Saturday, October 14, 2006

Serenity's crew come down with something, and Simon and Jayne have a little heart to heart ... Follows ENOUGH and CURIOSITY. Please let me know what you think!


“Don’t you dare come near me!” Freya called, stopping Mal in his tracks on the middle rung of the ladder.

“Why? What’ve I done?”

“Not sure yet,” Freya said, then threw up loudly into the bucket she was holding on her lap. “Gao yang jong duh goo yang,” she added, grabbing a tissue and wiping at her mouth.

“Honey?” Mal moved down another rung. “You okay?”

“Do I look okay?” she asked, sitting up in the bunk, one of Mal’s flannel shirts done up to her neck. He couldn’t see what she was wearing on the bottom half as the blanket was tucked securely around her waist. More than one blanket, in fact.

“Is this a trick question?” he asked, stepping down onto the floor and moving towards her.

“I've got some kind of stomach flu!” she said loudly.

He stopped. “I’m away for three days and you get sick?”

“I told you, it’s a bug.” She sniffed. “Ask Simon. He told me. Said my temperature was up. Seemed pretty impressed it was so high without me actually being unconscious.” She covered her mouth again. “Gorramit,” she muttered, pulling the bucket back towards her, but this time she was able to fight it back.

“And you think I gave it to you?” Mal asked.

“Did I say that? Sorry, but did I actually say that?” Freya rubbed a hand across her red eyes. “Only I’m beginning to think I might be hallucinating.”

“No, not quite. But you told me not to come near you,” Mal explained.

“Oh. No, right. I meant so you don’t catch it.” She lay back, closing her eyes. “It’s gos se, believe me. I ache everywhere, too.” She shifted slightly, trying to find a comfortable position, then sat up. “And I can’t sleep, ‘cos I wake up feeling like I'm drowning.”

Mal winced slightly. “Thanks for that,” he said. “Little bit too much information.”

“Hey, you’re supposed to be there for me!” she said, wiping her forehead. “I know I look like something Kaylee scrapes out of the coil, but it ain't permanent.”

“You told me to go away.”

“I didn’t mean it.” She sighed, only this time it was misery. “Oh, Mal, I feel like I'm dying.”

He hid a grin and took the last couple of steps across the cabin, sitting on the edge of the bunk. “You sure it isn’t something you’ve eaten?”

“We’ve all been eating the same thing, and no-one else is sick.” She pushed the bucket away. “’Sides, you shouldn’t have to see me like this.”

“What, all yellow and disgusting?” he asked, moving her hair out of her eyes.

“Yellow?” she asked with a yelp.

“A little. Quite a pretty shade,” he assured her. “Kinda goes with the bloodshot eyes.”

“Oh, great,” she said, leaning forward so her forehead rested on his thigh. “Just shoot me now.”

“Ain't gonna shoot you,” Mal said gently, stroking her back.

“No, please.”

“So where does Simon think you picked it up?” Mal asked. “This bug.”

She sat up and sighed. “Boros. He thinks it’s something doing the rounds there. I just don’t want anyone else to get it.” She gave him a push on his chest. “Including you.”

“Hey, I got the constitution of a horse. Always have had.” He smiled at her. “Ain't gonna get rid of me that easy.”

“I don’t want to get rid of you. Just don’t want you sick.”

“How long you gonna be like this, did the doc say?”

Freya shrugged miserably. “At least a couple more days.” She looked into his face. “I can’t take it, Mal. I ain't been able to keep anything remotely food-like down for two days, and even the thought …” Her face took on a strained look and Mal grabbed the bucket, holding it for her as she threw up. Again. Finally it was just dry heaves and she lay back, her face damp with sweat. He picked up a towel from the chair and wiped her forehead. “You know, if you were a gentleman, you’d do like I asked and shoot me.”

“Good job I ain't a gentleman, then,” Mal said, drying her cheeks. ---

“It’s just a stomach bug,” Simon said, trying to sound reassuring. “I checked the Cortex last night – it’s become something of a epidemic down there. I’m just surprised more of the crew haven‘t come down with it.”

