Pieces: Ch 26-34.
Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Sometimes pieces fit, sometimes they don't and sometimes they can't be put back together. Third installment for the Joss_100. Jayne and Kaylee.


The third installment.

Comments: This starts out light and fluffy (and rated for parental guidance, kiddies, be warned, there's naughtiness ahead), but quickly degenerates into a big ball of BADNESS. I'm warning you now. Don't say you weren't told.

It wasn't me, in my defense, I have to say THE PROMPTS MADE ME DO IT!!! The prompts, not me. The prompts. Are we clear?

Disclaimer: Not mine. They all belong to people a lot richer, prettier and more successful than me.

Feedback: please comment, don't make me beg, or send me feedback:

Quick Links:

--> The first installment, ch 1-11 can be found here. --> The second installment, ch 12-25 can be found here.

--> Prompt set 2, the whole prompt table can be found here.


Prompt #026: Dark. Words: 889.


"Why are we here again?"

"Because there ain't nothin' to do, Captain." Kaylee said to the room. "And because River wanted all of us here."

"But why do all the lights have to be off?" His voice was almost a whine.

"Increases the possibility of hiding and challenges the seeker to a greater level."

"Is she kiddin'?" Jayne growled from somewhere off the left and Kaylee smiled even as she tried to see him. "She wants us to play hide and seek?"

"Mei mei, I don't think... Ow. Did you just poke me?"

"Play nice, Simon."

"Yeah Simon." Mal's voice teased. "Play nice."

"Mal?" Inara's voice sounded amused. "Why don't you play nice?"

"Sir? Who's steering the ship?"

"Autopilot and the tyrannosaurus rex." River's voice supplied seriously. "There are no perceivable structures in our vicinity for at least an hour."

"You had to ask, didn't you, Zoe?"

"Okay." Kaylee clapped her hands and her voice echoed off the walls of the cargo bay. "Rules are as follows: the bridge, engine room, crew quarters, kitchen, shuttles, infirmary and passenger dorms are out of bounds..."

"So, just this room, then?" Kaylee glared in the general direction of Jayne's voice.

"And actual cargo." Mal added. "I don't want anyone rummaging around the crates."

"Worried about the wobbly headed dolls, are we?"

"Dammit, Inara, they ain't wobbly headed dolls! And despite the games we seem to be playin', we still are a transport ship. Key word, transport, for which we don't get paid if the goods have all been meddled with and I don't think that 'it happened in a hot game of hide and...'"

"Okay, and... HIDE!" Kaylee yelled and ran.

"Wait!" Mal yelled back. "I wasn't finished. Who's seeking?"

Laughter as River's voice echoed back.


"Hey! That ain't fair!"



More silence.

She counted five steps before reaching out and feeling for the crate she knew should be there. Around her were the sounds of everyone else looking for somewhere to hide. A large, warm, calloused hand closed around her wrist and Kaylee gasped as she was pulled off to the side.


"Shh." He whispered it to her, mouth closer to her ear than she would have guessed. "Don't give us up just yet."

She felt him then, pressing up behind her as he pulled her into the space behind the crate. His breath made his chest rise up and down against her back and prickles rise on her neck.

Kaylee grinned.

"You all got about thirty seconds!" Mal's voice rang out.

Was she imagining it, or was his face leaning down closer to her neck? Kaylee kept still and tried not to moan out loud when Jayne's hand came around her waist, flattened on her belly and pulled her flush against him.

He was hard in all the right places.

This game of being patient was going to kill her. Jayne was a tease, plain and simple. There was nothing else to say about it. He had always found some excuse, some reason to stop her before they'd gone too far.

Kaylee was about ready to climb the walls with it.

Mal's footsteps got closer and she breathed in, tried to keep as quiet as she could. Not that Jayne was making it easy, she could just about feel his grin as the hand that held her belly began to move upwards, slowly tracing a pattern underneath her breasts.

"I'm gonna find you all."

A tongue, hot and wet, slid up from the line of her shoulder to just under her ear and Kaylee closed her eyes, shivered with it to stop herself making a sound as she pressed backwards.

"This is my ship, gorram it, and you can't hide forever."

She leaned her head back and he buried his face in her neck, his hand covering her breast and kneading it until she twisted with it, until she had to move or explode. Her hips ground back into his and she felt him jerk against her.

"Ha! I'd know that bulk anywhere, Jayne!"

They froze.

"I think I'm insulted, Sir."

"Zoe? That you?"

"Get your hand off me, Sir."

"Oh, um, sorry."

Kaylee shook with the giggles that flowed through her and she felt Jayne's other hand press up against her mouth. Her tongue flicked out and ran along the length of his fingers. He hissed into her ear.

