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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Saint Jayne performs his first miracle. Zoe, Jayne, Heaven, Hell and all that flies between. Post BDM.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1477 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Saint Jayne performs his first miracle. Zoe and Jayne attempting to function, post BDM.
Thanks to WildHeavenFarm, whose morose and lovely fic “Handling Things” put a seed of thought into my brain. The terrifying result…..
The body was…difficult. Closing the door of the bridge to be alone with her husband was simple, as familiar as his hand in the dark, but turning to face him…it was harder to face him there than any enemy line, any barrage of fire, any yawning stretch of bloody wait. She knew when she pushed her palm against his cold cheek just once, when she pried that filthy thing out of his chest and felt no gush of blood, but stillness…she knew he was dead. The knowing, like gravity, kept her rooted to the ground when she should have gone spinning, kept her from keening out, from burying her own heart in his still chest. He was gone, nothing could bring him back and she needed to conserve what she had left. Energy, sanity, humanity, whatever it was left inside her wasn’t much and she couldn’t pour it out on him when she needed it so bad her own self. She stayed quiet.
She buried her husband in quiet, repaired the mirror wound in Serenity’s hull in quiet, slept in an empty passenger dorm in quiet. Until they flew again, until they left him behind, and then she went home. She knew he was dead, she’d touched his death to know for sure and thought it was the worst.
The worst was waiting for her patiently in their bunk, when she dropped into it and knew in one great rush that not only was her husband dead, but that he’d been alive. On their rumpled bed was the frayed t-shirt he’d slept his last night in, she couldn’t even look past it to anything else, his every possession here in this room that was now her possession. She didn’t want them, his things he’d left. Didn’t want them to be hers, couldn’t look at them at all.
She left it, didn’t touch it but left it there, crawled into bed, into sheets that were still theirs, weren’t washed into just hers yet. She lay still so she wouldn’t disturb it, so it would always be last touched by him.
Too soon to do naught else about it. It was easier to think only of that shirt, and not of him, further and further behind them and ahead of her still, her running hard to catch up.
“Zoe! Zoe get yer damn eyes on target!”
Jayne’s bulk hit her shoulder so hard she saw stars. Her face was flat in the dirt before she heard his shots fired. Two quick bangs and then he cursed, shoved her hard as he pushed himself up and off her, left her glaring up at him in pain and fury.
“What’s your problem, Jayne?”
He sneered at her, pointed his gun to the body now lying a few short feet from their lookout point.
“Him. He’s my problem, ‘cause he shouldn’t be this gorramn close to me before he’s got a bullet in him. You was supposed to be watchin’ my back.”
Zoe didn’t answer, just dusted herself off and massaged her shoulder as he shook his head at her, threw his hands up with an angry, unasked question.
She walked past him, close enough that he had to move to avoid getting hit, and tossed out,
“Yer still livin’ Jayne, and he ain’t. Nothing here to get antsy about. Now you coming to meet the Captain or not?”
They walked in a tight silence that wasn’t nothing new. Few jobs they’d done since Miranda’d been this way, Zoe acting like an amateur and Mal refusing to notice. Jayne had already been shot once on account of it, and getting’ shot wasn’t nothin’ new, but getting’ shot ‘cause Zoe wasn’t where she was supposed to be sure was.
Hell, seein’ yer husband get done that way wasn’t no pretty thing and Jayne had all sorts of sympathy for Zoe, ‘cepting where that sympathy was like to get him killed. Either she had to pull it together or him’n Mal was gonna have to go it without her for a spell. ‘Cept that wasn’t his call to make, and seemed Mal wasn’t willin’ to make it.
They caught up with Mal and his part of the crime and headed back to Serenity together. Mal didn’t even ask how things had gone on their end, he could probably tell by Jayne’s tetchy huffin’ and Zoe’s stony gait. He looked discomfited, that was surely true, but he wasn’t lookin’ to step between them, sort to the bottom of their problem. He musta knowed, though, that their criminal trio wasn’t runnin’ right. Jayne pulled him aside as they neared the open doors of the cargo bay.
“We gotta talk.”
Mal looked predictably put out by Jayne’s words.
“I’m guessin’ there was a problem back there.”
“Now why do you guess that?”
Mal glared coolly at Jayne,
“Seems like there’s always a problem ‘tween the two of you these days.”
Jayne shook his head.
“Nuh uh, no problem with me, problem with Zoe, and I’m all manner of confused ‘bout why you ain’t dealt with her yet. She ain’t right, Mal, she ain’t dealin’ right with what happened.”
“What happened? You referring to her husband dying?”
“Don’t be acting like I don’t care ‘bout that, Mal, and don’t try to pretend that the way she is now ain’t gonna get us killed sometime in the soon.”
Mal sighed, looked at some point past Jayne’s left shoulder.
“She told me…she told me she wouldn’t come apart.”
“Don’t matter what she said, that’s what’s happening, and it’s you who’s got to deal with it. You got her through that war…”
Jayne said with a gulp, not sure if it was pushin’ too far to mention that humpin’ war. But Mal didn’t snap at him, didn’t walk away, just shook his head like he was clearing it and said,
“I didn’t get her through that gorramn war, was the other way around for that. I can’t be hearing this thing from you, not when she’ll sort herself out just fine.”
He could leave, he could pack his bags and get off this damned boat. He even thought about it, for a split of a second. But it didn’t seem real, the idea of life away from Serenity. Maybe he could curse himself later for getting’ roped into this ride, but he was here and wasn’t goin’ nowhere. And if his Captain wouldn’t see what was gonna tear their home to pieces, then he’d deal with it himself. He had that right, she was his family near as much as she was Mal’s.
