[personal profile] a_fell
Aziraphael makes sure that he is at least marginally collected before he waves Serenity; physically collected, anyhow. Anyone looking closely enough for long enough would undoubtedly see the cracks in his mask.

He'll just have to hope the lighting isn't very good. For once, he's glad when the ancient screen turns greenish.

Date: 2008-08-22 03:00 pm (UTC)
gonna_live: (full stop)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
It's Kaylee up on the bridge, alone, sitting on the edge of the copilot's chair.

Something starts beeping. Kaylee switches chairs. Looks to see who it is -- and then looks at the vidscreen, blankly.

"Ni hao." Beat. "Prior." She sounds more surprised than anything else.

Date: 2008-08-22 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Hello, my dear." He's too tired for false cheer, but a weak fragment of a smile surfaces at the sight of her; faces here at the abbey might be more familiar, but Kaylee knows. Even that is something of a relief. Even now.

"You're well, I hope? And all the rest of you?"

Date: 2008-08-22 03:06 pm (UTC)
gonna_live: (so much less to this than you think)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
Cue a rush of guilt.

(Angels, her mother always told her when she was little, know you inside and out. They have to, to protect you. And what we learn in childhood stays with us.

Kaylee's been a little scared of seeing Aziraphael, since about a year ago.

Give or take.)

"We're -- " She takes a breath. Lets it out. "We're all right. I don't -- it's been -- "

It's Aziraphael.

"How about you?"

It could just be the greenish cast to his machine.

Date: 2008-08-22 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Oh, I'm--"

The automatic response dies on his lips; it would be difficult to come up with something that was more of an outright lie.

"I suppose I've been better," he says at last. His mask is even less sturdy than he imagined; already he can feel the cracks widening. He breathes slowly, deliberately, making a tremendous effort to close the gaps again.

"My dear - Kaylee - I."

And there he stops, looks away. If he could just have a moment. Just a moment to gather his thoughts.

Date: 2008-08-22 03:10 pm (UTC)
gonna_live: ([Mrs. Tam] haute couture)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
Kaylee's mouth opens.


"So since it's bad news." And she's on the ship, and of course everybody's safe here -- River and Simon will be back later, they checked in, they're all right, everybody's fine --

It's either Simon's parents, or.


Not big enough that you'd call them riots. 'Round the defence complexes on a few of the border planets.

Her voice has a minute shake in it -- not much, not enough by a long shot to prevent her from getting the words out. "Let's take it as granted that I know it's bad and -- and... and you can say it?"

Date: 2008-08-23 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Yes," he says, dragging his head back around. He's not exactly composed, but that, apparently, is beginning to matter less and less.

"I'm sorry... really no excuse," he's muttering, and he looks up at Kaylee's worried expression.

"It's Crowley," he says, voice mostly steady. "He's... temporarily... discorporated. He."

For the moment, though, that is all. He looks away again.

"I'm so sorry. I know you were - are - close. And."

Date: 2008-08-23 09:20 am (UTC)
gonna_live: (just about close to tears)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
Discorporated --

The word she's focusing on, that she's making herself focus on, is temporary.

And the thing is.

It's happened before. She remembers. It's what makes her able to take in a breath and say, still with the shakes, "Like that other time. When he came back a -- a couple months later."

Date: 2008-08-23 04:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
It takes him a minute to remember; it's so far in the past for him, and all the little beats in between when Crowley's gone, some short, and some so, so long, like uneven breaths in their history.

"It's - a little like that, yes. It's only that... we don't know, for certain. I don't know when he'll be back."

Date: 2008-08-23 08:46 pm (UTC)
gonna_live: (just about close to tears)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
Kaylee swallows. Makes herself breathe.

I'm not going to cry, she tells herself. I'm not.

"Are you sayin'," she manages, "that -- that we ought to prepare to -- to not, not see him again. Ever."

Date: 2008-08-24 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Not--" he begins, then hesitates. "No, not necessarily. I hope not. He hasn't been gone that long for centuries; I just don't know." He stops, clears his throat.

"You can always visit him through the bar, of course."

Date: 2008-08-25 01:03 am (UTC)
gonna_live: (downcast)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
But it's not the same.

More than that: Kaylee knows how good she isn't at keeping secrets.

She doesn't say anything about that. Instead: "You -- you want somebody with you right now? 'Cause I can -- there's somethin' I bet I can work out -- "

Date: 2008-08-25 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
It's not the same, but he's still-- there's a part of him that wishes, more than anything, that he could do the same. And she can. He shoves the thought away; it will vanish when he's feeling better, he's certain.

"I'm sure I'd make very bad company just now," he says, with another weak smile. "Please don't go out of your way. If you're nearby at some point, though, you'll be more than welcome. As always."

Date: 2008-08-25 01:39 am (UTC)
gonna_live: (direct)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live

"...you could've just said no." One more breath, and Kaylee wipes under her eyes preemptively. "'S okay. I mean it."

Date: 2008-08-25 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
At once, his expression turns apologetic.

"No, I - it isn't that I don't appreciate the offer. I was completely serious when I said I'd make poor company; in fact, that's probably an understatement." He looks away again, grasping for words.

"It isn't as though this hasn't happened before," he adds, wry. "I know myself. I know I'll get through it. I suppose... I've never had anyone offer. They didn't know why I was suddenly a cantankerous ass. Just that I was. And I'd hate - I don't want to expose you to that." He looks suddenly worried.

"But if you need - if there's anything...?"

Date: 2008-08-25 02:01 am (UTC)
gonna_live: (full stop)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
Kaylee glances away. "I'm fine. Xiexie ni."

Simon's somewhere else. He'll be back tonight -- late, probably. And she can't very well ask him to come back sooner.

"Just that I'd think years of livin' with the captain and Jayne'd put all that to rest, but reckon you can play it however. You be careful, all right? And stay in touch...?"

Date: 2008-08-25 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"...Yes," he says, resigned, and chews at his bottom lip; a nervous habit that doesn't show itself in his 'professional' interactions. He would badly like to ask when she can be there.

Another thought to be shoved aside.

"Better than I have done, though I don't think that would be difficult. I've been terribly lax in talking to anyone in the outside world." He drifts for a moment, lost in thought, then shakes his head.

"I'd like to tell River myself as well, if I can. I don't suppose she's somewhere nearby?" he asks hopefully.

Date: 2008-08-25 02:28 am (UTC)
gonna_live: (so much less to this than you think)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
"She and Simon are seein' to victims down on the surface." She's already moving, turning away a little, keying in another sequence. "You want me to try and patch you through?"

Pretending like it's just business --

It hurts. It also helps.

Date: 2008-08-25 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-fell.livejournal.com
"Victims. Of course. Yes, please."

He should have known; should have remembered, but, well. He's been distracted.

"Kaylee," he says, before she breaks the connection. "Thank you."

It's for much more than just the patch. He hopes she knows.

"Please do give my love to everyone."

Date: 2008-08-25 02:43 am (UTC)
gonna_live: (so much less to this than you think)
From: [personal profile] gonna_live
Kaylee's mouth tightens, and she makes to press the green button to patch the feed in.

Her hand stops.

"Before I go." Slow. "There's -- a package. Sent to Crowley, from me, and I think it was gonna make its way to you eventually but I don't think he ever got it -- I think it's still on its way. And it's the kind of thing I want in his hands, or yours, and nobody else's. If you go look at stuff. I'd -- "

"I don't want it fallin' into somebody's hands who'll use it against somebody. So. I'd appreciate that."

Another pause, and Kaylee doesn't quite look at the screen before pressing the green button.

Her end goes black.



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