BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

ITSAWASH

The Way of Jayne, Part 3
Sunday, December 11, 2005

Rambling part (apologies) that furthers the story of Jayne as a teen. This is gonna go somewhere fun, friends, just taking more time getting there than I thought. Lemme hear from you, tell me what you think good and bad, yeah? And my, oh MY! Do I LUURVE the feedbackers out there? Yes, Lawd, yes!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2488    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

The Way of Jayne, Part 3

Back home in her cabin, Maeve leaned against the closed front door and rested a second before pushing off into the kitchen. She hauled her bag onto the counter and removed her heavy salary, placing both jars on the counter. Twisting one container of liquid gold in her hand, she made it catch the light through the side kitchen window, smiling at the effect.

Her piebald familiar, Red Dwarf, purrrrruuuup’d softly as she jumped up near the woman’s elbow to get a closer look. Soft head with hard jaw hugged the jar’s lid, saucer eyes the shade of honey closing in joy at mom’s being home.

Deciding to prolong the effect of sunlight through honey jars, Maeve placed the richly glistening Cobb honey on the kitchen window sill, standing still a moment petting RD as the colors swirled and played in the sink.

“Honey from the Cobbs, Dwarflee,” she said to the cat pacing an eight inch counter patch, paws making kitty biscuits at each turn. “If I’d stayed in that shed one minute longer, there’d have been honey aplenty comin’ outta me and him such that can’t be kept in jars.” The cat didn’t care about the content of what Maeve was going on about, just purred louder at the smiling sound of her mistress’ voice.

Staying in the shed with Jayne woulda been something a girl his age would have had full rights to do. But the Cobb family practitioner was old enough to know she had no place there, no place doing what both she and Jayne wanted to do. She had to know what was better for both her and him. That was her job, the job his ma or pa shoulda been aware enough to do, matter of fact. Their falling down in parental duties meant she’d be the one to keep things proper.

Maeve spared a thought for Ma Cobb since pa was surely a lost cause, mated lifelong to drink. She’d barely noticed his wife sleeping peacefully in the living room rocker today when she’d left their house after dosing the babies. The woman looked pretty well zombified, but peaceful. Mayhap she was just worn out with caring for such a large family.

But why hadn’t their mother been the one concerned about the oozing sores on her babes? Why was it Jayne and Timmie calling on her as cavalry? Woman ought to have been able to see to the kids’ welfare, surely she knew what was going on around her own house, didn’t she? “Maybe I oughta go back over there in a week or so and see what’s happening mother-to-childrenwise over there,” she said to herself and the cat.

She figured she could just drop by and say she was checking up on the babies’ Scrumpox, no need to let on that the real goal was investigation of Mrs. Cobb. Maeve nodded in agreement with this plan as the cat on the counter bopped her head against her mistress’ side in solidarity. Scooping up the loving feline, Maeve took soiled mortar and pestle out of her carry bag, placed them carefully on the counter, grabbed her bag in the other hand and plopped it in the basket by the front door. The cat escaped and relocated to twining softly around her owner’s ankles, communicating in a mixture of meows and purrupping chirps.

“There’s food in your kitchen dish already, Dwarf, so go get it.” The wolfhound dozing on the hearth rug in front of the cold fireplace raised his gray head to look up at hearing the “f” word.

“You’ve had breakfast already, Thufir, don’t look at me like that.” The hound whined low, big eyes wider as he snorted and laid his head obediently back down on one long stretched out paw. The hare he’d caught and eaten had been smallish and he communicated a hungry affront. Maeve read either his thinking or his body language, reached for a biscuit on a high shelf and tossed it with excellent aim to Thufir, who barely had to lift his head a foot in order to snap it out of the air and out of sight in downward flight.

“Me, I’m not hungry. Got enough to think about to quell an appetite,” she muttered as she went into the kitchen to find an apron to tie around her waist prior to snatching the mortar and pestle off the kitchen counter to take to her stillroom at the back of the house.

The room was a marvel of efficiency while having the distinct look of dishevelment to anybody not acquainted with the white arts. Herbs as diverse as wolfbane and lavender to Monksfoot and St. John’s wort hung in aromatic profusion from the bare rafters overhead. Hanging sprigs of leaves and flowers whose natural colors had faded in drying to autumn hues, rustled slightly with the air of her entrance, sound like sibilant voices whispering caution.

