Lovers, Thieves & Destiny: Chapter 2
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just a short arc until the next big one gets sorted out. Chapter Two brings you the robbery of the Tigg Ranch, advice, mechanical pretties, Kaylee wiles, and River facing another dream.


They had improved considerably since their first time.

There was now stamina, some basic technique as she found herself below, under the lean sinew of youthful muscle that was her lover. Regardless they were now veterans, for since the days of hiding together they had become accustomed to sneaking off for rendezvous, it still made her feel the same. It cleared her mind, it blocked out the rest of the world, she had the pleasure of feeling singular and normal as her mouth opened and her eyes shut in ecstasy.

They both gasped at the end.


Kaylee laser cut the lock.

Simon hoisted the rolling door up, so she could scurry inside and hit the button to raise it. Serenity, not too far away, only had the cargo bay alight and nothing else as Kaylee walked over and jumped in the purring hover mule, driving it in and using the headlights to illuminate the largest building on the ranch.

"Oh. My. Goodness." She gawked, as the shop had many pieces of impressive equipment. Putting the mule in park and hopping down, she gaped at all of the pretties, things she had only seen in magazines. "That ain't even on the market yet...." She began gravitating to some shiny piece of steel.

Simon watched her, and sensed she could idle for some time. "Kaylee... don't you think we should start?"

She blinked a few times. "Right, just um.. just follow me k?"


Jayne had blown the lock off with a grenade.

He grabbed a crate and walked around the saddle shop, finding the traces, yet not stopping there. The merc paused and threw in some reins, soap and oil, tempted with a saddle yet knowing the captain wouldn't have it.

Turning, he left.


Mal had found what he wanted.

After hanging a light, he and Zoe had found a fork lift, which she hotwired and utilized to haul several flats of cement blocks to Serenity while he took a second forklift and hotwired it as well, zapping himself a few times as his mind was not on the job.

"Where do ya want me?"

Jayne's sudden announcement made him jerk up and hit his head on the undercarriage of the forklift. "Ranshao dui de huolashi!" He slid out from under the forklift and glared at Jayne, who was indifferent to his injury.

"Where do ya want me?" He repeated, a thin rope of smoke coming off of his cigar.

"Just... go get that barrel of nails." Mal pointed off to a rack of shelves.

"Fine." He lumbered off.

Mal ducked back under and quickly finished hot wiring the fork lift. It erupted with a cough of exhaust, and he hopped up and got in the cab, driving over to pick up a pallet of aluminum siding.


She lazily crawled up the length of her lover.

Tired, filled with extasy, she spooned against him and settled her head in the crook of his neck. There was no need to say Happy Valentine's Day, for it had already been said without words.

He gave a smile, weak with exhaustion, and laid back to enjoy watching her rest against him. He wasn't like any other young man, for any other would have cast her aside when he learned of her uniqueness. As her breathing became even, and her muscles loose, he believed in many things that were considered passe in the realm of love, and his adoration for the small but strong young woman was boundless. There was no one else in the universe like her, and he sincerely loved her and all of the quirks that made her individual.



The part Kaylee tossed to him was rather heavy. She made it look light, but he stumbled and fumbled with it when he caught it. Staggering over, the doctor set in in the mule. He was Kaylee's help, she was too busy flitting from one part to the next evaluating what was needed to be caught up with packing the parts away.


"What?!" He briskly walked over, nearly tripping over a tire, to find Kaylee beaming excitedly at something. "What constitutes an oo?"

"Solar panels." She announced, pointing to some wedged by some parts. "They're made for ships but I can retrofit them for the house and barn, won't pay nothin' for power now."

"Well that's good. Do they have like a scan number or something?"

"I dunno, help me pull 'em out and let's find out."


"So you didn't get Inara anything for Valentine's Day?"

"I think me not knowing it was Valentine's Day means no Zoe, I did not get her anything." He grunted as they both carried wood beams to Serenity.

"Sir, this is the first real Valentine's she's had since leaving the companion life."

"She's gonna be pissed." Jayne added as he walked past them with a wood crate. "You better go ta town and buy her chocolates or somethin'."

Mal gave Jayne a 'you of all people giving me relationship advice?' expression as his boots clanked up the ramp.

"I dunno, she can be hard to pin down gift wise, she'd probably just like some flowers." Zoe mused.

"Flowers is nice." The merc nodded. "Git somethin' for Meilin too. You git somethn' for their kid, they'll think you're sweet and you like kids and then you'll get somethin' special in return." He hinted lewdly.

"She's my kid too and I love her." Mal pointed out incredulously "And I'm not gonna use Meilin to ply Inara."

