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Can't Stop the Music

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Disclaimer: Sadly I do not own any of these wonderful characters, or even the setting and world of Firefly. They all belong to Fox/Universal and Joss Whedon.
James Norrington and related belongs to Disney, Gore and Ted and Terry.
Setting: Takes place right after Down the Aisle
Pairings: Kaylee/Simon, Mal/Inara

Can’t Stop The Music

Previously on Firefly

“You can’t stop the music. If there is poetry or a song, or a talent it will come out in some form and you can’t stop It.” ~Cyn (Skyplex Lady Washington)

“I pronounce you as man and wife, you may kiss the bride.” Santonian Minister

Kaylee and Simon kiss as man and wife

Mal’s fingers plucking the strings of a guitar, creating a simple song.

“Just making sure it was still in tune.” ~ Malcolm Reynolds

“You were playing. You haven’t played since Serenity Valley.” ~Zoe Washburne

“So I was.” Malcolm

-

Overture
-

Salisbury

Cynthia “Cyn” Driscoll’s heart was still racing, despite the fact the show had ended an hour before and she and the rest of her band mates had time to cool off and knock back a few drinks. That meant it would be a few hours before Ray would be sober enough before he can fly them off the rock, but that would give her time to write the events down in her journal, and maybe her muse would give her an idea for a new song.

“I still say we smoked them.” Alfie slammed a fist against his open palm. “They were shouting our names, and I swear that one blond in the first row was about to raise her shirt.”
Cyn shook her head. She wasn’t paying attention to the audience. She was listening to her heart and the music in her mind and soul. She only notice the crowd after each song had ended and she took a swig from a bottle of water.

“Which one?” Alfie’s cousin, Dustin asked. They have been talking and discussing when and if Dustin would ever join. Alfie had mentioned he was a good base guitar player, but there were still mentions of “Not yet” and “Maybe later” Those talks ended a month ago when Dustin had decided to get off his keister and join “There were several blonds in the front row. Some of them were even natural.”

“The one who wasn’t wearing anything under her shirt.” Alfie wiggled his eyebrows.

“That one?” Ray asked. His heavy boots crunched the gravel the loudest as he walked along. “She had messed up teeth.”

Both Alfie and Dustin paused in their tracks.

“You were looking at her teeth?” Dustin asked.

“We were about to get our own free show,” Alfie said. “She had grabbed onto the bottom of her shirt and if she hadn’t chickened out at the end we would have seen some fleshies.”
“You two are pigs.” the fifth member of the band folded her arms against her chest and shook her head sadly. They had met up with Amistance Woolong on Skyplex Lady Washington while they were getting food. They were not the only musicians playing in the middle of the busy streets. Amistance’s ability with the keys had impressed Cyn and the guys enough they had asked her to join on the spot.

“Girl parts are nice.” Ray adjusted the straps of his drum set case. “But I gotta love a smile.”

“They were still calling out our names.” Alfie smiled. “And the crowds are getting bigger.”

“Think we may find an agent?” Dustin ran a hand through his wild hair, the color of darkest red. Unlike his cousin he kept his chin clean-shaven. He wore a silver ring in one eyebrow and favored dark eyeliner.

“Better.” Cyn knew where they were headed. “We can make the battle of the bands on Sector Seven City on Beaumonde.”

“The SSC.” Amistance nodded before she readjusted the butterfly shaped hairclip in her hair. Her hair was long enough to reach the middle of her back and was dark and straight as silk with a streak of pale blond on the right side of her head. There was a gleam in her narrow almond shaped eyes.

“Are we good enough?” Ray asked.

“I was there last year.” Amistance nodded. “The music was pretty sad.”

“You think we may have a chance?” Cyn asked.

“We will have them begging for mercy.” the other girl grinned.

“Except one problem.” Ray held up a finger. “We still don’t have a name.”

“I was thinking we would call ourselves Original Cyn,” Alfie suggested.

“No.” Cyn put her heel down on that idea. “I don’t want to be considered a front person or have a band named after me. It’s just too egotistical.” She had read numerous stories about similar bands in the past. The so-called front person’s ego swelled and that caused tiffs between them and the rest of their bands.

“The Blue Holes?” Ray asked. “You know, instead of Black Hole?”

Cyn and the others just stared at them, except for Dustin whose nose was wrinkling. Cyn noticed the way he was staring off towards the direction of their ship.

