Sunday, June 17, 2007

Vents are useful things. Mal plays the messenger boy, Simon learns how to be intimidating, and Jayne doesn’t take the hint. Big Damn Action ensues.


Job Satisfaction

A/N: Only one chapter left after this, and an epilogue. Thanks for all the comments, it’s nice to see the same people commenting on each chapter even if my numbers are dwindling (sob!) Thanks as always to Mavourneen! Enjoy, please comment.

Chapter Eight

To see translations, hover mouse over Chinese word.

Chapter Nine – Old Tricks


Kaylee started at the familiar voice calling her name. Picking herself up, she moved from her place by the door for the first time since Regan and Simon had left the room.

“Kaylee?” Jayne’s voice was more insistent.

Kaylee clambered onto a stool so that she could reach the vent in the wall. “Jayne?”

“Bout time,” came the gruff reply. “You okay?”

“I’m fine, Jayne. Where are Simon an’ River?”

“The girl’s in the room t’other side of me. Guessin’ the doc’s next to her.”

Kaylee sighed. “So they’re locked in?”

“Dunno bout the doc, but River ain’t. I asked her why the hell she was staying in her room, and she just said ‘waiting.’ Gorramn moonbrain…”

“Jayne,” Kaylee admonished by habit. She paused to think. “The Captain gonna come after us?”

“Eventually,” Jayne said, knowing that Mal wouldn’t let Kaylee or River come to harm. “Gonna have a job getting away from the doc’s old man, though.”

Kaylee slumped down on the stool, pressing her hands against her aching forehead. She was sure it should have stopped hurting by now.

“Doc’s probably sulking,” Jayne was muttering. “What with you knockin’ him back an’ everythin’.”

“I didn’t…” Kaylee began, but she had, so she stopped talking.

“You know,” Jayne said, and he sounded awkward. “I done know he’s a moron and he hurt you real bad, but if’n it makes any difference, he was pretty beat up about it. An’ he did come lookin’ for you.”

“Don’t care, Jayne,” Kaylee said in a small voice.

There was silence on the other side, and Kaylee revelled in it for a moment, before speaking again.

“Jayne?” she murmured meekly.

“Yeah, lil’ Kaylee?”

“I wanna go home. Will you get me home?”

She heard him shift uncomfortably. “Too right I will, lil’ Kaylee. Don’t you worry on it.”

“Thanks. I’m gonna sleep a little now, ‘kay?”

He grunted, and she crawled from the stool to the bed, buried herself in the covers and waited for sleep to claim her.

* “Er.. River?”

It felt weird, calling her by her name, but Jayne was a resourceful person, and he knew that with no one else but Kaylee and a sulking Simon, River would be a valuable asset.

“Yes, Jayne?” she replied politely.

“Um, thanks for saving me hat.” Jayne blinked. That hadn’t been what he’d meant to say.

“You’re welcome. Want to plan now?”

“Is that brother of your locked in?”

“Only in his head.”

Jayne felt some relief, and considered that he was closer to admitting that Simon wasn’t completely useless.

“Think you can sneak out an’ get the keys to let me an’ Kaylee out.”

“I can.”

He waited for a moment, but didn’t hear any movement. “Well? Are you gonna?”

She seemed to consider this before replying. “I will.”

“Good. An’ tell the doc to come to my door so I can talk to him.”


Jayne heard the sounds of the door closing softly, and groaning at being left to do all the work, he moved towards the door to wait. A few minutes past before he heard more footsteps, and Simon’s voice.


“Gorramnit doc, what dy’a think you’re doin’, sittin’ sulkin’ when we’ve got some escapin’ to do.”

“My mother’s been sending someone to check on me every twenty minutes. And I was not sulking,” he added, sounding a little annoyed.

“There’s a lot we can get done in twenty minutes,” Jayne told him.

“Actually, we probably have about five minutes left,” Simon corrected.

Jayne swore. “How many people come check on you?”

“Just the one.”

“Shiny. You still got that gun?”

There was a pause. “Yes,” came the soft reply. “I guess they didn’t think to search the doctor for weapons.” He hesitated. “I saw where they put your guns. They’re locked in a cupboard at the end of this corridor.”

