Waiting - Part VI
Friday, May 18, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Ethan's in surgery, but there's a conversation you won't want to miss ... 2BF so keep an eye out for a final part!


“He’s so small.” Freya wouldn’t move from the window, staring through, even though she could see virtually nothing.

“I know, ai ren. “ Mal put his arms around her, holding her strongly against his chest.

“I should have known. I should have been able to hear …” Her voice barely registered.

“Frey, don’t.”

“Why didn’t I?”

“Frey, please –“

“I'm his mother. I should have known.” Her eyes closed and tears spilled afresh down her cheeks. “I can’t … Mal, if I … if we …” She leaned back into him, trying to gain some comfort from his body.

“We won’t. Simon says these are the best doctors on this rock. And you believe him, don’t you?”

“We tried so long after Alice … I didn’t think we’d ever … Mal, don’t let me lose him.”

She turned in his arms, holding him so tightly there was no way to tell where she ended and he began.

“You won’t. You won’t, my Frey. I promise.” Please don’t make me break this one, he prayed silently. For both our sakes.

“Not sure I can watch this,” Hank muttered, staring at the two people who probably meant the most to him, outside of his Zoe. “My heart’s tearing apart as it is.”

“So are theirs,” Zoe said.

“Yeah.” He turned away to look out of the window, at the sleek hover cars whistling by in the light rain that had begun to fall from a leaden sky. “How long does this take?”

“Simon said maybe four hours, maybe less. Ethan’s so small …” She rubbed her belly lightly, feeling her own son inside. Was she gonna be like this if he got sick?

“He won’t.” Hank was gazing at her.

“You picking up on being psychic?”

“And have their kinda problems?” Hank nodded towards Mal and Freya. “No way. But I know what you’re thinking, the way you’re stroking yourself.” He stepped towards her, their eyes on a level. “I’m worried about that too. And scared.”

“That we won’t be good parents.”


Zoe sat down in one of the comfortable armchairs dotted along the wall. “Most of my life I've only ever really had to look out for me. Oh, there’s always been other people around, like my parents, Mal, Wash … now you. But not someone so entirely reliant on me that they’d die if I wasn't there.”

“You know I’d die if anything happened to you,” he said pointedly. “But I know what you mean.” He perched on the arm and nodded. “Wakes me in the night in a cold sweat sometimes.”

“A baby. Yours and mine. One we created. Us in another form.”

He leaned over and put his arm around her, resting his cheek on the top of her head. “Sounds pretty terrifying. I mean, someone else with a lot of me in. Better be weighted on the Zoe side.”

Her lips twitched. “We can only hope.”

From the sofa the other side of the room, Jayne looked from one couple to the other, then back at River. She was watching Freya, her eyes unblinking, her hair coming out of its clip.

“Here,” he muttered, pulling it away from her face and refastening it. “Don’t know how you can see with all that hanging down.”

“I’m not looking with my eyes.”

He glanced across at Mal and Freya. “Nope, guess none of us are.”

“Simon’s watching. They’re working very hard. Ethan’s on a bypass machine so they can open his chest and insert the pacemaker.”

“Must be damn small.”

“The size of my …” She looked at her hands, then his. “… of your fingernail.”

“And it’ll work?”

“It will keep his heart beating as long as he’s alive.”

“And how long’s that gonna be?”

“I can’t see the future like that, Jayne.”

“No. But maybe I can a bit.” He got to his feet and grabbed her hand. “Come on. Got something I wanna say to you, only it’s gotta be a bit more private.”

She let him pull her out into the corridor. “What is it?”

“You could read me and find out.” He tried the door to first one room, then another, finally finding an open linen closet. He pulled her inside, turning on the light.

“I'm scared to.”

“Scared o’ me?” he asked, turning to her.

“No. But of what I might see.”

“Ain't nothing bad.” He raised her hand, laying it flat on his chest. “River, seeing them, the Cap and Freya, the way this’s affected them, made them so … well, like I ain't never seen either of them before, not even when Wing took her, did those things …” He stopped, aware he wasn't going to get out of that sentence in one piece, and started again. “They love Ethan so much, and are so afraid of losing him. Well, that’s … that’s …” His voice failed him again.

“That’s what, Jayne?” she asked, standing closer, feeling the warmth of his body washing over her, feeling his heart beating fast under her palm.

He swallowed and screwed his courage to the mast. “That’s how I feel ‘bout you.”

“You do?” Her pale face, even more colourless in the slightly blue light, was lifted to his.

“I know I’m a hwoon-dahn who ain’t deserving to even sit at your table, let alone love you, but I do.”

“Do what?”

“Ain't I just said?”

“Not in so many words, no.”

He took her face in his large hands, holding her so he could gaze into the dark pools of her eyes. “I love ya, moonbrain.”

“Do you?”

“Don’t know why, or what you’ve done to me. And if’n you wanna kill me now for saying it, fine, go ahead. I’ll even hold your coat while you do it. Only I had to say. I love ya, with all my heart. Forever.”


“Can’t ever see it going away.”

She looked at him, and for a long moment he thought he’d really gone too far, that this wasn't the right time, and sure as hell not the right place … then she smiled.


