Tuesday, April 17, 2007

21 years post-BDM. Serenity takes on passengers, Serra undergoes a rite of passage. (1/3)


Title: Dirt-Kisser

Rating: PG. So there is kissin'.

Characters: The crew, the PCs. Kao Helena and Kao Wen

Pairings: M/I, Z/W, S/K by nature of the 'verse, but nothing overt.

Summary: 20ish years post-BDM. Serenity takes on passengers, Serra undergoes a rite of passage. (1/3) Fluffy, fluffy, fluffy.

Disclaimer: Most of the characters (sans the PCs and the Kaos) aren't mine, but the situation is.

For newbies: New Leaf, Brother, Shadow, Mei-Mei, Mischief, Forty, Pirate Children, Mistletoe, Hell-Raising, Delinquent, Dirt-Kisser, Barriers, Tough, Echo, Civilized, Breathing

Author's Note: So after the utter depression that was Breathing, here's some fun and games involving the PCs and their antics. Starting to fill in some of the gaps between Delinquent and Barriers.

Kacey Washburn, 19.5 (offship)

Lolly Tam, 18.5

Abe Reynolds, 17

Serra Reynolds, 12

Part 1

“Mei-Mei!” “I’m comin’, Daddy, hold your horses!” “Now, please! We got company.” “Hold on. I can’t find my pants.” “You can’t find your…” The captain pauses, stunned, and gapes a little before continuing, scratching at the back of his neck. “Did you ask your mama?” “She’s off with everyone else.” The voice shouting in return has a definite sense of “duh” in it. “Right, right,” the captain nods, looking over to the two passengers signed on for this trip. “Sorry ‘bout this. Rest of the crew is off re-stocking, and I’ve got some business ‘needs seein’ to, so she’ll have to show you around.” “Found ‘em!” “Well good, get down here!” A preteen girl hustles down the stairs two-at-a-time, buttoning her pants, skipping the last four stairs all together to land next to the captain and the two passengers. “Hello,” the female passenger says, a little startled. She isn’t sure what she was expecting after this exchange, but it wasn’t a pretty little girl in hand-me-down jeans and a white cotton T-shirt, black braid hanging down her back. “This is my daughter, Serra,” the captain introduces, pride laced in his voice. “Serra, these are our passengers, Mrs. Kao and her son Wen. Can you show ‘em to the passenger dorm, and then give ‘em a quick tour of where they’re allowed?” “Sure, Daddy. You headed off to talk to Jozefo?” “Yup. Look, Aunt River’s up in the cockpit if you need ‘er, but otherwise you’re on your own. Behave like yer mama taught ya, dong ma?” “Yes, sir,” Serra chirps. “Alright,” Captain Reynolds cuffs her affectionately on the shoulder. “I’m outta here. Your mama and Bubba are gonna be back in ‘bout an hour.” “Alright now. Go! I’ve got it under control.” The captain grins a little and heads on his way. “If you don’t mind me asking,” Kao Helena clears her throat after a few seconds. She scoots her almond eyes over the small girl, then over to her son. “How old are you?” “Twelve, ma’am,” Serra answers. “Last August.” “I’m thirteen,” quiet Kao Wen speaks up. Helena gives her shy son a surprised look. “Last August, too. What day?” “Twentieth,” Serra answers with a bigger smile. “You?” “Fifth.” Serra nods. “Well, can I help you with your bags?” “No,” Wen says quickly, blushing a little. “I got ‘em.” “Okay,” Serra shrugs easily. “This way.” She leads them under the catwalks to the passenger dorms. “This is the infirmary,” she explains, motioning to the left of them. “We’ve got a full time doctor on board, so feel free to talk to him if you have any sort of ailments. To the right here is the common area, where you’re free to be without a crew member. Bathroom’s right there.” They pass through to the passenger dorms. “Over to the right, we have what were once passenger dorms, but now they’re crew quarters.” She grins. “There are a lot of us. So I’m gonna have to ask you not to go in there, just for their privacy. To the left are your rooms. Feel free