Sunday, September 18, 2011

Humorous one-shot. Stand-alone, not part of my series. Serenity’s men find the women gathered around the cortex screen, watching a drama featuring the actor Richard Castle. PG-13 for gratuitous shirtlessness.



Humorous one-shot. Stand-alone, not part of my series. Serenity’s men find the women gathered around the cortex screen, watching a drama featuring the actor Richard Castle. PG-13 for gratuitous shirtlessness.

A/N: Stand-alone one-shot, not part of my series. Slightly AU, in that it features three married couples—Zoe and Wash, Mal and Inara, and Simon and Kaylee. And Jayne. Written for the occasion of the season premier of Castle.

* * *

Mal, Wash, and Simon entered the lounge area to find Inara, Zoe, and Kaylee completely engrossed in a cortex drama featuring the actor Richard Castle. They wouldn’t have paid much attention, except the women were oohing and aahing in a way that was difficult to ignore.

“Why are you ladies gettin’ so excited over a cortex entertainment show?”

“He’s so talented.”

“And good-looking.”

“And hot.”




“See how sweet he is.”

“He tries to act tough, but you just know he’s all tender-hearted underneath it all.”

“Those smoldering looks he gives her…”

“She’s got him eating out of her hand—”

“Do ya think that he’ll kiss her before the end of the—”

“He’s an actor,” Mal complained. “He’s playin’ the role of a super man. Ain’t nobody really like that.”

“But he is!” Kaylee exclaimed. “I’ve read the fan sites. He’s a nice guy in real life, too.”

Mal rolled his eyes.

I’m a nice guy,” Wash offered, but the women ignored him.

“He always takes the time to be kind to his fans,” Inara stated. “He’s well-known for his politeness.”

“Has a sense of humor, too,” Zoe added.

I have a sense of humor,” Wash inserted. “Here’s me, having a sense of humor!” His goofy antics were ignored.

“And he really does like geeky gizmos,” Kaylee added. “That’s not just the character he plays.”

Zoe nodded in agreement. “He’s really like that.”

I like geeky gizmos,” Wash chimed in. “Mr Geeky Gizmo, that’s me!”

“They call him the ‘Geek God’,” added Inara, eyeing the cortex screen, which now featured a shirtless Richard Castle chasing after the villain.

Wash heaved a sigh. Mr Geeky Gizmo could not compete with the Geek God.

For cryin’ out loud! Mal thought. What kinda 傻瓜 shǎguā takes his shirt off to chase after the bad guy? “So you ladies are enjoyin’ the gratuitous shirtlessness?” he asked, watching the three women ogle Richard Castle’s sculpted torso.

“Absolutely,” Inara answered, her eyes sparkling, while the other women nodded without once removing their eyes from the screen.

Richard Castle was now tackling the villain, delivering what Mal could tell were obviously fake punches to the stunt man’s face and torso. He couldn’t believe it, but all three women were just eating this up. Zoe should know better. She knew a real punch from a fake one. But there she was, lapping it up like the rest of them. And—what was this? Now the actor was not only shirtless, but seemed like he’d managed to tear off half his pants.

“Now that is well and purely stupid,” Mal began. The women paid him no attention, as they were all engrossed in watching whether Richard Castle would lose his pants in the ensuing tussle with the villain’s heinous sidekick. He turned to Simon and Wash. “You know, we could be shirtless here and these ladies wouldn’t bat an eyelash.”

Simon gave him a sharp look, Wash raised his eyebrows, and suddenly all three men knew exactly what they were going to do. Within seconds they had pulled their shirts off over their heads and stood bare-chested near the women. Not a one of them appeared to have noticed. They were all watching Richard Castle, still shirtless but with his trousers miraculously recovered, kissing the leading lady.

“I can’t watch this,” said Mal, as the actors’ kiss extended beyond all reasonable limits, given the fact that human beings still needed to breathe.

“Does the guy ever come up for air?” Wash complained.

“Maybe he has gills,” Simon suggested.

“You just envy him,” Zoe responded, without once breaking eye contact with the cortex screen.

“You’re not actually jealous, are you?” Inara replied, similarly engrossed.

“It’s only fiction,” Kaylee added, belying her words by looking like she was about to come apart in her chair just watching Richard Castle kiss.

“It’s not fair,” Simon said to Mal. “It doesn’t matter what we do. We can’t compete with a guy like that. The women won’t give us the time of day, and I bet that guy gets dozens of marriage proposals every week.”

“Every day,” Kaylee replied, still unable to tear her eyes away. Richard Castle and the lead actress had somehow magically transported themselves to a bedroom. “I’ve read the fan sites.”

“You follow Castle’s fan site?” Simon exclaimed, unable to disguise the jealousy in his voice.

“Oooh, yeah,” Kaylee answered, still glued to the screen. Clever camera work obscured the interesting parts as Richard Castle and the actress went at it in soft mood lighting.

“We just can’t compete,” Wash complained, as Simon shook his head.

“Might as well give it up,” Mal replied, twisting his wedding ring. “No place for us in our wives’ hearts.”

“Mal!” Inara chided. “This is fiction. Fantasy.”