“Guys,” Dustin’s voice was weak. “I smell smoke.”

“Where?” As soon as Cyn had asked she smelled it too.

“I think I see smoke.” Ray pointed towards the direction Dustin was facing.

“I don’t like this.” Cyn ran off towards the direction of their ship. She did not wait to see if the others had followed her or not and she did not stop running, even when her lungs were burning for her to rest. She continued to run until she saw the tower of smoke and the crowd. Her eyes widened when she what was on fire.

“Ta Mei de,” Alfie gasped. He was the second to arrive. “That’s our rutting ship.”

Several jets of water spiraled over their ship, gradually destroying the flames. Her song books were in there, as well as her journal, her favorite CD’s, her clothing, recordings, and her blossoming cactus she had named Guadalupe.

“Our ship,” Ray’s voice was a squeak. “My ship,” He shoved past Cyn and tore through the crowd. “Who hurt my ship?” He demanded as he weaved through the people.

The ship was small, not a lot of room, just the cockpit, bunks, a small galley and a room that served as a dining area, place to relax, and practice. It wasn’t much, but it was their main form of transportation and their home.

“Our stuff,” Cyn gasped before she raised her voice. “How are we going to get off this rock?”
-
Paquin

“Why the hell are we in a place like this?” Jayne Cobb could not help himself from staring at the large harp at one corner of the fancy music store. “I don’t see any women, no gambling, no whiskey, and there is nothing to eat here.”

“There is more to live than eating, playing pokers, fighting, and having sex,” Kaylee Tam reached out to the harp until the glittery outline of the force field protecting the instrument appeared and rippled from contact with her fingers.

“Easy for you to say,” Jayne grunted. “You been sexing every night since your wedding.” It annoyed him, not the fact they were having sex, but the fact he wasn’t. How long had it been since he got downright naked and dirty. It had been too long for as far as he was concerned. The doctor and Kaylee shared a bunk now and every time they closed their door he could only guess what they were doing. It wasn’t right. At least Mal and Jimbo weren’t getting any either.

Kaylee’s jaw dropped. “That is not true. We don’t have sex every night.”

“You have it a lot and little Jayne is might lonesome.”

“Maybe we should talk about something else,” Kaylee walked down another aisle of the store, heading towards the pianos and other keyed instruments.

“How about we talk about why we are here?” He could not fathom why Mal had instructed them to go to the music store. They had only stopped on Paquin to refuel, but after Serenity had tanks filled Mal had mentioned they had to go somewhere, and he didn’t explain.

“Maybe we got a job?”

“Doing what?” Jayne stared at the rows of the small and portable electronic keyboards. “Are we hauling instruments from one planet to the next?”

Kaylee shrugged. “We might. Depends on what the Cap’n is getting?”

Jayne shook his head and turned away. He was about to seek out Mal and demand to know why they were there when he heard music. Figures, if you are in a music store then you are going to hear music, but it was real close and it came from one of the large pianos.

“What a pretty song,” Kaylee wandered over to the source of the music.

Jayne rolled his eyes and followed her. “Not surprised.”

Jimbo was seated at the piano, what was it called, a harpy cord? Jayne wasn’t sure, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know that sort of garbage either. He watched as the fancy stiff continued to play the piece. It was pretty and Jayne would have enjoyed it. , If he went for pretty.

“That was beautiful,” Kaylee said. “I didn’t know you could play.”

Jimbo smiled. “Thank you Mrs. Tam. I used to play whenever I was in Port Royal. I don’t know when I will ever get a chance again.” A far away look appeared in his eyes and he stared at the keys. Great, grandpa was reminiscing again about ancient Earth that Was.

“You still got some of that cash from the coin?” Jayne pointed to the smaller pianos. “You could go and get yerself one. They are small enough to fit in your bunk.”

Jimbo glared at him for a second. “I could.” He did not notice The Girl was behind him and leaning over to stare at the keys. “It won’t make the same sound.” He pressed down on one of the keys. “They don’t quite make the same sound either.”

River’s fingers pressed down on the keys, taking Jimbo by surprise. The song she played was old, but not as old as the song the commodore was playing earlier. It was one of them sugary schmaltzy ballads from either the 20th or 21st century. Jayne wouldn’t mind listening to one of them if it meant he was going to get some action in his bunk.

“Sorry,” River stepped back when she had finished. “I wanted to play. Different songs can come from this. It can hold many songs, same as a smaller one. May sound different, but it will be the same.”

