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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
How did Jayne get his guitar and how did he learn to play?
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 630 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Jayne hated goodbyes; all that hugging and well-wishing and saying things that you normally wouldn't. There was always a chance that the moment someone left your sight you'd never see them again. Wasn't no call to get all maudlin about it.
"I wish he wouldn't leave," Kaylee said, watching as Book said his goodbyes to Inara. "I'm gonna miss him."
"You miss everybody. Even got weepy over that gorram war-buddy of Mal and Zoe's after he tried to kill you."
"He turned out all right in the end," Kaylee said.
"Just cause Mal put a bullet in him," Jayne said.
"But the Shepherd is part of the crew, it won't be the same," Kaylee said. "I wish he'd tell us why he was leaving."
Jayne knew exactly why Book was leaving and it was the one reason why Jayne wished he'd stick around. A man's past weren't nobody's business but his own. It wasn't Jayne's story to tell, as much as he might want to. He knew Book would never speak of it. Hell, Mal didn't even know. All he knew was that something had gone bad on the job. Figured it was Jayne's fault. Didn't reckon that it had anything to do with Book knowing far more about torture than a man of God should.
The Shepherd had strayed too far from his own teachings on that job. He'd rustled up a person that he'd tried to forget. So he was gonna run away from the temptation.
Jayne thought it was a pity. The Shepherd had been good at what he'd done. It was a waste of his talents. He would've liked someone like Book watching his back.
Book let go of Kaylee who was bawling openly now, and turned to Jayne. He walked over to where his belongings were sitting and picked up the guitar. Offered it to Jayne.
Jayne stared at the guitar. "Wash knows how to play. It'd be better off with him."
Book shook his head. "I want you to have it."
"I ain't a musician."
"Your hands are capable of far more than just killing, " Book said.
Jayne wasn't sure he believed him. It was just another goodbye with too many words that shouldn't be said.
He took the guitar anyway.
* * *
Jayne didn't play the guitar, not right away. Weeks past before he finally brought her out. He set her on the galley table and polished her with his gun rags until the wood gleamed and shone like new. He figured a guitar was just like a gun, in that she needed to be cared for whether or not she was gonna be used. Wasn't necessary to clean his guns every night anyway, and it was relaxing, or at least it would've been if it wasn't for Zoe yelling.
She and Wash rarely fought, and when they did it was usually with silent glares on Zoe's part, not raised voices. The quieter Zoe got the more dangerous she became. Jayne didn't rightly know what it meant that she was yelling where the whole boat could hear.
A bunk door slammed. Footsteps clanked up the hallway.
Wash rushed into the galley, and rummaged around in the cabinets. "Gao yang jong duh goo yang! Don't we have some wine left from Haven?"
"Mal drank the last of it when Inara left," Jayne said, stopping what he was doing to watch Wash frantically rearrange can goods looking for alcohol. "Kaylee might have some of her brew."
"I want to loosen up my wife, not incapacitate her," Wash said.
"And you need wine?" Jayne said. "Figured you were more man than that."
"This coming from the man who doesn't kiss 'em on the mouth," Wash said.
"You don't see me having any women troubles do you?"
"No, instead you're fondling a guitar." Wash slumped down into a chair and watched Jayne. "Hey! Can I borrow it? I will woo back my woman with a song that will break her heart. I'll be irresistible."
Jayne's hands tightened around the guitar. He didn't like the idea of Betsy ending up in the middle of a domestic spat. No telling what would happen to her under those conditions.
"Let me use it just this once and I'll teach you how to play," Wash said. "Women will fall at your feet in a swoon."
"They already do that," Jayne said.
"Yes, but that's usually because you haven't bathed not because you've astonished them with music to soothe their souls," Wash said. "I'm not above begging, do you want me to beg? I could get on my knees?"
Jayne snorted and turned his attention back to his guitar. Minutes passed. Wash sighed loudly. Again.
Jayne tossed the rag down and glared at him. "Are you gonna keep up that noise all night?"
"Yes. Probably for several days too," Wash said. "I'll be whining and lonesome and there's no telling who I might turn to for emotional support." Jayne held out the guitar. "Be careful with her."
"You won't regret this."
Jayne already did.
Wash laughed. "Don't hold it like a weapon. You aren't going to use it to kill someone with."
"I might. Anything can be a weapon," Jayne said, but he loosened his grip just a little bit.
"Weapons are in the eyes of the beholder," River said. She was perched on chair beside them, watching intently.
"I know you're both scary warriors, but let's lose the weapon talk," Wash said. "Think of the guitar as a beautiful woman. You have to stroke her, treat her gently."
Jayne arched an eyebrow at him. "Betsy never did like it gentle."
"Then you're gonna have to change her name, because she's going to get nothing but gentle from you from now on," Wash said.
Jayne stared at the guitar. She was definitely Betsy. There was no way he was going to change her name.
For a long time the music stopped. Wasn't that Jayne didn't want to play. But his fingers needed to grasp weapons more than they needed to strum the guitar. Mal had been sure to keep the armory well-stocked since Miranda. Guns had to be cleaned, knives sharpened, hell, Jayne even organized the grenades by explosive power. He didn't have the time to be fooling around with a guitar.
But time passed. And the guitar lay gathering dust
Jayne didn't have much, but what he had, he took care of. "Been neglecting you, girl." He took her to the galley, dusted her off a bit, and began to play.
River watched him. She danced around the kitchen, flitting around his chair like some gorram bug on a dusty outer rim planet.
"What in hell are you doing girl?" He fought the urge to swat her away.
"Listening to you sing," she said.
"I sure as hell weren't singing," he said.
"You are," she said. "Death doesn't stop the music. It keeps right on playing. You remember their songs. You sing them. Inside." She stopped her dancing long enough to lean forward and place a finger on his forehead, before spinning around and resuming her dance.
He stumbled over the chords, made mistakes. There hadn't been enough time for Wash to teach him good and proper, and there were still sections of the song that he'd never learned. Blanks spots where there should have been music.
Jayne put Betsy down, and swore. It was no use. He would never remember the whole thing. Wasn't even sure why he even bothered.
"Your fingers haven't caught up with your thoughts," River said, with a smile. "They will. Understand how the weapon works first. Shooting straight comes with practice later."
"Didn't think you knew that one," Zoe said.
Jayne hadn't heard her come into the room. Didn't know how long she'd been listening. He shrugged. "He taught it to me."
No need to clarify who he was.
She nodded, and walked out of the room.
Jayne decided he would never play that song again.
"Speaker of the dead," River said.
"You're the one who heard them dead people on Miranda, not me," Jayne said. "All I heard was your hollerin''"
River just smiled. "The Shepherd knew there was music in you. Wash gave you the song." River pushed the guitar towards him. "You must keep playing. It's the only way she can hear his voice."
Jayne picked up the guitar and tried again.
Someday he would remember the whole song.
Author's Note: Written as part of the Remix Redux IV challenge.http://remix.illuminatedtext.com
Sunday, June 04, 2006 10:17 AM
Sunday, June 04, 2006 1:16 PM
Sunday, June 04, 2006 9:45 PM
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