Category: drabble collection, humor, fluff, romance
Summary: Done for the drabbles100 community on LJ. It is what it says: 100 drabbles, each with a theme/prompt
Notes: For those interested, the actual table with the 100 prompts can be found here -- but you can just read on and enjoy the drabbles -- each one is titled with the prompt itself.
#001 - Beginnings
Jayne's had more than one beginning in his life.
There was his time as a farmhand, which lasted about as long as his time in school. Not long at all.
Then there was his stint as a criminal. That went up and down...
So when his time aboard Serenity began, Jayne figured it wouldn't last more than a port or two. Three, if the pay was good.
Pay ain't ever that good, but Jayne tells himself that the next heist'll bring the big bucks...
He ain't stayin' just cuz he's had another beginning, one involving his hwoon-dan of a capt'n.
#002 - Middles
Being between jobs sucked. No adrenaline rush, no cash, no fun.
Before a job, during a heist, Jayne's blood boiled.
Between... was boring. Like a middle of nothing kinda thing.
That had been Jayne's opinion until Mal'd taught him to be ...productive. Productive weren't no word of Jayne's. All of the sudden it meant ambushing Mal in the cockpit or the hallway or some dark corner of the cargo bay.
These days middles were something Jayne looked forward to. Hell, it even beat most heists. More adrenalin, more fun and less of the risk of bodily harm ...mostly.
#003 - Ends
"The end is nigh!"
Jayne pushes the rambling idiot out of his way.
Ain't no end of the world, he keeps tellin' himself. He'll find 'nother ship, 'nother capt'n who'll pay for his meanness and Vera's services. He will.
Always enough bad people to make the world go 'round for guys like Jayne.
Don't matter that no other capt'n is ever gonn' be up for a round of ball, don't matter that he don't find 'nother crew who'll accept him as readily...
A warm heavy hand lands on his shoulder. "You're a gorram idjit," Mal says in a soft voice.
#004 - First
The first time Jayne met Malcolm Reynolds, he was pointing a gun at the man. He's done so more than once since, but Mal doesn't seem to take it all that seriously. Or so Jayne thought.
Now he knows that as much as Mal wants to trust him, the man's no fool. He knows Jayne will turn on him.
Cunning bastard, Jayne has to admit to himself. Mal's come up with a way to bind Jayne to him.
Cunning, yes, but Jayne can't really be angry about it, when Mal's hands feel so wonderfully hot and rough against his body.
#005 - Last
"This is the last time I'm bailing your ugly ass outta trouble," Mal grunts, trying to pull Jayne to his feet.
It's not easy when Jayne's laughing his ass off. He think's it's hilarious.
In the early days he never thought about it, but whenever Jayne's needed it, Mal's been there, dragging his ass outta all sorts o' trouble.
"Don' wann' go to bed," Jayne argues, locking his arms around Mal's waist. "Wann' go to your bunk, Capt'n."
Mal wrinkles his nose. "Ye ain't gettin' into mah bunk till you've had a shower."
It's never no. Mal never says no.
#006 - Hours
The hours tick by as they wait to hear from Mal. Everyone seems to be holding their breathes, trying to keep busy.
Jayne's sitting at the table, cleaning his guns, over and over again. The others leave him alone, except River, who's sitting across from him, watching him silently.
Normally it'd annoy him, but today it keeps him oddly calm.
While all the others mutter that Mal will be back in no time, Jayne doesn't listen. They don't know any more than he does.
River, however... he's not so sure.
Jayne just smiles and puts Vera back together.
#007 - Days
There are days where Jayne hates the 'verse. Days where he just wants to lock the hatch to his bunk from the inside and not come out.
Those are the days where he'll clean his favorite guns religiously, in private, because he's not good company, he knows that.
Everyone knows that. 'cept Mal, of course, who just waltzes into Jayne's tiny quarters like he owns the damned place
Mal holds out a bottle of Kaylee's moonlight, strong enough to de-grease the engine.
There's a gleam in Mal's eyes that Jayne wants to know about. More and more for every sip.
#008 - Weeks
It takes weeks from Mal's first move until Jayne finally gets it.
"Mal?" he says one night. "Are you hitting on me?" Jayne's never been good at seeing the differences 'tween interest and interests. He figures it's safer to ask than assume. At least with Mal.
"And if I am?" Mal asks, typically 'not' answering.
Jayne looks down at the hand, warm and heavy on his thigh.
"Huh," he says. What can he say?
The bar they're in is full and noisy.
"Wann' go to a quieter place?" Jayne asks.
"In a moment." Mal's hand slides a little further up.
#009 - Months
The first couple of months after they lost Wash and Book were... strange.
It hit Jayne just how close they'd all become and that knowledge had driven him to the nearest bar on 'Sephone, where they were currently docked.
Someone sat on the barstool next to him.
"Something hit you pretty hard, huh?"
Jayne glared at his capt'n.
"Way I figure, it's gotta have somethin' to do with the last couple of months..."
Jayne put a hand on Mal's arm, fingers digging in. Hard.
Mal's eyes softened. "We've all been worryin' 'bout being dependent..."
"'m done worryin'" Jayne interrupted huskily.
#010 - Years
It's years 'tween Jayne visiting with his family. Not that he don't love 'em. It just works better with plenty of light years 'tween 'em.
So it's with mixed feelings that Jayne's lets Mal convince him to visit while they're dirtside near Jayne's home.
A normal visit follows a certain plan:
A hug from his mum and his siblings.
A huge meal.
Then the guilt-trippin' comes in.
'Why'd you leave?'
'Why don't you visit more often?'
But this time it's diff'rent, cuz no one's ever charmed his mum the way Mal does.
Jayne's almost looking forward to the next visit.
#011 - Red
The blood seeping from the wound has long since colored Simon's hands red.
Jayne's watching from the corner of the infirmary, telling himself over and over that Mal's gonn' be fine. Simon might be a snarky brat, but he's good at what he does.
He catches River watching from the doorway. He knows he should thank her for sensing Mal's whereabouts. Because of her, they'd found him alive...
A voice in the back of his mind says that maybe she can sense if Mal's gonn' be okay... Yet Jayne fears a negative answer more than not knowing.
Instead he watches...
#012 - Grey
The grey goop on Jayne's plate matches the walls. Prison food sucks. He shoulda remembered.
He wonders for how much longer he's stuck in here. He's long since silenced the voice in his head telling him that they ain't comin' for him.
There's a commotion at the door and at first Jayne dismisses the two figures arguing with the guards. Then he looks again.
The uniforms are Alliance, but the faces are most definitely not.
Simon looks perfectly arrogant and Mal's expression is all laid back attitude.
Jayne pushes the plate away, hiding a vicious grin. About ruttin' time too.
