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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
River and Jayne dance though life, but given who they are, their steps take many forms...One of the '5 memes' being written about this pair. I've chosen dance.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1117 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Joss
Notes: This is my attempt at a 5 meme. I jumped in uninvited, but I hope you enjoy. It turned out a bit different than I expected.
Note 2: It’s been a while since I’ve done any serious dancing. I did a lot of research, but if something is incorrect that’s the reason.
The first time River Tam danced with Jayne Cobb, they danced the salsa. Their bodies moved vigorously as had been done on Earth-That-Was. But instead of lively Cuban music with elements of jazz, rock and soul, they had only the background chatter of the crew in the galley.
The elements that clearly defined their movements as salsa instead of the similar mambo were the lightening speed at which they danced, and the fact that the accent was on the first beat of each three-beat measure instead of the second.
As dances go, this one was very short and could have easily turned deadly. She had been armed with a knife and he with his strength and temper. No one had seen it coming, not even the participants.
Accented beat one first measure, River stepped forward to facilitate the downward slice of the butcher knife. Jayne pulled back as pain erupted across his chests. The invitation was issued, the dance begun.
Beat two, he gasped in shock and surprise. She stood silently waiting for his next move.
Beat three, Everything stopped for a millionth of a second, as he fought to control the caged animal in him. Brown eyes met blue. She stood frozen, unsure what the next step was.
Accented beat one, second measure, He lost his battle, surged to his feet and backhanding her hard enough to draw blood. She crashed to the deck, her face hidden.
Beat two, River fought to catch her breath. Her eyes glazed. She was confused, lost, and unsure why she’d abandoned her usual solo to enter into a couples dance. He stood over her growling in anger.
Beat three; she slowly raised her head, looking deep into the intense blue ice of her partner’s eyes, but was careful to keep her face partially hidden by her hair.
Accented beat one, third measure, they struck a pose, as people surged and yelled out around them.
Beat two, River leaned forward from her place at his feet and murmured dully, “He looks better in red.”
Beat three, Jayne howled in indignation. Dance over, partners pulled apart, forced back to their normal solo performances.
In later years she would often kiss her way over the white ridged scar and tears would fill her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she’d whisper. “I’m so sorry; I don’t know why I did it except that I was crazy then. I couldn’t block out the voices.”
“Shhh, it’s okay.” He would always answer as he hold her close running his hands over her naked body and playing with her long silky hair. “Naw ya weren’t crazy, Babe. You were just tryin’ ta get my attention, is all. I gotta tell ya, it sure did work.”
2. Couples/Partner’s Dance, mixed steps with variations depending on theme:
Their next set followed shortly after their first. Jayne began this one when he bought a crate of apples. They were an apology because he’d chosen to vary the carefully choreographed precision movements that had bad been planned on Ariel with a solo performance of his own design.
He walked onto the boat one day with a box on his shoulder and carried it to the galley where River was sitting at the table with her sketch pad and pencils.
“Here ya go, Girlie.” He reached into the container he’d placed on the counter and tossed her a fresh apple, quick to grab one for himself, as well. The Fuji Green grew in the rocky ground of some Rim planets and moons. Its skin color varied from the normal yellow with a blush of pink to a deep green edging to purple, according to the base nutrients in the soil and age of the produce. The mercenary considered himself lucky to have found a passel of them that were half-way between perfect and spoiled.
The fruit fell into her hand as it sailed her way. She stared between Jayne and the object she held, trying not to think that this time it was Adam who offered Eve something tasty from the tree of knowledge. She sat for a moment enticed by the cool crisp feel of its skin and surrounded by the luscious scent that filled her nostrils. Dare she take it and what would be the consequences?
The choice was hers, to sin or not, or so she thought, until she looked up into worried blue eyes that were begging her for forgiveness. Then she knew that she couldn’t turn him down. There was no stepping aside from what was already set in motion. She had begun their dances and caught him by surprise. He’d taken a solo jaunt upon the floor and fumbled the steps. He hadn’t known that the Blue Hands refused to share the spotlight. His performance had been doomed from the start.
“I would be honored,” she whispered and bowed her head as if she’d been curtsying at a formal affair.
