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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Something happens, something changes and Jayne has a choice to make. One Tam is left behind on Ariel
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 945 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
River doesn’t even give Jayne the chance to go the way he’s wanting, not that he’s so sure he can hand her to the feds anymore, not with hearing them scream like they were having their throats cut. She’s still fighting him, clawing at his arms and leaving bloody gouges, more red to go with the blood drying on his hand, more marks to accompany the tooth prints. He ignores the pain, tries to forget why she’s screaming and why the doc’s not shutting her up and getting her moving.
Medic’s more use’n she is. Ruttin’ doc.
River twists in his arms, looking back over her shoulder and she chokes off a cry, stares blankly for a moment as the oily coolness settles against her mind, just on the outside; it’s not forcing its way Simon’s there stopping it. Brightness holding firmly against the cold and even though she sags limply in Jayne’s arms, he’s not the one saving her. It’s Simon. “Always, Simon.” She sniffs the words out, quietens as Jayne stops dragging her and starts lifting. Cradles her against him and jogs.
Jayne’s jog becomes all the faster as screams once again rend the air, howls of pain that slow him only for a moment before he speeds up. He’s still not sure why he’s not just dumped her and run, not even sure why he left the doc and took her--shoulda just punched him out, dragged his sorry ass back to the ship an’ maybe she’da followed.
His confusion and resentment are enough to drown out Simon in River’s mind, to stop the fear and relief overwhelming her as her brother faces down her monsters. Always protects me, keeps me safe. Grow together, come together, doesn‘t see monsters wear the faces of friends. She looks at Jayne’s arms, her fingers tracing over the gouges making the man wince as he pauses by the locked door. Redness stains her fingers and she wipes it on his shirt, No blue now…
“Forgot the gorramn gun!” Jayne doesn’t let up his hold on River, the girl’s silent enough now but he’s not taking any chances, just wanting to get back before what made those screams catches them. He’s not thinking on the doc anymore, nor River herself, just wants out. Wants back at home and she’s now become an extension of him. He’s not aware of it, can’t fathom why but he’s not leaving her. Doing what the doc asked instead, saving his sister.
She grips at him, hands fisting in his shirt as he kicks at the door, feeling the shock vibrate up his leg and through her. Coming…helps coming, she can feel it, can rest for a moment before she gathers her strength to find Simon. Single aberration easily reworked, stride in and take back what’s ours. Then she cries out, flinches away as the sharp sound comes and the door crashes open. Not now, won’t take, have to run. She feels the surety, the contradiction to what she’d thought on hearing as the Captain takes note of just her and Jayne, faces the man down and stares impassively at him while Jayne squirms and blurts out the half-truth. River knows, feels Mal know, and senses the tide that rises in him; that washes over him and leaves him unmovable as it tosses her around, making her jolt in Jayne’s arms, try to push him away and get back to her brother.
“Doc got hurt, told me to take the girl and get gone.” Jayne’s not having any difficultly meeting Mal’s eyes, the captain looks stunned enough as he says the words and looks back along the wayThen River starts moving again and Jayne's palms itch to shake her to a stop; can’t she see what’s going on, gonna run and throw herself back into that, make what the doc did seem sourer than it already is?
“We best get that way then.” Mal reaches for River, closes his hand tightly around her wrist and tugs her towards him. He doesn’t take his eyes off Jayne once, doesn’t let his guard slip or any of them see what he’s thinking. What he’s sure on. Zoe seems to guess though, gestures Jayne in front of them with her gun as Mal takes a tight hold of River. She’s muttering something about copper and crawling things, but she doesn’t fight him, sags against him instead, her eyes staring blankly at nothing, her fingers wound in his coat. Not wriggling makes her easier to lift, not like she's heavy though, all scooped out and fragile.
“Hope you know what you’re doing, sir.” Zoe eyes him and in that moment they’re both sure of it, except Mal’s not so sure on what to do but follow Jayne. And Zoe stays at his back, keeps her thoughts to herself though she’s cursing Jayne for being such a greedy hundan, pushing thoughts on the doctor away too, until they know more, until they're safe.
Mal glances to Zoe, nods as she stays at his back while they rush back to the ambulance, get flying, get away. He can’t start thinking on Simon or Jayne or any of them till they’re back aboard Serenity-safe. Then he’ll do what needs to be done.
Kaylee can’t stop grinning as she greets Inara, it’s been a good day as far as she knows, and all the better for having Inara back on board, having everyone back on board. They got the goods, no one got hurt: and once she’s told the Captain the good news, she can go back to skimming over the toys she found in that junk heap. Core folk sure do throw away a lot of good stuff. She moves down the steps, shaking her head at Mal’s yelled out question. “Nothing on sensors.”
