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A new Day Dawning

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Summary: Months after Early's visit, things start to change. Will the crew of Serenity be able to handle a grown up River?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Firefly > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories(Past Donor)sevangelFR1822121,019162445,5497 Nov 056 May 06No

Hits and changes

Title: Hits and changes
Series: A New Day Dawning
Author: Sevangel
Disclaimer: Not mine
Rating: R


“Zoe, what’s goin on?” Jayne questions a few minutes after Mal stormed off to his bunk and Inara went back to her shuttle.

“Don’t know, Jayne.” Zoe replies, a puzzled look on her face.

“Comfort given and received.” River whispers. “Misunderstandings make rough waters.”

“Kitten, whatcha goin on bout?” Jayne asks.

“Nothing.” River answers. “Time will tell.”

“JAYNE! RIVER!” Mal’s voice yells over the intercom. “I’m gonna ruttin throttle both of ya.”

“Ma’de.” Jayne mutters.

“We forgot.” River whispers. She grabs Jayne’s hand and drags him towards the mess.

“I’m confused.” Wash says as he follows the rest of the crew.

“So am I.” Simon agrees. They walk into the mess to see Mal yelling at Jayne and River.

“If ya’re gonna ruttin make a mess on this boat, clean it up.” Mal yells. “What the hell were ya doin to cause such a large mess?”

River and Jayne glance at each other and then down at the ground.

“My ruttin table!!” Mal yells. “Ya done had sex on my ruttin table?”

“Do ya really want us to answer that?” Jayne replies.

“No.” Mal answers. “Clean up this ruttin mess, dong ma?”

“Yeah.” Jayne replies. He straightens the chair he musta knocked over before helping River clean up the food on the floor. “For a man who probably just got some, he’s in a pissy ass mood.” Jayne says to River.

“Guilt.” River says. “Betrayal.” They finish cleaning up the floor, Jayne grabbing a mop to clean up the mess.

“Guess we’re done.” Jayne says as he puts away the mop. “Wanna go do somethin?”

“Later.” River says. “Have somewhere to be.” She reaches up to kiss him before skipping out of the mess.

“Where’s she goin?” Mal questions when he walks back into the mess.

“Don’t know.” Jayne replies. “She didn’t say.”

“Huh.” Mal mutters. “Wonder what she’s up to?”

“Me too.” Jayne agrees. “Who knows with her.”


Inara slowly moves off her bed when she hears the knock on her door. She knows it’s not Mal; he wouldn’t knock. Most likely it’s Kaylee and Inara’s not ready to see her right now; she’s not really ready to see anybody. Opening the door, she’s slightly shocked to see River standing there.

“May I come in?” River questions politely.

“Yes.” Inara replies. She doesn’t really want to talk to anybody but she doesn’t want to be rude. “Did you need something?”

“He feels it every time.” River says as she sits down on Inara couch.

“Who?” Inara questions.

“Captain daddy.” River replies. “And no thank you, I don’t want any tea.”

Inara is a little startled; she was actually getting ready to ask River if she wanted tea. “Captain daddy?”

“Mal.” River explains. “Every time you see a client, he feels it. Deep, stabbing pains right in his gut. Just what you’re feeling now.”

“It’s my job.” Inara protests.

“Yes, it is.” River agrees. “I know it has nothing to do with sex; it’s about comfort and healing. But captain will never see it that way. He just sees it as you being with another man or woman, whatever the case may be.”

“It’s who I am.” Inara replies.

“It’s not who you are.” River argues. “It’s a part, just like being a mind-reading genius is part of who I am. But it’s not all of us. We are separate. Don’t let your hurt and anger change what you already decided.”

“He went to somebody else.” Inara whispers. “And I don’t know what to do. What if I give up everything to get nothing in return?”

“And what if you give up everything and get more back?” River questions back. “You already came to a decision. It’s the right one, the one that’s the best for everyone.”

“How do you know that for sure?” Inara questions.

“Just do.” River replies.

Inara’s shoulders start to shake as she tries to suppress her sobs. River scoots closer and pulls the companion towards her. Inara lets out a jerky sob before dropping her head into River’s lap, taking the comfort River is offering.

