Monday, October 16, 2006

Mal's musing on whatever passes across his brainpan late at night.


Not my ‘verse, I just play here.

Grace. His mother’s name had been Grace. A woman of faith from a long line of faithful women. Dark haired, strong features, hands always busy with something. Mamma had always told him if he kept busy he couldn’t get into trouble. Seemed to him it was one of the few things she’d been wrong about over the years. He wanted to tell her about his mother. He wanted to tell Mamma about her, and the baby. Too late for the one, maybe try the other tomorrow. He was so deeply moved, to watch as his woman’s belly swelled. Proud of himself, well his seed anyway. Go get ‘er boys, Ye-ha! It was a silly thought and one not worthy of the solemn results, but it still tickled him to think of them trying to storm in and take that hill. He was excited about becoming a dad. He’d never really had one that he could remember, had several to select from if you counted the ranch hands. His plan was to pick and choose the best bits from all of them. Marv’s jokes, Bert’s foolery, Fang's whittling, Zack’s good advice about women. Well, that last one would have to wait a bit. He didn’t want to let them out of his sight. Knew he’d have to sooner or later. It just wasn't safe on Serenity as she went about her business. Jayne had the right of it. A little ship was no place to be raising kids. If they were on an Alliance vessel, one of those floating cities, things would be different. Things would have to be very different indeed to convince himself or Zoe to step foot on one or their own accord. They were his crew and he was responsible for their safety and well being. He’d hate to lose Zoe to mothering. It would be like losing his arm, almost literally. She’d always been there watching his back. Sides and the surrounding territory to boot when it came right down to it. He didn’t much care to have QBG off his ship either. She listened to him. She just listened. She’d offer an opinion or advice sure enough, sometimes even if he didn’t want or care for it. She just had a way of becalming him when he needed it. If Inara spun him about, Jazmine was becoming his rudder. The babe might well prove to be his compass. Time would tell. Now that his child was on the way she was even more dear to him. Their child. Hers mostly, truth be told. He’d just been along for the ride, so to speak. Had to chuckle at that one. Quite the ride indeed. It was still a happy surprise. He wanted to be there as long as she was willing to have him and he kept breathing. Could be all too short a time, considering occupational hazards. He was almost daring to let himself hope, though. Shanty to nanny. How many hats did that woman intend to try on anyway? Her idea had been the best, if not only, offered up so far. She’d be safe somewhere with the children. Zoe could stay aboard and focus on work. Serenity could stop by on her way through, and when they had down time. He just wanted them all safe. It would hurt to not have her with him, she’d grown on him that much. Love kept you flying. They should really find another cook if they could. It had been nice having the crew freed up from galley duty. Food had gotten better too. QBG certainly knew how to get value for her coin when it came to supplies. Grace would have approved. Jaz was good at supplies. Could have used her in the War. The thought gave him a shiver. He was suddenly very glad she hadn’t been there after all. No, they had to get off and go somewhere safer. No question. He hated to think of parting Zoe from what she had left of Wash, even for a while. He was afraid she might refuse and just leave entirely. It was not out of the question. Best it should be a decision she came to on her own. He’d presented the idea as a solution to a problem, and let her know that if she’d any of her own they were welcome. He missed that husband of hers, too. Maybe she’d let him be Uncle Mal if he behaved. They’d have had fun with their father. Everybody did. Might not have always cared for the man’s attitude, but he’d been as solid in his way as his wife was in hers. Best gorram pilot he’d ever seen bar none. Shame he hadn’t made it to see his children born. Hadn’t made it to see them conceived either, exactly. Least not the old fashioned way. Odd thought, that. Mal definitely preferred doing some things the old fashioned way. At least you knew for sure you probably had something to do with the whole business if you’d been there. He’d been very careful with Inara that night. He didn’t want her to wind up feeling obligated or chained to him. She’d said she felt the same way, and it would have been quite an inconvenience to her. They’d done everything short of just not having sex at all. Inara felt duty bound to make sure he’d gotten the full Companion experience. His Lotus Flower had bought him that one night. Wish granted, just like that. Inara was under contractual obligation and her professional pride would not allow anything less than exactly what was needed. Jazmine had wanted them to resolve the unresolved one way or the other. Woman could be scary that way sometimes. Saw a problem, found a solution, then went and fixed it. Woe unto the fool that got in her way when she had her bonnet set to fixing something, and that included herself. She could be brutal. Mal and Inara had parted on bad terms, left things hanging, things unsaid that wanted saying. Jazmine said she couldn’t live with that ghost. She was fine with all his other hauntings but she’d said the bed was getting crowded. Contracting Inara was a novel approach. She’d told him to get it out of his system. She’d taken a big gamble and they both knew it. ‘Nara was a professional to the core. She’d been hired to counsel and comfort and that was what she did. They’d not done so much honest talking the entire time she’d rented the shuttle. It hadn’t been easy for her either. Eventually they’d got to laughing at themselves. Biggest pair of fools in the ‘Verse. They’d agreed, without the shouting and bitter words this time, that it would never have worked out between them. They were too much alike and neither was willing to change as much as it would take to make it right. She’d get fat, he’d go bald, and they’d both take to drinking. Better to part as friends and put it to rest. When the time came to decide about the bedding part of the evening he really hadn’t intended to go ahead with it. Served QBG right to let her worry a bit, but he just didn’t think he could go through with it. Inara had insisted. Now he was worrying. Inara said his lover had given them a precious gift, a chance to see what might have been and get things right between them. Besides, it was part of her job, she enjoyed it, and she thought Jaz had been right about laying it to rest. She’d said that last part with a twinkle in her eye. She said to think of it as a kind of parting embrace, one old friend to another. He’d pointed out they really hadn’t known each other all that long, so they weren’t really old friends. She’d countered that they’d been through more together than most friendships of several times their duration. She said he could always look back in ten or twenty years and remember her as an old friend then. He knew better than to try winning this argument. He was drunk. He decided to go ahead with it. Still wasn’t sure if he was glad of it or not. He’d known it would hurt Jazmine some if he did, but she knew it would hurt them more if he didn’t. So he had, and they did, and it was good, and bad, and good. He still felt like he’d cheated on Jaz somehow, but hadn’t at the same time. It was bizarre in some way. How could you feel guilty and not guilty at the same time? Jazmine had told him later that she didn’t feel betrayed because it had been with her knowledge and blessing. However, had he gone off with some prairie harpy and hid it matters would have stood a bit differently. She had no formal claim to him, didn’t really feel she needed one, but the sneaking would have stung her fierce. She said it didn’t make much sense to her either, and on the whole she was glad it was over and things had turned out in her favor. Mal wasn’t so sure of that some days. He didn’t know exactly what held her to him, but he hoped he never ran out of whatever it was. They had their disagreements, sure and all, and they’d both been in the wrong betimes. Still loved her dearly and wanted her near. He was going to miss his Lotus Flower when she was dirt side and he was out in the black. He managed not to laugh as she started to snore, settled back down and laid his hand on her side. He’d tell her about Mamma tomorrow .. before it was too late for her to listen.


