BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JACQUI

Pieces: Ch 51-63.
Friday, January 6, 2006

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


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2535    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

The fifth installment.

The whole table of prompts I have to follow can be found here. And the previous installments can be found: one, two, three and four.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Joss'.

Feedback: Oh, you know I want it, baybee. Comment (*please*) or send an email: wily_one24@yahoo.com.au

Comment: NC-17, just so you know. Some of these prompts get *naughty*, so avert your eyes young ones.

And, onto the fic...

***

***

Prompt #051: Destruction. Word Count: 196.

SAYING GOODBYE.

"I can't watch."

"You want this or not?" Kaylee sighed. "Last chance to say no."

She couldn't help it, his bottom lip just pouted out and it was too tempting not to reach out and touch it. Soft, soft lip, surrounded by thick, bristly whiskers. He kept his eyes screwed shut.

"Do it." But he was already wincing and she hadn't even begun yet. "I said so, didn't I? Just... I can't watch."

"Okay then. Here goes."

She reached her hand out.

"Wait!"

"Come on, Jayne." She sighed. "This was your idea. Yay or nay?"

"Um..." For a second he sounded as if he might change his mind and she kinda expected him to. "Okay, I'm ready, I can take it. Go on."

"We don't have to do it, you know."

"Yeah." He opened his eyes and smiled at her, just about melting her heart. "We do."

Then he clamped them shut again.

"One." She reached out and he didn't move.

"Two." She hooked her fingers behind it. He still didn't move.

"Three!"

The paper ripped easily as she tore it from the wall and soon his bunk was littered with scraps of half naked ladies.

***

Prompt #052: Apocalypse. Word Count: 230.

GLASS.

"Oh god. Oh god." Kaylee pressed herself into the corner. "We're going to die here."

"It probably won't come to that, mei mei." Inara reached out and pulled a table off balance to cover them both. "But just in case."

A loud thump was heard and they both looked up to the right to see a man land against the wall and slide down it, groaning and bloody. There was a lot of yelling and screaming and Kaylee couldn't decipher whose was whose.

She pointed to an inert form lying across the room.

"That poor man. He didn't do nothin'. Just said hello."

Inara smiled.

"Kaylee." She said softly, as softly as she could in the melee. "There's 'hello' and then there's 'hello'. Jayne's reaction may have been... excessive, but it wasn't unfounded."

A shower of glass rained down on top of them.

"But I wasn't gonna do nothin'!"

"You didn't have to." Inara sighed as she picked a shard from her hair. "Point is, Jayne told him to move on and he didn't."

"Hey." Mal's head appeared over the table. "You girls okay back there?"

"Just fine." Inara answered breezily. "Dandy as a matter of fact."

"Good, that's goo..."

And then he was gone, dragged back into the fight.

"Stupid men." Kaylee grumbled. "An' we was having so much fun."

Inara smiled again.

"Get used to it, mei mei."

***

Prompt #053: Faded. Word Count: 411.

BUTTERFLIES.

"Hey." He slid his hand over her waist and down to her rump. "What'cha doin'?"

"Nothin'." She sighed back.

It didn't look like nothing to Jayne. A person didn't stand in front of the door to their bunk and just stare at it for no good reason. 'Course, strictly speaking, she wasn't doing much of anything else.

"You stopped on your way in or your way out?" He pulled her closer to him, hip to hip. "Or don't you remember?"

That earned a smile.

"I was just thinking." And her eyed drifted up to the nameplate on her door before falling away again. "So many things've changed lately."

Yeah, he couldn't argue that. He just wondered which lately she was talking about. Was she thinking on Wash and Book and the whole business with Miranda, or after that, with Simon? Or just in general?

Either way, his eyes traced the color of her name, the butterflies and flowers and leaves that decorated it. He remembered when he first came on board and saw it, thought maybe she was a bit simple. A grown woman who still had kids' paintings on her walls.

Didn't take him long, not long at all, to realize that it was one of things that made her so special. The way she took delight in every little thing, even and especially the little things. Little touches that spread all over the ship and made it more than that, made it livable, made it like a home.

He'd spent more than enough time thinking over this very piece of wood, imagining that the sunlight and butterflies and all that other girly stuff was exactly what she'd been surrounded by as a kid.

Only, back then, the colors had stood out more, had all but screamed at a man when he left his bunk across the hall. Now he realized that some of the letters of her name had seen better days and the vines were kinda broken up unless you squinted and made your eyes blurry.