“Shoulda told the girl to get them keys too, “ Jayne muttered. “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. When the guard comes to check on you, you hold your gun against his head…”

“I what?”

“Relax, you don’t gotta shoot,” Jayne explained. “Just put it to his temple and make him drop any weapons he’s got. Then when River let’s me an’ Kaylee out, I’ll take over.”

“Okay…” Simon said, in a voice which revealed it was anything but.

“Then we’ll march your ma’s man up to the bridge and assume control. That is, unless you think your ma won’t be swayed by threatening her guards.”

“Well…” Simon said carefully. “It might cause a distraction long enough to threaten something that will sway her.”

“Like what?”

“Her own life.”

Jayne sat up a little straighter. “Doc, you tellin’ me to threaten to shoot off your ma’s head?”

“As long as you only threaten,” Simon replied, clearly distressed. “I don’t want…”

“I get it, I ain’t gonna hurt her. Alright. Looks like we’ve got ourselves a plan worthy of the captain.”

“In what way?”

“It’s got no chance in hell of workin’”

Jayne listened as Simon breathed heavily. “That’s reassuring.”

“Will you tell Kaylee….?” Jayne began.

“I, er, don’t think she wants to talk to me,” Simon muttered, and Jayne could hear him backing away. “And I’d better get back to my room. They don’t want me talking to you…”

“Right,” Jayne said disbelievingly as he heard Simon leave. Muttering about the cowardly doc, he crossed the room to the vent which led to Kaylee’s room.

“Kaylee?” he called as loud as he dared, knowing she had been sleeping. “Wake up, Kaylee.”

There was a sleepy moan, which made Jayne smile a little since no one was around to see it. A moment later, Kaylee replied, her voice thick with sleep.


“We’re gettin’ outta here, lil’ Kaylee. You just sit tight and be ready to go on my word, dong ma?”

Kaylee sighed happily. “I understand.”


“Mal, what are we going to do?” Inara asked, struggling to loosen the bindings cutting into her wrists.

“Every time you ask that, I give you the same answer,” Mal snapped, as he paced back and forth. “I’m thinkin’”

“In other words, we’re doomed,” Inara said harshly.

Book placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, as best he could with them tied in front of him. “Arguing isn’t going to help.”

“Neither is God,” Mal said, unhelpfully, and the Shepherd frowned.

“Maybe he already is.”

Hoping to intervene before they went truly off topic, Zoe spoke. “Sir, we ain’t gonna regain control of the ship with only the four of us.”

“What are you sayin’?” he asked, and he halted his pacing to look at her.

“You ever thought that maybe Mrs Tam took off ‘cos she got what she came for?”

Inara was the first to understand. “She has Simon and River.”

“Chances are, she has Jayne and Kaylee, too,” Zoe added. “An’ even if she kicked ‘em off, they’ll be safe enough together.”

“We don’t know that-”

“But we can hope,” Book said, cutting the Captain off.

“Hope?” Mal’s tone was incredulous.

Book nodded. “And wait. When we catch up with the ship, we let Simon and River’s parents fight it out and take advantage of all the confusion.”

Mal sat down. “They gotta pretty good head start.”

“But Wash is flying,” Zoe said, somewhat proudly. “We’ll catch ‘em.”

Mal nodded. “Okay then. Finger’s crossed.


Jayne jumped to his feet as soon as he heard the keys turning in the door. It flew open and he found himself for the first time glad to see River, who stood in the door way with a smile on her face and several of his guns in her hands. Tossing them to him, she turned wordlessly, presumably to let Kaylee out. Jayne followed, looking the other way and seeing an uneasy looking Simon holding a gun to a guard’s back.

Grinning at their luck, Jayne saw that the guard appeared to be barely eighteen and shaking in his boots. Giving him his most menacing scowl, he approached and grabbed the guard, pressing his own gun into the small of his back.

“Move,” he ordered, and the guard obliged.

“I said ‘head’,” Jayne murmured to Simon as they moved up the stairs.

“Head seemed too intimidating,” replied Simon, who was surprisingly steady, although pale.

“Ruttin’ fool, doc,” Jayne said. “That was the whole point.”

Simon glanced back, and saw River guiding Kaylee out of the door. At the sight of her ashen and still bruised face, he felt a pang of guilt and despair, and quickly turned away again, following Jayne.

