Shan Ti
Thursday, July 20, 2006

Script. Post BDM. New character arrives, makes self to home, makes friends, makes Mal.


All characters and settings are property of Joss Whedon and associates, with the exception of Jazmine Li...but he can borrow her if he really wants to. (Like that’ll ever happen.) All innacuracies, bad dialogue and actions that go completely against the grain of established characters is entirely the author’s fault. Almost no research went into this work.

Shan Ti (or: All that Jaz)

Appropriate music playing with shots of crew in various states of funk, going through daily tasks with cargo. Visual reminders of missing crew members, there are big holes in life.


In cargo bay, getting ready to start next shipping run. Mal, Zoe, Jayne leaving to make arrangements. Mal-Shouldn’t take too long to meet our contact. It’s not a big job, but it’ll get us to the next one. Keeps us in fuel and protein a while longer. Zoe- Protein, my favorite. Jayne- Looks easy? Mal- There shouldn’t be any complications. Zoe- Funny, I think I’ve heard that somewhere before. Jayne- Me too. Mal- Let’s go. River -(spinning in joy singing) Shanty Shanty Shanty! (Pauses, hugs Mal) You’re bringing back a Shanty. (resumes dancing as she exits.) Mal- Okay, now let’s go. Jayne- What’s a shan ti? Mal- I thought it was a drink. Zoe- No, that’s shandy and I don’t recommend it. Mal- Why not? Zoe- It starts with beer and what they do to it after that I do not care to mention.

Scene 2:

Interior of the only bar in a dirt caked rock bottom mining town. Maybe ten or fifteen grubby patrons. Female musician on small stage in corner playing strum stick and singing. Crew drinking, contact leaving table. Waitress- (over noise of bar) I said get your hands off me! (We hear a slap and a scream from her). Crowd goes silent as argument continues (ad lib), barkeep is getting involved. Drunken patron is still manhandling waitress. Long shot: Musician has drawn small pistol sized crossbow, has it at ready but out of plain sight. Mal and Zoe nod to each other, Jayne gets weapons in more easily reached position. Mal walks up behind drunk#1 (Zoe is at ready for backup if needed) taps him on shoulder, man turns, gets sucker punched, knocked to the ground, kicked, then defenestrated. Mal- (to waitress) You alright? Waitress nods, wipes bloodied lip, gets back to work. Drunk’s drunkener friend (coming up to Mal)- Hey, you can’t do that to.. Mal- (punches him to preempt further discussion). Would anyone else care to venture an opinion on the fairness of life and the finer points of bar fighting? (head shakes from those nearby, people conspicuously minding their own business.Mal and Zoe resume seats and drinking. Bar gets noisy again.) Cut to: Musician just finishing putting crossbow away. Patron#1- So Jaz, you keep saying you’re only staying until the right ship comes along. It’s been three months. You changed your mind? Jazmine- Nope. Matter of fact I think I just found my ride. (Starts playing again)

Return to table with crew a few minutes later. Jazmine approaches table. Jaz- Hey there, you headed out soon? Mal- Maybe. Jaz- Would you consider taking a paying passenger? I travel pretty light, just my gear and a few things to smooth the way. Mal- That would depend. You don’t even know where we’re headed. Jaz- If it’s away from here that’s good enough. I usually kick around here to there collecting songs and stories. I’ve been three months on this cow flop sand pit. They know exactly 12 songs, two of which have been written in the last 60 years. Preachers’ve gorram banned seven of those. I’ve had to make do with the 6 they’ve approved plus whatever instrumentals I could get away with. If I have to sing “The (Chinese) Bonny Rings of (Chinese) Saturn” one more time I may have to hurt someone. Name’s Jazmine, folk call me Jaz. So can I leave with you? Jayne- What’s wrong with that song? (Jaz cuts him dead with a look) Mal-Jaz. Zoe-Jaz. Jayne- (managing to get a leer into one syllable) Jaz. Jaz- You may call me Mrs. Li, or M’am. ( to Mal) and you can call me Queen Bitch Goddess so long as it gets me off this rockCaptain. Mal-That ‘s a bit of a mouthful, can I call you QBG for short? Who said I was a captain? Jaz- You’ve got command written all over your face. (To Zoe) You’re second in command because you’re smart, competent, and he trusts you. (to Jayne) You’re the complaints department. But whether you resolve more than you cause is anyone’s guess. So when do we leave? I’ve got hard currency enough to get me to your next stop, after that I’m out of your hair and out of your lives. Mal and Zoe exchange a look(What do you think? It’s up to you.) Mal- We’re headed for Hellas. 200 up front, we leave tomorrow noon. I’m Mal, this is Zoe, and this here’s Jayne. We’re on the Serenity over.. Jaz- I know where it is Captain, you’re the only ship to dock in over a month. That’s first class prices, but I’m not arguing. Break’s over, gotta get back to entertaining the miners. They always want a sing along this set. You might want to finish your drinks before the first chorus comes around, it ain’t exactly a choir of angels. (Leaves). (They quickly finish drinks and begin rising to head back to ship.) Jayne- Built for comfort. That’s one aint’ missed a meal lately, you see the hips on her? Mal- Seal your airlock, that’s paying cargo now and you will mind your manners. Jayne- (disgruntled Chinese indicating grudging submission). I still don’t know what’s wrong with that song, I like it. Mal- (ignoring him, to Zoe:) Seems a little desperate to me. Zoe- (Looks at Jayne)Good judge of character though. Mal - (Nodding in agreement) She called it pretty fair. Keep an eye on her. Do I really have command written on my face? Zoe- Black ink, Left cheek. That’s what you get for falling asleep reading calligraphy. ( He makes to wipe cheek) You are so easy. (As they leave we hear Jaz start up a shanty: “Goodbye my darling, goodbye my dear oh”.....)

