21 plus 1
Sunday, February 11, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Just a little follow-up to COMING OF AGE. Angst to start following. Like or hate? Let me know!


“In case anybody feels the urge to know, we’ve taken off,” Hank said, dropping down into the kitchen area.

Mal looked over from where he was just finishing drying his plate. “Only me around,” he said. “We on course?”

“Next stop Beaumonde,” the pilot confirmed. “In about ten hours.”

“Good.” Mal put his dish away and closed the cupboard. “Well, grab yourself some breakfast then get back to the bridge.”

“Aye aye, captain.” Hank grinned as he realised he sounded like a pirate, and snapped off a smart salute to go with it.

“Just fly the damn boat,” Mal said, coming out from behind the counter.

“No problem.” The grin faded. “So Jayne really decided he didn’t want to fly with us no more?”

“His choice.” Mal stepped into the corridor.

“Guess it’s gonna take us a while to get used to the big ape not being around.”

“I guess.”

Hank heard the hatch above Mal’s bunk open then close again, and he sighed. Seemed like nobody felt like being sociable today. He stirred the hot oat cereal in the pan. Mind, if Mal had made breakfast, he wasn't surprised everyone was avoiding it.

“Oh, sorry,” Jethro said from the doorway. “I thought everyone had finished.”

“Not sure anyone’s actually been here,” Hank corrected, dropping a glutinous spoonful into a bowl.

“Um, is that breakfast?” Jethro asked, coming closer to peer at it.

“Either that or Kaylee’s invented a new form of engine sealant.” Hank poked it carefully, but it appeared to be dead. “Our captain is not the best cook in the world,” he said in a whisper. “Mind you, neither am I. I once managed to burn salad.”

Jethro, deciding abstinence was probably better on this occasion, paused in the action of pouring himself a cup of coffee. “How can you burn salad? That’s impossible.”

“Not for me,” Hank admitted happily. “See, it said it was warmed, only I didn’t realise that meant the dressing, so I –“

“Burned the salad.” Jethro nodded in understanding. “Maybe I should volunteer to cook.”

“You know how?”

“I used to work in the kitchens at the Abbey.”

“Oh, please. Mal’s great at the making of coffee, but as for the rest …” He tipped a load of sweetener into his food. “Even this don’t really help.”

“I’ll mention it. If I'm here that long.”

Hank lifted a spoonful of oats to his mouth and began to chew. “You thinking of leaving us too?” he asked somewhat indistinctly.

“I don’t know.”

“You okay? Only you don’t seem your usual, high spirited self this morning.”

“River and I spoke last night,” Jethro said slowly. “After Jayne left. Probably properly for the first time.”


“She told me … things.”

“Things you didn’t know.”


“Let me guess. She told you about the Academy, and how Simon got her out.”

“Among others.”

Hank swallowed. “I wasn't around then,” he said thoughtfully. “I didn’t join Serenity until a coupla years back. But I remember when I first heard. I wasn't sure whether the rest of the crew was crazy or I was.”


“I mean, there was this sweet young thing, all delicate and fragile, and there they were telling me she killed a room full of Reavers all by herself.”

“How could she?” It had been preying on his mind all night. “Kill, just like that.”

“It was kinda them or the crew.”

“I know that, but … River?”

“Jethro, it took guts to take on the Reavers.”

The young man sat for a moment. “Until the Miranda broadwave, I didn’t even believe they existed.”

“Me neither,” Hank said, remembering what he’d seen on Corvus, and couldn’t stop the shudder that went through him. “You know it was this crew that sent that wave.”

Jethro looked up, startled. “What?”

“Because of what the Academy did to River. Lost two of their own in the process, and damn near killed the rest.” Hank pointed with his spoon. “As far as I'm concerned, they’re heroes.”

“I didn’t know.”

“No reason you should. It ain't exactly common knowledge.” He put his spoon back into his bowl. “Nor is what they did to River, and she musta trusted you to tell you.” He looked at Jethro, his usual sunny disposition somewhat shadowed. “It wasn't her fault, you know. They did things to her against her will that … well, she ain't never told anyone. Not even Simon. It was only his love and persistence that got her out of there.”

“But the things she did tell me … the awful violence …”

“Jethro, River is the sweetest crazy person you’re ever gonna have the pleasure of meeting. She’s got some issues with sloppy impulse control, but she’s working on that with Freya. Ain't you noticed how she’s not reading people’s minds so much any more?”

