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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. More angsty plot. Kaylee confronts Simon, and Inara makes a decision ... and as it's Friday, there may be a second part shortly! Thanks for all your feedback - I love to know what you think!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1657 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Jayne was just walking. He didn’t know where, and he didn’t much care. His head was down and his hands were in his pockets, ignoring the people he passed. People who tended to get out of his way, if truth be told. A big man exuding trouble tended to do that.
It weren’t fair. He shook his head. It just straight up weren't fair. There he was deciding to stay on Serenity, and havin’ to ask Mal’s permission …
“Thought you’d want to get gone,” the captain had said, leaning against a stack of crates in the bay. “Ain't Badger waiting for you?”
Jayne knew he was baiting him a little, but let him get away with it. “Badger was … hell, I didn’t want to be workin’ for him in the first place. Most of the time I felt like tearing him a new one, but I didn’t.”
Mal smiled. “Very restrained of you, Jayne.”
“So I kinda figured, if you hadn’t got anyone else, which I see you ain’t, that … well … maybe …”
“You’re asking for your old job back?” Mal crossed his arms.
“Yeah,” Jayne finally admitted.
“Well, see, that may be difficult. Jethro’s coming along real well, and soon as he learns to shoot straight I'm thinking he may be just the person to take your place. Especially since he don’t eat me out of the entire contents of the kitchen every day, and makes do with seven percent.”
“Aw, Mal …”
“And we’ve kinda got used to you not being around the place with all your noxious odours and worse language.”
“Except that I think little Bethie would never forgive me if I said no.”
“Mal, come on, I …” He stopped, the last words sinking in. “You mean I can stay?”
“Ground rules, Jayne. You don’t kill Jethro. Even if provoked.” Jayne went to speak but Mal went on, “And no maiming. Not even a tattoo.”
“Mal, that ain't fair.”
“Life sometimes goes that way.” He gazed at the big man. “But you’ve done a lot for Freya, and I'm grateful.”
“She’s …” Jayne paused. “I ain't never had a sister, least not one that lived, and I guess maybe …” He blushed, hating himself for it.
“Yeah,” Mal said softly. “Figured that might be it.”
“Don’t you go tellin’ her,” Jayne said quickly, more bluster in his voice now. “She’d like as die laughing.”
“Somehow, I doubt that.” Mal put his hand on the mercenary’s arm. “Welcome home, Jayne.”
Only now he didn’t feel like he was home, not here on this damn planet. It didn’t help that everywhere he turned on the ship there was that damn Preacher and River getting all … lovey. Nor did it matter the man hadn’t actually taken the vows or nothing … far as Jayne was concerned, he was still a Preacher and he should keep his hands to himself. That’s what Book would’ve done. Not that Book would’ve looked at River that way anyway. More likely just kept his Bible out of her reach.
He wandered morosely down a street lined with shops.
Damn, but it made it so hard sometimes being around happy folks. He had his guns, his own right hand, but times came when he needed … and so far he hadn’t even found sight nor sound of a whorehouse. Not that he really felt like it. Not really. It was just another way to get his mind out of that room.
“Oh, tee wuh duh pee-goo,” he muttered. Someone was heading towards him, and it looked like Jethro.
“Jayne?” the young man said as they got closer, sounding surprised.
“Ain’t no-one else,” the big man muttered, then noticed the depressed expression on Jethro’s face. “What you been doing got you so all fire down? I figure it ain't just meeting me.”
Jethro looked hunted. “Nothing.”
“Don’t seem like nothing. Come on. ‘Fess up. I ain't gonna hurt ya.” Not since Mal told me not to.
“Gorram it,” Jethro breathed.
“Did you just cuss?” Jayne asked, his spirits beginning to lift. “Badly, but that’s what it sounded like.”
“Lying too. Don’t seem to me like we’re a good influence on you.”
Jethro sighed. “All right. I just …” He explained what had happened, although not about the plan for later. He had the niggling suspicion that Jayne wouldn’t take kindly to that.
