Labyrinth [Part 4]
Sunday, September 3, 2006

End of being at Ping Han's swanky house. Round table discussion. Whitefall; looking for the supposed secret facility, because of what River said. Some of the crew find something pertinent to that. Jayne gets uncharacteristically talky to Hori. Warning for adult content of said talk. It's dark and smelly, Jayne decides to unload on someone and Hori listens really well!



Through the years good 'n' bad times we've walked Lookin' for a dream that someone stole away Where is the right way to get out of this maze? Someone is lost inside it but we won't forget Everything we had before Seems to be so far away now there's no anger in our hearts Just the will to make it better We are on the run again! No pain livin' in a maze Our fate we face Always livin' in a maze This time we won't loose the race How many blind alleys we found along the road But now is the time to reach the outlet soon

Living in a maze – Labyrinth

Now that we are leaving out of maze I can imagine all the masters' rage Meaning is that love is stronger than hate Meaning is that will is stronger than fate Moon don't tell me lies don't let me roam forever Moonlight take the sky Show me the way to heaven ... Moonlight shining in the sky nothing more can stop my flight Take my hand again, fly with me thousand million miles away Moonlight – Labyrinth

Ping Han's house * Vera yawned and stretched. She smiled with lazy satisfaction; Jayne had been *very hungry last night. There had been a few times in the past that he'd been practically insatiable; the first couple of days together in her cave when they'd both discovered out how well their bodies and lusty thoughts worked together, then there was the night he finally came back to Beltane, the night when he took her to his bunk for the first time, the nights on the 'Chicago', the night after his Pa had handfasted them, celebrating getting out of the White Lotus prison and last night. A rough average of once a month, if one didn't take into account absences from each other and enforced separations. Vera opened her eyes properly and surveyed the new crop of love bites on her body and the smattering of bruises on her arms and thighs from where Jayne had lost control and gripped her hard at the climaxes of his passion. Jayne was similarly marked from where she'd returned the favour, plus she could see scratch marks on his behind. * “Morning, lover.” One of his eyes flicked open and a smile played around his lips, “Morning darlin'!” She ruffled his hair sleepily, “Got to leave soon.” “I know. Not gonna pack yet; the love-birds will be getting in as much honeymoon as possible 'fore we have to go to Whitefall.” “I know. Another pile of danger, I'm thinking.” Jayne shrugged slightly and opened both eyes, rolling onto his back. Vera propped herself on his chest, “Got my guns, my nice new rocket launcher, plenty of bullets, a pile of grenades and my knives.” He smiled broadly, “And you coverin' my back. We're prepared.” “If it *is Alliance – or something close to it – it'll be tough and against the odds. Likely to see us coming, unless we can get false identities or something.” “I like 'tough and against the odds'! Shot and fought my way outta Alliance and ruttin' Reavers 'fore now. Got into and out of Ariel hospital with fake I.D.s once, but I told ya 'bout that; even how I was a go se for brains fool fer tryin' to sell out River and Simon. Thought they was too big a pile o' trouble plus the Moonbrain knifed me! And the money on offer was shiny!” “You were wearing a Blue Sun tee shirt. She didn't like that - bad memories - plus she's psychic. I'm willing to bet she read your mistrust and got her point across first.” Jayne rubbed the mark on his arm reflexively, “Yeah; literally.” “Well, you get offered large piles of shiny cash to betray one or all of us this trip and I want to know.” Jayne pursed his lips and frowned very slightly, “I learned my gorram lesson! Crew of Serenity's family. I get that now. May not like *all the family I've been given, but then even Matty could be annoyin' way back!” His expression warmed subtly and he cupped her cheek, “And there ain't enough money in the 'verse to part you from me, darlin'! Don't rightly know why you love me, but that bein' a given an' you being my handfasted an' all...” Vera's eyes warmed with emotion, “Yeah; me too, wan nao.” His finger stroked gently down to her mouth, “You must be fair worn out after last night.” Vera smiled, “In a good way, Jayne. I've got a delicious satisfied ache...well, you *know where. And you can see the sweet love marks you left on me.” Jayne was staring hungrily at her breasts, “I was just thinkin'...what I was just saying, darlin'. If I was very gentle, could you possibly go just