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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
An unexpected change in circumstances on Serenity cause Mal to reconsider the concept of family. One-shot, post BDM.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1105 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: Show and Tell
Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss. I got nada.
Characters: Jayne/Kaylee, crew
Rating: PG for mildly adult situations and deep, sweet, warm fuzziness.
Setting: Two years post-BDM
Word Count: 2,630
A/N: Cross-posted from my LiveJournal. Comments are always appreciated.
SHOW AND TELL
It was hard for Kaylee to believe it had been nearly two years since the Miranda broadwave. The intervening months had been filled with change, with grief and healing and finally love. None of it happened according to plan, nothing felt as she’d expected. Life has a curious way of leading you through all sorts of twists and turns and then bringing you out into places you never figured to wind up.
She glanced across at her sleeping husband and smiled. His head was thrown back and his mouth gaped in a way that no one would ever call dignified or proper. Thinking back to her brief romance with Simon, Kaylee recalling how, even in sleep, the young doctor remained composed and appropriate, his body still and neatly arranged on his side of the bunk.
Not so Jayne Cobb. Oh no.
The big gunhand had a way of sleeping that managed to take up the whole bed, sprawling over and around her, massive arms and legs all tangled in with hers. Jayne, to her utter astonishment, was a cuddler. This propensity made turning over nearly impossible and she didn’t mind a bit.
It had taken about six months for her relationship with Simon to stutter to an amicable halt. Both agreed they made better friends than lovers. And then she discovered that she and Jayne made better lovers than friends. Way better. By the time the mercenary had worked up the courage to pop the question, she knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life married to the big, uncouth, raunchy and undeniably snuggly man.
Mal did the honors – at gunpoint.
Zoe had more cause that anyone to appreciate the precious and sometimes fleeting nature of true love, a point she made in predictably terse fashion while enforcing the Captain’s cooperation with her ‘mares leg’.
“Life’s short, sir, so let 'em get on with it.”
Kaylee flopped Jayne’s arm back across his massive chest and wriggled out from under the muscular thigh that pinned her to the futon. Her husband snorted awake and lazily cracked one steel-blue eye. “Getting’ up?”
“Ship don’t fix herself, y’know,” she said with a grin, stepping out of range before he could pull her back to bed for a quick round of morning delight.
Jayne pushed himself up on one elbow, his tousled head cocked against his shoulder. Watching his wife get dressed was one of the great delights of his day, watching her undress being another. Jayne Cobb was an observant man. After all, that was part of his job. Kaylee quickly pulled on her unders and reached for her coveralls. That was when he noted, “We best tell 'em, Kay. You’re startin’ to show.”
“Already?” she exclaimed in dismay. “I ain’t more’n four and a half months along.” She stared down at her softly bulging belly, coveralls clutched in one hand.
“Don’t matter, babygirl. You don’t tell 'em, they’re gonna figure it out on their own.”
“Cap’n gonna kill me.”
“No he ain’t.”
Kaylee stared back skeptically. “An’ what about Zo? You know how much she wanted to have a baby with Wash and it didn’t never happen.” Her normally cheerful face grew sad. “Buddha knows she’s been through enough, Jayne. I wouldn’t hurt her for anything in the 'verse.”
Jayne just shook his head. “How many times have we had this conversation, Kay? I think she’ll be happy for ya.” He sat up and planted his bare feet on the decking, then carded a hand through his short dark hair. He’d always heard that pregnant women could be all moody and hormonal, but that didn’t make it easy to deal with. “Before you went off your shots, we talked about all this and I asked was you sure you were okay with it.”
“But that was six months ago,” Kaylee noted, her voice raising in exasperation, “when I wasn’t fixin’ to make this announcement. ’Sides, Simon already knows I caught, 'cause I had to get the vitamins from him.” She made a dismissive gesture. “He wouldn’t tell nobody. All that Doctor confidentially stuff.” She thought a moment. “An’ River knows … 'cause she always does. She just ain’t said nothin’ 'cause she realizes we weren’t ready to tell the others.” The little mechanic looked down at her feet, her face clearly expressing her uncertainty. “No, it’s the Cap’n and Zo I’m frettin’ about, Jayne.”
Seeing the genuine distress on his wife’s rosy face, Jayne stood up and stepped over to her. He slipped his arms around Kaylee’s waist and drew her close against his chest “Well, seein’ as I helped get you in this situation, I guess the least I can do is to help ya tell 'em. Let’s do it tonight at supper.” He lodged a scarred knuckle under her chin and lifted her face for a kiss.
It was a good kiss, good enough that Kaylee quickly noticed when a part of his anatomy poked her in the hip. As she glanced from his erection to his smug grin, she asserted, “You best let me get dressed, Jayne Cobb. I got work to do and that fella there," she nodded at the offending member, “has already started enough trouble.”
