BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Paquin - Epilogue
Friday, May 11, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Fluff to end, and if you're good, more 2BF fluff to come. Conversations are had and feelings aired. Feedback, please, as it makes it so much easier!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1834    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Zoe pulled the silky top off over her head, her curls falling voluptuously around her shoulders. She let the fabric run through her fingers before placing it carefully in the drawer and looking at herself in the mirror. With just the tips of her fingers she touched the swelling at her waist.

“Hi,” she whispered. “Just thought I should let you know we’re all safe again. In case you were worried.”

“Have you begun talking to yourself now?” Hank asked, standing by the ladder, somewhat wary of coming too far into the room. “Is this just another thing I should expect of a pregnant woman?”

She was about to snap at him, to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling of having been observed being … motherly … but decided instead just to say, “Oddly enough, no.”

“So you’re talking to our son?”

“Mmn.” She glanced down, and his eyes followed to the top of her pants, one of the extenders he’d made holding the front closed.

“Hey, they work,” he said, pleased as all get out.

“Only need the smallest at the moment. But I guess the rest’ll come in handy soon.” She stroked the dark skin of her belly.

Hank felt his breath catch in his chest at the sheer physicality of the woman standing in front of him. “Guess they will,” he said throatily.

“Still have to thank Inara for the clothes.”

“She’d like that. You can wave her. Or wait till we … you know … drop by.” Hank cleared his throat. “You … looked nice.”

She lifted her eyes to gaze at him. “Nice.”

“Well, actually, beautiful. Blooming, even. Glorious. But I thought ‘nice’ might be safer.”

“Safer?”

“After our argument before.”

“Did we argue?”

“Didn’t we?”

“There might have been words,” she conceded.

“I'm sorry.”

“For what? Worrying about me?”

“For getting all … manly about it.”

Her lips twitched. “That what you call it?”

“Don’t, Zo. Don’t make fun of me. Not over this.”

She stared at him, the seriousness in his eyes, then crossed the room, taking his face in her hands and kissing him. His lips parted and their tongues touched.

“I’m not making fun, Hank. I promise.” She released him and took his hand, leading him to the bed. “Sit,” she said, patting the blanket.

“Is this gonna be what Frey calls ‘one of those conversations’?”

“Probably.”

Hank lowered himself next to her. “Okay. I'm ready.”

Zoe smiled, but didn’t speak for a moment. Then she gathered herself. “I'm not making fun, Hank, because I know how you feel. Wash used to worry. ‘Bout me and the Captain.”

“You and Mal?” Hank was surprised. “Why? Were you ever … you know.” He couldn’t say it.

“No, we were never … you know.” She gazed at him. “And I don’t think Wash ever really thought we were. But …” She leaned against him. “Wash was always concerned that I’d follow Mal into hell.”

“And did you?”

“Sometimes. There were days, weeks during the war when I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the devil himself standing over us. But we got through. We always got through.”

“I don’t understand.”

She put her arm through his, entwining their fingers together. “You know about when Wash and Mal got took by Niska.”

He shuddered involuntarily. “Yeah. Heard about that.”

“Well, if Wash hadn’t been being stupid, it would’ve been me with Mal. Not him.”

He jerked around to stare at her. “You?”

“Me.” She stared into the past. “We’d had a fight, about how Mal is always the captain. Wash said I blindly followed his orders, no matter what.”

“How’d that make it him and not you getting … hurt?”

“Does it matter?”

“No, I suppose not.”

“So Niska’s … doing what he did, and Wash said he was about to give up, only Mal wouldn’t let him. Kept him going. Stopped him from dying.” Zoe could still hear her husband. He wouldn't break, Zoe. And he kept me from... I wouldn't have made it.

Hank swallowed. “I didn’t know.”

“Wash understood after that. He still didn’t like it much, but he understood. Mal kept me going during the war, and he did the same for Wash later. I trust him with my life, Hank.”

“Mal says it was you got him through Serenity Valley.”

“We got each other through. Hell and high water, Hank. The bad times and the worse. And with that kind of history …”

The man next to her, with his scruffy brown hair and adorable grey eyes, nodded. “I understand.”

