Monty's Place - Part VII
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. While Mal and Freya relax, the rest of the crew have fallen afoul of an old enemy of Monty's, and there's just one way out ... Please, if you read, feedback. Oh, and it's PG13 for adult situations.


Mal bit down gently on Freya’s neck, sucking, knowing it was going to leave a mark. They were cuddled on the bed, the sheets thrown to the winds.

“Do you know how many hickeys I've had from you?” Freya asked, groaning slightly.

“Just making sure everyone knows you’re mine,” he said, slightly muffled. “’N’ you gave me one earlier.”

“Sometimes I walk around with more purple skin showing than normal colour.”

“So?” He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. “Anyone been complaining?”

“No. But Kaylee giggles once in a while.”

“Kaylee always giggles. And she ain’t one to talk. There’re been times she’s had hickeys in the most inappropriate places.”

Freya’s eyebrows raised. “And how would you know that?”

“I'm captain. I know these things.”


He laughed. “’Sides, one time she couldn’t sit down properly, and River let it slip.”

Freya smiled. “That girl …”

“Yeah.” He watched the happiness on his wife’s face be replaced by something sadder. “And she’ll be fine. Jayne’s watching out for her.”

“I know.”

“Talking of hickeys …” Mal went to work on her left breast.


“Sorry,” he said, kissing it. “Just … you’re mine and I want the ‘verse to know.”

“So you think I should go around bare-breasted?”

Mal pretended to consider. “Now that’s an idea.”

“I thought that was why you wore the wedding band.” She touched the gold ring on his finger, and while he was preoccupied bit him on the shoulder. “So you just think again.”


“Sorry.” She licked his skin. “Hey, you taste nice.”

“So I should.” He looked down at her, the marks he’d just made on her skin showing pink. “How’d you feel about a tattoo?”

“Got one of those,” she pointed out. “So’ve you.”

“No. I mean, yes, but one for us.”


“Something we both have.” He touched the lovebite by her nipple.

“You’re thinking of a permanent hickey?”

“No.” He grinned. “Just something … so’s when I see it I know you ain't gonna ever leave me.”

She reached up to him. “Mal, I never will.”

“I know. It was just an idea.”

“You’d really like that?”


“What kind?”

“Not thought about it. Maybe … a true lover’s knot.”

“Or a pair of entwined hearts … like that thing you carved into the tree.”

“Or maybe you could have my name in a scroll.”


“How about here?” he asked, running his fingertips lightly across her belly, feeling her tremble at his touch.


“Or here.” This time his hand reached down and stroked the top of her thigh.

She took a sharp breath. “Perhaps.”

“Or how about …” He pressed deeper, feeling heat and moisture.

Her eyes closed as she revelled in the sensation. “Do they do tattoos there?” she asked, her voice husky with desire.

“Wouldn’t let anyone if they did,” Mal said, moving his body on top of hers and pressing her thighs open.

She wrapped her legs around him, feeling his weight against her belly. “Are you trying to take advantage of me, Captain Reynolds?”

“I hope so.”


Zoe and Jayne pounded through the streets back towards the dock, but they were still a distance away when they saw Hank running towards them.

“Thank God,” the pilot said, hugging Zoe. “We thought maybe they’d …” He couldn’t finish.

“We’re okay,” she assured him, standing back. “The others?”

“They’re fine.” Hank looked guilty. “They came on board soon as you left. Eight of ‘em. All of ‘em armed like Jayne here. Gave us ten minutes to get our stuff then put us all off the ship.” He dropped his head. “Sorry, Zo. They took Serenity.”

“Are you sure everyone’s all right? Ethan, Bethany?”

“We’re fine. They’re waiting back at the dock.”

Zoe nodded slowly. “Okay. Okay.” She looked around. “We need to get everyone out of the cold, especially the kids.”

“Hotel?” Jayne suggested.

“That’s what I’m thinking. I got some cash on me. You?”

“A little coin. Enough for a day, maybe two.”

She turned to Hank, pulling the few notes she had from inside her coat and pressing them into his hand. “Find somewhere. Cheap. Be back here in half an hour.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Talk to Monty.”


“I’m sorry, Zoe,” Monty said apologetically, his face grainy at this distance, even over the public Cortex. “I didn’t expect you to get mixed up in this.”

“What is this we’re mixed up in? Who is Rankin?” Zoe asked.

“He’s a piece of gos se thinks I owe him money.”

“Do you?”

“It depends on how you look at things.”


The man shrugged. “It’s all to do with some cargo I transported. Delivered it to the highest bidder.”

“Which wasn’t Rankin.”

“Nope. Someone came in with a better offer ‘n’ now he figures I owe him the value.”

“Did you ever meet?”

“Worked through intermediaries. Never got face to face.”

“Which is why they think Jayne’s you.”

