CHECK MATE: Red Queen to Black Rook. (10/22)
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The time has come for Inara to carry out her mission. Wash gets drunk and Mal gets into trouble. Jayne tries to smooth things over. This chapter has a little sex and a little gore. Don't read it if that would bother you.


Disclaimer: Joss Whedon created these characters. Love him.

PG-13, I think.

* * * * * * * * CHECKMATE: Red queen to black rook. * * * * * * * *

Inara is beginning to show. There's an undeniable curve to her belly and a ripe heaviness to her breasts. Given her line of work, some men might question their part in such a development. But Mal doesn't. Not even for a second. He knows this child is his.

For some reason she's wearing a pair of Kaylee's old overalls this morning and there's not a scrap of makeup on her perfect face. To Mal she's never been more beautiful. Her hair falls forward as she leans over the sink, sunlight picking out strands of copper and red. In the distance he can hear birdsong.

He comes up behind her, sliding both hands round her waist and then forwards and down over her hip bones. A thrill goes through him as she gives a little gasp of anticipation. Her whole body seems to melt under his hands and for a moment he allows himself to delight in the intensity of her response to his touch. He always dreams it will be like this.

She leans back against him, letting his shoulder cushion her head. The weight on his collar bone has an overwhelming rightness to it. With one hand he gently pushes her head forward, lifting the hair from her neck so that he can feather the nape with light kisses and as he fans out the fingers of his other hand to push her hard up against him, he feels the flesh beneath his hand tighten as deeper muscles flutter and contract. Inara's breathing quickens and her pelvis tilts up to meet his fingers.

“Oh God, Inara,” he moans, hard and aching for her. “I want....”

She twists round in his arms so that they are face to face. There's no Guild-trained artifice in the look she gives him. Only need, desire and love. She reaches up to twist his hair around her fingers and pulls him down into a long hungry kiss that instead of satisfying leaves them even more ravenous for each other.

“I want you to bed me, Mal,” she says, her voice ragged with passion.

“Guess I mean to, “ he manages to reply.

How they got to his bunk he doesn't know, but suddenly they're here. He lays her down on the bed and gazes at her entranced, unable to believe the 'verse has been so good to him. Her clothes have dissolved away, as have his own. He lies down beside her and traces a forefinger over her parted lips, down her throat and between her breasts. His pulse is pounding and his blood burning like fire through his veins. All he can think of is plunging into the sweet, wet heat of her ...

“We'll be landing on Persephone in about an hour, Sir,” Zoe's voice crackles over the ship's comms. “Should we hail Inara now?”

Mal wakes with a start feeling all manner of sweaty and compliant. The agony of unquenched lust cramps like bruising from a mule's kick.


“Sorry, Sir,” Zoe's voice again. “Didn't realize you were sleepin'. You did say to let you know when we were makin' planetfall.”

Mal clenches his fists and jaw as he tries to force his blood back up into his brain by sheer effort of will. “Yeah. It's OK. Inara? No. Wait till she contacts us. Don't wanna interrupt her at work.” And there's a bitter emphasis on that last word.

* * * * *

Inara checks the dials on the control panel again despite the fact she's flying on auto. It's a displacement activity, intended to take her mind off what Monty has asked her to do.

It doesn't work.

So she gets up from the pilot's chair and goes into the main room of the shuttle. Taking a deep breath she pulls open the bedside table drawer and takes out the box. A squeeze on the catch and it flips open, revealing the serum-filled syringe within. A shiver goes down her spine.

She had always believed the serum to be poison, pure and simple. But now she knows it is an antidote. A neutralizing chemical confection that will break down the implant in Wash's brain. Once administered, it will work quickly to flush out the false memories given to him at the Independent hospital where he was taken after his plane was shot down. It may bring back long forgotten trauma but it will make him the man he once was again – the Browncoat hero needed to rally his fellow Independents in the fight against corrupt Alliance rule.

Monty is relying on her and she herself swore a sacred oath of vengeance. So Inara can't allow herself to think about what his metamorphosis will do to the balance of Wash's marriage. Or about how his transformation will affect Mal's life. Nor what Mal will think of her when the deed is done. No, especially not that. She can only concentrate on the bigger picture and try to convince herself she will be doing the right thing.

* * * * *

The past is weighing mighty heavy on Book's shoulders this morning. The incident with River has brought it flooding back and the tide is too strong to be diverted. Book's hands tighten around his leather-clad Bible and he closes his eyes in prayer.