A long low counter with sink flared along one wall of the stillroom, the other three walls were noting but shelves from floor to ceiling with bottles, boxes, carafes and bags neatly catalogued but closely packed. These were the accoutrements of her trade and this was her lair for healing. Well, if not for healing, then for gathering ingredients for it.

She used a coarse napkin from a ready supply folded in a drawer to scrub mortar and pestle clean, then stacked them up next to her next-best spare set. Smiling at the memory of how, of where she’d acquired the best mortar and pestle set, she let thoughts drift back to her childhood on a Guild off-world.

Her father had been a maintenance man at a Companion Guild school. Having to be both parents to her since her mother had died when she was very young, he’d packed her around the workplace in a sling across his back or front, depending on which duty paid him on any given day; plumbing, carpentry or electrical work. He was a jack of all trades, but a true master at anything to do with electrical work. A small storeroom at home was a reservoir of small and large inventions he rarely finished, but nevertheless brought him some amusement and a little profit.

He often hummed as he worked. She realized that that sound, that feeling was her first memory. The combined rumbling of his chest humming low while the music of his voice rose up to her small ears never failed to comfort and amuse her as she played with some small wooden toy or LED flashing notion he’d fashioned to keep her hands busy as he worked.

As she’d grown taller in years and height, the Guild had allowed her to attend all classes except for the most private Companion training. Years of learning at the hands and rulers of the ‘verse’s best teachers of science and mathematics were responsible for her current level of knowledge, was what supported her now.

It turned out that the best healing arts she’d ever learned had saved the life of one she loved the most. Dad had partaken strong spirits and used them to stave off his loneliness, missing his dear wife dead many years, but he was responsible enough to keep the practice to times when work was all done and his only child was asleep. He seemed to have near miraculous powers of recuperation after a night spent imbibing and it worked okay for him for over ten years.

But inevitably the evening drinking bled into workdays over time. When an observant herbal medical sciences professor of Maeve’s saw Mr. Burlee sneaking a swig of what turned out to be pure alcohol from a coiled and capped garden hose looped over one shoulder, a turning point was reached.

The teacher could have turned the handyman in for dismissal, but a soft spot for the daughter’s sharp mind turned him toward a solution-based recovery plan. He called in Mr. Burlee and Maeve for a meeting after school the next day. Neither family member was astonished that Mr. Burlee’s drinking had finally come to light, it had just been a matter of time. The professor gave the man the choice of sobriety and work or continual drinking and the road. Love for his daughter sitting before him won the day.

That next morning Maeve’s Herbal Learning professor gave her a recipe for a tisane to assist her father in recovery. They brewed the first batch together, he watching closely until she had it right. The potion, mostly meant to calm nerves and ease headaches, also including combined medicines that had the effect of lessening the addiction’s power over the man. Burlee’s will to stop and his daughter’s daily dosing him caused a clean and sober father to see his only child off-planet three years later and kept her faithfully corresponding with him from that month to the next as long as he lived.

The object that’d sent her on this thought tangent, the finest grinding apparatus since Earth that Was, gleamed dully at her on the counter. Light green granite sanded smooth as silk, who knew how. Darker green veins filtered through the stone almost making Chinese pictographs appear. This set was her graduation gift from her father, had cost him a month’s credits. He’d given it to her as she kissed him goodbye at the very bay door of the small ship that’d taken her to make a life of her own.

Smiling at the memory, Maeve looked once more around her still room stocked over the years almost as good as the Guild’s, if not in quantity, then at least in quality. She started, realized she had no tisane ingredients in her brocade bag for emotional upset, for calming anxious children or adults. She grabbed up a goodish supply of the pertinent herbs already ground, bagged and ready and closed the door firmly to keep curious cat and dog paws out of damageable necessaries.

Small collection of chores finished, Maeve tucked the calming tisane bag into her apron pocket, untied the apron’s bow and hung it on a hook outside the still room door. She reached around herself to undo the line of buttons on her dress, pulling a thick shock of long dark red hair forward over one shoulder. ‘Long as she got to the buttons that ended mid-back, she could always ease the garment down over hips slimmer than the top part of her. She pushed the dress down her body, enjoying the slide of gathered fabric and petticoats along the way.

