Summary: "Jayne, put me down. Now!" Mal put as much force into his words as he could, considering that Jayne was squeezing the air out of him. Truth be told, only the toes of Mal's boots were touching the floor.
Notes: I finished this year's nano mid-afternoon of the 24th of November, and one should think after 50K word, I'd be glad to leave the computer, or at least, close down the text editor... right? Wrong. I got restless and I needed some kind of wild writing and the outcome was this. Hopefully it's funny. Nicci laughed while I was writing it anyway *g* -- It has a modicum of plot, barely, if you squint and look at it sideways. It's not terribly profound, but I needed the release of writing whatever my brain cooked up. So, this is it, written in one sitting, late Thursday night.
Aukestrel mentioned it was a bit too cute, so I tried de-cutifying it -- it wasn't easy and I probably didn't quite succeed. But alas, the plot bunnies are promising me both plot and lack of cuteness for the next one *g*
All translations are coded into the sentences/words so just hover the mouse over it and you'll get the English version. All translations are done with the help of the Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary
"What in the pits of Hades is going on in here?" Mal strode into the common area, trying to figure out what was causing the racket that had drawn him out of his bunk.
"Sorry, Mal," Simon said with a wince. "I was trying to get Jayne to the infirmary."
Mal stared that the man in question, who was standing in the middle of the room, watching Simon with a peculiar look. He was also swaying. And smiling. The smiling was a little unsettling.
"And why would Jayne need to go to the infirmary, Doc?" Mal asked, silently asking for his patience to hold out.
"It seems someone has slipped Jayne a truth serum or some similar drug to gain some answers," Book said helpfully as he took a wide berth around Jayne. "It has had a rather... peculiar effect on him, though."
"I see... or not," Mal said, frowning as Jayne slowly turned from Simon to him, cocking his head to the side. Mal decided that he most definitely did not like that smile. It wasn't mean. Mean he could do, mean Jayne he knew. No this was... just plain unsettling.
"Did they get anything out of you?" he asked Jayne, who swayed a little more. "Jayne!"
Jayne more or less snapped to attention, but the swaying was still there. "Cap'n." He even tried to salute. It looked like he was trying to knock himself out. Mal found himself almost hoping he would.
"Did you tell whomever gave you this shit anything?" Mal asked, eyes narrowing.
Jayne frowned, then shook his head. "Nope... and he ain't gonna be askin' anyone else any questions, either."
Mal opened his mouth to ask more, then decided against it. There were things he didn't strictly need to know. And things he didn't want to know.
"You gonna make sure he sleeps it out okay, Doc?" Mal asked, deciding that he would go back to his bunk. Jayne didn't look suicidal or homicidal, and he figured the Doc could hold his own against him. He usually could.
"I... eh..." the sigh was pretty audible. "Sure, leave it to me."
Mal didn't miss the muttered 'Tah mah duh'.
Shaking his head, Mal went back to his bunk. He opened his book and lost himself to the words.
At least until the knock brought him back. Groaning, Mal got to his feet and released the lock on the hatch to his quarters.
"Can I come down?"
"Sure, Kaylee, why not?" Mal sat back on his bunk, watching the sandaled feet appearing on the ladder. "And to what do I owe the honor?"
That at least got him a pretty sunny smile. "It's Jayne, Cap'n."
"I thought the Doc was taking care of him," Mal said with a frown. "Don't tell me whatever Jayne got himself doped up on is dangerous to him?"
"Well..." Kaylee looked as if she was searching for the right words.
With a sigh, Mal put his book to the side and pulled her down on the bunk next to him. "Come on, tell me what's going on."
Relaxing against him, Kaylee grinned. "You know, Jayne might very well be in danger, but it's not from the drug, more a side effect of the drug, really."
"Okay, that you've gotta put to me in plain speech, li'l' Kaylee." Mal watched her grin widening a little.
"It's a truth serum, see?" Not waiting for Mal to answer, she continued. "So he's up there being dead honest to everyone, but not just honest, you know."
"That's a scary thought," Mal muttered.
"Tell me about it," Kaylee laughed. "But you see, he's also being very... um... affectionate with everyone."
"Jayne? Affectionate?" Mal's voice broke a little as he tried to imagine that. But no, his mind just. Would. Not. Go. There.
"I think it's kinda adorable... in a creepy way," Kaylee confided in him.
"So I take it the thing about Jayne being in danger...?" Mal prompted her. If he let Kaylee ramble on, they'd never get to the point.
"Oh!" Kaylee grinned again. "He kinda... um, hugged Zoë."
Mal sat in silence for a moment, then blinked twice, hard. "He... he what?!" The man had to have a death wish.
"So he's hugging everyone, or just Zoë?" Mal asked slowly.
"Oh, he's going for everyone, I think," Kaylee giggled as she leaned against him. "I got a hug too," she confided in him, a gleam in her eyes.