Scene 3: Next day in cargo bay, stowing last crate. Mal enters- OK, let’s go. Kaylee- We’re not quite ready Cap’n, waiting on our paying guest. Mal- She was just here fifteen minutes ago. Kaylee- She dropped off her gear in her cabin. Said there was something she had to do and to keep the engine running. (Quizzical look from Mal interrupted by noise from outside ship.) Jaz enters at dead run holding arm and yelling “Shuthedoorshuthedoorshutthedoor!!” (noise of rocks hitting hull) Jaz dives onto deck laughing “ow, ow, ow.” Mal- What in the (Chinese) was that?! Jaz- Sorry to be late, there was.. Mal- Something you had to do, yes I heard. And just what was it I wonder that got the locals all riled up? You were their darling at dinnertime. Jaz- Well, I thought they needed a parting song so I climbed onto the gathering rock in town center and sang them “The Bonny Rings Of Saturn” one last time. Mal and Zoe- I thought you hated that song. Jaz- If you sing it proper it is quite possibly the filthiest ditty in the ‘verse. Those clod hoppers with the rocks were the ones who weren’t rolling in the dirt laughing. Zoe- (Nods at arm) Looks like they wanted to make a lasting impression too. Jaz- It was worth it. Jayne- Filthy, eh? You a whore? Jaz- (Walks up to him) I am a musician. I’m respected and welcome whatever port I find. (acquiesces) Mostly. Some people still insist that any woman on her own must either be selling herself or fair game. I’m neither. I’m not a whore, I’m a slut. There’s a difference. A whore is a paid professional. I’m just an enthusiastic amateur. Jayne- Enthusiastic? Jaz- (with increasing smolder)Very. Jayne- Yeah? Jaz- Yeah. And talented. Jayne- Yeah? Jaz- And very..very.. Jayne- Yeah? Jaz- (grabbing him by the nose and twisting) Picky. (goes cold and uses “voice of the mom) So get that thought right out of your head mister. (lets him go) Jayne- Yes ba’ab. (exits) I’ll be id by budk. Kaylee- Let’s get that arm looked at. Jaz- It’s just a bruise. (as they exit) Mal- Seemed sane enough this morning. Zoe- I say the same thing about you most days.

Scene 4:

Infirmary Simon- It’s a minor contusion, keep that cold compress in place for twenty minutes. Jaz- I know how to use an ice pack Doctor, thank you. Simon- I couldn’t help noticing the caduceus. What led you to that particular choice in body art? Jaz- I’m a nurse, Doctor. If you need an extra pair of hands don’t hesitate to ask. Simon- I thought you were a musician. Jaz- (shrugs) IAATTE. (“ee-aah-tay”) Simon- I beg your pardon? Jaz- I Am All Things To Everyone. I haven’t been formally employed as an angel of mercy for several years, but you can never really escape the calling can you? I’m willing to bet you haul crates around once in a while here, yet even without a hospital you’re still a Doctor. (Trying to change subject) You know I thought about med school, but I decided I wanted to watch my children grow up instead. Ironic when you think about it. Simon- Ironic? Jaz- Nice use of reflecting, that. (Silence as Simon waits for her to elaborate) Ooh, pulling out the big guns: silence. (he’s not giving an inch) (sighs) Fine, be that way. (Possible flashbacks here) My husband was a lawyer on a fair sized moon on the outskirts of the central planets. We were comfy. Happy even. I had a garden and my beautiful little blooms to “help “ me in it. The girls were four and two. The war took that all away. We weren’t even in rebellion, just had a few hotheads making a ruckus. Some Alliance tactical genius ship side was looking for a medal and decided to bring us to our knees and single-handedly crush the entire rebellion by destroying our med center. I was on shift and would not leave my post after they made the threat. They missed. Hit the settlement. I lost everything that night. There wasn’t a piece of my home left bigger than a grape, nor anything in it neither. I wouldn’t leave my patients to be safe with my family. When I found out what had happened I wished I had. There’s days I still do, for a while. I’ve been through it all, survivor guilt, suicidal depression, numbness, raged, drank for two weeks straight then decided that wouldn’t work ‘cause I really hate vomiting, cried to out salt the sea and got counselled and drugged to the gills until they decided I was safe. That all took about three months. Since then I’ve had my music. The last year or two’s the first time I’ve wanted to even consider having a future. Looks like I’m stuck with one, so I decided to make it the best possible. I’ve been kicking around until I find a place that feels like home. By the way, avoid those drinks with the little umbrellas, they’re deadly. River entering - Is the Shanty here? (sees Jazmine, rushes over and hugs her) Mom! Simon looks at them in dismay. Jaz (looks amused and hugs her back). I’ve been called that before. All things to everyone. (Holds River at arm’s length to get a good view of her)You must be the pilot Kaylee was talking about. Simon- What exactly is a shanty? Jaz- Word’s gotten different use through the centuries. Tumbledown shack, a shipboard work song. I think she’s using it as shorthand for the nautical term “shanty man”. That was the crewmember on a sailing ship who was in charge of keeping everyone working together by singing. Had to have a good set of lungs to be heard over the storm. It was a special honor and a mighty big responsibility. ..Got an extra ration of rum too! I’d better get backto my cabin and settle in. I’ll return the compress later. Nice meeting you two. (exits) Simon-( looks at River, River just smiles.)