“Do you?” She put her hand on his cheek. “We’re there for each other. No matter what. Always will be. Mal has Freya, I have you … but there’ll always be something special between us. Just … not sexual.”

“I know,” Hank whispered.

Zoe sighed. “It doesn’t help, does it?”

“No, it does.”

“But?”

“But couldn’t you just think before you follow? You know? Just once in a while? ‘Specially now you’re pregnant?”

“I can only say I’ll try.”

“Guess that’s gonna have to do.” He lifted his arm and put it around her, pulling her against him. With his other hand he caressed her belly, feeling his son inside her.

“You know I'm gonna be hell to live with until the baby’s born, don’t you?” Zoe said softly. “Maybe you should go and stay in one of the shuttles, after all.”

“And miss all the excitement?” Hank shook his head. “No way.”

“What about all the arguing?”

“Were we arguing?”

“We will,” Zoe promised. “When my ankles swell, and I can’t reach my feet, or even see them, you’ll wish you took that job with Philipson.”

“Well, I've already been dealing with the morning sickness.”

“It will get worse.”

“You know,” he said sincerely, after a moment’s thought, “I really don’t mind.”

---

Simon had tidied up the infirmary, putting away all the tools of his trade, back where they belonged, and now he felt ready for his bed. Mal had been his usual self and insisted on going back to his own bunk, so as Simon took a last look around, it was an empty space. Lonely. He shivered slightly and switched off the lights, closing the door behind him. Glancing towards his room, where Kaylee was waiting, he headed instead for the galley, and a last coffee. Or maybe something a little stronger, just to get that image of being winched down into the storm out of his head.

Someone else seemed to have had the same idea.

“Just makin’ up for the blood I gave up.” Jayne grinned and swigged from his mug, his chair tilted back on two legs.

“That isn’t really the best way,” Simon pointed out.

“Nope, maybe not. But it’s fun.” He lifted the bottle. “You want some?”

For a moment neither man moved, then Simon nodded slowly. “Sure. Why not? But just a single.”

“Too fancy for me,” Jayne said, watching him as the young man picked up one of the cups, absently running his fingers around the inside. “Places I go, they don’t talk about singles or nothing. Just a slug.”

“Then a small slug.” Simon sat down and held out his mug.

“’Kay.” Jayne poured.

“Thanks.” Simon stared at the amount of alcohol, then shrugged. It probably wouldn’t hurt, not this once. And he was accustomed to sake …

“It ain't like the stuff you’re used to,” Jayne warned. “I don’t bother spending good coin on something that’s only meant to get you outta your skull.”

“No, I see what you mean,” Simon wheezed, having taken a small sip.

Jayne grinned evilly. “Drink up. Put hairs on your chest.”

“Thanks, but I don’t want any.” He waited for feeling to come back to his throat.

“Yeah. Heard tell Kaylee likes you all lily-white and pasty.”

Simon was about to make a snarky remark, but suddenly felt too tired to play. Instead he looked at the big man. “What you did …” he began diffidently. “Saving Mal’s life like that, with the tube … how did you know?”

Jayne shrugged. “My kinda business, things happen. People get shot and die. First time I saw that particular death I was just a kid. Younger’n River even. Man took a while, but it weren't pretty. He got to begging me to put him outta his misery by the end, only he couldn’t breathe enough to talk.”

“What happened?”

“He died.” Jayne didn’t elaborate. “Next time was a few years later, and we had someone around who’d got some medical-type training. Asked him to show me, so’s I didn’t have to go through that again.”

“Was he your friend? The man who died.”

“He … kept me alive, first coupla years I was out in the ‘verse. I was so green you coulda fed cows off me. But he taught me a lot.”

“Seems like we all had our mentors.”

“Only way to stay alive, doc.”

Simon found himself nodding. “So you learned how to do a … to release the air.”

Jayne knew he’d been about to drop into medical-speak, but didn’t take umbrage. “Yeah. Needed it maybe twice since, and one of those was on my own self. Damn but that was hard. I yelled like a girl on her first time.”

Simon grimaced at his turn of phrase, then realised the big man was doing it deliberately. He took another sip of alcohol. “I'm sure you deserved it.”

“Reckon maybe I did. Reckon maybe I deserved most of the scars I got. Including the one you put there.”

