So, apparently, I have not abandoned my Joss100 - who knew? Got watching the shows again the other day, and was bit so hard by a plot bunny that I had to take the time to write it out. Not sure if anyone is still following this, or if anyone is still really on LiveJournal, but thought I would post it anyway since everything else is here.
So - here is # 25 out of 100. And hopefully more will come.
Prompt: 024 – Dreams (list 2)
Word Count: 626
Summary: The rest of his crew has already moved past River, heading towards the cairns of their friends, but Mal finds he don’t want to follow them without her.
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Ain’t no day, out in the black. Ain’t no night either, just one long blur of space and stars; artificial light, and no true telling on the time, ‘cepting what Mal’s set the ships’ chronometer on. ‘S hard on a body to get used to, and once used to it, hard on a body to adjust when they’re actually planet-side and having to deal with whatever the norm is there.
Mal feels like he could sleep for hours yet – if they were flying, he would be – but they’re back on Haven, and his body is objecting almost as much as his mind and heart are. He’s standing at the main cargo doors with the rest of the crew, waiting for it to open and dreading what he’s gonna see when it does. He glances crossways at Zoe, to see how she’s holding up, but the tight set of her shoulders and look of grim determination on his face tells him all he needs to know.
“Well, what are we hanging around for?” Jayne grumbles to his left. The big merc looks more ornery than usual, and is shifting Vera from left to right, as if he’s expecting an attack the minute the doors open. “Standing here ain’t doing much ‘ceptin’ making my tetchy.”
Mal takes a deep breath and hopes no one notices that his hand shakes slightly when he pushes the button to open the doors. The sudden flash of sunlight momentarily blinds him, and by the time the spots behind his eyes have disappeared, the ramp is down and his little River is rushing past him in a blur of streaming hair and bare feet, arms wide open to the world.
The rest of them ain’t so quick to follow.
By the time they do make it off-ship, River has already picked a handful of daisies and wild flowers, and is waiting for them, eyes closed and face tilted upwards. Mal finds himself watching her surreptitiously, letting his gaze travel around the outside world before finding their way back to lithe form. The rest of his crew has already moved past River, heading towards the cairns of their friends, but Mal finds he don’t want to follow them without her. Instead, he moves to her side and mimics her position, lifting his face to the sun. The warmth of the rays is a welcome change from the artificial light inside the ship. Bit by bit, he feels the tension slide right outta his pores.
“This was a good place to leave them,” River whispers beside him, her voice calm and reassuring. “Book always loved growing things, and Wash always did love the sun…”
Mal feels her hand slip into the crook of his arm, and he opens his eyes and looks down at her as they start following the rest of the crew. “You ready to go say hello to them yet, Albatross?”
“Said it already, when we landed,” she murmurs. “Ran out and hugged them. Knew they were waiting for us.” She cocks her head and smiles at him. “Book was asking me about you, but Wash was distracted – wanted to see Zoe.”
“I imagine he did, little one,” he agrees. “Only don’t tell Zoe you’re talkin’ to Wash – this is gonna be hard enough on her already, without that.”
“She knows,” River smiles. “Can hear him in her heart; can feel his kisses in the warmth of the sun. “
Mal looks away at this, blinking against the sudden moisture in his eyes. “That so, little one? Than mayhap we should stay longer than just a few hours. Ain’t got nothing so important demanding our time that a couple ‘a days gonna hurt us any. Just might do us all some good.”