Into the Blue -- Chapter 9
Friday, July 18, 2008

The crew takes a little shore leave at the skyplex. Gabriel sends a message and an old acquaintance shows up


Into the Blue Chapter 9

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

This fic takes place just over two years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/OC and Jayne/River.

A/N: Sorry it took so long to get this chapter done. My muse took a couple of days off.

Thanks again Chris for the beta…

Into the Blue

Chapter Nine – Swords and potato skins

“I assure you Captain, I had no idea this Patience woman was involved with your delivery. I have heard of her of course but if I had any inkling of what was about to transpire I would never have sent you to Whitefall,” Sir Warrick Harrow said over the cortex.

“I know Sir, I just thought I'd inform ya as to what happened,” Mal replied. Sir Warrick had always been straight with Mal over the last few years, not to mention a good employer.

“Was anyone injured?” Sir Warrick inquired.

“Zoë was shot. Near lost her, she's doing better now, she should be up and around in a couple of days. Also lost our Hover Mule... damaged beyond repair.”

“I'm glad Ms. Washburn will be all right. I will of course pay the balance of the delivery fee as well as enough to replace your vehicle.”

“I appreciate that,” Mal said, “But I'm not sure when we're gonna be near Persephone.”

“Thats quite all right Captain, I can have the funds transferred to an account of your choosing whenever you wish.”

“Thank you Sir Warrick, Uh, what would you like for us to do with your cargo?”

“It has already been bought and paid for Captain. I imagine you can find someone who might make use of it?”

“Of course Sir,” Mal replied.

“That will be satisfactory Then, I trust we can still do business in the future?”

“I would like that Sir,” Mal replied.

Sir Warrick nodded once and cut the connection.

Mal leaned back in the pilots seat and rubbed his face. At least I can still sell the cargo somewhere. He thought. Mal's pondering was interrupted by the sounds of someone climbing the stairs to the bridge, Allan knocked as he entered.

“Hey Mal, got a sec?” the engineer asked.

“Sure Allan,” he replied, How's Zoë doin?”

“Complaining about Simon not letting her out of the infirmary until tomorrow.”

Mal laughed, “I can imagine, she never did like bein laid up, I'm not envying you for the next week or so.”

Allan chuckled himself, “Well, it will at least be a change of pace from her taking care of me the last few months.”

“True... What's on your mind Allan?”

'I was thinking back to something Inara said back on Persephone. I don't have any identification paperwork. I mean, not that I intend to have any legal run ins but you never know...” Allan trailed off.

“Been thinkin on that m'self,” Mal replied. Also need to get some sort a doctored ident's fer the Tam's as long as they're on the boat. Not gonna be cheap, but we can come up w' somthin.”

“Thanks Mal, I'll pay for whatever you think I need in that area.”

Mal nodded, “We're about thirty five hours out from the Wayborne Skyplex, I can probably find what we need there. Also give folks to get off and stretch their legs a bit. Even Simon and River's folks. Just need to disguise em' a bit.”

“That would be nice, they've been getting a pretty bad case of cabin fever the last week or so. Actually they have adapted pretty well. Considering that they haven't ever had to live like this in their lives.”

Mal chuckled, “Yeah, Havin servant's do everything for ya' all the time and then having to do it yerself can be a bit of a shock... Shouldda seen Simon the first few months he was here.”

“I can imagine,” Allan said.

Mal looked in thought for a moment, “You were a pretty wealthy feller back on Earth, but you don't seem to have any problem's doing things fer yourself.”

“I wasn't always rich Mal,” Allan replied, “Grew up on a farm, I earned every dollar I had. In the later years I had folks that worked for me, A security detail, a couple of housekeepers. Never had a butler or that other crap. Hell, I even mowed my own lawn.”

Mal nodded, “Right glad you're here Allan.”

“So am I Mal, so am I.”


