Not There Yet - Part V
Friday, June 8, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. A daring rescue is mounted, and a heroine discovered. Please leave comments, good or bad. 2BF?


“You want to explain that comment?” Mal asked his men as they almost fell into the room.

“Feds!” Hank said tersely.

“What?” Mal hurried to the door and peered out. There was no sign of any unusual activity. “You sure you didn’t inhale something you weren't supposed to?”

“They’re everywhere, Mal,” Jayne said. “Surprised we managed to get here at all.”

“What’ve you done?” the captain asked, turning on the two men.

“Nothing!” the big man insisted. “Weren’t us, Mal.”

Hank put his canvas holdall down carefully. “I asked one of the nurses,” he put in. “’Parently the Feds do the occasional sweep, checking everyone’s who they say they are. Seems this place gets a number of wanted criminals coming in for medical treatment.”

“Really.” Mal’s tone was dry.

“Yeah.” Hank couldn’t help it – he smiled slightly. “’Pears this far out there’s a lot of call for the odd bit of facial reconstruction, bullet removal … that kind of thing.”

“You mean we could’ve just bribed our way in?”

“Seems like it.”

“Mal.” Simon pulled the memory tab from the machine and dropped it into his pocket. “I'm still a wanted fugitive.”

“You think I need reminding?” Mal helped Freya from the chair.

“And I'm masquerading as a woman,” Hank said, earning an odd look from his captain. “Can we instead talk about getting the hell out of here?”

Mal nodded. “A reasonable request, given the circumstances.” He thought for a moment. “How many are there?”

“At least a squad. Looked like more,” Jayne said. “Mal, they got all the entrances covered. And I mean all.”

“The one we came in –“ Simon began.

“That too.”

“Frey?” Mal turned to his wife. “I think we might need that heroic rescue I joked about.”

“Mmn.” She wasn't looking at him, her eyes focused on nothing. “Working on it.”


“Auntie River?” Bethany came up silently and took the psychic’s hand.

“I know, sweetie,” River said softly. She looked around for Zoe, catching her eye.

Serenity’s first mate hurried over. “What?”

“They’re in trouble. Alliance Federals are doing a sweep of the hospital, checking all IDs.”

“All …” Zoe’s face hardened. “If they figure out who Simon is –“

“What’s this about Simon?” Eddie Frye stood behind them. “Are they having problems at the hospital?”

“I think they are.”

“Anything we can do?”

“What’s going on?” Kaylee appeared behind her father. “And don’t tell me nothing. I ain't seen the guys for a while, and now I hear the words ‘hospital’ and ‘Simon’. Someone wanna try and explain without lying to me?”

Zoe gazed at her, considering the options for a moment, then spoke. “Mal, Simon, Hank and Jayne have gone to the hospital with Freya to use the holoimager to find out why she’s still limping.”

Eddie put his arm around his daughter’s shoulders. “Seems like they’re in a little trouble, Winnie.”

“Trouble.” Kaylee sighed. “They’re men, Pa. Course they’re in trouble.” She looked at Zoe. “So what kind is it this time and what’re we gonna do about it?”

“Feds. Checking IDs.”

“Oh.” Kaylee’s bluster failed and she was glad of her father’s support.

“Daddy Frye,” River began slowly, “I have an idea.”

“Do you?” He didn’t mind her calling him that. She was a strange girl, but there was something oddly comforting about her too. “What kinda idea?”

“Can you get everyone together?”

“How many?”


It took only the work of a minute to get the Fryes’ collective attention, and River explained her plan.

“You’re crazy,” Bill Frye said, shaking his head.

River nodded. “Yes, but it will work.”

Zoe nodded. “It should. We go in guns blazing and someone’s gonna get hurt. Now it might be the right place for that to happen, but I don’t think the Captain would take it too well if it was him.” She looked around at the family. “This way, maybe everyone gets out in one piece.”

“But we’re never gonna get there in time,” Uncle Rafe said. “It’s over an hour even by mule.”

“We’ve got a Firefly. Be there in five minutes.”

“But your pilot’s one of the guys in trouble,” Eddie pointed out.

“I can fly,” River said. “And we don’t have time to debate this. The Alliance men are getting too close.”

Cal, Kaylee’s cousin, rubbed his hands together. “Aw, come on, folks,” he said, grinning. “We none of us have any liking for the Feds. Getting in a man’s way like they do. What say we get in their way for a change?”

There was murmur of assent.

Zoe nodded. “Good. Then we’d best get moving.”

All the men in the Frye family, and a good number of the women, moved off towards the docks as fast as possible.

Ellie Frye grabbed her daughter’s arm. “Kaylee, where’re you going?”

Kaylee looked at her mother. “He’s my husband, Ma. You’d do the same.”

“But Bethany –“

“Is gonna get her daddy back. You just look after her.” Kaylee dropped a swift kiss on her mother’s cheek and ran to join the others.