“Good, good,” Jayne nodded. “Though, they’re for everybody.” He frowned in an attempt to hide the truth.
That was when he pulled her onto the dance floor, though ten feet of galley separated them. This time she promised that she’d let him lead and see what intricate patterns they might weave. Using only the sparkle in his eyes, he guided them through their first tentative step. They lifted their apples to their mouths and each took a bite: let the dances begin.
Unlike their first dance, which had only lasted a matter of seconds, this one lasted for months. It was often rough and ragged and at times they weren’t in tune, but they were always aware of the other, moving, jumping, pulling, pushing, and testing their boundaries. How far apart could they dance and still be doing so together? How many unmatched steps could they go through and still be considered a partnered couple?
During these turns around the floor, each was influenced by their background. River due to her classical ballet training and the social dancing that was required of all well-bred children of society on a Core world, moved with graceful practiced ease.
Jayne, who had grown up in a much more rough-and-tumble fashion, on the Rim, engaged in similar, but less intricate patterns. He lacked much of his partner’s finesse and his temperament was more fitting to wild bursts of passion and excitement than gentle movements. He often stomped with a lust for life that created spontaneous steps that were accented by gun fire and fists as he moved around River’s gentle, though deadly grace. During those months, neither broke their unspoken agreement and harmed the other. It was what had brought their last foray on the floor to an abrupt halt and they were having too much fun to risk it.
They continued their dance, even as gunfire erupted in an effort to rescue the Captain. Jayne swirled away from River. His feet moved quickly to Vera’s song as he ran and shot his way through smoke and fire. His favorite weapon hung on a strap around his neck humming its familiar tune of quick automatic bursts which were accented by shots from a pistol held tightly in his other hand.
His body was sure and deadly as his steps moved further and further away from his partner’s. But in the back of his mind, on a sub-conscious level, he knew that she was dancing too. The music of weapon’s fire and grenades exploding had woken her from her strange sleep. She moved as she was trained to do, moved in a way that had marked her forever his and had called out to him from the beginning.
River possessed her sure grace as she took the gun from Kaylee and quickly dispatched three of the enemy before slipping quietly away to wait for that time that was coming when there would be no running or hiding from her truth. There would only be Jayne and the stability he would eventually provide.
But that time was months away and River and Jayne had much to learn from their odd mismatched dance of the present. She stole rolls from his plate and he pretended to be angry. She told him that ‘Jayne was a girl’s name’. He threatened to show her his man parts. He made fun of her intelligence because she had never eaten an ice planet. She sniffed at his impudence and blamed it on the food being problematic. She heard his pain as he talked to Shepherd Book about death, but helped him push away his worry by deliberately acting odder than usual. She lay on a stranger’s coffin.
They always moved and circled around one another, with quick steps and taunting voices. Sometimes it was a jaunty fast moving cha-cha, back and forth, give and take. Often it was a complicated pattern of a jitterbug, up and down, around and over; push her away and pull her back; tease him with a show of leg and skitter around with a swish of skirt. Once or twice, late at night, in the shadowy cargo bay they would brush close to a tango; bodies sweaty and circling, breathing hard, eyes always following as they dared the other to make the first move.
Their dance became faster, sharper and more difficult to follow. Jayne’s steps were rowdy and rambunctious as he almost pulled them apart. He left her side, but not the dance as he was entranced by another. Their music was still playing so his partner waited and followed the intricate changes in the beat. Her legs moved rapidly in the tradition of old Ireland, while her body and arms stayed largely stationary. Her Riverdance clomped through her mind to keep the sounds of Jayne and the blonde buxom one out her thoughts. When he returned, it was punctuated by gun fire and bloodshed, but soon they took to the Black, and his steps moved around hers once again.
This time it was River who faltered. She felt the presence of the bounty hunter as he entered their ship. She snuck into Jayne’s mind and took control of the dance. She led him though a calming slow basic box step; round and round they moved, no turns, traveling or variations. It was what was needed to keep him sleeping, safe and alive.
