BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

MEAHRA

The Prodigal Mother 10/?
Wednesday, May 23, 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...Lady Vera finally sees her namesake


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1752    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Joon-mei sat staring out into the fast dry grassland. It was a sad yet beautiful vision. She could almost see what this place had looked like before the drought had devastated the land. The wind picked up and the high brown grass swayed back and forth in a ballet of desperation.

Clouds were forming to the west and seemed to be rolling in. Perhaps the grass knew that it would bring in rain. Or perhaps it simply hoped in despair. Joon-mei sighed. The moon reminded her so much of her own home. Before she was taken away and sold to that... man.

She shuddered and pushed the memories away. She might have been very young but those few and happy memories are what kept her going during those horrible years. Lady Vera entered the cockpit of the shuttle.

“It has a kind of sad beauty, doesn't it?” she murmured.

“Hmm.”

“I wonder if those clouds will bring the much needed rain or if it'll just bring false hope,” she said more to herself than to Joon-mei.

“From the way the wind moves and the color of the clouds, they'll be lucky if it doesn't bring in hail,” Joon-mei commented.

“Now how would you know something like that?” Lady Vera arched a brow?

“I know a lot of things. Most of what I learned is to keep you safe,” she smiled at her mistress.

Lady Vera gave her a soft smile. “You would follow me to the ends of the 'Verse, wouldn't you, mei-mei?”

“Without batting an eyelash, my lady,” was Joon-mei's response.

“Now, why do I find that comforting and disturbing all at the same time?”

Joon-mei swiveled a look to Lady Vera and arched a brow. But she was not allowed to give a response.

“Lady Vera? Miss Joon-Mei? This is Curate Matthew, are you there?” The curate's voice crackled a bit through the communicator.

Joon-mei reached for her com. “This is Joon-mei, Curate. Is there something amiss?”

“No, Miss Joon-mei. My mother's awake and willing to see you,” was his response.

Lady Vera took the com from Joon-mei. “We shall be there as soon as possible, Curate Matthew. Thank You.”

“We'll be expecting you, my lady,” then he signed off.

“That curate is adamant in calling me, Miss Joon-mei,” she muttered annoyed and began the start up sequence to the shuttle.

“We're not taking the hover-car?” Lady Vera asked ignoring Joon-mei's comment.

“The shuttle is faster, and now that they know of our presence it won't startle them. Besides, that storm is approaching. I don't wish for us to be caught in it,” Joon-mei reasoned.

“Yes... we'll have to weather another storm soon enough,” Lady Vera said quietly.

Curate Matthew received them when they arrive. He showed them to the same shabby looking sitting room as before.

“Pa is giving ma a sponge bath. She refuses anyone else doing it, even though it is a bit tiring for my father. But we can at least let a dying woman keep her dignity,” he explained.

“I thought you said your mother was ready to see her ladyship?” Joon-mei asked.

“She is, but she insists on being presentable in front of such 'a grand lady as 'er ladyship.' They won't be but a few minutes,” he assured them.

“Thank you, Curate. You've been very kind,” Lady Vera smiled.

“Perhaps. But I wonder if you could shed some light on this whole situation? Pa won't say a word and ma... well all she says is 't'aint yer business. That's 'tween me and Lady Vera.' I just feel a bit helpless,” he sighed.

“I'm afraid I can't shed anymore light on it for you. I'm sure you're asking yourself hundreds if not thousands of questions...” Lady Vera trailed off.

“I just... is it only Jayne that is your son? I mean they didn't steal me...” he trailed off as well.

Lady Vera patted his hand. “They didn't steal anyone, Curate. Your parents broke no law and believe me, you are your mother's child.”

The curate sighed in relief. “Forgive me, I haven't even offered you any refreshments.”

“It's not necessary. We don't wish anything at the moment.”

“Of course, as you wish, my lady,” he bowed his head as was customary.

Curiosity struck a chord in Lady Vera's mind. “If you don't mind my asking... your accent, other then a few slip ups here and there, you sound as if you're from the Core.”

The young man smiled. “Near enough. I left home when I was sixteen to be educated as a Shepard for my order. I studied on Hades, perhaps you've been to it?”

“Once or twice. I find it ironic that a planet named after hell would house so many different religious educating houses. Did you study there long?” she inquired.