#013 - White
The world explodes in a rush of bright white.
Jayne lets his head fall back, gasping for air. His skin feels like it's on fire, his blood's been replaced by liquid metal and he can't recall ever having felt like this before.
There's a chuckle from further down the bed. Normally that smug sound would annoy Jayne, but he's feeling too good right now.
Besides, the sound vibrates around his softening cock, sending torturous twitches through his balls.
There's a shift on the bed and a warm body lines up against Jayne's. "I'll take that as a compliment," Mal mumbles.
#014 - Black
The black ain't for everyone. Some say you can go mad from staring into it for too long.
Load of shite if you ask Jayne.
Then again, it takes a special kinda man to survive out here on the fringes. Don't exactly hurt if you've got reliable weapons as well.
Jayne's got all that. He's the predator. At least until today.
These two seem just a tad bit too relaxed. Especially the guy, Captain Reynolds. Jayne heard his name mentioned earlier.
Supposed to be a cunnin' man.
There's no fear in those eyes as they watch Jayne with keen interest.
#015 - Blue
Jayne prefers space. He's too restless to live dirtside. But it sure is nice to be lying here, on his back in a grassy field, blue skies above, while they're waiting for nightfall and the meeting with their client.
A straw tickles his skin where his shirt has ridden up.
"Cut it out," Jayne mutters, eyes drifting shut.
"'m bored," Mal yawns next to him. "Need some entertainment."
"You're gonn' get more than you're bargaining for if you keep that up," Jayne warns.
The straw is replaced by two fingers dipping under Jayne's waistband. "Am I now?" Mal replies huskily.
#016 - Purple
Jayne pretends he doesn't see.
"You pack a hell of a punch," Mal grunts, studying himself in the mirror.
Jayne finally looks at him. The bruised eye is bright purple.
"You weren't pullin' no punches," Mal continues.
"I was gonn' get sexed, you interrupted me," Jayne says with annoyance.
Mal watches him for a moment, a smile forming on that handsome face.
Jayne hates that smile. It's the one that makes him throw caution at the wind and follow Mal through the gates of Hell.
"I'm thinkin' I can make it up to you," Mal says with a wicked smile.
#017 - Brown
All Jayne can see when he closes his eyes is the damned Mudder's blood, darkening the dry ground. Brown and darker brown.
He doesn't get why the kid had to go do such a stupid thing. It haunts his every waking moment.
Jayne knows that Mal wants to help, and he does. It helps that Mal's just there. His silent presence like a warm blanket.
Yet, it's not enough. Even Jayne doesn't know what will be enough.
As strong arms come up around him, Mal's front warm to Jayne's back, Jayne gets it. He doesn't have to know. Mal does.
#018 - Green
Jayne knows the green eyed monster.
He's just never felt it about other people before. It's always been wanting something that was someone else's. A weapon, money...
He's fighting it as hard as he can, but every time he catches Mal and Inara pining after each other, the monster digs its claws even deeper into his heart.
At first he'd thought he wanted Inara. Girl sure was pretty. Then, belatedly, he'd realized it weren't her at all.
It's petty to be glad she's gone now. That she's left the ship. She's never understood Mal the way he does...
#019 - Pink
Mal don't make no pretty woman, but he sure comes close as Jayne pins him to the dusty ground. Cheeks all flushed and pink.
Jayne isn't sure if it's make-up or just because Jayne's grinding down against him. Hard.
They're panting like crazy and Jayne doesn't care if his fine threads are getting dirty.
Mal dressed up does strange things to Jayne. Things he'd have thought he would have to put away until he was alone in his bunk.
He wouldn't ever have guessed that this was what Mal'd meant when he asked for help getting out of the dress.
#020 - Colorless
The sky's colorless over their heads and the wind cuts to the bone.
Jayne doesn't really notice. He's too caught up in watching Mal argue with a customer.
Why is it everyone always has to argue the price? They need a job done, they bloody well pay for it.
His attention is on the customer's men, but everyone seems to be behaving. He keeps an eye on Mal too.
He'll never admit it to anyone, but he likes watching Mal. Jayne's always been intrigued with Mal's ability to talk himself out of most problems.
Silver tongued devil, Jayne thinks admiringly.
#021 - Friends
Friends isn't something Jayne's had a lot of. Sure, back as a kid, he had a few, but these days he's got acquaintances. People he works with or for.
The only friend he kept in touch with disappeared during a Reaver attack, so Jayne's careful now. He don't need no friends, cuz if he doesn't have any, he can't lose 'em either.
He tries to keep the crew of Serenity at arm's length.
Unfortunately they don't seem to see things Jayne's way and he's feeling like he's slowly being pulled under.
He doesn't understand why he isn't fighting it harder.
#022 - Enemies
"You're such a do-gooder, Mal," the guy with the gun snorts.
Jayne's hand twitches lightly, releasing the knife he's got concealed, strapped to his wrist. He's learned to be even more careful since he started working for Mal.
Ain't ever had no capt'n before who attracts trouble and enemies the way Mal does.
Jayne figures it won't ever be boring. Dangerous, sure, boring... no way. Thing is, Jayne wouldn't want it any other way.
He recognizes the tilt of Mal's head, sees the shift in Zoë's stance.
They're about to have one less enemy to worry 'bout, that's for sure.
#023 - Lovers
They'd both thought it would be nothing but a roll in the hay. A one time stupid drunken mistake.
But after it happened more often without booze, Mal'd stopped brooding over 'Nara leaving again and Jayne'd stopped visiting every whorehouse they passed.
Simon's snigger and Kaylee's giggle upon finding them asleep, curled up together, on the couch drove it home. Zoë's roll of the eyes didn't help either.
"Mal? You think we're..." Jayne asked one day.
"Lovers?" Mal shrugged. "Ev'ryone seems to think so..."
"So I reckon we are," Jayne said. "Huh."
"Reckon we are," Mal agreed with a smile.
#024 - Family
There's two kinds of family to Jayne. One is relations by blood, the other's the groups of misfits who've adopted him.
Some things are similar. Back home Ma would slap him for his words. Mal does too, though never physically.
Mal's mouth thinning to a line works better than any old beating, his open disappointment better than any harsh words.
If he'd done good, Ma'd make him apple pie.
Now, when he's done good or 'least not bad, Mal fucks him through the mattress, whispering hotly in his ear....
Stays the night too, wrapped around Jayne, smiling in his sleep.
#025 - Strangers
They only take passengers aboard when they have to. Having strangers on board makes it harder to do the kinda business that brings the good money.
Jayne doesn't like strangers. Even if the Alliance has stopped looking for the Tams, you never know who might be on their trail.
He's not going to admit it, but these days he considers their young fugitives crew... and Mal expects him to take care of them, protect them.
