Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just some fluff. Hank does a little late night exercising ... feedback, as always, is more than welcome.


Hank was working out. He’d taken to using Jayne’s weights late at night, when he was pretty sure the big mercenary had retired to his bunk, and was now doing arm curls. His t-shirt was damp and sticking to his back, but he knew he had to work up a sweat for it to do any good.

“What the hell’re you doin’?” came a voice he knew all too well.

Hank turned and looked up to see Jayne leaning on the railing of the catwalk. “Um, hi.”

“I knew someone was messing with my stuff. Just never figured it was you.” He walked down the stairs.

“I … uh …” Hank looked down at the dumbbell and considered claiming to be sleepwalking. Or maybe sleep exercising.

“You tryin’ to get some shape into that thing you call a body?” Jayne asked, striding across the cargo bay floor.

Hank wondered just how fast he could run, given he was on a small boat and there wasn't much place to run to. “I was just …” He tried a grin. “You not sleepy?”

“Thought it might be Freya, or maybe even Zoe. But you?”

Hank sighed. “So I was using your weights. Is that a crime?”

“Depends on what you were using ‘em for. What are you tryin’ to do?” Jayne asked. “’Cause whatever it is, it ain't workin’.”

Hank glanced down at his body. He didn’t think it was that bad. “I’m toning.”

“Toning.” Jayne looked at him, his face blank. “Ain't that what girls do?”

“Are you calling me a girl?”

“Hey, if the pants fit …”

Hank let that slide by. “It’s just …” He paused.


“Yeah,” the pilot admitted. “There she is, this warrior woman with a body to make a man just want to sit up and beg, and here I am with little more definition than … than one of Simon’s saline bags.”

“Well, you’re goin’ about it all wrong.”

“Wrong?” Hank looked down at his T. “I’m working up a sweat.”

“That ain't the point.” Jayne took the dumbbell from him and did a couple of curls, his biceps bulging impressively. “Any fool can work up a sweat. Even the captain, and he don’t exercise at all. ‘Cept for when we play ball.”

“You think?” Hank asked. “Seriously I don’t think he needs to, all that activity he and Freya get up to. Sometimes I can’t sleep for the noise.”

“Me neither, though I generally deal with that myself.”

Hank grimaced and made a mental note to remember to wipe down the weights before he used them again. If he ever got the chance to use them again. “So … you gonna show me how?”

Jayne’s eyes narrowed, as if he were taking into account whether Mal would let him get away with murder, then shrugged. “Don’t mind. Used to spot the Preacher, though he was in better shape’n you.”

“What was he like?” Hank asked. “Everyone talks about him, but no-one ever really talks about him.”

“We got on okay.” From Jayne this was the highest form of recommendation. “Not like we were so different, somehow.”

“But he was a Shepherd, and you’re …” Hank searched for the right word. “Not,” he finally came up with.

“No, I ain’t. But for a religious man he knew a whole damn lot about breaking the law.” Jayne laughed. “Sure would like to have known what his background used to be, ‘fore he decided to become a man of the cloth.”

“We’re all complicated,” Hank said, watching as Jayne set up the barbell.

“I ain’t,” the big mercenary disagreed. “What you see is what you get.”

“Now I know for a fact that ain’t true. You’ve been helping River ever since Osiris - that’s mighty fine of you.”

Jayne wouldn’t look at him. “Just being friendly. And it ain’t like I can do anything else - the moonbrain’s always there, every time I turn around.”

“She's not here tonight,” Hank pointed out.

“She will be,” Jayne assured him. “She will be.” He clapped his hands, rubbing them together. “Now, you serious about getting fit?”

Hank nodded. “That I am.”

“Good. ‘Cause it ain’t gonna be easy, but if you work at it, you can look like … well, not me, but maybe the doc.”

“That’s fine,” Hank said hurriedly. “Just so long as I don’t have to shave my chest.”

“You think he does that?” Jayne asked, looking at him askew. “’Cause all the women I know like something to grab hold of.” He lifted his shirt to show the mat of black hair across his pectorals. He slapped his rock-hard belly.

“Jayne, put it away,” Hank said. “I ain’t that way inclined.”

“Wasn‘t too sure before you started chasing Zoe.” He pulled his shirt back into place. “Coulda been.”

“Did I give that impression?”

“Look, I thought the doc was ‘til he started grappling with Kaylee.”

“Just because people are choosy doesn’t mean they’re sly.”

“You saying I ain’t choosy?”

Hank gave a smile and chuckled. “I think you might be the choosiest of us all.”

