Sweet Sorrow - Part VI
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee's in trouble, but rescue is at hand ... This story doesn't seem to be going down too well, but there are others in the pipeline, so please bear with it. Anyway, please, if you read, please rate/feedback. Please? PG for violence.


“Risa would never’ve let me … what is it?”

“Damn,” Simon said, turning around.

“You forgotten something?” Hank asked in surprise.

“It’s Kaylee.”


“Up the road. Coming towards us.”

Hank looked. “Can’t see anyone.”

Simon turned, surprised. “She’s just up …” There was no-one in the street. “She was just there.”

“You starting to see things?”

The young doctor walked forward. “I know it was …” He started to speed up, breaking into a run.

Hank stared, then, feeling the itch of apprehension at the base of his skull, he pounded along after his friend.

Simon got to the corner where he was sure he’d seen Kaylee, and he looked around, panic breeding in his stomach. Hank skidded to a halt beside him. “Doc …”

Simon grabbed his arm. “Listen.”

There was the sound of a struggle, something cut off abruptly.

“Shit,” Hank breathed.

“Kaylee!” Simon shouted, fear rolling through him.

A noise, almost like a voice trying to cry out, silenced before it could speak.



She’d been so intent on getting to them, she hadn’t noticed the two men at the mouth to the alleyway. Not until one of them had grabbed her around the waist, the other slamming his hand over her mouth. They hauled her into the darkness.

She was fighting, kicking out with her feet, trying desperately to remember some of the self-defence moves Inara had shown her, and the more brutal methods Jayne had advocated. But she couldn’t reach, couldn’t catch hold of flesh or hair, her finger nails breaking against rough clothes but unable to grip.

Her foot finally connected, and someone swore violently, loosing his grip on her face, and she opened her mouth to scream. A fist came through the gloom and hit her on the jaw, and she could taste blood on her tongue as suddenly her limbs didn’t seem to belong to her, and everything slowed.

Simon, she wanted to cry out. Simon, help me …

They began heaving her along, her heels dragging in the dry dust, sending up dead smells that mingled with her fear.

Simon, help me …

Her eyes rolled, catching sight of something pale on the ground, limbs all tangled in a heap. Her breath jammed in her lungs, her heart beating so fast she was sure someone would hear, come to investigate. Help her.

Simon …

A doorway, dark and empty, and she knew that if she was taken inside, there would be nothing left of her. She jerked her body, sudden strength ripping their hands from her.

“No,” she managed to say, trying to get her feet under her, to run, to do something. A hand hit her again, snapping her head back. The world began to fade.


“No!” Simon shouted, running towards the men, his sudden appearance and speed throwing them enough so that he was on them before they could draw the guns on their hips. He punched the one holding Kaylee, elbowing the other in the throat as he caught his wife before she could fall, trying to move her to one side. He felt a blow to his belly, the air whooshing from his lungs, but his adrenalin-fed anger was too great, and he turned on his assailant.

Hank grabbed for the other man, getting his weight under his arm, pushing the gun he’d managed to pull from its holster towards the sky just as the sound of it firing filled the alley. The smell of gunpowder mixed with all the others, then Hank had thrust him against the wall, ignoring the punches he was receiving, just intent on smashing the gun from his fingers. It clattered away, and now he was able to fight back, kneeing the man deeply in the groin before bringing his double clenched fist down onto the back of his neck. The man fell, and without a second thought Hank kicked him in the temple.

Simon was beating with his fists, the sheer fury of his attack having given him the advantage, and his opponent was on the ground.


He was still punching, knowing his knuckles were bloody, both with the other man’s and his own.

“Simon. He ain‘t worth it.”

Kaylee put her hand on his shoulder, and he stopped, sagging slightly, only now aware of the mess he’d made of the man’s face. He looked up.

“Kaylee?” He stood up, swaying a little, and pulled his wife into his arms. “Oh, Kaylee!”

She leaned against him, weeping quietly. “Simon, I thought they were going to …” She shuddered.

“I’m here,” he said, trying to control his heart rate. He glanced down at the two men. “And they’re not going to hurt you again.”

“Simon …” She buried her face in his chest.

“Take her back to Serenity,” Hank said.

