Crew, But Not - Epilogue
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

FINALLY! The final chapter, as the crew gets back to normal and Simon reflects a little on the adventure.



Inara docked her shuttle with the usual ease of any of her actions, but the turmoil inside came through only in her deep eyes. Kaylee came bounding up the stairs to meet her, planting a quick kiss to her cheek as she exclaimed:

“Oh, ‘Nara, I am glad you’re back!”

“So am I, mei mei,” said Inara. “But what on earth has gone on while I was gone? I got only the barest of messages.”

“Oh, lots,” said Kaylee with an exhalation. “You hungry? We’re just having lunch.”

“Assuming I get some answers from you during it,” said Inara with a slightly relieved laugh, “of course.” Nothing too terrible could have happened, she surmised.


“Will you read to me tonight?” asked River, nearly an hour after Zoe had left the infirmary.

“Read?” asked Simon, coming willingly out of his reverie as River suddenly became less distant.

“Soothing words, soothing voice,” she said, not quite looking him in the eye. “Remedy for nightmares,” she added in a low voice.

“Of course,” said Simon.

“Lunch first,” she said with a hint of a smile, her face losing any hint of worry.

Simon wasn’t sure if anyone had remembered lunch, but he and River went up to the kitchen and there found Inara and Kaylee.

“Hello, you two,” said Inara, smiling up at them.

“I didn’t know you were due back,” said Simon.

“Wash let me know once the trouble was over, and I was well ready to return,” she said. “Besides, you all had excitement without me—I had to find out as soon as possible.”

Simon nodded and left them, preparing his own and River’s lunch while the young women continued.

“So then, Wash stalled Serenity.”


“I know, it hurt, it really did. I told him not to fly fancy, but he did a barrel roll!”

“Surely not for no reason,” Inara said, always protective of everyone.

“Well, we were being shot at.”

“Kaylee! Why didn’t you tell me that first!”

Simon glanced over and saw Kaylee give a sheepish grin.

Inara laughed. “It’s all right—I know how you love her. What else?”

“Well, while I was fixing her, Cap’n and Zoe fought off the guards, and then Lady Tembriar called and fixed it all up, though not before Zoe got shot.”

Inara blinked. “She’s all right, I assume from your nonchalance?”

“Oh yeah, she got patched up real nice,” assured Kaylee. “Weren’t more than a shoulder wound anyway.”

Book wandered into the kitchen.

“Well, Shepherd, I hear I must thank you for your part in this fiasco,” said Inara, smiling up at him.

“Oh, we all ended up doing our parts,” he answered, a tinge of discomfort in his face, though whether from the Companion or the deceit no one could tell.

“I prayed,” spoke up River to Book.

“That’s very nice,” said Book, smiling at her.

Inara looked over her shoulder to look at River, and then turned back to Kaylee. “So, anything you forgot to tell me?”

“Oh!” said Kaylee, remembering something.

Inara tilted her head to one side, wondering what other disaster had befallen the crew.

“Simon wore a mustache.”

Inara laughed, and Simon, listening in from behind the counter, very deliberately paid attention to his food.


“You okay?” asked Mal as Zoe passed him in the hallway.

She glanced at her shoulder. “Fine, sir. Bullet came out cleanly.”

“That’s good,” acknowledged Mal, then stopped as Zoe gave him a look. “What?”

“Nothing, sir. Just thinking that I’m glad it was the doc and not you who was poking around in my good arm.”

“Yeah, well, so am I,” said Mal. “He did good today.”

“Lunch is going on,” said Zoe, looking back over her shoulder to the kitchen. “I need to relay to my husband the earful Kaylee gave me about his exploits.”

Mal nodded, and continued on into the kitchen. Kaylee was leaning over the table to where Inara was leaning on her elbows, listening with bright eyes, but Mal didn’t hear what was said to cause them suddenly to laugh. Inara was nearly overcome before she became aware of Mal’s presence.

“Hey,” said Mal. “Heard you were back.”

“And I heard about your near demise,” answered Inara, straightening up and brushing a stray hair behind her ear. “I was beginning to worry about my security deposit.”

“I’ll make sure to keep that in mind, next time I almost lose my ship,” answered Mal with a twisted grin. He continued on to the counter, grabbing a plate and some food almost at random. Glancing to the side, he saw Simon. “Doctor,” he said.

