Thursday, September 22, 2005

River "hatches" a plan, Jayne and Wash drink like fish, Kaylee purrs, and Mal needs an aspirin. First try at fanfic, please be gentle.


The stove had blown out the day before. Nothing big, but it was going to take stopping over to buy a part before he could heat his coffee again.

Captain Malcolm Reynolds was just filling his mug with cold leftovers when he noticed the 2 bottles of engine-produced wine sitting on the table. Empty. The last time that happened, Jayne had done some type of interpretive dance on the cargo bay catwalk, minus his pants, and using that gorram rainstick as a prop. Mal was desperately hoping there was not a repeat performance, when he heard some low giggling from the engine room, followed by a coarse song usually only sung in rougher Independent bars.

Mal was usually only accepting of one person ever being with Serenity's heart - and last he saw of Kaylee, she was down in the infirmary making doe-eyes at Simon, the ship's doctor. While she was prone to bouts of giggles, she was decidedly not given to ribald space chanties, especially sung in a man's voice.

"Sir, do you hear singin'?" Zoe, Mal's first mate, crept into the galley, listening intently. "I seem to have lost my husband, and now I'm thinkin'..."

Setting his mug down, Mal turned down the hall toward the rear of the ship, knowing he wasn't going to like this. Zoe followed. They made it to the door right as the song ended, and immediately knew that this would be one of those headache-inducing situations.

Jayne sat on the floor to the left of the entryway, painstakingly cutting strips of duct tape with his knife while blubbering to the other two occupants of the room. "I jes hafta say, y'all is the best ruttin' group o' crew a guy could have!" Jayne sniffed and wiped his eyes a bit. "I love you guys!" He stopped talking long enough to focus on his work, as sharp knives combined with drunkenness rarely worked in his favor.

"Careful, m'wife might hear ya!", Wash, seated against the engine behind Jayne, whispered loudly. "An' she says nobody can love me but her." Wash weaved a bit, nearly dropping the small bundle of foil he was carefully wrapping. He had several similar packets arrayed around him, each a slightly different size and shape. Deciding his current wrapping job was sufficient, he handed it up to the third person in the room.

River was perched on the right edge of the engine housing, her long hair tied back to keep it out of the lazily spinning turbine. She accepted a piece of tape from Jayne and a packet from Wash, and deftly taped the foil to a bit of the engine. "Round and round, like juggling, always circling but never touching. Dizzy birds.", she muttered. Her gaze flicked to Wash, whose eyes lit up as he was about to say something. "Not geese.", she informed him.

Wash digested this bit of news. "*Dang ran*.", he answered, "But this one planet - "

"What the gorram hell y'all doing to the engine?" Mal was far less interested in geese at the moment.

Wash looked over and, noting the Captain, snapped off a sloppy salute. "Cooking, sir!" He scanned the foil balls around him, and picked one up for inspection. "With aluminum. See? This one looks like Serenity!" Wash lobbed the bundle to the Captain, who unwrapped it. Inside the foil he found a chicken drumstick, lightly battered. Wash offered up another one. "And this one is 'Nara's shuttle. Can tell 'cause you see the shiny stuff through the windows".

Jayne, obviously proud of his handiwork, decided to expand on Wash's explanation. "See, Kaylee maked that wine in here, so we got genius-girl here ta help us figger a way to make somethin' else." He grinned. "We was hungry. An' since the stove was all busted..."

Mal pinched his nosebridge and held up his hand for Jayne to stop. Zoe was trying hard to be stern, but the twinkle in her eyes was giving her away.

"Husband,", she addressed Wash, "you been drinkin'. And in pretty bad company, too."

"I love my wife!", Wash announced.

"I love yer wife, too. We jes a big, lovin' family." Jayne leered from his spot on the floor. Zoe had a decidely less amused gaze for Jayne.

"Ingestion of alchohol produces both loss of judgement and lack of motor control, as well as dehydration. Extreme amounts can result in death." River glanced at Mal, then indicated the two men across from her. "They won't die."

"Uh huh. Good to know. Where you boys get the chicken?"

Both men on the floor pointed to River, who just smiled enigmatically. "I needed a way to hatch the chicks. They've incubated long enough."

Mal sighed. "Zoe, can you move my pilot? Preferably to his bunk. NOT the bridge - no more gorram fire drills at 3AM." Zoe nodded. Mal reached over and slapped the comm unit. "Kaylee, I need you and the doc up in the engine room. Right now."