Thirty four hours later, Allan sat wide eyed in the co -pilots chair, staring at the construct visible through the windows. It was a huge space station hanging stationary over an un-terriformed moon. The upper structure was covered in huge advertising screens and other signs in both Chinese and English.

“Wow,” Allan muttered.

River giggled from the pilots seat, “It is a bit overwhelming the first time you see it.”

“I guess,” Allan said, “It looks like a flying version of Times Square back on Earth.”

“Just watch yer wallet when you're out and about Allan,” Mal said from his perch behind River.

“I'm not going too far, Just picking up a few things for Zoë and then back to the ship.”

Mal Smiled, “You need some time off too ya know. We're gonna be here bout a day. I'm sure Simon will let Zoë out and about as long as you're with her and you take it easy. I was figuring on talking everyone out ta dinner tonight anyway. Be a nice change o' pace.”

“Sounds good Mal,” Allan agreed. River nodded as well.


Twenty minutes later, the ship had docked and the crew along with the Tam's had gathered in the bay. River was giggling at the disguise that her Father was wearing.

Inara had dyed his graying dark brown hair blond. Completing the makeover was a pair of jeans, a Hawaiian shirt and a borrowed hat from Jayne.

Reagan's hair had also been dyed, but in a very nice shade of auburn. She was wearing one of Inara's old companion dresses. Upon seeing his wife dressed like a companion, Gabriel's eyes nearly popped out of his skull.

The rest of the crew were in their dressier casual clothing. Everyone but the elder Tam's were armed but in an understated way, Sidearms for the men including Simon and a shoulder holster for River under her jacket while Zoë, arm still in a sling, had forgone her usual mare's leg for a small pistol she could shoot left handed.

The crew made their way off ship. Inara, also in one of her old companion dresses, escorting the elder Tam's while River and Jayne headed for the gun shop to pick up Ammo for the ship. Mal, Simon and Kaylee headed for the ship supply vendors leaving Zoë and Allan to do whatever they wanted for the next few hours.


“How are you doing?” Allan said as he and Zoë walked along the maze of booths and vendors on the station.

“I'm okay,” Zoë replied, “Just a little winded.”

“Thats to be expected. You lost a lot of blood Ai-ren.”

Zoë smiled, At least Allan was picking up the better Chinese phrases.

“Getting hungry?” Allan asked.

“A bit, there's nice food court on the top level. It's under a dome so you can see the stars. Used to love going up there with...” A cloud seemed to pass over Zoë's face as she paused.

“Wash?” Allan inquired.

“Yeah,” she answered.

Allan smiled and quickly pecked Zoë on the cheek, “It's okay, it's up to you if you want to go up there.”

“I do, I just feel like I'm comparing you two.”

Allan shook his head, “No, you're not. He was your husband. I have a feeling that if he were still around, me and Wash would probably be best friends.”

That made Zoë smile, “I think you're right about that. But I don't think if he was around he'd let you sleep with me.”

Allan laughed, “Most likely. Unless you guys were into threesomes,” Allan teased.

Zoë shot him a glare, then smacked Allan on the arm, “Got all the man I need right here.”

“I am so glad of that.”

“Me too.”

“Come on,” Allan said, “let's get some grub.”


Gabriel was nervous as he sat at the public cortex terminal, composing his message to his attorney / sister in law. Inara and Reagan stood behind him so no one could see what he was typing on the keyboard.


I am texting this message from a public terminal to keep the Alliance from tracking my movements. First let me assure you that Reagan and I are in good health. And we are quite aware of the warrants for our arrest.

I also want to assure you that we did not murder those men. They were agents of the Blue Sun corporation and were actually in the process of kidnapping Reagan and myself.

The men were killed by the people who prevented the kidnapping. I cannot identify them at this time but they are friends and also are acquaintances of S and R. They are safe as well.

