No Harm No Foul
Saturday, February 25, 2006

Third in the 'Didn't Mean Nothin' saga. Jayne/Kaylee, darker themes.


Part three, coming after: 1. "Didn't Mean Nothin'." and 2. "Nothin' At All".

Disclaimer: They're not mine.

Rating: Overall, R for darker themes, but this one is probably tamer.

Feedback: I'm such the feedback whore, you know it, I know it, now comment! Or send email:

Comments: Y'all are freaks "hurt me, hurt me more!". Well, okay then. Italics are flashbacks.


CHAPTER THREE: "No Harm No Foul".


She’s making coffee when he walks into the kitchen that morning. His eyes slide over her neck, over her waist, everywhere his hands and lips were last night. The skin behind her ear is pink, glistening in the steam from the kettle.

It makes his stomach tighten, like a fist.


He’s always been grabby, can’t help himself, he loves to touch and feel. And this is Kaylee, nothin’ more needs to be said about that. He could stand there and touch her ‘til the cows came home. Hell, he’d stand there and touch her as the cows organized a mutiny, broke down the fence, took his guns and ran away.


She hisses it, one word, and steps away from him.

“But…” There’s not one other person in the room, no one but them. “I was just…”

“It didn’t mean nothin’.” Her eyes wouldn’t meet his. “You said it, Jayne, you said.”

“Kaylee.” He takes another step towards her.

She steps back again.

“Can’t be touchin’ and stuff.” She insists under her breath. “Just stop it.”

It’s the quietest conversation he’s ever had, all whispers and hushed voices. She might not be looking at him, but he can see something in her eyes anyway, a sheen of desperation, a plea. Fear. It’s a fraction of a second between seeing it and smelling it and he has to step back, has to grab a mug real tight and sit at the table.

Has to bite down real hard when everyone else comes in and she’s all bright smiles for the doc, reachin’ out to run a finger over his wrist.


“Guess this is it.” Jayne stopped in the clearing and squinted up into the sun. “Better place than any, yet. I’ll go scout.”

“Zoe’ll go scout.” Mal broke in.

“But she don’t know the first thing ‘bout trackin’, Mal. I’m the merc, whatcha hire me for if ya just gonna get us all shot by sendin’ someone else?” He gave a short nod to Zoe. “No ‘fense, but I do the trackin’. You’re the first mate, you should be… matin’.”

“Yes.” Zoe gave an amused smile. “That’s definitely my cue to leave.”

Jayne knew what was coming, there wasn’t any way out of it. Truth was, he hadn’t really expected to make it this far. There was a beat, silence as they watched Zoe head off to the side and into the surrounding brush.

“I don’t expect anything to go bad on this run. She’ll be fine, couldn’t hurt to expand her horizons.” Mal looked off to the east, specifically not looking at Jayne. “’Sides, don’t expect you’d be too good at the sharp shootin’ right now, what with those split knuckles and all.”

“Gorram it, Mal, I told ya he started it.”

“That you did, but he’s the only one I see busted an’ bleeding.”

“Ain’t my fault he can’t fight worth a damn.”

“You ever think that this ain’t your fight? That maybe you gotta let them take care of themselves?”

“Don’t know what you’re talkin’ about, Mal.”

“Sure you don’t. And our next pay check is a big fat Alliance reward. I tell you I received a big, fluffy valentine off Niska? He’s a sweet, sweet man, that.”

“Quit it, Mal.”

“No. You quit it. I find myself moppin’ up my medic one more time and there’s gonna be hell to pay. Kaylee’s her own woman, ‘less she actually comes to you and says she needs defending, you step the hell back. You hear me?” “What if she does say that?”

“Then I’ll gladly step in and beat him myself. But she ain’t said that, so you gotta let them be.”

“Fine.” He could see Mal’s surprise, see the way he’d built up, ready for a fight. “I’ll leave Simon alone, but you gotta do me one favor.”



“What are you tryin’ to say?” She laughed, it felt good to laugh. “You wanted ‘em to get hurt? Simon, it’s good that they don’t need you now.”

