Hey there everybody. Long time no see! Sorry for not posting anything on any of my other Supernatural stories in so long but my college writing class has robbed me of my muse. I've recently began become obsessed with the show firefly. I've seen every episode in the span of two days. Out of Gas is quite possibly one of the best pieces of television I have ever seen, but I thought it was missing a few things. This is my take on what happened between Mal passing out on the bridge and waking up in the infirmary. Enjoy.
In his relatively short life Malcolm Reynolds liked to think he had seen it all. He saw the sun set over the auburn plains on Shadow. He saw the indescribable beauty of almost every corner of space. He saw worlds and people he could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. HE had also seen the death, decay, horror and destruction that came with the war. He had seen what was left of the men he fought along side limp home to eek out some pitiful existence as a beaten shell of what they once were. He had also seen the looks on his crew's faces as the boarded the shuttles and left him standing in the middle of his Serenity. All this paled in comparison to the last thing he thought he would see: that faded red button that would call the shuttles back sitting just a few feet from his grasp. After that one fleeting glance darkness swallowed him up as he let Serenity fly him to his final destination.
The mood was less somber in Shuttle number two. Zoe and woken up fifteen minutes after they abandoned the corpse of Serenity. Simon had assured Wash she would be fine after some good old-fashioned rest, but he still worried about her. She was the love of his life, one of the few people that he cared about. Come to think about it, that was a very short list. All of the people he cared about were drifting in shuttles or slowly dying alone with his home.
River's sing song voice pierced through his depressing thoughts as she softly said, "She's not dead, but he almost is. HE fixed her but she couldn't fix him. Now he's going where she can't follow. Her lights shining bright." With that she stood up from her spot on the floor and glided across the shuttle and just stared out the back window.
Noticing the worried expression that marred Zoe and Wash's faces, Simon walked over and gently rested a tired hand on his sister's slim shoulder. "River," he crooned. But she didn't acknowledge him, which Simon found a little odd. She just kept staring at something in the distance. "Don't worry River. No one is dying; everything is going to be okay. We're going to get some help then fix Serenity okay?"
At that, River turned to face Simon and stated with a bemused expression on her face, "But she's not the one that needs fixing Simon. Serenity is all better."
"What?" Simon questioned. He looked over River's shoulder out the tiny window in the back of the shuttle. Low and behold Serenity was sitting there shining in all her glory. Light spilled out from the few visible windows in the bridge and crew quarters. He could see the engine turning. A smile broke out across his face as he turned and asked Wash, "Has Mal called us back yet?"
Wash's head snapped up at Simon's question. "No he hasn't. Why do you ask?"
'Because all Serenity's lights are back on and the engine looks like its running again."
"Ge pi. Mal would have called us back if he fixed the ship." Despite his mind's venomous protests, Wash pushed Simon out of the way and looked out the back window at Serenity. Her lights were shining bright from his favorite spot in the bridge and the engine looked like it was turning smoothly. "Huh looks like he got her up and running." He proceeded to check on the Nav computer in the shuttles cockpit to see if they had indeed received a signal to come back but nothing of the sort had happened.
"What's going on?" Zoe chimed in from her position on the stretcher.
"It looks like Mal got Serenity up and running but he hasn't called us back yet, " Wash half shouted as he examined the control panel.
"We're heading back then," she stated with a hint of that supreme commander authority that Wash loved.
"I don't think that's a good idea. Mal would have called us back if it was safe, but he hasn't so I think we should wait," Simon replied.
River added her two cents when she chirped, 'He's running out of red. All the red's almost gone. He left it all over the ship."
Wash gave the crazy girl a quizzical stare. He had no problem with river. In fact he kind of enjoyed having her around. He just hated when she said creepy weird stuff like this. It turned his blood to ice. He knew he had to say something to cute the tension so piped up and said, "Okay then…I'm going to assume that our little miss crazy wants us to go back? I thin we should go back too. So that's three versus one Simon you lose."
