HOPE SERIES: 12. "Best Intentions"
Thursday, October 1, 2009

"After the briefest stop on Carousel to drop off some of his crew, Mal instructs River to take them to White Sands."


TITLE: "BEST INTENTIONS" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Simon/Kaylee. RATING: PG-13. STATUS: Sequel to "FAMILY VALUES". ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE: None. All Firefly stories archived at

SUMMARY: "After the briefest stop on Carousel to drop off some of his crew, Mal instructs River to take them to White Sands." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

"You made me a promise, Malcolm Reynolds. That you would always come back."

Hearing her use his full name made the hair stir on the back of his neck, not that he had any intention of letting the creepiness it gave him show. "I ever break it?"

Her eyes said 'not yet'.

"Just a simple job, Zoe. Fetch 'n carry. A milk run."

She just stared, watching him like a hawk. It was a mite unsettling, truth be told.

"Hardly pays but..."

"A milk run." Zoe repeated, tight lipped.

The Captain nodded knowing she didn't believe it but was stopping just short of calling him a liar. Things being what they were he would take what small mercies he could get. Now that conversation was cycling in a loop through his brain pan. Always knew those words would come back to haunt him, just hadn't expected it to be quite so soon.

* * * * *

Carousel. If ever a world represented Home it was this one. Not just because most every Frye ever born had been sired here but because the roots were still there, driven deep by all the traditional family values and bonds of love and loyalty that would always stand the test of time. Just thinking about it was enough to make Kaylee misty eyed and imagining seeing her folks again was a rollercoaster of all the happiest emotions imaginable to man. When they landed it was everything she could have wanted and more, the hoards of family swallowing them up and reaching a new crescendo of happiness at seeing the babies again.

Simon was calmer this time, took things more in his stride though the differences between Kaylee's loving happy family and his own more formal upbringing was a stark contrast. He tried not to feel sad about things he could not change but it did not stop him wishing things had been different. He imagined River growing up on Carousel instead of Osiris, her days filled with laughter and pleasure, playing with countless siblings and cousins rather than pouring all that energy in one direction - the pursuit of academic excllence. As indeed had he. What solemn children they had been in comparrison yet they had been happy. Right up until River had gone to that place, the Academy. It made him shudder just to think of it, a prick of shame re-igniting at the ease with which he had just accepted that if that was what River wanted to do it was okay. A good thing. After all, how could you have too much learning? His parents had been happy in that calm understated way that he thought typified all good parents. Now he realised that the unbridled affection he was seeing and experiencing here on Carousel was food of another kind. It did not just feed the soul but also the heart.

"Well aren't you the solemn one this fine day?"

Simon blinked, turned to see who had clapped him on the back and stared straight into Martin Frye's homely face. Little Daniel squirmed in his arms and was immediately swept up in his father-in-laws capable hands. The cry that was forming on his son's lips stalled and broke into a bubble of laughter as Mr Frye raised him up then down again, Mary Frye finally releasing Kaylee from her embrace to hug her son-in-law. Simon tried to keep track of where his sons were as the babies were cooed and fussed over. He was vaguely aware of Zoe and Hope receiving the same hearty welcome, an entreaty made to the Captain to at least stop and eat with them but Simon was only half-aware. In the house now he paused and stared at the bounty of good home cooking that lay spread before him. As the crowd of relatives went back to their own homes and he found himself able to move about and breathe air that wasn't recycled through another set of lungs, Simon realised something else. Serenity had stopped only long enough to drop them off. Something about that gave him an odd feeling he couldn't quite put his finger on. Kaylee came up beside him and gave him a nudge, a huge smile on her face.

"What'ya thinkin'?"

He smiled back, it was impossible not too. His heart filling with love and pride at being so blessed. Then Simon gave the best answer ever and kissed her. There. In her mama's kitchen. In front of everyone! Zoe laughed, the little ache inside her unwinding with pleasure to see the doctor so relaxed. Maybe stopping off on Carousel was a good idea after all.