Jayne reached out to run his hand over the wood and surprised even himself by hooking his fingers under it and lifting it off the door.

"Guess this needs to be spruced up a little, hey?"

Something flickered over her face and he placed his free hand under her chin so that she looked up at him.

"You leave it to me, okay? I got something that'll make it brand new again."

***

Prompt #054: Colorless. Word Count: 454.

PINK AND WHITE.

"Quit it."

Kaylee smiled to herself, a wicked kind of smile that usually drove him crazy. She figured she had five good minutes before his temper broke or he threw the cloth and holster down and picked her up.

She kinda hoped it would be the second one.

Slipping her hand under his arm, her fingers found the soft, sensitive skin of his stomach and she drew lazy circles on his skin. Her eyes followed the small, miniscule bumps she left behind and that alone told her it would most likely be the second option.

"C'mon, quit it." He grumbled again. "I gotta do this, you know that. We're out on a job again first thing."

It wasn't like she could help herself. He was just too beautiful not to explore. Not that it could, technically, be called exploring anymore. It was more like covering old ground by now. Still, she wasn't about to stop.

Kaylee lay on her back on his bed, one arm up under her head as she watched him sitting there, cleaning his weapons and various accoutrements. She liked watching him do it, liked watching his big hands as they skillfully twisted and turned the proper switches and dials of the guns, deftly swiped the blades of his knives, the knowing way he handled his belongings.

Sometimes she liked it a little too much.

And sometimes she got a mite bored. Like now, when her hand continued to wander. A grin spread over her face as she traced her fingernail around his nipple, letting the nail scrape lightly over the flesh.

His mouth twitched.

He knew what was coming, he had to. She'd done it often enough. Waited until the small, dusky pink of it hardened under her fingers, waited until the skin around it puckered and grew taut. Then she took it between her thumb and forefinger, squeezing and pulling at the same time.

The pink flooded out of the tip, even as she watched, the color was bled away and he groaned a little. Kaylee kept her eyes focused on her task as she let go to see the small white mound of it contrasted against the bronze of the rest of him.

Quickly, all too quickly, the color returned, blood flowing back to the spaces she'd left behind.

She couldn't be certain, but Kaylee was fairly sure that he hurried through the rest of his weapons care more than he'd usually like. More than was strictly called for.

Not that it mattered when he turned with a growl to snarl down at her and she blinked lazily up at him. That was usually all it took, that half hooded gaze and a waiting smile on her face.

***

Prompt #055: Colorful. Word Count: 470.

RAINBOW.

He loved the way it seemed to start at her mouth. Big and swollen and slick after he kissed them, bright red and flushed as she panted up at him. The color sliding over her cheeks and down her neck.

His eyes would follow the path of it, the flush that spread all down her face and neck, over her shoulders and between her breasts as he leaned down and nuzzled her here, there and everywhere.

Red paths and, if he hadn't shaved, the small scratches that burned red hot until his tongue soothed them, wet mouth hungrily sucking at the salt that edged her skin.

Jayne could drown in the way her eyes would darken, her pupils going real wide as he knelt over her and she gasped. The specks in them would shift from blue to green to hazel and back again until he couldn't quite remember what color her eyes really were.

She blushed all the way down her body, the curves of her belly and hips turning pink as he made his way down, his hands coming around to cup her ass and grip her thighs.

Even the soft silk of her inner thighs grew hot against his own skin, heated by the swift brushes of his fingers, the gentle touches that quickly grew faster and harder and more desperate until, sometimes, he thought he might bruise her.

Kaylee's skin was resilient against any and all forms of abuse she suffered at the merciless hands of the engine, but when he planted his mouth on her soft underbelly and sucked hard, he always left the most fascinating colors. Purples and greens and dark blues that faded over days and days.

All of it, the pinks and flushes that raced over the hills and valleys of her body, that his eyes drank in when he crawled down her skin, none of it ever reached the slick wetness of her.

The point where the colors blurred and all that matters was the way she moaned out his name as he pumped his fingers in and out, slow and grinding at first until her breathing grew deep and needy and he knew to speed it up. Felt in the twist of her hips under him, in the push of her body up to meet him, in the tremble of her, the slow, needy keen of her voice.

Then he'd retrace his steps, kissing her red and flushed skin all the way back up as she clawed at him, as her hands grasped his shoulders and pulled him back up.

Just so his eyes could meet hers as he pushed into her again, ground his hips down, hard. All fast and hard and red hot need and the two of them moaning it out as hard as they knew how.

