Adventures in Babysitting: Book
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Book's decides to watch the kids for Wash and Zoe. He even takes them off the ship to visit one of his abbeys.


Book walked slowly to the bridge, he could hear Wash and Zoë scolding the children for their latest angst. After overhearing Jayne say he was “as drunk as a dog on Christmas.” The children wanted to see how drunk PuppyBoy could get, so naturally they gave him some of Kaylee’s inter-engine wine. PuppyBoy was throwing up for most of the morning. It was all purely scientific, Book thought. He knocked on the edge of the bridge door. Wash turned around quickly and gave Book his grin. Book noticed the children sitting on the floor sulking. “Poor kids.” Book thought. “I just wanted to know how long until we reach the abbey.” Book asked stepping more into the bridge. He noted Zoë rubbing her temples intently. Ever since PuppyBoy began a member of the crew, Zoë’s responsibilities multiplied. Not only was she a mother, wife, first mate, and warrior, she was now on poop patrol. It always amazed Book how Zoë could juggle all those responsibilities and not go crazy. “Longing for the peace and quiet of the abbey, Shepherd.” Wash said as he flipped some switches. “No…I just was…” Book noticed Mally trying to slide him self away from his “time out” spot on the bridge. “Tingliu.” Zoë said still rubbing her temples. Mally stopped in his tracks and sulked even more. “I was just wondering.” Book turned to leave, but stopped. “Maybe I could take the children with me.” He suggested. Wash laughed. “Take them were?” “To the abbey. It would do them some good being planetside for a while.” “Preacher you’d been sampling some of Kaylee’s wine?” Zoë replied. “No. But, the Brethren have added a playground to the grounds…” The children perked up. “Can we go?” Gabe pleaded. “Yeah can we go pluh-easeee?” Mally said sitting on his knees. Zoë just rubbed her temples even more. “They’ll be fine, Zoë.” Book placed a comforting hand on her shoulders. “It ain’t them I’m worried about.” Book slowly removed his hand from Zoë. “Why did that sound so ominous?” Book thought to himself.


Wash and Zoë where getting the children dress for their day with Book. They all wanted to wear their very best clothes. “We’ll be real good, Momma.” Mally said tying his boot. “You gonna be proud of us.” He was having trouble with getting the knot of out his boot. He was wearing his very best flight jumpsuit. “Poppa you missed a button.” Gabe said pointing to the budge in his shirt. “Sorry son.” Wash unbutton Gabe’s shirt and started over. Both of the boys dressed liked their father. Mally preferred the jumpsuit parts of Wash and Gabe always wanted to wear button down aloha shirts. This was one trait that Zoë had hoped that her children didn’t inherit. Zoë was trying to braid Amina’s hair but was having trouble. “Amina sit still.” The girl just wiggled. “It hurts.” She rubbed her head where Zoë was trying to part it. Book came into the room to see if the children where ready. “I have something for you Mally.” Mally gave up on his boot and ran to Book. He pulled out a small leather string. “All the other brethren wear it to hold back their hair.” He brushed back Mally’s curly fro into a ponytail and tied it back. Mally had decided after Book telling him the story of Sampson he didn’t want his hair cut anymore, because he didn’t want to loose his strength. “Whatta bout us?” Amina whined. Book smiled warmly. “I have something for you too.” He handed Amina a small silver chain with a cross on it. He placed the necklace around her neck. “Ganxie.” Amina admired her necklace. “Ain’t it shiny?” Zoë just smiled and took advantage of Amina being distracted by her necklace to finish her hair. “And for you Gabe...I thought you might like this.” Book pulled out a gold pocket watch. Gabe eyes grew two sizes bigger. “Ganxie, Shepherd.” “You have anything for me and Zoë.” Wash asked. “Ah…no.” Book smiled. He was actually looking forward spending time with the children. He waited while the children got ready. After 10 minutes of Amina changing her dress they were all ready. The girl had decided to go with the brown qi pao with little white and pink flowers on it that Inara had given to her. Book looked at the rather stylish children. They all wanted to look their best for their day with him. “Shepherd, can we bring PuppyBoy?” Mally asked holding the leash. Book thought a moment. “Sure, I don’t see why not.” Mally quickly ran out the room trying to find is dog. “Book you’re a brave man.” Wash put his hand on his shoulder. “Here.” Book took the rather long piece of paper from Wash’s hand. “It’s uh…little list that me and misses made up…some guidelines to watching our…little blessings.” Wash almost laughed. Zoë just gave him one of her looks. “Just follow the list, Preacher and you’ll be…” Zoë looked down at Gabe and Amina who were fighting over a clearly broken toy and Mally who had now returned with the beast. “fine.” She tired to give a reassuring smile, but she failed horribly. “I understand.” Book wondered what he had gotten himself into. “Let’s go we have a long walk ahead of us.” “We gotta walk?” Mally whined-asked.


