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Disclaimer: It all belongs to Joss
Rating: R
Pairing: Jayne/River; Mal/Inara; Simon/Kaylee; Zoë/Wash’s memories
Beta: My magic beta lady – ceslas
Notes: Final chapter – The plan is for the Mal/Inara storyline to be completed in their own story
Previous chapters: Ch. 1 - Through The Keyhole Of Time; Ch. 2 - Tentative Beginnings; Ch. 3 - Ghosts; Ch. 4 - Voices Of The Living; Ch. 5 - Battles Won Battles Lost; Ch. 6 - Caught In The Moment; Ch. 7 - Like Puzzle Pieces; Ch. 8 - In Dreams; Ch. 9 - Bridges And Storms
Ch. 10 - Night Vigils; Ch. 11 - Dark And Fearsome Places


Voices And Visions

By

lattelady6

Ch 12 - Where Strength And Courage Are Found



Inara was almost to the stairs by the engine room when she heard Simon close the hatch to Kaylee’s bunk. She froze with one hand gripping her flashlight and the other flat against the bulkhead. She knew that if she were smart she’d keep right on going, but she also knew that there was one thing that needed to be done before she crawled into her solitary bed. In the past she wouldn’t have questioned herself, but lately she was doing things that defied explanation. A quick internal check didn’t give her any answers.

Turning on her heel she headed back the way she’d come. Back, three-quarters of the length of the ship until she was at the hatch of the first bunk on the starboard side. Kneeling she knocked quietly and snapped off her light. Moments later Malcolm Reynolds’s head and shoulders popped up. He was blinking sleep out of his eyes, his hair was mussed and Inara was caught completely by surprise at the sight of him half-dressed; at least she hoped he was dressed on his bottom half.

“’Nara?” he whispered and wondered if he was still dreaming.

“I need to talk to you for a minute.” She shivered at the sight of him.

“Com’on.” He gestured for her to follow him down the ladder then stopped. “Did the Doc say it was okay you for ta be climbin’ ‘round like this?”

Wo hao,” she rolled her eyes. “It’s been two and a-half weeks since he did the repair. I’m fine.” In all her time on Serenity, she could count on one hand how often she’d been in Mal’s bunk. That included three of the nights she’d spent sitting at his side when he’d been too ill to be left alone, but too stubborn to stay in the infirmary after being released from the hospital. Those three nights wouldn't have been possible if River hadn't assisted her down the ladder.

“What can I do for ya?” He pointed toward the chair at his desk, but she ignored it, even when he plopped onto his bed. “It’s a mite late for a social call.”

“Yes…I…ah.” One look at her surroundings and she knew this wasn’t wise. She shivered and paced. If she took him up on his offer of a place to sit, she was afraid she’d never leave. “It’s about River.”

“Was she doin’ that dancin’ thing ya told me ‘bout?” He leaned his elbows in his knees and watched the normally unshakable Companion fidget. “She gonna be all right?”

“For tonight,” Inara laughed quietly and turned away from the sight of him sitting on an open bed. “Jayne threw her over his shoulder and carried her off to the shuttle. He wasn’t about to let her argue with him. He’ll see that she gets some sleep.”

“Times that man shows a heap ‘a intelligence.” Mal moved so quietly ‘Nara hadn’t realized he was inches away, until she was trapped between his body and desk. “I conjure that’s somethin’ I should ‘a done a long time ago. Though not sure how much sleepin’ we’d ‘a gotten,” his whisper caused her to jump. She felt his hands hovering just above her shoulders and his breath warm against her neck. It made her tingle and her skin catch fire. He was so close that when she turned her arm grazed his chest.

“That’s not what I came here for.” Her eyes were wide and she searched her soul to be sure of her reasons.

“Ain’t it?” He felt heat radiating off her body. It took all his strength to keep from pulling her to his bed.

“No,” she shook her head and gasped when he slowly slipped his hand along her jaw until he was cupping her cheek with his fingers buried in her hair. “Mal, we’ve already made more than our share of foolish mistakes. I won’t survive many more.”

He watched her careful, unsure what was goin’ on in her head. There was just enough light in his bunk to see pain and fear in her eyes, two emotions he would have bet his life she didn’t know the meanin’ of, but since Miranda, they had been her constant companions. “Just tell me what ya need, darlin’. I’ll do what I can for ya.”

“River is exhausted…”

“I’ll take the early bridge watch.”

“Thank you.” She couldn’t pull her eyes away from his. The only sound she heard was the quiet hum of Serenity’s engine powered down for the night.

“’Nara.” He slipped his arms around her and pulled her close.

“This isn’t….I can’t…” Air sighed out of her lungs as she settled against him. She gave into the luxury of letting someone support her mentally and physically for the first time since she was a very young girl.

“Hush,” he muttered in her ear. “You don’t need ta worry. I just want ta hold ya for a bit. I ain’t gonna push ya.”

“I know. I understand.” She enjoyed his skin against her cheek, neck and warm under her arms. “I need to figure some things out.” She knew he didn’t want the woman she’d been, but he deserved better than the half-person she’d become since her discovery of the atrocities on Miranda.

“Ya better go then.” He pulled free of her and gently pushed her shoulders toward the ladder. “I’d rather hate myself right now, than have you hate me in the mornin’.”

For a second that seemed to last a lifetime, she stood motionless, indecision written clearly on her face, and then she turned and fled. If she’d ever had any doubts that she loved him, they had just been washed away. She had never had anything but professional casual sex, and Malcolm Reynolds didn’t have a casual bone in his body. When they came together they both needed to be as whole and complete as they could be and sure of what they were doing.
……………………………………………
River heard the bass rumble of Jayne’s voice echoing from deep below her ear. It sounded like he was talking to Inara, not her, so she snuggled closer and ignored it. For the first time in weeks she was surrounded by peace and quiet. The man who was holding her had the power to keep everyone else’s thoughts out.

Later her eyes opened. Her face was pressed against Jayne’s neck. One of his hands was buried in her hair and the other rested against her back, under her top. She floated in his presence, enjoying the quiet his closeness provided. Carefully, a millimeter at a time, she moved one small hand up his chest until it was resting on the spot where only his thin t-shirt material separated her touch from his scars. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the ridged pale lines that were all that was left of where she’d slashed him with a butcher knife.

Nothing happened. She hung suspended in the present as she tried to force her thoughts into the future. Biting her lip to keep from moaning in disappointment she reached under his shirt.

“Oh no, you don’t, Babe,” his sleepy voice startled her as he took hold of her wrist and brought her hand to his mouth to kiss it. “You’re just gonna drive yourself crazy doin’ that. Nothing’s changed in the past three weeks.”

