Ok...so I got seriously attacked by a plot bunny last night while watching "Objects in Space" (for the 9th time, I think). It was vicious. Sunk in his teeth and wouldn't let go till I had it all down. And I mean DOWN. As in "on paper", because the SO was hogging the computer.

It's wierd; its in first person POV. This is only my SECOND EVER fanfic, so bear that in mind when you read it. It also alludes to the possibility of prequel. I hope you like it!

Title: Redemption
Author: bugchicklv
Character: Serenity (this is the first of 10 character centered projects I am doing before the release of Serenity on September 30th; not all will be written word)
Spoilers: Anything is game up till and including "Objects in Space". Set during "Objects in Space".
Disclaimers/Author's Notes: Thanks to the wonderful Delphia (again!) for the beta. I don't own anything in the Firefly 'verse, except for an unimaginable obsession with Jayne. If I did, the damned show would still be on the air. Characters are the property of Mutant Enemy (grrr...arrgh) and FOX (a$$holes). Don't sue; no point...can't get blood out of a turnip. Joss is Boss, and I am his Biatch. Feel free to comment.

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"Serenity, don't," she whispers. "He's here for me."

"But my crew," I plead.

"I know you promised to protect them, to be more vigilant; but this is my fight," she says.

And she is right.

I did promise to protect them. Anyone who chose to call me home, on that hot, dry day when my Captain saw me. Picked me. There were bigger, faster, newer ships. Ones that needed less work, less care. He could have chosen any of them. But he chose ME. He gave me life, a purpose once again. He loves me as he loves no other thing in the entire 'verse. He is my soul.

Each of them loves me, in their own special way. Each of them chose me. Each of them is a part of me.

Inara. Such grace and beauty. You exude my passion; you are my beauty. You could have a life of leisure on one of those luxury liners. But you are here, and you love me. You love my lines, love MY beauty, love me for my imperfections. House Madrassa could never compare. You cannot imagine the pain you will feel when you leave. And yet you feel you must, no matter how much I don't want you to. No matter how much I need you. Always running, enigmatic Inara.

Book, my struggling conscience. You try so very hard to believe. Seeking, searching. You keep trying, for maybe if you convince enough of the others, you will eventually convince yourself. I knew you'd pick me the second you saw me. I am sturdy, and I have taken a beating. And just like you Shepard, I have secrets. A past that I need redemption from as well.

Wash. In your hands I am free. My brilliant pilot, my sense of humor. You could have taken any job that was offered. And I know there were dozens. You saw it, the raw potential, the ME that could be. You felt my need for you. You loved the challenge I presented; and while you tell yourself that you did it to endear yourself to her, I know. I know your childlike glee at flying me. It's my console at which you play with your toys. Where you can truly be yourself.

Zoe. Warrior Woman, indeed; and yet, you hold them together and make them see reason. Strong and stoic, you are my common sense. You could have made him change his mind. Could have made him choose another ship, and you know it. You grew up in space. You have known many…enough like me that you can judge me, what my kind may lack. Yet you saw it, too. The opportunity for freedom. For the independence that you fought so valiantly for, and saw slip between your fingers as elusive as a plume of smoke. You chose my name, in spite of what others might think. I heard you whisper it, that feeling that overwhelmed you when you let me in. And I try hard to be that peace.

Jayne. Oh, Jayne. You are my strength. You need to be needed, as I do. You protect them from things that I cannot. You protect ME. That wasn't always the case, though. When you first found me, you wanted to hurt me, my crew. You spent long days tracking me, learning me, knowing me. And it was the simple promise of a place within me that won you over. Your own place. A home. Something that you have not had since you left your mother and Matty. You trust me to house Vera. I trust you to defend my crew. Trust, a concept that came hard to you. And you still struggle. You may have wanted the money, but I believe you honestly thought you were doing your job. Because of that I forgave you for your misguided attempt on Ariel. And I ached when I thought Mal would use me to take your life. Enough people have died aboard me, because of me.

Simon. Scared, lonely, yet strong little Simon. My dignity. The irony does not escape me. It was my seediness that attracted you. I looked just disreputable enough to smuggle your precious cargo, yet safe enough that you wouldn't always have to look over your shoulder. You knew your body could only withstand the strain of such stress for so long before giving out on you. And you found safety in my hull. I know what the others say, but I also know you breathe easier aboard me than you have in years. And I breathe easier knowing that you are here to fix their wounds. For my children are rowdy, rambunctious and get into trouble far too often. Now, if only you could see that she's never going to be whole again. You can't fix her. If only you could learn to love her for who she is now. River needs you to understand that it is possible to be broken, and yet still live, laugh, and love. This I know.

River, you are so much like I used to be. You are me, long ago. People did things to you, with you. Count your blessings that you can only remember these things in bits and pieces. I feel you. You are always listening to me, feeling me. Like Jayne, you know me. But you know my secret places. You breathe with me and you can hear me telling you that all will be well. Someday. You hear me telling you that you do belong here. You just don't know if you can trust me. You trusted people once. And they hurt you. You trusted people to know when you needed them. And they didn't. But Simon came for you. He rescued you just as Mal rescued me. So, you stay with me because I am more home than you have ever known. And because you are trying.

Kaylee, sweet Kaylee. My innocence reclaimed. You know how I work better than I do. You keep my engine running, sometimes with little more than spit and a bobby pin. I saw your eyes light up that day when you first saw me. I saw how you were paying more attention to me than you were that heavy-handed, self-centered Bester. He wanted you. You wanted me. You know when I can be pushed and when I need to be babied. And once I failed you.

I got so wrapped up in the happiness of everyone. I was basking in the joy of having my children all so content within me. My family, enjoying each other, laughing and celebrating. Kaylee, you weren't the one not paying attention. It was me. My failure. I didn't notice the catalyzer needed attention, so I couldn't let you know. Didn't notice it was going to blow. And when it did…oh the pain I felt at having let all of you down. I knew what Mal would have to do when I felt the first flicker of flame. And I'd have endured that pain forever rather than feel the despair, the fear, the helpless and hopelessness that spread out from each of you like a percussion wave. No Alliance weapon has ever hurt like that. I never blamed any of you for leaving.

It was that very day that I swore I would be more vigilant. I would not grow complacent. And this oath is what the girl is asking me to set aside. He is going to hurt us. But she wants me to trust her.

I secretly smile, knowing that if I want her to trust me, to trust us, then this is exactly what I have to do. I have to trust her. It seems that no one else does. Yet.

"Prove me right, River," I whisper. "Prove that we are all a family. That each of us is worthy. Each of us belongs here. No exceptions."

Go ahead

Redeem me. Redeem yourself.