The Sachem: Chapter 2
Friday, January 18, 2008

Post BDM; M/I, S/K; Continued From New Haven: Stepping backwards into the past, we view what went on before Mal, Zoe and Simon were captured.



It was a momentous day for River, regardless the sun wasn't even up.

She awoke before anyone else, snuggled deep in her blankets as the York kept her feet warm and Boston was like a seal pointed teddy bear in her arms. Stretching, disturbing her sleep inclined bedfellows, she slipped out of bed to prepare for her first day back in the sky.

Three weeks had been agonizing, for she yearned to be back up at the helm, the rush of breaking atmo into the tranquil black. The others had kept her busy, for she was a cussed little thing when bored. Simon had unpacked her sketchbook and gave his consent for her to ride out on Willow anywhere on the ranch. That way she could frolic, sketch, practice her deadly fighting skills, meditate or do whatever pleased her convoluted heart. Mal seconded the motion as well as suggested to keep training her cats so she could open her own small traveling circus. Kaylee employed her one day to help run a quick diagnostics on Serenity so she was sky worthy. Zoe showed her the proper way to break down and clean a gun, and finally Inara continued to urge her practice of dance. Taking all of these into consideration, River had taken off on Willow, figured how to take Boston along since he hated being left, and ventured off to explore the wonders of the outdoors. No one knew where she went, nor what she did, but that was the way she wanted it. Out of sight and out of their minds.

Taking her time, like a ritual, she traded her nightgown for her navy frock. Then a jacket Kaylee had handed down. It was black canvas, mandarin cut collar with the hem at the bottom of her torso, and the Kaywinnnet Lee touch of pink cotton fabric on the inside and a few colorful patches on the shoulders and back. It actually fit her well, not baggy like most other things while she went to her trunk. Opening it, River picked out her brush and took the time to rightfully comb the bed snares out of long silken hair. Once that was done, she grabbed the army bag Zoe had given to her so she could carry things about. It was already packed with things she wanted to bring, so afterwards she went back to her bunk and retrieved Boston, who yoawled in protest.

"Shh, you need to get ready."


Kaylee awoke in Simon's arms.

It was the best way to wake up, snuggled against his chest, arms holding her by the waist. However at this early in the morning it was going to be hard to get up without waking him. So, she did her best to wiggle her naked body away from his.


Hearing his sleepy noise, she sighed as he stirred awake. He pulled her closer, not wanting to forfeit her yet. "Simon." She whispered, hoping to get him to let go.

Simon's eyes cracked open, and her kissed her bare shoulder. "What time is it?"

"Time for me ta get ready and for you to go back to sleep." Feeling his arms go limp, she rolled over and propped herself on an elbow to see him. Leaning in, she rested her nose against his forehead, then tilted her chin up and kissed the spot. "Miss you."

"Miss you too," Reaching up, he stroked her tousled hair out, groggy yet enjoying the moment. "love you." Leaning in, he kissed her.

Kaylee disregarded the fact that both of them had morning breath, and allowed the kiss to be long and proper. Pulling back, she gave a tender smile. "I'm serious, go back to sleep, it's way too early, even for a buckaroo."

"I have to ride out to replace Jayne. I need to get up too." Sitting up, he slid out of bed and hissed as the frosty air hit his equally nude body. Going over to the chair, he grabbed his long underwear and slipped it on, then took his undershirt and did the same as Kaylee forced herself out of bed after briefly enjoying the view. As he put on his socks, he watched as she grabbed a pair of boybriefs, then concealed her intimates. Next was the bra, then a longsleeve purple tee, t-shirt with flowers all over, and her coveralls. He finished up with his work shirt, vest, leather cuffs, pants, and chaps as she put on her socks and brushed out her hair. As they both finished dressing, they made the bed, and Simon put on a wool sporting coat for added warmth as she put on her own jacket.

"You be safe, ok?" She told him, fixing the collar of his coat. "It's rough out there..."

"I'm not leaving just yet," He gave an amused and warm chuckle. "You have plenty of time to remind me to be careful." Watching how she turned an adorably sheepish mechanic, he kissed her cheek. "I have something for you." He nodded over to the dresser, where a small leather bag rested.

Kaylee returned a befuddled look.

"Go see." He nudged her off, snagging his neatly folded neckerchief and tying it on right.

