Commitment - Part II
Friday, December 1, 2006

Friday, 2nd bite ... Does this make it clearer ... or stir up the mud? Let me know!


That was it. Too many people, too much noise when she was used to the space of Serenity and the hum of the engine, and Freya was standing outside getting some fresh air and relief from the crush of bodies in the small house. She was considering that having a big family meant you had to be friendly, just as the door behind her opened and Edmundos Frye came out.

“Bit too much for you?” he asked.

“A little,” she admitted, looking back into the evening air. The lights were still on in the factories, indicating that when it was around, work was pretty much twentyfourseven.

“Well, folks want to meet the new arrival,” he explained. “Got people come from miles away, just to see Bethany.”

Freya smiled. “Worth the trip, don’t you think?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t disagree with you on that topic.” He pulled a small cigar from his pocket. “Do you mind?”

She shook her head. “No, please.”

Mr Frye lit up, puffing to get a good head going. “Your man Jayne gave me a couple, but I’ll save them for later.”

“He likes a good cigar,” she agreed.

“So what’s with the name?”

Freya grinned into the darkness. “I don’t know. I never got up the courage to ask.”

“I guess it explains why he looks the way he does.” Mr Frye inhaled. “Being called Jayne must make you wanna beat up on people.”

“I think it’s just a coincidence.”

“Could be.” There was a silence, then he went on, “Mrs Reynolds, when you came last time, you told me you’d look after Kaylee.”

“That I did.”

“And you have. So now I have to ask. Do you know why she ain't agreeing to marry the young doctor?”

Freya was surprised. “I ... I don’t know.”

“Have you asked her?”

“Well, no. I just figured she’d say yes when she was ready.”

“Weren't you?”

“I don’t –“

“Kaylee wrote us, told us you’d lost a baby.”

Freya closed her eyes. “I … yes.”

“How’d that happen?”

She remembered falling, but not hitting. Just being in the air … “It was an accident. Nothing anyone could’ve done.”

“But you were going to marry the captain because you were pregnant.”

She looked at him. “I was going to marry Mal because he asked me. And I loved him. Still do.” She twisted the rings on her finger. Such a little box … “I got around to marrying him three months ago.”

“But he asked because –“

“Mr Frye, I don’t know why Kaylee won’t marry Simon.”

“It still pains you, I'm sorry.”

She looked towards the horizon. “I shouldn’t … it’s just that …” She paused. So many tears … “We should ... The nursery should be finished, waiting and I … buying those last few things.”

“I'm sorry.”

“It isn’t your fault.” She took a deep breath, pushing it away yet again. “So, Kaylee.”

“Mmn.” Mr Frye acknowledged the change of subject with a nod of his head. “I was wondering whether you could talk to her. Find out why she won’t say yes.”

“I'm sure she will. Eventually.”

“Well I ain’t. There’s something going on in Kaylee’s head, and she’s brewing up to something. I’ve seen the signs before, and it’s always been bad news.” He exhaled noisily. “Don’t happen often, just a few times when she was growing up, but you don’t wanna be around when it happens. Last time it was when she wanted to go on that boat of yours, be a mechanic. When I told her no.”

“And this time you think it’s to do with not marrying Simon?”

“I do.” He stuck his hands in his pants pockets, all stern and fatherly at the same time.

Freya couldn’t help but smile. “I’ll try.”

“Thanks.” He looked sincerely grateful. “Look, why don’t you go to Kaylee’s old workshop? It’s just a shed round back, but I ain't had the heart to clear it out. It’s all still full of her stuff, old tools and the like. I’ll send her to you.”

“No time like the present, eh?”

“None at all.”

Freya nodded. “Sure. Besides, maybe that shed’ll give me a better idea of what makes Kaylee tick.”

“The way that girl is, it’s probably clockwork.” Mr Frye walked back into the house.

Freya turned back to the night, but wasn't surprised by the voice reaching out to her.

“Is that why you’ve been prickly lately?” Mal asked, coming out of the darkness.

She looked at him. “Have I?”

“Yes.” He put his arms around her, just holding her lightly. “I hadn’t worked it out, maybe I didn’t want to, but … I guess it would be time.” He glanced down at her flat belly.

