BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

JACQUI

Sometimes
Saturday, August 6, 2005

She's so soft she makes him hard.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 5978    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: It's fanfic, I don't own 'em. If I did, the show would be restricted to mature aged viewers. Count on it.

Comments: I just can't do PWP, there's always Plot. Damn you, Plot, damn you! Jayne/Kaylee fluff. Adult smutty fluff, but fluff nonetheless.

Feedback: Call me, baby, call me now: wily_one24@yahoo.com.au

***

"Hey! Watch it."

It starts when she trips, running through the cargo bay between the boxes. Her ankle twists and she loses her balance, falling face first into his chest. His arms catch her around the waist and she feels his hands at the base of her spine.

"Sorry Jayne!" Kaylee gasps out.

Then sprints away because she can hear River's laugh getting closer and see a flash of color too close for comfort. Her breath is hot and hard in her chest, her own laugh bubbling up. Her feet know the path of the ship and they land surely on every step, her hand clutching the stair rails and pulling her up faster as she squeals her delight in getting away. She doesn't stop, doesn't have the time.

But her skin remembers, stores it away for later, the feel of those large hands steadying her. A glint in his eye that she doesn't recall being there before, not for her anyways.

***

Hell. There are four women on this gorram boat and a helluva lot more nights to be spending alone. Thoughts wander sometimes, to the women he sees everyday, he ain't been bothered about it much before, but he's been focusing on Kaylee a lot lately and he can't be held responsible for it. Not when she grins at him like that, not when her hands on his arm make him stand rock still.

Who went ahead and told her it was okay to be winking at him? To smile at him so bright when he gave her those gorram apples way back after Ariel? Sure as hell wasn't him. She's just about the only one who'll look at him like he's worth a damn and it cuts just as deep to know he's not.

Somebody has to put a stop to it. Right shameless it is. If'n she found out about some of his thoughts, Jayne knows she'd stop smiling.

***

Kaylee likes to cook. Most of the times they ain't got much to work with, but she'll do her damnedest to make it special when it's her turn. She likes the idea of creating meals that they all eat, that they gather and laugh and talk over. It makes her warm.

Cooking ain't much different to fixing engines, she thinks. People need both. She takes care of Serenity and they go on flying. She takes care of their bellies and they go on living. Sliding the pin into a grav thruster just right, getting her hands good and greasy, is just the same as feeling food mulch between her fingers. Putting the bits together so that when it's done nobody can much determine the separate pieces, just the shiny result.

Sometime during dinner she becomes intensely aware that Jayne won't meet her eyes. It jolts her, makes her wonder, she don't like tensions, especially when they revolve around her.

She realizes that Simon has been trying to get her attention for some time.

***

He didn't hang about the table long after dinner, needed to get away. Jayne's not too sure why there's such a shift, why Kaylee just spent the whole meal trying to wheedle him into meeting her eyes, or why he had to avoid them.

There are footsteps overhead as he hauls himself up into chin lifts from the handles attached under the gangway. His eyes follow the flash of her red shirt down the stairs. Mandarin curses spill easily from her lips, enough to make - well, him - blush. Jayne can see the angry flush on the back of her neck.

"Doc strike out again, did he?"

He can't resist teasing her, but the moment she jumps and spins to face him, face angry and more than a hint of tear in her eye, he wishes he'd found a way.

"Shove it, Jayne." Her hands are shaking and she tries to hide it by brushing her hair behind her ears.

"Aw, c'mon Kaylee." He's genuinely hurt by her anger and he knows she'll soften if he shows it. "I didn't do nothin'."

"What's wrong with me, Jayne?" Her sigh comes out in a bitter gust of air as she spreads her arms out and challenges him. "Am I that hideous?"

He gives a slow, very deliberate gaze up and down her body, smiling at the blush that floods her cheeks.

"Ain't nothing wrong from this angle." There's plenty right with her, from what he can see. Given the invitation, Jayne takes his time in letting his eyes seek out the little hollow in the front of her neck where a butterfly medallion nestles, the slope of her shoulders, a curling tendril of hair under her ear, the hourglass curve of her waist between her breasts and hips, the coveralls which cover nothing when she lets them hang around her waist. "Why? What angle you showin' him?"

It brings a twinkle to her eyes and he sees her mouth twitch, but she's damned stubborn and intent on staying mad.

"Don't matter none, he ain't noticed one yet."

"Doc ain't gonna change." He finds a particularly self serving moment to dispense the advice he's been holding on to for a while now. "You need to forget him and move on."

"Yeah." She looks at him as if he's still struggling to grasp the basics of breathing in and breathing out. In that order. "That's easy for you to say, Jayne, you got girls all over the place when we stop. Not too many choices for me."

He watches her count it out for him on her fingers.

"Wash is married. Mal is... well, the Captain is the Captain. Simon is obviously incapable of human interaction." She gives an adorable little growl of frustration, running out of options at three. "Hell, even Inara won't service crew."

Jayne's eyes spark up, he's grinning.

"Inara, huh?"

"I was just sayin'." She glares and punches him lightly on the arm, but there's still light in her eyes.

"Well?" He asks. "Ain't you forgettin' someone? There's another man on this ship, you know."

"What?" Light dawns on her face, followed instantly by another frown. "I hardly think the Sheppard's up for the job neither."

"And?" He pushes, urging her on with his eyes. He's just about ready to stamp his foot like a child. "Dammit, Kaylee! Ain't I a man?"

She laughs. Out loud.

"Sure, Jayne, sure. You and me. Right here." Her challenge dies on her lips as he keeps looking at her, eyebrow raised, and she gets all flustered and jittery again. "Wo duh ma. You're serious?"

"Yeah." He thrusts his chin forward. "What's wrong with that?"

She stops smiling.

"That's enough, Jayne."

"No, hey." It's his turn now. "What's wrong with me, then?"

Her eyes slide down from his face and he can see them glitter as she studies him, as seriously as he studied her. He manages to flex his biceps when her glance passes them and it makes her smile again.

"Um, well, no." She has to swallow. "Nothing."

