Per Ardua ad Astra [part 7]
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jayne and Vera with 'cargo' heading towards Serenity & co. Mal & others plus Alliance on Aberdeen. Jayne and Vera get diverted.



Stream rushing by on a bed of stone. Old goats and sandstone cracking -- All containing -- Squeezing that river like it squeeze your bones. In the long red, red valley people live here too long. In the long red, red valley they only sing the valley song. Valley – Jethro Tull

And who shall wear the starry crown? O Lord, show me the way... O lovers, let's go down... Down to the river to pray. Alison Krauss

[Try to imagine Dame Judi Dench and John Mahoney ('Martin Crane') as Ma and Pa Cobb. A younger, darker, Glenn Close as Matty, Jayne's sister. John in particular is pretty much born to play Pa Cobb, IMHO. I've chosen to make Jayne's sibling female because, as you will find out, the whole family likes gender non-typical names!]


Jayne took the controls first to get them out of atmo whilst Vera dealt with Ping again. He needed another change and a feed. Once that was done, she took a nap. She'd have her turn at the controls soon enough. Jayne kept to the night side of the planet as long as possible, then looped carefully around the back of Deadwood's moon and away towards Aberdeen. He remembered Vera's covert message and sent one of his own Mal's way. 'Rooster and hen flying your way. ETA three days.' To his surprise, a wave came back. 'Chicken coop overrun with foxes. Find safe house.' Jayne swore, “Ta mah duh! That's not good!” Vera opened her eyes, “What is it?” Jayne gestured at the message, “Alliance have got Mal and Serenity. He's tellin' us to lay low.” Vera looked at Ping and then Jayne, “We can't do much against the Alliance with one ship. And it's three days away. The Alliance could be long gone or our friends dead by then.” “Could push it to two days on full burn.” Vera sucked in her breath through her teeth, “And we could still be too late. There's also a slight case of Junior back there chewing on my tee shirt. We promised to keep him safe.” “Gonna ruttin' try to do all of those things!” Vera smiled, “I knew there was a reason I liked you!” Jayne fetched out a cigar and popped it between his teeth, “Okay. Wagons roll!” He engaged the drive on full and they began speeding forward. They'd made it out of Deadwood's system when an Alliance ship was detected behind them by the ships on-board sensors.


Vera gasped, “We've got company!” “Damn ruttin' evil hwoon dahn...” They both accessed weapons and fully loaded the aft torpedoes. The Alliance started firing. Jayne and Vera fired back. Something winged them and then the Alliance ship began to break apart. The shock wave from all that put them into a spin. Vera grabbed the baby and buckled down. Both she and Jayne fought the controls. “Looks like Ma and Pa will be getting' a visit after all. This ship's cracking up, can't get her to stop rollin'...” Vera punched a couple of buttons, “Ejector pods! Armed! Got the spinning...yes! Upright again!” “Make it look like we're doomed.” Vera overcooked the engines a bit, so that they left a black trail. It wasn't as neat as the job Kaylee would have done, but hopefully anyone watching them would be fooled. Jayne and Vera got the ship to execute what looked like an uncontrolled tumble towards Newhall. Jayne rigged a couple of grenades to blow up the ship in about five minutes.

They stumbled backwards as the ship started a deliberately unstable orbit around Newhall. Jayne grabbed his stuff as he went and Vera managed hers as well as the baby. Jayne opened an ejector pod door and Vera plus baby got in. He snatched one hard kiss, then pulled a small brown paper package out of his bag. “For you. Make somethin' naughty outta it. Find the railway line, head towards the setting sun. Ma and Pa's farm is due south of the line at the Andersonville halt, near the river. Long red valley. I'll find you!”

Then he shut the door, pulled the lever and she was gone. He got into his own pod, the ship screaming all around him. He found the emergency parachute as his pod fell through the sky of his home and saw another parachute way off to his right. Vera was okay – so far. A bright white flaring above him told him those grenades had done their work.



The Alliance guards plus Commander Grayson marched on board. Mal and everyone but River formed a 'welcoming committee'. Grayson was white, tall, grey-haired and urbane, with a clear military bearing. “Captain Reynolds.” He held out the valid search warrant. Mal gestured expansively, “Ship's an open book, Commander.” Mal performed cursory introductions. Grayson nodded, “Have your crew wait here. Don't want anybody thinking about *moving anything.” Mal's smile was all relaxed confidence, “Now why would they do that? We've got nothing to hide.” “Hmm. *All of your crew here?” “Doctor's sister is a bit of a free spirit. She's around.” “Find her, please.” River drifted in from the top metal walkway, “I'm here. I'll stay put.”