to ask anyone if you need anything. You should get a polite reply from most of us.” She gestures to two rooms across from each other, inviting them to set their stuff down. “Well, if you’ll drop off your stuff, I’ll lay down the basic ‘no zones’,” Serra says, thumbs hooked in her belt loops. “The cargo bay, where we just were, is off limits without crew. Basically, the three places you can be are the passenger dorms, common area, and the dining area, where we’ll be headed next. Any questions?” “No, not yet,” Helena says, kindly. “You’re doing very well.” The Sino woman glances over at her son, who is looking around their surroundings in a bit of awe, hand smoothing his black hair. “Thank you, ma’am,” Serra smiles. “Well, follow me, please. If you’re hungry, I think my mama left something in the ‘fridge from lunch. Not much besides processed protein, though dinner tonight should be much better.” She leads them up the stairs. “How long have you lived on this ship?” Helena asks, picking up her skirts to follow the more mobile adolescents. “All my life, ma’am. I was born down in the infirmary, en route to here, actually. Are you two natives of Persephone?” “Yes, mostly.” “Wait, you were born on a space ship?” Wen asks, amazed. “Like, in space?” Serra shrugs. “Yeah. My brother and cousins were born on board, too. Though, we were actually parked on Persephone then. I was three weeks early.” “Your poor mother,” Helena breathes, imagining how scary it would be to give birth so far from a hospital. “Well, that’s been said, but not because of when I was born,” Serra grins over her shoulder. Helena smiles at the girl. “How many children are aboard?” “Well, there were four of us, but I’m the youngest by a lot. My brother’s seventeen. Kacey and Lolly are grown, but you won’t meet Kacey. He’s doing a little bit of flying on another ship. He’s meeting us on Bellerophon. Is that your final destination?” “No, we’re headed to Sihnon. My mom was born there.” “Hey,” Serra grins, “Mine, too. Her family still lives there.” Helena looks at the girl closely as they enter the dining area, studying her features. “Wait, what did you say your name was?” “Well, everyone aboard calls me Mei-Mei, but my name’s Serra,” she throws the answer over her shoulder as she crosses to the refrigeration unit. “Spell it,” Helena says, curiously, earning a confused look from her son. “None of the conventional ways,” the girl smiles, opening a sealed container of protein and sniffing it for edibility. She spells her name. “It’s my mama’s…” “Maiden name,” Helena finishes, breathy. “Ma mi, how did you…?” “What’s your mother’s name, Serra?” Serra meets Helena’s eyes, now a little wary. She puts down the food. “Why?” “My father works for the Serra family on Sihnon. Chyan Leo. I used to play a little with the youngest, though she was a few years older than me. You look just like her.” Serra’s guard lowers a little. “Yeah, I get that a lot. Is your dad really Leo? He’s great. Always bringing us sweets from Umm Hafi and the kitchen staff, when we visit.” “You’re really Inara’s little girl? I thought she was…” “’Was,” Serra says quickly. “Not anymore. So you grew up on Sihnon, huh? Small ‘verse. Hungry?” “Yes,” Wen says enthusiastically, not minding the change of topic, crossing to the food she’s set down. “Is that real processed protein?” Serra laughs. “Yeah. Better get used to it. After dinner tonight and maybe tomorrow night, it’s all we’ll really have until Bellerophon. And I hear the novelty wears off pretty quickly. I’ve kinda built up a tolerance for it.” “I would think you would have to,” Helena says as Serra moves to reheat the leftovers. Serra shrugs. “We have a saying: ‘A man can live on packaged food from here to Judgment Day as long as he has enough rosemary.’ Now, I’m not so much a fan of rosemary, but it’s mostly supposed to cover all spices…”


