Firefly: After Miranda Part 8
Sunday, September 11, 2011

The crew of Serenity once again deal with Patience as they look to complete their job.


- 8 -

The Mule stood waiting just in front of Serenity’s port engine. The ship itself was closed except for smaller airlock door located on the cargo bay ramp.

“Mal, where are you boy,” Patience called from her horse about fifteen meters from the ships entrance.

Malcolm Reynolds stepped out of the doorway, the bottom his long coat fluttering from the step down and the steady breeze, “Right here, Patience.”

The old woman looked around, she was flanked by four of her men, each armed with a rifle, “I think you’ve grown dumb, Mal. What’s to keep me from putting you down right now…other then my sense of charity?”

Mal smiled, “They are,” he stated as he motioned up with his head.

Patience and her men looked up to see Jayne Cobb with the gun he called Vera perched atop one of Serenity’s wings. River Tam was on the other armed with Lux, a man portable minigun.

“…besides you have that sense of charity to deal with,” Mal finished.

“Okay, let’s do this,” Patience said as she dismounted.

“Zoe,” Mal called.

Zoe Washburne and Kaywinnit Lee Frye stepped out of the ship and headed over to the Mule.

“Remember, there are two frag grenades and a flash bang under the seat,” Mal whispered to Zoe as she passed.

“Shouldn’t need them, Sir,” she answered spinning around to do so.

“Patience, if you would step inside,” Mal called, “let’s just leave that street howitzer outside.”

Patience walked over to Mal and handed him the shotgun she carried, “You want my Colt, too?”

“You can keep that, since I’m keeping mine.”

With that Patience stepped inside with the Captain while Zoe and Kaylee followed Patience’s men to recover the projector and a few other items.

“Let’s have a seat and just wait,” Mal said as he and Patience entered the galley.

“Hello,” Inara said as they entered, “Would you like a drink?”

“Inara?” Mal asked quizzically.

“Why yes, fancy I would,” Patience said seeing the bottle of booze on the pretty young women’s tray.

Patience took a seat at the head of the table. Mal took another; he was too engrossed with Inara’s behavior to care about Patience sitting in his spot.

“What is a fancy young lady like yourself doing with a bum like Mal,” Patience asked as Inara set cups in front of each of them.

Inara smiled, “I rent a shuttle from the Captain, or will be in the near future.”

“So, strictly business,” Mal snipped, letting his mouth run.

“If that’s the way you want it, Captain” Inara said calmly filling the cups.

Patience took a swig from her cup, “Why would you want anything else from him.”

“Hey!” Mal retorted.

“Well, believe it or not Captain Reynolds does have some redeeming qualities; manners just would not be one of them.” Inara said, ignoring Mal.

The Captain just put his head in his hand, knowing this was payback he was simply going to have to suffer through.

“You know, I shot him once,” the old women smiled.

“I’ve heard,” Inara said with a slightly forced smile. Even though she was enjoying torturing Mal in this way she hated the thought of him hurt.

“Yup, shot him right in the old pi gu,” Patience smirked.

“Damn it, Patience, your memory is as bad as your aim,” Mal said looking up from his hand, “you hit me in the back of the leg, closer to the knee then…well anything else.

“Mal, it’s not polite to contradict a guest.” Inara corrected.

“Haha, I like her,” Patience laughed.

Mal took a swig from his mug and hoped Zoe and Kaylee would not be too long.

Luckly for Mal it didn’t take long for Zoe and Kaylee to collect the items they came for. The projector itself was fairly light and about the size of a thick brief case. Once Kaylee had to remove the holographic projector from its mounts it was only a matter of unplugging a few wires. One of Patience men, and younger man, helped Kaylee. Zoe was surprised by this, as well as the overall politeness of the men. She figured that Patience must really be hard up.

Once they were back to the ship the exchange went smooth. Partly because Jayne and River were still overseeing things from Serenity’s wings, but also because Patience had enjoyed telling and hearing stories about Mal, all of which he hated. Soon enough Serenity was back in the air and headed for the other side of the world.



