Friday, October 28, 2005

"The passenger settles in. The Captain and crew discuss their options. Kaylee decides it is time to go after what she wants."



SUMMARY: "The passenger settles in. The Captain and crew discuss their options. Kaylee decides it is time to go after what she wants." 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

* * * * *

It took less effort than Milo expected for him to convince Serenity's Captain to take him on board. Not sure if it was just the money that swayed it but Malcolm Reynolds seemed a mite distracted and that worked to Milo's advantage. *Wode ma* he would have gone down on his gorram hands and knees if that was what it took. The woman had shown him the only path that would lead to a positive conclusion and Milo was ready to take it with both hands. Grab on to it until the life was squeezed out of him. Wouldn't be the first time he braved some inferno or other for a treasure not of man's making. The dreams were still a mite disturbing though, the faces not all as clear as he would have liked. If he could have done so he would have dragged the woman with him but that was not part of the bargain and even had he opened his soul to her and begged she would not have come.

As his few bits of precious were stowed away in the guest bunk the knock on his door disconcerted Milo more than the prophecy had done. He cleared his throat as quietly as he could, not wanting to show any sign of the nervousness creeping into every cell of his body. "*Jinlai*."

It was somewhat of a shock when Serenity's prim and proper doctor stepped into his bunk. Simon watched Milo intently only speaking when the dark man raised a questioning brow. "Sorry to disturb you but I was thinking perhaps I could do something to help with the scarring."

Surprise was a heady rush made rarer by the honest concern in the doctors' eyes. Milo knew the boy was talking about plastic surgery and guessed it was some remnant of manners preventing Simon from saying so right out. Still, him being prepared to offer at all was refreshing. "This body is the shell of my past life." Milo explained.

It was only as his words left his mouth that Milo became aware that there was someone else standing just outside his door in the corridor. Seeing the mercenary poke his head through the opening made him more than a mite irritated though he was careful to hide it. He did not know these people and could not afford to do anything to put his passage in jeopardy. "Ya sayin' ya died, got born again?"

Milo blinked then shook his head at the mercenary. "*Bu qu*. We are constantly being reborn are we not? How else could Man be a work in progress?"

"Huh?" Jayne scowled, grunted then walked off in irritation and disappointment, disgusted to find the passenger boring after all. He hated all that pseudo religious crap. In Jayne's wake Shepherd Book and the Captain paused at the doorway. Milo was beginning to feel like the main attraction in some gorram zoo. What was it with these people or was he a circus act? Perhaps he should start charging admission? The Preacher let the Captain speak first. "You mentioned a quest."

"Yes, Captain, I did." "An' what kind'a quest would that be?"

"Not the kind that would jeopardise your ship or crew." He reassured.

"You spoke of being reborn." Said Book.

Now Milo smiled. Might have known the Shepherd would be looking for a religious angle. He was almost sorry to disappoint him. "I meant it in a manner of speaking, father."

"Not bein' literal then?" Put in Mal.

"No." Milo paused and glanced at Simon, surprised to see the man still in his room. It was beginning to feel a mite crowded. "Doctor, was there something else?"

"You didn't answer my question. Can I help you?"

"Forgive my abruptness but how I look does not concern me. If you are offended look away."

Simon blinked at the calm but brusque response. Stunned. The passenger had not looked to be the type to be easily irritated. But Milo knew the truth, wasn't everything a mask? A veiled deception? The little cues expended to get what they wanted? A look. A smile. A touch. Even a carefully placed show of respect. It was all a part of the fabrication, the lie that passed as living in the mortal world. No wonder what lay within was often uglier than anything the human mind could conjure from a single warped and twisted thought, although what had happened in Serenity Valley came close. Whatever it took was simply a tool to get a job done. Human nature was no different from any other puzzle. Milo knew Simon did not understand but had the ability to share if he chose. He didn't. It was too fragile and Milo's burden to bear. He noticed Simon had not moved, his devotion to his duty of care not diminished by Milo's subtle warding off. Another would have walked away sensing his need to be alone. But the doctor had learnt to ignore the more subtle cues thinking he could change the shape of the world to come. In that they were not so very different.

