BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

MEAHRA

The Prodigal Mother 17/?
Wednesday, June 13, 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 and River have a small conversation.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1661    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

“Where will we get nearly sixty-three thousand platinum out here?” Lady Vera rubbed her temple and sighed deeply. “What was I thinking?” “My lady, if I remember correctly you informed me to make all the necessary arrangements for our trek into the outer rim,” Joon-mei said calmly. “Yes... Joon-mei, are you trying to tell me you have sixty-three thousand credits on you?” her ladyship eyed her up and down as if to expect the money to fall out of her tunic. “No. But I did bring with me two-hundred thousand platinum. I expected we might run into some money problems when you told me you'd be paying the Parthenon in credits. No doubt the captain was too polite to tell you they use mostly platinum on the rim, so he accepted. Of course, he probably has access to exchange credits to platinum easier than the captain of Serenity does.” “Is this money of your own, Joon-mei or is it from credits you exchanged on behalf of myself?” Lady Vera asked suspiciously. Joon-mei looked uncomfortable. “I do not have authority to do that, my lady.” Lady Vera stood quickly. “I cannot allow you to use your personal money—” “It is of no consequence my lady. If it will clear your conscious, you man repay me when we reach Persephone. If I may ask... why are we traveling to Persephone? ” She changed the subject. “It's a ruse. I need some time with my son, I have an inkling he won't take the news of being my son well. Of course, I will be using that time to try and convince him to help Lord Adam. From the records I was able to acquire, he is a match for the operation my Adam needs. Once Jian—I mean Jayne agrees to the procedure, he will be able to help him. It's his—our only chance.” Her hands were fisted. "And if he doesn't agree?” Her mistress sighed. “He will, he can't deny his father. If I must, as a last resort, I shall do as I did with Captain Reynolds.” “What do you mean? Threaten him into agreeing?” Joon-mei arched an eyebrow. “No. Offer him a lot of money. It seems to be the one thing that makes people out here compliant,” she sighed deeply and sat again. Joon-mei gave her mistress a sympathetic smile. She had tried to warn her ladyship that rim folk were an entirely different sort of people. They had no use for titles and lineage out here. It was all about platinum and guns. “I shall ready the payment, my lady. The captain seems like a man who would stand at the foot of the bay doors, waiting to see payment before allowing even you entrance. That man is a hou zi de pi gu,” Joon-mei sniffed. Lady Vera laughed. “I take it you weren't very impressed by Captain Reynolds, then?” “Definitely not. I can't believe you suggested I should join with him, even as a joke!” “Well, you may not have found it funny, but I did. And even if he didn't impress you, he has impressed me,” she said somewhat reluctantly. Joon-mei paused as she pulled a chest out. “Why?” Her ladyship smiled indulgently at her. “Captain Reynolds is a rare breed. I took the liberty of checking his records when I found out my son was on his crew. He was in Independent in the war, did you know? He held Serenity Valley for weeks when the Alliance had claimed they would take it in a heartbeat.” “Surely a mere captain didn't have the power and intelligence to keep thousands of soldiers together and fighting the Alliance,” Joon-mei said skeptically. “No, but a sergeant did. That was his rank, Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds. Most of the officers were dead so it was up to him. He was commended for it too.” “He still lost that battle, my lady,” Joon-mei reminded her. “Through no fault of his own. The Independent brass ordered them to surrender, and he still fought two weeks after that order was given. I'm guessing it wasn't until they ran out of ammunition and rations that he had too many bodies to worry about winning a war. I have my suspicions that if it had been up to Malcolm Reynolds, they would have never surrendered at Serenity Valley,” she smiled softly. “So... you admire his unwillingness to admit defeat?” Joon-mei asked puzzled. “No, Joon-mei. What happened to him at Serenity Valley merely shaped who he became. I admire that he took on two fugitives that brought him more trouble than they were worth. He protected them as if they were his own children. And his audacity to take his little ship into Reaver space just to let the verse know of the injustice on Miranda. I admire that he could have turned his back on that and the Tams and lived a relatively peaceful life but didn't. And I admire that he only accepted the small fortune I offered him to transport us because he knew I would be relentless in making the life of his crew miserable. “You see, Joon-mei, that man has something so few men have.” “And what is that, my lady?” “Integrity.”