As of this time I want you to execute your authority under our power of attorney agreement. I want you to temporarily take over the day to day running of Tam Securities & Investments. Don't let the board push you around. I only trust you with this task. This must be kept within the family. Please do what you can to fight the warrants. I feel that this is a ploy by Blue Sun to recapture R. This I cannot allow. We are safe for the moment and on the move. I will wave you again as soon as possible to check on your progress.

Thank you Gabriel

“Well dear?” Gabriel asked his wife.

“That should suffice honey,” She replied, “Clair will be able to work from that information.”

“I'm sure that the Alliance will be tracking the sources of incoming messages to anyone associated with you two,” Inara commented.

Gabriel nodded, “I know, but thanks to this...” he said as he removed a small device from the terminal, “They shouldn't know where it came from.”

“What is that dear?”

“A source scrambler,” He replied to his wife, “It will scramble the source address of the message... River made it,” he finished with some pride in his voice.

Inara smiled, “That girl is a wonder.”

“That she is Inara,” Gabriel replied.


“Oooh Jayne, Look at this,” River bubbled.

Jayne stomped over from the display case he was looking at in the gun shop to where River was almost bouncing.

“What is it Riv?” He asked.

“I want it,” She said simply, pointing to an object in the case in front of her.

Jayne's eyes narrowed, “A sword? You wanna gorram sword?”

River pouted and gazed at Jayne with her patented puppy dog eyes, “Please?”

Jayne's heart did a flip flop. He couldn't deny River anything when she looked at him like that. River could feel his resolve weaken. After a moment, Jayne motioned for the clerk. River beamed at her Fiancé.

“May I see the Katana?” River asked the clerk as he approached the couple.

“Certainly Miss,” He replied, “Take care with the edge, it's razor sharp.”

River nodded as she was handed the blade. Holding it in her right hand, she checked the balance which was excellent. Studying the blade with a practiced eye, River felt the sword was more than satisfactory for what she needed. Gently sliding the blade back into it's sheath, she handed it to the clerk.

“How much?” she asked sweetly.

“Five hundred credits.”

Jayne growled and stared at the small man.

“Um, four hundred?”

“Four hundred is an appropriate price for a sword that came from Earth that was. This is not that old, yet it is hand crafted...” River trailed off.

“Two fifty?” the clerk asked.

“Two hundred and I will take that dagger at full price,” River said sweetly.

“Deal,” the clerk said as he removed the dagger.

River quickly slung the sword across her back and slipped the dagger into the top of her right boot. Pulling out a wad of cash she paid the clerk.

“Baby girl? Where'd you get all the money?” Jayne asked as the clerk left to make change.

“Stole it.” she said simply.

A grin formed on Jayne's face, “Who from?”

“Patience, she didn't need it anymore. Allan didn't even see me take it.”

“That's my girl.”


“Kaylee, how much longer?” Mal grumped as he Simon pushed a cart full of parts across the corridor to another ship supplier.

“Last stop Capn'. Jus need a spare catalyzer and this shop has em.”

“We need one o' those?”

“Remember Simon's birthday a while back?” Kaylee replied.

“Get two,” Mal said quickly.


Zoë sat at a small table in the food court, a slight smile on her face as she scanned the crowds. While her arm was still a bit painful, she was more than willing to put up with the discomfort. The thought that she owed her life to Jayne was actually a bit amusing. She knew that on the way back to the ship, she was going to buy the merc a bottle of something good. Maybe scotch.

Zoë continued to look about the huge space. The food court was about a hundred meters across and roughly circular in shape. Various restaurant's and bar's lined the edges of the room while additional tables like the one she sat at were spread around the center between a few small ponds. Various potted plants and small trees also filled the space. Of course the transparent dome that formed the ceiling of the large room gave a wonderful view of the stars and the small un-terriformed moon that the station orbited.

Allan had left Zoë at the table while he had entered a nearby establishment called O'Leary's, saying that he was going to bring some pub food. Zoë didn't know what that meant but for Allan she'd try nearly anything.

