Good Days and Bad Days

By Lady Cleo

All Disclaimers Apply

There are bad days and there are good days.

The difference is easy to tell.

On good days she's running about the ship, annoying him with her presence, chasing Kaylee, playing games on the cargo bay floor. She's everywhere, pestering him, watching as he lifts weights with those large eyes of hers. Jayne doesn't necessarily like her good days because she's always standing somewhere within his field of vision.

But the good days are better then her bad days.

On bad days he doesn't see her at all. Simon keeps her locked away, drugged under and sedated heavily. But Jayne hears her on bad days. Her voice seems to shake the ship as she screams and she cries. And it gets to him, because he can't seem to escape.

It seems as though she's on a pattern, three good days are followed by a bad. Then the drug is switched and one good day is followed by three bad. Jayne counts them off on his fingers. Listens to her screams and hides in his bunk. There are days when he wants to gag her, anything to stop the crying and screaming.

On good days she eats with them at the dinner table, steals food off his plate. Laughs with everyone else when someone tells a joke, and when dinner's done she'll help with the dishes. On good days she's quiet around him and he'll catch her staring at him.

He doesn't like good days, but they're better then bad days.

On bad days he'll walk through the guest quarters when she's stopped screaming. He'll tell himself that it's just more convenient to take that route, though it isn't. And as he passes he'll try and get a glimpse into the infirmary, or into her room. Sometimes she passed out under the covers, sometimes she's tossing and turning, sometimes Simon's pricking her arm with drugs.

He gets the feeling that she's her brother's toy. But he knows it isn't true, no matter how much he dislikes the doctor. Still when he catches glimpses of Simon pumping new drugs into her he gets a funny feeling in his chest, almost like anger. But he passes it off without a thought and moves on. He never stays long on bad days.

Good days are filled with her glowing presence. She'll smile and her whole face will light up, her pale creamy skin almost luminescent with joy. On good days she'll let someone comb through her hair in the dinning area. She'll bounce about in her doll like dresses and hum little tunes that he's never heard. And she'll watch him with a titled head and a smile, like she knows what he's thinking.

He detests good days, but they're better then bad days.

On bad days he'll hear her quiet whimpering as he's working out on the bench, see her through the doorway fighting off Simon's help with every ounce of her strength. Watch as she collapses to the ground in tears or listen as she throws a fit, yelling, cursing, and tossing items across the room. Observe as Mal or Book come running to Simon's rescue, and internally wonder why someone doesn't save her from her brother's regime of drugs.

Jayne catches himself asking why she puts up with them all, why she hasn't just gone off the deep end and murdered everyone, silencing all the voices that pester her. But he doesn't question her motives for long and always retreats before another bout of screaming. He can't stand to watch her fight them off, can't stand to watch them treat her like a doll, though he tells himself he just doesn't like the screaming.

On good days she'll attend their little meetings about prospective jobs, though she always silent and watches them with neither curiosity nor feigned interest. She'll linger after they're done, watch as he does his thing in the cargo bay. Sometimes if he leaves she'll follow at a distance like a lost puppy dog, trailing his shadow around the ship. And he doesn't know why, doesn't care for it, doesn't want her around him.

He hates good days, but they're still better then bad days.

On bad days Simon comes to dinner alone and sits at the table silent and pensive. Or he moans and bitches, whines about his crappy life. And Jayne will listen as Simon curses himself for not being able to cure his sister and lets the whole ship know it, over and over again. Listening to the rich boy whine about all he's sacrificed disgusts Jayne, and he loses his appetite or takes his plate and eats in his own bunk.

If he stays through dinner he'll get up as soon as it's done, knowing that Simon will stay and talk about what he's doing and what progress he's made for at least another hour.

Leaving her alone downstairs…

And Jayne takes advantage of this. He leaves the room with a loud comment and heads off into the ship nonchalantly, as though he going to go mess around in the cargo bay. No one questions it; they're all too wrapped up in Simon.

Down the stairs, through the cargo bay and into the guest quarters…

He stops outside her door and holds his breath, listening to her quiet breathing as his thoughts tumbling around his head, questioning his own actions.

He turns to leave, but he can't, his feet have rebelled against his mind in the war for control. Hands too, for they reach out and pull back the sliding door, and he steps in.

She's waiting for him, tear stained eyes begging and pleading for the comfort Simon can't give her with drugs.

Jayne can't understand it, but he moves to the bed. Climbing up next to her he pulls her into his arms, rocking her gently, comforting her quietly and chasing away the demons with his presence. He cradles her in his arms, and wonders why she fits so perfectly.

He's not sure how it started, why it started, can't remember how long he's done it. Just knows that he performs it almost without thinking. It makes him feel stupid and weak like her brother, too emotional for his own good, but he doesn't want to stop it. He likes it despite what he says; he's comfortable when she needs him, he like being needed, even though he won't admit it.

He's afraid one of these days he's gonna fall asleep with her in his arms. And he'll wake up with Simon glaring down at him, Mal demanding answers while the rest of the crew gives him funny looks.

But she tells him when Simon's even thinking of coming and he'll lean down unconsciously and kiss her forehead, giving her good thoughts to dream of. He'll untangle her form from his and tuck her in like a child before he leaves. Then it's off to go clean his guns, workout on the bench or maybe pass out in his bunk like it never happened.

He hates the good days, because they aren't always better then the bad days.