FAITH SERIES: 18. "No secrets"
Sunday, August 6, 2006

"Simon and Kaylee return to Serenity. Kaylee has a gift for Inara. As life on Carousel returns to normal things on Serenity will never be normal again."



SUMMARY: "Simon and Kaylee return to Serenity. Kaylee has a gift for Inara. As life on Carousel returns to normal things on Serenity will never be normal again." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

Serenity finally picked up its' missing crew members in the middle of No and Where. Not a planet in sight and not a speck of dust for a listening post to hide on. The Captain was satisfied. Good enough. Docking with the luxury ship was easily done, the smooth transfer like a fine wine seldom tasted but immediately recognised for the quality it was. Inara was smiling as Kaylee and a bashful but contented Simon Tam disembarked. Mal was up on the bridge passing on his thanks and that of the crew then waited until the docked ship disengaged and the other vessel withdrew to a safe enough distance to go to full burn. The Captain watched with a tinge of awe, wishing Wash were still with them to savour it too. That was one sweet and slick vessel. Not a patch on Serenity of course, but still. He blinked, then realised Zoe was hailing him over the com.

"Yeah Zoe, you got 'em okay?"

He could hear the satisfaction in his first mate's voice. "Shiny, sir. Soon as you're able we'll be expectin' you in the commons room."

About to ask what that was all about the com went dead. For a second Mal stared at it then a big grin split his face. Carefully he checked the course they were on, knowing it would take near to three days to reach Shiloh. Setting the autopilot he went to join his crew, the sound of laughter his first clue that the honeymoon had gone exactly according to plan. Made him happy in a way that touched something deep inside.

Kaylee saw him first and ran over to give him a hug, her eyes all teary with happiness. "Oh Cap'n, don't know how to thank ya for the shiny honeymoon what with gettin' us home to have the ceremony with my folks an' all."

Then she was crying into his shirt and he hugged and rocked her, his arms a strong fortress, his words gentle and soothing. A 'verse full of care in a few simple rough words wrapped in love. "Just be happy, little Kaylee, is all I ask."

Sniffing Kaylee kissed his cheek. "I love my Cap'n."

"An' well you should." He said in a stern voice that fooled no one.

Beaming at him Kaylee skipped away, Jayne handing her a mug of something that the Captain just knew wasn't tea or coffee. For a moment or two he watched in deep content, the playful banter going back and forth between his crew. Everyone of them happy and joining in the celebration like they hadn't got a care in the world. It was with a little jolt of surprise that he realised someone was standing next to him.


It was Simon. Figured he wouldn't be relaxing enough to call him Mal even after three days of uninterrupted sex. At least, if he was smart it would have been three days. Simon could angst and talk it out days, hell weeks, afterwards. Boy just needed to relax. "Enjoy your honeymoon?" Simon flushed. The Captain stared. How could the boy be embarrassed? Man had been with Kaylee for a couple of years now, *diyu* even had a kid by her and had just been on an intense honeymoon the like of which he'd never know in his own lifetime. What in the nine hells did he have to blush about? Or did something go *cuode*? "Um, yes, *duibuqi*."

The Captain relaxed. It was just Simon being awkward again. Probably the thought of thanking him making the boy all manner of nervous. "No need to thank me son, was a joint effort *dong ma*?"

"About that."

Mal's expression froze. Seeing the look, Simon tried hard not to turn around and rejoin the others. After all, it was not his intention to insult the Captain or anyone else, it was just he had the habit of only opening his mouth to change feet. He smiled but it just came out in a kind of grimace as if he had wind. The Captain waited, not sure what was on Simon's mind but figuring anything that had the boy this spooked deserved his full attention.

"Not that I want to sound ungrateful Captain but - our honeymoon must have cost a fortune..."

The Captain relaxed. Was that all? "How did we afford it?"

Simon nodded. Zoe spoke up behind the doctor. He hadn't even heard her approach. "Everybody chipped in. Was the Cap'n's idea - Inara's contact - our coin."

Simon blinked, even more stunned at the thought that people had clubbed together to make this the shiniest day of his and Kaylee's lives. He managed to choke out a tiny word. "Everybody?"

