Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tenth, and last, in the short episodes following BIRTHDAY. Freya gets some news ... I hope you liked this series - let me know!



She looked up and smiled at Simon. “Hi.”

“Hi.” He stepped into the galley. “Do you … have a minute?”

“Sure,” she said, indicating the chair opposite her. “Just catching up on old news before I go to bed.” She waved the Cortex pad at him.

“Hmmn. Anything interesting?” he asked, sitting down.

“Not really. No mention of your heroic and daring rescue.”

Simon blushed, right to the tips of his ears. “I didn’t rescue anyone.”

“Yes, you did,” she said softly. “And believe me, we’re all very grateful.”

He looked down at his hands, his doctor’s hands, and composed himself. “Yes, well, I'm … I'm glad of that.”

She tried hard not to laugh. “So what can I do for you?”

He looked back at her. “How’s the scar?”

She shrugged. “Sore. But it’s getting better.” She tipped her head to one side slightly. “And you checked it this morning. So what’s up?”

“I … that is, I …” He stumbled to a halt.

“Now this is something I thought I would never see,” Freya said, smiling. “Never thought you’d be lost for words.”

The blush receded from Simon’s face, replaced by a slightly paler tone than usual. “I need to speak to you.”

“Oh.” Something in his voice had the smile dying on Freya’s lips. “Something wrong, is there?”

“Maybe we should have Mal here,” Simon said quickly.

“That bad, is it?” She took a deep breath. “Whatever it is, you’d better tell me.”

“It’s … I did some tests.” He still couldn’t bring himself to say the words.

“Right. And?”

He had to, just had to say it, get the words out that were crowding in his throat. “The injury you sustained, it … you may not be able to have children.” He watched the colour drain from her face. “I'm sorry.”

“I see.” She sat so still she was barely breathing. “You’re sure?”

“No, but … there’s a lot of scar tissue, from earlier injuries as well as this one. Alice … her conception might prove to be … you may not be able to conceive again. I'm sorry.” He hated this, hated having to give bad news. That was why he’d been a trauma surgeon – generally he had put people back together and sent them upstairs, or someone else had had to tell the relatives. And this was much, much worse.

“So no kids.”

“There’s no guarantees,” he added quickly. “There’s always a slim chance …”

“How slim?”

“Well …”

“Out of a hundred.”

“I can’t ...”

“As many as that.” Her face was bleak. “Something else that’s been taken away from me.”

“Frey –“

“You don’t tell him.”

“What?” Simon was shocked. “No, look, Freya, Mal has a right to know.”

“No. This is covered by that damn catch-all of doctor/patient confidentiality, right?”

“Well, I –“


“Yes,” he admitted with little grace.

“Then you don’t say anything.” She twisted the engagement ring on her finger.

“You think if he knows he won’t want to marry you?” Simon asked softly.

“Nothing to do with you,” she said, dropping her head.

“Sometimes, Frey, you talk the worst amount of fei hua,” Mal’s voice said from the doorway.

Her head snapped up. “Shit,” she breathed.

Her fiancé stood upright, his arms crossed. “Saw the young doctor here heading this way, looking mighty purposeful. Figured I might hear something to my advantage, so I kinda tagged along.”

“Eavesdropped, you mean,” she said, anger making her skin redden.

“Exactly that.” He dropped his arms and stepped down into the galley. “You think it matters that much?” he asked, his voice soft.

She glared at him. “Of course it does!”

Mal looked at her for a moment then spoke to Simon, his gaze not leaving the woman in front of him. “Doc, I think little Bethany needs some attention.”

Simon jerked, then realised he was being dismissed. “Yes, right. Better go and see to her then, hadn’t I?”

“I think you should.”

Simon stood up and hurried out. This was one conversation he didn’t want to be around to hear.

“You gonna give that back to me again?” he asked at last, going down onto his haunches in front of her and touching the ring gently.

“Do you want it?”

“Frey, I’ve spent years telling you I didn’t need you. Didn’t want you. And more since telling you I don’t wanna live without you. I admit, sounds a mite schizo, even to me, but that’s how it’s been. And ever since Alice … since she died, I’ve been trying to make you see that kids or not is fine by me. Not that I didn’t want Alice – because I did, you know that. But kids – they’re extra. What I want … what I need is right here, in front of me. You, you jien hro.”

She couldn’t stop the smile flitting across her face. “That some kind of term of endearment?”

“That ain't nothing compared to what you’ve called me.”

“With deep and honest feeling.”

“Oh, I figured that much.” He smiled at her. “Frey, I love you. I want to marry you. And I’ll keep damn well telling you until all those stars out there turn cold.”

“I love you too,” Freya said softly, leaning forward to place her lips on his. She felt them open, and his tongue touched hers. Then she groaned slightly.

“What? What is it?” he asked, leaning back to look into her eyes.

“Pulling.” She put a hand on her belly.

“Let me see.” He took hold of her hand but she wouldn’t move it. “Let me see.”

“Mal, I …”

“You’ve been sleeping in those guest quarters since Simon let you out of the infirmary, and you ain't even let me see your scar. Don’t you think that’s a little crazy, even for you?”

“It’s just …”

“Frey, I'm your captain. You want me to give you a direct order?” He watched her as she seemed to struggle with herself, then she looked up at him. “Or are you gonna do it for the man you love?”

A quick smile flashed across her face and was gone, replaced by … something else. “I’m scared, okay?”

“What of?”

“How close we came.”

“To all dying?” he asked gently. “That ain’t exactly unusual.”

