big_damn_hero: (Mal Big Damn Hero)
The world was powerful dark all ‘round him, but it was a good sort of darkness...kind that came at the beginning.

With drugs in his borrowed blood and a good deal of battle fatigue making him feel rather lazy and relaxed-like, Mal could recall the purifying fire without any apprehension or fear...even the tight, thin cold of fading oxygen was distant and detached, something other that had happened years...centuries ago, and to another man.

He came powerful close there...nearly blew his first real chance at a life after the war, and his second chance at life in general. That’s what SERENITY had been...and that’s why he’d taken on what crew he had. Zoe’d been looking for hers and found it in Wash...little Kaylee got her first real chance at much of anything but life on a washed-up moon...even Jayne had a fresh start on Mal’s rickety little boat.

Book...River...Simon...Inara...they needed clean slates, too. Was the main reason Mal let ‘em board and stay, not just ‘cause Simon was a bang up doc or his sister was a helpless fong luh ninny. Inara...she paid her rent, but she had her own ghosts to run from, it was fair clear to see, and Mal saw her a lot more than he’d have liked to.

And the Shepherd...well, he knew how Mal felt about men of God.

But he was starting fresh now, in his mind...they all was. They’d be there when he woke up from whatever else Simon had to do to the gunshot in his belly.

Not a one, but all. Serenity.

All her parts.

All her people.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 282
big_damn_hero: (Mal Pensive)
[locked]

Jealousy and me, we’re better friends ‘n I care to allow. Every time she goes to meet a client, it starts eatin’ away at me slow and painful. Gives birth to any multitude of foulness in me I ain’t proud to admit to.

It makes me hate her. Puts murder in my heart to any man that’s seen her or touched her…felt the heat of her flushed skin, seen those silky berry lips part in passion, the sweat on their skin dried by the warm caress of her breath gasping their name.

I hate her for giving that to other men that’ll never hold those moments where I do. I downright despise her for the fact that she’ll never understand that every body she’s ever touched kills me a little every day.

Worst of all, I hate myself ‘cause I’m too much the coward to stop her. I ain’t got the guts to share that poison I let swallow me every time I know she’s given herself to someone that’ll never care what they got…never know what price another man would pay for just a single second of the sweetness they tasted.

And I hate us both for knowin’ everything we got to say to each other, and the fact that we never let it come out our mouths in words…I hate the walls the world washes through, but keep me out and away from the only thing I really want.

Guess in the end? All jealousy really boils down to is hate…the kind that folks can only feel for the people in the world that they just can’t live without.

[/locked]
big_damn_hero: (Mal Can't Be Good)
Now I know...right off the bat, I know. Y’all probably think you got the answer ‘fore I even give it, and a few years back? I’d have told ya you were right without a speck of hesitation or a single scrap of an argument, or anything resemblin’ one.

All right, yes...I’ll fess up to what we all know in our hearts t’ be true. The Alliance has been, and always will be, one of the biggest thorns a man could ever fear to have in his side. They a bane to my existence, and one hell of a gorram ruttin’ nuisance.

But...well, since I met the little missus? They’ve had some company in the number one spot on my list of Folk I’d Like To Kill, dong ma?

Yolanda...Saffron...Bridget...whatever name she gives ya, she’s trouble on two legs, and one of these days? I’m hopin’ she marries herself a man carryin’ some manner of nonlethal, but fair bothersome disease of passion, if you catch my meaning.

Now I know y’all probably might think there’s a bit of wounded pride talkin’ there...and y’all would be right. It’s a little more ‘n just bein’ made to look a fool. I been made to look a fool plenty of times...fair more ‘n I care to admit out loud, so I ain’t going to. But never did bein’ made a fool put my life in danger, and when I get took? It’s me that gets took, not my gorram crew. Out here in the black, crew’s closest a fella can get to family, and when that girl went and humped up my ship and nearly killed us all?

I don’t take kindly to that.

Nor do I take kindly to gettin’ left buck naked on some godforsaken moon. Even if I did near see it coming.

I been shot up and stabbed and all manner of injured...but when you wound a man’s pride...well, that’s when you done crossed the line.

