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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
A post BDM story of friendship turning to something else.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1037 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Originally written for the two_of_us_fic challenge and a sequel toThe Dress. Inara’s thoughts are in Regular type, Jayne’s in Italics, memories are in bold.
Lyrics: Had you come some other day then it might not have been like this
But you see now I'm too much in love
Carve your number on my wall and maybe you will get a call from me The song is "If I Needed Someone", off Rubber Soul.
Warning: Character death
“Mama!” the little girl tugged at Inara’s skirts. “Mama, Jayne’s back.”
Inara sighed to herself wistfully as Mercy ran, all tangled legs and giggles, flinging herself at Jayne. Catching her easily he hugged her briefly before lifting her onto his shoulders, holding carefully onto the lean little legs drumming on his chest.
“He would catch you too.” River smiled at her encouragingly, “if you let him.”
“River.” She glanced sideways at the woman beside her. This wasn’t the first time her friend had bought the matter up. “I’m happy as I am.”
“No.” River shook her head. “Just because you and he have had other loves doesn’t mean you should deny yourselves a chance. Should take the risk, could be happy.”
Jayne glanced ahead to the cargo bay where River and Inara sat. Little Mercy was a handful, but right now he was wishin’ it were her Mama that threw herself at him. He was wonderin’ if this time maybe he should take the risk.”
”Shoulda taken the risk, coulda been happy.” He remembered sayin’ somethin’ like that once -
The words echoed in her mind. Words that had ultimately led her to the happiest days of her life -
“Hear tell yer leavin’.” Jayne was leaning against the door of her shuttle, just suddenly there.
“Yes.” Inara sat back on her knees and looked at him. “Have you come to talk me out of it too?”
“Nope.” The big man shifted his weight getting more comfortable. “Just came to tell ya that Kaylee’s cryin’ ‘bout ya leavin’. I think she’s cryin’ more ‘cause ya didn’t tell her first. Don’t get it myself; thought ya two was best friends.”
Inara sighed; Kaylee was the best friend she ever had. She’d had friends before, but no-one close. The atmosphere at the training house and temple did not lend itself to making deep friendships. The closest she had come had been her friendship with Nandi, but there was always a constraint between them.
Not so with Kaylee, they talked about everything from boyfriends, to sex, to cooking. They discussed their feelings, the other members of the crew and anything in the ‘verse that took their fancy. The girl wasn’t just a friend, she was a sister and it hurt to be leaving her.
It hurt to be leaving all of them, even the mercenary standing in front of her. Since they had become conspirators several months ago they had gradually become friendlier. But neither the friendliness nor hurt was enough to prevent her from leaving.
Because though Mal had asked her to stay, nothing else had changed. They still fought, hurting each other in the process, they still denied their feelings. She knew Mal cared for her and she for him, but neither of them could express it.
Inara began to resent the fact she’d virtually given up her profession for him, only teaching now, especially since it seemed he didn’t appear to notice her sacrifice and made no concessions of his own.
When Sheydra had waived and said that The Guild was prepared to reinstate her provided she left the ship, Inara made her painful decision.
“You don’t understand Jayne.”
“No, I don’t. Ya ain’t got nobody standin’ in front of ya, just yer own stupid pride.”
She stiffened at that, about to make a retort but he went on stubborn as always.
“If I’d kissed Kaylee when I got the chance maybe things woulda been different. Shoulda taken the risk, coulda been happy.” Jayne levered himself away from the shuttle door and delivered a parting shot, “wouldn’tve thought, after everything, that you’d run away again.
Inara had sat back after he left and thought about what Jayne was saying. He’d lost Kaylee because he never made the first move and she was doing the same.
Why not stop waiting for Mal, and act on her instinct? Inara decided to go against all the Guild’s precepts and act first, think later. Cornering Mal in his bunk of all places she had refused to let him leave till they actually talked about their feelings. Finding him still recalcitrant she had slipped her clothes off and kissed him, leaving him with very little choice but to kiss her back.
It was when they announced their news to the others that Inara realised from his cocky grin that Jayne had manipulated her to achieve what he wanted, Kaylee’s happiness. Astonished at first that he had managed to trick her, she decided to forgo any anger she might feel and made a mental note to watch the man more closely.
When ‘Nara and Mal said she was stayin’ and the Captain was movin’ in with her he grinned at her pleased. Her stayin’ made Kaylee happy and he wouldn’t mind havin’ another friend around either. He had a notion ‘Nara knew he’d been playin’ her, she was smart that one, but he got the feelin’ that this time she didn’t mind.
No new crew were hired to replace their lost family. They did well enough as they were. Kaylee kept the ship in the air and Simon saw to their medical needs. Mal, Zoë & Jayne still did most of the actual thieving and fighting, though River was included if necessary. The girl had become quite an accomplished pilot and she Inara became the back-up.
The day she performed her first rescue, Inara knew her former life had finally disappeared. Mal relaxed more, not forever expecting her to leave and everyone else began slowly adjusting to the changed dynamics., which changed again not long after.
Simon and Kaylee were the first to leave. Simon never really happy on Serenity became even less so when his wife became pregnant. Wanting more security for his family, he found himself a job as doctor and Kaylee a position of mechanic, on one of the better of the Rim worlds. He had proposed taking River with them as well, but the girl had refused to leave Serenity and grudgingly Simon agreed to her staying.
