Cake, Candles, and a Double Barrel Shotgun Prt 1
Friday, May 14, 2010

Another challenge issued by my friend and fellow writer, Jane. What happens when our little mechanic finds out Cat doesn't have a birthday and what she does to rectify this notion. A two parter with the other half posted soon....hope you enjoy...


based on the world of Firefly by J. Whedon --------------------------------------------

He watched the stars slowly slide by, a thought slipping back to the days where ships traveled on water, the waves sparkling as the moon caressed the sides of the wooden hull. It had been a good week, though maybe not exactly how he had wanted it to go. Still, when had it ever...A smile crossed his lips.

A presence behind him and the reflection of a reddish brown hair and blue overalls stared back at him in the windows, haloed by the stars as they twinkled. It had interrupted his thoughts, but he had gotten use to that. "Kaylee, aren't you gonna say something or just stand there hoping my boat will fall apart?"

"Don't say that, Cap'n. You'll hurt Serenity's feelings." Her hand placed on the metal bulkhead and the other one her hip as she tossed him an upset look. She was probably the only person he'd met that made you grin when she looked mad.

"Ain't standing there for your health. What is it or you hear to tell me why my ship's been a bit dodgy?"

"Told you before, we need new belts, but I can't do nothing 'til we're grounded."

"Need money first. Fanti will pay us once we hit Beaumonde." He looked at the console before glancing back at her. "We're about a day out. "Now, that it?"

"I..." She was hesitant, unlike how she usually was, and turned to walk away. Taking a deep breath, the mechanic spoke. "When's Cat's birthday?"

"Hunh?" Mal was taken aback, first by her question and second, because he had no answer. Cat didn't talk about her conception much or the day she had been 'born'. It was a sore subject and one that he didn't want for her to have to relive more than she already did in her sleep.

"I rightly don't know, Kaylee. Cat don't speak of it and I ain't about to ask."

"Everyone needs a special day, Cap'n. Ain't right she don't got one just 'cause she wasn't born the same way we were." He saw the look in her pretty eyes, the one that the cheery little mechanic always got when an idea fluttered into her head and nested itself Simon and River staying. Unfortunately, saying no to her was a lot like saying no to Kitty, the little angel Cat had brought to his boat. Those blue eyes could melt even the meanest old man's heart.

"Kaylee, Cat don't like remembering where she came from or when she was created. Not sure she's gonna like you meddling where your nose ought not be and if it comes back to bite me, I assure you, space monkeys are gonna be the least of your worries." His eyes caught her as he turned the chair to stare at her and see the seriousness in his face.

"Cap'n, I'd never take Cat back to that awful place, even in her memories. Goin' on a year that she came to Serenity and I think we should celebrate that." In a whirl, she was gone, not giving him the last word of fear he'd try and talk her out of it. She hadn't even asked permission, but then she rarely did. Captain seemed to be more a formality than an actual position. Of course, when it came to family, things didn't always fall into place as they should.

Serenity hummed, though her could hear the slight jitters that came from the old belts. His finger touched the panels fondly, being careful not to knock over the stegosaurus resting near the proximity alarm. "Steady, Old Girl. Just a little more and we'll have you fixed up." In response, she seemed to purr at him for a moment, the Captain and his other lover gently calming each other, Serenity's owner falling into a dreamless slumber.


"Just can't believe you don't like guns, Cat," Jayne replied, his hand using a rag on his shotgun, Lucy. His eyes occasionally glanced at the red head as she stretched her long lithe body in the middle of the cargo bay. He still thought of things when he saw her, things Mal might have a problem with, but lately, he had found her to be thought of as more a partner. She treated him as an equal and even more so a friend...never once bulking at his love of weapons or his love of everything else he found entertaining. In a strange way, he had begun to like it.

"I carry a 45, Jayne. Ain't that enough?" She dropped herself into the splits, laying her head on her right knee and then her left.

“No. Guns are like women. The more you got, the more chances of getting what you want from them.” He stroked the barrel of the shotgun longingly as Cat shook her head. “Look at that dark metal barrel and the way it just sits in your hands.”

“You sound like my husband.” She commented, letting her joints pop and echo over the metal of the bay. It reminded Jayne oddly of popping corn or breaking bone, both making it rather hungry.

“You know ain't a gun out there that can replace a partner you can trust watching your back.” It was his way of saying thank you, Cat taking a shot in the shoulder to protect him. Another job that Mal had misjudged...surprise surprise...Still, unlike the rest, the strange woman never complained, just did what her captain commanded.

“You're welcome, Jayne.” She smiled, running a hand over where the bullet had gone in, nothing left but another memory. Only scar Cat had was the one that rested above her heart, where a knife had gone in, almost killing her...the wielder a man who had become another memory.

“Yah.” Jayne sat the shotgun on the towel before grabbing a pistol to clean it.

“So, what's the topic? Guns? Jobs that get us in trouble? Old war wounds?” The sound of feet on metal proceeded Simon before the doctor came into view. The button up shirt was still tucked in, but it hadn't been pressed as it usually was.