“Everything will work out how it’s supposed to.” River assures Inara as she rubs her back. “You just have to be strong.”


“Kitten, where ya been?” Jayne questions River when she walks into the bay. Him, Mal, Zoe, and Wash are currently playing shoes while Kaylee and Simon watch.

River stops in front of the crate Jayne and Mal are leaning against while waiting on their turn. “Talking to Inara.” River answers.

“She charge ya for her time?” Mal sneers lowly.

The silent bay echoes with the sound of River’s open hand hitting Mal’s face.

“Liou coe shuai du biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze.” River growls.

“What the gorram hell do ya think you’re doin?” Mal yells.

Jayne steps in front of River, his arm holding her behind him.

“Kaylee, take River to the mess and start on breakfast.” Zoe orders.

Kaylee walks over and grabs River’s hand. She drags the smaller girl out of the bay, sending Mal a glare on her way.

“That girl’s bout to cross a line.” Mal yells at Jayne.

“Don’t see what line.” Jayne growls.

“She just ruttin slapped me.” Mal replies.

“Didn’t you kind of deserve it?” Wash questions. “You were a bit out of line.”

Mal glares, lets out a few curses, and storms out of the bay.

“Jayne, keep River away from Mal for a while.” Zoe orders. “Give him time to cool off.”

“Yeah.” Jayne agrees. He walks out of the bay and moves towards the mess. Walking down the steps, he moves over to where Kaylee is making breakfast. “Where’s River?”

“Said she was goin to draw.” Kaylee answers.

With a deep sigh, Jayne leaves the mess to search for River.


“She loves you.” River whispers.

“Aww.” Mal screams. He turns around from the ladder and sees River sitting cross-legged on his bed. “What the ruttin hell do ya think ya’re doin in my bunk?” Mal yells. “Ya know what Jayne’s gonna do when he finds out ya was in here?”

“Hit you.” River replies.

“Damn right he is.” Mal agrees. “And I ain’t wantin to be hit, again.”

“You deserved that.” River says. “What you said was cruel and untrue. Inara is not a whore, she is a companion. There is a difference.”

“Don’t see it.” Mal growls, moving to sit down on his chair across from the bed.

“Are you a pirate?” River questions. “Will you steal from anyone regardless of circumstances?”

“Ya know the answer to that.” Mal answers.

“You’re not.” River replies. “You aren’t a common thief and you don’t steal just to steal. It’s how we live, how we survive. Inara doesn’t just fuck somebody for the orgasm. It’s not about sex; it’s about comfort. She gives her client what they need and it’s not always sex.”

“She still sleeps with em, let’s em touch her.” Mal growls. “I can’t….that ain’t somethin I can handle.”

“I know.” River replies. “You’re like Jayne in that way. He would never let another man touch me just like you don’t want to let another man touch her.”

“Ya know, I think I liked ya better when ya was all crazy.” Mal mutters. “Least ya wasn’t so knowledgeable bout what everyone was feelin.”

“Yes I was.” River argues. “I just couldn’t get the words to come out then.”

“What did ya and Inara talk bout?” Mal questions quietly.

“That’s not mine to tell.” River replies. She stands up and moves over to stand in front of Mal. “She feels the same way that you do but she needs time. Don’t call her a whore anymore.”

“Time for what?” Mal asks.

“Only time will tell.” River singsongs. “Bye captain.”

With a wave of her hand and a rustle of her skirt, she gone, leaving behind a confused man.


Jayne stalks through the hallways, his anger mounting. He’s searched the entire ruttin ship and still ain’t found River. Moving back into the mess, he’s shocked and relieved to see her standing next to Kaylee by the stove.

“Where the ruttin hell have ya been?” Jayne bellows, his anger overriding everything else. “Gorramit, kitten I’ve been looking for ya for the past 15 minutes.”

River turns around to look up at the blistering merc.

“Kaylee said ya was drawin but all your art stuff was in my bunk.” Jayne growls.

“I lied.” River replies.