His heart missed a beat. “Good?”

“You’ve said it to others. I just had to wait for you to say it to me.”


“And what?”

“Ain't there something you wanna say to me?”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“Aw, River …”

“Say my name again and I’ll tell you.”

“River, I swear I’ll – “

“I love you.”

He’d known for so long, and yet it was like a physical shock to hear her say the words. “You do?”

“I love you, Jayne Cobb.”

A smile broke out on his face. “Well, what’d’ya know about that?” He leaned forward, and with infinite care placed his lips to hers. He kissed her, feeling her mouth opening just a little, the tip of her tongue swirling out to meet his. After a moment he pulled back. “You gonna kill me now?” he asked, suddenly unsure.

River looked at him. “Maybe eventually. In bed. One day. When I’ve worn you out.”

“You mean …”

“Not here. Not now. But when we get to Lazarus …” She reached up and kissed him back, tasting the future on her tongue.

“Already spoken to ‘Nara,” he admitted when she let him loose.

“I know.” She smiled. “Come on. We’d better get back. They’ll wonder where we are.”

“Doubt they’ve even noticed we’ve gone,” Jayne said, turning off the light as River opened the door. “They ain’t gonna worry about us, not with everything going on.”


The clock had moved agonisingly slowly, but the minutes had turned into hours as it was inevitable that they did. Hank had pulled one of the larger easy chairs up to the window, and Mal had sat down, pulling Freya to perch on the edge between his knees. She’d finally fallen into a light doze from the constant stress, not able to stop herself, and lay back on his chest. He almost expected to see her put her thumb into between her lips.

Suddenly she sat up. “Ethan,” she whispered.

“Frey?” Mal’s heart was in his mouth, and he looked through the window. The activity inside seemed to have stopped … “Wu de tyen, ah,” he muttered, his body turning cold.

The door from the theatre opened and Simon came out, dragging the cap from his head.

Freya stood up, swaying a little, Mal behind her, steadying her. “Simon?”

“It’s okay,” Simon said, exhaling long and loud. “Ethan’s okay.”

The surgeon stepped past him, looking benignly at the parents. “He’s going to be fine. The operation was a complete success, and he’s resting comfortably.”

“Thank God,” they heard Hank say, echoed by everyone in the room.

“Can we … can I see him?” Freya asked, barely able to breathe.

“In a little while. We just need to take him through to recovery.”

“And you’re sure he’s gonna be all right?” Mal wanted to know.

“I'm sure.” The surgeon smiled. “He’s a very strong boy. Most others wouldn’t have lasted this long.”

“Mal …” Freya whispered, looking up into his face.

“I know.” He pulled her into his arms, feeling her tears of relief soaking his shirt, his own running down his cheeks to fall into her hair.

“See?” River said softly. “I told you it would be okay.”

Jayne hugged her. “That you did.”

Hank pulled the com from his pocket.

“I'm sorry,” said a passing male nurse. “But you can’t use that in here.”

“You wanna arrest me? Fine. But I'm letting my friend know Ethan’s okay.” He pressed the button.

“Sir …”

Zoe stepped closer. “Leave him be.”

The nurse looked this Amazon up and down, and obviously considered discretion by far the better part of valour and hurried away.

“Hank?” Kaylee responded quickly.

“He’s okay,” the pilot said, a grin on his face. “He’s gonna be okay.”

“See?” Kaylee said, turning to Bethany as they stood in the engine room. “I told you he’d be all right.”

“I know,” Bethany said, smiling. “I heard.”

“Were you peeking?” her mother asked.

“No.” She scuffed her shoe on the decking. “Auntie River told me.”

“Then that’s okay.” Kaylee turned back to the com. “You coming home?”

“Yeah, we will. Don’t think the Cap and Freya’ll be with us, but we’re coming back.”

“I’ll put some food on.”

“Great. I'm starved.”

Kaylee laughed. “So what else is new?”

to be concluded


Friday, May 18, 2007 12:44 AM


You're making my heart do things it don't normally do!

Friday, May 18, 2007 3:55 AM


Yay for Ethan! I hope the rest of the crew can find a way to unwind after all this tension. I think River and Jayne might have it covered ... bwahahaha!

I loved River and Jayne's conversation. I think it was absolutely in character and I'm glad that River was able to tease him a bit. I really hope we see more of their relationship as it develops. Oh, and a second yay for 2BF!

Friday, May 18, 2007 4:20 AM


Absolutely brillo pads! I don't think my little heart could have taken it if you had killed little Ethan. Loved how you portrayed everybody, all the loving couples and now River can join those stellar ranks too. Fabulous! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, May 18, 2007 4:43 AM


*does a happy dance* Thank you, thank you, thank you for pulling Ethan out of the frying pan! Now I can go have a good weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2007 3:45 PM


Utterly fabulous stuff here, Jane0904! You SO nailed everyone's voices and thoughts here:D

I really hope that the crew can start to unwind. The amount of stress they have been under his slowly driving them to the brink of madness...and they need time to breathe. Please give them that chance so, dong ma?



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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!]