big_damn_hero: ([Big Damn Hero] You Can't Take The Sky F)
Most life-changing decision I ever made? Once upon a time, might’ve said it was signing on to fight a war. ‘Nother time, I might’ve said losing that war changed my life more ‘n anything.

And while I have to say that finding a rundown little Firefly class boat in a shipyard nigh on a decade ago did a lot to change my life, it was two things she brought me that really changed my life in ways I never thought was possible.

First was a strange little girl with a few screws loose in her skull...screws the Alliance loosened. Now I’ll be the first to admit, River’s a real nice girl...she’s just crazy. And I ain’t one to hold that against her...not when it ain’t her fault. Alliance ain’t but a bunch of liars and con men, and even smart folk can get swindled. She got hers tricked away from her, and that ain’t none of her doing.

That addlepated little waif shoved me into more gorram mess than a man, woman, or child could or *should* ever be fixed to handle. Some of it was necessary...some of it wasn’t. But all of it changed me. Changed how I thought...changed what I felt, the way I went about my day. Some of those changes were for the better, and some weren’t...but they made me who I am today.

And for better or for worse...I like that man fine. And not many can say that in this or any other lifetime.


Only one other decision ever changed my life noticeably...and that was the day I fired my mechanic and hired Inara Serra.


Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 281
big_damn_hero: ([Emote] Still Free)
She’s trouble on two very fine legs that, at the moment, were propped up on the edge of the table in the dining area. Trouble walking...Mal knew it the very first day he met her.

Well...maybe the second day, truth to tell. The first day, he was too distracted by Bester’s stupidity and naked backside, Inara’s own rather pleasant state of nudity, and the relief of finally being skybound once again.

But the next day, all it took was a few minutes of standing in the engine room...a place that had once been part of his rickety little kingdom transformed into a land where she ruled with an iron fist and a gentle touch. He knew right then that she was trouble and nothing but.

And yet she turned his head so hard, sometimes he forgot which was right and left or up and down.

Getting involved with them that were in his employ was tacky, not to mention dangerous. Mal knew it, and that’s why he’d managed to avoid that eventuality thus far.

But still, in moments like this...when he was caught in a doorway, unseen, and she in an easy moment, was easy to forget for just a little while. In those moments, he wondered what it might be touch her, to taste her, maybe even put a grav boot on that restless ship before she could fly away again.

But then she saw....felt him somehow, and with a turn of her head and a coy, dark smile delivered with an instinct that would have made her a hell of a Companion, it all melted into a warm puddle of nothing.

It brought upon him the worst part of forgetting: the moment when you finally remember.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 297
big_damn_hero: ([Big Damn Hero] You Can't Take The Sky F)
Now I ain’t a man given to tomfoolery or messin’ about on my boat. Most days, it’s too serious a matter just gettin’ by in the black, and pranks ain’t exactly what I’d call productive. Still, probably most in the times when you start to understand why a man might get so far gone he’d go wild like them Reavers done, jokes and the like are a downright necessity.

So to answer yer question...yes. I’ve pulled my share of pranks and no good, given that I’ve been in my fair share of life and death situations...fightin’ in the war and survivin’ in a world like mine. Too often we get to that point...where we’re either gonna laugh or shoot ourselves in the head.

And lemme tell ya, for a man ain’t prone to jokes, I’ve pulled some doozies...everything from knotting ol’ Doc Sutton’s boot laces together in a foxhole to writing dirty limericks on some of Inara’s calligraphy stationary when she ain’t lookin’. But the best...the top of my game was the day Simon and his sister first boarded my little boat and I told him Kaylee was dead after he’d busted hisself savin’ her life.

Now lookin’ back, I done seen the error of my was wrong of me to do. It was mean, and cruel, and just plain wrong.

But holy hell, was it ever *funny.*

And if I want to be honest with myself, after lookin’ in on her and seein’ she was gonna live that day...I reckon I was more ‘n a little giddy with relief, not to mention damn surprised. Think I felt so damn unsettled ‘cause I figgered she was gone...but not on Dr. Tam’s watch.


I’ll never say it to his face if I can help it...but the boy’s got a rare gift. And I’m always gonna be grateful for that, ‘cause losin’ a smile like Kaylee’s would be a damn crime if ever there was one.


Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 335
big_damn_hero: (Mal Pensive)
Am I a lucky fella? Reckon I am...though that opinion tends to change depending on the day...and on the job. Don’t feel all that lucky when work is slim, or when folks don’t pay what they promise. Those are the worst days...when someone gets it in their head to try and stiff us, and ain’t no matter how the standoff goes, we get humped in the end.

