Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 2
Thursday, April 22, 2004

Things go from bad to worse. Don't they always?


Disclaimer: Characters do not belong to me; they are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and Fox. Feedback is always welcome. Takes place shortly after the series ended and about a month after the events in Delta Rain. Beware, Tori's evil plot bunnies are infiltrating at alarming rates! I took some liberties on how the Blue Hands rods work in this chapter, hope it's not to jarring...I am working with the assumption that they have different settings, one for when they want to clear a whole room and one for when they have a specific target in mind. The other seeming inconsistency becomes a little clearer later, I hope. Thank you Miss Evil Giggly Laugh (aka Cassie E) for the beta. Chinese translations: Go se: Crap; Ai ya: Damn; Hwoon dahn: Son of a bitch; Chusheng xai-jiao de xiang huo: animal fucking bastard ******************************** "My apologies, Captain," he said, his voice utterly void of human emotion. "It appears Mr. Wing has had to bow out of your negotiations." River watched as a second figure moved into view behind the other. She felt the fear threatening to overwhelm her as she pulled Jayne's blanket tighter around her, his warm scent enveloping her like a shield. Dimly aware that everyone but Mal and herself had stepped back out of view. She wished she could escape those piercing eyes so easily. They pecked at her flesh, stripping, peeling, rending... "Two by two, hands of blue...two by two, hands of blue..." "I see Ms. Tam is still with you." A ghost of a smile settled on his lips, "Perhaps we can help each other out. We have no interest in you or your crew Captain, just in the safe return of Ms. Tam." She felt the Captain's gaze on her; his irritation that she had not stayed out of sight. All sharp little pin pricks jabbing into her; not like Jayne's irritation, which was more like sandpaper rubbing against her. Her soul cried out for him, but he did not answer her call. And the blue hands were lying...lies from their lips...lies in their hands...lies in the blankness of their eyes... "screaming, endless screaming...fluids flowing out of her brain, blue fluids...not red, not bright warm red...frigid shards turned to water..." "An' why is it so important to have Ms. Tam returned to you?" The Captain finally said to the Blue Hands. "Seems she's not to interested in returnin'." "She had a breakdown at her school; we are trying to help her. We have only her best interests in mind; sadly she is unaware how sick she is. It is a rather sensitive and complex treatment she was undergoing. All you need to know of it is; if you bring us Ms. Tam, you and your crew will be richly rewarded." the Blue Hands expression was unreadable again, but River knew they did not mean to let the crew walk away from this. She stepped in front of the Captain before he could reply. "Once there was a girl...shining and new...someone took a knife...and shoved it through..." "my bonds are not yours to break...not yours to control..." She forced her eyes to meet the blue hands; a sudden rush of lucidity making her head swim, "and if either of them dies I will never be yours to open again." "We'll be in touch." The Captain reached over and terminated the connection, his irritation turning to anger behind her. "Run...need to run...vultures are coming to pick the flesh off the corpse..." She gazed up at him imploringly. The Captain nodded curtly before turning to Wash and telling him to head for the black. "Got anyplace in mind to run too?" he asked her dryly. His intense gaze bit into her. "Whitefall..." she said softly, hoping the word that popped into her head first was the right one. "Interesting choice," Mal stared hard at her for a moment, "Wash, head for Whitefall. An' I think you an' I need to have a little chat." She nodded absently and headed for Jayne's bunk. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Neither of them had said a word since the screaming had ended, as abruptly as it began. The silence was starting to wear Simon's nerves thin. Or maybe it was that echo of the screams still ringing in his head. Jayne sat back down; having had no luck breaking down the door once the guards outside had left. Their footsteps had hurried away when the screaming started. "Jayne?" he needed to hear someone's voice before he went mad. The merc glanced at him sharply. "What?" Jayne snapped back. He was almost sure the edge to Jayne's voice was from the same panic he felt. "Do you think they are all dead?" he couldn't stop himself from asking. "Not the one's that done that to 'em." the merc replied. Simon wished the two had stayed outside the door, guarding them. But somewhere deep inside he knew they wouldn't have been enough to protect them anyway. Just as he knew that whatever had killed the others was going to be coming for them soon. He glanced sharply at Jayne as the merc let out a bark of laughter. "Two by two, hands of blue." The big man muttered, "Bet that's what the ruttin' hell is headin' this way. Least we're gonna get a better understandin' of River's worst nightmare. Who knows Doc, maybe if you ask all nice like they'll let ya know what they done to her." "Yes..." he said slowly, "and perhaps they'll even leave my brain intact enough to remember it." "If wishes were horses," Jayne started to say. "We'd all be eating steak." Simon finished for him. As the two shared a grim smile, Simon realized it was the first time they had shared something resembling a joke. Oh, they had both laughed at others jokes at the same time, but a joke between them; that was new. "I hope she's Ok," he said softly, "without either of us..." "Cap'n'll take care of her," Jayne looked at him, a strange understanding between them, "an' if'n he don't, Kaylee's there ta smack him 'round." Simon had to laugh at the image of Kaylee smacking anyone, much less her beloved Captain. He wondered if he'd ever see her sweet face again. "I never got to give her that silly patch," he fought back