Jayne spent the next three days helping his brother around the homestead. His mother was mostly sleeping or very groggy when she wasn't, babbling nonsense. Between Mattie and him, they'd fixed the sagging porch, re-shingled the roof, fixed the sagging door on the barn and had painted the outside of the house. They stood admiring their work and drinking lemonade just like many days they had done before Jayne left home. Instead of a happy little six year old and a large surly twenty year old, there was a man barely in his twenties and a man soon to leave his thirties. “Well, looks like my work here is done,” Jayne wiped his mouth with his arm. Mattie arched a brow at him. “Your work? Don't you mean our work?” “Boy, you always were more underfoot than help. Seems like all that fancy schoolin' didn't change you none.” “I am not a boy,” he frowned. “Like hell you ain't. You sound as prissy-fied as the Doc, 'least he's got an excuse, bein' from the Core an' all. You probably don't even remember any a' the fightin' moves I taught ya. I bet you tussle like a girl now,” Jayne smirked. His brother set his cup down returned the smirk. “Wanna bet?” He threw himself at Jayne, who only just caught him as they rolled around in the dirt. Jayne didn't punch him, but he sure let his elbows do a lot of connecting with Mattie's ribs. Mattiie, on the other hand had somehow gotten Jayne into a headlock and was givin' him a noogie. “Well, I ain't sure if I should be cheerin' for Jayne or for his brother,” an amused voice said. They both froze and looked up. The Captain, the Doc, and the crazy girl were only ten feet away. Both the Captain and the Doc looked at them amused, while the girl was studiyin' them like lab rats. “I believe I'll be cheering for his brother,” Simon smirked. “What're you doin' here?” Jayne shoved his brother off and stood. “Doc here wanted to take another look at your ma,” Mal explained. “That's very thoughtful of you, Doctor Tam. I—” “Don't 'splain why you and the crazy girl's doing here. I don't want her to go feng le around my family,” Jayne frowned at River. River scowled at him and said smoothly, “I'm not crazy,” Jayne snorted. “Yeah, and I'm the CJ baby.” Mattie coughed and looked at the ground. “Someone had to drive the good doctor here,” Mal interrupted loudly to curb the argument before it began. “I trust him with my mule as much as I trust him with a gun. And River here, well seems like the others aren't really good at tellin' her not to move the furniture around.” “Just make sure she don't break nothin' a' my ma's.” Jayne grunted and went inside. “I'm sorry, miss. I don't know why Jayne's so rude—well actually I do, but that's not the point. I apologize on his behalf.” Mattie addressed River. “Mister Cobb, this is my sister River, she's the pilot to Serenity. River this is Mister Cobb, he's Jayne's brother.” Simon introduced them. Mattie bowed slightly. “Pleased to meet you, Miss River. And it's just Matthew.” River curtsied slightly. “Jayne calls you Mattie.” “Yes, he does. But he's the only one I allow. He still sees me as the six year old he left behind when he left home,” he smiled. “He missed you growing up and regrets not coming more often. You forgave him years ago, but still missed him. He understood you more than anyone else.” Mattie looked quite surprised. “Yes... how did you—” “I'm sorry to interrupt, but I would really like to check on your mother,” Simon said. “Oh, of course, follow me. Captain, Miss River, you're welcome to come in and sit for a spell if you wish.” He gave River one last look before leaving. “Thanks, but we'll wait out here. It's a nice day and the doc said he won't take long.” Mal gave him his best friendly smile. As soon as he was gone, Mal turned to River. “Well?” “He has no great secrets of his own. A good soul, some mistakes as an adolescent, but we all made mistakes then. Even me,” she looked at the horizon towards Serenity, thinking of the mistake she made in going to the Academy. “Little Albatross?” “I'm sorry, I got lost in my sea of desperation,”she focused. “He knows what Lady Vera knows. Or some.” “And do you care to enlighten me as to what this is?” “No. It doesn't threaten Serenity, if that's what you're wondering. It threatens Jayne,” she whispered. “She gonna make his life miserable and in turn my life miserable?” “Yes and No,” she said cryptically. “Well I'm glad you're bein' clear. Here I thought you might be confusin'.” He said sarcastically. “Company's coming,” she said softly. Sure enough, Lady Vera and Joon-mei were approaching the house from their shuttle. Mal cursed under his breath. He wasn't looking forward to seeing that woman again. Especially since he was going to have to put up with her presence for three weeks soon enough. “Captain Reynolds, I had no idea you would be here. I would have made sure to bring the gold you so subtly demanded,” Lady Vera gave him a cool smile. Her eyes traveled to River and widened. Mal stepped instinctively stepped in front of her. “Don't need the gold 'till your ready to board. There a reason you're hangin' about?” Joon-mei took a step forward but was stopped by Lady Vera. She hissed almost cat like towards Mal, which caused him to jump slightly. River giggled. “I don't see that it's any of your business if I'm visiting a dying friend, Captain Reynolds. Since you have no manners, I shall do the introductions,” she turned to River and gave her a gentle smile. “Hello, I am Lady Veronica Colbert-Jiangyin, this is my attendant, Joon-mei. It is an honor to meet you Miss Tam.” River curtsied deeply and gave a slight curtsy to Joon-mei. “The honor is all mine. Your soul was once tainted but it's mending now. He'll be hard to convince, you must not push him too far.” Lady Vera paled but gave no answer. Joon-mei surveyed River with a critical eye. She saw no immediate threat, but was cautious. She had heard much about the Tams from her ladyship. She sympathized with her situation, having been treated illy herself by those who represented the Alliance as well, but she was not about to let her guard down. Something about River didn't settle well in Joon-mei. “They won't look. They stopped looking long ago. Ever since she died,” River said directly to Joon-mei. Joon-mei took a physical and emotional stumble back. How had she—? “Well, I'm startin' to think havin' you around is a lot more fun. Looks like my scary little girl is scarier than yours,” Mal smirked in a 'my dad can beat up your dad' way. River rolled her eyes at him. “Captain, your mouth is running, you might want to see to it.” Lady Vera smiled, and Joon-mei relaxed. “I'm not anyone dangerous, well not to you at least,” River gave a mysterious smile. “I'm Reader, a side affect of what the Alliance did to me. I'm sure you are somewhat privy to that, my lady.” Lady Vera sighed. “Of course, I've had... other issues on my mind, I hadn't even thought of that. I didn't even mention that piece of information to Joon-mei here.” “Little one, I ain't sure—” “I've already said they aren't a threat to Serenity. They will be with us for a while, it's unfair to leave them unprepared. It is likely I might have an episode, especially—” “That may be so, but I believe we've had a talk about it being my ship and anything that has to do with it needs to be run by me, includin' informin' passengers of your special abilities, dong ma?” Mal said sternly. River stared at him, but Mal didn't waver. She sighed, he had her and everyone else's well being to consider after all. “Aye-aye, Captain.” The door banged open, and Mattie looked out. “Lady Vera, ma's asking for you. She says it's time.” Her ladyship's eyes watered. She swallowed hard and nodded. “Of course. Joon-mei. I shan't be needing you at the moment. You may return to the shuttle and finish the arrangements.” Joon-mei curtsied and left immediately. “I'm sorry to cut this short, but I am needed.” Lady Vera nodded to both Mal and River before following Mattie inside. “Got any notion to what's goin' on?” Mal asked. “Yes. It's time to go.” River whispered and blinked away tears that threatened to spill.

