Big Blue -- Chapter 4
Thursday, August 28, 2008

A bit of fluff and a touch of drama. Allan is reunited with the crew and spends the holiday in a swanky hotel.


Big Blue Chapter 4

Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Allan. He's mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.

This story takes place almost three years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/Allan and Jayne/River. Follows immediately after Out to the Blue.

A/N: Kinda fluffy.... but ya know... it is a holiday story.

Thanks again Chris for the Beta.


Big Blue


Chapter Four – Yuletide


“Bao-bei?” Mal asked Inara as she cuddled in his lap.

“Mmm?” Inara mumbled as she gazed out at the stars. Mal and Inara were having another starlit picnic on the bridge.

“When were you gonna tell me about the baby?”

“After the funeral,” she replied, “I had just found out myself that morning. The confrontation with my mother ruined the plan”

“So doc knew?”

“Not even Simon.”


“Mal... home pregnancy test's have been available for hundreds of years.”


Inara giggled and snuggled in closer, “This will mean some changes.”

“I know,” Mal admitted, “Gotta get Kaylee busy on baby proofin the ship.”

“We do have about eight months before the baby comes. And nearly a year before we need to worry about any mischief from our child.”

Mal chuckled, “Bein our kid, mischief sounds bought' right.”

“Do you think the ship is the right environment to raise a child?” Inara asked.

“Zoë an Alisha turned out pretty well for growing up on a ship.”

“Oh yes, they both can both part a man's hair with a rifle at one hundred yards,” Inara said dryly.

“Zoë's closer to two hundred but Alisha's getting better...”


“Relax, Bao-bei,” Mal chuckled, “We can make it work.”

“Yes we will.”

“Ya know,” Mal mused, “I always figured Simon and Kaylee'd be the first ones on this boat to have a youngin... not us. Seem to practice enough.”

“I thought that as well. Especially the practice part,” Inara giggled.

“That mean we can't still practice?”

“We can practice until I'm too fat to do anything but waddle around the ship.”

“You may waddle but you'll be doin it with beauty an grace.”

“Shut up and kiss me, Mal.”

“Yes ma'am.”


“Mr Bryant?”

“Yes, George?” Allan replied to the bodyguard.

“There are some people here from the hotel. They have several boxes and a tree.”

“Excellent, show them in,” Allan replied.

Under the watchful eyes of his security team, Alan watched the hotel staff carefully set up the twelve foot douglas fir Christmas tree near the terrace doors. Once done, Allan requested that they leave their stepladder use later.

Moving back to the small table in the kitchenette, Allan continued to wrap Christmas presents. The biggest present was unable to be wrapped, since it was still in space.

Finishing his wrapping, Allan looked at his watch. Almost time.

As if on cue, George approached Allan, “Sir? Port control advises that Serenity is approaching high orbit.”

“Good, Have the ship directed to the Blue Sun pads.”

“I'll see to it sir... One question though.”

“What is it George?”

“Your guests... Two used to be on the most wanted list. Another two are former Browncoats. And you requested that they be allowed to keep their firearms?”

Allan laughed at the man. Composing himself, Allan apologized.

“Sorry George, I know you're looking out for my safety but I assure you, I'll be safer with my guests here than with all of the detail.”


“My guests are for all intents and purposes, my family. Besides, one of those Browncoats is my fiancé.”

“Oh... Sorry sir.”

“No problem George. No problem. Come on, I don't want to be late.”

“Very good sir.”


“How we doin Tross?” Mal asked his pilot.

“Three minutes from atmo, Capn',” River replied, “It will be good to see Allan again.”

“Specially for my first mate,” Mal chuckled, “Don't think I can tolerate much more o' her mopin.”

“Who's mopin, sir?” Zoë asked from the door.

“Uhh... Inara, she's mopin about the impending loss o' her figure.”

River snickered in the pilots seat.

“Right,” Zoë replied, “Wanna try that again?”

“Not particularly,” Mal replied sheepishly.