Scene 5:

Jazmine, River, Kaylee, Zoe in lounge: Laughing tiddly. Jaz- So what do you think of twenty year old tawny port? I’ve been saving it for something special. (indicates bottles) Too much to drink on my own. Just a sip River, it can be a little intense, and I’m not sure your brother would approve, legal age or no. River- Honey, raisins, flowers, oak, cherries, sunshine. Singing mouth. (startled) My toes are tingling. (sinks into contemplation of sensory input) (Laughter). Zoe- Make sure you swallow that at some point. Jaz- Well, we’ve swapped stories and gossiped about almost everybody else on the ship. What about our gallant captain? Wife? Kaylee- Not exactly. Jaz- Woman? Zoe- Not really, no. Jaz- Man? River- (opens one eye) Heterosexual. (closes eyes again) Jaz- Well then so long as he’s not enamored of livestock it’s catch as catch can, isn’t it? He desperately needs to get laid. (Startled stares from Kaylee and Zoe, River just keeps smiling with her eyes closed.) Zoe- ...It would probably do him good. Jaz- That settles it. I mean to have that man in my bed. Or his bed. Or on the kitchen floor if that’s where I finally manage to kick his heels out from under him. (Earthy laughter and ad libs) Feet on stairwell. Everyone goes quiet like schoolgirls when the teacher comes back. Mal enters- What are you all so giggly about? Others- Nothing captain. (dissolve into giggles) Mal- Well you’re keeping up the rest of the ship. Party’s over. (to Jaz) I’ll not tolerate a bad influence on my crew. Jaz- It won’t happen again, Sir.( weaving ever so slightly to pass Mal) Please send the bottles to my cabin when you’re done with them ladies, if there’s any left. (as she exits) Goodnight Captain Tight Pants. Mal looks at her retreating back, glares at the girls(who are trying to look innocent.)

Scene 6: Zoe and Jaz in Jaz’s cabin, two bottles returned. Jaz- He sounds like a real smartass, and a complete goof. I would have liked to meet him. Zoe- He was. We had a good thing together, ups and downs but solid. I’m just sorry he never got be a father, he would have make a hell of a dad for someone. I Miss him. Jaz- I know what you mean. Not a day goes by I’m not glad I had my babies for the time I did. I still miss them all. Zoe- Does it ever get better, or am I going to go on wanting to break things forever? Jaz- Some. A little at a time. Never stops hurting really, but it’s a pain that you stop noticing so much. One day you realize you haven’t wanted to cry in three days, then a week. Takes a while to get there. I’ll let you know if I ever get through a year straight. Meantime lay in a big supply of china. You just have to remember you’re still alive, and he’d have wanted you to go on living and be happy as you can. The best revenge on whoever ripped your heart out is to live. Spit in their eye and keep breathing. When you’re ready, start again. Zoe- Just like that? Jaz- Never just like that, no. But eventually it gets easier. Zoe- Thanks Jaz. Jaz- We help ourselves by helping others. ‘Bout the best I can offer other than listening is a hug and a hankie, sweetie..sorry. (Big hug) Zoe- It helps. Jaz- Yes it does.

Scene 7:

Infirmary- Simon is doing inventory. Jaz enters- Here’s your ice pack, sorry to be so long with it. Simon- Thank you. I was wondering where that had gotten to. Jaz- Doctor, can you get me pregnant? Simon-( looks up )I beg your pardon? Jaz- Do you have the equipment to initiate a viable pregnancy on board? Simon- Oh. (Simon goes back to work)Yes, yes I suppose so if it were a fairly straightforward insemination or conceptus transfer, no gene splicing though. Out of curiosity, why do you ask? Jaz- Curiosity. What did you think I meant? (Exits)

Jaz and Zoe pass in passageway, nod politely.

Zoe enters Zoe- Doctor, can you get me pregnant? (Simon fumbles task, stares at her in apparent incomprehension) Zoe- (speaking for the hard of thinking) Can you....put a fertilized here? (points) Simon- Oh..yes. Zoe- Good. What did you think I meant? (exits) Simon (regroups, tries again.)- This is turning into a very weird day.

Kaylee enters Kaylee- Simon can you help me?( Simon looks up at her in dread) I picked up a splinter working on the wiring. (holds out finger) Simon- ...Oh thank you. Kaylee- You’re welcome, but this really hurts. Can you get it out? Simon- Sorry! Yes absolutely, here. (gestures) for a moment I thought you meant.. Kaylee- What did you think I meant? Simon- (looking at injury, not patient) I thought you were going to ask me to impregnate you. Kaylee- (looking uncomfortable) Hadn’t planned on it.

Scene 8:

Zoe following Mal down walkway in cargo area. Mid conversation. Mal- Yes we’ve got enough wiggle room in the schedule, that’s not the point. Zoe- Mal, I have never asked you for a favor, ever, before this. Mal- No, you haven’t. I just want to know what’s so all-fired important you want to take us over aweek out of our way to fetch. Zoe- My child. Mal (stops dead, turns)- Your what? Zoe I’ve been with you almost constantly the last several years and I’m pretty sure you’ve never had a child. Zoe- Embryos on ice. I talked Wash into it a few years back, it was a compromise position. They only keep for so long Mal, then they’re no good. If I don’t do this now I may never get another chance. It’s time and past. Mal- I can’t talk you out of this. Zoe- No. Mal- You’re really ready to walk over this? Zoe- Yes. Mal- (silent for a moment). Tell River where you want to go. Zoe - (Turns to leave, turns back & gives Mal a peck.) Thank you. (leaves) Mal- (after her) Don’t say I never did you any favors! Zoe- (something undoubtedly rude yet affectionate in Chinese). Mal- Well, better tell QBG we’re taking a detour. Wonder if she’d believe construction...

