Self Contained Chapter 4
Sunday, April 27, 2008

A continuation of ‘Anti Hero‘. Set significantly after ’Objects in Space’. Xiaofan has to make a quick exit after thugs bust into her practice. She assumes it’s just a robbery gone wrong. But is it ever that simple? It’s now her turn to call on the help of her old friend Simon Tam and the crew of Serenity.


Author: joly

Rating: Pg-13 ish for sure

Genre: Drama-y, Romance-y, Angst-y (maybe), Adventure-y

Pairing: Mostly Simon/Kaylee

Spoilers: All the way to ‘Objects in Space’. But no BDM spoilers. In this story that hasn’t happened yet. We can, however, assume that things have gone all canon-like after ‘Ariel’ and up til this point.

Summary: A continuation of ‘Anti Hero‘. Set significantly after ’Objects in Space’. Xiaofan has to make a quick exit after thugs bust into her practice. She assumes it’s just a robbery gone wrong. But is it ever that simple? It’s now her turn to call on the help of her old friend Simon Tam and the crew of Serenity.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Firefly, the crew, the ‘Verse, any of that stuff. I just like to tell stories. Joss and The Man own the stuff. All the OFC’s are mine and I reserve the right to use them any way I please. I make no money, I expect none. Peace and Blessings.

Thanks: To everyone who read ‘Anti Hero’, much thanks. Makes me all squishy inside.

Distribution: Any where, just let me know so’s I can do a little dance.

Feedback: Please and Thank You. Read and review at your leisure. *************************************


“It’s been a few days now, Captain Reynolds.”

“It has at that, Doctor Lo.”

“Have you not come to a satisfactory conclusion?”

“Can’t put you back on Persephone.”


“Can’t tote ya ‘round forever.”

“Again, true.”

“What do you suggest, Doctor?”

“My first suggestion would be to please call me Xiaofan. The title is terribly formal. It suggests distance. And as a man who saved my life I would allow a bit more informality.”

Mal regarded the woman.


He shook his head.

“Nothin’. Just sounded like the Doc, minute he stepped foot on this boat.”

‘Or Inara.’

“That does make sense.”

“Core bred.”

“Not precisely, but, yes, Core trained.”

Xiaofan and Mal stood in front of each other, mildly uncomfortably. The silence spread itself out.


Mal came back to himself.

“You have access to your funds?”

“Of course.”

“You get a ride to your port of choice then, with only a minor payment to offset fuel costs.”

“Thank you, Captain.”



“Sir, I may have information for you.”

“You brought this to my attention with out thoroughly investigating it?”

“My apologies, sir. But the information bears physical investigation. I have done all the work I can.”

The commander looked over the files in front of him.

“A Firefly. I didn’t know they still flew,” he mused to himself.


“I’m sure…” Simon said, offering Xiaofan the place in front of him.

“No, it’s fine…”

“But you were here first…”

“Nonsense. You’ve been on this ship much longer than me.”

“That is not what I meant, as you are well aware.”

“Would you two gorram fools just git some damn food and git outta the way?!”

“Listen to the man-ape gone wrong and take your food.”

“As you wish, Simon.”

Food procured and seated at the table, they began to eat.

“We haven’t had a chance to speak, how have you been, Kaylee?”

“I’m good, Doc… Xiaofan.”

“Excellent,” she said, feeling the uncomfortable vibe at the table. “Is it me?”


“Have a made a gaffe?”


The tension in the room lightened.

“I been real… I’ve been well, Xiaofan. Keepin’- keeping…”



“It really is nice to see you.”

The young woman took a deep breath.

“Well, Serenity’s been doin’ good, just tinkerin’ here and there. A few adventures.”

“I’m glad to see everyone in a single piece. But didn’t you have a Shepherd on board.”

“He took a mind to set up household elsewhere,” Mal put in.

“Well… that’s nice.”

