In Vera Veritas
Sunday, January 20, 2008

AU to everything else I've written. It's...well, I know it's not perfect yet. Polite suggestions for tweaking this accepted. I've done my own 'Jayne has a really hidden back story' thing. One-off.


Post 'Serenity', but not long after. Apart from the flashbacks, of course...

* I'm going to spend all my money Going to go home late Try one of everything they put on my plate I'm going to flash my pearly grin all over this town Whisper to my baby when the lights go down I'm going to lay down and shimmy Stand up and shout; show all these women What love's all about I'm going to sing when I'm happy Moan when I'm blue Then I'll do it all over, do it all over for you * Well I might not speak the lingo I might not know the rules I might no have all the learning that some of these other boys do But when the fire is rising the fire gets to burning real hot oh baby this is a man's got something Those other boys just ain't got * I'm going to spend all my money Going to go home late Try one of everything they put on my plate I'm going to flash my pearly grin all over this town Whisper to my baby when the lights go down I'm going to lay down and shimmy Stand up and shout; show all these women What love's all about I'm going to sing when I'm happy Moan when I'm blue Then I'll do it all over, do it all over you All over all over you, babe all over you * [All over you – Jim Byrnes] * [Low down, dirty, sexy blues!!] *

Well, here I am. Another day, another bunch a' credits if we're lucky. Mebbe some trim if I'm *very lucky. Been powerful long time since the free trim I got after the Miranda broadcast hit the 'verse. Layin' after I'm done with whatever pretty's on hand an' snugglin' is summat I *really like. Coz I close my eyes and try to pretend my dreams have come true an' it's Vera in my arms. Never has been, not never likely to be, gorammit; but a guy can dream. Another time, another place and I might a' snapped my fingers and we'd've been wed long since. Ain't been *that man since I were a teenager. Berserkers ripped everythin' away from me. Home, family, job, the lot. Escaped by my fingernails and went on the run. Weren't anythin' else I *could do. Coz the Berserkers were all part of an organised plot to destroy everythin' I knew, up to an' includin' me. Then the war started and they blamed what happened to my home and a bunch of other places on the Browncoats. Had to stay hid after that. So, I learned to fight better, got deadly with any gun or 'splosive gorram quick, changed my name and took on a whole new identity, including actin' real dumb and antagonistic. Drifted from planet to moon, taking on the mercenary stuff.

In over twenty years' practice, I've got 'Jayne' taped. I send myself parcels of stuff from my 'Ma' from time to time and do my best to be the burr in everyone's clothes and act confrontational. I figured straight away that Simon and River would be a danger to 'Jayne' and acted in character by sellin' 'em out. Always planned to spring 'em, though. Mal hated me, challenged me and gradually the rest of the crew have seen me 'mellow' a bit and become an asset. If they knew the truth, they'd look at me in a whole new way.

Everyone looks at me and sees guns, muscles and danger. A few women see the chance to slum a bit and have red hot dirty sex. An' I oblige, 'cause bein' inside a woman is one of my favourite places to be. Give 'em a good long hard ride, mebbe several if we got time, give 'em plenty of pleasure; tip my hat, say thank-you kindly and move on. Won't *ever be the same as the one real love in my life. If she'd been free and said 'yes', I'd have stayed with Vera forever. It's coz she's not that I keep tumbleweedin' on.

Was near on fifteen years back. Me still a bit wet behind the ears, but not built too dissimilar to how I am now. Good with guns an' all that. Shootin' my way into and outta jobs. Travelled to Beltane. The local Sheriff was a Maori called Hori. His wife was this Vera. Took one look at this gorgeous, tall, blue eyed brunette and I swear, my jaw dropped. I'd heard about 'coup de foudre' before. It was like that. Every cell in my body came alive and said, 'YES, *HER!'.

Trouble was, she was married to Hori, who was a good bloke. And they had a solid marriage. I may be many things, but I don't kill or go past a guy to take his woman. Vera would have hated me forever if I had. She knew what I was feelin' for her and held me skilfully at arms' length. I hung around, my hormones and heart wouldn't let me do otherwise. I helped them out, played hired bodyguard and bounty hunter with great success. An' the more I stayed, the more that initial recognition was confirmed and underlined. I fell in love with her. Didn't so much as look at another woman while I was there. Not even the whores at Miss Millie's. Near the end of the two years I stayed hangin' around, they held this dance. I usually acted as bodyguard or bouncer. Towards the end, Hori asked me to take a turn around the floor with Vera. I'm not a dancer by any means, but the thought of getting to hold her just once made me acquiesce. She fitted in my arms as though she'd been made to be there. She smelt wonderful.