When they stumbled, and stopped. It wasn’t their fault. All around them the atmosphere changed because Inara left the ship. It was the beginning of the end. When Shepherd Book left as well, River knew that something terrible was coming, but couldn’t see what it was. Suddenly to dance in pairs took too much effort. Pain and anger was in the air as the Captain tried to find his direction by hiding behind his temper. It took its toll on everyone. Only Wash and Zoë moved though life in Coupled steps, all the others were forced to perform the occasional solo and hope that they could return to the dance at some point in the future.
3. The Academy Ballet with Serenity variations:
River began this dance as a command solo performance. It had not been of her choosing and she would have avoided it if she could have. She took the floor, center stage at The Maidenhead. In the three years that she’d been held by the Academy they had taken her ballet trained body and taught her new steps. They were graceful hideous mutations of their former selves.
Now her emboité carried enough power to knock a man out before she landed. A simple jeté broke skulls. If she pirouetted she traveled the length of the floor and left no one standing in her wake. Her plie always carried deadly force, often accompanied by a backward up-thrust of her non-standing leg, to an opponent’s head.
Time had no meaning as River moved from person to person, leaving them dead or dying. She was a frozen thing, though a small part of her mind cried out against what she was doing. Then suddenly she felt him. Her partner had joined her in her deadly dance. His movements weren’t like hers, but they were just as injurious. Where she used grace and refined technique he used power and attrition. Not many could last long against the big mercenary with his long reach, large fists, and heavy muscles.
It felt odd to be doing this particular dance as a couple. When she was younger, she’d preformed many paired ballet sequences, but the Blue Hands had trained her for solo acts only. She wanted to smile, because she and Jayne were dancing again, but the sleeping killer, who had been tortured into her brain, was controlling her movements. Everyone she touched died, so she kept her distance.
River froze when he wrapped his arms around her. It was against all their rules, they danced, but they never touched. He held her tightly and she could feel his heart pounding and his skin damp from exertion. She was momentarily confused. To hold and touch was one of their dances, but not here and not now. To do so in this place with the Alliance code running through her head, would mean his death. But he wouldn’t let go!
At first Jayne had joined River on the floor for the sheer joy of a tussle. He’d never entered that competition as a mixed paired-couple. There were times when he, Mal and Zoë were a precision trio, but bar fights were usually a solo performance for him. He moved with wild abandon taking out one enemy after another until there was only River left standing in his immediate area. He wrapped his arms around her trying to slow her down, but it was like he’d hugged Vera at the same time he pressed her trigger.
Something wild and exciting surged through him. He smelled woman, she was soft in all the right places, but her muscles were strong, long and lean. It was the power he felt vibrating through her body that turned him on. He had to bring a stop to this dance. Pressed against him the way she was she wouldn’t miss the way his body was reacting to hers.
“Gorramnit, girl, it’s me,” he whispered in her ear, unaware of what the scratch of his goatee against her neck did to her.
That’s when she knew she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t kill him no matter what the voices were telling her to do. Instead they continued in a slow muddled version of a passionate embrace. They moved as one, back, and forth, from side to side. Each fought for control of the steps, each wanted to lead as they moved forward into a new pattern, one that held touch, feel, scent and need.
River knew she had to bring this to a stop. As good as it felt to be held like that, she was wasting time. With each second that passed she became more afraid that she wouldn’t be able to control herself and River Tam out of control meant that someone died. She couldn’t let it be Jayne, so she reached back and grabbed him where he was most vulnerable. It allowed her to pull away. She reached for a tray and knocked him unconscious, afraid that if she used her fists or feet, she might damage him beyond repair.
Dance 4: First Tango at Eavesdown Repair Yards, music: Argentinean Nights with strains of Ode On A Firefly
River was trying to piece herself back together after her lead solo with Reaver accompaniment. Her lithe form shook as a nightmare took control of her sleep, until she forced herself awake. Weeks earlier she’d brushed too close to what the Alliance had tried to create and there had been no Jayne moving at her back across the floor like he had when she danced at The Maidenhead. She’d been trapped alone in front of locked blast doors, though it had been her choice to do so. If she hadn’t, all of them would have had one final bloody and brutal sashay with death, and then movement would have ceased.
Now riding an adrenalin surge, caused by her dreams, and unable to rid herself of panic she sought Jayne out. She moved through the darkened, damaged ship, while the other’s slept. They were exhausted from trying to repair the wounded Firefly while still suffering from wounds of their own.