She gently took the bag and opened the flap, peering inside. Eyes widening, she grinned back at her lover.

"I though you'd like them as a snack on your travels." He smiled whilst her hand reached in and plucked a fat blackberry out of the bag.

Popping one in her mouth, her tongue squished the ripe fruit up against the roof of her mouth, the juice trickling down to taste buds and making Kaylee moan with ecstasy. "Where'd you get these?"

"I found them out on the prairie. Right where our fence ends short of the river there's a cluster of trees and an enormous berry patch." He explained, sidling up and relishing her berry cheer as she dropped another one in her mouth. "Good?"

Kaylee nodded her head with a mouth full of berries. "You gotta pick some more, we could make jam 'n pies 'n all sorts a sweet stuff b'fore the snow wipes them out."

Simon couldn't help but laugh at Kaylee's idea of more berries. "I'll see what I can do." Rubbing her back, she held up a berry and he took it.

The mechanic gave the doctor a berry infused kiss.


Mal kissed Inara.

"See you t'night." He whispered, kissing her bare shoulder once more. Using his pinkie to idly draw a little circle on her flawless skin, as much as he was going to love being back on Serenity he was reluctant to leave the warmth of the bed. All nestled in with Inara fitting against him like a glove.

"MmHm." Inara was hardly awake.

Smirking, he got out of bed, as bare as the day he came into the 'verse. Grunting to the cold he slid on his pants and socks, then shirt and suspenders before putting on his gun belt and fixing his hair. Finished he leaned in and kissed her cheek.

"Have fun as captain for the day." She murmured on the cusp of sleep.

"Darlin' I'm captain for the day, every day." He corrected, getting a drowsy chuckle as she drifted back off. Walking over to the foot of the bed, he crouched at the laundry basket and ruffled Chester's ears. The dog was doing better, but a gunshot wound to the chest was quite an ordeal for either man or beast, so he was still inside the house instead of working. And much to Inara's dismay Malcolm insisted Chester spend his nights on the floor of their bedroom. "Hey bud, you watch the house for me. Make sure everythin's in order, and you watch her."

Chester licked Mal's hand, thumping his tail on the rim of the wicker basket.

"And don't go kissin' on her. She's my gal, not yours."


Simon and Kaylee went down the stairs to find the day being prepped.

There was a fire in the fireplace already warming the cabin, and a hot pot of coffee ready as River had occupied herself. Seeing Simon, she bounced over with an expectant smile.

Her brother smirked and handed over a similar leather bag.

Giving him a kiss on the cheek, she opened the bag to see her own quaint cache of sweet blackberries.

"Where's my goodbye present?" Mal asked with feigned disappointment.

River clutched her berry bag seriously. As if she would rip off an appendage if he so much as touched the bag. "Not sharing."

"Sorry, maybe Kaylee will share." Simon went over and pulled on his boots, put on his Indy styled hat and then his oilskin duster.

"No matter, I'll just be cantankerous." Moseying over, he poured himself some coffee. "Kaylee, you best go and key up our girl. Be out as soon as I have this cup."

Kaylee put on her boots and turned to Simon. Face deep with sincerity "Now really, you gotta be careful."

"I'll be fine." He reassured, giving her a toothpaste fresh lip lock. "You be careful, and have fun. When you get back take the mule out and see me."

"K." Kissing him back, she reluctantly left.

Simon let out a heavy breath as he watched her walk away. Turning, he stooped and shouldered the bag he had packed a few days prior.

"Look on your face like I'm sending you to guard the gates of Tophet instead of the back acres." Mal observed as he sipped his java. "Don't go sink on me, Jayne'll be back in ten days and you get to move back to your life of Kaylee filled bliss."

"She's not the only one I'll miss." Simon hugged River tight. "Be good, and not as bratty."

"Can't promise." She hugged back. "Don't get into trouble, and don't talk to strangers."

"I'll try xiao mei-mei." Letting go, he picked up his rifle and headed out the door.

River watched up, she too putting on her combat boots. "Up and out." She noted, snapping her fingers. Surely enough Boston leapt up, wearing a harness and leash she had made out of a broken halter and lead as he licked his chops from the milk his mistress had set out. Turning, her eyes smiled with excitement towards Mal.