He became a Shepherd because once he was a wolf. And better acquainted with the writings of the warrior-poet than Simon realized. Back then he hunted down his quarry with a relentless skill that would have amazed and chilled even Jayne. Oh yes, he hunted them down and tore them apart. Slowly. Although he took no pleasure in it – other than the satisfaction of knowing he was serving a higher cause - he would hold them over the volcano. All those girls. Like chickens roasting on a spit.

He knows there must be a special level of hell reserved for him and that nothing he can do in this life will save him from its fires. All he hopes for now is that his eternal torment will be tempered by the knowledge that in the evening of his life he tried to do good.

He takes a deep, cleansing breath and blows it out slowly, opening his eyes. One day at a time. He will watch over Inara as asked. But he will also watch over River and Kaylee too. And even Zoe. There is no greater a protector than a poacher turned game-keeper.

* * * * *

The mystery surrounding Book is really beginning to niggle at the back of Mal's mind. Well, more like the front of it. Waiting has never suited Mal's character and there's an abundance of it today. Waiting for Inara to return. Waiting for evening to come around because Badger claims to be too busy to meet earlier. Jayne was sleeping when Mal checked in on him and Simon has pulled a disappearing act. Probably with Kaylee and River. Wash and Zoe are holed up in their bunk, doubtless arguing over babies names or some such nonsense. Serenity is awful quiet today and quiet breeds thinking.

Mal considers what he knows about the Shepherd. Man sure is handy with a weapon an' ain't easily intimidated. Got the air of someone used to command. Also knows more about government experiments on young girls' brains than a man of the cloth ought to. An' of course there's the little matter of how one flash of his ID card had the Feds scuttlin' to rush him to hospital.

Why hasn't Mal tackled him about all this before? In part because having Book around suits him, religiosity notwithstanding. But it's also because delving into people's pasts isn't something Mal is comfortable with. He doesn't want to ask about their history because he doesn't want to have to disclose his own. Prefers to keep all that pain and loss bottled up, lid nailed firmly down. Only way for a man who's seen what Mal has to stay sane. Besides, who's to say a man will tell you the truth about himself? Mal has always believed you learn more about people from what they don't tell you than from what they do. He figures it's best to hang on to your suspicions. Because that way there's less chance of being blind-sided.

* * * * *

That evening Wash is waiting for Mal down in the cargo bag. At the sound of his footfall on the metal walkway overhead Wash squares his shoulders and puffs out his chest ever so slightly. Small movements but the change in his posture does not go unnoticed.

Mal descends the stairs quickly and asks sharply “Where's Zoe?” without any indication he knows he and his pilot are heading for a confrontation.

“She's not feeling well,” Wash replies avoiding eye contact. “Thought I should come along instead.”

There's a clatter above them and Zoe appears, fastening her gunbelt and looking a bit dishevelled. “Sorry to be late, Sir,” she calls down. “Won't happen again.”

Mal looks hard at Wash, raising his eyebrows and waiting for an explanation.

“She's tired,” he tells him adding an insolent “Sir” just a little too late. “Tired and queasy. Pregnancy does that to a woman. It's late. She needs to rest.”

“I do not.”

“Yes. Yes you do.” Wash shoots her a pleading glance. “For your own sake and the baby's. Anyway this is a ridiculous time for a meeting.”

“OK,” Mal interrupts impatiently. “You know the drill. When we're dealin' with Badger, Zoe comes with me. That's jus' the way it is.”

Wash shakes his head. “You don't need her just for a chat with Badger,” he declares. Mal's eyes narrow but he carries on arguing anyway. “We've been getting on great with him for months now. How many jobs has he put our way? Four? Five? And we've been paid every single time. Call me crazy but that looks like a pretty solid business relationship to me.”

Zoe is shaking her head at her husband's naivety and the corners of Mal's mouth tighten into a sneer. “See? That's exactly why I don't want you with me. Badger is a psychotic low-life and we can never trust him. Never. Specially when he's got us thinkin' things between us are smooth.”

Wash's eyebrows fly up in alarm. “So you're saying this meeting could be dangerous?” Mal nods. “Oh well that's all right then! You go right ahead and put my wife and unborn child in the way of danger! A brilliant plan. Sir.”

Mal's patience has run out and he rolls his eyes at Zoe. “You ready?” he asks starting to make for the cargo ramp.

“No! No she's not!” Wash cries, blocking his path. “For God's sake, Mal – she's pregnant.”