“No, no.” He laughed with her and that felt good, too. “It’s just, I’m not used to having the afternoon free after a heist. Nobody got shot, we got paid, I’m confused.”

They were sitting on the couches again and she’d draped her bare legs over his lap. It was rare that he felt comfortable enough to get that close. Something usually stopped him, made him push her away. He called it being proper. It was different, though, had been different since he’d come to her after lunch.

Like he was finally moving forward.

“So?” Her eyes sparkled as she teased him. “What are you gonna do with all this spare time, Dr. Tam?”

He lowered his eyes and grinned at her, feral, it made her shiver.

“I have a few ideas.”

There, behind his eyes, he was so full of light and mischief, she loved his face when it opened up like that, when it showed him as he should be. Loved that it was her that did it to him. Her knees tingled where his hands rested on them.

“Kaylee.” His voice had gotten deep and serious.

“Yeah?” She urged eagerly, she was beginning to recognize that tone and it left her breathless with expectation.


Her heart sank and she bit back the curse as she leaned backwards, far enough to see the door to the cargo bay upside down. Her right arm ran along the back of the couch and her hand held onto Simon’s shoulder to steady her.

“Yes.” She bit out. “Captain?”

“Can I talk to you?”

“Now?” She whined.

“Yes, now.”

Reluctantly, she stood up, trailing her hand down Simon’s arm as she did. It made her heart skip a beat when she felt his fingers twitch against her own. A hopeful, foolish person might have mistaken it for a caress of sorts.

Kaylee felt like she couldn’t stop smiling.

“What?” But she still managed to glare at Mal as soon as they were out of sight and earshot. “What’s so important?”

“Need your advice on something.” He answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “But you can’t say anything, Jayne wants to keep it quiet.”

“Huh?” That caught her attention.

“He wants to know if there’s any way to lock his bunk from the inside that can’t be overridden by the main controls.” He frowned at his own words. “I think he’s twitchy ‘bout River getting to his guns again.”

But Kaylee had stopped listening, or rather, she couldn’t hear over the thunder of her heart, beating viciously and violently in her throat.

“Jayne wants a lock?” Her words came out dull and flat.

“I know.” Mal answered, as easily as if he hadn’t just sucker punched her. “I told him there weren’t no one on board who could override those controls ‘cept you and me, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“No.” She couldn’t breathe. “It’s okay, I’ll do it, if he wants… I just… I’ll do it.”

“Thanks, remember, he don’t want a big fuss made.” Then he looked at her, looked deep. “You okay?”

“Yes.” She swallowed. Hard. “Just shiny.”


“What the…?” Jayne stops at the bottom of his ladder. “Girl, how’d you get in here?”

“Through the door.” She sniffles a little.

“Yeah? Then that’s how you can leave.”

“Jayne?” Kaylee looks up at him and he can see that she’s been crying. “I…”

“I don’t wanna hear it.” He doesn’t look at her, knows that he can’t look at her and say no. “You made it right clear last time you don’t want me to hear ‘bout it.”

He pretends to pick up laundry instead, but he’s just moving clothes from one end of the bunk to the other.

“That was weeks ago.” She says, as if he doesn’t know. “We ain’t been on planet in over a week.”

Like he doesn’t know that, either.

“You better not be sayin’ what I think you’re sayin’.”

“Why not? If it don’t mean nothin’, then no harm no foul, right?” It’s then that he knows she’s serious. “Jayne, I keep tryin’ to forget, but I just can’t do it.”

It’s not supposed to give him a little thrill. Maybe, just maybe, she’s having as much trouble as he is getting the whole thing out of his head. There’s a step and he’s fairly sure that she’s the one that’s taken it. Somebody took it and now they’re just that little bit closer.

“You already told me how it’s to be, Kaylee, and I don’t recall you an’ me alone together as part of it.”

“All’s I hear is you tellin’ me how it should be, how he ain’t, how he’ll never be.”

Jayne gives up all pretense of ignoring her, her eyes are little pin points when he faces her. Little laser beams of questions and pleas and need. He bites his cheek to keep from reaching out to touch her.

“S’at what you want? ‘Cause I ain’t doin’ that again, I ain’t playin’ that game, Kaylee.” God, it’s so hard to stay strong. “I ain’t gonna keep showin’ you what you want the doc to be, how you want him.”

