Labyrinth [Part 3]
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The sojurn at Ping Han's place continues. Kaylee and co start making her wedding dress. Pirate night and some interesting...celebrations[G]. Music. The Tam/Frye wedding.



Heaven and earth merged as one May we be together under the full moon Chinese sayings * Ride the sky one more time ride the sky tonight I feel a new sensation when I close my eyes I'm dancing with the clouds I feel a new temptation run away with my mind chasing drops of moonlight ... Midnight Resistance – Labyrinth

Jayne and Vera hit the steam room after getting back with their purchases, so that Jayne could ease his muscles and new crop of bruises. After the steam room, there'd been a sauna, and then Vera had borrowed some Arnica tincture from Simon's room for Jayne. That had led to a massage, but nothing more, because Jayne was fast asleep by the end, snoring like a hog. Vera quietly finished some bits on her pirate costume and then went to see if Kaylee was back with the material for the latter's wedding dress. They could make a start on it, Inara, Kaylee and herself. Maybe even Zoe might lend a hand if Sarah was being co-operative. Kaylee and Simon were in their room when Vera knocked. Simon picked up his bag again, “Does Jayne need my services?” Vera shook her head, “He's sound asleep. It's mostly bruising as far as I can tell; I used some Arnica from your bigger medical kit. I hope you don't mind.” She gave it back. “He's breathing okay?” She chuckled, “Snoring!” Simon walked towards the door, “I'll check on him very quietly. If he's re-cracked one of those ribs, I'll need to do something sooner rather than later. Bruising might be a problem if it's deep.” “I know, Simon. But please try not to wake Jayne, he'll only be very grouchy. He needs to sleep off the fight at the moment.” Simon nodded, “The barker was really pleased I'd got to his Mighty Crusher in time. The wrestler will need to rest for a while and then have a firm support bandage for some weeks. The barker re-stated his interest in Jayne, but I put him off. There was some other big lug who volunteered on the promise of free food and a place to eat, so the barker's got a show to be getting on with and the prospect of what I understand is called a 'tag team' in the future.” “Two wrestlers against another two.” Simon shook his head and left. * Kaylee grinned when he'd gone, “You had a wrestler as a lover?” Vera laughed, “Apart from Jayne, you mean? Actually, it was a caller; the guy who makes the announcements. A long time ago.” Kaylee got out her package of material, “I saw these bits and I knew I wanted them to be made into my wedding dress.” She opened the brown paper folds to reveal some vibrant yellow satin and a paler yellow translucent lace-like fabric. “Oooh, yes. The colour's just right for you. How about the darker stuff as the main dress with the lace as a kind of overdress?” “I want it to be sexy and shiny at the same time!” “Got anything like boning or stiffening?” “What are you thinking of?” “Well, we'll probably need Inara's help; but I'm thinking of something like a corset top to boost your bust and the dress being fitted down to the hips and then flaring out into a long-ish swirly skirt. The lace stuff would almost be a fancy kind of jacket over the top. Handy, if you want a daring cleavage, it'll conceal just enough whilst suggesting a whole lot.” Kaylee grinned, “Not that I want Simon to rip such a swai dress off me, but something like that!” Vera grinned back, “He doesn't strike me as much of a dress ripper.” Kaylee giggled, “Once or twice, when I tried a striptease in the engine room! I'm guessing Jayne...” “Wuh de mah, yes! But I enjoy it!” Vera decided to try changing the subject back to dressmaking, “Shall I see if Inara's about?” Kaylee nodded, “Yes. I wonder if Mal ever rips dresses?” Vera laughed as she left the room, “You could try asking!” * The dress-making activities moved to Inara and Mal's room so that Simon wouldn't see anything before it was time. After a fruitful hour or two planning, measuring and cutting, they went their separate ways. Inara had found some toning yellow bits from her trunk, including ribbon and a lemon feather creation which Kaylee decided to wear in her hair. Vera went back to her room and found Jayne had gone, leaving the room in a mess and a note on the pillow. 