"Then?"

He takes a step closer to her. She doesn't step back, but she starts to look around for a quick exit should he bring his hands up, just like he decides to do, and place them on either side of her shoulders against the stairs behind her.

"You ain't never looked at me like that before, Jayne." She accuses.

"Sure about that?" He asks casually, lifting her hair off her shoulder. "Are ya, little Kaylee?"

She's blushing, she keeps having to look down and away from his eyes, which he keeps locked on hers, her hands keep fluttering, unable to stay still, but she ain't making any moves to get away, not really. Jayne can read a body as well as the next person.

"Well," She all but pouts it. "You ain't said nothing."

He shrugs.

"Neither have you." Her mouth opens to protest before she can stop it and he grins, knows he's caught her. "Though, by that expression, you have had thoughts."

"What expression?"

"That one." He laughs. "Where your brows shoot right up an' your eyes go all wide an' you pretend to be as innocent as a kitten, when we all know you're anything but."

She grins.

"You think you're so..."

And she's probably right, he's willing to admit it, whatever she was going to say before he leans forward and kisses her. It's slow and gentle and he feels her soften against him, feels her hand come up against his chest and linger there. He keeps his eyes open so he can watch hers flutter closed.

***

Her pulse escalates, speeds up as she closes her fingers around his shirt and pulls him closer. Kaylee lets out the breath that got caught in her throat and feels his hand close around the side of her head, warm and trembling, as they break apart. His lips are shining.

Sounds come from above them, Mal and Inara, voices breaking out of her shuttle. Jayne's arm grabs her around the waist and pulls her further under the stairs. She giggles against him, can't help it as his eyes warn her to keep quiet. It's contagious and he grins as his shoulders begin to shake.

Kaylee likes that, the feel of him rumbling against her, his whole body enjoying the moment. She's in no hurry to let him go, even after the voices and footsteps float down and away and they're alone again. She reaches up and cups his chin.

"You're all scratchy." She pouts, pretending to complain, pretending that the rough feel of it against her skin wasn't sending sparks around her body.

"You know." His voice is a low growl, thicker than she remembers it. "You're real pretty."

She rolls her eyes and pushes against his shoulder.

"You don't have to sound so surprised."

His eyes widen and he's opening his mouth to negate her implication, but she gets up on her tippy toes and kisses the end of his nose. A quick peck, gone before he knows it's there. She pokes her tongue out at his confusion.

"I got work to do."

His hand trails on her hip as she walks away and she decides that she likes it, likes the sudden change of pace, the definite direction. Kaylee smiles to herself as she flies up the stairs, in a much better mood than when she came down them.

***

His hand lingers on the door to his bunk when he thinks about the engine room. He imagines that it's glowing, warm and alive. It takes a split second for him to change direction.

She's there, lying on the floor, looking up into the big beating machine, arms reaching up into moving parts. Sometimes it scares him when she does that, her skin is so soft and machines got an ugly way of changing that. He waits until she lets her arms fall again, free of the engine.

"Forgotten him yet?"

"What?" She raises her head and it hits the metal. A low groan sounds as she lowers it back to the floor, hand cupping her forehead. She looks at him, slightly dazed. "Forgot who?"

"Yeah." Jayne grins, knowing she's just fine. "I thought so."

He chuckles all the way back to his bunk.

***

Kaylee sits at the dining table, eating breakfast, protein by any other name. Her hand jumps out and slaps at River's. The girl giggles and the game starts again. River tries to get Kaylee's hand, she's focusing hard, eyes watching everything. Kaylee likes it when she smiles, when she's enjoying herself.

The room is buzzing with conversation, Simon talking to Book, Mal talking to Zoe. It's almost impossible not to notice when they go quite around her. Everyone is looking up at Jayne who has just entered. She chews her bottom lip, sure suddenly that everyone knows, everyone can see.

She does sneak a quick glance at him, though, and sees with some surprise that his neck is bare, skin gleaming pink around the neatly trimmed beard. He gives her a small grin, not at all subtle, but it makes her look down again, all warm and tingly. She sees River looking back and forth between her and Jayne, eyes glowing with awareness.

"Jayne?" Mal's all curious. "You shave this morning?"

Kaylee laughs so hard that milk substitute comes out of her nose.

***

Jayne moves his shoulder in circles, testing it. He can feel the skin pulling at the new stitches as he gestures to Mal that it's his turn in the infirmary. They all came back a little bruised and bloody this time. Zoe and Wash have already disappeared, their usual state of affairs after a job with action, and they won't surface for hours yet. Book is babysitting River and Inara won't be back until nightfall.

That leaves him and Kaylee and he knows she's down in the cargo bay, fussing over the goods because she can't fuss over them. None of them are badly hurt and Mal will only tease her for carrying on about it. Jayne don't mind none, he kinda likes the way she cares if they're hurt, especially if she's caring about him.

He stands at the top of the stairs watching her. She's sorted the boxes as much as she can, into sections that will go into each compartment, but she hasn't tried to carry any of 'em by herself. Probably knows that he or Mal would skin her alive if she tried. He can tell she wants to, sees it in the way she hesitates with her hands at the edges of each box.

"Don't you dare." He warns.

"Jayne!" She calls up, her hands springing behind her back as if he'd caught her doing something wrong, and he likes his name in her voice. "You're okay?"

"Course I am." He grunts back as he begins to walk down the stairs. "Takes more'n a knife to stop me."

She winces and he wishes he had better words, something pretty that the doc might use. Her eyes, when he reaches her, look straight at the fresh bandage and he gets the impression that she wants to touch him, to feel for herself that he's okay. Jayne finds that he wants her to.

"See?" He says as he pulls his shirt down over his shoulder. "Barely a scratch."

***

He's all but grabbing her hand and placing it on his wound and it makes her smile. Kaylee doesn't like to disappoint, so she reaches up and presses the edges of the bandage, feeling his collar bone under skin. She makes the appropriate whimper of concern and he breathes in as she runs a hand down the muscles of his arm.

