Monied Individual - Part XIX
Sunday, April 16, 2017

“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!]


Jayne skidded to a halt as the small, sleek craft came in low over the house and began to descend onto the expanse of drive outside. He could feel the vibrations through his boots, then realised it wasn’t just the shuttle as dust and grit billowed from the windows as the south wing seemed to fold in on itself. “Shit.”

He started to run again, vaguely aware of the shuttle’s engines cycling back, but all his attention was on his target. The entire top two floors of the burnt-out wing had gone, collapsed into a pile of rubble that shifted as he scrambled over it and inside what was left.

A flash of red to his left had him half turning, his hand already drawing his gun, but it was Demelza, huddled against the wall on a thin strip of floor. “Stay put!” he yelled, putting up his hand. “Or you’ll go too!”

She tried to nod, then said, “They fell through. Into the cellar.” She coughed mightily, a cloud of dust flying from her hair.

“Figured that.”

“Jayne?” It was Dillon, peering in from outside.

“Don’t,” Jayne warned, feeling something slip under his boots. “It ain’t stable.”

“Where’s Hank?”

“Under it.” He grunted as he saw the thin, high-tensile rope he’d left from what seemed like a lifetime ago, still miraculously attached and disappearing through a gap in the floor, just big enough for a man. “Demelza needs help,” he added, moving as carefully but as quickly as he could. “Should be able to get her from the inside. And you’d better tell Simon to get his stuff ready.”

“Will do.”

The gap was tight, and he scraped his shoulders as he went through, but the rope allowed him to keep most of his weight off the pile of rubble until he stood on a relatively clear patch of the cellar floor and dragged the torch from his pocket.

“Hank! Hank, you dead yet?” He waited, listening carefully, but all he could hear was the faint slither of tiny fragments settling.

He opened his mouth to call again, but his ears caught a faint groan from somewhere to his right. Skirting the debris his breath stuck for a moment when he saw a twisted form half underneath, then shrugged and continued when he recognised Clive Foster. No point in checking for signs of life, though – nobody’s head should be quite that flat.

Another groan, although this time more than a dying breath, and much closer.

Jayne hurried, his eyes ranging across bricks and charred timbers, almost ahead of the patch of torchlight. “Hank!”

“Stop … shouting …”

There he was, somehow with only a portion of beam across his legs and laying on his front.

Jayne quickly put the torch down so it would shine on what he needed to do. “Lay still. I’m gonna get you out.”

“Not … not going …” The rest of any words were drowned out by the sound of another ship arriving, this one keeping its distance so as not to cause any more catastrophic collapses.

Jayne. River’s voice was gentle, more a caress. I’m here.

“Just getting …” He wedged his hands under the wood and straightened his legs, feeling his muscles complaining even with his strength, but the beam lifted and he was able to get enough force behind it to toss it to one side. “Gorramit, he’s fainted. Wimp.”

Then his nostrils caught the stench of burned flesh, and the torch picked up the right knee of Hank’s pyjamas. “Oh. Sorry.”

Rolling the pilot carefully onto his back he picked him up, then looked up towards the gap he’d climbed through. It wasn’t going to be easy to …

Warm light spilled over him, and he turned.

Holding an emergency lantern, Zoe stood in the cellar doorway, leaning on the jamb, pale but upright. “Is he dead?”

“Nope.” Jayne shrugged, as much as he could. “Looks like he needs the doc pretty bad, but he’s better off’n the rest of them.” His brows drew together. “How did you …”


“That’s my girl.” He started towards her, then felt something touch his boot. He looked down.

“Help me,” John Foster tried to tighten his grip but the big man shook him off. “I’ll make it worth your while …” He pulled himself forwards, putting Jayne in mind of a lizard with a broken back.

Jayne stared at him, then said, almost conversationally, “You know, I don’t think there’s enough cashey-money in this ‘verse to do that.” He kicked out, his boot connecting solidly with the side of the old man’s head.

