Truthsome: Addendum/Interim
Tuesday, April 6, 2004

The others react to Mal's and Zoe's dark history.


Truthsome: Addendum/Interim

Because I stayed pretty tightly in Mal’s and Zoe’s POVs in the “Truthsome” story, I didn’t get to play in the other characters’ heads. This, then, is the other characters’ reactions, picking up where Part V leaves off. This is a bridge between "Truthsome" and the upcoming sequel where they tackle a robbery of Blue Sun.


The man’s psychotic, Simon thought as he led River down to the passenger dorm. How could he not be? No wonder the ship was named Serenity. What an enormous life-changing event that time was for him--defining and redefining his entire life and existence. Not only the horrific battle, the defeat, loss of all those fellow soldiers in ghastly circumstances, but to learn later that at that very time his family, his home--the very anchor of his ‘verse--was being seared into nothingness. You never leave Serenity, Zoe had said. How very, frighteningly, true that simple statement was.

Eighty-seven days in sensory deprivation solitary... Lao-tyen boo. Simon thought he recalled from his psych reading that twenty-seven days was regarded as the limit of human psychological endurance in those circumstances. The captain had been locked in the dark over three times that long. And worse, that time tagged onto the most traumatic events in his life--the most traumatic events Simon could imagine.

No wonder the man could withstand torture to the point of death. What was mere physical torment to someone who had withstood the mental torment he already had? The surprise wasn’t that Mal was crazy, the wonder was that he was as sane as he was.

Looking at River as he hugged her and wished her a good night, it occurred to Simon that, just perhaps, that was why the captain had allowed he and River to stay on Serenity--not because he needed a medic, or admired Simon’s courage for getting River out of the academy, or liked them, or even because he felt sorry for River... It was because Mal understood what had been done to River even without knowing the medical details. Understood and would stand between River and those who did it to her, even at considerable peril and risk to himself.

Simon gazed thoughtfully upward in the direction of the crew quarters. Where else but with a tormented psychotic could they have found refuge?


Jayne sat down on his weight bench, taking a throat-burning slug of whiskey. Knew Mal was nuts. Big surprise. All that time with Zoe and never got any play with her…freakin’ lunacy. Locked up together in close quarters, probably all dirty and sweaty. And chains were involved… ooooh. Man, Zoe... how hot was that picturing her climbing in his bed--Jayne’s not Mal’s--wrapping those muscular, violent, limbs around.... In prison, no less... ooooh...

He took another slug out of the whiskey bottle. Not bad. He lay back and grabbed hold of the weights.


Kaylee smiled shyly at Zoe as she passed her on the way to her bunk, but she avoided looking her in the eye. She wanted to go onto the Bridge where she could see the captain standing, staring out at the stars, but didn’t think it was the best idea. Like as not he’d end up comforting her, not the other way around. Their stories were so sad, Cap’n’s and Zoe’s. It just made Kaylee’s heart hurt to think on it. Golly, she’d known they’d had some hard times together. Such a wonderment they’d managed to stay the sweet, kind people they were. Oh, sure, Cap’n kinda liked to make out like he was all mean and hard, but Kaylee knew him better. Yeah, he had a little trouble believing in other people, but Kaylee had always seen him for what he was, a sentimental sweetie.

Wuo de ma, poor captain and Zoe... No wonder they were so close, They’d been through so much together, taking care of each other, doing for each other. Kaylee knew they must love each other a whole lot, even though neither one of them would ever say such a thing.

The images of the horrible things that had happened to Cap’n and Zoe kept Kaylee from sleeping. After tossing and turning for a few minutes, Kaylee decided she really needed to spend some time with Serenity. Triggering her door, she quietly climbed the ladder. Glancing toward the Bridge, Kaylee stopped, surprised to see Cap’n and Zoe standing with their arms around each other. She glanced sharply to the door to Wash’s bunk. It was closed. Quiet as she could be, Kaylee hurried down the passageway toward the engine room. Settling into her hammock near Serenity’s heart, Kaylee sniffled a little and pondered what she’d seen. She knew how absolutely close Cap’n and Zoe were, like they could read each other’s minds, but she’d never really noticed until this very minute how they seldom touched each other, or showed any real affection. Why, now that she thought on it, she was the only one on the ship that the Cap’n really ever touched and Kaylee was the one who had started that, working at him until he relaxed to the notion. Kaylee smiled to remember how Cap’n had jumped the first time she’d given him a sound hug and kiss. Now he did the same with her. Of course, that was all sweet and brotherly. She was his mei-mei.


A twinge of jealousy surprised Inara as Zoe very unsubtly kept her from going to Mal. She’d never thought she could be jealous of the relationship between Mal and Zoe. They had so much history together, had done so many things together, had shared so much of each other in ways she would never know. Zoe would always know Mal and understand his mysteries in a way Inara would ever be shut out from. How did Wash bear it? Knowing his wife shared a relationship so intense and deep with another man? And how did Zoe balance two men, each of whom were very much husbands to her but in such different regards?

They’d never had sex with each. Inara couldn’t decide if she was surprised by that or not. Mal certainly was incredibly prudish about sex, but from what she’d seen of Zoe and Wash, Zoe just as certainly was not. Perhaps that was Wash’s influence. How was it to have a relationship so extremely close, as did Mal and Zoe, that sex could not add any additional level of closeness? For a Companion, schooled in sex as a tool of both closeness and distance, it was something of a revelation. Then she realized that she was building a sort of sexless relationship with Mal, as well. It surprised her to think that--minus the guns, shooting, and thieving, of course. Well, mostly without those elements, and with a great deal more bickering--Zoe tended to argue with Mal without actually arguing. Zoe could squeeze more of a “hell no” into a “yes sir” than anyone Inara had ever seen.

