BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

MEAHRA

The Prodigal Mother 8/?
Tuesday, May 22, 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...Jayne's reaction to his brother's letter


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1701    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Dear Jayne

I'm afraid to say that I have bad news. Ma's illness has gotten worse. The town's doctor says there's no chance of her coming back from it this time. She's been asking for you and is only holding on to this life to see you.

I pray this letter gets to you in time. Please come home, Jayne. All she wants is to see you before she goes on.

Your brother

Mattie

Jayne folded the letter again and stuck it into his pocket. He'd been reading it and re-reading it for the past two days. He took a swig of whiskey from his flask. His stomach rumbled in complaint. It was empty save for the protein he'd had that morning or had that been the previous night? He couldn't rightly remember. The past two days had been fuzzy with alcohol haze. Not that it helped much.

“Jayne?” there was a knock at his bunk. It was Mal.

“Yeah?” he said loudly but didn't open the hatch.

“We should be on your moon in twelve hours time. Dinner's almost ready if you want somethin',” he said.

“Thanks,” Jayne mumbled.

The captain had insisted they'd pick up Inara and Zoev. He'd even passed on the job on Beaumonde. Sent a WAVE to Monty handed the job over to his crew, just to get Jayne home to see his ma. He owed Mal big time for it. Hell, the Captain was pretty much droppin' everythin' just so he could see his ma. That's if he was able to see her alive. He was so gorram scared she'd be long gone by the time they'd get there.

He pulled out the letter again and began to read. It was the only thing keeping him sane at the moment.

“He's not coming up is he?” Inara asked as she stirred a pot.

“No. I feel strange sayin' this, but I'm worried about him. Normally whenever he's got a bug in his brain, he works it out doing reps or somethin'. Now with his ma... she's pretty much the only thing sacred and untainted left in his life. T'aint fair that she be taken away so soon,” he shook his head.

“Didn't you lose your mother years ago yourself?” Inara asked. She tasted the stew and added more rosemary. Sheydra had been kind enough to offer them much needed spices, dry goods, fresh vegetables and frozen rabbit for a special occasion. Inara had been so touched by the thought, that she didn't have the heart to tell Sheydra Serenity didn't have a freezer to place the frozen rabbit in it. So tonight, they were eating like kings or at least a poor king.

“Yeah, which makes me feel more worried. I joined up with the Independents not long after,” he said darkly.

“I thought you joined because you didn't like people telling you what to do?” she stirred the steaming green beans quietly. They would go great in the bok choy salad she was planning on making with the other vegetables.

Mal shot her a look but ignored the comment.

“That smells mighty tasted,” he leaned over her shoulder.

She threw him a smile over her shoulder. “Thanks.”

“Oh and the food smells real good, too,” he flashed her a flirty smile. He tucked a stray hair behind her ear and let his fingers linger slightly on her skin.

Inara blushed and turned away. Mal smirked.

“Why I do believe I've gone and done the impossible,” he chuckled.

“Oh?” she asked nonchalantly. “And what is that?”

“Made a professional and experienced Companion blush,” he gave her a crooked smile.

She scoffed. “Don't flatter yourself, Mal. It's the heat from the vapor that's making me flush.”

“No need to flatter myself, when I got a pretty little blushing woman doing it for me.”

“Don't you have captainy things to do?” she pushed past him to chop up the lettuce for the salad.

“Nope, got Zoe doing it for me right now,” he continued to smile.

“Well make yourself useful and set the table,” she pointed to the cutlery stacked on the counter.

He gave her a mock salute. “I don't usually like taking orders on my ship, but for you Inara, I'll make an exception.”

She sighed when he went to work. Luckily, he hadn't noticed or been polite enough to notice she was shaking. His charm was wearing her down a bit. She'd chosen to keep her distance even when she'd retired from the Guild. It was to make sure the allure of wanting what she could not have, wasn't the reason she was attracted to him. At least that's what she'd told herself at the time. Now, months later, she wasn't so sure if that argument was still holding up.

Flashes of what could happen between them ran through her head. So many possibilities were available with a passionate man like Malcolm Reynold. So many positions...

“To the side or on top?”

Inara started and she flushed again. She stared at Mal who was staring right back at her. “Wh-what?”

“I asked if you want me to put the cups to the side of the napkins or to the top?” He arched his brow, and she was almost sure he knew exactly what was going through her mind.

“Top... no wait to the side... I think,” she fumbled and busied herself with stirring the stew.

“Okay... I'll just stack them in the middle and let people help themselves,” he said amused and turned back to the table.

Thankfully, Kaylee and Simon entered in that instant.

“It smells wonderful in here,” Simon peeked into the pot of stew.

“Yeah so I told, Inara,” Mal smirked.

She rolled her eyes and shoved the salad bowl into his stomach. He grunted.

“Make yourself useful and put this on the table,” Inara ordered.

“You know, I think I'm beginning to like taking orders from you—”

“Would you just go set it down?” she snapped.

“Here, I'll help you take that,” Simon offered.

“Xie, xie,” Inara thanked him. He filled soup bowls with stew and passed them to Kaylee, who set them down on the table.

