BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

HISGOODGIRL

Leaps of Faith - 14
Saturday, April 22, 2006

The floodgates open and Jayne and Kaylee finally have their long awaited talk. Can Kaylee handle what she learns about the big merc?


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1893    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Woulda posted last night but the site server was bein’ fritzy.

Disclaimer: Not mine, no pay.

Thanks: To Jacqui, Josh and to Rion, my own personal BDH. You guys are the greatest.

Rating: PG-17, heartwrenching angst

Remarks: Set after “Objects in Space”. Inara has departed from Serenity and the crew has been through a rough stretch. Click on my name to read the backstory. They’re all backstory. For those of you who have asked for longer chapters – you can thank Jayne for this one. He decided to get all gorram long-winded.

Feedback: I really appreciate your comments. They're what makes gettin' the babble in my head onto the screen worthwhile. You can post below or email to Lumenea@aol.com

Leaps of Faith

Chapter Fourteen

“Lord, I’ve never seen a man can eat like you do, Jayne.” Kaylee takes the big man’s empty tray and bowl and sets them aside on the counter of the medlab.

“That had to have been some a the Shepherd’s cookin’.” Jayne smiles and brushes bread crumbs from his chest. “Man’s got a knack of makin’ somethin’ tasty outta damn near nothin’.”

“Yeah, he’s been a right fine addition to the crew, just nice and level feelin’.” The girl brings over a big mug of tea and hands it to the merc, then sits down beside him to sip on her own cup. “He sure did lots of prayin’ over you while things were touch ’n go.”

“I’m such a damn fool, probably needed all the help I could get.”

Kaylee blows on the hot tea. “So how’s your leg feelin’?”

“Better, but still mighty sore and stiff. Mostly, I’m goin’ stir-crazy layin’ here and wish the doc would go ahead an clear me to start movin’ around on it some.”

“Well, since your fever broke and the wound’s stopped drainin’, he’ll probably let you up soon.” She gives him a big smile but in the back of her eyes Jayne can see uncertainty.

“Kaylee, I… I want to thank ya for all the care ya give me through all this. Wash told me you wouldn’t leave ‘cept when Mal or the doc made you go rest. After how I treated you lately, I’d a figured you’d like as not gone on about your business.”

He sees how she drops her eyes, picks at the embroidery on her coverall knee with a grease-soiled fingernail. Jayne‘s not by nature a forthcomin’ sort of man and having a pretty good idea of the territory this conversation has to cover, he’s watchin’ for some sign she’s ready.

“I guess I got some explainin’ to do, huh?”

She looks away, nibbling on her lower lip. Finally, “Yeah, I guess ya do.”

“Fair enough. You deserve that.” He reaches out to her. “Can ya turn yer chair around, come over here a little closer by me?”

She scoots up beside the medtable, lets him wrap his big, rough hand around her small one. For a long silent moment, they just look at one another, brown eyes and blue ones, eyes filled with questions, with fear, with love and confusion.

Jayne thinks about where to start and remembers somethin’ Shepherd Book had said about takin’ a leap of faith, so he just jumps in with both feet, right at the beginning.

“I come up the hard way on a little backwater moon. We was poor and got poorer when my pa took to drink. Sober, he weren’t a bad man, but when he was drinkin’ it was like some demon got in him and he just got meaner and meaner. Beat on me, then on my ma. An’ finally, one day I had enough and knocked the liou mahng out. Figured it was best for me to get the hell out on my own, try to send coin back to my ma. Done that all these years whenever I could.”

“I did whatever work I could find. Never took to schoolin’ so my options was limited. But I was big an strong for my age and fell in with a couple of older fellas doin’ small jobs, like burglaries. I knew how to use a welder’s torch from watchin’ my pa, so I could get us into safes, stuff like that.”

Now that Jayne has made up his mind to open up to the little mechanic, the words flood out of him and Kaylee just sits there listenin’ in amazement.

