BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

JACQUI

Something From Nothing 12/12.
Saturday, April 8, 2006

FINAL in the series. Kaylee Frye is out of time.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3644    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

Yup. That's it. And really, this time I mean it. THE END. It's over. No sequels. There's nothing more to say. Answers abound.

Rating PG.

Disclaimer: I only want one of 'em, Joss can have the rest.

Feedback: Oh, please. Really, it's the final chapter, you have to tell me what you think! Comment here or email: wily_one24@yahoo.com.au

Comments: I know there is no way in the world that I could possibly satisfy everyone with the ending of this. I hope this suffices.

THANK YOU to everyone for being so positive and encouraging me along the way, with comments and emails and pictures and everything else, you guys rock.

***

Previous Chapters: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven.

***

Chapter Twelve:

***

Jayne let one hand come up and cover the tiny ones that clung to his neck. It felt good, the weight on his back, the little knees that dug into his ribs. There was something just right about it.

He brought his other hand up behind him to adjust James.

"We just about finished?" Mal panted.

"Winning Ball!" James cheered.

Jayne chanced a look up to the catwalk, he'd been keeping a stray eye on Kaylee and Inara all through the game. They'd both looked pretty serious, talking quietly between themselves, but he'd expected that.

He watched Inara abandon her china and scoop Kaylee up, guiding her gently, but firmly into her shuttle and closing the door. Something tightened in his jaw.

"Nah." He forced a grin and turned back. "I reckon we can go a little more."

***

Kaylee screws her mouth to the side, hoping that the more she looks inside the box, the quicker a solution will come. It doesn't. There's no other way to say it.

She doesn't have enough food.

Her eyes flick over to the trunk in the back of the room. James has been sleeping for hours now and when he wakes up, he's going to be hungry. It's harder to say no to him than it is to herself.

She doesn't need to eat today. She can wait. Word has been spreading around town of a ship flying through atmo. It won't be long before someone lands. Everyone says so. Not long at all.

Slowly, carefully, she closes the lid, shoves the box to the back of a shelf and covers it with a tattered, shredded rag that used to be a blanket.

"Stocks getting low?"

His voice startles the air out of her lungs and she spins to meet him. Her heart won't stop pounding blood through her veins, rushed and loud. She hates the fear he sets off in her, hates the way she can't ever seem to get hold of herself when he's there.

"What are you doing here?"

She mostly hates the way he chuckles. Like they're having a friendly conversation, like he has every right to be there, smiling at her.

"Just came to check on you." The smile sets on his face, easy, he's getting too comfortable. "Things're getting pretty tense lately."

That's an understatement if she's ever heard one.

"I'm fine." But the shaking in her voice says otherwise. "Really, I'm good. You can go now."

His eyes flicker up and down, running over every inch of her. Kaylee wants to scrub her skin with boiling water.

"How's your boy? I ain't seen him around for a while." The interest in his voice makes her sick. "I thought you were doin' such a fine job of lookn' after him. Don't tell me something... terrible... happened?"

She doesn't answer, just keeps her head up, looks him in the eye and waits for him to get whatever he came for out of his system so he can leave.

"Or, could it be?" His smile becomes predatory and she tries not to tremble. "You finally convinced someone else to take him in. But how? I know you didn't pay them, you don't have anything left."

It's only a few steps before he's there, in front of her, and all she wants to do is run. Her skin screams with it. But she doesn't. She won't leave her son there.

"Did you use your considerable..." His hand comes up and she feels his skin, hot and clammy, touch the side of her jaw. "... charms?"

Kaylee slaps his hand away, feeling just a moment of secret triumph as the sound of skin connecting hard with skin rings out and he flinches.

"Don't touch me."

Her hand is caught in a larger one, snap quick, fingers closing tight over her wrist as it's held in mid air. She can feel the bones inside push and grind together.

"Or what?"

Her teeth close down on the inside of her cheek as she struggles not to show how scared she is. She won't cry out loud for him. She won't. Her arm shakes with the effort to pull away.

"Let me go."

His fingers uncurl, one by one, and the sudden rush of circulation is almost worse than the tight hold he had. She jerks her arm back and steps away from him. Trying not to see the red claw marks on her skin.

"Now, now." It's soft, his voice, but there's nothing gentle about it. "Is that anyway to act 'round someone who's just brought you a present?"

