Diamonds are forever (but engines are for now)
Thursday, July 27, 2006

A strange idea that got into my head while i was working. A con job on persephone goes slightly off the rails when Badger arrives. Post BDM with lots of fun River/Jayne patronisation.


Disclaimer: Serenity and all related characters are, sadly, not mine, (goddamit!) they belong to the wondrous and fabulous Joss Whedon and related companies and corporations. Don’t you just hate capitalism.

Notes: post BDM, but no real spoilers. feedback is shinier than sunshine twins on uppers and v. much appreciated. also, no beta so sorry for mishaps in spelling etc. also, this is a one shot - i have NO plans to expand it!


Rose petals and silvery silk. Thin lace and sparkling stones. Not him. Heavy velvet and bright carnations. Tough leather and delicate platinum. Not him. Soft linen and smooth lilies. Shining ribbons and silver clasps. Ah, him.


“Excuse me, kind sir, but could you perhaps direct me to the nearest tea shop? I am unfamiliar with the town, myself.” Sir Edward Murryfield glanced down from the display of engine parts to look at the pretty young woman talking to him. She had long dark hair twirled into a delicate bun secured with a bright scarlet ribbon and a silvery clasp. He was often approached by women, he had to say, especially when he was wearing his red sash of Lordhood. He was good looking and well built, barely gracing his mid-thirties and showing all the signs of a prosperous and wealthy up-bringing. It singled him out from the crowd on planets like Persephone, where most of the populace consisted of the down-and-out, desperate or just plain threatening. The twelve bodyguards that nonchalantly followed him around had this look down to the t. The woman beside him, however, had none of these characteristics, and seemed somewhat out of place. Her slim frame was hugged by a white linen knee length dress, her feet wore little white dancing shoes with red ribbon bows on them and she twirled a vibrant, rainbow coloured parasol in her pale hands. Her hazel eyes gazed upon his face and her small red mouth made a shy smile. “Certainly, my lady, although I do beg to wonder, is it really wise for one of your obvious stature to be wandering the streets alone?” He bowed slightly to her, offering her his hand with a gracious smile. She laughed, a tinkling sound, and spoke again in her flawless Londinium accent. “It is very foolish indeed, but my father does not let me off the ship without the accompaniment of my bodyguard. Still, I believe I would always be grateful for the extra protection of a Lord of Persephone about my business.” “And, pray tell me dear lady, what business is that?” he asked as she took his hand and they proceeded down the busy street, the scum of the streets parting to allow them passage. “Why, taking a leisurely stroll around the town and seeing the sights. What finer way is there to spend an afternoon?” She twirled her parasol and squeezed his hand ever so slightly. “Well, these streets have few wonders fit for your delicate eyes, my lady, but if we were to return to my manor on the hill, the view across the valley is spectacular.” He gestured to the hover-speeder that pulled up almost noiselessly beside him. “And not even a need to wear yourself out walking.” She smiled shyly again, bowing her head to him. “You are a most generous man, sir, and it would be an exquisite pleasure to accompany you to your residence, but, forgive me, I do not even know your name that I might accept your offer.” “Ah, dear lady, and yet I know not yours so that I can make my offer with all the properness of a gentleman.” “I am Lena Kirenga, formerly of Londinium, now travelling with my father to visit all the places the night sky can take me to.” He raced through his memory of names, yet the woman’s title meant nothing to him. Still, she was pretty enough, well spoken and sexy, a fair catch. A distraction for the night, and no payment needed, since she appeared not to be a companion. “Well, Miss Kirenga, Lena, I am Sir Edward Murryfield of Persephone, and I invite you, hand on heart, to join me in my humble abode.” He stepped up onto the hover-speeder and she gracefully followed him. “Then, sir,” she said, sitting herself down beside him, “I dutifully accept your most generous offer.”