the surge of sadness, "First present I buy her and I didn't even get to give it to her. I should have taken it over when we put the packages on the mule, I should have gone over and hugged her, said...something..." "Like what? Goodbye?" Jayne asked him, his harsh tone softened by the oddly compassionate look in his eyes, "Ain't like we knew we was gonna get snatched Simon, life happens that way sometimes. We all got regrets." "Jayne, if you could go back and do one thing in your life differently," Simon looked up at the big man questioningly. "What would it be?" "Ya gettin' all philosophical on me, Doc?" Jayne gave him a puzzled look, "Hardly seems the time for a question like that." "So when would be a good time," he said back dryly, "after we're both dead?" "You're a morbid one, ain't ya?" Jayne grinned, then turned serious again, " Kay, if ya really wanna know...I'd'a not turned you'n River in ta the Fed's. An' you?" "I'd have stopped River from going to that school.” He said softly. "Ah, but then ya'd'a never met Kaylee," Jayne countered, "ya sure you'd want that?" Simon stared back at him, a little shocked at the merc's logic. Would he be willing to give Kaylee up so his sister could have the childhood she deserved? "See, that's the problem with these regret things," Jayne went on, "ya do somethin' different an it effects everythin' else. Can't never tell what might'a been. An' I got my own reasons for bein' glad ya can't change her goin' there. As selfish as yours, even. Hell, might even be that I had ta turn ya both in to become someone River'd want ta be with." Had Jayne always had this intellectual side or was this some bizarre by-product of the bond with River? Simon wondered if he'd just been blinded by the man's crudity and piggishness. Kaylee had always believed there was more to the man, but then, she believed everyone to be better then they often seemed. Even him. "They're coming." Jayne said warningly. After a moment Simon heard the steady sound of footsteps. He stood uneasily, wondering if there was any chance of escape. With a sense of dread he glanced at Jayne; the merc had stayed seated, though there was nothing relaxed about him. As the door opened slowly, Simon turned to see who would enter. From the fear River had shown at their arrival on Ariel he expected huge, hulking, intimidating men. Sort of Jayne clones with blue hands, only scarier. What he got were two men that, if it weren't for the blue gloves on their hands, looked like lawyers. Then he looked into their eyes and his blood ran cold. They were obviously not related, but there was something about them; a strange feeling that they were two pieces of a whole. One was taller with thinning dark hair, while the other was shorter with reddish hair. Their faces had the same eerie expressionless stare. One of them stepped forward, the red haired one. "Dr. Tam, so good to meet you at last." there was something very ominous about how he said that, though Simon could not for the life of him pin down what it was. "We were most concerned that Mr. Wing had been less then...gentle." It seemed unreal that these two could have taken out all of Atherton Wing's guards alone, but there were no others standing outside the open door. Simon felt a shiver of unease as the taller one moved closer to Jayne, pulling a small metal rod out of his pocket. "So, you came to "save" me?" he asked them in disbelief, eyeing the one warily. He caught the look on Jayne's face out of the corner of his eye; like he was facing down the Devil himself. "In a manner of speaking." the man gave a cold smile, "We were hoping to enlist your aid in retrieving your sister." "If you think I am going to help you continue your sick experiments on her," he moved closer to the man, unconsciously imitating Jayne's manner, "you are sadly mistaken." "Oh, but you will help us, Dr. Tam." the man stated as the other activated the rod in his hand. "You have no choice in the matter." There was a rustle as Jayne lunged for the man in front of him and Simon heard a buzzing from the rod; he turned abruptly towards Jayne and the other blue hand. A stab of fear hit his gut as he took in Jayne gasping, frozen by the sound. He'd heard rumors of scientists working on this type of weapon, something that could induce severe internal bleeding using sound vibrations. He had never dreamed anyone had made one. "Stop, you'll kill him." he tried to get to the one attacking Jayne but the other grabbed him; he was far stronger then he looked. "That is the point, Dr. Tam." He said calmly. "You don't understand," Simon was close to panic, he could not face being held by these monsters alone, "if you kill him; you kill River." Instantly the buzzing stopped and with it Jayne's screaming; but Simon feared the damage might be too great already. There was blood coming out of his eyes and nose. When he coughed up more Simon was sure his words had come too late. Might take a while for the big man to bleed to death, but it would happen. Still, the merc managed to give him a look that would have scared Satan witless. "This man is bonded to your sister?" The first one asked him, seemly more surprised at who it was she bonded with then that she had a bond. "Yes." He said, a wave of exhaustion coming over him. He avoided Jayne's accusing look, he had given them another tool to use against her, but he had had no choice. For both River's and his own sake. "He is." