Not There Yet - Part II
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. At Kaylee's party, everyone is enjoying themselves, while Simon gets an idea ... Please comment. My muse begs!


Kaylee had been hugged by more family than she knew she had, some folks coming for a second and third go. But finally Edmondos Frye called everyone to order.

“Okay, folks,” he shouted. “This here is a party. So you all go get the stuff you brought, and we’ll make a start.”

There was general cheering and everyone hurried off to bring in the food and drink.

“You did this for me?” Kaylee said, wiping her eyes on the back of her hand.

“Momma?” Bethany held out her hankie.

“Thank you, sweetie,” her mother said, drying her face.

“You need to carry one all the time,” the little girl admonished, then hurried off to find Fiddler, who’d managed to slip his leash.

“Was I like that?” Kaylee asked her father, half laughing, half wanting to carry on crying.

“Not quite so … advanced, but pretty much. She’s very forward for a two year old.”

“That’s Simon. Him and his sister … certified geniuses.”

Eddie manoeuvred his daughter to a seat. “Come on, now. You take a rest. I think this has all been a bit much for you.”

“It was something of a shock,” she admitted. “I really thought …” Her voice trailed off.

“Thought we weren't so happy that you were coming home?”

“It ain't to stay, Pa. Just for two days, then we got a job to get to,” Kaylee had to point out.

“I know, Winnie. But these two days are gonna be the best you’ve ever had.”

She grinned at him, sniffing back more tears. “I love you, Pa.”

He hugged her tightly. “’N’ I love you, Winnie.”

She couldn’t help it. Just having her Daddy hold her, using his old pet name for her, got her going again.

“Hey, hey, now,” Simon said, coming up and squatting next to her. “What’s all this?”

“I think maybe the surprise was a bit overwhelming,” Eddie Frye said.

“No, no, it wasn't,” Kaylee said quickly. “I loved it. And I love that you’re all here, and there’s gonna be music, and dancing, and –”

“Dancing?” Simon’s face took on a rather worried look. He remembered their wedding, when he seemed to dance with every Frye woman on the planet. His feet had only just recovered.

“Yeah. I saw Uncle Jonah out there. And Uncle Carl. They’re bound to have bought that old piano of theirs, and Uncle Rafe’s got his fiddle … ain't they, Pa?” she asked, looking into her father’s face.

“Ashamed to say they have.” Eddie laughed. “And don’t you go worrying, Simon. If you don’t want to dance, you don’t have to.”

“Oh yes he does,” Kaylee said, hiccupping slightly.

“I’ll get you a drink,” her father said. “See if we can’t stop that.” He walked away, leaving the two of them together.

“You sure you’re all right?” Simon asked. “If I’d known what they were planning, I –“

“What? Told them not to?” She shook her head happily. “Don’t you even be considering I ain't overjoyed about this, Simon. This is my family. And they love me.”

“That they do, Mrs Tam.”

She smiled at him. “You know, though, for all them out there, I’d give it all up just to hear you say it again.”

“What, Mrs Tam?”

“That’s it.”

“Kaylee, bao bei, I’ll be saying it until you get sick and tired of the words.”

“Never.” She leaned forward and kissed him.

“Hey now,” Peter Frye said, passing by with a large bowl of greenery in his arms. “That ain't the way for proper married folks to behave. You’re supposed to be cussing each other.” He grinned and walked on.

“You stay out of this, Pete,” Kaylee called, then did a double take. “And we got real salad?”

“Salad. And some kinda potato stuff Ma’s made. And you’re never gonna believe what Aunt Hester brought for desert.”

Kaylee jumped to her feet. “Not …”

Peter nodded. “Strawberries. First crop of the season.”

Simon grinned. “Well, I think you’re obviously feeling better.” He stood up. “Would you care to accompany me to see if we can find these rare and succulent fruits?”

Kaylee took his hand. “I would be delighted.” She giggled. “You know, it was Aunt Hester who gave me my first strawberry. You have no idea what it tasted like, the way it burst on my tongue. It gave me goosebumps all the way down to my –“ She yelped.

“Down there?” Simon asked, his hand caressing where he’d just pinched.

“If we didn’t have a party to go to, I’d be showing you exactly where the goosebumps went down to, Dr Tam,” Kaylee threatened.

“Just hold that thought, Mrs Tam.”

Kaylee grinned and pulled him into a passionate kiss.

“Please, it’s embarrassing having my baby sister getting more than I do,” Peter complained.

“That ain't what Ma says,” Kaylee muttered indistinctly.

Peter blushed hotly.


In no time at all the food was laid on the tables, and the music was beginning to drift across the open ground. For the moment people were content just to stand in groups, chatting, catching up on family gossip, and laughter bubbled up here and there.

Kaylee was going from group to group, and Simon watched her with pride.

“She’s a wonder, that girl of mine,” Eddie Frye said.

“That she is.”

“Ever since she could crawl she’s been lighting up people’s faces. Something about her.”

“She’s happy all the time. Well, most of the time.” A shadow crossed Simon’s face.

