Capacity Chapter 14
Sunday, January 4, 2009

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


Capacity Chapter 14


Rated: PG-13

Summary: Picking up where I left off. 13 and 14 should have been together, but the muse deserted me, or I couldn’t hear her. Just about to set foot on Markham and face the bad. One way or the other.

Archive: Sure. Archive all my stuff. I just like a link to where it goes so I can look at it.

Disclaimer: Just a work of fancy based on Mr. Whedon’s lovely show. I get no money from this, just the satisfaction of finally getting it done.

Note: I hope I wasn’t gone too long. Real-life makes writing so difficult.


His internal clock woke Mal an hour before landfall. He laid on Ruby’s bed, face to face with her, arms laid on each other, her leg across his. He could hear her breathing, deep and slow, felt her heartbeat steady as a metronome.

He wanted to bury his face in her neck and take her in…

But time didn’t allow. He disengaged as stealthily as possible and headed for the cargo bay. There was Harken to deal with and then…

Then he had to pay the devil his due.


At about the same time, River crept into Xiaofan’s room. Jayne was sitting upright in a chair, asleep.

The young woman moved delicately by the merc and curled herself into a ball at the end of Xiaofan’s bed. There she sat for some minutes, thinking, deliberating, deciding.

“We are connected,” she whispered, and Xiao stirred ever so slightly.

River was careful to keep her voice low, this was the only true sleep the woman had gotten since the beginning of her ordeal.

“Something in me responds to you…” she went on. “Something in me focuses when you’re here. When you were gone…” she paused, “it was bad. I was bad.

“We might never be best friends. We might not be more than shipmates and cohorts… But having you here makes me better, and I hope one day we find out why.

“I was thinking…” Here the young woman smiled ruefully. “Thinking in a linear manner… It was lovely…”

She shook herself from her reverie.

“I was thinking about your incredibly orderly, literal mind. How it was so diametrically opposed to mine…” She pulled something from inside her jacket. “I brought you this. Maybe it will help you with more abstract thought.”

River stood and set the item on the bed by Xiaofan’s hand. She smiled down at the woman and then grimaced, contemplating what was to come for all of them.

Once she was out the door, Jayne woke up. He rubbed his eyes and blinked blearily in the dim light of the room. He saw something on Xiao’s bed that had not been there before. He picked it up and perused.

“Huh…” he whispered. “’The Space Temptress’?”


Kaylee got up out of her hammock, noticed River was gone and went to make her way to the head. Barely out the door, she almost tripped over a sleeping Simon.

She clucked her tongue, leaned over and ran a hand down the side of his face. As he woke, he looked up at her.

“You didn’t have to sleep on the cold, hard floor…” she chided gently.

“You… wanted to be alone,” he said, flexing and scowling as the muscles in his beck and legs complained and resisted. Finally, he took both of her hands and let her help him up.

“Thank you,” he said, trying for a smile, faltering.

“Thank you, Simon,” she said in return, “For letting me have my thoughts on my own.”

She pulled him to her and wrapped her arms around him.

“Though next time, go to your bed. The floor is barely fit for walking on.”

He smiled.

“Let’s take a shower,” she said, leading him down the corridor.

Simon just smiled as he followed her contentedly.


“Harken,” Mal called from the top of the cargo bay.

He and his men looked up.

“Yes, Captain Reynolds?” the other man replied.

“Time for them brass tacks.”


“I can’t believe you’re the one saying this,” Wash said, sitting up in bed. “And right now. Now, at this very moment.”

Zoe took a deep breath, trying to quell the panic that rose inside.

“I’m saying I see your point, is all,” she replied.

“I said a thousand times that a baby was a bad idea, that…” he sputtered. “And now here you are, fat with child, telling me I’m right.”

“Except for the ‘fat’ part, yes.”

Wash ran his fingers through his hair.

“Not a whole hell of a lot we can do at this point,” he said, trying to stay calm. Then something lit in him, a dim flame suddenly became an inferno.

“Not that we would,” he said sharply. “You are pregnant with my child, woman, and that’s how you’re going to remain until it’s ready to make it’s debut into the ‘verse.”


“You know what I mean,” Wash said, his tone softening. “You’re upset about… everything. And you should be. But I’ve never seen you backpedal before, Zoe Washburn, and I don’t expect to see it again anytime soon.”

She deflated visibly and whispered something.

Wash took her by the hand and pulled her to his side.

“Say it again.”

She took a long, deep breath.

“What if I’m no good? What if I’ve been a soldier too long?”

Wash smiled.

“Little late for that…” he said. “What with the roast already on slow cook.”

“Don’t joke,” she snapped. “I know I was the one who pushed for this baby, but now, with the birth getting closer and closer… I get more scared, not just of the ‘verse outside this ship, but of how I’ll be as a mother. I thought I-”

He stopped her, his mouth covering hers. When he drew back, he spoke.

“You will raise our children to be strong, independent, bad-asses that will strike fear into anyone who dares cross them. You’ll love our children inside and out, every way you know how. I’ll do the lovey-dovey, cuddly part. In fact, I’m really hoping for a girl, for that whole daddy’s girl thing…”

He stared off.

“I can see it now… You’ll tell the impetuous, little brat no about something, then she’ll run to me with tears in her pretty, brown eyes, begging Daddy to make Mommy see reason. I will, of course, pretend I have sway in this relationship, but eventually make her see your point by having her agree with me.”

He looked into his wife’s eyes.

“It’ll be perfect.”

Zoe felt everything inside her glow as she wrapped her arms around her man.

