New Blood - Chapter 9
Sunday, May 3, 2009

Enroute to Persephone, the crew gets ready to meet their new contact and make plans to get even with Badger. And Zoe comes to a decision.


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. (Except for Maxine. She's mine) I’m just playing. No money being made.


A new story line to recharge my Muse. Set outside my “Allanverse.” Just to see what happens. Set about a year and a half post Serenity. Story line has the standard pairings of Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee. Also has River/Jayne. Zoë/Maxine -

A/N: I know it's going kinda slow right now but I promise that things will get exciting again soon.

Warning This story line from here on out will include 'gasp' fem slash (Like you didn't see it coming). It won't be graphic but I know some are offended by any depiction of homosexuality. If you don't like this kind of thing... Stop reading right now.


New Blood


Chapter Nine


Zoë awoke slowly, luxuriating in the warmth next to her. Carefully she rolled over and looked at the woman sharing her bed.

Zoë and Maxine had fallen asleep in each others arms. Zoë could tell Maxine had wanted more this first night together but knew Zoë wasn't quite ready to go the whole way yet. Max had respected those boundaries. This was a big step for the first mate.

Gazing down at Maxine's pale skin in the dim light of the cabin, Zoë thought back over what had happened these last two weeks.

Being shot and nearly killed by Badger and his goons, Maxine saving her life... twice. Distrust of this new woman who had entered their lives. Trust earned after Maxine had helped the crew defeat two agents after River. Trust had turned to attraction to affection to...

“No,” Zoë thought to herself, “Not the L word... not yet.”

Maxine mumbled something in her sleep and reached out. Her eyes snapped open and found Zoë sitting up in bed and gazing at her.

“Everything okay?” Maxine said, voice rough with sleep.

“Just shiny,” Zoë replied as she leaned down and kissed Max's cheek. The redhead grinned.

Maxine hitched herself up in the bed, “Sleep well?”

Zoë nodded, “Best I have in a long time... thank you.”

A grin on her face and twinkle in Max's eyes told her half of the story, “You're welcome.”

Zoë responded with her own warm grin. Maxine looked over at the digital clock on the nightstand, “Go-se! I gotta get up and start breakfast!”

Smile still on her face, Zoë moved out of the way as Maxine launched her naked body out of the bed. In a near panic, she began collecting her discarded clothes.

“... need a shower, clean clothes...” Max mumbled as she pulled on her underwear.

Zoë slid from the bed and pulled on a robe as Maxine slipped on her shirt, “Slow down... No one's gonna be up just yet...”

Mid step in pulling on her pants, Maxine paused, “I'm acting like a school girl late for class...”

“Yep,” Zoë agreed, “But it is kinda amusing.”

Max shot Zoë a venomous look and then grinned, “Ha, ha.”

“Go on, git,” Zoë chuckled, “I'll get the coffee goin.”

Max zipped up her pants and gave Zoë a quick peck, “See you in a bit.” she said before scrambling up the ladder.

With a contented sigh, Zoë sat back down on her bed. Absently, her hands reached for the capture of Wash on the bedside. “Love you, my funny man,” Zoë whispered, “But I think I found someone to help plug up the hole in my heart.”


Jayne did his best no to oggle as Maxine and Zoë worked on breakfast together. The occasional touches had been his first clue. He nearly fell out of his chair when he looked up from his eggs and caught the first mate and cook kissing.

River smacked his arm, and glowered at him.

“Hey! What'd you go an hit me for?”

“My Jayne has a smutty mind,” River growled.

“Thought you liked my smutty mind?” the big merc asked indignantly.

River grinned at him, “Only when I am the subject.”

Maxine giggled behind the stove and Zoë rolled her eyes, “You know, Jayne. I'd kick your pi-gu for that, iffin I wasn't scared o' River.”

“You have my permission this one time, Zoë,” River grinned.

“What is this? Beat up on Jayne day?” the big man grumbled.

“Pretty much,” Maxine replied.

“Can I watch?” Kaylee grinned as she bounced into the galley. A slightly disheveled Simon in her wake.

“God no,” Simon muttered as he dropped into a chair. Kaylee took pity on him and grabbed a cup of coffee for her beau.