"I only wanted to help."

The man nodded, but there was no warmth in either the gesture or the thought behind it. Rather there was a lack, a withdrawal of negative responses that would bleed into anger. His fight was not here, not now. He needed to heal but not on the outside. "I am not injured or in pain."

Simon nodded, not because he believed him but out of politeness. If the man needed him he would know where to find him. The doctor in him knew that it would have to be enough. Milo watched the boy leave and gave a nod to the Captain. Mal and Book followed Simon out. Milo closed his door and this time he locked it before turning back to his tasks. He did not want any more interruptions. Schooling his features and calming his mind he embraced the stillness that would open the second portal to the vision that was his life. That the walls of the prophecy were stained red mattered not one iota. That the blood gushed from veins that were not his own did not even leave an echo of sympathy in his mind. He was still in the throes of Creation. He knew how others saw him. A mangled twisting of features and limbs fresh from the fire and the crucible that had reformed the nature of his clay, something to scare the children at night, a glimpse into a dark place that formed the pattern of a million nightmares yet with eyes closed was still a mortal man. Simon had wanted to give him that, the appearance of a mortal man. Normal. All his excess carved away like the twisted seals of his ruined flesh. Smoothed out, remade in the image of the faceless masses so that the wolf could be a sheep again.

A wry smile try to push its' way through the folds of his skin but lay trapped and hidden in the dark creases where even more secrets lay. Did Serenity's crew have any idea of what they had allowed to board their ship? Badger might have the barest inkling but he did not know and Milo liked it that way. He knew the man's spite made him a little man not his size. Badger craved a terrible fate be unleashed upon this Captain and his crew. Milo didn't care. He was motivated only by what he needed at this point in time. The prophecy was unfolding behind his naked eyes, the lure of revelation touched the darkness in his soul and brought the first measured calm to his benighted flesh. Peace invaded him, calm suffused his mental agony, the mission shining bright and clear in his mind's eye like a clensing fire. He was a warrior but of a kind the 'verse had seldom seen. Better no one saw him as he truly was until the moment of revelation. If that meant keeping himself apart he would do it. For where in the whole known 'verse would be found another like himself except within the crucible from whence he came?

* * * * *

River was not happy. In fact she was all kinds of annoyed and frustrated. As if Simon wasn't bad enough the Captain had been avoiding her. How could he do that and call himself a man? She tracked him down. Resolute and relentless. Found him talking to Zoe, Jayne, Wash and Book in the commons area. Little Kaylee mixing something not so sweet in a bowl. Inara fussing with the kettle. Simon was not with the others and for once River was grateful. She walked right up to them, inserting her slim frame effortlessly between Wash and the Captain, then looked Mal dead in the eye as she fought for calm. Losing her temper would just set him off and that would not get either of them what they wanted. What she needed him to want. "You're avoiding me." "*Shenme*?" The Captain blinked. River could sense Inara's hands freeze, suspended above the teapot as the Companion listened. Even with her back to Inara the genius could tell that she was on the alert now. "River, just talkin' to the crew." "And me? Am I crew Mal?"

That got everyone's attention. "*Bu qu*, you know the answer to that." "You said you were speaking to the crew."

He blinked, confused. "*Dui*, what you askin' here?"

"Speak to me."

Kaylee put her bowl down, no longer that interested in the protein enhanced cereal she was fixing herself for a snack. She wiped her hands down her coverall and wondered what the good gorram this was about.

"Okay, what you wantin' me to say?"

She stared at him. Why couldn't he see that it wouldn't mean anything if she had to put the words in his mouth? Pain clutched her heart in a momentary spasm. This was a mistake. The forum too public. His nearness too intoxicating. His truth blinding her with expectations that had to be coaxed into life not battered into existence until it emerged frail, insubtantial and capable of breaking them both. No. This was wrong even if her feelings for the Captain were right. Instead of answering she turned and left the room. Gone as quickly as she had come. Mal stared after her, a look of confusion and concern at war on his face. He wanted to follow, reassure her, but he couldn't. Inara abandoned the fiction that she had not been listening. "What was that about?"