“Perfect,” she replied, anxiety all but gone.

But something was coming, something they couldn't ignore.


“He’s bound to have security,” Mal said, sipping what passed for coffee on Serenity.

“From what you said about the-” here Harken paused, “-last time, the men had him. Until-”

“Until we came along,” Mal said sharply. “I know. I’m sayin’ he’s bound to have beefed up his defenses since then.”

“There’s a simple way to get through that,” Harken replied.

Mal raised an eyebrow.

“You go to his camp. If you aren’t murdered, we’ll know we can get in.”

The captain sighed.

“Just me,” he said, “No use-”

“And me,” Jayne said, moving down the catwalk to the cargo bay. “Ain’t it a might chilly in here? Conversation’d go better in the galley, where the heat is.”

“If someone’s gettin’ killed-”

Jayne interrupted again.

“It ain’t gonna be the captain of the gorram ship. It’s gonna be the gorram hired hand. Now come on, Kaylee made breakfast,” Jayne said, then turned abruptly and left.

“Captain of the ship? King of this little land?” Harken said, smiling.

“More of a figurehead… I look good on the money, have a heroic profile,” Mal said, standing and heading for the galley. “Better get there before all the groceries go down Jayne’s gullet.”


Jayne was armed to the teeth as he kissed Xiaofan on her brow, slightly less fevered than it had been the previous night. He hoped somehow the worst could be over for her. He hoped that he made it back to the ship to see her pretty eyes again.

Even with that new face, she was Xiaofan. He felt her the same way he did before. Something swirled in him, something almost choking. He didn’t recognize it.

“It’s love,” a quiet voice said from the doorway.

Jayne turned and saw the little moon-brain.

“This is how it feels?” he asked incredulously.

“For you,” River said. “It’s different for her. More frightening.”

“Why’s she scared?”

River thought a moment and then sighed.

“You’re going to have to find out on your own, Jayne Cobb.”

“What if-”

“You’re coming back,” she said, cutting him off. “You are.”

“Can’t figure out none of this,” he said, looking down at the sleeping woman.

“You will,” the young woman replied.

Jayne pressed the pad of his thumb lightly to Xiaofan’s lips.

“Think so?”

“Know so.”

He pressed the thumb to his own lips and left, still swirling inside.


Ruby was in Mal’s bunk when he went to get geared up.

“Last time this happened, didn’t work out so well for me,” he said, smiling.

“I remember that story,” Ruby said. “But I am fully clothed and not offering to let you ‘plow’ me.”

“Shame,” Mal teased.

“Enough of that, Mal Reynolds. I came to see you off.”

She stood up from the bed and wrapped her arms around him.

“We’ve been dancin’ the last few weeks, Mal. And I wanna tell you I’m done,” she said into his neck. She rubbed her cheek against his and looked into his face. “I’m tired of dancin’.”

Mal wiped the stunned look off of his face and put his arms around Ruby.

“I ain’t no good at it anyway,” he said, smiling. “So, you gonna make an honest man outta me?”

Ruby laughed sweetly.

“I couldn’t do that with a hundred years and vat of industrial strength sin remover. And I wouldn’t want to. I want you Mal Reynolds, I wanna stay by you and keep you close. I want to nurse you back to health and smack you down when you get too uppity.”

Malcolm smiled back.

“Them sound like wedding vows. I ain’t got no preacher just now.”

“I don’t need a preacher.”

“This ain’t ‘cause I might head out into the woods and get all dead?”

She shook her head, smiling and smacking him on the upper arm.

He pretended to wince and then laughed.

“Then, Ruby Delacroix, I want you by my side, nursing me, filling me full up, keepin’ me in line. I want to watch the walls fall down and build something up with you.” He paused. “So... you reckon?”

“I do,” she said, pulling his head down for a kiss.

Their lips touched lightly and sweetly, like downy feathers. He twined his fingers in her hair and slowly disengaged.

“That’s as married as I’ve ever been,” he said, smiling at the woman.

“As married as you’ll ever be again,” Ruby replied.

“I gotta go…” he said, eyes going to his gun belt and assorted weapons.

“I know. But you have to come home now,” she said.

His head dipped down again, just brushing her lips.

“For our wedding night…”


Harken and his men were armed. The plan was for them to hang back while Mal and Jayne checked the perimeter. If they made it into Barton’s camp, Harken and his men would follow.

Mal could feel the end drawing near, clutching his gut. Not his end, necessarily, but that somehow, the ‘verse was fixin’ to change.

He adjusted his gun and motioned to Jayne.

“Might as well get it over with.”


Her transport dropped her off with a speed she found almost insulting. Apparently, the locals knew somethng was going on in thios area and wanted no part of it.

It didn't mesh well with her plans, but to hell with it. SHe'd come this far, she was going to see it through.

She closed her eyes, said a little prayer and made her way up the mountain, hoping she wasn't too late.


ZhangZhi wiped the blood from his blade. Ling had made a wonderful object lesson for the locals. He got the information he wanted in no time at all.

Now, all he had to do was find his little sister... and kill her.

(But wait…. There’s more….)


Monday, January 5, 2009 7:38 AM


OOOOOO...i don't like the sound of that last part. Hopefully, Xia is ready for that fight.

Loved both scenes of love with Jayne and the one with Ruby and Mal. Very very good!!

need more.....Please......

Monday, January 5, 2009 7:38 AM


OOOOOO...i don't like the sound of that last part. Hopefully, Xia is ready for that fight.

Loved both scenes of love with Jayne and the one with Ruby and Mal. Very very good!!

need more.....Please......


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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.