"Big burly men." He says as he steps back, putting his hand on either edge of a crate, waiting for her. "Lots of 'em."

"Really?" She smiles, letting him have his moment.

They heft the cargo together and Kaylee sees him wince, but he doesn't say anything and it doesn't stop him trying to shoulder more than his fair share of the weight from her. When they slide one of the crates into the spaces, they're crouched down next to each other and Kaylee likes the fact of their arms pressed together, wrist to elbow, and that he doesn't pull away. She tests it, moves so that their shoulders touch for a second.

"An ambush." He brags again and she's not listening to his words, so much as the deep cadence of his voice, the roll of it through his throat. "But I had Vera."

She pictures his hands cradling his favorite gun, cocking it, fingers squeezing the trigger until she popped. It's a thought that creates others, spills them into her brain before she can stop it.

Kaylee blinks her eyes, wide and innocent.

"Never learnt how to hold a gun proper."

Jayne's mouth splits into a grin as he considers her face, his eyes are sharp and they're not missing much. She feels the blush spread over her cheeks, knows that he's caught her again, knows that she meant him to.

"It's easy enough." She stands still as he steps behind her, reaches around and takes her hands. She feels her fingers close around cold metal and wonders if she shivers because of the gun or his body. "Don't be scared of it."

His chin juts over her shoulder and if she turns her head she'll be kissing him. Yeah, she decides, it's his body.

"Hold it like you know it." They both know what he means by that as he presses her fingers into the right places. She breathes deep, presses her back into his chest. "Ya gotta keep your arms steady."

Like she has any chance of keeping things steady right now.

"Then you just squeeze the trigger."

Kaylee thinks maybe he's forgotten a lot of things, stuff even she knows, like taking off the safety, loading the bullets, hell, even aiming straight, but she don't think either of them care much about the gun anymore.

"Kaylee?"

His voice is thicker and deeper again and she knows she's supposed to answer, say something. What she does is twist in his arms, push herself up on her toes and kiss him.

Hard.

***

Damned if she ain't kissing him again. Hot tongue in his mouth and hands around his neck and she's pulling him down. The gun dangles loose in his hand and he has to remind himself that the shells are empty and the safety is on before he drops it.

It sounds loud as it echoes off the floor.

Jayne wraps his hands around her waist, pulls her closer and up against him. She's all tiny like this, when he can actually feel how his hands take up all the space her sides have, when he can lay one hand spread all over the small of her back, tiny in a way she don't seem when he usually looks at her.

She's all soft up against him. Soft as he snakes his hands under her shirt and up the plane of her spine, skin warm and pliable as he presses fingers into it, making ten points of pressure.

She moans into him and it drives him crazy. Jayne breaks from her lips, leaves her gasping as he seals his mouth over her neck. Her head rolls back and he licks the stretched tendons, sucks at them, pulls more sounds from her throat.

Her hands are slow as they inch down from his neck to his chest, fingers splaying over his muscles and he wants her to dig into them, wants her to latch on hard. Kaylee jerks her head away and now he's the one left gasping as she twists and begins to kiss along his jaw line. Her hands are slow, but her mouth is fast and eager and demanding.

The wall isn't far away and Jayne easily propels her against it, pressing into her more, attacking her mouth again. She's so soft she makes him hard. His hands want more and he lets them slide down around her waist, up over the ridges of her rib cage. Her breath hitches and she swallows to stop herself bursting out in laughter.

"You're tickling." She whispers into his mouth. "Stop it."

"You're ticklish?" He teases, making his touch deliberately light. "Really? I never knew."

"Yes you did!" Kaylee squirms, face red. "Now stop it."

He shrugs.

"Okay."

Then he's back at her throat and she's back to moaning. There's not much thought left in his brain as his hands cup her breasts under her shirt, thumbs sliding over her nipples, but there is one.

It's been a while for him and he knows it's been a lot longer for her. He don't want this to be some quick thrust in the cargo bay that makes them both awkward and stilted after. She deserves better than that.

"That's enough, now." He pulls his head back and the look she throws him is comical, all frustration and need and disbelief. "We gotta pack all these crates away."

Jayne doesn't want to stop, but he needs to, 'cause any more and he wouldn't be able to think straight. So he listens to her mutter under her breath as they lift and heave and find an easy rhythm of movement.

He thinks he hears the word 'tease' a lot.

***

Sometimes tinkering with engines helps when she's like this, edgy and restless, needing to move in the silence when others are sleeping, her body clock flailing without a planetary orbit to steady her. To ground her. She's still not completely used to space travel, doesn't think she ever will be, really.

And then there are times when it's no help at all, when she walks laps of the ship, unable to stay in one spot long enough to pick up a tool, let alone use it. Wanting nothing more than to feel earth under her feet, to know that opening a window won't kill her and everyone she cares about, to know that she can break into a run and keep running without ever having to stop or turn around until she wants to.

It's these nights she hates, because that restlessness brings its own craving, a deep yearning for human contact. Not just sex, but the intimacy of touch, of having someone wrap their arms around her and hold her tight, to have someone know her that well and to know them back. It's a hunger that eats at her, gnaws at her when she sees Wash and Zoe together, burns holes into her when Inara brushes her hair and she realizes with a jolt that two days have passed without anyone else deliberately touching her skin.

Kaylee is often devastated that nine people living in such close proximity can be so isolated.

She thinks about Jayne, his easy touches and heated hands, how he clings to her like he doesn't want to let her go, how he makes her all hot and fluid. It makes her think about Simon, about his desperate clutch on the rules and traditions of a society that betrayed him, remembers how she had to get him drunk before he'd let her move into his personal space and how she'd spent days apologizing for it.

The bunk is dark and no one sees her as she climbs down.

"Hold it." His voice growls, full of suspicion.

"You ain't gonna shoot me, Jayne, so put the gun away."

Rustling in the dark. She knows he's scrambling to cover himself.

"Kaylee?" He's more relaxed, but twice as confused. "Somethin' wrong?"