“How do you know?” She tried to keep the desperation out of her voice, but could tell by his expression she hadn’t fooled him.

“’Cause we ain’t said more ‘an ten words to each other that weren’t ‘bout business and it ain’t business that’s got you so twisted ‘round.” With a deft movement he turned her until she was on her back with his body pressed against her side. He quickly slid his hand under her top and pushed it up. “I think ya need something to keep your mind off your troubles. This worked once. I’m just gonna give ya a bit more ta concentrate on this time.”

“We can’t!” Her back arched and she felt his bristly whiskers as his lips moved under her jaw while his hands skimmed over her skin.

“I know. We can’t, but it’s ‘bout time you did.” As much as he wanted to take off his shirt so he could feel his skin against hers, he didn’t trust her not to try and search out her vision using his scars to find her way. ‘Sides he figured this was ‘bout her and not him, ‘bout her feelin’ somethin’ she’d never felt afore. He’d take care ‘a his own self later.

“Jayne,” she whispered his name lost in the sensations he was creating as he ran his fingers lightly over her breasts, making her skin tingle.

She was soft and smelled so sweet it made him dizzy as he kissed his way down her throat and chest until he had one nipple firmly between his lips.

His warm mouth sucked, as his tongue flicked. The hardening spot of sensitive flesh was surrounded by the exciting scratch of his goatee. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tightly to her, arching closer, wanting more, needing more. She could feel everything he did to her separately and all at once. It made her blood sing and wiped away anything but the joy he brought her.

He could see the rapt expression on her face without moving. It made him want to hold on tighter, feel more, and explore everywhere. His right hand cupped her other breast and it made her moan, as her hips rocked needing something, anything.

“Shhhh…put your hands on my shoulders. I ain’t goin’ anywhere.” He threw one leg over both of hers and separated them slightly but kept nibbling and playing until she was gasping for breath. “River,” he murmured and slid his arm under her so he could hold her close. “Open your eyes, Babe. Look at me.”

“Don’t stop,” she begged as she gazed into blue fire. Her hands clutched his muscular arms as if they were the only solid things in a shifting world.

“I ain’t gonna, don’t worry none. Just want ya lookin at me is all.” His right hand slowly moved off her breast, over her stomach and beneath the waist of her sweatpants. “You still okay?” He ran his tongue around the rigid peak of her breast once more and felt her tremble, but when her eyes sagged closed he shifted until his face was inches from hers. “I want ta watch ya. Then I know I ain’t hurtin’ ya.”

“Not hurt, you wouldn’t hurt me.” She opened her eyes. “I can feel your need. It is everywhere, in me and all around me.”

“I ain’t ever needed a woman like I need you. Ain’t ever needed ta touch and feel more than be touched and felt.” His hand moved down under her panties. She was wet, warm and waiting for him.

“Ohhh,” she moaned and rocked against his probing fingers. There was a tightening deep in her belly and she felt as if she was wound up and about to explode. Jayne had made her ache before, but never like this. It throbbed in her ears and clawed at her like an ancient animal from Earth-That-Was. “More...”

“Oh yeah,” his voice was thick with desire as he felt her stiffen beneath his hand.

“Jayne!” she gasped and her breath caught deep in her throat. His fingers kept working their magic. She felt herself begin to break apart, but all she could see was the blue of his eyes. Then she was diving into them, they were surrounding her in color, as they wrapped her in their warmth and split her apart on a subatomic level. She shook in the vastness of the hadron he’d created, sure that each quark was easily visible to the naked eye. It didn’t matter if its flavor was up, down, charm, strange, top, or bottom. They were there in the light show he’d created. “Jayne,” she whispered as she felt herself beginning to reassemble, something new and whole, with no broken parts. “Jayne…”

Ren ci de Fo zu.” He’d felt plenty ‘a women pretend ta come, but this was the real thing. He could feel her muscles contracting against his palm as she made tiny mewing sounds of pleasure. What amazed him the most was he’d never watched it happen before. He’d never looked a woman in her eyes as they darkened, and grew large as her body shook. It was as if in that instant he’d seen River’s soul and he knew for sure if he’d been inside ‘a her, he would ‘a touched it.

She lay unmoving, under his hands and wrapped tightly in his arms. He could see the rise and fall of her chest and the melted chocolate of her eyes. It was all that told him she was still alive. He kissed her and began to pull his hand away from her warmth.

“No!” she called out and gripped his wrist to keep it in place. Her hips rocked against his fingers. She cried out as an intense sensation shot from her over-sensitized nerve endings, almost blinding her. It was different than before, white hot and sharp, more than pleasure but less than pain.

“Easy honey, ya gotta let yourself come down a bit.” He wanted to run his hand through her hair ta gentle her, but she wouldn’t let go ‘a his wrist so he settled for playing with the strands that had fallen over the arm that was keepin’ her pinned against him. “Take some real deep breaths.”

She nodded and slowly let go of his hand. Her body was more alive that it had ever been, but heavy almost unable to move. “I want to touch you.” Lost, unsure of what she was doing she reached for his belt, but her fingers were clumsy and fumbled with the buckle as her knuckles grazed his abdomen.

“Not tonight. Tonight is for you.” He pulled away from her delicate center and took hold ‘a her wrists. “Let me be the one who did the pleasurin’. I done too much takin’ in my life.”

“Hold me?” she was still lost in the maelstrom he’d created and she was surprise she was able to speak at all, as her body shook. She could feel her need, his need and a deep strength that rose from him and surrounded her. She rode the swift current of his emotions and they lulled her into complete peace. For the first time since she was fourteen years old, she knew she was totally safe. “Don’t let me go.”

“I got ya, Babe.” He pulled her into the crook of his arm and ran his hand through her hair, kissing her forehead. “I got ya.” Their bodies were pressed together and he could feel every inch ‘a her. He’d never felt want like he did at that moment and he was surprised that he hadn’t taken the relief she’d offered him.

“You feel so good.” She wiggled closer to him, needing as much as he was willing to give her.

“Shhh, sleep, River, sleep.” He looked down and watched as her lids grow heavy. He felt her breathing deepen and slow.

“Ya let me see into your soul,” he whispered as he held her close. He didn’t understand what it was about this small woman that kept givin’ a man like him new experiences. He watched his fingers move slowly through her hair. They had brought her such pleasure minutes earlier. Now all he wanted was to gently touch her. It made him shake his head in wonder. He was a big rough mercenary who was used ta takin’ not givin’. When he was with a woman he’s main interest was gettin’ his rocks-off and gettin’ on his way, but not with River, somethin’ ‘bout her changed all the rules. With her he’d had the strength to…the strength to…

He remembered that quote ‘a hers. The first time he’d head her sayin’ it was months ago when he’d still thought she was crazy but Inara had repeated it a few weeks back.