‘Being raised in the Guild world taught me a trade, but had side-effects that made me too randy for my own good,’ she thought, laughing softly at her folly. Guild life tended to teach the senses to tune toward enjoyment of whatever life brought one’s way, even something as simple as fabric’s touch on skin and Maeve had early proved to be even more susceptible to the joys of the flesh than most.

She was careful to take her need for the push and pull of masculine charms to the next town, knowing ‘twere best not to fornicate where you lived. A town midwife/herb woman who was trying to hide her commensurate skills as a reader could easily find herself tied and fire-roasting on a sturdy horizontal wooden pole if the petty jealousies of local women whose local men had been tupped by a Reader. Locals were tempting, but too risky so she took her love out of town.

She enjoyed living too much to risk the loss of it for nearby conveniences. For such excursions she would tie up her hair under a low hat, wipe off all makeup and any hint of perfume, dress in men’s clothes and choose her partners carefully, at least a town or more away.

The best of her few lovers got a kick out of tupping with as little of her clothes off as possible, slaps on her round bum during the act leaving a glow on her white skin in the shape of a hand and on her senses in the shape of a desiring heart. She didn’t know what a man taking a woman who dressed like a man meant to these mens’ manliness exactly, but what they did with what they had satisfied the hell outta her and them no end. So no matter.

The play-acting made her miss being a woman with a man, though. Wearing a woman’s soft flow of garments, being all feminine and soft and perfumed, sinking down into her own bed with a big strong male form dwarfing her own amazon proportions…

“Snap outta it, you tchen wah,” she instructed herself as she gathered her clothes at her feet and walked to the bedroom to trade them for a soft robe. “Ain’t like you can’t take care of yourself and wear whatever you gorram feel like wearing while you’re at it, and you can imagine whoever you ruttin’ feel like is with you too.”

Talking to herself was a comfort, but sometimes she was afraid that the next step would be hearing her own voice answer once too often. Might cause her to need to find a healer for her own beleaguered mind should long stretches of Maeve-to-Maeve conversations become a habit. She laughed out loud.

~~~~

Two afternoons later, here came Mattie running along the path that led to her door. Out of breath, he raised a hand to pound loudly on the portal, but Maeve had it open, arms out to catch his form as he fell into her arms out of breath and sweating.

Pant, pant, “Maeve? Ya gotta come quick. Ma’s took crazy with the ‘lectric. Timmie an’ Jayne said I was to come get you,” pant, pant, “and if you weren’t home, I was to come right back and help them, ‘cause four hands ain’t enough to hold her down and…” Maeve eased the little boy into a chair and put a piece of rock candy on a little stick in his hand and a small glass of apple cider in the other.

“Drink a little, Mattie. No, slower, Honey, okay now. Tell me real careful what’s going on at home.” As the boy drank the cider in between happy sounds licking the candy he got the story out as best he could. Maeve didn’t expect any kind of recitation that would tell her all she needed, and she wasn’t disappointed. The sketchy details simply included “Ma has the ‘lectric and Jayne won’t let me in the room to help, just tells me to tend the babies, so I can’t ac’shuly see what’s happnin’.”

Maeve went to her bedroom and rummaged in a deep drawer of keepsakes and cast-off inventions from years home with her dad. She found the bit of wiring and miniature red plaz glowspheres he’d given her for yuletide when she was nine and went to the living room to put the apparatus into her carry bag. She stopped by the apron pocket hanging on the stillroom door and transferred the calming tisane from the pocket to her ever-ready bag. Arms akimbo, brow furrowed in quick thought, she found all in readiness.

As she slid her arms into a long dark coat off the rack by the door, she called to Mattie. He looked up from giving Thufir the wolfhound a long lick of sweet rock candy now diminished on the stick by dog as well as boy, “Yes’m?”

“Baby, drink up your cider and let’s get going. Leave the candy for the little puppy and take a new one for yourself from the jar on the table for the walk back,” she smiled. He guffawed at the two bits of pleasure gleaned from her orders; his great good luck at getting a fresh new sweet, and her calling the horse big as a pony a ‘little puppy.’ The wolfhound was just as happy as the boy, tramping one huge paw onto the candy’s stick end, pinning it firmly to the hearth rug, long tongue ramping up one end of the treat then the other, pausing in between to lick drops of syrup from dripping jowls.

Ready to go, Maeve handed her bag to the boy and out the door they went.

