Out to the black Chapter 7
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

After Dinner Blues


Out to the black Chapter 7

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. I’m just playing. No money being made.

This is my first Fan Fic ever. Constructive reviews are shiny.

This fic takes place two years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee and Mal/Inara along with a Jayne/River friendship.

Out to the black

Chapter Seven – After Dinner Blues

“That smells wonderful,” Inara said as she entered the galley, smiling to Allan as he stood behind the small stove, stirring something.

Allan smiled back, “Thanks Inara. What you smell is the seasoning on the chicken in the oven.”

“Damn, somthin’ smells good,” Jayne said as he entered the room. “Sure can tell that the Doc ain’t cookin.”

“Simon’s a bad cook huh?”

“Always comes out either smellin or tastin like crotch”

Inara gave Jayne a disgusted look as Zoë entered from the forward passageway.

“Sometimes both” Zoë said with a chuckle. “Man can nearly bring the dead back to life but can’t make toast to save his own life.”

“Culinary pursuits were not encouraged in the male’s of the Tam family.” River said entering. With a smirk on her face she added, “Simon could burn water.”

The room erupted in laughter. River glided over to the stove and looked at the pan Allan was stirring.

“Is that Hollandaise?”

“Mm-hmm” Allan mumbled.

“I love Hollandaise!” Screeched River. “I haven’t had it in years.”

“It’s my weakness,” Allan replied to the excited girl. “I think that if it was poured over engine parts I’d still eat it.” Allan finished with a chuckle.

Simon and Kaylee entered the room and made their way to the table. River winked at Allan and said, “Rapid oxidation of Hydrogen-Dioxide.

Allan tried not to laugh, Simon glared at his sister, the rest looked confused.

“River I do not burn water! It’s a physical impossibility” He fumed.

“Rapid whatsis?” Jayne asked.

Allan and River began laughing, Kaylee looked at Inara and Zoë wondering what was so funny as they were trying to hide smirks.

Allan stopped laughing for a moment and finished, “Rapid oxidation is fire…Hydrogen-Dioxide is the chemical name for water.”

“How come you’s knew that?”

“River and Simon aren’t the only geniuses on the ship Jayne” Allan said as he tapped his temple with a finger, grinning.

“Great, another ruttin brainiac” the big man grumbled.

Inara tried to change the subject a bit, “What degrees do you have Allan?”

Allan looked a bit embarrassed “A bunch actually,” he paused a moment. “Um, well let’s see. I have a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, Associates degrees in Aeronautical Engineering, Chemistry and Business Administration. And to top it off, a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics.”

Even Simon looked awed. Allan continued. “I also have a non current Paramedic Certification and I hold numerous pilot ratings.”

River smiled at Allan, “Smarter than me”

“Not so sure about that, Smarter than Simon maybe…” Allan trailed off trying hard not to laugh.

Jayne chortled out a huge laugh that rattled the dishes. “Got ya’ good there Doc”

Simon glared at Allan, Kaylee just giggled.

“Sorry Simon, you’re just an easy target. Blame your sister for egging me on.” Allan apologized. Changing the subject completely Allan continued, “Someone want to set the table? Foods almost done.”

Mal entered that galley and looked around at his laughing and joking crew as they set up for the evening meal. A small smile crossed his lips as he thought that it was nice to have things somewhat back to normal. Allan seemed like a breath of fresh air to the ship. Fresh air that had seemed to have been sucked out of the ship after the losses of Wash and Book.

Mal thought more about his guest as he sat in his usual place at the head of the table. Allan seemed to be a weird combination of Book’s wisdom, Wash’s humor, Simon or River’s brains and hard as it was to believe, Jayne’s shooting skills. Allan seemed to mesh with the crew so well. Mal wondered what would happen in a week’s time when they got back to Allan’s ship and he left Serenity. Mal found that he didn’t really want Allan to leave the ship. Mal pondered what he could say to make the older man stay, even if just for a while.

