The Sting: The Better Days Cut

A Firefly Fanfiction Story


A week later, in Jayne's and Saffron's residential suite on Persephone...

Saffron is sitting on the red lined white sheeted bed in her and Jayne's bedroom.

Jayne is in the bathroom.

Saffron heavily sighs to herself, looking down.

And... She has a open large reddish orange scrapbook in her hands.

The cover says Mrs. Reynolds in goldish yellow font.

She's taping in some 3D printed copies of book pages of science pages in the scrapbook.

Every page is full of 3D printed copies of book pages taped over notebook paper: From science and history to how-to guides on survival and short science fiction horror stories.

There's little notes with little hearts for I's around the 3D prints.

And... They each say:

How else can I try to tell you I care?

I...I don't know, River. I wish I knew how.

Some tears fall to the floor from Saffron's face.

She sniffles hard.

But, soon... She closes back up the scrapbook.

And... Saffron is thinking to herself:

Maybe one day.


Maybe for your next birthday.


Hard sniffle.

I really can't blame you for not opening it.

Three days or so later, at Frye Airworks...

Kaylee and Saffron are almost on their way to Saffron's shindig.

But... They're making a special stop here first.

Kaylee concludes, "you know...this Mule might not be as nifty as yours. But...the captain did gave us a special order for rebuilding it with a lot of new tricks. Chuckle. Could go real crazy with it."

She grins wide.

Saffron grins.

Kaylee had convinced Mal to leave his forklift styled rustic tan yellow Flying Mule at Frye Airworks. At least for the morning.

Saffron considers, "well... Faint chuckle. I know we're a little short on time. So...any new tricks you want to show me fast?"

She crosses her arms.

But, she's still grinning wide.

Kaylee figures, "well... I got one. But...only way to test it out is to sit in the front."

Saffron lightly shrugs.

She figures, "all right. But, I'm sitting in the pilot seat."

Lightly... Kaylee just says, "sure."

They sit in the front of the Flying Mule.

Kaylee says, "well... Faint chuckle. Be ready to jump."

Saffron looks a little confused.

She just says, "um...okay. Thanks." Kaylee adds, "sure."

And... Kaylee presses a little red button under the co-pilot seat.

The pilot seat ejects high up...almost hitting the ceiling.

Saffron flip kick jumps off in mid-eject.

She calls out, "ohh god yes! !"

Kaylee giggles.

Saffron tumble kicks off of some gray ribbed crates with ship parts.

She tumble lands on the floor.

She groans hard a little.

But...she quickly gets up.

The pilot seat crashes down to the floor. But, it's very much intact.

Kaylee checks, "Saffron? You all right there?"

Saffron puts a comforting hand on Kaylee's.

Saffron remarks, "are you joking? Laugh! That was thrilling. I could go again!"

Kaylee chuckles hard some.

She's covering her mouth as she does.

She goes, "oh, Saffron."

Saffron goes, "oh, Kaylee."

She feels up Kaylee's hand...until she notices Kaylee looking.

Saffron shrinks back a little.

She blushes a little.

She apologizes, "sorry."

Kaylee assures, "it's all right. One foot in front of the other. You know?"

Saffron adds, "thanks." Kaylee says, "sure."

Saffron concludes, "so... I'd call this a good test."

Somewhat nervous... Kaylee points out, "umm...maybe not really for the seat. It still need some work."

Saffron asks, "what do you mean?"

They together kind of easily screw the ejector seat back into the front of the Flying Mule.

There's a kind of loud click.

Kaylee and Saffron start heading out of Frye Airworks.

They're casually holding hands as they do.

Kaylee explains, "it could have real hurt anyone...getting too close to a big ceiling."

Saffron mostly assures, "yeah. Don't worry though. Faint chuckle. You always know how to fix stuff."

Awkwardly... Kaylee concludes, "yeah. When it come to ships. Ain't always on other things. But..."

Saffron lightly remarks, "that's all right. Faint chuckle. Even I'm human sometimes. But, don't tell."

Kaylee chuckles hard some.

They're both smiling wide.

Saffron turns off the lights with her free hand.

Kaylee lightly says, "I won't."

Saffron points out, "I'm kidding."

Kaylee says, "yeah. I know."

They both chuckle a little.

Two nights before, on Serenity...

Mal was on course with Serenity for Pelorum.

A blur of stars passed by.

But... Mal wanted to stop somewhere first.

It was River's and Simon's medical research station.

Soon... Mal and River were talking face to face in the cargo hold.

River said, "thank you for stopping first. Faint laugh. Not much visits here."

She smirked.

Mal sincerely said, "you're welcome darling."

River was holding the poppy Inara gave her.

It was the same flower that was in Inara's hair.

River told Mal, "saved this for you. Reminder."

She offered Mal the poppy.

Mal faintly smirked.

He took the poppy.

He was holding it up some.

Mal considered, "well...okay. Reminder of what now? You got me curious."

River faintly laughed. So did Mal.

River got a little teary eyed.

She explained, "Red poppies. Peace, sleep, and death. No heaven for flowers. Faint laugh. Purgatory?"

River shrugged a little.

Mal laughed a little.

A little teary eyed... He said, "yeah. Yeah. Faint sniffle. Could...could be."

River put a comforting hand on his.

A little teary eyed... River reflected, "could not have to be hell or heaven for you. Faint laugh. Purgatory?"

Mal laughed hard at that.

They smiled wide.

Mal told her, "thank you River. I...I real appreciate it. Still think I goin' to hell out back 'cause of God. But... Faint laugh. But...appreciate it more'n you might think."

River mostly assured, "you're welcome. I also know. But...I like hearing people. Not only think."

Mal nodded.

He added, "sure. You keep you and your brother out of trouble now."

River annoyedly rolled her eyes.

She concluded, "it's hard. But...always try."

They soon said goodbye.

But... The teariness in their eyes was kind of quickly drying up.

And... Serenity was back to flying in the black of space: Heading for more big damn adventures.

Notable Chinese sayings in The Sting: The Better Days Cut

1) when Kaylee is deciding Inara should go first for a spa treatment from Saffron, and Kaylee is fully explaining why to Inara

(...don't want things to get chāoguò fùjìn lèsè zàicì xìngjiāo... = don't want things to get more than near trash fucked again)

2) when Saffron is talking about the Princessa on the Jib-eseo Nolda II

(nánrén de lǘ fēi mào = man's flying hat of asses)

3) when Inara is playing the part of a masked mostly inexperienced woman for the big heist

(xiànzhì wèi fèihuà = restricted like flung crap)

Easter Eggs in The Sting: The Better Days Cut

1) Inara's alias for the big heist is Inara spelled backward with a A added in at the end

2) Mal's Flying Mule also appears in the Can't Take the Sky From Us episode Better Days, Part 2

3) Saffron's scrapbook also appears in the Can't Take the Sky From Us episode A Mixed Blessing On Us All

The End…Or The Start of Another Crazy as Hell Fanfiction?

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