Scene 9:

Mal and Jaz in kitchen

Mal- So the trip’s going to take a little longer than we’d thought. Jaz- Construction huh? (not buying it) How much longer? Mal- Over a week one way. Sorry to cause an inconvenience, we can put you off at another stop and refund the diff.. Jaz- No that’s fine. I signed up to get to Hellas onthis ship and that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll just have to sing for my supper the extra time. Could you use a chief cook and bottle washer or will I have to earn my keep some other way? Mal- What’s your position on garlic? Jaz- Never leave home without it. Mal- You’ll do.

Scene 10:

Music underscores voice overs and montage of images. Mal is taking it all in to make sure there’s no threat and seeing how it goes. Hanging around the edges. Reserving final judgement but visibly relaxing and warming to her. Jaz is becoming part of the family while nobody’s looking and without really trying. She accepts them unconditionally and they return that. She is quickly becoming fond of them all, even Jayne..sort of.

Evenings of music and dancing, laughter, tasty meals (some obviously quite spicy) interspersed with: Shots of Mal communing with Serenity, watchful over interactions between Jaz and crew. Jaz slaps Jayne’s hand as he tries to get into her cooking, he sniffs garlic and takes a bite, winces. Jaz showing River several instruments and watching in growing astonishment as she learns them all almost immediately. Kaylee and Jaz singing. Jaz doing dishes and cooking. Crew wandering through smelling air. Jayne showing Jaz his guns while he cleans them. Simon getting help with inventory. Jaz showing Jayne her little crossbow, holds up a bolt, hands it to him and makes it clear that they are tipped to explode on impact, Jayne thinks this is pretty nifty and his opinion of her just went up a notch. Jaz and River kneading dough, covered in flour..Mal shaking head, makes to wipe flour off Jaz’s nose, she daubs him, flour fight ensues, Mal retreating and dusting off with as much dignity as he can muster but he was obviously outnumbered. Hoop ball game. Serenity landing. Mal watching over everyone. Zoe leaving ship. Crew returns from resupplying foray with plentiful bounty including hydroponic greens. Jaz has herb garden in a box, much garlic, chunk honey in jar, some fruit (hands Kaylee a strawberry), ginger root, nasturtiums and violets in a hanging basket, and a small jazmine plant in bloom. Mal giving Jaz a tour of the ship, Jaz seeing the beauty of the vessel in form and function. Jaz cooking, hands Mal peeled garlic, Mal sniffs garlic, pops clove in mouth chews and smiles, Jaz smiles back, does same. Relaxed meals. Kaylee picks at food and looks a little withdrawn (for Kaylee) at breakfast. Mal and Jaz drinking tea and talking at table late into the night, picking at remains of dessert. Jaz giving impromptu concert with River. Mal and Jaz dancing a waltz. Zoe coming back with smallish cryo box, smiling wistfully. Ship takes off.

(Voice overs) Jaz- Enough garlic for you? Mal-It’ll do. Kaylee- Sure livens up the place, don’t she Cap’n? Jaz- She is truly astonishing. I think music could be very therapeutic for her Simon, as a release. Zoe- I won’t be long collecting the package, just a few days for verifying the paperwork and pickup. Kaylee- QBG says supper’s on. Jaz- Come on try it, folk make their own music or go without most times. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be. Here try this..” Mal- So QBG,would you like the Captain’s tour? Jayne- Stomach soured on you? Kaylee-I’m just not hungry River- Catch me if you can, Shanty! Jaz- Reels are for flirting, jigs are for the joy of it, waltzes are an invitation to a kiss. Simon- Thank you for helping sort the supplies. It’s much easier when both parties know what they’re talking about and where it makes sense to put it. Jaz- Dance with me Captain!

Scene 11:

Infirmary Zoe in stirrups, draped for procedure. Jazmine positioned to assist. Simon sits down looks at perineum. Simon- Oh my! Jaz- (peering appraisingly) Good symmetry...balanced...nice color. It’s a beauty. Who did it for you? Zoe- Did it myself. Jaz- Shiny. Zoe- Thank you. I figured a yoni couldn’t hurt. It’s a fertility symbol doctor, close your mouth and get to work. Simon-( nods) Here goes.

Scene 12: River and Jaz playing music on catwalk. River stops, looks up, puts everything down. River- She needs you. Jaz- What? Who? River- (grabs her and drags her out) Hurry!

