BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

AMDOBELL

HEAVEN AND HELL: 47. "Finding Heaven"
Friday, July 30, 2004

"With the crew reunited the Captain still has a few loose ends to tidy up."


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3376    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

TITLE: "FINDING HEAVEN" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: RIVER/MAL. RATING: NC-17. CONCLUSION. STATUS: New. SEQUEL to "CATALYST". ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: AlisonMDobell@aol.com WEBSITE: http://carlajane.50megs.com/Ali00.html

SUMMARY: "With the crew reunited the Captain still has a few loose ends to tidy up." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.

"FINDING HEAVEN"

A "Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

Simon fussed and checked then double checked, his head bent over the damaged knee, flexing the joint with care and precision. Using the movement to sneak little looks at his patient. The doctor hid a smile and kept his professional demeanour when he straightened. "You'll be happy to hear the brace can come off..."

A smile chased the worry and anxiety from the Captain's face. No way in the 'verse was he wearing a brace to his own gorram wedding. That was *if* there was one. He missed the look of amusement in Simon's eyes. In fact lately he had been missing all kinds of significant looks passing between his crew and their lawful passengers. The latter though would be disembarking on Porchester. A little later than planned but they would be disembarking and that was another thing to consider. Timing. "*Xie xie ni*, doctor."

Simon nodded and watched the Captain regain his feet, stomp experimentally without the brace then flash him a brief blinding smile before little worry lines dimmed the light he could not hide. Then he went on a tour of his boat. Happy voices greeted him wherever he went. Kaylee smudged his good shirt and cheek with grease when she impulsively leapt to her feet and hugged him then quickly told him how great Serenity was doing. Just doing a little maintenance nothing more. He had relaxed enough to hug her back, then with a kiss on her forehead he was off again. Kaylee stood outside the engine room and watched him go, her heart all kinds of happy to have him back. Nothing seemed right without the Captain on board. Just wasn't what God intended.

Sheriff Bowman turned at the uneven footfall, his mug of tea almost dropping from his hand. Deputy Crowther gave the Captain a grin, the other deputies moving round the table to make a space for him but he didn't sit down. "Mug of tea, son?"

Mal smiled and stomped over to him. If the Sheriff didn't know better he'd swear the boy was showing off. Then he looked down at the Captain's leg and a big beautiful smile vanished the shadowed pock marks on his face and leant him an ambient charm that was all his own. No leg brace. "Think I might at that."

Andy Crowther turned to Billy Horn and another mug was poured then passed hand by hand to the Captain who looked amused but grateful. He took a deep slow sip of the liquid. Sheriff Bowman waited until Mal set the mug down on the table then put his next to it, and not caring that they were two grown men standing amidst a posse of gorram deputies, he stepped up to the Captain and wrapped him in a bear hug. So much emotion passing between them in that moment that words were unnecessary but some words still needed saying, at least in the Sheriff's mind. This way he got to whisper them right into his boy's ear. No way the man could misinterpret his meaning. "So ruttin' happy for ya, son. I mean it. River's gonna make ya a mighty fine bride."

The rumble of his laughter made the Sheriff laugh too and pretty soon they were looking at each other with smiles that would light up any gorram sun, eyes merry and bright for the first time in a goodly while. Mal could not remember the last time he was this happy. It felt good but good as it was his happiness was just shy of complete. The Sheriff nodded slightly, he knew. "She's with Yen Mah."

Mal arched an eyebrow. Martin Bowman laughed.

"Son, by the time the women on this ship are done with ya there won't be a straight bone in your body!"

The Captain tried to scowl. "That so?"

He was clapped on the shoulder by a firm square hand. "Nope an' ya wanna know something real scarifyin' Mal?"

He wasn't sure he did but could see the Sheriff intended to enlighten him anyway. "*Shenme*?"

"Ya wouldn't want it any other way!"

