badinlatin: (redshirt)
2017-07-23 07:35 pm

Mother-son talk.

Lilly Kane
that fucker Roland
Bernard and Tonks
Kitty Pryde
gorram Crowley even
Simon and Kaylee

"What're you doin'?" his mother interrupts Mal writing a list, peeking over his shoulder at her son's scribbled shorthand. How his characters got so lovely but his English print so awful, she'll never know.

"Nothin' you're gonna like."

"So why're you doin' it in my bar, son?"

Good point. Mal folds up the list and orders a drink from his mother, since waking Bar while Sallie's on shift seemed kind of rude. Sallie pours some sauce for herself as well, stronger than her usual fare, and finds a stool on her side of the mahogany top. Bar dear, would you mind terribly?

The customers are served by magically appearing beverages for the moment.

"Ma, if you're workin'..."

"Shi a, at the only job I do for no coin. Now tell me. Or do I need to try 'n magic that list from you?"

Mal lifts an eyebrow but doesn't comment. They'd agreed against such things, way back when those things were new to them both. No 'magickin' of things. Ask, be direct, and cope with the answers you get. Or not. The Reynolds way, they had joked. He hands over the paper.

"What's with the names? Why're Kaylee and Simon on this? There's a couple folk on her I don't ken..."

"And you won't. They don't come here now. For whatever reason." Before Sallie can comment, "For good reasons, most. I can't fault 'em on that."

"Is that why you don't come here now?" It's better to be direct. Most of the time.

"That's a philosophy quandary here - If I don't come here, how'm I here now?"

"Don't be a jackass, Malcolm, you know exactly what I'm talkin' of." It's so rare to get her son here un-beckoned. He'll come with a smile on his face if Sallie waves him, but just to see him on the fly? Almost never. It always takes prodding.

"I come 'ere to see you, Ma. Only place I can once you sold the land."

"You couldn't've come to Shadow when I had the land, and you kn--"

Mal holds up a palm. "I know it. And you're happy here." The first smile of the conversation, and Mal covers Sallie's hand in hers. "I love this place for that. For bringing you happiness, and a whole 'nother family."

Sallie didn't appreciate where this was going. "Not to replace my first one!"

"No, I'm still your son, Ma. And I'm lucky for it." His eyes flick down to the paper with those names on it. It's incomplete at best. So many people in and out of here.

"So...why write them all out?"

"I make sure they existed."

Sallie has nothing to offer at that point. She looks up and her son doesn't seem...sad, truly. Contemplative? (A little maudlin?)

Old. Not in a bad way. (She is turning 72 this year; she can't see him turning 45 as being bad - especially since he'd done so much to try and not see 40.) But his grey is coming in more pronounced-like of late, and he rubs at his knuckles like Sallie used to when she first started developing arthritis.

"I'm sorry, Ma - I don't mean to be down in the mouth around you. I don't see you enough to waste time on things like that."

"Nonsense. 't means I'm still of use to you now 'n then."

"O' course you are." Suddenly serious. "Not in question ever."

"That mean you're stayin' for dinner?"

Mal finishes his drink, slipping back into a comfortable smile he is usually wearing for the casual observer. It's honest nevertheless. "See? Told you you're of use."
badinlatin: (redshirt)
2015-10-11 06:19 pm

Being Reckless.

Mal is wincing, trying to tape up the gash on his forearm from the last Jiangyin job.

Ma's in the bar, so the infirmary there is out.

Maybe Inara is still asleep.
badinlatin: (redshirt)
2015-01-01 12:45 pm

Mal-Simon (flashback)

HARBATKIN, R., Captain
Textwave - Origin: Praxed

Meet me at the bar? Nothing bad.


"I wonder what that's about," Inara asks, reading the textwave over Mal's shoulder at the galley table.

"No idea. Best go by myself though, in case the 'nothing bad' actually involves something bad."

"Simon would say if there were something going on, Mal."

Mal just cocks an eyebrow at Inara, "Yes, 'cause the lot of us always tell true on the Cortex."

Walking through the Milliways door at his old bunk, Mal doesn't have a feeling that it is something bad - for once.
badinlatin: (colorized gun)
2014-09-23 09:12 am

Job: This really could have gone better.

Lilac is not Mal's favorite planet. It's not even Mal's favorite color, though he must admit the muted greys and purples floating behind his eyelids might be considered pretty were he not bleeding at the moment.

