BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

HERMITSREST

One Careful Owner - Part Two
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Serenity’s passengers cause a stir and Simon gets more than he bargained for at his stag night. 12th fanfic featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Grateful thanks to BlueEyedBrigadier for the beta. Part 2 of 3.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1342    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

“I understand that you were helpin’ our Kaylee out in the engine room before,” said Mal, being the last to finish his meal. Abram opened his mouth to answer but Kaylee interrupted.

“Abram’s been on a Firefly before, Cap’n. He’s a mechanic.”

“Still,” Mal continued, “You’ll understand why I feel a mite nervous lettin’ strangers near the critical parts of my ship.”

“It is understandable, Cap’n. Please forgive me.”

“But, Cap’n,” protested Kaylee. Abram assured her.

“It’s alright, dear. Captain Reynolds is right.”

“This Firefly anythin’ like the one you were on, Abe?” asked Jayne, burping quietly. The meal Esper had cooked had tasted real nice and he had to stop himself from picking up the plate and licking it. Esper answered for her father with a pleasing smile for Jayne that was not missed by some of the other crew, as well as Abram.

“Well it has all the same workin’s but, no it’s not. It could never be,” she added, a little sadly. Abram watched his daughter look at Jayne and he could tell she liked him a lot, but she would never say, or do anything about it. Like him, she was saving herself for their ghosts. Whatever had brought about this remarkable coincidence he did not know, but it was time for them both to cleanse themselves of some of their pain. Esper did not deserve to live attached to spirits when she could still have a chance at happiness, even if it meant he never saw her again.

“She walks in beauty like the night,” Abram said to her. Esper looked at him blankly wondering if her father was going senile or had possibly been sneaking shots of brandy. He repeated the line again. Esper smiled when she realised what he was saying and then looked around at the others.

“I don’t play hide and seek anymore, father, I’m too old.”

“What’s he talking about?” asked Jayne with half a grin, imagining an interesting game of hide and seek in one of Serenity’s secret compartments with Esper.

“Byron,” said Mal, earning himself a few surprised looks from the people at the table, to which he gave a small shrug. Esper replied to Jayne’s question.

“A game we used to play as children. He would write a line of poetry somewhere on the ship and we’d have to find it and mark our initials by it – to prove we’d found it – then write out the rest of the poem,” she explained and then grimaced, “Sometimes in Chinese characters too, which was really hard.” Abram saw her cheerful face and tried to keep his emotions from over spilling.

“Find it, girl,” he ordered. Esper looked at him strangely and then at the others.

“But that was another ship, father, and a long time ago.”

“Do it,” he repeated more harshly than he intended, but it was only because he was trying to hold himself together. The crew watched fascinated as Esper got up slowly, a little hurt by his tone. She walked over to the kitchen area and knelt down to one of the cupboards, taking out the pans. Kaylee looked at Abe, finally understanding his behaviour in the engine room. Esper peered into the darkened cupboard.

“Don’t think Cap’n Reynolds’ll like it if you’ve bin defac–“ she started and halted. “Ai ya,” she yelled and in one swift movement she was up on her feet again and across the room, narrowly missing collision with a chair. Jayne jerked in shock at first thinking he had been caught staring at Esper’s ass.

“What is it? We ain’t got mice, have we?” He realised the answer to his question was ‘no’ when Esper fell to the floor sobbing. “What’s goin’ on?” he said to Abram dangerously.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” said Mal, guessing this would be the right time for Abram to explain why Esper was not his daughter too. Kaylee’s eyes glittered with unshed tears and she looked at Mal and Zoe.

“They used to live on Serenity, Cap’n.” Abram looked at her, his face full of despair and nodded in confirmation. Bane had walked over to the cupboard, inspected and sat back on her heels.

“It says ‘She walks in beauty like the night’ an’ then there’s the initials E P.” Esper had her face in her hands still sobbing and shaking her head and finally Jayne could not take it anymore and knelt down to put an arm around her shoulders. Mal looked across at Zoe. He was about to speak when Abram spoke. It was a different voice that answered, one filled with pain and sadness.