~~~

At the Cobb homestead, cacophony greeted Maeve and Mattie. As she had first sensed from far away and then processed aurally far too clearly as they got nearer, the situation was as dire as Mattie’s haste to reach her had indicated. Rushing up the porch steps ahead of the middle Cobb boy, she shoved the front door open without ceremony, pounded down the hall to the back bedroom and stood staring in at Bedlam.

Ma Cobb was fit to be tied, and absolutely would have been too, if her eldest kids lying atop her flailing form on the bed could have left her long enough to get some soft sturdy strips of cloth to strap her down with. The herb woman noted a few long torn bedsheet hanks strewn around the room testifying to the effort toward that goal. Unable or afraid to leave the thrashing woman in order to finish fashioning soft shackles, Jayne lay over the top half of the bed over his ma, twin sister Timmie piled onto the woman’s bucking thighs.

“Stay with it, Jayne, Timmie. I’ll be back in a hot minute,” their savior said as she ran back to the kitchen to grab some fluid, anything to stir the calming powdery herb tisane into. Hand shaking as she measured in a hefty dose, the lemonade she found in the cold box swirled and danced sucking away the powder as she stirred it well.

Carrying a glassful to the bedroom, she approached the disturbed and moaning Marie Cobb, all no-nonsense in both her step and voice as she came, “Marie, hello. It’s Maeve. We haven’t really talked since the babies were born, have we?” The woman continued to writhe and flail on the bed as much as her half-grown twins protectively splayed top and bottom of her would allow. “How’re the babies, Marie? They’re growing like weeds in pasture, I know.” At mention of the current state of her babes, the mother stilled briefly.

Midwife to most of her babies, the woman standing at the bedside was about the nearest thing to a woman-friend Marie had despite their limited contact. “The babies, Maeve. I can’t touch them. I just…can’t,” and their mother sobbed piteously, head turned away, eyes closed tight against having to see anything as she made the confession. “I can only touch my big kids, not the babies. Big ‘uns ain’t harmed by it, ya see.”

“Honey, I want you to tell me what’s happening, let me understand why you can’t help Timmie and Jayne with the young ‘uns, but first you need to drink some nice lemonade I mixed up special just for you.” As she brought the glass near the woman on the bed, Marie jerked her head away, tears gone in an instant, replaced by abject terror. “Don’t touch me neither, Woman! I’ve got the ‘lectric!”

Maeve paused, glass in hand as she heard repeated what Mattie had said about his ma’s problem. She hadn’t countenanced that the boy had got it right, but there it was. Looking to Jayne for explanation as she’d been wont to do since he always seemed to be in charge of the big family, Maeve raised a curved eyebrow at him in question. Jayne shook his head sharply and bent his gaze back down so as to use the best grip here or there to keep his ma from hurting herself on the metal frame headboard or sides of the bed.

No information forthcoming since the situation wouldn’t allow him to talk freely, Maeve decided to take things in hand. Setting aside the calming lemonade-y tisane for later, she made use of the makeshift restraints, tearing a couple more long soft strips for the task. She swiftly but gently took Maeve’s hand and held it to the bedpost, Jayne’s strong arm and hand aiding her by anchoring it as the woman tied it securely down, no give possible. As they worked, as her hands touched the miserable woman, Maeve sent rivers of calm from her mind to the troubled one, bleeding some of it into Jayne by accident simply because he was so near. Rising away from the bedside, she reached the other side where she and Jayne made short but careful work of the other hand, then both feet.

Timmie’s weight no longer needed to hold her mother down, not due to the restraints but rather to a calming sleep that’d come over the woman, she contented herself with sitting near her ma’s side, one hand stroking the thin hair back, the other drying still-trickling tears with the sheet’s edge.

The patient quiet under her daughter’s ministrations for now, Maeve nodded toward the doorway and she and Jayne left the room for the front porch outside.

“Yesterday she started saying that, never heard that talkin’ outta her afore then,” Jayne told Maeve, scratching his head in puzzlement. “Told us she’s had ‘the ‘lectric’ since the kids were born but didn’t want to say nothing to scare us till we’d had a chance to get used to doing things without her.”