“Vera...” I murmured in her ear.


I took a deep steadying breath, “I love you.”

She pulled back a bit and gave me a look, “I know. I'm *married, happily, to Hori.”

“An' if you weren't?”

Her smile was kinda warm and sad at the same time, “You're a diamond in the rough. I'm pretty sure there's more to you than guns, thuggery, muscles and a certain earthy sexuality.” She'd hit close to the truth.

I grinned, staying in 'Jayne' mode, “Hell, darling; I'll willingly show ya...”

Her grin was slightly cheeky, “I know you would. But *I can't, not here and not now.”

I persisted, “But if you were free, would I stand a chance?”

There was a long pause, while she considered her response, “If you ever hear that I'm a widow, come back and court me.”

“Ya couldn't let me have a kiss on account?”

“If I do, you need to pack your bags and leave.” She meant it, too.

I grinned wider, “I'd do just about anythin' for the chance to taste a piece of heaven.”

So I 'helped' her outside to 'check on' something. I tilted her chin a bit and took the kiss. It was long, slow and sweet, with just a hint of tongue near the end. And glory be, she kissed me right back. Gave me the sort of kiss that told me she'd be amazing in the sack. The kiss of the woman of my dreams. The sort of woman I'd have done *anything to have sit beside me in the Great Hall of my ruined home. She would have been a magnificent addition to that lost company; the sort of wife, lover and helper who would have her name remembered by all for many generations. So when I got that Callahan some years later; sleek, cool, with magnificent lines and hot underneath, there was no contest for the name I gave it.

We're headed back to Beltane. I've kept up the act so long that 'Jayne' comes totally naturally. I quite like being him; he's fun. Even if I change back to...well, who I used to be, 'Jayne' won't ever leave me. Haven't heard a word 'bout Vera in all this time. Might have a passel of sweet Maori kids by now. She'll be pushing forty, just like me. Hope she's had a good life. Hope I get the chance to see her again; just once. Yeah me; sappy. Well, here we go. Buckle up, tool up, on with the job. New Sheriff wants us to help flush out and nail some real bad guys. Chance for some good trade for a long time on the side. Didn't get the Sheriff's name, but it's not the Maori surname I was hopin' for. Wonder where Vera's got to.

We've got our duds on the mule and are waitin' for the pick-up. 'Nother mule comes toward us. My heart jumps and my knees buckle. It's Vera! I grin at her. Years have been kind to her. Hair's longer – I like that – few more wrinkles, but she's still every inch the woman of my dreams. She clocks me and grins right back.

“I made Sheriff. Took my maiden name.”

“I c'n see that. Named this fine piece of fire-power after you.”

Mal looks at me, “So *that's Vera!”

“Where's Hori?” I damn near hold my breath, hopin'.

“Killed just five years back. Things got pretty wild and crazy around here and I've barely stopped since. Amazing, beautiful gun. I'm flattered.”

My smile turns tender and real hopeful, “Kids? Another fella?”

She touches the back of my hand and looks into my eyes, “No luck with having kids. As for the man-shaped space in my life, court me. Let's get this job done and done successful, then there'll be time for R&R.” I get the message, feel the frisson of her touch and see the promise in her eyes.

“Vera, darlin'...”

“I know.” She heard *me as well. The things I couldn't say out loud, not here. The rest of the team were boggling behind me, but I ignored 'em.

So, we followed her into town, settled in. The Maori threw us a hangi and a huge welcome. I started to relax a bit. Got to hold Vera again, then later, revisit that first kiss more 'n a few times. I wanted to do a whole lot more, but she put her hand on my chest, just over my heart.

“I know. We'll get there, but court me first. Not much longer to wait, if you play your cards right.”

“I still love you; never gorram stopped.”

Her gaze turned warm and tender, “Ah, pea nui; great bear. Court me successfully and there's more than a good chance you'll hear the words you're waiting for, and more.”

“Ya like me?!?”

“Wouldn't have let you kiss me fifteen years ago if I didn't.”