* * * * *

Jayne Cobb was nervous. No other gorram word for it. Holed up in his bunk like some scaredy school kid outside the principal's office only that had felt nothing like this. In fact, nothing felt nothing like this. And if you took nothing away from nothing you were left with... He was too strung out to complete that thought. It was creepifying even without doing the math. Then Inara Serra smiled at him and he almost bolted out of his own bunk in panic. It was the Preacher's calm words that kept one foot nailed in reality.

"Relax Jayne, we just want to talk."

"How come Mal didn't space ya?"

Humour not anger flirted with the refracted planes of light on the Shepherd's face. "You could say we came to an understanding. I never meant the Captain any harm Jayne."

"Not the way I see it." He grumbled darkly, one eye keeping track of Inara. Just in case the Devil's Queen of Witches tried to out flank him. Not that there was a whole lotta room in his bunk. What had Mal called her? Oh yeah, the Mother of Sorrows. What in the good gorram had he meant by that? Nothing good, that's what.

"Jayne," Said the Witch Queen moving a step closer. He would have run but he was already up against his bunk. He sat. Wary, confused and pretty near terrified of what might happen next. "We just want to help you."

"Uh uh, don't want that kind'a help."

"You don't understand." Said the Preacher in a kindly voice. "They messed with your brain."

His eyes flicked warily between them, now looking more anxious that out and out afraid. "Like River?"

The Shepherd glanced at the Companion. "They didn't drill your brain Jayne, it was more subtle than that."

"Huh?"

"Jayne," Said Book, a hand dropping on his shoulder. A welcome weight and warmth to ground him. "What they did messed with your memories. Simon has healed the physical intrusions. Your body has recovered but your mind..."

"Is still susceptible to their suggestions."

"Come again?"

"What Inara is saying Jayne is the Alliance can still exert control over you. We have to stop that, block off their access to your mind."

"How the gorram ya gonna do that? Not gonna let nobody touch my brain."

"No one is going to but you have to trust me." Said the Companion.

"Trust you?"

The Shepherd nodded to back up Inara. "Yes, Jayne."

He leaned back as far away from them as he could get, his back and neck touching the cold unyielding skin of the ship. "Why in the nine hells would I wanna do that?"

Inara leaned down, her face hovering only inches now from his own. Her look unreadable, her voice a mere hush of vowels and syllables that rang inside his head like the tolling of a bell. "You want to stay don't you?"

* * * * *

The giggling alerted him that he was close. His clumping uneven tread alerted them. The difference being that he stopped, they didn't. An angelic voice sang out from River's room. "You can come in, *ai ren*."

No place to run and hide now and what was it Martin had said? Inwardly he groaned, knowing that his life from now on would never be the same again but he didn't have it in him to feel sorry. He wanted this. He wanted it more than the air he breathed. Stepping into the room he slid the door shut behind him and just stared. River could have been wearing a tarpaulin and he still would have thought she outshone every gorram star in the Black. Beauty never had no name until it claimed her. Gorrammit if his head wasn't turning to mush and poetry just looking on her. Yen Mah jumped up and enjoyed the stunned expression on her *pengyou's* face. "You like?"

Mal nodded, too stunned to form actual words. River brushed the diaphanous folds of the sheer silk so that it draped correctly over her slim frame yet it held and adorned every curve of her. The Captain's mouth had gone dry. Without looking at Yen Mah he spoke to her. "Best you go help Kaylee wash the dirt an' grime off her. Don't want no engine oil in the food, *dong ma*?"

"You want we cook?"

He could not resist a little smirk, his eyes still rivetted to River. "Whatever you gorram want, just not in here. Now go, GET, be gone, silent, swift, away! Your Captain needs his privacy."

Yen Mah giggled again then kissed the Captain's cheek. She loved him, wanted only happy things and she knew inside and out that River would provide all his heart could need and more. "You take time, come when ready."

He nodded and resisted the temptation to make a mucky comment. As soon as she was gone River sidled up to him, careful not to muss up her dress as she let the short train fall around her in a horseshoe of snow white silk. It took Mal's breath away but only because River was wearing it. "*Xin gan*, you're so gorram *meili*. Can't believe you agreed to marry an old crotchety man like me. Must be dreamin'."