There was a crunch and a crack, and John Foster had time to open his eyes wide in surprise before his body realised he was dead and dropped.

Jayne looked up at Zoe, at the smile that had almost lifted her lips. “The doc?” he suggested.

“The doc,” she confirmed, and moved away from the doorway.


By the time Serenity dropped into atmo and settled into her previous landing spot, it was pretty much all over, bar the shouting.

The local Alliance commander had come and gone, assured by a tearful Demelza that her husband, brother- and father-in-law had gone into the south wing to see what could be done about some restoration. They couldn’t have known that the unseasonable cold had weakened the walls even more, and …

At this point she’d broken down, half-collapsing into his arms. He’d looked at her, the delicate features surrounded by the mass of red curls, and found himself promising to expedite the paperwork on this terrible accident. He’d left with Demelza’s grateful thanks ringing in his ears, her tears drying slowly on his shoulder.

After all, she’d had to be a good actress all these years, what with Luke and everything.


Freya led the way on board Katya and to the infirmary, a room twice the size of Serenity’s and with at least three times the equipment.

Luke was sitting outside in a sort of reception area, if that description could be used of somewhere with such deep armchairs people could get lost in them. His right arm was strapped across his chest, his face pale, and he tried to struggle to his feet when he saw Mal and Freya hurry in, Kaylee at their heels.

“Better stay where you are, son,” Mal said quickly. “Else you’ll fall down anyway, and that could be messy.”

Luke sank back gratefully. “I’ve not been shot before. It’s a new experience for me.”

“It don’t get any easier.”

Dillon materialised from the shadows. “Callum patched him up since Simon was busy. I told him to go home, but he wouldn’t.”

“Not until I know Hank will be all right,” Luke insisted.

Mal glanced into the infirmary, where Simon was operating and River was acting as his second pair of hands, passing him things before he needed to ask. Zoe was a few steps back, waiting. He turned his attention back to Luke. “I take it the Fosters ain’t likely to be knocking on the door.”

“Not unless they’re zombies.” He shifted in the chair and grimaced.

“You ought to be lying down,” Freya said softly. “You can use one of the rooms. I know Alex won’t mind.”

“’Sides, I’ve a notion you need to take a rest ‘fore we have a little chat,” Mal added.

“Oh, won’t that be fun,” Luke deadpanned as he allowed Dillon to help him to his feet. “I still want to know about Hank.”

“We’ll tell you as soon as we know,” Freya assured him. “Come on. It’s this way.”

Waiting until the small party had walked slowly down the deeply carpeted corridor, Mal turned to Jayne who was lounging in one of the other easy chairs.

“Shouldn’t you be outside?” he asked. “Checking we ain’t gonna be having any unwelcome visitors?”

The big man shrugged. “Callum’s out there. I’ve still got bits of me that ain’t got any feeling, so it’s his turn. Anyway, he said he liked the cold.”

News to me. This was Freya’s voice, reminding Mal she was still listening.

Mal ignored the interjection. “So I take it Luke’s right?”

“About the Fosters? Yeah. Pretty much you could put what’s left of ‘em in a flat box. After using a sponge.” He grinned, his natural malevolency peeking through. “I may have accidentally kicked John Foster’s head in, but I didn’t think anyone’d mind.”

“Nobody’s gonna be crying over him, that’s for sure. And what River told us, that’s the truth? About Luke being the heir to the whole kit and caboodle?”

“I ain’t seen any papers on it, but that’s what she said. And he kept repeating it was all his, when I collected him from the mausoleum. Seemed like he wanted to stake his claim as quickly as he could. He didn’t shut up about it until Callum gave him something to relax him.”

“You know, Freya is gonna have to tell me about their adventures sometime. Seems to me I’m missing out on some good, wholesome fun here.”

“Who said it was wholesome?” Freya and Dillon had reappeared silently, and now she stood at her husband’s elbow.

He glared at her, but with no real heat. “I wouldn’t know, since you won’t enlighten me.”