Scene 13:

Exterior of closed engine room door River and Jaz arrive to hear a muffled cry Enter to find Kaylee doubled up on floor, crying, in pain. Looks shocky, slightly out of it. River- Kaylee? Kaylee- Just felt safer here. Jaz- Kaylee, what’s wrong? Kaylee- He doesn’t know. Ow! Don’t tell him, please. I’ll be OK. I’m just bleeding a little. Jaz- (Looks at corner, visual on pile of bloody cloth rags optional) You’ve been through those since lunch? Kaylee- Dinner. (chuckles) I didn’t eat lunch, silly. Jaz- We need to get you to the doctor. Kaylee- Don’t want him to be upset, don’t want him to know. Jaz- He deserves to know. Besides, he’s the only one who knows for sure where everything is, now be a good girl and come with mamma Jaz. River, run ahead and make sure your brother’s ready whenwe get there. (River runs. Jazmine helps Kaylee up and out the door. Kaylee’s jumpsuit is soaked in blood down inner thighs) Come on sweetie, here we go, that’s it. (more of same)

Scene 14: The four meet at the infirmary door. Simon- What’s going on? River said Kaylee was bleeding and you’d meet us here. Jaz- Miscarriage. Heavy blood loss, going into shock. Let’s move. (They get Kaylee onto table and set up stirrups) Simon- And just how do you know th.. Jaz- I’ve done a spot of midwifery on backwater moons when it was me or nothing, don’t waste time arguing with me Doctor, you’ve got a patient. (Doors close.) (Later outside closed door, River inside watching over Kaylee) Jaz- Her I will talk to later, you I will deal with now. Did you sleep through your human reproduction unit?! You of all people should know better. It’s bad enough you didn’t protect her, but then you didn’t pay attention. This obviously wasn’t planned or she would have told you sooner. Maybe she was hoping you’d notice. Has it occurred to you that this might not have been spontaneous? She wasn’t in much shape to ask about it. (Simon starts to protest) Take some (heavy Chinese) responsibility for your own (more) reproduction. Give her a year to recover from this and then if you’re both ready, discuss it and try again. Now you two have some serious talking to do. You’re good kids and you obviously care about each other but you need to communicate. Period. Simon- (obviously at loose ends, coming out of zone, near tears) But what.. how.. she... Jaz- Go in there and hold her. Tell her you love her and it’s going to be all right. Make her feel better. Don’t blame her for not telling you and don’t let her blame herself. You're in this together and she needs to know that right now. Dong ma? (he nods) She pats him on back and sends him in. Sighs after door closes. River comes out, closes door, takes Jaz’s hand. River-Thanks, Mom. (leaves) (We see Mal was lurking out of sight.) Mal- I want to talk to you. Alone.

Scene 15:

Cargo bay Mal- I’m not normally partial to anyone yelling at my crew unless it’s me. (Jaz starts to apologize) Mal- (emphatically) No. Thank you for taking care of Kaylee, and thank you for what you did with Simon. It was exactly what was needed and I’m not sure I would have done it right. You would have made one hell of a sergeant. Jaz- Sergeant?! (Chinese expletive) I’m officer material mister, and don’t you forget it. (smiles) Mal- (smiles) You are at that. Kaylee’s going to be all right? Jaz- He’s good, very good. So now what are you going to do with me? Mal- I hadn’t thought much further than thanking you, but while everyone seems to be engaged in plain talking how’s about you tell me exactly what you’re after, cause I’m fairly certain you’re not just along for the ride. Jaz- Plain talking captain? Mal- Yep. Jaz- I’m after you. Put it away, that’s not what I meant. (Mal takes hand away from holster). I’ve been looking for something awhile. I saw you in that bar acting like a big damn hero, saw how you handled your crew and your business, got a good look at you in decent lighting and decided I’d found what I’d been looking for, least for now. Mal- Just saw my charm and had to follow. (She moves a little closer) Jaz- Saw the people you surround yourself with. Saw you treat folk fair and well. Saw them tight pants of yers and had to follow, yep. I tell you plainly captain I’ve had my cap set for you since I laid eyes on you and I’d purely appreciate it if this weren’t a wasted trip. ( He relaxes a little bit) Mal- Would you now? Jaz- Indeed I would. Sometimes a body just needs a little comfort, close physical contact with another person. (Reaches out to touch his sleeve) Go too long without touching someone else and you can start to get numb. Forget about a big part of who you are and what makes you human. (Moves to his side, facing same direction) We’ve all got a powerful need for making contact with others and feeling valued for all of you, not just the parts most folk see. Mal-(almost to self)You forget what it feels like to just hold and be held. Jaz- (Loosely takes his hand) To desire, to want. Mal- (Turns to her, almost facing) To be wanted. Jaz- To just let go and give in to the burning ache, that sweet sweet surrender of yourself to another for a while. (Turns to face him, he touches her shoulder)To find yourself by losing yourself. Contrary to what I may have implied to Mr Cobb, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve shared my body with anyone. Mal- Please don’t bring up Jayne at a time like this. Jaz- (Swats him) I’m offering myself to you freely, with all that implies. You have been warned. Mal- Well. By way of fair warnings I ought to tell you I’m what you might call damaged goods. Jaz- Who isn’t? Mal- I wasn’t making funny, and I ain’t all shiny like you seem to think either. I have let a number of people down on a number of times and they have paid with their lives. Jaz- I wasn’t joking either. Way I hear it you’ve suffered losses under your command, some of them dear friends, but far fewer and against worse odds than most in your place would have. People lost their lives because they were willing to trust you with them, and that says a good bit about you. People didn’t lose their lives for the same reason and that says even more. Your crew would follow you to Hell’s door and out the back, stealing souls on the way out, and have. Stories I’ve heard this trip, it’s no small miracle any of you are left. You’ve saved more lives than have been lost, and that’s all anyone can hope for. Just ask the doctor about that sometime. You love this ship, you love that crew, and you purely hate to see an injustice done to them as don’t deserve it. Malcolm Reynolds, you may well have sustained a great deal of damage in the course of your life, but it is truly amazing what you can find in the scratch and dent bin. Everyone’s got flaws, everyone’s made decisions they’ve regretted, all of us. You live with them and you keep moving, then make your peace when you can. You’ve made yourself a family on Serenity. Seem to have a way of finding talent then getting it to stick around and get even better. Jayne may be the cousin nobody really likes to talk about but family he is, and gathering this motley band together and making it work is no small feat. You’ve got a pull on folk no mistake, and you’re honorable. The two don’t always travel in pair. Mal- That what you see when you look at me? Jaz- That and more. You give people hope. Not built on clouds hope, but the getting through the day type. It’s a great comfort to be around strength like yours. I’d like to get a little piece of that to keep with me before I leave. It’s what brought me here. (She closes the distance between them, very deliberately puts his hands on her hips and places hers behind his neck) Now take a perfectly serviceable woman when she throws herself at you. Mal-You’ve got some mighty high opinions of me. I’ll not promise you anything. (Starting to fog the lens) Jaz- I’m not asking you to. (faces a bare inch or so away, much direct and smoldering eye contact) Mal- Comfort works both ways, and a little goes a long way out here. (He initiates a kiss) Be a shame if you’d wasted a trip. (they back into shuttle, close door) (music begins , cue sex)