once more?” Vera knew this was as close as Jayne normally got to expressions of love. There'd been the one time he'd told her out loud and that was enough. He had a way of showing her that spoke louder than words, especially when they were alone and no-one else was watching. She smiled, “Yes; slow and gentle, Jayne.” “Mi mei gui. My woman!” Vera chuckled, deliberately lightening the moment, “Better believe it, darling!” Jayne's eyes silently thanked her as he folded her into his arms one more time. * Serenity in dock, but in transit for Whitefall * It was another round table conference, after corned beef hash and tinned beans. Mal had a can of beer, as did Jayne, Hori, Vera and Zoe. Simon and Kaylee were holding hands and snuggling close to each other at one end of the table. River was drinking jasmine tea and counting the rings in the wood of the table, noting any knots and uneven parts. There were quite a few of both, even though the table had been polished smooth by use several times a day. River was still thinking of the kisses she'd shared, remembering each one with perfect clarity, analysing them and figuring out ways of improving the technique for next time. Kisses were trickier than counting thousands of stones or the 545 rings across the table top. Lips did such interesting things when caressing other lips. She put her head on once side, trying to calculate all the delicate movements in whole and fractions of millimetres. Then there was the pleasure she'd felt. She frowned, no math for that. Just pure, unadulterated feeling. * “River?” Mals' voice broke into her reverie. “Osculation. Petals. Soft and hard at the same time. Felt so good. Tongues...” “River?!” She snapped herself back from her inner world, “Yes, Captain Mal?” “Don't wanna know what *that was about...” She giggled, “Kissing, silly!” “River?” Simon this time. She turned to him, “I got kissed when I was at Mr Ping Han's place. Thought it was about time for the experience. Found it...interesting.” Simon was close to white with shock, “Interesting?!!?” She nodded, “Mmm, yes. I mean, I knew in theory, but the reality of lips touching gently yet firmly and caressing other lips...” Jayne butted in, right on cue, “Go on! Was there more 'n kissing?” She shook her head, “No; silly! Not ready to have sex yet!” Jayne leered at her, “You said 'tongues'!” “Of course; after a while, gently sliding my tongue into his mouth seemed the natural thing to do.” “River!!!” This from several at the table, trying to stem the flood of too much information. Jayne tucked his mouth next to Vera's ear, “Slide your tongue in my mouth sometime soon!” Vera bit back a chuckle and whispered back, “Turned on, are you?” “Damn near liftin' the table without using hands or feet!” Vera squeezed his thigh, away from the volatile danger area, “Soon, tiger!” * Mal pounded the table. He was getting used to doing that. Taking charge on 'Serenity' was like he thought trying to teach a bunch of unruly teenagers would be, “Okay, everyone. River, enough of the kissing talk. It's disturbin' my calm and Jayne's on a short fuse.” Jayne grinned, “Ruttin' *long fuse!” Mal gave him a hard look and carried on, “Simon; you can check River's morals and person later. Careful enquiries from a few of our friends has yielded some information on Whitefall's 'secret' location.” Mal spread some sheets of paper on the table, “Settlements here, here and here and a huge pile of desert. 'Bout there is where we had our...negotiations with Patience way back. Now it's these mountains that seem to be the base of speculation. There's a narrow ravine between these two peaks and a pile of uncertainty behind them right in the middle of the range. Surrounded by mountains on all sides. Could be a canyon or a very small valley, but folks have heard of craft flying that way and 'disappearing'. Not many and not often, but enough to foster speculation. No roads, no power lines, no other signs of 'civilisation'.” “Could be civilisation coming in underground, sir.” “Yes, Zoe. Indeed, there's this *very old map. Had to get our contacts to dig hard to find this. It's not labelled, doesn't say where it is, but it's an incomplete map of *some kind of underground facility.” River blanched, “No, no. Blue hands. Danger. Hurt me!” Simon went immediately to her side, “It does look something like the facility where they had River. I'd guess it was a similar site.” Mal turned to him and spoke more gently, “And you out of all of us have some idea what that was like.” Simon nodded, “Slick, metal, grey. Vertical shafts going many levels down with identical looking corridors; very utilitarian. High tech entry and exit points. We got out through a vertical air vent, with a lot of help and planning. Sewers might be another way in