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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. After THE HUNT, these are two little fluffy things before we get back to the angst in AFTERMATH. Jethro and River finally have a meaningful discussion ... Please rate and feedback - it's good for my psyche!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1630 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
River was sitting on her bed, Ethan lying on the covers in front of her, Bethany on the floor with her colouring book.
“What are you doing?” Jethro asked, leaning on the doorframe.
“Working.” She glanced up at him and smiled, then looked back at Ethan.
“Working. Right.” He waited a moment. “How, exactly?”
“Looking after these two,” River said slowly, as if she was explaining something patently obvious.
“And seeing whether Ethan has inherited his mother’s psychic abilities.”
“He could have. Just because her talents have been dampened artificially, there’s no reason she shouldn’t be able to pass them on.”
She looked up at him. “Really.”
“And has he?”
“I can’t tell yet.” She seemed almost disappointed.
“So what about Bethany?”
The little girl looked up from where she was colouring a pink horse under a purple sky. “Bet’ny?”
“Purple?” River said, her eyes not moving from Jethro’s face. “Everyone knows the sky is black.”
“I like purp … purple,” Bethany said carefully. “’N’ orange.” She grinned and picked up that colour crayon for the grass.
“Don’t change the subject,” Jethro said softly to his girlfriend.
“I haven’t looked,” River admitted, equally quietly.
“Because Bethany is my niece. And I don’t think …” She shook her head at him. “I hope they’re not. Either of them. That Kaylee’s genes are so strong in Bethany, that Mal’s have overcome Freya’s … otherwise they’re not safe.”
“Hands of blue.”
“Not what. Pardon,” Bethany said, concentrating on keeping within the lines.
“Okay, sweetie, time for tea,” Kaylee said, putting her head around the door.
“’Kay, momma,” Bethany said, closing her colouring book.
“She been good?” Kaylee asked her sister-in-law.
“Perfec',” Bethany agreed, letting her mother swing her up into her arms.
“Woof, you’re getting heavy,” Kaylee said, groaning theatrically.
“Funny momma,” Bethany said.
“Well, momma won’t be so funny if she throws her back out carrying you about. Don’t reckon the Cap’ll be too pleased if I can’t get under Serenity when I need to.” Kaylee tempered her words with a grin for her daughter. “Hungry?”
“Hungry,” Bethany agreed.
“Thanks, River.” Kaylee smiled at the girl and carried her daughter towards the galley.
They heard a man’s voice outside. “Time to eat?” Jayne asked.
“You’re always ready for food,” the mechanic said, her tone amused.
“Hell, never know when you’re gonna get the next meal.”
“Jayne,” Kaylee said warningly, but then a small voice piped up.
“Hell,” she said, then giggled.
“See, that’s exactly what I didn’t want …” Kaylee’s aggrieved voice melted away.
Jethro looked back at River. “He’s not leaving. Jayne, I mean. He’s not going. Mal made him put his guns away, told him to sleep in his bunk. That he was cluttering up the cargo bay.”
“Freya still needs him.”
“Why?” He realised he sounded fretful. “I mean, she’s got the rest of us. Your brother, Kaylee, Zoe, Inara, Hank … not to mention Mal.”
“No, don’t mention him,” she said, her eyes smiling.
“Then why does she need Jayne?”
River sighed. “It’s a long story.”
“I've got time.”
“No, I mean it’s a story from long ago. I think they knew each other once. In a former life.”
“Former …” Jethro took a deep breath. “Are you talking about reincarnation here?”
“Probably. Possibly. Or maybe it was here and now but somewhere else.”
“I don’t understand.” Inwardly Jethro sighed. He’d used those words so many times when he was talking to River he was considering having them tattooed across his chest. Jayne probably knew of a good place.
“It’s just that … sometimes I see them together. In the biblical sense. You know about that, don’t you?” she asked, piercing him with her dark eyes.
“I've … heard of it, yes.”
“Jayne and Freya. In bed. Having sex.”
“That … that’s never happened, right?” he asked.
“No. Not in this dimension. But I think it might have, once, if things had been different.”
“You mean if she hadn’t met Mal.”
“Or been somewhere else.”
“Is she going to be all right?” he asked quickly, having wanted to know for days.
“Bones are healing. Ligaments and tendons take longer, and nerves longer still. Simon’s a good doctor.”