"Everybody on Serenity - even Jayne, *and* he did it without havin' to be threatened." Mal paused and quit the joking, eyes softening with memory. "All Kaylee's folks an' even some of their neighbours on Carousel. Seems once word got out it was like a gorram snowball, folks throwin' money at us."

"That's...that's incredible."

"Yeah, it is."

"No, Captain, I mean it's *incredible*." Mal and Zoe blinked at him, not comprehending.

"I know how much these things cost," Said Simon, lowering his voice so as not to be overheard by anyone else. He didn't want people thinking he was complaining, quite the opposite. "And there's no way, even with everyone chipping in that..."

The Captain stopped him before he could continue, one hand settling firmly on the doctor's shoulder to get his full and undivided attention. "Simon, take the compliment for what it is, *dong ma*?" He paused then smiled lightly before patting Simon's shoulder. "Just don't break that glass slipper."

Zoe wandered back towards Kaylee and River, the girls squabbling over some home made cookies Mrs Frye had given them. Inara joining in from time to time but mostly happy to just listen and watch and bask in the happy atmosphere that was too much a stranger aboard Serenity. They needed more times like this. Simon called out to the Captain as he turned to walk away. "*Shenme*?"

Mal looked over his shoulder. "Cinderella, *jide*? Handsome Prince, glass slipper, home by midnight?"

The doctor just stared at him. "You know that story?"

His response provoked a surprised laugh but there was a faint underlying pain beneath the merry. "Might'a grown up on Shadow, Simon, but had a cortex link and some schoolin'."

Simon flushed realising he had just managed to insult the Captain's upbringing and his home all in one sentence. Inwardly he groaned then stumbled at a hearty thump on his back. Jayne's voice in his ear did little to restore his equillibrium.

"Where'd ya go?"

He blinked at the non sequiter. "Go?"

"For the honeymoon. Where'd ya go?"

"Oh, Lexington."

Jayne blinked and took a swig out of his mug. "Never heard'a it."

Simon was scanning for signs of Kaylee, spotted her with the other womenfolk and relaxed a mite. Kaylee smiled back at him and headed over catching the tail end of their conversation. She gave Simon a lingering kiss that made Jayne scowl over his mug, then turned a sunny smile on the mercenary. "It ain't a planet."

"Then what is it?"

"A pleasure ship." Kaylee wrapped an arm around Simon's waist and leaned round him to bring her face closer to Jayne's. "Imagine all the fancies, Jayne. All ya could want in one place, just not planet-bound."

"Huh, what's the use'a that?"

Kaylee grinned. "It's got *everythin'* Jayne."

Jayne frowned. "Everythin'?"

"Oh yeah, twelve decks. Even got a whole floor for them as didn't bring their own 'entertainment'."

The big man stared at her for a moment as if waiting for the punchline. When it didn't come he wasn't sure whether to be relieved or disappointed.

"They got girl an' boy whores - an' somethin' that ain't one or t'other but looks real temptin' an' the food is shiny. All the fresh fruit an' such ya can eat - 'cludin' strawberries big as your fist!"

Jayne was swallowing every word whole until that last line then he gave her a look of pure disbelief. "Nah, you're makin' it up."

Simon wanted to laugh at the man's expression knowing the truth would have stunned the big man into a coma. *Diyu* it would almost be worth the embarrassment of showing him just so he could savour the result. Afterwards he was never quite sure whether Inara had saved them or Jayne. Not that it really mattered. Drinks were shoved in their hands then Inara coaxed them to join the others. Simon stared suspiciously into the chipped mug, when he looked up River was looking right back at him.

"Drink Simon, it isn't poison."

"I know, *mei mei*, it's just..."

Then Zoe was laughing. Simon blinked. Zoe. Laughing? "A toast," The first mate said raising her mug. She waited until everyone was paying attention. "To Simon and Kaylee, a long happy married life..."

"An' HUNDREDS of fat children!" Added the Captain.

The cheers, the laughter, drinking and eating carried on for several hours. Simon and Kaylee didn't know how long and didn't care.

