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Rating:  R – If it is worse than an ‘R’ let me know and I’ll change the rating accordingly

Disclaimer:  You know who they belong to and it isn’t me

Pairing:  Jayne/River and Mal/Inara

Precious Commodity

By Lattelady

Ch 5 - Pivot Points of Fate


Though Jayne’s head had stopped spinning, he still had trouble catching his breath.  His body was damp and plastered against a small feminine one.  His nose was pressed into her neck and it felt as if he’d died and gone to heaven.

No one had ever accused Jayne Cobb of being a man of introspection, but at the moment he was lookin’ deep inside himself and found only confusion.  Kissin’ River had made his insides tingle, though he was a man who never kissed, especially on the lips.  Even now, just lookin’ at her mouth, still puffy from passion, made him want to devour it all over again.  It made no sense, just like the fact that sexin’ the inexperienced girl beneath him had been the best he’d had in his entire life.  But worst of all he was feelin’ all possessive and proud-like ‘cause he knew he was her first.  He was a man who reveled in well-experienced women; the ones that knew every trick in the book and were willin’ to invent some as they went along.

He gritted his teeth and let reality reassert itself.  He’d just sexed-up the moon-brained girl. The one who had taken a knife to his chest! So what if she’d had a good reason, it had still been a knife. It had still been sharp enough to cut through his shirt and skin. As long as he thought about her like that he figured he’d have the strength to pull away.

“No,” River whispered. She slid her hands down his back and pressed against his butt to keep him in place, his softening length still buried deep. “I need your touch, on the inside as well as the out.” To emphasize her point, she tipped her pelvis tight against his. The quick movement caused her to suck in her breath as pain shot through her.

“Gorramnit,” he muttered and gently cupped her face while he ran his fingers through her hair.  “Ya gotta let me go. I’ve already hurt ya enough.”  He’d taken her virginity and though he’d been as gentle as he could, he was a big, rough man who knew far more about takin’ care of his own needs, than others.  Now he’d only added to her pain by trying to pull free too quickly.

“It is not your anatomy which caused the discomfort.  It was your technique with a syringe and needle.” She grimaced and reached her left hand down to rub her hip, while pressing hard against his bottom with her right.

“Huh?” he looked at her in confusion.

“My ventrogluteal muscle has been sorely abused.”  She frowned and pouted slightly. “The injection of antibiotics you gave me, remember?” she added and tried not to roll her eyes at him the way she would Simon.

“Well, let’s see what I can do about that,” he chuckled as guilt was pushed aside by a jagged need to touch her again.  Shiftin’ slightly he reached down to cup her rounded bottom and discovered she fit into his hands as if molded there.  He’d wanted to hold her like that ever since he’d given her that damn shot.  Now with them still locked together, havin’ just sexed each other, it was better than he coulda imagined.

“Ooohhh that feels good.” River whispered, as he massaged the sore area. She’d always been fascinated by the big man’s hands.  To feel them on her body made her go limp.

"It sure does,” Jayne moaned as he felt himself begin to grow hard in her warm wet depths.  His response set off alarm bells in his head. “Wait!” he blinked in confusion.  “River, this is wrong.”  Though he said the words he didn’t have the strength to pull away. Instead he forced his body to hold still, keeping them locked together. “It was bad enough that I touched ya the first time, but now there ain’t no excuse.  You’re just an innocent young girl. Ya come from money and a good upbrinin’.  I’m a selfish old man from an outer moon who wouldn’t think twice ‘bout slittin’ a man’s throat if the credits was good enough.  Look what I almost did to you and Simon on Ariel!”

“I come from a good family?” She gasped in shock and gripped his shoulders. “You and I have very different definitions of the word ‘good’!”

"You know what I mean.”  He glared at her as they argued, still pressed tightly together.

"I certainly do not.  I may be a genius, but all I ever wanted was to dance, to be a ballerina.  At fourteen I was offered a place in the Core World Ballet Company. It is among the top three in the ‘verse.  Over one hundred dancers apply for each position and they wanted me!” She nodded for emphasis.

"But it was not allowed. I was told, by my father, that Tams attended the ballet, supported it monetarily as an art form, but never ever participated as anything but spectators.” She closed her eyes tightly to try and close out the memory of her father’s words that rang in her head.  “No matter how highly dance is regarded, it is considered entertainment.  No one in our family had ever been an entertainer and I would not be the first.”