“No.” Her voice is tiny, but it’s firm. “I don’t want that either. I want you to make me forget.”

“What?” Something in her eyes makes him shiver. “What do you mean, forget?”

“Make it hard.” It’s a whisper, but it makes him groan. “Make it real hard, just do something.”


“Kaylee?” Simon held his breath. “I think, that is, I’ve been meaning to ask…”

Her face glowed, it physically glowed. Against all laws of physics, he was sure that her cheeks alone would throw out enough heat to keep the ship warm if the power went out again. It made him hold his breath. Surely she knew how he felt, how much he wanted to keep making her smile like that.

“Yes?” She nodded at him, her eagerness made him laugh. “C’mon, Simon, don’t stop there!”

She was something different, different to anything he’d ever known in his life and it made him ache just a little bit that that fact was true. He had never known anyone to not only experience the best out of life, but to spend so much energy looking for it.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time together, gotten to know each other…”

“Simon.” Her eyes rolled and she leaned forward. “You do it like this.”

Her fingers hooked under his chin and before he knew it, she was kissing him. He stopped thinking.

“Hey, hey!” Wash barreled past them. “Not in the hallways. Mal catches you an’ that’ll be the end of it. You don’t want to ruin the whole thing for those of us legally married, do you?”

Simon could feel himself blush. It frustrated him no end that he couldn’t control it, that his face infused with color and the more he tried to push it down, the worse it became. Kaylee giggled, folding her arms in and leaning against his chest, and he could see she was thoroughly delighted with the whole thing.

Nothing embarrassed her and that was part of why he felt so strongly about her.

“C’mon, Dr. Tam.” She nudged him. “We’re gonna be late for dinner.”

“Yes.” His hand felt right, resting on the small of her back as he led them both to the mess. “Wouldn’t want that, would we?”

Dinner was strange and tense, Simon could feel it, but he couldn’t figure out why. Kaylee was subdued and less cheerful than he had seen her in a long time, she sat next to him and concentrated on her food. He wondered if Mal had said something to her as well.

He did the only thing he could think of to make her feel better. Ran a hand over her shoulders, along the back of her neck.

“You two seem awful snuggly.” Wash commented with a grin. “Something happen we don’t know about?”

“Wisdom in humility.” River spoke from underneath her curtain of hair. He could feel her eyes watching him. “Less said the better.”

“I think it’s wonderful, mei mei.”

Inara smiled across the table at them and Simon could feel the surge inside Kaylee, knew she was smiling even without looking at her.

“About time, doctor.” Even Zoe smiled, albeit pointedly.

“Must be somethin’ in the water.” Kaylee finally spoke and he felt her hand on his, soft and rubbing circles on his skin. “I mean, what else could it have been? I didn’t think anything was gonna make him step forward.”

“The water.” He knew it, he knew he was doing it before the words came out of his mouth, he didn’t need the sudden warning glare from Mal or the stricken look from River. He just couldn’t stop himself. “Or the Captain telling me to.”


Simon briefly considered ramming his head into the table top.

“What?” Kaylee turned to look at him, taking her hands away, severing all contact. “I’m sorry?”

“Um…” There was just no backtracking from that. “No, Kaylee, that’s not…”

“Not what?” Her eyes were angry, but worse than that, they were brimming with tears. “Tell me that Mal didn’t give you some stupid gorram order to be nice to me.”

“That ain’t it, Kaylee.” Mal said from his end of the table.

“I ain’t talkin’ to you, Captain.” Kaylee didn’t take her eyes off him. “Tell me that ain’t so, Simon.”

He couldn’t meet her eyes.

“That’s not why I…”

“Oh my god.” She gulped. “It’s true?”

“Kaylee, please…?”

He reached out to her, but she pushed her chair back and stood up.

“No. Don’t, okay?” Even mottled and scrunched up the way it was, her face was beautiful. “I don’t want to talk to you right now.”

Simon scrambled out of his chair, but he was too late, she’d already run out of the room. He could hear the faint echo of footsteps leading all the way to her bunk. Nobody said anything as looked helplessly back at them.

