BOOK OF DAYS SERIES: #37. "All a Flutter - Chapter 2/2"
Monday, May 1, 2006

Mal, Inara, Simon and kaylee go shopping. River has a conversation and a fight with Jayne. Simon/Kaylee. Mal/Inara. 37th story in a series.


“Aw, why can’t I come?” Jayne pouted as they walked toward the cargo bay.

Zoe glared at the back of Jayne’s head, visibly considering un-holstering her gun and smacking him over the head with it.

Simon glanced at his wife waiting for her to answer. When she didn’t, he decided to risk her wrath and do it instead. “Because the garments you would choose to clothe a baby in are not something I want my child to be wearing.”

Jayne frowned. “Hey, just ‘cause you’re used to all those dandified pretty fits don’t mean that a good old fashioned pair of camo nightshirts wouldn’t be the perfect thing for the little kid.”

Simon rolled his eyes but stopped short when Kaylee turned around and smiled at Jayne. “Maybe a pair of camo pants with a big bunny attached to the leg!”

Jayne laughed at Simon’s incredulous expression. “Damn, I wish I had a capture of that look.”

Kaylee smiled brightly at Simon but Jayne drew her attention back with a loud guffaw. “Why don’t ya just give the kid your old pair, they ain’t likely ta fit again after ya pop the kid out.”

Zoe met Simon’s astonished eyes around Jayne’s shoulder and immediately stepped away from the big man. Jayne would soon learn that facing an entire ship full of Reavers was more preferable to feeling the wrath of a pregnant woman after he’d insulted her.

Kaylee’s eyes welled with tears but she kept them in check as she reached out and slapped him – hard.

“Ow! What’d ya do that fer?” Jayne rubbed his arm, briefly wondering, and not for the first time, how pregnant women managed to get stronger the fatter they got.

Zoe shook her head. “Saw that comin’ a Core world away.”

“I ain’t fat!” Kaylee insisted as Mal and Inara sounded the corner and stopped short after hearing Kaylee’s pained admonition.

Mal sighed. “Ai ya, what’d the doc say now?”

Simon stared appalled that they thought he would even think something like that but it was Kaylee who answered. “Weren’t Simon this time. Jayne said I was fat!”

Mal raised an amused eyebrow and he felt Inara bristle beside him. Even he’d learned not to discuss size anywhere in the vicinity of Serenity’s pregnant women.

“Did not! An what’s the problem anyway? My momma never lost her baby fat and she’s the cuddliest little woman I ever laid eyes on if I do say so myself.”

Mal winced. Zoe clutched her firearm and Simon groaned.

Kaylee whirled on Simon who hesitated only a moment before stuttering, “Kaylee is cuddly no matter how big she is.”

River swept by them and shook her head at Simon. “You boob.”

“What?” Simon called after her, clueless. He thought he’d just paid his wife a compliment. But further reflection over the exact words he’d used made him realize that maybe it had been the wrong thing to say.

Kaylee’s bottom lip trembled and her eyes filled with tears. “I’m only fat ‘cause you made me that way!”

Inara came forward and took Kaylee’s shoulders. She briefly met Simon’s eyes and scowled at him. “I’m sure Simon didn’t mean it the way it sounded.”

Jayne laughed. “Yeah he never does. I dunno how you even let the boy live, lil’ Kaylee, dumb with words as he is around ya.”

“You aren’t any better!” Simon exclaimed, refusing to take all the blame for this.

“She ain’t my wife.”

Jayne smirked when Mr. top three percent didn’t have an immediate retort.

“You’re right, Jayne.” Simon reached out and slid one hand around Kaylee’s cheek, drawing her closer. “I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to sound so insensitive.”

Jayne wrinkled his nose. Doc was so whipped it was painful to watch.

Kaylee met Simon’s eyes and her bottom lip trembled when one of his hands slid down to protectively cradle her gently swelling stomach. “You know I love you and our baby. And you are not fat. You’re beautiful.”

Jayne groaned and lumbered off toward the cargo bay, muttering something about them coming back with pink frilly baby clothes.


“Don’t know the sex of the babies, won’t get pink or blue.” River cocked her head at Jayne.

Zoe didn’t look up from the data tablet she’d borrowed from Simon, deciding it would be better not to involve herself in the conversation River was having with Jayne. But she knew it was a conversation she wouldn’t want to miss, so she listened anyway.

“What’re they gonna get then? Yellow? Orange? No real man would dress his kid in them colors.”

River contemplated Jayne for a moment. “Your hat is orange.”