"Fine, don't take my advice." He dropped the crate on the floor and walked back.

"You and the word advice don't necessarily go in the same catagory."


“So what did ya get me for Valentine’s?” Kaylee asked nonchalantly as she and Simon hauled solar panels to the mule. They didn’t have anything that could be tracked back to them, so Kaylee wanted them.

“You mean this romantic morning of misappropriating parts isn’t good enough?” He was between teasing and being grouchily sarcastic. “Baobei, that ruins the element of surprise.”

“Well it can’t be all that big, ‘cause if you’re gonna top Yuletide I’m a little frightened.”

“No, no. I fear I may never top that. But nonetheless I want to keep the allure of the secret alive.”

“You know I love you.”

“No amount of sweet comments will get it out of me.” He grunted as they set a panel in the mule and went back.

Kaylee skipped over and grabbed him into a fierce sideways hug that nearly toppled Simon. Tilting her head up, she did something scandalous that involved her tongue and his ear. He stopped and turned beet red, his body rigid as it processed the rush of pleasure.

Simon cleared his throat as she continued to hang off of him, batting her eyes. “K… Kaylee.”

“Come on Sweetie.” She purred. “It ain’t hard, you just gotta tell me.”

Simon knew he wasn’t going to win, she was touching him in all the right places, and Kaylee just could not be beat at her own game. “I… I…”

“Kaylee, quit toying with your fiance.” Mal’s voice crackled from the com, that’s button was pressed down in her coat pocket. “I need him able bodied, not a corrupted puddle that don’t know up from down.”

“Alright captain.” Kaylee shoved it back in her pocket and used a finger to scratch under Simon’s jaw, giving him a ‘you’re mine later’ gleam from her eyes before heading back off to keep working.

Simon gulped as he knew there was no way he would win.


Eating brains.

Ravenous, greedy, drooling, gobbling them up, pulling their skull caps out and digging into brain matter. Osiris clothed in black, ruler of the afterlife, sharp beak eating the brains of the screaming children. He laughed, and blood oozed from his jowls and stained his robe. The children emerged without their brains, eyes black and soulless, skin ashen and rank of death for they were only half living. Grey, brainless, soulless babies floating in jars, the next line of soulless soldiers waiting for their life to begin and end at the same time.

They had her.

Blue hands took her, she struggled, she screamed. Screamed for Simon, Fiyero, the Captain, anyone to help. But everyone had dead eyes and the blue hands were like steel as they dragged her emotionlessly to the chair and strapped her down. She flailed, she thrashed like wild animal, screaming for Simon, screaming for her lover. There were no protectors to come and rescue her, merely a sterile room with a hungry god and mindless slaves. She began to cry as Osiris gazed at her longingly, his wicked beak curling into a smile as he came closer.

She screamed out, the words never formed it was merely a strangled cry of a frightened animal.

Osiris gazed at her hungrily. "I want to fix your problem."

She let out a scream that began a sob as he loomed over her like a dark cloud. The god's breath was hot and rank of consumed flesh, and his taloned hands reached out to her, a claw tracing a path from the top of her head to her jaw.

"You said it hurts, it's uncomfortable. relax" he purred "I'm going to take it out, and you'll feel better." The claws dragged down her neck, to her chest, to her torso. "And you won't remember a thing. I promise."

She screamed.

Except it wasn't in the dream, it was in the real world, where her lover bolted up from sleep and gazed at her as she fell out of his arms and began to release blood curdling cries of anguish. "Shao Long?"

"I REMEMBER! I REMEMBER! I REMEMBER! WO JIZHU! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT GO AWAY!" She grabbed her head in her hands and curled into a ball on the grass, shaking violently with her pained screams. "SIMON SAVE ME! MAKE IT STOP! STOP THEM!"

He grabbed her and pulled her to his chest, she fought, but he restrained her. "It's ok, look, look it's me!"

Round, bloodshot eyes gazed up at him as tears cascaded. She gasped for air, heart rattling against her ribcage as a larger hand gently cupped her face whilst the other kept her pinned in place.

"It's ok, see? It's me, it was just a dream." A hand came up, small and petite, and he touched his face to make sure what he said was true. Lips kissed the hand several time in reassurance. "I promise, it's me."

She peered around to see the setting. There was no legion of soulless children in a sterile room, they were on a grassy knoll, basking under a blue sun.

"It was just a dream." He tugged the robe, his robe, that she was wearing up to conceal her heaving breasts. She wore the tops, he the bottoms as he sat up properly and held onto her. "Just relax."