“No, we have to - that girl -”

“We don’t have to do nothing. Not for these two creeps.” Hank shook his head. “And I reckon it’s too late for her. You take her back. Tell Mal, get him here.” He pushed Simon gently. “Hurry.”

Simon nodded, taking Kaylee out into the fresher air, then moving as fast as he could back towards the docks.

Hank watched them leave, then turned back, his stomach threatening to lose all the beer he’d drunk as he looked down at the pale body against the wall. He bent down and touched the girl’s neck, but she was cold, her flesh stiff. He shuddered. He glanced up into the open doorway. Something told him he really didn’t want to go in there.


Mal looked up from the last crate, seeing his medic and his mechanic weaving, somewhat unsteadily, towards him. “Zoe!” he shouted, starting to run.

His first mate was out in a moment, following him.

“What the diyu happened?” he asked as he came up to the pair. He went to put his arm around Kaylee, to support her, but Simon shook his head.

“I‘ve got her,” he said. “But Hank needs your help.”

“Hank?” Zoe looked beyond them.

“Kaylee was attacked. The two men that did it, Hank’s still there. I think he could do with a hand.”

“Where?” Mal asked.

“Cornell Street. Near a bar called O’Malley’s?”

“We’ll find it.” He looked into Kaylee’s tear-stained face. “You gonna be okay, xiao mei-mei?”

She nodded. “Go help Hank.”

Mal stroked her cheek, just once, and was off running, Zoe at his heels.

“Come on,” Simon said gently, urging Kaylee towards the ship. “Let’s get you checked over.”

He helped her through the cargo bay and into the infirmary, running an experienced eye over Jayne on the medbed just to make sure nothing had changed in the short time he was gone.

“What happened?” Freya asked, looking in from the common area.

“Kaylee was attacked,” Simon said, lifting her carefully onto the counter.

“I’m fine,” Kaylee insisted. “Just a bit woozy.”

“Lay down,” her husband said, putting his hand behind her head so she didn’t knock it.

“I’m fine.”

“I’m the doctor here. You let me be the judge of that.” He glanced towards Freya. “Could you get the swabs from that drawer?”

“Of course.” Freya put her stick against the wall and began to collect the items Simon needed.

“Where’s River?” Kaylee asked, looking sideways at Jayne. “I thought she’d be here.”

“She’s around,” Freya said, bringing the antiseptic across. “She won’t have gone far.”


Hank waved, and the two figures speeded up, heading towards him. He went back into the alleyway, then paused. Something was different. Something was … missing. Then it hit him. There was no sound. Where two minutes before there had been the strained breathing of two men with teeth missing and possibly ribs broken, now there was nothing.

With unwilling feet he walked towards them, bending down.

“Hank?” Mal shouted.

“In here.”

Serenity’s captain hurried down the alleyway, his stomach turning as he saw the dead girl, then Hank leaning against the wall by two more bodies on the ground.

He quickly checked the two men. “They’re dead,” he said softly.

“I know.” Hank rubbed his face with his hands.

“You okay?” Zoe asked.

“Oh, shiny.” Hank looked at her, despair in his eyes. “Only, see, the thing is, they weren’t dead before.”

“Weren’t …” Mal stood up. “What are you talking about?”

“I checked. Before I came out to show you the way. Unconscious, yes, and pretty sure not to be waking up any time soon, but they were alive.”

“Maybe they died of their injuries,” Zoe suggested.

“I hope so,” Hank said fervently. “’Cause otherwise it would suggest someone else broke their necks.”

She stared at him, then glanced down at the bodies.

Mal went back onto his heels, pulling one of the men towards him. His head rolled at an unnatural angle. “Damn.”

“Someone from in there?” Zoe asked, nodding towards the open doorway and drawing her gun.

“I don’t know,” Hank admitted. “I haven’t gone inside.”

Mal nodded, drawing his pistol, and walked through the door. The smell hit him first, of unwashed bodies and stale urine, and of more terrible bodily odours. The short corridor led into a large room. “Gou niang jang di,” he muttered.

Fifteen cots in three rows, fourteen occupied by women, sedated into insensibility. Most of them were naked, some had a rough blanket thrown across them. All were young, probably no older than River.

