll find who did this and as we talked about, the fund to have your ship fixed. The information you gave us will help us locate them." He bowed to her and gave a nod to Mal, who could only wave and watch them leave. Never, had there ever been a simplier exchange of words with an Alliance officer on his boat, that didn't involve him getting arrested or shot. She turned back to Mal and noted the blood on his clothing.

"Are you all right?"

He snapped out of it and looked himself over. "Ain't mine. Wash-" She cupped her face, eyes huge.

"Merciful..the explosion. That was the bridge?"

"Dunno what they fired at us, but they cause a hell of a lot of damage and our pilot was in the midst of it. Simon's lookin' to him now. He's alive..for the most part. Doc says he is, but I came..." He pointed to the door. "Ya' didn't have ta' do that.."

"Trust me, its the least I could do and we have more important things to worry about then stupid petty crimes.." She bit her tounge and looked at her feet. "What's the point of being a Companion, if I can't use some of the perks..hmm?" She offered him an honest smile.

He actually smirked back. "One of your perks lyin' to the Alliance?"

She just stared at him. She didn't have to say it and neither did he. "Right..You can go to your clients still if you need to. Sure your shuttle will work and I if anything happens..we'll call ya'.."

"I don't have to go. I told them something came up. I can go in the morning. I..I'd rather stay here and wait, if that's all right." She was playing with the end of her sleeve, but her eyes never left his.

"I ain't one to tell you how to conduct your affairs." It was then, Zoe made another appearance, heading down to the infirmary again. Mal left Inara, but she followed him down to where Zoe was rummaging around.

"Does Simon need anything? We need supplies?" She shook her head, still not saying much of anything. She grabbed some goz and medical tape, brushing past Mal. "Alliance is out lookin' for them.." But that didn't seem to make her any happier or say much more. Mal sighed and stopped walking after her. She was ravonus now. Surprised she hadn't gone out right after they'd found Wash to hunt them down herself. She really had changed since getting married.

"You should see to your crew Mal.." Inara whispered, picking up the bottom of her skirt. Mal ran his hand through his hair and nodded. Zoe stepped past them both again and he made to follow after her. As they re-entered the hall to the bunks, Jayne came off the bridge, fire canister in hand.

"Fires all out. Damage ain't as bad as we thought. Broken windshield, fried wires. Kaylee's up there now makin' an assesment. How's the little man..?" He gave a nod to Zoe and Wash's bunk as she disappeared down into it. Mal shook his head.

"Can't get a word out of her.."

"Heard tons a yellin' not to long ago. Doc killin' him down there?"

"Doubt that's the case Jayne." Mal made his way onto the bridge to look over the damage himself.


In the bunk, Zoe placed the dressings down next to Simon, who was still working dilligantly to sew up her husband. He nodded to a pair of gloves for her. "Start removing the glass pieces from his hair. He might also have some embedded in his scalp.." He looked up at her apologectically.

"You ain't got nothin' to be sorry about Simon. Doin' a fine job. Wouldn't want anyone else workin' on my Mister." She started to carefully check around his ears. "Alliance will catch up with the ones that done it. Much as I'd rather like to find them myself..." He just shook his head in argeement and finished off the stitch in Wash's shoulder. That was it for the larger wounds.

Rummaging through his bag, he pulled out a thermometer, sticking it into his ear. It beeped instantly and he checked the temperature. "Wo da piku.."

Zoe looked up from what she was doing. "What is it?"

"Fever. There's internal bleeding somewhere. It has to be the cause.." He scanned Wash's body with his eyes, looking for any signs of broken ribs or any bone that may have punctured something. He ran his hand down Wash's side, feeling a shifting rib. "It must have torn into his stomach." He ran over to the ladder calling up.

Kaylee and Mal were just coming off the bridge. For everything that happened, she seemed a little to happy to be getting new parts. But then again, the girl tried to stay strong for everyone didn't she. "Mal! Kaylee! I need supplies quickly!" Mal ran to the opening to the bunk.

"Whatcha need Doc?"