As he spoke Maeve surreptitiously gleaned a small picture of what had been going on with Marie over the past couple of hours, she heard it all as if she’d been here to hear the mumblings of the woman’s troubled mind.

Snapping her fingers, sure now that she had the right ‘medicine’ for the task, she reached back inside the living room doorway for her carry bag. Out on the dim porch she pulled forth the wires and tiny dull glass rectangles. Slipping the row of wiring like a headband over her hair, then burrowing it down so as not to be easily seen from below, Maeve tucked the ends behind her ears and snaked the neon orange guidewire down behind her neck. As she began to feed the two long, thin coated surplus cords into the neck of her frock and down inside the right sleeve toward her hand, Jayne stared, mystified.

“Gimme a minute, Hon, and you’ll see what I’ve got in mind,” she chuckled at the little boy look on his grown man’s face, thinking how easily he switched back and forth from large and in-charge to his little brother Mattie’s age within a moment or two.

Instrumentation intact, settled to her satisfaction, she held the ends in her right hand, pressing them together and holding, careful to practice keeping them separate, then connected once, twice. Jayne jumped, startled when a glowy band of red burniated out of her upswept curling coif to shine in the night outside like a little meteor belt. She could see in his eyes the impending success of her plan, his mom would have a very similar look on her face shortly. “But wha…?” Shhh. Let’s get this done and then we’ll see what we’ve got left to work with.”

They hurried back to Marie Cobb’s bedroom where Timmie was softly singing the Mull of Kintyre as she stroked her momma’s brow, impatiently brushing away a tear on her own cheek as her voice cracked in sorrow.

“Timmie, it’s gonna all be okay,” Maeve encouraged as she came into the room with Jayne and handed him the glass of tisane in readiness. “Turn the gas lamp way down low and move away from your momma, Honey.” The girl did as directed and nearly held her breath as the herb woman approached ma.

Reaching her left hand out, back of it flush against the dozing woman’s face, Maeve called her name and Marie’s eyes flew open. Wild eyes rolled around the room, seeming to see nothing before she locked on Maeve Burlee and keened a wail of pure despair.

“Tell me again what’s wrong with you, Lamb. Tell Maeve about the problem,” she crooned knowing full well what was up now and armed to the hair with the biggest part of the solution. Jayne stared down at the midwife’s loving face as she ran the side of her hand along his ma’s cheek and thought he’d never seen any person more gentle and kind in his 14 years.

“Aaaaaiiiiieee, I’ve got the ‘lectric in me! It’s the ‘lectric! Had it since the night the babes were born an’ it’s a danger, it’s a caution, it’ll fry babies alive, it will!” Panting and exhausted after this outburst, Marie’s mouth hung open, lax, allowing the herb woman to note the signs of dehydration, clearly writ on her face and tongue. ‘Lack of cellular moisture ain’t helping her mind be any clearer,’ she observed.

“Marie, see here. When I was in training to be a midwife, I had an old professor who said he’d seen your kind of condition before,” the ill woman’s eyes locked on hers in muted hope. “He was an inventor of a brand new method of curing exactly what’s got you bound up.” Jayne moved in closer to try to see his mother’s reaction better in the dimly lit room. Timmie likewise approached cautiously from the bed’s other side.

“Marie, listen very carefully. I’m gonna put my hand on top of your forehead and I want you to concentrate. Put all your will into it, Lady, and then you PUSH all that electric up out of your body into me, you hear?” Marie looked doubtful but Maeve went on cajoling, convincing, “Honey, I can get rid of this thing but you have to help. It can’t be done less’n it gets done by two.”

The patient nodded hopefully, closed her eyes and squinched her face up in concentrated laboring, her whole body seeming to be working to push her mind’s demon up and out into Maeve. The herb woman murmured encouragingly, telling her patient, “That’s it, Marie. You’re making progress, it’s coming, Dear. Keep pushing it up and out to me.”

As Maeve looked around the room dimmed enough without the gaslight’s glow, she saw that the occupants’ eyes had had time enough to adjust properly. Sensing when the moment was crackerjack for pulling a hare out of a bonnet, Maeve willed Marie to open her eyes the merest bit just in time to see the brightest reddest most electrical-looking flares alight in her erstwhile doctor’s already deep red hair.