He had specifically taken the job alone. He's allowed to do that. One of the few perks he does have, all told.

(And he may have managed to turn off his tracking beacon in the shuttle after Inara threatened to follow him.)

The meetup to get the map and the passcodes for the warehouse was easy enough. The ambush to steal from the thief in order to save a few bits was less than expected. (Mal's fault, he knows. He should have known? What the gorram hell ever -- )

Shot, robbed, no tracking beacon - This really could have gone better.

But he's not wholly unprepared, digging a dented Milliways Security badge out from his back pocket.

(Walking through the door is actually a lovely shade of fuschia, he must admit.)
badinlatin: (redshirt)
2014-07-24 04:33 pm

Job: Beylix

This could have gone better.

The bullet graze on his bicep is bleeding pretty impressively, but Mal still has all sensation in his forearm, so he's not worried. He even smiles a bit, firing off one round - two - three, all in the direction of the lawmen pursuing him. One bullet blows the lead tire of a motorbike behind him which launches the rider up and over like so much dead weight. Should wear a helmet, jackass.

It's more luck than Mal admits that he makes it up the cargo bay ramp before the lawmen manage another decent shot. The take is still on the mule - wrapped up and sealed, all the protein of the rainbow - and Mal doesn't even inspect it. He barks to River to take off, and he heads to Milliways before anyone manages to talk to him.

He's got a new shirt and a couple glasses of bourbon in him before he comes home.
badinlatin: (colorized gun)
2014-07-20 07:50 pm

Job: Dyton Colony

Jayne complains all morning about Mal's desire to go on the job alone. Mal defends the decision with his usual eloquent manner.

"On account o' I said so, bù guăn nĭshì fŏu xĭ huān. Cope with it."

"Grumpy." Jayne stomps off with his usual lack of subtlety. Fair enough, Mal thinks, heading towards Shuttle Two.

It feels good to be on a job, even one so simplistic as this. Land the shuttle, walk into town, meet with the contact to pick up the keycard that will let him into the back of the supply wagon. Pick it up while the driver is on break for food, unload into the shuttle. Easy peasy. It's even quiet during the whole activity - no orders to give, no skins to save.

But then the driver doesn't stay at the bar for a second round of drinks, and it's driving the supply wagon into the dust and the tumbleweeds with the driver on a commandeered horse, laser pistol blasts whizzing by. Mal twists roughly to lay down some fire of his own - can't reload, gorram - and careens off the road with the horse's sage decision to get out of the line of fire.

The force of the jump between the road and the gutter flings Mal out of the driver's seat, landing on his back and shoulder with a solid crunch. He immediately slumps, playing possum. The wagon driver dismounts, coming to inspect the presumably-unconscious --

Mal rolls onto his back, large chunk of rock in his hand pelted at the driver's head. He slumps to the ground as Mal stands, stripping the driver of his laser pistol and on a whim, his ident and credit account cards.

The unloading of the wagon gets difficult - landing on the road did more to him than just knocking the air out of his lungs, apparently - but Mal manages without pulling his shoulder out even more.

Flying back to Serenity, Inara is the first person he sees.

"Why did you not take anyone with you?" Irritation barely masking worry.

Grim-faced, Mal still takes a moment to kiss Inara on the apple of her cheek. "Weren't needed. Been a thief a long time before I had a crew, remember?"
badinlatin: (redshirt)
2013-07-07 06:44 pm

On the job.

The pickup is smooth. The dropoff is looking to be smooth as well, which pleases Mal to no end. He's got better things to do of late. Ma's moving in with Splinter and that's all sorts of an interesting scenario --

"Captain Reynolds," a voice cuts through his mental meanderings.

Mal just nods in reply. "Got the order for you. No trouble even for you and your..." Shooting a glance at the hulk of a man in the corner, "...colleague here."

"Are you sure?" The colleague asks, all heavy accent and hair-trigger.

"Positive, Mister...?"


When the client smiles at the name, Mal puts two and two together. "Crows are corvids."

Corvid draws a stun-pistol and shoots Mal in the chest. When he lands, Mal's eyes are already closed, blacked out.

Mal wakes to white. An overabundance of white. White walls, white sheets on the cot he's been thrown on. Mal's hand flies to his hip - no joy. Boots are even gone - no knife.