***

Prompt #056: Black. Word Count: 787.

CHECKER BOARD.

There were three people left on board and the ship stretched out into an infinity of space between them. The planet wasn't safe, Captain had said, they were too well known and Serenity stuck out like a sore thumb. So he'd taken Zoe and Jayne on one shuttle and Inara was already off to see a client in hers.

And Kaylee was left floating just outside atmo, staring out the window into the great expanse of black nothingness, trying to make sense out of the maze of stars. Sense, perhaps, or just a form of distraction.

Something to stop her worrying about Jayne, 'cause her worry took her to places she didn't like. Didn't want to think on. Places where he wouldn't, couldn't come back from.

"Too dangerous." She grumped, 'cause stubborn anger was easier than fretting uselessly. "Yeah, too gorram dangerous. That's why they left their greatest weapon here."

Her voice sounded mean, even to her, but she wasn't too worried. The meaning behind the words wasn't, not spiteful mean, anyway. And the meaning always got through.

"There's danger in recognition, still." River sighed from her pilot's chair across the terminal. "I'd be more hindrance than help."

There was a wistful note to River's voice and a coiled nervousness in the way she tapped her fingernails on the console that made Kaylee wonder whether or not she liked the more dangerous jobs.

River was like that, sometimes, simple as black and white, just like Jayne. 'Cause, sometimes, when it had been quiet for a spell and things had been going too well, Kaylee noticed the same taut tension in them both. It came out in different ways, sure, but it meant the same thing. That both of them were spoiling for release, quivering like an arrow pulled tight in a bow and never allowed to fly to the target.

And the rule was, Jayne told her once when she'd asked him about it, that the longer the quiet spell the harder the crash when it hit.

Even as she watched, River rolled her neck so that she could flash her a secret grin.

"Just as well." They shared a smile before turning to face the door. "I don't want you down there."

"Not now, Simon."

A bored sigh and Kaylee picked up on the signs of River's elastic stretching even tighter, thinning out taut and ready to snap.

"It's about time Mal saw reason." Apparently, Simon didn't notice the same signs. "He doesn't need to take you all the time."

She watched River set him with a glare she figured had been given many times before.

"Leave her be, Simon." Kaylee couldn't help but add.

"It's not me." River waved a hand towards her, but she didn't take her eyes off her brother. "He's picking a fight, but not the fight he wants. It's okay."

"No, it's not okay." Maybe she shouldn't have stood up to face him, to take up a fight that wasn't even hers to begin with, that had obviously started a long time ago for the two people involved. "River's not a kid, Simon. Ain't no one here a kid. Mal don't force her to go anywhere. She chooses. And if she wants to go, let her go."

"Kaylee..." River stood up, too.

"Oh, of course." She flinched at the withering scald of his voice as he flashed his dark eyes to her. "I forgot. Kaylee the defender of all is here. What's the matter? Are there no small puppies to save? Sunshine to savor?"

"Simon!" River all but yelled the words. "Stop it!"

"I mean, of course you'd jump in." Just like her own words of before, they might have sounded mean. In fact, they sounded down right cruel, but Kaylee knew enough to hear the crack in his voice. "What else is there to do? Now that your life is so perfect..."

"We're back to this, are we?" She sighed, feeling tired all of a sudden. "I thought..."

"Yeah." He sounded tired, too, deflating even as she glared at him. "I thought so, too."

It was an ache in her head. A growing knot of pulsing tension that pounded in wait, counting down agonizingly slowly until she feared the eventual explosion. In front of her, a million stars taunted her with their simplicity.

Out there, it was a checker board of black and white, there were no grays and slippery slopes of hidden meanings and thoughts that grew into others and snide remarks that told more with what they didn't say out loud than what they did.

Kaylee wanted Jayne back on board. He was simple like the stars. She was simple when she was with him.

Black and white.

***

Prompt #057: White. Word Count: 815.

PANACEA.

"Well." Mal's voice was smug as they stumbled into the shuttle. "That job was well done."

"Oh." So was Zoe's. "Absolutely, Sir."

"Shut up." Jayne managed. "The two of ye, just shut up and fly."

They were grinning, they were gorram grinning at each other and he was just so glad to be the source of their amusement. Stupid gorram planet. Stupid rutting plan.

As if Mal's plan's ever worked.

He sat back on the seat, letting his head rest against the wall as he closed his eyes and then tried to close them even tighter until he saw red. Maybe if he thought on Kaylee, he could just block his mind, stop picturing those...

