BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

JACQUI

Small Victories.
Monday, March 13, 2006

Eighth in the "Didn't Mean Nothin'" saga. Jayne/Kaylee. Kaylee/Simon.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2867    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Eighth in the series. Not particularly angsty or smutty.

Disclaimer: I broke them, it's only fair I try and put them back together. It's a slow process.

Rating: G for this part, R overall.

Feedback: Make me smile, c'mon, you know you want to. Comment here or email: wily_one24@yahoo.com.au

Comments: Italics and present tense are flashbacks.

***

1. Didn't Mean Nothin', 2. Nothin' At All, 3. No Harm No Foul, 4. Comfort, 5. Backlash, 6. Sleepless and 7. Doors.

***

8. SMALL VICTORIES.

Serenity, for all that she had been patient and indulgent in the midst of Kaylee’s personal hell, would not wait for ever. Kaylee yawned as she tightened the last bolt on the engine casing. She wondered, for a brief second before she dismissed the idea out of hand, if asking Mal for engine parts right now when he’d bend over backwards just to keep her happy was a mite manipulative.

She stretched her neck, rolled it back and forth until the kinks were gone. It surprised her how easily she’d slept the night before, even given her bout of nightmares and restlessness. Surprised her how many times she’d woken and, feeling herself surrounded, felt relieved.

Now, apart from them both, she felt torn.

Simon was everything she’d always wanted. Smart, funny, swai, tender. Everything he did had a purpose, his whole career as a doctor was about helping people, about healing them, and he’d given everything he had to help River and he still did.

She saw it, now and then, saw in him that all the things she liked there would be exactly how he’d treat her. Simon would cherish her, she’d known if he ever got past what had held him back, she’d known it. And he’d proved her right, that night there in his bunk, it had been like she always thought it should be.

She’d wanted Simon for so long and she finally had a chance to make that possible.

Then there was Jayne. Rough around the edges, crude as all get out, selfish, mean Jayne. Yet, he wasn’t, she was beginning to see, not really, not to her. He was gentle with her, gentle in a way she hadn’t seen before and it had nothing to do with the way he touched her, in the way most would look and judge.

The way Jayne was gentle had nothing to do with caresses and holding doors open or carrying her things from one room to the next, that sorta thing wasn’t him at all. No, he was gentle in the way he watched her, the way he always seemed to know just what she wanted and gave it to her.

Whether it was soft or not.

Kaylee could have hit her skull into the bulkhead over and over again with the confusion of it all. She’d never wanted to hurt anyone and now she was hurting them both. It didn’t matter which way she turned after this, she’d hurt someone.

If only she could stand still, shut her eyes tight, and hope it would all go away.

“I believe in miracles.” She whispered the litany of her childhood, fervently hoping that some of that magic would fly up into the black and find her all the way out here as she made her way to her bunk door. “I believe.”

The lights that surrounded her bunk seemed to mock her and she frowned at them.

“I believe…” Her voice trailed off the lower she got.

There was something different, something not right about the feel of her bunk. Her eyes scanned the room, scanned the bed with its floral cover, the bright and cheery items she’d stuck all over her walls, the fluffy pink dress she’d started to see as taking up too much space she could use for more important things, instead of the possibilities it had once brought her.

She couldn’t place it, couldn’t place what felt wrong.

“Hello?” But there was no answer. “Anyone in here?”

As her foot reached the floor, her hand brushed up against something wound around the ladder. Whatever it was stung her and she bit her lip, bringing her finger to her mouth to suck at the drop of blood that welled there.

A dried rose, one of the ones she usually had pinned up next to her bed, was sitting there, waiting for her. Her eyes rose, looked up, as if she could see whoever it had been standing there, even though she knew there hadn’t been anyone when she’d walked from the engine room.

“Wo bu xiang zhe.” She couldn’t stop herself climbing the ladder anyway. “Chi shen ji.”

With a growl of frustration, Kaylee reached up and tore the cheery lights from her door, tossing them in a tangle all the way down to the floor of her bunk. She had a sneaking suspicion she knew who’d been there.

And why he’d left.

***

Jayne pumped the weights with fierce determination. Up, down, up, down, again and again. He ground his teeth against the burn in his upper arms. It was better to keep busy, to keep himself occupied. There was very little to do, trapped inside the ship like a bunch of sardines packed into a tin.

Up. Down.

Weren’t nowhere to go that he weren’t followed by people. They were startin’ to drive him nuts. Stickin’ their noses where it didn’t belong. Man couldn’t turn around without someone there. Made him want to zip up an EV suit and just float away from it all.

Up. Down.

Hell, maybe it’d be worth it to just jump out the airlock without the suit.

It drove him up the bend waiting for the hammer to fall. They all knew now, he was sure of it, but ain’t one of them said anything to him. Not really, not the way he’d thought they would. He was waiting for the dull thud of something hitting his skull, or the sharp pains of a blade in his skin.

But nothin’.

