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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Final Story in my “Faith” trilogy. Wash and Kaylee struggle to repair Serenity following the scarper’s raid and Kaylee deals with her nightmares. Jayne/Kaylee.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1161 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer; They’re Joss’s toys and I just borrowed them to play with.
Rating: NC15, for adult language, angst, references to trauma. Gonna heat up later on folks - definitely.
Remarks: Post “Objects In Space”, pre BDM. Final story in my "Faith" trilogy and following immediately after my story “Raping Serenity”. Part of a long Jaylee story arc. If you object to this pairing, consider it AU or read something else. To read the backstories, click on my name above.
Italics generally represent internal dialog.
Feedback: Sincerely appreciated when civilly offered. (Author does tricks for nice feedback…)
Faith, Love and Serenity
“So how’s it comin’, people? Any chance we’re getting’ off this gorram rock any time before I up and die in my sleep of old age?”
Mal’s voice has the same irritable edge it’s had for the past three days.
“Didn’t take them gou tsao de húndàns but a couple of hours to yank all this equipment. You wanna be tellin’ me how it can be takin’ so long to get it all put back in?”
Wash has just replaced one of the monitors ripped out of Serenity’s main console by the scarpers and is feeding cable and wiring circuitously through the maze within down to Kaylee so that she can make the necessary connections.
This is about the fourth time today the Captain’s wandered in to bitch and nag at them and both Wash and Kaylee are getting tired of his repeated interruptions.
“You got any more slack you can fed me, Wash?” Kaylee’s voice, although muffled by the console, is clearly annoyed.
The sweating pilot wiggles a little more cable her way, and answers Mal with uncharacteristic sarcasm. “Slack would be not working our asses off for the past eighteen hours. Slack would be actually sitting down to eat meals."
"Slack,” his voice rises, “would, God forbid, be actually getting any sleep.” Wash pushes past the captain to grab another component.
Beneath the console, Kaylee solders the cable and connects severed wiring, then pushes herself out and sits up. The bruises on her forehead and face have faded to a greenish black and her abrasions have scabbed over. She wraps her arms around her knees, the soldering gun dangling from her hand, as she tries one more time to make Mal comprehend their situation.
“Cap, ya gotta understand. Takes a lot longer to replace and reconfigure all this equipment that to just tear stuff out. Them fellas didn’t much care how they took things loose, long as they got ‘em.”
Her voice thickens at the still vivid memories of lying helpless and bound as the scarpers raped Serenity of the ship’s valuable electronics. She doesn’t so much mind the not eating, not sleeping part, as both are proving difficult since her kidnapping by Jed Kurtz.
Wash fits the auxiliary view-screen back into an opening in the panel and turns to Mal. “Look, you said yourself that Benning told you there was no rush on making the delivery. I realize that patience is not one of the virtues you’re renown for, but it really would help us if you’d just let us get this done and quit interrupting us every time you get antsy. Why the big rush?”
Mal crosses his arms and looks from Wash to Kaylee and back. “Makes me jumpy, s’all. Feel’s like we’re sitting ducks here. Been a long time since we been stranded anywhere, no way off dirt. The longer we sit here, the better the chance of something else goin’ wrong, and I would kinda like to get paid. In case you two haven’t noticed, the larder’s getting’ a mite low.”
Kaylee sighs. ”Cap’n, even after we get all the monitors and equipment back in place, we’re gonna have to re-boot programs, run diagnostics, sync up the sensors… ain’t no quick fix. How about you make it a little easier by just lettin’ us do our jobs. Ain’t that what you hired us for?”
“Well, yeah.” Mal looks as if this obvious fact just occurred to him. “Okay. I’ll go pace up and down in the cargo bay and let you two competent professionals do your thing.” The captain turns and leaves the bridge, much to their relief.
“You got any more hex head screws?” Kaylee asks.
“Better yet, “Wash snarks, “”Let’s tighten up all the loose ones in Mal’s head.”
Jayne and Zoë have just returned with the last crate of the tantalum ore pellets skimmed by factory manager Chester Benning from the production at the Newhall Refinery and are struggling to hoist the extremely heavy crate from the yellow hover craft liberated from the scarpers.
Mal comes down the stairs from the bridge just as they are unloading and smiles.
