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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Kaylee looks to Zoë for wisdom and Jayne ponders how to tell Kaylee about quitting his job. Kaylee has an awkward encounter with Simon and the merc and Shepherd Book plan a hunting trip. Jayne/Kaylee.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1043 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer; They’re Joss’s toys and I just borrowed them to play with.
Rating: NC15, for adult language, angst, references to trauma. Gonna heat up later on folks - definitely.
Remarks: Post “Objects In Space”, pre BDM. Final story in my "Faith" trilogy, and following immediately after my story “Raping Serenity”. Part of a long Jaylee story arc. If you object to this pairing, consider it AU or read something else. To read the backstories, click on my name above.
Italics generally represent internal dialog.
Feedback: Sincerely appreciated when civilly offered. (Author does tricks for nice feedback…)
Faith, Love and Serenity
With the ship still running on auxiliary power, Serenity’s ramp and bay doors are open. Helps the ventilation to have fresh air moving through, even though the desert wind tends to blow tumbleweeds and dust into the bay as the day warms.
Zoë takes her morning coffee and goes outside to sit on a rock and watch the sunrise. Since Wash worked so late into the night on the wiring tangle up in Serenity’s bridge, she’s decided he should sleep in a little and Mal’s impatience be damned.
Sometimes, the Cap’n just ain’t got his priorities straight, she thinks, shaking her head. ‘Verse might just flip on it’s axis, he was to actually let himself feel and act like a human bein’…
The dark woman hears footsteps on the metal stairs echoing through the cavernous cargo bay and turns to see who’s coming down. Kaylee’s got her overalls tied low on her hips and a mug of tea in one hand. Already, the air is warm and it’s gonna get hotter as time goes on. Zoë can see the girl is subdued - why, she normally bounds down those stairs two at a time.
“Hey Kaylee!” she calls out. “Wanna keep me company for a spell?”
The mechanic smiles a faint hint of her normal grin. “Sure, Zoë. Can’t stay long, though. Got too much needs doin’.” She joins the strong, tall woman on her rocky perch. “Wash sleepin’ in?”
“Yeah, he worked until after midnight. I figured it wouldn’t hurt for him to snooze a little late.” Zoë sips her steaming coffee and thinks about how her husband describes her as being like this beverage she loves – strong, hot, black and bitter.
“Where’s Jayne? He ain’t hardly let you outta his sight since bringin’ you back, except when the Cap’n’s had him off doin’ something.”
“I ‘spect he sat up watchin’ over me most a the night.” Kaylee tells her quietly. “’Magine he’s still sleepin’, too.”
“Amazin’ how quiet this ship is when all the menfolk are dreamin’ away!” Zoë chuckles and Kaylee nods.
“Unless’n ya wanna count snorin’…”
The two sit in companionable silence for awhile, just sipping from their cups and watching the day grow brighter. Finally Kaylee breaks the interlude.
“How do you do it?”
“Do what, Kaylee?” Zoë looks sidelong at the girl, puzzled.
“How do you manage to be so strong all the time? All the things you been through – durin’ the war with the Cap’n, jobs goin’ bad, marchin’ into Niska’s like you owned the place. You been through hell, Zoë, an’ you still hold yourself together, ain’t always breakin’ down cryin’ like some little kid. Just always so calm, serene like, strong and fierce when ya need to be. I just can’t figure it out.”
“You askin’ ‘cause you’ve been having a rough time since we got scarped, and you were kidnapped?” Zoë looks at the girl compassionately.
The little mechanic drops her head in shame and her voice is very soft, “Well… yeah. I just can’t seem to get myself up an’ runnin’. I hate being so weak, such a scaredycat.” She looks searchingly at the dark, still woman beside her. “I figured if you could tell me some about how come you’re so strong, maybe I could put it to use, get myself pulled together some.”
Zoë drains the last of her coffee and muses for a minute on what Kaylee has asked her, then smiles in a private, secret way before looking up. “Some of it’s training. I been a soldier all my life, Kaylee, and a lot of what you see as strength is just discipline, years of it.”
She looks Kaylee in the eye. “The other part is up there snoring away in our bunk. You see me bein’ strong, but can’t nobody be strong all the time. When it gets to be too much, I know I can always take it to my man. It’s hard for me to let folks in, Kaylee. I know you see that. Ain’t ‘cause I’m antisocial. But with Wash, I don’t have to be anything but me. He’s the only one I can let down with, be soft, be a woman. Didn’t have that for too damn long, child, and let me tell you, I’m grateful every day that goes by that I’ve got him now.”
