New Haven: Chapter 2
Friday, December 21, 2007

Post-BDM. M/I, S/K.(Previously called The Courtship Dance) Kaylee gets an intresting prospect and a little help from a customer.


"I'm tellin' ya Mr. Irving, you're just like the Cap'n."

Colter Irving leaned against the hood of his delivery truck with one bushy salt and pepper brow raised. He was an old cowboy with a bowlegged walk and a fu manchu mustache that nearly hid his smirking mouth. He also ran the general store in Pryor, and was currently watching the legs of the mechanic hidden beneath his beat up truck. She was cheerful critter if there ever was one, and ever since she had started coming to town to repair things of the mechanical nature, he had become a frequent customer. "That so Miss Kaylee?" He rumbled back in a solid baritone.

"It is." The sound of her fingers nimbly working on the innards of the truck provided a soundtrack to her voice. "I've done told ya you gotta get some new parts for this poor ol' truck, but ya don't 'n every other week I gotta come in here 'n fix her up. Just as tight as he is when it comes ta investin' in parts."

"Part costs more than jus havin' ya tinker with it so it runs, Lil' One." The wave system chimed, and he looked to the interior of his store. "I'll be right back."

"K." Kaylee continued to work diligently on the truck, her face smeared with grease, oil and sweat. Life dirtside was nice, nicer than she had anticipated. Her only lament was that Serenity wasn't up in he sky where she belonged, but other than that her whole crew was downright happy. They had a shot at being something, respectable ranchers, whereas out in the black they had no shot of going back to their previous lives of louche pirates. Suddenly she overheard Mr. Irving talking like an angry bear on his wave, and then his language shift to mandarin. Without warning he hung up and left this store to return back to her in a gruff manner, the sound of his boots making it known he was back to his place near the hood of the truck. Silence passed, and she wondered if she should attempt to talk to him. Making up her mind Kaylee chewed her bottom lip before opening her mouth. "Everythin' ok?"

Colter stared down at the boots underneath his car. His wife was tending to the store, which afforded him the time to come out and chat with the chatty mechanic. "It's nothin'." He let out a growl of a sigh as a horse drawn hover cart passed by and he waved at the driver. "Bit of a predicament.... suppose I should tell ya, but ya can't spread the word about town alright? Keep it ta your folks."

Her eyes shifted with anticipation as she paused before continuing working. Kaylee was touched he felt close enough to her to disclose delicate information, yet nervous about it too. "Alright."

"The cargo ship that brings us all of the supplies the shops sell ain't comin' through Pryor anymore. Seems that the Alliance's contract with them is changed, and they're only doin' runs for the bigger cities like Horus and New Calgary."

Her mouth pulled into a frown. "All of the supplies?"

"Medical, food, equipment, clothing, mail, you name it they shipped it here."

"Why'd the Alliance do that? Ain't right."

"It costs to much fer them wu-yong guan lu-zi ta care for all these paltry little townships." rough fingers thrummed unhappily on the faded paint of the vehicle. "They only paid ten percent for the cargo run, we paid the rest for the service, but still those ships apparently are needed more in the city than out here on the prairie.

"Well it still ain't right." She rolled out from under the truck, her hair in a messy ponytail as she rose to her feet. "Town can't function without supplies."

"That's why all us business owners are keepin' it hush. We got three weeks until the next trip to get supplies need to be made and in the meantime we gotta find a new cargo service b'fore the folk around her find out 'n move on to a place where supplies are guaranteed."

Her cute little face creased in thought. "What if we did the cargo runs?"

Colter raised his thick brows. "Shi?"

"Yeah, we got Serenity down on our ranch, we can carry just about anything, and we can do it timely too.... We could use whatever cash you're willin' ta pay..." She trailed off, hands on her hips.

"You'd be willin ta break atmo in that tumbledown Firefly?"

Kaylee suddenly frowned protectively. "She may not look like much but my girl has been on nearly every world 'n the system and is the best gorram boat on Shadow. Don't got no right callin' her tumbledown, she breaks atmo with the best of 'em."

Colter Irving was a might taken back with the normally buoyant mechanic's sudden defensiveness. Nonetheless, he was amused too. He was a big man, and her head only reached to his middle, so looking down upon one greased up annoyed little thing was a touch humorous from his perspective. "Well I apologize Miss Kaylee. Seems I was out of place callin' your boat that. But this job means breakin' atmo ta go and dock on the skyplex circling around Shadow. And I know some older ships don't got the hair ta do somethin' of the sort."

"Serenity can."

"Then tell your Cap'n that the gig would pay a hundred credits in cash per monthly run." He watched her thoughtful headnod and his mouth pulled with a small smile. "You gonna turn on my truck or what?"

Kaylee reached in with grimy fingers and turned the key so. The truck choked, let out an obnoxious black cloud via the exhaust pipe, and grumbled to life. Her face washed over with accomplishment before shutting it off.

"You want cash or product?" He waved her to follow as he went back up the stairs and into his store, the mussed mechanic following in her green coveralls.