"Yes." She points out and lets her coveralls fall to the floor, stepping out of them as well as her sandals. His eyes glitter in the dark as he eyes her shirt. "I'm lonely and you're not gonna ask questions."

He's warm when she pushes him back down to the mattress, scrambles under the covers and pulls his arms around her. Her head rests on his arm as it cradles her, his hand coming around to her shoulder. His other arm drapes around her waist. She can feel it spread all the way over her, his breath on the nape of her neck, his chest at her back, his knees coming up under hers, mirroring her. His awkwardness drains away and he relaxes into it, confusion to acceptance.

Kaylee feels the small hairs on the back of her neck ruffle as he smiles. It's too close not to be a kiss, but his lips don't make contact.

She's asleep in minutes.

***

He's tired, but Jayne lays awake as long as he can. At first it was like he couldn't breathe, he'd wanted to jump straight up and out, frightened to break something between them, but the longer he lies there with Kaylee asleep in his arms, the more he wants to stay.

Her hand covers his, holds it to her chest and he can feel the steady beat of her heart under her breastbone. The back of her neck smells clean, like the shampoo that they all use, and wisps of her hair tickle his nose if he breathes out through it. Her breath is heavier when she breathes out, not quite loud enough to be called snoring, but it's getting close.

She told him not to ask questions, but he doesn't have any. He understands. He's been on ships, off and on, since he was old enough to know the business end of a shotgun.

He's not an idiot, he knows what they think when they look at him. A hired thug. Muscle with a gun. Someone who'll sell out a girl and her brother for whatever coin and safety it will bring. Most of the times, that's what he is. Sometimes he wants to be more. Kaylee looks for more, brings it out of him when he needs it.

So if she needs this from him, she'll get it.

***

Kaylee's glowing when she climbs out of his bunk early the next morning, she can't help smiling. Jayne lies, still sleeping, and his body moves into the warmth she just left behind and that makes her smile, too.

At this hour she doesn't expect anyone else to be awake. It's one of the perks of growing up on an outer planet with two suns: twenty two hours of sunlight and six of darkness. Kaylee needs less sleep for more hours of lucidity and often finds herself getting most of her work done in private, alone with Serenity.

But she's not alone. Zoe stands by the bridge, eyes moving from Kaylee to Jayne's door and back to Kaylee. There's a moment of quiet that stretches out as they don't move. Then Zoe smiles.

"Good morning."

"Hey." Kaylee answers, completely unsuccessful in her attempt to stop feeling, and therefore looking, so gorram happy with herself.

"Okay, then."

Zoe nods and Kaylee leaves her standing there. It's not like she wants to hide anything, she don't really care what they all think about this new development, whatever it is. She just don't want to flaunt it without talking to Simon. After that however, she grins to herself, Jayne is all kinds of fair game.

Kaylee skips a little on the way to the engine room.

***

Jayne's getting a weird feeling over the lunch table and it's not the woman sitting next to him, the woman who presses her leg into his, reaches across from him for food so that her breast pushes into his arm, keeps giving him small little smiles that no one else can see. No, he figures it's the woman sitting across from him, the puzzled way her dark eyes watch his every move.

"Got docking orders." Wash joins them. "We touch down tomorrow."

"Good." Jayne rips the edge of a bread roll with his teeth. "Cargo's burning a hole. We need to get paid."

"That so?" Zoe's eyes twinkle as she looks at him over her mug of tea. "I would have thought you got enough action yesterday."

Jayne snaps his head up and feels Kaylee tense next to him.

"What, with the fight and everything." Zoe finishes.

River's laugh tinkles over the room as Jayne begins to breath again. Mal's got his brows furrowed real hard as he looks back and forth. Kaylee puts on that damned innocent face as she raises her chopsticks to her mouth.

***

Kaylee can't say no when Inara comes to tempt her, there's not much to do with the engines right now and she can think of nothing better than to let Inara wash her hair, to sink into the world of luxury that is Inara's shuttle, to be pampered, to have the warm familiar voice lull her into a stupor.

River appears out of nowhere, curious and bright eyed. She's never been less subtle as she tries to wheedle an invite, fingers coiling in her own hair as her eyes linger on Inara's hands pouring the warm water over Kaylee's hair into the basin, wringing it dry, caressing her neck with a towel.

"Sit."

Kaylee pats the floor in front of her, grabbing the brush. River springs instantly, not waiting to be asked twice. She sits Indian style, legs crossed and back straight. Kaylee lifts the brush and begins dragging it through stray, fly away tangles.

"Want me to put it up when I'm finished?" Inara's suggestion has a smile to it and River mewls her agreement, almost purring into Kaylee's repeated strokes. "Show Simon what he's missing?"

Kaylee feels the heat of blood infusing her face and her hands catch on River's hair as the girl shakes her head.

"Musical chairs. Simon forgot to listen."

"Did he?" Inara bends down and cups Kaylee's chin, turning her face slightly. "So why are we blushing?"

River's hair is shining, long and silk, it falls in wisps down her back. Kaylee watches as River leans her head back, stretching her neck so she can look up at the two of them.

"Secret kisses." She smiles, happy, eyes sparkling. "Trembles and fun."

Kaylee feels her hair fall to her shoulders, forgotten, and has to smile as Inara comes around, settling herself excitedly in front of them, eyes glowing. It's a rare state for Inara and Kaylee enjoys it, sometimes she's surprised to be reminded just how young the companion really is.

"Really?" Kaylee is the focus of Inara's glee and she can't help but grin as Inara claps her hands. "Who is it?"

River clucks her tongue.

"Secret." She insists gravely. "Don't tell."

It doesn't take a mind reading genius, Kaylee thinks, to figure out the next question as Inara frowns before she can stop herself. A small crinkle between her brows as her eyes flicker between her and River.

"It's not...?"

River practically rolls on the floor, she's laughing that hard. Kaylee can't stop the smile, either, but the blush is getting deeper.

"No!"

Inara obviously doesn't like being out of the loop, but she's still enjoying herself, even if she's getting impatient. Between them, River picks herself up and sits daintily upright, hands primly placed in her lap. She looks straight at Inara and speaks seriously.

