Birthday - Chapter 6
Saturday, January 3, 2009

The fight over, Allan is returned to Serenity, Niska tries to escape and it looks like two new crew members are on the way.


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


This story takes place nearly four years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/Allan and Jayne/River. Follows after Big Blue.


A/N: Warning for some four letter words... Swearing if you will.

Thanks again Chris for the Beta.




Chapter Six


With a solid jolt, Niska's life pod struck the hard ground. The gangster opened the hatch and promptly vomited. His stomach hadn't liked the ride under a wildly swinging parachute.

After rinsing his mouth with some of the water in the survival pack, the old man stood, shielding his eyes against the harsh sunlight on this mostly desert world.

The vista was sand, sand and more sand. Punctuated by the odd outcropping of rock. Shedding his suit coat in the heat, Niska sat down on the hull of the pod to collect his thoughts and weigh his options.

There was a settlement visible in the far distance, perhaps eight miles away. He had seen it through the small view port during his decent. If he waited for nightfall, it would be cool enough to try and reach it. Niska was smart enough to know that traveling any distance on this world was suicide in daylight.

Niska had disabled the homing beacon on the pod during his decent. To find him, the Alliance would have to do it the hard way... look.

Pulling out some of the survival supplies, Niska set up a sun shelter, undid his tie and settled himself in to wait. It was only five hours until nightfall. Then he could make his move. He was a patient man when he needed to be.

For entertainment, Niska reviewed in his mind all the things he would do to Malcolm Reynolds when he got his hands on him again.


Mal and Zoe gently set Allan on the exam bed in Serenity's infirmary. With Zoe's help, Simon removed the shirt Allan had thrown on hastily. Clucking his tongue, the young doctor ran the new scanner Allan had given him for Christmas over the engineer's body.

“Three broken ribs, bruised kidney, numerous bruises, Index and middle fingers broken on the left hand...” Simon trailed off, cataloging Allan's injuries.

“Don't forget a couple of loose teeth and this wonderful shiner I'm no doubt sporting, “ Allan said followed by a grunt when Simon probed a particularly tender spot.


“It's okay,” Allan smiled.

“How is he Doc?” Zoe asked anxiously.

Simon looked at Zoe and smiled, “Not bad considering. Allan will be sore for a week or so. The swelling in his face will go down in a day or two.”

Zoe's shoulders slumped in relief, “Thank you Simon.”

“No problem. But now I need you to all get out of here while I tape up Allan's ribs and set his fingers.”

Mal began to protest but then agreed. Zoe began to open her mouth as well but Simon cut her off.

“You can stay Zoe,” Simon replied smiling, “But the rest of you have to wait outside.”

Mal nodded and herded River, Jayne and Reggie out of the small room, closing the door.

“Allan, I'm going to set your fingers first. It will be very painful. I can't give you any pain killers until I'm done. I'm sorry.”

“I know, Simon. Just get it over with.”

Allan looked into his wife's eyes. Her gaze never flinched as she held his good hand. Allan squeezed back, “Okay... I'm ready.”

Allan screamed when Simon reset his broken fingers. It actually hurt worse than when Niska broke them.

Zoe wiped away the tears on Allan's face while Simon splinted the digits. Allan was deep breathing, doing his best to work through the pain.

“All done,” Simon said quietly, “Now I just need to tape up those ribs. Fortunately that won't be as painful.”

“Glad to hear that,” Allan said through clenched teeth.

Zoe leaned down and kissed Allan deeply. At that moment Serenity lurched slightly as River undocked from the Skyplex. Zoe felt Allan's grin.

“Did the ground just move for you too?”

“We're in space dear,” Zoe grinned back, her lips millimeters from Allan's.

“I was being metaphorical.”

“In that case... yes.”

Simon rolled his eyes and pressed his hypo spray against Allan's shoulder, “I'm done. Zoe, you can take him to your bunk. No, and I mean no strenuous activity for at least five days.”

“Simon...” Allan trailed off.

“No sex.” the Doctor said firmly, “Also, take it easy on the food intake for the first six hours or so. But drink plenty of water, you're quite dehydrated, Allan.”

“Okay, Simon,” Allan replied.

“Come on Baby,” Zoe said as she helped Allan sit up, “Lets get you some clean clothes.”


After donning some sweats and a t-shirt, Allan stiffly stepped onto Serenity's bridge, Zoe just behind him. River stood quickly from the controls and hugged Allan, “Glad you're back.”

“Same Kiddo...” Allan paused for a moment, “Thank you River. That son of a bitch was a millisecond from cutting my throat...” Allan suddenly choked up.

“My pleasure Da-shu. You have saved me many times. Had to return the favor.”

“Still, Thank you.”

River beamed as Allan kissed the top of the young womans head.

“Don't be goin kissin on my girl there, Gramps,” Jayne said with a friendly chuckle.

“I suppose I could let you plant one on Zoe to make things even...”

