New Blood - Chapter 14
Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bager taken care of and with a pocket full of coin. Serenity heads back to the black. At dinner River reveals a secret and Max and Zoe bond even more.


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 -

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.

A/N: A lull in the action but more is coming.


New Blood


Chapter Fourteen


“Mal... what just happened?” Inara asked. She had been confused at the Captain's orders to hover the ship at high altitude and then dip the nose.

“Just takin care of a loose end, Darlin”

“Loose... what happened to Badger?”

“Reckon he's tryin to figure out how to fly without a ship.”

“You... fengle shagua!” How could you do that to me?” Inara exclaimed. Her hands were shaking now, “I'm... I'm culpable in his death!”

Mal rubbed his hand through his hair, “”Nara... I'm sorry. I needed you to fly the boat. Badger done wronged us too many times. Wangbadan tried to sell Max and River into slavery just today. Imagine what he'd a done tomorrow 'iffin he found out where we were. You knew going into this, the man was goin to die.”

Inara willed her shaking hands to stop, “I know. I just didn't expect to play a part in it.”

Mal stepped close behind Inara as she sat in the pilots seat, he gently rubbed her shoulders, “My fault, Ai-ren. I should not have put you in that spot.”

Inara sighed with Mal's touch. She knew Badger had stepped over a very large line by attacking Zoë, “It... it's alright. I just wasn't prepared for it. To be honest, I might have done something to him myself if it came down to it.”

Mal grinned as he continued to massage Inara's tense shoulders, “You okay to land the boat?”

“I'll be fine. Besides, I think River is indisposed with Jayne. That outfit she wore was driving him to distraction.”

Mal tried not to grimace. The thought of Jayne and his Albatross sexing each other up still rattled him some. Even though it had been nearly half a year.

“With my luck, she'll want to keep the red hair,” Mal muttered.

Inara just giggled, “You know. I think I can find some brown hair dye somewhere and you can stop being blonde...”

“Woman, I ever tell you how much I love you?”

“Not in the last five minutes...”


After dropping Shamus back in Putnamville. Along with some coin and all the information from Badger's files about his slavery dealings, Serenity broke atmo. Shamus' status as a lawman would mean that somewhere, some slaver was going to have a bad day soon.

Maxine walked into the galley, intent on starting dinner. She was still dressed in her 'bounty hunter' outfit minus the jacket. She found Zoë at the table, nursing a cup of coffee.

“You alright?” Max asked as she walked up behind her lover.

Zoë nodded and smiled slightly, welcoming the arms that wrapped around her shoulders. Zoë had so missed the casual touches that came along with a relationship, “Shiny.”

Maxine beamed, “Glad to hear it. Wanna give me a hand making dinner?”

Zoë chuckled once, “You know I ain't no hand in the kitchen.”

“Then it's past time you learned,” Max smiled as she dragged Zoë to her feet, punctuating the move with a kiss.

“Maybe something simple...” Zoë trailed off, “Like sandwiches.”

Maxine giggled and kissed Zoë again, “We're having fried chicken and corn bread... you can't mess that up too bad, Ai-ren.”

“You'd be surprised.”


Zoë didn't mess up the fried chicken. Or the corn bread, despite her best efforts. The installation of the new cryofreezer meant that they would have real food much more often now. Something that improved crew morale considerably.

“The corn bread is real shiny, Max” Jayne mumbled between bites, “Just like my Ma used ta make.”

“Thank you Jayne, but Zoë made it. I just helped.”

Jayne's eyes went wide and Zoë shot him a look. Daring the merc to make a comment.

“Damn fine bread, Zoë,” Jayne stated.

“Thank you Jayne,” The first mate replied with a grin.

“You makin any progress on that info you lifted from Badger's files, Albatross?” Mal asked.

“Some,” She replied. “Shamus has the slave trading and illegally sold indenture contracts. But Badger's list of contacts is long. Some will be useful, some will not.”