"I don't want it."

She says it without thinking, doesn't even give him time to finish what he was saying. He doesn't seem phased as he reaches into his pocket and then opens his hand.

"You sure about that, are ya?"

Kaylee can't breathe, something closes around her lungs and squeezes cruelly. He's holding out an anometric converter drive, letting it sit snugly in the palm of his proffered hand. Oh, so casual.

As if it wasn't the very thing she needed for a connection to the cortex, to make that call for help.

Kaylee can almost taste Serenity's recycled air.

"Keep it." She manages.

"That's not nice." He frowns. "You know what I had to go through to get this? You should be more grateful."

He closes the distance between them and Kaylee backs up, feels the edge of the table dig into the tops of her thighs.

"Tell me, Mama Frye, what should all good girls and boys say when they get such a nice present?"

She sets her jaw and doesn't give him the satisfaction of an answer.

"Ta?"

Kaylee can't even blink for a second, her heart sinks as the little word echoes through the room. James knows to stay quiet, to stay out of sight, no matter what he hears. He knows it. But he's too good to let a simple question go unanswered.

Their eyes meet and his glisten.

"Now, that's interesting." He looks behind her to search the room and she can see the second his eyes fall on the trunk. "Sounds to me like you been hiding things."

"No." Her head shakes the negation, but she's not sure what she's denying.

"Why would a nice girl like you hide such a sweet little boy like that?"

"Don't." There's so very little space between them, she wants to crawl back over the table to get away. "Please..."

"Please?" His eyes look straight into hers and she knows. "That's not what I asked you to say, is it?"

Kaylee Frye is out of time.

"No."

It's a little moan, the last of her hope as he grabs her hand and drags it up between them, fingers squeezing even tighter than before. She tries to keep her fist closed, tries to stop him forcing the little metal object between her fingers.

"Do you want it?" She tries to pull out of his grip, but he angles her arm down, hooks it under his elbow and she's stretched taut. "I think you do, don't you? You need it."

Her teeth clench to keep the cry in.

"Yes."

Immediately the pressure is gone, her arm is lowered, but he doesn't let it go. He catches her other hand and pushes them both back to the table behind her. She's pinned and he's everywhere.

"So?"

Her fingers go slack and she hears the crisp roll of metal over the table.

"Thank you." Small voice, small words.

"Yeah." He lets got of her left hand so he can lean in close and touch her cheek. "I always knew you could be a good girl."

The drive stops its roll, sounding a metallic clink as it bounces, and Kaylee remembers a wrench lying on the table top. Her hand twitches, she can't stop it, and his eyes follow the path.

"No. Uh uh." He shakes his head. "You ain't gonna hit me, are ya?"

"No?" Her voice rises in the end, spiked by the fear coursing through her.

It's sudden, too sudden to stop the small cry she gives as his hands come up and grab her shoulders, as he pulls her forward from the table and then pushes her away.

Her spine hits the wall, followed by her hips and then her skull. It takes her breath and she gasps as he follows her, hands catching up with her face and body pressing into hers.

"Good girls don't fight back, Mama Frye."

His thumbs press hard into her cheek bones and she sucks her top lip between her teeth as her eyes burn. It's nothing, her brain screams at her, nothing. The ceiling above them needs to be repainted, she notes with desperation, her eyes seeking out the inevitable faults so she doesn't hear the small whimper come from across the room.

And, oh god, his hands slide down her neck, thumbs dragging down over her face and under her chin until she can feel his fingers circle her throat. She can't stop the whimper as the memory slams into her.

"You ain't gonna make a fuss, are you?"

She tries to shake her head, but she's frozen, she can barely suck air in through her windpipe, even though his fingers aren't pressing that hard. Hot, greasy, stained thumbs rubbing circles, connected to his hands.

Hands that held Becca like this, exactly like this.

"Are you?"

"No." She grits out. "No."

She's going to die and James is going to be left alone.

"And why?" He leans forward close enough to smell the side of her neck. "Why not?"

She needs to stay alive just a little bit longer, enough to get her son out of this.

"'Cause I'm grateful." The words are like acid, tearing the flesh off her tongue as she speaks them. "'Cause you brought me a present."

He buries his mouth in her neck, smoothes his hands over the front of her throat. Kaylee can hear him hum, can feel it in the rumble of his adam's apple against her collar bone.