River moved her arms and the dress slid off her shoulders to pool at her feet. Neither of them noticed. He saw the swell of her belly, an ache inside his heart so full of love and pride and wonder that he was not sure he had the power of speech. A thought popped into his head. *Actions speak louder than words, ai ren*

*That so?*

Then they were in each other's arms and the whole damn 'verse could go to *diyu* around them. His lips on hers, her hands gliding over him, sliding his suspenders off his shoulders, undoing the buttons on his shirt and moving on down to his belt. He was unaware, his kiss deepening, her tongue claiming his, the breath sucked out of him while her words of love sang a symphony in his mind that permeated through every cell in his body and filled him heart and soul with such joy he thought he would near catch light with the power of it. He wanted to crush her to him but was wary of hurting the baby. The baby. His heart soared with the notion that they had created new life between them. It brought tears to his eyes. River tasted the salt on her lips, her hands now sliding down his hips divesting him of his trousers. Careful not to hurt his leg as she tapped his feet so she could strip them off. He went to guide her to the bed but she didn't want that.

He looked down into those knowing eyes, letting his lips break free for the necessity of speech over thought. He wanted to hear the words form on her tongue, watch her lips as she spoke them. "What you want, *bao bei*?"

"You, naked."

He smirked, eyes amused as he looked down. Eyes laughing at her when he looked back up again. "Seems you've already achieved that objective, *wode xinzang*."

River finished taking off her undergarments and smiled back. "Not finished."

He raised an eyebrow and watched her look travel over his body, could feel himself tremble with anticipation and the need to love her with every atom of his being. "*Bu qu*?"

She looked up and met his darkening eyes. "*Qu*."

"Then best you show me what you want, *dui*?" He whispered.

River nodded then trailed gentle fingers down his body, chasing the tremble that shivered through him at her heated touch. "Don't move, *ai ren*."

Inwardly he groaned but he loved her, could deny her nothing. And if a girl couldn't get what she wanted on the eve of her gorram wedding then when could she? She touched him everywhere, fleeting fingers of want and need followed by lips that tormented him, offering him everything but not letting him respond. A touch, a kiss, a lick, the warmth of her mouth on his skin making him flush as she teased a nipple, her hands caressing now, kneeding muscles, thighs, stroking and plying their desire from her body to his until he fair sizzled with want and need. She saw the lust build in his eyes, could hear it in the fractured breaths that showed his control was slowly slipping. Dropping to her knees she kissed the weeping head and enjoyed how he shuddered. She took his hand and kissed the palm, then slowly sucked each finger into her mouth making him groan. Her eyes watching him harden and weep before her eyes, the strain building in the scent of his arousal.

River licked her lips and let his released hand card the dark waterfall of hair that hid her face from him. Gently he parted her long tresses to look down at the woman he would die for. A million times a million more, each death more horrific than the last but each endless agony worth the travail for one smile, one touch, one fleeting taste of paradise in the arms of the one he loved. Then her tongue washed over him and much as he wanted to keep his eyes open to watch it was too much to do that, feel this, and still stand firm. To let her take control without ramming her senseless. Not that he would force himself on her, not never. Didn't matter that he and his hormones had to have that discussion a time or two. He might slip now and then but never that far. River was teasing the slit now, her tongue sliding back and forth across the head of his weeping shaft, the little taste buds providing a slide of delicious friction that made his hips jerk as she savoured him, her hands gripping his hips and willing him not to thrust. Wanting to drag it out as far as she could just short of killing him.

*Oh shangdi, can't hold on, can't hold on...*

*You can. For love of me, xin gan*

Mal swallowed slowly and fought the urge, the need to move. Lost in what she was doing to him. Trembling and shuddering with the effort not to come before she let him. Her lips sinking over him until he was wrapped in her warm wet sheath, her tongue lapping the vein throbbing under his shaft, the blood throbbing through engorged tissue, the suction making him shake harder, his hips beginning to jerk and pump. Her teeth now under his cap gently nipping, teasing, bringing him closer and closer to the gorram edge. A hand slid down to roll and caress his testicles until they tightened then she was sucking harder, her mouth working in complete co-ordination as she filled his mind with images of their earlier love making. The overload was too much, with a cry he came swift and hard into her willing mouth, hands braced over her head against the nearest wall. It was the only thing keeping him upright as she continued taking everything she wanted. Not easing off until she had sucked him dry then taken her leisure to lick him clean.

