Playing Parts - Part X
Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Mal is somewhat concerned about landing on Whitefall. After all, she shot him before.


Act V – Whitefall



“Maybe she won’t be there.”

“You think?”

“No, sir.”

“The fact that she hasn’t shot me the last coupla times we dealt just makes me all kinds of nervous. Feels like it’s overdue somehow.”

“I’d’ve thought she’d be too busy laughing, sir.”

“You know, the septic vat ain't been emptied this week. And with more people on board –“

“I'm sure she’ll be appreciating the fine performance too much, sir.”


Mal looked out at the stars and the large moon getting larger. “Shouldn’t your fiancé be up here?”

Zoe shrugged a little. “He’s putting Ben down for his nap.”

“Only I could land, but I figure why have a monkey and dance yourself.”

“I’m sure he’s going to be thrilled you think that much of him.”

“I could still order you to be a fairy, you know.” There was a longish pause as the moon got closer. “And if he ain't up here in two seconds I'm not sure our passengers’ll be too happy getting splattered all over the –“

“I'm here, I’m here,” Hank said, running up the steps and sliding into the pilot’s chair. He flipped a couple of switches and adjusted their trajectory by a degree. “Oddly enough, I can’t be in two places at once.”

“Your place is up here,” Mal said firmly.

“Just ‘cause you’re worried about what Patience is gonna say about you being in a dress –“

“Land my damn boat,” Mal ordered, and stalked off the bridge.

“He’s in a mood, ain't he?” Hank smiled up at Zoe.

“We’ve tended to steer clear of Whitefall, or haven’t you noticed?”

He reached out and ran his hand over her backside. “I've noticed a lot of things.”

“And I'm not sure I’ve forgiven you for breaking your word.”

Hank started guiltily. “My word?”

“You told me you wouldn’t gamble.”

“Not really gambling, though. Not when I win.”

“And then get beaten up.” She shook her head at him. “How are we supposed to get married if you get yourself killed?”

Suddenly he felt a surge of anger. “Married? You won’t even name the damn day!”

She didn’t respond for a moment, just stood looking at him. Eventually he turned his head, unable to take her stare.

“Does anyone know where … oh, sorry, am I interrupting?” Simon was leaning in the doorway.

“No,” Hank said, sitting up and beginning the landing sequence. “Not interrupting at all.”

“Who were you looking for?” Zoe asked.


“Not in the engine room?”

“I looked.”

“Sorry, then, but no.”

“Okay.” Simon looked at the pair of them, felt the tension, and decided he didn’t want to be a part of this. Whatever it was. “Are we landing?”

“About ten minutes,” Hank said, turning Serenity’s attitude so that her belly faced down into the atmosphere.

“Good. I’ll … I think I’ll go look for Kaylee … elsewhere.” The young doctor backed away.

The colour outside the windows went from black to red.

“Does it worry you that much?” Zoe asked softly, looking at but not seeing the flames of re-entry.

“Yes.” Hank didn’t as much as glance at her, but knew she was very still.


He tilted the Firefly just a little more. “You might leave me.”

“If we’re married I might anyway.”

His jaw tightened. “More incentive to stay.” The yoke trembled under his hands, but his grip was firm.

“I won’t leave you.”

“You say that, but …” He clamped his mouth shut.

“But what? I might die?” When he didn’t answer she knew she was right. “Marrying you won’t stop that happening.”

“No, but you’d … you’d be my wife.”

“I am already.” She put her hand on his shoulder, feeling the muscles taut beneath her fingers. “A piece of paper doesn’t make it more right.”

“I know it’s right, Zoe. Feel it in my bones. But I … I want you to wear my ring, like Frey wears Mal’s.”

“You want to tie me down.”

This time he glanced at her, and she was astonished at the fire in his eyes. “I love you. Ain't trying to change you. But half the time I'm scared that something I’ve done’s going to piss you off so bad, and then I’d …”

“You have so little faith in me?”

“No. In myself.” Serenity tipped to port, and it took a moment for the artificial gravity to catch up. Zoe tightened her grip on Hank’s shoulder to keep her balance. He could feel the turbulence easing up, at least outside.

“We have a child, Hank.”

“And you could take him away with you, and I’d never see either of you again.” He didn’t want to talk, not like this, not get all his insecurities out for her to see laid bare.

She didn’t speak for a moment, not until the sky had turned blue and they were dropping through air, not space. “River says she’ll marry Jayne before the baby’s born,” she said thoughtfully. “It can be a double wedding.”

He turned to stare at her, open-mouthed, and the Firefly twisted out of his grip. Frantically grabbing the yoke again, he brought her back under control. Swallowing hard, he maintained their heading even as he spoke. “You mean that?”

“How often do I say something I don’t?” She felt him relax a little.

“So … could be soon?”

“Perhaps. There’s a few months yet, but … do you want me to tell River?”

Hank finally grinned. “Long as I can tell Jayne. See the look on his face.”

“He might hit you.”

“Nah. He’s a lot mellower now. Ain't you noticed?”

“Not to speak of.”