Three guards stayed on point whilst Grayson and several other goons went through Serenity with a fine tooth comb. This took some time. Zoe and Mal were exchanging glances throughout. Their faces revealed nothing, but there was an unspoken conversation going on, honed by long hours together on the battlefield. River was listening deeply, “They haven't find anything. She's dry to them.” Grayson eventually came back with his goons some hours later, “Everything correct; given that you haul goods of uncertain and probably questionable province between planets. Books seem to be in order. I'll have to ask you all to come across for searching and a few questions.” Mal gave a tiny nod to Zoe and the crew walked over. River walked near Simon. He'd rescued her once and she'd returned the favour, but for her it was a little bit like Daniel going into that lions' den.

They were scanned and frisked. Mal quietly held his breath, but evidently his digestive juices had done their bit and had made short work of the vidpod. The questioning was tedious and boring; at least as far as he was concerned. Grayson was noticeably unhappy and cross about having nothing to pin on them. He picked up the papers on the bare metal desk and tapped them into shape. “Well, I don't know how you disposed of the evidence you apparently used at the Companion's house on Sihnon, but it's gone now. I will be watching you very carefully from now on.” Mal folded his arms, “If you've put surveillance devices on my ship or crew, they will be found and destroyed very quickly.” “You may go.” Mal got up and left. Everyone else was waiting for him do that they could return to Serenity together. At that moment, the intercoms and computer message devices on Grayson's ship went haywire. Guns cocked all around them. “And it was going so well, eh.” River looked at Hori, “It's okay. The ladies are with us!” Grayson tore off a print-out of some of the many communications he'd received in the last few minutes. He sighed, “Well, Malcolm Reynolds; it seems like news of some of what you did has reached far beyond the Companions. I've got submissions from most of the lady Companions, many of whom are up there in orbit right now, from the men here, from the rim worlds and border moons. With varying degrees of accuracy to what I suspect is the truth, they've hailed you and your crew as liberators of the Companions from 'tyranny' and they are making the Alliance – and myself – very aware that hurting you, your ship or your crew will lead to revolt and a popular uprising. And the Alliance does *not want that. Some of them are remembering what you did last time to get the message out in the face of our best Operative. You are notorious, Captain Reynolds and the Alliance can't touch you any more. Well, commit first degree murder or try to rob the banks on somewhere like Ariel and you *will be arrested. Keep yourself on the rim, try to keep your nose reasonably clean,” Grayson threw the papers on the floor, “You've become as well known as Robin Hood, Wallace or Robert the Bruce. Enjoy your doubtful liberty.”

Mal and the crew walked back onto Serenity, heads held high. Mal grinned, “Vindication! Redemption!” He thrust his hand in the air. Simon copied the gesture, “There was a saying once. Back on Earth-that-was, between brothers in arms in France...” River smiled, extending her own slender fist, “All for one and one for all!” Six fists met in a circle, then clasped firmly together in a big knot. Mal nodded, “Plus Jayne and Vera.” Zoe smiled, “And my daughter.” Mal gave a mock groan, “Well, if my ship is going to become a nursery, the children too! At least we've got some stability now for raising them.” Kaylee grinned, “I'm glad about that!” She looked at Simon, “I'm not absolutely sure yet, but I think all that sexing up we've been doing....” River looked at Kaylee, “Yes. Twins!” Simon smiled a beautiful smile at Kaylee and then fainted on the spot. Hori bent down to help Simon recover and then looked up at them all, “Baby blessings if you want them; free of charge to my whanau, eh!”