“Yeah, an’ I’m seein’ you lap it up. Not only do I got to compete with a galaxy full of real human males, I also gotta beat out the fantasy man on the cortex. There’s no winning. Makes me want to shoot the cortex execs for puttin’ this stuff out on the waves and poisoning my wife’s mind.”

Inara turned at his bitter tone, and caught sight of his bare torso. A slow smile spread over her face. “He does look like you, you know.”


“Richard Castle,” she supplied.

“He’s not me. I do not—”

“But you do, Cap’n!” Kaylee exclaimed. The cortex screen had now gone to a commercial for the latest successor to the fruity oaty bar—Mal couldn’t remember if it was anthocyanins or echinacea that was the latest thing in trendy nutrition bars. “Richard Castle is like an older version of you!” She considered a moment. “Different haircut.”

“I don’t see any resembl—”

“She’s right, sir,” Zoe added, coolly surveying his torso. “’Cept Richard Castle ain’t got the scars.

“And what about me?” Wash was mouthing in silent incredulity. “I’m just the husband, you know.”

“Wash looks like Lancelot Alpha,” Zoe remarked to the other women, as her eyes traveled slowly down her husband’s chest.

Lancelot Alpha?” Wash was incredulous. “Is that even a real name?”

“Name sounds like some kinda joke to me,” Mal said, doing an admirable job of keeping a straight face as he looked at Hoban Washburne.

“It’s his stage name,” Inara supplied. “Great comedic actor, starred in a Broadway show on Londinium, one about King Arthur’s knights.”

“You know,” Zoe continued, “I heard he landed that role by improvising a scene—”

“That’s actor code for ‘he couldn’t remember his lines’,” Wash interpreted snarkily for the other men. “I bet he can’t even speak Chinese well enough to cuss in it.”

“He sat across the table from the director, Doug Harken…” Zoe related.

“Harken? That dry old stick?” Inara interrupted.

“…and improvised a scene with all sorts of suggestive details about his supposed wife. Then he invited Harken to join them in a three-way, and Harken just cracked up.”

“That’s why he got the part. Anybody who could make Harken laugh has got a real talent.”

“I think Simon looks like Ryan Caulfield!” Kaylee exclaimed, her eyes eating up Simon’s bare chest.


“That actor who played a police officer on a cortex show a few years back,” Kaylee replied. “And—ooh!—he played a doctor on another show!”

“What’s goin’ on here?” Jayne stomped in and stopped short, looking from his bare-chested comrades to the three women eyeing them with undisguised appreciation. “Can I play too?”

* * *



* glossary

傻瓜 shǎguā [idiot]

Hope you enjoyed this one-shot. The idea for it was unwittingly supplied by my husband. (Husband, male business colleague, self, at dinner.) Husband: My wife’s just obsessed with this show called Firefly. Colleague: Never heard of it. Husband: She even watches Castle, even though it has nothing to do with Firefly. It just has the same actor in it. Colleague: My wife likes Castle. Watches it all the time. Husband: We can’t compete with these actors…(gave most of his lines to one of the guys in this fic) And…thanks to Mal4prez for the phrase “gratuitous shirtlessness”—stole it off of one of her postings.


Sunday, September 18, 2011 5:06 PM


" He does look like you, you know."

I was waitin' fer that one... Funny.

Monday, September 19, 2011 6:41 AM


"What kinda 傻瓜 shǎguā takes his shirt off to chase after the bad guy?"

That... happened?

I gave it my best try, but I couldn't keep watching Castle after the second season.

But, otherwise, funny story! I've actually wondered how this works, I've noticed a lot of my Mal/Inara writer friends also happen to be MARRIED Nathan Fillion fans. I guess y'all just get them back when the guys moon over Brad Pitt or something.

Hey. *poke* That's a plot bunny. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011 11:00 AM


""What kinda 傻瓜 shǎguā takes his shirt off to chase after the bad guy?"

That... happened?"

Yes, but not on Castle. The TV scenes in this piece are more a parody of Star Trek than Castle. Does it say something about me that I enjoyed watching Galaxy Quest far more than I ever enjoyed watching Star Trek? (also paying tribute to Firefly's sci-fi ancestors)

As far as being a married fan--well, I'll admit I like watching Nathan Fillion play Richard Castle--what's not to like about watching Mr Fillion act?--but I'd much rather watch him portray Mal. Ah, if only tonight's season premier were for season 10 of Firefly! Seriously, though, my husband has nothing to worry about. :-^) If I acted on my crushes on fictional characters, I'd probably have run away with Mr Darcy years ago. ;-)

Monday, September 19, 2011 11:02 AM


NewOldBrowncoat...thanks for writing in. Glad you enjoyed it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 3:52 AM


And if guys acted on their star crushes, well, um, I guess they'd sit around drinking beer and watching football or playing video games with their new best friend.

Hey, if women who get crushes run away with their crushes, can I have a crush on the good ship Serenity? ...No, that won't work. Mal'd shoot me.

Galaxy Quest was amazing fun. :)

Saturday, December 31, 2011 1:35 AM


that is brilliant as a total geek fan of anything Nathan does I loved seeing both his characters in one fic.


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