“No, we do lead interesting lives, don’t we?” She glanced up at him, her eyes dark. “But this was close, Mal.”

He nodded. He was never, in his life, going to forget seeing her on the ground, the wound in her chest bleeding so, believing that he would never love her again. “I know. And it is scary sometimes.”

“And now this …” She dropped her head. “I'm sorry.”

“What for?”

“Not being able to give you the child you want.”

He pulled the chair behind him and sat down. “Did you not hear a word I said?” he asked in exasperation.

“Mal, I –“

“Freya, you’re gonna marry me. I intend to put a plain gold band alongside that ring, and I intend for it to be soon. Dong mah?”

Her lips twitched. “I love it when you’re all masterful.”

“Good. So tell me when.”


“You keep saying that. You trying to make me beg? ‘Cause I will. Down on both knees if you like.”

This time she did smile. “Actually, I’d quite like to see that.”

He looked deep into her eyes. “You’re still scared, though, that’s it, isn’t it?”

She nodded. “Of it being you we bury on a dark moon somewhere.”

“Well, I can’t promise it won’t happen. Life we lead, things go wrong sometimes. But I’ll do my best not to let it. Not to any of us. Can’t keep us from doing what we do, though. Or you from sleeping in my bed.”

“Oh, that’s just …” She stopped. “I'm sore,” she explained, touching her belly.

“That’s it? You afraid I'm going to have my wicked way with you?” Mal was shocked and surprised, but couldn’t stop the smile on his lips.

“No,” she explained. “Afraid I will. You aren’t the only lecherous hump on board, you know.”

“We can always be careful,” Mal suggested.

“Since when have we been that?” Freya pointed out. “Even Jayne complains sometimes.”

Mal’s lips twitched again. “That’s no excuse. I was beginning to think you’d gone off me.”

“I haven’t so far.”

“No.” He grinned. “So, what does it look like?”


“The scar.”

“Well, I'm not sure –”

“No time like the present.”

She gazed at him, and he felt her mind working, considering, then she sighed and sat back. “It’s getting better but it’s still not pretty.”

“I’ll try not to scream,” he promised.

Smiling slightly she leaned back and pulled her shirt up out of her pants, exposing her midriff. Carefully she peeled off the dressing, wincing a little as it pulled at her skin. There it was, a dark red line running up the centre of her stomach to under her ribs, fragments of stitches still visible. It looked hot, and not a little painful. He reached out to touch it tenderly, remembering the wound it had been, so deep he thought he could see forever in it. She shivered. “Tickles,” she said.

“The boy does good work.”

“He does that.”

“Remind me to thank him again, will you?” he said gently, looking into her face.

“I will.”

“Now, you coming to bed? We don’t even have to do anything, but I want you lying next to me.” He got to his feet and held out his hand. She took it, allowing him to pull her to her feet, ignoring the sharp tug at her insides. He didn’t, though. “I mean it. I won’t take advantage of you ‘til you’re well,” he added, stepping closer to her and dipping his head to touch her lips.

“You keep doing that and I’ll end up back in the infirmary,” she said, smiling into the kiss. “Because I’ll have been the one taking advantage.”

“You planning on seducing me?”

“I'm working on it.”

He laughed. “Frey, I love you. For all your quirks and foibles, for whatever comes our way … or doesn’t. If’n we don’t have kids, that’s just the way the cards fall. We’ve got each other, and that’s … well, that means the ‘verse to me.”

“You’ve been spending too many nights alone on the bridge,” Freya said, laughing softly. “Staring out into the black’s making a poet of you.”

“Had to,” he said, leading her towards their bunk. “Ain't got a pilot fit to fly a damn at the moment. Hank’s still claiming to be incapacitated, River won’t hardly even stay in the same room as me, and you … well, you’re just a sorry case.”

“That I am,” she agreed, watching his backside as he walked along the corridor.

“Don’t know why I want to marry you in the first place.”

“Me neither.”

He pushed the hatch open. “And we’re both of us terrible bad liars,” he said, reaching for her. “And Simon’s been wrong before, you know.”


“Always a first time.”


Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:43 AM


I absolutely loved this! Freya's conversation with Simon and the one with Mal afterwards. Poor girl needs a little reassuring but their love is strong enough to weather the uncertainties and I can't help that Mal is right and that this is the time when Simon will be wrong about Freya not being able to have children, though lord knows the parents are right handy at acting like kids their own selves. *Xie xie ni*, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:42 AM


Poor Freya ... I think if we add in a bout of cancer, she'll have just about everything in the 'verse thrown her way.

I really love Mal insisting that they get married though. I love the fact that he refuses to give up ... that's just perfect!

Friday, November 17, 2006 10:36 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER really like running our BDHs through the wringer, don't ya Jane0904? Cuz this moment was a mighty powerful blow:(

Still...I am definitely glad you had Mal be his nosey self...or you would have had to deal with Simon fretting madly over wilfully violating the doctor-patient confidentiality oath to ensure Mal is aware.'re gonna have some fun times with River, cuz on top of her slow recovery emotionally from being driven to the brink again and made to be a ruthless killing machine, she's gonna have some issues when it comes out her actions pretty much ended any chance of Mal and Freya having children:(

Really, this chapter rocked mightily and I can't wait to see more:D


Monday, November 20, 2006 3:03 PM


In conjuction with Birthday this series rocked mightiley. Nice to see you wrapped everything up while still leaving scope for expansion. sign of a true pro.
Keep it real.


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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!]