Blue Sun Job--A Sequel: It Means a Thing
Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Post-Serenity, Mal & Zoe share a moment, or two. And then some. Story takes place in the context of the "Blue Sun Job" scenario. COMPLETE One-er.


Blue Sun Job, A Sequel: It Means a Thing

Story is post-movie. Contains spoilers.
This story takes place within the context of the “Blue Sun Job” scenario.

Advisory: Consider this R-rated for sexual content, though not graphic (no Naming of Parts).

Blue Sun Job, A Sequel
Blue Sun Job


No critical dialog using actual Chinese characters, just covering the strongest cuss words. When I write ‘em and read ‘em I do so in English—works best for tonality and pace of the phrasing if you do the same.

他妈的 = ta ma duh = f*ck (used for all variations)
狗屎 = go-se = crap/sh*t

Blue Sun Job, A Sequel: It Means a Thing
靑日 Job: It Means a Thing

Mal shrugged out of his blood-stained shirt and tossed it in the corner of his cabin. Wincing, he rubbed the bandage on his side. Weren’t much of a hit, just a nick. Still, stung a mite.

Serenity had taken a nick or two herownself on this job. Not that the local law’s bullets could do much to her but scratch the paint job a touch. Still and all, ‘Nara’d done a right fine job repainting the name. He hated to see it messed up.

Letting out a sigh, Mal collapsed on his bunk. Hated to see a whole gorram lot of things messed up, but it all was the way it was. Hadn’t been no time for regrets or grievin’. Had to keep moving, earn some credits, and try to find work. Survive.

Weren’t no work and weren’t no earning. Not a soul in the ‘verse would touch ‘em for honest smuggling or transport. They’d lost near all their regular contacts and those still breathing were a mite tetchy about their odds of keeping breathing if’n they tangled with Captain Reynolds and his crew. Even Monty’d been skittish. At least he’d pointed them to this job. Robbery, really. 狗屎. Flat-out armed holdup done wholly on their own. Scrawny take weren’t hardly enough to share out. Didn’t much like thievin’… well, not all the time. Not crummy little heists what parted honest folk from their coin, at the very least. Weren’t no other choice. Hell’s bells… only other choice was to hoist a gorram Jolly Roger and have a go at pirating. Could. ‘Cept that sat even less well with him than pulling crappy holdups. Mal rubbed ruefully at an old wound inches away from the newest one. It was all a matter of degrees.

Seemed like too gorram much effort to drop his drawers and change into sleep togs. Mal sat still, letting weariness overtake him. Things should’a got easier without the Feds so hot on the trail of their fugitives. Seemed like one problem didn’t go away but a fair dozen others jumped up to take its place.

As he reached for the light, the intercom buzzing made Mal jerk, which made him clutch his side and wince again.

“What?” he snapped at the damned box.

Zoe’s voice, utterly cool, reached him. “Sir, would you come to my cabin for a moment, please.”

Mal groaned. “Can’t it wait?”

“No, sir,” she came back flatly. “It’s urgent.” Weren’t no urgency in her tone, not such as the average human ear could detect. Mal detected some anyhow. Knew that voice too well not to hear when it sounded a mite off.

Grumbling, Mal snagged up a not-blood-stained shirt, pulled it on, and climbed up out of his bunk, coming as close to trudging as a body could whilst on a ladder. Two steps across the corridor and down the ladder into Zoe’s and Was… Zoe’s cabin.

He hadn’t never been down here much, and not at all since, but it ‘peared to Mal as if Zoe hadn’t changed nothing as much as a millimeter. Didn’t really surprise him.

Zoe stood, still dressed in her gear from the robbery, by the big damned bed, staring at him with a look he could not decipher. There was something deep and far away in her eyes.

“What is it?” Mal asked.

It took a long moment before Zoe answered. When she did her voice was still icy cool and all business. “I need you to do something for me, sir,” she said.



Mal looked in her direction blandly, thinking about the job, about the bullet nicks on the ship… He contemplated a mite on the added trouble of pulling a heist without a pilot to keep the ship’s engines hot…

He blinked. Glanced at the stuff on the walls, the toy dinosaurs, knickknacks and pretty flotsam set about, guns, knives, a book or two, the candles lit by the bed…

Bed. His eyes flicked back to her.