A lot of his restraint since Arial toward the Tams is due to Mal's influence. He doesn't ever want that look on Mal's face again...
#026 - Team-mates
Jayne's never been a team player, never had actual team-mates. He's always been thinking more about the pay than the company.
Until Mal taught him that sometimes loyalty is better than having to sleep with one eye open and a gun under your pillow.
It's been a hard lesson to learn and Jayne isn't so dumb he doesn't know that the wrong decisions on his part could kick him off the team. Just because Mal has his back these days... and nights, doesn't mean he can't make mistakes.
For all his big words, Jayne's become a careful man.
#027 - Parents
One day it hits Jayne that half the people on Serenity are kids, and considering that Mal's the leader and he's sorta Mal's ...bedmate or some such, that kinda makes them the parents...
Shaking his head he turns in the bed and regards Mal next to him.
"Wha'?" Mal mutters sleepily.
"I'm having odd thoughts," Jayne admits. "Scary warpy thoughts."
"And?" Mal pushes the blanket down, revealing a lot of naked skin in the process. "Got any ideas how to deal?"
Jayne nods. "Yeah, with your help."
Mal's grin just turns absolutely lewd as he pins Jayne to the bed.
#028 - Children
"Serenity ain't no place to raise no child."
Jayne stops as he hears Mal's quiet voice. He can see the captain and Zoë in the cockpit.
"Won't be any more dangerous than planetside," Zoë disagrees. Jayne's always respected her ability to argue with Mal.
Jayne tends to fold in the wake of Mal's words. He rarely wins a discussion. Except the ones that end up, sweaty, in the bunk.
He doesn't miss Zoë's hand on her belly. Then again he knows they'll eventually have a kid on board, cuz the look on Zoë's face tells him who'll win this discussion.
#029 - Birth
The birth of Zoë's kid is a pretty big thing. Although Jayne remembers having held his siblings when he was younger, he begs off. The little kid looks so fragile as Simon hands it to Zoë.
Takes a while before Jayne'll touch it and once Zoë oddly enough trusts him with the little thing, Jayne gruffly agrees to look after it. Doesn't help that Mal keeps teasing him, good-naturedly, after finding Jayne conked out on the couch with the baby sound asleep on his chest.
Jayne doesn't really mind. After so much death, birth is more than welcome aboard Serenity.
#030 - Death
It'll come for them some day.
Death, that is. Jayne has a morbid tendency to muse on this topic when he's in his bunk at night, before sleep sets in.
The hatch is opened but Jayne doesn't bother checking. He knows the sound of the boots on the ladder.
Way things have gone since he joined Serenity, Jayne figures Mal will be the death of him eventually.
Jayne grins wryly as Mal's clothes hit the chair and his warm body slides in next to Jayne's. He's not the only one who needs to ward off thoughts of death and destruction.
#031 - Sunrise
There was an eerie beauty to a sunrise seen from outer space. A sun coming around the horizon, filling the view completely.
Even so, Mal mused as he chewed on a straw, weren't quiet no thing in the 'Verse that beat a good old-fashioned dirtside sunrise.
"Shiny 'n' pretty," Mal mumbled.
"Huh?" Jayne grunted
"The sunrise," Mal explained.
"I guess..." Jayne hedged.
Mal rolled over and pinned Jayne to the ground, the tall grass surrounding them like a cocoon.
No, there was something good about a dirtside sunrise, accompanied with a lazy make-out session. Good thing Jayne shared that opinion.
#032 - Sunset
"You know, Mal," Jayne said as he stretched in the lounge chair. "You gotta get us this kinda job more often."
Mal grinned, keeping his eyes closed, feeling the heat of the setting sun against his face. "Izzat so?"
"Yeah," Jayne said contentedly. "I think the crew agree with me," he continued.
Mal opened his eyes and watched River and Kaylee chasing each other at the shallow water's edge. He grinned openly as they dropped their own game of chase to drag a sputtering Simon into the warm water.
"Maybe we should do as Wash and Zoë...?" Jayne suggested huskily.
#033 - Too much
It's too much... Jayne closes his eyes, trying to fight it.
When he first started fooling around with Mal, he did so because he saw the advantage he might gain over Mal.
That alone was a foolish thought, but Jayne hadn't known Mal all that well back then.
Later he realized that Mal had basically bound Jayne to him. Which had pissed Jayne off.
Oddly enough, the confrontation after Ariel had opened Jayne's eyes.
Mal can't let go of him anymore than Jayne can of Mal...
Jayne knows he's feeling too much, too deeply... ain't no cure for that madness.
#034 - Not enough
"More," Mal gasps.
Jayne does what he can and although it's normally enough... there are days where it simply isn't.
When Mal's feeling good, he'll fool around with Jayne, sometimes acting the alpha, sometimes being as silly as a little kid.
On bad days, Jayne's learned that Mal needs him to take charge, that Mal needs to feel. Jayne does everything in his power, including fucking Mal through the bunk.
On the really bad days even Jayne's best isn't enough and it leaves an odd ache in his chest. He can only hope that what he does comes close enough.
#035 - Sixth sense
Mal has a sixth sense for trouble, or at least for getting into it, but when it comes to heading off any Jayne related explosions, he's freakishly good.
The first time was at dinner, where Jayne'd fidgeted, feeling antsy. Mal'd just gotten to his feet, tapped Jayne on the shoulder and walked off.
Jayne hadn't reacted and it'd taken a kick from River under the table and a meaningful look before he'd gotten it.
Now?" It's like second nature. Nothing calms Jayne like a tussle 'tween the sheets, Mal knows that and he's not afraid to take advantage of it.
#036 - Smell
Mal thinks it's hilarious. And if he's pressed for it; cute. Not that he's ever gonna tell Jayne that. Nope, he values their little nightly romps far too highly.
Jayne has a habit. Well, Jayne's got loads of habits and most of 'em bad, but this one?
Jayne snuffles in his sleep. At first Mal thought he'd caught a cold. Until he realized that Jayne only does so when his face is buried against some part of Mal.
Yup, Jayne's smelling him and he gets this blissed-out look on his face, especially when he's asleep, that really turns Mal's crank.
#037 - Sound
There is this sound that Mal makes, deep in his throat, that Jayne's learned he can get him to make.
It's somewhere between a groan and a bellow, muffled by Mal's clenched teeth. It's the only way Jayne can describe it.
To get it just right, Jayne has to manhandle his captain -- which doesn't bother Mal, as long as it involves getting nekkid as well.
Enough slick to grease Serenity's engine and two fingers roughly pushed in without warning will make Mal arch off the bunk and make that sound.
Jayne can't imagine anything hotter, even if he tries.
#038 - Touch
Mal touches a lot. It's how he connects. A hand on a shoulder conveys more than he can put into words.
