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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Jayne is determined to recover from Emerson’s gunshot and makes it out of bed to join the crew for breakfast. Mal finally confronts the merc and Kaylee about the nature of their relationship.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1142 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
OK Folks, It’s Jaylee. It’s a ruttin’ Jaylee Epic. Not your cuppa? Keep on walkin’.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no pay.
Thanks: To Jacqui, Josh and to Rion, my own personal BDH. You guys are the greatest.
Rating: PG-15, 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.
Feedback: Love your comments, folks! It only takes a minute and is genuinely appreciated. What did you like? What doesn’t work? You can post below or email to Lumenea@aol.com
Leaps of Faith
Early the following morning, Jayne dresses in some of the clothing Kaylee has brought him. Getting his sweatpants on is awkward and painful, but he grits his teeth and manages, determined to get to the head on his own. Grabbing the cane beside the bed, he stands and curses elaborately, then hobbles out into the corridor, forcing his injured leg to help bear his weight.
Exiting the latrine, he almost runs into Shepherd Book, who looks both surprised and pleased to see the merc out of bed so soon.
“Well, well! I figured you might need some help first thing this morning. Never expected to see you up and about on your own.”
Jayne shakes his head, “I couldn’t stay still another minute, Shepherd. Thought I was gonna lose my gorram mind, wind up as moon-brained as River if I couldn’t get up and move around a little. I ain’t no use to the captain until I get my strength back, anyways.”
“You might find it helpful to know that shortly after your unfortunate encounter with Mr. Emerson, the captain had Wash move the ship to the docks at Brandemere. We’ll be here for awhile to restock and rest up. No big capers planned for awhile, so you have some time to get up to speed.” Book nods reassuringly. “Kaylee’s cooking breakfast. I understand we have real eggs for a change.”
Jayne grins widely. “I do love eggs, at least if they ain’t burned.”
Step by step, they make their way slowly up the stairs to the galley, with Jayne grimacing and mumbling curses under his breath. He’s sweating bullets by the time he sits down at the big table but it makes him feel good when the other crew members applaud his efforts and fuss over him.
“Welcome back, big guy!” Wash greets him. “Has anybody ever pointed out how heavy you are when you’re unconscious?” Zoë gives Wash a dig in the ribs.
“Don’t pay him any mind, Jayne. We’re just glad you’re better.”
Simon cautions him, “Now don’t try to do too much, too fast. You were debilitated by the infection you contracted and your leg is still mending. It’ll take time before you’re fully recovered.”
Jayne smirks, “Don’t worry, doc, I’ll behave.”
River looks across the table at Jayne and smiles. ”No secrets, now. Man can stand on both feet.”
“Huh?” Jayne is puzzled. “Of course I can use both feet, girl. Ain’t like I got a peg leg now or nothin’.”
Kaylee puts a big plate of scrambled eggs and protein links on the table and pats him on the shoulder. “I can just see ya: Pirate Jayne, the One-Legged Wonder of the Rim!”
The big man piles a huge amount of food onto his plate and teases her, “I got the only leg you need to worry about, lil’ Kaylee.”
The mechanic blushes furiously and Wash hoots at the suggestive remark.
“Y’all hush, now,” Kaylee admonished and punches Jayne in the shoulder, to much generalized laughter.
About this time, Mal wanders in. “So what’s so funny?” He notices his mercenary shovelin’ down food like there’s no tomorrow. “Hey, there, dead man. What‘re you doin’ up here eatin’ me outta house and home?”
“Figured I earned it, savin’ your asses from Hadley Emerson,” Jayne mumbles between bites.
“Do tell.” Mal laughs. “Now that’s what I call gorram hi-larious. You sure were right bout him bein’ a low-down, tricksy, one-eyed wang bao dahn. Just glad he’s the one’s dead rather than you.”
He dishes eggs and sausage onto his plate, grabbing the last link just as Jayne reaches for it. “That bankroll you grabbed off the hundan had way more’n he was supposed to pay us, but I figured we were entitled to the extra after we pay off Monte, seein’ as all the trouble Emerson put us to.”
Mal notices the look that passes between Kaylee and Jayne at his mention of Jayne’s close call but decides not to comment, and instead, turns to Simon. “I know there are a lot of medical supplies you’ll be needin’ to replenish, and this would be as good a place as any to do so. Brandemere’s a pretty quiet, safe town. We can get most anything we might need here.”
“Wash, we got enough extra so’s you can order that enhanced sensor array you and Kaylee been pesterin’ me for and it might be a good time for you two to hit the junkyards and see if you can pick up anything else Serenity might need while we’re flush.”
He smiles at his first mate. “Zoë, you healin’ up okay?”
She nods, “Just fine, Sir.”
“Well, then, shiny! You folk be about your business and I’ll see what I can scare us up by way of work.”
For the next several days Jayne forces himself to exercise his injured leg every chance he gets. Initially, he just walks, using the cane to help steady himself. He’s weak and sometimes shaky, but improves with each day’s passing. He’s still in pain and often ill-tempered, cursing creatively, snapping at the others and immediately regretting it. For a man used to depending on his strength and physical prowess, the indignity of his recovery process is galling and humiliating.