Timmie jumped back in horror. Jayne, who had reason to sort of know what to expect sucked in hard air at the wonder of what how the effect looked, how it surely must look to his ma’s beleaguered eyes, it must surely look like Maeve had the electric now.

Marie Cobb felt a gently urging thought such that she should come back to the present, and then saw a faint pink glow through her closed eyelids which prompted her to open wide her eyes to see… “Jayne? Timmie? LOOK! Didja see the ‘lectric? Did ya ruttin’ see it go? We did it, lords alive, she done took the ‘lectric offa me!” the woman cried in relief.

“Not me, Honey, you. You pushed it out all on your own. I just gave it a way to get out.” That said, Maeve separated the twin wires hidden in her hand, allowing the device in her hair to blink completely off, theoretically sending Mrs. Cobb’s electrical problem away with it.

Jayne was already untying the arm and leg on his side of the bed free of the posts, Timmie worked quickly on the other side. Free at last of restraints both physical and worry-free of her mind’s pain, Marie cried softly, smiling hugely at her family all the while.

Timmie rushed to her mom’s arms, both of them crying and talking all at once. Jayne handed his sister the lemonade tisane and motioned for her to help Ma drink it. “Ma, you’ve gotta drink all of that. Maeve says you need to keep your body’s moisture up so the ‘lectric can’t come back.” The herb woman sent an approving gaze first Jayne’s way, then Marie’s, as the mother tipped back the glass until it was empty.

As they walked out the door toward where Mattie sat with the triplets, Jayne stopped Maeve where they had a moment’s privacy and grabbed her up in a tight hug, communicating in his embrace all the joy of the room they’d just left. The successful doctor’s arms hung lax for a second, then stole up to hug the young man back, patting him on the shoulder as she felt him shiver just a little. She was interested to note how well her head fit against him, her hair just brushing underneath his chin.

Drawing away from the impromptu hug, she was in time to see his big hand impatiently swipe at a tear that threatened its way down his jaw.

She smiled at him, looked up and turned his chin down to her, both hands along his strong jawline achieving the task. “You’re a swai man inside and out, Jayne Cobb. A world of women are gonna break their fool necks to get a piece of you, wait and see if they don’t.”

She patted him fondly and walked on out, bumping into Mattie who was careening toward his ma’s room wanting to know if the feminine crying he’d heard was good or bad news.

“Good news, Mattie-boy, go see your momma,” she told him as he sped past her. “And take one of the babies to her in a minute, Darlin’. She’ll want to hold her babies,” she called to the back of his head.

Jayne came up behind her in the kitchen just in time to have her point out the jar of lemonade tisane, getting instructions for dosage. “She’ll need a little cup this size thrice a day for a week, Jayne. The rest of the time, just get her to drink water or juice. You did right telling her the electric thrives in dryness, it’s a right-good assistant you were to me, but make sure she doesn’t go overboard and float away drinking, alright?” He nodded, studying the note she’d given him.

“What’s this stuff do, ‘zactly?”

“It’s got herbs that are good for calming the mind. No harm in it. Don’t let Mattie or the babes get into it though, it’s still medicine so keep it for your ma. I’ll make some more to have on hand, will give it to ya next time I’m out here.” She looked around prior to heading home. A thought for their dad sprang to her, perhaps due to her nostalgic thinking earlier that day about her own father.

“Do you see your pa much lately, Jayne?” she asked, watchful for answers on his face. “He’s here and gone, works hard all day, eats what me and Timmie put before him, then gone again,” he answered. He didn’t seem to mind the query, might even have been relieved.

Maeve sat down on the worn settee in the front room, patted the cushion next to her for Jayne to sit as well. “My pa was like yours, Jayne, he had a liking for liquor too.” The Cobb’s eldest nodded for her to go on. “Dad did okay at his job for the longest time, balanced the drinking so as to keep working and took care of me very well. Came a time, though when it had to stop.”

“Pa ain’t showing no likely signs of stopping any time soon,” said Jayne hopelessly. Maeve continued, “I know it looks bad, but if he does ever seem of a mind to get off the spirits, I want you to know I have something to help with it. No miracle cure, no red lighted headband, you understand, but some calming herbs to help quell the hard times while he dries out.”

