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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
They take aboard an all too familiar passenger, River faints and works out something with Jayne, Simon is livid, and Mal and Inara buy strawberries. Not particularly in that order, however. M/I, S/K, R/J.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 659 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N- I don't have as many lines from the poem scattered in this part, please forgive me. Also, PLEASE leaves comments!!!
Out here in the dark we wait in shadows….
Broken souls dance like leaves on the wind,
Waiting for sun to break out again,
Out here in the dark we wait in shadows,
Broken dreams, wrapped in our hands,
Like streamers for the things that leave,
And all we do is hold on tighter and tighter,
Until the hopes we long for fly away,
We search for answers we know we won’t find,
And we dream the dreams that we know are too big,
Because if we scale ourselves down to size,
We lose ourselves in the chaos,
We are the broken souls,
Dancing to our funeral march….
Jayne trudged out of the store, River fluttering around him murmuring odd things into his ears, like an annoying hummingbird.
“If I asked you to kiss me, would you?” River asked.
River screwed up her face, as if mulling over his response.
“If Mal asked you to do something, would you do it?”
“You aren’t listening to me. That’s not nice.”
“Thought we had a talk about niceness and that other stuffs this mornin’.”
“The big man is very perceptive,” noted River happily.
“The big man is very annoyed.”
“And acceptably sarcasm of seemingly average intelligence! I’m very pleased,” River told him.
“I ain’t the only one who’s bein’ sarcastic.”
“You used a big word. I’m so proud.”
“Do ya get that from your brother? Pants or somethin’?”
“I believe the word you’re looking for is “genes”, and it may be that. You would have to trace our family lines far back to find those of the same mind set as Simon and me. Our parents were fools and blindly loyal to the shadows of those who once were,” River responded. “If I asked you to kiss me, would you?”
“Are ya likely to ask me?” snorted Jayne.
“I won’t need to ask,” she replied, stopping to execute a perfect pirouette. Jayne stopped dead in his tracks and she continued to dance ahead of him, twirling to face him and smile softly. That soft smile, one he rarely saw, sent some feeling racing up his back, and he shook his head violently.
“Need to get back to the ship.”
Jayne groaned and trudged to keep up with her manic pace. She was like a gorramn hummingbird.
“Can we get back to the ship, Mal? This isn’t what I had intended when I suggested we take an outing,” Inara complained, or at least complained in that way that only Mal or the crew would know she was complaining.
They were browsing through a marketplace brimming with food, and Mal was eagerly digging through the contents, looking for strawberries for Kaylee’s birthday.
“Honestly, Mal, you didn’t even remember her birthday until I mentioned it,” Inara reminded him.
“Yeah, I know, but…”
“I know…I spent two days picking out the dress I got for her,” Inara admitted begrudgingly. “Look at this- is this what you want?” She picked up a platter of fresh strawberries, some of them plain and some of them coated in a layer of chocolate.
“Good. You got money?” he asked her, and she snorted as gracefully as a Companion could. “Joking, joking, joking….Seriously, you got money?”
“GO pay for it. I’ll wait over there,” she gestured to a shadowed, isolated area, but Mal grabbed her arm before she could wander over there. “Mal, stop! It’s probably cooler over there, anyway…”
“No being alone,” piped up River as she and Jayne appeared behind Mal. “Evil will get you and cut out your soul….” Jayne clamped a hand over her mouth with a yawn and she turned a venomous gaze on him.
“This is gonna end with my pi gu gettin’ kicked, ain’t it?” Jayne gulped, and River nodded delicately, a trace of amusement hidden in her angry eyes.
“Y’know, I think I’m gonna go buy this. Be at the ship on time or get left,” Mal warned, dragging Inara along to haggle the price of the strawberry tray.
“How foreboding,” River murmured right before she collapsed onto the ground. Jayne scooped her up in a moment of worry, and she stirred. “Dizzy…Can’t talk….Get me back to ship, Jayne….please.”
