Pieces: Epilogue.
Monday, January 23, 2006

HEROES, DRAGONS, QUEENS and BROKEN MIRRORS. Set six years (or so) after the 100 "Pieces" drabbles.


Okay. I couldn't resist. So sue me. This is set about six years after drabble 100 of "Pieces". Just a little something to explain what happened after.

"Pieces", the fic, can be found in these installments: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight.

Disclaimer: Only one of 'em is mine.

Rating: G.

Feedback: Is so shiny. Comment me, comment me good.


She crept along the gangway, staying as silent as she knew how to be, breathing shallow and slow through her slightly open mouth. She'd been trained by the best. Her bare feet slid over the cold metal. If she didn't lift them, there'd be no contact broken, which meant no contact would need to be made to step forward.

A few minutes, a few harrowing and stressful minutes and then she'd reach relative safety. Until then, however, she was vulnerable, left out in the open.

He reared above her, large and imposing, taking up all the space her eyes had. All was lost. And she'd been so close.

"I been lookin' for you."

"That's 'cause I've been hiding." She whispered, leaning in close to tell her secret. "Shh. They're monsters all over the Land of Cargo Bay."

"Really?" He frowned, reaching out to pull her behind him and looking left to right, his eyes scanning the perilous lands below. "Best you climb on up then."

His hand grabbed hers easily, big, rough fingers closing over her tiny little ones. Her feet scrambled for purchase on his thighs as she monkeyed her way up onto his back. Her arms had grown so long she could reach all the way around his neck.

"There's safety in Planet Mess." She whispered.

He chuckled.

"Planet Mess, huh? Let me guess, it's safest to land near the town of Cookie Jar?"

"You've read the bulletins, then?" She gasped dramatically, then kicked her feet into his sides as his hands anchored her thighs. "But we have to be quiet. Onwards!"

"You're gettin' bossy, babygirl."

Jessie grinned as she leaned into his back and gripped his neck, everything about her wrapped around him and she couldn't get enough. She felt his muscles shift as he surveyed the surrounding area.

"Jayne!" The beast roared from somewhere below. "These crates aren't gonna load themselves!"

"Quick Daddy!" Her grip tightened. "Before it catches us!"

"Hold on, babygirl."

And they were off, she ducked her head in close, laying her cheek between his shoulder blades, and held tight. With her eyes closed, she could imagine them running through forests and large, rocky mountains.

"Don't think I didn't see you two..."

"It's chasing us!" She squealed. "Hurry!"

"There!" The beast huffed and puffed at the top of the stairs, smoke and fire streaming from its nostrils. "I've found you both! You know the rules, we work before we play."

"Aw, he got me." She could feel the whole Universe dipping as he knelt down. "It's too late for me, but you run, go, save yourself."

"No!" She cried out, making sure to sound horribly upset for the injustice done a Universe robbed of his bravery. "Daddy, no!"

"I'm done for." He groaned as he keeled over, hand held to his chest. "Shuffled off to some slave trading ships where I'm worked to exhaustion..."

"You might actually have to work for that to happen, Jayne."

She glared at the beast as it reared and growled over the body of her fallen hero.

"Vengeance will be mine." She declared. "I will hunt you down in farthest reaches of the 'Verse and curse your soul forever!"

"What the gorram hell has she been reading now?" The beast asked.

"She does not get her words from books." Jessie postured above the body, ignoring the fact that dead bodies don't shake with laughter. "She gets them from magical Princesses with magical powers."

"River!" The beast roared. "What are you filling this child's head with?"

"Too much of a coward to face me, hey?" She sneered. "Typical bully beast. Your time is not long for this life. I have..."

Scrambling around in her pockets, Jessie found the perfect thing.

"This sword!" She crowed, wielding a green pencil. "Face me and die!"

The beast growled and turned his angry eyes on her.

"You're forcing me into this." It told her, seriously. "You know that, don't you?"

"Your threats don't scare me!"

And she even managed to keep some of the squeal out of her voice as she began to back up, one step after the other. It was going to get her and, she realized too late, her sword was no match for the beast's cruel, underhanded ways.

"No!" She gasped, dropping the pencil and backing away faster. "No, you're not allowed to tickle!"

"Stop me!" It roared again, lunging at her, growing nineteen hands and arms that reached across lands to find her. "You're all alone and I eat little girls like you for breakfast."

"Ah!" She twisted, trying desperately to escape its clutches as it poked at her sides, the two of them falling into a heap. "No. Stop it! That ain't fair."

"Children." The voice sounded above them.

"It's the magical Fairy Queen!" She gasped and reached out. "She'll save me!"

"I'm a Queen now?" And Jessie swallowed. "Yesterday I was a hideous, ugly witch."

"No, you're a Queen." She nodded, helpfully, a big smile on her face. "You're a beautiful, beautiful Queen whose forgiving nature is known throughout existence."

"I wouldn't bet on that." The beast huffed and doubled his fiendish tickling efforts.

"Help me, Queen 'Nara! Help me!"

"Oh, alright then." The Queen held out her hand. "Here, hold on."

Jessie panted and tried to recover from the beast's evil ways as she was pulled free.

