Long Time Coming
Wednesday, December 6, 2006

PostBDMstillmyseries so there. Big hard blow.


Not my ‘Verse, just visiting. No coin changing hands.

Scene 1: (Copia. Farm house. Kaylee, Simon, Jayne exiting onto front porch.)

JAYNE: Now that’s just unsettlin’. KAYLEE: I think it’s beautiful. SIMON: It’s a perfectly normal function in mammals. JAYNE: Ordinar’ly I might agree, ain’t the first time I seen it. But that was Zoe. KAYLEE: That makes it even prettier. JAYNE: Wa. Gonna be a long time ‘fore I close my eyes without seein’ that. SIMON: Hey pretty mammal, can I try that? KAYLEE: How romantic of you. Race you to the room! MAL: (coming out and nearly being run over) Where’s the fire? JAYNE: Kaylee’s britches, where else? MAL: Somebody’s cranky. Kasmir’s sisters turn you down? JAYNE: Ain’t sayin’. MAL: All seven plus the twelve cousins then? Smooth. I believe that’s a new record for you Jayne. JAYNE: Gai si. Glad they’re all gone though. MAL: Shoulda waited till one had left the room ‘fore tryin’ for the next one. JAYNE: Funny. See me laughin’? MAL: Don’t fret none. We’ll get you to a whore house again sooner or later.

***** Scene 2: (Farm house parlor, heads bowed over a map on coffee table.)

JAZ: There’s an old observation outpost on Cornu near the summit. The view is spectacular. It’s a bit out of the way. I was hoping Simon and Kaylee could scout out the best place down on the little lake to put up a cabin. There’s a big system of lakes elsewhere I could use an opinion on some day. Anybody who wants to go have a look round is welcome to it. I was warning Mal about the eccentricities of the weather here. MAL: Sky clouds in she’ll be whistlin’ up a screamer. Got a right banshee wind comes through betimes. ZOE: That’s why the tuned wind chimes? MAL: They shift modes, you shift gear. Don’t wait for second guesses ‘cause you won’t get one. KAYLEE: How bad is it? MAL: Good blow gets going you’ll be whipped right out’n your clothes. SIMON: Sounds like fun. MAL: You hear the wind change pitch you get to cover, dong ma? No foolin’. JAZ: The big walls around the orchards are not for show. Built them so the wind mostly channels around the outside. Still get a good breeze inside the walls, but the trees are sheltered. Some day they may be the shelter. It’s still nothing like on the plains, or waters. JAYNE: Wondered why you didn’t use fencing. MAL: Tain’t to keep the varmints out, it’s to keep the trees in. JAZ: Got some fast growing brakes planted four years back. RIVER: What it wants is terrain. JAZ: River, sweetling, if you’re bored you could look over the environmental engineering analysis. You’ll probably find a few places that could use tweaking. SIMON: Starting with the engineers’ noses, no doubt. JAZ: There’s days I swear they were looking at the wrong planet. RIVER: It sounds as thought you could use a reliable model for forecasting incipient systems. JAZ: Right now licking your finger and holding it up is your best bet. You’d probably need more data than we have for extrapolation. The experts threw their hands up and muttered about chaos. The records were spotty until the last six years, and even that only covers a few areas. Copia’s changed hands several times over the last three centuries. Previous owners got bored with her when they realized she’s not likely to be the idyllic playground they had envisioned. RIVER: And you? JAZ: I think it depends on how you like to play. KAYLEE: She’s perfect for kites. JAZ: My point exactly. You’ve all got the run of the place, just check with me for known or suspected hazards before you go. Wouldn’t want to explain how I got you drowned in a bog. RIVER: Sounds equitable. You get data, I get something of a puzzle to keep me occupied. JAZ: Who knows, it could prove to be a challenge given your limited data and primitive equipment. RIVER: We’ll see.

