Dirt-Kisser (2/3)
Monday, April 23, 2007

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


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

Part 2

“Aunt River said we’ll hit sky in five. Everyone’s back on,” Serra says, plopping onto the couch in the shuttle beside her daddy. “Where’s Mama?” She scoots over to put her head on his shoulder, hugging his arm like a teddy bear. He’s got a portable Cortex screen, scanning the daily news. Mal sets the pad down, smoothing her hair back from her face. “Talkin’ with the passengers. How’re you doin’ today, Mei-Mei?” “Fine,” Serra yawns against him. “What’re you sleepy for? You ain’t done anything today.” She smiles against his arm. “Bored, not sleepy.” “Huh. That so? Well then, you best run off and beat up your brother or somethin’, make yourself un-bored.” She laughs. “Naw. That’s pretty boring, too. He’s so predictable.” “Could go talk with our passengers yourself. I’m sure you and Wen could find somethin’ in common to talk about it.” “Maybe,” Serra says, letting go of his arm and resting her head in his lap, stretching her feet out over the couch. “He’s a dirt-kisser, though.” She sticks her tongue out. Mal laughs, shaking his head. “What are you watching?” she asks, craning her neck over to the coffee table. “News,” he answers, earning a nose wrinkled in disgust. “Hey, it’s important for Captains to know what’s goin’ on, where to avoid, where there’ll be good work.” “Okay,” Serra yawns again, bringing a hand to cover her mouth. “You look sleepy to me, daughter-mine.” “Well, it’s a good thing I got Mama’s powers of observation, then,” she teases, grinning sloppily up at him, dark eyes dancing. “Brat,” he chuckles, pushing her head from his lap and standing. “Mean old man,” she shoots back playfully, standing and recovering her dignity. “I’m gonna go find Mama.” She hurries out of the shuttle, his admonishment to “Walk!” trailing after her, completely ignored. She slides down the banisters towards the passenger lounge. “I can see you,” Uncle Simon calls from the cargo bay, where he and Abe are retrieving the latest medical supplies in order to restock the infirmary. She hops off the banister but continues to jump down the stairs, two at a time, bounding into the lounge and into her mother’s conversation with Mrs. Kao. “… Have you met Samuel, yet?” “Samuel?” her mother questions, sipping some of her special tea, pulled out for the occasion of an old friend. “Samuel bin Hafi,” Mrs. Kao smiles. “He was helping around the house when we last visited.” “Is he related to Umm Hafi?” Serra barges into the conversation, folding herself onto the ground cross-legged at her mother’s feet, staring up at the older women. “Her grandson,” Mrs. Kao supplies. “Hafi’s son?” Inara asks, a sad smile slipping onto her face. “Hafi?” Serra asks. “Who’s he?” “Umm Hafi’s son, silly,” Inara teases her, tugging gently on the braid that hangs over Serra’s shoulder. “How come I’ve never met him? I didn’t even know she had a son.” “Oh, he was very handsome,” Mrs. Kao says, conspiratorially. “But far too old for us. A teenager when we were just little girls.” “But he used to talk to us like we were adults,” Inara adds. “And bring us flowers from the stalls near the docks where he worked,” Mrs. Kao grins. “He was very charming,” Inara agrees, brushing a loose strand of Serra’s unruly hair behind her ear. “I had quite the crush on him.” “So why haven’t I met him?” Serra asks again, elbows resting on her knees. Her mama’s face gets very sad. “He fought in the war,” Mrs. Kao answers her. “He joined up right at the beginning. He was twenty-two, already had a wife and a baby on the way. He was killed in battle.” “That’s why Umm Hafi never speaks of him.” Serra’s brow wrinkles, working this through in her head. “So… he was a Browncoat, too?” she asks hopefully, though she’s starting to doubt it. Her question surprises Mrs. Kao momentarily, who looks quickly to Inara. Then she remembers the color of the coat the captain was wearing when she met him. “No, Mei-Mei,” Inara says gently. “He fought for Sihnon. For the Alliance.” “Oh. He was a purplebelly,” Serra says, obviously disappointed. “Serra,” Inara warns, gentle but reproachful. “Dui bu qi, Mama,” Serra apologizes, eyes cast down momentarily. “Hafi was good man, fighting for his homeworld. No more, no less,” Inara says. “Why don’t you go find Wen? He’s probably in the kitchen. Take him down to the hold; I’m sure you’ll find something to amuse yourselves down there.” “Yes, ma’am,” Serra says, rising and kissing her mama’s cheek. She scurries towards the stairs. “And Mei-Mei?” “Yes’m?” Serra pauses on the stairs, looking back over her shoulder. “No swords.” Serra makes a face, but nods obediently. “Yes, ma’am.”