“Sorry, Zoe.” Monty shook his head. “I didn’t even know he was on Magdalene. Last I heard he was on Beaumonde. Looks like he holds a grudge longer’n I’d give him credit for.”

“And now we’ve lost Serenity.”

“Monty, if you were here …” Jayne threatened.

Zoe sighed. “This ain’t getting us anywhere. You’ve got to pay him.”

“I don’t have the cash. ’N’ if I did that ain’t what he wants.” Monty looked embarrassed. “He wants me outta business, and thinks he can do it by getting rid of my transport.”

“Only it ain’t yours,” Jayne put in.

“So you think even if we got him the money, he wouldn’t give us Serenity back?” Zoe asked.

“Pretty sure not.”

She closed her eyes and exhaled heavily. “Okay. What can you tell us about him? Something maybe we can use.”

“Apart from the fact that he’s an asshole,” Jayne added.

“Well, he’s got a lot of men with him. Never moves without enough -”

“Something useful, Monty.”

“Thinks he’s better than everyone else. Acts that way too. He likes to gamble, gets a thrill outta taking money from easy marks. Always has a -”

“Gambling?” Zoe lifted her head. “What kind?”

“Cards. Likes to think he’s good.”

“Is he?”

Monty shrugged. “From what I’ve heard, yeah. But that don’t mean the game ain't crooked.”

Jayne looked at Zoe. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Not sure. Do you think he could do it?”

“If he don’t get drunk he’s pretty good.”

“You’ve beaten him before.”

“Only when I’ve given him booze.”

“So if he stays sober …”


“Zoe?” Monty asked. “What are you talking about?”

She turned back to the screen. “We need coin. Much as you can get to us.”

“I told you, I don’t have enough to -”

“Monty.” Her voice was soft, but cut across him. “I don’t think you really got any cause to complain. Just arrange for us to be able to pick up the money. As much as you can. Straight away.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Play cards.”


The hotel was cheap. Two rooms, all they could afford, with River and the children in the smaller, the rest of the adults in the other.

Hank knocked.

“Who is it?”

“Me. Come on, Simon.”

The door opened and the young doctor peered out, one of Jayne’s guns in his hand. His face relaxed. “Where have you been?”

“Meeting us,” Zoe said, pushing past him into the room.

Kaylee stood up from the bed. “Well?”

“Well, what?”

“Are we going to get Serenity back?”

“That depends.”

“On what?” Simon asked.

Hank moved from one foot to the other. “Me,” he said unhappily.

“I don’t understand.”

River opened the connecting door. “You can do it,” she said. “If you believe. Just do it soon. I'm tired of talking to the cockroaches.”

“Talking to them?” Simon asked, crossing the room to his sister. “What about?”

“Asking them to leave. Some of them listen.” She shrugged expressively.

Kaylee looked from one to the other. “Am I missing somethin’, here?”

Zoe tried hard to stay calm. “Hank’s going to win back Serenity.”

“Oh. That’s nice.” She smiled uncertainly. “How?”

“Well, for a start your husband is going to lend him some clothes.”

“I am?”

“You are.”

River sighed and moved back into the other room. Simon went to follow, but Zoe stopped him.

“You get what Hank needs. I’ll see to your sister.”

Simon watched in frustration as yet again someone else went to help River, and not him. He glanced at Kaylee, who looked at him, in that damned, infuriatingly understanding way she had. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes for a moment, then said, “What sort of thing are you after?”

In the small room Bethany was asleep in the bed, Ethan beside her. River was sitting next to them, her feet drawn up off the floor, her arms clasped around her knees.

“You okay, honey?” Zoe asked, closing the door quietly behind her.


“You know, Hank keeps telling me lately that I’ve been lying to him. Looks like I’m gonna have to say the same thing to you.”

River managed a smile. “It’s … not very nice here.”

“No. No, I guess it isn’t. But it’s only for a little while.”

“I want to go home.” Her words were almost inaudible.

“We will do soon, sweetie. I promise.”

“And your promises are like the captain’s.”

“Not sure if you’re insulting or complimenting me on that one.” Zoe sat down on the edge of the bed, careful not to disturb the children. “How are they?”

“Ethan doesn’t understand, and Bethany thinks it’s an adventure.” She looked down at the sleeping girl. “She didn’t like it when they came on board. It reminded her of the men when they came for Ethan, but now …”

“She’s strong. Like her family. Like you.”

“I'm not strong. Weak. So weak I …” She stopped and rested her chin on her knees, her mouth tight shut.

“No, you ain’t, River. You’re stronger than any one of us.”

The young woman stared into the corner of the room. “I wanted to help, to stop them, but I was afraid,” she whispered.

“Stop who?”

“The men who took Serenity. I wanted to stop them from hurting her, but I couldn’t. Too afraid.”

“Afraid? Of what?”