Zoë suddenly grinned, “It's okay, Capn'. I know I've been a kuh-ooh duh lao bao jurn the last week an a half.”

“I'd be the same way iffin Inara weren't around, Zoë. It's okay.”

“Allan'll be lucky I don't rip his clothes off on the damn ramp.”

“Better save it for the hotel, Zoë.”

“Hotel? What hotel?”

Oops, Mal thought, Might as well tell her.

“Allan set up a little Christmas surprise fer the crew. Gonna spend the holiday in some swanky hotel.”


“Hotel,” Mal finished, “Sorry Zoë, Allan wanted to surprise you.”

“If this hotel has a tub, I'll forgive him this time.”


Allan was dressed casually in Jeans and oxford shirt. His flight jacket on to ward off the winter chill. Sitting on the fender of the large limousine that shuttled him around, Allan's eyes searched the overcast skies searching for a familiar shape.

An odd shaped dot caught Allan's attention in the sky. Soon that dot became the welcome shape of Serenity.

The ship was coming in fast. Allan grinned as his security detail looked nervous. Allan knew it was just River showing off.

Sure enough, just as the old firefly got close to the ground, the engines flared and the ship's landing gear caressed the concrete pad. Moments later the engines spooled down and tucked up under the stub wings.

Allan slid off the fender and approached the ship. After a few minutes, the ramp began to lower.

Before the ramp was fully open, Allan found himself nearly tackled by a certain ship's first mate. Zoë's lips locked on Allan's before he could even start to say anything.

“Awww, ain't it romantic,” Kaylee gushed behind them.

“Creepifyin iffin you ask me,” Jayne chuckled, “Ow!” River elbowed him in the ribs.

After what seemed like five minutes, Allan and Zoë broke the kiss in need of air.

“Missed me huh?” Allan said behind his smile.

“Somthin along those lines,” Zoë replied, her smile matching Allan's.

“Ahem!” Mal cleared his throat behind the couple. Inara stood at his side.

“Sorry Mal,” Allan chuckled.

“Not's that I blame ya none, just, it's a might chilly out here and I don't want 'Nara ta come down with nothin in her condition.”

“Condition? Inara, you all right?” Allan asked suddenly concerned.

Inara giggled, “The condition Mal is referring to is my pregnancy.”

“Pregnancy?” Allan's eyes shot wide, “You mean?”

“I'm gonna be a daddy,” Mal beamed.

Allan's smile got even bigger, “Congratulations.”

Allan shook Mal's hand heartily and gave Inara a hug before turning to the whole group.

“You guys all packed?”

“We are Baby,” Zoë replied.

“Good, grab your stuff, we got a party to get ready for.”

Locking up the ship, the crew loaded their luggage into the limos trunk and then piled into the huge passenger compartment.

As the large vehicle pulled away from the ship and exited the Blue Sun complex. Two more limousines left from different gates as well. At the same time, a small shuttle took off. All heading in different directions. Security was being careful after the assassination attempt earlier in the week.


Even Inara was awed by the hotel. Over fifteen hundred feet tall on the outside, the building's atrium soared over nine hundred feet. The open space was so large. You could easily fly one Serenity's shuttles in the space.

Bellmen collected the crews baggage while Allan and the crew entered the grand lobby. Stopping at the desk, Allan obtained the key cards for the additional rooms and then led everyone to the lifts.

As they walked, Kaylee's eyes bugged out at all the building's finery. Pointing out various things that caught her attention.

After reaching the top floor, Allan directed the crew to their rooms. Suggesting that everyone freshen up before the party began. Mal and Inara had their own large suite next to Allan's. Kaylee and Simon's large room opened out on the glass enclosed rooftop swimming pool. As did the two rooms for Alisha, Jayne and River. Allan told them all to show up at his door in two hours... no sooner

Allan opened the large double doors and escorted Zoë into the main sitting room. She let out a low whistle.

“Nice digs... you been here all the time?”