Send for me when, if, you see what I’m talking about, see him appear ready to get stopped, okay? I’ll come talk to him and bring it with me. Might help, depends on him though, a’ course.”

As she spoke, she began to remove the wiring and lights from her hair. Half of the invention was caught in unruly curls and she tugged at it, wincing. “Here, let me help,” from Jayne as he scooted closer to her on the couch. She turned toward him, bending one knee up onto the couch as he slid nearer, one long folded leg between her own, other leg hanging off the seat owing to his shifted position.

His strong fingers became gentle as they tangled with her own softer ones working at the top of her head. He leaned closer to her, elbows bent so as to give leverage to do the untangling without tugging too hard. “Listen, I can do this, been finger-combing rats outta Mattie’s hair for years,” he took one of her hands in his, squeezed it gently, than tucked it into her lap.

As he worked at the snared headband, Maeve watched his face. From such a close vantage point she noted the faint shadow of a man’s beard, some stubble birthing through darkly, but still fairly sparse. ‘How long’s he been shaving?,’ she wondered before her eyes left his jawline to trace his full lower lip and thinner upper one, white teeth visible in the small gap between. There was a vertical dimple under his nose, not much of one, but there it was, and the nose above it was long enough to be dignified, but slightly snubbed enough to be charming in the extreme. “Almost done,” his voice growled down to her, “There!,” as he pulled away the last curling hair, patting it back down to her head and handed her the freed invention.

“Thanks, Jayne. You know you didn’t once pull my hair?,” her eyes met his at close quarters, she had time to look from one orb to the other beneath his sweeping brows on the high forehead. His eyes were like ice around the pupils but a warm slate gray circled at iris’ edge.

Jayne smiled warmly, then got hypnotized by her verdant gaze seeking his own. ‘She favors green clothes, an’ I can see why’, he thought as he plumbed the depths of her deepset eyes made darker by the forest color of her shirtwaist gown. Before she turned away to rise, his glance caught her rosy lips pursed as if to either speak or apply in a more pleasant action, mayhap to press to his own mouth.

“No trouble at all. Glad to help,” said the hair-rescuer as Maeve rose, picked up her brocade carry all and left the Cobb house toward her own little cabin. Jayne sat thinking for a minute, then got up to call after her, “I’ll see that you’re paid for helping ma tonight! Maeve? Thank you. From all of us. I thank you.”

She turned to wave and smile at him, then continued on her way.

End, Part 3

COMMENTS

Sunday, December 11, 2005 11:17 AM

CUB


You ramble well. I particularly like this part:

"Hanging sprigs of leaves and flowers whose natural colors had faded in drying to autumn hues, rustled slightly with the air of her entrance, sound like sibilant voices whispering caution."

You're very good at original characters and detailed, descriptive narrative. It seems easy for you. And I'm a little jealous.

Looking forward to seeing where you're going with this.

Monday, December 12, 2005 8:21 AM

LILKRISTY


I am really enjoying this. Love Maeve and young Jayne.

Ok no time, intelligent review later.

::waves and dashes::

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 6:43 PM

CANTONHEROINE


This is becoming a really fascinating character study. (*snort* I almost typed 'character studly' there, which is a really good desciption of Jayne, don'tcha think?)
Anyhow, keep rambling. I'm really loving this story.

Sunday, December 18, 2005 3:54 PM

GYPSYLIFE


Good un Itsa, fyi the anony. post on part two is me, didn't realize I wasn't signed in. When I read part one I was a little wary of the age difference but now I'm dying to see what you're going to do with these characters. Very descriptive and great imagery. So beautiful the way you write I go back and read sentences again, just to read em again.

Saturday, December 24, 2005 9:26 PM

PIFFLE101


If I read correctly..(it is late on x-mas eve..so I may not be sane at the moment) But did someone give birth in here? I read push all you can.. Then a little after, Jayne said "She'll want to hold the babies." Can you help me here? I think Im going mad. LOL (Nothing new.)

