The Bash-Chapter Eight
Sunday, February 1, 2009

The crew arrives on Londonium. Zoe stands vigil and Jayne confronts his sister about her actions.


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


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




Thanks again Rebecca (Woonsocket) for the beta.


The Bash


Chapter Eight


Zoë rarely showed emotion to anyone other than her 'family' and then only rarely. When Alisha saw how stiff her sister was standing next to Allan's bedside, she knew that Zoë was holding everything in.

"Sissy?" Alisha asked softly.

Zoë sniffled once and turned to face her sister. A single tear was on her cheek, "Hey Mei-mei."

In two long strides, Alisha entered the room and pulled Zoë into a hug. The older woman resisted for a moment and then relaxed a little bit. Zoë began to sob silently.

"It's okay, Sissy," Alisha comforted.

"Just... Just when things are goin' good..."

"The old Serenity bad luck kicks in," Mal said quietly from the doorway. "How's he doin' Zoë?"

"A little better, Sir," Zoë sniffled, "they took him offa' the respirator a few hours ago."

Mal put his hand on Zoë's shoulder reassuringly, "He'll be fine. Allan's too damn scared a you to up and die."

Zoë snorted and a slight smile curled the corner of her lips, "Reckon you're right about that."

"Zoë?" Inara asked from the doorway.

"C'mon in 'Nara."

Inara looked at her friend closely and scowled slightly, "When is the last time you slept?"

Zoë looked sheepish, "A... while."

"Alisha, take your sister downstairs for a proper meal, then make sure she gets some rest," Inara ordered, "Mal and I will stay with Allan."


"No buts Zoë," Mal interjected, "you look like you're gonna fall over. Couple o' hours is all we're askin."

"If any..."

Mal handed his first mate a com unit. "We'll call you."


Over the next few hours, the entire crew came for short visits. When Zoë returned from her nap, she found Jayne in the corridor outside Allan's room and River standing next to the bed.

"How you doin Zoë?" the big man asked her.

"Good as can be expected," Zoë replied, "What is River doing?"

"Just standin there. Has been for the last fifteen minutes or so."

Zoë nodded and stepped into the room, "Mei-mei?"

River turned and gave Zoë a small smile, "He's getting better. Wake up soon."

"You sure?"

River gave Zoë one of her patented 'boob' looks. Zoë chuckled.

As the two women spoke quietly, Jayne spotted his little sister walking towards him carrying Sara. Upon seeing her brother, Fred halted for a moment. Took a deep breath, walked up to her big brother and looked him in the eye," Ge-ge."

Jayne stared at his not-so-little-anymore sister intently. After a moment, he spoke, "I hear you got the one came after the Ni-zi."

"I did."

"Use Pa's gun?"

"My gun now. And yes, I did."

"Good," Jayne replied tersely.

Fred looked up at Jayne, "You ain't gonna yell at me for leavin' home?"


"Why the hell not?"

"One, you're holdin' Sara and I don't want her learnin' no bad words just yet. And two, I done the same damn thing after Pa was killed. Cept' you set your sights on somthin' you wanted and went for it, rather than me just needin' to get away. You're too much like me, Mei-mei."

Fred looked up at her big brother in a new light. A sly smile came across her face, "Who the hell are you and what did you do with the real Jayne Cobb?"

Jayne tried to keep a straight face but he started chuckling. A moment later Fred joined him. Not to be left out, Sara began to laugh herself.

Hearing the laughter, Zoë and River came into the hallway. With a slight smile, Zoë took Sara from Fred's arms so River could hug her sister-in-law.

"Hey Riv... you keepin my Ge-ge outta trouble?"

"Of course not."

"Ain't that the truth," Zoë said.

"Any change Zo?" Fred asked.

"River says he'll wake up soon."

"I hope so. Marion is taking this hard."

"I saw the whole thing on th' cortex," Jayne grumbled, "girl did everything she could."

"Still, she feels guilty."

"I would too," Jayne admitted, "but that don't mean you can't learn from it."

Zoë cocked her head to the side, "Thats... right enlightened o' you, Jayne"

Jayne shrugged, "Worked as a bodyguard a time or two. Can't be everywhere at once or grow eyes in the back o' yer head..."

A change in the steady rhythm or Allan's heat monitor caught Zoë's attention. She was back at his bedside in less than a second after handing Sara back to Fred. Zoë knew enough to see that Allan's heart rate had increased slightly.

"Waking up." River said in the hallway


The first thing Allan felt was pain. It felt like someone had jabbed a red hot poker into his chest. The second thing he became aware of, was someone calling his name. It took a moment to recognize his wife's voice.

"Allan... Baby?" Zoë said softly, "can you hear me?"

Allan tried to open his eyes but winced as the light in the room hurt his dark adjusted eyes. After a moment he tried again.

The worried face of his wife swam into view. There were tears on her face.