There was a sudden screech of wood on tile and Simon felt a stab of shame that he flinched away from Jayne as he stood up.

“Jayne.” Mal warned, deep and low.

“I ain’t…” Jayne paused, looking straight at the Mal, he didn’t look at Simon. “I’m goin’ to my bunk, less’n you want me to break that promise on the first day.”

Simon couldn’t breathe until after the man had pushed his way past.


He couldn’t think straight. Every time he closed his eyes he saw the whole scene play out in his head. Kaylee and that useless doc, flirtin’ and gigglin’ and touchin’ each other, settin’ his teeth on edge, ‘cause there weren’t much in his gorram miserable life Jayne wouldn’t give up to be able to do that. And there’s no way in the ‘Verse she don’t know it, no way she can’t see how much he wants that. Least, that what he told himself anyway.

He’d worked long and hard not to be weak like that in front of her, if’n she didn’t see the truth of it, he had no one to blame but himself.

Simon just didn’t know what the bleedin’ hell he had. Sittin’ there all happy as he pleased, touchin’ and bein’ touched by her, havin’ everyone else smile at them, like it was some gorram miracle. Like none of ‘em knew how much he hurt her, like they’d never seen how badly she hurt after him. Then he just had to go an’ ruin it, had to do what he usually did and be careless about it.

Ai ya, but Jayne would gladly step back and let Kaylee have what she wanted if’n Simon just stopped bein’ such a fuckin’ idiot about it.

Instead, Jayne was left to sit in his bunk, furiously cleaning his guns to stop himself goin’ out to tear Simon a new one. A couple of new ones.

“I ain’t doin’ it.” He didn’t even wait until her feet hit the floor of his bunk. “I mean it this time, Kaylee.”

“Jayne.” She’d been crying and he didn’t look up.

“Don’t. Whatever you’re gonna say, just don’t.” There wasn’t anything up there, in her face, that he hadn’t seen before. “Get the hell outta here and stay out.”

There was a long pause.

“Captain asked me to make you a lock. It’ll be done by morning.”

His hand stilled on his gun.

“Gorram it. I told him not to say nothin’.”

“Who else was he gonna ask, Jayne?” She hadn’t made any move to leave. “He thinks you want to keep River out. ‘Course he was gonna ask me.”

“I didn’t mean…” But there wasn’t much to say after that.

“Yes, you did.” Her voice was strangely flat and he wondered how long she’d been crying, if she’d stopped even once in the hours since dinner. “You wanted to lock me out. You wanted to hurt me, well, congratulations, you did.”

“Hurt you?” He couldn’t control it, then, couldn’t stop the anger from surging up as he threw his guns to the floor and stood up, turning on her. “I ain’t never wanted to hurt you! Not once! It’s you, you’re the one that…”

He stopped, unable to complete that thought.

“That what?”

Just for a second, one brief little second, Jayne closed his eyes and let himself believe she seriously wanted an answer to her question, that she was ready for him to break down and tell her. That she might smile at him in response and let him reach out and touch her. That she’d actually look at him and see something she wanted half as much as the doc.

Then his brain finally caught up with reality and he let his voice freeze over cold as he turned away to pick up the weapons lying on his floor.

“Nothin’. Believe me when I tell you, Kaylee, this ain’t happening again. Now turn around and get out, ‘fore you regret it.”

He heard the cries start over fresh and couldn’t bring himself to watch her leave. His bunk was too loud and silent in the wake of it, he couldn’t breathe. He’d done right, he knew it, weren’t no way in the ‘Verse they could continue the way they were.

Didn’t stop him from hurting none.

“I told you stay outta my bunk, girl.” He made sure his voice didn’t shake as the hatch opened again. “Now get out afore I change my mind about not hurtin’ you.”

“Talk like that to me on my ship again, Jayne, and it won’t be your bunk much longer.”

Oh, merciful Buddha, like he really needed that.

“What do you want, Mal?”

“You wanna tell me what made Kaylee come runnin’ outta here, cryin’ her eyes out?”

“Not really.”

“I think you better, ‘cause it might look to some people like you were takin’ advantage of her when she was feelin’ bad over the doc.”

