The Witches of Eriadne:
Interlude Five B - Part 1: Serenity

by The Space Witches


Angel
Angel


Chapter 1

June 2288

Jack Gideon

"Do you really mean it, Jack?" My wife asked, her eyes gleaming.

I suddenly found myself wondering if it was good idea to let her name our new ship. Don't get me wrong, I love my wife dearly, but when she gets a certain gleam in her eyes, as she had right now, I had to fight the urge to batten down the hatches and go into hiding. Looks like that often meant one thing - trouble!

I suppressed the urge to take it back and instead smiled lovingly. After all, how could I take back something that made her happy? Short answer; I couldn't. Besides, I really shouldn't be suspicious of my wife. She was just happy about being asked to name our new home. Right?

Jack"Yes, I mean it."

Angelique let out a squeal of joy and I watched as she twirled around on the spot, clasping her hands with what I can only say was glee as she announced, "I have just the perfect name for it!"

I couldn't help but grin down at her. Anything that made my wife happy, made me happy…Well, most of the time, unless what made her happy was tormenting me, which she sometimes took great delight in. Have you ever heard of a game called 'Poltergeist'? No? Well trust me, it's not always fun if you're on the receiving end of it.

Then again it was always fun to 'punish' my wife for her antics. With thoughts of just how I liked to punish Angelique, I reached out and pulled her into my arms. "And just what do you plan on naming our new ship?" I asked, as I lowered my mouth to her neck and gently began kissing her soft, warm flesh.

If ever questioned, I will strongly deny that I was trying to distract her and make her forget I'd ever suggested that she be the one to name our new ship. I felt rather than heard my wife's soft intake of breath as my mouth moved up to begin nibbling her ear and I waited for her to reveal the name. To my surprise, instead of melting further into my arms Angelique pulled free from my hold, leaving me to nibble on thin air.

Straightening up, I scowled at her as she clicked her tongue at me. "I know what you are trying to do, Jack Gideon, and it won't work!"

Feigning innocent I raised an eyebrow and stated in my most blameless of voices, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

This time Angelique snorted at me. "You're having second thoughts about letting me name her, aren't you? You're thinking I might decide to call her something silly," she accused.

My wife is obviously very good at reading my thoughts. Absolutely, the idea had crossed my mind. But I'd never admit that out loud.

"Well?" Angelique's question brought my attention back to her. She was now standing with her hands on her hips, eyeing me suspiciously.

I smiled and lied. I know that's wrong, but I did. It's called self-preservation. "Of course not, my love. I'm more than happy for you to name her, it's the least I can do after telling you we're having to give up the Angel's Rest."

This was true. My market was growing and I needed a larger lead vessel if I were to continue building my trading business. The Angel's Rest was a great little cargo ship, but she had become too small for what I needed.

Angelique had not been thrilled by the prospect and I can understand why. The Angel's Rest was our home. Had in fact been our only home since we'd married. It wasn't easy to let her go. But sometimes, no matter how difficult it is, sentimentality has to be put aside for practicality and besides that we could make this new ship just as much of a home as the Angel's Rest had been for us.

Thankfully, I'd managed to get Angelique to understand that. My wife can be infuriatingly stubborn, but she can be reasonable. Sometimes. I felt her move to my side and put her arm around me, "Good, because I'd be crushed if you didn't let me name her 'Little Teapot.'"

I stood there for a moment with my mouth open like some brainless idiot, staring at my wife in total and utter disbelief. She couldn't be serious. "You have got to be kidding?" I looked at her in horror as I pulled away.

Angelique looked at me with wide-eyed innocence, as if surprised by my reaction. "What's wrong? Don't you like it?"

I tried to find the words to express how much I didn't like it. I was appalled when all I could muster was a squeak. Then I noticed the grin spreading across Angelique's beautiful face. She was teasing me. The little witch!

I lunged forward and grabbed her, pulling her tight against my chest. "Funny girl!"

Angelique started to laugh as she squirmed in my arms, "You should have seen your face!"

There was only one thing I could do in response to that; I picked my wife up, threw her over my shoulder and gave her round little ass a slap, causing her to squeal and wriggle against my hold. "You are so going to pay for that, Mrs. Gideon!" I told her as I headed inside the ship towards our new quarters where I planned to teach her not to tease her husband.

"You promise?" Angelique asked, as she suddenly grabbed my ass. Trust her to look forward to being disciplined as much as I looked forward to disciplining her.

"Absolutely and when you've been suitably chastised, you're going to tell me what you plan to call my new ship. And I warn you, no silly names!"

I yelped as Angelique pinched my ass hard and reminded me with a huff, "That would be 'our' ship, dear. Punish away, but you're just going to have to wait and see about the name."

"Oh, we'll see about that," I threatened, as we reached the bedroom of our new living quarters and I dumped her, rather unceremoniously, onto the bed. There was no way I'd wait that long to know the name of our new ship. Before my wife could argue I pounced on her and covered her body with mine. If I couldn't convince her with words, I knew I could convince her in other ways.