I smiled, “Then I'll wait a little while. An' court ya, best I know how.”

I began the next day, just before we met to search for the bad-ass gang. Asked a couple of Maori and had flowers delivered. Ones which would say 'beloved' to anyone knowing the language of flowers. Next day, I snuck a letter into her bag. Sorta romantic and hot, but in 'Jayne' terms, mostly. Next day it was a mirror. That was the pattern in my old home; it said, 'This is the face I love'. After that, a simple pebble, polished and with her name on it. By this stage in the Great Hall, the recipient would have no doubt of my intentions. Probably no-one left alive would recognise what I was doing. The other Halls fell in the War or got wiped out by Reavers. It's a whole way of life that's dead, gone and the courting rituals were oral; not even writ in the history books. Day after that, it was a jewel. The gifts went on, in the prescribed order for a man from my home intent on not just love and sex, but on a long-term relationship. In between times, I snuck kisses as often as I could. We found the bad guys, had one hell of a gorram pitched battle and came out victorious, if a bit bloodied. Finally, there was another celebratory hangi and I led Vera to my bunk on Serenity. Rest of the crew were enjoying the R&R as well.

“I love you.”

She smiled at me, eyes dark with arousal and anticipation, “I love you too.”

I pulled her closer, stroking her cheek, “Gorram. Was worth waitin' fifteen years to hear that. You're the first woman I've had in my bunk.”

She smiled cheekily, “Haven't had me yet!”

I grinned and began removing her clothes, “Let me change that, huh?”

I took it as slow as I could; kissing, touching, tasting. Vera returned the favour. It was better than my wildest dreams. Eventually we were propped against the ladder, naked, she had her legs wrapped eagerly around me and I was moving the final inches into my own personal heaven. It was the same for her as well, because she came a whole bunch of times. After the first time, I carried her to my bunk. I spent most of the night showing her how much I loved her, over and over again. We repeated the experience over the next few days, not doing a whole lot more than eating, sleeping and having monumentally great sex. First in my bunk, then in her bed. The sort 'a love-making that should get a standin' ovation.

Late one morning, we were snugglin' real close and kissing.

“Marry me?” I asked hopefully.

“Yes, please.” she replied.

I laughed softly, “It doesn't get much better than his.”

“Darling, you courted me beautifully.” Her hand was stroking tenderly up and down my chest, just the way I liked it, “You used the traditional gifts of the nobility of the Jade court, but that hasn't been in existence for twenty-odd years. You must have been there as a teenager, hmm?”

I laughed softly, trying to maintain my cover, “Jade court; on the moon of Londinium? How would a simple but gorgeous sheriff like you know about that?”

She paused, obviously making a significant decision, “Twenty years ago I was prepared for introduction to one of the princes there. I was told what gifts to expect if courtship began. I only had his name, when the Jade court was hit by Berserkers. After that, the Unification war came to *my home and my grandmother and I were the only survivors.”

Merciful Buddha. She was trusting me with her very existence. If anyone up the Alliance hierarchy knew, we'd be either killed or made to 'rule', but both options would be terrible. She had to be from one of the other courts. Given the lines and grace to her – and in line for a prince - a noblewoman at least.

I looked at her, hard, “Who the gorram hell *are you?”

“Verena, Lapis court. You bagged yourself an ex-princess, my love.”

I laughed, throwing my head back. “Oh, my dearest darling! We might have been wed twenty years back – well, if things had been different and I'd actually *met you – I'm Prince Jared.” I couldn't do anything else but trust her right back.

She gasped, “You!”

“Yeah, me! *I had to go into hiding too.”

She grinned, “I love the 'bad boy' part of you! These past few days....”

I lifted her chin, letting the mask drop, only for her, “It's been a mixture of Jayne's lovemaking and my own. He's part of who I am, now. And *both of us are utterly in love with you.”

She smiled right back, letting her own mask drop, “That's perfect, 'cause Vera and Verena are both completely in love with you.”

“I'll have to be Jayne in public.”

She shrugged, no biggie, and kissed my chest, “Same as I'll have to be Vera.”

Another, more basic thought hit me, “Did you have the usual sexual training of a princess?”

Heck, I *love sex, so sue me. And the thought of her driving me even further out of my mind with what she likely knows...