Mal followed Inara to her shuttle. She looked up as he stood there on the threshold. “Yes?” He smiled; a full, free and beautiful smile. Something deep inside Inara melted on the spot. He walked over and kissed her, hard, “I love you.” Inara gasped, “Mal, I adore you, but...” She placed her slender hands on his chest. Mal smiled, “Not backing out on me, are you? Because I'll follow you across the 'verse if I have to, to win you.” “It's what Grayson said to me. The Alliance has independent records on Companions. I'm a lot older than 'nearly thirty', Mal.” Mal teased, “So you're maybe older than me? Always had a thing for the older woman!” Inara smiled back, but persisted, “I'm too old to have children, Mal.” Mal put his hand on his heart, capturing hers with it, “Don't ruttin' care 'bout that. Just want you all to myself, at last.” Inara relaxed visibly, “You've got me!” Mal dipped her and smoothly sank with her onto her bed, “Good! No Companion stuff, Inara.” She trembled in his arms, “Not with you. That was sex; this is making love.” Mal trailed a finger down her neck and to the top of her dress, “Seem to remember it involves being naked. Most of the time, anyway.” Inara started on the buttons on his shirt, “You too, Mal!” He grinned, “You've seen me naked already!” Inara's joyful laughter joined his.


Picking up tired feet. Back from a far horizon. Cleaned up and brushed down. Dressed to look the part. Fresh from God's garden, I bring a gift of roses... To stand in sweet spring water and press them to your heart. But this badge of honour is of tarnished tin. Light your guiding beacon to bring this fisher in. A Gift Of Roses – Jethro Tull



Vera his the escape pod as well as she could in a thicket. She bundled the parachute into one of her emptier bags. It might come in handy as a tent if she had to camp out. She got Ping fed and changed again and then strapped him to her with the sarong. He chortled gaily. Vera picked up her bags and began tidying the contents. She opened one end of Jayne's gift to her. Beautiful, very see-through blue lace with little flowers on it and a small length of matching blue silk. It had been a long time since she had made any clothes, but she knew that the 'something naughty' instruction would be about all she could do with it. No underwear again. She smiled, he seemed to have a liking for that. Once she'd sorted herself out, she orientated herself and decided to head south. From the air she had caught glimpses of something metal and suitably railway-like in that direction, plus some kind of settlement. She headed that way.

At the settlement, there was a stream goods' train in the tiny station. She entered into some negotiation with the driver who agreed to let her ride in one of the box cars to 'go home to see my man and show him his son' for a small price. Two weary and hot days later they were at Andersonville halt. She refilled her water bottle from a low spigot on the overhead spout for the steam train's tender and set off walking south. She had just enough milk for Ping to have two more feeds. Along the way, he needed both, and clean diapers to match. Her water ran out. The temperature got hotter and hotter. She was dimly aware of the river and bent down for a long drink, but it wasn't enough to totally satisfy her stomach. She managed to get Ping to drink some out of one of his empty bottles once she'd given it a good rinse. There was thick lush grass by the river, which opened out into a lovely secluded pool. As much as she might have wished to swim there at any other time, her mind was focussed on getting to the farm. She saw fencing on the other side of the river and there was a small stone bridge across. She stumbled that way. She made it right to the steps in front of a wooden farmhouse when blackness descended.

Vera's eyes fluttered open some time later, “Hungh?” An older woman's voice soothed, “It's okay; you're safe. Drink some more water.” Vera did, “Baby?” She heard a smile, “Just fine. Matty's fed him and changed him and he's playing with her brood next door.” Vera's brain managed to piece together the information coming to her, “Ma Cobb?” Her eyes refused to open. The woman laughed, “Only my kids call me that! By which I'm thinkin' you're Jayne's woman.” Vera managed to open one eye, “Vera. Yes, something like that. How...?” Ma Cobb was somewhere in her upper sixties, bright as a button, with short grey hair and somewhat on the diminutive and dumpy side. Her eyes were the same shade of blue as her son's. She smiled, “Call me Sam. My husband Hillary is round here somewhere, stirrin' up the dustbunnies. Jayne told us in a letter some time ago that he'd met a new woman. From the little I've deduced, reading between the lines, you're the one. You've been mutterin' whilst you were out of it; I got enough to know a bit about you and that you and Jayne have been havin' passionate sex with each other for a while. If you're not his...well, woman, I'd complain!” Vera managed a laugh, “Again...something like that.” “You rest; you've got sunstroke and dehydration. Walking from Andersonville in this heat is a tough thing to do. Water's there by your bed. You've got your own bathroom over there and there's salad and stuff later when you feel like food.” “Jayne...” “Guessin' you got separated and the baby clearly isn't yours. Heard some wild stories about parachutes coming down three days' back. Kept quiet about them, emphasised the 'wild stories' part back to folk. The Alliance are poking about in the next system and we don't really want a visit. Hillary's got a nice big stock of moonshine coming along nicely, should be ready about now in time for our local festival.” Vera managed a chuckle and after being fed some more water, Sam Cobb left her to rest.