“What about that wave address you got outta his head?”

“Dead end... no longer in use. But I'm sure it was for the academy since it did have an Osiris prefix.”

“Anyway they can backtrack that call to us?” Mal asked worriedly.

River favored Mal with her 'boob' look, “Remember who you are talking to...”

Simon snorted, “River hacked the Alliance Exchange Commission when she was eleven. Never got caught.”

Inara looked shocked, “Mei-mei... whatever did you do that for?”

“My stocks were not preforming to expectation,” River replied, “I simply took a look at why.”

“The why, turned out to be a secret investigation into illegal business practices by several companies, trying to profiteer from the post war reconstruction,” Simon stated.

“I sold my shares and slipped the information to the Londinium Financial Times,” River grinned.

Inara's jaw dropped, “You were responsible for that?”

“For what?” Mal asked.

Inara smiled, even though she was still in shock, “The collapse of several corporations including Cabot Terriforming as well as the arrest of the CEO of Blue Sun for insider trading and fraud.”

“That's my sister,” Simon said proudly, “Righting wrongs throughout the verse.”

“And I did it through Simon's dedicated source box too,” River giggled.

“I still can't understand how you figured out my password,” Simon grumbled.

“Probably read it outta yer mind, Doc,” Jayne observed.

“The Academy made River a reader,” Simon replied, “She wasn't one before.”

“Yes I was,” River whispered.

All conversation around the table stopped.

“River?” Simon asked.

“I always could... the academy just made it so I was stronger... and so I couldn't shut it off.”

“Mei-mei, that's...”



“That's why the academy wanted me. I was a natural reader,” River said, her voice just above a whisper, “All the students there were. I was just the strongest,” tears ran down River's face as she spoke. Jayne hugged her close.

“Tross...” Mal said quietly, “Never did ask this. How many o' you were there?”

“Twenty three,” River replied, softly, “Mostly girls. It's a DNA... mutation. The one that creates psychic ability is very rare. One in approximately six billion for females. A little more than twice that for males.”

“Merciful Buddha,” Inara whispered.

The Captain turned to Simon, “You think they're still running that place, Doc?”

Simon nodded slowly, “I would imagine so. They had billions of credits sunk into the project. I would think security is even tighter now.”

“Mal, you aren't planning some suicidal quest to rescue River's classmates...” Inara trailed off.

“No,” Mal replied sternly, “Much as I'd like to. It would get all o' us killed.”

“If Mr. Universe was still alive, we could get this out, just like Miranda,” Zoë said quietly.

“Yeah but he ain't,” Jayne pointed out unnecessarily.

“I know, Jayne... just sayin,” Zoë replied. Uncharacteristically backing down from the Merc.

Mal shot Zoë a quick glance. She shook her head slightly. Mal relaxed, “Ain't nothin we need to worry on tonight. Just keep it in the back of your heads. Never know when the opportunity may present itself.”

“I agree,” Zoë stated.

Mal clasped his hands together, “Now on to more pleasant topics. We got a boatload o' coin from Badger's safe. Enough to keep us goin more than a couple o' years if we were frugal. That said. We're not gonna stop workin. But we do have some breathin space.”

“What are you proposing, Mal?” Inara asked.

“I'm thinking we need some downtime. Somewhere where we can do some maintenance, fix up the ship a might.”

Kaylee perked up, “How long we talkin, Cap'n?”

“Depends. What's the most pressing major items Serenity needs?”

Kaylee looked in thought for a minute, “Flushin the sludge out o' the fuel lines and changin the gravity rotor's bearings. Need a yard or at least a good shop to do that.”

“How long, Lil' Kaylee?” Mal asked.

“Couple o' weeks. All that time, Serenity ain't goin no where.”

Mal considered that information, “I'll think on it a spell. But I think I know somewhere we can do that. I'll let you know in the mornin.”

Kaylee beamed, “Xie-xie, Cap'n.”