“You bought this ship in that dive of a shipyard on Bellerophon, didn’t you Cap’n?” Mal nodded slowly and let the old man continue. Abram breathed in deeply and then out again. “I had me this ship from new, for near fifty years, but by the time I had to sell her my heart had already been broken so many times I dint look back.”

“What was her name?” asked Kaylee. Mal tensed and Abram looked at him sympathetically.

“It doesn’t matter, dear. It was a lifetime ago.”

“But-“

“It’s bad luck,” explained Bane, “When a ship changes hands it takes on a new identity. It’s real bad luck to repeat the old name on the new ship.” With Jayne’s solid presence next to her, Esper had started to compose herself again and Abram looked at her with such love and compassion that Kaylee instinctively reached out for Simon’s hand to hold.

“She should have been my daughter,” he continued sadly, “Those initials are her’s – Esperanza Pedrosa. I brought her up, or rather my wife an’ I did. My wife was from New Melbourne too, but you never saw such a pilot, Cap’n. She could fly us through the rings of Beylix and not hit a thing.” Esper got to her feet again and Jayne hovered edgily beside her, unsure what to do. Crying women made him all kinds of uncomfortable. The rest of the crew listened in respectful silence as he told their story.

“My wife, Carmen, and I had four sons, all born on this ship. We adopted Esperanza after her parents had died, them being friends of Carmen’s. Esperanza would have married one of my sons one day and we thought we had all the time in the ‘Verse. Until the war broke out.” Esper, red-faced, walked over to the table, removing each ring from her left hand.

“Bram, Andrew, George and Charlie,” she said, her voice cracking as she placed the rings on the table. Lying there they were no longer rings but twisted bits of metal taken from Serenity a long time ago. Jayne felt a small chill run up his spine; Esperanza was married to ghosts and that was all kinds of creepifying.

“Which battles?” asked Zoe compassionately, knowing that there was only one outcome to this conversation. She was proved wrong and Abram looked at her kindly before responding.

“I think my wife may’ve lived if they’d been killed in separate battles at different times. But no, it was not to be the way. My proud and strong sons were all killed at the Battle of Sturges on the first day.” Sturges was said to be one of the bloodiest and shortest conflicts of the war, although both Mal and Zoe would question it as being one of the bloodiest, but it had definitely been the shortest. Twenty thousand dead in five days.

“They thought it would be fun,” Esper said quietly, placing her hand on Abram’s shoulder, “An adventure. Then they chose different sides an’ it all became very serious. Civil war kills families long before they take to the battlefield.” She looked at them all, the painful memories surfacing, “It dint matter what side they were on in the end, they died anyway.”

“My wife died before the year was out and Esper and I were forced to sell the ship,” they all heard his voice trembling, “I’m sorry. Will you excuse me?” He took a last look around the galley wistfully and stood up and they both started to walk out together. Abram grabbed Kaylee’s hand as he passed and pressed his lips to it in a reverent gesture. “You have helped patch up the heart I thought permanently broken and I thank you. Bless you, Kaylee.” Once they had left the room Kaylee broke down completely and Simon hugged her to him.

“It’s so sad,” she cried, and then looked up at Mal. “Is there nothin’ we can do for ‘em, Cap’n?” Mal shook his head, he really did sympathise.

“I have no call for two mechanics, bao bei, you know that. I wish there was somethin’ I could do. Really.”

“Is he a good mechanic, Kaylee?” asked Bane thoughtfully. Kaylee nodded but could not bring herself to say more. Bane was thinking fast. From the dinner they had eaten tonight she already knew Esper could cook. Might be that her brother could use them on the Rosalyn. She turned to Mal, “My cousin Angel’s leavin’ the Rosalyn, Cap’n. Tony’s in the market to hire a mechanic and another cook.”

“Might not want to hire him an’ old man though,” said Mal not meaning any offence to Abram.

“Long as he can keep the Rosalyn in the sky, he won’t care. Can I send him a wave?” Kaylee’s face turned joyful again.

“Really Bane? You reckon he would take them?”

“Unless he’s already found someone,” she said getting up. “Don’t go sayin’ anything til I’ve talked to him though. Don’t wanna go gettin’ their hopes up.” Kaylee nodded sagely. Bane left for the cockpit and Karl followed her. The tension and anguish eased a little and the others in the galley relaxed some.

