Lessons (Part 5/11)
Friday, December 30, 2011

Zoë makes Jayne a promise, and then she makes a disturbing discovery.



Zoë knocked on Jayne's door and entered when she received a grunt she interpreted as an invitation to do so. She flashed him a smile she knew was far too cheery. "Your food," she said, lifting the tray a little as if she were introducing it to him.

Jayne just looked at her, a little suspiciously for some reason (probably because of that silly smile), and propped himself up on one elbow. Simon had told them at dinner that the mercenary's temperature was back to normal and that he was feeling a little stronger, but also insisted that the patient needed at least a couple more days of bed rest. Zoë didn't disagree now that she saw Jayne for herself. He still looked rather peaked and pale, but also relatively clean and groomed, she noticed. She suspected Shepherd Book had something to do with that.

"Today's special is brown and green with a little purple on the side," she added jokingly.

He snorted and struggled to push himself up all the way into a sitting position.

"You need a hand?" she asked and put the (so-called) food down on the nightstand, ready to help.

"I got it," he mumbled, and she stepped back and patiently watched him until he finally succeeded. It seemed to have deprived him of all his strength though, so when she slid an extra pillow in behind his back and helped him settle back on it, he didn't protest.

"Here," she said, picking the tray from the nightstand and putting it down on his lap. "Maybe try and finish everything on the plate this time, huh?"

"I wish people would stop treating me like a baby," he grunted.

"Well, you got the doctor worryin' 'bout you. And I'm the one who has to listen to all the fuss he's makin'. So, be a good boy and eat your food."

He scowled at her and then eyed the lumps of protein with a frown, but he did take a piece and put it in his mouth, slowly chewing it.

"Anything else I can get you?" she asked. "Somethin' you need from your bunk?"

"I'm good," he muttered and swallowed another mouthful. The frown on his face grew, and she didn't blame him. This stuff tasted bad enough when you were feeling well.

She turned to leave, but stopped in the doorway to glance back at him. "Tell you what, Jayne," she said and looked at him in full earnestness, "when we get to Boros I'll get you beef."

He shot out his chin and arched an eyebrow. "You promise?"

She smiled, a real and honest smile this time. "Even if I have to go poach the cow myself."

Still smiling she closed the door and headed upstairs to the galley. Simon, Wash and the captain were sitting around the table, and the doctor looked up at her as she entered. "Well?" he asked.

"Yeah," she said, pouring herself a cup of coffee. "He's gonna try and make a run for it. Very soon."

Simon sighed. "I'm gonna have to post a guard. The man cannot get out of bed!"

He hissed out the words in a strangely aggressive way and the others eyed him, a little puzzled by this behavior. He noticed and gave another sigh, leaning back in his chair. "I'm sorry, it's just that… He needs his rest, or he'll collapse, or have a relapse, and our medicine supplies aren't exactly unlimited."

The others just nodded.

"He's just bored," Zoë said.

"Well, he'll be just as bored out here," Simon mumbled.

"We should get him some readin' material," Wash suggested, and after a short consideration he added, "With lots of pictures."

Mal tapped his tin cup against the table. "Tie him down if you have to, Doc," he said, but his voice sounded tired and distant as if he really didn't care.

"Well, I'm sure the shepherd can handle him," Simon said a little warily and shifted slightly in his chair. "They seem to have a certain rapport."

Zoë studied her captain with a sideways glance. She tried to be discreet, but she knew that he knew and he didn't allow her to scrutinize him for long. He slowly emptied his mug and stood. "Well, it's time for us all to pretend we're busy. So ladies and menfolk, back to work."

Zoë suppressed a sigh and watched him leave the room, before she did the same and followed Wash to the bridge.

"I'm worried 'bout the captain," she said as soon as they were there.

"Why?" her husband replied. "Because he's moody and melancholic? 'Cause it's not like we haven't seen that side of him before."

She sighed. "You're right. Just wish I knew how to snap him out of it, though. I hate it when he's like this."

Wash switched some switches and pushed some buttons and then settled into his seat, before he shot a short glance in her direction. "He's not the only one being a little listless these days. And Jayne's the only one with an excuse."

He gave her a few moments to reply but when she didn't, he continued, making his point, "Seems to me they're all acting a little out of character. The doctor's more tense than ever. River… River's actually calm… well, calm enough. And Kaylee… Did you see how she acted 'round the shepherd at dinner? She couldn't even look at him."

"Yeah?" Zoë said and casually let her eyes drift to the stars outside as she didn't want to meet his eyes at this particular point. "I didn't notice." Then she shook her head and straightened, trying to snap herself out of this state, and carefully put her hand on his shoulder. "Five more days. We're all gonna be crazy by the time we reach Boros."

"Uh-uh, not me." He patted her hand and winked at her. "And I'll keep you sane, baby."

She bent down and kissed his cheek. "I know you will."

"So," he asked, "what's on your mind?"


Considering what she'd told Kaylee the other day, she felt like the biggest hypocrite in the 'verse, but the truth was she hadn't been able to stop thinking about Adelaide ever since the mechanic had shown her the pin. It was gnawing at her, which was a little surprising as curiosity had never been one of her flaws. People kept secrets and usually she was okay with that. But Adelaide had triggered something in her, there was no denying it.

Wash lifted his eyebrows. "Who? Or what?"

"Don't know. Just came across the name and it seems to be stirrin' a memory, but I can't remember any details. Can't pinpoint it."

"Oh, don't you just hate it when that happens?" he exclaimed. "It's so annoying."


"You tried the Cortex?"

Before she could stop him he was already on it. A little typing and info started to flash up on the screen.

"Let's see," Wash mumbled as he simmered through the text, "lots of people by that name… Hey, it was a city too. Back on Earth-That-Was." He looked at her. "Bell ringin'?"

"No, that's not it. Listen, don't bother. I'm sure I'll remember…"

"Wait, look, it's a city now as well." He pointed to the screen. "New Adelaide." He continued reading. "Oh, population three and a half thousand. Guess 'city' was a little optimistic…"

"Where is this place?"

"Selene, first moon of Valentine."

And then it hit her. Like lightening, like a hammer between the eyes. And her insides turned cold as ice.

"I remember now," she calmly whispered.

"Oh, good," Wash smiled.

"No, honey, it's not good. Not good at all."




Friday, December 30, 2011 7:33 AM


Uh oh, I am deafened by the sound of another shoe dropping... Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:53 AM


Oh...the hob-nailed boot has just crashed to the floor! Getting the feeling that Adelaide, Selene was the site of a nasty battle or a war crime :(


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Angels We Have Heard (Part 4/5)
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It's the night before Christmas and Jayne is having spiritual problems. Literally.

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Zoë and Inara have a heart-to-heart, and Mal discovers more shades of grey.