"Product." She began to blush some, stopping while embarrassed to ask for something to extravagant. "I'd um.... like some steaks."

Colter stopped and turned, as he had been ready to fix up her usual payment. Whenever she wanted product instead of cash the norm was always a little fruit crate packed with a bag of rice, wheat flour, some veggies, fruits and slab of bacon inside. His mustache twinged as she seemed abased with the request.

"Just some cheap ones.... two.... got myself a date and I sorta want to cook somethin' special." Simon had told her to dress her best and eluded to something special. However he hadn't regarded the menu, so she hoped to surprise him with something sort of fancy. And steak would be welcome, as all they were eating meat wise on the ranch were eggs, bacon and protein.

"Who's the lucky fella?" The store owner asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"The doctor, Simon."

"Well, regardless half the young bucks around here'll be heartbroken yer taken. Think I might have something." He strode off to the back, with her following. "Now I don't have steaks unfortunately, it's a might too rich for most people." He opened the meat locker and stepped inside to grab something off of a shelf labeled 'beef'. "But this here is a premium roast." Stepping out, Colter shut the door and grabbed a fruit crate, setting the crate in her hands and placing the brown wrapped package inside before moving along to a crate of garlic. "And if you take a bulb of garlic 'n some potatoes.." setting the garlic down in her box he took three potatoes next and dropped them in. "Got get a bottle of oil off the shelf and a little pouch of rosemary. Then you go over ta the counter and talk to the missus, she'll give you the recipe for a roast that'll make the blessed Doc of yours the happiest man in the verse."

She smiled, then got up on a stool used to reach higher shelves and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Xie-xie."


"Riding that horse a might fast." Mal hollered as he sidled up on the chestnut mare, the other dog easily trailing behind him as they returned from the other side of the land. "How's the east, Doc? Is it as grandurous as my west?"

"Well.... the best description is simply... shiny." He sighed, easing Amos' canter down to a walk towards the barn. Kaylee's favorite word had rubbed off on him, so it now peppered his otherwise eloquent vocabulary as the dapple grey slowed to a stop and he dismounted. "Nothing was really major, repaired a break in the fence, Churchill watched a coyote...." He paused, and his face twisted into a grimace. "Found Jayne by the cabin though.... that was slightly traumatic..."

"Lemme guess, passed out with a bottle of milk in one hand without a stitch on?" Mal exhaled in exasperation.

"Yes," Simon nodded his head, slowly, gaze filled with the nightmarish sight he had found whilst walking Amos into the barn. "seems he did a little celebrating after our event.... because there was a woman next to him...."

"He's gonna burn himself out." The captain grunted, gloved hands tied the reins to a post. "Be of no use to me pickled senseless from mudders milk and some Pryor biao-zi."

"I think she's the teacher in town." He unbuckled the saddle and lifted it off of Amos, who shook his neck and snorted with relief. "Regardless, I'd really like to change the subject. Seeing as I have a date and further visualization of a large man stark naked in the grass might make me want to dope myself as soon as I get to my room."

"Date huh? Lemme guess..." Mal feigned thoughtfulness as he took the tack off of Jia. "Petite, sunniest little critter in the verse?"

"She's cooking dinner on Serenity, we concluded since everyone's moved into the ranch house we could utilize the privacy."

"Wanna go run on in right now?" Gesturing towards the door. "I'll take care of the horse."

"Thanks, I have to get ready."

"Figured that much."


Simon locked himself in the bedroom.

The ranch house was two story, a common size for cow farmers. On the first floor, there was the ample living/dining room and kitchen, then an office, Zoe's bedroom and bathroom. Upstairs were the majority of the living quarters. There was the bathroom, the master bedroom Mal and Inara shared, the bunk room River shared with her cats Boston and York as well as occasionally Jayne when he left his cabin, and the last bedroom was Simon and Kaylee's.

It was a snug little room, and Kaylee's touch shone throughout. If it had been Simon, it would have the decor of slate greys and blues with more modernesque furniture. However his sweetie had put up flowery wallpaper of a light yellow hue, some calligraphy scrolls, a painting of a herd of running horses she had bought at some outpost, quilts on the bed, a rocking chair in the corner, and her own little knickknacks. It was temporary though, as there had been talk of building smaller cabins behind the ranch house as individual homes for the crew, for more privacy and room. And the doctor and mechanic couldn't help but think ahead, as it was possible that prairie babies could be but a year away and they would need the space. In the meantime, it sufficed as he gathered up his clothes and headed to the shower to rid his body of the work of the day. Once clean, he took the time to groom himself well, rub cream on his cracked hands, then dress in a pressed white shirt with his red vest and slacks. Tossing his dirty wears in the hamper, he trekked down the stairs to the kitchen, where Zoe was at the table cleaning the shotgun she bought used, Mal was conversing with Zoe about local canards regarding their nearest neighbor, River was drawing as Boston sat perched on her shoulder, and Inara was making what appeared to be some egg drop soup whilst York watched with hungry kitty eyes from atop the vintage fridge.