'Had good sleep. Gone for swim. Pesky doc says I'll live! Pirate king looking forward to getting his hands on your booty!' Vera laughed and began to get herself ready. * The evening came soon enough. Vera had poured herself a beer and was sitting on the terrace, waiting for the early fireworks to begin. She had been there for a while. Jayne was inside somewhere, changing into his costume. Vera stood up to look down over the top of the stone balustrade. As it was about chest height, she could only see half of the lawn. Someone had arranged furniture down there and the honey hog was being roasted at the far end of the lawn. There was a pediment at the bottom of the balustrade and Vera climbed up to get a better view of the garden. At that moment, Jayne wandered out behind her and stopped dead. Vera's short swirly black skirt had hitched up unnoticed at the back and her bottom was clearly visible. Vera lifted a leg onto some kind of decorative piece and the view improved dramatically from Jayne's point of view. She was wearing some kind of tiny thong with a silver skull and crossbones holding it together at the back. The rest of the outfit looked pretty good; thigh high boots, some kind of black over-corset and an off-the-shoulder white blouse with a gathered top that probably dipped nice and low at the front. Jayne's vision went back to the tempting display of flesh lower down. He walked silently up behind her and filled his hands with her buttocks. “Shiver your timbers?” Vera gasped, “I hope no-one else saw me!” Jayne kept fondling as he rearranged her skirt, “Ain't complainin'; just thinkin' of a very nice way to start the evening, Vera.” His hands travelled to the tops of her thigh-high boots and began circling gently and very slowly upwards, on the inside of her thighs. Vera gasped, with a mixture of arousal and slight shock, “People might see us!” He chuckled next to her ear, “They'll be too busy watchin' the fireworks, darlin'!” Vera turned her face towards him and grinned, “Oh, so you want to play it like that, huh?” “If we go and open both the doors back there, we can have somethin' to keep us going till later *and catch most of the fireworks.” Vera chuckled, “I remember being promised some 'wrestling'.” Jayne led her towards the doors, flinging them wide open as he went, “Later, love. Got lots of oil and a big mat on the floor...” Vera looked, “So you have!” “Yeah, got plans for that after the food and dancing. Special pirate king and pirate queen wrestling; no throws, but lots of slidin' and tanglin'.” Vera grinned widely, “You are a resourceful merc, darling!” Jayne chuckled, “Aim to please, darlin'; aim to please!” He gently backed Vera against the wall just inside the door and lifted her skirt, “Think I was about here.” His eyes dropped to her cleavage, “Nice view from this angle as well!” Vera undid the buttons on his black waistcoat, then slid her hands inside his white shirt, “Oh, yes!” * She took her time having a good look at Jayne's pirate king outfit. He'd found some similar thigh high boots and a long waistcoat with silver buttons. There was a big skull and crossbones clasp at the top of his supple, figure-hugging leather pants and some more of those silver buttons fastening his fly on two sides. At the moment they were framing the significant evidence of his arousal. Vera's mouth went dry and she felt her womb clench. Jayne gently tipped her chin up with one hand. His eyes twinkled roguishly under his tricorn hat. Vera slid her hands up his chest to his shoulders, grinning with anticipation. His other hand tenderly cupped her at the apex of her thighs and the world suddenly contracted to the two of them finding pleasure with each other. * Mal and Inara were standing on their own balcony, waiting for the fireworks to start. She was in front of him, leaning against him and he had his arms around her. Mal was wearing a dark blue pirate outfit and Inara had managed to find one in red. She was wearing pants for once, which almost made her look like a boy, if anyone ignored her luminously beautiful face, the slight swell of her breasts and her rear. “Did Hori speak to you earlier?” Mal nodded, “And River. Seems the rumours of some kind of secret facility on Whitefall are true. At least if River's correct, and she's always been somewhere close to the truth so far.” Inara turned her head towards him slightly, “And you're planning on going.” Mal shrugged and laughed a little, “I seem to be picked out by the 'verse as the resident unveiler of secrets. Hoping Patience has died or moved on, or there*will be trouble on *that score. We'll get the doc and Kaylee all legally wed next week, I'll get out of this go se cast at last, we'll stock up and make for Whitefall. Got no other plans for making a living. Heck, there might even be another reward in it!” “And danger, Mal.” “There's always danger, bao bei. Practically my middle name!” Inara smiled, “You'll have me guarding your back, sweetheart.” He kissed her shoulder tenderly, “I know. And Zoe, if she can keep Sarah safe at the same time.” “She'll find a way. She's like a mother tigress with her precious daughter. The rest of the crew will follow you.” “I know that full well. Even Jayne seems to have mellowed a bit since he and Vera have been together regular. Apart from that crazy-assed stunt of wrestling with the Crusher this morning, that is!” Inara shrugged, “He likes fighting; he's good at it.” She didn't add that Mal had the same trait, albeit tempered by testosterone not running quite so hot in his system. “And he's got more than enough coin to keep him happy and loyal; at the moment.” “It's not just the coin, Mal. Vera's feisty enough to give him what he needs in and out of the sack and she loves him. He blatantly returns her love, so he's going to want things to stay real sweet most of the time.” “Yeah, it's