Gorram it.

Back to Kaylee. Yeah, but she was good for the soul. Always was. Girl was a ruttin' panacea. That was a good word. He'd heard the doc say it and looked it up on the little encyclopedia screen.

Cure All. Universal Remedy. Solution. Yeah, that about summed her up. Magic Potion. Those were the words that stuck in his head as relating to Kaylee. She was nothin' short of a magic potion when he needed it.

The red behind his eyes slowly bled away to a white. Shining white, kinda like Kaylee, so bright it was almost painful. Just the way he liked it.

"You comfortable back there?" Mal shot back over his shoulder.

"Fly. The. Ruttin'. Shuttle." Jayne gritted through his teeth.

"Serenity?" He heard Zoe's soft voice and he wondered if she knew her voice still cracked a little when she did that, called through the com and didn't get Wash answering her back. "You ready? We're close."

"Hey!" Kaylee's voice came through, bright and cheerful. "We're all set to go. 'Nara got back half an hour ago. Soon as you're set, we're off. We get paid?"

They were laughin'. He could hear it. Jayne cracked open an eye and glared.

"Yeah." Hell, Mal was pretty damn near close to giggling. "Yeah, we got paid."

"What?" Kaylee asked, managing to sound both relieved and interested all at once. "What's so funny?"

"Jayne will tell you when we get there." Zoe added.

"No he ruttin' won't." Jayne said.

"Sore and damaged." River's voice came over the com and Jayne groaned, even as Mal and Zoe laughed harder. "Hit like a rock."

"What?" Kaylee sounded worried again. "What's wrong with Jayne?"

"Nothin's wrong." He leant forward so she could hear him better. "I'm just fine, Kaylee."

"Bits got bruised." River just had to add.

The fun lovin' twins couldn't stop laughin'.

"Tell me!" Kaylee demanded and even Jayne could hear the strain in her voice which said she was close to bein' angry at them all.

"We, uh..." Mal paused to take a breath. "We had our meet up in a field."

"Things got a mite..." Zoe paused, too, and Jayne could see the word coming a mile off. "... woolly."

"Oh, ha ha." He glared. "Those men were fixin' to take off without payin' us."

"But they did pay?" Kaylee stated the obvious.

"Yeah." Mal answered. "But only 'cause they were laughin' so hard they dropped the money."

"Hell." Zoe managed to get a hold on her laughter. Barely. "I was laughin' so hard I dropped my gun."

She had, too, that was the worst thing. 'Cause Jayne knew that Zoe never let her guard down when they was on a job.

"I went for my gun." Jayne knew the only way to get over it, would be to get the story done as quick as possible. "But it jammed in the holster."

He didn't mention nothin' about how he hadn't finished cleaning it proper the night before. He figured Kaylee could come up with that on her own.

"Shoulda seen him, mei mei." Mal sighed through the last of his giggles. "Big grown man, stumblin' round in circles, trying to get his gun out. Makin' such a ruckus that he got some unwanted attention."

Gorram it. That started the two of 'em off again and he could hear River laughing over the com, too.

"Stupid gorram sheep." Jayne muttered. "Had no business with me."

"Thing butted in." Mal was enjoying this too much. "Twice!"

"But...?" Kaylee sounded as if she'd missed the punch line.

"Bits got bruised." River explained softly.

"Oh!" And then Kaylee sounded as if she was tryin' not to laugh. "Oh, Jayne! Are you alright?"

"Just great. Bloody brilliant." He sighed and then glared at Mal and Zoe again. "I'm just gonna let the two of you get shot next time."

The com connection fizzled out, but not before he heard the peals of laughter on the other end. Jayne closed his eyes again and bit through the pain. It wasn't as easy to block it out thinkin' on Kaylee anymore.

His bright white panacea had just gone and laughed at his pain.

***

Prompt #058: Sunshine. Word Count: 403.

NAG.

"So... um...?" Jayne coughed. "Will you?"

At that moment, he couldn't think of anything more uncomfortable. Even his teeth itched. The skin on top of his scalp crawled and he nervously scratched the back of his left hand with his right.

Dark brown eyes watched him, all seriousness and calculation, brown hair hanging straight down and he never really knew how she kept it from flying all over the place. The silence stretched out and he considered just forgetting the whole thing.

Nope. Couldn't do that. He'd promised.

Jayne put his best begging face on, all wide eyes and pouched bottom lip.

"Yes." River nodded, face cracking into a wide smile. "I think I will."