"The surgical kit. Everything as fast as you can!" Mal didn't hesitate of stop to ask why. He ran down to the infirmary to grab what Simon had requested. Kaylee made her way into the bunk, to see if she could help with anything below. Zoe had Wash's head in her lap now, running a cool cloth over his forehead. Simon was already prepping towels around him, cleaning off the area he needed to operate on.

"He sure gets himself into a lot of trouble, for a guy who don't fight all that much, huh?" Kaylee twisted her hands every which way, biting her lip. Zoe looked up at her and smiled.

"He can be a handful sometimes."

"I can help, if ya' want. Whatever ya' need. I know Mal's off gettin' your tools Simon.."

He waved her over, giving her Wash's hand. "I want you to keep your fingers here on his wrist. The whole time I work. It slows up or speeds up at anytime while I'm working you tell me, dong ma?" She nodded, and took a seat beside Zoe.

"Should have taken him to the infirmary.."

"I honestly don't think he would have made it there. He would have bled out by the time we got down there." Mal slid down the ladder, bag held tightly in his hand.

"Anythin' else you need Doc?" Simon shook his head. "I have it from here Captain. Plenty of helping hands." Mal gave a nod and looked past him to Wash. Man had seen better days, there was no denying that.

"I'm gonna see to things then. Make sure we don't have no more disasters today. You need anythin' ya' call." They all assured him they would, and he left, standing in the hall. He sighed heavily, rubbing his eyes. Never could go smooth. In actuality, he didn't have a gorram thing to do. The ship was docked for the time being that they could get her repaired, the cargo-

"The cargo!" He'd completely forgotten about the job. They still had to deliever the goods and without the ship to take them to meet up with Badger.. "JAYNE!"

The mercenaries head appeared inside the galley's doorway. "What?!"

"Don't what me, we still got a job to finish."

"Gorramit Mal, how we gonna get to Badger's drop off. Gotta be a good 20 miles from here. Can't ya' just wave him that we can't make it? More important things to worry about."

"We gotta stay good on this job so we can get paid and fix this ship and our crew. We don't make good now and his goons will come lookin' and frankly I been in enough gun fights today. So. Help me pack up the crates on the mule and we're movin' out. Find Shephard. Sure he'll come along for the ride, help us out."

Jayne just groaned and slouched past him to pack for the trip. "Somethin' don't settle right 'bout this whole job. Ya' know we can't trust Badger. Wouldn't be surprised he were the one that sent them pigu's to begin with."

"And just what would he gain by doin' that Jayne?"

"Kill us off. Wouldn't have to pay corpses for doin' his dirty work would he?"

Mal wasn't sure what concerned him more: the fact that Jayne could have a point, the fact Jayne actually seemed to have thought this all through, or that he was right. Ever since their job on the core planet with those ruttin' cows, Badger hadn't been the most trust worthy of folks to deal with. Perhaps, he was done dealing with Mal and his crew and wanted them out of the picture. Whatever Badger would benefit from that was beyond him..unless someone had it out for them. Who was Mal kidding! Whole verse had it out for him.

But this someone had to be someone specific. Badger didn't take jobs from just anyone. Money had to be good. But who the hell did they know with the money to pay Badger off to have them all taken care of. The entire situation made Mal's brainpan hurt. He stepped back. "Bring your gernades.." he said as he made his way down to the bay. Jayne looked like an exciteable school girl as he ran to his bunk to over pack.

"Walking into a storm.." came a soft voice on the catwalk. Mal stopped himself from walking and taking a look down at River, who was laid out like a kitten in the sun.

"More then likely." He stepped over her and made his way to the stairs.

"Won't help him. Better to stay and fight at home then to go looking for a fight.."

"I ain't lookin' for a fight." He stopped on the stairs and looked up at her.

"But you'll find one if you leave. Angry. Mad about what they've done to your crew...family. Breaking..little pieces.." She sat up, legs crossed, staring him down. Mal watched her just as long.

"Have a job to do little girl. Money to be made, confussion to be settled. If there's fightin' to be done, we can handle it."

"Trouble found you.."

