toxic_corn: Summer Glau is pretty. (FF: nettie - <3)
[personal profile] toxic_corn
Hey, uh, remember how I've been hemming and hawing all these years about a sequel to my AU Firefly fic Girl Anachronism? (If you don't, nor do you care, feel free to scroll on to the rest of your f-list since the rest of this entry will bore the bejeezus out of you.)


Um, I have the first chapter written. I don't know if I'm going to have the momentum, inspiration, or motivation to finish it but hey, I got the first chapter written. Does anyone want to read it?


Well, here it is.


Series: I Might Join Your Century
Author: toxic_corn
Pairing: Nettie/Surprise!
Rating: R
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to Joss Whedon, except for my OC's, obvs.
Summary: Ten years after the events of Girl Anachronism, Nettie Cobb finds herself in yet another time and place she doesn't belong.


Chapter One


“Nettie, come on!”


Serenity Cobb had paused during her giddy yet guilty flight from campus to adjust the strap of her high heel. Well, technically they were her roommate Winnie's high heels since Nettie's father would have gone purple and sent her to an abbey if he had seen the four inch heels in sexy, shiny red leather.


Winnie had made it to the fence and tapped in the code she'd learned from flirting with the school's IT guy. The laser current that circled Osiris' School for the Musically Gifted skittered to a halt and the two girls linked arms and ran as fast as their impractical footwear allowed. Moments after they giggled breathlessly through the gates, the lasers hummed back into place.


“You can get us back in, right?” Nettie asked. She wasn't terribly worried about getting left out all night – Winnie had enough contacts to keep them from having to sleep on a park bench until morning – but she felt like one of them should at least pretend to possess the ability to think ahead.


“Of course,” Winnie said. She tossed her long, red curls over one shoulder and gave Nettie a look. “Are you having second thoughts already?”


“No!” Nettie teetered along after Winnie, envious of her friend's effortless gait in her own tall party shoes. Maybe she should have practiced walking earlier in the day like Winnie had suggested.


Luckily they didn't have far to go, just to the next block where the car was waiting for them. Winnie circled around the vehicle and slid into the passenger seat. Nettie chewed her lip and then stumbled forwards as the back door was opened for her and Winnie's impatient“Get in, Cobb” made her feel like she was eight years old.


The interior of the vehicle was smoky and smelled weird. Nettie barely had the door closed behind her when they were zooming away from the curb. Losing her balance, Nettie fell into a warm lap. She scrambled up to see the lap belonged to a ridiculously beautiful young man who was in his mid-twenties, much older than Nettie.


“Bit of a tumble, Cobb?” the man asked and laughed. He waved the cigarette at her enticingly and Nettie realized that it was what was stinking up the car. What the hell was in that to make it reek so strongly?


Nettie pulled a face and buckled herself in. The man shrugged and turned away from her to direct his attention to the front seat. Winnie was placing nipping kisses along her boyfriend Shaz's neck as he drove them along the darkened streets into the heart of the Osiris party district.


“So what club are we going to, Shaz, buddy?” the man asked.


Shaz stopped at a light and took a moment to return some of Winnie's kisses before answering. “The Green Fairy.”


The man sneered. “We may as well go to my parents' club, man.”


“We have a first-timer with us, Fry.”


Everyone looked at Nettie and she wanted to shrink but stared defiantly back in true Cobb fashion. “We can go somewhere better. Don't hold yourselves back on my account.”


They all started to laugh and Nettie glared at Winnie. She hated the way her friend acted when they were around Shaz. She was no more experienced at the party lifestyle than Nettie was and had met Shaz at one of her mother's garden parties, Shaz having been dragged there by his exasperated grandmother.


“Let's see how you handle the Fairy first,” Shaz said when their mirth at her expense died down. “Then we'll show you where everything really happens.”


Outside the vehicle, the lights were turning neon colors and there were more and more people on the sidewalk dressed much like Winnie and Nettie. Some of the women were dressed in even less and Nettie gawked at one woman who wore nothing but gold cord looped around her body, knots strategically hiding her naughty bits. Finally, they pulled up to the curb in front of The Green Fairy and Shaz hopped out and tossed the valet his keys. Nettie struggled to get out of the backseat without flashing her nether regions to the people lined up outside the club until Fry offered her his hand with a huge sigh of inconvenience.


