|Daughter of Serenity
Author: Evelyn-Sunshine PM
She's a very special little girl. This isn't one full story, they're mostly seperate little vingettes.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Chapters: 36 - Words: 19,158 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 10-13-10 - Published: 12-12-05 - id: 2700061
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It had taken a good few years but Mal had managed to chase away another pilot. Unfounded personal attacks did it this time. And out of spite due to the personal goings-on of the folks aboard his ship, he decided they just wouldn't hire on a new one.
River filled in well. She was always perfectly calm and almost nearly in control while she was at the helm, but as time went by she became more erratic during the times she wasn't steering Serenity. Simon finally put a limit on how much time River could be left to piloting the ship.
By that time, matters had settled some and Mal was willing to allow another being onto his ship to spend more than just the time of a fare. It was serendipity the next dirt bowl of a world they set down on happened to be the stopping point of their last actual pilot. They caught up over drinks and after Mal expressed something that could have been an apology, Les agreed to pilot Serenity once again.
There was no formal announcement to the rest of the crew when they got back, Les just took his old bunk and headed to clean up while Mal went to put down supplies. The overly casual passing comment was seen as almost rude by Kaylee who promptly set about planning a welcome back dinner while Meadow slipped away amidst the talking.
In her usual way, Meadow managed to corner him on his way out of the shower. She was just going to welcome him back; he was an old friend and good company to have. But…
He was far more delicious than she remembered.
It had started with their usual flirting near the shower with Les in nothing but a towel. Then a quick welcome back peck became a slightly longer welcome back kiss, and from there it was a rapid progression that ended abruptly when Inara cleared her throat loudly (for the third time) on finding her niece pinned against the wall with her legs wrapped around the nearly naked, newly returned pilot.
Inara glared at Meadow the entire times it took them to carefully disentangle themselves from each other – which seemed to be deliberately slow – and then waited her out silently as she watched him make his way to his bunk. Only when he was out of view did she finally meet her eyes, and the glare held a moment then turned into a more exasperated, "What if I had been one of the men?"
Having the good sense to look at least mildly repentant at her behavior, Meadow lowered her head as she shuffled past her miffed aunt. Inara watched, glaring the whole time, hands steadfastly on hips, and the girl kept this posture for the rough thirty seconds it took her to get to the doorway after which she skipped off merrily towards the hold.
Surprised by the formerly common behavior, a smile lit up Inara's face. Meadow hadn't skipped at all in the months since Nate left. Laodetien! She hadn't skipped in months! Smile suddenly gone from her face, she hurried to find the others so they would be prepared when the inevitable storm came crashing down on them.
The women were alone in the kitchen having a quiet lunch when Inara found them. Just as she opened her mouth to alert them of the situation, Mal came in off the bridge, and she busied herself with making tea. River looked up from the cookies she had been making dance around the table, and after a moment of contemplation set them nicely back on their plate.
"It does feel all manner o' good to have a full crew again," he proclaimed, sweeping up behind Inara and wrapping his arms around her waist. "And to have back an old friend. Can't remember why he left in the first place."
Zoe snorted. "You'd be the only one, then, sir."
"Yeah, it's real shiny, just don't go chasin' him off again," Kaylee warned, gesturing at him with her empty cup. "Accusin' him of gettin' up to fun with Meadi and the like!"
"Well, the girl's got no morals or shame!" he snapped, still uncomfortable with the long-known fact. He moved back and Inara went and took a seat at the table. "And she was misbehavin' at the time, you'll recall."
"Yeah, an' she never got caught 'til she wanted to," Kaylee muttered with a slight smirk. Inara choked slightly on her tea and set the cup down a bit harder than intended. Kaylee gave her a look then added, "'Cept that one time Jayne found her in the alley."
"Yeah, and she snuck around this gorram ship near two years with a man near seven years older'n she was!" Mal reminded her. "In case you forgot – weren't that long ago!"
"I don't think I like where your wild ramblings are heading," Inara broke in. She really didn't need him making outrageous though accurate conjectures on Meadow's private activities. "Putting aside the fact that you don't like that your little girl has grown up, Kaylee's right. Don't go chasing off the pilot again. He's crew; we've missed him."
"He won't get chased off again," River spoke up certainly. "Has something keeping him here this time." For the past week, River had been in a mood that left them ignoring what came out of her mouth, but Zoe heard a bit more sense in her tone and paused.
Kaylee shook her head. "Well, I got a compression coil needs seen too. River, wanna help?" River considered it a moment then nodded and stood to go with her.
Inara tensed, wanting to stop them but knowing Mal never let it alone if she tried to ask for a private word. Mal sat down with them and she suppressed a sigh. It was news that would keep and wasn't a time sensitive issue at this point… she hoped. She pushed that type of thought away – Meadow wasn't the type to get caught doing something twice. She discussed their nest stop with Mal and Zoe a few minutes before Jayne minor problem that demanded all sorts of attention and he was finally off.
Zoe and Inara remained at the table, quietly finishing their tea. "You catch Les and Meadow just now?" Zoe guessed.
"Yep," she confirmed simply.
"She doesn't waste much time, does she?" Zoe observed in amusement.
They were quiet another moment and Inara said, "She skipped."
"Oh, crap," was all Zoe could think of to say to that.
I actually wrote this a few weeks ago and forgot what I did with the file. But I found it and wrote a beginning. Can't promise the muse to strike again any time soon but enjoy what it provided!