And I must say, I love descriptions and Imagery, and you sure make me happy! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 7:44 PM

ITSAWASH


Hey, Anonymous, you swai Jayne-speaking devil you! Yeah, you, the one who has just finished reading Parts 1 and 2 and may be done with this one just now. How about going to this link and trying this out for size, huh?

http://www.fireflyfans.net/bluesun.aspx?bid=5555

That's Part 1 of my The Measure of a Jayne. Each part gets progressively more sexified, and I promise satisfaction. Feedmeback, babe, and type "Anon Jayne" at the bottom, neh?

P.S. Your faithful writer (me) is actually a girl, but I don't mind if you call me "sir", lol.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 9:01 AM

BELLONA


yer a wumin? you go girly!!! just how much am i loving jayne and maeve?

b

Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:24 PM

RIVERISMYGODDESS


What a hell of a condition to think you have, the 'lectric. Very clever use of electronics, I like it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:26 PM

SPACEFULLOFOBJECTS


Maeve's flashback to life with her father, his loss, and how he dealt with it. And then....over-coming his problem so he can enjoy his remaining love a spell.

She didn’t know what a man taking a woman who dressed like a man meant to these mens’ manliness exactly, but what they did with what they had satisfied the hell outta her and them no end. *I don't understand that either...but I laughed at the thought*


“Here, let me help,” from Jayne as he scooted closer to her on the couch. *The young gentleman....me thinks he's got something else stuck in his mind*

*relights pipe* Part 4......

Monday, August 7, 2006 8:02 AM

LEIASKY


I like how you're building Maeve's character and how each little moment she returns to the Cobb home she learns a little more about Jayne and grows a bit closer to him.

I think her determination not to take advantage of him is going to falter . . .

Still very well described and very entertaining story about Jayne's early life.


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YOUR OPTIONS

OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR

Kaylee Bent Over Jayne's Lap (Part 2 of Fanfic Challenge)
Well, it's like this: There was this Flan B fanfic challenge, I answered it, and a lovely shiny reviewer requested a sequel. Here goes.

Simon Bent Kaylee Over (Flan B fanfic challenge)
At Flan B in California, BigBadJayne wrote four words on a scrap of paper. He gave the words as a fanfic challenge to 5 browncoat writers at the table where we sat. 2 Jaylee and 3 Silee writers were invited to scribble away at a ficlet that followed those words. Leiasky has done hers. Kaynara too. This is my contribution. Hope it works okay for those who read. Let me know what you think and I'll be thankful for whatever you say, approving or not.

The Pleasuring of Kaylee, all in one link
Sex. Jayne and Kaylee. If'n you ain't likin' reading sex involving those two, don't read. If you want to give it a try, please do and comment, if you will. Thanks for looking.

The Way Of Jayne - Part 11
Sexifying, young Jayne and Maeve, the older guild-trained woman who taught him love arts. This part brings him back home and then to her waiting arms for one of their last sessions together. This thing is winding down to an ending, Gentle Readers. Please leave me feedback so's I can know how y'all feel about it. I'm obliged to you all.

A Little Love on the Prairie
Sex, gorramit. Tab A into Slot B. One chapter only, no sequel. You no likee, no read, okies? Kaylee and Simon in a wheat field, against a tree, on the ground. Yeah, I did it, but I'm still faithful to Jayne, I swear!

The Way of Jayne, Part 10
A young Jayne Cobb leaves his lady love sated, asleep in bed as he goes to find his employer dead at Niska's hands. This one's got references to torture and death and a little sexing, though not as much as you'll see in the next part. Don't read this if you can't deal with the badness and blood, okay?

UNTITLED


UNTITLED


The Way of Jayne, Part 9
This one is more horror than romance, Kids, although there's a bit o' Jayne/Maeve at the sexin' again, because...well...it's what they DO, darlin'. Warnings here include torture and death, though not of any characters you care much about. I'm serious, now. If blood and gore and pain and bound-up torture ain't for you, please do not read this part. Thankee sai, and may your journey to the clearing in the path be a good one.

The Way of Jayne, Part 8
NC-17, Jayne and Maeve, his first lover, the morning after first-sex. This ain't for the kiddies, nor for those who think god didn't make words for folks like me to use describing what goes where. No fair saying you were not warned, my darlings. Feedback? HELL, yeah. Give it to me, Baby. You don't even have to leave your name. I'll take you anonymously, and gladly. Thanks for reading.