“I reckon they might not want to stay on Serenity another night,” said Zoe quietly. Mal murmured his agreement. Mal remembered that the Battle of Sturges had been early in 2507 and he had bought Serenity in 2513, six years later. ‘Verse kept getting smaller each year but this was one time he did not mind. The ship had just waited patiently until someone else came around to love her – at least that’s how Kaylee would think of it. He would never voice the same opinion out loud. River spoke softly, feeling eased from the pain and anguish that had been assaulting her.

“No one leaves Serenity, you just learn to live there.”

Jayne left the galley and went straight to the gym. So much had just happened and he wanted to sort it all out in his head which could only be done by lifting weights or cleaning guns and he did not feel like doing the latter. He looked at the ship with new eyes. It had never occurred to him before that Serenity had belonged to someone else before Mal, even though it was obvious. He lay on the bench and looked at the metal ceiling beyond the stairs. There was a line of that poetry graffiti in his bunk which he had never got rid of because he had liked the sound of it; ‘Whilst my soul like quiet palmer,/ Travelleth towards the land of heaven.’ Every time he read it reminded him of the Shepherd and gave him calm. The initials G F were scratched untidily beside it. George Fairly. It had been written on the inside of one of the panels he had lifted off to hide some of his possessions. If he was ever in a tight spot or when they had narrow escapes from Reavers, he had repeated it to himself over and over like a prayer in church.

He sat up on the bench and fished into his pocket, bringing out the four bits of metal. He had swiped them from the table when no one had been paying attention. He could understand people needing to mourn, but what made a person live in the past like that, married to ghosts for, he calculated, thirteen years?

~ * ~

“Hey Tony,” said Bane. Tony’s face lurched into the view screen.

“Diu Bane! What happened to your hair?” Oops, forgot about that, she thought, reaching up behind her ear and tugging her hair, the actions becoming a habit every time someone mentioned it.

“Long story,” she said and then added quickly, “You still looking for a replacement for Angel?” Tony eyed her with a frown, still wanting to know the reason why her hair was only an inch long.

“Yes. You know how hard it is to find a good mechanic? Most of the ones I’ve seen don’t know one end of a thruster from another, an’ even I know that!” Bane was distracted by a distant screaming noise. She looked around, thinking it was on Serenity and then realised it was coming from Tony’s end.

“Is that my niece makin’ all that noise?” Tony grinned tiredly.

“That’s why I’m talkin’ this in the cockpit. The little tian shi hasn’t stopped, but I wouldn’t be without her.” Bane laughed. Karl called her an angel too but never through gritted teeth.

“One of the passengers we took on at Whittier is a mechanic lookin’ for work. His daughter can cook too – she’s from New Melbourne. They’re also in need of some family I think.” Tony was thoughtful and was glad his wife was with Rosie – she was just as soppy as Bane as far as lost souls went. He had to think about the business practicalities.

“New Melbourne – she knows her fish then?”

“Probably,” Bane replied, not exactly sure. “Her father’s bin unable to get much work planet-side cuz of his age. But he ain’t no slacker. In fact we found out not long ago that he used to run Serenity.” Tony nodded, again impressed. Serenity was a well maintained ship and he would give his first born for someone like Kaylee. On a day like today he would give his first born, but his wife would probably have something to say about it.

“I’d like to meet them before I make a final decision.” Bane got defensive.

“Kaylee says that he’s a good mechanic and she wouldn’t lie.” Tony looked back at her patiently.

“They would have to live with us as well as us with them. Communally, if you remember.”

“Anna told me that you were plannin’ to section off some of the old store bay into individual bunks.”

“It’s still the plan, but these things take time, and credit. Where you headed next?”

“Don’t know really. We’re still on Highgate for Kaylee’s wedding tomorrow. Mal’ll prob’ly want to get back in the Black again after that. Can I let them know you’ll be comin’ to Highgate?” Tony shook his head.

