Lessons in Latin.
By Lady Cleo
All Disclaimers Apply.
Being dead for a moment (whether you remember or not) always has consequences. A continuation off the story 'Bound' with Jayne/River romantic implications and actions; if that disgust move away. Drama/Angst/Supernatural with a touch of Latin and Death… Thereby CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED: So either grab a teddy bear, some tissues, your handy dandy security blanket, or turn round right now and go read one of my fluffy fics as the Dark Muse totally took over this one.
In an effort to save you from reading translations of the Latin I tired to work them all into the story, but some you'll have to find at the bottom. And also this is was very Latin intensive but in interest of saving time, myself from hours of translating, and you from reading a very long appendix… italics also represent Latin. Just assume that River and Jayne are atomically translating the Latin to English in their heads.
Big Thanks to Twitchy Louie, the wonderful Beta.
The red droplet fell from her hand, soaking into the white linen that surrounded them both. With a trembled sob still on her lips River… no it was Telphusa, pressed harder against the sword wound and sent a tearful prayer to the gods, begging for mercy, "Fiat justitia ruat caelum, eum parcus." Her voice cracked from the strain of her tears and she shook her head in disbelief, franticly pressing hard against the flow of red.
A rough hewn hand rose silently from her side reaching out towards her in plea. She dared not take her hands from the wound but turned her gaze to meet his cloudy eyes, trying to keep the fear from her trembling voice "Non est tanti…"
His lips trembled as he took a shaky breath and reached downward; pulling one of her hands from the wound he brought the red stained palm to his lips, "Aliquando bonmus dormitat homerus. Mors ianua vitae." With a shaky breath his eyes lolled shut.
Sobbing blindly River collapsed against him, ""Vive, vale, obsecro… vive." But the shallow breaths coming from his pale lips were growing weaker, and the red seeped from his body too quickly, soaking into her haven, destroying all that she had built around her in one fell swoop.
"Si sic omnes… si sic omnes?" Lifting her face from his chest she directed her tears towards the heavens once again, "Si sic omnes…"
The girl genius screamed as Simon's voice broke her from the dark dream. Wrenching herself away from the red River forced her eyes to open back to the dimly lit interior of the small room. Launching away from the comforting hands of Simon, she tumbled awkwardly to the cold floor.
"Mei-mei, it's okay, it was just a dream. You're alright." Simon assured as he hurried after her, reaching out to her.
"Janus, not Jayne, Janus, was Janus. The red, it was Janus." She sobbed huddling into a tight ball as she fought off the comforting hands of Simon. Pressing her palms into her eyes until she could only see dizzying white spots, she fought to calm her breathing, trying to wipe away the haunting images of red. "Don't like the red, don't want the red. Animus meminisse horret… Animus meminisse horret. Don't want it."
"It's okay now, it was just a dream. It's all over."
River ignored the words, rocking herself back and forth, "Not a dream; never is. Ends too quickly, swords or guns and blades or bullets, always come before the end. Always come with fire and brimstone, never after, always before." Pulling her face away from her hands she turned her head to gaze at Simon through the waves of brown hair, her panicked eyes pleading with him as she reached franticly for him. "Won't happen, won't let it happen this time. Going to grow old, going to have little dreams. See the grey; love the grey! No Red this time … No Red!" She cried out.
Simon frowned worriedly and reached out to pull her over to him, wrapping her gently in his embrace. A heart wrenching sob ripped from her lungs as she buried herself in her brother's arms. "Promise me Simon, promise me no red!"
"No red, mei-mei, there won't be anymore red." Simon shushed her quietly, smoothing down the wild waves of brown.
Sniffling slightly River hiccupped and pulled back from her older brother, a smile cracking her miserable expression, "Liar." She whispered and buried her face back against his chest. "There's always red."
Sword brandished on high, Jayne swung the glint of silver down, slicing deep into the man's exposed throat. Freeing the blade quickly he spun around with ease. A Germanic cry spilt through the clang of battle, but with a quick precision thrust the cry was cut short and the man fell back, the red of his blood staining the glint of silver. Snarling at the image Jayne stepped over the body. Around him the screams of battle were slowly dying down, the battlefield crawling with victorious red as his Legion quickly stomped out any remaining voice of rebellion.
"Legatus Legionis Titius Janus?" The frantic cry lifted Jayne's head from his thoughts and he turned to face the oncoming rider. The younger man pulled his horse to a stumbling halt and leapt from his saddle. Pulling out a rolled parchment he saluted and held forth the item, "Ab patra tua et Senator Octavius Quintus Tanicus."
"Senator Tanicus?" Jayne stared down at the parchment for a second before confidently reaching out to take the item. Whatever news, good or bad, he would not show weakness in front of his men...
"Gorram it, Jayne, you listening to me?"
