BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

MEAHRA

The Prodigal Mother 5/?
Monday, May 21, 2007

eventual Rayne. When Jayne's ma dies, he discovers that while he's described as man ape gone wrong, by Simon his blood might just be bluer than either of the Tams. Who are Jayne's real parents? Why did they give him up? And why does River keep talking about a prodigal son? ALSO IN THIS CHAPTER... River and Mal have an interesting conversation about Jayne


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1320    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

“Hitting landfall in ten minutes, Captain,” River announced.

Mal gave a slight nod and continued to look at the star charts from the co-pilot's seat. He wanted to make sure they took the quickest and less fuel guzzling trip to Beaumonde and then onto the Training House to pick up Inara, Zoe and the rugrats.

“Term does not apply. They have not reached the stage where their lower limbs move about and propel them through the ground,” River muttered.

“Say what now?” Mal looked up in confusion.

“You called Zoe's children rugrats. They cannot crawl around yet, therefore they cannot be considered rugrats,” she rolled her eyes in a manner that Mal was quickly accustoming himself. The doc hadn't been wrong when he'd described the little albatross as a brat.

“Better a brat than a brigand,” she muttered again.

“River, we gonna have to have a talk again, about you announcing to the world people's private thoughts?” he warned lightly.

“But you pay me to announce people's private thoughts,” she gave him a smirk as she descended Serenity into Harvest's atmo.

“Not mine, I don't. Now you just concentrate that genius brain a yours on getting us landed right and proper, and I'll concentrate on captainy things,” he turned back to his chart wondering why the hell he kept a reader on if all she did was annoy him.

“Because you love your pilot,” she answered amused.

“River,” he warned.

“Concentrating on landing, sir,” she said but had a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

“Hey, Cap'n?” Kaylee came in looking somewhat worried.

“No.”

“But you ain't even heard what I was gonna ask!” she protested.

“I don't hafta. You got your 'the ship needs somethin' and I need ta ask the Cap'n for some money' look. So the answer's no,” he said without looking up from the starchart.

“How can ya tell what look I got on my face if you ain't even looked at it yet?” she demanded.

Mal looked up then back down to his chart. “There I done looked at your pretty little face and saw what I needed to see; the answer's still no.”

“Well at least hear me out. For all you know we might need a new compression coil,” she said pointedly.

Mal cringed, reminded of the piece of the compression coil that had blown and caused Serenity to be nearly incapacitated permanently.

“Fine, don't mean I'll change my mind. Most of the money we're getting on this run will go to fuelin' the ship since we're nearly down to the last of it. Not to mention we'll be needing some medical supplies, since your man's been nagging at me like an old wife about restocking the infirmary,” he muttered.

“All right I get it. We can make it last at least another month or so, but anymore than that and it won't be pretty,” Kaylee pursed her lips.

“I'll keep that in mind.”

“Press regulator's getting awful persnickety. We need to make any quick getaways it might not work. Needs to be replaced soon.”

“Dang it, Kaylee! That's the most expensive part on Serenity next to the gorram engine. Weren't you watchin' it?” This time Mal dropped the charts completely and swiveled around to look at his scowling mechanic.

“How can you ask me that? Ain't no one on Serenity that loves her more than I do. 'Course I was watchin' it. Been watchin' everythin' since Miranda. It's just now that somethin's broken down enough to let you know. Not my fault we ain't got enough money for it,” Kaylee let him have it.

“All right, all right. I'll see what I can do. We might be able to scrape enough if we cut through the Shanzi sector to Beaumonde. Been wanting to avoid it since there's been rumors bout Reavers being real snack happy there...”

“Thanks, Cap'n,” Kaylee gave him a bright smile and trotted off to the engine room.

“She's wrong,” River spoke up for the first time.

“What about? The Press regulator? Girl if you think that thing's gonna blow soon—”

“No, not that. Press regulator should hold for as long as she said. I mean she's wrong about no one loving Serenity as much as she does,” she swiveled her deep brown eyes to his as they made their final approach.

“Thanks little one,” he gave her a small appreciative smile.

“I'll be down in the cargo bay as soon as I'm done here,” she informed him.

“Nuh uh. You stay right where you are. I need my pilot keepin' her warm in case it we gotta leave quick,” he shook his head.