When Vera came to properly it was late afternoon. She used the bathroom, had a tepid shower and re-dressed herself in something cleaner. She walked along the landing and carefully down the staircase. On the wall side of the staircase was an electric chair lift. Sam Cobb's voice called out, “I'm in the kitchen, come on through.” Sam was making a pasta salad with lots of greens. “There's some home-made lemonade over yonder, help yourself.” Vera did, “Didn't see any lemon trees coming in.” Sam gestured with her wooden spoon, “Got a few that way, some chooks and a goat or two. Grow potatoes and vegetables mostly.” The kitchen was large, with a big farmhouse table down the middle. There was a huge range at one end which wasn't being used at the moment. “We promised Ping's mother that we'd take care of him.” Vera filled Sam in on the basic details. Sam nodded, “Matty will look after him as if he were her own. If no-one claims him, he'll be safe and have a pretty good life here.” Vera looked out of the window, “It's a nice spot. Grass and trees and the river.” “You tryin' to find out why that boy of mine left?” Vera smiled, “Well, Jayne's never said and it looks pleasant here. You don't have to say if it's private or something.” Sam grinned. For a moment she looked like a diminutive female version of her son, “You care about him, don't you?” Vera looked pointedly at her lemonade, then lifted her chin, “Yes. Not sure exactly what it is between us, he drives me nuts sometimes...!”


Sam laughed, “Ah, yes. There is that. Stubborn, ornery, loveable critter, but it saved his life. Sent him from us as well, when all was said and done. I still love him. Sit down, this'll take some tellin'. Jayne came along within a year of Hillary and I gettin' together . That was okay, we wanted kids. Then there was a six year gap before Allison arrived, quickly followed by Matty. I got sick after the third birth and Jayne helped me. Hillary would have done that, but he'd had an accident at work, laid him off for a good long time. So Jayne had to go out huntin' food to keep us goin' and help me with two babies, while his Pa got better. No time then for schoolin'; we was keeping body and soul together. We promised Jayne we'd send him back once Hillary recovered. And we did, for a while. Jayne re-learnt his letters and had an early aptitude for handling guns. So Hillary used to bring scrap ones and broken ones home from the weldin' yard. Jayne learnt every type of gun going, right down to the screws. He spent hours dismantlin', oilin' 'em and puttin' 'em back together – and still huntin' with 'em to keep us fed. We was just contemplatin' full time school again for Jayne when Hillary went down with the mumps. Jayne was fourteen at the time. Now we'd 'noculated, just like we should, but this strain got through. Jayne caught it from Hillary and I 'spect you know what mumps will do to a man past puberty.”


Vera gasped. Suddenly some of Jayne's behaviour and attitude came crystal clear. Jayne, on some level, didn't feel totally like a 'full' man and maybe he over-compensated, “He can't have children.” “Were ya mebbe hopin' there might be children one day?” Vera shook her head, “Not with me. I'm in the same boat for different reasons.” “Does Jayne know?” Vera blushed, “Hadn't quite got to that kind of conversation, been a tad...busy.” To her surprise, Sam laughed, “Don't be embarrassed. I figured out years ago that he had big appetites in many areas. Here, have some salad.”


Vera put some on her plate and helped herself to some more liquid. She was thinking about tucking in when she heard a small motor. Having seen the stair lift earlier, it didn't surprise her much when Hillary Cobb entered the room, driving a motorised wheelchair. He was white-haired, with those same intense blue eyes and a ready smile. He'd also be maybe five foot five inches when standing.

“Hi! Glad to see you're feelin' better. I'm Hillary.” Vera went over and shook his hand, “Vera.” His keen eyes twinkled back, “Ah. His favourite gun, hmm?” Vera chuckled, “I'm not a gun!” Hillary laughed, “No, but I've 'met' the other one. Way Jayne treats her, can see he thinks fondly of you.” He looked at the table, “Ah. Food!” For a moment, there was Jayne's eagerness right there in Hillary's face. Sam smiled wryly, “Come on then, let's tuck in.” After several mouthfuls, Hillary looked at Vera, “Wonderin' how Jayne's so tall?” “Actually, I wasn't, but...” “My Pa was big.” Sam added, “And both my grandfathers were tall men. Matty's tall. Allison would have been tall too, given time.” Vera commented, very delicately, “His name came up and Jayne wouldn't talk about it.” She shrugged, “I've got things in my past I don't like talking about as well.” Hillary nodded, “If you're Jayne's woman...” Vera smiled, “As I commented to Sam, something like that!” He laughed gently, then sobered, “You darn well need to know. Explains a lot about our boy.” Sam fetched over a three D photo, “Last picture of 'em all together. Jayne was fourteen, just before everythin' went pear-shaped.”


