The Serenity Gig-Chapter 3: The Big Day
Thursday, October 21, 2004

This is part three of my Serenity Gig series. In this one, the moment that we've all been waiting for between Kaylee and Simon arrives, and Jayne's big surprise is revealed. Please respond to this. The appreciation is what keeps me going.


I woke up eager on the day of the wedding. I’m always excited on the day of the ceremony. I am never happier than when I have a bunch of shots planned in my head and have the opportunity to bringing them to life. I spent all of yesterday just going over every square inch of the cargo bay, just to get ideas for the video. I blocked it all out in my head beforehand, but I really wanted to see if there was an angle I hadn’t considered. For some reason, I really wanted to make sure everything I had in mind would work. Maybe it was the fact that what I ended up with was the only thing that would keep them from throwing me out the airlock. Maybe it was the fact that I really wanted to impress Kaylee. I always had a bit of a crush on her. And despite the fact I was filming her official day of unavailability, I still wanted to impress her and make the right impression.

And there was a third reason I wanted everything to work. I had only been on this ship for about two days. But even though I was just another passenger to them, I couldn’t help but feel like a member of the crew myself. After I was sacked by the Alliance, I had always been the lone man on the outside looking in. And for the most part, I was perfectly OK with this situation. But there were a few times that I wished I was part of a group. That I fitted in with the people I was filming. I certainly never got that with any of the Core Planet weddings. After I filmed the last shot, I was usually asked to leave, so I never got to stick around and enjoy myself. And on the Outer Rim weddings, they were OK with me sticking around afterwards, but after a while, I still got that sense of me not really belonging there and that my welcome was overstayed. But on the day before the wedding, after I had combed the cargo bay storyboarding what I would shoot in my head, I had nothing better to do than just converse with the crew. And in that time, I felt as if they were old friends that I had known for years. I spun old mp3 discs with Wash and River, I told war stories with Mal and Zoe, I discussed books and religion with Book, I learned more about Simon and Kaylee’s relationship as I helped her in the engine room and him in the infirmary and I conversed with Inara about the insipid social structure of the Core Planets. Heck, I even helped Jayne as he cleaned his weapons. Afterwards, I tried (and failed) to teach him the basic rules of chess. I still couldn’t figure out what he was planning to do for the wedding. This sense of camaraderie and family was refreshing, heck inspiring for me. I now know why Kaylee wanted this movie to be just as much about them as it was about her and Simon. And gorram it if I wasn’t going to do my best work for them.

So I got up and I got dressed in my best clothes. I usually wear a simple white collar shirt, tie, black jeans and black polish able shoes. I carry my black felt outback hat with me just to keep up the gunslinger image. I of course don’t wear it during the ceremony, but I like having around with me while I shoot. I feel like the maverick I proclaim to be. I walked out to the cargo floor. They had set up the podium, altar and chairs the night before. I would open the film with a really good shot of the ship itself, and then I would fade into a shot of the makeshift chapel that they had there. I panned over it with my main handheld camera and then panned down to the infirmary. This was the designated place where the men would change into their formal wear.

When I arrived, I found Book already in his best Preacher clothes, Wash in a suit (he looked out of character wearing something that wasn’t a Hawaiian shirt), and the Captain wearing a suit that seemed like something he wore once a long time ago. It seemed a bit tight on him, and he moved around in a way that seemed like he was trying his best not to rip them. I guess that was why Kaylee nicknamed him Captain Tightpants. Simon was sitting on the operating table trying to tie a tie and fumbling with it. He seemed a bit hung over, like Wash and the Captain were.

Last night (if there is such a thing in space), we had docked at a spaceport and surprised Simon with a bachelor party at a strip joint called Barbarellas. Mal, Jayne and Wash had wanted to celebrate Simon’s last night of bachelorhood, even though Simon had a look of shock and horror mixed with unease throughout the night. They had each gotten a bit plastered as the night went on, even though Simon looked like he wanted to be anywhere else in the world except staring at a nearly naked, genetically perfect woman. I enjoyed myself soberly and helped Book drag them back to their bunks in the ship.

So it was Book that helped Simon finally tie his tie, as well as make sure everyone else looked good.

