The Bequest - Part V
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. The girls are causing problems, but there may be more angst on the horizon ... Please continue to comment - it makes me feel like it's worth writing!


Dinner was an odd affair, with most of the talk being about the six girls below.

“I think it’s sweet of the Cap‘n,” Kaylee said, cutting Bethany’s food into bite size chunks, something she couldn’t do herself, not with a cast on her arm. “Takin’ ‘em in like that.”

“That’s what you said about the puppies,” Simon put in. Bethany was on his lap, not wanting to be on her own, not after that afternoon. “And look where that’s got us.”

“Only got the one,” his wife commented. “And he’s a cutie too. Just like you.”

Jayne laughed. “Not sure how I’d take to being compared to a ball of fluff, doc.”

Simon raised an eyebrow at him, but didn’t answer. Instead he looked at Mal. “What about the Alliance? Is someone going to report that they’re on board? It could cause problems.”

“No problems,” Mal said. “Kilbrook was clear on that. I'm their legal guardian. Least until Honoria’s of age, I guess.”

“So they’re going to be on board a year?”

“That wasn’t what I said, Simon.”

Hank laughed. “He just doesn’t want to have to tend to a bunch of nubile young women.” A thought occurred to him. “Hey, does this mean Jayne’s gonna have to fight off the men they attract?”

“It isn’t funny,” Zoe said softly, but her lips were twitching.

“No, it ain’t,” Mal agreed.

“Well, it is a bit,” Freya added. She looked at her husband. “Sorry.”

“You’re no help.”

Freya grinned and went back to supervising Ethan’s eating as he sat in the high chair.

“Fireworks.” River’s voice cut across them.

“Sweetie?” Kaylee asked. “Fireworks?”

“I see fireworks. Bright, flickering … fireworks.” She shook her head. “But I don’t …”

Jayne took her hand. “Something not right?”

“I don’t know.” She took a deep breath, holding it for a long moment before exhaling silently. “I can’t tell yet.”

Bethany looked up, chewing. “Auntie River, I could –“

“No,” Freya said softly. “Better you don’t.”

“And close your mouth when you’re eating, Bethie,” her mother added.

“It’s okay,” Mal said, smiling at her. “Don’t want you breaking that control.”

Bethany shrugged and went back to attacking her plate of food, hoping nobody noticed as she dropped a piece off the table into Fiddler’s waiting mouth. She glanced up, saw Freya smiling at her, and grinned.

Everyone does it, she heard in her mind. Even your Uncle Mal.

“Anyway, I don’t see the alternative,” Mal said, sighing as he put his mug back on the table. “There’s no place for them here on Mead, so we have to take them.”

“And then what?” Simon held his daughter around the waist as she leaned over to pick up another forkful of food. “They’ve already upset Bethany –“

“That Hermione apologised,” Hank interrupted. “Real pretty too.”

“Friends now,” Bethany agreed, but didn’t get down from her father’s lap.

“Well, that’s good, but it isn’t the point.” Simon looked at his wife for support. “They don’t know us, and we don’t know them. Even if Hermione did apologise, she shouldn’t have said it in the first place.”

“She’s angry, Simon,” Freya explained. “She’s afraid of being left alone.”

“She has five sisters,” Hank put in. “Ain’t that much alone.”

“And the only link she had with them was Reilly, and he’s gone now. Her mother’s dead, so she hasn’t even got that to consider … Can you imagine what it must have been like, this past month?” Freya looked at them all around the table. “Not knowing what was going to happen, but fully aware that you were going to be out on the streets after the wake?” She shook her head. “I’m not surprised Hermione blew up like she did. I wish she hadn’t done it at Bethany, but it was going to happen sometime.”

“You think the others might feel the same?” Zoe asked.

“To some degree, but probably not as much. Honoria is seventeen, virtually an adult. I doubt much phases her.”

“You can say that again,” Hank muttered, then went quickly back to his food at the inquiring look from Zoe.

“And the twins have each other …” Freya stopped. “Not that it means much. Having a twin.”

Simon nodded. She was talking about her own twin, a lifetime ago. “They’re identical twins, so I should think they’re closer. Support each other.”

“I hope they do. But they’re all still alone in the ‘verse.”

There was a silence, everyone looking just a little bit ashamed of themselves, until Mal spoke. “Well, they ain’t. Not no more.” He settled his shoulders. “And it’s up to us to figure out what’s best for them.”

“Maybe Freya’s right, sir,” Zoe said. “Maybe we should talk to Inara.”