The music that ran though her head didn’t make sense. Its beat was deep and sensual but when she listened very closely overtones of Beethoven were folded between quicker faster notes. Then they would move on and be forgotten until, for a second or two, their orchestral glory teased at her senses once again. She’d never heard anything like the odd combination of rhythmic Latin music with its hidden touch of classical Earth-That-Was symphony. Her body throbbed as she went looking for her partner. She found him in the lounge an unopened bottled of whiskey held tightly in his hand.
“What ya want, Girlie?” he breathed the words as he fought a passion he’d been feeling ever since he’d seen her true self emerge. She was a weapon, the shiniest one he’d ever seen and he was a man who loved weapons. He itched to touch, to feel, so see what song she would sing under his hands.
“I want…I need,” she stuttered as she tried to make sense of the deep soul shaking feelings he was sending her way. Here was the source of the odd beat that throbbed in the air. It pulled her to him and there would be no escaping these dance steps.
“Ain’t nothing I got that you need.” He tried to deny all the dances that had come in the past and the one that they were destined to follow for the rest of their lives. But when she stood before him with burning brown eyes, and her slim body clad only in pajama bottoms and an old sleeveless t-shirt of his that he’d thrown in Kaylee’s ragbag months earlier, it was almost impossible.
“Yes there is.” River stepped to his side and placed a hand on his shoulder, while the other cupped his rough whiskery face. Her legs brushed against his cargo pants.
“No, Girlie, I’d just hurt you and you been hurt enough.” But even as he said the words he was putting his bottle on the deck beside her bare feet and reaching for her.
“You take away the pain.” She looked him in the eyes. “We must complete the dance.”
“Dance, huh…That what we been doin’ all this time?” his breath rushed out of his lungs as he surged to his feet and grabbed her roughly by the shoulders.
“Yes and you know it too.” She didn’t flinch as he large hands held her too tightly. Their bodies were almost touching and her palm still rested on his cheek as her thumb caressed small circles in his beard.
“Last chance River,” his whisper was almost a groan, unaware that he’d said her name out loud for the first time. She felt so good and he’d wanted her for a while now. He wasn’t sure when it began, but it was one of the reasons he’d always tried to get her tossed off the boat. He knew there was nothing easy or uncomplicated ‘bout River Tam and that was the only way he wanted his women. He wasn’t a man for gettin’ tied into knots by a female.
“You worry about complications when there are none.” She was shivering with feelings, both hers and his, but had no idea what to do about them if he turned away from this dance. “The knots are there.” She caressed his chest, where she had cut him. “Already in place, I would untie them if I could, but it is far too late. We are both trapped.”
He ignored her nonsense. He figured that later he’d regret it, but right now his body was on fire. “I got powerful needs and once we get started, I ain’t stoppin’.” Even as he said the words he knew that he’d do his best to stop if she panicked, but God he prayed she wouldn’t.
“I know.” Her need for him burned deep in her belly as she felt his body heat and emotions buffet her, but knew it was only a preview of what was to come.
In an attempt to frighten her, he grasped her left breast and leered. If she didn’t pull back there was only one way this was going to end. He wanted to be very sure she knew exactly what she was getting into. His was deliberately rough as he squeezed and pinched her softness, her skin only separated from his by thin t-shirt material.
“Ohhh,” she sighed and her knees went week. River leaned into his hand, letting it support her weight as her head fell back exposing her long white neck.
“Girlie!” he moaned as his lips moved against the soft skin under her jaw to kiss and bite. In response she ran her hands over his chest and abdomen, fighting to get under his shirt and feel him against palms. Shaking she tried to push him onto the couch.
His eyes narrowed to slits as he fought for control. If they were going to dance, it was going to be his way. He was going to lead. “No! Not here. Not in this room, with your brother sleepin’ right down the hall or on that there couch where everybody sits.” He wanted her in his bunk but knew there was no way in hell that they’d make it that far undetected in the condition they were in. If they tried, he figured they’d get about as far as the galley. He’d end up takin’ her on the table, like as not they’d be discovered and he’d get shot by either Mal or Zoë.