The group got to circumvent the line when Shaz slid a crisp banknote into the bouncer's jacket pocket and the two exchanged shoulder slaps. Then they were waved through the golden door and into mayhem.


Nettie stared in wonder at what could only be described as bacchanalia. People were packed in tightly together on the dance floor in some barely organized group dry hump. Off to her left, a man was drinking champagne from a glass placed between his date's cleavage and even more disturbing, the woman was snorting some pink-colored dust from the midriff of a waif-like girl laying on the bar. Nettie couldn't tell if the girl was asleep, blissed out, or dead.


Winnie yanked on Nettie's arm. “C'mon,” she shouted over the music which was just the sounds of a cat yowling while a man chanted obscenities in monotone Chinese. “Shaz has a private room.”


They wound their way through the crowd and Nettie hastily did a skip and jump when she realized there was a boa constrictor slithering around on the floor unattended. And this was the most tame place they could take her? She'd hate to see what Fry's parents' club was like.


The private room wasn't all that much better than the main ruckus. The music wasn't as loud but she could still feel the cat yowling noise zinging up and down her spine. The lighting was dim and green tinted and the walls were covered in mirrors. Nettie didn't much like what she saw when she looked at herself. She was wearing a red leather tube top and matching skirt with a silver chain looped across her exposed belly. Her hair was arranged in an elaborate up-do held in place with red hair sticks and she had allowed Winnie to paint her face geisha style. It couldn't be more obvious that she only playing at being grown up and failing at it. Why had she agreed to this?


“Our show should start soon,” Shaz said as he flopped onto one of the plush red couches and pulled Winnie down into his lap.


“What show?” Nettie asked. She glanced at the heart-shaped stage in the center of the room and figured it wasn't going to be juggling and poetry reading based on the leers the men exchanged with one another. “All right then, never mind.”


The door opened and two women strutted into the room, completely naked. Nettie gaped at them in astonishment and then looked over at Winnie to see if she had any idea what was going on. Based on Winnie's uncertain face, Nettie was guessing no.


The women practically goose-stepped onto the stage, fashion model style, and one lay on the ground as another started to belt a pretend John Thomas around her waist.


Nettie had seen enough. She bolted to her feet and made for the door.


“Nettie!” Winnie called out, panicked to be left alone. “Where are you going?”


“I'm leaving,” Nettie snapped. She reached up and yanked the sticks out of her hair and snapped them in two, tossing them at Shaz when he let out a loud guffaw. “If you had the sense of a billy goat, you'd come with me.”


Shaz picked up the broken hairsticks and tossed them back at Nettie. “You're taking a lot of time to leave. You sure you don't want to stay and enjoy the show?”


Not even dignifying that with a response, Nettie just looked at her friend, avoiding looking at the stage. “Winnie? Are you coming?”


Winnie bit her lip but when Shaz lowered his head to whisper in her ear, she shook her head.


“Fine.” Nettie opened the door and winced as once more, the music assaulted her ears full force. The hallway leading back out to the main area was full of couples groping one another and Nettie tried to get by them without anyone trying to grab her and make her join them.


Someone grabbed her arm and Nettie reared back, making a fist.


“Nettie?!”


It was just the person she least wanted to see. The reason she had allowed herself to be tarted up and taken to this horrendous place. The one she was trying so hard to forget.


Julian Sands, the boy who until last week had been her boyfriend.


“What... Nettie, is that you?”


For a moment, Nettie considered pretending to be someone else but gave that idea up. Julian wasn't nearly stupid enough.


“Julian, let me go.”


“What are you even doing here?!” Julian kept his grip on her arm and tightened it a little. “Do you realize what this place is?”


“Why don't you enlighten me?” Nettie snapped. “If you're so shocked, what are you doing here?”


Julian looked away, embarrassed. “My friends brought me here.”


“Me too. But I'm going because this place is insane.”


“I'll take you back to the academy,” Julian said.


Nettie suddenly sagged and groaned. “You can't. I don't know how to get back in. Winnie does.”


