Per Ardua ad Astra [part 8]
Monday, July 3, 2006

Jayne catches up with Vera [!], then they catch up with the rest of the crew. Jayne and Vera - well, it's not quite talking dirty, but it's talking hot! Ma and Pa Cobb lay on hospitality and a spread. Ping finds a new home. Serenity gets a new reason to keep flying.


Desperate breathing. Tongue nipple-teasing. Your fast river flowing --- your northern fire fed. Come, black satin dancer, come softly to bed.

Black satin dancer – Jethro Tull

Jayne caught up with Vera in the glade by the pool. The long grass skimmed the hem of her dress and the full moon made her look like a magical being. Somewhere off to his left, the Summertide revellers were playing music and getting very drunk. He stopped in front of her. His hands clenched and unclenched, “You wanna be handfasted with me?” “Do you?” “I...erm... God, you look gorgeous. Like a naughty fairytale princess!” Vera's fingers found the tie at the top of the ribbon. Jayne's eyes were burning at her, “Which one?” “ Mebbe Rapunzel, with that long hair of yours. Not sure I want this, Vera.” She began to pull the ribbon undone, “Think you can last all night without touching me, sexy wan nao?” The first two loops of the ribbon were free, her breasts trembling upon the brink of spilling out, “I *know I want you; do you want me?” Jayne felt his libido kick into overdrive, “Ohh, you gorgeous sexy tease!”

*** He pounced then, carrying her with him to the ground with the eagerness of his tackle. He kissed her hard and then freed her breasts. Vera gasped with pleasure. Jayne hiked up her skirt with his right thigh and pulled off his tee shirt. He grinned widely. “Make that Red Riding hood and the big, bad, *hungry wolf!” He kicked off his boots and lifted her dress further, so that she was exposed to his gaze, “Merciful Buddha; ya shaved yerself!” “Like it?” Jayne's voice was tight with lust, “Oh. God. Yes! Keep it like that!!” Realising this sounded a little too much like a demand he flicked his head up, “Please?” Vera smiled and nodded. He possessively cupped her breasts, “You're *mine!” Ya hear me?!” Vera skimmed her hands up his chest, “And you're mine!”

Jayne moved himself swiftly down to where he knew they both wanted him to be, pleasuring her senseless. Vera gasped. He had long since proved to her delighted satisfaction that he could do a whole lot more with that tongue than be snarky with it. Or use it seductively against her own until she melted; which never took long. But here; as he licked and brought her closer and closer to detonation with practised skill; here he could win gold medals, as far as Vera was concerned. She cupped his head and he instantly responded, zeroing in to where she needed him most. She arched and came apart so hard that she saw stars. Then he was sliding up and into her in one fluid movement and everything went away but him and how he was making her feel. ***

Jayne woke up early next morning. His clothes were scattered all over the place and Vera's dress was scrunched up in a ball in the long grass some way off. Vera was sprawled across his chest, grinning like the cat who'd got the cream. “Morning!” His mouth curved into a crooked smile, then he groaned, “Guess we're handfasted all right.” Vera gently bit his chest, “Five times, by my reckoning!” Jayne tried a nonchalant shrug, “Just to take the edge off.” His mouth curved into a softer smile, “Actually, there is somethin' else I'd like to try. D'ya know about sittin' in the lotus and matchin' the breathin'?” Vera propped herself on his chest, “Tantric sex? With long, slow breathing? Like you do when you're cleaning your guns?” “Breathin' while I clean my guns helps me think real hard 'bout it. Learnt Tantric stuff from that first lover of mine but ain't had a chance to try it again yet. Want to with you, Vera.” Jayne's eyes were tender. So they gave it a very good 'try' and it lasted over an hour and a half until Jayne couldn't hold out any more. Vera looked into his eyes, “Yes, Jayne. Now!” He lowered her into the grass and they both rose to the final exquisite peak together. Jayne looked deeply into Vera's eyes in the afterglow. “I love you.” They said it together, at the same moment. Jayne's mouth curved into a slow grin, “Ya love me!” She smiled right back and stroked her hand through his hair, “And you love me!” He rolled them over, grinning and laughing,“Remember that part where I'm a merc?” Vera laughed, “Remember that part where I'm probably wanted by the Alliance and had to change my name?”