He nodded, somewhat dizzy his own self, and carried her the entire way, crushed against his chest. Despite her obvious distress, he felt a jolt of something he couldn’t name, holding her against him. Her fingers curled around his shoulders, and her face rubbed his chest gently. He could feel her lips and nose through the soft cotton of his shirt. She moaned a few words occasionally, but when he trudged up the ramp onto the ship she sighed contentedly. Simon and Kaylee had been laughing and ignoring the pile of engine parts they’d collected, but they ran over as soon as the big mercenary appeared.
“I’m fine. The evil wants me the most, Mal and Inara should be safe,” River murmured, her eyes still shut sleepily, and she snuggled against Jayne’s chest. Simon reached for her, but Jayne drew back protectively.
“She’s fine, doc, just needs some rest. Maybe the heat got to her,” Jayne growled deep in his throat, and only Kaylee could see River smiling slightly with her eyes closed.
“What’s going on here?” Mal demanded as Jayne disappeared into up the stairs from the cargo bay, River still wrapped up in his arms.
“My sister collapsed and that ape won’t let me near her,” Simon explained huffily. Jayne appeared again, hanging over the railing, and Mal was struck by how carefully the merc’s large hands cradled the tiny girl.
“She’s fine, gorrammit,” snarled Jayne before he vanished again.
“If she was hurtin’ bad enough, she’d tell ya. Did she tell ya?” Mal pointed out.
“Mal!” Inara broke in, gesturing discreetly to the package he was holding, and the two of them disappeared the same way as Jayne and River, holding a whispered argument about discretion in front of certain mechanics.
“Now, Dr. Tam, I am going to teach what each and every one of these parts are,” Kaylee said proudly.
“Hold off on that until I’m settled in my room, huh? Where’s your Mal?” Saffron asked from the shadows, one hand clutching a somewhat familiar brown bag.
“What the di yu are you doing here?” demanded Simon, inching to stand in front of Kaylee.
“I’m a passenger,” she explained in one of her infuriatingly innocent voices.
“You aren’t!” exclaimed Kaylee.
“She is, mei-mei, and you’d be best to be kind to our payin’ passenger,” Mal sighed as he and Inara reentered the cargo bay, this time empty handed. Jayne and River followed, River teetering slightly and Jayne keeping his hand steady on her elbow. Saffron glanced up at them disdainfully.
“Since when is your mercenary involved with your passenger?” Saffron asked unpleasantly, and Jayne tightened his grip on River’s arm.
“Since never, as far as I know,” replied Mal, twisting to glare at them. “Although I conjure the three of us are gonna be havin’ a talk soon.” River stuck her tongue out at him and dragged Jayne away to the kitchen, muttering under her breath in disjoined phrases about mean old captains.
“Well, now, I just want you to know that you’re only allowed in your bunk and in the kitchen. Go anywhere near the engine room and I will end you and keep your money,” Mal warned her.
“Ah, Mal, you think I’m still in a huff about that silly old gun?” Saffron said, sultrily and softly.
“Yes, I do, and that’s why you’ll be accompanied everywhere except your bunk. I’m also gonna take the precaution of locking your bunk up tight while you’re in it, just so’s you can’t kill us all,” Mal informed her. “Now, that’s the way it is. You can’t handle that, then you just walk off my boat right now.”
“Fine,” she agreed reluctantly. Her expression immediately changed to one of seduction. “Can you be the one to accompany me?”
“No, he won’t,” Inara replied with a sweet smile, that, had an outsider seen that smile, they would have taken it as a welcoming smile, but Saffron and the crew knew it was a smile masking venom, a smile that meant “I will kill you if I have to.”
Mal glanced at her with a somewhat surprised expression and nodded.
“Then who will keep me from killing you all?” asked Saffron pitifully, glaring at Inara out of the corner of her eye.
“Jayne and River,” replied Mal with a barely contained laugh. “Oh, also, I got no time for games. You get seducin’ again, you will be gone. No games.” He stomped towards the kitchen to confront River and Jayne over their behavior, leaving Inara to twist the dagger a little more.
“You heard the captain. No games,” Inara said, smiling that sweet, masking smile again and retreating to her shuttle.
“Well, you can come to the kitchen with us to eat, an’ we’ll show you to your room. Then I guess you’re stuck with Jayne and River,” Kaylee said mournfully.