The day was uneventful. Kaylee spent much of it working on an ongoing issue with Serenity’s inertial dampeners and thinking about how her life was about to change – again. She was excited about her pregnancy, but still uncertain of how to manage the whole question of caring for an infant and an aging spaceship.
She found herself thinking back to a conversation that she and Jayne had not long after she got pregnant. Jayne’s compartment was tiny and hers just as small. They primarily used her bunk for storage and lived in his, but the prospect of doing that with a baby was daunting. Jayne had suggested that he could cut a passageway through the plates between the two compartments and connect them until Kaylee pointed out that the connecting space, which passed under the corridor floor, was filled with important things like electrical conduits and ventilation ductwork.
As they explored their options, they’d even gone so far as to talk about leaving Serenity and settling dirtside, an alternative Kaylee resisted. “Cap’n’ll come around. An’ as long as I can do my job, he ain’t got no reason to squawk,” she declared.
“An’ about four months from now, when you’re havin’ trouble gettin’ up an’ down the ladder to our bunk – whatcha gonna do then?”
Jayne ducked as the little mechanic took a swing at him.
“Why ya gotta be doin’ that?” she whined. “Always be findin’ problems with my ideas?”
Jayne look was one of bemusement. “Just playin’ the Devil’s Advocate, babygirl.”
“More like the Devil himself, I’m thinkin’,” Kaylee replied, looking sidelong at him, a strand of her thick chestnut hair falling into her face. She thought a moment and reflexively pushed the errant lock behind her ear. “We can just move into one of the empty passenger rooms for the last little bit.”
Jayne crossed his arms and looked skeptically down at her. “And when you can’t go clamberin’ 'round to work on the boat’s engine – what then?”
Kaylee had turned around and straddled his lap so they were face to face. Parking a palm on each of Jayne’s wide shoulders, she said, “Then I guess I’ll just have to teach you what to do and you can be my hands long as needs be.”
A lascivious smile crept onto Jayne’s face as he recalled the remark she’d made long ago about having to depend on her vibrator. Well, he’d sure enough solved that. “Ain’t that what got us in this fix to begin with?” he said with a chuckle.
At the dinner hour, Serenity’s crew wandered into the Firefly’s Commons to gather around the big dining table. It had been Zoe’s turn to cook that night and the Mate had improvised a surprisingly savory stew from powdered protein and dehydrated vegetables, which she served up with hot bread.
Throughout the meal, River grinned at Kaylee in a conspiratorial fashion, her dark eyes sparkling impishly. It struck Mal that his pilot seemed to be unusually cheerful. His experiences with the girl’s gifts as a Reader had taught him to take note of changes in her behavior, so he leaned closer to Simon and muttered behind his hand, “Your sister’s lookin’ uncommon cheery, doctor. She know somethin’ I oughta know, too?”
Simon shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine, Captain.”
Might as well ask her my own self, Mal thought.
“You sure seem right tickled, Li’l Bit. Care to share with the rest of us?”
River looked at him and tilted her head, as if considering how to reply. “Blessings begin with fireworks,” she nodded.
Mal looked at the girl curiously, hoping she’d elaborate but she just continued smiling. “Well," he finally said, "I guess it’s a good thing I don’t allow no blessings on my boat 'cause fireworks are just not at all what I’m lookin’ to encounter.” He grinned and leaned toward Kaylee to ask, “Can you pass the salt?”
The mechanic was increasingly anxious over their impending revelation. As she handed the shaker to the captain, Jayne nudged her knee with his. Guess it’s time to drop the bomb, she thought. Under cover of the table, her small hand grabbed Jayne’s with remarkable force and he realized just how truly scared she was.
He cleared his throat and settled his arm around his wife’s shoulders. “Kaylee and me, well, we got an announcement to make.” Four faces swung their way, obviously curious.
Mal scowled. This couldn’t be good. “Such as?” he prompted warily.
Jayne glanced down at Kaylee and she imperceptibly nodded, so he continued, his face filled with pride. “Kaylee’s pregnant.”
“Sonuvabitch!” Mal exclaimed, slamming his palms down on the tabletop and half rising from his chair. He glared at his gunhand. “Why the hell’d you knock up my mechanic?”
River giggled and Kaylee sank down into her seat.
“I didn’t knock up your mechanic, Cap’n,” Jayne stated flatly. “I knocked up my wife.”
Zoe knew that she and Wash would have faced the same umbrage from the captain had she ever convinced her late husband to begin a family. “May be your boat, sir, but that’s a matter between Jayne and Kaylee.” Zoe’s dark eyes met Kaylee’s uncertain ones and the First Mate smiled softly.
“I’m truly happy for you both,” she said and meant it.
Mal’s head snapped to the right and he scowled at Simon. “How come you didn’t let me know about this, doctor?”
