Birthday - Chapter 8
Thursday, January 8, 2009

Safe on Londonium, the crew takes a break and Allan hires a new employee.


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: Almost done.


Thanks again Chris for the Beta.




Chapter Eight


Allan tried not to chuckle at the domestic scene before him. While Inara ate her lunch next to her husband, Mal was holding his son with a silly grin on his face.

Likewise, Kaylee was glowing from her spot further down the table as she fed Becca. A towel discreetly covering the suckling babe. The two deadliest members of the crew were smiling at the scene themselves.

“So, when do you want a little one, baby girl?” Jayne asked his wife.

“Not yet. Content to be an Aunt for a while.” River replied.

Allan and Zoë shared a look. They hoped to be the next parents on board Serenity.

“An you'll be a terrific Uncle, Jayne,” Kaylee said.

“Hey, I reckon I will.”

“To both children,” Inara added, “We are a family.”

Mal looked up with a smirk, and winked at Inara. She nodded.

“Allan, Zoë?”

“Yeah Mal?” Allan replied.

“I ain't all that into the religion thing anymore... but just in case o' the worst an all. Well, me an 'Nara want Zoë an you to be Jefferson's god parents.”

The couple shared a look and smiled, “We'd be honored Sir.” Zoë replied for the both of them.

“An we want Jayne and River to be Becca's god parents,” Kaylee announced. Even Simon was nodding as he took Becca from Kaylee so she could eat.

“That's sweet,” Alisha said, smiling at Reggie. The former Fed's eyes bugged out.


“Relax Reg,” Alisha chuckled, “I'm not ready for a baby yet.”

Smiling at all the domestic bliss, Marion spoke up, “I know I'm kind of a hitchhiker around here but... I was wondering when we were heading back to Boros...”

“Be a couple of days at least. Got some maintenance issues to set right first after those two hard burns.”

“Oh,” Marion replied.

“What's wrong Marion?” Inara asked.

“Well, just that... I probably won't have a job when we get back. Waved my boss and he said If I wasn't back in three days I was fired.”

“Marion, why didn't you say anything before?” Allan said, looking at the woman who had helped save his life.

“Things were kinds hectic around here and...”

An idea suddenly came to Allan.

“Marion... It's come to my attention that some people think I need a keeper,” Allan said as he glanced to where Oso sat next to Jayne, “That said. I'd like to offer you a job.”

“A job?”

“What are you doing husband?” Zoë inquired.

Allan continued, “I'm safe enough here on the ship and will be at home back on Boros. But when I go to business meetings, social functions and the like, I'll need someone to watch my back. I want you to do that Marion.”


“Yes you. You've got guts and hold your own in a firefight. That's all I need.”

“So I'll be working for you?”

“In theory. Actually you will work for Blue Sun. We'll run over to the office in the morning and get you on the payroll.”

I'm... I'm grateful of course. But if you're doing this because I'm about to become unemployed...”

I am, but that is my fault... more precisely, Niska's fault. You came on your own volition and this is a way for me to repay you.”

“Speaking of pay... not to sound to mercenary here...”

“Eighteen Hundred Credits a week. Full medical, equipment allowance and expense account...”

“Wow! You just hired yourself a bullet stopper.”

“I hope it doesn't come to that.”

“Me too,” Marion smiled.


A Blue Sun limo was waiting at the foot of Serenity's ramp when Allan, Zoë, Inara and Oso exited the ship. Marion followed a few steps behind. Another limo waited to take the rest of the crew to their usual hotel. Once the car pulled away, Oso turned to Allan.

“You trying to get rid of me?” the big man smiled.

“Hell no, Oso. Just I figured you might want to stay here once we leave. I mean this is where you live. Hell the ladies must be throwing themselves at you.”

“And a few men I bet,” Marion snickered. Oso shot her a withering glare.

“Afraid not Allan.”

“And why is that?”

“Well, been kinda hoping that someone I met would....”

“Is this someone, the sister of a member of the crew?” Zoë asked, a grin on her face.

“We've been waving back and forth...”

“Oso, are you sweet on Jayne's sister?” Inara asked.


Allan tried not to chuckle at the sight of a six foot eight, man mountain trying to hide in the small confines of the limo.

Marion snorted in amusement and punched Oso on the arm, “Way to go Cap. For a while, I thought you might be sly like me.”

Oso's reply was a very bear like rumble.

As the conversation turned away from Oso's non existent love life. The limo pulled up in front of the private hospital where Allison Sexton was recovering from her ordeal in Niska's clutches.

Upon opening the doors, Oso and Marion exited first and automatically took up positions where they could keep an eye on Allan and of course, Zoë and Inara as well.

Allan smiled. Marion would be perfect.

Walking into the lobby, the receptionist on duty eyed the group suspiciously. While Inara was dressed impeccably as usual and Oso was in one of his 'Bodyguard' dark suits, Allan was dressed in jeans, sneakers and polo shirt, Zoë in her usual shipboard garb and Marion in cargo pants, cream blouse and a jacket that helped hide her gun.