I ain’t so lucky those days, by my opinion.

Still...there’s other days. Job goes smooth and lemme tell ya, those occasions are few and gorram far between, we all get paid...fuel enough for a while, plenty to eat...hell, maybe something ‘sides protein. Those are the days when the world’s as it ought to be. I feel pretty durn lucky those days, in general.

Ain’t much better than that as a rule, and I work damn ruttin’ hard to make sure it don’t get no worse...but there are days. Not when it’s that low, but when the spirits lift a mite above just lucky, or even damn lucky. There’s the days you feel lucky to be alive...beatin’ back Death or something bigger. Takin’ on a monster wouldn’t otherwise be imagined into being if you hadn’t seen it with yer own two peepers.

Me and my crew? We’ve had us a few of those...and I’ll tell you right now, lotsa folks don’t hardly get a single day like that in their lives. Me...I’ve seen more ‘n one. Everyone on Serenity has, ‘cause those days have happened to us all. Us...we done the things couldn’t be done, if you listen to folks. Big things, little things...we won battles was impossible to win. Heart of Gold...Miranda...hell, even puttin’ one over on ol’ Yolanda Bridget Saffron YoSaffBridge.

And that one thing does make me consider myself one of the lucky folk. I got a chance to prove my mettle and I didn’t back down.

But most of all..when I toed that line, I was luckier ‘n most...’cause when I did it, I wasn’t alone.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 353
big_damn_hero: (Mal Grace Is Gone)
Folks say that self-preservation’s one of them base instinct things...part of you that yer just born with, like an animal’s born to hunt and eat. That it keeps a fella alive when all else might make him do some fool thing like get hisself killed.

I’m here to tell ya that’s a jung chi duh go-se dway...I ain’t gonna deny that self-preservation’s instinct, and damn powerful, but it don’t trump all. Never has, never will. Ain’t all of it is inborn, after all...just a bit. The rest comes from what’s around you...growing up, bein’ raised with the idea that your life’s more important than anyone else’s. The notion that survival’s all there is.

During the war, men died senselessly...but they didn’t die for no reason. They died better ‘n the opposition did...eyes wide open, with a belief in freedom from a government that wanted us all buttoned down and fit to profile, dong ma? They wanted better for themselves and their own...and they gave their lives for it.

So you riddle me this...if it’s so gorram ingrained to save yer own hide ‘stead of letting a buncha ruttin’ pigs like the Alliance own you, or letting a friend die at the hands of a killer, or even protecting yer child from them that’d do him harm...why ain’t there more live saints ‘stead of a buncha dead martyrs?

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 237
big_damn_hero: (Mal Can't Be Good)
"A bit uncomfortable with it, Malcolm?"

Mal narrowed his eyes just a bit, moving his gaze towards the pickup to make sure Badger picked up on it. A little menace didn't hurt none, and for the job Badger was asking, Mal figured he was owed a little toying.

"Trip's gonna damn near exhaust my fuel cells on hand...if I'm to refuel for this little journey, I'll need compensation." he bit off tersely, folding his arms.

He watched Badger grin, and in that moment knew that the weasely little son of a bitch had to know about the significance of the job. "Now that won't be a spot of trouble, mate. Just be sure you take good care of my cargo, dong ma?"

Mal simply nodded. "Yeah...I'll contact you after the pickup, and again after the drop. See you in the world." he replied, cutting off the transmission without waiting for Badger's response. For a few long moments, he just stared at the screen, trying to figure out who in the gorram hell Badger could be working with.

Mal knew most of the folks on Shadow like the back of his hand...and wasn't too many men on that moon would deal with Badger's like, and even fewer who would be desperate enough to.

"Yep...this can't be good." he murmured to himself, finally standing from the pilot's chair and wandering off the bridge to head for the mess area, where the crew would likely be gathered.

No one was present but Inara when he arrived, and from the looks of the bits and pieces laying about, chow had just finished. Someone had been courteous enough to cover his plate...he wondered for a moment if Inara had done it.

Walking over to grab his plate, he nodded to Inara cordially. "Hope yer schedule's clear," he drawled, *knowing* for a fact it was, "'cause we got a job's gonna take us a little ways out."
big_damn_hero: (Mal Pensive)
He wasn`t quite sure if she was aware that he was watching her or not, but right then Mal didn`t much give a good gorram. )

And while you wallow in your wounds
You let the devils draw near
One more mile is all we have
You got nothing to fear

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words (w/o lyrics): 529
big_damn_hero: (Default)
Well, if you left that question there to folks like Inara? She’d be first to tell without a lick of hesitation that any feller born in HER world is the exact opposite of yours truly here.

