The Sachem: Chapter 11
Monday, March 17, 2008

Post BDM; M/I, S/K; Continued From New Haven: Stepping backwards into the past, we view what went on before Mal, Zoe and Simon were captured. In this chapter, finally it's time to look for Jayne, but he might not want to be found.



Meilin cried from her new bassinet.

"Stay here with her." Mal, before Inara could even groan, left the bedroom to retrieve a bottle. The baby wailed, and she reached over the side and gathered the wiggly little thing resting in the bassinet lined with Mal's old quilt. The man being called father, had also tucked the stuffed buffalo into the bassinet and placed the teddy bear on the nightstand.

Sitting up, she held Meilin close, and adjusted the little cap. "You've got him trained in ten days. Impressive," dropping a kiss on the delicate forehead, she continued "little one." Pulling the warm sheets up, she draped them gently over her daughter, and waited for Mal to return whilst singing softly to mollify the baby. The nights were getting colder as winter was daring to sweep over the prairie, and even though the bassinet was a nice place for Meilin and the fireplace's heat rose to the second story, Inara was worried about her getting too cold at night. Keeping her in the middle of the bed would keep the infant warmer when winter came, as she would be in between their body heat.

"One bottle, for the papoose." Mal announced, shutting the door and getting in bed. Passing the bottle to Inara, he scooted close to her and allowed her to lean against him.

"She and the rest of the house thank you." the mother yawned as the crying ceased. "You're becoming quite good at this."

"Well, I only gotta work and take care of this ranch, keep everyone warm and fed. I have mountains of time to wake up every night and perfect the art of bottle making." He snarked back, slipping his good arm around her waist. "Baby first, right?"

"That appears to be your theory, because you have been doting on her." Inara told him with a wry chuckle. Taking her eyes off of Meilin, she absorbed his face, how he smiled just a second, just a sliver, though it was tired. He yawned, and kissed the side of her head before resting his own head against hers. It was newer form of intimate contact for them both. It wasn't spooning, kissing nor love making, it was simply resting against one another, enjoying shared space. Similar to what Kaylee and Simon specialized in. Inara smiled at it, pleased.

"Figure she deserves it." Mal finally confessed. "Snuggly little thing, don't cry unless she has a reason to." Reaching out with his other hand, he slipped it under the covers and gently cupped a booted foot. "Her beginning wasn't all that happy too, I'm making up for all that lost time." Pausing he gave a feigned grave expression. "Don't tell no one though, they'll think I've gone soft."

"Oh I think it's too late for that, Captain Reynolds. You're a father now, and your sordid reputation went out the window as soon as you claimed her as your own." She said it all chiefly in tongue-in-cheek, simply because he was rather worried about his reputation as an abhorrent crook.

"There's gotta be a way ta uphold my stature. Ain't gone completely lax." He pondered the thought. "I probably jus need ta eat a puppy.... huh..."

Inara rolled her eyes.

Mal switched the subject awkwardly. "You gonna be ok if Zoe, Simon and I take off for a few days?" Seeing the questions lining her eyes, he continued. "It's been ten days since Jayne left, he shoulda been back by now. I figgur we need to go look for the lout, make sure he ain't dead or just got too comfortable with whatever company he scored up there."

"I think River and Kaylee and I will be quite capable here on our own." Inara responded. "It's not like we're helpless damsels that need a man for every little thing. As from what I remember River is the all powerful one, the only thing we probably would worry about is the herd."

"I’ll leave a loaded piece for you just in case, also can have Colter come and check the ranch." The captain responded. "Heaven forbid you have to mar that purty skin in the sun chasin' beef."

"I know there's a heavy layer of irony in that remark, but it's greatly appreciated." Tailing off, she looked down at their daughter once more and let out a marveled tone. "Ten days old already."

"Regardless of the risk of sounding too soft, she's quite a peach for ten days old." The hand holding the foot moved up and petted Meilin's milk belly. It made her big brown eyes flutter open, and she gazed up at him as her mouth idled.

