Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ninth and final in the "Didn't Mean Nothin'" saga. Jayne/Kaylee. Kaylee/Simon.


All I ask is that you don't kill me.

I know there are a lot of Simon/Kaylee supporters reading this and I know there are a lot of Jayne/Kaylee supporters too.

You know what they say, you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

Just... you know... don't kill me.


:: (banner and 'secrets' icon by andraste_tree, 'beggar' icon by the lovely RinnyPJ)

Previous chapters to be found: 1. Didn't Mean Nothin', 2. Nothin' At All, 3. No Harm No Foul, 4. Comfort, 5. Backlash, 6. Sleepless, 7. Doors and 8. Small Victories.


Disclaimer: The usual drivel, it ain't mine and never will be. Rating: This part, G. Comments: Written at 4.30am under heavy influence of the flu. This is what you get.



Kaylee sat at the head of the table. It felt strange, so very strange, to be sitting in the seat that was universally Mal’s. Her hand clenched and unclenched on the table top and she watched her fingers curl into themselves, unfurling open and empty.

Her head was loud, full of a thousand thoughts and recriminations. The room was loud, full of confusion and resentment and the rest of the crew taking their places at the table, their eyes boring into her. It was all loud, but she was stuck in silence, the inability to swallow, the distaste in her mouth.

When her eyes rose, she made sure they focused on one person and one person only. His blue eyes watched her with something she couldn’t believe was anything other than disappointment. Those eyes, that had taken one look at her and seen something worth trusting, seen somebody worth hiring, behind the prairie harpy he’d almost dismissed her as.

Kaylee loved those eyes. They helped her stay strong as she cleared her throat.

“I have an announcement to make.”

If she’d thought it was silent around her moments before, she’d just been proven wrong.

“I’ve made some mistakes, some pretty bad ones.” Her mouth was too dry and she clicked her tongue to loosen it, wished everybody’s stares weren’t so heavy. “An’ I’ve finally come to a decision.”


Watchful eyes and careful maneuvering have made sure she can waylay Kaylee before she slips out of the mess and into the bowels of the engine, not to be seen again for the rest of the night.

“Kaylee. I have the sudden need to play chess. Would you like a game?”

“Zoe.” And Kaylee bites her lip. “You always win. I ain’t that good.”

She smiles, gently.

“Maybe you’ll learn something.” Her hand comes up to, very carefully, very particularly not forceful, guide Kaylee by the arm to the cushioned chairs in the mess. “Indulge me?”

Kaylee’s not wrong. She’s a very average chess player, broadcasting her moves three plays ahead, too cautious to really advance anywhere. It’s not the sort of game Zoe likes, it doesn’t hold the challenge and she always ends up feeling as though she’s cheated.

Zoe watches her hand waver between moving a rook and a bishop, her teeth chew on her lip as she does. It’s almost frustrating, because she knows Kaylee will eventually settle for moving one of her pawns and the whole deliberation will have been for nothing.

“Do you remember when Mal and Wash were taken by Niska?”

“Huh?” Kaylee looks up at her, eyes widening as her hand slips on the pawn. “’Course I do. I ain’t like to forget it in a hurry.”

“Do you know why I chose Wash, when Niska gave me a choice?”

Kaylee blinks and Zoe can see the surprise and confusion on her face.

“’Cause Mal’s stronger and can last longer bein’ tortured?”

“Yes.” That really does surprise Zoe. “But that’s not…”

“Because Niska cared more about Mal and wouldn’t’ve tried to wake Wash up if he went and died like Mal did?”

The answers have taken her a little off guard, Zoe hadn’t thought Kaylee had understood so much of the dilemma that she’d been faced with. Didn’t realize that Kaylee had thought so much about the motivations behind her actions.

“Yes, that’s part of it.” Zoe eyes the board and keeps her voice neutral. “But, also, because if I walked in there and showed one sliver of weakness, that both of them were equally important to me, Niska wouldn’t have let any of us go. If I didn’t choose, he would have kept me and used me to break the both of them.”

Color drains out of Kaylee’s face as Zoe leans forward, easily nudging her knight forward.

“But…” Kaylee stutters. “But what if you couldn’t choose between ‘em?”

Zoe watches as Kaylee bites her lip, as she tries not to jump at the board, where Zoe’s knight is now a sitting duck and prey to whims and mercies of Kaylee’s remaining bishop. She sighs as her knight is taken.