“It’s mostly boring.”

“Yeah, and Callum has some medical experience from all that boring nothingness.”

Dillon laughed. “Frey, if that was your idea of boring then I’d hate to be around when things get interesting.”

“You have been,” she pointed out.

“See, now, that’s just what I mean,” Mal complained.

“I promise, I will tell you everything very soon, over a good bottle of something very high proof,” Dillon said, putting his hand on the other man’s shoulder. “Tell you what – why don’t you all come join us at the island? Someone’s got to pick up your kids anyway, why not take your ease for a few days, and Hank can recuperate?”

“Mal.” Freya’s voice, almost more in his head than in his ear, broke into the conversation.


For answer she nodded towards the infirmary.

He turned to see Simon had finished, and was talking to Zoe. Crossing the room in three strides he stopped in the doorway. “Doc?”

Simon glanced at his patient, then tossed the swab he’d been drying his hands on into the trash. “I’ve done what I can. He has frostbite on his toes from running around in the snow, but I can treat that. The problem is the laser wound.”

“To his knee,” Mal clarified, River having given Freya the full story.

“To the back of his knee, and at a slight angle.” Simon watched Zoe take Hank’s hand, holding it close to her. He stepped out of the infirmary, giving them some space.

Mal had to move out of the way. “Simon …”

“If it had been a direct, straight hit, the damage wouldn’t have been nearly as severe. As it is the blast compromised ligaments, severed and sealed nerves and damaged major blood vessels.” He rubbed his hand across his forehead. “Jayne got him to him quickly, River landed Katya almost immediately –”

“I couldn’t get here any faster,” River interrupted sadly, having followed her brother.

Mal put his arm around her shoulders. “Quicker’n us, xiao nu.”

She brightened a little at being called his daughter, even unofficially.

“Go on, Simon.” Freya said.

“That’s just it. It wasn’t hard to stabilise him, and I’ve rerouted the blood vessels, done grafts … but the human body is a complicated machine.” Simon took a deep breath. “Even if there are no … if he heals well … the damage to the nerves means he’s unlikely to have the same amount of feeling in his leg.”

Mal stilled. “You mean it’ll be useless.”

“It might just be residual numbness, or yes – he could lose all sensation.”

Kaylee, silent all this time, whispered, “No!”

Freya quickly took the young woman into her embrace, giving her the comfort she needed.

“Could a hospital help?” Mal wanted to know. “There’s a couple here on Persephone we ain’t robbed yet.”

“No, not really. It’s the nature of the wound. A bullet would have left damage, yes, ragged nerve endings that could have been persuaded to knit back together –” Simon demonstrated with his hands, his fingers weaving into each other in a cat’s cradle. “– but the laser vapourised entire sections, and sealed the ends. A hospital in the Core, immediate treatment, perhaps … but even the best doctors aren’t miracle workers.”

“Not even the top three percent?”

Simon smiled tiredly. “Not even them.” He almost smiled. “You know, in a way, Hank was lucky.”

“Lucky?” Mal was intensely sceptical.

“If it had been a conventional bullet, at that angle, he would probably have bled to death before I could get to him. The laser cauterised the arteries quite efficiently.”

“I’ll let you tell Hank about that.”

“Oh, I will. He needs to know everything.”

Just in case. The words were hanging unsaid in the air, and the atmosphere chilled.

“It might be possible to do a nerve graft at some point, perhaps later,” Simon added.

“But. There’s a but in there.”

However… it’s a case of wait and see.”

“Again, doc … a hospital?”

“I doubt they could do any better.”

“No better at all,” River echoed, her voice full of pride.

Mal nodded slowly. “Okay. We wait. And in the meantime I think I’ll go have that little ‘chat’ with our friend Luke.”

“You’d better give me a few minutes,” Simon said, stretching his back. “I need to check out what Callum did.”

“Can Luke talk at the same time?”

“If you insist.”

