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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
The crew goes out to eat, and River rescues Jayne from a woman's evil intentions (a re-submit of a pre-hack fic). Rayne, with touches of Kaylee/Simon and Mal/Inara.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1277 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer: Not mine, obviously, all Joss's & company's
Warnings: Nothing really.
A/N; This didn't re-appear with my other fics after the site was hacked, so I'm assuming it was irreparably lost and re-uploading. The second, last part will be up after a bit.
If you read it, please let me know what you think!
---- Separate Checks ----
The little bar was homey and welcoming, its lighting golden yellow and muted by a dark plank floor. The half-timbered interior arched in interesting places and formed spaces that felt private even though it was really all one open area. River appreciated the room’s aura, though she wished it had a less deceptive character. Hideaways should be true hideaways.
But there were cloth napkins and a hostess; the tables were served by waitresses; and at the end of the room a long bar gleamed with polished cleanliness. River breathed in the rich piney smell and let a part of herself relax. She’d been able to do that more and more, as time passed and with it milestones. Kaylee and Simon moved into the same room. River celebrated her eighteenth birthday. Mal and Inara passed several days without a harsh word between them.
It wasn’t common that this many of Serenity’s lot congregated in one place dirtside, but in the three or so months since the battle on Mr. Universe’s moon Zoë had built a barrier around herself that none of them could breach. So when she finally broke that wall with tears and collapsed into a soggy puddle right at the dinner table, Mal had listened when she demanded they all leave her alone. He’d dragged them away from the meal they’d yet to begin, commanding the tearful Zoë to put the food away before it spoiled, and then took the remaining crew all the way off Serenity and into the nearby town. To give his first mate space for grieving, he said. River had felt Serenity that way, at that moment, a grieving space that wanted Wash back.
No one had argued with the captain. Inara was puzzling her way through the new softness between herself and Mal, and valued a non-ship atmosphere in which to explore it. Kaylee and Simon were happy anywhere together, in the way of the newly infatuated. Jayne ... well, the place had a bar. And likely there’d be whores, too.
River was testing the limits of her newfound stability and once they’d been seated she insisted on ordering for herself. No one quite yet trusted that stability, and Simon tried to tell her what would be best.
“No alcohol,” he strictured, from his place beside Kaylee. River frowned across the linen-covered table at him. “It’s true you’re weaned down to quite low doses, now, but it could still interact badly with your meds.”
I don’t care about the alcohol,” she replied, “I care about the ordering.”
Simon cocked his head. “You want to place your own order?”
River rolled her eyes, which made Jayne snort from his chair beside her. They’d ended up together by default because the others had paired up on the other sides of the triangular corner table. Mal and Inara had one wall, Jayne and River the second, and Kaylee’s and Simon’s backs were to the open room because they were the only ones whose psyches could handle that.
Though Jayne no longer fussed about Simon and his sister being on Serenity, he and River just didn’t get along smooth. They argued with or mocked or ignored each other by turns. For River those squabbles with Jayne had slowly turned into odd playtimes. And under his gruffness and growls, she knew that he was at least occasionally entertained by them, too.
“I want to DECIDE my own order. Doctor’s orders don’t belong at the dinner table.” River was 85 percent certain she’d said that correctly. Her mouth and her brain were much more clearly connected, recently. She could talk and act and sometimes even think not-crazy.
Simon was insistent. “But no alc” –
“No alcohol!” River confirmed stridently, overriding him. Jayne laughed openly at that. It seemed the only time he wasn’t annoyed with her was when he was amused or awed by her.
“Alliterative Jayne,” she murmured. That, perhaps, wasn’t not-crazy, because it earned her that annoyed frown with which she was well-acquainted from the merc. River sighed, but it was a comfortable sort of sigh. Jayne was so familiar, a known equation. He had excellent parameters.
And she wasn’t the only one who noticed. There was a woman at the bar – River let her mind open just a bit more – yes, a whore. Her hair was too pale a blonde to be natural, and her dress was revealingly but not trashily cut. She was looking about the room for the best employment with which to start her night. And giving Jayne much consideration as top choice.
The pale prostitute wasn’t the only one, either; another woman, this one at a table and accompanied by a male friend, had turned her thoughts to the large unknown man at the corner table. Intrigued, River searched further and delved out the reasons why.
Appealing facial symmetry. Firmly defined musculature. Those were easy enough to pick out of the other woman’s brainpan. The other things were buried deeper and took a bit longer. Ah, his hands, big and strong and careful ... not they themselves, but what the woman felt they revealed about his character.
‘Skilled and gentle. Knows what he wants but would have a care for what I wanted, too.’ That’s what the woman was thinking. River pulled back mentally, impressed. Could someone really see that much of another without the advantage of the Reading River could do? River longed to step into Jayne’s own head and see whether his memories of past sexual encounters confirmed the woman’s impression. But every crew member had taken time to strongly impress upon her that for the sake of politeness, and mutual health and wellbeing, she wasn’t to be Reading crew.