Footsteps moved away

"There's a suspiciously soft lump over here."

"I resent that."

"Ha, Doc, Zoe found you, come help us look."

His fingers ran over her nipple and she tightened, felt herself shrink into the concentration of it as he began to roll it between his thumb and forefinger. God, she was almost writhing like a cat against him.

"And this, I believe..." Mal sounded very pleased with himself. "... is Miss Serra."

"You found me, Mal."

"Well, ya gotta insist on wearing that incense and perfume, don't ya?"

Kaylee moved her own hand down, around and between them so she could cup Jayne through his jeans. Yeah, but he must have been about as ready as she was.

"Kaylee." He moaned it soft into her neck.

"Shh." She all but moaned it back. "Don't give us up just yet."

"Don't worry." River's voice came only inches from their own. "They're nowhere near us right now."


Prompt #027: Light. Words: 336.


An alarm sounded, startling them all and, with it, came the automatic return of lights. Kaylee blinked into the sudden glare and felt herself blushing furiously as she caught sight of River standing close to her and Jayne.

Too close.

"What are you doing?" Jayne's voice was part anger, part embarrassment and an even larger part husk, and it wasn't helping Kaylee from cooling down the heat in her body. "You hafta be watchin' us like that?"

River gestured to herself against the wall and then them at the edge of the crate. She shrugged.

"You came in after me."

"River?" Mal yelled from the other side of the crate. "I thought you said we had an hour at least?"

The three of them scrambled out into the larger room and she felt everyone's eyes take in her flushed cheeks, the awkward stance of Jayne and, oh sweet Buddha on a bicycle, River's eyes were dilated and her breath was shallow.

Simon frowned.

"We did. It's not the proximity alarm." River told him. "It's the emergency beacon."

She headed up the stairs to the cockpit, followed by Mal and Zoe. Kaylee saw Jayne glare at Simon as he shouldered past.

"Gorram it, doc, you keep your sister in check, dong ma?" A few curse words. "Girl's runnin' riot on the ship."

Kaylee couldn't meet Simon's eyes as she followed the group up the stairs.

"I'm sorry." Simon's voice kept pace with them. "You wanted me to stop her hiding during a game of hide and seek?"

"Stop it!"

River's cry stopped them all as they crowded at the top of the stairs, her face was pinched as she looked at the switchboard, the screens locking on to the beacon that had caused the upset to start with.

Kaylee didn't know how, but she understood before anyone said anything. It was something in the way the pictures lit up, a little past sunlight, a little too orange, a little too void of people.

Just like last time.


Prompt #028: Shadow. Words: 375.


"C'mon." Jayne saw the look that River threw him and knew what it was. He reached out and took the crook of Zoe's arm. "I ain't askin'. C'mon."

It frightened him, just a little, how pliable she was, how little she resisted them as he and Kaylee took her away from the bridge. Took her away from the pictures that were about to become a whole lot clearer.

Her face was smooth now, calm, but he'd seen the shadow that passed over it the instant she'd realized what had happened, the sliver of pain that had crossed over her features.


Zoe's voice was distant, so very far away, as if she wasn't even in the room with them anymore. He looked over and saw the bright of Kaylee's eyes dim a little. She looked upset all over again and he didn't know what to do, didn't know how to make it better for either of them.

"Yeah." It might not be the most comforting thing, but he'd never been one to lie. "Looks like."

They sat down at the kitchen table.

"Looked like they been and gone." Kaylee said as she reached out and patted Zoe's hand. "Cap'n won't need to even stop. Nothin' we can do, anyway."

He wondered if Zoe had even felt it, she hadn't moved, hadn't even blinked. Something hurt to hear Kaylee say those words, made him ache somethin' fierce. She couldn't believe them, not Kaylee, she wouldn't ever say that.

She was supposed to be the one championing them all into savin' the day and bein' heroes, she wasn't ever supposed to be the one slinkin' off to hide. It wasn't her way.

Just as he looked up to her, he saw her looking away, saw a flush spread on her neck. He looked hard, Jayne looked real hard until he found it.

It was there, in the way she didn't even look at him, but kept her eyes on Zoe, worried and wantin' the whole thing to be over for her. As he watched, he saw a tear hover in the corner of her eye. There, that was Kaylee, sayin' or doin' whatever it took to make someone else feel better.

Even if it was just him.


Prompt #029: Space. Words: 381.


He heard a footfall behind him and cursed her before he even heard her speak.


"Gorram it, Kaylee." He shuffled Vera into his left hand and pulled her into him with the other. They kept walking, his back to her chest, feet moving in tandem, his whole body shielding her as they moved. "I told you to stay aboard with the others."