It was in the small hours, the party had broken up. Inara, Kaylee and River were cleaning up. Zoe had taken Charlotte and Joshua to her bunk to get them settled with a bedtime story. Simon had gone to check on the infirmary and the Captain had headed to the bridge, Jayne muttered something about going to his bunk. When the last bit of mess was cleaned up and the mugs washed and put away River said her goodnight and left Inara and Kaylee alone. Kaylee put a hand on Inara's arm as the Companion turned to leave. Her little frown made Kaylee's smile deepened. Oh, this was going to be fun. Inara looked surprised when instead of speaking Kaylee put something in the Companion's hand. Inara's eyes widened as she recognised the object, her mouth falling open in shock. She looked at Kaylee's smug smiling face as if she could hardly believe what she was seeing let alone what she was thinking. "You used *this* on Simon?"

"Oh yeah. Had a little 'help' fittin' it too."

Mischief stirred in Inara's eyes, all kinds of amused and intrigued now. "This is a story I *have* to hear, *mei mei*."

"An' ya will, 'Nara, later. But that ain't mine, that one's spare."

Inara wasn't sure what Kaylee was saying. "*Shenme*?" A dirty little smile crept over Kaylee's face and settled there. "Thought ya could use it to loosen up the Cap'n."


Her expression made Kaylee laugh, deep and throaty. "If ya ain't used one before it's intense, 'Nara. Cap'n'll be putty in your hands."

Inara couldn't speak. Too stunned not just by the nature of the gift but by all it implied through Kaylee's revelation. She knew that Kaylee was no innocent where sex was concerned but the way she openly embraced the desires of her body left Inara somewhat stunned and even a little jealous, not that she would ever admit as much. The Companion closed the gap between them and lowered her voice to the barest whisper, foreheads almost touching. "I want to hear every last detail, Kaylee, so don't even think of leaving anything out."

So naturally Kaylee told her everything. Each detail more graphic and shocking than the last until the pair of them were laughing so hard tears ran down their faces. When Kaylee finally left to go and find Simon she realised with a knowing smirk that Inara had not handed the device back. Oh yes, the Captain was in for an interesting time.

* * * * *

The children settled, Zoe changed into her sleepware and was just about to climb into bed when Joshua spoke. "Are you happy, mama?"

Zoe smiled and dropped a kiss on her son's upturned face. "*Qu*, Joshua, happier than I been in a long time."

He was looking at her intently. "'Cause Kaylee an' Simon got married again?"

She laughed, a happy merry sound that Joshua heard all too seldom. It made hm feel like he was dancing on air. Zoe paused and considered her son's question seriously, the laughter fading away but leaving the imprint of a smile on her usually solemn face. "Yes, Joshua I am. Just wish your daddy could be here to share in it is all."

Joshua wriggled closer to her side and slipped a small hand in hers. "Didn't mean to make you sad, mama."

Zoe kissed the top of his head. "You didn't, baby. You could never do that."

Settling again, this time they said their goodnights and shifted into position to sleep. From on high two errant souls watched with more than dispassionate interest. *Is this the last time I'll see them?*

*No son* The deep tone reverberated through the ether. *You can visit whenever you wish providing your other duties allow and it doesnt' interfere with their lives*

*What's that supposed to mean?*

Wash sounded unhappy, truculent even. The thought that any action of his, corporeal or non-corporeal, might have an adverse effect on his wife and child was more than offensive. It hurt him soul deep. *Yiwusuoyou, my friend. We have interfered enough, dong ma? From now on you can observe and that's it. Let them carry on with their lives*

Wash wanted to weep for the unfairness of it all. *I don't know that I can do this, Book*

*Yes, you can*

*No, you don't. You can't*

There was a pause. *Do you think I have never been in love myself?*

Wash was so startled by the question that he momentarily forgot his own sense of loss. *You have?*

The chuckle was warm and affectionate and all manner of welcome. *Oh yes. Many times*

*I thought you told Jayne you didn't... not ever*

*Ah, Jayne*

Humour began to leak back into Wash's being. *You didn't lie to him, did you?*

*That depends upon your definition of a lie. I told Jayne my order was celibate*

*And so were you?*

*He might have drawn that impression, yes*

Wash's laughter was like warm sunlight on a cool Autumnal day and Book revelled in it. He could not stand seeing his friend sad even if the laughter came at his own expense. It was, after all, a cost he could more than afford. *Why you sly old dog...*

*Wash, I am not sly*

Another pause then a light little chuckle. *Didn't mean that kind of sly*

* * * * *

Everything was going well. Ship was on course, the auto pilot set. Crew was happy and only a little liquored up. The Captain finished his rounds as slowly as possible, wanting to savour the anticipation of having Inara in his arms for as long as possible. When he reached her shuttle he paused then uncharacteristically tapped on the door. He didnt' want to go embarrassing himself by walking in on any female moments. Needed to check the coast was clear first though the thought of spending the night in his bunk on his lonesome was not so appealing. Inara's muffled voice ended his speculation. "*Ching jin*."

