Shadows Fall
Monday, December 5, 2005

The crew is forced to make an emergency stop on Shadow… much to Mal’s dislike…


TITLE: Shadows Fall AUTHOR: CCke (aka Aset) E-MAIL: Eponine_Aset(at)hotmail(dot)com FEEDBACK: Always welcome, always appreciated DISTRIBUTION: want, ask, have J RATING: Nc-17… like I can work my way around that, that’d just be cruel :p CLASSIFICATION: drama all the way! PAIRING: Kaylee/Simon, Mal/Inara SUMMARY: The crew is forced to make an emergency stop on Shadow… much to Mal’s dislike… SPOILERS: Set after the Big Damn Movie, so everything is game! (except for the RPG… Cause Shadow ain’t a ghost planet in this fic… *blush* ) DISCLAIMER: Fox, Universal, Joss Whedon… (the list goes on, but I’m not on it) AUTHOR'S NOTES: Thank you, Guinevere, for being such a wonderful (and quick!) beta!


Six weeks after the devastating events on Miranda, the crew of Serenity was on their way to Persephone, looking for a job. A lot of things had changed, but not the fact that Serenity needed fuel to keep her running, not to mention some reparations, so any job was more than welcome.

River functioned as the ship’s pilot now that Wash was no more, although Mal helped her out most of the time. It wasn't that he thought the girl couldn't do it on her own, he just… Well, he was the captain, and it was the captainy thing to do! Besides, a female mechanic and a female pilot, both barely old enough to be wed… What would the people think?!

Everyone had reacted differently to the two losses, but whatever the way of grievance was, Shepherd Book and Hoban Washburne were missed dearly aboard the Firefly-class ship.

Kaylee and Simon had found comfort with each other, and Mal and Inara had also found a balance. It wasn’t exactly a relationship yet, but there was less bickering, and for them, that was a huge step forward!

The one who was taking this the least well was Zoë, which in a way was only natural. Wash was her husband after all! She had returned to her soldier-mode, building up a thick wall around her emotions. She'd had her revenge on the reavers but that hadn’t brought her beloved husband back. Focusing on a job, letting it all out in a burst of violence seemed to help dull the pain some though. She didn’t talk much about her loss. Kaylee had once tried to talk to her about it, but Zoë had made it abundantly clear she didn’t want to discuss the subject.

But grievance or not, there was a job to be done, and Badger had something waiting for them!


Serenity – dining area

They were in the dining area, trying to enjoy a protein-rich stew Kaylee had managed to cook. It didn’t taste like much but everyone ate it anyway, ignoring Jayne’s comments about the smell of crotch. It had been a while since they'd had some real food and it didn’t take long before someone brought up the fact that they would re-supply on Persephone, buy some real potatoes and stuff…

“Can you imagine… Maybe we’ll even find some strawberries!” Kaylee said, barely able to control the excitement in her voice, sparkles in her eyes.

“It’s winter there now, Kaylee. I don’t think they’ll have strawberries,” Mal supplied. When he saw the smile on her face fade, he quickly added "But maybe they'll have imported mangoes or so." There was nothing he hated more than to see Kaylee sad. She was the sunshine on board, and god knows they needed her bright light!

“Mangoes are nice”, she agreed, though her tone made it clear strawberries were so much better!

“And there’s girls,” Jayne said lecherously.

“And dresses, and shops! We can go shopping, right?” Kaylee continued, ignoring Jayne’s comment like the rest of the crew.

”I can go to the Emerald shop. I need some oils and they have the best fragrance…” Inara started.

“No," Mal interrupted her, his voice harsh and loud. As he saw the look of surprise and hurt flash over Inara’s face, he continued in a softer voice, "You’d better stay on the ship, Inara."


“I don’t think it’s safe out there for you.”

“And it is for you?” Inara's eyes blazed with fire.

“We’ve made ourselves a few enemies here last time. I don’t want you to get into trouble,” he explained.

“If there’s anyone who’ll get in trouble, it’s you, Malcolm Reynolds!”

“Yeah well… it’s not safe.”

“It never is. Besides, it’s not like I’m going on my own," She stated, a graceful smile on her face.

Mal remained silent and observed her from across the table.

“Kaylee will come with me, and I’m sure Zoë doesn’t mind coming along either.”

The sigh that followed told Inara she’d won. What kind of talk was that anyway ‘it’s too dangerous’… He was always the one looking for danger!

Persephone was a decent kind of planet, and even though she was no longer a companion, she still loved the rich fabrics and the refined fragrances… What was it to him anyway if she shopped there?! It was not like he would pay for it…

”Fine… Just be careful. And don’t stay out too long.”

Kaylee started giggling and ambled over to Mal to give him a hug.

“I love my captain!” she said with a smile.