“May I help you?” the receptionist asked. Eying the tall man who looked like he lost a really bad fight.

“Inara Serra-Reynolds, Allan and Zoë Bryant to see Allison Sexton.”

“I'm sorry, Ms. Sexton is not accepting visitors.”

“I was told by Ms. Markova that we were expected..”

“I'm sorry...”

“Inara?” said another voice, cutting off the receptionist.

Inara turned to look at the newcomer. A smile came across her features, “Trudy!”

Inara hugged the younger woman warmly and turned to her friends, “Allan, Zoë. This is Trudy Sexton. Allison's sister. Both of them were students of mine.”

Allan smiled. The woman was obviously a companion like her sister. In fact she could be her twin. “Pleased to meet you Ms. Sexton. I'm Allan Bryant.”

Oso nudged Marion and whispered, “You're drooling Sarge.”

“So are you, Cap”


Allan was surprised when Trudy kissed him on the cheek.

“Thank you Mr. Bryant. I can't begin to express my gratitude for rescuing my sister.”

“Actually, I didn't do much rescuing. I was a captive as well.”

“I am aware of that. But in speaking with Allison, she credits you with her survival. She had given up hope. You kept her going.”

“I'm flattered she says so.”

Zoë cleared her throat.

“Forgive me,” Allan smiled, “This is my wife, Zoë. Behind me is Captain Ora Tangaroa, Alliance Army and Marion Vorrasi, Blue Sun Security.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Trudy replied, “Come, Allison is expecting you.”

Bypassing the flabbergasted receptionist, the group followed the companion down the corridor.

Reaching a closed door, Trudy cracked it open slightly, “Sis? You up for some visitors?”

“Come in,” said a weak voice.

Allan entered first, followed by Zoë and Inara. Marion and Oso remained in the corridor with Trudy.

“Hello Allison,” Allan smiled.

“Hello,” she replied weakly, “I'm glad you could come.”

“How are you feeling?”

“In pain, but that will subside... at least the physical hurt.”

Allan nodded in agreement, “That too will pass.”

“Who is with you?”

“This is my wife Zoë, she was also in on the rescue.”

“Much obliged ma'am.”

Inara clucked her tongue, “Your accent is slipping dear.”


“Hello Allison.”

The younger woman started to cry. Inara was at her bedside in a heartbeat hugging the younger woman, “Shhhh, it will be alright, Mei-mei. It will be alright,” Inara comforted.

Allan and Zoë backed away. Knowing that Inara was the best person in this situation.

Stepping into the corridor, Allan looked at Trudy, “I'm guessing you two aren't core girls.”

“No we ain't” Trudy replied with a grin before turning serious, “We were born on Greenleaf. Inara sort of adopted us when she came to the training house. Due to our Rim upbringing, we were looked down upon by the other girls.”

“And since Inara had spent so much time on the Rim...” Zoë trailed off.

“We became friends.” Trudy finished, “How is it that you know Inara?”

“I'm First Mate on the ship Inara sailed on before and after she went to the training house,” Zoë replied.

“I'm surprised at how much you look like your sister,” Allan commented.

“That's because we're twins.”

Before Allan could reply, Inara exited the room, “Allison is resting.”

“I think just seeing you has helped Inara. That's the first time she's cried since she was brought here,” said Trudy

“Been through a lot,” Marion commented.

“She has,” Trudy agreed as the group began to walk back to the lobby, “So... Marion is it? You work for Blue Sun Security?”

“Sort of. I tagged along to help rescue Allan and he offered me a job as his body guard.”

“You don't look much like a bodyguard.”

“Marion was the best Platoon Sargent I had working for me in special forces,” Oso said quickly.

“How... interesting.”

Allan and Zoë shared a quick grin. Inara then whispered something in Trudy's ear.

“Well, in that case... Marion? Would you care to join me for dinner this evening? I must figure out a way to repay you for helping save my sister.” Trudy said, a slight smile on her face.


“You don't actually start work until tomorrow... I suppose you can have the night off,” Allan chuckled. Zoë was doing her best to hide a grin.

“Uh, Sure...”

“Excellent. Where are you staying?”

“We're at the Hilton,” Allan replied.

“I'll pick you up at seven Marion.”

“Uh... See you then.”


As usual when Allan was on Londonium, he stayed at the Hilton and provided rooms for everyone.

Entering the suite, Allan sighed. It seemed like the Presidential suite was becoming as much a home as Serenity was. It would be nice when the houses were finished on Boros.

Zoë walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around Allan, “You okay?”

“Tired,” Allan replied, “You mind if we stay in tonight?”

“Course not. You're supposed to be resting and the room service in this dump is near on as good as my sister's cookin,” Zoë grinned.

“I'm going to go lay down for a bit.”

“Okay Baby.”

Allan entered the master bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed. His eyes falling on the opulent decor. Allan kicked off his shoes and lay back. After a few minutes, he fell asleep.

And awoke screaming an hour later. Sitting bolt upright on the bed.

“Baby?” Zoë asked from where she had curled up next to him.