There was a younger, tousle-haired Jayne, as tall as he was now, but gangly and much less muscled. On his lap was a girl with red lights in her brown hair, blue eyes and freckles. On Jayne's left, and with Jayne's arm around him was a boy of about eight who promised to look a lot like Jayne when he grew up. They all had a big grin on their faces. “That's Allison. He and Jayne both got the mumps really bad. Jayne being bigger and just plain stubborn, fought the thing with help from medicine. Allison got better as well, but it took it out of him. For some reason the mumps didn't touch Matty, thank goodness. Jayne went for a check up some time later and they told him then that any hopes of havin' kids had died right there with the mumps. Allison had gotten flu in the meantime. Jayne came home, hurtin' and angry at the world in general. He'd bottled it all up inside him, which is never good for a body. He let it all out at Allison, sayin' stuff he didn't mean and things that were just plain untrue; at heart he loved his brother. Trouble is, he ended by sayin', 'I hope you die'.” Vera looked up, her eyes suspiciously moist, “I can guess the rest.” Hillary sighed, “Yes. And then Jayne's grief was extravagant. He went half crazy with it. We was hurtin' our own selves and tryin' to help Matty. Jayne and I had a huge row about nothin' and he ran away from home. Next we heard was a wave tellin' us he was on Deadwood. He's visited since then, we've come to a better relationship, we've made up. We don't blame him, he knows we understand completely that he didn't mean it.” Vera nodded, “He can't forgive himself.” Another part of how Jayne was fell right into place. Sam put her hand on Vera's “That's it exactly.” The rest of the meal was pretty quiet after that. Vera went back to bed to rest because she was still feeling tired.


She woke up early the next morning to the sound of big, familiar feet pounding up the staircase. “Vera?!” She sat up, smiling, “Here!” Jayne burst into the room. He was dirty, dusty and with several day's growth of full beard over his face. He picked Vera up in his arms. They kissed hungrily for quite some time. Jayne lowered her back on the bed, “You feelin' better?” She grinned, “I am now! You're the best tonic I know!” “Could use a shower and a shave!” Vera took his hand, “Together?” His eyes heated, “Hell, yeah!” A couple of hours later, they were damp, contented and wrapped up in towels, sitting together on Vera's bed. Jayne had re-shaved his goatee back in place.


“So, ya met Ma and Pa.” “Yes. I like them a lot. Your father's making moonshine!” Jayne chuckled, “Every year, regular as clockwork. You may think it's hot out there now, but we're coming to the first of Summer. Big thunderstorms, then grass and flowers sprouting – that's already happened. When the blossoms come on the trees by the river is the excuse for a big all-night party with moonshine and music and dancin'.” Ma and Pa got it together after one of them nights, they tell me. I was the result a year later!” “Sounds like a handfasting.” “If folks don't want a preacher or somethin', then sayin' yes at Summertide and joinin' hands and the lady runnin' through the woods until she gets caught and the fella gives her a good thorough nailin' is as good as church around these parts. Just as lastin' if you want it to be.” Vera smiled, “Because I lived on Beltane, I'm familiar with the old custom on Earth-that-was. Sounds very similar, but the old way involved being naked and painted with woad, I think!” Jayne nuzzled her neck, “No problem with you bein' naked!” His mind went on another tack, “How's that dress comin' along?” Vera turned and cupped his jaw, “I never said thank-you!” She kissed him, gently. Jayne's eyes heated, “Yeah, you did. In the shower. Twice, as I remember!” “I was going to start on it today.” “Well Summertide will be mebbe tomorrow, mebbe the next day. The buds on those trees are ready to burst. Gonna smell glorious when they do.” “I might need to ask your mother for some ribbon, if she has matching stuff.” “I'm sure she'll help.”