******** Scene 3: (Farmhouse kitchen)

MAL: You all right Lotus Flower? JAZ: Just an overactive imagination hitched to a pregnant brain, Bamboo. Nothing to worry about. MAL: You seem to be doing plenty of worrying for nothing to fret over. JAZ: Thinking about the past, worrying about the future. MAL: How’s about kissing in the present? JAZ: Sounds like a much better idea. Pass those lips on over here. MAL: Where, here? JAZ: Definitely. MAL: How ‘bout here, or maybe here? JAZ: That’ll work too. Malcolm? MAL: Hmm? JAZ: I want you to do something for me. MAL: A boon? JAZ: More or less. MAL: Not promising anything till I know what it is. JAZ: I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. MAL: Go on then, speak your peace. JAZ: If this labor’s like the others it could go on a while. I’m getting a little nervous. It would be a comfort to me to know. Well. I’m not asking you to pray as such.. MAL: You want me on my knees? JAZ: Every chance I get. MAL: You’re the one what stopped me just now. JAZ: If it starts to drag on could you light some incense or go out in the garden and think happy thoughts for me or something? I know you aren’t on speaking terms with the powers that may or may not be, but knowing Malcolm Reynolds is bending his will on me is a very reassuring thought. MAL: You just want me to hope real hard all goes well? JAZ: That about sums it up. MAL: Done. How’s about I conjure up short and painless while I’m at it? JAZ: Bamboo, if you could arrange for that by will power alone you’d have at least half the women in the ‘Verse praying to you. MAL: Never a moment’s peace for the miracle maker. Work, work, work. JAZ: Your head would explode, forget I said that. MAL: Now that I have set your mind at ease, where were we? JAZ: You were right about here, I believe. MAL: I reckon you’re right.

***** Scene 4: (Front porch of the farm house)

MAL: Doc, you have a minute? SIMON: Certainly. How can I be of assistance? MAL: Married life seems to be suiting you. SIMON: I find it an enjoyable state. MAL: Little Kaylee seems to be keeping you in good spirits. Swear I heard you whistling the other day. SIMON: What exactly is it you want from me? MAL: Shanty’s fretting a mite these days. Seems the times she took to child bed before this stretched on a bit. SIMON: We’d discussed that. Her labors were a bit protracted, but not enough to cause concern. MAL: Gettin’ a touch skitterish lately. I was just puzzling on whether or not there was something you could to to help things along when the time comes. SIMON: There are drugs commonly used to speed labor along, but they tend to increase the intensity of the mother’s discomfort. MAL: Shuh muh? SIMON: The more you hurry, the more it hurts. It’s best to let nature take its course sometimes. MAL: You got what all you need ‘lest something goes not according to plans? SIMON: Jazmine saw to it we were fully stocked for everything up to and including emergency intervention. MAL: Oh. Good girl. SIMON: She does like to plan ahead. MAL: Very good at anticipating, our QBG. SIMON: She’s a good nurse. MAL: You don’t conjure it’ll come to that, do you? SIMON: To what? MAL: Intervention. SIMON: No, no. She’ been successful before. It’s perfectly normal for a pregnant woman to become a little edgy near the time of delivery. Cranky too. MAL: Good, good. Well, xie xie. SIMON: My pleasure, Captain. While we’re relieving qualms, I was wondering if you could do something.

***** Scene 5: (Barn, where Serenity is parked)

MAL: How long you plan on sulking in there? JAYNE: Till I’m done. MAL: Well when you’ve finished there’s a job needs doing out here. JAYNE: What’s that? MAL: Tell you at supper.

***** Scene 6: (Dinner table in farm house)

RIVER: I don’t need a baby sitter. MAL: Never said you did. But you go harin’ off on your lonesome and something happens, who’s gonna holler for help? RIVER: I’m a big girl. ZOE: Which is why you’ll take along our big boy Jayne here as your safety buddy. RIVER: I’ll be fine. MAL: You may be a reader but the rest of us ain’t. So you’ll kindly put our minds at ease and take someone along. JAYNE: Why me? MAL: Because Zoe can’t go now Kasmir’s left, Simon’s needed here, Kaylee’s working on Serenity, and I”m not too keen on leaving Jazmine at present. You’re the only one we can spare just now to make sure our pilot’s still of a piece when we need her again. You leave tomorrow. JAYNE: Pass the taters. MAL: Right, that’s settled. No more indigestion making talk for a while. RIVER: Yes, Captain. MAL: Good girl. ‘Scuse me, young woman. (River sticks out her tongue in reply) SIMON: Very mature, you’ve certainly validated your argument there mei mei. RIVER: I am fully cognizant of your role in this farce. MAL: That does it. I spend the night with bad dreams on account of the pair of you bickerin’ till the bao bounces back up, it’s coming out of your hides, the both of you. RIVER: Yes Dad. SIMON: Ahrmph. Sorry. JAYNE: Are you gonna pass them spuds or what? MAL: The..? Oh. Here.

