Relief - REPOST
Sunday, November 18, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Mal and Ethan do a little father/son bonding over an unusual activity.


It had been a good meal, one of Kaylee’s best, with more than a little help from Simon. He was learning fast, and seemed to be enjoying himself.

“Least it means one less meal of Frey’s,” Jayne said. “Or worse, Mal’s.”

Having been duly chastised, the unrepentant mercenary grinned and got out his toothpick.

Mal, slightly nauseated tonight by the likelihood of the big man cleaning all the crevices in his teeth, got up from the table and headed for his bunk with the aim of relieving the growing need to … relieve himself. Climbing down the ladder, he pulled the toilet open and began to unbutton his pants.

Someone was watching.

He stopped, three buttons in, and turned slowly towards the open nursery door.

Ethan was gazing at him, his eyes wide, little hands twisting the tail of his pyjamas, his favourites, the ones with the dinosaurs all over them that had been a present from Zoe.

“Hey, there, big feller,” Mal said, smiling. “Why ain’t you in bed asleep?”

“Daddy pee?”

Mal glanced down, making sure he wasn’t likely to lose his pants, and then grinned. “Come on, back to bed,” he said, reaching down to pick up his son. “Before your Momma catches you.”

Ethan moved back, away from him into the nursery. “Daddy pee?”

“Well, I kinda figure that’s between me and the toilet bowl, don’t you?” Mal leaned on the door jamb.

“Ethan pee too.” With a determined look on his face, the little boy picked up a toy stool from the corner next to his bed and carried it, his tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth, into the other room, putting it down next to the toilet. Then, very carefully, holding onto the drawer unit, he climbed up. He looked over his shoulder. “Daddy show.”

Mal came back to him, going down onto his heels so he could look into Ethan’s face. “You know you’ve got a … a potty, don’t you.”

Ethan shook his head. “Baby potty.”

“Well, yeah, I can’t exactly argue with that. And you’re more’n a year old now, I see that too. But it’s still okay to use it.”

“Daddy show.”

Mal wasn’t getting anywhere. “How about you sit on the toilet? I can hold you, make sure you don’t fall in. Wouldn’t want to flush you into the septic vat. Have to make Uncle Jayne go and fish you out.” He mimed a fishing rod, and reeling him in.

Ethan chuckled, but wasn’t going to be put off. “Daddy show. Ethan pee.”

Mal looked down at his son, seeing the determination in his small features, the certainty in the familiar blue eyes that Daddy would come through, would do as he was told. He sighed. “Okay. But you make a mess, you get to clean it up.”

“No mess,” Ethan said, grinning widely, knowing he’d won.

Shaking his head, Mal stood up, and began undoing the rest of the buttons on his pants. Ethan, with no buttons to deal with on his pyjamas, watched closely.

“See, there’s things like aiming you have to keep in mind,” Mal said, trying to keep from blushing. “You don’t aim, and it goes everywhere. Then Momma won’t be happy. Remember that whole clean it up thing. Worse, I think she might make me clean it up.” He opened his fly and reached inside. “Gotta make sure you don’t get your clothes wet either.”

Ethan nodded, pulling his pyjama bottoms down. The dinosaurs ended up around his ankles. Mal kept a close eye on him, making sure he was firm enough not to fall off his little stool.

“Now, not too hard, else it impedes the flow. Just … lightly, and aim towards the back of the bowl.”


“That’s good. And keep an eye on it, otherwise you might not know when you’re gonna finish, and that can be …”


“Exactly.” There was a pause only broken by the sound of liquid falling. “Finished?“


“Okay. Shake – gently – and put yourself away again.” Mal did up his own buttons then helped his son pull his pyjamas back into place before kicking the toilet closed and hearing it flush. “Now we wash our hands, dong mah? ‘Cause your Momma tells me off about that when I forget.”

Ethan nodded, watching as Mal pulled out the small sink and let a trickle of water flow. He leaned forward and put his hands underneath as Mal rubbed them between his own. So small. Mal couldn’t help the shiver that ran through him as he felt his son’s soft hands between his callused fingers. How the hell could something so perfect be related to him? Must be more of Freya in there than he realised.

Suddenly he blinked as Ethan clapped his hands and water splashed into his eyes.

“Hey!” he complained.

The little boy laughed. “Daddy play,” he said, doing it again.

Mal couldn’t be mad, not when he was having such a pure bonding session, as Frey called it. With a grin he flicked water at his son. Within a few moments the front of Mal’s shirt was wet, and so were Ethan’s pyjamas.

“Messy,” Ethan grinned, looking down.

“Sure is.” Mal shook his head, taking the towel from the hook and wiping up as best he could. “Better get you into a dry pair before your Momma sees and I get grounded for a month.” He swung his son up onto his hip. “It’s still okay to sit down, you know,” he added.

“Ethan pee like Daddy.”

“Yeah.” He grinned, his chest just a little tighter. “I guess that’s okay too.”


“Well, you’ve already had one tonight …”

“Daddy story.” This time it wasn't a request, but Ethan’s blue eyes were twinkling.

“You ain't gonna get around me like that for the rest of your life,” Mal warned, then realised he was probably lying. “One story.” He carried him through to the nursery, setting him down on the bed before opening a drawer and taking out a spare set of pyjamas. “Which one?”

“Three Bears.” Ethan swung his legs.

Mal smiled as he undid the buttons on the wet pyjama top. “Okay. Once upon a time, there were three bears, Momma Bear, Daddy Bear and Baby Bear. And they all lived together in a little house in the middle of a wood. And Momma Bear was so very pretty, and loved Daddy Bear even when he did crazy things like going off with Uncle Bear to steal stuff and get himself a little wounded. And they both loved Baby Bear, even when he was all wet and wriggly.” Mal grinned and tickled his very own Baby Bear, making him giggle and squirm.

Up in the corridor above the open hatch Freya slid down the bulkhead so she could listen to the story, and sighed happily at the pride in Mal’s voice. Her lips curved in anticipation. And pretty soon Daddy Bear was going to find out just how proud Momma Bear was of him, too.



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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.

“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!]