A Lost Art - Part 5
Monday, June 4, 2007

Post-BDM; A letter or two (or five) were sent out from Serenity's crew and suddenly, they seem to find themselves in danger. It's all Joss's characters and 'verse, i'm just borrowing it for a spell... Again, sorry the chapters are short, but comments are always welcome!!!


Dear Momma, Little Hoban Derriall Tam was born healthy and hungry. He wailed so long and loud that I thought Simon had told him all the words I used while birthing him. Simon assures me he didn't, but I still ain't so sure. Hobie - as we've decided to call him - looks at me with a distrusting gleam in his eyes so often that I find myself apologizing just to make amends. But he's a good baby, so far...and from what I remember of your stories of me, that means he's nothing like me. The crew took to him fast as you can spit. Simon's a proud daddy, showing off everything he does like he's the first baby to do it. I was real worried about how Zoë would be, since we named him after Wash, but asking her to be godmother helped a lot. I thought Simon might object to the term, him being not particularly attached to religion, but he seemed to know how important Zoë would take the job. I think she even teared up a bit when we asked her. She was the first person Simon let hold the baby and she's been holding that over the Cap's head ever since. I'll write more when I can. Being a ma is hard work! He needs so much and I never want to put him down...I'm holding him even as I write! How bout that? And he smells so good! I even love watching him sleep, or just stare at him with those big blue eyes. Simon says all babies have blue eyes and that they'll fade into a hazel like mine real soon, but I think he's nutty. Hobie's eyes are blue and they're staying that blue. I keep telling him to make them stay blue... We'll see about stopping by, just as soon as things settle again. The Cap made us work extra for while - he says it was so we could not have to work once the baby was born. He's promised we'll get a nice long break - he's even suggested some places real close to Persephone, so let Aunt Jas know she should stop in and pay a visit. But tell her to 'wave first, so's we're not surprised. You know how she can be... I'll send a capture in the next package'll get to see your grandson!! All my love to the family, Kaylee (and Hobie) *** "Really? No one came back?" the man's voice was tight with anger. "No one at all? I wonder who might have suggested you prepare yourself for such a possibility?" "Sir," Vincent snapped. "You told us they would protect the child. You never said they would kill my men. I lost four men on that 'easy mission' of yours." "I gave you as detailed a list as one could possibly require," the man said through gritted teeth. "How you and your men underestimated them is your problem. Send in more men. And this time, prepare them!" The screen darkened, cutting the connection. "Ta ma de hun dan," Vincent growled at the blank screen. He whirled on his remaining crew, ready to take his frustration out on any one of them stupid enough to meet his eyes. "Get that baby!" he screamed. *** The object of the hunt slept peacefully against his father's shoulder, dreaming of small teddy bears doing what his mother referred to as the Happy Bear Dance. His mother, meanwhile, chatted quietly with her husband as they watched his eyes flutter beneath their lids. "I'm just grateful no one was hurt too bad," she was saying. "I mean, now River's even awake and stirrin' trouble with Jayne." "Yes," Simon smiled. "But she might be bored with that, now, too." "Well, you could bring her a book or some paper," Kaylee chided. "It's more fun to let her aggravate Jayne," Simon admitted. "I think last time, I could actually see the wheels turning in his head. I know I smelled smoke..." Kaylee batted his arm lightly, despite her smile. She then leaned in and kissed him, effectively ruining the admonishing action. "He did save your life," she said, running her fingers through the fine hair of her son's head. "He saved all us." "I know," Simon sighed. "It's just...easier to fall into the habit than it is to let him gloat." "Ya think the Captain will let us pick up our mail yet?" Kaylee asked, getting up from the bed finally. "It's been more'n a week since the attacks." "It's possible he might be edgy around the subject," Simon pointed out. "I think he still blames all of us for inviting whoever it is in." "But we're more ready now," Kaylee argued. "And I haven't heard from Momma in so long..." "Tell the Captain," Simon replied, watching his wife change into clean clothes. "You seem to be the only one he doesn't object to keeping in touch with family." "Only cause I been writin' since I got hired on," she dismissed. "And no one else seemed to until all at once. And it still don't mean we brought this on ourselves. It could still be the Alliance or Niska..." "As comforting as that sounds in your head," Simon tried to explain, "It doesn't do much to alleviate fears in other people on board. I would rather it's an angry Companion than the Alliance and I'm sure the thought of facing Niska again - especially if he has access to the likes of the men who were here - isn't high on the Captain's list of--" "Why're you defendin' him?" Kaylee