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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
A little confrontation, a lot of truth, the usual.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1571 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
I don't know when I'll get to update next, I have a funeral tomorrow and things the day after that.
Disclaimer: Only one is mine, the rest belong to Joss.
Feedback: Always and ever, I love it. Comment here or send emails firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments: Confrontations bring truths. (You'd think).
one, two, three and four.
Tiny little footsteps ran up to her, she loved hearing them echo up off the ship floor. It sounded right, so very right. It looked right, too, seeing his face flushed red with excitement.
"Mama!" James ran right up to her. "Mama, Grandpa comin' back?"
Her throat closed up and she took his hands in hers.
"What?" Kaylee spared a puzzled glance up to see Jayne in the door before looking back down. "No, sweetie, no. We talked about that, remember?"
It hurt, seeing the light in his eyes dim that little bit.
"Grandpa's gone, sweetie." She'd thought, at some point, that the words might have gotten easier over time. They didn't. No matter how many times she said them. "He's gone."
James' bottom lip pouted.
"Grandpa gone bye bye? With Nanna?"
"Yes." She kissed his forehead. "They're gone and they ain't comin' back."
He fit against her so easily, shapeless little barrel torso pulled up against hers as she wrapped her arms around his waist. His chin rested in the hollow of her neck and she felt his hot breath puff out over her skin.
When she was sure James couldn't see her face anymore, Kaylee looked up at Jayne. Anger wasn't high up in the list of things she did well, but by the look on Jayne's face, she'd gotten her expression to say exactly what she was feeling.
"What did you say to him?"
"Oh, Kaylee." He held up his hands. "I didn't say nothin'."
'Kaylee?" Inara leaned forward. "Why don't I take him for now?"
Her hand cupped the back of James' head as she stood up, her other hand holding him just below his backside. She could feel him tense against her, felt him shuffle to look at her face and she tried to make it calm.
"Kaylee?" Inara stood up, somewhere in the back of her mind she was aware of it. "Kaylee, why don't you give him to me? He doesn't need to be here for this."
She forced her limbs to remain pliant as she felt Inara's hands slip between her body and James, forced herself to let him go even as his hands twisted in her hair and his legs clung to her.
"It's okay." Kaylee smiled, she wasn't sure how, as she untangled herself from him. "Mama's gonna be fine. You go with Inara, now, okay?"
It felt strange that she could stand there and not take her eyes away from Jayne, not look away from him once, and still follow every movement, every step that Inara took, carrying her struggling son.
She waited until they were gone.
"What did you say, Jayne?"
He just about broke her heart when his face went pale and wide, when his eyes wouldn't meet hers and his brows rose high. He was about to deny it, about to deny knowing what she was talking about.
She knew that guilty face, the face that screamed he was about to try and plead his way out of trouble. She knew it well.
"I didn't say nothin', Kaylee, I swear it."
"You tellin' me he just got excited all by himself about his dead grandpa comin' back? Is that what you're sayin'?" Her hand came up and she pressed her fingers to her forehead. "I swear to god, Jayne, it was hard enough the first time, tryin' to explain to him why they weren't comin' back. I don't need it again."
"Well. Long as you get what you need, ain't that right? Damn everyone else, just like always, huh?"
She flinched at the tone in his voice.
"I deserved that."
If she'd been looking, she might have seen the flash that came over his eyes.
"Dammit, Kaylee, that ain't..."
"I deserve whatever you've got." She did look at him then, looked him right in the eye. "But that boy don't. I told you when we first came on board not to go sayin' stuff about..."
"You're so worried about what I said?" He came a step closer and she could see him straining. "Maybe you should worry 'bout what I didn't say."
"Jayne..." But he wasn't stopping and Kaylee held her ground.
"I didn't say, kid, your momma ran away an' left everybody who cared about her, 'cause she couldn't handle things when they got hard. I didn't say, kid, your momma's been lying since she got here."
"Jayne." She made to touch his arm, but he pulled it out of her reach and the movement made her step back. "Jayne, please."
