All The 'Verse Is A Dance
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Post BDM, Mal/River, after Tick, Tock, Clocked! The crew gets a job.


Disclaimer: All rights to Joss the Boss and Mutant Enemy.

Ok, ok, I'm sorry it took so long! I was deathly ill... well maybe not deathly but it did hurt to move. Anyway, I'm back and here is the new installment.


She looked so beautiful, the red and orange light from the paper lanterns filtered through her cascading chocolate hair, making it seemingly glow as it pranced about her head. Her dark blue skirt flared out around her, flowing with her fluid, graceful motions. Sweat was glistening on her skin, shining with the autumn colors.

The dance seemed to come as naturally to her as breathing came to everyone else. In general, she was good at everything she did, but dancing, she didn't just dance- she became the dance. Every motion, every part of that perfect body was dance. Her life was a dance, she was merely the motions.

The people dancing around her could barely kreep up, in fact many just stood back and watched her, watched the master at work. By the time the dance ended and she stood breathless in the town square, no one else was dancing, but rather watching her.

Her face flushed into a rosy red blush and she quickly withdrew. A new song began and the dancers returned to their dancing, a few calling for her return, but she would not oblige them.

Instead, she slipped onto the empty spot on the bench next to him. "Might perty dance, darlin'." Mal told her.

She blushed again, "I hadn't realized... I got carried away..."

"Ain't nothin' to be ashamed of, in fact, it's somethin' to be rather proud about. You'll have to dance for me again sometime." he said smiling, taking a drink of the wine he held in his hand.

River reached over and took the cup. "Hey!" Mal whined, "I was drinkin' that." She sniffed it and wrinkled her nose at it. Then she gingerly placed her lips to the cup and sipped carefully. "Whoa!" he said, taking the cup back, "You're a bit young for alcohol."

She stuck her tongue out at him, causing him to chuckle. "It's not good for you anyway." she replied, "Kills brain cells, replaces them with belly button lint, and then whacks your skull from the inside in the morning."

Mal looked down into his half full cup of wine, and with a sigh, put it on the ground next to the bench. She simply laughed at him. She curled up next to him, and somehow his arm found its way around her shoulders.

"And," she said, looking up at him, "It gives you funny breath."

"D-oe-s i-t?" he asked, stretching the words out as long as possible and breathing in her face. She giggled and wriggled under his arm.


Across the square, Simon was pointedly avoiding Mal and River. He couldn't be around them right now, he couldn't stand to see his mei-mei with someone... romantically.

Still, it was nearly impossible to ignore them. His eyes kept straying to them, and they looked so happy and, and... He tried not to watch. Instead, he tried to occupy himself with Kaylee.

Kaylee, right, the girl he was romantically involved with. He was sitting next to her, trying to pay attention to what she was saying to the people at the table they were sitting at, but she was talking about engines and mechanics.

Not knowing anything about the said topics, and not particularly caring to, though he would listen to Kaylee occasionally when she talked of her work, it gave his mind time to wander. It just so happened to keep wandering across the square to the two people he was trying his best not to look at.

As far as he knew, the rest of the crew was unaware of the captain's relationship with River, but they weren't really making an effort to hide it. At least not since River had told him and Mal had come to explain and take a few punches.

It wasn't necessarily the thought of River with the captain that he didn't like. It wasn't the fact that he was so much older than her. As Simon thought about it, he came to the realization that it was the prospect of losing his little sister. She had always been his and his alone. He'd never had to share her with anyone, nor had he shared the responsibility of looking after her too often. He and River had a bond that was so tight, he thought it could never be broken.

But right now, he felt as if the knot that tied that bond was getting looser and looser and would eventually slip away from him. He could hardly bear to think of that ever happening and it pained him to know that she was forging a bond with Mal that could possibly be much stronger than that. A bond tight enough to break the bond she shared with Simon.

He wasn't sure he could take it, but he kept silent and tried to bear it with dignity. He did realize that he could not lock her in a box and keep her to himself for the rest of his life. He had to let her free, to become her own person. Hopefully she would come back to him.

Then there was the fact that Mal was so much older than her. That did sort of send creepy crawlies up and down his spine, but that he might be able to live with- for her sake.


Mal woke in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar place. He couldn't quite recall going to bed, but he did remember falling asleep at some point.

River sat up next to him, "What did I tell you?" she asked, barely supressing a giggle.

His head throbbed, "Don't you start with them 'I told you so's.' I never would have gotten so drunk if you hadn't said nothin'." she laughed at this, causing shoots of pain to go through his skull. "Now, where are we, when did we get here, and please tell me I didn't do anything I should regret last night."