She swallowed. “Yes.” She leaned into him, not wanting to look into his eyes, to see the pain and concern still there.

“I'm sorry.” He tightened his grip on her as he felt her shudder. “I wish …”

“Me too.”

They didn’t speak for a few minutes, just used the warmth of their bodies to comfort each other. After a while Freya pushed away, turning so he couldn’t see the tears on her face, the loss still eating at her. He felt the fabric of his shirt, and the dampness there.

“Frey …”

“I … Mr Frye has asked me to talk to Kaylee, about Simon,” his wife said, not turning back. “I’ll … we can talk later.” She walked into the darkness.

He watched for a moment, then shook his head. “No, Frey,” he called, chasing her and catching her arm. “Not later. Now.”

She looked at him in surprise. “Mal?”

“I should have realised. And you could have told me,” he said, dropping his head a little so he could gaze directly into her dark eyes. “I ain’t such an ogre, am I?”

“I just … didn’t want people to feel sorry for me.”

“Pity? Is that what this is about?” She shrugged. Mal sighed, pulling her into him again. “Frey, honey, I wish you were giving birth right now. That we were holding Alice, looking forward to her first words, her first steps, her first … hell, even her first boyfriend. Though I draw the line at it being someone like Jayne.” He felt her laugh a little, and was grateful.

“If that was who she wanted …” Freya pointed out, holding him tightly. “It just seems such a waste.”

“It is.” He kissed the top of her head. “It will always be that. And seeing Bethany can’t make it any easier.”

“No, no, Mal,” she insisted, looking into his face. “I’ve got past that, honestly. And she is so cute, so …” A tear rolled down her cheek and he kissed it away.

“So perfect.”

“Mmn.” Freya sniffed hard. “But we can’t change the past, can we?”

“Nope. Just look to the future.”

“Even if there are no children in it for us?”

Mal smiled. “Frey, the way Simon and Kaylee are still sexing each other up, there’ll be a little brother or sister for Bethany before too long, and I don’t doubt eventually we won’t be able to move on Serenity for kids.”

“I guess.”

“And ours’ll be there too.”

“Mal –“

“No, Frey.” He squeezed her to silence her. “Ours. One day.”

“You seem so sure.”

“Hell, I’m captain. I get to be sure.”

She smiled at him at last. “Okay, Captain.”

“Good. Now, you’d better get to talking with Kaylee. I'm kinda curious myself to find out why she won’t say yes.”

“I thought you didn’t approve of shipboard romances?” Freya asked, letting him go and straightening her clothes.

“That rule seems to have gone the way of all flesh, as they say. And now what with Hank and Zoe …” He shook his head, looking mighty sad. “Maybe I should just change the name of my ship to the Love Boat.”

Freya laughed. “Over my dead body.” She leaned in to kiss him lightly, before walking swiftly into the darkness.

He watched her leave, controlling the ache inside him, then Simon bustled out of the house.

“Mal, Jayne’s trying to … Mal?” The young doctor peered at him. “You okay?”

“What’s he doing now, doc?” the captain of Serenity asked, putting his armour back on.

“He’s … oh, you’d better come and stop him.” ---

Freya knew it was Kaylee’s old work room: it said so on the door, on a hand-painted sign with flowers around it. She smiled. The girl hadn’t changed so much. She stepped inside and pulled the string to turn on the light. No, not that much at all.

There was a workbench, gouged deeply here and there, but obscured with bits and pieces of machinery. Tools lined the walls, mostly old, some rusty, but all in their place. A layer of dust covered everything.

She picked up a piece of tubing, about the width of her forearm, wires sticking out of it haphazardly.

“Never did get to finish that,” Kaylee said from the doorway.

“What is it?” Freya asked, smiling.

“Just an idea I had for a recycler.” She took it from the older woman. “Guess it’ll never get done now.”

“I don’t know.” Freya grinned. “You could take it all back with to Serenity with you.”

“I don’t think the Cap’n would approve of me filling his engine room with junk! He ain't got over the last time the space monkeys got loose.” Kaylee smiled and dropped the recycler back onto the bench. “’Sides, I got me more than enough to keep busy.”

