Per Ardua ad Astra [part 4]
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Serenity & co on Sihnon at the Companion house. I've added Sheydra from the deleted scenes of the BDM.



I need serenity In a place where I can hide I need serenity Nothing changes, days go by

Where do we go when we just don't know And how do we relight the flame when it's cold Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing And when will we learn to control

Serenity – Godsmack

[For convenience, I've made the Companion house seen in the BDM be on Sihnon. From the extended scenes, that's incorrect, but it fits better with where this story seems to be taking me. It'll have the same repercussions, whichever planet it is. River's quote is from a song by Jethro Tull. A lot of their lyrics have popped out at me as being very 'verse friendly recently!]

Simon finished the inoculations against smallpox and the younger girls were gone a few hours later. The rest of the Companion house were inoculated and brought into the main teaching hall. Large windows opened out with an idyllic view over the nearby countryside. Mal had helped Simon give out the quarantine broadcast to the local community and wider. Sheydra, Inara's onetime colleague was looking somewhat concerned, as well she might.

She approached Inara at the back of the room with gliding stealth and nodded at Mal, “So that's your pirate, eh?” Inara tried deflection, “Might be him, might be the big guy over there...” She indicated Jayne. Sheydra chuckled, “He's built like a big pirate, all muscles and attitude, but he's clearly fixated on that tall, willowy and blue eyed brunette who probably has some solid Dutch ancestry in her bones, and she's reciprocating. If they're not having sex together, I'm definitely slipping!” Inara didn't turn a hair, “Might be the doctor, Simon.” Sheydra made a noise of disgust, “I'm not a fool. He's years younger than you and too stiff by half. Might be able to pay for your services, he's got breeding. No, the tall, lean one with the flop of brown hair. He's your pirate. And head over heels in love with you and trying very hard not to show it.” Inara's eyes narrowed, “He's done a good job of that; not showing it. To the point of seeming like he hates me.” “Ah; so it's mutual. Let me guess; he hates that you're a Companion, selling sex for money, because secretly he fell for you hard and fast and wants you all to himself. And you stand on your dignity, afraid to show him that you love him.” Inara gasped, “Don't tell him!” Sheydra smiled, “I think part of him has guessed, Inara. Else why would he keep looking at you like you're the most precious thing in the world and with a certain smouldering carnal hunger?” Inara's eyes were wide, “He does?!?” She chuckled again, “Oh, yes. Being a Companion doesn't help you to navigate the currents of real love for yourself, Inara; remember?” Inara poised herself again and smiled, “I suppose I'd forgotten that lesson. But we've got some dreadful things to show you, Sheydra. And the Supervisor killed herself.” Sheydra gasped, “So the rumour is true.” “She stabbed herself with a poisoned hair pin, rather than answer for what she'd done.” “Then it's bad.” “Worse than you can possibly imagine.”

Once everyone was settled, Mal set the vidpod running, projecting onto the screen they'd erected. Seeing it one more time didn't make it any easier. There were gasps and tears from quite a number of ladies in the room. At the end, Mal stepped forward, “We're not about to force anything on you, but if in the light of this evidence we've shown you, you wish to give up taking the injections, Dr Simon Tam here can help you get over the withdrawal symptoms. It'll be rough and take a few weeks. According to your Supervisor this will mean you stop being Companions. We'll be here for a few days, so there's no rush to decide.” Sheydra stepped forward, “I'll do it. I want to be clean and in my right mind if I'm going to carry on teaching here.” A few more put up their hands in support. River stepped forward, “'And if she feels like dancing no one will know it. Giving herself a chance there's no need to show her how it should be. She can't remember now when she was all in pieces...'” Mal managed to think of an interpretation of all that which pleased him, “River here was wounded and altered; differently from you. She's come a long way and so can you.” River nodded, “Glue in most of the cracks. Getting mended. Dancing when I need to.” Mal flipped open his communicator, “We've got some takers. Land 'Serenity' nearby and prepare for Spring Cleaning.” Vera looked at Jayne, “Wish dusting and polishing was all it was going to take.” “Didn't get to shoot anything.” He seemed put out about that. Vera spoke softly, “When the Alliance find out about this, there might well be shooting, and likely as not at us. Maybe at these young ladies here, for ditching their regulation medicine. And maybe some, thinking that they're losing Companions, will be a might peeved. Things have only just started.”

While Simon ministered to his new patients, Hori, Vera and Jayne went on a search of the whole house. They made sure the building was secure, re-checked all the rooms and the grounds and set up quarantine beacons. In one room were all the house records. Hori stayed guarding the door. Jayne bust the padlock on the record filing cupboard with one hand and started rifling through the papers. “Jayne, what are you doing?” “Might be somethin' valuable in here.” “Well, I don't think banknotes would be in with records, Jayne.” “Hey, here's Inara's record!” “Jayne, don't you even think of...” Papers spilled over the floor. Vera bent to pick them up and couldn't help notice something, “Oh. Inara needs to see this.” Jayne pushed over and across her nosily, “What is it?” Vera held the paper close to her chest, “It's marked top secret and for the Supervisor's eyes only. *I* shouldn't even have seen it, Jayne. Please?” He looked into her eyes, “I could use physical force.” Vera's eyes narrowed, “Don't. Please. I have a feeling you'll find out soon enough, Jayne.” Hori nodded from the door, “She's got a point, mate.” “I promise I'll tell you as soon as I can, Jayne. But Inara really needs to read this first.”