“No servicing crew,” River murmured. Kaylee looked over questioningly while Inara started in her seat. Mal flushed a darkish red. Simon’s brows went up at those reactions, and Jayne grinned, amused again.
Well, sometimes she just picked things from around her and didn’t really know where they came from. She shrugged apologetically at the pair who were frowning, though she didn’t know for what, precisely.
A grandmotherly waitress was approaching to take their table’s order.
“What can I get you three lovely couples tonight?” she asked, flipping out a pad with a screen to enter their orders.
“Three?” Simon and Jayne both voiced, but they were cut short by the captain.
“Separate checks,” Mal asserted hastily, which distracted somewhat from Simon’s wince at the waitress’s assumption about his sister and Jayne, and from Jayne’s confused frown. River stifled a giggle as she watched the mercenary mentally count couples; one, two ... and then the ‘hey!’ on his face as he counted themselves. First he looked rather outraged. Then he caught her grin. He glared, but he followed up with a mocking eyebrow waggle. River rolled her eyes again.
“Separate checks?!” exclaimed Kaylee. “If we was on the ship we’d all be eating out of common stores!”
Mal scowled at her. “We ain’t on the ship”. He nodded firmly at the waitress, whose nametag said ‘Maude’. “Separate checks.”
“Please put hers on mine,” Simon told Maude, laying a hand over Kaylee’s on the table. Kaylee’s huffiness dissolved into a cotton candy smile, and she leaned in to kiss Simon’s cheek. River supposed it was a good thing her brother was getting a cut of the occasional job, now. The woman smiled down at him approvingly and entered what Simon and Kaylee told her, then tapped the key to clear the screen for the next order.
Kaylee had turned to eye her captain expectantly. Inara made a point of studying the small menu. Mal puckered his brow bemusedly at his mechanic and started to order.
“Their bill is together too,” Kaylee said to the waitress. Inara’s head came up from her menu. Kaylee narrowed her eyes ferociously at the captain, and River stifled a giggle when Mal hemmed, glanced surreptitiously at the Companion, then nodded small. Inara ordered without a pause, calm and confident. But the hand she laid beside Mal’s on the table was slow and hesitant.
Maude, smiling again, had once more cleared her screen to enter the next order. Jayne took twice as long as anyone had yet, giving her a lengthy list of what to bring him. She got it all right the first time, a veteran at her job, and turned to River. Simon was opening his mouth to say his sister’s meal would be on his bill, too, when Jayne noticed that Maude hadn’t cleared his order from her screen.
“Hey,” he declared, sitting forward in his chair, “I ain’t payin’ for the moonbrain.” He pointed firmly at Simon. “Her order goes on his. We ain’t together.” He’d raised his voice so that any interested females at nearby tables could hear. “She ain’t with me.”
The waitress’s smile had disappeared. River kicked Jayne under the table, and he jerked, then swung violently toward her.
“Maude comprehends,” she told him serenely, but with a glare behind her eyes. “The dim-brain and the genius are not together.” She posed a mournful expression at the waitress.
“He is not mine,” she said. “If he were he would not be in that shirt.” River aimed a disdainful eyebrow at the clothing article in question. Of them all, he had been the only one to dash to his bunk and change clothes at the news that they were going out. He wore a button-up shirt. A rather distasteful button-up shirt with stripes on it ... Maude nodded, sympathetic comprehension in her face.
Jayne didn’t take offense to the slur on his clothing, just sat back with a growl.
“My bill is my own,” River said, and ordered to forestall the words Simon was again opening his mouth to say. Kaylee leaned in to whisper in her lover’s ear and he subsided.
River turned back to the group as Maude walked away, to notice that neither Mal’s nor Inara’s hands were visible. There was a studied lack of eye contact on that side of the table. River fought a battle with herself about Reading them, and then resorted to more plebian tricks. She reached her arms out in a fake stretch and knocked her napkin to the floor. Then she ducked swiftly to pick it up while looking across under the table. Yes, Inara’s right hand was folded into Mal’s left one, balanced on his knee. When River’s head reappeared above the table, she was smiling at what she’d seen.
There was juice, more than one kind and fresh, available here. River downed the glass of pineapple that she’d ordered before her meal even arrived, and was finishing another of pear when the waitress brought their plates. She drained one of orange juice with the first half of her meal and felt a building need for the toilet.
She pushed her chair back and headed to the sign marked ‘bathroom’. She had to pass the bar to get there, and the whore with the pale blonde hair who’d been eying Jayne chose that moment to stand abruptly from her stool. Passing her as she did so, River’s skin met the other’s for an instant, too quickly for her to pause in her steps.
But for that split second River was bombarded with thoughts, images, and emotions. Enough that she had to stop to catch her breath and bearings, though the other woman walked away without a glance back. She was headed to the table River had just left.
Her needed for the toilet pushed aside and forgotten, River swiveled back around and followed the other. Intentions not her own echoed in her head. That woman had reprehensible plans, and aimed to enact them on ... River saw where she was headed, and sighed. Of course it would be Jayne. River had to think of a way to stop her without disturbing the pleasant evening too badly.