"Girls aren't equipped properly for me."

It takes about five seconds of struggling before they give into the laughter. Kaylee wants to freeze everything, stop this moment right now and have everyone be happy. It's the breathless kind of laughing that bubbles up and flows over, erupting again seconds after it seems to die down.

A knock sounds and they try to hush each other.

"Come in." Inara calls.

It's physical, Kaylee can see it, the change that Inara goes through, face smoothing out into a mask of calm, limbs straight and controlled, she fusses over a non existent wrinkle in her gown. No sign of the giggling heap of moments ago. It kills Kaylee's good mood.

"I'm sorry." Simon's voice floats into the shuttle a second before he does. "Have you seen... River!"

"I'm found." River sighs, breath still heavy from laughing. "Hair is done."

"It's okay." Simon stammers and Kaylee is willing to bet he's blushing redder than she just was, now that he's deep into girl world. "You stay. I don't want to interrupt."

"Simon?" Kaylee stands, it's now or never. "Can we talk?"

His hand rests on her arm as they walk out and she wishes it didn't, wishes he didn't look so concerned for her. Behind them, Kaylee can hear the girlish chatter begin again.

"You know." Inara's voice accuses. "Tell me!"

"No." Comes River's giggle. "Not yet."

***

They check the weapons carefully, making sure everything is ready for the next day's early start.

"Jayne?" Zoe cocks the gun in her hand. "You hurt her and I'll kill you dead."

He nods his agreement.

"Sounds fair enough."

***

"Simon," She begins, not really knowing how. "Um..."

"Kaylee." His voice is soft as he leans against the bench. "I..."

"No." She interrupts, too nervous to let him go on for fear that she'll never be able to start again. "Let me speak. I like you, I really do..."

"Kaylee..."

He starts again, a faint tone of amusement in his voice, but she ain't listening, can't seem to get past her own glaring admission. Her hands twist into themselves and her mouth is dry as she leans against the cot.

"You're real nice and all, Simon... and I did want... really want... but now..."

"Kaylee!" He reaches forward and grabs her hand. She finally stops babbling. "It's okay. I know."

She gasps.

"You know?" He's altogether too embarrassed for this conversation, she notes, and Kaylee narrows her eyes. "What do you know?"

"That you, you know." He's stammering again and she has the strangest urge to slap it out of him. He gestures back through the infirmary to the way they came. "... and Inara..."

"Inara? No, it ain't Inara." Her laugh of relief dies quickly and she flashes a glare at him, at his disbelieving face. "Why does everyone keep pairing me off with women?"

"It's not Inara?" He asks astutely, carefully sidestepping her question. "So it is someone, then?"

Kaylee blinks with wide eyes.

***

He's lifting weights when Mal finds him.

"A word? Jayne?"

Jayne's pretty sure he knows what this is about. Hell, the whole gorram ship is rife with nothing else and that probably won't change until they land tomorrow.

"Yeah?" He sits up and faces Mal. "This is about a girl, ain't it?"

"Well," Mal hesitates. "Things have changed between you two, haven't they?"

"Notice, did ya?" Who hasn't? Jayne thinks.

"Hard not to." Mal's face is all serious. "Secret looks over lunch, playing games with guns in the cargo bay when you think no one is looking."

Jayne can't help the smile that breaks over his face when he remembers.

"Thing is, Jayne," Mal's all manner of uncomfortable and Jayne thinks that he probably wants to be anywhere other than here right now, having this conversation. "It's complicated, messin' around with another man's woman."

"Hey!" Jayne's honestly offended, for Kaylee and for himself. "She don't belong to no one and I ain't like that, either. You don't need to worry, she's talking with him, right now. I bet."

"Wo duh ma, Jayne." Mal sounds tired and angry all at once. "You even thought about this? Serenity's not that big, people are gonna get hurt and when that happens they're gonna wanna leave. I can't spare people right now, Jayne. Breaking up a marriage..."

"Marriage? What?" Jayne clicks and begins to chuckle. "You think I'm chasing Zoe? Nah, Mal, it ain't Zoe."

"It's not?" Mal breathes a heavy sigh of relief, then looks at Jayne, puzzled. "Then who the hell were you talking about?"

Jayne shrugs and lies back down to his weights.

***

Kaylee catches him unawares, pulls him into the engine room when no one is around. They hide against the wall by the door, free from everyone else.

"We live on a ship of nosy, nosy people." She tells him, laughing.

"Yeah." He agrees, feeling the lines of her face under his fingers. "I'm sleeping with Zoe."

"I'm sleeping with Inara and River." She feels the laugh that springs out of his chest. "At least you got paired with a woman."

"So did you." He grins. "Two of 'em."

"Yeah, well, relax." She pushes his chest, playful. "It ain't true so stop drooling."

"True in my head." He teases, closing his eyes. "And don't ya all make a pretty picture?"

"Give it time." She teases back. "You'll be paired off with Mal or Book soon enough."

"Say again?" His eyes spring open and he puffs his chest up against her. "I ain't sly none."

"What?" She challenges. "It's okay for me, but not for you?"

"'Sides." He continues. "Inara'd scratch my eyes out I even look twice at Mal."

The image makes her giggle, Jayne in a cat fight over their Captain.

"She'd have to line up behind Zoe." Kaylee points out. "I expect she'll tear you to pieces if she catches you cheating on her."

"Cheating, how?" He whispers low and it makes her skin prickle. "Like this?"

Jayne kisses her again and she kisses him back. Again.

"Time to go." River pops her head into the room and grins. "Dinner and secrets."

***

Jayne wonders exactly how anyone is managing to eat anything, nobody is particularly focused on the food. Half of them are watching him, scanning every move he makes, the other half are watching Kaylee across from him, scrutinizing every word she says to anyone. He's grateful for the wooden table that stops anyone noticing the way her foot keeps brushing up against his leg.

If they all stopped focusing on them two and took a look at each other, they'd be able to figure it out. As it stands, Jayne is pretty sure that Zoe and River are clued in and by the knowing look that passes over the preacher, he thinks maybe Book knows too.