"Yeah, I did." He doesn't slide his hands lower, he doesn't. "And what does that mean?"

Her brain blanks out, refuses to help her, and she grinds the back of her skull into the wall.

"Hey." He growls. "None of that. It means I won. That's what it means. Say it."

"You... you..." The tears burn her eyes as they push through. "You won."

In her head, she knows her shirt is loosening, knows the buttons slacken and fall away. She knows that's his mouth working over her neck, licking at her skin, sucking at her.

But she doesn't feel it as her hands open and close, fisting uselessly at her sides.

"Say it again."

Strange, how easier the words get the emptier she allows herself to feel.

"You won."

"Guess I did." His teeth nip at a tendon in her neck and she hisses. "Now you start showin' me how very grateful you are."

Companions choose their clients, Inara's voice hits her out of nowhere, that's Guild Law. Kaylee's hands force themselves up under his shirt, force themselves to touch the skin at the sides of his ribs. It's not about the money or the physical act of love, mei mei, that's just a small part of it, it's about sharing. True Companionship is about the two of you giving and receiving what you most need.

That must make her a common whore.

"Miss Frye! Miss Frye! There's a ship! There's a..."

Geoffrey comes to a sudden halt in the middle of the shop and stares at the two of them. His mouth goes slack. Kaylee brings her hands around and shoves at the man in front of her, pushes him away, before struggling to bring the edges of her shirt back up.

"You got bad timing, boy." It's a low, threatening growl. "You better watch that."

"You leave him." Kaylee finds her voice as the heels of her hand try to dig away the tears in her eyes. "You leave him out of it."

"I ain't finished with you, Mama Frye." A finger points right at her and she feels herself shrivel. "I'll be back."

And then he's gone. It's just her and Geoffrey and a small, keening whine coming from the back of the store. Kaylee rushes to the table and her eyes scan the top of it.

"Where'd it go?"

She drops to her knees and fumbles at the ground, sweeping her hand over the floor. Her fingernail catches and she nearly tears it off in her frustration.

"He took it! Gorram it, he took..."

"Miss Frye?" It's a soft voice that speaks next to her, a gentle hand that lands on her back. "What happened?"

She's already crying, she has been since before he'd entered, but Geoffrey makes her sob, makes her break down right there on her daddy's floor.

***

"Oh, Kaylee." Inara reached out and folded Kaylee into her arms. "Kaylee, that's horrible."

She didn't know what to say as Kaylee's hands snaked around her waist and held tight. They rocked back and forth and Inara stroked Kaylee's hair, ran her fingers through it.

"It's horrible, yes." She continued. "But that doesn't mean you gave in."

"Iduthntooo!"

"No." She kept her voice steady. "No, it doesn't."

She waited until Kaylee had calmed a little, until she could pull back and look into her eyes.

"You listen to me, what he did to you, everything he did, was his fault. Not yours." She couldn't tell if Kaylee was taking the words in. "You didn't do anything wrong and we're all still proud of you for surviving that."

Inara was even more grateful that Jayne had come to ask for her help, she couldn't imagine Jayne's reaction to the story that Kaylee had just told. It wouldn't be pretty, whatever he did.

"But I would have." Kaylee blushed as her eyes fell. "If Geoffrey didn't come in, I would have..."

"That wasn't a choice, mei mei. Even if you think it was."

It was the kind of advice that rang bitter inside Inara's head. She was trained in all forms of comfort and guidance, she knew what she should be saying, every Companion knew this side of it inside and out before they left the Training House.

She'd just never thought she'd be using this particular knowledge on Kaylee.

"He forced you into thinking it was, but it wasn't."

"I don't know." Kaylee was lost and she wasn't going to accept what Inara was saying. "It doesn't feel..."

"You were right about one thing, though."

Inara could see Kaylee's eyes widen and knew she had an audience.

"Companions do choose their clients. Choose being the important word there. Everything I do, everybody I do it with, is my choice. I make that decision." They weren't beautiful words, weren't the ones laid down in her training, but they applied. "Even a whore on the lowliest, most lawless of planets has more choice than you were given."

Kaylee shook her head, but Inara could see the idea take hold and that was all she needed for now.

"Do you think, for one moment, Simon or Mal or Jayne would force any woman to do what she didn't want to do? No real man would find pleasure in that."

She lifted Kaylee's chin and forced her to look up.