“We almost there yet?” Mally whined. He trailed behind Book and the others slowly with PuppyBoy dragging behind him. Book turned around to the boy. They had only been walking 5 minutes he could still see Serenity in the background. He smiled and replied, “Almost.” Mally sulked. He tugged on PuppyBoy’s leash, “Almost there, boy.” The dog just whimpered. The other two children where too busy taking in the sites to care how long they had been walking. Book had to hold on to their hands tight because at every turn they wanted to run off. Book wished he had a leash for the children. “Hey, grandpa…” A rather disreputable man said. Book tired to ignore him, but he was having some trouble because Mally had stopped to indulge the man. “Hey what’s your name kid?” The man asked. “Mally.” “Why don’t ya ask your Grandpa if he wants to buy any of my goods. I gotta lot of stuff here.” Mally examined the table. Nothing tickled his fancy. “It looks like a bunch of wuyong zhu fuxie.” Mally observed. “That’s a pretty dirty mouth you got there kid. You kiss your mother with that mouth?” The man asked sounding offended by Mally’s statement. “Yeah, what else I’m supposed to kiss her with, my foot?” Mally just laughed and tried to catch up with the others. “Shepherd.” Gabe asked. “Yes.” “How come every time we’re out with you people call you grandpa. You ain’t married.” Book just sighed. “I don’t know.” ”It’s cause he’s old.” Amina added in. “I may be old, but I’m young at heart.” Book smiled at the girl. Amina just looked at him funny. “Poppa says that’s what old people say when they don’t want to feel sooo old.” Book just shook his head and continued on his journey. They walked for a few more minutes, when Book realized that the children where no longer with him. He looked around frantically, but he couldn’t find them. The Book notice a thin man dress up as a magician holding Mally and Gabe by the shirt collars and Amina trailing behind them with PuppyBoy. The man Book also observed was limping. “I believe they belong to you, sir.” The man pushed Mally and Gabe towards him. “Your grandchildren are totally unruly and need a good talking to. They ruined my act.” The man stormed off. The kids just laughed, but Book was not amused. The children sensed that he was not happy with them. “You mad at us Shepherd? Cause it won’t our fault…” Gabe proclaimed. “Come on…” Book grabbed Gabe and Mally’s hand. “Where we going?” Gabe asked while he was being dragged by Book. “I don’t know what you three did to that man, but we’re going to apologize to him.” Mally stopped him his tracks and crossed his arms. “Malcolm, you did something to offend that man and the right thing to do is to apologize to that man.” Mally didn’t budge. Gabe and Amina just stood there trying to look as innocent as they could. “We didn’t dooo anything.” Mally pouted. “Then why was the man so upset?” “Cause he was just mad cause Gabe figured out all his ben magic tricks. Then he yelled at Gabe. He called him a brat…” “Is that all?” “No.” “What happen after he called Gabe a brat?” Book’s voice softened. “I kicked him in his shin and Amina knocked over all his stuff. Thennn…he grabbed Amina by the arm…” Mally made sure that he pointed out the fresh bruise on his sister arm where the man had grabbed her too hard. Book frowned, but Mally wasn’t finished his story. “Thennnn…Gabe kicked him in the other shin and PuppyBoy ripped his pants.” Book just sighed. He didn’t have a defense for this one. He couldn’t be mad at the children, because they were defending them selves. But, he didn’t want them to walk away easily without learning from this experience. Book bent down to look the children in the eyes. “Remember what I told you about turning the other cheek?” “But, Sheppherd…” Mally protested. “He hurt my brother and sister. And not nobody does that.” “Yes, but you didn’t have to kick him because he called Gabriel a brat…that’s seems where all your trouble begin…” Mally whimpered, “Shepherd you gonna give us a sermon?” Book laughed. Mal had rubbed off on the children more than one way. “No.” He took Mally and Gabe’s hand. “Come on I want to reach the abbey before lunch.”


What took Book normally 20 minutes to get from the docks to the abbey took him an hour with the children. Between the “are we there yet’s?”, “stop looking at me’s”, “I know you are and what am’s,”, “I have to go to the bathroom’s”, “I’m hungry’s”, and “Shepherd can you carry me’s” this was definitely Book’s longest walk ever.