"What time do we land, Cap'n?"

Kaylee grins, all innocence, like she ain't just lapping all the attention up. Jayne sees Inara's eyes flicker to Mal and back to Kaylee. Jayne hopes it's Kaylee's foot, 'cause he keeps pressing back at it.

"'Bout ten." Is the answer. "You need something?"

Color floods her cheeks and Jayne thinks of all the answers she could give.

"Just a few parts is all." She manages. "Easy find in the junk yards."

Glances are spinning out of control across the table and Jayne sees River bouncing.

"Anyone else need anything?" Mal asks and Jayne knows that's not the question he really wants answered. "How 'bout you, Jayne?"

"Me? Nah." He grins, flashing his teeth and makes his voice deliberately warm as he winks. "I'm just fine, Captain."

More looks, more confused frowns. Jayne can see Kaylee's shoulders shake as she tries to stop giggling out loud.

"Pass the bread, please?" Kaylee smiles her very best and brightest smile at Wash when he does. "Thank you."

Simon's eyes narrow.

"Cold." River tells him. "Not single to spare."

"Damn straight." Zoe lays a hand over her husband's.

"She knows?" Mal points his chopstick at River and all eyes follow.

Damned if River ain't grinning, eyes watching everybody, full of the importance of her secret. Jayne takes advantage of the loss of attention to sneak a glance at Kaylee, she's looking at him and they smile. If that ain't Kaylee's foot, Jayne's gonna have to have a long, uncomfortable talk with the preacher after this.

"She won't tell." Inara complains with a sigh. "I've already tried."

"You've tried?" Mal splutters. "So you know there's something to know?"

"Of course I know." Inara rolls her eyes and Jayne smiles at the way she sets her shoulders, as if it's totally ludicrous to suggest that something has passed her notice. "I mean, I don't know what I know, but I know I know something."

River giggles.

"That's it!" Mal throws his chopsticks down on the table. "I want to know! No more games on my ship, no sneaking about, no hiding from everyone, no..."

He struggles to find the words, so River kindly helps him.

"Kissing in the engines?"

Jayne wonders if Mal's eyes could get any larger.

"Kaylee?" Jayne watches Kaylee grow bright red at Mal's stare. "It's you?"

Inara points at Mal and gasps.

"You know who else it is! Spill!"

Jayne has to admit it, he's having as much fun as anyone else here, especially now that Kaylee has been outed and she's given over to her giggles, poking her tongue out at River.

"Not my place to say." He can tell Mal's enjoying having the advantage over Inara, enjoys the outrage that spreads over her face. There's a second and then Mal looks at Kaylee. "I thought you weren't going to hold guns no more?"

Jayne swears he sees a light bulb go off right over Simon's head.

"He was just teachin' me how to hold it." Kaylee squirms in her seat. "So's I can be prepared."

Another few seconds and Inara's eyes widen as her brain finishes eliminating the possible gun toting members of the crew.

***

They have to leave the table, have to get away from the jokes and the looks and the pointed comments. At least, Kaylee does. She figures it's not bothering Jayne so much, but he's following her anyway. His voice startles her as they reach the bunks.

"At least they can stop talking about us."

"Jayne?" She giggles. "You think they're gonna be talking about anything else right now?"

He blushes and Kaylee can't help but grin, he's so adorable. She begins eying the access panels that line the edges of the ceiling, stopping when she gets to the one above Mal's door, she's not sure why, but her focus is there. Maybe there's a difference to the hum from that point.

"Give me a lift, will ya?"

She doesn't wait for him to answer, just pushes him towards the wall and gestures for him to put his hands together. He crouches down and she puts her foot in the stirrup of his hands, placing her hands on his shoulders. They push off together and she's high up, hooking her hip into his good shoulder for balance.

"Just a little bit..." His breath on her belly makes her dizzy and she tries to hurry, tapping her fist into the right places until the panel springs open. Her eyes search into the maze of wires and pipes. "There you are..."

The problem is small, easily spotted and just as easily fixed. The simplicity of it makes her warm. It probably wouldn't have caused any noticeable trouble for a long time, if at all, but she's glad she found it.

"Well, that's," Kaylee turns her head to see Wash heading for the bridge. "really kinky. Get a room."

"Save it, Little Man." Jayne growls against her stomach and all it does is send more sparks to a place very close by. "Ain't you guys had enough yet?"

"Not in this lifetime."

Wash's chuckle echoes out of the corridor. Kaylee brings her hands back to Jayne's shoulders and slides herself down the front of his body. His hands linger on her as she does so, from her feet over her legs, her ass, her spine. He frowns down at her.

"Want me to punch 'im for ya?"

She grins, likes it when he's all protective.

"Nah, it's okay. They're just havin' fun."

***

He's drowsing, happily floating between consciousness and a dream about warm, throbbing engines. He has his back to the door, facing the wall, but he hears the hiss of his hatch and the soft footfalls that follow. Jayne doesn't move, he lies there and wonders what she'll do if she thinks he's fast asleep.

It's torture, this waiting, keeping his eyes closed, breath steady and body still, all the while knowing she's in easy reach. Soft rustlings only enhance the pictures he'd had in his head as he imagines just which articles of clothing she's moving and how.

Cold air rushes over his back as he feels the blanket lift and the mattress sink. It seems an eternity before she touches him, scoots her whole body over and up against his. One arm comes up around his waist and a hand lays itself flat against his stomach.

Kaylee's always been smaller than him, a fact so obvious he barely notices it anymore, but it surprises him now. When he spooned her, it seemed like they fit perfectly. Now that she's spooning him, he can feel her legs up behind his, her waist bent around his rump, her breasts pressing through her shirt into the middle of his back and her cheek nestling into the ravine between his shoulder blades.

Jayne feels her give a deep sigh and almost immediately she relaxes against him. It's not long before he follows her into sleep.

***

Sometime during the night, she realizes when she wakes up, they've changed positions, rolled over so that she's surrounded by him, cradled by him. She feels the steady rumble of his breath against the back of her neck and knows he's dreaming.