"Oh no, mei-mei, do not go there." Mal shook his head vehemently.
Kaylee's eyes widened considerably. "Oh... you think I'd... I mean, it was a nice hug 'n' all, but I would never... Cap'n'!" She lowered her voice and whispered to him. "This is Jayne we're talkin' 'bout."
No, he didn't know and he'd never given that any thought. At least not with Jayne... seriously... never. Mal swallowed hard. Okay, maybe once or twice when he'd been really... um... never mind.
"I think maybe I should go put a stop to it before he gets himself hurt," Mal sighed as he got to his feet, pulling Kaylee to hers.
"You do that, Cap'n'," she said with a small giggle. "Just be careful he doesn't get his hands on you. Me? I'll go hide in the engine room."
Mal rolled his eyes and climbed the ladder. Topside he was nearly run over by Wash, who seemed to be in one hell of a hurry.
"Sir, Cap'n', sir!"
Mal thought for a moment the flustered man would actually salute him. Things were really getting weird aboard his ship. "Wash... what's goin' on?"
"Um... can't talk, gotta run, gotta... um, escape." Wash gave him a pleading look. "It's Jayne," he explained. "He... he..." Wash lowered his voice and hissed: "He got... physical with me, Mal!"
"Ah... you too." Mal rolled his eyes. His ship's crew made a nut house look sane.
"Yeah, I've gotta be traumatized for life," Wash whined. "I mean, I didn't sign up for this back then."
"I'll..." Mal tried to keep a serious face, but knew he was in trouble when Wash's eyes narrowed. "I'll take care of it."
"Ah, Captain." Book was the next one he ran into as he entered the dining area, and Mal raised an eyebrow, wondering what the good Shepherd would say.
"I take it you're going to tell me about Jayne's..." Mal trailed off, not quite knowing what to call it all.
"Well," the Shepherd began.
There was a twitch to his lips that told Mal that at least someone on the gorram ship found this amusing. Apart from himself, that was.
"The good book does say: 'love thy neighbor'..." Book said.
Mal nodded. "It's just a bit difficult applying that to Jayne, isn't it, Shepherd?"
"Boggles the mind, Captain," Book admitted. "Boggles the mind."
"I already promised Wash I'd take care of it," Mal said, trying not to laugh.
"Well, luck favors the prepared," the Shepherd muttered.
"Or the mad," Mal mumbled to himself as he set the course toward the cargo bay. He figured everyone would get within Jayne's reach today because they were all so gorram curious.
He could hear them well before he could see them. As he walked along the metal walkway of the cargo bay, he realized they were still somewhere near the infirmary.
Mal looked up and stepped aside to allow Inara to pass. "He get you too?" Mal asked, trying not to grin too openly. He knew very well that Inara would never let Jayne get that close.
For a moment she looked puzzled, then flushed a little. "Most definitely not," she said. "He would never dare."
"You cheated your way out of it, didn't ya?" Mal asked, his eyes narrowing. "Who'd you sick him on?"
"No one," Inara said, trying to defend herself, but Mal could see the guilty look in her eyes. Most days she was a better player than this, but Jayne had obviously rattled her a little.
He tended to have that effect on people. It was one of the reasons why Mal appreciated the loudmouthed mercenary. It sure wasn't for his winning personality.
Mal cocked his head to the side as he heard a loud yell from Simon. "That's not nice, Inara," Mal said. "You left Simon to deal with Jayne on his own?"
"Simon can handle him," Inara tried. "Jayne likes him... well, in his own strange way, I guess."
"I better go... do something before we lose the doctor. We kinda need him," Mal grinned.
"A little too often, unfortunately," Inara muttered as she want past him.
Mal grimaced but let it slip. No use in arguing with that. Still, he was a bit fond of the doctor. He was so much fun to tease, so gorram easy. And he was better at patching the crew up than Zoë was.
He wasn't sure how to interpret the scene that met him when he came to the common area. He could see that Simon had been able to get Jayne into the infirmary at one point, because Jayne was shirtless and around his upper arm was the blood pressure measurement thingy.
At the moment, however, Jayne was standing the middle of the common area, looming over River, who was looking up at him with a strange smile.
"Gorram crazy girl," Jayne muttered. "You always were unpredictable."
"River..." Simon took a step toward them, but River neatly mirrored the move, putting Jayne between them. Jayne, swaying a little, turned to keep an eye on her.
"The things you could tell them," River whispered as she stared up at him. "I know how you think of me," she said, her smile faltering a little, turning not quite sad, yet almost.
Jayne scratched his neck and watched her with a frown. "Don't mind you when you're good. Only when you go 'round the bend."
Mal held his breath for a moment, but let it out slowly as he watched the brilliant smile spreading on the girl's face, and she seemed to go for preemptive strikes, because she stood on the toes of her combat boots and gave Jayne a hug of her own.