They arrived at the house in good time, and Lena seemed to heartily enjoy the sensation of speeding across the land. He led her up the stairs to the patio beside the pool and had one of the servants bring them refreshing iced tea and lemon cakes. They talked a little and flirted a lot, and by the time the hulking butler had returned to remove the tray, Edward knew he could make a move any time and she would be putty in his hands. “I would much like to see the inside of your house – I have a fascination with these grand buildings that is hard to satisfy.” She gazed up at the stone facing, obviously awestruck. “I think we can arrange that,” he smiled suggestively, taking her hand as she stood up. No real need to rush things, they could tour the house and finish in his chambers easily. A young maid was dusting a painting of his great-grandfather when they arrived in his spacious room. Lena ignored her, rushing to the great floor to ceiling windows to look out upon the spectacular swathe of grounds at the front of the house. She clutched a hand to her parasol, which she still carried, gasping in admiration. “It’s beautiful!” she sighed. “Like paradise, or like heaven, or…” He crossed the room to stand beside her. Taking her hand in his, he turned her to face him. “Like you, dear Lena.” Her eyes widened and she blushed, looking exclusively at his lips. “Really?” He didn’t answer, knew he didn’t need to. Just took her cheek in one hand and kissed her on those ruby red lips that had been taunting him all afternoon. What happened next was a little odd, to make a general understatement. He was sliding a hand around her back, pulling her slight figure in tight with his when Lena put a hand on his chest and pushed, breaking the kiss. “What the…” He tasted something on his lips, something sweet and innocuous, embodying the exact way he saw the girl before him. “Oh, wo de tian a…” was all he managed as unconsciousness gripped him and he fell flat on his face on the floor.


River grinned. He was out like a bulb without a conducting wire. Exactly to plan. Moving quickly, she crossed to the portrait that Kaylee had been dusting when she came in. Pulling it away from the wall, she considered the keyboard underneath for a second, remembering the pattern that had flashed through Murryfield’s mind when he’d seen Kaylee at the painting. Typing it in, she was rewarded instantly by a beep and a click as the safe swung open. Pocketing the objects inside, she shut it again and replaced the frame exactly as it had been. Jumping Murryfield’s prostrate form, she grabbed the bed covers and ripped them around as though they had been carelessly flung in a heat of passion. Under the bed she found the empty whisky bottle and glasses Kaylee had left and dumped them on the table at the foot. Swiftly, trying not to laugh as she pictured Simon’s face if he found out about it, she pulled off the Lord’s clothes and strewed them around the room. Then, as Inara had instructed her, she wiped his lips with her finger and then with a touch of ordinary lipstick. Opening all the drawers of his bedside cabinet, she threw the contents onto the floor and picked out all the cash in it. All in the details, Mal had told her, all in the details. Picking up the parasol, she pressed the secret button again, for the fourth time that day, signalling to Jayne and Kaylee that she had achieved her goal. Taking a quick look around, she nodded in satisfaction and opened the door. Badger was just about as shocked as River. River had gotten used to only using her powers consciously since not long after Miranda. It annoyed her too much when everyone’s thoughts crowded into her head all the time, rudely shoving out her own, usually more interesting, musings. In defence, she had reined them in as best she could, slowly perfecting it until she felt almost normal again most of the time. So it was a rather startling display of just how much she was in control when the little man walked smack bang into her. “What are you doing here?” she snapped in her most upper class accent, shutting the door behind her quickly, so that the crook couldn’t see her crime scene. “Uh…” He’s after the plans for a new engine. “I think I ought to call security and have them throw you in the cellar for a few days. You might fit in amongst the rats.” He was buying it for now. But part of his brain was niggling that he recognised her, and Jayne was on his way, Kaylee down by the back door waiting, and when Badger saw the mercenary he was going to click. And it wasn’t like she could really call security. “Lady, really, I don’t think we have to jump to such grievances,” Badger squirmed, and River could hear the plans running through his mind like radio static. He was not going to be making tracks, especially since a couple of his employees were now closing in on the house security team, and another few were climbing stairs to appear from the opposite end of the corridor as Jayne would. River thought carefully. For other people this process might take minutes on end of staring, misty eyed, into space, but for River, it took seconds. The plan needed to be adapted. Whipping the parasol up, she scudded it across Badger’s head. As he was crumpling to the floor, she sprinted for the back stairs, dodging the gunfire from behind her by ducking behind a rather expensive marble pillar which subsequently suffered a horrendous amount of damage due to the smattering of lead bullets that struck its soft stone. A loud string of cussing came from the direction of the guns when the bullets stopped flying, and River knew that the men’s cartridges had all run out. Grinning again, she ran the last few metres, grabbed Jayne by the gun he was leading with and yanked him up the steps. They were out of sight before the steps below their feet were peppered with metal. “Feng le moon brain, we’re meant ta go down the way!” Jayne yelled as River kept leading him towards the roof. Reaching the top floor, she shot along it, and he had no choice but to follow, since Badger’s employees had given up on shooting at them and were stampeding up not far behind them. “Got to find room, tell Kaylee, fifth floor left hand window west of house.” For a moment Jayne was puzzled, but suddenly realised what she meant and relayed the position to Kaylee, who was waiting for them by the shuttle. He glanced back along the corridor, just in time to see the men burst out of the stairwell and into the corridor. “We got nasties!” he yelled, pulling his gun and firing off a few rounds to make them duck. They obliged, and he and River made it to the cover of a large stone cabinet on one side and a huge plant urn on the other. “How come I’m behind the gou cao de bush and you got the big fancy cupboard?” Jayne snarled, but River just poked an insolent tongue out at him. He shot one of Badger’s guys in the chest, taking out some of his well deserved irritation. “Where we goin’ anyhow?” River nodded to a door about fifteen metres up the corridor. “Got to catch our ride. And relieve the Flamingo of a piece of pretty in the doing so.” “Is it gold?” “No.” The three guys, for River had now determined that there had been four chasing them up the stairs and three were still alive, were not all that bright. Only minutes after pinning their quarry down, they all ran out of ammo again, at the same time. “Now!” River yelled, and she and Jayne hurled themselves up the exposed stretch and to the doorway. It was locked. “Quingwa cao de liumang!” Jayne swore, kicking the offending thing. River, on the other hand, hmffed impatiently, snatched a gun out of one of Jayne’s numerous holsters, shot the lock out of the door and barged past him and in. Shocked at his own incompetence, Jayne was slightly to slow in following her. The fiery, tearing pain in his right calf told him that at least one of the three remaining thugs could shoot worth a damn. Cursing, screaming and yelling, he flung himself into the room. The whole place was covered in paper. On the walls, on the ceiling, on the furniture. Even the floor was coated in a layer of drawings. River was sifting through a certain pile when the roaring of an engine at the window announced the arrival of Kaylee in shuttle two. Hopping to the window Jayne ripped some paper away from the glass. “Great, lets… Ni ta ma de!” There were bars across the window. “Hook onto shuttle, pull out.” Jayne glanced at River with a little more than annoyance. He was starting to find her a bit too patronising for his liking. Kaylee appeared at the open shuttle door carrying a cable. “Jayne!” she yelled above the sound of the shuttle. “Hook this on!” He caught the end and clipped the mechanism onto the middle bar as Kaylee disappeared back to the controls. The shuttle moved away and the cable pulled taught. A grinding, crunching noise ensued as the stone around the bar crumbled and the screeching of several alarms announced that the security forces had been alerted to their position. The middle bar swung out in a cloud of dust and falling masonry, weakening the stone enough that Jayne could shove another few bars out after it. A staccato of gunfire behind him made him whip his head around and see River, hanging out the door, firing his gun back at their pursuers. Oh, yeah, he’d forgotten about them. Suddenly, she stopped firing, ducked back into the room, raced to the window and leapt past him into the open door of the shuttle that had just pulled up. Jayne scrambled after her, wincing at the pain in his leg, just making it through the opening as River slammed it shut. The pings of bullets on the hull told him that she hadn’t been a moment to soon. He scrambled up to look out of the window just in time to see an explosion suspiciously similar to a grenade completely destroy the room they’d been in. He didn’t have to put a hand to his belt to know that there was a space there that had been filled when he got into the shuttle.