"Ya know what I didn't say most of all? Kaylee? Ya wanna know what someone needs to say to that boy?"
She shook her head, as if she could stop him saying it out loud.
"Kid, that woman you been clingin' to, the one that tucks ya in at night? She ain't your real ma, she ain't nowhere near it." The words hit her like a slap in the face. "'Cause your real ma, wherever she is, she don't lie, she don't run away, she laughs a whole lot and smiles a lot more. Your real ma wouldn't stand for half the stuff this woman does."
Kaylee felt all her energy leave, felt it all just drain away.
"Your ma, she wouldn't jump at her own shadow and she wouldn't look people in the eye and tell them her baby's daddy ain't really his daddy."
The air sucked into her lungs, loud and sudden.
"No." All the words she'd used to explain it to Inara, they all left her and she couldn't think of anything to say. "Jayne, no, that ain't it. I didn't..."
Kaylee didn't move fast enough.
His hand caught her forearm and turned it over, his other hand pushed the sleeves of her coveralls up and she felt his fingers pressing into the flesh there even as she tried to pull away.
"Jayne!" He didn't let her go, just threaded her body through his grip like she was nothing until he could feel over her other arm. "What are you doing?"
"Looking." It was said firmly, matter of fact, like she'd just asked him what day of the week it was. "I'm looking."
Although she had a pretty good idea as she stopped trying to twist away from him, just stood still as he pulled the collar of her shirt aside and ran his eyes over her neck, pulled the back of her shirt up and ran his fingers over the bones of her ribs and spine.
"Jayne?" Her voice was flat. "What are you lookin' to find?"
"Something." He gritted out. "I wanna see what makes that boy jumpy round men, what makes you jump every time someone speaks loud. I wanna see what he did to you."
"Jayne." She said it softly. "You ain't gonna find anything. There's no 'he', there's never been a 'he', not like that."
His hands stilled on her lower back and she slowly lifted her head, turning around to look up at him. It caught her unawares, being so close to him after so long. Her hands came up to sit over his as they rested on her hips.
"But...?" His face scrunched into itself.
"You think I'd do that?" That, perhaps, was what hurt the most. "You really think I'd let someone do that to me?"
He let go, pulled free of her touch and stepped back.
"Better women than you have, Kaylee. They just sit back and don't do nothin' as their bodies are broken and their minds're torn down, they don't..."
She wanted to touch him again, reach out and take his hands, but he was coiled, ready to strike and she wondered who he was speaking about if it wasn't her.
Two simple words, but the truth of them was bitter.
"I don't believe you." He looked her right in the eyes as he said it. "You been lyin' about everything, Kaylee, an' I got eyes to see. You give me one good reason I should believe what you're sayin'."
"You want a reason?" Perhaps it would have been easier to let him believe what he wanted, he didn't know what he was asking, didn't know how much it hurt. "You believe I'd let that happen to me? Then I'll give you a reason, Jayne. Our son is a reason. James is your gorram reason! There's no way in the 'Verse I'd let someone near him that was..."
Was what? She tried not to ask herself. Obnoxious and mean? Spiteful and cruel, someone who took pleasure in the pain of others? Someone whose very voice still sent her nerves screaming when she heard it in her dreams?
"Then why?" He demanded. "Why is he like that, Kaylee? If there weren't no one hurt you..."
She saw the way his face darkened, saw it boil up in him and was truly scared for a second.
"No." She said it clearly. "No, Jayne. No one hurt me and I swear to whatever gods are listening, no one hurt him. I promise you that. I never let anyone near him. Tell me you heard that."
"I hear ya, I do, but..."
"Look at him, Jayne." He had to believe her, or he was gonna do something stupid, she knew. "Just look at the both of us, really look, and you gotta see that we got out of there alive. Me an' James both, we got out."
Jayne looked at her without blinking.
"Got out of where, Kaylee? That's the big question, ain't it? What were you gettin' away from?"