“Let’s just get this over with.”

* Mal was grabbed roughly and pulled to his feet, shocking him out of his thoughtful stupor.

“Get your gorramn hands off me,” he snarled, shaking Carlos off. Wordlessly, Carlos pushed him out of the door, closing the rest of the crew in behind him.

“Move,” he ordered.

“Where are we going?” Mal chirped, as he was man handled up the stairs.

“Bridge,” he said, unhelpfully. At Mal’s look, he added, “We’re closing in on Mrs Tam’s ship.”

“I see.” Mal glanced at Wash as he entered, silently checking if he was okay. Wash nodded imperceptibly, and satisfied, Mal turned to Gabriel. “To what do I deserve this mighty kind invitation? Onto my own bridge, I mean.”

Gabriel didn’t even turn, his eyes were fixed on the distant ship. “You’re here to mediate.”

“Medi-what?” Mal fell silent as he was shoved in front of the camera.

“Wave my wife’s ship,” Gabriel instructed, his voice light but deadly. “Tell her you have regained control, and that you’re willing to let her take Simon and River in exchange for your own men.”

Not bothering to remind the man that Kaylee was not only a woman, but his potential daughter in law, Mal crossed his arms resolutely. “No chance. I don’t betray my own.”

There was a subtle click, and Mal found himself staring down a barrel.

“Go on then, blow my head off. Then they’ll never let you board.”

Gabriel paused, then turned to one of his guards who wasn’t holding a gun at Mal’s head.

“Go fetch the woman. The Companion. Let’s see if she can persuade our dear Captain to cooperate.”

* “Simon, think about what you’re doing…” Regan clasped her hands together to stop them shaking.

“I told you I wasn’t playing games, mom,” Simon told her distractedly as he jerked his pistol pointedly towards the door. Glancing meaningfully at the several of the guards, he watched as they shuffled uneasily from the bridge.

“You’ve been planning this from the start?” Regan asked, and she moved her hand to grip the pilot’s shoulder. It was imperative that they did not change course.

“No, actually I’m pretty much just improvising,” Simon replied, gesturing a few more guards out of the door. Beside him, Jayne snorted in agreement, as he wrestled guards from the room with a little less decorum.

“This wouldn’t have been possible if your friend hadn’t lured half my men off the ship,” Regan snapped.

“Happy coincidence,” Simon said, and smiled tightly at Jayne.

“Yeah,” the big man agreed, ramming the door firmly closed. “An’ me an’ the doc ain’t friends.” He glanced at River. “Hey Kaylee, get here.”

Kaylee was already at his side, yielding a wrench she’d found. “Lock the door. I’m on it.”

Jayne nodded gruffly then turned back to Regan and the pilot.

“Change course. Go back.”

“No!” Regan gasped.

Jayne cocked his gun. “Now.”

The pilot’s hands shook at he felt the gun nudge his temple, but off a stern look from Regan he shook his head firmly. “No.”

Growling with frustration, Jayne tossed the man aside. “Girl, get over here.”

River floated over, not loosening her grip on her guns until she was settled in the pilot’s chair.

“She can’t fly this!” Regan cried, horrified. “She’s seventeen, and she’s…”

“What?” Simon snapped. “What is she?”

Regan bit her lip. “She’s …unwell.”

“Right,” Simon agreed. “And you want to risk her getting sent back to the place that made her that way.”

Regan faltered only for a second, then shook her head frantically. “I just want my children back!”

“We’re not children anymore!” Simon said forcefully. “You selfish - … you don’t want what’s best for us, you just can’t stand feeling like there’s something you can’t control.”

“That isn’t true!” Regan spat out through her tears. “How can you say that?”

“Because when I first got River out, I felt exactly the same way!” The whole room fell silent at Simon’s confession before he continued. “But I learned to deal with it. And now you have to do the same thing.”

Before Regan could form the words to reply, River piped up from the pilot’s seat. “Serenity is approaching.”

Simon felt relief flood through his body. “Ren ci de fozu.”

River frowned slightly but was jostled out of the pilot chair by Jayne. Rolling her eyes slightly, she moved to a back corner of the room and sat on the floor, crossing her legs and closing her eyes as if meditating.