"They're gone." But she kept her voice quiet, just like he'd done, small and breathy. "There ain't nothin' here but bodies now."

Maybe he held her tighter than necessary.

"They ain't never gone." He kept his eyes peeled, looked at the empty streets, left and right gave him no signs but struggles already fought and lost. "Gorram reavers, they ain't never gone."

As if to prove his point, a roar came from off to the right, followed by gunfire. By the sounds of it, it was Mal's semi auto, a fine piece if ever there was one. Jayne didn't waste any time, he dragged her off to the side and into a small doorway.

"Tamade." And now it weren't even fair, 'cause usually he woulda just ran off after the noise, but now he couldn't leave, he couldn't just leave her here. "Don't you dare make any noise."

She was shaking in his arms.

More gunfire and a scream from somewhere and he saw her bite her lip. Hard.

"It's okay." He whispered it softly. "I got you."

"But the others..."

She felt like she was trying to stop herself going out after them and he tightened his grip.

"Mal an' Simon'll be fine. Zoe, Inara an' River are locked up on the ship where you're supposed to be."

He couldn't breathe, there was no gorram room in this little closet or cupboard or whatever the hell it was.

"Shouldn't you...?"

He stopped her question with a finger on her lips. Yes, yes he should.

"I ain't leavin' you."

It was only three hours ago that they'd been playin' in the cargo bay, all pressed up together and now they were here and things couldn't be any more different.

"Sorry." She was near hysterics now. "I'm sorry, Jayne."

Jayne pressed harder on her lips.


As long as she didn't cry, as long as she didn't gorram cry.


Prompt #030: Coffin. Words: 451.


Kaylee didn't know how long they'd been there, it felt like forever, but it couldn't have been longer than twenty minutes. They'd stopped talking a long time ago and just breathed against each other.

"Jayne?" The com in his ear crackled at them both. "Where in the Sam Hell are you?"

"I'm here, Mal."

"Coast is clear." There was a pause and Mal sighed. "Kaylee's gone missing."

"She's with me."

They both breathed easier, the relief washed over them with Mal's curses. She felt light headed and dizzy. Neither of them paid attention to Mal's anger as Jayne opened the door and they both blinked in the haze of smoke.

"I thought I told you not to leave the ship?"

She heard Mal's voice get closer and thought she felt the reverberations of his footsteps, even though that would have been impossible. There was no way she could feel people walking through the dust, through the crackle of flames burning buildings everywhere she couldn't look.

"Are you okay?" Simon's voice now. "Is everyone okay?"

"Kaylee what the hell were you thinking?"

Mal sounded so angry and she didn't blame him.

"Leave her alone, Mal, she knows she did wrong."

"And what the hell were you doin' hiding away, Jayne?" God, they sounded angry, they'd probably look it, too. If she could turn her head to face any of them. "Didn't you hear us fightin' out here?"

She thought maybe the cries she heard were in her own head, soft keening and moaning and a small voice saying the word 'no' over and over again.

"Kaylee?" It was Jayne near her now, hand on her shoulder, hovering over her waist, trying to see if she was okay. "Kaylee what's wrong? You ain't hurt none, are you?"

That was when she realized it was her making the sounds.

"Oh, Jesus." Simon's voice.

"Come on." Jayne tried to pull her away. "Kaylee? It ain't nothin', do you hear me?"

There were red footprints in the dust, how could that be nothing?

"Mei mei." Mal now. "Let's go back to the ship."

"We need to help them." She whispered it, tried to pull out of their grasps. "We can't leave them here."

"There ain't nothin' we can do." Jayne again, pulling her away harder now, not taking no for an answer. "You were right, there ain't no Reavers left, there ain't nothin' here but dead bodies."

But Kaylee couldn't take her eyes off them, couldn't stop looking through the open door at the bloody masses that had been pressed up against the wall next to her and Jayne for those twenty minutes.

Or the small red shoe prints that led right up to her feet.


Prompt #031: Parent. Words: 365.


"It's dead, girl, don't touch it."

He frowned as the tiny little hand hovered over the still warm mass lying by the side of the road before drawing back. Her small face turned up to look at him, her usually rosy cheeks were pale and her eyes shone a little too brightly.

"But Daddy, we can't leave him here."

"We can't exactly take it home with us, either." He sighed and laid a hand on her shoulder, gently pulling her up to a standing position. "He's dead now, we can't do nothin' for him."

"But he's the Adderson's cat! I know it. They'll be lookin' for him."

"We'll tell 'em on the way. 'Bout as much as we can do." They kept walking and he felt her reluctance to move in the slow steps she took. "Come on, your mother's waiting."