Her knees ache. She's been leaning against the wall for what seems like days now, but it's still dark, the sun hasn't come back up, so it can't have been more than twelve hours. It’s just too cramped in here.
Everyone's ears are pricked, listening hard for any sound from outside.
"He yours is he?"
Kaylee breathes out through her mouth and she clings the still form to her belly, rubbing warmth into his limbs. He's not far from waking up, she knows, she's felt the odd twitch now and then.
"Pity." Comes the voice again, quiet, barely there, a whisper in her ear. "Takin' you outta action for so many months."
All the screaming, the ripping sounds of struggle and terror have stopped. At least, in theory. Kaylee doesn't think she'll ever get them out of her head. She's just glad James was out for the worst of it.
"You leave her alone." Comes the slight hiss around her. "Just leave her be."
"It's alright, Geoffrey." Kaylee soothes the boy next to her, he's still in his teens, pale and terrified and lost. "He's just scared, tryin' to make himself feel better is all."
Kaylee hisses as her head is pulled back, fingers twisting painfully in her hair. She has to bite down on her tongue to stop herself from making any sound. Her hands cover the body she has scooped against her.
"Who's sacred, little girl? It ain't me."
"Please." She whispers as she tries to gesture to the other two in the small cupboard like vault. "They're just kids."
Her neck feels like it's about to snap as her back arches down to compensate.
"Let her go." Hisses Geoffrey again.
"What's this?" The voice sounds more amused than anything. "Looks like you got a fan club. She slippin' it to you, too, is she boy?"
"No, no, no." Becca's voice is little more than a moan as she shakes her head back and forth. Kaylee remembers her walking down the street with a younger sister. "No, no."
"You hurt Miss Frye an' I'll..."
Kaylee bites down hard on her tongue when her hair is pulled harder. She can taste blood.
"You'll do what? Scream? Shout? Make the slightest bit of noise. Go ahead. I dare ya." There's a silent standoff. "No, I double dare ya."
All four of them jump when a loud crash sounds close by. A muffled scream is next, long and drawn out, punctuated by growls. Kaylee closes her eyes and tries not to identify the voice of the screamer.
They all fall quiet and the hands slide away from her hair. Kaylee stands up straight.
"Miss Frye, huh?" But it starts again soon enough. "You're little baby Frye? Yeah, I heard you was back some time ago. So you ain't married to his daddy, then?"
She rolls her shoulders along the wall, twists them so that she can turn away and ignore him. It doesn't help, his voice comes, hot and sticky at the back of her neck.
"You even know who the daddy is? Or did ya just lose count? Was that it? He a town baby?"
James whimpers and twists against her. She hefts him up closer to her chest.
"Well, don't that beat all? An unwed mama?" Kaylee doesn't feel the finger that trails down her spine, she doesn't. "Loose and available. Two things I like in a woman."
Jayne watched her face crumple.
“It was just hard, okay?” There was so much tension in her body. “After the reavers hit. More’n three quarters of the town was killed that day. My family, Jayne, all of ‘em, gone.”
“Kaylee…” He tried to stop her, but she shook her head.
“We had…” She paused and he wondered if she realized why. “They… they had these sealed vault things all over town, but they don’t hold many. ‘Bout thirty or so people made it out in all.”
There was something odd about the way she was sayin’ it. Like she was sayin’ the words, but seeing something else.
“There weren’t nothin’ but stains left, Jayne, everything we knew, gone. All of us, we were left to clean up. Weren’t no one else gonna do it.”
He thought about the gun fights he’d been in, the close calls, the bodies he and Mal and Zoe had left behind. He’d never really given any thought to who picked ‘em up.
Just a week ago, it’d been him and Mal carryin’ back Zeph, body full of holes. Stupid gorram mechanic. None of ‘em really liked him much, but he’d done his work. Least ways, they’d thought he’d done. An’ he’d kept clean and kept to himself.