"Gorrammit, woman..." He sighed just before his legs gave way.

She laughed. Happy and merry and so full of love for him. He never made it to the bed but she did manage to move the wedding dress to safety before they crumpled it beyond saving. He lay on the floor with the crazy girl draped over him. Her hair splayed across his chest, her lips raining kisses down on him, licking the sweat off his body as her hands roamed to gently soothe him. She turned her ear to pick up the thunder of his ragged heartbeat. Loving it that she could do this to him. That he would let her. Anything she gorram wanted. River finally let him rest, her arms wrapping possessively round him. When he got his breath back he intended to return the favour - with interest. River closed her eyes and let her mind seduce him while his body recovered. He was hers and she was his. Yes, she would marry him but in River's mind they had been all but wed the moment she had chosen him. He just hadn't known it.

* * * * *

Jayne was stunned. He turned his hands over slowly and looked at them critically. He looked up, eyes wide. Surprised. "How d'ya do that?"

Inara Serra smiled. If that smile was a little sad and regretful he did not seem to notice. "I was trained Jayne to use more than just my body. Long ago they took my mental abilities and fashioned them to their purpose. The good part of that is that I can now help you. I have put defences in place that will stop anyone tampering with your mind again. Unless it is what you want."

His eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why should I believe ya?"

It was Book who answered, his voice mild and not at all offended. Both he and Inara knew they would have to walk a pretty narrow line before the crew would start to trust them again. But then even the longest journey began with a single step. At least now they had time and that was a wonder to both of them. Their joint fates hanging in the regard of one man. "You're alive Jayne. Inara could have killed you."

"Huh, thought only the crazy girl could kill with her mind."

Book leaned in towards him, as if confiding a deadly secret. "And who do you suppose taught River?"

He flicked a nervous glance towards the Companion.

"Those people," Explained Book in a kindly voice. "Also trained Inara."

* * * * *

Porchester had never looked so festive. Cassie Mary Bowman was grinning from ear to ear, her washed and tidy brood standing beside her and trying hard not to fidget. The boys breaking out into smiles when they spotted their father then breaking ranks to race over and speak to Ty. They hadn't seen him in an age and wanted to get the latest news from him. Their mother did not try to stop them, anxiously craning her neck to look for Yen Mah and wanting to meet the Captain's bride to be her own self. Then her husband was threading his way through the throng, a tall lean man in tow. Only as they drew closer did she see the girl who was with him. No guesses needed to see that they would soon be together in the eyes of man and God.

"Mary, I want ya to meet River Tam. This is my wife Mary. If ya have half the happiness she's given me then you'll be more than mortally blessed."

Mal laughed, went to shake her hand and found himself in a bear hug. Mary patted him on the back as she hugged and rocked him, then released him to take a good look at River. Her face blossomed into a beautiful smile. "Hello River, I have the feelin' ya don't need my blessin' or good wishes to complete your happiness but I'll give 'em anyway. Ya look after him all the days of your life, you hear?" River nodded and Mary kissed her cheek and hugged her. When she pulled away she looked at the Captain with serious eyes. "An' ya be takin' care of her your own self, *dong ma*?"

The Captain smiled, leant forward and kissed her cheek his eyes bright with affection. The others couldn't hear what he whispered to the Sheriff's wife but the beam she gave River told them that she knew about the new addition soon to join them. Then there was a mad bustle. Yen Mah dragged Kaylee forward to meet Mrs Bowman, the girls chattering like runaway chopsticks. Jayne scowled and Zoe dug him in the ribs with her elbow - hard. He grunted then glared at her. "What was that for?"

"Would it kill you to smile?" Asked Wash.

"Huh. Don't see what all the gorram fuss is about."

