Capacity Chapter 8
Friday, June 27, 2008

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 8


Rated PG-13

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. I don’t make money. Please don’t be mad, Joss Whedon.


Zoe and Wash decided to take a break from the madness. They locked themselves on the bridge and did inappropriate things in the pilot’s chair.

Shortly after the sweet, satisfying interlude, Zoe looked into her man’s eyes.

“You still having second thoughts?”

He wriggled beneath her.

“And second and third and fourth… But, then I think of the baby… And how beautiful she’ll be.”

Zoe smirked, “And you’re sure we’ll be having a girl?”

“Positive,” he said, smiling against her lips, placing light kisses on the corners of her mouth, “If it’s a boy, we’ll just send it back.”

She laughed and bit him gently on the chin.

“If we have a boy we will name him Aram after my father and you will teach him to pilot the ship.”

“And you’ll teach your girl how to shoot a gun and kill a man with her pinky.”

“Then we’re agreed?” she said, nuzzling her face into Washes neck.

“Yes,” he sighed, “a girl it is.”

She bit him on the shoulder and laughed.

“Husband,” she whispered in his ear.

“Wife,” he whispered back, hands tangled in her hair, staring out into the black.


Mal settled Ruby into a passenger dorm, she and all her worldly goods filled one small corner. She’d been introduced to the crew and another passenger, they ate a quiet, tense dinner and she retired to her quarters.

The minute she lay head to pillow, she heard a knock and Mal‘s voice.


She laid there a moment, contemplating whether she should pretend to be asleep or answer the door.

At the second knock, she sighed , swung her legs over the side of the bed and pulled the door open.


He saw her state of dress and looked apologetic.

“Sorry, you’re probably on a different schedule… I should go.”

“What did you come for?” she asked, before he could turn to leave.

“To talk.”

“About old times?”

“Just catch up.”

“You gonna tell me about your criminal adventures?”

He smiled.

“If it might amuse you.”

They stood looking at each other in the doorway for a long moment before she spoke.

“It might.”


Xiaofan had finally cornered Simon by himself. She advanced on him until they were almost nose to nose. Invading Simon’s personal space was a good way to throw him off balance and achieve one’s aim.

“We can find a place. I have the money.”

Simon tried to move away, but Xiaofan had him truly backed into a corner. There was no retreat, it was push by her or stay still. He chose to stand his ground.

“Money and location are not the issue, Xiaofan. If Blue Sun is still looking for you, then they may check-”

She blew out her breath, exasperated, and put a hand on his shoulder.

“We pull an Ariel, then.”

Simon paused, blinking. Her hand ran down his arm until their fingertips were touching.

“It’s what I started calling hospital heists after I saw you. The way you cleaned them out and used their equipment.”

“Wha… Uh… Umm…”

“Don’t be embarrassed. It was very clever. You always were.”

She saw the nervous look on his face and moved her hand. She’d meant it as a friendly gesture, not a come on. The spark in her for Simon was like a dim ember in comparison to the feelings Jayne was beginning to evoke.

She smiled at him warmly, hoping to wheedle her friend into helping her.

Simon brushed a finger across the back of her knuckles and smiled back. He wanted to help her, he wanted also to keep River and himself safe.

“The captain is picking up that backwoodsman’s items on our next stop. There might be a facility there. But there are variables…”

She took his hand in hers.

“Well, Doctor Tam, we get on the cortex, do our research like good little eggheads and see what is available to us.”


Jayne watched the two with a mix of irritation and anger. Unfortunately, from his vantage point he could only see them, he hadn’t heard a word they’d said.

He didn’t know what to feel more. Irritation that Xiaofan seemed to be flirting with Simon, or anger that Simon was flirting back. On his and Kaylee’s parts.

He wanted to march up and strangle the pale, weak doctor and drag Xiaofan off to his bunk. But to his credit, he suppressed that urge. Instead he went to the cargo bay and worked on his lifts. Contemplating bloody and violent ways he could finish Simon off.


River was in the engine room with Kaylee, rolled into a ball on the floor next to the thrumming machine.

“Ain’t you afraid your gonna get dirty?” Kaylee asked.

“I like listening to her heart beat.”

Kaylee ran a hand over the housing, feeling the reverberation of the parts moving through her hand into her body.

“So do I.”

Kaylee moved to her hammock. She and River enjoyed a companionable silence until River spoke again, still laying on the floor by the engine.

“What is it like to have sex?”

Kaylee was startled, but ready. For a while she’d been preparing a ‘sex speech’ for River. And then, it flew completely out of her mind. She hopped out of her hammock and joined River on the floor.

“You mean more than just the doin’?”

The young woman nodded.

“It’s important that you pick the right person. That makes all the difference. My Ma taught me that boys might say a bunch of pretty things to get your frillies off, but it’s their actions that count. So,” she paused, “you pick the right person and usually it’s just the best thing in the ‘verse.”