He always keeps the touch friendly. With Jayne, he has to be careful. He's not sure he can keep it just 'friendly'.
Then there's the day where they've narrowly escaped a Reaver ship. Jayne looks like he's about to fall apart and Mal sits down next to him, close enough to touch.
Jayne finally leans against him, subtly, and Mal gets it. Jayne wants to touch as well, but isn't ready to take the first step on his own.
#039 - Taste
Mal drives Jayne crazy some days.
It's not his habits of getting them into trouble. It's not that Mal has a soft spot for strays.
No, it's when Mal's relaxing on the couch, head leaned back, exposing his neck and throat.
Jayne wants to taste it, bite into the juncture where neck meets shoulder. He wants to pin mal down and taste every inch of him.
It's an itch he thinks he won't ever get to scratch. So he watches Mal, quietly, until Mal catches him at it.
The small smile Mal gives him makes Jayne's mouth water.
#040 - Sight
Jayne loves a good tussle with Mal, but some days he just likes to watch. Likes it that Mal doesn't mind lounging on his bunk, breeches pulled down, hand around his hard cock, jerking off while Jayne watches.
The sight of Mal, wantonly spread on the bunk... it makes it hard for Jayne to breathe easily. It makes him hard, period.
It gets even better when Mal starts mumbling about what he wants Jayne to do to him, or the other way around.
Mal might be the Serenity's alpha, but thankfully he believes in variation when it comes to sex.
#041 - Shapes
Jayne's decided that he hates Mal. pure, bone-deep hatred.
Not because Mal tends to run Jayne over with the verbal equivalent of a steam roller
Not because Mal's hair-brained ideas tend to get Jayne either stabbed, shot or beat up.
No, see... Jayne used to love curves. Soft slopes of skin and flesh. Yeah, he hates Mal, alright.
These days he craves angles and flat, hard planes of muscles. He used to enjoy burying his fingers and face in long, flowing hair. Now he just wants to lick and bite at Mal's neck and ears..
Yeah, he really hates Mal.
#042 - Triangle
A crazy love triangle, that's what Kaylee jokingly calls it.
Mal has to laugh at that. Yeah, his relationship with Jayne comes with a little extra.
Now, most male partners would either hate or welcome having a woman as their third, but thankfully Jayne's girlfriend is put in her place of honor, among her smaller siblings, when she isn't needed.
Mal knows that having a carnal relationship with Jayne means accepting a few strange things.
You want Jayne Cobb? You have to accept Vera as well. Mal figures he can handle Jayne's obsessions, as long as he's one of them.
#043 - Square
Some days it's like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
Ruttin' near impossible.
That's just about how life with Jayne can be described.
Mal's pretty sure that's how Jayne views him too... occasionally.
They're both stubborn as hell and Mal figures it's part of the attraction. It's what makes Jayne come to his bunk in the middle of the night-cycle. It's what makes Mal say 'yes', even when they've argued and fought over something stupid.
The day they stop fighting is the day they stop ruttin'. Mal figures those days are far off into the future.
#044 - Circle
It's like a fucking hellish circle, pitch black, bad ruttin' habit, if you ask Jayne.
'Nara leaves them, cuz she can't stand Mal being who he is. Mal walks around, all piss and vinegar.
Things return to normal, then 'Nara returns, they get along for a spell, then it all starts over again.
Annoys the fuck out of Jayne, cuz they don't make as much money with Mal brooding.
'Sides, Mal's a good captain and a decent crook. Ain't many of his kind 'round. He deserves better.
Jayne swears he's gonna break the circle, as he knocks on Mal's hatch.
#045 - Moon
"You ever feel like howling at the moon?"
Mal's question made Jayne turn his head. He kept quiet for a moment.
"I mean, when you feel everything's just been bottled up for too long," Mal explained.
"I guess," Jayne said, not really getting what Mal meant.
They were sitting next to the ship, in the middle of nowhere, waiting for morning. A full moon in the skies.
"I don't, not anymore," Mal confessed with a sigh, his hand landing in Jayne's lap.
Jayne raised an eyebrow.
"I got me a much better way to rid myself of some bad craziness."
#046 - King
"Who died and made you king?" Simon asked suspiciously.
Mal stopped just outside the cargo doors. Figured he couldn't leave those two hot-heads alone for a day or two.
"You don't normally give a fuck about any of us, least of all the captain."
"Mal said to stay put," Jayne growled, obviously out of patience. "So we stay put."
"And if he needs help?"
"Then I'm to make sure you get to safety 'fore me 'n' Vera go get Mal."
"Good thing I can take care of myself," Mal interrupted, walking up the ramp.
Jayne shot him a relieved look.
#047 - Heart
Jayne's always prided himself of being a heartless bastard. Then Mal had to come along, luring him aboard Serenity.
First Jayne got a family, if not in blood, then in spirit. Then Mal had to go and get him a conscience, cuz nothin's worse than Mal being disappointed with him.
Jayne couldn't figure out at first, why. Why did Mal's view of him matter, as long as he paid Jayne's price?
Now he knows -- and wishes he could hate Mal for it, but he can't.
Jayne might've thought himself a heartless criminal in the past, but Mal changed that...
#048 - Diamond
"It's impossible to steal," Mal had told them with an insane glint in his eyes.
"Fate favors the fool," Jayne muttered as they took off, the heist over and done with.
"Huh?" Mal said, locking their loot in the safety box for transport.
"Ma used to say that."
"So you're saying this all worked cuz we're the only one's crazy enough to steal the biggest diamond ever?" Mal cocked an eyebrow.
"You got a better explanation?"
"'s a good enough explanation for me," Mal grinned. "Feel like getting a little crazier?" Mal put his hand on Jayne's shoulder and winked.
#049 - Queen
So, if Mal's the king of his kingdom, where's his queen?
For the longest time, he chased after Inara. Not because he was in love with her, but because he was in love with the idea of being in love.
Some days he gave himself a headache.
Well, Mal knows he's in love and he'd really wish it was 'Nara, cuz he knows he can't have her. She's safe.
No, Mal has a thing for danger, so what his heart and body want ain't no queen. And it ain't safe either, cuz Mal's been looking and Jayne's been looking back.
Mal's house of cards is wobbling. He thought he'd taken everything into account, but his foundation isn't what he thought it was.
He never expected the joker to come into play, the wild card. And the joker isn't whom he thought it'd be.
He'd expected that Simon or River would be it. Not that they'd bring about his fall on purpose. They just kinda grew on ya. Got under your radar when you weren't lookin'.
The wild card is Jayne. Or rather, Mal's inability to turn him away. Mal's sinking fast, silently drowning in his own unvoiced lust and need.
#051 - Water
They don't have showers on Serenity. Water's too valuable.