“Yes. I only just returned a little less than a year ago. I have a bit more than a year left in my apprenticeship with the local Shepard before I can become one myself,” he smiled somewhat proudly.

“You are quite young, Curate Matthew. Surely you can't be ready to be a Shepard so soon?” It was Joon-mei who asked this.

He gave her an indulgent smile. “My order rarely usually accepts anyone younger than twenty-one to study. They have of course before, but none as young as I was. But the local Shepard spoke for me and they made an exception. When I'm through, I shall be the youngest Shepard ever from my order.”

“Oh? How old is that?” Lady Vera asked.

“Well I just only turned twenty-one last week. So I'll be twenty-two when I receive my calling,” he explained.

“And what is the record standing as the youngest Shepard to date?”

“I believe it is twenty-six.”

“Is your order one that allows you to marry?” she asked.

But he was not able to answer. Mr. Cobb came slowly down the stairs carrying a small pail in his arms.

“Your ma's ready. My lady, it's the first bedroom on your left,” he bowed to her.

“Mr. Cobb it's a pleasure to see you again. Joon-mei, I shan't need you for this,” she motioned for her to stay.

“As you wish, my lady,” she bowed. It was obvious that she still didn't like her going alone.

“I won't be long. After all, it won't do to tax her strength.”

She climbed the stairs quickly. When she reached the door, she gave it a brisk knock.

“Come in,” a small voice answered.

Shock wasn't a word to describe how she felt. Vera Cobb was only a couple years younger than she. Yet, there she lay on her bed wasted away, looking twenty-years her senior.

“Ain't what you expected, is it, my lady?” she croaked.

Lady Vera shut the door and took the seat next to Vera's bed.

“Mei-mei, what happened to you?” she whispered.

“Been a long time since anyone's called me that. Hope you found yerself a nice lady's maid to take care a ya. Didn't want ta leave ya alone—” she began to wheeze.

“Please, don't talk so much,” she grabbed her hand and squeezed it gently.

“Ain't that why yer here? To talk to me? 'Bout Jayne? Bout our boy?” she answered.

“Yes...”

“It's like Mattie tole, ya my lady. Boy's on a ship. Hardly ever comes home, sure does send us as much credits as he can. Sends us letters all the time. Jayne sends him a WAVE every year. Otherwise, he wouldn't know what Mattie looked like. Left home when he was real young, didn't hardly get to see his little brother grow up,” she stopped and took a deep raspy breath.

“Vera... goodness it's strange to call you that. Do you even remember your original name?” Lady Vera gave a small chuckle.

She shook her head and smiled faintly. “Nah... been Vera Cobb more'n half my life. I think it might have been Daisy or somethin' silly.”

“Is there anything I can do for you? The ship I traveled in is very advanced. I'm sure they have a good doctor on board—”

“No. Town doc was educated in Core. He said if I'd a come in a few months earlier he coulda helped me, but it's too late now. Ain't no one can help me but God Almighty,” she responded.

“Jian.. Jayne I mean. Have you told him? Is he coming?”

“Mattie sent him a letter 'bout a week ago. It shoulda got there by now. Don't know when he'll pick up his post, though. Travels all over the 'Verse and back... no I'll be long gone by the time he gets that letter.”

“What about a WAVE? You said your son sends him—”

“Jayne sends a letter first to tell us when to expect a WAVE from him. We go to town and wait for it. It's always encrypted. He don't really do legal work, my lady,” she smiles.

“There has to be something we can do!” Lady Vera said losing her patience.

The dying woman patted her hand, “Ain't nothin' to do but to wait for the good Lord to take me home.”

A single tear escaped and rolled down Lady Vera's cheek.

COMMENTS

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 2:57 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Hmmm...a race against time, eh? I get the feeling that Jayne will get home to say goodbye to his mother...but it will be a close shave:(

Another wonderful chapter here, meahra!

BEB

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:41 PM

WYNTER


PLEASE let Jayne get home in time to say goodbye to his ma! I'll cry if he doesn't. And I can just imagine the downward spiral he'll go on if he doesn't, too.

Lovely conversation between the two Veras, it felt genuine and friendly, which is important because not knowing that much about either of them, I wouldn't have known if they were even friends. You know?

Sorry about that. Good chapter anyhow!


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