Muse: Captain Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 336
big_damn_hero: (Mal Big Damn Hero)
Well, let’s see...I been, in my illustrious career of thievin’, run about by a Fed lookin’ for fugitives on my boat, married against my will, betrayed by members of my own crew, and deceived by more of the same.

I ain’t even gonna get cute...I got a lotta gorram trust issues.

Now maybe that don’t sound too peculiar-like comin’ from a man livin’ mostly out in the black, but you can wrap me up in any kinda packing you got a mind to, I’m still a soldier. In the War, I had to trust my life to men I didn’t know from Adam. Part of battle, more or less...and as I found out later when I was commanding my own patchwork troops, it’s part of being a leader.

Now blind trust like that, handin’ it out to total strangers ain’t never wise ‘less the circumstances are real ruttin’ special. Trustin’ Zoe Alleyne when we all first met was one such circumstance. Turned from a good gun to a great friend to the backbone of all I’ve said and done in nigh on the last decade.

Still, vital a pal as Zoe is and good as we get on? I’m still a believer in a trust that takes time...believe you me, us two come a long gorram way since we was trustin’ each other to stand guard while the other slept. Folks like Jayne and Kaylee...and even Inara...that trust took time. Yes, I trust Jayne, long as he can keep his room, keep his cut, and get seconds ‘n thirds at most meals. Especially with one like ‘Nara...trust don’t exist in her world. Everybody lies ‘bout somethin’, and everybody knows it. It’s all one great big game of make believe...say pretty things about the snakes you face so’s they don’t leap up and bite you in the pi-gu.

I prefer honor amongst thieves...ain’t always reliable? But when a man double crosses you, least you don’t gotta pretend he didn’t. And relyin’ on a man t’ be unreliable? To me, that’s *real* trust.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 351
big_damn_hero: (Mal Pensive)
Death is the great leveler.

Well that right there’s gospel if I ever did hear it. I seen a lot of the Reaper during the War, and it ain’t no coincidence in my reckoning that Reavers and Reapers sound so durned alike. They got a lot in common…both are strong, both incite fear, and when you see both of ‘em coming, you run like hell if yer smart.

I seen a lotta men and how they face Death, and it’s all the same. Big or small, hard or soft, they usually beg for mercy. You can’t stop it when it comes…all you can hope for is the good fortune of a quick and painless end. Dyin’ with dignity or honor or any of that? Big pile of go se…when death comes, it’s messy and humblin’ and ugly as all get out.

Me? I’ve stared down the barrel of my fair share of guns…done my dance with Death a time or two. I’ve learned only one real thing from those confrontations…and that the old saying’s true. Hate, pride, everything that splits folks apart? Don’t mean a pile of nothin’ in the end, ‘cause when we die? We’re all afraid.

There’s only one way to go out with somethin’ under yer belt, even if it ain’t dignity or nothin’ pretty like that.

And that’s to die like a man oughta live…on yer feet.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 226
big_damn_hero: (Mal Big Damn Hero)
He went to the training house because she was in danger. He went because the Alliance had sent their fool to try and get at Mal’s weakest spot by going after Inara. Hell, wasn’t much of a secret that where Inara Serra was concerned, Mal had a bit of a fuzzy spot in his head and his heart, one he couldn’t give name or nature to.

But that wasn’t his most desperate hour.

After finding comfort in Nahndi’s arms for a night, then losing her come the dawn, Mal thought he’d hit a low...then along comes Inara saying she was going to leave, that she should’ve done it long before...it hit him hard, and it hurt something fierce, a fact he’d never admit to another living soul.

But he’d seen darker times.

“Ready to get off this heap...back to civilized life?”

She finally stood before him, a pale ray of moonlight rather than her usual gaudy flash of crimson and gold...but no less beautiful, no less radiant. Still and unsure, she met his gaze and clenched her hands, and admitted to being human by confessing that her heart didn’t lie in the cool, pristine cradle of civilization as she’d always professed. Wasn’t the first time she’d done it, either...but the last time, there wasn’t any danger of losing her.

“I...uh...I don’t know.”

Now there was...and he couldn’t let that happen.

So he bit the bullet, gathered his courage...and smiled.

“Good answer.”

