Shiny New Toys 14: Repetition
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mal realizes that he hasn't been using River to her fullest potential.


OK, I think this is a good place to leave this one. Just a short little coda to finish things off. I got what I wanted out of this series: rousing adventure, bad jokes, and (in my mind) a better working over of how Simon gets his girl (seriously. The "we're gonna die so I might as well proposition you" thing from the movie? Good lord.) I also got a lot of writing practice, which is good for me since I'm usually quite left brained.

I don't have any solid ideas of where to go next, but I'm sure something will come to me eventually. Feel free to suggest bunnies.

Thanks to all of your for reading and commenting (and in some cases, inspiring). I feed off of your comments. Seriously, it's like crack. I may need rehab.


"We gotta get up yet?" They were both awake, but in no hurry to get out of bed, preferring to snuggle under the warmer covers.

"Not if I can help it. What do you have to do today?"

"Nothin' special. Lord knows Wash or Cap'n'll blow up somethin' by lunchtime, but Serenity's runnin' fine in general."

"Hmmm, me neither. I figure I have a good few hours before someone manages to hurt themselves. In the meantime, I find the fact that we both don't have anything to do today quite fortuitous."

"You do? What does 'fortui-whats-it' mean?"

"Fortuitous? It means I'm very, very lucky."

"Oh. Yeah, I'd say you are at that." She smiled and kissed him. "An' so am I. I even get to learn new words from naked doctors."

"That's the best way to learn them. So, are we going to go to breakfast? I'm sure Jayne has more embarrassing questions, and the Captain never tires of glaring at me."

"Maybe. You gonna cook for me again?"

"I suppose that could be arranged. But first, you need to take out those earrings."

"Why? I like 'em."

"Well, yes, but I believe we had a standing engagement about your ears every morning?"

"Oh, yeah. Shiny. But I'll warn ya, I might fall asleep again. Daddy always said I was a sucker for layin' about, an' you're good at relaxin' a girl."

"Go ahead and relax. I'll wake you up if the crew breaks down the door. I'll need help fending them off, and given our state of dress, you might have to convince Mal not to shoot me."

"Don't worry, Simon. I'm sure he'd give ya a chance to explain 'fore he killed ya."

"How comforting. Now roll over."

They missed breakfast.

And lunch.

And dinner.


Mal had managed to go all day without knowing where the hell his doctor or mechanic were. At lunch, he'd asked Wash if he'd seen Kaylee. In response, Wash had done some type of scene with his toy dinosaurs that Mal didn't quite understand, but leaving him with the impression that Wash was crazier than River, and - judging by the way Wash had suddenly made his dinosaurs assume lewd positions - that he was better off not asking about Kaylee again until tomorrow. Not a big deal, since Beumonde was still half a day's flight out, anyway. Now it was after dinner, and he and Jayne were relaxing in the galley.

"All I know is I ain't never playin' cards on this boat again." Jayne had his feet up on the table and was picking his fingernails with a knife, grousing about the past three days.

"You always play cards, Jayne. What's got you all riled 'bout em?" Mal was likewise splayed out in a chair, coat off and suspenders down.

Jayne started counting on his fingers, enumerating his reasons for suddenly shunning poker. "Well, let's see. Last time we played cards 'round here: I got all manner of hung over, woke up next to your sorry ass lookin' all sly, and the prissy Doc got hisself a good looking woman keep him company at night while a real man like me goes without. Not to mention all the thrillin' gettin' shot at." Jayne shrugged in frustration. "All I got was the gorram moonbrain lookin' at me all creepy like. Don't see no percentage in me playin' no more."

Mal suddenly looked thoughtful. "Huh. This whole Simon an' Kaylee thing was caused by a card game?"

"Yeah. The nutjob done set her brother up somethin' good, traded him to Kaylee on a bet. Probably works out better for the both of 'em. Girl gets a lot less pokin' with them needles, and Kaylee gets a lot more pokin' with - "

"Whoa. Don't be finishin' that sentence, Jayne." Truthfully, Mal didn't remember that card game very well. He had somehow just assumed Kaylee'd gone and seduced the Doc that morning, and once confronted by naked flesh the boy hadn't been able to resist. Mal once had a problem with that his own self, and could understand the Doc's predicament. Least Kaylee weren't likely to hijack the ship. "You say River set it all up, now? I'd say the little albatross's got herself quite the creative streak." He smiled slyly. "Jayne, get out the deck an' set up. Oh, an' find some more of that whiskey."

"But, Mal, I just done told ya that I ain't playin' no - "

"That's an order, Jayne. Ma shong." Mal moved to the comm. "River Tam, please report to the galley at once, an' bring your brother's chores."