and out, along with piggy-backing any power supply cables to the facility. Everything else will be guarded by high security and alarms or actual personnel. That's if it's still operational, of course. We're going to need pretty watertight I.D., like the Ariel job. Or be extremely covert.” Mal replied, “And I'm willing to bet my last credit that 'Serenity' will be featured on many lists. Well, we could repaint, but a firefly class ship is going to ring bells, and our faces are probably on all sorts of computers by now, including Commander Grayson's records. I'm voting to go down to 'trade' in the nearest village, then develop an 'engine fault' which means we have to stay for a week. Kaylee?” She smiled, “I can do that. We can 'break' something whilst landing, Cap'n.” “Good enough, long as it looks broken even if it ain't. Wanna be able to leave in a powerful hurry, if we strike gold.” Jayne's head flicked up, “Gold?” Mal explained as if to a five year old. Given that Jayne's head was now full of visions of gold and his groin was raring to go, his brains were currently lower priority and it was close to the truth, “Maybe not real gold, Jayne. But you never know. If we find the yellow stuff, you're welcome to all you can reasonably carry.” Jayne just grinned. * Mal carried on, “So, we try the covert move; even if it means walking along sewers all the way to the mountains. Then we explore. We carry everything we need; protein bars, crackers, vitamins and water. Guns, weapons and ammo, no spare clothes. Simon; get your travelling first aid kit ready with as much as you can reasonably carry. Some of us will need to stay with the ship, so that our absence isn't so obvious. I'd like Jayne, Vera and Simon, maybe Hori with me. River if she can face going into the place; her psychic ability will be powerful welcome. Zoe, if you're willing to leave Sarah with Kaylee. Could use your expert gun hand.” “Don't want to leave Sarah, sir.” “I hear that, but going for an indeterminate number of days through sewers and all go tsao de kinds of trouble on minimal rations is gonna be hard on us; much more so a young child. I'd value you by my side.” “Mal?” A single word from Inara. His eyes met hers. He covered her hand with his, “Yes. You too. With your bow and arrows. Wearing pants if you can bear it.” “Consider it done.” *** Whitefall * In the end, the 'trade' part of activities on Whitefall turned genuine. Serenity had fresh vegetables thanks to Hori's indoor gardening venture plus live chickens 'liberated' from a battery farm and the settlers on Whitefall had a poor harvest, but lots of pots and kiln-ware. So it was Mal, Inara, Simon, Jayne, Hori and Vera who were able to be spared for 'other trading opportunities'. Zoe plus baby were proving a hit with the locals. Sarah was gurgling at everyone, charming the mums, dads and grannies and helping Zoe get a very exchange good rate for Serenity's goods. Zoe could guard Serenity while she was at it as well. Kaylee's pregnant state kept her out of anything involving going without food for too long. She and Simon would pine without each other, but they both knew there was no way around that. River flatly refused to go back anywhere which might remind her of the facility she'd experienced. Mal wasn't totally happy with that, but a shaking and babbling River wasn't good for his calm either. So, six of them took to two mules, looking for any anomalies in the landscape. * An hour or so out of town, there was a broken down shack. Mal gestured and they slowed to take a look. Jayne hopped off the mule he was on, gun cocked, “Don't smell right.” Mal wasn't far behind him, “Or look quite right. Like someone built it to seem old and broken down.” Vera was scanning the building as well, “It's too...tidy, somehow.” Mal gave a curt nod, “Guns ready?” Jayne made a grin around his 'battle cigar', “And grenades.” “Simon and Hori, stay on the mules and keep a pistol handy.” Mal went to the hinge side of the door and nodded to Jayne. Jayne flattened himself against the wood on the other side of the door and flicked it open, gun at the ready. Vera was right behind him, with Inara behind Mal. Jayne did a sweep of the opening, peering into the gloom. He curved himself around the side of the door and stood with his back to the wood inside the shack. He scanned for movement. “Looks clean.” They cautiously went inside. There wasn't much in the shack apart from a battered table and a pile of skins on the floor. Above the cold, dark fireplace someone had hung a large, badly executed painting of a naked woman. Vera gestured at it, “Doesn't look right.” “Not bad; nice curves on her, that I can see through the dirt.” Vera sidled up to the painting and moved it slightly. The wall underneath was clean, far