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 255
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
[locked from everyone]

I don’t know your name. I ain’t even sure you got one that you can recall yourself. In the end, though, I reckon it don’t much matter, ‘cause you ain’t likely ever gonna get this here letter...it’s just one I need to write. It’s one I need for me, but that don’t mean I ain’t got a bit to say to you.

I’ve killed men before. Lots of men. I fought in the war...killed a peck of fellers that would’ve done me the same if I didn’t shoot ‘em first, dong ma? I’ve killed men in mercy...them that couldn’t get a doctor in the war, men that would’ve suffered days but for my gun. I’ve also killed men that Reavers got to...best I could do without becomin’ their next meal my own self.

I should’ve killed you...it would’ve been a kindness. But I made you watch instead...I made you see that great big scheme you was fightin’ for, knowin’ you’d be broke when it was done.

I did something what amounts to torture because you didn’t just come at me...you came at me and mine, them folks I call friends...them folks I care for.

But that ain’t even the first reason I saw fit to go for what you might have left of a soul rather than your throat, like would be merciful.

I did it ‘cause the first stop on your little journey was at the doorstep of the woman I love.

Now I wrote that there down ‘cause it’s the only way I know this letter ain’t never gonna see the light of day...I’ll carry it with me always, just to remind me of the dark place you sent me to inside myself. No eyes will ever read it ‘cause that one thing...that one bit of precious I laid out there ain’t somethin’ ever *can* be seen.

But should our paths cross again, and I do mean ever...you *will* see this letter here and you *will* read what I’m about to write.

You killed my family, and you hurt ‘em worse...and for that, sir, I will kill you...and I will kill you *slow.*

And I swear by all I do believe in, I plan to *enjoy* it.

[/locked]

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 380
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
[locked from everyone]

I’ve thought about it...more ‘n once. What it’d be like to be in her world...be *with* her.

Near as I can see it, only chance I ever have is of goin’ through channels and havin’ her the way she seems to want...the way everyone else has. Not ‘servicing’ me...but me buying a moment of happiness, payin’ like any other gorram man that’s put his hands on her. I got a little put away, for emergencies and such.

I’ve thought about paying to stop the dreams I have, every ruttin’ night...dreams filled with heat and tinged in red, feeling her nails in my skin and her breath sharin’ mine. Tasting her, losin’ myself in her, feeling the world crumble away around us and rebuilt in the foggy, silken haze of passion.

I’ve thought about payin’ Inara’s fee for one night in her arms because you can’t put a price on a single moment of that kind of bliss.

But then I realize you can’t put a price on it ‘cause it’s worth more than money...more ‘n life.

And that’s when I put my coin back in my pocket and go back to whatever I was doin’ to begin with.

[/locked]

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 202
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
He couldn’t be seen from his place in the corridor, but he could see her clear as day, arms around Wash carefully where he sat, minding the fresh wounds that would remind him of Niska long after they’d scarred.

She was beautiful...beyond beautiful, she was stunning. Full lips, legs that went on forever, perfect breasts...she was a woman and she gorram well knew it. Zoe was first and foremost a soldier, and she always would be...but she knew she was a woman, too.

And so did Mal.

So why didn’t it matter? He’d *had* a chance to bed her once...really bed her after they got good and stinking drunk in the aftermath of a successful skirmish during the war...even slept with her. Literal like...woke one morning with her head on his chest and her leg thrown over him, but the cold had gone so deep that night even the booze they’d laid into hadn’t been enough to chase away the chill. He knew good and well how Zoe felt...

...but he also knew how he felt, and not once in all the ruttin’ time he’d known her had he ever lusted for all that beauty. Admired it...been touched by it...but never once looked on her with lust.

No, that he reserved for the only woman who kept sex as her stock in trade...the one he could never have like he wanted, because it weren’t to her what it was to him: sacred.

The only woman whose body haunted him, haunted God knew how many other men, and that hurt on a level that was purt near physical.

It was why he never slept with Zoe...sex and love. He just couldn’t untangle them in his head. Even Nahndi he’d cared for, in a fashion. That pull on his spirit right along with his body...where the world melted away leaving just two bodies locked in passion.