“More?” Mal asked, his eyebrows raising. “I thought it was just Freya.”

“No. River began throwing up at breakfast. Projectile vomiting, no less. I don’t think Jayne was any too pleased.”


“He was sitting opposite her at the time.”

Mal tried, unsuccessfully, to hide a smile. “Seems to me your sister has a propensity for ruining Jayne’s shirts.”

Simon‘s lips twitched. “Seems so.”

“So, you think there’s gonna be more?”

“Well, I don’t think Jayne’s feeling too good at the moment, but that might just be the fallout from earlier, and I haven’t seen Hank in a while … but I can’t really say. I’ve restricted Freya and River to their quarters, but if it’s on board …”

“I take Zoe on a job and this is what I come back to.” Mal shook his head. “It’s gonna smell, isn’t it?”

“I’m afraid it might. But look on the bright side, Mal. You can prove how much you love Freya by holding the bucket for her.”

“Already did that,” Mal murmured. “And there’s nothing you can do to help?” He crossed his arms, the blue light in the infirmary reflecting off his eyes.

“I've tried, but all the anti-emetics don’t seem to have much effect.” Mal just stared at him. “To stop her throwing up,” Simon clarified.

“I do understand, doctor,” Mal said. “But there must be something else. In this day and age –“

“It’s a virus,” Simon interrupted. “They mutate – change – sometimes as we look at them. What works on one variant might not work on another. It’s usually better just to let it take its course.”

“And you told Freya that.”

“I made sure her gun was a distance away first, but yes. I think she hates me.”

“Doc, you don’t know the half of it.” Mal shook his head. “So what do we do?”

“Nothing we can do. Keep her hydrated as much as possible, warm, and no sex.”

“Wha … what?”

For once Simon had rendered Mal speechless, and it was a pleasant feeling. “Or if you do you have to use some other form of contraception. This sort of virus renders oral or hypodermic inoculation unreliable. So for the next three weeks, until it re-establishes itself, I would suggest condoms –“

Mal held up a hand. “Doc, you can stop right there. Ain't no way Frey is going to let me get within ten feet of her at the moment, so I don’t think you need to worry about that.” ---

“Doc?” Jayne said, standing in the doorway to the infirmary, one arm across his stomach.

Simon turned. “Ah.” He indicated the medbed. “Better hop up.”

“I don’t hop, doc,“ Jayne said but climbed slowly onto the table and Simon fixed the sensor to his finger.

“Oh, yes, you have a temperature,” the young doctor confirmed.

“It’s all the fault of that sister of yourn,” Jayne complained. “If’n she hadn’t spewed her guts all over me -”

“Actually, it isn’t. Going by the progress of this, it’s probably Freya’s fault, if anyone is to blame.” Simon prepared a hypo.

“Yeah, but your sister ain’t likely to shoot me if I suggest that,” Jayne said, then stopped. “No, I take that back.”

Simon injected him with the colourless liquid. “This might help with the nausea, but I doubt it. As I told Freya, this just has to run its course.”

“So I’m gonna spend the next few days with my head down the john?” Jayne asked.

“Just think of it as an extended hangover,” Simon advised.

“Yeah, but I didn’t have the pleasure of drinking.” He looked down at the sensor on his finger. “You gonna take that off?”

“Well, that depends.” Simon was looking at him in a calculating fashion, and Jayne started to feel uncomfortable.

“You ain’t gonna kiss me, are you?” he asked, leaning back a little.

“Not if your life depended on it,” Simon said deadpan. “No, I just thought we might like to take this moment to have a little chat.”

“A chat?” Jayne stared at him. “What about?”


“What about her?”

“You’ve been spending a lot of time in each other’s company.” Simon continued his cool gaze.

“So?” The uncomfortableness was back.

“So I want to know your intentions.”

Jayne burst out laughing. “My intentions? You make it sound like I want to marry that moonbrain!”

“There’s nothing wrong with my sister that a good twenty-five years of psychoanalysis and medication can’t cure,” Simon said.

“You want me to marry her?” Jayne’s brow creased.

“Not if hell froze over.”