Without so much as an apologetic twitch Zoe burned them eyes of hers on into him and said flatly, “I got needs, sir. I need a man to take care of ‘em.”

Words stumbling over each other, Mal managed to blurt out, “You want I should point us toward somewhere with, um… a whorehouse for, uh… for gals to get serviced?”

Finally she changed her expression, favoring him with her best you-idiot scowl. “No, sir,” she said, a sharp edge creeping into her tone. “You. Have sex with me. Now.”

Mal just stared.

“Are you 他妈的 insane?!!!” Even in his head Mal could see the extra exclamation points on his question.

Melting her stance a touch, Zoe told him clear, “I got a powerful need of… relief. I need a man to do it. You gotta be the one.”

“What?!” Mal shook his head rapidly, trying to shake the ‘verse back into coherent focus. “What about your hus…”

He cut himself off. The Big Gorram Thing neither of ‘em ever talked on direct rose up and filled the cabin. Suddenly Mal got it; got what was going on with Zoe tonight. She was free of her vows, but hadn’t so much as shed a tear of mourning. Weren’t so much, uh… carnal release she was keen on. In her own way she was needin’ to let go her grief.

“No, Zoe,” Mal said quietly, trying to fill his voice with tender understanding. “Ain’t right.”

“I got needs, sir,” she said, low but harsh, “and I mean to have them met. Now. Tonight.”

So much for tender understanding. Maybe he was reading this all kinds of wrong. Might could be Zoe really did just need a… a… gorramit, that word he couldn’t even think at this very minute. The one what came with fireworks inside a body and made the tension ramp down.

Stuttering, Mal said with a hint of desperation, “Well… what about them, uh… them nether… battery… uh, doohickeys…” He took a deep breath. “I sure as 狗屎 know Kaylee’s got some.”

“No, sir,” came the brooks no argument response. “A man. You.”

With a near-on frantic reach for options, Mal blurted, “Inara.” Zoe squinted at him, puzzled. “She’s, uh, a professional at this sort of… relief. She’s back at her whoring and all. I’ll even pay her fee with my cut of the loot. I’ll just go fetch her.” He turned rapidly and grabbed the ladder. His foot missed the first rung and smacked the deckplate hard when Zoe caught him with…

“No. Not Inara. If not you, fine. On your way out send down Jayne.”

Mal gaped at her. “You are insane.”

“He’s the only other candidate. And Jayne won’t have none of your 他妈的 inhibitions,” Zoe snapped.

“Maybe Simon could…”

“He’s with Kaylee,” Zoe cut in.

“I didn’t mean that,” Mal growled, “I mean maybe he could give you something to, you know, settle you the 他妈的 down.”

“I ain’t settlin’ for nothing but a 他妈的,” she said bluntly. “What’ll it be? You? Or Jayne?”

Another 他妈的 defeat. Didn’t they just keep on coming. No, don’t think about ‘coming’. Struggling to find his next argument, Mal made the mistake of meeting Zoe’s eyes and seeing way too gorram much looking back at him. A lifetime of doin’ for each other. He sighed.

“Zoe…” Mal started slowly, “Even if the spirit was willing, the flesh ain’t like to cooperate… Urp. Ulp.” Zoe, moving damned quick, strode up to him, popped something in his mouth when he had it open to talk, then like to drown him with the glass of water she poured down his throat. Didn’t have no choice but to swallow down whatever-the-hell it was.

Sputtering and coughing, Mal demanded, “What the hell was that?”

Zoe nodded at him calmly. “The flesh will be willing enough in about two minutes.” She turned toward the bed, shedding clothes as she did. Glancing back, Zoe ordered, “Get your drawers off.”

Ow, gorramit. Flesh was already springing up to get in the way of pulling his duds off. Cursing every which way he could, Mal stood at attention, trousers around his ankles, waiting for the next 他妈的 command.

“On the bed,” a naked—not that he looked—Zoe ordered.

“So, uh…you’re gonna, uh… be on top?” Mal managed to get out. Ooohhh… this was gorram hard. Harder than he could recollect ever. He gulped. That too.

Easing back on the bed, Mal shifted over, making damned sure he wasn’t on his side of the double-bunk. Couldn’t look at Zoe as she cut the light, leaving only the candles. Mal closed his eyes and clutched at the sheets. Not a bit of him relaxed. Especially not the, you know… bit.