***** Scene 7: (Garden. Simon and Kaylee are picking flowers)

KAYLEE: Worrywart. SIMON: She’s my sister. I’m supposed to worry. KAYLEE: She’ll be fine. She’s got Jayne with her. SIMON: That’s not necessarily a comforting thought. KAYLEE: He ain’t gonna try for her. ‘Sides she can put his face through the back of his head if she’s not interested. SIMON: There is that. Wait. What do you mean if she’s not interested? It’s Jayne. KAYLEE: Never can tell. SIMON: But..Jayne? Niu shi. KAYLEE: I doubt it. He is a he though. SIMON: I could fix that with a few hours of work. KAYLEE: Simon! SIMON: Just a thought. KAYLEE: That would be one homely woman. SIMON: Think so? KAYLEE: Yep.

***** Scene 8: (Parlor. Jazmine is leaning over Mal, who is napping on the couch.)

JAZ: Whoops. Oh gui. Malcolm? MAL: Huhwazzat? JAZ: Mal. Go find Simon. MAL: Why? JAZ: Because I asked you to. Watch for the! MAL: Ack! JAZ: Puddle. Sorry. MAL: What was that? JAZ: Amniotic fluid. MAL: That what I think it is? JAZ: Probably. Go get the doctor, Daddy. Owowow. MAL: Just don’t. You just stay there and don’t, um. Yeah. I’ll be right back. With Simon. Simon!! Simon! (exits) JAZ: Whoo. Okay. That one’s over. Towel. I need a towel. Or three.

**** Scene 9: (shuttle)

RIVER: I am not a scrawny kid, and if you must think those thoughts could you please do it more quietly. JAYNE: What thoughts? Stay out’n my head. RIVER: The ones about what you’re gong to do the next time you find a willing female. JAYNE: Weren’t thinking on you, for sure. RIVER: Not until you looked at me, no. JAYNE: Didn’t neither. RIVER: Did so. Do you think of all women in those terms? JAYNE: Well how am I s’posed to think on ‘em? How well they play checkers? RIVER: Do you know you’re lonely? JAYNE: What? RIVER: I suddenly realized you might not even understand that you’re actually lonely. JAYNE: Don’t signify. RIVER: Should you decide conversation to be a favorable endeavor I am available. JAYNE: That mean if I want to talk to someone you’re volunteerin’? RIVER: Essentially. JAYNE: Sheh-sheh. Don’t stop breathin’ on it. Better get what you come out here for. It’s gettin’ late. RIVER: Artificial illumination is an option. JAYNE: Bust your ankle in a hole, I ain’ carryin’ you back. RIVER: Such gracious courtesy. Be back soon Sir Galahad. (she slips away) JAYNE: Gorram baby sitter. Middle of nowhere. Brat.

***** Scene 10: (Garden. Night.)

ZOE: Sent you out here, did she? MAL: Pacing made her a mite unsettled. ZOE: She’ll call you back in a minute. MAL: Think so? ‘Cause I was going to take a turn round the garden. Maybe do my nails, prune some carrots.. ZOE: I’ll go check on her. MAL: Tell her. Tell her I’m thinking real hard out here. ZOE: I’m assuming no further explanation will be needed? MAL: Probably not. ZOE: Right. (goes in house) MAL: Quick and easy. Quick and easy. Quick and easy. Doc says five hours is nothing to fret over? I’m not frettin’. Quick and easy. Still don’t see why she wanted me to leave. Quick and easy. Happy thoughts, she’ll be fine. Both will. Quick and easy. Plenty of stars out tonight. Plenty of night left too. Quick and easy, quick and easy. Daddy by dawn would be good here!! Quick and easy. They’ll be fine. ZOE: (pokes head out door) Okay, Sir. She says you can go back in if you promise to stop wearing a trench in the rug. Impressive groove by the way. MAL: Be right there. Hopeful. Hopeful. Hopeful. Quick and easy. ZOE: Sir? MAL: Coming!