"You were strong, all the way through, you're still strong now."

***

It exhausted her. Talking to Inara like that, getting everything off her chest and crying. Kaylee always felt drained after an emotional outburst.

She barely had the energy to take James out of Jayne's arms, to bring him up to her chest and hold him there. It was a comfort, he would always comfort her, his tiny hands clinging to her neck and limbs surging around her.

Kaylee almost felt guilty knowing that James could feel her anguish and felt the need to cling to her so hard because of it.

"You okay?" Jayne laid a hand on the small of her back, warm and large.

"Yeah." She twisted with it, felt herself move with him. "Thank you, for making me do that."

James let himself be laid down on the small, cleared surface. Her heavy hands began to free his chubby little legs from his clothes, even tired beyond the point of reason, she would never cease being amazed at the delicate skin of her son, the way he let her move his body. The way he trusted her completely.

"Kaylee." Jayne scratched nervously at the back of his neck. "I wanted to help, you know I wanted, if I could have..."

She smiled, even as they both looked away, both turned away from the godawful smell in front of them.

"You are, I told you." Her hands moved by themselves, knew the dance well enough. "Jayne, just be here for your son."

"No. That ain't enough." It shocked her, made her gasp as she pinned fresh clothes on James. "Kaylee, I meant I wanna be here for you. For you."

Gorram it all to hell... she wasn't going to cry again.

***

Inara cried.

Alone in her shuttle, safe and clear from upsetting Kaylee and doing further damage, she cried. Her hands shook as she tried to fold... something, anything, a cloth that she could not have cared less about.

"That bad?"

"Don't you ever knock?" She turned, angry, ready to lash out. "Mal, don't you ever...?"

But his arms came around her and she couldn't speak anymore, just pushed uselessly against his chest.

"Shh." He whispered. "C'mon."

***

River lay on her back, staring up at the ceiling of her room. Her hand came up and she twisted the fingers in mid air, watched the different patterns they made, let her eyes become unfocused and blurred.

"Mei mei?" Simon floated in from the door. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Yes." She answered obediently.

"You've been quiet lately." His words were unnecessary, obvious to the point of stupidity, but they weren't what he wanted to say and he didn't know how, so she forgave them. "Will you be coming out soon?"

"Soon." She promised with an echo. "It's too raw right now. I can't deal with it."

Easy, vague words, but he would accept them.

"If you need anything..."

River's lips curled up into a wistful smile.

"Simon, I am fine. Let me be."

Soon, she'd promised him and she never broke her promises. She hadn't lied, Kaylee was too open, too desperate in her pain and grief. It wasn't her fault, she had to let it out, and River knew the heated, uncontrollable rush of it would pass. Sooner than they thought.

She knew the carefully restrained anger in Jayne would pass, too. The sudden surge of helplessness and responsibility, that would slowly ebb, drain away until he was left with the glow of family.

And everyone else would stretch and softly close around the ranks, adjust to the new life and lives on board, would take everything in stride.

Then River could be a River, the soft, flowing coil of herself, uninterrupted by the unintentioned surges of everyone else.

Until then, she let her fingers make strange shapes in the air above her face, let them wind in the spaces left free. She tried not to see the missing hand, the one stained with grease and the slightest tinge of hopelessness, of being thrust into a job not prepared for.

Zeph hadn't stayed long enough to do anything but hold her hand.

***

"Well." Wash grinned. "What do you think that was about?"

Zoe frowned at him.

"You need to ask that, husband, and we need to have a serious talk."

He watched with great amusement as she tried to jiggle the baby she held in her hands, holding James just underneath his armpits.

"He won't explode, you know."

"Yes." She smiled tightly. "Thank you, you're a great help."

"Oh, well." He smiled to himself as he swung the chair back to the console. "Have fun."

"Oh, Honey?" Came the growl behind him. "You wanna help me here?"

"What?" It was difficult to hold the laughter in, seeing her stricken expression. "He doesn't like me, we've established that fact. You're stuck with him."

"I clearly remember Jayne running in here and telling us both to watch him." A pause. "And he adores you."

Wash just raised his brow.

"James?" Zoe pleaded as she held him out to the pilot seat. "You like Wash, don't you? He's colorful, he has toys, and you're most likely at the same level of maturity."

"Hey!"

"Wash?" James asked. "An' So?"

"Show him the dinosaurs again."