So, when they dock, they all end up at a bathhouse at some point.
Mal pushes the door open and goes to the front desk. He's aware of the large warm presence behind him. He just smiles to himself. "Gonna be good to soak for a bit, huh?."
"Yeah," Jayne grunts, warm body against Mal's back. "We got time for a hotel room too?" he whispers hotly into Mal's ear.
Mal turns his head a little. "Sure," he mumbles. "I've calculated with that."
"'s why you're the capt'n," Jayne grins saucily.
#052 - Fire
It's burning in his veins like fire. The want, the need to possess and above all, to be possessed.
Mal had thought he'd have to go without, make do with a whorehouse every now and then. It's difficult and rarely a good idea to look for such things in people under your command.
When he'd hired Jayne, he'd felt that jolt, but he'd pushed it away.
After the heist on Ariel, he'd told himself he'd done the right thing...
After Miranda... his world'd been turned upside down. Jayne had revealed his own need, showing Mal the errors of his way.
#053 - Earth
Simon's knowledge is an eclectic collection, but Mal enjoys the evenings after their dinners, where they can sometimes get him to tell a story.
Mal doesn't know anyone with so many Earth-that-was tales as Simon. Even Jayne, who used to bitch and moan whenever Simon told a story, sits nearly still, listening.
It's a quiet time, with everyone doing this and that, but they still listen.
Mal's nursing his coffee next to Jayne, who's cleaning one of his guns.
As Simon tells of great battles on Earth-that-was, Jayne's thigh is warm against Mal's under the table. Yeah, life is good.
#054 - Air
Mal can't breathe. The air hitches in his throat, refusing to fill his lungs.
When Serenity'd hung dead in space, he'd run out of air. This is nothing like that. Serenity's got plenty of air, but that doesn't help Mal.
Mal's quarters feel devoid of air because Jayne's stealing it, every breath Mal takes, Jayne's doing his level best to steal.
It's Mal's own fault. He's the one who convinced Jayne that kissin' weren't no problem.
Jayne's devouring him, hotly, eagerly stroking his tongue against Mal's.
If Jayne's such a fast learner, Mal has other ideas for that clever mouth.
#055 - Spirit
Jayne worries, even if he won't tell the others. They got Mal back from Niska in time... he hopes.
Jayne never thought that he'd cared whether or not Mal survived. But Jayne can't fight the fact that he'd hate to see Mal's spirit broken.
So he's keeping an eye on his cheery captain, looking for cracks, well knowing that it'll annoy Mal.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer." Mal says tiredly. "You don't have to look for weaknesses..."
"I ain't," Jayne says quietly.
Mal's eyes widen as he takes a cautious step closer, reaching tentatively for Jayne. "Huh," he says.
#056 - Breakfast
There is a knock at the door. "Your breakfast, sir."
Mal frowns, takes a moment before recognizing his surroundings. Turning his head, he looks down the barrel of a gun.
"You order breakfast?" Jayne asks.
Mal shakes his head and reaches for the gun belt on the chair next to the bed.
"I guess we gotta pay the hotel a little extra if we leave bullet holes," Jayne muses as he gets to his feet.
"And for the clean-up," Mal grins as he enjoys the view of a naked Jayne wearing nothing but a big gun and a mean grin.
#057 - Lunch
"Lunch break," Jayne says with a serious face. Then he ruins it with a lewd grin.
Mal tries to look put-upon, but knows he isn't succeeding. "I'd like to get something to eat..." he starts.
A protein bar hits him in the chest. Pursing his lips, Mal tries not to laugh as he unwraps it and takes a bite, chewing it slowly.
They're moving cargo to make room for more, and Mal knows that Jayne's been horny all morning. Come to think of it, Jayne's always horny. Mal just has to plan around it, or they'll never get anything done.
#058 - Dinner
It's Jayne's chore today to make dinner. He doesn't mind, but he's a little... distracted.
Normally everyone leaves Jayne alone to do this chore, though lately, Mal's been there too.
He just sits there, at the table, going over flight data or just... reading.
It makes Jayne feel clumsy, self-conscious. When he isn't looking, he can swear he's feeling Mal watching him. When he looks up, Mal's not.
Yeah, makes Jayne self-conscious, but it also makes him hot, so he makes any and every excuse to pass by Mal's seat, brushing against an arm or shoulder.
And Mal just smiles.
#059 - Food
Fresh food isn't something they get everyday, but after a good heist and docking for supplies, they always get something good.
Fruit's a favorite of Jayne's, but he ain't never seen anyone eat a banana like that before. He catches Simon blushing before the Doc coughs and drags his little sister away.
Kaylee just shakes her head and heads off.
Jayne can't take his eyes off Mal's lips as they slide down over the treat, can't not look at the teasing in those eyes when Mal looks directly at him.
There's a clear challenge there. One Jayne's dying to accept.
#060 - Drink
Mal tries to figure out if Jayne just giggled.
"You just giggle, Jayne?" he asks.
Jayne frowns, his eyes fuzzy with booze. "I might've..."
Mal looks down at his drink. Or what was his drink, cuz the glass is empty. There was something he was supposed to remember. A reason he shouldn't drink too much. Something he was afraid he might do...
Kinda redundant, cuz he's stinkin' drunk now.
Next to him, Jayne hiccups.
"You know why I shouldn't drink too much?"
"Nope," Jayne says cheerily into his ear, warm hand groping Mal's crotch. "Ain't got a clue. Why?"
#061 - Winter
The ship is warm, but inside Jayne, it's as cold as winter. Everything's frozen over.
One moment he'd finally managed to convey to Mal what he wanted, the next Inara walked into the cockpit where they were.
Jayne tries hard not to notice the solid ice that's forming in his stomach as Mal smiles at Inara. He pulls back, heads down toward his bunk. He's no fool. He knows when he's outmatched.
He'd thought he'd seen the interest reflected in Mal's eyes, the twist of his mouth...
Jayne dumps down on his bunk, just as someone knocks on the hatch.
#062 - Spring
Mal sits back while Kaylee keeps talking about the spring Festival on Isis. Out here, in space, seasons don't matter all that much. Besides, Mal's never had any romantic thoughts 'bout spring.
Used to be a busy time at the farm during spring, preparing and sowing.
Mal feels the pang of remembering. There are days where he misses those times. He's torn out of the fugue by a warm presence leaning against his shoulder.
"Kaylee says spring get the juices flowing."
"Is that so?" Mal replies, hiding his grin.
"Uh-huh, and it ain't the only thing's rising," Jayne says huskily.
#063 - Summer
"You're a good man." Simon's voice is low.
"I'm an old sap," Mal replies evenly.
"Nah," Simon grins. "I'm just impressed that we were lucky to get a cargo run going out this way."