***** Scene 11: (Outside the shuttle on the plains.)

RIVER: (long stream of polyglot obscenities). JAYNE: Don’t think I ever heard that part in the middle afore. What’s ruttin’ wrong now? RIVER: Can’t you hear it? JAYNE: Hear what? RIVER: Wind’s shifted pitch. Banshee’s coming. JAYNE: So get us out of here. RIVER: You see those clouds? JAYNE: Way over there? Kinda dark like? RIVER: Watch how fast they blot out the stars. Shanty wasn’t joking about the data being less than complete. We’ll never outrun it. JAYNE: So get us safe. RIVER: Where? We’re 600 miles from the nearest mountain range. JAYNE: You sayin’ we got no cover? RIVER: Other than darkness? JAYNE: From that?! RIVER: Yep. JAYNE: Zao gao! RIVER: There’s some little hills 50 miles away, but that’s it. JAYNE: Then let’s get there. I don’t feel much like gettin’ rag dolled today. RIVER: Sooner we’re aloft, sooner we’re there. I’m beginning to love ice. JAYNE: Come again? RIVER: Glaciers make topography. JAYNE: Ice is good.

**** Scene 12: (Garden pergola, darkness.)

MAL: 12 hours. Lotus Flower, I would do it for you if I could. Falling asleep between times with no end in sight and you telling me to get some rest. How? Gorramit, it’s just too much. 12 Hours and she tells me to get some rest. KAYLEE: (comes out) Mal? She’s up and pushing again. Askin’ for you. MAL: Xie Xie, mei mei. (he goes back in) KAYLEE: Wind’s picked up.

***** Scene 13: (Shuttle, wind howling outside, shuttle rocking with it)

JAYNE: You call this cover? RIVER: You’d prefer to be taking this directly? JAYNE: You mean we ain’t?! RIVER: We’re on the lee side of the hill, what little there is of it. The windward side would be an order of magnitude worse. JAYNE: Startin’ to see your point ‘bout glaciers. How long till we can head out? RIVER: It’s been four hours. Past data indicates that if we aren’t torn apart we can expect another six to ten similar. JAYNE: See why everyone keeps sellin’ this place. Picnic basket gets blowed about a touch. RIVER: The weather is a tad unpredictable at present, which was the whole point of this endeavor. JAYNE: Weren’t just to get us out from underfoot? RIVER: Probably not. You would not have been Simon’s first choice of chaperones. JAYNE: Got that right. RIVER: Did he? JAYNE: I ain’t no gorram baby sitter. RIVER: What are you then? JAYNE: What d’you mean? RIVER: You’re not my baby sitter, not my captain, not my brother. So what are you? JAYNE: Reconsiderin’ the wisdom of comin’ along at present. (she leans in and breathes in his ear) Lao tian ye! Don’t do that. RIVER: Why not? JAYNE: Don’t care to be used as target practice is why not. Cap’n, Simon, Zoe, Shanty, Kaylee...well maybe not Kaylee. RIVER: (stands in front of him) What could it hurt? JAYNE: Plenty. Could we talk about ice again? RIVER: (Straddles him and leans close, emphasizing as she speaks). You mean how a glacier will cover the land, wrapping it in a wintry embrace from which there is no escape? How it slowly glides across a plain, grinding away. Forcing the earth beneath it to rise and fall, swelling into peaks and valleys. Relentelssly pounding everything below it into submission until it reaches bedrock. Then, unstoppable, slowly wearing away that as well with its pressure and motion. The only thing that can free the tortured land beneath it is forces colliding, climactic alteration. Heat meets ice until it melts and slowly retreats, leaving altered terrain. Running wet. Misted and dewed with streams and rivulets, torrents of spent energy in flux, slowly moving downhill to find its level and rest. You mean talk about ice like that? JAYNE: Ai ya. No. RIVER: Do you ever wonder what it feels like to be the plain, or the glacier? I do. (she moves to kiss him) JAYNE: Don’t. Please. RIVER: Why not? Who would know? JAYNE: I would. RIVER: And? JAYNE: Just ain’t right. Now get off’n me. Gorram, did I just say that? ta ma duh. RIVER: (sits up) You just declined that offer. She’s right. You have changed. (swings leg up and over his head, swivels around on his lap and stands). A year ago you wouldn’t have thought twice. (smoothes skirt over rump) Or once. JAYNE: Tryin’ real hard not to now. RIVER: (turns and pecks him on cheek) There may be hope for you yet, Jayne Cobb. JAYNE: Where’d you learn to talk like that anyways? RIVER: Books. JAYNE: Sounds edifyin’. Got any on the ship? RIVER: No, but Kaylee does. JAYNE: Good. And don’t try that again if you know what’s good for ya. RIVER: Fang xin. You’re too old for me anyway. JAYNE: Gonna be a long night. RIVER: I’ll be reading. Weather logs.