that 'most' that's disturbin'.” Inara chuckled, “I think Vera's dealing quietly with that.” She heard a slight noise from her right and a quick glance revealed some very basic 'dealings' happening in the verandah doorway of Vera and Jayne's room several rooms down. She turned back as if nothing was happening and smiled with the secret wisdom given to women everywhere, “I have a feeling she's got Jayne where she wants him right now.” “Huh?” Mal made the mistake of glancing in the same direction, “Oh God; I did *not want to see that!” Inara giggled, “Well, look away then!” Mal was fixated on the view, “ They've still got most of their clothes on!” Inara was audibly laughing now, “You'd rather they were naked? Are you a secret voyeur, Mal?!” He quickly and somewhat roughly turned her to him and looked right at her, “Wuh de mah! You know I'm not!” He kissed her, hard. She slid one slender hand up his chest, “Mal?” His hand closed around hers, a little too tightly, “Okay, darling. Inside, now!” Inara smiled softly to herself and 'let' Mal lead her inside their room. * Everyone eventually drifted down to the hog roast once the fireworks had finished. There was a brief fanfare and Ping Han appeared with his wife and a small lad, just trying to toddle awkwardly, holding tight to his mother with both hands. “Goodness,” Viola commented, “Little Ping's grown a lot! Though it's been nearly three months since we handed him over.” “Lot's happened since then.” Vera squeezed Jayne's arm, “I know. Some bad, but lots of good stuff too.” “Don't want a revisit to that ruttin' go se prison.” “Neither do I, though the reunion in the hospital shower was worth waiting for, love.” Jayne's mouth curved into a wicked smile, “Hot and wet, just like earlier.” Vera chuckled, “Hold onto *that thought! Hey, Ping Han is beckoning us over.” So they walked over, closer to the honey hog and the food tables. * The elder Ping Han smiled, “I'm sorry the White Lotus Triad caught up with you because of rescuing my son.” Vera smiled, “We got out okay in the end.” “Nevertheless, don't think all Sensei are corrupt. Jayne Cobb, please have the honour of taking the first portion of the hog; Vera the second.” He clapped his hands for a servant, “And some exclusive beer which is from my own personal cellar.” Jayne grinned around a mouthful of food, “Damned good hog!” Ping Han laughed, “I should hope so, my staff have been feeding it in the woods, with apples and other good stuff.” Vera smiled warmly, “Thank-you for your hospitality.” “It was the least I could do. The murderous and exploitative reputation of the White Lotus Triad is well known in the Chinese community. To disrupt them as much as you did took guts and nerve, especially after being imprisoned by them.” “We had guns, too!” “So I heard. Commander Grayson gave me a detailed report and some moles planted close to the White Triad were reporting covertly. I was particularly keen to see them dealt with after they kidnapped my son.” Vera looked down, “Is he okay?” Ping lifted up his son, “Yes; much to the relief of my wife and I.” Ping's wife smiled, “Please tell us what happened after you got my son off the ship until we got him back; I'd love to be able to tell him when he's big enough to understand.” * Jayne let Vera start, since he was busy eating, “Well, we flew in our transport down to Deadwood, making for Hickock. That town was blown up by a missile during our approach. We managed with some difficulty to steer the shuttle northwards and beach it in a bay on the Calamity side. Jayne knows Deadwood from having worked there for some time.” “Got laid for the first time, too!” Vera chuckled, “Maybe Lisa doesn't want to know that, sweetheart! Anyway, we made for Calamity; sleeping overnight in a shepherd's hut near the pass in the mountains. We...erm...'borrowed' an Alliance runabout and were intending to meet up with the crew of Serenity. We were nearly at Newhall when we got fired on by Alliance chasing us. We managed to retaliate and faked a fatal hit on our ship, baling out in life pods over Newhall. I hopped a freight train to the halt nearest Jayne's parents' place and his sister Matty looked after Ping whilst I recovered from heatstroke. It was hot on Newhall!” “You should be there in Summer. Hotter than a hu's pi gu!” Both Vera and Lisa broke out in giggles. * Little Ping belatedly spotted Jayne as he came closer, “Da! Da!” Lisa smiled, “He calls *everyone that at the moment!” Ping practically threw himself at Jayne and Jayne caught him, with the little lad's fists getting a handful or two of waistcoat and buttons. “I ain't your daddy!” Little Ping wasn't listening. He was grinning and bouncing, now tugging none too gently on Jayne's goatee, “Da! Da!” “Gorram it! That hurts, Ping!” He gently peeled the eager hands off his goatee, “When you're a big strappin' lad you can grow one of yer own!” Lisa was shaking with laughter and helped Jayne peel her son off and put him back in her own arms, “Seems you made an impression!” Little Ping grinned at Jayne and Vera as though they were old friends, then turned back to his mother, “Da! Da!” “I