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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post BDM. Time's getting close for River. Lots of fluff, a little angst, but A NEW STORY
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1948 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Not too far in the future …
There was a cupboard on board Serenity where stuff was put. Just stuff. Like when it was broken but maybe someone thought it was too good to be just thrown out with the garbage, or if someone figured maybe it could be fixed one day, then it was put into the cupboard. Once in a while – maybe every six months or so – Mal would go through it, toss what was obviously useless, and shove the rest back.
There were memories in there that he didn’t want to lose, but that were too painful to remember all the time, or have on display. Like the dinosaur of Wash’s that had somehow ended up in the transfer linkages, and the head got burned off. They hadn’t gotten rid of the smell of melted plastic for days, until Kaylee turned up the air scrubbers. Wash had placed the dinosaur in the cupboard himself, and said a little prayer for him. He’d walked away with his head high, a tear glistening, but no-one had ragged on him.
Now River wanted it.
“Broken,” she kept saying. “I can’t be fixed but too precious to throw away.”
Simon crouched down outside the cupboard. “Mei-mei, you have to come out. You’re in labour.”
But for now, back to the beginning …
Since the encounter with the AI ship, the atmosphere on board Serenity had been somewhat more relaxed than usual, and people seemed to remember there’d been two weddings not that long before. Hank was grinning inanely at everyone until they told him – or at least Mal had – that if he didn’t stop he’d got a date with an airlock. Jayne, on the other hand, just looked hunted as River got less and less mobile as she approached her due date, and the crew of Serenity had begun to keep knives and other sharp implements out of her way, particularly after the infamous ‘spoon throwing incident’.
“It’s all right, mei-mei,” Simon assured her, grimacing as Zoe removed the offending utensil from his shoulder. “And I need more painkillers.”
“But I didn’t mean …” River was wringing her hands. “It shouldn’t have …”
“A straw can go through a tree if thrown with sufficient force,” Zoe said, staunching the wound with one hand and injecting Simon with more drugs with the other as Kaylee fluttered around her wounded husband. “Seen it on a moon called …” She stopped, her brow wrinkling. “What was it, now?”
“You thinking about that storm we was in?” Mal asked, standing solidly with his arms crossed. “Damn, that was windy. Thought we were all gonna be blown to the hot place.”
Zoe looked at him. “What was it called?”
“Garamond? Garahill?” He shrugged. “Gara something.”
“Garabrook,” Zoe said suddenly, it coming to her.
“That was it.”
“Excuse me?” Simon put in. “Bleeding here?”
“Oh, sorry.” Zoe dabbed at the cut. “Anyway, the wind was so powerful it pushed a twig right the way through Sorenson’s arm.”
Mal laughed. “Never did hear a man swear quite so much. And it was his own fault. Shouldn’t have been waving at that girl.”
“That girl was his lieutenant,” Zoe pointed out, pulling the blood-stained pad away. “And he was drunk.”
“I seem to recall he always was. I doubt there was a day went by that man didn’t – ”
“Blood?” Simon interrupted. “Pain?”
Mal couldn’t help the smile that crept across his face. “Always did say doctors made the worse patients.”
“I could die of septicaemia here, you know.”
“The spoon was clean,” River said softly.
“And it’ll make a pretty scar,” Zoe added, putting her head on one side. “Sort of … crescent-shaped.” She smiled. “Hey, you could always get Jayne to make it into a moon for you. You know, tattoo it.”
“S’an idea,” the big man said from his position in the doorway of the infirmary.
Simon glared at both of them. “No.”
“Just a suggestion.”
Simon looked back at River. “I only said I thought you needed to consider having a caesarean,” he went on, oblivious to the sudden fury on his sister’s face.
“No!” she shouted, stamping her foot and making everyone in the infirmary freeze as images of dead Reavers played across all imaginations.
“Hey, now, albatross,” Mal said gently. “He wasn’t trying to make you angry.”
“Not cutting me open. Told you.”
“And I explained –“ Simon began again.
Jayne managed to catch the doctor’s eye, and by sheer strength of will stopped the young man from making an even bigger mistake by saying another word.
Freya nodded slightly, and put in, “River, why don’t you and I go and make some tea?”
“Tea?” The young woman looked sharply at her. “Is that supposed to distract me?”
River smiled suddenly. “All right.”
The two women linked arms, and walked slowly up the stairs.
“No spoons!” they heard Simon’s voice as they disappeared around the corner.
“Doc, you ain't got the brains you were born with,” Jayne said, pushing off from the wall and approaching the bed.
