You Can't Go Home Again: Prologue and Chapter 1
Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hey all. Since it's been months since I had posted a chapter of this series, I've decided to delete them, re-post them with some minor revisions and continue with a fourth chapter. Set in an AU where SERENITY the movie didn't happen. The Alliance has collapsed, and Simon, River and Kaylee are asked to return home after four years. This sets up the story.


If there are newbies reading this, it would help if you read my first two stories, THE SERENITY GIG and BLUE HAND BLUES. Otherwise, you'll just be staring at the screen going "huh?"

And thanks must be given to ScrewTheAlliance who the best editor/beta reader I've met.

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As the shuttle engines faded away, three people picked up their belongings and began to walk towards the estate. One of them carried a medical bag, the brown leather faded like an old jacket with the stitching of the handle starting to come apart. Another one carried a square metal box. With every step the clink of metal could be heard coming from the box, which seemed to shine bright red despite the overcast weather. And a third one carried a battered guitar case. Stickers in English and Chinese covered the case as much to repair the rips and tears as for decoration. Two of the carriers would be returning to a place they had not seen in almost six years, while a third one, filled with joy and hope, would be visiting the place for the first time.

The estate was fairly large. The grounds around it gave it sense of isolation from the outside world, which was heightened by the old force field posts surrounding the area and the big iron gates with the hand scan pad and video screen to the side. But despite its stately surroundings, the house seemed depressed. If Serenity represented freedom and peace, the estate represented a time of long ago prosperity. Of a time when estates like these were compared to palaces. Only now, the only things it housed were painful memories, thick silences and all consuming guilt.

The man with the medical bag commented. “It’s strange. I always thought it would be brighter. More fancy.”

The woman with the guitar case replied. “Memory has a way of making everything seeming more brighter than it actually was.”

The woman with the metal box asked solemnly, “You feeling okay?”

He searched his thoughts and emotions and simply replied, “Not really.”

“You know, we can still call it off.”

“No, we have to do this eventually.”

The guitar carrying woman plainly commented, “Can’t close a book without reading the final chapter.”

The man with the medical bag gave the woman with the red metal box a squeeze, then went over to the isometric scanner and pressed his palm on it. After a few beeps, the video screen flickered on, and he saw an old man, grey in hair and disposition move into frame on the screen.

“Who is it?.” he asked impatiently.

“It’s me, Dad.” He paused. “We’re home.”


It was like Book had said to Shooter at Simon and Kaylee's wedding night: the Alliance would fall eventually. Just no one expected it to happen so soon, so quickly and without a single civilian casualty. While Serenity kept on flying, and the news broadcasts were telling everyone that everything was fine, in reality a full blown meltdown of galactic-political proportions was happening. In-house bickering, backdoor deals and rampant corruption, as well as escalating economic and social unrest had brought the once-mighty Alliance to a self destructing course of events not seen since the final days of Earth-That-Was. Over the course of a bad day of mythic proportions, the stock market plummeted so low that the Dow Jones tunneled through the financial bottom, mercenaries, hired by key members of Parliament to assassinate high ranking government officials ended up wiping out nearly the whole cabinet. The immoral schemes of the Blue Sun Corporation, as well as the horrifying truth about the Reavers and Miranda, had been exposed to the public. Like a creature of un-Godly size, the Alliance became so big and corrupt, that it rotted away from the inside and collapsed under its own weight.

The events, referred to by the galactic masses as Blue Tuesday, sent shockwaves throughout the ‘verse. The Alliance had no more authority over the colonized planets. New governments and presidents were starting to pop up. With the class barriers torn down, Core planets were being stripped of resources that had been only available to the elite. Such things as fresh fruit, honest to God chocolate and bread could now be savored by even the poorest child of the most far flung moon. The idea of democracy was finally being embraced after nearly a decade of autocracy. And while there was some initial friction between former Alliance and Independent soldiers, it quickly became apparent that old battles were not worth fighting again.

Blue Tuesday was not ignored by the crew of Serenity. Mal looked as if for once in his life, he was truly free. Upon hearing that the Alliance had fallen, he had ordered Wash to land on the nearest planet with an Alliance friendly bar on it. With some well chosen words, and Jayne with Vera and Zoe supporting his arguements, he was able to raid the bar of its entire liquor stock. He had ordered Wash to contact Monty and any remaining Independent soldiers, and invite them to a party on Serenity. The festivities, which were only supposed to last an evening, ended up stretching into three days, in which everyone rejoiced in drunken revelry of the Independent’s long delayed victory.

Well, almost everyone. Simon was certainly happy that the system that turned his sister into a lab rat had collapsed, and that he and she were no longer wanted fugitives. But a truth that he had been avoiding these past few years was finally facing him. Now that they had no reason to be on the run, their tenure on Serenity was drawing to a close. But he didn’t want to leave. The ship had become more of a home to him than Osiris of the hospital ever was. River was flourishing ever since she picked up the Allen One guitar he had bought her, and of course, there was Kaylee. He could never abandon his wife, but he was unsure of what would happen to them now.