He grabbed the wheel and turned the shuttle around. Once it was on a steady course back to Serenity, he called Inara and the other shuttle and let them know what was going on. She also agreed to head back to the ship. Once the static had died down from the radio, the shuttle fell into an ominous silence. Luckily it didn't last long. They hadn't gotten that far out from Serenity and Wash expertly docked the shuttle not 20 after turning around.
Wash opened the heavy doors and breathed in the scent of home. Home smelled like old metal, junk and grease. It smelled like sweat, and that protein crap they ate for most meals. But most importantly it smelled like a pilot, two warriors, a Sheppard, a mechanic, a doctor and his crazy sister, and a captain. Simon got River situated then came back and helped Wash carry Zoe on her stretcher down to the infirmary. Despite her overwhelming protests that she was fine and could walk there, both men lifted her up and carried her down the stairs.
He was starting to get a little worried that Mal hadn't come to see them yet. If this were any other day the Captain would have been waiting for them in the cargo hold making some sarcastic remark. He heard a thump coming thought the ceiling that he recognized as Inara's shuttle docking.
"I'm going to make sure that they're set to dock," Wash remarked as he left he room. In truth he was starting to get nervous and fidgety and need to feel useful. He didn't make it the control room, let alone the other shuttle. He stopped cold when he saw the bloody handprint outside the infirmary door, and the blood smeared across various other surfaces.
Simon was cleaning up some the medical paraphernalia strewn about the floor. He needed a clean workspace and for the life of him could not remember taking out an extra shot of adrenaline or new gauze and bandages. His thoughts were disrupted by Wash's voice calling to him in just above a whisper as not to disturb the room's female occupants, "Simon come here. I think we got a problem."
Simon calmly walked over to where Wash was standing with all the stoicism that he usually held. His breath caught in his throat when he saw what Wash was looking at. That bloody print had not been there when they had departed the ship, which means that someone must have been injured after they left. Bu that was impossible. The captain was alone on Serenity. Even he couldn't do something stupid enough to do this.
"River's lurid voice echoed through out the empty ship as she sung, "He's lost his red. He's going where she can't follow. He's gong alone without us. Leaving us here with her."
"What the hell is crazy girl going on about now and why the hell is there blood everywhere? Jayne yelled down from the other shuttle bay with his usual finesse.
"Blood?" Kaylee squeaked from behind him. She hated blood. Blood meant someone was hurt and that was most definitely not Shiny. Not one bit.
Wash yelled back up, "I'm sure everything's fine Kaylee. Did you hear from Mal at all?"
"Nah we didn't Goram idiot probably forgot or something. I saw a pretty big ass ship in the area. Not liking just sitting around here. We need to get moving."
Wash's worry had increased twofold with news that no on head herd from the captain and that another ship was spotted in the area. He sighed deeply and replied," All right. I'll get her moving again, you guys see if you can find Mal."
Everyone scattered after that. Kaylee still looked spooked, but she went to check on the engine. Jayne went on a hunt for the captain. Simon went back into the infirmary to keep an eye on river and Zoe. Wash began his slow ascent up to the bridge.
The dining room was still in shambles. Wash was starting to get an uneasy feeling curling around the pit of his stomach. The blood smears, and occasional puddles were starting to get more frequent as he made his way to the bridge. There was also this weird, foreboding metallic scent tat didn't quite mesh with Serenity. He picked his way through the overturned chairs and scorched plates and quietly climbed the metal stairs up to the bridge. He was happy to be back aboard. Serenity she was his home. Almost every important milestone of his adult life had happened on Serenity. It felt good to be back on her bridge.
Wash's blood stopped cold once he entered the room. His eyes were glued to eh bloody prone figure on the ground. His arm outstretched reaching for them even in apparent death. Wash started gulping in air and just froze staring at the body of his captain, friend, and importantly family member. He's not sure how it happened, but somehow he managed to grab the com and shout, "SIMON GET YOUR ASS UP HERE QUICK!!" and broadcast it to the entire ship. All the while River's voice humming "He's lost his red. He's going where she can't follow. He's going alone without us. Leaving us here with her," floated above his head.