Mal stepped into the shuttle and stood immobile, his eyes widening as he took in the subdued light. The little forest of lit scented candles filled the shuttle bathing it in a warm inviting light that near took his breath away. Very very soft music played in the background. The Captain tilted his head and listened, a slow smile blossoming on his face in pleasure as he recognised the haunting melody of the Erhu. "The Moon Knows My Heart?"

The Captain did not realise he had murmured the title out loud until Inara came to stand before him, the gentle scent of jasmine and sandlewood on her warm heated skin telling him she had just bathed. The sponge bath the nearest thing they had to any amenities for washing. Most of the crew made do with splashing their faces with water from the sinks in their rooms but Inara never ignored her daily clensing rituals. Made Mal feel all manner of unclean in her presence. "You know this song?"

He smiled at the surprise in her voice. "Oh yeah, our foreman - Cheng - used to play the Erhu. Knew all manner of the classics an' some he wrote himself. Had a pretty fine singin' voice too though I liked it best unaccompanied."

Mal's answer pleased her. Taking his hand she drew him in, surprised to find his steps reluctant. "Mal? *Shenme shi?*" The Captain dipped his head, suddenly bashful. "Um, not sure I should be here."

"Why would you think that?"

"Feel like I need a good wash."

Inara hid a smile as understanding added another layer of love to the pile of happy in her heart. Everytime she thought she had seen all of the Captain's moods and emotional depths he would go and surprise her. Like love itself, he was a gift that kept on giving. Once you got past the prickly facade of his defences the man was a surprisingly gentle and gifted lover. "Come, let me look after you."

His eyebrows rose in question but he let her lead him, standing where she bade him to. He watched amused as Inara took her bowl and filled it with warm water, smiling as she gracefully came back to him. Mal began to undo the buttons of his shirt and froze at the look of censure on Inara's face.

"Don't, Mal."

He was confused. "*Duibuqi*, I just thought..."

Inara put down the bowl and sponge and stopped him doing the buttons back up. Her smile was enough to light up the black. Stunned he watched as her very graceful fingers undid the buttons for herself. "Let me."

Her breath was a mere hush of scented air, her words so quietly spoken they seemed to bypass his ears and go straight to his gorram heart. How in the nine hells could he refuse this woman anything? She undressed him slowly, stealing languid kisses and touching him gently and fleetingly until he was about ready to scream. Only he didn't. Couldn't. His body was hers every much as his heart was. When had his emotions become so gorram confounded and when had it become the sweetest addiction he could imagine? Wiles. That's what it was. Then the sponge was washing over his dust laden skin, clensing him from head to toe, his wet glistening skin warmed by her lips as her hands travelled on. Mal groaned and closed his eyes.

It took longer than it should have. Inara simply couldn't resist the intoxicating power of having Serenity's Captain at her mercy. So quiet and biddable the shock was like to kill her only that would be a waste. A waste of everything she had planned for this night. When at last they made it to the bed, Mal was trembling with lust and passion. Inara smiled and kissed him deep, their bodies entwining. She let him set the pace and love her as his heart desired, her actions mirroring his. Only when they lay sated and resting in the afterglow did Inara gently nip Mal's ear and slide her tongue inside, her warm breath puffing and sending shivers through his body as she whispered all the things she wanted to do to him.

"Gorramit woman, you're gonna kill me."

"You can always say no." She said in a silky seductive voice. Hardly able to speak for passion, Mal threw caution to the wind. "*Diyu* no, 'Nara, you got me in this state, you best deal with it."

Smiling at the notion that the Captain thought he was still in control Inara let him keep his delusion. Her hands dipping in a small bowl of fine scented oils, then rubbing and caressing every inch of Mal's body until it shone and strained beneath her touch. "Roll over." "*Shenme?"