Simon couldn't sleep. His sister's revelation that she had been able to read minds before she went to the academy had floored him. After tossing and turning for a few hours, Simon decided to get up. Maybe some time staring at the stars from the bridge would let him sleep.

Carefully slipping from Kaylee's sleeping grasp. Simon pulled on a t-shirt and some sweatpants and made his way up the stairs from his bunk in the passenger dorms. As he quietly walked along the forward passageway, Simon stopped when he heard a strange sound.

Listening carefully, Simon suddenly realized the noise was coming from Zoë's bunk and it sounded a great deal like Maxine screaming something out in the throes of passion. Shuddering once from embarrassment. Simon continued along the passageway to the bridge.

He really shouldn't have been surprised to find his sister already there.

“I'm sorry,” River whispered.

Simon stopped in his tracks, “Sorry for what, Mei-mei?”

“Not telling you.”

Simon knelt down in front of River, who was curled up in the pilots seat., “That you were a reader before?”

River nodded, her long hair hiding her face.

“Oh, River. You know you can tell me anything... you know that.”

River sniffled, “Daddy knew.”


“Knew I could see things...”

Simon suddenly felt a lead weight in his belly, “Did Father know about what the Academy really was?”

“Thought they could fix me. Make me his smart little girl. Not some freak...”

Simon began to break out in a cold sweat. It all made sense now. Why his father had been so set against him helping River.

“Not his fault,” River whispered, “ Was fed lies and falsehoods. Patriot to the end.”

“River... did.. did you...”

“Know?” River interrupted before continuing, “Yes. Not what they were going to do. Not at first. They were very careful to hide their thoughts from me. False sense of security.”

“Oh, Mei-mei,” Simon whispered as he pulled his sister into a hug, “I'm so sorry.”

River pulled back and shook her head, “Don't be sorry. You wouldn't have Kaylee. I wouldn't have Jayne.”

“True... but maybe Zoë would still have Wash.”

“Captain would have died long ago without you. Meant to be here. Zoë doesn't blame us. Besides, she has Maxine now.”

Simon smiled, “True. She does have Maxine now. Not a pairing I would have expected.”

River matched his smile, “Max helped her heal. Zoë is Zoë again.”

“She is. Even I noticed. Being how dense I am about things like that.”


“Brat,” Simon grinned back. Suddenly, his face lost his smile, “Did Mother know?”

River shook her head, “Believed Daddy's lies... didn't know.”

“That's some consolation I guess.”

“Still love us.”

“I'm sure they do. I'm just not sure I can say the same...”


Zoë rolled away from Maxine, sweaty and breathing hard, “Wu de tyen ah!”

Max giggled and pushed her sweat dampened hair out of her face, “That good, huh?”

A shudder ran through Zoë's body at the memory of what Maxine had just done to her, “Girl... where did... you learn... to do that?” Zoë panted.

“Here and there,” Maxine replied before tenderly nuzzling Zoë's neck. Another shudder went through the dark skinned woman's frame.

“Well, I gotta thank whoever taught you that,” Zoë replied with a wide smile before yawning.

“Are you falling asleep?” Max asked indignantly.

“Hmmm?” Zoë mumbled.

“I can't believe it.” Max grumbled.

“Believe what?”

“That three minutes after mind blowing sex, you fall asleep,” Max pouted.

“Wash had the same complaint,” Zoë mumbled, her eyes half closed.

“Yeah, but men ain't blessed with the ability to have multiple orgasms in short succession,” Max replied.

Zoë giggled and turned her head to face Max, “You mean four ain't enough?”

“Five... not like I was counting or anything...” Max finished with a giggle of her own.

“I need my rest... ain't as young as I used to be. And I'm still recoverin from a gunshot wound....”

“Merciful Buddha!” Max exclaimed, “You mean iffin you were a hundred percent, you'd still be goin?”

“Yep,” Zoë grinned.


“And just think. We still haven't broke into the toy bag yet....” Zoë teased.

