Big Blue -- Chapter 5
Saturday, August 30, 2008

More holiday fluff. But there is something brewing...


Big Blue Chapter 5

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: Still more holiday fluff, but with a hint of coming conflict.

Thanks again Chris for the Beta.

Big Blue

Chapter Five – Yuletide – Part Two

The small amount of snow that had fallen Christmas Eve had melted by morning. Even after the revelations about the attempt on Allan's life, the holiday spirit prevailed. Serenity's family headed back to their respective rooms around midnight.

Allan and Zoë slept in a bit due to the fact that when they went to bed, sleep was the last thing on their minds.

Allan awoke first for a change and carefully slipped out of bed. Doing his best to not disturb Zoë. Slipping into some sweats, he quietly made his way to the spare bedroom in the suite where he had hidden all the presents he had bought for the crew. After about twenty minutes of work, placing packages around the tree, he was disturbed when he heard a noise behind him.

“What in the hell are you doin?” Zoë asked from the entrance to the maser bedroom. She was dressed only in one of Wash's old Hawaiian shirts.

“Playing Santa,” Allan replied with a grin.

Zoë stood in shock. She had never seen so many presents on a Christmas morning in her entire life, “How much did you spend?”

“Not enough,” Allan replied as he pulled his fiancé into his arms and placing a quick kiss on the tip of her nose.

“Can you really afford all this?”

Allan chuckled, “Baby... Since I took over Blue Sun last week. I suddenly became one of the richest men in the 'verse. I could buy everyone on the ship their own ship and not even notice.”

Zoë was having trouble comprehending Allan's sudden wealth. While he had been comfortable while on Serenity with the gold he had brought from Earth. Allan wasn't hugely rich. Realizing what the wealth meant, she looked Allan in the eye.

“You're leaving Serenity... Aren't you?”

“What makes you think that?”

“Allan, you have everything now... Why would you want to stay on the ship when you have all this,” She finished while indicating the huge hotel suite.

“This isn't home... You and Serenity are home. The crew is my family. Without Serenity or you, I'm just some lonely rich guy with nothing to do but get bitter at the 'verse.”

Zoë just looked at him.

“I know how much you love Serenity. How much you love Mal and the crew... even Jayne,” Allan finished with a slight grin.

Zoë Shot him a look, “Say again?”

“Serenity is your home and you're my home. This,” Allan said indicating the room, “is just a place to lay my head for a bit.”

“Do you know how much I love you?” Zoë asked her eyes just a bit moist. Allan was taken aback. Zoë rarely showed such emotion, even to him.

Pulling Zoë to him, Allan replied, “The same as I love you, baby,” The kiss seemed to last forever.

Parting after a bit, Allan noticed a bit of a twinkle of mischief in Zoë's eyes.

“So... What did ya get me for Christmas?”


“Wow!” Kaylee exclaimed as she and Simon walked through the door into Allan and Zoë's suite, “Look at all them prezzies!”

River giggled from her perch in Jayne's lap on the sofa. Mal and Inara chuckled from the love seat opposite the pilot and merc. Zoë grinned from where she sat in a large armchair.

Despite his protests, Alisha was helping Allan in the small kitchen, putting the finishing touches on breakfast. Allan had insisted on making his family's traditional Christmas morning breakfast of fried dough covered in maple syrup and powdered sugar. There was a huge plate of fruit as well including strawberries for Kaylee.

“Come and get it!” Allan called out as he removed the last piece of dough from the hot oil.

Everyone settled around the table in the suites dinning room while Alisha and Allan deposited the huge platter of dough on the table next to the fruit. There was also a big platter of sausage and bacon.

Inara eyed the light brown lumps, “What are these called Allan?”

“The French Canadian name is Gillette's,” Allan replied, “I grew up very near the Quebec border. Quite a bit of the Quebec cuisine migrated south. This is what my family had for breakfast every Christmas morning.”

“What's it made of?” Jayne asked, eying the plater as he heaped his plate full of sausage.

“It's deep fried bread dough. You dip it in the maple syrup and just eat it. You can put the powdered sugar on it if you want or just eat it with butter,” Allan replied as he helped himself to a generous helping of the dough.”

“My momma makes somthin like this,” Kaylee, said between mouthfuls, “Cept we used preserves on it. Maples kinda hard ta find.”

“Not kidding there, Kaylee. Took a bit of work to find that bottle. Seems the real stuff is only made on Harvest and Verbana nowadays.”