“Well, little albatross, I have to say, that was one hell of a plan you came up with.” Mal sat at the dining table, contemplating the contents of the box before him. In the soft light of the ship’s interior they twinkled and sparkled with inner fire. The lancing beams danced on the faces around him as they too gazed, captured by the delicate beauty of the objects. “They’re so pretty…” Kaylee’s face was lit up by a smile that stretched from ear to ear. “Kaylee,” Mal growled. “Will you put those engine plans down and come look at the gorram diamonds!”


NB: Lena and Kirenga are the names of rivers in asia.


Thursday, July 27, 2006 9:23 AM


I'm highly entertained! River is wonderful. I'm not sure Jayne would be so helpless, except that he might be a little slower than usual on account of how he's just watching River go-go-go. ;)

This fills a void left by the horrible cancellation - I love to think of the things River could have done, and this was like a glimpse of the future that could have been! Thank you!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006 10:11 AM


Hey, someone here is not from 'round these parts (the U.S.)! Good to see they do fanfic 'cross the pond.

Oh, and killer story. No part 2 is okay, but no more fanfic ever is not!

Saturday, July 29, 2006 1:37 PM


Well now....gotta say this was a mighty fine adventure you turned out here, Kizziecstars;)

Definitely loved how River used the Goodnight Kiss on Murryfield...he's gonna feel an awful fool in the morning:D


Sunday, July 30, 2006 4:57 AM


“Is it gold?”
hehehehehehe...and that is just so like kaylee to be more interested in the engine plans than the diamonds. excellente my dear!!



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Diamonds are forever (but engines are for now)
A strange idea that got into my head while i was working. A con job on persephone goes slightly off the rails when Badger arrives. Post BDM with lots of fun River/Jayne patronisation.

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