“Captain,” answered Simon, without looking up.

“Zoe says you did good,” said Mal, his eyes focused on pouring a drink.

“I’m glad to hear I was of service,” said Simon coolly.

“Yeah, well, it was the only thing that went good,” said Mal. “Not that things usually go good—told you that—but this one was a pile of—” He broke off, clearing his throat.

“So this won’t be typical,” said Simon.

“No,” said Mal shortly. “Well, yes, but not with the feds. Don’t usually have the feds. Try not to, actually.”

Simon nodded slowly, pretty sure he knew what the Captain was getting at. Mal stood for a moment, lip twitching nervously, then walked off to the table with his food.

Simon joined River in the alcove, pondering his choice to join this crew. For a few hours he had begun chastising himself for agreeing to the Captain’s ludicrous suggestion, exposing himself to more danger than any Alliance could pose among this crew, but now he was starting to understand that the danger was less overall. It just happened to be of the strangest kind. And as long as Simon could submit to wearing shepherd’s robes and fake moustaches, and as long as he could learn how to cook a basic meal, he might survive.

There was always River to worry about, but Simon reluctantly acknowledged to himself that he would never again be able to predict her reactions. One step at a time, that was all he could take on the path to her well being. So far River was surviving, and Simon had a feeling that he would too. They would stay, on this eccentric trip. He could only hope that the next job would be of the—how did the Captain like to put it? Ah yes, the “weak tea” variety. Surely they couldn’t all be so wild...


“All right, who took one of the chickens before we spaced them?”

So maybe it would be better to hold off on more permanent judgment, Simon thought.

“Can we eat it?”

The End

Author's Note: I offer my sincere apologies for the lateness of this last piece of my story. A car accident left me physically unable for several weeks, and the medications and therapy left me stranded mentally, knowing what had to be written but unable to actually write it. I also apologize for the shortness—as an epilogue, this was never meant to be longer than it is, but I wish I had more to offer after such a wait. Thank you to all who read and reviewed my story, and I hope you are satisfied by this ending!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:28 PM


First off, and most importantly, I'm glad to hear you're alive and well and on the road to recovery. That is the most important. Secondly, it's nice to see you writing again (although I had to re-read the series to familiarize myself with it again), and I hope you'll continue to write more in the future. I found your series to be a rare look at Simon and River's early days on the crew and their struggle to fit in. I enjoyed it very much. Best wishes towards your continued rehab.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 7:01 PM


It was a lovely, fitting end. Good to see you back to writing. But your health is definitely more important.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:05 AM


definite coause for celebrating - hope you are on the mend. as you know, i've really enjoyed this saga. the epilog was no let down - the last gag alone was great:)

Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:17 PM


Loved it! Found the epilogue today and swallowed the whole tale from start to finish in one giant gulp! It was such a good plot and the characters were true!Just lovely

Hope you are improving healthwise everyday!

Thanks for a great story


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Crew, But Not - Epilogue
FINALLY! The final chapter, as the crew gets back to normal and Simon reflects a little on the adventure.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 13
Lord Tembriar and men board Serenity, while the crew try to hold off until they can escape.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 12
Mal, Zoe, and Jayne come back to the ship while Book gets Wash and Kaylee, but they haven't escaped yet.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 11
Mal needs to escape, and the rest of the crew find themselves in sticky situation of their own, while River and Simon follow Book's plan.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 10
The job is turning out to be troublesome. What's up with Lord Tembriar, and what will the crew do about the incoming feds?

Crew, But Not - Chapter 9
Arriving on Greenleaf, Mal and co. go to finish the job, and Simon and River are left on the ship again.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 8
Things are both better and worse for the crew. Simon starts to wonder about River, worry about his duties on the ship, and what was in that cryo box anyway?

Crew, But Not - Chapter 7
Simon and River find something odd with the cargo, and Simon and Inara match their skills in a game of chess.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 6
Finally, a new chapter! The cargo comes aboard, and Simon starts creating patient profiles.

Crew, But Not - Chapter 5
Simon and River struggle to find their place in Serenity's crew. Mal and his team finally meet the client, while Wash and Kaylee spend some time with the new crewmembers and Book.