“Well, yes, but I thought –“

“She’s trying to grow up. And a little hiccup every now and then is to be expected. Kinda like a temper tantrum. Only admittedly they don’t usually end up with body parts all over the place.”

“But Jayne … she said she loves him.” He was surprised to realise it hurt when he said that.

“Maybe she does. But he’s gone. And you’re here. She kinda needs you right now, Jethro. You gonna walk away from her just when she’s bared her soul to you? When she’s hurting too?”

“I … I don’t know.”

“You scared of her?”

Jethro blushed. “A little.”

“Good. So you should be. I'm scared of Zoe, only it’s a hell of a lot more than just a little. Mal’s scared of Freya, and I think even Simon’s scared of Kaylee. It’s ‘cause they’re women. We don’t understand ‘em, what makes ‘em tick, and that makes ‘em scary. But it don’t mean we have to let ‘em scare us off.” He stood up. “Are you in love with River?”

“I … I'm not sure,” Jethro admitted.

“Then you ain't. Not yet. But don’t go closing that door just ‘cause you’re scared. Some of the best times of my life’ve been had whilst I was absolutely terrified.” He grinned. “You know, I don’t think I feel hungry no more.” He dumped his bowl in the sink. “But if you decide to cook some real food, let me know.” He grinned wider and headed back to the bridge, whistling tunelessly.

Jethro sat for a long time while his coffee went cold. Hank was right. River was special, and beautiful, and very scary. But he’d be wasting something precious if he didn’t see what happened next. He stood up. They’d need to take it slowly. As far as he was concerned, he was still an almost-Shepherd, and that was important to him. Still, River wasn't going to be rushed either, one way or the other. And this could end up being the adventure of his life.

He smiled. She’d asked him not to leave her last night. This morning it was maybe time to tell her he wasn't going anywhere.


Monday, February 12, 2007 2:42 AM


Look, I know this is just a filler before the angst ... but even if you don't like it you can say!

Monday, February 12, 2007 8:08 AM


God I hope you hurry and get rid of Jethro

Monday, February 12, 2007 9:25 AM


Aww, I like Jethro. I think he's a very honest character, speaking and acting from a very honest place. Let's face it - when the rest of the crew learned the full extent of what River could do, we were never privy to their reactions as it techically would have happened after the moive. I think that Jethro is interesting only because he hasn't subscribed to all this craziness of the rest of them. He comes from a very sheltered world and takes things at face value - the fact that there is a whole other "underbelly" of these seemingly normal folks he's shipped out with has got to be a mite unsettling and I think Jane0904 has captured that beautifully.

Also, I love your use of Hank here - as the other "outsider" to this motley band, he is the perfect person to speak to Jethro and let him know that It's okay to be wigged out and it's okay to stick around. I also loved his entire diatribe at women and how each of the men on the boat is scared, in varying degrees, of their women. Absolutely perfect!

I cannot wait for the angst ... bring it on!

Monday, February 12, 2007 10:21 AM


While I want River and Jayne to hook up in the end...I really think River could benefit from having something with Jethro at that point in time. Factors like a smaller age gap and his training as a Shepherd allows him to listen and contemplate what is being said so he can be a decent counsellor of lost souls mean he can help River come to grips with being not your averge 18-year old female;)

And I gotta agree with TamSibling about Hank; as the last person to join the crew before Jethro, he knows what it's like to discover these honestly shocking pieces of information and have to deal with them effectively so he can intereact with the crew without having problems arise. That and I think Hank's genuinely laidback nature really helps for people to see that there are other ways to react to such news than simple fear or condemnation:)


Monday, February 12, 2007 10:50 AM


The more I think about Hank not sticking up for Jayne,Im not so sure I want him around .

Monday, February 12, 2007 10:52 AM


Just being honest

Monday, February 12, 2007 10:59 AM


Glad that River has started explaining to Jethro though it would have been more interesting to actually see that conversation and how it played out between them rather than hearing of it in a vague fashion after the fact. She should also have spoken to Jayne, after all if a psychic doesn't know when she is hurting someone the whole gorram species is lost. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 6:44 AM


Jethro is a sweet kid, and I like him - but I love Hank.


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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!]