“Then what’s -”

“I just want to know what’s going on.”

Jayne stared at him for a moment, then his face took on a sort of odd, softer look. “Hell, doc. Truth is, I like her.” At Simon’s appalled expression he went on quickly, “Not like that. Don’t want to take her into my bed or nothing. Just … I kinda respect her. What she did on that moon, gutting all them Reavers - saved our skins.”

Simon shuddered a little. “That she did.”

“Well, I guess I kinda took a different look at her. She’s still crazy, but … anyone who can do all that and be the one still standin’ at the end, ain’t all bad in my book. So we’ve become …” He searched for the right word.

“Friends?” Simon supplied eventually.

“Nope,” Jayne said, shaking his head firmly. “Not friends. But we ain’t enemies no more. ‘N’ it’s good to have someone to talk to again, even if some of the things she says don’t exactly make a heap of sense.” He grinned. “Hell, I’ve even forgiven her for taking a kitchen knife to me.”

“I’m sure she’s immensely happy to hear that,” Simon said dryly.

Jayne, expecting sarcasm, didn’t rise to the bait. “I know she ain’t my kin, doctor. But she kinda feels like it.”

Simon was shocked. Jayne wanting to have sex with his sister was one thing, but this was entirely unexpected. “I … I see.”

“Just don’t tell her that,” Jayne added quickly. “She’d probably laugh herself silly at it.”

“No, I don’t think she would,” Simon said softly.

Jayne looked at him sharply then groaned. “Oh, tzao gao,” he moaned, holding his belly. “That stuff ain’t working.”

“Best you get back to your bunk, Jayne. I’ll stop in on you later.” He pulled the sensor off the big man’s finger.

Jayne nodded and got up. He walked unsteadily towards the door but stopped. “This is just between you ‘n’ me, right?” he asked, not looking around.

“Doctor/patient confidentiality, Jayne,” Simon assured him.

“Good.” Jayne moaned again and hurried back towards his bunk.

Besides, Simon thought, who would believe it?

“Simon?” It was Kaylee’s voice over the com.

He crossed the room and pressed the response button. “What is it, sweetheart?”

“Does morning sickness usually last into the afternoon?” There was a gasp and the sound of something splattering onto deck plating.

“I’m coming, Kaylee. Just hold on.”

“I’m holding, Simon,” her voice said tearfully.

Simon let go of the button and sighed, and went to pick up half a dozen kidney bowls and some swabs. It looked like he was going to be pretty busy for a while.


Saturday, October 14, 2006 2:44 AM


I loved this fic and I love your take on the verse. Thank you for such great stories, they have kept me mighty entertained. As long as you keep writing them I'll keep reading them.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 11:28 AM


Oh no, a bug is loose on Serenity and bringing down the crew one by gorram one! Some new-found Alliance biological warfare or a pretty dodgy vindaloo when they were dirtside? Let's just hope Simon doesn't get it, they need him to tend to the others. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, October 14, 2006 2:20 PM


Mutant virus enemy! Emesis basins ahoyURrugumphaahg. Ew.
Thank you for allowing Jayne to see River as something other than:
a) Crazy and to be avoided and ridiculed.
b) Something to hump.
There's more to him than meets the eye. Maybe not *much* more, but it's there.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 4:03 PM


Yikes! I can only imagine being in a confined space with seven people who are puking their guts out. Here's hoping that Simon, Mal and Zoe don't get it ... depending on how strong the strain is, Freya could give it to everyone.

I too, loved the Simon/Jayne convo in the infirmary, that was just priceless! Keep 'em comin' - I need somethin' good to read when my gorram muse flits away!

Saturday, October 14, 2006 8:17 PM


I dunno, stinkingrose...Jayne could still pull "River's certainly prettier than I last recall" given enough time. makes for so much fun when these two get together;D

But to the topic at hand! This was briliant stuff, Jane0904! Totally gotta love Mal's conversation with Freya and Simon's discussion with Jayne about River:D


Monday, October 16, 2006 1:36 AM


really enjoyable especially Jayne and Simon in the infirmary


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