Onus Portamus [Latin; We carry the load] [3]
Sunday, March 4, 2007

Serenity hauling grapes for wine and getting involved in fire fighting. Clarry finds out that grown ups like having sex just for fun. Pic-nic and alcohol in Summer heat on Newhall. Jayne finds out how Hank 'tamed' Rebecca. Warning for adult themes.


PART THREE * I lost myself on a cool damp night Gave myself in that misty light Was hypnotized by a strange delight Under a lilac tree * I made wine from the lilac tree Lost my heart in its recipe Made me see what I want to see Be what I want to be * Lilac wine Is sweet And heady Like my love * Lilac wine I feel I'm ready For my love * Lilac Wine – Elkie Brooks * Jayne was normally excellent at turning at least slightly after sex or even rolling so that Vera was on top. Plus there was always the after sex snuggling. Jayne loved to snuggle even more than Vera did. But now, after having – as it were – completely blown his fuses by going three in a row without a break, Jayne was slumped on top of Vera, dead to the world and snoring, loudly. Vera tried to move, but it was impossible. She wasn't even close to being able to lift her own weight, let alone Jayne's bulk. Vera tried blowing in his ear, “Jayne; honey...” But it was no use. He was out for the count and she was going nowhere until he moved. She gave in and decided to try to get some sleep herself. * Mal and Cliff attended to finishing off the welding, then they completed the current delivery of grain successfully. There would be grapes from Newhall next, to go to the central winery on the planet. Serenity landed at the massive swathe of vinyards to the south of Newhall's central plain. It was late Summertide by now down here, the air still and thick with heat. Even though the slopes were north facing, they were sheltered and received the long hot gaze of Newhall's sun for most of the year. The only things moving regularly in the hot air were occasional flies and gliding butterflies. Even the birds stayed still unless they had to eat. Mal got out, wiping his brow, his hat pulled low over his forehead. The ground at the base of the mountains was parched and dry as far as the eye can see, the local river oozing along in a desultory trickle. The main foreman in charge of looking after the local vine-keepers was waiting for Mal. He was dressed in a big, floppy, dirty white hat and a pale grey kaftan, plus working boots. “Good to see you. The vineyards are sending their grapes down in lorries right now. I'm Beckett, by the way.” “Fine,” Mal said, shaking the man's hand, “Pretty hot today.” “Been like this for weeks; ripens the fruit real quick. Further north, they'll have their real hot spell in about a week or so. Think this is hot? Up near Andersonville Halt it goes way over 45 degrees at the end of Summertide. We'll get much needed thunderstorms and folk will be running around in the rain, naked as a jailbird.” Mal groaned inwardly. The extended Cobb clan had invited them all to a 'Height of Summertide' pic-nic and new ale celebration and he'd accepted without checking on the climate. The prospect of getting good coin for hauling the self same ale around the system had been a deciding factor. A big ball of dust moving towards them hailed the arrival of the lorries full of grapes. Mal made small talk, trying to wipe out the mental image of Beckett getting naked, “These all for wine, then?” “Oh, yes. The eaters are picked earlier from different vines. These grapes won't look like much, but they'll make great wine. Another month or so and there will be olives from the groves further east.” Once all the containers of grapes had been loaded, Serenity set off eastwards to the big brewing and fermenting works. From the cockpit vantage point, they could see the dry plains north of the mountain range and the even drier vast empty desert to the south where nothing much apart from cacti and snakes lived. The plains got gradually greener towards the northern mountain range and above that it was so wet that the ground was marsh and peat bog all year round. It wasn't easy to define up there where the land ended and the sea began. * The smell of brewing and fermenting hit them as they came into land near the breweries. It was yeasty, fruity and very powerful. “Ugh.” Inara's nose wrinkled. Kaylee bounced around the galley, “Wine. And beer!” She beamed. Inara smiled, “I enjoy the wine part of things, but the smell is a bit