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mal found himself following her into Jayne's bunk, why did she have to pick this place? He'd been down here a couple'a times to have a chat with Jayne, had never been a pleasant experience. For either of 'em. "So, any insight into how deep'a go se we are in?" he asked her back. She was starin' at the space over his bunk. He realized with a slight shock that the bulkhead was clear. The gorram girl had gotten Jayne to take his girly pics down? She moved over to the wall and ran her fingers lightly over the cold metal. "So is it still his room when it's empty? Does the room, the thing, have purpose? Or do we imbue the object with the purpose we wish it to have..." "Killed Atherton before he told them who you were..." she added softly as she turned to him; seeming to come back from where ever she had been, "Can't let that advantage go...need to make plans...find somewhere safe..." "An' you're thinkin' Whitefall is safe?" he asked her gently, in spite of his misgivings. "It could be..." she sat down gracefully on Jayne's bunk. “Danger there too...but a chance for help as well..." Mal sat down carefully in the chair, studying her intently; looking for any hint that the crazy girl that had just been muttering about brain fluids on his bridge was in control. Satisfied that it was the sane River back in command, he let himself relax a little. "All right then, anything you can think to tell me would be appreciated here." He settled in to hear her out. She pulled her legs up, tucking them under her as she pulled the blanket around her. She looked like some strange pixie-faced teepee. One tiny, pale hand peeked out of the folds, holding it closed. "Blue Hands don't know we are on Serenity...don't know who the crew is..." she started listing what she knew, eerily calm now that she was off the bridge, "probably take them to their facility there..." "Ai ya, was hopin' they'd keep 'em at Ath's estate," he muttered, "Least 'Nara knows where that is." "I know where it is..." she said softly, a haunted look coming over her, "was there...took me from the school...all their special ones...farther away from prying is why they had Simon pick me up there...that was where I was..." "Makes sense," he said thoughtfully, "from what we've been able to figure, they wouldn't want you all to close to scrutiny. All right then, 'least we got an idea where they'll be when we get a plan together. Anythin' else you want to say?" She dipped her head down, letting her hair fall to cover her face; but not before he caught the flash of pain cross her face. "River?" he asked, concerned. He leaned forward and placed a hand on her shoulder, feeling helpless to comfort her as she lifted her gaze back to him. Tiny tears running down her cheeks; her eyes lookin' to big for her face. Her lower lip quivered as she spoke. "Can't feel him...can't hear him..." her voice shook, and all Mal could do was gaze back. The implication of River not being able to feel Jayne was frightening. And he had no doubt that's who she was talkin' about. "He’s still there...know that much...not dead...just...out of reach...blocked..." "Would you know? he asked her, "Even not feeling him?" "Yes...if he died I would know..." she said almost to soft for him to catch, her head dropping back down, "the bonding is not finished yet...but it is enough where I would would affect me on a deep molecular level..." She turned her anguished eyes back on him. "Saw him happy...saw him getting old...with me...playing with his girls...surrounded by pink...tiny pink monkey's climbing him like a mountain..." she choked on a sudden burst of laughter as it turned into a heart wrenching sob, "can't see it now...just blank where he was...slate cleaned and all future possibilities wiped away..." She seemed to shrink into herself; Mal found himself moving over next to her on the bed, wrapping his arms around her for comfort. Just as they closed around her; her whole body convulsed, an ear piercing shriek ripping out of her small frame. Mal thanked Book's God that he had her in his grip already as he pulled her away from the wall before her head smashed into it. He would have never been able to get a hold of her after this started. He struggled to hold onto her and keep her hands pinned down. Gorram girl seemed like to scratch her fool eyes out. He heard Zoë drop down into the room just as River went limp in his arms. Mal loosened his grip as she sagged against him, gasping. "Everything all right?" Zoë asked. "Not sure yet, Zoë." he said distractedly as River reached up to wipe something off her lip, then her bloody hand dropped listlessly into her lap. With a muttered curse, Mal scooped her up. Noting with shock that there was blood mingled with the tears streaming down her face. "Help me get her to the infirmary." he barked to Zoë. Between them they got her up the ladder and headed down the hall. The rest of the crew trailing behind them. As soon as they reached the infirmary Mal and Zoë went to work, checking River's stats. Other then her eleviated heart rate she seemed fine. Mal wished Ath was still alive so he could kill him again. That hwoon dahn had taken his crew, put 'em in harms way, and now he didn't even have that damn Doctor here to make sure his sister was going to live. Least the rest of his crew were stayin' out from underfoot, only Inara had followed him an' Zoë in. He glanced over at her, noticing she was wiping River's face off. "Well, near as we can tell, you're gonna be fine." he smiled encouragingly down at her. Even though his heart was still pounding from that scream of hers. Not to mention the hearing loss he had suffered, he thought dryly. "sorry..." She whispered as her hand reached up to brush his ear lightly. "I'm fine mei-mei." He pulled her hand down and patted it gently, "Gonna have to scream a bit louder then that to match some'a the things those old ears have heard. Not much, mind almost got that air raid siren pitch down," he gave her a lopsided grin. "Any idea what happened back there?" He asked her, not wanting to upset her; but he needed to know what had happened if they were to help her. "I think....I think they used that thing on him..." she said, her brow creasing, "the thing they used on Atherton and his men..." "This mean you're feelin' him again?" He ignored Zoë and Inara's surprised murmurs. River shook her head no. "Felt like they were using it on me..." she whispered softly, looking sadder then he'd ever seen, "wasn't like his pain...just mine..." fresh tears streaked her face. "Want a smoother?" he asked, poor girl had been through some tough times today. Might be a kindness to let her rest a bit. "No," she said emphatically, "want to go back