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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Something happens, something changes and Jayne has a choice to make. One Tam is left behind on Ariel.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 707 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Warnings: Altered timeline from 'Ariel'
Time period: Between ‘War Stories’ and ‘Trash’
Thanks to lvs2read for the great beta and thunder_nari for the great beta and spurring me on.
“You know that’s all kinds of...of...” Jayne can’t seem to find a word, moving backwards and forwards slightly as the doll's eyes follow him. “Ain’t right that’s for sure. What kinda ben dan gonna be payin’ us for these things?” He pokes the doll nearest him, watching its head bob back and forth, painted smile and wide stare fixed on him.
“Captain says they’re a big hit in the Core. He seems to think we can off-load these on Persephone and maybe get some more jobs whilst we’re there.” Wash drums his fingers on the cockpit's dashboard, nudging two of the dolls closer together, a thought occurring to him. “It’s not as fun as some of our other jobs but I, for one, am glad for a little downtime with my wife.” He smiles, edging the doll Jayne’s eyeing closer to him.
Jayne wrinkles his nose, caught between a smirk and a sneer, “Yeah, heard you an’ Zoe were gettin’ it on better now.”
“Better now?” Wash frowns, knowing what Jayne means the moment he asks the question. Since Niska’s skyplex, since the torture and everything else Wash doesn’t want to remember but can’t completely let go. The only thing he wants to remember from then is Mal's dog-eared perseverance in refusing to let him go under, to break. It makes him all the more reassured when Zoe and the captain go on jobs, and all the more understanding of them. He knows he’ll never see it all, never completely get them, but it’s enough. “Who’d you hear that from?”
Jayne grins at Wash’s easy change of subject, leaning closer to the man, invading his personal space, “No one’s been talkin’. I heard you an’ Zoe gettin’ it on better.”
He puts an emphasis on the word that isn’t missed by Wash, the pilot flushing a bright red, lost for words for a moment. Jayne’s grin is all the wider now, snort coming to his throat and Wash scowls, nudging the doll closer to Jayne’s obvious dislike. “Adding voyeur to your list of fun things to do Jayne? Isn’t River keeping you busy?”
River’s taken to alternating between staring, barely moving and needing all the attention they can give her. To appearing out of nowhere, eyes just following but not seeming to see, odd words on her lips that rarely have any meaning.
At least to Wash they have no meaning, not so to Jayne. He’s got a sneaking suspicion she’s taunting him with them even if they make no sense, either that or she's using some wiles or girlfolk abilities to make him uncomfortable and unsettled. He’s still waiting for the moment she tells the rest of the crew. Tenses the second she seems lucid. Hell, he prefers kicking and screaming crazy girl, but he isn’t keen on her pensive, thoughtful, careless-tongued counterpart. Whatever her game, she’s enjoying doing it to him the most, taking pains to stay in shadow and hide around corners before slinking out.
“Shepherd's showin’ her some fancy paper foldin’.” He grunts out the answer, resenting it immediately. “Kaylee’s all busy an’ tinkerin’ with Serenity, ain’t got the time to be babysittin’ anymore’n the rest of us.”
“She’s been a bit quiet lately, don’t you think?” Wash is staring out of the cockpit now, pressing two more dolls into place.
“Girl’s always quiet, ain’t you heard?” Jayne’s got no idea how ironic his statement is, or how his attention’s wrongly placed.
“No, not River, though I have to admit I miss her madcap moments at times. Was fun watching Kaylee or Simon chase her round Serenity.” He smiles for a moment but then it’s faded, thoughts turning to the doctor as he often finds they do. He can’t help wonder what’s happening to Simon and whether they’ll find him again. He keeps voicing his thoughts to Zoe, questions that would drive her into not talking, seeming to hold something back that has Wash wondering. At least before Niska, since then he hasn't done much wondering aloud. “Kaylee, Kaylee’s been quiet, don’t you think?”
Jayne shrugs, he’s not really noticed, been so caught up in other things. Had a lot of gun cleaning, ammo toting-up to be done after they raided the skyplex, not to mention avoiding River. And Mal. Captain’s eased up the hard looks since Jayne got in on the rescue, but there’s still things Jayne’s sure is unsaid, times Mal looks at him and he wonders if Mal’s wanting to ask something Jayne’s not sure how to answer. “Thought she was just broodin’ over the doc.”
“Maybe,” Wash looks as unconvinced as he feels. Kaylee sometimes liked to wander up to the cockpit, liked to talk to Wash about her father, Serenity, Simon sometimes too, but she hasn’t taken to it of late, which is odd to him. Tells him something’s not right. I’ll go down and see her when we’re in the black, might do her good to talk it out.
“Hey, what’s that?” Jayne pokes at the blinking red light and Wash slaps his hand away, ignoring the glower.
“A wave, it’s-“ He squints at the signal information, “For Inara. Probably another client. They sometimes get routed here by mistake. Glitch in the system I’ll have to look at.”
Jayne grins, not having forgotten Inara’s last client. Seeing two women fine as that embracing, had his mind wandering to all kinds of lewd levels. “Gonna show us then?”
“Violate Client-Companion confidentiality?” Wash looks scandalized for a moment then grins, “Trust me, it’s more than my lives worth. Inara would not be pleased.”
“Ain’t like yer the one bein’ paid.” Jayne crosses his arms, doing his best to crowd Wash and ‘convince’ the man to change his mind. But Wash isn’t budging, finding it amusing to see Jayne attempting to look so intimidating when his enthusiasm and hope's making him look like a child denied a present.
There’s the usual newsreels and update messages attached to the wave and Wash uses them to distract himself, distance himself from the merc hovering over him. They’re all pretty routine and deletable, save one which catches his eyes.
“Ai ya.” He breathes the word out, bringing up the message, the fugitive arrest warrants. Two fugitive arrest warrants, for Simon and River Tam. “Why...why?” He brings them up on screen, the doctor's tense face filling one side, River’s startled one filling the other. “I thought they would have retracted Simon’s-“
“Guess they don’t want folks knowin’ they got him.” Jayne feels ill-at-ease with the picture of Simon staring back at him, draws his eyes away and glares at the dolls whose eye line he catches.
“I suppose.” It makes sense Wash can see that. The bounty on the two is impressive, not at all tempting but certainly impressive. It appears Simon’s own bounty is close to River’s now, rather than several hundred credits lower. “I should show this to Mal when he gets on board.” The information scrolling at the bottom of his screen catches his eyes and Wash reads it quickly, a perplexed look playing across his face. “They don’t seriously expect people to believe Simon killed those officers do they?”
Jayne merely grunts, not wanting to continue this line of conversation and he’s fervently glad when the comm beeps, Mal’s voice filtering through.
“Got us a buy an’ possibility of another job. Be back on board in twenty so’s you’d better get that cargo shipped up good an’ tight, dong ma?”
He doesn’t wait for a response just leaves Jayne and Wash staring at the line of intricately painted dolls.
“Guess we should be moving them, then.” Jayne doesn’t hide his pleasure, only forestalled in grasping the nearest one when Wash tosses a grin his way and nudges the nearest head. It knocks gently into the next, not damaging but nudging, setting off a tandem of motion that Jayne draws back from, snarl on his face as the painted heads bob his way in unison.
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