Transmutations Pt 2 of 3: Thinkin' and Needin'
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jayne's side of the story.


Disclaimer: Nope, still isn't mine.

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It's late, and you're sittin' in the cargo bay with River all piled up in yer lap. Ya got a hand fiddlin' with her hair 'cause truth be known ya got a thing for girl hair, and when it's River-girl hair, hell, there ain't a whole lotta other places yer hands had rather be (least not places that don't involve nekkidness an' slidin' flesh an' moans an' sighs - hmm, River-sighs, yet another thing ya got a kind of 'obseshun' with.)

You know the crew don't believe you do a lot of deep thinkin', and truth be told, awhile back, they woulda been right. But it ain't 'cause you can't, it's just 'cause a merc don't really got a need to. Fact of the matter is, thinking overmuch can be pretty hostile to a merc's health. You hadn't been hirin' yerself out for too long afore you figured out that mullin' over stuff was a right quick way ta bein' stabbed, shot or straight out dead. When you and another gun got yer sights aimed at each other, if you're takin' time ta ponder whether or not the other guy's got a missus and kids who'd miss 'em, or whether he wants ta be here at all, ya soon find yerself seein' daylight where a part of yer body used ta be. So you learned pretty quick ta act on instinct, without gettin' bogged down in the whys. 'Course that led logical like ta not worryin' 'bout what you did after it's done, 'cause you'd seen guilt kill just as many mercs as thinkin', and you've got a powerful desire ta keep livin.'

But, still, you can think, and somehow, since Mr. Universe's moon, you find you've been doin' a mighty lot of it. First it was tryin' ta figure out why all of a sudden yer need for credits was a whole lot less than yer need to blow a hole in whoever was lookin' at any of the crew sideways. It didn't take too much to realize that particular oddity had been comin' since before Miranda, maybe since that gorram Mudder kid, but definitely since Ariel. You wince, like you do every time you think on Ariel. There ain't much you've worried 'bout regrettin' in yer life, but you sure as hell regret that. Probably started the regrettin' as soon as you'd made the gorram wave, but it didn't really hit 'til you saw that ruttin' scan. You knew then you were humped, but didn't see a way out. When you woke up in the airlock, you almost wished Mal'd just let the Black take you.

And if you hadn't gotten her out - You taste the bile risin' in yer throat and fight down the urge ta vomit.

You weren't so dumb as ta not see things had changed 'tween the crew since 'the wave that shocked the 'verse.' You realized you became less a hired gun and more the nasty big brother in a weird ass family of misfits. Mal finally stopped seein' Ariel every time he looked at you, Simon actually told you a joke or two and 'Nara maybe decided you wasn't some weird slime she'd seen growin' somewhere. 'Course Kaylee had always treated you good, and Zoe was too busy grievin' on her lonesome to treat anybody like much of anything. And soon as everyone was finally far on the livin' side of dead, you cornered the Captain and convinced him ta let you take Simon and Kaylee out planetside and teach 'em ta shoot. Weren't nobody on Serenity gonna be defenseless anymore. Heck, you even let 'em use yer guns.

Surprisin'ly, or maybe unsurprisin'ly on second thought, you and the girl took the longest time ta adjust ta the new order. It weren't that you didn't see the difference; hell, you'd known since you'd decided on that suicide run to Mr. Universe that she was family, and after the blast doors, you'd never had a problem trustin' her at yer back (you were hardly even worried 'bout knives anymore), but you'd always been a man of habit. You cleaned yer guns in a particular way, worked out in the same fashion, even cooked pretty much in a repeatable manner. And yer habit with River was growlin' and sneerin' at the girl, yellin' at her and basically blamin' her for pretty much every gorram thing that went wrong. Just like it was habit to her, she'd later tell you, ta do what she could ta provoke you, mainly 'cause (and lookin' back you kinda agree with her) your reactions could be hi-larious. Even at yer worst, though, you and her still moved like clockwork on the job, both of you aware personal problems could mean someone gettin' shot and neither of you wanted that. After a couple months of saving each other's pi gus more 'n once , you both learned some new habits and settled into a kind a friendship. You stopped the name callin', except the occasional 'girl' that slipped out (ya use that deliberately, now, though, 'cause it reminds you an' River of the first time you both knew.)

It was barely a blip on your cortex the first time you passed up a whorehouse. You and River were playin' a game of Chinese Checkers she'd picked up somewhere and were havin' a good natured argument about whether her math-o-matics would outweigh your experience in the game, and it just seemed the thing to do to stay and see who was right. The shiniest thing was that you won, and the look on her face when she'd realized bein' a genius didn't make her the best at ev'rything made missin' out on the whores totally worth it. You'd even wrote yer ma about it, chucklin' the whole time. An' River did, too, after she'd gotten over the shock. She'd challenged you to a rematch (she won), which led to another game (you) which led to another, an' when you'd both finally gotten tired of playin', you'd realized three or four hours had passed and the rest of the crew'd returned to the boat and it was time for River to head to the Bridge.