For once River let go of her usual graceful movements and followed where Jayne led. Groping and touching; never letting go of the other, they moved as one into the cargo bay. It was clear; they weren’t following the more precise slow, slow, quick, quick, slow staccato movements of the Ballroom tango, but were indulging in the Argentine version. Their steps varied widely in timing and speed, often they would glide and always led with the center of their bodies, only at the last minute would their feet reach out to support them. They moved to the music that pounded through their blood until each nerve ending was on fire.
He pulled her under the catwalk, deep into the darkened corner where there were a pile of metal crates that came up to his waist. In one quick movement he dug both large hands into her bottom and lifted her until she was sitting facing him. He spread her thighs and stepped against her as he slid his hands under her shirt and pulled it up and over her head. She gasped at the sudden chill on her flesh, but could only look at him as he peeled off his own shirt and tossed in to the deck.
He wound his arms around her and felt her naked body against his. Her nipples were hard points pressing into his skin. She trembled and gasped in his ear at the feel of him pressing against her like that.
“Lay down,” he instructed as he guided her shoulders to the crate, his hand moving over her.
“Jayne,” she cried out, suddenly off balance. Her feet were off the deck, how could she dance with only air beneath her feet? But the thought slipped from her mind as his hands moved down to her pajama bottoms. He slowly pulled them over her hips and dropped them on the deck. When he stepped back between her spread thighs he’d unbuttoned his own pants and she could feel his hardness pressed against her. It made need pound against her and brought the music slamming back into her head. She was trapped, even if she arched her back, she couldn’t touch the floor. She felt helpless as she gripped tightly to a tiny edge of control.
“Easy Babe,” he muttered lost in the feel of her. His eyes burned bright as she reacted to his slightest touch. He covered her mouth with one large hand, as she gasped and moaned while he pinched and pulled at her swollen flesh. When he finally reached down between her legs and moved his callused thumb against her, she partially jumped off the crates.
Sensations shot through her, but she couldn’t let herself fall any further. She licked at his palm tight against her mouth as she sobbed.
Suddenly he leaned his body over hers and held her face gently with his hands. “You all right, Babe? I ain’t hurtin’ ya am I?”
“No, I am fine…I just…can’t…” She panted for breath unable to explain her greatest fears to this man.
“Yes ya can, I’ll help ya.” Jayne reached between them and filled her with one large finger as his thumb went back to teasing and tormenting her. “It’ll be easier for ya if ya come first. You’re tight and need ta relax some, or it’ll hurt when I enter ya.”
“But I can’t, it will make me lose control,” she cried as she pressed her cheek against his. “Don’t you understand that when I lose control, someone dies?” She was frantic and afraid for him, needing to break into a million pieces under his hands, but terrified that if she did it would destroy him as well.
“Oh River-babe,” his face softened as he whispered her name. He lightly licked her lips and did the unheard of. He kissed her on the mouth. At first it was tender and gentle, meant to reassure, but he couldn’t get enough of the taste of her and explored deeper with his tongue as his fingers moved deeper into her body.
Suddenly the music changed, from the passionate beat of the tango to wave upon wave of a glorious classical symphony that surrounded and filled them. The selfish man, who never kissed on the mouth, was kissing her deeply, demanding that she feel, not just give. He felt something set him free from years of being locked in a lonely solo performance. The girl who had been closed-off desperate to be touched as she was trapped in her genius mind, stood on the brink and joyously followed his roughly demanding hands to the edge.
One moment she was helpless, feeling him every where, with her legs spread wide, and feet off the floor. She was surrounded by him, touching and being touched as she was falling faster and faster. With a gasp, all control slipped away and she finally gave into what he demanded of her and tumbled beneath the on-slot of passion. Her body shook and if his mouth hadn’t been covering hers, her throaty moans would have carried along the pipes and duck work of the boat.
She broke into a million pieces, but he held her tightly together as she panted for breath. Colors exploded behind her eyelids and the music swelled and became a part of her. He trailed kisses over her damp face. He needed to give to her, make her feel as deeply as she made him feel even though he had yet to enter her. It broke him into pieces and showed him a part of himself that he thought had died years ago.
