Before Sleep
Friday, June 1, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Second in the short series set during the night Serenity leaves Lazarus. Bethany can't sleep ... It's 2BF, so enjoy! Oh, and this is for TAMSIBLING, who wanted the pirate king ...


As Serenity flew through the black, Bethany began to relax. She didn’t know how to put her feelings into words, and wouldn’t tell anyone if she could. But every second that the Firefly moved further away from Lazarus, she became convinced something bad had been averted. Something to do with Auntie ‘Nara.

She sighed and shifted in bed, Fiddler laying on her feet. Walls. Feeling the walls that Auntie Frey and Auntie River had built to keep her out, she understood how they’d done it, and in understanding could copy it. They wouldn’t know she was worried. It would make them unhappy, and she didn’t want that. Besides, it was going away now.

Fiddler stirred, snuffling in his sleep, his little legs twitching as he chased imaginary rabbits.

She was going to miss Giselle. Uncle Jayne had got her ‘specially, but Auntie ‘Nara would be happier with a girl puppy. Someone to look after her. Someone to keep her safe.

Bethany wanted Daddy. He’d make things right. Put a weave on it and make it all better.

Wriggling out of bed, she slid the door open then turned back, picking up Fiddler in her good arm, hugging him close.



She saw movement in the bed and a tousled head appeared. “Sweetheart, you’re supposed to be asleep.”


“Bad dreams?”

She nodded. “C’n I come in with you?”

“Honey?” Kaylee surfaced. “Wha’s goin’ on?”

“Bethany’s having bad dreams,” Simon said softly.

“Oh, sweetie.” Kaylee managed to pry her eyes open and looked at the little girl standing inside the doorway, her nightie rucked up where she had hold of her puppy.

“Come on,” Simon said, lifting the sheet.

Bethany dropped Fiddler on the foot of the bed and scrambled up, holding her cast against her chest as she snuggled between her parents.

“What were you dreaming about, sweetie?” Kaylee asked.

“Bad things.”

“If you talk about them, they’ll maybe go away quicker.”

“Don’t remember.”

“Well, you can stay with us for a while until you can get back to sleep.” Simon put his arm around his daughter and his wife.

“Will you tell me a story?”

“All your books are back in your room …” Simon protested mildly.

“Auntie River says you used to make stories up for her. When she was little.”

Simon thought back. “Well, maybe I did, but I’m out of practice.”


Kaylee put one hand behind her head. “Oh, go on, Simon. I’d kinda like to hear a story my own self.”

Simon gave up. “You’ll have to help.”

“Momma will help,” Bethany promised.

“Okay,” Simon said slowly. “But what’s it about? And don’t say pirates.”

Bethany’s face fell. “But I like pirates.”

“Oh, go on,” Kaylee teased. “Pirates is fun.”

Simon looked almost panic-stricken for a moment, then took himself in hand. “Okay. All right. Well … once upon a time …”

Bethany sighed happily and settled back. All good stories begin ‘once upon a time’ and end with ‘and they all lived happily ever after’. The good prince always won, and the dragon was always killed. She listened to her father tell his tale, and let his voice drown out all the others.

“She’s asleep.”

“Good, I was running out of steam.”

“It was good,” Kaylee insisted. “I like hearing about the young damsel stolen by the pirate king, who steals his heart in turn. And the pretty cabin girl who makes the old sea dog all mellow.” She twinkled. “Not sure who’s who, but I kinda figure the sea dog’s Jayne, on account of the beard.”

“Might be Mal.”

“Oh, I think he was the second in command. Firm but fair.”

“And the fair maid?”

She giggled, suppressing it quickly in case they woke their own cabin girl. “Me.”

Simon smiled and leaned across, kissing her gently. “Got that right.”

“But what about Hank? Zoe?”

“They’re in the next part. Although I’d hoped you’d notice Hank had a small cameo in this as the helmsman on the pirate ship.”

“’N’ Zoe?”

“An Amazonian warrior with a taste for human flesh.”

Kaylee shivered. “Not sure about that.”

“Except she’s reformed,” Simon added quickly. “And about to fall in love with the roguish helmsman.”


Bao-bei, this is my first attempt. I can’t write everyone in.”

“You’ve got Inara as the Governor’s daughter.”

“A happy accident.”

“Well, I think you’d better get your thinking cap on. Now Bethie’s heard the first part, she’s gonna be clamouring for more.”

“You think?”

“I know.”

“But … pirates? Won’t she grow out of it?”

“Hasn’t so far.”

“It’s all River’s fault.”


“Teaching her to read out of things like that.”

“Come on, Simon. You were really getting into it.”

“Maybe I was,” he admitted grudgingly. “But I’ve got better things to do with my time than make up pirate stories.”