Monday, October 16, 2006 1:19 AM


Schmaltz. Pure schmaltz. But sometimes that's what you get.

Monday, October 16, 2006 3:50 PM


Is this part of a longer series? It felt like there was some information missing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 1:01 AM


It is very much a part of a longer series, yes. More of a wee scribble in the margins when you get right down to it. Sorry you didn't like it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 9:14 AM


Don't think Empirex was saying they didn't like it, stinkingrose....just wasn't familiar with your "Jazmine" stories. But I could be wrong. Can't read minds, unfortunately;)

And I too was thinking this was unrelated to said series till you referred to "QBG" and then all the pieces realigned to make sense...again. Cuz it was working fine as Mal being introspective about getting someone who was remaining nameless (though I was leaning towards Inara 'till you went and shot that theory to Hell;D).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 9:16 AM


Dang it...really need to beta my comments:(

Ok...second time around:

Don't think EmpireX was saying he/she didn't like it, stinkingrose....just that he/she wasn't familiar with your "Jazmine" stories. But I could be wrong. Can't read minds, unfortunately;)

And I too thought this was unrelated to said series 'till you referred to "QBG" and then all the pieces realigned to make sense...again. Cuz it was working fine as Mal being introspective about getting someone who was remaining nameless (though I was leaning towards Inara 'till you went and shot that theory to Hell;D) pregnant.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006 3:49 PM


By not enjoying, I was referring to the rating of 4 that came along around the same time as EmpireX's comment. It was the only one posted. Perhaps I should not have assumed it came from them.


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Flying The Coop
The landscape's changing. Serenity's moving on. They'll all be fine.

Garden, With Cakes
Integrating Inara's storyline with other stuff going on. Still sticking to my own little corner of the 'Verse.

Child's Play
Moving the plot along.

Cold Sweat
Short installment in the biggish darned series.

Road Trip
Getting antsy. Jayne hits a house of ill repute and several people. Neither of these events is described in detail.

Imbalance of Power
This is a setup.

Lonesome Albatross
Sniff sniff...sob. Teenage angst. Also flying bullets.

Love Nuns
Serenity returns to Copia. Mal faces the music. Half naked men wrestling.

Big Rosie
Back story for the 76th.

Come The Ressurrection
Fairly short (for me). He's baack!