Up. Down.

Not even any cryptic crap from River. It made a man wonder why they’d all gone to so much trouble to bring him back on board. Why they hadn’t just left him there. Woulda been a kindness, to let him just drink himself into unconsciousness until he’d forgotten where he was and why.

“You look like you need some help, son.”

“Not.” He strained, gritting his teeth. “Now. Thanks Sheppard.”

Up. Down.

“You keep up like this and you’re going to work yourself into the ground.”

Up. Pause. Down.

“Maybe that’s what I need.” He mumbled it to himself, surprised at the bitterness in his own voice, and wondered if Book had heard him. “Look, I ain’t much company right now.”

“I doubt you need all the punishment you seem to be dolling out.” Damn, he had heard. “Why don’t you take a rest? I don’t need much in the way of company, but I think you might.”

Up. Down.

“A man like me needs a lot of things, Sheppard. I don’t think I’m gonna find any of ‘em in the bible, or from a man of god.”

Up. Down. Up. Down. Shake. Up. Down.

“You’d be surprised what those things can offer you, sometimes, if you let them, but I wasn’t talking about them.”

Breathe. Up.

“I done bad things, surely you know that.” Down. “Book, even if you ain’t speakin’ as a Sheppard right now, I don’t think I’m the one you oughtta be wastin’ your time with.”

A hand came out, above his head, and grasped the bar. Jayne thought about fighting it, about trying to keep the weight as long as he could.

“Who said anything about wasting it?” He found himself giving over the bar. “Jayne, you gave someone what they asked for when they asked for it, more importantly, when they needed it. Nobody can begrudge you that.”

His fingers flexed, empty, in mid air. Yes they could.

“Hey.” Jayne trails a thumb over her forehead, pushing away a strand of hair that’s hanging in her eyes. “How’re you feelin’ this mornin’?”

Her body stretches in a yawn, arching against him. Jayne closes his eyes and tries not to feel the softness of her chest against his, her legs lying flush against his own, her head cradled in the crook of his arm. He could stay here all day, if she’d let him. He wants to.

“Sleepy.” She admits as she blinks herself awake. “In a good way.”

“Kaylee…”

He’s not sure what he wants to say, but it’s something. Something, anything, to keep her there. He knows what’s about to happen and wants to stop it. Even as she sits up, her eyes already scanning the floor for her clothes.

“I gotta go check the engine.” It’s a brush off, he’s had enough of them to recognize it. “I have to.”

He can’t stop her, she’s already given him what he asked for. One night. His fingers curl over the whirls of her spine, in the hollows of her lower back. He watches her slip her clothes back on and wonders how long it will be before she’s back.

How long until he’s in a position to ask for something further than one night, knowing that’s the only time she’ll agree.

When Jayne finally finds the energy to leave his bunk, he sees Simon climbing out of Kaylee’s. It makes him grit his teeth, makes him curl his fingers, the very same fingers that so easily touch and soothe Kaylee, into a fist.

“Is she in there?” It’s Simon that steps forward and speaks first. “Is she in your bunk?”

Strange, that discovering he’s shit poor at one thing, will make a man more adept at another. Looks like Simon has discovered his balls and the ability to start fights. Jayne briefly thinks about all the ways he can make this worse.

And there are several.

“She ain’t here.” He says finally. “Not in my bunk.”

A flicker in Simon’s eyes tells Jayne that his words aren’t exactly taken at face value. It gives him a slight sense of satisfaction. He holds the door open and raises his brows, challenges Simon.

“You wanna check?”

Simon bites his lip.

“No.”

Jayne watches him spin on his heel and walk away.

***

Mal sighed and tapped his fingernails on the tabletop.

“Well.” He spoke and his voice sounded loud in the silence.

He looked at the table and they looked at him. Three chairs were empty.

“That’s it.” Standing up, he made his way to the com unit by the wall. “Attention crew!”

The way his voice echoed around the whole ship would usually have made him smile, but not now. The five remaining people at the table winced. Quite possibly this was overkill, but he didn’t care.

“We have sit down meals together on my ship. And if you haven’t noticed, the next designated meal is now. From this second, all access to the kitchen stores are revoked, except for communal meal times. That means, you don’t show up, you don’t eat.”

That should fix it.

“You all got five minutes to show up. I mean it!”

He kept his back straight and his face calm as he walked back to the table and took his place. His eyes looked straight down at his plate as he delicately picked up a napkin and spread it out in his lap. Nobody spoke.

Footsteps heralded the first arrival and he looked up to see Simon hovering in the door.

“Nice of you to join us, doc.”

Everyone looked down at their plates as Simon settled himself into the chair next to River. Mal lifted the water jug and filled his glass. Zoe took it from him and he prayed for someone to speak. To say anything. Nobody did.

They had three minutes left. He was counting, if they didn’t…

More footsteps and Mal didn’t have to look up.

“There’s a seat next to Wash, Jayne.” He said. “Take it and shut up.”