“I do insist. I don’t like surprises, and I’ve a hankering to be sure there ain’t any more likely to come around and bite me in the ass.”

And it’s such a nice ass.

He raised his eyebrows slightly at Freya.


In Katya terms it was probably a small room, but since it was the size of Serenity’s common area it seemed open and spacious, even with Mal, Freya and Dillon by the bed, and Jayne and River in the doorway. Only Kaylee hadn’t followed, too concerned about Hank to leave the infirmary reception area quite yet.

Luke hadn’t been resting, unless resting consisted of pacing up and down, albeit somewhat unsteadily.

“Sit, at least,” Simon commanded. “Before you fall down.”

“I’m fine.”

“I love the fact that everyone I ever meet has passed their medical degree.”

Luke stared at him then laughed. “Yes. Sorry.” He sat down heavily on the bed.

“Does it hurt?” Simon started to undo the strapping.

“Yes. But I can live with it.”

“Good,” Mal said, his hand resting on the butt of his gun. “Because, according to general reports, you’re a Triskelion.”

Luke looked up in alarm. “Where did you hear that?”

“I hear a lot of things, from a lot of people.”

“I suppose Hank told you.”

“Nope.” Mal wasn’t about to mention psychics. “Actually it was you. Jayne said you were insisting on it when he carried you back here.”

“Jayne?” Luke looked confused.

“Big man. Goatee.”

“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.”

River leaned on her husband and sighed happily.

Simon straightened up. “Well, in case anyone is interested, Callum did a good job. I’m not going to do anything else to it. But I will give you a painkiller.” He reached into his bag and pulled out a hypo.

“Um, doc, I hate needles,” Luke pointed out.

“Really.” Simon filled it from a bottle of pale pink liquid.

“Really. I’m not joking. I seriously don’t … ow!”

“Sorry about that.” Simon dropped the used hypo back in the bag then stretched. “I’m going back to Hank. He’ll be awake soon. Just try not to hurt him.” This last was to Mal as he left the room.

“Are you likely to?” Luke asked, a faint look of trepidation crossing his face.

“Not made up my mind as yet.”

“What can I do to persuade you?”

“How about telling us the truth?”

Luke had to laugh. “I’m not sure I know the truth, not anymore. I’ve been living a lie for a long time.”

“Then maybe it’s time to be honest.”

“Are you?”

Mal half-smiled. “Funnily enough, we ain’t talking about me.”

“No. I suppose we’re not.” Luke shifted on the bed. “John and his sons are dead.”

“That they are.”

“Then everything’s as it should be.”

“’Cept my pilot back there got kidnapped, left in a grave, and got shot.”

“Yes. I’m sorry about that.”

“Which bit?”

“All of it.”

“And if Hank’d ended up all corpsified and gross like they planned? Would you still be sorry then?”

Luke tried to sit up a little straighter. “Captain, in all honesty, I didn’t know him. He was just a name Septimus Pike came up with, a good mark with no relatives to come calling for a share.”

“You knew what they had in mind.”

“I thought I could stop it going that far. That if he was the kind of man Pike said, we could persuade him to take the bait, then buy him off. Get him to sign it all over, then he could live in luxury for the rest of his days.” Luke had the grace to look ashamed. “I didn’t know about his wife or his son.”

“Yeah, well, that is a point in your favour. A small point. Frey tells me you warned Hank not to mention Ben.”

“I had no idea what John Foster might do if he knew.”

“Yes you did.”

Luke didn’t answer for a moment, then spoke slowly. “I would have stopped him.”

“Hank ended up buried alive in a tomb – I’m fair sure he wasn’t thinking he had the best of the deal.”

“Mal, stop.” Freya’s voice was soft. “He knows he was in the wrong.”

“I’m not a good man, Captain.” Luke shook his head. “There are things in my past, things I’ve done … I’m not proud of them. And maybe I would have looked the other way if I hadn’t got to know Hank. But I did. And he is a good man.”