to Jayne's bunk...can rest there..." He studied her for a moment, weighing the merits of letting her back in there. Not like he could keep her out if that's where she wanted to be. Girl had a way of gettin' what she wanted. "Fine, but Kaylee stays with ya." He said at last, 'least this way the two could comfort each other some. An' if River started getting worse someone was there to come get him or Zoë. She smiled up at him, a little of her odd brilliance coming through. She lifted her head and fixed her gaze on Wash. "Can I have my yarn?" she asked him. "Right," Wash said back, "yarn-age coming right up." "Yarn? There's more yarn?" Mal found himself asking, fighting off the shudder of horror. River giggled up at him. "Got it...before..." her face fell, "put it on the mule on the way..." her voice trailed off. "Right, got it," Mal said quickly, before she started gettin' weepy again, "we have yarn-age again." "Got more then yarn." River looked over at Kaylee with a sad little smile. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jayne lay quietly on the exam table, pretending to be passed out from the drugs they had given him. Havin' drugs take longer to affect him then those that doped him up figured they would had always come in handy for him. He was still a little pissed at Simon for revealing that him an' River were bondin' to these chusheng xai-jiao de xiang huo. Though it had saved his hide, and possibly River's as well. They'd run a few scans on him when they first got him here. Simon had been taken off someplace else, probably some kinda cell. He hoped once they was done here they'd take him there as well. Be easier to get 'em both out if they were together. Didn't have nothing ta do with worryin' 'bout the gorram Doctor. He risked another quick peek at his surroundings, the one that seemed ta be in charge had finally finished lookin' at his scans. He heard the Doctor move over to speak to the two men that had been standin' silently by the door. Making sure to keep his body visibly relaxed, he strained to hear what they was sayin'. "It appears that you stopped the process before he was permanently damaged. It seems likely that his bond with the subject allowed him to take more then is usual." Jayne noted the authoritative tone to the Doctor’s speech; man was not pleased 'bout something. "I expected better, you should have assessed the situation more thoroughly before acting. You almost managed to terminate our best link to the subject and you did terminate the one that knew where she was." "The contact was arranging a deal with the ship's Captain that did not benefit us." The tall, dark haired one said calmly. "Yes, well," the Doctor said sternly, "now I have to deal with a very upset stockholder, Mr. Wing's father is displeased with his son's early demise. As necessary as it may have been, this is going to have unpleasant repercussions. And now we shall have to find a way of undoing this bond if we are to use the subject as planned, it is most unfortunate that she was not recovered before this could happen. We had such hopes that she would not require a bonding at all." "We may still be able to salvage this, in spite of everything." Jayne sensed the Doctor moving back over to where he lay, "If she truly is bonded to this one, there are ways we can use that to our advantage. We might be able to give her an incentive to return to us on her own." "Put him with the other for now." He said coldly. Jayne felt he did a masterful job of actin' all groggy an' drugged as they dragged him off the table and down the hall. Even managed not to stop himself from fallin' as they tossed him into the room. Not that it'd been too hard, those gorram drugs seemed ta be kickin' in. He tried to hold back a grimace as Simon scurried over an' started pokin' at him. "I'm fine Doc," he grumbled at Simon; damn it, now his ruttin' legs weren't workin' right, "jus' me get on the damn bunk." "Jus' gonna lay here an' rest a bit..." he sank into the thin mattress, tryin' to remember what he was gonna tell Simon as unconsciousness crept over him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kaylee sat and watched River pulling the yarn out of the packages; she reached out a hand and tentatively stroked the pretty pastel ones, not wantin' to get engine grease on 'em. They was so soft an' fuzzy. She could jus' imagine them all knit into little blankets. Precious little babies wrapped up safe and sound in their warm folds. Her gaze drifted up to River's face, poor thing looked all exhausted like. How was she holdin' together so well? They'd taken her brother an' the man she loved an' whatever they'd done to 'em that made her scream like'd sounded like they was ripping her heart out. Jus' thinkin' on it made her blood run cold. It'd been even worse'n hearin' Ath's screams. 'Course, that hwoon dahn had deserved what he got an' River hadn't. River suddenly leaned over an' gave her a fierce hug. "I'm fine, Kaylee..." she whispered, her voice soundin' a bit ragged from the abuse it'd had, "Simon got you a present..." Kaylee felt the sting of tears rush back up to the surface. Seemed all she'd done today was cryin'. "He did?" The tremor in her voice made her cringe a bit; damn it, why'd she have ta be such a baby. Simon had got her a present, she should be happy. But Simon weren't here ta give it too her, he was bein' held God knows where by men doin' God knows what to him. Weren't right, what if she never saw him again? What if they never got 'em back? She bit back'a sob an' forced herself to take the fuzzy pink thing from River. It was a pink Bunny patch. 'Bout the same size as her Teddy Bear one, it was the most adorable thing she'd ever seen. He had the sweetest expression on his little bunny face. One big tear dropped down onto the Bunny's face, darkenin' the material where it hit his cheek. She felt River's arms around her again; dimly aware River was pullin' her down to lay next to her. She'd pulled Jayne's blanket over them both. The two of 'em curlin' up under it as they let the tears wash some of the pain away.


