Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig - Conclusion
Saturday, May 5, 2007

Post-BDM; final good-byes are said. All characters belong to Joss...


Kaylee walked with her hand in her mother's back to Serenity. They had spent all day going through old baby clothes and re-telling of Kaylee's childhood and Winna's birthing stories. Kaylee was grateful to Cale for keeping his wife at home, so that she could have her mother to herself for once. Everyone else seemed to have something else to do, and Simon had suggested Kaylee take the time to tell her parents. Daddy had then taken Simon off - probably to smoke, since Daddy hated to smoke alone - and Kaylee's mother had hugged her close with happy tears in her eyes. Now, as they walked back, on their last day, Kaylee knew there was only one thing that could possibly make it better. "Now, I don't want you t'worry bout a thing," Kaylee said to her mother. "We'll bring the baby back jus' as soon as we can so's you can meet him and his uncles can teach him t'grow up strong like them. And if he's a she, then Maura can teach her to make those strawberry rhubarb pies I love." "That'll be somethin' t'see," Momma smiled. "An infant learnin' to cook better'n her ma." "Oh, we'll try to bring her back soon," Kaylee smiled apologetically. "But's hard sometimes. T'come home again." "It's always hard to come home again," Momma sighed. "It's harder still to leave again. The trick is to leave one home for another. You're leavin' us again, but you're off to your other home, off in th'stars." "Shootin' for the moon ain't so bad when it's reachable," Kaylee grinned. "So I come to understand," Momma nodded. She stopped walking and Kaylee turned to her questioningly. "Don't be mad at Mauralan," the older woman instructed. "She worried so 'bout you and 'bout me gettin' on without ya. Everyone else stayed so close, she thought I'd break when my baby flew off on a tired ship with barely a word's notice." "Serenity ain't tired, Momma!" Kaylee interrupted. "I know that, now, lamb," came the response. "It was hard, though, to see it then. Your sister tried t'fill the space you left behind, but you fill up so much strained her. Don't be mad at her cause she don't know how to let you go on her own. Took us all our own pace, hers is jus' such a long course." "I know, Momma," Kaylee answered softly. She pulled her mother into a hug. "Maybe she'll be better now, knowin' things ain't so bad out there." "You just stop gettin' yourself into trouble," Momma's muffled voice admonished. "And eat better; you're stick thin and it ain't good for the baby! Write to us, tell us what you do, but not too many details for your brothers - gives 'em ideas they don't need. And take care of that husband so's he ain't so skittish." "I will, Momma," Kaylee laughed. The hug ended and both mother and daughter swallowed their tears through thick throats. "Stay safe," her mother whispered. She let go of Kaylee's hand. "Ya ain't comin' to see us off?" Kaylee questioned. Momma shook her head. "This is as far as I'm gettin'," she insisted. "I ain't th'only one sayin' goodbye to ya." Kaylee turned to see Maura waiting for her, somewhat impatiently. She looked back to her mother. "I love you, Momma," she murmured. "I love you, too, Kaywinnit Lee," Momma answered. Kaylee continued on the walk to her sister's side. "I made a pie for your crew," Maura said as greeting. Kaylee smiled, brushing away the tears left over from her mother's farewell. "Shiny," she said. Maura fell into step with her as they walked towards the Firefly. "It ain't a pie for you," Maura warned. "It's for them. Your pie is waitin' in your bunk. The Companion said she'd put it there and guard it with her life." "That's nice of 'Nara," Kaylee smiled, noting how proud Maura was of her new friendship with a Registered Companion. "You know you can call her that. 