“How d’you figure that?”

“You spend all your time in whorehouses, but I bet if that one perfect woman comes along, you’d be faithful like a shot.”

“Who said she ain’t?” Jayne pointed to the bench. “Lie down.”

Hank didn’t move. “You had someone?”

“Lie down.” The big man glared at the pilot, but he still showed no signs of complying. “Aw hell.” He sat down on the bench himself. “Okay, yeah, once. Long time ago. Woman like me. Bit older. But she was …” He smiled to himself. “Thought it was gonna be forever.”

“You kissed her on the mouth?”

“And everywhere else.”

“Too much information,” Hank said quickly. “So what happened?”

“She got killed on a job.” Jayne stood up. “Happens.” He shook himself, not wanting to think about it. “Now, you gonna do this or just stand around flappin’ your lips at me?”

Hank laid down on the bench, flexing his hands and wrapping them around the barbell. “Did you love her?” he asked.

“More’n I thought I could.”

Hank was amazed at the raw emotion in the big man‘s voice. “Then I’m sorry.”

“Yeah. Me too.” Jayne stood behind him. “You ready?”

“As I’ll ever be.” He lifted the bar above his chest and started to lower it down. “Wuh de mah!” he exclaimed. “That’s heavy!”

“No point in doing things by halves,” Jayne said. “Come on, you got another fourteen of these to go yet.”

“You trying to give me a heart attack?”

“You wanna get muscular for Zoe?”

Hank bit his lip and raised the bar.

“I never thought I’d live to see the day,” Freya said, shaking her head where she stood in the doorway above them.

Mal glanced at her, smiling. “It’s the black. Does strange things to people.”

“I’m just surprised. You know Jayne’s had a crush on Zoe for a long time.”

“And Kaylee. And Inara. And you,” Mal said pointedly.

Freya made that tsk sound behind her teeth. “Now, see, that’s something I just don’t get.”

Mal put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. “Just so long as you don’t.” He kissed her gently. “In fact the only one he hasn’t been enamoured with is River.”

“Significant, that, don’t you think?”

Mal stared at her. “You don’t mean -”

“I’m just saying that he might be more smitten than he likes to let on.”

“With River?” Mal couldn’t have sounded more surprised, and Freya had to laugh.

“They’re very alike.”

“She’s young enough to be his daughter!”


“Woman, you are completely off your nut.”

“Just … watch this space.”

“What space?”

Freya lifted her arm to indicate Serenity. “This one.” Then she pointed to the crates stacked to one side of the cargo bay. “And that one in particular.”

Mal looked down. Sure enough, lying on top, watching Hank and Jayne, was River, her head pillowed on her hands. She glanced around at them and smiled, then went back to watching. “That’s … interesting.”

Freya grinned. “Just don’t tell Simon. He’s got enough to worry about with the upcoming wedding, he doesn’t need to be worrying about his sister too.”

“Oh, I think he worries about her all the time anyway.” He smiled slightly. “But I take your point. It’ll be our secret.”

“On this boat?” Freya laughed.

“Anyway, I thought it was all on River’s side,” Mal said, trying to regain some control.

“And I think she knows exactly what she’s doing.”

Mal shook his head. “If you’re saying what I think you’re saying …” He shuddered. “Makes me all kinds of uncomfortable.”

“Can’t have that,” Freya said, pressing her body against his.

“And that ain’t helping.”

“You want me to stop?”

He looked down into her dark eyes. “Come on,” he said softly, running his hand up from her waist to her breast. “I’ve kinda got the urge to ravish you.”

“Not if I ravish you first.”

“You think?”

She grinned and took his hand, leading him towards their bunks.

River watched them leave then turned her attention back to the two men below her. And they were right. She did know exactly what she was doing.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006 2:46 AM


"Not if I ravish you first." That's a brilliant line.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 5:44 AM


This was perfect!

I really loved Hank and Jayne's conversation for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it gives us some insight into Jayne.

And I cannot WAIT to see where you take River and Jayne. I think your Rayne would be all manner of interesting. I hope you start to explore that soon!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 7:29 AM


Loved this, and I could see how this is a perfect explanation for Jayne not kissing girls on the mouth after losing the one he lost his heart to. I think River will change all that. And thanks for some lovely Mal/Freya dialogue. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9:24 AM


Ya know...for some strange reason, I think this could be the start of something beneficial to both Hank and Jayne. Jayne gets someone to lift with and discuss things like the impact of loving someone who up and died on ya, and Hank gets some assistance with getting into better shape;)



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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]