They finally reach the abbey and it’s the biggest thing the triplets have ever seen. All three are awe struck. Book laughs to himself. Before he can open the door, it swings open, a rather large, but beautiful woman opened the door and embraced Book. “Book it’s been too long.” The woman said into Book’s ear. She notices the children looking at her. “It’s really been too long…who are these angels?” She lets go of Book to examine the children. Book stood proudly as he watched the woman ogle over the children. “These are the pilot and first mate’s triplets.” He pointed at them as he talked. “That one is Malcolm, Gabriel, and Amina.” “Well aren’t they just precious…Well come on then…we’re about to have noon day service. Landon going to hit the ceiling when he sees you.” The woman said as she led the children into the abbey. Amina tugged on Book’s shirt. “Is that your girlfriend?” She asked. Book just laughed. “No, dear. She’s a shepherd. Just like me.” “OOOhhh. She’s pretty. Maybe she should be your girlfriend.” Amina made kissy faces at Book. “Come on.” Book took her by the hand. When they reached the sanctuary the children where even more awe struck. Mally turned to the woman. “Ms. Lady is this heaven?” The women returned the glare at Mally. Then she noticed the look on Gabe and Amina’s faces. “Book, where have you been keeping these children? No sweetheart this isn’t heaven. Far from it.” “Oh.” Mally said as he proceeded to venture further in. “Hold on.” The woman turned to Book. “Which one is that?” “He’s Mally. I’m Gabe.” Gabe stressed. “I’m the prettier one.” He said smiling. “My mistake.” The woman caught up with Mally. “Why don’t we tie your…” She turned and looked at Book. She wasn’t quite sure what PuppyBoy was. Book took her queue. “I’ll bet PuppyBoy will enjoy being outside more than in here.” Book took the leash. “Lena why don’t you take the children inside and get them settled in.” Book smiled. Amina and Gabe laughed. “That’s shepherd’s girlfriend.” She whispered into her brother’s ear.


When Book returned he found the children sitting quietly on the pew listening intently on the sermon. Lena was preaching. He would have to scold Wash and Zoë for having such little faith in their children. They were behaving perfectly. He sat beside Amina, who immediately snuggle up against him. Lena spoke for a few more minutes then invited Book up to speak. He was hesitant at first, but then he noticed that the children where all asleep. So, he took advantage of this moment to go up and speak in front of a congregation. When he was finished people and the brethren all crowed around him wanting to hear his tale’s from the verse. “Maybe after lunch?” Book said as he pushed through the crowd to get to the children. When he got to the pew they were sitting at they where gone. Book looked around frantically. This was the second time today that he had lost the children. “Book what’s wrong?” Lena asked in concern. “The children…they were right here.” Book pointed to the empty pew. “Oh…well, they probably went outside to the playground. No need to get all worked up.” Lena reassured Book. The pair headed out to the playground. Book scanned around. There was no sign of the children. “They’re not here.” Lena looked around herself. “Nope I don’t see them either.” Book was going through his pockets. “What are you looking for? I don’t think that they’re in your pockets, Book.” “No, their father gave me a list.” “A list?” “Yes. A list. Lena these aren’t your typical children. They can be quite…” Lena put a comforting hand on Book’s shoulder. “How much trouble can they really get into? It’ll be fine.”


Book paced back and forth muttering profanities under his breath. He looked at the triplets sitting on the bench outside of the abbey. Mally was covered in some type of bluish-gray goo that smelled really bad, Gabe was holding his injured arm and soaking wet, and Amina just sat there looking innocent. “I found some clothes that might fit Mally and I got some bandages.” Lena said. She handed Book the clothes for Mally and tended to Gabe’s arm. “ you want to tell me how your arm got hurt?” Lena said as she rubbed some ointment on his arm. “No, not really.” Gabe replied. “That’s fine. But, you want to know something funny?” Gabe nodded. “Our mule, somehow it got all the way to the other end of the grounds. And it crashed into the water line.” Lena finished bandaging up his arm. “Isn’t that funny?” Gabe didn’t reply he just shrugged. “Book, why don’t you take Mally and get him changed. I’ll take Amina and Gabe over to the dinning hall.” Lena said as she outstretched her hands to Gabe and Amina. “Are you sure?” Book asked unsure if he wanted to let the children out of his sight again. Lena smiled. “I think I can handle them. Just get Mally cleaned up. He really smells.”


Book and a newly cleaned Mally joined the rest in the dinning. The other two children had already begun eating. Mally looked upset. “Where’s mine?” Mally whined. “Right here.” Gabe handed him a plate of food. “It’s real good too. Look real meat. It’s bail.” “What’s bail?” Mally said as he picked at the meat. “It looks like a chicken, but its all little.” Gabe told his brother as he shoveled more food in his mouth. “It’s not bail, Gabriel. It’s quail. It’s a type of bird.” Book corrected the boys. “Ohhh.” The boys said in unison. Book sat down beside Mally. Lena brought him his plate. “Thank you.” Amina came from the other end of the table and sat beside Book. “Shepherd?” Mally called. “What’s that?” Mally pointed to the small green round things on his plate. He swished them with his chop stick. “Peas.” “What are peas?” Gabe asked. “There a type of vegetable.” “I don’t like them.” Mally said as he pushed his plate away. “You never had peas before how do you know you don’t like them?” “They’re vegetables.” Mally stuck out his tongue. Book just shook his head. “Fine, don’t eat them. But you have to eat the rest of your food.” “I don’t want it.” Book sighed. “Why?” “The peas touched my quail. It’s all pea infested.” Mally said as he crossed his arms in defiance. Book slid his plate over to Mally. “Here, no peas have touched my quail.” “But they’re still on there.” Mally pointed to the peas as they rolled around. Book scrapped the peas onto Mally’s old plate. “There no peas.” Mally smiled and started eating.