He chuckled, gently got off her and retrieved her dress. They got their rather grass-stained clothes back on and started walking back to the farmstead. There, settled down to the right of the buildings, was Serenity. “Back to reality.” Jayne sounded wistful. Vera caught hold of his hand, “One step at a time. We've got things to share with Inara and then the rest of the crew about Shepherd Book. And moonshine to drink!” Jayne managed a grin. “Moonshine!” He stopped by one of the flowering trees and plucked a big, pale cream blossom, “Ta make up for the one I crushed last night.” Vera tucked it in her hair, behind her right ear, “Thank-you.” She squeezed his hand. “Seems a bit backwards, sexin' you up and getting' hitched afore I give ya flowers!” Vera smiled, “I'm *very contented, Jayne; just the way things are.”


Over to their right were the remains of last night's party. A table of demolished food and drink with several people asleep on the grass underneath it. But in front of the farmhouse was a table of fresh food, and moonshine, and the crew of Serenity with Jayne's parents and Matty with about a dozen assorted children with a variety of skin colours running about and playing something like tag. Matty had Ping balanced on one hip and a dark-skinned little girl on the other. Matty was tall, taller than Vera, with short, dark chestnut hair and apparently still covered in freckles, if her face and arms were any indication. Mal was standing with his arm around Inara.

* Jayne grinned, “Mals been gettin' some!” Vera commented dryly, “And Inara by the look of it!” “Took the hwoon dahn long enough ta nail her; she's been askin' for it from him since the minute she got on board.” Jayne sighed, “And I could'a gone there myself, given some encouragement.” “I don't blame you,” Vera commented, “She's luminously beautiful.” Jayne sighed again, “Gorgeous skin, lovely frocks and perfume an' all.” “Uh-huh.” He realised belatedly that perhaps this wasn't the right kind of conversation to be engaging in, “Not that you're not... I mean, you're gorgeous too and the way you make me feel an' all..” Vera smiled and threw him a line, “How do I make you feel, Jayne?” “Ya make me feel hot!” “Inara doesn't?” He shuffled uncomfortably, “Well yeah, but...” He found sudden, rather basic, inspiration, “Right from the moment I saw ya, my John Thomas *hurt. I mean hurt *bad. Any time he's done that to me in the past an' I got lucky, the sexin' up has been real good afterwards. And this was the worst pile of hurt from wantin' I'd ever felt. I wanted to melt your ice princess and nail you till you screamed with pleasure.” His eyes gleamed, “And the sexin' up has been the best. And ya melt so hot, I *burn!” Jayne had told Vera before that she made him hurt in a good way, and it hadn't been a total surprise for her to find out his penis acted as a kind of sexual barometer. Vera smiled up at him, “It's similar with me, but you know that.” Jayne backed her under the last tree and gently stroked a tendril of her hair, “Tell me!” Vera grinned, “Every time I've tried so far, I've got maybe three sentences out and then you tear my clothes off and ravish me.” She shivered, remembering, “Not that I'm complaining. It's just that we have an audience over there!”

* Jayne grinned right back, “I've just done six in a row! I can stand to hear a fair bit without public sexing up!” “Okay. I first saw you, knew you were a bad boy and on the wrong side of the law and I wanted you. Then you grinned at me and right then I knew I was going to try to get you in my bed at least once. But I bided my time; some bad boys are dangerous in a nasty way, or like violence a bit too much or have a certain lack of bedroom manners. I wanted to get to know you a bit, to be sure. And you proved yourself, and got me hot and bothered into the bargain. I was hurting for you pretty bad myself, by the time I arranged things so that we could have some quality time together, because by then I knew that just once wasn't going to begin to cut it!” “What about my body?” Vera chuckled, “Oh, my! You're built just how I like 'em; big and muscly and hairy. And I'd been sneaking some looks when you weren't aware of it, trying to get the measure of you.” Jayne's grin widened, “You were sizing up my package!” She laughed, “You know that! I told you already! And you did *not disappoint, more exceeded my expectations. Sight of you naked and all riled *That gets me *very hot. And when you put it to the use it's meant for and you're inside me...” Vera groaned softly, “Damn, but that's the best feeling *ever!” Jayne kissed her hard, just once, “More, later!”