overpowering.” Clarry was finishing tidying away the washing up, “How much longer do you think Ma and Pa will be...busy?” Kaylee grinned, “They're having great sex. Could be a while.” Clarry's nose took a turn at wrinkling, “But they're *old. They still enjoy it!” Kaylee put a hand on Clarry's shoulder, “You're never too old to enjoy sex, Clarry.” Clarry maintained a look of some disgust, “I plan to stop when I'm thirty. Ew.” Inara smiled, “It *is most enjoyable, even after thirty. When you're a bit older, I'll let you in on some of the secrets if you like.” “Surely once you've done it a few times it's just the same?” “Ah. Time for my picture book of positions, perhaps.” Clarry looked positively horrified, “There's more than one way to... Ugh. Ew. I don't want to know!” Inara smiled, “Well, if you change your mind, Clarry, in a few years' time?” “Not gonna happen!” Clarry finished clearing up and went to help unload the grapes. * Kaylee smiled, “Let her get her first crush and *then she'll start to understand.” Inara looked at Kaylee, “Seems to be wavering between Mal and Jayne for flirtation practice. Lots of girls start with their fathers because they're safe.” “Jayne? Safe?” “Well, he won't respond sexually. He's fixed totally on Vera, plus I've seen the look in his eyes and as far as Clarry's concerned, he's proud Poppa.” “And Mal?” Inara smiled impishly, “Might ease out some of his kinks!” Kaylee grinned, “Cappy's kinky?” Inara had a flash of remembrance of the heights of pleasure Mal had taken her to in the cockpit. She deadpanned, “Not answering that.” * Mal glowered slightly. Cliff, Zhang, Zoe and everyone who was capable were doing a sterling job helping to shift the grapes back out of Serenity, but he could have used Jayne's muscles for some of the operation. Jayne and Vera had taken the best part of a day so far. Mal havered, caught between hauling the big guy's ass out here and letting the sexing up run its course. Of course, Jayne would probably be naked and he'd heard enough stories of what that had looked like running down the beach on Euridice to put him off. Words like 'huge, muscly, scarred and hairy' ran around in Mal's brain along with Kaylee and Sarah blurting out in their own different inimitable ways that Jayne had a major weapon all of his own. Mal tried very hard to bleach the imprint of the words from his brain. * Clouds of violently alcoholic scented steam rose from the oast houses, breweries and fermenting houses. The clouds rose and hung like a pall over the area, getting into nose, eyes and clothes in equal measure. Some whiter steam on one side of the complex picked out the distilleries. Everything was bustle and business, the complex was in full flat out production of alcohol in various forms. A number of folk came from the plant to help, but Mal's remit was to ensure personally that every last grape got to the correct destination, so he did; getting his paperwork and pad signed as each load went into the vats. He was albout half way done, trudging back up towards Serenity with Cliff and Zoe when there was a huge bang to his right and a whoosh of flame. Alarm bells went off a second later. Fire, and an explosion somewhere off in the distillery section. No get out now for Jayne and Vera, every available hand was needed to fight the blaze. Mal got back to Serenity and hit the fire alarm button. * “Wha...” Jayne jerked and his head went up automatically. He looked groggy. “Fire alarm, wan nao.” “Gorram. Was dreamin' of a second round with you.” Jayne got off Vera and pulled on a tee shirt and cargo pants. Vera shook the pins and needles out of her arm and leg, “Have to wait until later, Jayne.” She dressed quickly, spraying on deodorant and perfume as she did so. “Don't ruttin' like fire.” He was remembering the last time. “Neither do I, but something's on fire and if it's Serenity, I don't want to be in it.” Jayne boosted Vera up the ladder, copping a good feel of her body whilst he did so, “Mmmm.” “Stop it just for now, sweetheart! Got to concentrate now! ” Ares was at the top of the ladder, making urgent Staffy noises, “We know, Ares; we're coming.” Jayne picked up half a dozen weapons and handed Vera a couple of guns, then they ran to see what was happening. * Kaylee was standing on the flap in the cargo bay. She was gamely managing to hold onto both her twins and a protesting Sarah. Ares was runing around, barking at the smell, the fire and everything else