But, ain’t fortune kind? You ain’t talkin’ to Inara.

Near as I can figure, any of them go se Purplebellies would’ve been a whole mess of things I just ain’t. I conjure that some of ‘em was good folks, maybe didn’t have enough sense or smarts not to buy the lies was thrown at ‘em by the Alliance. Maybe they all really did believe they was bringin’ salvation, civilization, and uncomfortable starched clothing to us savage heathen folk on the fringes.

They wanted to help, and that’s just fine. Neighborly, even...hell, it’s downright Christian, and that’s always supposed t’ be a good thing, ain’t it?

But when help ain’t welcome...when it’s shoved down your throat and forced on you, it stops bein’ a hand up and turns to a fist beating you into the ground. And the boys that got talked into fighting for the other side...they didn’t ask questions. They just picked up their guns and charged in.

And that right there’s my opposite type. It’s one thing when a man don’t ask questions ‘cause information’s dangerous, but it’s a whole ‘nother story when you choose to sidestep facts outta blind ruttin’ faith.

That’s the man that’s opposite of me. Not sayin’ I ain’t guilty of such...but the mistake I made on Paradiso? I ain’t made it again since.

Nor do I intend to.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 265
big_damn_hero: (Mal Big Damn Hero)
Well, my thoughts on cheating is fairly clear and ask anybody that knows me, Malcolm Reynolds is a man of honesty and integrity. ‘Less you’re a lyin’ two-bit gan ni niang, then whether or not you get a taste of the better side of my nature’s left to my whimsy.

I don’t believe in cheatin’ anybody, man or woman...not for any reason at any time. It don’t come with the package of bein’ an outlaw, or even an evil person. I’ve seen evil in a man...tasted it, felt its touch on my skin and its blade in my body, and I know that even an evil man can deal honest one on one. Even evil can be reasonable...because real evil, true evil, thinks that it’s good and acts as such. You can count on it to behave a certain way, and to do so without a single bit of failure.

Real evil don’t cheat...’cause to cheat would mean doin’ that which is against its very nature. A good man’s got no reason to cheat. It’s them that dwell in the middle...don’t know where they stand and don’t much care that are the folks who are like to pull a swindle.

In a way, I conjure that the good Shepherd was right on that...a man who believes in something is purt near unbeatable. It’s the big things that make a difference, but the little things...well, I suppose they make just as big a difference in another sorta way.

Cheatin’s just another way of changing yer mind...and doing a wrong by someone in the process. The folks who know what they is, or even think they know...good or bad? They’ll never deal you a swindle ‘cause they got that belief...convictions, I suppose. The rest...they ain’t got nothin’, not even a law to mind themselves, much less others.

I don’t believe in much...but I do believe in not cheatin’ a man. Don’t rightly know where that puts me, with morals and such...but at least I know where I stand somewhere in this crazy ‘verse.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 357
big_damn_hero: (Mal Can't Be Good)
Gee, let me think on that a minute.


I finished my tour with faith soon as I finished my tour of duty, and that’s gospel, dong ma? God, Fate, Destiny, Karma...all hogwash in my book. I got no time for all-powerful cosmic forces of any ruttin’ kind, ‘cause I know they’re all so much go se.

People think that destiny makes their lives up for ‘em ‘fore they even get into this world, but that ain’t true. We choose our or death, sky or land, whether we live free or die in chains. It’s all our choice...the decisions we make determine the lives we lead. Not somethin’ outside our own heads we can’t even see.

It weren’t destiny that made who knows how many men die in the war. It was their choice to fight for freedom got them killed, and there ain’t no shame in that. Shame is chalking up their ends to the ‘verse, lookin’ for meaning when it’s all right there...written in their blood.

Don’t you get me wrong, though...I don’t chalk it all up to coincidence at the end of the day. While I don’t give Fate much thought, I do believe there’s forces in this ‘verse that’ll end up in each other’s laps one way or another...factors, times, places and things that’ll all come together not ‘cause they was meant to, but ‘cause they have to. Like magnets...destiny don’t draw ‘em together, finagling ‘em around does the trick. Sometimes, they push away from each other, but if you flip one over...

Speakin’ of which, I’d best be off. Inara’s prolly got her rent ready, and it’s high time I got paid.

Muse: Malcolm Reynolds
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Words: 285
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 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 ‘ 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
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