“Well, it’s a thought, but there’s maybe a couple of points you might be ignoring here. Firstly, she might not want them. And second … she’s looking for a paying gig, not being a way station for charity cases like ours.” Mal sat back and pushed his hand through his hair. “Without the cash, I don’t see we can impose.”

“Well, we have to do something,” Simon went on. “Six of them on board is going to be a strain, particularly as I agree with Freya’s analysis of their mental state. In fact more than once I’ve caught the oldest …” He stopped.

“What?” Mal asked, curious.

The young man almost blushed. “Well, staring.”

“Me too,” Hank said. “It’s kinda embarrassing.”

“It ain't that bad,” Jayne put in.

River turned her face to him. “And you would know that … why?” she asked coolly.

Jayne didn’t blush. “’Cause she’s been staring at me too.”

“Have you been encouraging her?”

“Nope. Don’t think she needs no encouragement.”

“She’s seventeen, Jayne,” Zoe said, trying not to smile. “Girls have … odd tastes at that age.”

“You saying I’m odd?” the big mercenary asked, bristling a little.

“Yes,” River interrupted. “But that’s okay.”

“Oh. Right.” He settled down again.

“Hang on,” Simon said quickly. “I think I’m being insulted here too. She’s been … staring at me as well. Are you saying I’m odd too?”

“And me,” Hank added.

“At that age girls tend to look at all men with that sort of eye,” Zoe explained placatingly.

“I ain’t noticed anything,” Mal said.

“You haven’t been watching,” Freya responded. “She’s been ogling you too.”


“Technical term.”

“Freya’s right, sir,” Zoe said. “Honoria has been very … even-handed with her … ogling.”

“Were you like that at seventeen?” Hank asked.

“I was a soldier. I didn’t have the time to ogle anyone. Besides, it was against regulations.”

“They regulated against having fun?”

“It was the army. Of course they did.”

Hank turned to Freya. “What about you? Seventeen? Boys?”

“Late developer,” Freya said succinctly, sharing an amused glance with Mal. “And I was crewing on a Lancaster. There wasn’t exactly anyone who floated my boat.”

“Floated your boat?”

“So to speak.”

“I had a crush on Marcus Lau at that time,” Kaylee admitted.

“Do I know that name?” Simon asked.

“Actor. On the Cortex. He was in one of those long-running soaps. If I’d ever met him, I’d’a been a puddle o’ goo. He was suai. Tall, dark, blue eyes …” She looked at Mal. “Kinda like you a bit.“ Her eyes glazed and she sighed happily. “Real suai.

Mal felt a slight blush creep up his chest, and looked at Freya. She was highly amused.

“Yeah, well, as fun as this is, it ain’t solving our problem,” he said firmly.

“Honoria doesn’t mean any harm, Mal,” Freya said gently.

“I’m sure she doesn’t, but I don’t want her starting something might end in tears.” He added quickly, “On her side.”

“I don’t get the feeling Honoria lets much get to her like that.”

“Is this what having girls is like?” he asked. “Worrying about them all the time?”

She wiped Ethan’s chin where he’d let some food slide out. “Of course.”

“Mama,” he said, and grinned widely at her. The rest of the crew smiled.

“And you just wait until Bethany reaches that age,” Freya warned, looking at the young parents. “She is going to be a handful.”

“She already is,” Simon said, holding his daughter as she reached across the table for another piece of bread. “Do you have to?” he asked, feeling her feet pounding his thighs.


“All the excitement,” Kaylee explained.

Bethany grinned.


Jayne was in the kitchen, face to face with a problem. He was hungry. It often hit him, in the wee small hours, as his mother used to call them. ‘Specially if he was getting some regularly. And with River it was. If anything, she was the one initiated her share of their love making. Not that he minded, not at all. It just surprised him a little. He grinned. And he was enjoying being surprised, every single minute of it.

Like tonight. She hadn’t even waited for him to get undressed before she’d pushed him back against the bulkhead …

He didn’t bother putting the light on, just headed for the cupboard where Kaylee had taken to hiding some crackers for him, just for times like this. She was a good girl. Crackers in hand, he turned to go back, and nearly dropped the bag.

“Jayne.” Honoria Reilly stood in the semi-darkness, her hair flaming, her skin glowing, wearing nothing but a slip with thin straps that barely brushed the top of her knees.

“Is it cold in here?” he asked, his eyes drawn to her chest and the evidence that yes, maybe it was.