“What’re you reading?” Serra asks, skipping the stairs and jumping into the kitchen area, surprising Wen, who’s hunched over a data reader at the table. “Huh? Oh, nothing,” he blushes a little, and Serra glances oddly at him before plunging back into conversation. “Alright, good. Come down to the cargo hold with me.” She grabs his hand and pulls him to his feet, dragging him towards the crew quarters. “Oh, um, alright,” Wen stutters, very confused. They skid to a halt outside one of the low doors, and Serra bangs roughly on it with her foot. “What?” a voice demands as the door hisses open and Abe’s head appears at floor level. “Come play with us,” Serra demands. “We’re going to the hold.” Abe sighs and climbs out, much to Wen’s amazement. “You live under the floor?” he asks, looking down the ladder before Abe pulls it shut after him. Abe and Serra share a bemused look and arching of eyebrows before Abe answers, not unkindly: “Yes.” “Whoa. I wanna live in a spaceship.” Serra shrugs. “It has its perks.” “Who are you trying to kid, Mei-Mei?” Abe grins, ruffling her hair. “You know you love it.” “Couldn’t live anywhere else,” Serra admits. “Too much dirt to kiss.” “You’ve never even tried it, Runt.” “Abe, I get land-crazy after a few days on Shadow. And I like Shadow.” Abe grins over at Wen familiarly. “The lady has a point. You should see her after a couple days on the ground…” “It’s not so bad,” Wen defends, following the pair down the stairs. Serra passes an almost patronizing look over her shoulder at that. “That’s ‘cause you were born to it, just like I was born to the Black.” “It’s why she came early,” Abe smiles, “’Couldn’t stand the thought of being born on the dirt.” “No, ‘couldn’t stand the thought of you havin’ all the fun without me.” “Oh yeah. All that learning to read fun,” Abe teases. “Well someone had to come and put you three in line.” “That’s what Ally was for.” “Knock it off, Bubba. I know you were excited when I was born.” “You’re hearing interesting versions of that story, Mei-Mei…” Wen feels kind of invisible as the Reynolds continue their bickering. “So,” he clears his throat. “What, uh, what are we going to be doing? In the cargo hold, I mean.” Serra glances quickly over her shoulder at him as she pulls off one of the grates on the wall. Abe joins her, reaching in to pull two blue, thick mats out from the hidden compartment. “Just a little sparring,” she grins mischievously. “Mei-Mei…” Abe warns. “You know what Mama says…” “No swords! I know,” Serra huffs, throwing up her arms in frustration. “My foil’s gonna get rusty if I can’t touch her until we get to Bellerophon.” “Bi zui, Runt,” Abe grins, tugging on the end of her black braid. “If you’re not up to it, Wen, no hard feelings. The Mei-Mei’s not happy unless she’s brawling.” Serra rolls her eyes. Wen swallows a little. “You, you fight often?” Abe leans over and stage-whispers, “She’s mostly talk.” At that, Serra grabs Abe’s arm and takes out his leg as she flips him onto the mats. Laughing, Abe pulls her along with him, pinning her quickly. She knees his stomach and uses his own body as leverage to flip them. “Ha. Who’s talk now, Baby Abey?” There’s a loud, exaggerated sigh above them. Lolly Tam appears, leaning over the rail. “Are you two at it again? And in front of the passenger?” “You’re welcome to join in, Miss Tam,” Abe teases, flipping Serra over, eliciting an ‘oof’ from his sister. “Oh, no, thank you. I’ll stand by with the first aid supplies when one of you breaks the other’s lip.” “No, Lol’. We’re playing nice, what with the dirt-kisser and all,” Serra calls from under Abe. “Okay. I’ll leave you to it then. Call me when someone starts bleeding.” “Yes, ma’am,” Serra lilts as Abe lets her up. “So, Wen, what do you know about fighting?”