“Where were ya?” Jayne growls slowly through clenched teeth.

“In the captain’s quarters.” River answers.

Jayne’s eyes go wide, his jaw tenses, and his fists clench at his side. “I’ll ruttin kill him.” Jayne growls before storming out of the mess.

The entire crew runs after the pissed off merc, River at the forefront. They turn the corner just in time to see Mal move out of his bunk. Jayne steps in front of the captain, drawls back his fist, and slams it into Mal’s face.

The captain goes flying backwards to land heavily against the railing leading up to the bridge. Jayne goes to hit him again when River steps between the two men.

“Move.” Jayne growls.

“No.” River replies quietly. “Nothing happened.”

“Ya was in his bunk.” Jayne growls furiously.

“Nothing happened.” River restates. “Like I would let him touch me.”

“Whadda mean let?” Mal groans as he stumbles to his feet, his hand holding the side of his face.

“Sir, maybe you shouldn’t talk.” Zoe advises.

Jayne curses at Mal before turning around and pushing past the gathered crew.

“What’s going on?” Inara questions as she walks towards the crew. “What’s wrong with Jayne?”

“He’s mad.” River replies. She starts towards the mess but knows he won’t be there. She waits for everybody else to walk into the mess. “I’m going to go calm Jayne down. Everybody else just stay here.”

“Don’t think that’s a good idea, little witch.” Mal says.

“Jayne would never, ever hurt me.” River replies. “He’d shoot himself before he’d knowingly hurt me.” She starts to leave but suddenly turns back around. Grabbing Kaylee’s arm, she drags the mechanic over to where Mal is sitting and pushes Kaylee onto his lap.

“What the hell?” Mal questions.

“Just in case.” River replies. “Jayne would never shoot you with Kaylee in the way.” With that said, she turns around and leaves.

“Wonder how she’s gonna calm him down.” Kaylee comments.

“Not sure I want to know.” Simon replies.


River walks quietly into the bay where Jayne is moving cargo around. Or more accurately, he’s tossing cargo around.

“Don’t wanna talk.” Jayne growls, not turning around to look at her.

“Too bad.” River replies. She walks over to stand directly in front of him. “Are you going to toss me around too?”

“Ya know I’d never hurt ya.” Jayne answers, glaring down at her.

“I know.” River replies.

Jayne starts to walk past her when shoots her leg out quickly and trips him. He hits the ground with a grunt and she drops down to straddle his lap.

“Gorramit, kitten, what the hell do ya think your doin?” Jayne growls, his hands automatically moving to grasp her hips.

“We’re going to talk about this.” River replies. “Nothing happened. Nothing would ever happen. Mal would never touch me and I would never let him.”

“I know that, kitten.” Jayne growls.

She reaches up and holds his face between her hands. She drops a light kiss on his lips before pulling back to look directly into his eyes. “You’re the only man I want. The only man I would ever want to touch me. The only man who will ever be inside of me, watch me cum, feel me clench around him as I scream his name.”

Jayne pulls her closer and drops a deep kiss on her mouth. “I know ya’re mine, kitten.” Jayne growls into her mouth. “Just don’t like the thought of ya in another man’s bunk.”

“I know.” River moans back.

“Don’t do it again.” Jayne growls. “Ya wanna talk to Mal, ya can do it on the bridge or somethin. Don’t think I’d be able to hold my temper next time.”

“Okay.” River agrees. She knows how hard this is for him; how it took most of his self control to walk away from Mal. She moves her hands up under his shirt, her nails dragging down his chest. Jayne groans loudly and flips them over until he’s on top. Pulling her dress off, he drags his mouth down her throat to suck harshly at the soft skin. He continues to suck at her neck, marking every inch of skin. Moving down to her breasts, he drags a nipple deep into his mouth while moving a hand down to bury between her open thighs. Sliding three fingers inside of her, he pumps them fast, his thumb riding her clit.

“Ma’de..Jayyne..” River moans as she spreads her legs wider.

“Say it.” Jayne growls against her breast. “Wanna hear ya scream my name.” He bites down on her nipple and shoves a forth finger inside of her.

