Recurrent Verse
Monday, July 3, 2006

a collection of four stories exploring the beginnings of something for Jayne and Kaylee


Originally written for the Live Journal lyric_ficathon challenge. The four prompts are included with the stories. Events take place during Out of Gas, straight after Ariel, and after Objects in Space. Hope you enjoy them! _________________________________________________

Breathless prompt: And when she walks all the wind blows and the angels sing. She doesn't notice me!

Serenity weren't movin' - she weren't movin'.

Because she hadn’t been takin’ proper care of her girl; Zoë was in the infirmary, maybe dyin’. She’d pushed Kaylee outta the way, kept her away from danger and how did Kaylee pay her back - by worryin’ about the ship more than her.

Some friend she was turnin’ out to be.

Now this – Kaylee looked despondently at the engine and the readings in front of her again. The Captain was gonna want a report soon ‘n’ how could she tell him this? Deep in thought she didn’t hear the mercenary when he walked in.

“Kaylee,” Jayne was nervous with the ship so still and the tension of waitin’ for Zoe to wake up. Wantin’ company he headed straight for the engine room and Kaylee. He figured with the engine goin’ like that she’d likely need some help with the repairs and he liked to be busy.

But when he got there the little mechanic weren’t runnin’ round tinkerin’ with things like usual, she was just sittin’ starin’, a blank look on her face. “Kaylee!”

Turnin’ at his shout the mechanic responded automatically “What do ya need Jayne?”

“Ain’t about what I’m needin’, I came to see if ya wanted some help.” He’d come for some of her bright bubbliness, not that he could tell her that.

“Don’t need help.” Kaylee’s voice was toneless.

“So what’s the problem, can ya fix it?” Jayne was startled when the girl shook her head. She was the best mechanic he ever met, far as he could tell she could fix anythin’ ya put in front of her.

“Coil’s gone and we ain’t got no life support.”

“Does Mal know?”

“I’ve gotta go tell him. How’m I gonna tell him Jayne?”

“It ain’t yer fault that the thing blew,” said Jayne panickin’ inside ‘bout the life support. “The fire would’ve taken some air with it too wouldn’t it?”

Kaylee nodded in resignation.

“Best be goin’ to tell the Captain then.”


Kaylee hadn’t wanted to leave Serenity or the Captain. She still thought he could’ve come with them. How could they all leave him there? But nobody, not even Jayne argued with the Captain when he got that look on his face.

She was worried ‘bout him and Serenity floatin’, engine stopped. She was worried ‘bout them here on the shuttle.

As Inara fired up the shuttle, the big mercenary sat down beside her his bulk takin’ up most of the couch. Slipping her hand into his, Kaylee leant against Jayne’s broad shoulder, lettin’ his strength seep into her.

Jayne looked down at the mechanic leanin’ against him as the smell of incense tickled his nose. He could tell the girl was close to tears, and he weren’t no good with that comfortin’ stuff. Shepherd was buried in his book and wouldn’t be any help. Catchin’ Inara’s eye he nodded toward Kaylee and started teasin’ the Companion ‘bout the smell in her shuttle.


Kaylee brightened right up when Wash called them back to the ship, sittin’ on the edge of the couch and squeezin’ his hand. The minute the girl stepped back on Serenity and felt the engine movin’ her happy walk was back.

When the Captain smiled ‘n’ asked were they stayin’, her smile lit up the room and her eyes sparkled.

He’d always had a fancy for little Kaylee, but it was then that Jayne fell for her and fell hard. Watchin’ as she smiled sunnily at the gorram doctor then dashed off to visit her girl properly he reckoned there were no hope of her ever noticin’ him, but knew that now he weren’t ever gonna stop noticin’ her.


Guilt prompt: Is it cruel or kind not to speak my mind, and to lie to you rather than hurt you?

Jayne huddled up against the door, arms wrapped round his body to keep warm. He’d apologised, why did Mal still leave him out here?

Probably more punishment, it were gonna take forever to get back in the Captain’s good graces. He weren’t sure if he even wanted to make the effort. But he was comfortable here. He had his own bunk, run of the kitchen, people who actually talked to him and Kaylee.

