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28 July 2008 @ 04:53 pm
Fic: "Askesis" - G  
Title: “Askesis”
Author: Green Owl
Prompt: # 39 - “Passion”
Rating: G
Word Count: 500
Author Notes: I hate to see this word used in fiction; in fact, I'm known to go into a form of anaphylatic shock at the sight of it.  People who use it in their writing, especially when penning a love scene, usually have a tendency to employ an overblown, purple-prose narrative style that makes me want to hurl the book I'm reading into the garbage can or avoid their work like the plague on the internet.  How fitting that I now must use it as a prompt, no?  I decided to forego the usual interpretation and use the other, more archaic one: "pathos" or "emotional suffering".  The Greek words that head up the rest of the parts represent the four ways to free oneself from suffering ("askesis"), according to the Stoic school of thought.
Disclaimer: I do not own or buy/sell/process this mindcrack. I just abuse the hell out of it.

I.  Pathos (passion or emotional suffering)
Fear was not an unfamiliar emotion for him, and he knew how to hide it well: an unobserved (but somewhat scratchy) undergarment sheltered by the audacity that he wore like a snowshield on those overlooked moons where the terraformin’ crew forgot to balance the seasons.
He could brazen out the sensation most of the time with a combination of bullying, bluster and bravado.
But not this time.
Not now.
Not when the crazy girl’s soft little hand was restin’ on the button that opened the airlock.
She picked up the communicator and addressed him: “How do you feel, Jayne Cobb?”

II.  Sophia (wisdom)

“Cold,” he answered, shivering in the unventilated compartment. 
The slight, supple material of the medic’s uniform made it easy to launder, but did little to keep him warm.
“What else?” she pressed, watching him through the diamond-shaped porthole.
“Hungry,” he continued, his stomach growling at the emptiness.
“Is that all?”
Three hours had passed since Mal had left and no one had come to check on him.
“Scared,” he confessed, watching her palm caress the button.
“The Academy…the airlock…two by two, yes?”
A moment passed before he realized what she had said.
Wo dong,” he replied.
She nodded.  "He understands."

III.  Andreia (courage)

“Whaddya gonna do to me?” he inquired.
Her eyes glittered as she drummed her fingers on both of the airlock’s buttons. “That depends.”
“On what?” he demanded, annoyed. “Already half-frozen in here so if’n yer gonna space me, just do it already!”
She glided forward, blocking his view of the console. “First he must account for his actions.”
They stared at each other through the window, stalemated. 
She wanted reasons, he wanted out.
“It was just business, girlie,” he informed her bluntly. “I’m a mercenary; it’s what I do.”
She pressed the button.
He prayed his suffering would be brief.

IV.  Dikaiosyne (justice)

The door to the cargo bay slid open and he landed in a trembling, undignified heap at her feet.
He pushed himself to his knees, shaking as the girl resealed the doors.
“Why?” he asked, wrapping his arms around himself to get warm.
She crouched down, placed a blanket around his shoulders, pressed a protein bar into his hands. “Not personal?”
“No, 'just business', like I said.”  He was downright confounded as he bundled up and bit in. 
Dark skeins of silky coal-black hair nearly obscured her childlike grin as she patiently explained:  “You and I have some that is unfinished.”

V.  Sophrosyne (temperance)

Coin passing through Jayne Cobb’s hands went one of four places: whore’s cleavage, barkeep’s counter, newstand’s cashbox or Ma’s bank account.
Book watched warily as the mercenary crossed the greengrocer’s palm with a fifth of his platinum. “An entire crate?”
Jayne hefted the box onto his shoulder. “Been awhile since yer ‘maters, Shepherd. Guess’n it’s my turn to provide the produce.”
Everyone was delighted with Jayne's contribution except Reynolds and the girl.
“You put poison in ‘em?” Mal demanded.
“Nope,” Jayne replied, taking a lusty bite.
“Excessive,” she protested.

