Title: Move It Along
Author: Lokaia
Even if it's been years and the author has no interest in finishing what she started in the way she started it, it's always nice to get some closure.

Conclusion to Jayne/River 30 Kisses Challenge by Lokaia.

Move It Along

See, the thing of it was, River Tam was crazy and there weren't no way of goin' back and fixin' that. They could re-discover all the planets they wanted, kill all the reavers, and broadcast all the documentaries they wanted to, but fact was and is that the Tam girl had gotten her brain cut into and there weren't no back-trackin' on that thought. Even after Simon went in on some risky business of his own and got some classified records, too many had been destroyed and there just weren't enough specifics. Boy was a surgeon, but not a brain surgeon and...

Well. Sometimes there just ain't no way 'round a bad thing. Sometimes you just gotta weather through the crap of things and live the best you can.

Weren't so bad, really. Things didn't change much. River got better with all that Miranda feiwu outta her brain, Inara was back on the ship where she belonged, Jayne was back for good - no more stop-offs at Gomorrah - Kaylee and Simon had plenty t'occupy their time, in and outta the med lab and Serenity's belly.

Zoe Washburne, she's a private woman, don't take too kindly to folk talkin' about her. Better t'say that sometimes a ship'll get breached, take on some water, and if 'er crew's payin' enough attention, won't ever be nothin' more than a crack. Zoe's crew was payin' attention and lord knows no crack, no power in the gorram verse could stop that woman from doin' what she wanted when she wanted.

Captain Reynolds had his ship and most'a his crew and after what they'd been through, he knew luck when he saw it. At the end'a the day, they were still flyin' and while that might not be much, it's somethin'.

It's enough.

You put a group together in close enough quarters for long enough time, you get relationships. You get family. Sometimes you get love, romance, marriage.

Sometimes you get things you can't ignore, no matter how much you wanna.

Girl still hasta take meds, still looks at people like she knows what they think before they think it, still eyes weapons she's got no business knowin' how to use, still spaces out and freaks everybody out. No escapin' that, no fanciful light t'shine on it t'make her normal, okay, all right, fair game.

Always been a pretty thing, River Tam, but she ain't in no shape t'take advantage of it th'way other pretty things can. Can't play no flirtin' game, can't tease or entice, unnerves the hell outta anyone she talks to that ain't a part'a Serenity an' Simon don't like it much when she talks to anyone anyhow. 'Course, he's all wrapped up in Kaylee, he don't notice if she slips off.

A certain merc, a certain man of 'public relations', a certain bear, though... he always seems t'notice.

She kissed him once, just t'see what it'd be like, and he kissed her back, just t'see if it'd make him forget what she was. But when it was over, he still bled from bear to man in her eyes and she still looked like a lost little kid with a crack in'er pan.

Didn't make her any less pretty and if she'd been a stop inna bar onna planet they were leavin' in the mornin', wouldn't'a stopped Jayne none. But that's th'thing about close quarters, relationships, family. You start carin' 'bout someone an' it gets real hard t'stop.

Wouldn't call her 'sister.' Too creepy, that, especially since she's still s'damn pretty, since he's thought about kissin' her again more'n a few times, since Simon would make a face about it an' Jayne wouldn't find it nearly as funny as River might.

Wouldn't call him 'boyfriend.' That's ownership an' you don't own th'kinda animal that Jayne Cobb is. You let it go, get outta its way when you need to, an' take advantage'a the short amount'a time it ever spends sittin' still.

Don't mean there's nothin' there, just means it's gorram hard t'explain t'anybody that sees 'em. Means River walks around towns with a bodyguard glarin' down anybody that looks at 'er, 'cause them folks don't know that she could hurt 'em worse than he could. Means Jayne don't spend so much time with womenfolk in his lap when he's got a littler one t'look out for. Don't suffer much for it, neither, not when there's plenty'a nights when Simon ain't distracted by Kaylee, lookin' after his sister and shooin' Jayne away from her protectively.

Means he gets his jollies out elsewhere, knows she knows about it and figures if she wanted t'raise a fuss, she'd have a knife in 'er hand and he'd be jolly-less.

Simon don't like it but Simon can't explain it neither. Just don't like how close they seem, how River sits next t'him at dinner or Jayne stands behind her while she's pilotin' with a hand on her hair.

The 'verse is a big place and logic, it don't apply much out there. Ain't no such thing as fairytales an' one plus one, it don't always make two. Sometimes things just are an' no good'll come from questionin' it.

An' life, it goes on whether somebody's lookin' or not, happened even if no one done wrote it down. Just 'cause you don't understand somethin' don't mean it ain't happenin'.

Simon Tam, he'll prob'ly get over it, an' River Tam, well, she'll always be crazy, most like. Cards that life deals out, they ain't ever really fair, but if you're payin' attention, you can make th'most'a your hand.

F'you start hearin' about th'Tam family, th'one with that famous doc that travels 'round with his smilin' wife, settin' up hospitals and gettin' meds t'planets that need 'em, fixin' up equipment to thems that need it, you jus' remember how many different ways that hand could'a been played an' you think about how gorram grateful those folks must be for th'one they got.

'Course, f'you start hearin' 'bout one'a them Firefly transports that smugglers can be so fond of - the one with that smilin' captain, th'first mate you better not cross, that fanciful lady that used'ta be one'a the best Companions ever was, the big man that'll bite'cha soon as look at'cha, an' that skinny little girl that don't look like nothin' but you got th'feelin' you best be movin' on soon...


You follow that feelin' an' move it along. 'Verse is a big ol' place. You got plenty more t'do than stare.