Inara reached the posh luxury of her shuttle, seeing it anew in light of what she’d learned of Mal’s past experiences. How many nights had he spent on the hard ground, or the floor of a cell, while she’d never known a single one without the comfort of a soft bed and plush coverings? How could she ever really know Mal? Even if he gave her every single page of the book of his life, instead of scattered fragments? Their lives were galaxies apart. So utterly different in every possible way. The only thing they shared was a thorough understanding of loss.... and that was her mystery to hide.

They’d never had sex with each. Inara couldn’t stop a trace of a smile from crossing her lips.

Shepherd Book:

“I just thought I might...” Shepherd Book said to Zoe as she stood in an unambiguous she-wolf pose, guarding her captain.

“Not tonight,” she said and he knew there would be no dissuading her.

Book returned to his room, pondering all the things he’d learned this night. His first impulse had been to want to offer spiritual comfort, but as he considered it, he realized Zoe was correct. The last thing Mal needed was a forthright reminding of yet another thing he’d lost--his loss of faith.

Hmmm... while Mal had wanted to know Book’s hidden past, the captain had quite the untold background of his own. Book had seen the lay of the land early on as regarded Serenity Valley, and had more than a good idea of what Mal and Zoe must have gone through, both there and in the aftermath, but to learn Mal had been from Shadow... that had been a shock. How much could one man endure in a single lifetime? No wonder he’d turned his back on God--how clearly it must have seemed that God had turned his back on Mal. And how strangely reversed Mal’s and Book’s paths were.

The captain had never spoken of his family, Book realized. Not even tonight when speaking of the destruction of his home, there’d been no words on the family who must have been lost there. Those on Serenity were his family now, that was clear, a family bound not by blood but by stronger bonds… well, yes by blood, literally, but not by kinship. Loyalty and trust were the bonds that bound them. Book felt a shiver of guilt. Mal had given him his trust time and again, even with the unanswered questions still hanging between them.

Family… the captain called Kaylee his ‘little sister’, and had taken on the role of protector of River. A sudden thought occurred to Book. He stood, intending to seek out Zoe, or Mal, to ask. Had the captain had a sister? Or--Book sat back down abruptly, realizing he couldn’t probe this area, not yet--had he had a daughter?


River rocked back and forth on her bed, whimpering. No, no, no. Not the blue. Not the blue. A million things, and the little ends of the roots go everywhere. All the little blue things but no one says it because, because sometimes they’re afraid. And then they come... they’re the ones that reach in and do it. She didn’t want them reaching into daddy, hunting and hurting. Not the blue. Not the blue. She had warned him.

Go to the Blue Sun Job, Part 1: Plans and Schemes


Tuesday, April 6, 2004 12:00 PM


Okay if this addendum is the end why does it feel like the set up of another beginning? I like all the introspective insights - the whole story series was very shiny. *Xiexie ni*, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 4:02 AM


Wow, you got everyone's reactions right on. Can't wait to see when the next story

Thursday, April 8, 2004 7:45 PM


This was very good. I think you have the voices down.

Thursday, April 8, 2004 7:45 PM


This was very good. I think you have the voices down.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 11:28 PM


You know, with as many different ideas floating around the fanfic list about Shadow and Mal, I think one of us is going to put Joss in a spot. Not that he'd know it, but WE would. (evil laughter)
I do like this one as much as your Blue Sun Series, it's obviously a really good intro into it. And of course, you've got all the characters in the palm of your hand.
I do go on about my Guildsister Book envy, but it's a compliment, so I don't suppose it's too bad...
I like your observations on all the crews' relationships. It continues to be subtle, just like the show, where not too many were overt.

I did enjoy Kaylee's involvement in the springing of the cap, and you brought out Simon's social bumbling really well.

'Course I do have this outthere theory that you really ARE the man(Joss Whedon, himself), keeping tabs on Firefly fic community as a whole.

Aren't sci-fi junkies fun in their paranoia?

Oh well, as always, thanks for sharing, and keep it coming...

Keep flyin'

Thursday, September 29, 2011 9:36 AM


The man’s psychotic, Simon thought
Very, and ya gotta love it!

You never leave Serenity

Did Mal have a daughter...
I've never thought of that one!
You have such a wonderful grasp on the characters! Shiny^.^ off to read about the robbery of Blue Sun;)


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Blue Sun Job--A Sequel: It Means a Thing
Post-Serenity, Mal & Zoe share a moment, or two. And then some. Story takes place in the context of the "Blue Sun Job" scenario. COMPLETE One-er.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 39: Into the Black
The conclusion of the Blue Sun Job.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 38: Shadow
Mal & Zoe's past smashes into the present. Everyone on the crew gets an earful, especially Wash.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 37: Plan B
There's a dead Shepherd on the floor, a bunch of angry live ones, and Mal, Zoe, and Simon in their midst.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 36: One Down
Return of the "Blue Sun Job"! First of the last four chapters of this story.

Blue Sun Job, Part 35: The Worthier Part
Book's more nefarious, Mal's less crazy, and Zoe is dangerously pissed.

Blue Sun Job, Part 34: Of Many Books...
Book's nefarious. Mal's crazy. And Simon is bewildered.

Blue Sun Job, Part 33: Light and Shadow
Mal has just had his big tell-all session with Book concerning his and Zoe's history. Now landed at the Shepherd's Sanctuary, they have to deal with the fallout and with Book's mysterious past and plans.

Blue Sun Job, Part 32: Revelations
Mal and Book talk about some Big Damned Things.

Blue Sun Job, Part 31: The Heart of the Matter
Tales & stories come out into the open--more than a little dark. But not to worry, Jayne, the philosopher, also explains women.