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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Secrets - Part XVII
“Bored now,” River said and span on her heel. Her body moved out of the way of the bullet even as she lifted her leg, her foot connecting solidly with Linc’s jaw. [Maya. Post-BDM. While Inara's illness is no longer a secret, Mal and his crew go out to find Molly.]

Secrets - Part XVI
“Then do it again.” Mal was aware he’d used his sergeant’s voice from the slightly wounded expression on his old friend’s face, and made himself take a step back. “It’s like you said, Monty – in the dark there’s no knowing where that girl’s got to. Like as not she took it into her mind to go visiting, got lost and mistook the time. She could be huddled up in someone’s barn right now, fast asleep.” [Maya. Post-BDM. Serenity heads back to Lazarus and Inara finds her sickness finally getting the better of her.]

Secrets - Part XV
Monty stroked his beard. “Maybe they’re afraid of us for when the war’s begun, of what we’d be capable of. Considering we held the Alliance nearly to a draw last time.” [Maya. Post-BDM. Mal and Monty talk, Serenity takes a trip, but there's trouble on the horizon.]

Secrets - Part XIV
Jayne looked almost abashed, his usual expression when anyone mentioned his home planet. “Even took some work on a fishing boat on Melbourne once.”
“That must’ve been hell. For a man who hates fish guts with a vengeance.”
“Didn’t help.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Just a little fluff before getting back to the nitty gritty ...]

Secrets - Part XIII
"Perhaps you want to think on this. Lecomb sent a bounty hunter – several, in fact – to find some jewellery and kill a girl on the quiet, so nobody knows he lost them in the first place. Perhaps you should consider whether he might not employ someone else to kill you, just so you can’t tell anyone either.” [Maya. Post-BDM. Simon finishes the job, and Mal talks to Philo again.]

Secrets - Part XII
Her face looked back at her, make-up only a little smudged and appearing almost normal. Almost. Hard to see that she was dying. [Maya. Post-BDM. Everyone's waiting for Simon to work his magic, but Inara has secrets of her own.]

Secrets - Part XI
Freya gazed at him for a long moment, and he felt her stepping through his mind. It wasn’t to find anything, and he wasn’t even sure she knew she was doing it – it seemed more as if it was some kind of displacement activity while she thought. At last she said, “Corrupt it.” [Maya. Post-BDM. Simon explains what he's found, and Mal makes a plan.]

Secrets - Part X
He went to check the coffee pot, and decided that, while it might do for degreasing the welding that needed doing in the aft storage locker, as a beverage it left a lot to be desired, and poured it down the sink. “We might as well go sit with the rest, considering River couldn’t keep her mouth shut and everyone’s waiting for Simon to come up with something.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Mal/Freya-centric chapter, and longer to make up for not posting in a while!]

Secrets - Part IX
“Everything a good forger needs to create some first rate IDs. Think he is? A good forger, I mean?” “Well, Monty has better contacts in the shady side of life than even me.” “No. Really?” Hank’s eyes were wide with feigned disbelief. [Maya. Post-BDM. Moving towards the nitty-gritty ...]

Secrets - Part VIII
Mal looked at the man, seeing years put on him that hadn’t been there that morning, the lines around his eyes and the sallowness of his complexion. “I can’t say I blame you, not for any of it. People do bad things when they’re in a corner, and although a Shepherd might say a sin of omission is still a sin, I’m not like to hold it against you.”
Maya. Post-BDM.