As the group ate, they fell back into the friendly banter they had always shared. Allan locked eyes with Zoë and grinned. This is what home was. Family around the table..


“Zoë? Would you consent to being my elf here as I hand stuff out?” Allan asked his fiancé.

A smirk came across Jayne's face as he imagined Zoë in an elf costume, “Ow!”

“Ain't got to be a reader to see whats goin through your head Cobb,” Zoë said after she had cuffed Jayne on the back of the head as she walked to Allan's side.

River glared at Jayne, “I saw it. Green isn't Zoë's color. Red perhaps.”

“Um,” the big man uttered.

“And if you're a good boy I might have something like that for your present later.”

Jayne grinned while Simon and Mal groaned. Alisha, Kaylee and Inara just giggled.

“Mei-mei, I didn't need that mental imagery, thank you very much,” Simon said with a shudder.

“Why Simon? I got a second outfit just like it for Kaylee.” River replied, her face blank.

Simon's jaw opened and closed several times but no noise came out. His eyes darting between Kaylee and his sister. Unable to keep serious faces River and Kaylee broke out laughing. Soon the whole crew joined them.

“Brat!” Simon called to his sister.

“Boob!” River called back, “You are such an easy mark.”

“Okay, okay,” Allan called, “Time to get this show on the road. Here Inara,” Allan said as he handed a box to her.

“This wasn't necessary Allan,” the former companion said.

“Nonsense, Inara. I got gifts for everyone. However if I had known about your pregnancy, I would have gotten some baby things.”

“Thank you Allan,” she replied as she carefully removed the wrapping paper, “Goodness!” Inara exclaimed as she saw what was in the package.

Inside was a beautifully hand crafted pewter and crystal tea service. It appeared to be very old.

“Allan, this is beautiful... Thank you.”

“It's from Russia on Earth, over five hundred years old,” Allan replied.

“This must have cost a fortune,” Inara replied.

“Don't worry on it, Inara.”

“What did I get?” Jayne asked like a kid on well... Christmas morning.

Allan handed the big man a small wrapped box while Zoë pulled out a much larger wrapped box. The big man's eyes bulged.

Opening the small box, Jayne found a box of fine Osiris cigars. A big grin on his face, Jayne moved to the large box. Impatiently ripping the paper off, Jayne found a box from a reputable leather shop. Opening it he found a Lambskin shearling jacket.

“That should be a bit warmer than that old army jacket you have Jayne,” Allan said with a grin.

“This is shiny, Allan. Thanks”

Allan stood and grabbed a large oblong box that appeared to have some weight. He set it in front of River. Her eyes got wide.

“No peekin up here,” Allan said as he pointed to his temple. River stuck her tongue out.

Rapidly ripping the paper from the package, River found a large hard sided guitar case, flipping the latches open she tried not to squeal with glee. Inside lay a brand new, black Les Paul replica electric guitar.

“The amplifier is going to be delivered to the ship before we leave. Now you won't have to borrow mine when we jam.”

“Thank you, Allan,” River gushed as she gave the older man a hug.

“Here Mal,” Allan said as he handed the captain his package. Opening it slowly, A slight grin came across Mal's face. Inara was surprised by what she saw. Mal slowly removed the old book from the box, careful of the leather.

“The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and other literary works,” Mal said out loud as he read the title.

“I know you hide it well Ma., But I know you love old books.”

“Thanks, Allan.”

“Here you go Kaylee,” Zoë said as she handed the mechanic a wrapped box.

Opening the package Kaylee squealed as she saw the brand new portable diagnostic computer contained within.

“Allan, I been wantin one o' these forever,” she gushed as she quickly stood and strode to Allan. Giving him a kiss on the cheek.

“It's got all the tech specifications for the 03 Firefly in the database,” Allan said smiling as he handed a similarly sized package to Simon.

With a reserved nod, Simon opened the package and gasped at what lay within. The latest model portable medical scanner. The small device was capable of analyzing blood and tissue samples, image any body structure and even recommend a treatment from it's database.

“Allan... I don't know what to say.”

“You need it, Simon. Gotta keep us all healthy. It will even do sonograms. Might come in handy with Inara in the family way.”

“It will at that. Thank you, Allan.”

“Not to be left out,” Allan replied as he handed two small boxes to Alisha.

“You didn't need to, Allan,” she replied.

“Gotta give my soon to be sister in law something.”

Opening the first box she found a recipe book. She looked confused at the title.

“Recipes that were?” She asked.

“Look at the author,” Allan replied.

“Evelin Bryant?”