Jayne had caught the eye of the woman of the night who was sitting at the bar, and swiftly recovered from that annoyance with the waitress. This day was turning out to be much better than what he’d thought he’d be getting, when he woke up this morning. And now, here she came, standing up and passing River and sashaying her hips just enough to say ‘I’m looking for a man’s attention’. She came right up to their table, and he leered at her over his whiskey glass to let her know he was waiting for her. She was full in all the right places. She paused beside him, one hip jutting out, and flipped her nice, if short, hair. She opened her full, very red lips.
“Hey, there,” she started. And didn’t get any further. Because out of nowhere – hadn’t the crazy girl gone to the restroom?! – long non-whore legs were curving against Jayne’s; a bony little ass was settling onto his lap; and a round shoulder was leaning into his front as if it belonged there.
Jayne’s thigh muscles tensed but for a split second that was all he could do. He stared in shock at a close side-view of River’s face. He heard the crew’s various, mostly loud reactions, but his own usually dependable reflexes had deserted him. He’d dropped his glass of whiskey back into its place, he realized. One of his arms on the table and one hanging at his side, both felt numb. Till now the most up close and personal he’d gotten with River there had been a knife and blood involved, or deception and betrayal; and here she was squirming around coyly in his lap. Alarm accompanied by something else spiked through him.
River was ignoring Inara’s shock, Kaylee’s and Simon’s questions, and Mal’s escalating threats. She aimed a resolute stare at the whore, smiling in a hard cold way.
“This one is taken,” she said decisively, twining the fingers of one slender hand under Jayne’s collar. Her words sent a shock through his solar plexus, while her fingernails dug sharply into the skin at the back of his neck. The two sensations combined to startle him out of his confusion, and he was finally able to tense his arms to shove her off him. The whore’s hands were on her hips; he’d been giving her the eye pretty obviously, after all, even when River had been sitting right next to him. He was gonna lose the woman if he didn’t get Crazy off him fast.
River forestalled him by running a hand over his chest, through his shirt finding the exact path of the scar she’d given him half a year ago. That tensed him up even more, but also gave him pause at the damage he knew this skinny young girl could inflict if she chose. And now she leaned her head in close to his, her hair brushing his neck, and whispered to him.
Simon had stood and was trying, without touching, to get his erratic sister to remove herself from what he considered a dangerous situation. But Jayne didn’t hear him over the sensation of River’s breath in his ear. For a minute he was feeling too much of her – her rear end, not quite as skinny as he’d first thought, resting firmly on sensitive portions of his anatomy. The side of her rounded chest pressed itself up against his own. Lithely muscled arms slid about him disconcertingly and then her TONGUE was licking the outer curve of his ear.
He jumped at that, and Mal was now on his feet along with Simon. Inara and Kaylee kept talking. But he heard River’s whisper cutting through their noise.
“She has evil in her thoughts,” she murmured, and he knew immediately she wasn’t talking about herself. Her fingernails were leaving scratches below his hairline. “She picks the biggest in the room to lure into sex; they last longest when she uses her knives in her bed in the dark. The big ones bleed more. She likes the blood. Tempts them to let her tie them, then makes it flow. Streams then rivers.”
Jayne frowned, discomfited, and angled his head around the girl in his lap to get a better look at the blonde whore. She couldn’t have heard River’s words, and raised challenging brows at him, a look that said “are you gonna let the little woman ruin your fun?” She angled her ample chest at him for added incentive. But it had somehow lost some of its appeal.
“TRUTH, Jayne,” River hissed. He winced as her nails broke skin underneath his collar. “That one is a predator, and none of her prey have ever escaped. It has been weeks since she last killed, her thirst rages.”
Jayne looked at the standing woman one more time. She smiled seductively, and he really considered taking his chances. River growled in his ear, and he jerked again. Then he sighed.
“Sorry,” he told the blonde, shrugging. “Not tonight.”
The woman’s eyes widened. Yeah, he couldn’t blame her for being surprised.
“Really?” She wanted to know, running a hand suggestively along the back of River’s empty chair. Her persistence was becoming suspicious. If she was really in it for the money she was wasting some, taking up all this time with him. Seemed River had the right of it.
“LEAVE.” River snarled the single word, tensing forward with her eyes narrowed, and the expression on her face alarmed even Jayne though it wasn’t directed at him. Huh. He wondered briefly at the depth of her fierceness.
The blonde finally backed away hastily with her hands raised. River inclined back into the mercenary’s chest, running the hand that had been damaging his neck up into his hair. Her fingers twined there distractingly. Her head settled into his chest until the other woman regained her seat at the bar.
Friday, March 07, 2008 1:49 PM
Friday, March 07, 2008 8:13 PM
Saturday, March 08, 2008 4:02 AM
Saturday, March 08, 2008 7:34 AM
Saturday, March 08, 2008 6:53 PM
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