Sweet Sorrow - Part V
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Simon and Hank discuss women, while Kaylee might just be headed for trouble ... Thanks for the fascinating feedback! It's great!


Kaylee was mad. Or maybe it should be, still mad. Every time she thought she’d managed to calm herself down, to talk to herself sensibly, she heard him say that. That River was all he had. And the flames leapt merrily up to consume her again.

How could he say that? What gave him the right to just … toss her aside? And this was the same man who took that damn drug that almost killed him because he wanted to give her the baby she was longing for.

No. That didn’t fit. How could he do that if he really felt …

Damn him!

Kaylee threw the wrench against the wall, hearing it clatter loudly to the floor behind her workbench.

Ben tian sheng de fei fei de pi yan!” she shouted.

Why didn’t he explain? Why didn’t he just tell her why he … and it was no good even considering that she hadn’t let him. No good whatsoever. He must think she was dia ruo mu ji if he thought she was going to fall for that one.

“Kaylee?” Mal called from the other end of the galley. “You okay?”

“Shiny, captain,” she said, putting a smile on her face. “Just dropped something.”

“Long as it’s just that. Don’t want you breaking up my boat.”

“Wouldn’t do that,” she said brightly.

“Good.” He gave her an odd look, then went back to the bridge.

She turned back to the slowly rotating heart of Serenity. “Why’d he say that?” she asked in a whisper. “Why’d he say she’s his only family?”

Serenity didn’t answer.

That didn’t stop Kaylee. “I know,” she said wearily. “I should let him explain. But he just makes me so mad.”

The gentle motion held her attention.

“And he shot Jayne. He never shoots anyone. He’s not like that.”

A scuff of rust circled slowly past.

“I need to speak to him.” She dropped her rag on the bench and hurried down towards the infirmary. “Where’s Simon?” she demanded, seeing only Zoe sitting next to Jayne.

“He went out.”


“We’ve landed.”

“I know.”

“I think he needed some fresh air.”

“Leaving Jayne like …” Kaylee couldn’t believe it. “How could he?”

“He needed to get away,” Zoe explained gently. “He’s probably in a bar as we speak, having a drink.”

“He’s …” Words failed her.

“Don’t worry. I sent Hank to be with him. We don’t want him coming back too drunk to be able to work.”

“Drunk. Simon.”

“He’s not too old for it, Kaylee. Or for putting his foot fair and square in his mouth.”

“No, not for that.” She stared at Jayne for a moment, then turned on her heel and ran out.

“Looks like it’s just you and me,” Zoe said to the unconscious man. She crossed her arms. “So, what was all that about?”


Simon sat at the bar and stared into his drink. It was called beer, only it didn’t taste like any he’d ever had before. It wasn’t the worst, by any means - that was reserved for the Mudder’s Milk in Canton - but it came close. Still, it was having the effect he wanted. He could feel his synapses being slowly dissolved in the alcohol, and as far as he was concerned, that was a good thing.

Someone hit him on the back. “Not a good thing,” Hank said, sliding into the chair next to him. “Drinking alone. No-one to carry you home.”

“Do I have a home?”

“Woo-ee, I think maybe you’ve had enough already.” Hank grinned at him. “How many?”

“This is my second.”

“You never were the best at holding your liquor.”

“I do fine,” Simon insisted, lifting the mug and draining it. “Barman, another, please.”

“Make that two,” Hank said quickly. “So, you drowning your sorrows?”

“Trying to.” He waited until the barman had placed two more foaming mugs in front of them before adding, “They don’t serve sake, so this is it.” He took another mouthful.

Hank tasted his and made a face. “This could almost make me wish for a Mal’s Cocktail.”

“It’s not that bad. Nearly, but …”

Hank smiled. “So you care to tell me why you’re not taking care of Jayne?”

“I just … needed a little time.”

“I can understand that. Sometimes, being so close to everyone, gets me feeling …” He stopped. Only Zoe knew of his problems with enclosed spaces, and he wasn’t going to make a joke about it now.

Simon didn’t pick up on it. “It’s just … I’ve tried apologising to everyone, but no-one wants to hear.”

“They will.”

“I mean, I came out to find something for Kaylee, something to try and make amends, but …” He reached into his pocket. “I think she’ll just throw it at me.” He placed a small box on the wooden counter.

“This is so sudden, but I’m spoken for,” Hank joked, then looked into the younger man’s face. “Sorry. Can I look?” Simon shrugged and Hank picked up the box, lifting the lid carefully. “Wow.”

“She likes the one Mal got for Freya, so I thought why not? I mean, it‘s not the same, obviously, but …”

Hank lifted the pendant out, letting the sun catch on the carved surfaces. “What is it?”

“It’s Odonerite. There’s only a couple of places it’s mined, so it’s pretty rare.”

“No, I mean, what is it meant to be.”

“A crouching tiger.”

“Really? I don’t see -” He stopped as the pendant revolved slowly. “Oh. Well, whoever the carver was, he’s pretty damned good.” He lay it carefully back into the box. “Not cheap, I take it?”

“No.” Simon sighed. “Took quite a lot of my share of the Magdalene money.”

“Simon, Simon, Simon,” Hank said, shaking his head and patting his friend on the back. “As beautiful as this is, I really suggest you don’t tell her that.”

“What? Why?”

“You really know nothing about women, do you? She’ll think you’ve wasted your money.”