“Yeah and whose gorram fault is that?” the Captain demands angrily and pushes him roughly aside with one hand as he strides off. Zoe keeps her eyes on the floor as she follows on behind.

* * * * *.

Badger settles himself into one of the private upper level booths – paid for by his employer – and gets ready to enjoy the show. There's a big, gilt-framed mirror on the wall opposite him which affords a clear view of the saloon below. Yes, it should be quite some show. What was it Parkin said? “It's time to remind the 'verse of Malcolm Reynolds' continued existence. Not to mention his political allegiance.” The self-satisfied grin on Badger's face widens. Handing over so much money to that pretentious houzi de pigu during the past few months has really gone against the grain. Even if it wasn't Badger's own money. But tonight he will get the chance to claim some of it back. With interest.

* * * * *

Zoe is more than a mite uneasy in this place. All very well the Cap'n saying this part of town is respectable enough. Only need to look at the décor to see what side of the political divide the bar's clientele is on. Behind the bartender there's an impressive display of Alliance military equipment, including one of the infamous electronic neck collars they used on prisoners of war after the surrender. Zoe can still remember what being almost garrotted with one felt like. The bright brittle smile Mal blinks away as he catches her eye tell her he does too. Well, at least it's not U Day, she tells herself. Less likelihood of the Cap'n doing something stupid.

Zoe takes a seat and Mal heads off to the bar, trying to look inconspicuous. And failing. He's near enough the tallest man in the room and there's an aura about him that attracts attention. Zoe smiles to herself. Yeah, Mal always turns heads. It's been a long time since the sight of him set her own heart a-fluttering, but there's more than one girl eyeing him with interest tonight. Though as usual Mal don't see it.

He's just picking up their drinks when the woman next to him speaks. “Evenin'. Ain't seen you in here before.”

“Probably 'cos it's my first time.” No-one does curt quite like Mal. But then he actually looks at her. Diminutive. All sea-green eyes and tousled blond curls. And curves. Lots of curves. Mal swallows as she takes a step closer.

“First time, eh? Better be gentle with you then,” she smiles knowingly up at him through long thick lashes. “You got a name? I'm Jessie,” and she extends her hand, forcing Mal to put the glasses back down on the counter so that he can shake it.

“Malcolm,” he tells her. The way that she's looking at him is gorram disconcerting. He runs a finger around the inside of his collar.

“Well, Malcolm, I must say you're a fine-lookin' man.”

Mal shuffles his feet, part-embarassed, part-flattered.

“An' you have the prettiest eyes I ever did see.” She says it likes it's a statement of fact, not needing of an answer. Which is just as well as Mal can think of nothing to say. He ain't used to this kind of open appreciation. Only woman he wants to tell him his eyes are pretty is usually filling his ears with sharp words as to his character.

“Would you like to buy me a drink?” she purrs, wide-eyed and lovely. Across the other side of the room Zoe may not be able to hear the conversation but she can see the Captain turning to putty. Like he tends to when thinking with his zhan dou de yi kuai rou. Zoe wonders if she should go rescue him.

Mal hesitates and the girl continues “Or would you like to buy me?”

He doesn't bother trying not laugh in her face. At her audacity. At his own stupidity. “No thanks. Not much interested in ruttin' whores.”

Then everything happens in a rush. The girl slaps Mal hard across the face and he catches her arm as she tries for a second blow. Twists it up behind her and whispers into her ear, “Now missy, I never hit a lady first. But you ain't exactly safe on either score, are ya?” Next thing the Captain is flat on his back, having been punched in the ear by a big burly fella who appeared out of nowhere.

“No-one touches my woman!” he yells down at Mal, bringing his foot back to kick the Captain hard in the ribs. Mal winces, sure he felt something crack. As the man attempts to slam his boot into his head, Mal manages to grab an ankle and pull him to the floor. They struggle, rolling over, crashing into tables and sending folk scattering from their path.

Badger abandons the anonymity of his booth and leans over the balcony railing, all but salivating with glee. If Malcolm Reynolds is getting a beating, he wants to enjoy every last punch of it.

But somehow Mal is on his feet, bleeding from one nostril and holding his side. His opponent is up too and they circle each other menacingly. The sound of the door opening distracts his assailant just long enough to allow Mal to drive a fist into his jaw with an audible crunch. The man goes over, leaving Mal panting and in pain but relieved.