“Can’t do Eatings at Highgate, the locals have issues with us takin’ their business. Won’t even let us land there for refuelin’.” Bane had no idea, but then Tony knew the laws and conditions of nearly every planet in the ‘Verse that was habitable. “If they were still on Whittier I coulda gone there,” he added, somewhat unnecessarily from Bane’s point of view.

“I’ll have to speak to Mal then ‘bout bringin’ them to you. Where are you?”

“Leavin’ Whitefall tomorrow mornin’. Headed to Persephone to re-stock.” Bane was not sure that Mal would want to go back to Persephone so soon, Kaylee had filled her in on what little she knew about his encounter with Inara.

“After Persephone?” she asked.

“Newhall,” answered Tony.

“I will let you know,” said Bane.

“And when we do meet up you can go to explainin’ on your hair,” he said sternly, sounding spookily like their father. Bane waved a hand at him in farewell and cut the com, turning around to Karl. He shook his head at her.

“You would make everyone family if you had the chance, wouldn’t you?” he chuckled. Bane shrugged.

“It’s do-able. Not all the Pyes were born with the name. The Haven Pyes are maternal.”

“What do you mean?”

“At the marriage the husband takes the wife’s surname, instead of the other way around.”

“That’s why it seems that you’re all over the place.” It explained a lot, Karl thought. It sounded very cultish to him, but part of the religion of her space gypsy ancestors, he supposed.

“It’s the name that binds us,” Bane answered proudly, unwittingly echoing his views but in a different way. She zipped off in her usual hyperactive way and Karl continued sitting in the co-pilot’s chair looking out of the window, thinking that there was still a long way he had to go to understand Bane completely, if ever. She was right though, it is the name that binds us, only it is not Pye, he thought, it’s Serenity.

~ * ~

“I’m sorry for what I did up there, dear.”

“It’s alright – we’re leaving tomorrow. I can manage until then.” He watched her pack up her few possessions and shook his head.

“I don’t want you to manage anymore. I want you to live.”

“It’s too late,” Esper said neutrally, looking around the room for anything left behind.

“We can’t be with ghosts anymore. You have a real chance at happiness.” Esper shook her head at Abram, knowing he was referring to Jayne.

“Don’t, Father. After the end of tomorrow we all go our separate ways an’ I won’t see him again.” Abram wished Esper was smaller so he could put her over his knee. She was a grown woman acting like a child, always running away the minute things interfered with her memories of his sons.

“Then enjoy the moments you have left.” Esper sat down and wiped a tear away roughly.

“Why now? You’ve never told me to go off with any man before. You were just as content as me to live with our memories.” Abram did not get the chance to answer because there was a knock on the door. It was Bane.

“Come in, dear,” said Abram kindly. Bane was smiling broadly.

“I’ve got some news for you both. My brother runs a Pye Eatings on a Merchant Seagull-class called the Rosalyn. He’s looking for a reliable mechanic,” said Bane and then looked at Esper, “And a cook. He wants to meet you both, but I’m sure it’s a given – he’s real desperate for a good mechanic an’ Kaylee’s word on the matter is usually enough of a recommendation.” Abram and Esper were speechless so Bane continued, “He’ll probably want to test your cookin’ skills – specially with the fish – you are good with fish?” she asked Esper.

“The best,” stated Abram for her as Esper could still not speak. “I can’t thank you enough. But why would you help us like this? You don’t know us.” Bane shrugged.

“Ain’t nothin’ to do with that,” she replied a little embarrassed, “You’re in need of work an’ my brother’s got a view to hirin’. It’ll mean you’ll be in the Black again rather than planet side. The living conditions are still communal for the crew, but Tony’s building some proper crew quarters, so eventually you’ll have a bit of privacy. Used to live there myself an’ you kinda get used to it.”

“Is he on Highgate?” asked Esper, who had started to twist the rings on her hand and found they were not there. Bane shook her head.

“They’re kinda on the move an’ Highgate ain’t receptive to Eatings. I spoke to the Captain and he’s willin’ to have you stay with us until we hook up with the Rosalyn. There are conditions though.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Abram gratefully. Esper looked at him but kept silent, there would be no choice for her as he had already decided for them both. Bane sat on the edge of the bed and chewed on how to explain to two strangers about their less than legal dealings. Mal had said that they needed to be told and given that choice.