After eating their meal Book took the children outside to burn off some energy before they headed back to Serenity. He sat on the bench and watched them play with the other children. Lena sat beside him. “I’ve arranged for someone to take you and the children back to your ship.” ”Thank you.” ”They are some interesting children.” Book smiled. “You should meet the rest of them.” “You’ve changed, Derrial.” “Yes. I think I have. For the better I hope?” Book noticed a small girl having trouble tying her shoe. “Need help?” The sat on Book’s lap so he could tie her shoe. “What’s your name little one?” “Ester.” The girl said. “Do you want to hear a story about a sad bunny?” The girl nodded her head. Book started his story, “Once there was a rabbit that was very sad because his ears were so long and narrow that he stepped on them all the time. One day a fairy landed on the bunny's head. She lifted up the bunny's ears and crossed them over like an x. Then she put one ear through the bottom of the x and pulled. Next, she made each long ear into a loop and made another x like before. She put an ear under that x and pulled again. From then on the bunny remembered how to tie his ears into a bow, and he lived happily every after.” When he was done Easter’s shoe was tied nice and neat. “You have changed.” Lena said to Book. Amina noticed the girl sitting on Book’s nap. She came over and pushed the girl off of him. “Get your own shepherd!” Amina yelled at the girl crying on the ground. Book quickly got up to come to the girl’s aide. “Amina, why did you push her?” Book said wiping the girl’s tears. “Cause you’re my shepherd. There’s plenty here for her to get her own.” Amina said crossing her arms. Book looked at Lena who was laughing at the display. “Apologize...there is enough of me to share.” Amina made a face. “Bad enough I gotta share with my brothers, but I gotta share with her?” “Yes. Now apologize.” “Baoqian.” Amina said under her breath. “Say it so she can hear it.” “Boaqian.” There was a small explosion from the other side of the grounds. “What was that?” Book asked. “It sounds like it came from the shed.” Lena responded. They both got up to investigate the explosion. They were joined by some other shepherds. The shed was on fire. “Keep the children away.” A shepherd commanded. The other shepherds pushed the children away from the fire. Book looked at the three standing next to him. “You three wouldn’t know how the shed caught on fire?” “No.” They all said together. They all watched as the shed burned to the ground. “It was an explosive device that caused the fire.” One of the other shepherds said. “A bomb? Here?” Another shepherd said. “I found it.” A dirty shepherd came out of the wood work. He held a small burnt piece of metal. “It looks homemade. A small flash bomb.” All of the other shepherds looked confused. “Who would put a flash bomb in the shed?” Book and Lena both looked at each other. The triplets where standing behind them looking all too innocent especially Amina.


“So that list Wash gave you preacher…” Zoë said as she hammered down on the wood. “I don’t know what happened…I remember putting it in my pocket.” Book said as he picked up another piece of wood. “See that’s why I say we put ‘em in cages. Only let’em out to eat.” Jayne said on top of the roof as Book handed him the wood. “Can’t get in trouble in cages.”

Chinese translations Tingliu stay Ganxie thanks qi pao fitted dress with mandarin collars, cap sleeves and frog button closures wuyong zhu fuxie useless pig diarrhea ben stupid Baoqian Sorry

Hope you enjoyed my nonsense. Have a great rest of your day! Tonya


Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:19 AM


Ah poor Book but then again appart from River he's the only one who didn't get tied up, painted and whatever else those three get up to.

I'm kind of amazed none of the Shepherds said anything about Gabriel saying he had an angelic name but was in congress with the beast!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 1:42 PM


Does anyone EVER read the gorram list?
So far, only River has done the smart thing and run away from this "adventure".

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 1:53 PM


Oh those kids are born TROUBLE! I loved this, and loved Jayne's solution about keeping them in cages and only letting them out to eat. Though, come to think of it, if they cut the food up into small pieces they could just shove it through the bars... Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:04 PM


Ya know...I am kinda surprised Book didn't try using "God judges you if you're bad" on them. But then again, they probably only have limited exposure to religion, other than Book's sermons;)

Still...I can't wait for the other babysitting attempts:D



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