Right Through You
Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Long awaited luxury. Zoe goes maternity shopping. Mal taken for torture.


All characers property of Joss Whedon and associates. I have not profited from this literary endeavor other than getting a story like out of my head that will not go away otherwise.

Right Through You

Scene 1 (Table, story time)

(laughter) MAL: Indeed he was. ZOE: Hey, at least he got that tub installed right side up on the second try. RIVER: Thermoregulation to within one tenth of a degree, on demand. KAYLEE: Cedar scented, and it doesn’t leak. Not a bad little splice into the recycling unit for the water outflow either. Just scrubs the water and sends it for recirculation, what’s left behind goes straight to septic. ZOE: Whose idea was that anyway? MAL: A pregnant genius. ZOE: Ah yes, that would be me. JAYNE: Your turn QBG, tell us onea them funny nursin’ stories about some poor slob with his pi gu in a sling. JAZ: I never worked that floor. SIMON: People in serious discomfort are as funny as an infarct, aren’t they? JAYNE: A what fart? JAZ: Speaking of heart attacks, I’ve just remembered a story. So I’m floating to the cardiac unit one evening. We’ve got a 15 year old boy on telemetry in a private room, everybody else being older than Bhudda’s loincloth. We’d managed to steal a comic book from the Residents’ Lounge for him after the vid service went down that afternoon. Everything else was Flower Arranging Monthly or Livestock Quarterly. Poor kid’s bored out of his mind. Just after dinner his monitor goes off, his nurse runs in cause he’s gone tachy on us, spiked way up there. She comes back to the desk and says he’s fine. Sure enough his heart rates’ back to normal. 10 minutes later off the alarm goes again. Same thing. She’s scratching her head, nobody can figure it out. She goes off to dinner and hands him off to her cover nurse. 15 minutes go by and off it goes again. He goes in to see what’s wrong. The charge nurse is ready to get the Doc on the line, we’re thinking equipment failure or haunting. I go to the door to see if he needs any help. “No, it’s fine, I’ll be out in a minute” he says. So I go back to work. A little while later the nurse comes back out, shuts the door and walks up to us trying to keep a straight face. The poor kid had been making his own amusement. The nurse figured it out since he’d been a 15 year old boy once too. He said the kid was so embarrassed, and truly sorry about worrying us. Poor baby, there was no way he was going to come right out and admit it to a female. He promised he’d warn us first next time because we just couldn’t take him off the monitor. SIMON: And? JAZ: He did. Every time. We were all so glad when the vidscreens came back up. We couldn’t hear a monitor go off for days without laughing. (laughter around table) JAYNE: Why didn’t you just send a pretty nurse in to cheer him up? JAZ: You mean apart from the fact that he was a minor? Apart from the fact that it was a hospital, not a cathouse? Or apart from the fact that nurses are not prostitutes? JANE: Well ya don’t have to get all snippy about it. It woulda cheered me up when I was his age. SIMON: Does anything else cheer you up? JAYNE: Gettin’ paid. KAYLEE: Then let’s toast to another small but lucrative sale. (various toasts) MAL: And let’s not forget having a little leg room again. ZOE: To the Holes of Haven, and to old friends. (solemn toasts) RIVER: The course to Paradiso is set captain. ZOE: Paradiso? MAL: We have a couple of cases of something they could use. I thought maybe we could offer it at a deep discount. ZOE: Sounds fair enough. JAZ: Maybe I can land a gig there. I’m afraid I’m getting rusty. KAYLEE: What, you sayin’ we aren’t an appreciative audience? JAZ: Appreciative, yes. Large and adulatory, no. You like me too much. Besides, I’m still trying to pick up new and old songs and stories. RIVER: Taking soundings. (this has more weight directed for Jaz) JAZ: No puns at the table dearie (right back at her). I’d better go start reading up on our next stop so I have some idea of what to expect. JAYNE: Why not just ask us? We’ve been there before. JAZ: So you know the cultures that settled it earliest and what their main legends and musical traditions are going to be? JAYNE: You didn’t say you needed an ethnographer. (all turn and stare as if to say “did that just come out of his mouth?”) JAZ: You didn’t ask. (exits)

