BOUND: Who's flying this thing?! - Part One
Monday, June 6, 2005

What would happen if the Captain suddenly fell ill? Who would run the ship, take on jobs etc? Our Big Damn Heroes are about to find out!


This is my first real attempt at writing comedy ('Superstition' aside). Constructive criticism is always welcome. Enjoy!

Wacky Fun!

Malcolm Reynolds lay in the infirmary with a towel wrapped around his shoulders and a sullen look on his face. The events of the last few hours ran through his mind. Mal had survived countless gun battles – riddled himself full of holes. He had dodged certain death at the hands of Adelai Niska, and lived to tell the tale. Of course, that last part was a lie. The crazy old man had dragged him, kicking and screaming from his fluffy white cloud, in order to carry out some more crazy, old torture. Mal would never admit that to anyone – not even Zoe. It’s not like he had any choice in the matter. Besides, he had come to terms with the events of that day. The source of his anguish was much closer to heart. Actually, it was nowhere near his heart, but could be found at the end of his nose. It had happened so quickly. The sharp, sickening pain in his stomach, and the overriding urge to fall over weren’t part of his Captain-y duties that day. He never realised that a simple flu bug could floor him - faster than it took Jayne to clear the room at the slightest hint of Reavers. Now, Malcolm Reynolds lay in bed, feeling helpless and choked up with the man-flu. He was beginning to live up to his namesake too – in the Latin, of course. He certainly felt that way, and there wasn’t a gorram thing he could do about it. The young doctor had told him it was best to stay in bed for a couple of days. Mal wasn’t having any of it. His whole nervous system, however, tended to disagree with that notion. Mal stared down at his stomach and groaned. His eyes crossed in agony as a sickening feeling pushed it’s way up into his throat. “Not again!” he cried as he leaned over the side of the bed. Kaylee cheerily walked into the infirmary carrying a bowl of soup. She crinkled her nose as she heard the gut wrenching sounds that followed. “I did not hear that.” she muttered. Mal wiped a hand across his lips and peered towards the doorway. ”Oh Kaylee. Méi guānxi. I’m fine.” he groaned. Kaylee rushed to her Captain’s side. “It don’t sound like nothing. Here, let me help you.” she said, putting the soup down and easing Mal back into place. Mal slapped the young mechanics hands away. He groaned, unable to find the energy to protest. “You shouldn’t be sitting up like that.” Kaylee stressed. From behind, Inara stepped gracefully into the room. The companion smiled sweetly as she approached the foot of the bed. “How are we feeling today? Better I hope?” Mal shook his head. “Like I’ve been kicked through the engine backwards.” he quipped. “Also, could you please tell Kaylee I don’t need any more help?” “Hey!” Kaylee protested. Inara smiled softly. ”I’m sure that she means well.” “I’m sure that she does.” Mal replied. “But can’t a man struggle on his own? I mean, I don’t need fussed over every time I feel the need to stick my head into a bowl.” “Cap’n!” Kaylee cried. Inara comforted the mechanic. ”It’s alright. Mal’s probably too sick to realise what he’s saying.” “I realise.” Mal whined. “I just don’t like being pampered too much is all. But thank you Kaylee.” Kaylee smiled warily. She didn’t know whether she was supposed to be flattered or offended. Before the young mechanic could make a decision, the sound of footsteps approached from behind. It was Zoe, with a serious expression on her face. Mal let out a frustrated sigh. “Is there a party I don’t know about?” “I’m sorry Sir.” Zoe replied. “What will we do about the job on Echo?” A faint smile broke through Mal’s rosy cheeks. “Don’t worry Zoe, I have a plan.” “Why don’t I like the sound of that?” Inara remarked. Mal’s words rang deep in Zoe’s ears. She frowned, disturbed by the Captain’s new-found enthusiasm. “A plan, Sir?” “Yes.” Mal spluttered. “You can take someone in my place.” “Sir?” Zoe frowned. Mal shifted his weight on the bed. “The contact wants to meet with Malcolm Reynolds, and only Malcolm Reynolds.” he began. “Seeing as I’m bound to my bunk for the next couple of days and we haven’t already met, I’d say we can get ourselves around it.” “Do you have anyone in mind?” Kaylee asked. Mal smiled. “Indeed I do young Kaylee. Indeed I do.”


