Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

Family

Notes: This is a little series of vignettes about childhood. Part two of this fic was originally written in response to the first Friday Firefly challenge on LJ. Further proof that I can bring the slash to ANY topic - even childhood. Parts one and three were written because I was so encouraged by all the positive feedback that I just had to keep going. Thanks to Brenda and freeyourmind for telling me it to go for it.




1.

Jayne sits in the chair by the crib, gently cradling an infant in his arms as he feeds her. He is humming a quiet tune and there is a look of pure happiness on his face. The room is mostly dark, lit only by a low light on the table near the crib.

Simon watches, fascinated. Even though he has first-hand knowledge of just how gentle those big hands can be, it still amazes him at how tenderly Jayne holds their daughter. And then he snorts with barely suppressed laughter as Jayne shifts the baby to his shoulder and pats her back with just enough force to push out a loud burp.

Jayne looks up and meets Simon's eyes and smiles. "Hey, I thought you were supposed to be sleepin'," he whispers as he gives the infant another pat on the back, helping her release another bubble of air.

"You know," Simon responds with another chuckle, "She's getting more and more like you every day."

Jayne grins at Simon and satisfied that all the air is out of his daughter's stomach, gets up and puts the infant in the crib, tucking her in. He puts the empty bottle in the sterilizer and turns out the light. He makes his way over to the bunk in the dark and slides into the space Simon makes for him. Jayne pulls Simon to him and kisses him softly. Simon returns the kiss and deepens it for a moment, then pulls back and settles against Jayne's broad chest. His t-shirt smells like a mixture of baby and Jayne and Simon rubs his face across it. Jayne wraps his arms tightly around Simon and strokes his hair.

"Go back ta sleep, love. It's gonna to be yer turn in a couple a hours."




2.

"So, Kaylee's my Mommy?" Sarah asks.

"Yes, sweetheart," Jayne says as he brushes out her long, dark hair. It had taken him ages to learn how to do this without pulling too hard, but now that he had, he insists on being the one to braid Sarah's hair each morning.

"And Daddy Simon is my Daddy?" She asks as he deftly parts her hair down the middle and begins dividing it into sections for two braids.

"Yes, sweetheart," Jayne answers again and begins to quickly plait Sarah's hair. He sighs quietly and braces himself for the next question. He was wondering when she was going to start asking about this and had hoped that it would be Simon who got stuck with it.

"But you're my Daddy too?" She asks twisting around on the stool she's sitting on to turn wide inquisitive green eyes on him.

"Yes, pumpkin," Jayne replies. "I'm your Daddy too. Now sit still, or they'll be crooked."

"But, Alexander doesn't have two Daddies, he only has Wash and Zoe." Jayne can tell from his daughter's tone of voice that her face is all scrunched up in concentration as she tries to figure out this new problem. He continues to braid her hair and waits for her next question.

"How come I have two Daddies and Alexander's only got one?"

"That's because me an' Simon are a bit different than Wash and Zoe, sweetie. We wanted a baby real bad, but men can't make 'em on their own. An' Kaylee, the sweetest, nicest person in the whole 'verse..."

"Sweeter and nicer than me?" Sarah says with a pout in her voice.

"Ya didn't lemme finish, little one," Jayne says, smiling. "The sweetest, nicest person in the whole 'verse, AFTER my darling daughter, Sarah, offered to help me an' Simon have a baby."

"Me?" Sarah asks cheerfully.

"You," Jayne says, tying off the last of her braids. "All done, pumpkin."

"So, how come men can't have babies?" Sarah says turning around, pinning him with her gaze. Three years old and she's already asking him questions he can barely answer. She had obviously inherited more than Simon's pale skin and dark hair.

"Uh. You'd better ask Daddy Simon that one, sweetie. It's all 'cause of insides and stuff. He can explain it better than me."

Sarah holds her arms out for a hug. "I love you, Daddy Jayne."

Jayne hugs his daughter tightly and rubs his beard against her face, just to hear her giggle. "I love you too, Sarah."




3.

Notes: For those who don't know: Binky is the big knife that Jayne licked (*droool*) in Ariel and Boo is one of his hand guns (I'm not sure which)

To see the translations of any Chinese text, hold your cursor over the word or phrase

Jayne smiles down at Sarah as they walk down the corridor towards the infirmary. Her tiny hand is entwined with his and she is swinging their arms back and forth in time to the happy tune she is humming. They had spent most of the day together and were going to fetch Simon, who had been busy in the infirmary all afternoon.

Simon turns when they enter the infirmary, smiles broadly, and puts down the notepad he's holding. Sarah lets go of Jayne's hand and runs over to Simon, her arms open. Simon bends down to receive her tight hug and gives her a kiss on the cheek.