"It's not every day a man takes his marriage vows." Said Book with a quiet happy smile on his face.

Jayne opened his mouth but before he could say anything Zoe leaned close, her voice as deadly as a heart attack. "Don't even think about sullyin' this, Jayne."

He snapped his mouth shut and tried not to sulk though secretly he was happy with the way things were working out. Inara Serra joined Kaylee and Yen Mah, then the women gathered River and Mary Bowman into their little huddle and disappeared into the house. Mal watched them go with an odd feeling fluttering in his stomach. Martin Bowman threw an arm around his shoulder. "Come on son, best we go wash the dust from our throats till the women are ready. Then we best tidy you up some." Mal looked down at himself. "What? I'm tidy."

Zoe laughed, Wash clapped a hand on the Captain's shoulder. "No offence Captain but those are work clothes."

"So? It's good honest cloth. Been with me a long time."

"Smells like it too." Muttered Jayne in a loud stage whisper.

Mal scowled at him mortified and everyone laughed. He didn't remember much about the drinking. Only vague flashes of being half dragged and half carried out again hours later. Martin and Jayne stripping him down and washing him in the Bowman's shower out back then drying him and getting him into his wedding suit. Gorram thing barely gave a man room to breathe. But the weirdest thing was how fast he sobered up once all the fussing was done. The little church on Porchester had never had such a fine gathering. Had to admit the Preacher knew his bible, the words pricking his eyes a time or two. His breath robbed from his lungs at the sight of River coming down the gorram aisle on the arm of her brother. It was like a dream and Christmas and all his wishes coming true at the same time. His heart lurched, wishing his family could be there to see them. And not a thing he could do about it but devote the rest of his life to making a happy family of his own.

"I now pronounce you man and wife! You may now kiss the bride."

But Mal wasn't hearing a gorram thing. River was already in his arms, her lips warm on his, his arms strong and steady around her. Everything and everyone forgotten. Lost in the moment, the utter bliss of the heart's content. It was only when hands tugged and peeled them apart that their eyes opened. But they couldn't be angry, with so many well wishers and streamers made of silk in all the colours of the gorram rainbow, Kaylee and Yen Mah crying their fool eyes out and wetting their rutting bridesmaid dresses, Simon kissing River and pumping the Captain's hand his voice lost in the thunder of good wishes. Simon now going to Kaylee, wiping the tears from her eyes with a gentle hand while his mechanic looked up at him with total adoration. *Ruttin' diyu*

At that precise moment River turned her back on everyone and threw her wedding bouquet high into the air. Every pair of eyes followed its' flight as it sailed through the air. Mal turned his head to watch and see where it would fall. A startled Kaylee lifted her hands and automatically caught it. The surprise on her face turning to joy as Simon said something. The Captain tried to hide a scowl. Gorrammit, looked like he was gonna lose his rutting mechanic. His mood immediately lifted as River kissed his cheek then whispered in his ear. "Won't leave."

"How can you tell, *xin gan*."

"Kaylee loves Serenity as much as you. We may not have started out that way but we're family, Mal."

That amused him, his right hand splaying gently over her very swollen belly. He loved it whenever he felt the baby kick. "Looks like we might have to set up a gorram creche."

River's laughter was ringing in his ears until it was cut off by screams. Gorrammit! He woke abruptly and jumped out of bed, the events of the last few weeks consigned to distant memory as he was caught up in the drama of the Here and Now. Stopping only to throw some sleep pants on he gathered River into his arms and ran barefoot to the infirmary, yelling at the top of his lungs for Simon. The baby was on its' way. Within a very short space of time a dishevelled Simon appeared followed shortly after by Kaylee then other members of his waking crew but Mal did not see anyone but Simon. The doctor tried to calm and reassure him. River was pregnant not ill but it made no never mind. All Mal knew was that she was in pain and there was not a gorram thing he could do to stop it. Then her thoughts touched his mind and he lost complete contact with the physical world.