Jayne burst out laughing, a deep, booming sound that had everyone else turning around in dismay. He clapped a hand on the other’s shoulder. “Well, if that don’t beat all.”
“I'm glad someone’s getting some pleasure out of it.” Jethro sounded so miserable Jayne just redoubled his mirth. “Please don’t tell anyone.”
“Oh, I think I’ll keep this gem to myself for a while,” Jayne said, wiping his eyes. “Til the right moment.”
Oh God, Jethro thought, and wondered whether he could commit murder in broad daylight and get away with it. Maybe it would be justifiable homicide.
Simon lifted his hand to shade his eyes from the sunlight. It seemed all too bright today, and he wished he still had his tinted glasses. But they’d got broken somehow while he and River were on Jiangyin, half a lifetime ago, and he’d never got around to replacing them. Today he wished he had.
Turning the corner he could see the small park in front of him, a pocket handkerchief of green amongst the concrete and steel. Something flew overhead, and as he looked up he smiled. There really were ducks here.
He walked slowly towards the swings, seeing his sister sitting on one, his daughter up to her knees in the sandpit.
“Daddy!” Bethany cried as he got closer, lifting up her hands and letting yellow sand slip through her fingers. “Beach!”
“Hey, sweetie,” he smiled. “What are you doing with Ethan?”
“Playing,” she said proudly, pointing to where Mal’s son was half buried.
“Arc … archa … archo …” She looked for assistance to her aunt.
“Archaeology,” River explained, her dress fluttering in the breeze. “Ethan’s a mummy from Earth-that-was and she’s just excavated him.”
“Any particular one?” Simon asked, lifting him out of the pit and brushing as much of the yellow dust off him as he could.
“The boy king. Appropriate. I’m not sure Mal will see it the same way, though.” He put Ethan carefully on the grass, where he lay gurgling happily, waving his arms in an effort to sit up. “Where’s Kaylee?” he asked, sitting down in the sandpit next to his daughter.
“She said she had a few things to do back on Serenity,” River said, swinging a little, her bare feet pumping.
“What sort of things?”
He looked at his sister. “River, I don’t want to play games. Just tell me.”
“Daddy not play?” Bethany asked, gazing into his face.
“Not with you, sweetheart. I’ll always play with you. Even when you’re old enough to answer a direct question.” He turned back to River.
“I don’t think I'm supposed to tell.” River pumped harder, her toes pointing towards the sky.
“Gingwa cao de liumang, River, just damn well tell me!”
Bethany put her hand over her mouth. “Daddy swore,” she whispered.
River put her feet down and stopped, just staring at him.
Immediately Simon felt ashamed. He lifted Bethany onto his lap. “Yes, and I'm sorry. I shouldn’t have. There was no reason for me to. And don’t tell your mother.”
Bethany giggled. “’Kay, Daddy.” She wriggled off his lap and carried on digging.
He turned back but River was at his side, feeling his forehead. “You have a temperature.”
“You’re not. You have a temperature and you cursed.” She shook her head. “That is not fine.”
“Xiao mei-mei, I'm sorry. I’m not feeling too good at the moment.”
“No.” River gazed at him, her eyes dark wells. “And I don’t think it’s going to get better any time soon.”
“What do you mean?”
“I think Kaylee was going to look a few things up on the Cortex.”
“You mean …” His eyes widened in shock. “Oh shit.” He scrambled to his feet. “Can you –“
“Of course. Just go.”
Simon nodded gratefully and took off at a run back towards Serenity.
“Daddy mad?” Bethany asked.
“Well, he’s not very sane right now,” River agreed, picking Ethan up from the grass and rocking him gently.
Inara stepped back inside her shuttle and closed the door. As much as she wanted to cleanse herself of the feeling of grime after sitting for just that short while with Halliday, she needed a calming tea more.
She headed to the small kitchen and put the water on to heat with a slightly trembling hand, going through the motions by habit rather than with any conscious thought. The pot, the bowl, the little caddy of camomile to help soothe, all that took only a tiny part of her mind, while the rest was on the information she’d been given.