* * * * *

"Not to spoil this little re-union, but why ain't you dead?"

Patience barked a harsh humourless laugh. "Oh Mal, you just ain't very bright, are you?"

At his scowl her lips twisted. In the hot dusty clime of White Sands the scheming witch seemed totally at home.

"Remember that time Zoe got shot? Set me thinkin', Mal. That vest was a good idea. She was always a smart one."

"You got a point? On'y clock's tickin'."

"Mal, the only clock you gotta worry on is the one that follows my time, *dong ma*?"

To one side of him, Jayne was more than ansty. The Captain knew that stopping the big man from filling his belly on Carousel before they left had made the mercenary more truculent than usual though Hope had mollified him some by getting a few baskets of fresh supplies and some trays of hot food back to the ship before they took off. That bit of forward thinking had impressed the Captain and done wonders for Jayne's darkening mood. That is, right up until they set foot on White Sands. Naturally one of his least favourite people in the 'verse was waiting for them. Well wasn't that shiny? Patience turned her head then peered over the Captain's shoulder.

"Where's Zoe?"

"Didn't need her for a milk run."

Patience raised her eyebrows and blinked. "She finally up an' left you?"

Mal was too irritated to reply. Patience shrugged then winced as if her shoulder pained her. The Captain's sharp eyes narrowed, tracking the tell tale sign of injury. Old or new made no never mind.

"Said I had a vest, never said it was a 'good' one. Fact is it wasn't made to measure. The bullet caught one edge an' instead of bein' deflected away from the body it hit me, a handspan away from my heart."

*You don't have a heart* Mal thought sourly but this was neither the time nor place to trade insults, not with more of Patience's men appearing as they stood in the dry heat. Where in the nine hells were they all coming from? His frown deepened. The Captain was glad that he had told River to remain on the ship though another gun hand would have been mighty welcome. Truth to tell he felt kind'a naked without Zoe. Still, he had a pregnant woman to rescue, a scheming *pofu* to put in her place and a crew to reunite. Didn't have time for niceties.

"Where's Natalie an' why in *diyu* would you be wantin' to kidnap a pregnant woman? That's a new low even for you."

A look of genuine surprise flashed across Patience's face. "You really don't know, do you?"

Mal tried not to catch the look in Jayne's eyes, the one that said he was a dumb ass for trusting Paul. "What're you talkin' about?"

Patience laughed. "Mal, Mal - you always were too trustin'."

As the Captain frowned, Patience put two fingers in her mouth and whistled. Turning his head Mal looked round and saw Natalie and Paul appear from what looked like some large boulders. Mayhap they'd been standing behind them, waiting for this exact moment to make their appearance. His frown deepened. They were relaxed. Holding hands even. With a sinking feeling Mal realised the only thing Paul had said that was true was that Natalie was pregnant. Several months if he was any judge. He felt something constrict in his chest, a pain that made his world a whole lot sadder.

"*Weishenme*, Paul? Why'd you betray me?"

"Just doin' what's best for my family, Mal."

"An' mine?"

Paul didn't answer, he didn't have to. They weren't his family and what was it River had said? Trust family and only family. It all made sense now. Pity those little pearls of wisdom didn't come with a gorram instruction manual.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*dong ma* = understand? *pofu* = bitch *diyu* = hell *weishenme* = why


Friday, October 2, 2009 4:34 PM


Wow! Paul betraying Mal was a definite throw off for me. Great writing. Sorry didn't post sooner. I was off being sick. ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009 7:10 PM


Oh my, the plot thickens once again! Great piece of writing! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009 8:25 PM


kinda saw that coming with what River said before.

Sunday, October 4, 2009 1:58 AM


Unless it's a double bluff for some reason. And this is way too short! I love Simon's comparisons of his family with Kaylee's, and the little side-track with Patience and the bullet-proof vest. At least now Mal knows not to go for a body shot ...


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His head still ached from the rutting probe but after the men had satisfied themselves that his story was true a thousand questions peppered the air like machine gun fire.

The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.