"Daddy's breaking your concentration, isn't he?" Inara cooed, gently brushing Mal's hand away and urging Meilin to finish her bottle. Sure enough, the babe started drinking again. Glancing at him, he just smirked, mainly at the word 'daddy'. It died though to a frown.

"How come you don't talk ta me like that?"

"Because, you're not adorable enough to warrant that particular tone of voice."

"You know, that hurts me." He feigned emotional injury before turning to the hungry baby. "You're mama's so insensitive."

"Er tai fu de yi-ge wang hai-dao nui-zai hun-xue." the new mother hummed back in near song. "She shi ji sha yi yi kaui-zi ri-qian."

Just before Mal could respond, their bedroom door opened. Both parents looking up as a willowy teen in a night gown that was cut off at the knee. River went over to the bed and curled up at the foot of it, her head resting on Malcolm's sheet covered feet as she watched they makeshift family from her vantage point with large eyes that had the color of fresh coffee.

"Um.... hi?" Mal uttered, curious, for River had been avoiding him since the whole cat fiasco. Other than the occasional solid, unnerving look that was only comparable to an owl watching a mouse. "Everything alright?"

"Sorry." She exhaled, tresses like dark midnight hiding most of her face as she picked at the comforter. "Sorry for putting a hole in you. Didn't really mean it, just got angry, defensive, bao-hu. Like you are with Meilin, I am with the brother felids.... I was also experiencing a premenstrual syndrome as well. I assume the altered hormone levels did not help my discernment." Reading Inara’s mind, as it very loudly stated ‘he was probably PMSing too’, the psychic stifled back a giggle and smiled up at her friend. Black locks rustling like a silken curtain in the movement of doing so.

Mal was slightly confused at the sudden comraderie between them, yet gave a reply. "I don't think I needed that graphic... but I accept your apology." He sighed, looking down at her, how she was curled up like a cat. "Just no more objects used as weapons, or.... anything of a generally violent nature. Threats are nice, I can handle threats."

"Ok." The dark brown eyes stared off into the distance.

Inara elbowed Malcolm as Meilin finished her bottle with a gurgle of the last bit of formula being sucked into her tiny maw.

Mal furrowed his brows at his girlfriend.

Inara gestured with her head towards River, dislodging the bottle from Meilin's suction powered lips, creating a little pop of noise like a seal being broken in the process.

He shook his head.

She mouthed a threat.

He rolled his eyes. "And.... I'm sorry too, Little Albatross. I was mean... well I wasn’t mean and yellin’ till you stabbed me…”

Inara arched a brow.

“But I was mean and insensitive... and.... a scat covered heathen."

Her eyes immediately focused shrewdly on him. Round and uncannily raptor like. "You're reluctant, but I'll take it. Not a scat covered heathen, just a little vapid and bullish sometimes."

"Well... thanks." He took Meilin from Inara and got out of bed. Taking a towel, he draped it over his shoulder before setting Meilin's round baby face there. With that, he began to pat her back firmly. "I suppose you heard your brother, Zoe and I are taking a field trip?"

Meilin let out the first of many unrefined burps.

The clairvoyant crawled up the length of the mattress and in turn Inara opened an arm up, allowing her to settle in. "I can protect everyone while you retrieve the Not Really Hero Of Canton."

"Can you reach him... you know....?"

The dark head shook as Inara combed out the wild black hair. "Too far away, too many obsticles, bodies, in front of him and in the way even if I could. Powerful, but not all powerful."


