To heal
Saturday, July 15, 2006

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


a sequel to Prologue and To get her attention. Originally written for the Several ways community at Live Journal challenge #11 Several ways to heal.



Fine tremors still running through her body, River considered Inara’s question.

“Of course not,” she answered.

Of course she wouldn’t run away from Jayne. Long ago perhaps, when she first came on board; but no longer, he was her friend, as unlikely as it seemed. He treated her fairly and never babied her, she appreciated that.

“Why not?” Inara finished unpinning River’s hair and started removing her make-up.

He was never afraid of her. No matter what he found out about her, Jayne thought only that she was a troublesome, partly crazy girl who was good in a fight. When she lost Simon and nearly herself, he’d become her rock; an impatient, kind, grouchy, healing, crude, straight talking, tough rock.

“He’s safe.”

“Jayne’s safe?”

“Yes,” River’s answer was unequivocal. He wouldn’t mind if she couldn’t contain her emotions; though how she could be so overwhelmed when performing those acts, she didn’t know.

River frowned. If having sex meant losing her hard won control, her mental stability, she was no longer sure she wanted to experiment. Particularly as the one man she trusted to assist her was not interested.

“Why did Jayne refuse me?” She asked hoping that Inara would have an answer for her. After all the Companion understood both men and sex in a way she never could.

“What exactly did he say?” Inara was confused. She had never thought that she would hear that Jayne turned down sex.

“That he didn’t want to teach me.”

“You asked him to teach you about sex?”

“Yes.” River frowned, “he refused and suggested a Companion as an alternative. Am I deficient? I don’t look like the pictures in his bunk.”

Inara reflected again on the attachment between the two. It was obvious; to her at least, that each cared for the other as more than friends. It was also painfully obvious that neither realised it. However, she didn’t think that she should intervene yet. River and Jayne needed to work out their feelings on their own.

“Mei mei, you’re far from deficient. I think Jayne may have been trying to do the right thing for you.”

“The right thing?”

“Providing you with access to someone experienced someone who would be gentle with you.”

“Why couldn’t Jayne do that?” He had experience and was gentle at times with her.

“It would be against his code. All men have a code, even Jayne.” Inara smiled, “and they don’t cross it.”

“I would like to know his code.” River murmured, “but my questions are immaterial now as I’ve decided to discontinue my experiment.”



Jayne leant against the door and waited for ‘Nara to finish helping River.

She’d been shakin’ and cryin’ so hard that he could still feel her tears on his skin. He’d wanted to go kill that William guy for upsettin’ her. He was supposed to be all knowin’ ‘bout girls and in the first ten minutes little crazy was runnin’ away from him.

He shouldn’t have pushed her at that Companion. He knew the girl was scared of losin’ control and people bein’ frightened of her. But he’d thought she knew what gettin’ sexed meant; after all she was the genius and had read the books ‘Nara had given her.

Jayne hadn’t meant her to be frightened. And she had been, still was, if he read the plea in those brown eyes right. He was gonna have to talk to her ‘bout her experiments. Explain why they weren’t such a good idea yet.

‘Cause all this shakin’, cryin’ and fear would bring her nightmares back. She’d fought them off real well and was finally healin’, lookin’ more rested, less haunted. He weren’t about to let anything happen to her now. If that meant more nights spent rockin’ and cuddlin’ her, then so be it.

He stood up straight when the Companion appeared and looked through the open doorway at the small figure hidden under the quilt. “She alright?”

“I don’t know. She’s still disturbed about something.” Inara gave him a genuinely friendly smile, “and is asking for you.”

Jayne nodded his thanks and tryin’ not to hurry went in to sit with the girl.



River sat with her head on Jayne’s shoulder and listened intently to the letter from his mother. She loved these moments when he allowed her to participate in his life.

She smiled gently as he haltingly read the sparse words.

The words might be sparse and simple, but the love and family feeling behind them were beautiful. Jayne’s voice when he read was different too. Softened and filled with longing, that voice made her insides liquefy. Not literally of course, that would never happen but figuratively.

She envied him that emotional attachment. Although she had her Serenity family – she had no other connections. Not since Simon died.

Jayne had his Ma and Mattie and though he didn’t talk much about them, the way he treasured the letters and gifts he received, spoke volumes. Kaylee too was in constant contact with her family. Inara had her Guild friends and Captain Daddy and he had her and everyone on the ship. Zoë was lonely for Wash, but ultimately she had the Captain’s familiar presence too.

Although she had Jayne looking after her, she lived in constant fear that something would happen to him and she would be truly alone. River wanted her family. She hadn’t seen them since she was fourteen, and longed for them. They were her last connection with her brother.

They needed to be informed of Simon’s death. She could send them a wave of course or write a letter, but River was seized with a mad longing to see them; to have that family connection, to assure herself that Mother and Father were as she remembered them.

She knew that Simon believed their parents had abandoned them. But she did not.

Mother and Father had always had confidence in the government, in authority. They had not been able to conceive what Simon was telling them about her, of that she was sure. Then too, their social standing was of upmost importance. Having Simon creating all manner of disturbance would have caused them much embarrassment.

River truly believed that once her parents learned the truth of what was done to her, they would forgive Simon his actions. They could posthumously heal the rift with their son and give their daughter a family again. Or so she hoped.

Jayne’s voice had long since trailed off and they were sitting in comfortable silence. She looked up at him, surprised to discover his blue eyes fastened intently on her face. “Jayne,” River had determined her course of action. “I would like to see my parents.”



River was nearly bouncin’ along beside him, her hand restin’ on his sleeve. “Ya ain’t gettin’ ya hopes up are ya?”

“I know my parents might not want me Jayne.”

He cursed himself for makin’ her face fall like that, all the bright excitement gone. But she needed to be warned. He was afraid that if her Ma and Pa didn’t want her, River would be hurt forever.

He’d tried, Mal tried, hell they all tried to talk her out of it. The girl had some fancy notion that her parents would welcome her back with open arms that they would become family. He doubted it.

From what little the Doc had said he’d got the impression that the parents didn’t care ‘bout their kids, that as soon as the kids got in trouble, they got abandoned. He couldn’t see uppity core folks acceptin’ crazy little River back into the fold.

River with her messy hair, smart mouth, bare feet and desire for family wouldn’t fit in.

What if he was wrong and they did accept her? She’d be all happy then, all healed. Everyone on board would be pleased for her.

But what if they tricked her somehow and she left Serenity and went back to live with them? Who would protect her if they tried sendin’ her to the Academy again?

She should just stay here with her family. With him.


Sunday, July 16, 2006 1:08 AM


I liked this, especially the way River reasons out where everybody belongs and her longing to be wanted by her mother and father is so touching I want it to work out for her but like Simon I can't believe it will. Good to see that Jayne has the same reservations and wants to protect her. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, July 16, 2006 5:30 AM


I like this insist into an early Rayne relationship and I like that Jayne is protective of her - I think that despite all his drawbacks, he is fiercely loyal!

Of course, Simon being dead ... now, that's another matter entirely - did I miss that in one of your other stories? If so, let me know so I can go back and read the tragedy! I look forward to more of this as Regan and Gabriel are two of my favorite peripheral characters in the 'verse.

Sunday, July 16, 2006 5:30 AM


Oops, that should have been insight - I like this INSIGHT into an early Rayne relationship ...

Sorry, can't type!

Sunday, July 16, 2006 9:11 AM


I don't think River's gonna find what she wants with Gabriel and Regan....they might learn of what was done to her and probably change their minds about how they feel about Simon and River, but I don't see River re-integrating with Osiran society successfully:(

Still..can't wait for part four of this sereis:D



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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