Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Eight in the short episodes following BIRTHDAY. Zoe gets ready for bed ... Feedback please, as always, even if you hate it.


Zoe stepped off the ladder into her bunk and sighed. Long day. Longer night to come. And probably very little rest in it. She tugged off her waistcoat, pushing her boots off, and stared at the picture of Wash on the dresser.

“I don’t know what’s come over me,” she admitted, picking up one of the small dinosaurs still littering the room. “Nor why I should feel so guilty.”

No need to feel guilty, lambie-toes, she seemed to hear. Ain’t done nothing wrong. Yet.

She carried the dinosaur to the bunk and sat down, not looking at it, just staring into the distance. Not so far in this small space, but it felt like she was seeing to the edge of the ‘verse.

“He’s a good man. I’ve always known that. But he reminds me of you too much. Not just being Serenity’s pilot. But the way he talks, acts … if he had a stupid moustache I’d think it was you come back to haunt me.”

I think as a ghost I’d be sensitive enough not to include the facial hair.

“He nearly died. Like you.”

Not quite like me. Didn’t get speared through the chest with a big wooden stake. If I’d been a vampire, I coulda understood it. But I don’t even like the sight of blood. ‘Specially my own.

“When I saw him there, lying on the floor, I was so angry. I could have shot him myself, just to make it clear to him how angry I was.”

Known that feeling myself. I mean, you about to shoot me because you’re so angry with me. Coupla times I remember looking around just to make sure you weren’t actually armed when I owned up to something. It was usually Mal’s fault anyway.

“Then when Simon was about to operate, and his hand was shaking, I wondered what life would be like on board Serenity without him.”

But you didn’t have to find out. Pumpkin, I understand.

“I don’t understand.” She put the dinosaur down on the bedside table and laid down, her hair billowing out around her.

I love your hair. Always did. Wanted to be buried with it. Well, not exactly with it, you know. That would be kinda gross. But a lock of it. Wrapped around my finger, like I used to when we were makin’ love.

“He annoys me. And that’s what scares me. Because that’s what you used to do.”

I worked hard at that. First time I saw you, standing there next to Mal, I knew I could use my wiles on you and make you really mad at me. ‘Cause mad and love … well, they’re pretty close.

She pulled off her shirt over her head and dropped it to the floor. “And you were so damn good at it.”

You ain’t gotten any tidier, have you? I always seemed to be picking up after you. And with you being a soldier ‘n’ all. Thought you’da known exactly where everything had to be kept. Maybe it was being married to me changed things.

“First time he stepped on board he started. Gave me a look that just made me want to shoot him there and then. Only Mal wouldn’t have approved. He wanted a pilot, and Hank was the only one around with anything near decent qualifications.” She put her arms above her head, her breasts moving up in her bra.

Hey, you ain’t shaved for a few days. Oh, I love that. Used to love running my fingers through it, particularly when you’d just come back from a job and were all sweaty. You used to hate it, call me perverted. Well, bring on the perversions, that’s what I say! And hand me the geese!

“And he hasn’t stopped.” She sighed. “Freya encourages him too. She says it because she can’t bear to see people unhappy. She’s happy, so everyone else has to be.”

That’s not a bad attitude to have.

“Only she’s had some sadness lately, and I don’t like to see that.”

You didn’t used to like her. You told me. Thought she was too close to Mal. I know how you felt. I always thought you were too close to Mal, too, ‘til Niska kinda shocked it out of me. Sorry, bad joke.

“She’ll be fine, and her and the Captain’ll have kids.”

I'm sorry. I should have said yes when you told me. You’d have made such a great mom.

“You’d have made such a great dad. I wish …” She stopped. “But they’ll be fine. Ain't likely to stop them, and this boat’ll be filled with children running around, getting into all kinds of mischief before you know it.”

Well, you were a space baby. You should know.

“It never did me any harm, being born in space. Lived most of my life off-world, and I wish I could have made you see that.”

So do I, sweet cakes. And I agree – totally my fault. So shoot me now. Or impale me on a big wooden stick. Either way, I’m sorry.

“You could have taught them how to fly. Such a good dad …”

Well, some would say that’s because I never grew up. And I’d be answering them, why should I?

She ran her hands through her hair, pulling at the slight tangles caused by the day. “Only I've kinda changed my mind. I don’t want kids now, not if you’re not the father.”

I should hope so too! You ain’t even kissed the guy yet and you’re talking kids here.

“I wonder what he kisses like?” She clamped a hand to her mouth, laughing. “Oh, God, did I really just say that? I must be more tired than I thought!”

Well, it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. Hell, even when I was alive it didn’t get as bad. Least we had a coupla days off occasionally.

“I think I need a break. Somewhere warm. With a beach.”

A naked beach?

“Just to recharge my batteries.”

Sounds good. Can I come?

She lay still for a moment then touched her fingers to her lips. “I wonder what he tastes like?”

Well, you could always find out. Not that I'm encouraging my wife to be unfaithful, but … dear, I have been dead a while. And although I ain’t strictly pushing up the daisies, it is kinda time for you to move on. A little. I mean, not going any further than a peck on the cheek. Maybe just a quick lip lock – no tongues, though. And nothing … honey?

She’d got to her feet and hurried up the ladder, not even pausing to grab her shirt.

She crossed the corridor and stood outside Hank’s bunk, leaning on the wall, her head down. For once in her life she didn’t know what to do.

“Zoe?” Mal asked, heading towards his bunk. “You okay?”

She stood straight. “Yes, sir. I'm fine.”

“Only you’re standing there looking like your favourite puppy just died. And you do seem to be somewhat … undressed.”

She looked down at herself, barefoot and, worse, bare-chested. Well, nearly. “Um …”

Mal was so shocked he almost dropped the mug of coffee he was carrying. His first mate was never lost for words. And she appeared to be … dammit, yes, she was blushing!

“I think I must be sleep-walking, sir,” she said firmly.

“Yeah. Right. I'm sure that’s it. Outside Hank’s cabin?”

“Yes sir.”

“Makes total sense,” he said, passing her and opening the hatch to his room. “Just don’t catch cold.”

“No sir.” She turned and headed back to her own bunk, dropping down the ladder and closing the door firmly above her. Crossing the room she threw herself on her bunk and covered her head with the pillow.

Ah. Didn’t quite work out? No. Guess not. Still, there’s time, sweetness. He ain't going anywhere. And neither are you.

There was a sigh in the room, and Zoe lifted her head from under the pillow, listening for a moment, but there was no-one there. Not for a long time.


Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:30 AM


This was amusing, sad and hi-larious in equal measure. Poor Zoe, torn every which way but I am sure she will come round to realising that a relationship with Hank would not be betraying Wash because not nobody could rival that man. Loved this, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:24 AM


This was great. I liked Wash's self-deprecating, dead humor. That's always funny.

I really wish Zoe had just taken the plunge and gone down to Hank's bunk though ... what is she waiting for, Christmas??!

Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:21 PM


Now that would be a neat Xmas present for Hank: Zoe, on his bunk, only wearing a giant ribbon;D

Still...gotta emulate AMDOBELL and say this chapter was equal parts comedic brilliance and deep drama, with Zoe trying to hash out her feelings for Hank, with Wash slinging witcisms in the background while trying to be somewhat encouraging;)


Sunday, November 19, 2006 5:20 PM


Thanks I'm gonna have to go back and read the other tales so I can know who this Hank fellow is that got Zoe all hot and bothered. And I loved Wash ghost banter. Great tale.


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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]