“Well apart from the obvious – that is goin’ on the cooking and cleaning rotas an’ all. Some of the other work we do is less than legal an’ sometimes downright dangerous – though I’m sure the Captain won’t take any of that type of work until you’re off the ship,” she assured quickly, “He just wanted to make sure you were sensible with the notion, give you the choice.” Abram smiled and then started laughing and could not stop. Esper and Bane looked at each other confused, that just made it worse.

“Why do you think I bought this ship in the first place?” he chuckled, shaking his head in amusement. Bane started smiling.

“You mean we used to transport illegal goods?” asked Esper, shocked.

“Of course, dear. These ships are one of the best in the ‘Verse for it.” Bane stood up, her tasks done.

“And Kaylee told me to tell you that you’re both invited to her wedding and the party afterwards,” when she saw them both start to protest she continued, “I wouldn’t say no if I were you, she can kick up an awful stink.”

“Then tell her we’d be honoured,” said Abram. Bane left them feeling rather good and shiny, thinking that was probably how Kaylee felt every day. Abram looked at his daughter kindly and Esper returned his gaze.

“I’ve got no choice in this, have I?” she stated. Abram smiled.

“Planet-side you always looked after me. In the Black you do as I tell you, child.”

“I’m thirty four!” protested Esper, but Abram waved his hand as if to say it makes no difference.

~ * ~

The Hen Party:

Kaylee’s family insisted that she spend the night before her wedding in the family home, so Kaylee invited Bane, River, Zoe and Esper with her. Both Zoe and Esper had protested until Kaylee had used all her wheedling powers of persuasion, even threatening tears, which was what made Zoe finally cave. She really knew how to do that well. Esper had said that it was not appropriate because she was a stranger. But to Kaylee’s logic she had lived on Serenity and therefore she was family now too. Kaylee’s mother revelled in not only having her daughter back, but also having four other girls to look after.

“Aren’t you worried what Mal’s got planned for Simon?” asked Bane. Kaylee shook her head.

“He won’t hurt him none. Might be a little maimin’, but nothin’ as can’t be fixed.” Zoe opened her mouth in surprise, before laughing heartily.

“You’re a cruel woman, Kaylee Frye.” Kaylee grinned wickedly.

“That ain’t the half of it,” she explained, “My brothers’ll be over there by now – an’ I gave Mal my capture maker.”

“I hate to imagine what they’ll do to him,” said Bane.

“Nothin’ scary,” answered Kaylee, firm in the belief that Mal would never hurt Simon.

“Maybe just a little pole dancing,” mused River seriously and everyone fell about laughing.

The Stag Party

Simon sipped his cider in the galley with Karl, Mal and Abram. This was what he had imagined and was glad that Mal had taken his words to heart. He had worried about all sorts of things.

“Where’s Jayne?” he asked.

“He’ll be here soon,” stated Karl, brushing his moustache so Simon did not see him smile.

“He seems to have taken quite a shine to your daughter, Abram,” put in Mal, trying to keep the conversation going and not making it seem like they were waiting for anything or anyone.

“I’m glad,” he replied, “She could do with some happiness in her life and he seems a good man.” Simon spluttered a little and Mal gave him a glare.

“Couldn’t always have described Jayne in that fashion, but I reckon he’s come along some since we first hooked up.”

“Yes?” asked Abram. Mal told him the story of how Jayne had him and Zoe in a standoff. Abram was not the type to judge a man by past actions.

“Looks like your ship’s been good for a lot of people, Cap’n.”

“Just aimin’ to survive and be free, Abe,” stated Mal. Abram looked at Mal and was not fooled.

“Can do that anywhere, Cap’n. On Serenity you’re not survivin’, you’re home.”

“I’ll drink to that,” said Karl.

“We’re here!” announced Jayne loudly making everyone jump. He carried two large vessels of liquid which he slammed onto the table. “Frye Moonshine,” he said with a grin, “Compliments of Kaylee’s brothers.” Simon looked behind him with a worried expression.

“They’re not here are they?”