“So go get Winnie,” Julian said.


“She's staying here.” Nettie rubbed at her eyes. What in the hell was she going to do now? Jamey would have a fit and yell at her for being so impulsive if he could see her now. And Nettie would welcome it; she could use her big brother's well-honed “getting Nettie's ass out of trouble” skills about now.


A girl nearby started cackling and broke in between Nettie and Julian, forcing him to let her go. The girl had wild, dark eyes and she handed Nettie a shiny red pill. “This will solve all of your problems,” she said. Hooting, she continued down the hallway, bouncing off the walls as she went.


“Give me that,” Julian said, holding his hand out.


Nettie had had no intention of taking the pill but his condescending response made her clutch the pill tightly in her hand. “No.”


“Nettie, pretend for a second that you don't hate my guts and give me that pill!” Julian exclaimed.


“I don't hate your guts!” Nettie shouted back. “You really didn't listen to anything I said, did you?”


“It was a little hard for me to get past you breaking up with me for no reason,” Julian said sarcastically.


“No reason?!” Nettie shook her head. She'd broken up with him and that meant she didn't need to have stupid endless arguments anymore. “Leave me alone, Julian. I don't want anything to do with you. We're over. The sooner you accept that the better.”


“I'll accept it as soon as you give me that pill!”


You're the pill!” Nettie was shoved in the back by a stumbling, drunken girl who muttered something that sounded vaguely like an apology. She snatched the girl's drink out of her hand and giving Julian a defiant look, she popped the pill into her mouth and washed it down with the noxious-tasting beverage.


Julian stared at her, jaw dropped. “I can't believe you just did that.”


Nettie couldn't either but she was too riled to admit even to herself that what she'd done was stupid. She tossed the remainder of the cup's contents in his face and dashed down the hallway before he could recover. Later, Nettie never knew how she got through that crowded dance floor so quick and easily without running into the boa constrictor or some overly-sexed and entitled Core boy, or stumbling over her ridiculous shoes. But she made it outside and gasped for air once she was free of the Green Fairy.


“You okay, mei mei?” the doorman asked.


“I ain't your mei mei,” Nettie snapped and bent to unstrap her shoes. Screw these things and screw Winnie, too. She padded barefoot into the alley, ignoring the doorman's warnings that she shouldn't wander around barefoot, especially in dark alleys. Nettie figured she'd been stupid enough for one night; what was yet another moronic decision? She tossed the shoes into the dumpster and started back out of the alley when her vision started to blur.


Ai ya ,” Nettie mumbled, holding onto the wall next to her. What was in that pill? Why weren't her feet moving properly? She was suddenly so sleepy; she hadn't been this sleepy in a long time. Nettie sagged to the ground, her eyes sliding closed. A good as place as any for a nap, she supposed.


“Nettie, what-- Oh my god, what's happening to you?” She heard Julian's voice coming as from a distance and then it faded out as he started shouting for help.


~*~



When Nettie woke up, the sun was shining brightly, cows were mooing and she was curled up in dirt. Wait, what?


She jerked upright and stared around her in astonishment. She was sitting in a field with a herd of cows a little ways away sending her wary but unconcerned looks as they nibbled mouthfuls of grass. That must have been some pill to give her such strong hallucinations.


Nettie put her hand down to lift herself up off the ground and winced when instead of meeting firm ground, she squished right into a cow patty.


“Ewww!” Nettie rubbed her hand in the grass then gave it a cautious sniff. Still gross. She needed to wash her hands, quickly.


After looking around her more carefully, Nettie rose to her feet and took stock of her surroundings, trying to figure out a direction to walk in. There wasn't a house anywhere nearby, just this cow field. She saw a hill off to the right and hoped maybe there would be some trace of civilization on the other side.


As Nettie walked, she tried to make sense of what had just happened. She'd fallen asleep in one place and woken up in another. Somehow that felt familiar. When she was a kid, she'd had a dream that she'd spent a month with some alternate version of her parents in some bizarro world where they'd never married. But her parents told her it had just been a dream. Funny, it had seemed so real at the time and now here she was, yet again, where she didn't belong. Was this going to be some alternate world where her parents were cows instead of people? She cast a look back at the animals but none of them seemed particularly Jayne or River-like.