‘To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.'

He remembered hearing other things. Simon’s voice was clear in his mind from both times they talked.

‘It’s not the worst thing in the worlds and all their moons, to care more about a woman than you do yourself.’

‘I know how a man touches a woman he desires. In eighteen months I’ve never seen you put aside something you wanted because someone else would be hurt or inconvenienced. Do yourself and River a favor and figure out why you did tonight.’

‘Do you love my sister?'

“Yeah,” he gasped as the knowledge hit him with the force of a grenade. “Tianna! Yes…” He rocked her slight frame against his. “I love ya, River-girl,” he mouthed the words. “Now I just gotta figure out how ta convince you ‘a that.” Zoë’s words rang in his head and he finally understood what the woman had been tryin’ ta tell him.

‘You should understand that no matter how much time you have with a person, it will never be enough. I don’t care if it’s two minutes or a lifetime. You find that one person who…who…fills up your soul and time just doesn’t matter, anymore than age or experience.’

Suddenly it didn’t matter to Jayne if he lived another two years or fifty, as long as they could be spent with River Tam by his side. As she slept, his mind worked harder than he ever thought it had. He figured the toughest part was gonna be gettin’ her to agree. He knew she cared ‘bout him, but was it enough? She’d panicked somethin’ fierce when she’d realized he might die sooner than she’d expected.

They’d been pressed close to each other in a corner of the cargo bay and kissin’. He knew enough ‘bout women to realize they had been ‘bout two seconds away from movin’ behind the crates and peeling off each other’s clothes. The girl was inexperienced, but she was a reader and as hard as she tried to keep people’s thoughts out, he doubted she would ‘a been surprised if he’d picked her up and carried her into the shadows.

He almost stopped breathing when he thought ‘bout those few minutes. What had he felt ‘sides an almost unstoppable desire for her?

‘Do you love me? He remembered her askin’ him that. He laughed at the ruttin’ fool he’d been, ‘cause he hadn’t been able to say the words. Lookin’ back he knew for certain sure that what he felt for her now, was no different than it had been, but like the hundan he’d been all his life, he hadn’t been able ta admit it.

‘I…ah…I…ah…I ain’t never felt that way ‘bout no female but my ma or my sis.’ He’d thought he’d been being so smart, skirtin’ the answer, so he wouldn’t have to look too deep at what he’d been feelin’.

She was just an innocent young girl and had had the nerve to tell him what she’d really felt. ‘You make my insides shiver with needs that I never knew existed. I want you to touch me and fill…’ He’d never let her finish what she was sayin’. It had grabbed at his gut and had lit him on fire. All he’d done was yell at her and had told her not to say the words ‘cause it made ‘em true.

Next thing he knew she was rollin’ on the floor screamin’ that she’d caused his early death. It still didn’t make no sense. He didn’t give a hang ‘bout when he died, as long as River was safe and with him up ta the end.

“How am I gonna convince you ‘a that, Babe?” He kissed her and pulled her top back down into place with shake of his head. What the ruttin’ hell was he doin’? He was a breast man. He usually liked ‘em large ‘cause he had large hands, but River’s were the most perfect set he’d ever seen or felt. Coverin’ ‘em up was plain wrong, but he weren’t taken any chances ‘a anyone else walkin into the shuttle and seein’ her like that. “The Doc must ‘a been right,” he sighed. “There is a difference ‘tween sexin’ and makin’…love.” Jayne knew he ached something fierce, with need for Girlie, but what they’d done had everythin’ ta do with love and nothin’ ta do with sexin’.
……………………………………………..
By the next afternoon, Jayne wasn’t any closer so solvin’ his problem. But at least the terrible tension that had kept River at arms length was missin’. They were back ta being them, whatever the ruttin’ hell that was. She’d give him lingerin’ touches when no one was lookin’. He’d smooth her hair and they both laughed.

They’d landed on Boros mid-mornin’ and were headed toward the seedy bar where they were to meet their contact for the next job. He and Girlie had gone ahead on foot. Mal and Zoë were to follow later in the mule. They’d never worked with the men they were meeting, so the Captain wasn’t taken any chances. All four of them would be in the bar. But they wouldn’t be sitting together. The two hired guns were to be watching out for trouble.

“I still don’t see problems for the Captain.” River frowned. It was the same thing she’d been saying all day. She was picking up some very odd vibrations in the air, but they didn’t have anything to do with the job. She and Jayne had slowed their pace as she’d done one last check. The town that was their destination was a quarter of a mile away.

“You doin’ all right?” He watched her carefully. “Ya didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“My hours spent in suspension of consciousness were more than sufficient because they were extremely relaxing and deep, thanks to your…ah…” Her hand brushed his arm and she played with his leather sleeve.

“Huh?” He glared at her and wrapped his large hand around her smaller one. “Ya know Girlie, you only start talkin’ in them confusin’ words when ya get troubled or embarrassed. T’ain’t nothin’ to be embarrassed ‘bout.” His thumb stroked her skin not thinkin’ ‘bout what he was doin’ as he smiled at the flush on her cheeks.

“If we have this discussion again, we will be standing here when the Captain and Zoë come by in the mule. They will discover us talking in the middle of the road, instead of sitting in the establishment we are heading toward so we may watch their backs.”

“Honey, if we get into this again, we won’t be talkin’, we’ll be kissin’.”

“The probability of that is very high,” she sighed wondering what had happened to her determination to stay away from Jayne. Ever since she’d awoken in his arms all she’d wanted to do was touch him.

He chuckled as he let go of her and they picked up their pace to a quick walk. They’d lost time twice already and he wasn’t ‘bout to do it again, no matter how interested he was in the soft skin on the top of her hand. “Gotta say, that you look mighty pretty in your new duds.”

“Thank you,” she refused to look at him because she knew that would only start them off again. “I bought them for functionality not as an enhancement.” She’d learned by the second job they’d pulled that she needed clothes made of sturdier material or she’d be constantly replacing them. Her share of the take from that rainy moon job had gone to purchase the deep green canvas three-quarter length split skirt, and matching jacket she was wearing.

“Ya should ‘a made Mal buy ‘em for ya.” Jayne frowned as he remembered the tear in her dress and the large bruise that had formed on her left thigh when she’d had ta fight ta disarm a disagreeable contact.

“I buy my own things!” She stuck her nose in the air, not comfortable where the conversation was going and unsure why.