"You wanted to be one of those dancers that wears them tiny skirts and dances on their toes?”  Jayne had seen a picture of a ballerina once.  It had been an advertisement and he remembered thinkin’ the girl in the poster was the prettiest, most delicate thing he’d ever seen.  He pictured River’s fluid graceful movements as she’d fought in the Maidenhead and things began to make sense. 

"Not wanted to be, I was. They allowed me to take lessons with the company for years. It was considered an honor, but when I excelled they began to worry.  When the offer came, I was forbidden to return.”  She laughed bitterly at the outcome of her parents’ decision.  “Instead I was sent to the Alliance’s Academy where I was tortured until I was willing to learn to fight and kill.  I wonder if my parents would find that more socially acceptable.” Anger flashed in her eyes and she trembled.

"River, that still don’t make what we did right!” Jayne was gettin’ angry. His good intentions were doing battle with his natural inclination to take what he wanted, and he wanted her.  It wasn’t any help that the girl wouldn’t listen to reason. And the more she told him about her past, the more he wanted to hold her close and never let her go.      


“You have not decided.” She gasped in surprise as she studied him carefully.  Her decision had been made, it had clouded her vision so she believed he’d made his when he picked her up in the hall outside the shower and carried her to the mattress they’d shared, but she’d been wrong.  Now it was clear why she was unable to see what lay before them.  He had yet to choose.


“There ain’t nothin’ for me to decide.”  He glared.  She made him feel all kinds of guilty and he wasn’t a man who ever felt guilt, about anything.  Even worse she made him stir with emotions he’d never felt and that scared him.  “’Sides you’re way too young for me.”


“In years maybe, but in experience I am older than you by far.” She knew what was in her head, what she’d done and what the Alliance had made her think she’d done.  There was nothing young and innocent about her. Now all she had to do was convince Jayne without horrifying him.  Because they were far more alike than he knew and it didn’t horrify her.


“You forget, I’m the one with the blood from your virginity on my finger.” His words were rough and ragged, like the memory he carried of touching her without thinkin’.  “You was innocent!”  Though his intentions had been good when he’d tried to give her relief from the passions that had raged through her, without actually sexin’ her, the damage had been done.


“Only my body was innocent.” She sounded old and tired as the words ripped memories to the surface of her mind. She would have to tell him the entire story. He had to understand before he could decide. “After they stripped my brain of the part that would allow me to mentally escape the feelings they fed me with their machinery, they searched for the one thing that would keep me under their control.”  She lay still and lifeless beneath Jayne.  Their bodies were pressed together, but she didn’t feel his skin warming hers.  She was back in the locked rooms where she had been nothing but the Alliance’s puppet.


“I was their new weapon, their toy, they did not wish to damage me, so physical persuasion was never used.  Instead they would strap me into their chair and feed my thoughts.  Many times it was the scary monsters they wanted me to fight. That was bad enough, because there was no escape, but I wouldn’t give in to fear.  When they realized that, they hit on the idea of stimulating the part of my brain that controlled desire.”


“Oh, God, girl,” Jayne stroked her face and wrapped his arm under her shoulders to pull her closer against his chest. He was careful to keep her spread beneath him in hopes the intimate touch of their bodies would help wipe the dead vacant look from her eyes.  Her vague words hours earlier had been painful enough but to hear her describe what had happened to her in detail ripped holes his heart.


“Time had no meaning when I was a prisoner in their chair, with sweat running off my body and wild frantic needs filling my brain.  All I could do was scream until I was hoarse and my throat felt raw.  I had no way to release the feelings that were created. They were cunning in the use of their mental stimulus, giving me enough to want, but not enough to find an end to it.  One day they decided I was ready for the training to begin.  I would have a session in the chair, then be taken to the practice field where I was taught to fight.” She shrugged and blinked tears out of her eyes.  “It was enough like dancing that it came easily for me.  But best of all, if I fought hard enough, the roaring needs they had created in me would dissipate.”  She reached for Jayne’s face and cupped his cheek.  “There was never an explosive release like you gave me, but the gnawing feelings in my belly would quiet and I could sleep.”


“Was there any way you coulda…well…ya know…dealt with it…ah yourself?” He was shocked at what he’d heard, but he was a physical man who had never been shy about touching his own body.