Kaylee who was standin’ at the door lookin’ in at him, eyes worried. “Jayne!”

The airlock door opened and as he stumbled out half frozen a blanket and arms were wrapped around him. “What are ya doin’ out there?”

“Captain left me there.” His blue eyes held a mixture of bewildered and guilty emotions. “He says I did a bad thing.”

“Did ya?”

Jayne had plenty of time to think out there in the airlock, to remember the crazy girl’s terror and the Doctor’s thanks and he was feelin’ kinda guilty ‘bout what he’d done. But he still didn’t get why Mal was so angry, he hadn’t done anythin’ to him and despite what the Captain thought wouldn’t ever.

He sighed “Yeah, though I don’t get it.”

“Ya gonna tell me?”

Jayne’s stomach clenched; what if she took against him like Mal did? But for once he needed to talk ‘bout somethin’ so’s he could get it straight in his mind and Kaylee was the closest thing he had to a best friend.

“It was like this….”

Kaylee’s lips set firmly as he talked and she had that same look on her face as when she were angry with the Captain’s behaviour over Saffron. He wished he knew what she was thinkin’.

She knew he had problems trustin’ people. That he didn’t like the doctor for some reason, had taken against him. River slashin’ him like she had would make him angry – and Jayne always held a grudge, lashin’ out without thinkin’. And of course the coin, the man loved money and would do almost anythin’ to get it.

“What d’ya think?” He was lookin’ at her, a question in his eyes.

For some reason Jayne wanted her opinion and Kaylee was gonna tell him what she thought too. She didn’t want to hurt him, but he needed to be woken up, to see things right.

“It weren’t a good thing to do Jayne.” She shook her head. “I don’t get how ya could even think of it?”

“I were waitin’ for the supplier ‘n’ lookin’ through the Cortex for any warrants out on me.” That was routine for him, he liked to stay ahead of the law, know he were safe. “Saw one for Crazy instead.”

“And ya decided just like that?” Kaylee frowned at him. “To turn in ya crew mates?”

“They ain’t crew.”

“They are too. Who’s been patchin’ ya up lately? And,” said Kaylee warmin’ to her theme, “how could ya do that to River? It’s just plain mean – and selfish. I don’t care what she did to ya, no-one deserves to be treated like that. How’d ya feel if someone turned ya in?”

“It’s been done before.”

Someone had turned him in to the law. Kaylee sighed; she couldn’t expect him to understand if he’d been treated like that. “What if it were yer Ma or someone from yer family?”

Jayne growled. “No-one better ever hurt my family.”

“To the Captain, everyone on Serenity is family. For me too, I don’t blame him for hittin’ ya.”

Jayne was startled he hadn’t expected her to be so angry. Talk so cross, it made him uncomfortable. Kaylee was frownin’ at him again.

“Just ‘cause ya don’t think of them or us like family don’t mean ya can treat ‘em bad.”

Except for the ruttin’ doc and Crazy he did sorta think of the others as family, Kaylee especially. Even when she were angry she was kind to him.

The whole time he were tellin’ her his story, and that was somehow worse than the whole gorram ‘talk’ he’d had with Mal, Kaylee didn’t take her arms away. Even when the girl was givin’ him her opinion, lecturin’ him, she still kept huggin’ him tight, fingers brushin’ through his hair.

“Least ya didn’t leave them there. A couple of months back ya would’ve.” Kaylee was musing out loud. “I got mad and fought back ‘cause the hun dan’s arrested me too and ‘twas the girl got us outta there. I would’ve gone the other way ‘n’ got us all killed.” Jayne decided he may as well tell her everythin’.

“Simon said ya untied them, even protected them. So ya did help.” Kaylee reiterated, “even if it were a mite late. Though it still don’t excuse what ya did. I think ya should tell them.”

She could tell from the expression on Jayne’s face that tellin’ Simon what he’d done didn’t set well with him. She didn’t suppose it would make things easier on the ship either. The Captain was already mad with Jayne, best to let things lie for awhile.