Scene 2 (later in Jaz’s cabin) MAL: So, you getting wearied with me yet? JAZ: Not so long as you keep making with the foot massage and complimenting my cooking. You? MAL: You're more interesting by the day. JAZ: Well I’d hate to lose your fascination. MAL: You’ve been a little quiet lately. I figured after about two months we might not be seeming so shiny. JAZ: Are you kidding? I’ve finally found and entire ship full of folk who like garlic almost as much as I do. (mock aside) And the captain’s pretty cute too. MAL: You thinking of shipping on long term? JAZ: I figured I’d play it by ear and see which way the current drifts us. Nobody’s made any promises and nobody’s pushing for any right now. If you ever feel an urgent need to profess your undying affection and get spliced put your head between your knees and breathe slowly. If the feeling fails to pass do whatever seems right. MAL: Sounds fair enough so long as you don’t kick me out of your bed sudden like. JAZ: If I do I promise I’ll try to land you on a soft spot. Like your head. MAL: I have a very hard head thank you. JAZ: You certainly do. Ever think about family? MAL: You mean the one I grew up with, the one I’ve got now, or the do it yourself starter kit? JAZ: Any and all of the above. MAL: Sometimes, constantly, and sometimes. You? JAZ: Same, more or less. MAL: ‘Verse ain’t stable. Life’s full of surprises. Don't’ know as I’d go looking for change, but it has a way of finding you. JAZ: It surely does. You grew up on a ranch. You speak fondly of it. If someone was to hand you a herd of twenty fine cows and a handsome bull, good pasture to run them on and horses to do it with and say : Here, it’s all yours, make a good life for yourself... would you be willing to give this all up? MAL: Not without being sure nobody was going to tell me how to run them or come and take it all away again on a whimsy. I’ve been saying I just want to be left in peace to go about my business. Lately I’m not so sure that’s ever going to happen. JAZ: You do know the old saying “May You Live in Interesting Times” is a curse, don’t you? MAL: There could be trouble up ahead with the Alliance. JAZ: There isn’t now? They don’t scare me much any more. I’ve got my family and I’m not giving it up without a fight. Folks deserve a peaceable life when they can get it. MAL: Doesn’t always stay peaceable. JAZ: Grab your peace while you can, I always say. MAL: Which piece Lotus Flower? This one? This one? How ‘bout this one? JAZ: I was thinking of this one. (lights out).

Scene 3 (Paradiso, disembarking at a distance)

MAL: Local Law’s meeting us at the saloon. JAZ: I’ve got an appointment with a man about a quick job. JAYNE: That’s the king I like. Short and profitable. ZOE: Sir, my feet hurt and I’m hungry. Can we get inside? MAL: Little momma’s getting a mite tetchy. JAZ: Never irritate an armed pregnant woman Mal, they are not known for keeping the safety on. Come on Zoe, let’s go get you something fruity. Junior’s got you a bit peckish. ZOE: I’m not cranky. JAZZ: I didn’t say you were. JAYNE: No, Mal did. MAL: Don’t help Jayne. ZOE: I’m sorry. (Near tears) I just need something to drink and to put my feet up. JAZ: Pats her hand. It’ll pass honey, It’ll pass. You can’t help the hormones. Maybe we can look at clothes later. ZOE: I’m about to bust out of what I’ve got on ship...I guess I’d better get something. (Jayne indicates “screw loose” to Mal. Mal shrugs confusion back)

Scene 4 (maternity section of store)

ZOE: They’re awful. It all looks like camping gear. JAZ: Think of it as room for comfort. ZOE: You mean I get to be comfortable? JAZ: No, but there’s from for it in the tent you’re wearing. ZOE: How big does this stuff come? Simon says it’s twins. JAZ: (pauses to consider) I can always let it out a little. You definitely won’t need slinky for a while though. ZOE: (sighs)Niao. Speaking of which, where’s the bathroom? JAZ: They don’t appear to have one. ZOE: Let’s get to the bar, I’m starving. JAZ: Well you would be with two in there, wouldn’t you? Come on, let’s get those little parasites fed. You told anyone else yet? ZOE: Not yet. JAZ: Try not to shoot anyone over the fat jokes until they know better. ZOE: I’ll keep that in mind. JAZ: Thanks, I hate plugging leaky mercenaries.

Scene 5 (saloon. Jazmine talking with contact. Mal drinking with Sheriff) MAL: So would you be interested? SHERIFF: That amount at that price? I’d walk it here from orbit. MAL: I’m afraid I can’t give you a receipt. SHERIFF: I’d just lose it anyway MAL: Jayne, Zoe, go on back to Serenity and pick up the groceries. Drop it off at their doorstep. ZOE: Will do, Sir. (as they leave) JAYNE: Which doorstep is theirs? ZOE: Tian xiao de! How do you walk and breathe at the same time? JAYNE: I don’t. I breathe between steps. ZOE: That explains it. JAZ: (joining them) Looks like I’ve found work for a night or two. MAL: Shiny. Sheriff, this is Jazmine. Jaz, this is the Law. SERIFF: Pleasure to meet you Mrs Li. JAZ: A man who does his homework, I am pleasantly surprised. Any parking tickets I’ve forgotten? SHERIFF: A quick ident check in port never goes amiss. And no, you paid them all. JAZ: Well I’d best be getting back to the ship to warm up and tune. MAL: I’ll walk you back. ‘Till later Sheriff. SHERIFF: Later. Ma’am. (Walking back in dusk) JAZ: Seems a nice fellow. MAL: He’s the understanding sort. JAZ: That’s good to (they are blind sided). THUG #1: (contact from bar) Mr Niska wants a word with you. (black) (fade in on voices Kaylee “here she is”, Zoe “where’s the captain?”) JAZ: ( touches bloodied head) Ow. Ta ma duh. My head. Who hit me? Mal, who hit us? ZOE: He’s gone. Did you see who it was? JAZ: No. Lao tian bu. He said Mr Niska wanted a word. JAYNE: (lets loose with a long string of unpleasantries, keeps going for rest of scene under others) ZOE: Ditto. Let’s get you back to the ship and see what we can find out. Jayne, you’re repeating yourself.

