Special Day
Thursday, January 18, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. It's Bethany's first birthday, but maybe there's a little more going on than appears ... Please leave feedback and ratings - they make me feel all fluffy inside!


“Here,” Jayne said, standing in the doorway to the engine room, holding out a small package. “My mom sent this for the squirt. Figured she could have it now as it’s her birthday.”

Kaylee took it, intensely curious. She opened the bag and looked inside. “Oh, that is so sweet!” she exclaimed, pulling a little hat out, just like the one Jayne had.

“I mentioned to her in my last letter about you havin’ a kid, and she thought it’d be just the thing to keep the cold out.” Jayne was almost embarrassed. “A’course, if you don’t want it …”

Kaylee held it up to the light. “I think it’s lovely,” she said, a big smile on her face. “And I know Bethany’s going to love it.” She played with the pompom on top.

“Ma sent one for Freya, too,” Jayne added unexpectedly. “Hers is green and white, like she asked for a while back.” He grinned. “Don’t think Mal’s gonna be too pleased when he sees it.”

“Why?” Kaylee asked, still entranced by his gift.

“Well, ‘cause I kinda like the idea of us all dressing up in ‘em and taking a capture, just for posterity,” Jayne said mischievously. “Maybe put it on the Cortex, you know, one of those adverts telling everyone who we are.”

Kaylee laughed. “Oh, we have to. The capture, at least. Have you given Freya hers yet?”

Jayne shook his head. “Was gonna wait until after the birthday,” he admitted. “Didn’t want it to seem like I was trying to make it less special for the pumpkin.”

The young mechanic put her hand on his arm and smiled. She knew he was better than he made out, that he had more depths than most others gave him credit for, depths he hid because it wasn't ‘manly’. “Thank you, Jayne,” she said sincerely.

He nodded and stood up straighter. “So, when’re we gonna eat?” he asked, back to business. “I'm hungrier’n hell and could eat a horse.”

“I think we did,” Kaylee said, grimacing. “Back on Verbena last.”

“Tasty, though,” Jayne added. “Bit tough, ‘til you got past its hoofs.” He grinned at her.

She thumped him lightly on the arm, then paused. “Jayne, do you … you got a minute?”

His brows drew together. “What’s up, the doc not treating you right?” he asked, concerned at the sudden serious look on her face. “’Cause if he is I can just as quick –“

“No, no, he’s … it’s shiny,” she said quickly. “I just wanted to ask you … about River.”

He exhaled noisily. “What is it about that moonbrain that everyone thinks I’m all fired up about her?” he asked, thrusting his hands into his pockets to keep from making fists.

“Well, you spend so much time together …”

“That ain't my doing,” the big man insisted. “She’s always there, don’t matter which way I turn.”

“And how does that make you feel?”

He looked down at her. “You trying to do an Inara on me?” he asked, his eyes narrowing.

“I just wanna know your intentions.” Kaylee stood up to him, barely reaching his shoulders. “She’s my sister-in-law, and … and that makes her as much my responsibility as Simon. I wanna know what you’re planning.”

“I ain't planning nothing, little Kaylee,” he said, backing down, feeling like it was his Ma interrogating him for something he hadn’t done. “I’ll tell you like I told the doc – we’re friends, is all. And that’s all there’s ever gonna be.”

“And if she wants more?”

“Moonbrain?” Jayne made himself laugh. “She ain't interested in me, ‘cept in how she can make my life a misery.”

“Just so long as that’s all.”

He looked at her, his blue eyes suddenly piercing. “Why, don’t you think I'm good enough for her?”

“Jayne –“

“No, you’re right. I ain't. So it’s just as well I ain't going after her then.”

“Jayne, if you loved her, if you really wanted to be with her, I’d be there right behind you.” Kaylee spoke in a rush, afraid he was going to take offence.


“But if you’re playin’ with her –“

“She’s playin’ with me!” he insisted loudly. He pulled his paws from his pockets and threw them into the air. “She’s a kid! Just a moonbrain kid who likes to make me all kinds of uncomfortable … and that’s it!”

“Okay, okay,” Kaylee said, trying to calm him down. “If’n that’s the case, fine. It’s shiny.”

“Right.” Jayne took a breath. “Shiny.” He nodded towards the galley. “Now, we gonna eat or not?” ---

“That was a fine meal,” Mal said, sitting back and smiling around the table.

“That it was,” Hank agreed. “I’d have to say I think there was some actual food in it.”

Kaylee smiled. “Well, it’s her first birthday, so I figured I’d do somethin’ special. And Zoe helped.”

The first mate held up her hands. “I just did some of the preparation. The rest of it was entirely yours.”

Kaylee preened a little, then clapped her hands. “I think Bethany’s waited long enough. Present time.”

“Please,” Simon said, struggling to hold a squirming child on his lap. “Before I'm marked for life.”

“Then I think perhaps we ought to be first,” Freya said, nodding at Mal who got up and disappeared outside for a moment.

“We get to not have Mal around as a birthday present?” Hank asked.

“Dear,” Zoe said quietly.


“Shut up.”

He sighed happily.

Mal came back in, carrying a tall chair. Only it was child-sized, on long legs, with a tray that swung out. “Happy birthday, Bethany,” he said, putting it down next to the doctor.

“Oh,” Kaylee breathed, touching it gently. “It’s perfect.”

Simon slid his daughter into it, pulling the tray down in front of her. Bethany, surprised at this new situation, sat still, her little hands stroking the wood, imitating her mother, then giggled. “Mine!” she shouted.