But Jayne’d never had to use the word clean when it came to dealin’ with bodies. Never had to use the word stain, neither. It made his skin crawl, just thinkin’ on it.
“Why didn’t ya call us, Kaylee? Why didn’t ya let us know?”
She gave a little laugh with her shrug, but it weren’t the kind of laughin’ he’d meant earlier.
“What would you have done, Jayne? Rode in on a big, steel horse and shielded me from seein’ ugly things?” Her eyes were sad. “Wouldn’t’ve been no use, not by then. I had people needed me.”
“What about you, Kaylee? Who’d you need?”
He watched her shrink before him, watched her close herself up and her eyes fall to the floor. He knew whatever she said after that would be another lie. It made him grit his teeth, made him want to shake her by her shoulders, but he didn’t. That wouldn’t help her any at all and she’d already opened up plenty.
“You don’t know, Jayne, you don’t know what it’s like. The whole town was gone an’ not just the people. Everything. And there weren’t nothin’ and nobody to help fix it.”
She didn’t flinch away from him when he put his hands on her shoulders and guided her to the couches.
“How many times has Mal decided not to go someplace ‘cause it’d been hit by reavers? There ain’t nobody gonna land after that. Nobody. No help, no food, no parts to repair cortex links, no parts to rebuild anything.”
He didn’t let her go and she didn’t move to get away.
“It’s just you, you and those thirty other people, day after day, and you can’t get away from ‘em. ‘Cause you’re all stuck and there’s nothin’ to do but scavenge off the rubble of everythin’ else. Nothin’ to do but pick off the dead.”
“Mal got through to ya just fine.”
“Yeah.” She said carefully. “And if he’d tried a week earlier, he wouldn’t have.”
"You don't have to do this, Simon, really."
Kaylee tried to pry the little fingers from around her neck, but James clung desperately. He'd latched on the second she'd entered Inara's shuttle to get him and he hadn't let go since.
"Yeah, he does." Jayne stood in the doorway.
"That's okay." Simon gave a patient smile and shifted around the little body that tried to shift away from him. "Though, I have to tell you Kaylee, he looks fine to me. He's bright, energetic, alert..."
"His learning curve is worrisome." River added from the side bench.
"He's fine." Simon insisted as he pressed the stethoscope to James' back. "But I'll be the first to admit, my area of expertise was never pediatrics."
"Well, you're gonna learn, doc."
Simon's eyes met Kaylee's over James' head.
"I take it he knows, then?"
Kaylee tensed under the engine for a second, until she heard James giggle. It made her smile. It also made her feel foolish. She shouldn't have worried, not about Jayne.
He hadn't said much to her, but they’d been more comfortable since their talk earlier. It felt better, easier somehow, now that she’d talked about some of it. It made her wonder if she’d ever tell him, or anyone, what really happened.
And he had been nothing but nice to James.
"See this? I told ya, it’s called a holster. Now, you don't need to know what it's for, just yet, reckon your ma'd kill me if I showed you those, but this? Holster."
There was a pause.
"Yeah, just great kid." A sigh. "But you ain't listenin' to me. Holster."
Kaylee's shoulders began to shake when she heard the sigh echoed by her son.
"Pannnn." It was drawn out slow. "Nerrrrr."
"Hol... You know what? Fine. If that's what you want, fine. It's a spanner. It's a very nice spanner. Hope you an' your gorram spanner have a great time together."
There was a moment of quiet and Kaylee could all but picture the smug little face that accompanied the next word.
"Ha!" She heard the skid of knees jumping up off the floor and knew Jayne was peering around the door. "Did ya hear that, Kaylee? Huh? He said holster!"
"Yes, Jayne." She grinned up into the engine. "You sure showed him."
Sunday, March 26, 2006 9:23 PM
Sunday, March 26, 2006 9:44 PM
Monday, March 27, 2006 12:00 AM
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Monday, March 27, 2006 1:42 PM
Monday, March 27, 2006 7:39 PM
Tuesday, May 30, 2006 2:36 AM
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