It was a month later when you realized you hadn't been to a whorehouse since. Ev'rytime you'd had leave, you'd been doing somethin' with one of the crew which was inevitably more interestin.' Huh. That had necessitated some more thinkin'. You reckon'd that if Shepard were still around (you still sometimes expected ta see him by yer weight bench) he'd spout off some kinda go se 'bout you usin' whore sex as some sort of substitute for real emotional attachments, and now that you had that, the whores just weren't as much of a draw as before. And, hell, he'd probably be right, but you'd never admit it. And you didn't feel the need to think any further on that.

Next time Simon called you up for yer shots, you'd told 'im ta skip the whore ones. If you weren't sexin' all regular like, what's the point? 'Sides, there was always condoms should you decide on a whore of the moment tumble. But you refuse to compromise on the sperm blocker – ain't no way in hell yer leavin' some woman, whore or not, in the situation yer pa (whoever he was) had left yer ma. Nope, if Jayne Cobb ever had a young 'un, it'd know good and well it was wanted.

A few weeks later you and the crew were standin' in Badger's office, givin' him his cut on a job that had gone surprisin'ly well (Simon'd planned it). Badger had strolled over to River, all cocky like, an' had the balls ta actually brush some hair behind her ear. You'd felt a shock of violence well up in you, a sudden desire to actually kill 'im, which was way and beyond your usual need ta just inflict a bit a pain on the weasel. That had confounded you a bit, 'til you came ta the conclusion that it must be 'cause of that whole new 'crew as family' thing and you'd probably feel the same way if the had done it ta li'l Kaylee.

A couple days later you'd been at dinner when River'd come up behind you and leaned over to set a dish on the table, pressin' against yer back in the process. You'd froze, realizin' yer earlier reasonin' had to have been seriously flawed, 'cause there weren't no way you felt like this 'bout Kaylee, holdin' yerself back from the sudden desire ta grab River, haul her across yer lap and kiss her hard and deep on her mouth. Since you ain't kissed on the lips in years, you reckon it's time for some more of that serious ponderin' that you used to avoid so much. You leave the table with your standard goodbye ('I'll be in my bunk.') and almost run from the room. You felt the crew starin' at you funny, but pretended you didn't.

You'd sat in yer bunk for hours, just thinkin' and mullin' and reexamin' earlier conclusions you'd come to. You thought back on yer current dry spell and spotted somethin' you hadn't seen before. Ev'ry time an opportunity for whorin' had come up, you'd been with the girl. When you'd gone scary shoppin' with Kaylee, the girl'd been there, twirlin' and dancin' circles and makin' you laugh by tellin' you 'bout all the people you were frightenin' with yer bad ass self. When you'd been helpin' Simon install some new fancified equipment in the infirmary, she'd been standin' around, doin' what she called 'supervising' (but what really looked like an excuse ta boss you 'round.) Even when you'd been playing horseshoes with Mal, the girl'd been there, lyin' on the catwalk, providin' commentary. Go se, suddenly you were sure River was a whole lot wrapped up in whorin' becomin' less excitin'. By the end of the night cycle, you hadn't gotten any sleep, but you had gotten an answer. Tamade, you knew exactly what you were feelin', and it was disconcertin' as hell, not in the least 'cause you were certain you were in this alone. Loyalty and familial feelin's aside, you were pretty sure there weren't no way in hell River was ever gonna love you back. Not after you'd backhanded her across a room and tried to sell her off a time or two.

Suddenly you'd wanted to howl in frustration and pain and wish you'd never taken up with this thinkin' thing again. For a second, you'd entertained the idea of runnin', like you'd have done if this situation had ever come up in the past. Just git out and off, find a nice whore and a bottle of whiskey and drink her gone. That's what Jayne Cobb woulda done. Problem was you weren't that Jayne no more. Random sexin' still wasn't lookin' good, and 'sides, this was your home now, and you didn't want to leave, not really.

So you did what you could, worked real hard like to build up those blocks River'd shown the crew, nice an' high, so's she'd never see, and continued on like you'd never had those kinds of feelin's for the girl. You and she still moved together like magic out on jobs, and you still hung out like before, playin' checkers and what not, 'cause she was still your friend. You just ignored the other stuff, confident that if you ignored it long enough, it'd go away ('cause that had worked so well for Mal and 'Nara.)

That'd gone on for a month or two 'til one night you'd been sittin' at the head of the table, cleaning yer girls while River was sittin' at the right side sharpenin' up her knife. You'd been talkin' back and forth 'bout the upcoming job, jokin' a bit with each other about where Mal was likely ta get shot. All a sudden like, River'd stopped talkin' and cocked her head to the side, like she always did when she'd gotten side tracked by a particularly interestin' puzzle. Her hair had draped down her neck and side and slightly tickled the inside of your knee as she'd stared at you for a bit and then she'd smiled all big and peaceful like and you hadn't been able to stop an answering smile from creepin' 'cross yer face. Neither of you'd looked away for a long minute and finally you'd just asked 'Girl?' needin' some kind of word or confirmation that you were seein' what you thought you were. She'd reached her hand out and laid it gently in yer open palm, and just like that, easy as slippin' into a lake, the two of you just were.