“Of course they are – couldn’t go drinkin’ their liquor without them. Come in, guys.” Kaylee’s three brothers and father came in to the galley.

“Oh shit,” said Simon.

The Hen Party:

“Okay, my dear,” said Winnie firmly to Esper, “I’m not having you wearing that mouldy headdress to my daughter’s wedding. Take it off.” Esper opened her mouth. She was being ordered to do a lot of things lately. Kaylee’s cousin, Gloria, took it further, having had a considerable amount of homebrew already, and actually tried to pull it off. Esper held on until Kaylee pushed Gloria away.

“Stop it, Glory, you’re so rude. I’m sorry Esper. It would be nice though,” she started and then a horrified thought occurred to her, “Unless there’s something wrong.” Esper smiled when she realised Kaylee was thinking she was bald or something. At least she had asked nicer than her mother. Esper untucked the material and started unwrapping. Wrapping and unravelling her turban was as much a ritual as brushing her teeth and although Bane offered to help, she declined. The last of the light green cloth slipped through her hands and Esper unpinned the plait of hair. It lay like rope curled in several spirals on her lap.

“It’s Rapunzel!” exclaimed River. They all leaned over, including Zoe, to touch Esper’s hair like it was a precious jewel.

“Why would you cover this up?” asked Bane, now feeling extremely bald compared to everyone else. For someone living on Whittier for two years she could not understand why she had not found herself a husband.

“It’s what all the women of New Melbourne do,” Esper explained.

“But why?” said Kaylee, not understanding. Esper shrugged.

“Bin that way for decades. Since the settlin’ time. My mother told me once it was so that their hair would not smell of fish as well as everything else.” Kaylee giggled. Zoe noticed that no one asked why she still wore the turban when she had not lived on New Melbourne since she was a child. Having a glorious mane like that would attract a lot of attention, and she had already deducted that Esper was a person that wanted to stay hidden from the world. Bane had been about to exclaim that Jayne would pop more than a vessel if he saw her hair, but then a plan came into her head, a matchmaking plan. Her Aunt Margaret would be proud of her.

“Is it normal to wear the turban at home, or just in public?” she asked.

“Traditionally not at home or on special occasions,” she answered. Bingo, thought Bane but Kaylee beat her to the next sentence.

“Then you’ll wear it all down tomorrow, won’t you?” she said, not really making it a question. Esper resigned and said she would.

The Stag Party

The galley was getting very noisy and Abram needed to have a word with Mal. He went over to him and beckoned him away.

“I want to thank you for all that you’ve done, Cap’n, for me and my daughter.” Mal held up his hands.

“I ain’t done nothin’, Abe. Seems my whole crew have taken a shine to you both.”

“You took them on – you know what kind of people they are.” Mal acknowledged his words, he had taken a shine to the old man as well. Abe spoke again. “I wanted to leave a present for Kaylee in the engine room,” he showed Mal what he intended, “Need your permission to go there.”

“That’ll be real nice, Abe – very appropriate. You go right ahead. Probably won’t be as noisy as here.”

“You started without me!” announced Yuri Kostova appearing in the galley with Spike. Mal shouted in welcome and gave the man a big hug. Abram took his leave of the galley to go to the engine room and Jayne followed him curiously. Koz had come a long way and Mal was sure Kaylee would be real pleased to see him.

“Good to see you, you old goat.”

“You too, you ol’ pirate.” They both laughed at their respective descriptions.

“Should be a good time tomorrow. Kaylee’ll scream the place down when she sees you.”

“Wouldn’t have missed it.” He replied looking over to Simon who was sandwiched between Karl and Frye Senior unable to refuse the drinks they were giving him. “He good enough for our Kaylee?” Mal chuckled.

“No one’s good enough for our Kaylee, but I reckon he’s in the lead some an’ll treat her right.” Koz slapped Mal on the back with amusement.

“Need to ask you somethin’,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of that lately. I’m beginnin’ to feel like Buddha, ‘cept without the ability to bestow wisdom.”