'Nara." "I know," Maura snapped. "I jus' don't get to say I talked to a Companion much. It's still a new concept." "She's real glam, ain't she?" Kaylee nudged. "Reminds me a'you a bit. When we were kids and playin' dress up in Momma's old--" "She's a Companion, Kaylee," Maura sighed heavily. "She's s'posed to be glam. And I ain't a thing like her." "Sure y'are," Kaylee tried. "You were always dressin' pretty and doin' your hair up..." Maura scoffed. Kaylee saw the hope in her sister's eyes before she turned her head. "You're pretty like her," Kaylee insisted. Maura gave her a look that said she didn't believe that. "I always thought you were pretty," Kaylee argued. "You were older and got to wear the pretty dresses and see boys first and you was always so prim and proper. Made me wish I looked more like you. But I got Dad's looks more'n Momma's and your old dresses never looked right on me. I had to pad up top to get 'em to fit right..." "I ain't that pretty," Maura said quietly. "You had all the boys chasin' you. I had Cale, but he always loved me." "The boys only chased me to fix their toys," Kaylee rolled her eyes. "And I remember you saw ol' Ben Moir a few times before Cale came sniffin' around you." "Ben," Maura laughed. "He was an idiot, wasn't he?" "From what I remember," Kaylee nodded, grinning. They walked on in companionable silence. They could see the crew and Frye men saying fond farewells now and it made Kaylee glad she'd said the important things to her family back at the house. "Cale says you're carryin'," Maura said softly. "Says Corbin told him. Guess ya heard, then, or you'da told us all at once." "Momma mentioned you tire yourself out too much," Kaylee shrugged. "That you try to do everything." "And you never did?" Maura's eyes flashed with hurt. Kaylee stopped walking. Maura turned to her impatiently. "You see that?" Kaylee asked, pointing to the distant figures waiting for a certain young mechanic to arrive. Maura shrugged. "Those people there rely on me to do my job," Kaylee said, still pointing. "They have their jobs and they do those jobs. If they need me to step up and do another job - go to a party, so's they can meet a client or keep watch for anyone comin' when they shouldn't be - they can trust me to do that, but I do my job first. The engine turns and we can fly. I don't wander into th'infirmary and tell Simon how to fix up the crew or tell Jayne t'clean his guns or River how to fly or 'Nara how to - I don't know, Companiony stuff - while lettin' Serenity fall to bits! And if I need to lie down or be away for whatever reason, I can trust that someone'll follow my instructions on how to keep her flyin'! Don't you know that if you do your job right, the rest'll fall in place? I thought you were smarter'n me!" Maura looked stung by Kaylee's words. She looked at the people mingling in the afternoon shade of the ship. "You hafta do your job," Kaylee said, softening. "But you need t'let others do their jobs, too. The only reason I ever did work for Daddy and help Momma 'round the house was cause that was my job. You got your own house to tend - you don't see me stayin' here, to tend Momma's for her. I have my family on Serenity and they's jus' as important to me as everyone here. But that's my new home. Don't know why you tried to take on two homes anyway. Ya already had one by the time I left." "That's just it," Maura said, still turned away. "You left." Kaylee blinked at her sister. "People do that, Maura," she pointed out. "Everythin's so easy for you," Maura sighed. "You got the job, the travels an' adventures, the people there, the husband, and now the baby." "Easy?" Kaylee repeated in disbelief. "This job ain't easy. You know how far we have to get sometimes on the smallest bit o'fuel? And guess who gets to push that engine to do it? You know how often I have to tell the Cap'n somethin's gonna break afore he catches on? And sometimes, it's too late and we're tryin' to enter an atmosphere without a buffer panel! The travels an' adventure are great, 'cept for the parts when there's crew hurt and dying, the threat of gettin' killed, raped, eaten or kidnapped followin' ya like a cloud. And the husband took me the longest to get - I wasn't sure it'd ever happen for most of the first year and then every time the Cap'n kicked him off ship didn't help, neither! Easy? Wo de ma! If this is easy, then I don't even wanna know