Eddie saw it, and understood. “Yeah, she told us. How it don’t look like you’re gonna have any more than little Bethany.” He glanced across to where his granddaughter was attempting to make her puppy sit, but not having much luck.

“I wish it were different, Mr Frye.”

“Eddie. Please, Mr Frye makes me sound ancient. And my wife’ll tell you … that ain't the case.” He chuckled.

“Eddie. But it’s true. I’ve tried treatments, but … I really don’t think I can give her another child.” He watched his wife, the smile on her face, the way she was overflowing with love.

His father-in-law nodded slowly. “’Cept, you know, that ain’t the only way. There’s plenty of babies and children out there with no-one to look after them.” He held up a hand. “Oh, I know, Kaylee wants one of her own. Something about carrying one for nine months. A special kind of bond. But … you tell me, Simon. How’s she been with your Captain’s kid?”

“Ethan? Oh, she treats him like her own. We all do. And it’s entirely reciprocal. Bethany has more parents on board Serenity that just the two of us.”

“See?” Eddie smiled. “It ain't blood that’s necessarily important.”

“I know,” Simon said, sighing a little. “But I … somehow I don’t have the heart to talk to Kaylee about it. I suppose I feel I’d be closing the door on having another one of our own.”

“Is it certain? I mean that you’re …” Eddie gestured vaguely down towards his own hips.

“I'm afraid so. There’s more chance of Jayne learning to tap dance than me producing enough viable sperm to impregnate my wife.”

“I’m real sorry to hear that.” Eddie put his hand on the young man’s shoulder. “But don’t think Kaylee doesn’t understand. She does. And I think you might find she’s more receptive to the idea of adopting than you might imagine.”

“I … I’d have to think about it.”

“That’s okay. Just so long as you don’t dismiss it outta hand.” He grinned and walked back towards the crowd.

Simon stood silently, not seeing anything, just considering. He hadn’t really thought about adoption. Not really. He knew there were a lot of children in need of parents, but with his history it would be impossible to go through any official channels. Not that it would be necessary. He’d seen enough tragedies where young children were left homeless to know it wouldn’t be difficult to acquire a baby. But that sounded so cold, so clinical. He exhaled heavily. Maybe he should seriously look at that other option, maybe go down the route of –

“Doc?” Mal clapped him on the back. “You gonna stand there all day trying to take root, or are you gonna join in the fun?”

“Leave him alone,” Freya said, smiling at the young man. “He’s fine.”

“Didn’t say he wasn't. Except his wife is being tossed from one uncle to another, and she might need rescuing.”

Simon smiled, looking towards where Kaylee was hugging yet another cousin. “She’s loving every minute.”

Mal chuckled. “You know, I think you’re right.”

“They could have told us what they were planning though,” Simon complained mildly. “Kaylee was pretty upset when there was no-one to greet us at the dock.”

“Frey knew.” He glanced at his wife.

“You did?” Simon was startled.

Freya shrugged. “It was a surprise. I can’t just go around spoiling surprises.”

“’Sides, my mechanic shoulda known they weren't gonna let her visit her home without some kind of party.”

“It would just have been easier if …” Simon shook his head. “Never mind.” He looked at the pair of them. “Where’s Ethan?”

Mal grinned. “River’s taken him for a spell. Just so me and the missus here can get a little dancing in.”

Freya laughed. “No-one’s dancing yet.”

“So? Someone has to be first.” He pulled her into his arms and twirled her away towards a bare patch of earth.


Eddie Frye pulled appreciatively on one of the cigars Jayne had brought him. “That is mighty fine,” he said, smiling at the big man.

“I seemed to recall you liked the ones I gave ya before.”

“Oh, I did. And I wanna thank you. Pennies can be tight sometimes, so it’s nice to have a decent cigar to smoke on occasion. Although I’ll keep the others for another day, if’n you don’t mind.”

“Sure.” Jayne nodded sagely. “I know how ya feel. Me and the Shepherd’d light one up, once in a while, just to be sociable, but sometimes we got some of the good ones, and boy, did that make a difference.”

Eddie just nodded. He knew about Shepherd Book from Kaylee’s letters, and how she still missed him, even if it had been several years since his passing. He didn’t press it. “So Kaylee tells me you and that little girl there are something of a couple.”

Jayne glanced at River, watching the musicians, her foot tapping. “Yes, sir, that we are.”

“Any problems?”

“If’n you mean, ‘cause I'm old enough to be her father, I’d have to say no. No problems.”

“Don’t mean age, son.”

Jayne almost laughed out loud. This man couldn’t be much older than him. “Then what?”

“She’s got issues, ain't she?”

“She’s crazy, sure.”

Eddie seemed slightly shocked. “I didn’t mean –“

“I did. But we kinda fit, Mr Frye. Don’t know how or why, but I love her something fierce, and she feels the same way about me.”

“Good.” Eddie blew out a perfect smoke ring. “I seen marriages fail even though you’d’a thought the people involved were perfect for each other. Then sometimes, just once in a while, there’s a pair that just looks all kinda wrong, and they stay together forever.”