Inara nipped his throat. "I said roll over."

He smirked, his eyes twinkling up at her. "You gonna ravish me?"

"You won't find out if you don't do as you're told."

"You always this bossy with your clients?"

It was the wrong thing to say. In a split second the mood changed. Mal wished he could bite out his tongue. "Inara, *duibuqi*, I'm an unthinkin' *hundan. Wo benlai bu yinggai name shuo*."

He rained kisses of apology on her face and neck. Voice, lips, hands and body pleading for forgiveness. Inara eased back and looked him in the eye, he saw the hurt cradled deep and felt the bitter sting of regret.

"I'm so sorry, *bao bei*. You want me to go, I'll go."

Inara shook her head and recovered. "No Mal, I don't want that. It's not the first misstep and it won't be our last."

"How can I make it up to you, *ai ren*?"

The sparkle came back into her eyes. "Turn over."

Without a word he complied, Inara now rubbing oils into his back and down his body, nudging his legs apart with her knee and sliding her hands up his thighs and between his legs until he yelped in surprise. "Woman, what you doin' to me?"

She paused. "I can stop?"

Breath huffed out of him before he responded. "No, no, just surprised me is all."

Then she surprised him even more, her hands massaging his backside and between his legs making him moan then shudder in shock as a well oiled finger penetrated him gently.


His quietly choked word was ignored. Inara was busy, intent on loosening him up. As her finger wormed deeper he grunted and Inara bit his ass cheek gently. It felt odd, her finger inside him, the digit working gently back and forth until he stopped tensing and relaxed into the motion. It felt weird, unnatural but not painful. "That's right Mal," Inara murmured, her voice soft and full of praise. "Just trust me to look after you."

He couldn't speak, another finger working in now, making him feel so full yet stretching him in ways he had never been stretched before. Then the rythym picked up a little and he caught his breath, a third finger now adding to the deeper thrusts until Inara found that small almond gland and touched off a shock that made him cry out as his body jolted, a spasm of feeling so erotic it was like an instant drug. Again and again she stroked his prostrate, all manner of nonsense tripping out of his mouth as he moaned and rambled, his body jerking in response to her artful manipulations. Her tongue and teeth now nipping down his spine as he shuddered and shook beneath her. Words tapering into incoherence as his mind went into freefall. Hardly aware as she gently eased her fingers out and something else inside.

It was hard but slick, her fingers guiding it until it rested against his prostrate gland. Not nudging it now though he kept bucking in small aborted thrusts like little aftershocks as his body trembled. Inara murmured endearments, kissing and stroking his back and sides, easing him carefully onto his back. She noticed he looked a little dazed and kissed him gently, her tongue delving into his mouth until he began to respond. Oh yes, she would love him to within an inch of his life. Who said you had to be married to have this much fun? When Inara broke off the kiss she nipped his earlobe, her tongue flicking out and licking his ear. Mal massaged a breast in one hand and put his mouth on the other, pinching and rolling the nipple into a hard little pyramid as Inara writhed slowly in response, her teeth biting gently on his earlobe, her tongue sliding in and out of the ear canal. He was getting excited again.

Inara timed her moment before sliding down his chest as she reached for him. The hard throbbing shaft leaking jism into her hand. He moaned as she took hold of him, beginning to thrust into her palm until she moved to pin him beneath her,

"Gorramit woman, need to thrust." He panted.

She kissed his shining face, tasting the salt of his sweat and teasing him a little. "Save your strength, Mal."

He blinked. What the good gorram did that mean? Inara began to slowly pump him. Mal closed his eyes and tried to breathe, wanting so badly to thrust but not able to. Wanting to speed the rythym of her hand but Inara had other plans. With one hand keeping him teetering on the edge of control, Inara slid a finger back inside him. So quickly the Captain had no defence, no notion what she was going to do. With practised ease she found the switch and turned the device on but did not remove her finger. Bracing herself Inara was ready when the Captain bucked violently in reaction, the vibration against his prostrate so intense he screamed. Inara flexed her hand around his shaft and applied more pressure, riding the foreskin up and down as the veins throbbed with pump of heated blood. He was leaking constantly now, the jism making her hand even slicker.