Mal looks up at the clear blue summer sky. "Yeah." Then he looks back over at Jayne, who's getting the mother-treatment from Mrs. Cobb. He can almost see it alternating between cooing and telling him off.
"I take it we'll be staying a while?" Wash asks from behind Mal.
Mal watches Jayne, who looks up, giving him a small smile.
They'll stay and enjoy the summer.
#064 - Fall
Mal watches the people milling around the tents. Here on the Northern half of Osiris it's fall and the people are celebrating the harvest.
It's not quite cold but the air has a certain crispiness to it.
It smell's great, but a moment later he's dragged in between two tents and his nose is buried in an even more enticing smell.
"Ah, the scent of Horny Jayne in the morning," Mal mumbles against Jayne's neck.
Jayne's laugh is a rumbled shiver against Mal, moves them together.
The fall air's crisp but Mal's feeling warm and cozy, right where he is.
#065 - Passing
Most of Mal's physical acquaintances are made in passing. He knows deep down that he doesn't want the connection of a long-term relationship.
So, sex is either done with passing strangers or not at all...
That is, until Jayne starts following him around.
Before Mal knows it, Jayne corners him in the strangest places, bodily demanding what Mal can't put words to.
So it's sex, Mal tells himself. No problem.
But Mal stops looking at passing strangers and Jayne ain't seen the inside of a whorehouse in ages.
Mal tells himself it's a habit he can kick any time... really.
#066 - Rain
"Gorram crazy girl," Jayne mutters. River's dancing around outside the ship. The rain is falling heavily from grey skies.
Mal comes out to stand next to him, just above the ramp leading outside.
Then Kaylee rushes past, joining River as they both laugh, enjoying the rain.
Jayne doesn't look at Mal. Since their little drunken 'slip' a week earlier, Mal hasn't mentioned it. It's tightened a knot inside Jayne.
He is startled when Mal leans into him, body warm against Jayne's back.
He doesn't say anything, but the warm hand on Jayne's hip speaks volumes.
The knot unravels and fades.
#067 - Snow
River sticks her tongue out, catching the falling snowflake.
Infinite patterns, continually changing with wind, heat and cold...
People change to, often from outside influences.
Her brother's changed since they came onboard... and everyone's changed since Miranda.
She still has trouble with the turmoil in her head, but it gets easier. Although there are days where she feels her brain might melt like the snowflake on her tongue.
For a while she'd thought Mal would melt too... or break.
Now she knows better as she watches Jayne pelting a laughing Mal with snowballs.
Jayne'll hold Mal together. Make him whole.
#068 - Lightning
Lightning splits the sky, painting their surroundings in sharp contrasts of light and dark.
The air's hot and humid, even though it's twilight.
Mal catches movement to the side but relaxes when lightning once again bathes the area in light.
"How much longer are you gonna stand out here?"
"Till it rains," Mal says. "Been a long time since I felt rain on my skin."
Jayne rolls his eyes. "Missed ya in my bunk."
Mal just grins and tugs Jayne in close. As the first heavy drops hit, the clean water mixes between their lips, adding a little extra flavor.
#069 - Thunder
It starts like distant thunder. Something you're aware of but pay little attention to.
It rolls around the hills for a while, not coming, nor going, just... being.
It's how Jayne imagines his feelings. A thunderstorm is brewing inside him. And it's Mal's fault.
Before he knows it, it fills his mind, burns his kin, makes his blood boil.
Jayne figures it'll be like livin' in a valley, when the thunder rolls around the hillside, never coming close.
He realizes that error of that assumption when the storm hits, cuz Mal's a raw force of nature to be reckoned with.
#070 - Storm
Mal curses as he watches the skies. They are in harbor, but they're gonna be delayed cuz there's no takin' off with a storm like this.
It leaves Mal annoyed.
Someone grabs him and drags him along the side of the ship.
Mal struggles until he recognizes the voice in his ear.
"Looked like you needed to blow a little steam."
Mal doesn't answer, he just pushes back against Jayne's bulk, feels the heat and hardness that rubs against his ass.
"Gotta make sure frustration doesn't interfere with our jobs," Jayne chuckles darkly as Mal silently demands Jayne's full attention.
#071 - Broken
When the ship's broken, they turn to Kaylee. When it's broken, yes, but what about broken people?
They all watch Mal after Miranda, covertly at first, then openly when he doesn't seem to notice.
They never discuss it, but they all wonder what to do with a captain that's broken inside.
They all ponder, but Jayne's the one who finally does something about it.
Less than subtle, he pulls Mal aside, behind some cargo, and blows him till Mal whimpers.
To Jayne's surprise, Mal insists on returning the favor later, a light to his eyes Jayne ain't ever seen before.
#072 - Fixed
Mal sighs, eyeing River. "Can't fix what ain't broken."
"Look, little one," Mal tries.
"Jayne's been a bear ever since," she says with a pout.
"It was his choice." Mal knows he's sounding like a five-year-old.
River squeezes her eyes tightly shut and sticks her fingers in her ears.
Yeah, Mal knows that feeling. There's a quiet cough at the door and Mal turns to find Jayne watching him with a strange look.
River grins and gets to her feet, dancing past Jayne.
"Git," he mumbles, eyes never leaving Mal's. "We got somethin' that needs fixin'."
#073 - Light
Lights are swimming before Mal's eyes but he's not entirely sure if his eyes are open. He squeezes his eyes tightly shut and darker spots appear.
He tries to open his eyes, then regrets it as bright light pierces his eyeballs and feels like shards of ground glass.
"Try not to open your eyes," Simon says softly.
"Doc?" Mal tries to say.
"Don't try to speak either," Simon adds.
Someone squeezes his hand and Mal wonders...
"Do as the Doc says." Jayne's voice is gruff, but Mal can hear the worry.
Mal drifts off, feeling safe in the warm light.
#074 - Dark
It's dark all around them. Dark void of space. Mal's got little light on in the cockpit, just the way he likes it.
There's light from the stars of course, but the ship's on its night cycle, so it's dark enough for Mal.
There's a shift in the air by the door and Mal catches himself smiling. "Come to keep me company?"
Jayne doesn't answer, just stops next to Mal, staring out front.
Mal waits patiently. They've been circling each other for weeks now, neither quite ready to voice their attraction.
"When your shift's over..." Jayne says.
Mal just nods.
#075 - Shattered
Picking up the pieces.
Jayne hates it. He's never felt the need to do so before. Mal's all cocky on the outside, but sometimes he breaks apart on the inside.... And no one notices. Except, Jayne does.
It's a curse and a gift, Jayne figures. He never noticed till he started sniffing around Mal. Who hadn't turned him down.
Something goes to hell and Mal just shatters inside. Quietly, where no one sees.