Blinking blearily, Jayne dropped his arms around her and carefully hugged her. When he let go, she danced out of his reach, turning around and skipping to Mal's side.
"I like him like this," she told him in a low whisper. "Too bad he can't be like this every day, I like hugs," she confided in him, surprising Mal by giving him a quick hug as well before disappearing down the hallway, leaving a soft laughter in her wake.
Mal scratched the back of his head, watching her disappear, then turned back to Simon and Jayne, who were both staring at him.
"Hey, don't look at me like that," Mal grumbled. "I feel like I'm the last sane person on this ship at the moment."
"Well, you might very well be right," Simon said with a shake of his head as he stepped away from Jayne, who was watching him with a silly grin.
"Hugged you too, eh, Doc?" Mal asked tiredly as he walked over to join them.
"That too, and making obscene proposals." Simon inched to the side, putting Mal between himself and Jayne.
"Oh..." Mal wondered if he even wanted to know what obscene... "Jayne?"
"Huh?" Jayne looked him straight in the eye. Well, as straight as he could, standing so close to Mal that it was hard for him to focus entirely.
"What is your gorram hand doing on my ass?" Mal asked pleasantly.
Jayne looked down, surprise on his face. "Beats me, Cap'n'."
"I see..." Mal said. "I'm not fond of people groping my ass."
"It's a nice ass," Jayne said thoughtfully, squeezing said asset a little.
Mal yelped, not sounding terribly captainy to his own ears.
"I'll just..." Simon cleared his throat and Mal could have sworn he was trying not to laugh. "He just needs to sleep it off. Another ten to twelve hours or so," Simon explained, inching toward the hallway that River had disappeared down.
"Doc!" Mal's yell broke midways as Jayne put his arms around him and happily reeled him in.
"You know I like you, right Mal?" Jayne muttered into his ear.
Mal squirmed to get free, then realized that that might be a real bad idea. Something hard was pressing against his hip and he was pretty sure Jayne wasn't armed...
"Jayne, put me down. Now!" Mal put as much force into his words as he could, considering that Jayne was squeezing the air out of him. Truth be told, only the toes of Mal's boots were touching the floor.
"Aw... do I have to?" Jayne whined against his neck. The burst of hot air made Mal shiver, something that Jayne obviously found fascinating. At least Mal figured that much and of course Jayne had to experiment. A moment later he licked from the collar of Mal's shirt to the top of his ear, causing Mal to gasp and grind against Jayne.
Mal dug his fingers into Jayne's hips, his upper arms pinned against his sides by Jayne's bear hug. "Let go of me, Jayne. You don't know what you're doing. You don't want to do this."
"Sure do," Jayne rumbled against his neck. "Been wantin' too since that day you offered me a piece o' the fun and a bunk of me own." Jayne began moving them toward the couch and Mal had a brief flash of panic.
One thing was foolin' around with the crew, but it was something entirely different doing so in the middle of the common area.
"Jayne..." Mal snapped his mouth shut. There was obviously no reasoning with the man. "Gorramit, how am I supposed to fight this?" he muttered to himself. It had been to damned long since he'd been touched like that.
"You're not supposed to fight it," Jayne mumbled as he pressed Mal down on the couch.
Mal groaned and arched up against the heavy weight on top of him. "Jayne! Not here. Have some mercy on your Captain's rep."
Jayne levered himself up, looking down at Mal with a soft grin on his face. "You wanna continue this somewhere else, Mal?"
Mal wondered if perhaps he could lure Jayne into one of the quarters and then lock him up there. He wondered for a moment if that was what he wanted to do, because Jayne's weight felt fantastic on top of him.
"The bunk would be better," Mal agreed readily. Heck, anywhere else but the common room, where anyone could walk in on them. He'd never live it down.
Jayne was on his feet, dragging Mal with him faster than Mal could catch up with the situation. Jayne had a stride so fast that Mal had to nearly run to keep up. As they came to a stop in front of the hatch to his own quarters, Mal thanked his lucky stars that they hadn't met any of the others on the way. There was no mistaking the bulge in Jayne's trousers and Mal didn't dare look down at his own.
Mal keyed the hatched open and let Jayne climb down first. This was so fucked up he couldn't find the right words for it. As he landed on the floor next to the ladder, he found Jayne already dropping his pants to the floor.
Mouth slightly open, Mal stared at him. He still had trouble catching up with the whole situation, but without clothes, Jayne was ruttin' amazin'. Long muscular legs, compact muscles and harrier than Mal was.
Strong hands pulled Mal closer and before he could think of a proper curse, Jayne had stripped him of his clothes and was pushing him down on the bunk.
