badinlatin: (rearing horse plus rider)
Tequila's let him put a saddle on him, and full tack besides. He probably would have as soon as Mal bought him, but he never thought once about it. A thing's gotta heal (fixed) before it can be put to work again.

But here, out in the cold and snow, Mal's riding his horse. And that's all that matters.

"Take care of Tequila Halo; some of the best trails are on the far side of the lake, just so'ee know."

A walk, then trotcantergallop
Gabriel Simon Regan River dinh means father too

and horse and rider both panting, Mal reins in Tequila to a stop, where the trail divides between the deeper trail into the Dreaming and the trail that circles back around the lakeside.

Only one of these trails Mal can actually follow. Like usual, Mal thinks bitterly.

He hops off of Tequila, patting his neck before he receives a snort for his trouble. Mal smiles; Tequila was apparently ready for the exercise.

One would think, at least Mal surmises, that eventually everyone living on his boat will be happy with where they are in life. Even if that means---

"I'm sure you have learned by now just how well he takes to folk leavin' 'im."

Mal knocks the thought out of his head, and pulls himself back astride Tequila Halo.

Mal might, just for himself, call him Halo. Vaguely funereal, just like he names everything else.
badinlatin: (nekkid pensive)
Mal's never had turkey before. Chicken, sure. Turkey? Not so much. He'd probably laugh at one if he ever saw it, or offer it up to one of those midway shows that tell of the mysteries of the 'verse.

He's never heard of Thanksgiving as a holiday before either. He paid attention enough in school, but archaic American holidays never really seemed all that entertaining, so it was far more worthwhile to shoot spitballs at the other students in the classroom.
Spitballs of the future!
This doesn't mean Mal doesn't recognize that there's things in his life he should count himself lucky for. If he believed in such things.

Sitting in his bunk whittling away at a new brush handle with his pocketknife, Mal lets his mind wander. And by wander, of course, he means zoom directly toward the most recent events in his life. The Meijs four leaving, Lilly in the Dreaming, his impending...whatever it is with Inara. Kaylee and Simon.

That conversation he had with Tianshi.

Zoe and Wash's baby. Oh aye. Thankful.

Putting down the brush handle and the knife momentarily, Mal looks to the stack of pictures on the top of his bookshelf. He moves the dragon charm bracelet he has yet to give to Inara - he'll give it to her at the Temple - off of the pile of photos, and picks up the one on top. Namely, the rather unfortunate series of photographs which led to the familiarity with the alcohol that spawned his new horse's name. He smiles at the memory, and at the young blonde woman laughing at him in the picture.

His smile sours vaguely on the last thought that passes through his head, and he puts the picture away. Standing, Mal moves to the bundle of light blue string on his bed, and picks up his knitting needles.

Won't Zoe be thankful. In half a year.
badinlatin: (browncoat looking upward)
Inara has given Mal very good advice on more than one occasion. For example, eating food? Good advice. Easy to follow, too.

Some of Inara's advice is not so easy to follow.

Mal's gingerly fishing through an old wooden box, chipped and faded. Any scrollwork that had been painted onto the top of it has all but disappeared. Inside are the pictures that Mal had shown Kaylee a long while ago. Under the shiny happy pictures, though, Mal uncovers two very small pictures.

One of Lilly Jackson, and one of David Shen.

"You have to try and move away from your past."

Mal knows that. He's just never actually tried do to anything but run from it, so this is entirely different.

He puts the two pictures in his inside jacket pocket. Malcolm has a plan.

badinlatin: (mal fan)
Life on the ship is...operational. Mal almost hates to say it, but he might be becoming - well, not happy, 'cause this is Mal we're talking about here, and he's not quite back up to speed and all, but he has his ship, almost all his crew and Inara.

Inara. Just her name makes Mal smile. And for that, ladies and gentlemen, Mal feels like shit.

He is managing to climb the stairway to Inara's shuttle more quickly now as he is healing quite nicely. He retreats to Inara's shuttle far more often now, and pulls the shuttle hatch open. It's a little more...bendy than Mal is normally used to.

Can it really be true? After all this time...