"Always does little one.." Mal stopped, realizing the meaning to the girls words. There stood Badger, grinning from ear to ear three larger men standing behind him. Mal's hand went to his piece, but the other men showed repeaters they were carrying. "Gentlemen.."

"What happened to the drop off Mal?"

"Sure you can tell by the damage done ta' my ship, we had a bit of a situation Badger. Would have been there on time if it hadn't been for that." He offered a smile, but it wasn't returned by any of them. "Not that it matters. Ya' lied to us about the area we landed in bein' shiny. Can't get your goods to you if it ain't safe."

"Ya' just had to land and give us the goods. Not that difficult." Mal paused. "They came, you withheld they did what I told 'em."

"Ta ma de! You tellin' me those hun duns that tried to hold us up when we landed were the ones we was suppose to unload to?! Why the hell they have their pieces fixed on us? What the hell you make us carry?" He glanced to the crates, but looked back at the sound of guns registering.

"Dun ask, dun tell. S'how we work Mal, ya' know better. Didn't know you'd be stupid enough to not give up to someone with a bloody cannon mount pointed in your face."

"We can't ever have normal dealin's can we?" Badger shrugged. "Ya' almost killed one of my crew with your stupid work Badger."

"People can be replaced Captain Reynolds. Don't much care what happens to yours."

"Noticed that. Now grab your goh se and get off my gorram ship.."

"'fraid its not that simple anymore. Cargo's no good no more. Shock your ship took from the explosion rocked the crates." He motioned to the liquid leaking from the corner of the crate. "Told you to be careful with it. Embros for farm animals. Would have been a good profit for you and yours, but its seems Captain, you're not as reliable as you used to be. Which leads me to wonder, what use you are anymore."

A few guns clicked behind Mal now. "Doesn't seem like fair numbers.."

"Sir. We've got your back." It was his crew behind him. Shephard stood by Jayne on the catwalk, while Zoe was close behind in the doorway to the infirmary. Mal smirked at them all, then turned his attention back to Badger and his men. He took out his own gun, aiming it at them.

"Ya' know Badger. I was wonderin' the same thing. What use are you anymore?" Badger looked back at Mal's crew and then to him again, giving a sly look.

"How many jobs you think your gonna get without help Mal? I'm a connection-"

"Yeah. One. Done business with a number of people for you that would much rather talk with me first then you. Suppose you were helpful for a while. Now get off my ship. We ain't got nothin' more to discuss. No need for killin'."

"No, Mal. I told you. You're no use anymore." He raised a hand for his men to fire, when a shot took his bollar hat clean off his head. Zoe's gun was smoking and she cocked the gun again to fire if she needed to.

"Next shot will take your face off Badger. Should have after what you did to our pilot. Better if you just leave. Our men are better shots and faster, not to mention we won't think nothin' of burnin' your bodies. Probably do a number of people in the verse a favor by doin' it.." Zoe's voice was cold and stonic. Something sent chills even down Mal's spine. He knew what his First Mate was capable of. Seen plenty of the damage in the war and a repeat performance wasn't something he wanted to witness tonight.

Badgers eyes scanned them all and he bent down to pick up his hat. "You're makin' a terrible mistake.."

"I really doubt I am."

"Make sure no one in the verse does business with you again."

"Doubt that too." Badger sneered and turned tail out of there, cussing up and down on the way out. Mal lowered his gun and looked back to his crew. "Jayne open these crates, see if all the things is broken. We got some that ain't, sure we can sell them off still. Shephard, if you wouldn't mind helping him with that." His gaze caught River's. And she just smiled at him, getting to her feet and wandering away. Mal just shook his head and looked back to Zoe.

"What are you doin' down here? Simon need somethin'?"

"You acutally. Need some of the red stuff if that's all right." She strapped her gun back to her leg and placed her hands on her hips.

"Suppose. Been holding onto it for him a while now. Times about right to give it back." The two made their way back up the stairs, Inara running out of her shuttle.

"I heard gun fire-"

"Problems taken care of. Nothin' to be worryin' about." She stopped in her tracks and nodded, reverting back to her refined self. "Good." She looked to Zoe. "And Wash?"