"Huh, what makes you think I'd know? I'm a Cap'n not a gorram mind reader."

After a moment or two the others restarted the conversation, Book bringing them all back on track. "Are you sure you can trust him, Captain?"

"*Diyu* I know I can't but a job is a job. He's paid us Badger's part for comin' and the fee in transporting him an' his things to where he's goin' is a goodly price. It'll buy food an' fuel an' mayhap that new stabliser you were wantin', Kaylee."

"An' coin to jingle, Mal?" Asked Jayne eagerly.

The Captain resisted the urge to sigh. "We ain't gonna get rich off one transport job, Jayne." "Yeah, but we'll get paid?"

"We'll get paid, just not so much we can splash out on non essentials."

"But, Mal..."

"This ain't no holiday camp, Jayne!" Snapped the Captain. There was a small awkward silence. "Once we drop our passenger off we go lookin' for somethin' more substantial, *dong ma*?"

"I understand why we have to do this Captain," Said Book slowly. His tone and manner relaying that he was not questioning the Captain's decision nor criticising him. "But are we sure we really want to go to Dresden?"

Dresden was a Core World. Densely populated and the top end of the Tech Revolution that bound the monied classes together tighter than strands of DNA. Mal had never been there before but like every good Browncoat had heard of it, the name of the place enough to set every nerve in his body on edge. Milo had even upped the price to sweeten the deal, insisting that all they had to do was get him there. No questions asked. How hard could it be? They didn't have to do more than touch the soil, not kiss it. Just abide long enough for their unwanted passenger to depart then they would get themselves into the atmo so fast they would be nothing but a gorram blur in the sky. As long as that blur didn't become a smudge.

Lost in thought it was some minutes before the Captain realised everyone had left the commons area except Wash and Zoe. The baby stirring in his second's arms brought Mal back to the Here and Now. He blinked and found a smile settling on his lips as he watched Zoe take a seat on the couch, Wash fussing and fluttering around her as he prepared a bottle for the baby's feed. That was one of the things they had lucked into when they landed on Pacquin. Found a store sold crates of the damned stuff. Powdered milk. And not the basic kind, this one was top grade A quality and stuffed full of all the vitamins a growing child would need. Mal just hoped they wouldn't all end up living on it. Like Jayne he was partial to something he could sink his teeth into. Partial to living and breathing too. He swallowed. Not going there. Had to think positive.

"Not to intrude on an intimate moment but time's gonna come when you gotta give that baby a name."

Zoe looked up and smiled at him, something so truly happy and relaxed that he felt his heart constrict. Gorramit he ain't never seen her so content, so peaceful. Married life agreed with her in ways that made him so happy it was terrifying. And now this little scrap of life was adding to that joy in a way that pierced his heart and made him grip even fiercer to whatever he could do to maintain that idyll. He desperately wanted his people to be happy even if the self same thing couldn't be for him. Maybe even because of it.

"So what'd'you call him?"

It was Wash who answered. "Jack."

The Captain raised an amused eyebrow. "Jack? You tellin' me it took you three days to come up with a name an' that's all you got?"

"My fault, sir." Zoe deadpanned.

He blinked. "Ain't nothin' wrong with you choosin' a name I'm thinkin' just surprised me is all."

"Think we were gonna name him after you?" Wash quipped, unable to resist.

The Captain was smiling, his eyes on the baby. Far away thoughts gliding through his head like fireflies dancing to tunes only he could hear. The strains fashioned from the strings of his heart. He brushed the lightest of touches across the top of the baby's head. Just enough to stir the downy hair nothing more. Reverent almost, like some kind of unspoken blessing. Then the little magical moment was gone and Mal looked at Zoe. "What's wrong with callin' him Hoban?" The Captain glanced sideways at Wash's shocked reaction. "Your name ain't it?"

"Yes, an' did I not tell you how much I hate it?"