“You are right, Miss,” Jimbo coughed. “River. I think I shall purchase a small one.”

“It’s nice that he is happy.” Jayne folded his arms. “Still don’t answer why we are here.”

-

Malcolm Reynolds stared at the display of guitars while he could overhear the discussion between Simon and Zoe. Seems like the honeymoon was still going strong and the doctor wants to buy a little music box for Kaylee. Zoe was helping the doctor to decide on which one Kaylee would love the most.

“It don’t really matter.” Mal turned back to the guitars and tried to ignore the urge to grab one and pluck the strings. He should not have given in back on Santo. It made him want to play even more. “She will love it because he gave it to her.”

“Do you have any sense of romance?” Inara waltzed in from the section that contained the flutes, clarinets, oboes and other long pipes.

“I know you don’t need to buy a fancy gift to tell a girl you love her.” Mal turned to face her. She was the distraction he needed.

Inara shook her head. “Sometimes a person just wants to give someone a gift. There doesn’t have to be a reason.”

“I don’t like gifts for no reason.” Mal placed his hand on top of the headstock of a rhythm guitar. “There usually is a reason and if you can’t remember then someone gets angry.”
The companion rolled her eyes. “Why am I not surprised?”

“Here we go again.” Mal felt the peg-heads and removed his hand. He shouldn’t be touching them. “This is where you go on about how I don’t understand women, blah blah fancy romance, blah blah high life style, oh and you also call me a petty thief.”

Inara’s mouth opened into a perfect oh, highlighted by her crimson lipstick. “I just, you just don’t get it.”

He has got her flustered. Mal smiled as she fumbled for the right words. “Still haven’t read all the chapters of the book of me.”

“I don’t read lowbrow trash novels.” She let her hands drop and she stared at guitars. “I am surprised you brought is in such a place, unless it is just for a job.”
“It is for a job.” Good tell her that and believe it. You are not here for the guitars.

“I knew it.” her tone became smug. “Only an idiot would think Malcolm Reynolds would be interested in a place that sold violins and-“ she turned to the nearest guitar. “Oliver base guitars.”

“That is a rhythm guitar,” Mal corrected. “And that happens to be called an Oleander, not Oliver.”

“You know about guitars?” Inara raised her eyebrows. “What about that?” She pointed to a guitar set in a force field.

“That looks like a classic Rickenbacker to me.” Mal studied the instrument.

“How come you do this?”

“Do what?” Now what was she getting at.

“You know about literature and classic rock and roll and even know about different instruments, yet you do not know about ancient paintings?”

“I never could get my mind around visual art.”

“Well a guitar I can sort of understand.” Inara shrugged. Her tone grew even more stuck up. “It is not like a bassoon or a viola, or a sitar or even a mandolin.”

“Don’t insult the guitar.” the yearning grew stronger.

“It’s not like you even know how to play any of them.”

He did not remove his eyes from her and grabbed the Oleander. His face still set in a glare he brought it to his chest, its neck rested against his shoulder and his fingers plucked the strings. He did not care how long he played. He had to complete the song.

“Mal?” Inara blinked when he had finished.

“Yes?” Mal placed the instrument back.

“Nice choice.” a stout middle age man in a clean and well-tailored suit approached them. “How often do you play, son?”

“I don’t.” Mal felt a twinge of guilt. He shouldn’t have played, even if it meant causing Inara’s jaw to drop. Some things are not worth it. He should have not given in to her jibes.
“Could have fooled me.” The man said. What little hair he had on his head was mostly gray and he sported neatly trimmed muttonchops.

“I’m sorry.” Mal raised a few fingers. “I was asked to come here by a man named Palmer.”

“That would be me,” The man said. “I’m the co-owner and manager here.”

“Captain Malcolm Reynolds.” Mal held out his hand. “I heard you have a job for me?”

“Not me.” Palmer shook his hand. “It’s for my brother. He had some cargo on the ship the Valentine. She never made it to port. Crew thought they saw Reavers and they all jumped into escape shuttles and went off into different directions.”

“You want us to do a salvage job for your brother?” Mal asked. It sounded like a legit job.

“Well Max will be the one to pay you, I just heard there was a cargo ship around town. That is why I sent the wave.”

“Where is this Valentine?”

“Not too far from Salisbury,” Palmer said. “That is where my brother lives and does business.”

“Looks like that is where our next stop will be.”