Pulling himself out of the vision, the mercenary startled, glancing around quickly as he tired to regain his bearings. "Huh?"
"I said I don't wanna be on this rock for longer then I have to, dong ma?" Mal barked angrily as the group of four gathered on the ramp. Just a few steps away the busy streets of Persephone bustled with life, the cling and clatter of wares and sellers calling to the group. "Zoe and I are gonna go settle the deal with Badger, Wash you get what we need, and Jayne… ammunitions running low. Stock up, got it?" Mal didn't wait for confirmation but turned and started off, Zoe in tow.
Wash glanced quickly over at the mercenary before turning and starting back into the cargo bay to fetch the mule. Shaking his head, Jayne ambled off in the direction of the munitions shop, trying to keep his thoughts clear of the lingering images that bounced around his head.
"Gorram ruttin dreams." The mercenary muttered under his breath, glaring at one of the little street urchins as the child darted into his path. It was bad enough that they haunted his nights, these visions of a world he couldn't understand but felt he knew, but now to start haunting his days too, it was enough to drive a man crazy.
Ab patra tua et Senator Octavius Quintus Tanicus. What the hell was that supposed to mean? Two seconds ago he could have sworn that the words had a legitimate meaning, that the foreign language was one he'd spoken since birth… but now the words bounced around his head, trying to formulate a meaning, but slipping out of his grasp before he could catch a hold.
'Ab father tua et Senator…'
'From your patra et Senator…'
'From your father and Senator Octavius Quintus Tanicus.' The words struck him suddenly, crashing through his conscious like a tidal wave. His stomach lurched, pain stinging behind his eyes as he stumbled blindly, crashing against the nearest wall as his head spun.
Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the pain passed, the words slipping from his head; stolen from his memory banks before they could burn an impression. Shaking off the experience, Jayne straightened and moved slowly down the streets once again. "Ain't trying that again." Turning the last corner he pushed open a small door and stepped into the familiar scent of weapons and ammunition.
"Jayne." The familiar man behind the counter greeted with a greedy tooth grin, the remnants of a cigar clenched tightly between his lips. Reaching under the counter the owner pulled out a notepad as Jayne approached. "Be having the usual order?"
"Throw in some extra of the regulars, had us a few runs in lately." Jayne declared moving past the man to gaze down into the glass cases. The metallic sparkle of silver brought a sadistic grin to his face as he examined each new toy with a hungry eye. "Ain't a one as good as Vera, but a couple of fine pieces…" He murmured to himself. The owner shrugged, used to the comment, and turned away disappearing into a backroom leaving the mercenary to wander down the rows of weapons.
Running a thumb across his lower lip Jayne turned away from the cases to glance over at the wall and froze. Low in the shadows, just within reach, sat a familiar silver blade. Without realizing what he was doing Jayne reached out to the blade, pulling the heavy object from its place. The ivory handle gleamed in contrast against the dark wood grain it was inlaid with, and the sparkle of silver caught the few beams of light that managed to penetrate the musty old store.
Grasping the handle with both hands the mercenary lifted the blade into view. Without thinking he swung the blade in a smooth, wide arc, slicing cleanly through the air. "Cuts like smooth water."
"You're the first man that's picked that up since I put it there." The shopkeeper declared as he lugged out the boxes of ammunition and set them up on the counter. "Ain't never gonna get rid of that one. Had it for near a year now…"
Jayne grinned, swing the blade to his left he flipped it easily in the air, catching it again with an ease and skill he'd never before felt. "A full tang construction, high-carbon blade with wood handle inlaid with ivory. High polished steel spacer at the bottom of the handle for strength and durability just like Verus..."
The man looked up from tallying the bill at Jayne's words, "How you know so much 'bout that antique. Figured you for a gun and knife man, not one for one of them fancible, dressy swords."
"Ain't no antique!" Jayne barked back, "This here's a fine piece of metal; it'll slice the head off any rebellious dog." Swinging the blade quickly through the air, Jayne grinned, eyes sparkling with admiration. "Ain't gonna find no finer weapon this side of the empire!"
"Empire? Heard Alliance called lots, but never Empire."
Jayne startled out of his thoughts and turned to glance at the elder man, "Empire? Ain't that what I said, Alliance?"
"You need to eat, mei-mei, it'll make you feel better."
River didn't look up from the bowl as Simon gently tried to coax her into touching the bowl of rice. Staring down at the contents with puffy, red eyes she sniffled in disdain and pushed the bowl away, turning her face away from Simon's pleading eyes to where Kaylee was finishing up the lunch dishes.
"Looks like I ain't the only one woke up on the wrong side of the bed." Mal muttered as he stepped down into the galley, Zoe following a step behind him.