“If ya can’t do that, maybe ya can apologise in some way?” Kaylee suggested, “and start provin’ to the Captain that ya can be trusted.”

“Guess so.” Jayne nodded. Truth was he’d do anythin’ to have her smilin’ at him, trustin’ him. Havin’ the rest of the crew doin’ it too was just an added bonus. He got up reluctantly and went off to his bunk to think on what he could do to apologise.

He knew that for once, he’d done the right thing. ‘Cause when he bought the apples Kaylee was pleased and the approvin’ smile that lit her face had him feelin’ a mite dizzy and weak at the knees all at once.


Brawl prompt: You’re talking like you’re handy in a fight. You talk about it every night.

“Thought you said you could fight,” said the Captain breathlessly to his opponent, punchin’ him neatly in the stomach.

“He talked ‘bout it Mal.” Jayne ducked a flyin’ pool cue, “that ain’t the same.”

“Not at all the same,” Wash chimed in from his vantage point under the pool table and grinning at his companions.

“What would ya know little man?” A big boot connected with a fat head “ain’t seen ya in a fist fight yet.”

“My girl always jumps in first, and you and Mal are professionals,” the pilot protested. “I never get a look in. Besides I’m protecting right now.”

“Better be doin’ a good job.”

“I don’t require your protection.” River watched with admiration as Zoë head butted a thug.

“Me neither.” Kaylee winced as the Captain got shoved into the bar.

“Both of ya stay there.” Jayne bent down to glare at them. “Don’t need no distractions.”

All three under the table jerked back and Kaylee whimpered when a kick knocked him to the ground causin’ the ground to shake.

Jayne twisted his head to grin at them, delight in the battle lightin’ up his face. He swept his long legs round the approachin’ bad guy tumbling him to the ground and reachin’ out a long arm, punched him in the face.


“I still don’t understand why you thought it necessary to take River to a bar.” Simon said as he concentrated on washin’ the cuts on the Captain’s hand. “Or how whenever you and Jayne enter one, there’s always a fight.”

Jayne opened his mouth and shut it when Mal glared at him. Weren’t none of them about to tell the Doctor that Mal had decided to get River away from his anxious attentions for awhile.

“They didn’t start anythin’ this time.” Kaylee stood between Jayne’s legs dabbin’ at the cut on his head and ignorin’ the Captain’s shakin’ head. “It were me and River.”

“You and my sister started a fight?” The Doctor’s voice rose in consternation.

“They were cheating,” River was indignant. “The mathematical probabilities of angle and ball were not correct for their success.”

“You were playing pool?” Simon was tired of asking questions. “River doesn’t know how to play pool.”

“We were teaching her.” Wash grinned at the girl, “she picked it up real fast.”

“It’s all a matter of calculation and control of the cue ball.” His sister smiled at him brightly. “The Captain and Kaylee are good teachers.”

“Hey are you saying I’m not a good teacher? I’m a good teacher aren’t I lambie-toes?”

“The best husband,” Zoë kept a straight face when Jayne, Kaylee and the Captain all snorted. “Just a mite excitable.”

“I still don’t understand how Kaylee and River started a brawl, but are the only uninjured people in here.”

“Kaylee and River wanted to play someone other than their teachers and these fellas offered.” Zoe decided to put the Doctor out of his misery. “It seems they didn’t play fair and River called them on it.”

“Mei mei.”

“Fellas didn’t take kindly to two girls beating and criticising them and were getting a bit aggressive when Jayne stepped in.”


“The Captain was over getting a drink and Wash and me were sitting across the room.”

So was Jayne, he’d been even further away, over in the corner all night, a girl on his knee. But the minute one of the men touched Kaylee, the big mercenary had dumped the protesting girl on the floor and been across the room; quicker than Zoë had seen him move in a long time.

“But the fellas were locals and as soon as Jayne intervened everyone else in the bar took exception to it.”

“We had to defend ourselves.”

“Mighty fine fight,” the Captain agreed. “No-one drew their guns or used knives, just an honest brawl.”

