Equilibrium- Chapter I
Thursday, October 27, 2005

A full-bodied fic with a heady aroma of Jayne/River and slight undertones of Jayne/Kaylee and Kaylee/Simon. Post "Serenity." The equilibrium is changing on Serenity. Roles are shifting. Affections are shifting. And Jayne doesn't like it. Comments appreciated!


In the black, there were no full moons. Or, rather, they were all full… and Jayne Cobb wanted to howl at every one.

Serenity had changed, and Jayne was restless. This boat was his home—more than any other place he had ever been—more than two years, and no on e had chased him off yet. Not successfully. He knew this boat like he knew his own hands. It was part of him. And it had changed.

Jayne didn’t like change.

Zoe was quiet. She had always been quiet. Dry. But used to be that she had a light in her eyes that would shine whenever Wash was around.

That light had died.

Jayne wondered if Zoe had even cried. He doubted it. The idea had something wrong about it. He couldn’t imagine anything close to tears coming out of those sharp, calculating eyes.

He almost wished she would, though. It was downright spooky, the way she stalked around the boat like a scarecrow. Even Kaylee couldn’t get her to smile these days.

‘Course… Kaylee hardly ever left the engine room these days. If she did, it was to go to her bunk, or the doc’s bunk, or to sit at the kitchen table giving googly eyes to each other and feeling each other up under the table. There were banging noises constantly coming from the engine room lately, and Jayne doubted many of them had to do with the engine.

The doc. Gorram doc. Jayne had never really tried anythin’ with Kaylee. But he’d wanted to sometimes. After all, she was still a woman. She still had…

And to have to doc chosen over him. Gorram doc. He wasn’t much, with his soft hands and combed hair. Fussy. Jayne was all set to stop hatin’ him after what he’d done an Ariel. Even more set after what he’d done with the Reavers. Almost proved he was worth his manly bits.

And then he had gone and made that torch Kaylee was carrying for him into a gorram bonfire. Had her swooning around like a gorram June bride.

To have ruttin’ reavers… reavers… bring two people together. That was a story for the pups.


Jayne lifted the barbell more forcefully. Faster. Tried to ignore the shiver in his belly and the sting in his shoulder.

He saw their faces at night. Bloody and wrong. Woke up in a cold sweat, groping for Vera. He could still smell them. Still smell the sharp fear on himself. The sure knowledge that he was gonna die.

There was another picture that slid into his brain. Another picture that made him shiver and came, unasked, at the worst times.

River. Standing, bodies at her feet, weapons at her sides. River, fighting, breaking jaws graceful as you please—long white limbs, weapons.

Jayne’s mind strayed toward thoughts of other tasks he could put those limbs to and he growled, letting the barbell drop into place with a crash.

He stat up, wiping the sweat from his eyes with his shirt, and froze.

River was standing not six feet away, staring at him with wide eyes, her mouth hanging open slightly.

Jayne stared back. “What?” It came out as a growl.

River’s eyes widened even more, and she turned, running up the stairs two at a time.

*** That wasn’t her. That girl, with the wild hair and long legs. That girl who…


“Mules are sterile.” She knit her brows, looking at Simon earnestly.

Simon’s gaze slowly came away from the game of chess he was playing with Kaylee. “… Yes?”

“Checkmate!” Kaylee whooped and jumped up, bumping the table with her thighs. The chess pieces fell.

Simon turned his attention back to the board. “No!”

“I beatcha, doc! Spanked ya proper, too!” Kaylee’s face was glowing.

“No!” Simon was play angry as he jumped up.

A pawn rolled across the table and nudged River’s fingers, which were played across the scarred wood.

Simon demanded a rematch, which, as far as River could tell, involved him and Kaylee counting one another’s teeth.

She signed and picked up the pawn, carefully placing it upright.

“Fall ruins everything. It breaks the equilibrium and leaves nature reeling, falling to pieces.”

Kaylee giggled as Simon dragged her across the table, scattering the chess pieces everywhere.

River ignored the dirty things her brother was thinking and the thrill that Kaylee was feeling and tried to understand the joy coming from them both. She got up from the table, the pawn clutched in her fist, digging into her palm.

*** “It smells like a wet llama in here.” Mal narrowed his eyes.

“Ya ever smelled a wet llama, Cap’n?”

Inara folded her hands in her lap and smiled at Kaylee. “I have. And it smells like a wet llama.” She cast a pointed, if delicate look at Jayne’s socked feet.

Jayne slid his feet off of the table and pulled his boots back on.

The doc snorted. Jayne shot him an ugly look.

Mal leaned against the chair Inara was sitting in. Inara looked down at her hands delicately, but Jayne could see the look in her eyes.

Everything was gorram changing.

“’Bout this time tomorrow, we’ll be hittin’ atmo’ on Amante. We’ll be stoppin’ for a bit for some supplies and to take it easy for a spell.” Mal avoided looking at Zoe, who was staring stonily at the table. “Might pick up a few jobs from a contact I’ve got there. We’ve still got some repairs that need to be done.”

Nobody spoke for a bit. Jayne knew they were all thinking of why those repairs needed to be done and all wantin’ them to not have to be.

Kaylee lifted a tentative hand—the one that weren’t tied up with the doc’s soft fingers. “Uh… Cap’n?”

Mal jerked his chin at her.

“How long we stayin’ for?”

Mal cleared his throat. “’Bout a week. Maybe two.”

Jayne stared at him. “Two weeks?”

Mal’s eyes shifted from Kaylee to Jayne.

“We ain’t never got a week on no rock before.”

“Well, I reckon we ain’t never been in a situation like this, neither.” Now Mal’s eyes flicked to Zoe and back to Jayne. “We all need a little time.”

“Yeah, but why this rock? Ain’t nothin’ on Amante worth stayin’ a week fer. Why not Persephone, er—“

Zoe cut him off. She had lifted her head and was looking at Jayne with those hard eyes. “Wash’s brother lives on that ‘rock.’ I think he deserves to be told to his face that his brother’s dead, don’t you?”

Her stare was enough to make even Jayne shift in his seat.

There was silence again.

“Any more questions?”

Jayne refused to look away from the hard look Mal was puttin’ on him.

Finally, Mal looked around at the rest of the crew.

No one said a word.

“Good. Glad we got that cleared up. We’ll be stayin’ in town. Got a nice little place there. Don’t care what or who you do with your time,” He looked back at Jayne, who smiled and folded his arms behind his head. “Just don’t get killed and don’t get caught.”


Thursday, October 27, 2005 3:47 PM


Great start. Poor Zoe having to break the sad news about Wash to his brother. I liked Jayne not liking the fact that things had changed. Gorramit, know how that feels. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, October 28, 2005 7:56 AM


maybe jayne thinks on things more than anyone knows...


Friday, October 28, 2005 11:42 PM



Me? A Seriously Unapologetic Rayne-shipper and I love them together (although Simon/Jayne and Mal/Jayne come close).

And OMG!

"There was another picture that slid into his brain. Another picture that made him shiver and came, unasked, at the worst times.

River. Standing, bodies at her feet, weapons at her sides. River, fighting, breaking jaws graceful as you please—long white limbs, weapons."

GMTA, I tell you what...cause I just posted a fic that addresses this VERY SAME MOMENT in the BDM!



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