“Glad to see we’ve got the last of that load on board. I’m assumin’ everything went well.”
Zoë straightens up from the crate. “No problems, Sir.”
She passes Mal something wrapped up in a paper bag. “Benning did send along some things he thought might help us out. There’s some cable, that hardware Kaylee was askin’ about, and this bottle of whisky. Said you’d know what it was for.”
“We was carrying whisky and you never mentioned it?” Jayne jerks up and glares at Zoë who returns his scowl implacably.
“I wanted to make sure it actually made it back to the ship, Jayne.”
The merc looks to Mal. “You are plannin’ on sharin’ that, ain’t ya?” he ask the captain.
“Best we all tuck to and get this gorram boat off the ground before we go passin’ around strong drink.” Mal winks at Zoë. “Y’all get this last crate secured with the others, then see if you can make yourselves useful.”
Supper time comes and the fare is bland and skimpy. They’re down to powdered protein, freeze-dried vegetables and canned corn. Neither Wash nor Kaylee are present for the meal. Zoë serves a plate for her husband and takes it and a mug of tea up to him on the bridge.
When she gets there, she finds her husband’s the only one still at work.
“I thought I should save you some supper since Jayne thought your absence entitled him to the leftovers. I’ll warn you, though, it’s pretty… well, uninteresting.” She rolls her eyes. “Even the Shepherd can’t do much with what supplies we got left on board.”
Wash wipes his face and hands on a towel and sits down in the comm chair, uncovering the plate Zoë hands him. “Thanks, Baby. Nice to know my wifey will go toe-to-toe with the big guy to defend my dinner.”
He peers at the food uncertainly. “Hmmm. Lovely. That’s a delightful plate of… of… just what is this supposed to be, dear?”
Zoë asks, “Where’s Kaylee? She wasn’t at mess either, and I figured she might be still up here working with you.”
“Nope.” Wash mumbles between bites of green mush. “Poor kid was exhausted, so I sent her to go lie down. Said her head’s still bothering her where she bonked it. She really didn’t get any chance to recover from what happened to her before our resident slave driver started cracking the whip at us to get the ship repaired.”
“Captain’s been awfully edgy lately. Guess I can understand, between Jayne getting shot up by Emerson and then us getting’ hit by scarpers and Kaylee being kidnapped.”
“Not to mention finding out that she and Jayne are, well, whatever they are.”
Wash finishes the meal Zoë brought him and sets the plate aside. “Nice serving of mush, dear.” He slips an arm around Zoë’s waist and pulls her onto his lap. “How’s about a kiss or three for dessert?”
“Mmmm. Sounds good to me….”
Kaylee’s curled up in Jayne’s bunk, her refuge after leaving the bridge. In her altered state, she doesn’t really notice the exceptionally chaotic state of the space, the duffels and crates piled haphazardly, the absence of the vivid collage of nudes and gun pics that used to adorn the bulkhead above his bed.
It’s the one place on the ship she feels remotely safe, surrounded by his smell, his clutter. Her head’s been throbbing all day and her stomach is in knots. She’s pushed herself to the limits of her resources, and a body needs food and sleep to renew, to heal. She’s had trouble doing either.
Every minute she’s awake, she wants to be working on Serenity, repairing the substantial damage done to the Firefly by the scarpers. The captain’s constant interruptions don’t help. Neither do the unspoken questions and quickly masked looks of concern from her fellow crew members.
She tosses and turns on Jayne’s narrow futon, unable to relax, to let down. Down time means time to think, to remember, to recall her sense of utter vulnerability and powerlessness.
If I could just get ‘Renity back together, get her to where she’s talking to me again, then maybe I’ll be okay. So tired I’m woolly headed, like to make mistakes workin’ like this. Gotta get some sleep…
She turns over and flails at Jayne’s lumpy old pillow, tries to settle herself into a new position, hopes sleep will come. Images of Serenity being ravaged fill her mind, and with them come other memories – the numbness of tightly bound hands, the stink of unwashed skin and rotting teeth, the bright sting of a blade. The flooding images, driven by the neuro-chemicals of terror, finally muddle together and she slips into an uneasy and restless sleep.
