Down the Rabbit Hole- Chapter One
Monday, January 1, 2007

Mal and Simon have a misadventure. A little danger, lots of snark. Not slash. First chapter of I'm not sure how many. My first time posting a fic here, encouraged by anjulie and by 2x2, who led by the example of her brilliant fic Choices. (Archived here and sooo worth your time.) PG for violence and cussing. Not mine, all belongs to Joss.


“Zoe! Heat her up and run, ma shong! All the way out of orbit!”

Mal’s forearm slammed Simon back against a wall as they waited for the cover of the panicked crowd surging in their direction. As soon as the runners reached them, Mal pulled Simon into the center of the stampede while continuing to bark orders into his com.

“Someone fingered the doc, we’re goin’ underground! Who the gorram else would it be? You head for the moon. Giacomo’s yard. Keep tabs on the Cortex, send a shuttle back soon as you think it’s safe!”

Simon struggled to keep his feet, jostling and being jostled in turn as the afternoon throng fled the gunfire that had erupted in the marketplace. Gunfire that had been aimed at them. At him.

“No,” Mal spared Simon a glance as they ran. “he’s fine. Do not let anyone try to contact us. You keep my ship outta trouble or there’ll be hell to pay!” Threats finished, Mal stuffed the com in his pocket. “Time to jump off the train, Doc! Go left!”

Simon split off from the dwindling pack to find himself in a small sidestreet, Mal on his heels. “Don’t stop!” Mal panted, his head twisting to take in the buildings on either side of them and the few other refugees who had taken the same turn. “Up here.”

He steered them into an alley, and Simon, winded, rested gratefully against the brick wall, some part of him noting with satisfaction that the captain was as short of breath as he.

“Thank you for the exercise, Doc.” Mal bent forward, hands on his knees. “Think I might take a pass next time, just the same.”

“What now?”

Mal looked skyward, and tilted his head as though listening. “When I said underground, wasn’t a figure of speech. Wouldn’t expect a rock this remote to have Air Search to call out, but then I wasn’t counting on a town square full a purplebellies, neither. For whatever reason, the population here has changed, and it sure ain’t in our favor.” He watched two teens run past on the street. “I figure we’re ‘bout three quarters of a mile out of the center. Gonna get too sparse of cover for us to go any farther street style.” He nodded to himself as in confirmation, and abruptly strode toward the mouth of the alley. “We go down.”

Simon hurried to follow. “Down?”

He rounded the corner to find Mal grinning wryly, holding open a manhole cover. “Down.”

The stench was not as bad as Simon might have imagined. The tunnel as a whole was not as bad as Simon might have imagined, were he given to imagining himself fleeing assassins through concrete passageways. It was large enough for them to stand fully upright, even the captain. The water and whatever it carried was only an inch or two deep. There were lights - dim, but lights nevertheless - affixed to the ceiling. And, curiously enough, a map outlining the system in pinpoints of amber and red lights on the tunnel wall.

“Well, how ‘bout that,” Mal said softly, smiling appreciatively as he paused to study the blinking schematic. “What I coulda done with a map in a sewer, on more ‘n one occasion. Awful considerate of their strays, aren’t they?”

Simon could not muster a matching smile, even at the fleeting image of the captain inventively cursing his way through a maze of filth. The space they were in may have been less noxious than expected, but it was still a subterranean tunnel, he was still hiding in it, and his heart was still pounding because he had been recognized, pursued, and forced to disappear off the face of the world. As had Serenity, he realized. Which meant that, unlike previous pursuits he’d been fortunate enough to escape, the calvalry would not be flying in to the rescue this time. At least, not any time soon.

He tried to control the shake of his voice as he matched Mal’s whisper.

“Where do we go?”

Mal tapped the upper corner of the map. “Assuming this is accurate, I say we follow this northwest corridor. Seems to lead farthest out of the main system, but’s got enough branches so we got options if we run into company.” Mal peered down the tunnel, then turned to Simon. “You all in one piece? Didn’t get scratched up in that scuffle?”