"Zoë?" Allan croaked out.

Zoë smiled, "Hey Baby."


"Water?" Zoë asked.

Allan painfully nodded. Zoë brought a cup to his lips. After drinking a little, Allan was able to speak a little better.

"Where am I?"

"Hospital in New London on Londonium. You remember what happened?"

"Think... I got shot."

"Just a might."


"I'll get the doc."

Before Zoë could so much as turn, Simon and Dr. Kelly rushed into the room. River had summoned them.

Allan half smiled when he saw Simon, "Long way to come... for a house... call, Simon."

The young Doctor smiled, "It's not a house call when you're in a hospital. And I was in the neighborhood."

"Everyone... here?"

"They are Baby," Zoë said.

"Didn't mean to cause a fuss..."

"Hush now," Zoë said. "Let Simon and Dr. Kelly do their stuff."

Allan nodded.

"How are you feeling Mr. Bryant?" Dr. Kelly asked.

"Like shit." Allan replied, his voice growing stronger.

"Well... quite... Umm, anything specific?"

"Hurts to breathe."

"I'll order something to take the edge off. You were shot in the chest. It was nearly a mortal wound."

"Prog... prognosis?"

"Now that you are awake? Very good I'd venture. The Ventilore therapy we have given you is repairing the damaged lung tissue. Everything else we were able to repair surgically. It won't be a short convalescence, but I believe you will make a full recovery. Now I suggest you get some rest and we'll talk more later."

Allan nodded. He was quite tired but he needed to do one more thing before he fell back asleep.

"Sara?" Allan asked.

"Got her right here," Zoë smiled as she took the infant from Fred's arms..

Zoë moved back to the bedside. Sara was grinning and burbling something. Allan smiled when he saw his baby girl. Zoë gently sat Sara next to her father on the bed.

"Hey princess," Allan said smiling.

"Bub, bub, durble," Sara mumbled as she grinned at her father.

"You been behavin for Momma?"


"Thats my girl." Allan replied.

"Duh... bah..."

Allan painfully reached out and caressed Sara's face.


Allan's eyes shot wide open, "Sara... did you just say..."

"Dada, dada, dada!" Sara cried out as her tiny hands reached out for Allan.

Ignoring his pain, Allan pulled his daughter to him and kissed her on the forehead. Zoë was crying again but this time it was tears of joy.

"Love you Sara girl."

"Dada! Mama!"

Zoë leaned in and kissed her daughter and then her husband, "Better let your daddy sleep little one," Zoë whispered.

As Zoë picked Sara off the bed, she looked like she was going to cry. Zoë soothed her quickly.

In the corner, an amazed Dr. Kelly turned to Simon, "How old is she?"

"Four and a half months this week," Simon replied.


"Allan has an IQ of over one hundred and seventy. While she is not highly educated, I would venture a guess that Zoë's IQ is well above average as well."

"I have a feeling Sara Bryant will be a very special little girl."

"Already is," Jayne said quietly from the doorway.


Allan continued to improve over the next few days. Everyone had visited during that time, from the Prime Minister to even Jefferson and Rebecca. The only one who hadn't shown her face was Marion. Allan wanted to know why.

"I think she feels guilty," Reggie said in reply to Allan's question.

"Why?" Allan asked.

"Didn't do her job, or something along those lines."

"Bullshit. I wouldn't be here talking if not for what she did. I remember seeing a laser flash in my face. He was going for a head shot. Seems like I got perforated in the chest."

"We've all been telling her that... maybe if you told her that too, she might actually believe it."

"Try to get her to come in and see me. I'll try to talk some sense into her."

"I'll do my best Allan."

"Thanks Reggie."


Reggie found Marion walking the perimeter of the hospital grounds. Still doing her job despite the presence of two platoons worth of Alliance special forces troopers spread around the area.

"Hey, Sarge," Reggie said smiling.

"Hey, Maj," Marion replied, using Reggie's old rank.

"You got a sec?"

"Think so, just double checking the perimeter."

"I think Captain Fong's men have that well in hand."

"My job..."

"Is inside with Allan," Reggie replied, cutting Marion off.

Marion looked at her feet, "He's gonna fire me isn't he."

"What? Oh hell no Marion. He is mad though. And not about what you think either."

"What about then?" She asked indignantly, "Allan's up there in a hospital bed because of me!"

"That's right," Reggie replied, "He's in a hospital bed rather than six feet under because of what you did."

"Everyone keeps sayin..."

"And if we tell you enough times, maybe you'll believe it."


"He wants to talk to you."

"I'm not sure about that."

"He sent me to find you, gorramit! Now get your pi gu in gear and get up there!"

"Fine!" Marion growled before stalking off in the direction of the hospital proper.


Outside Allan's room, Marion hesitated. Trying her best to compose herself, she knocked on the door.