know; they rescued you and looked after you and somehow you remember.” Ping suddenly gave an extravagant yawn, “Yes, I should think so; it's way past your normal bedtime, bao bei of mine. Excuse me, settling him after all this excitement might take some time.” Vera and Jayne nodded and watched Lisa take little Ping away. There was a tiny change in Jayne's expression and Vera caught it, “Thinking again about adopting, Jayne?” He smiled at her, “Not ruttin' yet! Wanna have a nice long time with just you first! But maybe...if the 'verse don't get too complicated; in a couple of years or five...” Vera squeezed his hand, “Yes. We can do that.” Jayne's grin in response was all the answer Vera needed. * Simon and Kaylee approached Hori, who was on his fourth beer of the evening. Simon began the conversation, “What did River mean about you helping her become a priest?” Hori smiled, “It's in her; probably always been there, eh. I heard her brain was operated on so that she feels everything.” Simon nodded, his jaw tighter, “Yes. The rutting evil hwoon dahn in the facility did that to her. Some nasty offshoot of Project Oracle.” “Was she psychic before?” “Yes, some. An amazing mind; beyond genius. I mean, I'm clever...” Kaylee grinned, “Best doctor I know!” Hori nodded in the Maori way, “Yes. Now River's so...big. She has the potential to be a healer, because of her ability to feel. She could empathise with folk and help them heal themselves on a very deep level, even down to the spiritual level. I've just been laying hands on her in silence and helping her find her own way, at her request, eh.” Simon drew himself up to his full height, which wasn't much against a huge Maori at least the size of Jayne, “If you hurt River...” Hori smiled gently, “I know how much you love her, Simon. I have an idea how much you went through to rescue her, eh. I'd die for her myself, if it came to it. I *am a warrior, but I'm also a priest. 'First do no harm' is very close to Maori ethics. Please trust me, trust River. She is finding her own way with great grace and beauty.” Simon nodded, pride intact and offered his hand, “Okay. Just remember that River took out Jayne once.” Hori smiled, “So I heard, eh.” He shook Simon's hand. Kaylee hooked her arm through Hori's, “Let's get a beer!” Hori grinned back, “Yes indeed, Kaylee!” * The evening drifted on. Jayne and Vera wandered towards the beach and he borrowed someone's guitar, sitting on a log with it balanced over his knees. He checked the tuning and then started picking out the tune he'd last played on Haven, in other happier times. Vera smiled, sat on her own log and hummed along. Jayne smiled at her through his concentration, “You know this?” He started playing an old folk song. It was 'Shenandoah'. Vera smiled back, “Yes.” She began singing the lyrics. Jayne nodded and carried on playing, “'Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter, Away, you rollin' river, Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter, Away, we're bound away, Cross the wide Missouri...'” Once Jayne had the chords and picking where he wanted them, he began busking a baritone harmony. Various people drifted over to listen, including Zoe. Sarah was dozing in a back carrier, her head on her mother's shoulder. After about half an hour of assorted songs and music, the informal gathering broke up of its own accord. Vera approached Zoe, “How hard is it, bringing up a baby in the black?” “Thinking of having one with Jayne?” “Well, adopting; we can't have kids of our own.” “Jayne's not what I'd have called ideal father material.” Vera smiled, “You didn't see him with Ping. He took to looking after the lad like a duck to water.” Zoe frowned, “Jayne? Ruthless stab-em-in-the-back Jayne? Rather have a gun or knife in his hand than anything else; save maybe money or a whore – begging your pardon – until recently anyway. No offence, but I wouldn't pick him as a father.” “None taken; but he's got a tender side. Maybe deeply hidden; but I've seen it, witnessed it, felt it. I know Jayne's more than capable of being a ruthless killer, but I also know he helped bring up his younger brother and sister way back. I was more interested in how you'd found being a mother so far.” Zoe shrugged, “I was born in the black; lived there most of my life. I might have had Sarah in the black if I hadn't been set on being very sure she came into the world okay, since she's the only child I'll ever have. It changes you – I'm still a soldier deep down - but I'm a mother now. That comes first; displaces the other stuff. I'll still kill anyone who Mal sets me on; but if anyone tried to harm a hair on Sarah's head, I'd take them apart with my bare hands if necessary.” Vera nodded, “I think I understand that. Thank-you.” Zoe nodded, “I feed her, change her diapers and prepare my guns whilst Sarah's asleep. I'm working on some sort of secure place for those when she starts crawling. It's not so hard; at least not yet. I'm making a shield for her so that I can fight and carry her safely at the same time. I have to be able to do that; but that's my way, not necessarily