Glancing over the two and failing to spot any bleeding or protruding body parts, Simon frowned. "I'm guessing your deal went fine."
"That it did." Mal grinned as he stepped over to pour himself a cup of coffee. Zoe collapsed into a chair as Kaylee moved away from the kitchen. "We'll be getting off this rock soon as Wash and Jayne get back."
"Jayne's already back, Captain, he's storing the ammunition." The engineer answered. Moving into the chair opposite of River and Simon she smiled worriedly at the girl. "You feelin' alright, River?"
"Just bad dreams." Simon explained briefly before turning his attention back to his younger sister, "Animus meminisse horret… What does that mean?" River slowly lifted her head, but didn't answer. Her eyes fell restlessly to the door as Jayne stepped down into the galley carrying a long package. "River…"
"Means I can't bear to think 'bout it; what the hell else could it mean." Jayne interrupted the doctor's questioning as he set his package on the table and carefully began un-wrapping the contents. He ignored the startled looks of the crew, "Damn doc's going senile!"
"What'cha got there Jayne?" Kaylee inquired cheerfully.
Lifting the sheathed blade from the paper, Jayne grinned holding it up to the light for all to see, "Ain't she a beaut?" Unsheathing the blade he swung it a short arc, eyes adoring the glint of silver as the rest of the crew watched in disbelief. "She's goin' up next ta Vera. Looks just like Verus, don't she?"
"What the hell you going to do with that thing?" Mal questioned as he stepped out of the kitchen and over to the table.
"Hell, Mal, ain't a finer weapon to be had." Jayne quickly defended, "It'll slice clear through a man's guts, sever a head quicker then any of them longer blades. Ain't near as messy as a gun neither but just as quick to end a fight."
The captain startled, understanding flashing across his face, "You ain't bringin' that thing on a job!"
Jayne chuckled; grasping the weight of the sword with both hands he thrust the blade forward, then flipped it in his hands, slicing through the air with a smooth grace. "Wouldn't think of it, Mal," the captain relaxed for a second. "Don't wanna muss it up, ain't got the proper cleaning kit for it yet."
Frowning Simon watched the mercenary swing the blade, "I'm curious… how did you of all people learn to use such a weapon?" Simon inquired, turning away from his sister.
River pushed back from her chair, slowly rising from the table.
"Ain't hard at all, doc," Jayne answered back. "Sides, I'm a man of all weapons, guess it just comes ta me naturally." Zoe raised a weary eyebrow in response to the comment and exchanged a quick glance with the captain.
"Remembers from other days." River whispered in response, moving around the table she reached out towards the blade. The dinning room suddenly jumped to life as Mal, Simon and Zoe all spontaneously reached out towards the crazy girl.
Grabbing River by the shoulders Simon pulled her away, "No, mei-mei." He gently admonished as the Captain and Zoe both let out a relieved sigh. "That's dangerous…" Simon started to say, guiding River back down to her chair.
"What ya'll so worked up 'bout?" Jayne demanded, interrupting the doctor. "Ain't like she's never held one 'fore."
"What in the hell are you talking 'bout Jayne!" Mal demanded with an accusing glare. "Ain't no reason for that girl to be holding blades, and I don't wanna hear bout you letting her…"
"Weren't here Mal, was back in Palatine. Long for you came along."
"Palatine... where? What the hell are you talking about? Ain't no planet called Palatine."
Jayne rolled his eyes and turned to face the captain, "Ain't no gorram planet, it's one of the seven hills, Mal. You know that. My pa gave me that house on it after I was promoted to Legatus."
"Adversus solem ne loquitor." River interrupted suddenly, her eyes trained on Mal as the captain gazed down at his mercenary with a befuddled expression.
The mercenary swung back around to glare down at River, "Nec temere nec timide." The room went silent in response, all eyes but River's trained on the angry mercenary as he sheathed the sword.
"Uh, mind repeating that in English!"
"Gorram it, Mal, was speaking English." Jayne barked. "Whole ships gone cockeyed. She said 'Don't waste your time auguring the obvious' and I said, 'mind your own business." Turning away from the table, Jayne started for his bunk, "Entire gorram ship's going mad."
A moment of awkward silence followed after the mercenary's retreat before Mal finally cleared his throat and spoke up. "What the hell is going on with my mercenary?" He demanded turning his attention to the silent doctor. "Don't get me wrong doc, its real amusing listening to them two exchange pleasantries in some odd language an' all, but it ain't right when my hired weapon starts spewing gibberish in a foreign language, bringing home ancient weapons and talking about some hill that don't exist! Is this some kind of after effect from being dead?"