With more than a fair amount of trepidation, Mal enters somewhere he hasn't been for what seems to him to have been a long time.

badinlatin: (together)
"Barry, Crichton, David, Eliott, Oscar, Trip, and Wings," Mal chants to himself a hundred times over. He's gotten so used to the sound of those seven names in his head that he can't really tell anymore whether or not he's saying them out loud.

The ship - his home, his love - is being repaired. Physically at least. Mal spent as much time as he could on both the inside and the outside of the ship, cleaning and clearing and making whole again. Mal's giving Zoe the widest berth possible, not wanting her to have to see him in Wash's place. Kaylee and Simon are off together, hopefully making each other as happy as they deserve to be. Jayne has been...well, Jayne. Mal sometimes feels like he should poke his head in at him, see what he's up to, but then he thinks about Jayne smoking his favorite type of stogie at Wash's funeral and smiles. Jayne'll be okay. And Inara, well...Inara is currently busying herself "repairing her shuttle", as she calls it. "Choose me," she had said. And Mal had definitely chosen, oh aye. He chose.

River. There's one that'll never make sense to Mal, no matter how hard he tries. Not completely, anyway. But the last month or so has given him...insight, as much as he can call it that. When River smiles now, no matter who she's smiling to or what it's about, Mal smiles back.

The ship is being repaired. Now it's time, slowly, to work on repairing his home.

The bridge looks like an insane artist's studio. Or maybe an ancient Franciscan monk's study, carefully placed inks and brushes lying almost at random across the small portable counter extension Mal has temporarily attached to the far end of the controls, next to the radar screen. It'd been slow, him having to carry all this and keep on the plain black cane he still needs, but Mal has dug out only his best parchment, and the inks Kaylee gave him for his birthday.

Dipping his detail-brush into the green ink very slightly, Mal sighs and begins to drag the brush across the page, in English. Mal may like Mandarin characters better, but his hand in English could be considered quite distinguished. The word "Wings" is done in a flash, and Mal takes his art knife and slices the nametag off, adhering it to the side lip of the console. Right under the pterodactyl model.

Mal smiles painfully to himself, admiring his own work for a moment before moving on to the stegosaurus.

Wash is was Mal's pilot. The least he can do is label the dinosaurs.

badinlatin: (huh.)
Mal feels like an ass.

Meg died, and all he did when talking to Lilly was flip out when she accidentally made him think about David.

"Smooth, Mal," he mutters to himself, making his way back from the cargo bay to his bunk, "The least you could've done was been a bit compassionate 'bout it. Her best friend died and you--"

Mal reaches the hatch to his bunk. It's looking very...flat, today. Not bendy at all. Mal goes in and out, in and out of his bunk, 5, 10 times.

"Huh."

Mal may not be apologizing to Lilly for a long while yet.



Several days have gone by. No bar. Mal...is bored. Also? Mal might be thinking just a bit too much. Brooding, one might say. Mal won't even walk up the left hand staircase in the cargo bay anymore, for fear of the walkway around Shuttle One to echo just a little too loud, as a reminder of who is very much not there.

Walking back to his bunk to hide for what seems like the millionth time that day, Mal opens the hatch and climbs down to be greatly startled by one waking dream of a dead ex-best friend.

"Well," David muses aloud, "It's just you and me now."

badinlatin: (Default)
"Just...tell me when we get there."

No one on the boat understands, and Mal is fine with that. He just...can't believe he did it. Told Kaylee to muck up the engine, Wash and Jayne to strip hull, Zoe and Simon -- Mal can't really think of a reason why they should forgive him for ordering him to do that.

Above anything else, Mal wants to hide. Hide, gather himself, and face whatever's coming.

"No hiding allowed, Malcolm," the cold voice - inhuman voice - calls to him, perched on a crate in the spare shuttle. Mal leans his head gently against the bulkhead just outside of the shuttle hatch, and holds his face in his hands.

"You know what's coming, Malcolm? The end. You see it?"

Mal lifts his head as resolutely he can manage. "The end." Inexplicably, he chuckles. "Been seein' it for awhile."