Vera was conscious and almost completely lucid when Simon showed up. She refused anymore medication, stating she would rather feel the pain then not speak to her family before she died. “Ma... I ain't one to talk back, but maybe the doc's right. It don't sit right by me that you suffer just so you could talk a couple days more with us,” Jayne said respectfully. Vera groaned loudly at a particularly difficult pain. Simon reached for an injection. “No please. I... how much time do I got left? Be honest with me, doc.” Simon looked at Jayne, Mattie, and Mr. Cobb before returning his eyes to Vera. “I'm sorry, but your body will shut down in a day or two. Maybe three. I just want to stop your suffering and make you as comfortable as I can.” Vera let a single tear fall from her eyes. She nodded. “I just gotta talk to Jayne. Got somethin' important to tell him. Won't take but a few minutes, can you wait till then?” Simon looked to Jayne. He nodded. “I can give you a slow acting sedative and painkiller. It should give you about fifteen minutes or so.” “That's fine,” she turned to Mattie. “Go fetch, her ladyship. Tell her it's time.” Mattie pressed his lips tightly together and left. Mr. Cobb reached opened a drawer and pulled out a wrapped package. “What's that?” Jayne asked. “Just somethin' you'll need to believe,” he responded quietly. Simon leaned over and swiped Vera's arm with sterilizing pad before injecting her. “That should do it. Is there anything else you need, Mrs. Cobb?” he asked as he gathered his things. “Just some privacy, doc. And since I'll be leavin' this world soon, I'd like to thank you right now. You're a gentleman, and a damn fine doctor, too. Thank ya, for lookin' after my Jayne. Know the boy tends to get shot quite a bit.” Mr. Cobb and Jayne exchanged surprised looks. Simon arched his eyebrow but said nothing more than, “Thank you, and I'm sorry I couldn't do anything more for you.” He reached for the door, but it opened before he could turn the knob. He bowed slightly to Lady Vera and Mattie, who nodded in response, before leaving and closing the door behind him.

COMMENTS

Friday, June 15, 2007 9:09 AM

WYNTER


Aaaaagh!!! Oh my God, he's going to find out like, REALLY soon!!! I'm all agitated thinking about how this might go. Poor Jayne :-/

Great chapter though, especially the conversation with River, Mal and Lady Vera. I particularly liked this line:

“Well, I'm startin' to think havin' you around is a lot more fun. Looks like my scary little girl is scarier than yours,” Mal smirked in a 'my dad can beat up your dad' way.

Real funny. Good work!

Sunday, June 17, 2007 4:42 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Honestly? Mal's pissing contest with Lady Vera over who's got the more dangerous young female subordinate was just hilarious! Nathan, River and whomever would have played Vera and Joon-Mei would have just gone to town with this!

;D

Like mercenarysong and Wynter, I really can't wait to see how you have Jayne take the news he ain't who he thought he was. Can only imagine a pissed off Jayne strugging to grip this new information:(

BEB


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