“JAYNE!” River screams, her hips bucking against his hand.

“That’s it, kitten.” Jayne growls as he quickly pushes his pants down. Forcing her legs further apart, he quickly thrust into her, his mouth moving up to swallow her whimper.

River’s body bows as Jayne pounds into her almost painfully. He nips her lower lip before sucking it into his mouth. River runs her hands under the back of his shirt, her nails digging into his back. She wraps her legs around his hips, her body thrusting against his.

“Please…Jayne, it hurts…” River begs, her body right on the edge.

Jayne reaches between them and pinches her clit.

“Awwww…JAYYNE!” River screams loudly, her body thrashing wildly under his.

Jayne pumps a few more times before emptying himself into her still pulsating body. He quickly rolls over onto his back, the bay floor cold against his ass. River nuzzles his face, her whole body blanketing his.

“Ya okay, kitten?” Jayne questions quietly. “I weren’t too rough?”

“I’m fine, Jayne.” River whispers against his neck. “We have to go eat now. Everyone is worried about me.”

“Why bout ya?” Jayne questions. “I’m the one who was all pissed off.”

“They are afraid of your temper.” River answers as she sits up and reaches over to grab her dress. She slips it back on before looking down at him. “Of what you would do.”

“I’d never hurt ya.” Jayne growls. “I’d shoot myself fore I’d hurt ya.”

“I know.” River replies. She bends down to kiss him lightly before standing up.

Jayne stands up and pulls his backs back up his hips. Leaving his shirt hanging out, he grabs River’s hand to follow her to the mess.

“Tryin to steal my girl wasn’t enough so ya had to go after the doc’s too.” Jayne comments when he sees Kaylee sitting on Mal’s lap.

“I didn’t try to steal nothin.” Mal replies. “She was the one who went in my bunk.”

“I know.” Jayne growls. “We done talked bout it and she ain’t gonna do it again, right kitten?”

“Yes.” River replies, rolling her eyes.

“Mei-mei, I don’t understand why you went into his bunk in the first place.” Simon comments.

“Needed to catch him off guard.” River replies. “It was either wait for him in his bunk or when he got out of the shower. Jayne wouldn’t have liked that at all.”

“No, he wouldn’ta.” Jayne agrees. He drags River to the opposite end of the table and pulls her down onto his lap.

“Neither would I.” Mal agrees.

“Think it’d be kinda funny.” Wash comments.

Jayne and Mal glare at him.

“What?” Wash asks. “It would.”

Kaylee moves into her own chair and passes the bowl of protein around the table. The next few minutes are filled with silence as the crew eats.

“Mal.” Jayne grunts, one arm wrapped around River and the other holding his fork as they eat off the same plate.

“Yeah.” Mal responds.

“Bout the punch, I got a bit possessive…” Jayne starts.

“A bit?” Mal interrupts. “Hell, Jayne, I thought ya was gonna kill me. Ya had that look in your eyes.”

“Wanted to.” Jayne agrees. “Knew she wouldn’t ever do anything with another man but can’t help getting all pissed.”

“Yeah, I can see that.” Mal replies. “And if I forget, I got this black eye as a reminder. Gotta say something bout my character when I get hit twice in less than an hour.”

“Yes, it does.” Zoe agrees with a smile.

“Zoe.” Mal warns.

“Sir.” Zoe adds.

“I get no respect round here.” Mal mutters.


“Jayne, it’s been a week.” River says slowly. “I can sit in the same room with the captain without you. Go hit the head.”

Jayne glares at Mal before dropping a kiss on River’s lips. He gives Mal one more glare before moving out of the bay.

“It don’t bother ya?” Mal questions. “That he’s so gorram possessive?”

“No.” River answers. “Makes me feel safe and protected.”

“Huh.” Mal mutters.

“Do you really have to hover?” Inara questions Mal.

“I told ya before, nobody gets on my boat that I don’t meet em.” Mal replies. “We ain’t gonna embarrass ya in front of your client.”

“Fine.” Inara agrees.

“When will this client be arriving?” Mal questions.

