Saturday, February 5, 2011

Maya. Way-post BDM. Another in my occasional forays into future-fic, and just for fun. Caleb Cobb has admirers, and Jayne can't see why he doesn't do something about it. STANDALONE (and yes, I know I should be working on Indigo ... but you know how it is, something gets into your brain, makes a nest ...)


Caleb Cobb stretched, and half a dozen young women watching from the far side of the compound almost fainted. Seventeen years old, he had the height of his father, as well as his blue eyes, but a lither frame, taking more from his mother than just her wavy hair. Still, he worked out a lot with the other Serenity boys, and he had muscles on that body that made female hearts beat a little faster.

Especially when he was half-naked, sweat stained and totally unaware of the effect he was having.

His Pa sighed. “You sure he’s mine?”

River hit Jayne on the arm. “Of course he is.”

Spending time on Jerusalem while Kaylee did a few ‘minor’ jobs that entailed taking half the engine apart, the crew had taken the opportunity of earning a few credits to support their savings, and Caleb had offered to chop enough wood on the ranch where they had negotiated a landing spot to keep the family going for most of the winter. The family had four daughters of marriageable age, and they had friends, and ... well, only having six in his own personal entourage was less than usual.

“Only he ain’t even looking at ‘em.”

“What do you expect?” she asked, turning her huge dark eyes on her husband. “That he leers at them? Propositions them? Strips off entirely and struts around buck naked?”

Jayne squirmed internally as he always did when she was angry with him. “No. But actually knowing they’re there would be a start.”

Caleb had wandered to the water butt and was now tipping bucketfuls over his head, the resulting soaking making his pants stick to his well-defined thighs, and the girls were now having to fan each other.

“He’s a good boy.”

“You sure he ain’t sly?”

This time the punch was much harder, and he knew it was going to leave a bruise.

“And if he was? Would you love him any the less?”

“No, a’course not. He’s a Cobb.”

“Then why worry?”

“Because he’s a Cobb!”

River knew her husband could never be described as an intellectual, and was inclined to revert to his baseline of obtuse when occasion demanded, so she wasn’t annoyed with him. “Jayne, he isn’t sly. He likes girls.” She didn’t add that he had quite a collection of distinctly non-sly pornography earmarked on his private Cortex link, but only because she didn’t want Jayne asking his son for a look.

“Then how come he don’t do something?”

“He will,” River assured him, patting his hand. “When he’s ready.”

“It’s disgusting,” Grace Cobb said, her nose wrinkling. At twelve she was almost the spitting image of her mother at that age (something her Uncle Simon often commented on), but she had the attitude of a Cobb, down to a proficiency with any weapon she laid her hands on, and a tendency to swear at inappropriate times, as well as a store of dirty jokes that she was keeping in reserve. “He should be gorram whupped for it.”

The Reynolds twins, Matthew and Katya, grinned.

“He don't know,” Matt said. “He gets all embarrassed talking around girls.”

“S’not what they want to do,” Kat put in. “Talking is the last thing on their minds.”

Jayne glared at his wife. “See? Even this pair think the same!”

River crossed her hands over her swollen belly. “Caleb is our son. And I seem to recall you telling me you were at least his age when you had your first full sexual experience, and if that’s –”

“River!” He glanced in anguish at his daughter.

“Momma’s told me all about it,” Grace said, waving it away. “When she told me about the birds and the bees.” She considered briefly. “Although why it’s called the birds and bees when what people actually do is –”

“That’s it.” Jayne pulled his shoulders back and put on his most intimidating look. “Nobody’s gonna say another word.”

“What, never?” Kat asked. “’Cause I don’t think Matt’s gonna be able to handle that.” Her blue eyes sparkled.

“Me?” Her brother bristled, all twelve years taking advantage of his quarter inch height difference. “I can be quiet – it’s you who can’t keep your mouth shut.”

“I so can.”



“Can’t.” He grinned. “’Sides, I know you’re glad Cal’s a virgin, considering the way you go mooning around after him.”

His sister gaped. “That ain’t true!”




Kat opened her mouth to differ again, but Jayne got there first.

“Gorramit!” he thundered. “Can’t you talk about anything else?”

The twins looked at him.

“Nope,” Matt admitted.

“Bored,” Kat added.

“Then go and find your mother,” River advised. “Before Jayne explodes.”

“Messy,” Kat said.

“I’m not cleaning it up,” Matt grimaced, looking exactly like his own father.

“If he explodes he’ll probably take us all with him,” his sister went on.

“Then you had better ask Freya to suggest to Cal's audience that he’s unavailable,” River said, slipping her arm through her husband’s. “Otherwise there are going to be paternal visitors with shotguns.”

“Huh,” Grace said. “Cal wouldn’t touch ‘em with a barge pole.”

“Still, I’d rather like my son to still be with us when we leave.” She blinked at them. “Now, please.”

Kat sighed. “Fine.” She grabbed her brother by the wrist. “Come on. Let’s go find Mama. Then we can go annoy Ethan and Bethie.”

“What?” He unfocused, then grinned. “Oh. Right. Shiny.” He allowed his sister to tug him away, but asked over his shoulder, “You coming?”

Grace sighed, but followed, sure there was going to be more fun where they were going than staying with her parents.

“Huh?” Jayne looked at River.

“They’re getting ... close.” She smiled.

“Simon know?”

“Not yet.”

He smiled despite himself. “Can I go tell him?”


“Aw, Riv ...”