Allan stood at the bar waiting for his order of two bacon cheeseburgers and a big plate of potato skins. My favorite comfort food. He thought to himself. As a layover for most of the ships in the area, the restaurants and bars on the station had real food. Even if it did come at a premium price.

As Allan waited for his order, absently watching the cortex screen behind the bar, a slightly short curvy redhead in a revealing dress slid up next to him. Allan quickly glanced at the woman and smiled politely. Nice rack. He thought before chiding himself. Good thing Zoë wasn't a reader like River was or he might be in trouble for that particular thought.

Turning his attention back to the cortex, Allan almost jumped when the redhead spoke.

“Come here often?” she drawled seductively.

“Nope,” Allan replied quickly, not moving his eyes from the screen. That's an original line. He chuckled to himself.

The woman touched his arm, Allan looked at her, noticing her green eyes.

“You here on a ship?” she asked.

“Maybe,” Allan replied, trying to avoid conversation. Zoë, even with one bad arm, would kick his ass all the way back to Earth if she thought he was flirting. Not that he was interested in another woman. Zoë was more than enough for Allan.

“Is it taking passengers,” the redhead asked, “I can pay passage.”

“Nope, not taking passengers.”

“I could stay in your bunk,” the woman almost whispered.

“Don't think my girl would appreciate that,” Allan replied.

“Don't matter, I like girls too,” she said, licking her lips.

The sudden image of Zoë and this redhead naked in bed flashed through Allan's head. Swallowing the sudden lump in his throat, Allan replied, “Tempting offer, but sorry.”

The waitress then approached with Allan's order. Thankful for the interruption, Allan quickly paid the bill, collected his drink order and walked out of the pub with his tray, heading back to Zoë.

Not to be spurned so quickly, the redhead followed Allan out into the food court, trailing him at a distance.

Allan reached his and Zoë's table and set down the food. Dropping heavily in the chair he sighed.

“What's wrong baby?” Zoë asked as she eyed the large glass of dark liquid with a foamy top in front of her, “And what the hell is this stuff?”

“It's called stout, It's a kind of beer. Very strong, you just sip it.”

Taking an experimental sip, Zoë was surprised, it wasn't all that bad. Looking back to Allan as he took swig himself and grabbed a potato skin off the plate, trailing melted cheese.

“Something bothering you?” she asked.

“Sort of. Should be flattered I guess. Some redhead tried to come on to me in the pub. Think she wanted passage off the station.”

“Came on to you huh?” Zoë said, her face stoic, while her eyes seemed to be laughing.

“Yep,” Allan said before biting into his burger.

“What did she say?”

“Asked if we were taking passengers, I told her no. Then she said she offered to stay in my bunk.”

Zoë's face was still impassive but Allan could tell she was a laughing inside, “I'm guessing you told her you was taken?”

“Yep,” Allan chuckled, “She said that didn't bother her. Said she likes girls too.”

Zoë's stoic face faltered and she began to snicker,” What'd you say then?”

Allan was grinning, “Said it was a tempting offer but no.”

“I wouldn't have minded that part,” Zoë said suddenly, straight faced.

Allan nearly dropped his glass as his eyes bugged out, “Huh.”

“Gotcha,” she giggled.

Allan rubbed his face and laughed, “You are so gonna get it later.”

“I'll hold you to that baby,” Zoë replied with a sultry smile.

Allan looked back up from his plate and froze as he looked over Zoë's shoulder, “Oh shit,” He whispered.

“What?” Zoë asked suddenly concerned.

“She followed me.”

Before Zoë could reply or Allan say anything else, the redhead dropped herself down into a chair next to the couple.

“Ain't you gonna introduce me to your girl... Tah mah de!” the redhead exclaimed. Smiling weakly, she continued, “Hiya Zoë”

Zoë puled her pistol and pointed it at the redhead.

“Hello Saffron.”



Saturday, July 19, 2008 12:29 AM


*Dies laughing*


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