Wash sat quietly at the helm, playing with his toy dinosaurs. It had been a while since Stegosaurus and Raptor had fought to reclaim control of ‘This land’. In the background, Jayne marched noisily onto the bridge. “Come on little man,” he mocked. “Let’s get movin’!” Wash let out a startled yell, dropping his plastic toys onto the console below. “Can’t you knock?!” he exclaimed. “Don’t look like you’re doing somethin’ important.” Jayne remarked as he threw down a pile of clothes at the pilot’s feet. Wash frowned, staring quizzically at the bundle. “I… I don’t understand.” he replied. “Gorram it! Just put these on!” Jayne snapped. Wash turned in his chair and glared angrily at the merc. “I won’t do anything until you tell me what’s going on.” he demanded. “Fine.” Jayne snorted. “Cap’n wants you to take the job on Echo or somethin’. Never paid attention to much else.” Wash’s eyes widened. “I can’t do this!? I mean, I won’t do this!” he stuttered. “Too late.” Jayne grinned. “Cap’n says you’re the best man for the job. Can’t say I disagree with that.” Wash looked at the dinosaurs scattered across the controls, then back down to the Captain’s clothes at his feet. “What about Shepherd?” he whined. “Or Simon? OR YOU?!” “No can do.” Jayne replied. “The old man won’t do it. The Doc needs to stay on board and I sure as Hell ain’t no Captain. Besides, I can’t fit into them there pants. Believe me, I already tried.” Wash grimaced in disgust. It wasn’t the kind of mental imagery he needed right now. He swallowed nervously and stared out of the window. Jayne watched as the colour drained from Wash’s face. “No point just sitting there.” he gloated. “You got work to do.” It didn’t take Wash long to change into the Captain’s clothes. He nervously made his way down the staircase to the cargo bay floor below. The rest of the crew waited patiently at the bottom for their new ‘Captain’ to arrive. “How do I look?” Wash inquired, turning around at the foot of the stairs. Jayne struggled to keep a straight face. The Captain’s clothes looked a mite unusual on the little man. Kaylee angrily nudged Jayne in the ribs and smiled politely in Wash’s direction. “I think it really becomes you.” she beamed. Wash raised his eyebrows in surprise. “You do? The pants do seem a little tight.” “This is too gorram funny!” Jayne boomed. A look of concern crossed Wash’s face. He watched as the mercenary walked away grinning to himself. A feeling of panic began to emerge in his chest. Maybe the mercenary was onto something. He couldn’t possibly do it. He was a trained pilot, certainly no Captain. Maybe he wasn’t cut out for the job after all. What was Mal thinking? Wash shuddered. They were doomed. There wasn’t anybody that could fit into these pants! He turned to face his wife. “I can’t do this!” he cried. Zoe placed a reassuring hand on her husband’s shoulder. “Everything will be fine ‘Sir’.” “Really?!” Wash cried. “I’m a pilot! I can dodge meteors in my sleep! The dodging of bullets and tightly clenched fists, not so much!” Zoe smiled softly. Despite her husband’s over tendency to panic, she knew that he had a point, although she knew that the Captain had every faith in her husband’s ability, or he wouldn’t have made that choice. Wash paced nervously up and down on the spot. He paused as a terrifying thought entered his mind. His eyes widened as he looked back at Zoe. “What exactly have I volunteered myself for?” “The Captain has arranged to meet with a man called Craven.” Zoe explained. Wash raised his eyebrows once more. “Ah Craven. That sounds like a warm, fuzzy name!” “There’s no need for sarcasm dear. Captain says he’s a respectable client.” Zoe said deadpan. “Once we land, you’ll head for the rendezvous point and secure the deal. Captain says you don’t have to do much.” Wash frowned. “What exactly am I securing?” “Captain didn’t say.” Zoe replied. “You’ll find out when we get there.” Wash’s eyes bulged. He was really beginning to dislike this job the more he heard about it. “That’s great!” “You’ll get through this.” Zoe reassured. Wash grinned nervously, flapping his arms by his side. “That’s easy for you to say!” he remarked. “Remember the last time I went on a job?” “Yes dear.” Zoe frowned, recalling the rescue attempt from Niska’s Skyplex. Wash let out a frustrated sigh, sensing Zoe’s apprehension. “See how I’m not brimming with confidence?” he cried. “Everything will be fine. Jayne and myself will be waiting nearby if anything should go wrong. Besides, it’ll be over before you even know it.” Zoe assured. Wash stood with his mouth wide open. His wife always seemed to have a way of making him feel uncomfortable. Whether he liked it or not, he was now the Captain and there wasn’t a gorram thing he could do about it.