Simon jerked, spilling some of the whisky down his shirt. “The … the one I …” He wiped ineffectually at the stain.

“Maybe I’d’a taken advantage once. When she first came on board. Before I got to … well, ‘fore I saw what she did to a room full of Reavers. Just had my way and had done with it, no regrets. Only …” He dropped his head, almost embarrassed at what he was about to say. “She’s changed me. Don’t know how, nor why, but … it’s scary, doc.”

Simon had never seen the mercenary so vulnerable, not even when he was lying on the table being operated on. “My sister is … special,” he finally said.

Jayne lifted his head and grinned. “Got that right.”

“So … what? You’re all warm and fuzzy now?”

“Nope. Still the same bastard I always was. Still kill you if you look at me funny. ‘Cept maybe now I’ll think about it first, and repent – as the Shepherd used to say – at my leisure.”

“Repent. I didn’t think you knew the meaning of the word.”

“I know a lot more’n most give me credit for. That’s why I’m still alive, doc.”

“Just don’t hurt her.”

It was the closest Simon was ever going to come to giving his permission, but Jayne understood. “I won’t.”

The young doctor pushed the mug away. He’d drunk maybe a sixth of what Jayne had poured, but he knew that was enough. Enough to drive the horrors away and keep him able to deal with Mal if need be.

As if he’d read the man’s mind, Jayne asked, “Where’s the Cap?”

“I let him go back to his bunk. Freya’s looking after him.”

“Think that’s a good idea? You know what they’re gonna be getting up to, soon as your back’s turned.”

“He tears it open, he stitches it back up himself.”

Jayne guffawed. “Think that’s gonna stop ‘em?”

Simon stood up. “I'm going to bed.”

“Think I might work out a while. Given as I ain't all that sleepy.” Jayne got to his feet nonetheless and put his bottle away in the cupboard, out of reach of prying, two year old fingers. He followed the younger man out of the galley. “So what was that thing I did? The proper name for it,” he asked as they descended the stairs toward the lower crew quarters.

“A tube thoracostomy. To relieve a pneumothorax.”

“Tho-ra-cost-om-y.” Jayne spread the word out, tasting it. “Fancy word for what I did.”

“You saved Mal’s life, Jayne. I don’t think he cares what anyone calls it.”

“Nope, guess he don’t. Like my Callahan fullbore autolock, customized trigger and double cartridge thorough-gauge. Don’t matter everyone calls her Vera, she still shoots good.”

There was a pause.

“Right.” Simon nodded slowly. “Goodnight, Jayne.”

“’Night.” Jayne continued on towards the cargo bay, hearing Simon’s door open, then Kaylee’s voice.

“Where’ve you … Simon, you smell like Jayne!” she said accusingly. “You shower. Now.”

The big man grinned. Wonder how she’s gonna explain she knows what I smell like, he thought idly as he headed for his weights.

COMMENTS

Friday, May 11, 2007 2:25 AM

SLUMMING


Love the last line. Didn't see that coming! I have no pride, so I'll gladly beg for 2BF!

Friday, May 11, 2007 4:23 AM

AMDOBELL


This was wonderful but I was so hoping for some Mal/Freya goodness as well. Gorramit, now I'm going to have to wait for you to make it up to me in your next fic. Loved the dialogue between Zoe and Hank, that was wonderful, and the conversation between Simon and Jayne was pretty damn shiny too! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, May 11, 2007 11:54 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Ah...now here's something I have been waiting for: Simon seeing first-hand how River has softened Jayne up somewhat. Still sharp as a knife, but no longer as double-edged as he was;)

And yeah...I too wanna know how Kaylee knows what Jayne smells like when he's been drinking. Lord knows Jayne's booze will have probably loosened Simon's tongue:D

BEB

Friday, May 11, 2007 3:22 PM

KATESFRIEND


Wonderful crew interactions here - the dialog was perfect for everyone.

Saturday, May 12, 2007 9:32 AM

TAMSIBLING


I really liked Zoe and Hank talking it through and Zoe actually giving him something to understand her relationship with Mal.

And if Jayne smells, something tells me you don't have to get that close to tell ... I'm sure he's been drunk plenty of times and Kaylee's helped him home from some bar brawls. Get your minds out of the gutter people! :)


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