‘Thank you, Book. I seem to be a bit off.”

“That’s perfectly understandable, son. You’re about to be wed in the eyes of God.”

“What about the state? The second the wedding forms are processed, the Alliance will be crashing your honeymoon.” I interjected.

“Don’t worry about that.” Mal said to both Simon and me. “With Book’s connections, and a little forgery on our behalf, you and Kaylee’ll be legally bound as well as by God.” I noticed he said the God part with a bit of resentment.

“So who’s going to officially do it?” Wash interjected.

“Well, normally it would be my responsibility to marry a couple on my ship,” Mal said matter-of –factly, “but I think Book here should do the honors. You up to it?”

“I was getting friendly with some choice scriptures while Jayne was getting overfriendly with the girls with a few choice slogans.”

“Speaking of which, has anyone seen him yet?” Wash asked.

“I ran into him earlier. He said that he wanted to change by himself. Said he had a surprise for us.” Mal answered. We all looked at him with a look of reluctance. “He ain’t gonna do anything stupid. Not if I have anything to do with it.” I decided then that that was enough for this segment of the film. I left them to talk amongst one another, and for Wash to practice his kazoo. I heard the beelike hum of a gaelic tune as I walked from the infirmary to the engine room. Despite the fact that it was a cramped and potentially dangerous place, Kaylee decided that she wanted that to be the dressing room for her and the women. I guess that’s why I was helping her clean up in there yesterday.

When I arrived, it was your normal bride and bridesmaids getting ready clutter. Makeup kits were strewn around, a divider was set up for them to change behind and the hint of different perfumes tinged the air. Inara was putting makeup on River, who was fidgeting like a five year old getting her picture taken, Kaylee was looking at her dress in a mirror that was set up in the corner, and I heard the grunts of Zoe behind the divider.

“Inara, you know that I’m about two sizes bigger than this ai ya gou tsao de dress, right?”

“I know, but I had to make some alterations to the dress. You and Kaylee don’t share the same body type.”

“We don’t share the same tastes as well. How hard is it to get a slinky dress?”

“Slink is out of place in a wedding. Besides, you look fine in that dress.”

“I look like a gorram layer cake. I can’t even breathe in this stupid thing.”

Zoe then steeped out from behind the divider, and I had to do my best not to burst out laughing. She was wearing this horrid frilly pink dress that looked like something from a bakery. The bell part of the dress was obviously altered so that it didn’t get in the way of everything where she walked. Most of the frills on the torso part were removed, but it still didn’t diminish the obviously sour look on her face. As I finally surpressed my wave of laughter, Inara stood aside for River to look. A look of amusement and joy came over River as she started to laugh uncontrollably. Zoe just grimaced at her.

“I think you look adorable.” Kaylee interjected as River’s laughs began to subside.

“That’s easy for you to say. This was your dress two years ago before you got that bit of white silk.”

“Notwithstanding” Kaylee said with a grin. She looked back into the mirror and twirled. She was wearing a regular white wedding dress that seemed to be handed down from a few decades. It was a bit faded, and in places it had to be sown up from the numerous rips, but she just loved it. I like it when the bride looks like she’s enjoying this. I usually like to focus on the bride when I do a video, since this whole day is really about her. If you think this is sexist, just keep this in mind. You never see a guy planning a wedding, do you?

“All in white. White symbolizes purity. Cleanliness. Beginning of new life.” River interjected as she stared at her. “You look beautiful.”

“Sie-sie, River.” Kaylee smiled to her and nodded. “You look nice as well.”

River looked down at her dress. It was a simple thing that looked like one of Inara’s old dresses. She was dressed simply, and had a little makeup on her that oddly enough blended in with her face. Her hair was done up nicer and didn’t look stringy.

“Just for today. The clothes and mask will come off and I’ll still be me. But you will be different afterwards. So will Simon.” She seemed a bit saddened by this. Inara stood back as Kaylee came to her.

“River, mei-mei. I’ll still be the Kaylee you know. And Simon’ll still be there to help you like he’s been doing these last two years. It’ll still be the same as before. We’re just making this official. You understand, right?”

