Auld Lang Syne
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A short one-shot, set during the Unification War. Mal is on watch and his thoughts turn to home. No OCs, so can be read by anyone. Enjoy!


According to the sky, it was probably some time after midnight. The moon was on its downward path towards the horizon, and in a few hours the sun would struggle into view, giving an illusion of warmth were there was none. For the moment, though, he could imagine that only the stars above him, bright and brittle, were his companions on this little rock.

Of course, to do that he had to ignore the fact that an Alliance unit were entrenched a hundred yards away from him, and his own men – and women – were hunkered down in the trees, trying not to be seen or heard. Hopefully they were also getting some sleep, but he doubted it. Too ready for fight or flight, if he knew them.

A voice from the purplebelly camp shivered through the cold air as the watch changed, and a shuffling indicated someone heading back to their tent and not worrying about anyone listening.

A half-smile tilted his lips. Maybe they’d be lucky, and when the morning came the enemy would move on towards the town, and they’d be able to get back to their battalion without firing a single shot.

Something caught at his nostrils, a perfume, somehow familiar ... wood smoke. The prevailing breeze, what little there was of it, had dragged the scent from one of the camp fires turning back the night, ticking his senses in more ways than one. Tickling his memories, too.

His mother was always up early, even on a day like today. Making up the fires, turning the chilled house into a place of warmth and comfort, of a ready welcome.

A day like today. He knew, even without looking at the watch in his pocket – even if he could have seen the dial – that on Shadow it was first thing, the tip of the sun peaking over the edge of the world. He had always known, no matter what planet he’d been on, no matter what the local time or date. Some of his comrades had laughed at him at first, saying he was crazy, that nobody could possibly keep track of time that way. Then they’d checked and stopped talking.

He always figured he must have carried a little bit of his home with him, perhaps in the dust on his boots, or just in the love in his heart, but he knew, and with his mind’s eye turned outwards he could see his mother getting things prepared.

He looked up at the stars, and wrapped his brown coat a little tighter about him. Perhaps it was only an imitation, but there was something about this moon, strung out on the edge of nowhere, that reminded him of home. And when the war was done, and the Alliance brought to justice, he’d head back to his, maybe walk from the town on a clear day like this would become, his rifle slung over his shoulder, his coat flapping about his knees, ready to settle down. And his mother would come running out into the cold air, and he’d drop everything, wrapping her in the warmth of the brown leather and his aching arms, and he’d scold her for coming out in the cold, and she’d scold him for being away for so long.


He half-turned, not surprised that she’d managed to creep up on him, her whisper barely reaching his own ears, let alone anyone else’s. “Zoe. Everything okay?”

“Yes, sir.” She always called him ‘sir’. Even when they had some downtime and he made her go into a bar with him, buying her drinks so she could relax. Always ‘sir’.

“It’s cold,” he said inconsequentially, as if she might not have noticed.

“Yes, sir. I brought you this.” She held out an insulated mug.



He took it, pushing back the lid enough so the aroma could reach him. It always smelled a lot better than it tasted. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” She turned to go.



“It’s gone midnight.”

“That it has.”

“Happy New Year.”

He could see her smiling, the starlight reflecting from her teeth in that dark, beautiful face.

“And to you, sir.” A moment later and she was gone, back to her charges, to the men and women who survived because of them.

He took another sniff at the liquid, knowing it had been chemically heated, but not caring. Tomorrow the Alliance would move on, and they’d be able to get home.

And his mother would run, he would scold, and he’d feel the warmth of his family around him. Then they’d head inside, into the comfort and the welcome, and the scent of the specially prepared log on the flames that shook the old year off their heels, bringing in the new to gaze at, all sparkling and full of promise.

Happy New Year, everybody! Jane


Wednesday, December 30, 2009 5:32 AM


This is so wonderful.. but knowing what we know so heartbreakingly sad. Your writing is so vivid. I read and I am there... witnessing the events. Thank you again for sharing your talent with us.

Happy New Year, Jane!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 8:02 AM


Wonderfully amazing as always! This just made me want to cry....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:03 AM


Very nice! I especially like the idea of Mal knowing, no matter where he is, what time it was on Shadow.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 5:58 PM


Your words made me feel the winter chill even though I'm snuggy warm at home and very grateful for it. Beautiful writing and brutal honest feelings from Mal - let's you know why he feels the way he does in Firefly. Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:50 PM


I can so imagine a scene like this between one year's ending and another's beginning, even with war waging fitfully around them. It is always a comfort when Mal has Zoe near, like having a compass that is true and always points North. As if should be. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Friday, January 1, 2010 7:42 AM


This is a nice moment. Bittersweet. Imagine if it's already happened and he just hasn't heard yet. Ouch.

I wonder if those Alliance soldiers are drunk? Wouldn't be unprecedented in the history of the world for a unit to be drunk and let an opposing force to slip past them.

Looks like we got hit by a wayward bit of code here. I'll tell Haken, just in case it's some kind of back door gateway thing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010 12:29 PM


I really enjoyed noticing the way you have with describing setting - very nicely done indeed. And Zoe's reply: 'Possibly'. Perfect.


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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]