"So, how was your day?" Simon asks, straightening up and tilting his lips up to meet Jayne's kiss.

"Good," Jayne replies and kisses him again. "Better now." Simon smiles softly and moves Jayne's hand off his ass.

Sarah tugs on Simon's hand and he looks down at her. "Yes, xin gan?"

"I learned how to sharpen Binky!" She says excitedly a big grin on her face.

Simon gives Jayne "The Look" - the one that says that says 'you are in DEEP shit' and says calmly to Sarah, "Oh, really?" Jayne feels his stomach drop at the falsely cheerful tone.

"Yes. You have to hold the knife at exactly the right angle or you'll ruin the edge and you have to use smooth strokes on the whetstone to give the blade an even edge." She pauses briefly and then says even more animatedly, "Daddy Jayne showed me how to spit - because the whetstone has to be wet for it to work."

Simon says, "Did he now?" And gives Jayne "The Look" again. He's gotten that look twice in two minutes and Jayne's thinking that the couch in the common area is looking mighty comfy and certainly more welcoming than their bed is going to be tonight.

"Yes. It was fun!" Sarah exclaims brightly. "And if I'm really good and very careful, Daddy Jayne says he'll show me how to clean and load Boo." Sarah is practically bouncing up and down, she's so excited.

"What!" Simon shouts, finally losing his calm demeanor. "No, you're not, not under any circumstances."

"But Daddy Jayne said I could," Sarah says frowning.

"And I'm saying you're not, and that's final," Simon says sternly, glaring at Jayne.

"Simon…" Jayne begins.

"I said no, Jayne. No guns," Simon says furiously.

"That's not fair!" Sarah wails. "Daddy Jayne said I could!"

"Life isn't always fair, Sarah," Simon says gently.

"Sorry, pumpkin. I shoulda asked Simon first before tellin' ya I'd teach ya," Jayne says stroking Sarah's hair.

She turns towards Simon, her face scrunched up in anger and shouts, "I HATE you! You never let me do anything fun," before running out of the infirmary.

"Thanks, Jayne. Thanks a whole fucking lot," Simon says angrily. "What the HELL were you thinking promising to show Sarah how to operate a gun? Oh, let me guess, you weren't thinking." Simon walks away from Jayne, shaking with anger.

"C'mon, ya know what she's like, Simon. 'Oh Daddy, please, can't you show me, please.' How could I resist?"

"She's FIVE, Jayne. You don't show a five year old how to handle a weapon of any sort, let alone a gun," Simon says with exasperation.

"Ya know she ain't like regular five year olds, Simon," Jayne says fiercely. "Besides, I woulda been right there, makin' sure she didn't come ta harm. She done a fine job on Binky - an' she still has all her fingers."

"The fact is Jayne, you always do this," Simon says, pacing back and forth. "You get her excited about doing something dangerous and then I get to be the one that says no. Why do I always have to be the mean one?"

Trying to diffuse the situation with humour, Jayne replies, "'Cause ya are?"

Jayne realizes his mistake when Simon turns on him, hurt in his eyes, "Get out, Jayne. Go for a walk, before you make things worse."

Jayne reaches for Simon's shoulder and says, "Simon…"

Simon pulls away sharply and says, "I mean it, Jayne. Go now."

Jayne drops his hand, sighs, and leaves the infirmary. He makes his way to the common area and sees Sarah sitting on one of the couches, rubbing away her tears. She looks up at him and says, "Are you in trouble too?"

"Looks like," Jayne says sitting next to her.

Sarah climbs into his lap and he wraps his harms around her. "I don't really hate him," she says quietly, sniffling.

"He knows, sweetie," Jayne says, stroking Sarah's back.

"Do you think if we say sorry, he'll forgive us?" Sarah asks.

"Mebbe," Jayne replies with a small shrug, "but he's awful mad at me."

"Want to go and see?" Sarah says plaintively.

"All right," Jayne says, getting up and setting Sarah down. They walk back to the infirmary hand-in-hand.

"Daddy Simon?" Sarah says tentatively when they enter. She walks towards him, eyes downcast.

"Yes, Sarah?" Simon replies.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I don't hate you," Sarah says, looking up, her eyes bright with unshed tears.

"Oh, xin gan, I know," Simon says softly, reaching out to gather her into his arms.

"I love you, Daddy," Sarah says as she snuggles into his embrace.

"I love you too, Sarah," Simon replies, dropping a kiss on her head. He looks up and sees Jayne hovering miserably by the door. "'C'mere," Simon says, reaching out his hand. Jayne smiles and crosses the room. He wraps them both in his strong arms and hugs them tightly. He knows that he and Simon are going to be having a long, loud, serious conversation about all this later, but for now, he's happy to enjoy the peace created by shared love.