Hero[es] of Beltane: part 7
Friday, June 2, 2006

Last part! Another twist or two to the tale. Mal makes some decisions, partially helped by River. Serenity goes off into the black again.


PART SEVEN I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight I've never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing [Chris de Burgh: Lady in red]

By the time they got back to Beltane it was evening there and the Maori had laid on the biggest hangi anyone had ever seen with huge barrels of beer to celebrate. Cliff and Hori were apparently guilty of sending a message asking for a ‘mega party, eh’. Mal didn’t mind. Perhaps he could finally relax for a bit. Jayne dragged Vera, running, to her office. “Your dress, those heels, nothing else and damn quickly, woman!” She reappeared in less than five minutes, dressed to kill. No make-up, but Jayne wasn’t about to quibble about that. They took a back route to where Serenity was parked near the square. Jayne popped the main door. “I’m still mostly dirty and sweaty, Jayne!” He growled eagerly, “So am I, woman!” The door started closing behind them and he shed his combat boots and tee shirt on the way to the metal stairs, then swung Vera in his arms, “Humour me; I want you in my bunk and I want you *now*!” He closed and locked the door of his bunk behind them with a bang. Vera wrapped her legs around him and he pushed her against the door, kissing her hard. He flicked open his pants with one hand, very happy for once that he was going commando, because he was iron hard and painfully ready. Vera moaned and tilted her hips as his hand slid to cup her bottom. She was already wet and ready for him. “God, Jayne please..” She rocked against him and he needed no further invitation. He positioned himself and slid inside her in one delicious liquid thrust. Vera arched and came apart for him on the spot. There followed some fairly urgent ravishing and then Jayne's personal world exploded with a roar of release and pleasure. His hips eventually stilled and he found himself propped against the door of his bunk, inside her and with Vera still wearing that red dress.

He tenderly smoothed the hair back from her face, “Well, damn,” he said, with a rueful smile, “We didn’t make it to my bunk.” She grinned at him, “Maybe next time.” He chuckled wickedly, “Might have noticed I’m pretty much *up* for seconds, but want to introduce you to the girls first.” He carried her over and set her down in his bunk, revealing his guns, “Vera you know well; then there’s Shirley, Cally, Laura, Inara; though don’t tell her ‘bout that, please. They’re mostly named after women I’ve had sex with or mebbe wanted to in the past. Couple are named for old partners who died and I wanted to honour their memory.” Vera smiled, “And you look after your guns; I’ve noticed that.” “You’re the first woman who’s my bunk.” “I'm honoured. Shall I get out of this dress now?” Jayne laid her down on the covers, “My turn on the dress this time, then we’ll see if this bunk’ll accommodate some long, slow lovin’” Vera grinned cheekily at him, “Gonna show me how well you handle your weapon?” Jayne gently nipped her shoulder with his teeth, “You are a bad, naughty sheriff and hell, yeah!”

The next morning

Vera and Jayne lay curled up close in his bed. He softly stroked her arm. “How does that extra verse you made up ‘bout me go again?” “Ah, that. ‘He came to a planet where the dust was all red; chased after the pirates until they was dead; then pleasured the sheriff all week in her bed; he’s a hot, sexy wan nao, ain’t hard to explain; the hero of Beltane, the man they call Jayne’. Then of course I could add another verse about recent events... Let me see... ‘He travelled to Venice out there in the black; he stormed the Alliance and never looked back; helped Vera from prison, he just had the knack; she kissed him and thanked him, and he did the same; the hero of Beltane, the man they call Jayne’.” “You been planning that?!” Vera giggled, “A bit.” “Oughta make one up ‘bout you in return.” “Be my guest!” “Hmm. Ain’t much at versifying and stuff, but I’ll ruttin’ try... ‘There’s a sheriff called Vera out there on Beltane’. Yeah, that’s a good start... Erm... ‘She pleasured me senseless coz she liked my game’” he paused and grinned, “‘She did it twice over, coz my name is Jayne; got nailed in my bunk and again...and again!” he thought a bit and finished off, “He’s a damned happy wan nao, the man they call Jayne’.” Vera joined in with his chuckles, “That's not one for public consumption, Jayne!” He stretched and scratched his face, “Heck, no. Time for food, Vera.” “And a decent wash, I hope.” He nuzzled her neck, “Like you smellin' of my bunk.”

Vera got out of bed and pulled on one of Jayne's shirts, plus a pair of his shorts. The shirt was a greenish khaki, had patches over it and was several sizes too large. Vera did up a couple of buttons, rolled up the sleeves and knotted the shirt under her bust. Jayne opted for his usual tee shirt and pants. They wandered through to the galley. The rest of the Serenity crew plus Hori were there already eating. They all turned and looked at Vera and Jayne. Jayne folded his arms and challenged them silently with his eyes to dare say a word. Vera calmly walked over to the galley and began helping herself to pancakes. Jayne followed her, snagged a big pile himself and joined her at the table.

