Gorram Babysitter
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inspired by badkarma00's excellent River's Rules of Happily Ever After, here is another short ditty. Mal's laid up, and has to play babysitter. Short and sweet!


Gracie Cobb, you take that off your head and sit still. That‘s good food you’re playing with … well, it’s food anyways. Now you got soup in your hair, and … no, don’t start rubbing it in …

Tell you, this is the last time I get shot and end up being the gorram babysitter. And it was only a little wound, not enough for your Uncle Simon to get all gnarled up about. Not like I nearly died or anything. Well, not much.

And don’t you go telling your Ma I said gorram. She might be small, but she could make it real uncomfortable for me to sit down, I’ll tell you.

Okay, that’s better. Now just sit there and relax. No, I don’t wanna play with your doll. Gracie, that ain’t … I am captain, you know. Okay, okay. She can sit here with us. No, not on my … And you oughtta know by now that making those puppy-dog eyes at me don’t work. I’m a mean old man, and … Not the lip. Please, don’t do the … fine. On my lap’s fine. Yeah, she’s real pretty. Yeah, you are too.

Ain’t you in the least bit sleepy? You must be wanting a nap by now. I mean, you’re fed - though most of it did seem to go elsewhere, and I ain’t never gonna get that spot out of my favourite shirt - and you’re warm. You must be sleepy. The boys were always sleepy after lunch, when they were your age. Just ‘cause my beautiful wife took it into her head to take ‘em both off to go clothes shopping don’t mean they’re being allowed to play merry hell like you are. No, hell is not a place you can go. And I’d take it as a kindness if you never did. Not for the likes of you. Gracie, take your hair outta your mouth. Yeah, thanks for the offer, but I don’t really feel like eating it either. Your Ma should tie it back more. Shows off your face. Cao, but you look like her.

No, I’d rather you didn’t tell her I said that either.

You sure you ain’t sleepy? What? A story? I don’t know any, least none suitable for little girl ears. No, not gonna tell you the one about Reavers. And I already had words with my sons about that, scaring you like they did.

Okay, okay. Here. Dry your eyes. Ain’t nothing to be getting all tearful over. I swear, the women on this boat know how to use wiles on their men. It’s getting worse every day. I conjure there’s gonna come a time when no decision gets made without someone having a cry. Probably me.

Yeah, I know, pumpkin. A story. Just give me a moment to … I know. How about I tell you about your Ma and Pa’s rules? Twenty-one for her, twenty for him. But you gotta lie down and close your eyes. No, I ain’t going nowhere. Can’t, the way the doc’s got me all strapped up. No, Gracie, I ain’t gonna die. Yeah, I’m glad too.

It seems like a good long while since your Ma and Pa got hitched, that I can tell you. And the first few months were, well, volatile to say the least. Arguments, throwing things, threatening to leave … and that was just the rest of the crew. That pair, though … they just seemed to cruise through, making the rest of us feel more’n a little skittish, particularly as they didn’t seem to care exactly where they showed their feelings.

See, it was just about the time we found out we were expecting, and I reckon your Ma thought it’d be good if your Pa passed on the wealth of his knowledge. No, I ain't laughing. Honest. ‘Cause it turned out he had these rules he’d written, meant to make a man able to be a man in his own bunk, ‘cept I got to figuring it was more to make sure his wife wore the pants. Not that your Auntie don’t look good in pants. The way they cling to her, the way they frame her … No, I’m not going to sleep. I was just thinkin’. And it ain't good to poke a wounded man around the area of that there wound. Nor nowhere else, neither.

Anyway, your Pa handed his list over to me, and I read it, and I have to say a lot of it made sense. Kinda took my breath away, but it did. And I have to say it smoothed things out somewhat in my own life. Not that I’d ever admit it, a’course. But it made things easier when we found out the twins were on their way.

But the funniest part was when we all got drunk to celebrate the impending birth of my offspring, and Jayne admitted River had a list too. Got it out, showed it to us. Have to say, some of them explained a hell of a lot about your Ma and Pa, and how they look at things. Twenty ways for a woman to hold a man under her thumb, and make him grateful for it too. Your Uncle Simon fell off the chair, he was laughing so hard.

What? No, I ain't wrong. There were twenty items on that list. Number twenty-one got added a coupla years later, when I walked in on … they were … on the bridge … Yeah, that’s right, pumpkin. They were holding hands. Among other bits. Took us hours to get back on course. Kaylee had to move the com switch too, and that took forever ‘cause she was laughing so much, and I couldn’t look at that seat for … well, a long time. So I made your Ma add that to her list. I am captain, after all. And nine months later you came along, so I guess it wasn't so bad.

My rules? Yeah, I got some. Mostly about little girls taking a nap when they’re told. No, I’m not cross. Yes, I promise I’m not.

Look, why don’t you try and sleep? Just for a while? I’m gonna close my eyes for a spell, just to rest them. You try too, eh? Just for a little bit. Then maybe I’ll tell you all about Uncle Simon’s rules. They’re worth the wait …

A.N.: There may be others, particularly one from River's POV on the above incident, and if Bad keeps writing, so will I! Jane


Wednesday, February 20, 2008 3:57 AM


Well, I guess I'll have to keep writing, won't I? ROFL

I love it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 4:07 AM


ha ha! I must read the rest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:41 AM


HAHAHA!! Yep, that's Mal.

You did a great job of showing and not telling, by telling... umm... well you get the idea.

Well done!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 9:47 AM


I can just see Mal while I read this.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:54 PM


Poor Mal!

Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:28 AM


Gracie sounds like a handful. Appropriate considering her parentage! LOL

Monday, March 3, 2008 7:26 AM


Babysitting is the toughest job in the world... And it figures it'd take Mal getting shot to make him do it! Loved the pacing of this, had me chuckling all the way through.


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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!]

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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!]

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!]