He continued to count.

“She’ll show.” River whispered.

***

Kaylee made her way into the engine room. Mal thought he had everyone pegged, thought he was gonna force ‘em all to face each other before they were ready. Well, he hadn’t figured on her. She wasn’t as easily manipulated as they all thought.

She spent a lot of time in this room and she’d made it very comfortable indeed.

A hammock to sleep in if’n she got tired, a cheap romance novel she’d never admit to owning if anyone ever found it hidden in among her tools in case she got bored, small trinkets that made this room more her own.

Not to mention the small stash of supplies she kept hidden underneath the hammock, her own secret supply of chocolate supplement, dried fruits and packets of snack foods. It would keep her happy for as long as she needed. At least a day or two until she could get things sorted out with the others.

Kaylee lifted the bag out from the stacks and tested the weight of it in her hand. A self satisfied smile played on her lips. The small victories were important, sometimes.

***

River nodded in the silence, sneaking a look up to the captain. His jaw was clenched tight and he was staring at the doorway with an intensity that bordered on frightening. Beside her, Simon kept starting at any noise, even the little ones.

She could feel the change in the room’s vibrations and turned her head to give a small smile to Kaylee as she walked in. The smile was not returned as Kaylee slowly walked all the way up to her chair and held out her hand.

“Thanks, River.” Kaylee said through gritted teeth.

“You’re welcome.”

She continued to smile as she opened her fingers and watched Kaylee drop the jacks onto them.

***

end part eight.

(Kaylee says: "I don't believe this." and "stupid miracles").

COMMENTS

Monday, March 13, 2006 4:18 AM

SWEETSERENDIPITY


I'm first! Ah,River! What would we do without her. Simon's still a boob, and when is Jayne gonna speak up??!! Keep goin'!

Monday, March 13, 2006 6:00 AM

TAMSIBLING


How much do I love River? Especially mischievious River - that was great! I don't know where exactly you fall in the Simon/Kaylee/Jayne debate, but I for one hope Simon/Kaylee "wins." I don't see Jayne being able to make her happy for an extended period of time.

Monday, March 13, 2006 6:08 AM

LEIASKY


Poor Kaylee. So torn. She doesn't want to hurt either of them but whatever her decision, she will hurt one.

I can see her ending up alone after this.

Jacqui I commend you on your ability to write this little tale. Normally I avoid Jayne/Kaylee fic like the plague because no one manages to write a J/K fic (a pairing which I truly do despise)without taking Simon SO out of character (along with Kaylee) its disgusting.

You've woven a very good tale here, even though the subject is not one I like to even contemplate:)

I'm eagerly awaiting the continuation though I'm sure I can pretty much figure out who she'll end up with based on all your other fic:)

Monday, March 13, 2006 7:13 AM

HISGOODGIRL


I think tht one of the things I really enjoy about your work, Jacqui, is that you don't take the easy way out. You write real, deep, complex stuff that echoes life, and you take us inside these characters we all care so much about.

Monday, March 13, 2006 7:56 AM

HUMBUG


I'm really enjoying this fanfic, Jacqui!

Kaylee has an agonising decision to make. Normally I'm squarely on the side of Jayne & Kaylee, but you've really made me feel sorry for Simon in this series....

But I still hope Kaylee chooses Jayne....

Keep writing, Jacqui, I'm just dying to see exactly who comes out of all this mess as a couple.....

Monday, March 13, 2006 7:59 AM

HIS


“Jayne, you gave someone what they asked for when they asked for it, more importantly, when they needed it. Nobody can begrudge you that.”

Thank you Book

Monday, March 13, 2006 8:14 AM

BANZAIBILL


Aaaah. I needed some more! Thank you for delivering!

I liked this one quite a bit. Shepherd Book's was in character, and I always love that. His conversation with Jayne, and Jayne trying to burn off the mood with a workout was a very nice scene, as well as the confrontation in the hall.

I love your writing!

Monday, March 13, 2006 12:33 PM

AMDOBELL


Kaylee, Kaylee, you need to speak to them both. Drawing it out is just making it more painful all round but then a triangle like this is always going to leave a trail of tears in its' wake. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, March 13, 2006 5:55 PM

CANTONHEROINE


A little bit of healing goes a long, long way...

Is it weird that I really wanted to hug Book when he got all supportive of Jayne? ... I'll take that awkward silence as a 'yes'. ;P

I'm so tangled up about this story, it's truly ridiculous. I just wish Kaylee would make up her gorram mind already! All she has to do is choose between the fantasy and the reality - what she thinks she wants, and what she has.

Still holding out for a Jaylee ending.

Monday, March 13, 2006 6:26 PM

ARTEMISPRIME


Excellent addition, Jacqui. I am completely drawn to this story. I am in anticipation of your next installment. Thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 5:25 AM

BELLONA


come on, jayne!! you're always boasting about your *cajones* so use 'em already and speak up!!!!

b


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