what the hard is!" "Kaylee, I didn't mean t'suggest that..." Maura tried. "Naw, it's easy," Kaylee went on. "D'you know how easy it was to bury Shepherd Book and Wash? Or watch everyone dying around me while I couldn't even lift my fingers? And, y'know, it's easy to be tied up in the engine room, unable to help your crew while some crazy hun dan searches for the girl you jus' set up to be possibly dumped at the next rock, jus' cause she can kill with math! Easy...sure." "Tied...dying...Kaylee, what do you do?" Maura seemed honestly perplexed. Kaylee stared at her. "Didja think the Miranda 'wave was the first time we went against th'Alliance?" she asked as patiently as she could. "I thought you was makin' up stories!" Maura exclaimed. "Or that Matty was! You went off on a transport ship in need of a mechanic! When did it become a bullet-ridden, Alliance defyin' mess o'Reaver bait?" Kaylee laughed. She couldn't help it. Her sister had honestly been that blind all this time? "Did I lie so much when we were kids?" she asked, still laughing. "Everyone's convinced I ain't tellin' the full story! First you... How much did I lie to everyone?" "You told your stories," Maura mumbled. "When you were in trouble or some such." "And I'd make up gettin' shot or breakin' into a hospital?" Kaylee's laughter had her nearly doubled over. "Or...or I'd stretch th'truth from somethin' simple to a friend of Zoë's and the Cap'n's was smuggling human organs in his own body?" "You don't have t'laugh so hard," Maura pouted. "I know now you ain't lyin' or stretchin' the truth." "I stretched the truth," Kaylee admitted, still laughing. "But I stretched it th'other way! I didn't want anyone to worry, so I never said how close we came to Reavers or gettin' caught...I never tol'you all that much about the bounty hunter...or stealin' from the garbage and nearly losin' Jayne or any of the times we nearly lost the Cap'n... An' everyone thought I was makin' it worse than it was!" She doubled over in laughter again. "Tain't that funny," Maura smiled finally. "Stand up, or your husband'll come runnin'." "Mauralan, your baby sister ain't a mechanic on no ordinary transport ship," Kaylee gasped. She stood up straight and glanced over to see the mule coming towards them - River at the helm. She didn't have much time left. She looked to her sister, now humbled. "Well, what do you do?" "Jus' a little crime," Kaylee shrugged. "No more horrifyin' than what Corbin and Matty done." "Truth or stretched?" Maura asked suspiciously. Kaylee smiled. River was getting closer. "Mostly truth," she grinned, thinking of past capers. River stopped a little ways off, just short of hearing distance. Kaylee knew she was doing it out of respect, since it didn't really matter if she could hear their voices or not. "Sometimes it can get more horrifyin'," Kaylee admitted. "But I'm with my family up there. I'm safe as churches. And I'm happy." "Sendin' out 'waves that piss off the Alliance ain't exactly safe as churches," Maura noted. "But as long as you're happy. Go on, your ride's waitin'." "Stop fussin' over Momma," Kaylee told her, coming forward to hug her sister tightly. "Let her tend her house and you jus' worry 'bout your own. Cale seems too bored. Mebbe you can start terroizin' him into bringin' you flowers for no reason." "Eat more," Maura insisted. "You're too thin. And don't get into too much trouble. I don't think I can scrape bail money like what you might need." Kaylee smiled and released the woman. She got into the mule with River and waved as they drove off. The rest was easy, compared to Momma and Maura. Daddy had gotten them fuel, Corbin had given them plenty of the applejack Jayne had proven a taste for and Matty had done a quick engine check while Kaylee had said her goodbyes. Cale handed over the last of what he owed River and Zoë from their game of cards and then Mal, upon hearing about the game, told River to give back what she'd won. "It ain't fair to cheat by readin'," he told her firmly. "Then, the next time you play cards with Inara," River said while she counted the bills, "You won't mind letting her keep her clothes on."