“A few minutes.” Inara replies. “Could you at least get the crew out of here?”

“Ya heard the lady.” Mal says. “Go hide somewhere.”

River and Kaylee stick their tongues out before following Zoe, Wash, and Simon upstairs to wait out Inara’s client.

“Did I miss it?” Jayne questions quietly, sneaking up behind the watching crew.

“No.” River answers.

“Shiny.” Jayne replies. “Wonder if’n it’s another woman again.”

River glares at him.

“Not that I’d enjoy that kinda thing.” Jayne backpeddles.

She continues to glare at him.

“Kaylee, I think I’ll be sleeping in our bunk tonight.” River says, sending Jayne a look.

“Aw, kitten, don’t be like that.” Jayne whines, pulling River against his chest. “Ya know I don’t mean nothin by it.”

River giggles and smirks up at Jayne. “You’re such an easy mark.” River says.

“Ya was just playin with me?” Jayne growls.

“Yep.” River answers. “I’m not stupid; I know men get turned on by seeing or thinking about two women having sex.”

“Yeah.” Jayne agrees.

“I know you wouldn’t want to do it.” River whispers. “That you wouldn’t let another person touch me.”

“Damn straight.” Jayne agrees.

“They’re here.” River announces.

Everybody sneaks their heads out to watch Inara’s client walk up the ramp.


“Mr. Sheen.” Inara says politely. “Mrs. Sheen.”

“Inara, it’s nice to met you.” Mrs. Sheen replies.

“Yeah.” Mr. Sheen agrees.

“You’ll have to excuse my husband.” Mrs. Sheen says. “He thinks she’s too young for this.”

“I assure you, she is at the right age.” Inara says. “Now, where is Isabel?”

Mr. Sheen snaps his fingers and a large man starts walking up the ramp, a young girl about 10 years old beside him.

“Isabel, this is Inara.” Mrs. Sheen says. “Now, your father and I will be back to pick up in the morning.”

“Alright.” Isabel whispers. She kisses her mother and father on the cheek and watches as they walk away.

“Isabel, if you’ll follow me, we’ll go to my shuttle.” Inara says in a cheerful voice, holding her hand out to Isabel.

Isabel starts to take her hand when Mal coughs, loudly.

Inara sighs heavily before speaking. “Zoe, would you please take Isabel to my shuttle while I talk to Mal?”

“Yes.” Zoe replies. She walks over and ushers the girl up the steps.

“Ya ain’t gonna really….gorramit Nara, she’s just a kid.” Mal growls.

“Yes, I know.” Inara says.

“Yet ya’re still gonna do it?” Mal gasps.

“It’s my job.” Inara states. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to get to work.” She walks away leaving behind a shocked captain.

“She’s gonna…I can’t believe.” Mal stutters when the crew joins him in the bay.

“I don’t understand why you’re acting this way.” Simon states.

“Did ya not just see what I did?” Mal asks in shock.

“Yes.” Simon replies. “I don’t see what the big deal is. River saw a companion when she was that age too.”

“WHAT?” Jayne yells. “Ya had sex with a companion?”

“No.” River answers. “Was taught protocols, how to act in certain situations, how to address public figures, how to make small talk.”

“It’s the home version of finishing school.” Simon explains. “Richer families will hire a companion to come to their home and educate their children on how to behave. It’s not as long as actual finishing school would be but works when parents don’t want to send their children away.”

“Oh.” Mal says.

“Inara must have changed departments.” Simon comments. “Because they don’t let active companions give these types of lessons. Only the ones that have retired.”

“How do ya know so much bout companions?” Jayne questions. “Is it cause of the three ya got for your birthday?”

“No.” Simon answers. “I did a lot of research when the guild contacted River with invitation to start training.”

“Ya was gonna be a companion?” Jayne questions River.

“After the companion came to visit me, the guild contacted my parents.” River replies. “They were impressed with the fact that I had learned the entire course before she’d even arrived. But I said no. I’ve never had the desire to heal people.”

“Sir, ya okay?” Zoe questions the stunned looking captain.

"I'm not sure." Mal mutters.

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