“I figured out I liked guns and knives, had a real knack with ‘em. People’d hire me cause I was big and could look scary, was a pretty decent tracker. But all the while, the jobs was getting’ bigger and riskier and I was keepin’ company with a right rare set a fools.”

Jayne ponders a moment and then plunges on, determined to be honest with her.

“Kaylee, you know I done killed people. Honestly couldn’t even say how many. Come gorram close to doin’ hard time an’ getting’ killed, myself. Can’t rightly say I ever chose this life; it was just what I drifted into. Crime, drinkin’ and whorin’. Yep, that was me.”

“Men in my line of work don’t live long. I’m forty-one come this November – that makes me short on time. Hell, I figured I had maybe half a dozen more years if I was lucky. Not great prospects, I guess. Then Mal hired me on and this was the best job I’d ever had. Decent pay, ate regular-like, got a bunk all to m’self, folk on board all clean and decent sorts.”

Jayne looks tenderly at her. “Especially you, Kaylee-girl.”

“You know I took to ya from the beginnin’ and we probably woulda hooked up a lot sooner, ‘cept for Mal bein’ all protective of ya. But then the doc came along an things got ugly an’ complicated. You were thinkin’ he was so shiny and I just hated the prissy li’l gan ni niang right off, always lookin’ down on us rim folk.”

Jayne chugs his now cold tea and goes on, “I’d pretty well given up on anything ever happenin’ betwixt th’ two of us until that time you asked Mal to have me stay on ship to help you, while everybody else had liberty. Don’t rightly know if you jumped me or I jumped you but here we are, and it’s been the best thing in my whole gorram life, these three months with you.”

He looks at her with wonder and admiration in his eyes. ”I ain’t never knowed anybody like you, Kaylee Frye. Yer kind and carin’, forgivin’ a them that picks on ya, always finding the best in folk an’ in tough situations. Them times I told ya I loved ya, bao bei, I meant it with all my heart. Never thought I’d say that to any woman, an’ here I am sayin’ it. Ain’t even been with another woman since our first time, I swear to God. Ain’t wanted to, no ways.”

Serenity’s lighting system automatically dims into night mode and now only the desk lamps illuminate the medlab with their soft glow. Kaylee sits almost in a trance, her mouth softly open, head cocked, watching the emotions that turn and shift across the merc’s face as he finally shares with her the unsaid things she’s needed so desperately to hear from him. She’s almost afraid that if she speaks, she’ll shatter the spell and Jayne will again fall silent and remote.

“I been thinkin’, Kaylee, that maybe it’s time for me to get out of this line of work, quit while the odds are still with me. You deserve so much more’n just runnin’ around out in th’ Black with a bunch a crooks, deserve a life that’s safe and regular. I want us to work up a stake, find a little piece a land, maybe garden and raise some cattle, work on engines on the side. You know, take you some place safe where we could have a family…”

He can hear Kaylee’s mouth snap shut and she bridles up fast. “Now listen here, Jayne Cobb!” There’s fire in her eye and he realizes he’s made a serious tactical error.

“It ain’t right for you to go plannin’ out my life for me like that. I got me a family an’ a home an that family’s this crew and Serenity’s my home. Jayne, you idget, I’m doin what I love on this ship. How could you think I’d wanna be anywhere else?”

Ai ya women wanle. I shoulda listened to what Shepherd said and just asked her, he admits to himself. I’m a gorram fool for sure. Bad as Simon to say the wrong thing.

Her face gets right red and he knows it’s because she’s mad now. “Right here we got half of the problem started this fuss to begin with. I know you feel all protective of me and, I’ll tell ya straight out, I’m scared ta death every time you’re out on a job. But it ain’t your place to go makin’ decisions on my behalf without even askin’ how I feel about them. I got enough trouble with the Cap’n always doin’ that an I ain’t gonna have it from you.” She crosses her arms across her bosom and glares at him.