“I’m worried about her.” That much was evident since he didn’t even blink when Zoe injected near the wound with a local anaesthetic.
“I know that. Hell, we’re all knowing that, doc. But you gotta let me handle it.”
“She’s my wife. I’ll talk to her. Get her to see something approaching reason.” Jayne shook his head. “Ya gotta understand, she ain't exactly all there. Even less right now. And it takes something more’n just being logical with her.” He sighed. “And I’m the one supposed to be a dumb ox.”
“I just want her to understand –“
“She does,” Jayne interrupted. “Only she’s scared, ‘cause she knows what cutting on folks does.”
“I don’t intend going anywhere near her brain, Jayne,” Simon pointed out, then flinched as Zoe dug the needle deeper.
“She don’t see it like that. It’s cutting, one way or the other. But I’ll deal. Not you. Not your place anymore.”
“She’s my sister!”
“And she’s my wife. For better, for worse. And that’s my kid she’s carrying, unless she’s been up to something I don’t know about.” For some reason he glanced at Mal, who tried to look affronted. “But the point is, I’ll talk to her. She’ll come around.” He drew himself up. “Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I intend to go have tea with my River.” Jayne glared once more at the doctor, then strode out of the infirmary.
“Did I just see Jayne being all reasonable and grown up?” Mal said softly to Hank, listening to his mercenary’s footsteps dwindle up the stairs.
“Must’ve been one of them optical illusions,” the pilot said. “You know, one of them pictures where you have to screw your eyes up and you see an elephant or something.”
“That must be it.”
“I've changed my mind.”
“What?” Jayne sat up in bed, rubbing at his eyes with the heels of his hands. “What?”
“Changed my mind,” River repeated more firmly.
He glanced at the clock. ”You got any idea what time it is?”
“Time is a vestigial mode of measurement based on solar cycles …”
“That’s as maybe, but … what’ve you changed your mind about?”
“This baby.” She lay back on the pillow and put her hand on her distended belly. “I don’t want it.”
Now she really had his attention. “What?” His voice made the superstructure ring.
“Too loud,” she murmured.
“What?” he asked again, stupidly but at least at a more reasonable level. “You don’t want my kid?”
She looked at him, then at her stomach, then back up. “Sorry. I put it wrong. I meant I don’t want to give birth.”
He relaxed just a fraction. “River, honey, you have to. That little feller needs to –“
“He’s quite happy.” She patted the child inside her. “And so am I. He can stay inside.”
“That ain't how it works.”
“It is if I choose.”
He moved around on the bed so he could look directly into her face. “Nobody can do that. And it’d be real messy if you tried.” He attempted another tack. “’Sides, you ain't comfortable.”
“Am not, and I ain’t getting into this argument with you. I'm bigger’n you and I can –“
The look in his eyes, the tone of his voice, even his body language, made her subside a little. “Not ready,” she admitted in a small voice.
He sighed and laid down next to her, wrapping his arm around her. “It’s your bro, ain't it? Talking about cutting you.”
She shuddered. “Don’t want him to.”
“I know that. Hell, I figured he knows that now, after what you did earlier. But if it comes to it, if there ain't no choice –“
“I am very flexible,” she pointed out. “My body is responsive, and the ligaments have been stretching to allow passage of the head –“
“Riv, I know you’re flexible. Couldn’t live with you and not know that.” His mind flashed to some of the things they’d done before she was pregnant, and even some they’d done after. She giggled, and he blushed just a little. “But the point is Simon’s got your best interests at heart. You and my son. Don’t want nothing happening to either of you, bao bei.” He pulled her closer. “Not to my wife.”
She luxuriated in the warmth of him for a moment, then said, “So you’re putting your foot down.”
“As my husband?”
He felt a thrill as she said the word. “Damn straight.”
“I could still hurt you.”
“You could, but no more’n if anything went wrong when you were birthing.” He squeezed her gently. “And I ain’t going back on it.”
“Will you be there? If he does?” She slipped her arm around him, feeling his lungs expand, his heart beat.
“Ain't intending being anywhere else.” He moved one hand to lay it on her belly. “Wanna meet this get of mine. And I aim to.”
“Not long,” River said, closing her eyes.
“Nope. Not long at all.” Jayne lay in the dark until he felt her drift into sleep, then lay awake himself for hours, worrying.
to be continued
Thursday, February 7, 2008 11:42 AM
Thursday, February 7, 2008 1:49 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008 3:37 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:02 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008 1:07 AM
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