She smiled, "We're at the inn, Zoe didn't think you or Jayne would be able to make it back to Serenity last night. Went to bed around eight hours after the sun went down, and you practically passed out when your face hit the pillow. Zoe said you should take these." she said, handing him a packet of pills and a glass of water that had been sitting on the bedside table.

Mal took them gratefully, and as the tiny capsules dissappeared into his throat, he felt the pain and tension in his head begin to lessen. "Time is it? I miss it?"

River shook her head, "No, Zoe promised she'd come wake you an hour before. So you have some time to get ready before you go off to plan crime with Badger."

"Good..." he said, sitting up, discovering that his shirt had been removed. He glanced at River before retrieving it from the bedpost it had been hanging on. Grabbing his gun and his coat, he turned to River, who had just finished lacing her boots. "They got breakfast here?" he asked heading towards the door, "Not necessarily food, but y'know, like coffee?"

She grinned. "I don't know. The bar downstairs was the alcohol supplier for last nights reveries, maybe they have breakfst too." she said following him through the doors and down the stairs.

"Let's hope." he replied. At the foot of the stairs, he discovered that they did serve coffee- what good bar didn't?- and that Jayne and Simon were already downstairs partaking in it. "Seems your brother got his fair share of intoxicatin' last night as well." he whispered to her. She just nodded darkly, and he didn't ask as he got his own coffee.

"Just in time, sir." Zoe said over her plate of eggs, "Was just about to come wake you. We meet Badger in an hour."

"Sounds good." Mal said, sitting down, River sat next to him with a cup of some sort of juice.

"Hasn't Badger nearly screwed us a buncha times?" Jayne asked groggily. "Seems to me we might oughta find business elsewhere."

"Ain't much business bein' had elsewhere." Mal replied, "And yes, Badger has caused us more'n our fair share o' trouble in the past, but at least his jobs give decent pay. You know, money, Jayne, that stuff that the 'verse runs on."

Jayne simply grunted into his coffee.


Badger's accent was getting on Mal's nerves. Something about the man's voice just grated uncomfortably in his already pained head. As always, Badger was being unusually stupid and annoying, but the job sounded good. Sounded profitable.

Apparently they were to steal a considerable sum of cash and inventory from some rich guy on Beaumonde. It was a longer hit, may take a week or so to complete. Inara would stop complaining about not having decent work as well, Beaumonde was well within her client base.

Sounded all right to Mal, and Badger promised a hefty sum of cash, who was he to refuse?


Simon sat across from River, Kaylee was at the other end of the table chatting with Inara.

He wasn't sure what to say to her, they'd been sitting in silence now for a long time.

"You're not losing me, Simon." she said, suddenly.

Sure feels like it. "Don't worry about that." he said evasively.

"You just have to learn to share."

Memories flooded his mind, memories from growing up with River. "I said don't worry about it. I'll be fine." he said, with finality.

She sighed, and picked at her nails. Luckily, Mal, Zoe, and Jayne returned to save her another akward silence.

Everyone headed back to Serenity, where Mal explained that they would be going to Beaumonde to perform a complicated heist on one of the wealthier denizens of the planet.

"How's your head?" she asked Mal when everyone had dispersed to go about their business.

"Feelin' much better." he said, as he began to walk up to the bridge to get them in the air. River followed.

"Good." she said, he turned back and smiled at her. On the bridge, he said, "Should be on Beaumonde in a day or so." as he was taking off.

"Gives us a day or so of downtime." she replied, mischeviously.

"So it does, so it does." he said, smiling.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007 9:01 PM


Yes, Simon is going to have to learn to share his sister. Wish they didn't have to keep taking work from Badger but then they need the coin to live, to keep flying. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 5:32 AM


I loved this chapter. Especially poor Simon realizing that he has to share River.
He's such a boob. Not no one in the verse can break up a brother and sister except them and obviously that's not gonna happen.
Besides, Mal would never try to come between them.
Hope your feeling better.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:22 AM


Glad to hear you feeling a tad bit more human after being all "Blah!", Azlenna;D

And poor Simon...finally reaping the consequences of only really bonding with his sister. I just hope that he can come to grips with the situation for River's sake...


Wednesday, February 14, 2007 10:07 AM


Yes, poor Simon ... but I think someone, maybe Kaylee needs to knock some sense into his thick skull. It is hard when he's doted on River as almost a parent, but ... it is time for her to become her own person.

I liked this little snippet and I think I smell a series ...


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Chinese Phrases
I always have difficulty finding the Chinese phrase I'm looking for, so I've compiled a list. I thought it might be helpful to everyone else too, so I wanted to share it :) I'll update it every time I find a new phrase, feel free to add your own in the comments.

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