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Subject:Sleeping Out of the Sea
Time:04:01 am
Resting, she was resting. Tired from all the travel, working so hard to keep me safe. Keep me hidden from those that wanted to harm. Cut. Unmake me. Filled to the brim with unsaid words, I let them echo within me. All should be quiet. Calm. What wasn't said was louder than I could silence. He could have told her. It would have been okay. Words spoken true ringing through instead of echoing these cold halls.

I wandered between words and wind, letting the cool steel carry me further into her safety. Alone, yet not alone. Comforted by her, guided by sounds. Looking. Searching for some comfort. Some place to be serene, some place to get away from it all. My fingertips traced thin lines along the walls catching slightly in knots of steel, bolts and screws holding the inside from the outside. Lost. I stop letting her whisper to me, telling me where I can be safe. The hollow I can fill within her emptiness.

My eyes closed I can feel a cool breeze from the ventilation above, smiling I tip my chin upwards letting the redistrubition of molecules and air push onto me. It feels good. A tiny giggle of innocence I let go of, my eyes open at my own noise, clapping my hand over my mouth to keep it all in. Shouldn't be here. Can't let them find me. Hurt me. Undone.

My footsteps quicken she tells me I will be safe. I feel the warmth seeping towards me. Stopped now, no motion, no turning, all static. Static and nothing. I crouch low, knees to my chest hugging my arms tight to hold myself together. Let go. Tiny pieces will fall apart. Don't lose touch. Time to be silent.

No one is here, I can be alone with their thougths. Their love it's strong, all caring no speaking. She knows, tells me it is just so. My feet ache, dust and dirt covered, pins and needles prickling my soles. I rock back lean against her letting my feet slip heels down, jutting out from me. Spindles, thin branches reaching for warmth, aching to grow. Yearning for freedom.

Here I will wait for them to say her name. Speak the words they long to hear. Need to hear.

((Open to anyone coming to the engine room))
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_notahero_
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Time:2005-01-20 10:43 am (UTC)
Came back a touch unsettled about that girl in the gunshop. Something about her'd tugged at me, like I'd seen her before or should know her. Didn't like that feeling.

Soon as I got back inside and stowed my newly cleaned guns away though, I shrugged it off. No sense in trying to strain my brain about some pretty slip of a gal I'd probably never see again.

I sat on my bunk for a few minutes, checking through the other purchases I'd made. Then I got up and decided I might as well clean and sharpen my knives too.

Headed out to the engine room to grab me some grease and look for one of Kaylee's special rags she kept tucked away in one of her toolboxes. Real nice quality chamois rags, perfect for polishing up a blade. I'd pay her back later o'course.

I strolled all casual-like into the engine room, keeping an eye out for Kaylee but she wasn't nowhere's to be seen. Which was good. Then I began to open up and search the toolboxes, trying to put things back tidily so she wouldn't cotton on too quick that'd I'd been messing with her gear.

I finally found what I was looking for, and was stuffing one of the rags into my pocket when I looked up and nearly jumped out of my hide. River was sitting not more than three feet away from me, her back against the wall, staring at me with that feng le look in her eyes she sometimes got.

"Qing wa cao de liumang!" I cursed, taking a step back. "Didn't see you there. What are ya doing, anyway? Better not be touching anything you ain't oughta be touching." I growled at River, remembering how she'd just pick up things and take them sometimes. What if she took out some important part of the engine and we didn't know till we tried to make orbit or some such.
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aint_quiteright
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Time:2005-01-20 10:59 am (UTC)
I heard him coming before I saw his footsteps. Solid into the floor with weight and desperation. Each one matched by the other. Overlapping the shadows. Didn't see me. Didn't know what to do. He turned around and met my stare.

"Qing wa cao de liumang!"

His words marked with hostility his steps proving fear. Fear of me. He should be afraid. I know so much of what he thinks I ought not know.

"Didn't see you there. What are ya doing, anyway? Better not be touching anything you ain't oughta be touching."

"Like you? Tattered pieces placed in spaces they don't belong. You took them. Won't tell a soul, keeps like a secret."

I stood up slowly keeping my eyes locked on him. My hands running the length of the wall steadying me as I go. Hair parted down brushing shoulders, feeling movement. He is watching me. Keeps his guard up. Can't let go. He won't let it go. Trapping his emotions in, be brave. Good soldier.