Max rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling, “The woman is gonna kill me...”

Zoë leaned over and kissed Max on the lips, “But what a way to go...”


Maxine groaned as the alarm went off next to the bed. Even Zoë grumbled at the noise, “Gorram alarm.”

“Go back to sleep, Ai-ren,” Max said quietly as she silenced the device, “I just need to start breakfast... as soon as I shower anyway.”

“I'm up, anyway.. I'll join you... might as well save water,” Zoë said with a grin.

Maxine beamed, “If you insist...”

Half an hour later, Max and Zoë were in the galley. Maxine mixing the batter for muffins while Zoë sat at the table, nursing a cup of coffee, “Got any idea where we're heading next?” Max asked.

“No idea,” Zoë replied, “Only place we used to go for major work ain't there anymore. Qingwa cao de liumang, Operative seen to that. Sanchez Brothers on Boros were good friends and damn fine engineers. Helped us with a refit and a new reactor core a few months before... Miranda,” Zoë said darkly.

“That why Badger was so mad at you all? The Operative...” Max asked.

“I reckon. Least that's what he told me before his goons started shootin.”

Well, Something good came outta that mess.”

“The coin?”

Max put her hands on her hips and glared at the first mate, “Us, you fengle shagua.”

Zoë chuckled, “Did you just call me a crazy idiot?”

Maxine's pale face began to match her hair, “Well...”

Zoë laughed, “Relax, Bao-bei. Just teasin.”

Max pointed her mixing spoon at Zoë, “I'll show you teasin...”

“Gahhh! None o' that afore breakfast,” Mal chided as he stumbled into the galley, headed for the coffee pot.

“Morning, Sir,” Zoë said brightly.

“Murgph,” Mal mumbled.

Pouring a cup of the dark liquid, Mal staggered to the table and sat in his usual chair.

“Sounds like you had a rough night, Sir,” Zoë grinned, “Inara keep you up?”

Mal looked embarrassed then glared at his first mate, “Don't act so smug. I heard you two on my rounds last night.”

“I'm glad, Sir,” Zoë smiled. She wasn't about to let Mal ruin her good mood. The Captain grinned back. He was just as happy to have Zoë in a good mood as she was.

Max walked over after putting the muffins in the oven, taking a seat next to Zoë. After sipping from her own coffee, she looked at the Captain, “What's our next stop, Captain?”

“Lookin to get off, Maxine?” Mal asked. The Captain recoiled from the double barreled glare he got from his first mate and cook, “Just checkin.”

Maxine relaxed and took Zoë's hand in hers, “Just wondering is all.”

“Gonna head for Meadow.”

Zoë's eyebrow went up, “Meadow, Sir?”


Zoë kept glaring at the Captain, “Why?”

“Kinda know of a shop there. Might be willin to help work on a Firefly on the cheap.”

“Mal... you are not gonna take advantage of Thomas,” Zoë stated, “Not when we have the coin.”

The Captain knew he was in trouble when Zoë used his name, “Easy now, Zoë. Never said I was gonna be takin advantage of ole' Thomas. We'll pay him a right fair wage for the work. No one else I'd trust other than Kaylee to work on Serenity.”

That seemed to placate the first mate.

“Who's Thomas?” Max asked.

Mal grinned, “Kaylee's Father.”




Sunday, May 24, 2009 8:45 AM


Short, but O SO GUUUUD!!!
Yes Please.. May I have another.. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009 10:48 AM


Love the glimpses into River's genius past, though not so much the messed-up Dad part! I agree--more please.


Monday, May 25, 2009 2:45 AM


You may not be actually writing the NC17 stuff, but it's there, in the background, leaving its mark!

And I always (as you will know from my own fics) believed that River and the other Readers were always telepaths of a form, just made more so by the Academy. And I can't wait to meet your 'verse's version of Kaylee's dad!

Thursday, December 10, 2009 2:32 PM


thank you sir/ma'am may i have a another


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