Communication - Part XVII
Friday, March 23, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee realises something important, and Serenity touches down on Greenleaf. Thanks to TamSibling for the Silee bunny, and please enjoy!


Simon grabbed the towel and wiped his mouth, then sat back. He was pretty sure he was dehydrated, but right now he couldn’t keep anything down. Even water seemed to come right back up.

Reaching over he pressed the button to flush then leaned back against the wall, his eyes closed. It was almost funny if it wasn’t so pathetic, but he’d been seeing this particular view just a little too often. Not since the sake days at Medacad had he spent so long with his head down a toilet.

“It doesn’t seem to be improving,” Mal said from the doorway, leaning on the jamb, his arms crossed.

“There’s no easy way around this,” the doctor replied, not opening his eyes. “I just have to get through it.”

“I’m thinking that when we hit Greenleaf you’d best stay on board.”

“I wasn’t considering getting off.”

“Good.” Mal paused for a moment. “That DNA tester-doodad, the one you used on Simon Cobb. Is it easy to operate?”

Simon sighed and went to get up. “I’ll -”

“No, you stay there. Don’t really want to be having to put on another clean shirt today.” The young man glared at him, and Mal suppressed a smile. “Just tell me where it is.”

“It’s in the cupboard with the painkillers.” He shook his head. “But you need to know what you’re looking at.”

Mal considered. “Okay. Be ready if we need to.”

“Okay.” Simon lay his head back again against the cool bulkhead.

The captain turned to go then glanced back. “Can’t you take something? Stop you stinking my ship up?”

Simon opened his eyes to glare at the captain, then realised his words didn’t tally with the concerned look on his face. “I have been,” he admitted. “Only the anti-emetics I’ve got on hand seem to be short-lived in their efficacy.”

“So they’ve stopped working.”

“Seems so.”

“Are there others we can get somewhere? Might be a bit more effective?”

Simon thought for a moment. “There’s a couple I could try. But they’re not cheap.”

“You let me worry about that. When you can, write ’em down for me. I’ll see what I can do. Oh, and doc?”


“If this don’t stop soon I’m considering handing you over to Freya. She’ll hook you up to some drips to get some fluid back into you. And I have the feeling she won’t be too gentle about the needles either.”

“Thanks,” Simon said sarcastically.

Mal grinned and headed back towards the cargo bay.


He looked up the stairs. Kaylee was sitting on the step half way up. “What’s up, mei-mei?”

“Is he all right?”

“He’s your husband. Shouldn’t you be asking him that question?”

“He’s worried about River. I don’t want to …” Kaylee wrung her hands together. “It’s right he should be, a’course. But -”

“You’re tempted to shout at him again?”

“A little.”

He climbed the stairs and sat down next to her, taking her hand in his. “He’s gonna be fine. Soon as he can stop throwing up he’ll be back to his usual, annoying self.”

“Simon ain’t annoying.”

“You ain’t seen him from my side.”

She smiled, just a little. “Only once in a while.” Then she was serious again. “Bethany’s been asking what’s going on,” she said, shaking her head. “I don’t know what to tell her.”

“Not sure what to say about that, little Kaylee. Ain’t at all sure Bethany‘s old enough to understand.”

“She’s very advanced for her age.” She sniffed. “Simon says it must be the Tam genes. Keeps telling me how River was doing all this amazing stuff when she was only a little bit older.”

“Not just the Tam genes,” Mal said gallantly. “The Frye ones are pretty special too.”

“They’re okay. But …” She paused. “What … when your Pa died, when did your Ma tell you?”

Mal didn’t answer for a long moment, and Kaylee thought she’d upset him, then he sighed. “I was ‘bout five when it happened. My momma told me it was an accident, could’ve happened to anyone. But I don’t think I realised he wasn’t coming back for a while. Kept looking out the window, waiting for him to ride up on that big old bay of his. Only he never came.” He shook his head to clear the memories out.

“Bethany wants to know where Jethro is.”

“I didn’t think they were that close.”

“She spent more time with him and River than I think anyone realises. She liked him.”

“Reckon we all did. He kinda grew on you, ‘specially after he’d saved our lives on that ship.” Mal sighed. “Tell her the truth, Kaylee. If she’s old enough to ask, she’s old enough to know something’s up, and if you lie to her now, well, she might not trust you again when it’s something bigger.”

“I just don’t know how to say it.”