No-one, least of all Inara had expected Kaylee to leave her girl, but love for Simon persuaded her, and she agreed reluctantly to go, extracting promises from everyone that they would visit often.
Although they all agreed, it was unspoken yet obvious; to Inara at least, that Jayne wouldn’t visit. And he never did, though he and Kaylee wrote to each religiously, he kept stubbornly away.
He knew ‘Nara thought he would leave when Kaylee did, but where would he go?
He couldn’t go home, been gone too long and anyway home was Serenity these days and the crew, even the crazy girl had growed on him. They needed him too he reckoned, so he was stayin.
Inara had half expected Jayne to leave as well with no Kaylee keeping him there. But he hadn’t. He had stubbornly stayed on, thieving and fighting, drinking and whoring, teasing them all and making them angry and generally just being Jayne.
She was thankful he stayed because when their beloved Mercy came it was the tough mercenary who had had the most experience with babies and it was he that helped both Inara and Mal learn to look after her.
Mercy grew apace and became the darling of the whole ship and life stabilised again until the two men had gone out on a routine job one day, only to return badly injured. Despite Zoë’s best efforts Mal didn’t recover, Jayne did.
They were all devastated to lose someone from their family again; to lose Mal. Inara had been grief-stricken. Although she always expected Mal to be injured, she, and the other crew, never expected him to die. And in spite of all evidence to the contrary she had expected him to at least be with her and Mercy for years.
In her grief she ignored the others feelings and efforts to cope without their Captain, and conducted herself unbecomingly; slipping into a depression so deep she noticed nothing and no-one, including their beautiful baby.
Zoë and River were busy trying to fly and find jobs; it was Jayne recovering slowly who cared for Mercy. He looked after her for weeks until one day he appeared at their shuttle and thrust the baby into her arms.
“She’s just lost her pa, ya takin’ away her mama too?” Jayne stood there till she answered him.
The baby surveyed her with wide eyes, so like Mal’s she had to blink, and Inara experience a jolt of anger that she’d left the child for someone else to care for. She glared at the man in front of her till the tears started flowing down her cheeks and she cried for the first time since her loss.
Jayne stood there waitin’ for her to answer him, or do somethin’. He didn’t like that she looked so broken. ‘Nara was always the comfortin’ one, the strong one and he weren’t sure what to do when tears started tricklin’ down her cheeks. He patted her shoulder while Mercy pulled her hair and just waited till the storm passed.
Zoë, Jayne and River did the fighting now and she and River shared the flying. Zoë had developed into a tough but fair captain and River and Jayne were apparently one of the most formidable fighting teams around.
Over the years they hired another mechanic and medic, a husband and wife team, the medic doubling as cook. The original crew members were friendly with them but were careful never to let them become family. None of them could take that sort of loss again.
Gradually they all became happier again, helped in no considerable way by Mercy’s presence.
About two years after Mal’s death Inara found herself looking at Jayne and not just in a friendly way. Used to his physical attractiveness, she put the desire she was experiencing down to loneliness until the next time they hit a planet and he went searching for trim. She was startled and dismayed by the jealous frissions that shot through her.
Telling herself she was foolish, Inara had gone on, flying Serenity and raising Mercy.
Jayne had always noticed Inara, how could a man ignore that? She were gorgeous and sexy, but not for him. First she were a Companion ‘n’ out of his league and then she was married to the Captain. Anyway for him it had always been Kaylee, even after she got with Simon and married him and all, it was still her.
Then ‘Nara sorta grew on him and he was noticin’ her in a different way. They weren’t just friends no more; he wanted her and wanted her bad. He never acted on the wantin’ though till a job went south one day and he got himself injured.
Inara kept her relationship with Jayne on a friendly footing, treating him as she always had until the day, not long ago; they had a job go south. The thought that Jayne might be injured had her searching for him immediately. In her relief when she found him swearing and cursing in the infirmary Inara had unhesitatingly wound her arms around his neck and kissed him.
She got absolutely no response at first, mortifying her totally. Then Jayne had her pushed up against the medicine lockers, arms wrapped round her and his mouth devouring hers. It was intoxicating and passionate and Inara was beginning to let her hands roam over him when they both heard the approach of their medic. They had quickly moved away from each other and had not spoken about the incident since.
“It’s time to speak.” River said reading her thoughts again, “time to take the risk.”
Inara grinned ruefully at her. “I’ve always thought perhaps you were more suited for Jayne, mei mei. Two weapons together, I know how well you work together.”
“I don’t want another weapon as a partner.” River shook her head. “I want home and family, like Jayne does; like you do, if you would take the risk.”
She did want home, family and comfort and strangely enough she knew the big mercenary could provide it for her.
Standing uncertainly Inara watched as Jayne lifted Mercy carefully to the ground. Unaware that she looked uncannily like her daughter, Inara took one step, then two till she was right on the edge of the cargo bay ramp. Taking a deep breath she launched herself bodily at Jayne –his arms reached out - and he caught her.
Jayne lowered Mercy to the ground and glanced up to see Inara standin’ sorta uncertain like at the ramp. She was lookin’ at him the same way as the day she kissed him and he started to hope real hard she’d do it again, when with a deep breath his girl threw herself at him – reachin’ out – he caught her to him.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:11 AM
Sunday, February 04, 2007 12:53 AM
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