“Stupid,” Nettie muttered under her breath.


She reached the hill and once she made it to the top, she sighed in relief to see a small house a few feet from the bottom, clothes flapping on a clothesline and the weather vane on the roof of the nearby barn wavering in the wind, pointing north.


“Maybe someone there can give me a ride into town,” Nettie said and immediately wondered why in the hell she was talking to herself. She hadn't been alone that long. She couldn't be cracking up already.


She stumbled a little going down the hill and hissed a swear. By the time she got to the backdoor of the little house, she was cranky. She pounded on the door harder than she needed to and scowled when the door wasn't opened immediately.


“Hello!” Nettie called, cupping her hands around her mouth. “Could someone help me, please? I need... hello?” She tried the knob of the door and gave it an experimental tug but it was locked up tight. Yeah, because robbers in the ass end of nowhere would be all over this gorram castle in a heartbeat.


“Fine,” Nettie snapped. “Don't help me. Enjoy your bad karma.” She stomped away from the door and glanced at the clothesline then down at her own clothes. There was no way she wanted to be seen wearing this once she found someone willing to help her. She walked over to the clothesline and selected a brown calico gown that reached all the way down to her feet when she held it up against herself. It would fit loose but after wearing this chafing, tight outfit of Winnie's, Nettie would happily wear a burlap sack.


Folding the dress over her arm, Nettie looked around for a hand pump to wash herself at. She didn't see one anywhere and figured this shack was fancy enough to have running water and didn't need one. She figured she'd wander around the grounds; maybe there'd be a duck pond or something she could dip into.


There was a small forest on the edge of the land behind the barn and Nettie walked into it, stepping carefully over twigs and branches so she wouldn't poke her bare feet. She stumbled and tripped along, wondering why the hell she'd chosen to do this instead of finding a road into town but eventually she reached a clearing and right in front of her was an honest to god swimming hole.


“Huzzah!” Nettie ran to the edge and stared into the murky brown water where dragon flies skimmed along the surface. It looked wonderful. Nettie dropped the dress and peeled off her sweaty leather top and skirt, shimmied out of her underwear, and leaped into the water with a joyful hoot. Her hoot immediately turned into a sharp gasp as the unexpectedly cold water shocked her system but after a few more dunkings and a few laps around the hole, the water felt as fine as bathwater. Dirtier than that, of course, but pretty damn nice all the same.


Nettie rubbed mud all over her hands, hoping that the grime of it would cancel out the filth of the cow shit she'd handled earlier. Then when she felt her hand was as clean as it was going to get, she set about rubbing her face to get the geisha makeup off. Too bad she didn't have a mirror to help herself out. She settled for rubbing and wiping until her hands came away clear with every pass of them over her face.


“Well now, don't this beat all. A skinny-dippin' trespasser.”


Nettie yelped and spun to see a young man nearby, seated on a horse who was drinking at the water's edge unconcernedly. She wondered how she had managed to miss a horse and rider approach but figured she must have been splashing around too much to hear anything.


“Trespassing?' Nettie asked. “I'm sorry. I didn't know this place belonged to anybody.”


“Just like you didn't know that dress belonged to somebody?” the man asked, amusement evident in his tone. Nettie squinted at his face but couldn't make it out as it was shadowed by the tilt of his hat.


“I'm sorry, sir, would you like your dress back?” Nettie asked, syrupy sweet.


“No, but the old lady you filched it from might like it back,” the man snapped.


Nettie narrowed her eyes. “I knocked on the door first but no one would help me. So I helped myself.”


“That's a real mercenary way of thinking,” the man said.


“It was the way I was raised,” Nettie said.


“Nice parents.”


“You don't know the first thing about my parents.”


“Can't say as I care over-much. How 'bout you get off this land 'fore I call the law?”


Nettie grit her teeth and stood up straight, letting the water pool down around her waist, tossing her hair behind her. Like she figured, the man shut up once she gave him an eyeful. She glided through the water to the edge and stared up at the man.


“How 'bout you make me, cowboy?”