The captain doesn’t look as pleased as she expected him to be, barely glances Inara’s way either, which is odd enough, and he’s muttering something to Wash, the pilot surprisingly fast and pale-faced as he jogs towards the cockpit.
“Everything okay?” Kaylee can’t help the uncertainty that creeps into her voice, snapping Mal’s attention to her. Inara’s touching Kaylee’s back now, reading Mal more clearly than Kaylee is and seeing something’s wrong.
“No, it really ain’t.” Mal’s not smiling, watching as Kaylee's smile fades and pushes back the white hot rage he knows is going to come loose soon enough and strike out in the wrong manner if he’s not careful. And he’s got to be careful, always aimed to be for himself and his crew, but now he’s got one more reason to. One more responsibility and a whole boatload of guilt to keep himself from forgetting it
Jayne stumbles out of the ambulance, wishes he could close his ears to Kaylee’s words and the accusation he fancies he can hear in Mal’s. Guilt doesn’t sit comfortably for him and he wrestles between it and fury as he watches River just stare into space. Blank-faced, blank-minded no doubt. Trouble from the get go and Jayne can’t help disliking her. Hating her brother for being so damn noble and stupid, for making Jayne feel like he’s done wrong when there’s not a man in the ’verse that could turn down that much credit. Took her with me didn’t I? Should count for somethin’.
“Where’s Simon?” Kaylee chokes out the words, moving closer to the ambulance, leaning inside, shaking off Inara’s arm as she tries to hold her. “Oh, god.” She sags against the ambulance, dread clutching at her chest, gaze snapping from Mal back down to River.
“Had to leave him.” Mal’s words don’t explain much but the regret leaks through, fury shows for a moment too, though its placing isn’t clear and it’s enough to keep Kaylee from snapping at him.
“You left him behind?” Her voice cracks and her hands are over her mouth, silencing herself. Not by choice…there’s no doubt about that. River and Simon are crew, could become family, captain’s never not made that clear.
Serenity’s vibrating now, engine starting up and Kaylee squeezes her eyes closed for a moment, letting misery sweep through her and shielding herself from River’s expressionless stare. From having to be the one to take care of River, from having to comfort her friend. She knows it’s not the right thing to do, knows it’s not nice but can’t get herself moving.
“Wasn’t by choice, meimei.” Mal’s voice is gruff, not wanting to see realization and misery, not looking at Jayne because he knows the merc won’t be feeling anything short of relief and that‘s, to his mind, worse.
“Let me take her, Mal.” Inara’s not asking any questions though her shock is obvious, it breaks through her composure as she moves forward to take River from him and for a second Mal’s not sure he can let her go but River doesn’t protest, remains mute as Inara supports her. “I would suggest the infirmary, but I think perhaps my shuttle instead. Maybe you could fetch the medical bag for me, Kaylee?”
The medical bag, not Simon’s bag, Inara’s careful not to say his name as Kaylee looks to her. The mechanic nods and stumbles off on shaky legs, pushing aside her own emotions for a moment. Mal’s never really disagreed on the fact that Inara can be a real lady at times, it’s always been a part of the reasoning that he hates her whoring, but she acts every inch of one now.
“We’ll be in my shuttle, Captain, please call me as soon as you’re ready to discuss this. I’d like to offer what services I can."
Any other time and they both know he’d be making a comment over that, but he merely nods to her, watches as she walks River up the steps taking most of the girl’s weight upon her.
“Best move this cargo, can’t be giving anyone reason if they come searching.” Mal’s voice is neutral but as Jayne turns away from him, relief shining on the man’s face for a moment, so gorramn pleased and thankful that he hasn’t been caught out, Mal can’t help grasping for the wrench. His thoughts are simple now, Jayne’s a traitor, did him wrong, did the crew wrong and Mal was a fool to have forgotten he’d turn on him. Jayne himself had even warned Mal on it, at a time.
“Good take the doc got us, mayhap we can-” Jayne’s trying to find words, anything to distract from what he’s thinking and feeling. To throw Mal off the scent in case the captain gets wise, but his words are cut off as he turns and cold metal bites into his face. Sharp and harsh, striking true enough to make him stumble, to dizzy him and make him fall over, catching his head for a moment and knocking himself out.
“Conjure this is an interestin’ day, Jayne.” Mal squats next to him, grasps the man by his armpits and drags him towards the airlock, locking the door tightly behind. Serenity’s not broke atmo yet and he’s about to comm up and ask why when Zoe’s voice comes from behind him.
“Got a few problems. Fed’s are holding all ships from breaking out until they’ve verified everyone's got legitimate reason to be leaving now.”