“No!” Zoe and River said in unison

Allan began to laugh but then grimaced as his ribs reminded him about their presence.


“What's next Sir?” Zoe asked the Captain.

“Capn' o' the Hong Kong told us to back off a bit, seems his gunners are needin a bit o' target practice...”

The Alliance Destroyer had backed off as well. Suddenly the white flash of a particle beam jumped from the warship, severing the lower reactor section from the rest of the structure.

Lasers danced all over the Skyplex's hull. While invisible, the beam's handy work was very plain to see as glowing path's of molten metal appeared where the lasers touched. Large chunks of the space station were cut completely away.

“Nice light show,” Oso said from his spot at the rear of the bridge. Marion and Reggie just grinned.

Missiles flashed across the space between the Hong Kong and the Skyplex. Soon, all that was left of Niska's headquarters was a slowly expanding cloud of debris.

“Well, that takes care of that,” Mal commented from his seat at the co-pilot's station. The Captain rose to his feet, “Sorry Allan, I'm in your chair.”

“Can't fly at the moment Mal.”

“Still your chair. Besides, I'm thinkin you need to sit down a spell.”

Allan smiled, “Thanks.”

As the older man sat down and Zoe moved behind him, Mal turned to his pilot.

“Tross, let's go find that tamade hundan, Niska.”

“Aye, aye Captain,”

Mal turned to the fed standing behind him, “Might be a while before we can get you back over to the Hong Kong, Oso”

“No problem captain. Orders from the PM. I'm assigned as Allan's bodyguard again until he hires his own. I guess I'm here for a while.”



The sun had just set and the temperature was declining rapidly. Niska uncomfortably slung the small survival pack over his shoulder and began walking. Cursing the dress shoes he wore as they gave little traction on the sand.

He had only walked a mile or so towards the glow on the horizon that signified the settlement he was heading for. Niska tripped for about the tenth time in the twilight, cursing in Czech, Chinese and English, he struggled to regain his feet.

“Need a hand?” said a woman's voice.

Already exhausted, Niska didn't question the offered help, until he stood up and saw the face of the woman who helped him up in the dim light. Due to it's primary, Ezra never got truly dark at night. There was enough light to see faces.

“Čubčí syn,” Niska said his eyes widening with recognition.

“Long time, no see Niska,” Zoe said coldly.

The old man tried to reach for the small gun in his pocket. Zoe batted it away into the sand.

Niska dove for the weapon, desperate to grab it but just as his hands got near the pistol. A small booted foot, ground the gun into the sand.

“Naughty, naughty. No guns. Niska has been a bad boy,” River chirped.

Niska struggled to his feet.

“I... I can pay you... make you all very wealthy, yes?”

Allan stepped into view, standing up straight despite the pain he was in. Oso standing by his side just in case, “Not much incentive Adeli,” The engineer smirked, “I'm the President and CEO of Blue Sun. I can buy and sell you ten times over.”

“We can come to an arraignment... yes?”

“No,” Zoe whispered just before her fist connected with Niska's jaw.

Niska staggered, colliding with Jayne. The big man shoved Niska back at Zoe. She hit the old man again, dropping him to his knees. Zoe kicked Niska in the ribs.

He cried out as he felt ribs snap. Niska raised his hand, “Mercy.. please...”

“Mercy? You're asking us for mercy?” Zoe snarled as she kicked the gangster again.


Zoe was kicking Niska mercilessly as the old man tried to crawl away, “After what you did to Wash? Allan? The Captain...”

Niska curled up in a ball, trying to protect himself.

“Baby...” Allan said.

Zoe kicked Niska again.

“Zoe!” Allan yelled. Breaking his wife's focus.


Allan placed his injured hand on Zoe's arm, “Don't bring yourself down to his level,” he said quietly, ignoring the throbbing in his hand from the contact.

Niska lay in the sand whimpering.

“Just end it,” Allan finished as he drew his Colt and handed it to Zoe.

“No!” screamed Niska.

“Yes,” Zoe replied as she pulled the trigger.

Niska was dead. “What're we gonna do with him?” Jayne asked.

“Leave 'im for the buzzards,” Mal said quietly.

Slowly, the group turned and began walking to where the hover truck was parked behind a small rise. Allan painfully hoisted himself into the front passenger seat while Mal got behind the wheel. Zoe and River got in the rear seat while, Jayne, Oso, Reggie and Marion climbed into the cargo bed.

In a cloud of dust, Mal headed the vehicle across the sand, in the direction of town. Where Inara, Kaylee, Alisha and of course Serenity waited.


Mall pulled the hover truck into the bay, being careful not to jostle Allan. As the older man slipped out of the passenger seat, Simon was waiting for him.

“I thought I told you no strenuous activity...”

All I did was go for a ride and stand around,” Allan replied, trying to mask the pain he was in.

Simon pulled on his ear and tried to formulate an answer when a loud thump announced the arrival of Inara's shuttle.