“Are you trying to kill us all?” Mal said, his voice angry as he came back up the steps.

“Sorry, Cap,” Hank said, flashing him an apologetic look. “Don’t know what came over me.”

“No?” Mal shook his head. “I've got a pretty good idea.” He looked at his first mate. “Next time we come in to land, try not to excite him.”

“Me, sir?”

“You. Or I’ll find a new pilot.”

Zoe smiled, a slow and lazy grin that lit her face. “I doubt that, sir.” She walked past him off the bridge.

He stared at her retreating form, his eyebrows drawn down. “What the hell was that all about?” he asked.

“Wouldn’t know, Mal.” Hank exhaled. “So. Patience’s place?”

Mal shuddered slightly. “Yeah. Patience’s place.”


The old lady’s compound was impressive, even from the air, consisting of a number of long, low buildings radiating from a central courtyard, surrounded at some distance by a high palisade.

“She’s done pretty well for herself,” Mal muttered as Hank brought Serenity in to land inside the walls.

“Going out to say hello?” Freya asked, having joined her husband to watch them land.

“Tell Simon to make sure the infirmary’s ready.” Mal straightened his shoulders. “If I'm not back in time for supper, send out a search party.”

Freya's lips twitched. “'Kay.”

Mal stalked off the bridge and down the stairs, feeling Serenity touch down with barely a jar. Not looking forward to this, he considered. Not at all. As he reached the controls for the cargo bay doors, he could feel Freya standing on the top catwalk looking down at him, ready if he needed her, but didn’t look up. He was captain. Better yet, he’d faced hundreds, probably thousands of Alliance soldiers. One woman getting towards her dotage shouldn’t faze him. He took a deep breath and punched the button.

The dry air of Whitefall spilled inside as the ramp lowered, and he walked out into the strong light.



The old woman surveyed him, her grey hair around her head like a cloud, a dozen of her men in the background. “Can’t believe you’re still breathing.”

“Not for lack of people trying to make it otherwise.” He gestured towards her 'boys'.

She nodded in understanding. “And toting around a load of actors.” She barked a laugh. “That was a surprise, I can tell you, hearing it was you.”

“Oh, it get’s better,” Mal muttered under his breath.


“Nothing. Just wondering who’s gonna be coming to see the play.”

“Most everyone.” She sucked her teeth. “Had a lot of flyers printed up, just for the occasion. Not often we get a real live performance put on.”

“As opposed to a dead one?”

Patience chuckled again. “Always did have a wit about you, Mal. ‘Nother reason I always wanted to put a bullet into you.”

“Did that often enough.”

“Always the next time.”

“Well, I’d be grateful if it wasn't this time. Got work to do.”

“Mmn.” She watched as Freya exited the Firefly. “She okay now?” she asked, her tone dropped to little more than a whisper.

Mal could feel his wife coming up behind him. “Shiny. Thanks.”

“Good.” Patience straightened up. “So … you gonna be in the audience with the rest of us?” she asked, her voice back to normal.

Mal sighed. “Not quite.”

Coming up behind her husband and Patience Freya was surprised to hear the old woman burst into a roar of laughter.


“What’s that?” Mikel asked, looking into Janith’s cabin at the array of small tools laid out on her bed.

“Don’t you ever knock?” she asked angrily, throwing a blanket over the top.

“I thought we’d gotten past that.”

“No, we haven’t!”

“Why are you angry?” he said, stepping inside.

“Because this is my room, and I didn’t invite you inside!” She stood up, her eyes blazing.

He recoiled. “I … Janith, what’s wrong?”

Realising she’d made something of a tactical error, she pushed the fury down, making her face soften, using all her skills and abilities to change the atmosphere from tension to seduction. “Mikel, I'm sorry, sweetie. I just … sometimes I need some time to myself. It’s nothing you’ve done. But I'm a woman, and I have to be allowed a little space occasionally.”

The lines on his forehead smoothed out. “No, I'm sorry, Jan.”

She grimaced internally at the contraction. “Besides,” she added, stepping closer to him, letting her own personal pheromones work on him, “I have secrets. Doesn’t that make me more … interesting?”

Mikel took a deep breath, then another. He started to smile. “Can I learn any of them?”

“My secrets? Maybe.” She put her hand on his chest, feeling his heart rate beginning to increase. “But not here. Why don’t we go to your cabin? It’s further away from everyone else, and we won’t be disturbed.”

He swallowed. “Sure.” Reaching up, he touched her cheek. “You’re amazing.”

“You don’t know the half of it.” She took his hand and led him outside into the corridor, locking her door firmly.

to be continued


Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:23 AM


Patience is always a hoot! Good chapter!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 7:10 AM


*amused grin* I REALLY want to know what Patience is gonna say when she sees Mal in that man-dress!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 7:37 AM



Wednesday, November 7, 2007 4:00 PM


“Only I could land, but I figure why have a monkey and dance yourself.”

This sounded so much like the Mal of the pilot episode - love your snarky Mal! How did Zoe put up with him for so long? The beginning of this fic was a hoot. Looking forward to more.


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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.]

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!]

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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.

[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!]