Jayne's not good with comforting words, but he realizes Mal don't need 'em anyway.
Mal needs someone who'll hold on when the nightmares come.
Someone like Jayne.
#076 - Rebirth
Mal stares at the ceiling and wonders. This should feel odder than it does. The bed dips a little and a warm, heavy arm settles over his chest.
His body is almost humming beneath the lazy contentedness that he's only ever known after sex.
It's like... words fail Mal.
Like breathing real air after months on recycled.
Like eating real apples.
Like... Heat flows through Mal's body.
Like rebirth. Like being taken apart, out, to awaken and find everything is new and unknown... yet oddly familiar.
Reborn with a new view on things.
Besides him, Jayne grunts in his sleep.
#077 - Paralysis
He's paralyzed. Pure and simple.
No one and nothing can stop Jayne Cobb in his tracks.
Well, except from Reavers.
Jayne stares at the reason for his current frozen state. Just when he thought he'd figured the guy out, Mal has to go and do something so unexpected that Jayne's left floundering.
"Hey, Jayne..." Mal says, smirking. "Cat got your tongue?"
No, you did, Jayne wants to say, but no words make it past his lips.
Of course Mal seems to read his mind. "No, wait, I did, didn't I?" With another grin, he leans close again. "Want it back?"
#078 - Disease
Diseases are pretty common on the outer planets. Medical transport is something of an expensive necessity, but at least the Alliance take that seriously.
Mal still doesn't know how Simon talked him into helping transporting vaccines to the remotest planets, but here he is, Jayne mumbling obscenities under his breath as they navigate an asteroid field around the planet.
They can't land, but with the shuttle that they're in right now, they can at least get the vaccine to where it's needed.
Mal sneaks a quick look at Jayne and smiles. Even with the workload, he doesn't mind the company.
#079 - Agony
Pain shoots through Jayne's body and he tries not to move.
He can't really remember what happened, but it's dark and something hard and heavy is pinning him to a sandy floor.
Rock surface. That's what his fingers encounter. Unfortunately moving his arm makes pure agony flare through his body.
Oh man, Mal's gonna kill him. He's not sure why, but he knows that even if he dies, Mal will come for him, dragging his sorry ass back.
He's kinda counting on it.
Jayne closes his eyes and decides for once, he'll put his trust in another human.
#080 - Healing
It takes time, Mal muses.
They're all dealing with the pain after Miranda in their own ways.
They're all healing.
Mal always puts the crew and ship before himself, so he's a little surprised at the warm breath against his neck, the compact body that shapes itself against his back.
Yeah, they all got their own ways of healing, but he wonders why he doesn't say no to Jayne's.
Because Jayne needs it?
Or because he needs it?
"You're thinking too much," Jayne mumbles in his ear, a warm covering Mal's abdomen.
"Yeah?" Mal asks with a small smile.
#081 - Blind
"There are none so blind," Kaylee mutters as she stomps past Jayne.
"Huh. What's that all about?" Jayne asks Mal, who's sitting in the pilot's seat.
"Nuthin'" Mal mutters.
Jayne frowns. Takes a lot to annoy li'll Kaylee, although Mal seems to be pretty good at it. "Who's blind?"
Mal doesn't answer.
Jayne shrugs and turns to leave.
"Seems I've been..." Mal says softly.
Mal turns his head a little. "Seems I haven't been looking at you the 'right' way."
Jayne frowns then oddly enough, he gets it. And laughs. "Man, Mal, you can be so ruttin' slow sometimes."
#082 - Deaf
Mal's yelling at him.
At least Jayne figures that's what he's doing, cuz his mouth is moving, his face is flushed.
Jayne just ain't getting any sound.
Mal shakes his head, obviously giving up.
Simon's standing next to the gurney. He rolls his eyes and gives Jayne a slip of paper.
'Your hearing will be back in a few days.'
Jayne blinks. Ah. He gives Simon a thumb up.
It means he can't hear Mal bitching about him risking his life for Mal. Huh.
Simon gives him another note. 'Mal was worried.'
Jayne smiles. Of course he was. He's Mal.
#083 - Lost
Mal looks out the window as he leans back in the pilot's seat.
He knows where the ship is. That's not it. No, he's lost on the inside.
And why? Because he's a gorram idiot, that's why.
He just had to go and interpret Jayne's looks as interest.
Next time they make port, Mal figures Jayne's time on Serenity will come to an end.
There's a clearing of throat from the doorway.
Mal doesn't have to turn around to see who it is.
"You got a moment, ...Mal?" Jayne mutters.
Maybe Mal isn't as lost as he thought?
#084 - Found
It's something Jayne's been hiding.
Big Bad Jayne Cobb doesn't need anyone.
Big Bad Jayne Cobb can take care of himself.
Right until he felt it slipping between his fingers after his own fuck-up on Ariel. After that he had to revise his life more than a little.
So he tried to hide it from everyone else. It was a flaw, it was weakness.
But he was never that good with games of hide-and-seek. He was always found and this was no exception.
Mal knows and no matter where Jayne hides, he'll always be found.
He can't hide from Mal.
#085 - Missing
Something's missing. It's nagging at Mal, but he can't quite figure out what it is.
He does know when it started, though. Right after that drunken night on 'Sephone.
He knows it's got something to do with Jayne. Seems everyone else does too, cuz they're all watching them.
Like they're expecting some big showoff.
Sometimes he can admit that he knows what's missing. Jayne's never cared about personal space... especially Mal's.
He does now.
Mal finally grabs Jayne's shoulder and he's surprised at the darkening eyes that meet his.
Mal figures he might have found what was missing... and more.
#086 - Choices
Mal stares unseeingly ahead. He's got choices to make. Not that he wants to...
Life's been hard but good since Miranda. Won't stay that way. A new war seems to be looming in the horizon.
A war fought in secret. Cuz the Alliance seems to be rotting up from the core out... revealing new enemies.
Mal's choice is whether or not he gets his crew... his family involved.
It's not his choice alone.
Jayne walks up behind the pilot's seat, but stays quiet.
"Tell the others we're having a pow-wow in ten minutes," Mal finally mumbles.
Jayne squeezes his shoulder.
#087 - Life
Life ain't gotten any easier since Jayne joined Serenity, but it's sure gotten a bit more interesting.
Before, all Jayne had to do was follow orders, do the grunt-work. Now he's expected to think too.
He's not ready to admit it to anyone, but he likes it. Mal expects him to do the grunt-work too, but he also expects Jayne to think for himself. Mal doesn't employ drones, he employs humans.
Crazy people, but it makes Jayne smile.
His life ain't none too bad at the moment. Mal's trust and expectations aren't unpleasant burdens.
They make Jayne's life more interesting.