“Or the paunch,” countered Koz, patting his own Buddha-like belly. “Wanted to give Kaylee a present of two weeks in the best hotel on Boros – all expenses paid.” Mal raised his eyebrows. It was a very generous gift. Koz continued, “Need to ask you because it’ll mean you’ll be without your mechanic and your medic. If it’s no good then I’ll think of something else.” Mal smiled reassuringly, a little surprised at the way events and situations seemed to sort themselves out.

“As a matter of fact we’ve got ourselves another mechanic on board for a while.

“He lookin’ for work?” said Koz interested. Shipyards could always use good mechanics.

“Bane’s brother’s got first say-so, but I’m sure if he ain’t interested then we can bring him ta you.”

“What about the medic?”

“Just have to be careful an’ not get ourselves shot,” said Mal, deciding then that it was probably better that they did not go and look for work with Badger for a while.

“So the present’s fine?”

“The present’s fine,” confirmed Mal and he went over to introduce Koz and Spike to the Fryes. It was on days like this that he could almost forget about Inara.

Jayne had been watching Abe write on the wall next to Kaylee’s hammock. In fact he was holding the paint pot.

“Who wrote that? It’s real shiny.”

“A man called Walter Savage Landor,” explained Abram, “It’s called Ianthe.”

“Savage, eh? What he’s written is ain’t savage,” he replied and then read out the words slowly.

From you, Ianthe, little troubles pass

Like little ripples down a sunny river;

Your pleasures spring like daisies in the grass,

Cut down, and up again as blithe as ever.

“That’s real appropriate for lil’ Kaylee,” he added, although he did not understand what ‘blithe’ meant or who Ianthe was, but it sounded awful nice. Abram leaned back and inspected his work.

“Yes, it is,” he agreed.

“I got me one of them poem lines in my bunk,” said Jayne and he spoke the words as he had done to himself in many tight spots. Abram thought back and tried to remember the next lines, speaking them out loud to Jayne.

“Over the silver mountains, where Spring the nectar fountains; There will I kiss The bowl of bliss;” Jayne’s eyes lit up.

“Is it a sexin’ poem?” he asked eagerly. Abram chuckled loudly.

“No. It’s called His Pilgrimage and it’s by a man called Sir Walter Raleigh who lived in the 17th Century, nearly a thousand years ago.”

“Was he a preacher man?” Abram shook his head.

“A disreputable adventurer and explorer with rather a dark past, I’m afraid. He later became the favourite of a Queen.”

“I like the sound of that,” said Jayne, immediately feeling an affinity with the ancient reprobate. Abram decided not to mention that the man had been beheaded, seeing that Jayne was obviously pleased by the association.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007 12:16 AM

HERMITSREST


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The Operative gets an assignment that she’s not particularly fond of because it brings her into contact with her past. A ficlet to follow Killing Spree. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Pandora's Box - Part Three
Zoe has been doing some interfering and for one of the crew it could mean an end to their relationship. No.2 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Please, please comment as much as possible - I need to know if I've done good, done bad or done just plain ugly. Part 2 of 3.

Pandora's Box - Part Two
River’s got her job back but the flying is short lived – instead she has to contend with Jayne’s brother. No.2 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Please, please comment as much as possible - I need to know if I've done good, done bad or done just plain ugly. Part 2 of 3.

Pandora's Box - Part One
It’s business as usual for Malcolm Reynolds & Serenity but one of the crew sets off alone to deliver a message. No.2 of Series 2, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Please, please comment as much as possible - I need to know if I've done good, done bad or done just plain ugly. Part 1 of 3.

Killing Spree
The Operative, formerly known as Abigail Penney, gets another assignment. A ficlet to follow First Kill. Read and be chilled. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Homecoming - Part Two
It is three years and four months since River Tam left the crew of Serenity and she has decided to return home. 1st fanfic of the second series, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment. Part 2 of 2.

Homecoming -Part One
It’s three years and four months since River Tam left her brother and the crew of Serenity. 1st fanfic of the second series, featuring post BDM characters and a few of my own creation. Having feedback is like charging my battery, please comment. Part 1 of 2.

First Kill
A ficlet to keep you going between the end of Series 1 and the beginning of Series 2. An Operative’s first hit. Read and be chilled. Feedback would be much appreciated.