Mal glared at him for a few seconds longer, then his expression softened minutely. “We’re none of us squeaky clean, I guess. Not even Frey here.”

“Speak for yourself,” the woman in question retorted.

“I thought I was, ai ren.” His swift smile was like a ray of sunshine through grey clouds, but it was gone just as quickly as he looked back at the man on the bed. “Speaking of which, how come he didn’t freeze? Hank, I mean, in the tomb.”

“The generators.” Luke scratched at his shoulder until Freya gently slapped his hand away. “They’re right next to the mausoleum.”

“So?” Mal pushed.

“So there’s a vent from the heating system that goes under the mausoleum.”

“What, in case the bodies get cold?” Freya asked. At Mal’s look she shrugged. “Hank’s not here so I thought I’d say it. At least I didn’t ask if the dead had put in a special request.”

“You know, I ain’t above making you sleep on the couch.”

“I’m sure I could find someone to bunk in with.”

“Probably true.” Mal shook his head. “Anyway, the heating?”

Luke tried to keep his smile under control. “Sorry to disappoint you, but it wasn’t for anything more supernatural than the last time they replaced the generators the engineers announced they needed to put a vent in somewhere, and I think it tickled Peder to think it would keep his ancestors toasty.”

“From what I gather Uther’s probably in a place that’s warm enough for anyone.”

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised. At least the Fosters will have company.”

“I conjure they didn’t know. About the vent.”

“They didn’t care anything about the house. I found the details in some old domestic records when I was … uh … doing research.”


“Mmn. In case.”

Mal decided to let that one pass. “So why didn’t you come forward? Tell ‘em who you really are.”

Luke had to laugh. “Can you imagine my life expectancy if I had? A snowball in hell would’ve lived longer. No, I could only bide my time, hope John Foster would shuffle off this mortal coil.”

“I appreciate the Shakespeare, but you think you could’ve dealt with Clive and Crispin?”

“Clive, yes, with my hands tied behind my back. Crispin? A different kettle of fish. Don’t go by the way he looked – he was far too like his father.”

“He went splat the same,” Jayne put in.

“A bigger splat,” River corrected.

“Just so long as they don’t come back as zombies,” Freya added in her faux-Hank mode.

For a long moment there was silence, then Luke said gently, “They’re going to be put into the mausoleum, each in their own stone tomb. It’ll be locked from the outside. And I’m having the tunnel from the house blocked up.”

“And it ain’t any of our affair anymore,” Mal said pointedly, glaring at his wife.

“Splat,” River murmured.

Luke glanced at her. “So you and … and Jayne … sorry, still can’t quite believe the name.”

“What?” The big man looked honestly confused. “Cobb’s a good name.”

“No, I meant –”

“Anyway,” Mal said quickly, “yeah, they were both there, watching out for Hank and Zoe.”

“Most of the time.” Now River’s voice was harder, and the look she gave Luke made him feel as if his brain was trying to run and hide, quite possibly in the next galaxy.


Mu qin?

Stop it. He’s a good man.

“He tried to blow up Serenity.”

Luke held up his hand. “No. No way. I knew what I was doing. And if I hadn’t, if I’d said no, Crispin would have found a way to get rid of you all a lot more permanently.”

“I still ain’t happy with you tampering with my ship.” Mal crossed his arms, but while Luke saw a man with an obstinate and belligerent attitude, the others saw their captain move his hand away from his gun. Not that it wouldn’t take just the blink of an eye to put it back.

“I am sorry about that. I’ll pay for any repairs.”

“That ain’t the issue. Nor is it necessary, since Kaylee already fixed things.”

“I still want to repay you somehow.”

Do it, Mal.

You think?

Goodwill, zhang fu.

Mal took a deep breath. “Well, if you come across any debts owed by a Winston Downey, I’d be grateful if you could cancel them.”

“Done. Who is he?”

“Nobody of any account.” He felt a mental nudge. “And … uh … if you could put some work the way of a man called Badger …”

“That low-life?”