“What's up with you, Doc?” Jayne asked, “You look like someone rode ya' hard and left ya' wet.”

Kaylee giggled.

Comprehension flashed into Jayne's mind and he snickered, “Kaylee done wore you out last night... huh?”

The doctor just glowered at Jayne and Kaylee playfully smacked Jayne on the arm as she walked by with Simon's coffee

“Good morning,” Inara said cheerily as she entered the Galley. Mal was a few steps behind and looked to be in a good mood. Jayne figured he'd gotten some trim last night too.

“Eat it up while it's hot,” Maxine declared as she took a seat next to Zoë.

As everyone began to eat, Mal looked at his contented crew. Zoë seemed to be very happy this morning. That alone would put him in a good mood. He noticed the casual closeness Maxine and Zoë had this morning. It looked as if their individual personal space bubbles had intertwined.


“Yes, Captain?”

“What else can you tell us about your Uncle?”

“He's my Momma's baby brother. Ran off at the start o' the war to fight for the Independents before the Alliance cracked down on Persephone. He'd flown some before so he ended up in the aerospace forces. Flew Angels for a while till he got shot down over Boros. Spent the rest o' the war as a POW. Came home after the armistice and bought his own boat. Started running cargoes 'tween Persephone and the moons. Some legal and some not so much. Haven't talked to him in about a year though.”

“Sounds like out kinda folk,” Mal commented.

“Probably right,” Maxine replied. Comes across pretty gruff at first... Kinda like Jayne. But he's teddy bear inside.”

“I ain't no teddy bear!” Jayne roared from his spot down the table.

“Not what River tells me,” Maxine grinned.

River shot Maxine a quick grin while Jayne sputtered.

“You said he bought an old surplus Alliance drop ship for his boat?” Zoë asked, “Why would he want one o' those pieces o' go-se?”

“I asked him the same thing. Uncle Shamus said it was the right size for what he wanted and the damn things are nearly indestructible. Said, anything it took him a a near full on load of missiles to bring down in a fight was the kinda boat he wanted when no one was shootin at him.”

“Makes sense,” Mal replied, “One o' the reasons I bought Serenity here, once I spotted her in the yard. Saw plenty o' the Firefly gunboats the Browncoats had, take a hell of a lot o' punishment.”

“They're good ships.” Maxine agreed.

“Well, we're about a day and a half out,” Mal said. Best we be makin sure Serenity's all set and then make sure the cargo is secure. Then you can be off doin... whatever.”

Everyone around the table nodded.


Later in the day, Maxine had spotted for Zoë as she worked to get back in shape after her injury. Jayne had grumbled some about it until he watched Maxine work the heavy bag.

While Zoë had grace when she moved, it was like a panther or other large cat. Maxine... Well she moved a great deal like River.

Jayne and Zoë stood back while Maxine worked out. The punches, kicks and other moves were gracefully executed and delivered with power.

With one last high kick, Maxine finished her routine. Looking over at the big merc and Zoë she grinned and grabbed a towel to wipe off.

Jayne nodded once, nudged Zoë's arm and said, “Yer' a lucky woman,” and stalked off.

Zoë smiled. Not that she was looking to get approval from Jayne. Receiving some positive acknowledgment did make her happy.

Zoë stepped forward while Maxine did some after workout stretches. With a slight shudder, Zoë realized that Max was very flexible. Smoothly coming to her feet, Max kissed Zoë.

“You look happy,” The younger woman commented.

“Reckon I am,” Zoë replied.

Max cracked a grin, “Well, you reckon you can help me getting stuff ready for dinner?”

“Long as you take a shower first,” Zoë grinned back.

“You could always wash my back...” Maxine suggested.

“Girl, you'd tempt a saint,” Zoë replied, “But I still...”

“I understand, Zoë. Maybe tonight?”

Zoë's face fell a bit, “Can't. I'm on third watch tonight. This close to Persephone, we need someone on the bridge.”

“Thought you were still laid up?”

“Simon said it was okay for me to take light duty... sorry. Jayne's been splitting my watches with Kaylee.”

Maxine nodded, “I understand.”

“I'll make it up to you once we hit dirtside,” Zoë smiled.

“I'll hold you to that,” Maxine grinned.

