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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
The many lives of Jayne Cobb. Rayne
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 848 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: Spokes on the Wheel
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Jayne knows he is dreaming. He knows this because while his rational mind tells him he is on a ship deep in the black of space, his feet are currently walking down a dusty country road, red sun hanging low in the sky, broken grass on each side reaching as far as he can see. Knows this because he has no weapons on him, and while in his waking state this would give him a deep seated uncomfortableness, here it is simply to be noted, not worried over.
He doesn't know how long he has been walking, and doesn't know how far he has yet to go. He stops and bends down to pick a long stem of brown grass. He stands and clenches it between his teeth. He'd rather it were a cigar, but his subconscious has failed to provide him with one.
Abruptly he is no longer walking, but standing at the center of a crossroad unlike any his conscious mind has seen. There are not simply two streets bisecting one another, but endless roads stretching out in every direction, with Jayne centered in the eye.
He hears a rhythmic thumping off to one side. It is familiar, but so out of place that it takes him a moment to name it. When he does, he looks down and sees Serenity's resident genius, crazy girl and assassin casually bouncing a ball and scooping up jacks.
'What the hell you doin' here girl?' She shrugs her shoulders and continues her solo game.
'You really here, or did I make you up?'
He feels this is a fair question, because although he has dreamed about River before, the dreams are usually disjointed and involve knives and betrayal and blood drenched angels.
River pockets the ball and looks up at him.
'Jayne's Morpheus called and the river flowed.'
Hearing this, he confirms she is really present, as his subconscious would never have put that sentence together.
He stands with the girl sitting at his side and watches as a breeze ruffles the grass and catches long strands of her hair and twists them across her face. A few get caught in her mouth and after watching her fruitlessly try to spit them out, he crouches down and, catching them in his fingers, pulls them to the side and tucks them behind her ear.
'Theories dictate that the universe is either single, or balanced on strings, or one of many running side by side. The theorists are in error.'
She looks at him to see if he understands. He doesn't, and yet does, so he nods and she continues.
'Reality is a wheel with endless spokes. Man begins at the center and as he starts he splinters and flies along the spokes. Some are broken early and some later, but all end up far from where he started.'
She stands and brushes her hands off before holding one out to him.
'Shall they walk?'
Awake, he tries to never touch her, but here it seems right, so he engulfs her small hand in his and allows her to pull him to his feet. She looks behind him at the path he took to reach her and he understands without being told that it is this Jayne's life and this Jayne's current path. She turns her back on it and then leads him on the first of the many roads they will travel this night.
The grass is gone now, and on each side he sees scene after scene of life lived. Each road begins the same way. He is born, he is a child, he is engulfed in his mother's love. On the first path, he never leaves his homeworld. This walk is long, and at the end he sees himself an old, old man, surrounded by children and grandchildren, but not happy, never satisfied, with an eye always turned to the sky.
He shudders, glad he is not that Jayne.
On another, he's back at the day when he first met Mal and Zoe, but instead of shooting Marco, he puts a bullet in the captain and first mate. That road ends abruptly when Marco slits his throat for his portion of the cut. River pats his hand sympathetically and then they are back at the axis.
And again, a Jayne sits in the airlock and pleads with Mal, but this time Mal doesn't listen and Jayne sees his body, cold and dessicated, floating in the black.
There are roads and there are roads and some are short and some are long but at the end of all of them Jayne is glad he is this Jayne and not any other.
And then the road they are on is different. A little less dusty and a little more wide; and interspersed between the endless scenes are ragged wildflowers.
On this road he sees a Jayne that despite being slashed by a little crazy girl chooses loyalty and the Ariel heist goes off without a hitch. He sees a Jayne who, instead of being handed his pi gu on Beaumonde, fights with the girl and gets them out without the need for a kill phrase. A Jayne who is the first person River turns to when the blast doors open.
River clutches his hand a little tighter and as they travel further on he sees that Jayne watch River walk toward him across the cargo bay, dressed in white, at the side of a grinning Simon. Sees him watch River swim through pain while grasping his hand and emerge unscathed with his child. Sees his mother smiling and kissing the faces of her grandchildren.
Jayne has never wanted to be another Jayne, but in that instant he is filled with a black hatred and rage for his other self. His jaw clenches and his body is tense and if he had a gun he would have shot him down. Killed him for having what Jayne never knew he wanted and and now desperately needs. And he wants to, has to, keep walking that road with River, needs to see where it all ends, but suddenly everything begins to get hazy and the grass is overtaking the path and River is pulling him back the way he came.
Then they are again in the eye and his mind is being pulled in two directions. One half is fighting to stay asleep while the other is beginning to answer the call of wakefulness. He and River look at one another and she is speaking.
'There are many spokes and many men and everyone has a choice.'
She is gone and his hand is empty. He stands abandoned on the wheel and then suddenly he is gasping awake.
His hand reaches for Boo, knowing instantly that he is not alone, but stops short. The girl is sitting at the base of the ladder, awake and wide eyed and staring. They hold each other's gaze for a long moment before he stands and moves over to her side.
She looks at him curiously and holds out her hand.
'There are many spokes on the wheel.'
He nods. 'Ev'rybody's got a choice.'
And for the first time in his waking life he willingly touches her; grasps her hand and pulls her to him, until she is standing at his side.
Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:21 AM
Sunday, July 18, 2010 6:30 PM
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