Mal laughed so hard he had to break it off before it degenerated into pain. Zoe's look sharpened in a heartbeat, more tuned to her Captain than was sometimes wise. Gave him a sense of the uncomfortables knowing she could read him so well especially as his own chances of having a family seemed to be close to a snowball's chance in hell. All nine of them by the look of it. "Sir?"

"Baby Jack it is." The Captain covered quickly. As if him saying it made it so.

Then the Captain was gone and Wash found himself gazing thoughtfully at the empty doorway before looking back at his wife. "What was that about?"

Zoe shrugged. Covering for both of them. "You know the Cap'n. Don't pay him no never mind, I think he's comin' round to the notion of us havin' kids, *zhangfu*."

Her husband didn't say anything but watched Zoe settle the baby with the bottle, his eyes full of a love so deep only the knowing that it was returned in full measure kept him from sinking in the bliss of it. Zoe said he knew the Captain but right now he was beginning to think he didn't know the man at all.

* * * * *

Simon and Kaylee were in their bunk, Simon not minding a good gorram that she had practically dragged him there. Her hands flying over the buttons of his vest and shirt before he could master his humour enough to form speech. "Slow down, *bao bei*, I'm not going anywhere."

Kaylee flushed. Simon was still amazed she could do that with such regularity given how open she had always been about sex. "Can't help it, you just look so *shuai* an' ya know that gets me all hot an' sweaty."

A hand slipped down to his trousers, sure and quick, his pants open even as he wriggled out of his shirt and vest, the laughter in his throat catching as her fingers gripped their prize. "Kay-lee..."

Her smile dazzled him, her touching setting him on fire. "Got somethin' ya wanna say now, Dr Tam?"

He was incoherent, his trousers stripped off him along with his underwear yet Kaylee managed not to let go of her grip on him. The sure flexing strokes of her hand making him groan and shiver as he hardened to her touch. Kaylee loved this, loved him. Loved the way she could knock all the Core out of him and just fill him with the want and need he constantly aroused in her. Now she wanted something more. She wanted what Zoe and Wash had only she was afraid to put it into words for fear of frightening her husband off. Being a parent was different to being a husband and that was something he would need easing into. Rutting 'til the object of her affection couldn't think straight was a start. Besides, she might be young but Kaylee could feel her biological clock ticking and she wasn't one who was going to be satisfied with only one. No. Best way to build a passel of younguns was to start early. Good thing the doc had stamina.

The first time was quicker than Simon would have liked but Kaylee had pounced on him so suddenly and been so cunningly energetic he had come before he could stop himself, the frantic thrust and snap of his hips stilling slowly as he released deep inside her hot warmth. Her legs wrapped around him, her lips sucking the breath out of him as he tried to recover the breath to speak. "Wow! Not that's I'm complaining, *bao bei*, but what brought that on?"

"What? I can't be overcome with wifely lust for my husband without a reason?"

Simon wasn't sure how to answer that without ruining the moment so he kissed her instead. He knew his greatest mistakes were always made when he opened his mouth. Chuckling, Kaylee knew what he was doing but didn't mind a good gorram. After all this was her idea and she needed to get him ready again. He didn't get suspicious until she rolled him onto his back then began to disappear in a line of determined kisses down his chest. Simon tried to pull her back up, to kiss her and ease into sleep. He was tired, sated, but his wife was insatiable. Opening his mouth to suggest they rest soon, the words disintegrated into broken vowels and stolen consonants as Kaylee's busy tongue slid down to wash him. Her mouth kissing, sucking and driving him beyond coherence for the second time.

Eyes closed he shuddered as she tongued his flaccid penis. Knowing all the medical terms did not inure him to the pleasure and excitement straining through his body. He twitched but knew he would not be rising to the occasion for a while at least. Then she sucked him in, her hot wet mouth wrapped around him as as if he was some tasty treat. Simon groaned, head back on the pillow, body twitching. His penis a little too sensitive for prolonged abuse but enjoying the mix of pleasure and pain that had rewired his brain into an instrument of her sweet torment. It took his pleasure numbed mind a moment or two to register that she was spreading his legs, her hands rubbing and stroking up and down his thighs, her mouth still sucking gently on him, her tongue tasting and licking and probing the salty slit while keeping him imprisoned inside her mouth.