"Good." He could breathe suddenly. "'Cause I got lots of ideas. You could..."

Her smile disappeared, replaced with a predatory scowl, her eyes turning cold. He stopped speaking, letting his voice trail off into the air.

"I will do it." Crisp words, spoken calmly as her hand closed over the package and slowly drew it across the table towards her and away from him. "Me."

"But..." She warned him off with another scowl. "Aw, c'mon River."

"Trust." One simple word, bitten out like a challenge. "I know how to do it."

"Yeah." Somehow, his voice didn't sound anywhere near as sure as hers. "Okay."

She was happy again, or so it seemed to Jayne, and went back to her breakfast. He shifted on his feet, unsure of what to do or where to go. Or even how long to wait. He wanted to know.

"Will you...?"

"Yes." She answered.

"And the color...?"

"Yes." Didn't even look up at him.

"Don't forget..."

"Of course not."

She was starting to sound tetchy.

"Okay, then." He wiped his hands down the side of his pants and breathed in. He couldn't stop himself blurting out the next few words. "And lots of yellow like the sun!"

That done, he turned to leave. It probably didn't even need to be said, she'd probably known all along, better than him even, exactly how to make it perfect. For some reason, though, he had to add something, had to speak the last few words.

"I know!" Her voice cracked with frustration and he turned to see an expression on her face that she'd only ever used with Simon before, when he was being a right pain in the ass. "Now leave me alone. Go. Go on. Shoo."

***

Prompt #059: Puppet. Word Count: 539.

THE COUNSEL.

A door above them slammed and Kaylee smiled as she looked up from the various engine parts she had spread on an old sheet in the cargo bay. At this point, there was probably more grease on her than there was anywhere else, but considering that was the whole point of cleaning said parts, she didn't mind.

"Hey Cap'n." She could see him brace himself for the onslaught of her cheerfulness and it only made her double her efforts with an extra wide grin. "Inara throw you out again?"

"She didn't..." He paused. "There may have been words."

His hand came out as he reached the bottom of the stairs and she ducked her head into the caress. A slight cough sounded from the weight bench behind them.

"Careful Mal." Jayne clicked the barbell back into place and sat up. "She's spoken for."

Kaylee laughed as Mal pantomimed springing his hand back as if burned.

"Was about to ask you why you were camped out here when had work to do." Mal folded his legs in underneath him as he sat down next to her and gestured back at Jayne. "Now I see what the appeal is."

"It's called spending time, Captain." She corrected with a pretend frown. "You oughtta try it some time."

"Yeah." Jayne added. "Then maybe Inara might now throw you out so much."

"She didn't..." He scowled and set his shoulders. "Woman's free to do whatever she wants."

"You're not fooling anyone." She teased. "We know."

"Right." Mal huffed. "You're getting worse than River with the knowing."

"I'd be careful if I were you." Jayne warned. "That girl'll hear you all the way across the ship. And she can kill you with her brain."

Kaylee giggled as Mal sighed.

"She can do no such thing."

"Yes I can." River's face popped out from over the gangway above them. "They're right. Listen to them."

It was a smug grin that greeted Mal when he looked back to Kaylee and sighed.

"Fine." His words might have agreed, but his voice still sounded stubborn and unrelenting. "Since you two are, apparently, our shipboard gurus and life coaches, what am I supposed to do?"

"Stop bein' such a hundan." Was Jayne's very helpful suggestion. "Tell her she looks real pretty. Girls like that."

"Yes, they do." Kaylee sent a smile his way as she nodded. "And tell her you like her dress. Inara has some real fine dresses."

"Stop callin' her a whore. Girls don't like that."

"Really?" Mal arched his brows at Jayne. "Is that so?"

"An' stop bein' so sarcastic." Kaylee added as she swatted his arm. "It wouldn't hurt you to be serious for once."

"You could always get her somethin' nice." Jayne paused. "If you had money, that is."

"Just to make this clear." Mal asked. "You're telling me... and not that this is an admission that there's anything to help me with or that I would need help with it if there was... that I should just be someone completely opposite as to who I am?"

"Yes." Beamed Kaylee.

"Should do it." Agreed Jayne.

"Or..." Kaylee nudged him. "You could just tell her the truth."

Mal's eyes widened.

"Tell her she looks pretty, huh?"

***

Prompt #060: Birthday. Word Count: 649.

SURPRISE.

"What are you doing?"

Jayne grinned and kept his hand wrapped around her head.

"Takin' you to dinner. What else would I be doin'?"