Allan blinked a few times, trying to control his breathing. His chest was aching and his hand throbbed.

“I... I'm okay. Just a nightmare,” he replied before laying back down. Zoë curled herself back up next to her husband.



“Wash had em' too... the nightmares.”

“All I can hear is that damn Czech accent of his,” Allan shuddered.

“I know. Need to think about positive things.”

“Like what?”

“Like you're wearin entirely too many clothes...”

Allan suddenly realized Zoë was wearing just her shirt and panties, “I am huh?”


“In that case, you are too.”

Half an hour later, while she and Jayne relaxed by the pool, River suddenly giggled.

“What's so funny baby girl?”

“I win.”

“Win what?”

“You'll find out later.”

“It involve sexin?”



Allan awoke a bit bleary eyed. Despite Zoë ministrations before and after dinner, he still tossed and turned all night. Pulling on some sweats, he stumbled to the bathroom. Emerging a few minutes later he went in search of his wife... and coffee.

Allan found Marion and Zoë in the small kitchen in the suite. Marion slid her new boss a cup of coffee.

“Look like you could use this.”

“Thanks Marion.”

“Sooo, how was your 'date' last night,” Zoë asked grinning at the younger woman.

Marion turned a bit pink, “Well... uh. I had a good time.”

“Just a good time?” Allan teased.

“Let's just say that if all Companions are as talented as Trudy, Captain Reynolds is a lucky man.”

“Inara was Trudy's instructor,” Zoë smirked.

“Damn lucky man...”


Marion held the door open for Allan as he stepped into the limo. As soon as her boss was seated, Marion sat beside him.

“You don't have to play it up so much, you know,” Allan commented as the car pulled away from the curb.

“Makes the boss look good,” Marion replied, “Besides with what you're paying me...”

“Relax Marion.”

“Okay Boss.”

After a ten minute ride, the limo deposited Allan and Marion in front of the towering Blue Sun headquarters building.

“Wow,” Marion commented.

“Too ostentatious,” Allan replied.

“What is this thing, two hundred floors?”


“Let me guess, your office is on the top floor.”

“How'd you guess,” Allan grinned as they entered the lobby.

Entering the lift, the pair ascended to the top floor and emerged into the controlled chaos that was the nerve center of Blue Sun. Leading the way, Allan strode across the open space to a large circular desk. Behind which sat Edwyna Butterfil. Allan's executive assistant.

“Hey Eddie,” Allan smiled.

As she was concentration on the screen in front of her, Edwyna nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard her boss' voice.

“Mr. Bryant!” she cried. Then looking closely at Allan's bruised face she clucked her tongue, “I hope the hundan that did that is no longer with us.”

Allan smiled, “Zoë got him.”

“Good for her,” Edwyna smiled, “And what are you doing in the office? You should be convalescing...”

“I am for the most part. Just need to get someone down to Human Resources.”


“Oops... uh, Edwyna Butterfil, meet Marion Vorrasi. Marion is going to be my bodyguard.”

“Really?” Edwyna said as she eyed the attractive young woman standing next to her employer, “And what does Zoë have to say about this?”

“She's fine with it.”

“If you say so.”

“Uh, Eddie?”

“Yes sir?”

“What floor is HR on?”



As Allan and Marion walked back to the lifts, Marion looked up at Allan, “You didn't know what floor?”

“I run the company by remote control. Place would fall apart if not for Durin and Eddie. I've spent a grand total of two weeks in this building since I took the company back over.”

“Oh,” Marion replied as she held the lift door for Allan.

“Let's get you all set.”

Entering the HR department, Allan saw a few people obviously waiting for job interviews. Allan strode up to the reception desk like he owned the place... which he did.

“Good morning, I need to get Ms. Vorrasi here on the payroll.”

The woman didn't even look up from her screen. She just handed a data pad to Allan, “All new applicants need to fill out an application. No one just gets on the payroll.”

“They do if I say so,” Allan said firmly, trying not to lose his temper.

“And just who do you think... merciful Buddha!”

Marion snickered behind her hand and even Allan cracked a smile, “No, just the boss,” Allan said.

“I... I... I'm sooo sorry Mr. Bryant. Please don't fire me,” The woman said in a panic.

“Why would I do that?”

“Mr. Larson did it all the time...”

“I'm not my predecessor, Miss?”


“Miss Kym, relax. It looks like you are quite busy today but I would appreciate expediting things.”

“Of course sir, please follow me...”

“Marion, give this to whomever you speak with,” Allan said as he slipped a data stick into the woman's hand, “When you're done, come back up to my office.”

“You got it Boss.”

Allan turned and headed back towards the lifts. With a sigh, he hit the button to call the elevator, “I'm here, might as well get some work done,” he muttered to no one in particular.


AN2: The next chapter will close out this arc and set things up for the next. Sorry if it's a little slow but after the action in the previous chapters, Allan needs to take it easy.


Thursday, January 8, 2009 8:06 AM


Very nice! I like how tender Zoe and Allan are with each other.


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