Saturday, May 12, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Amid some bedtime conversations, there is angst brewing. Please leave comments, as they really feed my muse!


In the darkness of the nursery, Ethan tossed and turned, pushing back the bedclothes from his little body, sweat darkening his sleepsuit under his arms and around his back.

At the other end of the ship Bethany whimpered and hugged her Ethan doll to herself.


Simon finished drying himself off and pulled on his pyjama pants. “So how do you know what Jayne smells like when he’s been drinking?” he asked, glancing at Kaylee who was lying in bed.


“You said I smelled like Jayne. How did you know that?”

She smiled. “Jealous?”

“Of course.” He sat down on the edge of the bed. “I’m always jealous of anyone who has a history I don’t know about with my wife.”

“I could lie, you know.”

“You could. Would you?”

“No point.” She lay back, tracing patterns on his leg. “It was before you came on board. Not long before, but ... We were doing a job on Athens, and me and Jayne got separated from the Cap and Zoe, and ended up in this cave-in.” She held up a hand. “I ain’t gonna explain how we got there. It’s a sorry tale full of coincidences and unlikely happenstance, and it’s far too long to tell you now. Suffice it to say, we were caught. Only we had the goods our side, which wasn’t a bad thing, as some of it was some high class food and wine.” She smiled. “It didn’t take Jayne long to figure that out.”


“Can still remember the label. Chateau Emile de Beauville.”

Simon’s jaw dropped. “Emile de …”

“That good?”

“That’s … probably one of the most expensive wines there is. Even my father only had one bottle in his cellar.”

Kaylee giggled. “Well, truth to tell there’s about four less bottles in the ‘verse now than there were before me and Jayne.” She sighed happily. “Tasted nice though.”

“I’ve never … my father wouldn’t open it. He said it was an investment.”

“You mean I’ve had something rich that you ain’t?” Kaylee was openly delighted.

Emile de Beauville.” Simon shook his head. “I can’t believe it.”

“Jayne had to knock the tops of the bottles off, ‘cause we didn’t have -”

“Please, don’t.” Simon’s face had taken on a pained expression. “To treat a wine like that …”

“It’s just alcohol,” Kaylee pointed out. “It ain’t really any different to my inter-engine fermentation brew.”

He was about to protest that it was a world away, but saw the look on his wife’s face. “No, you’re right. No difference at all.”

Kaylee smiled. “Anyway, we kinda got drunk. Had ourselves a real nice picnic, and told each other bits and pieces about our lives.”

“Did he …”

She nodded. “Tried it. I think I hit him, only I ain’t too clear on that. Truth is, he didn’t really mean it. Mal’d said what’d happen to him if he tried to take advantage, and it was really only a kinda natural reaction for him.” She sighed. “Then they dug us out and we had to give the stuff back. Wu de mah, but the hangover was the worst I’ve ever had.”

“Serves you right,” Simon said, pulling back the sheet so he could slide in next to her. “Carousing with Jayne.”

“I didn’t carouse.” She shrugged. “Whatever that means.”

He smiled. “Let me show you.”


No peeking. That’s what everyone said. But it can’t be bad. Not this time.


Hank rolled over in bed, then again, and pummelled his pillow.

“Can’t sleep?” Zoe asked, her eyes still closed.

“Nope.” Then he smiled. “Did I wake you?”

“A little.” She turned to look at him. “Still upset?”

“No.” He gazed into her face. “Not really.”

“You’ll be a good father,” she said, moving around so she was facing him properly.

“How can I be sure?” He shook his head. “I mean, where do you draw the line? Things you let them do, and stuff that’s out of bounds?”

“He’s not born yet.”

“I know. But I need to know these things. Plan them.”

She took his hand in hers and placed it on her belly. “You ain’t gonna be alone in this. And I don’t mean just me. You got two fathers on board this boat already, and if you think they’re gonna be content to just sit back and watch you, you’d better think again.”

“Oh, I know. Mal’s already been giving me the benefit of his advice. Simon hasn’t yet, but I’m sure that’s coming.”

“Simon’s still shell-shocked.”

Hank grinned. “Yeah, he is a bit.”

“I’m not sure kids were ever in his grand plan.”

“Grand plan?”

“Man like him, he’s sure to have had a grand plan. Go to MedAcad, become a surgeon, be invited to all the best parties, find a rich, probably enhanced beauty and get married, and end up head of the hospital or something.”


For answer Zoe cupped one of her breasts in her free hand. “Enhanced.”

Hank grinned. “Luckily you don’t need anything like that.” He leaned forward and placed a kiss on her perfect nipple. “But you don’t think he wanted kids?”

“Didn’t say he didn’t want them. But prob’ly not yet.”

“And instead he has to save his sister and ends up out here with the rest of us.”

“Is that so bad?”

“No. Not bad at all.” He put his head back onto his pillow. “Not with what we’ve got.”

She smiled. “So can I get back to sleep now?”

He nodded, stroking her belly. “Long as I can keep doing this.”

“That’s fine.” She closed her eyes and sighed in satisfaction. “You just keep doing that.”


She sat up. Maybe it wasn't peeking. Maybe it was helping. And this time she had to.


Jayne lifted the bar from his chest and dropped it back into the cradle. That was probably enough. ‘Specially without a spotter at this time o’ night. Anything happened, he could be stuck until morning.

“I’ll spot you,” came a light voice, and he looked towards the entrance to the common area.