“It was a good tussle. Some of them even gave me a fight.”

Once he knew Kaylee were alright and not frightened or hurt, Jayne had enjoyed the action too. He was pretty sure both Zoe and the crazy girl knew why he’d got involved, but was hopin’ they wouldn’t say anythin’ ‘bout it.

“A good tussle,” snorted Simon, “an honest brawl. I sometimes wonder at your sanity Captain. River is a wanted fugitive; calling attention to her doesn’t seem wise.”

“All surveillance devices were carefully avoided.”

“No-one even looked at us once the fight started.” Kaylee protested, “they was too busy watchin’ these three in action.”

“Ya liked watchin’?” Jayne muttered so only she could hear. The girl didn’t like violence and worried when anybody got even a scratch.

Kaylee shook her head and didn’t look at him. Havin’ her so close and touchin’ him was sendin’ him crazy tryin’ to keep his hands off her.

She leant in closer to put a weave on his cut, balancin’ herself with a hand on his leg. Jayne couldn’t resist, glancin’ quickly around to make sure no-one was watchin’, he leant forward and flicked his tongue against the hollow of her throat.

Kaylee’s hand fell away from his head and her eyes looked into his uncertainly. “Jayne?” she whispered.

“Jayne?” the Captain questioned, “Kaylee finished babyin’ you there?”

“Yeah Mal,” he gave Kaylee’s hand a squeeze tryin’ to tell her he was only jokin’.

“Then let’s go move those crates so we can get movin’.”

Simon watched the two men go out and turned his attention to Zoe and Wash. “I would expect the Captain to help, but Jayne?” he shook his head. “I’m very surprised.”

“Protected his family,” murmured River to Kaylee standing next to her. “Just like the girl wanted."


Cycle Prompt: Everybody cries; everybody bleeds. No one ever said life was an easy thing.

“Ain’t gonna let me get close, are ya girl?” Jayne was leanin’ up against the engine room door, watchin’ her closely. “Scared ya right off.”

“I ain’t scared.” She looked at him defiantly.

It was days since he’d licked her and Kaylee could still feel his tongue on her throat. It burned, had her heart racin’, bewildered her. Jayne had tried to talk to her, but she had avoided him, shrugged him off.

“Gonna let me come closer then?”

“No.” She knew it hurt him. He covered up real quick, but she hurt him. Always friends, they’d got closer still since Inara left and she didn’t want to lose that. Didn’t think he would either.

“I can’t talk to ya right now Jayne.” Kaylee tried to keep her voice steady as she went on workin’. “Captain wants these repairs done yesterday.”

I could help ya,” he offered.

If Jayne stayed to help, he’d just try and talk to her again, she knew it; and Kaylee didn’t know what to say. Didn’t know what she were feelin’, didn’t know nothin’. He was mixin’ her up.

“No, don’t want yer help.” She frowned, that had come out a lot meaner than she intended and this time Kaylee definitely saw Jayne flinch.

“Alright then,” his voice was a growl as he pushed himself away from the doorway. “I get the message. Ya won’t see me back here again.”


Kaylee didn’t trust him and he didn’t blame her. As usual he’d acted without thinkin’ and done somethin’ dumb. Jayne sat down heavily on the weight bench and mindlessly started liftin’ weights.

Her reaction told him lots of things and he didn’t like any of them. She hadn’t spoken to him for days; normally the sunny little creature couldn’t hold a grudge for more’n a couple of hours. In spite of what she said, he must of really scared her. If anyone else had scared her like that he’d probably kill them.

Kaylee had obviously never thought of sexin’ him either. If the ruttin’ doc had licked her, she’d be all over him, smilin’ and givin’ him come hither glances. But Jayne – she ran away from him.

Gruntin’, Jayne kept liftin’ and lowerin’ not even noticin’ the second in command as she walked past.

He’d really mucked it up this time. Took it too fast, never spoke to her ‘bout his feelins, or hers first. This time he’d not only lost any chance of gettin’ her to look at him, he’d probably lost her friendship as well.

It was days later and he could still taste Kaylee on his tongue, he were missin’ her already.