“Ya let me buy them boots, for ya and the hair thingy.”

“Ahh…but you are the one who is always complaining that it is inappropriate for me to go around without foot apparel. These were a most considerate gift. They are soft enough to move easily in combat.” She loved the smooth well tanned leather of her footwear. “I shall be careful not to get Reaver blood on them.” The once soft boots that Inara had given her when she’d moved to the Training House had become stiff and hard after being worn in the battle on Mr. Universe’s moon. She refused to admit that just the thought of putting them on had made her insides hurt. “The barrette was something you promised me if you could not find the one I lost in the rain storm.”

“Knew ya couldn’t do that fancy fightin’ ‘a yours in them old heavy clunkers that was hand-me downs from Kaylee,” he mumbled, refusing to talk about the hair clip. A part of him felt guilty for never returning the one he had stashed in his dresser. “’Sides now ya look like someone to be taken seriously.” He nodded his head and looked at her out of the corner of his eyes. She had her stiletto strapped ‘round her waist and her jacket was large enough, over those tiny tops ‘a hers, to partially conceal both hand guns she carried in the shoulder holster he’d rigged for her. Today she’d left her automatic rifle behind, along with the bandolier that carried its ammo.

“This appears to be the establishment.” She wrinkled her nose at the stench of unwashed bodies, urine and stale liquor that permeated the air as they approached the door.

“Ya pickin’ up any danger?” He watched her carefully as she frowned.

“No…not…really…something is unusual, but there is no bloodshed.” She didn’t like the foggy feeling she was getting. She knew that something was ahead of them, but it didn’t feel like death or danger. “I am sorry. There is nothing more I can tell you.”

“Don’t worry, but stick close by me, ya hear.” Jayne ordered as he put on his meanest scowl and stepped through the doors with River beside him. Since he was staring menacingly at any man who looked her way, he missed that she rolled her eyes at his over-protectiveness. She was more than capable of taking care of herself and him too.

They took a table in the corner where they could watch everything that was going on in the room without being obvious about it. Moments later a tall man wearing a long brown coat and an equally tall woman strode through the doors. The couple looked around until a small red-headed man nodded at them and invited them to join him and a friend for a drink.

River was finding it hard to concentrate on the Captain and Zoë and what was going on at the table ten feet away. She was aware that someone was watching Jayne and it made her nervous. She carefully picked up her whiskey and pretended to sip as her eyes slowly perused the room. It was then she saw the woman. One quick glance into the whore’s mind and the reader felt her stomach lurch. She gripped her glass to keep from placing a possessive hand on the Merc’s arm.

“Everythin’ all right?” The big man had noticed a change in Girlie’s breathin’ pattern.

“Yes, the Captain is concluding his business now.” It was safe. There was no danger in the form of death or blood. She weighed her choices as Zoë beckoned for them to take the seats vacated by the red-haired man and his bald-headed companion. In that second she could feel the future rushing upon her and would have done anything to avoid the moment she knew she couldn’t side step. She loved Jayne, but wouldn’t let him die uselessly because she couldn’t let him be with another woman. He had given her so much the night before and hadn’t cared enough about her to take what she offered. He needed relief from the sexual desires that had never left him all day. It was what he required if he was to live long enough to grow to love her.

“Hi ya handsome.” The bleached-blonde hussy put her hand on Jayne’s arm. “Since your daughter’s gonna join your friends over there, how about you and I gettin’ better acquainted. You could… buy me a drink or…something.”

“Huh?” He’d noticed the woman, when he’d been checking out everyone who was in the bar, but he’d seen her as nothing but a possible threat to the lives of his friends. For one second it caught him by surprise, ‘cause she was the kind of woman he would have welcomed in the past. Now all she did was infuriate him by reminding him of how much younger Girlie was than he. “She ain’t my daughter.”

“Daddy I’ll…” River couldn’t get the words out and make her wobbly legs move at the same time. She opted for movement and headed toward Zoë and the Captain.

“Just a ruttin’ minute.” Jayne roared. “I’m not interested, and she ain’t my daughter. She’s my…she’s my….” He hated that he couldn’t put a label ta what they was. He grabbed River by the arm and began hauling her toward the door. “Mal you and Zo want ta’ stay for a drink then you’re walkin. The girl and I got somethin’ ta settle ‘tween us and we ain’t doin’ it in public!”

“Let me go!” Flashing brown eyes met dangerous blue one.

“Only way you’re gettin’ free is if’n ya wipe the floor with my ass. Now come on!” He pulled her through the door and tossed her into the back of the mule. “Ya want ‘a tell me what that ‘daddy’ business was all ‘bout?” He climbed in beside her as the other two followed behind. Zoë was trying hard not to laugh, but Mal looked furious.

“She was…I’ve seen the pictures…I’ve seen…” She’d been to his bunk and seen the women he kept on display

“You’ve seen!” Jayne exploded. “Now I get it. She’s the one ain’t she? She’s the one ya saw way back…months ago when ya was still crazy. The one ya think will keep me livin’ ‘till I’m an old man. Well I gotta tell ya honey, there’s livin’ and there’s livin’. Any length ‘a time spent with that…that, well I ain’t interested. I’d rather die young.”

River’s mouth dropped open and tears filled her eyes as the mule zoomed away from its parking spot. She was seething mad and so was Jayne, but they were going too fast to talk unless they were huddled together and neither was about to move any closer to the other. Each sat in a corner with their arms crossed and waves of anger almost visibly floating off of them.

Five minutes later they were in Serenity’s cargo bay. “Okay you two. I’m not even gonna mention the heap of unwanted attention you called down on our heads!” Mal stood and glared at his fuming hired guns while Zoë locked the door and got on the communicator to Inara. “I don’t know what in Buddha’s hairy balls that was all ‘bout, but ya could ‘a gotten us killed or lost us the job, if your timin’ had been different!”

“Captain…” River tried to cut in.

“Mal…” Jayne growled.

“Shut-up the both ‘a ya. Hand over your weapons.”

“No one takes my girls.”

“Jayne do not argue with me! Hand-them-over! I want everything. I don’t want either of you to have so much as a toothpick in your pockets!” Once the guns and knives had been piled in the mule, the angry Captain took a deep breath. “You two are gonna settle this once and for all. I’ve disarmed ya so it won’t be quite so easy for ya ta kill each other, but knowin’ ya the way I do, I have no doubt that ya could come up with somethin’”

“We promised no guns, no knives….noooo…” River buried her face in her hands as she burst into tears.