Not for long. Two federal agents seem to have materialized out of thin air, and they seize him by the arms. “Resist arrest if you want to, you browncoat piss ant,” one of them sneers as they frog-march him towards the door. “You just laid out my old CO, so breaking your arm would make my day.”

Well ain't this jus' typical of Mal's luck? Nothin' ever goes smooth. He spots Zoe, hand on her holster, making her way forward to intercept his captors and orders her to stand down with a steely glare.

She falls into step behind the Captain as the Feds drag him out into the street and off in the direction of the town jail. “Put your foot in it again, Sir?” she asks conversatonally.

“Wa'n't what I said,” Mal tells her over his shoulder. “It's what I am. Want to know what the real problem is, Zoe? I am jus' too damn pretty.”

She meets his eye, poker-faced. “If you say so, Sir.”

* * * * *

The serendipity of finding Wash alone with a half-empty flagon of Rim-made cider is not lost on Inara. It's as though all the planets in the 'verse were lining up, showing her where her duty lies. Even if that duty is not entirely palatable. She briefly wonders if consumption of alcohol might impair the antidote's effectiveness but pushes the thought quickly aside. If she doesn't do this thing tonight, she may never work up the nerve again.

“AashhalovelyNara,” Wash slurs, waving his glass in greeting.

Inara favours him with one of her warm, indulgent smiles and sits next to him on the sofa. “Drinking alone, Wash?” She has to be certain. “Is everything all right?”

He starts to shake his head but the effect on his vision is pretty catastrophic. “No, th'others were here fra while. 'Cept Mal and my wife, of coursh.” He slumps forward, resting his head in his hands and his elbows on his knees. “Out on a job.”

“This late?” Inara asks sympathetically. “You must be concerned. Didn't the others think you might like company?” Her Companion training allows her to be outwardly empathetic whilst in her mind she's rehearsing what she needs to do. She slides a hand into the folds of her scarlet gown. The syringe is there and ready.

Wash's mouth twists into a sulk. “No. River..River shtarted screamin' 'bout snares'n gamekeepers. Got real crazy. Shimon had to dope her. Kaylee wen' with 'em.”

Five out of the way. Two to account for. “And Jayne? I can't imagine him missing out on the chance for a drink or two,” Inara says with a tinkling little laugh.

“Got into an argument with Book about ... shomething. Dunno what. Shepherd went to bed. Think Jayne may've gone in town looking for .. whasshecallit? .. a bit of trim.” And with that Wash slides back so that he's half-sitting, half-lying.

So, it's just the two of them. The ideal opportunity. The only question for Inara is how it's to be done. She wonders how long she has. “What time are you expecting Zoe and the Captain back?”

Wash frowns. “Gui if I know. They don' tell me. I'm only the husband. You know shomething, 'Nara?”


“My wife doeshn't reshpect me. Not like she does Mal. Can you imagshin' wha's like when the person you love doeshn't reshpect you?”

“It must be terrible,” she replies seriously, as if she herself has no personal experience of what it feels like.

“It is!!” Wash shouts. “Jus' 'cos I wasn't in the ruttin' war. Those two an' that war buddy shtuff really infumigate me. No, really. They jus' can't let it go. Shtill wearin' the ruttin' uniforms. An' everyone knows how conshtrictin' they are. Di'n't wear mine most of the time, even durin' the war.” Inara's ears prick up although Wash appears not to have registered what just came out of his mouth.”An' there's that thing round her neck. You know what that is? Only a shymbol of her gorram bond with Mal. Her qing wa cao de hero. He's her hero, Inara. How can I ever compete with that?”

Inara toys with the idea of telling him exactly how he can not only compete but win this type of macho pissing contest but, before she can say a word, Wash gives a little snort and keels over sideways, unconscious.

There's no time to waste. Inara withdraws the syringe from her sleeve and takes hold of Wash's right arm, turning it over to expose the blue veins lacing the inside of his elbow. Holding him tight by the forearm, she touches the needle against his skin and moves her thumb to the top of the plunger.

A metallic click makes her realize how silent the room has been. “What the hell're ya doin'?” a gravelly voice demands. Inara turns slowly to see Jayne has a pistol cocked and trained on her. His expression conveys bewilderment and a certain amount of danger.

* * * * *

After Mal is flung into a cell, the sheriff tells Zoe she might as well go home. “Your man won't be released until it's decided whether he'll have to face charges.”

Reluctantly Zoe admits to herself that there's nothing she can do tonight and decides she'd better head back to the ship and try to soothe Wash's wounded ego. She's striding determinedly along when a voice calls out: “'ang on a minute there, little girl!”