“Best get on that shower...”


Feeling a bit cleaner, Maxine exited the shower and headed for her bunk. She was just dropping her robe when a knock came on the door.

“Who is it?”


“Just a second,” Max replied as she put her robe back on. A moment later, she slid the door open.

“I'm sorry, Keep showing up at the most unopportunistic times,” Inara smiled.

“Just got out of the shower,” Maxine replied, “Come on in.”

Inara entered carrying a beautifully embroidered soft side case. “How are things going?” Inara asked with a knowing smirk.

Maxine grinned, “They're going...”


“Zoë has bridge duty tonight...”

“She's not ignoring you, Maxine. Or running,” Inara replied, “Zoë has taken the late night shift for the last year or so.”


“Don't give me that look,” Inara grinned. “It's not every night. It's on a rotation. Even I sit watch in the wee hours when it's my turn.”

Maxine's face brightened, “I didn't know that.”

“You've only been here a few weeks. It will take some time to learn all out little quirks.”

Maxine smiled at that information. Then she looked at the case Inara had brought, “What's that?”

Inara smiled demurely, “Take a look.”

Curiosity peaked, Maxine undid the clasp holding the case closed. As her eyes fell upon the contents, she gasped. Taking a second look she grinned at the former companion, “Inara... you are a very naughty girl.”

“I no longer have use for those items. I thought you and Zoë might find them... entertaining.”

“Entertaining? With some of these, I wouldn't need Zoë,” Maxine giggled.

“Let's hope it doesn't go that far,” Inara teased.

Maxine eased the case shut, “No worries there.”

I thought not.”

“Thank you Inara,”

“You're welcome, Maxine. I'll leave you to get dressed.”

“Yes, I need to start on dinner soon.”

Inara smiled back, “I am so glad you are now our chef. Wednesday is Simon's night to cook,” Inara suppressed a shudder.

“That bad huh?”

“For a man as skilled in the medical arts as Simon. It's amazing how bad he cooks. Some of the things he has made in the past must have violated his oath to do no harm.”

Maxine broke out in raucous laughter. Even Inara chuckled slightly.

“What's so funny?” said Zoë's voice outside the open door.

“Inara, describing Simon's cooking,” Maxine replied.

Zoë cracked a grin, “Swear that boy can burn water. His coffee though... keep you awake for a week”

“Probably needed it that strong for his residency,” Inara commented.

“Reckon you're right,” Zoë agreed.

“Well, I'll leave you two alone,” Inara said after a moment. Stepping past the first mate, she walked back towards the common area.

Maxine was still smiling when she noticed a slight change in Zoë's face, “What's wrong?”

“What was Inara doing here?”

“She brought me something. Wait a minute... are you jealous?” Maxine replied, a grin still on her face.

“Shuma?” Zoë replied, trying to not look guilty of what Maxine had accused her of.

“You are!” Maxine exclaimed, still grinning.

Zoë tried to look cross. It didn't work as a grin started to curl her lips, “Well...”

“It's okay Zoë. Kinda flattering in a way. Besides, Inara brought me.. us, a gift.”

“She did?”

“Open the case on the bed.”

Zoë limped over to the bed and unsnapped the latch. Opening the cover, she suddenly slammed it shut, “Wu de tyen ah,” Zoë breathed.

“I know. Inara is a very thoughtful, if not naughty, girl.”

“You best get dressed and start on dinner. Temptation is getting a might strong.”

“Tell me about it,” Maxine replied, trying not to pout.

“I promise,” Zoë replied. “Just can't tonight.”

“I know,” Maxine sighed. Then her face took on a mischievous look, “Night after, you're mine.”

“Deal,” Zoë replied. “Now get dressed. Jayne's gonna be hollerin for food pretty soon.”

Maxine kissed Zoë once and smiled sadly, “You're right. Business before pleasure.”

With a glance at the case on the bed Zoë nodded. Maxine was right about that.


“Excellent as always, Maxine.”

“Thank you, Simon,” the cook replied.

“Any good places to stock up on supplies in Putnamville?” Mal asked.

“There's a real honest to goodness supermarket there,” Maxine replied, “Supplies shouldn't be a problem.”