“Little of all the above.” Cat smiled back as Simon handed her a handful of pills, all a rainbow of colors. It helped with her beast and kept the dark one was crawling her way to the surface. At least, they kept the beast tamed. She tossed them back into her throat and then swallowed without the benefit of liquid. Finding a towel, and not the one covered in Jayne's weapons, her hand wiped the sweat from the back of her neck, red hair still sticking to her flesh.

“Thanks again for this concoction. Seems to be helping River, too.” He was referring to the drugs they had discovered once Simon was able to analyze the purple liquid they had found earlier. It had calmed Cat's beast and had helped River to at least uncloud her mind a little.

“You figured it out, Simon. It should be me thanking you.”

“Ain't that just touching.” Jayne teased them both and raised his hand as Cat tossed her towel at him.

“Don't make me hurt you, Merc.” She growled at him, a playful sound that neither took seriously.

“Hey, Cat. Mal needs you.” Zoe's voice could be heard muffled by the fact she was probably in the dining area. Still, it took nothing for Cat's ears to pick it up clearly. A nod to the two guys, her long legs carried her quickly up the stairs and toward the aft of the ship, passing Kaylee as she did.

“Hello, Kaylee.” She smiled as the mechanic grinned sweetly, coming from her cabin with a computer pad and pen. Hiding it in her arm, she pointed toward the bridge.

“Cap'n was calling for you.”

“Zoe told me. Anything I can do for you before I head that way?” She caught a glance at the top of the digital pad before looking over at the open hatch to Kaylee's room.

“Nope. Was just...making a list of parts for Serenity. For Mal.”

“Well, make sure to add those belts. Can hear them squealing in my sleep.” She placed a hand on her shoulder before continuing on her way. She could swear the mechanic took a breath of relief before closing the hatch and heading to the engine room.

Up the steps, Cat looked over her shoulder and muttered. “Kaylee acting odd to you?”

Mal tossed a look over his shoulder, his feet resting on the console and then when he realized her question, sat up. “No, not that I'm aware of.”

Her green eyes found his blue and stared into them. “Uh huh?” It was the sound of disbelief, but after a year on this ship, Cat had gotten use to the odd things that happened inside of the Firefly. “I probably don't want to know.”

“Asked her to make a list of parts. We'll have money and Serenity gets dead in the water, we're out of a job as well as a home.” He covered himself quick, more experienced with the covering his ass than the cheery mechanic.

“Very true.” She commented, taking up the chair where the navigator would sit. “So, you needed me?”

“Always.” He smiled at her, a moment passing between them before he continued. “I want you to come with me to see Fanti. Last time, we collected he and Mingo tried to changed things at the last minute.”

“And you think with me, they might not try to screw you as readily.”

“Well, you do have that effect on most all our clients. Save for Badger. Still need to explain that one to me.”

“Already did.” She replied, not wanting to drag up those memories. It was bad enough Jayne reminded her of him, and she wasn't talking Badger.

“Yes, you did.” He didn't press the matter learning with Cat, memories were as dangerous to her as thoughts of the future. They both knew her creators would still search for her and for River. To them, they were property and not let go like a stray dog.

“You know I'll do anything you ask, Captain.” She smiled at him, a wicked little grin that meant something more than just the order he had already given.

“Well, in that case, you might want to get a little closer.” He grabbed her hand, pulling her bodily into his lap as they kissed, his fingers finding the supple skin of her stomach and back.

“Cat, I was...” Kaylee walked in and then stopped, turning around as she continued. “Oh, I hope I wasn't interrupting anything.”

Mal coughed before releasing Cat, who smoothed out her shirt. “Not anymore.” He sounded a bit put out. “Teach you for ordering things like that on the bridge.” Cat smiled before turning to address the mechanic. “Yes, Kaylee.”

“I was wondering what kind of cake do you like.” It was an odd question since technically, Cat didn't do a lot of sweets. Still, if one would get technical...

“Chocolate with strawberries when you can get them. Why?” For a moment, Kaylee let her mind wrap around the image of the cake and what it would be like to eat it before shaking her head.

“Nothing. Just curious. Going around asking everyone. Oh, Cap'n, I already wrote down yours. White with dark chocolate icing.” With a flit, she was gone again and Cat just looked down at Mal.

“List of parts, huh?”

“I'm still getting over the image of you covered in chocolate and strawberry.” His eyes closed for a moment.

“I didn't say that, at all.” She placed a hand on her hip as Mal smiled.

“You didn't have to.” He grabbed her and pulled her back into his lap. “Now, where was I with the ordering?” ==========================================

AN- To be concluded


Saturday, May 15, 2010 6:18 AM


I find the shotgun inclusion in the title strangely ominous.

Aw, Jayne is family. And Kaylee, with the happy making, and strawberries.

Saturday, May 15, 2010 7:09 AM


Love it. And a great take on the bunny - not Cat's actual birthday but a celebration of her being on Serenity. I find your writing very ... sensuous, in the sense of using the senses (trying to find a better way of putting that, but failing miserably!) to create the scene. And Mal's preference for cake? Mmn, feeling hungry ...

Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:13 AM


Chocolate and strawberries....

I'll be in my bunk...

Monday, August 30, 2010 7:15 AM


I think celebrating how long Cat has been on Serenity is the much better path to take. Less likely to be laced with bad memories. And Kaylee really has forgotten the meaning of the word subtle :~) Ali D
"You can't take the sky from me!"


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