A sound came out of his throat then, a garbled little choke of bitterness.

“Some people’d be wrong, then, wouldn’t they?”

“Would they?” Mal didn’t back down. “Why else were you threatenin’ to hurt her when I came in?”

“Didn’t take no advantage of her, Mal.” Jayne squared his shoulders, brought himself up to his full height. There was nothing left to do but take it like a man. “She was cryin’ like that ‘cause I told her I wasn’t gonna take advantage of her. S’that what you wanted to hear? ‘Cause I wouldn’t make her feel better when the doc made her feel bad.”

“Wuo de ma.” He could see the instant realization hit on Mal’s face. “That’s why you wanted the gorram lock, isn’t it?”


end part three.


Saturday, February 25, 2006 7:35 AM


Poor Jayne, always seen as the bad guy! And how could Simon be SUCH an idiot!

Can't wait for more Jacqui...although I also want more of your "Best Deceptions" series. Can't you just write both at once :-))

Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:19 AM


I love my Captin' he catches on fast.
I love all your series and you work on what ever you feel like! I will happily take what ever Jaylee you toss our way.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 9:01 AM


*heart melts*

See, I think this is my favorite Jaylee series yet. It doesn't ignore the Simon factor, it doesn't make Jayne all mushy and it doesn't make Kaylee sweet as honey. No one's perfect, they fuck around and the fuck up and that's real and powerful and...


Saturday, February 25, 2006 9:30 AM


Ouch! *sniff* Smacks Simon. Double smacks Kaylee. Hugs Jayne. Prods Mal. Loves Jacqui!

More please?

"I love my captain."

Saturday, February 25, 2006 9:46 AM


:looks down at the bloody heart on the floor, still pumping after Jacqui ripped it out:

Saturday, February 25, 2006 10:29 AM


'Simon briefly considered ramming his head into the table top.'
and the cows running away with Jaynes guns reminded me why you were my inspiration to start writing these characters - I love thee, Jacqui, and I adore every bit you bring us!

Saturday, February 25, 2006 11:20 AM



Oh, Jacqui, this is just so hearbreaking.

But it feels true to the characters, and a darker side to this love triangle than we've had before.......

Where are you going to go with this....??

I can't wait to find out...... But please say you'll continue "The Best Deceptions" too........

Thanks, Jacqui...... I alaways love the way you write the Jaylee relationship..... You always make it seem so new, fresh, exciting and so much more meaningful and interesting than Kaylee with that oh-so-uptight Simon!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006 1:04 PM


Jacqui, okay, so now my stomach's all torn up and I had a good cry and now I wanna go bang some stupid stubborn heads together. Ai wa, woman, but you're a hard taskmaster. Love is a bitch, huh?

Saturday, February 25, 2006 4:04 PM


Awesome and heartwrenching and powerful and... *sigh* there aren't enough words in the 'verse.

This fic hits me on a visceral level. Reading it brought a lump to my throat, tears to my eyes, churned my gut, and made my hands curl into fists with the want to HURT Kaylee. God, I wanna hurt her so bad for doing this to Jayne.

Please make it better.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 4:28 PM


Oooh! Please, Mistress Jacqui, beat me some more!
I mean, errr.. WOW. This is beautiful, absolutely just. This was the best chapter yet, I think- so much happens and the context is all so tightly woven into the actions and dialogue.

I LOVED Mal's voice in this. You got him absolutely pat. I could just hear that bit about a big fluffy Valentine from Niska. Made me laugh out loud before I went back to crying.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:28 PM


wow-i love how you kept Jayne and Kaylee's voice true-you are turning my insides inside/out with Jayne's attempt to regain some control with how Kaylee was using him. MORE!!

Sunday, April 9, 2006 6:26 AM


your best shot hurts...



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The Best Deceptions: Ch 9
The crew of Serenity touch down on Kaylee's home planet. Hi-larity ensues. Jayne/Kaylee.

Something From Nothing 12/12.
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Something From Nothing 10/?
Sometimes all you can do is make the best of a bad situation, sometimes you find you're better for it.

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Something From Nothing 4/?
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