Jayne gets up from the game of tall card that he, Simon, Mal and the Shepherd have been sharing. He’d hoped that Mal might be in a generous mood and share the bottle of whisky he received, but no such luck. The game’s gone consistently downhill for the merc. Mal’s sober, too sharp-eyed for Jayne to cheat in his usual fashion and slip the chores he’d rather not do off on the others.
He decides, Better to quit while I’m only sorta behind. Go check on Kaylee, try to get the girl to come to bed.
The big merc’s been worried about her since her kidnapping four days prior. He knew she’d be jumpy, but hadn’t expected her to be quite so driven and walled-off. That’s more his style. He wanders up to the bridge and finds it empty, but somewhat more intact than earlier that morning.
At least they’re makin’ progress. Guess she’s already turned in.
Back at the door to his bunk, he bumps the chute open and slides down the ladder. The lightning’s dialed down but he can still see Kaylee curled up in a tight ball, arms and legs wrapped around herself protectively, his pillow half-over her head. He’s grown used to her sleeping nude, but lately she’s worn her unders and a tank top.
What’s that all about? Wonder if that chùsheng xai-jiao de xiang huo raped her after all? Ain’t gonna complain about them clothes if it makes her feel safer.
The merc undresses quietly, studies the narrow bunk for some way to get in without awakening the exhausted girl and finally realizes he’ll just have to do the best he can. He eases over her, flattening his back against the wall where his Girls normally hang, but can’t help brushing against Kaylee, the way she’s all balled up. Hell, what he wants to do is just hold her, fold his arms around her and keep the awful memories at bay.
His gentle, inadvertent touch rips her from the haven of sleep and she explodes, screaming, arms flailing violently. One of her wild blows catches him off guard and bloodies his nose before he can gather her up and restrain her.
“Damnit, Kaylee, honey, it’s me! Wake up. You’re havin’ a bad dream.”
Her eyes jerk open, blur, then finally come into focus and she reaches up to wipe the blood from his upper lip. “Oh Lord, Jayne, I’m sorry,” she gasps out.
Suddenly there’s a hellacious banging on Jayne’s bunk door and Mal’s voice yelling down, “Kaylee, are you okay? That bèn de húndàn hurtin’ you?” Mal still hasn’t gotten his head around the idea that Kaylee is with Jayne by choice.
“Chu ni duh!” the merc yells back. “She just had a bad dream’s all. All your yellin’ ain’t helpin’, neither.”
“How’s about you give the girl a decent night’s rest for a change, Jayne.” Mal thinks Jayne’s overblown libido is the issue.
In utter frustration, Kaylee clamps her hands over her ears. “Gwon nee ju jee du shu, Cap’n! Can you two noisy idgits just shut up so’s I can try to get some sleep? Is that too much for me to ask for?”
Jayne studies Kaylee’s angry, haunted face as she glares back at him and wonders if she’ll ever be the woman he knew, the ray of sunshine he fell in love with. Or did that girl die up on the mountain at the hands of Jed Kurtz?
He dabs at the drying trickle of blood from his nose with his dirty t-shirt and asks, ‘You gonna let me lie down with ya or I need to go sleep somewhere’s else tonight?”
With a shuddering sigh, Kaylee deflates and begins to weep softly. ‘No, Jayne, Don’t leave…”
“You gonna let me hold ya?”
She crawls into his arms and shudders against his chest, her voice muffled against him. “Just can’t seem to turn my mind off, keep playin’ it over and over, thinking I shouldda done something, protected Serenity, not let them monsters tear her apart like they did…Don’t know if Wash an’ I can ever get her totally right again, Jayne…”
The big man rocks her like he would a child. “Shhh, darlin’. You think I don’t know how you feel? I’ve been walkin’ down that same road. Shouldda been here, kept you safe from them ruttin’ sonzabitches. Seein’ you get so torn up, I get to wonderin’ if you’ll get through this.”
He kisses her hair, breathing in the scent of her.
“But you’re strong, baby girl, I seen it early on. You may cry, get frightened, but deep inside, you’re resilient. You spring back.”
He pulls her closer, and thinks about the strength of Shepherd’s faith and how he wishes he had a bigger dose of it himself, enough to share with Kaylee.
(To be continued…)
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 1:31 PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 3:49 PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:03 PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:47 PM
Friday, June 30, 2006 6:18 AM
Saturday, July 1, 2006 8:20 AM
Wednesday, July 5, 2006 3:48 AM
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