“I’m hoping that’s us.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised.” Eddie took another mouthful of smoke, letting it trickle back out from his lips. “Now how about a drink?”

“You know, I think I’ll pass on that,” Jayne said unexpectedly. He was watching River moving slightly to the beat. “If’n you excuse me.”

Eddie laughed. “Go on. Enjoy yourselves.”

River felt the music flowing through her, and even if one part of her brain was picking up on all the wrong notes, the slight missteps of rhythm, most of her was joyful. It might not be the Osiris Symphony, or any of the orchestras she sometimes listened to on the Cortex, but these melodies were being played by people who loved what they were doing, and it filled her with happiness. Now, if only …

“Wanna dance?” he growled behind her.

“Do you?”

“Wouldn’t ask if I didn’t.”

“Will we be first?”

Jayne shook his head and gestured towards the Captain and his wife, wrapped in each other's arms, moving slowly to the beat. “Figure if they can, we can.”

“Do you? Dance?”

“Ain't you read me to find out?”


“Then let me show you.” He put his right arm gently behind back, holding her hand in his left. Waiting for a downbeat in the music, he moved forward, taking her with him.

“I didn’t know Jayne could do that,” Simon whispered to Kaylee, watching the big man waltzing River around the improvised dance floor.

Kaylee sighed happily. “I figure there’s lots of things Jayne can do you don’t know about.”

Simon caught the wistful look in her eye. “Shall we?” he asked, holding out his hand.

“Why, Dr Tam. I’d be delighted.” Kaylee giggled and let him lead her out to join the others.


Three dances later, Simon left Kaylee by the bowl of strawberries and wandered over to the small group of men.

“Yeah, but that don’t explain why it happened.” A large man Simon vaguely recognised as one of Kaylee’s cousins who went by the unlikely name of Excalibur was shaking his head.

“Depends on who you listen to, Cal,” Eddie Frye replied.

“Well, I heard tell it’s that ground over there.” Uncle Rafe nodded over his shoulder towards the distant hills. “That whole area’s awash with fissures, and highly unstable.”

“Just like you to come out with all that geographical crap.”

“It ain't crap,” Rafe insisted. “Heard they had a good few quakes soon after the terraforming crews left, and sometimes people’d go to sleep and wake up to find the barn gone. Just vanished.”

“How can a barn just vanish?” one of the other cousins asked.

“Something to do with the land, I tell you. The vibration from the quakes did something to it. Turned it into water or something.” Cal shrugged. “Only when the quake ended it was back being solid again.”

“And that’s all because of these fissures?”

“One good whack and the fissures just kinda open up, swallowing everything down.”

“What do you think, Simon?” Eddie asked. “You’re educated. You think Cal’s just blowing it out his ear like he always does?”

“Not really. There is a phenomenon called dry quicksand, where objects can disappear quite rapidly.” Simon paused. “Fissures …” he muttered to himself.

“See?” Cal said in triumph. “Told you.”

“Excuse me a moment,” Simon said, backing away from the group.

“He okay?” Rafe asked.

“Prob’ly that awful aftershave you’re wearing. It’d knock out anyone if they weren't used to it,” Cal joked.

“Ain’t wearing any aftershave.”

Cal laughed.

“Son, you okay?” Eddie asked, following the young doctor.

“Just … Eddie, is there a hospital close by?”

“Why?” Eddie glanced around at his daughter. “No-one’s sick, are they?”

“No. Not like that, anyway. It’s just … what they were saying … Is there?”

“Sure. There’s an Alliance one not more’n an hour from here, if’n you got a vehicle.”


“Other side of town. Most folks round here don’t go there, ‘less they need to, but … Simon, you sure you’re okay?”

Simon smiled. “Yes. And I think I might just have the answer.”

to be continued


Tuesday, June 5, 2007 2:20 AM


This is a cruel place to leave us until tomorrow, I'll hope you know. Another great chapter - love the family Kaylee has around her - kind of explains why she is so happy so easily.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 3:29 AM


Hmmm. The plot thickens. I don't know where we're going, but I in for the ride. Nice chapter!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 6:03 AM


I love your description of Kaylee's family. Many fic authors get it right and every time I read another it's just perfect all over again.

I really loved Simon's discussion with her pa and how open he was about the sterilization. It's nice they can be so honest with one another. Can't wait to see what Simon's up to with the hospital ...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 7:51 AM


Lovely slice of Frye-life but what is Simon thinking? I am curious to see what the fissures and disappearing barns has to do with an Alliance hospital. Of course, this could just be your way of giving up a geology lesson. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 8:33 AM


Hmmm...getting the feeling that Simon's in "Super Doc" mode concerning any people injured in these quakes or incidents of dry quicksand. That or he's somehow decided to see if any children were orphaned. Which honestly sounds all kinds of mercenary, much as it pains me to admit it:(

Still...absolutely fabulous work here, Jane0904! TamSibling is all kinds of spot-on with her comment about how Kaylee's family has been portrayed here. All kinds of shiny and loving people to shape our favourite mechanic when she was little;)



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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!]

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"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!]

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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!]