* He turned and Mal was standing behind them, just out of hearing range. Mal grinned, “Breakfast is served!” Vera smiled broadly, “Great to see you in one piece!” Jayne chipped in, “What happened?” So, on the brief walk over to the table, Mal told them about the male training house and how the Alliance had been 'persuaded' let them go and how they were now effectively either Robin and his merry men [and women] or the Musketeers. Vera gestured to Jayne, “Then he'd be Little John or Porthos!” Mal laughed, “Yeah, guess so!” Jayne had no problem asking bald questions, “So, how's the sexing up with Inara going?” Vera gasped a little, “Jayne!” He grinned, “I love sex; you complaining?” Mal commented dryly, “Seems I could ask the same question of you two, if the answer was fit for public consumption!” Vera glowed, “We're doing wonderfully, thank-you.” “Then I guess it's about the same with me and Inara.” “Ya guess?!” Jayne commented, never shy about trying to get a rise out of Mal, “Ain't ya doing it right? Want some help?” Inara glided over, “Mal does *not need any help with me!” Jayne grinned teasingly, his arm around Vera, “Were I not spoken for, I could'a showed ya a damned good time!” Inara smiled back, linking her arm through Mal's, “Yes; if we'd met first and you'd had the coin, there would have been pleasure. I know you had a crush on me, Jayne. But it wouldn't have truly satisfied either of us and I think you know that.” Inara smiled at both him and Vera, “When you find the one who makes you ache with longing, you know about it.” She turned a glowing 1,000 watt smile towards Mal. He responded with mostly just his eyes heating up for her.