“And no more cryin’! That’s gotta be dealt with too!” Mal was beginning to come unglued, but liked to believe it wasn’t showing. He was willin’ to deal with ‘Nara when she had tears. He figured if what he’d heard River say that one night was true, he’d caused some ‘a them and it was payback time, but just ‘cause he was the captain didn’t mean that he had to deal with anyone else’s.

“Now look what ya done, ya made, Girlie…” Jayne wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close as he frowned at the man below him.

“Me…me? I ain’t the one she’s cryin’ bout. I ain’t the one who was saddlin’ up to a whore after spendin’ the night in the shuttle with Little Albatross. My way a thinkin’ ya owe the girl an apology and then some!”

“I wasn’t the one doin’ the saddlin’ or leadin’ anybody to believe I was their ‘daddy’!”

“Do not start with that nonsense!” Mal only heard the word ‘daddy’ and saw red. He pulled his gun and pointed it at his hired muscle. He’d been wondering when he was gonna start gettin’ the ‘Captain-Daddy’ jokes. This was not the time for it!

“No, don’t shoot him!” River squeaked and threw her much smaller body in front of the large one beside her. “You have misunderstood him.” She was still wiping tears from her face and was shaking.

“Don’t you never do that again!” Jayne erupted at her. “You ain’t never ta step in front of me like that, when some hot head has a gun pointed, ya hear!”

“But he might have shot you,” she argued. “I weighted the percentages and the Captain was less likely to shoot me than you.”

“One more word from either ‘a you that ain’t getting’ to the bottom of all this silly and plain stupid behavior and I’ll shoot the both ‘a ya! Now I got a ship ta fly, since my pilot seems ta have taken leave ‘a her senses.” He turned toward the First-Mate who had gathered all the weapon’s and was watching her best friend wondering if she shouldn’t get the Doc to check his blood pressure. “You ‘bout ready?”

“Yes, sir,” she did her best to say it with a straight face, but she knew that the corners of her mouth twitched.

“Qingwa cao de liumang chusheng xai-jiao de xiang huo,” the Captain muttered all the way up the stairs. He knew he’d been a mite cantankerous all day, but he hadn’t gotten ‘a wink of sleep after ‘Nara left his bunk. The things that woman could do to a man’s body without even tryin’, it made him tremble to think what it’d be like if…if…Gorramnit, he weren’t gonna think about that!

Jayne climbed down out of the mule and turned to the woman frozen in place with tears filling her eyes. “C’mere,” he held up his arms and helped her gently down. “I didn’t hurt ya when I tossed ya up there afore, did I?”

“No,” she shook her head.

“Ya never did answer my question, ‘bout that woman. Was she the one?”

“I told you I never saw a whore.” Her lips quivered and she quickly covered them with her fingers.

“Then why?”

“You had great need to be with a woman. You’ve been most polite and kind to me. I’ve respected the privacy of your mind, but you shout your desires; I can’t help hearing them.” She straightened her spine and turned toward him with a practiced cool smile that would have passed her mother’s inspection. “I have seen you with women in the past. She is what you would choose.”

“I ain’t polite and I ain’t kind, and I am beginning to doubt just how good a reader ya are if ya thought I wanted that woman.”

“You needed someone. There were no others and you wouldn’t take sexing from me last night.” Her smile broke to be replaced with sadness.

“Nope, don’t want ya for sexin’.” He stepped into her personal space.

“That was made clear to me and it is just as well, it would have led to…”

“It would ‘a led ta my dyin’ in ‘bout two years?” His brows rose and he held her shoulders ‘cause he could tell that she was ‘bout ready ta bolt. “I don’t care ‘bout that, not if I’d have ta be with anybody but you.”

She stared at him, unsure if she had heard him correctly. “No, I can’t let you.” She covered her abdomen with both hands. With her eyes closed, she pictured herself as she’d been, or would be, crying at his grave. She shook her head, too worried to care about correct verbiage at the moment.

He saw her unconscious gesture and it was like a punch in the gut. “I leave ya with a youngin’ on the inside.” He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and covered both of her hands with one of his. The thought of her having his kid brought joy to his heart and filled him with despair when he thought it was something he’d never live to see.

“Yes…” She felt his pain along the edges of her mind. It was mixed with hers and it broke her heart. “I love you…” she had to tell him, he had to know what she felt; maybe it would make it easier.

“That a fact.” He smiled as a number of pieces fell into place. “‘Cause I…I…love ya…have for a while now, just was too stupid to know it, ‘till last night,” he had to whisper, but he was able to get the words out and he could tell that she heard them because she went lax against his chest, letting him support her weight. “I don’t want ya just for sexin’. I want ya for my wife.”

“You said the words, you made it real.” She blinked at him as her eyes froze over and she was carried into the future. A future she’d seen twice before. She and Jayne were sleeping wrapped tightly around one another. They were old and tired. Their children were grown with grown children of their…”

“River where’d ya go, Babe? He’d picked her up and was sitting on a crate holding her tightly.

“It’s back, it’s all back. The words made it real. You’ve undone the damage I did. I think that was what made you careless, worrying about why you couldn’t say the words. Your mind was on other things and you were killed.”

“In the vision that scared ya so, I never told ya I loved ya?” he still had to whisper his feelin’s but it seemed to be enough for her. “Never married ya when ya were havin’ my youngin’?”

“No,” she shook her head still amazed that he’d said the words. “We came together too soon. You had no time for feelings to grow.”

“I deserved ta be shot.” He hated to think he would ‘a done that to River, but knew there’d been a time when he would ‘a up and left anyone who he got in a family way. “Sure it wasn’t Mal or that brother ‘a yours that didn’t take a gun ta me?”

“They knew I loved you and I think they hoped you’d realize you loved me too.”

“I think it would be a mighty good idea for us to go and practice sayin’ them words.” He stood with her still in his arms and headed for the stairs. “The shuttle or my bunk?”

“Oh, definitely your bunk.” She caressed his face and kissed him deeply. “I have no wish to make love for the first time with all of Inara’s ghosts watching.”

“Hate ta tell ya this, honey, but as far as I’m concerned, last night was our first time.”

“I seemed to have missed something.” River nibbled on his neck.

“I won’t leave anythin’ out this time.” He looked at her as he got ta the top ‘a the stairs. “Tomorrow mornin’ afore we pick up the goods, we’re gettin’ married.”

“I will marry you, but I’d like to do so at Southdown Abbey on Persephone. Shepherd Book studied there for years. We’re due to make planet fall in eight days.”

“Marry, who’s getting married?” Simon looked up from the table where he was pretending to play cards with Inara, Kaylee and Zoë. The four of them had been listening at the top of the steps, and had quickly moved into the galley.

“We is. You okay with that Doc?” Jayne kept on walking with River in his arms.