The only thing in sight that isn't this searing vista of white-and-nothingness is the front field-panel of his brig cell.

"Well," Mal mumbles to himself. "Knew it couldn't go smooth ever."
badinlatin: (holster)
2013-04-06 01:58 pm

On the job.

It took far longer than it should have, but Mal lands a job prospect on Persephone, close to the Shepherd's old stomping grounds. There's a thought that crosses his mind that he should stop in, say something, but he can hear Book laughing at the idea in his head, so Mal just walks on.

"Captain Reynolds," a blonde girl steps out into Mal's path, no older than Kaylee had been when she first joined his crew. "This way, please."

No point in complaining just yet, so he follows.

"You're alone," the nameless girl says in one of those tones that's supposed to be a question but isn't. "Most folk don't come to talk business alone."

Zoe is with Naomi; Jayne is in his bunk. Or out, whichever. Mal wasn't expecting trouble. He gives no answer and keeps on until the alleyway opens into a tented room, and the blonde girl walks right up and sits on the lap of the gangly man in the central chair in full view.

"Ain't you just the king o' the quadrant," Mal quips, amused at the sight. The new client pays no mind, and they get down to brass tacks. (Mal has more rules about what he won't carry on as cargo; the girl on the client's lap makes him remind all parties involved that absolutely no passengers that don't get a choice in the matter to go will be on his boat.)

Coin changes hands (for once, it's the amount promised) and it's time to go. Cargo is getting delivered to Serenity in the afternoon mail drop to their docking station, and it's all easy-peasy from there.

"Good luck, Captain Reynolds," the client says as Mal leaves.

That's never the most comforting of good-byes, is it?
badinlatin: (take me hard)
2012-02-16 09:17 pm

The Knighting.

When the mayor of Lorlisfax Bridge sent Amy the letter about Hubert and what happened, Mal didn't think much of it. He had bigger fish to fry at the time. Named Blanche.

Blanche. Ugh.

But Amy was not dissuaded! After Blanche and Perseus were taken to God only knows where in the castle, Mal followed Am--the Queen to a sitting room, and the first order of business is heavy on Mal's mind and stomach, so Amy orders up a full tea service with all sorts of delicious biscuits and fruit alongside.

Mal was in the middle of trying to describe Ace's blue glowy grapes and how complimentary to scones they are when Amy picks up the butter knife and starts to stare more at it than him. "What're you ponderin'?"

"Do you want the full ceremony, or something quieter?"

Um? "What ceremony?"

"The knighting, of course. Though I should warn you, the full ceremony is a very full ceremony. Throne room, kneeling, lots of fussy language to memorize, and Perry and I would probably have to wear ermine."

"What? No, that's not necessary - I barely did anythin', Amy, you know that."

"Mal," Amy chides, "One of the best things about being Queen is that my opinion about the value of a man's actions is pretty highly regarded. And this trip was certainly not what you signed on for. Let me do this."

"Here's good," Mal smiles finally. "Captain Sir Malcolm Reynolds." Over tea and laughter, Amy bestows a knighthood on Mal's shoulders with the blunt knife, and they get back to eating.

Wait until Amy gives him his medal.
badinlatin: (shoot me now.)
2012-02-03 10:06 am

Bad and White, on the King's Road.

"See now," Mal offers, "Don't you feel more comfortable on this...oddly yellow road, now that you ain't wearing heels?"
badinlatin: (bemused/irritated)
2012-01-24 10:11 pm

Bad and White, in the woods.

Why is this my life?

Blanche and Mal have been walking for the past hour.

A very long hour.

"You do realize that I'm not the Prince you're rutting waiting for," Mal reiterates.


For the fifth time.
badinlatin: (mal inara opposites)
2012-01-23 06:29 pm

[For funsies] Um. Oops?

Author Note: Set immediately after Mal comes back from Milliways shenanigans.

Mal's door back to the ship always moves around. Usually it's to Inara's shuttle, but he can end up anywhere from the bridge to Jayne's bunk.


This go-round though, he's happy to not immediately show up in front of Inara. Instead, he walks out into the bridge and sits in the pilot's seat - just for a moment.

Not that he's stalling.
badinlatin: (you come and you rescue me)
2012-01-23 12:24 pm

Adventures in Ambergeldar.