Serenity landed on the planet’s surface a few hours later. Wash, Zoe and Jayne walked up to the outskirts of Craven’s manor. It was a large, run down farmhouse, with boarded up windows and dry, flaky white paint on the outside. “I can’t do this! Wash hissed, quickly turning on his heels. Jayne grabbed the little man by the collar and lifted him off the ground. “Jayne, could you please put my husband down?” Zoe ordered. Jayne frowned, dangling the little man above his head. “He was tryin’ to escape.” he grumbled. “Don’t matter.” Zoe replied. “He’s still the Captain.” Jayne muttered something under his breath, and dumped the plucky pilot back on the ground. Wash glared unhappily at the merc. He brushed himself down and turned to face the path ahead. “Are you sure this is the right place?” he asked. Zoe nodded. “These are the co-ordinates Craven gave us.” Wash nodded and made his way along the path. “I can do this.” he declared. They crawled behind a patch of foliage beside Craven’s manor. Wash popped his head up from behind a hedge, observing the surrounding area. Two guards stood ominously on the front porch; shotguns propped and ready to go. Wash turned to face his wife. “This is it.” he declared. “Wish me luck.” Jayne rolled his eyes and impatiently pushed Wash out into the open, sending him flying. Wash collected himself and turned to face the front of the house. He grinned in the guard’s direction. “Uh. Excuse me!” he called. The guards stood quietly, undisturbed by Wash’s presence. Wash shrugged his shoulders and turned around. He waved a finger towards the house. “Maybe we’ve got the wrong place.” he whispered. “And maybe I’m thinking you should get your ass back out there.” Jayne hissed. “Ain’t no time for fooling around. We got a job to do, and I don’t like sitting around here waiting in the dirt. Dong ma?” Wash’s eyes glazed over. “Yes, I understand.” “You’re doing fine sweetie. Don’t listen to him.” Zoe called. “You’re the Captain, remember?” Wash smiled. Zoe was right. Whether he liked it or not, he was the Captain. Not the genius pilot who could hit a bull’s-eye from 6,000 miles away. His wife’s words always had a reassuring affect on him. He puffed up his chest and stepped forward. “Uh… I’m looking for Craven!” he called. Suddenly the guards cocked their rifles in Wash’s direction. Wash quickly raised his arms and looked back over his shoulder. From his position, he could see Zoe furiously shaking her head. He gingerly lowered his arms and turned to face the guards. Suddenly a figure stepped through the doorway. It was Craven. He was a small, pot-bellied old man with long, grey hair. “You Malcolm Reynolds?” he boomed. Wash swallowed nervously. “Yes. Yes! I am he.” Jayne let out a sigh. “Little man’s gonna get us killed.” Zoe sharply nudged Jayne in the ribs. “Give him time.” she whispered. Craven gestured to the guards to stand down. Wash breathed a sigh of relief as they lowered their weapons. “Best come inside then.” Craven replied, gesturing to the door. Wash nodded, but found that he couldn’t move. He was too nervous. Craven gestured to the door once more. Wash finally stepped forward and made his way onto the porch. He smiled nervously at the guards as he walked in. He turned to look back at Zoe and Jayne hiding in the undergrowth. Hopefully, he would see his beloved Zoe again.


“Gah!” Mal flinched, as he saw the familiar face of Shepherd Book peering down at him from the side of the bed. “What are you doing here Preacher? You scared the hell out of me!” he grumbled. “I apologise Captain.” Book replied. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I thought you might like some company, seeing as most of your crew are away on business” Mal attempted a smile, but the flu virus had already taken control of most of his facial features. “That’s alright Shepherd. Just don’t make a habit out of it.” he replied. Book smiled softly. “I don’t intend to Captain. You have my word.” he assured. “Any word from our new, fine, young Captain?” Mal inquired. Book shook his head, “I’m afraid not. Although, I believe Zoe and Jayne are taking him to the rendezvous spot as we speak.” “Good.” Mal replied, shifting his weight on the bed. ”I hear this man Craven used to be old friend of Niska’s - not sure how true it is though. You know how it is with rumours and such on the Rim. Best take it with a pinch of salt.” A glint of concern flashed across Book’s eyes. “I had no idea.” he replied. “Do you believe that he will be alright?” Mal stared worriedly at Shepherd. He paused, thinking it over. He had never really thought about that until now. Of course, he had first hand knowledge of how Wash could handle himself in tricky situations. “Sure. Wash can take care of himself.” he assured. “I hope that you’re right Captain.” Book replied. “We wouldn’t want anything untoward happening to our new, fine, young Captain now would we?” “I’m sure nothing will.” Mal assured. “Besides, he’ll have Zoe if anything should go wrong, which it won’t.” A concerned frown creased the Preacher’s brow. “You seem to put so much faith on a man with very little combat experience Captain, or have you forgotten what happened on Niska’s Skyplex? Mal hadn’t forgotten. In fact, he was trying his best to forget, but it seemed those memories didn’t want to go away, no matter how hard he tried. “What are you saying?” Mal retorted “That Wash isn’t up to the job?” “Of course not.” Book replied. “Although, I distinctly remember the pair of you were tied up.” “We were kidnapped!” Mal whined. “That may have been the case.” Book replied.” I believe you may have misjudged your faith in the young man.” “It ain’t a matter of faith Preacher.” Mal declared. ”I believe that Wash is capable of handling this job is all.” “I hope that you’re right.” Book replied. “Of course I’m right.” Mal wheezed. ”There ain’t no reason to worry.”