“You won't. A threat or two maybe, Jayne will scare them enough to keep them in line. Besides there's mail waiting for us,” she said and flipped three switches above her head.

“We don't ever pick up any mail on Harvest. Jayne gets an odd letter now and again when his ma needs to reach him—”

“It is necessary for us to go into town. I shall pick up any packages while you three go deliver the goods. Please Captain, it is important,” River pleaded.

Mal sighed but nodded. “I want you to take Kaylee with you. Can't have you and the doc wanderin' about together. Specially now that the Alliance upped the price on you.”

“If you are wondering why Jayne hasn't given us up, it is obvious why.”

“And what is this obvious reason?” Mal asked.

“He's changing.” It was all the explanation she would give.

As Mal and Jayne loaded up the mule, he mulled over River's words. She was right in a way. Jayne had changed, but since Miranda, hadn't they all? Still... he had noticed some strange change in him.

Jayne had stopped muttering about throwing the doc and River off the ship. Yeah he threatened them physically, but he wouldn't be Jayne if he didn't. Sure he still leered at Inara and Kaylee, but he'd become a bit... clumsy around Zoe. As if he didn't know how to act around a pregnant woman. He'd stand whenever she entered a room or offered her something to eat or drink. This had all of course occurred before Inara and Zoe had left for the Training House.

“What? I got somethin' on my face?” Jayne asked Mal who had been staring at him the past couple of minutes. He rubbed his face conscientiously.

“Yeah, I see a whole lotta ugly,” Mal smirked.

“Har, Har. You're a real joker.” Jayne sneered at him. “Is the feng le girl coming or what?”

“Ain't gonna need her. It just Stinky Ray and Cyrus we're dealing with. And let's face it, they make you look like a genius next to them,” Mal snorted and climbed on the mule.

“Yeah,” Jayne agreed as he climbed in next to him. “They sure is the dumbest hwoon dun this side of the galaxy.”

“I'm sure they'll appreciate the title you've bestowed on them,” Mal murmured and zoomed away.

“Have good crime!” Kaylee waved at them from the cargo bay.

“It amazes me that you're still so cheerful after being around Jayne so much,” Simon said pleasantly.

“Well it ain't like he's always mean. He's got his good side too,” she shrugged.

“When it comes out, let me know. Are you sure you two will be okay? Maybe I should go with you... just in case,” Simon frowned.

“Just in case what? Alliance don't come to Harvest hardly for anythin'. And they ain't about to send some wonky feed on the Cortex again. 'Sides you taught us the safe word in case River goes loopy again,” she smiled indulgently at him.

“Still...” Simon mused.

“I'll be fine Simon,” River said entering the cargo bay. “No trouble for me or Kaylee. Trouble for ape-man is coming soon enough. He'll rain trouble on us all, but not what we expect. No one will see it coming. Except me.”

“Do you— is Jayne in—what do you know that you're not telling us?” Simon tucked River's hair behind her ear.

“All will be fine, Simon,” River untucked her hair.

“Just so long as he's not planning a mutiny or anything,” Kaylee said only half-joking.

“No. Jayne's mind will soon be too preoccupied with other matters to worry on taking over,” River smiled.

“Maybe I should—”

“Stop being such a boob, Simon. Someone has to stay with Serenity. We'll be fine. Be back before you can spit,” River smirked using one Kaylee's sayings before walking out of the cargo bay into the daylight.

“See ya soon, bao bei,” Kaylee gave him a quick kiss on the lips.

“Yeah... soon,” Simon frowned, while a strange feeling in his stomach settled. It was one that he'd felt during the Miranda incident.

COMMENTS

Monday, May 21, 2007 7:47 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


While I am glad Jayne's behaviour is changing for the good...I get the feeling that when he finds out he's Core social royalty and has to act a certain way, he's gonna be getting all the change he could ever want;)

Another great chapter, meahra!

BEB

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 2:40 AM

WYNTER


Yay for quick updates! Another goooood chapter. Glad to see that Mal has noticed Jayne changing, it doesn't surprise me, though his behaviour around Zoe was amusing. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts around the kids!

Nice moment between Mal and River in the cockpit too. I'm off to read the next chapter!


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