Zoe got up quickly and hurried out of the room, laughter echoing down the hallway behind her.

Jayne had the dignity to look properly horrified. “My momma made me that hat. It’s cunning!”

River raised an amused eyebrow. “It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Jayne gaped at her.

River continued, partially to get him all riled up, partially to make him pay for starting the argument between her brother and Kaylee this morning. “Makes you look like an idiot.”

Jayne pushed himself to his feet. “Lets go little girl.”

River smiled excitedly for a moment and then frowned. “Captain would be mad if I broke you.”

She changed her mind when she saw the disappointed look cross Jayne’s face. “But I could use the practice.”

Jayne lunged the moment the words left her lips.

Effortlessly, River dodged his large hands and ducked beneath him, delivering a solid kick to his abdomen. Jayne doubled over gasping as River landed gracefully on the other side of him.

Zoe leaned against the doorframe, arms crossed, and ready to intervene if needed.

He reached for her but she batted his large hands away and delivered a kick to his back and then a bunch to his gut, driving him to his knees.

“Don’t want to touch your man-equipment again so we’ll call this a draw,” River grinned happily down at Jayne as he pushed himself to his knees.

“Damn girl, you need to teach me some of those moves.”

River’s smile faded as she met Zoe’s gaze over his shoulder. “You won’t need them.”


Mal and Simon stood just inside a store filled from floor to ceiling with baby clothes looking more than just a little out of place.

Kaylee and Inara were inside, Kaylee’s excited voice carrying all the way out of the store.

“Don’t you think we should be helping them?” Simon asked, casting a wary eye at Mal before returning his attention to the two pregnant women.

“They’d ask our opinion and then buy what they wanted anyway.” Mal lifted his arms, which were already laden with bags. “We’re here to carry the goods, thats it.”

Simon remained silent as he contemplated this. But before he could answer, he could see Kaylee turn around and wave excitedly to him. He shifted the bags in his hands and took a deep breath.

Mal grinned as he patted Simon on the back. “You have fun.”

Simon scowled at the Captain as he made his way toward the two women, artfully dodging racks filled with baby clothes.

Kaylee held up a cute overall that could have matched her own if it were ten times larger. “Ain’t it cute?”

Simon’s first impression was that it was entirely too bulky, but as he looked at Kaylee’s smiling face, and her eager eyes, he knew there was nothing he was going to say to make that smile disappear. “It’s very nice.”

Inara met his eyes over a nearby rack and shook her head disapprovingly.

Simon lifted the tiny little canvas leg. “We can even get a little patch to sew onto the leg.”

Kaylee beamed at him and kissed him excitedly before putting the little garment into her basket and moving on to another rack.

“Very nice save, Simon.”

Simon smiled sheepishly at her. “I’m learning.”

Inara cast a look over her shoulder at Mal waiting in the entryway to the store. “At least someone is.” She sighed and returned to the rack she’d been looking at for the last ten minutes.


“You look a little pale, Mal,” Inara observed when he and Simon returned to their table with drinks.

Simon settled close to Kaylee and listened intently as she chirped excitedly about the clothes they’d purchased. It hadn’t been much, but they needed to get the supplies now, while they had a little money.

“Still gettin’ used ta this –“ he pointed at Inara and her gently rounded stomach.

“You’ve known for a month, Captain.” Simon wasn’t sure he really wanted to be too helpful. It was a nice change of pace to see the older man squirm.

“And you’ve known for longer.”

“Not much,” Simon glanced at Kaylee who smiled sheepishly and then looked away. “It seems our ladies wanted to keep the news from us for as long as possible.”

Mal shoved his nose into the air. “And since we did take part in puttin’ them kids there, only fair that shoulda been told sooner instead a later.”

Inara looked away. When she returned her gaze back to the table, she swallowed guilty when she saw Simon gently kiss Kaylee’s cheek. She noticed Mal look at her strangely and quickly leaned forward and touched his hand. “You’re right. I shouldn’t have kept it from you for so long.”

Mal was floored that she’d agreed with him so readily but was instantly distracted when she batted her long, dark eyelashes at him. He would never understand women.

“So how much more do you need to buy?” Simon asked, hoping he didn’t incur Kaylee’s wrath for thinking he was tired of shopping.

“Somethin’ for the baby to sleep in would be nice,” Mal answered, glancing at all of the bags at their feet.

Inara looked at him and with the most serious expression she could muster, said, “We have a big enough bed.”