Any protest Mal might have been thinking of uttering was swallowed up as Jayne's mouth came down on his own, hard enough to bruise. And here Mal had thought Jayne never kissed on the mouth. Ruttin' shame, really, because the man could kiss like no one else Mal could think of. Made Mal all kinds of hot and made him wonder if he could convince Jayne to use that clever mouth elsewhere.
The frantic movements slowed, and for a wild moment Mal thought Jayne might be taking his time, but he was terribly wrong on that account. The heavy body pinned him to the bunk and the rumbled snoring filled his ear.
"Tah mah duh hwoon dahn," Mal swore under his breath. "You will pay for this when you wake up, Jayne."
The cursing told Mal exactly what kind of headache Jayne was dealing with. He figured it was fate, because in his opinion, Jayne more than deserved it. Even if he hadn't taken the drug himself. Didn't matter, Mal was still annoyed.
Putting the book aside, he looked over at his bunk, where Jayne was laying on his back, covering his eyes and moaning.
"Good mornin'." Mal greeted him.
Jayne simply grunted something inaudible.
"You were a hell of a lot easier last night," Mal said, copying Kaylee's annoyingly cheerful attitude. He knew how much that got on Jayne's nerves, especially when he was hung over.
Jayne lifted his arm and stared at Mal. "What the hell are you doing here? It's not exactly my idea of a great mornin' wakin' up to your ugly mug."
"Oh man, I miss the other you already," Mal said dryly. "He was a lot sweeter. And these are my quarters, that's why I'm here."
Jayne's eyes widened as he looked around, obviously realizing he wasn't in his own bunk. With a curse, he lifted the sheets and looked underneath. Looking up again, his wide eyes pinned Mal down. "Did we...?"
"No," Mal said, trying no to sound too amused. He'd had time to calm down after Jayne had so graciously fallen asleep on him. Literally. Had taken him a gorram long time to get out from that pinch too.
"Then why am I in your bunk?" Jayne asked suspiciously.
"You crashed before anything... happened. Though not for the lack of you tryin'," Mal said with a shrug.
"You really know how to sweet-talk people, Jayne." Mal stood and walked to the bunk, sitting down next to Jayne's prone body. "You're in my bunk, because you insisted. Well, kinda. You insisted on the couch in the common area first, but I'm a private sorta man, you know." Mal shrugged, enjoying Jayne's crestfallen expression.
Mal hid a grin. "You got me all hot 'n' bothered and then you went out like a light. Got me a little frustrated."
Jayne's eyes strayed to Mal's crotch.
"I took care of that, don't worry," Mal told him meanly. He was not cutting the man any slack.
Jayne covered his eyes again. "Please tell me I didn't do anything else... anything stupid, said anything..."
"No more than usually," Mal said with a small grin. "Although you nearly had the doctor for a private ...session."
Jayne groaned again.
"You bonded with River," Mal continued, truly beginning to enjoy himself. "Hugged everyone, including Zoë."
"No..." Jayne muttered.
"Kaylee thinks you're pretty cute."
Jayne rolled over and hid his face in the pillow. Mal didn't miss the fact that he sniffed it and rubbed his face against it. 'Gotcha', he thought to himself.
"I think you came onto half the crew," Mal mused, silently laughing at the litany of 'no's' coming from Jayne. "So ain't I the lucky one, gettin' you into my bunk?" He put a hand on Jayne's hip, sliding it around to rest on Jayne's abs.
"You're pullin' my leg," Jayne groaned against the pillow.
"Ain't what I'd like to be pullin'," Mal teased.
Jayne's breathing was getting heavier and Mal hid his smile. He could wait. He had the necessary self-control. With one last pat to the tight muscles, Mal got up and went to the ladder.
Jayne turned around on the bunk, looking bleary eyed and completely lost, watching him with surprise. "Where the ruttin' hell do you think you're goin'?"
"Out," Mal said easily as he put one foot on the bottom rung.
"But..." The expression Jayne currently had, well, Mal wished he could take a picture. For future blackmail material, of course.
"Doc says the drug should be outta your system in another five or so hours. You just need to sleep it off." Mal began climbing the ladder.
Jayne looked more than a little confused, but he made to get up and out of the bed.
"I didn't say you had to leave. I wouldn't mind continuing our little ...talk, later," Mal told him, watching him with a small smile.
Frowning, Jayne lay back down. Then his face brightened. "Oh!" he muttered. He put his hands behind his head and a grin tugged at the corners of his mouth.
"Just wanna make sure you're awake and thinkin' clearly," Mal said. "Well, as clearly as you normally can."
Jayne didn't answer him, but the grin grew a little.
Mal continued upward. "Don't go thinkin' this'll get you special treatment on this ship," he called down, trying to put some menace into the words.
There was no answer, but Mal just knew that Jayne was still wearing that idiotic grin. His own lips curved. A grin and nothing else. Nice thought really. "Ruttin' hwoon dahn," he muttered under his breath, trying not to laugh out loud.