Zoe looked up at Simon and whistled. "Lookin' mighty dapper there Doc."

"Thank you." He circled the table, going over to peer over River's shoulder to see what she was drawing. Boston chirped and pushed his siamese head into a hand as Simon absorbed in her drawing of blueprints of something on the ranch. "What's this?"

"Your sister has decided that if we add a horse barn and corral we could make a killin' takin' wild ponies and breakin' 'em." Mal meandered over to Inara to help her with dinner. Opening the refrigerator, he took out the fish fillets from his bounty when he went fishing the day before, and set them on a cutting board.

"Would work, people need transportation in the forms of equine." River countered. "Plenty of wild horses in the mountains, no price to get them."

"Well after our first drive 'n us making enough of a profit ta invest in the idea, I'd be keen on tryin' it, Lil Albatross." Mal nodded his head.

"Sounds like a plan." Simon's blue eyes moved to Inara, questioning her.

With a smile she left her place and went over to the pantry. Taking out a basket she handed it to him. "They had it all."

"Did I have enough to cover it?" He gazed down at the sack nestled in the box, hands gripping the precious contents he had had Inara take a shuttle all the way to Horus for to get. Setting it on the table, his compatriots curious, he peeled back the rough fabric to see the two bottles of Osiris Valley red wine, the cheese, loaf of the most heavenly sourdough in the 'verse, a candle, fine linen table cloth and chocolate dipped strawberries in a small pink bakery box.

Mal feigned confusion and a hint of injury as he looked from the goods back to Inara. "How come you've never been that sweet ta me on our dates? I like cheese, 'n wine, all that frippery...."

Inara rolled her eyes.

"Woman, are you 'shamed of culturing a rough ol' prairie boy? Pains me... I ain't a brute.... most of the time...."

Zoe shook her head whilst inspecting the innards of her gun.

"I demand cheese." He rumbled rather seriously.

The former companion ignored him and gave Simon a peck on the cheek. "Have fun."

A rather goofy, sideways smile pulled on the right side of his mouth. Opening his lips, he started to form words.

"Bu xing-bie." River blurted.

Startled, the older Tam stared at her with wide eyes.

River grinned cheekily. "Made a face."

Sighing, ignoring her, Simon simply gave a small wave and left the ranch house.


Kaylee hoped the dinner was fancy enough.

She had speeded back to the ranch, bathed, dressed in a sun dress that had little cherry blossoms on the fabric, then hurried over to Serenity to work on the recipe Mrs. Irving had given her. While cooking, her mind was abuzz with the good news she had yet to tell anyone. Even if most of the crew had to work, she and River could do the runs themselves, it would be easy money, and with some extra coin they could buy a pair another pair of horses they desperately needed as well as those solar panels she wanted to outfit on the roofs to give New Haven cheap electricity. Cheap electricity meant more money to spend on other things needed, which meant the ranch would only improve and grow.

"That looks delicious."

His voice pulled her away from her task, and turning, her hazel eyes fell upon a dapper Simon Tam. A smile bursting upon her lips, she blushed as he seemed to stumble a bit. Classically digging the recesses of his grey matter for the right words.

"And..." Walking over, he set the box on the counter and turned to greet her. "You look..." Regardless of six months being together, he was still startled when she practically leapt into is arms, plastering his mouth with a very tempting kiss that made Simon's blood rush to areas he hadn't wanted to focus on until after dinner. Pulling her in, he felt her tongue force entry into his mouth. Immediately his mind reverted to their normal routine, which was getting some play after work. Aching, groaning, he listened to her hungry pant as his hands explored the region of her thighs. Finally, oxygen forced him to part, and he gulped in air whilst his forehead was pressed against her own. "I didn't even get to the compliment." His voice was throaty and ragged as slender hands were already in his hair, mussing it, scratching his scalp and reveling in silken dark locks.

Kaylee let out an impish chuckle as she reached over and shut off the stove before resuming her head cupping and neck rubbing. Leaning in, she kissed his jaw languidly. Arms trailing down and unbuttoning his vest. "Guess I'm a lil' excited is all." She purred.

"Well.... I didn't think we would do this until after...."

Kaylee kissed his bottom lip, wrapping her mouth around it before ending it all on his chin. "I got an unseemly cravin' and it ain't for food.... k?" Nuzzling his jaw, she kissed it again and noticed the slight headnod as he pulled the tie on her dress.

***** ***** ***** Translations:

wu-yong guan lu-zi: worthless government asses

shi?: Really? Xie-xie: Thank you.

Biao-zi: whore

bu xing-bie: no sex.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Comments are shiny whether good, bad or otherwise. This writer welcomes creative critism and honesty.


Friday, December 21, 2007 11:45 AM


I'm liking these! Read the first one, didn't comment until now. Gives a little twist on what could've happened. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, December 22, 2007 12:46 AM


really liked this...
is it me (probably!) or is your style more relaxed now?
look forward to the next chapter!

Monday, December 31, 2007 2:14 PM


Really? A relaxed style? I actually thought I had tightened it up. Either way, you noticed a good difference so thank you!


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