Mal, Zoe and Kaylee dismounted from the Mule, which they had parked south of the Orphanage, behind the outer wall. This insured no one that approached from town could see it. The three stuck close to the wall as they made their way towards the front door. Each carried a bag of equipment. As they got to the door Zoe dropped the duffle bag and knelt down to inspect the door lock. It was an older style turn-key lock.

“Think you can pick it?” Mal questioned.

Zoe smiled up at him as she removed a small lock pick set from her vest, “Piece of cake, Sir.”

“Good, I’m going to keep a look out,” Mal responded dropping his bag, “remember we only have a few hours before the church services are over.”

“Got it, Cap’n,” Kaylee smiled.

Mal moved up the small hill that hide the town from view. Near the top he lied down and removed a small pair of binoculars from inside his coat. As he looked into the town he could only see a few people milling around the main street. He knew most of the town would be heading to church.

It only took a few moments for Zoe to open the front door. She had learned to pick simple locks during her misspend youth. She and Kaylee entered cautiously. As Kaylee started to unpack some of the bags Zoe drew her Mare’s Leg and did a quick sweep of the building. Once she was satisfied it was empty she rejoined Kaylee and they began their work. Lucky for them the interior ceiling was made of wooden panels that could easily be removed. This made running wires and placing the cameras easier.

“We almost done?” the Captain’s voice crackled over the com on Zoe’s belt.

Grabbing the communicator she replied, “Only a few more minutes, Sir.”

“It better only be a few, I’m seeing more and more people out here. Church must be out.”

“Understood, Sir,” she answered and then placed the com back on her belt, “Kaylee, we have to hurry.”

About ten minutes later Kalyee connected that last of the cameras into her makeshift control box located in the ceiling of the entrance way. She quickly replaced the ceiling panel and hopped off the small wooden end table she had been standing on.

“All set?” Zoe asked.

“Yup, everything’s shiny,” the cheerful mechanic replied.



Kaylee’s makeshift surveillance system was in place, the crew was back, and Serenity was one again sailing through the black. All they had to do now was wait, of course that was the hard part. Mal had ordered Zoe, Jayne and Kaylee to start working on building navigation decoys and crybabies to keep them busy. Simon never needed any busy work, he had his own. That left Inara.

“Come in,” Inara responded to the nock on the shuttle door.

The Captain entered. Inara’s shuttle was looking more and more the way it did before she left. Her bed was once again up, along with her couch and table. Some of the fine fabric she used to hide the shuttles dull interior was also in place. Inara was sitting her bed running a brush through Little Jayne’s hair as he sat in front of her playing with Kaylee’s jacks.

“Captain, since when do you knock?” Inara questioned.

“How’s he doing?” Mal asked, ignoring Inara’s question.

“Fine…it took a bit to get him away from Jayne. A little while ago we were on the catwalk watching him work,” she responded continuing to run her brush through the little boys golden hair, “he has such beautiful soft hair…I would kill for hair like this.”

“Yours ain’t bad at all.” Mal complemented looking at the few curls that had escaped from her up-done hair.

“Thank you, Captain,” she said keeping her tone formal.

“I reckon I owe you a bit of thanks…for the other day.”

“For what?”

“I realized what you were doing when Patience was aboard,”

“It was not payback, Mal,” she replied letting her formal tone drop a bit.

“You were putting Patience at her ease, so that me and her didn’t end up shooting each other,” Mal replied moving towards Inara side.

“I’m impressed, I did not think you could be so astute,” she replied half joking.

Mal smiled, “Well, I can be a bit slow on the uptake at times.”

“It might help if you were not yelling at people,” she responded more seriously.

The Captain’s smile faded, “I yell when I need people to listen and understand. Zoe and Jayne put this ship, everyone on board and that little guy in danger they shouldn’t have.”

“You put this ship and crew in danger all the time, that’s what you do.”

“Inara,” he started lowering his head, “I’m responsible for this ship and crew, no one else. That means I get to make those calls.”

Inara, put her brush down and looked up and him, “Mal you can’t be responsible for everything that happens to the people on this ship.”