“Those are all of my Grandmothers recipes. I scanned her notes before I left home. I just had them printed out for you and bound in book form.”

“Thank you Allan,” she replied. Opening the second box, she looked at Allan strangely.

“If you're gonna be on Serenity, you need your own,” Zoë replied, “Thats from both of us.”

Alisha nodded and gave a smile as she removed a brand new automatic pistol from the box. It was identical to the firearm River carried right down to the convertible holster.

“Thanks... Both of you.”

“What are the rest of those?” Mal asked, pointing to a large stack of packages.

“There's one for everyone,” Allan replied. Checking names Allan handed a box to every member of the crew. He took one for himself as well.

Upon opening the boxes, everyone was surprised to find identical dark brown leather flight jackets. On each shoulder was an embroidered patch with Serenity's logo in bright colors. Each jacket had a name patch on the left breast with the crew members name and title.

Kaylee's had the title chief engineer with crossed wrenches. Jayne's said security with a pair of crossed rifles. Mal, Zoë and River's name badges all had pilots wings and their titles of captain, first mate and chief pilot. Inara's had wings as well. Her title of ambassador/shuttle pilot done in gold instead of the silver for the rest of the crew. Allan's said pilot/engineer. Simon's name tag had a caduceus and the title of ships doctor while Alisha's said morale officer with a crossed fork and spoon.

“What's all these for Allan,” Mal asked, “Almost like a uniform.”

“Not quite, Mal,” Allan replied, “More like ships pride. You see, with the government admitting to Miranda all the details are coming out, including who sent the wave. Serenity and her crew are about to become rather famous.”


“Gonna be hard for us to get any smugglin work iffin we're famous,” Jayne commented.

“Even the legit stuff may dry up,” Mal said, “I don't wanna be famous. Can't fuel the ship and feed the crew on fame.”

“Out of may hands, Mal,” Allan replied, “But there is a plus side.”

“What's that?”

“You won't have to smuggle anymore. Or fight for cargoes.”

“Why is that exactly?”

“Because, I want to hire Serenity on a long term open ended charter. Fifty thousand credits a month... plus expenses,” Allan replied with a smirk.

“How much?” Mal asked disbelieving.

“Fifty grand a month.”

Everyone was stunned into silence.

“What, do we have to do for that kinda money?” Mal finally asked when he found his voice.

“Cart my ass all over the 'verse,” Allan chuckled.

“Say again?” Mal asked, not sure he was hearing things right.

Allan took a deep breath, “Zoë doesn't want to leave Serenity. Neither do I. I'm setting it up so Durin and Mrs Chang will run the day to day operations of Blue Sun. I will still make the final decisions for major things but I won't have to run things every day. That's the way I ran Blue Sun on Earth. With a board I can trust. I can do it.”

“So what will you be doing in the interim, Allan?” Inara asked.

“Other than the fact we have four weddings to get out of the way over the next few months,” Allan chuckled, “I'll need to visit Blue Sun's facilities all over the system. Show the flag so to speak. Keep the regional managers in line and make sure nothing like Miranda or the Academy ever happens again.”

“Also,” Allan continued, “Once the weddings are over. I'm paying for a complete overhaul of Serenity while everyones on their honeymoons. Which I'm paying for as well,” Allan finished with a grin.

“Overhaul?” Kaylee and Mal said in unison.

“Primary buffer panel to the aft RCS pod,” Allan replied, “All new avionics, fresh reactor core, rebuild the main engine, new VTOL pods... the works. Even new appliances in the Galley for Alisha.”

Allan looked at Simon, “Infirmary's gonna get all the latest shipboard medical systems. State of the art.”

“Money sounds good,” Jayne commented breaking the silence, “But seems like things might get just a might borin without some smugglin ta keep us busy.”

“Still might be less than boring Jayne,” Zoë spoke up. “My man here still has someone wantin to end him.”

“And I'm not going to have a platoon of feds watching my door forever. Matter of fact, My detail is going to be reduced some time in the near future. I don't trust anyone in corporate security yet since that division ran the Blue Hands,” Allan said earnestly.

“So that leaves us,” Mal said quietly, “Not rightly sure I want a target painted on Serenity now that Inara and me are expectin... No offense Allan.”

“I appreciate that, Mal,” Allan replied, “It's not like Serenity's gonna be a sitting duck. If you say yes, I want to install some defensive systems on Serenity before we leave for Deadwood.”

“What kind of systems?”

“A jammer, chaff n' flare launcher... and a cluster canister.”