“He ain't comin' out is he?” she asked looking towards Jayne's bunk.

“I tried callin' him up. Won't say but a word or two. Dunno if I've ever seen him skip a meal,” the captain scratched his cheek.

“This ain't like him at all. Usually if he's got somethin' botherin' him, he's workin' out or... you know...” Kaylee shrugged.

“Seeking out a lady of the night?” Simon suggested.

“Yeah. Now he's holed up in his room, hardly comin' out for anythin'...” Kaylee shook her head.

“He's gathering his strength, there's a battle ahead of him... his mind doesn't know about it yet, but his heart does. I'll take him a tray down to his bunk after supper,” River took a seat across from the Captain.

Everyone stared at her. She ignored them and placed her napkin on her lap. After a moment or two, the Captain cleared his throat.

“River, darlin', you mind tellin' us what the gorram hell you're talkin' about?” Mal asked pleasantly.

“He's trying to prepare himself for his mother's death,” she rolled her eyes at him.

“Now ain't that simpler than sayin' gobbledygook?”

“No.” River gave him a look that made him feel stupid, something he was not fond of.

A frazzled looking Zoe entered. She had bags under her eyes and she looked like she'd been crying. “The twins are down for the count.”

“Way you talk, sounds like it was one hell of a battle instead of nap time,” Mal joked.

Inara and Zoe gave him dirty looks. He held up his hands in defeat and wisely said nothing else.

“Still can't believe you named them Rex and Dina,” Simon commented.

“Are you sayin' there's something wrong with the way I named my babies?” Zoe dropped her spoon and gave Simon a death glare.

“I-I no... they're fine names... don't know what I was thinking,” he mumbled.

“Easy there, Zoe. Doc's just makin' a comment. Don't mean nothin' by it,” the Captain said.

Then Zoe did the strangest thing she's ever done. She burst into tears. Mal gaped at her. He'd never seen her cry, not even when Wash died.

“Oh sweetie, it's okay...” Inara leaned over and placed an arm around her. “Do you want to go take a nap in my shuttle? I'll keep an ear out for the babies.”

“I-I'm sorry, Doctor. I don't know what's come over me. One minute I feel like snapping someone's neck the next I want to curl into a ball and cry,” Zoe had composed herself enough to apologize.

“Don't worry, I was expecting something like this. A lot of women get a form of Post-Partum Depression. Usually it's women whose personalities are already considered emotional that get it. I could prescribe you a mild anti-depressant that won't affect breast feeding—”

“Hey! Watch what you say to my first-mate! You can't go talkin' about her...” Mal waved a hand in the direction of Zoe's chest. “you know... bosom.”

He'd whispered that last part. Zoe exchanged a look between Inara and burst into hysterical laughter. River, Simon and Kaylee joined in, but Mal shook his head at them.

“Aw Cap'n. We ain't laughin' at ya. Just at what ya said,” Kaylee giggled.

“Startin' to think Jayne's hidin' in his bunk from the likes of Zoe not cause he's got some deep thinkin' to do,” Mal muttered.

Zoe sobered up. “Still ain't showed his face?”

“No. And I don't think he's gonna. Little witch's offered to send him down a bowl of stew after supper. So at least I know he'll get somethin' in his belly.”

Zoe's eyes looked from River to Mal. “Sir, do you honestly think that's a good idea?”

“I'm not going to cut him again, if that's what you're asking. I may still be a little crazy, but even I wouldn't kick Jayne while he's down,” River said insulted.

It was the sanest thing she'd ever said. Not that she'd been babbling nonsense a lot lately, but just the way she took offense and sounded testy was enough for Mal to trust her to not stab Jayne.

“It's not River I'm worried about. Jayne's always been a hwoo dun when it comes to River. What if he finally decides to let off some steam and River's in the line of fire?” Zoe asked.

Simon looked very concerned when this was mentioned. “She's right. What if he does decide to try and do something?”

“Then he'll get his pi gu kicked from here to Persephone. And then, no doubt River will let me have a turn. Ya'll seem to be forgettin' this little girl can take us all down without hardly breakin' a sweat,” Mal popped a piece of bok choy into his mouth unconcerned.

It was enough to let their minds be put to rest and to let them know that the discussion was over.

COMMENTS

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 3:36 PM

JAYNESGIRL212


Again, I'm just going to sit in front of my computer until there is more to read...any second now...is that,no...still waiting...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:16 PM

MEAHRA


lol okay, I'll update tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 11:45 PM

WYNTER


Aaaw, it's touching to read about the rest of the crew's concern for Jayne, and I reckon you've handled it well - it's not overly-done and unrealistic, but they're not cold and uncaring either.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when River takes some food down to Jayne. And still hugely enjoying this story!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 11:49 PM

WYNTER


Crap, I forgot to mention. Really liked the "done the impossible" line, that was nicely done ;-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:51 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Fabulously balanced work here, meahra! Definitely think you found the right balance of the crew joshing Jayne and one another, with feeling for Jayne in his time of need;)

BEB


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