"No more time on land for you? Back to the sky, back to no speaking about things that should be said? You know you can tell me. I'll lock the words up tight. Hold everyones secrets the same. Have a space in here-" I pointed up towards my forehead, still eyes staring him down. My footsteps small strides towards him, matched each movement with his own retreat. "- with your name on it Jayne."
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_notahero_
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Time:2005-01-20 11:21 am (UTC)
"Like you? Tattered pieces placed in spaces they don't belong. You took them. Won't tell a soul, keeps like a secret."

Awwh hell, I hated when she did that. Caught me out doing something that weren't totally proper.

"I was gonna pay Kaylee back." I mumbled, then tried to cover it with some bluster. "And if you can read my brain, like the others are claiming you can, then you'd know I was only 'borrowing' the rag."

I stared at her while she felt up the wall like it was something alive. Sent shivers up my spine just watching how she moved, all fluid and strange. Like a dancer underwater.

"No more time on land for you? Back to the sky, back to no speaking about things that should be said? You know you can tell me. I'll lock the words up tight. Hold everyones secrets the same. Have a space in here - with your name on it Jayne."

What kind of fei hua talk was that? There was a chunk of her brain with my name on it? I didn't like to think what that meant. Didn't realise how much I was backing up till the heel of my boot made a clang against a bulkhead and I nearly lost my balance. How come a girl as small as River could make me feel the need to have a wall against my back? It weren't natural.

"Like you kept that secret about what I did on Ariel to yerself?" I replied defensively. "I know it was you, not Mal who done it. Told your brother. You didn't keep that secret, now, did you."
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aint_quiteright
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Time:2005-01-20 11:38 am (UTC)
Heel toe. Clicking their way to death. His movements stopped. Halted by what his heel found behind him. I eased off him. Didn't want Jayne the good soldier to be so fearful. Just a girl. Skin and bones. I tilted my head aside as I backed up a bit.

Air to breathe. Space to feel. Feel secure in his own skin.

"Like you kept that secret about what I did on Ariel to yerself? I know it was you, not Mal who done it. Told your brother. You didn't keep that secret, now, did you."

Afraid. More afraid of himself. Afraid of how he is. Not who he should be. I kept the secrets. Holding truths to be my own. Whispers the truth to her only. She already knew.

"I kept it. You told. Told with your actions. Told with your words. Not spoke, he saw. He knows better. Aim'n to please won't fit the captain. Suited in spades." I brought my finger up to my lips pursed a slow breathe held within me.

"Shhhhh... Jayne. Kept all the secrets, you just told the 'verse."

I took a few steps back, felt the warmth of her upon my back. Not hot. Spins no more. Keeps me still. Calms me within. He can pass. Choice is his. Walk out on me. Leave again, left alone.

I moved my hand, fingers opening slightly letting the air move between digits I smiled slightly. Felt nice, simple.

"You want to leave. Can't though can you. Want to know? Hear my words more? Your head tells you to flee, run little rabbit."

I let a small bit of laughter pass my lips, breaking the silence. Trapt. Closed doors in an open room.
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_notahero_
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Time:2005-01-20 12:04 pm (UTC)
"I kept it. You told. Told with your actions. Told with your words. Not spoke, he saw. He knows better. Aim'n to please won't fit the captain. Suited in spades. Shhhhh... Jayne. Kept all the secrets, you just told the 'verse."

"I didn't say a rutting thing. Didn't speak a word of it. I'm not stupid, even if you think I am. Mal knew 'cos he's sharp, and he knows me, what I'm capable of." I snapped back at River, not liking how trapped she was making me feel. And I towered over her too, it should have been her shaking in her boots, not me. Not that I was scared of her or nothin'. She just made me all unsettled like I was chewing on some foil. She stepped back apace, and I let out a breath I didn't even know I'd been keeping in. My eyes flicked towards the door.

"You want to leave. Can't though can you. Want to know? Hear my words more? Your head tells you to flee, run little rabbit."

I bristled at that, what the guay was she laughing at me for? Instead of leaving like I wanted to, I walked closer to her and jabbed a finger at her laughing face.

"Now look here, you little...River. I ain't no gorram rabbit. So don't you be calling me one. You're part of the crew now, so I'll refrain from pulling your tongue out of that pretty skull of yours for implying I'm a yellow- belly. And another thing, stay away from my guns-"

I broke off on account of her still standing there giggling at me. What did it take to put some fear in her so she'd shut her trap and leave me in peace?