The small body fell against him in relief, and the reader gulped for air as if it were precious. Fingers curls, and she held onto the sturdy body as if it were a lifeline.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"They took it." The voice was hoarse and hushed, quivering with fear.

"What did they take?"

"I don't know, but they took it."


“You two come in, we’re all done.” Mal ordered on the com as he stood at the cargo bay. They had vinyl fencing, cement blocks, lumber, nails, braces, hinges, aluminum siding, and a few other things to aid in repairs. Jayne lumbered off to his old bunk as Zoe stood with him.

“I thought we were gonna be honest from now on.” She told him in a way that didn’t undermine him, but merely was a loud thought.

“You mean like that job where we handed Badger over in order to steal drugs to save you?” He quizzed dryly. “Cause that was as honest as a three dollar bill.”

“Honest on this world, Sir.” Zoe clarified. “Theivin’ from here ain’t the wisest choice.”

“I don’t got a choice Zoe, I need to build a pole barn for my cattle, and a yard for my family and a real cellar for Simon’s meds along with patching the barn roof, mending fences and making sure that this spring we get paid so we got food. All this just sittin’ here ready to make our lives a little easier.”

The rumble of the mule and the glow of it’s lights ended their conversation. Kaylee looked pleased as she drove it in, boxes, spindles and panels back. She steered it in and parked it, Simon getting down and helping her off.

“Seems you gotta good haul.” Zoe commented as Mal shut the door.

“Nothin’ too big, except the solar panels, I’m excited about those.” She announced. “Anything fun on your end?”

“Oh, nothin’ much, other than learning the Captain forgot about Valentine’s Day.”

Zoe’s announcement made the engaged pair both turn their heads and glare in disbelief.

“How can you forget Valentine’s Day?” Simon asked gravely. Granted he couldn't sweet talk a woman to save his life, but he was a romantic, and took such a holiday seriously.

“You didn’t get Inara nothin’?” Kaylee sounded horrified.

“Will everyone quit fussin over that?” He huffed, going up the stairs. “Honestly, it’s not like I broke the law.”

“Well you just did that too.” Simon pointed out.


Serenity quietly left and landed back home.

Nothing was unloaded, the group trudged back to the house. Jayne collapsed on the couch as Simon gave Mal some sagely ‘how to pull a gift out of thin air’ advice. Homemade the doctor said. A heartfelt letter or poem would do the trick, or perhaps an origami present with a haiku written on it somewhere. Simple things, Simon said, could do in a pinch and speak volumes.

“And this is comin’ from the man who couldn’t talk to the girl he liked for months.” Mal grumbled.

“Neither could you.” Simon pointed out as he headed to his own bedroom with Kaylee.

Mal pushed the door open and found Inara in a peculiar state. She had Meilin, and was hugging her, while Shan-shan slept on his side of the bed and there was shotgun between them. He realized it was the first time she had been alone in the house at night, and that it had possibly been unnerving, hence Meilin in her arms, Shan-shan on the bed and the gun by her side. Shucking off his robbery outfit, Mal took the rifle and set it against the wall, kicked a protesting Shan-shan off, and slid under the sheets.

Inara’s eyes opened slowly.

Mal reached over and brushed Meilin’s curls that had begun to come in with abundance. She stretched, yawning and puffing out her fat baby cheeks, a hearty five month old child. “You gonna make me sleep on the couch?” He asked, a fingertip stroking his daughter’s round little paunch.

Meilin murmured her lips and rolled to the one side she could roll, towards her mother.

Inara sighed. “I’m too tired to.” She rubbed Meilin’s back as the little one stirred and made noise. It had been a restless night for Meilin, Inara surmised she was growing as she was stretching and whining and looking uncomfortable for no external reason. The ever so diligent mother had fixed Meilin with some pediatric pain reliever Simon had given her previously, and then sat on the bed and rocked her back to sleep. Looking down, Meilin was half awake as her hand went up and she fumbled with it till her thumb found her mouth. Sucking on it, she drifted back off to sleep.

“I gotta do this for us.” He told her. “Life here’s hard, but it ain’t possible out in the black. So I gotta make it work.”

“It doesn’t mean I agree with your methodology.”

“That’s the beauty of it, you don’t gotta.”

*** *** *** CHINESE TRANSLATION ranshao dui de huolashi: flaming pile of monkey shit shao long: young dragon wo jizhu!: I remember!

Comments... like hamsters, are nice.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:10 AM


So, is Meilin picking up on something, possibly River's distress? And what exactly did 'Osiris' take?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:58 AM


My guess would be her womb, but I hope I'm wrong.

I thought that Inara's fear was very in character since she's a mother. And good to see she's using Shan-Shan to her advantage.


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