Nice to Meet New People
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. After ARRIVALS, a chance to meet an acquaintance ... We're building up to another story arc, but these are more ... intermediate. Let me know if you like!


“Freya?” River called down the hatch.

“Come down, mei-mei.”

The girl stepped down the ladder, stopping at the bottom as she saw Freya feeding Ethan. “Oh, I didn’t mean to –”

“It’s okay,” Freya said. “He’s hungry. Again.”

“He’s happy.”

Freya smiled. “I know.” She eased her son at her breast a little. “I’m just kinda not used to being a continual source of food as yet.”

“Kaylee managed it.”

“Kaylee understands a great deal more than any of us might give her credit for.” She laughed. “Did you want something, or have you just come to visit?”

“Can I … would you mind if I …”

Freya was surprised. River was never lost for words. They might not make sense, but she never had problems finding them. “What is it, sweetheart?”


Freya tried not to laugh. “River, honey, do you think I’m the right person to be talking to this about? Considering I am currently breast-feeding my first born?”

“I need your help,” she said simply.

The older woman closed her mouth. “Right.” She patted the bed next to her. “I think you’d better sit down.”

River nodded and sat down, pulling her legs up under her.

“Is it Jayne?” Freya asked softly. “River, mei-mei, I know you care about Jayne. I know you care a lot about Jayne. And I know you do the things you do because you think it’s the only way to show him how you feel. “ River dropped her head, her hair hiding her eyes, picking up a pillow and hugging it to her. “It isn’t,” Freya went on. “The only way, that is. Talk to the man. If he doesn’t run screaming from the room then –”

“Not yet,” River interrupted.

“But it’s going to be?”

“Not yet.”

“I don’t understand, River.”

“I don’t want Jayne yet.”

Freya sighed. “Now, I know you can tell me exactly what that means. And I’d be obliged if you would.”

River smiled suddenly. “There’s someone else first.”

“Someone … on the ship?” Freya’s mind flew through the options. Mal – well, the girl had always had something of a crush on her husband, but she didn‘t think it was more than that; Simon – not in this lifetime; Hank – Zoe would kill her. And with Jayne out of the equation …

“Not yet.”

“Who, then?”

“We’re landing on Verbena, and he will join us there.” She bit her lip. “I just want to be ready.”

“But we’re not picking anyone up,” Freya said, still confused. “It’s just a delivery.”

“We will.” River put the cushion down. “I know the mechanics, the positions, the … taste.” She sounded so adult. “With everyone on this ship being so loud, I can’t not know. But I don’t want a baby. Not yet. I could self-medicate but I don’t really know the best method, and I thought you might be able to advise me.”

“River, don’t you think you should be talking about this with Simon?”

The girl laughed. “You know what he‘d say.”

“That the only perfect form of contraception is not to have sex. True.” She looked at River closely. “But I thought –”

“I haven’t.”

“Then this is …”

“Getting ready.”

“Right.” Freya thought for a moment, determined not to get embarrassed by this forthright and candid young woman. “You know, I think there may be someone better qualified to help with this.”

“I’m not talking to Simon –”

“Not Simon.” ---

“I see,” Inara said, looking intently at the young girl. “And you thought I could assist?” She looked at Freya.

“’Nara, I’m not exactly the best person to advise, but I just figured you’d know more than me.” Freya sat down, Ethan in the sling Jayne had made across her chest. “Look, do you mind if I … only I didn’t finish feeding him.”

“Oh. Yes. Of course.” Inara blushed just a little, and turned away, but not before seeing the other woman open her shirt and put her baby to her nipple. “Um, River, I think you’d better sit down too,” she added hurriedly. River complied, at ease with the scene going on opposite her.

“Well, I suppose I’d better ask a few questions first,” Inara began.

“Of course.”

“Are you planning on having sex with this man?” She paused. “I’m presuming it’s a man, otherwise you won’t need to use anything.”

“It is.” She shrugged. “And I don’t know. I just …”

“Want to be ready. I got that.” Inara sat back and looked at the girl. Not a child anymore. She was an adult, with adult needs. “Well, I will say to use condoms unless you know exactly where he’s been.” She watched River colour. “And you have to ask. I don’t care if it is embarrassing. Even if Simon can cure any sexually transmitted disease with a simple injection, you don’t want to have to explain it to him. Do you?”

“No,” River said quietly.

“It isn’t just a case of preventing an unwanted pregnancy, River.”

“I know.”

“In which case, I would recommend Bropaxin. It lasts about three months before it has to be renewed, and shouldn’t interfere with your cycle.”

“What do you use?” River asked, her dark eyes on Inara. “When you were servicing clients.”

“Cotolamine. It’s much more long lived in the body.”

River nodded. “Yearly injections.”


“But it can fail.”

Inara swallowed. “It can.“

“Such a failure can cause problems.” River gazed at her, then dropped her eyes.

“River,” Freya said warningly.

“I'm sorry. I didn’t mean to …”

Inara took a deep breath, trying to control the trembling of her heart. “That’s all right, River. But that information stays on board this ship, dong mah?”

“I won’t tell anyone. And I am sorry.” She looked back up. “You could have told us all a long time ago.”

“How could I?” Inara asked softly. “What good would it have done?” She glanced at Freya, sitting so still.

“Keeping things bottled up inside does no-one any favours.” The young psychic reached out unexpectedly and patted Inara on the hand. “Talking is better.”