“Yeah, kinda over the top for me, but the view is pretty nice.”

“Must have been a real hardship...”

“It was,” Allan said as he pulled Zoë into his arms, “You weren't here to share it with me.”

Allan grinned as he locked his gaze with Zoë's. Her eyes seemed to be smoldering with desire.

“This place got a bedroom somewhere?” Zoë purred.

“It's got two. One over there and the master is over... Eeeep!” Allan squeaked as Zoë dragged him by the arm in the direction of the master bedroom.

Allan thought maybe he should have told everyone three hours instead of two.


A little over an hour later, Allan and Zoë lay next to each other, basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking session. Zoë curled up to Allan's side with her head resting on his shoulder.

“Baby?” Zoë muttered as she began to regain her breath.


“What's with all the feds?”

“Oh... noticed that huh?”

“Kinda hard to miss near on a platoon o' bodyguards dear,” Zoë replied. A touch of sarcasm in her voice.

“Might have somethin to do with nearly being assassinated a few days ago...”

“What?” Zoë exclaimed as she sat up in the bed.

Allan sighed and looked Zoë in the eye, “Someone sent one of River's former classmates after me.”

“My god...”

“Killed one of my bodyguards, Nearly killed another and me... Thank god Simon taught me the safe word in case River ever got triggered... Thats how I stopped her.”

“River wasn't the only student at the Academy,” Allan continued, “And not the only psychic. From the records we've uncovered, there are at least six graduates somewhere. Well five now, the girl who tried to kill me is being held in a secure facility.”

“A girl?”

“Yep. about the same age as River. Was a near thing baby... a very near thing,” Allan shivered the the recollection.

Zoë crawled on top of Allan, doing her best to comfort her man. She could see that that even remembering it had unnerved him.

“How did you know she was from the Academy ?”

“When she walked by... it was her eyes... you know that look River gets when she's having a bad day? She gets that blank look on her face and her eyes go dull?”

“Uh, huh.”

“This girl had the same look on her face. Made the hair on my neck stand up. Then after the first shot, I knew. She dodged the shots coming her way. Not ten feet away and she was dodging shots. Five or six from Oso and at last two by me. All I could think of was the safe word.”

“Glad you're safe now Baby.”

“You ain't the only one,” Allan chuckled.

“Who's Oso?” Zoë asked.

“Head of my detail. Big guy... really big guy. Makes Jayne look like Simon.”

“That's a big fella.”

“Took a bullet for me. If not for his armor he'd a been dead.”

“Remind me to thank him for that.”

“I will,” Allan replied, “Now, enough of all this stuff. We got a party to host. Need to go get ready.”

'This dump got a bathtub?”

“Big enough to swim laps in,” Allan grinned.

“I knew I got engaged to you for a reason,” Zoë purred, “Wash my back for me?”

“I'll wash every part of you.”

“Thats what I wanted to hear.”


“What ya' think sweetie?” Kaylee asked Simon as they were dressing.

“About what Bao-bei?” Simon replied as he turned, “What is that on your head?”

“It's a Santa hat silly... it is Christmas ya' know.”

Simon steeped next to Kaylee, “It's perfect, just like you.”

“Lucky fer you there ain't any mistletoe in here... t'otherwise we might be late for the party.”

“Can't have that,” Simon replied just as he kissed Kaylee.

“Save it fer tonight sweetie, I mean to be usin all o' that huge bed,” Kaylee grinned, “Sides we will be late if we don't hurry it up.”


Allan and Zoë had finished dressing just before the first knock on the door. Simon and Kaylee were the first to arrive followed quickly by Mal and Inara. Alisha, Jayne and River arrived moments later.

Kaylee squealed with delight at the sight of the huge undecorated Christmas tree.

“Lights and decorations are in those boxes, Kaylee,” Allan said smiling, “I figured we all could pitch in on the decorating.”