Scene 16:

Continue same music. Cut to Simon and Kaylee holding each other and crying. River playing music, smiling. Zoe looking at picture of Wash, rubbing belly hopefully. Simon and Kaylee kissing in engine room. Jayne polishing Vera in his bunk looking vaguely thoughtful, pulls guitar from under bunk and starts to play. Mal and Jaz in her bunk (sex). Zoe marking off days on calendar. Later Jaz drowsy, Mal tracing stretch marks on her abdomen, looking pensive. Simon and Kaylee holding each other and having serious conversation, Simon appears to not be fucking it up for a change. Mal and Jaz sitting and talking (fully dressed and not having sex). Simon massaging Kaylee’s feet while she reads to him. Zoe sleeping, reaches out to Wash’s spot on bed. Simon and Kaylee playing around with kazoos, both dissolve into laughter. Zoe marks off another day on calendar, smiles. Mal and Jaz wearing bed sheets in kitchen eating, smiling, start kissing, drop out of frame (implied sex). Jayne walks to doorway, stops, stares in fascination. Zoe walk up behind him. Looks at floor, looks at Jayne, rolls eyes and hauls him out by arm down hall as music ends. Jayne- I’ll be in my bunk.

Scene 17:

Jaz and Mal in his bunk again basking in afterglow, Jaz propped up against the headboard/hull, Mal resting on his back between her legs, pillowing his head on her chest. Jaz- Comfy? Mal- (falling asleep) Mmphh. Jaz- River said we should make Hellas by tomorrow. They have over twelve bars and only one temple, I should be able to get a gig pretty quickly. I’ve enjoyed my time here. Mal- (snores) Jaz- (amused) Pity. (Kisses him) I’m going to miss you.

scene 18:

River’s room Jaz -(opens case and removes fiddle. Hands it reverently to River.) This is a challenge. No frets, a bow, needs a steady hand. There’s a long tradition of fiddlers dancing while they play, especially the jigs. Precision, artistry, and emotion. She’s over 150 years old. She’s had many names over the years. Been patched up a few times. I’ve got some extra strings you can have. River- You had her with you that night, to pass the time on break while the patients slept. Jaz- (nods) I think you’ll like her. You two be good to each other, you hear? River- Fiddlers have always been considered a bit Fey. Jaz- Indeed they have. River- You can still play her when you want. Jaz-Captain hasn’t asked me to stay. River- He will. You’re the Shanty.

Scene 19:

Kaylee and Simon on threshold of ship, Jaz on grass with her gear almost unloaded. Mule returns from drop-off. Simon- Nice to see a lack of penetrating wounds for a change. Mal walks up to say goodbye. Crew looks at them and moves quickly off, exchanging significant looks. Jaz- You can keep the garlic. Thank you captain it was an interesting trip, especially the last three weeks. Mal- I feel like I ought to be giving you something to remember it by. Jaz- (touches his cheek) You already have. (Turns to leave). Mal- Jazmine.. Jaz-Malcolm? Mal- You don’t have to..I mean to say it’d be fine if.. Jaz- You asking me to stay? Mal- You’re a good cook. Simon could use a nurse. Kaylee would miss singing with you. River seems to have taken a shine to you, and somebody has to slap Jayne down when Zoe and I are too busy to do it ourselves...much as we enjoy it. In Zoe’s case that busy may be a bit more often soon. She might want someone who’s been down that path before around. Jaz- Haven’t given this much thought, have you? Mal- None. So will you put up with us? Jaz- You think I’ll be useful? Mal- I wasn’t so sure at first, but Serenity just seems to run better with you on board..I guess we’ve got an opening if you want it. Jaz- And you Captain? What does Mal want? Mal- You’re not going to make this easy for me, are you? Jaz- ‘Fraid not. Mal- ( reaches for her. With some effort, from the heart)You have been a great, great comfort to me and I purely do not want you to leave. Jaz- You’ll do. (Big Kiss, they start to walk towards inner door as Mal slides crate in with foot and shuts outer door. Cut to bridge where crew’s been eavesdropping. Silent hand slapping, hugs and pumping of fists in the air. Back to cargo bay) Mal- Let’s get you stowed again, looks like we’ve got us a Shanty.

