Disclaimer: still don't own Firefly dammit. Quit bringing it up!

Quote: "Don't hate yourself in the morning. Sleep till noon."

Author's Note: Sorry this took so long. My only excuses would be August 12th was my one year anniversary and there's a tropical storm. I wanted to get into the meaty part of the story during this chapter, but then I didn't want to end on a cliffy. So you get to wait, say it with me "Yay."

Shout out to just slummin, JediJayne (what an extremely strange concept to think of, by the way) and Myth87 for the wonderful reviews!!

Chapter 2- Inconsequential Things Occur

Simon walks Kaylee to the entrance of the engine room and with a heated kiss reluctantly lets go and heads towards the medical bay. He steps inside to find Mal there waiting giving him an amused smile when he sees the Docs flushed face. Simon ignores the smile and calmly asks the captain his reason for being there.

"Well Doc, I want your opinion on my crew before we get neck-deep in this job"

"If you mean my sister…"

"I mean all of them" Mal interrupts.

"Okay, well River is a lot better. She still can't block out people very well, but Miranda is no longer torturing her mind, so her moods and thoughts are more stable." Simon slowly replied.

"So do you think she's up for it? That's the question." Mal said harshly.

Simon gave him a hard stare. "Up for what exactly? What do you know?!"

"I know nothing except what my gut is telling me." Mal replied as he started pacing.

"Then why do it? Do we really require the money, the job so bad? We were doing just fine, so why?"

Zoë stepped into the room silently to stand next to the captain, "Because we need to step back into the worlds. And the Captain wants us to do it on our terms, Simon. Not when we run out of supplies or are found out and forced that way."

"Fine" Simon said with resignation in his voice, "I'll make sure we are stocked up and have the crew checked out."

"Sir?" Zoë asked.

"Get Jayne and check out our supplies, also make sure the cargo hold is in order."

Zoë gave him a nod and walked out the door as quietly and briskly as she had come in.

"And what about her, Captain?" Simon asked pointedly.

"What? Does she have some illness I weren't aware of?"

"No, of course not, however-"

"Then it isn't your problem son." Mal stated as he turned to leave.

Simon let out an annoyed sigh, day dreaming for a minute of giving the Captain some illness, preferably one that caused the person to be mute as a side effect. He enjoyed the fantasy a little longer, even adding Jayne to it, before letting it go. As much as he liked to think about such things he knew it was something he would never do, so he quickly got to work, checking the stock in his medical bay.

They were all gather at the table eating dinner when Mal announced they were about a day out from their destination.

"So soon?" Kaylee asked.

"Soon is relative", River replied, and "we have approximately 1623 minutes and-"

"That's Okay River, I really don't want to know. Inara, a moment if you don't mind?"

"Certainly Mal, what did you need?"

"I just wanted to see if you came up with anything."

"I looked into it but found nothing" Inara replied slowly.

"Well what kind of nothing?" Mal asked.

"Excuse me?"

"What kind?! Geesh are my lips moving? Was it a too clean kind of nothing? Where everything looks perfect because idiots don't know how to do the nothing right. Or was it the more realistic nothing? Because that one is the kind you fall for and means your messing with some bad, bad people. Ya gotta check the nothing to make sure its real and not set up! So which was it?"

"….. you have issues." Inara stated as she rolled her eyes and walked by.

She walked by Zoë who took a long look at her and asked, "You been talking to the Captain?"

Inara gave a small annoyed smile. "How could you tell?"

"He just has a way with people" Zoë said as she continued to walk.

Up on the bridge Mal had just sat down in the pilot's chair, preparing to take over for a few hours and give River a break when Simon walked in.

"Have you thought….. of maybe doing more acts similar to Miranda?" he asked slowly.

"And hello to you too." Mal replied sarcastically "No, I haven't. I don't know about you but the costs were way too high, or had you forgotten?"

"No of course not! I didn't mean that… just something. Maybe I could speak with those who helped me break out River, ask them. I'm sure there are other horrors besides The Academy and Miranda."

"No." Mal replied flatly. "We are not in that business. We do that and the Alliance will focus all its power on us. No, I 'm not signing this crew up for that."

"But if we could help, Miranda made a huge difference! Maybe we can make a change in the government. You were in the war, surely you want something different." Simon said tentatively.

"There's not gonna be a war anytime soon. Any sign the Alliance would immediately crush not to mention finding recruits, getting supplies, and too many are not recovered from the last one. If we tried again now it would be a paltry attempt and easily crushed. Plus I don't know that a different government is better. It could very well be worse.

We are not even healed yet ourselves and I am not interested."

"I see you points, all of them, but it's just a thought" Simon said resignedly.

Up in the ducts River listens silently, her eyes closed. "You only get one life" she whispers softly "and event set in motion are beyond your control. So you better hold on" she says with a smile.