“Where is Bethany?” Ellie called, but Kaylee didn’t hear.


“Come on,” Freya said, opening the door. “We have to get to the front entrance.”

“Frey, is that a good idea?”

“Just follow me.” She strolled forward. “And take off your caps,” she added, muttering.


The Federal officer was young, and very full of himself. Doing a hospital sweep was clearly below the great things he knew he was destined for. If he could have managed it, he’d carry a swagger stick to slap against his boot.

The nurse behind the desk sighed. “Aren’t you finished yet?” she asked.

“We’ll be finished when I decide, not you.”

She glared at him. “And I'm trying to run a hospital here. I don’t appreciate all these interruptions, and I'm sure the Administrator feels exactly the same way.”

“The Administrator should be glad the Alliance takes such a close interest in things. He wouldn’t want miscreants and thieves to take advantage of you, would he?”

“Of course not.” The nurse didn’t lower her eyes, though. “But I would think you had better things to do.”

“Oh, I do.” He glanced around at his men, his nose so high in the air she was surprised he could see anything at all.

“Oh, grow up,” she muttered, then looked up, her formal face back in place, as the doors opened.

The breeze blew in a crowd of people, milling round, filling the reception area. They were all talking at once.

The Federal officer stiffened. “What’s going on here?”

Eddie Frye pushed his way to the front and smiled at the nurse. “Hello. Hope we ain’t causing you too much hassle.”

The Fed didn’t give her a chance to respond. “Who are you, and what do you want?”

“Just …” Eddie grinned at him. “Just showing my family the wonderful facilities we got. And looking for my son. He’s a doc here, and he’s late for a party,” he added proudly.

“You have a son who’s a doctor?” The officer looked astounded.

“Hey, don’t sound so surprised!” Eddie raised his hands. “Stands to reason at least one of ‘em would be a bit intelligent.”

“Pa, that ain’t fair,” Bill moaned.

“Just ‘cause you need pictures to be able to tie your shoelaces ain't my fault.”

“You saying it’s Ma’s?”

“Now, I didn’t mention your mother, God rest her soul.”

“Well it has to be one of you’s.”

Several of the Feds began to raise their stun rifles, and Mal felt Jayne stiffen next to him. They were watching from the far side of the reception area, hidden by some artificial plants.

“Mal, if there’s going to be a fight …” Simon began, then stared, his own mouth dropped in astonishment.

Bethany pushed her way through to the front of the crowd, her arm very prominent in her sling, Fiddler clasped under the other.

“I want my Daddy!” she wailed, sounding like every two year old in the ‘verse.

The whole reception area went silent. Apart from Simon, who acted like every father in the ‘verse. He hurried forward and scooped his daughter into his arms.

“It’s okay, sweetie. Daddy’s here,” he murmured, picking her up.

The Feds looked at each other, wondering what the hell to do now.

“Doctor, I’ve told you before about your daughter bringing that animal in here,” the nurse said quickly. “You of all people should know of the dangers of infection.”

“Yes, yes, and you’re right. I’ll speak to her again about it.” Simon nodded firmly.

“Then please take her outside.” She surveyed the group. “And that goes for all of you. We don’t have anything for you here. Please leave.”

The family Frye muttered collectively but swirled out en masse, by chance collecting four other people on the way.


“Did that nurse just –“

“I think she did.”

“Ya think the doc knew her?”

“Shouldn’t think so.”

“Seems like our luck is holding.”

“It surely does.”

Simon, in the meantime, turned on Eddie. “You brought her with you?” he asked angrily.

“She musta stowed away, Simon,” the older man said. “You surely don’t think I’d put a two year old in any danger, let alone my granddaughter?”

“Simon,” Freya said softly. “She just saved all our skins. That officer was two seconds away from throwing us all in jail and sorting out the mess later.”

“Grandpa didn’t know. I hid,” Bethany explained. “Wanted to help.”

“You shouldn’t have done this, Bethie. You might have got hurt, or … or …” He couldn’t bring himself to say the words.

“Sorry, Daddy,” she said, laying her head on his shoulder.

“That isn’t going to get you out of being punished,” he said firmly, trying to stop his heart melting. “And wait until your mother finds out.”

“Don’t think that’s gonna be too long,” Mal muttered, looking ahead.

Zoe was standing by the open cargo bay doors, her hand on her gun, Kaylee waiting anxiously next to her. She relaxed as she was the group coming towards them.

“Honey?” Kaylee hurried out, then stopped and stared at the sight of her husband carrying their daughter. “What the … how did you get here?”

Bethany hid her face. “Stowed away,” she said quietly.

“I thought you were safe back …” She took Bethany from Simon’s arms. “How could you … I … you could have …” Kaylee felt like shaking her until her teeth rattled, but contented herself with hugging the little girl tightly. Fiddler struggled to lick both of them.

Mal watched the display, a slight smile on his face, then turned to Zoe as the Fryes filed into the cargo bay.

“Thought you’d be at the front.”