He found her on the bridge, and stood far enough away that she could swing without reaching him. Squared his boots and struck.
“You itchin’ to join your husband? ‘Cause that’s fine but I ain’t ready to go yet. You’re fixin to get us killed, Zoe. Me and Mal and seems like he ain’t wantin’ to call your ass on it so here I am doin’ the job for him.”
She turned, her body long and tight, her arms across her chest. Her eyes were cool, though, and her voice was, too, when she answered after a moment.
“Jayne, look at what we do. Look at what we did, think the Alliance is gonna let us walk away from that? No, they’re quiet now but they’re coming. It’s just a matter of time before we all kiss the sky good-bye.”
Jayne’s mouth twisted into disagreement even before he spoke.
“Hell, that may be true, or maybe that’s just what you’re tellin’ yourself so’s you don’t gotta go about livin’, but I ain’t ready to go, Zoe, and I don’t rightly think you are either. And even if you are…hell, I know all of what the preacher said ‘bout heaven, and maybe he’s right. Maybe Wash is there waitin’ for you, waitin’ for all of us. But Zoe, that ain’t the place we’re goin’. Not me and not Mal and not even you and you know it. So don’t be jumpin’ to see him in the ever after ‘cause that ain’t even gonna happen, all you got left of him is right here on this goramn boat.”
Jayne turned to leave, wasn’t much more to say than that bit of truth. He stopped when she hit the bulkhead hard. Hard enough that he knew there’d be blood. Thought to go but then she spoke, real low like she can do.
“I’ve got nothin’ left.”
Jayne turned again with a groan, and set his face like a coin.
“But I do, Zoe, there’s some on this boat that do. And you’re fixin to pull us all into that nothin’ with you.”
Zoe looked at him hard for a minute, still and calm between them.
“What have you got, Jayne? Your comfortable bunk and steady pay? A bullet hole every other day and a hwoon dahn of a captain who will run you through anything, even goramn reavers, to get somethin’ back he lost? That what you got? Jayne, you wanna live a long fat life you best get off at the next moon we crash on, ‘cause you’re on the wrong boat.”
Jayne shook his head at her with an angry snarl,
“That ain’t even the way of it, we all knew what needed done back there, wasn’t ‘bout Mal or what he needed, it was about makin something right that was all sorts of bad.”
Zoe actually laughed at him, a quick bark that sent a chill through him.
“Thought you said we were all going to hell, now you’re talkin’ like a saint.”
“Yeah, well, one right thing don’t change us to saints. Maybe I’m wrong, though, maybe I shouldn’t o’ said that. Maybe Shepard Book will put in a sweet word for us at the pearly gates.”
Zoe didn’t laugh at him again, just stared him in the eye with a manner like she couldn’t even see him at all when she spoke, her voice rickety like a rot fence,
“I don’t believe in heaven.”
“You a Buddhist? I never knew. Nirvana then.”
“No, Jayne, none of it. It’s all a myth, you know. It’s not real. There’s no promised land waitin’ for us when we kiss the dirt. It’s all right here, all our chances are right here in this ‘verse.”
She stopped, her mouth still moving a bit like maybe she couldn’t get the next words up out of where they were stuck in her body.
“I won’t see him again. You were right, everything I have of him is here, not because I’m going to the wrong place, but because there is no place to go. He’s gone, and all I’m waitin’ for is to be gone, too.”
Jayne couldn’t help but move toward her, one lead foot in front of the other. He ain’t the comforting type but he’d never seen her this way, lookin’ like nothin’ will ever be right again. He stood near as he could without touching, so she’d be sure to hear him.
“No, no, that ain’t nearly right. Shh…I thought Mal was the idiot had no faith, now I see he’s rubbed off on you. But he’s wrong, Zoe, he’s wrong as hell and ain’t no way for me to start explainin’ why that is, except to remind you that Mal is always wrong.”
Jayne was relieved when she hiccupped out a laugh.
“Zoe, I was lying when I said we’d all go to hell, I was just tryin’ to scare you into shootin’ straight. All I’m sayin’ is let’s wait a while to find out, ok?”
She nodded, leaned her head against his chest and he was all sorts of surprised by it, even more by himself, when he swung his arms out, real tentative at first but then sure, pulling her close to hold her tight until she sobbed against him. He didn’t let her go until he was sure she was all done, wouldn’t let her pull away to be embarrassed, best to get it all done at once, like getting’ a bullet dug out.
Finally she pulled away and he let her go. She looked at him as near mean as her puffy eyes would let her.
“You tell anyone I cried in your arms and the next person you tell will be Wash.”
“Yeah, well just don’t be doin’ it regular like, I can’t be fixin’ you all the damn time.”
“Ain’t a one of us fixed, Jayne.”
Zoe placed her palm against his chest, looked up at him as kindly as she never has.
“I won’t get you killed, none of you. I’ve had enough of burying.”
Zoe walked off the bridge, tall and hard like she hadn’t just drenched the front of Jayne’s shirt. Dropped into her bunk and noticed for the first time what a foul scent there was comin’ off her unwashed sheets.
She pulled them off, one corner at a time, whispering with every one, so quiet she could barely hear herself say it,
“I love you, baby.”
Jayne stayed on the bridge, staring out into that endless black they called home. Shook his head with a wretched little laugh.
“Heaven, yeah right.”
Saturday, October 29, 2005 7:34 PM
Saturday, October 29, 2005 8:05 PM
Saturday, October 29, 2005 9:00 PM
Saturday, October 29, 2005 11:43 PM
Sunday, October 30, 2005 6:57 AM
Sunday, October 30, 2005 7:57 AM
Monday, October 31, 2005 2:37 PM
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