"Come in, Marion," Allan said.

"Hi... how did you know it was me?"

Allan pointed to a small screen next to his bed that showed an image of the outside hallway.


"You would have known about that if you had been in here doing your job."

"I'm sorry."

"About what? Not knowing about the camera or because you think it's your fault I'm in this bed?"

"Both, Sir."

Allan sighed in exasperation, "Damn it, Marion. Knock off the sir shit! You're not just my employee, you're family!"


"Now shut up and listen to me, Missy," Allan snarled, "I'm still alive because of you. Don't try to deny it either. You did your job to the best of your abilities. That's all I can ask for. Once you hang around with me or the crew of Serenity long enough, you'll find that sometimes bad luck just reaches out and slaps us upside the head from time to time."

"This is one of those times and nothing more," Allan finished as he gazed into Marion's eyes.

Marion sniffled and wiped a tear away, "Is that all, Boss?"

"No," Allan replied with a sigh, "Get you ass over here and give me a hug."

"Rather not, Boss," Marion said, smiling for the first time, "I think Zoë might kick my ass for that."

"I can let it slide this once," Zoë said from the doorway where she stood with Sara in her stroller.

Marion sniffled again and stepped closer to the bed. After a moment, She reached out and hugged her boss, "Sorry."

"For what this time?"

"For being such a ee da tuo da bien."

"Good thing I don't know what that means," Allan smiled.

"I do... and you were," Zoë replied with a grin, "but I see you learned your lesson."

"I hope so, Zoë. I hope so."


"What can you tell me about him?" Allan asked Oso.

"Which one?"

"The one who went after Sara."

"Joshua Smithfield. Former Blue Sun security division. Terminated due to his involvement in the Academy project."

"Well, that gave him an axe to grind," Allan commented, "and working with the Academy, he wasn't adverse to harming children. I think Fred did the 'Verse a favor."

"Won't hear any argument from me on that, Allan," The big man replied.

"The shooter?"

"Andrew Baer Sr."

Allan's jaw dropped, "The father of those two poor kids that were sent after me on Deadwood?"

Oso nodded, "The same. He was told by the staff at the Academy that the twins were killed in a transport crash during a field trip. Same cover story they used for all the other students."

"Then I made public what really happened there and he put two and two together."

"Somewhat. From the interviews with him so far. Mr. Baer didn't know his children were alive. Once he and his wife found out what the Academy really was, his wife became depressed. Eventually committing suicide about six months ago."

"Son of a bitch," Allan whispered.

"Baer is also dying. End stage pancreatic cancer. Has maybe five, six months to live."

Allan looked deep in thought for a moment. He looked up at Oso, "I want to speak to him."

"I'm not sure that's a good..."

"Make it happen Oso," Allan asked, "I know what might have been going through his mind. I damn well know I'd be doing something similar if I were in his shoes."

"I'll see what I can do."

"I'll talk to Richard if it will help."

"It probably will."

"I'll wave him this afternoon."

Oso nodded, "How goes the recovery?"

"As soon as you leave, I'm gonna need a nap if that tells you anything," Allan chuckled. "Pain is still there. I can't lift my arms above my chest and they barely let me walk to the bathroom without help."

"Better than the alternative..."

"Preachin to the choir, Oso. Doesn't mean I can't whine about it though," Allan finished with a grin.

"Need anything?"

"How about smuggling in a few slices from that pizza shop in So-ho you took me to a while back. They won't even let Alisha's cooking in here."

Oso chuckled, "I'll take care of it."

"Thanks, Oso."

"No problem."

Allan suddenly had an idea hit him, "Before you go, I have a question."


"When is your hitch up?"


"The end of your minimum service," Allan clarified.

"Oh, eighteen months."

"Staying in?"

"Haven't thought a lot about it, why?"

"Well," Allan said grinning, "might have a job for you if you want it."

"Already stopped one bullet for you, you know."

"Stop whining, you were wearing armor."

"Reggie's arm?"

"I'll concede that point," Allan admitted, "But I'm not looking for another bodyguard. I need a Director of Security I can trust."

"I... I'm not sure."

"Don't need to answer me now. Keep it in mind, okay? I can pay a hell of a lot better than the army..."

Oso smiled, "I imagine you can. I'll think about it."

"All I can ask," Allan replied. "Oh, by the way, you had a chance to take Fred out on a date yet?"

Oso suddenly looked nervous, "Haven't hardly spoken with her. Jayne keeps... hovering."

Allan laughed, "Talk to River. She can distract Jayne."

"Of that, I have no doubt."




Monday, February 2, 2009 8:39 AM


I love Jayne and Fred's conversation, especially Fred's line about where is the real Jayne Cobb! And Sara saying Dada ... lovely. Then Oso wanting to ask Fred out on a date, but Jayne hovering ... And all this is apart from Alan alive and getting better ... great story!


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