"Pulling through, slow and steady. Doc's takin' good care of him."

"Which is where we was headin'. Though I'm sure people been workin' hard all day-"

"I can make dinner for everyone. Least I can do. Haven't done much of anything to help today it feels." She smiled at them and walked past, heading up the stairs to the galley. Mal followed Zoe down to her bunk rolling up his sleeves.

"Really thought you were gonna shoot him in the face. Part of me wish you had."

"Wouldn't have been any good for you Sir. His goons would have filled you with holes. Have to think about everyone, not just my own anger." She had a very perfessional tone in her voice, but she didn't turn back to look at him. Mal reached out and took her arm.

"Hey.." She stopped walking, taking a deep breath, before looking back at the Captain. "He's all right, ain't he?"

"He's alive. Better then nothin'." Mal nodded and let her go. "Staling ain't doin' him no good though. And ya' don't need to worry about me. I can keep my feelings seperate from my work Sir. I wouldn't have done nothin' stupid. Promised you that years ago.." The words stung a little. Mal remember the arguement all to well. It was their first fight, including their time in the war. It was all over Wash and marrying him. Mal knew that if something was to happen to him, she would go off the edge with revenge. She was a protective woman and he'd already seen that a number of times. When Tracey shot at him or when Niska had them both hostage.

Which lead to that stinging. Mal had ordered her not to marry Wash. That only made the fight worse and close to Zoe walking off ship with her husband. He'd be losing an amazing pilot but more importantly, his closest friend. He apologized and swore he'd never breath a word of his disapproval to her husband. And he'd kept his mouth shut a good long time. Until Niska decided to take them. Mal had never broken a promise before, but if he wanted to keep his friends husband alive he had to make him angry and focused on something and what better then himself. He was good at being the bad guy and cleaning the closet of his dislike for their union was the perfect topic. Now the thought of admitting it to such a nice guy just twisted his chest a little.

"Sir?"

"Yeah! Comin', sorry." Not like she'd know Mal told him. That was months ago and she would have had his man parts in a vice by now if she knew. He climbed down the ladder, wipping the thougts from his mind and focused on the task at hand.

The sheets on the bed had been changed and Wash was propped up by a few extra pillows. He looked better then before and that's all they could ask for. Mal took a seat on the stool beside the bed, holding his arm out to Simon, smirking. "Heard you needed this." Simon smiled a little himself and hooked him up to Wash. Zoe moved around the bed again and sat down beside her husband, placing her hand on top of his. Kaylee wipped off her own hands and hugged Mal from behind.

"Everythin' all right?"

"Everythin's shiny now. Took care of a few lose ends, got rid of some bad business. Normal day really." She smiled and straightened out. "Oh! And 'nara's makin' dinner, iffin ya' wanna go help her out?"

"Think I can do that." She left them all and headed up to the galley to help Inara. Simon took Wash's pulse again, keeping quiet. They were all rather quiet now.

"Doc..we can watch him, if ya' wanna clean up. Sure he's good enough till you get back." He looked up at Mal and then to Zoe, who nodded in agreement. "We'll make sure he don't go no where."

"Right..I'll only be a minute. If he-"

"Doc. We got it." Simon backed away, taking the moment to escape while he could. He was covered in Wash's blood and a shower wouldn't go missed about now. Both watched him leave and then looked at each other. Not much else to do except wait for him to wake up again. Which wasn't long at all.

Wash's hand closed around Zoe's and he breathed in. His eyes opened slightly, taking in the light of the room a little at a time. Zoe didn't move to much, but she did smile in relief. "Hey bao bei..welcome back." Her other hand moved up to wipe gently at his brow.

"Zo'..you get the number of that truck?" He moaned a little, shaking his head. "Think they tried to blow us up.."

"All been takin' care of Wash. Got nothin' to worry about." Wash turned his attention to Mal's voice and made notice of the tube in his arm. "Am I giving you blood again? Who shot you this time?" Mal chuckled.

"Naw. I'm giving back my share to you. Your turn to hold it awhile."