David pushes off his crate and stands within a foot's distance of Mal, eye-to-eye. "Probably won't be the end you expect."

Malcolm pulls off staring at the specter, this...vision of his mind. Waking dream. This dosn't mean he can smile at it.

"At least I'll be expectin' somethin'. That counts, right?"

David shrugs and disappears.

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)

[ooc: Check out the millitunes gmail account for Mal's song - Moby: 'In This World'.]

Zoe...or was it Death? had just left after depositing one Malcolm Reynolds in a room upstairs from the bar to sober the fuck up.

The room was simple; no one had claimed it for their own yet. A bed that looked comfortable enough, not that Mal wasn't afraid of it anyway. How cold it would be. Turning away from it, Mal claims a chair from the corner - all cherrywood and high-backed. Nice and stable.

Taking off his duster, Mal pulls out the contents of the many pockets. There's a lot of little things; a couple of keys on straps, a pen, a small folded art knife - he had been working on his brushes earlier. The last two items he pulls out are his iPod and the vial Faith gave him. He goes for the iPod first. Random setting.

Mal's first song comes up - Moby. "In this World."

Lordy don't leave me, all by myself...

Mal's face breaks as well as something else in the vicinity of his sternum. As slowly as he's ever moved before, he takes off his holster - the black one. He had forgotten which one he was wearing.

Good time's the devil...

Taking the time to remove the gun, he bellows and throws the holster into a wall.

"GORRAMIT INARA!" Mal thinks people could hear him scream in the Bar downstairs. But no one hears him. Somewhere in his head, it occurs to Mal that no one has heard him for a really long time.

So many times I'm down Down down With the ground Lordy don't leave me All by myself Whoa, in this world...

The song ends, and Mal takes off his boots and shirt to sleep. Heh.

Stretching out on the bed, Mal turns his head to the nighttable, where Faith's vial looms. With promise.

Dealing with them isn't the same as making them go away.

I don't want to deal with them. Just make them go away.

Mal uncorks the vial and downs it in one swallow. Bitter tasting, worse than all the liquor he's had tonight. The promise of sleep is too tempting, though, and Mal wipes his mouth with the back of his hand before rolling over to sprawl across the king-size bed.

Sleep. Passing Out. Whatever works. At least he isn't dreaming.

badinlatin: ('time')
Even with his arms draped over Inara in the middle of the night, Mal can't sleep. After his nightmare with Lilly, he had stopped telling folk on the ship about his dreams, being able to hide them most of the time.

There's never a concrete form in his dreams; that may be what Mal is bothered by most. Just a sense of foreboding which makes him feel like a babe in the woods. There are no clear paths when that feeling's on you - you just hope to God it goes away.

Each time Mal attempts something like sleep, the dream comes back, and he tries so hard to hold onto it, to figure it out, but it leaves before he opens his eyes back to the safety of the shuttle.

As Mal now prides himself on being able to not wake up Inara when he gets out of bed - which is very difficult at best - he throws on a pair of pants and a shirt and yanks on his boots. Tea is required.

badinlatin: (hope)
Can't be no place better than this.

Sallie was visible inside the kitchen through the window facing the front of the small white one floor house. Mal couldn't see what she was cooking yet, but he could smell it - beefsteak. He just could never get over the fact he lives on a ranch, havin' steak whenever he wants as long as he leaves enough to sell and make profit.

Instead of going inside to disturb Sallie, Mal sits on the stoop in front of the house, admiring the land before him. Split-rail fences ran about nine acres square, and the land itself was all tallgrass, what the mustangs didn't graze off of, anyhow. In the back of the house was the open land. All his. And Sallie's.

"Why ain't you in here helpin' me cook, Malcolm?" Sallie walks out onto the porch, hands on her hips forcefully. Not that she isn't beaming at him anyway.

"No reason...'cept for the fact you hate it when I cook." Mal smiles back, the worry lines he normally carries gone. "Come sit; tell me what's been goin' on."

"Ain't nothin' goin' on you don't know about, Malcolm Reynolds." Sallie folds up the dishrag she had been holding and tucks it into a pocket of her muslin skirt. "Cookin', cleanin', keepin' the horses fed 'n healthy. Mayor Jackson's after me to brand 'em. Not gonna though. Ain't fair to 'em."