*Relax bao bei, you'll frighten the baby*

There were tears in his eyes. *You were screamin', cryin' xin gan...*

*Wo zhidao, nothing to panic over ai ren. Hold my hand, there's something beautiful you have to see*

Stunned he took River's hand and sat beside her bed in the infirmary. Simon was relieved that the Captain had calmed down. Hopefully he would not have to throw him out of the infirmary especially as it was obvious River wanted him there. Zoe appeared with Inara and he gave them instructions then scrubbed his hands. River's waters had broken. "Won't be long now."

Mal could not explain it. The miracle of life had never been so personalised before. He felt everything River felt as well as his own emotions, then there was the baby. A little red faced scrawny looking thing, mouth wide open yelling its' lungs off. He watched in a daze as Simon wrapped a warmed towel around the baby and gently lay the child in River's arms, the umbical chord yet to be severed. River's eyes were so wide, staring with joy at the tiny bundle they had created. Mal put his hand over hers and as their eyes met he saw such happiness on her face that his heart contracted. Unaware as Simon clamped the chord in two places then cut it with surgical scissors. He looked down at the baby, the crying had stopped, big black eyes looked up at him with a 'verse full of trust. He could not speak so he thought what was in his heart. *Welcome to the 'verse*

River gently kissed the top of the baby's head, Mal looked at her and smiled. "Say hello to your daughter Mal."

"Daughter?" He pretended the thought of having a daughter had never occurred to him. "What the good gorram am I gonna do with a girl?"

His wife smiled then grinned at him. "Already got a name picked out, *xin gan*."

"*Zhen de*? When did this happen?"

"The moment I fell in love with you."

The smile in his heart broke through on his face, the warmth swamping her. He leant over and gently kissed River then dropped a kiss upon the baby's head. "What name would that be?" He murmured softly.

"Sky Tam Reynolds."

His eyebrows quirked up, rolling the name around inside his head then decided he liked it. He liked it a whole lot. The Captain laid a light hand upon the precious bundle, love and possession rocking his heart and soul making him all kinds of happy. "I went through every *diyu* imaginable," He said softly, his words clothed in a kind of wonder. River held her breath and listened, watching his face intently. "But it was worth it *xin gan*. Worth it to find a life with you, to have this."

"This, *ai ren*?"

His lip quirked up a little. As she looked at him she realised she could not love him more. "This, River. Heaven. It's what you bring to me, not for an hour nor a day but every second I'm with you. Every time I hold you in my ruttin' arms, look into your *bang ji le* eyes, every time I love you. Not a day will ever be complete in my life again without you."

Her head and heart were singing *I love you too* but the words that popped out of her mouth momentarily confused him. "Seven months, four days and thirteen hours."

Perplexed the Captain frowned. "*Shenme*?"

He was startled to hear Simon laughing behind him where he had been quietly cleaning up.

"Somethin' funny you should be sharin' with your Captain?"

Simon smiled at him, his eyes flicking to meet his sister's and noticing the humour shining back at him. "Something River said months ago only I didn't understand. She was talking about the baby - seven months, four days and thirteen hours. If I'm not mistaken the baby came right on time."

Mal looked from one sibling to the other in mild bafflement. "Huh." All he knew was they had one more mouth to feed and he needed to find a job. Keep flying. He paused to look down at his lovely shiny new daughter and all his worries faded into the proud happy regard of fatherhood. An old mantra took on a whole new meaning inside his head. *You can't take the Sky from me!* Only now it was *my Sky*. *Mine and River's*. Not a thing worth having in the whole 'verse less'n you were prepared to fight for it.

* * * * *

On the bridge Wash looked thoughtfully out at the Black. Waiting for Mal to pick a destination but just as content to enjoy the peace that had descended on both ship and crew since the Captain had gone and got himself hitched. He turned to grin at his oh so gorgeous wife as she walked through the door and joined him, a hand on his shoulder as she bent to kiss him. "Don't think I've ever seen the Captain so panic stricken. Gotta admit it was all kinds of hi-larious."

A mischievous look came into the second mate's eyes. "Impendin' fatherhood will do that to a man."