Zoë continues thoughtfully, “He’s my haven, Kaylee. Everybody needs one of some sort or another. The Preacher turns to God, River’s got her brother, although heaven knows what he turns to. An I guess the Cap’n’s got Serenity, although if the man had a lick of sense, he’d have worked things out with Inara long ago.”
Zoë stands up to go back into the ship and lays her hand very gently on Kaylee’s shoulder. “You finally got a man loves you much as you love him. Jayne ain’t no knight in shinin’ armor but anyone watchin’ can see how he feels about you. It’s hard lovin’ someone who holds you at arm's length, Kaylee. Let him in. Let Jayne help carry your fear, your hurt. He wants to, you know.”
Kaylee leans her head briefly against the older woman’s hand and smiles.
Supplies are really running short in the galley. The Shepherd’s cooking oatmeal for breakfast when Jayne shuffles in, grunts amicably, and pours the last of the coffee into an enameled cup, then dumps in two big spoons of sugar.
“Want a bowl, son?”
“Sure, Shepherd. The way you season it up, it’s right tasty and it ain’t like I got a choice of ham and eggs.”
The preacher ladles up a big bowl of the steaming cereal, fragrant with cinnamon and Jayne spoons on more sugar.
Book serves himself a somewhat smaller portion, moderately sweetened, and joins the merc over at the big table. He bows his head to say grace and Jayne stops himself, spoon in midair and headed for his mouth, and lowers his head respectfully, then proceeds to wolf down his breakfast.
“This ain’t half bad, Shepherd. Better than that go se last night.” Jayne gulps down the last of his coffee. “You seen Kaylee this mornin’?”
“I think she’s already up on the bridge, working.”
“Think I’ll go look in on her, make sure she’s okay, an’ then I thought I’d maybe get us some fresh meat.” The big merc stands up. “You up to joinin’ me on a little huntin’ trip, Shepherd, or is that against your vows?”
Book laughs, “There’s nothing in the Bible prohibiting rabbit hunting, so far as I can recollect, although you’ll need to loan me the use of a rifle.”
“Good ‘nuf. Meet me out on the ramp in half an hour.”
Kaylee can see that Wash accomplished almost all of the reinstallation of the electronic equipment on Serenity’s bridge last night, although there are still some wiring repairs and cable replacements to be made. After that, they’ll have to make sure everything’s functioning properly, especially the precious sensor array.
Guess one place is as good a starting point as any other, she reasons and starts splicing wiring harnesses.
She’s been at work about ten minutes when Jayne steps onto the bridge. She glances over her shoulder at him. “Hey, you. Finally get some sleep?”
“Yeah, a little, when I wasn’t ducking a flailin’ madwoman,” Jayne teases her.
Kaylee studies his nose, now none the worse for her late night punch. “I really didn’t mean to slug ya like that. Guess I’m still more’n a little twichy.” She stands up and they smile somewhat ruefully at one another, then Jayne comes over to kiss her softly, his big hands clasping her waist.
He eyes her with obvious concern, pushing the ever-escaping lock of hair out of her eyes and behind an ear.
“I’m sorry you was havin’ a rough night, Kaylee.”
“An’ I’m really sorry about your nose, Jayne. Girl ain’t supposed to be punchin’ the fella that rescued her.”
The big man laughs, “Ain’t nothin’, gal. I’m just glad the rest of my Girls had their safeties on.”
Kaylee suddenly noticed something’s different about him. “Hey, you ain’t usin’ your cane this mornin’!”
“Well, I’m gettin’ ‘round well enough and the gorram thing was cumbersome.” He notes the flicker of hurt in her eyes and adds, “Plenty helpful while I needed it, though. You done a real good job on makin’ it for me.” He kisses her again, a light peck on her cheek. “Guess I better let you get back to work, ‘for Mal comes reamin’ me a new one for distractin’ ya.”
As he heads out the door, he calls back over his shoulder, “Me an’ the Shepherd’s goin’ huntin’, try to get us some food. We’ll probably be back afore dark, but if I’m not, don’t you be frettin’, now.”
The big mercenary heads back to his bunk to pick up some ammo and the rifles he needs. Newhall’s still wild enough to be pretty rich in game and fresh meat would be a blessing to all of ‘em.
As he climbs down into his bunk, he stumbles over one of the bags with his gear and bangs his shin on a crate. “Ai ya!” He curses sharply and kicks the heavy container. “Gorram pile of fei oo!”