Kaylee can tell it a happy dream. A very happy dream given the sounds he's making and the way he keeps grinding his hardness against her backside, one hand plays with her right breast under her shirt. It doesn't take long for her nipples to stiffen and ache in the nicest possible way, sending messages to her belly to create a pooling warmth, deep and low. She can't help but press back against him.

A moan sounds deep in her throat.

His fingers stop and his breath catches as he goes still. Kaylee knows he's awake and closes her eyes, makes some happy little sleeping noises, a breathy murmur too light to understand. Jayne relaxes again, but he's stopping all movement and she wants many things right now, but stopping ain't one of them.

She presses back again and tilts her head forward, praying he'll take the hint.

He does.

***

Jayne smiles, still half asleep as he blows lightly at the expanse of neck before him. She shivers in his arms and he barely touches her skin with his lips, listens to her breathing stop, presses harder and she shifts a little. He counts to three then attaches his lips to the bony lump at the base of her neck, sucking hard, and she tightens, snaps to attention.

Her gasps drive him further and he kisses her neck all over, sucking wetly until she moans. His hand cups her breast again, squeezes it, pulls at the nipple that thickens even more as he plays with it.

She throws her head back and he leans over to kiss her. He can feel her mouth already open and waiting for him, breathing into his, heavy. She sucks his tongue into her mouth and it makes his blood pump hard as her hands come up and grab his head.

At some unseen signal she rolls onto her back and he leans over her, inching her shirt up, they do it without breaking from each other's lips. She wraps both her arms around his neck and pulls him in close. Jayne lifts his head up, grins at her in the darkness, then begins licking at her neck, kissing it.

He thinks he hears his name in the middle of her moans.

***

Kaylee can't catch her breath, so she's panting hard. His mouth travels down further and her back arches as his lips close over a nipple, freshly grown bristles scratching at her.

It's like he's a heat source, pouring all this warmth into her until she's ready to boil over. Sparks from where his hands are touching her, one kneading her breast and the other resting on her hip, electricity surges from his tongue. Her hand grips his arm and tries to urge him back up as her other hand reaches lower, she wants to feel him. He shakes his head, gently pushes her hands away and looks up at her.

"Patience."

It's a low growl full of promise and the way he grins as he says it, like he's just found prey in a hunt, makes her tingle. It isn't a word she usually associates with sex. Not with the men she's been with.

Not that she has much time to think about it as his hand travels downwards, presses on her thigh lightly. Her legs open of their own accord and she's a little surprised. She's too eager and ready and really struggling for the patience he just asked for.

***

He feels her frustration, sees her hands bunch up as she lets them rest by her sides where he put them, hears a little whimper. Her face is flushed, her eyelids hang heavy as she watches him and her lips are parted. Jayne likes it, the quiet need that makes her hips shift and her body tremble.

As he lowers his head and sucks a mark onto her belly, his hand brushes up and down on the inside of her thigh. If it's at all possible, she's softer here than elsewhere.

She jolts a little when he cups her through her underwear, gives a gasp, and he grins against her skin. He slips his hand under the flimsy piece of cloth and it's all heat and sizzle as his fingers brush through wiry hairs and over slick folds.

"Oh, God, Jayne."

Well, he grins to himself, that certainly beats Book's offer to become a priest. He continues kissing the soft flesh of her belly, blowing lightly on the hot skin as he watches it tremble. He lets his free hand wander up to her neck, rests it there, his thumb jumping with her pulse. She rubs her cheek against it, pushes her hips up, whimpers a little.

"Steady on." He whispers. "We ain't nearly done, yet."

"What?" She looks down at him and he gives her his best grin before licking a circle around her belly button, then thrusting his tongue into it as he crooks his finger into her. "Oh... Kwan Yin!"

She's all wet as he slides in and out, as if he isn't hard enough already and about to explode. Jayne leans up and starts kissing her breasts again, decides he'll never have enough of them. Her hand closes on the back of his head again, tugs on his hair.

***

He's going to kill her. She knows it. It's all fire and heat and pulsing and it's not slowing down, but it's not speeding up either and Kaylee thinks the steadiness of it is what makes her tremble.

He's teasing her, dark eyes watching her as she clings to the last of her control, glittering with amusement and hunger. The bastard is enjoying teasing her. She wants to growl, to beg him to go further and harder and faster.

She tries again to reach for him, wants to feel how hard he is, wants to see if she can ruffle his feathers a bit. Give him a taste of his own medicine. He swats her away easily.

Leaning up, Jayne shuffles out of his pants and she has no qualms about looking. Hell, it's not like she can claim to be a blushing girl at this point. Well, she knows she's blushing, but the way her hips thrust up into his hand make her anything but innocent.

He ripples, that's the word her brain throws up at her. His whole body ripples with muscles as he changes position, from her side to between her legs. She feels his weight press her thighs open and it feels good.

Kaylee grabs his head, pulls herself up off the bed to kiss him again, slides her tongue over his cheek and jawbone, kisses his neck. She likes the gasp he gives and latches on, sucks deeply just below his ear. He jerks with a groan.

She grins.

***

Jayne clenches his teeth. She's found a very sensitive spot and he breathes hard. God, he wants it. Wants her hands to run over his shoulders, down his arms, over his back. He wants to feel her stomach shake against him. He wants to feel her clench around him as his thumb rubs over her clit.

She throws her head back and moans. It's a perfect opportunity to latch onto her neck again, sucking at it like there's nothing else that will satisfy him. At this moment there isn't.

He can't help but increase his speed, pumping her, pushing her, making her breath catch in moans and nearly incoherent words as she digs her nails into his spine.

"Gorram it, Kaylee." He moans it into the space between her shoulder and her neck. "You're so beautiful."

Jayne can feel himself reaching the edge, can feel it in the way his hips thrust of their own accord, in the twitch of his cock, the way he's starting to shake. He's going to make it worth her while, though, and he wants her to lose control.