Zoe looks down with distaste at Badger's hand gripping her arm. She shakes herself loose and gives him a stony stare.

“Wha's all this then? That yu ben de Captain of yours got himself into trouble again?”

Zoe quirks a suspicious eyebrow. “And you'd know that how?”

“Only all over the gorram Cortex news channel. 'Ow'd they put it? “Browncoat malcontent assaults Alliance war vet's wife in small town bar.” Yeah, that was it.”

Zoe folds her arms and tips her head to one side. “An' you believe that, do you?”

Badger snorts out a laugh. “Don't matter what I believe. 'S'what the punters believe tha' matters.” He pauses. “I'm afraid we have ourselves a problem.”

Zoe says nothing. Just waits, much to Badger's annoyance.

“Not sure I can do business with the likes of you. I got me reputation to think of.”

“Dare say you have at that.”

This niu shi attitude of Reynolds' second-in-command is beginning to rile Badger. Enough that he'd tell her the job is off, it were down to him. Unfortunately Parkin wants Reynolds on Xenos and Badger has to get him there. Still....

“News says bail has been set at five hundred square,” Badger tells her and is pleased to see concern flicker across her face. “You got that kind of coin?”

Zoe glares at him. “You know we don't.”

He steps forward and pats her on the arm. “Well, s'lucky I'm a generous man. Tell you what. I'll stand the Captain's bail and we'll deduct it from your earnings from the job. Plus five per cent.”

Zoe would like to spit in his eye but she knows she's cornered.

“No need to thank me. You jus' make sure you collect the goods from this warehouse”- and he slips a piece of paper into her hand - “tomorrow, first light. Oh don't worry. It's all legit. Well nearly. Slightly substandard food supplements for the settlers out on Xenos. Got to be there by this time next week. Think you can handle it?”

“If you get the Captain released.”

Badger flashes his sharp little teeth at her and touches the rim of his bowler hat with a finger. “Pleasure to do business with you.”

The hand he holds out to her remains unshaken.

* * * * *

For the longest time Jayne and Inara stare at each other, frozen. Then Inara lets go of Wash's arm and slowly turns to face the mercenary.

“Please, Jayne...”

The big man shakes his head. Better not to let her speak. Once she starts talking she'll tie him up in knots, make him disbelieve the evidence of his own eyes. She'll try to convince him that she ain't trying to kill Wash. That she ain't betraying the Captain. Well, if jabbing a gorram needle into Wash ain't betrayal, Jayne doesn't know what is.

His mind is racing. This is worse than what he did on Ariel, he's sure of it. Back then, the Doc and his moon-brained sis was only newcomers to the crew. Wash – well, he's like Mal's brother-in-law. Not to mention Zoe's husband. Jayne wou'n't wanna be Inara when Zoe finds out about this.

“Please. Jayne,” Inara repeats.

Jayne's not sure Zoe should ever find out. It's sure to put her in a killin' mood. Then there'll be all manner of unpleasantness on Serenity. No, don't let Zoe find out. What about Mal? Should Jayne even tell him about this? He stares at Inara as he tries to decide.

His scrutiny is more than Inara can bear. She knows now that she will never be able to complete this mission. It was too much to ask of her. She wishes it were possible to turn back time, to not be at this point. Then she fast-forwards in her mind to when Jayne has told Mal everything and Mal is yelling at her to get the hell off his boat. Calling her a dirty whore. A tear slides down her cheek before she can stop it.

“Think maybe you should leave before the others get back,” Jayne says slowly. “You stay and there's bound to be trouble.”

Defeated, Inara nods. “I'll need a few things...”

“Ten minutes. No more.”

Inara goes to her shuttle and packs everything of value that she can carry. A couple of bags, that's all. She puts the syringe and its box back into the drawer and turns the key. Then she returns to the commons where Jayne is waiting for her, grim-faced.

He almost changes his mind when he sees the sorrow in her eyes. “Don't tell Mal,” she begs. “Don't tell him what I ... Please.”

Jayne grunts. “I ain't gonna tell him. More for his sake than yours.” Because Jayne knows how the Captain feels about this woman, even though he tries to conceal it.

“Thankyou.” Inara says quietly, before picking up her bags and descending the ramp out into the night.

* * * * *

Sleep comes surprisingly easy to Mal tonight, despite the hardness of the bed in this cell. Perhaps it's the familiarity of the harsh conditions. All he has to do is close his eyes and ....