He couldn’t have that with Inara...because the world would never melt away completely. There’d always be the next payin’ customer waiting on the sidelines...patiently biding his time until it was his turn.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 356
big_damn_hero: (Default)
“You are drunk as a skunk.”

“You gorram right I am, and you, *sir*, are humped, so stand still and take it like a man.”

Mal burst out laughing, shaking his head as the young private, much to the delight of Zoe, Morris, Doc Sutton, and the rest of his unit, proceeded to hang a chintzy strand of prayer beads around his neck.

“Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds, you are hereby awar...awarded the Meritorious Conduct...Award for...meritorious...conduct.” the private boomed, finishing his confirmation with a resounding belch just before falling flat on his face.

“That is the *last* gorram time anybody in this unit gives him whiskey, dong ma?” Mal deadpanned, rolling his eyes.

A mocking chorus of applause and laughter rose up, along with a few obligatory ‘yes, sirs’, followed immediately by a chorus of “Speech! Speech!” led by old Doc Sutton himself.

“Now you hesh up, Jake Sutton!” Mal growled without much real conviction. Still, in spite of himself, Mal rose to his feet in the middle of the small Independent-run bar and cleared his throat dramatically.

“First! I’d like to thank Private Nash here for lettin’ that bun tyen-shung duh ee-dway-ro Purplebelly sneak up on him so’s I could save his hide and win me this prestigious honor.” Mal began with a grin, laughing as Nash, who had hauled himself up off the floor, applauded drunkenly. “Second, I’d like to thank ol’ Doc Sutton for patchin’ up that knife wound of mine. Had a hellish time of it, I know, and had to move about all kinds of my innards, but it kept me alive to be here today so’s I could stand here to make y’all look bad with my new bit of shiny.”

“Amen to that, sir.” Zoe agreed with a grin.

Mal nodded, his grin softening and growing a bit warmer with sincerity. “Right...and thirdly, and I do say this with all seriousness, horsin’ about all aside...I gotta give a toast and a cheer to the finest buncha Browncoats a man could ever get the privilege of servin’ with.”

Mal watched his troops smile and move to stand...probably to raise their glasses when an officer came barreling through the door with a cry of “Purplebellies!” just before falling dead to the ground.

And as they answered the orders of their lieutenant, following Mal’s lead straight out the door to make a beeline back to base camp, he couldn’t help but smile as he thought about the day those ruttin’ sons of whores in the Alliance realized they were all but humped...because if he had his way? The boots they’d be licking would be those of his own gorram unit.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 450
big_damn_hero: (Mal Can't Be Good)
Mal emerged from the bridge, heading for the mess hall where dinner was finishing up...he just hoped to high Heaven somebody had saved him a share of the fresh veggies they'd managed to get their hands on when last they hit planetside. Kaylee wasn't no Shepherd Book, but she could cook a bit, and those carrots she'd fried up looked pretty tasty when the wave had come for him over the Cortex...

When he arrived at the mess hall, he found only Inara remained, Jayne off in one corner cleaning his knives while Kaylee bustled about cleaning up from cooking.

"Just finished chattin' with Old Man Jubal on Halford." he declared, absently rubbing the back of his neck as he headed over to the kitchenette to see if his plate had been moved or not. "Looks like we got a job waitin' there if we move quick like...transportin' some grain, seems they got a shortage they're fixin' to do something about. You got any appointments that'll get interrupted with us goin', 'Nar?"
big_damn_hero: (Mal Can't Be Good)
You ask anybody that’s known me more ‘n a moment or two and they can tell you easy what sticks in my craw above all else. Then again...most folks that just met me could tell you just as easy. Well...now that you mention it, all you really gotta do is *look* at me to tell...

Ain’t no big secret I got a beef with the Alliance. If ire was fuel, I could thank the government, ‘cause I’d never need to spend a dime to keep Serenity flyin’, not for all the rest of my born days. Now that may seem a mite petty and superficial, but that there’s just the tiniest branch on the tippy top of the tree.