The interior was dim, only the occasional candle hanging from the ceiling lit the way. It was a nice house, rather homely, Wash thought as he made his way into the front room. The kind of house that he and Zoe would settle down in one day – minus the eerie ass guards, and maybe the bullet holes riddling the walls. “I’ve heard a lot about you, from your reputation.” Craven declared. Wash froze. Those words sounded terrifyingly familiar. “You… You have?” he quivered. Craven grinned. “Yep. Word spreads pretty quickly round these parts, especially when you cross an old dog like Niska. You know we used to be old buddies a few years back.” A fear built up inside the young pilot. The words did sound terrifyingly familiar. “W-why do you have guards posted outside?” Wash interrupted. A confused look crossed the old man’s face. If Wash didn’t know any better, it almost seemed like the old man was angry, and that was the last thing that he wanted to do. Wash sighed. “The men outside with the really big guns?” he hinted with rather large hand gestures. Craven raised his eyebrows. “Oh, you mean the boys!” he chuckled. Wash breathed a sigh of relief. ”Yes!” Craven stepped forward and wrapped an over friendly arm around the young pilot. “You know, there are some folks round here that would love to have me dead. Nothing to worry about though.” he explained. Wash’s eyes lit up with fear. He was beginning to learn about creepy. “Why’s that?” he stuttered. Craven chuckled. “That ain’t important.” he replied. “Now, onto why I’ve brought you here.” Wash watched as the old man picked up a basket and lifted out a tiny Persian cat from inside. He could feel every muscle in his body relax. The sight of Craven cradling the cat in his arms had a strangely endearing quality – even if the old man did seem a little crazy. “Does she have a name?” Wash asked. Craven nodded. “I call her Primrose.“ he beamed. Wash smiled. “That’s a very nice name.” “I need you to take good care of her for me.” Craven stressed. “I have to look after my mother on Hunter’s moon for a few days. The old hag can’t stand the sight of Primrose here. I’ll be gone for two days. Is that okay?” Wash stood dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Craven prodded Wash on the shoulder. He seemed to be away in a world of his own. “Ain’t you listenin’ boy?” “Shenme?” Wash stuttered, snapping out of his daydream. “I said, is that okay?” Craven reiterated. Wash nodded, sensing a hint of impatience in the old man’s voice. “Yes, Yes! That’s very shiny.” “Great!” Craven boomed. A shiver of excitement ran down Wash’s back. He couldn’t wait to get back to Serenity and share the news with the rest of the crew. He was beginning to wonder why he had been so nervous in the first place. It seemed perfect. Wash stared at the Persian cat cradled in the old man’s arms once more. A faint smile tugged at the corners of his lips. It seemed too good to be true. Now, he was learning about lucky.

To be continued...


Monday, June 6, 2005 5:09 AM


Taking care of a cat?!!? Where are you going w/ this one, Fugie? Can't wait to read more.

Monday, June 6, 2005 5:29 AM


Great story!! Can't wait to read more!!

Monday, June 6, 2005 8:21 AM


Pet sitting is normally a pretty simple job, but somehow I am sure the crew will just find a way to screw it up.

Monday, June 6, 2005 3:03 PM


That was.....different. In a good way, of course! Never saw it coming. The mental image of Jayne trying to fit into the Captain's tight-pants is just downright unsettling. Very funny, Cos; keep it up!

Wednesday, June 8, 2005 6:26 AM


I love this and reckon it deserves higher than its current ranking of 8!!

You've caought the way of speaking perfectly and the story is down right shiny! Jayne and Wash characterisation is both superb!!

Now for gorram's sake get on with the next chapter!!

Thursday, September 8, 2005 7:59 AM


jayne in the cap'n's pants? e-e-eeeew *shudders*

Sunday, May 7, 2006 7:17 PM


and too think jayne tried, anyway is there a second one, AAA+++

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:57 AM


LOL @ having to take care of a cat, I can see it roaming all over the ship, maybe playing with River some. I hope there is a continuation...


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