“Better than bonding with your daughter? Making her love you even more than she does already?”

He was taken aback. “Well -”

“Wasn’t Jayne she climbed in with, Simon. Wasn’t River she asked for. It was you.”

Simon felt a warmth suffuse him. “She did, didn’t she?”

“She loves her Daddy.”

“And I love my pumpkin.” He put a kiss on his daughter’s head.

“You’ll always be her Daddy,” Kaylee explained. “No matter what happens, who she goes out with, marries, no matter how many kids she has herself, you’ll always be her Daddy.”


“Long way off,” Kaylee promised, patting his arm in a soothing fashion. “But you really don’t want to miss out on the pirate years.”

“Is that what you feel about your father?”

“Course. He always made time to play with my brothers and me, even when he was too tired. And he’s my Pa.”

“I wish …” He stopped, but Kaylee understood.

“They didn’t know, Simon. They couldn’t’ve.”

“They didn’t care.”

“But we do.” Kaylee smiled at him. “And Bethany knows it.”

Simon nodded. “She’s my daughter.”

“So are you gonna play with her tomorrow? Be the pirate king?”

“I don’t know -”

“You could have your shirt open to the waist, show off that chest you hide away.”

He blushed just a little. “No-one wants to see that, Kaylee.”

“I do.” She grinned. “And Bethie’d love it.”


Fiddler stirred down by their feet, getting up to turn around twice before dropping back, not even waking up fully.

“You should play,” Kaylee prompted. “I’m sure Hank’d show you how to use a sword.”

“I’ll have you know I was class champion at fencing.”

“No cheating?”

“No cheating.”

“See?” she said happily. “I learn something new about you every day. And if’n you show that to Bethie tomorrow, she’ll be so proud of you.”

“Do you really think so?”

“I know so. You’re her Daddy.”

“Do you think Hank and Jayne will want to play too?”

“Prob’ly. Why?”

“Oh, nothing,” Simon said quietly, planning his campaign. “Just can’t let them have all the fun.”

Kaylee grinned. “My pirate king,” she murmured, running her hand through his dark hair.

“You know what pirate kings do with fair maids, don’t you?” he said, taking hold of her palm and licking up towards her fingertips.

“We’re not alone,” Kaylee pointed out.

“Give me one minute.”

Simon gathered his sleeping daughter into his arms and carried her back to her room. Inside that one minute he was back, gazing down at his wife.

“Um, Simon …” Kaylee pointed to the heap of puppy still on the bed.

“Damn.” He scooped up the golden furball and hurried back to Bethany’s room, placing Fiddler carefully against his little girl.

Bethany didn’t wake up, just put her good arm around the puppy, mumbling in her sleep. “Grr. Argh.”

For a moment Simon couldn’t move, just looked down, his heart overflowing with love and protection for his baby, then he smiled. Tomorrow they’d play pirates, and he’d be the best pirate king ever. Right now, though, his own fair damsel was waiting to be ravished. He slipped out of the room and closed the door.

Bethany smiled, her dreams full of her Daddy dressed in an open white shirt, a cutlass in his teeth, a maniacal gleam in his eye. “Grr. Argh,” she muttered.


Friday, June 1, 2007 12:32 PM


Thank you for the lovely mental image for the weekend. Simon as a dashing pirate king! One could deal with that!

Friday, June 1, 2007 2:53 PM


I did smile at the image of Simon as a Pirate King, not exactly type casting but then that is half the fun of make believe and what a loving father won't do for his little girl. Lovely, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, June 1, 2007 3:17 PM


Squee! For me? You are too kind!

I really love Simon as a father - and I think this is absolutely perfect! I am getting more and more concerned with Bethie's fears though. I'm beginning to worry that something might happen to Inara and that would not be good. Of course, I still loved the idea of Simon trying to outdo Jayne and Hank - planning his campaign and writing the entire crew into the story!

Thanks for this - I loved it!

Saturday, June 2, 2007 2:05 AM


Pirate Simon?

Erm. I'll be in my bunk.

You get a ten for that image alone.


Saturday, June 2, 2007 3:36 PM


Oh come on! No one noticed the face-smackingly blatant in-joke with Bethie saying "Grr! Arrgh!" in her sleep?!? It only represents probably the best use of the Mutant Enemy logo in any Joss-related fanfic ever!


Absolutely fabulous work here, Jane0904! I was especially enamoured with the Silee convo over the sleeping body of Bethie;D


Saturday, June 2, 2007 7:54 PM


Oh yeah...pirate Simon...shirt open and all....I'll be in Simon's bunk. . .

He was very cute here with his jealousy of Jayne/Hank taking over his 'daddy' role.

Too bad he can't give Kaylee any more little ones:(

Thursday, June 19, 2008 8:55 AM


Grr! Argh!


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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!]