too clean. Jayne joined her and yanked the painting off the wall. In the middle of the wall was a large metal panel, with a combination lock and a couple of knobs. “Alliance.” Jayne grinned, “Ya think!” Mal joined Jayne, while Inara and Vera kept an eye on the door behind them. * Mal looked at the lock, and sucked in his breath, “Not gonna be easy, breaking into that.” Jayne put the business end of Vera to the lock, “Not yet, Jayne. The recoil of bullets bouncing off what looks like solid steel...” Jayne pouted slightly and put the gun down. Mal fetched the table over, climbed on it and put his ear to the panel whilst carefully twiddling the combination, hoping to hear the counters falling. After about thirty seconds he gave up. “Okay Jayne. She's all yours! Every one else, duck!” Jayne stood in the centre of the room and let rip. There was a roar, a blast and he was propelled backwards out into the sunlight and landing flat on the dust outside. Vera moved towards him, “You okay?” He picked up his shoulders, shaking his head, “Wow; what a rush!” He grinned and picked himself up, “Never better, darlin'!” There was now a big, black hole in the panel and a lever on the other side. Mal had climbed back on the table and pulled the lever. A machine hummed into life. Excited noises from the others outside told them that something was happening out there. A fair slice of desert was lifting up, revealing a sloping entrance into a huge pipe. Big enough to take a mule and passengers. * Hori's nose wrinkled, “Ach! The smell!” “That's an old sewer pipe all right!” Mal put a cloth over his nose and mouth and had a closer look, “Ain't been used for sewerage in some time. Looks like our way in.” “Wun gwo pee!” Vera looked at Jayne, “It's a lot worse than that.” “Well, da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la-doo-tze, then!” Vera chuckled, “A whole army of very poorly elephants and pigs, for a start!” So, they all covered their noses and mouths with cloths or handkerchiefs, got on the mules and set off down the pipe. * The pipe went dead straight for a number of miles. The lights on the mules lit the way once the daylight disappeared to a dot. Eventually, the mules came out in a large circular chamber, which was still lit by electric light and had three exits apart from the one they'd come from. One dead ahead, two just on either side to the right and left. None big enough for mules. They got off the mules. Mal switched on a torch, “Any ideas?” Vera looked at the right hand pipe, “This pipe has a door, which drops vertically from the top.” They all looked at the other exits; all had identical vertical doors. All the pipes were equally foetid with old contents. Hori frowned, “Doors on sewers?” Mal nodded, “Defence, I'll wager. No marks to give us a clue. If we split into twos and each take a pipe...” Vera nodded, “I'm remembering talk of a maze.” * She went back to the mules and Inara followed her. They got out three large bales of light but very strong twine; made of metal and carbon with a fabric outer layer. She and Inara fastened the ends securely to the mules and threw one ball to Mal and Jayne. Everyone else got their gear. Vera approached the left-hand pipe again, with Simon close behind, followed by Jayne. She put her head through the entrance, “Looks the same as the big pipe..” At that, the vertical door began to move rapidly down. Vera threw herself forward instinctively, carrying the last ball of twine and Simon was right with her. Jayne was almost touching the door as it slammed into the floor. “Vera?” Her voice came back, muffled by several inches of metal, “We're okay. Meet up with you later.” Mal sighed, “And I'm willing to bet the other doors will do the same. Inara, you're with me; Hori and Jayne take the right hand pipe, but be careful. That door could kill you, the speed it was going. So, they entered the pipes briskly and were each cut off from the chamber by the door. The only link was the ball of twine they each held. So, they picked themselves up and walked on through the gloom. * A day later * Hori looked at Jayne, “You worried about Vera, eh?” They'd had a rest and even a short sleep and managed to drink water, but eating anything in the nauseating environment was pretty much impossible. Jayne set his jaw, “Tryin' not to, but yeah.” “If you want to talk, I'm listening.” Jayne glared and there was silence for quite a while. Then he seemed to have second thoughts, “You were in love with Jasmine, right?” “Yes, very deeply.” He turned to Hori, “You share a word of this and you're a dead man, understand?” Hori nodded, “I understand, and I won't. This is brothers in arms talk; anything said here, stays here.” “It better. It's not just wantin' to nail Vera; if it had been just that, the