**Alternate endings** (take it from “ got us a Shanty”):

or: A) From intercom: (rest of crew) Aaaawwwww..... Mal- Don’t you people have work to do?!

or: B) Jaz- (walking ahead of him, almost to door, calls to ship:) Honey, I’m ho-ome! (pauses at door,tosses back without turning) Did I mention I’m pregnant? (exits) Mal- (to self: something Chinese along the lines of “well I’ll be fucked”) She did warn me, didn’t she...

or: C) Jaz- (stopping, hands Mal bag, opens doors) There’s something I need to do. Keep the engine running. Mal- (calls after her) No singing!!

or: D) Later,getting ready for takeoff, once again waiting for Jazmine. Mal-... and to keep the engine running, yes. Kaylee- Well that’s what she said. Jaz walks calmly in with supplies*(Kisses Mal in passing). We hear an explosion from off camera, ding on hull of ship, sounds of rioting. Everyone turns to look. Jaz (still watching commotion)- I had nothing to do with that.

* D1 [or possibly a broody hen and/ or chicks under one arm, 50lb bag of feed on shoulder which she off loads on Jayne “Here”. Hands poultry to River “These banties can bunk with him if we can’t spare the cargo space” To Mal “Because they take up less space and don’t eat as much as big ones, make less mess which can still be sold to upscale gardeners in pretty little baggies after it’s been through the worms, lay fresh protien, make good soup when they’re too old to lay, and the cock feathers will fetch a pretty penny. That’s why miniature chickens. Call it my contribution to fuel. Besides, they’re cute.” Jayne- (uneasily)...Worms? Jaz- Mister, you’ve got a strange sense of cute. (puts jar of worms on top of feed bag) Zoe- Probably shouldn’t let them bunk with him then.*

!!!!Warning: Exhaustive and unnecessary ramblings by the author follow!!!!!

I was never going to post this. I was never going to write this or let anyone read it either. Next thing you know I’ll be sending it to Papa Joss.

Let me start by saying I have never written anything beyond school assignments, and I think the last time we really had to do creative writing was in 6th grade. It was a hand calligraphed story of a love triangle between 3 horses (2 stallions fighting over a mare) and used the phrase “clarion call”...enough said. My mother probably saved it it was that bad. I watched Serenity knowing nothing about it other than it had been recommended as a good sci-fi movie. I found out there was a TV series and had to get it. “You mean there’s MORE?!!” Then I ordered the movie. Much confusion followed with the DVD, so I couldn’t remember how everything got left in Serenity. In the lag time between starting to watch the series (a disc a day) and actually receiving the movie a couple weeks later, I was apparently posessed by some malign force. Or possibly Joss on a bad trip. The characters got into my head and *would not leave* until I wrote this script down. It all started innocently enough, I thought “where would I fit in this crew.. except thinner, more talented, and funnier?”, and it kind of snowballed from there. People around the world make their own music to entertain themselves, it is universal. I noticed that while there was a great deal of music on planets and in the score, there didn’t seem to be much on shipboard. Music has a healing quality and is quite good for catharsis. I started scribbling and finished the original draft in about two days worth of spare time. (And it shows dearie, it shows...) I was listening to The Finest Kind: Silks and Spices and Pat Donahue: Profile The music I was thinking of for the scenes with the montages were as follows, in order: TFK: “ At The End Of A Long Lonely Day” (written by Marty Robbins) TFK: “Blackest Crow” (trad? Tommy Jarrell, Arnie Naiman and Chris Coole, Brad Leftwich?) PD: “Drowning” (Pat Donohue) Original music that evoked the same emotional response would do fine, those are just the songs my wee brain had to work with.