“I, uh, I...” the man's Adam's apple bobbed and it was then she noticed he was younger than she realized. Just a boy, really. He turned his face away. “Go 'head and put on that dress, ma'am.”


“I'm not a ma'am,” Nettie said but picked up the dress anyway. “I'm only seventeen.”


“You covered?” the boy asked.


Nettie held the dress to her front, using the excess fabric at the bottom to dry herself. She rolled her eyes. “More or less.”


The boy turned back to her and tipped his hat back, giving her a full view of his face.


She dropped the dress in surprise, taking in the nose that was slightly too large for his face and his familiar blue eyes.


“Hey! You said you were covered!”


“Cap?!” Nettie squeaked.


A young, fresh-faced Mal Reynolds stared back at her. “I ain't got one.”


She sat down, hard. So, not an alternate world, then. She was in the past.


Ta ma de, this could only happen to her.


To be continued....!

Date: 2011-02-09 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluties-flake.livejournal.com
Ahhhhh! ZOMG! *rushes off to read* Will comment later. YAY!!!!

Date: 2011-02-10 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toxic-corn.livejournal.com
Yay! I feel weird writing fic again so I'll be happy to get some feedback from you. :)

Date: 2011-02-10 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluties-flake.livejournal.com
Sorry I couldn't reply sooner, but AHHHHHH! I'm so hapy to see this. I LOVE the idea you have going on here, what a fun ride this will be. 'Grown up' Nettie is just as awesome as little Nettie, you've kept her character so well! I can't wait to see more!

Date: 2011-02-09 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mystic_notions
Oh I've missed Nettie. I might have to go back & reread GA, it's been a while. And I think I could handle a young Mal & Nettie fic if you were to continue.

Date: 2011-02-10 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toxic-corn.livejournal.com
I've missed her, too. I had forgotten a lot about my invented 'verse so I had to go back and re-read GA as well as bits of the other kidfics just so I could have everyone's ages down.

I'm really excited to get to the Mal/Nettie bits. They've been in my head for years and it'll be interesting seeing if I can get them typed up the way I've been seeing it played out for so long.

Date: 2011-02-10 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okegirl.livejournal.com
Awesome! So glad to be reading your stories again :) I love this plot, I can't wait to see what happens. Loved "She dropped the dress in surprise, taking in the nose that was slightly too large for his face and his familiar blue eyes.
“Hey! You said you were covered!”
“Cap?!” Nettie squeaked." I had a moment where I thought it might be Jamey, but was glad to find that it was Mal. Thanks for sharing :)




PS if you are looking for some pictures of an older Nettie, I noticed that in the 3rd movie of twilight that she was there. The people I was watching with looked at me kind of funny when I said "Oh my gosh, that's Nettie." (That actress is now Nettie forever in my mind). She was part of the newly turned vampires, she was there until the end of the fight scene in the woods with the Cullens, and then the other vampires snapped her neck if I remember right??? I only saw it that once in theaters so I am not sure....

I hope there is a picture of a young Nathan out there somewhere with him on a horse. That would be so perfect :)

Date: 2011-02-10 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toxic-corn.livejournal.com
LOL This would be a much different story if that had been Jamey. I'll just say straight up that incest is not my bag so I'll never be writing it. :P

I saw Eclipse, too, but I knew going in that Jodelle Ferland was in it as Bree Tanner (I'm not a Twilight but I'm familiar enough with the phenomena to know movie/book news) so it wasn't a surprise. I was happy to see her, though.

If such a picture of Nathan exists, it would make my LIFE.

Date: 2011-02-10 08:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okegirl.livejournal.com
Lol. No, no, no, I did not mean Jamey and Nettie as a pairing..*shudders*..I meant that I thought her brother had found her, kind of like when her parents found her in GA :) Sorry for not making that clearer. I am glad that you will never write incest (and your right it would be a MUCH different story).

Date: 2011-02-14 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brithistorian.livejournal.com
Awesomeness! Can't wait to read more!

Date: 2011-02-14 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] toxic-corn.livejournal.com
Sweet! I've been giving the next few chapters a lot of thought so I hope to write more next week.

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