River shut her eyes and rested against Inara. It was so hard to sleep, especially while Simon was still gone, Kaylee's dreams were becoming extremely pornographic as well as incorporating various role playing and techniques. Things River didn't want to see her brother do, ever. In fact, two nights prior she had slept in the barn with her horse, who dreamt of rolling fields to race on. However, she was closer to Meilin right now, and gleaned off of her. Baby dreams were always soothing when they were happy, as happy infant dreams consisted of their mothers singing and everything looking fuzzy and warm. Yawning, with Meilin's dreams of a fuzzy but very friendly giant stuffed buffalo with a denim patch on his side filling her mind, she quickly drifted off to sleep.

As Meilin finished expelling gas and sighed contently, Mal turned, as he was walking in a circle, and saw what had happened. "Oh no... she can't..."

"Shh." Inara eased River's head onto a pillow "Have some compassion."

"What is this room? A hostel?" He whispered gruffly while taking Meilin over to the dresser to change her diaper.

"You know she doesn't sleep well."

As he got out all of the diaper related supplies, Mal checked the clock. Noticing the time, he let out a grumble of displeasure. "Well, I'm supposed ta get up in a awhile, no sense in going back to bed if I'm wide awake... guess she can sleep on my side."


Jayne, woke up blissfully happy.

He had no idea what the hell had happened during the past six days. First he had woken up plenty angry from being knocked out by Aveline. However, he was told he was not only at her home land, her tribe's village, but he was chief. They had let him bath, shave, get a rub down in fine scented oils and put on the customary chiefly wears, and now he sat in his long house every day, helping the town.

Plus, he and Aveline had finally hit it off.

Once he was chief, something had been said about him having a woman. If not a wife (because he didn't like the thought of that), then a doxy, because their belief was everyone needed the either half to feel whole, regardless if that either half was just temporary. Then all of a sudden, just before he was going to point to the one with the ample breasts, Aveline was his because custom was the woman chose the man (at least that's what he figured), and they got know one another very intimately.

And now it was day six.

As he lay in the chief's longhouse, trying to piece together his bizarre near week, he lay nude on a pile of furs and under a giant bearskin. She was next to him, still sleeping lightly. And the Hero of Canton rolled over to watch her. She was something else, a real spitfire all the way around. Including in bed.

Her peridot eyes opened, and she smirked. "Good morning, Sachem."

Reaching out, he fingered a lock of golden hair. "Yous look all purty... y'know... with the way the fire embers gloss your hair with light."

Giving a lazy smile to his not entirely cunning compliment, she reached and grabbed onto a powerful arm, pulling herself closer. Sitting up, she straddled his massive chest and sat there.

A wolfish smile swept across his face as he rumbled. "Well damn, woman, lemme wake up first b'fore ya put me through my paces. Startin' ta feel like I'm just a fun toy and window dressin'." His hands slid up and held her backside firmly.

"That's because you are." She drew teasing shapes on his chest, her fingers like soft butter against the rough curls of chest hair.

Jayne gave a befuddled face.

Aveline licked her lips, before sobering up to broach a serious topic. "The last chief, was my father. He died when they rounded me up and a dozen other girls. As a woman I have rights, but I can't be Sachem, that's a man's position. So, I either had to give the title to someone else, or I had to marry or pick a concubine so they could be Sachem and the royal lineage would still be considered in the family."

His face twisted even more. "So why'd the hell'd you pick me... wait... I'm your concubine? I thought it was the other way around?"

"Yes, you are. But... I chose you..." She became very bashful and meek. "Because every other man would take the appointment of Sachem and further ignore me and my leadership suggestions. But you don't know anything about our culture, so you're open to my sugestions. Plus, big hands... big feet...."

"Oh." He grinned lewdly as she writhed atop him suggestively. "So all that whoppin' me in the beginnin' was...?"

"No I really hated you back then."

"Wouldn't blame ya." Jayne pondered the thought. "So you really wanna be Sachem?"

Aveline shrugged her shoulders. "I thought I did, but now that you're my puppet Sachem, not so much. I do like leadership... I just think I would like it more when it wasn't hidden behind a giant muscley mouthpiece."

"How do ya know how to talk so articulate?" He twirled a lock of long hair around his finger, teasing the peak of her breast with the end of it.