The Alliance? They’re a symbol...for everyone and everything that thinks a man ain’t fit to make his own way in the world. It’s the end all and be all of lookin’ down on folks without cause, and that’s the one thing in all the ‘verse that gets my goat. I look down on a man, it’s ‘cause I’ll do that he won’t, and things he’d do that I’d never even entertain as actual thoughts. Things that matter, like workin’ for my daily bread and dealing fair with folks. Like knowin’ when a job ain’t worth the pay, or when there’s cause to take me on a stray...even if that stray puts me in the crosshairs of the whole gorram ‘verse.

And in some particular cases, it’s also been known to include the extent of a man’s personal hygiene.

But I will never put on false airs, dealin’ man to man. I’ll never see someone as less ‘n me unless he sees the rest of mankind as less ‘n him.

And the only time I’ll ever tell a man what to do, where to go, or how to think is when I’m payin’ his salary or watchin’ his back in the field of battle.

And even if Hell opened up ‘neath our feet in that battlefield? I’d never try to make of him something that he just plain ain’t.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 351
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
[locked to the crew of SERENITY]

If I wouldn’t pay no price for it…I’d tell her everything.

I’d tell her how bad she twisted me up inside. I’d tell her all about my night with Nahndi, and how it meant so much to me…how it was what I needed right then. I’d tell her it was everything and nothing, ‘cause it wasn’t her, and it wasn’t enough, no matter how good.

I’d let myself see her hurts, and I’d hold her when they came…hold her like she ought to be held. Wouldn’t touch her like a Companion nor a whore…I’d make her remember she was a woman, not a lady, and ought to be touched and held and loved the way a good woman deserves to be.

I’d make her remember what that’s like…to be touched like a woman, ‘cause I reckon sometimes she’s forgot. And I don’t just mean in bed…I mean to be held and touched with hands, a squeeze of comfort on her shoulder or a pat on the back. Peck on the cheek, brushin’ past too close in the galley just ‘cause a body can…the kinds of touches ain’t taught at the training house, the kind that belong to just folks.

And you bet your bobcat I’d take her to bed…I’d make her forget she ever bedded another man. I’d love her hard and slow, burn her taste and touch and warmth into my brain, and I’d make damn sure I did the same for her. I might not be the best or the most skilled she’s ever been with, but I don’t doubt I’d be the realest.

If I wouldn’t pay no price…I’d admit I love her. I’d say it in my head and in my heart and right out loud…shout it from a rooftop or two. I’d stake my claim on her so hard it’d give her a headache.

If I wouldn’t pay no price…I’d tell her the one truth about Miranda that I’ll take to my grave, more like ‘n not.

I didn’t just take on the Devil to save the ‘verse from themselves…I did it to save the ‘verse for *her.*

[/locked]


Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 353
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
Howdy! Been meanin’ to haul myself over here for a proper introduction and all...’specially since Inara’d be a mite put out if I didn’t and she kicks me enough under the dinner table already for my sass, so I figured now’s as good a time as any to pop my head in.

Name’s Reynolds, Malcolm Reynolds...mostly, though, I’m just Mal. I skipper SERENITY...she’s a Firefly-class ship, and she’s flightworthy, not much on sparkle and polish? But a beauty in her own right. She’s a transport ship most times, we move cargo for a fee...and at times, we have been known to move our cargo kinda sneaky-like. I mean, some of it bein’ illegal and all, it just seems like the thing to do. I been at this business for nigh on six years, ever since the end of the war...the Unification War, that is. I was a sergeant in my unit...fought for the Independents. Browncoat and proud of it, to those of you Alliance-friendly folk that might see fit to try and poke fun at me...I poke back. And hard. Y’all can consider that a warnin’.

At any rate, I’ve had my plate pretty full in the past couple years...took on an Alliance fugitive, got near killed by a crazy assassin, and exposed a government coverup of Reavers. Yup...me and mine been powerful busy. Y’all might be on speakin’ terms with some of my crew...my right-hook man, Jayne Cobb, then there’s the fugitive I done mentioned, River Tam. She’s a mite on the crazy side, but we don’t hold it against her. Much. And I think I also seen mention of my renter, Miss Inara Serra. Makes her home and business in one of my shuttles...fellas, with enough credits, she too can be yours for the evening...