“A cluster what?” Mal asked.

“Cluster canister,” Allan replied, “It's like a big shotgun for Serenity's aft end. If a missile gets too close, we shoot off the canister and the missile runs into a big cloud of tungsten ball bearings.”

“How many shots?” Zoë asked.

“Twelve,” Allan said shooting her a smile, “But it can be reloaded EVA.”

A small grin came across Mal's face, “Sounds like you got it all figgered out.”

“I am a genius, you know,” Allan said with a grin.

The room dissolved in laughter.


“You sure she's there?” The man said to his partner.

“I can sees her right now,” the other man replied, eyes still glued to the electronic binoculars he was using to peer through the windows of Allan's suite. The lights were off in the small apartment located in a tall building across the street from the hotel

“Sure it's her?”

“I'm sure. The other bounty is there too. The brother.”

“I'm not sure about this. The warrant's disappeared two years ago. Then all a sudden we get a message sayin that someone wants the Tam's again and then tells us where to find em'. Seems like too much of a set up if ya ask me.”

“I'm not asking you, idiot,” the man on the optics replied, “Half a mill each is plenty to keep from askin too many questions.”

“I dunno, them blue handed fellas are creepy.”

“Agree with ya there but they're the client so we go pick up the goods.”

“How you wanna play it?”

“Security's pretty good, I figure, we put some sleep gas in the air handling units after they all head for bed. Once the guards are nappin, we go in, grab the Tams and skedaddle.”

“Simple... Just the way I like it.”

“Me too.”


The crew gathered around a huge Christmas dinner. As the crew ate their fill, the usual banter filled the room with happiness. As everyone was finishing up, before the desert came out, Allan raised his glass.

“My friends... a toast,” Allan said.

When he had everyones attention, Allan began, “On this wonderful holiday I felt I needed to say a few words,” Allan smiled and continued, “To my mind, a year ago, I was a lonely, slightly bitter man in the midst of preparing to leave on a great adventure. I knew I faced peril and even death. However if I had stayed on Earth, death would have found me anyway... So I said, what the hell.”

Everyone chuckled at the comment.

Taking a breath, Allan continued speaking, “Through an accident of fate, divine interference or whatever... I slept not one hundred years but four hundred. I found not an untamed wilderness but a thriving yet tarnished society. And I also found the one thing I did not expect... A family. Not just any family. A family that started as strangers to each other and yet grew to become one. A family that accepted an outsider like myself into their fold without trepidation. I found something else,” Allan said as he looked at Zoë, “I found the other thing I never thought I would find... the love of my life. The woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. A lot can happen to a man in a year. Thank you all.”

Allan looked at his friends, Kaylee and River looked like they might sniffle, Inara, Zoë and Alisha had warm smiles on their faces. Mal just smiled and gave a nod. Jayne did his best to look bored but wasn't fooling anyone.

Mal raised his glass and spoke, “To Allan, The best man I've ever run across with my ship... literally,” Mal finished with a goofy grin.

“Hear hear,” everyone chorused.

Allan sat back down and smiled at Zoë. A smile on her own face, Zoë placed her hand over Allan's a mouthed the words, “I love you.”

Allan replied in kind and suddenly realized the time.

“Uh, Alisha?”

“Yes, Allan?”

“You've got about an hour to get ready.”

“Get ready for what?” she asked confused.

“Slipped my mind completely... must be getting senile in my old age,” Allan said chuckling, “Seems a friend of yours is coming by to show you the sights of New London.”

“A 'friend'?”

Everyone was looking at Allan strangely... Except for Zoë, she was in on the slight joke being played on her sister.

“Yeah, some hotshot fed, goes by the name of Reggie...”

“Reggie?” Alisha squeaked.

“You know the guy sissy,” Zoë, said, “Red hair, nice uniform, kissed you goodnight back on Belepheron...”

“How did... Why I oughtta... I... Gorramit, Zoë. Good thing you're my sister,” Alisha huffed.

“Go get ready, Sissy,” Zoë chuckled, “Have a good time.”

The rest of the group had a good laugh at the expense of their newest crewmate.

Allan sat back in his chair and smiled. “Yep, we're a family.”



Sunday, August 31, 2008 2:44 AM


Aww, even with the impending attack I've got a big smile from this chapter.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:48 PM


A good, old-fashioned, family Christmas. But what exactly will the crew do now? I mean, I know Allan is going to be hiring them, but Mal never has really liked to be in one place all the time. Just have to wait and see, I know!


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