“No. No, I’m fine.” Simon had, in fact, been scrutinizing the captain for the same reason, expecting to spy the usual bloom of red from whatever bullet or sword or knife inevitably found the man in these situations. He was pleasantly surprised to see nothing, and the captain seemed equally satisfied.

“Then we’re both peachy, and that’s a good start. Let’s move. Tunnel’s wide enough, try and walk out of the water whenever you can. Don’t talk; we need to make as little noise as possible. All the amenities I’m seein’ down here, wouldn’t surprise me if there’s sensors or some sort of security observation. ”

Simon glanced around in alarm. “And if there is?”

“If there is, all we can do is be quiet and move quick.” The captain flipped open his revolver and mechanically chambered one, two, three rounds. So he’d gotten off three shots when they’d been accosted in town. Simon wondered whether anyone had been killed this time.

“One a those times I wouldn’t mind having Jayne and his favorite date along for company,” Mal quipped as he gazed down the sightline. “Don’t tell him I said that.”

Simon pulled his gaze away as Mal reholstered the weapon. “They did get away. The crew? River?”

“All on board and ready to lift as we spoke. You got a whole ship watchin’ after your sister, doc. Won’t nothing happen to her.” He started forward. “It’s our own necks we gotta worry about.”

To Chapter Two


Monday, January 1, 2007 5:18 PM


Phenomenal beginning!! I love it when a story begins right in the middle of a frack... a fraka... a fraekas... you know, a big damn tumultuous situation. (sorry, spell-check failed) I can't wait to see where this goes. Keep up the excellent writing.

"Some of our jobs are a bit more interesting than others'."

Rob O.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 12:17 AM


Excellent. Now I am trying to remember where the good gorram I read this before, I love it as much now as I did then, just hope you mean to keep posting chapters here now you've started. Can't wait for the next part! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 8:02 AM


weee, this is fun! Excellent start, great dialogue and thanks for the "Not slash" header, cause I might have suspected... ;)

And of course the complaint this one earns is... Not long enough!!! I hope more follows quickly for those of us with short memories.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 4:18 PM


I've been rading this over on Livejournal and LOVED it - so glad to see it here also. Can hardly wait to see how you get them out of this mess.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007 7:47 PM


It's "fracas," HeWhoKicksAlot...and it definitely was one of the bigger brouhahas the crew has gotten themselves involved in, I must say;)

Really can't wait to see more, cuz if you're working on doing something like 2x2's "Choices"...then we got some seriously shiny work ahead to read ;D



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Yes, Jayne, at a Parade
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Down the Rabbit Hole, Chapter Seventeen
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Water's Edge
Another wartime fic, and the last of the stash of Zoe and Mal fics on my hard drive. Might last me through the winter. Thanks to those who have enjoyed and commented, these have been fun to post.

Three short fics about Zoe and Mal
Three short preseries fics because Slumming was kind enough to say she'd like to read more. And because I love Mal and Zoe. Three because they're too short to post alone.
(Knows she is supposed to be writing Simon.)

Early Mal and Zoe, wartime. (Early homespun, for that matter.) Zoe's POV. One-shot.

Down the Rabbit Hole, Chapter Sixteen
Simon and Mal hiding out from the Feds. Not slash. This chapter: With no one else to talk to, Simon asks himself the tough questions.

Down the Rabbit Hole, Chapter Fifteen
Mal and Simon continue to evade Feds. Not slash.
This chapter: Get oooout of the hooouuse.

Down the Rabbit Hole, Chapterette 14
Simon and Mal hiding from the Feds, awaiting rescue. Not slash. This chapter: Try not to faint, it's only a short chapter. Almost an interlude, but I couldn't cut it out. Still in the house, still not rescued. Thanks for reading.

Down the Rabbit Hole - Chapter Thirteen
Simon and Mal, still hiding out from the Feds. And still not slash. <b>This chapter:</b>How long can two men hide in a slimy, abandoned house before one loses his mind? Apparently, not long enough. Warning for a long chapter.