Story: Kennedy Rose
Chapter: Time Off (1/?)
Disclaimer: Not my world in any way shape or form. Joss created all. I’m just playing in his sand box (but I brought my own shovel).
Summary: When a wave from Jayne’s ma interrupts the crew’s vacation at the Guild Mother’s estate, the crew of Serenity learns a lot about the merc, and a familiar face has ties to Dawn’s past.
Notes: Set in the Morning Rayne ‘verse. Follows “Discharge from Active Duty” (starts about a week after that one ends. Also, this will probably be another short one . . . I think.
Pairings: River/Dawn/Jayne, Mal/Inara, Simon/Kaylee
1: Time Off
Just over a week into their time at the Guild Mother’s estate, Malcolm Reynolds, veteran of the War for Independence and captain of the Firefly class transport ship Serenity found himself in a situation he had never thought possible. He was completely relaxed, immersed in a comfortable silence with Inara Serra, newly inactive Companion and, he was fairly certain, the most amazing woman in the ‘verse. Currently, they were sitting on a plush sofa in the same room where they’d first met Anya, High Priestess of the Guild of Companions and long time friend of his ships pilot, one Dawn Summers. Mal had one arm around Inara’s shoulders and was idly toying with Inara’s hair as she leaned against him. Every so often one of them would ask a question of the other, earning a murmured response.
They’d done this a lot, just sitting close together and learning all the little things they’d never bothered to share in the past. Sometimes they’d catch each other’s hands. Maybe touch an arm or hug, and so far it was enough. Like he’d told her after she came out of Anya’s office, they had all the time in the verse. Both tensed as the door slid open and turned as a throat was cleared nervously behind them. “Jayne.”
“Uh, Mal . . .” Dawn and River peeked out from behind Jayne, almost seeming to hover protectively. “Mal, I need some time off.”
The captain rolled his eyes. “Jayne, we done been over this. We’re all in the middle of a two week vacation, even you.”
“No, Mal, that ain’t what I mean.” Mal stood and turned, something in the mercenary’s voice demanding his attention. The other man almost sounded . . . nervous? “I uh, I got a wave jus’ now. From home. My ma.”
“Is everyone all right, Jayne?” Inara asked, moving to stand beside Mal, genuine concern on her face.
“Uh, no. No they ain’t Nara.”
“Your brother isn’t worse is he?”
“Matty, no, he’s bout the same. It’s my . . . my father. Ma said he’s dyin’ an’ he’s been askin’ fer me. She asked me to come home, an’ I need to go.”
“Of course you do, Jayne. We all understand that. I’m sure Mal will gladly give you all the time you need.” Mal felt Inara’s elbow jab into his ribs. “Right, Mal?”
“WHAT? MAL!” Jayne’s roar was accompanied by outraged cries from Dawn, River, and Inara and Mal winced, realizing he should have considered the phrasing of his response a bit more carefully.
“BIZUI!” Mal paused, waiting for his crew to settle down (which they did with mutinous looks). “Let me finish ‘fore ya get all riled up. Jayne, I ain’t givin’ ya the time off to go lookin’ for transport when we got us a perfectly fine, fully fueled ship sittin’ on the front lawn of this fine estate. Way I figure it, yer Ma wouldn’t wave unless in dire need. That means ya ain’t got much time and there ain’t no use going off world then lookin’ for passage and most likely havin’ to change ships a couple times.” Jayne stared at Mal, unable to form a reply. Mal noticed the women were having similar trouble. “What? It ain’t like I’m some heartless hundan. Man’s Ma waved cuz his pa’s ill.” Jayne visibly tensed at the reminder. “Like it or not, we’re family, even without shared blood.” The captain paused, waiting for his mercenary and pilots to scurry off and pack. When no one moved he made a shooing gesture. “Well, go on. Get your gear. We leave in an hour.”
The girls visibly jumped and tugged gently at Jayne’s arms. The larger man paused in the doorway, turning back. “Mal. Thanks.”
Mal nodded at Jayne, suddenly uncomfortable with this new side of the mercenary. “Oh, and Dawn, you have to tell Anya!” Mal grinned as Dawn sputtered all the way down the hall then turned to Inara. “Well, seems our vacation just got cut short. We best be—mmph!” Whatever he had been planning to say was lost as Inara, cool, reserved, companion Inara, flung herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and laying a kiss on him that like to melted his boots. Once they broke apart, he couldn’t help touching her face. “Well now, I’m thinking we should have done that sooner. As first kisses go I don’t reckon that was too bad.”
“You’re a good man Malcolm Reynolds,” Inara whispered before offering a second, light kiss.