Jayne hit a switch enthusiastically. “We’re almost close enough to get vid up. See, lil’ Kaylee? Told you I’d get you home.”

Simon glanced down at Kaylee who had frozen at the words. The sounds of Jayne arguing with his mother faded into nothing as he knelt beside her, panic bubbling beneath the surface.

“Kaylee?” he said cautiously, watching her snip at a wire.

“I’m fine, Simon,” she said dismissively, her voice higher pitched than usual.

“Then why…?” Simon trailed off, shook himself, and tried again. “You said you weren’t hurt.”

“I weren’t,” she said stiffly. “Jus’ wanted to get home is all. Leave me be, Simon.”

Simon closed his eyes, wishing he could rewind the past two days. “Kaylee, please, we need to talk-”

“Doc, we’re gettin’ a wave!” Jayne yelled. “Get over here.”

Kaylee gave Simon an unreadable look, and nodded in Jayne’s direction. Glumly, Simon got to his feet and moved to Jayne’s side. “What?” He looked at the screen. “Captain?”

Mal’s face filled the screen, looking highly uneasy. “Jayne, Doc. Wasn’t expecting either of you to be answerin’ the vid.”

“We took control o’ things, Mal,” Jayne said, cackling menacingly before pulling a face in Regan’s direction.

“So I see.” There was an awkward pause, and Jayne frowned. Simon’s attention was still on Kaylee, and he didn’t even notice.

“Well?” Jayne asked.

“Er, right…, well, we’re on our way, so… you’ll let us board?” Mal said, stumbling over his words.

Jayne scowled. “Well o’ course!”

Mal sighed heavily. “Out.” The screen went blank.

“Huh,” Jayne snorted. “Actin’ like a moonbrain!” He glanced up at Simon, expecting the doctor to nod in agreement, but he was staring at Kaylee and paying Jayne no attention.

Jayne rolled his eyes. “Ruttin’ fools, the lot of yeh.”

In what felt like hours but was in actual fact a few minutes, the proximity alert sounded. There was a dull thunk as, Simon presumed, Wash latched onto the larger ship. Pulling River to her feet, Simon turned to Jayne and Kaylee.

“So, what now?”

Kaylee didn’t meet his eye as she replied. “I’ve managed to seal off the cargo bay, so assuming there ain’t none of those guards trapped in there, we can get to it through the vents and hop right on to Serenity. But we better be quick ‘cos it’s fairly easy to override and one of them’s gotta know how.”

There was a clatter, and Simon, Jayne and Kaylee jumped, turning to see River standing by a now open vent.

“Let’s go!” she said happily.

“Simon, please…” Regan spoke up. “Think about this.”

Jayne aimed his gun at Regan’s head.

“Doc, Kaylee, Crazy…. Get crawlin’.”


Carlos barely had time to notice the door was opening before a heavy boot connected with his skull and the world went black.

Zoe smiled slightly as she stepped over the guard’s still body.

“One guard,” she noted, “Obviously they thought that lock would hold.”

Inara arrived at her side, still pushing the hair clip back into her hair. “Sometimes the old tricks are the best.”

Book exited the room after them, glancing around.

“You said Jayne believed the Captain? They’re letting us board?”

“Yes,” said Inara. “We’d best get down to the cargo bay. There’s an ambush waiting there.”

Zoe nodded. “Let’s go.”

* “Gorramit... I’m stuck.”

Simon rolled his eyes. “Jayne, we don’t have time for this.” As River and Kaylee made for the door, Simon glanced up at Jayne, who was wedged in the vent shaft.

“D’ya hear me, I can’t fit through!” Jayne snapped.

“We’re this close to getting away,” Simon told him. “We’re not gonna fall at the last hurdle because you spend too much time working out.”

He reached up and gripped Jayne’s arms. Jayne watched him apprehensively.

“If I fall on my head, you’re dead,” he warned.

“No,” Simon corrected, “you are.” Pulling as hard as he could, he managed to fit Jayne’s large form through the gap. As his torso emerged, Jayne was able to wriggle free.

“Thanks,” he muttered, and the pair hurried after Kaylee and River.

“What’s the ruttin’ problem, open the damn door!” Jayne demanded. At the opposite side of the cargo bay, the sounds of a blow torch could be heard.