#088 - He
He drives Jayne crazy on a good day. Sometimes Jayne thinks he does it on purpose.
Then again, what really gets to Jayne is his own reaction to Mal. Most of all because Mal's a 'he'... a guy.
And Jayne don't swing that way.
That's what he tells himself, pinned to Mal's bunk with Mal's weight on top of him and Mal's warm hand way past his waistband.
"I..." he tries to say, but Mal's mouths steals those words.
... ain't sly?
... don't kiss?
... want you?
Jayne doesn't know what he's trying to say, and he doesn't care.
#089 - She
Jayne likes Inara most days, but this ain't one of 'em.
He watches the torn look on Mal's face. He doesn't know what they were talking about, but he knows Mal's hurting.
She's beautiful, got a tongue as sharp as Jayne's favorite knife. She's also a slow poison working its way through Mal.
Jayne wishes he could ask Simon for an antidote, but he knows there ain't one.
To his surprise, Mal takes a deep breath and drags him down to get the cargo loaded.
There's something in the touches to his shoulders and arms that makes Jayne's hope grow.
#090 - It
'It' is like a large looming presence, constantly looming somewhere in the room.
'It' is something Mal doesn't want to put words to, and something he figures Jayne feels equally about.
'It' makes him sweat at night, fight the urge to slip his hands under the blanket.
If he's honest, he knows what 'it' is, and he sees the same recognition in Jayne's eyes.
Unfortunately, 'it' would change the dynamics aboard the ship, and Mal doesn't want that.
He's set on ignoring 'it' but it's hard when Jayne's holding him down, trying to show him the errors of his way.
#091 - Birthday
They still try to find the time to celebrate everyone's birthdays.
Unless they're in the middle of a heist or gunfight...
That's how they're celebrating Jayne's, but Mal figures that's an extra gift, if he's to judge from the shine in Jayne's eyes.
There'll be a birthday dinner later and with all the adrenaline pumping through their bodies, he knows that Jayne'll enjoy Mal's 'present'.
Not that it doesn't happen quite often, but Mal's gonna let Jayne take the lead when they get back to his bunk. Because that really turns Jayne's crank. And Mal's too, to tell the truth.
#092 - Christmas
Mal watches the sprig that Kaylee claims is mistletoe.
Christmas, huh? Probably some tale from Simon's got her running around the ship with the sprig, cornering everyone to explain what people used to do under mistletoe.
Even River gets cornered, and it's the first time Mal's seen her blush and looking shy.
For a precious moment he lets his guard down, as does Jayne who's seated next to him at the table.
Kaylee squeals right behind them and Mal looks up to find the mistletoe dangling right over their heads.
Jayne's beard tickles, but Mal doesn't mind all that much.
#093 - Thanksgiving
There's a long way from Simon's tales of Thanksgiving to this. But they've got stuff to be thankful for. Even if the meal is mostly protein with turkey flavor.
Sure, they've lost friends that they're remembering with tall tales and laughter tonight. They owe it to the memories to not dwell on the bad stuff.
They can be thankful that the Alliance is too busy falling apart to be hunting them.
Mal can be thankful for the big warm hand that's on his thigh under the table. And the body attached to said hand will be warming his bunk later.
#094 - Solstice
The solstice festival on Persephone is always worth a visit and not just for the job opportunities.
Mal tries to make sure they dock here every year, because he knows the crew needs the downtime, the opportunity to just let loose and have fun.
To tell the truth, Mal needs it too. He can't help but laugh as Jayne drags him off toward the nearest bathhouse.
Everyone enjoys the solstice fun, but Mal's gonna have a bath, check into a hotel and leave the others to enjoy the festival.
He's gonna enjoy Jayne instead. And a bath or two more.
#095 - New Year
Simon was talking about New Year's resolutions earlier and Mal's been thinking about it ever since.
They don't normally celebrate the New Year. It's just passing another date in the calendar.
Still, resolutions. The thoughts roam around Mal's mind for a while. Would he have any?
He should stop pining after Inara.
Try to always do what's best for the crew.
Keep them all alive for another year.
Stop trying to ignore what he knows Jayne wants from him.
Mal stands as he decides to start with the bottom of that list tonight. He knows where to find Jayne.
#096 - Fear
Fear burns through Jayne's body.
It's not a type of fear he's felt before. The only fear he knows is a healthy respect for cold, oxygen-less space.
Only a fool doesn't fear Reavers.
This is unknown fear. He feels it every time Mal gives him that ruttin' knowing smile.
It's fear of not knowing what will happen if he doesn't give into it. Fear of not knowing what'll happen if he does.
When he does.
Until the day fear and expectation mixes, until the fear is flooded by the expectation.
That's the day he goes to Mal's cabin.
#097 - Floating
Jayne's pretty sure he's giggling. He can't help it. Simon's given him something for the pain, and it's making Jayne float.
He might float off the gurney and around the ship just for the fun of it.
The idea makes him giggle again.
He opens his eyes to find Mal looking down at him with a worried face.
"Wanna float with me?" Jayne giggles.
Mal's eyebrows go up, much to Jayne's amusement.
"Simon, you sure you didn't give him too much?" Mal asks.
Simon comes over. "Don't worry, he'll be okay.
"'m good," Jayne says with another giggle. "Feelin' floaty."
#098 - Pride
Jayne's got his pride.
He'll stoop low to get what he wants but there are things he's always said he'll never do.
He prefers women, but he doesn't mind the occasional grope-n-romp session with another guy.
As long as he's driving.
He's sworn that he'll never submit to another man. To him it's a matter of pride.
It's what he tries to explain to Mal, who just smirks and pins him down.
"Ain't nothin' unmanly about this," Mal mumbles against his neck as he slides a hand down the back of Jayne's trousers.
Jayne swallows, shivers and closes his eyes.
#099 - Bliss
His eyes are closed.
The room is a little chilly, but he's spooned around another warm body. There's hardly room in the bunk, but it's okay.
This is bliss, Jayne thinks to himself. He's got his nose buried in Mal's hair, arms slung around his chest and a hand resting against Mal's abs.
He can feel the slow rise and fall as Mal breathes. In and out. So very slow and without a hint of worry.
To Jayne it's close to bliss. It's an opportunity to push all the bad shit into the background and just focus on feeling good.
#100 - Forever
Good things don't last forever.
Jayne knows that and tries to tell himself not to expect them to.
But it's hard when he's no longer alone.
It's hard when he's got people watching his back. People who do it because he's part of their 'family'
It's hard when he wakes up in the morning, strong arms holding him close.
Jayne wants to believe in forever, but he's afraid to.
It's hard to hold onto that fear when Mal refuses to let him. Mal's got a new mission and Jayne knows that determination.
Mal's set on making him believe in forever.