Jayne was on the verandah with his father, smoking a cigar the next night. Vera and Sam were inside, working on the dress. “So, son; Are you gonna ask her?” “Hungh?” Hillary fixed Jayne with a look, “She's the one for you; I can see that, even if you can't. I'm thinkin' a Summertide handfastin' would be enough and right for both of you.” “Don't wanna get tied down.” “You really want to drift from whore to whore till you're grey and old, when you got that sexy, passionate woman all sideways with lust for you?” “I'm a merc, Pa. I kill people!” “Thinkin' she knows that full well, Jayne. If I were unwed and twenty odd years younger and a might taller, I'd be after her myself! 'Cepting she's imprinted on you, I'd take a chance.” Jayne staked his territory, “She's *my woman!” “Does she *know that?” “Think she does.” “Well, then; tell her how you feel and ask her. I'm thinkin' she'll say yes, if you're scared.” Jayne shot to his feet, “I'm *not scared!” “So, say the words, son.” Jayne looked at his father, like a deer caught in the headlights. His voice was tight with unspoken emotion, “Last person I told went and died on me and I ruttin' killed him.” Hillary looked up at his son with sympathy and stated quietly, “You didn't kill him, Jayne. The flu did that.” Jayne looked into the house, “Can't...lose...*her. Can't risk it.” “Love's always a risk, son. Got me two bust legs, a sexy wife and a wheelchair and three great kids; one of whom I miss being here, it's true; but I wouldn't trade one moment for all the gold in the Alliance banks.” “Does she know?” “About Allison? Yes, we told her. And the mumps. Figured she needed to know.” Jayne's voice was full of disgust, “So she knows I'm less than a full man!” “Doesn't see it that way; but why not ask Vera about it? She'll tell you herself.”


Jayne's face went into a frown and he stomped inside, “You know about Allison.” Vera looked startled for a moment, then she composed herself, “Yes.” “And ya know about the mumps.” “Yes. I can't have kids either.” For a moment or two, Jayne absorbed that and looked sympathetic, but barrelled on, “So how does it feel to be lookin' at a brother killer?!” Vera stood up, “You didn't kill him. His illness did.” He slammed both his hands on the table, “Could kill ya with these hands.” Vera held hers up, “Ditto; at a pinch. Might take a bit longer, but I studied martial arts.” Sam and Hillary began backing off, very slowly. “Pa says you wanna handfast with me!” Vera became regal and glacial, “Not while you're like this, no.” Jayne kept on towards her, “So, what am I like? Bug, scary, muscly?” “Big and muscly, yes. Scary – to me – no, never.” He came within touching distance, “Not even when I'm this close? I could hit you right now.” He lifted up his right arm. Vera kept firm eye contact, “You think you'll drive me away if you hit me? You think I can't kick that tight bum of yours from hell to breakfast?” He got right in her face, “I'm threatenin' you, woman!” “No, I'm not threatened.” She reached up her own hand and touched his without looking, “This hand; one of the hands that brings me quivering and helpless with pleasure? You really, truly want to hurt me with it?”


Sam half turned to Allison, “Looks like us when we first started; all fireworks and raw passion.” Allison smiled back, “And remember the form 'making up afterwards' usually took?” Sam grinned, “We'll leave them for a good hour or two!”


Jayne was angrier than he'd been in a long while. He punched sideways with his left and put a dent in the plaster, “See? I break stuff!” “So do I!” Vera turned and kicked and there was a dent next to his. He grabbed her, “You're not listening! I lash out at those ruttin' closest to me and they die!” “That. Was. Not. Your. Fault.” Vera enunciated very clearly, “And if I die, it's my time and nothing, I repeat *nothing, to do with you!” “Don't want you to die!” “Not planning on it any time soon.” “But you want a home and kids and a white picket fence and stuff, don't you?” “Must be some other woman you're having sex with; it's certainly not me! I just want to wander through the stars. That's my home. Maybe with you, if you knock some sense into that head of yours!” Jayne shook her, but not hard, “Dammit Vera; I'm tryin' to save you from makin' a mistake!” “What mistake would that be? Wanting you so much it drives me crazy? Liking the fact that you're dangerous and hairy and sexy all in one gorgeous wan nao package? Thinking of hanging around for as long as you want me? Not minding about not having kids 'cause I can't have them either? I mean, if you want to be a Dad fiercely enough, we'll find another orphan or two like Ping; I don't mind adopting.” Jayne let her go abruptly, “Not right; no; gotta go...” He stomped out, leaving Vera bewildered.