"Then why can't I see?" She whined. "What're you up to?"

"Nearly there. Lift your foot, there's a step." He guided her into the kitchen, nodding across the room at Mal standing by the light switch. His hand fell away from her eyes, but his other hand stayed at the small of her back. "Surprise!"

Kaylee blinked in the sudden light and sound as everyone yelled.

"What?" Her eyes lit up and she turned to Jayne. "What surprise?"

He gestured at the colored paper that crossed the room and dangled from the ceiling. There were packages sitting on the table that were wrapped in more of the colored paper. And a cake.

"It says Happy Birthday on the sign, don't it?"

"Yeah, but," She turned to him with a confused furrow in her brow. "Jayne, it ain't my birthday."

"This has gotta be a real surprise, then." He kissed the top of her head. "It musta been once, right? I figure we missed it in all the muddle a few months back. We went to all this trouble, so just you enjoy it."

He watched as she turned back to everyone with a glowing face. He'd known it wouldn't take long for her to just go with it. Kaylee wasn't ever one to throw away a chance to enjoy herself, not if everyone else was gonna join in and be happy while they were doin' it.

"Day is a form of solar measurement that has no meaning in the black, it's man made." He heard River telling her in an excited voice. "So we made this one for you."

"Really?" Kaylee all but glowed as she gripped his hand.

"Yes." River nodded. "And I made Jayne's gift to you."

"Hey now." He interrupted. "I helped."

"Yes." River agreed, but he heard her lean in close to Kaylee and whisper. "No, he didn't."

He leaned in close to the other ear.

"I did, too."

"Well." She grinned as she stepped forward. Jayne figured it was more to get away from them both than anything else. "Which one is it, then? I gotta see it."

Jayne picked up a small, flat present.

"Here." His mouth went dry just waiting for her to take it. "It's not much. Don't be expecting anything big or nothin'."

River glared at him.

"I'm sure it's very nice." Kaylee flashed him another grin as she began tearing at the paper. Her eyes went wide. "Oh. Oh, Jayne!"

She pulled him in for a hug.

"I helped!" River bounced on her toes. "Me!"

"Oh, River!" She turned and grabbed the girl in a hug, too. "Thank you, both!"

Kaylee couldn't stop staring at it, her big eyes drawn to the picture as if it were made of magnets. Jayne could understand, he wasn't sure what he'd expected, but River had done better than he'd hoped.

The letters of Kaylee's name stood out in bright, restored yellow. One of the butterflies had a strangely familiar pattern on its wings that made Jayne think of Hawaiian shirts. It did the same for Kaylee, too, he could tell from the way she ran her fingers over it again and again.

There were other personal touches in there, too, something small that was supposed to represent all of them. There was even a little Serenity flying in the middle of the 'a', where a red heart had once been.

Where the old one had been Kaylee before she'd come aboard Serenity, this one was Kaylee now. The Kaylee that he couldn't imagine being away from for more'n it took to do a job.

The Kaylee that was standing on the tips of her toes and kissing him to the sound of catcalls and hooting across the room.

***

Prompt #061: Music. Word Count: 669.

THE WALK.

"Guess that's it for me." Kaylee yawned. "Thanks guys."

"Wait!" Inara grabbed her hand. "Just a little bit more."

"More?" She furrowed her brows and turned to Jayne. "There's more?"

He shrugged at her.

"I've got..." Inara seemed to be waiting for something and, all of a sudden, Kaylee knew what it was and a smile spread over her face. "... this. Happy Non Birthday."

The sound coming over the com speakers was tinny and off key, but at that moment Kaylee didn't care. It was the nicest music she'd ever heard. Her head swam with all the dazzle of the ball.

"Thanks Inara." She leaned over to kiss Inara's cheek.

"You're welcome." Inara smiled, then gave her a small smile. "Maybe Jayne will ask you to dance?"

"Oh, hey." Jayne frowned. "I don't dance."

Kaylee turned to him with her best wheedling face on.

"C'mon, Jayne, I didn't get to dance last time." But his face didn't seem like it was about to relent. She went for the big guns and pouched out her bottom lip. "Please?"

"No." He set his jaw. "I ain't got no skill for it."

"It's her party." Mal interjected. "Which was, I might add, all your idea. Get up and give her once dance."

If looks could kill, Kaylee was fairly sure the ship would have no captain anymore.

"It's okay." She sighed. "It don't matter none."

"Jayne." Even Zoe was frowning. "You're a real jackass sometimes. You know it?"