"That ain't readin, it's learnin' her tells and...keep the money," he said softly and turned to find Caspar lighting up his pipe. "You'll remember what we talked on," the man said quietly. Mal smiled. River made her way to the bridge. "I'll keep her safe," he promised. "Do what I can." "All I ask," came the response. He looked Mal squarely in the eyes. "Good luck out there." "Thank you for all your hospitality," Mal answered, shaking the hand of the man who taught Kaylee everything. "And thank you for letting us take your daughter off with us again." "No lettin' involved, Cap'n," Kaylee smiled. "He was ready to get rid a'me." "I'll just go check on things," Mal excused himself. Kaylee smiled her thanks. "You talked to your sister?" the man asked. Kaylee nodded. "She knows," she answered. "We're all shiny. She might even stop pesterin' Momma now." "That'd be the day," Daddy rolled his eyes. They hugged and she kissed her father's cheek. "Don't smoke in the house," Kaylee warned. "Momma will have your hide." "Don't let them boss you around too much," her father instructed. "You're my baby and I love you always. Write to us. Let us know what you're up to. Lessen' it's too upsetting for your Momma. Then just write Matty and he'll tell me." "I love you, Daddy," Kaylee sighed. He kissed her forehead, like he used to when she could still fit on his lap for a bedtime story. They parted, each wiping away tears. *** As the ship left the small planet behind them, Kaylee and Simon sat on their shared bed feeding each other bites of the strawberry rhubarb pie as they discussed the oddities that make up a family. "Still," Simon admitted, feeding another bite of the pie to his wife. "Your parents care for you very much. That's not something everyone is lucky enough to have." "Y'ever wonder where your folks are?" Kaylee asked quietly. Simon shook his head. "They don't really try to find us, either," he said. "And I can't imagine what they would say about...well, this life we lead." "Didja let 'em know you married?" his wife asked. Simon thought about Kaylee's reaction when he had asked her if she had told her parents about him. "Did you want me to?" he returned, putting the pie aside. "They didn't care that River wasn't safe. They disowned me when I went after her. They're not like your parents...they...they wouldn't really care for..." "This life we lead?" Kaylee echoed his words back for him. He shrugged. "Took me long enough to grow accustomed to the idea," he smiled at her. She still didn't look satisfied with his answer. He sighed. "I'll send a 'wave, but I don't think it'll do anything. They're not your parents, bao bei." "What're my parents?" she asked, snuggling into his embrace. "Loving," he answered. "Forgiving. Understanding. They're...parents." "You wouldn't think they's so understanding and forgiving if you'd been caught in summa the things I'd done." "Tell me," Simon kissed her. "Tell me so we can be prepared for what our children might bring." Kaylee smiled. "Whose parents do you think we'll be like? Mine or yours?" "We'll be like us," Simon decided. "That's best," his wife sighed sleepily. Simon kissed the top of her head and silently agreed.



Saturday, May 5, 2007 11:33 AM


Aw, nice shiny, fluffy ending! I really liked Kaylee's resolution with Maura. Something tells me it was a long time coming for both of them.

Nice and shiny. Thanks for sharing!

Sunday, May 6, 2007 6:17 AM


I enjoyed reading this exploration in to the dynamics of Kaylee's family.

Nice job with canon pairings and OCs, as usual.

Monday, May 7, 2007 11:15 AM


Definitely glad that Kaylee has buried the hatchet with Maura, and hopefully given her sister a good chuck of thought to chew on. Cuz Kaylee was right...gotta handle your own affairs before helping others;)


Monday, May 7, 2007 11:16 AM


Oh...and why do I get the feeling that Simon's wave to his parents will cause teh crew to get sucked into something problematic? Cuz call me paranoid...but it would make for a perfect setup:(


Monday, May 7, 2007 2:28 PM


hmmm...the idea has merit...i'll think about it, BEB...

Friday, September 14, 2007 9:47 AM


I had to rush and read the last 3 chapters together because they flowed better that way, at least for me. It's fun to see how Kaylee's family fusses and works together. They feel just like characters in the series. Thanks for sharing this story!



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