“I…ah…tried…once.” She bit her lip as tears filled her eyes.  “On the way to the practice field I tried touch…to…make the want go away.  They saw…and…instead of fighting that day, they strapped me into the chair again…When they were finally through, they tied my arms to the sides of my bed and left me alone with my skin crawling with need.  From then on, they never left me alone unless my arms were tied.”    


“All the more reason I souldn’t’a touched ya before and never should again,” he snapped at her.  His emotions were tied in knots from all she’d told him, but it didn’t change how he felt about her.  He wanted her plain and simple, but there was no plain and simple when it came to River Tam. The Alliance had seen to that.  At the moment he wasn’t sure he was any better than they were. He had to say somethin’ that would make her hate him enough to pull away, so he chose something selfish and demanding. “Damnit, you’re a reader, you know this will only lead to trouble.  Mal and Simon will have my balls for breakfast if they find out what I did.  The quicker we put an end to it, the better.”


“Neither my brother nor the Captain is a cannibal, so you needn’t fear for your testicles.”  She looked at him sadly as if she’d expected better from him.  “If you want me to see the future, you must decide what yours will be.”  She tipped her hips downward to pull free and then tucked her body into a ball to roll out from under him.  When she was beside him, she sat up with her arms wrapped tightly around her to keep from shaking.


“River…” Jayne was struck by a deep empty feeling as he rolled into a sitting position inches away from her.  Before he’d always thought of himself as a loner and liked it fine, but suddenly he felt lonely.  It took all his effort not to pull her back into his arms.  He wanted to feel her soft curves and silky skin against his, but…but…


“It is your decision.” She knelt beside him with one hand on his cheek.  “You are balancing on the pivot point of fate and it is for you to choose which direction to go.”


“Did you put a spell on me?”  He couldn’t take his eyes off her.  They were so close he could feel her breath on his face. He knew if he pulled her close, as he wanted, he’d probably never let her go.  He was confused and conflicted and it was drivin’ him nuts.


“Despite rumors to the contrary, I’m no witch.” She forced a tight smile.  “But I am, also, no longer broken. You showed me what was on the other side of the precipice and held me together when I was finally able to discover what it was like to fall over it.”  She bit her lip to keep the tears from filling her eyes.  “They made me an abomination.  I can understand your horror.”


“River, it ain’t like that.”  Something huge and jagged rose up in his chest and threatened to break lose.  “It…”


“You saved me,” she whispered. Her hand was still on his cheek and her thumb gently stroked his goatee.  “It is enough.”


“Naw, it was…just…” Jayne swallowed hard as fire burned deep in his belly.  He had to convince her to git away from him. He was no good for her, and he was about to prove it by pulling her into his arms and slidin’ into her again. He’d rather lie to her now, than hurt her later.  “It-was-just-sex!” the words felt like ground glass on his tongue.


“You’ve decided,” River’s head came up and her eyes glowed. She smiled as she gently cupped his face with both hands and kissed him hard.


“Gorramnit, girl, are you crazy?”  He tore his mouth away from hers and held her at arms length.  “Why’d you kissed me like that after what I just said to you?”


“I have been accused of being not quite right in the head.” She ran her hands along his arms as far as she could reach.  “But I believe that is in the past.  My present mental state could best be described as that of a reader.  Jayne, your words said one thing but your mind shouted something else entirely.”  She grinned at him.  “You have made your decision and fate has turned on the head of a pin.”


“Oh God, girl,” he moaned. His eyes slammed shut and his mind whirled as he pulled her close. His confusion fell away as he wrapped one arm around her shoulders and hooked the other around her knees, keeping her tucked as close to his body as he could, he lowered her to the mattress.  “Babe, I want you so bad,” he gasped as he tangled his hands in her hair.


“I am yours,” she rubbed against him.  “Just touch me. I need to feel your skin against mine.”  Her words were lost as he covered her mouth with his and his hands stroked her, working their magic on her body.



Captain Malcolm Reynolds felt his eyes grow heavy and his head fall forward onto Inara’s shoulder.  As his body began to tip, carrying them both to the floor, he snapped awake and shook himself.  He didn’t know how long they’d been in the same position sittin’ on the hard cold ground.  They’d kissed and talked; then kissed some more until ‘Nara had finally stopped hurtin’ enough to fall asleep.


