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Footsteps

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This story is No. 5 in the series "Crisis". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: It honestly doesn't matter at this point, anyway.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Firefly > Non-BtVS/AtS StoriesAngelfirenzeFR1818780381926 Feb 1126 Feb 11Yes
Footsteps
By Angelfirenze

Disclaimer: If they were mine, a certain part of the Big Damned Movie would have ended with a spectacularly showy landing on Mr. Universe's hangar. Alas...

Summary: It honestly doesn't matter at this point, anyway.

Notes: Okay, obviously, this series is going to be out of order. It demands and I must obey for fear of writer's block.

Pairings: Simon/Kaylee, River/Jayne - but gen, really, for this particular chapter;

Footsteps

The first time Gabriel gets up the courage to try to contact his children, himself, it's been another six months. River, he realizes, has likely given birth once more at this point (the thought of missing not one but both of his grandchildrens' births fills him with a shame he didn't think he could feel even now) and their family is likely busy with the new child or children.

Gabriel shudders and realizes, then, that even if he wanted to send a wave to either of his children...or their family...he has no idea where they are. The only thing he's ever known was that they'd been on a Firefly-class ship called Serenity for over seven years. It was only with Simon and River's own waves that he ever saw the faces of anyone they were with or heard any names. His son-in-law's name is apparently some masculine form of 'Jane', which Gabriel finds perplexing, but it isn't as if he can do anything about it.

It honestly doesn't matter at this point, anyway.

Gabriel knows nothing about whether or not Simon has gotten married or had any children of his own - he spent more time with Simon here at home...home. Was it ever? But he's spent more time with Simon in the long run and now finds he knows slightly more about River, which isn't very much at all.

He remembers, for the thousandth time, that Blackout zone and Simon's efforts to contact River for all those years. He remembers how fruitless his son had felt his efforts to be for so long. He wonders now how Simon did it at all. Gabriel cannot simply traipse off to clandestine meetings with anyone to get information on his children. He wouldn't even know where to start.

Ignorance. He, father of two geniuses, never knew himself to be so ignorant.

So it's a complete surprise when, entirely out of nowhere, a man in brown calls him up on a wave in his office. Gabriel blinks and shrinks back slightly into his chair as the man gets himself a good look at Gabriel and then chuckles ruefully.

"Well. I have to say - uh, well, hell, I don't know iffen you got a title like the esteemed doctor here, but well, Tam, this is just...well, all kinds of interestin'. River calls up your coordinates and all, just looks me in the eye like, 'This's somethin' you gotta do. I would, but I'm busy. Critters an' all.' She's my co-pilot, you know, our River."

Gabriel blinks again and suddenly realizes this must be Captain Malcolm Reynolds - commander, as it were, of the ship his children have called home and will for as long as they can. Then Captain Reynolds' final words catch up with him.

'Our River'.

Gabriel struggles not to object or even frown. He had this coming, he damned well knows.

"I-I'm..."

But the words peter out. What could Gabriel say to this man to describe himself? The only words he can think of are 'fool', 'ass', the Mandarin for each...

Gabriel falls silent.

But the captain's voice and face both harden, then, "Yeah, I know who you are. The doc pulls bullets and go se outta me all the time. I better know who you are iffen I want to curse you and not him with all that pain. 'Course, he does dope me half the time, so there's that kind of mercy."

The captain's face takes on a careless sort of darkness, "Somethin' I reckon you wouldn't know a damned thing about."

Gabriel can't stop himself from flinching, nor wincing when the captain's mocking chuckle flutters over him. He curses for a while in Mandarin, taking a spin in the chair he sits in, surrounded by an odd array of plastic dinosaurs, before leaning on the console that seemingly separates them so closely instead of likely millions of miles.

Gabriel continuously wants to invoke a god, but has no idea which one to choose or even why.

"Listen," Captain Reynolds says quietly, in an even more hardened tone and Gabriel forces himself not to react again. "I'm doin' this only - only because River asked me to. Seems to think you should meet your grandkids. But I sure as hell ain't gonna make it easy on you. And I know damned well that you'll be meetin' Jayne and Vera when you get here - if you get here..."

But then the captain pauses in his threats and stares down at the console before looking directly into what he might or might not know are Gabriel's eyes, "But I'll do it 'cause she asked and if anything's been my good luck, it's my little albatross. You gave her and Simon away, both. Time to play catch up, you zázhÒng. Have fun."

The screen goes black, then, and Gabriel realizes he only said one word. He has every belief the captain meant it to go this way.

Slowly, quietly, Gabriel leaves his office and begins to pack. The wave will be returned eventually and Gabriel wants to be ready.

It's the only chance he has, he won't waste it again.

END

Translation:

go se - shit.
zázhÒng - son of a bitch.

The End

You have reached the end of "Footsteps". This story is complete.

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