Mal beams at her with this, taking her hand in his and kissing the top of it. "That's what I love about ya, Mama - got spirit."

Sallie takes out the dishrag from her pocket with a great deal of speed and thwaps Mal with it across the back of the head playfully. "Malcolm Beauregard, you know you only love me 'cause I cook for you." She reaches up and musses his hair - she only comes up to about his shoulders, so it's a bit of a task. "That's shiny, though - I love you too."

Sallie turns to walk back into the house, but spins to meet Mal's face as he tries to follow. "Where do you think you're goin' exactly?"

Dumbstruck, Mal returns, "With you, o' course. Aren't I stayin' for dinner?"

"Not yet you're not." Sallie has now broken out a tone of voice that might be the origin of Captain Mal speech patterns. "Got chores to be done. Come back when you're finished."

"But Mama, I been traveling all day. Can't I stay for a bit?" Mal pleads as best he can against the woman who made him who he is.

"I said no, Malcolm..." Sallie crosses the threshold again briefly to give him a kiss on the cheek.

"But I'll be here when you're done."

badinlatin: (man of honor)
[ooc: written with original intention of putting in writing challenge, but it fits with Mal's goings-on too. yay!]
As much as he loves this ship and everything about her, sometimes Serenity was a little too gorram restricting. Also, the problem of wanting to avoid most people on the ship at the moment does manage to cut into freerange territory on his boat.

Not having any paper for doodling even if he was calm enough to come up with anything to create, Mal shuffles aimlessly around his bunk for a few moments, eyes landing finally on a PVP - Portable Video Presenter (patent pending) - taken by Wash on Kaylee's last birthday on the ship. Everyone was beaming, half happy that we had found real chocolate for a cake and half happy because the cost of the chocolate didn't eat up all the profits from the previous job. But things were simple, fun even.

Gorramit. I should've shot him. Mal knocks the thought out of his head as soon as it materializes, but that doesn't make him believe it any less for a minute. Only a minute, though. Mal understands the many many bad things that would most certainly happen if he did - him bein' locked up, Serenity's only medic leavin' 'fore a huge battle...or not leaving and waiting 'til he almost certainly winds up in Doc's care and has a choice of savin' Mal or not.

Doc wants his daddy safe, fine. That there was an idea Mal cannot wrap his Captain-Dummy brain around. Isn't this the guy that had a hand in this trouble for everyone from the get-go? Mal's mind flickers to his family back home, before learning how to shoot and lie and various other talents. He was happy then, but not as happy as being on Serenity. With Kaylee, the heart of everything, Inara? the beauty, and Book, the conscience. Wash, the free spirit, and Zoe the practicality, Jayne the strength and...

Simon and River? Simon's the booksmarts, but as he told Simon his first week on the ship, he ain't weak either. As for River? She could end up to be so many things that Mal can't point a finger at just one. Mal just...needs? wants to see her safe. Understanding her can come later.

Where does that leave me? Suppose that leaves Mal with the position that he has come to believe was what he wanted all along. Mal is the protector. Because this is his family now, not some memory back on Shadow. And this is where he wants to be.

badinlatin: (oh captain my captain)
Mal loves to side-seat drive. He's good at it. Yes, Wash is the pilot, but sometimes Mal is positive he benefits from the captain's different perspective on any matter that may be occurring on or to his boat.

Today, Mal is not side-seat driving.

Today, Mal is lounging in the seat closest to the hatch leading to the bridge from the upstairs corridor, valiantly attempting to hide the fact that he is very much lost in thought. Simon had told him last night that he was staying with Kaylee, and while that made Mal feel better in that Kaylee probably felt good having Simon around, Mal was still his very own brand of uneasy. This uneasiness, of course, was in no way diminished by not having a gorram clue what happened. He'll figure it out. Maybe.

The space station, Serenity's most immediate destination, was square in Mal's sights.

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badinlatin: (Default)
Malcolm Beauregard Reynolds

July 2017

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