"I just saw him yesterday." She sniffled a little. "He was tryin' to get fish outta the pond again and I yelled at him. Told him to scat. Now he's dead."

"Everything dies, girl."

He thought about the way she loved every little thing, the way she even loved the things that weren't living, she had a way about her. Everyone said the 'Verse was hard, they said it was barely scraping a living and you were lucky if you could. They said that one day, eventually, the 'Verse would eat you up just like it ate everyone.

And spit you out bitter and jaded.

They spoke in soft whispers about Earth that Was, about how life was so easy and so comfortable and no one wanted for any little thing, people only had to think on something and it was theirs that very day, that no one ever got sick and no one ever died young.

He didn't believe a word of it. There was no such thing as a world where people didn't die, no such thing as a world with no struggle and no fighting and nothing ugly. Things had to be a little ugly sometimes, just a little bit dark, so you could always appreciate the good things when they came.

"You can't be living if you don't die, Kaylee."


Prompt #032: Child. Words: 291.


There was a rocking chair on their porch and he loved to sit in it, to let the cushion of it swallow him up so that his legs dangled. He was counting down the days until his feet could reach the ground and he could set the thing creaking back and forth.

Just like his Pa.

His Pa was the best man ever, he knew it, and he wanted to be just like him. A big bear who could lift him up and toss him about until his Ma yelled at them to stop foolin' around and get on with the chores. A man who could do any job that was ever given him and come up smiling.

He was the strongest man in the whole 'Verse.

"Pa?" But something was wrong now. "Pa, are you crying?"

The chair creaked in the moonlight.

"Yeah, son, I think I might be."

"But... but..." He swallowed as he came around to stand in front of the man. "But big boys don't ever cry. You told me that."

"If they're real big, son, then sometimes they do."

He was a big boy, he must be, 'cause he felt his own chin wobbling then.

"I don't wanna cry." He jutted his lip out to stop himself doing just that. "I ain't gonna cry."

"Well, then." His father patted him on the shoulder. "You'd be the better one to go in and see your Ma. You stay strong for her, okay?"

"She's real sad. She ain't stopped crying, either."

"Then you best go in there and make her smile. If anyone can, it'd be you."

"We didn't need a new baby, anyway, Pa." All he wanted was things to be right again. "We still got Mattie."


Prompt #033: Blood. Words: 373.


Kaylee poured the steaming kettle into the small tub, watched the water swirl and foam with suds. She carried it to the table carefully, set it down just so, and picked up the small scrubbing brush that lay there.

The water was hot, not too hot, but hot enough to make her hands pink, to make the skin on them shrink in and tighten, to sting just a little. It wasn't an unwelcome sensation.

The bristles scraped across the leather slowly at first and she gritted her teeth as she pressed harder, moved faster, until little specks of water flew out over the table.

She heard a swish of movement behind her and felt a soft hand slide across the back of her neck and across her shoulders. Her head bent back with it, into the feel of it.

A flash of green caught her eye as River sat down next to her and bunched some material on the table. Her small hand reached out and dipped another scrubbing brush into the water.

Kaylee eyed the fabric that River stretched out in her fingers. It was burned into her memory, she figured it was burned into all their memories. River had only worn the dress once and that was months ago. She was sure she'd have recognized it if the girl had worn it again.

"It doesn't come out." River said quietly. "I tried."

It was slow, almost a caress, the loving way in which River drew the bristles of the brush against the faded patch on the dress. The faded patch on a dress worn only once.

"There's nothing there, sweetie."

They looked at each other and Kaylee almost shivered. She remembered the fluid impenetrable stance of River standing there in a room full of bodies, holding weapons that looked too big for her to carry let alone wield with any finesse.

"I know what you're doing, River."

Her hand closed over River's and stopped the movement. River looked at her and smiled sadly.

"Then you know what you're doing, too, Kaylee."

Kaylee watched as River stood up and walked away, leaving her with nothing but a dress worn thin with futile scrubbing and a boot that had once left bloody prints.


Prompt #034: Rebirth. Words: 391.


He wasn’t sure where he’d find her, but he sure wasn’t expecting it to be the cargo bay, crowding around the door with River as the two of them peered through the window.

“What are you doin’? We’re about to leave atmo.”

The sooner the gorram better, Jayne thought. Weren’t barely anyone found alive and he wasn’t even sure if those that had lived would be alright. A whole town gone. A whole town.

“That’s why we’re here.” Kaylee turned to look at him and he saw the hint of a glow in her eyes as she waved him over and that made him happy. “Come look, Jayne.”