“You can say that, but it doesn’t change the truth of things. Not to sound…self-important or anything, but I don’t know if you can understand that unless you’ve been in command.”

Inara had never thought about it before, but he right about not understanding. Mal had commanded thousands of man and women in battle. She was sure that he had knowingly sent some of them to their deaths. It would be hard for anyone to not feel responsible for that, and carry it with them.

“I’m sorry I snapped at you the way I did,” he said, breaking her train of thought.

Her eyes soften, “I shouldn’t have been questioning you in front of everyone like that, but I accept your apology,” she said ending with a smile.

“I’m glad,” he said softly as he leaned down and kissed her.



Zoe felt Wash’s warm arm wrap around her. She shifted back towards him almost instinctively, moving away parts of the covers that separated them. Soon she felt the familiar feeling of Wash’s cheek moving her hair out of the way so he could softly kiss the back of her ear. Then just as quickly his arm, his cheek and his warmth faded away.

Zoe Washburne slowly opened her eyes, alone in her bunk. She had had the same dream countless times since Miranda. At first it would bring her to tears. Recently she had started to appreciate it. Perhaps somehow Wash was letting her know he was still with her. Whether it was simply a dream or something more, Zoe was just glad to be reminded of how it felt to be curled up with Wash.

Now wide awake Zoe looked over to the small clock on her nightstand. It was early morning. She threw off her covers and dressed. Exiting her bunk she noticed that the door to the Captain’s was wide open and the light was on. She walked over to it and listened for a second.

“Sir, you awake,” she called.

There was no response. It then dawned on her; the Captain was most likely with Inara in her shuttle. A wealth of feeling regarding the Captain and Inara bubbled up. Part of Zoe was jealous that they had each other while she was now without Wash. Still another part was happy for her friend, he deserved some happiness.

Approaching the bridge Zoe saw a familiar sight, River asleep in the pilot’s chair. The young girl looked small curled up into a ball under the brown blanket. Zoe brushed a tufted of hair away from the girls face. There was a time when Zoe blamed River for Wash’s death. After all, it was her the Alliance was after. She did not allow herself to have those thoughts for long. She knew River had no choice in what happened to her. The girl had been tortured, operated on and turned into a weapon against her will. The Alliance was to blame, no one else.

Zoe continued her tour of the darkened ship. As she quietly entered the engine room she saw Kaylee and Simon wrapped up with each other in Kaylee’s hammock. Zoe had initially wondered what the Captain was thinking hiring Kaylee on as the ships mechanic. Her constantly sunny personality had initially grated on Zoe, but after awhile it grew on her. In a way Kaylee had become the beating heart of Serenity. Zoe often felt a bit sorry for the things Kaylee had been through because of the ship. Somehow even after Miranda the girl’s rainbow outlook had endured. Simon may have had something to do with that.

Most night the passenger rooms would be empty. For the last week the two Jaynes had moved into the Sheppard’s old room. Jayne was not the smartest man in the ‘verse, but even he knew his room was no place for a small child. Zoe peeked in on them. There was the big merc asleep with his little friend happily tucked under his arm.

Over the last week Little Jayne had come out of his shell. He no longer needed to be to be within sight of Jayne. He would now stay with other members of the crew, although after Jayne, Inara and Kaylee were his favorites. There were also a few staring matches between the boy and River, each ending with the both of them giggling.

Zoe finished her tour of the ship and headed up to the galley. The crew would be waking soon, so she figured she would start breakfast. After all today was the day they would be returning to Whitefall to complete their job.


Sunday, September 11, 2011 3:03 PM


I just loved the scene between Mal, Inara, and Patience in the dining room. Great! And loved that Mal later figured out that he owed Inara thanks for defusing a potentially tense and dangerous situation.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 3:22 PM


I like a lot of this, including the scene with Patience, but I think the part I like best is actually the staring matches right at the end. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:24 PM


I liked this chapter a lot.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:17 PM


Inara and Patience on Mal had me cracking up.

Little Jayne is cute, how old is he?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:54 PM


Little Jayne is around two.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 8:12 AM


Update 11-06-2011

Corrections and a bit of a rewrite.


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