“I had to choose.” She says simply as she moves her Queen out of hiding, places it square in the middle of the board. “I had to risk sacrificing one of them. Because, if I didn’t, I would have lost them both.”

Zoe uses the tip of her fingernail to tap Kaylee’s King over.


“This ship is like my home.” It hurt her, physically hurt her to say it. “An’ everyone on it is like my family. We been so close and now, ‘cause of me, that’s gone.”

Nobody disagrees with her. She didn’t really expect them to.

“I’m sorry.” She tried, tried so hard to stop the tears, but she couldn’t help it. “I didn’t want…”

“Mei mei.” Inara is the first to come over, to lay hands on her shoulders and she’s grateful for that. “Don’t do this to yourself.”


“I don’t know what to do, ‘Nara.”

It’s a sanctuary of sorts, Inara’s shuttle, a small piece of the ship that she can come to and not feel inundated with everyone. There’s few of those spaces left and she desperately needs somewhere to think, somewhere the rest of them won’t follow.

“What do you want to do?” Inara’s voice is, as always, the calming balm it’s trained to be.

“Simon, he’s everything I been wanting, and now he wants me. He’s ready to try and make things work. He said so, said he wants to take things to the next level, whatever that is.”

Kaylee feels, rather than sees Inara urging her to continue.

“And Jayne, he’s been nothin’ but sweet to me. An’… I don’t know, it’s like he’s everything I didn’t know I wanted. He wants me to be more’n just a one night stand, I know it, I guess I known it for a while, and I can’t help but see what he means, too.”

“Kaylee.” Inara takes her chin in both hands and forces her to meet her eyes. “I asked you what you wanted. I already know what Simon and Jayne want.”

“That’s just it.” It’s a wail, held deep and secret. “I don’t know! I can’t think about anythin’ else, everywhere I go, it’s Jayne and Simon. I just don’t know what to do.”

“Yes you do.” River’s calm voice floats out of nowhere and they both turn to look at her. “Deep down. You know what you need to do.”


“I’m not sure I understand.” Book broke the pause.

Kaylee looked up at Mal in desperation, pleading with him to take over the conversation, to lead where she obviously can’t. He shrugs at her, unwilling to help or aide her in this. He’s already spoken his piece to her, told her what he thinks, and it’s not the most supportive he’s ever been.

Across the table, two pairs of eyes on either side of the table bore into the woodwork. Neither of them look up, neither of them move. If it was any other situation it would have tickled her, amused her to see them so similar.

Anything else, but this.

“I had to make a choice.” She said it simply. “So I did.”


“Jayne?” Her voice waivers, breaks in the middle. “Jayne? Say somethin’.”

He looks up and his eyes are ready to kill.

“What do ya want me to say, Kaylee? You made your choice, didn’t you?”

She can only nod.

“An’ there ain’t nothin’ I can do to talk you out of it?”

She shakes her head and wills her eyes not to cry.


He stands up, stepping towards her and there’s no way to hide the flinch she gives or the way she steps back. His eyes widen and his mouth falls open. She can see it in his eyes, the way his anger drains away, replaced with something else.

Something too much like pain.

“Kaylee.” He says it again, but this time his hands have fallen down and crept behind his thighs. His whole posture is supplicant and it makes her even more sure of herself. “This isn’t how I wanted it.”

“I know.” It’s all she can give him.

“I could…” His voice is strained. “I could be anythin’ you wanted…”

“No, Jayne.” He has to understand. “I can’t do that to you, not anymore.”


Wash is the last one to enter the room, happily unaware of the tension he was about to break. They could all see the moment it hit him. The way his head twisted a little to the side as he looked at everyone, sized up the situation, then went to stand behind Zoe.

“Is it done?” Mal asked, his mouth drawn tight.

“Yeah.” He frowned, puzzled. “We’re set. Shouldn’t take longer than a few hours to get there.”

“We’ve changed course?” Inara sounded surprised. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere I know.” Wash answered. “I’m just the pilot. You wanna ask the Captain.”


“This is what you want, isn’t it?”

Kaylee thinks it’s the softness in his voice that will kill her. She’d waited for so long to hear him like this.

“Yes.” She swallows. “Yes, Simon, it is.”


“We’re going to Salisbury.” She whispered it.