That night, River is on bridge watch. Abe, Lolly, and Serra all join her in their pjs, the girls sharing the co-pilot’s chair, Abe leaning against the back of their aunt’s chair. They’re gossiping and bantering now that the old farts (and Ally) are all in bed. “So, Aunt River, what do you hear?” Lolly says, fingers playing with Serra’s curls as the younger girl lays her head against Lolly’s shoulder. “Is Kao Wen sweet on our Mei-Mei?” “What?!” Serra cries, her head jumping up. “What in the ‘verse are you talking about?” “Do I need to go mess this guy up a little?” Abe asks, mostly teasing. “Brother, you’re a Buddhist,” River reminds him with a grin over her shoulder. “Yeah, but she’s my sister,” Abe grins down, hand on his aunt’s shoulder. “So, the verdict?” Lolly asks. “Sweet like strawberries.” “What?!” Serra squeals again, standing up in horror. “Can we not talk about this?” “Aw, relax, Mei-Mei,” Lolly grins, grabbing her wrist and bringing her down into her lap, where Serra perches stiffly. She cuts her eyes back at Lolly, telling her cousin she’s not amused. Lolly just laughs again and plants a kiss on Serra’s cheek. “Maybe she’ll get her first kiss.” “Um? Can we not talk about kissing? And my sister? In the same sentence?” Abe asks, though he seems rather nonplussed by all of this, putting on the act to tease his sister. “Yes! Please!” Serra squawks. Lolly laughs and hugs Serra closer. “Aw, the Mei-Mei’s scared of kissing a boy.” “Sister’s not afraid of anything,” River teases, earning a pout from Serra. “That’s right! I’m not scared… just uninterested.” Lolly makes a chicken cluck. Then another. Seeing his sister squirm, Abe grins and joins in. Serra huffs and throws herself off the co-pilot’s chair, stalking down the stairs. There’re the clanks of her door opening and closing, and the remaining three dissolve into laughter. “Oh, you hit a nerve,” Abe manages through his laughs. He breathes deeply, recovering. “Okay, I’m going to sleep. Goodnight, Aunt River.” He leans over to kiss her cheek. “Don’t fall asleep.” “Goodnight, Brother.” Abe squeezes Lolly’s arm as he passes her. Lolly has slowed her laughter, glancing sideways at her aunt. “I feel kind of bad,” she admits, still grinning. “No, you don’t,” River tells her, a grin pulling at her lips. “Revenge is often sweet.” “She does spend a lot of time teasing us.” She yawns. “Alright, I’m off to bed as well.” “Bring a blanket.” Off Lolly’s inquisitive thoughts, River says, “It will be a little… chilly in there tonight.” Lolly laughs. “’Night, Aunt River.”



Monday, April 23, 2007 11:20 AM


Squee - more Pirate Children stories - I just love them! This was absolutely adorable and a great slice of life of our intrepid crew and their families!

Absolutely wonderful - poor Serra though, I hope someone is sympathetic to her embarrassment!

Monday, April 23, 2007 12:41 PM


The pirate children are always fun and this was no exception. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, April 23, 2007 1:43 PM


Her question surprises Mrs. Kao momentarily, who looks quickly to Inara. Then she remembers the color of the coat the captain was wearing when she met him.

“No, Mei-Mei,” Inara says gently. “He fought for Sihnon. For the Alliance.”

I love the flashes, even this early, of Serra's distaste for the Alliance. I do worry for that girl. ;)

Can't wait to see her get to the dirt-kissin'. :)

Monday, April 23, 2007 3:04 PM


I ditto Kaynara's sentiment...can't wait for some dirt-kisser kissin' in the near future;)

And I definitely adored the repartee between Abe and Serra in front of Kao Wen about their fighting habits. The filly is showing herself off;D



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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.