“I'm lonely, Jayne.” She reached up and slid a strap from her shoulder, revealing more tender, pale flesh.

Jayne’s brain threatened to short-circuit. No, not cold. Hot. Very hot. “Yeah … well … you’d … you’ve got …” Blood was rushing from his skull to other areas of his body, leaving his mind to fend for itself. “You got sisters,” he managed to grunt out.

“I don’t want them. I want you.”

“Uh … what?”

“You. Now. Here.” She slid the other strap and the front of the slip fell away.

Nothing but a moan came out of the man as he stared at youthful breasts.

“Honoria.” River was in the doorway, a dress hastily thrown on. “He’s mine.”

The two girls looked at each other, neither phased by the young woman‘s semi-nudity. “Doesn’t look like he’s taken,” Honoria said, glancing down significantly at Jayne’s nether regions.

“That’s because he’s a man. If you did this to my brother you’d probably get the same reaction.” River paused a second. “Only I’d rather you didn’t. Kaylee wouldn’t be as nice to you as I'm going to be.”

Jayne wanted to interrupt, to tell Honoria what River could do to her. Except the part of his brain that was still functioning was saying that what he really wanted to do was just watch her do it.

“And what are you going to do about it?”

River smiled, and it chilled Jayne to the bone, bringing up thoughts of Reavers and metal blades.

“Um, River, honey …” he began, but she waved him to silence.

“Honoria, he’s mine. I worked long and hard for him, and I'm not about to give him up.” She ran her eyes up and down the girl’s body. “And certainly not to you.”

Honoria twitched, suddenly feeling goosebumps along her arms. She tossed her head. “I don’t want him. I just wanted some male company, but I can do without oafs.” She pulled the straps of her slip back up onto her shoulders and turned her back on them both, flouncing out of the room.

River glided across the floor to Jayne.

“Sorry,” he mumbled. “She just … I didn’t … there wasn't …”

River put her finger on his lips. “I know. But don’t do it again.”

“I won’t.”

She smiled, this time warmer, more mischievous. “And I think you’d better bring those crackers with you. Somehow I feel unaccountably … frisky.”


The small com felt cold in her hand, but she got through quickly enough.

“I'm sorry. I tried my best, but they’re all taken.”

“Never mind, sweetheart. He’s keeping us all in the loop. Soon as he knows something, we will.”

“I can try again, if you like. There’s a couple aren’t actually married, and although the big one has a protector, the other –“

“No, Honor. It’s fine. Don’t you worry none. We’ll get it, you just wait and see.”

to be continued


Sunday, June 17, 2007 2:43 AM


Not so sweet and innocent, are they? Well, the angst had to come in sometime. Loved Kaylee's comment about her soap opera hero - does that have anything to do with Nathan doing his one-shot return to his old soap? Love your stories!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 5:13 AM


I knew those girls were going to be trouble - who exactly are they collaborating with and why do I have the feeling it might be Saffron?

Honor was awfully forward, but I suppose she's used to getting what she wants ... and if Jayne and River weren't together, she might have succeeded. Still, I'm thinking the sooner they're off the boat - the better!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 6:06 AM


Another good chapter! Love the way things aren't going so good with the girls. Sooner they get off the boat the better.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 6:32 PM


I've got a really bad feeling about this! And it's delicious!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 10:09 PM


I am not surprised that the girls are up to something. Still have doubts that their pappy actually died, I would want to see the body before it was cremated and have Simon do an autopsy first. Not that I'm suspicious or nothing, just seemed odd that after that much time had passed Mal gets an invite to Reilly's funeral, a big bash with a gathering of all the old comrades and such, all that money spent on a well planned wake. Then Mal being singled out to be the honorary papa to Reilly's kids? No. Mal had earlier described him as mean in the penny pinching fashion and I just think he thought Mal was sap enough to fall for it and take the girls in. The bigger question is why and what is he up to. Very good tale, most intriguing. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 4:53 PM


Oh go se....if it ain't Hermione expressing her preteen angst by lashing out at Bethie, it's Honoria trying to seduce the male BDHs for some reason:(

Still...brilliant bit of work here, Jane0904! Definiely wanna find out who Honoria was talking to over the comm....could be dear ole daddy, one has to admit. Or did the conwoman we love to hate try and scam Reilly many moons ago and end up with more than she bargained for? Time will tell, I suppose;)



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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 ...]

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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.]

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“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

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“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!]

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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.]

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[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!]

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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.

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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!]