“Glad to hear it,” the Captain smiled.

“What's the plan, Mal?” Jayne asked.

“Reckon we'll get our cargo offloaded to Max's uncle. Then we can start figurin out how we're gonna pay Badger back for his little transgression against Zoë.”

“Little bitty pieces works fer' me,” Jayne grinned.

“I reckon that's Zoë's decision,” Mal replied.

“I like Jayne's suggestion, Sir,” Zoë smiled back at the merc.

“Just so long as it's Badger and not one o' us that ends up in pieces.”

“Goes without saying, Sir.”

“What's out ETA, Albatross?”

“Sixteen hours, fifty one minutes thirty eight seconds... thirty seven...”

“We get the point, little one,” Mal chuckled. River just giggled.

“We gonna have any down time, Cap'n?” Kaylee inquired.

“Might have a bit. Need to see how things go.”

“There's a couple of bars in town,” Maxine commented.

“We'll see,” Mal said. Ending the conversation.

Kaylee looked a little disappointed but understood. This was a new place for them and the Captain wanted to keep everyone as safe as he could.

“Once we finish dinner. I want Jayne to double check the cargo and Zoë, you're taking third watch tonight, right?”

“Yes, Sir,” Zoë replied.

“Good enough. Why don't you go take a nap till it's your watch time. I'll give Jayne a hand.”

“Works fer me,” Jayne replied.

“The rest o you can do whatever. Cept, the Doc. Give Max a hand with the cleanup from dinner.”

“Yes, Captain.”


The night passed uneventfully. Zoë had spent the time in contemplation. She thought long and hard about her blossoming romance with their cook. Around three in the morning, after a turn about the ship to check on things, Zoë came to a decision. When she smelled the coffee brewing from the galley around seven, Zoë headed that way.

Upon entering the galley, Zoë noticed Maxine puttering about the kitchen. She smiled when she saw the first mate enter.

“Mornin, Zoë,”

Zoë smiled and took the plunge, “Mornin, Ai-ren.”

It was a good thing that the coffee mug in Maxine's hand was metal because a ceramic mug would have shattered when it hit the floor. The redhead was more than a little surprised. Zoë just grinned.

“Did... did you just call me Ai-ren?”

Zoë walked up to her and pulled Max into her arms. “I did. Had a long time to think last night. Never thought something like this would happen to me ever again. Ain't callin it love yet mind you... just... headin in that direction...”

Maxine stood stunned. It was if her prayers had been answered. Zoë wasn't just going to be a fling. Someone to take a tumble with. She wanted a real relationship.

Maxine couldn't have been more surprised or happy at the same time. She leaned forward and kissed Zoë. Slowly and tenderly.

“Gahhh! I can't be seein that!” Mal shouted as he entered the galley.

Maxine jumped as if shocked and Zoë just grumbled.

“Way to ruin the mood, Sir.”

“Ain't gonna be no... moodin... in the middle of my galley,” the Captain stated as he ran his thumbs under his suspenders.

“For that, you get porridge, Captain,” Maxine huffed, “Never tick off the woman who makes your breakfast.”

“She's got a point,” Jayne commented as he entered the galley, River hanging off his back like a monkey.

“Fine,” Mal grumped as he took his seat.

Maxine took pity on Mal and placed a big apple muffin in front of him. Followed by a cup of coffee.

“Thanks, Max.”

“Just reminding you, Captain.”

“Hear ya' loud n' clear.”

“Best you do, Sir,” Zoë said as she took a seat at the table. A muffin and coffee appeared in front of her as well. As well as a kiss on the top of the first mate's head.

As the rest of his crew wandered in, Mal leaned back in his chair and raised his mug in salute, smirking at Zoë.

With a wry smile, Zoë returned the salute.




Monday, May 4, 2009 1:25 AM


This is shaping to be on the top of my must read, cant wait to read list. Wonderous interaction of all the crew, you have the nuance's down to a "T". The bag of goodies delivered, is soliciting all kinds of "misbehavin" images of frolickin' fun.
Looking forward..
Well done..

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 2:09 AM


So glad to see Zoe with someone else in her life. I think Joss could very well have gone with something like this (did I say that before?) so I applaud your insight.


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