“Yup, it’s all nice and sweet. Sunshine and rainbows…” Jayne muttered into his fork.

“Good to see your still among the breathing, Mister Cobb.”

“Since I was the one took out that fella lookin’ to put a hole in ya.”

“I believe he was threatening Captain Reynolds, but I am still grateful for the rescue.”

“Speakin’ of… Well, nothin’. You decided which port yer gonna grace?” Mal broke in.

Xiaofan looked down at her plate.

“Actually, no. I’m sure there are many suitable places for me to set up a practice, but…” she stood, eyes gone glassy, “Excuse me.”

In a second Xiaofan was gone towards the cargo bay, the crew sitting looking at each other questioningly.

“I’ll see to her,” Simon said.


Xiaofan sat on a box in a fairly hidden part of the bay. The only way Simon found her so quickly was the sound of crying.

He was by her side quickly, arms around her, making soothing noises by her ear.

“I’m so sorry, Simon,” she hiccupped, “I’m just not as strong…”

“You had a hard time,” he smiled at her, wiping a tear from her cheek.

She laughed.


“I hope the Captain didn’t upset…”

“No, no, Simon. That’s not it at all.”

“Then I don’t understand.”

Xiaofan sat there in silence for a moment, mulling.

“I knew I had to have an escape route, the business with which I dealt. A rabbit hole, so to speak. But… using it. Knowing there were men in my practice, my home, coming to hurt me or Catrin. That was shock enough.”

Simon took her hand, thumb rubbing over her knuckles.

“But when Badger… That man hit me, menaced me… I tried to be bold, behave as if… Even the man coming at me was not enough. The sound of the gun going off, the wet sound the body made hitting the ground.”

“You haven’t dealt with… Well, criminals with guns.”

She grinned sadly.

“Actually, most of the time I've never dealt with anymore than the face on my screen. Arrangements were made and…" she sighed, "I never got my hands dirty.”

Simon could sympathize.

“I’ve seen far more than I ever dreamed, living on this ship.”

“How do you get used to it.”

“I’m not entirely sure myself.”


“A Firefly took off from Persephone at about the same time Doctor Lo was… removed from custody.”

“And it’s current location.”

“Sir, they did not leave a course plan.”

“Of course.”

“There was a man…”

“The one who took her into ‘custody’?”

“He was less than helpful.”

“Let’s pay the fine gentleman a visit.”


Simon walked back to the galley, intending to finish his meal.

Kaylee waited until he was in front of his plate before pulling it from in front of him.

“Just clearing’ up.”

She went to take the plate, Simon took her wrist.

“I wasn’t finished.”

She stood there, plate in one hand, other on her hip.

“Seemed like you were.”

“Except that there was still food on my plate.”

“Didn’t know you were hungry, way you took of after Xiaofan.”

Simon couldn’t keep the confusion from his voice, “Why are you angry at me?”

She looked away.

“I’m not angry at you.”

“But you won’t look to me, talk to me.”

“Don’t help when I do.”

“What doe that mean?”

“You know very well.”

“If I did Kaylee, I wouldn’t be asking.”

“We can talk and talk and talk. Gets us nowhere.”

“Where are we going?”

Kaylee sighed, exasperated.

“No where, Simon.”

She dumped the plate back on the table and took off for the engine room.

“What…” he called to her back as she walked away.

Xiaofan entered from the cargo bay.

“She saw.”

“What did she see?”

“You comforting me.”


“She cares about you, Simon. Any fool could see it.”

He gave her a blank look.

“Except for you.”

“You don’t mean…”

“Don’t be thick, Simon. You know very well how she feels.”

“I can’t…”

“Why not?”

“There’s so much, River, the…”

“Other things,” she breathed out slowly, “Simon, there will always be other things. There is never a perfect time. Never.”

“We proved that.”

“~Now~ he thinks about it.”

“I did… Xiaofan, back then…”

“Me, too.”