“That you do.” Freya turned to examine the tools more closely. “And where is Simon?”

“He’s trying to stop Jayne from making a really bad mistake.”

Freya looked over her shoulder in surprise. “What kind of mistake?”

“Oh, the kind where you end up with a shotgun in your back, saying ‘I do’.”

“Kaylee, explain yourself.”

The young mechanic grinned. “He’s making eyes at Juliette, my cousin. Only she’s … well, somewhat even-handed with the way she portions herself out.”

“Just Jayne’s type, I’d’a thought.”

“Only her daddy, my daddy’s brother, has been trying to catch one of ‘em at it, so he could marry her off. Get her off his hands, so to speak.”

“And he wouldn’t mind Jayne for a son-in-law?”

“If he’s male and breathing, that’s about all the qualifications he needs.”

“I think Jayne can manage those.” Freya smiled. “I'm surprised Mal isn’t encouraging him.”

Kaylee laughed. “Actually I think River’s dealing with her.”

“Now that wouldn’t surprise me.” She turned over a couple more bits of dead machinery. “So, what do you figure’s going on with those two?”

“Who, Jayne and River?” When Freya nodded, Kaylee shrugged. “I ain't entirely sure. Simon thinks Jayne’s getting too … attached to her, but I think it’s the other way around.”

“Simon is her brother.”

“That don’t mean he knows everything.”

“No, I guess it doesn’t.” Freya turned to look at Kaylee, the planes on her face sharp in the light from the small bulb. “Like why you won’t say yes.”

“That why my Pa said you wanted to see me out here?” Kaylee wasn't mad, so much as resigned.

“Something like that.” Freya took her arm. “You love Simon, yes?”

“Of course!”

“And you’ve got a baby together.” She shook her head. “Don’t you think marriage is kind of the next step?”

“It is,” Kaylee agreed.

“Then what’s stopping you?” Freya leaned against the workbench. “I mean, even if you don’t want to get married yet, you can still say yes. Have a long engagement. A really long engagement.”

“It ain't that.” Kaylee looked down at her hands.

“Then what is it?”

“Well …” She took a deep breath, then glanced up at Freya. “I’m kinda engaged already.”

to be continued


Friday, December 1, 2006 7:50 AM


“I’m kinda engaged already.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I don't know why that cracks me up, but it does. Everyone's always so sure Simon's the one leaving secrets behind, and here's Kaylee engaged. Methinks her trip wth Serenity wasn't as innocent as it seemed? She wouldn't be the first one to ship out to avoid a marriage.

So is Simon going to have to square off with a local boy for the right to his lady? This seems like it could get rather interesting...

Friday, December 1, 2006 8:01 AM


Oh good Lord! Kaywinnet, I could kick her in the pigu ... so who is this mystery man? Perhaps he's still on Phoros and we'll get to meet him?

Something tells me Simon is gonna freak when he finds out ... oh boy, let the fun begin!

Friday, December 1, 2006 8:45 AM


Kaylee engaged already? There is no way in *diyu* that bombshell would not have been shared with Inara! And I can't imagine Kaylee leading Simon on while still promised to another man so it will be interesting to see how you explain the why and the wherefore. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, December 1, 2006 8:59 AM


While I agree that Kaylee most likely would have told Inara, not telling Simon is definitely the way she'd go.

It appears that no one but her (and presumably the guy or gal in question) knows about things, including her family. Telling Simon would scre the bejesus out of him, and he'd back off - not only because it's "proper", but because anyone who stands in the way of an existing engagement might come under some scrutiny, and he'd want to avoid that.

Of course, that ain't going to make him feel any better...poor Simon has trust issues as it is, and this can't help.

Friday, December 1, 2006 12:17 PM


Yes! I guessed it right! I knew it had to be something like a previous engagement! And I get the feeling that the whole deal's Kaylee said yes to a previous beau's proposal, something happened to make her think he was dead and gone, she upped with Serenity after grieving, fell for Simon...and found out recently that Fiance #1 is still alive. At least that's how I would handle the scenario;)

Amazing work as always, Jane0904!


Saturday, March 1, 2008 9:26 AM


"I'm kinda engaged already."

I love this!


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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!]