“I can’t believe he gave us that 23rd century Lao on a one-to-one exchange,” Ally gushes as she, Abe, and Inara climb Serenity’s ramp. She walks a little ahead with her bag of newly acquired books slung over her back. Abe, escorting his mother, turns to say lowly, “She’s like Serra on Christmas morning.” Inara laughs. “Don’t tease. You know you’re excited, too.” “It was a very good deal,” Abe admits, grinning. “It’s so much nicer to have the paper copies than pulling it off the Cortex.” “Stop making fun of me back there,” Ally calls, heading off to her room. “You’re not done with your studies yet; I have the ability to make your life very difficult.” Inara smiles up at her son, seventeen and nearly done growing, close to matching his father’s height. “She has an excellent point.” “Yeah… Hey, does something sound strange?” “I don’t hear anything.” Abe gives her an ‘exactly’ look. “Isn’t Mei-Mei onboard?” “Unless your father took her with him.” “No. He doesn’t trust Jozefo enough.” He releases his mother’s arm and presses the comm button up to the cockpit. “River, is Mei-Mei aboard?” “In the kitchen with the passengers,” River answers. “How are your new books, Abe?” “You already know.” River actually raspberries at him before hanging up. “Passengers. Wasn’t your father in charge of finding those today?” “Yep. I wonder what he found.” Inara shoots him a skeptical look. “Why don’t you go check it out? And put those groceries away while you’re at it.” “Aw, thanks, Mama,” Abe teases. “Make me do the hard labor.” It’s a fake complaint; like his father, he prefers pampering her. She only lets them get away with it occasionally. “Is labor something you really want to debate with me?” she shoots back with a smile. “No, ma’am,” Abe laughs, resettling the box on his shoulder. “Off to slave away for you. When does my indenture end?” “Abram, you’re forever indebted to your mother.” Abe laughs again, heading towards the dining area. “Mei-Mei, are you in here?” he asks, ducking his head in. He finds her sitting at the table with a forty-ish Sino woman and her teenage son. “New recruits?” “Hey, Bubba. This is Mrs. Kao and Wen,” Serra introduces, “This is my brother Abram.” Helena smiles at that, rising, extending a hand. “Hello, Abram.” “Nice to meet you, ma’am. Is my sister behaving well? Can I get you anything?” “Oh, she’s taking excellent care of us,” Helena insists. “Good,” Abe smiles, ruffling his sister’s hair, which earns him a swift jab with her bony elbow. “Welcome to Serenity.” He moves off to unpack the groceries, doesn’t hear Helena lean in conspiratorially to Serra and say: “You’re right; he does look a lot like Fahmy.” “Abe, I forgot to get my tea out of the groceries,” Inara says, entering the kitchen. “Hey, Mama,” Serra says happily. “How was shopping?” “Mei-Mei,” Inara smiles, coming up behind her at her seat at the end of the table. She presses a kiss to the top of her head. “Did you have a good morning?” “Yes’m.” “Are these our passengers?” “Yep, Mrs. Kao and her son, Wen. Wen’s a year older than me, and…” “We’ve met before,” Helena smiles, rising again. “I’m Helena, Chyan Leo’s daughter.” “Renci de Fozu,” Inara says, “What are you doing all the way out here?” The two women embrace lightly. “My husband was transferred out here fifteen years ago. Wen and I are headed to visit my father.” “Which means you’ll see my mother.” “And Umm Hafi. She was always keeping us well-fed, wasn’t she? I remember so many Saturday afternoons helping her bake cookies,” Helena laughs. “I should ask you the same question. How does the most sought-after Companion on Sihnon end up on a freight hauler?” Inara smiles gently. “It’s a long story.” “Mei-Mei, come help me.” “Say the magic word,” Serra orders, already getting up. “Abracadabra?” Serra buzzes a negative. “Purple?” “Uh, no…” “Please, my darling baby sister, assist me in the storage of the combustibles.” “Well, sure. Since you asked so prettily.” Abe shakes his head, slinging an arm around Serra’s neck and sticking her in a headlock. She struggles, elbowing him in the stomach and slipping her head out. Then she tries to tackle him at the waist, pushing him into the counter. He grabs her smaller body and tries to turn her upside down. “Dejen, cachorros,” (Stop, puppies.) is the calm, stern admonishment as Ally enters the dining area. Sheepish, the Reynolds siblings disentangle, passing apologetic looks to their mother and Ally. Inara shakes her head, apologizing to Helena. Wen looks on in awe. “Ally, come meet our passengers. This is Helena, a childhood playmate of mine. And this is her son, Wen. This is Alistair Caramia, the children’s tutor.” “And some-time wrangler,” Ally smiles, looking teasingly to the now industrious Serra and Abram, who are still giggling under their breath. “Caramia? Like…?” “Yes,” Ally says, kindly but in a tone that brooks no further discussion. “You’re from Sihnon?” “Originally, yes. We live on Persephone, now.” “Small ‘verse.” “That’s what Serra said. How long have you been aboard, Miss Caramia?” “Just Ally. And almost thirteen years. All of the Mei-Mei’s life.” “Say, Serra didn’t chase the passengers off, did she?” The captain walks into the dining area in search of his daughter. “Daddy, I’m offended,” Serra calls from the kitchen. “Offended, offensive… I can see where you could get confused,” Abe teases, ducking the packet of protein chucked at his head. “Brother, Sister, no thrown objects. We have company,” River says solemnly, entering the dining area. “Shouldn’t you be prepping us for lift off?” “We are prepped,” River says, duh in her tone. “Not all the chickens are back in the coop.”


