Disclaimer: I own nothing in this 'verse…only Joss does…gorramit

Mal was sitting in the mess hall with his crew with exception of Simon. Mal still had injuries from Niska, but was good at not picking at his ear. That was the first time Book said the joke.

"Leave it to Malchus to get himself and Wash in a fine mess of trouble," the Sheppard said with a grin.

"Malchus?" Mal asked.

"Yes Malchus."

"Who in the gorram 'verse is Malchus?"

Book gave an enigmatic smile, but didn't explain. Mal turned from one crew member to another. Each one shrugged their shoulders in response, except for River who was playing with her food. Nobody understood, but Book.

Book teased him like that off and on for the next week. No matter what threat the Captain could muster Sheppard Book would wait until he felt he was in good enough graces with the Captain and call him Malchus instead of Mal or Malcolm. Almost as soon as it started it stopped.

"Where's the coffee?" Simon asked Book in the mess hall one day.

"It's over by Malchus," Book responded.

Simon chuckled and poured himself a cup.

"Wait you understood the joke?" Mal asked as Simon took a seat across from him.

"Sure," he said "clever too."

"Would you care to explain it to me? He calls me that whenever he feels like," Mal huffed.

"You really should stop calling him that," Simon said.

"Why's that, son?" Book asked curiously.

"If he is Malchus, who does that make me?"

Simon's rhetorical question was the magic trick.

"That's a good point there, doctor," Book nodded "I'll stop calling him that?"

"Now who's Malchus?" Mal was almost fuming.

Book leaned over so that he could whisper into Simon's ear.

"Tell him when I'm dead," he whispered loud enough for the Captain to hear.


Mal waited almost two weeks since the death of there beloved Sheppard before he asked Simon. Mal was sitting in the infirmary as Simon removed some stitches he had gotten after the dealings on Miranda.

"Simon, who was Malchus?" Mal went straight to the point.

He couldn't get much alone time with the doctor since the doc and Kaylee stopped dancing around each other. Even when he was getting medical treatment either Kaylee, or Zoë, or River would be there. This time each lady had been appointed a job.

Simon's face was a small grin from the joke, but sad eyes from the loss of Book.

"I guess now would be the right time," Simon said.

Mal huffed at the fact that Simon didn't share his sentiment for cutting to the chase. Simon sensed his frustration and continued.

"Malchus was a man in the Bible," Simon explained.

Mal groaned at never having thought of that.

"Malchus was a servant of the High Priest sent to arrest Jesus and then one of Jesus' disciples drew out his sword and cut Malchus' ear off," Simon finished.

"How did you get him to stop calling me that?"

"Jesus put the ear back on Malchus, so if you were Malchus then I'm…" Simon left it open.

"You're a doctor, not a miracle man, huh?"

"Well not only that, but the disciple's name was Simon before Jesus changed it to Peter."

"But why Malchus' ear?" the Captain asked.

"Peter was a fisherman not a swordsman…"

Mal didn't understand. He jerked as Simon removed the last of his stitches.

"Let's just say Peter wasn't aiming for the ear."

"Ouch," Mal unconsciously rubbed his neck as he realized what Simon was saying.

"How do you know all this?" Mal asked.

"I went to Sunday school before River was born. It was more of a social thing for my parents than a religious thing, though," he answered.

Mal's stitches were out, but he didn't leave. One last question bothered him.

"Why didn't he want me to know?" he asked soberly.

"I'm pretty sure that he was hoping you'd pick up the Bible and find out for yourself."

With that Simon left Mal alone with his thoughts.

A/N: Because only I would be doing a Bible study and thinking of a Firefly fan fic :) :) :) Hope you liked it!

John 18:10 (NKJV)

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.