He can negotiate the stairs if he takes his time, but still can’t handle the climb down the ladder to his bunk. Kaylee’s been kind enough to bring him things he needs: clothing, the weapons he used during the last job and the kit and whetstone he uses to clean and maintain them.
He flirts with her and she smiles back, but the easy intimacy they shared before is lost for now, displaced by Kaylee’s uncertainty and mistrust. Still, she’s affectionate with him and often sits and cheers him on as he does the stretches and strength-building work Simon has recommended. Over and over, he climbs the stairwells in the cargo bay, round and round, up and down, rebuilding the strength and flexibility of his left leg, driven in his recovery.
As he gets stronger, he loads weight plates into a backpack and climbs the stairs with the extra load. He moves into careful, painful stretches and deliberate range of motion exercises, often punctuated by his curses of frustration and outbursts when the pain is too intense.
He finishes a cycle on the stairs and limps over to where Kaylee is seated, then chugs the bottle of water she hands him. “Thanks. Seems like ever since I got shot, I just can’t seem to get enough water.”
“Well, Simon said some of those drugs he gave ya would dry you out and the way you’re goin’ at all this therapy work, I’m not surprised.” The girl studies Jayne’s face, more angular now than before his injury. “Well, at least your color ain’t so sallow and you’ve eat up near ‘bout everything in the galley. I hope the Cap’n picks up more supplies tomorrow or we’re back to protein powder.” She reaches up and smoothes his sweat-damp hair back from his forehead, the gesture tentative but tender.
The merc looks down at her, thinkin’, Ah lord, I miss her, miss holdin’ her. Wonder if we’ll ever get back together like that again? He starts to lean forward to gently kiss her, hears Mal’s boot steps and jerks back upright, his face lookin’ guilty as a kid with his hand in the cookie jar.
“Uh… howdie, Mal,” he blurts out.
Mal looks at Jayne and raises an eyebrow, then looks at Kaylee. “What’s up here, folks?”
Sure looked to him like the man was about to kiss his mechanic.
Kaylee grins up at Mal. “Ya oughtta see him, Cap’n. He’s gettin’ real good at goin’ up and down the stairs and don’t need that cane nearly as much. Why, he oughta be shiny as new in two or three months!”
At Kaylee’s faint praise, Jayne lowers and shakes his head. Not exactly the sort of ringing endorsement he wants his boss to hear. He wonders how long Mal will be willing to wait for him to get back to his usual rough-and-ready self.
“Seein’ as how I got you both here together, I guess this is as good as any time to talk with ya about somethin that’s startin’ to mightily trouble me.” As Mal crosses his arms, Jayne and Kaylee glance at one another. This is a sure sign that the captain’s got somethin’ serious on his mind.
Mal’s jaw is set and they can tell he’s dug in for a major argument. “It’s come to my attention that the two of you are directly disobeyin’ me and breakin’ one of the first rules I set out for both of you.”
Kaylee looks puzzled. “An' what rule is that, Cap’n?”
Mal looks from Kaylee to Jayne, back to Kaylee, blushes and then turns hard on the merc. “Gorramit, Jayne, you’re beddin’ my mechanic and you know she’s off limits.”
Jayne laughs. “Hell no, I ain’t. Hand o’ God, Mal! Ain’t sleepin’ with her. No sir.”
Mal looks back at Kaylee, squirms, and asks, “Is that true, Kaylee? You and Jayne aren’t bunkin’ together?”
Her innocent brown eyes are wide as she replies, ‘It’s the honest truth, Cap’n.”
Mal scowls doubtfully, shakes his head in a puzzled sort of way and marches off to the bridge. As soon as he’s safely out of earshot, Jayne and Kaylee are both rolling on the deck, laughing.
When he’s caught his breath, Jayne chuckles, “Guess it’s a good thing he didn’t ask us that three weeks ago, huh?” All Kaylee can do is nod. She’s still giggling too hard for speech.
Jayne reaches out and caresses her cheek. “Kaylee, I’m missin’ ya somethin’ fierce. Are things ever gonna be okay with us, like they was before I was such a stupid git?” The longing in his face is tangible. “Girl, you know I love ya. Ain’t no way I can take back what’s done. What do I have to do to make things right between us again?”
Kaylee leans her head against his shoulder for a quiet minute. “It’s a lot easier to break a person’s trust than it is to fix it. I miss you, too, but let’s just take it a day at a time. I can’t make you no promises about the future, yet, Jayne, ‘cause I still ain’t sorted out what I feel or whether I’m gonna be able to trust you.”
“But you are tryin’, ain’t ya? ‘Cause I sure as hell am.”
(To be continued...)
Thursday, April 27, 2006 9:11 AM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 9:31 AM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 10:01 AM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 10:49 AM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:46 AM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:03 PM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:38 PM
Thursday, April 27, 2006 6:27 PM
Friday, April 28, 2006 1:20 AM
Friday, April 28, 2006 2:18 AM
Sunday, July 02, 2006 5:13 AM
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