in sight. “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!” The fire was clearly visible over to the left, with people rushing to and fro like ants. Vera put her hand on Sarah's shoulder, “She'll be looking after herself, Sarah.” “Wanna see her.” Kaylee handed the wriggling twins to Vera and bent next to Sarah, “Sweetie, it's dangerous out there. She'll be back here as soon as she can.” “Where's Clarry?” Kaylee pointed, “Helping fight the fire.” Vera took a couple of steps forward automatically, “O, God.” Jayne clasped Vera's shoulder, “I'll find her.” He went off towards the blaze. “I'll join you if I can, wan nao.” Vera turned to Kaylee, “Can Serenity take on water in some way and later deliver it; say through the waste vent in the cargo floor?” Kaylee considered, “Like being an airborne fire engine?” “Exactly!” “Well, we've got hoses and pumps.” “Are any of the hidden compartments off the cargo bay watertight?” “Heck, the whole bay is watertight if you close all the entry doors securely.” They looked at each other. Vera smiled and looked at Sarah, “Want to help Mummy?” “Yes, please!” Vera picked up a com unit from just inside the cargo flap, “We'll need another pair of hands to fly Serenity; I'll see if I can get River on the blower.” * While they waited for River, Vera began by using the hoist in the centre of the cargo bay to get everything up onto the metal walkways at the top. Now that the loads of grapes had gone, there wasn't a lot to shift. She got Sarah to help her secure all the inner doors apart from the cargo flap and the one they'd be using to get back into the body of the ship. Finally, after getting River on board, the took a quick hop to the nearby ocean; then, loaded up with water in the cargo bay, they flew pondorously back towards the fire. * The firefighters were intent on their task on the ground. Jayne had dragged Clarry to safety when suddenly and without warning, the heavens opened, “Hey!” He looked up and got a face full of water and seaweed. Clarry giggled and pointed, “Look!” Mal saw what was happening, once he'd recovered from getting a sudden shower of sea water, “Serenity. Salt water in the cargo bay.” He sighed, “Well, *they can hose it down.” Clarry was pointing at the fire, “It's helped put out the blaze.” Mal nodded, “I can see that.” Serenity landed nearby, whilst the locals finally got the remains of the fire out. Kaylee, Vera and River pitched in to lend a hand tidying up. Simon held the twins and took them back to their secondary play area in the med bay. An ecstatic Sarah was reunited with her mother. “We rained sea on you!” Zoe smiled, “I know, Sarah, and it helped a lot.” Ares wandered around, sniffing, sneezing and greeting people. After a while, Mal rounded up River, Vera and Kaylee to start the cleaning process inside the cargo bay. After another half day of clean up, the blackened remains of the still had been removed and Serenity set off to the Cobb land, with everyone blackened, sooty and dirty. Sam Cobb greeted them apologetically, “We're on water rationing here and the local river's down to a trickle. Best I can suggest is a trip north to the Upper mountains. There's a waterfall or two, more or less due north, that run sweet and clear all year off the snows on the highest peaks.” So they set off and got themselves and Serenity clean, then flew back down again. * It was the Height of Summertide long pic-nic and drink-up day. The weather was very hot and very dry. Everyone was wearing cotton, silk or linen along with big hats. Vera was getting into her white Broderie Anglaise dress. It had a fitted bodice and a swirly skirt. She put a big floppy white hat on her head and did a twirl for Jayne. “This'll do, won't it?” He took a look, “Yeah; that'll do!” There was more than a slice of heated male interest in his tone. Vera smiled and walked over to Jayne, threading her arm through his, “Sure you don't want to put on a kaftan, Jayne?” “I ain't wearin' a gorram dress, no matter how hot it is out there!” Vera looked at his pants, “Well, don't fry your boys, huh?” “They only gets heated when you're around.” * It was some hours later that Hillary came out to talk to Mal. They were both wearing kaftans and big sunhats, although Mal looked not altogether at ease in his, even if it was keeping him cool. Hillary spoke from his wheelchair, “Just picked up a Wave on the home computer. Todd Lawless and his new wife Jenneth are doing a