Salvage - Part I
Friday, February 2, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. After NEW PEOPLE, the crew end up back on Persephone to do a job for Badger ... Okay, so maybe I've made a rod for my own back with second-bite Fridays ... but it's fun! Let me know what you think!


“Any idea where they are?” Kaylee asked, twitching to get herself out into the sunshine of Persephone and trying to pick up the bits she needed.

Hank, leaning on the handrail on the catwalk above, grinned. “I … um … think they overslept.”

Kaylee turned big eyes up to him. “You mean …”

“From the noise going on in their bunk, I think Simon there probably gave them some good news.”

The young mechanic turned to her husband who was crouched down doing up the little boots Bethany was wearing. “Did you?”

“What?” he asked innocently, not looking up.

“Tell Frey and Mal they could …” She paused, glancing at her daughter, then amended quickly what she was going to say. “Make a noise?” she asked.

Simon finished with the fastenings and stood Bethany onto her feet. She was managing to walk a few steps now, and she held onto his leg as he straightened up. “I never thought I’d see the day you didn’t call a spade a spade,” he said, smiling at his wife.

“You did.” She glared at him. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It wasn't any of our business.”

“If’n you come out with that doctor/patient –“

“It was confidential, and it wasn't any of our business,” Simon interrupted gently. “Just be glad for them.”

“I am!” She put her hands on her hips. “Of course I'm glad they can get back to … making a noise. It’s been worrying Freya’s mind for ages.”

Zoe put her gun back in its holster and nodded. “Not just Freya. The Captain’s been going around like a bear with a sore … head as well.”

“Never thought I’d see the day we were getting more … noise … than him,” Hank said, grinning.

“Surprised you didn’t hear,” Jayne said to Kaylee, hitched against the cargo bay doors. “They were getting enough to wake up the whole damn planet.”

“Jayne,” Simon said warningly, but it was too late.

“Damn,” Bethany said quietly, trying it out for size. “Damn.”

“No honey,” Kaylee said, going onto her heels to look into her daughter’s face, but only after giving the big man a very dirty glare. “That’s not nice. We don’t use words like that.”

“Sure we do,” Jayne muttered. “’N’ if that’s the worse the squirt learns, figure she’s luckier than the rest of us.”

Bethany smiled at him. “Damn,” she said.

Simon sighed. For once he agreed with Jayne, but there was no way he was going to let him know. “Shouldn’t someone go and find Mal?” he asked.

“You can go and knock if you like,” Zoe said. “But I’d remember that you’re the only doctor on board if you did.”

Simon paused for a second, the mental image of a gunblast echoing out of a hatch … “No, I think I can wait.”

“Are we keeping everyone?” Freya asked, coming out of the doorway behind Hank, Mal following close behind. She had Ethan in the sling across her chest, and a smile on her face.

“I'm captain,” her husband said. “I don’t do late.” He sauntered down the stairs. “We all here?”

“We’ve all been here for quite some time,” Simon said.

“Really,” Mal said. “One of you shoulda knocked.” The look on his face suggested he and Freya had heard a deal more than it appeared.

Freya laughed. “Sorry,” she said, reaching the bay floor.

“Ain't your fault,” Kaylee said. “Just glad you’re …”


Kaylee giggled. “Ain't that the truth.”

“You know that’s going to be the word for it from now on, don’t you?” Freya said, nudging her.

“Yeah, but what if you pay for it?” Kaylee glanced at Jayne. “You think that could be –“

IF we can stop talking about everyone’s sex life and get back to the job in hand,” Mal said, interrupting loudly. “Thank you. Now, just need to get to –“

“We’re here,” River said happily, stepping through from the infirmary with Jethro in tow. “Oh, good, you all waited.”

Mal glared at her and she wilted a little. He sighed heavily. “Jayne, just open the damn door.”

“Damn,” Bethany said very quietly.

Outside they began to form into two groups.

“Now, you gonna be okay?” Mal asked, taking Freya by the arm and looking into her eyes. “Only this is your first trip off-boat since this little feller was born.” He glanced down at Ethan, still asleep in the sling.

“I'm shiny,” she said. “We both are.”

“You get tired, you come back. Dong mah?”

She smiled and put her hand on his cheek. “Don’t worry about us. We’re all going to stick together, aren’t we?” she asked, looking around at Simon and Kaylee.

“Sure are,” Kaylee said reassuringly. “Gotta go buy some new duds for Bethany – I can’t believe she’s growing out of things so fast.”

“Oh, I can,” Simon said, his voice weary, thinking about the drain on his pocketbook.

“We’re going to buy some clothes for Jethro,” River put in, standing next to the young man in question, who blushed.

“I don’t have any money. I told you that,” he said softly.

“I do. You’ll pay me back when you can.”

“I'm not happy about this, River –“

“Son, you’d better let her have her way over this,” Mal put in, smiling slightly. “Or you’ll find she’s bought them for you anyway. Better you get to choose not to wear a pink shirt.”

“You wear pink,” Freya said softly.

“It ain't pink. It’s … red.” He spoke very firmly.

“It may have been once, but now it’s pink.”

“Then maybe you’d better be getting me something, too.” He grinned and leaned forward, kissing her soundly. “All right, people, we got work to do, let’s go do it.” ---

“It’s a simple salvage job,” Badger insisted. “You’ve done ‘em before.”

“And got gypped before,” Mal said, his thumbs hitched into his gunbelt. “And why all the rush? If it’s salvage, it’ll be there for a mite longer.”