He spun his chair to get an uninterrupted view of her face. "An' you would know this 'cause...?"

Zoe draped herself over him and got comfortable, her head tilting to look him in the eye. "Because I intend to put that same look on your face, sweetie."

His eyes widened. "Oh."

It was the last thing either of them said for quite some time.

Out in the corridor Inara looked at the Preacher but waited until there was no chance of being overheard before saying what was on her mind. They stood on the catwalk, each comfortable in the presence of the other. "You never did say anything about the Captain's marriage to Saffron."

It took effort to hide the smug smile. "Oh our good Captain was never married."

She raised her eyebrows. "You said..."

"I said 'in some cultures' it would regarded as a marriage depending on how seriously those participating took it. The Captain obviously had no intention of marrying anyone, ergo no marriage took place - except in Saffron's mind of course. Not to mention she had already pulled the same trick on countless others."

"You let Mal believe it was true."

"Ah. The Captain." He paused. "I confess I got no small amount of satisfaction letting the good Captain's imagination run away with him."

Inara was barely stopping herself from laughing out loud. "With a little help from his Preacher."

The Shepherd smiled at her closing words. His Preacher. He rather liked the sound of that. One day he would make a full confession to the Captain but not now. He looked at Inara. "Did you get any response to your wave?"

A happy little smile tweaked the corners of her lips. "He was only too happy to oblige."

"Cattle?"

She laughed. A sound Book had not heard from her lips in too long a time. Hadn't realised how starved his ears were to hear it. "No, Lord Warwick has something else in mind. Said something about a belated wedding gift."

Curious Book leaned closer and listened while Inara whispered in his ear. Nothing could quite wipe the playful smile from his lips when he looked up. "A nude beach? You don't say." He paused and chuckled. "Oh my!"

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*xie xie ni* = thank you *shenme* = what *ai ren*/*xin gan* = sweetheart *pengyou* = friend *dong ma* = understand *meili* = beautiful *diyu* = hell *bao bei* = precious/treasure *wode xinzang* = my heart *bu qu* = no (lit. no go) *qu* = yes (lit. go) *dui* = correct *shangdi* = God *wo zhidao* = I know *bang ji le* = wonderful

COMMENTS

Friday, July 30, 2004 8:38 AM

GUILDSISTER


*sniffle!*

:-)
:-)
:-)

Friday, July 30, 2004 10:02 AM

AMDOBELL


Nope folks, this series is ended now. The gift from Lord Warwick was the honeymoon holiday with the 'nude beach' from Lord Warwick. I think he was smirking when he let that slip.
But do not fret, I am already working on a new series. Should start posting the first part in a few days. Thanks for the feedback, very shiny. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, July 31, 2004 12:51 AM

KISPEXI2


Now I can go on holiday happy! Not wondering if you had some final torture for Mal and River up your sleeve.

A great read, Ali. Looking forward to the next one.

" Yes, she would marry him but in River's mind they had been all but wed the moment she had chosen him. He just hadn't known it." Perfect!

Sunday, August 1, 2004 2:57 AM

ARTSHIPS


So THAT's what you meant by 7-4-13. And a fabulous conclusion, unusual in that it ends with everyone better off than when it started. "Sky" is a perfect name, too. Thanks for a lot of good times, Alison.

Sunday, August 1, 2004 7:36 AM

JEBBYPAL


When you say the series is ended i hope you mean just this series of chapters......surely your gonna give us a peak as in to what Sky develops into???? Come on.....

:) Great story!

Sunday, August 1, 2004 7:38 AM

HOTPOINT


A wonderful series although I thought you'd try for at least 50 Chapters :-p

Truly outstanding :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011 3:13 AM

AMDOBELL


Thank you everyone for all the shiny comments, does my little Browncoat heart good. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"


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OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 4. "MEANS TO AN END"
The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 3 "Hell Hath No Fury"
Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 1. "Gift Horse"
What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 11. "Inside Out"
If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 10. "Masks"
The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 6. "Friends You Choose"
It was a sound he recognised from the War, didn't forget the sound of a man drowning on his own blood.