“But.” He looked at her. “There’s a very big ‘but’ hanging around there.”
“No, there isn’t.”
“River, it’s not only out there, but it’s waving at me.”
She giggled, sounding exactly like her niece. “You’re funny,” she said, patting him on the knee. “Maybe now Simon can get down to the cause of his problems with Kaylee, too.”
“Problems?” Jethro glanced out of the door, successfully sidetracked. “Are they having problems?”
“Not like that,” River remonstrated gently. “Physical.”
Jethro blushed. “I don’t think there’s anything like that wrong with them.”
“I wasn't talking about sex. I know they keep you awake. Me too. Even when they’re asleep they think about it. And their dreams can be …” She stopped, and he was 99% sure she was deliberately making him uncomfortable. “It isn’t that.”
“Then what?” He lifted his head a little. “Or aren’t I supposed to know?”
“No-one knows. Except for me. And Kaylee, of course. And Simon. And Mal. And Freya.”
“Does Jayne know?”
“Well, at least that’s something.”
“Kaylee wants another baby.”
“So I understand.”
“My brother thinks it’s his problem.”
“Oh. You mean there’s something wrong …” He waved his hand vaguely over his groin.
“I don’t understand men,” River said, shaking her head. “You talk about women’s parts with ease, making jokes about size and weight, colour and feel. But when it comes to being honest about your own –”
“We are honest!” Jethro insisted. “Mostly.” He bit his lip. “Does Jayne talk about these things with impunity?”
“Jayne has a lot of names for his masculine parts. Some of them very descriptive, and one or two not repeatable in mixed company,” River said. “But he does tend to call a spade a spade.” She smiled. “Or a –“
“No!” he said quickly, holding up a hand. “I don’t need to know that!”
“Anyway, Simon wanted to find out.”
“Is that why we went to Persephone in the first place?”
“Yes. He wanted to run some tests on his …” She sighed. “Production.”
“I see.” He wriggled a little. “And what did they show?”
“I don’t know. He doesn’t either. So far he’s spent all his time working with Freya.”
“But you said she was going to be okay.”
The light went out of River’s face. “It’s not just physical. That heals. But the darkness inside …”
“Freya’s fought against it all her life. Learned control the hard way. But that control is slipping because of what was done to her, and she’s waiting for it to drown her.”
“Surely she’s not like that.”
“No, she isn’t. But she could be.” River put her hand on his. “That’s one reason why Jayne is staying. I think he recognises it in her, from the one that lives inside his own mind.”
“Would it help if I talked to her?”
“Not yet.” River shook her head, her dark hair moving as if it was underwater. “When she’s ready.” She sighed. “She has Jayne right now.”
He gazed at her. “Do you love him?” he asked eventually.
“Do you love me?”
“The same way?”
“How can it be? He’s Jayne and you’re you.”
“So how do we resolve this?”
“We don’t. I do.”
“He left. He came back. But he’s only back for Freya. What he feels for me is … too strong.”
“You don’t sound surprised.”
“It was my fault.”
“How can you say that? You didn’t make him fall in love with you.”
“Yes, I did.”
“That isn’t possible.”
“Love is a physical response to pheromones produced in the sweat glands and registered in the hypothalamus of members of the opposite or same sex causing increased cardio-vascular –“
“River.” She looked at him. “How did you make him fall in love with you?”
“I … was there.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“It’s the only sense there is.”
“I don’t understand,” he said again, and was amazed to see her smile.
“Not across your chest,” she said. “Maybe on one buttock.”
She laughed, so naturally and delightfully that Jethro couldn’t help it. He took her face in his hands and kissed her.
After a moment he let go and moved back, waiting for her to slap him.
Instead she lifted her hand to her lips, running her tongue across them.
“Um, I'm sorry,” he said quickly.
She gazed at him. “Why?”
“I shouldn’t have –“
“Yes, you should. I've been waiting for that for so long, I thought I was going to have to kiss you.” She smiled, no longer a girl but a young woman.
“Has … did Jayne ever kiss you?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“Well, thank the Lord for that,” Jethro said, grinning and pulling her back to him, fastening his mouth on hers.
She reached up and held him close, melting against him, and gave a sweet sigh of satisfaction.
Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:00 PM
Friday, February 23, 2007 10:49 AM
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