asked suddenly. "Ain't this conversation usually the other way around?" Simon shifted the baby in his arms as he tried to form the right words. Kaylee waited, her mouth set in a firm line usually reserved for wrangling money for engine repairs out of Mal. Simon sat forward on the bed and used his uninjured arm to reach for his wife. She came forward out of curiosity and let him trace the ragged scar that was forming on her upper arm. She had been stitched up by Zoë because Simon had been uselessly unconscious by then. He tugged gently and she allowed him to kiss the wound. "I don't want to lose you," he said softly. "I have to think about you, Hobie and River. I couldn't help any of you. Those men - whoever they were - were sent for a reason and I don't think it will be tossed aside. I have to agree with the Captain on this because he's trying to make sure we are better prepared for the next attack. They will be back. And if it means we don't get to pick up mail for another few days, I won't be disappointed." "Oh," Kaylee breathed. She leaned into her husband's arms and kissed their son's head gently as he slept. Simon held his family in his arms and let his fears ease in the comfort of their warmth. He prayed - not for the first time - that Mal was working on a plan. *** "We can't keep flying, Sir," Zoë said frankly. "We need fuel and other supplies. We need to put down somewhere." "I know it," Mal nodded. "Just tryin' to find a place we won't be as likely for ambush." "We didn't expect it then, Sir," Zoë noted. "We'll be ready this time." "Can't you say it wouldn't happen at all this time?" Mal asked flatly. "Next time I'll keep that in mind," the woman promised. "All right," he decided. "Find a place busy enough to hide our comings and goings, but quiet enough we can see who else is trying to hide near abouts. I ain't up for another test of strength yet." "Already have a place picked out," the first mate admitted. "Just wanted to set the course." Mal looked sharply at his first mate as she flipped the appropriate switches, blithely ignoring him. He put aside the charts he'd been studying and left the bridge quietly. He made his way to the infirmary where River was still confined - for the most part. Due to her extraordinary distaste for the room, Simon had allowed her to be moved to the couch just outside the infirmary where she could feel free from the sterile environment, yet was still close enough in case an emergency arose. Mal found her reading a medical encyclopedia somewhat precariously balanced on her hip. "Bored, little one?" he asked, hefting the heavy tome from her hands. "Beyond boredom," she replied. Her face was still pale and strained; Mal was sure she wasn't sleeping. "Attempts to seal the wounds with sheer force of will are not performing as well as planned." "Yeah, thinking yourself back to health doesn't always work," the Captain grunted, placing the book back in the infirmary. It was heavier than it looked. Why did Simon insist on keeping it? "You seem to enjoy the practice, though," River went on. "Thinking past the pain, through the holes and broken bones." "I ain't the one trying to breathe through three holes in my chest," he quipped. "Wish you were," River sighed, wincing only slightly. "It's not your fault she went in first. Being a gentleman was part of the game." "Stay out, River," he warned. She wasn't trying, he knew. His thoughts weren't hiding behind anything just now and the girl was bored enough to read encyclopedias heavier than her. Of course she'd read him. "She's glad you were second," River went on lazily. "She couldn't have stopped him. She knows that. You both would have died there...and then..." Her eyes wavered slightly as she refocused on his face. "Then, what?" he asked. River had not yet been questioned about the attack. Simon had kept her as calm as he could, doping her with enough smoothers to help her sleep until she had forcibly removed the syringe from his hands and smashed it against the floor. As much as Mal wanted to know what she could tell about the would-be assassins, he wanted her to rest more. The albatross had grown on him, after all. "We would have died, and then...what?" he repeated, kneeling by her side. "They were hunting..." she said softly. "Hunting what?" "They were cloudy," she went on. "Came in the night, when everyone slept. Woke me with the taste of blood...I found them, knew what they did and where they went. Hunting for the bundle, the little one, but they were cloudy. They thought the same, but loudly and different...I failed him." "Failed who?" Mal asked, trying to make sense of her words. "River, who did they want?" "Would have been worse if he'd been mine," River was lost in her thoughts as she continued. "Never would have let us get away...but still the bloodline is there, the possibilities are endless..." "River?" Mal tried. "Talk to me, tell me who they want." "Rock-a-bye, baby, on the tree top," River sang softly, drifting into sleep. "When the wind blows, the cradle will rock..." Mal stood, understanding finally. He made his way to the passenger dorm now accepted as Kaylee and Simon's bunk and knocked on the door. Kaylee opened it softly, Simon and son sleeping behind her. "Who knows you had a baby?" Mal asked.