...and now if y’all will excuse me? I’m gonna high-tail it on outta here ‘fore she can catch up to me.
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
Good things ought not to hurt…least that’s what he’d been taught all his natural life. Well…most of his natural life. Some good things were supposed to hurt, like fightin’ for a cause you believed in. That could hurt something powerful, but that was the ‘standing up’ part of ‘standing up for your beliefs’…when it hurt, you stuck firm.

Mal watched the capture in his hand…the smiles and laughter as Inara packed her things. Kaylee’s bright little voice, soft and imploring…

“The Captain wants you to stay…”

It was a happy scene, and her face was the kind of thing high-falutin’ poets and writers and the like tried to capture when they plied their trade. Sculptors tried to make statues that had that grace and beauty, and men like that rat done skewered him a while back dreamed of having that much class. Her smile lit up rooms, her voice was like rubbed velvet on the ears, and she was sharp…hoo boy, was she ever sharp. When she yelled about offense and hollered about manners…facts was facts: you couldn’t knock that gorram woman over with an Alliance cruiser.

Strong, beautiful, and as nigh on to perfect as a man could find…he’d only ever seen anything that bright and shining and promising once before in his life…the day he laid eyes on SERENITY.

Good things ought not to hurt…but Inara Serra cut him deep. Soul deep.

Because good things ought not to hurt…unless you weren’t good enough to have them.


Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/SERENITY
Words: 249
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
I ain’t too forthcomin’ with confessing to it, but once upon a time I was a God-fearin’ man. I read my Bible, I paid my respects when I passed a church...but then I realized there’s bigger fish to fry in this world...a lot more ‘n some high and mighty God to be afraid of.

That there’s what the Alliance took from me that makes me such a gorram nuisance...my faith an’ my fear. Way I see it? Them right there’s the basics of religion...faith in somethin’ bigger ‘n you, and fear of hellfire. Now I don’t deny that a seat in a real pretty church with some nice stained glass windows and an organ ain’t gonna inspire a hopeful notion or two ‘bout a Heaven and a great plan...but these days, about all I could do in a place like that is take advantage of the quiet and catch me a nap in a pew.

I been through the hellfire and I surrendered my faith to Serenity Valley.

If there’s a God and he wants worshippin’? Let him get it from Shepherd Book...but he best remember to speak softly in a graveyard. It’s a sin to wake the dead.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 205
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... )

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 589
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
Habits? I got a lotta habits...fiddle with my gun when I get a mite vexed, part my hair on the right when I oughta part it on the left, the list just goes on forever. I figure we all got quirks like that...little bits and bobs scattered through a body that make us just folks.

But if you want tell of a habit I couldn’t break? Well...you ask anybody, say Zoe in particular? She might see fit to tell that I got a real teensy problem with makin’ a bit of a stir come Unification Day.

Now me? I say it’s a bunch of go su...I mean sure, I like to hit a bar for a nice, quiet drink...and sure, I usually sometimes hit an Alliance-friendly establishment. Ain’t my fault...right?

Though now that I come to think on it a bit harder...most of the troubles I find myself havin’ are tied up with the Alliance, and me bein’ vexed by the go tsao de sons of bitches that are up there in charge. Think they can run a man’s life...pick at a little girl’s brain...play with people at the basic level of human nature...

I ain’t no high-minded type, and I ain’t no politician...but I *am* just folks, and I know that when you start thinkin’ folks ain’t good enough as is? That’s when bad things happen...people gettin’ hurt.

That’s the difference between them and us...old Browncoats like Zoe and me. *They* wanna make people change as they see fit.

Us? All we ever wanted was to get bettered on our own. After all...it’s the power of choosin’ makes us people in the first place, right? And if we ain’t even got that power...then what’s left?

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly
Words: 302
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
1) What is one thing you have learned from your past?

Mal didn’t know why he stood there...why he couldn’t move, just watch the dining hall through the doorway, a few steps back and just off to the side, where he could see but not be seen.

Everyone was inside...settled in, sprawled out, or busy doing something with themselves. Kaylee stood on a stool, fixing a light while Simon held the stool...and her, hands on her hips as she looked down to share a warm smile with him. River was giving Jayne hell, trying to mess with his knives while he was cleaning them...and over in one corner, Zoe and Inara sat talking, heads bowed in voices Mal was sure were soft enough even those in the room couldn’t hear.

