What came after Firefly...

A fanfic about Firefly/Serenity.

"Evenin', Zoe."


Malcolm Reynolds sidled up to his first mate, who was leaning against the door frame leading to the cockpit. Her eyes were focused on the man sitting in the pilot's seat, who, unaware that he was being observed, was busy playing with a set of plastic army men.

"Somedays," she said, "I wonder about that strange man I call a husband."

"At least he's busy," the captain said with a smirk. "Tell me, Zoe, when do you think somethin' interesting's gonna happen on board this bird? 'Cause I reckon if we go another few days without a job, we'll have mutiny on our hands. Starting with--"

"Evening, Jayne."

Mal turned around and scratched his head as his gunman walked by with a gruff nod.

"How's it that he managed to sneak up on us like that?"

"Respectfully, sir, he managed to sneak up on you."

A corner of Zoe's lips lifted in a tiny smile as Mal frowned.

"I was busy watching Wash, that's all. His make-believe battle is...riveting."

"Captain!" Wash had abandoned his toy battle. Now he was stabbing furiously at buttons on his console with one hand and shouting into the intercom with the other. "You oughta get in here!"

"Finally, something to do," Mal said dryly, as he stepped through the doorway into the cockpit.


Below deck, the ship's engineer was busy chopping vegetables in the kitchen while a woman and man looked on. Her fingers were a bit wobbly and she wasn't entirely sure of how many peppers she was supposed to use, but she was putting forth a good effort.

"Kaylee, you don't have to do this," the man sitting at the table said, looking a bit apologetic. "Inara can finish cooking--"

"闭嘴, Simon!" Kaylee said, picking up her knife and shaking it. "I can cook just as well as anybody."

"We just don't want you to hurt yourself." The woman, who was sitting in a chair next to the counter, spoke. She twirled a strand of her long, dark hair around one finger and pursed her crimson-painted lips. "What will Mal say if his engineer is missing a finger?"

Suddenly the ship lurched violently and the vegetables went flying off the counter. Kaylee tumbled to the floor, but dropped the knife and went scrambling for the engine room.

"Save the eggplant!" she hollered over her shoulder as she disappeared down the hall.

"What's going on?" A girl appeared from around the corner, dressed in a airy, calf-length dress. Her long hair fluttered about her waist as the ship continued to buck. "Are we being chased again?"

The ship stilled. Inara and Simon managed to get to their feet.

"I don't know, River," Simon answered. "I'm sure the Captain will announce--"

"Evenin', all." Mal's voice echoed over the intercom. "We're being chased by some bastard who seems to have a bone to pick with us. If we're about to die, I'll let you know."

The reassuring sounds of gunfire sounded outside the ship,

"Take River to the shuttle," Simon ordered Inara, who grabbed her hand and led her off down the hall.

He ran in the other direction, heading towards the cockpit.

As he arrived, he saw Jayne, Wash, Mal, and Zoe all crouched over Wash's radar screen. He cleared his throat.

"Doctor," Mal said, without looking up. "Your sister somewhere safe?"

"She's in Inara's shuttle."

"Not quite good enough." Zoe stood up, her hand on the gun at her hip. "We've got some hunters on our tail."

"I thought that was only a threat. I thought no one knew about River."

"We all hoped, didn't we? Now hellfire's rainin' down on our tired little heads because of it." Mal turned to look at Simon. "I'm not saying we want you to leave. 'Specially not now that you and little Kaylee are engaged. So don't get uppity. Just go hide your sister in case we get more trouble than we're already in."

Simon nodded and he was gone before Mal turned around again.

"Trouble," Jayne grunted. "The only thing that's come of havin' them two on board."

"You've been saying that for three years, Jayne. Get over it." Wash shook his head. "I can hide on that planet, Captain, but they'll be back."

"Do it," Mal ordered, sitting in the copilot's chair.

"Who wouldn't want a psychic on board?" Zoe said, watching grimly as they plummeted towards the planet's surface. "She's saved our lives more times than I can count."

"She's worth a lot to captains with no scruples," Mal said.

Down in Inara's shuttle, River laughed, and said,

"If I hadn't taken her in, I'd probably be chasing her too."

The End

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