“Ain’t takin’ no chances are they?” Mal clenches his fists and pauses as Kaylee rushes past them, Simon’s red med kit in hand. “Kaylee, comm up to Wash. Got some trouble leavin’ see if maybe Inara can work something. Tien knows she’s got some fancy clients waitin’ for her; be a good time to put her ambassador status to the test again.”
“Will do, Cap’n.” Kaylee takes the stairs two at a time, not noticing where Jayne’s disappeared off to though the moment Inara’s shuttle hisses open, Zoe’s eyes are on the door.
“Permission to speak true, sir?” She’s going to say her mind whatever his answer, just respect and friendship that keeps her from lighting into him already. Never been love between Jayne and Zoe; the merc’s made enough crude comments to show he wants to bed her as he does most of the population, but she’s always been suspicious of him. Never let herself trust or let down her guard. But she’s accepted Mal’s choices, just in this case she hasn’t liked it.
“Seems the day for it.”
Zoe’s eyes flit to the airlock door, mouth compressing in a line for a moment. She can’t say she’s not considered how much easier things would be without the Tams, but they are crew now. Simon had saved Kaylee, saved Mal and even Zoe herself upon a time. He might not have been her choice in friend, but he was crew and that meant something. “You not tossed this sorry hundan out already?"
“’S a good question.” Mal isn’t about to deny it, he’s just not sure he can answer. There’s more anger in him than he cares to dwell on, frustration and a small amount of humiliation. “Jayne played me, stuck a knife in me and mine.”
“So again, sir, why not open the airlock?” Zoe’s not in any hurry to see Jayne dead, isn’t any fonder of the man than she is of Simon, little less in fact, but better rid of him now before he tries again, or before he wakes. Not a pleasant way to die, sucked out into space. Zoe wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
“I’m not sure.” Mal moves to the airlock door, noticing Jayne’s fingers twitching as the man slowly comes too. “Not sure how I’m going to play this. Got more’n half a mind to toss Jayne out, but got another half considering whether he’d do it again. Man sticks the knife in, gets it stuck back and twisted, sometimes it leaves enough of a scar to warn him.”
“A second chance?” Zoe’s not sure she’d be thinking like that. If Mal ends up leaning that way she’ll support him, but she doesn’t like it. Will be keeping a closer eye there, if he does.
“Man like Jayne…who knows what he’s thinkin’. Can’t say for sure what’ll happen, best still set the table for nine--eight.” He clenches his jaw shut and she levels him with a measured look, “Need to see what he’s got to say, Zoe. Ain’t looking’ for excuses, just the truth. Wantin’ to know about Simon being left behind too.”
“As long as you know what you’re doing.” Zoe doesn’t argue, merely moves over to the side of the bay and presses the comm button. “Wash? You got clearance sorted yet?”
There’s enough of a pause to have Mal’s gaze wandering back over to the door. He can hear Jayne stirring properly now. Then Wash’s voice comes clearly over the comm, thankful and relieved. “Tianna, Zoe, she did it. They asked Inara a bunch of questions and she must’ve sweet talked them something good 'cause we’ve got automatic clearance. We break atmo in ten.”
“That’s real good , husband.” Zoe flicks off the comm. “Just as well River’s not saying much, wouldn’t have made for a good display if she was carrying on while Inara was talking.”
“You should get up there, check on them, then see we’re not bein’ followed. I don’t discount that Wash’s probably done that already but better not to be sorry. Besides, Book needs a wave afore we go and collect him.”
“Wouldn’t hurt to look on the cortex either, see if I can spot anything about our doctor.” Zoe’s not needing to remind Mal of Simon but she does so all the same, feeling anger flush through her as a clanging comes from the airlock and she recalls what happened.
“Got ideas on that myself." Mal nods to her, moving over to the airlock window, the portable comm unit in his hand.
Five minutes until they break atmo, four now even, and Jayne’s banging on the door, though from the angle of it he can’t see that Mal’s talking to Zoe. Mal taps on the small window with his comm unit, not looking to see Zoe stride out as he settles himself to face Jayne.
Zoe just hopes the captain does have something planned, because there’s nothing she can conjure they could pull off to get the doctor back with them. There would have been a time she’d have considered it better to have the two Tam’s off ship. Was a difference in having them off ship and running, and having them in Alliance hands.
Best hope they don’t have a mind to cut into his brain, too.
It’s only a short walk to the cockpit, her husband turning to her, his own worry obvious and she lets herself have the luxury of being pulled onto his lap for a moment. Knows he needs this as much as she does as his face rests against her back, and she watches the small blinking light-which reminds them the airlock's open-fade down to nothing.
Saturday, July 05, 2008 6:08 AM
Friday, July 11, 2008 5:24 AM
Monday, September 08, 2008 7:18 AM
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