Sam approached Vera while they were figuring out the finer points of the dress the next day. “So; all resolved?” Vera shook her head, “Jayne just took off.” Sam covered Vera's hand with her own, “Tell me.” So Vera did. Sam smiled, “Jayne's crazy in love with you and is determined not to show it, Vera. May not have even fully figured it out yet.” Vera laughed softly, “Some tips about now would be a good idea.” “Well it's Summertide tonight. The trees are starting to open their flowers. Jayne told you about that?” Vera nodded, “Let's make this a dress that'd stop traffic in the known verse and see how Jayne reacts!” “I'd like to try to get a message to Serenity, let Mal and everyone know that we're safe and where we are. I can word it carefully so that prying eyes won't understand.” “Hillary's got a machine in his study. You can use it later.” After finishing the dress, Vera sent a wave to Mal. 'Hope foxes not too ravenous. Rooster and hen gone to coop with rooster's brood. Not old building. Eggs intact. Big shindig tonight with moonshine, rooster's pa says you're welcome. South of iron horse near the river.' A wave came back, 'Foxes rolled over and played dead. New D'Artagnan and Musketeers en route to coop; just taking on juice. Got some eggs ourselves. Rendezvous tomorrow, hope moonshine not run out!' Vera went and asked Hillary to keep some bottles back until the morning. Vera hung up her dress. It was mostly the see-through blue lace, with tiny cap sleeves and a plunging neckline. The front laced up with ribbon, peasant style, and there was just about as much ribbon as lace, leaving the whole cleavage exposed. Two tear-shaped pieces of silk covered the whole nipple area. The dress went on clinging to just above the hips, then flared into a floaty skirt which ended mid-thigh. Two tapered rectangular pieces of silk were inserted at front and rear of the dress from about the belly button down. They'd used all the silk and lace to make it. As 'something naughty' it most definitely qualified.


Jayne reappeared later, but Vera kept out of his way, at Sam's advice. Sam sent a tray of food to Vera's room so that she could eat while she got ready. She walked downstairs barefoot and in her new dress some time later. She'd left her long hair untied and sprayed herself with some of the rose cologne she favoured. Sam gave her a small glass of moonshine. “For courage. He's on the porch with Hillary, smoking a cigar.” Vera knocked back the drink. Sam gave her one of the blossoms from the trees and Vera tucked it in her cleavage. She took a deep breath and went out into the soft darkness.


Jayne turned, and his mouth fell open. Vera looked like a sexy princess and a hot fairy and a *very naughty elf and all his wet dreams come to life in one delectable package. Blood rushed south so fast that he nearly swooned.


Hillary whistled, “Wow. That's one Summertime dress all right!” He turned to Jayne, “You want her?” “Hell, yeah!” His voice was rough with pure, simple lust. Hillary turned to Vera, “I'm guessing you want him?” She smiled, “Hell, yeah!.” Hillary grabbed their hands and joined them in front of him, “That'll do!” Vera turned to him, perplexed, “Huh?” Hillary grinned at her, “Run, Vera!” Her eyes flew open with surprise and understanding and she took off. “Wha...?” Severe testosterone poisoning was slowing down Jayne's brain functions, “I was plannin' on ruttin' kissin' her!” “Jayne, you can get mad with me later. It's Summertide and you just joined hands with consent in front of me.” “But that was coz I wanted to...” Hillary grinned, “I know very well what you want to do, son. Better catch her before some other guy gets there ahead of you!” Jayne joined the dots, “You ruttin' handfasted us?!!” “Jayne...your woman is waitin'! And it's not complete until you next have sex together.” “Where?” Jayne turned, trying to see Vera through the darkness. His mother's voice came to him, “Try the pool past the bridge; nice and secluded there, away from pryin' eyes.” Jayne took off after Vera.


Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:38 PM


A relief that the Alliance found nothing to arrest Mal and the crew for but really loved the part where Mal and Inara declare their feelings for each other. Hope Jayne and Vera reunite with them soon. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:48 PM


So just an odd question - Aberdeen? I use Aberdeen a lot, I grew up there.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 7:23 PM


Interesting stuff you got going with Jayne and Vera....though I am glad these two crazy kids are finally seeing the point;)


Wednesday, July 5, 2006 8:52 PM


Aberdeen is one of the planets listed in the Firefly Wikepedia entry. along with Newhall and Deadwood.



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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!