I smile and wipe the tears from my eyes as Serenity goes into credits. I always cry when Wash dies, every single time, and it lasts through the rest of the whole movie. I laugh at myself for being twenty-one years old and still crying over a fictional character dying in a science-fiction movie that was made when I was just starting high school. Still, it was Wash that died.
"Curse you and your sudden but inevitable betrayal," I mutter to myself under my breath. I giggle and sit down at my dining room table. The phone rings. I let it go until the third ring before I pick up.
"Hello?" I ask into the phone. My voice is still shaky from crying so much.
"Hello, Raelyn," the voice on the other side of the phone is distinct. There's only one person on this planet who calls me Raelyn, "what's wrong."
"Hi Mom. Nothings wrong." I don't like it when she calls me because she always ends up yelling at me.
"No, I can tell somethings wrong. Don't lie to me Raelyn."
"Fine Mom. If you must know, I just got done watching Serenity and I-" I was cut off by my Mothers nagging voice.
"Raelyn! You need to get out more! All you ever think and talk about is that stupid Firebug show. It-"
"Firefly." I correct her.
"Whatever, it doesn't matter either way. You need to get out more. Make some more friends, meet boys. Who knows, there might even be a boy out there who could stand someone like you." The last sentence hits me like a bucket of nails.
"You need to leave me alone Mom! There is no reason-I am completely happy just-just leave me alone!" I end the call and throw the phone across the room. My head falls to the table and I lay there. I am too angry to cry and too upset to do anything else.
I sit there for what seems like forever until I heard laughter. The laughter grew louder and louder until I could swear it was coming from right in front of me. The laughter dies down and I slowly lift my head up. What I see looks nothing like my dining room
Six people surround me with concerned looks on their faces. I stare at each of them and I feel pretty concerned myself. The room that I am in looks so familiar, almost as if I have been there before. I take another look around. I have been here before! This is the kitchen and dining room for the ship Serenity.
I must be dreaming. There is no way this could be real. I pinch my wrist and I let out an exclamation of pain. Alright, so I'm not dreaming. Then what is this?
My eyes hover on each of the faces. This is the crew of Serenity. Kaylee is sitting right next to me with a hand on my shoulder. Inara is sitting to the far left of me with a cup of tea in her hands, looking at me as if I am writhing in pain. Zoe and Wash are sitting right next to each other, both pairs of eyes locked on me. Jayne is sitting diagonal from me but his eyes aren't on me, they're on my hand, which is starting to bleed because I am still pinching it with all my might. That only leaves, wait, where did Mal go? I turn my head to see Mal gazing intently at me, his face not even ten inches from mine.
"What the hell..." I ask to no one in particular. I am not really expecting anyone to answer, either.
"That's exactly what I'm wonderin', li'l sis," Mal says. I can feel his breath on my face, "what the hell is wrong, Rae?" He grabs my hand firmly but softly.
"I-you-we-wait...what?" I am completely confused.
"I think that your sisters finally lost it, Mal," Jayne states. All I can do is stare at Mal.
"Wait, so, Mal?" I need to make sure this is real. Little sister? Am I Mal's little sister?
"Yes?" Mal waits for me to ask something.
"So, this is Serenity... and I'm on it? Right now?" I don't feel embarrassed one bit asking these questions. I need to know.
"Yes Rae." Mal sounds intently worried now. "This is Serenity and you are on it, right now." Jayne chuckles. Mal is talking to me like I am a little girl. "Are you feeling okay?"
I come out of my daze and realize that I need to play along or else I could end up in a whole lot of trouble. "Yeah. Yes. Sorry Mal. I guess I just haven't been sleeping right well for these past couple of days. I think I'm gonna hit the hay early tonight." I get up and I start to walk over to the hall where all the bunks are. "Also Mal, I am not a child so you better not treat me like one."