Serenity - infirmary

As soon as dinner had ended, Simon had retreated into his sanctuary, the infirmary. It was Mal and Inara’s turn to do the dishes, and Kaylee was busy with god-knows-what in the engine room. She'd kept on ranting about the coil compression and stuff, but to be honest, he had just nodded, not understanding a word she was saying. He took the advantage of this unexpected spare time to review his latest test results on River. Even though things had become a little bit clearer – his sister was being programmed to kill –she was still suffering and was subject to mood swings. He wouldn’t be a big brother and a doctor if he didn’t want to cure that.

He was just about to compare his latest chart with an interactive one of the cortex when he heard a knock on the door.

“Hey… You busy?” Zoë Alleyne’s voice echoed off the walls.

“I…I was just checking River’s chart,” Simon said as he put his notes down.

“I could come back later,” she offered.

“No, no, no, come on in. Is everything all right?” Simon stepped away from River’s test results and looked at the warrior woman. She’d changed a lot over the past few months. Hardened again and she had become quite the introvert. Loss will do that to you, Simon contemplated. She'd loved her husband very much, still did, and she hadn’t taken off the strap of leather she wore around her neck as a symbol of her marriage to Wash.

“Yes, I’m fine”, she stated, then looked around as to check if they were really alone. “Actually, I think I might be pregnant.”

Simon was rendered speechless. He sure as hell hadn’t seen this coming…

“How…what…” he stuttered as he tried to rearrange his thoughts.

“I think you know how, doctor," she said with a smile, the first one he’d seen on her in a long time. “I’m just…I just want to know for sure. And make sure everything will be okay… I don’t want to lose this baby.”

Simon nodded, then urged her to sit down.

“I can do a blood test to affirm the pregnancy. And I can check your blood cells in the meantime,” he thought aloud while taking her finger and puncturing the skin on the tip. He spread the little drop of blood on the little glass plate of the computer, then pushed some buttons. The machine set itself into motion.

“I’d appreciate it if you wouldn't tell the others,” Zoë requested while they were waiting.

“Sure,” he promised, still a bit baffled by the news.“How far along are you ?”

“I think about 8 weeks now.”

A weak smile appeared on Simon’s face.

“It’s still a bit too early to say for sure whether there are going to be problems with the pregnancy and so, but…”

“I know… I just… needed someone to know.”

He nodded in understanding, then showed her results with a smile. “Congratulations!”


57... 58... 59...

It was cold in the cargo bay, but he didn’t care.

It wasn't like he needed heat to work out. The climate didn’t matter. Besides, it was either cruelly hot or freezing in that room. It had never really bothered him.

63… 64… 65…

Weights were weights, they didn’t change through weather or through time. Feelings did and right now, Jayne felt some unresolved anger and sadness. He didn’t want to admit it to the others, but he missed the preacher. Hell, he even missed the crazy pilot, but he’d bonded with Book. The shepherd was his workout partner, but most of all someone to have a conversation with. No need for it to be meaningful… A bunch of nonsense could be all you needed to talk about when you were stuck on a spaceship for a couple of weeks. The others never really bothered talking to him.

72… 73… 74… 75!

Jayne grunted as he put the weights back in the holders.

“You know, it’s easier to do that when someone’s counting for you,” River said, walking up to Jayne. His skin was shining and some drops of sweat were visible on his forehead. “I’ll count. I’m good at math,” she stated as she went to stand behind the weights, observing a dumbstruck Jayne.

He opened his mouth to reply, then sank down on the bench again, picking up the weights, deciding that the looney couldn’t do any harm like that.

“88… 89… 90,” River counted out loud. Instead of looking at Jayne, she stared across the cargo hold, to where Zoë was hiding behind some boxes.

“100,” she said, “binary for 4.”

”What?” Jayne asked, grunting as he lifted the weights again.

“The binary system, or Mathematical base 2. Numbers composed of a series of zeros and ones. Since zero's and one's can be easily represented by two voltage levels on an electronic device, the binary number system is widely used in digital computing. Two. Refers to having two primary subcomponents. All motion between quanta is binary. Because motion between quantum particles is relative then if arbitrary vectors are always assigned in the same way between quanta then the motion between two quanta will always have two antiparallel vectors and hence be binary.” River explained.

”Shove it, moonbrain,” Jayne said, a might annoyed, “you’re supposed to be countin’.”

“I am… 110”, she smiled, “That’s 6… 10 is 2… 1000 for 8… 8 people… 114…”

Zoë gasped as she observed the two from across the room. It was like River looked straight through the boxes behind which she was hiding and was talking to her. ‘She probably is’, it occurred to her, ‘girl is after all psychic.’


Her breathing was laboured, her movements hurried, almost desperate. Opening her eyes, she could see Simon underneath her, his eyes closed, biting his lip… His broad chest was shining in the artificial light, all sweaty. A picture of perfection.

”Kaylee!” he cried out her name when she contracted around him.