Jayne glowered a bit, but resumed rifling; then checked the rest of the room. He found the safe behind one panel and grinned. He gave the mechanism a quick visual once-over then started twiddling in an expert-looking manner. When that didn't work, he got out his gun and fired. The bullet made a heck of a noise on the metal door, but it swung open. Jayne's grin was wide, “Ohh, come to Poppa...” He pulled out a huge handful of jewels and pearls, then another, stuffing them in his pockets. He was positively beaming by the time he'd filled all the pockets in his clothes, “Reckon I got the best of the deal!” Vera lifted an eyebrow and asked dryly, “Got everything in there?” “Well, if you want a cut, there's some left for both of you.” Hori and Vera finished emptying the safe, then they returned to the main room..

Mal took in Jayne's appearance with a glance, “See you've found the safe, Jayne.” Jayne glowered protectively. Sheydra came over, “I understand you need...recompensing...for your trouble and hard work – all of you. But some of those items belong to women in this house, put aside as a kind of nest egg to help them set up once they leave. It would be taken as a kindness if you could return at least some.” Jayne sighed with deep regret. Mal was giving him the eye, and so were Sheydra and Kaylee. He emptied three pockets, but made sure they contained the least valuable items. Sheydra sorted through what he'd given her very quickly and returned some, to his utter surprise, “That'll do. That's enough to support the remaining students and buy us some time and protection if we need it.” Vera walked over to Inara, “We accidentally came across this in the records' room. I read some of it when it fell to the floor. I'm guessing you don't know about this. Maybe you'd like to sit down first?” Inara walked to one of the few chairs in the room and did so. She read the paper, then looked up, her face shocked and puzzled. She slowly rose to her feet, “It says here that the 'mysterious benefactor' who funded my training was Southdown Abbey. That doesn't make sense!” “Sure don't!” Jayne commented, “Shepherd said he didn't never have sex or nothin'.” Mal walked over and picked up the paper from Inara's hand, “And it's been a powerful long time since I read the good book, but I recall there was all sorts of stuff about with whom you could have sex and only inside marriage if at all possible.” Jayne interjected, “Glad my folks didn't raise me on that ruttin' book!” Mal gave back the paper to Inara, “Seems we have a mystery to solve and help the ladies here. I know going to a celibate monastery is not on your high priority list, Jayne, but you have powerful means of persuasion. Better take Vera with you. Ask questions, be nosy, knock heads together if necessary.” Jayne grinned eagerly. Inara looked at Mal, “Can I go too?” Simon looked over, “As your doctor, I really don't advise it. You're still going through withdrawal and might need urgent medical treatment. Please stay here and help the others, because you can warn them about what they're about to face.” Mal looked at her, “Simon's right. Stay here, please.” She gave him a tentative smile, “Since you ask so nicely.” Mal looked around at everyone, “Rest of the crew is going to have their hands full with nursing folks here. Persephone and back in a fast shuttle will take a week or two, plus the time there finding out stuff. We'll likely still be here when you get back; if not, I'll send you a wave or leave a message. If you don't hear for whatever reason, we'll be going to the male Companion house next. The individual Companions throughout the 'verse may get to hear eventually; we can't possibly tackle all of them as well.”

Sheydra interrupted him, “We have secret, secure diplomatic post. I can send the individual Companions the salient points with the regular update message. The post has secure seals which are tamper-proof. Not even the Alliance can interfere with it.” Mal nodded, “Thanks, that'll do. Maybe we won't have to take that trip to the male Companion house after all.” Jayne looked at Vera, “How are you gonna get into a male monastery?” Vera grinned, “Remember I passed myself off as a man quite successfully some years ago?” “You're not gonna cut that beautiful, swai hair, are you?” She shook her head, “There are ways around that, Jayne.” River shivered, “Shepherd had big hair. Scary.” Jayne was still uneasy, “You'll be dressed like and acting like a man?” “I'll still be me, Jayne.” “It's still powerful disturbin', that's all I'm sayin'.”


Wednesday, June 14, 2006 1:17 PM


Very novel story idea and it works! Not sure why Vera is talking about dressing up as a man to get into the male companion house when Sheydra has already told Mal it isn't necessary because of the diplomatic post. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, June 24, 2006 7:56 PM


Oh crap...Book's order (if not the Shepherd himself) were part of Inara's alterations? This doesn't bode well.

Oh...and this chapter seemed lessed rushed. Probably cuz ya stuck to the Training House. Or I am just getting to like your to-the-point style of writing;)



You must log in to post comments.



Jayne the stripper [mini fic]

He looked at her, "Ya mean did I get buck ass nekkid?"


RAYNE. AU [ish]. One way in which Jayne/River might *actually work, given Summer's real age. Post BDM.

Deck the Halls
Jayne/OFC. Smut. R/NC17. Jayne gets some at Solstice-tide.
Warnings: Jayne behaves...well, like Jayne. Not suitable for kiddies. One off.

Jayne & the Mudder woman

Because I don't think anyone has written it before!

In Vera Veritas
AU to everything else I've written. It's...well, I know it's not perfect yet. Polite suggestions for tweaking this accepted. I've done my own 'Jayne has a really hidden back story' thing. One-off.

Call the Man [12] repost [coda]
Just rounding things off.

Call the Man [11] repost
Recuperation, funeral, healing.

Call the Man [10] repost
Jayne does his best 'Die Hard' impression aboard the Skyplex with Ares in tow. Warning for minor character death at the end.

Call the Man [9] repost
Mal makes plans along with the crew. Illegal drugs, dolls and hiding things. Police.

Call the Man [8] [repost]
Vera tells her story. But it ain't over yet; fat lady hasn't sung!