"But he didn't..."

"Show him. Or you'll be a lonely, lonely man."

"Your call." He shot back, then reached for the toys on the console, gently nudging one towards James. "Hey, little man. This here is a stegosaurus, but you can call him steggy."

James screwed up his mouth as he eyed Wash and then the dinosaur in his hand. Wash held his breath, hoping that the resulting screech wouldn't be too loud.

"Teggy?"

"Yes." He grinned as he let go, watched James wrap his hand around the toy, before bringing up his own. "And this one is T-Rex! Rrrowwr!"

"Sweetie?" Zoe began. "That didn't go over so..."

But James had other ideas.

"Rowrrr!" The toys clashed. "Grrrrrr!"

"See, no." Wash frowned. "They don't growl, they roar. They're huge beasts, it's..."

"Teggy grrr." James insisted.

"Okay, okay." Wash conceded. "You win."

"I knew you two would get along." Zoe deposited James in Wash's lap, tapped her husband's head and smiled. "I have work to do."

"But...!" He called. "You can't leave me with..."

"Teggy grrrr!"

"Yeah? Well, T-Rex roars! Rrowrrr!"

"Have fun, you two."

***

"I made a mistake, Kaylee. A big one."

Jayne could see the confusion in her eyes as she stood there, waiting for him. He'd never been good at things like this. Never. That's why he usually left most of the speaking to other people, they usually said it for him.

"I shoulda told you before you left, but I didn't." He swallowed nervously. "I don't wanna be some guy you come to just 'cause you're upset and need to feel better."

"Jayne..."

But he couldn't let her speak, or he'd lose his nerve and never be able to say it again.

"I don't just wanna be there 'cause there ain't no one else around, neither." He frowned down at her when she stood so close to him. "I just wanna be with you. Together. You an' me."

"I know." She took his hand. "Me, too."

He felt himself pout.

"No, you don't get it, none, Kaylee." But he didn't let go of her hand. He wasn't stupid. "You wanna know why you found me here when you got back?"

It was her turn to frown, a puzzled crease forming in her forehead.

"'Cause Mal gives you ten percent, a bunk, the kitchen and despite what you say, you still think of us all as family and you don't ever turn your back on family? Plus your weights're too heavy to lug off anywhere else."

Jayne blinked.

"No, well... yeah, but it's more." He breathed in. "There was plenty of times I thought about leavin', thought there weren't nothin' left here after you was gone. But if I did, I wouldn't've had any way of knowin' you was okay."

He could see the way her eyes softened.

"It weren't ever much, but every couple of months, you'd wave Mal or he'd wave you and we'd know, just for that time, you was doin' well. And I figured the only time I'd ever get to see you again, was if you came back here."

There wasn't any way to argue that, he knew, so he didn’t wait for her to try.

"An' I figured, even if you came back and decided you wanted to be with Simon, or none of us, I figured I still needed to see if you was good. Needed to see it for myself, or I wouldn't be able to relax at all."

"I'm sorry." She whispered it up to him and it sounded sad. Too sad to be happy news and he felt himself falling. "I'm sorry, Jayne."

"Huh?" He blinked. "What? No, nothin' good ever came from sayin' sorry. Don't say sorry, Kaylee..."

She smiled and her other hand came out to slap at his shoulder.

"I meant I'm sorry I didn't see it before now." Then he understood. Then he smiled back. "I was all kinds of mean to you an' I don't deserve you now."

He couldn't stop himself reaching out to cup her cheek, to rest it in the palm of his hand and he liked the feel of her letting him.

"I don't want this 'cause you feel you done me wrong." One last chance for her to say no. "I want this 'cause you want it, too."

He held his breath and waited for her to pull away.

She didn't.

***

"Shh." Kaylee hums it to the closed trunk as she rocks back and forth, eyes skimming over the open door. "Shh."

She's spent a lot of energy convincing James to lie still and quiet, not to make a sound, to stay hidden no matter what. Her fingers tap nervously on the wood. Counting down the seconds as they tick by.

Time stretching out endlessly.

The longer he makes her wait, the more she feels sick and gutted.

"Miss Frye?" She can't remember closing her eyes, but Geoffrey appears in the space of a blink. "You in here, Miss Frye?"

"Oh my god!" She stands up and rushes over to him. "What happened?"

He stumbles a little as he makes his way in past the door and she catches him, leads him to a chair.