"That's a good idea. I'll hold onto it better then you anyways." He rolled his head to look back over at Zoe. "Hey you.." She mouthed a hello back, squeezing his hand a little tighter.

"You in pain husband? Simon left some smoothers down here.."

"Don't feel much of anything to be truthful. It's not as bad as it looks.."

"You had half your shoulder stickin' out of your chest and Simon had to cut you open to stop some bleeding. Worse you ever been I think."

"Pfff..is that all? Think torturing felt worse then that.." Zoe looked up and away. She hated to remember what Niska did, and on the other side of the room, Mal was amazed that the refrence had come up again so soon. They'd never talked about that day since then and here it had come up twice in almost an hour. But again, he pretended that nothing was said towards it and brought his focus on the blood, filling the bag attached to his pilot. Wash could sense a small tension in the room. "Sorry baby.."

"Hey. Ya' got nothin' to be sorry for. You weren't weak then and you ain't now. Captain just good at savin' you is all. Wheither it be with blood or words. Right, sir?" She looked back at Mal, who felt like he'd been backed into a corner. Saved him with words..more like tortured him on top of the actual beatings and electricution.

"Don't think..tellin' him what I did, helped that situation at all and I know bringin' up the past ain't gonna help here. So, Wash, just focus on get-"

"What are you talking about?" Mal stopped and closed his eyes. Been a long time coming, but he knew he'd have to face her someday about it. However, he'd pictured that day to be on his death bed, in an unarmed room with a wall of bulletproof glass between them.

"Oh.." Wash whispered. "..ya' mean, when you told me you order my wife not to marry me. S'ok Mal..you were just sayin' things to keep me going then. Greatful for it, you know that.." Wash hadn't come to understand that while Mal had used it to keep him yelling and fighting, it was all fact. Everything he'd said about Zoe and him was true. Minus the sexin'. Never thought about Zoe that way and he knew he never would. And at the moment, he didn't even want to look at Zoe, but he could feel her eyes bearing into his skin.

"You..he said what?"

Wash looked up at her again and nodded. "Said he ordered you to not marry me. Banter..that's all.."

Mal looked at his arm. If he just pulled the needle out, he might bleed a lot and pass out before he got to the stairs. There was a trick to taking an IV out properly and the Doc was nowhere to be seen. That, and he knew Zoe would want to bleed him herself.

"Kept you alive though. Can't say nothin' about that.." Mal looked up at her, surprised by the comment, but he knew he wouldn't be getting away with it. They'd talk later, alone. No need to upset Wash while he was still in a little deep. She looked away from him and back to her husband. "You should be sleepin' and then maybe later get you something to eat.."

There were footsteps on the ladder and Simon returned. "You should be all set Mal. Dinners already in the galley and you should eat something. Zoe, if you wanted to grab something as well, I can stay with Wash till you get back."

"S'all right Simon. Not so hungry at the moment. I'll grab something later.." She watched Simon free Mal of the needle in his arm. Mal held the goz down to his arm and backed up.

"I'll make sure to get something later. Just need to check in on a few things before hand. Call, if ya' need anything. I won't be to far." He turned and left the room, cursing himself mentally. She knew now, so it was better. No more lying, but now he had to deal with the repricussion. This subject was far from dead. Better to get away, let her cool off, if she was mad(hard to tell). He walked down the hall and glanced into the galley, where only a few of his crew were sitting down to eat. He didn't take a head count, just kept walking making his way to Inara's shuttle. He always found himself there when something bad had happened, or he just need to complain. More towards the truth, he liked bothering her. Made him feel a little better inside to get her going.

Tonights visit was purely just to escape from the day. It had been long and complicated and it was the only real place his crew wouldn't think to look for him. At least he liked to believe that.

He pushed the door open, walking past her drapes and finding..nothing. She wasn't here. Still at dinner with the others. He took a few more steps in the room and felt his legs give slightly. That was why he needed to eat. It was followed by the loud ringing in his ears and he knew he'd better sit down before he fell on his ass. Taking a seat on the edge of her bed, he laid back, covering his face with his hands. He closed his eyes, waiting for the high pitched ring to stop, falling asleep there instead.

TBC
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