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FIREFLY: The Spice of Thunderstorms (Mal)

Title: The Spice of Thunderstorms
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Firefly
Character: Mal Reynolds
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: For it has helped me weather the tempests of Colorado, Missouri, three women, and Texas.
Notes: Pre-series

Mal hires a mechanic, soon as the papers for Serenity are stamped and filed in a name that ain't his. Finding a pilot, however, is a mite more difficult. His inquiries turn up nobody, or nobody worth hiring, anyway. Nobody worth hiring who wants to be stuck with a run-down beauty like Serenity.

It's two days after Bester claims Serenity's ready that Drella appears on the gangway. She's a tiny thing, though her braid coils over her shoulder and down to her knees. She walks past Mal, straight to the engine room, and then to the bridge. All the way, Mal sputters behind her, but it isn't until she's finished looking around that she says so much as nee hao.

She's a decent pilot, all her references say so, but she isn't looking for more than transport from one planet to another. Lift-off from here and direct route to Athens, and it's not a bad idea. An clear stretch of space, but short enough not to worry anybody overmuch.

Drella spits into her hand before she shakes Mal's, and he wipes it off on his vest while Zoe smirks.


Bester gets Serenity in the air, with a few bumps. Mal stands next to him as they lift off and watches the engine spin.

Smooth enough, Drella assures them over comms. I think we'll do.

Mal claps Bester on the shoulder. "Good work."

Bester rubs his shoulder and shrugs.


Half an hour after they break atmo, Mal makes his way to the bridge. From the door, he watches Drella's elbows as she maneuvers past a few satellites.

She glances back at him after a minute. "You want to fly her?" she asks.

Mal twitches his shoulder. "If it won't--"

"Come on." Drella smiles, tilts her head toward the co-pilot's seat. "Time to learn."

Mal slides into his seat. "I have flown before," he grumbles. "Think I can manage to not crash into absolutely nothing."

Drella jerks her hands away from the controls, and Mal lunges forward.

She laughs. "But you've never flown a beast like this one, have you?"

Mal scowls, and clutches the stick. "Not exactly, no."

"Landing's the trick," she says. "Cruising shouldn't trouble you." She leans back in her seat. "I'll be right here."

"Comforting," Mal snaps, but he lets his grip relax. And it takes a spell, but once they're in open space, Serenity breaks open to him. He can feel the engine thrum through his fingers, the heft of the ship balanced by its wings.

Beside him, Drella chuckles. "Yeah, you'll be just fine."

Mal exhales, and it comes out as a laugh. "I think I just might be."

He looks forward and out, and he sees the universe.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from William Notter's Jubilate. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
This is really nice. I like Mal taking hold of Serenity for the first time, beautifully captured.
Jul. 27th, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Jul. 20th, 2006 04:08 am (UTC)
My absolute favorite part of Serenity is the end, with River and Mal on the bridge. One of my favorite moments of Firefly is when Mal sees Serenity for the first time. This has all the echoes of the same emotions I felt in those two scenes. Lovely.
Jul. 27th, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for commenting!
Aug. 2nd, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
Aw, I like the idea of Mal not knowing how to fly Serenitiy at one point, having to learn her. Nice.
Aug. 15th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked it.
Aug. 9th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like this very much, the first crew, and Mal and Serenity meeting for the first time. It feels like a beginning, and it's lovely.
Aug. 15th, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!
Dec. 18th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Nice. I kinda tricked myself into reading this but it turned out pretty nice. I like Drella.
Dec. 18th, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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