Hori finally cleared his throat and looked at Vera, “We think we have a problem, boss. As I was telling Malcolm and everyone else a minute ago, folks on Venice have begun emptying the vault already and your prints are just about everywhere. Probably on the stuff the fake Alliance had in their ship.” “And you can’t just go blow the damn thing up?” Hori sighed, “Cliff downloaded the message logs and your name was all over ones sent to Alliance HQ in tandem with general threatening and gloating. Damn stupid hwoon dahns!” “Bugger, hell and damn! Time to disappear again…” Hori looked apologetic, “Sorry boss.” Mal pitched in, “If you can live with a change of name and lifestyle for a while, Serenity’s got a spare bunk or two. Get you away far and pretty fast and under the general radar,” he sighed gently, “Not like as I haven’t done it before…” Vera considered, then decided, “If you can give me an hour or two, I can collect the necessaries, plus some bits and bobs that might help buy our way out of trouble along the way.” “There’ll be trouble,” Zoe commented, “Out here on the edge there’s always trouble.” Jayne butted in, giving everyone an immediate example, “You gonna be invading and tidying my bunk for me? Coz that ain’t gonna happen, woman!” He seemed to have forgotten how nice it was to have Vera around until about five minutes ago. Vera lifted her chin, fight mode engaged, “Absolutely not! My space is my space and your space is yours. If you're nice I might invite you for a sleep-over now and then. You keep being stubborn and the invites will be damned rare, no matter how much I want you!” The rest of the crew were silently watching the verbal bantering like the crowd at a tennis match. Latent fire burned in his eyes, “You still want me!” Vera acknowledged that one, “That’s pretty much a given. You've got in my system.” Jayne was still uneasy, “But you’ll be here and around all the time, poking into my stuff…” Vera was still cross, “Yes, for a while at least. And *not* poking into your stuff. If the crew members take turns doing the laundry, I'll pop your clothes in the wash along with everyone else's. Tidying them and ironing them – or not - afterwards is your business! Maybe we’ll drive each other mad and maybe we’ll find something that works. Maybe it’ll be a bit of both.”

Mal put his money on the first and last options. He banged the table, “Jayne; Vera – or whatever name you want from now on – that’ll do, for now.” He was pleased when they both came to heel and a temporary truce, “This is my ship, and here are the rules. No public nudity, ‘less it’s an emergency, keep your bunk door locked if you’re getting sexed up and try to act civil and business-like in public. Wash and Zoe managed it and Simon and Kaylee aren’t doing too badly on that score. I expect you to play nice or one or both of you will get spaced. And maybe not in a suit if I conjure you really got me pissed. Dong ma?” Jayne and Vera nodded. Mal had a feeling there would be more days like this with him playing mediator before long. So, who needed a quiet life?

Vera had mollified her feelings quickly. She nodded and turned business-like, “You seem to be woman-heavy with me coming on board. If the guys would like a bit more balancing out, I can recommend my deputies Cliff, Hori or Lawrence. They know the right and wrong sides of the law and all three are Maori leaders with spiritual oversight for the people. I understand you had a Shepherd and he was a good one. These guys don't practice celibacy...” Hori grinned, “Hell, no!” “But I'd trust them with my life. Think about it, Mal. And of course you can ask them and further check them out yourself.” “Not Cliff.” That was Zoe, putting in her bid. No-one had the nerve to ask her why, but Mal could guess. Cliff had stated some kind of romantic or sexual intentions and Mal doubted that Zoe would ever go there again. Hori nodded upwards in the Maori way, “I'd be willing to come along if you wanted me, eh. I'm single and got wanderlust in my veins.” Mal nodded back, “I'll consider it.”

When everyone had dispersed to their various tasks, he stood on Serenity's bridge, staring at nothing in particular. He didn't realise he was turning one of Wash's dinosaurs over and over in his hands until River stood beside him. “They don't really bite. Not like Reavers.” Mal looked at his hands, “What? Oh...erm, no. Though a dinosaur bite is not on my list of things to do.” “He loves her. That is why he struggles to get free. Silly big ape man, scared of love. Hasn't remembered he locked her deep in his heart for always. And he's in hers.” Mal nodded, “I'll try to remember that next time they're biting each other's heads off.” River giggled, “Not biting; just big words covering up big love! She knows it better than him. She's needed here. So is the other man. He is the new Shepherd for us. Things to do. Things to get healed.” Mal gave in to the inevitable and decided to invite Hori on board. He also decided not to let River know that biting sometimes came into love-play. Or that part of his mind was imagining pinning Inara under him and covering her in love-bites.