Allan interrupted Mal’s train of thought as he placed dinner on the table. “Okay folks dig in!”

The food went quickly as Serenity’s crew rarely had real foodstuffs. When real food was on the menu, it didn’t go to waste. Allan surprised them as well with desert. Especially Kaylee as Allan was nearly deafened by the squeal she cried out when he placed a large strawberry shortcake on the table.

Looking at all the contented faces around the table. Even Zoë had a smile on her face as Allan told stories of what Earth was like. Zoë in particular seemed to be watching Allan intently. “Yep”, Mal thought to himself. “I gotta figure out how to keep Allan on the crew…” Crew… Mal realized suddenly that he considered Allan crew. Not a guest or a passenger, but crew. After dinner he’d have to talk to Allan about that. “Must be getting soft in my old age” Mal thought chuckling to himself.

Zoë and Inara had volunteered to clean up after dinner. While they worked in the kitchen, Mal broke out some of Kaylee’s engine brew. Mal poured Allen a healthy slug. The rest of the crew seemed to have wandered off for the moment.

“What’s this?” Allan asked.

“I could say it was a fine after dinner Brandy but that’d be a bold faced lie” Mal laughed. “It’s some of Kaylee’s inter-engine fermentation system brew.”

“You mean miss sunshine and light make’s her own hooch?” Allan chuckled.

“Yep. This here is the finest of last weeks vintage.”

Allan took an experimental mouthful. Allan gasped. It felt like burning napalm going down his throat. “Wow,” He managed to croak out, “This stuff has some kick.”

Mal threw back a big gulp and winced. Looking at Allan, he jumped in with both feet.

“Have you taken much thought to what you’re gonna do once you get your ship up and runnin?”

“I honestly haven’t thought too much on it Mal. This is such a radical departure from what I had planned on. I’m not quite sure what my options are right now. I suppose I could find a quiet place to settle, stay out of everyone’s way. I can’t see it though. The boredom would drive me batty in a couple of months. And with the Alliance out there I couldn’t go blindly flying about. Probably end up in jail or dead in short order.”

“True enough,” Mal agreed. “Liance’ most likley’d put a missile up your Pi-gue... Saves on the paperwork.”

Allan knocked back another swig of Kaylee’s brew. Zoë and Inara had finished in the small kitchen and had joined the two men at the table. “I appreciate what you all have done for me but I don’t want to overstay my welcome either.” Allan finished.

“That’s kind of what I’m talking to here” Mal said looking to Zoë who nodded. “I’d like to offer you a place here on Serenity.”

“A place?”

“As a member o’ the crew” Mal continued. “You’d get ten percent o’ the take, room and board. The whole deal like everyone else.”

Allan was a bit stunned, “Uh, what would my duties be?”

”I was thinkin you’d be kind of a jack of all trades ‘round here” Mal said smiling “Since you’re an engineer by trade, Kaylee could use a hand from time to time. You got medical trainin’. Doc sure could use the backup.” Mal continued, “And havin another pilot around here might be helpful. That way River can go out stead of bein back on the ship. Her readin’ skills are mighty useful on jobs. You’re a damn fine cook and a pretty decent shot. I think you’d be a fine addition to Serenity.”

Allan looked down at his cup of brew, deep in thought. Bringing his eyes up he looked first to Mal who had a hopeful expression on his face. Moving his gaze to Inara, she smiled at him. Moving to Zoë, Allan was startled by the intense stare she was giving him, a slight grin noticeable on her normally stoic face.

“What about my ship?” Allan asked.

“I figure, once we get her up an runin’, there a few places we could leave it for safe keepin’. I’m thinkin Kaylee’s Daddy would be a good spot. Jonathan’s near on as good as his little girl for fixin stuff. Slip him one of them gold bar’s o’ yours and he’d be able to rebuild your ship from the ground up an give ya’ change back.” Mal finished with a smile.

