badinlatin: (pretty)
Mal's right hand is still shaking. Shaking of death and Reavers and surrender and maybe he really was a kĕwù de lăo bàojūn for bringing them all out here.

He just couldn't break in front of them. Never. Not about death. This was the part they knew him for; "Mal's been through the war; he can do this part, no problem." Inara was something different; Kaylee knew about that, if not everyone else. But Death - He knows Death, and Death knows him. Can't fear it.

Mal goes back to his bunk, quicker than anyone else at the site of the beacon. His world doesn't start literally spinning until he climbs down the hatch and lies down on his bed to calm himself. He doesn't notice himself putting his holster on his chair. He does notice the fact that he has no more of Simon's soothers.

God, was Mal nervous. Lilly. Date. I’m gonna screw something up, please God don’t let me say something stupid.

A quick rap at the wooden plank door reveals a stern older gentleman in a black business suit. Why does he always have to look like he’s going to a funeral?

"Mr. Reynolds," the butler answered the door with a crisp nod of the head. "Miss Lilly is in the parlor awaiting your arrival."

"Xiexi--" Mal corrects himself quickly. "Thank you sir." He'll never figure out what it is with the highbrow folk around here and their distaste for Mandarin. It's more fun than English, to Mal's ears. With a quick straightening of his dress jacket his mother had insisted upon, Mal turns into the parlor.

"Lilly. Wow." To Hell with manners.

Lilly, petite brunette curls resting on top of her shoulders, shifted in her dress, blushing thoroughly under Mal's gaze.

"You look beautiful, baobei," Mal slips into Chinese, "Never seen you in a dress before." Mal does not add that this is because they are normally wrestling or gallavanting on his mother's ranch within earshot of the butler, but the continuous flush of Lilly's cheeks shows him she knows what he's talking about.

Turning to the butler as Mal clutches Lilly's hand, Mal exclaims, "I'll have 'er back, usual time, sir!"

Mal and Lilly changed out of their clothes quickly, into something far more appropriate for the town fair. Just two average eighteen year olds out for a stroll, enjoying life.

The shooter games were what attracted to Lilly first. Because she could make Mal win them. "C'mon, Malcolm, you know you wanna try!" she'd jibed. "You ain't gonna learn nothin' if you don't see it through experience first!" Mal didn't need experience with these games; most of the barkers saw him coming and preemptively gave him a prize for the lady if he tried to play at their table. He was Bad For Business.

Handing a yellow stuffed cat to Lilly with a smile, Mal continued to walk around the annual carnival with a grin.

badinlatin: (blindfolded mal)
Nobody has noticed yet, and Mal intends on keeping it that way. David was still there; for as much as he messed with Mal in life, he does all the more now.

David almost got him today, though.

Talking with Kaylee in the cargo bay, Mal saw the now-familiar image meandering around them both. Stopping behind Kaylee, David raised his hands and moved menacingly toward Kaylee's throat.

"Kay--" Mal had interrupted her more loudly than is ever required for polite conversation.

"Cap'n?" Kaylee returned worriedly, following his gaze back over her own shoulder.

David smiled and vanished.

"Nothin'," Mal covered weakly, mumbling something about her needing to double-check something for him.

Much later, back in his bunk, Mal finds David sitting on his bed, propping his feet on the back of Mal's chair.

Mal ignores the grin on David's face, inserting another soother into the pressure injector and rolling up his sleeve.

"Why do you go through all that?" David asks snidely.

With a hiss and the soother fully injected, Mal heaves a sigh as David disappears. "Because I have to."
badinlatin: (Default)
Simon's soothers work really well. Mal has been able to regain at least a pretense of normal sleep patterns. Kaylee still keeps close tabs on him; so does the rest of the crew, for that matter. This is what makes his bunk so appealing. With a not-too-happy-with-life grin, Mal muses, Can't imagine that they all have the same reasons for keepin' track o' me.

"Can you blame them?" a voice calls from the corner, just before Mal falls over his chair to the floor in shock.

The...specter was the only word Mal had for it, laughed riotously. At any other time, he would have - should have - been on the cover of some magazine for The Latest Trend (R).

Mal doesn't see it that way at present.

"Wha--David, how--"

"Speak English, Malcolm, 'less you forgot how."

"You're dead."

"How observant, Malcolm." David moves toward Mal as Mal rights himself in his chair.

"You should be dead too, you know."

Mal swallows his fear and stands eye-to-eye with David.

"No. I fought. There ain't any reason why I don't deserve to live, you hun dan."

David's eyes, oh-so-green in life, flash red for a split second. "What about those you promised to protect? What about the ones you made a promise to and broke that promise?" David gains ground as he sees Mal's stony expression falter. "God, Mal - you really have no damned idea, do you?" David moves forward quickly, forcing Mal against the bulkhead.

"You'll lose. You'll always lose; you already have lost."

David vanishes, and all that's left of the encounter is Mal, staring at absolutely nothing.


badinlatin: (Default)
Malcolm Beauregard Reynolds

July 2017



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