“Why am I not surprised you know him?”

“I haven’t always been this upstanding member of the community you see standing before you. Well, laying down. And no – I think that’s a step too far.”

Mal didn’t seem worried. “Shiny. I asked, and that’s what I’ll tell him.”

“Goodwill, captain?”

Mal laughed at hearing Freya’s comment of a minute ago echoed back. “In my line o’ work, you can’t have enough of that.”

“Well, you have mine.”

“And that Kodorite?” Freya asked. “Are you planning to mine it?”

“Nope.” Luke shook his head firmly. “Nobody’s stripping my land.”

“And if the Alliance find out? They’ll take it off you without even a thank you.”

“They won’t find out from me.”

Mal’s lips twitched. “Can’t say we’re like to run tell the Feds either.”

Luke looked from one to the other. “So you won’t fight my claim?”

Freya put her hand on his arm. “Luke, we know Hank isn’t a Triskelion. We can prove it too, just like you can.”

“Frey’s right.” Mal nodded. “You present your evidence, and Hank’ll withdraw.”

Luke seemed to visibly relax. “You know, what we did, you could make a claim on the estate. For damages, at least.”

“I ain’t damaged, and Hank … well, he’ll probably do what Zoe tells him. Makin’ a fuss all the way and acting hard done by, but he’ll be good. ‘Sides, all anyone needs to do is check his blood against the right DNA profile on the family server.”

Against all the odds Luke coloured slightly. “Ah … yes.”

“So you’re going to be very wealthy,” Freya added.

“Once I get my proof notarised and everything’s turned over to me.” He had to grin. “I’m going to live in the house, make it right. Me, Demelza and Cora. She’s my daughter, you know.”

“We know.”

“How could –”

“It’s obvious,” Freya went on quickly, also forestalling any difficult questions about people perhaps being psychic. “From a certain angle Cora has your browline, your chin … and absolutely nothing of Clive Foster.”

“Which Demi … Demelza is inordinately grateful for.” His gaze grew soft. “It was always true love, you know? Between Demi and me, from the first moment I met Clive’s new, young wife. But neither of us had any money, at least not enough for her to break free from him.” He ran his hand through his hair. “Still, I’d dearly love to have strangled that man myself.”

“Did he know?” Dillon asked. “About you and Demelza? That Cora wasn’t his?”

“I don’t know,” Luke admitted. “Maybe not on the conscious level. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Crispin did. He used to … enjoy finding things out about people. And using them. He was a sadistic bastard.”

“It wasn’t Clive, was it?” Freya realised. “Those bruises Hank saw.”

“No. Demi hated this from the start, but Crispin … God, if I could have killed Clive, you don’t know what I wish I could have done with Crispin.” His face sharpened. “Demi won’t tell me everything, but I’m pretty sure he tried more than once to … force himself on her.”

“Splat,” River put in, reminding them all of the Fosters and their final judgement.

“Yes.” Luke took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. “He won’t hurt anyone else ever again. And now I can look after Demi properly. She needs someone to … look after her.”

He doesn’t know.

Mal glanced at Freya. Ai ren?

That Demelza shot Crispin.

She did? How do you know?

River told me. And you’re not to say anything.

As if I would.

Freya lifted her eyebrows at him, but held back on any other comment.

Luke, meanwhile, hadn’t noticed and was still waxing lyrical over Demelza. “… and I was going to tell everyone right at the beginning, but she warned me not to, that it wasn’t safe. I’ve lived okay on their scraps, and maybe one or two things I don’t think I’ll tell you about, but it took all Demi’s considerable skills to get them to spend any money on the house. If she hadn’t it would have fallen down around our ears.”

“And now it’s all yours,” Mal commented.

“Seems so.” He sighed happily.

“All this lovey-dovey’s making me hungry,” Jayne groused. “Any food in this place?”

River sighed. “I’ll take him to the kitchen.”

Mal barely held his own in check. “Thanks, xiao nu.”

to be concluded



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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!]