* Vera gently put her hand out towards Inara, “We found whose money was given and then used to train you, and how old you are, Inara,” She looked at both Inara and Mal, “How do you want to do this?” Inara's smile was gentler, “Mal told you about the Alliance turning up?” Vera nodded, “Well, they told me their records have me somewhere in my mid forties,” her eyes widened, “Though apparently the anti-ageing stuff will linger on, making me look younger than that for a good long time. I told Mal a few nights ago.” She blushed slightly. Jayne went to make a snarky comment but a look from Vera stopped him, “Ya ain't mebbe gonna like the next part, Mal.” Mal could put two and two together, “Given that the money came from Southdown abbey, I can guess. That wily old secretive hwoon dahn had something to do with it.” “Not directly,” Vera interjected, guessing the line of Mal's thoughts, “He gave all his worldly goods to the abbey when he converted – as a young man – and they made a donation to Inara's mother.” Inara wasn't far behind, “Book's money paid for my schooling! My mother said she had a young, secret admirer who gave her the money. I suppose that wasn't so far from the truth.” Vera nodded, “In the book of his 'confessions', he said that he was in love with her, even though she was older than him and he never told her. We've got photos of the documents if you want to see them.” * “Book was a ruttin' Operative, Mal!” Mal clenched his fists, but Vera put in, “*Trainee Operative. He killed a man in the heat of an argument and ran for sanctuary to Southdown, where he made a sudden and absolutely genuine conversion. He was barely in his twenties at the time.” “There are times,” Mal interjected, “When it would be real nice to be able to bring the dead back to life, even if it meant killin' 'em all over again!” Jayne shivered, “Sounds like Reavers!” Vera touched Mal's arm, “I never knew Book, but the little I've been told suggests that he was a genuine man of God for thirty odd years.” “I know, but he would have known that a donation went to Inara's mother, and that the fruits of that donation were standing in the same space as him, sharin' the same food. And the hwoon dahn still never spoke!” Mal's eyes narrowed, and he looked upwards automatically, “Don't reckon as you can hear me, but I could stand hittin' you for this!” Inara touched his other arm, “If you want to blame anyone, blame my mother. She put me in Companion school with the money as a way to help me 'make something of myself'.” Mal mollified his feelings and turned to her, “Well, there is that.” * Hillary Cobb came whizzing over in his wheelchair, “Breakfast's waiting!” Jayne grinned, remembering his stomach, “Breakfast!” So they walked over to the table. River ran up to Vera and Jayne, “Congratulations! You got married!” Everyone at the table heard her. Jayne glared at his father, who shrugged and responded, “Wasn't me; I swear it!” Zoe walked over, “Well, bless my soul! Jayne Cobb got married! Pinch me, I must be dreaming!” Jayne started with the response he'd given last time, “Hell, I'll pin... Zoe! You're havin' a baby!” She glowed, “Yes. Wash's baby.” Jayne grinned like an idiot, “Well, damn!” Kaylee put in her news, “We're having twins!” Jayne turned to Mal, “We turnin' Serenity into a creche now?” Mal shrugged, “Seems like it.” He didn't seem too upset about that. Jayne turned to Simon, “Well done, Doc. Hafta say I never thought ya had it in you!” He slapped him a little too forcefully on the back. Simon had gotten used to Jayne by now, “Didn't think I'd see you getting married, either!” Jayne just grinned, “And are you going to do the honourable thing by li'l Kaylee?” Simon turned to her, “If she'll have me.” He dropped to one knee, “Kaylee?” Kaylee blushed, “Can I have a shiny new dress and cake and a party and stuff?” Simon nodded, “Then, hell yes!” She threw herself into his arms and he twirled her around.