“Kinda wondered where you were,” he said, sitting up. He picked up his towel and dried his arms and neck. “Thought you mighta talked yourself out on the way back from the mountains.”

“I’m a girl, Jayne. We never run out of things to say.” She stepped closer, coming to sit next to him on the bench.

“No, guess that’s the right of it. Ain’t never come across any female who couldn’t talk the hind leg off a donkey.”

“Can they?”

“Can they what?”

“Talk the hind leg off a donkey. I mean, legs are attached, and it takes a special skill to remove one, even from a donkey, and I don’t think talking at it would work. A scalpel, perhaps, and a -”

Jayne put his hand on hers. “It’s just a saying, moonbrain.”

She grinned at him. “I know.”

“You like winding me up, don’t ya?”

Leaning against him, she rested her head on his shoulder. “It’s fun.”

He chuckled. “Everyone too busy for you to get to sleep?” he asked.

She shrugged. “I’m not looking.”

“You ain’t?”

“I’m trying the control thing again.”

“Is it hard?”

“Very.” She sighed.

“C’n I help?”

“You do. You fill my mind until there’s no room left for anyone else.”

He was a little taken aback. “I do?”

“All your thoughts. Your fears. Dreams and wishes. You’re a complicated man, Jayne.”

He shook his head. “No. No, I ain’t. I’m real simple.”

“Complicated,” she insisted. “And you help me.”

“That all you want me for?” he asked, for once afraid of the answer.

She smiled. “No.”

He relaxed. “Good. I mean, I ain’t above helping you like that, if you need it, but … there’s other ways … things …”

“I’m still not ready, Jayne.”

“I know, moonbrain.” He squeezed her hand. “You still thinking about Jethro?”

She nodded. “I miss him.”

“Maybe we all do.”

“Do you?”

He backtracked a little. “Well, maybe not me. ‘Cept I know how you felt, so I …”

“You do miss him.”

He sighed. “Maybe a little bit.”

She reached up and kissed his cheek, feeling the hairs of his goatee tickling her chin. “You’re a good man.”

“Nope. Never was. Never will be.”

“Tell your mother that.”


Climbing out of her bed Bethany was just able to get to the handle to open the door to her room. Carrying her doll she crossed to her parents’ quarters, and slid their door aside.

“Daddy?” she called. For a moment there was no movement, then she saw her father sit up in bed.

“Honey?” He blinked hard, his eyes adjusting. “What is it? Don’t you feel well?”

“Daddy, Ethan’s sick.”

“Your doll?”

“No. Ethan.” She pointed up towards the other levels.

Simon stared at her, then swung his legs out of bed.



She opened her eyes, seeing Mal lying next to her on the floor, his arm around her. It wasn't him calling, not unless it was in his sleep.


She stood up, her body stiff from the hard surface, feeling Mal waking up. She crossed to the com. “Simon?”

“Is Ethan okay?”


“Bethany says Ethan –“

Not waiting for him to finish, she wrenched open the door to the nursery. “Oh, dear God …”

“Frey?” Mal climbed to his feet, following her, seeing her reaching into the small bed.

She turned and Mal’s heart stopped beating. Ethan was lying limp in her arms, his face bright red.

He slammed his fist onto the com. “Simon. Infirmary. Now.”

Only pausing to grab Freya’s robe and wrap it around his wife and son, Mal helped them up the ladder, hearing her saying over and over, “God, no. Please. No.”



“I think Ethan’s sick.” He was dragging on a pair of pants.

“Ethan?” Kaylee sat up in bed, and her daughter ran to her, jumping into her arms to be held tightly.

“Has Zoe been in direct contact with Ethan, since they came back from the Halvorsens?”

Kaylee thought for a moment. “No. Don’t think so. She was playing with Bethany, and Ethan was in the nursery …” Her face blanched. “Do you think –“

“Tell her to get to a shuttle and close the airlock.”

“Oh, Simon.” She jumped from the bed, then gasped. “Simon, Bethany was in with Ethan.”

Her husband turned to stare at her. “When?”

“Yesterday. She … they were playing.”

“I thought I said –“

“I didn’t know. Not ‘til River told me.”

Simon took a deep breath, then looked down at his daughter, trying to keep any urgency out of his voice. “Honey, stay here.”

She nodded, clutching her Ethan doll.

to be continued


Saturday, May 12, 2007 2:28 AM


Oh, that was all kinds of foreboding! Can't wait for more!

Saturday, May 12, 2007 2:54 AM


As sad as that is I can remember worrying about Bethany going to see Ethan and maybe passing something on. Feel real sorry that it has happened, poor baby. Please don't let Ethan die! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, May 12, 2007 9:47 AM


Okay, Mal and Freya need a break. If Freya loses another child she won't survive it and neither will Mal, something tells me they will literally self-destruct.

And I certainly hope that Bethany didn't catch it - whatever it is. Ugh, this could just go so many different and bad ways ... post quickly so my imagination can stop working in overdrive!

Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:06 PM


Call me extremely morbid...but I hope to Hell I am right and what Ethan has is not a common contagion but something engineered to attack a specific target. Cuz if Ethan is lost and Bethany gets sick too...the crew will crumble:(

Utterly brilliant work with the tension-building and scene alternation, Jane0904. River and Jayne's scene definitely created a spectacular counter-point to Bethany's revelation about Ethan's health!


Sunday, May 13, 2007 3:58 AM


Wonderful use of the back and forth action between characters to build tension.


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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!]