“Wasted it? On Kaylee?”

“Exactly. You know what happened over her birthday. She’s gonna be mad that you spent so much on her. And we’re not even going to get into the fact that she’s probably gonna think you’re trying to buy her back.”

Simon leaned forward and laid his forehead on the bar. “I can’t win.”

“You’re a married man,” Hank pointed out. “You’re not supposed to.”


“You’re welcome. So why are you here instead of giving this to Kaylee?”

“I was going straight back …”

“But you got cold feet?”

“Something like that.” He sat up and looked at the pilot. “What do you think I should do?”

“Well, if you want to take advice from a once-married man who is currently about to be a father, I’d say, go and get your money back, and buy something a bit more … Kaylee.”

“This isn’t her?” Simon glanced down at the open box.

“Oh, it’s her, all right, but she’ll never wear it. Afraid to damage it, or lose it. Better to get her something relatively cheap, but cheerful. Oh, and something for Bethie, too.”


“Simon, the way to a mother’s heart is through her daughter.”

“How do you know all this?” the young doctor asked, shaking his head in wonder.

Hank sighed happily. “Just talented, I guess.”

“Will you help?”

Hank grinned. “Sure. How far is this place?”

“Just around the corner.”

“Then the sooner we get there, the sooner you can make amends with your wife.”

Simon slid from his stool. “Let’s go. And thanks.”

“What for?”

“Helping me.”

“Well, I happen to think you’re worth it.”

“I don’t know.” He shook his head. “Everyone else thinks I’m stupid.”

“You’re just having a bad day.”

“Bad day?” Simon stared at him. “Bad day? I shot Jayne, alienated my sister, upset my wife … and you say I’m having a bad day?”

“Well, it ain’t over yet,” Hank said, swilling the last of his beer down his throat.


The two men looked down at the body on the cot.


“Last night. Found her this morning.”

“What was the cause?”

His companion shrugged. “Does it matter?”

“Guess not. Well, we’re one short now. And the buyer was very specific.”

“Then we find another. She doesn’t even have to be too young, long as we make up the numbers.”

“Best get going then.”

“And this one?” He indicated the pale form.

“Dump her. No-one’s going to worry about another dead girl.”


“What is it with women?” Simon asked, staring into the window of the shop. “I just wanted to keep my sister safe. I got her out of the Academy because of what they were doing to her, and she’s been the most important thing in my life for so long …”

“But you’ve got Kaylee. And little Bethie.”

“I know.” He shook his head. “I don’t know how to deal with this, Hank.”

“River doesn’t need you any more, Simon.”

The young doctor glared at the pilot. “Of course she does.”

“No, she doesn’t. Not like that. She’s so much better, and you have to let her go.”

“She’s my sister!”

“And she always will be. But you can’t dictate what she does for the rest of her life.”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“You tell me.”

He sighed heavily. “It’s just …”

“You’ve gotta let her decide. Make her own mind up. All of ‘em.”

“I guess.”

“No guesses.” Hank clapped his hand on the young doctor‘s shoulder. “Come on. Let’s get this gift thing sorted and then we’d better be getting back before Mal decides he can fly Serenity all on his lonesome.”


Mal carried a crate into the cargo bay. “Not that I mind doing some heavy lifting, but where the diyu is my pilot?” he asked, setting it carefully on the floor.

“He’s looking after Simon.” Zoe ticked off a box on the manifest.

“Simon?” Mal glanced towards the infirmary. “We lost him too?”

“I think he needed a little time alone.”

“So you sent Hank to follow him?”

“Not that alone.”

“So who’s with Jayne?” He held up a hand. “No, forget I asked.”

“River‘s watching him, and Inara‘s looking after Ethan and Bethany.”

“And Freya can’t …“ Mal rubbed his back. “Well do you think you could give me a hand?”

“Sorry, sir. Not in my condition.”

“Right.” He headed back outside, shaking his head and muttering.

River lifted her head slowly, her eyes unfocused. Then she leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on Jayne’s forehead, and slid off the stool. She moved like a whisper through the common area, behind Zoe, slipping outside without either the first mate or the captain seeing her.


Kaylee had looked into half a dozen bars, but there was neither sight nor sound of the errant crew. She’s been invited into several, with offers being made for all the free drinks she wanted if she’d just come in and take a seat. She smiled and waved but walked on.

She shivered. She was getting further from the docks, but this area seemed to have less and less people around. No, wait a minute. Up ahead, coming out of a shop. She smiled in relief, quickening her pace.


“D’you see her?”

“I do.”

“Anyone around?”

“Nope. Coupla guys just come out of a place further up, but they’re too far away to be bothersome.”

“She looks okay, just the right type.”

“Let’s go, then.”

to be continued


Thursday, April 12, 2007 12:41 AM


Oh Kaylee, you idiot! Just can't wait for Simon to come back so you can talk to him. So happy that River is on the ball though. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, April 15, 2007 9:29 AM


Hmm...gotta say I am split between watning to laugh at Hank's bits of wisdom for Simon about women and cringing at Kaylee getting snatched by those slavers to make up for the dead girl mentioned in passing. Just hope River can get to Kaylee in time:(


Saturday, July 19, 2008 3:11 PM


Jane, I'm still working my way through all your past fics again. Angst & fluff, in perfect measure, always. Thank you.



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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!]