“What?” He made his way over and felt Kaylee’s hand on his back. “What’re we lookin’ at?”

“Symbols.” River told him.

The airlock was open slightly and it bought back memories Jayne wasn’t too keen on bringing back, but that wasn’t what they were watching. He saw it, a bunch of material fluttering frantically in the vacuum, tied to the ship.

“Hey, River, ain’t that your dress?” They giggled. The girls actually giggled. “But that’s gonna catch fire the second we break atmo.”

“Yup.” Kaylee sounded so pleased with herself. “S’what we’re waiting for.”

“What’re those things?”

“Boot laces.” River answered. “More symbols.”


Kaylee nudged him with her hip.

“Well, it ain’t like I can afford to burn up my boots, is it?”

“No.” Jayne felt confused and, mostly, when he felt this way, it was just easier to let things go. “Guess not.”

They felt the shudder of the ship and saw the burst of flames. It felt to Jayne like there was a rush of air that passed between them. Her fingers twitched on the skin of his back.

“Here.” Kaylee pressed the remote into his hand. “Press the button.”

“What?” He looked down at it. “I don’t know if I wanna.”

“Just do it!”

So he did. A figure fell forward from the door and Jayne watched it burst into flames with the dress, the two of them doing what looked like a particularly macabre dance.

“What in the gorram hell is that?”

“A reaver!” Kaylee answered as River giggled again. “Oh, don’t worry, it ain’t real. We made it outta junk that’s been lyin’ about too long.”

“But!” Jayne pressed his nose to the window. “That’s my shirt!”



Tuesday, December 6, 2005 6:51 PM



That's his shirt!!!!! I want it!

I like how River and Kaylee found a way to deal with their scars. Beautiful and haunting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 8:49 PM


I gotta say, I love silly Jacqui. Part 26 (FOUND) was one of the most entertaining things I've ever read on this site, and it would have been a great little vignette fic even on its own.

The dark, tormented stuff was incredibly well-written and packed with character insight. But... what can I say? I love silly Jacqui.

Also - I'm not sure I get the whole regimented, Joss 100/prompt/word-count thing, but it looks ambitious enough that I marvel at the sheer scope of what you're doing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 11:00 PM


This just keeps getting better and better: veering from light to dark, and touching on all the shades in between without a single character line going astray.

I especially liked River mentioning the Tyrannosaurus Rex flying the ship, and then her hiding out with Jayne and Kaylee. When she spoke up in the middle of all that sexy tension, it just about killed me.

Also, "That's my shirt!" Classic Jayne one-liner. ;P

You're so very good at this. And it's got to be hard to maintain momentum, but keep flying. I'm holding out for the whole 100.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 3:20 AM


This is wonderful. All the characters sound real. I love the tyrannosaurus sharing the flying with the autopilot.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 6:51 AM


These are marvelous! You do an awesome job capturing each characters voice and motivation. I especially like #27: "I'm sorry." Simon's voice kept pace with them. "You wanted me to stop her hiding during a game of hide and seek?"

Not sure I could write to prompts. More power to you! You go girl! Looking forward to the next set.

"I love my captain."

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 10:02 AM


Nobody does this better. Ebb and flow and humor and sex and fear all making a stew that fills us up but leaves us wanting more.

Fave line: "He was hard in all the right places." but that alone wouldn't make me a Jacqui addict. It's the frame and backdrop for Jayne and the rest that makes me wish each of your fics'd never end. Loved the Kaylee & Jayne kid flashbacks. Lovely.

The ending, with our 2 girls so cleverly ritually ending their combined fears, and strong swai Jayne showing up and doing the honors (his poor shirt, lol). Sigh. All my thoughts are gone, lost in your fic.

Need more. Please write more.


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The Best Deceptions: Ch 9
The crew of Serenity touch down on Kaylee's home planet. Hi-larity ensues. Jayne/Kaylee.

Something From Nothing 12/12.
FINAL in the series. Kaylee Frye is out of time.

Something From Nothing 11/?
Sometimes you... oh, you all know what it's about. James. Kaylee. The horror, the angst...

Something From Nothing 10/?
Sometimes all you can do is make the best of a bad situation, sometimes you find you're better for it.

Something From Nothing 9/?
Sometimes all you can do is make the best of a bad situation, sometimes you find you're better for it.

Something From Nothing 8/?
More story, more backstory, the usual...

Something From Nothing 7/?
James talks some more, maybe his parents can learn from his example?

Something From Nothing 6/?
Nightmares, truths and comfort, oh my.

Something From Nothing 5/?
A little confrontation, a lot of truth, the usual.

Something From Nothing 4/?
Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation and, sometimes, you find you're better off for it.