“Sir, can I help you get the lady back onto that empty cot?”  A very young soldier dressed in the uniform of an Alliance private knelt beside the couple, a worried expression on his face.


“I’d appreciate the help.” Mal nodded, but refused to let go of the woman in his arms. He didn’t trust the Alliance, but that wasn’t what made him hesitate.  Despite the tragedies of the last week, he felt warm and content for the first time in years and he didn’t want to do anything that would change that.


“Captain, I can’t lift ya both.  I can take her real gentle-like to that cot and then come back for you.”  He could read the doubt in the other man’s eyes, and he knew that if he were the one holding the beautiful sleeping Companion he’d be leery to hand her over to a strange man to.


“Thank you, Private, but…” He could see the sense in the young man’s suggestion, but looking down into Inara’s exhausted face gave him pause.  “’Nara,” he whispered and gently caressed her cheek with the backs of his knuckles. 


“Mal?” she softly muttered his name as she fought to open her eyes.


“This young man here is gonna help you to bed, I’ll be right behind ya.”


The Companion turned her head and looked, with half-opened eyes, at the soldier who was kneeling beside them.  “Private Manyon?” she questioned, unsure that she wasn’t dreaming and they weren’t back on the bridge working to free Wash.


“Yes, Miss Serra,” he grinned and pretended he hadn’t seen the intimate exchange between the man and the woman.  Neither had done much but look at the other, but there had been something searing about their momentary eye contact that made him feel like a voyeur.  “I stopped by to make sure you were alright.”


She nodded and gripped Mal’s shoulder as she transferred her weight from one man to the other.


“Thank you, Private,” she murmured as he helped her up and over to the cot she’d shared with Mal the night before.  “Thank you for everything.”


“I can’t say this afternoon was a pleasure, but it was an honor to work along side of you, Ma’am.”


“He was my friend. It was the least I could do.” She grimaced as she sat on the cot, stiff and sore in places she didn’t realized existed.  Between the physical labor of helping the work crew on the bridge and sleeping sitting up with Mal, her muscles ached.


“You get some rest.” Private Manyon saluted her and turned to help the still injured man.


“You were with the party of men who helped free my pilot’s body from the bridge?” the wounded man asked as he was helped to his feet.


“Yes, Sir, I was.”


Ten feet from the cot Reynolds stopped and turned his attention to Manyon.  “Thank you for what you and your men did for him and the help you gave Inara.”


“She’s something else.” The young man looked at the woman who had fallen back to sleep.  “I may be Alliance, but I’m not from a Core planet.  I’ve never talked to a Companion before; heck, I’ve never even seen one before.  I never realized….” He felt Mal stiffen and pull away from his assistance.


“You never realized what?”  The older man’s quiet words were at odds with his hostile expression.


“I meant no disrespect, Sir, quite the contrary, in fact. I never realized they were ladies.  I always thought they were just high priced whores with no feelings a’tall.”  He nodded toward where Inara was sleeping and got the Captain moving again.  “That one there has feelings that run real deep.”


“That she does,” Mal smiled as he looked down at her sleeping face.  “And she can be mighty good at hidin’ em.”


“’Course, she is!” Manyon grinned and turned bright pink.  “She’s a woman. They like to keep a man guessing.”


“Hump,” Reynolds took a deep breath to keep from chuckling. It seemed the young Alliance soldier was more experienced than he’d led him to believe. “I never thought on it quite like that before.”


“I’ve got an advantage,” the young man shook his head.  “I’ve got five sisters.”


“That would give you some learnin’ where women are concerned, either that or kill ya.”


“I chose to live and learn.” The young private looked at the older ex-soldier as they stood on either side of the sleeping woman.  “You going to be alright? Cause that Medic is only out for a smoke. I need to get outta here before he returns to his post.”


“Sure, we’ll be fine.” Mal straightened the blankets that were at the foot of the cot and carefully covered Inara. 


“She’s the strongest, kindest woman I’ve ever met.”  Private Manyon shook his head trying to forget all that their team had had to do that afternoon.


“I’ll take care of her, Son.” When he said the words, Malcolm Reynolds realized they were true.  He would take care of her, for the rest of his life, if she’d let him.