yours.” “Indeed; taking on a new life in our situation requires some adjustment.” * After another week, it was time for Kaylee and Simon's wedding. Simon had mischievously requested that all the men were to wear tuxes and the women dresses. Vera had found a wraparound white linen dress with a blue splotchy pattern and a set of fairly high heeled white sandals. Jayne was busy at the mirror in their room, fighting with his bow tie and swearing in unrepeatable language. Vera smiled wryly, “I know you don't like wearing the thing, but you do look *very sexy!” His head flicked up and he managed a watery smile, “Can you help me with this ruttin' piece o' go se nonsense, it's driving me mad.” Vera walked over and helped him tie the bow, “There. Sex on legs, even if I say so myself!” Jayne's eyes warmed slightly, “You look very swai, Vera. Give us a twirl!” She did. Jayne put his hands on her waist as she came around again, “Mmm, nice dress!” His eyes narrowed slightly, then a slow, seductive grin crept over his face, “You ain't wearing any undies, are you?” “Thought you'd approve. Perfectly acceptable dress for company, no-one will know except you!” He bent his head and nipped her neck gently, then his mouth moved to her ear, “Do you know how thoroughly I'm gonna sex you up after the wedding?” She put her hands on his shoulders, “I was hoping for 'very thoroughly'!” He chuckled wickedly, “Got that in one, darlin'!” * On the grass outside the front of Ping Han's house, there was a huge circle of lit garden candles being off-set by the slowly setting larger sun. The second sun was somewhere off behind the house, giving a subtle back-light to the proceedings. Simon came out in his tux, with River strewing rose petals. Everyone gathered in the circle of candles. Kaylee came out with Mal holding her arm. Her dress was the exquisite yellow and lace creation which she, Vera and Inara had planned and executed. The boning in the top half enhanced her breasts and slimmed her waist. She was grinning and crying at the same time. Simon stepped forward and began to speak, “Take my hand. Come walk with me. Along life's winding way. Take my hand. Come stand with me. Together we will say, it's you that I have chosen.” Kaylee repeated the words back to him. Simon made his promise, “I promise to invest myself in our relationship, looking to resolve any problems. I hold you in love and respect. I love your caring nature, your dedication to your calling in life, your support of me and River. I commit my future into your hands. Kaylee responded, “I promise to make our relationship work through love and honesty. I love your caring heart, your support of what I do, the sense of security you provide. I commit my future and the future of our twins into your hands.” Mal joined their hands, “Do you agree to this marriage?” “Yes.” Kaylee grinned, “Yes, please!” River produced rings, made from spare metal belonging to Serenity and now coated in silver. Simon placed one on Kaylee's right index finger and she placed one on his. Mal was grinning by now, “Well; you two; it's been a long time coming. You've given your assent, you've exchanged promises and rings. I think you can conjure yourselves married now!” As Simon and Kaylee were kissing, Hori stepped forward. He was in traditional Maori tohunga costume, complete with painted moko on his face. He lifted up his hand for a blessing, “May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on.” Everyone clapped and cheered. Then there was sparkling wine, food and more dancing. River snuck away about an hour later. One of the young men of about her own age had been at the hog roast and gently flirting with her all week and River knew his intentions were mostly honourable. So she met him near the beach and experienced her first adult kisses. Best that her big brother didn't know about that. * One of Simon's last duties before becoming a husband was to cut Mal out of his plaster cast and fit the special bandage, so there was dancing all round. Even Zoe and Jayne managed to get in on the celebrations, and Vera was very happy about the latter event. When he forgot what he was trying to do, Jayne could actually move pretty well and Vera hadn't had a proper dance with him since Beltane. But eventually the wedding feast broke up and everyone drifted to bed. Whitefall was calling and everyone knew that Simon and Kaylee's honeymoon would be mostly in the black journeying there. But in the mean time, there were two more days to enjoy at Ping Han's place before making that trip.


'Take my hand. Come walk with me...' by Glen Navis 'May the long time sun...'; Kundalini Yoga - farewell blessing Hu's pi gu (bad Chinese!) - monkey's bum


Wednesday, August 30, 2006 4:54 AM


Authoress' note - I have a good idea where this is going, but I've got a big slice of real life happening - so please wait patiently for part 4. It'll be along in due course, promise. Just maybe not for a while. Cheers!


Monday, September 4, 2006 12:17 PM


You just take you time and craft another shiny piece of writing, Vera;)



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