Do you ever find yourself realising you're an idiot?

Well, I'm an idiot because it turns out my wife is way more stubborn than I thought. Either that or I've lost my touch. As much as I tried, and as much as she enjoyed me trying, Angelique refused to tell me what she planned to name our new home. She simply told me to trust her.

I do trust my wife…really I do…most of the time. And if you tell her otherwise I'll just tell her you're lying. Who do you think she'll believe?


Angel

I hummed softly to myself as I applied the finishing touches to the name I'd just painted on the hull of our new ship, then stood back as far I could on the scaffold to admire my handy work. I have to admit I was pleased with myself. It may have taken several hours to complete while Jack was off conducting business - with strict instructions not to return without warning me - but it was finally finished.

Angel painting Serenity's nameI grinned as I put down the paintbrush and then carefully climbed down from the scaffolding, so I could get further away from the ship and really take a good look at how the name and design looked.

Yes, I was very happy with it. Very happy indeed. I just hoped Jack would be too.

I know I'd been wicked teasing Jack about the name when he'd said it was my choice. I still laughed thinking about the look on his face when I'd told him it was 'Little Teapot'. As if I'd ever pick a name that ridiculous. But of course, I couldn't let my husband know that. Seriously, he ought to know me better. So it served him right that I'd left him twisting in the wind while I made him wait to reveal the ship's name.

"Serenity"

I smiled as I thought about my reasons for choosing that name. You see, long time ago before my sister and I were kidnapped by the Vorlons and taken from Earth I had been in love with this little TV show called 'Firefly'.

Alright, I admit it; I was more than just in love with this quirky little show, I was obsessed. So much so, I still held a grudge against the network that had cancelled it. Yes, that may have happened nearly 300 years ago, but I don't forgive easily. Okay? And if anyone tells me to let it go, I'm shoving them out an airlock. Naked.

AngelAnyway…Don't ask me to try and explain why I love this show. Just go out and get yourself a copy of it and watch it. Then you'll see. Then you'll understand.

Although I'm not sure to this day if my sister, Demon, had ever really forgiven me my obsession. Maybe that's because she can't forgive me for dragging her to a convention dedicated to the show.

I'd loved it. Demon? Not so much. In fact, she'd said a three-day root canal would have been more fun than the pain of enduring that convention. My sister can be such a drama queen. It had been rather fun and we'd even gotten to meet some of the actors from the show. Still, my sister swore never again.

Wait a second! What was the point of me telling you this? Oh yes!

My reason for the name of our new ship.

In the TV show the ship 'Serenity' had been more than just a cargo vessel used to smuggle beagles and wobbly-headed dolls and quite possibly people who juggled geese - watch the show, people, then you'll understand those references! No, she was also home to her crew.

Just as ours would be.

And there was another reason - I'd survived a lot of terrible things in my life, things that still haunted me, but since I'd married Jack I'd found a certain amount of peace. I'd found my own serenity wrapped in the loving arms of my husband who helped to chase the nightmares away.

My commlink buzzed suddenly, breaking into my thoughts and causing me to jump. I knew immediately who it was before he even had a chance to speak. "Are you on your way back?"

"Yes, I've just finished up here. Is it safe to come home now? " Maybe I have a suspicious nature but my husband sounded distinctly apprehensive. Silly man. Was he still expecting the worst? Honestly, what am I going to do with him?

I rolled my eyes, "Yes, Jack, it's safe to come home."

There was a long pause before my husband responded, "On my way."

I stared down at my commlink as it went dead. Why was I suddenly nervous? I mean there really wasn't any reason to be worried. I'd chosen a good name, right?

I tried to be patient and wait for Jack to get there in his own time. There were only two problems with that. Waiting made me more anxious and I'm not a very patient person. In fact I'm incredibly impatient. Just ask my sisters and my husband and anyone who knows me well.

With one last look at Serenity I took off running. I was going to find Jack and drag him back here as quickly as I possibly could.


Jack Gideon

I won't try and spin you a yarn that I'd known all along that my wife would choose a good name. I mean, come on, I know Angelique. She's anything but predictable and has a wicked streak a mile wide. I wouldn't put it past her to have fun at my expense by giving our ship a stupid name, just so she could enjoy hearing me having to repeat it every time we had declare our identity when asking for clearance to land on a planet or dock with a space station.

My wife can be very, very naughty. And she could always surprise me. Just as she had now.

SerenityI gazed up at the name Serenity painted in bold white lettering overlaying a circle of yellow and orange with intricate Chinese writing beneath it. It was beautiful.

I felt Angelique take a hold of my hand and realised suddenly that she was trembling as she looked up at me and asked nervously, "Do you like it?"

Did I like it? Hell, what kind of word is 'like'? So mundane and it could never do justice to what I was feeling right then. "Angelique, I love it." I answered softly, my heart swelling with joy as I watched my wife break into a grin.

