Call the Man [8] [repost]
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Vera tells her story. But it ain't over yet; fat lady hasn't sung!


PART EIGHT * Who'll walk me down to church when I'm sixty years of age When the ragged dog they gave me has been ten years in the grave And señorita play guitar, play it just for you My rosary has broken and my beads have all slipped through * You've hung up your great coat and you've laid down your gun You know the war you fought in wasn't too much fun And the future you're giving me holds nothing for a gun I've no wish to be living sixty years on * Yes I'll sit with you and talk let your eyes relive again I know my vintage prayers would be very much the same And Magdelena plays the organ, plays it just for you Your choral lamp that burns so low when you are passing through * And the future you're giving me holds nothing for a gun I've no wish to be living sixty years on [Sixty years on – Elton John] * [Chose this song after re-hearing it recently. Bernie Taupin wrote foreshadowing Browncoat lyrics!] * Vera and Jayne had washed in the small new lake and were now resting on the wide, low branch of a tree in the shade. Jayne had his back to the trunk and Vera was sitting between his legs. They were snuggling and eating mangoes and energy bars. “Ya don't make a habit of bitin' off a guy's diao, do ya?” Vera turned and tenderly cupped his jaw with one hand, making eye contact, “First time, promise. And, I devoutly hope, the last.” she made a disgusted expression, then continued, “Things were getting to the stage where I thought I was really going to have to let him...” Vera shuddered. “Glad ya didn't. Didn't feel like real Berserkers either.” Vera shook her head, “Nor to me. Not really psychopathic enough, thank goodness, otherwise you might have been collecting me in pieces. Plus there were instructions coming from somewhere else, from someone higher up the chain. I got the distinct impression that they were told not to hurt me. I was in a cell a lot of the time. Didn't even clock my thigh knife.” “Sloppy.” “Indeed. *Very sloppy. Gave them a fake name, of course. Better warn Serenity PDQ that they could be after more or all of us. It felt like I was probably bait. We've dealt with that one ship, but there may well be others and they'll be pissed off that we took their buddies out.” “I'll get right on it; tell Mal to keep his eyes and ears open.” “He usually does.” They went and sent a carefully worded second Wave to Mal. * Vera dressed herself in one of Jayne's tees and a spare pair of his modest number of boxers whilst Jayne put his own tee and pants back on. “So... Is there more 'bout these fake Berserkers might help us?” Vera counted off on her fingers, “Hmm. Not really Berserker enough. Similar, but not identical. Focussed aggression. Some Mister Big up the chain giving orders. Pretty dumb, but with enough smarts to fly a Cicada. Lots of muscle. Probably hoping folks will think they are *real Berserkers.” “Could they have done the job on Fife?” “They were in the right place at the right time. But a Cicada holds...what...maybe fifty, tops? With the element of surprise, I suppose it's possible, but I think there might be *real Berserkers about. *They'd be the sort to disguise themselves as fierce, maneating woodland spirits in order to terrorise people. *This shipload of reprobate hwoon dahn? I'd be surprised. I'm thinking it was a piggy-back job.” Jayne nodded, “Use the main piece of go se to hide under and do your own dirty work on the side.” Vera chuckled softly, “A ploy we've *both used in the past. Heck, I was doing that on the Cicada. Playing dumb and docile; using my married status as leverage and letting that big fat slob think he was slowly bringing me over. When he let me out of the cell and put me 'under arrest' in my own state room, I knew I was winning.” Jayne kissed the junction between Vera's neck and shouders and nuzzled for several moments, “Heh! He didn't know you like I do! Like that outfit he gave you.” Vera grinned, “I'd noticed that. *He thought he was humiliating me and parading me as a piece of flesh he was going to have pretty gorram soon, regardless of any orders from his Mister Big. I hid my knife and its holster under my pillow and waited for my moment. I already said that I could feel your approach like a fire in my blood. Timed my supposed acquiesence *almost right. Got him naked and vulnerable. As for the rest, you know about that. River did say that we'd 'call' to each other across the entire 'Verse.” “S'like in the Triad prison. Not the speakin' in our minds, but the link between us. Strong and sure.” Vera turned and put her arms around his neck, “Yes. We got separated by a whole stretch of 'Verse and we still found each other.” Jayne's hands gently drifted lower and expertly slid inside the elastic at the top of the boxers, cupping Vera's generous behind in his hands. Vera gasped a little, then moaned with pleasure. Jayne's fingers started working their magic on her, caressing and teasing. “Speakin' of findin' what you want 'n need...” A single finger eased slowly and gently inside her. Vera trembled, “Again?” Jayne's other hand moved and those fingers began circling slowly *exactly where they would do most good. Vera's knees buckled, “Oh, ai