"It ain't nothin'." Geoffrey breathes heavily. "I didn't know if you'd still be here, kinda hoped you wouldn't, but I had to check."

"What?" But she thinks she knows.

"I got a job, Miss Frye, I'm goin' up in one of the ships. It ain't much, lousy pay, but it's somethin'."

Her first instinct is to tell him no, he can't do that. He's much too young, too small for life on a ship anywhere. But then she takes a second look. He's grown, too fast and too hard.

The left side of his face is swollen and there's a nasty gash that runs over his right eye. She felt him limp heavily on his right leg and he sits crouched protectively over his belly.

His face has stretched, lengthened, lost the baby fat that rounded it. His eyes are dark and they don't flinch when he looks at her anymore. His jaw is set and his body has toned down, become sleek with moderation and necessity and hard work.

She wants to tell him it's not safe out there, that he'd never make it.

"You be careful." She says instead. "Lots of people out there that'd take advantage of someone starting out. Don't you ever take less than your fair cut, don't you ever let no one steal what's yours."

Her eyes meet his.

"And don't you ever walk away from somethin' you want, just 'cause you're scared."

"I know." He blushes still. "I know all that. You don't gotta say."

His bravado makes her smile, but not for long. He's the only person that talks to her anymore and she doesn't think she'll survive long without him.

"I'm scared." She's too weak and weary to feel bad about making him feel guilty. "Geoffrey, I'm so scared. It’s been days, the longer he leaves it, the worse it’s gonna be."

"You don't gotta. He ain't gonna bother you no more." He takes one of her hands and squeezes it. "That's what I came to tell you. You could get on one of them ships, doesn't matter which one, just get on it and get out of here. You can't stay here."

"I have a ship." It feel strange to sound confident. "I just have to contact them. You think if your ship will let you...?"

Her voice trails off when she hands her something. Her fingers close over the metal and she knows what it is without looking, it sucks her mouth dry.

"What did you do?" Her eyes begin cataloguing his injuries. "What did you do?"

"Nothin' that wasn't overdue." He says. "Nothin' that shouldn't've been done a long time ago."

"Geoffrey..."

"You gotta leave, Miss Frye." His voice becomes insistent. "Before people start askin' questions. 'Cause they're gonna ask 'em about you."

There are tears and she can't tell if they're the good or the bad kind.

"Oh, Geoffrey." Her fingers turn the converter drive over and she sighs, nothing she says could ever change what happened. "Just tell me, is he dead?"

"You know, Becca was my friend." It's not an answer, they both know it. "We went to school together. When I was ten, she came up and kissed me on the cheek. I got so embarrassed, I didn't say nothin' to her for years after."

He hasn't spoken about that day since it happened. Not to her, anyway.

"She was a sweet girl, Miss Frye, she didn't deserve that." There's a pause. "And you didn't deserve it, neither. You been a good friend, I wanted to say that before I went."

"Thank you." She's not sure what for, but she needs to say it. "You too."

When she looks up, he's gone and she knows she's never going to see him again.

She spends several hours fixing the cortex link. The message, when she finally gets through, makes her want to weep. The ship you are connecting to is not in range or is currently out of service. Please try again later.

In all the time she spent wishing they'd appear out of nowhere to save her, she hasn't once thought that they might need saving themselves. A sharp stab of fear hits her and she can't swallow. She doesn't even really know whether they can take her back, whether they'd even want to.

She isn't the same person they left on this planet two years ago. That girl is long gone and she doesn't know how to get her back. Doesn't know if she wants to.

Kaylee tries for three days before there's the crackle of an incoming message.

"Cap'n?" And there he is, god, how she's missed that face. "Cap'n, that you? It's been a while since you checked in last."

"Kaylee?" It nearly breaks her, then and there, hearing his voice. Hearing his concern and knowing it’s real. "You been eating right? You've lost weight."

It’s the first time anyone’s said her name out loud in nearly three months.

***

COMMENTS

Saturday, April 8, 2006 3:20 AM

BOOKADDICT


Beautiful ending.

I'm glad the bad guy got his, though I didn't expect it to be Geoffrey.

I love Zoe leaving Wash with the James! lol.

"He held his breath and waited for her to pull away.


She didn't."

Perfect.