When her eyes fluttered open again, he looked into their brown pools. “More,” she cried out. She ran her fingers over his back and shoulders. “I want to feel you inside of me.”
He nodded and stood over her, letting his hands trail over her body. It brought him joy to watch her shudder as he touched her sensitive skin. He gripped her thighs and pulled her closer.
“Please Jayne, hurry.” River’s eyes were dark and filled with want.
“I…ah…I…don’t want to hurt ya,” his voice broke and his breathing was deep and audible.
“I won’t be able ta prevent it.” He gently ran his fingers over her wet warmth and watched her arch and gasp as feeling shot though her.
“I don’t care!” she cried out as passion curled deep in her belly once more. She’d had a taste of the wonders of release and thought she’d die if she couldn’t feel it again. “I need you.”
He was a big man and when excited any ability to be gentle was beyond him. Her breathy need blew away any restraint he might have had. He plunged into her and held her tightly by her hips as she gasped and her body shook with the pain from the new unfamiliar steps he was guiding her through “Yes,” gasped, as tears filled her eyes.
“Breathe, Babe,” he called out.
She nodded and relaxed as pleasure took over where moments ago there had been pain. He was filling her and she never wanted to let him go.
“Wrap your legs ‘round my hips and breathe.” He leaned over her with his weight on his elbows. He needed to taste her mouth and feel her hard little nipple press against his chest. “Oh Babe,” he gasped as their skin touched from groin to lips.
She nodded and followed his lead. She met his kiss with one of her own. Her tongue danced when her feet were unable to. Suddenly as he moved in her, fire shot through her blood and her hips rocked to meet his. “Jayne,” she cried out his name as her body exploded. She heard him whispering her name and could feel him burry himself deep inside of her. Together they unraveled. Together they became the music instead of just moving to it. One dance ends and another begins.
5. Dancing Forever
River woke to the music of Jayne’s heart beating under her ear. Her naked body was pressed against his and his arms were wrapped tightly around her. Somehow he’d gotten them to his bunk, but she didn’t remember it. She looked up and his blue eyes were warm and saw only her.
“Mornin’,” he smiled. “I figure we only got a few minutes, then someone up there is gonna find your clothes in the cargo bay. I didn’t see ‘em, so I wrapped ya in my shirt ta carry ya though the ship.”
“I’ll tell them…”
“Hush,” he kissed her and rolled her beneath him. “River I ain’t a man who’s good with words, but I know ya need ta hear them.” He licked his lips. He hadn’t slept much all night, just held her in his arms tryin’ to figure out how to keep her. “You’re young, beautiful and smart. I’m older, used up, and haven’t had much book learnin’. I can be mean and cruel. I’ve been mean and cruel to you. I can’t think of a reason in the ‘verse why you’d want to be with me. But I need ya and I don’t need anybody. I…”
“You take away the nightmares and make me feel complete. When I’m with you, I’m no longer broken,” she whispered as she kissed him. “I love you too, Jayne,”
“Ya do?” He blinked in surprise. “How’d ya know I…”
“I’m a reader.” She smiled at him. “Though, I’d like to hear the words occasionally.”
“I figured.” He rested his forehead on hers and took deep breaths as he tried to do the hardest thing he’d ever done in his life. “I love you, River Tam,” his words were rough and hoarse. They sounded strange to him, as if he were speaking a foreign language. He had an idea that over the years he’d get mighty comfortable saying it and he did, except with one small variation. She became River Cobb two months later.
She kept him happy and feeling loved. Because of that he found it easier to give his loyalty to those who were willing to earn it. She gentled him around his friends and family, though he became fiercer than ever when those within his protective circle were threatened.
Because of him she was less odd, more stable and secure about her place in the life they created. He held her though the nights when she was unable to keep the voices out. He loved and kissed away her fears.
They danced through their long life together and those who knew them believed that even after the music stopped and the floor was dark, they would continue their strange dance into whatever lay beyond.
1. Emboité [um bwa TAY]. A jump that alternates legs moving forward.
2. Jeté [zhuh-TAY]. To leap from one leg to the other.
3. Pirouette [peer-WET]. To whirl, spin or turn.
4. Plié [plee-AY]. To bend the knee or knees.
Saturday, October 21, 2006 2:24 PM
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