ren! Yes, please! Again!” Jayne chuckled and carried her inside the Hornet. * Vera woke up replete the next morning. Jayne had set up a small mirror in the cockpit and was whistling and humming contentedly to himself whilst shaving his goatee back into something approaching tidiness. The Hornet had been taking on water from the lake and filtering it for human consumption. Vera smiled at Jayne and helped herself to two generous glassfulls of water. Jayne caught her eye, busy shaving, “Mornin' darlin'!” Vera stretched out the kinks from having made a lot of love and then slept on a space-ship's hard floor, “Morning, ai ren. My goodness, you were close to insatiable yesterday and last night!” “Betcha ain't complaining either!” She smiled, “Never! I *love it and you know that!” “Been a while since we could do that an' not worry about Junior wakin' up and needin' us.” “We've managed. You're not regretting...” Jayne dropped his razor and turned to her, holding her firmly by the shoulders, “*Never! Not even for *one *second! Junior's the most precious gift that's happened to us, 'part from each other. Clarry 'n Melissa are just wonderful bonuses.” Vera's smile was gentle, “That's what I thought. He'll be at kindergarten soon enough and then school. Summer camp as well, maybe. We'll have times again when we can concentrate on loving each other to a standstill!” Jayne grinned, “I know.” He snatched a quick kiss, “Here; this mirror is *tiny. Give us a hand?” Vera did just that, then they had breakfast. * Serenity flew into orbit late the next day. The plant-life on Jungle was incredibly robust; Jayne and Vera's lake was rapidly disappearing under pond weed and fresh shoots coming up through the water. They'd had time to harvest a reasonable crop of fresh mangoes before having to take off away from the vegetation reclaiming its territory. So the Hornet docked with Serenity in the upper atmosphere. Vera ran inside and was enveloped in a tearful but ecstatic group hug, first from her children and then from the crew. Jayne was next and he perched both Junior and Melissa on his shoulders - one on each side - once they'd finished having that first cuddle with Vera. Vera got Junior back after a while and had a really good look at him, “You've grown another couple of inches, I swear!” He grinned at her, “Need big pants like Pa! 'Lissa helped me stop usin' diapers!” Vera gave him another long hug, “That's my big, brave boy! Day and night? Well done!” * Vera eventually gave Mal a run-down on everything she'd seen and heard whilst on the Cicada. “Thought it was summat like that. Your old friend Silas Jennings smelt a rat as well. Plus the police ships have already tracked and eliminated a small convoy of Berserkers, with some difficulty. There was quite a heavy space battle around Ben Nevis and its system. We lent a hand whilst tracking Jayne's course. About thirty of the kids have stayed on Ben Nevis and Jennings' fleet are making their way with the others to Newhall. I wangled them an invite from the good people of Burnham and they're taking the show right across the continent afterwards. I entrusted Jennings with a fair slice of the gold to help build a new home and school for the kids and Hillary's helped pick out a spot near your old home. Seems there's going to be something close to Cobb town there before much longer!” Jayne nodded, “With all Mattie's kids 'n waifs and strays needin' homes and these Fife kids, plus our three, it was almost bound to happen!” “Where do we go from here?” “Good question. No idea who the Mister Big might be?” “They all treated the messages from their 'controller' with respect and a fair slice of fear. It wasn't just money in the bank, they were *very careful to comply. I never heard the messages, I just saw the way they snapped to it and started scurrying about. I'm guessing the big slob who decided to treat me as his potential sexual pet had either got permission or was reckoning on me and the crew not telling.” “And it could turn personal against all of us.” Vera nodded, “We've got on the wrong side of a lot of folks over the years!” “Too right. Better make a list.” * In the end, the choice of potentially aggrieved contacts narrowed to one all by itself. They'd done a quick stock-up on Caerphilly and were still considering their options when a huge mobile space station appeared in the system. River tilted her head on one side, “She's coming for us.” Mal looked at the radar, “Type 21. Otherwise known as a Hawkwind. Seen one of *those before” “You lost your ear in one.” Mal touched the place, “Got it back, too.” He looked at River, putting two and two together. River looked right back, “The female is deadlier than the male.” “Ai-yah. Tyen-ah... Women wanle!! Tah mah duh hwoon dahn!” “Indeed. It's going to be a bumpy ride.” Mal went back and into the galley where everyone apart from Kaylee was gathered. “Patch Kaylee through on this.” Zoe saw the look on Mal's face, “We got trouble, sir.” “In spades. Hawkwind space station.” Jayne started, “Didn't Niska...?” Then he made the jump, “Oh, crap...!” Vera hugged Junior closer and swore, “Wuh de mah!” River came through over the com, “It's the same Hawkwind. She's gunning for us.” Mal looked at everyone, “Everyone tool up. Niska's widow.”



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