"No, it's fine." A quick shrug of her shoulders and Kaylee wondered whether any of them actually bought it. Not that it mattered. "But you'll still walk me to my bunk, won't you?"

The way everybody in the room was glaring at him, she figured Jayne had no choice but to agree to that small stipulation. Her hand hovered in mid air as she waited for him to take it.

It surprised her, sometimes, how well they fit, her small hand being engulfed in his large one. Both their skins were rough and callused in areas, on the palms and the thumbs and the meaty pads of them.

She held his hand tightly and kept her arm rigid as she made slow steps across the room. Half way over, she stopped short and gasped as she pulled his arm back, turning their bodied towards each other.

"Oops! I forgot..."

"Kaylee..." He sighed.

"Oh, alright then." She smiled up at him and continued forward. "We'll just go."

"Kaylee." It was more of a warning this time.

She could see Inara suppress a smile across the room.

"What?" Turning towards him with large, innocent eyes, she grabbed his other hand and they stood face to face. "What's wrong?"

He glared down at her as she shuffled her feet into his, forcing them to move.

"This is dancing."

"No, it's not." She smiled sweetly. "It's just you, walkin' me to my bunk."

He sighed again.

"I don't ever recall walkin' sideways."

"Really?" A puzzled look crossed her features. "I can't imagine why."

"If you're gonna do this..." Kaylee wasn't sure what it was, maybe a touch of disappointment or fear crossed her eyes when she looked into his, but all of a sudden his grip on her right hand got a lot tighter, he pulled her closer and his left hand made its way to her waist. "then at least do it proper like."

"Thank you." She whispered.

"Yeah." He whispered back. "You owe me."

"Well, Miss Serra." Mal's voice sounded clipped and formal. "Seems like the time. Will you do me the honor?"

Kaylee saw surprise light up Inara's face as Mal held out his hand to her, she couldn't suppress another smile as Inara accepted and another couple joined what was soon becoming the dance floor.

"River?" Simon held out his hand, too, but Kaylee saw her give a quick shake of her head and he turned away. "Zoe? Would you like this dance?"

"Delighted."

Kaylee sighed and rested her head on Jayne's shoulder.

***

Prompt #062: Sound. Word Count: 384.

SYMPHONY.

He was a symphony sometimes.

Kaylee liked that word, it sounded a lot better than 'a whole bunch of sounds' and it wasn't anything as flowery as callin' him music. A smile lingered over her face when she thought about the face he'd pull if she tried to call him something he'd think as girly.

But symphony was just this side of manly and it was touch and go if he'd even know what it was if she ever slipped up and let the word come out of her mouth.

She liked times like this, hadn't ever said it out loud and sometimes she thought she should. At least once. She should tell Jayne how much she adored climbing into his bunk, or hers, to find him already sleeping.

The way she curled up into his hulking heat, pressing her whole body up against him, ankles to ankles, hip to hip, arm slung over his chest and face pressed right into the curve of his neck.

He didn't ever wake up when she did that, just let his limbs mold around her, adjusted to her in his sleep.

Then she'd lie there, listening to the pounding whoosh of his blood pumping under her ear, the thump of his heart beating loud a little off to the side, the whistle of air through his nose. Sometimes there'd be a rumble of a snore growling up from this throat and even that she didn't mind.

There were plenty of people that complained about snoring, but Kaylee didn't.

And all of that was just when he was sleeping.

She could close her eyes and identify his mood just on the noises he made when he was awake. She knew the speed with which he made them: the sudden, loud violence or the soft, slow surety. The crisp sound of a blade against his throat. The snap of his teeth through an apple. The swish of cloth being put on or taken off his skin.

Kaylee smiled and felt her eyes close over more fully, her limbs grow heavy and unwieldy as she gave herself over to the drunkenness of almost sleep. A small shift as she dug more closer to him and his arm tightened around her.

She could sleep in the roar of all his sounds.

***

Prompt #063: Silence. Word Count: 582.

ALARM.

"Kaylee."

Jayne whispered her name softly, as softly as he could and it still sounded too loud as he shook her shoulder.

"Kaylee, c'mon, wake up."

"Mmphwah?" She blinked and a warm smile greeted him as she turned onto her back. "What?"

"Shh." He held a finger to her lips. "Somethin's wrong."

That was pretty much all it took. Her eyes flew open and he could tell she was already wide awake. The sudden spike in her eyes and the way her face paled gave him an edge he didn't want to think about.