"Hmm.", Wash considered, "Don't know if we have enough chicken for all of us, sir. Don't know if calling a meetin' in here is best."

Zoe fixed Wash with her first-mate-no-nonsense look. "Wash, time to go." Wash looked up, grinned at his wife, then staggered to his feet. Grabbing onto Zoe for support, he began to make his way forward to the crew quarters. Zoe cocked an eyebrow at the Captain, raised the corner of her mouth in a half-smile, and followed her husband down the hall.

"Jayne, get gone." Mal grabbed his hired gun by the arm and bodily dragged him to his feet. With a shove, Jayne was sent stumbling into the corridor. "Go sleep it off."

Jayne squinted, thinking about this. Nodding once, he finalized his plan. "I'll be in my bunk. Call me when it's time to eat." As he turned to go, he found Simon and Kaylee right next to him, having come up the stairs from the infirmary. "Hiya, Doc! Work up an appetite?" Jayne looked suggestively at Kaylee, before clapping Simon on the shoulder hard enough to stagger him back into the bulkhead. Laughing loudly at his own joke, Jayne turned and continued to his room.

Glaring at Jayne's back, Simon picked himself up and sniffed the air. "Well, something certainly does smell....". He was going to say "good", but the word died on his lips as he took in Mal, the engine, and River. He finally settled on a question. "Captain?"

Mal shrugged. "Don't look at me Doc, she's your sister, and she's been drinkin' with Jayne. I'd 'preciate it if you could back her up from the workings a mite. Don't think crazy girl should be fiddlin' with the engine." River stuck her tongue out at him.

"The engine? What's wrong with it?" At the mention of her beloved engine, Kaylee elbowed around Simon and finally took in the whole scene - the small drippings of batter on the floor, tape stuck to the walls, and of course the several metallic blobs attached to the turbine. With a small gasp, she finally laid narrowed eyes on River. "River! What're - "

Mal put a soothing hand on her shoulder. "Now, little Kaylee, let's just calm down and put it to rights. Plenty o' time for punishin' later." He turned to Simon. "Doc, best get little sis outta here afore someone gets brained with a wrench."

Simon saw the look in Kaylee's eyes, and quickly gathered up River and herded her towards the door. "*Mei-mei*, I think we should got to sleep now. Let Kaylee work."

River wasn't quite ready to leave yet. "At cruising speed, chickens require nearly 1000 revolutions to ensure adequate heat and sterilization." She looked seriously at Kaylee and the Captain. "Don't eat them all, not hatched yet." She considered a bit more. "And save some for Simon. He always forgets meals. Not good for him."

Kaylee glared at River and began rooting for tools in her toolbox. "Kaylee, I'm sorry about - ", Simon began, but stopped when she just looked at him with the same glare. Simon decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and he could work it out with her later. Turning River down the stairs back towards the infirmary, the last thing he heard was a string of Chinese curses as Kaylee went to work.

Mal just sighed. He was going to need an aspirin. Maybe three.

* *

Several hours later, Simon was alone in the infirmary. River had finally fallen asleep by herself, but only after he assuring her that he would make sure the chickens hatched properly. He finished his latest medical notes - probably the first medical notes in history with a mention of engine-fired poultry - and stood up to stretch. He was just glad River had apparently not had any of the wine, as it was doubtful that illegal hooch was part of a good medication regimen for her.

"Hey there.", a cheerful voice chirped from the common area right outside the door. Simon poked his head out to see Kaylee stretched out on one of the couches, feet bare, and nibbling on what appeared to be the remains of a chicken drumstick. Simon grinned nervously - he was happy to see her, but was also dreading the lecture he was sure was coming. River had messed with the engine, and to Kaylee that was usually unforgivable.

He walked over towards the couch, and she scooted over to make room for him. That was a better sign than he'd hoped for - he had expected to be pelted with a slightly raw piece of chicken. "Hi.", he answered, sitting down. "'d it go?"

"Aww, really weren't nothing. I done worse to the engine myself. One time I dropped my socks into the intake, whole room smelled like Jayne's bunk for a week. River had a much nicer-smelling notion. But, Cap'n says she oughta stay away from movin' parts anyways."

He nodded in assent, but then something occurred to him. "And you know how Jayne's bunk smells because...?"

Kaylee perked up slightly at the question. "Do I detect a hint of jealousy, there, Dr. Tam?" She seemed quite pleased at the idea, and she stopped nibbling at the chicken long enough to give him a saucy grin.