"I honestly don't know;" Simon answered with a long drawn out sigh as he rubbed the temples of his forehead. "I'm a doctor, not a psychologist! I honestly don't know how the experience may have damaged his psyche. The brain scans we did were clear of abnormal activity but…"
"Subconscious remembers." River interrupted. Her head titling as she gazed off into the distance, ignoring the glances the gathered crew gave her. "Remembers things he shouldn't, remembers too much of Janus."
"Who's Janus?" Zoe questioned.
"He was power with a sword!" Frowning she reached for her bowl of rice and gazed down at the contents. "Father thought it would be best. Needed the power of the sword to match the quill; made sense to join the two." Shaking her head she pushed the bowl away again. "But it didn't make sense when time twisted and the Tiber was crossed." Lifting her head she met the gazes of the crew slowly, her voice trembling slightly, "Lost it all because he was power with a sword… It was there on her hands, tearing apart the seams, leaving nothing but the girl for a second."
"I don't understand what you're talking about, mei-mei. Do you mean Jayne? Is that what you mean by power with a sword? Do you mean when he died for those few minutes and you…" But the words failed Simon and he reached across the table to take her hands. "What happened that day mei-mei? Why did you follow after him?"
River's forehead wrinkled in confusion. "Couldn't not, it's always red Simon. Don't want it to be, but it always is. Si Sic Omnes?"
Simon furrowed his eyebrows, trying to translate the passage in his head, "Why… Why couldn't it last forever? What do you mean by that? Why couldn't what last forever?" He questioned his sister, the rest of the table watching the exchange silently.
Smiling sweetly River leaned forward and gently kissed her brother on the cheek, "Don't worry, Simon. It isn't time yet. She'll let you know when the Tiber's crossed again." Pushing back from the table, River stood and started for her bunk pausing for a second by the Captain. "Wouldn't understand that he was power with a sword, always power… but power always falls when the bad comes long, always falls for the coursing river." That said she moved away, disappearing into the dark shadows of the ship.
"What in ruttin' hell did that mean?"
Simon frowned, "I… I honestly don't know."
"Facies tua computat annos, old man." Janus grinned as he stepped forward to greet the elder man dressed in the white toga.
"I would not speak if I were you." Senator Tanicus answered, eagerly clasping the soldier's shoulder in a friendly greeting. "The years have not been kind to you either." Turning away from the villa's gates, the graying man led the younger one forward through the lush green courtyard to a smaller back room. "Near to four decades and not an heir to speak of…"
Janus laughed, "I count myself lucky that no whore has dropped one on my doorstep."
The senator chuckled in response, "The gods have blessed you thus far; that is something your father and I both agree on, but the gods will not always be so kind. It is time for you to cast your eye on a legitimate heir." Turning away from the commander, the senator motioned in the air. A young servant girl appeared suddenly, carrying two goblets of dark red liquid. Handing them to her master she disappeared back into the halls of villa. "You've not met my daughter…"
"Octavia? I've had that misfortune." Janus interrupted, accepting the drink he took a quick swig before turning back toTanicus. "Did she leave that sniveling cunt already? No matter, I wouldn't marry her for all the riches… all the riches of… Rome." He finished lamely.
"I do not speak of Octavia, but of my other child; Telphusa." With a small grin the senator stepped around the commander and motioned towards another servant, "Fetch your mistress." In response the young man turned and darted away.
"Telphusa?" Janus questioned, with a wrinkled forehead. "You've been hiding another brat within these walls?"
"She is my youngest. I sent her away to live with my brother and his wife. When I Divorced Julia she was still very young." The senator explained as he turned back around to face the legionnaire. "I should now purpose a union…"
Janus snorted "I have no want to wed, nor any need to. My sisters have sons; I'll name one of their brats my heir and keep my sanity where I like it."
"Come, come, Janus, at least entertain the ramblings of an old man." Janus shrugged and the senator continued speaking, "You see there are no soldiers in my family, and in these times of woe, I should very much like to think I could count on a man of your status and power to come to my aide."
"It's all fine for you, old man, but what purpose would it serve for me? Being chained to your daughter should have a worthy price paid in return."
Tanicus frowned, "My boy, to marry into my family would open doors that you should never have imagined even glimpsing. The power and treasure that would lie at your feet are beyond your imagination."
"My imagination is very capable, old man, I doubt that your name could bring me anything beside a pain in the backside. You've wasted my time enough." Slamming down the goblet onto the nearest piece of furniture, Janus spun around to face the door and froze in place.
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum, eum parcus."
"Let justice be done through the heavens fall, spare him."
"Non est tanti…"
"Aliquando bonmus dormitat homerus. Mors ianua vitae."
"You can't win 'em all… death ain't the end."
"Vive, vale, obsecro… vive."
"Live, be well, please… live."
"Si sic omnes… si sic omnes?" "Si sic omnes…"
"Why couldn't it last forever… why couldn't it last forever?" "Why couldn't it last forever …"
All other translations are in text.