Don't no one know.. Not 'cause you were ashamed of it – although you still couldn't understand why she weren't the least bit embarrassed of you. No matter how many times she'd explained it, you couldn't get that part, but you'd finally stopped tryin' and decided ta just be grateful for miracles. No, it was partly 'cause Mal didn't adjust so easy like to change (too many examples ta even think on), and partly 'cause you knew the crew needed time to get used to River and Jayne as crew, 'fore they were asked to assimilate River 'n Jayne.

'Bout six months has passed, and tonight you sit in the cargo bay tellin' River stories 'bout your family and 'bout you growin' up on the Rim. Usually you'd be more aware of what's going on on the ship, but you and your girl have played this game so many times before that you know exactly who is where and for how long. Mal's laid up in the infirmary, which leaves you and River even more relaxed on account of the fact that he won't be roamin' about the ship at odd hours makin' sure his crew is all okay. Yer happy, 'cause as much as you have an almost constant need to sex River, you also got an equally powerful need to be just like this. Ta sit and hold her close and make her laugh. You love the sound of her laugh, so you tell her the story 'bout the time yer ma sent you to get some geese that had escaped, and the geese had turned around and chased you, bitin and peckin' at you the whole way. You'd ended up climbin' on top of the roof 'til Mattie, rollin' his eyes, had rescued you. As you had hoped, she laughs, turning those big, brown eyes up to look at you.

And suddenly you're awestruck, like you often are, at the amount of love and trust starin' up at you. How she could ever trust you, much less love you is somethin' you still haven't managed to shape into any kind of sense. But you've decided that since yer girl is a genius she must see somethin' in you that makes it right and you've started workin' hard to make sure it don't ever turn wrong. You drop a kiss on her and pull her back snug into you, intent on tellin' her one more tale when a sudden sound pulls you back to the ship around you.

You look up and see Simon starin' at the two of you from a few yards away (and how in the gorram hell did he manage to sneak up on you?) Before it registers with you that his stance is noncombative, you gear up for war. You tighten your arm on River, preparin' to put her behind you so you can stand as a wall 'tween her and any angry yellin' Simon might do. Yer other hand starts strokin' her hair in a way you've learned makes the tremors go away. You know this is what she's worried over most of all, how Simon will react. Out of all the crew, he's the best at blockin' River on a daily basis and she hasn't been able to sense any of his thoughts on the two of you more'n a mild relief that there ain't anymore stabbin' or head knockin' goin' on. You know she wouldn't leave you if he didn't approve, but you also know she fears a rift 'tween herself and the brother who risked ev'rything for her. You want ta protect her from that and you are ready ta do whatever necessary ta convince him of the percentage (ev'rything except leave her – you ain't that stupid.)

Even as you tense, though, you realize his body ain't telegraphin' a fight. You start turnin' yer adrenaline down, but before you can so much as budge, he gives a faint smile and walks off. A little discombobulated (yer girl'd taught you that one) you ask River if he's headed to the infirmary ta grab some more of that go se that he paralyzed you with way back when. She laughs again and assures you he ain't, but is instead runnin' through calculations of the best way to help the two of you break it to the captain, and whether it might not be best ta do it while he's drugged. You tell her you agree with that one and then lead her back to yer bunk, content for the first time in your life that someone needs you just as much as you need them.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010 8:32 PM


I would imagine it's a tricky thing...writing a post-BDM Jayne Cobb. You have the series and the movie for examples of his behaviour and habits, but the "what comes after?" All speculation, so technically a wide open playground, but I think there has to be certain elements left over that keep Jayne essentially Jayne. And you've kept those elements, IMO...the straightforward logic, the willingness to just "be," the deep loyalty to those who have managed to work their way into his heart ;D

Simply put...fantastic work once again :D

Saturday, October 9, 2010 9:59 AM


Again, very very good
can't think of anything bad to say about your work
I agree with the guy above me, you changed Jayne without changing him much if you get my meaning, it's really really cool and i like it lots

Thursday, November 24, 2011 7:05 AM


awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww jayne got a heart :)


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What Zoe Hears
In the Transmutations-verse. Follows 'What Mal Knows.' Zoe's POV of things.

What Mal Knows
Follows 'Transmutations.' The 'revelation' so to speak. Mal POV

Transmutations Part 3 of 3: Desire and the Path to Serenity
River weighs in.

Transmutations Pt 2 of 3: Thinkin' and Needin'
Jayne's side of the story.

Transmutations Pt 1 of 3: Wants
Simon reflects on the wants of the various members of the crew and makes a startling discovery. Simon, River, Jayne NOT S/R/J

Facing the Warrior Woman. Follows 'Reconciliation'; last in the Dross-verse series.

A brother and sister reunite. Fourth in the Dross-verse Series. Follows 'Remorse.'

Apologies, Captain Reynolds' style. Follows 'In the Shadow of the Valley' and 'Out of the Shadow of the Valley.'

Out of the Shadow of the Valley
A captain reflects on his mistakes and the loss of his family. Follows 'In the Shadow of the Valley.'

In the Shadow of the Valley
The girl only looked back once.