"Thank you, you're very mag.. mang... ma..." The problem with Auntie River was that she had so many big words. Too many big words and sometimes they were hard to remember and even when she did, she wasn't sure if she got the meaning right. Auntie River had confused her more often than not. "You're very nice."

"My prey is escaping?" The beast frowned. "Well, fine then. Guess I'll have to go find something else for breakfast. All the food rations should do it. There'll be nothing but green spinach protein for the rest of the week."

Jessie spun around, her hands planted firmly on her hip as she glared.

"Aw, that ain't fair, Cap'n."

It was a word, just a word, but it shattered the game around them. She could feel it in the silence that followed, in the way that the different magical objects drifted away, melted back into the landscape of a ship. In the way that Inara's hand hovered over her hair, but didn't touch it, the way that the figure in front of her was no longer a vicious beast out hunting. He was the ordinary Captain of their ordinary ship.

The man lying on the floor wasn't a heroic dragon slayer, saving her from monsters, he was her daddy. And now he was gonna go do as the Captain said and she wouldn't see him for a very long time. Maybe not even until dinner and that was an hour away.

At least.

"I'm sorry!" She rushed to say it. "I didn't mean it!"

"It's okay, sweetie, you didn't do anything."

Inara smiled at her, but it wasn't one of her happy smiles that went all the way deep into her eyes. It was one of the fake ones. Then she turned and glared at Mal. Jessie was awful glad she'd never gotten that glare, Auntie Inara could be very scary when she looked like that. Well, never, not really, only that one time.

But she hadn't mean to say that to her special guest that time.

"Mal, tell the girl she didn't do anything."

"'Course not, honeychild." And Mal was smiling, too, but his smiles were always different when he meant them. "You didn't do nothin'."

He reached out and ran a hand through her hair, ruffling it. She was so sorry she didn't even pull away and she hated people ruffling her hair. Now they weren't playing. They were saying Nice Things that Grown Ups Said to Little Children.

They'd been saying it for a long time and she was beginning to hate that as much as hands in her hair. Not that it mattered, because Mal had turned around and walked away and Auntie Inara followed him. She always did when he got that wounded look in his eye.

Jessie was left to kneel down next to her daddy. He'd sat up, leaning his back against the railing, and his eyes watched her. She hated to see his eyes like that, hated it even more because she knew it was her fault. She crawled into the curve of his arm and he gripped her tight.

"I'm sorry, daddy." She whispered it into his neck.

"It ain't your fault." His big hands brushed through her hair. "Not your fault at all."

"I'm trying." She told him earnestly. "I'm trying so hard not to be like..."

"Hey, you shoosh now." He had his hands on her shoulders, holding her away from him enough to look into her eyes. "Don't ever let me hear you say that, dong ma?"

"But." She frowned. "It makes everyone sad."

"No way, babygirl." And his eyes didn't move, so she knew he was telling the truth. He'd never lied to her, not once. "It's a good thing you look an' sound like your Ma. It makes me happy."

"Liar." She pouted. "You still cry, when you think there ain't no one looking."

"Maybe I do." His hands came up to cradle her face and his thumbs brushed her cheeks just under her eyes. "But there ain't nothin' makes me happier'n you."

"Daddy?" Her lip trembled and she whispered words she wasn't supposed to say, hadn't said for months. "I still miss her, sometimes."

"Me too, babygirl." A big sigh, heavy and deep, she felt it run through both of them. "Me too."

*~*~* THE END.


Monday, January 23, 2006 11:22 PM


Awww... *sniffle*
So beautiful, and so sad, and so perfect. A lovely bittersweet ending to a phenomenal series.

"She could feel the whole Universe dipping as he knelt down." - I especially love this line. It's exactly how a little girl would view her Daddy, especially one as large as Jayne, and especially in light of the fact that her mother is gone.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 2:34 AM


Oh, God! You really know how to break a heart...

I was so excited to see this posted and now I have to spend the rest of the day trying not to cry *sniff*

Excellent story telling, though. Loved Jessie's imagination...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 2:35 AM


Beautiful writing. I love the mixture of happiness and sadness.

An awesome epilogue for the series.

Poor Jessie, poor Jayne.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006 4:49 AM


Ok you suck, now I have to go to class all teary eyed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 6:10 AM


The first half had me laughing so hard I cried, and then you did a 180 and I need tissues for a different reason! You are awesome!

This was perfect!

"I love my captain."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 6:27 AM


AAwwwww!! *choke down sob*

Bittersweet............ Perfect!!!

Love the way you wrote Jayne with his daughter......... wonderful father.....

Thanks, Jacqui!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 2:18 PM


Didn't see that coming at all! Very beautiful, but you gotta provide tissues if you're gonna break everyone's heart like that!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:39 AM


oh, sooo good. Love the characterizations and the fansaty 6-year-old girl world. Brings great (if horribly sad) closure.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 1:11 PM


I just started reading fanfics so forgive me for coming in so late, but this is one of the best series I have ever read. You really have alot of talent. Please keep writing more. I can see the characters saying and doing all these things. It's like Firefly never ended. Thank you!


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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.