“I’m not saying no” Allan said quietly, “But I’m not necessarily saying yes either. I mean it’s a fine offer, the pay is of no consequence to me anyway but I appreciate it. Truthfully I’m inclined to say yes but I need to think on some things. Can I give you my decision in the morning?”

Mal was visibly deflated but understood that this was a big decision. “Sure thing, probably be a good thing to sleep on it”

“Thanks Mal, if you’ll excuse me I think I’m four hundred years past due for a shower,” Allan said with a slight smile. “I think I need one. Then probably head for bed afterward.”

“Good enough Allan” Mal finished.


Allan made his way down to the dorms and his bunk. Grabbing a towel, some sweats and a t-shirt, Allan walked back toward the head across from the infirmary. Just before he opened the door he heard noise coming from inside. Suddenly realizing that the shower was occupied and that Kaylee and Simon were… Saving water so to speak. Smiling and shaking his head, Allan went back to his room. Depositing his sleeping clothes on the bed he made his way to the cargo bay. Upon entering he could hear someone working out on the weight bench.

“Hey there Gramps, Wanna do a set?”

“Hi Jayne, no thanks, maybe later”

“Capn’ offer you a job?”

Allan looked at the big man as he sat up and took a long drink from his water bottle.

“How did you know that?”

“Mal like’s you. Ya’ got skills and you got sand. You’s smart and can fly. Hell, ifn’ I was Capn’ I’d hire ya’ on”

“You’re not as stupid as you let on Jayne”

“Jest cause I’m not educated like you are don’t mean I’m dumb.”

“True enough” Allan said smiling. “What do you guys do for fun on the ship? I mean to keep from going stir crazy.”

“Well we play horseshoes here in the bay, or hoop ball. Some of us got’s hobbies, I do a lot a liftin, sometimes I drag out my guitar…”

“You play?” Allan asked cutting Jayne off.

“A bit. Nothin fancy like, just some simple songs.”

“I play too, helps me relax. Matter of fact I was about to dig one of my guitars out of my crates over there”

“You got more than one?”

“Yeah, got a nice acoustic, and a couple of electric ones as well.”

“What kinda music you play?” Jayne asked.

“Mostly 20th century Rock and Roll, a little Country and some Blues”

“Blues?” the big man perked up.

“You play Blues?’ Allan asked.

“Yep, care to play some?”

“I’d like that Jayne.”

“Be right back” the big man said as he quickly left the bay.

Allan pulled his well-worn Gibson acoustic out of its case. He’d left the strings loose so the neck wouldn’t bow. By the time Jayne had returned Allan had just started to tune the strings. Jayne hit a couple of notes so Allan could tune up. Then he handed across a small hip flask.

“This isn’t Kaylee’s engine hooch is it?” Allan asked warily.

“Nahh, Just some good old fashioned whisky.”

Allan took a swig and handed the flask back to Jayne. “Good stuff”

“That it is” the big man said, “Waddya wanna play?”

“Know any John Lee Hooker stuff?”

“Surely do.”

“All right, let’s do it,” Allan said with a big smile.

Serenity flew on into the Black, serenaded by the sounds of two guitars playing John Lee Hooker and BB King.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:15 AM


I'm liking Allan more and more. While I think Mal was perhaps a little quick to offer him a place on the crew, he would make a fine addition. And I'm smiling at the fact that none of us write Kaylee's inter-engine product as anything better than varnish remover ...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:32 AM


Thanks for the Comment's Jane. This is the first time I've ever done any writing like this. Comments keep my muse working.
Writing Mal is hard, A few authors make him too much of a hard ass sometimes. I'm writing him with a bit more humor and trying to show he's mellowed since Miranda. I'm sure Inara has helped in that department. True, it might be a bit quick but Like Mal, I'm making this up on the fly. I have a few Ideas where I want things to go but I'm not sure whats going happen until each chapter is done. I keep surprising myself.



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