River considered.

“When did you become aware that my brother was the right one?”

Now Kaylee had to stop and think.

“When he started tellin’ me things he wasn’t tellin’ no one else. When he finally decided that my feelings were worth him thinking hard before he spoke.” She stopped and turned her head away from River. “After Early… After that was over, I was having terrors every night. Simon would come in and sit by the bed and hold my hand until I could rest again. He wouldn’t talk, he’d just be there, reassuring me. Don’t get me wrong, I fancied him plenty before. But then… Then I knew it was love, and not just my hormones.”

“I don’t want to be traumatized to find my one,” River said, sitting up and wiping the one tear from Kaylee’s face.

“Well, hon, hopefully, you won’t have to be.”


“Let’s see… Survived the war, sanity more or less intact, kept Zoe at my side. Found Serenity, did some jobs, got shot at, knifed, punched, in general beat up. Picked up a couple of passengers, robbed a hospital, did a train job, gave the stuff back, got in big trouble for that one. Got fake married and almost killed, never do that again. Had to unload some cargo, almost got myself and others killed doing that…”

He paused.

“That’s what we cover so far, but I think I should let you get to sleep.”

Ruby laid in the bed looking at Mal, sleepy but smiling.

“Same old Mal.”

“Sometimes,” he said, standing, “Tomorrow, you can tell me some stuff. Get me caught up in the saga of Ruby Delacroix.”

Ruby yawned and stretched under the covers. Mal averted his eyes as the blanket moved and reveal her bare legs. Lazily, Ruby covered back up and closed her eyes.

“Just might do that,” she replied, “’Night.”

“G’night, Ruby,” he said, pulling the door shut behind him.


“So, there is a facility and we can sneak in!”

Simon balked.

“We might be able to…”

“Stop worrying so much. All I ever did was worry and now look at me.”

He did.

“You look fine,” he said, “Except for the part where you’re on the run from a maniacal organization that wants you dead because you know something.”

She grinned back, “There’s that.” She took a deep breath. “Simon, it’s not a perfect solution, and heaven knows I like my face the way it is. But I’m scared…”

Simon put a hand on her shoulder.

“We’ll figure something out.”

She rolled her eyes at him.

“Very comforting. Your bedside manner sucks, Doctor Tam.”

“Well, we’re not exactly bedside are we?” he said with a laugh.

She looked him in the eye.

“That was never in the stars for us, was it?”

He waited, not sure how to respond, and then said, “If a dozen things had been different in our lives a few years ago… Who knows? But today, here… No stars for us, Xiaofan.”

“I wonder if there ever were,” she said, standing to leave, “But, the past is where it is for a reason.”

“Tomorrow, I’ll ask Wash to pull up the private schematics of the clinic and we’ll make a plan.”

Xiaofan looked impressed.

“That was quite decisive of you, Simon. Good on you.”

“Good night, Xiaofan,” he said, grinning, as she left.


Xiaofan found Jayne in the cargo bay, working himself into a furious sweat.

“You’re going to hurt yourself if you don’t slow down,” she said, crossing in front of him.

“Only way I got to blow off some steam ‘round here,” he replied, not stopping his reps.

“Seriously, Jayne, you can overwork a muscle and complete-”

She was cut off when he abruptly dropped the barbell onto the hook and sat up.

“You worried ‘bout my physical condition?”

“Well, yes, I suppose. I don’t want you to hurt yourself-”

“I get hurt all the damn time, ain’t nothing for you to worry about,” he said, standing up and stalking up to her.

Xiaofan fought back the urge to flee and set her feet.

“Is there something you want to talk about?”

Jayne moved by her and grabbed a towel, as he wiped himself down he glared at her.

“Gorram women,” he said and made for the stairs.

Xiaofan ran to get in front of him.

“What in the name of the Holy Mother of Heaven is that supposed to mean?”

“You know good and gorram well what I mean. You and the doc all cozy, but he don’t do the trick so you come see the hired han-”

He didn’t get to finish that sentence as Xiaofan’s hand cracked across his jaw. He blinked and massaged the area for a second, staring at her.

“I am not the kind of woman you are inferring I am. I never was and I never will be. You just think about what you want, Jayne Cobb, and get back to me when you regain your sanity.”

She stopped speaking, took a deep breath, spun around and ran up the stairs and across the catwalk, leaving Jayne to think.


Saturday, June 28, 2008 5:33 AM


You can leave a comment. It's okay.

Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:33 AM


i enjoyed the mal self-summary a lot:)

Saturday, June 28, 2008 8:01 AM


Am just about to leave and thought I would stop by. Looky what i found!!

Wonderful! Loved Mal's summary and the way Kaylee described sex to River. Still curious to see Xiaofan's new face. Great work and see you when i get back.


You must log in to post comments.



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.