***** Scene 14: (Jazmine’s bedroom)

KAYLEE: There we go! Daddy’s little girl is all cleaned up and smelling sweet. JAZ: Your turn. Prepare to fall in love. MAL:(takes the bundle and stares, starts inspecting the contents. Gets damp around the eyeballs)Oh my. SIMON: She’s perfect. KAYLEE: Fashionably late, but well worth the wait. ZOE: Gonna be a beauty. Won’t be long ‘fore all the boys are following her home. MAL: Remind me to shoot Jayne next time I see him. On the principle of the thing. ZOE: Don’t worry, he’ll be in the Old Merc’s Home by then. SIMON: Is there such a thing? MAL: Not as such. ZOE: Not much call for it. How’s mother holding up? Almost nine pounds and nary a tear. Not bad. JAZ: Not competing, thanks. Mal, can you hold her a while? I need a little nap. Keep her safe and warm for me. MAL: You sound like you’re going somewhere. JAZ:If this were a bad romance novel I’d be obliged to die at this point. MAL: Well it ain’t! JAZ: Don’t worry, I’d make a lousy romantic heroine. Just need a little rest. MAL: We’ll be right here when you wake up. KAYLEE: So what’s her name? JAZ: Grace. KAYLEE: Grace. Pretty. That’s a real good name. MAL: Yes it is.

***** Scene 15: (Parlor later that day)

JAYNE: So what’d we miss? KAYLEE: Everything. JAYNE: Hey. There was only two of those when we left. RIVER: Meet Grace. JAYNE: Looks like that old guy in Parliament. MAL: Now can I shoot him? JAZ: Nope. MAL: How come? JAZ: Because I’m going to first. JAYNE: What? ZOE: The appropriate comment is “how cute” not “how wrinkly”. JAYNE: I can’t help it she looks like whatshisface. KAYLEE: Hopeless. JAYNE: Gorram straight. Head’s all pointy too. SIMON: We’ll just leave that hanging, shall we?



Wednesday, December 6, 2006 9:14 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER it wrong to consider the sultry foreplay between Jayne and River that didn't really go anywhere a good sign for the future? Cuz if it is wrong...I can quietly fantasize in the corner and not disturb anyone;)

Still...loved this chapter! Especially Mal's borderline hysterical behaviour when it came to Jaz's health and birthing pains. Though Jayne's comments about little Grace were spot on and hilarious:D


Thursday, December 7, 2006 3:00 PM


Oh this was wonderful and loved little Grace taking her own sweet time and how Mal coped with impending fatherhood and everyone's comments. Really loved the fact that Jayne had grown enough not to let himself be tempted by River and River's killer comment back that he was too old - had to laugh. Poor Jayne. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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

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