Since his encounter with Mal in the corridor over whether or not he still has a job, he’s had no chance to unpack his stuff and his bunk’s a wreck. Funny thing… he muses, Kaylee ain’t even noticed or said nothin about how tore up everything is down here. I guess she still don’t know I quit to go get her. Don’t know how the ruttin’ hell she’s gonna take that news, even ‘though it looks like I’m stayin’ on.
He rummages around until he finds the rifles he wants and sufficient ammunition, and stuffs the ammo into some pouches. He grabs a canteen and fills it from his wall sink, then cups a swallow to his mouth. Tastes metallic and musty, a sure sign they haven’t been able to backwash the recycling filters like they need to. The auxiliary system will only do so much and the batteries won’t last indefinitely.
He scratches the back of his neck as he reasons out what to do. Guess I better tell her tonight. Ain’t somethin’ I want her hearin’ from anybody else on the boat. Just gotta make her understand I couldn’t stand by an’ let that piece a go se take her.
Simon is sitting at his desk in the med-lab, his head resting in his hand, dark hair falling forward over his forehead. He’s going over some of the notes he’s compiled about his sister’s condition.
“Uh, Simon, want your monitor back?” Kaylee asks as she pokes her head in the doorway. She’s got one of his medical monitors on her hip and her toolbox in her other hand.
The doctor stands, clearly ill-at-ease. “That would be beneficial. Not much I can do if we should have an emergency without the cardiac and neuro monitors. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Mostly just stay outta my way. Maybe pass me things if ya want.” The mechanic looks hesitant.
The doctor smacks his forehead. “Oh, what am I thinking? That must be heavy, Kaylee. Here, let me take that.” Simon’s fumbling and awkward, almost dropping the monitor after he takes it from her. He puts it down on the counter and turns back to the girl.
“How’s the head?” He points to his own and raises his eyebrows. “Still having the headaches?”
“Yeah, some.” Kaylee’s reluctant to mention the nightmares, and concentrates on getting the monitor re-mounted and hooked back up so she doesn’t have to meet Simon’s searching gaze.
The young doctor sits on the edge of the counter, resting his finely-boned surgeon’s hands to either side of his thighs, and studies Kaylee’s movements, noting a fine tremor in her hands as she works. That’s new since her abduction, since the concussion, he observes. Has she suffered some neurological deficit or perhaps nerve damage when she was bound? She did say her hands were tied awfully tightly.
Finally he hazards a question as she works. “Are you having any coordination problems, any numbness or difficulty holding your tools?”
Kaylee looks down at the screwdriver in her hand and realizes it is, indeed, shaking. She drops the tool and begins to cry, turning away from Simon and covering her face with her hands.
“Kaylee, please, tell me what’s going on. I can’t help you if you won’t talk to me about it.” Simon’s voice is gentle, his concern clearly evident. He’s dealt with trauma victims before and realizes how hard it can be for many of them to allow others to help them. Ever so gently, he touches her arm. “Please?”
He pulls out the chair he was using and guides the weeping girl to it, sitting her down, then hands her some tissues. He drags a wheeled stool over and sits down himself and waits for Kaylee to stop crying.
“It’s not the headaches, S-S-Simon,” she stutters. “It’s the gorram bad d-d-dreams. Half the time I can’t even g-get to sleep, an’ when I do, it’s l-like I’m goin’ through it all over again. Last night, I even popped Jayne in the n-nose when he tried to calm me down.” She blows her nose and wipes her tear-streaked face. “G-guess I s-sound ‘bout like River, don’t I?”
The doctor studies her compassionately. “I’m so sorry, Kaylee, I can’t imagine how hard all of this has been for you. Yes, in a sense, you’re suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, much like my sister, although thankfully, no one surgically altered your brain.” Simon shakes his head.
”I can prescribe some medication to help you be a little less jumpy, maybe sleep a little better, but one of the best things you can do is find someone you really trust and just talk about what happened. I suppose that would have been Inara, were she still on board. Perhaps you can talk with Shepherd Book. I’m certainly willing to listen, too, if you feel you want that, although I can understand if it might be a bit… awkward… now.”
Kaylee looks up and pastes a quavering, brave smile over her pain. “Nope, I’ll be fine. Don’t want no drugs. Just gotta get through it, s’all.”
She turns back to her work and silently completes it while Simon stands watching her and feeling helpless.
(To be continued…”
Thursday, June 29, 2006 11:43 AM
Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:41 PM
Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:57 PM
Friday, June 30, 2006 6:21 AM
Friday, June 30, 2006 7:07 AM
Wednesday, July 05, 2006 3:53 AM
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