"Really?"

"Really." I grinned back.

She launched herself into my arms and wrapped her legs around me as she rained kisses all over my face. My arms came around her to hold her tightly against me, as she finally settled on my mouth, kissing me deeply and passionately.

And then, just as quickly, she stopped and squirmed out of my hold. I was just about to protest when she suddenly punched me on the arm. Hard! "Hey, what was that for?" I yelped, rubbing my arm. Don't look at me like that. She can hit really hard, okay?

"For thinking I would give our home a ridiculous name. I mean do you really think I would do something like that?" Asked Angelique, arms folded and giving me a look that promised pain if I was stupid enough to admit that I did.

Yes, of course I think she would do something like that. "Of course I don't." I know, I lied. Again. Wouldn't you? I could see my beloved wife didn't believe me so I decided it was safest to change the subject. Quickly. "So, my love. Why Serenity?"

I watched as Angelique animatedly explained to me why she'd chosen that name.

She'd started off by telling me how she'd found serenity since she'd been married to me. I'm not really the sappy kind-like Angelique I had a dark history-but I can honestly say that was probably the most beautiful and loving explanation I could ever hear. If only my wife had stopped there, because then I'd not be standing here wondering just how insane she was. Because after she'd spent 20 minutes trying to explain to me the other reason, I was convinced that she was not only a geek but quite possibly as mad as a hatter.

"You've named our ship after some fictional space ship from a 21st Century TV show?" I asked incredulously.

"Yes. You know how much I love 'Firefly'," responded Angelique, as if that really explained everything.

"Oh, I know how much you love 'Firefly'. You spent a small fortune locating and obtaining a data crystal copy of it and the movie that followed and you watch them so often you can literally recite the dialogue of each episode word for word." When I saw Angelique's face fall, I realised my tone had come out harsher than I had intended. As if I was really bothered by why she had done it.

"Are you upset with me, Jack? I know it's rather silly but…" I cut her off as I pulled her into my arms and hugged her tightly.

"Of course I'm not upset with you."

Angelique pulled free and looked up at me, "But you do think it's silly?"

"It's a little weird," I admitted. Perhaps I was being a little reckless saying that.

"Weird? Are you calling me weird, Jack Gideon?" She asked, hands on hips.

I gulped, "I only said a little weird and I was saying the idea was weird, not you. I'd never call you weird," I responded weakly and braced myself for another hard punch on the arm.

I should have remembered my wife is full of surprises because instead of hitting me she started to laugh. And she kept right on laughing until I eventually held up a hand. "You can stop now."

She did stop laughing as she walked up to me and pressed her body into mine lifting her hands to my face and pulling my head down so she could kiss me. After a long moment she broke away and said breathlessly, "Sometimes you are just too easy to tease." This time it was my turn to laugh. My wife was something else. Finally when I'd stopped laughing she asked me seriously, "Are you really happy with the name, Jack? Even if part of the reason I chose it is a silly one?"

"I'm happy, Angelique. I love it. It really is perfect." I paused and walked slowly towards her, holding out my hand to her. "Now come here and give me another kiss." My wife complied and came to me.

I only just caught the wicked smile on her face, immediately setting off alarm bells in my head, as she lifted herself on tip-toe to whisper in my ear. "Not only am I weird..." There was a momentary pause before she continued, "I can kill you with my brain."

"What?" I shook my head in disbelief, wondering if I'd heard her correctly.

Apparently so, because she broke into the biggest grin I'd seen in a long time - honestly it would have put the Cheshire cat to shame - as she proudly informed me, "Oh. My. God. I've always wanted to say that line!"

Then it dawned on me. "Did you just quote a line from Firefly at me?" The only answer I got was my wife bursting into hysterical laughter. Oh, she had to pay for that--with a good old-fashioned spanking. I growled and made a lunge for her. "You're going to pay for that!"

My wife squealed and dodged my attempt at capturing her. Spinning around, she ran to the ship and dashed up the ramp into Serenity's cargo bay yelling over her shoulder, "You'll have to catch me first!"

As she disappeared inside I bolted after her, reaching the top of the ramp just as she dashed through a door on the far side of the cargo bay. As I chased after her I thought I could hear her singing, taunting me.

"Have no place I can be, since I found Serenity…"

Angelique may have been singing that song, which I vaguely recalled as coming from her beloved TV show, to taunt me but I have to admit, as I raced after her, there was more truth in those words than you could possibly imagine. And I strongly suspect my wife knew as much.


{Chapter 1}


The Witches of Eriadne: Interlude Five B

{Part 1: Serenity} {Part 2: Darkness Descends}



{The Main Gate} {HomePage} {Wytches World} {We are Family} {A Little Artistic Licence} {No, we don't mean "A"riadne} {Our Home Is Our Castle} {The Witches' Diary} {Witches Familiars} {The Gateway} {Webrings]