Everyone laughed.

“Thank you,” Simon said with heartfelt gratitude. “And my bruises thank you too.”

Freya grinned. “She’s big enough for her own high chair now, and when she’s outgrown it, well, maybe it can be passed on.” She stroked her belly.

Inara laughed. “I think everything else just might be an anticlimax after that,” she commented, but handed over a small red velvet box.

Kaylee opened it. “Ooh, that is so pretty!” It was a necklace, a blue stone hanging from a chain, and she held it up so everyone could see.

“You can keep it until she’s a little older.”

“Thank you,” Simon said.

“And we’re boring,” Hank added as Zoe held out a squishy package. “I mean, what do you buy a one year old?”

Kaylee laid the parcel on the tray in front of her daughter, and Bethany attacked it, tearing the paper to pieces and dropping it on the floor.

“Hope you’re gonna teach her to be a bit tidier,” Mal said. “Can’t have someone on my crew messing up my boat.”

“She’s not on your crew, captain,” Simon pointed out.

“What, you mean your wife ain't gonna teach her to crawl inside Serenity’s moving parts?”

Freya thumped him on the arm and he grinned.

“Mine!” Bethany shouted again, hugging the soft toy that had been revealed to her.

“Um, what is that?” Simon asked, peering at the multi-coloured thing.

“It’s a rabbit,” Zoe said.

“Only I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rabbit like that. Ever. It looks more like a dinosaur.”

Hank turned to glare at Zoe. “See, I told you we shoulda gone with the other one!”

“I don’t think Bethany cares what it is,” Inara said soothingly.

“I've already given Bethany her present,” River said, reaching out to touch her niece on the cheek.

“Auntie River,” the little girl said, and held out the toy for her to see. “Rabbit.”

“Little boots,” Kaylee explained. “So she doesn’t get her feet cold.”

“I made them.” The girl smiled softly. “She said she’d like some like mine.”

As everyone exchanged glances, Jayne stood up. “Guess it’s just me, then.”

“You didn’t have to,” Kaylee said, smiling at the big man.

“Yeah, I did.” He went around the counter and lifted up a wooden box which he brought back and placed on the tray. He lifted, and the whole top came up, leaving the base behind.

“Oh, my,” Kaylee breathed.

Jayne had carved a whole set of animals, and built an Ark to put them on. “That there’s Noah,” he said to the little girl as she gazed wide-eyed at the toy. “And his wife, and his sons and their wives. And all the animals of the world, two by two.”

“I think you’ve missed your calling,” Hank said, but only mildly.

Jayne glared at him. “Just ‘cause you think I ain't got no Bible learning, don’t mean you’re right.”

“They’re not all there,” River put in, her head on one side. “But this is an equitable selection.”

He sighed and ignored her.

“I think it’s shiny,” Kaylee said.

“’hiny,” Bethany agreed, reaching out to grab one of the lions. “Birfday. Mine.”

“The paint isn’t poisonous, is it?” Simon asked as Bethany explored the feel of it with her tongue.

Jayne gave him a withering look. “D’ya think I’d be that stupid?”

“I agree with Kaylee,” Inara said. “It’s wonderful.”

“Thank you,” Kaylee said, removing the animal from her daughter’s mouth but holding it close enough so she could touch it. “Somethin’ she can pass on to her children.”

Jayne almost blushed. “Just something to pass the time when we ain't on a job. Figured maybe, if she liked it, I could add some more once in a while.”

“She’d love that.” Kaylee kicked her husband under the table.

“Um, yes, I'm sure she would,” he said quickly, wondering whether it would be bad form to lean down and rub the bruise.

Mal sat back in his chair and smiled. “You gonna make something for my son?” he asked the mercenary, as always surprised by Jayne’s occasional flashes of sentiment.

“Maybe,” Jayne admitted. “Got something in mind.”

“I can make the –“ River began then stopped as he glared at her. Suddenly she flashed him a dazzling smile that quite discomforted him, and he realised that she’d caught her hair back in the clip he’d given her.


Thursday, January 18, 2007 3:35 AM


>“Um, yes, I'm sure she would,” he said quickly, wondering whether it would be bad form to lean down and rub the bruise.

Yes, Simon, it would!

This whole thing is lovely - all the characters are perfect (and the nod towards dinos is appreciated).

Your Jayne is particularly delightful.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 5:33 AM


I so love how you treat Jayne ,another great story.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 8:56 AM


Absolutely brilliant! I loved every word and every line, especially how you brought out a side of Jayne we seldom see. Nice to see his mellow moments and that bit at the end with River wearing the clip he gave her, perfect! The whole crew seem a happy amalgum in this story which is super shiny. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, January 18, 2007 9:45 AM


Oh, I love it! I absolutely adore Bethany and I can just picture her as a bouncing bundle, bringing smiles to Simon and Kaylee's faces.

Plus, I love your Jayne. I do think he can be a bit sensitive and it's nice to see that side of him. Although, methinks he wasn't being completely truthful with Kaylee regarding his feelings for River ... but that'll come!

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:22 AM


Oh...this was too shiny to adequate comment on! But hell...I'll do it anyway;)

Definitely loved how you had Jayne all mellow and caring in this chapter, Jane0904! And his present? Brilliant stuff;)


Saturday, January 20, 2007 6:01 AM


I have a hard time with Jayne/River but you seem to be able to make it work.


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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]