Saturday, April 8, 2006 3:52 AM

REENIE


So, I had to slow down as I was reading toward the end on account of the tears streaming down my face. What a beautiful ending. I think it's incredibly well written, and you DID cover everything. It was beautiful. I can't get that word out of my head. Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a moving series.

I guess, in theory, you could go on and on with each little story line but I like the idea of ending where you did. Everything is tied up and the reader can easily see what happens next for everyone. Better to leave the party at the peak then to stay too late. That is what makes you the genius you are.

Looking forward to your other fics.

Saturday, April 8, 2006 4:16 AM

BRITCHICK


Beautifully wrapped up.

Made me cry a little at the end.

Thank you Jacqui.

Saturday, April 8, 2006 4:24 AM

BURNANDBOIL


Really good writing, great conclusion. :D

Saturday, April 8, 2006 8:09 AM

BANZAIBILL


Incredibly good finish. I loved all of it. Inara was great, Jayne was wonderful, and poor Geoffrey! Geez, Wash, River and Simon were great too.

This was a perfect way to end it. Everything was answered, and you even gave River a hint of angst! Poor kid, and no one is worrying about her. You have an entire new story line there, if you wanted one.

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again - you have a wonderful talent. You're easily good enough to make money with your writing. Thanks for a wonderful story, and please keep writing these for us!

Saturday, April 8, 2006 9:59 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


While it's not the "Jayne lays waste to all who have wronged Kaylee" some people might have wanted....it was the right one for the story. All the props in the world to you, Jacqui:)

I really loved how you had the characters react, especially Kaylee in both her conversation with Inara and her actions back on her home planet.

I could imagine something like this happening to Kaylee if the show had gone on long enough...was already going there in the episodes we got and the BDM: Kaylee's sunshine getting tempered with something more dark and hard, something that would make the sunshine seem even more powerful when it came out.

And Geoffrey dealing with the mystery creep...right kind of decision. Kaylee doing it would have been a somewhat cathartic way of having it play out, but really....she would have gone over the raggedy edge and the woman Kaylee is/should be would have gotten lost. Jayne doing it would be cool...if you were doing the Hollywood cliche for revenge stories...which this wasn't.

I bow to your obvious skills and eagerly await whatever your next project is:)

BEB

Saturday, April 8, 2006 1:16 PM

HISGOODGIRL


Friend, teacher, beta, and remarkable writer - you have gifted us with a powerful journey between two rich and complex individuals.

Love, hate, confusion, fear, shame, self-judgement, rage, revulsion, creativity, love and ultimately, Redemption. Isn't
that exactly what Joss always said "Firefly" was ultimately about?

I once commented to you that a great artist is one who is able to create works which deeply and profoundly touch the souls of others. You have this gift, which you have shared so generously with all of us, and I, for one, will forever see the world around me and those I love in a new way because of your work.

Saturday, April 8, 2006 3:02 PM

RAVENHAIR


*with tears in eyes*
sigh, wonderful, just wonderful

*fingers crossed* hoping for one or two more set a little further in the future to see how family Cobb is doing?

the only upside to this end is that I can now go back to my own life (my kids will be so happy!)

Saturday, April 8, 2006 3:08 PM

RAVENHAIR


Does this mean you'll be going back to "Deceptions"?

*jumps for joy*

wow, that would be an incredible change of pace from this series!

Saturday, April 8, 2006 5:13 PM

CANTONHEROINE


Everyone else has already said what I wanted to say, and better. But this has got to be one of the best fics I've read in any 'verse, and the ending was simply wonderful.

That one line about River and Zeph just about broke me, by the way, because I'd just dismissed him in my head as the guy who didn't quite fill Kaylee's shoes. I never thought to picture how he fit with the rest of the crew.

Mal and Inara. *sigh*

Wash and Zoe. *giggle*

Jayne and Kaylee... perfection.

Sunday, April 9, 2006 7:48 PM

AYRAD


Sorry, the second to last anonymous was me...forgot to log-in!

Anonymous (80.117.36.57) Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 03:10

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 3:49 AM

HIS


Beautifully done. I can't say that I'm sorry that you have brought the series to it conclusion. You have torn me up with these stories, the emotional heights and depths. Thank you for expanding my understanding of two complex characters and the 'verse they live in.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 4:07 AM

BELLONA


i think geoffrey may be my new hero. now, if you'll just pass me that rather large box of kleenex, i'll be on my way.

b


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