Post-word: I'm working on organizing them all of the PC fics in one place (my lj). In doing that, I'd also like to add some artwork, so I'm looking for anyone willing to work with me (I have absolutely no talent in the visual arts) on drawing the PCs, the BDMs aged, etc. and maybe a few scenes. Just thought I'd put the word out. Thanks for being such loyal readers! :) A. Windsor


Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:19 PM


Loved this, I adored all the pirate children stories. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:49 PM


This is absolutely adorable. I love the way Abe and Serra are with each other - it's so natural. Just perfect!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 6:26 PM


“Hold on. I can’t find my pants.”

“You can’t find your…” The captain pauses, stunned, and gapes a little before continuing, scratching at the back of his neck. “Did you ask your mama?”

You sent me that part before, but it still made me laugh. Very cute, you. ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 7:14 PM


I've only read some of your pirate children stories, mostly because I found them late and was too confused by the order to puzzle them all out. Still, the ones that I've read, I really enjoy! This one's one of my favorites. I love Abe and Serra's interactions, and I enjoyed Serra's tour of Serenity.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 2:00 PM


Oh...I have been totally missing the sheer brilliance of these tales, AWindsor! Definitely was struggling not to bust a gut at Serra's "can't find my pants!" comment and Mal's reaction, and the Reynolds children's wrestling match;D little niggle...the word I think you meant to use is "comestible," not combustible. Unless the processed protein is explosive all of a sudden;)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007 4:06 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER is funnier with Serra's take on the word;)

Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:47 AM


this looks like the start of a great story. can't wait to read the next one


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Dirt-Kisser (3/3)
20ish years post-BDM. Serenity takes on passengers, Serra undergoes a rite of passage. (3/3) Fluffy, fluffy, fluffy. At long last, the conclusion to this long-neglected PC fic.

Dirt-Kisser (2/3)

20ish years post-BDM. Serenity takes on passengers, Serra undergoes a rite of passage. (2/3) Fluffy, fluffy, fluffy.

21 years post-BDM. Serenity takes on passengers, Serra undergoes a rite of passage. (1/3)

Breathing, 1/1
A stand alone, PC angst. Set 37ish years post-BDM. Serra at 27.

Civilized, 1/1
Another PC. Abe and Inara, five times on Serenity. A stand alone companion to Echo.

Delinquent, 1/1
After long last, another PC fic. 19ish years post BDM. The dangers of underage drinking. And other hilarity. Dedicated to Kaynara.

Forty, 1/1
A PC one-shot fluff. 14ish years post-BDM. Inara turns forty.

New Leaf
Her heart says yes the moment he asks, tumbled in a heap at the bottom of the cockpit stairs, groaning before he fliply pops an interesting variation on “the question”.
M/I. A precursor to Pirate Children

Barriers, Part 2
Another PC fic, 6 months before Tough, definitely a prequel. Context hard to understand without Tough, but still readable. Serra and Inara on Sihnon, Mal on Serenity.

Another PC fic, 6 months before Tough, definitely a prequel. Context hard to understand without Tough, but still readable.
Inara and Serra on Sihnon.