Yes, she still got it. Always knew how to drive a guy crazy. She sped up her rhythm, feeling that sensation of pure pleasure building inside of her. Up and down… up and down…

Simon arched up to meet her, bucking beneath her.

Boy is impatient, but that don’t matter none. She let out something between a laugh and a giggle as he kissed her neck.

“Simon,” she panted as she flexed again, making him moan in return.

She was close, she could feel it. She moved more frantic, desperately seeking release as Simon pumped inside of her.

Kaylee threw back her head, screaming out in pleasure, convulsing around Simon’s hard member.

“Run-tse duh FWO-tzoo...”, Simon exclaimed as he too let himself fall over the edge, sparkles everywhere.

”Thought you never cursed,” she admonished with a smile as she claimed his lips, her hand drawing figures across his muscular chest.

“Only when it’s appropriate”, he retorted with a sly smile, before turning them over again so he was on top.

--- *** ---

Zoë sighed as she splashed some water in her face. It was the second time that morning that she’d thrown up and honestly, she wasn’t feeling any better just yet.

“It’ll pass,” a voice behind her said.

Zoë turned around, fighting the feeling of dizziness and looked into the brown eyes of River Tam.

“Baby’ll get used to you, just like your body’ll get used to the intruder.”

Zoë watched her, too surprised to reply.

”That’s what babies are, you know… A strange entity in the body.”

Zoë sighed. She could’ve known the other girl knew about her pregnancy. She trusted Simon not to tell anyone, but there’s no fooling a psychic.

“River, honey...”

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell”, the girl said with a smile, sitting down on the large bed.

”He would’ve been happy,” River continued as she looked over to the other woman who’d joined her on the bed. “Wash always wanted a child, right?”

Zoë stared at the young girl on her bed as tears slowly started to well up in her eyes. To hear her talk about the baby growing inside her was one thing, but hearing her late husband’s name spoken out loud was something completely different! Letting out a soft sob, Zoë let herself fall down onto the bed, finally breaking down in heart wrenching sobs. God, how she missed her pilot! ”Nobody said it’d be easy,” River said as she gently rubbed Zoë's back, trying to console the sobbing woman in her arms.

It had taken long… too long for Zoë Alleyne-Washburne to break down and just cry, grieve over her late husband.

Tough warrior woman and war veteran with a reputation of not showing emotions and next to that a funny, little man – no moustache… she didn’t like that. They seemed an odd combination but like other unlikely things, they were a perfect match, and she loved him with all her heart.

Losing him had been a shock, and she’d succumbed to denial. Being strong wasn't the way to deal. Sometimes people have to let it all out and cry. Sometimes all you need is someone by your side, listening.

”Never is”, Zoë smiled, her eyes red and puffy from crying. For the first time since Wash' death, she felt like she was going to make it.


Monday, December 5, 2005 3:17 PM


awesome hun! You gotta continue this!

Monday, December 5, 2005 5:05 PM


wow that was really good you got to keep this going

Monday, December 5, 2005 6:29 PM



Seriously, this is really good. Loved River spotting Jayne, and her interaction with Zoe was perfect.
I'll be keeping an eye out for the next part. ;P

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 1:30 AM


*holds up bowl, eyes big* please, sir, can we have some more?


Tuesday, December 6, 2005 2:34 AM


good, good, good. Love the interaction

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 4:01 AM


I am really enjoying this and it's a relief that at last Zoe can cry over Wash. Can't wait to see what happens next. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 9:50 AM


We need more of this, little one! Got the message from us all feeding back and begging for more?

Fave line in a fic full of great lines:"..ignoring Jayne’s comments about the smell of crotch."

Excellent command of voices, lovely descriptive talent, AND letting us all grieve with Zoe for Wash and with Jayne (of all people--I love it when our merc has a heart) over Book. Don't let us down. Go back to writing. NOW.

Thursday, December 8, 2005 2:11 AM


I'm lovin' it!

Thursday, December 8, 2005 2:11 AM


I'm lovin' it!


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All It Takes
Very short Inara-centric fic. Inara/other, Inara/Mal

Vivid Garden
Epilogue to Shadows Fall. Can be read as a stand-alone. M/I

Shadows Fall - part 6
Last chapter; Serenity gets ready to leave Shadow. Some secrets come out. M/I-centric.

Shadows Fall part 5
Another day at Shadow. There's emo, some talk, some secrets and some tears... Ch5 with M/I and K/S.

Shadows Fall - part 4
With Serenity stuck at Shadow, Inara convinces Mal to take a little trip, Jayne gets some advice from River and he gets another surprise too.

Shadows Fall - part three
Serenity arrives at Shadow. But things aren't always what they seem

Mal and Inara, right after the movie.

Shadows Fall - part two
The crew is forced to make an emergency stop on Shadow… much to Mal’s dislike…

Shadows Fall
The crew is forced to make an emergency stop on Shadow… much to Mal’s dislike…