“What’s wrong with Jayne and River?” Saffron asked, a hint of worry betraying her act.
“Well, River’s my sister, and Jayne’s the ship’s man ape, and Jayne is a violent psychopath and River is a government trained psychic assassin,” explained Simon cheerily. “Have fun with that.”
Saffron woke up the next morning to a loud pounding on the door to her passenger dorm. She could hear a muttered argument, one voice female and well educated, the other male and coarse.
“Get the hell up!” the big, crude man they called Jayne was snarling.
“Be nice,” the assassin teenage girl, River was warning. “She won’t betray us this time. In too much danger.”
“Nice to see that someone trusts me,” Saffron said, stepping out to face them.
“I don’t trust people. I read them to make sure they won’t stab me in my sleep,” River said dully, and Jayne stifled a laugh.
“Nice to see that someone knows without a doubt because they’re digging in my mind that I won’t betray them.” Saffron amended sarcasticly.
“You don’t like us. But you won’t betray us, because you want to get away from the evil. You’re the Mistress of the Light, just as I am the Goddess of the Shadows…Oh, god….It’s coming for us….Broken souls, everyone…Ancient evil,” River moaned. She had said the first sentence in a normal manner, but something began to writhe in her mind and all of the sudden she was wrapping her arms around Jayne and smushing her face into his chest. He held her gently and glared at Saffron, daring her to say anything.
She took the dare.
“Yeah, that teenage assassin of yours sure is a killer of men,” Saffron said dryly, and River pulled away from Jayne and punched Saffron in the face.
The older woman crumpled to the floor, and Jayne wondered whether he was supposed to congratulate River or scold her. He settled on shoving Saffron’s unconscious body back in the passenger dorm.
“She can eat later,” River decided.
“Sorry about earlier,” River apologized to the woman who was coming out of the passenger dorms. “Get mad easily when accused of incompetence.”
“She does…Whatever it means,” Jayne agreed.
“Can I eat now or do you want to knock me out again?” Saffron asked, her head shaking slightly with pent up fury.
“I could kill you now or you could act civilized,” River said, boredom echoing in her voice.
“I never-! Fine, I want food….Unless it’s poisoned,” she added the last bit after a moment of thought.
“Honestly, what does she think we are, barbarians?” snorted River, exchanging a smile with Jayne.
Saffron saw the look they shared, and decided that if she wasn’t going to be killing anybody, she might as well have some fun with the man the psychotic teenaged assassin obviously had feelings for. The crew had gotten dumber and dumber, not to see what was going on with the two opposite people that were so completely attracted to each other.
River knew immediately that Saffron was going to go after Jayne with a ferocious passion, as payback for the punch.
She couldn’t let that happen.
Was she supposed to warn Jayne, or interfere without him knowing?
One choice or another….
And then the shudder of pain passed through her being just as they entered the kitchen, Saffron already helping herself to the food. River slid easily to the floor, and the last thing she heard before everything went black was Jayne whispering something to her.
Simon jerked awake to see his baby sister curled up into a terrified ball on the bed in the infirmary. And calling Jayne’s name.
Simon stood up to go to his sister’s side, but someone else rushed out of nowhere and knocked him off balance.
“What is it, girl? What do you need?” Jayne was saying to his sister, and if Simon had been crazy, he would have said that it sounded like Jayne was purring in a gravelly manner.
But there was no way.
“Sanity comes to take me away…Oh, god, please don’t leave me, Jayne.”
Jayne nodded and pulled the stool up to sit next to her. As Simon watched, River unwound her limbs and put her tiny, delicate hand in Jayne’s.
Simon opened his mouth to object, snapped it shut again and wandered off to complain to Kaylee.
Kaylee eyed the piece she was fitting carefully into the engine while Simon ranted about how Jayne should have let him in first.
“And I don’t even know what’s wrong with her!” Simon finished.
“I think Jayne does…Or not really knows but understands her in a way you ain’t gonna be able to,” Kaylee explained distractedly. “See, Jayne an’ her have been spendin’ alotta time together. Close friends an’ all…So he gets her in more’n a few ways, and more ways than you do.”