Simon's voice came back over the comm before River could respond. "Captain? Is River in trouble? Is someone hurt?" Mal grinned hugely as he heard Kaylee's voice in the background, telling Simon to put that gorram comm down and come back to bed already 'fore she up and injures him, an' not in that good way.

"No, Doc, River ain't hurt, though I suspect you might be if you ignore the missus any longer. You just keep that girl happy an' we'll take care of your sis a while, son." Mal turned off the comm, chuckling.

Inara glided in from the forward hallway. "Going to take advantage of poor River and pile up chores on her, Mal?" She shook her head at him as she started water for tea. "That's pretty crass, even for you."

"'Nara, let me remind you that the girl's a reader. Most like to get my ass handed to me here." Mal moved back to the table and regained his seat, grabbing the deck of cards and starting to shuffle.

River appeared from the aft hallway, barefoot and holding small pieces of paper with Simon's duties written on them. "Can I help you, Captain?"

Mal motioned to a chair. "Sit yourself down over here, little one. I hear you're quite the card player, an' I wanna check it out myself." Mal look directly into River's eyes for a long moment, as if willing her to understand something. River cocked her head in confusion for a second, then smiled evilly and nodded. Mal nodded back and winked.

"Hey, 'Nara?" Mal suddenly turned around, his face all boyish innocence. "Wanna have a drink an' play some cards?"



Thursday, January 12, 2006 3:22 PM


EVIL! Like Miranda-scale evil!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 3:29 PM


This was great, I loved how you wrote Jayne and really enjoyed Mal giving River silent instructions while he shuffled the cards. Yep, I think the Captain is planning fun at Jayne's expense. Thanks for a shiny series, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, January 12, 2006 4:29 PM


Best ending, how cute! Thanks for an absolutely hilarious series. I can't wait to read more work of yours! I really love the way you write the characters, especially Jayne and River. I still get a good laugh imagining her placing Jayne and Mal together!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 6:02 PM


Fantastic ending. I hope you continue it some way. I cant wait for your next story.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 8:11 PM


I loved this, it was an absolutly perfect finish to a wonderful series. I really hope you continue it in some form, even if it's just the occasional oneshot. I could totally see Mal or Jayne taking River to a "high stakes" poker game, and everything going horribly wrong, lol. I can't wait to read your next fic, whatever it is. Please don't keep us waiting too long! :-)

Friday, January 13, 2006 6:22 AM


Now you've got to give us the Mal/Inara series ;) OMG I laughed so hard!!! Especially at the Wash doing the dino-sceene for Mal!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006 9:15 AM


How did I miss this the other day!?! This was awesome! Loved Simon & Kaylee missing breakfast...and lunch...and dinner! The dino scene at the beginning--hy-ster-i-cal! Mal conning Inara into playing cards! Now there's a plot bunny for you, and you found it all by yourself. *g*

Looking forward to your future fics!

"I love my captain."

Monday, January 16, 2006 5:23 AM


i can just hear wash's speech now...
"mal, when two dinosaurs love each other very much..."
i swear, you are TOO funny!!! especially with little gems such as this:
- I even get to learn new words from naked doctors.
- That's the best way to learn them.


Tuesday, October 3, 2006 1:34 PM


ROTFL! OH my god. I'm not sure which I like more!

They missed breakfast, lunch and dinner, or Mal conning River and Inara into playing cards!

This was a perfect end to this series! Kudos for a tale well told!


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In The Ether 13: Secret Agent Man
Simon takes a turn at super spy as the crew tracks him down.

In The Ether 12: Motivations
A brief history of Simon Tam

In The Ether 11: Telling
Simon and Regan tell each other off, Jayne tells Kaylee a little story, and Wash tells everybody about basic chemistry. Bonus: Jayne actually quotes Shakespeare! Kind of.

In The Ether 10: Technical Difficulties
Jayne goes trophy hunting, Kaylee and Wash attempt to explain technical things to Mal, and eventually everyone realizes that they left something at the last stop.

Generic S/K Plot Outline
Inspired by a story posted at, I present the outline of pretty much every S/K fic out there (including my own, so no one take it personal-like).

Dino Tales: Loss
The dino army mourns the loss of one of their own.

The Old Switcheroo
Jayne and Simon wake up with unique perspectives on life.

In The Ether 9: Minor Complications
Jake and Jasper check out Serenity, River secures some backup, Jayne discovers his protective side, Simon gets physical, and Kaylee meets an old flame.

In The Ether 8: Lady's Choice
Zoe fixes the plan. Kaylee shows Simon how to turn up the heat.

In The Ether 7: Shore Leave
Mal gives everyone a day on Belix to calm the nerves. Wash gets suspicious. A plan is hatched.