She distracted him by taking his hand and putting it on her belly to feel their unborn child kick, and she looked entirely too smug as his face dissolved into wonder. “Give Grace a year or too,” she advised. “Then you can start worrying about the boys she starts being interested in.”

“I somehow think Matt’s gonna have something to say about that,” Jayne said, a smirk sketching across his lips.

River didn’t allow her surprise to show, but it warmed her through that he could still amaze her. “My Jayne recognises it?”

“I know the signs.”

“Are you going to speak to Mal?”

He looked up into her eyes, his own full of mischief. “Nah. Be much more fun to watch it all play out.”


Jayne was nonplussed. “What?”

“Beetroot. I feel the urge for beetroot.” She licked her lips and gave him palpitations.

“Just beetroot?”

“And jam.”



He gazed at his wife, glowing in her seventh month, looking no older than the day they did their matching wedding tattoos and said ‘I do’ ... “Strawberry?”


“I’ll see what I can find. Might be I can find some preserve someplace.” He pulled her into his arms, crushing her lips with his. “This keep you going ‘til I get back?”

“More,” she urged, then the warm summer afternoon was quiet again, apart from the dogs barking out in front of the house, the insects buzzing around the corral, and the girls drooling as Caleb Cobb mopped himself down with his t-shirt before striding back towards Serenity, perhaps a little closer to his audience than was strictly necessary, the damp garment thrown provocatively over his bare shoulder.


Saturday, February 5, 2011 8:23 AM


I like Caleb. Such a 'good' boy. hee hee... Great stuff and a good break from Indigo. Of course, now I want peach preserves... LOL


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“After we deliver the goods we can set Serenity down somewhere cold. See some real snow.”

Merry Christmas to everyone! Just another in my occasional series of Mal/Jayne conversations, this time with a season theme. Enjoy!

Monied Individual - Part I
Hank’s parents had died when he was young, and his grandmother had brought him up. Mal considered it was her fault he was the way he was, but that was unfair – Hank was who he was always destined to be. Or possibly he was meant to be someone else entirely.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A new story for your delectation and delight. Persephone, Badger and lawyers ... what could possibly go wrong?]

Secrets - Part XXVIII - Conclusion
River shook herself, turning from the rabbit hole. She didn’t feel like being Alice, and while Jayne’s grin sometimes made her think of the Cheshire Cat, the dormouse was asleep and likely to remain so. Of much more interest were the secrets. So many, some old, some new, some borrowed and some blue. And for once she didn’t care if she was referencing the Earth-that-was marriage ceremony. That wasn’t the point. Inara, the Bodens, Harper Lecomb and the Culver diamond, Randall Lecomb and his homicidal tendencies … all secrets, overlaid with the flavour of the Alliance and their need to control.
[Maya. Post-BDM. Secrets comes to a conclusion, but some are still waiting to see the light of day.]

Secrets- Part XXVII
“I don’t always trust him when he’s operating on Jayne. A slip of the scalpel, too many drugs, too little oxygen, and I would be a free woman. My worries. Not his thoughts. But he is my brother. For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. And we have experienced them all.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Home stretch now on Secrets, with the crisis passed for now and decisions made. Thanks so much for those of you who have stuck with this!]

Secrets - Part XXVI
"Have you never done that? In all those times you were treating someone in the hospital, when you were the great Doctor Tam, didn’t you once tell less than the truth to someone if it made them feel less desperate?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Inara's fate, and what follows. My apologies for the wait!]

"Jayne, she’s psychic.” “So?”
[Maya-ish. Post-BDM. One of my occasional forays into standalone dialogue only, and to make up for the fact Secrets is still waiting an update. Mal and Jayne, and two cameos. Enjoy!]

Secrets - Part XXV
River sighed unhappily, and suddenly all the emotions were too much. She turned and ran back towards the lake, not stopping as she reached the water’s edge but continuing on, diving as she got deep enough, letting the cold fill her ears and eyes as if it might wash all feelings from her.
Breathing out and seeing air bubbles rise to the surface, she allowed herself to sink to the bottom. She ignored the pressure in her lungs, only considering how easy it would be to just breathe in, and she could float forever.

[Maya. Post-BDM. River sees everyone and everything. Things are about to happen.]

Secrets- Part XXIV
“My love, you must wake up,” Sam said so quietly it was doubtful anyone outside in the common area would have heard. “You must. If only to laugh at me and tell me how ridiculous I am. To touch my cheek and tell me I have to have faith. Please, Inara. Please.” A tear fell onto their hands, but he didn’t wipe it away, not caring if anyone saw.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Mal and River discuss life, and there are more visitors. This will all soon be coming to a head.]

Secrets - Part XXIII
Jayne materialised from the darkness and wrapped his strong arms around the young doctor, pinning him. “Not a good idea. Mal’s as like to give you one last chance then shoot you. If you’d tried that on me, now, you’d be bleeding into the dirt, but then Mal always was a soft touch.” “Let me go!” “Nope. Less you’d like me to hand you over to Frey, and don’t go thinking that’s the easy option.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Couples talk, Simon's anger bubbles over, and Inara's time is running out.]

Secrets - Part XXII
Simon’s lips thinned. “The D17 might be the original problem, affecting a tiny number of those exposed, perhaps only one or two people of the same family, but the Anti-Pax wasn’t designed for it. Besides, that would be like using a hammer when I need a scalpel.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or is it an oncoming Alliance cruiser?]