They looked at each other, then River sprang to her feet. “I have to go. We’ll be landing soon and I need to change.” She looked down at the tight shorts and t-shirt she was wearing. “I can’t go like this.”

Inara got to her feet. “Honey, you know it takes a couple of weeks to become effective, don’t you? Even Cotolamine takes a while.”

River nodded. “It won’t be yet. He isn’t ready.”

“River, who isn’t ready?” Freya asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

“Jethro.” ---

It wasn't really a fight. More a case of five men beating the shit out of a sixth. He was on the floor, knees drawn up to protect his vitals, his arms over his head, but that didn’t stop the kicking.

Jayne stood in the doorway to the bar, watching. Hell, the kid wasn't even trying to fight back.

A soft hand laid itself on his forearm. “Jayne.”

He looked down. “What do ya want, moonbrain?” he asked.

“You know you promised to get me a man?”

His brow creased, and a surge of something he couldn’t name flashed through him. “I’d kinda thought you’d forgotten about that.”

“No.” She was staring at the men still punching and kicking. “Him.”

He glanced back over, surprised. “Which one?”

“The one on the floor.”

Jayne bristled. “Hell, girl, he’s a wimp! What’d’ya want him for?”

“Just keep your promise.”

Jayne looked back at her, seeing the seriousness on her face, and shrugged. “Okay. But then we’re even.” He sounded angry.

“Even,” she agreed.

He pushed off from the wall and strode over to the group of men, pulling them off the young man on the floor one at a time, tossing them aside like broken dolls. Reaching down he took hold of the victim’s shirt, heaving him to his feet. “Looks like it’s your lucky day,” he said, then sighed. “Not that you know it,” he added, picking the unconscious man up and draping easily him over his shoulder. He looked at River. “Think your brother’s gonna have a bit of work to do.”

She nodded, holding the door open. ---

Simon stitched the cut on the young man’s forehead, putting a weave carefully on top. Then he checked his eyes. Still out.

“What’s he doing here?” he asked his sister, who was sitting cross-legged on the counter. “I recognise him. He’s from Bathgate Abbey.”

“Jethro,” she agreed.

“So what is he doing here?”

“Kinda like to know that my own self,” Mal said, standing in the doorway, his arms crossed. “Jayne told me we’ve got us a new passenger, and since I don’t let anyone on board my boat without deciding about them first, I’m kinda curious to hear your side of things.”

“He was being hurt,” the young psychic said. “I wasn’t going to just leave him.”

“No, okay, I can understand that. But they’ve got doctors in that town. Why not just take him to one of them?”

“Simon’s better.”

“River, you give me a straight answer or …”

“Or what?” She looked him in the face. “You’ll put me over your knee?”

“Do not tempt me.”

“Mal, I have to say, if you even think about doing that …” Simon began, then stopped. “Just let me know and I’ll make sure I’m somewhere else.”

Mal’s lips twitched. “Will do, doctor.” He stepped closer to the girl. “Now, albatross, you wanna tell me what this is all about?”

“His name’s Jethro,” River said.

“I kinda figured that. And he’s from Bathgate Abbey.”

“He was going to be a Shepherd, but he left before taking the white.”

“Well, that coulda been mighty sensible of him,” Mal said, glancing at the young man. “It still doesn’t explain why he’s lying in my infirmary.”

“He’s my friend.” She gazed into Mal’s blue eyes. “He came looking for me. I had to find him.”

There was a distinct feeling of someone crawling amongst his thoughts, and he dropped his head slightly to look at her from under his eyebrows. “You stop that, girl. You know what I said about reading minds. Particularly mine.”

“I just want to make you understand.” She almost looked as if she were going to burst into tears.

“So he’s your friend.” Mal nodded, turning to look at the young man on the medbed. “How is he, doc?”

“Concussion, a couple of cracked ribs, a fracture to the right wrist … he’ll live, but he’ll be uncomfortable for a few days.”

“Will he be okay if we put him off the boat?”

Simon glanced at his sibling, who was shaking her head vehemently. “Well, I …”

“Your opinion, doc, not your sister’s.”

“I’d rather he stayed here, at least for twenty-four hours. Just in case the concussion proves to be something worse.”

“’Kay. Well, we got that job on Persephone that we gotta get to, and Hank’s saying if we don’t go now we won’t get there in time …” He looked down. “Seems awful young to be a Shepherd,” he commented.

“Too young,” River echoed.

“Well, make him comfortable. Looks like he’s gonna be with us for a day or two.” Mal strode out of the infirmary, well aware that the young girl was smiling broadly at his back.

to be continued


Tuesday, January 30, 2007 8:52 AM


Yeah, River's growing up and getting some action!

She is so adorable, it's hard not to feel sympathetic towards her ... I can't wait to read more about her interactions with Jethro!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 9:06 AM


Oooh River, just can't wait to grow up and experience *everything*. Not sure whether or not I should feel sorry for Jethro, he isn't exactly being given any kind of a choice about what happens to him. Had to laugh at Jayne's reaction to keeping his promise. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 6:48 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER this poses a mighty interesting question, I think. Is it right that River's seemingly got their whole "relationship" kinda planned and that it won't last? That Jethro has seemingly zip input in this plan? Cuz I know I gotta an issue or two;)

Still...I just hope Jethro throws River for a loop or two. Ya know, take her arrogance (even if it's unintentional and seemingly logical to her) down a peg;D



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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!]