Friday, April 23, 2004 7:02 AM


Love this, and I really like the bond between Jayne and River and how it factors into this story. Also you write River and Mal beautifully perfectly picking up on the way they connect and seem to understand each other on a non-verbal as well as verbal level. Those hands of blue are some piece of work, can't wait to see what happens next! Great job, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, April 24, 2004 1:08 AM


Neroli, you have my full attention an I can't wait to read the next installment. This is excellent

Saturday, May 1, 2004 7:44 PM


There aren't enough words to tell you how much I love this. If I tried I would only end up babbling. So suffice it to say that this is a lovely story and I can't wait for the next chapter.

Saturday, August 27, 2005 12:10 PM


jayne and river babies!!! yay!!!


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Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 5
The crew starts making plans to rescue Simon and Jayne.

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 4
Serenity reaches Whitefall while Jayne and Simon continue to be at the Blue Hands "mercy".

Ballet And Bullets chapter 2
River and Jayne reflect on their meeting, and Inara goes to the ballet.

Tarnished Gift
An AU...just a little "what if" scenario I couldn't shake.

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 3
A brief interlude as Serenety and crew make their way to Whitefall.

Ballet And Bullets chapter 1
A River and Jayne (of course) centered AU, River went to a ballet academy instead of The Academy.

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 2
Things go from bad to worse. Don't they always?

Delta Rain - Torrents chapter 1
Mal tries to figure out what happened to Simon and Jayne.

Delta Rain - Torrents prologue
The sequel to Delta Rain begins. A little shopping expedition goes awry.

Delta Rain part 3
The conclusion to Delta Rain.