But he called it even when she accepted the red delicious.

Much love,

Green Owl
Current Location: Philadelphia, PA
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: "City of Angels" - Bob Belden
SunshineAlisunshineali on July 28th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
LOL that you got the passion prompt. As expected, you came through wonderfully. :)Ali
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 28th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
Swear to Goddess, I almost gouged my eyes out when I saw that word...*shaking my head*

The only way it could have been worse is if I got something like "phallus" - ewww!

Thank you for the review, sweetie! :D
Pia: rayne-gogglesidyllictorture on July 28th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
So you hate the word passion with a passion? Sorry, I couldn't help myself there. Good fic. I love it when my guilty pleasures become educational.

Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 28th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, indeed-y.

Thanks for the kind words! Glad to be of assistance. ;D

Green Owl

P.S. You nominated fic for Best of RAYNE yet?
Pia: rayne-into the blackidyllictorture on July 28th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
No, not yet. The fics that I've read and liked have been nominated. But there are so many stories out there. Hopefully, I'll find other worthy candidates.
Green Owlgreenowl on July 28th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Awesome! Pretty Deadly is a fab resource, and I hope you'll have many braingasms during your reading. :D
koswarg: [ff] jayne: gettin' all...bendyheron_advocate on July 28th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
This is so awesome. And canon to me now. Thanks for writing it. ♥
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 28th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Hee! Thank you - that is one hell of a compliment!!!

If you're so inclined, it also fits in as a prelude to my first RAYNE fic ever, Songs About Ja(y)ne.

Once again, big hugs and kisses for such kind words.


Green Owl
turtle_goose: FF/S:  Jayne and River Making Eyesturtle_goose on July 29th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
Very nice! I really love how it all flows together and how River made sure that it wasn't personal.

And now I'm sure that Jayne is going to have a few dreams about her taking that first bite of the apple.

Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, our boy does have his moments of bite-lust. ;)

She don't nibble on me like that...
Bugchicklv: MY Rayne Iconbugchicklv on July 29th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Oh yay! I know how much you bristled at the prompt, and I am SO GLAD that you were able to do something else with it. I know certain things are like cliches at this point and to find a new path, a new meaning, can be so difficult.

EXCELLENT job with doing just that. And in keeping it at exactly 500 words (a series of drabbles is NOT an easy feat)!
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for giving it to me - it definitely was a stretch for me to write it and it was probably good for my development, too.

I'm so glad you liked it. :)
Some ideas are better in theory…: River_Peekromanceguru on July 29th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
Missing scene! How I adore those.

Really enjoyed this line in particular, Dark skeins of silky coal-black hair nearly obscured her childlike grin.... I appreciate the little things. : )
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
Many thanks! I've always conjectured that it had to be River who let him out - it wouldn't have fit for it to have been anyone else. And I love the meta-narratives, too. :D
Vuombie of DOOOOMM!!!!silentpheonix on July 29th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
These were great. I always like to read how other people think Jayne got out of the airlock.

One not so small nit-picky point.
"Dong ma," he replied.

Unless Jayne is asking a question, "ma" is not necessary. In Mandarin, the addition of "ma" at the end of a sentence turns it into a question. Your options would be "Wo dong" or just "Dong".
Vuombie of DOOOOMM!!!!silentpheonix on July 29th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
"Wo dong" = I understand
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
And it doesn't affect the word count - YES. *fist pump!*
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)

I fix-er-ed it.
cmk418: River Serenitycmk418 on July 29th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed the unfolding of the scene and getting River to the point where she accepts what he's offering. Very nicely done.
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Many thanks! :D
gilove2dancegilove2dance on July 29th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
SO BRILLIANT! I always wondered how Jayne got back in. Kudos to you.

Smashing idea and amazing writing as always. Hats off.
Green Owl: jaynegreenowl on July 29th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *beams*
Neisystheneis on July 17th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
I really like this story.