Incoherent the Captain just lay trembling and jerking beneath her, sweat pouring from him, his body a rollercoaster of bucking hips and spasming nerves. He looked so hot and it was making Inara all manner of turned on. She could feel her own juices beginning to flow, close to orgasm just watching as she brought him to the fevered edge, his body spasming harder and harder as with a strangled shout he came. Long and hard and shuddering in her hand. But his body didn't rest, it kept humming and juddering, the device sending him on an endless loop of sensation that was driving him out of his gorram mind. With a smile Inara dipped her head to lap up the salty cream as he softened. Little broken moans and cries the only accompaniment as she washed him clean with her tongue. Next time she would have to remember to keep him distracted until she fitted the cock ring. Kaylee's gift was not the only sex toy in Inara's arsenal.

* * * * *

Simon shot upright, eyes wide as saucers. Sleepily Kaylee opened her eyes and blinked up at him. "Whassamatter?"

The doctor wondered if he was dreaming. "I..." He broke off and looked a bit confused. Mixed with the concern on his face Kaylee thought he looked adorable. "Was that...? I thought I heard a scream."

Kaylee was awake now and stretching her ears to listen. This time the scream made her sit up as well, only she realised what it was a split second before Simon did. Simon looked at her in shock.

"Was that... surely it... Was that the Captain?"

With a wicked little smile, Kaylee guided Simon back into her arms. Realisation hit him a second later and he gave Kaylee a look of stunned admonishment. "You didn't? Oh my God, you did!"

She was laughing now, the Captain's screams fading into cries that made Simon shudder with remembrance. Kaylee could not hide her amusement as she kissed him softly. "What else could I do, we had a spare an' ya know how uptight the Cap'n can be. Thought it would do 'em both good if he were loosened up some."

Simon threw himself back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. "I'm a dead man."

"No Simon," Said Kaylee gently, her eyes full of love, her hands now waking up the parts of him that needed sleep the most. "When Inara has finished with the Cap'n he won't be able to do anything but recover for days. Last thing he'll be thinkin' is lookin' to find out who gave 'Nara that doohickey. Could be he'll think it's standard Companion fare."

With a gulp, Simon looked at his beautiful, shiny new wife and managed to hold back a shudder. "You are a wicked and evil woman, Kaylee Tam."

Kaylee grinned, not a bit repentent. "That I am, an' don't ya forget it!"

After that Simon was too busy to wonder what Inara was doing to the Captain. In her bunk Zoe was sitting up wide eyed and startled. Her first instinct had been to load her gun and go to the aid of her Captain. The second was to lay back slowly and let herself relax into a grin. Seems like the Companion wasn't going to be leaving Serenity any time soon. Laughing Zoe rolled on to her side and listened until the strangled screams died away. Looked like they would be needing those three days to Shiloh if only to give their Captain time to recover. One thing about life in the Black, it was never dull.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*diyu* = hell *cuode* = wrong *duibuqi* = sorry *dong ma* = understand? *shenme* = what *jide* = remember *mei mei* = little sister *qu* = yes (lit. go) *yiwusuoyou* = nothing *ching jin* = come *shenme shi* = what's the matter? *hundan* = bastard *wo benlai bu yinggai name shuo* = I shouldn't have said that *bao bei* = precious/treasure


Sunday, August 6, 2006 5:58 AM


Bwahahaha! Kaylee gave Inara a 'gift' to use on the Captain!

>it was just he had the habit of only opening his mouth to change feet

LOL! That is so true.

Inara using that little device on the Captain was perfect, as was Simon's lament that he'd be a dead man.

Very nice end to this series. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next.

Sunday, August 6, 2006 6:40 AM


HAHA! Kaylee definitely has a devious streak! I also just loved Simon's reaction and I really liked him wanting to make Jayne jealous because of their experience! It would be hilarious to read the conversation between Mala nd Inara the next morning!

Sunday, August 6, 2006 6:23 PM


Oh Alison...this was sheer brilliance! Definitely loved this ending like no one's business:D

I could only partially fathom the kinds of hijinks Inara and Mal will get up to cuz you just know she's gonna beat the remaider of the good little Christian boy outta Mal right quick;D



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His head still ached from the rutting probe but after the men had satisfied themselves that his story was true a thousand questions peppered the air like machine gun fire.

The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.