Inara is smiling up at him as he cups a hand under her breast and rolls a nipple between thumb and forefinger. She nuzzles into him and runs her tongue along his jaw and up behind his earlobe. His hand moves down over her belly and her legs fall open easily as he slides a hand in between them.

“Now, Mal,” she urges him, voice husky with desire. “I want you in me now.”

He moves his fingers slowly and feels a jolt go through her like an electric shock. Absurdly - inappropriately - memories of Niska come flooding back. Electric shocks. Penetrating knives. Hooks and barbs. More than that. Worse. Isolation, agony and fear.

“I'm afraid,” he whispers into Inara's hair. “Afraid of hurting the baby. Of hurting you.”

The barbs of her laugh snag in his ear. “It's a bit late for that...”

And suddenly he's standing up and looking down at her and she's staring back at him out of punch-blackened eyes. She tries to smile but the bruising around her mouth turns it into a lopsided grimace and blood seeps from a cut on her lip ...

Mal leaps up from the bed, sickened and disoriented. It takes him a few seconds to remember where he is.

Then he presses his sweating brow against the cold, damp cell wall and prays for morning to come.

* * * * *


Wednesday, May 19, 2004 8:29 AM


The setup has been riveting, and now the action keeps up. Can't wait for what's next!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 8:53 AM


Wow... totally shiny I liked this just about every way possible!

"He became a Shepherd because once he was a wolf"--great line and imagery. Jayne's quick assessment and action, good on him! The Mal & Zoe scenes with Wash's reactions... all excellent.

Thanks for a great read!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 9:43 AM


Another great chapter in an interesting story -- I loved Wash's drunken ramblings. Next, please!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 1:58 PM


This is so very shiny it almost dazzles me! Love it all, wish I could do something suitably nasty and very painful to Badger. And Wash is a hero? Does this mean they'll go to a planet where he is the hero? Can't wait to see what happens next, thanks for a great story and lovely characterisations. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 5:39 PM



Wow, Wow, wow, wow! Hot damn was that great. I love how you write Inara! And the Mal/Inara dream sequences *sighs*...great imagery throughout the whole story. I'm enjoying the twist with Wash and havin' Jayne discover Inara out. Excellent use of foreshadowing...and yes, Mal is too pretty. *grin* I can't wait for the next chapter--story has great pace!

Bravo, Bravo!
Cassie E


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HOLDING ON: Ch 2 - Tangential
Much to his annoyance, Sanzo's urgent quest to find Goku gets diverted. Meanwhile Mal meets someone from Inara's past. WARNING - slashy but not graphic

The Wheel Never Stops Turning
Mal meets a blonde in a bar. Violence ensues. And Mal discovers religion has its uses.

This is primariy a <i>Firefly</i> fic, but the character Mal ends up doing a job for is from the manga/anime <i>Saiyuki</i>. It's also <b>PG-13 nothing-explicit SLASH</b>. Because that's who I am!

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 7: 'til the day you die.
Inara leaves Serenity for a new life. Mal gets a job with a couple of new employers, but sinks further into despair.
Slash so lite you'll probably scarcely notice it.

MAKE ME A STONE: Chapter 6: You just learn to live there.
Another job goes less than smoothly. Meanwhile River takes matters into her own hands and Mal has a brainwave.

SLASHFIC. SPOILERS for the comics, novelization and movie.

Make Me A Stone: Chapter 5: Chickens come home to roost.
Mal has to accept Badger's offer of a job. Meanwhile old enemies seek to take advantge.
Spoilers for the comics. Very light slash.

Make Me A Stone: Chapter 4. Some residual heat.
SPOILERS for the comics/BDM. Mal has to accept Badger's job offer. Not much else in his life is going right either.

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 3: It's complicated.
Mal decides to pull a job of his own. Simon offers to help. It doesn't go smooth - but that's not entirely Simon's fault.

Non-graphic SLASH.

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 2: And who exactly could fix you?
Simon'a altruism leads to a job going wrong. Mal's not happy.

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 1: Pray there ain't any more surprises.
Warning: SLASH, but not graphic. Mal and Simon both find that the other has hidden talents. It kinda piques their interest ... *g*

TRAUMA MEDICINE: Chapter 23. Two by two.
Four years have past since Mal was forced to blow up Serenity and Simon disappeared with River and Book. A lot has changed since then. But a lot has stayed the same. The CONCLUSION to this series.