Mal’s eyes widened at the prospect of sharing the bed full time with a baby. He’d roll over and squish it the first night.

Kaylee giggled and Simon tried unsuccessfully to hide a grin.

“What? Don’t want to share?”

Mal’s mouth moved but no words came out. He couldn’t tell if she was serious or not. She certainly looked serious.

Suddenly, Simon couldn’t keep it in any longer and burst out laughing, Kaylee and Inara following seconds later.

“Ai ya,” Mal threw his hands up in exasperation. “Why don’t we just pull out one of the dresser drawers and use that for a baby bed?”

Inara’s smile vanished instantly.

Kaylee’s eyes grew wide and Simon instantly took a long sip of Kaylee’s drink, suddenly wishing it was alcoholic.

“What?” Mal looked around the table, confusing lighting his face. What’d he say now? Honestly, the mood swings were going to be the death of him. “Can’t I joke, too?”

Inara scowled. “That was not funny, Mal.”

“Not at all,” Kaylee agreed.

Mal looked to Simon for support but the younger man simply shook his head and wisely kept his mouth closed for a change. He frowned at Simon. “What happened to us sticking together, huh?”

“And risk my wife’s wrath?” Simon raised an eyebrow. He leaned over and made a convincing display of lovingly kissing Kaylee’s cheek. “I’m not that dumb.”

Mal’s own eyebrows rose skeptically. “Since when?”

Inara slapped his arm, pushed herself to her feet and glared down at his surprised face. “You can take everything back to the ship. Kaylee and I will shop for bassinets on our own.”

Simon gaped at her. He hadn’t done anything wrong. Had he? He mentally replayed the last few minutes in his head. Nope. Nothing. Simon opened his mouth to protest but Kaylee turned to him and patted his hand with a smile.

“The girls stick together, sweetie.” Kaylee stood and moved to Inara’s side. “We’ll see you back on the ship later.”

As soon as the women’s backs were turned, Simon sent Mal a scathing look. The older man simply leaned back in his chair and let out a long, loud belly laugh, thinking that angering Inara might well have been worth it to get the upper hand on the overconfident doc.


“Gonna have to make it up to him later, you know.” Kaylee and Inara ducked into another shop, this time filled with different kinds of baby beds.

“I’m sure he will be most appreciative.” Inara smiled at Kaylee. Simon truly hadn’t done anything wrong, and didn’t deserve their disdain. But it was important to display a united front. Inara was grateful Kaylee understood that.

Kaylee started to giggle. “But the look on his face.” She laughed louder, drawing Inara into her happy bubble. “Oh, Simon’s gonna kill me.”

“Should have had a capture,” Inara agreed. The look on Simon’s face had been priceless.

Kaylee immediately stopped in front of a small bed and knelt down, resting the flat of her hands against the small bulge that was the only evidence she was pregnant. “It’s so pretty!”

Inara smiled at the simple design. It wasn’t to her taste, but she knew Kaylee didn’t want for anything fine and fancy. She wanted practical. “Why don’t you get it?”

Kaylee tilted her head and winced at the price tag. Digging into her overall pockets, she counted out how much she had left and frowned. “Not ‘nuff. “

Inara found that she, too, didn’t have enough platinum to purchase herself one of the beds, much less one for Kaylee and sighed. Giving up her life as a Companion had certainly put a dent in her cash flow.

“Uhm, ‘Nara?” Kaylee asked as she stood, a sheepish look on her face.

“Yes, Kaylee?”

“We sent the guys away with half the money.”


Much later, as Kaylee sat on the bed folding all of the little garments she had purchased, she stopped for a moment and stared at them. An overwhelming feeling of love poured through her and she felt her eyes welling with tears. She put her hand on her little baby bump, hoping to feel that little flutter again, that little sign that she had a baby growing inside her.

She sniffled and rubbed her eyes as Simon slid open the door and stepped into the room.

Seeing Kaylee’s emotional state, Simon was at her side instantly, kneeling beside the bed. “Ai ren? What is it?” He immediately covered the hand resting on her belly with one of his.

“Oh Simon!” Kaylee sniffled wetly. “I’m havin’ a baby! Our baby!”

Simon smiled slowly. It was just one of those fun little mood swings he’d not yet gotten used to. Though he much preferred her crying than yelling at him. “Yes you are.” He leaned forward and laid his head in her lap. “I can’t wait to meet her.”

“Him,” Kaylee corrected with a giggle.

He lifted his eyes to hers. “We’ll know in four months.”

“Sure ya don’t wanna know before?”