The big merc backs down quick, tryin’ to placate her. “Now Kaylee, I didn’t mean nothin’. If you wanna stay here on Serenity, then we stay. Whatever you want, girl, I’ll do it.”

“There’s more to it than that, Jayne.”

“Shumma?”

“More we gotta talk about.” She eyes him bluntly, lips tight. “You did a lot of talkin’ when your fever was so high.”

“So ya said. And I gather I said some things that upset ya, maybe that ya weren’t ready to hear.” His voice is achingly hesitant.

Kaylee nods.

Jayne takes a deep breath, then plunges on, “I’ll answer as honest as I can. Damn near dyin’ can make a man feel right truthsome.” He reaches for her hand, traces the back of it with the tip of his thumb and waits for the question he knows is coming.

“Jayne, what really happened back on Ariel?” Her tear-bright eyes bore into his.

I guess it all comes down to this, then, he thinks. “I done the stupidest thing I guess I ever done in all my life, Kaylee, something I was a gorram fool for doin’.” He can’t look her in the eye and his voice is low and agitated.

“After River slashed me with that butcher’s knife, I made up my mind we didn’t need no shiong-muh duh duang-ren runnin’ around on the ship. No tellin’ what she might do – to you or Inara or any of us. I tried to talk to Mal about it when the doc was sewin’ me up, make him see it weren’t safe for nobody and that both of ‘em had to go, but Mal wouldn’t listen.”

“So then the doc came up with the idea of smugglin’ him and River into that hospital, so he could scan her, and stealin’ all them high-priced drugs.”

The merc hesitates and gathers up his courage. Talkin’ to Kaylee about this is way harder than facin’ down Hadley Emerson.

“If you decide you hate me and don’t want nothin more to do with me, I’ll understand. It was a bad thing I done, a thing I’m real ‘shamed of.”

He can’t tell her while touching her hand – it just hurts too much – so he lets go.

“Kaylee… I called the Feds, was gonna turn Simon and River in for the reward. I tried to tell myself I done it to protect all of us, done it ‘cause Mal wouldn’t, but that’s a lie. I done it ‘cause I wanted the gorram money and ‘cause I was jealous of you and the doc.”

Kaylee’s mouth gapes open, her lip trembles.

He hangs his head, his voice a tight whisper. “Dear God, I’m sorry, Kaylee, more’n I could ever tell ya. Mal knew right off – he damn near put me out the airlock leavin’ Ariel. Made me start lookin’ at a lot of things differently.”

Tears are bright in Kaylee’s dark eyes. “Dear Merciful Buddha!” she stammers. “Do Simon an River know?”

“Yeah. That’s another big reason I’m in the doc’s debt, along with him pullin’ me through this infection.”

“I been talkin’ a lot with the Shepherd, tryin’ to sort out all this stuff. I didn’t wanna get into it with ya ‘til I had my mind clear, but I know’d I owed ya the truth. You’ll need time, I ‘spect, to figure out how ya feel and what ya wanna do. I won’t push ya none, Kaylee, and I understand if you don’t feel the same about me after this.”

For some time the medlab is silent except for the susurrations of Serenity’s ventilation. Eventually Jayne can no longer stand Kaylee’s silence, the pain and betrayal in her eyes as she stares at him.

The big man’s breath catches and he mumbles, “Kinda tired now,” then turns his face away into the shadows. “You go on, girl. I need to get some sleep…”

Kaylee slowly stands, her cheeks bright with tears, and shuffles out into the corridor. He can hear the wracking sobs that shatter the darkened passage.

“Oh sweet babygirl, I’m so gorram sorry,” he whispers after her.

(To be continued...)

COMMENTS

Saturday, April 22, 2006 3:19 AM

BOOKADDICT


Oooooh, what's Kaylee going to do?

This was really well done, with them being comfortable together in the beginning to all the uncertanty at the finish.

Beautiful stuff!

Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:08 AM

REENIE


Very well done! I knew that this would be the chapter in which Jayne would have to explain Ariel and I was really worried (?) about how you were going to handle it. Having watched that episode (hell, all the episodes) soooo many times I had formed my own opinion about Jayne's motives and I was selfishly afraid you would go another way. In fact, your Jayne summed it up SO WELL:

“Kaylee… I called the Feds, was gonna turn Simon and River in for the reward. I tried to tell myself I done it to protect all of us, done it ‘cause Mal wouldn’t, but that’s a lie. I done it ‘cause I wanted the gorram money and ‘cause I was jealous of you and the doc.”

That's how I always saw it. Also, the image of Kaylee listening intently while blowing on her tea spoke to me. It was a little thing, but a nice touch.

Can't wait to see what comes next!



Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:12 AM

RAVENHAIR


Ack! *chokes and falls on the floor* This was painful on Jayne's behalf to read. All kinds of uncomfortable - Good Job!

I need resolution, and FAST!

Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:55 AM

BSCPANTHERFAN


Well written! I think you really pegged the voice of the characters here.

(holds bowl up) Please, sir, may I have some more?

Saturday, April 22, 2006 6:16 AM

HUMBUG


*sniff* That was so painful and sad, but beautifully written! Thank you, hisgoodgirl!

Please let us know what happens next SOOON!!! I'm on tenterhooks to know if Kaylee forgives Jayne or not......

Saturday, April 22, 2006 10:56 AM

ARTEMISPRIME


Well, it was bound to come and you did it. Jayne could only be the motormouth on describing his past misdeeds since it's probably easier that way. Quite the angsty chapter and it did make me feel uncomfortable, for Jayne's sake. Good writing to make that happen.

Where does this leave our lovers? Wonder if Kaylee might go to Simon to see what he thinks on the Ariel incident or even to River. Are you going to pull a 180 degree turn on us in the resolution? Waiting impatiently to find out...

Saturday, April 22, 2006 10:57 AM

ARTEMISPRIME


Well, it was bound to come and you did it. Jayne could only be the motormouth on describing his past misdeeds since it's probably easier that way. Quite the angsty chapter and it did make me feel uncomfortable, for Jayne's sake. Good writing to make that happen.

Where does this leave our lovers? Wonder if Kaylee might go to Simon to see what he thinks on the Ariel incident or even to River. Are you going to pull a 180 degree turn on us in the resolution? Waiting impatiently to find out...

Saturday, April 22, 2006 10:58 AM

ARTEMISPRIME


Well, it was bound to come and you did it. Jayne could only be the motormouth on describing his past misdeeds since it's probably easier that way. Quite the angsty chapter and it did make me feel uncomfortable, for Jayne's sake. Good writing to make that happen.

Where does this leave our lovers? Wonder if Kaylee might go to Simon to see what he thinks on the Ariel incident or even to River. Are you going to pull a 180 degree turn on us in the resolution? Waiting impatiently to find out...

Saturday, April 22, 2006 11:57 AM

SQUISH


Good stuff! Jayne had a lot to come clean about, so it's good he just did it all at once. Can't wait to see how Kaylee finally reacts to it all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 12:27 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


The best chapter you've written. I could just see it in my mind as Jayne talked and Kaylee's reaction was true to her character.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:57 PM

CANTONHEROINE


That bit where he turned away from her at the end just about killed me.

I agree with ArtemisPrime above, I can definitely see Kaylee going to Simon about this, if only for his opinion. Honestly, if the Tams haven't done anything about his betrayal, or are particularly worried about it happening again, I don't see why she should be concerned. Jayne's learnt his lesson.

I'm still truly anxious about Mal's reaction to all this. He's the wild card on this one. Can't wait to see how you resolve everything.

Saturday, July 1, 2006 1:32 AM

BELLONA


jayne, ya big idjit!! couldn't just keep his trap shut...

b

Friday, August 19, 2011 12:04 PM

BARDOFSHADOW


Hurt me and I wasn't the one confessin'.... wow!


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