"Was sent off to school in Tehatchepi till I was eighteen. The tribe was well integrated into their society before they turned on us."

"So uh... this whole time.... I've been like your sex slave/puppet fer the tribe or somethin?"

"Do you have a problem with that?" She asked gently.

Jane mulled it over, then shook his head within half a minute of said pondering. "Nope. I'm ok with it."


“Well sir, it truly wasn’t you most brilliant moment.” Zoe mentioned as they walked the horses to the house, Xin and Amos packed for the trip. “But I’m glad to here you and River made up. Was getting’ a touch worried there, she had that ‘kill you in your sleep’ mien for awhile.”

“All in one piece, big happy family, all we need to do is retrieve our wayward lout.” He tied Xin up, her yellow dun coat glowing gold in early morning light. “Reckon he’s holed up with some piece of tail.”

“I dunno.” The second in command voiced warily. “Jayne mighta had some fun, but he ain’t the type to be this late.”

“It seems you’re forgetting the job on Highgate when we ripped off blueprints for the Devonshire prison. “ Turning to face her, he set a hand on his hip. “Damn near got killed cause Rusk thought we were putting the job off fer too long to his liking. And why did I almost lose my tongue? Because that oversized barrel of testosterone was gone for five days playing Kama Sutra with a redhead he referred to as, and I quote, ‘Miss Perky’.”

“I do believe you have me there sir. But I still don’t believe he’s this late all ‘cause he met someone." She countered with her signiture amount of wisdom. "Did he meet someone? Reckon so unless the town’s nothin’ but men.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Might he have forgotten to drop a wave sayin’ he got the goods? If there’s a woman… perhaps… But this don’t sit right with me.”

“So you think he got himself in trouble?” He opened the front door and came in with her.

“That’s not too unbelievable.” Inara chirped in, coming over with a sack of rations for the trip. “Who knows, perhaps the Hero of Canton found another village to gain fame in.”

“Or he took the money and ran.” Zoe offered. “He’s not entirely attached to us. If he found a better deal I suspect Jayne’d move on. That’s how he joined up.”

“He wouldn’t.” River piped up as she poured her cat’s breakfast in a saucer. The cats practically howling in anticipation. “Been through too much now, Miranda, Shadow, settling; found a basic, crude Neanderthal level of loyalty and familiarity.”

“So Jayne’s either in trouble or havin’ sex?” Kaylee quizzed, she was holding Meilin who was sleeping soundly in a lavender colored outfit.

“Sounds right, don’t it.” Mal took the bag of rations and peered in to see the dehydrated soup, coffee, green tea, crackers and buffalo jerky. Slinging it over his shoulder, he gave Inara a hug. “Take care.” Kissing her cheek, he stepped forward to give River a hug, pressing a gun belt with a piece into her hand. “Only resort to violence when needed.” And finally hugged Kaylee and Meilin. “Don’t blow anything up.”

“I won’t.” She giggled. “When you pick up Simon you better take care of him.”

“I won’t garuntee anything but I’ll try. And you.” Looking down at Meilin as Zoe said her goodbyes. He stroked the top of her fuzzy head. “Be good and stay cute.”


Mal and Zoe chuckled.

On the horizon was Simon, his paint galloping towards them as the rider seemed more than eager to come along. As he met them, they shook their heads.

“A bit eager are we?” Mal quipped, giving an air of amusement.

“I’ve never wanted to kill an animal out of hate in all my life.” His head turned to make sure the giant dog hadn’t followed him.

***** ***** *****


Er tai fu de yi-ge wang hai-dao nui-zai hun-xue: And your father's an absurd pirate cowboy hybred

She shi ji sha yi yi kaui-zi ri-qian: Who was almost killed with a chopstick a few days ago

bao-hu: Protective ******

**As always, the writer appreciates all comments whether they be positive, negative, or suggestions.**



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