Simon gained his feet and settled next to her on the bed. He pulled her back into his arms and flattened his hands on her belly. “Do you want to know? I can ask Mal if we can go to a clinic where they will be able to tell us.”

Kaylee closed her eyes and sighed, enjoying the feel of his hands cradling their baby, cradling her. She didn’t need to know. Not really. As long as the baby was healthy, that’s all she cared about. “No. It’s ok.”

Simon pressed a kiss to her cheek. “You sure?” He couldn’t read her and wanted to make sure that it was what she wanted and that she wasn’t just saying one thing and meaning another. Women were so complicated.

“Yep.” Kaylee didn’t move, simply snuggled against him feeling loved and safe in his arms.


“Just say it, Mal,” Inara shuffled around the room, placing the baby clothes into the drawer they had cleaned out to use until they could get a little dresser for the baby. She could feel him smirking proudly at her back.

“There’s no need.” Mal leaned back on the couch and crossed his arms behind his head.

“Yes, yes there is.” Inara didn’t want to deal with the egotistical man tonight but she’d been unfair and somewhat mean so she deserved it – not that she would ever admit it to his face. “Get it out of your system before I throw something heavy at you.”

Mal truly enjoyed ruffling her feathers but he’d learned in the last few months that saying nothing usually ruffled them more than actually speaking his mind. Of course, stress was not good for the baby, which gave him some measure of guilt. He stood quickly and walked up behind her, sliding his hands along her arms.

Inara dropped the clothes she had been folding and smiled when he lifted her hand and turned it over, placing a gentle kiss on her wrist. She frowned, her irritation melting when she saw the warm, loving look in his eyes.

“You’re beautiful, you know.”

Inara stared at him a smile quirking the corner of her pretty lips. “You only say that when you want something.”

Mal gasped in mock hurt. “Do not.”

Inara’s eyes narrowed and she stepped closer to him, her mouth inches from his. “What do you want, Mal?”

His hands slid to her waist, one wrapping around her and the other sliding to her stomach. “What I’ve always wanted,” he whispered with a lopsided grin. He leaned forward, his breath hot against her ear. “You.”

A dark well-manicured eyebrow raised in amusement. “I’m fat, Mal.”

He pulled away, trailing slow, wet kisses along her cheek as he did so. He pressed his hand against her belly a bit harder and shook his head. “This is not fat. This is – “ He struggled for the right words. The last thing he wanted to do was anger her when he was trying to give her a compliment. There were days when he felt like the bumbling idiot Simon had been and that annoyed him to no end. He grinned as he leaned closer, his breath hot on her lips, “a miracle.”

Inara sobbed as he kissed her, cursing the hormones that made her so weak and susceptible to tears. She clung to him, returning his kiss with equal intensity and prayed, with every fiber of her being, that everything would work out as it was meant to be.

After a few minutes of kissing and cuddling, Inara glanced up at Mal. “I’m hungry.”

Mal glanced down at her belly and shook his head. Of course she was hungry. She was always hungry. “That kid eats more than my crew put together.”

Inara ignored him. She was amazed at how easy it was. “Kaylee and I bought some things today.”

Mal raised an amused eyebrow. “Other than her little book that –“

Inara rolled her eyes. “Food, Mal.”

At least he didn’t need to be hit over the head with a large, breakable object before he figured it out this time. “And you want that I should go fetch it for you?”

Inara smiled happily and snuggled into his arms. “That would be nice. Thank you for offering.”

Mal sighed resignedly and shifted her onto the pillows. He was curious just what they’d bought, but, if the last few months were any indication, it was a combination of food that even thinking about would make him ill.

By the time he made it, somewhat quietly, he realized, to the galley, he was truly not looking forward to finding what Inara had stashed in her little private refrigeration unit. Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t see Simon until it was too late, when the bowl he carried struck the floor at their feet and the contents rolled out onto the floor.

“Lao tian ye!” Mal hissed as the bowl landed on his foot.

“Zao gao!” Simon cursed as he immediately dropped to the floor to gather the contents that had rolled out of the bowl in every conceivable direction.

Mal resisted the urge to chuckle at the horrified and desperate look on Simon’s face.

Simon squinted in the low light, his eyes narrowing into annoyed slits when he noticed the smirk tugging relentlessly at Mal’s lips. “You just wait until Inara wants something we don’t have.”

“She knows better than to ask for something we don’t have,” Mal shot back, proud of himself for his quick wit.

Simon cursed beneath his breath and moved toward the sink to wash off the food. “She’s pregnant, Mal. She’s going to ask for whatever she is craving.”