“Not a problem in the worlds or any of their moons.” He nodded at the older man. As much as he’d tried to prepare himself for this moment, it had still taken his breath away. His one conciliation was that he’d been sure to update the Merc’s innocs the day after they’d talked. River wouldn’t be getting pregnant anytime in the next six months.

“Zoë, would you tell the Captain that Jayne and I still have some things to settle but we need more privacy than the cargo bay. I shall be unable to relieve him on the bridge.” River smiled and tried to look innocent, but from the way the First-Mate rolled her eyes, she knew she hadn’t fooled anyone. “We’re only following his orders.”

The two disappeared down the ladder to the Merc’s bunk. Jayne put her feet on the deck and slid out of his jacket. She carefully hung hers on the hook beside his. He watched her run her hand gently over both garments, a small smile on her face.

“Ya knew didn’t ya?” He remembered the way she’d looked at her coat hanging beside his once before and it gave him a jolt to the stomach. “That’s why ya kept sayin’ ya never saw a whore.”

“I’m sorry, but that day with the coffin, you wouldn’t have believed, it would be further proof of my mental instability.” She put her arms around him needing him to understand the driving fears that had kept her silent. “When we talked about it, that night we’d been in the ducts, all you asked was ‘who’s the whore’. I couldn’t say anything because I’d begun to care about you and I knew you still had doubts about me. It was selfish, but you were the only one who saw me as a real person. It would have been too painful if you’d gone back to thinking I was the moonbrained girl.”

“I don’t know what I would ‘a done, but you’re right, I wouldn’t ‘a believed ya.” He walked backward until he felt his bed hitting the backs of his knees. “It could ‘a led to real trouble.” He ran his fingers under the tiny straps that were holding up her top. “I was already thinkin’ ya were ruttin’ hot!”

“You were?” She grinned. No one had ever told her that before. “But I’m not anything like…them.” She pointed to the pictures of naked woman hanging above his bed.

“Sorry, ‘bout that, Babe.” He turned and ripped them down, taking a moment to look around. For once things weren’t too much of a mess. He sat on the bed and pulled her between his spread thighs. “I love ya, and there ain’t never been anyone I wanted the way I want ya.”

“I love you, too,” she whispered as she pulled his shirt up and over his head. Her breath caught when she saw the scars on his chest. “I… hurt you.” One small finger moved over the white ridges and they brought tears to her eyes.

“Naw ya didn’t, Babe, ya brought me ta life.” He reached down and untied his boots and then pulled hers off one foot at a time. “Now it’s my turn ta bring you ta life.” His hands slid under her tank top and he finally gave in to his desire to remove it. “You’re perfect,” he breathed as he pulled her close and covered one hard nipple with his lips.

She sighed as his hands moved over her and gasped as he unfastened her skirt. It fell into a pool of material at her feet, leaving her pressed against him in only her panties. “Jayne…” She gripped his shoulders to keep from loosing her balance.

“I got ya.” He lifted her up and laid her on his bed. Always careful to touch or stroke her, he removed the rest of his clothes and lay facing her in bed.

“I like the feel of your skin.” River ran her hand over his shoulder and down to his stomach. “The texture is different than mine.” She grinned. “Man skin to go with your man parts for your girl’s name.” She reached lower and enjoyed the way he instantly hardened against her hand.

“Easy there, Girlie, or ya may miss out on somethin’ again tonight.” He rolled her beneath him careful to take his weight on his elbows. “My man parts are excited enough without you doin’ too much explorin’.”

“You were able to explore me last night.”

“Yeah and I want ta be able to do it a bit more thoroughly tonight.” He reached between them for her wandering hands and pulled them back to his shoulders. “I need ya to listen ta me, River.” He held her face in his palms and tried to keep his body under control. “I ain’t been anybody’s first time before. One thing I learned ‘bout you last night is that you’re as small and tight in your girl parts as ya are everywhere else. You need to let me take the lead and tell me if’n I’m hurtin’ ya. I’ll be careful, but I ain’t a mind reader.”

“I can’t read yours either, at least not about personal things. When we’re working I know exactly what you need me to do, but when it is our private lives I don’t know where I leave off and you begin. It’s been that way for a few weeks.”

“Okay.” He kissed her temple and ran his hands through her hair until it fanned out on his pillow as he’d dreamed ‘a seein’ it. “Okay, that makes it a mite harder. I just don’t want ya ta be scared.”

“The only thing that frightens me about you is the thought of being without you.”

“Never gonna happen, Babe. Never gonna happen, ‘cause I love ya.” He kissed her deeply as his hands moved over her soft skin. He played, touched and teased her until she was gasping for breath beneath him.

“Please Jayne I need you.” She looked at him with feverish brown eyes. The deep clawing ache was worse than the night before and her body was on fire.

“Put your legs ‘round my hips. We’re gonna take this real slow, ‘cause it’s gonna be a tight fit.”

“My muscles are very flexible,” she told him adamantly.

“Yeah, but you never used these muscles afore.”

“We will fit!” She grabbed his shoulders and tried to shake him, not wanting to wait longer.

“That’s my stubborn girl.” He kissed her and slid slowly into her. “River open your eyes, I need ta see ya. Don’t wanna hurt ya.”

“Ohhh!” she cried out and held onto him tightly. “I’m all right. It is a natural thing. Love you,” she whispered and met his blue gaze, as she bit her lip.

“I love ya, too, Babe.” He clenched his teeth at how wonderful she felt even as he’d caused her pain. It didn’t seem fair so he held very still until he was sure she was all right.

“Don’t stop.” Her legs tightened around his hips and she was tempted to rock her pelvis tight against his. She knew intellectually what was happening but books hadn’t prepared her for the wonder of the real thing. She felt everything and wanted more. For the first time since the Academy she longed to feel more.

“You still with me, Babe,” Jayne’s voice was hoarse with desire. Every instinct told him to move hard and fast, to take care of his own needs, his partner’s be-damned, but he didn’t. Instead he moved slowly into her.

“Yes,” she nodded taking deep breaths to allow her muscles to adjust. “It is wonderful when you touch me on the outside, but to feel you on the inside is to become a part of you, to be real.”

“If you’re ready, things are ‘bout to get a whole lot more real.” He brought his right hand up and covered her breast, pullin’ and tweakin’ her nipple. When she shivered at his touch he grinned at her. “Ya like that. Sometime we gotta see if I can make ya come just by touchin’ ya there.” When she laughed and agreed with him he wondered if he’d been a fool for the last twenty years or if this was just another way River was different from most people. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman was turned on when he’d touched her above the waist.