***

It's been building slowly since they started, but it still hits her suddenly. The shock of it makes her hold him tighter, pull him in so that there's barely any space for him to keep moving as she cries out.

Kaylee feels his fingers slide out of her as she lies back against the pillow. A soft kiss falls on her lips and she looks up at him with a slow grin. She grabs the back of his head and pulls him in again, kisses him long and hard.

She reaches down and this time won't take no for an answer as her fingers dance over the lines that make up his abdomen, trace the pattern of his muscles that all seem to point in one direction.

Her hand closes over his cock and she smiles smugly up at him, like she just found her prize. It's hot and jumps at her touch. She likes the way he stops breathing, holding it all in, as she runs her fingers over it, grasps it lightly.

Slowly, too slowly she guesses, she begins to fondle it. He looks at her and she knows he wants her to speed up. She grins and counts out twenty smooth and light strokes in her head.

Kaylee feels him vibrate all over when she increases the pressure and gives ten hard and fast pulls. His mouth falls open just above her and she leans up to take his bottom lip between her teeth.

"Kaylee..." He says as she lets go. "Kaylee..."

But he can't seem to finish the sentence as she starts slow again. Then fast. Then slow. She can tell by his breathing, now so fast and shallow, that he's close.

***

He's gonna explode if she don't stop it. Jayne groans as he scoots down again, out of her reach, cold air tightening the skin around his balls. She looks at him as he crouches between her legs and he grins up at her.

There's a gasp, strangled, cut off in the middle when he seals his mouth over her, sucking hard to start with. Then he lets go and blows lightly, making her shiver. Her hands come down, try to pull him up again, but he grabs them and holds them to her side.

It leaves him all manner of free to slide a tongue up into her, feel her arch her back as she cries out. Her legs wrap around his back and he braces himself for the bucking of her hips as he increases his speed, licking, blowing, tasting.

She throws her head back and keens.

***

It builds again, not so slowly this time, and she can't stop grinding herself into his face. She can feel everything tighten, every part of her shrink and contract into one tiny little atom inside her. Then it explodes, spreading out and she's floating, hips bucking, hands pinned in his.

"Jayne." She moans, but he doesn't stop and Kaylee wonders what happened to her bones as she falls back down to the bed all fluid and buzzing nerves. "Jayne please?"

He chuckles against her clit and it sends a shockwave of electricity through her.

"You want more?"

Jayne laps a slow and lazy circle.

"Yes." She needs more, needs him, wants it badly. "Now, please. More."

"Really?" He says as he lets one of her hands go and she feels his fingers again, slow and teasing as they slide in and out. "More?"

"Jayne." It's less begging now and more of a growl.

He laughs again.

"'Cause I'm happy right here."

"Jayne!" She manages as she feels another tremor rip right through her. "I can hurt you."

***

He's pretty sure she will, too. So he crawls up her body, stopping to suck on the flesh of her abdomen, to lick the curves under her breasts, blow air onto her neck and watch the skin dimple with goose bumps.

She looks at him for a moment and he can see her eyes blown out, all pupil and desire, glazed over, her mouth hangs open and her face is flushed. He wants to picture her like this forever.

Hands reach up and hold his head, bring it down for another kiss and he lets himself fall, crushes her mouth with his as he shifts between her legs. It's a slow easy push as he enters her and they both moan out loud. Her arms fall back over his shoulders, clutch around his back and try to pull him in further.

They start a rhythm, pushing and pulling, heat and pulse. It doesn't take long for him to speed up, matching the thrusts of her hips. He nuzzles the sides of her neck, skin on skin.

Jayne groans when her tongue finds his ear.

***

He's close, she can feel it, feel it in the way he starts to shake all over, the way he clenches up. The way he groans as she licks into the shell of his ear. Kaylee pushes herself against him, pushes them harder, at the same time her arms are trying to pull him closer.

As if there was any closer he could get right now.

They're groaning together now, noises that make a conversation that doesn't need to be deciphered, bodies grinding against each other, hands holding on, caressing, feeling, mouths sucking and kissing.

She feels it when it happens, when he tightens in her arms and then collapses on top of her. His weight is delicious and she wants him to stay there on top of her forever, gasping into her ear, so close she can feel the pulse in his neck against hers. They're both beating fast.

***

God, she's all around him. Arms around his back and legs over his thighs, even her head bows up to caress him, as if she still can't get enough. Jayne knows he should shift a little, maybe roll over and take his weight off her, but he's too comfortable and hell if he can actually summon enough energy to move.

She purses her lips and blows lightly into the wetness of his ear. It sends sparks through him again and he shivers.

"Damn, Kaylee." It's all he can say, but she's glowing so he knows she understands.

"Y'can say that again." It's a hum low down in her throat, honey thick and happy.

They stay like that for a while, both buzzing, her hand stroking up and down his back in slow feather motions and his hand brushing her hair away from her face. When she makes a face and shifts slightly beneath him, Jayne knows reality has hit back down.

***

"C'mon." Kaylee has to whimper a little when he rolls off her, taking his heat and weight away. "Time to get movin'."

"Moving?" She sounds dazed even to herself as he stands up and begins tossing her clothes at her. "What?"

"Ya can't stay there all night." She feels the heat rise to her cheeks at his words, until she notices that he's putting clothes on as well. Kaylee looks up at him. "Not with the mess you just left my bed in. We can sleep in your bunk."

She laughs as she sits up, pulls on her shirt, then stands to pull on her coveralls.

"Me?" Mock outrage as she slaps his shoulder then turns to climb up the ladder. "I think you had a hand in it."

She counts to seven before the deep chuckle sounds from the room below her.

END.

COMMENTS

Sunday, August 7, 2005 12:12 AM

AMDOBELL


Very nicely done, my favourite parts were the teasing in Inara's shuttle and especially round the dinner table with the clueless crew trying to catch up on what the good gorram was going on. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 7:44 PM

LITTLEONE


I adored this story, I really did. A lot of people can't capture the non-pissy side of Jayne and you've done it, you've shown the softer side of the beast, and I thank you for it.


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