So, it was four hours later. Vera and Hori had driven up with their bits and pieces. Hori had a koru painted on the door to his bunk within an hour of getting on board. Vera put her new red silk sheets on the bed in her new home. She was hoping that Jayne would thaw out soon so that they could both find out how long the things lasted with fairly regular use. The relationship stuff would pan out how it was meant to. Vera was reasonably happy to take it one day at a time. She was falling in love with the big lug, even when he was being a testosterone-induced stubborn ox. The same tendency, plus a delightful attention to detail coupled with a big appetite certainly paid out in dividends when harnessed to his libido. So, they'd probably have a lot more verbal spats, but the making up afterwards would be spectacular. And maybe the two of them being under the same roof for a long time wouldn't work. Vera smiled; she could live with flitting in and out of Jayne's life. That way any reunions would be liable to make the 'verse move and the angels weep. Like last night. He'd ravished her like a wild animal in full rut and she'd loved every second of it. She was aware of the delicious lingering sensations of Jayne deep inside her that had her definitely planning for more. She pinned her old sheriff's star near the head of the bed with a smile. She had a feeling she'd still be wearing it and not much else quite a lot in the future.

Cliff came to say goodbye with Lawrence. She hugged them both, “Take care, you guys. Send mail to 'Grace Maclean'; that's the new monikker, okay? Vera 'died' in custody and you buried her out in the boohai like she wanted. Cliff, you're the next in line, with Lawrence; though don't rule out putting another woman in the job in the future!” Cliff chuckled, “Nah, we won't, eh. Kept your hide-out safe 'case you can ever use it again, even though you've got most of the really valuable contents of that cupboard now.” Cliff went outside and almost bumped into Zoe. His eyes lit up and Lawrence, seeing the lay of the land, very quietly 'disappeared'. “Zoe!” Her eyes warned him, “Cliff. Don't. Gonna be a cold day in hell 'fore I ever get involved with another man, 'specially a pilot.” “I'll be here if you change your mind or just want a passionate fling, eh.” She sighed softly, “I'd break you, use you up and discard you without a second's thought.” Cliff moaned, “Please. Any time; I'll take the pain.” Zoe backed him against the bulkhead, “You have no idea what I'm capable of; it would be ugly and nasty. Just go find a nice Maori lady and forget me, okay?” “Can't. I fell for you the moment I saw you.” “Crazy, stupid hwoon dahn.” To his utter surprise and pleasure she leaned in and kissed him, hard and fierce, then stalked off, “That was for saving my life.” “Oh, God; Zoe.” Cliff unbuckled his knees and went to join Lawrence. A few quick head flicks filled his friend in without words. They went back to Hine Moa.

Vera passed on most of the jewels and gold she had from her cave to Mal for safe keeping. He thanked her, “Not many of my passengers pay such a lot for their transport and keep.” Vera smiled, “You took me on board and into your crew at short notice. I'm grateful for that.” “Good to have you on board, I hope! You gonna manage to fix things with Jayne?” He had a feeling she would, sooner or later. And that he'd have to pretend to be deaf to the passionate noises coming from one of their bunks. Vera laughed, “I'll try, Mal! Call me Grace from now on; at least in public. Grace Maclean, after two different aunts. I have paperwork that'll pass scrutiny to 'prove' it.” He nodded once, everything sorted for now, then went back to the bridge to prepare for launching.

Coda: About a week later

It was Vera (or maybe Grace's) turn to do the washing. Jayne had left an untidy bundle by the machine. Inara liked to handwash her own stuff, but then most of it was silk. There were items from all the rest of the crew. Vera was checking pockets for pesky things like ball point pens and money. One small item fell out of an inner pocket in Jayne's pants. Vera picked it up. She went through to the galley where Jayne having a late snack before bed. She put the vidpod featuring her own intimate antics carefully on the table in front of him, “So, wan nao; tell me exactly how you got hold of this and then I'll tell you how I feel about you watching me.”

END (for now)

The ship Serenity is the home of a lady Where she loves again the horned king They run to the bunk to make the oldest dance... And the Beltane's fire still burns in their veins [Tuatha De Danann: Beltane]; alt 'Vera'

She’s catching the wind: the gentlest of breezes. It’s a sensitive passage she’s sailing - Through stormy straits, navigates my unfathomable failings... She’s a good, a good god-send: she can bend like a willow.

With a fully armed angel to cover me quickly. I’m cool under enemy fire. If I fall, she can crawl right under the wire.

When I’m caustic and cold, she might dare to be bold - Ease me round to her warm way of thinking: Fill me up from the cup of love that she’s drinking. And I find, given time. I can bend like a willow. She bends like a willow. [Jethro Tull: Bends like a willow]


Friday, June 2, 2006 6:22 PM


Whoo hoo! Loved this, Vera....especially the Jayne/Vera sexin (GUH x 100);)



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