“No more slow.” She rocked her hips slightly and was rewarded with wonderful sensations running through out her body and Jayne’s kiss. “I want…”

“I know, Babe, I know.”

She looked at his face and the depth of the color in his eyes and couldn’t look away. It was like the night before but hundreds of times better. She felt him moving and cried out. Then she was suspended, it was just the two of them. She didn’t feel anything except where he was touched her, filled her, surrounded her. But his eyes carried her deep into him. She’d heard the Captain say that everyone died alone but Jayne was showing her how wrong Mal was. She’d never ever be alone again. There would always be this man, her man. Jayne would be part of her forever.

Jayne felt her body tighten around his and gasped as he rocked in and out of her. Conscious thought left him. His body moved on instinct and so did hers. He heard her gasp in joy; could smell her sweet scent; everywhere he was sensitized to her touch; the taste of her mouth was still on his tongue; but most of all he saw deep into her eyes as they blew through time and space together to the gentle rhythm of her body’s deep contractions. He dove deeper and cried out her name as he filled her. In that moment he knew he’d been right the night before. He not only touched her soul, his fused with hers.

Later Jayne held her tight in his arms. “I love ya, River,” he whispered the words that made her smile. “That Chinese samurai ya like so much is right. Lovin’ ya gives me strength ta be what I gotta be, but knowin’ ya love me, that gives me the courage ta do it.”

She smiled at him and kissed him because she knew he’d tell her those words every night for at least the next fifty years.
……………………………….
Two weeks later they were married, in what had been Shepherd Book’s garden, at Southdown Abbey on Persephone. The sky was blue and a gentle wind made the trees rustle. They were surrounded by birds chirping and the scent of rosemary, lavender, and basil. Tall stone walls kept the noise of the city out and the peace that belonged to the ancient buildings and their grounds in.

Everyone saw, but no one but River took note of, the cowled, robed form of a new initiate working in a distant field. The man was tall, black and the pieces of his mind that hadn’t been wiped clean pressed lightly against the bride’s. For a moment she gripped her brother’s arm tightly before walking down the wide path that separated herbs from flowers, to join her husband to-be and their friends who were gathered in front of the old Shepherd who had been Book’s mentor.

The young reader sniffed the air for danger, but found none. As the distant man had told Mal a few months earlier, ‘you won’t (see me again), there is nothing left to see.’

“I’m ready now Simon.” She smiled, as she sent the lone man a mental message that she’d picked up from Kaylee long ago. Since the young mechanic always remembered the words as she and Book had spoken them, that was the how River sent them.

‘So how come ya don’t care where you’re going?’ River smiled, she knew that when Kaylee had asked that question she’d really meant, ‘how come you don’t care that much ‘bout the ship ya sail on.

‘Cause how you get there is the worthier part.’ How indeed, the young woman looked into the blue eyes of the man waiting for her and her heart sang. It had been a worthy journey for them all and in many ways they were just starting out on a new one.

‘You a missionary?’ Kaylee’s words from over a year ago were being slowly sent to the distant working man so he could absorb their importance.

‘Been out of the world for a spell. Like to walk it a while, maybe bring the word to them as need it.’ Along with what Book had said, River took another moment to send a sharp clear picture of an ancient Firefly class ship. The young woman knew that it would be a long spell before the new initiate would be in the world again. The man’s hair would be long and white, in neat corn rows to keep it from caving in his brain. He had much to do and learn until he was remade with all his cracks mended and missing vacant spots repaired. She hoped by giving him a peek at Book’s back pages it would help him find his way to peace.

As Simon handed River over to Jayne, she stood on tip-toes and kissed her brother’s cheek. “Thank you for everything. I’ll always love you,” she whispered.

“And I you, Dummy.” He tweaked her nose and laughed. “It’s not too late, you can always change your mind.” He knew she wouldn’t but it was his responsibility as her older brother to remind her of that.

“It was too late from the moment I met him, Brat! I’ll be sure to ask you the same question in a few months’ time.” She glanced in Kaylee’s direction.

“You don’t say.”

“No I don’t.” She would use her physic powers to help them and keep them out of trouble, but never again meddle in the crew's personal life. Though two years down the road what she’d seen for Mal and Inara would come to pass. But instead of the Captain wrapping his long brown coat around his very pregnant woman and holding her as she cried over Jayne’s fresh grave, he did so as they honored Wash, Book and Mr. Universe, on Serenity’s yearly trip to Haven.

As Simon stepped back, she felt two others join them. The shadowy form of Shepherd Book smiled his blessings as he stood beside his mentor, as much a part of the ceremony as he could be. She knew if she looked over her shoulder to where Zoë stood she’d see a dim outline of a laughing blonde man waiting patiently for the long years to pass and his woman to join him.

Then she was surrounded by Jayne’s mental presence as he put his arm around her. It had been a strong sure companion since the afternoon they’d first made love two weeks earlier. He blocked all the others, keeping her safe and cared for. She felt a steadiness take hold and knew that this was where she was always meant to be. It finally made sense, the hell of the Academy, the craziness, all the killing and bloodshed. It brought her to this moment and this man and she wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The End or the happy beginning for our couple

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
angel932
Oct. 16th, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC)
Its hard to comment when tears are falling all over your keyboard. I did not in any way expect the ending that you chose and I was just over-whelmed with emotion. I NEVER expected that you would bring everything full circle the way you did, but it was so perfect, so RIGHT, that I just burst out in tears.

Okay, I'm calmer now, so let me also say how much I loved the scene between Mal and Inara. Lovely, lovely character study of both of them.

Well, you've just wrecked me and I honestly can't think of everything I want to say. I think I'm going to try to read all the chapters in one sitting later this week and then I'll weigh in again.

Just tremendous, completely and totally tremendous.
lattelady6
Oct. 16th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
Book' back pages
Thank you for your lovely words. Sorry about the wet keyboard. At least it isn't red wine, I know from experience it will ruin one. I'm assuming that having them marry at Shouthdown Abbey is what caught you by suprise. I believed since the series that Book had been a a black-ops type in his other life. Once I saw the movie I was sure he had been like the Operative. I've wanted to use that in a story for a long time, but wasn't sure how I'd get the info across. This seemed to work. And you're right I did go full circle.

I had hoped that I'd give Mal and Inara enough peace together to avoid all that rotton friut and rock in my email. So far no complaints. To have tried to finish their story in this one would have been unfair to both pairings.

If you do go all the way through this again anytime soon, keep in mind that the first few chapters aren't beta-ed and I was still very ill when I wrote them. I plan to do a full edit to catch all those typos.