Mal finds himself actually...rather excited, for his field trip to Ambergeldar. It's been years since he has gallavanted off to another universe and he trusts Amy to keep him from making a fool of himself.

After leaving his gun with his mother in Milliways - something Sallie praised him for; "No need to bring guns into someone else's world" she noted - he follows Amy through her open door.

But somehow

they get separated.


It's a lot darker here than Mal expected. The ceiling of the room is inches from the top of his head, and the only light in the room comes from deep wall sconces that make crevices in the space seem deeper than they probably are.

Looking behind - no door back.

Mal reaches out to run his fingertips along one wall, following the path until the wall ends and opens up and out into a wider space.

A bedroom. A big one, with - Mal counts quickly - seven beds.

"What the good gorram."
badinlatin: (you come and you rescue me)
2010-07-22 09:57 am

The Pickup.

Just because Mal’s father says that there’s nothing to worry about, just because the plan seems beyond basic – simple pickup from point A, drop off at point B. Pick up payment from both ends. Easy breezey lemon squeezey, as Mal overheard someone in Milliways say once.

Nope. And he really needs to stop eavesdropping in the bar. It affects his speech patterns too much.

Jayne is with the mule, moving three crates to the small tow-wagon that has never really been replaced even when they went all out for new equipment a couple years back. Zoe is at Mal’s side now, waiting for the man with the shoulder-length curly hair to finish counting platinum in his drawstring purse like an old lady. After about the third or fourth glance of Is this asshole for real? that moves between the two of them, a spiked “Ah ha!” draws their attention back.

“I just had to check; you understand.” Mal doesn’t, since he hasn’t really been listening to the contact’s words so much as his actions – the only action he cares about is the man dropping the double-checked purse into Mal’s hand. Regardless, Mal gives the man a rigid smile just so he can move business along.

Jayne is less than helpful in this attempt. “Mal!” he bellows; Zoe goes to Jayne first while Mal glares at the pudgy businessman to see if he has tried to pull something. Pudgy looks far too nervous now to truly try anything nefarious so Mal meets Jayne.

“There’s damage” is all Jayne gets out before Mal can see the jagged tear through the last crate and he flies immediately back to Pudgy with a scowl and Pudgy is already defending himself, running to the crate and lifting off the lid to assure all involved that the goods are still in pristine condition.

“See? All’s shiny in the ‘verse. Look for yourself.”

So Mal looks. And so does Jayne and Zoe. For good measure, so does Pudgy.

“At least their heads don’t wobble,” Zoe deadpans.

Pudgy’s face lights up. “I didn’t even think of that! Perhaps the next round.”

Mal groans and jumps in the mule to drive back to Serenity.
badinlatin: (bemused/irritated)
2010-06-19 03:43 pm

The Lead-Up and the Meet-Up.

The moon where Mal has decided to meet up with his fath--his client is not quite as backwoods as it gets, but it is definitely in the running. When he tells Inara he is going by himself, she (predictably) disapproves. The whole crew disapproves, really, but most back off about it. Most.

He finds River sitting in the passenger seat of the second shuttle’s cockpit, utterly silent and already buckled in as though that will keep her from being kicked out before Mal takes off to make the meet.


Looking up, River doesn’t even blink. “Got crew.” Before Mal opens his mouth again: “I’m backup. It’s reciprocity.”

I can handle my rutting father on my own -- !

But if he’s a client.


“I severely dislike you.”

River smiles at him. “Brought snacks.”

They are meeting in a library of all things. An honest, actual library, run by a couple of the Shepherds that have installed themselves out here at the pigu end of the planet’s satellite orbit and use the coin they get from those needing privacy to import actual crops here. Mal’s almost jealous for how smooth their operation runs. The shuttle is parked about two miles outside of town and he and River hitch a ride in; they’re early. Mal finds a chair and a book to pretend to read while sitting in it.


It’s been coming up on three decades since Mal has seen his father last, but the voice is –

Fùqin.” It’s a tight smile, and nowhere near an approach for any physical contact. River is sitting on the table behind Mal, now, paying attention and making herself unobtrusive.

Beau doesn’t try to make too much small talk. He waves a small sheet of digital paper in front of all eyes. “Got details for you.”

The job is actually one of the simplest Mal’s managed to pick up in quite some time. Pick up cargo at point A, fly out to point B, middleman pays the remainder of Mal’s fee. Beau volunteers the information that the cargo is not anything flammable or perishable, but those facts do not pull any questions from Captain Reynolds about what the cargo actually is. Just a job.