“Plainly, is my advice. Don’t try and flower it up with all kinds’a colourful language.” He looked into her face. “The boy’s dead, and he ain’t coming back. And much as we might wish it, this ain’t gonna be the only death she has to deal with in her life.”

“What if she asks to see him?”

“No, now that’s different. I’m not sure anyone’s ready for that, and not at her age. Telling her’ll be enough.”

“Did you see your daddy?”

“No. My momma wouldn’t let me, and I don’t think I ever asked.”

She leaned against him, and he put his arm around her. “I wanted to keep her safe from all this,” she said softly.

“I know.” He squeezed gently. “And you will. You are. You’re a hell of a good mother, Kaylee.”


“And a damn good wife. Now, you’d better get in there and see to your husband.”

She looked into his face and saw the smile he kept for her. “’Kay.” She got to her feet and walked slowly down the steps. At the bottom she turned and looked up at him. “When did you know he wasn’t coming back?”

Mal pondered a moment. “You know, if I was honest, probably not until the following summer, when the local Preacher was going on one Sunday about the righteous sitting at God’s right hand. And suddenly it hit me. First time I ever cried in front of other people.” He shook his head a little. “But not the last.”

“You’re a nice man, captain.”

“You keep saying that, maybe one day I’ll start to believe you.” He climbed to his feet and headed for the bridge.

Kaylee stepped into their cabin and slid the door closed. The Cap was right … there was a certain odour in the air, and she made a mental note to boost the scrubbers a little.

Simon was still on the floor, his eyes tight shut. “Mal, I said I’d get it ready.”

“Not him, Simon,” Kaylee said gently, and smiled as her husband’s eyes flew open and focused on her.

Ai ren,” he said, smiling, starting to struggle to his feet.

“No, you stay there,” she said quickly, sliding down the wall to sit next to him.

“It’s not exactly the most comfortable spot in the room,” he objected.

“It’s fine.” She took his hand, feeling how clammy his palm was. “I’m still angry with you, y’know.”


“Oh, I don’t think I’ll be gettin’ over it any time soon. And every time I look at you, like this, it just makes it worse.”

“It’s not so bad.”

“I heard, Simon.”

He quickly replayed the conversation he’d had with Mal in his head. “Ah.”


“I know eavesdroppin’s bad, but sometimes it’s the only way I get to know how you really feel.”

“We talk.”

“Not about this.”

He sighed. “Maybe … maybe it’s because I don’t want you feeling bad.”

“Already do.”

He turned enough to look at her. “My decision, Kaylee. And if I’m honest I didn’t really know it was going to be as … physical as this.”

“And it’s worse because you’re tailing it off?”

“Mal was right. The therapy was … it wasn’t safe. At least the tachycardia’s stopped now. It’ll just be unpleasant for a while longer.”

“How long?” Her brown eyes stared into his. “And don’t lie to me.”

“A couple of weeks. Maybe three.”

“Oh, Simon.”

He put his arm around her, holding her against him. Her hands clasped around his waist. “I’m sorry, bao bei.”

“Nothing for you to be sorry about. You thought it was the right thing to do.” She looked into his face. “Even top three percent get it wrong sometimes.”

“That’s never going to go away, is it? Top three percent.”

“Nope.” She snuggled against him a little. “Just like things being inappropriate.”

He sighed.

For a minute they were silent, just enjoying the closeness, then Kaylee asked the question she’d been wanting to for weeks. “We’re … we ain’t gonna have any more kids, are we?”

Simon didn’t answer for a moment, then said, “Probably not.”

Her grip on him tightened. “Because you’re stopping that therapy.”


“Thought not. Good.”

“What?” He stared down at her.

“More babies is a possibility, Simon,” she said, her eyes full of love and sincerity. “A maybe. Something for a not sure future. But you’re here. Right now. With me. My husband. And I want to keep you for a long time.”

“But Kaylee -”

“There’s kids out there, Simon. Babies with not even one parent to love and protect them. If we need to, we could give a home to one of them.” She smiled. “But we’ve got Bethany. And she’s the sweetest little daughter I could ever wish for. And if’n she’s it, I’m happy. I’m happy, Simon.”

“You’re remarkable.”

“I’m just Kaylee. A little girl from a working family who just got lucky. Found herself a good man.”

“Kaylee …” He went to kiss her but she put her hand quickly over his mouth.

“Not ‘till you’ve rinsed at least,” she said, scrambling to her feet. “And I’ve got things to do.” She leaned over and pressed her lips quickly to his forehead before running out of the door.