“I felt that way, too. We were just…”

“I got involved with…”

“I was never forward, I let you…”

“And I never…”

“One of us needs to complete a sentence," Xiaofan laughed.

Simon just sat there, desolate.

“The fact of the matter is, we never would have worked out then, no matter what we wanted or intended.”

“Everyhting with River would still have happened and I would be here.”

“With Kaylee.”

He looked at her.

“It’s obvious watching you two. There’s a bond. She knows you, she knows your secret. Cares about you despite your inability to go a full conversation without putting your foot deeply in your mouth.”

“I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

“Be true to what you feel.”

“How are you so wise?”

“Not wise, just… I’ve had much time to think.”

Simon looked at her.

“You should probably go talk to her, reassure her.”

“I should? Won’t she still be… angry?”

“Yes, but you will make it up to her.”

“I will…”

He strode off, heading for the engine room and Kaylee.


“Oh, he just makes me so…” Kaylee seethed as she tweaked at Serenity’s engines. “I could just…”

“Doctor Love failing to live up to your dreams again?”

Kaylee looked up to see Zoe standing in the doorway to the engine room.

“I ain’t got no dreams.”

“You love him Kaylee.”

“I don’t.”

Zoe looked sideways at her.

“I care about him.”

Another look.


“It’s complicated?”


“That boy doesn’t know how to stay out of his own way.”

“He does seem to stick…”

A voice made them turn their heads.


She looked away in irritation.


“Would you please talk to me?”

“Didn’t do us no good this last time.”

He looked to Zoe, eyes pleading.

“Maybe just one more time, meimei,” Zoe said.


“Just one last try. Everyone deserves another chance.”

She looked from Zoe to Simon and waved him into the engine room. Zoe clapped the young doctor on his shoulder as he walked by her.

“Try hard, Doc,” she said, and walked away.

“Can we talk somewhere else?”

“Like where, Simon? In the cargo bay? Or is…”

“I don’t want to fight, Kaylee. I want to say I’m sorry.”

“Sayin’ it don’t help.”

He walked up to her.

“Maybe this will,” he said, pulling him in her arms. “I’m sorry Kaylee, for being, well, for being a boob.”

Kaylee smiled, happy and shocked all at the same time.

“What? What…”

“I do tend to get in my own way.”

She let him go, pushing him back. He was startled.

“Maybe we should talk about it in my bunk.”

“Maybe we should,” he said, smiling, pulling her back to him.


Monday, April 28, 2008 2:27 AM


Just read the first four chapters, and I have to say I like Xiaofan. Her wit is very dry, and she's sensitive to Kaylee's feelings, which is good. My only quibble is whether she would have baulked at seeing a dead man - she's a doctor, after all, and presumably she'd have attended (and done) post-mortems as part of her rotation. But that is only a quibble. Waiting to see where you're going with this!


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Capacity Chapter 15

Capacity Chapter 14
Just about to set foot on Markham and face the bad. One way or the other.

Capacity Chapter 13
Plot moves forward. People from the past poke there heads in. Serenity is quiet and mournful.

Capacity Chapter 12
Mal and the crew find out exactly how horribly they'd been used.

Capacity Chapter 11
The crew does not find what they expected on Kerry.

Capacity Chapter 10
It’s just not a normal day on Serenity unless somebody gets shot, threatened or beat up.

Capacity Chapter 9
It’s a long story… Mal and Ruby bond some more, Xiaofan gets her new face and… then she leaves. Wash and Zoe have a chat and Jayne gets over his issues with Simon and Xiaofan.

Capacity Chapter 8
Out in the black, heading to the next destination. Ruby gets on as a passenger and Xiaofan bullies Simon into getting her a new face.

Capacity Chapter 7
Still on Abaddon Station, Xiaofan confronts her brother, Mal confronts the mystery woman.

Capacity Chapter 6
A stopover at Abaddon Station, weirdness ensues.