Couldn't think about if he was gonna be any use.

"Engine stopped runnin'." He whispered again and he could see her scan the walls, as if they held any answer. "Ship's powered down. We're floating."

He registered the very moment it dawned on her how quiet everything was. Even when no one was making any sounds, there was always noise on board. Always. Even if you didn't notice it anymore, it was always there.

It just made the absence of it so much louder now.

"The others?" She kept her voice low, too.

He shrugged, knowing exactly what she was thinking, of when and who.

It had been a quiet few months after Miranda, but none of 'em had really thought it was over. They'd all been waiting for the shoe to drop, the next bounty hunter lookin' for coin, the next Operative just followin' orders.

"I'm gonna go check."

Her hand dragged softly on his arm as he sat up.

"Listen." He turned back to look at her, tried not to see the tightness of her face, the fear in it. "You lock that door from the inside after I go, okay? You lock it an' don't open it for anyone but me."

Her teeth bit down on her lip, but she nodded at him. Gorram, they had to be in her bunk tonight, didn't they? Most of his ladies were stored well in his own bunk, locked up tight. Locked up nice and safe and far from his reach now when he wanted them.

"Jayne?" Even whispering, he could hear her voice tremble. "Be careful?"

She stood up and followed him to the door.

Damn, but this wasn't what he needed. This was exactly why a merc did better on his own, traveling for no one but himself. The minute he starts worryin' about takin' a shot, 'cause there's someone waiting for him... well, that's the minute he becomes a useless merc.

Jayne kissed the top of her head as an answer.

"Lock the door."

The door didn't even hiss when he pushed it open.

"Gorramit!" He couldn't help the burst of air that came out of his throat. "Mal!"

"Jayne." Mal stood by the door. "Kaylee in there? The engine's gone."

"Yeah, we know." He could already hear shuffling below him. "Why can't you use the com like normal people?"

"That's blown too." The look Mal was givin' him made Jayne bristle. "I looked over what I could, it's not the catalyzer."

"Cap'n." Kaylee chided as her body scrambled right over Jayne's up the ladder, warmth pressing right past him. He could just about feel the relief pouring from her. "Engine's made up of more than one part."

"But..." Mal pouted. "That's the only part I know."

"Warning." A loud voice suddenly broke the silence. "Main power down. Auxiliary life support activated."

"Yeah." Jayne grumbled, eyes looking up at the walls. "Now you tell us."

***

End for now...

COMMENTS

Friday, January 6, 2006 2:23 PM

HUMBUG


You put a great big smile on my face when I saw you had posted another fanfic. Thanks, Jacqui!

You know I love Jaylee fanfic, but I think this series is so lovely - just seeing how Jayne and Kaylee fit together as a long- term couple, and with the other members of the crew. And seeing how they react to the every day events of being on Serenity.

I like how Kaylee can convince Jayne to do anything for her, no matter how much he doesn't want to do it, just to make her happy. Jayne and Kaylee dancing. Squeeeeeee! and Kaylee and Jayne kissing and cuddling. Double squeeeeee!!!!

Keep going. This series of wonderful!! Well, alll your sereies are wonderful. Just keep wriitng lots of fanfic - especially about Kaylee & Jayne!!!

Friday, January 6, 2006 3:44 PM

AMDOBELL


This was hi-larious! And I loved the fun Zoe and Mal had over Jayne and the sheep, then Jayne of all people giving Mal advice on women? Priceless, especially with him not wanting to dance with Kaylee -duh! Lots of fine moments. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, January 6, 2006 4:57 PM

LVS2READ


I was so happy to see that you posted this next set! They are, as always, wonderful. Jayne & Kaylee are so cute together, and you make them totally believable. Don't leave us hanging too long for the next set!

"I love my captain."

Friday, January 6, 2006 5:45 PM

ZOESBACKUP


really nice flow between scenes. I love how naturally you have brought each character into the story without it seeming forced. awesome work! I can't wait for the next installment!

Saturday, January 7, 2006 2:02 AM

BOOKADDICT


"She could sleep in the roar of all his sounds." I love this line. The story just gets better and better. There are so many good parts, I especially like the ripping of the pictures and the bar fight.

Saturday, January 7, 2006 3:40 AM

CANTONHEROINE


I was all "ooh" and "awww" and "ha ha ha", then I got to the end, and it was "oh, no".
What did you do to our beloved ship?
Kaylee's gonna fix it, right?
Right?
*sighs and settles in to wait (im)patiently for next installment*
;P


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