Mechanically Kaylee kept working, whispering her problems to the engine as she went along. “I didn’t mean to hurt him like that girl. Just don’t know what to do.”

Maybe she were gettin’ all worked up over nothing. If she just let him explain, Jayne would tell her he didn’t mean to touch her like that, it was just some sort of joke. But even if that were true, what about the other? What about what River said?

Protected his family. Just like the girl wanted.

Did River mean it? That when Jayne protected them in the bar it was ‘cause Kaylee had wanted him to. Had he taken her words so much to heart? Was he really startin’ to think of the crew as family, or just her?

Kaylee had long since realised that she and Simon weren’t gonna click, he liked her well enough, but never made a really positive move toward her. He was always focused on River too, sometimes not even seein’ the other people on board. She wanted more than that, lots more, but hadn’t ever thought that Jayne might supply it and that made her think.

She weren’t scared of Jayne; in fact she liked him a lot. Even in his worse moods, Kaylee had a likin’ for him. But the life he led, that did worry her.

In the time she’d been on Serenity Kaylee had met and seen other mercenaries around. Most of them were younger than Jayne. He’d told her himself that people in his line of work didn’t last long. Maybe that meant he was a survivor, but maybe it meant he were gonna die soon.

She didn’t think she could stand that, somethin’ happenin’ to him, maybe losing him.

The thought made her shiver, and then shake her head. She was makin’ mountains outta molehills, Jayne was finally realisin’ that the crew was family, that’s why he’d come to help them. He’d just been all charged up from the fight, that’s why he licked her, no other reason for it.

“Kaylee?” Zoë’s voice broke into her thoughts. “How much longer will you be?”

“’Bout another two hours.” Kaylee ignored the thought that if she had let Jayne help, she’d be close to finished; and focused on what was troubling her. “Zoë, can I ask ya somethin’?”

“This about Jayne?”

Kaylee gaped at her, “what ‘bout Jayne?”

“What you’re gonna ask me.” Zoë said. She’d been watchin’ the two of them for the last few months. To her mind Kaylee and Jayne were most likely to end up together; they sorta balanced each other out.

“Do ya think Jayne’s interested in me?” Kaylee blurted out and horrified that she’d asked that hurried on, “I meant don’t ya worry ‘bout Wash gettin’ hurt? I know he worries ‘bout ya.”

“Kaylee if there’s one thing I’ve learnt - it’s that there’s nothing certain in the ‘Verse. I worry about Wash and he worries about me. I’ve seen enough to know what could happen to either of us.” Zoë gave her a small smile, “but my mama used to say that life weren’t easy and that was what made it worth living; and I sorta subscribe to that.”

“And my other question?” Kaylee stared hard at the couplin’ she was fixin’ and didn’t look up.

“Oh yes, he’s interested.” Zoë grinned as the mechanic’s head shot up. “The question is – are you?”


Tuesday, July 4, 2006 3:35 PM


Oh, I really liked these! Very well done and I think they fold into the series nicely. I think Zoe probably notices alot of things she doesn't talk about...

Monday, August 21, 2006 6:32 AM


I concur with Reenie....Zoe definitely see stuff occuring onboard that she just doesn't take about since it's about the business of her crewmates and not her own;)

Great stuff here, bookaddict! Definitely liking where this is going:)



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Recurrent verse : part seven : Weary
Kaylee has to cope on the crashed ship while the crew of Serenity search for her.

Simon has concentrated his whole life on his sister

Wash and River get to know each other better a friendship fic.

Recurrent Verse : Part six : Crash
Kaylee meets unexpected problems while flying with Monty.

Them that choose it : Part two : Loss
Kaylee meets someone from home.

Recurrent Verse : part five : Dreaming
A meeting with Monty and Jayne and Kaylee sort some things out

Jayne tells Kaylee something she doesn't want to hear

To heal
River is still healing as she and Jayne learn more about each other

Things that can happen in darkness - a Jaylee drabble.

Recurrent Verse
a collection of four stories exploring the beginnings of something for Jayne and Kaylee