first couple of times should have got that out of my system. It's *every time. I ache, I burn, I *have to be in her. And when I'm inside her... I mean, she feels the same as most other women, but completely different. Does that make sense?” Jayne was frowning, perplexed. “Yes. It was the same for me and Jasmine, eh.” “It's the same for her. She's got a cravin' for me and my John Thomas like you would not believe.” Hori laughed softly, “Think I can, Jayne.” “And when I'm in her, my John Thomas tells me, most insistent like, that he's in heaven. It's not just because we fit real good, like a big key in a snug lock; it's as if she was provided to be the perfect mate for me. Out of bed, we can bicker and rub each other up the wrong way sometimes, but as soon as one of us touches the other with desire, everythin' but pleasurin' each other senseless goes out the window.” Jayne grinned, “Then we rub each other *good!” Jayne turned to Hori, “You ever come across that?” He smiled, “Yes, I did; with Jasmine.” * Jayne frowned, “Spent most of my life runnin' away from bein' tied down,” he grinned, “apart from in *that way; silk scarves and stuff is fun. Na, I always thought that love and settlin' fer just one woman was the one thing I really didn't want and wouldn't ever get. Then along comes Vera; we have one week of hot nailing and go on our ways *very happy. Think that's all it was, till we met again and I thought I'd lost her for good. She runs into my arms alive and whole two days later, and some part of me knew right then. An' I wasn't scared or tryin' to run; just grateful as hell that she felt the same way. The sexin' up gets better and better, we get handfasted by my sneaky Pa, we both realise it's love and damn me if the sex don't go off the scale after that.” “So?” Jayne tried to put on a tough act, “Just want her to be okay.” “Any reason to believe she's in danger?” “Can't see her. Don't like not seeing her.” Jayne paused, remembering the Triad prison, “Though when we were kidnapped, I *knew she was okay even though I couldn't see her.” Hori stilled himself, “Uh-huh.” He guessed Jayne was working up to saying something and was trying to enable it. * Jayne frowned, “I called her name, in my mind. Dunno why. And 'heard' her voice in my head, clear as day. Don't ruttin' make sense, but that's what happened.” “Yes, it does; at least to me. When you've had sex, there's been a connection of more than your bodies, eh. You can call it a joining of mind, or soul, or spirit or whatever you like; but that's what happened, at least once. So, at some level, you're still connected, always will be.” A slow grin spread over Jayne's face, “Like having sex, permanent, for the rest of my life?” Hori chuckled, “Yeah, if that's what works for you!” Jayne's smile widened, “And I *know she's okay. I'd know the instant she wasn't!” Hori nodded, “Yes, absolutely! With me and Jasmine; we stayed united even through her death.” He shared what he'd talked about earlier with Vera. Jayne frowned when Hori was done, “Not sure about God and heaven and stuff. Thinkin' I'll end up in the other place when I die, anyways.” Hori chuckled, “What 'other place' is that? Maori don't exactly believe in hell; it's more like Hades. A place where you go to prepare for meeting God face to face, though she's often a Goddess, eh!” “Like the idea of a goddess; could seduce her into lettin' me stay! Wasn't raised Maori, though. Pa used to read outta this book with all sorts of diff'rent holy writings in it. Guess I'm a non-believing bit of everythin'.” “You believe in sex, eh.” “Hell, yeah! As much sex as I can get! And guns and weapons and big shiny piles of cashy money. An' Vera. Guessin' I believe in her and bein' part of Serenity.” “That'll do. You're a believer in something.” Jayne was thinking back to Haven, “Shepherd Book, when he was dying, said to Mal, 'I don't care what you believe, just believe!'.” “Indeed. He was right.” Jayne stood up, “Okay; on to whatever lies at the end of this gorram pipe.” “Vera, if you're lucky.” Jayne slashed a grin in the darkness, “All the motivatin' I need! That an' shootin' stuff!”

*** Mi mei gui - Honey rose flower. Jayne's 'pet'/love name for Vera


Sunday, September 3, 2006 6:50 AM


Well, real life turned out to be not so hectic in the short term. So here's part 4. Now I've got to wait for the pesky muses to tell me what's at the end of the tunnels [BEG].


Monday, September 4, 2006 6:33 PM


Ooh...Jayne going all heart-to-heart with Hori. Now there's a scene I bet the crew would just pay good money to see;)

Great chapter you got here, Vera! Definitely can't wait to see what's at the end of the sewer tunnels;D



You must log in to post comments.



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!