I made my husband read it (“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have someone else read it dear?”), and then asked his opinion. He advised me that no, it didn’t suck. He was quite good about telling me where he felt the weak points were when I pressed him for it, and I have made him read the attempts at smoothing it all out a little via rewrites. It feels like it runs a bit long and long winded. He hasn’t actually snorked out loud but there were some bits he liked: I had Jayne giving a couple of experimental twangs on a jaw harp until I watched the BDM again and noticed him playing guitar on Haven. Cut, scribble, paste. It could definitely use some big explosions and some Jossification (as I am not Joss and haven’t spent a great deal of time working with him, this is to be expected), but at least one of the endings has chickens so it does have some redeeming value. To anyone who says you can’t have Zoe with a baby on a ship, you’ve seen how she fights. Imagine her fighting to defend her child. (Think every large and dangerous animal with maternal instincts then give it a big gun). Mind you, she can’t stop in the middle of a firefight to breastfeed and change a diaper, but these things can be worked out. Especially if the non-fighting crewmembers are willing to stay behind and deal with leaks and binkies. She can always pump and lay in a supply (absolute zero for best freshness), there’s got to be a spot between the hull and the living space that refrigerates beautifully yet is shielded from radiation. For anyone ready to say “how can you do that to sweet little Kaylee having her miscarry, you horrible evil person you” I can offer no better solution than that there was no way I could do it to Zoe because even though she’d probably handle it better, she needs motherhood more. The script needed something fairly dramatic and dark, and I chose this option because it would hurt Kaylee more thereby hurting the audience more, and I thought Jewel would play it beautifully, and because stupid things happend to smart and sweet people when they get caught in the heat of the moment even if it is ‘’just the one time”, and about 1 in 8 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and because Kaylee could have been pregnant for about 8-12 weeks at this point, which is far more noticeable than “ oh, there’s my period” after all of 2-4 weeks. OK? I think that the idea of Kaylee trying to abort using some folk remedy is not terribly likely because I think she probably goes all smooshy at babies and would be determined to parent, but it does give Simon something to think about (wake up slap), and you’d be amazed at what desperate women will do when they feel they’re backed into a corner. Plus having everyone on board pregnant then having multiple babies to juggle might be a little too contrived and if done badly could feel like a sitcom around the tenth season when they don’t know what else to do. On the other hand Mal tripping over wee babies from his “harem” might be fun. When I started writing I couldn’t remember whether or not Inara and Mal were “together” at the end of the movie, but figured that probably meant she hadn’t definitely stayed on or I would have remembered the big kissy face incident. Jaz is intended to be a healing influence, and to patch up a couple of holes. Sort of a spiritual/sexual fix-a-flat. Serenity was missing her anchor and compass, and any ship without those is lost unless you’ve got someone who’s very very good at dead reconing and navigating by the stars. I wasn’t really sure if she’d wind up being a recurring character (yes this is all only in my mind, I understand that) so I tried to make it easier for her to be transient. She knows what she wants, is bound and determined to get it, and anything else good coming out of it is shiny. She can stay or she can go and will be content with either. Main motivation? She’s ready to start her family over again and is not afraid of being a single mom. In order to keep the whole bombing thing as quiet as possible the Alliance settled out of court for a very large chunk of change (independent woman of means comes to mind) and busted the tactical genius so low he has to salute raw recruits, with no hope of promotion. (But she’s the only one who knows all this). After watching Serenity for a second time I thought “Shit, it looks like Inara might be staying..well that blows what I did all to Hell”. Then I realized that maybe Inara has contractual obligations at the training house, or really isn’t sure if she wants to stay or not and could possibly be out of the picture for quite a while, enabling the writing to be not that far fetched. If things were left hanging between Mal and Inara (what is her big undisclosed secret anyway?) then who knows what might happen. He does not approve of her profession, she probably isn’t willing to give it up. The crystal ball is in the shop and the Magic 8 Ball ain’t talking. It could be interesting to have Mal take up with another woman for a little much needed emotional healing (they’re not married), then have Inara tossed back into the mix. Does Jaz leave? Does she leave pregnant or with a baby? (I’d love to see Nathan play Mal holding his child for the first time.) Mal was raised by a single mom and several ranch hands, and might actually be OK with this. Is he torn betweenpercieved duty/obligation and the previously unattainable desire? Do they decide to try sharing nicely (..probably not..)? Is there a huge catfight? I’d like to see Jaz say to Inara “We’re not bonded. If you can take him, you can have him” and see what happens next. So there it is.


Friday, July 21, 2006 1:21 AM


This was awesome, I loved it, and I loved Jazz being so up front with who and what she is and what she wants. I think the woman would have to be all those things to get the Captain to give any kind of a real relationship a go. Inara hurt him with her constant on/off feelings and the poor guy never did know how much was what she really felt and how much was using her wiles to manipulate him. With Jazz you don't get that, she is far more honest and gritty and the way she fits in with the crew is wonderful. So yes, please write more and if Inara does decide to come back don't let it split them up. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, July 21, 2006 9:13 PM


Well...not sure where to begin my remaks here, stinkingrose;)

This was a wonderful story and I like how Jaz helped the crew heal from their loses during the BDM, but...for most of the story, I got the vibe that you had crafted a Mary Sue (i.e. a character with no real discernable flaws who gets along with everyone perfectly and who seduces a main character).

Now, please don't think I am trying to dump on your work here. I think this fanfic you have here was faboo, but being the bastard that I can be, I have to point out the niggling issues that jumped out at me:(

As an example...I understand, accept and love the concept of Kaylee miscarrying (definitely a Whedonesque plot twist), but the whole issues seemed a tad rushed and dealt with too quickly for my personal tastes. Call me picky and a hundan...but I think the concept of "Show, don't tell" needs a bit more airing here:S was a wonderful first dive into the pool and your form was good, but even the pros need the occasional critique to know if their stroke is getitng rusty;)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006 2:50 PM


Not quite sure what to make of it all stinkingrose. I did like the story (though I did get a little lost at points), and if this is the first bit of writing you've done for a while, well excellent! I've also recently rediscovered writing because of Firefly.

Wasn't a huge fan of Jaz, for much the same reasons as BEB.

A few suggestions on structure.

(1) Break up the stroy up into sperate parts. This maybe just be me but some times I don't always get to read through an entire story in one sitting. This means I have to come back and try and find out where I was. So yes split it up into it's 16 parts and post them sperately.

(2) This is more a a personal preference, but with script form work the speaking character's name should be in CAPTAILS. So in stead of:

Mal- (calls after her) No singing!!

We have:

MAL - (calling after her) No singing!!

Sorry I come across as being terribly critical, but I hate to see good writing spoilt by little things like how it appears on the screen. :(



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Flying The Coop
The landscape's changing. Serenity's moving on. They'll all be fine.

Garden, With Cakes
Integrating Inara's storyline with other stuff going on. Still sticking to my own little corner of the 'Verse.

Child's Play
Moving the plot along.

Cold Sweat
Short installment in the biggish darned series.

Road Trip
Getting antsy. Jayne hits a house of ill repute and several people. Neither of these events is described in detail.

Imbalance of Power
This is a setup.

Lonesome Albatross
Sniff sniff...sob. Teenage angst. Also flying bullets.

Love Nuns
Serenity returns to Copia. Mal faces the music. Half naked men wrestling.

Big Rosie
Back story for the 76th.

Come The Ressurrection
Fairly short (for me). He's baack!