“Not coming back. What I did to those men on the Marrakech, after they killed …” Her voice caught. “I could have done it to the men tonight, but I don’t think I’d have come back.”

“River, honey, I'm glad you didn’t. We work it right, maybe we can get through this without bloodshed, theirs or ours.” Zoe looked into her eyes. “Do you need Jayne?”

River shook her head. “Not now. You have work to do. I can’t be taking his attention when he has to be thinking about this.” She put her hand on the older woman’s arm. “Don’t tell him.”

“I won’t.” Zoe sighed. “Now we just have to hope Hank’s as good as he thinks he is.”

“Better.” River suddenly smiled, lighting her face. “He could strip them naked.”

“That’s … nice, but not quite what we had in mind.” She paused for a moment, then asked, “River, could you help him? Read the other players’ minds, tell him about their cards?”

“I could. But it would distract him. He’s not used to me being in his mind like that. Not like Jayne.”

Zoe looked sharply at her, then nodded. “Yeah, we don’t want to make this more difficult than it already is. I just don’t like the idea of -”

“Inara’s going with him.”


River glanced towards the door. “Inara’s going. She’s just decided.”

Zoe was up off the bed and into the other room before the girl had finished speaking.

“’Nara, what the tyen shiao duh are you doing?” she demanded, seeing the ex-Companion sorting through her case.

“Going with Hank.”

“No. Not gonna happen.”

“He needs someone with him. It can’t be you or Jayne, so that leaves me.”

“What about Simon?”

“Can Simon read people? I don’t mean like River, but … body language, signals, that sort of thing.”

“Inara –“

“I can help. Let Hank know if this Rankin is cheating, for instance. Perhaps even be something of a distraction.”


“I have just the dress …”


“I still think we should call Mal.” Hank was uncomfortable, and it wasn't just the tightness of the pants.

Zoe sighed, for what seemed the hundredth time. “And tell him what?”

“Well, that we need help.”

“And can you imagine what the look on his face would be?”

“I don’t exactly care right now.”

“And if we called for help, how’s he going to get here?” Zoe glanced out of the alley. “Hank, we can deal with this.”

“You think?”

“Trust me.”

“What if those other men come along? The ones who took Serenity. They know us, could recognise us. Then we’d be in the deep shit.”

“Ain't likely to,” Jayne put in. “If it were me, I’d make ‘em stay on board, case we did something stupid like trying to get the ship back by violence.”

“Instead of doing something stupid like playing cards.”

Zoe put her hand on his arm. “We’ll keep an eye on things out here.” She leaned in and, without a glance at the others, kissed him softly. “You ready?” she asked, looking into his eyes.

He glanced down at the outfit she’d made him put on. “I look … ridiculous.”

“Aw, I think you look sweet,” Kaylee offered.

“I look like I'm about to go trawling the back streets for boys.”

“Hey!” Simon protested. “They’re my best clothes!”

“Sorry, but if you looked as crazy as I do, no wonder everyone thought you were sly.” He pulled the collar away from his neck.

Zoe stepped back. “We’ll wait for thirty minutes. If it looks like you’re going to lose, just let me know. We’ll go to plan B.”

“Okay.” Hank still didn’t sound too happy, but he straightened up and looked at Inara. “Ready?” he asked.

“As I’ll ever be.” She smoothed her dress, then took the arm Hank offered her.

As the pilot went to lead her out of the alley, he glanced back at Zoe. “Um, honey, what is plan B?”

“Still working on that one,” Serenity’s first mate admitted.


to be continued


Wednesday, April 4, 2007 12:30 AM


Oh I like this though I did think that Monty didn't sound like Monty. I would have expected him to be breathing fire when he heard what had happened and offering any and all help he could rather than having to have Zoe insist on him giving them some money to try to win their boat back. Loved the Mal and Freya goodness, I hope he doesn't get her covered in tattoos though can understand the need to make sure the whole 'verse knows she belongs to him. And they need this alone time. Am looking forward to the card game and hope Hank is every bit the card sharp it sounds like he is. Hope as well that our crew gets out of this without any near death experiences. That would be shiny! And I adored Hank's comment about Simon looking sly in those clothes. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 8:25 PM


This was a great continuation ... I'm really worried about the crew but something tells me than can pull it off ... I have faith in Hank and Zoe. And I'm really glad that they didn't call Mal and Freya - it would have ruined their time together completely.

Still though ... yikes!

Monday, April 9, 2007 12:04 PM


I too am glad they decided not to call up the Captain and his missus...but I can just imagine how pissed Mal is gonna be when he finds out eventually that Serenity came close to being permanently lost becuase of the job they took;)

Still...loved the scene between Mal and Freya - lots of spot-on couple-y dialogue and sentiments - and I honestly have to admit I thought they were gonna get Simon to be their card shark, rather than Hank. Though I can't wait to see how he fleeces Rankin;)



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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!]