A moment later the door opened and Alisha ran out, followed by the slower Kaylee and Inara.

“Allan!” Alisha cried as she ran up to her Brother-n-law.

“Easy Mei-mei,” Allan grunted as Alisha's hug was a bit over enthusiastic.

“Sorry, Ge-ge.”

“You look a mess...”

“Gee, thanks Kaylee,” Allan replied to the wildly grinning mechanic.

Allan received pecks on the cheek from both Inara and Kaylee.

“I'm so glad you're back Allan,” Inara said sincerely.

“Glad to be back.”

“Niska?” Inara asked.

“Buzzard bait,” Jayne replied.

Inara actually smiled at the comment, “Good.”

“I'm thinkin it's time to get offa this rock,” Mal said.

“I agree,” Allan smiled.

“River, take us outta the world.”

“Aye, aye Capn'.”


With a groan, Allan lay back on his bed. Zoe fluffed another pillow and slid it behind his head.

“Comfy?” she asked.

“As much as can be expected.”

“Poor baby,” Zoe teased. Allan just rolled his eyes... well one eye. His left was still swollen shut.

“knock, knock,” called Alisha, “You two decent?”

“No but we're dressed,” Allan replied. Zoe grinned.

“I guess that will do,” said the Chef as she carefully climbed down the ladder. Reggie handed her down a tray.

Alisha walked over to the bed, “Brought you some dinner. Simon told me to go easy so it's just some beef stew.”

“That works Alisha,” Allan replied, “I'm starved. I haven't eaten in... What day is it anyway?”

“Sunday dear,” Zoe grinned.

“Son of a... Three days?”

“Almost four.”

“No wonder I'm hungry,” Allan said as he dug into his stew.

“I'll just leave you two alone for a bit.”

“Thanks Sissy,” Zoë said as her sister climbed the ladder and closed the hatch.

Zoe sat on the bed next to her husband and look him in the eye, “If you ever think I'm lettin you outta my sight again...”

“I love you too,” Allan said. Trying to keep things light.

“Gorramit, I damn near lost you to the same man who almost took Wash from me too!”

“I know Zoe. Niska wanted me for bait. Draw you and Mal to him.”

“What was all that you said to River on the bridge when you got back?”

“One of Niska's men had a knife to my throat. I thought that was it. I closed my eyes and thought of you. Next thing I know he's gone. I opened my eyes... well... eye. And the son of a bitch was on the floor.”

“What happened?”

“River happened. Took his head off with that sword of hers.”


Yep, and she standing there grinning at me... course I was kinda naked at the time.”



“And what did River say then?”

“Said she knew now why you kept me around,” Allan grinned.

“Gonna have to have words with our pilot,” Zoe replied, smiling wide.

“As long as they're 'thank you', Baby.”

“They will be. So, your supposed last thought were about me huh?” Zoe asked seriously.

“Of course.”

Suddenly, Zoe's eyes began to tear up.

“Hey, none of that. I'm here and more or less in one piece. That's all that matters.”

“I know...” Zoe sniffled.

“Come here,”

You're hurtin...”

“You used to lay next to me last time I got hurt. I'm not going to break Hon. I promise. I just want my wife here beside me...”

Zoe nodded and then carefully laid down next to Allan's right side. He winced for a moment from the contact but then relaxed.

“You okay?”

“I am now,” Allan smiled.

Suddenly they felt the familiar lurch of Serenity going to full burn.

“What now?” Allan sighed.

“Zoe!” called Mal's voice from the corridor above.


“We got a little situation here.”

“What would that be, Sir,” She asked not wanting to move from her husbands side.

“Well, Kaylee and 'Nara both just kinda went in ta' labor.”

Allan groaned and looked at Zoe, “Help me up.”


“Simon's good but he can't be in two places at once. Besides, I think I've delivered more babies than him.”

“You have?”

“Got four stork pins from my Medic days.”

“Zoe!” Mal called.

“Help me up before Mal busts something.”

With a groan, Allan got to his feet, Zoe helping him up. He climbed out of their bunk, “Mal, Where's Inara?”

“Shuttle. And you ain't supposed to be up.”

“The impending birth of your son kinda trumps that.”

“I'll get River...”

We're at full burn, River needs to fly.”


“Is going to be busy with Kaylee. We prepped for this remember?”

“Oh... yeah.”

“I'm just going to need help. Can't do this one handed.”

“I'll help Baby,” Zoe said.

“Lets go,” Allan said, pushing Mal along in front of him, “This is going to be a long night...”



Sunday, January 4, 2009 7:38 AM


Hey, action-packed! I love Allan stopping Zoe from descending to Niska's level - the whole crew are better than that, including Jayne (at least now). And double labour? Mal is going to be so useless, and Simon ... well, is going to be Simon! Gresat stuff.

Sunday, January 4, 2009 10:48 AM


So Niska's really dead this time, right?

Nice pacing and exchanges!


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