As Kaylee, River and Alisha began pawing through the decorations, Allan stepped behind the bar and began playing bartender. Allan handed A beer to Simon And poured shots for Mal, Jayne and Zoë, Inara due to her pregnancy settled for a club soda.

“There any grub round here?” Jayne asked, “Gettin a might famished.”

“Food should be here in about fifteen minutes, Jayne,” Allan replied.

Inara sat on the sofa to supervise the decorating. Mal stepped to the wide windows to take in the view. Simon and Jayne were recruited to help with the decorating.

Zoë and Allan settled into a quiet happiness just being near each other. A few minutes later a soft knock was heard at the door. Seeing an opportunity to get away from decorating, Jayne announced that he would answer the door, expecting it to be the food.

Jayne opened the door and came face to chin with Ora “Oso” Tangaroa.

“Wu de tyen ah.” Jayne muttered, eyes wide at the Man mountain before him.

“You were right Baby,” Zoë stage whispered, “He does make Jayne look like Simon.”

“Oso, c'mon in,” Allan said, “Don't mind Jayne, he's just used to being the biggest fella in the room.”

“You must be Mr. Cobb,” Oso said in his rich baritone and offering the merc his hand, “Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“Uh, yeah... nice ta meet ya too,” Jayne replied slightly cowed.

“Everyone!” Allan said loudly, “Id like you to meet Lt. Ora Tangaroa. He's the head of my protective detail. Just call him Oso.”

A chorus of hellos' greeted the big man.. Turning to his principle, he spoke, “Food should be her in a minute Allan. All clear on the scans.”

“When are you off duty Oso?”

“Half an hour.”

“You're more than welcome to stay for a while after. I owe you at least that for catching that slug the other day.”

“Just doing my Job Allan,” Oso shrugged.

“What's this Allan?” Mal asked.

Allan sighed, “Someone tried to take me out the other day. Oso stopped a shot meant for me.”

That statement got everyones attention. After a round of questions, Allan told the crew the story of his close call.

“Seems like you and the PM have been rattlin some mighty powerful cages as of late,” Mal commented.

“Might say that Mal,” Allan replied, “There were seven Blue Hand teams left after the shindig at Durin's. The fleet or Alliance Intel has eliminated five of those teams so far. Two are still at large and there's the possibility that some of River's classmates are involved. The young woman who tried to kill me was an Academy graduate.”

“How did you know she was from the Acadamy , Allan?” Simon asked.

“Because she was able to dodge close quarters gunfire and the safe word put her out.”

River's eyes were wide. Memories came flooding back. Allan saw her distress.

“Sorry River, didn't want to drag up bad memories.”

River shook her head,“ It's okay Allan, what did she look like?”

“About your age, 5'5” tall, blond hair, athletic build...”

“Juliet Reed,” River said, cutting Allan off, “She was my roommate the first year. Before they started the... enhancements.” River shuddered.

Jayne wrapped his arms around River, “It's okay Baby girl.”

“She was my friend.”

The room fell silent.

Hotel staff arrived and efficiently set up the food service while the crew pondered on what Allan had told them.

“Come on everyone. It's Christmas Eve. This is supposed to be a time of happiness. I know I'm happy that you're all here.”

“You said it Baby,” Zoë said quietly.

“Gramps is right, this here's supposed to be a party,” Jayne bellowed, “Can't let all this grub go ta waste.”

Jayne's enthusiasm broke the dour mood. Faces began to smile and the crew of Serenity began to immerse themselves in the spirit of the season.

Outside, as if on cue, it began to snow.




Friday, August 29, 2008 2:16 AM


So the family is together for Christmas, just as it should be. I hope they get in some nice times before the goushi hits the fan, though, as I'm sure it will. It's fun that it's Mal and Inara who are the first to be parents on board - most tales have it be Simon and Kaylee. Maybe there's one out there with Jayne and River ...

Friday, August 29, 2008 4:21 AM


I feel bad for River and her friend... and at christmas.
Luckily the fluff chased most of the sadness away, good work.


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