* Vera approached Matty some time later, “Good to meet you at last. How's Ping doing?” Matty smiled and shook her hand with a firm grip, “He's fine. Welcome to the family!” Ping looked up at Vera and she ruffled his hair, “Sweet little chap.” “Pa says you can't have any of your own, like Jayne.” “Yes,” Vera smiled, “Though I can see us playing babysitter for Zoe's child and Kaylee and Simon's twins!” Matty laughed and Vera joined in, then offered to get her something to drink. Everyone was sitting on the porch, replete, some time later when Jayne looked up at the sky. “Incoming!” River cocked her head, “They've come a long way. From the Government.” Jayne turned around, “Thought we was in the clear, Mal?” He just shrugged. Hillary gestured at the table, “Quick! Hide the moonshine!” * A medium sized, sleek black and purple craft set down delicately in front of the house. Jayne whistled, “An Ambassador! Those babies cost mega credits!” Kaylee was drooling, “And the engine's a very new model. One of the ones that can go real fast and real smooth. Probably a Rolls Royce elite 21; rumour is they get close to light speed sometimes.” The door of the craft opened. Everyone who was armed had a hand on a pistol or knife. Two sleek Oriental guys came out, dressed in black. “Oh my,” Vera commented, “Sensei. I'm told they can deflect bullets with their hands.” “They give us any trouble,”Jayne commented, very quietly, “And I'll be testin' that theory.” Behind them was an Oriental couple dressed in silk. Expensive, hand-dyed silk in exquisite colours. They put all of Inara's outfits in the shade and reeked of impossible realms of wealth. The woman took one look at Ping and gasped, “My baby!” The man silenced her and stepped forward. He clicked his fingers and another black-clad lackey came out with a leather attache case trimmed with real gold, “I am Ping Han.” Everyone bowed immediately. He was effectively royalty in anyone's estimation, “A month ago, a highly paid White Lotus Triad woman stole our baby to order, seeking to hold him for ransom. The Alliance gave chase and we had him tracked all the way here. Here is the paperwork, proving his identity...” Real parchment, gold leaf, watermarks, holographic tracking marks, impossible to fake. Every piece of paper backed his claim and gave photographic evidence that Ping was indeed the scion of his family. * “So, who were the couple who rescued him from the 'Green Giant'?” Jayne and Vera looked at each other and stepped forward, hand in hand. Ping Han snapped his fingers again and a further lackey brought two big, heavy bags forward, “To recompense you for time and inconvenience...” Jayne looked in the bag. Solid gold credits and plenty of them, “Wuh de mah! It's a king's ransom!” The elder Ping merely raised an eyebrow, “Indeed. Now, my son, please?” Matty handed Ping over to his mother, who was shedding silent tears of gratitude. “I regret that one of the Alliance vessels fired on Hickock. I did not authorise such action and the perpetrator has been suitably punished. Recompense has been made to rebuild the town and for a new 'Green Giant' to join the cargo fleet. We are done here.” He snapped his fingers and the lackeys and Sensei went back into the ship, “You have my thanks. Good day!” The ship took off. * Jayne was still drooling over the contents of his bag, “Ohh, come to Poppa indeed! Got enough here so I barely have to work again.” He looked at his parents, “Lots for you, too!” Mal narrowed his eyes, “Don't like this, feels too comfortable.” Zoe looked at the tiny speck in the sky, “Triad's not going to be too happy that their kidnap failed.” Jayne came back to earth, “Gonna spend some of it first!” His own eyes narrowed, “We'll worry about the White Lotus if they ever ruttin' turn up!” * Vera was standing naked near the window, early the next morning, in the room in the Cobb house that she'd been moved to with Jayne. The bed was big enough for two, for a start. Hillary and Sam had organised some re-stocking expeditions for 'Serenity' . Vera had decided that after the lusty way they'd got married and the heart-stopping mutual declaration of love that she was now a one hundred percent one man woman, but she was wondering how Jayne felt about staying faithful. He came up behind her, equally naked, nuzzling and fondling gently, “Thinkin' 'bout what will happen if we split up for some reason? Worryin' a bit that I might go whoring again?” She gasped and turned in his arms. Sometimes his ability to know what she was thinking was remarkable, “Not 'worried' exactly. Just wondering where we stand if we get parted for more than a week or two, that's all.” She smiled warmly, “You've got big appetites, don't want to hold you to any promises you don't want to make.” He grinned, “Don't you fret none. When a Cobb's given, they're given for good. I gave myself to you some time ago, but you lovin' me sealed it, darlin.” There was a new warm tone in his voice when he used that word which sent shivers down her back in anticipation. His grin went into a seductive smile, “Yeah. Like that. Ain't no woman I've met who does that just from me speakin' to her. If it's more 'n a day or two, I'll just find somewhere quiet and take myself in my own two hands. And if a floozy or whore offers me a good time – well, can't say as I won't look – but I'll tell 'em I'm happily wed and they should just pass right on along.” Vera beamed at him, “Thank-you; because I know you're the only man I want in my bed from now on!” Jayne grinned and picked her up to set her on the bed, “Thing about bein' given an' all; increases my appetite somethin' fierce. Gonna want to sex you up every day, mebbe twice or even more. Hope you don't mind bein' late for breakfast!” Vera started fondling his chest, “We can even miss out on breakfast, if having great sex with you is on the menu!” Jayne chuckled, “Bet ya I can pleasure you senseless in less than five minutes!” “Five minutes! That's not possible!” Then his hand gently cupped her and stroked expertly and Vera gasped with pleasure. Jayne nuzzled close to her ear, “Make that *three minutes!” And sure enough, three minutes later, Vera came hard and sweet under his hand. Then he was picking her up and inside her and driving her to the next peak. And the one after that. And they were just in time for breakfast, if very flushed. *

Some days later, in space.