It was the press of her finger that jolted him. Simon's head snapped up, a strangled cry in his throat as she breached him. What the gorram was she doing? But before he could ask the slick finger burrowed deeper and his groan crossed the abyss to a moan, not sure if he liked what she was doing or not. He felt open, vulnerable, in a way making love had never done before. He found himself beginning to jerk in her mouth as another finger joined the first, the burn of entry now confused with jolts of pleasure as she found his prostrate gland. Oh good gorram, she was going to kill him! But Kaylee knew what she was doing. Wasn't no prairie harpie just a fun loving woman wanting to please and sex her man. Wanting to take him to the edge and throw him off with all the bells and whistles. Wanted to make him come so hard that she would carry the taste of him in her mouth until she died.

Simon didn't care. His mumbled broken words dribbling out of his slack mouth, his whole world one of sensation. His body thrumming as if there was a current running through it. His cock hardening in that busy but gentle mouth, the teeth nipping as she sucked, the tongue teasing. Her fingers so deep inside him now that it felt like a whole hand. He jerked and shuddered hard, knew he had to be leaking inside her mouth, her tongue sliding back and forth over the slit as precum mixed with the juices in her mouth making Kaylee moan. No wait. That was him. Wasn't it? Simon shuddered again, the hand now fully inside him and gently stroking his prostrate, orchestrating the excitement rising as he jerked and juddered harder and harder in answer to her touch. Her mouth on him more insistence now, her teeth under the cap holding him until her lips glided down the blood engorged shaft. His foreskin oiled by her mouth and beginning to throb as his balls tightened.

He wanted to warn her, to tell her to let him go so he could bury himself inside her but it was not what she wanted this time. He felt like every bone in his body had melted, the heat hitting his spine like a rush of kundalini as pleasure overflowed and burned his senses, the rush of pressure released in a pleasure so intense he was not sure whether or not he had blacked out for a second as he came. The ejaculate swallowed down without so much as a hiccough. He lay wasted, spent. A sloppy starfish of arms and legs bathed in sweat. Kaylee took her mouth off him but did not remove the hand. Simon did not notice. He had died and gone to wherever it is the well and truly fucked go when their minds have turned to mush. She let him drift in and out of sleep, her hand gentle inside him, stroking slowly and carefully over the gland for the pleasure of watching the ripples of reaction tremble through his body. After a while she slowly and carefully eased her hand out of him. Kissed the opening then slowly and lovingly kissed him all over, not stopping until she had licked the sweat off him then settled her finally satisfied body over his.

With a wicked little grin Kaylee dropped a kiss on Simon's lips, yawned then pulled the blanket up over them. They would need their sleep especially if her husband was going to be fit enough for round two come morning. She drifted off to sleep with a vision of a miniature Simon smiling up at her, the tiny immaculate copy blowing bubbles as he dribbled in happy content. A last thought as another yawn cracked her jaw was *like father like son*. Oh yeah. Kaylee Tam could live with that.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*wode ma* = mother of God *jinlai* = come in *bu qu* = no (lit. no go) *shenme* = what? *dui* = correct *dong ma* = understand? *diyu* = hell *zhangfu* = husband *bao bei* = precious/treasure *shuai* = handsome/snazzy


Friday, October 28, 2005 9:44 AM


Good answer to the question, "How can a telepath not know what's going on?" Funny, how it's almost the same answer to the question, "How to keep Simon from finidng out he's on track for a baby." And love the mysterious Milo.

Saturday, October 29, 2005 2:09 AM


Whoo! Simon's having a time of it and no mistake!

Milo - an intriguing character. Not at all sure what to make of him.

I liked River being a bit more vulnerable with regard to Mal in this chapter. Up until now, he's felt like a lamb to the slaughter. I like River being a bit uncertain too. Although, when you're a mind-reading genius, uncertainty must be hard to come by!


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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.