Phyllis
the Lattelady
ceslas
Oct. 17th, 2006 02:12 am (UTC)
Re: Book' back pages
If you do go all the way through this again anytime soon, keep in mind that the first few chapters aren't beta-ed and I was still very ill when I wrote them. I plan to do a full edit to catch all those typos.

Will be taking a sweep this week on those chapters ;)
lattelady6
Oct. 17th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
Re: Book' back pages
That wasn't meant to push you in anyway. It needs to be done, but I feel a bit like someone has slammed my head against the wall. I go back to work on Wednesday, but have an 8 am appointment at Employee Health tomorrow. I was up until about 4am this morning taking care of this.

I really appreciate all your help, especially on the last chapter. I'm not sure why there was so much emotion riding on getting this finished, but it was eating me up. You did great and really came through for me.
ceslas
Oct. 17th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)
She shook in the vastness of the hadron he’d created, sure that each quark was easily visible to the naked eye. It didn’t matter if its flavor was up, down, charm, strange, top, or bottom. Love that!

Wonderful wrap up to a beautiful series... I have been honored to beta for you. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in a long time... Thank you!!!
lattelady6
Oct. 17th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
I that quote too. There were a number of them that I liked. They all seemed to come from writing the feelings of making love instead of the body parts.

P
rickoakwine
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
Okay, finished these. Started them on a whim and boy am I glad I did. My thanks for your offering of this story, for two days at work I've been reading this and smiling and feeling rather shiny and happy. Not often amateur work has that effect but you have done very well with this story.

Thank you.
lattelady6
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. I keep telling myself that someday I'll put away the fanfiction and dust off those four chapters of orginal work I've got hidden away in a folder on my desktop, but I never do.

I've gotta ask, what caused you to start reading the story? I love knowing that others felt good things about what I wrote.
rickoakwine
Oct. 19th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
I just happened upon it while bored at work, skimming over the Copper for a Kiss archives.

I'm not a huge fan of "fan fic" as a general rule, but a lot of the Rayne fic I've read from Copper for a Kiss has really been decent. Heck, lots of Firefly fic in general is pretty decent. Most needs a good editor and proof reading but even still there's something about the subject matter that just really works.

And you nailed a couple of scenes so well in this series that I just really felt them, saw 'em clearly. The scene in the back of the mule in the rain where Jayne pulls River under his jacket. I admit I couldn't quite picture the layout of bodies and arms but it didn't matter, just the picture of River cold and wet and miserable and Jayne trying to help, it was really good. Quite a few like that in this story. Good damned job. :)
(Anonymous)
Feb. 14th, 2007 09:05 am (UTC)
Lovely
I know I'm a bit slow in commenting... I first read this last year and had to come back and read it again because I love it so much!! I love your other series, too.

Well done! I feel a little weepy...

~AJ~
lattelady6
Feb. 15th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
Re: Lovely
I'm glad you enjoyed Voices and Visions. It was a pleasure to write it and it is made even greater when I know others enjoy it too.
silentpheonix
Mar. 26th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
I've been lurking around rayne_shippers, going through the archives. I stumbled upon your story and just stopped everything else to read it. I really liked the way you were able to develop the characters in a believable way.

However, there is a small thing that I would like to mention. Normally, I'd just let it go because it's not particularlly important but you've done it repeatedly and as a Chinese person, it really bothers me. Lao Tzu was a Daoist philosopher not a Chinese samurai. I do not believe that there is an equivalent word or concept in the Chinese language that could be translated to samurai. Due to the way the structure of the imperial government, the closest word would probably be "warlord" and Lao Tzu was definitely not a warlord.

I'm not saying you should go back and change anything but I just thought I would mention it.
lattelady6
Mar. 26th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked my story despite the error. I appreciate that you pointed it out to me and I will make corrections.

I knew Lao Tzu was a philosoper, but I assumed that he was a soldier as well. I think that is because I associate The Book of Five Rings with Te-Tao Ching.

Sorry for the error and I'm glad you pointed it out.
silentpheonix
Mar. 26th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
You should probably be a little more careful in the future about confusing things that are Japanese and Chinese. Some people can get really offended! (Don't worry, I'm not one of them.)

Lao Tzu was far from a soldier, he was actually an Imperial archivist and advisor who eventually left to go wander around in the mountains.

How did you come to associate the Dao De Ching with the Book of Five Rings? I have a hard time seeing the connection.
sal101010
Jan. 8th, 2009 11:02 am (UTC)
I re-watched Serenity last night and then had a sudden craving for River/Jayne fic. This was wonderful and has certainly satisfied it!
lattelady6
Jan. 8th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. It always surprises me to get a review on an old story. For some reason people read them, but because they've been around for a while, never let me know they've been there.

This story is special to me. It was written while I was ill. Firefly - watching the DVD's and the movie(at home) - kept me sane until I was able to go back to work.
8mouse8
Jan. 10th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC)
hope this inspires/pulls you back into rayne so you can finish your other rayne fanfiction
I was listening to this song while reading its lyrics and realized it just screams this fanfiction if you happen to find the time i would recommend this song for a video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USUX9NUYvDI
lattelady6
Jan. 10th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Re: hope this inspires/pulls you back into rayne so you can finish your other rayne fanfiction
Thanks for the song link. I'm a huge Lady A fan. The unfinished stories will be completed, just not sure when.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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Quotes

The moving finger writes: and having writ Moves on. nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancal half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it...The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If I quiet the voices in my head, I would face the day with nothing to write. - Unknown

I must go down to the seas again the lonely sea and sky...J Masefield

Cinderella walked on broken glass,
Sleeping beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast,
Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life,
Snow white barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears.
Because love means facing your biggest fears


The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of...French Proverb

I have drempt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after. They've gone through me like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind ...E. Bronte

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage...Lao Tzu

It takes chaos to give birth to a dancing star ..F. Nietzsche

How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true? But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face...Yeats

Let us go, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky...T. S. Eliot

In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter, that is the day when I first met you, appears the words, "here begins a new life".
La Vita Nuova

Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

The three o-clock in the morning courage which Bonaparte thought was the rarest...Thoreau

Did you say it? I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life. Did you say it?
Make a plan, set a goal, work toward it, but every now and then, look around, drink it in, 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow. - Meredith Grey

Shakespeare is easy, life is hard...Wheels

Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make up its own mind...Z.Cochron

I had a job to do and I was unafraid...Jack to John Creighton

For I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see. Saw the vision of the world, and the wonders that can be...RWW Hipwell

Without diviation from the norm, progress is impossible...F. Zappa

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat: They took some honey and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar...E Lear

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me;... Tennison

Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn... Keats

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