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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
They knew Blue Sun wouldn't stop looking for her - they just weren't expecting they'd go this far. (Character Death)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1071 RATING: 7 SERIES: FIREFLY
I own nothing.
Jayne had been missing for three days before anyone took River seriously. Mal felt especially bad about that. They'd known River to be a Reader for some time now, and relied on her talents more and more since Miranda, but they still had trouble learning to listen when they weren't on a job. Maybe if Mal had listened... well, maybes and mayflies, as his mother used to say. Now was the time for action.
If only Jayne had been taken by the Feds, maybe for Drunk and Disorderly or something. Mal almost felt like laughing for a moment, because of wishing the Feds had gotten one of his crew, but the Blue Hands - Blue Sun - were worse. The Purplebellies had rules, at least, even if they didn't all stick to them. The Blue Sun Corporation, on the other hand, had only one law - profit - and viewed all other laws as mere guidelines, if that.
And so he, Zoë, Simon and River found themselves planning to break into the Academy, while Kaylee tended to the engine and Inara manned the helm.
"There are several entrances that I was told about; here, here and here," Simon said, pointing to three places on the blueprint he'd brought out from his cabin. "This one comes out closest to the-"
"Wrong," said River, not looking away from the window.
Simon looked at River. "Why wrong?"
"Conspirators were caught. Guards changed. They know all the entrances now."
"All of them?" Zoë said. "Even the ones Simon doesn't know?"
"All of them," River confirmed. "They've posted guards, given them our names, faces, everything. I could possibly get past them, but I could never get him out on my own. Any of you could get him out, but you couldn't get in."
"They didn't want to just taunt us by letting us know," Mal said after a moment of contemplation. "There ain't no profit in it."
River smiled. "You're learning."
"So... what did they want?" said Simon.
Mal waited for the explosion of protest - but it didn't come. Come to think of it, most of the protesters weren't even at the table anymore. Kaylee was in the Engine room. Wash was - it didn't do to do much thinking about Wash. Simon looked resigned; he had been expecting this since the Operative.
Zoë spoke first. "We could offer a trade-off on neutral ground and set it up for a double-cross."
"Wouldn't work," said River. "I may be the best of their Readers, but not the only." She turned away from the window to look them in the eyes. Her eyes were lined with deep purple shadows, as if she hadn't been sleeping well - which of course she hadn't. "Besides, even if we got away, their people would take Jayne's mother and brother into custody before we could get to them, and he needs the people he cares about now more than ever."
There it was again. One of River's vague references to whatever it was they were doing to him in there. The clearest answer any of them had gotten was 'They're hurting him,' which was not optimal, to be sure, but didn't really explain a lot. Except, when she said it to Simon his face had gone paler than usual, and he had thrown himself into the planning like nothing he'd ever seen.
"They're forcing me into a blind alley, Mal. The better to catch me, or shoot me if I won't go. It's okay," she said soothingly, even though she was the one who was crying. "I had a good life. I did the impossible, like you. I gave Miranda rest. I brought Simon and Kaylee together. Time to go to sleep."
The neutral ground was on Abernathy's Moon, where Mrs. Cobb and Mattie lived. They joined Mal and Zoë on the Serenity side of the line, waiting to collect their Jayne.
River stood in front of them, pale and still as a stone saint, as a china doll, as an easter lily. She had said her tearful goodbyes to all of Serenity and her crew, even the two who were not there anymore. She hadn't taken anything of hers with her. She was wearing the oldest, rattiest dress she could find. Inara had done her hair. She wouldn't look back. She looked beautiful.
Jayne came into view, restricted and supported by a boy and a girl a little older than River. Mrs. Cobb stifled a sob. Jayne was pale, and shivering, and looked smaller than Mal had ever seen him. When they let him go, he fell to the ground, clutched his knees to his chest, and cried. Mal felt sick.
"Elias," said River. "Julia."
"River," they replied in the same polite tone.
"They give me their word? That my family and their families will not be harmed, harrassed, or humiliated?"