"Look, it ain't no secret that I wanted the two of you off this ship. I still do. But because Mal is the captain and told me to accept you as crew, that's what I'm gonna do. But don't expect me to be braiding your hair or cutting your food or nothing. Because it ain't gonna happen. So if you stay out of my space, I'll do the same, dong ma?"




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aint_quiteright
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Time:2005-01-20 01:05 pm (UTC)
Pushing blame into the air his finger jutted at me with intent. Stern movement. Equating deliberate actions. Soldier stays in the lines, never stray from the flock. Silly motions, meaningless in time.

"Now look here, you little...River. I ain't no gorram rabbit. So don't you be calling me one. You're part of the crew now, so I'll refrain from pulling your tongue out of that pretty skull of yours for implying I'm a yellow- belly. And another thing, stay away from my guns-"

I was trying to keep in in. Stifle the laughter but it wanted to be free. Echoing loudly through the halls, carefree on a breeze. Floating far far from me. Where they could be appreciated, and taken care of. Take care of me.

"Look, it ain't no secret that I wanted the two of you off this ship. I still do. But because Mal is the captain and told me to accept you as crew, that's what I'm gonna do. But don't expect me to be braiding your hair or cutting your food or nothing. Because it ain't gonna happen. So if you stay out of my space, I'll do the same, dong ma?"

Do right. From wrong. Actions are quieter than words from the outside. I nodded at him. Knew how to keep him in line. Keep up the pace. Just a girl, always put aside. On the shelf, behind the books. Learning fast little one. Rabbit falling into the hole.

"Your space. You keep it, and I stay away. I understand. No secrets from Jayne today. Nothing to hold onto, except things he took, don't belong."

Too much for him to know. Too little for him to realize. Soon. Yes soon. I smiled at him, tiny, no teeth to bare in anger. Timid rabbit unaware. Smiles. This is nothing. No burden for him to bare.
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_notahero_
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Time:2005-01-21 12:18 am (UTC)
"Your space. You keep it, and I stay away. I understand. No secrets from Jayne today. Nothing to hold onto, except things he took, don't belong."

I nodded back at River, figuring that my words'd finally got through that mess of crazy thoughts in her head.

"Good...Alright then." I shuffled my feet and then finally moved to brush past her, still eyeing her warily in case she had an urge to strike out at me.

I was almost out the door, when I found myself stopping short. Still could feel River's eyes boring into my back like a steel hand drill poking into my flesh.

Ta muh de.

I strode angrily over to Kaylee's toolbox and shoved the chamois rag back into it, closing the lid with a slam, and another muttered curse.

"There. Happy now?" I grunted, and then stomped out of the room and down the corridor not looking back, feeling even more out of sorts than I'd been before.

Having crazy-assed girls on space ships. Gorram dumb idea, I reckon.

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aint_quiteright
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Time:2005-01-21 06:50 am (UTC)
He shook his head. Agreeing with me. Agreeing with nothing.

"Good...Alright then."

Movements to leave were made and taken back. I watched him as he headed to the doorway. Stopped short. Line not complete. He turned on point. Like a soldier making formation. Paces strong. Quiet words not quiet enough.

He placed the rag back into Kaylee's tools. The lid shut. Closed up tight, echoed in my ears.

"There. Happy now?"

Line finished. Made complete as he walked out of the room. Left me alone with her, calm not found. All is stirred up in me. Emotions unaware. She tells me all is well. She knows I am safe. Tells me it is just so. Secret whispered to me in the breeze passing in his absence.

I smile. Tiny footsteps making a path to something new. My fingers found the cold metal latch. Unhooking the clasp I listened for the pop of the latch to sound. The metal struck upon the lid of the toolbox, and I let my fingers brush across the seam of the lid. Once shut, not open. I lifted the lid slowly the creak of hinges made me cringe.

Once the lid was open I looked in. Lots of tools, all with a purpose. All to help her fly. Kaylee's tools. Not mine. My hand ran across the pile of them, each different. Dirty, rusted... smooth and jagged. My fingers found the rag that Jayne had taken. Taken. Put back. I grabbed it and tucked it into my palm. Soft. Worn in. I let my hands clasp together over it and I wandered out of the room. Away from her warmth. Into my space. Not Jayne's.
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