A grimace forced from Mal as Zoe settled on. 他妈的, 他妈的, 他妈的. She sure as 狗屎 didn’t need no prep time. Slick wet and burning hot. A small grunt came out of him against his will as she lifted and plunged. Clutching the sheets tighter, Mal struggled for control. Weren’t none to be had.

Gorram amazing, it was, how they could be doin’… ahem, this and not be touching at all. No, that weren’t exactly true. But they was touching only, solely and exclusively, at the core of the matter. Weren’t no hands-on nowhere else.

Ugh… didn’t need to be. This was working for him too damned well. Seemed like it was for her, too, if’n the noises coming outta her were a thing to judge by.

Then she was squeezing harder than he thought possible and then came a shuddery damned goodness like to break his spine so powerful was it.

When enough blood meandered back to his brain for some semblance of thinking to take place, the guilties sure as 狗屎 rode on in, too. Like as not they’d be settling in to stay a spell.

Zoe pulled off. Mal felt the bed shift. Screwing up his nerve, he edged one eye open. Then the other. She sat hunched up on the side of the bed, staring into the nothing.

“We done here?” Mal asked harshly. “You satisfied?”

She turned. Dark coils of hair framed a face no longer hard and controlled. Zoe looked… soft. Vulnerable. Almost… womanly. Mal bit back his next comment—the bitter one about her using him—and met her eyes with a lifetime of knowing and understanding between them.

“You can cry, you know,” Mal told her softly. Zoe shook her head. “You cried once before,” he pointed out. “Took you half a lifetime to get to it, but you finally managed. Your… husband—” There, he’d said the word. “—Wash, deserves no less.”

Zoe crumpled at the name being said aloud. “I’m sorry, Mal,” she whispered. “I thought… I needed…” She let out a short sigh.

Pulling himself up, Mal scrunched a pillow behind his back and leaned against the headboard. “Gorramit, Zoe… All the talkin’ you done at me before about not holdin’ in the old sorrows, and here you go and…” He fell silent, at a loss for words.

“I thought being with someone would get me over… That if you could do this for me…”

Low, Mal said, “Zoe, this is something you gotta do for yourself.”

Her eyes flashed with a hint of pure Zoe. “You mean… the batteries?”

Fighting a grin, Mal said, “No, I don’t mean that.” He reconsidered. “Maybe I do. If the choice is that or you hijacking my… ahem… Not that it wasn’t shiny… ‘cause it was, but in a, you know…” Seeing her expression he chopped the babble, clearing his throat. “But, no. I meant the gettin’ over. Ain’t no one but you can do that. And… and it don’t mean you didn’t love him, ‘cause I know you did. You ain’t gotta get over that. Not never. But… but… Ah, hell.”

他妈的. He knew what was needful here and it wasn’t a 他妈的. Not entirely.

“Come here, Zoe,” Mal ordered softly, holding his arms up. She glanced at him with an expression so tragic it was like to rip his own breath right on outta him. Then she moved into his arms, wrapping her self around him with a desperate neediness way the hell beyond this last little needing stunt she’d pulled. Once… twice… she’d done this for him. Now it was his turn. Weren’t no awkwardness about it, not even when bare flesh pressed to bare flesh. Okay, the sticky parts of the flesh caused him a mite of awkwardness. Mal readjusted to separate them regions.

“Told you before,” Mal murmured, leaning his cheek down to nestle in the coils of her hair, “got no need of pretense between us. You know I need you strong. Ain’t no secret about that. Not no more. Not since the preacher talked us through…” Stopping at the edge of the babble thing again, Mal had to take a moment to regroup. The mention of the Other they never talked on hit hard. Zoe knew; felt it in her grip on him. For all Shepherd Book had done for ‘em, seemed like they hadn’t really learned a thing—went right on back to the way things had always been. In the war you’d laugh and joke with a fella at the dinner table one night and the next, after you’d seen him blown to smithereens, you’d laugh and joke with the others never once giving notice nor mention to the one who ain’t there no more. It was different now. The lost ones had been… were… family.

Mal said as much to Zoe as she clung tight to him, and he to her. Using Book’s words, he tried to say things the preacher told him. Though he could hear the man’s smooth voice echoing in his head, Mal knew his own words fell far short.

“I hear you,” Zoe said quietly when he ran out of things to say. “I know.” She sighed heavily. “Hard to leave behind the ways of a lifetime.” She shifted against him. “You still ain’t never talked on your family on Shadow.”