presidential tour of the 'verse on the SS Chicago and wondered if they could drop in with a couple more folk and say hi.” “It's your place, but thanks. Yes; I could do with finding out why he's going walkabout.” Hillary shrugged, “Honeymoon, I guess.” * One of the other couples with Todd and Jenneth were Rebecca and Hank. The latter couple descended from the mini transport in expensive cream silk-linen clothing. Hank was wearing a loose jacket and pants with no shirt and Rebecca had a dress which clung to her spectacular upper curves expertly. Jayne took one look at the huge upper curves, “*Definitely enhanced.” Rebecca still ignored him and drifted off, carrying a heavily pregnant Felicity. Jayne drew Hank to the beer tent and sank a few with him. “So, how did you tame the wild cat, huh?” Hank grinned, “She was spitting, scratching and biting when I carried her into her craft. Even when I tied her to the galley table, she kept trying to bite me and swearing when I got too close, even when I stripped slowly and showed her that I'm real big all over. Of course, I was covered in dirty grease, sweat and oil. So I told her if she didn't stop, I'd tear off her thong, bend her over my dirty, sweaty knee and spank her bottom.” Jayne's eyebrows rose, “Gorram. And...” “She kept trying to bite and swearing, so I did *exactly what I'd threatened. She loved it; was moaning and yelling with pleasure in seconds. Then I laid her out on that fur coat of hers and teased her till she begged, then ploughed her eager furrow good and strong.” Jayne licked his lips, “Good. Image.” He was imagaining the teasing and ploughing bit adapted to Vera. Hank carried on, lost in reverie, “She was covered in grease and dirt by the time I'd finished with her and limp with satiation. In public, she's the ice princess and wears the trousers. In private, she calls me 'Master' and the sex... You have no idea!” “I can imagine. Hey, whatever works for you, Hank.” Hank grinned, “I've got a rich ice princess for a lover who meets my every need and I don't care being a 'kept man' because I know she needs and craves what I can give her in private. Got me some classy, rich, eager tail and all the fringe benefits.” “You ain't gettin' wed?” “Good grief, no. Works better for us if she thinks I might off and leave her or vice versa.” “She's had her rack enlarged to enormous since I knew her.” Hank grinned, “I got simple tastes and really big boobs is one of 'em.” Jayne's eyebrow flicked, “Looks like a pair of beach balls in a sack.” Hank growled eagerly, “Yeah. I know!” Jayne sank his nose into his pint, “Handfull will do for me.” “You've got your own classy woman right there in Vera. Recognised her as the model for that 'Knife Girl' photo of yours. She's got 'taken' and 'exceptional piece of tail' written all over her, you lucky dog.” Jayne was severely tempted to brag, “Sure is, and she's *mine; my wife, even. How's Felicity coming along?” Hank chuckled, spotting the evasion, “Puppies due to pop any day now. Vet says there's five of 'em in there, but one's a runt.” * Vera hugged Jenneth, “You got married to him?” Jenneth smiled, “Heck; yes. Picture this; naked, muscly, hairy Polynesian with an erection, down on his knees, begging me to marry him. Couldn't say no!” “I hope you don't mind if I don't visit Ariel too often; not my favourite place, even if you *are joint president!” “Anything you need, just ask.” “Latest styles of naughty undies; lengths of silk, killer heeled shoes. What can I trade?” “Photos of scenery and interesting places in the 'verse. I'll give you an IP address where things can go between us totally secure and encrypted.” * Mal took Todd on one side, “So; why are you here?” “Well, I haven't seen as much of the 'verse as you, so I decided to combine my honeymoon with a grand tour, eh. Since things are still a bit pear-shaped on the Core planets it gave some folks the chance to relocate or get away from the mess for a while. I've put an official 'ignore' on your ship; you're on an extended diplomatic mission and must not be disturbed. That'll keep the army and official vessels off your tail at least.” Mal's lips twitched into something approaching a smile, “Thanks.” *


Sunday, March 4, 2007 10:59 AM


Ah...gotta love early teenage disgust at intimacy. Never gets old and it brings up so many memories;D

Another brilliant chapter, Vera! Can't wait to see more;)



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