The younger man nodded, almost as if he heard the older one’s thoughts.  He looked one last time at the couple and left the tent. “You’re a lucky man to have her,” he muttered under his breath.  “A damn lucky one, to love and be loved by a woman like that.”  It was something he knew a lot about, after all he was a man with five sisters.


“’Nara,” Mal called softly to the sleeping woman as he lay beside her and pulled her into his arms.  She turned toward the sound of his voice and reached out to grip the front of his shirt in her sleep.   


Jayne held River in his arms, their legs were tangled together and her body was sprawled across his.  He knew she wasn’t asleep because her fingers caressed little circles on his shoulder.


“You git some sleep, Babe, I’m right here.”  He kissed the top of her head and knew that he was never gonna let her go.  Bein’ with her made him feel new and clean.  He just hoped he didn’t have to shoot Mal or her brother to keep her.


“It will not be like that,” she muttered half asleep.


“You in my head again?”


“No,” she smiled up at him.  “Your thoughts are loud in the quiet ship.  I would not enter your mind without your permission, though I did once.  When Jubal Early boarded Serenity.”


“You was the reason I slept through that?” His brows rose unsure of how he felt about what she’d done.


“He would have taken as much pleasure in killing you, as he did in beating Sheppard Book or striking Inara.”  Her words faltered, but she knew she needed to tell him the truth.  “It was my turn to make a decision and control the direction fate would take. I kept you asleep because I knew you were important, though it was unclear how or why.  The bounty hunter would have killed you as you tried to leave your bunk. It would have made him feel powerful.”


He wanted to argue with her, but her words were too sure.  It was obvious she’d seen his future and changed it for the better. “It’s alright, I can hardly be mad at ya for savin’ my life,” he whispered and kissed the tip of her nose. He’d always been a tactile man, with River the need to touch was almost overpowering, so he gently stroked her back.


“Ohhh,” she melted against him and caressed his sides working lower and lower.


“Easy there, girl,” he smiled and shifted his position until he was lying on his side with his arms wrapped tightly around her. “Now turn over and go to sleep.  I’m all tuckered out and you’re too new at this for anymore tonight.”  As she turned he pulled her bottom against his slowly hardening groin.


“You do not feel, all tuckered out to me,” she giggled and pressed hard against him.


“You stop wigglin’ that cute little fanny of yours. I said enough’s enough and I meant it.” He tried to sound stern but it was hard when she felt like heaven moving against him.


“Jayne,” she froze and looked over her shoulder.  “You will not stop touching me will you?”


“’Course I won’t.” He saw real worry in her eyes and wondered what could have caused it.  “Why would you think that?”


“When I was growing up, touch was always superficial, a thing to be avoided if possible.” She shrugged and went on.  “At the Academy no touching was allowed.  When it was necessary, gloves were worn. Even the fighting instructors wore them. The deprivation of skin to skin contact increased the effectiveness of their brain stimulation.


“I’ve watched you for almost a year.  You touch everything.  At first it fascinated me, since you held me during the bank robbery and pulled me out of my vision of Reavers, I have craved it.  Now since we have made love, I need it like breathing.”


He wanted to argue with her and tell her that they hadn’t made love, but he couldn’t.  Maybe it was because the flashlight they’d left burning for hours chose that moment to flicker and die, or because the feel of her body pressed against his in the dark made his blood hum.  All he knew was that her words soothed him and made his heart fill until he thought it would burst.


“I ain’t never gonna stop touchin’ you, River,” he whispered as his hands traveled over her body from behind, making her whimper in need.  “I need to feel you just like you need to feel me.” He couldn’t make himself use the word love in any context, so he let his hands and mouth carry the message for him.


“Jayne, please,” she moaned.


“I’ll never leave ya wantin’ like they done to ya, I promise.”  He smiled and rose up on his elbow but before he could roll her beneath him, she reached behind her and began to touch him intimately.  “Oh yeah baby, ya got the idea.”  He rocked against her hand until he cried out her name and came apart with her gentle touch.


“Why’d you do that?” It had shaken him to the core that River had taken care of his need for her before he’d taken care of her.  After all she’d been through she had a right to be a might selfish in her love makin’…in her sexin, he corrected in his mind.


“I wanted to touch you, to feel you like that.” She looked at him confused and unsure of herself.  “I could feel your desire…to be left like that is terrible.” He heard the fear in her voice and he was determined to drive it out.


