The Table
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The kitchen is the heart of the home. A Mal perspective one-shot. Set during the series.


Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I'm not making any money off this, just playing with the toys.

A/N: I'm hesitant about this piece as it's a new style for me (first person) and I wonder if I got the feel "right". And no, it's not a Jaylee and yes, I do write non-Jaylee ;)

The dinner table seemed to be where things happened. Sometimes good, sometimes not so. Can’t really recall when the rule had come firm, but sometime not long after takin’ Serenity, I had that table put in and said that was where we were to eat dinner. Somethin’ felt right about it.

Of course, it had just been me and Zoe and meals were only a bit interestin’. Talk was mostly about how to get the ship functional. I could tell Zoe weren’t too keen on the idea of just floatin’ around findin’ work wherever. She wanted more structure, military style, but me, I’d had enough. I don’t like thinkin’ much on the why for that.

I also discovered that she weren’t too keen on the new pilot either. That was more than a little difficult to understand. He came so high recommended that I’d a been an idiot to not persuade him to join up. Maybe it was his fashion sense Zoe didn’t much like.

God, but his shirts were hideous! I couldn’t believe anyone would make such bright coloured abominations or that someone would lay down good coin for one. And not just one. The man had a closet full of them. Still an all, he proved a mighty fine addition.

Wash, his name was, started joinin’ us for dinner and the talk became funnier. That man was hilarious and a welcome relief to the stress buildin’ in my stomach over the ship. I needed to get her up and runnin’ to get some capital flow. Wash took it all in stride and when that bird finally lifted, he whooped for joy. At least, I think I heard that. It was kind of difficult seein’ as I was doing nearly the same. Zoe, though, she was just eyeing that pilot, her hand restin’ more than a little comfortably on the back of his chair. I think it was then that she started to see past a blindin’ shirt. It was then I reckoned on rule number two: no ship board romances.

The table filled out some more with the mechanic. Of course, if I had to tell him again to put a shirt on at meals, I would have locked him in the engine without parole until he fixed the gorram thing. Just got that boat flyin’ and then some whats-it blew and we had to land on a rock real quick-like. Found rule number one was not happening as much as would be desired.

I was about to burst seein’ him ruttin’ like that in the back of the engine and with some little vixen who didn’t look to know the ass end of a mule, with her smiles and lashes a flutterin’. Oh, but how that changed. So Kaylee Frye was added to the dinner revue and it finally started feelin’ a little like home. She would talk on and on about her family and how flowers made everything shinier. Next day, I found the galley growin’ vines and pretties. Seemed okay, though. More than really.

I had a bit of worry on the girl with her sincerity and trust. She needed some protectin’ that was true. It crossed my mind, that little promise I’d made her ma on returning their daughter in one piece, while standing with a gun pointed at Zoe and me. I shake my head on that encounter and still can’t believe that Zoe and me had walked right in on the little set up by that pissant Marco. Never heard of him til he pointed a gun in my direction, standin’ on my own gorram ramp. The hun dun was ready to take my ship. My ship!

It was a kindness that the big one was so willin’ to see reason. Aw hell, Jayne didn’t ever see reason, especially with dollar signs blockin’ the view, but he done what I thought was best seein’ as we’re living another day to tell the tale. I gave him a strong warning, though, about Companion rules and mechanic no-no’s. I think it sunk in; it’s hard to tell with a skull like his.

I just wonder when he’s gonna see me as Marco. It came close, that first and only time I ever ordered someone away from the table. Sure weren’t easy, but the point was clear. It weren’t just about manners, it was about respect for the ritual.

Huh, this table’s starting to get smooth. The rough edges are softenin’ and the grain is gettin’ worn. I can feel it under my hand and it feels sorta comfortable. It’s like the faces I see, soft and comfortable as they laugh at the Preacher. Yeah, even the Preacher can tell a funny story. And it is a pleasure on seeing Inara join in at the table when she’s able. Whorin’ does take her away, but she always come back to me.

So here we are, full up at the table, sittin’ and listenin’ to the Doc try to spill out a little humour about workin’ in an ER. I hope to hell that Kaylee’d gotten at least a taste of chocolate.


Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:16 PM


Very sweet. I enjoyed this. :-)

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 10:54 PM


Sweet. But no mention of River. :(

Oh, and I misread the Kaylee paragraph, had a picture of Mrs Frye pointing a gun at Mal :) It's early in the morning, my timezone. Durr...

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 10:55 PM


This is great first person stuff, similar to some of what I do. I especially love the second-to-last paragraph. Such great imagery and insight.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 2:33 AM


Great job of seeing that big table as the heart of Mal's intentional family, and very creative to use it as a vehicle for him sharing his own side of the tale.

Considering what he said in "Our Mrs. Reynolds" about being raised up on a ranch by his ma and a bunch of hands, I can see how he recreated that feeling in his own home.

First person IS tough to write and ya done good!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 5:32 AM


Yes, yes, I get the hint. You write more than jaylee. I'm glad too. Your work is good and I'd like to read more of it.

You did really good with the tense. Definitely not the easiest to write in.

>Huh, this table’s starting to get smooth. The rough edges are softenin’ and the grain is gettin’ worn.

Great double meaning there. Probably my favorite paragraph of the whole thing.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 7:08 AM


Really liked this, would have been shinier with mention of the full crew. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, August 5, 2006 12:56 PM


Oh...this definitely ain't Jaylee...and it's mighty fine, ArtemisPrime;)

Ooh...poetic rhyming...:D

Wonderful job you have done here! Completely got the Mal vibe in the dialogue and loved "his" insights into the original (as of landing on Persephone during the pilot) crew. Though I gott agree with Alison and say it would have been that much cooler if you had brought in Mal's observations about Inara, Simon, River and Book;)



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