“Go se,” Kaylee swore, “They’re comin’”

“Open the door!” Jayne shouted.

Kaylee had opened a small panel beside the door. “They’ve locked it…”

“Then unlock it!”

“I’m trying!” Kaylee shot back, frantically pulling apart wires. “It… yes!”

They all watched with bated breath as she pulled two wires together and began to twist them.

The door behind them burst open. “Freeze!” someone shouted.

“Kaylee, gorramnit, quick!”

There was a beep, and Kaylee got to her feet, a satisfied smile on her face. She reached out and flung open the door.

The smile fell from her face as an arm grabbed her from the other side and a gun bumped against her temple. Simon watched in horror.

“Nice to see you son,” Gabriel said with a sneer. “Now, come with me, or the pretty girl gets it.”

Nearly finished! Comments, please.

Chapter Ten


Sunday, June 17, 2007 1:00 PM


Oh, I like that Jayne tried to tell Kaylee that Simon was the one that wanted to come get her. Curious that she didn't want to hear it. Hopefully, they'll both be alive at the end of this so Simon can apologize profusely.

I like that Jayne thinks Simon was sulking or cowering and he really wasn't. I very much enjoying you having him do what he HAD to, but not be good at it - holding the gun.

And now Gabriel is in control. . . 1 more chapter left? Well, this will be interesting!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 4:01 PM


Things just go from bad to worse for these guys, don't they?

I wish Kaylee would listen to Simon, that would solve alot of problems, apart from the kidnapping.

Love it, love it, love it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 4:39 PM


Kaylee is far more injured than she's led Simon to believe and that does not bode well ... hopefully, he'll get close enough once he manages to get her away from his father.

I really loved the fact that Simon let Jayne use his mother's life as a bargaining chip - that was good. Serves her right. And I really, really hate Gabriel!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 11:18 PM


That darn (other then Simon or River) Tam family!

Poor Simon and them go from bad to worse and back again. I feel for Simon cause Kaylee is not listening to him, but I can't say he dosn't deserve it after his whole "I'm gonna blame you forever" stint.

Can't wait to see Gabrial pay dearly!

Looking forward to the last chapter XD

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:00 AM


I agree, kill Gabriel. Or, you know, a stern reprimanding :)

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:25 AM


That's gotta be my new favourtie phrase... ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 6:02 PM


Pear-shaped...every thing's gone pear-shaped, I tell ya!


Another fabulous chapter here, Chazzer! Realy can't wait to see how the Tams Senior problem is dealt with and Kaylee's injuries handled;D



You must log in to post comments.



Angst ahoy. Simon and Kaylee need to talk.

Things have to end, one way or the other. Simon takes aim, but can he pull the trigger? Action and Angst.

Vents are useful things. Mal plays the messenger boy, Simon learns how to be intimidating, and Jayne doesn’t take the hint. Big Damn Action ensues.

Regan plants the seed of doubt in Kaylee’s mind, while Jayne, Simon and River hatch a plan. A cunning hat and a girl with a gun? Yeah, this is gonna go great. Meanwhile, Mal rethinks his attitude to Simon.

Kaylee is in Regan Tam’s clutches, but all is not as it seems. River decides to clean up Simon’s mess. Mal clutches at straws, and Jayne clutches his big stick. Serenity has some visitors…and then she has some more.

Mal considers childproofing the ship when he discovers Simon and Jayne are gone. Regan makes some progress and Simon learns what it takes to buy a gun. As always, a little angsty, but not too much.

What’s going on? No one’s quite sure… Simon has some serious regrets and turns to an unusual source for comfort, and Mal is sick of the doctor causing trouble. More angst as the crew is being whittled down. S/K

When Simon has made his mind up on something, there’s no swaying him. And right now, he’s decided to be an idiot. Big Damn Angst, as the crew try to find the missing River.

Some people just can’t catch a break. Jayne thinks Simon had a deprived childhood, Wash is left out, Simon gets to go fishing and Kaylee has been waiting long enough. A little fluff, a little smut, and a whole lot of things going not smooth. R, I guess.

The crew decide to hide while figuring out their next move. Sun, sea and sand … all Kaylee is missing is her boyfriend. Simon is torn and River plays ‘I Spy.’ A good healthy mix of fluff and angst.