“Babe, I’m here for ya always,” his voice was husky and his hands shook as he slid her onto her back and knelt between her thighs.  His arms snaked under her shoulders to support her head in his hands. “Now it’s your turn.” He smiled gently unable to believe his luck at finding a woman like her. “There’s other ways to take care ‘a that need you’re feelin’. Ya trust me?”  He leaned over her and waited for her answer.


“Yes,” she whispered caught in the blue fire of his eyes.


 “Good,” he grinned and trailed little biting kisses between her breasts and over her belly. As his kisses moved further down to the tune of her gasps, his arms slid downward, under her body until he cupped her bottom in his hands.  “Perfect,” he sighed in satisfaction. 



High above Mr. Universe’s moon on a huge Alliance cruiser, the Operative paced.  One by one, things had slipped out of his control.  Up until he’d lost the fight with Malcolm Reynolds he’d been able to see his path clearly.  He stopped for a moment and backtracked in his mind.  If he were honest, the control had been wrestled away from him when the Reavers had broken through the clouded sky.  Up until that moment he had seen clearly what he was to do.


Now the only unanswered question was the Tam girl.  What was he to do with her?


In the morning a structural engineer would go over that damned broken ship that was River’s hiding place.  Though he’d told the man to keep an eye out for the girl, he knew she was too well protected by that big mercenary.  He would gain no information until he was face to face with her.


If all went as planned, Serenity would be in the hold of his cruiser by late tonight or early tomorrow and three days later they would be at Persephone.  In that time he had to decide what he was going to do with River Tam.



Jayne woke holdin’ River’s naked body tightly to his.  They’d both fallen asleep almost immediately after makin’ love….his mind shuttered and stopped…As his eyes took in her sleepin’ face, he grinned and let the words sink in:  made love.  He weren’t ready to say them out loud yet, but if he could wrap his mind around ‘em, he figured it was a start.


When he was with her, she calmed his confusion and made him feel whole.  It made no sense, but he’d given up tryin’ to figure it out.  He remembered somethin’ his ma used to say, ‘that there was no right or wrong about feelin’s they just was.  It was how you acted on ‘em that counted.’  Well he’d acted on ‘em and for the two of them it was for the best, now all they had to do was convince the rest of the crew that they was right.


“You worry too much and too loudly,” she rubbed her nose against his chest and stretched.


“Babe, you sure know how to wake me up.”  He kissed her as she settled back into the warmth of his embrace.


“You were already awake.”  Her right hand moved out of the blanket and was searching for something up near where Vera rested.


“You’re gun is where ya dropped it, on the deck in front of the shower room.”  Jayne ran his fingers through her hair in a way he knew relaxed her. “I’d hoped that ya’d be calmer after last night.”


“Your decision clarified many things for me, but…” She bit her lip not wanting to say anything that would disappoint him.


“River, you can tell me anything.” He kissed her nose and held her close.  “I figured after what you told me last night, you already knew that.”


“He has yet to make his decision,” she whispered.




“The Alliance Operative,” she clarified.  “Until he does my safety is in doubt.”


“And you can’t see what his decision will be.”  He’d gleaned that much from what she’d said the night before.


“I can see things from the past if I try.  I can look into minds, but it is not something I find comfortable, though feelings and thoughts can shout at me and I cannot avoid hearing.  But the future is a long series of decisions.  I can see the immediate choices that are in front of us, but not how people will act on them.”  It was hard for her to explain something she didn’t really understand herself.


“Last night you said something to me about fate and my decision causing it to turn.  Is that how it works?”


“I don’t know how it is for others who can see the future but that is how it is for me.  During the robbery on Lilac, remember when I pointed to the man who was about to pull his gun?”


“Yeah,” Jayne remembered the cute face she’d made when Zoë hadn’t picked up on what she was tryin’ ta say.


“I knew that man had a gun and that he was about to cause trouble, but I did not know the outcome.  If Zoë had been unable to convince him not to shoot, things would have turned out differently.”


“Does Simon know about this?  How your seein’ works?”


“No, I didn’t understand myself until just recently.  Things began to change with the fight in the Maidenhead.  You helped me you know?”  She turned tighter into his arms.  “I’d never had anyone fight with me before, always it was against me.  I would take a deep breath and pretend I was dancing to keep the horror away. But that time I felt you beside me, protecting my back.  It meant a lot.”