Vera grinned, “Yup. Lots of inside knowledge from a Companion plus advanced Tantra and the secret royal knowledge. And you?”

“Pretty much the same. Bit rusty on the Tantric and royal knowledge paths, ain't had much call for it bein' a merc an' all; but by the Holy Prophets, I want to be the best lover I can be for you.”

She shivered with pleasure, “You're already the best lover I've ever had.”

“Likewise darlin', likewise. But the thought of lovin' ya slow and sweet an' makin' it last several hours...” I growled, softly.

She smiled, “We're also able to explore the secret royal techniques with each other. There's no other man in the 'verse I'd be able to share that with; nor want to, either.”

I moved, pinning her gently under me, “Oh, yeah! Had me plenty of women, but never gone into the deeper pleasures with any of 'em. We'll be soul-bonded real deep and true, my love.”

Her leg trailed up mine, hooking it around my hip, “I've had my fair share of men; even before I married Hori. The pleasure between *us should be off the scale, along with the soul-bonding. I love you so much.”

I gave her my best 'bad boy Jayne' grin, “Darlin', we are gonna rock the 'verse!”

She smiled at me, “Make me *totally yours, in the old way!”

“An' I'll give myself completely to you right back.” I kissed her neck, “An' we're bein' real naughty, doin' this afore we get legally wed.”

She chuckled and stroked my chest in a way that got me gasping, “I *love being naughty with you! I'd like to be naughty with you a whole lot before we put rings on each other's fingers!”

“Mmmm,” My lips moved to her collarbone and nipped gently down the hidden pleasure points, “You got it. All the secret ways of pleasure. Should take us at least a *year to exhaust all those. *Then we get married, and have ourselves a weddin' night with me inside you all night long.”

Vera moaned, “I want you inside me all night long right *now!”

“Patience darlin', patience. It'll be worth waitin' for.”

She grinned at me like a slutty angel, “I *could tease you!”

“I know, and I'd love it, but I'm a prince of the blood, remember. Made of stronger stuff.”

She looked down at my rampant erection, “I'll say. That's one gorgeous sceptre you've got there.”

I grinned wickedly at her, “Let me show you what *princes do with their sceptres.”

“Yes, please!”

A wintry moon, somewhere at the ass end of nowhere. Snow's deep and crisp. Everyone's in fur to keep warm; either fake or the real stuff. It's a beautiful day, blue sky, sunshine. Vera walks toward me across the bit of red carpet we've got, wearin' a very pale blue fur coat. As she gets close to me, she drops the coat. Wuh de mah! Something white, clingy, sparkly and translucent. The style is close to classic Lapis court lines, but the material certainly isn't. She ain't wearing a stitch under the dress apart from white heeled shoes. Her nipples are pebbling through the fabric. Mal blinks, then steps forward with the Interfaith minister and we make our vows. After us, Mal joins hands with Inara and they get wed. Kaylee's nursing her twins, close to proud dad Simon. Zoe smiles wistfully and holds her little girl close. I give Vera a 'verse-stopping kiss, then she puts the coat back on and we go for the wedding breakfast. 'Jayne' gives a raucous toast an' some suitable fumblin' words. Mal is more eloquent. He don't know that the Jared side 'a me could talk him into a corner. *None of 'em know nor ever will. That's strictly between me an' Vera.

I lean close to her ear, when we get a quiet moment, “So, who do you want first?”

She smiles and murmurs in my ear, “Jayne. Rip my dress off and take me hard and long. Make me scream with ecstasy. Completely lose control. I *love it when you go out of control and all animal inside me.”

“Terrible waste of such a gorgeous dress.”

“It's designed to peel off really easily.”

“That's my wife!”

“Later; afterwards, slow and tender. Show me how the man who would now be king of the Jade and Lapis courts makes love to his new queen.”

I smile, “I was goin' to do that anyway. I *will be inside you all night long. It's a new tradition.”

Vera smiles right back, “Any more new traditions?”

I grin, “The queen's never been married to a mercenary before!”

She chuckles, “No more than the king to an ex-sheriff!”

“I can see lots of fun when the sheriff finds herself unexpectedly in the bed of the king...”

Vera's grin nearly reaches her ears, “Same goes for the mercenary sneaking into the bed of the queen!”

I tug her hand, “Can we start gettin' sexed already?!”

“Oh, yeah!” ******



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