Monday, June 4, 2007 5:20 PM


Yikes! This cannot be good! I think the more appropriate question is who *doesn't* know they had a baby?

Why do they want him though? Simon hasn't proven (in your stories) to have any kind of precog or psychic abilities - or do they want him as a bargaining chip ... ooh, I do hate the Alliance!

Monday, June 4, 2007 11:16 PM


Oh good gorram, don't let anybody snatch the baby! The possibilities as to who could be after Kaylee and Simon's baby are chilling. Don't know who I am more afraid of, the Hands of Blue or Simon and River's parents. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 2:56 AM


Oh my God!! Why would anyone want little Hobie?! I really hope he isn't snatched, but I have a morbid curiosity about what would happen if he was. I imagine our crew would unleash HELL and I'd kinda like to see it happen.

But the chicken part of me just wants them all to be ok...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 7:18 AM


Ya know...other than Simon telling Kaylee his regret during the standoff at Mr. Universe's Moon in the BDM, I really think the kidnapping of her child would be one of the few things that would actually cause Kaylee to act like her sister-in-law. She would break down after all was said and done...but in the heat of the moment? The Alliance had a new worry....


Monday, September 17, 2007 6:43 AM


I've been rushing fast through these chapters because suspense does that to me, so don't be mad that I haven't commented until now! I love how you bookended this chapter with the letter Kaylee wrote at the beginning, and Mal's question to her at the end. It really felt like part of an episode to me. Kudos for good work!



You must log in to post comments.



Zoë's Promise
It starts off as breakfast, but devolves into an argumentative discussion... Zoe and Wash, and some fun with River, too.

Midnight Art Critic
Mal can't sleep; River finds the reasons inspiring. All characters belong to Joss - i'm just playing with them for a spell.

Yes, River, There Is... (Part 3 of 3)
Just a short little tale to warm hearts this holiday season. Usual disclaimers apply...

Yes, River, There Is... (Part 2 of 3)
Just a short little tale to warm hearts this holiday season. Usual disclaimers apply...

Yes, River, There Is... (Part 1 of 3)
Just a short little tale to warm hearts this holiday season. Usual disclaimers apply...

The Reunion - 9 of 9
Part 9. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo. we hope you enjoyed.

The Reunion - 8 of 9
Part 8. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo, who said he didn't have time to write it, so would i do it for him. i said yes. we still hope you enjoy.

The Reunion - 7th of 9
Part 7. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo, who said he didn't have time to write it, so would i do it for him. i said yes. we still hope you enjoy.

The Reunion - 6 of 9
Part 6. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo, who said he didn't have time to write it, so would i do it for him. i said yes. we still hope you enjoy.

The Reunion - 5 of 9
Part 5. Post-BDM (8 years post, actually); all the characters belong to Joss, and the idea for the story was handed to me by my Dadoo, who said he didn't have time to write it, so would i do it for him. i said yes. we still hope you enjoy.