“I wish I’d known.”  He cupped her cheek and rested his forehead against hers.


“You know now.”  She smiled at him.  “It was the beginning of the change for me.  When I woke up in the storage locker, everything had separated: truth, lies, thoughts that were mine and those that were others.  I was able to differentiate.”


“We gotta tell Simon and Mal.  We gotta tell ‘em everything.”  He knew he was askin’ a lot ‘a her, but he figured that if he was there with her, she could do anything.


“Ohhh,” she sat up quickly, with her arms wrapped around her waist.  “It would kill Simon to know what the Alliance did to me. He already has enough guilt for not getting to me sooner.”

 “You’re brother is stronger than he looks.”  Jayne sat up behind her and pulled her into his embrace. “It can’t be no worse for him to hear it than it was for me.”  He gently patted her and tried not to remember how terrible it had been to hear her describe her anguish.  “Well maybe, we can play it down a bit, after all he is your brother.  Brothers seem to have a hard time wrappin’ their minds around anything that has to do with their sisters and desire.”

“But what if it isn’t enough? What if he comes for me anyway?”  River didn’t need to explain who she was talking about.  Jayne could tell it was the Operative by her white face and fear-filled eyes

“If that happens and there ain’t no other way, I’ll kill ya with my bare hands if I got to.”  He was grim and serious and knew that if she died, he would too, but he couldn’t let her be taken.  “You ain’t going back!       


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Chap 5 - Precious Commodity
From LALOOBIE: Couldn't wait for you to post on FanFiction. I really like this mellow, after-the-glow chapter. I know there's more to come... loving where this is headed. You still have Jaynes voice down. I'd like to see a little more humor with his struggle with love/sex (as in 'Heart of Gold'). It's hard to write humor with the tale of torture. Maybe when he's trying to conceal his River love to the crew is where the humor/ lack of tact comes out. GREAT Story. Love your writing!!
Mar. 28th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: Chap 5 - Precious Commodity
Thank you very much for bothering to search out the rest of this story. I had been trying to upload it to FF.net since Saturday night and had no luck. I'm not sure why it worked tonight, but I am glad it did. This chapter is now with the rest of the story at that site as well.
Mar. 31st, 2006 03:25 am (UTC)
wow. i didn't get this 'til today, but i still feel like i got a birthday present. this is such a thrilling, touching, exciting story. i adore your rayne development. protective!jayne has reached the forefront :)
i can't wait to read more and see how this all develops.
Apr. 25th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
I just had to go back and reread all the chapters and I just have to say, it is still one of the best I've read! In this chapter the River/Jayne moments were simply beautiful. You paint such wonderful pictures with your words, even the sad memories River has of the Academy. I love how you are writing their "sexin'" without getting too descriptive (not that I mind smut;), it fits this story well. Mal and Inara are so wonderful in this! How she turns to him for comfort even while asleep and the tender way he is with her. I have so much hope for them in an another story, or in further chapters of this. Thank you!!
May. 2nd, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
I really love this story- it is one of the best I have read- any chance of you continuing this? I keep checking to see what happens the next day after River and Jayne have been together. I like how you write them, very smooth, sweet, and emotional.
May. 2nd, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Update?
I've had to put this story on the back burner for a while. When I started writing the next chater it didn't hang together. I backed off and am taking a breather. I know it's silly, but if the characters aren't speaking to me I find that what I write isn't worth reading.

I write under the name of Lattelady at fanfiction.net. This story is posted there and you can have them send you an alert when the next chapter is posted, that way you won't miss anything.

Thank you very much for caring enough about my story to let me know that you miss it.

the Lattelady
May. 5th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
Re: Update?
Thank you for replying- I will look forward to more from you!
May. 13th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
This is my favorite Rayne fic ever and I keep checking to see when you are going to add more.... soon? Please? I NEED to know where this is going!
May. 13th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)
I promise I'll finish this story, but at the moment both Jayne and River have stopped talking to me. I've taken a break from this fandom, because I can't force the words. Believe me what gets down on paper when that happens isn't worth reading.

I give you my word this won't go unfinished, but it may take a while for me to get back to it. I always write happy endings if that's any help.