“We had to stay behind, sir. In case we had to perform a heroic rescue of the rescuers.”

“Good plan.”

Eddie Frye clapped him on the back. “We’re all on.” He joined the rest of his family.

“Shiny.” Mal glanced inside. “Figure River’s flying?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well, maybe she needs the practice. Hank’ll dock the shuttle and we’d best be getting back before that Fed grows a brain.”

“Which particular Fed would that be?”

“Luckily for us, most of ‘em.” He grinned and walked up the ramp.


Mal and Hank sat on the bridge of the Firefly, looking out into the gathering dusk.

“It’s a good party,” Hank said.

“Sure is.”

“I guess you needed a break too?”

“Too much dancing,” Mal admitted.

“Even with Freya?”

“Be fine if it was just her, but all the Frye women seem to want a turn around the floor.”

“It’s because you’re so pretty, Mal.”

“Guess you’re right.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“You still want a job?”

“Pretty as hell, Mal.”

There was silence for a long moment.

“Saved by a two year old.”


“That’s ignominious.”

“If I knew what that word meant, I’d probably agree with you.”

“I'm not sure my glorious reputation is ever gonna live this down.”

“Never will.” Hank glanced at his captain. “Think she’ll ever forget?”


“Me neither.”

Mal sighed. “One day, this is gonna come back and bite us in the ass, you know that. There’ll be Simon, haranguing his probably teenage daughter for some infraction, more'n likely for wanting to go out with some nefarious type or other, and she’s gonna come out with the fact that, aged two, she saved his skin from the Alliance Feds.”

“He won’t know where to look.”

“That he won’t. And he’s gonna make sure we all get dragged in, just to ease the pain.”

“Think she’s gonna ask for more puppies outta this?”

“Puppies. Or goldfish, maybe.”

“Can’t take a goldfish for a walk.”

“She’d probably find some way. Wheels, or something.”

Hank sighed. “Can we just pretend like today never happened?”

“Good idea,” Mal nodded. “We never speak of it again.”


Jayne stumbled onto the bridge. “Hey, either of you seen our little saviour?”

Hank rolled his eyes and turned back to the view.

“I think Kaylee’s putting her to bed,” Mal replied.

“Tellin’ her off for scaring her Ma like that?”

“I don’t doubt. Why?”

“Just wanted to thank her.”

“I think you can do that in the morning.”

“Guess.” The big man turned to leave, but Mal’s voice drew him back.

“That … that little incident. You don’t find it at all odd that we got ourselves saved by someone barely out of diapers?” Mal asked.

Jayne grinned. “We got saved, Mal. That’s all I care about. ‘N’ if it was the squirt did it, I ain't gonna go back and complain.” He laughed and headed off the bridge.

“He’s right,” Hank said.

“I know. And that scares me.”

“That you’re agreeing with him?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Me too.”

The two men relapsed into silence, contemplating the kind of ‘verse it must be that they should both be agreeing with a big mercenary of very little brain.

to be continued


Friday, June 8, 2007 5:53 AM


Oh, come on, guys. Is it that bad? Someone must have something to say!

Friday, June 8, 2007 8:17 AM


Hey, I have something to say, and I loved it! And Jane0904 it's the weekend and feedback is always slower. If you're bored you could always try leaving feedback on my fic. I just loved the Big Damn Rescue, BIG being the operative word as it took every single Frye turning up en masse and then the littlest Frye to stage her crying for daddy fit. Wonderful! The girl has earned a whole kennel full of puppies. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 8, 2007 8:19 AM


By the way when I say it is the weekend, I am in the UK and ours starts after work ends on a Friday. Just so you don't think I can't read the calendar. LOL. Just love this series of yours. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 8, 2007 8:43 AM


Fantastic chapter as always. I really loved Mal, Jayne, Simon and Freya being rescued by the Frye's and Bethany. And she'll likely not evernlet her father forget about it!

Friday, June 8, 2007 10:12 AM


All the women on Serenity, including the littlest, are just so kick-ass it ain't even funny! Loved this one, and sorry I didn't have time to comment before!!

Friday, June 8, 2007 11:26 AM


This was adorable! Never mind Bethany saving all of their skins, but the banter between everyone, including the Fryes was spot-on! I absolutely adored it. I can't wait for more!

2BF! 2BF!

Friday, June 8, 2007 1:58 PM


Oh...Bethany is gonna SO much more of a handful than River was when she was her niece's age! Though I hope Bethany would have slightly less ego than her biological aunt...;D

Utterly fantastic work here, Jane0904! Would have been all kinds of hell, logistically...but I would have given a valuable body part to have seen this filmed as part of an episode;D


Friday, June 8, 2007 4:56 PM


Loved your ending and Bethany's solution to the rescue. Totally adored the Mal Hank interaction and all that it said about the relationship between them. Wish all the rescues could go this smooth - guess that's what happens when geniuses are involved!


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[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

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“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!]