Scene 6 (Infirmary, Simon is putting a finishing stitch into Jaz’s head where she was hit.)

JAZ: Is there a history with Mr. Niska I should know about? ZOE: First met him removing medicine from a train bound for Paradiso for him. We gave it back, and gave him a full refund. He did not like that. He took Mal and Wash a while later and was not nice to them. We got them out but we didn’t exactly part on good terms. I told the captain he should have killed that ta ma de hun dan. SIMON: You’ve heard of him? JAZ: Nothing I’d care to repeat at dinner. RIVER: His taking Mal is not good. JAZ: No, it isn’t . We’d better see if we can negotiate a return. ZOE: Not likely after last time. I don’t think he’ll deal with me again. JAZ: Then I’ll have to do it. I’m the newest crew member with the least to lose. ZOE: Captain’s your quin ren and you have the least to lose? JAZ: Niska doesn’t know that. JAYNE: Think you’ll be able to fool him? JAZ: I’m a performer. Besides, I’m not going to him first. JAYNE:Shen Me? JAZ: I’m going to talk to Mrs. Niska first. KAYLEE: Bi sui! There’s a Mrs. Niska? JAZ: Shr ah, and the female is the deadlier of the species. SIMON: Just how do you plan on contacting her? JAZ: Business channels. My husband went to college with one of her nephews. Hers is a large and sprawling family tree. I’ve had dinner with them at a wedding once. Charming couple. ZOE: (ominously) You’ll have to tell me more about this. JAZ: Later. We haven’t got that much time before Adlai stops playing. This is going to be costly. Maybe I can call in an old family debt if I can’t scrape up enough compensation. It would have been easier if you’d killed him the last time though. RIVER: Keep your balance, it will be needed. ZOE: I haven’t got much to pitch in. JAZ: This one’s on me. I’ve got something he might want to trade after his wife gets through with him. River, patch me through to this signal (hands her a paper she’s just scribbled on). I’m going in by myself. Zoe: Deng yi miao! JAZ: We are not going to give this man any more leverage. If I don’t come back out of the meeting with him it means Mal’s dead and I’m dead. That happens you run as far and as fast as you can. Raid the accounts and do not come up for air in this quadrant again. Stay out of the core. ZOE: And if you do come back? JAZ: I’ll have Mal with me and it’s hearts and flowers all around. Ping. JAYNE: Sounds kinda extreme. JAZ: That’s the Niskas.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006 2:22 PM


Uh oh, I really don't like the notion of Mal in Niska's hands again. Jaz sounds like she has all kinds of interesting 'history' her own self, just hope she can swing the miracle that is going to be needed to get the Captain back. I liked Zoe's low key warning about having a talk with Jaz about what she knows too. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 5:52 PM


okay, who are you and where have you been? this was wonderful--perfectly in character all around. loved this exchange:

MAL: You mean the one I grew up with, the one I’ve got now, or the do it yourself starter kit?

JAZ: Any and all of the above.

MAL: Sometimes, constantly, and sometimes. You?

JAZ: Same, more or less.

also loved the convo between mal and the sheriff and, of course, Lotus Flower! Jaz is fun! And good for Mal, I'm thinking. Write more soon, k?~

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 7:16 PM


I agree with Amdobell that I really do not like Mr. Niska. I do however really like Jaz. Mal deserves a woman that can make him happy. I am interested to see if family conections make a difference for Mal. Certainly in our 'verse the wives of powerful men often have more influence than they suspect, I am guessing it is true in the future as well.

I would appriciate a bit more stage direction along with your awesome dialoge. I sometimes have a hard time visualizing the scenes as they are written. But perhaps that is just me:)

Keep it coming -

Saturday, September 9, 2006 10:05 AM


Oh...that wrinkled old troll has more lives than Jean Grey it seems;)

Really liking where you're taking the characters, stinkingrose...especially with Jazmine admitting that she's got a lot more background that one might expect. Will definitely make for fun times, especially if Zoe gets uppity and Mal's stuck in a rough spot;)



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