He didn’t answer. Zoe shifted again, this time unintentionally—maybe intentionally—hitting a sensitive, and rather taut, area. “Umm…” he groaned trying to shift away. “Sorry. That crap you shoved down my throat is still, uh, doin’ things.”

Peering up at him, he saw the glitter in her eyes flicker into something else. “I want to make love,” she told him steadily.

“Ain’t that what we just did?”

“No. That was 他妈的ing.” She twisted some more, studying him intently. “I want to make love.” Her lips twitched a mite. “Done some of the former, but we ain’t never done the latter.”

True enough, he thought. The few other scattered times had been, as tonight, based in the physical. Never, though, had they actually made love, one to the other.

“You sure?” Mal asked. A lot stood behind that question. Would she feel she was betraying her husband even though he knew that weren’t the case? Would it change them? He didn’t reckon neither one wanted that, not really. “Always before it didn’t mean nothing,” Mal said. “I won’t have that no more. We do this thing, it’s on account of it does mean something.”

Steadily, Zoe returned his look. “Yes,” she said. “It does.” She gave him a faint trace of a smile. “Not sure what, but not nothing.”

Shifting down, Zoe rolled onto her back, pulling him down onto her. “You know, I know you do,” she commented, pulling his mouth down to hers.

“Do what?” he whispered against her lips.

“Love me,” she murmured, managing a twinkle of amusement in her tone.

Pulling himself fully onto her, Mal let his entire weight rest on her. She was strong, she could take it, and the full contact felt so good. Her legs eased apart for him. “Yeah. It is a pure truth,” he whispered, pushing into her with a soft moan.

“Still can’t say the words though, can you?” Zoe arched against him.

“Actions,” he grunted, thrusting as slowly as he could, “speak louder than words.”


Tuesday, November 8, 2005 9:39 AM


At first this was so gorram awkward, and what was with Zoe DRUGGING him???? But after the fumbling awkwardness it all began to flow into what the two of them were always about, looking after each other. It isn't about Wash, it's about being able to carry on afterwards. I ended up feeling sorry for them both but so glad they still have each other. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 10:17 AM


Still bothered by "Serenity", this was hard to read - You've pretty much summarized how bleak I felt their future to be. But you also show how Zoe and Mal have it within themselves to create a new future. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 10:38 AM


I love your Mal, as I've told you before.

I've thought of trying to write the narrative in a character's voice this way, but then you have to keep it in one perspective for the whole scene or it doesn't work. I prefer having the freedom to shift characters' perspectives whenever I want. So I'm envious when someone can create something this cohesive and well-rounded using a single perspective. Does that make sense?

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 6:39 PM


"Had to keep moving, earn some credits, and try to find work. Survive." That's Mal's m.o. encapsulized. Then you broke it down in the next bit, on how impossible his task is post BDM. Excellent work, caught at my heart. All that horror, all the loss. After Book,Miranda's people, Mr. Universe, sweet lovely Wash & all the reaver-killings, your evocative story gives us our Big Damn Captain of Heroes beat down and still flyin'. Still tryin'. Feel like I wanna cry right now, no lie.

So you made me despair, then you slapped me upside the head into hysteria with: If you ain't gonna do it, send in Jayne on your way out. I thought I was gonna freakin' spit my iced tea out! Must remember to not imbibe when I read you next time.

I wasn't crazy about the space-viagra either, figured with a body, voice and will like Zoe owns, she coulda convinced Mal a 100 different ways to serve her sad but urgent needs. Don't get me wrong, though, I love that you got him into her, and however it hadta happen, it was good for them, good for me. :0)

Agreed with Cub. Your Mal is the best I've read. And Zoe is so shiny too. Every time she called him Sir or her clipped, formal but gentle tones I heard it loud and clear.

Please keep writing. Maybe even keep Mal and Zoe being there for each other, sharing a bunk. Or a shower. Or the cargo bay. Or the medlab...

Wednesday, November 9, 2005 12:55 AM


Lovely. The perfect mix of humour, embarrassment, heat and emotion. Made me all choked up.

The idea of Jayne meeting Zoe's, uh, need ... hee! (But then again, it would be hysterical). Zoe with the viagra - she's like a steam-roller in this. And it's so very plausible. Mal suggesting Simon ... well, you can imagine *g*.