Halliday was a good investigator, highly recommended, and he had achieved in just a few days something Inara, with all her contacts, hadn't been able to to at all. It didn't mean she had to like him, though.
But if what he said was true, then her son was so close …
It was no good. She hurried to her Cortex link and brought up the details of scheduled flights off Ariel. She couldn’t ask Mal – he’d done so much for her, and now he was so tied up in Freya it wouldn’t be fair … no, this she had to do by herself. Her son, her responsibility.
As the water boiled and sang, she scrolled through screen after screen until she found what she wanted. What she needed.
Kaylee had managed to get the screen off the console in shuttle two, but was having problems fixing the short.
Her hand slipped and there was a spark. She jumped back in shock. “Ben tian sheng de fei fei de pi yan,” she said loudly, kicking out at the console.
“Are you all right?” Simon asked, ducking onto the small bridge. “Show me.”
“Show me.” His tone brooked no objection, and she grudgingly gave him her hand.
“It’s just a little burn.”
“We should get some salve on it –“
“It’s fine.” She pulled her hand away. “Get worse from Serenity’s engine. Never took much notice of it before, ain't gonna start.”
Simon looked at her. “Kaylee …”
“What?” she asked, picking up her tools again.
“What were you looking up?”
She didn’t turn, but he could see a flush rise on the back of her neck where her hair was caught up in an untidy tail. “Who said I was looking anything up?”
“It just got broke, is all.” She reached into the workings of the screen, more gingerly this time. “Coulda been any time.”
“So Zoe telling me you were looking at a medical database is all wrong.”
Suddenly her knees wouldn’t hold her and she sank onto the chair. “People talk too much,” she whispered.
“I’m beginning to think they don’t talk enough,” her husband said, going down onto his heels next to her. “Maybe we should go with Freya and Mal tomorrow. Clear the air.”
“Don’t need the air cleared,” Kaylee mumbled. “Just don’t want you to die.”
“I’m not going to die, Kaylee.” He put his hand on her shoulder.
“Everybody dies.” She looked up and him, her face pale. “Nature of the ‘verse. But I don’t want you to die now.”
“What makes you think –“
“I saw it, Simon!” She was angry with him. “That Hyperbeta stuff.”
“I read about it! Why are you …” She hit him, a punch straight into the chest, pushing him back onto the floor. “Are you crazy?”
Simon rubbed his breastbone. “I'm not the one doing the hitting. And I thought we agreed we weren't going to do that?”
“Don’t you try and make fun of me. Don’t you dare!” She was up out of her seat and heading out of the shuttle before he could clamber to his feet.
“Kaylee! Kaylee!” he called, following her.
“Leave me alone!”
He hurried down the steps, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “Kaylee, please stop!”
At the entrance to the common area she span on her heel. “You were just gonna keep taking it, weren't you? Not tell me about what might happen.” She shook her head at him. “How could you, Simon?”
“It’s for you,” he said, bending forward slightly as a stitch in his side caught at him. “It’s all for you. For us.”
“What’s going on?” Mal asked, striding into the bay, Freya not far behind. “I could hear you halfway to the hospital.”
“Ask him!” Kaylee shouted, pointing at her husband. “He shouldn’t’ve done it without telling me!”
“Taken that poison!”
“Poison?” Mal glanced at the doctor, noting his grey pallor. “Kaylee …”
But she was on a roll. “He keeps talking about keepin’ secrets being bad, and then he start this without telling me, without …” She turned to look at him and stopped. “Simon?”
He was swaying. “Kaylee, I really don’t think …”
His knees began to buckle and he would have fallen, but Mal was there, supporting him, his arms around the young man.
“Simon!” Kaylee yelled, rushing to him.
to be continued
Saturday, March 10, 2007 6:43 PM
Saturday, March 10, 2007 7:16 PM
Sunday, March 11, 2007 10:14 AM
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