"They agree to a hands-off policy as long as there are no escape or rescue attempts," said Elias.
"We are in agreement, then. Are you prepared for the journey?"
River took a step forward, and then looked down at Jayne, shivering and crying in the dust. She looked back at the two Academy escorts, who then looked at each other. Julia said, "Five minutes."
River wiped the muddy tears away from Jayne's face and took his hand in hers. "Shh, Jayne," she soothed. "It'll be alright. You're safe now."
"River?" said Jayne. "You... I... It hurts."
"I know. Simon can help you."
"They cut open my head. Made me tell them everything I knew about you. Put thoughts in weren't my own. I can still hear them sometimes. It hurts."
"I know, Jayne, but it's over now. You're home. Your mother's there waiting for you."
"Ma?" Jayne looked up, catching sight of the crew waiting for him. He looked back at River. "You're goin' away."
"Yes. I... I wanted to say goodbye."
"Don't go. You're the only one who'll understand."
"I'm sorry," she said, struggling to hold back tears. "I promised. I was glad to have known you, Jayne."
"Goodbye, Jayne." She stood up and walked to Elias and Julia, who cuffed her and led her away.
Jayne hadn't said or done much of anything since River had gone. He hadn't even leered at Inara. So when he sat down and started to talk with Simon, it came as quite a shock. "When we go to the hospital, you going to sell me out to the Feds?"
Simon gaped for a moment, and then said, "Ah... no. I'm not."
"You should. It's what I did to you and River. It'd be balance, right? Karma, or something."
"I... don't, um, actually believe in karma. And I forgave you a long time ago, and so did River-"
"She took a slow actin' poison before she left. By the time she got to the Academy the antidote wouldn't work no more. You can ask Inara if you don't believe me. She died 'bout an hour ago."
"H-how do you know when she died?"
"There's ghosts on Serenity. I can see 'em, ever since they cut open my head. Wash and Book and now River. She showed up 'bout an hour ago." He paused, and then said, almost to himself. "I'm glad her ghost's here and not there. All the ghosts there was cryin'."
"Yeah. At first I thought they just made me crazy. Now I know different. I don't think they knowed that they-"
Inara walked into the kitchen, intending to make herself some tea. "Oh, am I interrupting anything?"
"No," said Simon. "It's just... Did River... poison herself?"
Inara's mug bounced on the floor. Thank goodness it wasn't breakable. "Who told you that?"
"River told me," said Jayne. "So I told him. He's her brother - he deserved to know. I'd want to know if something happened to Mattie."
"So it's true?"
Inara sagged. "Yes, it's true. River came to see me when she decided to give herself up. She didn't want to be their weapon. I'm sorry, Simon. I'm not sure how Jayne knew..."
"I told you, River told me."
"When? When they brought you back?"
"No, an hour ago, when she showed up here."
"Jayne claims her ghost told him. River's ghost. River's dead." Simon sat in shock and stared at his hands. "My little sister's gone."
Inara couldn't let herself watch Simon, so she turned to see what Jayne was doing. He was looking into the empty space in the door next to Simon and... acting as if someone was there. First he shook his head 'no'; then he motioned to shoo someone away; and finally, he rolled his eyes, sighed, and said, "Fine. Hey Doc? Your sister wants me to give you something."
Mal walked in about a second into the hug. "Nice," he said blandly. "Should I be tellin' Kaylee about this?"
"Nope," Jayne said, releasing the doctor and slapping him on the shoulder. "Just passin' on a message." He looked briefly into the empty doorway again and smirked. For a moment, Inara thought she heard someone giggle, but she may have been imagining it.
"Okay, so it was a little funny," said Jayne as he wandered away down the hallway. "Now go bother the Shepherd for a while. I'm gonna ask Wash if he's got any messages like that for me to give to Zoë."
Thursday, September 25, 2008 6:07 AM
Thursday, September 25, 2008 9:43 AM
Thursday, September 25, 2008 1:10 PM
Friday, September 26, 2008 7:20 AM
Friday, September 26, 2008 9:57 AM
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