I write under the name of Lattelady at fanfiction.net. If you go to that site and click on the story, you can add a story alert so you are sent an email when I post again. Then you won't miss anything.

At the moment I've got three stories unfinished and thats something I never do. I'm fighting writer's block every step of the way.

Thanks for asking and caring about this story.

the Lattelady
May. 13th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not a writer, so I have no advice for writer's block. I'm actually a teacher and I often have to think up ways to teach difficult concepts (like economics) to 6th graders. When I'm inspired, it just flows... I can see it in my head, I just know how to make them understand.... I can make them laugh... I can make them gasp.... I can make them ASK QUESTIONS! But if I can't see it there's not much I can do except slog through and hope I get the inspiration from something they say. Sigh. Not the same thing, I guess, but still sort of a muse issue!

I love all your fics, so I'll patiently wait. Big smile!
May. 13th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
You've got it! I guess teaching and writing can be very much alike. When my characters are speaking to me, I can't stop,things just flow. Sometimes my fingers can't type as fast as the ideas come out of my head.

There are times when I come home from work, with a latte in hand, and write until I make myself go to bed. I get up and write some more until the timer goes off and I have to go to work. Then the process starts all over again.

I am writing something, at the moment, but it isn't Firefly. It's the story I blame for my ideas coming to a stand still. With luck if I get that finished, things will move along.

It's frustrating knowing I've got three stories (not counting my Mal/Inara series) just hanging out, unfinished. Too many people take a casual approach to fanfiction and will start something and never finish it. I always promised myself that I wouldn't be one of those authors.

Thanks again for being interested and an even bigger thanks for the understanding.

May. 14th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
What can I say? I'm a fan!

Jul. 25th, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
Hi! just wanted to drop you and note and tell you that i had been thinking of this story and was forced to reread it! (yes, actually forced!) this is one of my all time favorites and i will wait as long as i need to for a new chapter.......take care & TTFN :D
Jul. 26th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for your wonderful comment on my story. I've been very ill the last two months and am just beginning to feel more like myself, though I still have a killer headache, which I've had since the beginning of June. Needless to say I've done no writing.

I've watched Serenity five times since it came out on cable this weekend and it 'forced' me be begin re-reading PC again. I've got all sorts of scribbled red marks as edits on the chapters I've got. Once my mind clears enough, I'll get back to work on the next chapter. I know what I want in it, but am having a rough time starting it.

(Deleted comment)
Jul. 28th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC)
My email is pchristie6@comcast.net

I will be finishing this story, but I've had shingles...yes I am old enough for the dreaded chickenpox virus revenge. Mine was on my trigenimal nerve, so I've had a humdinger of a headache and left eye envolvement for almost two months. It has only been this week that I've even bothered to turn on my computer, I couldn't see well enough to read a thing and TV was out of the question...talk about a boring 9 weeks. Needless to say writing hasn't been at the top of my list.

Thanks for asking, sorry for the whine....
Sep. 9th, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
I just got a chance to read this whole thing and am madly in love with it. I can only hope that things settle down for you and you get a chance to come back to it. I do, however, understand all too well how difficulties with your health can overpower everything. Feel well.
Sep. 9th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
I'm glas you enjoyed it. My health is doing better, but I'm still not back to work. I've been writing. I'm in the middle of 'Voices and Visions' and as much as I want to get back to this story, I don't want to leave another one unfinished. I've been plagued with writer's block off and on over the last year and a half. With V&V I've had a place or two where it was hard to go on, but I pushed through and the next thing I knew I had another chapter finished.

I can't promise that this story will be the first I turn to when V&V is complete, but it is high on my list of priorities. The only one that is above it is the Labyrinth story that started my problems, 'For Love of Sarah'. None of it is posted in this journal because I'm embarrassed to have left it so long,

Thanks for reading and letting me know that you like this story. It was my first gut reaction to the BDM.
Sep. 25th, 2006 05:54 am (UTC)
Hello there! read this again.yes, it's the 3rd time. needed a loving rayne fic to end my day.....feeling down and just needed a pick me up! take care ms latte!!!! :D
Sep. 25th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear you're down. Hope things get better. If it's any help I should have the next chapter to Voices and Visions posted either sometime tonight or tomorrow morning....hint..River gets kissed.
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