He never learned...not one gorram thing. Too many times in the past, believing in anything had only ended in pain and death. He ought to know better by now...never step up, never trust, never give his heart to anything or anyone.

The learning never quite stuck in his head, though...not until his mistakes had been made and people were dead. He’d tried to change the world once in the name of freedom, in the name of a young man’s ideals and all he got for his trouble was a lot of scars...not all of ‘em branded into his worthless hide.

So he gave up the fight for freedom...or so he thought. All it took to unlearn *that* lesson was a ramshackle little Firefly class ship that promised him just that. Then came the fight not for freedom, but for the right to exist...and it was Serenity Valley all over again. Scars on his hide, scars on his soul...realizing the fact that he ought not to have ever bothered.

But that was the hell of believing in anything...no matter how useless it all was, no matter how tragic...victory’s always worth it.

Maybe that’s what ate him so...that he could see Book and Wash’s deaths and being not just necessary, but *right.* Hurt like hell, but this time he’d taken the valley...he and his careworn little band of Browncoats. The Alliance couldn’t beat them twice.

Now here he was again, believing...believing in a high-class doctor and a naive little grease monkey with a sweet smile. He had faith in an old battle ally, a mercenary, and a disturbed young woman with the secrets to Heaven and Hell locked in her brain.

And he had given more than he wanted to into the hands of a Companion...the one woman he could never trust with anything he had to offer, because it all came from the heart.

Still...looking at them all together was like looking into the past...at a young, hardheaded ex-Browncoat that saw the key to happiness in a rundown old boat meant for scrap.

Seemed like he was never meant to leave Serenity...not the valley, not the ship...and not the family.

And if he were honest with himself...which he rarely was...he knew that he didn’t want to.


2) Describe a dream that you've had. How did the dream make you feel?

A dream, huh? Well, I reckon I got a few I could spin a tale about...but I got one in particular that’s any measure of unusual...the kind of unusual worth talkin’ about, anyhow. Most dreams are pretty straightforward and whatnot...somethin’ happens to ya, and on occasion it’s in a manner not fittin’ to reality. Like the kind you get as a youngster...nightmares ‘bout showin’ up to the schoolroom in your britches, or worse, nothin’ but what nature gave ya.

Worst dream I tend to have ain’t nothin’ like that. And yes, you read me right there...I dream it often, and it’s the kind of thing that makes a man wonder if he’s just plain kwong-juh duh or something.

It’s a sound. And ain’t nothin’ but a sound.

I ain’t doin’ nothin’, and I’m sayin’ even less...all I do is dream, and all that sits in my head is a sound, so loud I come nigh on to screaming. Lasts for years, seems like, ‘til I finally wake up...sometimes shaking so bad my teeth start knockin’, sometimes damn near swimming in my own cold sweat.

Now right off the bat? I’ll tell you: that sound don’t come from Miranda. That ordeal was one I ain’t like to forget soon...but those things I saw and did and felt there, they don’t haunt my sleep. They haunt me wide-awake. It’s the kind of horror that won’t allow for bein’ buried in your brain unawares...I could point out our own little albatross real easy as a ‘for instance.’

The sound I hear comes from Serenity Valley...it’s ships overhead, our own angels gettin’ all their wings chopped off. I don’t hear Zoe tellin’ me we’ve been ordered to lay down arms, I don’t hear her sayin’ that command’s telling us to give up. I hear it in the sounds of those ships, leaving us to rot in Serenity Valley.

Now that dream, that *sound* don’t scare me ‘cause we got beat that day. Ain’t ‘cause I’m so tender hearted that the Alliance gives me such a fright, neither. I ain’t that fong luh just yet.

Reason I get so ruttin’ riled by that nightmare is ‘cause that one sound...that roar of engines overhead...that right there’s the sound of the most vile evil that a man could ever know. It’s the sound of hope not bein’ lost, but bein’ taken, ripped away from a man like it’s some piece of shiny he took that don’t belong to him.

And I’ll tell you, much as I hate any and all that call themselves friendly with the Alliance? That’s not a fate I’d wish even on the likes of them.
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