River looked up at her and smiled. “I understand and comprehend.” Kaylee smiled at this and hugged her. “Take care of him, will you? He needs so much looking after.” River explained. Kaylee laughed at this and hugged her some more. I decided to leave then since that was exactly what I needed.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I went back up to the cargo bay and placed my camera on my tripod. Book, was already there, bible in hand and smile on face. Wash was already seated, with kazoo in hand, looking around the cargo bay with a smile on his face. I heard footsteps coming from the lower hallway from the engine room and I saw Zoe emerge holding up the slimmed hoop skirt of Kaylee’s old dress. She had ditched her combat boots for heels, which she had a hard time walking in as well. This was obviously not going to be her favorite wedding she attended. Wash looked over and did his best not to burst out laughing. I did my best to not get her, since she obviously wouldn’t want to be immortalized in celluloid wearing that.

“Husband. You have something you want to say?”

“Well, not really say. More like hum.” He brought the kazoo to his mouth and started to play the first few notes of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Her face soured even more, to which Wash caught onto and stopped. She sat across from him in the women’s section of the row of seats. I looked back down to the infirmary and I noticed Mal and Inara standing there, looking like they were waiting to begin.

“Well, are we going to start this now, Preacher?”

“I suppose we can. Wash?”

Wash stood up and cleared his voice. He began to play the gaelic tune I heard earlier. I could tell that he was clearly enjoying this chance to reveal his musical talent. After the first use of the chorus, the procession started. First there was Mal and Inara walking arm and arm up the “aisle” towards the podium. As I zoomed in on their faces, I could see that while they were trying to be as straight as possible, I could tell in their eyes that they were slightly enjoying this, and on more than one level. Despite their vocal abhorrence for each other, maybe there was something between them. I pushed this out of my head when they reached to podium, split and took their places. Inara was obviously the bridesmaid while Mal would be the best man. Simon and River then followed, with River carrying a basket of rose petals. She might’ve been a bit too old to play flower girl, but there was a giddiness to her. She sprinkled the ship’s floor with these little red petals, and her satisfaction with this task was obvious. Simon couldn’t help but look content seeing his sister whom he had sacrificed so much for finally be happy. Before they split, River whispered something to him in what I thought was Latin. He smiled to himself and took his place as she sat down next to Zoe, whose mood had only slightly improved.

And then it came. The big moment. My favorite part of the whole day. When the bride makes her dramatic enterance and wows the crowd. She emerged from the port door, beaming more brightly than I, or anyone else here, had ever seen before. I swear she was about to go supernova. And then the oddest, most unexpected thing I had ever seen happen at a wedding happened. I heard bagpipes. At first I thought Wash had hooked up an audio feed of a bagpipe cover of the same gaelic tune he was playing on the kazoo. But he looked as surprised as I was with the music. He then looked up to the catwalk and gave a look like something out of the old monster movies he loved. I looked up as well to see what he saw, and I nearly stumbled.

Jayne Cobb was up on the catwalk and descending down the staircase, playing a set of bagpipes. An old set of bagpipes that wheezed as he played the tune Wash had been playing. He wasn’t bad at all. On the contrary, he was a better musician than Wash was. And he really went the whole nine years on this. Not only was he playing the pipes, but he also had on a Scottish beret, a black buttoned jacket and even a kilt that went down to his knees, exposing a lower set of hairy legs. Kaylee had stopped in her tracks when she saw this. When he finally reached the floor, he indicated with his eyebrows to keep going. Kaylee regained composure as she finally walked down the makeshift aisle, holding a bouquet of paper and plastic flowers as Jayne followed behind, finishing up the song he was playing. Kaylee took her place in front of Book and across from Simon as Jayne sat back down two seats away from Wash. He sat there, like nothing was out of place. Everyone was just staring at him for about ten seconds, before he caught on to this.

“What? I’m wearing boxers underneath. Let’s get this going.”

This seemed to snap everyone out of their shocked gaze, and after a few moments in which he composed himself, Book began the ceremony. “Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to join our doctor and our engineer in the bonds of holy matrimony. For me, it is an honor to be the one who brings these two people together in the eyes of God, and unofficially the state. I have gotten to know these two a little bit better in these last few months. And I can say that this is a unification that will outlast any governmental decree and only be strengthened in time, instead of weakened.”

