In His Cups - REPOST
Monday, November 26, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. A little one shot where Hank is having way too much to drink and conversing with someone.


“Have you seen her?” Hank asked, putting his mug back down on the bar. “You should. I mean, that’s a woman to make the heart beat faster.”

He tapped his nose. “You know, it’s not like I hadn’t had offers. I had. In the last few years women have been falling over themselves to sleep with me.” He draped his arm around the other’s shoulders. “Good looking man like me, ain't really surprising, is it? But it seems they was only the hors d’oevres, as you might say. And boy, was the main course worth waiting for!”

He hooted with laughter, then swiftly covered his mouth in case anyone heard, but he couldn’t keep it inside.

“Main course and sweet, sweet dessert, all rolled up into one package.”

Serenity’s pilot was more than a little drunk, and he didn’t care. He had money in his pocket, and a need to talk to someone, and he’d found just the right bar. Now he was feeling loquacious.

He grinned lopsidedly. “You know when I first saw her?” He put a finger to his lips. “Don’t tell anyone, but it was when Mal interviewed me. Heard about him, a’course. The whole damn ‘verse saw what he did, saw the mess on Miranda, but not many know it was him. I did. She told me.” He winked very carefully. “Can’t say who, but it was a little bird.” He frowned. “Where was I? Oh, yeah.” He lifted his head. “Bar keep, another round for me and my friend!” he called and laughed.

The barman poured, picking up a coin from the pile in front of him. “That it?” he asked. Hank nodded.

He waited until the barman had gone to serve someone else before he leaned forward again. “That’s when I saw her. First time. Standing next to Mal. She looked me up and down like I was a side of meat she was considering buying. Man, she could have bought me thirty times over!” He paused and took a large mouthful of beer. “Like some kind of exotic flower. And right then and there I wanted to make her blossom.” He glanced about. “Always knew if she gave me the chance I could make her bloom.”

He sighed, his good mood replaced in a moment by sadness. “Only it took her so long to even look at me. Well, I mean, of course she did, but it was like I was something she’d scraped off her boot.” He hunched his shoulders. “I know it was cause she was still grieving. I understood that. I mean, I did. Grieve, I mean. After Risa … Couldn’t look at another woman for … I mean, like I said, I'm a healthy specimen. Ask anyone. And it was a long time since I was with anyone, truth be told, and then it wasn‘t anyone I cared about.” He looked as if he were about to cry. “And right now there’s so much love on board, with all the kids, the babies … I just hadta get out for a while, first planet we stopped at.” He took another drink, attempting to swallow the lump that had mysteriously appeared in his throat.

Then, just as quickly, his good mood returned. “But that –” He stopped for a moment. “Ssh,” he whispered loudly. “Barkeep’s giving me a funny look.” He smiled hugely and waited until the offending person had turned away. “Better be quieter,” he said warningly. Then his face softened. “Oh, but that she is swai. Someone I can look up to. Literally!” He chuckled at his own joke. “And she makes me feel special.”

He sighed. “You know, I couldn’t’ve been all that sorry in her eyes,” he said thoughtfully. “First time she saved my life, on that job. Pushed me down, out of the way of trouble. I could feel her body all along mine …” His eyes unfocused. “It was hard, lying there, her on top of me …” He realised what he’d said and giggled. “I don’t mean hard … well, I do … sure she felt something … but all she did was wait for the shooting to stop and then pull me to my feet. I said thanks, tried to make her see I was real grateful, but she just walked away.” He sighed again. “Only now she’s mine, and we got the baby, all I have to wait to do is see what she decides on for a wedding.“ He stopped and thought about that sentence, then shrugged. “Just took me a hell of a long time to make her see what an amazing thing I had to offer her – me!”

He collapsed onto the bar top, almost hysterical, just as the woman herself walked into the bar, looking around.

He saw her first and tried to pull himself together, saying, “Ssh! Don’t let her know we’ve been talking about her!”

Zoe glanced around the room and finally saw Hank at the end of the bar, his arm draped around the shoulders of a marble statue of a naked woman, his face more than a little flushed, looking as if he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. She crossed the floor in long, easy strides.

“Hank, Mal’s been looking for you. He’s had word of a job – needs to get us off this rock before the hour’s out.” She leaned forward and caught a whiff of Hank’s beer-laden breath. “Oh my,” she said, waving a hand in front of her face. “Not sure it’d be safe to let you pilot a dog cart, let alone a spaceship.”

“I am fine,” Hank said with exaggerated care.

“Just don’t go breathing on Ben. I don’t want him drunk before his first birthday.”

“As if I would!” He sounded affronted.


He stood upright. Almost. “Me and my friend were just having an interesting conversation.” He patted the statue on the arm.

“That must have been worth hearing,” Zoe said, shaking her head.

“Damn good listener.” He grinned lopsidedly.

“Come on,” Zoe said firmly. “Let’s get you home. Looks like River’s gonna have to do your job ‘til you sober up.”

“Madam, I am as sober as a judge!” Hank insisted, stepping forward. He spoiled the effect by nearly falling, which he would have done if Zoe hadn’t caught him.

“Yeah, as long as that judge was three sheets to the wind.” She shook her head again, but couldn’t help the slight smile that creased her lips. “Come on. Time to get you home.”

“For you, anything,” Hank said, aiming a kiss at her cheek and missing by a mile.

“You know, I figured that out a long time back.“ She got her shoulders under his arm and supported him as they went to the door.

“Wait!” he cried suddenly, half-turning. “Barman, buy my friend whatever he wants!” he proclaimed, tossing a coin onto the bar. “Damn good listener. Damn good,” he repeated as Zoe manoeuvred him outside.

The barman looked at the end of the bar, seeing nothing but the statue he’d taken off some other drunken idiot in lieu of payment in a moment of misplaced sympathy, and shook his head. Just another fool in the depths of drink, he thought, pocketing the coin and going back to drying glasses.



You must log in to post comments.



Now and Then - a Christmas story
“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!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"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 ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
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!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
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!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
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!]