“Because,” Simon replied, “it wasn’t your business until they chose to share the news. There’s a little thing called ‘Doctor/Patient Confidentiality’. Maybe you’ve heard of it?”
River giggled again, covering her mouth with her hand, her eyes dancing with amusement.
Mal glared at her next. “You knew, didn’t you? You gorram well knew!”
“Not my place to tell. Like peeking into a package on Christmas Eve – takes away all the fun.” Her face swiveled toward Kaylee’s. “Your surprise.”
Mal bowed his head and pinched the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger, before letting out a long-suffering sigh. “Now what?” he finally asked. “I guess you’ll be settlin’ down somewhere’s an’ I gotta go lookin’ for a hired gun and a new mechanic, huh?”
Kaylee was quick to protest Mal’s assumption. “Ain’t goin’ anywhere, Cap’n. I figure on doin’ my job just the same as usual long as I can and I’m gonna teach Jayne how to do the regular maintenance so that’s covered towards the last. We’ll work out some way to make sure the little un’s secure and safe. Don’t you worry none about that.”
Mal looked very skeptical. “And just how soon are you due to… you know?” he looked from Kaylee to Jayne and then to Simon.
“Oughta be mid-December or so, best I can tell,” Kaylee said.
Simon concurred, “That fits with my exam notes.”
“Easter egg hatching at Christmas,” River declared.
There were rounds of congratulations and hugs before the crew scattered their separate ways.
“See? That weren’t so bad,” Jayne said as he walked with Kaylee back toward their bunk.
“Wait’ll it really sinks in,” she responded.
The following day Zoe sought out Kaylee at the workbench near the back of the ship’s cargo bay where the mechanic was recalibrating the backup atmo pump. “You got a minute, Kaylee?” she asked.
“Oh hi, Zo.” Kaylee looked up somewhat uncertainly. “Sure thing. This ain’t goin’ nowhere.” She set her screwdriver down, suddenly feeling awkward. “I… uh, we…”
“It’s okay, Kaylee. I sincerely meant it when I said I’m happy for you. It’s a good thing, buildin’ a family.” Zoe sat down on a crate near Kaylee’s workbench, her expression soft and wistful. “You know, you an’ Jayne are gonna need more room before too long an’ I got a suggestion. Before you say ‘no’, I want you to hear me out.”
Kaylee nodded hesitantly, her lower lip nipped between her teeth.
“How 'bout you lettin’ me move into your old bunk, and you an’ Jayne move into mine. It’s bigger – big as the Cap’n’s. Oughta be a pretty simple matter to open up the common wall between there and Jayne’s compartment. Not a structural bulkhead, far as I know.”
“It ain’t. But that was you and Wash’s place,” Kaylee protested.
“Yep. Was.” Zoe emphasized the last word. “Kaylee, honey, life goes on and people’s needs change. I’d take it as a kindness if you and Jayne would switch ‘round with me. Please?”
Kaylee’s face lit up and she flung her arms around a rather startled Zoe’s neck. “Thanks, Zo. I really mean it.”
As Jayne and Kaylee were turning in for the night, Kaylee told her husband about Zoe’s offer.
“Gonna mean an awful lot of shufflin’ around, getting my stuff out of the way and hers moved over. Once that’s all done, we’ll need to cut a new hatchway between the compartments and you’ll have to weld up new storage racks for ‘The Girls’.”
“I gotta move my guns?” Jayne complained.
Kaylee looked at the man as if he’d lost his mind. “Of course you do, silly. Guns ain’t got no business in a nursery. Or had you forgotten why we were fixin’ to do all this?”
Jayne ran his hand over the soft mound of her belly.
”No,” he said quietly, “I ain’t forgot.”
And then he bent and kissed her.
Mal sat in the pilot’s chair, staring out at the Black. What was the point of having rules and policies if weren’t nobody gonna follow 'em? He simply couldn’t imagine how Jayne and Kaylee could possibly make this hair-brained idea work out.
Hearing his Second’s nearly silent boot steps on the stairs behind him, he swiveled to face her.
“Enjoying the quiet, sir?” she asked.
“Guess it’s likely to become a rare commodity before long.”
Zoe slipped into the co-pilot’s seat across from the captain. The couple’s announcement was bittersweet, and she was in a thoughtful mood, herself. First Mate and Captain sat in companionable silence for some time until Mal spoke up.
“Ain’t gonna work,” he stated flatly. “Spaceship ain’t the place to have a family.”
Zoe considered his remark before responding, “Be that as may be, sir, I think you’ve already got one. It took me losin’ Wash to realize I had a family already, right here on Serenity.” She rose and headed back out into the corridor, resting her dark hand briefly on his shoulder as she passed by.
“Huh,” he said thoughtfully to the empty bridge. “I guess she’s right.”
Monday, March 16, 2009 5:30 AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 3:21 AM
Sunday, May 10, 2009 12:34 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2011 7:41 AM
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