“Do you think he and my sister might be romantically involved?” Simon asked with a helpless sigh. He had expected Kaylee to go into a coughing fit, or scoff and tease him. He had not expected her to pretend she hadn’t heard. “Kaylee?”
“Not yet?” Kaylee suggested timidly.
“What do you mean, not yet? My sister has standards! She wouldn’t sleep with the…man-ape gone wrong thing!” Simon yelled.
“It wouldn’t be just sex, Simon, haven’t you seen them together?” Kaylee pointed out. “I think…I know, even though they don’t, that the two of them…Well, it’s love.”
“It’s love, in point of fact,” River murmured, realization dawning in her eyes as she repeated the words said so long ago, and know realized that they applied to her once more.
Jayne looked up at her, startled, and eyed the girl sitting next to him with some apprehension. But she turned her large doe eyes to him with an odd look, one of realization.
“Say somethin’, Crazy?” he muttered gently under his breath, but she shook her head and he decided not to push her.
“Say, Jayne, could you help me with the bed in my room? It seems kind of wobbly,” Saffron interrupted, a sultry note in her voice.
“Yeah, I’ll do it….River, you can help me,” he added, not noticing the pleased look on River’s face and the miffed look on Saffron’s.
“Oh, I wouldn’t be any trouble. Besides, she looks exhausted,” crooned Saffron. “Poor little girl….Poor child.”
“She is not a child. Her eighteenth birthday was three weeks ago,” River said coldly, and then she broke into a teasing smile. “She thinks you’re grabbing at straws now.”
“And she talks about herself in third person,” Saffron added meanly.
“Enough!” Jayne exclaimed, shooting to his feet. “Now I ain’t got no idea what’s goin’ on here, but y’all both are actin’ catty and jealous.”
“The ‘verse’ll go to hell the day I act jealous and catty,” River informed Jayne. “She wants to have her way with you to get at me for punching her in the face.”
“First’a’all, it ain’t gonna happen. Next, why in the gorramn ‘verse would you grapplin’ with me make River-Oh. Huh,” Jayne huffed, and Saffron noted with distaste the somewhat satisfied look on his face.
Saffron shoved the last bite of her meal in her mouth and was promptly shoved back into her room.
With the door locked.
Jayne dragged River to the cargo bay so that they were standing face to face on one of the walkways River inhabited when she wasn’t feeling sociable. Jayne looked frustrated and River looked bored.
“What?” River asked.
“I…You…Gorrammit, girl, I ain’t no good with words,” he snarled.
“Yes, you are. Just don’t realize it. Not good with words in the sense most people are, but you are in your own way,” River disagreed. “You can’t speak now because you’re nervous. You want to know what exactly just happened.”
“I ain’t nervous...You know what exactly just happened?”
“You are intrigued by me. Think of me often. More often than everything else. Most people would call it love. But Jayne Cobb doesn’t fall in love, does he?” River added the last bit quite bitterly. Jayne opened his mouth to say something, but River had more. “I can’t read you to find, either….You, who I can read easier than everyone else, have the one thing I need to know clouded.”
“I ain’t-,” began Jayne, but River punched him easily in the gut.
“Not done. Rude to interrupt,” she informed him. “So know I want to know. Giving you the ultimatum. Tell me what the future holds, the one portion of the future that matters the most to me, the portion I can’t see. Here is my ultimatum, Jayne Cobb- do you love me?”
“Can I talk now?” he grunted, and she nodded apologetically. He hesitated for moment, and swept her into a long kiss, his large arms supporting her tiny frame, holding her tight against him, and that jolt he felt before, carrying her from the marketplace, happened again, only this time he could name it.
Her tongue melded delicately with his, and he was surprised when she pulled away. Not just surprised, but worried and hurt.
“This isn’t talking,” she told him, and he let himself laugh before he pulled her back against him. Her tiny hands drifted softly up his back, sending tingles up his spine.
“Well, now, what is goin’ on here?” Mal drawled. He was standing on the stairway above them, and accompanied by a livid Simon.
Until the hopes we long for fly away…
Saturday, March 08, 2008 3:33 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2008 6:16 PM
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