Book went on a little more about what the Bible and God had to say about marriage as well as some other famous quotes about love and acceptance. I’d supply a transcript of the speech, but I just don’t have the energy. I was too busy anyways trying to get different shots of the crew members and their reactions. River was a real help, doing the hand signals with a fluidity of a conductor. Finally, after a few more words and a prayer said aloud by the crew (which I figured was the least favorite moment of the Captain), Inara came to the podium to recite a poem I had heard on my first ceremony, called “Why Marriage?”

Why Marriage? Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person With all my heart, my soul, my mind and my body Because I need a forever friend, to trust with the intimacies of me

Who won’t hold them against me, who loves me when I am unlikable Who sees the small child in me, and who looks for the divine potential of me

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night, with someone who thanks God for me With someone who I feel blessed to hold

Because marriage means opportunity To grow and love and in friendship Because marriage is a discipline To be added to a list of achievements

Because marriages do not fail People fail when they enter into the marriage Expecting another to make them whole

Because knowing this, I promise to myself To take full responsibility For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness

I create me, I take half the responsibility for my marriage Together we create a marriage Because with this understanding The possibilities are limitless.

Kaylee mouthed a simple ‘thank you’ to her as Inara walked back to her place. Book took his place again and resumed. After another monologue about the responsibilities of marriage, he asked for Kaylee and Simon to face each other. Simon then took out a sheet of paper from his coat pocket. He took a quick scan of this paper and tucked it back in. I guess he did decide to write some vows of his own.

“I know that while I may have been in the top three percent in my class and considered a gifted individual when it comes to addressing the physical heart, we all know that my ability to address the heart with words is something I have proven over and over again is something I am not good at.” A small chuckle arose from the crew members. “But I will try to do my best this time around. You were my first patient here on this ship. Even though I bartered with the Captain with your life, I knew I wouldn’t let you die. Being a doctor is more than a job for me. It’s is my code. It is my philosophy. It is my purpose. These last two years have been the most exciting, dangerous and heart breaking years of my life. But they have also been the most life affirming. And it’s all because of you. In my darkest moments, you have been the light that has saved me in more ways than you’ll ever know. So on this day, in front of our family and a few feet away from where we really met, I would like to make a promise. I will be there to patch you up, both physically, mentally and spiritually. I will be there to assist you at your strongest and help you at your weakest. I will cherish every single moment I am in your presence, and I will be there for you until the end of our lives and afterward.”

A smile came across my face then, and I knew right there. She had made the right choice. When I reviewed the film of the other crew members for their reactions to that speech, they all had that same look on their faces. Even the Captain and Jayne, the hardened cynics to the idea of marriage, had a look of amusement and realized admiration on their faces. At this point, Kaylee herself was already in tears of happiness. I always like it when the bride gets all blubbery. You wouldn’t believe how many stiffs I had to watch at the podium to finally appreciate it when a bride gets all emotional. I knew River got the right angle and frame on Simon, so now it was my turn to get Kaylee just right.

“Simon. I have known many men in my lifetime. I have explored the spectrum of men, guys and boys. But you were the first gentleman I knew. I was attracted by your intelligence, your occupation, and maybe a little bit by your looks. But over the last two years, I fell in love with your dedication, your drive to better everyone around you, especially your little mei-mei. But mostly, I fell in love with you. Your kindness, your consideration, your chivalry and how you treated me. Made me feel like this goddess, even though I had grease smeared on my clothes and oil in my hair. I promise to love and honor you. To take care of you and treat you like you would treat me. To make you feel as if you mattered just being there. To give you that home you lost by doing the right thing.” She smiled again, even though tears were cascading down her rouged cheeks and into the corners of her quivering mouth. They then turned and faced Book, who was obviously enjoying every moment of this.

"Do you, Simon Tam, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife. To love, honor and obey in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?"

"I do."

"Do you, Kaywinnith Lee Frye, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband. To love, honor and obey in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live."

"I do and even longer than that."

"The ring's please."

The rings were then given to Kaylee and Simon by Inara and Mal. Simon repeated Book’s lines and slipped on her ring on her left hand quite effortlessly. Kaylee took a little longer than usual, since she said every word in between a sob, and her hand was shaking when she put the ring on Simon’s hand, which I think was a bit to small for his finger. But that was excusable, under any circumstance.