Kaylee was feeling a little more apprehensive about the downfall of the Alliance than any of the other crew members. She was having mixed emotions over the day when her husband and sister-in-law were no longer fugitives. Mostly she was afraid that he was so homesick that he would hardwire the ships autopilot and navigation programs himself so that he and River could return home. She knew that he would do the right thing. She was just wondering what it would entail. Would she have to leave Serenity? Would she have to find a job in the Core, or give up being a mechanic entirely? If she did find work, would there be any pay at all. Would she see her biological and her made up family ever again? What would all this mean for her and Simon. There was so much at stake here, it was making her more nervous than ever before.

After the three days of celebrations, most of the crew were in their bunks with the hangover of their lives. With this much needed silence, Simon decided to confront his wife with the issue. He found her, of course, in the enginge room with a grease gun, going to each nipple and filling it with the thick, green solution. As he came in, she stopped, smiled and kissed him.

“Hey you. How’s my recently pardoned husband feeling today?”

“I’m relatively shiny. How’s the engine doing?.” “You know, I think all this excitement and change in the verse has affected her. She’s humming along more happily than ever before.”

“Who could blame her?”

There was an awkward pause between them. This only happened when there was a pressing matter that both of them were reluctant to talk about. The only sound was the humming of the revolving engine. After a few minutes of silence, Simon sat down on the hammock.

“Kay, we need to talk.”

“Ain’t I the one whose supposed to say that?” she said with a chuckle.

He smiled and shrugged. “Well, yeah. But I though I should say it this time.”

Both of them laughed at this insight but they realized they were still skirting the issue. Kaylee put the grease gun down into her toolbox, and sat down next to Simon.


“I know. I don’t want to talk about it, but we have to.”

“Yeah, I know. Just didn’t think it would be so . . . sudden. I figured maybe there’d be a trial and a daring escape and speeches and all that.” “So did I. For four years, I kept waiting for the Alliance to come crashing in to take River back there. You feel so paranoid that when it’s over, it almost feels anticlimactic. It’s jarring to have something you’re used to suddenly vanish.” “Well, it’s what you’ve wanted, isn’t it? River’s cured, or at least can deal with her abilities and can speak coherently and be normal and stuff. And like the Capt’n said, the blue-handed guys that did all this would have either been killed or arrested.”

“Yeah, but now that it’s gone, it’s like all of this is at an end. I can go back home if I wanted to and not be arrested on sight. My old apartment’s gone, but I’m sure that I could find something similar to it near the hospital. I’m sure I can go back to being a doctor at the hospital. I can feel the rush and exhilaration of the late shift. That’s where the really serious injuries come into the ER. I could make a difference in a person’s life. I can actually resume my old life.” He paused and looked at her. “But you know what’s the oddest thing about it all is?”

“What?” she asked, quiet tears in her eyes.

“I don’t want to.”

Kaylee’s eyebrows narrowed. She thought she had figured him out, after all these years. She thought that at the first sign of his and River’s pardon, he’d ask Mal to turn the ship around and head to Osiris. As much as he loved her and had gotten used to Serenity, she always felt in the back of her mind that he would rather be home than here. She was silent, for the first time in a long time. Simon just stared at her, confused as well by her reaction.


“Yeah, I’m sorry,” she said, distractedly “Could you repeat that? I just want to hear it one more time!”

“I don’t want to go back. Compared to life here with you, my life back in the core was just. . . hollow. Doing what was expected of me, constantly trying to impress people. Buying into a manipulating system that only ended up betraying me. It’s not something I want to resume. If anything, I want to further develop what we have. But I want to know what you think. Do you want to keep flying, or do you want to settle down somewhere?”

Kaylee sat back and looked at him. So many different thoughts, elaborate scenarios and ideas played through her head. After a little bit of thinking, she hit upon that Occam’s Razor that Simon had told her about, and figured that the simplest solution was the best.

“You know what, let’s just play it by ear and see what happens.”

She leaned in and began to kiss him. He kissed back, and wrapped his arms around her. As his hands went up and down her back, he pulled at the straps holding up her coveralls and brought them down. They both put their hands under each other’s shirts and roamed their backs. As she felt the fabric of her bra unfasten, he felt the grease in her fingers being rubbed into his back, meshing with his sweat. Two minutes later, both of them were naked and going at it on the engine room floor, rubbing each other with the grease. They had never done it there. The smell of their sex would have raised Mals ire. But the sense of being free and dirty was too erotic to pass up.

And in the early hours of the fourth day of galactic freedom, in the engine room of an old Firefly transport gliding through the black, Brooke was conceived.


Saturday, October 22, 2005 11:26 AM


Shiny! So nice to have Simon realise that his real home is on Serenity with Kaylee and the gang. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, October 30, 2005 12:31 PM

BELACGOD's the chocolate/strawberries getting out to the outer worlds? I was always under the impression that they were produced in the Core and the outer worlds had too little money to get them.

So after Blue Tuesday, would hard currency like platinum be more reliable and thus more valuable?


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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.