I walk over to the doors and look around for a second. I can hear someone (most likely Inara) laugh lightly and say, "I think she's feeling fine enough, Mal." I find a room with a sign on it that says in big letters:
(Enter at your own risk)
I open the door and climb the ladder in. I close the door and look around. My bunk is filled with cloth draped along the walls that makes it look almost like Inara's room except that I have an extensive range of weapons that line the wall next to my bed and the opposite wall as well. The other difference is that there are some Christmas lights that hang all over my room which provide a shocking amount of light. There are pictures next to my bed that are mostly made up of Mal, Zoe, and I in brown coats with guns slung over our shoulders. I was in the war? There are a few pictures of Kaylee and I sitting on the front of Serenity, Inara and I in some dresses that make us look like we are going to a ball, Wash teaching me how to drive Serenity, Jayne lifting me up of the ground with his arms wrapped around my stomach and me kicking and squirming, and last there was a picture of the whole crew, including myself, standing right in front of Serenity.
I gasp as I pick up the picture of Kaylee and I. Memories flood into my head. Memories that seem to be mine and yet I can be sure that these things never happen to me. I sit down on the bed and relax, picking up each of the pictures, slowly gaining a knowledge of my own past life that I have never lived.
I stop when I pick up the picture of Wash and I. He was sitting on the dash while I had my hands on th steering wheel. This must have been a long time ago considering that he still had his mustache and my hair was cut to just below my chin. Tears well up in my eyes as a memory comes back.
Wash and I were talking, just talking. I look like I have been crying. I can't understand much of what he's saying but I feel him put something in my hand. He closes my hand around the object and walks away. I open my hand to see a necklace with a circular object attached to it. There's a picture of a blue orchid on the front, carved into the wood. On the back there is writing that says;
The strongest person in the universe is the person
who is willing to let the grief of their past take them over
for a few moments and then goes right back to work.
-Hoban "Wash" Washburn
The memory ends and I remember the reasoning behind Wash giving me that necklace. I had lost the first boyfriend I had ever had in the war because he ate one of those horrible apples. I had been crushed by it for so long until that day, only a few days after Mal hired Wash. He is a father figure to me, maybe even closer to me then Mal is.
There's a knocking on my door. I look around and see a mirror. I walk over to the mirror and look at myself. I have my same color of hair, black, but it's longer then it was when I was in the other world. I am a bit thinner but that only makes my whole figure look more attractive. My eyes are lined with eyeliner that makes my dark brown eyes stick out and make all attention draw to my face. The rest of me looks pretty normal, comparing to how I looked before. Before. I wonder what will become of me in the world that I used to know. Will they all forget me? Will they think I was killed? What will happen?
Someone opens my door and comes down. I turn slowly to see Mal walking over to me. He has his usual swag in his step and I can see his gun holstered to his hip. He has a look of seriousness and yet he doesn't seem to be able to hide his worried look.
"You weren't answerin' your door so I just came down," Mal says, looking straight at me and nowhere else.
"Sorry, I'm just out of it right now," I give him a small grin.
"Yeah, I kinda figured. I just came to tell you our plan for the next run."
"'Kay, I'll 'shoot.' I need you to go behind the enemy lines this time, take 'em out from behind. I think we mighta' bitten of more then we can chew this time without the help of you, ya' crazy little assassin." He punches my shoulder softly and chuckles.
"M'kay," I am contemplating what he just called me. I am an assassin? I chuckle back at him before I see him quickly make a grab for my hand. I pull it away, "what do y'all think your doin', takin' my hand an all?"
"Your bleeding, Rae." He grabs my hand quickly and takes me over to where I have a wash bin. I feel my hand get covered in water and a slight stinging shoots through the back of my hand. I muffle a yelp and Mal finishes washing my hand. He dries it off and then covers it in a washcloth.
"Nothin' to it, l'il sis. Just lookin' out fer my kin. Can't have that infected. So, the runs t'morrow night, shiny?"
"Shiny Mal." I smile at him and he climbs out of my room. I turn around after he closes the door and I fall face first onto my bed. I have never killed anyone in my entire life. This is going to be shiny, just shiny.