“Slavers?” Zoe whispered, checking the rest of the room with her eyes. No other exit.

“Probably,” Mal agreed, feeling sick to his stomach. “Or worse. There’s been rumours lately …” He stopped.

“Rumours?” Hank asked.

“Girls being found on different worlds. All dead. All …tortured.”

“You’re talking about the one they’re calling the Monster.” Hank shuddered. “I’ve been reading about him on the Cortex. They say he’s rich, buys girls and then -”

“Rumours, Hank,” Mal interrupted. “Like I said, just rumours. Don’t mean it’s the case.” He glanced at the girls. “There’s lots of other folks willing to pay for some female companionship, willing or otherwise.”

“They probably just slavers,” Zoe agreed, hating the look on the pilot’s face.

“So what do we do?” Hank asked, holding himself to try and stop the trembling in his bones.

“We call the Feds,” Mal said firmly. “There’s a public Cortex link just down the street. We call, tell ‘em where to find these girls, and we leave. It ain’t our affair.”

“But they’re -”

“They’ll take care of them,” Zoe said. “We can’t.”

“I know. I just … it could have been Kaylee.”

“It could. But it isn’t. You and Simon saved her from that.” Mal looked around once more. “And we keep this between ourselves, dong mah? It ain’t gonna do the young doctor any good to realise what might have happened to her. Best let him believe they were just muggers.”

Hank nodded slowly. “Okay,” he said softly.

“Come on. Time we weren’t here.”

They hurried out of the room and back into the alley, turning towards the Cortex booth. River slid out of the shadows and hurried the other way, knowing she’d be back at Serenity well before they were. She done what she needed to. Saved her family.

to be continued


Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:37 PM


Ask and ye shall receive.

First of all, big YAY that Kaylee didn't get 'napped.
Could be pretty sure that would send Simon over an very high ledge if that happened. And you just *know* he wasn't gonna stop pounding his fists into that thugs' skull until he couldn't lift his arms or his started hitting the dirt underneath. Quite a rage filled fellow right now, methinks.

Not sure how I feel about River getting all Ninja-y. I think I'll wait to see how that pans out.

This 'Monster' fool sounds like one badass...well, monster. I hope you have someone kill him or her.

This story is going just brilliantly to me Jane, so keep it up, dong ma?

Friday, April 13, 2007 12:45 AM


Excellent, just loved this. I can so see Simon going batshit when he saw those men with Kaylee, especially when he saw they had hurt her. I thought the twist with River having killed the two men, protecting her 'family, was great and in character. She always has the ability to turn ninja, Miranda proved that, it is just such a good thing that now she only does so to protect those she loves. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, April 13, 2007 1:33 AM


What an action-packed chapter. Why do I think we're gonna hear more about this Monster? Maybe because things never go smooth for our intrepid travellers! Good work!

Friday, April 13, 2007 5:07 AM


I think this was great - I think Simon's verve to save Kaylee will go a long way towards convincing her that he does really love her and that he's just been acting like a fool.

A little worried about River - methinks Jayne needs to wake up and help keep her grounded or she's gonna start goin' badass on thems that need ... and thems that don't.

2nd bite Friday? *pants like a dog waiting for a treat*

Sunday, April 15, 2007 1:33 PM


Really gotta agree with what's been said about this, Jane0904! Simon going ballistic on two hundans, before up-shifting to unadulterated fury on the one attacker is all kinds of "Whoa!" inducing and I really can't wait to see how the aftermath of this affects the current Silee predicament.

Also gotta note that I can see two sides to River's actions here. She just made sure that no one can ID Simon or Hank as the people who beat the slavers down - ensuring that the Monster is in the dark longer - but I really gotta wonder about it's necessity overall. Killing two unconscious men all ninja-like does give me pause. And that's a good thing! One thing Our Fearful Leader loves to do is present moral quandaries that shape and affect our beloved taking up the mantle is always good in my book;)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007 8:09 AM


I think River's thought is especially poignant because she had "disowned" Simon when Jayne was first wounded.

Even if she won't tell him, Simon is still River's family. She'll even kill for him.

I think this is really the point of Jane's story....

I'm really enjoying your series Jane. I hope you'll continue for a long time.


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“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!]