“Ain’t been bad so far.”

Simon sneered as he gently wiped off the bruised fruit and carefully set it back into the bowl again. If he was lucky, Kaylee wouldn’t notice how bruised her precious strawberries had gotten. “At least you didn’t spill the chocolate.” Simon indicated a small pot that rested on the stove. He had intended to come back with that after he’d given Kaylee the bowl.

Mal looked over at the liquefied sweets then at the bowl Simon held. “Gui, doc, these ain’t odd cravin’s.”

Simon closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. He didn’t bother to answer, simply held out a small pickle to the Captain and indicated the melted chocolate.

Mal wrinkled his nose at the implication that he should dip the dill in the chocolate and groaned. “Oh God, that’s disgusting.”

“Welcome to parenthood, Captain.” Simon smirked and made his way toward the hallway, cradling the bowl filled with strawberries and pickles. Just before he stepped out the door, he called back over his shoulder. “If you touch the chocolate, Kaylee will probably break your fingers.”

Mal’s hands snapped away from the boiling stuff and grumbled, thinking that they both had a long, long four months to go.



Chinese Translations:

Ai ya – damn Lao tian ye – Jesus Zao gao - damn it Gui - hell


Comments? Opinions? Suggestions? Of course I like to hear them.


Monday, May 1, 2006 5:41 AM


Inara is going to need a ladder to get herself out of this hole she's been digging.

Monday, May 1, 2006 6:23 AM


This was so sweet! I loved Inara and Kaylee presenting a united front, poor Simon! Loved this part-

“Uhm, ‘Nara?” Kaylee asked as she stood, a sheepish look on her face.

“Yes, Kaylee?”

“We sent the guys away with half the money.”

Didn't quite think that one through!:D Love the happy calm before the angst storm hits and I totally agree with Tayeatra's comment! This line has me worried-

“Damn girl, you need to teach me some of those moves.”

River’s smile faded as she met Zoe’s gaze over his shoulder. “You won’t need them.”

Ominous River is never a good sign! Is something goign to happen to Jayne? Excellent work, as always, and can't wait for your next post!

Monday, May 1, 2006 6:37 AM


the above was me forgot to log in in my hurry to see if you had put up a new tale.

Monday, May 1, 2006 8:32 AM


Jesus and the holy trinity... I do NOT like it when River gets all morbid. I agree with Tayetara, Inara's digging her own hole here. Love how Simon manages to save himself with his stumbles. Love this part
-Kaylee’s eyes welled with tears but she kept them in check as she reached out and slapped him – hard.

“Ow! What’d ya do that fer?” Jayne rubbed his arm, briefly wondering, and not for the first time, how pregnant women managed to get stronger the fatter they got.

Zoe shook her head. “Saw that comin’ a Core world away.”

“I ain’t fat!” Kaylee insisted as Mal and Inara sounded the corner and stopped short after hearing Kaylee’s pained admonition.
Haha! Jayne deserved that for insultin' Kaylee!


Wednesday, May 3, 2006 6:11 PM


Oh...oh....this chapter was too funny (for the most part)! Just loved Inara and Kaylee "putting up the united front" against Mal, Simon and Jayne:)

But River....oh, this doesn't bode well:(


Thursday, May 4, 2006 5:33 PM


I've been rather silent of late, but I'm here now. These last two have been a return to your older style of good clean fun. I'm also looking foward to your next offering in the more serious vein of this story. With finals over in 2 weeks, hopefully I'll be able to comment more.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:44 PM


“What’re they gonna get then? Yellow? Orange? No real man would dress his kid in them colors.”

“Your hat is orange.”


Wednesday, May 24, 2006 7:03 AM


Hell yeah River and Jayne fighting. I would love to see that bit acted out.

*“Don’t want to touch your man-equipment again so we’ll call this a draw,”*
You write River so damn well.

*“They’d ask our opinion and then buy what they wanted anyway.” Mal lifted his arms, which were already laden with bags. “We’re here to carry the goods, thats it.”*
I have firsthand experience with this one.

Pickles + chocolate, classic. My wife ate Cheez-Its on vanilla ice cream with our first one.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 11:14 AM


ooo more cryptic river....and stupid stupid jayne. sigh, yeah insulting a pregnant woman is a smart thing to do *rolls her eyes at him*

lol eek i feel really sorry for mal with the girls' mood swings. poor guy can't even joke.

very nice and funny story! ah the joys of almost-parenthood :P


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