War Stories: Enlisting
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is the second of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-series. Our Big Damn Heroes sign up to go to war. Relationships are explored and wiles are employed.


The usual disclaimers, Joss, Mutant Enemy, etc.


"Gotcha!" Mal yelled as he grabbed his best friend around the waist from behind and spun her around, smiling as she shrieked indignantly and then proceeded to laugh with him. "Just where do you think you're going, Roro?" He asked, ruffling her golden blonde hair to annoy her-as if calling Roro didn't do that enough already.

Mac punched him in the arm, hard, though she didn't explain herself. He knew what he'd done wrong; he'd even done it on purpose. "Same place yer goin'." she replied, walking backwards so she could face him. "To make a stand." she said, and it was as if she had been in Mal's head, which generally they were on the same wavelength.

"I don't think so." Mal said, sighing. He was going to change her mind. He had to. There was no way he was letting Mac go to war. Not his Mac. His best friend. Rowan MacKensie, the girl next door. So to speak, as she did live five miles away from Mal, which, on this part of Shadow, made them neighbors. They'd been practically inseparable since before they were even out of diapers. Mac, the girl he'd risked ear boxings for to sneak out at night and sit by the lake to look at the stars with. No, his Mac was not going to war if he had anything to say about it. "What do you wanna sign up for anyway? It's no place for ladies."

Mac just gave a little snort, "If I were a lady, maybe I'd care. I don't think no one's ever termed me a lady before. It don't really apply. Farm girls hardly count as ladies. 'Sides, I don't remember givin' you a say on what I do and where I go."

"You just can't go." Mal said stubbornly. "I won't let you." Reasoning didn't work, so now he was moving on to threatening.

"Won't let me?" Mac asked, one eyebrow raising up so high that Mal thought it might rise right off of her head. "Won't let me?" she asked again, her tone incredulous. "Jian ta de gui! Malcolm Reynolds, I think you'd best rethink those words and whether they're worth losin' the family jewels for." she said, "Because I been able to whoop you since you was ten, boy."

Mal took a deep breath, deciding on a completely different strategy. He stopped walking and took hold of her shoulders, "Rowan," he said, using her first name for impact, "Don't go. Please? For me? I don't think I could bear it if you got hurt." It was low of him and he knew it, but if it worked, he didn't really care.

Mac sighed, resting her hands on Mal's arms and looking him in the eye, "I gotta go, Mal. You know that, and the sooner you accept it, the sooner we can enjoy our last few days planetside. I don't wanna fight with you, but you should know better than anyone that when I make up my mind, there's no changin' it." she gave him a small smile, "And how do you think I'd feel if you got yer ass shot off out there and I was sittin' around here? I wanna be wherever you are. Someone's gotta keep an eye on you, don't they?"

He could see that there was no changing her mind, and she would just get really pissed with him if he kept on at this. With a sigh, he pulled her into a tight hug, "Just promise me you'll be careful. Don't do anything crazy. At least not without me." he said, "And we stick together, dong ma?"

"Of course, Mal." she whispered, wrapping her arms around him and closing her eyes, holding him tight. After a moment or two, she pulled away with a tiny smile, "Now, we gonna sign up or wait for this damn thing to fight itself?" she asked, and the two of them continued down the road to the town. Mac slid her hand into Mal's and gave it a little squeeze, which he returned. The registration officer they spoke to promised to put them in the same unit, and just like that, they were enlisted in the war.


Inara sat with a client, running her foot up and down his leg as they talked over tea. Most of his time was up, but that didn't mean she was off the hook yet. It just meant that there would be no more sex, which was quite a relief to Inara.

As it was, they were discussing the war. "And my father wants me to enlist, but... I don't know..." the man said.

"The Alliance could use someone like you." Inara told him. "Healthy, strong, full of life and stamina." she said with that coy little flick of the eyes so often employed by companions. "I'm sure you'd be wonderful in battle."

The man smiled and blushed a bit, "Well, when you put it that way..." he said, but then went on to say, "But isn't war dangerous? I don't really have any intention of getting shot."

A small smile spread over Inara's lips, "Oh, come now, don't tell me that a brave man such as yourself is worried about a bullet or two." she said, as if he'd said something humorous, "What will the other boys think?" She could tell that she was getting to him. No, she didn't particularly want to send him off to war where he could possibly die, but the house priestess had asked her directly to convince this one to enlist. There must have been extinuating circumstances, but the priestess hadn't felt the need to share them with Inara.

His face paled some, "I'm not afraid." he stated quickly. "I guess... I guess it wouldn't be so terrible."

"No, I don't imagine it will be. You'll be fighting a small amount of uncivilized soldiers with outdated equipment. The war could be over by the time you get through basic training." she said.

"Right. Okay. Thank you, Inara. For... for everything." he said, and his eyes darted to the bed for a brief second before his cheeks pinkened.


"Umm, hi, I'd like to enlist." Wash said to the man behind the counter at the registration office.

"Any preferences?" the man asked in a bored voice.

"Anywhere where I'm least likely to get shot." Wash replied, "And I'm a pilot. You name it, I can fly it. Except for, you know, things that don't fly. Though I haven't tried, so I don't really know that for a fact or anything."

The man simply stared at Wash for a moment, completely nonplussed. "Sign your name here." he said, pushing a piece of paper in Wash's direction. Wash took his time reading it, meticulously examining the details until he thought that the man might actually explode. Then he signed his name.

So, that was it. He was enlisted now. Yippee. And now he needed a drink. To toast the Independents, of course.


"You want me to what?" Jayne asked the recruiter as he propped his feet up on the table, making himself comfortable.

"I'd like you to enlist for the war. Help out the Alliance." the man said, and it must have been the third time he said it.

"Yep, I thought that's what you said." Jayne said, taking a swig of his drink. "And if I do, are you gonna like pay me? I don't wanna get shot at if I ain't gettin' paid fer it."

"Of course, soldiers get military pay."

"I've heard horror stories about military pay." Jayne replied, "So yer gonna have to up your ante with me."

"Shuh muh?" the man asked, and it looked as if he was about ready to give Jayne up as a lost cause. "All soldiers get paid the same, according to their rank." he said, his voice a mite uncertain.

"Then I just don't see how it could benefit me to join up." Jayne said, leaning his chair back as far as he could without causing it to topple over. "And if you don't mind, I'm tryin' to drink myself senseless here."


"All right, so here's how this is goin' down." Zoe said to Dodd as they sat in the mess hall. "We're gettin' so many new recruits, that they want to mix us in units with them for some hands on, on site training."

"I see the practicality behind that, but we ain't gonna have no time for babysittin' either." Dodd replied.

"I know. Lucky for us, we got put in the twenty-sixth, which means Kameron is still our seargent." Zoe remarked.

"Yeah, I don't think I could handle any of the other sergeants. Dale's a dominatrix and Murphy's a pansy."

Zoe laughed into her drink. He had a point. And they had hard times ahead, even with Kameron as their seargent.


Jian ta de gui - Like Hell

Dong ma - Understand

Shuh muh - I'm sorry


Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:07 PM


I really like how this appears to be shaping up and Jayne's reaction made me chuckle. Though oh, I think poor Mal is going to get his little heart broke in the heat of battle. - Ali D
You can't take the sky from me


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