Zoe came to Mal on the bridge, “In about eight weeks or so, I'm going to need to find somewhere safe to give birth. I trust Simon, but I want good medical facilities, just in case. And a place if I need to recuperate, after. Now that we've got the coin...” Mal nodded, “I'll put that in the planning. That and finding places Kaylee can shop for her wedding dress.” River was gazing at the stars ahead of them, “Babies will be all right. Not to worry about them. Everything will be shiny,” she turned to Mal, “White Lotus have started looking, though.” Mal sighed, “Conference time. On the agenda, evading the Triad. The niao se duh doo-gway can probably smell us in space.”

* Mal filled the crew in on what River had said. Jayne had his gun in his hands almost immediately, “Gonna shoot every wang bao dahn of 'em if I have to!” Mal nodded, “Might come to that.” Vera was fiddling with her small hunting knife, “We're the ones the Triad are really looking for. We could leave you and take the heat ourselves.” Mal thumped the table, “No. You're on my crew, you're family,” he smiled, teasing, “Even Jayne!” “Hey!” But Jayne was grinning. Mal came back, “'One for all and all for one', remember?” Inara added, “It's a noble gesture, Vera, but the Triad will come after everyone close to you as well.” Mal turned to her, “You know stuff?” Inara shivered, “Was hired for my services by a Triad 'boss' once. Not a pleasant experience. They'll be after everyone on Serenity, trust me.” Jayne had a thought, “My Ma and Pa? Matty?” Inara looked at him, “Much less likely, but we'll warn them, just in case. They're in the middle of nowhere and Ping and his parents were only there briefly. I've got Chinese contacts who are – or were – Companions. They'll help us with information.” Hori looked at each of them, “And I'll contact the girls on Venice, eh?” Simon squeezed Kaylee's hand, “My parents effectively disowned me when I went after River, but they have Chinese friends who are well to do. They *might help us.” Mal managed a smile, “Looks like we have the beginning of a plan. In the meantime, we'll stock up, go to a nice space port and get us some upgrades and better shielding; and yes, some engine parts, Kaylee. Maybe some extra weapons and stuff.” Jayne grinned, “Weapons is good!” *

Jayne and Vera were in her bunk, lying in a blissed-out sweaty tangle sometime later. Jayne was stroking her hair, “Don't care what Mal says, I'm willin' to draw the heat away from you.” Vera turned and looked at him, “Oh, no. No sacrificing yourself to save me. Life would be empty without you, and the Triad would still come after me, if Inara's right.” Jayne gently rolled her onto her back with him leaning over her, “Life would be empty without me?” His smile was warm and gentle. Vera smiled, “Yes; so don't die on me, please?” “Wasn't plannin' on it, darlin'!” He kissed her softly, then more fiercely, “*My woman!” He rolled back and let her pillow herself on his chest. She reached down and drew the covers up before settling down. “That gold could come in very handy, buying us information and maybe saving our lives.” “Yeah, but I wanna buy you some stuff with it too. And a whole bushel of grenades, mebbe even a small hand-held rocket launcher and heaps of bullets.” Vera snuggled closer, “God, I love you!” He chuckled sleepily, “Goes twice with me, darlin'; goes twice with me!”

THE END (for now)

The next story will deal with the whole Triad problem, maybe other stuff as well. Just got to get the plot bunnies to start talking to me and do some research my own self


Warm Summer Nights Moonlight on the walls Worlds are at peace Please, let there be Serenity, on the hill Serenity, on the hill Etched on the skyline Our heritage for free Serenity, now's the time Serenity, peace of mind Paradox – Serenity

And so the shadows fall apart. And so the west winds play; And all the windows of my heart I open to the day. John Greenleaf Whittier

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'



Wednesday, July 5, 2006 7:47 PM


Ending seemed a tad rushed...but great none the less;)

Can't wait for the next part of this tale:D


Wednesday, July 5, 2006 8:51 PM


Working on it! I'm divided between two titles for the next installment, got the teaser and a bit after it written. Some ideas about where it's going.

It's going to be pretty violent, people will get hurt. And Zoe's going to have to deliver her daughter in there somewhere, time's passing! Waiting on research and e-mails with a Chinese-American friend of mine.



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