Inara gasped beside her.

“Kaylee! No.”

“Yeah.” Jayne finally stood up and walked out of the room. “That’s what she said.”

“Sir?” Zoe glared. “You knew about this?”

“Girl made up her mind.” Was the only answer Mal gave. “She knows what I think of it.”

“I’m still not sure I understand.” Book cut in.

“I’m going home.” Kaylee told him. “I’m leaving Serenity.”

*** THE END.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006 7:36 AM


As soon as I started reading this chapter, I knew where it was headed.

I figured you'd pair her with Jayne again, since that's the pattern with your other fics. I confess to being quite happy that you veered away from that expected ending.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 8:00 AM


Final???!!! *shakes head uncomprendingly*

oh, the heartache, *sob*, *bows head to queen*

I will accept this as the end as long as you get back to the other fics asap!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 8:09 AM


Oh gosh. I don't really know how I expected it to end...I was hoping for a happy Jaylee ending I think, but I see that you really had no other way out.

Buty how will Serenity manage without Kaylee? She's what leeps the family together!!

Thanks for a great story...and I'm OK because we've still got "Best Deceptions" running in the background :-)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 9:24 AM


I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this was exactly what I wanted for an ending: Kaylee being strong. She really beat herself up in this fic, and the only way out was really for both relationships to end (it really pains me to say that!).
--I'm trying not to blame you for hurting them all so much ;)

It was wonderfully written, Joss could take angst lessons from you. Now back to the other fics and on to the new!

hope you feel better soon.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 11:18 AM


I'm so torn up now I even lost my will to do anyhing...
I'm sure Simon will get over it in time and get back worrying about River like nothing has ever happened, but Jayne, oh God Jayne, he will be broken you realize what damage you done to him??? May Kaylee spend in the dark the rest of her fearful life...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 11:37 AM


Fine writing. A twist of the knife worthy off Joss, without actually killing anyone off. Now I only hope your muse grabs you and makes you continue it! Get well soon!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:21 PM


J - I understand why you had to handle it this way. Your work, as always is amazing. And sometimes excruciating and heartwrenching.

I think I need a good cry now - for all of them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:27 PM


My favorite story endings are not the ones that make me happy for all the characters involved - they are the endings that are an appropriate fit with the course of the plot and the evolution of the characters. You've done that here. All of these actions and reactions are true to the characters you created. Thanks for an excellent read, and keep up the great work!

Of course, a small part of me is also picturing a sequel fic, set 2 or 5 or 10 years down the road...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:24 PM


I had a feeling this was going to happen, not exactly Kaylee making a choice but running away from having to choose Simon or Jayne, knowing the other one would be left heartbroken. Now they are both going to be heartbroken along with the loss and pain to the rest of Serenity's crew. Oh Kaylee, wish you had learnt that lesson from Inara. You can run all you like but you cannot outrun the longing in your heart. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:25 PM


Okay, now I understand tension as much as the next gal, but Serenity without Kaylee is like cereal without milk. How can that be possible?

There has to be a way for them to fix this. Um, let's see ... Jayne could leave?

I'm not a Kaylee/Jayne shipper, can you tell?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:31 PM


And the end, nobody wins.

This fic has been painfully true-to-life for me, and this installment is no exception. I've said before that Kaylee is inherently selfish despite her shiny happy exterior, and her decision here just proved it for me. She's making out that she's doing this for everyone else's sake, but it's really only to make herself feel better. She'd rather run away than take a stand, make a choice and live with it.

I still want to strangle her, but you could probably soothe my homicidal side my writing more Jaylee fluff. I wanna go live in a happy little cotton-candy fantasy-world for a while so's I can recover from this emotional rollercoaster ride.

You're a phenomenal writer, Jacqui. Keep it up.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 8:27 PM


Oh...this is some mighty good fic, Jacqui....depressing and painful as all hell, but definitely something I could see happen.

Really, I ship for Simon and Kaylee...but I have honestly felt Kaylee's shininess would have been tempered and reforged by an issue like this had the series continued....Willow was the same way and she ended up almost destroying the world in Season 6 of Buffy!

Jacqui...even if it's a short epilogue...just a little bit more some time in the future...just to balance out all the fluff you're gonna have to write to make up for all this pain;)


Sunday, May 28, 2006 6:27 AM





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The Best Deceptions: Ch 9
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