“And so, by the power invested in me by God and the Alliance, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

Simon leaned in and lightly kissed Kaylee on the lips. Kaylee wrapped her arms around him and practically squeezed him as she rammed her tongue down his throat. The crew then burst into an applause as they cheered them on. As Jayne hollered, Kaylee raised her fist in the air like an athlete that had just won a race. After they broke the kiss, Book brought out some legal looking documents and him, Simon, Kaylee, Mal and Inara took a few minutes signing them. Afterwards, Book said one last prayer, with each of the crew members with their heads bowed down. I zoomed in on Simon and Kaylee holding each others hands, a signature shot of mine I always like to fit in. Afterwards, they marched down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife as Inara and Jayne followed, playing his pipes again. Inara was to take them out in her shuttle as they did whatever it is that newlyweds do between the time they got married and when they arrived for the dinner. After the three had boarded the shuttle, and as Jayne went to change out of his kilt, we all started taking down the podium and chairs to set up for the banquet that was to be held there as well.

As we were moving the stuff around, I went up to Mal, who was just standing there, staring up at the port to Inara’s shuttle. “What’s on your mind?” I asked.

“This is the first time since we started flying that I was witness to something good happening on this ship. I expected something to go wrong, but nothing did. Not even Jayne’s strange revelation.”

“Same here. Everything went off without a hitch, which is a first for me as well. This is like that feeling you get when you first fly.”

“Yes. I believe it is like that.”

* * * * * * *

More to come. Feedback appreciated.


Friday, October 22, 2004 12:52 AM


I enjoyed this part, very shiny. Simon and Kaylee getting hitched was perfect -not so sure about Zoe's dress. Somehow I don't think a battalion of Reavers would have made her wear that dress. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, October 22, 2004 2:52 AM


It was done mostly for comedic effect. I figured there really wasn't anything of Inara's that Zoe could wear, and the layer cake would've been the closest. It's the same reason I had Wash play the kazoo and Jayne in a kilt (which was a wish of Adam Baldwins for the movie. Problem is, I don't think Joss could find a place for that).


You must log in to post comments.



You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 15
Kaylee goes into labor. Hilarity and drama ensues.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 14
Wash and Shooter discuss death and dinosaurs, Gabriel tells Kaylee about Regan, River brings her family together one last time, and Simon and Kaylee face an uncertain future.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 13
Everyone returns to the mansion, Johnny helps a grieving River with some Van Morrison, and Gabriel asks Mal to end it all.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 12
Gabriel is confronted by his family with the news, Kaylee makes a call to Inara, some unexpected guests arrive, and Gabirel is confronted by a familiar demon.

You Can't Go Home Again - Chapter 11
Signal rocks the house, Regan makes a realization, and three major things happen to River in the span of half an hour.

You Can't Go Home Again: Chapter 10
The Tams make their way to the Metro, Johnny get's spiritual clarity with the help of thousands, River plays a favorite of hers, and Simon and Kaylee go on a long delayed date.

You Can't Go Home Again Chapters 6-9
The next day of Simon, River and Kaylee's journey to the Core. Simon comforts Regan in more ways than one, Kaylee makes some figurative and literal repairs of her own, River and Johnny go from the top of a warehouse building to front and center of the Metro in less than 24 hours, and Regan shows it's never to late to make things right.

You Can't Go Home Again Chapters 1-5
Set after THE SERENITY GIG, BLUE HAND BLUES and SHOTGUN TAM, this story takes place in an AU where the BDM never happened, although there will be refrences to it. With the social and economic breakdown of the Alliance, the Tam's are finally free. But a message from home forces them to deal with a larger issue at hand.

You Can't Go Home Again: Chapter 9
The Metro opens its doors, Kaylee sees what she's dreamed of, and the first rock concert in two hundred years goes under way with an updated classic.

You Can't Go Home Again: Chapter 8
This is the all singing, no dancing chapter as River and the band play in public for the first time and tap into something big. The Tam's and Kaylee get wind of this and round two of the fight is interrupted by an unexpected source.