I loved the way Mal ran through the list of alternatives - Kaylee and the thing run on batteries, Inara and her expertise ... I could just picture his face.

But for me the very best bit was Mal's "You can cry, you know ... your husband - Wash - deserves nothing less." It had a kind of cleansing feel to it, almost an echo of Inara's "Maybe you're right where you ought to be" to Book in StP.

And talking of Book, I liked Mal's painful acknowledgement of his death too.

Utter, glorious goodness. But then, I expected no less!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 1:23 PM


Having plowed through Blue Sun Job, I was happy to see a sequel, even if it was a one-shot, ready and waiting. But I think you lost the feel of the characters in this story.

As a reader, I can accept that, even though you established a relationship for Mal and Zoe that went way beyond sex, Zoe would seek Mal out for this after Wash’s death; after everything the two of them have been through, Zoe trusts Mal like no one else. I read her crack about sending Jayne in next as a spur to change Mal’s mind. I can even accept that Mal would eventually give in AFTER talking to Zoe about the situation for a good long time and making sure they both understood her reasons; Mal doesn’t like to see Zoe hurting for any reason, and if he can help, he will.

What I cannot accept is that Zoe, a rape victim in the war, would, over Mal’s protests, drug him so he could be of service to her and use him like a two-dollar hooker. Yes, the situation is a nice set up for Zoe’s post-coital angst and the resolution of the two of them actually making love. Zoe’s justification might be that she knows Mal so well, she knew he would give in at the end. But for me that justification just doesn’t hold up to the past you’ve written for these characters, and for the enormous respect they have for each other.

Sorry if this is wordy, but I like your writing so much otherwise I have to explain why this struck such an off chord. I hope to read more from you soon.

Friday, December 9, 2005 10:24 AM


By far, the best Mal/Zoe fic I've read. You are so talented!! I've read it again and again. Their relationship is so strong beautiful. You really brought that out in this fic. Loved it loved it!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006 8:18 AM


Will there be more? Will there be more? So well written, so well captured, let there be more.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 8:23 PM


um i know you haven't updated in a while but could you at least summarize what would have happened in the rest of this fic?

Monday, July 9, 2007 6:09 AM


I really enjoyed the Blue Sun Job story but I do agree a summary post just as an epilogue would satisfy the last remaining itch. C'mon, pretty please?

Friday, August 29, 2008 3:26 AM


Ok, I know that it's currently 2008 and you wrote this way back in 2005, but I had to comment because I loved everything so gorram much! Truthsome, to Blue Sun job, to this beautiful ending to everything. You gave a depth and breath to Mal and Zoe that fundamentally changes the way I see them. The true tragedy of Firefly being cancelled so quickly was that we never got to learn nearly enough about the amazing characters that made up the crew. You my friend have filled in those holes for me in a way that is 100% satisfying. Your stories have become cannon for me. Thank you very much.


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Blue Sun Job--A Sequel: It Means a Thing
Post-Serenity, Mal & Zoe share a moment, or two. And then some. Story takes place in the context of the "Blue Sun Job" scenario. COMPLETE One-er.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 39: Into the Black
The conclusion of the Blue Sun Job.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 38: Shadow
Mal & Zoe's past smashes into the present. Everyone on the crew gets an earful, especially Wash.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 37: Plan B
There's a dead Shepherd on the floor, a bunch of angry live ones, and Mal, Zoe, and Simon in their midst.

Blue Sun Job, Chapter 36: One Down
Return of the "Blue Sun Job"! First of the last four chapters of this story.

Blue Sun Job, Part 35: The Worthier Part
Book's more nefarious, Mal's less crazy, and Zoe is dangerously pissed.

Blue Sun Job, Part 34: Of Many Books...
Book's nefarious. Mal's crazy. And Simon is bewildered.

Blue Sun Job, Part 33: Light and Shadow
Mal has just had his big tell-all session with Book concerning his and Zoe's history. Now landed at the Shepherd's Sanctuary, they have to deal with the fallout and with Book's mysterious past and plans.

Blue Sun Job, Part 32: Revelations
Mal and Book talk about some Big Damned Things.

Blue Sun Job, Part 31: The Heart of the Matter
Tales & stories come out into the open--more than a little dark. But not to worry, Jayne, the philosopher, also explains women.