Mal’s father is going on about the layout of the drop site for the goods and while Mal is listening, he is also focusing on details he doesn’t know he’ll have access to again – how his father had to reach for reading glasses for the paper, how he hardly has any grey hair whatsoever and now he has to wonder if he’ll be more like his father or his mother in that when he ages –

“You wear my gun.”

That was unexpected.

“Hasn’t been your gun in years.” Beau looks over his glasses at Mal appraisingly for just a second before continuing on with whatever the hell story he was in the middle of.

Information exchanged and coin safely pocketed away, Mal and River are getting ready to walk back to the shuttle. Mal is debating trying to find Ice Planet for River just to amuse himself so he can fake a smile for his wife later; River gives him a significant glance.

“I’m glad you called me.” Beau’s packing up his things to go back to...wherever he came from, and he’s actually smiling, here. “It is good to see you doing so well, son.”

Mal is not really having it. “You’ll leave Ma alone after this.” Not a request; Beau recognizes it and nods. “Then you’ll hear from me after we make the pickup and when we’re in the world for the drop. And...”

He was never going to be just a client.

“Why me?”

Beau cocks his head to one side the way he may have seen River do while she waited for the men to finish moving around each other.

“Because I wanted to do something good by you. Is that so bad?”

River makes Mal buy an Ice Planet for himself before the flight home.
badinlatin: (bemused/irritated)
2010-06-15 07:57 pm

Father and Son.

Mal immediately came back from Milliways after he spoke with his mother - she sat on this for an entire day - and goes to the bridge, having Wash dial the code and hissing a quick "Just do it" when the pilot tries to ask questions.

The first cogent thought after the voice filters through the air is that he sounds the same.

"Reynolds Contracting Services."

"You're not terrible subtle, Mr. Reynolds," Mal starts, more aggressive than he should be but he can hear his heart pounding in his ears. "There are easier ways to contact me."

"And you should not be referring to me so formally, but we both do what we can. If you want the job we need to meet."

"And if you want to meet you need to tell me about the job. I'm assuming you're on a planet I can't show my face on to most folk."

"I am, but I can get a shuttle where needs be. Where are you?"

Mal ignores the question and starts tapping furiously into Wash's navigation system - he's going to have a lot more explaining to do than he'll like, but his finger circles a moon that's in apogee nearby. "Meet me here. Three days."

"I will." After a pause long enough to make Mal think the line's gone dead except for a shaking head from Wash, "Until then, son."

Beau hangs up first.
badinlatin: (bemused/irritated)
2010-03-23 09:35 am

(no subject)

It's been a quiet couple of days, but...not in so much a bad way, uncomfortable like the past several weeks have been. River and Mal were working on some new gadget or other, so when Mal comes up to the shuttle he's all grimy.
badinlatin: (Boozin)
2010-03-14 03:24 pm

Gabriel-Mal, pool table.

One of the many perks of Milliways is that the majority of the decor and bar accoutrements appear to be from a time predominantly pre-hologram.

Which means many things, of course, but one of those things is a solid set of billiard balls on a table with actual felt that has some texture still to it no matter how many times the table is used.

Mal's playing some solo form of nine-ball, every once in awhile waving down a waitrat for a refill.
badinlatin: (you come and you rescue me)
2009-12-08 09:40 pm

Mal-Kaylee, seasonal baked goods.

Sallie Reynolds loves to feed people. It is rare of late that Mal lets her get away with it with him specifically, but she can normally manage a meal or five around the holidays.

This is not quite a meal that Mal's bringing back to Serenity, so much as half a dozen cookie tins, all labeled in precise characters as to contents and date of baking in case they lasted long enough on the ship to be in danger of going stale and dry.

Mal is still chuckling to himself at this unlikelihood in his mother's head as he returns from Milliways to head towards the kitchen table and deposit the boxes.
badinlatin: (mal inara opposites)
2009-10-07 12:40 pm

Mal-Inara, garage and the Tams.


Mal is enunciating pretty clearly in the relatively miniscule space of the shuttle. It's been a quiet afternoon, but Mal's book gets closed and shoved off onto the top of the foot locker by the end of the bed with a distinct thump.

"Doin' anything that can't be interrupted?"

He's been fidgety all afternoon.