He watched her go, amazed as always at her strength and fortitude. Then another wave of nausea hit and he was on his knees, his head over the bowl. As his body retched, one part of him, he was surprised to note, was actually happy. Kaylee understood. Supported. Loved. Now if only he could figure out how to help his sister …


The sound of a ship landing close by had everyone at the windows and doors. Ships didn’t land here. They went to the port, and people arrived properly, up the drive, respectably. Yet there it was, a somewhat odd looking vessel in the paddock, its stern glowing against the sunlight. And a ramp was lowering at the front.

She glanced at her son at her side, straining to see the new arrival over the window sill. “Stay here,” she said quietly.

“Yes, momma.” He was still staring.

“Madam?” Ardenn was standing in the doorway.

“Keep everyone inside. I’ll find out what they want.”

“Madam, is that wise?”

“Just do it. And take the rifle to one of the upper rooms. Where you have a good view.”

Ardenn smiled, just a little. “Yes madam.”

She took a deep breath and smoothed her dress down, then walked with seemingly no great haste out of the large double doors into the Greenleaf sunshine.

Five people had walked out of the ship, three men and two women. One of the men stayed by the open door, but the others crossed the ground towards her.

“I don’t know what you want here,” she said, her voice ringing clearly in the morning air. “But my husband will be home shortly.”

“Domina Delacroix,” the woman in front said.

Domina stared. She looked familiar, her hair piled elegantly on her head, her clothes fashionable and expensive. “Gerhardt,” she said. “Domina Gerhardt. I haven’t been Delacroix since -”

“The Guild.”

“She was a Companion?” asked the tall man at her side in surprise. His thumbs were tucked into a gunbelt slung low around his hips.

“No,” the woman said. “She was a tutor. Taught etiquette and deportment, if memory serves me correctly. Of course, she never lived by the same rules and regulations we had to.”

“Rules …” Domina stared. “You’re a Companion?”

“I was. In fact, I’m surprised you don’t remember me. Of course, I was already licensed by the time you joined the House, but we spent some time together. Have I changed that much?”

Domina swallowed. “Inara?”

Inara Serra smiled. “I didn’t think I was that forgettable. And besides, I’m sure the Guild would have told you I was going to come looking for my son.” The warmth in her voice froze into solid ice, and Domina felt her heart begin to race.

“Momma?” A small boy ran out of the house and stood next to her. A boy of about seven, with dark hair and eyes that seemed hauntingly familiar.

“Colm, go back inside,” Domina said firmly.

“No, momma. Poppa’s away. I’m the man of the house.” He stuck out his chin and stared at the visitors.


Inara thought her knees were going to give way, and it was only the presence of Mal standing next to her that gave her the strength to step forward. “He’s the image of his father,” she said softly. “My son.”

to be continued


Saturday, March 24, 2007 2:16 AM


Nice to see Kaylee finally understanding Simon enough to trust him. Wonderful backstory on Mal and loved the Mal Simon interaction - so true to both their natures. Now on to Inara.....

Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:01 AM


I loved the Mal and Simon interaction and was ready to cheer when Kaylle went to Simon and had that conversation with him. About time she got her head around how lucky she is NOW without risking what they have by wanting something nature may never be able to give them. That was superb. And Inara finally meeting her son. Uh oh, I just know that is going to end badly. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:02 AM


Ooops, that should have been Kaylee not Kaylle, finger slipped on the keyboard! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, March 24, 2007 10:01 AM


Oh yeah - this is some prime stuff we got going on! I really loved Mal/Simon because it helps to know that the captain cares for Simon as a member of his crew and a friend.

And Inara meeting her son, oh boy ... this is just going to get all kinds of interesting ...

Now, about River?

Saturday, March 24, 2007 5:15 PM


Oh...things never go smooth when those kinds of words come tumbling out of someone's mouth. Mainly because it causes confusion and less than happy feelings for the people involved:(

Still...I am all kinds of impressed with what you did here, Jane0904. Mal/Simon conversations are tough things to really deal with, since you got two alpha males - and yes, I see Simon as an Alpha...Mal's just a more dominant Alpha;D - reacting to one another and two caregivers struggling to deal with the small amount of differences in their outlooks that cause all the conflicts; also glad that Kaylee talked with Simon about being satisfied with only having Bethany when it comes to children, since as much as Kaylee never intended Simon to push himself to near death...she should have realized that her husband would go to extreme lengths to keep her happy;)



You must log in to post comments.



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!]