Mal smiled a touch himself as the dark prairie began to tint with morning light. Taking in a deep breath, there was a rush of anticipation.


Jayne loaded up his gear.

He was dressed for traveling as he strapped a bundle of bear, coyote, wolf and cat furs behind his saddle. They had no use for those types of furs, but others up in the Lovell Mountains were fur traders. That was the reason why Mal had given him a digi-map to Tahatchapi and told him to go there to trade the skins for woolies; chaps made out of mountain goat that were water proof and warm during the harsh winter. Woolies were a must before the pass up to the fur town was closed by snow, so Jayne's particular journey was important as he lashed his epic-sized shotgun to his saddle. Gazing around, seeing everything was in its place, the merc went back inside and opened up a trunk that had nothing but knives. Pulling one out, he then grabbed a piece of paper and walked outside. Slamming the door, he pressed the paper up against the faded wood and stabbed the knife in to secure the note in place.

Pleased, Jayne swung himself up onto Donner's back.

"C'mon, boy. Let's git."

Merc and horse headed towards the mountains.


Mal smirked at the sight of the pink eastern horizon as he walked onto the helm.

He was dressed in his best shirt and suspenders, like a soldier on leave spiffed up for his girl. As his boots crossed the threshold, the captain placed a hand intimately on the door frame, and drew in a lung full of slightly musty, mechanically purified air. To him, it was a the most savory air in the 'verse. And he took a moment to relish it, blue eyes closing in warmth and contentment before letting out a deep breath.

"Good to be home."

River's voice was hardly audible as he opened his eyes and saw her at Wash's post, already having set the dinosaurs up just so as her cat was seated in the other chair. The willowy frame was curled up, hands wrapped around her knees as she gazed out with an expression of ease and adoration. The captain's mouth pulled into a bigger smile. "Amen." He whispered back.

"Good day to fly." Uncurling herself, she adjusted a t-rex's position and took hold of the steering yolk.

Mal strode over to take an at ease stance right next to her console and began to act like it was simply old business, though he had a glimmer in the apple of his eye. "You got a course, Lil' Albatross?"

"West over the Lovells, to the edge of the Elysian Prairie, then up and out of the atmosphere." Flicking some switches, she cast glances at the captain. His head held high, shoulders square and chest out, face stoic and voice masterful regardless his eyes were laughing with expectation. "Six hour trip till docking, will make it though."

"Then bring me that horizon."

River nodded her head and reached up to press the com button. "Kaylee?"


Kaylee, already smudged, hit the com button as the hum of Serenity filled her with cheer. "We're ready." Turning, she went over and touched a piece of the engine. Petting the metal, she sighed. "Missed ya, girl."


"Lifting off."


Simon had saddled his paint and was riding out when he heard the all to familiar roar of an aught three Firefly taking off. Turning his horse around, he watched Serenity lift up with ease, her landing gear retracting as her VTOL jets tilted forward and she moved towards the snowcapped Lovell Mountains. Catching movement on the porch of the house, he discovered Zoe watching as the ship flew towards him. Mulling it over for a second he spurred Brave and pulled back around, galloping flat out in front of the ship. The roar of the vessel pressing his ride faster.


Mal saw what his doc was up to.

He smirked as Simon pulled his hat off and waved goodbye before Serenity rose higher. Silently, he told himself the boy wasn't that bad of a cowboy.

"Such a boob." River announced as she dragged the yolk further back and the ship soared over their tributary before picking up speed and crossing the massive Switch Fork. After that, the land rolled higher and gave way from grass to forest and rock. Sensing Mal was nervous because of how close to the ground she was flying, River eased up even more.

Until they were over the clouds, soaring in a sea of azure.

Mal rocked on his heels as he surveyed the sky of blue. "Right good day to be flyin'."


Tophet: Hebrew word associated with Hell. Location near Jerusalem where according to the Bible, the Canaanites sacrificed children to the god Moloch by burning them alive.

xiao mei-mei: little sister

*** **As always, the writer appreciates all comments whether they be positive, negative, or suggestions.**


Saturday, January 19, 2008 11:00 AM


I loved how you described the wakening of each character... I think you should do that more often - especially the couples!

"And don't go kissin' on her. She's my gal, not yours."

That was one of my favourites =)

Keep flyin' ;)


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