“Not that much.” Badger polished his apple on the lapel of his coat.

“Is there maybe something we don’t know about this?”

“You ain’t got more’n three days,” the little man said. He bit into his apple, letting the juice slide down his chin before wiping it ostentatiously on his sleeve.

Mal knew what he was doing, proving that he had money to throw around on fresh fruit, money he and his didn’t exactly have much of at the moment. Still, no point in getting angry about it. “Your peeler broken?” he asked.

“Seized up,” Badger admitted.

“Did suggest you get it oiled more’n a while back,” Mal said, his lips twitching. “Fine piece of antiquerie like that.”

Badger gave him one of his ‘I’m better than you’ looks, but didn’t comment. “You want this job or not?” he asked instead.

“So, Badger,” Mal said, his voice sounding almost friendly. “Why haven’t we got above three days to do this little bit of business for you?”

“Because in four the freighter’s due to be towed to the scrap belt. Torn up.” He shrugged. “Seems like the Alliance are gettin’ a bit peeved about the amount of space junk out there.“ He grinned, showing discoloured teeth. “Better keep that pile of gos se of yours movin’, or you’ll find yourselves in the same predicament.”

It was getting close, but Mal wasn't yet at the end of his tether. “Three days.”

“Pretty much. Unless they can’t ‘old their load and go early.”

“Are you sure they don’t know about the goods?” Zoe asked. “If someone’s already taken it –“

“It’s still there.” Badger looked at her, running his eyes up and down her body. “Trust me on that, little girl.”

“Trust and you ain't exactly something that usually goes together,” Jayne growled.

“And there I was thinkin’ you didn’t like me.” Badger took another huge bite of his apple, spitting fragments of pulp as he said, “So, you on?”

“We’ll do it,” Mal said. “Should be easy. In and out.”

“Good.” He swallowed and stared at the apple. “Sour,” he said before tossing it away. “Still, plenty more where that came from.” He smiled slyly. “Payment on delivery to my man on Beylix.”

“Shiny.” Mal turned then slowed as the little man continued.

“Oh, and tell Freya I'm getting’ some little booties made for the kid. Although ‘ow come she let you get close enough to knock her up is anybody’s guess.”

“True love, Badger,” Mal said as he walked away. “Something I doubt you’ve ever experienced.”

“Not unless he paid for it,” Jayne added.

Outside, in the light, Zoe said, “I've got a bad feeling about this, sir.”

Mal shrugged. “It’s not like we got much choice,” he said. “And at least the drop-off on Beylix means we can refuel and take that job from McGuinness. Might even get word back from Monty.”

“Least he’s trustworthy,” the mercenary said. “More’n I can say for that ching wah –“

“At least we know he ain’t,” Mal said, stopping the big man mid curse. “We know where we stand with him, which is why we’re going to get that job done lickety-split.” He glanced at one of the food stands, where the owner was frying some suspicious looking meat. “Sooner we get paid the sooner I’ll be happy.” Then maybe he’d stop feeling like he was cooking on that griddle, he considered privately.

“And if Badger ain't on the level?” Zoe asked.

“We deal with that when we get there.” Mal strode on. “Just wanna get it done.”

to be continued


Friday, February 2, 2007 6:45 AM


Just curious but ... has nobody got any comments?

Friday, February 2, 2007 7:18 AM


Oooh! I got comments! Lots of them! Well...more than a couple anyway;)

Amazing banter/dialogue here, Jane0904! Definitely was trying to restrain myself from busting a gut when Bethany started repeating her first swear word (though I agree with Jayne: if "damn" is the worst Bethany's vocabulary ever gets? Then she's leagues luckier than a lot of people) ;D

And I agree with Mal about Badger: he's the little devil the crew knows and can anticipate the majority of his "cost-saving measures" with little trouble. Though there's still situations like him refusing to buy marked goods or helping the Blue Hands and Dobson out to nab the crew:(


Friday, February 2, 2007 8:52 AM


The entire discussion about noise was absolutely perfect. We call it "going for ice cream" in my family ... oh, sorry, TMI?

Still, I love it! And I love Bethany muttering damn! I can just see her in the store reaching for something and Kaylee will tell her no and she'll shout, Damn! Getting raised eyebrows from the rest of the shoppers. At least when they're little, people think it's cute. Although something tells me if she ever meets Mama and Papa Tam, they will not be amused!

And yes, Badger is the devil-you-know in this instance, but that little creep has double-crossed them more than once ... It's a shame they can't figure out a way not to work with him - but they need coin, so ... beggars can't be choosers, I 'spose.

Can't wait until part 2.

Friday, February 2, 2007 9:51 AM


Great as usual! Just curious- have you read LucasHarper's " 'Splainy Unkie Jayne" series in the Blue Sun Room? Your conversations with Bethany remind me of those stories. I can't wait until she learns some Chinese!

Friday, February 2, 2007 10:29 AM


Badger's still alive? Come on, guys, ammo's not that expensive.


Seriously, very nice - and I've had read/commented sooner, but I don't let myself read until I get a certain amount written. Don't worry, we know how hunger the muse can get.

Friday, February 2, 2007 12:58 PM


Very happy for Mal and Freya finally being able to be 'noisy' again though I have to say I am with Zoe and have a bad feeling about the job Badger has for them. Wouldn't put it past that dirty little slime ball to be setting them up. Pity River can't tell them whether it is a job worth taking or not but then she only has eyes for Jethro right now. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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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!]

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"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!]

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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!]