"No, no!" Simon gulped and backpedaled. "But, uh, you see...I was just, ah, surprised, that's all."

Kayleee said nothing, but slowly raised her eyebrows at him. With every moment, Simon turned a new and even funnier shade of red. After about 10 seconds, she decided he'd suffered enough, and was starting to worry if he'd cross the spectrum from red to purple. Giggling, She reached over and grabbed a covered plate she had hidden behind her. "Relax, Simon. Jayne an' me's just friends. Don't go blowin' a gasket." She smiled at him. "I saved these for you." She handed the plate across to Simon.

"Wings?", he asked, looking at the two small pieces left on the plate. "There must have been over a dozen foil balls stuck to that engine. Where'd it all go?"

Kaylee laughed. "Oh, Cap'n came back to have some. Said he weren't too happy 'bout it, but food is food and the stove's still broke. We finished cookin' these with my welder. If ya don't like the wings, what parts was ya hopin' for?" She had that twinkle in her eye while she watched him carefully. Simon always seemed immune to her advances, through sheer thick-headedness. Time to throw the boy a signal he can’t miss.

Simon, as usual, was oblivious to how he was being set up. "Well, I haven't had any real meat since back on Osiris. We used to have these huge parties, with a buffet table to take your breath away. Lots of strawberries.", he added for her benefit. She smiled and bit her lip at the mention of her favorite food. "But the centerpiece was always a huge turkey, sometimes more than one. River an I used to fight over what part was best. She always wanted drumsticks and wings. Something about fast-twich muscles being leaner."

"And you?"

"I always liked the breasts and...uh, thighs..." Simon finally realized what exactly he was saying. He cleared his throat and glanced at her, thoroughly embarrassed.

Kaylee, however, had no problem with that answer. She jumped across the couch and landed directly in his lap, her chicken bone dropping to the floor. Surprised by the sudden shift in weight, Simon reflexively put his arms around her to keep them both from falling off the sofa, while she snuggled in as close as she could. "Well, Doc.", Kaylee purred, getting nose to nose with him and putting one arm around his neck, "Cap'n came an' ate all of those parts what was in the engine. But betcha if we look around here a bit, we could find some...others." Her nose crinkled as she turned on the brightest smile she had while her other hand lightly played with the zipper of her coveralls.

Simon blushed scarlet, took note of her hands, but finally managed to look her in the eye. He knew he was had, and loved every minute of it. Surrender was the only option. "Perhaps. I'm a very careful observer.", he told her, before slowly leaning in to kiss her.

* *

River slid the screen closed on her room, from where she'd been watching Kaylee and her brother in silence. She gave herself a satisfied nod, and an impish little grin. "Hatched chicks, no more circling."


Friday, September 23, 2005 8:50 AM


river - serenity's very own cupid...*points river's arrows away from self*


Friday, September 23, 2005 10:32 AM


Good on ya. Good title and teaser, as well.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 2:23 AM


and i always said that chickens were evil... im saving this one for posterity... it will give some of my friends as many laughs at my expence as i got from a hooch-soaked jayne and wash agreeing...

oh and by the way, ill send you the cleaning bill from where i

lol pmsl

Sunday, September 25, 2005 2:24 AM



the title makes it brilliant!!

Thursday, October 6, 2005 4:19 PM


<blushes> Thanks, guys.

I got the idea when watching the TV "Serenity" again. When the yblowback the Reavers and the engine starts whirling away so fast, I started cracking up and mentioned to the wife how Kaylee should just strap some hot dogs to the thing. Hence the foil cooking.

The S/K fluff at the end was actually an afterthought (although I am a total sucker for S/K fluff in general - they are the cutest couple in the 'verse), as I realized I could set Simon up for a boobs joke. Besides, Kaylee was so patient for 14 episodes, she deservesd it.

Saturday, October 8, 2005 3:35 PM


^very nice. I can totally see that happening too!

Friday, November 18, 2005 12:39 AM


This was so cute, I loved it. Especially the part about drunken Jayne doing an interpretive dance with his rain stick, sans his pants. Yep. That image is staying with me for a while, lol.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 7:58 PM


The last time that happened, Jayne had done some type of interpretive dance on the cargo bay catwalk, minus his pants, and using that gorram rainstick as a prop.

Do you know how much I would PAY to see that???

Monday, December 19, 2005 2:20 AM


I'm more of a drumstick person.
Luv the story.


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